This article first appeared in:|
SIS Review Vol. II No. 2: December 1977
Part II "Geological Genesis" (1993)
Harold Tresman, a Home Counties businessman, is co-founder and founding Chairman Of the Society; Mr O'Gheoghan is a professional physician.
What is the reality behind Saturn's place as the original deity in cosmogonic myth? What is the significance of the "Golden Age" and other legends surrounding this planetary god? The following paper is based on an idea arrived at some years ago and presents the startling conclusions of the authors' researches into the traditions of peoples.
The publication, in 1950, of Worlds In Collision heralded a revolution in contemporary thought. In that book Dr Velikovsky dealt with catastrophes affecting the Earth since 1500 BCE. At various points in the narrative he alluded to previous catastrophes: indeed, he has promised sequel volumes on the subject. Further indications of the nature of the pre-Exodus catastrophes have been given by Mullen (1), by Greenberg and Sizemore (2), by Sieff (3) and by Cardona (4). We find the subject matter sufficiently stimulating to pursue our own inquiry, and we are spurred on by these words:- "Don't bring every question to me. Decide it among yourselves. And those of you who know how to ask questions should continue on to find answers." (5)
At one point in the narrative Dr Velikovsky hints that Jupiter must have previously wreaked havoc in our Solar System and that much of the confusion between Jupiter and Venus in the myths could be attributed to just this cause (6). As to the origin of the Venus-comet he says:- "The collision between major planets, which is the theme of the sequel to Worlds in Collision, brought about the birth of comets. These comets moved across the orbits of other planets and collided with them. At least one of those comets in historical times became a planet (Venus) . . ." (7) It is his opinion that Venus was born from Jupiter; thus Jupiter would have been in collision with another of the major planets(8) to cause the disturbances in the Solar System.
Dr Velikovsky leaves us with no doubt as to where he proposes the collisions took place within our System. "The zodiacal light, or the glow seen in the evening sky after sunset, stretching in the path of the sun and other planets (ecliptic), the mysterious origin of which has for a long time occupied the minds of astronomers, has been explained in recent years as the reflection of the solar light from two rings of dust particles, one following the orbit of Venus, the other an orbit between Mars and Jupiter, places where, according to Worlds in Collision, collisions of planets and a comet took place." (9). And . . . "The large number of asteroids between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter suggests that at some unknown time another planet revolved there; now only these meteorites follow approximately the path along which the destroyed planet circled the sun. Possibly a comet ran into it and shattered it." (10)
As to the origins of the instability within our System, he puts forward a few suggestions based on current theories. He mentions the double star system hypotheses of Lyttleton and of Russell: "A passing star crushed the companion of the sun, and out of its débris planets were formed." (11) But he does point out some objections to this theory, which has been used by others to account for the past history of our Solar System. A précis of this hypothesis and an analysis of how its problems may be overcome is being prepared by Sieff (12) and may appear as a sequel to this paper. Sieff sees Jupiter as an invader of our System (then a double star system) - moreover, he sees Jupiter as having caused the disintegration of Saturn, the one-time companion to the sun.* Dr Velikovsky has similar views, viz:- "Also, some dark star, like Jupiter or Saturn, may be in the path of the sun, and may be attracted to the system and cause havoc in it." (13)[*But compare the alternative scenario outlined by Ralph Juergens later in this issue. -Ed.]
And Dr Velikovsky offers a few hints as to how he sees the fate of the one-time companion to the sun: "From time to time a nova is seen in the sky, a blazing fixed star which until then had been small or invisible. ... It is thought that this may be the result of a collision between two stars (a phenomenon that, according to the tidal theory, occurred to the sun or to its theoretical companion). Comets arriving from other solar systems may have been born in such collisions." (14) Also, Mullen offers us Dr Velikovsky's opinion that Saturn went nova as a result of disruption by Jupiter (15).
The nature of the postulated collision between Saturn and Jupiter, and its consequences, has also been spelled out by Dr Velikovsky (16). We content ourselves with a brief extract here and commend our reader to see the original in full. "In the near collision with Jupiter, Saturn, of much larger mass than at present, was disrupted . . . Jupiter swept up the dispersed material and later . . . underwent fission." He goes on to suggest a process whereby Venus could be born of Jupiter.
There are other hints offered by the deductions Dr Velikovsky has made from his theories, some of which are confirmed, none refuted. The correct prediction of the radio noises of Jupiter is but one example. He claims that Saturn will be found to contain water and to possess molecular chlorine (17). Consider those predictions in the light of the following:- "The water of the oceans contains a large amount of soluble sodium chloride, common salt, Sodium might have come from rocks eroded by rain; but rocks are poor in chlorine and the proportion of sodium and chlorine in sea water calls for fifty times more chlorine in the igneous rock than it actually contains." (18) Did much of the salt and water in our oceans originally come from Saturn?
The details of the early catastrophes affecting our Earth in Dr Velikovsky's reconstruction have yet to be filled in, but the general outline as hinted by Dr Velikovsky and his associates runs something like this:-
1. Ours was a double star system originally, Sun plus (probably) Saturn.
2. A passing dark star - e.g. Jupiter (19) - was attracted to the System and entered it.
3. It collided with or disrupted Saturn.
4. Some of the débris of this collision is marked by the asteroid belt of today (20).
5. Saturn went nova as a result of disruption.
6. Comets originate from the great collision (21).
7. But the Venus-comet was born of Jupiter, so did Jupiter acquire some of the mass of the disrupted Saturn, thus itself becoming unstable? (22)
8. Some more of the débris from Saturn approached the Earth and was the cause of the great Deluge, whose waters were salty.
Permit us then to extrapolate from this basic scheme in the light of our own research, and present our own reconstruction of the history of the Solar System. Will the evidence of mythology, geology and the physical sciences bear out the reconstruction sketched out above? Or will we have to modify this outline to a greater or lesser extent? We propose to deal here with the first of these three fields: the myths and records.
1. The "Génie du Pivot"
We shall begin by looking at Saturn. A very striking conclusion derives from the study of the earlier myths - that the importance of the planetary deity Saturn in the early mythologies is out of all proportion to its present appearance in the night sky. Indeed, Saturn is not an easy object to spot in the heavens. Yet Saturn was an obsession of the ancients. He was chief among the gods before his throne was usurped by Jupiter - " . . . a planet which only a few persons out of a crowd know how to find in the sky was the main deity of the peoples of antiquity." (23)
It is not our purpose to demonstrate that indeed Saturn was once a senior deity by giving exhaustive proofs. Many learned books have been written on just this topic. We do propose to identify Saturn in the many mythologies, e.g. in the Egyptian as Osiris (24), Greek as Kronos, Babylonian as Ninurta (25), Hittite as Kumarbis (26), Hindu as Brahma (27) . . . etc. Tacitus records the Jews as worshipping the planet Saturn (Shabbatai) as their god (28). From the importance of these deities in their respective pantheons we may clearly see that here was a very important god, and in his time he was chief among the gods.
We may go further back in order to identify an original deity. Such is the theme presented by de Santillana and von Dechend (29): that at one time Saturn exercised the supreme power on Earth, his reign being remembered as the Golden Age, his time revered, a time which Man longed to return to. The Egyptians compared their Pharaohs with the original deity in their elaborate afterlife rituals (30). There, Pharaoh was identified with Horus, and his life traced back into the time of his father Osiris, and back further to the origins of time through Osiris into Atum (31). Now Atum was the ruler of the greatest antiquity; none had ruled before him. In the Sumerian pantheon we may clearly identify An or Anu, ruler from the first era (32); very likely Anus of the Hittites corresponds to this An/Anu deity. The first astral deity of the Greeks was Ouranos - he was dethroned by Kronos (who is Saturn). The Hindu Prajapati was likewise their first god (33); he merged into Brahma in a fashion similar to that of Atum into Osiris.
There is every indication that this original deity was at one time the only visible planetary body of the heavens. From the Hindu sources we have: "In the beginning, Prajapati existed alone" (34). The Egyptian records tell that Atum "was alone in the primeval watery abyss" (35). The deities An/Anu and Ouranos were both lone planetary deities, although their names translate literally as "heaven" (36). In this context, it is worth referring to the Creation Myths and the known similarity between those of the Egyptians, Sumerians and Hebrews (37). "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Atum was the creator of Shu and Tefnut, who in turn gave rise to Nut and Geb:- literally "heaven" and "earth" (38). An and Ki are similarly created in the Sumerian myths. Now An = heaven and Ki = earth (39). There are indications that An-ki was the Sumerian concept for the Universe. (40)
In each case the successor to the original deity was a Saturn-type god. Thus Prajapati gave rise to Brahma (though the distinction between the two of them is not made clear) and Atum merged imperceptibly into Osiris. Ouranos was displaced by his son Kronos after being castrated by him. The castration motif may even derive from the similar Hittite myth (41) where Kumarbis does just this to Anus in order to seize his throne. For the purpose of clarity we propose to call the original deity "proto-Saturn". Where there is descent it is obvious, otherwise the transition between the original deity and the later Saturn god (who was also chief among the gods) is not too marked.
The nature and properties of the major planets Jupiter and Saturn are well characterised in the records. The Dogon know of four satellites of Jupiter (42) and of the rings of Saturn (43). The existence of the satellites of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn was also chronicled by Job, as is argued by Sieff (44), this being his interpretation of the phrases "Arcturus with his sons" and "the bands of Orion". There exists amongst the Pygmies of the Éfé tribe a tradition that calls Saturn "the star of nine moons" (45). The Maori also possess considerable astronomical knowledge, including that of a planet that wears a circlet or headband (46).
The Chinese records tell of Saturn as "génie du pivot" (47), which connotation implies that the property of having satellites was well known long before the time of Galileo. This should be taken in the light of the statement: Huang-ti established everywhere the order for the sun, the moon, and the stars." (48) Kronos was addressed (in an Orphic Hymn) as "you who hold the indestructible bond"; and Ninurta likewise held "the bond of heaven and earth" (49). And when the time came for him to hand over power to Jupiter, Saturn gave "all the measures of the whole creation" (50). Further examples of Saturn as a primary for satellites may be found in Robert Temple's equation of Osiris (as the Saturn-god) with the Sirius system - a well-known binary star system (51).
The Kabbalah divides the degrees between the divine and the mundane into a series of ten spheres, or sephiroth, which have planetary and other correspondences. Now, the sphere of Saturn is known as Binah; and the terrestrial sphere, known as Malkuth, is said to have its foundation in Binah. In the words of the Sefer Yetsirah (Book of Creation), describing Malkuth, the sphere of the Earth:- "It sits on the throne of Binah." (52) Elohim, the name of the Creator in Genesis 1, is the divine name attributed to the sphere of Binah.
Dr Velikovsky has explained how it was that the planets (whose aspects are tiny) came to be so revered - not at their present distances, but as a result of close contacts thus, especially, Venus. Saturn and Jupiter, now distant planets, figure prominently in the early myths. Surely, in distant times, these two great bodies must have been much closer to the Earth, for their attributes to be so vividly presented in myth? And at the origin of time, what must have been the aspect of the original deity, that on account of its size it be called "heaven", and the association of the Earth with this "heaven" be thought of as the Universe?
What must have been the relationship between the Earth and this great body - proto-Saturn? There are two answers we consider. The first is that the Earth was indeed nearer to this body, but on an orbit about the Sun independent of the great body, thus there would be times when the aspect of the proto-Saturn body would be large. However, there would also be times when its aspect would be quite small, as at present. Neither does this explanation account for some of the satellitic descriptions.
The alternative proposal is startling. It is that at one time the Earth orbited as a satellite of proto-Saturn (53). How are we to test this unlikely-sounding hypothesis? Surely few descriptions have survived the ravages of time and cataclysm? And yet they are to be found. The Sumerian ideogram for "star", "god", and "heaven" (An) is one and the same, a simple eight pointed star shape [8-pointed star-shape] (54). "This strongly suggests that they believed that the original 'heaven' was a body that later became a star. It also strongly indicates that the first deity was this star-heaven god." (55)
We therefore propose our hypothesis of Earth as a former satellite of proto-Saturn, and we further state that this hypothesis can be tested by reference to the mythology. Such a system, if it existed, has obviously undergone disruption, and there will be descriptions to be found for this. We present below the myths we have found which seem to us to refer to this period, and believe that they match in sufficient detail to provide confirmation for our hypothesis.
2. Saturn as a Bright Object
We have so far considered some of the properties of Saturn in early time, but we are now to debate its appearance. If Earth were to be in orbit around such a great body then this primary body would surely appear to be very bright. It would certainly reflect an enormous amount of light from the sun, and in this respect could be considered to be a larger version of our present Moon - a huge moon-like object. But maybe it also emitted light of its own, and we may speculate thus in the knowledge of its present emissions of radiation - twice what it receives from the Sun. If this great body were an emitter of light in its own right then it could be considered to be a kind of Sun. The myths furnish us with many accounts of Saturn/proto-Saturn as a bright object, sometimes as a "lunar" (56) and sometimes as a "solar" type of deity.
[*!* Image: Saturn as shown in an early German print]
The Phoenician Sanchuniathon saw Ouranos as the "enlightener" (57) and made him equivalent to Kronos, whose name he saw as meaning "to put forth horns" or "to send forth rays of light". Diodorus Siculus was also of the opinion that Saturn was a bright object when he wrote: "Saturn is the star of the Sun" (58). In Pali (the ancient liturgical language of Buddhism), Saturn is known as Ravisuta (59). Now ravi translates as "sun" and suta as "son". Hence, Ravisuta is "son of the sun", an appellation also used, for example, of Marduk in an Akkadian text (60) to denote that he too was shining.
The Egyptian god Atum was visualised as a solar deity and was commonly depicted as the setting sun (61). He is referred to in "a litany in which the priests address the Sun as a manifestation of Atum . . ." (62) and this also serves to show the relative importance of the Sun to Saturn. Again, he is attributed with the words:- "I am Atum when I was alone in Nun; I am Re in his (first) appearances, when he began to rule that which he had made." (63) The Phoenician god El (=Kronos (64)) was also referred to as a solar deity (65).
There is abundant evidence from Mesopotamia to support the equation of Saturn with a sun (66). "We are told, for instance, that the face of the god Ninurta is Shamash the sun-god; that one of Ninurta's ears is the god of wisdom Ea - , and so on through all of Ninurta's members. These curious statements may be taken to mean that Ninurta's face derived its dazzling radiance from, and thus shared in that brilliance which is characteristically the sun-god's, and concentrates itself in him." (67) Ninurta is described in another text, the Assyrian version of the Myth of Zu, as "Ninurta, the light of the gods" (68). Descriptions of Ninurta as "the light of heaven and earth" and as "one who pursues his path over the wide world" (69) were found by Morris Jastrow, who declared that Saturn was the "lesser light" of Genesis 1 (70).
Not only are we permitted to conclude that Saturn was seen to reflect light from the Sun, but also it must have been exceedingly bright and could have even emitted light of its own. Was it as bright as, or maybe brighter than the sun? Do we have evidence to support Dr Velikovsky's contention that Saturn went nova? So far we have only seen evidence to the effect that Saturn was bright; now we shall consider evidence that it shone only briefly.
Cardona (71) has suggested that the phrase "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3) refers to the nova (of proto-Saturn) Indeed, the attentive reader cannot fail but notice that light exists before the creation of the Sun and Moon. Ginzberg refers to this "primordial light" which existed until the Fourth Day and states clearly: "The light created at the very beginning is not the same as the light emitted by the sun, the moon and the stars, which appeared only on the fourth day." (72)
This "primordial light" is hinted at again at the time of the Flood: "In the week of mourning for Methuselah God caused the primordial light to shine." (73) Now Methuselah died seven days before the great Deluge (74). And seven days before the Deluge Noah and his family took refuge in their Ark:- "And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth." (Genesis 7:10) Had the "primordial light" served as God's signal to Noah to go into the Ark?
Thus we have evidence from the Jewish myths that on two occasions a brief, bright light has flooded this Earth. Can Saturn have been this Primordial Light?
3. The Disruption of Saturn
The most striking myth of the destruction of Saturn is that in the Egyptian referring to the demise of Osiris at the hands of Seth (75). Osiris is dismembered. Other destruction motifs relating to the end of Saturn are given by de Santillana and von Dechend with reference to the destruction of the Mill, where before it finally sank into the sea it ground out stones. (76)
There is an account in the Mahabharata of how Indra does battle with Vrtra, and here Indra is clearly acting in his capacity as a Jupiter deity (77). The cause of Indra's troubles was his killing of the son of a Prajapati, one Trisiras, by striking him with a thunderbolt. The effect on Trisiras is to make him "shine with energy"; Indra was "blinded and scorched by Trisiras's energy" (78). Indra got out of his predicament by having the "heads" of the dead Trisiras cut off; when this was done various "birds" in great numbers, came out of his head and the "fever left his body" (79).
We interpret this remarkable myth as telling of how a body was disrupted and made to glow with incandescent heat and light after being struck by a thunderbolt. Any similarity between the names Trisiras and Osiris appears to be co-incidental: however, the two do have many common features. The name Trisiras means "the three headed one" and the heads "were like the sun, the moon, and fire" (80). Trisiras, like Osiris, is notable mainly for being killed. Also he was a gentle saintly figure. Moreover, he was the son of a Prajapati (an original deity). Although we have no direct indications that Trisiras represents a planetary body, the above attributes are taken by us to mean that Trisiras was indeed a Saturnian figure.
The other myths are equally descriptive. Kronos is said to have had a number of "children" but to have attempted to swallow them as they were born (81). A couple escaped this fate, and one, Zeus, overthrew him, making him regurgitate the swallowed "children" in the process (82). Mullen makes reference to Brahma's attribute of absorbing all the products of his creation at the end/beginning of World Ages (83). Such myths are descriptive not only of the disruption but also of the re-absorption that followed the "creation" of other bodies from the first body.
Mullen quotes Dr Velikovsky's opinion that Saturn once went through a short nova-like phase as a result of disruption. However, Mullen has obvious difficulties with his explanation because "Cronos had been swallowing his children, absorbing what came out of him before (his italics) the time when he was attacked by his son Zeus" (84). Also the name of Atum, who is the proto-Saturn deity, is given the meaning "the One who has been completed by absorbing others".* The answer to Mullen's difficulties lies in the fact that there were two episodes of disruption; after the first the proto-Saturn deity reabsorbed his creation (largely); the second disruption was not followed by reabsorption in this manner. Both disruptions may have been associated with a period of incandescence.
[Footnote: * Mullen quotes no source for this reading, which seems difficult to support as the root of the word - in its full form, 'itmw - is clearly tm (accompanied by a "prosthetic aleph" and the perfective ending -w - see Gardiner, Grammar, pars. 20, 272, 309, 359ff.). The recorded meanings of this (Grammar, p 600 and Faulkner, Dict., p. 298) are "to finish"; "to complete"; "to be complete"; "to cease". In line with this, and with presumed later confusion or deliberate punning with the "verb of negation" tm (Grammar, pars. 342ff.), the 1975 Lexikon der Ägyptologie lists only the readings: "the not yet present one" (by Kees), "he who is a completeness" (by Morenz) and "the incomplete one who became complete" (in the Coffin Texts). I would be interested to know of the source for Mullen's inclusion of "by absorbing others". - R.M.L.]
4. The Saturn-Jupiter Conflict
A set of myths is analysed by de Santillana and von Dechend which reveal the theme of the "wicked uncle" who displaces the virtuous ruler (of a Golden Age). A son is born to the original ruler in the house of the wicked uncle, and when he grows up he exacts revenge for his father. (85) The virtuous ruler clearly is Saturn. It would seem that the avenging son is Jupiter, the "wicked uncle" therefore being the terrible cosmic serpent. Thus, in the Egyptian myth Osiris is avenged by Horus, who kills Seth after a mortal struggle. Similarly, in the Akkadian myth Marduk kills Tiamat after an epic fight. Other myths tell of how Saturn is displaced by Jupiter himself, who has then to despatch the serpent. For example, Indra kills Trisiras and then has to overcome Vrtra. The Storm-god dethrones Kumarbis but then has to battle Illuyankas. Zeus topples Kronos from his chariot but then must face Typhon.
The Saturn deity is utterly vanquished and forced to retire. Saturn plays no part in the myths henceforth. The Jupiter deity picks up the mantle and becomes chief god. He is never overthrown: his glory is only made to look somewhat pale with age and in the light of the later and spectacular deeds of Venus.
5. The Origin of Jupiter
These myths imply that Jupiter was of direct descent from the original deity, usually of the second generation. Thus in the Akkadian myth (86) the ancestry of Marduk is traced back through Ea to An (who is proto-Saturn). In the Egyptian Horus is born of Osiris to avenge him of Seth his killer (87). The Hittite myths are clear on this too the Storm-god - i.e. Jupiter (88) - is born from the swallowed genitals of the ancestor Anus (89). Likewise, the birth of Zeus follows the swallowing of the genitals of Ouranos by Kronos (90). The verdict is that Jupiter was indigenous to our System, its formation being a consequence of the breaking-up of proto-Saturn.
6. Mythology of the Flood
There is a universal mythology dealing with the Deluge of Noah (91). A tale in which mankind is destroyed by water with the exception of one man (or a few) who escapes in some kind of craft is common to the Greek (Deucalion), Persian (Xisthros), Hindu (Manu), Jewish (Noah), Chinese (Fo-hi), Akkadian (Utnapishtim) and Mexican (Nota) mythologies, to name but a handful of the many.
It appears likely that the source of the Flood waters was the body Saturn. Sieff (92) interprets Job's narrative in just that vein. Ugaritic myths (93) tell that El (i.e. Saturn) was the source of the Flood waters. In the Papyrus Ani (94) Atum threatens to revert the land once more to the floodwaters.
There is also some evidence to the effect that Saturn warned man of the coming of the flood. Just as in Genesis the Creator warns Noah of the impending Deluge, so Kronos warns Deucalion (95) and Ea (=Kronos, according to Berossus (96)) warns man in the Akkadian myth (97). In the Mexican myth, it is Titlachahuan who warns Nota (98).
"In the sacred books of the Mexicans we read: 'In the aeon Atonatiuh, the Age of the Water Sun, the Sun was a semi-liquid mass. It had absorbed all the water of the Earth. (99) These enormous quantities of water it ultimately discharged over the whole Earth and thus caused a complete destruction of all life.'" (100) Thus we have a myth that tells of a solar deity that was the source of the waters of the Deluge. We have already cited El as being a sun-god and the source of the waters (101).
From the Norse Eddas we have:- ". . . the primeval giant Ymir, who is formed of fire and water. . . " (102). Although we have no direct evidence that Ymir was an actual astral deity, he bears Saturnian attributes (103) and was the source of the waters of the great Deluge - e.g.:". . . the god Bor had three divine sons, Odin, Wili and We, and . . these sons slew the giant Ymir. From the wounds of the dying giant there gushed such a stream of blood that it drowned all the other giants except one, named Bergelmir, who escaped with his wife in a boat. . . " (104)
[*!* Image: Osiris receiving an offering from Thutmose IV]
Jupiter's relationship to the Flood is directly put in the Akkadian myth where Ea reproaches Enlil for having caused the waters to fall (105). Other indications lie with the identification of Jupiter deities as rain and storm gods. Thus the origin of the epithet Jupiter Pluvius, who is Marduk, Thor the thunderer, the Storm-god of the Hittites and Indra god of rain (106). In this context we may refer to the Hittite and Hattic myth of "The Moon that fell from Heaven". He is pursued by the Storm-god, who sends storms of rain after him (107). This may be yet another example of a myth describing the demise of Saturn at the hands of Jupiter.
The waters of the Flood were described by the mythographers as being salty. Thus, the tapir that cut down the Salt-water tree and caused the great Deluge (108). In the Hindu myth of the churning of the ocean (109), the first time the gods churned the celestial ocean, it ground out salt into the sea.
We are indebted to Sieff for the following analysis of Hamlet's Mill:" . . . de Santillana and von Dechend collected together myths that were interpreted by them to show that Saturn was the first Lord of the Mill (see pp. 116 and 146). The Mill is a huge grindstone (therefore circular) perceived in the [revolving] sky, which grinds out different substances over the Earth at the start/changes of World Ages (pp. 140, 146). For the age in question [i.e. the demise of Saturn] it ground out salt into the sea. The Mill is sunken in a great cosmic maelstrom (pp. 86-112); we are able to identify it as the Flood catastrophe." (110)
7. The Nature of Jupiter
Dr Velikovsky has given us an indication of the troubles he had in sorting out the myths dealing with Jupiter from those concerning Venus (111). We have found this question very taxing and do not claim to have found the answer. There is either a source of confusion for these two bodies, else a source of similarity between them. We propose to give a few examples of this intrigue.
Which deity is fighting the serpent? In Egyptian myths both Horus and Isis are given serpent-fighting legends, the serpent being the same named body, Seth. It is Dr Velikovsky's opinion (112) that the name Horus, for instance, was at one time given to Jupiter, another to Venus. In the Akkadian myths Marduk fights Tiamat, the cosmic serpent. In the context of the Enuma Elish (113) it would seem that it was Jupiter who was fighting the serpent at the time: on the other occasions Marduk fighting Tiamat has been interpreted (114) as referring to the Venus-comet. We have already mentioned the account dealing with the battle between Indra and Vrtra; however, there exist other accounts where Vrtra is overcome by Vishnu (115). And Krishna also does battle with the Serpent (116). Now Dr Velikovsky has identified both Vishnu and Krishna with the Venus-comet (117).
The serpent of the Jupiter-type myths is always seen to be a creation of the proto-Saturn god. For instance, Atum gives rise to Seth (and to others of his generation, Osiris, Isis and Nephthys), Prajapati to Vrtra, etc. . .
Another property of the Jupiter deities was the phallus or phallic symbol (118). The worship of these was commonplace around the world at the time when Jupiter was the chief deity. One such deity who is notable for the phallus was Shiva (119), who cut off his own phallus when he realised his creative ability was finished (120). Is this a variation on the theme of the loss of a cometary tail? Indeed, we must seriously consider, did Jupiter once resemble a great comet?
NOTES AND REFERENCES1. William Mullen: "A Reading of the Pyramid Texts", Pensée IVR III (1973), pp. 10ff.
2. L. M. Greenberg and W. B. Sizemore "Saturn and Genesis", Kronos I, 3 (1975), p. 46;
3. M. Sieff: "Planets in the Bible", Part 1: "The Cosmology of Job", SISR I:4 (1977), pp 17ff.
4. D. Cardona: "The Sun of Night", Kronos III, I (1977). pp. 31ff.
5. I. Velikovsky speaking at the McMaster University symposium, as reported in Pensée IVR VIII (1974), p. 37.
6. W in C I, ix: "Zeus and Athene". We discuss the problem below in section 7.
7. W in C II, ix: "The End".
8. The other major planet is named as Saturn: see note 16.
9. E in U, supplement: "Worlds in Collision and Recent Finds in Astronomy".
10. W in C I, i: "The Most Incredible Story".
11. W in C, Prologue, i: "The Origin of the Planetary System".
12. M. Sieff: "Father of the Gods" (unpublished draft, 1977).
13. W in C II, ix "The End".
14. W in C, Epilogue.
15. Mullen, op. cit. note 1, p. 14.
16. I. Velikovsky and R. E. Juergens: "The Birth of Venus from Jupiter", Kronos II, 1 (1976), p. 5. (Originally published in the Yale Scientific Magazine for April 1967.)
17. T. Ferte: "A Record of Success", Pensée IVR I (1972), p. 23.
18. W in C I, ii: "The Planet Earth".
19. Cf. C. E. R. Bruce: A New Approach in Astrophysics and Cosmogony (London, 1944): "In fact it may well be that both Jupiter and Saturn were at one time minor stars and that their satellite systems were formed as a result of minor or planetary nova outbursts."
20. For some references on the origins of the Asteroid Belt see E in U, supplement: "Worlds in Collision and Recent Finds in Astronomy". For mention of a planet of Saturnian size in the Asteroid Belt cf. R. W. Bass: "Did Worlds Collide?", Pensée IVR VIII (1974), p 14, with references to the work of M. V. Ovenden; also "Can Worlds Collide?", Kronos I, 3 (1975), p. 69, on the controversy surrounding Ovenden's Principle of Least-Interaction Action " . . . mainly, I would assume, because Ovenden has used the Principle to 'prove' that there must once have been a Saturn-type planet (90 Earth masses) in the asteroid belt which somehow has been destroyed". Ovenden believes that this planet has now left our Solar System and only its debris, the asteroids, remains.
21. R. MacKinnon (personal communication, June 1977) has suggested that long period comets may originate from this collision and that one of their foci may be Jupiter. Also, Van Flandern (following Ovenden) is working on a similar catastrophic model to explain the origin of such comets. (See Analog, June 1977.)
22. A possible mechanism for this was offered by Dr Velikovsky in Kronos II, 1 (see ref. 16).
23. W in C, Epilogue.
24. According to most Egyptologists, Osiris = Venus. We use here Dr Velikovsky's identification, as followed also by Mullen.
25. Ninurta = Saturn is widely accepted: see e.g. G. Contenau: La Divination chez les Assyriens et les Babyloniens (Paris, 1940), p. 307.
26. See 0. R. Gurney: The Hittites (Harmondsworth, 1976), p. 191, quoting Dr H. Güterbock on the parallel Kronos = Kumarbis.
27. We again follow the identification of Mullen, op. cit. note 1.
28. Tacitus: The Histories V, chap. iv.
29. G. de Santillana and H. von Dechend: Hamlet's Mill: An essay on myth and the frame of time (London, 1970),
30. E.g. Wallis Budge: The Book of the Dead (London, 1928).
31. As cited by Mullen, op. cit., p. 15.
32. See S. N. Kramer: Sumerian Mythology (revised edition by Harper Torchbooks, 1961 - 1st publication 1944), p. 40.
33. E.g. the Brahmanas, Upanishads, etc. See W. D. O'Flaherty (translator): Hindu Myths (Harmondsworth, 1975), pp. 29-31.
34. From the Satapatha Brahmana; see O'Flaherty, op. cit., p. 32.
35. Mullen, op. cit., p. 13.
36. An as heaven: see Kramer, op. cit., p. 40; also see the incantation, "The Worm and the Toothache", ANET, p. 100. - Ouranos is actually the Greek for "heaven".
37. R. K. G. Temple: The Sirius Mystery (London, 1976), p. 90.
38. Mullen, op. cit., p. 13.
39. Kramer, op. cit., p. 41.
40. Ibid. See also Temple, op. cit., p. 102. (Temple equates an-ki with a binary system, that of Sirius.)
41. "Kingship in Heaven", ANET, pp. 120f.
42. M. Griaule and G. Dieterlen: Le Renard pâle (1965), p. 329.
43. Ibid., p. 292. See also Temple, op. cit., pp. 27-9.
44. Sieff, op. cit. note 3, pp. 19f.
45. J.-P. Hallet: Pygmy Kitabu (London, 1974), p. 291. - Saturn is currently known to possess ten moons, not nine. However, the astronomical knowledge of these Pygmies was in advance of Western science until 1898, up to which time only eight moons had been known. In that year W. H. Pickering discovered Saturn's ninth and most remote satellite, which he named Phoebe. This was the state of knowledge until only eleven years ago: "On December 15, 1966, when the ring system of Saturn was edge-on with respect to the Earth and extremely faint, A. Dollfus was able to photograph an object of about magnitude 14 at a distance of some 98,000 miles from the centre of Saturn. Other photographs almost conclusively confirm the reality of this tenth and innermost satellite of Saturn, which Dollfus has named Janus." (F. L. Whipple: Earth, Moon and Planets, 3rd edn., Harmondsworth, 1956, p. 188; our italics.) Scientists are awaiting favourable conditions for full confirmation.
46. The planet is called Parearu. Pare denotes a fillet or headband; arau means "entangled", perhaps "surrounded" in this band - see Elsdon Best: The Astronomical Knowledge of the Maori, Dominion Museum Monograph No. 3 (Wellington, N.Z., 1922), pp. 35f. "Even though there is some doubt about the identity of Parearu, it is clear from the Maori's own statements that it wore a 'band'. Some Maori thought it was Saturn, and a comparative snippet from the Dogon lore seems to confirm this: see Temple, The Sirius Mystery [op. cit. note 37], p. 28: ' . . . the Dogon affirm that there is a permanent halo round the star, different from the one sometimes seen round the Moon. ... the star is always associated with the Milky Way.' Best reported that the Maori called Parearu the leader or 'puller' of the Milky Way. If Parearu is Saturn, as it seems to be, this shows a remarkable parallelism with the concepts of the Dogon." (Personal communication from P. J. James.)
47. De Santillana and von Dechend, op. cit. note 29, p. 136, quoting Schlegel: L'Uranographie chinoise, pp. 525, 628ff.
48. Ibid., p. 135, quoting M. Granet: Chinese Civilisation (1961), p. 12. Compare the actions of Huang-ti with those of the Creator in Genesis 1:16.
49. Ibid., p. 133.
50. Ibid., p. 265.
51. Temple, op. cit. note 37, pp. 70 and 79.
52. Sefer Yetsirah (Book of Creation), as quoted in A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism by Gareth Knight (London, 1965), p. 189.
53. This is a development of ideas first formulated by Harold Tresman late in 1972, which led to his visualising the Earth in a "locked" orbit around Saturn - i.e., same face always towards the primary - at a time (within human memory) when Saturn was without its rings and Earth without its Moon. The immediate consideration of this is that the measurement of time would be drastically different then from now, and this is one of the conclusions reached by Rose in his article, "The Lengths of the Year", in Pensée IVR VIII (1974), p. 36. Also see the paper by F. B. Jueneman quoted by Rose, with reference to the speculation that the Earth may have orbited "some body other than the Sun" prior to the Flood.
[Similar conclusions of a Saturn stationary in the sky as a nocturnal "sun" are reached by D. Talbott in his forthcoming book dealing with the "Polar Configuration", advance publicity on which reached us from R.C.N. after completion of this paper. A full review must await publication of the book; in advance it may be stated that the book appears to cover much of the same source material as Tresman and O'Gheoghan: however, whilst agreeing in some details, it appears difficult to reconcile with either the Velikovskian scheme or the thesis presented here, as well as presenting serious dynamical problems. - Ed.)
54. S. N. Kramer: The Sumerians (Chicago, 1963), p.302.
55. Personal communication from P. J. James, 28.2.77.
56. Note on Saturn as a Lunar Deity: - Osiris as a moon-god was a fashionable concept at the turn of the century. E.g., see Sir N. Lockyer: The Dawn of Astronomy (London, 1894, reprinted Cambridge, Mass., 1973), p. 297: Lockyer cites Osiris as depicting a waning moon. Also see Wallis Budge (chapter "Osiris as Moon" in Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection - London, 1911), who bases himself mainly on Plutarch's Isis and Osiris. Budge interpreted the light of Osiris to be akin to that of silvery moonlight. Nowadays his argument is held to be rather far-fetched
Genesis 1:16 furnishes us with an early account of the celestial luminaries: "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also." Lest one think that these lights were the same as our present Sun and Moon, we refer our reader to verse 1:14, where it is notable that days and years, signs and seasons are mentioned, but no mention is made of months. (See also letter by de Jong in Pensée IVR VII, p. 50.) Indeed, there is no mention of months in Genesis until the Flood (7:11). [But note the possible link between "months" and "signs" suggested by M. G. Reade (SISR II: 1, p. 17): the moon "completes a circuit of the zodiac, plus one sign, in a month". - Ed.]
Rashi quoted the Talmud (Tractate Chul. 60b and Genesis Rabbah 6) on Genesis 1:16 thus:- "The Great Luminaries, they were created of equal size but that of the moon was diminished because she complained and said, 'it is impossible for two kings to make use of the same crown' . . . and the stars, because He decreased the moon, He increased its attendant hosts to mollify it." We interpret this evidence as showing that from the beginning there were two great luminaries (of which one was Saturn, not the moon as Rashi supposed) and when one of these (Saturn) was decreased in size more of the heavens became visible.
L. Ginzberg, in Legends of the Jews (Philadelphia, 1909: 7 vols.), confirms that the two great luminaries were of equal size initially and adds:- "When God punished the envious moon by diminishing her light and splendour, she fell, and tiny threads were loosed from her body. These are the stars." (I, p. 26) In vol. V, p. 40, he cites Hadar and interprets that ".... the light of the moon was dimmed because some of her parts fell off".
57. Sanchuniathon (Bremen, 1837), pp 16-19, as quoted in Hislop: The Two Babylons (London, 4th edn. 1972), pp. 193-4, fn.
58. Diodorus Siculus: Biblioth. Histor. ii, 30, 3 & 4. Jastrow commented: ". . . its satellite, so to speak, and alter ego". - M. Jastrow: Aspects of Religious Belief and Practice in Babylon and Assyria (New York and London, 1911), p. 223.
59. From privately circulated study by R. M. Lowery, 1976.
60. Enuma Elish, ANET, p. 62 line 102 and p. 69 line 128.
61. E.g. Veronica Ions: Egyptian Mythology (London, 1968), p. 40. - It is not clear why Atum should have been depicted as the setting sun. Lockyer (loc. cit. note 56) explains this, maintaining that the cult of Osiris stems from the original worship of Osiris as the waning moon or setting sun: i.e. the cult of the "dying" celestial body in particular becomes the cult of the dead in general. This seems to be a reasonable argument and could be taken to mean that the ancient Egyptians recognised that Saturn had been a sun-like object that "died".
62. Mullen, op. cit. note 1, p. 16.
63. "Creation by Atum", ANET, p. 3.
64. E.g. see S. Moscati: The World of the Phoenicians (London, 1973), p. 57 in paperback, citing Philo of Byblos and other classical writers.
65. L. Delaporte: "Phoenician Mythology", in New Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology (London, 1975), p. 79.
66. ". . . at all events, the fact that Saturn was also called the 'sun' is vouched for, both by explanatory notes attached to astrological connotations, and by notices in classical writings to that effect." - Jastrow, op. cit. note 58, p. 223. See also Cardona, op. cit. note 4, pp. 33-5.
67. Thorkild Jacobsen: Before Philosophy (Harmondsworth, 1963), pp. 145f
68. ANET, p. 515.
69. M. Jastrow: Religion of Babylon and Assyria (1898).
70. Idem., op. cit. note 58, p. 234.
71. D. Cardona, in "Cows, Caste and Comets", essay included in the as yet unpublished anthology presented to Dr Velikovsky by the Center for Velikovskian and Interdisciplinary Studies, Glassboro, N.J., December 1975.
72. Ginzberg, Legends (op. cit. note 56) I, p 8-9.
73. Ibid., V, p. 175.
74. "Methuselah = when he is dead it shall be sent, i.e. the Deluge" - from marginal note on Gen. 5:21 in Bagster's Companion Bible (London 1974, based on the King James Authorised translation of 1611). Ginzberg op. cit., V, p. 166 relates that from two Midrashic sources it is known that the Flood was postponed for a period of seven days so that the world might mourn the death of Methuselah. See for example op. cit., I, pp. 141f., where it is related that ". . . when he died the people heard a great commotion in the heavens and they saw 900 rows of mourners corresponding to 900 orders of the Mishna which he had studied, and tears flowed from the eyes of the holy beings down upon the spot where he died. Seeing the grief of the celestials, the people on Earth also mourned over the demise of Methuselah, and God rewarded them therefor. He added seven days to the time of grace which He had ordained before bringing destruction upon the Earth by a flood of waters."
75. E.g. see Sir J. Frazer: The Golden Bough (London, 1936), chap. XXXVIII, "The Myth of Osiris".
76. At the end of the "Golden Age", the Mill churned out first gold, then salt, then sand and stones. See for instance, de Santillana and von Dechend, op. cit., p. 146. [The millstone is considered to represent the revolving sky - see end of section 6 - Ed.]
77. From the Mahabharata: see O'Flaherty, op cit. note 33, p. 80, for the Vrtra legend. Indra is identified by O'Flaherty as the "Warrior of the gods" and "god of rain". He is also associated with a personal weapon - the thunderbolt. In the Vedic hymns he is clearly supreme god (see ibid, p. 56). He battles with a serpent, Vrtra.
78. Ibid., p. 78.
79. Ibid., p. 79.
80. Ibid., p. 77.
81. E.g. see R. Graves: The Greek Myths (Harmondsworth, revised edn. 1975), vol. I, p. 39.
82. Ibid., p. 40.
83. Mullen, op. cit. note 1, p. 15.
84. Ibid., p. 14.
85. See de Santillana and von Dechend, op. cit. note 29, pp. 11-42. The theme is a well-known one; cf. A. H. Gardiner: Egypt of the Pharaohs (Oxford, 1974), p. 8.
86. Enuma Elish, ANET, p. 61.
87. See for instance Gardiner, loc. cit.
88. See Gurney, loc. cit. note 26, citing Güterbock on the parallel Storm-god = Zeus.
89. "Kingship in Heaven', ANET, p. 120.
90. Graves, op. cit. note 81, p. 38.
91. E.g. Byron Nelson: The Deluge Story in Stone (Augsburg Publishing House, 1931); but the most comprehensive and reliable account we have seen is that of T. E. Gaster in Myth, Legend and Custom in the old Testament (Harper Torchbooks, 1975), vol. I, pp. 82-131.
92. Sieff, op. cit. note 3, pp. 20f.
93. E.g. see ANET p. 129, line 4 and p. 133, line 21.
94. ANET, p. 9: "Further, I shall destroy all that I have made, and this land will return into Nun, into the floodwaters, as (in) its first state."
95. E.g. Alexander Heidel: The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels (Chicago, 1975), p. 117.
96. E.g. see ibid., fn. 49.
97. "The Gilgamesh Epic", tablet XI, in ibid., pp. 80f., lines 19-34. Also same in ANET, p. 93.
98. Nahua legend as translated by Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg from the Mexican Codex Chimalpopoca ("Annals of Cuauhtitlan"), in S'il existe des Sources de l'histoire primitive du Mexique dans les Monuments égyptiens (1864).
99. Similar myths referring to the heat and/or drought that preceded the Deluge are to be found in Philip Freund: Myths of Creation (London, 1964), chap. 2, but should be treated with caution. It is not always easy to distinguish those myths that deal with the Venus catastrophes (fire plus tidal waves) from those of the nova.
100. H. S. Bellamy: Moons, Myths and Men (London, 1938), p. 125.
101. See notes 65 and 93 respectively.
102. Bellamy, op. cit., p. 178. - This concept, implying that heaven consisted of fire and water, is also to be found in the Jewish literature; e.g. Ginsberg, op. cit. note 56, V, p. 7, note 16:- "The heavens, like all the beings dwelling therein, consist of a combination of fire (not of an earthly or physical nature) and water, whereas the earth was formed of the snow under the heavenly throne." He then makes the equation ish vamayim (fire and water) = shamayim (heaven).
103. E.g. he was notable mainly for dying; he was the owner of the Mill (see de Santillana and von Dechend, op. cit., p. 92); and the world was made out of him.
104. Gaster, op. cit. note 91, p. 92.
105. "Gilgamesh Epic", tablet XI, lines 177-9 - e.g. ANET, p. 95
106. O'Flaherty, op. cit. note 33, p. 56
107. "The Moon that Fell from Heaven", ANET, p. 120.
108. Cuna Indian myth quoted by de Santillana and von Dechend, op. cit. note 29, p. 213.
109. From the Mahabharata - see e.g. O'Flaherty, op. cit. note 33, pp. 273-80.
110. M. Sieff, in personal communication to H. Tresman, Dec. 1974.
111. W in C I, ix: "Zeus and Athene".
113. ANET, pp. 65-7.
114. W in C I, iii: "The Battle in the Sky".
115. From the Bhagavata Purana - see e.g. O'Flaherty, op. cit. note 33, p. 222.
116. Ibid., p. 223.
117. W in C I, iii: "The Battle in the sky".
118. E.g. Thor. See for instance Pears Encyclopaedia of Myths and Legends (London, 1977), vol. 2, p. 75.
119. W in C I, iii: "The Spark".
120. From the Siva Purana, Dharmasamhita - see e.g. O'Flaherty, op. cit. note 33, p. 140.
Finally, we should like to express our gratitude to Martin Sieff, to Peter James, and to the many others who have helped us enormously in the preparation of this article. It should not be assumed, however, that they necessarily agree with the views presented above