For thirty years past Professor Max Müller has been teaching in his books and lectures, in the Times, Saturday Review, and various magazines, from the platform of the Royal Institution, the pulpit of Westminster Abbey, and his chair at Oxford, that Mythology is a disease of language, and that the ancient symbolism was a result of something like a primitive mental aberration.
"We know," says Renouf,
echoing Max Müller, in his Hibbert lectures, "We know that mythology
is the disease which springs up at a peculiar stage of human culture."
Such is the shallow explanation of the non-evolutionists, and such explanations
are still accepted by the British public, that gets its thinking done for it
by proxy. Professor Max Müller, Cox, Gubernatis and other propounders of
the Solar Mythos have pourtrayed the primitive myth-maker for us as a sort of
Germanised-Hindu metaphysician, projecting his own shadow on a mental mist,
and talking ingeniously concerning smoke, or, at least, cloud; the sky
overhead becoming like the dome of dreamland, scribbled over with the imagery
of aboriginal nightmares! They conceive the early man in their own likeness,
and look upon him as perversely prone to self-mystification, or, as Fontenelle
has it, "subject to beholding things that are not there!" They have
misrepresented primitive or archaic man as having been idiotically misled from
the first by an active but untutored imagination into believing all sorts of
fallacies, which were directly and constantly contradicted by his own daily
experience; a fool of fancy in the midst of those grim realities that were grinding
his experience into him, like the grinding icebergs making their imprints upon
the rocks submerged beneath the sea. It remains to be said, and will one day
be acknowledged, that these accepted teachers have been no nearer to the beginnings
of mythology and language than Burn's poet Willie had been near to Pegasus.
My reply is, 'Tis but a dream of the metaphysical theorist that mythology was
a disease of language, or anything else except his own brain. The origin and
meaning of mythology have been missed altogether by these solarites and weather-mongers!
Mythology was a primitive mode of thinging the early thought. It was
founded on natural facts, and
is still verifiable in phenomena. There is nothing insane, nothing irrational
in it, when considered in the light of evolution, and when its mode of expression
by sign-language is thoroughly understood. The insanity lies in mistaking it
for human history or Divine Revelation. Mythology is the repository of man's
most ancient science, and what concerns us chiefly is this--when truly interpreted
once more it is destined to be the death of those false theologies to which
it has unwittingly given birth!
In modern phraseology a statement is sometimes said to be mythical in proportion to its being untrue; but the ancient mythology was not a system or mode of falsifying in that sense. Its fables were the means of conveying facts; they were neither forgeries nor fictions. Nor did mythology originate in any intentional double-dealing whatever, although it did assume an aspect of duality when direct expression in words had succeeded the primitive mode of representation by means of things as signs and symbols. For example, when the Egyptians pourtrayed the moon as a Cat, they were not ignorant enough to suppose that the moon was a cat; nor did their wandering fancies see any likeness in the moon to a cat; nor was a cat-myth any mere expansion of verbal metaphor; nor had they any intention of making puzzles or riddles to mislead others by means of such enigmatical sign-language, at a time when they could not help themselves, having no choice in the matter. They had observed the simple fact that the cat saw in the dark, and that her eyes became full-orbed and grew most luminous by night. The moon was the seer by night in heaven, and the cat was its equivalent on the earth; and so the familiar cat was adopted as a representative, a natural sign, a living pictograph of the lunar orb! Where we should make a comparison, and say the moon saw in the dark like a cat, or the cat saw like the moon by night, they identified the one with the other (a mode of metaphor which still characterises the great style in poetry), and said the cat up there can see by night. And so it followed that the sun which saw down in the under-world at night, could also be called the cat, as it was, because it also saw in the dark. The name of the cat in Egyptian is mau, which denotes the seer, from mau, to see. One writer on mythology asserts that the Egyptians "imagined a great cat behind the sun, which is the pupil of the cat's eye." But this imagining is all modern. It is the Müllerite stock in trade! The moon as cat was the eye of the sun, because it reflected the solar light, and because the eye gives back the image in its mirror. In the form of the Goddess Pasht the cat keeps watch for the sun, with her paw holding down and bruising the head of the serpent of darkness, called his eternal enemy! The cat was the eye of night in the same symbolical sense that our daisy, which opens and shuts with the rising and setting of the sun, is called the eye of day. Moreover, the cat saw the sun, had it in its eye by night, when it was otherwise unseen by men. We might say the moon mirrored the solar light, because we have looking glasses. With them the cat's eye was the mirror.
The hare was another type of the eye that opened in heaven and saw in the dark. Consequently, we find the hare in the moon is a myth that gave birth to a common and wide-spread superstition. In later times the symbol is literalized, and it is supposed that primitive men were always on the look-out for likenesses, like a youthful poet in search of comparisons, and that they saw some resemblance to the form of a hare in the dark shadows of the lunar orb. Whereas in mythology things are not what they seem to anybody; that would lead to no consensus of agreement, nor establish any science of knowledge. A learned man once remarked to me on the strange fact that the ancients should have selected the least observable of all the planets, Mercury, to make so must of, as the messenger. He was entirely ignorant of the fact that mythology includes a system of time-keeping, and that Mercury was made the planetary messenger (in addition to his lunar character), because his revolution round the sun is performed in the shortest space of planetary time. In like manner, Max Müller will tell you that the moon was called by the name of Sasnka in Sanskrit, from sasa, the hare, because the common people in India think the black marks in the moon look like a hare! But this is mere fool's work or child's play with the surface appearance of things which has little or no relation to true myth or ancient symbolism; and all such interpretation is entirely misleading! Egypt, as I contend, has left us the means of determining the original nature and significance of these types.
When the Egyptians would denote an opening, says Hor-Apollo, they delineate a hare, because this animal always has its eyes open. The name of the hare in Egyptian is Un, which signifies open, to open, the opener, especially connected with periodicity, as the word also means the hour. This will explain how the wide, open-eyed hare became a type of the moon, which opens with its new light once a month, as the hare in heaven. The hare is the hieroglyphic sign of the opener, which can be variously applied to the phenomena of opening; to the sun as well as the moon. The hare is an especial emblem of the god Osiris in the character of Un-Nefer, the good opener; in later phrase, the good revealer! It is as the seer that both hare and cat are associated with the witch as types of abnormal seership. The hare also denoted the opening time, as the period of pubescence, when it was lawful for the sexes to come together. Hence it was the type of periodicity and legality in the human phase! For this reason, the youths among the Namaqua Hottentots are (or were) not allowed to eat the hare. With the Chinese the rabbit takes the place of the hare as a lunar type. Its period of gestation being thirty days, that would make it an appropriate representative of the lunation, of opening anew, and of re-birth.
The Selish Indians have a myth of the frog in the moon. They tell how the wolf, in love with the frog, was pursuing her by night, when she leaped into the moon, and escaped. Amongst the superstitions of our English folk-lore, we also have one respecting the frog or toad, that is supposed to be visible in the moon. Now it can be shown how the frog got deposited there; but only as a type, not in reality, nor as a mere appearance. The frog is a natural transformer from the tadpole phase in the water to the four-legged stage on land! The moon likewise transforms, and the metamorphosis of the lunar orb could be typified by the change in the frog, and so the frog as picture-object, natural type and living demonstrator for the moon, ultimately became the frog in the moon. The moon rose up monthly from the celestial waters, renewed like the frog, and as the horned one grew full-orbed it might be thought of as losing the tail of its tad-pole condition. The frog was figured as the head of the Egyptian goddess Hekat (= Greek Hecate), the consort of Khnef, one of whose titles is the "king of frogs." Hekat being a lunar goddess and Khnef a solar god, this title would denote that he was lord of the numerous transformations of light in the moon, described as being the father, and she as the mother, of frogs, because the frog was the typical transformer, as representative of the moon. The Chinese have a three-legged frog in the moon that was an ancient beauty, named Chang Ngo, who lives there because she once drank the amrita of immortality. I have elsewhere suggested that the original Phryne of Greece was a form of the frog-goddess who transformed! The name of Phryne denotes the frog; and in the most famous statue of her, carved by Apelles, she was pourtrayed as Venus transfiguring from the foam, as did the frog-goddess Hekat, of Egypt, who was the frog in the moon. Only be reading these types, which preceded letters, can we at all understand the thought and intention of the primitive thingers or thinkers.
Another example: the dung-beetle in Egypt was a type of Khepr-Ptah, the creator by transformation, who is said to have been begotten by his own becoming, and to have been born without a mother, through repetition of himself. Khep, the root of the name, signifies to transform. External nature was the scene of eternal transformation and never-ending metamorphosis. And it had been observed that Khepr, the beetle, was likewise a transformer, inasmuch as it laid its eggs in dung found on the banks of the Nile, rolled it up into a ball, and buried itself deep in the dry sand along with its seed, where, qua beetle, it transformed, the old beetle into the young one, and so continued as the same beetle by transformation! Thus the beetle served to typify that being or existence which could not be expressed, but which was seen to continue forever by self-repetition in phenomenal manifestation. They knew nothing of beginning, and did not pretend to know, but only of becoming, and of repetition or "renewal coming of itself." So the beetle was adopted as a type of transformation, whether of the old moon into the new one, of the sun out of the lower into the upper heaven, or, in the latter times, of the dead mummy into a living soul. Hor-Apollo says the scarabaeus deposits his ball of seed in the earth for the space of 28 days, the length of time during which the moon passes through the 12 signs of the zodiac, and on the 29th day it opens the ball. The day on which the conjunction of sun and moon occurred was the day of resurrection for the new life. The beetle in heaven had once more transformed, and there was another new moon!
The orb of the moon with its changes night after night, its drama longer even than any performed by the Chinese now-a-days, its drop-scene of the darkness at the end, and the transformation into the new life of light in the beginning, presented the earliest form of the primitive theatre, which offered its celestial show in heaven, gratis to all eyes that gazed up from below. This must have been one of the earliest educators in natural phenomena! There is nothing more interesting to me than to watch the nascent mind of man making its infantile clutch, and trying to catch on and lay hold of external things--to lay hold, as it were, of the skirts of the passing powers, that were held to be superior to itself: nothing more instructive than to follow the primitive ways of keeping touch with the life of external nature, and of sharing in the operations going on, so as to be on the right and safe side, and get on the true line for deriving some benefit from the way in which things were seen to be going! This is very touching in its simplicity, and will teach us more concerning the past of man than all the metaphysical interpretation hitherto attempted. The proper time for prayer, wishing or invoking aid, was at first sight of the new moon, just as it started visibly on the way to fulfilment, the mental attitude being, "May my wish be fulfilled like the light in thy orb, oh moon! May my life be renewed like thy light!" Such was the prayer of the Congo negroes. The full moon being the mother-moon, the eye that mirrored or reproduced the light of the sun, that will account for the day of the full moon being accounted--as it was by the Greeks, Britons, and others--the most propitious time for the marriage ceremony. The full moon was held to come forth great with good luck! Boy-children ought to be weaned when the horned moon was waxing, and girls when it was on the wane--the female being the reproducer as bringer-forth. So peas and beans were sown in the wane of the moon to rise again like the moon renewed. Corn ought to be cut during the wane of the moon if you would have them disappear quickly. In very simple ways the primitive observers had tried to set their life in time with the life going on around them, and thus get what light they could from Nature for their own guidance, and also make her language their own. Butler asks (in Hudibras):--
"Why on a sign no painter draws
The full moon ever but the half?"
Now, that is very good sign language, especially as the "half-moon" is a public-house symbol. It was an invitation to eat and drink to the full, or come to the full as the half-moon does; it may be, to "get fu'," in the Scottish sense. A moon already full would not have answered the purpose.
An eclipse projected the shadow of coming calamity. The renewed light of the old moon was like a promise of eternal life and everlasting youth. When personified this was the healer, the saviour, an image of very life. The first-born from the dead, the first-fruits of them that slept in the graveyard of sunken suns, and cemetery of old dead moons, was reproduced visibly in external phenomena, as the new moon which was personated by the male moon-god Taht, called the eighth, and lord of the eighth region, as the place of rising again from the dead in the orb of the moon. There was a lunar mythology extant long before it was known that the lunar orb was a reflector of the solar light. There was a time also when it was not known, and could not be divined, that the moon which dwindled and died down visibly was the same moon that rose again from the dead. Hence there were two different messages conveyed from heaven to men on earth, by the hare as messenger for the moon in the lunar myths of the Hottentots and other primitive races. In one of these versions the moon declared that, as it died and did not rise again from its grave, even so was it with man, who went down to the earth and came back no more. But, when it had made out that the same moon returned as the old orb renewed, the nature of its revelation was reversed. Its message now contained a doctrine of the resurrection from the dead for man as well as moon. The re-arising and transforming orb at last proclaimed that even as it did not die out altogether, but was renewed from some hidden spring or source of light, so was it with the human race, who were likewise renewed to re-live on hereafter like the moon. In a myth of the Caroline Islanders it is said that at first men only quitted this life on the last day of the dying moon, to be revivified when the new moon appeared. But there was a dark spirit that inflicted a death from which there was no revival. This dark spirit, with its fatal message, was primary in fact, and the true assurance of survival, like the moon, depended on its being identified as the same moon which rose again. It is in this way that we can re-think the primitive thought, by getting it re-thinged in the physical realities of natural phenomena. In the Ute Mythos the task of making a moon was assigned to Whip-Poor-Will, a god of the night. The frog offered himself as a willing sacrifice for this purpose, and he was transformed by magical incantations into the New Moon. The symbolism is identical, whether derived from Egypt or not. So is it when the Buddha offers his body as a sacrifice, and transforms himself into the lunar hare.
The Maories have a tradition of the first children of earth, in which they relate that the earliest subject of human thought was the difference between light and darkness; they were always thinking what might be the difference betwixt light and darkness. Naturally, the primary conditions of existence observed by primitive men were those that were most observable, and, foremost amongst these, were the phenomena of the day and the dark, which followed each other in ceaseless change. Mythology begins with this vague and merely elemental phase of external phenomena, alternating in night and day. In a secondary stage, it was observed that the battle field of this never ending warfare of day and dark was focused and brought to a definite point in the orb of the moon, where the struggle betwixt the two personified powers of light and darkness went on and on for ever, each power having its triumph over the other in its turn,--these being depicted in one representation as the solar light and the serpent of darkness, in another by the lion and the unicorn. These phenomena of light and darkness were at first set forth by means of animals, reptiles, birds, and other primitive types of the elemental powers; and lastly the human type was adopted, and the cunning of the crocodile, or the jackal of darkness, is represented by the Egyptian Sut, the Norse Loki, the Greek Hermes, or the Jewish Jacob, the dark deceiver; and to-day, we find the Christian Evidence Society engaged in defending such characters as that of Jacob, in the full and perfect belief that Jacob was a human being, and one of God's chosen race. Whereas, he was no more a person than was Sut-Anup in Egypt, or Reynard the fox in Europe! The human form, like that of the earlier animal type, was only representative of some power manifested in natural phenomena. This mode of representation was known when these sacred stories were first told of mythical characters; it was afterwards continued and taught in the so-called "mysteries" by means of the Gnosis. When the art or Gnosis was lost to the world outside, the ancient histories were ignorantly supposed to be human in their origin; mythology was euhemerized (that is, the ideal was mistaken for the real), and Egyptian mythology was converted into Hebrew miracles and Christian history.
Thus when the Iroquois Indians claim that the first ancestor of the red man was a hare, we do not know what that saying means until we learn the representative value of the symbol! So is it all sign-writing through.
When Herodotus went to Egypt, he recognised the originals of the gods that were adored, amplified, embellished, or laughed at in Greece. At present, however, the Müllerites dare not mention Egypt, but look askance at those who do. Here is a crucial instance of survival, evidenced by philology,--the name of Mars as Ares will serve to prove how Egyptian underlies the Greek! The planet Mars is called Har-Tesh in Egyptian, which signifies the red lord, or the lord of gore. Cedrenus writes the name of Arês as Hartosi, and Vettius Valens as Hartes, whence Artis, and finally Arês. Again, the name of Hera denotes the heaven, over, in Egyptian; which certainly describes the nature of the Greek goddess of that name.
When we are told by the Roman Catholic Egyptologist, Renouf, that "Neither Hebrews nor Greeks borrowed any of their ideas from Egypt," we can only think of such a dictum as an intentional blind, or as a result of putting up the glass to an eye that cannot see. It is simply impossible for the non-evolutionist, the bigotted Bibliolator, or the Müllerite, to interpret or to understand the mythology of Egypt. Its roots go deep, and its branches spread too far, for their range of thought. And now, let me offer a remarkable example of the modes in which the Egyptians expressed or thinged their thoughts, by means of external phenomena. The sun-god Ra is represented as possessing fourteen spirits or kaus, the living likenesses and glorified images of himself. These are pourtrayed as fourteen personages at Edfu and Denderah. In one text it is said,--"Hail to thee and thy fourteen spirits fourteen times." These are also mentioned in the tablet of Ipsambul, as the fourteen kaus of Ra, which "Taht has added to all his ways." Taht is the moon-god, and this gives us a clue to the fourteen spirits, which, I think, no Egyptologist has yet suspected. But Taht is the god of the first fourteen days of the moon's lunation, and fourteen nights of the new moon reproduced the likeness of the solar god in light fourteen times over; these were designated his apparition seen nightly in the moon! Indeed, the moon in its dark half was treated as the mummy or un-illuminated body of the sun-god, who is described as coming to visit, to comfort it, to beget upon it, in the under-world. This lunar body of the solar soul is represented by the ass-headed god Aai (upon which the sun-god rode), who is found mummified on the tomb of Rameses 6th. Thus, the dark orb or body of the moon was the mummy of the sun, and its fourteen days of growing light were thought of as fourteen manifestations of the solar-god in spiritual apparition, visible by night in the moon; hence it will be seen how natural it was that the lunar orb should be looked up to as the home of spirits, as when the Egyptian prays that his soul may ascend to heaven in the disk of the moon! Another fable of the dark half of the lunation has been preserved by Plutarch, who relates that when Typhon, the evil power, was hunting by moonlight, he by chance came upon the dead body or mummy of Osiris prepared for burial, and, knowing it again, he tore it into fourteen parts, and scattered them all about. These fourteen parts typify the fourteen days of the lessening light, during which the devil of darkness had the upper hand. The twenty-eight days made one lunar month according to Egyptian reckoning.
The earlier and simpler representation of the lunar light and dark is pourtrayed in the myth of the Two Brothers, who always contend for supremacy over each other. The most ancient and primitive myths are found to be the most universal; and this of the twin brothers is extant all over the world. It is the myth of Sut-Horus in Egypt; the Asvins or Krishna and Balarama in India; the Crow and the Eagle of the Australian blacks; Tsuni-Goam and Gaunab among the Hottentots; Jack and Jill, and twenty other forms that I have compared in my "Natural Genesis." It is that struggle of two brothers in the beginning which is represented in the Hebrew book of Genesis as the murderous conflict of Cain and Abel. Cain as the victor is the same character as the Egyptian Khunsu, Khun or Khen, meaning to chase, hunt, beat, be the victor, and therefore I take it that the name of Cain is probably one with the Egyptian Khun. Abel is the dark little one that fades and falls and passes away, the one who becomes a sacrificial type, because of the nature of the phenomena. The conqueror is pourtrayed as the killer. The Gnostic Cainites, however, maintained truly that Cain derived his being from the power above, and not from the evil power below. They knew the Mythos. The contention of Jacob and Esau for birth and for the birth-right is another form of the same myth. Esau, the red and hairy, is really the lord of light in the new moon. Jacob is the child of darkness, hence the deceiver by nature and by name. A Jewish tradition relates that Esau, when born, had the likeness of a serpent marked upon his heel. This shows he was a personification of the hero who bruised the serpent's head, and that Jacob, who laid hold of Esau's heel, was a co-type in phenomena with the serpent of darkness. There is nothing moral or immoral in mere physical phenomena themselves. No fratricide is actually committed by the conquering Cain, nor fraud by the dark and wily Jacob. But when these same phenomena are dramatised, and the characters are made human, or inhuman, as the case may be, the un-moral becomes immoral, and the human image is disfigured by the most wilful flaw, or wanton brand of degradation. Cain is made the murderer of his own brother, in the beginning, and that red stain is supposed to run through all human history, as a first result of Adam's fall, and to burn on the brow of man until it is washed out at last in the blood of a redeeming Saviour--who is equally mythical.
This lunar representation has several shapes in Egyptian mythology, where the Twin Brothers are Sut and Osiris, Sut and Horus, the two Horuses, Taht and Aan, or Khunsu and Typhon.
In his Hibbert lectures Mr. Renouf says curtly, the Egyptian god "Khunsu is the moon." But such Egyptology has not yet blazed the veriest surface of the mythology. Such statements teach nothing truly, because they do not put in the bottom facts. They do not help us to think in those phenomena which have been entified or divinised in and as mythology. It may be said quite as bluntly that Khunsu is not the moon. He only represents one phase of the lunar phenomena, which are triadic. Khunsu is the child of the sun and moon. His name denotes the young hero. When this deity was evolved it had been discovered that the moon derived her light from the sun. In the planisphere of Denderah the youthful God Khunsu is pourtrayed in the disk of the full moon at Easter, where he represents the light and force of the sun that is reborn monthly and annually of the lunar orb considered to be his mother, who thus reproduces the child of light in the disk of the moon. The same myth is likewise Osirian, as we learn from one of the hymns, where it is said, "Hail to thee, Osiris, Lord of Eternity! When thou art in heaven thou appearest as the sun, and thou renewest thyself as the moon." But this renewal of light in the moon was pourtrayed as the re-birth of the god in the person of his own child; hence the child Horus is also depicted like the child Khunsu in the disk of the full moon, as both may be seen in the same planisphere of Denderah. Khunsu is the Egyptian Jack the giant-killer. In the Ritual he is called the slayer of rebels and piercer of the proud. His natural genesis was in the tiny light of the new moon, which rose up with its sharp horns to pierce the powers of night, and drive them out of the darkened orb. The giants of the primitive mind were the powers of darkness, which forever rose up in revolt against the light, kept all life cowering in their shadow by night, took possession of the moon in the latter half of the lunation, or covered its face with the blood and dust of battle during the terrible time of an eclipse. Then the little hero, the child of light, arose and made war on the giants, and overcame them as he grew in glory and waxed greatly in the plenitude of his Hidden father's power and might. The name of Khunsu's father is Amen, the Hidden God, the child Khunsu being his visible representative re-born in the new moon.
Mythology is the ground-work of all our theology and Christology, and it is only by mastering the plan that we can learn how the superstructure has been built. This character of Khunsu is that of the mythical Messiah, or manifester in external nature, as a representative of the Eternal in the phenomena of time. In Egypt, Seb-Kronus, or Time, was designated the true Repa, or Heir-Apparent to the father, Osiris or Amen-Ra, and the re-birth in time, might be monthly or annually, every nineteen or twenty-five, 500 or 2155, years, according to the particular period. In the mystical or spiritual phase this representative of divinity was the Christ within, the Son of God incarnate in matter; the Christ of the Gnostics who was not a man; their Jesus, who could not be a Jew; their Redeemer, who was but the immortal principle in man, a Deliverer from the degradation; a Saviour solely from the dissolution of matter, which the Greek poet Linus calls the "Giver of all shameful things."
But to return to the Moon Mythos. The legend of Samson can now be read for the first time as the Hebrew version of the Egyptian myth of Khunsu, the luni-solar hero who slays the giants--or Philistines--and overcomes the powers of darkness. It was impossible to read the riddle by supposing, with Steinthal, that Samson was simply the sun-god himself; because if he were, in killing the lion he would be only slaying the reflection of himself--the lion being a solar type. The name of Shimshon denotes the luminous or shining one, as an emanation of the solar fire. Samson, like Khunsu, is the typical hero. Khunsu is the Egyptian Heracles. Samson, like Heracles, slays the lion, as his first great labour, or feat of strength. This deed is represented allegorically, and is put forth as his riddle. Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the mighty came forth sweetness. The mighty one who devours is the lion, and the honey was found in its dead carcase. The Mithraic and Egyptian monuments will enable us to read the riddle. In the Persian we see the lion depicted with a bee in its mouth. The lion, or rather the lioness, was an Egyptian figure of fire--the lioness in heat. She was represented, by the goddess of the solar fire and alcoholic spirit, as Sekhet, who carries the sun's disk on the head of a lioness. The name of this she-lion, Sekhet, is also the name for the bee, which is the royal symbol of Lower Egypt; and the bee denotes the sweetness in the lion. Now, the fiercest solar heat was coincident with the waters of the Inundation, two-thirds of which (according to Hor-Apollo) poured down into Egypt whilst the sun was in the sign of the lion. Sekhet was also the goddess of sweetness or pleasure--we may say literally, goddess of the honeymoon. Hence the association of the lion and the bee, or the honey in the lion. The triumph over the lion may be understood in this way. Sekhet, the she-lion, impersonated the force of the sun, which was often fatal, hence she was made the punisher of the wicked with hell-fire; and this lunar hero, as Heracles, Khunsu, or Samson, was the conqueror in the cool of the night, which followed the fiery fervour of the sun by day. Further, at the time the sun was in the lion-sign, the full moon rose vis-à-vis in the sign of the Waterman, or Waterwoman, in the Hermean Zodiac; and we cannot read one part of the celestial imagery independently of the other. In this full moon, which brought the sweet, fresh waters to Egypt, the hero attained the height of his glory, as conqueror of the furnace-heat which culminated then and there with the sun in the sign of the lioness, as reflector of the fiercest solar fire. As the moon was the bringer of the waters, and the breath of life in the coolness and the dews of night, the lunar hero was not only credited with drawing the sting of Sekhet, but with extracting honey from the dead lion.
When the young hero as son of the sun-god, reborn of the new moon, has once more conquered in conflict with his eternal enemy, and he breaks out in triumph, free from the throttling folds of the dragon, of the Sami, or the Philistines, as he ascends aloft he is seen bearing the dark orb of the old moon as a palpable proof of his power. He had burst through the barriers of the underworld, the gates of death and darkness; and so it would be fabled that he carried the barriers away with him, and bore them visibly on high to the summit of the lunar ascent! It is so represented when Samson not only breaks out of Gaza, but tears up the city gates, and carries them away by night with their posts, bolts, and bars, to the top of the hill, or mountain of the moon, as the lunar height was called! The soli-lunar nature of the hero is shown by the number 30 (the thirty days to the month in the soli-lunar reckoning.) Samson has thirty companions. He smote thirty men at Ascalon, and spoiled them of thirty changes of raiment. The number 7 is also an all-important factor in the lunar mythos, with its twenty-eight days to the month. In the cuneiform legend of Ishtar the goddess descends and ascends through seven gates, each way in her passage to and from the netherworld, as female representative of the moon. So when Sut-Typhon, the dark one of the lunar twins, was beaten by Horus, he is described by Plutarch as fleeing from the battle during seven days on the back of an ass! In each case the number 7 signifies one quarter of a moon. The number 7, answering to one lunar quarter, is prominent in the legend of Samson. In one phase he tells Delilah that if he is bound with seven new bow-strings his strength will depart, and he will become weak, and be as another man. But when these are applied to him they are snapped like a string of fire-singed tow! We may suppose this phase to represent the first seven days of the growing crescent moon; hence the seven new bow-strings, which are in keeping with the seven strings of the lunar harp. In the second phase the hero is bound with new ropes, which he freed himself from as if they had been thread. Fourteen days brings us to the moon at full, and to the culmination of Samson's glory. Then he confesses to his charmer that if the seven locks of his head are shaven off his strength will assuredly depart. Now, hair is an especial, primitive type of virility, potency, and power. In the Egyptian Ritual the Osirified as Horus, ascends the heaven with his long hair reaching down to his shoulders as a type of his growing glory. Moreover, Samson's hair, the emblem of his strength, is in seven locks. These answer to the seven nights of the quarter in which the lunar splendour comes to the full, and the opposing powers of darkness, called the Philistines, are very literally "cleared out." When this period is past, and the hero is shorn of his hair, the Philistines are upon him once more. This time the drama is to come to an end. But not without an intimation of its being continued or repeated in the next new moon, for the narrative confesses conscientiously that Samson's hair began to grow again after he was shaven. But for the present the powers of darkness prevail; and having shorn the hero of his glory during seven nights, and brought him low, they put out his sight and bind him with fetters of brass, eyeless in Gaza, pitiful and forlorn as "blind Orion hungering for the morn."
The eye of the blinded Horus being put out by Sut, who was at the head of the Typhonian powers, called the Sami, or conspirators, is identical in the Egyptian mythos with the putting out of Samson's eyes in the Hebrew version! In the Osirian myth, however, it is the eye of Horus that is wounded; the eye that is swallowed by Sut; the eye that is restored at dawn of day, and this one-eyed form of the mythos survives in the account of Samson's blindness when he prays for strength enough to avenge the loss of one of his two eyes, as we have it in the margin! The lunar light was the eye of the sun, but this becomes the two eyes of the hero when he is rendered according to the complete human likeness, which shows us how the mythos was rationalised as history. It is Delilah who causes the ruin of Samson, just as Ishtar, called Goddess 15, as the moon at full, is the ruin of her lovers, in the legend of Ishtar and Izdubar, where she is charged with being an enchantress, a poisoner, a destroyer of male potency. Izdubar, the sun-god, reproaches her with witchcraft, her murderous lust, her merciless cruelty, and declines to become her lover himself! According to the myth the luni-solar male divinity was represented in the wane of the light as suffering from the evil influence of the female moon. It is very evident that the myths were made by men; as in case of a fall or catastrophe it was always she who did it. She tempted the poor man, or overcame the god. It was she who had shorn him of his glory; she who had given him poison to drink, and betrayed him to the powers of darkness; she who is the cause of his impotential mood, his waning, languishing, and drooping down. And the true meaning of Delilah's name, I take it, expresses the weakened, worn-out, impotent condition of the lunar hero thus brought low--the name being derivable from a root signifying to totter, droop, and hang inertly down--Delilah being the personified cause of this emasculated condition of the reduced and wretched, bound and blinded lunar god, the mighty hero in his fallen state. The Danes have a lunar Delilah or lady of the moon, who is described as being very beautiful when seen in front, but she is hollow behind: she plays upon a harp of seven strings, and with this she lures young men to her on purpose to destroy them. The Hebrews have a Talmudic tradition that Samson was lame in both his feet. And this was the status or condition of the child-Horus, who was said to be maimed and halt in his lower members; the cripple deity, as he is called by Plutarch. Other scattered fragments of the true myth are to be found; for instance, in the lunar triad of the mother and the twin brothers, one of them accompanies the female moon during the first half of the total lunation, the other during the latter half; and this appears to be reflected by the Hebrew mythos when Samson's wife is "given to his companion whom he had used as a friend." Again, the jackal was an Egyptian type of the dark one that devoured by night, and of Sut, the thief of light in the moon, he who swallowed the Eye of Horus. Jackal and fox are co-types, and they have one name, that of Shugal, the howler, in Hebrew. This enables us to understand the story of the 300 foxes or jackals in the Jewish form of the myth. Samson being the representative of the sun-god who drives the darkness out of or away from the lunar orb, and does all the damage he can to the Typhonian powers, or Philistines, the story-teller multiplies the jackal to enhance the triumph of his hero; and instead of the struggle between Horus and the jackal-headed Sut-Anup, we have the more difficult feat of catching 300 jackals and setting fire to their tails, so that they might consume the crops of the Philistines, or, in other words, burn out the darkness from the orb of the moon.
It is probable that Mithra, son of Ahura Mazda, and natural opponent of the dark Power, is the same representative of the God of Light, reflected in the moon as the witness by night for the absent sun. It may be noted that Matra in Egyptian means the Witness, or more fully, the Witness for Ra. The scene pourtrayed on the Persian monuments is nocturnal, and the time of year is that of the sun's entrance into the sign of Scorpio, where it is deprived of its virility. At this time the moon rises at full in the sign of the Bull, the first of the superior signs. The Lord of Light in the moon is now the dominating power during six months. Thus Mithras slaying the Bull is equivalent to Samson killing the Lion, or overcoming the fierceness of the Solar fire; and also of Osiris doing battle with Sut-Typhon and conquering his terrors in external phenomena. Osiris dies on the 17th of the month Athor, which was at the time of the Autumn Equinox, or rather he enters the six lower signs at that time. An ark was made in the shape of a crescent moon, and on the 19th of the same month the priests proclaimed that Osiris was found, his resurrection on the third day being in the moon. Thus it was in the new moon that the Dead Osiris first returned to life in the form of his own son.
Our modern solarite interpreters can talk of little else but the sun, the dawn, and the dark. Mr. Renouf, in his Hibbert lectures, identifies Sut-Anubis with the twilight, or as the dusk. Hence, when it is said in the texts that he "swallowed his father Osiris," this on the face of it looks like the darkness of night swallowing the disappearing sun. But Egyptian mythology is by no means so simple as that. It is not to be fathomed on the face of it, nor can it be interpreted without such a knowledge of the total typology, as the Aryan School all put together do not possess. There is nothing simply solar in it anywhere! It is true that Sut represents the presence and the power of darkness. It is true that the nocturnal sun in the under world was called Osiris, or Atum, or Amen-Ra. Also, the setting orbs of light were represented as being swallowed down by the crocodile or some other type of the devourer. But the continual conflict and alternate victory of light and darkness were seen to have their most obvious, most visible, most interesting field of battle in the moon! It was there the watchers observed the never-ceasing struggle for the birth-right of the twin brothers, who personated the opposing powers. The dark one was first born from the mother moon at full; but the light one was acknowledged to be the genuine heir-apparent! There is a myth of the blind Horus in which he is described as sitting solitary in his darkness. Sut is said to have swallowed his eye, or to have wounded it, and put out the sight. In one text Horus says, "Behold, my eye is as though Sut (Anup) had pierced it." In another he cries, "I am Horus. I come to search for mine eyes." Sut, who swallows the eye, is made to restore it again! In one account the eye is said to be restored at the dawn of day; that is in the vague stage of the conflict between the darkness and the light.
At one time, says Plutarch, Sut smote Orus in the Eye; this represented the diminution of the moon. At another he plucked the eye out and swallowed it, afterwards giving it back to the sun. This blinding denoted the Eclipse.
In the lunar phase of the mythos the Eye of light, or of the sun, is the moon. The moon at full was the mirror of light, hence it was the mother of Horus as the child of light! But the eye was the primitive mirror. So the moon was called the Eye of the sun, when it was known as a reflector of the solar light. Thus the lunar orb was the consort of the sun; his Eye by night, as the reproducer of his light when he was in the under-world; and in reproducing the light she was as the mother bringing forth his child! For instance, the cow was a type of the moon as Hathor, or as Aahti, and when the cow is pourtrayed with the solar disk between her horns, the imagery denotes the mother-moon as bearer of the sun, that is, as reproducer of the solar light in the lunar orb, or, as it was also said, in the Eye.
For this reason the mother of Horus, child of light, is also described as being the eye of Horus, the moon-mirror in which the father Osiris made babies in the eye, as the poets say, or was reflected as Horus, the child of light, re-born monthly of the moon as his mother. The lunar god Taht is sometimes pourtrayed with the eye of Horus, or the new moon in his hand. And the goddess Meri=Mary bears the eye upon her head, as typical reproducer of the child. Now this is the eye that was swallowed by Sut. When the power of darkness had put out the lunar light, the eye was not only pierced but swallowed, as the phenomena were rendered in the mythos. Moreover, as Osiris had become the father of all, he was also the acknowledged father of Sut; and as it was the father who was reflected by the mother-moon, or the eye, Sut may be said to have swallowed his own father when he obscured the lunar light, or swallowed it with the darkness during an eclipse. This was the symbolic eye that was full on the 14th of the month in the lunar, or on the 15th in the soli-lunar reckoning, or on the 30th Epiphi, when the eye of the year was full, according to the Egyptian Ritual. The swallowing of Osiris by Sut belongs to the soli-lunar phenomena! Plutarch tells us that some of the Egyptians held the shadow of the earth, which caused an eclipse of the moon, to be Sut Typhon. By aid of which we can identify the original dragon of the eclipse! The mythical and celestial dragon, as I have elsewhere demonstrated, was founded on the crocodile as the natural type of the swallowing darkness. The crocodile is the swallower of the lights as they go down in the west, and the tail of the crocodile reads kam, i.e., black, darkness. Typhon (both male and female) is represented by the crocodile, the dragon of the waters and of darkness. Now the most thrilling and fearsome act of the lunar drama was during the period of eclipse. There is something very weird, uncanny, and unked, in the projection of the earth's shadow across the luminous face of the moon. To the primitive mind it was the crocodile above, or the dragon, swallowing the orb of light, or Sut swallowing his father Osiris. An eclipse was the meal-time of the monster. An eclipse was the scene of the great battle between Horus and Sut, or Horus and the Dragon, and the great battle was identical with that of our George and the Dragon. The same struggle between the powers of light and darkness is pourtrayed in the Book of Revelation when the woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, is about to bring forth her man child, and the great dragon of eclipse stands before her ready to devour the child as soon as it is born! In the oldest astronomy the years were reckoned by the eclipses, as it was in Egypt, China, and India. And the most ancient type of time or Kronus, as Egyptian, is Sevekh, the crocodile-headed god, that is, the dragon of eclipse who annually swallowed the moon containing the Lord of Light or his infant Image.
According to the mythical mode of representing the natural fact, three days and three nights were reckoned for the absence of the lunar light, between old and new moon, and the Lord of Light in the lunar orb was said to be swallowed by a Dragon or a monster fish and to remain for that length of time in its belly. The legend is Egyptian. The great fish is the crocodile, the dragon of the deep. This is called the fish of Horus in the Ritual. The Crocodile first denoted the earth as the swallower of the Lights before it became the Water-Dragon, and so the Manifestor, as Horus, Jonah, Tangaroa, or the Christ, could be three days in the earth or the great fish previously to his resurrection. Types and stories might be manifold; the fact signified was always the same. Hence the Jonah of the Hebrew version is identical with the Christ, not as type of him, where all is typical; and in the Roman Catacombs the Jonah of one version is the Christ of the other. Jonah issues from the great fish in the form of the Child-Christ. Thus the origin of the "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," or in the Crocodile, is to be found in lunar phenomena.
In a later form of the Osirian legend the Twins are the double Horus, instead of the Sut-Horus of the Typhonian myth. In this we see the little dark child eyeless, soulless, maimed in his lower members, going into Tattu to meet his soul, his other self, his glorified body, the double, like that of Buddha, which was called his diamond body. This other self is designated the soul of the sun, and it is this which revivifies, regenerates, and transforms the child of the mother-moon into the virile Horus, the new moon horned and pubescent. There is a tradition preserved by Plutarch that the child Horus, the cripple deity, begotten in the dark, was the result of Osiris having accompanied with Isis after her decease, or with Nephthys her sister, below the horizon. Even this representation is perfectly correct according to the natural phenomena. Isis personates the moon, which dies to be again renewed. The renewal occurs in the under-world, and is out of sight or all in the dark. Osiris, as the sun below the horizon is the renovator of the old, dead orb of the moon, which he causes to re-live with his light; hence the fable of his accompanying with Isis after her demise is in accordance with the mythical mode of representing the phenomena of external nature in human imagery.
In one of its phases the moon was pourtrayed in the character of a thief, which was personated by the jackal, ape, or wolf, who represented Goddess 15. Ishtar is described as ascending and descending the steps of the moon, so many days up and so many days down--of these days there would be fifteen altogether, in accordance with her name of Goddess 15. And here the Christian Mary can be identified in this lunar character by means of the Apocryphal Gospels, that contain legends of the infancy which are of primary importance, hence they have been denounced as spurious, excommunicated as heretical, and kept out of sight by Papal commands. In pseudo Matthew (ch. iv.), we learn that when the Virgin was an infant, just weaned, she ran up the fifteen steps of the temple at full speed, without once looking back. At this age she was regarded as an adult of about thirty years! The story of the fifteen steps is repeated in the Gospel of Mary's nativity (ch. vi.), where the fifteen steps are associated with the fifteen Psalms of degrees. Further, it was on the 15th day of the moon that the dark one of the twins was re-born, as the lessening, waning one of the two; and in the history of Joseph the carpenter, Jesus says that Mary gave him birth in the fifteenth year of her age, by a mystery that no creature can understand except the Trinity. The Trinity being lunar, the subject matter is identical according to the Gnosis of numbers, and Mary is also a form of the Goddess 15,--Meri, or Hathor-Meri, in the Egyptian Mythos.
It is only in lunar phenomena that we can see how the child could be born from the side of its mother, as Sut-Horus was, as well as the Buddha, or the Christ. Also, the divine child, as Buddha, was said to be visible whilst in the mother's womb. The womb of the mother being the lunar orb in which the child in embryo can be seen in course of growth, it was represented as being transparent with the child on view. The child Jesus is so pourtrayed in the Christian pictures of the enceinte Virgin Mary, as may be seen in Didron's Iconography!
The birth of the dark one of the mother-moon's two children, depends upon that part of the lunar orb which is turned away from the sun, being dimly seen through the light reflected from our earth. As the light began to lessen, and the orb became opaque, there was an obvious birth of the dark part of the moon! That was the birth of the little, dark one, of the lunar twins. So fine a point of departure from the light half to the dark, and from the dark half to the light, may be likened to a single hair--as it was in the Hindu mythos, which represents Krishna as being born from a single black hair and Balarama from a single white hair of Vishnu. This is, probably, the mythical meaning of a saying attributed to the Christ in the gospel of the Hebrews,--"And straightway," said Jesus, "the holy spirit (my mother) took me and bore me by one of the hairs of my head, to the great mountain called Thabor." The exact colour of the dark orb is slate-black, and this has been preserved in India as the complexion of the dark child, Hari or Krishna. These types of the light and dark twins were certainly continued as the two-fold Christ in Rome, one form of whom is the little black Bambino of Italy, the Christ who was black for the same reason that Sut was black in Egypt, and Krishna was blue-black in India. He was black, because mythical, and not because the Word was humanly incarnated as a nigger! He was black because he was the child of the virgin-mother as the moon!
One type of the twins found in the lunar phenomena has been humanised in the story of Jesus and John; these can be traced back to Horus and Sut, who is Aan or Anup, the Egyptian John. These two appear in the Ritual as the "Precursor," and the one who is preferred to him who was first in coming. Speaking in the twin character, the Osirified deceased says, "I am Anup in the day of judgment. I am Horus, the Preferred, on the day of rising." Anup presided over the judgment; so John the Precursor proclaims the judgment; and calls the world to repentance. Jesus comes as the "preferred one" on the day of his rising up out of the waters, when John the Precursor says of Jesus, "After me cometh a man which is become before me!" John's was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, "Make ye ready the way of the Lord." "I make way," says Horus, "by what Anup (the Precursor) has done for me." The twin lunar characters of John and Jesus can be identified in the gospel where John says of Jesus "He must increase, but I must decrease." So the title of the Akkadian moon-god, Sin, as the increaser of light, is Enu-zu-na, the Lord of waxing. In the Mithraic mysteries the light one of the twins was designated the bridegroom, and in one passage we meet with the bridegroom and the bride, that is the lunar mother of the Twins and Christ as the bridegroom. John personates the dark one; like Sut-Anup, he is not the light itself, and only bears witness to the light. The Christ or Horus was consort to the mother-moon, and the reproducer of himself. John says of him, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom which standeth and heareth him rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice." These three, the bride, bridegroom, and John, are a perfect replica of the lunar Trinity.
John represents the dark half of the moon, the child of the mother only, and he is unmistakably identified by Jesus in or as this mythical character when he says of his fore-runner, "Among them that are born of woman there is none greater than John, yet, he that is but little in the kingdom of God is greater than he;" that is, among those who are re-born in the likeness of the father, as Horus was when the solar god re-begot him in his own image as the reflection of his hidden glory reproduced by the new moon--the least of these is greater than he who was born of the mother alone.
As we have seen, the fox and jackal were both of them Typhonian types of the dark power, the thief of light in the moon, and co-types, therefore, with the dragon that swallowed the moon during an eclipse. Now, the name of Herod in Syriac denotes a red dragon; and the red dragon in Revelation, which stands ready to devour the young child that is about to be born, is the mythical form of the Herod who has been made historical in our gospels. Here the legendary devourer, the dark half of the lunation. The Germans have a saying that the wolf is eating the candle when there is what is still called a thief in it. So the primitive observers saw the dark encroaching on the light, and they said the wolf, jackal, rat, or other sly animal was eating the moon as the thief of its light. This is why Hermes was represented as the thief. In two different forms of the lunar mythos the jackal and the dog-headed ape were two types of this thief of the light. And in the zodiac of Denderah, just where Horus is on the cross, or at the crossing of the vernal equinox, these two thieves, Sut-Anup and Aan, are depicted one on either side of the luni-solar god. These two mythical originals have, I think, been continued and humanised as the two thieves in the Gospel version of the crucifixion.
The character of the thief still clings to the man in the moon. In a North Frisian folk-tale the man in the moon is fabled to have stolen branches of willow, or the sallow-palms, which he has to carry in his hands forever. Here we can identify the palm-branch of the man in the moon as Egyptian. The palm-branch was a type of time and periodicity. Hor-Apollo tells us it was adopted as the symbol of a month, because it alone produces one additional branch at each renovation of the moon, so that in reckoning the year is completed in twelve branches. A form of this appears as the Tree of Life in the book of Revelation. The palm-branch is carried by Taht, the man in the moon, and scribe of the gods, who reckoned time by means of the lunations, and this evidently survives in the Frisian legend. He who once reckoned time by means of the shoots on the palm-branch became the picker-up or stealer of willow-wands or sticks, according to the later folk-lore. Also, when the moon-god was superseded by the sun as the truer reckoner of time, the character of the lunar deity suffered degradation! We find the same contention going on as there was between the number thirteen and twelve. When the year was reckoned by thirteen moons of twenty-eight days each, thirteen was then the lucky number (a charm of primroses or a sitting of eggs was thirteen), but when this was changed for the twelve months of solar time, then the number thirteen became unlucky or accursed. The day of rest being changed from Saturday, the old lunar god was charged with being a Sabbath-breaker. He stole sticks, he strewed brambles and thorn-bushes on the paths of people who went to church on Sunday (the day of the Sun). He did not keep the day of rest, but would go on working, or reckoning time with his palm-branch, Sundays as well as week-days, and so he was doomed to stand in the moon for all eternity as a warning to wicked Sabbath-breakers. Taht (or Khunsu) is the Egyptian man in the moon, who in the dark half of the period was represented by the dog-headed ape; and from these came our man in the moon with his dog. The Creek Indians have the same myth. They say the inhabitants of the moon consist of a man and his dog.
The ass was another Typhonian type of the moon. In an Egyptian representation, it is by the aid of the ass-headed god Aai that the solar divinity ascends from the under-world where the dark powers have their time of triumph over him by night. The ass is pourtrayed in the act of hauling up the sun-god with a rope from the region below. That is one mode of expressing the fact that the moon here represented by the ass was the helper of the sun by night, in his battle against the powers of darkness--gave him a lift up, or, it may be, a ride. Again, in the Persian form of the lunar myth, it is the ass that stands on three legs in the midst of the waters, who is the assistant of Sothis, the dogstar, in keeping time. The three legs of the ass are a figure of the moon in its three phases of ten days each, like the three legs of the frog in the Chinese myth. Also, the head of the ass is an Egyptian hieroglyphic sign which has the numeral value of thirty, or a soli-lunar month. Thus we find the ass fighting on the side of the sun by night in the Egyptian mythos, and against the waters of the deluge, as a timekeeper in the Persian legend. In the Hebrew version the jaw-bone of the ass, a type of great strength, becomes the weapon of power with which Samson slays the Philistines, or fights the sun-god's battle by night against his enemies that lurk in darkness. The ass, as a lunar type, was also represented as the bearer of the solar Messiah, just as the cow carries the sun between her horns as reproducer of his light in the moon. The moon at full was the genetrix under either type. The lessening, waning moon was her colt--the foal of an ass. The new moon, as the young lord of light, came riding in his triumph on the ass, as the new moon on the dark orb of the old mother-moon! Now, in the apocryphal gospel of James, called the Protevangelium, the virgin Mary is described as riding on the ass when Joseph sees her laughing on one side of her face, and crying or being sad on the other! Which corresponds to the light and dark halves of the moon. She is lifted from the ass to give birth to the child of light in the Cave. In the Greek myth Hephaistos ascends from the under-world riding on the ass, the wine-god having made him drunk before leading him up to heaven. In the Hebrew version the Shiloh is to come, binding his ass to the vine, his eyes red with wine, his garments drenched in the blood of the grape, and he is as obviously drunk as Hephaistos. This imagery was set in the planisphere, ages before our era, as the fore-figure and prophecy of that which was to be fulfilled in the Christian history, according to the canonical gospels! Now it can be seen how the Messiah may be said to come riding on an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass, although it is pitiful enough to give one the heartache, to expose the miserable pretences under which this mythical Messiah has been masked in human form, and made to put on the cast-off clothing of the pagan gods, and play their parts once more; this time to prove the real presence of a god in the world.
It was as the mother-moon that Ishtar of Akkad was designated "Goddess Fifteen,"--she being named from the full moon in a month of thirty days. The same fact is signified in the Egyptian Ritual (ch. 80), when the Woman of the moon at full orb exclaims,--"I have made the eye of Horus (the mirror of light), when it was not coming on the festival of the 15th day." She is the Egyptian form of the the swallower of the moon, is impersonated as a Jewish ruler who commands all the innocent little ones to be murdered in order that he may include the child-Christ reborn for the overthrow of him who can only rule in the kingdom of darkness. Now, if we bear in mind that fox, jackal, wolf, and dragon are equally Typhonian types of the evil one, the destroyer, we may possibly interpret a particular epithet applied to Herod, the destroyer, by the Christ in the gospel according to Luke. When Jesus is told that Herod would fain kill him, "he said unto them, Go and say to that fox, behold I cast out devils and perform cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I am perfected." The scene is obviously in the underworld, where the moon-god descended during the three dark nights before he rose again or was perfected on the third day. It was here that the god as Khunsu, the caster-out of demons, or Horus, performed cures and exorcised the evil spirits that infested the departed in their underground passage where the dragon Herod, or the Typhonian reptile Herrut, lurked, and sought to kill the healer of the diseased and deliverer of the dead.
Having identified Herod, the mythical monster, with the dragon, and as the fox, we may carry the parallel a little farther, and perhaps identify him as the traditional murderer of John!
As already shown, in the Christian continuation of the legend, John takes the place of Taht-Aan, the dark one of the lunar twins. John and Jesus are equivalent to Aan and Horus. In the Apocryphal or Legendary Lore, John is often identified with and identified as the primary Messiah! He is so in the Apocryphal Gospel of James. In this, Herod is seeking the life of the Divine child, and he sends his servants to kill John. We read that "Herod sought after John, and sent his servant to Zachariah saying, 'Where hast thou hidden thy son?' and Herod said 'his son is going to be the King of Israel." Here it is John who is to be the infant Messiah whose life is sought by the destroyer Herod, and the fact, according to the true mythos, is that John represents the first and that one of the lunar twins whom Herod, or the Typhonian devourer, does put an end to, because he personates the dark half of the lunation, the waning, lessening moon, that darkens down and dies. In the Zodiac of Denderah we see the figure of Anup pourtrayed with his head cut off; and I doubt not that the decapitated Aan or Anup is the prototype of the Gospel John who was beheaded by Herod. In the planisphere Anup stands headless just above the river of the Waterman, the Greek Eridanus, Egyptian Iarutana, the Hebrew Jordan; and we are told that the Mandaites, who were amongst the followers of John, had a tradition that the river Jordan ran red with the blood which flowed from the headless body of John.
As I have previously pointed out, the Christ of the Gospel according to Luke has several features in common with the moon-god Khunsu, the healer of lunatics and persons possessed, who was likewise lord over the pig, a type of Typhon, the evil power. Khunsu followed Taht, as child of the sun and moon, after Taht had been, so to say, divinized into invisibility. Taht-Khunsu is the visible representative, who registers the decrees of the hidden Deity, Amen-Ra, the god who seeth in secret. He is particularly the god of health and long life. It is said that he gives years to those whom he chooses, solicits the superior powers for an extension of the lease of life, or "asks years" for whomsoever he likes, and increases life in fulness and in length for those who do his will! "Life comes from him, health is in him, Khunsu-Taht, the reckoner of time." This is because he personated that renewal of light and time which was monthly in the moon. Khunsu is the supreme healer amongst the Egyptian gods, more especially as the caster-out of demons and exorciser of evil spirits. He is called the driver-away of obsessing influences, the great god, chaser of possessors, and is literally the lunar deity who cures what are now termed lunatics.
And it is in this character that the Christ of Luke is particularly pourtrayed. Chief of the suffering and afflicted who came to be healed by the Christ were the selhniaxomnoi, or those who were lunatic. Curiously enough they came to him on the mountain, where the swine were feeding--that is, where the moon-god, Khunsu, holds the typical pig in his hand, denoting the casting out of Typhon, the Egyptian devil. For it is on the mount of the moon, or in the moon at full, that Khunsu is depicted as the driver-out of demons and expeller of the powers of darkness, the enemy of Sut-Typhon, the Egyptian Satan, whose presence is represented by the pig.
In the Ute mythology, the Hero, as divine teacher of men, sits on the summit of a mountain to think. He says repeatedly,--"I sat on the top of a mountain, and did think." In the Egyptian Mythos, preserved by the Gnostics, Hermes is the divine teacher, who not only thinks, but preaches the Sermon on the Mount. The transfiguration of Osiris in the mount of the moon occurred upon the 6th day of the new moon. This ascent of the lunar moon after six days is repeated in our gospels, and can be paralleled in a myth of the Buddha's transfiguration on the mount. Here, the six glories of the Buddha's head shone out with a radiance that blinded the sight of mortals and opened the spirit-vision, so that men could see spirits and spirits could see men. It was on the mount of the moon that Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, and at that height it may not have been necessary for him to have shown them, as was explained by a German critic, "in a map." In Buddha's first temptation the dark Mâra causes the earth to turn round, like the potter's wheel, for him to see all the kingdoms of the world, and he promises him that he shall rule the whole four quarters! The quarters are lunar. By comparing the various myths with the Gospel versions, we find that
Sut and Horus = Satan and Jesus.
Anup and Horus = John and Jesus.
The Double Horus = Two-fold Christ.
Khunsu = Christ
The French retain a tradition that the man in the moon is Judas Iscariot, who was transported there for his treason to the Light of the World. But that story is pre-Christian, and was told at least some 6,000 years ago of Osiris and the Egyptian Judas, Sut, who was born twin with him of one mother, and who betrayed him, at the Last Supper, into the hands of the 72 Sami, or conspirators, who put him to death. Although the Mythos became solar, it was originally lunar, Osiris and Sut having been twin brothers in the moon.
The Man in the moon is often charged with bad conduct towards his mother, sister, mother-in-law, or some other near female relation, on account of the natural origin in lunar phenomena. In these the moon was one as the moon, which was two-fold in sex, and three-fold in character, as mother, child, and adult male. Thus the child of the moon became the consort of his own mother! It could not be helped if there was to be any reproduction. He was compelled to be his own father! These relationships were repudiated by later sociology, and the primitive man in the moon got tabooed. Yet, in its latest, most inexplicable phase, this has become the central doctrine of the grossest superstition the world has seen, for these lunar phenomena and their humanly represented relationships, the incestuous included, are the very foundations of the Christian Trinity in Unity. Through ignorance of the symbolism, the simple representation of early time has become the most profound religious mystery in modern Luniolatry. The Roman Church, without being in any wise ashamed of the proof, portrays the Virgin Mary arrayed with the sun, and the horned moon at her feet, holding the lunar infant in her arms--as child and consort of the mother moon! The mother, child, and adult male, are fundamental; and, as Didron shows, God the Father hardly obtains a place in the Christian Iconography for nearly 1200 years.
In this way it can be proved that our Christology is mummified mythology, and legendary lore, which have been palmed off upon us in the Old Testament and the New, as divine revelation uttered by the very voice of God. We have the same conversion of myth into history in the New Testament that there is in the Old--the one being effected in a supposed fulfilment of the other! Mythos and history have changed places once, and have to change them again before we can understand their right relationship, or real significance. In the various aspects of the divine child, born of the Virgin Mother,--the child of prophecy that Herod sought to slay,--the Christ in conflict with Satan as his natural enemy; the Christ who transforms in the waters, and is transfigured on the Mount; the Christ who is the caster-out of demons; the Christ who sends the devils into the herd of swine; the Christ who descends into Hades, or the earth, for three days, to come forth, like Jonah, or as Jonah, from the belly of Hades, or the great fish, the dragon of the waters; who breaks his way through the under-world, as the conqueror of darkness and disease, death and devil; as the saviour of souls, and leader into light; in all these, and other mythical phases, the Christ is none other than the soli-lunar hero, identical with Khunsu, with Samson, with Horus, with Heracles, with Krishna, with Jonah, or with our own familiar Jack the giant-killer. It is just as easy to prove that an historic Christianity never existed as it is to demonstrate that the mermaid, or the moon-calf, the sphinx, or the centaur, never lived. That is, by showing how they were composed as chimeras, and what they were intended for as ideographic types that never did, and never could, have a place, in natural history. For example, Pliny in his natural history describes the moon-calf as a monster that is engendered by a woman only. This chimera of superstition was originally the amorphous child of the mother-moon, when represented by the cow that gave birth to the moon-calf. This moon-calf had the same origin and birth in phenomena as any other child of the Virgin Mother; and the mythical Christ is equally the monster, or chimera, that is engendered of the woman only. This is acknowledged when certain of the Christian Fathers accounted for the virgin motherhood of the historical Jesus, by asserting that certain females, like the vulture, could conceive without the male. For the vulture was the Egyptian type of the virgin-mother, Neith, who boasts in the inscription at Sais, that she did bring forth without the male! Hor-Apollo explains that the Egyptians delineated a vulture to signify the mother, because there is no male in this kind of creature, the female being impregnated by the wind--the wind that becomes the Holy Ghost, or gust, when Mary was overshadowed and insufflated.
In his Apology, Justin Martyr tells the Romans that by "declaring the Logos, the first-begotten of God, our Master Jesus Christ, to be born of a virgin mother, without any human mixture, and to be crucified and dead, and to have risen again and ascended into heaven, we say no more than what you say of those whom you style the sons of Jove." That was true. So far as the mythos went the Christians followed and repeated it after the Pagans; but being uninitiated A-Gnostics they continued the mythos as a human history; and Justin is in the position of a simpleton who would persuade the learned men of Rome that the man in the moon is a human being, and that the celestial virgin had brought forth Time in person, as the child of the Eternal in a cave by the road-side near Bethlehem, by which means the non-existent had become humanly extant. Naturally, the knowers assumed the mental attitude of the right forefinger laid beside the nose!
Such are the mythical bases upon which historic Christianity has reared its superstructure and built its Babel, with the view of reaching heaven by means of this, the loftiest monument of human folly ever raised on earth. Instead of mythology being a disease of language, it may be truly said that our theology is a disease of mythology. For myself, somehow or other, I have been deeply bitten with the desire to know and get at the very truth itself in these matters, even though it unveiled a face that looked sternly and destroyingly on some of my own dearest dreams. The other side of this desire for truth is a passionate hostility to those who are engaged in imposing this system of false teaching and swindle of salvation upon the ignorant and innocent at the national expense. As Celsus said of the Christian legends, made false to fact by an ignorant literalisation of the Gnosis,--"What nurse would not be ashamed to tell such fables to a child?" We also say with him to those who teach these old wives' fables as the Word of God,--"If you do not understand these things, be silent and conceal your ignorance." Any way, we must let go these gods of external phenomena, whether elemental, zootypological, or anthromorphic, if we would discover the divinity within, the mystical Christ of the Gnostics. And we can be none the poorer for losing that which never was a real possession, but only the shadow which deluded us with its seeming substance. To find the true we must first let go the false, and, to adapt a saying of Goëthe's, -- until we let the half gods go, the whole gods cannot come.
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