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The Bull of Heaven

Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate;
And many a Knot unravel'd by the Road;
But not the Master-knot of Human Fate.
Omar Khayam, Rubaiyat quatrain XXXI

One of the most common themes of ancient cultures and their religions is the sacred "Bull of Heaven", yet the average person in the "Christianized" Western world who has a passing familiarity with the Biblical story knows only about the Israelite "Golden Calf" episode. There is no awareness that virtually every ancient culture worshipped the planet Saturn as God, or as the Chief God, and that this planet was known as the Bull of Heaven in these cultures. There is no awareness of the enormity of the involvement of ancient people with the worship of the bull, nor of its pervasiveness, and what is most distressing is that there is inkling of why.

  Marduk is the "bull of Utu". Shiva's steed is Nandi, the Bull. The sacred bull survives in the constellation Taurus.

The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh depicts the killing by Gilgamesh and Enkidu of the Bull of Heaven, Gugalanna, first husband of Ereshkigal, as an act of defiance of the gods. From the earliest times, the bull was Saturnian in Mesopotamia (its horns representing the glorious revolving crescent on Saturn).[

In Egypt, the bull was worshiped as Apis, the embodiment of Ptah and later of Osiris. A long series of ritually perfect bulls were identified by the god's priests, housed in the temple for their lifetime, then embalmed and encased in a giant sarcophagus. A long sequence of monolithic stone sarcophagi were housed in the Serapeum, and were rediscovered by Auguste Mariette at Saqqara in 1851. The bull was also worshipped as Mnevis, the embodiment of Atum-Ra, in Heliopolis. Ka in Egyptian is both a religious concept of life-force/power and the word for bull.

The sacred bull of the Hattians, whose elaborate standards were found at Alaca Höyük alongside those of the sacred stag, survived in Hurrian and Hittite mythology as Seri and Hurri ("Day" and "Night"), the bulls who carried the weather god Teshub on their backs or in his chariot and grazed on the ruins of cities

Bulls were a central theme in the Minoan civilization, with bull heads and bull horns used as symbols in the Knossos palace. Minoan frescos and ceramics depict bull-leaping, in which participants of both sexes vaulted over bulls by grasping their horns.

Bulls also appear on seals from the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Nandi appears in Hindu mythology as the primary vehicle and the principal gana (follower) of Shiva.

In Cyprus, bull masks made from real skulls were worn in rites. Bull-masked terracotta figurines [3] and Neolithic bull-horned stone altars have been found in Cyprus.

The Canaanite (and later Carthaginian) statue to which sacrifices were burnt, either as a deity or a type of sacrifice - Moloch - was referred to as a horned man, and likened to Cronus by the Romans. There may be a connection between sacrifice to the Cretan horned man Minotaur and Cronus' himself. Both Baʿal and El were associated with the bull in Ugaritic texts

Cronus' son Zeus was raised on Crete in hiding from his father. Having consumed all of his own children (the gods) Cronus is fed a boulder by Zeus (to represent Zeus' own body so he appears consumed) and an emetic. His vomiting of the boulder and subsequently the other gods (his children) in the Titanomachy bears comparison with the volcanic eruption that appears to be described in Zeus' battle with Typhon in the Theogony. Consequently, Cronus may be associated with the eruption of Thera through the myth of his defeat by Zeus. The later association between Canaanite religions in which child sacrifice took place Ezek. 20:25-26 and the association of child sacrifice with a horned god (as potentially on Crete and certainly in Carthage) may also be connected with the Greek myth of sending young men and women to the Minotaur, a bull-headed man.

Exodus 32:4 "He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt'."

Nehemiah 9:18 "even when they made an idol shaped like a calf and said, 'This is your god who brought you out of Egypt!' They committed terrible blasphemies."

Calf-idols are referred to later in the Tanakh, such as in the Book of Hosea,[5] which would seem accurate as they were a fixture of near-eastern cultures.

Solomon's "Molten Sea" basin stood on twelve brazen bulls.[6][7]

Young bulls were set as frontier markers at Dan and Bethel, the frontiers of the Kingdom of Israel.

Much later, in Abrahamic religions, the bull motif became a bull demon or the "horned devil" in contrast and conflict to earlier traditions. The bull is familiar in Judeo-Christian cultures from the Biblical episode wherein an idol of the golden calf ((Hebrew: עֵגֶּל הַזָהָב‎‎) is made by Aaron and worshipped by the Hebrews in the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula (Book of Exodus). The text of the Hebrew Bible can be understood to refer to the idol as representing a separate god, or as representing Yahweh himself, perhaps through an association or religious syncretism with Egyptian or Levantine bull gods, rather than a new deity in itself.

Among the Twelve Olympians, Hera's epithet Bo-opis is usually translated "ox-eyed" Hera, but the term could just as well apply if the goddess had the head of a cow, and thus the epithet reveals the presence of an earlier, though not necessarily more primitive, iconic view. (Heinrich Schlieman, 1976) Classical Greeks never otherwise referred to Hera simply as the cow, though her priestess Io was so literally a heifer that she was stung by a gadfly, and it was in the form of a heifer that Zeus coupled with her. Zeus took over the earlier roles, and, in the form of a bull that came forth from the sea, abducted the high-born Phoenician Europa and brought her, significantly, to Crete.

Dionysus was another god of resurrection who was strongly linked to the bull. In a worship hymn from Olympia, at a festival for Hera, Dionysus is also invited to come as a bull, "with bull-foot raging." "Quite frequently he is portrayed with bull horns, and in Kyzikos he has a tauromorphic image," Walter Burkert relates, and refers also to an archaic myth in which Dionysus is slaughtered as a bull calf and impiously eaten by the Titans.[8] In the passion of Dionysus, the god was represented by a bull (as was Osiris, the Apis bull).

For the Greeks, the bull was strongly linked to the Cretan Bull: Theseus of Athens had to capture the ancient sacred bull of Marathon (the "Marathonian bull") before he faced the Minotaur (Greek for "Bull of Minos"), who the Greeks imagined as a man with the head of a bull at the center of the labyrinth. Minotaur was fabled to be born of the Queen and a bull, bringing the king to build the labyrinth to hide his family's shame. Living in solitude made the boy wild and ferocious, unable to be tamed or beaten. Yet Walter Burkert's constant warning is, "It is hazardous to project Greek tradition directly into the Bronze age."[9] Only one Minoan image of a bull-headed man has been found, a tiny Minoan sealstone currently held in the Archaeological Museum of Chania.

The religious practices of the Roman Empire of the 2nd to 4th centuries included the taurobolium, in which a bull was sacrificed for the well being of the people and the state. Around the mid-2nd century, the practice became identified with the worship of Magna Mater, but was not previously associated only with that cult (cultus). Public taurobolia, enlisting the benevolence of Magna Mater on behalf of the emperor, became common in Italy and Gaul, Hispania and Africa. The last public taurobolium for which there is an inscription was carried out at Mactar in Numidia at the close of the 3rd century. It was performed in honor of the emperors Diocletian and Maximian.

Another Roman mystery cult in which a sacrificial bull played a role was that of the 1st-4th century Mithraic Mysteries. In the so-called "tauroctony" artwork of that cult (cultus), and which appears in all its temples, the god Mithras is seen to slay a sacrificial bull.

The practice of bullfighting in the Iberian Peninsula and southern France are connected with the legends of Saturnin of Toulouse and his protégé in Pamplona, Fermin. These are inseparably linked to bull-sacrifices by the vivid manner of their martyrdoms

 

Moloch (Masoretic מֹלֶךְ mōlek, Greek Μολόχ) is the Biblical name relating to a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice. The name of this deity is also sometimes spelled Molech, Milcom, or Malcam.

The name Moloch results from a dysphemic vocalisation in the Second Temple period of a theonym based on the root mlk "king". There are a number of Canaanite gods with names based on this root, which became summarily associated with Moloch, including Biblical מַלְכָּם Malkam "great king" (KJV Milcom), which appears to refer to a god of the Ammonites, as well as Tyrian Melqart and others.

Rabbinical tradition depicted Moloch as a bronze statue heated with fire into which the victims were thrown. This has been associated with reports by Greco-Roman authors on the child sacrifices in Carthage to Baal Hammon,[1] especially since archaeological excavations since the 1920s have produced evidence for child sacrifice in Carthage as well as inscriptions including the term MLK, either a theonym or a technical term associated with sacrifice. In interpretatio graeca, the Phoenician god was identified with Cronus, due to the parallel mytheme of Cronus devouring his children.

Otto Eissfeldt in 1935 argued that mlk was not to be taken as a theonym at all but as a term for a type of fire sacrifice, and that *lĕmōlek "as a molk-sacrifice" had been reinterpreted as the name of a Canaanite idol following the Deuteronomic reform under Josiah (r. 640–609 BC). According to Eissfeldt, this 7th-century reform abolished the child sacrifice that had been happening, despite being unacceptable in the Jewish religion.

The vocalization Molek occurs eight times in the Masoretic Text, predominantly (five times) in Leviticus:
  • Leviticus 18:21 "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD."
  • Leviticus 20:2: "Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones."
  • Leviticus 20:3: "And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name."
  • Leviticus 20:4: "And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not"
  • Leviticus 20:5: "Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people."

Two further occurrences connect the practice with Tophet, a place of sacrifice in the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna, which later acquired the connotation of "Hell"):

  • 2 Kings 23:10: "And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech."
  • Jeremiah 32:35: "And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin."

Tophet or Topheth, Moloch's temple, was divided into seven compartments, also associated with the seven hells.

Isaiah 30:33 has the vocalization melek ("king"), but this is widely accepted as an omission of the Masoretic correctors.:[8] "For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it."

On the other hand, while 1 Kings 11:7 has the vocalization Molek, in "Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon",

The variant Malkam, rendered by KJV as Milcom, is found only three times in Kings[11] (1 Kings 11:5, 11:33 and 2 Kings 23:13).

Later commentators have compared these accounts with similar ones from Greek and Latin sources speaking of the offering of children by fire as sacrifices in the Punic city of Carthage, a Phoenician colony. Cleitarchus, Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch all mention burning of children as an offering to Cronus or Saturn, that is to Baal Hammon, the chief god of Carthage

The 12th-century Rashi, commenting on Jeremiah 7:31 stated:

Tophet is Moloch, which was made of brass; and they heated him from his lower parts; and his hands being stretched out, and made hot, they put the child between his hands, and it was burnt; when it vehemently cried out; but the priests beat a drum, that the father might not hear the voice of his son, and his heart might not be moved.

 

In 1841, both Georg Friedrich Daumer and Friedrich Wilhelm Ghillany published influential works on the topic.[18] These authors came to the conclusion that the Biblical text reflects an original identity of Molek and Yahweh, and that the cult of Yahweh grew out of that of Molek by the abolishing of human sacrifice. The authors find numerous instances of vestigial references to human sacrifice, most notably the law that all firstborns must be "consecrated" or "given" to Yahweh (Exodus 13:2, 22:28).

Gustave Flaubert's Salammbô, a semi-historical novel about Carthage published in 1862, included a version of the Carthaginian religion, including the god Moloch, whom he characterized as a god to whom the Carthaginians offered children. Flaubert described this Moloch mostly according to the Rabbinic descriptions, but with a few of his own additions. From chapter 7:

Then further back, higher than the candelabrum, and much higher than the altar, rose the Moloch, all of iron, and with gaping apertures in his human breast. His outspread wings were stretched upon the wall, his tapering hands reached down to the ground; three black stones bordered by yellow circles represented three eyeballs on his brow, and his bull's head was raised with a terrible effort as if in order to bellow.

In Bertrand Russell's A Free Man's Worship (1903), Moloch is used to describe a particularly savage brand of religion:

The savage, like ourselves, feels the oppression of his impotence before the powers of Nature; but having in himself nothing that he respects more than Power, he is willing to prostrate himself before his gods, without inquiring whether they are worthy of his worship. Pathetic and very terrible is the long history of cruelty and torture, of degradation and human sacrifice, endured in the hope of placating the jealous gods: surely, the trembling believer thinks, when what is most precious has been freely given, their lust for blood must be appeased, and more will not be required. The religion of Moloch—as such creeds may be generically called—is in essence the cringing submission of the slave, who dare not, even in his heart, allow the thought that his master deserves no adulation. Since the independence of ideals is not yet acknowledged, Power may be freely worshipped, and receive an unlimited respect, despite its wanton infliction of pain.

The worship of Baʿal Hammon flourished in the Phoenician colony of Carthage. His supremacy among the Carthaginian gods is believed to date to the 5th century BC, after relations between Carthage and Tyre were broken off at the time of the Punic defeat in Himera.[4] Modern scholars identify him variously with the Northwest Semitic god El or with Dagon.[ citation needed]

In Carthage and North Africa Baʿal Hammon was especially associated with the ram and was worshiped also as Baʿal Qarnaim ("Lord of Two Horns") in an open-air sanctuary at Jebel Boukornine ("the two-horned hill") across the bay from Carthage, in Tunisia.[ citation needed] He was probably never identified with Baʿal Melqart, although one finds this equation in older scholarship.[ citation needed]

Ancient Greek writers identified him with the Titan Cronus. In ancient Rome, he was identified with Saturn, and the cultural exchange between Rome and Carthage as a result of the Second Punic War may have influenced the development of the Roman religious festival Saturnalia.

Kronos can refer to:
  • Cronus, a Titan, the father of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera.
In Greek mythology, Cronus, also known as Kronos (/ ˈkrnəs/ or /ˈkrnɒs/ from Greek: Κρόνος, krónos), was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans, the divine descendants of Uranus, the sky, and Gaia, the earth. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus.

Cronus was usually depicted with a harpe, scythe or a sickle, which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father. In Athens, on the twelfth day of the Attic month of Hekatombaion, a festival called Kronia was held in honour of Cronus to celebrate the harvest, suggesting that, as a result of his association with the virtuous Golden Age, Cronus continued to preside as a patron of harvest. Cronus was also identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.

In Greek mythology, Cronus, also known as Kronos (/ˈkrnəs/ or /ˈkrnɒs/ from Greek: Κρόνος, krónos), was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans, the divine descendants of Uranus, the sky, and Gaia, the earth. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus.

Cronus was usually depicted with a harpe, scythe or a sickle, which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father. In Athens, on the twelfth day of the Attic month of Hekatombaion, a festival called Kronia was held in honour of Cronus to celebrate the harvest, suggesting that, as a result of his association with the virtuous Golden Age, Cronus continued to preside as a patron of harvest. Cronus was also identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.

When Hellenes encountered Phoenicians and, later, Hebrews, they identified the Semitic El, by interpretatio graeca, with Cronus. The association was recorded c. AD 100 by Philo of Byblos' Phoenician history, as reported in Eusebius' Prćparatio Evangelica I.10.16.[

As a result of Cronus' importance to the Romans, his Roman variant, Saturn, has had a large influence on Western culture. The seventh day of the Judaeo-Christian week is called in Latin Dies Saturni ("Day of Saturn"), which in turn was adapted and became the source of the English word Saturday.

In Egyptian mythology, Apis or Hapis (alternatively spelled Hapi-ankh) is a bull-deity that was worshipped in the Memphis region. "Apis served as an intermediary between humans and an all-powerful god (originally Ptah, later Osiris, then Atum)." [quote: Virtual Egyptian Museum]

Apis was the most important of all the sacred animals in Egypt, and, as with the others, its importance increased as time went on. Greek and Roman authors have much to say about Apis, the marks by which the black bull-calf was recognized, the manner of his conception by a ray from heaven, his house at Memphis with court for disporting himself, the mode of prognostication from his actions, the mourning at his death, his costly burial, and the rejoicings throughout the country when a new Apis was found. Auguste Mariette's excavation of the Serapeum at Memphis revealed the tombs of over sixty animals, ranging from the time of Amenophis III to that of Ptolemy Alexander. At first each animal was buried in a separate tomb with a chapel built above it.

The Apis bull was pictured with the sun-disk between his horns, being one of few deities associated with her symbol. When the disk was depicted on his head with his horns below and the triangle on his forehead, an ankh was suggested.

 

Claudieus Ptolemy reported that the inhabitants of Mesopotamia revered the star of Saturn as "Mithras Helios"

Here is an article by Ev Cochrane on the subject.

 

THE BULL AND THE BOAR
By Ev Cochrane   (1982)

My intention in this paper is to expand upon some of the ideas of David Talbott with regard to the Saturnian configuration. The central thesis is that the ancient skies gave rise to a persistent set of images shared by most if not all of the world's peoples, and catastrophes associated with those cosmic images were commemorated, memorised, and imitated in religion, myth, cult, and ritual. Many scholars have noticed the interrelation of myth and ritual, of course, often reducing the former to an explanation or action of the latter. The great weakness of this approach is that it leaves the ultimate origin of ritual unexplained, or if an attempt is made to detail the socio-cultural circumstances which gave rise to these customs it usually invokes primitive conceptions of fertility, the life and death of vegetation, etc.

The entire argument of these scholars rests upon a base of vague and poorly documented hypotheses about what the primitive mind read into common, ordinary, day-to-day happenings. Simply put these arguments are Earth-bound, and the research of Velikovsky and Talbott has alerted us to the dangers of Earth-bound, uniformitarian theories of our historical and cultural past. If the great myths and rituals originated in the aftermath of the unusual, the cataclysmic, by comparing the various traditions we can hopefully arrive at an understanding of what, in fact, constituted the ancient world and cosmos.

 The approach of Talbott and myself takes the ancient testimony as it stands, literally if you will; but since the literal soon gives way and merges with the symbolic, analysis and interpretation will still be necessary. The crucial strategy is that pre-conceived ideas and interpretations must not be allowed to colour or interfere with a literal reading--and if possible, understanding--of the ancient texts.

An example may be in order: if the ancient testimony is consistent in declaring that the planet Saturn once stood at the centre of the heavens of the worship of mankind, Talbott and I seek to understand how this could be. Clearly Saturn's present appearance and actions does not seem to warrant its prominence in ancient religion and myth. The majority of the scholars who habitually deal with this testimony suggest that, on the contrary, when the ancients spoke of Saturn they did not mean the planet Saturn, rather they confused the outermost planet with the sun, or were speaking instead of some hypothetical vegetation-deity. To treat the ancient testimony thus is to mistreat it, and hardly takes seriously the witness bequeathed to us by our ancient forebears.

I'd like to begin this paper with a discussion of the Cosmic Bull. It is common knowledge that many of the world's greatest deities were given a bovine form--Osiris, Shiva, Dionysus, El--the Greek Zeus being no exception. Less known is the fact that these very gods were often identified with the planet Saturn by the ancients themselves, and that Saturn too was often represented as a bull.

[FN] As Talbott has shown there is a simple explanation for these puzzling associations--the planet Saturn was once prominent in the skies, inspiring worship, and it appeared to possess horns.

The Cosmic Bull plays a very conspicuous role in Greek myth and ritual. As a bull Zeus is forever coupling with the great goddesses (Europe, Ino, Hera, etc.) Perhaps the most famous myth concerning the Cosmic Bull is that of Theseus and the Minotaur.

The tale of Theseus' combat with the Minotaur is one of the greatest of the Greek myths and one familiar to every schoolboy. Exactly what this myth means, or what events could have given rise to the tale, however, has been an unsolved mystery for over two thousand years. The consensus of modern scholarship seems to hold that the Minotaur was a symbolic representation of the sun.

Several great scholars have concluded that the myth grew out of sacred mimetic dances which took place upon labyrinthine floors by celebrants outfitted as animals. A.B. Cook gives his conclusions as follows: "Our enquiries into Cretan religion have hitherto led us towards two conclusions. On the one hand, in Cretan myth the sun was conceived as a bull. On the other hand, in Cretan ritual the Labyrinth was an orchestra of solar pattern presumably made for mimetic dance. In view of these results it would seem highly probable that the dancer imitating the sun masqueraded in the Labyrinth as a bull. That, if I mistake it not, is the true explanation of Pasiphae's child, the Minotaur. He was the crown-prince of Knossos in ritual attire, and his bull-mask proclaimed his solar character."[FN]

But who or what did the figure of Theseus represent? Throughout his long discussion of this myth Cook subtly avoids any analysis of the symbology behind Theseus. How can we accept an interpretation of this myth which ignores the central hero and only peripherally touches upon the identity of Ariadne, the myth's famous heroine? In what sense can our sun be said to resemble a bull, be slain, or live in labyrinthine surroundings? If the sun was slain every night by darkness why personify the darkness with Theseus, and what then does Ariadne represent? What would possess men to dress up as animals and dance around in circles making as if at war? And if the myth evolved from ritual, from whence the ritual?

The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur can only be understood by acknowledging the actors as planets and the dancing floor as the heavens. As the bull within the labyrinth we should recognize Saturn within its cosmos of rings and bands. It would be hard to imagine a better metaphor for the tangled and inexhaustibly winding ring-system of Saturn (as revealed by Voyager spacecraft) than the Labyrinth.

One of the favorite pastimes of the ancients seems to have been the attempt to recreate the Saturnian cosmos with monuments and drawings, many of which were of a labyrinthine or maze-like structure. Well over four thousand years ago the Egyptians were decorating their tombs and palaces with structures of a maze-like shape. Across the sea in Britain the Megalithic structures present a similar picture: "Among the monuments bequeathed to us by the Megalithic culture ... are the often gigantic circles of stones to be found in the Islands and coast-lands of northwestern Europe, on the Canary Islands and in N. Africa. These stones, erected sometimes in the shape of concentric circles, sometimes in spiral patterns, are known in Germany as Trojaburgen, ... in England as `troy towns'."[FN]

One prominent scholar has argued that Troy itself was a maze, the word troy being derived from the Celtic root tro, meaning `to turn': "The safest thing to do is to suppose that Homer's Troy and all the other Troys were called after the word used for mazes and labyrinths. Troy was called Troy because it had some quality of a maze."[FN] In my essay on the Trojan war I suggested that Troy,

like Atlantis, was a mythological city symbolizing the ringed-planet Saturn. Thus, as the troy towns were structures composed of concentric circles of stone, so was Atlantis said to be surrounded by concentric circles of water. The scholars are quick to point out that these labyrinthine structures were often associated with death, indeed many seem to be symbolic representations of the Underworld. However few seem to have noticed that many of the deities identified with Saturn were also regarded as gods of the underworld (Osiris, Kronos, Dionysus, etc.) Thus it was across the great ladder of Kronos that the souls must pass to reach their final destination, the Elysian fields.

In my next essay I intend to discuss one of the classic mythological motifs, the hero's harrowing of Hell. There I will attempt to show that these myths involve a Martian hero's visit to the Saturnian cosmos. In Greek mythology Heracles, Odysseus, and Jason are frequently visiting the Underworld, undergoing there their greatest adventures. As one scholar has remarked: "The original and typical Heracles legend, reflected in every legend of the cycle, is the hero's combat with and victory over the death lord himself."[FN] In my essay on the 12 labours of Heracles I showed that many of these death lords, Hades, Geryon, Eurytus, etc., should properly be seen as mythological personifications of the planet Saturn. Clearly the myth of Theseus' adventure within Minos' labyrinth is yet another variation upon this motif, and Minos too has intimate underworld connections.[FN] Perhaps the earliest of these myths tells of Gilgamesh and his encounter with the evil monster Humbaba. Now Humbaba is represented as labyrinthine-faced, his face being entirely composed of intestines. The very same picture is presented with regard to Tlaloc, the great god of the Mexican Indians.[FN] I regard it as near certain that these labyrinthine-faced gods represent the planet Saturn and its associated underworld. Here it is interesting to note the discovery of some Babylonian tablets marked with spiral forms said to represent animal intestines, one of which was inscribed ekal tirini--`palace of intestines.' W.F. Knight, the leading scholar of maze forms, notes that the name Troy has been compared to the word tirani, intestines.[FN]

In my discussion of the troy towns it was noticed that many of these sites are associated with sacred dances: "Everywhere that these ancient sites are found, traditions have been preserved in connection with them, of sacred dances or rounds, ... this dance is transmitted in stories and customs of the Swedish, Danish, N. German and English troy towns; we may include here the `Troy dance' of the Romans, and the labyrinth dance of Crete and Delos."[FN]

The labyrinth dance at Knossos was called the Crane and said to have been invented by Theseus. Plutarch said that, "... it imitates the circuits and exits by means of a certain measure that involves turnings and returnings."[FN] Thus it would appear as if the ancients commemorated the movements of Mars after it had displaced Saturn with a series of dance movements. Several thousand miles from Crete a similar labyrinth dance is still performed in memory of the murder of Hainuwele: "Men and women linked alternately form a huge ninefold spiral. It is a labyrinth, the original model and later the copy of the labyrinth through which men have to pass when they die in order to reach the Queen of Hades and be ordained to human existence again. Hainuwele stands in the middle of the labyrinth, where a deep hole has been dug in the earth. In the slow convolutions of the spiral dance, the dancers press close towards her and finally push her into the pit.[FN] In another place I have provided my reasons for concluding that Hainuwele is a feminine variation upon Osiris and Dionysus, that she should be looked upon as a symbol of Saturn. With this in mind it may be significant that the Ceramese islanders call their dance which parallels that of Theseus the Maro dance.

At this point we can understand why the coins of Knossos dating from 500 BCE represent the labyrinth as a swastika-like design enclosing a star.[FN]  The star and the Minotaur are frequently interchanged, the Minotaur's name Asterion giving away his astral nature. The original labyrinth also enclosed a star, the star Saturn, and this celestial prototype gave rise to the Egyptian, Trojan, and Minoan imitations. Unlike Saturn, our present sun is not surrounded by rings, bands, or nearby satellites, and consequently it has no conceivable relation to the labyrinth design.

The troy towns were also usually associated with a traditional story telling of a virgin goddess imprisoned within the spiraling labyrinth. One researcher who has traced these stories around the world is E. Krause. Cook summarizes Krause's conclusions as follows: "He holds that the original Labyrinth dance represented the rescue of the sun-goddess from the castle of the wintry-demon.

Corresponding with this northern spring-rite was a northern spring-myth, in which the solar heroine (Freya, Brinhilde, etc.) was freed from the prison of a superhuman builder or smith. Among Indians, Persians, and S. Slavs the baleful power was a three-headed monster named Druho, Druja, Draogha, or Trojanu. Dr. Krause argues that the whole story of the Trojan War presupposes this northern myth, with Helene for solar heroine. He thinks the names of Troy-town, Troja-berg, etc., are not due to a diffused tradition of the Homeric Troy, but to the existence of a German word Troie, `fortress, doublet, dance'."[FN]

Krause is definitely on the right track, and the superhuman Smith reminds us of the many Saturnian figures who were smiths--Hephaestus, the Cyclops, etc.--but his conclusions with regard to Helen point to a serious difficulty in the theories of these traditional scholars. The captive Helen is a solar symbol, the labyrinth or troy town is a solar symbol, and so is the monster (Minotaur, Druja, etc.) Many scholars would even have the hero solar. This type of reasoning will simply not account for the origin and meaning of these myths.

Perhaps we can discover where Krause, Cook, Frazer and the others have gone wrong. In the first place, Freya should not be seen as a solar heroine. The Teutonic peoples identified her with the planet Venus. Ariadne likewise shares many characteristics and epithets in common with Athene, the Greek Venus. We have seen that as the Cosmic Bull, Zeus was often coupling with a consort who had taken the form of a cow--Europe, Ino, Hera--all of whom were identified by the Greeks with Isis and/or Ishtar, the Egyptian and Babylonian goddesses of the planet Venus.[FN] Thus I suggest that we recognize Venus as the celestial prototype of the captive heroine, not the sun.

It is my opinion that during the Golden Age of Saturn the planet Venus orbited around in close proximity to the planet Saturn. Thus it is that in the world's mythologies the planet Venus is conspicuous as both the great mother goddess, and as the consort of the great god. In fact, she often reappears as the great god's daughter, as in the myth of Athena's birth, or as in the Andromeda story. All of these mythological variations betray the intimate association of Venus and Saturn. 

Many myths suggest that Venus may have played a role in the down-fall of her consort, Saturn; thus we remember the constant presence of Athena at the side of the great Greek heroes during their adventures, many of which involve the overthrow of Saturn. Perhaps the classic figure in this respect is Clytaemnestra. Ariadne resembles Athena very closely, serving as a helpful guide to Theseus in his attempt to kill the Minotaur and escape the Labyrinth. That Dionysus appeared immediately upon the death of the Minotaur suggested to me that the monstrous bull and the bull-god were related; that Ariadne then married Dionysus suggested her archetypal role as the consort of Saturn.

Recognizing the planet Saturn as the Cosmic Bull can go a long way towards unravelling the mysteries of ancient myth. Can it help us in understanding ritual as well? One of the world's most ancient rituals centres around bull-fighting. The action takes place in a ring (symbolic of the Saturnian cosmos), and was once treated with the utmost solemnity. With regard to the Greek civilization Cook points out: "Few features of the Minoan civilization are more striking than its devotion to the bull-ring. Statuettes, reliefs,paintings, and seal-stones make it abundantly clear that toreadors, male and female, played an important part in the life of the people."[FN] Several of the Greek variations upon the familiar sport of bull-fighting deserve mention here. In Thessaly there was a curious ritual devoted to Poseidon which involved lassoing a bull and flinging it to the ground.[FN] Why should one invent such a ritual? What could be deemed sacred about the lassoing and/or tying up of the symbol of one's deity? In the Argive cult of Apollo Lykeios a wolf was placed in combat with a bull, and the ancients held that the wolf symbolized Apollo and the bull Poseidon, the combat staged to see who would rule the coming year.[FN] Now in Greek and Roman times the wolf was considered the special animal of the planet Mars (as it was around the ancient world), and I have argued that Apollo was originally the planet Mars as Poseidon was Saturn.

The Argives also sacrificed to Poseidon in the guise of a horse. As Poseidon Hippios, Poseidon was intimately associated with horses, and in legend he was regarded as their creator. At his annual festival the Argives flung a horse `adorned with bridles' into the Dine river.[FN] What could possibly be the explanation of such a bizarre form of sacrifice? Remembering Saturn's association with the heavenly waters and Deluge, and Poseidon's role as god of the sea, the answer becomes obvious--it was thus bound that Saturn was flung into the sea. It is probable that this rite had a parallel in Greek myth. I have suggested that the famous legend of Pegasus actually tells of Poseidon in horse guise (as the Minotaur is Poseidon or the Cretan Zeus in bull form), and thus it follows that the ancient story of Athena's bridling of Pegasus describes the role of Venus in binding Saturn with bands or rings. Thus the myth of Athena and Pegasus is a mythological variant upon the mummifying of Osiris by Isis, and the binding of Agamemnon by Clytaemnestra.

In The Saturn Myth David Talbott discusses with masterful thoroughness the celestial configuration associated with the planet Saturn. If the reader will look at Talbott's diagram it will be noticed that the giant planet appeared atop a brilliant column or pillar of light, and that Saturn was surrounded by a band or nimbus of light, much like an egg yolk and its albumen. In the Saturn Myth Talbott restricts himself to pointing out Saturn's role within this configuration, but several considerations have led me to the opinion that the pillar became intimately associated with the planet Mars, the band with Venus.

My own investigations into the role of Mars were greatly aided by conversations with Talbott, and in a rare newsletter of 1977 Talbott briefly outlined his conclusions regarding Mars' position within the configuration.[FN] However, my insights with regard to the celestial prominence of Venus were arrived at independently of Talbott. Let us begin with the planet Mars. As Talbott's diagram makes clear, the pillar supporting Saturn can be visualized in many different ways. Some of the ancient peoples regarded it as a giant sword, a giant leg or phallus, a cosmic mount, a giant serpent, a celestial river or spring, etc. Curiously enough one finds that Mars often shares in all of these associations, leading to the conclusion that Mars played some role in the configuration. In fact it appears that the planet Mars was once stationed directly beneath Saturn in the northern skies, and that between the two planets there was a string of fiery material giving rise to the impression of a single configuration centred on Saturn.

A brief perusal of Greek mythology reveals a good share of these associations, most of which were related to Ares. For example, it is a surprising fact--yet a significant one--that the two greatest Greek cities were founded upon hills or areas sacred to Ares. Thus in Athens we find the Areopagus, the hill of Ares, and in Thebes we remember that Kadmos founded his magnificent palace upon a mound of Ares. Now by and large Ares was an insignificant deity among the Greeks, especially among the Athenians, and this strange coincidence existing with regard to the foundation of the two great cities asks for explanation. The answer to this question most probably lies within ancient cosmology. As Talbott has argued again and again, most of the great civilizations modeled their cities and temples after the celestial city above them (the Saturnian configuration). We have already discussed the celestial origins of the troy towns and labyrinths. If the planet Mars appeared to support Saturn in the ancient skies it follows that the ancient architects would take this fact into consideration in constructing their palaces and temples; so too would the ancient mythographers consider the mound of Mars in their tales.

Before Kadmos could found Thebes upon the mound of Ares he first had to slay a serpent sacred to Ares. The Kadmeia was then built immediately over a spring of Ares, one of the many springs or rivers considered sacred to Ares (the Syracusan Arethusa for instance). In my opinion the mound, serpent, and spring are all equivalent symbols, symbols which have their origin in the celestial configuration.

As I have pointed out elsewhere, it is almost certain that the mythological kingdom of Kadmos properly refers to the cosmos of Saturn. Kadmos is merely Saturn in anthropomorphic guise. Several scholars have noted that he is a double of Dionysus, and like Dionysus, sacred mysteries were once celebrated which invoked Kadmos (hardly possible or likely if Kadmos was a mere mortal).[FN] Most important, however, is the fact that Kadmos' fantastic palace disappeared in a great cataclysm, exactly like the mythological kingdoms of Atlantis, Tantalis, and Troy.

Other scholars besides Talbott and myself have noticed this curious association of Mars and mountains or hills, but they have been unable to provide any plausible explanation for the relationship. For example, Cirlot summarizes the research of Schnieder by calling attention to the relation of Mars to the cosmic tree and pillar: "The Tree of Life, when it rises no higher than the mountain of Mars ... is regarded as a pillar supporting heaven." Jacob Grimm, perhaps the foremost expert when it comes to Teutonic mythology and its philological basis, writes at length of the many European cities which have hills or mounts of Mars. Grimm refers us to the mons Martis in Paris, Marsberg in Westphalia, and Eresberg and Aresburg elsewhere. Grimm shows that these sites should be seen as parallels to the Greek Areopagus.[FN]

During a discussion of the ancient runes of the European peoples Grimm points out the following facts with regard to the sign for Mars: "T=Tyr appears to have been a supremely honoured symbol, and the name of this god to have been specially sacred: in  scratching the runes of victory on the sword, the name of Tyr had to be twice inserted. The shape of the rune **[graphic:    ]** has an obvious resemblance to the old-established symbol of the planet Mars when set upright **[graphic:    ]** ."[FN] Clearly the ancient symbol of Tyr-Mars calls to mind the celestial pillar-phallus, and also the sword with which the god of war was worshipped and usually identified.

At this point several other great myths deserve brief mention. In another essay I argued that the myth of Jason's capture of the Golden Fleece had its origin in a conjunction of Mars and Saturn, the Golden Fleece symbolizing the golden planet. Other scholars have noticed the relationship between the Fleece and Zeus; thus, Cook shows that the Fleece had reference to the sacrificial animal: "it was regularly called the `fleece of Zeus' or the `Zeus-fleece.' These names may be taken to imply that Zeus was originally believed to be, not merely the god to whom as to an owner the fleece belonged, but the very animal from which the fleece was stripped. Hence to stand upon the fleece, or to have the fleece carried around one, was to claim identification with the deity."[FN] Thus in the myth of Jason and the capture of the Golden Fleece we are presented with a close mythological parallel to the capture of the bull by Heracles and Theseus. In a very real sense the Golden Fleece and the Minotaur are identical, both being symbols of the Cretan Zeus, the planet Saturn.

In any case the important point for us here is that the Fleece was said to be hung from a giant rock amidst a precinct sacred to Ares, guarded by the serpent of Ares. It is virtually the same scenario as the foundation-site of the Kadmeia and suggests that once again we are met with an image of Saturn resting atop Mars. For even more dramatic examples of the mount of Mars I will now turn to a quick consideration of several Deluge myths.

As I have pointed out elsewhere, the mythus of Noah is riddled with Saturnian associations. The flood of Noah was the Deluge associated with the planet Saturn, and both Noah and the ark are symbolizations of the golden planet. The most significant element in the myth, however, may well be the tradition that the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. It is safe to say that Jim Irwin and his buddies will not tread upon the resting place of Noah's ark until they take another space voyage, this time to the red planet.

That the phrase `mountains of Ararat' refers to the mountain of the planet Mars is a crucial point in the thesis of this essay. According to the results of modern scholarship the phrase at one time connoted the kingdom Urardu or Urartu, which flourished from the ninth to the seventh centuries BCE, and lay between the Aras and upper Tigris rivers.[FN] Urartu is an Assyro-Babylonain name for the kingdom of Aras, signifying something like `highlands.' The Aras river runs along what is now the border between the USSR on the north, and Turkey and Iran on the south. From the plain of the river Aras rises the great mountain range of Ararat, its twin peaks being seven miles apart. Since we have seen that the name Ares often became attached to hills, rivers, and the foundation sites of the great Greek kingdoms it will come as no surprise to find the same root ar (or Aras) behind this ancient kingdom and its rivers and mountains.

Throughout the Near-East the root ar signifies mountain or hill. Thus in Hebrew the word for mountain is har, and we remember the Palestinian Armageddon, the mythical mountainous battleground which has become a symbol for the final great war. To the east of Mecca lies the sacred hill Arafat, the hill prominent for its ritualistic role in the Islamic pilgrimage. Legend has it that Adam and Eve met again at Arafat after being cast out of paradise.[FN] Further north we find the cosmic mountain of the Iranians with the same root--Hara Berezaiti. Clearly this is no local phenomenon restricted to Greece.

To establish the imitate relationship between Ares, mountains and the planet Mars even further we will have to briefly reconsider Ares in his primal form, as a boar. It was as a boar that Ares gored to death the beautiful Adonis, whom most scholars acknowledge as a mythological parallel to Dionysus and Osiris. A boar was also held responsible for the deaths of Osiris, the Norse Freyr, and the Cretan Zeus.  

Now I have followed many Greek scholars in viewing Ares as a foreign deity imported by the Greeks,[FN] and this led me to suspect that the Greeks may well have had other gods whom were modelled after the planet Mars. Such a god I found in Apollo. The boar was his sacrificial animal as well, and Farnell has argued that Apollo was in some sense identified with the boar by his worshippers. But boar easily becomes bora or boris, words signifying mountain.[FN] Thus we recall Apollo as a Hyperborean, Hyperborean having reference to the heavenly mountains. Now boar- bora, like Ares-ar, came to signify and be associated with mountains throughout the ancient Near-East. For example, the heavenly mountain of the Hebrews is called Tabor, a word which also conveys the meaning of navel or omphalos. I need hardly remind the reader of Apollo's intimate association with the omphalos at Delphi and elsewhere, an association which stems from the cosmic pillar, it being the navel or centre of the heavens. For the Teutonic peoples the heavenly mountain was called Himinbiorg, or Himingbjor, the `heavenly hills.'[FN] This very same boar root can be traced all the way back to the famous temple-mountain of the Babylonians, the Borobudur.

The Greeks had their own Deluge myth, of course, with Deucalion replacing Noah. In light of our findings with regard to the etymological roots of Ararat the resting place of Deucalion's ark takes on added significance.

Deucalion's ark was said to have landed at Lykoreia, a peak or city on Mt. Parnassos. Lykoreia means `wolf-mountain,' or `wolf-mountain city.'[FN] Here we remember that as Apollo Lykeios, Apollo often took the form of a wolf, that in fact wolves were considered sacred to him (with the boar), and thus it becomes significant to find Apollo with intimate associations with Lykoreia. For it was at Lykoreia that the Delphic oracle first stood, founded at the time of Deucalion's flood. At any rate this was the opinion of Strabo, and he was supported by others; thus Fontenrose reports that: "When Menander Rhetor says that Delphi was founded immediately after the flood he refers to the same legend; it was the ancient seat of the Delphoi, Lykoreia, that was built then."[FN]

The Delphic oracle was founded at Lykoreia because Lykoreia and Apollo are one and the same, the planet Mars, here as wolf-mountain, there as wolf-hero. It is no coincidence that the Greeks, like the Romans and many other peoples of antiquity, regarded the wolf as the special animal of the planet Mars.

Several scholars have called attention to the close resemblance between Deucalion and Dionysus; this resemblance is not superfluous, Deucalion, Dionysus, and Noah all symbolize the planet Saturn. Both Dionysus and Deucalion were represented as being concerned with the primeval tending of the vine. Like Noah, Deucalion plants the vine immediately after his landing. Curiously enough, Diodorus reports that Dionysus died in Deucalion's flood, but that after the rains had ceased Dionysus miraculously rose from the dead. More specifically, Diodorus says that "then Dionysus as the vine was revived by the flood rains and grew again."[FN]

In my opinion the prototype for these mythological traditions regarding the vine is once again the celestial pillar, or the debris that stretched between Saturn and Mars. When Saturn became aligned with Mars after the flood a string of debris was discharged by the giant planet in the direction of Mars, where it remained in a state of cosmic charge. By some this was seen as the planting of the vine, by others, perhaps, as a giant serpent (Kadmos and Ares' serpent, etc.) In any case it is certainly interesting to find that "Kadmeia (Thebes) too was said to have been founded after Deucalion's flood."[FN]

The Kadmeia was founded after Deucalion's flood because this was when Saturn reappeared atop the celestial pillar or mount, having been disturbed or obscured prior to and leading up to the flood by Mars. With the landing of the ark and the planting of the vine, the construction of the Kadmeia atop the hill of Ares, the cosmos resumed once again some measure of stability. Dionysus rose and lived once more. It is because of the pillar descending from Saturn that the vine and Dionysus can be equated. The vine is thus a mythological parallel to Ares' serpent, sword, or spring. All four descend from, or appear to support aloft, the Saturnian ark or palace. Here it is interesting to note that a sacred golden vine was a prominent attribute of Priam's Troy, as it was in the myth of Jason and the pursuit of the Golden Fleece.[FN] And Troy, like the Kadmeia and Atlantis, was said to have disappeared in a great cataclysm--a flood associated with the reign of Tantalus (Saturn)--only to reappear in all its glory during the time of Priam.[FN] And as Heracles-Mars gained great renown for his sacking of Troy so too was he cursed for destroying Syleus and his vineyard. Finally, I recall the Hebrew psalm about the boar destroying the vine, the boar later becoming in Christian symbology the devil, destroying the Lord's vineyard.[FN]

It is the intimate association between Mars and the cosmic mount that accounts for the fact that so many of the great Greek heroes are born upon mountains (Heracles, Jason, Peleus, Oedipus, etc.) As I've pointed out elsewhere, it can also account for some of their names. The Saturnian configuration also accounts for the fact that most of the great Martian heroes are notable for their swords, and for the fact that Ares was worshipped as a sword. Some myths make it explicit that the Martian hero served as a support of the heavens. Thus it was said that the shoulder of Pelops went to form a portion of the Palladium, the most famous Greek symbol of the heavenly pillar. As I have shown elsewhere, Pelops was a Martian hero, the shoulder formed part of the Palladium because Mars formed a part of the heavenly prototype for the Greek Palladium.

It is my opinion that one of the greatest of the Greek rituals commemorated the role of Mars as the heavenly mount, the Stepteria. Like the Attic Pythia, the Stepteria celebrated the murder of the Python with a ritual enactment involving a youth representing Apollo; tragic choruses being dedicated to Python. In this ritual the youth snuck into a temple-hut symbolizing the abode of the Python, and then made his escape by running some kind of gauntlet. As Frazer has shown, this ritual has parallels from around the world.[FN]

In my last essay I argued that this ritual and its attendant myth told of the fall of Saturn at the hands of Mars. As several scholars have shown, the Python shares many features in common with Dionysus and it is probable that they were originally identified.[FN] Thus in Apollo's murder of Python I recognize a parallel to his murder of Adonis or Hyacinthus, both of whom wereSaturnian deities lamented for by tragic choruses.

The distinctive part of this ritual, however, is that a sacred altar was overturned during the murder's reenactment. In my opinion the altar represents the planet Mars--or at least the Saturnian pillar--which, when it was overturned or moved, caused the displacing or rocking of the planet Saturn. This is the Samson motif so often associated with the great Martian heroes. I was led to this opinion by the research of Talbott and by my finding that the Greek word for the heavenly altar was Ara.[FN] Thus I suggest that the planet Mars may have served as the prototype for the heavenly altar Ara, as well as the heavenly mountain, Ararat.

Interestingly enough, one famous scholar has argued that the Stepterion once commemorated the fall of Troy and the burning of Priam's palace.[FN] This theory has great merit; in fact it follows if both Troy and the abode of Python symbolized the Saturnian cosmos.

In concluding this essay I'd like to touch upon one final myth which will perhaps allow us to bring together several of the hitherto isolated motifs and arguments. The Cretans used to tell of the deeds and death of one Talos, a giant bronze monster whose fiery appetite recalled that of Moloch, the Biblical ogre of child-sacrifice. The death of Talos was a curious one: it is said that he had a single vein which ran from his neck down to his heels, where it was stoppered by an iron nail. Talos died when this nail was somehow removed causing him to bleed to death.

Now Talos was also known by the name of Tauros--i.e. the bull--and Cook calls attention to the similarities between Talos and the Minotaur: "The resemblance of the stone-throwing Talos on the coins of Phaistos to the stone-throwing Minotaur on the coins of Knossos is noticeable: the stones in either case may represent suns, or stars, and such may have been the original significance of the stone-throwing Kyklops."[FN] Cook's reference to the Cyclops is significant, for besides the fact that I have argued that the Cyclops is a mythological personification of Saturn (as has Talbott), the Cyclops as well as the Minotaur was represented as living in a labyrinth. Thus it is significant that the ancients equated Talos with Kronos--the planet Saturn.[FN] 

Talos' death deserves closer scrutiny. As Graves points out, there were several versions of his fall, all of which involve a tragic death typical of that of a sacred king.[FN] In one version Talos is thrown off a cliff, in another he dies from a wound to his heel. In the most popular version--where he bleeds to death from the removal of the nail--I suggest that we have yet another example of the Samson motif, where a disturbance to the cosmic pillar leads to the fall of the god. The collapse of the Saturnian pillar produced a flood, symbolized here, perhaps, by the downward flow of Talos' divine ichor. But as we have seen, it was planet Mars (Samson) that disturbed the pillar leading to the flood. Have we anything in the Talos myth alluding to Mars? It is possible that in the iron nail we have an obscure reference to Mars. More explicit is the myth which makes Daedalus murder Talos because of the bronze giant's incestuous relations with Perdix (sister of Daedalus and mother to Talos).

Because of his role in the murder of Minos and the fall of Icarus--both Saturnian figures--Daedalus should probably be equated with Mars. As I have shown, Minos appears to be an alter ego of Poseidon (also Saturn I believe). As the consort of Talos, Perdix should be equated with the planet Venus. Thus it is probably significant that the name means `partridge,' a sacred bird of Aphrodite (And Aphrodite, of course, was equated with the planet Venus).

As Graves points out, as a giant Smith Talos closely resembles Hephaistos the smith-god.[FN] As Hephaistos was hurled from Olympus so was Talos hurled from the Acropolis. And as the consort of Talos may recall Aphrodite, so did Hephaistos marry Aphrodite. But the most important clue with regard to the original identity of Perdix is the fact that she hung herself out of grief for Talos. This recalls the tragic demise of so many great Venusian figures: Ariadne, Helen, Jocasta, Phaedra, etc.

In concluding his discussion of the great bull gods and their cults Cook argues that both the Minotaur and Talos are essentially connected with Kronos--and of course he was aware of the Greek identification of Kronos and the ringed planet--yet he erroneously concludes that both of these celebrated bulls symbolized our present sun. This preconception leads Cook into a theoretical labyrinth of no escape and many a ridiculous position. For example, noting that many of the great bull-gods were also thunder-gods Cook states: "These two conceptions of storm-god and sun-god, which to our way of thinking seem so diametrically opposed, are by no means incompatible."[FN] Later Cook approvingly cites Jastrow's observation that, "in many mythologies the sun and lightning are regarded as correlated forces."[FN] 

But our present sun has no apparent relation to thunder and lightning. Yet as Velikovsky, Talbott, and myself have shown, the planet Saturn was intimately associated with electrical phenomena- -lightning, thunder, wind, etc. In fact, as the recent space probes have shown, Saturn is still the scene of intense electrical activity. Mythologically the Saturnian pillar was often judged to be the cause of the meteorological disturbances. Thus in Mexico it was the celestial leg of Huracan (Saturn) that was believed responsible for the wind and storms.[FN] The same beliefs can be traced all around the world; thus in China we are met with the curious image of a giant celestial bull whose single leg produces the lightning and wind. It was these Saturnian thunderings that the Greeks sought to imitate in their rituals and mysteries with drums made of the sacred bull's hide. The same meteorological significance must be assigned to the sacred bull-roarers.

In conclusion, Talos, like Osiris, Dionysus, Zeus, Humbaba, and the Minotaur, was clearly a celestial being; to this extent we can agree with Cook's superb analysis of the myths. The legends associated with these figures, however, cannot be understood by reference to our present sun, rather by reference to the historical past of Saturn. If the scholars would only trust the ancient testimony they would soon discover the fascinating truth contained therein, the truth that inspired, haunted, and possessed our forebearers.

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