Jun 292015
 

sunset-on-acacia-tree-sunset-1725750302As has been already explained, he geographical situation of the former Terrestrial Paradise was variously given. The Babylonians placed it in the Delta of the Euphrates; the Greeks in Crete; the pre-Exilic Hebrews at Hebron in Southern Judaea.

It is of the highest theological importance that Jehovah announced himself to Moses as ‘I am that I am’ or (more literally) ‘I am whoever I choose to be’ from the acacia rather than from any other tree; because this constituted a definition of his godhead.

Had he announced himself from the terebinth, as the earlier Jehovah had done at Hebron, this would have been to reveal himself as Bel, or Marduk, the god of Thursday and of the seventh month, the Aramaean Jupiter, the Paeonian Apollo. But from the acacia, the tree of the first day of the week, he revealed himself as the God of the Menorah, the transcendental Celestial God, the God who presently said:

‘Thou shalt have none other Gods but me….for I the Lord they God am a jealous God.’

The acacia is, indeed, a thorny, jealous, self-sufficient tree, needs very little water and, like Odin’s ash, strangles with its roots all other trees growing near i. Uath, the month dedicated to the acacia, was the one in which the annual Hebron Fair took place, and so holy that all sexual congress and self-beautification was tabooed during it: it was the month of the annual purification of the temples in Greece, Italy and the Near East.

The  not yet completed Ages of the World, quoted from Nennius by Gwion, are based on the same planetary cannon:

‘The first Age of the World is from Adam to Noah’. Adam’s was the first human eye to see the light of the sun, or the Glory of God. Sunday is the day of light.’

Robert Graves, The White Goddess

Oct 102012
 

As for Orpheus’ head: after being attacked by a jealous Lemnian serpent (which Apollo at once changed into a stone) it was laid to rest in a cave at Antissa, sacred to Dionysus.

There it prophesised day and night until Apollo, finding that his oracles at Delphi, Gryneium and Clarus where deserted, came and stood over the head crying: ‘Cease from interference in my business; I have borne long enough with you and your singing!’ Thereupon the head fell silent.

Orpheus’ lyre had likewise drifted to Lesbos and been laid up in a temple of Apollo, at whose intercession, and that of the Muses, the Lyre was placed in Heaven as a constellation.

Some gave a wholly different account of how Orpheus died: they say that Zeus killed him with a thunderbolt for divulging divine secrets. He had, indeed, instituted the Mysteries of Apollo in Thrace; those of Hecate in Aegina; and those of Subterrene Demeter at Sparta.

Orpheus’ singing head recalls that of the decapitated Alder-god Bran which, according to the Mabinogion, sang sweetly on the rock at Harlech in North Wales; a fable, perhaps, of the funerary pipes made from alder-bark. Thus the name Orpheus, if it stands for ophruoeis, ‘on the river bank’, may be a title of Bran’s Greek counterpart, Phoroneus, or Cronus, and refer to the alders ‘growing on the banks of’ the Peneius and other rivers.

The name of Orpheus’ father, Oeagrus (‘of the wold sorb’ apple’), points to the same cult, since the sorb-apple (French = alisier) and the alder (Spanish = aliso) both bear the name of the pre-Hellenic River-goddess Halys, or Alys, or Elis, Queen of the Elysian Islands, where Phoroneus, Cronus and Orpheus went after death. Aornum is Avernus, an Italic variant of the Celtic Avalon (‘apple-tree island’)

Orpheus is said by Diodorus of Siculus to have used the old thirteen-consonant alphabet; and the legend is that he made the trees move and charmed wild beasts apparently refers to its sequence of seasonal trees and symbolic animals. As sacred king he was struck by a thunderbolt – that is, killed with a double-axe – in an oak grove at the summer solstice, and then dismembered by the Maenads of the bull cult, like Zagreus’ or of the stag cult, like Actaeon; the Maenads, in fact, represented the Muses.

In Classical Greece the practice of tattooing was confined to Thracians, and in a vase-painting of Orpheus’ murder a Maenad has a small stag tattooed on her forearm. This Orpheus did not come in conflict with the cult of Dionysus; he was Dionysus, and he played the rude alderpipe, not the civilised lyre. Thus Proclus writes: ‘Orpheus,  because he was the principal in the Dionysian rites, is said to have suffered the same fate as the god’ and Apollodorus credits him with having invented the Mysteries of Dionysus.

The Greek Myths, Robert Graves

 

Oct 182010
 

Some say that all gods and all living creatures originated in the stream of Oceanus which girdles the world, and that  Tethys was the mother of all his children.

But the Orphics say that black-winged Night, a goddess of whom even Zeus stands in awe, was courted by the Wind and laid a silver egg in the womb of Darkness; and that Eros, whom some call Phanes, was hatched from this egg and set the universe in motion.

Eros was double-sexed and golden-winged and, having four heads, sometimes roared like a bull, or lion, sometimes hissed like a serpent or bleated like a ram.

Night, who named him Ericepaius and Phaethon Protogenus, lived in a cave with him, displaying herself in triad: Night, Order and Justice. Before this cave sat the inescapable mother Rhea, playing on a brazen drum, and compelling man’s attention to the oracles of the goddess. Phanes created earth, sky, sun and moon, but the triple-goddess ruled  the universe, until her sceptre passed to Uranus.

The Homeric and Orphic Creation Myths, Robert Graves