Re: Neptune, Poseidon, Danu, etc.

From: cas111jd@...
Message: 7872
Date: 2001-07-14

Good points all, Mr. Caws.

I find it intriguing that so many deities and heroes became
identified with their arch-enemy, the 'world serpent' in its various
forms, to an extent that they were even depicted as it, with
characters such as Cadmus turning into one as well as slaying one. I
don't know how to explain it. It must be some trophy thing.

The 'world serpent' is, IMO, a central if not THE central aspect of
early religion. The similarities from India to Britain are striking.

As per Athena, a few interesting comments: I want to see her as
related to Valkyries and maybe some Celtic war goddesses, but this is
a bit convoluted. Some see her as androgynous, and for good reason,
IMO. We should note in respect to her supporting role of the dragon
slayer that the Hittites had, in one version, an Astarte-like goddess
supporting the thunder god and a hero to slay Illuyankas. Astarte/
Ishtar, etc., of course was identified by the Greeks with Aphrodite,
but as a war goddess she still overlapped in functions with Athena.

I think the Anatolian 'Great Mother' goddess known to the Greco-
Romans as Cybele also had this androgynous character as well as
mulitple functions. Some coins and objects from Cyprus even depicted
Aphrodite with a beard. Then there was Agdistis of Phrygia, who was
some sort of androgynous/ bisexual/ hermaphrodite thing that drove
Attis crazy and castrate himself (Phrygian version).

So this is where it gets peculiar: Athena is associated with a
certain Atthis, who was the mother of Erichthonius in one myth (IAW
Apollodorus). This name recalls the name of Attis as well as
Atargatis, who in Syria was 'the Divine Ata'.

As Attis mean 'lord', might not Atthis mean 'lady'? Even in the
Mycenaean Age she was called Atana Potnia ('Athena the Great Lady').
There was also Atargatis in Syria, a late version of Ishtar/Astarte,
who was 'the Divine Ata'.

This lord and lady relationship is paralleled in Norse mythology by
Frey and Freya ('lord' and 'lady'), who were not Aesir, but adopted
into Asgard from the Vanir deities.

Freya's similarities with the southern goddesses are also weird to
explain. First was her human lover Otter (Attis?) whom she turned
into a boar (the same animal that killed Attis AND Adonis (same dying-
and-resurrection savior-god and myth). More weird, she had a chariot
pulled by cats. CATS!? Where'd she get that? Cybele had a chariot
pulled by lions - that's where!

How, when and why these aspects of the Near Eastern 'great goddess'
made it to Scandinavia and managed to survive as the Vanir goddess
Freya I don't know. My speculation is that she was taken up into the
Balkans with the Neolithic farmers before the place was overrun by
the IE kurgan and Battle-Axe peoples. These Neolithic farmers must
have pervaded the Danubian/Linear Ware culture of the upper Danube
and adjacent areas. Their gods and goddesses the proto-Scandinavians
recognized as the Vanir, and they kept a few that they liked.

No lions in northern Europe - just cats I guess (should by lynx,

--- In cybalist@..., MrCaws@... wrote:
> --- In cybalist@..., cas111jd@... wrote:
> > The Greek gods and goddesses had enough attributes, myths, and so
> on
> > to relate them to just about anyone you want.
> > It seems to me, though, that Eurynome has the closest connection
> > the Near Eastern 'cosmic ocean' goddess and her serpentine
> > According to one source, Hera was the parthenogenic mother of
> Typhon,
> > which would also associate her with this Near Eastern role. As
> > been already noted, Athena was connected with the serpent-god,
> > this also works as its slayer - first supporting Zeus against
> Typhon
> > and then Perseus against the snake-haired Medusa.
> I think you are right about Eurynome. However, I think the Serpent
> consort of Eurynome may differ from Poseidon or Yam or Enki in that
> he was disposed of early on, as per Ouranos via Kronos or Mummu via
> Enki, while the latter deities were all active in their respective
> pantheons. I'll get to the Athena stuff in a bit.
> > PS: Cadmus and Apollo were both serpent slayers - probably
> > of the same god and myth, IMO. Strangely, Apollo's image was as a
> > dragon in his temple on Delos. This serpent/dragon slayer having
> this
> > beast as his totemic animal is also found quite commonly in the
> > religions, with clans adorning their coats of arms with it,
> claiming
> > descent from a dragon slayer. The Welsh have one on their
> > flag. The Vikings carved them on their ships, Anglo-Saxons
> > them on their shields.
> > The aegis of Zeus and Athena had Medusa's head, which was
> > derived from Medusa as a dragon/serpent. The aegis was emblematic
> of
> > storms, with Athena and Zeus both storm deities.
> Both Apollo and Athena wore the emblems of defeated monsters,
> and Medusa respectiveley. Both of these incidents involve
a "cultural
> hero" type figure-Apollo's directly, and Athena via Perseus.
> I think that the archetypal "cultural hero" role usually involves
> triumph over a dragon or related monster. . Apollo plays the good
> Freudian hero, killing the evil serpent that attacked his mother in
> some versions of the story. This version seems to go back to an old
> Canaanite myth where Yam, in serpent form, attacked Laton(Leto).
> The story of Perseus and the Medusa also fits this archetypal hero
> tale exceedingly well, with a few twists. Now, the wicked monster
> figure is separated from the evil father. And it is Athena who ends
> up in possession of Medusa's head. I would argue that Athena is
> definetly a sort of cultural hero, but that gender constructions
> among other things mandated her role as an indirect agent in the
> story.
> I think that both of these stories involve a theme of succession
> well. The Freudian hero tale is a story of the young establishing
> dominance over their parent-figures.
> Perhaps Athena's role in defeating Medusa represents a conquest of
> goddess that is now playing the role of a monster. Some
> think that most demons are old gods that have been demonized by
> proponents of newer faiths or by a populace that now views the
> divinity as irrelevent or frightening. Thus, the emblem of the
> would be also a symbol demonstrating Athena's dominance over an old
> goddess(Or older version of herself) that still haunted the mythic
> consciousness of the area.
> Likewise, Apollo's image as a dragon could represent his
> over the old dragon prophet, Python. As Pythian Apollo, he plays
> role of the dragon he killed.
> > --- In cybalist@..., "João S. Lopes Filho" <jodan99@...> wrote:
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: <MrCaws@...>
> > > To: <cybalist@...>
> > > Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2001 4:50 PM
> > > Subject: Re: [tied] Neptune, Poseidon, Danu, etc.
> > >
> > >
> > > > 1: I agree, but is this necessarily just PIE? Sumerian Lord of
> > > > Underground waters Enki is pretty old,
> > > > 2: So a grafting on of an IE deity to a non-IE or at least
> > different
> > > > IE Lord of Waters perhaps?
> > >
> > > Like all main great Greek gods, Poseidon is a very complex
> > It's hard
> > > to distinguish IE and non-IE traits. There's a large amount of
> > > superpositions.
> > >
> > > > 4:Enki was sometimes depicted as a serpent, other times as a
> > fish. He
> > > > seemed to be at the head of the Sumerian pantheon at one point
> (In
> > my
> > > > opinion, anyway). Heads of the pantheon are often consorts of
> the
> > > > goddess and often have serpent attributes.
> > > > I am interested in the Hephaistos comparison-What traits do
> > see
> > > > in common?
> > >
> > > I think Hephaistos had a role as a sort of consort of Athena
> > least in
> > > Athens). His role of a consort of the Great Goddess, but he
> bother
> > her and
> > > she cast him below. This myth has many counterparts across
> > and
> > > Western Asia. I think
> > > it's the main source of legends of quarrels between a god and
> > goddess (the
> > > god is allways defeated) : Poseidon x Hera in Argos; Poseidon x
> > Athena in
> > > Athens. I'd also include some interesting couples:
> > > Ares (father of the Kadmus serpent) and Aphrodite in Thebas.
> > > Kekrops/Erikhthonios and Athenas in Athens (Hephaistos is
> > considered the
> > > father of snake-bodied Erikhthonios)
> > > Python and Leto in Delphi and Delos.
> > > Eden's Snake and Eva.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > 5. The consort of the goddess is often a Lord of the
> > > > figure such as this. I definetly think there are reasons to
> > connect
> > > > Poseidon to this archetype/role as well. I wonder if this
> > reflects an
> > > > earlier role he played in old Mediterranean/Near Eastern myth?
> > > > 6.Hmmm. I will have to get back to you on that one too.
> > >
> > > Yes, the Lord of Wilderness was the Goddess's consort in Old
> > European myths.
> > > I'd like to add to the trais of Poseidon his relation to
> > Yam, the
> > > Serpentlike God of Sea. His consort was the beautiful Athtart
> > think she's
> > > the source of Greek Amphitrite)
> > >
> > > > Mr. Caws
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >