SEARCH the entire text of Vol. I: Mythology & History

Please use your browser's "Find" function to perform this search.

Red, White & Black

O blindness to the future! Kindly giv’n,
That each may fill the circle mark’d by Heav’n;
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms of systems into ruin hurled,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
— Alexander Pope, Essay on Man

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.
— T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Brighter stars will rise on some voyager of the future — some great Ulysses of the realms of thought — than shine on us. … Without dipping so far into the future, we may illustrate the course which thought has hitherto run by likening it to a web woven of three different threads — the black thread of magic, the red thread of religion, and the white thread of science …. [W]hat will be the colour of the web which the Fates are now weaving on the humming loom of time? will it be white or red? We cannot tell.
— Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough

“Man proposes and God disposes.” There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.
— Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs

BODIES do not just fall toward each other, they also cease falling. A theory of gravity should explain both of these phenomena, and it should do so based solely on a single albeit complex principle, a single yet complex belief, a single but extremely complex mystery.

Hence the word gravity should connote not only falling but also standing, not only black holes but also atoms, not only unity but also multiplicity. And most deeply it should connote, yes, the spiritual.

Indeed we should ask, what are the bodies — the substances, the real things — that are at once falling and standing (or rising, as it were, á la the Phoenix)? Following Leibniz we have little choice but to recognize these bodies as souls, i.e. particles (quanta) of experience. Each soul is unique; nevertheless each is in relation with all the others; and the number of souls is best considered infinite. Leibniz thought these units must be monads, each a sort of monarchy. I think they must be pleiads, each a crudescence of the whole cosmos, each consisting not only of itself but influenced by and structurally (physically) resonant with all others. Indeed, I will argue that our understanding of merely physical objects — i.e. of the structure of experience rather than experience itself — should be derived from this principle of plenitude, a holistic and holographic principle of the extreme relation of real things. Such principle, I assert, is the ultimate principle of relativity. My Gravity trilogy is based only upon this truly general principle.

Falling, rising, generality, difference, relation. These are extremely profound notions; people for countless millennia have naturally meditated upon them. Indeed via mythology and etymology we will discover — or reconstruct — the original and in fact prehistoric theory of quantum gravity, the prehistoric theory of everything. Likewise we will learn that this antique Holy Grail, if you will, interfaces naturally with the theory of everything nascent in our contemporary world. In the process we will recognize that we owe as much or more to the likes of James Joyce as to the likes of Leibniz and Einstein.

Note that the principle of relativity involves a fundamental trinity: unity, separation, and plenitude. Indeed, physics, mythology and in turn history are precisely understandable in terms of this trinity. Perhaps the most beautiful and seemingly the most common set of terms which mythology — or mytho-logic, as I like to call it — attaches to this trinity consists of the colors white, red and black, respectively. In the 1960s, American linguists Brent Berlin and Paul Kay studied the universality and evolution of basic color terms in eighty-eight diverse languages. They discovered that the least embellished languages, those spoken by the bushmen of southern Africa and the aborigines of Australia, had distinct color-words for white, red and black only. Moreover, these colors alone were common to all those eighty-eight languages.

To emphasize the exceeding symbolic importance of these colors, I render their names in capital letters. Of this trinity, the Black is the most important. The Black is reality: existence, facticity, the supposed plenum, the set of others, the matrix — what I call the “Present Mother” and the “Baroque.” The Black’s attributes include passion, pain and pan(ness) as well as the cognate passivity, peace and patience. The White and the Red are rather ideal — by this word I mean conceptual — in comparison.

The White begins from the notion of simple unity. Which is to say, the White emphasizes continuity — as in evolution, continuum physics, e.g. field physics, and as in whole number mathematics coupled to the concept of zero. Hence the White attempts to achieve a monadic, monarchic, autonomous, progressive, pure, simple, free existence (i.e. free from the influence of others). The White is analytical rather than wise, epic rather than romantic, linear rather than circular, otherworldly rather than this-worldly. The White idolizes ideas, concepts, knowledge. The chief concept employed by the White is the concept of space, i.e. space-as-container, outer space. The White conceives of its separations in terms of space: the separation of one mind from another, i.e. the localization of mind in terms of space and matter, yet the White program aims to reduce to space the description of matter. Likewise the White asserts the utter incommensurablity (and in this sense the simple duality) of minds and physics — although the White aims to reduce Mind (in the singular), i.e. God, to space/physics/Nature. In this sense the White believes that reality is essentially comprehensible but that no mind (and hence no set thereof) — i.e. no mere facet of Mind/God/Nature — can possibly comprehend it perfectly. Hence the White does not believe that a truly final physics can ever be achieved. Spinoza remains the chief philosopher of the White, while Newton, Einstein and Schrödinger remain its chief physicists. The White does not believe in irreducible complexity, i.e. in quantumness, hierarchy, archetypes, destiny. Neither does the White believe in intuition, for intuition implies real, magical yet commensurate relation to others. … In accord with Nietzsche’s early classic The Birth of Tragedy, and for reasons that will become clear, I alternatively call the White the “Apollonian.” Apollo was the god of distance.

The Red, conversely, begins from the complex notion of multeity-in-unity, i.e. from the principle of (real, magical, commensurate) relativity. In a word, the Red begins with the end: it is cyclic, or, better put, quasi-cyclic, temporally as well as numerically quantum. Hence the Red, in marked contrast to the White, understands choice by way of emphasizing intuition over analysis, wisdom (which means “turning, cyclic”) over knowledge, destiny over mere chance, hierarchy over mere equivalence-become-identity, archetypes over vanishingly different aspects, liberty (implying bondage) over mere freedom. Yet the Red thus subsumes the White. Leibniz remains the chief philosopher of the Red, while Bohr and Heisenberg remain its chief physicists. As I suggested above, Red mathematics is complex, holistic, fractal, non-whole number, fundamentally quantum. Likewise the ultimate Red physics is essentially non-local and final. The archetypes of myth correspond to such mathematics and physics. … Again following Nietzsche, I alternatively refer to the Red as the “Dionysian.” Dionysus was a god not only of intuition but also of the (Black) forest. He was a broken yet resurrected god, a god of cycles. God of the vin, he is Finn. God of the tree, he is Three. God of the forest, he is Pan, he is the Green Man. Finesse, finality, multeity-in-unity, non-locality (i.e. acausality, ubiquity): these are his accidental qualities.

The White/Apollonian embraces the simple. The Red/Dionysian embraces the complex, the messy — in hopes of understanding its beauty, i.e. its combination of order and variety. The White believes in a cosmic war of Good versus Evil — destined to be won (if never finally) by Good. The Red believes that Good and Evil are better considered a fundamental, irreducible duality. Thus the Red not only affirms the carnal, the here-and-now, but considers this middle ground of sorts more profound, more holy, than anything else — even, we might fairly say, more holy than God, for God accordingly remains but a member of the set of others, albeit the greatest/limiting member, and therefore is an object of faith/belief/principle rather than an identified soul. Such God is neither self-sufficient nor creative. Rather such God is but another person, to use the word in its most general sense, and is thus very much indeed like a father or mother.

Given the ideal nature of both the White/Apollonian and the Red/Dionysian, we may call each a paradigm. Yet we will do well to consider these the most natural paradigms of all, and we should recognize that the White/Apollonian is more ideal, more paradigmatic than is the Red/Dionysian.

Because these paradigms are so natural, each entity — whether a person, a business, an industry, a government, or a religion — fundamentally subscribes to both, yet each entity is paradigmatically either chiefly White or chiefly Red. Christianity, for example, is chiefly Red/Dionysian, but within it the Protestants are White relative to the Roman Catholics (i.e. the orthodoxy), and likewise the evangelical Apocalyptic Christian is White relative to the the common Christian. Generally speaking, Christianity is a re-expression of the prehistoric pagan, Red/Dionysian cosmology but under the tremendous influence of White/Apollonian Zoroastrianism. By way of contrast, Islam is chiefly White/Apollonian, but within it the Sunnis are Red relative to the Shiites, and likewise the Islamic evangelicals/extremists are White relative to the common Muslim.

Not only do extremes meet, as Red/Dionysian William Blake said, but there are also natural affinities between all entities. In a word, there is natural peace to be recognized between all entities. What’s more, according to the truly general principle of relativity there is the general peace — the absolute relativity, the absolute interconnectedness, the absolute co-existence — between all souls.

Red, White and Black: Funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II.


Mythology tends to represent the White/Apollonian paradigm in terms of a youngest sibling (often of twins): a rather naïve upstart, a warrior, masculine, the prodigal son, decidedly free and at least in this sense pure, but eventually to be empowered and wounded/humbled/corrupted/experienced, i.e. sacrificed (cuckolded, for instance) and thus transformed into a complex, complete, relatively feminine, Red/Dionysian figure. Meanwhile the Red/Dionysian is represented in terms of an eldest sibling. This relatively mature figure is typically a poet, a priest, a wizard, a guide, a trickster, a cad (as in caduceus), even a villain.

In this light consider the legend concerning Merlin’s childhood. During the Saxon invasion the Briton warlord Vortigern — a Pelagian who had originally invited the Saxons to Britain — retreated to mountainous North Wales and there in the shadow Snowdon tried to re-establish his power by building a castle. Construction of the castle was cursed, however: almost all the work which Vortigern’s craftsmen performed each day collapsed mysteriously during each night. Vortigern consulted his wise men or wizards about the problem. They informed him that the curse would continue until the castle ground had received the sacrificial blood of a child who had no mortal father. The king therefore launched a search for such child. In Carmarthen, in South Wales, some members of the search overheard a youth named Dinabutius taunt a boy named Merlin for having no father. Merlin, it turns out, was the son of the daughter of the king of South Wales. Merlin's father was said to be an incubus demon. This mysterious royal boy was brought northward to stand before Vortigern on the castle grounds. There the discoverers of Merlin shared with Vortigern the story of the boy’s birth. Facing imminent death, Merlin attempted to save himself by offering to show Vortigern the reason why the castle walls kept collapsing. Young Merlin straightaway led the warlord and company to a secret cave inside the mountain. The cave had a lake. Merlin advised Vortigern to drain the lake, for in its depths was to be found the cause of the castle's curse. Thus were discovered in the lake a white dragon and a red dragon, doing battle. The white dragon seemed about to win, then the red dragon, then the white, then the red, then the white, then finally the red drove away the white, making 3 times the red dragon overpowered the white. The king and his wizards stood awestruck as the prophetic boy Merlin explained all this to them: The two dragons represented forces in fundamental dynamic conflict with each other. Merlin elaborated: native Britain (Red/Dionysian, we can say) was presently suffering conquest at the hands of the Saxons (White/Apollonian), but Vortigern (White/Apollonian, a Pelagian and virtually a traitor to Britain) would be killed by fellow native Ambrosius (a Catholic, Red/Dionysian); in turn the pseudo-native Uther Pendragon (White/Apollonian) would rise to power, followed by the great native Arthur (Red/Dionysian), and thanks to Arthur the natives would gain the upper hand over the Saxons; then the Saxons in Britain would be invaded by the Normans, and finally the native Britons would drive out all invaders. Merlin’s prophecy caused Vortigern to flee for Ganarew, where Ambrosius destroyed him.

In a sense the Red/Dionysian character is not only mature and powerful but a falling/fallen character in contrast to an ascending/ascended White/Apollonian character. But merely White/Apollonian ascension is a sort of extreme separation which meets extreme unity. Red/Dionysian descension is a closing of a circle involving ascension/separation; its unity is complex, a magical equality of unity and multiplicity.

Despite the distinct differences I’ve pointed out between the White/Apollonian, the Red/Dionysian and the Black/Baroque, each of these aspects reference what I call the “Absent Father,” i.e. God, Allah, Brahman. The Absent Father is the ultimate White/Apollonian figure. He stands singularly and extremely distant from the rest of the cosmos, which set of others (the rest of the pleiads) may all but fundamentally be considered His creation. That creation is Red/Dionysian in the sense that it is equivalent to the self-sacrifice of the Absent Father. This equivalence implies 3 components: White absence (above, as it were), Black absence (below), and Red tangible presence (inbetween): White = Red = Black. Really, however, the Black/Baroque matrix includes the Absent Father as the single greatest soul (pleiad). In this sense the Absent Father, too, is fallen, Red/Dionysian, demiurgic. As such, the notion of creation is superfluous, merely ideal, and we are left with the Leibnizian, Existentialist notion of a com-union of souls (i.e. real quanta) that are best considered as existing concomitantly with each other rather than as creations. Although the Absent Father is considered the single greatest soul and is precisely inasmuch the Absolute, He is precisely less than the whole set of souls, which whole set may be called the Present Mother. Absent Father and Present Mother are contrasting but inseparable, like White/Apollonian and Red/Dionysian, like particle and wave in orthodox quantum physics.

The only complete and consistent appreciation of the White, Red, Black trinity is the perennial philosophy I call the Golden/Legal. (Leibniz coined the term “perennial philosophy” and it was famously expounded upon by Aldous Huxley.) The Golden/Legal philosophy naturally accommodates both the antique and the presently nascent theories of everything (i.e. of quantum gravity). This philosophy is more than a paradigm, in the sense that it is the only paradigm capable of truly addressing the Black/Baroque. I hinted at this philosophy when I described the holistic nature and holographic essence of the true principle of relativity and when I emphasized the natural affinities — peaces — between all entities.

In Albrecht Altdorfer’s famous little painting “Saint George in the Forest” we see the Golden/Legal philosophy referenced precisely in terms of White, Red and Black. The silver-armored knight St. George is seated on his white horse while prodding — but not killing — with lance a rather lowly red dragon of oddly human size, both figures all but overwhelmed in a deep, dark, primeval forest nevertheless opening in the distance onto a bright, golden landscape.

Altdorfer's “Saint George in the Forest”
Alte Pinakothek, Munich


As the legend of St. George goes, a kingdom was plagued by a dragon blowing poisonous, fiery breath and requiring sheep be sacrificed daily to its terrible maw. Eventually the king’s store of sheep was exhausted by this demand. Therefore the king had no choice but to offer to the dragon human sacrifices instead. Before long the king’s own daughter drew the short stick in this horrible respect, prompting a certain young George, significantly young and of rather lowly birth, to ride forth, lance the dragon — but again I stress, not kill it — and collar the beast with the princess’s girdle.

Importantly, the name George is closely related to the Sumerian root gi — equivalent to ja, ya, ji, yi, ga, ge, je, jo, u, o etc. — which means not only “young man” but also “small and thin like a reed” and “to reject, dislike; to return, come back, send; to answer, restore.” The Ge- prefix in German signifies commonality, collectiveness, but inasmuch plurality. In contrast the -org suffix signifies individuality, singularity, but inasmuch unity. Of course the Ge- prefix also signifies the Earth, as in geo and Gaia. Typically the name George is said to mean “earth-worker.”

Not only does the legend of St. George smack of Adam and Eve and the serpent; it also smacks of Perseus and Andromeda — daughter of (Phoenician) Ethiopia’s Cepheus and Cassiopeia — and the sea monster Cetus; and it likewise yet even more poignantly smacks of the nuclear family unit, the sacred family, if you will. In this latter sense the dragon corresponds most strikingly to the baby. Talk about an Oedipus complex! Seriously, consider Gaudi’s famous cathedral in Barcelona, the Expiatory Church of La Sagrada Família — The Sacred Family — still under construction. In emphasizing the Holy Family — i.e. not only Mary and baby Jesus but also Joseph — it virtually places Joseph on an equal footing with Mary and Jesus and is thus perhaps the most pagan work under the aegis of Christianity. The origins of La Sagrada Família go back to 1866, the year when Barcelona bookseller Josep Maria Bocabella i Verdaguer founded the Spiritual Association of the Devotees of St Joseph. From 1874 the Association — some 50,000 members strong — promoted the construction of an expiatory church dedicated to the Holy Family. The foundation stone was laid on 19 March 1882, the feast of St Joseph, at a solemn event presided by the bishop of Barcelona, Josep Urquinaona. That year was the year following the millenium of the famed Catalonian monastery of Montserrat, home to Catalonia’s patroness, the famed Black Virgin of Montserrat, and, some say, home to the Holy Grail as well. In Wolfram von Eschenbach's telling, the Grail was kept safe at a castle called Munsalvaesche (mons salvationis, alias Corbenic), entrusted to Titurel, the first Grail King. Eschenbach describes the Grail as a stone which fell from Heaven (called lapsit exillis) and which had been the sanctuary of the Neutral Angels who took neither side during Lucifer’s rebellion. Some, including Goethe and Schiller, have identified Munsalvaesche castle with the real sanctuary of Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain. Regardess and by no mere coincidence, the patron saint of Barcelona is none other than St. George (whose day is 23 April). Meanwhile the patroness of Barcelona is St. Maria del Mar, Mary of the Sea (whose day is 24 September).

The Sacred Family on the Nativity Facade of Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia.


The Black Virgin of Montserrat, near Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.


The Montserrat monastery, near Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.


Montserrat from the air.


The Feast of Saint George is celebrated by Palestinian Christians, whose patron saint is George, and by many Palestinian Muslims — especially in the areas around Bethlehem, where he is believed to have lived in his childhood. St. George and the Dragon are ubiquitous in Bethlehem, especially in and around the ancient Church of the Nativity. Christian houses in Bethlehem can be identified with a stone-engraved picture of the saint (known as Mar Jiries, i.e. Mars Jiri/Juri/Uri etc., where Jiri is another version of the name George) in front of their homes. Muslims call him Al-Khiḍr — Arabic for "the Green One." Greek Orthodox Christians from Bethlehem march in procession to the nearby town of al-Khader to baptize newborns in the waters around the Monastery of St. George and to sacrifice sheep in ritual. Al-Khader is also well known in the area for its peaches, grapes and apples; it hosts its annual Grape Festival every September. Al-Khiḍr also figures into the Alexander Romance as a servant of Alexander the Great. Al-Khidr and Alexander cross the Land of Darkness to find the Water of Life. Alexander gets lost looking for the spring, but al-Khiḍr finds it and gains eternal life. That legend of Alexander echoes the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Statue of Saint George and the Dragon in Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem.


Saint George and the Dragon over the door of a home in Bethlehem.


The St. George legend involves a rather unfortunate but very natural historical twist which I, following Joseph Campbell, refer to as the “Great Reversal”: an especially severe and enduring yet doomed White/Apollonian represssion/simplification of the Red/Dionysian. The Great Reversal is of a kind fundamental to the Golden/Legal philosophy, but it is an extreme and inasmuch rather unhealthy instance of such reversal. In the next chapter we will trace this especially extensive and still lingering but nevertheless profoundly mordant repression to its beginnings in the 4th century BCE.

Of course the elemental mythological trinity White–Red–Black — where the cyclical progression, in contrast to merely White/Apollonian linearity, is from White to Red to Black and so on — calls to mind among myriad theological trinities the Christian trinities Father–Son–Holy Ghost, spirit–soul–body, God–angels–people, and Father–Son–Mother. It also recalls the Islamic trinity angels–jinn–people. According to the Qur’ân, angels are made of light, jinn of fire, people of clay; Satan, Iblis, is described as an especially powerful jinn. The Black–White–Red further corresponds to the early Gothic maxim: “God hath shapen lives three,/Boor and knight and priest they be.” Likewise we are reminded of the plebes, consuls, and senators of Rome; Black, White, and Red, respectively. According to Greek mythology the hero Theseus introduced federal government to Athens, which had otherwise been divided into 12 nearly autonomous communities that occasionally warred with each other; and in so doing he recognized precisely 3 classes within the happily burgeoning population: the Demiurges or “artificers,” by far the most numerous (Black); the Georges or “farmers” (each farm being characteristically autonomous, a little monarchy); and the Eupatrids, who managed law and religion and enjoyed the highest status. Medieval society emerged upon a similar tripartite footing: peasants, monarchs, and aristocrats; Black, White, and Red, respectively. Hence we have the British House of Commons, the Royals, and the House of Lords. Hence too we have the United States of America’s House of Representatives, the White House, and the Senate. The role of the aristocrats/senators is Red in the sense that it represents a profound middle, an extremely heroic balance between multiplicity and unity, a radical conservatism. Generally the federal government of the U.S.A. is addressable in terms of the people, the executive branch, and the legislative branch (including the judicial): Black, White, Red. Note, however, that the Commander in Chief, the President of the U.S.A. — as the very title President suggests — is rendered a complex, Red/Dionysian figure, more a high priest than a warrior king, more Red than White, for that officer is profoundly and significantly lamed, sacrificed, as it were, from the start. (Likewise as the Middle Ages developed and concomitantly the mediating power of the aristocrats and in turn the gentry rose, kings increasingly took on the signifance of priests.)

In this deep, complex but likewise extremely precise sense the United States of America is in fact a theocracy. …

A note regarding humility and theory:

James Joyce once commented about his artistic production, “I have a grocer’s assistant’s mind,” and “I have learnt to arrange things in such a way that they become easy to survey and to judge.” His father exclaimed about him, “If that fellow was dropped in the middle of the Sahara, he’d sit, be God, and make a map of it.” The Gravity trilogy is my map, an ironically personal cosmic cheat sheet. Yet I think you will find this device remarkably useful.

Near the beginning of his Summing Up, Somerset Maugham writes:

If in the following pages I seem to express myself dogmatically, it is only because I find it very boring to qualify every phrase with an 'I think' or 'to my mind.' Everything I say is merely an opinion of my own. The reader can take it or leave it. If he has the patience to read what follows he will see that there is only one thing about which I am certain, and this is that there is very little about which one can be certain.

This passage largely expresses the way I feel about the Gravity trilogy. Still I recognize — and I expect my readers to do the same — that a theorist is obliged to postulate, to eventually present at least a single postulate as if it is simply true, and to build his/her theory as much as possible on the minimum number and simplest expression of such postulates. These foundational postulates are what we call principles. Good science is ultimately reckless in this deepest, principled sense. Aldous Huxley in his Literature and Science notes the same with respect to literature, pointing out “the ultimate magic — the magic of what might be called verbal recklessness.” Principles are the highest codification of magic. A theorist is a poet. Yet contrariwise Maugham says, "to write good prose is an affair of good manners.” I intend my writing to be an appropriate and pleasing balance between the poetry of theory and the prose of practical discourse, i.e. between the unexpected and the expected. Similarly I intend this book to express the fact that I respect my readers and that I feel humble in relation to them as individuals and as members of their communities and nations (civic and religious).

The Great Reversal

From the dawn of humanity through the dawn of history and down to the present day, the cyclical White–Red–Black trinity has been — and will continue to be — the basis of individual and society. I consider this assertion a corollary of the truly general principle of relativity: the notion that reality is a set of countless related souls, a multeity-in-unity. I see this principle as being at bottom of a prehistoric, essentially universal, and indefatigable philosophy I term the Golden/Legal. In the present chapter I explain how human society was most severely tested — indeed, all but torn asunder — by a set of closely related impulses that burst on the world almost simultaneously c. 3200 BCE and which gave the White (warrior) aspect (of individual as well as society) a nearly preternatural advantage over the Red (priestly) and the Black (feminine). Naturally the Golden Legal philosophy accommodated this sea change; but this accommodation was a reversal or inversion, in the sense that the Golden Legal generally favors the Black over the Red over the White. Thus the Great Reversal, as I call it, temporarily granted to the masculine ostensible and unprecedented dominion over the feminine. History, in turn, is chiefly the story of the Golden Legal philosophy’s redress of this reversal, the story of humanity’s return to a Golden Age.

The set of nearly simultaneous impulses which engendered the Great Reversal c. 3200 BCE are the following: the invention of bronze metallurgy; the invention of the plow; the invention of the wheel; the domestication of the horse; and, perhaps most importantly, the initial emergence of the acute infectious epidemic diseases influenza, smallpox, measles, etc. Mounting evidence suggests that this list should also include catastrophic impacts between the Earth and members of a certain group of comets and meteors known as the Taurid Complex, which group seems to be the debris from a single object originally some 100 kilometers wide that first arrived in the immediate vicinity of the Earth just before or during the retreat of the last Ice Age and has ever since been in a periodic relationship with the Earth — a relationship punctuated most severely during the centuries immediately prior to 3200 BCE. Only after I had nearly completed writing this chapter (and the initial draft of this book) did this extraterrestrial component come to my attention. As such, the fact that this book points precisely yet generally to c. 3200 BCE as being an extremely crucial point in human history is a fact that should be considered further evidence of said “giant comet hypothesis.”

This set of impulses was able to all but reverse human culture because each of these impluses was intimately related to the crux of human culture: cultivation. The word culture and the word cultivation are close cognates of the Greek kyklos, meaning “wheel.” A brief survey of the long history of cultivation will function as an excellent point of departure toward a thorough understanding of both the Great Reversal and the overarching, cyclical Golden/Legal philosophy.

Cultivation may generally be described as the manipulation of plant life cycles such that certain kinds of plants are favored relative to others in proportion to the benefits perceived in them. More poignantly put, cultivation is weeding. Whether by hand, hoe, machete, fire, etc. — humans have always been cultivators. The slash-and-burn method of cultivation compounds these approaches: it succeeds insofar as it allows sunlight to energize crops planted in a forest floor absent (for a mere year or so) the choke of competing vegetation. Apparently this method arose independently in several places worldwide by 10,000 BCE. The domestication of crops is merely another kind of cultivation/weeding. By around 8500 BCE in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, people had domesticated a certain small set of crops, including barley, millet and wheat. These domestications mark the beginning of the so-called “agricultural revolution.” Located upon the spatial center of this revolution — the apex, as it were, of the Fertile Crescent — is the ancient town of Haran, high-point of Abraham’s journey from Ur. As we progress in our understanding we will increasingly recognize Haran as representing the mythological moment: the transition from White to Red and hence to Black.

Approximate Fertile Crescent (dotted line)
(For good measure several historical towns, regions
and empires are shown anachronistically.)


Technically speaking, cultivation performed without the use of a plow is called horticulture (from the Latin hortus, “garden”). In contrast, cultivation performed with a plow is called agriculture (from the Latin ager, “field”). As these particular words suggest, agriculture is characterized by the considerably larger plots of land consequent of plow technology. Predicated on the strength of the bronze blade, the plow initially emerged in the Middle East, sometime between 3500 BCE and 3000 BCE. In most non-forest habitats at least twice as much surface area can be cultivated using such primitive plow instead of a hoe; and the plow disturbs the soil to a much greater depth, destroying most of the weeds — roots and all — while in like measure facilitating the growth of the crops’ roots. (Exceptions include North China, where the loess soil is easily broken up, and the Americas, where the high, per-acre calorie yield of the endemic maize and potato — in contrast to the Middle East’s suite of crops — obviated the need for an ancient plow.) Said doubling (at least) is crucial. Why? Because it allows half of the cultivated land to be fallowed. What does this mean? Fallowing is a special kind of weeding. With respect to fallowing William McNeill of the University of Chicago writes in his fascinating Plagues and Peoples:

It is a testimony to humanity’s animistic propensities that most textbooks still explain how fallowing allows the earth to restore fertility by having a rest. A moment’s thought will convince anyone that whatever processes of geological weathering and consequent chemical change occur in a single season would make no noticeable difference for the following year’s plant growth. To be sure, in the case of “dry farming,” soil kept in bare fallow can store moisture that would otherwise be dispersed into the air by passage of water from the soil through the roots and leafy parts of plants. In regions where deficient moisture limits crop yields, a year’s fallowing can, therefore, increase fertility by letting subsoil moisture accumulate. Elsewhere, however, where moisture is not the critical limit to plant growth, the great advantage of fallowing is that it allows farmers to keep weeds at bay by interrupting their natural life cycle with the plow.

Scholars think that ancient plows were too unwieldy for most women to operate. Indeed, the obsolescence of the hoe relative to the plow corresponds to societal shifts from matriarchy to patriarchy. These sudden and inasmuch truly revolutionary shifts do not coincide with the establishment of the “agricultural revolution” — which term is a double misnomer, for the change it signifies was horticultural and remarkalby gradual. From the Near East the “wave” of domestication reached Greece and Cyprus and the Indian subcontinent around 6500 BCE, Egypt around 6000 BCE, central Europe around 5000 BCE, and Britain around 3500 BCE — some 5000 years after the “revolution” began and a few hundred years before the plow was invented and patriarchy began to generally eclipse matriarchy.

Ironically, the very slowness of domestication’s spread suggests that people generally intuited the true revolution nascent in it. People who chose to tend domesticated plants and animals did, therefore, immediately experience a specific new pressure to embellish the age-old Golden/Legal philosophy such that the inevitable, agricultural technologies and concomitant social organizations could be reconciled with it. The following outtake from Joseph Campbell’s Primitive Mythology touches upon this pressure — and points up where the key to the accommodation thereof was largely to be found:

Among the paleolithic nomads the groups were relatively small and the demands of dharma [the cosmic order] relatively simple. Furthermore, the roles to be played accorded with the natural capacities of the male and female organisms, which had evolved and been gradually shaped under conditions of the hunt during the course of a period of some six hundred thousand years. With the turn, however, to agriculture … and the … development then of sedentary, highly differentiated, and very much larger social units (up to, say, four or five hundred souls), the problem not only of enforcing but also of rationalizing a dharma in which inequality and yet coordination were of the essence became acute. It was then — by a stroke of genius — that the order of the universe, in which inequality and coordination are of the essence, was taken as a model, and mankind was put to the school of the stars.

Rather unlike Campbell, I think even the earliest humans diligently studied the order of the universe fully insofar as that dharma was obvious to them; and I think they did so to affirm the principle of relativity that I explained in the initial chapter of this volume. But like Campbell, I think that that the culmination of this prehistoric science did nearly coincide with the advent of agriculture c. 3200 BCE and thus with the advent of history. Campbell continues in his Oriental Mythology — and the recognition he makes here is extremely important:

An overpowering experience of order not as something created by an anthropomorphic first being but as itself the all-creative, beginningless, and interminable structuring rhythm of the universe, supplied the wind that blew … civilization into form. Furthermore, by a miracle that I have found no one to interpret [my emphasis], the arithmetic that was developed in Sumer as early as 3200 B.C., whether by coincidence or by intuitive induction, so matched the celestial order as to amount in itself to a revelation. The whole archaic Oriental world, in contrast to the earlier primitive and later Occidental, was absolutely hypnotized by this miracle. The force of number [in the sense of discrete, quantum, Red/Dionysian mathematics] was of far greater moment than mere fact; for it seemed actually to be the generator of fact. It was of greater moment than humanity; for it was the organizing principle by which humanity realized and recognized its own latent harmony and sense. It was of considerably greater moment than the gods; for in the majesty of its cycles, greater cycles and ever greater, more majestic, infinitely widening cycles, it was the law by which gods came into being and disappeared. And it was greater even than being; for in its matrix lay the law of being.

Thus, mathematics in that crucial moment of cultural mutation met the earlier-known mystery of biological death and generation, and the two joined. The lunar rhythm of the womb had already given notice of a correspondence between celestial and terrestrial circumstance. The mathematical law now united both. And so it is that, in all of these mythologies, the principle of maat, me, dharma, and tao, which in the Greek tradition became moira, was mythologically felt and represented as female. The awesome, wonderfully mysterious Great Mother, whose form and support dominate all the ritual lore of the archaic world, whom we have seen as the cow-goddess Hathor at the four quarters of the festival palette of Narmer, and whose dairyland goddess of the cow, Ninhursag, was the nurse of the early Sumerian Kings, is equally present in the heavens above, in the Earth beneath, in the waters under the Earth, and in the womb. And the law of her generative rhythm was represented for the entire ancient world in those units and multiples of 60 of the old Sumerian sexagesimal arithmetic, which had caught the measure at once of time and of space.

I will later address and greatly expound this awesome quantum mathematical structure and order of the cosmos, especially as it was apparent to the early Sumerians, to their coevals, and, I think, to their intellectual precursors — who may have hailed from outside the Middle East, perhaps even from Southeastern Asia or the British Isles.

But clearly something critical happened to destabilize this virtually prehistoric understanding of the Black cosmos. Once again Campbell, from his Oriental Mythology:

… in the first centuries of the second millennium BCE a new note of dissonance becomes apparent in the writings of Egypt and, more emphatically, Mesopotamia. …

Do we not hear in this the prelude of the Buddha’s First Noble Truth: “All life is sorrowful,” and to the judgement of Aquinas: “It is impossible for man’s happiness to be in this life”? As Nietzsche has observed: “The sick and perishing: it was they who despised the body and the Earth, and invented the heavenly world and the redeeming drops of blood. … Beyond the sphere of their body and this earth they now fancied themselves transported, these ungrateful ones. Yet to what did they owe the convulsion and rapture of their transport? To their body and this earth.”

I [Campbell continues] shall term this crisis The Great Reversal, whereby death was no longer viewed as a continuance of the wonder of life but as a rescue from its pain: “like the recovery of a sick man,” “like the home that a man longs to see.”

Although Campbell never does suggest an answer to this extremely important question, he happens to mention the chief culprit twice in the immediately preceding passage. That culprit is sickness, disease — namely the acute infectious epidemic diseases I suggested above. Each of these diseases jumped to humanity from domesticated animals. As I will explain, all of these jumps finally took hold and spread within the human population at rather precisely c. 3200 BCE.

To address the extremely important role that such disease has played in history — especially in connection with said Great Reversal — I will first bring into focus the Proto-Indo-European (P-I-E) culture as it existed c. 3200 BCE centered spatially on what is now the Russian steppe. The remarkable expansion of that culture seems to be the initial expression of the Great Reversal. Nevertheless, P-I-E culture was naturally imbued and was indeed an expression of the Golden/Legal philosophy. Bruce Lincoln, University of Minnesota Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies — and one of the world’s leading specialists concerning Indo-European religion and society — notes in his essay “Indo-European Religions,” published in the compendium of his essays Death, War and Sacrifice: Studies in Ideology and Practice:

At the beginning of time — so the P-I-E cosmogony held — there were two brothers, a priest whose name was “Man” (*Manu) and a king, whose name was “Twin” (*Yemo), who traveled together accompanied by an ox. For reasons that are not specified, they took it upon themselves to create the world, and toward that end the priest offered up his brother and the ox in what was to be the first ritual sacrifice. Dismembering their bodies, he used the various parts to create the material universe and human society as well, taking all three classes from the body of the first king who … combined within himself the social totality.

(The asterisk pretending the P-I-E words above signifies the fact that the P-I-E language was only spoken and sung, not written. Often in what follows I abandon this convention for purposes of immediate clarity and for economy.) The epithet *Yemo implies not only identity but also “twin of,” i.e. younger twin brother of Manu. (Of course even among twins there is a 1st born and a 2nd born.) As the above passage from Professor Lincoln indicates, P-I-E society was divided into 3 distinct classes: priests, warriors, and commoners. Here again we have Red, White, and Black. The king (*rēg-s; hence the English words regal, regent, regulate, right, etc.; and likely cognate with the prefix re-) generally emerged from the warrior class but was supposed to represent and exemplify all 3 classes. The high priest nevertheless wielded power over the king. In this sense the otherwise White/Apollonian king was reduced to a sacrificed, Red/Dionysian figure. Which is to say, the king was completed, rendered fully complex, insofar as he subjected himself to the high priest and hence to the commoners, i.e. to existence in general. (Likewise the warrior class subjected itself to the priestly class — in large part, it seems, by paying taxes that supported the intellectual activities of the priestly class, which class was not required to pay taxes.) It was in this rich, White–Red–Black sense that the king more than any other individual in P-I-E culture corresponded to the Absent Father, P-I-E *Dyeus, which name derives from *deywo-s, “celestial, luminous, radiant.” This *Dyeus corresponds etymologically and otherwise to Dios and Zeus of the Greeks; Deus, Diespiter, Dis Pater (Father Dis) and Ju-piter of the Latins; and Dyaus of the Indian subcontinent.

Consider in this light the following from Julius Caesar’s Conquest of Gaul:

The Celts all claim to be descended from the god of the underworld whom they call Father Dis. For this reason they measure time not by day but by night and in celebrating birthdays, the first of the month, and New Year’s Day, they go on the principle that the day begins at night.

This favoring of night over day corresponds to the favoring of the priestly class over the warrior class, the Red/Dionysian over the White/Apollonian, and likewise to the favoring of the feminine over the masculine, the Black over both the Red and the White. By the same logic autumn was favored over spring. New Year, for instance, was celebrated in the autumn. Such favoring is a primary characteristic of what I will shortly distinguish as “proto-mythology.” Later I interpret James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake as being an especially proto-mythological address and expression of the Golden/Legal philosophy.

Father Dis is metaphorically described as a fallen god, a sacrificed god, a sacrificed king. Predominantly White/Apollonian, he is dominantly Red/Dionysian. It’s as if He has sacrificed himself and thus created the world. Father Dis is Joyce’s Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker. He is also Humpty Dumpty, *Neptno, Nehushtan, Neptune, Poseidon, the Phoenix (which name means “shining red”), Finn (note the similarity to Phoenix), the Deity, the Devil (note the Dev- root, as in Deus), and Lucifer (stemming from Latin lucēre, “to shine,” this being closely related to the Greek leukos, “white”).

I’ve pointed up the tripartite social order of Europe’s emergent Middle Ages: peasants, aristocrats, and monarchs: Black, Red, White, or Black, White, Red, depending on whether you emphasize the mediating or challenging aspect, respectively, of the aristocrats. Wrapped up in these aristocracies and monarchies — especially in the Merovingian dynasty — is a legendary group of families who considered themselves descendents of the Jewish high priest Aaron (Red/Dionysian brother of chiefly White/Apollonian Moses) and conversely of (chiefly White/Apollonian) David — and thus of Jesus of Nazareth — and who likewise considered themselves descendents of the Jewish Sadducees, i.e. of the Zadokites, a proto-mythological “sect” which was sympathetic to the Romans but disappeared when Judaism became chiefly White/Apollonian during the first few centuries CE. This bloodline is known as Rex Deus, i.e. Redux, Red–White, Priest–Royal. Legend has it that these families instigated the first Crusade and established the Knights Templar to recover — especially from the site of (proto-mythological) Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem — the lost knowledge of the Sadducees. In fact the famously enigmatic seal of the Knights Templar depicts a single horse ridden by 2 knights; and it was for proto-mythologically emphasizing the complexity of old Black–White–Red Father Dis that the Templars were suppressed by the Catholic Church. Precisely this complexity seems to be the so-called secret at bottom of Freemasonry and likewise it is the reason why the government of the United States separates church and state while emphatically involving God and state.

Regarding the Merovingians, note that they were referred to as the “long-haired kings” owing to their symbolically unshorn hair. Their hair was also said to be red. What did this long, red hair symbolize? Well, the Greeks called the Pleiades constellation — a cluster of what to the naked eye seems 6 stars but is mythologically said to be missing 1 star — the kometes, “long-haired,” which word is the basis of our comet. Later I will explain that the Pleiades and comets proto-mythologically represent the college of king-killing, Red/Dionsyian nymphs, especially the likes of the chief nymph Aphrodite. By no mere coincidence, I think, does the name Magdalene — as in Mary Magdalene, she who had “7 demons cast out of her” — mean “one who builds up hair.” The congressional essence of hair, the Pleiades, and comets is the meaning of the Greek and Latin word komes, “companion, bound (by oath),” and more generally of the prefix com-, as in commoner and plebe, which latter — like the word plenty, as in Saturn’s wife Ops, goddess of work/plenty/eye/light/face/snake/power/voice/opera/covering/ancestors/ aristocrats/summits — is especially akin to Pleiades. Thus we have the complex basis of the Italian conte, the French comte and the English word count, i.e. earl (from the Old Norse jarl), aristocrat. In Danish this word is Greve; in Dutch it is Graaf. These words are curiously similar to the English gravity, grieve, and grail. In Polish the word for count is Hrabia; in Czech it is hrabě. These are similar to the English hair, which derives from the proto-Germanic *Hæran. Thus we seem to arrive again at Abraham’s Haran, the apex of the journey, the moment of transition, of king-killing, as it were, the complex moment of quantum gravity, of rising–falling — the essence of all existence. Mongolian nomads upon attaining the crucial mountain pass of a journey tie to the “omoo” which marks the pass — i.e to the cairn there, the herm — a piece of hair from the mane of each horse present; thus they essentially honor Hermes, god of passage. Here we have a basis of Buddhist prayer flags and of flags (and flagellants) in general, the word flag moreover being cognate with plague and plaint and planet. The word *Hæran is clearly cognate with Hermes; less clear but just as intriguing is its close kinship with the Lithuanian šerỹs, “bristle.” The English word bristle is cognate with the Old High German burst of the same meaning, and these are linked closely to the English burst and to the following poignant cognates: the Indo European bhrstí-s, “point, peak, border,” the German Berg, “mountain,” the Welsh bryn, bre, “hill,” the Old Irish barr, “point, peak,” the Frankish *baro, “king’s man” (as in baron), the English barrow and barley (the latter as in John Barleycorn; barley being the Red grain, whereas wheat, as its very name means, is the relatively White grain) and bear (in both senses of the word), and the Latin fastīgium, “top, peak,” fascinum, “evil spell,” fascis, “bundle,” and fasces, “a bundle of rods borne before ancient Roman magistrates as an symbol of authority” — this Latin root fasc furthermore being the basis of Fasching, alias Carnival. The word bristle is akin to the Latin carne, “meat” and the English carry, which stem from the Indo European kēr-, a prefix closely linked to the Greek mythological figure Core (daughter of Demeter/Ceres; alias Persephone/Proserpine) and to the English word corn and to the Sanskrit carati, “he moves, wanders,” and cakra, “wheel,” as in the synonymous Indian terms karma and Meat Wheel, and thus to the aforementioned Greek kyklos (as in circle, cultivate and culture). The Old Norse word for wheel is hvēl, akin to the English hovel and to the Norse Hel, she who rules the underworld from her circular redoubt. The English word hell stems from this name and likewise from the Old High German helan, “to conceal,” which in Latin is celare and in Greek is kalyptein — as in Kalypso and Callisto and Calliope and the Hindu Kali and the P-I-E *Kolyo. Kalypso is Helen is Core/Persephone is the femme fatale Aphrodite is the Black Madonna.

According to the Golden/Legal philosophy every individual is fundamentally a duality. Each person — indeed each entity — consists of an original, pure, sophomoric, masculine, extending, ascending aspect (White/Apollonian) and a mediating, worldly, mature, feminine, introverting, descending aspect (Red/Dionysian). Here we have the warrior and the priest, the virgin and the nymph, the Yang and the Yin. Every male duality is thus considered as inhering a female aspect, and vice versa. Hence, too, the duality male–female corresponds to the trinity White–Red–Black. The Black — or as I prefer to call it, the Black/Baroque — is the vegetal, the existential, the real in contrast to the ideal; it is more feminine than masculine; it corresponds to the Crone yet it also corresponds to Black Dis, alias Father Dis, Aides, Hades; it is tomb and womb and night; it is the set of souls, i.e. the set of real things, real quanta.

I distinguish as being proto-mythological the expressions of the Golden/Legal philosophy which not only emphasize a complex (i.e. non-simple) pole of sorts (i.e. a White–Red, Yang–Yin essence) within that philosophy but which also enforce a cyclical directionality: White to Red to Black (to White). Relative to the convention established by the Great Reversal, this directionality is counter-clockwise; yet according to both proto-mythology and the Golden/Legal philosophy, this directionality is the true clockwise directionality. The proto-mythological is identical the Golden Legal except that the latter allows the White/Apollonian apparent domination over the Red/Dionysian insofar as circumstances call for such inversion; i.e. the Golden/Legal allows said directionality to be temporarily arrested and even reversed while still generally conserving it. Likewise the Golden/Legal more than either mere paradigm (or aspect, or essence) emphasizes the ultimately Black/Baroque nature of all individuals. The Great Reversal is great to the extent that it occurred (and occurs) on a grand scale, but in truth such reversals are elementary to every moment of existence.

The following graphical depictions of the above distinctions may prove useful as a reference.


A proto-mythological, Golden/Legal Taijitu symbol:
Yang is White, Yin is Red; their basis, the plenum
or matrix — which is real, material — is Black;
the directionality is “counter-clockwise.”


A more White/Apollonian Taijitu symbol:
Yin is Black or just dark, Yang is White;
their basis is immaterial, otherworldly, past or
potential; the directionality is “clockwise.”


The same profound complexity essential to and evident in mythology, history and psychology characterizes physics as well. However, both the White/Apollonian and Red/Dionysian camps of physicists, i.e. the continuum and quantum camps, championed respectively by Newton/Einstein/Shroödinger and Bohr/Heisenberg, have been all but ineluctably wedded to whole-number mathematics and therefore to continuum mathematics. Heisenberg almost broke fee of this continuum by dropping the commutative law of multiplication in relation to sets of classical physical parameters which are conjugal with each other (such as position and momentum). Thus he made room to accommodate the “quantum” of action — which is in truth a function (i.e. an irrational “number”), not a quantum (i.e. not a ratio and precisely inasmuch not a true number). We can write Heisenberg’s move in terms of mathematical symbols as follows: qp ≠ pq or qp - pq ≠ 0, where q and p are any classically conjugate variables (the product of which always has the dimensions of classical “action”). The difference of this pair of products is then forced (i.e. set) to be equal to Planck’s constant (divided by 2, for merely historical reasons) flagged by the imaginary number symbol i signifying the fundamental difference between space and time and likewise signifying the complex, truly quantum essence of reality, and the function 1/Pi signifying a function which is itself significant of quantum mathematics. As such, we have the now physical equation (a functional relationship, to be more precise) qp – pq = i (h / 2 Pi). Thus the classical set of variables (and likewise the continuum) is in a sense conserved, but they are now not considered variables representing reality but rather as representing the classical concepts necessary to determine the fundamental notion of measurement (i.e. control, “observation”) and as merely happening to correspond to a pure, self-referential mathematics, i.e. to purely mathematical symbols rather than to mathematics which is supposed to symbolize something (e.g. reality) other than mathematics. This is the sense in which Heisenberg understood — and I think deeply misunderstood — a comment Einstein had earlier made to him, that “it is theory which first determines what can be observed.” This famous comment proferred by Einstein seems to stem from the following equally famous statement by Schelling: “Every experiment is a question addressed to nature that nature is forced to answer. But every question contains a hidden a priori judgement; every experiment which is an experiment is a prophecy; experimentation is itself a production of the phenomena.” In making the above comment to Heisenberg, Einstein was saying that symbols should refer not to observations but to a reality which is supposed, i.e. postulated, addressable in terms of principle only. … Conserved in orthodox quantum theory along with the classical set of variables is Hamilton’s canonical, action-principle formulation of mechanics (the most beautiful expression of Newtonian physics; based on the analogy between mechanical and optical problems), for each component of Heisenberg’s equation qp – pq = i (h / 2 Pi) has the dimensions of action. The value of the new entity, however, Planck’s constant, goes unexplained; it is simply forced into the equation so that the equation accords with all measurements of atomic phenomena.

Unlike Schrödinger and Einstein, Heisenberg abandoned the classical, White/Apollonian notion of particle orbit (although, let me repeat, he conserved the classical continuum mathematics), which notion — especially as applied by Bohr to the hydrogen atom — was largely based on analogy with the planets. Heisenberg’s principle was that physical structure is identical to measurement theory, which theory is a refinement of classical notions. Put simply, Heisenberg believed that physics is measurement theory, that physics must stop profoundly, quantumly short of addressing reality. In contrast Schrödinger and especially Einstein, following Spinoza, believed that physics must aim to address nothing less than God. Any physics which does not aim to do this is was considered by Einstein incomplete.

In the early 20th century the way ahead for both camps of physicists was illuminated by Louis de Broglie inasmuch as he postulated that all matter — not just so-called radiation, i.e. light, as Einstein had earlier usefully postulated — fundamentally harbors particle–wave duality. De Broglie suggested that the quantum condition (i.e. the imposition or forcing of the quantum of action) in Bohr’s by then archaic, planetary model of the hydrogen atom (which model was of course largely the point of departure for both Heisenberg and Schrödinger) should be explained in terms of the wave aspect of matter, because a stable wave around a nucleus can only be a stationary wave and therefore the perimeter of the particle aspect’s orbit must be an integer multiple of the wave aspect’s length. This suggestion conserved the classical, White/Apollonian notion of a continuous orbit, a fundamental path of sorts; for otherwise according to the postulate/principle of particle–wave duality the quantum of action would, it seemed, be completely inexplicable, a Red/Dionysian mystery.

Einstein applied to quantum theory the same approach he successfully applied in developing his special and so-called general theories of relativity: he radically conserved; i.e. he did not abandon fundamentals that did not need to be abandoned. This steady approach was and is courageous by nature; likewise it tends to be practiced almost utterly alone. I think Einstein failed in this approach because he could not in connection with Spinozs’s philosophy justify abandoning whole-number, continuum mathematics and the concomitant classical set of physical variables.

Forgive me, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. The preceding discussion of physics belongs largely to the following chapter and the penultimate chapter of this book and especially to the next volume of the Gravity trilogy. Yet such discourse serves us presently insofar as it indicates that the proper determination of the Golden/Legal philosophy should be an absolutely quantum mathematics — i.e. a mathematics different than whole-number mathematics — symbolic of a set of real, related things (the Black/Baroque, the matrix; in contrast to abstract and in this sense physical, measurable, controllable, secondary, merely essential things).

Returning to mytho-logic … note that the Red/Dionysian emphasizes the self-sacrificed (metaphorically speaking) aspect of God, i.e. of the Deity and likewise every soul — especially of the king. According to proto-mythology, this understanding calls for regicide, the literal sacrifice of the king. However, according to reversals akin if not identical to the Great Reversal, surrogates are sacrificed in place of the king. To the degree these surrogates are unlike the king, the king is a mere king, unlike and ruling without the authority of God.

In this respect consider the following description of the Gauls, from Pomponius Mela’s De Situ Orbis, c. 40 CE:

… at one time they were so savage that they believed a man to be the best and most pleasing sacrificial victim for the gods. … Still, they have their own eloquence and their masters of wisdom, the Druids. These ones profess to know the size and form of heaven and earth, the motion of sky and stars, and what the gods desire. They instruct the noblest of their race in many things secretly and at length, twenty years, either in a cave or in remote woodlands.

That’s right: 20 years, the equivalent of a modern doctorate. These Gauls and their coevals were generally illiterate. Their priests cultivated the art of memory, and thus the priestly class functioned as the cultural database. The priests shared their knowledge with the rest of the people, but they did so fractally, holographically, you might say, keeping the great bulk of the information to themselves, communicating it to the people in watered-down form, with various determined degrees of precision that amounted to mere adumbrations of the sharp yet general edge the priests themselves wielded. Thus a metaphor suggests itself: hard-won priestly knowledge as great, magical sword akin to the blade which the Absent Father originally wielded upon Himself, creating the cosmos, rendering Himself the Deity (Dis). Giambattista Vico is largely correct when he writes in his classic New Science: “the priests of every nation kept their sacred teachings arcanely hidden from the masses of their plebeians … This is why all nations refer to their religious doctrine as sacred, which is synonymous with secret.”

The priestly power seems to have achieved its greatest possible antique precision and generality and thus its pinnacle just prior to 3200 BCE. Evidence of that pinnacle stems mostly from Europe and the Middle East, especially from the British Isles and Mesopotamia. But in Mesopotamia this apex coincided with the space–time epicenter of the aforementioned complex of impulses — and especially with the seemingly most random, unfathomable, and unprecedented component thereof: acute infectious epidemic diseases. The Mesopotamian priesthood — most notably the priesthood of the Sumerians — must have been largely discredited by these invisible, seemingly lawless foes and by the consequent and similarly random attacks which raiders from the desert and steppe (Semites and P-I-E Aryans, respectively) waged upon the physically and spiritually weakened populace. The same wits who could predict the movements of the heavenly bodies could do almost nothing to accurately predict the essentially random attacks that were crippling the incipient agri-culture.

The Sumerians, I should add, seem to have arrived in the region of southern Mesopotamia (alias Sumeria) just prior to c. 3200 BC and with their culture already fully developed. Where they came from nobody knows; but they called their place of origin Dilmun. The Sumerian language, like the Basque, seems to be a language unto itself; it is, for instance, neither Semitic nor Indo European. The name Sumer (Shumer, Shinar) is Akkadian (Semitic). The Sumerians referred to themselves as the Sag-gi-ga, which name is commonly interpreted to mean “Black-Headed People” and likely signifies a proto-mythological recognition of the Black/Baroque as the basis of culture in general.

Acute infectious epidemic diseases and comet and/or meteor impacts were the categorically terrible impulses among the closely related set of impulses which resulted in the Great Reversal. The other components of that set were largely considered boons — although they rather directly caused the emergence and spread of acute infectious epidemic diseases and thereby and otherwise weakened the Red/Dionysian relative to the White/Apollonian, in ways that I will shortly describe. Again, these largely beneficial components are the following: the invention of copper alloys (bronzes), the invention of the plow, the invention of the wheel, and the domestication of the horse — especially for riding. The latter technologies were dependent on and almost immediately emergent from bronze metallurgy; bronze was the only extant material strong enough to be transformed into reliable plow blades and wheels, and it made efor superior weapons which — coupled to the wheel and horsemanship — made for superior, ultra mobile warriors. Copper itself had been collected in the form of pure nuggets (not altogether uncommon in certain places, such as Anatolia) and, more generally, smelted (i.e. refined from simple copper oxides such as azurite and malachite) since c. 9000 BCE. But mere copper was too malleable, too weak, to suffice for plows and wheels and swords. Copper alloys, on the other hand — i.e. bronzes, which involve tin (a bluish-white or silvery-white metal, exceedingly rare) and zinc or other rare metals, plus the element arsenic — are tricky to make, but they are much stronger than pure copper, and they tend to flow into molds much more nicely (greatly facilitating complex castings). The process of creating bronze was invented in the Near East c. 3300 BCE. Bronze stands in marked contrast to iron. Bronze is much stronger and much more shiny than iron. Moreover, bronze, unlike iron, lends itself to polishing. Furthermore iron is brittle, and it rusts (i.e. turns weak and reddish). Nevertheless, by 1200 BCE iron — being very abundant throughout the world and not involving relatively rare metals such as tin — had become by far the most commonly used metal. Bronze was the metal of the upper and middle classes, iron the metal of the lower. To the extent a society had gone over to the Great Reversal, the society’s upper classes were rendered White/Apollonian. Bronze therefore is White/Apollonian, iron Red/Dionysian.

The Caucasus Mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, were to the ancient world a major source of tin and hence they were a natural nexus for the spread of bronze metallurgy and related technologies — especially the wheel. Just to the north of these mountains is the steppe, which stretches from the plains of what is now Hungary through what is now Mongolia. The nomadic tribes who lived on the steppe adjacent to the Caucasus adopted the wheel quickly. The steppe does not lend itself to cultivation and therefore is rather sparsely populated; but it does lend itself to the horse. Wild horses were plentiful on this steppe but utterly absent from the Middle East and southern Europe and rare in northern Europe. The domestication of the horse on the steppe began, most likely, with the keeping of orphaned wild horses as pets. Slowly there developed an art of breeding these pets. Of course this breeding produced increasingly docile and large animals, beasts which could be trained and ridden. These completely domestic horses facilitated the management of sheep, goats and cattle over much larger areas than were otherwise manageable. Likewise the domestic horse facilitated lightning-like raids upon horseless and inasmuch defenseless enemies. And with the arrival of the wheeled cart, which was, however, typically drawn by oxen, whole nomadic communities and tribes of this steppe region became completely mobile, able to follow and support their equestrian warriors, who plundered horseless communities in both directions on the steppe. To the west, the Dnieper River (note the essentially ne- prefix), which flows south to the Black Sea, had previously marked the cultural boundary between the nomads of the steppe and the neolithic farmers of Europe. But c. 3200 BCE the nomads began breaching that boundary, probably in multiple waves punctuating several hundred years. These invaders of course brought with them the tool which of all tools is the easiest to carry: their language. This language is now called Proto-Indo-European, its speakers having introduced it and, more importantly, their extremely potent suite of cutting-edge technologies — especially horsemanship — wherever they eventually conquered, east and west: India, Western China, Europe, Anatolia, and Iran (Persia).

Upon reaching the plains of Hungary and there the very western frontier of the steppe itself c. 3000 BCE, the westward arm of the P-I-E people’s expansion ceased. Not only did this cessation spatially coincide with the edge of the steppe, ittemporally coincided with the world’s initial explosion of acute infectious epidemic diseases among humans, these diseases being the now familiar influenza, smallpox, measles, etc. Originating in Mesopotamia, this nasty congeries of diseases surely spread with phenomenal ease along the international trade routes that were now especially active due to the demands of the burgeoning bronze industry. Indeed, the spread of P-I-E peoples — in contrast to their language and the horsemanship it attached to — may have been stopped more by disease than by their native affinity for the steppe. Nevertheless, early Bronze Age Europe west of the steppe was rendered a protean milieu. As Jared Diamond notes in his Guns, Germs and Steel: “around and after 3000 B.C. … a bewildering array of other [European] cultures [are] developing … [They] combine steppe elements like horses and militarism with old western European elements, especially settled agriculture [horticulture].”

From southeast Europe, P-I-E language and horsemanship coupled to bronze metallurgy — in terms of the wheel, agricultural implements, and especially weaponry — spread westward, morphing of course yet nearly suffocating aboriginal languages and cultures. Only the Finno-Ugrian language (now of the Finns, Lapps, and Estonians) and Basque (now of far southwestern France and north-central Spain) survived this burgeoning of the Indo-European. Inasmuch, we can assume that the Finn-Ugrian and Basque cultures survived as well, each distinguishing itself as Red/Dionysian relative to a fresh, White/Apollonian mantel that covered the rest of the continent and, eventually, the British Isles and Ireland. A nearly general inversion had occurred — a Great Reversal. The masculine, militaristic, White/Apollonian paradigm had filed for divorce from the Red/Dionysian and hence from Black/Baroque reality itself.

Naturally the relatively complex, Red/Dionysian aspect of each society that was affected by the set of impulses we’ve been discussing — that aspect conserved by the priestly keepers of language, legend, legacy, legality, and science, as it were — greatly resisted said petition for divorce. But while the White/Apollonian aspect was especially bolstered by the new technologies, the priests were especially discredited — not only by their failure to foresee and offer protection against human invaders who arrived on horses and armed with bronze weapons, but perhaps more importantly by their similar failure in regard to the aforementioned extraterrestrial invaders (comets) and especially in regard to the invisible invaders: the acute infectious epidemic diseases.

Indeed, I suspect that the Great Reversal may never have occurred if not for these especially insidious, extremely random microbial invaders. As such, these diseases warrant our further attention. Again Jared Diamond, from his Guns, Germs and Steel:

The major killers of humanity throughout our recent history — smallpox, flu, tuberculosis, malaria, plague, measles, and cholera — are infectious diseases that evolved from diseases of animals. … Because diseases have been the biggest killers of people, they have also been decisive shapers of history. … Studies show that measles is likely to die out in any human population numbering fewer than half a million people. Only in larger populations can the disease shift from one local area to another, thereby persisting until enough babies have been born in the originally infected area that measles can return there. … To sustain themselves, [these acute infectious epidemic diseases] need a human population that is sufficiently numerous, and sufficiently densely packed, so that a numerous new crop of susceptible children is available for infection by the time the diseases would otherwise be waning. Hence measles and similar diseases are known as crowd diseases [or childhood diseases, as they are now commonly called]. … the crowd diseases … could have arisen only with the buildup of large, dense human populations. That buildup began with the rise of agriculture starting about 10,000 years ago and then accelerated with the rise of cities starting several thousand years ago.

William McNeill, from his Plagues and Peoples:

… in view of the figure of half a million needed to keep measles in circulation in modern urban communities, it is noteworthy that a recent estimate of the total population of the seat of the world’s oldest civilization in ancient Sumeria comes to exactly the same figure. It seems safe to assume that the Sumerian cities were in close enough contact with one another to constitute a single disease pool; and if so, massed numbers, approaching half a million, surely constituted a population capable of sustaining infectious chains like those of modern childhood diseases. … Person to person, “civilized” types of infectious disease could not have established themselves much before 3000 B.C. …

… Infectious bacterial and viral diseases that pass directly from human to human with no intermediate host are therefore the diseases of civilization par excellence: the peculiar hallmark and epidemiological burden of cities and of countryside in contact with cities. They are familiar to almost all contemporary humankind as the ordinary diseases of childhood: measles, mumps, whooping cough, smallpox and the rest.

Measles, tuberculosis, and smallpox seem to have originated in cattle (initially domesticated c. 6000 BCE), measles perhaps stemming also (or instead) from the dog (initially domesticated c. 10,000 BCE). Influenza, on the other hand, stems from birds, especially from ducks, geese and chickens; but it often enters the human population via a mammalian intermediary, especially the pig (initially domesticated c. 8000 BCE). An especially nasty strain of influenza was the culprit in the most deadly single epidemic in human history: the influenza epidemic of 1918–1919 CE, which infected 1/5 of the world’s population and killed some 20–40 million people or more. The history of this extremely deadly strain remains a mystery; but John Oxford, Professor of Virology at St. Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospital, suggests there is compelling reason to think it initially emerged during the winter of 1916–1917 CE in the overcrowded British base camp at Etaples, in Northern France, where some 100,000 soldiers per day — many sick, wounded or otherwise immunologically stressed — lived in proximity to and some perhaps in immediate contact with all the aforementioned animal carriers as well as mutagenic gases.

Imagine. Before c. 3200 BCE none of these diseases existed in the human population. Then suddenly they arrived en masse. Their typical affects on an individual back then tended to be much more severe than today, for humanity had never before played host to such diseases and consequently possessed little immunity to them. Whereas many of these diseases afflict only children now, they each would have originally afflicted all ages — perhaps even young adults especially, as was the case with the 1918–1919 CE influenza epidemic. Nearly everywhere agriculture existed a huge portion of the population would have been wracked with vomiting, diarrhea, fever, coughing, horrible sores, etc. Until then such symptoms had been virtually absent from the human condition. In all likelihood ⅓ or more of the agricultural human population of the world c. 3200 BCE died from this complex impulse, as it were, of unprecedented plagues. What’s more, this impulse seemed to be extremely random, largely because it was microscopic and thus invisible. The peoples affected by these plagues were therefore wont to attribute them to the disfavor of the gods if not to hordes of evil spirits unleashed upon the Earth — much less an evil nature of wordly existence in general. The Red/Dionysian, priestly class, whose job it was to understand and affirm worldy existence and to explain-away seeming disorder, must have been deeply and widely discredited by the plagues alone, not to mention the nearly coincident onslaughts of human and perhaps cometary invaders. … As a young teenager I became extremely interested in the apocalyptic literature of the Bible. In church I would mostly ignore the sermons and such and instead would intently read the Bible. I’m reminded of at least one episode when, from my seat near the rear, I observed the herd-like congregation with my eyes fascinating on the decrepit individuals and my ears pricked to the desultory coughing and crying which severely marked the otherwise silent ambience. “How fallen, how wretched, how pathetic human beings are!” I thought to myself. “Hopefully the end will come soon!”

History records a similarly complex and devastating impulse in connection with the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. Scholars estimate that the aforementioned diseases plus a few others, such as typhus, killed off nearly 90 percent of the native American population immediately following the initial arrival of Europeans. Previously the Americas had been phenomenally free of parasitic, bacterial and viral diseases, this largely because the dog and the llama were the only domesticated animals on the American continents, and also because native American cities were few and far between. As such, native Americans generally possessed little or no immunity to the Indo European diseases. Neither did native Americans possess similar endemic diseases with which to serendipitously infect the European invaders. The result was a unilateral, effectively biological war: Europeans and their diseases against the native Americans. Consider in this respect the following from Jack Weatherford’s little gem of a book entitled Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World: “In this agonizing and slow genocide, the [otherwise remarkably, even tremendously successful] Indian doctors found most of their cures impotent and were thrown back increasingly on the meager resources remaining to them — prayer and magic. They chanted, danced, mumbled, and searched for magical solutions to ailments that they had never before encountered. The great accomplishments of Indian medicine have been forgotten.”

This sort of biological warfare — which tends to be waged unknowingly at the start but soon thereafter with a considerable degree of intent — similarly characterized the expansion of the early agricultural societies of the Middle East. Again, McNeill:

When civilized societies learned to live with the “childhood diseases” that can only persist among large human populations, they acquired a very potent biological weapon. It came into play whenever new contacts with previously isolated, smaller human groups occurred. Civilized diseases, when let loose among a population that lacked any prior exposure to the germ in question, quickly assumed drastic proportions, killing off old and young alike instead of remaining a perhaps serious, but still tolerable, disease affecting small children.

The disruptive effect of such an epidemic is likely to be greater than the mere loss of life, severe as that may be. Often survivors are demoralized, and lose all faith in inherited custom and belief which had not prepared them for such disaster. Sometimes new infections actually manifest their greatest virulence among young adults, owing, some doctors believe, to excessive vigor of this age group’s antibody reactions to the invading disease organism. Population losses within the twenty-to-forty age bracket are obviously far more damaging to society at large than comparably numerous destruction of either the very young or the very old. Indeed, any community that loses a substantial percentage of its young adults in a single epidemic finds it hard to maintain itself materially and spiritually. When an initial exposure to one civilized infection is swiftly followed by similarly destructive exposure to others, the structural cohesion of the community is almost certain to collapse. In the early millennia of civilized history, the result was sporadically to create a fringe of half-empty land on the margins of civilized societies.

On the home front, cities sought to maintain their populations and thus their power by encouraging people and entire peoples to emigrate to urban ground. McNeill:

The striking way, for example, in which Sumerian-speakers gave way to Semitic-speakers in ancient Mesopotamia during the third millennium B.C. is probably a direct consequence of this kind of population movement. Speakers of Semitic tongues presumably migrated into Sumerian cities in such numbers that they swamped speakers of the older language. Sumerian lingered on as the language of learning and priestcraft, but for everyday purposes, the Semitic Akkadian took over.

Farmers and desert warriors alike were drawn to the cities. Farmers were especially affected by the new dynamic; not only were they forced to supply the city with food, they were also pressured to supply the city with people. A high rural birth rate resulted. Indeed, early marriage and a large number of offspring became, among the peasants, symbolic of success. As such, however, any prolonged duration free of disease, famine and war would result in acute rural overpopulation. Wars of conquest were an obvious solution to this problem, for even if these wars failed to secure new lands they would certainly cause a tremendous number of human deaths. From Campbell’s Creative Mythology:

… it was precisely at this point of space and time, in the Near East, and specifically in Sumer, c. 3500–3000 B.C., that the evidence first appears among the ruins of those earliest city-states — Kish, Uruk, Ur, Lagash, and the rest — first, of a disciplined social order imposed from above by force, and next, of deliberate expeditions of military conquest against neighbors: not the mere annihilation raids of one tribe or village horde against another, in a spirit of plunder, malice or revenge, but deliberately progressed campaigns of systematic conquest and subjugation.

The natural contrast between elder and younger siblings was exacerbated by this new state of affairs. Younger sons especially tended now to move not to neighboring tribes — where according to proto-mythologic they would marry and stay, thus building strong familial bridges (of peace) between tribes — but rather to a city, thus destabilizing the polity of the countryside while breaking their native bond to the traditional, dominantly Red/Dionysian and proto-mythological way of life. In the city, young people would tend to subscribe to the notion that city life — in all its White/Apollonian splendor and freedom (“city air makes one free,” says a German adage), and with its absence of antique obligations — is superior to the old way of life. The males would tend to join the military. These soldiers (from the Latin solidus, “pay”) would thus assume a rather artificial yet ornate and considerably powerful White/Apollonian persona as traveler, sophisticate, and military man. Thus the native rift between Red/Dionysian and White/Apollonian — elder and younger — increased to a hugely unprecedented degrees, with the White/Apollonian establishing and institutionalizing likewise unprecedented dominance over the Red/Dionysian within and without the city.

The primary and perhaps chief role that disease has played in shaping world events has gone phenomenally underappreciated. “Until modern times,” notes McNeill, “… surviving records simply do not take notice of what happened to the weak and unfortunate neighbors of civilized people.” Not only were the affected peoples nearly wiped out and extremely demoralized, the few people who could write, regardless of which side they were on, possessed minimal knowledge of the underlying biological processes of disease. To put it simply, the victims hardly knew what had hit them. Likewise the victors failed to recognize that their greatest strength was other than their gods, their culture, their military and such. Indeed, writes McNeill, the conquerors “naturally enough, tended to assume that the expansion of civilization (their own, of course) was only to be expected, since its charms and value were self-evident.” Even in the modern world there remains an overwhelming tendency to disregard the import of disease. Susan Sontag notes the “near-total historical amnesia about the [aforementioned] influenza pandemic of 1918–19.” Yet the events in Mesopotamia c. 3000 BCE are perhaps indicated in the opening chapter of the Iliad, where Homer tells us that Apollo sent a “deadly plague” to punish Agamemnon’s discourtesy to a priest of Apollo. Homer similarly refers to the disease of the “dog-star” time. The Dog Star, as we will come to understand precisely, is a prime signifier of proto-mythology.

We’ve been addressing class distinctions with a remarkable generality and simplicity. The extremely complicated caste system which largely characterizes India stands in contrast to such simplicity. But even that system stems from the initial wave of acute infectious epidemic diseases. This wave spread very well in temperate or northerly regions; but it eventually met nearly insurmountable resistance in the tropical jungle of India, an environment in which primates and in turn humanoids (if not homo sapiens sapiens) evolved and which therefore holds many an old and relatively complex biological adversary. Again, McNeill:

In that subcontinent, a civilized level of society arose initially in the semi-arid Northwest, where the Indus River runs through increasingly desert lands from the high Himalayas to the sea. Such a landscape was similar to that of Mesopotamia and Egypt, and the irrigation agriculture that supported Indus civilization was probably very like that of the two ancient Middle Eastern civilizations. The basic pattern of Indian history was defined by massive barbarian (Aryan) invasions after 1500 B.C., followed by a slow reassertion of civilized patterns of life.

… the forest [jungle] peoples in India did not crumple up and disintegrate as might have been expected. Instead, they had their own epidemiological riposte to the biological armament of civilization. Various tropical diseases and parasitic infestations that flourished in moist and warm climates protected them against the temperate zone pattern of civilized encroachment. As was true later in Africa, death and debility lurked in too many forms to allow massive or rapid invasion of moist, warm regions by civilized personnel from India’s drier North and West. A sort of epidemiological standoff ensued. Forest folk might be decimated by infections arising from contacts with civilized peoples, but civilized intruders were equally vulnerable to contacts with the tropical diseases and infestations familiar among the forest folk.

The upshot is well known. Instead of digesting the various primitive communities that had occupied southern and eastern India in the manner that was normal north of the Himalayas, Indian civilization expanded by incorporating ex-forest folk as castes, fitting them into the Hindu confederation of cultures as semi-autonomous, functioning entities. Local cultural and social traditions were therefore not destroyed before being fitted into Indian civilized social structures. Instead, a vast variety of primitive rites and practices survived for centuries.

… the taboos on personal contact across caste lines, and the elaborate rules for bodily purification in case of inadvertent infringement of such taboos, suggest the importance fear of disease probably had in defining a safe distance between the various social groups that became the castes of historic Indian society. Only after a prolonged process of epidemiological encounter, during which antibody immunities and tolerances of parasitic infestation were gradually equalized (or initial differences sharply reduced) did it become safe for Aryan-speaking intruders to live side by side with speakers of Tamil and other ancient tongues.

Jungle diseases are typically caused by complex, multicellular parasites, organisms such as worms and protozoa in contrast to the relatively simple bacteria and viruses which cause infectious epidemic diseases. Such complex parasites can circulate seamlessly within the non-gregarious (i.e. non-herd) host populations endemic to jungles, for ususally such parasites neither kill the host quickly nor trigger the host’s immune system. Moreover, the high ambient moisture and heat of a jungle are conducive to the evolution of these small yet complex organisms, some of which eventually incorporate into their life-cycle long durations spent outside as well as inside another organism or organisms. These life-cycles and the interrelationships they involve tend to become extremely elaborate and, as I mentioned, usually non-lethal to the hosts. (Many of these diseases are however onerous. And occasionally, when some threshold or another is passed, they, too, are deadly.) All told, it’s fair to categorize acute infectious epidemic diseases — i.e. herd diseases, diseases of the plains, “childhood” diseases, simple diseases — as being White/Apollonian. This characterization is especially true relative to said complex parasitic diseases — i.e. sluggish, introverted diseases, jungle diseases, adult diseases — which are, by way of contrast, Red/Dionysian.

Primates, including humanoids, having evolved in jungle environments, became naturally involved in symbiotic relationships with a rich array of typically non-lethal, complex parasites. Human biology has of course remained susceptible yet accommodating to such parasites. By the same token the savannah, plains and steppe naturally harbored parasites — especially of the simple, White/Apollonian sort, i.e. bacteria and viruses, typical of herd animals — which could pose a severe threat to human biology. This threat was attenuated insofar as prehistoric humans lived non herd-like populations and in very loose connection with herd animals. As such, the only herd parasites which actually tended to harm human physiology were of the complex, non-epidemic variety. Take, for instance, the trypanosome parasite. Carried by the tetse fly, which lives among the herds of ungulates on the savannah, this complex parasite causes sleeping sickness throughout much of Africa. “It is, in fact, mainly because sleeping sickness was and remains so devastating to human populations,” writes McNeill, “that the ungulate herds of the African savannah have survived to the present. Without modern prophylaxis, humans simply cannot live in regions where the tsetse fly abounds.” When humans migrated to temperate climates outside the range of the tsetse fly, however, they found themselves in simpler environs largely absent the sort of the complex, Red/Dionysian parasites that had checked them for eons. In fact the archaeological record of human prehistory testifies to the phenomenally good health these humans typically experienced outside Africa. McNeill:

Except for formidable illnesses traceable to recent contacts with the outside world, these peoples … seem to have been quite free from infectious disease and from infestation by multicelled parasites. Anything else would have been very surprising, for there was not enough time for the slow work of biological evolution to devise organisms and patterns of transfer from host to host suitable for cool and dry conditions such as would be needed to maintain a tropical level of infection and infestation among the small and relatively isolated communities of hunters who penetrated the world’s temperate and sub-Arctic climates.

Consequently the human population outside Africa exploded. What’s more, because the typically microscopic parasitic pressures on human evolution never had been literally seen by humans and largely inasmuch therefore never had been fathomed and acted upon by human intelligence, evolution selected for human brain power in inverse proportion to the waning importance of microscopic parasites. Typically macroscopic threats were now of the greatest import to humanity in general. And it is precisely such obvious threats that human intelligence was geared to address and to act upon. Human intelligence was surely now the single chief aspect of human physiology that evolution was selecting for. Altogether the consequence would have been a nonlinear increase in both the human population and the typical human intelligence. …

Now, the seminal epidemics chiefly if not entirely responsible for the Great Reversal have an especially remarkable historical counterpart in Europe’s so-called Black Death of 1348 CE. That epidemic was in fact a complex of 3 plagues — bubonic (which is the “black” plague, its victims marked by black spots and a black tongue), septicemic (i.e. of the blood; Red), and pneumonic (of the lungs; White) — which killed about 35 percent of the European human population over the course of just a few years. Before analyzing the aftermath of those terrible years, we’ll do well to briefly address them in terms of the Dark and Middle Ages.

As I will later explain, Rome was markedly Red/Dionysian. The fall of Rome was naturally followed by a multiplication of political entities. This multiplication was famously countered by Charlemagne (c. 800 CE) but it nevertheless resulted in hundreds of European states. Such states were likewise rather powerless to prevent such multiplication within themselves. Inasmuch, local chieftans emerged on rather equal footing with yet in striking contrast to the monarchs. Thus the complex power which was Rome became primarily conserved not only in terms of the Roman Church and hundreds of monarchical goverments (especially the Merovingians) but also most poignantly in the relatively unfamiliar terms of myriad newly landed and legitimized aristocrats — especially in Northern France. This aristocracy began life not only a (supposed) parvenu but also a meritocracy, thus further contrasting with the monarchs — who represented (in one sense or another) the antique blood-aristocracies. In this important sense the new aristocracy was ironically more proto-mythological than the ostensibly mytho-logical monarchies, whose regents were at least ceremoniously considered high-priests of sorts (as in the aforementioned term Rex Deus) and were increasingly wont to claim powers of healing. In terms of the dawning of the Middle Ages an especially complex historical moment had been reached, and inasmuch it naturally corresponded to the proto-mythological transition/balance of power. As Fareed Zakaria writes in his outstanding Future of Freedom:

In practice if monarchs wanted to do anything — start a war, build a fort — they had to borrow and bargain for money and troops from local chieftains, who became earls [i.e. counts], viscounts, and dukes in the process.

Thus Europe’s landed elite became an aristocracy with power, money, and legitimacy — a far cry from the grovelling and dependent courtier-nobles in other parts of the world. This near-equal relationship between lords and kings deeply influenced the course of liberty. As Guido de Ruggiero, the great historian of liberalism, wrote, “Without the effective resistance of particular privileged classes, the monarchy would have created nothing but a people of slaves.” In fact, monarchs did just that in much of the rest of the world. In Europe, on the other hand, as the Middle Ages progressed, the aristocracy demanded that kings guarantee them certain rights that even the crown could not violate. They established representative bodies — parliaments, estates general, diets — to give permanent voice to their claims. …

The English aristocracy was the most independent in Europe. Lords lived on their estates, governing and protecting their tenants. In return, they extracted taxes, which kept them both rich and powerful [but also obliged them to serve the people in like measure]. It was, in one scholar’s phrase, “a working aristocracy”: it maintained its position not through elaborate courtly rituals but by taking part in politics at all levels. England’s kings, who consolidated their power earlier than did most of their counterparts on the continent, recognized that their rule depended on co-opting the aristocracy — or at least part of it. When monarchs pushed their luck they triggered a baronial backlash. Henry II, crowned king in 1154, extended his rule across the country, sending judges to distant places to enforce royal decrees. He sought to unify the country and create a common, imperial law. To do this he had to strip the medieval aristocracy of its powers and special privileges. His plan worked but only up to a point. Soon the nobility rose up in arms — literally — and after forty years of conflict, Henry’s son, King John, was forced to sign a truce in 1215 in a field near Windsor Castle. That document, the Magna Carta, was regarded at the time as a charter of baronial privilege, detailing the rights of feudal lords. It also had provisions guaranteeing the freedom of the church and local autonomy for towns. It came out (in vague terms) against the oppression of any of the king’s subjects. Over time the document was interpreted more broadly by English judges, turning it into a quasi constitution that enshrined certain individual rights. But even in its day, Magna Carta was significant, being the first written limitation on royal authority in Europe.

Clearly the estates of the English lords correspond to the states of the United States of America. Likewise the lords correspond to the senators of the United States Congress. Again, the role of the aristocrats/senators is Red in the sense that it represents a profoundly complex middle, an extremely heroic hierarchical balance between multiplicity and unity. The impetus of the White/Apollonian, on the other hand, is toward multiplication, utter freedom, populism, absolute equality, pure relativism, pure democracy if not anarchy — thus terminating in an all too simple sort of unity, e.g. monarchy. Remember Blake’s rule: extremes meet. The impetus of the Red/Dionysian is toward unification; yet wisely in accord with Blake’s rule, the Red/Dionysian directs this impetus short of unity, aiming rather for hierarchy, meritocracy, federalism, republicanism, representative democracy. The Golden/Legal philosophy demands one or another balance be struck between these contrasting idealities. Although generally such balance is natural — i.e. Black/Baroque, existential — and therefore ineluctable, extreme care must be taken to create and maintain a proper Golden/Legal balance. It is instructive to note that when the mythical hero Theseus introduced federal government to the 12 virtually autonomous communities of Athens, he found the serfs and yeomen (Black) naturally prepared to follow him, and he persuaded the major landowners (Red) by promising to abolish the monarchy (White) and replace it with a democracy pure (White) save for his own role as commander-in-chief and supreme judge (Red).

Early in the development of Medieval Europe the former European lands of the Roman Empire were remarkably land-locked: in the north and west by the powerful Viking traders and pirates and in the south and east by the Islamic powers and by ultra conservative, ultra formal Byzantium. Consequently this Europe was overwhelmingly agrarian and self-sufficient, its industry and commerce rather negligible. But as the European monarchs and nobles inevitably indulged dreams of intra-European unifications/acquisitions and of interaction with the impressive world beyond, they increasingly required of their subjects monetary currency rather than the relatively non-liquid produce of the land. Inasmuch Europe’s feudalism — which stemmed from an ethos of regal, White/Apollonian self-sufficiency — was giving way to a market economy and likewise to the general, proto-mythological upward mobility of the peasant class. Thus a cultured gentry began to emerge, a new middle class, as it were — a new chief exponent of proto-mythology, that is to say — under the aegis of the previous middle class, the aristocracy. The contemporaneous aristocracy, I should put in, itself had likewise emerged under the aegis of the previous middle class: the monarchies that had altogether functioned as a proto-mythological, mediating force between the Roman Empire and the aboriginal peasantry. Rome, too, had originally elevated itself insofar as it was a proto-mythological, mediating force, a middle class, as it were. The Medieval emergence of the gentry was exceedingly impressive in England, home to Europe’s most powerful and likewise locally involved aristocracy. Hence we have the now famed English gentleman, a phenomenon/character of truly mythic proportions. … Meanwhile on the battlefields the newly invented crossbow and Welsh longbow — both capable of throwing missiles that could penetrate armor — rendered the previously indefatigable, aristocratic, warhorse-borne knight all but obsolete. Thus the gentry — and the peasantry it represented — gained further power relative to aristocracy and royalty.

Similarly, however, the Roman Christian Church was absorbing much of the power lost by the monarchies and aristocracies. Among these Christians, the Knights Hospitaller of St. John (now known as the Knights of Malta) greatly benefited from the internecine suppression/sacrifice in 1307 of the relatively proto-mythological Knights Templar, receiving most of the Templar’s great wealth — including especially their myriad properties. The Roman Church in fact came to own about 30 percent of the land in England. With the remaining Templars gravitating to the gentry, the stage was set for a showdown.

And then, via the Kipchak Mongols fighting the Genoese on the coast of Crimea in 1347 CE, the Black Death came knocking. Camille Paglia, in her Sexual Persona, points up some of the consequences:

Boccacio describes the breakdown of law and government, the desertion of child by parent and husband by wife. A wellborn woman who fell ill was nursed by a male servant: ‘Nor did she have any scruples about showing him every part of her body as freely as she would have displayed it to a woman …; and this explains why those women who recovered were possibly less chaste in the period that followed.’ The Black Death weakened social controls. It had a polar effect, pushing some toward debauchery and others, like the flagellants, toward religiosity.

The Athenian plague, I have argued, brought high classicism to an end. The Black Death worked in reverse, giving birth to the Renaissance by destroying the Middle Ages. Philip Ziegler says, “Modern man was forged in the crucible of the Black Death.” Christianity’s failure to protect the good damaged Church authority and opened the way for the Reformation. I think the grossness and squalor of the plague broke the Christian taboo on display of the body … Public ugliness and exhibitionism unmoralized the body and prepared it for its reidealization in painting and sculpture. Boccacio’s plague-framed Decameron, the first work of Renaissance literature, is an epic of cultural disintegration and renewal.

There’s also the fact, emphasized especially by James Burke in his Connections, that the survivors of the Black Death were, on average, far more wealthier than before; this because they inherited the economic capital of the dead and, what’s more, found themselves highly valued within a labor-scarce economy. In terms of labor the peasant was now worth 2 to 3 times what he had been. At last he could afford some of the niceties in life, which at the time included linen garments — most notably underwear. Underwear, as you know, soon becomes rags. Burke:

The bone collector, who had previously travelled from village to village collecting bones to be ground up for fertilizer, now included in his round the collection of linen rag, and became the rag-and-bone man familiar throughout the following centuries. Linen rag was, of course, excellent raw material for high-quality, durable paper. …The demand for paper was high because it was comparatively cheap in relation to its competitor on the market, parchment. Between two and three hundred sheepskins or calfskins were needed to produce enough material for a large Bible, and the preparation of the skins was timely and therefore costly.

At last the circumstances were favorable for a machine meant to print literature. Thus in Germany of the 1400s CE emerged yet another element empowering the peasant: the printing press — natural conservator and exponent of proto-mythology. The Reformation was in the offing. Likewise we can fairly say that the American experiment was in the offing, for as the European middle class had shifted from monarchy to aristocracy to gentry it was now becoming identified with the population as a whole. This identification was itching be institutionalized and legalized, expressed in the virtually unalterable form of government itself. That expression occurred first in England, but only the Americans were in a position physically and culturally to shake off feudalism altogether and begin the process of making the expression purely: a market economical, middle class world, essentially proto-mythological and philosophically Golden/Legal — a world which had been anticipated in terms of Troy and Rome with respect to a lost Golden Age.

The “curiously spontaneous” English Peasant Revolt of 1381 CE presaged Luther and the Americans. This revolt seems to have been spurred by the remnants of the Knights Templar, who had fled France and found refuge in Portugal, England and, especially, in Scotland. Indeed, the inaugural Knights Templar preceptory (outside Palestine, that is) was constructed near Edinburgh, at a place called Temple, on the land of the family St Clair. This aristocratic Norman family, which had arrived in Ireland and Scotland c. 1062 CE, is a member of the aforenoted Rex Deus group of European (and perhaps Sadduceen) families. According to legend, the Templars in 1140 CE removed to Killwinning, Scotland, certain important artifacts excavated from below Jerusalem’s Mosque of Omar (the “Dome of the Rock”) on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which mosque the Templars considered as occupying the site of Solomon’s Temple (destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE), which is also the site of the Second Temple (built when of the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity, c. 536 BCE) as well as the site of Herod’s Temple (a massive expansion of the Second Temple; destroyed by the Romans under Titus in 70 CE). In 1118 CE, in the wake of the 1st Crusade, the Templars founded their order in this mosque, converting the structure into their headquarters. They renamed the building Templum Domini and christened themselves the Order of the Poor Brothers-in-Arms of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon. The Knights Templar (or Templars), as they are more simply known, gained great wealth and power during the subsequent 150 years or so, especially inasmuch as they became a major international bank. (A person could deposit currency with the local Templars, receive from them a promissory note in the amount of the deposit, travel — perhaps internationally — to another such Templar repository, and exchange the note for an equivalent amount of currency.) But back in Europe the popularity of crusading — from which vocation the power of the Templars largely derived — was waning. By 1296 CE the sultan of Egypt had pushed the Christians out of the Holy Land. The Templars retreated to (Aphrodite’s) Cyprus, where they planned a new crusade. The relatively White/Apollonian King Philip IV of France — being in great monetary debt to the Templars — determined to seize the Templar treasure and eliminate the Templars forever. Philip’s initial machinations in this regard succeeded in placing his man on the throne of Saint Peter as pope Clement V. The new pope then set the trap by indicating to the Templars that he desired another crusade. Taking the bait, the Templar leadership returned to France in 1307 CE to plan the crusade. At dawn on Friday the 13th of October, all the Templars in France were sought for arrest and imprisonment. The Templars who were consequently captured were tortured, and on this pain many “admitted” to heresy. However, a large number of the Knights Templar in France avoided arrest and fled, as I noted, to Portugal, England, and Scotland. Having been horribly betrayed by their Christian brothers — and understandably self-transformed into an underground society trusting in “Deity” rather than Church — the Templars some 74 years later seem to have decided that the time was right to begin rebuilding their public power. The English “Peasant” Revolt was on.

It seems reasonable to believe that the Templars finally revealed themselves in 1717 CE: as the Freemasons. The Freemasons continue to espouse religious freedom, the separation of church (in contrast to Deity or God) and state, secular education, market economics, and representative democracy — all according to the principle of “liberty.” Of the 56 signers of the American Declaration of Independence, at least 8 — including Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock — were avowed Freemasons. The list of other avowed Freemasons among the American revolutionaries includes George Washington, Paul Revere, Ethan Allen, and John Paul Jones. The general list of Freemasons is more interesting still, including as it does the following: Louis Armstrong, Mustapha Kamal Ataturk, all 4 of Napoleon Bonaparte’s brothers (but not the emperor himself), Omar Bradley, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, Edward Gibbon, Winston Churchill, Mark Chagall, Nat King Cole, Conan Doyle, Gustav Eiffel, John Glenn, Goethe, Haydn, Harry Houdini, King Hussein, Rudyard Kipling, Meriwether Lewis, Douglas MacArthur, George Marshall, Montesquieu, Mozart, Alexander Pope, Alexander Pushkin, Stamford Raffles (founder of Singapore), Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Schiller, Walter Scott, Ernest Shackleton, Jan Sibellius, James Smithson (founder of the Smithsonian Institute), Jonathan Swift, Harry Truman, George Bush Sr., Mark Twain, Voltaire, Arthur Duke of Wellington, Oscar Wilde …

It was Wilde who said, “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” Disease, which we’ve focused on in this chapter, is a sort of suspension between these essentially ideal poles. As such, in and of itself disease — or more generally woundedness, aging, cyclicity — is precisely not tragedy but rather passion, the sad yet exhilerating human condition, the existential, the Black/Baroque, the middle class world. In a sense, then, disease is Hermes the middleman, Ulysses tied to the mast, Odin on the tree. Nietzsche distinguished the human being as “the sick animal.” The Golden/Legal philosophy is ultimately the coming to terms with the general cyclicity which disease especially presents. “The gods,” Carl Jung said famously, “have become diseases.” “In your pathology,” writes contemporary psychologist James Hillman, “is your salvation.” Robert Bly: “Wherever a person’s deepest wound exists, that is where his greatest gift to the community lies.” Theodore Roethke asks rhetorically, “What is madness but nobility of soul/At odds with circumstance?” Perhaps this is why we see so much disease about us still, much of it manufactured by self-destructive habits. The so-called agricultural revolution led not only to the aforenoted plague of acute infectious epidemic diseases but also to severely increasing rates of tooth decay, bone disease, and cancer. Dieticians attribute these increases largely to the switch from the prehistoric, nomadicultural/horticultural diet to an agricultural diet dominated by carbohydrates. I suggest a further, more fundamental phenomenon: Inasmuch as the White/Apollonian and Red/Dionysian are promoted from their true status of ideality to a false status of reality, people gravitate toward disease — for disease is real, Black/Baroque. “Schopenhauer has said,” writes Thomas Mann, “that without death on earth there could scarcely be philosophy. Also, there could hardly be any ‘education’ on earth without it. Death and disease … are … great teachers, great leaders toward humanity.” Susan Sontag, from her Illness as Metaphor:

As a character in The Magic Mountain explains: “Symptoms of disease are nothing but a disguised manifestation of the power of love; and all disease is only love transformed.”…

Consumption [in the 1800s CE] was understood as a manner of appearing, and that appearance became a staple of nineteenth-century manners. It became rude to eat heartily. It was glamorous to look sickly. … The TB-influenced idea of the body was a new model for aristocratic looks — at a moment when aristocracy stops being a matter of power, and starts being mainly a matter of image. (“One can never be too rich. One can never be too thin,” the Duchess of Windsor once said.) Indeed, the romanticizing of TB is the first widespread example of that distinctively modern activity, promoting the self as image.

… It is with TB that the idea of individual illness was articulated, along with the idea that people are made more conscious as they confront their deaths, and in the images that collected around the disease one can see emerging a modern idea of individuality that has taken in the twentieth century a more aggressive, if no less narcissistic, form. Sickness was a way of making people “interesting” — which is how “romantic” was originally defined. … This idea — of how interesting the sick are — was given its boldest and most ambivalent formulation by Nietzsche in The Will to Power and other writings, and though Nietzsche rarely mentioned a specific illness, those famous judgements about individual weakness and cultural exhaustion or decadence incorporate and extend many of the clichés about TB.

… Perhaps the main gift to sensibility made by the Romantics is not the aesthetics of cruelty and the beauty of the morbid (as Mario Paz suggested in his famous book), or even the demand for unlimited personal liberty [freedom], but the nihilistic and sentimental idea of “the interesting.”

Sadness made one “interesting.” It was a mark of refinement, of sensibility, to be sad. That is, to be powerless.

… The myth of TB constitutes the next-to-last episode in the long career of the ancient idea of melancholy — which was the artist’s disease, according to the theory of the four humours. The melancholy character — of the tubercular — was a superior one: sensitive, creative, a being apart.

… The TB sufferer was a dropout, a wanderer in endless search of the healthy place. Starting in the early nineteenth century, TB became a new reason for exile, for a life that was mainly traveling.

… It is not an accident that the most common metaphor for an extreme psychological experience viewed positively … is a trip.

Travel is a “bug.” Travel is the absence of a teacher, the absence of ideality. Kerouac from his On the Road: “And they knew this when we passed, ostensibly self-important moneybag Americans, on a lark in their land; they knew who was the father and who was the son of antique life on earth, and made no comment.” Travel, we may fairly say, is being with a woman, with the Black/Baroque. Kant: “Woman does not betray her secret.” Nietzsche: “From a woman you can learn nothing of women.” Lawrence Durrell: “There are only three things to be done with a woman: You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature.” White, Red, Black, or Red, White, Black, depending on whether you consider love or suffering the more ideal. Let's say suffering is the more ideal. As travel is different than tourism, so disease, pain, passion are different than suffering. Consider Chrétien de Troyes speaking of courtly love:

From all ills mine differs;
It pleasures me;
    I rejoice in it;
My illness is what
    I want
And my pain is my health!
I don’t see, then
    of what I complain,
For my illness comes to
    me of my own will;
It is my own wish
    that becomes my ill,
But I find so much
    pleasure in wishing thus
That I suffer
And so much
    joy within my pain
That I am sick
    with delight

Such “love” is more suffering than pain/passion. Whereas pain or passion are communication, suffering is not. Henry Miller: “Suffering has never taught me a thing; for others it may still be necessary, but for me it is nothing more than an algebraic demonstration of spiritual inadaptability.” Somerset Maugham: “I have never found that suffering improves the character. Its influence to refine and ennoble is myth. The first effect of suffering is to make people narrow … [W]e learn resignation not by our own suffering, but by the suffering of others.”

Black is the color of travel, of the journey, the quest, of communication, of experience itself. Black is the color of disease, pain, passion. Black is ultimately the color of the hero, the middleman Odin/Odysseus/Hermes, the tree, the mast. Black is the color of the forest and its horticultural garden in contrast to the slave-worked field. Black is the color of the matrix, the Present Mother. This mother, the Black/Baroque, does not explicitly teach but she is understandable and determinable (i.e. her structure is quantum, it can be perfectly symbolized) — yet she is precisely not controllable. She is heuristic, providential. She is the nature of the of the middle class world, the world in which every (unique) soul is most extremely related, every soul a commoner, a peasant yet inasmuch at least a potential hero.

Speaking of Odin and his existentially suspended kind, I’ve kept you in suspense about the emerging “giant comet hypothesis” according to which several very large members of a certain group of comets and meteors impacted with the Earth catastrophically c. 3200 BCE. As I emphasized in this extremely important respect above, I gained knowledge of this hypothesis only after I had otherwise completed writing this book. Therefore, let me say again, the fact that this book points precisely yet richly to c. 3200 BCE as being an extremely crucial juncture in human history is a fact that should be considered further evidence supporting this hypothesis. One of the chief advocates of the giant comet hypothesis is Duncan Steel, Professor of Space Technology at the Joule Physics Laboratory, University of Salford, England, and author of Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets: The Search for the Million Megaton Menace That Threatens Life on Earth. Dr. Steel suggests that said group of comets and meteors is the so-called Taurid Complex and that this complex — featuring the comets Encke and Oljato — is the debris from a single extremely large object (roughly 100 kilometers wide) that first arrived in the immediate vicinity of the Earth somewhat before or during the retreat of the last Ice Age. This initial encounter seems to have occurred c. 18,000 BCE and resulted in a partial break-up of the original object. Apparently the encounter was repeated with similar consequences c. 12,000 BCE and c. 7600 BCE, when Encke and Oljato finally emerged as separate comets. The subsequent repetition seems to have occurred c. 3200 BCE. Presently comet Encke has a trail (not tail) of debris nearly 100 million kilometers long, and Oljato seems to be on an orbit which coincided with the Earth’s orbital plane c. 3200 BCE. Earth’s initial encounter with this otherwise extraterrestrial nemesis may have reversed the planet’s last Ice Age; and the re-encounter that occurred c. 7600 BCE may have directly caused the swift and extremely mysterious “quaternary extinctions” of myriad megafauna worldwide — especially in North America — at the end of the Pleistocene epoch. (Most of the species lost to this extinction “event” had survived through the previous 1,000,000 years, a duration that included 6 transitions between ice ages and warm ages, the ice ages on average lasting much longer than the warm ages.) This c.-7600-BCE encounter and/or the c.-3200-BCE encounter, insofar as they involved deep-sea impact, might have caused the massive flooding described with remarkable consistency in legends worldwide. Consider in this respect the following from Duncan Steel’s paper “Before the Stones: Stonehenge I as a Cometary Catastrophe Predictor”:

RAS observations have indicated that Comet Encke has a trail (not tail) of debris some tens of millions of kilometres long, presumably produced since its latest period of activity began about 200 years ago. One may further presume that the Taurid meteor showers we observe in this epoch are the result of the dispersal of trails produced in previous activity cycles which must stretch back to about 20,000 years ago. When the comet, accompanied by such a trail, has a node close to 1 AU [astronomical unit, the distance between the Sun and the Earth], one expects intense meteor storms to occur, perhaps accompanied by multiple Tunguska-type events if the disintegrating comet spawns massive lumps of debris. Determination of the epochs of such events from backwards integrations is impossible due to (i) Chaotic orbital evolution; and (ii) Non-gravitational forces; but pairs of intersections (one at the ascending node, the other descending) are to be expected a few centuries apart and separated by 2500–3000 years. It is suggested here that one such pair occurred in 3600–3500 and 3200–3100 BC, provoking the construction of the Great Cursus and Stonehenge I. From Stonehenge I, apparently the first construction at the famous site, as the comet neared the Earth it would have appeared to rise in the evening with a huge bright stripe crossing much of the sky, originating in the north-east. Passage through the trail would then result in celestial fireworks (and maybe worse); afterwards the comet and trail would have passed in the direction of the Sun, partially blocking sunlight for a few days. In order for terrestrial intersection to have occurred in that epoch (late fourth millennium BC) the mean orbital period of the comet over the past 5,000 years would need to have been slightly less than at present, and might then be expected to have produced a 19 year periodicity in meteor storm events (six cometary periods). It is suggested that Stonehenge I was built by the Windmill Hill people to allow the prediction of such events ….

Dr. Lonnie Thompsen and his team from the Ohio State University have shown that the tropics worldwide suffered an extremely severe drought precisely c. 3200 BCE. Separate, dendrochronological analysis has revealed that the Irish oak has extremely thin growth rings at 3195 BCE. Research from Switzerland has demonstrated that from 3202–3187 BCE a highly unusual pause occurred in the construction of Swiss lake settlements; and immediately prior to this pause there was a similarly unusual change in the orientation of villages — suggesting a general change in the wind pattern and likewise in the pattern of major ocean currents. Measurements of the Greenland GISP2 ice core reveal extremely high sulfate levels in the ice from 3200–3100 BCE, presumably owing to the deposition of open-water biogenic sulphate upon the permanent sea ice off the Greenland coast. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Schrödinger’s Color

Why are the primary mythological colors black, white and red? Perhaps because black and white can be considered at once different in kind from each other and different in kind from color itself, while red is the most profound color proper, at least inasmuch as it’s the color of blood and thus of life in general. Similarly the Earth is black, the stars white, and the planets often red. Color theory itself can be precisely if rather crudely based on such a trinity: “brightness” is a measure of the amount of black coupled to a color, “saturation” is a measure of the amount of white likewise coupled, and “hue” is a measure of the amount of the color itself.

Among the all-time great color theorists are England’s remarkably White/Apollonian Sir Isaac Newton and Austria’s famous, aforementioned, chiefly White/Apollonian physicist Erwin Schrödinger. Schrödinger became nearly as well known for his Vedic advocacy of the unity of minds/consciousnesses — indeed the singularly prime existence of Mind, fairly considered identical to Spinoza’s concept of God/Nature — as he was for his physics. Color theory, as Schrödinger’s biographer Walter Moore emphasizes, “stands at the crux of the ancient mind–body problem.” According to the Red/Dionysian paradigm the mind–body problem is better considered the mind–body duality or complementarity, akin to yin–yang, Red–White, particle–wave. Indeed the philosopher/physicist Rene Descartes’ great discovery, stemming from the work of Giordono Bruno (first to employ the word monad) and Galileo, was that mind and extension are incommensurate, extension being the essence of body (matter) according to Descartes. Newton — conserving the notion of extension as physically fundamental — exiled (but did not kill) Descartes’ theory of mind. Newton and extension were St. George; Descartes and mind, the dragon. Noam Chomsky, from his Language and Thought:

As is well-known, the Cartesian program collapsed within a generation. It is commonly derided today as the belief that there is “a ghost in the machine.” But that conclusion mistakes what happened. It was the Cartesian theory of body that collapsed; the theory of mind, such as it was, remained unaffected. Newton demonstrated that the Cartesian theory of the material world was fatally inadequate, unable to account for the most elementary properties of motion….

Returning to Newton’s demolition of the common sense theory of body, the natural conclusion is that human thought and action are properties of organized matter, like “powers of attraction and repulsion,” electrical charge, and so on. The conclusion was drawn very soon, most forcefully by La Mettrie, a generation later by the eminent chemist Joseph Priestley, though neither attempted to deal with the properties of mind identified by the Cartesians, just as they have been put aside in the revival of “cognitive science” since the 1950s….

Here’s Schrödinger, from his Mind and Matter:

… The material world has only been constructed at the price of taking the self, that is, mind, out of it, removing it; mind is no part of it, obviously, therefore it can neither act on it nor be acted on by any of its parts. (This was stated in a very brief and clear sentence by Spinoza [“the greatest philosopher of the seventeenth century,” as Schrödinger refers to him; here’s the sentence Schrödinger refers to, from Spinoza’s Ethics, Pt III, Prop. 2: “Neither can the body determine the mind to think, nor the mind determine the body to motion or rest or anything else (if such there be).”] …)

It is very difficult for us to take stock of the fact that localization of the personality, of the conscious mind, inside the body is only symbolic, just an aid for practical use.

Descartes’ mind–body theory was Aristotelian. The Aristotelian is fundamentally complex, Red/Dionysian, involving as substance both “body” (matter) and “form” (soul, mind) and moreover being hierarchical, plenist, providential — in a word, organic. This is to say, Aristotle’s cosmos is holistic, holographic: the whole expresses the parts and any part expresses the whole. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz — the Red/Dionysian German philosopher, mathematician, contemporary and chief rival of both Spinoza and Newton — not only conserves this complexity, he makes it a principle of his cosmology, the “principle of macrocosm and microcosm,” he calls it, whereby each of his real particles (“monads”) is a “universe in prototype.” The Vedic doctrine “All is One” (Atman is Brahman), says Leibniz, is best considered complementary to the doctrine “One is All.” Modern physical theories are similarly complex insofar as they fundamentally involve dualities: e.g. position and momentum, space and time, particle and wave, real and imaginary number components. Yet mind remains exiled from physics, even from atomic theory, which is bounded by the notions of randomness and “observer-created reality” only inasmuch as these notions are involved in one or another interpretation of the theory’s 2 equivalent but not identical — indeed deeply contrasting — mathematical formalisms, these being Heisenberg’s Red/Dionysian matrix (alias quantum, as in monad) mechanics and Schrödinger’s White/Apollonian wave (as in continuum, unity) mechanics.

The pair of orthodox atomic formalisms are together a duality that resonates with the dualities each contain. Naturally the question suggests itself: Is one of these formalisms fundamentally better? If so, which? Both formalisms chiefly address the concept of difference. Heisenberg’s does not allow difference to be vanishingly small. Schrödinger’s does. Which is to say, Heisenberg’s is quantum, Schrödinger’s continuum. Heisenberg’s is based upon said dualities whereas Schrödinger’s is based on mathematical points. Heisenberg is telling us that there is something extremely complex — indeed, absolutely mysterious — about difference. Whereas Schrödinger is telling us that the extreme multiplicity of the wave-mechanical “configuration space” of mass points meets its opposite: a simple, comprehensible unity. With Schrödinger difference takes a back seat to unity. With Heisenberg we see a way to the following, contrary resolution of the mind–body problem: although extension is not commensurate with mind, difference can be!

Leibniz used precisely this commensurability between real difference and mind to conserve Aristotle’s organic philosophy vis-à-vis Spinoza’s and Newton’s expressions of monism. Leibniz termed this conservation his “system of pre-established harmony.” We will do well to consider this system a theory of relativity, i.e. a theory of difference. Likewise we should recognize Leibniz and Heisenberg as being at once the greatest mystics and the greatest defenders of orthodoxy the world has ever seen; whilst Spinoza and Newton and in turn Schrödinger and Einstein are to be considered the greatest gnostics ever, for they assert that there is nothing fundamentally unfathomable, incomprehensible — nothing (or next to nothing) fundamentally mysterious — about experience.

Schrödinger termed Leibniz’s system of pre-established harmony a “doctrine of Monads” and called it “unappealing,” “fearful,” even “horrible.” Why? Because the quanta of this system — the monads, as Leibniz indeed calls them, i.e. minds/souls — are related to each other in terms only of the pre-established harmony which they altogether amount to. As Leibniz said, these real quanta are “windowless.” The infinite set of monads is maximally a community, but it is a community which harbors absolutely no actual communication. You could say the communication between monads is all pre-established. Why does Leibniz call these quanta monads and describe them as being related to each other in such a massively yet exclusively parallel way — indeed, in a purely mystical way? Because logically a true quantum (i.e. unit) harbors no true parts, and logically there can be no mechanical/localizeable connection between quanta. In other words, there is no logical way to describe these quanta as mechanically/locally interacting with each other. (A translation of Leibniz’s remarkably concise Monadology is available free of charge online.)

Plurality implies mystery. Leibniz tried to conserve plurality and reason — and himself. In 1714 he wrote to a correspondent:

[I]t is precisely by means of the monads that Spinozism is destroyed. For there are as many true substances — as many living mirrors of the Universe, always subsisting, as it were, or concentrated Universes — as there are Monads; whereas, according to Spinoza, there is but one sole substance. He would be right, if there were no Monads.”

Plurality is Leibniz’s chief principle and therefore his only principle. Leibniz is better known as an advocate of the principle of sufficient reason, stated in his words as follows:

[I]t is necessary to refer everything to some reason, and we cannot stop until we have arrived at a first cause — or it must be admitted that something can exist without a reason for its existence, and this admission destroys the demonstration of the existence of God and of many philosophical theorems.

If Leibniz would have described God as being not a creator of the monads but merely a member — albeit the greatest member — of the Existential set of real quanta, he not only would have lost his ultimate reason for the existence of the quanta, he would have been widely branded a heretic (perhaps even a greater heretic than Spinoza) and may have been executed for it — a fate indeed suffered by many of his coevals. Leibniz ultimately conserved the principle of sufficient reason to save his neck. In truth he is the greatest mystic ever. In my opinion if Leibniz could have completely given himself over to the mystery which is truly the singular basis of his system, he would have been able to argue that the quanta thereof do interact with each other albeit in an absolutely mysterious way. Indeed, such generally mystical interaction — such non-local and indeed extreme causation, such extreme-action-despite-separation — seems but corollary of the very principle of plurality, i.e. of the true principle of relativity, alias, you might say, a principle of plenitude.

The depth, antiquity and richness of the principle of plenitude — that is, of Black/Baroque community — is exceedingly remarkable, as A. O. Lovejoy explains so well in his classic Great Chain of Being. Consider in this respect the word cornucopia. This word derives from the Latin words corn, “horn,” and cōpia, “plenty,” the latter consisting of co + opia/ops, as in the Latin opus and the Sanskrit apas — both meaning “work” and both being closely related to the Greek apis, “honey bee” — and as in the goddesses Ops/Rhea, Eur–Opa, Penel–Ope, Op–Helia (Ophelia, OpsHelen), where ops is typically taken to mean “eye,” “light,” “face,” “voice,” “snake,” and “power” (altogether as in Medusa) but is also equivalent to the P-I-E opi and the Greek epi, “back,” as in Epimetheus, he who thinks of the past. Leonard Shlain notes in his insightful Art and Physics:

The preclassical Greeks did not distinguish between “eye” and “light”: either word could be used to describe something beloved or admired. Eyes seemed to emanate light and sources of light were as large eyes. The sun could be called an eye and one’s eye was referred to as a light.

Yet the Sun has a dark side: The P-I-E Ops — Kolyo — is beautiful to behold from the front, yet her whole backside is writhing of snakes and worms. The root op- is the basis of the English root af-, as in after — the letters p and f being closely related. The title/name Aphrodite — who, incidentally, is associated with the initial metal worked by humans, copper — is equivalent to Op-ro-dite, wherein the ro signifies redness, running, periodic movement and dite signifies whiteness, brightness, as in Diana (Di-Ana). Similarly if we consider the Ap prefix symbolic of the White/Apollonian, we see her name as literally White–Red diety; and recognizing Ap as being just as equivalent to Ops, we see her as the Black–White–Red diety. 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 — ros, as in Aphrodite’s flower, the red rose — 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. Cronus = Aphrodite. Here we have the 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.”

Similarly we have the Latin opera, meaning “a peasant’s day’s labor,” and operire, “to cover,” which words are closely related to the Old High German helan (cognate with Helen), “to conceal,” and the Greek kalyptein, “to hide,” as in eclipse and apocalypse, and kalos, “beautiful,” and are likewise related to the Black/Baroque names Kalypso, Kali, and Kolyo, the latter being the chief P-I-E goddess. The very title Latin comes from latere, “to hide.” Virgil says this title signifies Saturn/Kronos’s (profound) concealment in that peninsular countryside, the god hiding himself from his upstart son Jupiter/Zeus. Likewise Atlas, another Titanic equivalent to Zeus, is positioned by Zeus underneath the world (ostensibly holding it up). The Titans Epimetheus (past-thinker) and Prometheus (future-thinker) famously sided with Zeus against Cronus and Atlas and the other Titans; thus they participate in several trinities akin to Past–Present–Future: Epimetheus–Cronus–Prometheus, Epimetheus–Atlas–Prometheus, Epimetheus–Zeus–Prometheus. …

Another important cognate is the Latin optimus, equivalent to the Greek aristos, as in Aristotle and aristocrat. This word refers not only to the high, Apollonian social position characterizing aristocrats but also to the land and more generally the property they own, property being the basis of aristocracy. Looking at the etymology of property we see that it stems from the Latin translation of the Greek idiòtēs, meaning “peculiar nature, specific character.” An aristocrat, then, is essentially an eccentric, a man with qualities. In a word, he believes himself to be a unqiue quantum. Which is to say, he believes in quantum theory, in plurality, in the principle of relativity, hence he can believe in hierarchy. Moreover, he believes in prophecy, which word — apparently cognate with property — comes to us from the Greek prophēteíā, meaning not the ability to predict essentially random future events but rather the gift of interpreting the will of the gods, i.e. the gift of understanding destiny. Here we have the meaning of the adage, “Character is destiny.”

According to the Golden/Legal philosophy, property — as well as the cosmos it can at best be thought to signify — is ultimately providential and hierarchical. Importantly, however, this philosophy does not believe property can really be possessed, for the only thing that can be possessed is one's quantum self — and even that possession is crucifed for better and worse on an infinity of other selves. Property, according to this philosophy, is rather akin to physics: it is secondary, derivative; nevertheless in its purest form — namely art — it is significant of reality.

All this goes to say that every circumstance is naturally an opportunity. This is the meaning of the word optimism. And this is the most important meaning of the myth of the Golden Age. Optimism focuses neither on the future nor on the other; it focuses on the present and the self, albeit with the aid of and interest in all time, all others. Optimism is the recognition that one is vested in everything yet eternally in possession of only one’s self.

Now, if Leibniz had considered plenitude in this more general, prehistoric, magico-providential sense — i.e. in this fully optimistic sense — maybe he would have considered the non-vanishing differences (or, you might say, nothingnesses) between monads, i.e. extrinsic to any single monad, as having corollaries intrinsic to a monad and thus being pseudo-divisive and pseudo-integral to that monad. Those corollaries seem to correspond to Leibniz’s idea of the physical as being secondary though not illusory. The physical is perhaps best considered the structure of any single monad (i.e. observer). A monad whose structure (physics) is quantum in a way which reflects the plurality of monads is perhaps better considered not a monad but a pleiad. Such soul/observer could thus find a virtual confirmation of its belief that it is not alone. Which is to say, such physics would be an extreme solace and likewise a perfect expression of the principle of relativity.

Fairly calling the difference between such souls curvature, we can recognize here the basis of Gauss’s Theorema Egregium, each soul being a sort of quantum geometry embedded in a quantum geometry. As the experts on Einstein’s general theory of relativity know, the structure of that theory corresponds quite perfectly to Theorema Egregium. At once window and light, the holographic structure which I suggest is native to the soul/observer/pleiad would subsume all the primary entities of orthodox physical theory: “radiation,” “particles having rest mass,” and “space.”

Physics as such would be a sort of picture or, better, symbol of real, plural plenitude. What’s more, this physics would correspond to the magical admittance of real action-despite-separation and would therefore be a sort of symbol thereof. Furthermore, this physics would be in contrast but not opposition to mind; it would literally be commensurate with mind. Such structure would not be a creation of mind, not merely mathematical; it would, rather, be concomitant with mind (i.e. with the plenum); it would be the structure of experience, of existence, the absolute and discrete (rather than continuous) rock bottom of physics; and as such it would be precisely heuristic — signifying the extreme mysteriousness of existence.

Leibniz was the greatest mystic of all time, but he was not mystic enough. He developed his philosophy largely and perhaps chiefly to counter the monism of Spinoza and of Newton. “Spinoza’s teaching,” concludes Matthew Stewart in his notable Courier and the Heretic, “is that there is no unfathomable mystery in the world.” Of this trinity, perhaps only Spinoza fully extended his own principles. Leibniz and Newton were holding back, if not disimulating in the highest degree.

Newton — atomist, puritan, known for his prematurely white hair, a lifelong virgin — postulated absolute space and absolute time as fundamental (mathematical) entities of physics and as “attributes” of God. He constructed his physics not according to the (holistic) organic analogy but merely according to mathematical description of observation. Such divorced mathematics could not be considered significant of God; at best (or worst) it could only be attributed to God. Likewise, and after the fashion of (White/Apollonian) Zoroastrianism and courtly love, Newton considered God a different kind of entity than are human minds/souls — this especially in contrast to Leibniz, who once asserted in a note to himself that “God is a certain substance, a person, a mind,” and much later formally and publicly called God the “monad of monads,” thus implying purposefully or otherwise that God did not create the other monads but is merely co-existant with them. Newton considered God chiefly in terms of apocalyptic prophecy. Nearly an expert regarding the Bible, Newton calculated that Jesus Christ the son of God would return in the year 2060. Nevertheless, Newton (heretically) concluded that God Himself is fundamentally singular rather than fundamentally a trinity. Newton’s essentially continuum physics corresponds precisely to this monism. God is the only substance. Human and other souls are not real, quantum particles, not true substances, rather they are merely aspects of the only such particle — God — and that particle must be a continuum. Newton was moreover the greatest alchemist of his day, a fact which further marks him a neo-Zoroastrian, a sort of Manichaean or Cathar. In his Psychology and Alchemy Carl Jung, who studied alchemy for decades, intimated the Zoroastrian thrust of alchemy:

For the alchemist the one primarily in need of redemption is not man, but the deity who is lost and sleeping in matter. Only as a secondary consideration does he hope that some benefit may accrue to himself from the transformed substance as the panacea, the medicina catholica, just as it may to the imperfect bodies, the base or "sick" metals, etc. His attention is not directed to his own salvation through God's grace, but to the liberation of God from the darkness of matter. By applying himself to this miraculous work he benefits from its salutary effect, but only incidentally. He may approach the work as one in need of salvation, but he knows that his salvation depends on the success of the work, on whether he can free the divine soul. To this end he needs meditation, fasting, and prayer; more, he needs the help of the Holy Ghost as his paredroz [ministering spirit]. Since it is not man but matter that must be redeemed, the spirit that manifests itself in the transformation is not the "Son of Man" but as Khunrath very properly puts it, the filius macrocosmi. Therefore, what comes out of the transformation is not Christ but an ineffable material being named the "stone," which displays the most paradoxical qualities apart from possessing corpus, anima, spiritus, and supernatural powers. One might be tempted to explain the symbolism of alchemical transformation as a parody of the Mass were it not pagan in origin and much older than the latter.

The substance that harbors the divine secret is everywhere, including the human body. It can be had for the asking and can be found anywhere, even in the most loathsome filth.

Virtually the same could be said of Spinozism. (Still, there’s fundamental room to interpret alchemy according to the anti-Spinozist belief in a plurality of substance/soul. Indeed, Leibniz himself was deeply and vigorously interested in alchemy.) Likewise another famous Swiss, Denis de Rougemont, writes in his classic Love and the Western World: “The condemnation of the flesh, which is now viewed by some as characteristically Christian, is in fact of Manichaean and ‘heretical’ origin. … Catharist dualism issues in an eschatological monism.” The ideal of unity with a lover anticipates the ideal of unity with God. Courtly love anticipates Spinoza and Newton and hence modernism, Musil’s Man without Qualities — and Erwin Schrödinger.

Newton lived by himself in a Cambridge house where all the furnishings were colored red. Schrödinger was a deuteroanomalous trichromat: his perception of the color red was much greater than normal, a condition occurring in about 2 percent of the human population. Among Schrödinger’s favorite stories was Poe’s Masque of the Red Death. And among his favorite paintings, Dürer’s Adoration of the Trinity, alias All-Saints. It’s as if Newton and Schrödinger were naturally wedded to the color, complexity and mysticism antithetical to their White/Apollonian idealism/monism, like children who are strangely attracted to the most mysterious, frightening character of a fairy tale.

Adoration of the Trinity by all the Saints, Albrecht Dürer


Schrödinger worked chiefly on color theory from 1918 to 1920, at the University of Vienna. Through 1925 he continued to publish papers on the subject — becoming recognized as the world authority.


Schrödinger’s extreme interest in color theory is all too often explained-away as a philosophical indulgence. But Schrödinger — following Einstein — sought to base his physics on principle, i.e. on philosophy, namely on a principle of reality (if not relativity). It seems he expected that both atomic theory and Einstein’s general relativity could be understood as generalizations of color theory. In this respect, the following outtake from Moore’s excellent biography of Schrödinger (which outtake I’ve embellished with several of my comments, in brackets) is extremely interesting:

Erwin based his analysis of color vision on the three-color theory of Thomas Young (1806), surely the most prescient work in all of psychoanalysis, which was rediscovered, developed, and extended by Hermann Helmholtz in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The Young–Helmholtz theory is based on the hypothesis (since proven) that the normal (trichromat) human retina contains three types of receptors, each with a particular spectral response curve; these may be called red, green, and blue receptors on the basis of their response curves. Any spectral color (light) F or any mixture of such colors can be matched by a linear combination of the three basic colors, R, G, B, so that one can write F = x1R + x2G + x3B.

… The geometry of color space is not the ordinary Euclidean variety that we learn in high school. It is more general geometry, called affine geometry, of which the Euclidean variety is a special restricted case. Affine [cognate with the word affinity] geometry deals with those properties of figures which are unchanged when the original coordinates of the points, x, y, z, are transformed to new coordinates, x′, y′, z′, by a system of linear [my emphasis] equations [i.e. it deals with properties that are “invariant”] .

x′ = a11x + a12y + a13z

y′ = a21x + a22y + a23z

z′ = a31x + a32y + a33z

This set of linear equations with constant coefficients aik defines an affine transformation, which plays the role in affine geometry that the concept of congruence has in Euclidean geometry. A general affine transformation corresponds to a displacement (e.g., translation, rotation, reflection in a plane) plus a dilation, i.e., an expansion or contraction of space in three mutually perpendicular directions. A dilation transforms each line into a parallel line. The importance of affine geometry is greatly enhanced owing to the fact that [its] more general transformations become linear in the limit of very small displacements. Thus any geometry that deals with infinitesimal displacements, i.e., differential geometry, is necessarily affine. [Importantly, the reverse is not true: a geometry which is affine is not necessarily differential. Schrödinger comments: “The color space owes its existence as well as its affine structure to the equality relation [i.e. transformation within any single dimension] quite without reference to the vectorial or point space which serves for its elucidation.” Which is to say, the concept of transformation is a principle whereas the number and kind of dimensions to which this principle applies is merely conventional. This is Einstein’s expression of the relativity principle.]

In affine geometry, the basic elements are points A, B, C, etc. [i.e. coincidences], segments AB, BC, etc. [i.e. lengths], and the idea of intermediacy, e.g. of B in a segment ABC. In affine geometry, lengths of segments can be [meaningfully] compared only if they are collinear or lie on parallel lines. …

Schrödinger pointed out that the empirical data of elementary color theory are derived exclusively from sensations of equality between color samples, which are best compared by presenting two adjacent color areas to the observer. It is possible to match one of the qualities of hue, brightness, or saturation, when the other two are kept the same. When one of these qualities is altered continuously, the observer does not perceive a change until a certain minimal difference has been presented; this is called the threshold of distinction. All colors that are at the same threshold of distinction from a given color are said to be at the same distance from it. Thus the difference in stimulus required to reach the threshold of distinction defines a unit length along any vector in color space. By proceeding with stepwise matches it is thus possible to compare lengths along collinear vectors by the number of thresholds required to cover the distance in question.

Elementary color theory is not so simple as it may seem. There is an infinity of different spectral distributions of energy (or of reflectances or transmittances) which can match any given color in the visible range. Helmholtz was the first really to understand this fact. The visual system performs a formidable job of reductions of physical data before it presents a color sensation to the mind. …

Advanced color theory is concerned with questions such as how to measure a difference of brightness between two colors that have different hues ... Instead of trying to match two closely neighboring colors exactly, Helmholtz introduced [my emphasis] a “principle of greatest similarity” [i.e. he imposed a constraint, a condition]; all those colors that appear equally most similar to a given color are said to be at the same distance ds from it. He wrote ds because the colors are very close together and the finite distance is approximated by the differential. [Here we have the essence of ds as Einstein, and Newton before him, famously used it: vanishing, non-quantum difference. The differential stands in contrast to Leibniz’s quantum (i.e. discrete) difference dx — which dx corresponds to Leibniz’s monads. In a major contribution made recently, contemporary English physicist and cosmologist Julian Barbour, whose career is closely linked to Schrödinger’s, has shown that the concept of “greatest similarity” — which Helmholtz felt obliged to impose upon affine geometry — is inherent in (i.e. a property of) affine geometry in general; there is no need to impose it — unless, that is, you want it (i.e. the property of similarity between any 2 lines in the geometry) to be essentially quantum.] The differential distance or line element is expressed as

ds2 = aik dxi dxk                   [aik = aki]

(The usual convention of summation over repeated subscripts is followed, with the sums from i, k = 1 to 3.) [The condition aik = aki is the aforementioned commutation postulate (i.e. law) of multiplication. The absence of this postulate — which absence, I say, is corollary of the generally quantum essence of experience — is the crux of Heisenberg’s matrix (a.k.a. “quantum”) mechanics.] In advanced color theory, therefore, a metric has been introduced, and the geometry is no longer affine, but Riemannian. It is interesting that this is the same kind of geometry used by Einstein in his general theory of relativity, although his space is four-dimensional (space–time) whereas the color space is three-dimensional. [The ds2 term is “generally,” i.e. in Riemannian geometry (which itself is clearly a mere subset of geometry), called the metric form and the aik term is called the metric tensor.]

The [meaningful] difference between any two colors X and Y can now be calculated as the integral of ds along the shortest path between them …, provided this integration can be carried out. The shortest path or geodesic, is the one that requires the least number of steps of greatest similarity …

On May 1, 1925, [Schrödinger] published another article on color in Die Naturwissenschaften, “On the Subjective Colors of the Stars and the Quality of Twilight Sensitivity.” …

At the very end of this paper he included a remark that must have made [his fellow Viennese] Mach turn over in his grave. “The remarkable difference of twilight colors for normal and anomalous trichromats … can, I believe, be explained by difference in the daylight system alone, while the rod color itself is ‘in reality’ the same for both — and apparently for all — types of eyes.”

You can see that it was largely by analogy with color theory that Schrödinger — and likely Einstein as well — considered the quantum of action a mere phenomenon, an illusion of sorts, whereas they considered the essence of experience and implicitly reality itself a continuum. This notion of experience as being a continuum is an extreme which meets the ostensibly opposite notion: reality as an extreme plurality (i.e. of totally, radically separate, self-contained, self-sufficient quanta). According to the Golden/Legal philosophy, on the other hand, reality is best considered an extreme plurality-in-unity, an extreme and paradoxical multeity-in-unity. As Leibniz pointed out, the (clearly White/Apollonian) notion of a set of totally separate quanta is philosophically meaningless; the members of any meaningful plurality must be fundamentally unique yet fundamentally related — and extremely so. Leibniz invoked his principle of pre-established harmony to bind his otherwise totally separate quanta together.

In the present light consider paragraph 739 in part 5 of (Red/Dionysian) Goethe’s Farbenlehre (Theory of Colors):

True observers of nature, however they may differ in opinion in other respects, will agree that all which presents itself as appearance, all that we meet as phenomenon, must either indicate an original division which is capable of union, or an original unity which admits of division, and that the phenomenon will present itself accordingly. To divide the united, to unite the divided, is the life of nature; this is the eternal systole and diastole, the eternal collapsion and expansion, the inspiration and expiration of the world in which we live and move.

Thus Goethe, too, expressed the principle of relativity via color theory.

Surely Bohr and Heisenberg and company understood Leibniz’s and Goethe’s indefatigable position regarding the conservation of plurality. But why did they assert that the quantum of action must be considered at once eternally fundamental and singular, a sort of unity? Doesn’t the correspondence between Leibniz’s dx and his set of monads couple to a self-evident analogy between dx and the quantum of action such that Bohr and Heisenberg would expect the quantum of action to be in truth a set of quanta of action akin to the set of monads? The answer involves measurement (or control) theory. Supposedly, measurement of an atom — and indeed measurement in general — is determinable (controllable) using essentially thermodynamical, classical abstractions. In other words, measurement — control, communication — is defined in classical, abstract terms; it is itself a classical, abstract concept, a White/Apollonian concept. These abstractions (in the literal meaning of the word: “out-takes”) and the mathematics they are coupled to leave room for but a single “quantum” of action. (Again, I use the scare-quotes to indicate that the quantum of action is in truth a function and is thus a potential symbol of a multeity-in-unity.) Likewise said abstractions do not signify some underlying — or outlying — merely postulated reality but are instead referential to (one’s) experience only. It is a principle of Bohr and Heisenberg and company’s Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory that physics, as it were, is complete in terms merely of measurement (control); i.e. physics is neither a model of nor some conception regarding reality nor is it even symbolic of some principle of reality, for physical principles concern what is ostensibly controllable not what is uncontrollable — and reality itself is uncontrollable, utterly mysterious, incomprehensible.

This is not to say, however, that the entire set of possible measurements cannot be consistent with a principle of (real) relativity. And it is not to say that perhaps only such principle along with a corollary symbol thereof considered an intrinsic metric is the only principle which is so consistent. Besides, it is theory, as Einstein said, that first determines what can be observed (i.e. controlled, measured). Perhaps a new theory will provide a new basis for measurement. But even if no such basis is discovered a theory could be discovered whose variables are, according to that very theory, unmeasureable (i.e. unobservable, uncontrollable) yet which theory is at once as successful as the presently orthodox quantum theoretical formalisms at accounting for atomic phenomena and is derived from a more profound principle or set of principles. Such theory would be more elegant — more beautiful, i.e. more simple if perhaps just as general — and would therefore be superior despite its “hidden variables.” In this precise sense, it is possible that a so-called hidden variables theory can be superior to orthodox quantum theory, which orthodox theory pointedly does not involve hidden variables. What’s more, if such new theory were to stem from a principle of relativity — ideally, I say, only from a principle of relativity — it would naturally subsume Einstein’s general theory of relativity and thus be superior in this general sense as well. Such theory would literally point to (i.e. signify, symbolize) not the naïve, classical notions and corollaries of control; rather it would point in the other direction, in the deeper direction, the direction of soul, of substance, toward that which cannot be controlled. In a word, such theory would point in the direction of the gods.

Despite the continuing success of the Copenhagen Interpretation, there remains the possibility that we can start from a principle of relativity, symbolize that principle mathematically and thus determine physics from below, as it were. Nobody understands this fact better than does Julian Barbour. During the last decade or so, Barbour has been joined in this deepest respect by American physicist Lee Smolin, author of the popular Life of the Cosmos and Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. Here's Barbour from his own End of Time:

[Lee] proved very receptive to the ideas of Leibniz and Mach to which I introduced him, while he encouraged me to see what application they might have to the problem to which he had decided to devote himself — quantum gravity. We met several times in the next few years, and collaborated on an attempt to formulate Leibniz’s philosophical system, his ‘monadology’, in mathematical form. I think we made some real progress. … As far as I am aware, Leibnizian ideas offer the only genuine alternative to Cartesian–Newtonian materialism which is capable of expression in mathematical form. What especially attracts me to them is the importance, indeed primary status, given to structure and distinguishing attributes, and the insistence that the world does not consist of infinitely many essentially identical things — atoms moving in space — but is in reality a collection of infinitely many things, each constructed [if you will] according to a common principle yet all different from one another. Space and time emerge from the way in which these ultimate entities mirror each other. I feel sure that this idea has the potential to turn physics inside out — to make the interestingly structured appear probable rather than improbable.

To use Einstein’s terminology, a bottom-up formulation would be complete precisely insofar as it conserves the notion that there is an essentially comprehensible (if infinitely, not irreducibly complex) reality, where the word reality means something independent of control, independent of measurement, i.e. a substance (if perhaps the only substance). In a letter to M. Laserna dated 8 January 1955 Einstein commented in this extremely important respect:

It is basic for physics that one assumes a real world existing independently from any act of perception. But this we do not know. We take it only as a programme in our scientific endeavors. This programme is, of course, prescientific and our ordinary language is already based on it.

Einstein’s use of the word act here implies the classical physical parameter action and therefore the very closely related notions of control, free will, plurality, Mach’s principle, the uncertainty principle, and the Copenhagen Interpretation. In the context of quantum theory an “act of perception” is more a measurement (i.e. an act of control, an abstraction dependent on classical physical theory) than a mere perception. I like to say we can control only what we cannot understand and we can understand only what we cannot control. This, I think, is physicist John Bell’s distinction between “observable” (i.e. controllable) and “beable.” The distinction is akin if not identical to Kant’s distinction between a thing and a thing-in-itself: a distinction, I say, between order and structure. All such distinctions adumbrate a fundamental difference between information and reality, where information is determined according to the “principle of separation” — no action-at-a-distance, or, more poignantly, no action whatsoever — sacred to Einstein. “Action,” I assert, means the uncontrollable, indescribable co-influence existing between otherwise separate substances (quanta, souls). …

Schrödinger seems to have discounted the extremely important role color theory played in his formulation of atomic theory. His dissimulation in this respect can largely be understood insofar as his focus during the early 1920s shifted to the study of ideal gases. This field was the prime legacy of the Red/Dionysian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann, who was also Viennese and was a prime scientific hero of Schrödinger’s. Boltzmann advocated the reality of physical atoms in and of themselves (and was an ardent supporter of Darwinism), this in contrast to the paradigm championed by that other Viennese — and Schrödinger’s only other scientific hero: the White/Apollonian Ernst Mach. According to Mach, atoms are merely provisional, conceptual devices useful in treating of a more fundamental continuum of “energy.” Here’s Walter Moore on the deep contrast between Boltzmann and Mach:

In 1895, at a conference in Lübeck [Germany], an attempt was made to resolve these conflicting views of the fundamental structure of the world. The report in favor of energetics [i.e. Mach’s paradigm] was given by Georg Helm of Dresden; behind him stood Wilhelm Ostwald of Leipzig, the leader of physical chemistry, and behind both was ranged the powerful positivist philosophy of the absent Ernst Mach. The leading opponent of energetics was Boltzmann, seconded by the mathematician Felix Klein. Arnold Sommerfeld [who collaborated with Klein, mentored Heisenberg at Munich, and first recognized the need for a “fine structure constant”] reported that the struggle between Boltzmann and Ostwald equalled outwardly and inwardly ‘the struggle of the bull with the supple matador [or the dragon and St. George, the serpent and Adam]. But this time the bull conquered the matador despite all his finesse. The arguments of Boltzmann drove through. All the young mathematicians stood on his side.’

Boltzmann’s temperament would today be diagnosed as bipolar disorder. He himself attributed his remarkable mood swings to the fact that he was born during the night between Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday. While on holiday at the Bay of Duino near Trieste, Italy, in 1906, and while his wife and daughter were swimming in the sea, Boltzmann hanged himself. Schrödinger was left broken hearted; he had expected to begin studying under this beloved master within a few months. …

Above all else, Boltzmann was the founding master of statistical mechanics and statistical thermodynamics — both of which are consistent with if perhaps not based on the atomic hypothesis. Building on Boltzmann’s work, Bose and Einstein in 1924 and 1925 achieved together a fundamental understanding of the statistics appropriate to the particular (in contrast to wave) essence of light (which aspect of light later came to be called the photon). Einstein recognized that this statistics must apply not only to light (i.e. to carriers of force in general), but also to emitters/reflectors/absorbers of light (protons, electrons, molecules, etc). Thus a way had opened toward the notion that force and the stuff it works on (“matter”) are fundamentally the same kind of thing — i.e. that physics is light, that it is the description of force only. It was on this path — within earshot, as it were, of Bose and Einstein — that Louis de Broglie “all of a sudden” realized that he should postulate a fundamental particle–wave duality: photons, electrons, protons, atoms, molecules, chairs, universes, what have you — they are all best described as essentially dual, at once particles and waves. Schrödinger was nearby on this same path and was more inclined than were his colleagues to think that the apparent need for this postulate — a need stemming from Boltzmann’s consideration of statistics as being fundamental, i.e. of randomness as being fundamental to analysis (if not being an element of reality itself) — was more importantly significant of a fundamental reconcilability between the quantum-biased Red/Dionysian paradigm (advocated by Boltzmann) and the continuum-biased White/Apollonian paradigm (advocated by Mach). Schrödinger got swept up in the excitement attaching to both the de Broglie postulate and the Machian continuum and thus sailed fully beyond the complex Red/Dionysian sea into open, White/Apollonian waters. Schrödinger went so far as to describe particles in general as merely a phenomenal sort of “whitecap” [Schaumkamm] atop a continuum reality best described as a wave/force only (in the naïve sense of, say, a water wave). To Schrödinger’s chagrin this tack failed (and famously so), lending further credence to the notion that the essence of all physical elements is fundamentally dual or otherwise irreducibly complex. Although de Broglie’s postulate that particles are waves and waves are particles remains a primary truth of quantum theory, so too does the distinction between particles and forces, this because the theory still harbors two kinds of elementary particles (not to mention the multiplicity of particles within each set of kindred particles): those that go to constitute emitters/reflectors/absorbers (i.e. matter; these are called fermions) and those which go to constitute forces (which are called bosons).

In terms of said failure, Schrödinger nevertheless expressed very well a notion that neither he nor, to a markedly lesser degree, Einstein would abandon (chiefly lone wolves, they maintained a tenuous if not tentative collaboration with each other) and which in their professional circumstances they seemingly had no need to abandon: the notion that physics should be considered a Spinozistic, Machian address of a singular, essentially comprehensible yet unfathomable reality, one substance only, one entity only, namely identical to God whether nor not it be called a matter or a force. Such physics must therefore be based on continuum mathematics.

Continuum mathematics is equivalent to mathematics based on the set of whole numbers coupled to the concept of zero. Yet we can fairly say that the concept of zero is akin to a special frame of reference and inasmuch is contrary to Einstein’s expression of the principle of relativity. As Schrödinger writes in his masterfully concise Space–Time Structure, “Zero is the only number with a charter, a sort of royal privilege.” (This fact is commonly stated as the law prohibiting division by zero.) The chief assertion of a transformation equation, Schrödinger likewise emphasizes, is always this: a certain number is zero. Schrödinger here implies that the notion of a “transformation equation” — indeed, the very notion of an equation in general — must be fundamental to physics; equations must be the only way to determine (i.e. express) the notion of invariance at bottom of Einstein’s expression of the principle of relativity and therefore at bottom of Einstein’s general relativity. This assumption is what justifies the special status of the concept of zero and in turn the concept of infinite divisibility, i.e. the continuum. Indeed, the concept of zero is akin to Newton’s absolute space and absolute time.

But according to my understanding of the relativity principle, the notion of an equation is purely secondary. Symbolism is singularly primary. Physical invariance is a mere corollary of the supposed Black/Baroque reality, i.e. of multeity-in-unity, of the set of pleiads, and it should be determined via the single best symbol of that supposed reality. Consider in this respect the following from Arthur Fine’s reknowned Shaky Game:

I think the failure of [Einstein’s] space/time project did lead Einstein to take seriously the idea that the physics of the future may not be spatio-temporal at all.

In his review article of 1936, Einstein calls such a non space/time physics “purely algebraical” and, because the mathematical concepts for such a theory had yet to be invented, in 1936 he rejects the idea as “an attempt to breathe in empty space” (Einstein 1936, p. 319). Nearly twenty years later he is no more enthusiastic, and for exactly the same reason. “My opinion is that if the objective description through the field as an elementary concept is not possible, then one has to find a possibility to avoid the continuum (together with space and time) altogether. But I have not the slightest idea what kind of elementary concepts could be used in such a theory.” If we read these remarks in conjunction with his reply to Karl Menger in 1949 (“Adhering to the continuum originates with me not in a prejudice but arises out of the fact that I have been unable to think up anything organic to take its place.” [Schlipp 1949, p. 686]), then I think it clear that a non-spatio-temporal kind of realism (a “purely algebraical” realism) would be an acceptable alternative for Einstein to his own pet idea for a continuous field theory, even if one not so highly prized.

Paul Dirac, more strongly than Einstein, anticipated such utterly new, “purely algebraical” — i.e. quantum — physics. Among the laconic Dirac’s “pet ideas,” as his biographer Helge Kragh remarks, was the notion that the basis of mathematics in general is due for a change. Yet like Einstein, Dirac simply couldn’t conceive what this change should be. In 1979, a few years before his death, Dirac wrote regarding orthodox atomic theory: “I think it is very likely, or at any rate quite possible, that in the long run Einstein will turn out to be correct, even though for the time being physicists have to accept the Bohr probability interpretation, especially if they have examinations in front of them.” With respect to Schrödinger, Dirac in 1977 had written:

… of all the physicists that I met, I think Schrödinger was the one that I felt to be most closely similar to myself. I found myself getting into agreement with Schrödinger more rapidly than with anyone else. I believe the reason for this is that Schrödinger and I both had a very strong appreciation of mathematical beauty, and this appreciation of mathematical beauty dominates all our work. It was a sort of act of faith with us that any equations which describe fundamental laws of Nature must have great mathematical beauty in them. It was like a religion with us.


Yet Dirac was torn. In 1965, several years after Schrödinger’s death, Dirac had written: “All references to Schrödinger wave functions must be cut out as dead wood.” Dirac emphasized this assertion in his last lecture, delivered in the early 1980s. The professionals recognize this assertion as something of a mystery. Why, after all, did Dirac favor Heisenberg’s quantum-mechanical formulation of atomic theory over Schrödinger’s wave-mechanical formulation thereof? The answer certainly involves the Hamiltonian. As the outstanding physicist Eugene Wigner — Dirac’s brother-in-law — said in 1963: “Dirac was a captive and is now a captive of the Hamiltonian formalism and he thinks extremely strongly in terms of the Hamiltonian formalism.” The Hamiltonian is an exceedingly beautiful (i.e. simple yet general) formulation of the so-called action principle, the notion that classical physical action (e.g. position x momentum, or energy x time, or spin) is always an extremum (i.e. fundamentally describable as a minimum or maximum). The action principle comes down to us via Aristotle, Hero of Alexandria, Fermat, Leibniz, Maupertuis, Euler, Lagrange, Gauss, Hamilton, Jacobi, Dirichlet, Helmholtz, Planck, Dirac, and others. “In this development,” writes Ernst Cassirer in his Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Physics, “the question of the metaphysical basis for the principle of least action [i.e. the action principle] was more and more lost from view.” As I pointed out earlier, action basically means interaction between quanta. The notion that the essence of nature is extreme action — and the fact that the Heisenberg formalism is a codification of this notion in terms of non-commutativity, the so-called “quantum” of action (the very meat of quantum/matrix mechanics), and the Hamiltonian — suggests that the Heisenberg formulation is destined to be reduced to a function of action (i.e. to the quantum of action unpacked, as it were, unfolded) and that this function is destined to be recognized as the ultimate physical mathematics and the ultimate formulation of the Hamiltonian, i.e. the ultimate formulation of the action principle. Such function and the interpretation(s) thereof — as being symbolic of an outlying, quantum reality, a set of souls — would be identical to physics in general. This function seems to be the irreducibly complex, middle road which Dirac intuited and inclined toward but never actually set foot upon.

Dirac appreciated the Hamiltonian as being not a constraint (i.e. secondary, forced upon something else more fundamental) but rather an essentially pure (i.e. self-referential) mathematics that happens to correspond to the classically controllable structure of experience. Similarly the Heisenberg formulation of atomic theory is a purely mathematical symbol which happens to correspond to what is controllable. The Schrödinger formulation, on the other hand, is not self-referential but symbolic of a supposed reality; it is pictorial, mimetic, a model, a metaphor — precisely as any geometrical description of fundamental physicality (including Einstein’s general theory of relativity) is a metaphor implying that physical space is best described as being a geography of sorts. Therefore the Schrödinger formalism seems to place mathematical beauty second to naïve realist postulation, short-circuiting Dirac’s program. In this sense the Schrödinger approach damns the Hamiltonian to the status of a constraint upon superfluous metaphysical indulgence. To be sure, the Hamiltonian is also applied as a mere constraint to the Heisenberg formulation, in terms of the diagonal matrix. But because the Heisenberg formulation is merely a mathematical formalism and not as well a model, and because it directly corresponds to classical action, the way is at least open for this formulation to be simplified such that it becomes identical not only to the Hamiltonian but also to Dirac’s equation of the electron, i.e. to his inchoate equation of particles in general — including particles of space and time. Recognizing, again, that the quantum of action is in fact a function, we can therefore fairly say Dirac is suggesting or at least intuiting that both the Heisenberg formulation and the Hamiltonian are destined to be reduced via mathematical considerations — which may involve Einsteinian realism and a principle of relativity — to a function of action and that this function in and of itself will be physics.

Thus the mystery of the quantum of action — that is, the mystery of the very existence of atoms — could be reduced to the principle of relativity, i.e. to the mystery not only of one’s existence but also of the supposedly concomitant existence of an unlimited number of unique souls (absolute, radical others) which are nevertheless (extremely) related to each other. The existence of atoms in any single I’s experience would be explained in terms of the postulated existence of an unlimited number of other, related I’s. No mechanism could be invoked to explain this relatedness. According to the principle of relativity, we need not — indeed cannot and should not — explain this relatedness; rather we postulate this relatedness, this greatest of all possible mysteries, as our only principle.

In regard to the core of quantum theory, Bohr famously commented: “If a man does not feel dizzy when he first learns of the quantum of action, he has not understood a word.” Einstein mockingly called the action-at-a-distance (or non-locality, or “entanglement”) which is a prime (and general) corollary of that theory “spooky” and “telepathy” and he argued that there is no need to interpret the equivalent pair of quantum theoretical mathematical formalisms (Heisenberg’s quantum mechanics) and Schrödinger’s wave mechanics as complete (per the Copenhagen Interpretation) — if, that is, we can interpret them otherwise and thus conserve the principle of separation, i.e. the principle of local causality, i.e. the principle that action requires a medium, i.e. the principle of action-by-contact, the notion that there is no action-at-a-distance. “I consider the renunciation of a spatio-temporal setting for real events to be idealistic-spiritualistic,” wrote Einstein to Schrödinger, derogatorily and in commiseration with Schrödinger. Yet it seems to be increasingly clear that the way forward involves recognizing the principle of relativity as precisely idealistic-spiritualistic. The noted dizziness and spookiness are heuristic. Henri Matisse said about art: “The only valid thing in art is the one thing that cannot be explained.” Ultimately, I think, the only valid thing in physics is the principle of relativity, understood as being identical to the principle of action and equivalent to the “quantum” action.

Thus the heroic path before us can be illumined such that we see it open onto the greatest possible mystery. Regarding that path, I’ll do well to note a few things about the boyish German genius Werner Heisenberg, Schrödinger’s most poignant counterpart. Heisenberg was something of a lifelong Boy Scout. In the Germany of Heisenberg’s youth the equivalent of the Boy Scouts was called the Neupfadfinder (New Path Finders). Consider the following from David Cassidy’s excellent biography of Heisenberg, Uncertainty:

For the Neupfadfinder [of which Heisenberg was a local leader], the coming third Reich was to be the culmination of centuries of German history, the final realization of the ideals of the first Reich, the Holy Roman Empire. Numerous petty princes and political parties would happily coexist within one apolitical empire, ruled by a single, trustworthy, God-appointed Führer. He would ensure the peace and well-being of the German people — especially, of course, of the cultured upper middle class — in the same way a [local] group Führer for his small Gemeinschaft [a group of about 10–15 people, typically men].

… As [Heisenberg’s Gemeinschaft] conceived it, the coming Third Reich bore a striking resemblance to the Christian concept of the coming kingdom of God …


The Holy Roman Empire was established over the course of some hundred years following the 843 CE Treaty of Verdun, which treaty split the Frankish kingdom of Charlemagne — the so-called Carolingian Empire, covering much of modern-day France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and northern Italy — into 3 parts to be shared by Charlemagne’s 3 surviving grandsons: Charles, Lothair and Louis.

The Holy Roman Empire (or, might we say, the Holy Carolingian Empire — as in Joyce’s H.C.E, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker?) emerged from the eastern realm. The legacy of this eastern realm — in contrast to the western, which was to become France — was tribal German rather than Romanized Gaulish; hence it was much more federal, far less centralized, than the western realm. Simply put, the eastern realm was chiefly Red/Dionysian, the western White/Apollonian. Typically the king of the eastern realm was elected. Indeed, over the decades and centuries he happened to become increasingly obligated to his electorate. In this sense the Holy Roman Empire was more akin to England than to France. Only when coronated by the pope, however, did the eastern realm’s king become emperor. This profound, Rex–Deus-like irreducible complexity occasionally took the form of near conflict between king and pope. Generally the coronation (as in corona and Cronus) was considered a transfer of God’s power from the Romans to a new empire. Likewise it was considered akin to the transfer of power from Troy to Rome and (or so I will theorize) from Crete to Troy and from Canaan to Crete and from Egypt to Canaan and from Saturn’s otherwise lost Golden Age (represented in part by the legend of Atlantis) to Egypt and from the previous Great (or Platonic) Year to the Golden Age and from Uranus to Cronus.

The Investiture Controversy of the 10th and 11th centuries saw Pope Gregory VII assert the singular universality of the papal power. In turn he excommunicated and officially if not effectively deposed German King and Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV — a move welcomed by the German aristocracy (which felt that the king had been too autocratic, too White/Apollonian you might say) and nearly fatal to the empire. Although severely and permanently weakened, the Holy Roman Empire largely recovered following Henry’s invasion of Rome; for the pope reacted to that invasion by calling in Norman allies from their presence in southern Italy, and although they saved the pope they also sacked Rome, provoking the Roman citizens to rise against the pope and force him and the Normans south, where the pope soon died. The Holy Roman Empire was not officially dissolved until 6 August 1806, when Francis II abdicated following military defeat by Napolean. Francis and his heirs nevertheless continued their political career as emperors of Austria, until 1918.

But let’s get back to Charlemagne’s roots. As you may have discerned, Charlemagne stems from the Merovingian dynasty. The Merovingian dynasty is named after its founder Merowig (c. 450 CE). Legend says Merowig was truly, fully conceived when the already pregnant wife of his ostensible father Clodio — the “Long-haired” or “Hairy,” equivalent to Claudius, “lame,” as in Hamlet’s “evil,” Set-like uncle — encountered one of Poseidon’s sea monsters, a shape-shifting so-called Quinotaur, while she swam in the North Sea. The monster ravished her and thus added his seed to the mix. Thus Merowig was a duality, a son of 2 fathers. This story — with its poignant love triangle — resonates with those involving Zeus/Poseidon and Europa and Asterius (“Star Man”); Cetus and Andromeda and Perseus; the sea monster and Hesione and Hercules; the dragon and the princess and George (or Tristan or Sigurd …), the snake and Eve and Adam, Jesus and Mary and Joseph, and the legend of Merlin’s conception. The irreducibly complex offspring of such encounter, in this case Merowig, is equivalent to the hero who slays the monster/father/king to secure the lover/mother — just as Cronus emasculates Uranos at the behest of Gaia (or Chthon) and thus creates the universe, Aphrodite emerging from those severed, sea-borne genitals, which genitals are equivalent to her husband/son Hephaistos (alias Mark, counterpart and in this sense equivalent to Tristan/Mars). Likewise said offspring is equivalent to the monster/father and the lover/mother, which implies that the lover/mother, too, is equivalent to the monster/father.

The hero/girl meeting the monster is the hero/girl not only equated to but also identified with the monster — and with each other. If there is a single key that unlocks all mythology and likewise all psychology and sociology, these seemingly pedestrian identifications amount to it.

As for the particular identity of the Merovingian monster, the term Quinotaur is extremely mysterious. The prefix Quino- signifies 5-ness, 100-ness, dogishness/wolfishness (as in the Greek word kynós), smallness (as in the diminutizing suffixes -kin and -chen), change (as in kindle and kinetic and the Cynaen Rocks, alias the Planctae, this as in the planasthai, “wanderers,” i.e. the planets), blueness (as in the Greek word kýanos, “dark blue enamel, lapis lazuli,” and as in cyanide and also the blueish Pleiades), kinship/kingliness (from the Proto-Germanic *kunjá, “family, race,” and *kuningaz, “one descended from noble birth,” these being cognate with the Latin genus and the Sanskrit jánas, “kin,” as in Janus), and cynosure, which word means “center of attraction or attention” and formerly also meant “guiding star.” This last word stems from the Latin Cynosūra, “Ursa Minor,” from the Greek kynósura, “dog’s tail.” Ursa Minor — with its guiding star Polaris — is, I suggest, the adze of the famous Egyptian Opening of the Mouth ceremony (and likewise of the ceremonial cutting of the umbilical cord), and in this sense it represents Anubis and Upuat (“Opener of the Way”) and Fenrir and Hermes and Homer’s “wiley” — i.e. viley, vixeny, foxey — Ulyssses, as well as Finn of Irish lore and likewise Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn of American lore. The Chambers Etymological Dictionary states: “[Fox] is cognate with … Gothic faúhō. Outside the Germanic languages fox is cognate with Lithuanian paustìs, animal hair, the Russian and Polish puch woolly hair, tuft, fluff, and Sanskrit púccha-s tail … from Indo-European *puk-/pouk- (Pok.849).” Huck Finn, you see, is Tom Sawyer is Faustus is Puck, the latter from the Old Norse pūki, “devil.” Finn is Vin is Dionysus. The Pleiades — alias the Kometes, “Long-haired,” as in comets, and as in the Merovingians — correspond to this Little Dipper. In fact the Pleiades themselves — which are typically considered feminine — are constellated in the form of a dipper or adze. Proto-mythology, doggishness, wolfishness, foxeyness, the absent/tiny/fallen father and the totemic animal in general are likewise considered feminine.

Indeed, the number 5 is the number of Aprhodite/Venus and likewise the number symbolizing sacred, priestly knowledge. The number 100, on the other hand, is associated with the ascendant challenger, the White knight and his cohort or fellow centurians. We should be especially reminded here of the wise and learned centaur Chiron — “The Hand,” as in the 5-ness of the hand and as in Roman emperor Constantine’s 5-pointed Chi–Rho symbol. Constantine considered the Chi–Rho symbolic of Christ and of the Sun. (Moreover, he thought that Christ — like Ares/Mars and like Odin/Woden — can determine victors in battle.) Chiron, who lives in a cave on Mount Pelion, is tutor to Diomedes, whom he renames Jason, “Healer.” Chiron is also tutor to Jason’s son by the sorceress Medea, Medeius, eventual ruler of the Medes; and to Hippolytus (the Latin Virbius), son of Theseus and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons; and to the sea-god Achilles. The hand is closely related to the Latin carpo, “to pluck, seize, lay hand(s) on,” and to the Greek karpos, “fruit.” Of course the infamous scene in the Garden of Eden comes to mind, but so too does the story that Jesus's father was a carpenter. Chiron’s father is Centaurus (alias Quinotaurus?), son of Ixion, son of Ares/Mars. Here, then, we see a striking equivalency between Ares/Mars/Odin/Hermes, Ixion, Centaurus, Chiron, Jason, Medeius, Hippolytus (Virbius), Achilles, Jesus and Merowig. Let’s follow this lead.


Thinking he is ravishing Hera, Chiron’s grandfather Ixion ravishes Nephele (note the Ne- prefix), whom Zeus supposedly created as a phantasmal Hera look-alike. Nephele then gives birth to all the centaurs — each being half horse or bull (or more generally a totem animal of any sort) and half man. The centaurs worship Dionysus. For the attempted rape of Hera, Zeus binds Ixion to a rolling wheel and damns him to Tarturus and the close company there of Sisyphus and Tantalus. Tantalus is father of Pelops, whom we will meet shortly. In all these connections we should furthermore be reminded of the centaur Nessus, who rapes Hercules’ 2nd wife Deianira and then effectively curses him to death at the hands of Deianira — although Zeus plucks Hercules from near death atop the funeral pyre and transports him to Olympus, as Zeus did with Pelops and as Zeus eventually does with the Trojans Ganymede/Aquarius and Aeneas. Now, Neptune/Poseidon — who built Troy’s famed walls — was symbolized by the (gregarious, periodic) horse, as was Nephele/Hera. So, too, probably, was Hippolyta, the root hippo meaning “horse” and, as I will later explain, being identifiable with the name Poseidon and likewise with the Egyptian Hp/Hapi (the Greek Apis), a bull-god equivalent to the human-like god of the Nile, who goes by the same name but is pictured an androgynous old man with pendulous breasts. Here we again have the Op/Ep/Ap prefix, this in a form which is more clearly equivalent to the Hep- of Hephaistos. The actual bull representative of Hp was selected for being black yet bearing a white, crescent-like mark on its neck. Let me add that Odysseus/Ulysses in the wooden horse/bull is akin to the Quinotaur: he proto-mythologically impregnates Troy/Aphrodite, dying in the process (hence to “live” with Kalypso and eventually by way of return/resurrection to Penelope, i.e. Penel-Ops). The fleeing Aeneas — legendary father of the Romans — is the offspring of that meeting/sacrifice; he is equivalent to Poseidon, equivalent to Odysseus, equivalent to Jesus, equivalent to Merowig.

The black and white bull representative of Egypt’s Hp brings us back to the story of Europa, daughter of King Agenor of Tyre, Canaan. Son of Poseidon and Lybia — and (younger) twin brother of Belus (i.e. Bel, the fire god; alias Hephaistos, Set) — Agenor had proto-mythologically left his homeland of Egypt to settle in Canaan, where he married Telephassa/Argiope (“Distant White Light of Power”; i.e. Iseult; i.e. Gatsby’s green light across the bay, the light of the dock of Daisy’s “red-and-white” mansion). Robert Graves, from his Greek Myths:

Zeus, falling in love with Europe, sent Hermes to drive Agenor’s cattle down to the seashore at Tyre, where she and her companions used to walk. He himself joined the herd, disguised as a snow-white bull with great dewlaps and small, gem-like horns, between which ran a single black streak. Europe was struck by his beauty and, on finding him gentle as a lamb, mastered her fear and began to play with him, putting flowers in his mouth and hanging garlands from his horns; in the end, she climbed upon his shoulders, and let him amble down with her to the edge of the sea. Suddenly he swam away, while she looked back in terror at the receding shore; one of her hands clung to his right horn, the other still held a flower-basket.

Wading ashore near Cretan Gortyna, Zeus became an eagle and ravished Europe in a willow-thicket beside a spring; or, some say, under an evergreen plane-tree [with its 5-pointed leaves, the plane-tree was sacred to Helen/Aphrodite]. She bore him three sons: Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpedon.

Agenor sent his [5] sons in search of their sister, forbidding them to return without her.

According to proto-mythology, the hero must venture from his original land/tribe to another and there find a woman he desires. There he must win her love, marry her, and remain with her people to ascend to their kingship and to eventually sacrifice himself at the behest, chiefly, of his wife. Zeus’s contrary abduction of Europa signifies the reversal of this custom; and especially it signifies the Great Reversal. The flowers with which Europa garlands him are the flowers typically lavished upon a bull before it is sacrificed; they are akin to the palms of Palm Sunday, the leis of Hawaii, the beads of Mardi Gras.

As we will later see, Agenor and Telephassa/Argiope correspond to Evenor and Leucippa, the original Atlanteans, whose daughter Clito corresponds to Europa. Clito’s 5 sets of twin sons by Poseidon (initial among them Atlas and Gadirus) correspond to Europa’s 5 brothers (including Cadmus and Phoenix).

Meroweg, like Poseidon/Hp/Hapi/Apis/Hephaistos and like Agenor and like Odysseus-in-the-horse and like Aeneas, signifies proto-mythology. The name Merowig smacks of earwig and Earwicker and the Welsh Evrawg, son of Bron and father of Peredur/Percival — Evrawg’s 7th son, as in the 7 planets, and as in Hephaistos, i.e. Hp. Similarly the name Agenor smacks of Plato’s original Atlantean Evenor, husband of Leucippe (“White Horse”). The prefix Ear-/Evra-/Eve-/Eur- is closely linked to the Latin aevum, “lifetime.” Furthermore Meroweg smacks of Mercury, the shape-shifting Latin equivalent of Hermes, Odin, Odysseus — and the closest planet to the Sun, never straying from her by more than 28 degrees of arc (which number 28 represents the college of Aphrodite’s nymphs, alias the Pleiades). The prefix mer — as in Mark and Mars and Mary — means “sea” and “(female) horse” and “daughter, woman” and “short” (the English merry, “pleasant,” stems from the P-I-E root mreĝhu-, “short”) and “memory, mindfulness” and “merchant, trader” and “martyr” and “boundary, sign” (as in marsh, moor, mark, Hermes and Janus). Meanwhile wig means “change, path, life, enliven,” stemming from the P-I-E *weik/wik, “set apart, strive against a foe,” and *wig, “bend, turn,” these being the basis, too, of the modern English weed and weak and the 7-day, 7-planet week — again, the planets in Greek being literally the planasthai, “wanderers.”

Regarding the Merowig/earwig connection, it’s interesting to note that so-called wizards, as Robert Graves points out, commonly claimed that their ears had been licked clean by serpents, “which were held to be incarnate spirits of oracular heroes and … [wizards] were thus able to understand the language of birds and insects.” Athena, it is said, after blinding Teiresias, was emotionally moved by his suffering and therefore detached from her aegis — originally a bag akin to Ouranos’s severed genitalia, i.e. akin to an ark — the serpent Erichthonios and ordered it to, “Cleanse Teiresias’s ears with your tongue that he may understand the language of prophetic birds.” Erichthonios is Eri–Chthonios, “heather of Gaia.” The bees on the heather are the serpents in the ear are (Red/Dionysian) Aphrodite–Hephaistos in the sea-borne genitals/ark. Erichthonios is the snake/fish-tailed son of Hephaistos and Gaia, equivalent to his father and to Kronos/Cronus/Saturn and to the charioteers Poseidon and Auriga and Pelops, as well as Ganymede/Aquarius, Aeneas, Mercury, and Merowig. Precisely 300 golden bees were found in the tomb of Merowig’s son Childeric I. Napolean selected these bees to replace the Bourbon fleur-de-lys as symbol of his French Empire.

Erichthonios was abandoned by Gaia and found by (relatively White/Apollonian) Athena, who reared him under/in her own aegis, literally. In time he became the initial king of Athens — and, what’s more, had a namesake/equivalent involved in the Trojan line of royalty, that line being as follows: Dardanos (a Latin; most beloved mortal son of Zeus, by the missing, i.e. 7th, Pleiad Electra, daughter of Atlas), Erichthonios, Tros (after whom Troy is named), Illus, Laomedon, and Ganymede. Because Dardonos’s father is Atlas, 1st son of Clito and Poseidon, the Trojan royal line is directly connected to the royal line of Atlantis. … Likewise we have the Hebrew mother (Gaia), Moses (Erichthonios), and the Egyptian princess (Athena). In a mythological sense, therefore, Merowig is Moses. Similarly Merowig is Noah in the ark/aegis is the ill infant Ali-the-son-Husayn left lying in the tent in Karbala: i.e. a representative of pre-Flood civilization, a representative of the ancestors, a representative of Atlantis. In fact the Merovingians did claim direct descent from both the Trojan royal line and from Noah. The main, proto-mythological legend about the founding of Troy says this city-state was established by the 1/3 of Crete’s population who fled that island nation under pressure of famine, led by Prince Scamander. Recall, Zeus/Poseidon had “abducted” Europa from Canaan to Crete, where she married the local ruler Asterius (“Starman”), who adopted her 3 sons by Zeus/Poseidon: Rhadamanthys, Sarpedon, and Minos (who became the cuckolded step-father of the Minotaur and hence commissioner and resident of Daedalus’s labyrinth).

Thus we have a strong connection running from Atlantis (i.e. the Golden Age) to Egypt (ancestral home of Europa’s father Agenor, Egypt was originally named Kehmet, the “Black,” in contrast to Deshret, the “Red” desert) to Canaan (alias Phoenicia, the “Red Land”) to Crete to (Red) Troy to (Red) Italy to the (Red) Merovingians to (Red) Charlemagne.

Merowig’s grandson King Clovis I — alias alias Clodowech (as in Clito?) or Chlodwig, the modern French “Louis” and the modern German “Ludwig,” as in Loki and Lucifer and Leucippe — is considered the initial French king. He died in 511 and his 4 sons divided the kingdom among themselves. The eldest, Theuderic I, rightfully claimed the better part of the kingdom. With its capital at Reims, this relatively Red/Dionysian north and eastern realm was called Austrasia. The remaining, relatively White/Apollonian realm — with Orléans, Paris, and Soissons as its prime urbanities — was split between the other brothers and generally named Neustria. Soon, intermittent yet protracted conflict emerged between this pair of kingdoms, weakening the (White/Apollonian) royalty in relation to the (Red/Dionysian) aristocracy. The climax came in 613 when old Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia proclaimed as king one of her great-grandsons and thus motivated her aristocracy to revolt against her. They allied themselves with her Neustrian nephew King Clotaire II and eventually delivered her to him. Clotaire had her tortured on the rack for 3 days and then, the chief legend goes, torn apart by 4 horses.

Brunhilda’s life became imbued with that of the mythical Brynhild — a virginal, Athena-like female warrior (“shieldmaiden”) and moreover a Valkyrie, the latter especially being goddesses and “servants” of Odin — and thus formed a basis of the Tristan and Iseult story, Wagner’s Brunhilde, and Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. Brynhild, the myth says, was obliged to decide a conflict between a pair of kings. Although Odin preferred the elder king, Brynhild decided for the younger. Therefore Odin condemned her to mortality What’s more, to a coma behind a ring of fire impenetrable to all but the greatest man, who alone could wake her and marry her. That man turned out to be Sigurd, whose magical sword — his father’s, a gift from Odin — was named Gram (note the Gr- prefix). Sigurd was foster son of Regin — note the Re- root and the curious similarity to the aforementioned P-I-E mreĝhu-, “short” — who was smith (as in Hephaistos) of the Danish court. Regin had reforged and improved the previously broken Gram, armed Sigurd with it, and sent the young hero to recover the famed hoard of gold — including especially the magical, gold-making ring Andvarinaut — kept greedily by the smith’s own brother Fafnir, who had become an increasingly horrible dragon out of his cursed love for the gold and the ring at bottom of it. Originally the ring belonged to the dwarf Andvari, who — á la la Hephaistos — lived as a fish in an underground lake. The ring had entered human affairs by way of Loki, who had journeyed down to Andvari and threatened him such that Andvari surrendered the ring to him. But in so relenting, Andvari laid a curse on the ring: that it bring destruction to all who think they possess it.

As Sophocles said, “Nothing that is vast enters into the life of mortals without a curse.” And as Henry Miller wrote in Tropic of Capricorn:

Everything that happens, when it has significance, is in the nature of a contradiction. Until the one for whom this is written came along I imagined that somewhere outside, in life, as they say, lay the solution to all things. I thought when I came upon her, that I was seizing hold of life, seizing hold of something which I could bite into. Instead I lost hold of life completely. I reached out for something to attach myself to — and found nothing. But in reaching out, in the effort to grasp, to attach myself, left high and dry as I was, I nevertheless found something I had not looked for — myself. I found that what I had desired all my life was not to live — if what others are doing is called living — but to express myself. I realized that I had never the least interest in living, but only in this which I am doing now, something which is parallel to life, of it at the same time, and beyond it.

Similarly, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Crack-Up: “[T]he test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”

The Andvarinaut and its curse resonate with the curse placed by Odin upon and around Brynhild. They also resonate with the curse placed by the mythical Greek figure Myrtilus — who is etymologically linked to the Myrmidon sea-god Achilles, myrtle meaning “ever green” — upon the house of Pelops and hence on Agamemnon and Menelaos. Myrtilus is a son of (Odin-like) Hermes — as Ixion is a son of (Odin-like) Ares/Mars (rival/counterpart of Hephaistos), and as Remus and Romulus are twin sons of Mars by the Vestal priestess (i.e. Pleiad) Rhea Silvia, a descendant of Troy’s Aeneas. Like Hephaistos and Poseidon, Myrtilus is a charioteer. And like his rival and successor Pelops, he is a lover of Hippodameia. Myrtilus was likely considered crowned with green oak leaves, like Pelops’ grandfather Tmolus. The crown, like a ring, represents a profound curse, for it signifies its wearer’s identity as Tree Man, sacrificial man, and is likewise akin to the garlands placed by Europa on Zeus, the palms of Palm Sunday, the leis of Hawaii, the beads of Mardi Gras. The title Myrmidon is said to mean “ant person”: this as in Andvari and Ger-anos, Cr-onus, Ur-anus; and as in the Latin prefix ante-, “before”; and the Greek antí, “against, instead”; and the Proto-Germanic *ai, “off,” present in Aides/Hades, i.e. the missing father, literally the “goat-deity,” the scapegoat; and giant, i.e. Gaia-Ant; and the Greek ánthos, “flower,” from the Indo-European *ándhos, “bloom,” as in the name Antony and the title Adonis, both of which mean, among other things, “Lord,” and as in the aforementioned Erichthonios, “heather of Gaia.” Similarly we have the modern German Anderen, “others.”

The ant people are the before people, the contrasting people, the people from before the Flood, from before the Great Reversal. They are people who in myth are typically represented as fish/snake/short-people, like Andvari and like lame Noah and bow-legged, red-haired Odysseus and Erichthonios and Hephaistos and Enkidu and fairies and trolls, and like the 7 sage fish-men — master craftsmen — who, before the Flood, founded Gilgamesh’s Uruk and built its great walls (just as Poseidon built the walls of Troy). The suffix -vari in Andvari is cognate with the Latin varus, “bow-legged, bent,” with the Old Icelandic ver, “fishing place,” and verja, “to defend,” with the Albanian varr, “grave,” with the Tocharian B warto, “garden, forest,” and with the P-I-E wer/war, “to cover, close up, protect.” Contemporary English cognates include veer, variety, weir, weird, warm, thermal, terminus (i.e. boundary, as in herm and Hermes), and war. … Generally the ant people are the ancestors. They are especially the ancestors from before the present Platonic (or Great) Age/Year, i.e. from before the last Zodiacal age of Leo (c. 10,800 BCE), which as I will soon explain is just beyond the celestial Pillars of Hercules. These ant people are the people of memory and of dream. They are Gaia’s people of the flowering heath, among whom are the Neanderthals. Even more generally however, the ant people are the others — i.e. others in general, the infinite mystical contrary kin of the “I.”

The craving for the ring is a sort of ironic deathwish, a Thanatos, to use Freud’s term. For the curse is not just the desire to possess or save the other, it is the desire to be the other and in turn all others and to thus be God, an extremely simple, reducibly complex, merely White/Apollonian God. This is the God of Spinoza and, I think, of Newton and Schrödinger and, to a considerably lesser degree, of Einstein.

The Norse fertility goddess Freya’s craving for the mysterious Brisingamen comes to mind. Note the Bri-/Bry- prefix. The Brisingamen was a golden necklace owned by the likewise mysterious Brisings or Bristlings, perhaps as in the aforenoted bristle/Pleiades connection and perhaps as in Achilles’ most notable lover, Briseis. The nymph Freya procured the necklace by having intercourse successively with its 4 dwarf makers (which number may place Freya especially in the age of Aries, 5th in the Zodiacal cycle), a promiscuity that disgusted her partner Odin — she, a proto-mythological Valkyrie, being to Odin as Aphrodite is to Hephaistos as Penelope is to Odysseus/Ulysses as Helen is to Menelaos as Daisy is to Gatsby. She is likewise the love potion levied by Iseult’s sorceress mother upon Iseult and Tristan. And she is the underwater herb of immortality which Gilgamesh — in reaction to the death of his hairy (indeed red-haired) rival/friend Enkidu — sought and briefly possessed until a serpent rose from a well and snatched it away, returning to the depths.

Freya’s intercourse with the dwarves implies their self-sacrifice for her, and it likewise corresponds to Odin’s destined enchantment with her, i.e. to his self-sacrifice for her. Yet Freya herself suffers from the same sort of craving, her craving for the Brisingamen. Thus she — the object of the cursed cyclical hero — is all but identified with that hero. The profound implication here is that Freya represents true otherness; she is at once separate from and related to the hero. She represents the mystical multeity-in-unity. She is not the ring, not the necklace; rather she is the Holy Grail. The Grail does not represent the curse; it represents one’s acceptance of the curse by way of belief in otherness, in quantumness, in a Black/Baroque reality which would be humiliating were it not identical with all others (souls) together, including God. The Grail symbolizes not possession; it symbolizes understanding of that which cannot be possessed. In other words, the Grail symbolizes the quest, the holographic, quasic-cyclic, fractal and in these senses irreducibly complex quest. The hero is the knight, the princess, the dragon, the quest, the Grail.

In this light consider the following from near the end of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby:

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. … And one fine morning —

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Let’s take a harder look at the Pelops myth in connection with that of Sigurd, Loki, Andvari and company. The beautiful boy Pelops is dismembered by his father Tantalus and presented to the Greek gods as food — with only Demeter partaking, and Zeus in turn damning Tantalus and resurrecting Pelops to replace the goddess Hebe as his own cup-bearer, just like Zeus does later with the Trojan Ganymede, alias Aquarius. Similarly the Norse boy/god Ottr is a cannibalized youth at bottom of Andvari’s curse. Note the similarlity between the names Andvari, Atlantis, and Tantalus, and likewise between Ottr and Odin, Attis, Atlas, apple, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hp/Hapi, Apis. This last name means “bee” and is the original name — Apia, “Land of Bees” — of the Greek peninsula which the resurrected Pelops eventually conquers and renames the Peloponnese, “Pelops’ Island.” Andvari is also equivalent to Athena’s proto-mythological North African precursor Anath/Tanith/Neith, i.e. the nether goddess whose symbol was an open hand — as in Chiron, Chi–Rho, the 5 twins of Clito, the 5 brothers of Europa, and Helen/Aphrodite’s plane-tree. In other words, Andvari equals Freya equals Andromeda. Andromeda is Persephone is Core — the latter as in the Indo-European *kor-, “turn, bend,” hence the Middle Irish cor, “circle,” and the English crown, and hence, too, curse.

Loki’s journey to Andvari was required by Ottr’s father, the sorcerer/farmer Hreidmar (note the reid and mar roots), because Loki and Odin and Honir had mistook Ottr for a mere otter and had killed him and served him to Hreidmar as a victual in exchange for lodging. Discovering this awful fact, Hreidmar demanded an impossible sum of gold in return for the freedom of his guests-become-hostages. He let Loki search for that gold. Hence Loki’s journey to Andvari — i.e. to Atlantis, the flooded/sunken age, the Golden Age, the age when the waning king and not the waxing son was sacrificed and eaten, when the finity, the mortality, the quantumness of life and love were recognized, honored, and institutionalized, instead of rejected in favor of some impossible, White/Apollonian quest for immortality and unity and likewise for perfectly blissful, simple love rather than irreducibly complex, Red/Dionysian love. Loki gave the ring and gold to Hreidmar, who was consequently killed by his son Fafnir, brother of Ottr, this with the aid of their other brother Regin, who planned to retrieve this loot from Fafnir by way of the young hero Sigurd assassinating Fafnir. But Sigurd intuited Regin’s intention, killed him, and thus kept Andvarinaut — ignorant, though, of the curse it carried. In turn Sigurd rescued Brynhild, and the pair fell instantly in love. After giving Andvarinaut to Brynhild, Sigurd was bewitched by the sorceress Grimhild, queen of the Niebelungs (note the Nie- prefix), such that he forgot Brynhild and married Grimhild’s daughter Kriemhild/Gudrun instead. Gudrun’s brother Gunnar therefore wanted to court Brynhild. (Both these names, by the way, mean “white” and “war, killing,” as in Guinevere, Gwyneth, Igraine, Athena.) But Brynhild was still imprisoned behind the ring of fire, and Gunnar couldn’t penetrate it. Sigurd, however, under a spell cast by Grimhild, shape-changed himself to look exactly like Gunnar, passed through the fire, took Andvarinaut from Brynhild, and gave it to Gudrun. Still under Grimhild’s power, Sigurd furthermore helped Gunnar court and win Brynhild. But upon seeing Andvarinaut on Gudrun’s finger, Brynhild fathomed Sigurd’s betrayal and plotted his murder. Hence Gunnar’s brother murdered Sigurd, while Brynhild killed Sigurd’s 3-year-old son and then herself. You can’t keep a fatal femme down. …

The Merovingian’s internecine strife continued despite the death of Brunhilda. Concomitantly their (White/Apollonian) royal power became eclipsed by that of their house officials (essentially representing of the quantum, Red/Dionysian aristocracy). Thus the majordomo — Latin for “major one of the house,” translated “Mayor of the Palace” in English, whereby dom and dame and palace and Pallas equivalencies are especially evident — became the effective ruler. In Austrasia this title became hereditary following the majordomo Pippin (or Pepin) of Hertsal (Pippin the Middle, Pippin II). It was his forebear Pippin of Landen (Pippin the Elder), original Austrasian Mayor of the Palace, who, under the powerful influence of Bishop Arnulf of Metz, had led the aristocratic revolt against Brunhilda. (Pippin II was the son of Pippen the Elder’s daughter Begga and Arnulf’s son Ansegisel.) Likewise Pippin II’s son Charles Martel — instead of Merovingian King Theoderic IV — led the defeat of the Moors at Poitiers in 732. Martel fathered Pippin “the Short.” This Pippin III garnered support from the aristocracy for a change of dynasty. When the pope asked him for assistance against the Lombards, Pippin made the deal contingent upon the pope coronating him. Seemingly for legitimacy’s sake, Pippin first married a Merovingian princess. The pope then annoited him king. Hence in 751 the last Merovingian, Childeric III, was deposed and exiled to a monastery — with his long hair cut (indeed tonsured). In 768 Pippin III died, having named as heir both his male children by said Merovingian princess: the elder Charles and the younger Carloman. But in 771 Carloman died and Charles — who, like his father, married a Merovingian princess — proceeded to achieve exceeding military and cultural successes: he expanded his father’s Austrasian kingdom; he promoted a liberal renaissance; and all the while he advocated the (Red/Dionysian) Roman (i.e. Western Orthodox) Christian Church in contrast to the (relatively White/Apollonian) Byzantine (i.e. Eastern Orthodox) Christian Church based in Constantinople, and also, of course, in contrast to certain heresies, most notably Arianism. Charles was sole king of the Franks until 814. It was during Christmas Day mass in the year 800, in Saint Peter’s Church in Rome, that Pope Leo III seemingly surprised Charles by placing the solar crown upon Charles’ head and coronating him Emperor of Rome. Hence we have Charles the Great, Charlemagne in French, Karl der Gross in German, Carolus Magnus in Latin (and thus the adjectival form Carolingian).

The circumstances of Charlemagne’s coronation — occuring on a primary Red/Dionysian holy day in a primary Red/Dionysian city and church and conducted by a Red/Dionysian leader with, as we will see, a Red/Dionysian name, Leo, just as the name Charles/Karl/Carolus itself, like carne and Carnival, is Red/Dionysian — are telling. Charles’ coronation was his Mardi Gras, his fattening for sacrifice. The solar crown is akin to Andvari’s ring and to the wreath of oak worn by Tantalus’s father, the river god Tmolus, who is involved along with Dionysus and that great exponent of a marvelously advanced but now sunken continent, the drunken satyr Silenus, in the story of Gordian King Midas — he of the cursed golden touch. Likewise the crown represents the eclipse of the Sun by the Moon, i.e. the Meeting of the Sun and the Moon, the Female and the Male, the Priest and the Warrior, the pope and the king. The crown — as in the word corona and the title Cronus (Kronos, Geranos) — completed Charlemagne as a duality, a Rhea–Cronus, Ops–Saturn, Aphrodite–Hephaistos, Sun–Mercury, Venus–Mercury, Sun–Moon, Rex–Deus; it sealed his fate as an irreducibly complex persona who according to the cosmic order — and hence for the greatest good — naturally and preternaturally sacrifices himself in every moment, eventually to the point of death itself. Rhea is equivalent to the Egyptian Re (or Ra), who is proto-mythologically female, just at the German word Sonne is feminine while Mond (as in monad) is masculine.

The Sun-disc itself the Egyptians called not Re but Aten (alias Aton, Itn) — as in the Greek god Adonis and the Norse Ottr. This mere disc per se corresponds to the full/fat, masculine Moon. The Sun in its full, warm, life-giving complexity is, however, proto-mythologically female. Re is Rhea/Ops, wife of Cronus/Saturn, mother of Zeus/Jupiter. She is “the face,” “the eye,” “the light,” “the voice,” “the snake,” “the power”: Europa, Penelope, Ophelia, Helen, Hel, Helios, Demeter, Core, Persephone, Aphrodite. She is “the beautiful coverer/destroyer”: Kolyo, Kali, Kalypso, Callisto, Calliope — as in the Greek kalos, “beautiful,” and eclipse and apocalypse. She is “the beautiful face and voice covered,” “the veiled one,” the Sun eclipsed by the Moon, the Sun at once in mourning for and hidden behind the ever dying and rejuvenating, proto-mythologically masculine Moon.

The coronation is an eclipse, a signification of quantum complexity; it represents the irreducibly complex moment, the mythological apex — and likewise Aphrodite, and Ops, and apis, “bee,” and Apia, “Land of the Bee” (renamed the Peloponnese), and Hp/Hapi, and Hephaistos, and Epimetheus …. Later I will explain that the ancient Egyptians considered the Nile delta ironically the mythological high-point of their kingdom, which kingdom consisted of Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt, Red and White, respectively, connected by the Black Nile. The king of Lower Egypt, which realm was called Shemau (as in Joyce’s Shem) and included the Nile delta, was titled bit, “bee” or “he of the bee,” usually translated into English as “King of Lower Egypt.” I theorize that the Egyptians considered this king equivalent to Ptah — their bound, Hephaistos-like god of creation — and that this Ptah is equivalent to Peter (and hence the pope), as the name itself suggests. The Egyptians imagined honey bees the tears of Re. Such tears correspond to the ululations and semi-crocodile tears shed by women over the sacrificed hero. In other words, these tears correspond to the Meeting of the Sun and the Moon. This meeting, this apex, this Haran, is the moment of both rising and falling, White and Red — the irreducibly complex moment of triumph, of quantum gravity. This is the nature of every moment, really: eclipse, coronation.

In this light, note that Myrtilus’s curse fell most heavily on the house of Pelops’ eldest son Atreus, father of Menelaos and Agamemnon. Atreus, legend says, was the first astronomer to correctly predict using mathematics an eclipse of the Sun by the Moon.

Similarly, recall that the twins Remus and Romulus are descendents of Aeneas, through their mother; their father is Mars. Julius Caesar believed that his own family descended from Ascanius, son of Aeneas and Creusa. Spengler reports of a typical Roman consul on the day of triumph: “[he] wore the armour of Jupiter Capitalinus, and in early days his face and arms were even painted red ….” The pigment used was red lead. Lead — cubic lead — is the metal of Saturn. The very word triumph stems from the Greek thriambos, meaning a hymn to Dionysus, sung in processions in his honor, and also an epithet of the god himself, the Red god of the vine/tree/threeness/middleness/carnality/carnivale/rebirth/cycles. The Roman consul, like a U.S.A. President, was essentially a dual figure, an Aeneas, an Ulysses, a Remus–Romulus, a self-sacrificer, a Kronos, a Dionysus, a Hermes, a Saturn, a Solomon, an Oðinn, a Humpty. Frazer expounds on the Roman associations with Jupiter:

… down to imperial times victorious generals celebrating a triumph, and magistrates presiding at the games in the Circus, wore the costume of Jupiter, which was borrowed for the occasion from his great temple on the Capitol; and it has been held with a high degree of probability both by ancients and moderns that in so doing they copied the traditionary attire and insignia of the Roman kings. They rode a chariot drawn by four laurel-crowned horses through the city, where every one else went on foot: they wore purple robes embroidered or spangled with gold: in the right hand they bore a branch of laurel, and in the left hand an ivory sceptre topped with an eagle: a wreath of laurel crowned their brows: their face was reddened with vermilion [i.e. mercuric sulfide, or another red pigment, such as the aforementioned red lead]; and over their head a slave held a heavy crown of massy gold fashioned in the likeness of oak leaves. In this attire the assimilation of the man to the god comes out above in the eagle-topped sceptre, the oaken crown, and the reddened face. For the eagle was the bird of Jove, the oak was his sacred tree, and the face of his image standing in his four-horse chariot on the Capitol was in like manner regularly dyed red on festivals; indeed, so important was it deemed to keep the divine features properly rouged that one of the first duties of the censors was to contract for having this done. The Greeks sometimes painted red the face or the whole body of the wine-god Dionysus. These customs may have been a substitute for an older practice of feeding a god by smearing the face, and especially the lips, of his idol with the blood of a sacrificial victim. Many examples of such a practice might be adduced from the religion of barbarous peoples. As the triumphal procession always ended in the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol, it was peculiarly appropriate that the head of the victor should be graced by a crown of oak leaves, for not only was every oak consecrated to Jupiter, but the Capitoline temple of the god was said to have been built by Romulus beside a sacred oak, venerated by the shepherds, to which the king attached the spoils won by him from the enemy’s general in battle. We are expressly told that the oak crown was sacred to Capitoline Jupiter; a passage in Ovid proves that it was regarded as the god’s special emblem.

The Roman leader participating in a triumph was Mars on Mardi Gras, Mars’ Day Fat, Fat Mars on Fat Teusday, on Fat Two’s Day, the fattened cow, the Full White Moon (Monday, One’s Day) ready on that New Year’s Day for sacrifice on Red Wednesday, Woden’s Day, Oðinn’s Day, Three’s Day, the New Year’s Day, his destiny the cubic crypt of Black Saturday, Saturn’s Day, Six’s Day — from which he will rise again, ever participating in all the cycles of the cosmos. A slave was typically employed during the triumph to stand behind the leader and whisper to him, “Sic transit gloria mundi,” meaning, “Thus passes the glory of the world.” General George Patton famously commented:

For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.

Christian Meier, acclaimed biographer of Julius Caesar, notes that the supplicatio for Caesar’s victories in the civil war was 40 days long; his triumphal chariot was drawn by 3 white horses, and it was preceeded by 72 lictors. These numbers, as we will learn, are meant to resonate with the cosmic cycles. Meier emphasizes that in Caesar’s final year or so honors were heaped upon the de facto king Caesar as adornments are traditionally heaped upon the body of an animal before it is sacrificed. It is said that shortly before his death Caesar publicly bared his neck and chest to signify his respect for the republican notion that whoever sought kingship deserved execution. From 222 BCE to 153 BCE the Ides of March had been the day when the Roman consuls were inaugurated; and precisely in this respect, as Duncan Steel stresses, 15 March was, like 1 March and 1 January and 1 November and Rosh Hashanah (as early as 5 September and as late as 5 October), a New Year’s Day. (The U.S.A. Presidential election is held on the first Tuesday of November which is not 1 November, the Day of the Dead.) Probably this is why the augur Spurinna had been warning Caesar to beware the Ides of March. The augur surely knew or at least intuited that New Year’s Day was, in times of old, the day of regicide.…

I see the Atlantaean/Merovingian legacy passing from the Carolingians into the dawning Middle Ages via St. Anselm (1033–1109) and especially via the aristocratic St. Bernard (1090–1153) and hence to the synod at aptly named Troyes, now in northeastern France. In 1128 Bernard, who in the Investiture Controversy sided with the pope, was invited from his Clairvaux to Troyes, only some 30 miles distant. He soon played a prime role there in establishing the synod’s new order — which order we now know as the Knights Templar. Indeed, Bernard is said to have drawn up the very rules of the Knights Templar. These rules stem from St. Benedict’s rather desultory and expressive 12 acts of humility via St. Anselm’s contrastingly progressive and introspective 7 steps-toward-God and St. Bernard’s own Cistercian program of progress from body (Black) to soul (Red) to spirit (White), which religious program was echoed in the secular romantic literature expounded by Chrétien of Troyes, according to which the hero is obliged to leave the comradery and comfort of the court (Black) and endure a personal (if not lonely) and life-long quest (Red) toward unattainable, perfect love (White). Owing to St. Anselm, the Cistercian program emphasized the humanity of Christ and thus the importance of Mother Mary. This Red/Dionysian religious emphasis corresponds to the contemporaneous secular emphasis upon the quest — including all the romantic baroqueness thereof. The Cistercians believed they could — chiefly through exploration of the self — recognize a fundamental resonance or duality if not union of logic and feeling, precision and soul, external and internal, divisibility and individuality, exceptionality and universality, transcendence and immanence/relativity, White and Red. Such duality is represented in the seal of the Knights Templar and is akin of course to the famous dualities of orthodox physics. …


Of Heisenberg’s Gemeinschaft (Gruppe Heisenberg), only one member — not of course Heisenberg — is recalled as having joined the Nazi party. The Nazis consciously played upon old mythological themes, selecting, for instance, the swastika and the colors red, white and black for their symbol. Germany in the 1920s and 1930s was looking for a new Charlemagne, a new Rex–Deus. The Nazis understood this need but they didn’t believe in such irreducible complexity, such multeity-in-unity, such relativity, such Golden Age and a return thereto. They didn't want to believe that Nietzsche’s principle of eternal return should be applied to every moment, every scale, not only to the universe as whole — and that return in general is therefore merely quasi, fractal. The Nazi leaders believed in an extremely simple return relative to which local ascendancy was virtually unchecked and therefore a matter almost entirely of will to power. In a word, they believed all existence was a monad, a simple, White/Apollonian unity. Rather than submitting to Andvari’s ring and thus eternally (in every moment) returning it to Andvari, the Nazis thought they could possess it, control it, without suffering the concomitant curse. They were monism at its worst.

The constitution of the Weimar Republic, established in Germany soon after World War I, was a beautiful, Golden/Legal document, a paean to Andvari. In this sense at least the stage was set for the requisite knight to emerge. If he had emerged, he would have come from the Red/Dionysian likes of the Neupfadfinder, not from the Nazis. Again, Cassidy:

… the Bavarian Neupfadfinder often equated the white knight with St. George the dragon slayer. As a constant reminder of their calling, a portrait of St. George as white knight slaying the evil dragon … hung over the door of the Bavarian ski hut built by Gruppe Heisenberg in the early 1920s. It was still there when Niels Bohr visited the hut over a decade later.

Although the contemporaneous German youth movement, including the Neupfadfinders, was to a considerable degree determined to advocate the Golden/Legal philosophy, the movement was too much a “freedom movement” away from the demeaning effects of industrialization, of mass civilization, of the city, which effects altogether seemed to suggest that the heroic (middle) ground lay outside the bourgeoisie. This was the flip side of communism. Superfluous fear of the White/Apollonian — in this case, over communism especially — had caused the Neupfadfinder and the like to lose their way, precisely as fear over terrorism is doing today. With over-intellectual youth (and in large part their mentors) actually taking to the hills, and with France (i.e. Neustria, you might say) and England and the USA — but especially France — bringing to bear against Germany (i.e. Austrasia) the Allied victory of World War I, the Gunnar-like Hitler was selected White Knight of Germany. Amid economic depression and hyperinflation, the Nazis came to power democratically. In the crowded political field of 1930, only 11 years after their founding, the Nazis received a full 18 percent of the vote — 2nd place. In 1932 a pair of national elections were held, the Nazis winning 1st place in both, with 37 and 33 percent of the vote. Finally, in 1933 the Nazis received 44 percent of the vote, as much as their 3 closest rivals combined. Therefore the Nazis were invited to form the government.

I’ve digressed from Schrödinger, who spent the years of World War II in Dublin, Ireland, at the new Dublin Institute for Advanced Study. If we look back at his early life in Vienna, we see Erwin snubbed by the aristocratic family of his initial love, Felicie Krauss. He was 25, she 17. Reared a nominal Protestant (White/Apollonian) in extremely cosmopolitan Vienna, Schrödinger eventually married a Catholic (Red/Dionysian) girl from Salzburg: Annemarie Bertel. She was a teenager (in pigtails) when he met her. She seemed to him a peasant, but her father was a man of considerable standing in Salzburg. Unlike Felicie, Anny was homely and masculine; yet she was intelligent and wise. Her birthday was New Year’s Eve (Sylvesterabend).

In 1930 Erwin and Anny attended a carnival-time (alias Shrovetide or Faschingzeit) ball in Berlin dressed as the pharaohs Akhenaten and Nefertiti. The ancient Egyptians equated the husband–wife duo of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. (Note the Ne- prefix.) The ancient Egyptians equated this royal husband–wife duo with that of Shu and Tefnut, the first sexually differentiated offspring of the androgynous god of creation. As you may know, Akhenaten (c. 1350 BCE) is famous for promoting the worship of Re — now commonly though rather eroneously considered a masculine, White/Apollonian Sun god — over the other prime Egyptian gods, especially over Amen (alias Amon), equivalent to Zeus/Jupiter, which aspect of the Triple God, as we have seen, is chiefly Red/Dionysian although Zeus/Jupiter is White/Apollonian relative to Kronos/Saturn. Inasmuch, Akhenaten is commonly — although, again, rather erroneously — considered a monotheist, indeed the initial monotheist. According to a similar line of reasoning, his Sun worship is the basis of Judaism. Akhenaten is also famous for promoting androgynous and otherwise rather mimetic art forms. And so to the modern eye Akhenaten seems a chiefly White/Apollonian figure, significant more of unity than of duality, much less of quantum complexity. Yet his partnership with Nefertiti the ancients associated with the pair Shi and Tefnut (equivalent to Kronos/Saturn and Rhea/Ops and likewise Hephaistos and Aphrodite and also Hp/Hapi). In a sense this androgyny, and even this emphasis on the Sun, which is proto-mythologically female (note the similarity between Rhea/Ops and Re), signify a naturally, characteristically and quantumly complex man. Perhaps he attained and/or became attached to rather unprecedented White/Apollonian dimensions insofar as his wife was, in contrast, a remarkably Red/Dionysian figure, a femme fatale, and Aphrodite/Freya/Neith/Andromeda/Persephone. Upon Akhenaten’ss death Nefertiti became the first female pharoah.


Akhenaten, c. 1350 BCE, at left looking a lot like Hp/Hapi — and rather Asian.


Nefertiti. The Egyptian Museum, Berlin.


The equivalency with Demeter is noteworthy. The name Demeter is cognate with the Cretan deai, “barley” — which word is linked to the English day and degree and barleycorn. Cognate is the Greek moira, which means “share, phase, degree, fate, destiny,” as in the Moirai, i.e. the 3 Fates, the Triple Goddess, and as in the tao, me, maat, etc. A barleycorn is 1/360 of a meter and generally represents smallness yet genuineness and potential, as in seed, grain, and Quino, and as in the absent father, Andvari, the snake, the dog/wolf, the ancestors. Demeter is likewise closely related to the Greek dêmos, “common people, district,” which Greek word was originally dâmos, as in dame and dom and the Old Irish dām, this latter meaning “a following, crowd.” These words all stem from the Indo European *dâmos, meaning “division of the people, root”; and more generally from the root *dâ/də, “divide,” which root is present too in names/titles like Aphrodite, Diana, Odysseus, Odin, and Dien — as in Dienstag, i.e. Tuesday, Tiwes’ Day, Mars’ Day, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Full Moon Tuesday, Full Moon Day, Full Monday.

The Meeting of the Sun and the Moon — especially perfect in terms of the weirdly identical apparent areas of the face of the Sun and the face of the Moon as seen from Earth — is a most profound duality, a feminization of the male, literally a coronation representing the cyclic transition from White to Red to Black, i.e. representing culture itself. Such coronation corresponds to a returning of the Andvarinaut to Andvari, a literal submission — Andvari and his ring symbolizing not only a Golden Age, not only the previous Great Year, not only dream and the dream-time but ultimately the extreme mystery of existence, the Golden principle of relativity.

Akhenaten and Nefertiti, Erwin and Anny, Mach and Boltzman, Spinoza and Leibniz: these White–Red dualities are equivalent to Charlemagne, Merowig, Moses and Aaron, Isaac and Ishmael, Sarah and Hagar. Such dualities characterize the true heirs of the German kingdom. In a sense, Anny was the true Fürher from Austrasia/Austria.  

Erwin, nevertheless, was always especially attracted to teenage girls, and he engaged in several affairs with such during his middle age. In his copy of Thornton Wilder’s Bridge of San Luis Rey (note the Luis and Rey) the following passage was underlined: “Now he discovered that secret from which one never quite recovers, that even in the most perfect love one person loves less profoundly than the other. There may be two equally good, equally gifted, equally beautiful, but there may never be two that love one another equally well.” Schrödinger had probably read this book during the spring of 1933, when he was deeply in love with Hilde March. He was also very fond of Somerset Maugham’s Summing Up, near the end of which memoir Maugham offers the following observation similar to Wilder's: “[W]hen La Rochefoucauld discovered that between two lovers there is one who loves and one who lets himself be loved he put in an epigram the discord that must ever prevent men from achieving in love perfect happiness.” Earlier in that book Maugham notes:

When novelists began to disclose the diversity that they had found in themselves or seen in others, they were accused of maligning the human race. So far as I know the first novelist who did this with deliberate intention was Stendhal in Le Rouge et le Noir. Contemporary criticism was outraged. Even Sainte-Beuve, who needed only to look into his own heart to discover what contrary qualities could exist side by side in some kind of harmony, took him to task. Julian Sorel is one of the most interesting characters that a novelist has ever created.

Eventually Erwin and Anny separated, but they did get back together in the end. “Joy and sorrow has bound us so closely together in the past 41 years,” Anny wrote while they were still living apart, “that we don’t want to be separated during the few remaining years of our lives.” During the month or so before his death Erwin was wont to say to her, “Oh since I have you again, everything is good again.” His last words were, “Anniken, stay with me — so that I don’t crash.” 

The Secret Blackness of Milk

In developing my Black–White–Red, Golden/Legal theory of mythology and history, I of course questioned how such theory can address the religions and histories of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. How can the seemingly male-dominated Jewish religion, for instance, be said to involve worship of the Mother? I recognized that the answer, if indeed an answer was forthcoming, must have something to do with the fact that the Midianites (alias the Madianites) considered Yahweh a volcano god. Being of the Earth, indeed bleeding red, fiery earth, a volcano certainly seems female. But apart from recognizing the obvious equivalence here to Hephaistos/Vulcan, I was at pains to embellish further on the female connection.

And then while surfing television channels late one night I happened upon a recently produced documentary about the famous Greek temple “of Apollo” at Delphi. As you may recall, Delphi in antiquity was called the Navel of the Earth (Greek Omphalos). The omphalos, or navel-boss, has long been emblematic of the Mother Goddess. The ancient Greeks considered a woman’s navel the seat of her sexual passion. In Delphi, therefore, we have an ostensibly masculine — namely Apollonian — temple which is fundamentally feminine.

A marble Hellenistic or Roman copy of Delphi’s original Omphalos.
The carved surface depicts a supposedly woolen net covering a smooth inner object.


Indeed the sacred, oracular site at Delphi was initially considered a precinct of Gaia and it continued to be famous for its female oracles — melissai, “bees” — who sat on tripods and thus in some sort of altered state of mind answered questions put to them, whether by statesmen, army generals, or common folk. The ancients likened the Delphi temple itself to a bee hive, claiming that the initial temple there had been made of beeswax. Legend says that the oracular conduciveness of Delphi was originally revealed by a swarm of bees. Generally the virgin priestesses of Greek goddesses such as Rhea and Demeter were called melissai; and the hierophants (from the Greek hieron, “temple”), male priests in general, were called essenes, “king bees,” a title that applied especially to the chief priest of the Eleusinian mysteries.

The Eleusinian mysteries were celebrated during the month of September. These performances represented the union between the chief priestess and the chief priest and likewise the union of the “corn-goddess” Demeter (i.e. cereal-goddess, the Latin Ceres) and “sky-god” Zeus (whom we’ve identified as the complex, Red/Dionysian Dyeus, the Latin Jupiter, Celtic Father Dis, god of the underworld as well as the overworld). Sir James George Frazer remarks in his classic Golden Bough (initially published in 1890 CE):

The torches having been extinguished, the pair [chief priestess and chief priest, queen bee and king bee, Sun and Moon] descended into a murky place, while the throng of worshippers awaited in anxious suspense the result of the mystic congress, on which they believed their own salvation depended. After a time the hierophant reappeared, and in a blaze of light silently exhibited to the assembly a reaped ear of corn [i.e. cereal grain], the fruit of the divine marriage. Then in a loud voice he proclaimed, “Queen Brimo has brought forth a sacred boy Brimos,” by which he meant, “The Mighty One has brought forth the Mighty.” [Note the Bri- prefixes.] The corn-mother in fact had given birth to her child, the corn, and her travail-pangs were enacted in the sacred drama.

Delphi is thus deeply related to Eleusis (which name means “advent, rebirth”) in terms of bees. And Eleusis points — in terms of the unity between female and male — through the agri-culture of the Great Reversal to a time when Zeus was recognized as existing within the Mother.

Legend says Apollo killed the serpent which originally occupied Delphi. That serpent is variously named Tityos, Typhon and Python and is said to be the son of Gaia — and thus akin to Kronos, Hephaistos, Poseidon, Erichthonios, Andvari — and to have 100 heads (and thus something of a centaur, like Chiron and like Merowig’s Quinotaur father). Here’s a direct connection to Yahweh as volcano god. But Yahweh as serpent?!? The Greeks considered this serpent equivalent to Egypt’s ass-eared Set, the supposedly evil elder brother of Osiris. Asses were sacred to Dionysus. Gordian King Midas, he who was enthralled with Silenus’s tales of a lost continent and whom Dionysus cursed and cured of the golden touch, suffered the further curse of the river god Tmolus, grandfather of Pelops, who consequent of Midas judging Marsyas a better musician than Apollo transformed Midas’s ears into those of an ass. Jesus of Nazareth, recall, poignantly manifested an ancient prophecy by riding into Jerusalem on an ass. Robert Graves, from his Greek Myths:

A pair of ass ear’s at the tip of a reed sceptre was the token of royalty carried by all Egyptian dynastic gods, in memory of the time when ass-eared Set ruled their pantheon. Set had greatly declined in power …. Set had previously ruled the second half of the year, and annually murdered his brother Osiris, the spirit of the first half, whose emblem was a bull: they were, in fact, the familiar rival twins perpetually contending for the favours of their sister, the [supposed] Moon-goddess Isis.

According to said television documentary, scholars recently discovered that the temple at Delphi is built directly over the nexus of 2 ancient and roughly orthogonal fault lines. This nexus was once occupied by spring water that bubbled with the anesthetic gas ethylene. It was this gas, the scientists say (and they do so in accord with ancient accounts), that induced the altered state in which an oracle would pronounce. On this geological view, Delphi is strikingly analogous to a volcano. Could the Mother Goddess who is implicitly below Delphi — or, more precisely, the mysterious union down there between the Mother and the Father/Son — be equivalent to the original Yahweh?

The name Yahweh (YHVH, Yahveh, Yivah) corresponds to the Sanskrit Jivah (Yava, Java), meaning “female tongue,” “fire,” “life.” The Latin viva is a cognate. Likewise in Sanskrit Ge (as in geo, gene, and Gaia) means “to live.” In Hebrew Yah means “existent.” In German the ge- prefix signifies commonality, collectiveness, plurality. The simplest cognate prefixes are: Ja-, Jo- and Je-, as in Jacob, Janus, Jason, James, Jesus, Joshua, Johan, John, Joan, Joanna; I-, as in Isaac, Isis, Isabelle, and Ian; and Se-, as in Sean, Set and serpent. The serpent represents the aboriginal offspring of Gaia–Ouranos/Kronos. Gaia’s other primal offspring, apart from Kronos, are the Mountains and Pontus (alias Proteus the sea god, “first man”; Poseidon, Neptune, equivalent to Hephaistos, Erichthonios, Andvari, etc).

In Greek lore Gaia, Ouranos and their offspring are called the Titans. They antedate the “Gods.” The serpent Tityos at Delphi symbolizes the Titans, which group corresponds to the Black/Baroque, the plenum, the infinite set of (related) souls. The snake lends itself as the chief symbol of this set: the fundamental nature of the set is represented by the snake’s lowness; the plurality of the set is represented by the snake’s myriad scales; baroqueness, by the coiling of the snake’s body; cyclicity, by said coiling and especially by the molting of the snake’s skin; unity, by the simple, linear and finite singularity of the snake’s body.

Several months after viewing the aforementioned documentary, I learned that James Joyce had cultivated a thesis (which he gleaned in large part from the famously anti-Semitic Jew Otto Weininger’s Sex and Character) according to which Jewish men are especially womanly — a term, notes Joyce’s biographer Richard Ellmann, “which, incidentally, is applied to [the Jewish] Bloom in Ulysses.” Leopold Bloom is Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker (alias Here Comes Everybody, or Holy Carolingian Empire) is Hephaistos is Erichthonios is Andvari is Noah is Moses is Merowig is Father Dis is Poseidon is Yahweh.

The suffix -weh (or -VH, -veh, -vah) in the name Yahweh — as in Merowig — signifies the serpent-like, phoenix-like nature of all souls and of (Black/Baroque) existence in general. This suffix is related to the Latin vertere and to the Anglo Saxon wicce, which mean “turning” or “dancing.” Hence we have the Latin term vice versa and the English words vertex, vortex, verge, verve, verb, and, importantly, vernal. Moreover we get the Norse vik (referring to the changing tide in a fjord) and the German wid and wit as well as the English video, vital, widow, wit, wise, wizard, wicked, wicca-craft (i.e. witchcraft), wicker, willow, and cricket’s wicket. There’s also weak and week and the other words I mentioned in connection with Merowig. Likewise there’s the Sanskrit vid, meaning “to separate,” and veda, meaning “knowledge,” which are closely related to the Old English, witan, “to know,” this word moreover being resonant of the Germanic god Wotan, alias Odin. Hence, too, we have the name David, the planet Venus (both “morning star” and “evening star”), and the star Vega (the “Witch Star,” attending the Hercules constellation). Furthermore there’s the Norse Vigrid Plain — site of Ragnarök and thus equivalent to the Semitic Megiddo, as in Har Megiddo, a.k.a. Armageddon, from the Hebrew gdd or gadad, “to cut” (as in di-) or “to troop.” The root vi/ve also features in the name of Vishnu, Red/Dionysian preserver god of the Indian pantheon. Vishnu corresponds to the Norse Loki and Odin, the Greek Hermes and Ares, and the Egyptian Thoth and Upuat, among many others.

At last a brief lesson is called for regarding what is conventionally termed the precession of the Earth’s axis of rotation relative to the background stars (i.e. relative to the fixed stars, the firmament). This so-called precession is the basis of the precession of the equinoxes. The current lesson, however, is told from the prehistoric, proto-mythological perspective, and as such it abandons talk of precession and of the Earth’s axis of rotation. In abandoning these modern (and I dare say White/Apollonian) concepts, we will largely enter the consciousness of prehistoric humanity. And from that perspective we will be able to literally see the secret master key to mythology and history.

Gravity is such that the fixed stars each night rotate as if they are a single extremely large spherical constellation with the Earth at its center. In other words, this rotation occurs relative to a pair of opposed and otherwise invisible points among this essentially universal constellation. These points are the basis of what we call “north” and what we call “south.” The upper half of the rotation about the “northern” point proceeds from right (White) to left (Red) (relative to an [Earthly] observer directing his or her gaze upon this point). The upper half of the rotation about the “southern” point, on the other hand, proceeds from left to right (again, relative to an observer directing his or her gaze upon this point). The Earth’s equator is the line on the Earth’s surface where these 2 opposite points are both on the horizon. As a person travels north of this line, said northerly point rises higher above the horizon while said southerly point drops lower below the horizon, and vice versa.

Strangely each of these points also changes independently of an observer’s position on Earth. Which is to say, each of the pair of points moves relative to the fixed stars. Such movement is essentially universal, invariant. (This is the same kind of invariance that is famously at bottom of Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity.) The direction of the northerly point’s invariant movement is the same as the direction of the universe’s nightly rotation about that point: right (White) to left (Red). Likewise the direction of the southerly point’s invariant movement is the same as the direction of the universe’s nightly rotation about that point: left to right. These changes are extremely slow, however, for each occurs within its own series of ellipses, each ellipse having a period of what is best considered to be either 25,920 years or 26,352 years. Nevertheless, each of these 2 points is a “hand” of the universal clock. Not only does this clock have 2 hands, and not only do these 2 hands move in perfectly contrary directions; the clock’s face is extremely complex, consisting of all the stars and the sub-constellations thereof.

This universal clock is naturally simplified because anywhere away from the equator only 1 of its clock hands is visible. The clock can be further simplified insofar as an observer considers only those sub-constellations proximal to that visible hand. In this sense the northern face of the universal clock has 6 hours, for the northern hand passes just inside 6 sub-constellations during its long cycle: Hercules, Bootes, Ursa Major, Cepheus, Cygnus, and Lyra. Another such constellation is located just inside and tangent to the ellipse described by said hand/point: the adze-like Ursa Minor, whose tip — the star Polaris — coincides with said ellipse.

Centered upon the northern face of the universal clock is the constellation Draco, the sea–serpent. Draco therefore is best considered the chief constellation of this face, symbolic of the whole face and moreover of the entire clock, the entire universe. He is equivalent to Hephaistos, Poseidon, Erichthonios, Andvari, Yahweh.

In other words, the universal clock is a photograph of the hero in general, of the singular, cyclic, heroic journey, of all culture. “Stars,” Hart Crane wrote in his Bridge, “scribble in our eyes the frosty sagas/The gleaming cantos of unvanquished space.” The whole universe — i.e. the structure of your experience in general — is a clock, a culture. And the meaning of the universe is that you are not alone. This universe, this universal clock — the only perfect clock, yet still only quasi-cyclic — is the prehistoric Holy Grail: a cup, an aegis, as it were, that contains all souls.

Northern Face of the Universal Clock

Generated with the aid of SkyGlobe shareware:

The (quasi-)periodicity which characterizes the universal clock corresponds to the orthodox quantum of action and moreover to the nascent quantum mathematics which I think physics is destined to be identified with. The modern, geometric, spatial model of the universe is false. There is no essentially unlimited configuration space. There is no set of Riemannian-like spaces. Increasingly since the inception of the Great Reversal, virtually all of us have been plugged in, as it were, to the geometric model of the universe. I’m going to indicate how you can unplug yourself, how you can recognize the universe and the matrix (reality) for what it is. In the process you will begin to understand that the famous “spookiness” of orthodox quantum theory is a drop in the bucket.

Let’s move forward in this extreme respect via an explication of the northern and southern faces of the universal clock. As I noted, all the movement associated with the northern hand of the universal clock is from right to left, from physically powerful to physically weak, i.e. from White to Red; while all the movement associated with the southern hand is from left to right, from physically weak to physically powerful, from Red to White. According to proto-mythology, the Red/Dionysian, despite being physically weak relative to the White/Apollonian (as the left hand tends to be weak relative to the right), dominates the White/Apollonian: somehow or another, whether by the high priest or by the universe at large (i.e. by time itself), the king is sacrificed, rendering him Red/Dionysian. In this respect the northern face of the universal clock is the proto-mythological face, the face of destiny; it dominates the southern face as the high priest dominates the king; as the pen is mightier than the sword; as taxes, age and death are ineluctable.

This is why almost all clocks move in the “clockwise” direction, the Red-to-White direction, the provisional direction, the direction of the Great Reversal and of all such reversals. The “counter-clockwise” direction is the proto-mythological, White-to-Red direction, the direction of destiny, the direction of wisdom.

It follows that the high tide of destiny corresponds to the time when the northern face of the universal clock is closest to the northern horizon, i.e. farthest from the south and thus furthest from the White/Apollonian. At that time the hand of that northern face coincides with the aforementioned tip of Ursa Minor. In this sense, Ursa Minor — and its “fox star,” Polaris — is the stellar equivalent of a proto-mythological guide, a high priest, a “king bee” (Greek essene). The Egyptians called this guide Upuat, Opener of the Way. The adze which the Egyptians used in their famous Opening of the Mouth ceremony, which ceremony they performed upon the body of the recently dead Pharaoh, corresponds precisely to the Ursa Minor constellation.

As far as I know, modern scholars have failed to recognize in the Opening of the Mouth ceremony a re-enactment of the cutting down (sacrifice) of a great tree. My brother is a firefighter and has moreover been professionally trained to manage wildfires. That training involves instruction in the art of the sawyer. The sawyer begins to fell a large tree by cutting (with saw, axe or adze) a “bird’s mouth” wedge into a side of the tree. That wedge should terminate about 3/7 of the way into the tree. The sawyer then steps to the opposite side and makes a more acute “kerf” cut the same distance inward, thus leaving the tree’s middle 1/7 or so as “holding wood.” Next the sawyer inserts a wedge into the kerf cut and “opens that mouth” until the holding wood begins to make a cracking sound. Upon hearing that sound the sawyer knows the tree is about to come down. He or she drops the cutting device and runs away from the tree (perhaps yelling “Timber!”) via a predetermined route, The saw (adze, axe) corresponds to Ursa Minor, the wedge that opens the kerf (i.e. mouth) corresponds to Cepheus, and the holding wood corresponds to the duration between Polaris and Cepheus, i.e. the quantum moment/season/age of existence/sacrifice.

Tom Sawyer, you see, is Upuat. Huck Finn and Jim are the Pharaoh, the Phoenix, the World Tree. The Mississippi is the river of death, of descent, of bondage. And the Ohio is the river of life, of ascent, of freedom. By the way, Samuel Clemens’ penname Mark Twain means “2 fathoms.”

Southern Face of the Universal Clock

Generated with the aid of SkyGlobe shareware:

Note regarding Argo Navis: Carina is “the keel,”
Vela is “the sail,” and Puppis is “the poop (deck).”

At high tide of the universal clock the southern constellation Columba — the white dove, the White Phoenix — is farthest from the clock’s southern hand. At low tide, which corresponds to the northern constellation Hercules, the southern hand coincides with the southern tip of Columba. Which is to say, Columba is not only equivalent to Hercules but is also the White/Apollonian counterpart of Ursa Minor.

In Apollonius’s Argonautica we meet in connection with such dove the aged and blind seer Phineus — brother of Europa, and son of the aforementioned King Agenor of Canaan. Interestingly, Cepheus — husband of Cassiopeia, father of Andromeda — is said to have a brother named Phineus and to be a son of Agenor. That Phineus-brother-of-Cepheus was expected to marry Andromeda, but a certain dragon and Perseus/George upset the plan. Cepheus-son-of-Agenor is likely meant to be conflated with the Cepheus whose father is said to be Belus, making him the brother of Danaus, King of Libya, and Aegyptus, King of Egypt. Cepheus-son-of-Belus has a wife named Iope. The name Iope indeed looks like a truncated version of Cassiopeia and is probably eponymous with the “Aethiopian” city of Ioppa (i.e. Joppa, later Jaffa).

The Argonautica’s Phineus presides over Salmydessus in eastern Thrace. During a feast which Jason and the Argonauts throw in his honor, Phineus prophecies that these adventurers must attempt with the aid of a female dove (or heron or crane) passage through the twin Cynaen (“Blue”) rocks, which rocks are famous for inveterately slamming together to crush any living creature who dares travel between. Of course the prophecy comes true: “and then Euphemus grasped the dove in his hand and started to mount the prow; and they, at the bidding of Tiphys, son of Hagnias, rowed with good will to drive Argo between the rocks, trusting to their strength.” Released, the dove speeds between the rocks so fast that they fail to harm it. Hence the rocks return to their separate stations for the last time, absent forever their previous mobility. Athena meanwhile facilitates the Argo’s passage through the agitated neck of water. Said twin rocks are otherwise known as the Planctae or Symplegades, the latter meaning “Simple Gate,” the word simple deriving from the Latin sem or sim, importantly meaning “1,” and plus or plex, meaning “multiplied by.” To this day these rocks mark the transition between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, the so-called Bosporus, which also marks the transition from Asia to Europe. As we will see, these rocks correspond to the Pillars of Hercules, i.e. to the legs of the constellation Hercules. Which is to say, Columba equals Herakles.

Interestingly, Robert Graves notes: “Sir Isaac Newton was the first, so far as I know, to point out the connexion between the Zodiac and the Argo’s voyage.” Graves is referring to Newton’s Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended, in which Newton writes:

For the ship Argo was the first long ship built by the Greeks. Hitherto they had used round vessels of burden, and kept within sight of the shore; and now, upon an Embassy to several Princes upon the coast of the Euxine [Black] and Mediterranean Seas, by the dictates of the Oracle, and consent of the Princes of Greece, the Flower of Greece were to sail with Expedition through the deep, in a long Ship with Sails, and guide their Ship by the Stars.

And so the journey of the Argonauts is chiefly associated with the stars.

The Zodiac accounts for the movement of the universal clock in terms of the rising and setting of the Sun at the equinoxes and solstices. This accounting is White/Apollonian in contrast to the accounting based directly on the faces of the universal clock, especially the northern face. The White/Apollonian nature of the Zodiac is emphasized in terms of the convention by which the Zodiacal age is assigned according to the constellation that rises in approximate conjunction with the Sun on the so-called spring (i.e. “vernal”) equinox, when the Sun is directly over the equator (and thus when daytime is almost exactly equal to nighttime: day equals night, Latin equi nox). Therefore we have the phrase “precession of the equinoxes.” All the Zodiacal constellations are of course approximately in the “plane of the ecliptic,” i.e. the plane of the Earth’s supposed orbit about the Sun. (The orbital plane of each planet, although naturally unique to that planet, is nearly coincident with the Earth’s; this supposedly because the path of each planet as seen from the Earth is nearly identical to the path of the Sun as seen from Earth.) Insofar as a Zodiacal constellation rises in conjunction with the Sun, the constellation is not visible. However, by noticing which constellations have risen in the east over the course of the night, and by checking a general star chart of sorts, an observer can determine which constellation actually rises in conjunction with the Sun.

Precisely inasmuch as a stellar constellation is immediate to or otherwise associated with a face of the universal clock, the constellation is proto-mythological. This understanding can hardly be overestimated in our effort to understand mythology, yet it has gone almost entirely unrecognized or unremarked by the authorities on mythology, all of whom have labored under the spell of the Great Reversal. James Joyce is perhaps the only exception. In fact you now possess the master key to his Finnegans Wake. Joyce, as we will learn, considered himself equivalent to Ursa Minor, to Upuat, to the high priest, and, contrariwise, to Columba.

“As often as I think of that unbloody housewarmer,” exclaims Joyce’s (White/Apollonian) Shaun in the Wake, “Shem Skrivenitch, always cutting my phrose to please his phrase … He was grey at three, like sygnus the swan, when he made his boo to the public and barnacled up to the eyes when he repented after seven.” That “three” is a reference to the constellation Cygnus and to the beginning of the Zodiacal age of Libra, precisely 3 such ages from the end of the Zodiacal age of Aquarius; likewise it references the constellation Bootes and the Zodiacal age of Gemini, precisely 3 such ages beyond the age of Libra. “Boo,” of course, is Bootes. The phrase “repented after seven” means 5 + 7 = 12 and indicates the full circle back to Libra, which is separated from Gemini by 7 Zodiacal ages. The word “barnacled” refers to Joyce’s wife Nora Barnacle; and “up to the eyes” refers to the blind Orion walking through the sea, á la Poseidon/Neptune. (Joyce himself suffered terrible problems with his eyesight.) Orion as such is equivalent to Zeus in the form of a swan, i.e. Cygnus.

“Upu now!” replies Shem to Shaun a page later.

The preceding diagram of the northern face of the universal clock indicates the clock’s correspondence to the 12 or 14 Titans of Greek mythology, the sons and daughters of Gaia and Ouranos. Each of the daughters is associated with a son, the 6 or 7 resulting combinations being unique, dual, proto-mythological units. The river Oceanus connects the proto-mythological low- and high-points. In ancient Egypt the Nile delta and the sea were ironically associated with said high-point: Polaris/Aquarius. The proto-mythological celestial river of ancient and prehistoric Egypt flowed from the sweetwater mansion of Ouranos and Hercules to Ursa Minor and Polaris. Ouranos corresponds to the Egyptian god Amen, who thus corresponds to the previous Great Year, the Sunken Continent, a Golden Age. Cepheus is Ptah is Peter. He represents at once the ascendant and the descendent. He sits atop (or hangs upon) the World Tree, which tree is rooted in the Pegasus Square (a.k.a. the Great Square). From Cepheus’s head, as it were, the World Tree aborts into a huge canopy — the Milky Way — that arcs down to each horizon. Yet Cepheus is on the descendent side of the heroic cycle. He is falling. He is entering the tomb, the night, the ark — the Pegasus Square. This descendent stretch of the heroic cycle is a river of sorts in its own right.

Cepheus is the Green Man, the Wild Man, the Sylvester/Sylvanus, the Iron John, of European myth. His name stems from the Greek Kepheús, meaning (á la the name George) “gardener,” and probably too from the Greek kephale, meaning “head” (like in cephalopod), as well as from the Aramaic Qepha, meaning “rock.” The Greek kephale is cognate with the Old High German gebal, meaning “skull,” and gibil, meaning “gable, pole of the Earth.” The most unique charge leveled against the Knights Templar during Philip IV’s persecution of the order is that they worshipped a strange human-like head. The legal records of the trials which culminated that persecution say remarkably little or nothing about the head but several do contain interesting accounts of it. Guillaume de Arbley who was the preceptor of the Templar house at Soissy in the diocese of Meaux testified on 22 October 1307 that he had seen a bearded head idol twice, which he claimed was gilded and made of silver and wood. In some instances the head is described as having 2 heads and 4 legs. Quoting British historian Norman Cohn: “Some describe [the head] as having three faces, others as having four feet, others as being simply a face with no feet. For some it was a human skull, embalmed and encrusted with jewels; for others it was carved out of wood. Some maintained that it came from the remains of a former grand master of the order, while others were equally convinced that it was Baphomet — which in turn was interpreted as 'Mohammed'. Some saw it as having horns.”

The Green Man of Bamberg, a corbel to the foliated ledge supporting the famous Rider of Bamberg (c. 1239), Der Bamberger Reiter, in the cathedral of Bamberg, Germany. Note the castle in the air, perhaps significant of Cepheus. Here, then, we see the Green Man, St. George and Cepheus virtually identified with each other. Recall in this connection the Arabic name for St. George: Al-Khiḍr, "the Green One." The statue is located on a console at the north pillar of the St. George choir (which indeed is its original location) and is considered the first monumental equestrian statue since classical antiquity. Kathleen Basford, in her study of these Bamberg figures, calls this Green Man the "dark counterpart" of the horseman. Stefan George (1868–1933) wrote a poem about the statue. His work influenced Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, the would-be assassin of Hitler who was a member of the cavalry unit Bamberger Reiter- und Kavallerieregiment 17 (17th Cavalry Regiment). Stauffenberg called Stefan George his lodestar. (Photo at left © Clive Hicks: See the book Green Man, by Anderson and Hicks.)


In terms of the Zodiac, the moment of sacrifice is the 7th (seventh) age, the age of Aquarius “the water gatherer.” This age corresponds to the 7th month of the modern calendar, the month of September. More importantly it corresponds to the proto-mythological New Year. Recall that the Latin sem means “1.” Here is the very name Shem; it means multeity-in-unity, severing, separation, transition, creation, beginning, ending, moment, crux, existence. This indeed is why the number 7 is named “seven.”

Every moment at every scale is a beginning and an ending, a moment of sacrifice, a Zenith and a Fall; every moment is quantum-gravitational, a crux, a cross, a multeity-in-unity — essentially, extremely beautiful. This is the complex, fractal nature of quantum gravity, of existence in general. Consider in this respect the following from Robert Musil:

Le Sacre du printemps: a ballet that ends with the sacrifice of a young girl, who must die for springtime to return. … Until Stravinsky, music was never able to give the barbaric rites a grand form. We could not imagine them musically. Which means: we could not imagine the beauty of the barbaric. Without its beauty, the barbaric would remain incomprehensible. (I stress this: to know any phenomenon deeply requires understanding its beauty, actual or potential.) Saying that a bloody rite does possess some beauty — there’s the scandal, unbearable, unacceptable. And yet, unless we understand this scandal, unless we get to the very bottom of it, we cannot understand much about man. … [I]f it were denounced — stripped of its beauty, shown in its hideousness — it would be a cheat, a simplification, a piece of “propaganda.” It is because it is beautiful that the girl’s murder is so horrible.

This is not to say that human sacrifice should actually be practiced in our contemporary culture. Indeed, such practice would be — and in fact is — all too ugly. The Golden/Legal philosophy accommodates and precisely inasmuch requires the modulation of such practice. The Golden/Legal is more than proto-mythological.

The universal aspect of the Black/Baroque consists of a celestial component, a planetary component, and an Earthly component. These 3 components are a multeity-in-unity. As such, the spatial structures and temporal cycles evident within each such component should mathematically — i.e. quantumly — resonate with those evident within the other such components. Most importantly the aforenoted 25,920-year or 26,352-year cycle of the universal clock and consequently of the Zodiac should correspond in this sense to the seeming 365 days or 366 days of the Sun’s cycle relative to the Earth. (Pre-historic and ancient proto-mythologists of course considered the Sun a planet circling the Earth.)

Prime Celestial and Planetary Components of the Universal Clock
21 September 2070 CE

Generated with the aid of SkyGlobe shareware:

This is the sense in which the number 5 enters the picture. The organic structures present on Earth tend to evidence a remarkable 5-fold symmetry. The animal body, for instance, tends to consists of 2 rear limbs + 2 front limbs + 1 head = 5 major parts. Moreover, the terminus of each such limb tends to be graced by 5 digits. There are also the 5 senses. And so on. Now, 365 - 5 = 360 (i.e. a moira), and 25,920 / 360 = 72. Likewise, 26,352 / 366 = 72. Thus if a universal clock face is conceptually divided into either 360 or 366 equal wedges, the clock will complete 1 such tick every 72 years, which is approximately the maximum human lifespan.

The modern measurements of the precession of the Earth’s axis give a figure of 25,776 years. Therefore the single-degree precessional figure is 71.6 years. However, the proto-mythologists would have gained virtually nothing and lost almost everything if they chose to code 71.6 rather than 72 into proto-mythology. They expected quantum mathematics, and that’s what they believed they discovered. This is actually proper procedure for a theoretical scientist. Recall Einstein: “It is theory which first determines what can be observed.” Principle should be the last thing abandoned; empirical inconsistencies — especially slight ones — relative to the corollaries of principle should be doggedly considered consequent of experimental flaw, whether that flaw be materially accidental or conceptually accidental (i.e. corollary of a different theory, which theory is nevertheless a basis of the design or interpretation of the experiment testing the theory in question). This conservation of principle should indeed be radical, although it likewise implies a radical critique of the principle or principles involved, which critique will tend to modify principles.

The “discovery” of the relations between 25,920 and 365 and between 26,352 and 366 is at bottom of the system according to which there are 5 holy days (“holidays”) plus 360 normal days. Here we have the Golden/Legal basis of Mesopotamia’s famous “sexagesimal” numbering system — i.e. the quasi base-60 system — which is still with us today in terms of 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 360 degrees, and so on. The word sexagesimal — indicating base-60 — as applied here is slightly misleading; for only 2 symbols (not 60 symbols) are used to represent the numbers from 1 through 60, these symbols being  and  . (Unless I note otherwise, the numbers presented in this volume are of course base-10 numbers.) The initial symbol serves for both 1 and 60; the other serves for 10. The number 7, for instance, is written  ; the number 12 is written  ; the number 74 is written  ; the number 100 is written  ; the number 2159 is written  (where the  is in the 103 place, the  is in the 102 place, the   is in the 101 place, and the  is in the 100 place); and the number 2160 is written simply    (where  is in the 103 place,  is in the 102 place,  is in the 101 place, and the 100 place is either left obviously blank or left to be inferred from the particular context).

Note that the sexagesimal symbols for the numbers 9 —  — and 4 are the only such symbols that are perfectly square — á la the Pegasus Square. Note, too, that 9 x 40 = 360.

Let’s now direct our focus to the middle component of the universe: the planets, the planasthai as the Greeks called them, the “wanderers.” The planets — which category importantly includes comets and meteors — wander relative to the fixed stars. The 7 obvious primary planasthai, which group includes of course the Sun and the Moon, were recognized by proto-mythologists as not only orbiting the Earth but also — due to the remarkable variance in their brightness over the months and years — as wandering by turns farther from and nearer to the Earth, such variance being especially noticeable of Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

The Sun — chief among the planets — was considered feminine. The planets were referred to as her “dogs”; the “the dogs of Persephone,” Pythagoras called them, implying Red/Dionysian Aphrodite along with Red/Dionysian Persephone. The fixed stars and each of the 7 primary planets rose and fell each day just like the kingly Phoenix. But the Moon — which furthermore waxes and wanes — is extremely Phoenix-like and is in this sense masculine relative to the Sun. Indeed, Sonne in German is a female word whereas Mond, “Moon,” is masculine. Likewise in Japanese the Sun is feminine and the Moon masculine. “There is, in fact,” writes Joseph Campbell, “a great mythological area east of the Rhine, where the myth of the moon brother and sun sister is told.” Essentially referring to the Great Reversal, Campbell emphasizes: “The new age of the Sun God has dawned, and there is to follow an extremely interesting, mythologically confusing development (known as solarization), whereby the entire symbolic system of the earlier age is to be reversed, with the moon and the lunar bull assigned to the mythic sphere of the female, and the lion, the solar principle, to the male.”

In the largely proto-mythological courts of Sumer the following planetary correspondences were recognized and honored: the king corresponded to the Moon (Dummuzi, Tammuz, Osiris, Attis, Adonis, etc., Joyce’s White/Apollonian Shaun and ultimately Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker), the queen corresponded to the Sun (Inanna/Antu, Ishtar, Isis, Astarte/Cybele, Aphrodite/Persephone, Demeter, etc., Joyce’s Anna Livia Plurabelle); meanwhile the virgin maiden who accompanied the king in death (to be his bride upon his resurrection, of sorts) corresponded to the planet Venus (Inanna, as both “evening star” and “morning star,” goddess of the underworld and goddess of the overworld, Aphrodite/Persephone and Athena, goddess of love and goddess of war, Red/Dionysian and White/Apollonian, Plurabelle and Livia and altogether Anna, i.e. the Sun, Everywoman, the Green Woman; Joyce’s Isabelle); and finally the 4 chief ministers of state — lord of the treasury, lord of war, lord executioner, and prime minister — corresponded to the planets Mercury, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter, respectively (Joyce’s Red/Dionysian Shem and, latterly, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker). In terms of these last 4 planets we have the 4 aspects of the Red/Dionysian type: messenger, god of war (i.e. sacrificed warrior in contrast to active warrior), high priest, and sacrificed king (Father Dis, and all ancestors and descendents; corresponding to the Sun, Anna Livia Plurabelle).

The dashing, pure, sophomoric, provisional, White/Apollonian aspect of the male is represented by the silver/white crescent Moon. This aspect culminates in the king at the moment of sacrifice — i.e. in the full Moon, and especially the “Harvest Moon” when in the autumn the full Moon rises in synch with but opposite to the setting Sun and therefore appears both large and orange (owing respectively to its close visual proximity to the familiar objects of the horizon and to the extremely unusual path by which its light reaches the viewer). As we will learn, the color orange is proto-mythologically significant of the season of sacrifice. The king/Moon at the moment of being sacrificed is united with all the other planets — especially with the Sun, the apparent disc of which, by a quantum coincidence, occupies exactly the same area of visual space as does the full Moon, hence the transit of the Moon across the Sun can result in a total eclipse of the Sun. (The apparent mean diameter of the Sun is 32 minutes 2 seconds of arc, while that of the Moon is 31 minutes 37 seconds. Later I will explain that the number 32 is richly related to the precise moment of falling, i.e. to the tip of the pyramid. ... A similar and related quantumness is the fact that the Moon always shows virtually the same face to the Earth, the rotations of the 2 bodies being in synch.) Now you see the tremendous importance that the proto-mythological consciousness attached (and attaches) to such eclipse. Joseph Campbell, from his Occidental Mythology:

A fundamental idea of all pagan religious disciplines, both of the Orient and the Occident [during the period of the 1st millennium BCE] was that the inward turning of the mind (symbolized by sunset) should culminate in a realization of an identity in esse of the individual (microcosm) and the universe (macrocosm), which, when achieved, would bring together in one order of act and realization the principles of eternity and time, sun and moon, male and female, Hermes and Aphrodite (Hermaphroditus), and the two serpents of the caduceus.

The image of the “Meeting of sun and moon” is everywhere symbolic of this instant, and the only unsolved questions in relation to its universality are: a) how far back it goes, b) where it first arose, and c) whether from the start it was read both psychologically and cosmologically.

Thus far we have recognized the following set of “prime” proto-mythological numbers: 3 (levels of the universe), 25,920, 26,352, 6, 7 (the primary planets, and Ursa Minor), 8 (Draco), 9 and 4 (perfect cubes per the sexagesimal numbering system; akin to the Pegasus Square), 40 (because 9 x 40 = 360), 365, 5, 360, 60 (360 / 6), 366, and 72. According to proto-mythology, the movements of the planets should correspond in quantum fashion to this set of numbers. As I will explain much later on, the planets do not disappoint in this respect. In fact, they amaze!

From the set of primary proto-mythological (Red/Dionysian) numbers we can derive a strictly secondary (White/Apollonian) set which should correspond to the stellar constellations significantly apart from the northern face of the universal clock. It is only in this secondary sense that the 12 constellations of the Zodiac — as well as the set consisting of 12 first-magnitude stars, i.e. those stars bright enough to be visible upon their rising or setting — are to be considered fundamental. Likewise the number 30 is only secondarily fundamental, for 12 x 30 = 360. This recognition indicates that the proto-mythological month consists not of 30 days but of 40 days; likewise the proto-mythological year consists not of 12 months but of 9 months. I will confirm this hunch as we progress through this volume.

Inasmuch as the rising of the Sun in the springtime and hence 12-ness and 30-ness and clockwise directionality are primary, we have a clear mythological expression of White/Apollonian reversal and especially of the Great Reversal. These markers signify the discrediting of sacrifice, the elevation of the provisional over the principled, the warrior over the priest/poet, the continuum over the quantum, White over Red, ideal over real, male over female.

The legend of how the twins Remus and Romulus founded Rome recalls such reversal, especially the Great Reversal. When Remus (equivalent to Joyce’s Shem) and Romulus (Joyce’s Shaun) quarrelled regarding where their new city should stand, they agreed to settle the dispute by divination. But when during this process Remus saw 6 vultures and Romulus 12, the twins came to blows and Romulus killed Remus.

Note the 12-ness now ramifying in our world. We have 12 hours on the clock face, 12 months, 12 inches in a foot, 12 jurors, 12 eggs in a carton, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles. King Arthur’s famous round table was attended by precisely 12 knights (the perilous empty 13th seat was eventually occupied by Galahad, he who could see the Grail distinctly), and Arthur’s last and greatest battle was his 12th. The Egyptian physiological system is based on the number 12: “These canals, by cosmic flux and reflux, conduct the red and white solar energy to the areas where the 12 powers lie sleeping within the organs of the body. Once, every two hours of the night and day, each is activated by the passage of Ra, the Sun of the blood, and then it returns to sleep.” Chinese acupuncture is based upon 12 supposed meridians of the body; and every 12 hours a single meridian reaches peak activity. Buddhism’s karmic chain or wheel of life consists of precisely 12 links.

But let’s recommence our survey of the proto-mythological number 5, which number we haven’t paid its due. Horus — dominately White/Apollonian hero figure of Egypt, and the equivalent of Hamlet — is the 5th son of the greatest god Ra, according to the Egyptian Heliopolitan (a.k.a. Onian) theology. The progression in that theology is Ra to Shu to Geb/Seb/Keb to Osiris to Horus. Ancient architects of the Middle East, Central America and North America symbolized the cosmic primacy of 5-ness using the 5 points of the sacred ziggurat or pyramid. Such structures are akin to the begging bowl of the Buddha, in which 4 bowls from the 4 quarters are united, this unity being the 5th aspect of the set and akin to the apex (ben, “head”) of a pyramid. There are also the 5 “aggregates” or skandha of Buddhism, these being 5 categories in which the sense of self is ensconced: physical forms, feelings/sensations, perceptions, habits, and consciousness. The Chinese elements are 5-fold: wood, fire, earth, metal, water. And the Chinese calendar recognizes 5 seasons. Moreover, the Chinese musical scale consists of 5 notes. There are 5 Pillars of Islam, i.e. 5 Pillars of “Submission (to Allah),” of “peace”: acknowledgement of Allah (Shahadah); ritual prayers (Salat or Namaaz); paying of ritual alms (Zakat or Zakah); fasting (Saum or Siyam) during Ramadan, i.e. during the 9th month of the Islamic (lunar) calendar; and pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). Muslims — i.e. Submitters (to Allah) — are moreover instructed to pray to Allah 5 times every 24 hours. The number 5 also represents the 4 Greek elements (earth, air, fire, and water) plus the force supposedly unifying them. Homer refers to the “rosy-fingered dawn” precisely 5 times in the Iliad.

In the United States of America the telephone number 555 1212 is generally the number to call if you need to find another telephone number. Red/Dionysian coupled to White/Apollonian.

I should add that the perfect “Pythagorean” or “Platonic” solids are 5 in number: the tetrahedron (pyramid) bounded by 4 equilateral triangles; the cube; the octahedron (8 equilateral triangles); the dodecahedron (12 pentagons); and the icosahedron (20 equilateral triangles). Each of these solids, being perfectly symmetric, can be inscribed into a sphere such that every vertex of the solid lies on the surface of the sphere; likewise each can contain a sphere such that the sphere is tangent to every surface. No other perfectly symmetrical, 3-dimensional solid satisfies these criteria. Plato considered these solids the smallest 3-dimensional constituents of perceptible things. He further recognized, however, that these elemental solids are not the ultimate elements. Rather the perfect solids consist of their faces, which are regular, 2-dimensional polygons consisting of triangles whose sides are related to each other in extremely beautiful ratios. Plato even allowed that the triangles can dissociate and recombine in new ways. Said mere yet beautiful ratios are therefore the true elements according to Plato. As Plato may have known, the function Phi (i.e. the Golden Mean of the Fibonacci series), the function Pi, and the square root functions of the numbers 2, 3, and 5 are altogether sufficient to form the perfect solids and to define and describe all possible harmonic combinations of numbers (i.e. ratios, quanta). “All is number,” asserted the Pythagoreans famously and in perfect accord with the Golden/Legal philosophy. In other words, the essence of reality is quantum, rational.

At this point in our discussion I cannot resist presenting a particular further commentary about the aforementioned Fibonacci series. Every 5th number — and only every 5th number — of the Fibonacci series is a multiple of 5. In fact this is the most obvious symmetry in the series. Renowned British mathematician and physicist Roger Penrose, now of Oxford University, has developed an aperiodic 2-dimensional tiling pattern consisting of 2 shapes — a rhomboid with angles of 36 and 144 degrees (and reducible to 2 so-called Golden triangles connected base to base) and another with angles of 72 and 108 degrees. (Later I will explain why the numbers 36, 108 and 144 are proto-mythologically important.) When a plane is tiled according to Penrose’s rules the ratio of the number of occurrences of the 1st rhomboid to the number of occurrences of the 2nd is the aforenoted irrational “number” (i.e. function) called the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio (Phi): 1.161803…. The same Penrose tiling also reveals a pattern of overlapping decagons. Each tile within the pattern is contained in 1 of 2 types of decagons, the ratio of the 2 decagon populations being the Golden Mean.


This particular 5-fold symmetry calls to mind the spooky, non-locally growing, 5-fold-symmetrical quasi-crystals which Penrose thinks may represent the most minute physical correspondence to consciousness.

The Fibonacci series harbors an obvious 12-fold symmetry also, for the number 12 is a factor of every 12th number — and only every 12th number — of the Fibonacci series. This indeed is the penultimate obvious symmetry in the series, and together with the aforenoted 5-fold symmetry it amounts to a marked 60-fold symmetry therein.

As my previous comments regarding ziggurats and pyramids indicate, proto-mythologists symbolized 5-ness by coordinating 4 otherwise separate things to meet at a center. Such symbol projected onto 2 dimensions is found in the archaeological record of prehistory everywhere around the world except, or so I’m told, south of the Sahara and in Australia. Its name is “swastika.” The cross is a sub-category of swastika, as is the infamous symbol of the Nazis. When the legs of a swastika are rendered such that they seem to be churning in the clockwise direction (as in the Nazi symbol) the swastika expresses the White/Apollonian paradigm. Indeed, such clockwise swastika is an ancient Teutonic symbol for the dominantly White/Apollonian lightning god Thor. A swastika with legs moving in the counter-clockwise direction, on the other hand, symbolizes the Red/Dionysian. At the beginning of his fine book The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen presents an extremely interesting map showing various Himalayan monasteries marked by swastikas of either the clockwise or counter-clockwise type, depending on whether the monastery is a bastion of the Mahayana Buddhist religion or of the relatively aboriginal B’on religion. Consider this excerpt:

Despite his persecution of B’on sorcerers, Padma Sambhava [who established Mahayana Buddhism in Tibet in the 8th century CE], in the Buddhist tradition of absorbing the local religions, seems to have tolerated the inclusion of much B’on magic in Nyingma, including the grim chöd rites from the pre-Buddhist Tibetan manuscripts known as “Heart-Drops from the Great Space.” The chöd rites may well be much older than B’on itself, deriving from archaic practices of sacrifice and exorcism.

Matthiessen continues, quoting an authority:

‘There is no word for Buddhism in Tibet. Tibetans are either chos-pa (followers of chos — the Dharma or Universal Law as revealed by Buddha) or b’on-pos (followers of bon).’ Yet in practice, B’on has adapted itself so thoroughly to Buddhism, and vice versa, that in their superficial forms they are much the same.

We began this chapter by regarding Yahweh and Delphi; we then coursed through the stars and planets, addressed quantum mathematics and perhaps quantum physics, and ended up in the monasteries of the Himalaya. If good old Yahweh is as complex as this analysis suggests, we should expect this complexity to be evident in Hebrew mythology. As you know, a prime and early character in that mythology is Abraham. A survey of Abraham’s legendary journey (as Abram) from Ur (a former capital of Sumeria) to Canaan will therefore be a good way for us to further our understanding of Yahweh’s complexity.

Straightaway in this respect we notice that Abram’s journey is indeed described as proceeding in the counter-clockwise direction, the direction significant of (and native to) the Red/Dionysian. Moreover, Abram is a son of Terah, who is a 9th-generation descendant of Noah’s Red/Dionysian eldest son Shem — the other sons of Noah being Japheth (a White/Apollonian character) and Ham (the youngest son; akin to Hamlet and Horus and Joyce’s Shaun; a White/Apollonian character and “father of Canaan,” which land and people Yahweh nevertheless curses such that they are destined to be dominated by the descendents of both Shem and Japheth). As a 9th generation descendent of Shem, Terah should likewise be considered Red/Dionysian. Terah’s other sons are Haran and Nahor. Haran has already — and rather mysteriously — died by the time Terah and family leave Ur, but not before fathering a son, Lot. Haran’s death leaves Nahor as the lone brother of Abram. Abram is Red/Dionysian, Nahor is White/Apollonian. Indeed Abram’s Red/Dionysian character seems to be emphasized in terms of Haran’s death, for Haran in dying becomes Red/Dionysian. In a sense, Abram is equivalent to the dead Haran.

Accordingly we should expect that the name Abram signifies the Red/Dionysian. Consider in this respect the root ram. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic year. The Latin ramus means “branch” and is akin to the Latin radix, “root.” The Low German ram means “cream.” The Hindu Rama is an avatar of Vishnu, the chief Red/Dionysian god of the Indian pantheon. Vishnu is the preserver — as a poet or priest is a preserver — and is symbolized by the lion. The Egyptian Ra, equivalent to the Sun, is proto-mythologically female. Abraham, you see, is lion of the desert, Sun of the desert; he is a feminine male, like Joyce’s Jewish Leopold Bloom, like Joyce’s Shem, and like Joyce himself.

No reason is given for the commencement of Abram and company’s journey to Canaan, but it is implicitly a working out of the destiny whereby the descendents of Noah’s Shem shall dominate the descendents of Ham. This destined domination seems to be a proto-mythological thesis/recognition: the elder sibling should/does rule over the younger, the Red/Dionysian should/does rule over the White/Apollonian. Terah, Abram and his wife Sarai, along with Nahor and Lot and the rest trek from Ur toward Canaan. Midway, however, when the group reaches the most northerly point of the journey — at the town called Haran (or Harran; focal point of the Fertile Crescent) — they stop and settle there (for no stated reason). We can infer that Haran is mythologically related to the dead brother Haran and that it is a naturally attractive place. Terah eventually dies there in Haran. Thus Terah becomes united with his dead son Haran and also, in this sense, with Abram.

Only now does Yahweh enter the picture, instructing Abram to move onward to Canaan. “I will make of you a great nation … and by you all the families of the Earth shall be blessed.” Heeding Yahweh, Abram and his entourage set out toward Canaan. Eventually Yahweh establishes the famous covenant with Abram according to which Abram will be father of a “multitude of nations.” And finally Yahweh promises to Abram “all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession,” which covenant Yahweh punctuates by adding the suffix -ham to Abram’s name. This suffix recalls the name of Noah’s youngest, White/Apollonian son and is said to signify plurality. Thus the name Abraham seems to mean “branch branch,” “ramify ramify.”

Yahweh seals the deal with the newly renamed Abraham by commanding that “every male among you shall be circumcised,” which sacrifice of sorts is generally meant to initiate a boy into male maturity, i.e. to subsume the puerile, White/Apollonian relation between he and his mother in a mysterious, Red/Dionysian relation between he and another, masculine mother: the priests.

As we’ve noted, Haran (Harran) itself seems to be a very special place. In the story of Abraham, Haran is reached by a counter-clockwise movement; it exerts a mysterious attraction on the party; it is a place of revelation and completion, of death and destiny; and it is a relatively high place, both in elevation and in the sense of its extremely northerly location on Abram’s path. Indeed, as the map below emphasizes, Haran is akin to the so-called ben ben of a pyramid, to the top of a ziggurat, to the summit of a primeval mound, to the center of a swastika, and likewise to the season of sacrifice, the moment of (quantum) gravity, of multeity-in-unity, of beauty.

But what of Haran’s actual history? Located on the western shore of the Balikh River in southeast Turkey, between the Euphrates and the Tigris and within but at the northernmost frontier of the ancient kingdom of Mari, Haran was captured sometime before 1700 BCE by the Hurrians, who seem to have arrived from the relatively northeastern mountains near the twin lakes Van and Urmia on the far side of Tigris River. Considerable evidence now suggests that the Habiru — who became the Hebrews — emerged not out of the ethnic Canaanites but rather out of the Hurrians. If so, it was only in the process of this emergence that the Habiru language took on Canaanite forms and thus changed into the essentially Semitic Hebrew language we know today. The Hurrians spoke an agglutinative language seemingly unrelated to Indo-European and Semitic languages — although they were governed by a class of foreign, Vedic (i.e. Aryan, Indo European) Mitannite nobility. In this sense the Hurrians — and hence the Hebrews — were a dominantly Red/Dionysian people relative to the White/Apollonian Mitanni.

The name Haran is said to mean “mountaineer” and “parched,” and it is probably linked to the Akkadian charana or harannu, meaning “road.” Haran in fact was known for the excellence of its water and is located where the ancient road north from Damascus intersected (i.e. coincided with) the ancient east–west road from Nineveh to Carchemish. Haran was also called Carrhae. Here the Roman Crassus and later the Roman Caracalla were slain, in 5 BCE and 217 CE, respectively. (Legend says molten gold was poured down Crassus’s throat.) Clearly Haran exerted an ominous attractive power on the Romans as well as on Terah and Abram. Haran was indeed home to the chief temple of the Assyrian Moon god Sin, a.k.a. Nanna. (Yes, Sin, as in Joyce’s Shaun). The other chief site of Sin worship was Ur. In the later centuries of the last era, Haran became a center of the Hermetic philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of Hermes Trismegistos (Hermes “Thrice Greatest” or “Most Great” or “Tree Greatest”), which philosophy deals primarily with the contrary notions of multiplicity and unity. Haran later served as the last bastion (relative to Islam; c. 10th century CE) of the so-called Sabaeans (from the verb meaning “to immerse, to plunge in”), pagan worshippers of the stars and of planets. Eventually the first Islamic university was established in Haran. Today Haran is characterized by its bee-hive homes, which typically consist of 2 cones joined by an archway. These structures are extremely unique and call to mind the deep association between bees and the temple at Delphi, “the bee hive.”

Pictures of Haran: bee-hive homes; ruins; and Tom Brosnahan’s famous photo
gracing the cover of his Lonely Planet guidebook to Turkey, showing 3 girls
and a baby in Haran, the leftmost girl having blondish hair.


It's fair to say that Haran is extremely charged in the proto-mythological sense. Consider its relation to Hermes, Greek equivalent of the Egyptian Thoth and Upuat. Hermes is god of boundaries, enclosures, crossroads, passes, summits. Herms, after which the god is named, are cairns — little pyramids, little ziggurats, piles of stones — marking such important points/coincidences. Joyce wrote to his friend Frank Budgen: “…Hermes [is] the god of public ways, and is the invisible influence … which saves in the case of accident. … Hermes is the god of signposts: i.e. he is, especially for a traveler like Ulysses, the point at which roads parallel merge and roads contrary also. He is an accident of providence.”

The author, Dent de Crolle (“Tooth of Crolle”) summit, Grenoble, France.


Likewise the word cairn — which certainly seems cognate with Haran — resonates. It is related to the words crown and corona and chorus (“ring dance”) and to the titles/names Kronos (which means “crow”), Hermes/Carnival/Tristan/Drustan (the herm/cairn/boundary/tree/3/phallus god, i.e. the Green Man) and Crone (Ker/Gar/Ger/Car/Cer/Cor/Kol/Kal, the carrion or flesh goddess and likewise the goddess of the herm/cairn/boundary/tree/3/phallus, as in the Caryatids, i.e. the Green Woman, the triple-Goddess). The crow was considered an oracular bird hosting the soul of the sacrificed king.

High, spring-fed groves akin to Haran were proto-mythologically considered sacred, primal, providential gardens, Earthly, horticultural paradises. Likely marked (or bounded) by herms (such as the pile of stones which Odin wills to accumulate beneath him as he hangs on the World Tree), these gardens were natural altars, i.e. places of multeity-in-unity, beauty, gravity, sacrifice. They were natural strongholds as well, natural inns, enclosures, the bases eventually of castles and of the hamlets (from the Old English ham, “village, home”) that sprung up around them.

The very name Haran will serve as our chief point of departure to an incredibly rich etymological treasure trove. For starters, note that Haran is in fact cognate with the Latin arae, which word refers to said primeval forest groves. Ploughed fields were likewise called arate. In Syria the word ari means “lion,” and most of the names of the cities there begin or end with Ara(m), “altar.” Syria itself was called Aramea or Aramia. Hence the name of the Aramaic language, which became the business language in the Middle East. Hermes, importantly, is also god of the market, of exchange, and of thievery…. Likewise we have the term Arab. The grand mosque in Mecca (which Saudi Arabian city is alternatively named Makkah, Bakka, and Baca) is named Masjid al-Harâm, where Masjid means “mosque” and Harâm means “inviolate area, restricted area” (for only Muslims may enter it). India’s Upanishads feature a pond called Ara, which is located in the underworld. The unwise drown in this pond, but the wise cross it using mere strength of mind. As I noted earlier, the English word pond stems from the Middle English poundes, “enclosure,” as in, say, “dog pound.”

The name Aaron is another cognate of Haran. According to biblical lore, Aaron is the older brother of Moses. Their father is Amram, who dies aged 137 years. Of Aaron it is said, “he [in contrast to Moses] can speak well.” Indeed, Aaron becomes the chief priest of Israel. Clearly Aaron is a Red/Dionysian figure. Both of these brothers are of the tribe Levi, whose eponymous patriarch is the son of Leah and Jacob. Levi, too, dies aged 137 years. The tribe of Levi is in fact distinguished as the priestly tribe of the Hebrews. As such, Levites are the tribe responsible for performing the sacrifices upon the altar.

The name Aaron recalls the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. In the Irish language these 3 islands are called the Oileáin Árainn (the Islands Aran) — the word for island being linked to the word oil, this because oil in water is like an island. (In the name Árainn, the i before the nn serves merely to indicate the palatization of the n.) The Irish ára (dative árainn) literally means “loin” or “kidney.” Here we have a double reference to sacrifice, for oil and kidneys are primary ingredients of ancient offerings. The biblical Exodus and Leviticus together specify that the following sacrifices should involve the kidneys (and “the fat that is on them at the loins”) of a ram: the sin offering, the sacrifice at the consecration of priests, the peace offerings, guilt offerings, and the ordination offering for priests.

In Greek the noun ara also means “harmful object,” “fury,” “vow.” The Greek god of war Ares is also god of altars, the very hearts of communities. Likewise the Latin god of war Mars is also god of the market place. Which is to say, Ares/Mars is Hermes. As Giambattista Vico points up in his New Science — which classic Joyce methodically referenced in creating Finnegans Wake the Latin noun hara “survived in the sense of sty,” i.e. a pen, an enclosure, a pound, especially for swine, this in contrast to a stylus, a writing instrument. Joyce refers to himself as Shem the Penman, at once indicating his room, his writing utensil, and his complex but dominantly Red/Dionysian nature. Here Joyce is likely also referring to his brotherhood with Symeon the Stylite, c. 390–459 CE, who lived atop a column, á la Odin on the World Tree. Note the Sy- prefix in this name; it is equivalent to Si- and Se-. Symeon inspired the likes of Daniel, 409–93 CE, who lived for 33 years atop a column near Constantinople. Joyce is also referring to the twins Ephialtes and Otus (the so-called Aloeids), bastard sons of Iphimedeia, daughter of Triops, and sired by Poseidon. These twins grew 1 fathom in height and 1 cubit in breadth every year, and when they reached the age of 9 years they declared war on Olympus. Ephialtes swore on the river Styx to rape Hera, and Otus did the same regarding Artemis. Eventually defeated, the twins descended to Tartarus and were there tied back to back to a pillar on top of which the Nymph Styx now forever sits to remind them of the oaths they took on her. They are called “sons of the threshing floor,” their mother being “she who strengthens the genitals,” their grandmother being “3-Face” (Hecate), and they worship the 3 Muses — whom Zeus begot on Mnemosyne (“Memory”; the prefix Mne- being equivalent to the name Manu) over the course of 9 nights, such that some say there are 9 Muses. These twins are equivalent to the Giants — which, I think and as I will later explain, represent dreams and especially the nightmare, i.e. the triple-Goddess as she visits us each night.  Odin’s nights are impressed by “the Nightmare and her 9-fold”; British legend likewise associates the number 9 with the Nightmare.

By the way, an ancient pupil using a stylus would inscribe characters into a wax tablet which could then be smoothed. The original wax used by humans was beeswax. It was associated with purity, as in the Latin term tabula rasa. The word wax is related to the Greek auxanein and the Latin augēre, “to increase,” and hence to the Moon and to augury. As such, a writer crafting characters is akin to a bee crafting a hive and, a priest marking the progress of the Moon/king, and a prophet interpreting providence. Beeswax was also the original wax for candles. In fact beeswax has the highest melting point of any wax. Beeswax candles burn considerably brighter, longer, with a richer spectrum and with less smoke than do either the petroleum-based paraffin candles familiar to us now or the tallow candles (feeble, smelly, smoky) common in the Middle Ages; they are also naturally fragrant, smelling of honey. The prehistoric cave paintings were likely created in the glow of beeswax candles. Like the tabula rasa, a candle represents purity. The dualites candle and flame, tablet and stylus, stone/clay/bark/papyrus/vellum/paper and ink, are White–Red dualities. I should add that the god Pan — considered the guardian of bees — created his famous pipes by joining reeds together with beeswax. Reeds of course were also used as styli. So there is a connection between Pan the Piper, Shem the Penman, and the bee. Impressed wax was also considered valuable in terms of seals and was likewise used as coin. In this sense, as well as in its actually color, beeswax is an original gold.

According to Vico, hara must originally have meant “victim” — “and it clearly derives from haruspex, seer, so called for consulting the entrails of victims slain at the altars.” In accord with the White/Apollonian paradigm, these sacrificial victims were called hostiae in Latin (from hostes, “enemies,” and cognate with the English hostages) and were referred to as “Saturn’s victims.” Saturn, as noted earlier, represents the high priest, Upuat, Thoth, Hermes, Joyce.

The har/ar- prefix is moreover closely related to the Greek harmes, meaning “joint.” Here again is the notion of separation, transition, sacrifice, creation, multeity-in-unity, beauty, (quantum) gravity. This meaning is deeply related to the fact that sacrificed humans and animals were occasionally torn limb from limb. In har/ar- we likewise have the root of the English words harmony, art, and harm, the latter of which means both “injury” and “mischief” and stems also from the Old Church Slavonic scramu, meaning “shame.” In this light we can largely understand the Peeping Tom accusation leveled against Joyce’s Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, the Phoenix figure in Finnegans Wake. Joyce knew that shamus is slang for “police officer” and that it derives from the Yiddish shames, meaning “a sexton in a synagogue.” A sexton is a person who performs minor but nevertheless ceremonial duties, such as ringing a bell and digging graves; he is a janitor; without him a sacred place would not function. The word janitor derives from the Latin janus or janua, meaning “arch” or “gate.” Hence the name of the 1st month of the modern calendar: January. The god Janus — characterized by the 2 contrary faces — is god of the New Year, god of thresholds, god of transitions, of boundaries, joints, harmes. Janus, like Ares/Mars, is Hermes. Frazer in the Golden Bough recognizes Janus as being equivalent to both Jupiter and Zeus. Concomitantly Frazer recognizes Jana, female consort of Janus, as being equivalent to the Greek pair of goddesses Dione and Hera (Red and White, respectively) and likewise to the corresponding Latin pair Diana and Juno (again, Red and White). Note the Di- prefix in the names Dione and Diana (“Diana of the Crossroads”; a.k.a. Trivia). Here again is the old *deywo-s, “celestial, luminous, radiant,” as in Dyeus, Deus, Zeus. Dione is consort of Zeus at Dodona. And it is from the great oak at Dodona that the (oracular) Argo is fashioned by Argus. Again, the Ar- prefix.

The root Di- also means “to divide,” as in the Greek word daiesthai. This word is linked to the Greek daimon, “demon,” and to the Latin dicere, “to say,” (as in dictate and dice), all of which are further related to tide and time. Here you see that the roots di- and ti- (as in Titans and Tityos and Tethys) are closely related — even more so than are the numbers 2 and 1, which numbers these prefixes otherwise respectively correspond to. In this sense di- and ti- — and likewise de-, te-, si-, se-, vi-, ve-, wi-, we- — mean “complex,” i.e. White–Red.

I’m reminded of the Irish mathematician and physicist William Rowan Hamilton’s understanding of complex (“imaginary”) numbers. It was while walking across a stone bridge over the river Liffey in Dublin that Hamilton finally recognized the proper description of a complex number relative to 3 dimensions requires 4 components rather than just 3, this because the orientation of the 3-component complex vector, as it were, relative to the 3-dimensions is not uniquely determined by the 3 components. Hamilton stopped on the spot and carved the corollary equations — the equations of the “quaternions” — into the bridge, where they can be seen to this day. Generally well liked, gregarious, but of a poetic nature and practice, Hamilton was disappointed in love, and for solace in this regard especially he increasingly turned the great bulk of his awesome intelligence to drink. He died in 1865, aged 60 years.

Hamilton, it’s fair to say, attended Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker’s bar/ara. Earwicker is a janitor of sorts. He tends bar. He administers firewater. He heaves drops and eavesdrops. He is an earwicker. Wizards, as Robert Graves points up, commonly claimed that their ears had been licked clean by serpents, “which were held to be incarnate spirits of oracular heroes and … were thus able to understand the language of birds and insects.” Athena, it is said, after blinding Teiresias, was moved by his suffering and therefore detached from her aegis the serpent Erichthonios and ordered it to, “Cleanse Teiresias’s ears with your tongue that he may understand the language of prophetic birds.” Simply put, Humphrey, like every janitor, is a god — the god, the hero. Earwicker’s tavern is a holy place, its bar an altar. Likewise that bar is akin to a ferry; it takes people to another “place.” In Sanskrit the word yāna means “ferry.” The barkeep paces the bar like a ferryman paces a river, and like a lion paces a cage (pen, sty), like the serpent encircles the tree.

The aforenoted words shame, shamus and sexton — which last word, please note, also indicates the numbers 1, 6, and 7 — are related to shaman, to the names Sean and Shem and Seamus and Shiva, and to shamrock. The true shamrock has a yellow flower. Later I will explain that the color yellow, like the color orange, represents the proto-mythological.

The Shamrock is a kind of clover (Trifolium repens, “3-leaved creeper”). The Irish word for clover is seamar; the German word is Klee. In Greek kle/cli means “glory, victory,” as in both Herakles (“Hera’s Glory,” Hercules) and Clio (muse of history). The Greek klimax means “ladder”; it is the root of the English climax and climate, and it is closely related to latitude. In French clé means “key.” According to legend, twigs of mistletoe — essentially reachable only via ladder, for the plant is a sort of evergreen parasite that grows only among the branches of deciduous trees, rooted as it were in those branches — are master keys, capable indeed of opening all locks. The magical “golden bough” featured in the Greco-Roman myth of the Trojan warrior Aeneas (whose name means “of copper or bronze”) is closely related if not identical to mistletoe. Said golden bough functions for Aeneas as a key, allowing him passage to the underworld despite the otherwise prohibitive fact that he is still alive. This passage occurs just prior to Aeneas’s arrival in Latium and marks Aeneas as a now dominantly Red/Dionysian, Jupiter-like, Cepheus-like figure. Likewise, Aeneas's birth from Aphrodite, his rather singular escape from Troy, and his eventual elevation to immortality — as the god Indiges, from the Latin indu, endo, meaning “in, within —” mark him as an Osiris-like, Hermes-like, Hercules-like, Pelops-like, Ganymede/Aquarius-like, Castor–Polydeuces-like (a.k.a. Dioscuri-like) type; i.e. an extremely complex, complete, White–Red–Black type. The twins Remus and Romulus are descendents of the extremely complex Aeneas, this through their mother; their father is Mars. The Irish name of Dublin is Baile Átha Cliath (bal´ye áha cléah), “Place of the Ford of the Hurdles.” Thus we have an intimate and rather contrasting set of notions: key, climax/peak, and hurdle. In 1600 the Englishman John Head commented in regard to Dublin: “Many of its inhabitants call this city Divlin, quasi Divel’s Inn [i.e. Devil’s Inn, Deus’s Inn], and very properly it is by them so termed; for there is hardly in the world a city that entertains such devil’s imps as that doth.” The word hurdle is akin to the Latin cratis, meaning “wickerwork, hurdle.” Thus we are pointed again to the notion of a pen, a wall, an enclosure, a pound, pond, ara.

Mistletoe deserves our further attention straightaway. The name seems to derive from the ancient understanding that this plant springs to life from bird droppings in the tops of trees. The root word mistel is Anglo Saxon for “dung,” and the suffix -toe means “twig.” Mistletoe grows into nebulous, nest-like forms, sometimes more than 1 meter in diameter. The shrub produces inconspicuous, yellowish flowers (in March/April) and whitish-yellow berries (in autumn) containing only 1 seed each. These berries are eaten by birds, which then tend to defecate the seeds in the tree tops, where the seeds naturally take root. Mistletoe is most obvious in autumn and winter, owing initially to the berries and then to its evergreen nature relative to the bare, brown branches surrounding it. The evergreen nature of mistletoe is linked to the ancient belief that the mistletoe is the seat of a tree’s life. The fact that mistletoe grows not from the ground but from the branches and trunk of a tree seems to confirm this belief. Hence, too, the ancient notion that mistletoe should not be allowed to touch the ground. Mistletoe, also known as ixias (as in Ixion), is remarkably intermediate, akin to the planetary component of the matrix, and especially akin to the Sun; it is an intermediary kind of fire, the fire of Hermes. According to the homeopathic principles of proto-mythology, this fiery, inflammatory nature corresponded as well to anti-inflammatory properties, both medicinally and literally, and this is why mistletoe is kept in houses as a safeguard against conflagration. Fight fire with fire, as they say. Indeed, mistletoe was believed to possess many marvelous medicinal properties.

As such, mistletoe seems extremely significant of the complex, mediating hero, the self-sacrificing Odin type, the messenger, i.e. the very substance of existence, the monad. But if mistletoe is an evergreen, why is it so closely linked to the golden bough? Well, mistletoe is traditionally gathered either at the winter or summer solstice. And a cut bough of mistletoe thoroughly assumes a rich golden color after about 5 or 6 months. As such, mistletoe harvested at the beginning of summer will be golden in November, when winter arrives, i.e. when the hero must enter the underworld. Mistletoe punctuating the top of trees in late autumn is in fact marvelously akin to Cepheus atop the World Tree.


In this light consider the following famous passage from Pliny, as quoted by Frazer, regarding mistletoe and the Druids:

The mistletoe is very rarely to be met with; but when it is found, they gather it with solemn ceremony. This they do above all on the sixth day of the moon, from whence they date the beginnings of their months, of their years, and of the thirty years’ cycle, because by the sixth day the moon has plenty of vigour and has not run half its course. After due preparations have been made for sacrifice and a feast under the tree, they hail it as the universal healer and bring to the spot two white bulls, whose horns have never been bound before. A priest clad in white robe climbs into the tree and with a golden sickle cuts the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloth. They then sacrifice the victims, praying that God may make his own gift to prosper with those upon whom he has bestowed it. They believe that a potion prepared from mistletoe will make barren animals to bring forth, and that the plant is a remedy against all poison.

By the way, the name Druid is thought to mean “oak man.” In German this is “Eiche Mann.” (Yes, as in the name of infamous Nazi SS officer Adolph Eichmann, who organized the Nazi’s “final solution” of their supposed “Jewish problem.”) This epithet is very close to “eigen man,” i.e. “quantum man,” “force man.” It is also linked to Drustan, a.k.a. Tristan, and likewise to the P-I-E initial warrior Trito and the Greek Triptolemus. Furthermore the title is intimately related to the German drei, meaning “3,” and to the English tree, which stems from the Old Norse tre, “tree,” and the Greek drys, “wood.” This is the sense in which the aforementioned Hermes Trismegistos is literally Hermes Tree Greatest, i.e. the greatest aspect of Hermes: Hermes sacrificed upon the World Tree. Is it possible that we have here a sort of memory of humankind’s genetic relationship, in terms of the primates, to the great trees of the jungle?

In Norse myth mistletoe represents the singular and very subtle weakness of the otherwise indefatigable, predominantly White/Apollonian Balder, son of Odin and Frigg. Balder is killed, according to the Icelandic legend, by the blind, Red/Dionysian god Hodr, Balder’s older brother, who is tricked by (Red/Dionysian) Loki, the god of fire, into piercing Balder through with a branch of the strange plant. At Frigg’s behest, Balder’s other brother Hermod (akin to Hermes, the messenger) is sent to the underworld, to the goddess Hel (Kolyo, Kupalo, Kalypso, Kali, Persephone, etc.), to ask for Balder’s release. In a Danish version of the story, which version is likely older than the Icelandic, Hodr (Shem) and Balder (Shaun) are rivals for the love of Nanna (Issy, Iseult, Isis, Athena–Persephone — the Sumerian Inanna). Balder is therein portrayed as a hateful character, and Hodr eventually kills him with a magic sword.

Thus the mythological significance of mistletoe seems rooted in the analogy if not identity between it and the hero in his moment of self-sacrifice. Yet to my mind the associations attaching and attached to mistletoe — dung, golden bough, fire, Sun, medicine, hero — point deeper and elsewhere in human prehistory: precisely to the wild honeycomb and especially to that of Asia’s migratory, undomesticated, and dangerous Apis dorsata, one of the world’s largest honey bee species (of which there are 11 or so). Apis dorsata prefers to nest on the branches of the tualang tree — Asia’s tallest tree (growing up to 80 meters high, second worldwide to the California coastal redwood sequoia) and actually a member of the legume family (as in Jack and the Beanstalk?), its seeds contained in large pods. The tualang — whose bark, I should add, is remarkably slippery — grows in the lowland rainforests of southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, northeastern Sumatra, Borneo and Palawan. Although common in these forests the tualang is not naturally abundant therein; as such it towers above the canopy, its initial branches not occuring until about 30 meters above ground. Presumably Apis dorsata prefers to nest in these and the higher branches — or elsewhere on sheer rock cliff faces — because of the extreme separation (and hence safety) these afford from the rest of the habitat. Her close cousin, Apis laboriosa — whose domain stretches from Nepal to Laos to China and who is the largest honey bee in the world — likewise prefers to nest on the high, remote cliffsides of the Himalayas.

All true honey bees (genus Apis) — with the possible exception of Apis mellifera, the so-called Western or European honey bee — are indigenous to Asia. As Robert Graves reports in his Greek Myths, “Apis is the noun formed from apios, a Homeric adjective usually meaning ‘far off’ but, when applied to the Pelopennese (Aeschylus: Suppliants 262), ‘of the pear tree’.” We’ve seen that the word apis is closely related to the Black/Baroque goddess Ops and to the Red/Dionysian goddess Aphrodite. Indeed the pear tree was considered sacred to the chief goddess of the Pelopennese: Hera. Hence the older name for the Pelopenesse: Apia. The word apex is a close cognate. Perhaps the close connection between Orion — whose name means “risen”, “burned” (Latin urere) and “urine” — and the Orient (i.e. the East, where the Sun, Moon and other planets rise) and fire and bees stems from a prehistoric recognition that Asia is the true homeland of the honey bee. The ancients believed that honey bees enter the world by spontaneous generation, especially from the carcasses of bulls (and especially if the bull’s body is buried up to the horns). The process of supposedly generating bees in this fashion was known as bougonia. Virgil describes the bougonia in book IV of his Georgics, attributing the process to the Egyptians. The bougonia is reminescent of Ovid’s story, told in his Fasti, about the origin of Orion from a thrice-godly-urine-soaked carcass of a devoured and subsequently buried bull. The Christians likewise adopted the honey bee as a symbol of the virgin birth. Generally in myth a virgin birth represents the equivalence if not identity of the incarnate hero and God, of the present and the distant. The seeming asexuality/virginality of honey bees corresponds to the fact that honey bee society is extremely dominated by female bees.

Now, a single tulang tree may contain about 100 Apis dorsata nests — as Delphi’s Tityos/Typhon/Python, i.e. Kronos, has 100 heads. And each of these nests — with the profile of a half-Moon, and up to 1.5 meters across — may contain about 30,000 bees. From such tree some 450 kg (about 1000 pounds) of honey can be harvested. Do we have here the original golden bough? Moreover, do we have the original golden fleece?

The true golden bough? The true golden fleece?
Combs of Apis dorsata high in a tualang tree. The protective network
of interlocking bees densely covering the surface recall the “woolen” net
covering the omphalos of Delphi. Every few minutes the whole surface of
this living aegis mysteriously ripples outward from the center.


As University of Arizona entomologist Stephen Buchmann describes in his wonderful Letters from the Hive, the traditional honey hunts are performed on the tualang trees during Moon-less nights in February and March. The bees cannot attack without ambient light. About 4 of the 7 or so honey hunters climb the tree using wood-and-vine ladders and carrying leathern buckets (or wicker baskets), bone — decidely not metal — knives made of the shoulder bone of a cow, and liana torches (made of tough liana vines pounded to soft, pliable fibers and bound into 2-meter long bundles about 8 cm thick and capable of burning for a whole night). The shoulder bone recalls the myth of Pelops, eventual conquerer of the Pelopenesse, i.e. of Apia. See below. But why the torches — remarkably akin to Roman fasces — if the bees need ambient light to attack? Because the bees inveterately follow points of light. The hunters ascend to a branch above a nest. Meanwhile other members of the hunting party wait at the base of the tree and begin to chant:

“Hitam Manis Ooooi!”
(Sweet Dark One, Ooooi!)
“Turunlah dengan chahaya bintang”
(Come down with the falling stars)
“Turun dengan lemah lembutnya”
(Come down gracefully)

The Sweet Dark One, I suggest, is especially akin to Aphrodite (and likewise to Persephone, Pallas, Electra, Andromeda, Helen, etc) — whom the Greeks called Melaenis, “Black One,” Scotia, “Dark One,” Androphonos, “Man-slayer,” and Epitymbra, “(She) of the Tombs” — and more generally to the Triple Goddess, i.e. the Tree Goddess, the Green Woman, and likewise to Hermes (and Aquarius, etc) and the Triple Man, Tree Man, Green Man. The Greek word for honey is meli, as in melissai. So you see, the Greeks pointedly confused blackness and sweetness, too. The falling stars mentioned in the chant are the falling embers of the torch, for the hunter above the nest is now banging his torch on his branch, sending a rain of embers past the nest. Virtually all the bees follow this rain to the ground, where they find themselves disoriented. Unable to return through the darkness to their nest, the bees harmlessly spend the night resting on low vegetation. The hunter then descends to the — dung-like, you might say — comb, cuts it from its bough using the bone knife, and folds it into his leathern bucket (an aegis of sorts). These buckets are lowered to the ground, where they are emptied and pulled aloft again. The honey is squeezed out of the combs into large containers. The night’s hunt is finally punctuated with a ceremony whereby the leader carefully selects the initial honeycomb taken, utters some honors to the “unseen owner” of the forest, and tosses the honeycomb as deep as possible into the forest behind the tree.

Regarding the aforementioned chant and its connection to Aphrodite, we will do well to consider Professor Buchmann’s recounting of his colleague Professor Makhdzir Bin Mardan’s telling of the ancient Malaysian fable that explains the origins of tualang honey hunting:

Long ago a princess of the royal family had a Hindu handmaiden, a dusky beauty called Hitam Manis or “Sweet Dark One.” The handmaiden fell hopelessly in love with the sultan’s son, a handsome prince who requited her passion. But their love was doomed, for she was a commoner, and marriage of a commoner to a prince of the blood was strictly forbidden. When the sultan learned of the romance, he flew into a rage, and Hitam Manis, along with the other handmaidens, the Dayang, had to flee the palace for their very lives. As the terrifed young women escaped into the forest, they were pursued by the sultan’s guards, who hurled long metal spears at them. When one of the spears pierced the already broken heart of Hitam Manis, miraculously she did not die. Instead, she and the other handmaidens were transformed into a swarm of bees and disappeared into the night. Thus were born the giant honey bees of the Asian rainforests.

Years later, the still grieving prince — now engaged to a proper princess — noticed a large honeycomb high in the branches of a tualang tree in the forest. When he climbed the tree to investigate, he discovered a large carche of golden honey. He called down for his servants to send up a metal knife and bucket so he could harvest the treasure. The servants dutifully sent the knife and bucket up to the prince, but when they lowered the now heavy pail a few minutes later, to their shock and horror, they found the prince’s dismembered body inside.

From the treetops, a ghoulish voice cried out that he had committed a sacrilege by cutting the honeycomb with a sharp metal knife. Unwittingly, the prince had insulted poor Hitam Manis, reminding her of the cold metal spear that had pierced her heart and so changed her life.

But the Sweet Dark One took pity on the prince she had once loved, and released a golden shower that restored him to life and limb.

To this day, in deference to the dying anguish of the handmaiden known as Hitam Manis, honey hunters never use tools made of metal — only those of wood, cowhide, and bone.

Hitam Manis = princess of the St. George story = dragon = snake = Eve = Aphrodite = Andromeda. The Dayang = proto-mythological college of man-killing nymphs = bees = Pleiades = melissai = supposedly woolen net on the omphalos of Delphi. (During the aforedescribed honey hunt the hunters, all male, refer to themselves as Dayang.) Robert Graves:

Aphrodite Urania (“queen of the mountain”) or Erycina (“of the heather” [as in Erichthonios, i.e. Eri-cthonios, “heather of Gaia”, the snake/fish-tailed son of Hephaistos and Gaia, equivalent to the charioteer Auriga, Ganymede/Aquarius, and, as we shall see, Pelops]) was the nymph-goddess of midsummer [or autumn]. She destroyed the sacred king, who mated with her on a mountain top, as a queen-bee destroys the drone: by tearing out his sexual organs. Hence the heather-loving bees and the red robe in her mountain-top affair with Anchises; hence also the worship of Cybele, the Phrygian Aphrodite of Mount Ida, as a queen-bee, and the ecstatic self-castration of her priests in memory of her lover Attis [i.e. Odys(seus), Odin, etc].

Daedalus built a golden honeycomb shrine to Aphrodite — on coastal Mount Eryx in northwest Sicily. The ancient Maya, I should add, called the planet Venus (i.e. Aphrodite) Xuk Ek, the “Wasp Star.”

Note in the myth of Hitam Manis the significations of the Great Reversal: nubile woman not man as outsider, commoner; metal as the downfall of female power. Note just as well the irrepressible proto-mythologic: dismembered honeycomb = Moon = Delphi temple = omphalos = penis = male hero who is sacrificed by the college of nymphs; the bees give up their nest, their inn, like the nymphs give up their king; but in the king is the sweet, golden vitality of life, which they consume and thus conserve. (In ancient Greece the pear tree as considered sacred to the Moon.) As for the golden shower, it certainly calls to mind the story that Zeus fathered Perseus (alias St. George), savior of Andromeda, by descending on the imprisoned princess Danae as a shower of golden rain. Danae had been imprisoned in a bronze tower by her father Acrisius because a prophecy foretold that the initial son of Danae would kill Acrisius. Perseus eventually did kill Acrisius — by accident, with a discus. Professor Mardan explained to Professor Buchmann that the golden showers referred to in the Malaysian honey hunting fable are actually mass defecations made by Apis dorsata during their crepuscular flights, when they rid themselves of feces and thus of unwanted heat. During the Vietnam War, Buchmann points outs, American soldiers had mistaken these showers for dreaded yellow rain, a biological weapon.


I mentioned that the highly symbolic use of cow shoulder bone knives by the traditional honey hunters of Malaysia calls to mind the myth of Pelops, conqueror of Apia — and variously referred to, I should add, as “muddy face” and, more importantly, “Cronian One.” Similarly the dismembered and resurrected prince in the story of Hitam Manis is remarkbly akin to Pelops. Indeed, the fundamental and epochal contrast and conflict between proto-mythology and the forces behind the Great Reversal seems to be the theme of both myths. Pelops is a beautiful boy dismembered by his father Tantalus — whose own father Tmolus is described as wreathed with oak — and presented by him to the Olympian gods as food, this supposedly to test the gods’ omniscience. According to the chief legend here, only the goddess Demeter (mother of the nymph-like Persephone) — or else the sea-goddess (á la Aphrodite) Thetis — partakes of the feast, consuming a piece of Pelops’ left shoulder. Zeus then damns Tantalus to Tartarus and resurrects Pelops, giving the young man a new, ivory shoulder. Poseidon — counterpart to the sea goddess Aphrodite — promptly whisks Pelops to Olympus to be his personal cup-bearer, as Zeus later does with the Trojan Ganymede (alias Aquarius). Said cups, of course, contain nectar. Eventually returned to Earth, Pelops becomes a champion charioteer, akin to and aided by Poseidon. (Auriga/Erichthonios/Hephaistos — the Golden Apple in the celestial “Sea” — is said to have invented the chariot to compensate for his lameness. He is likewise the aural one, the Earwicker or Eri-wicker, heather-wicker.) But to defeat King Oenomaus of Elis in a chariot race and thus win princess Hippodameia’s hand and with it the kingdom of Elis, Pelops needs to enlist the aid of Oenomaus’s chariot-keeper and sometimes charioteer Myrtilus, a son of Hermes. Hippodameia (“horse-tamer”) has indeed fallen in love with Pelops. Yet Myrtilus, too, has (bashfully) expressed love for Hippodameia. Therefore Pelops promises to Myrtilus both the sole company of Hippodameia on the night of victory and half the kingdom of Elis. Myrtilus goes along with the plan and therefore removes the lynch-pins from the axles of Oenomaus’s chariot, replacing them with replicas made of wax. Consequently as Oenomaus, who had given Pelops a head start, is about to catch him and, according to the rules of the (proto-mythological) contest, spear him in the back (that spear, along with Oenomaus’s pair of wind-begotten mares, old gifts from Ares, Oenomaus’s father), the wax axles finally fail and Oenomaus is dragged to death — but not before discerning the betrayal and cursing Myrtilus to a death at the hands of Pelops. (The Romans thought that the color red scares horses. They painted the curves of their hippodromes red, to encourage spectacular crashes and, I would say, to honor the Red/Dionysian essence of turning points, change, separation, severance — quantumness.) The victorious Pelops, Hippodameia and Myrtilus celebrate with an evening drive across the sea, yet when Myrtilus attempts to claim his precious night with Hippodameia, Pelops casts him into the sea. As Myrtilus drowns, he lays a curse on Pelops and on the heirs thereof. Pelops drives on to the western stream of Oceanus, where Hephaistos, husband of Aphrodite, purifies him of guilt. Returning to Pisa in Elis and assuming there the throne of Oenomaus, Pelops proceedes to conquer the whole of Apia and renames it the Peloponnese, “Pelop’s Island.” Graves: “Descent  remained matrilinear in the Peloponnese, which assured the goodwill of the conservative peasantry.” The curse leveled by Myrtilus upon the house of Pelops especially affects the house of Atreus, who is Pelops’ eldest son, father of Agamemnon and Menelaos, and said to be the first astronomer to correctly predict using mathematics an eclipse of the Sun by the Moon. Famously Agamemnon in his turn fails to honor the aid which the Myrmidon Achilles — a sea god of sorts — gives to him. This slight motivates Achilles to abstain from the fight against Troy.

In the present light note that the word apis means not only “bee” and “far off” (as in Apollo and apple) and “pear tree”; it is also (and likewise) the Greek name for Egypt's most divine, bull-like god: Hapi or Hap or Hp — who is equivalent to their human-like god of the Nile — who goes by the same name but is pictured as an androgynous old man with pendulous breasts — a water god like Poseidon and Odysseus and Achilles. The name Hapi seems cognate with Hephaistos and with Hebe — the latter being a female and the original cup-bearer to the Greek gods. Note again in this connection that the Greek hepta, as in Hephaistos, means “7,” as in the 7 planets/wanderers. Hebe seems equivalent to the Hittite Hepatu, who has been equated with Hawwa, “Mother of all Living,” which name certainly smacks of Huwawa/Humbaba, i.e. the Tree Man–Woman of the Gilgamesh epic. Here too, seemingly, is Hipta, the Earth-mother to whom Dionysus was given for safekeeping and who carried him in a winnowing basket. Hebe as cup-bearer was eventually supplanted Pelops and then, after Pelops returned to Earth (with the Great Reversal), by Ganymede, and was then married off to Hercules, poster boy of the Great Reversal.

By the way, here is the passage from Virgil’s Aeneid containing the famous reference to the golden bough:

A tree’s dark shade conceals a bough whose leaves
And pliant twigs are all of gold, a thing
sacred to Juno [Hera] of the lower world.
The whole grove shelters it, and thickest shade
In dusky valleys shuts it in. And yet
No one may enter hidden depths
Below the earth unless he picks this bough,
The tree’s fruit, with its foliage of gold.
Proserpina [Persephone] decreed this bough, as due her,
Should be given into her own fair hands
When torn away. In place of it a second
Grows up without fail, all gold as well,
Flowering with metallic leaves again.
So lift your eyes and search, and once you find it
Pull away the bough. It will come willingly,
Easily, if you are called by fate.

Later in the Aeneid we find the following passage involving a tree, a swarm of bees, spectacular fire, matrilinearity, a princess Lavinia (as in Joyce’s Livia), and her destined, proto-mythological marriage to an outsider: namely the Trojan Aeneas — son of Aphrodite.

King Latinus,
Now grown old, had ruled his settled towns
And countryside through years of peace. Tradition
Makes him a son of Faunus by a nymph,
Marica of the Laurentines. The father
Of Faunus had been Picus, who in turn
Claimed you for sire, old Saturn, making you
The founder of the dynasty. By fate
Latinus had no son or male descendant,
Death having taken one in early youth.
A single daughter held that house’s hopes,
A girl now ripe for marriage, for a man.
And many in broad Latium, in Ausonia,
Courted her, but the handsomest by far
Was Turnus, a powerful heir of a great line.
Latinus’s queen [along with Juno/Hera] pressed for their union,
Desiring him with passion for a son,
But heavenly portents, odd things full of dread
Stood in the way. There was a laurel tree
Deep in the inner courtyard of the palace,
Venerated for leafage, prized for years,
Having been found and dedicated there —
So the tale went — to Phoebus by Latinus
When he first built a strongpoint on the site;
And from this laurel tree he gave his folk
The name Laurentines. Here, for a wonder, bees
In a thick swarm, borne through the limpid air
With humming thunder, clustered high on top
And locking all their feet together, hung
In a sudden mass that weighted leaves and bough.
A soothsayer declared: “In this we see
A stranger’s advent, and a body of men
Moving to the same spot from the same zone
To take our fortress.” Then came another sign:
While the old king lit fires at the altars
With pure torch, the girl Lavinia with him,
It seemed her long hair caught, her head-dress caught
In crackling flame, her queenly tresses blazed,
Her jewelled crown blazed. Mantled in smoke
And russet light, she scattered divine fire
Through all the house. No one could hold that sight
Anything but hair-raising, marvelous,
And it was read by seers to mean the girl
Would have renown and glorious days to come,
But that she brought a great war on her people.
Troubled by these strange happenings, the king
Sought out the oracle of his father, Faunus, …
“Propose no Latin alliance for your daughter,
Son of mine [said Faunus]; distrust the bridal chamber
Now prepared. Men from abroad will come
And be your sons by marriage. Blood so mingled
Lifts our name starward. Children of that stock
Will see all earth turned Latin at their feet,
Governed by them, as far as on his rounds
The Sun looks down on Ocean, East or West.”

Hence, according to Virgil, we have the Romans. … Regarding the ominous torching of Lavinia’s hair and dress, consider Professor Buchmann’s account of the aforementioned fireworks used in the Malaysian honey hunt:

When Shukor passed the burning liana torch to his grandfather, we saw the glowing tip arc through the still night air. Soon a cascade of orange embers rained down like a meteor shower from the branches overhead. No Fourth of July fireworks display has ever been so memorable for me. It is a pyrotechnic spectacle that has kept me returning to the bee trees of Pedu Lake year after year.

The Greeks called the Pleiades the kometes, “long-haired”; hence the word comet. The Japanese likewise call the Pleiades the Subaru, “brush stars.” The Subaru automobile company is named after them. The company’s 6-star logo represents the constellation.

As I mentioned, the torches used by the traditional honey hunters seem akin to Roman fasces, which bundles of rods were carried by lictors — a title curiously similar to the word light. Consider the following from Christian Meier’s outstanding biography of Julius Caesar:

Lictors were the official servants of the magistrates and accompanied them wherever they went, clearing a path and procuring respect for them. In the city they carried the symbol of executive authority, the fasces (bundles of rods); in the field they carried the fasces with an axe. The consul had twelve, the praetor six, and the dictator in the field twenty-four.

Julius Caesar held all these offices at one time or another. In 84 BCE the consul Cinna gave his daughter Cornelia in marriage to the young Caesar and moreover appointed him flamen dialis, high priest of Jupiter. The word flamen, meaning “priest,” is linked to the English flame; and dialis signifies Diovis — in contrast to Mars and (Janus) Quirinus, the other prime gods of Rome — and thus indicates brightness and sheep, i.e. a white sheep. Curiously Caesar’s prime assassins were Marcus Junius Brutus and Quintus Cassius Longinus. Similarly, the name tradition attributes to the soldier who pierced with spear the side of Jesus of Nazareth as Jesus hung on the Cross is Longinus. And the very name Caesar may be closely related to cedar and to the Middle Irish cess, “spear,” this latter from the P-I-E *kes-, as is castrate. Caesar’s assassination occurred on the Ides of March (i.e. 15 March) 44 BCE. From 222 BCE to 153 BCE the Ides of March had been the day when the Roman consuls were inaugurated; and precisely in this respect, as Duncan Steel emphasizes in his Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar, it, like 1 March and 1 January respectively, was a New Year’s Day. Probably this is why the augur Spurinna had been warning Caesar to beware the Ides of March. Here’s Meier on the flamen dialis:

The flamen dialis was deemed to possess magical power that must be carefully guarded. At all times — at least when he was out of doors — he had to wear the apex, a fur cap with cheekguards tied under the chin and a special ornament on the top. [The ornament was a pointed piece of olive wood, with a lock of wool about its base.] He was forbidden to mount a horse, and he must not set eyes on armed troops; on holidays he must not see anyone working. His hair could be cut only by a freeman using a bronze knife, and had to be buried in a special place together with the parings from his nails. There must be no knot in his house.

Diovis corresponds to the White/Apollonian persona Caesar cultivated: bright, innocent, friendly, gay, magnanimous, generous, forgiving, superior yet popular. The “white-skinned,” “slim-limbed” Caesar was likewise extremely hygenic; he typically kept his face shaved, and he even removed his body hair. (When martial vengeance was required, however, he occasionally resolved to not have his hair or beard cut until the vengeance was completed.) His appointment as the rather White/Apollonian flamen dialis seems an affirmation of this persona, an attempt to bind him to it while honoring the bellicose, executive, priestly, generally Red/Dionysian personality that it served to contrast with if not mask. Again, Meier:

Plutarch reports that Cicero mistrusted Caesar’s friendliness as he mistrusted a calm sea. He felt it deceptive and feared “the monstrosity of Caesar’s nature concealed in his gay and friendly manner.” Plutarch uses the Greek word deinótes, which designates anything monstrous, awesome, and violent. The underlying adjective (deinon) is used by Sophocles in the famous chorus in the Antigone to describe the whole range of man’s potential, his huge capacity for good and evil. A fearful will, immensely compelling in its controlled strength, must have been discernible within — not behind — Caesar’s arrogantly superior gaity. It was not simply masked: here was a man who had trained himself to project an outward gaiety that derived from his aloof and disdainful inner self and to conceal the awful depths of his soul.

Caesar’s persona and personality met in his proto-mythological role and nature — his capacity — as challenger, outsider. He, the darling and descendant of Venus, exiled himself and then came at Rome as Aeneas came at Italy, as Paris at Helen, as Perseus at Andromeda, as Mars at Aphrodite, as Adam at Eve, as St. George at the princess, as Tristan at Iseult, as the hunter at the honey. His profound levity, his conservative radicalism, his complex, dynamic nature contrasted with the too simple, inert gravitas that had come to pass for the Roman legacy and constitution. Caesar by his very nature was the chief priest of Rome, priest not only of Diovis but also of Mars (i.e. Bel) and (Janus) Quirinus and likewise of the Black/Baroque, female nature of all. In other words, he was the 3-Man, the Tree Man, the Green Man. There were 15 flamines or pontifices and they constituted the highest religious authority in Rome. (Chief among their tasks was the regulation of the calendar, which calendar Julius Caesar eventually, in 45 BCE, the year before his death, changed from a chiefly White Apollonian, lunar basis to a chiefly Golden/Legal solar basis.) In 63 BCE Caesar won election to the office of pontifex maximus, supreme priest of Rome. He staked his entire career on that unlikely victory.

A groundling honey hunter in Nepal. Photo by Eric Valli.
See Valli’s article in the June 1998 National Geographic.


The fasces in the United States’ Chamber of the House of Representatives.
Extremists tend to point to these symbols anachronistically as evidencing
a “fascist” nature of the republic of the United States.


Returning, now, to Dublin and to the notion of a hurdle, consider that HCE’s bar is a hurdle of sorts. In regard to that hurdle note that wine, beer, whiskey (from the Irish uisce beathadh, literally “water of life”) and all forms of firewater derive physically from the ara, the garden, the original altar, i.e. Earthly paradise, the Latin lucus, meaning, as Vico points out, “land burned off within a wooded enclosure.” Here is the place of Lucifer, equivalent to Dublin’s Phoenix Park, which name is an Anglicization of the Irish  finnischce pairc, literally “brightwaters garden” or “brightwaters enclosure,” the finn- prefix meaning “bright, shining, blonde, fair,” and the -ischce suffix meaning “waters,” as in whiskey. This primeval brightness attaches to the bartender Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker. In accord with the legends of Finn MacCool, King Arthur (note the Ar- prefix), and King Mark of the 1st Irish epic, and also in accord with the theories of Heinrich Zimmer, Joyce has characterized HCE a man of Scandinavian extraction, a man of the north, a Protestant, and blond at that. Ellmann reports that Joyce while visiting Copenhagen “was interested in the ancient Irish distinction between the dark and the light Scandinavians, the dubhghalls and fionnghalls, and kept looking to see which type the people [he] passed belonged to. … He liked the postmen with their red coats, the pillarboxes, the [bear-]fur-helmeted guards.”

Joyce’s birthplace, by the way, is Brighton Square, in Rathgar, just outside Dublin proper.

This brings me to Odysseus. Clearly this Greek name is a version of Dyeus. The Romans translated it Ulixes, which version seems largely a union of oulas, “wound,” and ischea, “thigh.” As such, the name means “wounded thigh,” “wounded waters,” and — especially since the verb “to burn” in Greek is euo and in Latin is uro — “burned waters,” as in finnischce pairc, “brightwaters garden.” The very name Europe — i.e. Euro–Pe — seems to mean “wounded-burned-park-rock-home-bird-waters-thigh,” i.e. fire-bird, Phoenix, riser–faller, upper–downer, (quantum) gravitational entity, outer–inner, vagina/womb, Hermes, Mars, Janus. In a fundamental sense, a male is female to the extent that he is wounded. This is a restatement of the immediate relationship Red/Dionysian-to-Black/Baroque, i.e. the priestly type as feminine in contrast to the warrior type as masculine.

Speaking of wounded thighs, you might recall that by some accounts Dionysus is reborn of his father Zeus’s thigh. The Hittite god of the winds was likewise born from the thigh of Kumbabi. The thigh seems to correspond to the constellation Ursa Major, which the Egyptians called “The (Bull’s) Thigh.” The name Dionysus is clearly yet another version of Dione and Dyeus (Zeus) and is thus closely linked to Odysseus. Dionysus is considered “twice born,” “a man with 2 mothers,” “the child of the double door.” These epithets recall the practice of circumcision, whereby a boy gains a new mother in terms of his initiation into the priestly class. Robert Graves reports that “ritual rebirth from a man was a well-known Jewish adoption ceremony, a Hittite borrowing.” The reborn Dionysus was raised as a girl, as was Achilles, a practice which recalls to Graves “the Cretan custom of keeping boys in `darknes' (scotioi), that is to say, in the women’s quarters, unit puberty.” The 2 mothers of Dionysus are Core/Demeter/Aphrodite (Core being the name of Persephone before Persephone is supposedly captured by Hades) and his resurrector, either Athena or Rhea or Zeus. The basic idea here is resurrection: birth, death, rebirth. But there is also a fundamental distinction made between Hera and the remarkably full cast of other Mother Goddess characters. It is Hera alone who instigates the death of Dionysus — out of jealousy over Zeus’s affair with Core/Demeter/Aphrodite. Hera prompts Zeus's prime enemies — the Red/Dionysian Titans — to paint their faces white and tear the horned, serpent-crowned infant Dionysus to pieces.

Hera, you see, holds on to life — specifically her husband Zeus’s life — so strongly that she effectively causes only death. Extremes meet. Hera is so White that she is (merely) Black (in contrast to Black/Baroque). You might say she is death-in-life. Nevertheless, her name is cognate with the richly proto-mythological hara and is further linked to the Sanskrit hira, meaning “band,” and to the Norse Hel, goddess of the dead. But Hera is uniquely in complicity with White/Apollonian reversals, especially the Great Reversal. In the context of the Great Reversal, Hera dominates her complex (White–Red–Black) handmaiden Iris — goddess of the rainbow, she who runs on wind, Zeus's messenger “of the Golden Wings” — who is equivalent to Hermes, the Sun and to Anna Livia Plurabelle. This is a prime sense in which the powerful simpleton is “Hera’s Glory.”

The Romans called Hera/Juno iugalis, “goddess of the yoke.” Remarkably proto-mythological, the Romans depicted Hera/Juno — who is famously jealous of her husband Zeus/Jupiter’s many love affairs — as hanging in the air, her hands tied behind her back, 2 heavy stones tied to her feet, a rope around her neck. This image represents the result of a legendary coup d’etat against Zeus/Jupiter. A consensus had emerged on Olympians according to which Zeus was too proud, too petulant, too nearly tyrannical. Eventually Hera, the chief advocate of this consensus, compelled all the other Olympians — except Hestia — to bind the sleeping Zeus to his couch using rawhide cord and knotting it 100 times. Jeering at the now furious but helpless Zeus, the conspirators predictably fell into disputes as to who should succeed him. But the Nereid Thetis, fearing an Olympian civil war, summoned the 100-handed giant Briareus (“Strong”) —the initial child of Mother Earth, and specifically equivalent to Hercules — to untie all the knots at once (á la Alexander the Great and the Gordian knot). Thus freed, Zeus punished Hera by temporarily hanging her from the sky as described above; and he punished Poseidon and Apollo by forcing them to temporarily serve King Laomedon, for whom they consequently built the walls of Troy (Poseidon did the building, with a little help from Aeacus the Lelegian; while Apollo played the lyre and fed Laomedon’s flocks), which walls are equivalent to the walls of Paradise (from the Avestan pairi.daēza, pairi meaning “around,” and daēza meaning “to heap or pile up”). Zeus asleep on his couch is the sacrificed king dead on his bier, afloat on the river of death. But that king — like Finn, like Joyce’s Humphrey — is dreaming the entire story of humankind and is destined to wake. The river of death is but part of a cycle. The bonds of death are but an  aspect of the general boundary, the essence, of all existence, of the Black/Baroque. The cord by which Hera reins in her husband and thus, after the fashion of the Great Reversal, secures his and her own supposedly singular power is the cord that generally signifies the true humility of that power in the literal face of the fractal multiplicity of existence.

But let’s return our attention to Odysseus. As a boy Odysseus/Ulysses is indeed wounded on the thigh by a boar’s “white tusk” during a hunt, which boar he does then kill. The boar is Red, the tusk White. As I will explain, the boar corresponds to Troy, the tusk to Paris. Odysseus/Ulysses is wounded as a child, and he is also wounded by the Trojan War. His famous entry into the wooden horse (a symbol of Poseidon) corresponds to a king’s entry into a tomb, i.e. into an ark, into Cepheus, and likewise into the Pegasus Square. Odysseus/Ulysses henceforth sails the Mediterranean as a sacrificed king.

Or as a keg of beer. An original form of gold, beer is intimately associated with the forest grove. In modern times beer has typically been produced near mills and transported in barrels called “kegs,” which hold 30 gallons. A barrel roughly twice that volume (i.e. approximately 60 gallons) is called a “hogshead.” This term especially recalls the Shaun the Post character — originally from Boucicault’s Arrah-na-Pogue — who features in Finnegans Wake, Book I Chapter VI, and Book III, the latter of which according to Joyce recovers the previous chapters in reverse, “like a postman traveling backwards through the night,” and corresponds as well to the perspective of a barrel — an ark of sorts — rolling down the river Liffey. This is the perspective of the sacrificed king, the self-sacrificed god, the scapegoat, the exile, Poseidon; for following his sacrifice on the World Tree (i.e. post) he is taken to a bog or lake or river or sea and thrown in, and all the “sins,” if you will, of the tribe — or all the demons/ills afflicting the tribe — are washed away with him, posted, as it were, to the netherworld and thus to the original sacrifice, Father Dis, i.e. to Zeus and his consort Dione. Shortly I will explain that the ultimate “river” in this respect is the Milky Way.

For now, let me comment that the name Poseidon, a.k.a. Pontus or Neptune or the P-I-E Neptno, is linked to the Latin pondus, “weight,” and pons, “bridge,” and hence to pontiff, “bridge-maker.” Poseidon, middle brother of Zeus and Hades, is he who commands the area between the sky and the underworld, i.e. the middle ground, the medium, the suspended. He is the self-sacrificing, immanent, monadic, real aspect of God. He is forever and all ways and everywhere being sacrificed, eaten and imbibed — and thrown into the river (or lake, bog, sea), the potamon, which word is related to the Latin potare, “to drink,” potens, “power,” and potis, “able,” as in potent, potential and possible, and to the Greek polis, “city, state,” and polus, “pivot, pole,” and to the Lithuanian pilis, “castle,” and to the Latin bos, “ox, cow,” and to the English post (with its extremely rich set of meanings). H was sometimes called Potidan — perhaps a combination of pot and ida, “wooded mountain” — and he is the male equivalent of the triple-Goddess, whom the Greeks called the Potniae, “powerful ones,” this trinity-in-unity being equivalent to the Latin Ops (as in Eur–Op, “red face,” “heather face,” “broad face,” “bovine face”), whose name means “power” and “plenty” and “face,” as in the face of Medusa, of Kolyo, of Kali, of Tara (“scarer”), of Humbaba, of the Green Woman–Man, etc. As I intimated earlier in this chapter, the name Poseidon is linked to bees via Apis, the Greek name for ancient Egypt’s most divine, bull-like god: Hapi or Hap or Hp, who is equivalent to their human-like god of the Nile. The actual bull representative of Hp was chosen as a youngster for its black color and for the white crescent mark on its neck; it was sacrificed when 25 years old, mummified with as much care as if it were a pharaoh, and entombed in a granite sarcophagus in the Serapeum at Saqqara. The name Hp coupled to the bovine and to the river god calls to mind the Greek word hippos, “horse.” Horses were considered both Poseidon’s and Hera’s sacred domestic animal. But our analysis here suggests that bovines, domesticated long before horses, likewise preceded horses in this symbolic respect. By the same line of reasoning we might say that sows and, earlier yet, dogs were the sacred domestic animal of such god, who represents the hero in general, specifically the Father aspect of the self-sacrificing entity. The same can be said of Poseidon’s female counterpart/aspect: the Lady of the Lake, Kolyo, Demeter, the Green Woman, etc.

Getting back to Joyce's barrel/kegs, note that kegs are these day made of metal but were of course originally made of wood, by coopers. The noun cooper comes from the Greek kypellon, “cup,” and from the Latin cupa, meaning “cup, tub.” These words are related to copper, which gets its name from the Mediterranean island Cyprus (Greek Kyprus, Assyrian Kipar), where copper was extremely abundant. Copper is the original metal used by humans and therefore it is Red/Dionysian relative to other metals. But likewise copper represents all metals. And metal in general is White/Apollonian relative to water, wood, earth, rock, etc. Now, cooper and copper are furthermore related to hive, for hive stems from the Old Norse hufr, meaning “ship’s hull” — and which word is linked to the Old High German huf, “hip,” and huof, “hoof,” as in Hp and horse and Poseidon! (or horse and Tristan/Lancelot in boat/cup!) — and from the Sanskrit, kupa, “cave.” (In the Iliad Homer describes certain troops as being “thick as bees that issue from a crevice in a rock face.” Again Delphi comes to mind.) Interestingly, the Arabic kufr means “unbelievers.” Insofar as this word kufr is cognate with hufr, we seem to have a distinction between the hull of a ship and the keel. For as we will learn, the keel corresponds to the Red/Dionysian stylus, spear, sword, saw, soul, etc., as well as to the Tree of Life, the cross, beetles (Coleoptera), the sternum, the archer’s bow, urine, and Orion. The hull, on the other hand, corresponds to the keg, cup, hive, hide, skin, cube, ribs, temple, home, and body. Husk-like, skin-like, shell-like entities are dominantly White/Apollonian, containers in contrast to contents, physical in contrast to real.

Copper is predominantly White/Appollonian and secondarily — but more importantly — dominantly Red/Dionysian, just like Father Dis, just like Hermes, just like Ares/Mars, just like Janus. And just like Cupid. The name Cupid is cognate with copper and links to the Sumerian ku, meaning — like the Sanskrit anna — “food” and “to base, found, build.” The name stems more directly from the ancient Egyption khu, meaning “a person’s numen, their soul or spirit,” or else “a celestial being who lives with the gods.” All of these meanings have both White/Apollonian and Red/Dionysian connotations.

Importantly, the Egyptians gave the name Khu to the Pleiades, which star cluster they associated with the goddess Nut. Clearly the Pleiades are characterized by the same resonance/suspension remarkable of Hermes, Mars, Janus, and Cupid; they are singular yet multiple. The Egyptians surely recognized Nut, too, as such an entity: below and above (i.e. “the coverer”), old and young, singular and multiple, Black and White (and altogether Black/Baroque), Persephone and Core, Red/Dionysian, Anna Livia Plurabelle.

The word khu also refers to the female genitalia and is cognate with our words cut, cutaneous (from the Latin  cutis, “skin”), cuticle, cute, cube, quarry (from the Middle French cuir, “skin, hide,” and akin to the Old French quarre, “squared stone,” as in a cubic ark, the Ka’aba, and the Pegasus Square), concupiscence, concubine, cupidity, covet, cuneiform (meaning “wedge-shaped,” as in the letter A and the delta symbol), cubit and elbow (the Latin cubitum meaning “elbow,” as in the characteristically loose skin of an elbow).

Joyce in the Wake presents myriad references to elbows. He is more famous, however, for his scatological references. Indeed another word closely linked to the whole copper complex is the root copro- or copr-, from the Greek kopros, “dung, feces.” Anna is associated with the herm, the primal mound, the pile of dung, and with food. As such, the name Anna — stemming from the Greek ana, “up, back, again” — is a rather perfect contronym, especially since it is a palindrome (which word palindrome is closely linked to the Greak polos, “axis, pole”). Anna is Hermes. Anna is Cupid. Anna is Humphrey. Anna is Zeus, Anna is Demeter. Anna is Dione (Diana). Anna is Dana (Danann). Hera is Anna reduced from White–Red–Black (i.e. triple-Goddess) to a deathly Black (or White) singularity.

In this respect I’m reminded of an account offered by Roger Penrose in his Emperor’s New Mind. The account calls to mind both Hamilton’s aforementioned discovery of the quaternion equations and the Irish name of Dublin, Baile Átha Cliath, “Place of the Ford of the Hurdles.” Penrose:

In the autumn of 1964, I had been worrying about the problem of black hole singularities … A colleague (Ivor Robinson) had been visiting from the USA and he was engaging me in voluble conversation on a quite different topic as we walked down the street approaching my office in Birbeck College in London . The conversation stopped momentarily as we crossed a side road, and resumed again at the other side. Evidently, during those few moments, an idea occurred to me, but then the ensuing conversation blotted it from my mind!

Later in the day, after my colleague had left, I returned to my office. I remember having an odd feeling of elation that I could not account for. I began going through in my mind all the various things that had happened to me during the day, in an attempt to find what it was that had caused this elation. After eliminating numerous inadequate possibilities, I finally brought to mind the thought that I had had while crossing the street — a thought which had momentarily elated me by providing the solution to the problem that had been milling around at the back of my head! Apparently, it was the needed criterion — that I subsequently called a “trapped surface” — and then it did not take me long to form the outline of a proof of the theorem that I had been looking for (Penrose 1965). Even so, it was some while before the proof was formulated in a completely rigorous way, but the idea that I had had while crossing the street had been the key.

I wonder whether Penrose remembers the name of that side road….

And so we’ve cycled from Haran to Hera, from the tip of the pyramid to the (all too simple) notion of a black hole. Let’s now begin another such cycle by addressing the next appearance of Haran in biblical lore. We don’t have to search far in this regard, for Haran features in the aforementioned story of Abraham’s grandson Jacob.

Jacob is the youngest son of Isaac, who is the youngest son of Abraham. The name Isaac means “laughter” or “he who laughs.” He is the male equivalent of Joyce’s Issy; i.e. Joyce’s Shaun. In a word, Isaac is symbolic of the White/Apollonian — although he is of course destined to become Red/Dionysian. Abraham, after the fashion of the Great Reversal, is said to favor Isaac over Isaac’s elder half-brother Ishmael. Likewise Isaac effectively favors Jacob (Israel) over Jacob’s elder twin brother Esau. Similarly Perez (or Pharez; equivalent to Paris) is favored over Zerah (who has a scarlet thread on his hand); and Ephraim is favored over Manasseh.

Isaac and Ishmael are said to have different mothers from different classes, upper and lower, respectively. Sarai, mother of Isaac, pressures Abraham to cast out Ishmael and the boy’s mother, Hagar. Yahweh consoles the troubled Abraham in this respect: “Be not displeased because of the lad and because of your slave woman [Hagar]; whatever Sarai says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your descendents be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” Abraham reluctantly subscribes to the plan and escorts Hagar and Ishmael into the desert, where he leaves them to their fate. Mother and son are alone and near death in the wilderness when at last the voice of “the angel of the Lord” — supposedly Gabriel, a Hermes type — consoles them and leads Hagar to a nearby well. The “angel” then extends a promise from Yahweh: “I will make him [Ishmael] a great nation.” Yahweh in turn watches over the boy as he matures in the wilderness. Ishmael — whose name means “he who hears” or “he who heeds” — becomes in the wilderness an expert archer.

The motifs in the story of Ishmael — lowness of birth, life in the wilderness, hearing rather than seeing, archery (and hunting in general) — these, along with seniority, redness, hirsuteness, and life in hilly or mountainous country, are primary motifs attaching to the proto-mythological and likewise to the dominantly Red/Dionysian figure. The “great nation” that Yahweh promises of Ishmael is the nation the Arabs expect to fashion. And according to Islam, the well to which Gabriel/Hermes leads Hagar is the Well of Zamzam, located within Mecca’s Masjid al-Haram.

The discord between Jacob and Esau is rather more poignant, for the boys are twins maturing in the same kingly line. When these brothers are still in Rebekah’s womb, Yahweh says to her: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.” Isaac is 60 years old when these twins were born. The eldest “came forth red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they called his name Esau.” Esau becomes a great hunter. “Isaac loved Esau, for he ate of his game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.” The name Rebekah derives from the Hebrew ribbqáh, “noose,” which stems from rabak, “to bind, to tie.” Here is good old Kolyo, the Mother, “the coverer.” As I will repeatedly expound, Kolyo proto-mythologically favors the younger and more beautiful man over the aged and ugly.

Another name which Genesis gives to Esau is Edom. The name refers to the occasion when Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a mere bowl of lentil stew, which stew Esau refers to as ha-adom, ha-adom, “that red stuff, that red stuff.” The Hebrew word adom is the masculine equivalent of the feminine adamah, “ruddy earth, ground, land, acre,” and is thus rather equivalent to the Pegasus Square. Here we have the basis of those first figures of Genesis: Adam and Eden. Adam and Eden are Red/Dionysian, Saturnian, fallen, complex, ana-logical, representative the Golden Age.

After Jacob convinces Esau to sell him the birthright, and after Isaac grows old and nearly blind, Rebekah schemes with Jacob to trick Isaac into giving the father’s most important blessing to Jacob rather than to Esau. Rebekah dresses Jacob in Esau’s clothes and attaches animal skins to his hands and to the smooth part of his neck. She then sends him in to Isaac bearing savory foods from the hunt. Isaac senses that the voice of this visitor is not Esau’s, but he allows himself to dismiss this concern and gives said blessing to the imposter.

Esau of course is infuriated at this transgression. Indeed, he now plans to kill Jacob. Rebekah therefore schemes to send Jacob temporarily to the safety of her brother Laban (or Leban, which name is significant of the proto-mythological, being cognate with ligature, legal, legacy, legend, left, etc.) in her home town of — you got it — Haran. (The word left, as I indicated, is from the Old English weak. It is akin to the Middle Low German lucht, “left,” which is akin to the Latin lucere, “to shine,” as well as lucus and the names Lucifer, Luna, Dyeus, etc.) Insofar as the Habiru in fact emerged out of the Hurrians rather than the Canaanites, Rebekah is sending Jacob to (or at least toward) the original homeland of the Hebrews. She complains to Isaac that the local Canaanite women are tiresome and that she cannot accept a marriage between Jacob and such a woman. Isaac is thus tricked again. He sends Jacob abroad to find a wife. When in turn Esau learns that the local women do not please Isaac, he too travels abroad to find a wife. Significantly, Esau goes to none other than Ishmael in this respect and succeeds in marrying Ishmael’s daughter Mahalath. Eventually Yahweh grants to Esau the hill country of Seir. (Note the Se- prefix.)

Meanwhile Jacob is on his lonely way to Haran. One night he sleeps under the stars , using a stone as a pillow. He dreams of a ladder (Greek klima) “set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!” Yahweh stands atop the ladder and says to Jacob:

… the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendents; and your descendents shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and by you and your descendents shall all the families of the earth bless themselves. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done that which I have spoken to you.

Upon waking, Jacob takes the stone pillow, sets it up as a pillar, and pours oil over it. He then names the place Bethel, meaning “The House of God” — although the indigenous name of the place is Luz, which name smacks of lucus and likewise of Lucifer, Luna, Dyeus, Deus, Zeus, Dione, Demeter, Diana, Dana, Dionysus, Odysseus/Ulysses, Father Dis, and the Irish Finn. Here, then, we have a house, an enclosure — á la the Pegasus Square — referencing a native sacred place, a garden, an ara, a hara, a haram, a paradise. Bethel doubly underwrites the place and time of sacrifice: Haran. As such, Bethel moreover corresponds to the World Tree (ladder) that punctuates this quantum moment. The “angels” ascending and descending the ladder in Jacob’s dream are the limitless manifestations of the hero, all the Finns, Hercules–Cepheuses, all the Phoenixes, forever (and in every moment) rising and falling, forever (and in every moment) realizing the complex, Black/Baroque nature of gravity, of existence. Jacob, with his head on the stone, is a particular manifestation of the hero. He ascends the tree to Haran and he will descend again to Canaan — i.e. to the promised land, the land of destiny, the land of Father Dis. In the process Jacob will be transformed from White/Apollonian to Red/Dionysian.

Jacob (Jaakov in Hebrew; i.e. Jaa–Kov, Ja–Ov) is St. George (Ge–Org) is Gilgamesh (Gilga–Mesh) is James (Ja–Mes) is White–Red is multiple–singular is freedom–destiny. The Sumerian root gi —equivalent to ja, ji, ya, yi, ga, ge, je, jo, etc. — means not only “young man” but also “small and thin like a reed” and “to reject, dislike; to return, come back, send; to answer, restore.” The closely related Hebrew word gilgal is linked to the Hebrew galal, “to roll,” and refers to circles, springs, caves, eminences, and standing stones (especially circular constellations thereof). According to Joshua 4:3–24, Yahweh commands Joshua to take 12 stones from the river Jordan and stand them up at Gilgal. “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’” It is at Gilgal that the new Hebrew generation — the generation that emerged from the 40 years in the wilderness, which ordeal killed the previous generation entirely — is circumcised (Joshua 5:1–7). Saul, the initial king of the Hebrews, is crowned at this “high place” (1st Samuel 9–11). Gilgal is also where Samuel announces Saul’s fall from the kingship. Samuel thereupon anoints David — player of the lyre, á la Tristan — Saul’s successor, at which point “an evil spirit from the Lord” torments Saul. Gilgal is equivalent to Haran.

By the way, the title Finnegans Wake stems from an Irish ballad about a hod-carrier — i.e. a mason, for a hod is a tray or trough supported with a pole handle and borne on the shoulder to carry loads of brick and mortar — who falls from, yes, a ladder to what is presumed his death but is revived by the smell of the whiskey at his wake.

The marriage arrangements that confront Jacob in Haran are further symbols of proto-mythology. Jacob falls in love with Laban’s youngest daughter, Rachel (whom Jacob initially meets, and significantly so, at a great well outside Haran), rather than the eldest daughter, Leah (who like most dominantly Red/Dionysian figures is weak of eyesight). Jacob agrees to spend 7 years serving Laban in order to marry Rachel. He does his time. But at the end of it Laban insists that Jacob marry Leah (whose name, like Laban’s, is cognate with ligature, legal, etc.). Laban does allow that Jacob may marry Rachel, but only on condition: Jacob must agree to serve Laban for another 7 years; the marriage to Rachel may occur upon the end of that servitude. True to his dominantly Red/Dionysian, trickster nature, Laban has fooled Jacob. (Likewise Jacob had to embellish himself with Red/Dionysian motifs to fool Isaac.)

Jacob accepts said onerous condition, marries Leah, does his 7 years, and finally marries Rachel. Leah bears 4 sons to Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Rachel, on the other hand, is barren. Rachel therefore gives her maid Bilhah to Jacob as a wife. Bilhah bears 2 sons to Jacob: Dan and Naphtali. Likewise Leah gives her maid Zilpah to Jacob. Zilpah bears 2 sons to Jacob: Gad and Asher. Leah, herself, becomes pregnant 3 more times, giving birth to Jacob’s sons Issachar and Zebulum and to his daughter Dinah. Thus Leah bears 6 sons and 1 daughter to Jacob; and the maids altogether bear 4 sons to him. Finally Yahweh allows Rachel to become pregnant and she bears Jacob’s 11th son: Joseph. (Eventually, in Canaan, Rachel will give birth to Jacob’s 12th son: Benjamin, which name means “son of the right hand” and “son of the south.” These characteristics are symbolic of the White/Apollonian.)

Jacob finally expresses his strong desire to return home to Canaan. Laban resists: “I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you; name your wages and I will give it.” Jacob therefore strikes a bargain with Laban. But again Laban cheats him. In turn Yahweh’s messenger angel visits Jacob in a dream and tells him to flee with his family to Canaan. Jacob heeds the admonition. Rachel, before leaving, steals Laban’s (proto-mythological) household gods. Laban, upon learning of Jacob’s flight, gives chase, catches up and confronts the family. But Yahweh has spoken to Laban, too, telling him to act peacefully toward Jacob. Therefore Laban suggests to Jacob that they make a covenant. Jacob agrees and again sets up a stone pillar to mark the occasion, moreover telling his kinsfolk to gather stones and to make of heap of them. Laban names this heap — i.e. this herm — Galeed, and the pillar he names Mizpah. “This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness,” he exclaims, “that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap to me, for harm.”

This Galeed is considered by many the source of the name Galahad. Escorted by an old hermit and wearing either a red robe or red armor, Galahad arrives at Arthur’s court and unwittingly sits in the perilous 13th seat of the Round Table, which seat corresponds to Judas Iscariot and has been reserved for the knight who will find the Holy Grail (“blood-red” Sangreal). Any other person who sits upon that seat will be immediately swallowed by the Earth. King Arthur is astounded at Galahad’s survival. The hermit explains that Galahad — being the son of Sir Lancelot du Lac and Elaine of Corbenic, daughter of King Pelles — is of King David’s line and is kin to Joseph of Arimathea. Arthur in turn tests Galahad’s capacity in regard to the Grail by commanding the young man to remove a certain sword stuck in a stone (á la Arthur and Excalibur). Galahad performs the task with utter facility, and Arthur therefore proclaims him the greatest knight in the world and officially asks him to join the Round Table. Thus the Grail Quest begins. Galahad’s unique capacity is attributed to his purity and especially to his humbleness.

The story of the biblical patriarchs can be mapped as follows:

And this map corresponds to the following map of the Arthur legend, which map depends especially on the simple and reasonable device of considering Lancelot and Guinevere a generation younger than Arthur, with Lancelot essentially in the role of Arthur's own son:

Note in this connection the following. The names Igraine, Guinevere and Columba all mean “white spirit.” The name Morgan is cognate with the Latin mors, “death.” The names Leah and Elaine are cognate. The epithet Pendragon (or Bendragon) means “head of the dragon.” Aided by Merlin, Uther disguises himself as Gorlois to sleep with Igraine. Here we see the proto-mythological notion according to which the younger, dashing man replaces the aging, elderly man, who in this respect has essentially already been sacrificed (by time itself) and inasmuch is considered a (Red/Dionysian) dragon. The name Gorlois is cognate with the Greek Gorgon (“ugly”), the Latin gurges (“whirlpool”), and the Old English gar (“spear,” as in the sacrificial weapon and the priestly staff). Proto-mythologically the woman is always (sexually) attracted to or merely favoring the (dominantly White/Apollonian) younger man/son. Thus Rebekah favors Isaac, Igraine is attracted to Uther Pendragon, Guinevere is attracted to Lancelot, and Iseult is attracted to Tristan. Contrastingly the likes of Isaac, Gorlois, Arthur, and Mark — i.e. the aged king — favor the eldest son and generally the priestly, womanly man; this because such dominantly Red/Dionysian type is not a threat to usurp the kingly power. The young son/man is sent abroad to usurp some other king’s power and inasmuch to extend the father’s power; or else such young man is sacrificed in the king’s stead…. The Lady of the Lake is Black/Baroque Kolyo, a.k.a. Kalypso, Kali (“The Black One”), Nut, etc.; she is “the coverer,” Woman in general. The word lake stems from the Greek lakkos, “pond,” i.e. pound, enclosure. Merlin and Kay (a.k.a. Cai, Cei) are both magicians, shape-shifters, Red/Dionysian, already sacrificed.

Merlin’s early life is especially interesting in this last regard. Recall the legend. During the Saxon invasion the Briton warlord Vortigern — a Pelagian who had originally invited the Saxons to Britain — retreated to North Wales and there in the shadow Snowdon tried to build a castle. However, all the work which Vortigern’s craftsmen performed each day collapsed mysteriously during each night. Vortigern consulted his wizards about the problem. They informed him that the curse would continue until the castle ground had received the sacrificial blood of a child who had no mortal father. The king therefore launched a search for such child. In Carmarthen, in South Wales, some members of the search overheard a youth taunt a boy named Merlin for having no father. Merlin, it turns out, was the son of the daughter of the king of South Wales. Merlin's father was said to be an incubus demon. The mysterious royal boy was brought northward to stand before Vortigern on the castle grounds. There the discoverers of Merlin shared with Vortigern the story of the boy’s birth. Facing imminent death, Merlin attempted to save himself by offering to show Vortigern the reason why the castle walls kept collapsing. Young Merlin straightaway led the warlord and company to a secret cave inside the mountain. The cave had a lake. Merlin advised Vortigern to drain the lake, for in its depths was to be found the cause of the castle's curse. Thus were discovered in the lake a white dragon and a red dragon, doing battle. The white dragon seemed about to win, then the red dragon, then the white, then the red, then the white, then finally the red drove away the white, making 3 times the red dragon overpowered the white. The king and his wizards stood in awe as the prophetic boy Merlin explained all this to them: The two dragons represented forces in fundamental dynamic conflict. Merlin elaborated: native Britain (Red/Dionysian) was presently suffering conquest at the hands of the Saxons (White/Apollonian), but Vortigern (White/Apollonian, a Pelagian and a traitor) would be killed by fellow native Ambrosius (a Catholic, Red/Dionysian); in turn the pseudo-native Uther Pendragon (White/Apollonian) would rise to power, followed by the great native Arthur (Red/Dionysian), and thanks to Arthur the natives would gain the upper hand over the Saxons; then the Saxons in Britain would be invaded by the Normans, and finally the native Britons would drive out all invaders.

Merlin loves the Lady of the Lake (a.k.a. Viviane, Eviene, Nimue, Nina, etc.), despite the fact that she is disinterested in him. In attempting to understand her, Merlin effectively disqualifies himself from her love. Thus he is bound in an enchanted wood by his own nature, i.e. by his own destiny. (Recall my adage: You can understand only what you cannot control, and you can control only what you cannot understand.) “I am the greatest fool,” Merlin comments. “For I love another more than I love myself, and I taught my beloved how to bind me to herself, and now no one can save me.”

The Lady of the Lake is existence in general. Perhaps only Galahad is capable of loving Her no more than himself; for She may be understood in terms of the Holy Grail only, i.e. the true absolute, the best symbol/container of the Black/Baroque; and only Galahad sees the Holy Grail distinctly. All who fall short of this absolute, Merlin included, are essentially overwhelmed by Kolyo.

The Beguiling of Merlin, E. Burne Jones (c. 1870–74 CE).
Note the snakes on Viviane’s head.

I’m reminded of Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale.” Here’s an extremely famous and apt passage from that poem, tapped by Fitzgerald for the title Tender is the Night, which novel features the hero Dick Diver.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Clustered around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

Cepheus is Isaac is Saul is King Arthur is King Mark is Finn Mac Cumhal; and these latter 5 correspond respectively to Jacob, David, Lancelot, Tristan, and Diarmuid. Cepheus is at once stone and sword and hero. He is the once and future king. The Galeed is the World Tree rising from the Pegasus Square to the tip of Cepheus. The pillar Mizpah is the Tree of Knowledge rising from the constellation Hercules — i.e. from the inchoate, incipient state of the hero — to Haran, i.e. to the finger, as it were, of Upuat and thus to the age/moment of sacrifice, which singularly prime mythological moment Michelangelo famously depicted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The word inchoate is especially apt in the previous paragraph, for it stems from the Latin cohum, meaning “the part of a yoke to which the beam of a plow is fitted.” The yoke is the simplified, miserable, White–Black Hera, “goddess of the yoke,” and her glory Hercules. She contrasts with her proto-form, the White–Red–Black goddess, i.e. the triple-Goddess, the tree-Goddess, the Green Woman, which triune, singularly elemental character corresponds to yoke–cohum–beam and especially to the cohum, i.e. to the connection, i.e. to he or she who hangs on the (rising) tree whilst being bound to death (falling). Likewise the triple-God–Goddess corresponds to the famous knot which legend says was tied by the childless King Gordius. According to an oracle, whoever untied the knot would rule Asia. Gordium, the city purportedly founded by Gordius, was in fact the key to Asia Minor insofar as the city’s location uniquely mediated the singularly prime trade route between Antioch and Troy. The Macedonian Alexander the Great famously cut the Gordian knot on his way into the Middle East. That knot and that city correspond precisely to the Red/Dionysian and what’s more to the mystery of existence in general: the Black/Baroque. This recognition is the key to the Orient, i.e. the key to the East, to rebirth, indeed to the nature of God. Sure enough, Gordius adopted King Midas and made him heir to Gordium. Succeeding to that throne, Midas promoted the worship of Dionysus. Midas was the son of the Great Goddess of Ida (i.e. of the Mountain), by a satyr whose name is lost to us. Originally a pleasure-loving king of Macedonian Bromium, Midas had there planted marvelous rose gardens and ruled over the Brigians. One day the satyr Silenus was discovered in these rose gardens, sleeping off a hangover. Brought before Midas, Silenus enthralled the young king with tales about a lost continent — which was home to a virtually utopian civilization that featured a marvelous legal system — and about other wonders, including a terrible whirlpool no person can navigate beyond yet nearby which a pair of streams flow, each marked by a singular riparian tree, one of which bears fruit that causes premature aging and death and the other of which bears fruit that causes the reverse process: infantilization to the point of complete disappearance! Dionysus himself, thankful to Midas for recovering and hosting Silenus, asked the young king to name a reward. Midas famously asked that all he henceforth touch be turned to gold. On the instructions of Dionysus, Midas was able to purify himself of this blessed curse by bathing in the source of a certain river. Eventually Midas witnessed the famous musical contest between Marsyas and Apollo. The river-god Tmolus umpired that contest, naming Apollo the victor. When Midas — true to his Red/Dionysian character and Golden/Legal philosophy — objected to this ruling, Tmolus transformed Midas’s ears into those of an ass (such as characterize the Egyptian god Set).

According to my understanding the universe is not best determined by model, i.e. by an essentially unlimited configuration space nor by any concept, but rather by the best symbol of the principle of relativity. The best such symbol signifies an unlimited number of related souls; but this relativity is neither in space nor in time, i.e. it is in terms neither of space nor of time; it is outside space and time; or, better still, space and time are outside it; for it is the basis of space and time. Newton’s chief hypothesis is ultimately not correct; there is a certain absolute verticality to intelligence, a certain absolute hierarchy to the universe. If there were not, then we should expect, as Enrico Fermi famously said, that we would already be confronted by things significant of extraterrestrial intelligence. “If they [i.e., intelligent extraterrestrials] existed, they would be here,” Fermi said. This is Fermi’s Paradox. Indeed, according to proto-mythology we should expect the universe apart from Earth to be dead; Earth is the center of the universe; existence in general expresses itself in terms of this center. To be sure, the ladder does reach to heaven, and there are angels all along it; but the fundamental ladder is rooted on the Earth. The universe is extremely inchoate. Distance is hierarchical. Distance is the hydrogen atom. The hydrogen atom is both space and light. All (physical) being is light. And light is significant of all reality, i.e. it is significantly the set of monads, the matrix. This is the sense in which the aliens, the others, are already here. Again, the stars are but adumbrations.

Consider in this light the following conversation from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream V, I:

More strange than true: I never may believe
These antick fables nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact: —
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold, —
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt
The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

HIPPOLYTA (Queen of the Amazons):
But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigured so together,
More witnesseth than fancy’s images,
And grows to something of great constancy;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.

I’ve strayed from the story of Jacob, and there remains a bit more of it to tell. Leaving Laban, the Galeed and the Mizpah, Jacob continues toward Canaan. He sends word ahead to his Red/Dionysian brother Esau in Seir, telling him about the sojourn in Haran, offering him a great gift of livestock and such, and saying that he, Jacob, is Esau’s servant and is looking to find favor in Esau’s eyes. In turn Jacob learns that Esau is indeed coming to meet him but that he is bringing 400 men. Afraid of Esau and this veritable army, Jacob divides his group into 2 companies and furthermore spends the night alone as a sort of diversion. That night a very odd thing happens to Jacob, yet it is described in a remarkably matter-of-fact way:

And Jacob was left alone; a man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob’s thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

Jacob has been wounded by Yahweh, precisely as Ulysses (“Wounded Thigh”) was wounded on the thigh by a (Red/Dionysian) wild boar’s [W]hite tusk. Jacob has thus been completed, sacrificed, as it were; he has become dominantly Red/Dionysian, equivalent to Cepheus, Father Dis, Deus, Dyeus, Zeus — equivalent to Yahweh. The story honors this completion in terms of the name Israel: Isra-El, Is–Ra of El; male–female of God; male–female of Yahweh. Jacob — predominantly White/Apollonian, Moon-like— has become like the Sun: a feminine man, complex, Red/Dionysian.

When Esau arrives later that day, he runs to meet Jacob, embraces him, kisses him, and weeps. Thus the twin brothers are again united. Like a total eclipse of the Sun, the pair is a multeity-in-unity, a complex, quantum-gravitational singularity. The wrestling match which leads to this reunion corresponds to the relation between (the constellations and characters) Hercules and Bootes. Jacob’s completion as Israel corresponds to Ursa Major. Jacob’s union with Esau corresponds to Polaris.

In re-uniting with Esau, Jacob — Israel — also unites with Ishmael, Abraham, and Adam. The Pegasus Square corresponds to Golgotha (Latin Calvary), “Hill of the Skull,” legendary burial place of Adam. Hercules and the Ka’aba correspond to the Pegasus Square. Thus the Ka’aba, most holy place in the Muslim world, corresponds to Cross. Ironically, the pilgrim arriving at the Masjid al-Haram, circling the Ka’aba 7 times in the counter-clockwise direction, and performing the other rituals of the Hajj is akin to Jacob becoming Israel and to Jesus becoming Christ.


According to Islam, Adam originally built the Ka’aba as a replica of Allah’s house in Heaven. Abraham and his son Ishmael rebuilt the Ka’aba after it had been destroyed by the Great Flood (11 generations previous). In the process of this reconstruction the Ka’aba came to contain as its southeast cornerstone what is now called the Black Stone of Islam. The stone is reddish black with some red and yellow particles — although it is said to have been white when it fell there from the sky, a gift to Abraham from the angel Gabriel (again, “Yahweh’s messenger angel,” he who supposedly delivered the revelations to Mohammed).

Chances are the Black Stone is a tektite. Generally tektites are a special kind of glass — exceptionally pure in that it is largely free of water, crystallites and volatiles. Some tektites contain microscopic Ni–Fe spheroids; but even such iron-bearing tektites are virtually non-magnetic, owing to the fact that an object may have a macroscopic magnetic field only insofar as the object’s substance is crystalline. Tektites have a variously dark, greenish-brownish-olive-to-emerald-green-golden-amber-brown-to straw-yellow color. Most experts think that tektites are formed when large extraterrestrial objects slam into the Earth. Such collisions melt terrestrial rocks into this special type of glass. According to proto-mythology, tektites are magical tools akin to the priest’s sacrificial sword, to his stylus (pen), and likewise akin to the Tree and to the base from which it springs. In Sanskrit tektites are called agni Mani, “fire of Mani,” i.e. “fire of (P-I-E) Manu,” “fire of the high priest.” Tibetan lamas and monks think that tektites come from the Osiris–Orion constellation. This constellation represents the complex, proto-mythological, White–Red–Black hero. The early Semitic word for tektite is baetyl, which means “House of God.” The relation to the name Bethel is unmistakable.

According to this analysis Allah is White–Red–Black, a member — albeit the single greatest member — of the Black/Baroque. Insofar as we indulge in the mere metaphor according to which Allah is the Creator of the universe, we should consider Him a fallen god, a god of the world and underworld as well as the overworld.

The precise location of the Ka’aba is no mere chance (i.e. White/Apollonian) coincidence but a destined (Red/Dionysian) coincidence. “The Cube” sits precisely below Haran. It’s as if the Black Stone fell there from Haran. Haran is located at longitude 39° 5´ East while the Masjid al-Haram and the Ka’aba within it sits at 39° 49´ East. Furthermore, the Ark of the Covenant — another rectangular container, this one supposedly containing the priestly tool which is Yahweh’s law — is commonly believed stored in a Christian church in Aksum, Ethiopia, which is located at longitude 38° 72´ East, just across the Red Sea from Mecca.


The Ka’aba and its mysterious black cornerstone.


The Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, in Aksum, Ethiopia.
The very name Ethiopia means “Black Ops.”


There is yet another place in the Middle East that corresponds to the Pegasus Square: Phoenicia, and especially its oldest city, Byblos, founded by the great god El. The king of Byblos is Cepheus — whose name means “the gardener” as well as “the rock.” Located on the coast, Byblos is almost directly on the route from Canaan to Haran. The city was a center for the worship of Tammuz (Tâ-uz), which god is equivalent to Hermes, the Phoenix, Finn, Cupid, Jacob, Osiris, Odin, Adonis (“Lord”), Jesus, etc. The coast of Phoenicia is where Osiris’s sarcophagus washes ashore, a giant tamarisk tree immediately growing around it and raising it up toward the heavens. That tamarisk is the World Tree; it terminates in the constellation Cepheus, the tip of which marks the moment when the sacrificed king/hero enters the cube/tomb/ark/home/sleep and becomes dominantly Red/Dionysian. Cepheus is at once tomb and soul, body and mind, hull and keel. He is a ship of sorts, an ark, a ferry (Sanskrit yana). He is tree and man become one. He is the Green Man, the Wild Man. Ferry and man are identical. There is no yonder shore, no shore at all, save the mere concept of shore. And the Great Ferry, the Maha Yana, is not singular; it is a multeity-in-unity, the set of all monads, all heroes.

The Phoenicians were Canaanites. It was the Greeks who named the northern coastal Canaanites “Phoenicians,” which name means “red” or “purple.” The southern coastal Canaanites were called Philistines (as in the name Phyllis, “leafy”) or Purestati (“men of red”), this redness being related to the words estate, state, the Greek histasthai, “to stand, be standing,” and hence to (phallic) Hermes and to history (from the Greek istōr, “knowing, learned”). The word cana’ani in Hebrew means “merchant” — as in Hermes, god of merchants. The Akkadian word kinahhu refers to the red wool which was famously a prime export of Canaan in general. The Greek word cinyra and the Semitic kinnor, both meaning “lyre,” seem ironically cognate with kinahhu. The lyre, as we will learn, is symbolic of the White/Apollonian whereas the pipe (flute) is symbolic of the Red/Dionysian. But the lyre player eventually “pays the piper his due” and is thus transformed from White to Red. Another cognate in this respect is the name Cinyras. King Cinyras of Cyprus is father of Tammuz (Adonis), a.k.a. Osiris, Jacob, etc.; and as Frazer points out, this father and son are essentially equivalent. The flower of Tammuz/Adonis is the (red) anemone. Also called windflower, the anemone probably gets its name from the Semitic word naamen, “darling.” Here again is Noman: Odysseus/Ulysses, Everyman, HCE. Regarding the festival of Tammuz/Adonis, here’s Frazer (with my comments in brackets) from his Golden Bough:

This Phoenician festival appears to have been vernal, for its date was determined by the discoloration of the river Adonis, and this has been observed by modern travellers to occur in spring. At that season the red earth washed down from the mountains by the rain tinges the water of the river, and even the sea, for a great way with a blood-red hue, and the crimson stain was believed to be the blood of Adonis, or to have been stained by it; and as the anemone blooms in Syria about Easter, this may be thought to show that the festival of Adonis, or at least one of his festivals, was held in spring. The name of the flower is probably derived from Naamen (“darling”), which seems to have been an epithet of Adonis. The Arabs still call the anemone “wounds of the Naamen.” The red rose also was said to owe its hue to the same sad occasion; for Aphrodite, hastening to her wounded lover, trod on a bush of white roses; the cruel thorns tore her tender flesh, and her sacred blood dyed the white roses for ever red. …

It has been suggested by Father Lagrange that the mourning for Adonis was essentially a harvest rite designed to propitiate the corn-god [i.e. cereal god], who was then either perishing under the sickles of the reapers, or being trodden to death under the hoofs of the oxen on the threshing floor. [And, in turn, crushed under the stones of the miller. Bones were likewise ground into fertilizer. These bones were equated with the bones of Tammuz. Hence Robert Burns’s famous poem about John Barleycorn.] While the men slew him, the women wept crocodile tears at home to appease his natural indignation by a show of grief for his death. The theory fits well with the dates of the festivals, which fell in spring or summer; for spring and summer, not autumn, are the seasons of the barley and wheat harvests in the lands which worshipped Adonis.

Nevertheless, the festival of Adonis is proto-mythologically rooted in the autumn. In the natural cycles of wild plants and animals, maturity is overwhelming located upon the autumn. Moreover, the original domesticated animals were not genetically modified but merely environmentally modified. Which is to say, the most simple form of domestication is the rearing of very young wild animals. In antiquity these young were usually taken from the wild after their mother was killed by hunters. And hunting was most useful and facile — i.e. generally successful — in autumn and early winter. Frazer continues:

Thus interpreted the death of Adonis is not the natural decay of vegetation in general under the summer heat or the winter cold; it is the violent destruction of the corn by man, who cuts it down on the field, stamps it to pieces on the threshing-floor, and grinds it to powder in the mill. That this was indeed the principal aspect in which Adonis presented himself in later times to the agricultural peoples of the Levant, may be admitted; but whether from the beginning he had been the corn and nothing but the corn, may be doubted. At an earlier period he may have been to the herdsman [Bootes], above all, the tender herbage which sprouts after rain, offering rich pasture to the lean and hungry cattle. Earlier still he may have embodied the spirit of the nuts and berries which the autumn woods yield to the savage hunter … And year by year, when the trees were deciduous, every Adonis would seem to bleed to death with the red leaves of autumn and to come to life again with the fresh green of spring.

The chief god of the Canaanites was El, equivalent to Humphrey, Father Dis, Deus, Dyeus, Jupiter, etc., and, according to my thesis, equivalent to Yahweh and to Allah as well (which latter is certainly a cognate of El). The name El recrudesces in the name Elohim, which is the name whereby the northern, dominantly Red/Dionysian kingdom of Hebrews — the Kingdom of Israel — referred to its chief god. The name Yahweh is that by which the southern, relatively White/Apollonian kingdom of Hebrews, Judah, referred to its god, this perhaps to distinguish Him from the obviously Red/Dionysian El. The Red/Dionysian, preserver aspect of El is Baal — equivalent to Bel (as in the Celtic Beltane festival), Joyce, Upuat, Saturn, Hermes, Mars, Janus, Galahad, etc.). And Bel is equivalent to Belili, the Sumerian Mother Goddess.

When El was young he went to sea and met 2 women who became his wives: Rohmaya and Asherah  (Joyce’s Belle and Issy, Red and White). This pair of wives somehow together gave birth to the twins Shalim and Shachar (Joyce’s Shem and Shaun): god of dusk and god of dawn, respectively. (The name Shalim recrudesces in the name Jerusalem and in the names of David’s sons: Solomon and Absalom.) This family built a sanctuary in the desert and lived there 8 years. El is grey-haired, bearded and wears bull horns upon his helmet. He resides upon Mount Lel, at “the Source of 2 Rivers.” This residence is equivalent to Haran. Below Haran is Mesopotamia, literally (the land) “between rivers,” these being the Euphrates and the Tigris. In Hebrew lore this land is called “Aram of the 2 Rivers.” These 2 Earthly rivers correspond to 2 celestial rivers, to the top and middle levels of the universe (the celestial and the planetary), and to the 2 kinds of planets (the Red/Dionysian kind of the ecliptic and the White/Apollonian kind consisting of comets and meteors).

Phoenicia especially is equivalent to Dublin’s Phoenix Park, finnischce pairc, “brightwaters enclosure,” paradise, the Pegasus Square, as well as Cepheus, Cygnus, Lyra, Hercules — indeed the entire heroic cycle, the cycle of the Phoenix. Consider the following from Finnegans Wake:

Big Maester Finnykin with Phenicia Parkes, lame of his ear and gape of her leg, most correctingly, we beseech you, down their laddercase of nightwatch service and bring them at suntime flush with the nethermost gangrung of their stepchildren, guide them though the labyrinth of their samilikes and the alteregoases of their pseudoselves, hedge them bothways from all roamers, whose names are ligious, from loss of bearings deliver them; so they may keep to their rights and be ware of duty frees, neolific smith and magdalenian jinnyjones, mandragon mor and weak wiffeyducky, Morionmale and Thrydacianmad, basilisk glorious with his weeniequeenie, tigernack and swansgrace, he as hale as his ardouries, she as verve as her veines; this prime white arsenic with bissemate alloyed, martial sin with peccadily, …

And later, near the very end of the book:

… temtem tamtam, the Phoenician wakes.

Passing. One. We are passing. Two. From sleep we are passing. Three. Into the wikeawades warld from sleep we are passing. Four. Come, hours, be ours!

Generally the proto-mythological hero’s path is equivalent to the counter-clockwise northern face of the universal clock. Yet Jacob’s journey is more a south–north journey, vertical, as if he were climbing a ladder. Likewise the line from the Ka’aba to Haran is almost perfectly south–north. As such, we should expect there to be an essentially vertical celestial movement that nevertheless corresponds to said clock face. Sure enough, this movement is remarkably — indeed, extremely — easy to find. Of course it describes an ellipse, but the ellipse has a long axis in the south–north direction and a short axis so tiny in comparison that the movement is altogether rather simply south–north. This movement is an aspect of the universal clock and therefore has the same period as that clock: some 25,776 years — 25,920 years or 26,352 years as the proto-mythologists figured it. I’m referring to the so-called precessional movement of the constellation Osiris–Orion. In the year 2070 CE this constellation will reach its highest elevation relative to the southern horizon as seen from the northern hemisphere. Over the course of the subsequent 12,888 years (12,960 years or 13,176 years as the proto-mythologists computed) it will return to its lowest such elevation. And so on, over and over, presumably forever.

The Osiris–Orion constellation is a prime celestial equivalent of the Phoenix. Osiris is the “fair-faced one of the Nile.” Orion is a giant who can walk through the sea (á la Neptune, *Neptno, Poseidon) with his head above the water (and his body covered with barnacles). Osiris is dismembered by Set. Orion is blinded in a quarrel, but the Sun heals his eyes. In India the Osiris–Orion constellation is known as Kal Purush, the “Time Man.”


The vertical precessional movement of the Osiris–Orion constellation determines the location of the 4 proto-mythological directions — North, South, East, and West — upon the faces of the universal clock. North on the northern face is located at the tip of Ursa Minor, i.e. at Polaris, which corresponds to the precessional high point of Osiris–Orion, the beginning of the Zodiacal age of Aquarius, and Haran. This is to say, North on the northern face of the universal clock is the point on that face seemingly farthest from the geographical north pole. South on said clock face is the location of the celestial north pole when Osiris–Orion is at his precessional low point. As such, South on the northern face of the universal clock is located near the constellation Hercules, at the point on that clock face seemingly farthest from the geographical south pole. Proto-mythological East corresponds to the midway point of Osiris–Orion’s ascent and to the point on said clock face nearest to geographical east, which point is shadowed by Ursa Major. Proto-mythological West corresponds to the midway point of Osiris–Orion’s descent and to the point on said clock face nearest to geographical west, which point is presided over by Cygnus. This directionality — related to but underdetermined by the fact that the Sun sets in the west — is why the mythological island to which a dead king is supposed to travel (Ogygia or Erytheia, for instance, the former from the Greek ogugios, “primeval,” and the latter from the Greek erythros, “red,” likewise the Latin rufus and rubber, as in rubric, ruby, rudimentary and ruddy) is located to the west and south.

It’s fair to say that there are 2 primary celestial movements according to proto-mythology: that of the celestial north pole and that of Osiris–Orion. Joyce in the Wake refers to this pair in reverse order when he writes: “Which route are they going? Why? Angell sitter or Amen Corner, Norwood’s Southwalk or Euston Waste?” Richard Ellmann on Joyce:

He and his wife stayed at the Euston Hotel, which, because it is patronized by people taking the morning boat-train from Euston Station to Holyhead, calls itself ‘The Gateway to Ireland.’ ‘I feel that I am near Number Thirteen platform — the Irish Mail (absit omen!),’ Joyce told a friend. By special permission of the management he was allowed to remain at this hotel, which is intended for transients, indefinitely. Its advantages, he later described to Miss Weaver as ‘732 rooms [the number of pages in the 1st edition of his Ulysses], 2 wings, liveried porters, chatty meteorologist in the lift, whispering lounge, English breakfast, videlicet, Danish bacon, Irish eggs, American sugar, French milk, Canadian marmalade, Scotch porridge, New Zealand butter, Dutch toast. Mr. E. H. Knight, manager. I met him every morning and wished him good kday, Mr. Knight. He is a very knice man.’

Amen, you see, is the Egyptian equivalent of Father Dis, Jupiter, Zeus, etc.

On the 2nd page of the Wake Joyce writes:

Haroun Childeric Eggeberth he would caligulate by multiplicables the alltitude and malltitude until he seesaw by neatlight of the liquor wheretwin ‘twas born, his roundhead staple of other days to rise in undress maisonry upstanded (joygrantit!), a waalworth of a skyerscape of most eyeful hoyth entowerly, erigenating from next to nothing and celescalating the himals and all, hierarchitectitiptitoploftical, with a burning bush abob off its baubletop and with larrons o’toolers clittering up and tumbles a’buckets clottering down.

The Time Man’s high tide is upon us: 2070 CE, the beginning of the Zodiacal age of Aquarius, the age of multeity-in-unity, of quantum gravity. This high tide corresponds to the autumn of the year. Haran likewise corresponds to the autumn, to the proto-mythological New Year.

In this respect consider the following extended and extremely important outtake from near the end of Frazer’s Golden Bough:

From the foregoing survey we may infer that among the heathen forefathers of the European peoples the most popular and widespread fire-festival of the year was the great celebration of Midsummer Eve or Midsummer Day. The coincidence of the festival with the summer solstice can hardly be accidental. Rather we must suppose that our pagan ancestors purposely timed the ceremony of fire on earth to coincide with the arrival of the sun at the highest point of his course in the sky. If that was so, it follows that the old founders of the midsummer rites had observed the solstices or turning-points of the sun’s apparent path in the sky, and that they accordingly regulated their festal calendar to some extent by astronomical considerations.

But while this may be regarded as fairly certain for what we may call the aborigines throughout a large part of the continent, it appears not to have been true of the Celtic peoples who inhabited the Land’s End of Europe, the islands and promontories that stretch out into the Atlantic Ocean on the North-West. The principal fire-festivals of the Celts, which have survived, though in a restricted area and with diminished pomp, to modern times and even to our own day, were seemingly timed without any reference to the position of the sun in the heaven. They were two in number, and fell at an interval of six months, one being celebrated on the eve of May Day and the other on Allhallow Even or Hallowe’en, as it is now commonly called, that is, on the thirty-first of October, the day preceding All Saints’ or Allhallows’ Day. These dates coincide with none of the four great hinges on which the solar year revolves, to wit, the solstices and the equinoxes. Nor do they agree with the principal seasons of the agricultural year, the sowing in spring and the reaping in autumn. For when May Day comes, the seed has long been committed to the earth; and when November opens, the harvest has long been reaped and garnered, the fields lie bare, the fruit-trees are stripped, and even the yellow leaves are fast fluttering to the ground. Yet the first of May and the first of November mark turning-points of the year in Europe; the one ushers in the genial heat and the rich vegetation of summer, the other heralds, if it does not share, the cold and barrenness of winter. Now these particular points of the year, as has been well pointed out by a learned and ingenious writer, while they are of comparatively little moment to the European husbandman, do deeply concern the European herdsman; for it is on the approach of summer that he drives his cattle out into the open to crop the fresh grass, and it is on the approach of winter that he leads them back to the safety and shelter of the stall. Accordingly it seems not improbable that the Celtic bisection of the year into two halves at the beginning of May and the beginning of November dates from a time when the Celts were mainly a pastoral people, dependent for their subsistence on their herds, and when accordingly the great epochs of the year for them were the days on which the cattle went forth from the homestead in early summer and returned to it again in early winter. Even in Central Europe, remote from the region now occupied by the Celts, a similar bisection of the year may be clearly traced in the great popularity, on the one hand, of May Day and its Eve (Walpurgis Night), and, on the other hand, of the Feast of All Souls at the beginning of November, which under a thin Christian cloak conceals an ancient pagan festival of the dead. Hence we may conjecture that everywhere throughout Europe the celestial division of the year according to the solstices was preceded by what we may call a terrestrial division of the year according to the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter.

Be that as it may, the two great Celtic festivals of May Day and the first of November or, to be more accurate, the Eves of these two days, closely resemble each other in the manner of their celebration and in the superstitions associated with them, and alike, by the antique character impressed upon both, betray a remote and purely pagan origin. The festival of May Day or Beltane, as the Celts called it, which ushered in summer, has already been described; it remains to give some account of the corresponding festival of Hallowe’en, which announced the arrival of winter.

Of the two feasts Hallowe’en was perhaps of old the more important, since the Celts would seem to have dated the beginning of the year from it rather than from Beltane. In the Isle of Man, one of the fortresses in which the Celtic language and lore longest held out against the siege of the Saxon invaders, the first of November, Old Style, has been regarded as New Year’s day down to recent times. Thus Manx mummers used to go round on Hallowe’en (Old Style), singing, in the Manx language, a sort of Hogmanay song which began “To-night is New Year’s Night, Hogunnaa!” [Note the seeming cognacy between this title Hogunnaa and the names Anna and, especially, Humbaba/Huwawa, the monster with the “face of intestines” in the Epic of Gilgamesh. We will later address this monster in great detail. For now consider that a face of intestines is remarkably similar to the face of the Green Man, especially insofar as myriad representations of the Green Man portray vegetation issuing from his mouth and, in fewer cases, from his eyes.] In ancient Ireland, a new fire used to be kindled every year on Hallowe’en or the Eve of Samhain, and from this sacred flame all the fires in Ireland were rekindled. Such a custom points strongly to Samhain or All Saints’ Day (the first of November) as New Year’s Day; since the annual kindling of a new fire takes place most naturally at the beginning of the year, in order that the blessed influence of the fresh fire may last throughout the whole period of twelve months. Another confirmation of the view that the Celts dated their year from the first of November is furnished by the manifold modes of divination which were commonly resorted to by Celtic peoples on Hallowe’en for the purpose of ascertaining their destiny, especially their fortune in the coming year; for when could these devices for prying into the future be more reasonably put in practice than at the beginning of the year? As a season of omens and auguries Hallowe’en seems to have far surpassed Beltane in the imagination of the Celts; from which we may with some probability infer that they reckoned their year from Hallowe’en rather than Beltane. Another circumstance of great moment which points to the same conclusion is the association of the dead with Hallowe’en. Not only among the Celts but throughout Europe, Hallowe’en, the night which marks the transition from autumn to winter, seems to have been of old the time of year when the souls of the departed were supposed to revisit their old homes in order to warm themselves by the fire and to comfort themselves with the good cheer provided for them in the kitchen or the parlour by their affectionate kinsfolk. It was, perhaps, a natural thought that the approach of winter should drive the poor shivering hungry ghosts from the bare fields and the leafless woodlands to the shelter of the cottage with its familiar fireside. Did not the lowing kine then troop back from the summer pastures in the forests and on the hills to be fed and cared for in the stalls, while the bleak winds whistled among the swaying boughs and the snow-drifts deepened in the hollows? and could the good-man and the good-wife deny to the spirits of their dead the welcome which they gave to the cows?

According to the (White/Apollonian) Zodiac, the autumnal season of sacrifice, the season of se, of unity (sem, sim), of separation, September, is precisely the 7th 30-day duration since the time of year corresponding to Osiris–Orion’s precessional low point, which low point corresponds to our 21 March. This relation, recall, is why the number 7 is named “seven.” Hence, too, we have “October,” “November,” and “December”: 8, 9, and 10, respectively. On the proto-mythological view, a month is 40 days long. The duration from (but not including) 21 September through 31 October consists of precisely 40 days.

Yes, in accord with the Great Reversal the month was reduced in length from 40 days to 30 days and the New Year was moved from autumn to spring, i.e. from dusk to dawn, from night to day, from mature to virginal, from Red/Dionysian to White/Apollonian, from the prime universal clock faces to the Zodiac. This is why Joyce refers to Ireland as “this two easter island.”

The proto-mythological importance of the root se- calls to mind the Mass of St. caire, as described by Frazer in the Golden Bough.

… Gascon peasants believe that to revenge themselves on their enemies bad men will sometimes induce a priest to say a mass called the Mass of Saint Sécaire. Very few priests know this mass, and three-fourths of those who do know it would not say it for love or money. None but the wicked priests dare to perform the gruesome ceremony, and you may be quite sure that they will have a very heavy account to render for it at the last day. No curate or bishop, not even the archbishop of Auch can pardon them; that right belongs to the pope of Rome alone. The Mass of Saint Sécaire may be said only in a ruined or deserted church, where owls mope and hoot, where bats flit in the gloaming, where gypsies lodge of nights, and where toads squat under the desecrated altar. Thither the bad priest comes by night with his light o’ love, and at the first stroke of eleven he begins to mumble the mass backwards, and ends just as the clocks are knelling the midnight hour. His leman acts as clerk. The host he blesses is black and has three points; he consecrates no wine, but instead he drinks the water of a well into which the body of an unbaptized infant has been flung. He makes the sign of the cross, but it is on the ground and with his left foot. And many other things he does which no Good Christian could look upon without being struck blind and deaf and dumb for the rest of his life. But the man for whom the mass is said withers away little by little, and nobody can say what is the matter with him; even the doctors can make nothing of it. They do not know that he is slowly dying of the Mass of Saint Sécaire.

Exodus chapter 12 describes the Passover and begins by recounting God’s initial command that the New Year should be moved to the month of Nisan — a.k.a. Aviv, Abib, as in our April: “And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, ‘This month [Nisan] shall be for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you.’” (Exodus 12:1:) What is now called the civil or secular calendar — effective from Genesis 1:1 through Exodus 11 — is the old, proto-mythological calendar; it contrasts with the newer, so-called religious calendar, the calendar of the Great Reversal. The 1st month in the secular calendar is Tishri, which starts in the autumn, in our September. The Jewish Passover festival was initially celebrated in the epochal year 621 BCE, the year when a certain priest of the temple, the father of the future prophet Jeremiah, produced a book which purported to be the book of the laws of Moses. The festival occurs in conjunction with the annual celebration of the resurrection of Adonis, Tammuz, Osiris, etc.

The Golden/Legal tension between proto-mythological 6-ness (with its autumnal New Year) and White/Apollonian 12-ness (with its March New Year) is captured in the 6-pointed, 12-sided sign of Solomon, the star of David, a symbol of rising–falling, White–Red, and, especially in terms of its delta shapes, of the Black/Baroque. This same primal tension exists between the numbers 9 and 12; in fact it inheres in the number 9, which is the average of 6 and 12. Likewise this tension inheres in the number 4, which is 2/3 of 6 and 1/3 of 12. As I showed, both 9 and 4 are associated in terms of the sexagesimal numbering system with the square. A cube is composed of 6 square faces (9 x 6 = 54, a very important number mythologically, as I will later explain; and 4 x 6 = 24) and as such it has 12 edges. Thus the Star of David corresponds to the Ka’aba and likewise to Hercules, the Tree of Knowledge, the Pegasus Square, the Tree of Life — and precisely thus to the case of Golgotha and the crucified Jesus.

Homer’s Odyssey resonates with the tension between 6 and 12 and likewise — and even more so — with the tension between 9 and 12. The emergence of Odysseus (a.k.a. Ulysses) from the Trojan War seems to mark the reformulation of the heroic type in general relative to the Great Reversal. Not only that; it marks the emergence of a new, White/Apollonian type of art: the original stream of consciousness. Robert Fitzgerald: “Homer’s greatest display of virtuosity, it may well be, lay in handing over to his hero his own job, his art as aoidos or singer of tales, for 2,232 lines, a good sixth of The Odyssey, Books IX through XII of the twenty-four.” Books 9 through 12, in which Odysseus tells the Phaiakians (who lived on the island now called Corfu) about his journey from Troy; note the 2232 lines, a number surely not lost on Joyce. After the famous 9-year stalemate in the Trojan War, Odysseus enters the wooden horse (i.e. Cepheus, the tomb, the ark, the cave, the grotto, the cathedral, etc.) and thus brings the war to an end. Hence he sails westward, to Ismaros on the far shore, the coast of the Kikones. I believe this location corresponds to the constellation Hercules. The Kikones kill many of his men, 6 from each of the 12 ships. The party sails away but a storm comes up and forces them to wait it out for a few days. And when they finally come around Malea, the southern point of Greece, the current takes them out to sea — and a wind from the north sends them drifting 9 days to the land of the Lotus Eaters. I believe that Malea and the land of the Lotus Eaters correspond to Polaris, and that likewise the 9 days correspond to a full cosmic cycle. Another such cycle brings them to the land of the Cyclopes, particularly to the cave of Polyphemos, cannibal son of Poseidon. Odysseus blinds Polyphemous with a 6-foot pole, thus earning the hatred of Poseidon. Book 9 ends with Odysseus and his remaining crew escaping from Polyphemos. Next up is the floating island Aiolia (a.k.a. Lipara, among the 7 Aeolian Islands), home to the wind king Aiolos Hippotades and his 6 sons and 6 daughters. Here again, I believe, is Polaris — or more generally the celestial north pole. Aiolos keeps Odysseus a full month to hear the tale of Troy. He then uses a wind to facilitate Odysseus’s return to Ithaca. After 9 days the crew spots the cost of Ithaca, but when they greedily open the leathern bag which Aiolos had given Odysseus, the winds therein escape and blow the travelers back to Aiolia. For 6 days and nights the crew rows away, until they come to Laistrygonia, “that land where daybreak follows dusk,” where they enter “a curious bay with mountain walls of stone to left and right, and reaching far inland” and where they encounter a “stalwart young girl taking her pail to Artakia, the fountain where these people go for water.” This is to say, they arrive on (or in) the west coast of Norway, which is yet another symbol of Polaris. Fleeing the cannibal Viking king, Ulysses and his crew next make landfall on Aeaea, “island of Circe, dire beauty and divine, sister of baleful Aeetes, like him fathered by Helios the light of mortals on Perse, child of the Ocean stream.” Again, we are at Polaris. A 22-man expedition absent Odysseus goes to explore the center of the island. “In the wild wood they found an open glade, around a smooth stone house — the hall of Circe — and wolves and mountain lions lay there, mild in her soft spell, fed on her drug of evil.” Circe transforms all the 22 men but Eurylokhos into swine. We may infer that the wolves and mountains lions are likewise transformed men. In this sense Circe has sacrificed these men. Eurylokhos escapes to inform Odysseus, who then sets out to rescue his men. But Hermes intercepts him and provides him with the magic plant he needs to protect himself against Circe’s magic. Circe recognizes the hero by this antidote. “Odysseus then you are, O great contender, of whom the glittering god with golden wand spoke to me ever, and foretold the black swift ship would carry you from Troy.” Circe returns the men to their human form. The whole gang hangs out with Circe for a bit too long. Eventually Odysseus’s crew reminds their captain of his intent to return home. He therefore asks Circe for his leave, to which request she responds: “Odysseus, master mariner and soldier, you shall not stay here longer against your will; but home you may not go unless you take a strange way round and come to the cold homes of Death and pale Persephone.” Odysseus wakes his men to begin the strange journey via the land of death, which land I believe corresponds to the constellation Hercules. “Among [the men] the youngest was Elpenor — no mainstay in a fight nor very clever — and this one, having climbed on Circe’s roof to taste the cool night, fell asleep with wine. Waked by our morning voices, and the tramp of men below, he started up, but missed his footing on the long steep backward ladder and fell that height headlong.” This death plunge from the ladder corresponds to the river Oceanus running from Polaris to Hercules. Odysseus upon reaching the land of the dead is initially met by none other than Elpenor. “How is this, Elpenor, how could you journey to the western gloom swifter afoot than I in the black lugger?” Elpenor describes his fall from the ladder and makes this request: “When you make sail and put these lodgings of dim Death behind, you will moor ship, I know, upon Aeaea Island; there, O my lord, remember me, I pray, do not abandon me unwept, unburied, to tempt the gods’ wrath, while you sail for home; but fire my corpse, and all the gear I had, and build a cairn for me above the breakers — an unknown sailor’s mark for men to come. Heap up the mound there, and implant upon it the oar I pulled in life with my companions.” Among the many other ghosts Odysseus encounters during this visit is Tityos: “And I saw Tityos, the son of Gaia, lying abandoned over nine square rods of plain. Vultures, hunched above him, left and right, rifling his belly, stabbed into the liver, and he could never push them off.” The last ghost Odysseus encounters is Hercules. “[And then] the ship went leaping toward the stream of Ocean first under oars, then with a following wind.” Thus the party returns to Aeaea and Circe. They bury Elpenor as he had asked. Circe warns them of their next peril: “Square in your ship’s path are Sirens, crying beauty to bewitch men passing by; woe to the innocent who hears that sound! He will not see his lady nor his children in joy, crowding about him, home from sea; the Sirens will sing his mind away on their sweet meadow lolling. There are bones of dead men rotting in a pile beside them and flayed skins shrivel around the spot. Steer wide; keep well to seaward; plug your oarsmen’s ears with beeswax kneaded soft; none of the rest should hear that song. But if you wish to listen, let the men tie you in the lugger, hand and foot, back to the mast, lashed to the mast. The Sirens correspond to the Pegasus Square, with the World Tree/Mast stemming between it and the constellation Cepheus, i.e. Odysseus’s boat. “What then? One of two courses you may take and you yourself must weigh them.” The initial of these courses runs between the Symplegades, the twin, “prowling” rocks. “Only one ocean-going craft, the far-famed Argo, made it [through], sailing from Aeaea; but she, too, would have crashed on the big rocks if Hera had not pulled her through, for love of Jason, her captain.” These rocks correspond to the constellation Hercules. The other course “lies between headlands.” One of these headlands “is a sharp mountain piercing the sky, with stormcloud round the peak.” This is Polaris. “Midway that height, a cavern full of mist opens toward Erebos and evening …; [this] is the den of Scylla.” The serpent Scylla has 6 legs and 12 heads. On the other headland, opposite, grows a great wild fig tree. Charybdis the maelstrom lurks just off shore. This headland corresponds to the constellation Hercules. The course between the headlands corresponds to the straight stretch from Hercules to Polaris, i.e. the ladder Elpenor fell from, Draco, Oceanus. Odysseus chooses the course past Scylla. He loses 6 crew members to the monster but the ship otherwise passes safely onward to the island of the Sun, of Helios, where they put in to a grotto, a sea cave. Here again is Polaris. The crew slaughters several of Helios’s choice cattle, angering the god and prompting Odysseus and crew to sail away. At Helios’s request Zeus blasts the ship with a lightning bolt. All are killed by Odysseus, who drifts toward Charybdis. He leaps for the great fig tree and hangs from it like a bat. Finally he lets go, falls into the flotsam of his ship, and paddles hard to pass Scylla. “Never could I have passed her had not the Father of gods and men, this time, kept me from her eyes. Once through the strait, nine days I drifted in the open sea before I made shore, buoyed up by the gods, upon Ogygia Isle. The dangerous nymph Kalypso lives and sings there, in her beauty, and she received me, loved me.” So ends chapter 12, once again at Polaris. Athena eventually intervenes to free Odysseus. Zeus sends his favorite son Hermes to Kalypso to secure the hero’s release. “But let him have no company,” says Zeus, “gods or men, only a raft that he must lash together, and after twenty days, worn out at sea, he shall make land upon the garden isle, Scheria, of our kinsmen, the Phaiakians. “[A]nd now her ladyship [Kalypso], having given heed to Zeus’s mandate, went to find Odysseus in his stone seat to seaward — tear on tear brimming his eyes.” She sets Odysseus adrift and he eventually reaches the isle of the Phaiakians, where he is cared for by princess Nausikaa. Once again we are at Polaris. Thus the story of Odysseus involves 9 equivalents of Polaris: Troy, the land of the Lotus Eaters, the land of the Cyclopes, Aiolia, Norway, Circe’s isle Aeaea, the island of the Sun, Kalypso’s island Ogygia, and the isle of the Phaiakians. Adding Ismaros, the land of the dead, and the great wild fig tree — all equivalent to the constellation Hercules —makes a total of 12 landfalls prior to Ithaca. Counting Malea as an equivalent of Polaris, and counting Aiolia and Aeaea twice, we have 12 Polaris equivalents before Ithaca.

Curiously, 12 rue de l’Odeon, Paris, was the address of Sylvia Beach’s now famous bookstore Shakespeare & Co. Ms. Beach was the original publisher of Joyce’s Ulysses — his White/Apollonian, daytime book, which he based on the Odyssey — and she initially presented it to the world in the front window of her shop. Joyce, no doubt, considered said address — as well as Ms. Beach’s name and the name of her bookstore — tremendous synchronicities relative to his work.

We’ve discussed the significance attaching to Haran’s longtitude. Now we are ready to understand the significance of its latitude. That latitude is approximately 37° (36° 51') north — almost exactly the latitude at which the star Canopus is no longer visible on the southern horizon (depending somewhat, of course, on the observer’s altitude) when the Osiris–Orion constellation is at its highest point of the precessional cycle. Canopus, you see, is counterpart to Sirius. Located at the right foot of Osiris–Orion, Sirius is brightest of all stars. Canopus is second brightest. The Egyptian names for Sirius are Sothis, Septet, and Sept — as in September, the season of sacrifice, the proto-mythological New Year. Sirius is likewise considered the god of circumcision. Clearly Sirius represents the high tide of Osiris–Orion’s south–north journey; it corresponds to Polaris and Haran. Canopus — named after the pilot of Menelaos’s ship to Troy — represents the low tide. For ancient residents of the northern hemisphere who could see it, Canopus served as the south pole star. As such, Canopus corresponds to the Hercules constellation, the Ka’aba, and moreover to the Pegasus Square, the Trojan Horse, and Phoenicia. Which is to say, Canopus corresponds to the tomb and the womb, the fallen, complex hero/god. In a word, Canopus is Red/Dionysian relative to Sirius. And in fact the low position Canopus occupies relative to the horizon of the northern hemisphere involves Canopus in the phenomenon of atmospheric extinction, which causes it to appear increasingly golden reddish as one travels north. In ancient Egypt a “canopic jar” preserved the viscera of a dead person, for burial with the mummy. The chief ancient Egyptian port town was called Canopus by the Greeks, which name resonates perhaps significantly with the ancient Egyptian Kah Nub, “golden floor.” Homer claims the town arose around a shore-side monument built by Menelaos to the memory of his pilot Canopus, who died there from a serpent bite. The Egyptians called the town Pikuat or Peguat — as in Pegasus, and in apparent contrast to Upuat. The town stood on the western bank of the westernmost branch of the Nile delta, the so-called Canopic or Heracleotic branch, in the seventh sepat (province) of Lower Egypt, which word sepat itself signifies the number seven, as in sepulcher, from the Latin word meaning “bury,” this from the P-I-E sep, whence the Greek hépein, “perform, work,” as in Hephaistos, and likewise whence the Sanskrit sápati, “he courts, cares for” — as in the Pegasus-borne/born Perseus/George/Ulysses, and as in Hephaistos’s love for Aphrodite, and as in Menelaos’s love for Helen. Menelaos’s caring for and monument to Canopus corresponds to his love for Helen and to the Trojan Horse and to Troy itself. After leaving Troy, Menelaos’s ship was blown by (Poseidon’s) storms to Crete and Egypt — delineating, I say, the historical sources of the Trojan people and culture — and there becalmed. Menelaos had to take counsel from the shape-shifting sea god Proteus in order to secure winds for passage back to Sparta. Proteus informed Menelaos that Elyisum was Menelaos’s destiny. The name of the seventh sepat meant “West Harpoon,” as if the Nile delta was considered a set of harpoons, a sort of trident. Poseidon, recall, is considered the builder of the walls of Troy. The major deity of the West Harpoon was Ha, who was god of the sea-like western deserts — the Deshret, “Red” — and was associated with the underworld, the Duat. In Chinese, let me add, the star Canopus is called “Star of the Old.”

Frazer presents the following germane account written in 1881 CE by a Christian missionary among the Yorubas in West Africa: “When a son is born to the king of Oyo, they make a model of the infant’s right foot in clay and keep it in the house of the elders (ogboni). If the king fails to observe the customs of the country, a messenger, without speaking a word, shows him his child’s foot. The king knows what that means. He takes poison and goes to sleep.”

Sirius and Canopus are considered “dog stars.” The name Canopus, cognate with canine, is significant of this relation. Upuat — a.k.a. Wepwawet, the Greek Anoubis, from the Egyptian Anpu, which name stems from the word inpw, which word is related to the English word emperor, which word derives from the Latin in + parare, “to prepare, order” — who guides souls through the mysterious Duat, has the head of a jackal. As the Red/Dionysian planets are the “dogs of Persephone” (i.e. of Aphrodite/Persephone, the Sun), Sirius and Canopus are the dogs of Osiris–Orion. Likewise it’s fair to say that Polaris is the mysterious “fox star” alluded to in many legends. Polaris indeed corresponds to the Norse Fenrir, wolf-son of Loki. When Fenrir breaks his bonds, Ragnarök begins. Dogs are rather generally associated with death, especially with sacrifice. On the Indonesian island of Sumba I witnessed the ritual autumnal sacrifice of a horse and an ox. The horse was slowly strangled with a long rope, but ox's jugular vein was severed and his neck was then hacked through with machetes. Almost as soon as his blood hit the dirt ground, several local dogs rushed in and lapped it up.

Regarding Persephone, I should point out that her name/title consists of phero + phonos, meaning “she who brings destruction.” The Romans called her Proserpina, “fearful one,” which name is closely linked to the Etruscan phersu and to the Greek prosopon, both meaning “mask.” She is Kolyo/Kali. True to Kolyo's richness as complete, triple-Goddess (Maiden–Nymph–Crone), the Athenians also gave to Persephone the title Persephatta, from ptersis + ephapto, “she who mends destruction.” She is the singular yet complex Fate, equivalent to Aphrodite–Hermes. Persephone was originally the maiden Core, daughter of the Mother Goddess Demeter. According to the account which Helios (the Sun, who sees all and is proto-mythologically equivalent to the Mother Goddess) gave to Demeter (i.e. to herself, for Helios is Hel is Helen is Sel is Sol is Swel is Sunna is Sonne is soul is, according to proto-mythology, chiefly female; this in contrast to Sem, Set, Sin, Man, Men, Mond, Mont, Lucifer, Lugos, Lycos, Ulysses, who is chiefly male), Core was picking (red) poppies amongst a herd of swine when the Earth there opened up, swallowed the swine, and then immediately admitted into its depths an onrushing chariot pulled by 4 black horses and commanded by a driver whose face was hidden but who clutched a shrieking Core. That charioteer was supposedly Hades, brother of Zeus. Demeter was so furious that she traveled all over the Earth, everywhere forbidding the plants to yield fruits, vegetables and herbs. Humanity thus came to the brink of extinction. After much negotiation the 12 Olympian gods agreed that Core should be returned to Demeter, who was presently waiting at Eleusis. However, it was soon proven that whilst in Tartarus Core picked a (red) pomegranate and ate 7 of its seeds. (In autumn the ripe fruit of the pomegranate tree splits open, like a wound, and thus reveals its red seeds. The pomegranate tree represents Tammuz/Adonis. Likewise a pomegranate tree sprouts from the spilled blood of Dionysus.)


According to eternal law, nobody who eats the food of the dead can return to the world of the living. But a compromise was reached according to which Core would spend 1/3 of the year — or ½ or ¼ of the year — with Hades; the rest of the year she would spend with Demeter. It was then that Demeter instituted the Eleusian Mysteries. Now, that pomegranate corresponds to Eve’s apple. The 7 seeds correspond not only to the 7 planets but also to the 7 constellations immediate to the center of the northern face of the universal clock. The difference between Core spending 1/3 of the year and ½ or ¼ of the year in Tartarus corresponds to the patriarchal reduction of the triple-Goddess to a merely dual Maiden–Mother (White–Black), i.e. to the suppression of the Nymph and thus the reduction of the hero in general (as Hercules was reduced), and likewise to the switch from a year having 9 “suns” and 3 major seasons to a year having 12 moons/months and 4 major seasons. Which is to say, the abduction of Core is symbolic of the Great Reversal. Recognizing this significance, and recalling that the category “planets” includes comets and meteors, and noting the worldwide famine the myth attributes to Demeter’s fury, I am led to suggest that the speeding 4-horse chariot (the horse being a symbol of both Demeter, goddess of the Earth, and of Poseidon, god of earthquakes) bearing Hades and Core/Persephone — god and goddess of destruction — represents the giant comet(s) and/or meteor(s) that impacted the Earth c. 3200 BCE. Regardless, that chariot and its driver proto-mythologically represent the (female) Sun. Core, in other words, is not the abducted but the abductor: Hel, Helen, Swel, and so on. Likewise Hades — alias Menelaos, Man, Moon, Lucifer, Lug, Kronos, Hercules, etc. — is in truth the sacrificed hero/king. Eve’s apple and Helen’s apple are the original passport to death, given by the Nymph to her lover/hero/king, whom she effectively sacrifices when he is, say, 33 years old. Conversely, Hercules (i.e. Hades, Aïdes, Aï–Deus), upon completing his 12 Labors against proto-mythology, returns to Thebes and promptly divorces his wife Megara — who is precisely 33 years old — in order to obtain a younger, more auspicious wife. Yet the essentially proto-mythological heroes Alexander the Great and Jesus of Nazareth both died aged 33 years.

As the Delphic Oracle severely commented, “Hercules of Tiryns is a very different man from his Caopic namesake.” Regarding Canopus, we will learn more about him in relation to the Argo, which ark of sorts — like all mythological arks — is equivalent to Cepheus, the Pegasus Square, the sanctuary of El, the vault below Solomon’s Temple, the city, the inn, Hercules, the Ka’aba, and generally to both body and soul, tomb and hero.

According to proto-mythology, the whole Middle Eastern geography around Haran should map to the universal clock. We’ve seen that Haran corresponds to Polaris, that Phoenicia corresponds to the Pegasus Square, and that the king of Byblos corresponds to the constellation Cepheus. Likewise the Euphrates corresponds to the so-called Milky Way, with Cygnus afloat on it. The Tigris corresponds to Oceanus, the river which flows from proto-mythological North on the northern face of the universal clock to proto-mythological South thereon. Likewise Oceanus, the Tigris, and the precessional journey of Osiris–Orion each correspond to the constellation Eridanus, which celestial river meanders southward from the foot of Osiris–Orion to the southern face of the universal clock, terminating at the star Achernar, 9th brightest of all stars and nearly coincident with the point on that southern clock face which corresponds to 3200 BCE, the beginning of the Great Reversal. Sumeria’s Ur, with its famous bulls-head harps, corresponds to Lyra. Sumeria’s Eridu corresponds to the far South, i.e. to the constellation Hercules, the Ka’aba, to Columba, and to Achernar, the end of Eridanus. Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer, at once representing the Absent Father (Ouranos) and the Fallen Father (Kronos, Father Dis, Neptune, Poseidon, etc.) stands in the Persian Gulf.

The river Euphrates — the “Milky Way” — is especially interesting in this mytho-astro-geological-archaeological respect. The name Euphrates is a Greek version of the native Ufratu. The upper Euphrates is still termed the “Frat” by locals. This epithet recalls the English word freight, which word stems from the Old High German Vracht or Vrecht. The river’s freight is the dead, sacrificed king. Sure enough, the epithet “Hera’s Glory,” i.e. Herakles or Hercules, stems from the name of the Greek river Heracleius. The youthful Hercules — prior to performing his 12 Labors, and when he was still called Palaemon or Alcaeus and had not yet gained his more famous and considerably ironic epithet from the oracle of Delphi — vanquished king Pyraechmus of the Euboeans and had the king’s body torn in half by horses and exposed unburied on the banks of the Heracleius. Hera, as she has come down to us, is goddess of simple, White/Black death-in-life; Hercules is the corresponding hero. Both are reduced versions of the proto-mythological triple-Goddess–God. They represent the Great Reversal’s severance of cyclical time, of quantum time, the reduction of the Black/Baroque fractal to a space–time linear continuum. They represent the devaluation of the real, of the existential, of the medium, of Red/Dionysian complexity, and the overvaluation of the simply ideal, of the singular, of the point where extremes meet. They deny the river its freeing nature, its essence as boundary, which essence signifies the principle of fractal multiplicity and the corollary notion that there is real albeit ana-logical rebirth. Proto-mythologically, the Euphrates corresponds to the river of death. Plato calls this river the Without Memory River, the Amēleta Potamon, as well as the Forgetfulness River, the Lēthē Potamon. Amlethus (i.e. Hamlet in Saxo Grammaticus’s version of the Hamlet story, c. 1200 CE; books III and IV of Gesta Danorum, a history of Denmark) is, like Plato’s hero Er, remarkably lacking memory of what he should be, of what he must be. Nevertheless he is charged with a sense of his destiny, which destiny is precisely equivalent to the destiny of his father. The Amēleta Potamon, i.e. the proto-Heracleius, corresponds to the boundary, the nothingness (as Sartre referred to it), between so-called monads; i.e. it corresponds to the ultimate freedom of monads, to the multiplicity-in-unity of monads, to the beauty of reality, of existence, of the Black/Baroque, which is not to be denied by the Hera-style, Zoroastrian-style idealism concomitant of the Great Reversal.

The Proto-Indo-Europeans associated death with a goddess: Kolyo “the coverer.” She is equivalent to the Russian Kupalo, to the Greek Kalypso (cognate with eclipse), to the Jain Kali, to Anna, to Merlin’s love Viviane (a.k.a. Nimu, etc.), and, in a reduced sense, to Hera, to the Vedic Śarva, to the Avestan Saurva, to Abraham’s Sarai. The Sanskrit verbal root vr present in these latter names (as -rv or simply -r) does in fact mean “to cover.” The river Euphrates is equivalent to Kolyo; it is not a “milky way” but a muddy way, brown or, hyperbolically, black. The brown goddess is the complete goddess: Black, White and Red, i.e. Black/Baroque.

Saint Sarah, in the basement crypt of the church at Saints-Maries-de-la-Mar, on the south coat of France. She is the patron saint of gypsies, who refer to her as Sarah-la-Kali, “Sarah the Black.” According to legend, shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, 3 Marys were set to “sail” — although without sail and without oars — from Palestine: Mary Salome (mother of apostles James and John), Mary Jacobe (sister of Jesus’s mother Mary), and Mary Magdalene. But Sarah, the black Egyptian servant of Mary Salome and Mary Jacobe, wept so in watching the Marys depart that Mary Salome unfurled her cloak from the boat to Sarah, who was able to walk on it across the water and thus join the Marys. Ultimately their boat landed at what is now the town of Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mar, in the Camargue region of France (which region is famed for its wild, white horses and its black bulls). There the Marys built an oratory.

A pilgrimage of gypsies to the sea occurs every 24–25 May at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mar, upon the holiday feast of Mary Jacobe.

Sepia officianlis, the common European cuttle-fish — as in calamari or Kali-Mary or Sarah-la-Kali. Like her fellow cephalopods the octopus and squid, Sepia officianlis bears organs throughout her skin which feature pigmented discs — white, red, yellow, or black in color — and by her control relative to her environment are revealed or hidden such that she promptly changes color and takes on a uniform, mottled or striped appearance to become effectively invisible. Here, as Jerome Y. Lettvin points out in his truly fascinating contribution to the excellent compilation Astronomy of the Ancients, we have a prime basis of the mythic Gorgon Medusa. Perseus beheads the Gorgon Medusa and carries her head nailed to his shield. That head is winged, and it brandishes wild boar’s tusks. One direct look from Medusa’s eyes will turn a man (but not, as Camille Paglia points up, a woman) to stone — i.e. it will petrify him. Note, too, that the word cephalopod and the name Cepheus both stem from the Greek kephale, meaning “head,” which word is cognate with the Old High German gebal, meaning “skull,” and gibil, meaning “gable, pole of the Earth.” Recall, the most unique charge leveled against the Knights Templar during Philip IV’s persecution of the order is that they worshipped a strange human-like head. The legal records of the trials which culminated that persecution say remarkably little or nothing about the head but several do contain interesting accounts of it. Guillaume de Arbley who was the preceptor of the Templar house at Soissy in the diocese of Meaux testified on 22 October 1307 that he had seen a bearded head idol twice, which he claimed was gilded and made of silver and wood. In some instances the head is described as having 2 heads and 4 legs. Quoting British historian Norman Cohn: “Some describe [the head] as having three faces, others as having four feet, others as being simply a face with no feet. For some it was a human skull, embalmed and encrusted with jewels; for others it was carved out of wood. Some maintained that it came from the remains of a former grand master of the order, while others were equally convinced that it was Baphomet — which in turn was interpreted as 'Mohammed'. Some saw it as having horns.”


According to Greek mythology the father of Palaemon (i.e. of Alcaeus, of Hercules) is Zeus, and the mother is the mortal Alcmene, “strong in wrath.” Alcmene is the last mortal with whom Zeus mates. He intends to produce by her a hero who will save both humanity and the gods. Therefore he takes the form of her husband Amphitryon (note the try- root) and lays with her for 3 full nights while tricking her (note the tri- root of the word trick, which word stems from the Latin tricae, “complication, trifle,” and is closely related to tribe) into thinking that but a single night has passed. Alcmene is equivalent to the triple-Goddess; and true to form she in turn gives birth to twins: Iphicles and Palaemon, elder and younger, respectively. (The fundamental role of Iphicles is suppressed in the legend, but his name resonates with Phyllis, “leafy,” and with the red Philistines, and with the Latin felis, “cat,” and filial, “son,” and filum, “thread,” and felare, “to suck,” and with Palaemon’s eventual friend Phylius, who is friends/lovers with Cycnus, a son of Apollo by Hyria, he who leaps into a lake and is transformed into a swan. Another Cycnus is son of Ares and Pyrene and challenges Paleamon/Hercules to a duel which Zeus in turn prevents.) Alcmene fears Hera’s jealousy and therefore abandons the infant Palaemon/Alcaeus in a Theban field — precisely as Gaia abandons Erichthonios, and precisely as the Levite woman abandons Moses along the Nile. (Supposedly Alcmene retains the far weaker Iphicles, claiming him to be a son of Amphitryon, who in fact mated with her the night after Zeus finished doing so.) Consequently Zeus has Athena take Hera for a walk through that field. Hera of course finds the babe and puts him to her breast, but he sucks so hard that she shrieks in pain and flings him to the ground — calling him a “young monster” as a spurt of her milk arcs across the sky. This is how the Milky Way was formed.

Remember my odd suggestion that the dragon in the St. George myth is equivalent to a baby? In the Greek myth of the Galaxy we have a direct expression of that connection. (Like many parents, I laughingly call my infant son a “little devil.” Indeed my wife and I were initially taken aback by the virtual ferocity with which he, like any infant, all but attacks her breast when feeding.) Recall as well that St. George is equivalent to Perseus, and that the constellation, as it were, which is the Galaxy, along with the constellations Perseus, Andromeda, Cetus, the Pegasus Square, Cassiopeia, and Cepheus represent the prime players in the most central of all myths: that which expresses the stability and instability — the dynamics — of the sacred family unit. In accord with the Great Reversal, that central myth has Zeus committing the infidelities against Hera: fathering Palaemon (Hercules) with Alceme, fathering Perseus with Danae, raping Europa, and so on. Proto-mythologicially, however, the myth of the sacred family emphasizes the cuckolding/sacrifice of the husband/father figure. We see this proto-mythology re-emerge in terms of the legend of Troy, the legend of Merlin’s conception, the legend of Merowig’s conception, and the legend of Tristan and Iseult — all of which point to the Grail legend. The baby lying between the parents is akin to a sword; it is Tristan’s sword lying between he and Iseult, which sword King Mark replaces with his own; indeed it is the very Tree of Life springing especially from the dead father’s body, from the Pegasus Square, from the rock, from Peter, from Pater. The baby and the sword are the dashing outsider — the Perseus, the George, the Paris, the sea monster, the Tristan, the incubus, the Arthur, the Lancelot, the Galahad — who proto-mythologically arrive from afar as a prime player in the dynamic of the sacred family. They and the World Tree and the sacred family and the whole cosmos, they are the stone which fell from Heaven, the lapsit exillis, the Holy Grail.

Hera leaves the baby Palaemon (Hercules) for dead, but her milk has rendered him immortal — precisely as immortal as the Milky Way — which is a constellation of sorts, the most complex constellation, at that. Athena finds the babe and returns him to Alcmene. Similarly Erichthonios was abandoned by Gaia and found by Athena, who gave him to Aglauros for nursing and later took him back and reared him under her own aegis, literally. Likewise the pharaoh’s daughter found Moses by the Nile and gave him back to his Hebrew mother (of the priestly, Red/Dionysian tribe Levi, as was the boy’s father) for nursing, who eventually gave him back to the princess, who then named him Moses, “Because I drew him out of the water.” Thus the name Moses corresponds to the name Hercules — i.e. to the river Heracleius, the river of death, the river of forgetfulness, of freedom, of fractally quantum multiplicity-in-unity and thus of rebirth, of beauty, of the Black/Baroque — and Athena corresponds to the pharaoh’s daughter and to Apollo’s (rather than Gaia’s) oracle at Delphi. … Perseus, too. His mother Danae had been imprisoned by her father Acrisius in a bronze tower, for according to prophecy the initial son of Danae would kill Acrisius. Zeus, however, visited the imprisoned Danae as a shower of golden rain and thus fathered Perseus. Danae spirits away Perseus away to sea in the cubic chest Acrisius shuts Danae and the baby Perseus in a cubic wooden chest and tosses it into the sea. The pair wash ashore on the island of Seriphos, where Perseus grows up among the fisher folk. Eventually Perseus does kill Acrisius — by accident, with a discus throw. Similarly, Aphrodite hides the infant Tammuz/Adonis in a chest.

The Thebans yet point to the place where Zeus and Athena tricked Hera; they call it the Plain of Hercules; and it corresponds to the northern face of the universal clock and especially to the most complex and the most central constellations thereof: respectively, the Milky Way and the sea–serpent Draco (a.k.a. Typhon, Python, etc.) and thus to Delphi as well. Erichthonios, Moses, Hercules, and, for that matter, the aforementioned Briareus (as in briar patch, i.e. heather, the Greek ereikē; and bier and bear): they are all equivalent to that sea serpent, to Zeus sleeping on his couch. Gaia is clearly proto-Hera is clearly Alcmene is clearly the Levite mother: the full triple-Goddess rather than the reduced, relatively White/Black goddess of the Great Reversal. Yet said reduction is never complete. The Hera of the Great Reversal still has a foot in the Golden Age, she is still the triple-Goddess, still the killer of her husband. She’s now a housewife, to be sure; but she’s a desperate housewife, a nymph as well as a virgin and crone.

Hera’s hatred of Hercules is overstated by the Greek mythographers. Insofar as Hera is proto-Hera (eg. Gaia) she (a) hates Hercules inasmuch as he is the new hero, poster boy of the Great Reversal, yet (b) loves him inasmuch as he is the proto-mythological hero; and insofar as she is the new Hera, the ultimate wife and mother of the Great Reversal, she (c) loves Hercules inasmuch as he is the hero of the Great Reversal, and (d) hates him inasmuch as he is the proto-mythological hero. Naturally the Greek mythographers appealed to the peoples’ (i.e. to the Black/Baroque’s) eternally proto-mythological heartstrings. In this chief respect these mythographers, being of course advocates of the Great Reversal, painted Hera the bad cop, the character trying to suppress the emergence of the appropriate hero; concomitantly they painted Zeus the good cop, the promoter of this hero. Therefore Hera tricks (i.e. trifles) Zeus into nominating the relatively weakly Eurytheus to the throne (throne being another tro/try/tre/tri word) which Zeus had otherwise destined Hercules for. Bad Hera! Yet Eurytheus is profoundly weak: his name means “red Zeus” and he is said to be a “7-months child,” this redness symbolizing his priestly, pre-sacrificed, aboriginal, Kronos-like, senescent nature, and the reference to premature birth likewise at once indicating Eurytheus’s relative weakness and his antiquity, for in the Golden Age the year was divided into 9 months of 40 days and therefore all healthy gestations lasted about 7 of these months (9 x 30 = 270, 7 x 40 = 280). Zeus responds by tricking Hera: he suggests that Hercules humble himself by performing 12 labors to be stipulated by her lame king, if you will, but that Hercules should also be immortal. Hera agrees to the deal. Although Eurytheus is equivalent (though not identical) to Kronos as Hercules is equivalent to Zeus, Zeus is moreover equivalent to Kronos, having replaced him as the chief god; and in this sense Eurystheus is equivalent to Zeus and is thus bound to act out Zeus’s overarching program, the program of the Great Reversal. It follows that all the 12 labors which Eurystheus forces upon Hercules are attacks upon proto-mythological symbols. Yet the story paints Hera the aggressor in this respect, for Eurytheus is her man, so to speak. Again the (Black/Baroque) chorus (of satyrs; i.e. the People) is meant to yell, “Bad Hera!” Nevertheless the immortality of Hercules expresses  the immortality which Zeus intends for the Great Reversal (i.e. for himself); and the proto-mythological river of forgetfulness, of sacrifice, of death-and-fractally-quantum-rebirth, of multeity-in-unity, of beauty, of the triune Black/Baroque (White–Red–Black), the canopy of the World Tree, is painted a literal galaxy of merely White (i.e. White/Black) milk, a symbol of the Mother’s woundedness, of her fall, and of the supposed Heaven/Hell beyond and more final than the material world. Thus the yo-yo between White and Red, simplicity and complexity, goes on; and although a fundamental aspect of Hera is indeed in complicity with the merely White, the account of the conversation (as it were) — which account tends to be constructed by the supposed victors, i.e. by the advocates of the merely White, of the Great Reversal — naturally paints Hera as being petty if not too trivial (as in the Latin “Diana of the Crossroads,” a.k.a. Trivia) relative to a more even-handed, reasonable, straightforward Zeus. (All you trivia buffs out there are at least inasmuch Red/Dionysian advocates to the Golden/Legal philosophy.)

In this light consider the following from Robert Graves’ Greek Myths:

Olympianism had been formed as a religion of compromise between the pre-Hellenic matriarchal principle and the Hellenic patriarchal principle; the divine family consisting, at first, of six gods and six goddesses. An uneasy balance of power was kept until Athene was reborn from Zeus’s head, and Dionysus, reborn from his thigh, took Hestia’s seat at the divine Council; thereafter male preponderance in any divine debate was assured — a situation reflected on earth — and the goddess’s ancient prerogatives could now be successfully challenged.

Hestia abdicates to live among the mortals (i.e. the People, the Black/Baroque). Dionysus, her replacement, is naturally a Red male, i.e. a female male. Likewise Demeter absents Olympus during part of each year, to visit her daughter Core (a.k.a. Persephone) in the under-underworld (Tartarus) ruled by Hades (who has abducted Core but by compromise with Zeus and Demeter keeps her for this part of the year only); and in this sense Hades is admitted to Olympos. Which is to say, insofar as Hestia and Demeter remain (rather proto-mythologically) on Olympus, Dionysus and Hades are not admitted — Dionysus being proto-mythologically of the real, material realm, the Earthly realm, the medium, and Hades being proto-mythologically of the merely ideal, Black realm which in its extremity meets (White) Olympus. Moreover with the Great Reversal we get the aforementioned denigration/masculinization of Hera, the virginalization of Artemis, the maligning of Ares, etc. The original 12 Olympians are Zeus, Poseidon, Ares, Hephaistos, Hermes, Apollo, Hera, Aphrodite, Demeter, Hestia, Athena, and Artemis, listed here in no special order although Zeus above all represents the grand compromise Graves refers to in the passage above.

A traditional painting of Kali, recently created by a woman villager
near Madhubni in the Mithila province of far northeastern India.


Incredibly beautiful to behold from her front, the primeval, triple-Goddes Kolyo — proto-Hera, Kali, Aphrodite etc. — is incredibly hideous from her back, which writhes of snakes and worms. Every creature is ultimately bound to Kolyo by a snare about a foot or a noose about the neck — or simply by their very guts. Thereby she pulls every hero to his death, swallows them, renders them the Green Man, the Green Knight, the Wild Man, “the gardener” and “the rock” (i.e. the base). Thus every Arthurian knight except Galahad is swallowed by the Earth when he attempts to sit in the Round Table’s 12th chair. (The association between Kolyo’s writhing posterior and the Green Man’s verdurous face lends further credence to the notion that the aforementioned monster Humbaba/Huwawa in the Epic of Gilgamesh is essentially identical to the Green Man, i.e. to Humphrey, Humpty, Jupiter, Zeus, Odin, etc. As such, the Green Man motif is considerably euphemistic.) Sacrifice by drowning or live burial, or by strangulation or hanging or, for that matter, by drawing and quartering, is a direct reference to Kolyo, i.e. to the very nature of existence. A prime domain of Kolyo is the underwater, the underground, the intensive, the intrinsic, the tomb, the night, symbolized especially by muddy water, by mud, by the mound of earth, by the pond, the enclosure, the cube, the tomb. She never sleeps, for she involves sleep. She never dies, for she involves death. Which is to say, Kolyo covers in terms of the stars and planets (especially the Sun) as well as the Earth. This is the sense in which the ancient Egyptians considered Nut goddess of the heavens.


Generally speaking, the proto-mythological river is the whole universal clock. This complex river’s otherwise singular freight is Cygnus (or Sigmund), Zeus, Finn, Draco, Erichthonios, Moses, Hercules, Briareus, the Phoenix — i.e. a feathered serpent (flyer–crawler, riser–faller, White–Red). In Cygnus-upon-the-Euphrates we have an image of the Indian river “burial” and of the Viking sea burial: the dead leader placed on a barque, set aflame, and set afloat. Such ritual is still re-enacted in Europe in terms of the Green Man or Wild Man, whose fatal commitment to the river, pond, lake or ocean marks the end/beginning of a prime if not chief annual cycle. Cygnus is equivalent to the original sacrifice, the penis of Ouranos, from which Aphrodite emerges — she whose name means “foam-born,” a reference to the foam of the sea.

Like the Tigris, the river Jordan corresponds to the celestial river Oceanus. The Jordan flows straight south from the Sea of Galilee into the Dead Sea, i.e. into the constellation Hercules, and inasmuch into the land (or house) of the dead (the Welsh Annwn), the Pegasus Square, Phoenicia, from which rises the World Tree. According to this understanding the constellation Cepheus corresponds to Har Megiddo, i.e. Armageddon.

Likewise the Jordan corresponds to Ireland’s river Boyne (An Bhóinn), the Sea of Galilee being equivalent to the source of the Boyne, i.e. to the Well of Knowledge (lake, pond, pounde, enclosure) wherein lives the salmon Finntan. The Boyne and with it the Oceanus, the Tigris, and the Jordan are trees of sorts but they are not identical to the World Tree. Whereas the World Tree (i.e. the Tree of Life and Death) springs from the Pegasus Square (corresponding to Phoenicia) and rises to the constellation Cepheus where it aborts into the canopy which is the entire Milky Way galaxy, the Tree of Knowledge (“of Good and Evil,” i.e. of White and Red) springs from the square trunk of Hercules (corresponding to the Ka’aba) and rises to Polaris where it aborts into the invisible canopy which is the northern face of the universal clock. Wrapped around the Tree of Knowledge is Draco, Tityos. Both of these trees rise toward Haran. But the World Tree is far the more obvious of the pair and as such it was discovered very early in pre-history. The Tree of Knowledge is precisely as subtle as the universal clock, i.e. as physics itself — and as such it was discovered very late in pre-history.

The Dublin area’s more southerly river, the remarkably dark brown Liffey, which unlike the clear Boyne flows directly through Dublin, corresponds to the Euphrates and to the Milky Way portions of the universal clock. Of the Liffey Joyce writes, “The stream is quite brown, rich in salmon, very devious, shallow. The splitting up towards the end (seven dams) is the city abuilding.” Dublin corresponds to Jerusalem and to Uruk and to Cairo (with its Giza plateau) — and each corresponds to the constellation Cygnus. Likewise London is the Euston Hotel is the Euphrates is Dublin. Which is to say, the city is equivalent to its hometown hero, the once and future king, the sacrificed Father Dis. Dublin is the Devil’s Inn is Phoenix Park is HCE is every city, every town, every home, every mind.

Cepheus/Cygnus appears in Mesoamerica as Quetzalcoatl: “Feathered Serpent” or “Admirable Twin,” fair of face and white of beard, teacher of the arts, originator of the calendar, and giver of maize. Indeed, the prefix Quetzal-, “feathered,” seems cognate with the name Cepheus (especially the Aramaic Qepha) and with the word castle. Another cognate is castrate, as in the story of Kronos castrating his father Ouranos. Frazer:

At the festival of the winter solstice in December the Aztecs killed their god Huitzilopochtli in effigy first and ate him afterwards. As a preparation for this solemn ceremony an image of the deity in the likeness of a man was fashioned out of seeds of various sorts, which were kneaded into a dough with the blood of children. The bones of the god were represented by pieces of acacia wood. This image was placed on the chief altar of the temple, and on the day of the festival the king offered incense to it. Early next day it was taken down and set on its feet in a great hall. Then a priest, who bore the name and acted the part of the god Quetzalcoatl, took a flint-tipped dart and hurled it into the breast of the dough-image, piercing it through and through. This was called “killing the god Huitzilopochtli so that his body might be eaten.” One of the priests cut out the heart of the image and gave it to the king to eat. The rest of the image was divided into minute pieces, of which every man great and small, down to the male children in the cradle, receive one to eat. But no woman might taste a morsel. The ceremony was called teoqualo, that is, “god is eaten.”

As Frazer later notes: “For the strongest of all oaths is that which is accompanied with the eating of a sacred substance, since the perjured person cannot possibly escape the avenging god whom he has taken into his body and assimilated.” The implication here is almost incredibly strong and in fact it will resonate throughout the rest of this volume: According to proto-mythology the king is sacrificed and his body is then eaten by his tribe — this cannibalism being the ultimate consecration of the moment of multeity-in-unity.

In Mayan myth, the winter solstice Sun corresponds to the deity Hun-Hunahpu, also known as First Father, equivalent to the Greek Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer). Hun-Hunaphu is father of the Hero Twins: Hunahpu (the elder of the pair) and Xbalanque. The name Hunahpu is better written Hun-Aphu or Jun-Aphu, where hun/jun means “one” and Aphu means “blowgunner.” Hun/Jun is consonant with Jupiter/Iupiter/Dyeus/Zeus/Tiwaz. Likewise Aphu is consonant with Apollo, especially if we recall that Apollo was god of archery. Hun-Hunaphu was defeated in the ballgame by the lords of the Underworld (Xibalba) and hence sacrificed. His severed head was then suspended in a tree and changed into a calabash. The juice of the calabash impregnated Ixquic (also called “Blood Girl” and “Blood Moon,” goddess of the waning Moon; equivalent to Demeter/Ceres’ daughter Core/Persephone/Proserpina, i.e. Andromeda), one of the daughters of the Underworld lord Cuchumaquic. She then fled back to the Underworld, where the Twins gestated inside her. Eventually the Twins defeated the lords of the Underworld, recovered Hun-Hunaphu’s body, and tried to resurrect him. In a literal sense they failed to perform this miracle. Yet in more general, legendary terms they succeeded inasmuch as Hun-Hunahpu became identified as the god of maize. Hun-Hunahpu’s head as said calabash clearly resonates with Kali, Cepheus, and Aquarius/Polaris. And Hun-Hunapahu depicted as maize rising from a turtle carapace resonates with the Tree of Life and with the Tree of Knowledge, the carapace being at once the Pegasus Square and the constellation Lyra (with its “Goat,” “Witch” or “Wiki” star, Vega, i.e. Vika). In Celtic lore, Lyra is considered a harp, called a cruit in Irish, this latter word signifying a sharp, high breast, such as of a goose, heron, or curlew, as well as the bones of a pike, whale, tortoise or turtle. The famous sarcophagus of Mayan king Pakal, king of Palenque, depicts the king as the maize god, the maize/tree emerging from his body like an umbilical cord. This is the carving oft presented, by the likes of Erich von Däniken, as depicting an ancient astronaut operating a spaceship.

Sarcophagus of Mayan king Pakal, king of Palenque, depicts the king as the maize god, the maize/tree emerging from his body like an umbilical cord.

Ancient depiction of Dionysus’s seizure of the pirate ship on which he had been taken captive. Note the 7 bunches of grapes, corresponding perhaps to prime circumpolar constellations. The 7 dolphins — “pigs of the sea” — correspond to the 7 planets. Dionysus corresponds to the Earth (including the sea) and likewise to the Pegasus Square (tomb/womb) and the Tree of Life (vine), including its canopy the Milky Way. Recall that Julius Caesar was captured and held hostage by pirates as a youth.

The ancient Maya noticed that the winter-solstice Sun is slowly moving towards the Milky Way — specifically towards the dark rift therein (which rift happens to correspond to the center of the galaxy as recognized by modern astronomers). That dark rift coincides with the left arm of the constellation Ophiuchus, the actual center of the galaxy being just off the left shoulder of Ophiuchus, seemingly in the constellation Sagittarius. To the Maya, the dark rift had many mythic identities: the Black Road; the Xibalba Be, Road to the Underworld; a crevice in the branches of the Cosmic Tree; the mouth of the Cosmic Monster (often portrayed as a frog, jaguar or snake with tree-like features); and the birth canal of the Cosmic Mother. The rift corresponds at once to the mouth of a uroborus (a snake eating its own tail) and to a sort of omphalos. The rift also corresponds to the goal or hoop featured in Maya’s famous ballgame, whereas the ball corresponds to the Sun and likewise to cosmic energy, soul. In putting the ball in the goal, a player became strikingly analogous to the winter-solstice Sun arriving at the center of the Underworld, the center of the galaxy, of the dark rift. This is a prime reason to believe the winners of the game were sacrificed at least annually in conjunction with the winter solstice; they were the Hero Twins becoming the elder Hero Twin, Hunaphu, becoming the Hun-Hunaphu and in turn becoming the maize. A human hero could win ultimate glory by winning the ball game and hence personally suffering the descent into Hell which is necessary to ensure that the maize and moreover the hero’s people and indeed the Earth and the whole cosmos as well are reborn as robust as possible in the spring. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.


Clearly the dark rift of the Milky Way corresponds to Greece’s Delphi. Likewise the rift corresponds to Ireland’s Newgrange, one of the passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne complex in County Meath; built c. 3200 BCE. Every year the rising winter-solstice Sun shines down the Newgrange structure’s one passage and thus into the central chamber for about 17 minutes.


Some 10 miles southeast of Newgrange is the long, low ridge known as Tara or Téa — perhaps as in the Cretan word deai, “barley,” seeming basis of the name Demeter and the word day — or Téa’s Wall, the reputed political capital (hill) of ancient Ireland. This hill was considered sacred to the goddess Mebd (“she who intoxicates,” from the Welsh meddw, “drunk”) — the most vigorous and perhaps libidinous figure in all of Irish mythology — or to her döppelganger (and likely antecedent) Medb Lethberg (“red side” or “half-red”). Mebd boasted that 32 men were required to satsify her sexually, “each man in another man’s shadow.” Similarly Mebd Lethberg was considered wife to 9 successive kings of Ireland. On Tara is a passage mound, called the Mound of the Hostages (built c. 3000–2500 BCE), whose passage receives the dawn rays on 8 November, the day precisely halfway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. That day is may be the original Samhain Day, the Celtic New Year Day now considered to be 1 November. Indeed, 8 November is All Saints Day of Wales, and Saints and Martyrs Day of England. The name Samhain generally means November, though, and the name November is closely related to the words new and nine. The Old English name for November was Blotmonath, “sacrifice month” or “sacred month” or “secret month.” The fact that early November was the most important time of year to the Celts is yet another indication that they originally divided the year into 9 “months,” the scare-quotes here signifying that such segments were not simply related to the Moon (the word month being a derivative of the word moon) but also to the Sun. Perhaps these 9 segments were a Pythagorean-like attempt to quantumly, i.e. commensurately, redress the solar year and the so-called lunar year, the solar year consisting of roughly yet almost invariously 365.25 days, the lunar year consisting of roughly and more variously 354.37 of these days. Indeed, the reconciliation of solar and lunar changes is the central thrust of any calendar, as Professor Duncan Steel emphasizes in his Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar: “Let us pause for breath, and remind ourselves of the central question we are considering: how many months should be in a year? In any calendar the days are quantized: each month and each year contain an integral number of days. Despite the fact that one might adjust the relative number of twenty-nine and thirty-day months, attempting to get the lunar month to rhyme with the year is like trying to find a rhyme for orange, purple and silver ....”

The Pythagoreans used a trick to achieve such commensuration with respect to the hypotenuse of a right triangle whose perpendicular sides are of equal (essentially unit) length and which hypotenuse is therefore equal to the square-root-of-2 times said length — i.e. the hypotenuse is incommensurate with said length. The Pythagoreans were bent on describing the universe as essentially quantum. They were therefore rather horrified to discover the seeming reality of incommensurate (i.e. non-quantum, irrational) lengths. To accommodate such lengths in a generally quantum cosmos the Pythagoreans cleverly and quantumly expanded their cosmos: they considered said hypotenuse as being the perpendicular side of another right triangle in another, next-higher dimension of the cosmos. In other words, the Pythagoreans at least implied the following: essential to any single dimension of the cosmos is a unique length. Such singular, quantum length is of course strikingly analogous to orthodox physics’ quantum of action. Yet the Pythagorean approach suggests that a truly general physics should involve an infinite number of dimensions and likewise an infinite number of quanta. It also suggests that quanta should, in some quantum degree, be present in each other. In a word, the Pythagorean cosmos is holographic.

The Roman convention called inclusive counting is an expression of this same paradigm. Calendar-wise, for instance, a particular Roman month’s days following a Full Moon — which according the oldest Roman calendqr system always occured on the 13th day of a month, called the Ides, the initial day being marked by the New Moon — were counted down and this counting included the initial day of the next month (i.e. the next New Moon). We might fairly say that the soothsayer famously warned Julius Caesar to “Beware the Ides of March” because the Full (i.e. Fat) Moon is proto-mythologically associated with the fattened-calf — alias Fat Mars (i.e. Fat Tiwaz, as in Fat Tuesday) — who is then sacrificed. The sacrifice of Fat Mars, i.e. the King, proto-mythologically marks the New Year. March — which name derives from the name Mars — was the initial year of Caesar's Rome, corresponding as such to the Celtic November/Samhain. Just as a Roman week, due to the deep, complex convention of inclusive counting, consisted not of 7 but of 8 days, a prehistoric Italian year (i.e. a Saturnian year, a Golden year) likely consisted not of 8 (simply solar) segments but of 9 segments (hence the year was complex, not simple), and the 9th segment likely coincided with the Celtic November. That 9th, intercalary, holy, New Year segment, could be used annually if its length were varied, because to the Moon xxxxxx

The principle at bottom of inclusive counting is the same principle at bottom of Leibniz’s philosophy and in turn at bottom of his (discrete, quantum) mathematics: to describe things as being related is to describe them as being the same kind of thing — paradoxically, miraculously, mysteriously including them all (i.e. a multiplicity) in a single set. In a word, this is the truly general principle of relativity. Perhaps the greatest corollary of this principle is that God exists but only as a member of the set of irreducible, essentially quantum things that includes human beings. In other words the great implication is that God is of the same kind as you and me, and thus, in this rarefied sense, God is not only complex but also incarnate.

Now, calendars deriving from the attempt to reconcile the solar and lunar cycles must involve intercalary months. In light of the above paragraph, a year is clearly analogous to a cosmic dimension and to a soul, and an intercalary month is clearly analogous to an incommensurate hypotenuse and to a next-higher cosmic dimension and to an other soul — including God. Intercalary months have usually taken the form of a 13-month year occuring every 2 or 3 years; but a more careful determination might succeed in associating a varying intercalary segment with the end of every year; and we've seen that 13-ness is closely and deeply linked to 9-ness, which link suggests that a more complete prehistoric calendar would have employed a year always divided into 9 segments, the 9th being intercalary. Such success would be like finding a physics that consisted of an infinite number of quanta of action instead of just a single quantum of action. Precisely such approach might have resulted in the association of November with 9 and with newness; it might also have resulted in the fact that the Indo European word for 8 has supposedly dual form: okto(u). The use of dual numbers/words contrasts with the use of simple numbers and with the grammatical opposition of singular and plural. Dual numbers/words signify things that can properly exist in a pair only, things such as eyes, hands, human legs, complex numbers, particle–waves. Odin’s horse, though, had 9 legs. So there can be things which call for nonal numbers. Perhaps the uniquely dual form of 8 signifies not only the duality of a chiefly solar year (divided into 8 segments) and coupled to another, fundamentally more complex, more sacred segment, but also 9-ness in particular, such that the duality is also a nonality. By traditions, 13-month years survived in the practices of European peasants for more than a millenium after their governments adopted the Julian Calendar.

A sacred, intercalary month is moreover equivalent to the 5 holy days associated with the planets other than the Sun and Moon. The ancient Egyptians popularly explained the incommensurability of the solar and lunar years in terms of an originally simple, 360-day year marked by precisely 12 lunations (30 days each) that eventually gave birth to the 5 other (visible) planets, these being born on 5 days stolen from the Moon by the incipient Mercury. Such explanation points up the fact that the attempt at commensuration extends itself logically to these other planets and to the movements of the universe in general, especially to the movements associated with precession — and likewise, nowadays, to the subatomic scale as well.

A clock, a calendar, a computer: these are but models or catalogues of the universe. Ineluctably, the attempt to reconcile the movements observed of the heavens has become the modern attempt to develop a truly general quantum theory of physics, i.e. a theory of quantum gravity. The sacred 5-ness, 8-ness, 9-ness, and 13-ness referred to above resonates with this modern attempt. All determined prehistoric and ancient attempts at such calendar/cosmology/physics were relativistic in the Leibnizian sense and likewise essentially quantum, holographic and fractal. We should expect the modern attempt at quantum gravity — truly general relativity — to have the same character.

We might expect other great, sacred monuments such as Stonehenge to correspond principally if not chiefly to the winter solstice. Recent theories put forward separately by professors John North and Lionel Sims suggest this correspondence to be true of Stonehenge. According to these theories, Stonehenge was meant to be viewed chiefly from the Heel Stone, looking southwest — precisely down the axis which eventually served as axis of the horseshoe of trilithons, and thus into that horsehoe — to the point on the horizon where sets the winter-solstice Sun. In this sense the viewer would be identified with that setting Sun. Professor North shows that the completed, intact monument appeared from this viewpoint to be an almost solid block of stone — save especially for the winter-solstice sunlight punching through and being amplified by this screen, as it were. Another typically unrecognized property of the Stonehenge site is that the edifice is built on the side of a slight hill which rises to the southwest. Hence the observer’s eye at the Heel Stone is at the level of the center of the monument, such that the southwestern horizon from this viewpoint seems extremely sharp — facilitating observation of the sky above it (Bender 1998, 70). In this respect the person at the Heel Stone would be identified not only with the setting Sun but also with the center of the monument and thus, perhaps, with the center of the galaxy’s dark rift and the beginning of a new, greatest cosmic cycle.


I'm reminded of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), center/end-point of the world’s breadbasket. The historic CBOT building stands at the southern end of Lasalle Street, which street is commonly referred to as a canyon. A statue of Demeter/Ceres stands atop the building, facing north. An impressive clock graced by a pair of ancient farmers adorns the entrance.


The Maya understood that the winter-solstice/galactic convergence occurs, according to their system, every 25,625 years, i.e. once every Great Year. Hence the convergence marks the end/beginning of the greatest cosmic cycle. The Maya computed that this convergence/death/birth is best said to next occur on what according to the European calendar is 21 December 2012. However, the precise alignment of the winter-solstice Sun with the galactic equator has already occurred: in the year 1998. (Jean Meeus, Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, 1997.) The time of day, e.g. the rising versus setting of the Sun, has negligible relation to said alignment, because the chief movement involved is so extremely slow. Moreover, the Sun occupies almost exactly ½ of a degree of the sky, and therefore the complete passage of the Sun across the galactic equator takes almost exactly 36 years. Thus the present galactic alignment duration is 1998 +/- 18 years = 1980–2016. Nevertheless, the alignment lends itself as a prime — if not the chief — marker of the beginning of the Zodiacal Age of Aquarius. Nearly coincident with this alignment is the precessional high-point of Osiris’s virtually south–north cycle, which zenith occurs in 2070.

In the dualites Hun-Hunaphu–Hunaphu, Hunaphu–Xbalanque, Quetzalcoatl–Huitzilopochtli, Dionysus–Apollo, Red–White, Cepheus–Hercules we have good old Orion–Osiris, good old Finn, again. In Greek myth Zeus is Quetzalcoatl in the form of a swan. As a swan Zeus mates with the human Leda, wife of Tyndareus, beside the river Eurotas (seemingly cognate with Euphrates). She in turn gives birth to 2 swan eggs: an egg containing the twins Castor (“beaver” — i.e. sawyer, serpent-tailed, mound-builder — a “‘tamer of horses,” i.e. a partner of horses as well as of cows/aurochs, sows/boars, dogs/wolves, and lions, all of these being symbols of the triple-Goddess) and Clytemnestra (she who becomes the cuckolding/murderous/proto-mythological wife of Agamemnon), these twins being offspring of Tyndareus or of Zeus; and another egg containing  Polydeuces (“many Deuses,” “much sweet wine,” “best in the boxing ring”; a.k.a. Pollux) and Helen (who becomes the cuckolding/proto-mythological wife of Menelaos), this pair being sired by Zeus or Tyndareus. Some say Helen alone as sired by Zeus. Castor and Polydeuces are inseparable; they become known as the Dioscuri and are eventually deified and their image set among the stars as the constellation Gemini. In another version of the myth, Zeus in the form of a beaver pursues the goddess Nemesis in the form of a fish. During the chase the pair transform into various beasts. As a goose Nemesis takes flight, but as a swan Zeus finally overtakes her and mates with her. Nemesis proceeds to Sparta, where Queen Leda presently discovers a hyacinth-colored (i.e. purplish) egg lying in a marsh. Leda brings the egg home and hides it in a chest. “But some say the egg dropped from the moon,” writes Robert Graves,” like the egg  that, in ancient times, plunged into the river Euphrates and, being towed ashore by fishes and hatched by doves, broke open to reveal the Syrian Goddess of Love.” The goddess hatched of said purple egg is Helen. This egg, comments Graves, recalls the blood-red egg, the glain, that the Druids hunted for by the seashore every spring and which in Celtic myth was laid by the goddess as sea–serpent.

The 1st of each of these twins is a dominantly Red/Dionysian character, and the 2nd is predominantly White/Apollonian. Likewise, “red-haired, great-lunged, clarion-in-battle” Menelaos, “dear to Ares,” and whose shield (according to Polygnotus’s famous painting at Delphi) is adorned with a serpent badge/apotropaion, is Red/Dionysian while his power-hungry twin brother Agamemnon, so offensive to the gods and to Achilles, is White/Apollonian. Note in this respect that the god Apollo is best understood as representing the White aspect within proto-mythology. Agamemnon and the Greeks altogether are offensive to Apollo in the sense that Apollo chiefly identifies himself relative to proto-mythology. Thus Apollo — and likewise Zeus, Ares, Artemis, Leto, Xanthos/Skamander (the mighty, eddying river) and Aphrodite — side with the Trojans (note the tro- prefix, a variety of the White/Apollonian tri-, tre-, and dru-) while Poseidon (insofar as he is considered Zeus’s younger brother), Athena, Hera, Hermes and Hephaistos (all being watered-down versions of earlier goddesses and gods) side with the Greeks. Pointedly refusing to subject himself to proto-mythology, Agamemnon inasmuch frees himself to take his White/Apollonianism to the extreme, i.e. to maximize his power, to unify Greece, to impose an ostensible Redness which is nevertheless best understood as a Whiteness, a mere unity rather than a truly Red/Dionysian multeity-in-unity. In contrast, the Trojan prince Paris/Alexandros acts relative to Menelaos and Helen as Aigisthos acts relative to Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, as Ares acts relative to Hephaistos (the “bow-legged, crippled” god of fire) and Aphrodite, as Tristan acts relative to Mark and Iseult, as Lancelot acts relative to Arthur and Guinevere. Apollo, “lord of the distant,” is Paris, Aigisthos, Tristan, and Lancelot. Helen and likewise the yet more proto-mythological Clytemnestra essentially sacrifice their husband-kings. As such, these female characters stand in contrast to the extremely faithful Penelope, wife of Athena’s favorite, Odysseus, i.e. of he who is the best hero possible in relation to the Great Reversal. Of Clytemnestra Agamemnon’s ghost says to Odysseus: “But that woman, plotting a thing so low, defiled herself and all her sex, all women yet to come, even those who may be virtuous.” The emergence of Odysseus from the Trojan War marks the emergence of the new, markedly less proto-mythological heroic type; i.e. it marks the emergence of the Great Reversal, the virtual demise of proto-mythological sacrifice. In the final pages of the Odyessey Zeus proclaims: “There is one proper way, if I may say so: Odysseus’ honor being satisfied, let him be king by a sworn pact forever ....” The god most resonant, most confused, in this emergence is Poseidon, god of earthquakes as well as god of the sea: Poseidon favors the Greeks over the Trojans; yet he saves the Trojan Aeneas so that the great line of Dardanos–Erichthonios–Tros (Dardanos being a son of Zeus) may continue (as the Roman line of kings; Julius Caesar considered himself a descendant of Aeneas); he develops a severe grudge against Odysseus, who near the end of his life must trek to a distant land “where men have lived with meat unsalted, never known the sea, nor seen seagoing ships” and there plant his oar (as if it were a tree) and make sacrifices to Poseidon, this before returning home to make appropriate sacrifices to all the gods. The blind ghost Teiresias is he who prophecies this destiny to Odysseus. Teiresias says that the precise place and time at which to plant the oar will be marked where and when a passerby asks the hero, “What winnowing fan is that on your shoulder?” Winnowing fans are used to separate grain from chaff. When Maia gave birth to Hermes in the cave on Mount Cyllene, she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him on a winnowing fan. Likewise the hierophants performing the Eleusinian mysteries entered the murky place 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. Jane Harrison notes that in early Greek vase paintings Dionysus carries a winnowing fan rather than a grape-basket. Indeed, the Latin word for winnowing fan is vannus, similar to the Latin name for Dionysus, Faunus. The words winnow and wine are closely linked, probably because beer antedated wine. Dionysus was god of grain and god of beer (i.e. he was equivalent to Brimos and to the Phrygian Sabazius) before he was god of wine. What’s more, recognizing the cognate relationship of winnow and wine with wind, and recalling that wind is the original masculine mythological character/seed, we see that Dionysus is most fundamentally the god of masculine fertility. He is equivalent to Aeolus, Hermes, Polaris, Boreas. Curiously Indian Brahmin (the priestly Hindu caste) wear a cord of cotton on their left shoulder and consider sailing a sin. The Aryan tribes which formed the Hindu caste system arrived in India from the former P-I-E homeland in central Eurasia, i.e. from an extremely landlocked region. Perhaps Odysseus’s final journey to such land recalls early contact between that land and the Mediterraean cultures. Perhaps the like of Odysseus upon encountering a Brahmin for the first time asked him, “What is that cord on your shoulder?” The end of the Odyssey would thus point to the font, if you will, of the very language of Greece, not to mention the various languages characterizing the huge Indo-European domain. Such hypothesis is supported by the following information from Frazer:

The form of communion in which the sacred animal is taken from house to house [as on Halloween custumed children go from house to house], that all may enjoy a share of its divine influence, has been exemplified by the Gilyak custom of promenading the bear through the village before it is slain. A similar form of communion with the sacred snake is observed by a Snake tribe in the Punjaub. Once a year in the month of September the snake is worshipped by all castes and religions for nine days only. At the end of August the Mirasans, especially those of the Snake tribe, make a snake of dough which they paint black and red, and place on a winnowing basket. This basket they carry round the village, and on entering any house they say: “God be with you all! May every ill be far! May our patron’s (Gugga’s) word thrive!” Then they present the basket with the snake, saying: “A small cake of flour: a little bit of butter: if you obey the snake, you and yours shall thrive!” Strictly speaking, a cake and butter should be given, but it is seldom done. Every one, however, gives something, generally a handful of dough or some corn. In houses where there is a new bride or whence a bride has gone, or where a son has been born, it is usual to give a rupee and a quarter, or some cloth. Sometimes the bearers of the snake also sing: “Give the snake a piece of cloth, and he will send a lively bride!” When every house has been thus visited, the dough snake is buried and a small grave is erected over it. Thither during the nine days of September the women come to worship. They bring a basin of curds, a small portion of which they offer at the snake’s grave, kneeling on the ground and touching the earth with their foreheads. Then they go home and divide the rest of the curds among the children. Here the dough snake is clearly a substitute for a real snake. Indeed, in districts where snakes abound the worship is offered, not at the grave of the dough snake, but in the jungles where snakes are known to be. Besides this yearly worship, performed by all the people, the members of the Snake tribe worship in the same way every morning after a new moon.

Leda is a manifestation of the Titan Leto, daughter of the Titans Phoebe and Coeus and mother by Zeus of Artemis and Apollo. The names Leda and Leto are cognate with Kolyo “the coverer,” for they mean “to gather earth or water” or “earth or water gathered.” Note especially the obvious relations: Kolyo, Leo (symbol of the Sun), Kalypso, lips (and lisp), eclipse, Leto, Leda, Hippolyta, Leah, Elaine. The Kol- prefix means “earth” or “water” and is akin to the English coal, which derives from the Old Norse kol, “burning ember.” Interesting cognates include the Latin word for beetle, coleoptera (“shiny black coverer lion that flies”), and the English colon. Kol- is further cognate with co- and with the German ge-, both meaning “with.” In Latin and French cul means “anus” — the word anus deriving from the Latin anus, “ring,” and annus, “year” (as in annual), and akin to our annul and to the Old Irish ánne, “ring,” the Greek ana, “up, back, again,” and the Russian name Anastasia, meaning “resurrection.” Here is Anna Livia Plurabelle. In terms of the planets, She is the Sun. The lion and the scarab (i.e. beetle, coleoptera) are prime symbols for Her. The name Phoebe is Greek for “clear, bright, pure”; it is cognate with Finn and therefore with Zeus, Cepheus, Quetzalcoatl, Cygnus, and the P-I-E Dyeus (again, from the *deywo-s, “celestial, luminous, radiant”) and hence with Dione, Demeter, Diana, i.e. complete Woman. As we might expect, the name Coeus (or Co-ius), said to mean “intelligence,” is cognate with Kolyo. The suffix -eus (or -ius) means “to gather” and “the thing gathered”; the suffix -yo seems to be equivalent.

The very name of the Latin people and language derives from the covering, secretive, nature of Kolyo: Latin, from latere, “to hide.” Virgil says the name Latium owes to the fact that Saturn/Kronos concealed himself from Jupiter/Zeus in this countryside, á la the Green Man. Virgil, from his Aenied:

These woodland places
Once were homes of local fauns and nymphs
Together with a race of men that came from tree trunks, from hard oak: they had no way
Of settled life, no arts of life, no skill
At yoking oxen, gathering provisions,
Practicing husbandry, but got their food
From oaken boughs and wild game hunted down.
In that first time, out of Olympian heaven,
Saturn came here in flight from Jove in arms,
An exile from a kingdom lost; he brought
These unschooled men together from the hills
Where they were scattered, gave them laws, and chose
The name Latium, from his latency
Or safe concealment in the countryside.
In his reign were the golden centuries
Men tell of still, so peacefully he ruled,
Till gradually a meaner, tarnished age
Came on with fever of war and lust of gain.

The Latin word latices, “waters,” is another cognate, as are the English latitude and ladder. Vico reports that latere was invariably modified by the epithet puri, “pure,” specifically referring to springs of water, i.e. to Tigrises/Boynes in contrast to Euphrateses/Liffeys. Likewise we have the English word latent.

Kalypso, note, is the antithesis of apocalypse. The prefix apo- (as in the name Apollo) means “un” or “dis” or “off.” An apocalypse is not a covering but an uncovering. In this connection recall the kerf cut made by the sawyer. That cut is akin to the mouth — and especially the lips — of the Pharaoh. Indeed, the word kerf (as in kerchief) stems from the Old French covrir, “to cover.” The Opening of the Mouth ceremony performed upon the deceased Pharaoh references both his sacrifice and his resurrection, his covering and his uncovering, his collapse and his rise.

In light of Leda and Leto, let’s take a further look at the le- prefix. Recall its presence in the words legal, legacy, legend, left and ligature, and in the names Levi, Leah, Galeed, and hence Elaine and Galahad. The English word lea or ley means “grassland.” It is related to the German lied, “song,” the Old English leah, “thicket,” and the Latin words lucus, “grove,” lux, “light,” ludr, “mill,” and hence to the name Luther. These relations indicate the richness of my term Golden/Legal.

The near universality of the Golden/Legal mythology in even its most precise form is especially evident in the aforementioned myth of Quetzalcoatl. In this respect consider the following from Campbell ’s Primitive Mythology:

[Quetzalcoatl’s] virgin mother, Chimalman — the legend tells — had been one of three sisters whom God, the All-Father, had appeared to one day under his form of Citlallatonac, “the morning.” The other two had been struck by fright, but upon Chimalman God breathed and she conceived. She died, however, giving birth, and is now in heaven, where she is revered under the honorable name of “the Precious Stone of Sacrifice,” Chalchihuitzli [note the Chal- prefix, cognate with Kol-?].

Quetzalcoatl, her child, who is known both as the Son of the Lord of the High Heavens and as the Son of the Lord of the Seven Caves, was endowed at birth with speech, all knowledge, and all wisdom, and in later life, as priest-king, was of such purity of character that his realm flourished gloriously throughout the period of his reign. His temple palace was composed of four radiant apartments: one toward the east, yellow with gold; one toward the west, blue with turquoise and jade; one toward the south, white with pearls and shells; one toward the north, red with bloodstones … And it was set wonderfully above a mighty river that passed through the midst of the city of Tula; so that every night, precisely at midnight, the king descended into the river to bathe; and the place of his bath was called “In the Painted Vase,” or “In the Precious Waters.” But the time of his predestined defeat by the dark brother, Tezcatlipoca, was ever approaching; and, knowing perfectly the rhythm of his own destiny, Quetzalcoatl would make no move to stave it.

The dark brother Tezcatlipoca (note the Te- prefix, equivalent to Ti-, Se-, Si-, Ve-, Vi-, We-, Wi-, De-, Di-) holds a mirror to Quetzalcoatl, who is horrified by his now elderly and loathesome visage. Tezcatlipoca causes Quetzalcoatl and their sister, Quetzalpetlat — who resides on Mount Nonoalco — to become drunk. The inebriated pair of siblings engage in sexual intercourse with each other that night.

… And in the morning Quetzalcoatl said in shame, “I have sinned; the stain of my name cannot be erased. I am not fit to rule this people. Let them build a habitation for me deep under ground; let them bury my bright treasures in the earth; let them throw the glowing gold and shining stones in the Precious Waters where I take my nightly bath.”

And all was done. The king remained four days in his underground tomb, and when he came forth he wept and told his people that the time had come for his departure to the Red Land, the Dark Land, the Land of Fire.

… Quetzalcoatl, in great sorrow departed. Resting at a certain place along the way and looking back in the direction of Tula, his City of the Sun, he wept, and his tears went through a rock; he left in that place the mark of his sitting and the impress of his palms. Farther along, he was met and challenged by a company of necromancers, who prevented him from proceeding until he had left with them the arts of working silver, wood, and feathers, and the art of painting. As he crossed the mountains, many of his attendants, who were dwarfs and humpbacks, died of cold. At another place he met his dark antagonist, Tezcatlipoca, who defeated him at a game of ball. At still another he aimed with an arrow at a large pochotl tree; and the arrow too was a pochotl tree, so that when he shot it through the first they formed a cross. And so he passed along, leaving many signs and place-names behind him, until, coming at last to where the sky, land and water come together, he departed.

Tula is tomb is Cygnus is Quetzalcoatl is Jerusalem is Dublin is London is Uruk is Cairo is Sun is son. Said entry into the tomb is the spear/knife/head/tomb/ark/home/castle of Cepheus. The 4 days in the tomb are the 4 Zodiacal ages between that tomb and the constellation Hercules, these being Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra, and Virgo. Recall Joyce: “Passing. One. We are passing. Two. From sleep we are passing. Three. Into the wikeawades warld from sleep we are passing. Four. Come, hours, be ours!” These 4 Zodiacal ages correspond to the 4/12 = 1/3 of the 24-hour day — i.e. the 8 hours — that a human typically spends sleeping at night. This 8-ness corresponds to the 8 years that the Phoenician god El lives with his twin wives and twin sons in the sanctuary in the desert. It also corresponds to the famous 8-ness of the planet Venus, to be described later on.

Quetzalcoatl’s resting place following his resurrection corresponds to the constellation Bootes. The necromancers correspond to the constellation Ursa Major, which constellation, as I will later explain, is associated with the Greek Prometheus, son of the Titans Themis and Iapetus. Mount Nonoalco and the defeat by the dark, priestly brother corresponds to Polaris. The large pochotl is the World Tree, rising from the place of the tomb. The World Tree marks the beginning of the Zodiacal age of Sagittarius, which name stems from the Latin sagitta, meaning “archer.” The cross formed by the arrow through a tree is the constellation Cygnus.

Reaching the sea at last, where the sky, land and water meet, Quetzalcoatl departs on a raft of serpents. He is expected to return to Tula from the east, with a fair-faced retinue. Campbell:

The priests and astrologers did not know in what cycle he was to appear; however, the name of the year within the cycle had been predicted, of old, by Quetzalcoatl himself. Its sign was “One Reed” (Ce Acatl) [note that Ce is akin to Se], which, in the Mexican calendar, is a year that occurs only once in every cycle of fifty-two. But the year when Cortez arrived, with his company of fair-faced companions and his standard, the cross, was precisely the year “One Reed.”

In referring to the year One Reed this myth seems to be referring as well to the day One Reed, i.e. to New Year’s Day, for there are 52 weeks of 7 days each in a year; and as such the myth is also referring to the age One Reed. Recall in this connection that the Sumerian root gi — prefix of the name Gilgamesh and of the Hebrew’s high sanctuary Gilgal — means not only “young man” but also “small and thin like a reed” and “to reject, dislike; to return, come back, send; to answer, restore.” Later we will interpret the Epic of Gilgamesh in terms of the universal clock. In this same respect we will address other classic legends, including the Argonautica, the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid.

The Quetzalcoatl Legend


In further regard to the universality of the feathered serpent — i.e. the god of the underworld, Father Dis, Deus, the Devil, Zeus, Finn, etc. — consider the following from Frazer:

Some of the native tribes of Central Queensland believe in a noxious being called the Molonga, who prowls unseen and would kill men and violate women if certain ceremonies were not performed. These ceremonies last for five nights and consist of dances, in which only the men, fantastically painted and adorned, take part. On the fifth night Molonga himself, personified by a man tricked out with red ochre and feathers and carrying a long feather-tipped spear, rushes forth from the darkness at the spectators and makes as if he would run them through.

In the valley of the Mississippi River south of my hometown — and not far from Mark Twain’s Hannibal, Missouri — lives a Molonga-like creature. The 7 men of the famous Mississippi River expedition led by Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette and fur trader Louis Joliet — which expedition had begun at the Mission of St. Ignace, in what is now far northern Michigan — encountered this creature in 1673 CE as they paddled their 2 canoes down the Mississippi just north of present-day Alton, Illinois. Painted in red, yellow, green and black on a limestone bluff rising from the eastern side of the river were several images which the explorers described as follows:

They are as large as a calf, with head and horns like a deer or goat; their eyes red; beard like a tiger; and a face somewhat like a man. Their bodies are covered with scales. Their tails are so long that they pass over their heads and between their forelegs, under their belly, and end like a fish tail.

The natives called this creature Piasa, “the bird that eats men.” The Piasa was said to live in a cave in the bluff. Whenever a person approached the bluff, the monster swooped down and carried the victim to the cave. Eventually a chief named Quatonga prayed to the Great Manitou for help. The Great Manitou (note the Mani prefix) told Quatonga that only he, Quatonga, could defeat the Piasa. Quatonga therefore concealed 20 of his warriors near the entrance of said cave and approached it to draw the serpent-bird into the trap. The Piasa swooped down, and Quatonga’s warriors killed it with poison arrows. The paintings on the bluff were made to commemorate this victory.

It’s St. George — as well as Uther Pendragon, Arthur, Lancelot, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Mark, Tristan, Finn, Diarmuid, etc. — all over again. The little red dragon in Altdorfer’s painting represents not only the priestly class but also (and likewise) the king who has overstayed his natural welcome, who, like both Quetzalcoatl and Gorlois, has become aged and ugly, and who in the process of prolonging his senescence has required many others be sacrificed in his stead. Such king must be removed by a new, pure, vital incarnation of the hero.

Mention of Marquette and Joliet, the Mississippi River, and the Piasa bird brings me to the following exercise which you might try yourself. See if you can match the Pegasus Square, the World Tree, Polaris, the Milky Way (Euphrates), Cygnus (Dublin, London, Jerusalem, Uruk), Hercules, and Oceanus (Tree of Knowledge, Draco, the Tigris, the Boyne) to your local geography. If you’ve read my little biography, you know that I grew up a Protestant in the very Roman Catholic and relatively old town of Dubuque, Iowa, USA, beside the Mississippi River. You know, too, that Antonin Dvorák composed his From the New World (Symphony No. 9) in Spillville, a Czech enclave about 60 miles to the northwest; that Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin (“Shining Brow” in Welsh) lies about the same distance away to the northeast (just outside Spring Green, Wisconsin); that Galena (home of Ulysses S. Grant) is slightly east of Dubuque, on a Mississippi tributary; and that the whole area was famous for its “Copperheads” (named after the poisonous snake) during the United States’ Civil War. I might add that I was born in Dubuque’s (Protestant) Finley Hospital.

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 goes to explain why 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.” They add: “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 this 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 ship’s keel; or the sternum/heart of a human chest, i.e. that which steers, and which does so according to the stars); 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 suppose, that it emerged to contrast with the orthodox 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. 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,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future gathered. Neither movement from nor
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where,
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

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 light 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.

The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner-
ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself promptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes: and their upturnpikepointandplace is at the knock out in the park where oranges have been laid to rust upon the green since devlinsfirst loved livvy.

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 Atlas–Gadirus (i.e. Cygnus–Hercules, Red–White, rising–falling) 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 [10] 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.”

Weird Coincidence

Black, White, Red. Past, present, future. Humphrey, Chimpden, Earwicker. Anna, Livia, Plurabelle. Crone, Maiden, Nymph (i.e. nubile woman). Hera, Athena, Aphrodite. Death, rising, falling. The 3 Fates (Moirai, literally “shares, phases,” such as Old Moon, New Moon, Full Moon), the ancient 3-season year. ∆. Consider in this respect the following from Joseph Campbell’s Creative Mythology:

[The] Anglo-Saxon word wyrd has about it a sense of haunting doom that is recaptured in Shakespeare’s three Weird Sisters. These are transformations into witches of the Norns of old Germanic myth, who (as described in the Old Norse “Wise Woman’s Prophecy,” Völuspó) dwell by Urth’s well, from which they water the roots of the World Ash. Shakespeare’s trio, on a “desert heath,” amid thunder, lightening, and rain, conjure from their witches’ cauldron prophecies that are heard as though from outside by Macbeth, yet are of deeds already maturing in his heart. In Old Norse the Norns’ three names are given as Urth, Verthandi, and Skuld: “Become, Becoming, and Shall Be,” Past, Present, and Future, which appear to be a late invention, however, inspired perhaps (twelfth century A.D.?) by the model of the Greek three Graces. For there seems to have been originally but one Norn: called Urth in Old Norse, in Old High German Wurd, and in Anglo-Saxon Wyrd. The word may be related to the German werden, “to become, to grow,” which would suggest a sense of inward inherent destiny. … Another association is with the Old High German wirt, wirtel, “spindle,” by which the idea is suggested of a spinning and weaving of destiny. The classical triad of the Moirai may have contributed to this image; namely of Clotho, the “Spinner,” who spins the life thread; Lachesis, “Disposer of Lots,” determining its length; and Atropos, “Inflexible,” who cuts it. And so the symbol of the spindle became significant of destiny, and the woven web, of life.

Aphrodite was called Eldest of the Fates, Aphrodite Urania. In truth this singular Fate is the complex character Aphrodite–Hermes, a.k.a. Draco, Tityos, Metis–Coeus, Venus–Mercury, Eros — i.e. the hero in general, the Green Woman coupled to the Green Man.

Although of the past, the duality Humphrey–Anna remains profoundly yet most subtly coincident with the present. As such, this existential presence is symbolized in terms of smallness, lowness, humbleness. The word humble derives from the Latin humilis, “low,” and humus, “earth,” and is cognate with the Greek chamai, “on the ground,” and chthon, as in the name Thunar, i.e. Donar, Thor, a.k.a. Zeus, Jupiter. As we’ve noted, the name Anna is linked to the Latin anus, “ring,” and annus, “year,” and is akin to the Old Irish ánne, “ring,” the Sanskrit anna, “food.,” and the Greek ana, “up, back, again.”

We’ve recognized this extremely discreet and providential male–female presence immediate to the White–Red constellation Osiris–Orion: the star Sirius, the “Dog Star,” original underdog. Indeed the dog, wolf, fox and coyote are especially popular symbols of this subtle, old and eternal power. In each version of the Hamlet myth, for instance, a dog or wolf is involved with the hero. In Norse myth Fenrir the wolf-son of Loki corresponds to Ursa Minor and especially to Polaris. Ragnarök, the terminal battle of the current cosmic cycle, begins when Fenrir breaks the magic cord that otherwise binds him. Holmberg writes (as reported by Santillana and von Dechend in their Hamlet’s Mill):

The Siberian Kirghis call the three stars of the Little Bear nearest the Pole star, which form an arch, a “rope” to which the two larger stars of the same constellation, the two horses, are fastened. One of the horses is white, the other bluish-grey. The seven stars of the Great Bear they call the seven watchmen, whose duty it is to guard the horses from the lurking wolf. When once the wolf succeeds in killing the horses the end of the world will come.

The Cherokee, note Santillana and von Dechend, call the Milky Way “Where the dog ran.” A certain dog, the story goes, habitually stole meal from a corn mill owned by the “people of the South” and ran with it to the North, dropping meal as he went and thus creating the Milky Way. (Reverse these directions and the story fits my understanding of proto-mythology.) Santillana and von Dechend furthermore point out “the preference of the very many mythical dogs, foxes, coyotes — and even of the ‘way-opening’ Fenek in West Sudan — for meal and all sorts of grain — more correctly ‘the eight kinds of grain.” Recall that the Hermes-like “Opener of the Way” in Egyptian mythology, guide to the mysterious Duat (seemingly the afterworld), is jackal-headed Upuat — the Greek Anoubis, this name from the Egyptian Anpu, which latter name stems from the word inpw, which word is related to the English word emperor, which word derives from the Latin in + parare, “to prepare, order,” as in the Parcae, spinners of Fate. Likewise Odysseus upon returning home during the 20th year of his absence is greeted by his old dog Argos; which then immediately dies. The ancient Celtic word meaning “fox” is lovernius, which can be interpreted literally as “hill spring gatherer,” or “gatherer about the hilltop spring.” This name and its meaning are strikingly reminiscent of Aquarius. Athens’ famous Lyceum, the gymnasium where Aristotle taught, was literally the “Gathering Place (or Den) of Wolves.” Ancient Mediterranean soldiers typically wore dog-skin caps, these being akin to the aforementioned bear-skin caps of the Germanic warrior elite.

Recognizing the equivalency between the dog/wolf/fox/coyote and the bear, recall that Arcadia, located on the Peloponnesian peninsula, 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. In Arcadia there remained a proto-mythological cult of the wolf. That cult referred to Zeus as Zeus lykaos, meaning “Zeus-the-wolf” or “Zeus-the-shining” — the latter as in the name Phoenix — and indeed practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism. Inevitably the re-invented Zeus of the Great Reversal, sent the famous 9-day deluge to destroy this last bastion of proto-mythological Greek culture. Zeus’s son Apollo, whose twin sister is Artemis, was likewise referred to as Apollo lykaos. Apollo was furthermore considered the “god of distant archery.” The English word arrow stems from the Latin arcus, meaning “bow, arc, arch.” Santillana and von Dechend recount the Lapp belief that when the star Arcturus (located in Bootes) shoots the “North Nail” with his arrow on the last day, heaven will fall, crushing the Earth and setting fire to all. They also report that the Babylonians called Polaris the “Arrow Star”; that the Babylonian New Year ritual recognized the Arrow Star as the star “who measures the depth of the sea”; and that the Avesta refers to, “Tishtriya [“the Arrow”], by whom the waters count.” Jacob Grimm recounts the medieval Dutch poem of Brandaen: “Brandaen met on the sea a man of thumb size, floating upon a leaf, holding in his right hand a small bowl, in the left hand a stylus; the stylus he kept dipping into the sea and letting the water drip from it into the bowl; when the bowl was full, he emptied it out, and began filling it again. It was imposed on him, he said, to measure the sea until Judgment day.” The Finnish Kalevala describes a Great Oak and the very special man whose stature is inversely proportional to both the size of the ocean from whence he comes and the height of the magnificent tree which he addresses:

And the summit rose to heaven
And its leaves in air expanded,
In their course the clouds it hindered,
And the driving clouds impeded,
And it hid the shining sunlight,
And the gleaming of the moonlight.

The aged Vainamoinen,
Pondered deeply and reflected,
“Is there none to fell the oak-tree,
And o’erthrow the tree majestic?
Sad is now the life of mortals,
And for fish to swim is dismal,
Since the air is void of sunlight,
And the gleaming of the moonlight.”

Then a man arose from the ocean
From the wave a hero started,
Not the hugest of the hugest,
Not the smallest of the smallest.
As a man’s thumb was his stature;
Lofty as the span of woman.

This same extremely humble figure was also able to kill the great ox which all other potential heroes fled from in fear. Tom Thumb, Tiny Tim, John Barleycorn  (a “barleycorn” being the unit equal to 1/360 of a meter; the name is linked to the Sumerian še, pronounced “shay,” and to the Cretan deai, both meaning “barley, grain,” the latter being a basis of the name Demeter): they all correspond to Humphrey–Anna, to the dog/wolf/fox/coyote, to the high priest, to Upuat, to Hermes, to Polaris, to Aquarius, to the mill/harvest, to the New Year, to the end/beginning of the cosmic cycle (i.e. the “world”).

This analysis suggests that the foregoing association of Apollo with Delphi is surely more than an artifact of the Great Reversal. The very word melissai, “bees,” referring to the priestesses of the temple at Delphi, seems to resonate not only with the Greek word meaning “honey,” meli, but also with the famous Homeric term lyssa (the Attic lytta, as in Hippolytta, queen of the Amazons), meaning “martial fury” and “rabies” and being closely related to lykaos. In fact, the harlot-priestesses of Inanna’s temple in Mesopotamia were known as lukur-priestesses, “wolf-priestesses”; and the Latin word lupa — literally “she-wolf” also means “prostitute.” (A she-wolf, recall, nurses Remus and Romulus.) Proto-mythology seems to consider bees honey-wolves, just as it considers bears bee-wolfs (as in the name Beowulf). Bees and bears are in this sense equivalent, and both are equivalent to wolves; moreover each is equivalent to the great guide and, similarly, to the sacrificed Father.

Many myths alternatively feature a hare, a serpent, or a salmon to represent Humphrey–Anna. Other such symbols are the color orange (as in the orange-fleshed, orange-skinned salmon), orange fruit, cheese, carrots (which are domesticated Queen Anne’s Lace), and the pearl. Oddly enough the word pearl stems from the Latin perna, “upper leg.” Mythical heroes typically carry a wound in the upper leg or hip, which wound adumbrates their their destined sacrifice, their inevitable reduction, as it were, to godly status. Odysseus as a young man was wounded just above the knee by a boar’s tusk. When following the Trojan War and his famous subsequent misadventures Odysseus returns home disguised as a beggar, his old nurse (a she-wolf of sorts, and á la his dog Argos) recognizes him by this scar. Scars are pearls of sorts. Likewise, Odysseus’s chief patron is the goddess Athena — whose famously grey eyes are akin to pearls. The word pearl is furthermore related to the Greek pternē, meaning “heel of a shoe,” and ptelos, “wild boar.” Hunting dogs, of course, are trained to follow at their master’s heel. Odysseus returns home following 19 full years of absence and is recognized by his dog, who has effectively remained at Odysseus’s heel all along. The ancient Egyptian system of proportion is based on a column or row of 19 squares; but curiously the Egyptian gods tend to be depicted only 18 squares tall yet standing upon a pedestal (from the Latin pes, “foot”) which is 1 of these units tall and which is the symbol of the fraction ½. That pedestal and likewise that fraction — which fraction represents the primordial instant of creation/sacrifice (Kronos castrating Ouranos, for instance) — are heels of sorts. Likewise what chiefly connects Achilles to his father Peleus — i.e. to death, to mortality, to Father Dis (god of the underworld) — is his weak heel. Remember in this respect that the P-I-E prefix per- means “to strike.” We examined this prefix in relation to the Biblical and Akkadian names for the Euphrates, i.e. the river of death: Perath or Parat, and Purattu, respectively. Similarly the thunder god of the Slavs is named Perun; the Lithuanian god of lightning and thunder is Perkunas; and the Hawaiin volcano goddess is Pele. In Sanskrit, púr- means “fortified stronghold made of earth.” Other cognates include the Greek perdix, “partridge” (sacred to Aphrodite; the male hobbles during his mating dance, á la Aphrodite’s husband Hephaistos), parthenos, “virgin” (as in the Parthenon, i.e. the Doric temple of virign Athena); the Greek geranos, “crane”; the Germanic ger, meaning “spear” and “true” and “key,” as in the German gitriuwi, “faithful,” and likewise as in names of Hamlet’s mother Gertude and Odysseus’s wife Pe(r)nelope; the Sanskrit grhá, “enclosure,” the Lithuanian gardas, “pen” or “fold,” the Albanian garth, “hedge,” the Avestan gərəδa-, “cave,” and the Russian górod, “city,” all of which derive from the P-I-E ghordo; and similarly the Norse Hel, goddess of the underworld, she being akin to Persephone as well as to Helen and to Helen’s essentially sacrificed (in this case cuckolded) husband, the red-haired Menelaos.

Thus it is that dogs, nurses, scars, pearls, heels, creation/sacrifice, lightning, thunder, volcanoes, goddesses/mothers/wives, cranes, and castles/forts/groves/caves/grottos/pens/homes/cathedrals/cities/tombs are closely related.

The number 19 represents the White/Apollonian, the physical, the essential, the boundary — i.e. “being,” as I (following Einstein) call it. Boundary is nothingness in contrast to Red/Dionysian reality, i.e. in contrast to monads (which quanta Sartre referred to as “being”). By his wife Hecabe (“100”; who nevertheless represents the triple-Goddess, eg. Hecate) Troy’s King Priam had precisely 19 sons, although he had 50 children total — including 12 daughters. Precisely 19 rectilinear pieces comprise the border of the famous Tunc page of the Book of Kells. In connection with Egyptian art we’ve noted that White/Apollonian 19 involves a nevertheless superior, godly, Red/Dionysian 18. Likewise, perhaps, Mayan art is based on an 18 x 19 grid. More generally speaking, the 18:19 ratio (0.9474) is almost exactly that of the length from the apex of a pentagon to its base compared to the length from the pentagon’s left upper point to its right upper point. The proportions of a pentagon are strictly related to Phi, the Golden Mean. For instance, a pentagon inscribed within a circle of radius 1 measures exactly Phi/2 from the center to the base. The 18:19 ratio is moreover almost precisely that of the 5th musical chord, the semitone, which is the sound produced by a plucked string being held at the point 243/256 = 0.9492 of its length. Curiously, every 18th number — and only every 18th number — of the Fibonacci series (the most obvious symmetries of which are 5-fold, 12-fold and 60-fold) has 19 as a factor. Moreover, the hexagonal numbers 1, 6, and 12 (a single hexagon can be surrounded by 6 others, which can then be surrounded by yet 12 more) sum to 19. Indeed, the number 19 is akin to the Fibonacci structure, to the Sign of Solomon (the Star of David), to the number 9, and to the cube, all of which resonate with the Golden/Legal tension between White/Apollonian 12 and Red/Dionysian 5 or 6.

Saint Brigit’s shrine in Kildare, Ireland, was maintained by 19 nuns in turn over the course of 19 days. On the 20th day the shrine was supposedly attended by the saint herself. In 432 BCE the astronomer Meton pointed up the “Grand Cycle of 19 Years”: the new Moon (or rather, dark Moon) coincides with the new Sun of the winter solstice (i.e. the most southerly rising and setting of the Sun; the longest night of the year) every 19 years, a coincidence which is called the “Meeting of the Sun and Moon.” Odysseus, the Moon, returns to meet Penelope, the Sun. We recognized such coincidence in regard to the courts of Sumer: The full Moon — and especially the orange, Harvest Moon, the rising of which coincides temporally with yet is spatially opposite to the setting of the Sun — represents the completed king, i.e. the king upon his moment of sacrifice, of regicide, at which moment he at last corresponds to the Sun, i.e. he at last becomes dominantly Red/Dionysian and thus virtually female, all but identical to his queen or queens. Perhaps this periodic coincidence is why the Babylonians considered the 19th day of a month taboo and counted 19 as 20 minus 1. According to the Great Reversal, on the other hand, the king (eg. Odysseus) is not sacrificed but rules unto wizened senescence. The number 19 is likewise related to the phenomenon called nutation (which word stems from the Latin nutare, “to nod”). Concomitant of planetary and lunar motion the chief precessional motion of the Earth’s axis is embellished, so to speak, with small elliptical motions. These embellishments are the nutations. The primary nutation periods are 13.66 days (half the period of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth), 1/2 year (i.e. half the period of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun), 9.3 years (rotation period of the Moon’s perigee) and 18.6 years (concomitant of the 18.6-year oscillation of the plane of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth relative to the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun; i.e. the period of the Moon’s “nodes,” these being the points where the orbit of the Moon intersects the plane of the ecliptic, i.e. the plane of the Earth’s orbit about the Sun). The 18.6-year nutation — marked by an amplitude of 9.2 seconds of arc is the most obvious. Yet nutation itself was not discovered until 1728, by the English astronomer James Bradley; and it went unexplained for another 20 years. Nevertheless many ancient astronomical observatories, including Stonehenge, accurately record the 18.6-year cycle of the Moon’s nodes. That cycle can be considered to represent the important resonance between the numbers 18 and 19. A more precise match to the more godly of the pair, the number 18, is the fact that each eclipse of the Sun by the Moon can be said to repeat itself (in terms of its non-negligible qualities as observed by the naked eye on Earth: completeness, location in the sky, apparent size of the disc) at a different place on the Earth every 223 synodic months (a.k.a. lunations), i.e. 223 x 29.5305882 = 6585.3211 days = 18.029 years (on average, the synodic month varying from 29.2 days to 29.8 days), this 18.029-year duration being a so-called “saros” period. These immediate repetitions occur at different places on Earth, so to say, because the saros period is not a whole number; rather it is off by 0.3211 days. Consequently 54 years and 34 days pass before such repetition occurs (i.e. is focused) at virtually the same place on Earth. That the fraction 0.3211 is so importantly linked to the number 54 will prove to be very interesting to us. The number 1132 is Joyce’s favorite symbol in the Wake, and he occasionally therein he does use 3211 instead. His usage of these symbols remains an extreme mystery. Moreover, his next favorite symbol in the Wake is the nearly as mysterious number 432, which equals 54 x 8. As we will see, the numbers 54 and 432 and 8 are extremely significant in relation to the universal clock. And since relative to a single human lifespan eclipse repetitions — meetings of the Sun and the Moon, i.e. of the female and the male — are perhaps the most important ticks of that clock, Joyce may have used the symbol 1132 to indicate the extreme mythological importance of the coincidence of the Sun and the Moon. The transposition from 3211 to 1132, it would therefore seem, indicates proto-mythological, “counter”-clockwise motion, a sort of reversal of time (or a reversal of the Great Reversal). Similarly, if you read 3211 backwards you get 1123: the initial 4 numbers of the Fibonacci series. Curiously, I might add, the initial 6 Fibonacci numbers sum to 18 (or 3 x 2 x 1 x 1 x 3), while the initial 8 Fibonacci numbers sum to 54 (or 3 x 2 x 1 x 1 x 3 x 3). We should further recall in regard to the Joycean symbols 1132 and 3211 that the Sun’s mean apparent diameter — virtually equal to that of the Moon, a coincidence requisite for the further coincidence which is a total eclipse of the Sun — spans 32 minutes and 2 seconds of arc. The 11 in 3211 or in 1132 could be thought to indicate these 2 seconds, these 2 ticks. Moreover, as I earlier noted and later will explain, the number 32 (as in 3200 BCE?) is quite generally significant of the precise moment of falling, i.e. of the tip of the pyramid, the proto-mythological New Year, the star Polaris, the end of a cosmic cycle, quantum gravity, the suspended/mediate nature of every monad and of the essence of existence in general (eg. Hermes, Odin on the tree, mistletoe in the tree, the golden bough, the Holy Grail, the Fibonacci structure, etc.). And insofar as the number 32 represents falling/unity, the number 23 — i.e. 32 in reverse — represents rising/plurality.

We’ve seen that the number 19 is related to the root  pe-, especially as that root expresses boundedness. Another pe- word noteworthy in this respect is peasant. According to the Great Reversal, peasants are natural slaves rather than potential warriors, kings, priests or representatives of the Black/Baroque. The word peasant is nevertheless cognate with a tremendously rich collection of mythologically important characters, words, and phenomena. Sure, the Latin pagus merely means “district”; but the Greek pēgē means “spring (of water).” Here we are back in the primordial garden, the mythological moment, the moment of gravity. Indeed, it is from the primeval garden’s central spring that the name of the chief celestial ramification of said garden derives: the Pegasus Square. With a blow of his hoof, the winged horse Pegasus — i.e. the Phoenix — causes the Hippocrene stream to spring forth from Mount Helicon. The name Pegasus stems from the aforenoted pēgē  coupled to sus,“up, sweet.” Mount Helicon goes by many names, including Haran, Ararat, and Tara — the latter perhaps from téa múr, “Téa’s wall,” and linked closely to the Latin terror and terra, the Greek trein, “to be afraid,” and termōn, “boundary,” the Sanskrit tarman, “top of a post,” and the Latin tertius, “third,” all of which are related closely to both the prefix And- and the suffix -vari in the name of the Norse fish-god Andvari. I’m reminded of the nursery rhyme: “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after.”

Abutting said mountain’s location on the northern face of the universal clock is the constellation Ursa Major, which corresponds to the Titan Iapetus (or Io-Petus) — note the pe/pet- root — and his consort Themis (“order”), she who accepted from Gaia responsibility for Delphi. This pair further corresponds to the following famous and equivalent dualities: Iseult–Tristan, Guinevere–Lancelot, Grainne–Diarmuid, Isis–Osiris, the Aśvins (a.k.a. the Nasatya), Freya–Frey, Ariadne–Theseus, Aphrodite–Adonis, Ishtar–Tammuz, Inanna–Dummuzi, Cybele–Attis (i.e. Isabelle–Attis), Astarte–Attis, Penelope–Odysseus, Artemis–Apollo, etc. Which is to say, Ursa Major corresponds to the happy state of the hero prior to his sacrifice. Homer in the Iliad points up this correspondence as he describes the shield which Hephaistos fashions for Achilles:

Five welded layers composed the body of the shield. The maker used all his art adorning this expanse. He pictured on it earth, heaven, and sea, unwearied sun, moon waxing, all the stars that heaven bears for garland: Pleiades, Hyades, Orion in his might, the Great Bear, too, that some have called the Wain, pivoting there, attentive to Orion, and unbathed ever in the Ocean stream.

Bathing in the Ocean stream means sacrifice followed by burial in/upon water, i.e. in/upon the river of death (Eridanus, Euphrates, Styx, etc.), which river corresponds to the stretch of the northern face of the universal clock running from Cepheus to Hercules and coincident with the Milky Way, a.k.a. Brown Street.

A “wain” is a chariot. In Ursa Major we have the true stellar equivalent of the charioteer Phaethon (whose name means “Shining,” as in Stephen King’s famous novel and Kubrick's film adaptation of it). The son of Helios (a.k.a. Phoebus, the “shining one”; considerably equivalent to Apollo, son of Zeus) and Clymene (daughter of Oceanos), Phaethon questions whether Helios is in fact his real father. To demonstrate the strength of his paternal bond, Helios promises to fulfill any single wish Phaethon puts to him. Phaethon responds by asking permission to drive the Sun-chariot, with its 4 white horses, through the heavens for a day. Helios reluctantly honors the wish. Young Phaethon, however, quickly loses control of the vehicle. Initially he turns too far from the Earth and therefore the Earth grows very cold. Then he turns too close and is about to burn up the Earth. Zeus intervenes by striking the chariot with a lightning bolt, sending Phaethon plummeting into the river Eridanus. Zeus moreover floods the Earth to reduce the planet’s temperature. Phaethon’s friend Cygnus grieves so hard that Zeus turns him into a swan; and Phaethon’s sisters, the Heliades, grieve so much that Zeus turns them into alder trees, their tears becoming amber. The fall of Phaethon, the Greeks say, marked the end of the Golden Age. I think it likewise corresponds to the advent of the Great Reversal and especially to the aforenoted comet impact in the Mediterranean Sea c. 3200 BCE.

Helios’s chariot is equivalent to the chariot driven by the mother goddess of Asia Minor: Cybele. This goddess was chiefly associated with the Earth, with eminences, and especially with a black stone enshrined at Pergamum. In Phrygia she was perhaps originally called Kubaba, “Lady of the Cube,” for she is associated with a goddess of that name whose shrines were likewise situated in caves or grottoes and who was worshipped at Carchemish — the town, recall, that I mentioned in connection with Haran, Haran being located where the ancient road north from Damascus intersected (i.e. coincided with) the ancient east–west road from Nineveh to Carchemish. Note the resonance between Cybele and the Ka’aba (the “Cube”) — the most sacred shrine of Islam, containing in its southeast corner the Black Stone of Islam. Likewise note her resonance with Humbaba of the Gilgamesh epic — which epic I will interpret in the next chapter, uncovering the equivalency of Humbaba, the cube, the Yule log, and Ulysses. Virgil (70–19 BCE) in his Aeneid says that the Trojans and hence the Romans considered Cybele their mother goddess.

Midsea great Jove’s great island Crete, lies southward. There’s Mount Ida, there the cradle of our people [the Romans]. … There was the origin of Mount Cybelus’ Mother goddess [Cybele, the “Lady of Ida”], with her Corybantes’ brazen ringing cups, her grove on Ida; there her mysteries, devoutly kept, and the yoked lions of Our Lady’s car.

That lady and that car and those lions are the proto-mythological Sun. According to Greek myth, the lions are the transformed heroic couple Atalanta (“balanced”) and Melanion (“black Moon”). Yet Virgil here is expressing what is perhaps the chief proto-mythological, non-Greek (or at least non-Athenian) legend about the founding of Troy, according to which Troy was founded by the 1/3 of Crete’s population who fled that island nation under pressure of famine and led by a Prince Scamander (whose name was subsequently given to the Phrygian river Xanthus). Upon reaching a certain Phrygian beach, they made camp in the shadow of a tall mountain, which they named Ida after the Cretan mount considered home to Zeus. Apollo had suggested they settle where they happen to be attacked at night by Earth-born enemies. To my mind such enemies represent dreams (especially nightmares), “giants”; but according to legend the enemies in this instance were mice, for Scamander’s initial camp was attacked at night by a horde of field mice, and Scamander hence dedicated a shrine there to Sminthian Apollo (“Mouse Apollo,” a favorite Cretan god) and married the nymph Idaea. Eventually the Phrygian king Dardanus welcomed these Cretans, now called Teucrians after Scamander’s son — by Idaea — and successor, Teucer, and went so far as to give his daughter in marriage to Teucer and to refer to his own subjects as Teucrians. The Athenians, contrariwise, say that Teucer had emigrated to Phrygia from Athens and that Dardanus, son of Zeus by the Pleiad Electra (daughter of Atlas), arrived shortly thereafter from the Arcadian kingdom founded by Atlas, where he fathered by a daughter of Teucer the boys Erichthonius and Ilus (i.e. Oïleus) and that later he married Chryse, the daughter of Pallas, and fathered by her a pair of sons, Idaeus and Deimas. The historical Troy referred to by Homer seems to have been the 7th of 10 successive city-states built upon the same hillock. As was common in those Bronze Age times, this particular Troy seems to have been the capital of a federation of 3 peoples. In this case the tribes were likely the Trojans (White?), the Ilians (Red?), and the Dardanians (Black?).

Now, the aforementioned Pallas is an extremely interesting figure. She was the childhood “playmate” of Athena. The 3 goat-skin-clad nymphs of Libya had found the infant Athena on the shore of that land’s great salt lake Tritonis. The child Athena accidentally killed her peer Pallas (“maiden, youth”) while they were playing at combat with a spear and shield. Aggrieved at this loss, Athena asked to be called Pallas Athena and eventually emigrated to Greece via Crete.… One way or the other, the aforementioned Ilus, son of Dardanus, emerges in Phrygia, where he is instructed by the local king (or else by Apollo) to follow the wanderings of a certain spotted cow and to found a city wherever the beast initially lies down. Heeding this instruction, Ilus follows the cow to the small hill of Ate, where it finally lies down. This resting place is precisely where Dardanus had determined to build a city, a project Dardanus aborted when an oracle of Phrygian Apollo warned him that misfortune would always befall the site’s inhabitants. Ilus, despite this warning, proceeds to build the city of Ilium (which is eventually named Troy). Having layed out the city boundary, Ilus prays to Zeus for a sign. Exiting his tent the next morning, Ilus stumbles upon a half-buried wooden object which proves to be the representation of Pallas which Athena had carved in memory of the dead Libyan playmate. The idol is legless yet life-sized, standing 3 cubits tall, wrapped around the breasts by the aegis (“goat-skin” girdle, a shield of sorts), holding a spear in her right hand and a distaff and spindle in her left. Regarding the Palladium, Apollo Smintheus (i.e. Apollo the Mouse God, whom we will meet later and who is credited with benefiting the Cretan foundation of Troy) advises Ilus: “Preserve the Goddess who fell from the skies and you will preserve your city. Wherever she goes she carries empire!”

Initially Athena had erected this idol on Olympus, where it received great honor. But when the Pleiad Electra, Ilus’s grandmother, was “raped” by Zeus and in turn touched the idol, Athena considered it defiled and therefore cast both Electra (“Amber”) and the idol down to Earth. Which is to say, Pallas and Electra are identical, Pallas representing the chief member of the college of nymph priestesses (alias the Pleiades, Joyce’s St. Bride’s Academy), which college (the orignal harem) according to proto-mythology initiates the execution of the king when his virility significantly declines. Electricity owes its name to electrum, amber, and is deeply connected to the Electra myth. The word anode, for instance, stems from the Greek a + odyne “pain,” as in Odysseus and Ulysses, and is probably akin to the Old English etan, “to eat” — as in the Christian mass and, deeper still, the proto-mythological cannibalization of the sacrificed king’s body so as to conserve his special vigor or energy, if you will. The word cathode stems from the Greek kathodos, this from kata “down, by” + hodos  “way.” The anode represents the notion of a merely White, non-corporeal, painless Heaven; it absorbs electrons (i.e. souls). The cathode represents the notion of a Black Hell or, likewise, of a merely Black Hell-on-Earth; i.e. it represents the devaluation of corporeality; it emits electrons (toward Heaven). Indeed amber — which was proto-mythologically considered magical, for it is generally a golden rock of sorts (as in Cepheus, i.e. Peter) that nevertheless floats (á la Ouranos’s genitalia; á la Aphrodite; á la a sacrificed king whose body is set aflame and adrift; á la mistletoe, which floats, as it were, Moon-become-Sun-like in the tree), like oil, like a teardrop of Golden, Red fire, a parcel of regal, solar energy — was transported from the Baltic, land of the Norse goddess Hel, down the famous Amber Route to the Adriatic, to be traded throughout the Mediterranean world and especially in Phoenicia, the “Red Land.” Amber = Hel = Helen = Helios (Hel–Ios) = Ophelia (Op–Helia) = Eur–Opa (“Red Face”) = Core = Persephone = Demeter = Day = Hesione = Andromeda = Red Dragon (of the St. George story) = Sea Monster = Aphrodite. The “fall” of Electra = the fall of Ouranos = the fall of Aphrodite = the fall of Hephaistos = the fall of Lucifer = “creation” = sacrifice = complexity = Red/Dionysian = corporeality = reality = the existential = Black/Baroque. Here again is the secret blackness of milk.

The Sun goes south every year, precisely when Boreas (the North Wind) fertilizes the sea and raises amber. Probably most of the amber was transported south during the winter, in large part, perhaps, by dog sled. These dogs would have been associated with Fenrir, wolf-son of Loki, Loki being the Norse equivalent of Lucifer, Hephaistos, Hermes, etc. The unleashing of Fenrir corresponds to the end of the present cosmic round. The sled itself, and its Loki-like driver, would have been associated with the celestial Chariot and its driver, i.e, with the Wain, Ursa Major, and Phaethon, son of Helios. Most likely a considerable proportion of such sleds were sleighs drawn by reindeer. In a sense the reindeer was the initial domestic animal, for although they essentially remain wild they do excercise an affinity for human urine — as in the name Orion — and largely for this reason they are wont to live in close communication with humans, which communication is useful to humans and is all but fairly considered domestication. (Likewise the elephant remains essentially wild yet often in the service humankind.) Yes, Santa Claus — Red, White and Black Saint Nick — is equivalent to Loki, while the couple Donner (“Thunder,” ear, Red) and Blitzen (“Lightning,” eye, White) correspond both to Loki and to Fenrir. And where does Santa live? Polaris. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Despite Zoroastrian-style idealism, the primacy and moreover the chief nature of the electron itself — i.e. of the real current in contrast to the ideal (that is, merely conceptual) nodes, of the Red in contrast to the White and the Black — is naturally recognized. Hence the anode is signified with the color red.

The Palladium’s spear symbolizes the execution of the king. We noted in this connection that the Greek odyne means “pain.” Likewise the word pain — which also means “bread,” and is cognate with Pan — stems from the Greek poinē, “payment, penalty,” as in point and Penelope (Penel–Ope, alias “duck,” “veiled one”), she purportedly being mother of Pan by the suitors of her red-haired, disproportionately short-legged husband Odysseus, “the angry one.” Penelope’s pairing with Odysseus parallels Aphrodite’s pairing with bandy-legged Hephaistos as well as Helen’s pairing with red-haired Menelaos. Moreover, Helen’s 5th and final husband (after Theseus, Menelaus, Paris, and Deiphobus) — whom she wed, after death, on the White Isle at the mouth of the Danube — is the famous spear-man Achilles, son of the sea goddess Thetis. Hence Achilles is called Pemptus, “Fifth.” The Illiad derives largely from a poem titled “The Wrath of Achilles,” which focuses on the dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon over a captured princess. The name Achilles (Akhilles, Akhilleus, Aiákidês), said to mean “no lips” (as in an angry face), seems cognate with quelle, Germanic for “well, spring” (in Greek called pēgē), as well as kite (from the Middle High German kūze, “owl”), and kith (from the Old English kuth, “known,” as in Athena, goddess of knowledge and war, whose symbol is the owl; and as in the English word uncouth). The Greek akhos — synonymous, in fact, with the Greek penthos — means “grief” and “song of grief.” Robert Graves notes that the plane-tree was sacred to Helen because its leaves have 5 points and thus each represents her hand, as in Chiron, “The Hand,” mentor of Achilles; but, says Graves, Apollo borrowed this symbol — just as the god Esmun borrowed Tanit’s (i.e. Neith’s, Anath’s,  Athena’s) open-hand emblem, and, I might add, just as Athena supervened upon Aphrodite. This emblem seems to correspond to the 5-petalled/pointed rose/star shape that the planet Venus traces relative to the stars (as seen from Earth) — with the Sun at the center, Venus never getting more than 47° away from the Sun — over a period of 40 years (minus 3 days). A 5-pointed star graces the flat face of a bisected apple, as in the apple of the Tree of Knowledge and as in the apple “For the fairest” and as in Apollo himself (the 5-fold-fractal human archetype). The Egyptian hieroglyph meaning “knowledge” is a 5-pointed star, the corresponding Egyptian god of knowledge being Thoth (the Greek Hermes), whose totem animal was an ibis or crane, which latter word comes from Greek geranos and is thus related, as I will later explain, to the cro/car/kar complex, which complex also involves the words spear and truth (as in Hamlet’s mother Gertrude) and the notion of a circular home/paradise. But getting back to the word pain, we should note that it is closely related to paint and pigment, which stem from the Latin prugere, “to tattoo, embroider,” as in Penelope’s veil and her weaving. Here we have the meaning of the Palladium’s distaff and spindle. Another close relative of pain is the Greek pygmē, “fist” (as in pugnacious), the English word fist deriving from the Old English fif, meaning “five,” and likewise closely related to the Old High German pfifa, “pipe,” the Polish pięść, “fist,” the Latin piscis, “fish,” and the Old High German fisc, “fish” — as in Aphrodite’s equivalent the sacrificed king (Poseidon, for example, he who holds the trident; or Mananann Mac Lir, as in the Isle of Man; or King Lear, he of the 3 daughters) and as in the salmon/serpent of knowledge, who lives in the spring/well at the base of the tree.

The Palladium and Electra correspond to the missing 7th Pleiad and likewise to the leap year (or “leap tear,” as Joyce referred to it) and especially to its 29 February and the number 366 — i.e. to the utter mystery of existence, White–Red–Black existence. What’s more, they correspond to the black stone sacred to Cybele. In 204 BCE — and surely in light of Apollo Smintheus’s aforementioned oracle — Romans brought Cybele’s black stone to Rome, another oracle having prophecied that if this stone were housed in Rome then Cybele would aid the Romans in their war against the Carthaginians. Need I add that the Palladium and the black stone of Cybele are equivalent to the Black Stone of Islam — and that these are also equivalent to the Statue of Liberty!?! Yes, Lady Liberty — who, like the Black Stone of Islam, faces southeast — is Lady Libya is Joyce’s Livia is Pallas is Electra is Andromeda (purportedly chained or tied by the hair to a corner of the Pegasus Square, the corner nearest at once the Pleiades and Polaris, which corner is the star Alpheratz, “Broken Down,” alias Sirrah, from the Arabic Al Surrat al Faras, “The Navel of the Horse”): chiefly the middle, Red/Dionysian, nymph aspect of the (White–Red–Black, Black/Baroque) triple-Goddess, which aspect has been specifically oppressed by the Great Reversal. Chances are that the Black Stone of Islam is a tektite; but more likely still, it was originally considered an especially dark peice of amber, a teardrop of the triple-Goddess.



Robert Graves, from his Greek Myths:

The Palladium, which the Vestal Virgins [a reduced manifestation of the college of nymphs] guarded at Rome, as the luck of the city, held immense importance for Italian mythographers; they claimed that it had been rescued from Troy by Aeneas — again, son of Aphrodite — and brought to Italy. It was perhaps made of porpoise-ivory. ‘Palladium’ means a stone or other cult-object [typically phallic/serpent/herm-like in its nature, akin to the illicit items contained in the Gorgon-faced aegis bag/wallet/basket — the name Paris means “wallet,” and as an infant Trojan Paris was carried in a wallet after being abandoned on Mount Ida — such as were carried thus in Athens’s ancient Thesmophoria procession of pseudo-harlot-priestesses; Pallas = Paris = phallus] around which the girls of a particular clan danced [hence the words ballad, ball, and ballet, where a b has simply replaced the p], as at Thespiae [and as around the maypole], or young men leaped, pallas being used indiscriminately for both sexes. The Roman College of Salii was a society of leaping priests. When such cult-objects became identified with tribal prosperity and were carefully guarded against theft or mutilation, palladia was read as meaning palta, ‘things hurled from heaven’. Palta might not be hidden from the sky; thus the sacred thunder-stone of Terminus at Rome stood under a hole in the roof of Jupiter’s temple — which accounts for the similar opening at Troy.

Worship of meteorites was easily extended to ancient monoliths, the funerary origin of which had been forgotten; then from monolith to stone image, and from stone image to wooden or ivory image is a short step. But the falling of a shield from heaven — Mars’s ancile [as in the Latin ancilla, “female servant”] is the best known instance — needs more explanation. At first, meteorites, as the only genuine palta, were taken to be the origin of lightning, which splits forest trees. Next, neolithic stone axes, such as the one recently found in the Mycenaean sanctuary of Asine, and early Bronze Age celts or pestles, such as Cybele’s pestle at Ephesus, were mistaken for thunderbolts. [Said double-headed axe was called a labrys, which word, as I will explain, is related to the word labyrinth, to Janus, and to Achilles.] But the shield was also a thunder instrument. Pre-Hellenic rain-makers summoned storms by whirling bull-roarers [rhomboi] to imitate the sound of rising wind and, for thunder, beat on huge, tightly-stretched ox-hide shields, with double-headed drum-sticks like those carried by the Salian priests in the Anagi relief. The only way to keep a bull-roarer sounding continuously is to whirl it in a figure-of-eight, as boys do with toy windmills, and since torches, used to imitate lightning, were, it seems, whirled in the same pattern, the rain-making shield was cut to form a figure-of-eight, and the double drum-stick beat continuously on both sides. This is why surviving Cretan icons show the Thunder-spirit descending as a figure-of-eight shield; and why therefore ancient shields were eventually worshipped as palta. [I wonder whether a comet descending into Earth’s atmosphere would be shielded, as it were, by an obvious figure-8 shape.] A painted limestone tablet from the Acropolis at Mycenae proves, by the colour of the flesh, that the Thunder-spirit was a goddess, rather than a god; on a gold ring found near by, the sex of the descending shield is not indicated.

The figure-8 shield certainly smacks of the symbol — suggestive of the Meeting of the Sun and the Moon — that graced the wandering cow which determined for Cadmus the site where he should settle and hence where the Greek city of Thebes would occur.


That story is almost perfectly paralleled in the legend of Ilus’s founding of Ilium and hence of Troy. Moreover, Greek Thebes — whose symbol is a lion, as in the lion of dawn, the lion of the desert, the lion of the Sun, and the lions of Cybele — resonates with Egyptian Thebes, with the Siwa oasis near Libya, and with Greek Dodona. At Egyptian Thebes there was a colossal yet hollow black statue of a seated stone figure. When the initial rays of sunrise heated the statue’s interior and made the air therein rush through the narrow throat, the statue made a sound like that of a breaking lyre-string. The Greeks considered this statue a representation of of Memnon the Ethiopian, son of Priam’s half-brother Tithonus (governor of Persia for Priam’s overlord Teutamus, king of Assyria) and of Cissia, “Ivy,” or Eos, “Dawn.” Priam bribed Tithonus with a golden vine, i.e. a golden bough, so that Memnon (“Resolute,” as in Agamemnon, “Very Resolute”) would aid the Trojans against the Greeks. (Likewise Zeus compensated Tros with a golden vine for the rape of Ganymede.) Initially Ajax attacked Memnon, but Achilles took over the job from Ajax and killed the ebony warrior. Eos then asked Zeus to grant Memnon immortality. Robert Graves:

A number of phantom hen-birds, called Memnonides, were consequently formed from the embers and smoke of his pyre, and rising into the air, flew three times around it. At the fourth circuit they divided into two flocks, fought with claws and beaks, and fell down upon his ashes as a funeral sacrifice. Memnonides still fight and fall at his tomb when the Sun has run through all the signs of the Zodiac.

According to another tradition, these birds are Memnon’s girl companions, who lamented for him so excessively that the gods, in pity, metamorphosed them into birds. They make an annual visit to his tomb, where they weep and lacerate themselves until some of them fall dead.

Egyptian Thebes, Siwa, and Dodona were the 3 prime ancient centers for the worship of proto-mythological Zeus/Amen — i.e. the 3-Man, the Green Man — and hence of the triple-Goddess. Long ago, recall, 2 black doves flew from this Thebes, one to Siwa and the other to Dodona, each dove alighting on an oak tree and proclaiming the tree oracular.  The priestesses at Dodona were called peleiades, “doves”; they were born of Atlas and Pleione, the Oceanid daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. Robert Graves suggests that Memnon has in this legend been confused with Mnemon, a title of Artaxerxes the Assyrian, and with Amenophis, the Pharoah in whose honor the singing black statue was constructed. I think the situation more deep and complex. Mnemon primarily signifies Mnemosyne, “Memory,” mother by Zeus of the 3 (or 9) Muses and, we may infer, of the yet more antique Sirens, also 3 in number. Likewise the prefix Mne- points to the P-I-E high priest Manu. As such, both the name Memnon and the singing black statue represent the Green Man and the Green Woman and especially the college of Siren-like, Pallas-like nymphs who initiated the execution of the king (eg. Ganymede, Memnon, Hylas, etc.). Pausanias: “Swans sing before they die.” Graves: “[T]he sacred king’s soul departs to the sound of music.” Stones and especially singing stones seem to be closely associated with the sacrifice of the king and with rain-making, as in the names/titles Cepheus and Peter, each meaning “The Rock.” The Finnish Kalevala describes joy-stones, music-boulders, and song-stones, which a rune singer would sit on while singing and playing the kantele, a 5-stringed harp-like instrument originally made of pike bone as explained in that epic’s “Runo 40.” The Finns and Lapps — as in lapidary, meaning “stone,” and the Latin lapis, meaning “stupid” — are especially proto-mythological peoples, speaking as they do Finno-Ugrian, i.e. non-P-I-E, languages.

It seems likely that proto-mythologists equated meteorites and especially comets (both of which are literally planets of sorts, “wanderers”) with cows or lions. Sure enough, the Greeks called the Pleiades constellation — as in Electra/Pallas — the kometes, “the long-haired,” thus associating comets with the oracular dove-priestesses of Dodona and with the wandering cows/lions that founded, as it were, the oracular Egyptian city of Thebes (and in turn Siwa and Dodona), Greek Thebes, Troy, and, I might add, Antioch. In Old English, Old German, Czech, Hungarian, and Russian the Pleiades are called the “hen and chicks,” as in the Memnonides. Thus the Pleiades are further connected with the dawn of a new day (or year or age; i.e. the crowing of the implicit cock, a symbol of Kronos), with the black statue at Egyptian Thebes, and with Mnemosyne, the Muses, and the Sirens.

In the next chapter I will show that the aegis corresponds to the northern face of the universal clock (and hence to the universe in general), its contents corresponding to the constellation Draco, i.e. Metis–Coeus, Eve–Adam, Aphrodite–Hermes, Iseult–Tristan, etc.

Apart from stone (especially black stone), the lion, the desert, the Sun, and the Earth, other prime symbols of Cybele include a mirror, a pomegranate, and a key. The key in general is associated with the climax/peak, hurdle, and golden bough — i.e. with the general passage of the complete proto-mythological hero — and likewise with Atlantean Clito and with Greek Clio (Muse of history, as in the Greek klimba, “ladder,” and the Middle Low German keie, keige,“lance, spear”) and likely, too, with Kolyo/Kalypso, and furthermore with glory, as in Herakles, “Hera’s Glory.” Indeed, the chief myth associated with Cybele concerns her vengeance upon Attis for his infidelity. She causes him to go insane and thus to castrate himself. Likewise Hera causes Hercules to go insane and kill his wife. (And in fact the name Attis seems cognate with Gadirus, which character of the Atlantis legend we recognized as a proto-Hercules, his name meaning “gate” and “cat,” as in the Pillars of Hercules, Cadiz, Leo the lion, and the lion or lions of Cybele. A cat, recall, has 9 lives.) These motifs seem to be post-Reversal embellishments of the proto-mythological notion that the wife or wives of the king must determine when he should be sacrificed, this determination being made relative to his virility, which virility was believed to be directly proportional to the health of the tribe and of the cosmos in general.

The Great Reversal inverted the proto-mythological understanding of the cosmos, placing the White/Apollonian (eg. male, horse, Greek) over the Red/Dionysian (eg. female, lion, Trojan) and inasmuch all but eliminating sacrifice — and with it multeity-in-unity, beauty. Hence another, contrary inversion was called for. On the grand scale this return toward proto-mythology could only be accomplished by a likewise grand sacrifice of the White/Apollonian. But the White/Apollonian is not wont to execute such a sacrifice upon itself, and in the midst of the Great Reversal it is not inclined to allow the Red/Dionysian to execute a grand sacrifice upon it. Therefore what was called for is a grand White/Apollonian, Adonis-like character to sacrifice himself and reverse the Great Reversal, i.e. to re-turn the Golden/Legal philosophy to its chiefly proto-mythological state. This is precisely what Jesus of Nazareth did. In offering himself up for sacrifice at the hands of the Red/Dionysian Pontius Pilate — note the Po- and Pi- prefixes, akin to Pe- — of the Red/Dionysian Roman Empire (a continuation of Troy, i.e. of Mesopotamia, Atlantis), Jesus became at once identical to Kronos and to Ouranos, the self-sacrificing god. His death upon the cross was not a mere representation of the original sacrifice/creation; it was a true recreation of the cosmos.

Jesus of Nazareth’s extremely White–Red, complex, beautiful, Galahad-like, Aeneas-like, Castor–Polydeuces-like, Ganymede/Aquarius-like, Pelops-like, Hercules-like, Hermes-like nature — i.e. of the mediate type who is both born on Earth and borne up to eternal Heaven — is emphasized in the sense that he is declared the only son of God. An only son is at once youngest and eldest, White and Red. Likewise “red-golden-haired” Odysseus, Odysseus’s son Telemachus, and Odysseus’s father Laertes (son of Arkeisios) are each the only son of their respective fathers. In their predominate yet merely White/Apollonian aspect each of these characters is akin to Apollo (he who refuses to bind himself in marriage), Ursa Major, the Wain, Phaethon: White/Apollonian yet imminently Red/Dionysian. Each represents that extremely special type — which type is really every monad, every soul — who does not truly die upon sacrifice. Such, too, is the nature of Odin, Hermes, Ares/Mars, Attis, Hercules, to name just a few. From the 5th century BCE Apollo became increasingly identified with Helios, the Sun — the “Unconquered Sun.” Which is to say, Apollo became increasingly complex, Red/Dionysian, ripe for sacrifice. Concomitantly solar monotheism became the most popular form of paganism. When the Moon and the Sun meet, the Moon is sacrificed and becomes the Sun: White/Apollonian becomes Red/Dionysian, male becomes female.

Eventually Constantine equated Jesus with both Mars and the Unconquered Sun. Constantine — whose own title of Emperor, cognate with the Egyptian inpw, labeled him as being extremely akin to Mars (as does the title President) — believed that Jesus Christ could, like Odin, determine victory in battle. It is said that Constantine received instruction via a dream to place the “Chi–Rho” (as in Kronos, the great emasculator) monogram on his standards and shields.


This sign, considered a monogram for Christ, also appears on Constantine’s coins from 315 CE. James Joyce likely considered the Chi–Rho a monogram for Anna Livia Plurabelle, as well as for Christ: the lower half of the “X” may be considered a pyramid akin to the “A” in Anna; the upper half may be considered the “L” of Livia; and the “P” may be considered the “P” of Plurabelle. Thus we have Black, White, Red. The nexus represents the present, the moment of multeity-in-unity, of sacrifice, of gravity — of the hero’s ascent, if you will, to Heaven, i.e. eternity, completion, fully self-aware existence. The sword-in-the-stone motif of the Arthur legend likewise corresponds to the Chi–Rho monogram.

Returning our attention to Iapetus and Themis, note that the pair is said to produce 3 offspring: Atlas, Prometheus, and Epimetheus. But Atlas is also said to be the son of Poseidon and Clito. In this confusion we can recognize a deep identity between Iapetus and Poseidon/Neptune/Neptno/Nehushtan/ Yahweh/Sila and between Themis and Clito/Kolyo/Kalypso/Leto/Leda/etc. Likewise Prometheus seems to be an extremely complex, Odin/Hermes/Ares/Mars/Attis/Odysseus/Hercules/Pelops/ Ganymede/Castor–Polydeuces/Aneas/Jesus/Galahad character. Cleverest of the Titans, Prometheus tends to betray Zeus. For one, he tricks Zeus and the rest of the gods such that they get the worst parts of any animal sacrificed, the best parts going to the humans. He also steals the sacred fire from Zeus and brings it to humanity. Epimetheus, on the other hand, seems to be an all too simple, preternaturally White/Apollonian character. The name Epimetheus means “afterthought.” Delegated by Zeus to help Prometheus create humankind, Epimetheus is a fool who accepts Pandora as his wife (i.e. he indiscriminately accepts everything) and thus brings ills and sorrows to humanity. As for Prometheus, Zeus punishes him by chaining him to a rock (á la Andromeda) and sending an eagle to eat his liver. The organ regenerates overnight, however, and therefore the eagle returns day after day to eat it. Zeus releases Prometheus after Prometheus informs him that the sea nymph Thetis, whom both Zeus and Poseidon are lusting after, will give birth to a son more powerful than whoever will be the boy’s father. Hence Zeus causes Thetis to marry a mortal: Peleus. (Yet another pe- name!) Thetis nevertheless obsesses about bearing an immortal child. She therefore gives birth to a series of children, each time perfunctorily throwing the inevitably mortal child into her fire or boiling cauldron. Of course the infants cannot survive this treatment. Upon the 7th such birth, however, Peleus insists that the killing must cease. Thetis therefore pinches the child, Achilles, by a heel and dips him in the river Styx, the river of death, which river, according to Pausanias, bounds Tartarus’s western side. This is to say, Thetis baptizes the boy. Thus Achilles is rendered all but immortal, invincible everywhere but at said point on his heel. In this sense Achilles begins life as a Red/Dionysian, sacrificed character, a proto-mythological, Ares-like warrior — precisely as his “red-and-golden hair” and “shaggy breast” further attest. Indeed Achilles was worshipped as a sea-god in many of the Greek colonies on the Black Sea. Achilles is a Neptune, a Poseidon, an Erichthonios, an Hephaistos. Note that Achilles’ heel shot through with Paris’s (i.e. Apollo’s) arrow corresponds to the Arrow Star of the Babylonians, i.e. to Polaris, the “North Nail.”

That pinch/arrow/nail corresponds to the pin which stoppers the single vein of Talos, the bull-headed bronze man given to Minos by Zeus to guard Crete. Talos is also the name of Daedalus’s so-called apprentice, whom Daedulus pushes off the roof of Athene’s temple on the Acropolis out of jealousy over the boy’s great skill and out of disgust over the boy’s supposed incest with his mother Polycaste (“much tin” or “extremely pure”). (Athena had taught Daedalus his craft.) This is why Daedalus is exiled and ends up in Crete, where he builds for Minos’s wife the hollow cow so she can have sexual relations with Poseidon’s beautiful white bull from the sea (which Minos decided not to sacrifice, offering to Poseidon a surrogate instead) and in turn, for Minos, the labyrinth so Minos and his cuckolding wife and her offspring the Minotaur can live in humiliated seclusion. By some accounts the human Talos — whose soul flew away as a partridge, Aphrodite’s sacred bird — is Hephaistos’s father by Hera. In this sense Talos is not Daedalus’s student but his teacher. Indeed, the fall of Talos seems to correspond both to the Great Reversal and to the proto-mythological sacrifice of the king. The name Talos means both “suffering” and “ankle, anklebone.” Proto-mythological, Aphrodite-like Medea killed the bronze Talos by pulling out said pin; and some say that the Argonaut Poeas did the job by shooting him in the ankle with a poison arrow. Similarly, Laius snatched his infant son Oedipus at birth and pierced the boy’s feet with a nail. Clearly Talos resonates with Hephaistos, Oedipus and Achilles (among many other heros who are poignantly wounded in the ankle or heel). The name Oedipus means “swollen foot,” and it may derive from the Greek oedipais, “son of the swollen sea,” i.e. “son of Poseidon,” “son of Proteus (‘the first man’)”; in other words, he who, like Tristan, arrives by sea and returns (or is returned to) the sea. The name Laius, I might add, smacks of the name Claudius, which means “lame,” Claudius being Hamlet’s evil uncle. Consider the following germane commentary from Robert Graves’ Greek Myths:

Talos’s single vein belongs to the mystery of early bronze casting by the cire-perdue method. First, the smith made a beeswax image which he coated with a layer of clay, and laid in an oven. As soon as the clay had been well baked he pierced the spot between heel and ankle, so that the hot wax ran out and left a mould, into which molten bronze could be poured. When he had filled this, and the metal inside had cooled, he broke the clay, leaving a bronze image of the same shape as the original wax one.

Recall that the initial temple at Delphi is said to have been made of beeswax, as in apiary and Apis and the Nile River god Hp (of Hap or Hapi) and hippos “horse,” the horse being a prime symbol of Demeter and Poseidon. The replacement of beeswax with bronze corresponds to the replacement of Gaia with Apollo, of Poseidon with Zeus, of Talos with Daedalus or Hephaistos, of Aphrodite with Athena — i.e. it corresponds to the Great Reversal.

The name Achilles (Akhilles, Akhilleus, Aiákidês), said to mean “he with no lips,” seems cognate with quelle, Germanic for “well, spring,” the Greek pēgē. Likewise the name seems cognate with Lilith, ululate, Ulysses, Odysseus, anodyne, and anode. The Greek akhos — synonymous, in fact, with the Greek penthos, as in penalty and Penelope — means “grief” and “song of grief.” Homer’s Iliad is a song of grief. The title refers to the founder of Troy, Ilus the son of Tros, whose name, too, seems cognate with quelle, Lilith, ululate, Ulysses, Odysseus, anodyne, anode, Achilles, kill, kite (from the Middle High German kūze, “owl”), and kith (from the Old English kuth, “known,” as in Athena, goddess of knowledge and war, whose symbol is the owl; and as in the English word uncouth).

In the present light consider the prophecy concerning Aeneas, greatest survivor of Troy and destined patriarch of the Romans, as told by Virgil in his eponymous Aeneid:

In Italy he will fight a massive war,
Beat down fierce armies, then for the people there
Establish city walls and a way of life.
When the Rutulians are subdued he’ll pass
Three summers of command in Latium,
Three years of winter quarters. But the boy [Aeneas’s son],
Ascanius, to whom the name of Iulus
Now is added — Ilus while Ilium stood —
Will hold power for all of thirty years,
Great rings of wheeling months. He will transfer
His capital from Lavinium and make
A fortress, Alba Longa. Three full centuries
That kingdom will be ruled by Hector’s race,
Until the queen and priestess, Ilia,
Pregnant by Mars, will bear twin sons to him.
Afterward, happy in the tawny pelt
His nurse, the she-wolf, wears, young Romulus
Will take the leadership, build walls of Mars,
And call by his own name his people Romans. …
The Trojan Caesar comes, to circumscribe
Empire with Ocean, fame with heaven’s stars.
Julius his name, from Iulus handed down:
All tranquil shall you take him heavenward.

Julius Caesar, you see, was a Hermes/Mars/Attis/Odysseus/Hercules/Pelops/Ganymede/Aeneas type — a Christ type!

Achilles stands in considerable contrast, as a more simple character, prematurely Red/Dionysian. He is, recall, the chief character of the Iliad. The whole conflict between Greece and Troy is traced to the wedding of Achilles’ parents Thetis and Peleus. The couple did not invite Ares’ sister Eris, the goddess of discord. Thus offended, Eris tossed into the wedding feast a golden apple labeled “For the fairest.” Among the wedding guests were Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Each of these 3 goddesses considered herself the fairest and therefore laid claim to the golden apple. Zeus proposed to settle the issue by letting the most beautiful of mortal man, Ganymede-like Paris of Troy, judge which of the 3 goddesses is the greatest beauty. Each of them bribe Paris: Hera promises him power; Athena promises him wealth; and Aphrodite promises him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen. Paris opts for Aphrodite and thus for Helen. Hera is especially offended. She therefore develops a hatred for the Trojans. Virgil, recall, writes of Hera — whose symbol is a “proud warhorse’s head,” just as Demeter’s symbol is a mare's head — and of Aeneas’s arrival at Dido’s Carthage, which city Hera “cared for more than any walled city on Earth” but of which she heard tell “that generations born of Trojan blood [i.e. the Romans] would one day overthrow her Tyrian walls”: “[T]he origins of that anger, that suffering, still rankled: deep within her, hidden away, the judgement Paris gave, snubbing her loveliness; the race she hated; the honors given ravished Ganymede ….”

Also woven into the Iliad is the aforementioned story of Pelops, which is closely linked to the Greek Flood story and to the story of Phaethon. The curse leveled by the dying Myrtilus upon the house of Pelops especially affects the house of Atreus, who is Pelops’ eldest son, the father of Agamemnon and Menelaos, and is said to be the first astronomer to correctly predict using mathematics an eclipse of the Sun by the Moon. Famously Agamemnon in his turn fails to honor the aid which the Myrmidon Achilles gives to him. This slight motivates Achilles to abstain from the fight against Troy. Clearly the name Myrtilus and the title Myrmidon are related. The former is closely linked to myrtle, “ever green,” as in the Green Man. The latter is said to mean “ant-person,” i.e. bee-person, dog-person, wolf-person, John Barleycorn, Tom Thumb, Tiny Tim (i.e. Pelops’ father Tantalus’s oak-wreathed father Tmolus) — generally the dead/sacrificed yet immanent father. The prefix myr- is, in fact, remarkable. In Russian myr- means both “peace” and “world.” The English word peace derives from the Latin pax or pas, and these are closely linked to the name Poseidon and to the words post, passion, and, I might say, cad (as in caddie and caduceus) and code (from the Latin caudix, codex, meaning “tree trunk,” and equivalent to the title Co-Deus or Coeus, the Titan of intelligence, paired with Metis and equivalent to the serpent of Delphi, Draco, Aphrodite–Hermes, Eve–Adam, the serpent of the Tree of Knowledge). Indeed, myr- in the form of mer- and mare- indicates “sea,” “female horse,” “merchant,” Mars/Ares, and Hermes. Which is to say, myr- points to the apex, the bee-hive, Apis, Hp, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Haran — generally to the moment of sacrifice, of muleity-in-unity, represented by the god–goddess who emerges from the sea, i.e. the Beast, the existential, proto-mythological, tri-une figure, the Tree Man and Tree Woman, who symbolizes the real state existence, the state of suspension, as it were, between the mere idealities which are Heaven and Hell, this state being celebrated and indeed apotheosized by proto-mythology and likewise by the somewhat more general Golden/Legal philosophy but discounted and denigrated by the advocates of the Great Reversal, which today include the neo-Zoroastrian, merely White/Apollonian groups known as Christian evangelicals and militant Islam, these seemingly contradictory movements actually depending chiefly on each other for their power. Note: White/Apollonianism is elemental to proto-mythology and especially to the Golden/Legal philosophy, but insofar as it is not subsumed in and subservient to this paradigm and philosophy, respectively, it is monstrous, tending via its disjunction from reality toward an extreme unity, i.e. an extremely simple unity, ultimately identical to solipsism and in this sense merely ideal. Permit me to add that I voted for John Kerry but I think that George W. Bush and his close company, though pandering to the Christian right, are trying to act precisely according to the Golden/Legal philosophy, which philosophy is clearly in fact the basis and essence of the United States government. This is now the chief problem of the Democratic political party in the United States: relative to the Repbublican party the Democratic party has become perceived as the lesser advocate of proto-mythological, Golden/Legal multeity-in-unity, which paradigm and philosophy, respectively (if you will allow the distinction), and especially the former, the common person (and thus the electorate) naturally conserves. The Democrats’ increased advocacy of what may be usefully if not altogether fairly called simple, White/Apollonian freedoms (i.e. freedoms for the sake of mere freedom) relative to complex, Red/Dionysian ligatures (i.e. legacies, legalities, legends, etc.) has cost it the trust of the people. Of course I will explain this opinion further ….

Pearl, pedestal, Perath, pentagon, period, peasant, Pegasus, Penelope, penthos, Iapetus, Peleus, Pelops. — The root pe- just won’t stop. Likewise Joyce in the Wake offers ubiquitous, pointed references to Perse, Parnell, Purcell, Percival (Parsifal), Persephone (Proserpine), Perseus, etc. Let’s presently consider these latter 3, mythological persons (which word, I should add, stems from the Etruscan phersu as well as from the Greek prosōpon, both meaning “mask”).

Lowly, naïve, simple Percival strikes out from his mother’s house — which house is absent adult men — and straightaway encounters and kills the Red Knight, taking his red armor (like Hector takes the armor of Achilles from the dead body of Patroklos) and inasmuch becoming the Red Knight. Percival, owing to his extreme simplicity, eventually attains a glimpse of the Holy Grail; but unlike the extremely complex, yet simple, and inasmuch extremely pure, extremely beautiful Galahad (á la the Trojans Ganymede/Aquarius, Aeneas, and, it’s fair to say, Julius Caesar), Percival is not able to touch the Grail and therefore does not ascend with it to heaven with it as does Galahad (á la Ganymede/Aquarius, cup bearer of the gods; or Aeneas, bearer of the golden bough). Note in this connection that the Holy Grail and the golden bough (mistletoe or not) are essentially the same thing: passports to eternity, held by the most complete, complex, dual, Hermes-like type; i.e. they are symbols of such type, which type every monad really is. Which is to say, the Holy Grail, the golden bough, mistletoe: all are outstanding symbols of Existentialism. And as I’ve suggested, the single best such symbol is the Fibonacci structure, its meta-symbol being the Golden Mean.

Persephone (Proserpine), daughter of Demeter (a.k.a. Ceres; note the De- prefix; the name is perhaps cognate with the Cretan deai, “barley,” which is akin to beer and bear and which Homer describes as “white” in contrast to “red” wheat — which latter word, however, means as it sounds “white,” Latin puros) — spends the wintry 1/3 (or ½) of the year in the underworld with Zeus’s youngest brother Hades (i.e. Aï–Des; their middle brother, by most accounts, being Poseidon), who has abducted her. The couple Hades and Persephone is akin to the Menelaos and Helen.

And then there’s Perseus, he of the winged shoes (or winged heels). His mother is Danae, princess of Argos, which is located in the Pelopennese. She had been imprisoned by her father Acrisius in a bronze tower, for according to prophecy the 1st son of Danae would kill Acrisius. Zeus, however, visited the imprisoned Danae as a shower of golden rain and thus fathered Perseus. King Acrisius banished Danae and young Perseus, but eventually Perseus did kill Acrisius — by accident, with a discus throw. Perseus beheads the Gorgon Medusa and carries her head nailed to his shield. That head is winged, and it brandishes wild boar’s tusks. One direct look from Medusa’s eyes will turn a man (but not, as Camille Paglia points up, a woman) to stone — i.e. it will petrify him. Medusa, whose name means “the Queen,” is equivalent to Kolyo, whose posterior aspect, recall, writhes with snakes and worms. Every creature is ultimately bound to Kolyo by a snare about a foot or a noose about the neck, or simply by their intestines. Likewise Medusa is further equivalent to the Sphinx, from the Greek sphiggo, “to strangle.” Born of the incest between the half-serpent Echidna and Echidna’s dog-son Orthus, the Sphinx has a woman’s head, a griffin’s wings, and a lion’s claws and rump.

Returning home with the head of Medusa, Perseus saves Andromeda, daughter of Cassiope and Cepheus. Cassiope had bragged that Andromeda is more beautiful than the Nereids, who in turn complained to Poseidon. Poseidon therefore caused a great flood and sent the sea–serpent Cetus to destroy Cepheus’s kingdom. Cassiope and Cepheus therefore chained Andromeda to the Pegasus Square, as a sacrifice to Poseidon. The scene of Andromeda’s rescue by Perseus is said to be near Lydda, precisely where St. George rescued his king’s daughter by capturing the red dragon to whom she was about to be sacrificed. Both Andromeda and the princess in the St. George story are equivalent to Core/Persephone. (Hence the name Perseus.) Precisely as Andromeda and the princess women have been sacrificed, Core has been abducted by Hades. Andromeda/princess/Persephone is the Nymph aspect of Kolyo/Kali — i.e. the proto-mythological triple-Goddess — rendered scapegoat in accord with the Great Reversal. Her trial represents the reduction of the Maiden–Nymph–Crone (Core–Aphrodite–Demeter, White–Red–Black) to the Maiden–Crone (Core–Demeter, White–Black). The flood sent by Poseidon corresponds to the 4-black-horse chariot driven into the Earth by Hades (bearing Core), the 4-white-horse chariot — which horses I'm sure were originally black-white-red, like the color of the unicorn’s horn, and like Zeus-as-bull who carried off Europa from Phoenicia to Crete, and like Minos’s heifer, and like Io the (Sun-)cow — being a symbol of Poseidon. Indeed, the Red/Dionysian Poseidon’s White/Apollonian horses were surely lunar bulls according to proto-mythology, the horse being domesticated after the bull (wild aurochs), and the New, extremely crescent Moon of the western-evening sky being considered the source of all water; likewise Demeter’s animal symbol is proto-mythologically the cow rather than the horse. Said flood and chariot are both remembrances of the cataclysmic comet and/or meteor impact(s) which seem to have been the chief cause of the Great Reversal and for which the essentially feminine priestly class (which class of course included both male and female members) was blamed. As Andromeda/princess/Core was sacrificed to the seaצserpent/4-bovine-charioteer, that Red/Dionysian “monster” was himself sacrificed by the powers of the Great Reversal. White/Apollonian Zeus and Black/Baroque Hades carried the day, Zoroastrian style, Good-versus-Evil style, moo-cow style. The complex, 3-pronged hero was all but destroyed.

This coup against the Red/Dionysian is retold from the perspective of Hera, the female power of the Great Reversal. She causes the Titans (i.e. the sea–serpent/dragon/Poseidon noted above) to kill, dismember and eat Zagreus-Dionysus (i.e. the original Dionysus, who is the son of Core/Andromeda/princess by Zeus-in-the-form-of-a-snake and is the male equivalent of the Nymph or more generally of the triple-Goddess, i.e. he is the triple-God, the 3 Man, the Tree Man, the Green Man). You see, almost immediately upon his birth Zagreus-Dionysus had clambered atop his father Zeus’s throne and played at throwing thunderbolts (i.e. wielding the sacrificial, double-headed axe). Zeus soon decided that Zagreus-Dionysus should indeed rule the world. Hera, wife of Zeus, was strongly opposed to the idea — presumably because, after the fashion of the Great Reversal, she doesn’t want her husband to give up power. The Titans, to perform their dirty deed against the infant, whiten their (red) faces with chalk. And while Zagreus-Dionysus is looking at himself in a mirror (which is among the several “toys” the Titans distract him with, including a cone, a bull-roarer, golden apples, a knuckle-bone, and a tuft of wool, erion), the Titans set upon him with knives. The child evades them by transforming intially into Zeus-in-a-goat-skin, then Kronos-making-rain, then a lion, then a horse, then a horned serpent, then a tiger, and finally a bull: 7 forms in all. It is this bull form of Zagreus-Dionysus that the Titans at last cut to pieces and devour raw. Enraged at this transgression, Zeus blasts the Titans to ashes with his thunderbolt (i.e. with his double-sided axe). Thus Hera realizes a political coup that she certainly determined to happen: she has used the Titans to eliminate — or, more accurately, reduce — the threat which is Zagreus-Dionysus, and she has done so knowing that the further prime consequence will be the destruction of the Titans (i.e. the proto-mythological people of the world). From the ashes of the Titans arise the initial “humans” — i.e. people living under the mantle of the Great Reversal, as slaves of sorts, like Hera’s handmaiden Iris, messenger goddess of the wind and of the (7-colored) rainbow, who is a Nymph and thus equivalent to Zagreus-Dionysus as well as to Hermes. Hera is that simple aspect of Woman which is (naturally and otherwise) in complicity with the Great Reversal (and with any such reversal). She is not complete; she is White–Black, Maiden–Crone, rather than White–Red–Black, Maiden–Nymph–Crone. Her most famous reduction of the triple-God is her reduction of the hero Hercules. This is the deep sense in which Hercules/Herakles is named: “Hera’s Glory.”

Frazer reports that versions of the St. George-versus-the-dragon story “have been found from Japan and Annam in the East to Senegambia, Scandinavia, and Scotland in the West.” Indeed, the picture of Andromeda chained to the Pegasus Square recalls the Aztec virgin mother Chimalman who dies giving birth to Quetzalcoatl and who is now in the heavens as “the Precious Stone of Sacrifice.” The Pegasus Square constellation at bottom of the World Tree, is also the sacred place for childbirth, the mother’s vagina corresponding to the well, the sacred spring containing the fish/serpent, the little Achilles/Erichthonios/Hephaistos. A mother dying in childbirth dies upon the sacred altar, as a proper sacrifice. As such, every proto-mythological human sacrifice was made precisely where the person initially entered the world, or at least upon a precise analog of that place. Natural abortions were brought here as well, for burial beneath the sacred tree. Of course the most premature of these abortions evidenced the fact that people originally have gills, that we are fish of sorts. (Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.) This fact corresponds to the practice of planting fish (recall the Pisces constellation, which surrounds the Pegasus Square) to fertilize domesticated seeds. A fish–man — like the founders of Gilgamesh’s Uruk — represents the full ontogeny of a human being as well as the full spectrum of proto-mythological sacrifice. We can trace this spectrum forward in time, from the Zodiacal age of Gemini (man–man, i.e. twins), to Taurus (bull–man), to Aries (ram–man), to Pisces (fish–man), thus charting the Great Reversal as well as the concomitant demise of sacrifice and likewise the infantilization, the White/Apollonianization of humanity, a process which completes itself in the Zodiacal age of Pisces, the age that nevertheless contains the Christian reversal of the Great Reversal (hence the famous fish symbol of Christians) and terminates in the age of Aquarius, Cepheus atop the World Tree.

The name Cepheus, recall, derives from the Aramaic Qēphā (“Cephas”), meaning “rock.” This was the nickname of the apostle Simon — son of Jonah, and initial bishop of Rome, i.e. initial pope, initial “papa” of the Christians. Hence Simon’s Greek name is Peter, from the Greek petra, meaning “rock.” (Cepheus is also known as the “gardener,” i.e. the Green Man.) Cepheus’s wife Cassiope — i.e. Cassiopeia, Cass-Io-Pe — corresponds to Quetzalcoatl’s “sister,” Quetzalpetlatl, just as Hera is at once Zeus’s wife and sister. This correspondence further suggests the aforenoted cognacy between the Aztec Quetzal-, “feathered,” and the Indo European castle. The word castle is in fact cognate with the name Cassiope. As I said earlier, a castle is a sort of eagle’s nest and is linked to the word castrate, as in Zeus’s father Kronos castrating his own father Ouranos. The ultimate mythological castle is that atop the World Tree. King Cepheus and Queen Cassiope occupy this castle-in-the-air, this Olympus, which is akin to Rome’s Vatican Hill (from the Latin vates, “seer, prophet,” linked to the Old Irish faith, “seer, poet”).


Dürer’s Four Holy Men
Peter and John at left; Mark and Paul at right
Altepinakothek, Munich


The rock-like, eagle-like, Phoenix-like, priestly nature of Cepheus and of Peter resonates in terms of their equivalency with Aquarius the water gatherer, he of the water–fire duality. Aquarius, you see, doesn’t just gather water for drinking; he is also the rain-maker/gatherer, Zeus the “storm god.” As such Aquarius is akin to a great mountain, mountains clearly being gatherers of clouds and rain. Recall that Perseus is conceived when Zeus visits Danae — who is imprisoned in a stone tower — as a shower of golden rain. Perseus later carries the head of Medusa, whose gaze turns men to stone. Throughout mythology, rock and stone are intimately connected not only with fire but also with rain, just as storms feature lightning (i.e. fire), thunder (i.e. rock-like rumbling), and rain. Again, Sir George Frazer, from his Golden Bough:

Stones are often supposed to possess the property of bringing on rain, provided they be dipped in water or sprinkled with it, or treated in some other appropriate manner. In a Samoan village a certain stone was carefully housed as the representative of the rain-making god, and in time of drought his priests carried the stone in procession and dipped it in a stream…. Among some tribes of Northwestern Australia the rain-maker repairs to a piece of ground which is set apart for the purpose of rain-making. There he builds a heap of stones or sand, places on the top of it a magic stone, and walks or dances round the pile chanting his incantations for hours, till sheer exhaustion obliges him to desist, when his place is taken by an assistant. Water is sprinkled on the stone and huge fires are kindled…. In Manipur, on a lofty hill to the east of the capital, there is a stone which the popular imagination likens to an umbrella. When rain is wanted, the rajah fetches water from a spring below and sprinkles it on the stone. At Sagami in Japan there is a stone which draws down rain whenever water is poured on it. When the Wakondyo, a tribe of Central Africa, desire rain, they send to the Wawamba, who dwell at the foot of snowy mountains, and are the happy possessors of a “rain-stone.” In consideration of a proper payment, the Wawamba wash the precious stone, anoint it with oil, and put it in a pot full of water. After that the rain cannot fail to come. In the arid wastes of Arizona and New Mexico the Apaches sought to make rain by carrying water from a certain spring and throwing it on a particular point high up on a rock; after that they imagined that the clouds would soon gather, and that rain would begin to fall.

… On Snowdon there is a lonely tarn called Dulyn, or the Black Lake, lying “in a dismal dingle surrounded by high and dangerous rocks.” A row of stepping-stones runs out into the lake, and if any one steps on the stones and throws water so as to wet the farthest stone, which is called the Red Altar, “it is but a chance that you do not get rain before night, even when it is hot weather.” [Llyn Dulyn is thought to be an extinct and fathomless volcano. Shepherds in the area liked to say that the appearance of a dove near the lake signaled the descent of a beautiful but wicked woman’s soul to the underworld.]

… At various places in France it is, or used till lately to be, the practice to dip the image of a saint in water as a means of procuring rain. Thus, beside the old priory of Commagny, there is a spring of St. Gervais, whither the inhabitants go in procession to obtain rain or fine weather according to the needs of the crops. In time of great drought they throw into the basin of the fountain an ancient stone image of the saint that stands in a sort of niche from which the fountain flows. At Collobrières and Carpentras a similar practice was observed with the image of St. Pons and St. Gens respectively. In several villages of Navarre prayers for rain used to be offered to St. Peter, and by way of enforcing them the villagers carried the image of the saint in procession to the river, where they thrice invited him to reconsider his resolution and to grant their prayers; then, if he was still obstinate, they plunged him into the water ….

The people of Crannon in Thessaly had a bronze chariot which they kept in a temple. When they desired a shower they shook the chariot and the shower fell. [Auriga/Erichthonios/Hephaistos is supposed to have invented the chariot to compensate for his lameness (or his snake-tail; i.e. his sacrificed, fish-like nature).] Probably the rattling of the chariot was meant to imitate thunder; we have already seen that mock thunder and lightning form part of a rain-charm in Russia and Japan. [Recall that the name Auriga means “ear,” as in Earwicker.] The legendary Salmoneus, King of Elis, made mock thunder by dragging bronze kettles behind his chariot, or by driving over a bronze bridge, from which he hurled blazing torches in imitation of lightning. It was his impious wish to mimic the thundering car of Zeus as it rolled across the vault of heaven…. Near a temple of Mars, outside the walls of Rome, there was kept a certain stone known as the lapis manalis. In time of drought the stone was dragged into Rome, and this was supposed to bring down rain immediately.

… Rain-making chiefs always build their villages on the slopes of a fairly high hill, as they no doubt know that the hills attract the clouds ….

… Similarly speaking of the South African tribes in general, Dr. Moffat says that “the rain-maker is in the estimation of the people no mean personage, possessing an influence over the minds of the people superior even to that of the king, who is likewise compelled to yield to the dictates of this arch-official.”

In the present light, the following collection of pe- words is worth surveying: peacock (sacred to Iris, messenger goddess, goddess of the rainbow); perd (P-I-E for “fart”); petroleum (from the Latin petr + oleum oil); petit; pelt; pelvis; pendulum (from the Latin pendēre, “to hang”); pesto (from the Latin pinsere, meaning “to pound”); penis (from the Latin for “tail”; the penis rises and falls, just like the Phoenix); peculiar (from the Latin pecus, “cattle”); pecuniary (from the Latin pecunia, “money”); penny (from the Old High German pfennig, “coin”); penta (“five”); pensive (from the Middle French penser, “to think,” and the Latin pendere, “to weigh”); Penatës (“inner ones”, dieties of the storeroom; such as those Rachel steals from Laban, and such as those Aeneas carries from Troy), peripatetic and peregrination (from the Latin noun peregrinus, which derisively means “a person who wanders through the countryside”: per-agrinus, from per or par meaning “equal,” and ager, meaning “field, territory, district”; but recall from the Odyssey: “All wanderers and beggars come from Zeus”); and let’s not forget pen (as in “pig pen,” or “pig sty,” or “writing utensil,” “stylus”; the Welsh noun pen meaning “head”). Note that the word stylus is closely related to the name Styx. Vico: “All gods swore by the river Styx, which was the source of all springs.” The ink of a pen is equivalent to the waters of the Styx. Joyce considered himself “Shem the Penman.” Some of the earliest writing pens were feathers. Indeed, the word pen derives from the Latin penna, meaning “feather,” and is related to the Greek petesthai, “to fly,” as well as pteron, “wing,” and piptein, “to fall,” as well as to the aforenoted Latin pes, “foot,” — which is why godly wings are attached to feet, specifically to heels. Thetis dipping Achilles in the Styx is akin to a writer dipping her pen in ink or pressing her fingers on a keyboard!

Earlier I spoke of pens in relation to Ptah/Hephaistos, peasants, slaves, and boundedness in general. The Romans called the persons whom they captured and enslaved vernae. Therefore the languages of these peoples were called vernaculars. A slave born in a master’s house was called a verna. This word is linked to the Hittite weriya, “to call, name,” and likewise to the Latin verbum and the English word. Similarly verna is linked to the English world — from the Old English wer, “man,” and eald, “old” — as well as to the aforementioned Anglo Saxon wyrd, the Latin vertere, “to turn,” and hence to the English virile, verve, virgin, vertex, vortex, verge, verdict and of course vernal. Recall the Sanskrit verbal root vr-, “to cover, encompass”; it implies liquidity as well as circularity and burial and is of course closely related to Kolyo. This root was employed to refer to ponds and marshes, to greenness — hence the Latin viridis, “green,” and the English verdure and verdant — and especially to the springs of the high providential forest groves. As such, vr- is also the root in the name of the Indian god Varuna, lord of the cosmic structure: dharma, me, etc. Likewise vr serves in the name of the Iranian god Vərəθraγna, whose is represented — like Ares/Mars and like Medusa — as an aggressive wild boar with sharp fangs and tusks.

King and peasant, like father and son, are both bound in terms of the cosmic structure. In Greek this structure is called Logos, meaning “word,” “idea,” and “thing.” The Hebrew word for “word” — translated into the Greek logos and into the Latin verbum — also means “deed.” Similarly the Sumerian me means “cosmic order” as well as “to act, behave,” “to be, say, tell,” “battle,” and “ideal, norm, function, office, responsibility, oracle, decree.” In ancient Egypt the lord of the cosmic structure is Thoth. In fact the 1st month of the ancient Egyptian year — which month is equivalent to our September, the proto-mythological springtime (i.e. the ver, verge, New Year) — is called Thoth. The cosmic structure Logos, dharma, me, maat, moira, tao, call it what you mayis focused chiefly on the autumn season, the season of sacrifice. Maat, measurer, and scribe in one, Thoth is typically portrayed as an Ibis — a bird famed for its ability to catch fish and snakes in marshes and in ponds — who holds a stylus. The chief center for the worship of Thoth in Egypt was Hermopolis, originally known as “City of the Group 8,” i.e. City of the Ogdoad. Thoth is called “Master of the City of the Ogdoad.” As the Greek name Hermopolis attests, the Greeks identified Thoth with Hermes. Likewise Thoth is equivalent to Upuat, Osiris, Hercules, Pelops, Ganymede/Aquarius, Aeneas, Attis, Odysseus, Jesus, Caesar, Galahad, etc. The Ogdoad are the 8 gods — 4 male and 4 female — primal to Hermopolitan theology: Nun–Naunet (the primeval Abyss), Huh–Hauhet (formlessness, chaos), Kuh–Kauket (darkness), Amen–Amaunet (the hidden). This city marked the boundary between upper and lower Egypt, Shemau and To–Mehu, south and north, respectively; thus it poignantly represented the mediator, the middle, the complex, the carnal, the real in contrast to the ideal. The honey bee hieroglyph, I should add, was used to represent not only bees and honey but also the royal title bit, “he of the bee” — which is usually translated “King of Lower Egypt” or “King of the North.” According to an Egyptian myth, honey bees were the tears of the Sun god Re — who, I say, is proto-mythologically a goddess. Such bees were in fact further associated with the goddess Neith, whose temple in the Nile delta was known as the “house of the bee.” Kings of upper Egypt were contrariwise titled nesw, “he of the sedge (i.e. papyrus) plant,” which tital is usually translated “King of Upper Egypt” or “King of the South.” Yes, the king of Shemau, like Joyce’s Shem, represented a fallen, Red/Dionysian penman, a man of writing, a nascent man of words rather than of action. In contrast the king of To–Mehu represented a White/Apollonian man of action, of ascendancy, a ladies man.

  The Egyptians seem to have represented the difference between structure and order in terms of the differences between Thoth and Ptah, Amen and Ptah, and Amen and Thoth. Douglas Hofstadter, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning and truly luminous Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, draws such distinction in terms of an “Inviolate Level” and a “Tangled Hierarchy.” Sartre, in Being and Nothingness, draws a similar distinction in terms of water: “Troubled water remains water; it preserves the fluidity and the essential characteristics of water; but its translucency is ‘troubled’ by an inapprehensible presence which makes one with it, which is everywhere and nowhere and which is given as a clogging of the water by itself.” Likewise Saussure places at bottom of his theory the categories “langue” and “parole.” Schelling described the pith of every moment as a “rotating movement” between 2 poles: a “first potential,” in which a contractive, “gravitational,” “pronominal,” intensifying force predominates, leading toward unity (i.e., toward Seyn; Schelling employing this spelling rather than the typical Sein); and a “second potential,” in which an expansive, “predicative,” extensifying force dominates, leading toward plurality (Seyendes). And Leibniz referred to experience in general as “derivative” in contrast to “primitive.” The various differentiations between potential and actual, eg. between potential energy and kinetic energy, are also akin to the difference between structure and order.

The god Ptah — whose name is cognate with Peter — represents the creator/created aspect of God. He is equivalent to Hephaistos, Erichthonios, Achilles, Yahweh, Nehushtan, Lucifer, Poseidon, Shiva, Adam, and Noah, among many others. Ptah is typically depicted as bound, for he can only create his otherwise unique, White/Apollonian order in terms of the Red/Dionysian cosmic structure. The chief center for the worship of Ptah was Memphis, near Heliopolis (On) at the Nile’s delta. This location corresponds to the high point of the heroic cycle and likewise to the constellation Cepheus. Ptah may be fallen in the sense that he is essentially like you and me, a soul, if you will, Red/Dionysian, complex, real; but he is nevertheless the greatest soul and thus absolute. It is somewhat ironic that lower Egypt, symbolized with the honey bee, represents the apex of the heroic cycle, while upper Egypt, symbolized with the sedge/papyrus plant, represents the low point, the underworld, the tomb. But really these poles are wonderfully and naturally confused, a single complex pole: White–Black, or better still, White–Red–Black: Ptah—Thoth—Amen, a trinity (i.e. Tri Man, Tree Man, Green Man) which corresponds to the triple-Goddess represented by Re. Thebes — well within upper Egypt — was indeed the chief center for the worship of this latter, hidden/absent/entombed aspect of God, the aspect which lives in the sweetwater mansion: Amen. Likewise Zeus is tripartite: Zeus–Poseidon—Hades. The same is true of the Latin version of Zeus: Jupiter. The son of Saturn, Jupiter is Mars–Mercury–Jupiter, or Tiwes–Woden–Thor (as in Tuesday–Wednesday–Thursday). Jupiter is especially the apotheosized hero, risen to Heaven — but momentarily falling back into carnal reality, to the tomb, as Saturn (Saturday), and thus becoming the father but likewise momentarily reborn as the new Moon (Monday), which grows until its size matches that of the Sun. Fattened as such (Mardi Gras, Tuesday Fat) the Moon/hero next goes (again) to the Tree to be sacrificed as the Tree Man, the Tri Man, the Green Man. Friday is Venus, i.e. Freya/Aphrodite/Core/Persephone, Joyce’s Issy or Livia. Sunday is Re/Rhea/Demeter/Ops, Joyce’s Isabelle or Purabelle. The 8th day, as it were, is the 8th antique planet: Earth itself, Gaia, Joyce’s Anna. Thus we have the triple-Goddess Earth–Venus–Sun, Joyce’s Anna Livia Plurabelle. And the 9th is the vault of fixed stars, represented by (White) Ouranos/Uranus or Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer, who together with (Black) Gaia/Terra/Tellus and the (Red) planets (who correspond to the sea) constitutes the grandest trinity. The serpent in the Garden of Eden represents the initial Adam: Kronos/Saturn, the severed genitals of Ouranos, Delphi’s Tityos/Typhon/Python, Egypt’s Amen; and likewise Hades, the original Pelops, Myrtilus, Noah, Mesopotamia’s Ziusudra, Utnapishtam; he who resides in the ark, the sweetwater mansion, the Pegasus Square, the Qa'aba. That Adam’s wife is Lilith, Aphrodite, Rhea, Ops, Re, Demeter, Persephone. The Adam of Genesis is the second Adam, equivalent to Zeus/Jupiter, the Egyptian Ptah, Peter, Cepheus; Noah/Ziusudra/Utnapishtam as survivor of the Flood; Pelops resurrected, Dionysus resurrected. And this second Adam’s wife, Eve, is Athena, Hera, Juno, Neith (weaver mother of the Sun god, i.e. male, Re), Hippodameia (“tamer of horses”).


The apotheosized aspect of God would be purely White or purely Black, i.e. purely and simply transcendent in one direction or the other, ascendant or descendent, if not for the proto-mythologic (i.e. belief and logic) according to which God must be the same kind of soul as every other. The ancient Egyptians understood that extremes meet. The source of the Nile meets its delta, closing the circle. This meeting — this general fact of reality — was especially represented by Hermopolis, by Thoth, and by the Nile itself, whose god Hp/Hap/Hapi is, as I noted earlier, equivalent to the Greek Poseidon — or Potidon, as in potential and the Greek Potniae, “powerful ones,” i.e. the triple-Goddess — and likewise the Tree/3/Green Man and was called by the Greeks Apis — as in bee, as in bit, as in lower Egypt, as in Ptah, as in Pelops (and likewise Hebe and Aquarius, other cup-bearers to the gods), as in Peter, as in Cepheus, as in The Rock. Bee and tree and rock and apex. It has long struck me as somewhat strange that the apex of the heroic cycle is so strongly associated at once with tree and rock. But recall that Apis laboriosa, largest honey bee in the world and indigenous to northern Southeast Asia, nests high on remote cliff walls (especially in the Himalayas); and bees in general — such as those of Delphi — are known for nesting in rock crevices.

Traditional honey hunter at work on a cliff face in Nepal.


The profound, acknowledged and celebrated confusion of the ascendant and descendent aspects of existence is evident in Mayan theology as well, according to which the god of bees, honey, and beekeeping — Ah Mucen Cab — was portrayed as hanging upside down and angry (like the angry Jewish god, and like Ulysses and Achilles, who were both sea gods of sorts, like Potidon/Poseidon, and were both known for their anger). Many scholars think the Maya considered Ah Mucen Cab the Descending God. Indeed, it may be fair to say that no god is more descendant, more incarnate, than Bit/Hp/Hephaistos/Hebe/Hepatu/Potidon/Ptah/Peter/Cepheus/Pelops/ Ulysses/Achilles/Jesus/etc at the very highpoint of his heroic cycle, at the very moment of his self-sacrifice. As I noted earlier, the Maya called the planet Venus (as in Aphrodite) Xux Ek, the “Wasp Star.”

The Egyptians nonetheless emphasized the similarity between Thoth and Ptah. Not only did they represent Thoth as an Ibis, a famed fish-catcher; the hieroglyph for their primal sea–serpent Kneph (a.k.a. Cnuphis) was identical to the hieroglyph for Thoth. From the mouth of Kneph issues an egg containing Ptah. (Which is to say, the Egyptians put the chicken before the egg.) This myth calls to mind the 2 eggs birthed by Leda, each containing twins fathered by Zeus in the form of a swan. The name and character Kneph is of course cognate with the P-I-E Neptno, the Hebrew Nehushtan, the Latin Neptune, and the Celtic Nechtan.

We’ll do well to consider some further occurrences of the prefix ne- and its cognates kne-, cnu-, nu-, no- and the like. A nexus, for instance, is a place where things come together. Likewise we have the P-I-E nemeton, meaning “sanctuary,” and the P-I-E –no, meaning “known as,” which is linked to the aforementioned verna (etc.) as well as to the aforementioned the Middle High German kūze, “owl,” and Old English kuth, “known,” as in Athena — patroness of Odysseus (a.k.a. Noman), goddess of knowledge and war — whose symbol is the owl. Among the other close cognates are nectar, noose, knot, knuckle, note, knowledge, gnosis, nous, numen, nose, neo, new, neck, necro, negative, no, needle, nettle, net, nether, nest, nut, nuptial, nerve, nefarious, knell, need, nine (9), night, and knight. Some cognate names are the Nereids, Nerthus (the Teutonic Earth goddess), Nessa, Nestor, Nemi (as in the “King” of the Wood at Nemi; see the beginning of Frazer’s Golden Bough), the Nemean lion, Nephthys, Nefertiti, Nemesis, Mnemosyne (“Memory”; by Zeus, Mnemosyne gives birth to the 9 Muses: Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polyhymnia, Urania and Calliope), Nessus (the centaur who effectively kills Hercules), Noah, Núadu, Nodens (the Fisher King, keeper of the Holy Grail), Noman, Nun, Nut, Nonoalco (the mountain on which Quetzalcoatl’s sister dwells), November, and Joyce’s Nolan.

In several respects I’ve pointed to the equivalency of Attis and Odysseus. Odysseus’s famous epithet Noman (or Nobody) is written in Greek Οΰτις (Outis). Clearly Homer and company understood and heard the equivalency between Attis and Outis. And sure enough, one of epithets for Attis is Naamen, meaning “Darling.” Noman is Everyman is Attis is the greatest god of all, the only god, really: the ever falling ever rising god, symbolized especially by the Moon. This is the meaning of the name Odysseus.

In this light note that the initial and greatest of the famous 12 labors with which Hera burdens Hercules — her husband Zeus’s son by Alceme, the queen of Thebes, which queen and city-state represent the (proto-mythological) triple-Goddess — is the job of killing the Nemean lion. Hera, recall, is queen of the Great Reversal. The emblem of this Thebes, recall, is a lion; and Hera is this White–Red–Black lion-queen reduced to the White–Black queen of the Great Reversal. Hera’s aim is to maintain the status quo — especially the power of the reigning king, namely her husband Zeus. Thus she attempts to enslave the rest of society, especially Zeus’s greatest son Hercules, who in a sense is the greatest threat to Zeus’s power. Zeus, the myth says, had fathered Hercules because he needed a mortal hero to help him battle the Giants. Zeus intended for Hercules to become the ruler of Mycenae or Tiryns. Knowing, however, that Hera would feel severely threatened by the boy’s existence, Zeus tried to mollify her by naming naming Herakles, “Hera’s Glory.” Hera was not amused. She eventually caused Hercules to go temporarily insane (á la Attis), during which spell he murdered his own wife Megara and their 3 sons (rather than emasculating himself, as Attis did). The Delphic Oracle instructed Hercules that to pay for this crime Hercules had to indenture himself to a lesser man whom had already been promoted over him by Hera: King Eurystheus. Thus the 12 labors put to Hercules by Eurystheus.

Hercules eventually died at the hands of his 2nd wife, Deianira — for whom he had had to battle the river god Achelous. Shortly after the pair married they needed to cross a river. The centaur Nessus — again, note the Ne- prefix — offered to help. But in so doing, Nessus tried to rape Deianira. Infuriated, Hercules mortally wounded the centaur, who as he was dying instructed Deianira that if ever she wanted to be sure of Hercules’ love she should now gather together his spilled, centaurian blood and semen and save this poisonous mixture for the occasion. When á la Cybele and á la Hera she eventually did suspect Hercules of an affair, she soaked a favorite shirt of his in the poison. Donning the shirt, Hercules soon experienced the agonizing pangs of impending and ineluctable death. On further advice of the Delphic Oracle (considered the medium of Apollo), the hero ordered a pyre built so that he could quickly thereupon end his suffering. But Hercules did not actually die atop the pyre, for Zeus directly granted the hero immortality, transporting him to Olympus just like he eventually did with Ganymede and, later, with Aeneas. Indeed, the now immortal Hercules married Hebe, cup bearer of the gods, who upon this marriage was replaced with Ganymede/Aquarius. Clearly Hercules is more of a Thoth/Hermes character than a Ptah/Hephaistos character.

The Nemean lion, initial victim of Hera’s machinations, is the son of Typhon (Python, Tityos, Set) and Echidna (half woman, half serpent); alternatively he is the son of Zeus and Selene (supposedly the Moon goddess, but more truly the Sun goddess, eg. P-I-E Swel, Phrygian Cybele, Latin Sol, German Sonne). This beast is said to have set the Nemean forest ablaze by spewing forth fire from its huge jaws. When Hercules kills the lion, he dons its impenetrable skin as a suit of armor (similar to those produced by Hephaistos) and eventually drapes that skin over his left arm and presents it to Apollo. The Nemean lion represents the proto-mythological mother goddess, who is reduced by the Great Reversal to the White/Apollonian Hera/Juno. Indeed, each of the 12 Herculean labors targets a certain primary symbol of proto-mythology. After killing the Nemean lion, Hercules is sent by Eurystheus to fight Hydra, a snake with 9 heads (1 of them immortal). Succeeding in this 2nd labor, the otherwise Golden hero is then sent to capture the Ceryneian hind, a stag sacred to the goddess Artemis. Succeeding again, his next task is to capture the Erymanthian wild boar, which he does using a net. He is then compelled to clean the dung from the horse stables of Augeus, son of the Sun god. Next he is dispatched to remove the Stymphalian birds (note the Sty- prefix) from the Peloponnese. Following this 6th labor he is sent to capture the bull which Minos had failed to sacrifice to Poseidon and which in turn sired the Minotaur. Following this victory he is ordered to subdue the man-eating mares of Diomedes. Succeeding again, he is sent to fetch the girdle (belt or necklace) of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. (This girdle recalls those of Anath, of Artemis, of and the mother goddesses of India and Mexico, which are festooned with severed heads.) Of course he again succeeds. Subsequently he is dispatched to capture the red cattle of the supposedly predatory Geryon, who has 3 heads, 3 bodies and 6 hands and rules a western isle. This success is met with yet a penultimate order: to confiscate the golden apples of the Hesperides, female guardians of the fruit which Gaia gave to Hera when Hera became married to Zeus. Succeeding again, Hercules is lastly sent to capture the 3-headed hound Cerberus, guardian of the underworld.

Speaking of labors, a peasant’s day’s worth of labor is called an opera, this from Ops, the Sabine (i.e. pre-Roman) goddess of sowing, abundance, wealth, harvest, etc. The Latin operire means “to close, cover,” as in Kolyo and Penel-Ope. Ops (equivalent to the Greek Rhea) is the wife of Saturn (Kronos). These are the parents of Jupiter (Zeus) and Juno (Hera). Hence, too, we have the term aristocrat, for the Greek equivalent of the Latin optimus is aristos. The op- prefix is identical to the English ob-, which means “around, on, against, resistance.” Both are related to the snake, as in Ophiuchus (the serpent bearer) and Erichthonios (the snake-tailed boy, i.e. the lame initial king of Athens), and Shakespeare’s Ophelia (who drowns herself).

This brings us back to Hephaistos, the lame (i.e. bow-legged) divine smith, equivalent to the Egyptian Ptah. The Latin equivalent is Vulcan, whose smithy is located under Mt. Aetna on Sicily; the Cretan equivalent is Velchanus, which older name is more obviously cognate with Bel and Anu. Vulcan is widely associated with Maia and Vesta (Cybele and Hestia), goddesses of the hearth. The Siberian equivalent is the shaman. Santillana and von Dechend write in their Hamlet’s Mill: “The Yakuts claim: ‘Smiths and shamans come from the same nest,’ and they add: ‘the Smith is the older brother of the Shaman.’ ” (Bruce Chatwin presents the initial part of this quote in one of his remarkable books.) These authors further note that “the many iron pieces which belong to the costume of a shaman can be forged only by a blacksmith of the 9th generation, i.e. 8 of his direct ancestors must have been in the profession. A smith who dared forge a shamanistic outfit without having those ancestors would be torn by bird-spirits.” Bruce Chatwin: “In nomadic society the smith was not the underprivileged artisan of civilization; for the Mongols he was a hero and a free knight. Shamanism has always been connected with mastery over fire; metallurgical secrets are handed down within a closed circle associated with magic and sorcery.” In fact Vulcan was celebrated by the Romans every 23 August — i.e. at the beginning of the proto-mythological New Year season. We know next to nothing about this Volcanalia, save that people drove animals into a fire, seemingly as substitutes for human sacrifices. Similarly yet in marked contrast the chief festival of Ops — the Opeconsiva, “Wealth from Planting” — was celebrated on 25 August; but only her priests and the Vestal virgins participated, the officiating priest wearing a white veil.

Coincidentally, St. Patrick-the-Elder is said to have died on 24 August 465 CE. Likewise the death of St. Patrick of Nevers, whose relics are stored at Glastonbury, is celebrated on this day. St. Patrick-the-Younger, on the other hand, who supposedly arrived in Ireland in 432 CE and whose famous day of honor is 17 March, has been identified with Palladius, a deacon from the leading family in Auxerre, who in 429 CE prompted Pope Celestine I to send an envoy to Britain to counter the spread of Pelagianism. Stemming from the British monk Pelagius, this White/Apollonian theology pointedly countered Augustinianism by emphasizing the value of free will and likewise the individual’s natural (capacity for) purity. Palladius himself was sent to Ireland in 431 CE as 1st bishop thereof and is celebrated on 7 July. In ancient Rome the 7th of July was Nonae Caprotinae, a celebration of Juno (Hera) Caprotina. A festive holiday for female slaves, this day was marked by women making sacrifices to Juno under a singular wild fig-tree (i.e. a caprificus, from the Greek kapros, “wild boar,” the Latin capr, “he-goat,” and the Latin ficus, “fig”) outside Rome. As I noted earlier, a wild fig tree features in both the Iliad (where it is located outside Troy) and the Odyssey and corresponds to the constellation Hercules. In this respect recall, too, that the Sanskrit root vr- means “to cover” — as in the goddesses Kolyo and Kalypso — and features in the name of the Iranian god Vərəθraγna who like Ares/Mars and Medusa is represented as an aggressive wild boar. As such, Juno (Hera) Caprotina is equivalent to Kolyo/Kalypso. This is the rich sense in which 7 July resonates with 17 March, which latter day in ancient Rome was called both Liberalia — after Liber Pater, a fertility god — and Agonalia Martiale, “sacrifice to Mars.” On 17 March Roman boys graduated to manhood and became full citizens, discarding the purple-trimmed toga of childhood (the toga praetexta; significant of the child’s lingering attachment to the womb, i.e. to the feminine tomb, the state of death) and donning instead the completely white toga (the toga pura) representing the virile, chiefly White/Apollonian adult male.

Regarding St. Patrick-the-Elder’s 24 August, note that it is also St. Bartholomew’s Day — commemorating the martyred apostle Bartholomew, who, it is said, was flayed alive in Armeni. (Bartholomew is perhaps the Nathanael of John 1:45–51 and 21:2.) The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of Huguenots occurred in 1572 CE in France. (The French Wars of Religion had started with the massacre of 1000 Huguenots at Vassy on 1 March 1562.) The Huguenots were French Protestants, mostly Calvinists, who were pressuring the Catholic monarchy of France to intervene on behalf of the rebels in the Netherlands against the Catholic Spanish and were thus promoting a sort of internecine war with Spain.

St. Bartholomew’s rather cultish following in England was boosted in the 11th century when Queen Emma, wife of Cnut (as in Cnuphis/Kneph, mother of Ptah; i.e. Thoth/Hermes, Leda–Zeus; and as in knuckle joints, these being symbolic of Cybele and equivalent to the aforementioned cohum, the part of a yoke to which the beam of a plow is fitted), gave to Canterbury Cathedral an arm supposed to be of Bartholomew himself. The Kentish capital Canterbury was the earliest seat of Christianity in England, having been established as such c. 600 CE. Similarly, London’s St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, completed in 1123 CE (note the number), is the city’s oldest. Wat Tyler, leader of the aforedescribed English Peasant Revolt — likely instigated by the remnants of the Knights Templar, forebears of the Freemasons — was brought to this hospital on Saturday, 15 June 1381 for treatment of the mortal wound he suffered earlier that day. On the previous Monday, Tyler and his rebels had taken control of cathedral. And on said following Saturday (Saturn’s Day) the rebels gathered on a side of the great London field called Smithfield while the 14-year-old King Richard II and his men did likewise opposite, in front of said hospital. The rest, as they say, is history. Smithfield served as the sight of St. Bartholomew’s fair from 1133 CE to 1840 CE. Roasted pig was a staple of this fair, hence the term Bartholomew pig, meaning “a very fat person.”

The contrast between the number 23 and the number 24 seems to corresponds with the contrasts between the 18 and 19, Thoth and Ptah, priest and king, Red and White. Likewise 23 December is in Norway called Tollemesse, “Torlak’s Mass,” Torlak being a goblin of sorts and corresponding to Thorlac (i.e. “Thor of the Lake”), patron saint of Iceland, equivalent to St. Patrick-the-Elder. In ancient Rome 23 December was celebrated as Larentalia, Larentia being wife of the herdsman Faustulus and wet-nurse of Remus and Romulus — i.e. equivalent to the famous she-wolf, as in the lukur-priestesses, prostitutes, and melissai (“bees, honey-wolves”). In contrast, 24 December is considered Adam’s Mass, this somewhat in contrast to Christ’s Mass (Christmas, 25 December). Included among Adam’s primary tasks, as you may recall, was the naming of animals, which task is closely related to the aforementioned Hittite weriya, “to call, name,” and to the English world, this latter stemming from the Old English wer, “man,” and eald, “old” — as in werewolf and weird. The word mass, I should put in, 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 sacrificed king. Jesus’s birth seems to coincide with burial/eating of Adam; his childhood seems to correspond to the purplish childhood of Roman boys, which is a sort of feminine lingering in the womb, i.e. in the tomb. As such, the number 23 — like Joyce’s 1123, 3211, and 32 — seems to be associated with the top of the pyramid, i.e. with Hermes, Aquarius, Polaris, the monadic nature in general. Thus the following diagram may be heuristic.


Indeed, Joyce in the Wake seems to use the number 23 to symbolize the indivi-duality–trinity — (female–male)–past–present–future — which is any monad, any soul. The eldest of 10 siblings, Joyce had 6 sisters but he referred to them as his “23 sisters.” Achilles captured 23 towns outside Troy, including Lyrnessos, where he took Briseis as a lover. Leviticus 23:23–25 reads: “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to the people of Israel, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work; and you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’ ” This is the so-called feast of trumpets, held in the seventh month of the chiefly White/Apollonian, religious calendar of the Hebrews, i.e. in the 1st month, Tishri, of their chiefly Red/Dionysian (proto-mythological) secular calendar, which month corresponds to our September. Said trumpets, by the way, are not the hacocerah (i.e. metal kind) but rather the shophar (made of animal horns, qeren). The shophar 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.” Zeus was reared on the milk of a goat, by Amalthea (she being equivalent to Ops/Rhea, mother of Zeus). When the goat eventually died, Zeus gave its horn to Amalthea. That horn had the power to grant to its possessor whatever she wished. In Finnish mythology the Sampo, a mill of sorts, did the same. The name Sampo is cognate with the Sanskrit skambha, meaning “pillar, pole,” and is thus akin to the aforementioned wirt, wirtel, “spindle,” and likewise to wyrd. The Hebrew word qeren indeed seems cognate with the Norse qvern, “mill.”

Joyce likely recognized the number 23 as being weirdly coincident with several critical and closely related historical events, all of them deeply proto-mythological. For instance, Brian Boru’s death occurred on 23 April 1014 CE, but his forces were successful that day, terminating Danish domination of Ireland. Foreign domination of Ireland began again on 23 August 1170 CE, when Henry II authorized the 1st English invasion of Ireland. Padraic Pearse organized the 1916 CE uprising against almost 754 years of English rule so that the revolt would occur on 23 April; but guns for his men were slow to arrive, so the revolt occurred on the 24th. On 23 August 1921CE Joyce was engaged in his celebrated discussion concerning synchronicities when a large black rat suddenly ran across the floor and scared the wits out of him. In ancient Rome, 23 April was the Vinalia, dedicated not to the aforenoted Liber Pater but to (Red/Dionysian) Jupiter, to whom the 1st draught of wine stored the previous autumn was poured as an offering. Shakespeare was likely born on 23 April 1565 CE (we know he was baptized on 26 April) and he died on 23 April 1616 CE. On the same date by the new-style, Gregorian calendar (but 10 natural days earlier), Cervantes died. In England, 23 April is recognized as Saint George’s Day, St. George being the patron saint of England. St. George is also the patron of knights, archers, syphilitics, boy scouts, and Catalonia, where the celebration of his day was originally confined to the upper classes but has since, owing to its coincidence with the death of Cervantes, become more popular. The custom in Catalonia is now for women to honor Cervantes on St. George’s Day by presenting books to the men in return for the roses that the men give to the women in honor of St. George.

I’ve identified St. George as a predominantly White/Apollonian albeit proto-mythological character. Central to this book, however, is the issue of whether the White/Apollonian is proto-mythologically subjected to the Red/Dionysian or is alternatively, in accord with the Great Reversal, rendered an end in itself. I think the confusions here — a healthy, proto-mythological duality in the former case and an unhealthy singularity, a meeting of extremes, in the latter — are at bottom of the English confusion recognized by Bonnie Blackburn and Leofranc Holford-Strevens in their Oxford Companion to the Year:

The English have often been regarded, particularly by their fellow Britons, as strangely lukewarm in their observation of their patron saint and his day; they cannot be trusted to remember his day (much less wear a rose on it), and at sporting fixtures they cause great offence in the other parts of the United Kingdom by waving not the flag of St. George, the red cross on a white background, but the all-British Union flag, in which it is combined with the crosses of St. Andrew and St. Patrick. However, his emblem was much in evidence among the English football supporters at the European Cup finals of 1996 (and again in the World Cup finals of 1998); a few weeks later the Church of England voted to include his day among the compulsory feasts. Yet it is still not a civil red-letter day, though in England the Union flag is flown.

The aforementioned relations between 23, 24 and 25 seem to resonate with the relation of 23 April to 24 August to 25 December (or 1 May to 1 September to 1 January); April (or May) being White, August (or September) being Red, and December (or January) being Black, as Livia is to Plurabelle is to Anna, as present is to future is to past, as rising is to falling is to fallen/hidden. The corresponding acronym LPA, by the way, is strikingly similar to the Latin lupa, “she-wolf,” i.e. melissai. Moreover the sum of 23, 24 and 25 is 72, which in years is precisely 1/360 (i.e. 1 barleycorn) of the period of the universal clock. Furthermore the division of the year as indicated is perfectly symmetrical, corresponding to the delta symbol and likewise to the letter A. Similarly 25 April is the latest date allowed for Easter; it is also St. Mark’s Day, considered unlucky. Venice celebrates the day of this their patron saint with a procession consisting of their 9 confraternities and closed by a man wearing a red damask gown and holding a pole topped by a moving wheel supporting a gilt lion girt with laurel branches. Following the subsequent dinner, the townsfolk gather in the Square of St. Mark — all wearing masks. At the sound of the square’s great bell, everyone falls on their knees. In ancient Rome this day hosted the Robigalia, a ceremony dedicated to keeping “rust” off the crops. Participants clad themselves in white, processed to the grove of the god–goddess Robigo–Robiga — these name(s) suggesting rubicund, “red,” and meaning “wheat rust, mildew, honeydew,” which substance is ironically white, wheat (in contrast to barley) being the truly white grain — and there burnt the entrails of a sheep (White) and a puppy (Red). The 25th of April was also the day on which male prostitutes were celebrated, these in contrast to lupa or lupus femina, female prostitutes, i.e. in contrast to she-wolves such as Larentalia, whose day, as I pointed out, is 23 December. According to my analysis, the number 23 is to the number 24 as older (Red) is to younger (White), but April is to August as earlier (i.e. younger, White) is to later (i.e. older, Red). Thus both the extrinsic and intrinsic senses of the terms younger and older are equally honored; and both are rendered perfectly resonant with the existential, the feminine, the fallen, the Black, and in a sense the hidden (eg. Persephone, the Black Virgin, who, as her “mother” Demeter, akin to Cybele, is destined to bring forth new life in the spring), which contrastingly is focused on the number 25 and the month December (which month involves the winter solstice). The number 25 is just outside the physical, just beyond the 24 hours of the day (or the 24 books of the Iliad as well as the 24 books of the Odyssey), as December is just beyond November, as 10 is just beyond 9. In this connection note that the word Yule, as in Yuletide, seems cognate with Kolyo, with the English coal — from the Old Norse kol, “burning ember” — and with the Latin and French kul, “anus,” as in “ring” and “annual” and “annul” and “up, back, again.” The ungainly, blockish Yule log was fashioned and lit upon the New Year such that precisely 1 year elapsed before the log was utterly reduced to ashes. As I mentioned, the Yule log may be linked to Cybele (i.e. Kubaba, “goddess of the cube), to her black stone, to Humbaba, to the Ka’aba and its Black Stone of Islam, and hence to the Pegasus Square, the tomb of Adam, and to Golgotha, base of the Cross, base of the World Tree.

I would be remiss if in the present context I did not point out the weird coincidence which is James Joyce’s middle name: Augusta (rather than Augustus). Julius Caesar’s heir Octavian, the initial emperor of post-republic Rome, took the name Augustus in commemoration of his victory over Caesar’s right-hand man Antony and the Venus/Aphrodite-like lover of first Caesar and then of Antony, the famous Cleopatra, who on 12 August 30 BCE supposedly killed herself with a snake-bite. The feminizing, terminal a in Joyce’s middle name owes to a mistake made by the official who completed Joyce’s birth registration. Joyce probably considered the name as connecting him especially to Cleopatra, who according to ancient Egyptian thinking was Isis (Aset) manifest — just as the people of Asia Minor naturally yet rather coincidentally labeled Caesar god manifest shortly before he first met Cleopatra. The character Issy in Joyce’s Finnegans Wake is equivalent to Isis. Clearly a representation of the Triple Goddess, Isis is likewise chiefly a nymph and is especially equivalent with Persephone/Core and Andromeda. Probably with respect to this femme fatale aspect of Isis, the Egyptians associated her with the star Sirius. The annual rising of Sirius just prior to the Sun coincided with the providential annual flooding of the Nile, which lasted from late July or early August through September. This providence is likely a deep meaning of the name Augustus, which is said to mean “Blest.” Joyce’s middle name thus also signified both the dog star Sirius, which represents the missing father, and the high-point of the heroic cycle.

Insofar as the number 23 is suggestive of the extremely resonant, fractal Golden/Legal philosophy, we should not be surprised that the number is weirdly coincident in myriad other significant if not downright mystical circumstances. Julius Caesar’s body suffered 23 stab wounds (like bee stings) from his assassins, most notably among whom was Marcus Junius Brutus — the son of Caesar’s favorite Roman mistress, Servilia — and Quintus Cassius Longinus. Gutenberg worked with precisely 23 letters. The famous Schrödinger equation of quantum theory is symbolized by Psi (Ψ), the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet, as are supposed psychokinesis (PK) and extra-sensory perception (ESP) phenomena. Exactly 23 stars are present in William Blake’s painting Jacob’s Ladder. Freud believed that cycles of 23 and 27 days combine somehow to form significant events. The human gene consists of 23 chromosomes (the root chromo- deriving from the Greek word meaning “color”). The average tilt of the Earth’s axis relative to its orbital plane is 23.3º. Every 24th number — and only every 24th number — of the Fibonacci series has the number 23 as a factor. The 23rd Fibonacci number (28,657) is the 10th Fibonacci number which is prime; and in the initial 1000 Fibonacci numbers there are exactly 23 prime numbers, the last being the 571st Fibonacci number. There are exactly 23 dimensionless constants in the Standard Model of particle physics. (If, that is, you count the parameter, sometimes called “theta,” which denotes the degree to which the so-called strong force violates “parity,” the symmetry between left and right. Experiments have been unable to demonstrate that this value is other than zero.) The number 23 is also said to be the most common number to come up in lotteries. In further regard to this weird number, consider the following from Robert Anton Wilson’s Coincidance:

Novelist William Burroughs while living in Tangier in 1958, had a conversation with a Captain Clark, who mentioned that he had been sailing for 23 years without an accident. That day, Captain Clark had his first serious accident. In the evening, while talking about this, Burroughs flipped on the radio and heard a bulletin about a crash of an airliner. The flight number was 23 and the pilot was also a Captain Clark.

Sequel: Burroughs later decided to write a screenplay about the Prohibition Era gangster Dutch Schultz. In researching it, he found the number 23 over and over again. Dutch Schultz had put out a contract on a rival, Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll, and Coll was shot on Twenty-third Street in Manhattan when he was 23 years old. Schultz himself was shot to death on October 23, 1935.

When my play Illuminatus opened on the Liverpool street so strangely linked with Jung-beetle-Beatle coincidences, the premiere was November 23. British playwright Heathcote Williams made a guest appearance as a walk-on. Later, Williams and I talked about other writers we knew, and Burroughs was mentioned, along with the 23 coincidences he had collected (only a few of which are mentioned above). Williams told me that when he met Burroughs this subject came up, because Williams had mentioned that he was 23 years old at the time. When Williams returned to his flat that night (he had recently moved), he noticed for the first time that the building across the street was number 23.

After Koestler’s Roots of Coincidence was published, Professor Hans Zeisel, of the University of Chicago law school, wrote to Koestler about a whole chain of 23s that had haunted his life: he lived at Rossaurerlaende 23 in Vienna, he had a law office at Gonzagagasse 23, his mother lived at Alserstrasse 23. Once Zeisel’s mother was given a novel, Die Liebe De Jeanne Ney, and took it with her to Monte Carlo. In the book, a character wins a great deal by betting on 23 at roulette. Zeisel’s mother decided to bet on 23 at roulette. Twenty-three came up on the second try….

[scientific] reexamination [of coincidence] had begun as early as 1919 in a book called The Law of Series, by Dr. Paul Kammerer. As a biologist, Kammerer not only studied strange coincidences but developed a taxonomy of them. … He concluded that coincidence represents an acausal principle in nature, as distinguished from the causal principles science had hitherto studied. He compared the acausal coincidental principle (ACOP, we shall call it for short) with gravity, noting that gravity acts on mass, while ACOP acts on form and function. He concluded, in words that foreshadowed some current speculations in quantum physics, “We thus arrive at the image of a world-mosaic … which, in spite of constant shufflings and rearrangements, also takes care of bringing like and like together.” …

The ACOP … Jung and Pauli called synchronicity because they assumed it was at right angles to causality and structured in space, not time. That is, the synchronicities (from the Greek syn, together, and chronos, time) happen at the same time. …

Barbara Honegger, a leading student of these matters, has pointed out a basic defect in the Jung-Pauli theory. ACOPs are by no means only synchronous. They are often separated by days or even years.

I’ve indicated that James Joyce paid great respect to coincidence. The following passage from Joyce’s biographer Richard Ellmann lends much greater weight and precision to that indication:

Joyce’s fictional method does not presume that the artist has any supernatural power, but that he has an insight into the methods and motivations of the universe. Samuel Beckett has remarked that to Joyce reality was a paradigm, an illustration of a possibly unstatable rule. Yet perhaps the rule can be surmised. It is not a perception of order or of love; more humble than either of these, it is the perception of coincidence. According to this rule, reality, no matter how much we try to manipulate it, can only assume certain forms; the roulette wheel brings up the same numbers again and again; everyone and everything shift about in continual movement, yet movement limited in its possibilities. Joyce was interested in variation and sameness in time: Bloom consoles himself with the thought that every betrayal is only one of an infinite series; if someone mentioned a new atrocity to Joyce, he at once pointed out some equally horrible old atrocity …. He was interested also in variation and sameness in space, in the cubist method of establishing differing relations among aspects of a single thing, and he would ask Beckett to do the same research for him in the possible permutations of an object. That the picture of Cork in his Paris flat should have, as he emphasized to Frank O’Connor, a cork frame, was a deliberate, if half-humurous, indication of this notion of the world, where unexpected simultaneities are the rule. The characters pass through sequences of situations and thoughts bound by coincidence with the situations and thoughts of other living and dead men and of fictional, mythical men.

… Only in Finnegans Wake was he to carry his conviction to its furthest reaches, by implying that there is no present and no past, that there are no dates, that time — and language which is time’s expression — is a series of coincidences which are general all over humanity.

By my terminology and likewise by the terminology of physics, to perceive coincidence is to perceive relativity, i.e. it is to perceive the quantum structure of reality. In German (and hence in the language of physics) these fundamental forms — i.e. these concomitants of a single, non-local Force addressable via the ultimate principle of relativity — are called eigen values, as in the tein-eigen of the aforedescribed Scottish Beltein festival. The synonymous terms “force-fire” and “need-fire” refer to the fact that these ceremonies were generally resorted to, as Frazer points up, “at irregular intervals in seasons of distress and calamity, above all when … cattle were attacked by epidemic disease.” The word eigen in German means “own, proper; exact, particular; odd.” Here we see the general sense of ceremonial fires: to the extent that people understood the essentially cyclic (i.e. quantum) cosmic order, they marked that regularity with fire; moreover, fires were likewise used to address important but seemingly random events. The implication here is that people believed these otherwise random events were just as much determined by the cosmic structure as were the clearly regular events. In a word, the implication here is faith, faith that the cosmos is comprehensible. Which is to say, these antique and even prehistoric peoples believed that the essence of the cosmos is quantum. The “odd” connotation of the word eigen refers to the fundamental weirdness of coincidence. As Virgil notes, odd numbers were considered more auspicious than even numbers: numero dues impare gaudet, “God rejoices in the odd number.” (Before the Julian reform February was the only month with an even number of days.) Nevertheless, eigen is related to the word eight (8); it is also related to the German Eiche, meaning “oak” (which was the only kind of wood used in the Roman’s Vestal fire), and is hence related to tree and tri/tre/dru. Note, however, that 23 = 8 resonates with the number 23 (as in 23), with the number 24 (as in 8 x 3), with the delta symbol (as in an equilateral triangle with dual sides and a tip corresponding to 23), and likewise with the letter A.

In this light you’ll find the following famous passage from Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being extremely interesting.

Apart from her consummated love for Tom as, there were, in the realm of possibility, an infinite number of unconsummated loves for other men. We all reject out of hand the idea that the love of our life may be something light or weightless; we presume our love is what must be. … But is not an event in fact more significant and noteworthy the greater the number of fortuities necessary to bring it about? Chance and chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out is mute. Only chance can speak to us. If love is to be unforgettable, fortuities must immediately start fluttering down to it. … She knew this stranger was her fate ... it was the call of all those fortuities which gave her the courage. … Our day-to-day life is bombarded with fortuities, or, to be more precise, with the accidental meetings of people and events we call coincidences. … Anna meets Vronsky in curious circumstances: they are at the railway station when someone is run over by a train. The symmetrical composition [compared to Anna’s eventual suicide under a train] may seem quite ‘novelistic’ to you, and I am willing to agree, but only on condition that you refrain from reading such notions as ‘fictive,’ ‘fabricated,’ and ‘untrue to life’ into the word ‘novelistic’. Because human lives are composed in precisely such a fashion. Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence into a motif, which assumes a permanent place in the composition the individual’s life. Anna could have chosen another way to take her life. But the motif of death and the railway station, unforgettably bound to the birth of love, enticed her in her hour of despair with its dark beauty. It is wrong, then, to chide the novel for being fascinated by mysterious coincidences, but it is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty.

Let me close this chapter with the following especially germane passage from Frazer, which passage moreover resonates extremely well with the entire text of this initial Gravity volume.

In Tibet the ceremony of the scapegoat presents some remarkable features. The Tibetan new year begins with the new moon which appears about the fifteenth of February. For twenty-three days afterwards the government of Lhasa, the capital, is taken out of the hands of the ordinary rulers and entrusted to the monk of the Debang monastery who offers to pay the highest sum for the privilege. The successful bidder is called the Jalno, and he announces his accession to power in person, going through the streets of Lhasa with a silver stick in his hand. Monks from all the neighbouring monasteries and temples assemble to pay him homage. The Jalno exercises his authority in the most arbitrary manner for his own benefit, as all the fines which he exacts are his by purchase. The profit he makes is about ten times the amount of the purchase money. His men go about the streets in order to discover any conduct on the part of the inhabitants that can be found fault with. Every house in Lhasa is taxed at this time, and the slightest offence is punished with unsparing rigour by fines. This severity of the Jalno drives all working classes out of the city till the twenty-three days are over. But if the laity go out, the clergy come in. All the Buddhist monasteries of the country for miles round about open their gates and disgorge their inmates. All the roads that lead down into Lhasa from the neighbouring mountains are full of monks hurrying to the capital, some on foot, some on horseback, some riding asses or lowing oxen, all carrying their prayer-books and culinary utensils. In such multitudes do they come that the streets and squares of the city are encumbered with their swarms, and incarnadined with their red cloaks. The disorder and confusion are indescribable. Bands of the holy men traverse the streets chanting prayers, or uttering wild cries. They meet, they jostle, they quarrel, they fight; bloody noses, black eyes, and broken heads are freely given and received. All day long, too, from before the peep of dawn till after darkness has fallen, these red-cloaked monks hold services in the dim incense-laden air of the great Machindranath temple, the cathedral of Lhasa; and thither they crowd thrice a day to receive their doles of tea and soup and money. The cathedral is a vast building, standing in the centre of the city, and surrounded by bazaars and shops. The idols in it are richly inlaid with gold and precious stones.

Twenty-four days after the Jalno has ceased to have authority, he assumes it again, and for ten days acts in the same arbitrary manner as before. On the first of the ten days the priests again assemble at the cathedral, pray to the gods to prevent sickness and other evils among the people, “and, as a peace-offering, sacrifice one man. The man is not killed purposely, but the ceremony he undergoes often proves fatal. Grain is thrown against his head, and his face is painted half white, half black.” Thus grotesquely disguised, and carrying a coat of skin on his arm, he is called the King of the Years, and sits daily in the market-place, where he helps himself to whatever he likes and goes about shaking a black yak’s tail over the people, who thus transfer their bad luck to him. On the tenth day, all the troops in Lhasa march to the great temple and form in line before it. The King of the Years is brought forth from the temple and receives small donations from the assembled multitude. He then ridicules the Jalno, saying to him, “What we perceive through the five senses is no illusion. All you teach is untrue,” and the like. The Jalno, who represents the Grand Lama for the time being, contests these heretical opinions; the dispute waxes warm, and at last both agree to decide the questions at issue by a cast of the dice, the Jalno offering to change places with the scapegoat should the throw be against him. If the King of the Years wins, much evil is prognosticated; but if the Jalno wins, there is great rejoicing, for it proves that his adversary has been accepted by the gods as a victim to bear all the sins of the people of Lhasa. Fortune, however, always favours the Jalno, who throws sixes with unvarying success, while his opponent turns up only ones. Nor is this so extraordinary as at first sight it might appear; for the Jalno’s dice are marked with nothing but sixes and his adversary’s with nothing but ones. When he sees the finger of Providence thus plainly pointed against him, the King of the Years is terrified and flees away upon a white horse, with a white dog, a white bird, salt, and so forth, which have all been provided for him by the government. His face is still painted half white and half black, and he still wears his leathern coat. The whole populace pursues him, hooting, yelling, and firing blank shots in volleys after him. Thus driven out of the city, he is detained for seven days in the great chamber of horrors at the Samyas monastery, surrounded by monstrous and terrific images of devils and skins of huge serpents and wild beasts. Thence he goes away into the mountains of Chetang, where he has to remain an outcast for several months or a year in a narrow den. If he dies before the time is out, the people say it is an auspicious omen; but if he survives, he may return to Lhasa and play the part of scapegoat over again the following year.


to be continued ...