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The Original Star of Dawn
Let me begin by stating that this paper is a shortened version of a much longer paper, titled "Morning Star," which is to be published in AEON at a future date. Having said as much, I wish only to add that, obviously, there is a substantial amount of information concerning the subject of my paper that will not here be gone into. Even so, what I shall be able to divulge in the short half hour allotted me should be of adequate interest and while the evidence I shall present cannot be considered to be complete, it should be sufficient as a foundation on which the longer paper will be based.
The Star of Dawn is merely a different designation for that celestial object which has gone down in the mytho-historical records of various ancient nations as the Morning Star, which entity is usually identified as the planet Venus. The impetus behind my research into this most fascinating subject was supplied by a paper written by Moe Mandelkehr in which he asserted that the mythological Morning Star was not originally the planet Venus. And this bears on an old dispute because, unfortunately, it has long been the habit of modern mythologists to identify the mythological Morning Star of various ancient nations as the planet Venus. This is because, in its periodical heliacal risings, Venus appears as a bright star shining at dawn before the rising of the Sun. It is often forgotten that: (a) the mytho-historical record speaks of more than one Morning Star and (b) Venus is not the only heliacal riser.
Thus, for instance, being the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury not only revolves within the Earth's orbit but within that of the planet Venus itself. Mercury thus exhibits some of the aspects presented by Venus. Although less bright than Venus, it, too, appears as an evening and morning star, a fact that was well known and recorded by the ancients, as, for instance, by Ptolemy, but also by the Assyro-Babylonians who alluded to Nebo, their name for Mercury, as the morning star which announces the new age.
An Evening Star and Morning Star were also worshipped by the Skidi branch of the Pawnee Indians, who formerly inhabited the valley of the Platte river in Nebraska-and here it is fitting to state that I owe some of what follows to my friend Milton Zysman, whose research into the lore of the Skidi Pawnee is well known in Velikovskian circles. To the Skidi, the Evening Star was female, the Morning Star male.
That the Pawnee Evening Star was Venus there seems to be no doubt. The motions ascribed to this "star" tally with those of the planet. The Evening Star was described as appearing evening after evening as it slowly climbed half way up the western sky. It was then described as sinking slowly back until devoured by the Sun. After that, it was described as reappearing west of the Sun and in the morning.
The unmistakable implication is that the Evening Star deity of the Pawnee was Venus in both its evening and morning aspects -which raises the question: What astronomical object did the Pawnee Morning Star represent?
Morning Star's pre-eminence among the Pawnee has now been stressed by many an anthropologist and researcher. This pre-eminence is such that no writer can treat of this north American Indian band without wondering how this star acquired such significance in the religious belief of these people.
Morning Star was represented as a young and virile warrior painted red whose feathery head-dress was dyed the same color. Moreover, the star itself was described as having actually been red. The beliefs associated with this astral deity are impressive to say the least and, although time will not here permit us to survey them, let it suffice to say that Morning Star was believed to have "caused other worlds to crumble before ours was created" and that "when the time comes for ours to end it will be because of Morning Star."
What star was this that it could destroy worlds? Immanuel Velikovsky had no doubt that the Pawnee Morning Star was Venus and, perhaps, he should not be berated for this presumption since he was merely following what appeared to be the general rule since, as already stated, the morning stars of other nations had always been understood to refer to Venus.
As we have seen, the Evening Star deity of the Pawnee actually filled both roles of Venus' dual aspect. But this is not the only reason for discarding Venus as the true identity of Morning Star. The main reason behind this rejection is the fact that the motions attributed to the Pawnee Morning Star do not tally with those of Venus. Morning Star, for instance, was addressed with these words: "You Warrior-in-the-East, Great Star, shall, on your journeys from the east to the west, stay with the Bright Star in the west."
Great or Big Star, Warrior-in-the-East, or u-Pirikucu-these were Pawnee appellations for Morning Star; Bright Star was Venus as Evening Star, also called White Star Woman. According to the invocation just expressed, Morning Star traversed the entire arc of heaven to join Venus. Venus itself does not traverse the entire arc; as we have seen, and as is widely known, it only climbs about half way to the zenith when it is then seen to turn back. No inner planet can be seen to traverse the entire arc of the sky. As seen from Earth, only an outer planet can be seen to accomplish this celestialfeat.
As Doug Chamberlain reported, those who investigated the Morning Star problem of the Pawnee reached different conclusions. In spite of the evidence to the contrary, some continued to suspect Venus. Others opted for Mars or Jupiter, while some even suggested stars rather than planets.
In an endeavor to settle the issue, the archaeoastronomer Von del Chamberlain decided to use the Albert Einstein Spacearium of the National Air and Space Museum to run the skies back to 1800-during which time the Pawnee had still been observing Morning Star-and then project the system forward by 200 years. What he saw screened on the planetarium dome convinced him beyond a reasonable doubt that the Morning Star of the Skidi Pawnee was indeed Mars, a conclusion that has since been accepted by most anthropologists and archaeo-astronomers.
Chamberlain emphasizes that the five most reliable recorded Morning Star ceremonies-held in 1817, 1827, 1838, 1902, and 1906-all took place after Mars had completed its journey from the dawn to the western early-evening sky.
That this should have been suspected from the start is indicated by what Linton had originally written concerning the sacrifice which the Skidi Pawnee used to conduct in honor of this "star":
"The actual time of the performance of the sacrifice is not fully known, but it seems to have been made in the late spring or summer of years when Mars was morning star."
There is a lesson to be learned from this. As Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend warned, one should never accept the morning and/or evening stars contained in the mytho-historical record of any nation as necessarily referring to Venus. A planet, after all, does not have to be an inner one in order to temporarily appear as a morning or evening star; any planet, or star for that matter, rising or setting heliacally will fill the bill.
There is, however, a slight snag to all this. While any planet or star can appear as a morning star while rising heliacally, only an inner planet can do so consistently. When all is said and done, it is this invariability that has earned Venus its well known appellation of Morning Star.
Also-Mars' periodicity as a morning star is shared by a multitude of other heavenly bodies. Why, then, was Mars singled out by the Skidi Pawnee as their prime Morning Star deity? Could it perhaps be that, at some remote time in the past, Mars was somehow an inner, rather than an outer, planet, as Lynn Rose had earlier suggested? Or did the appellation Morning Star once have an entirely different connotation, one derived from some other peculiarity that had nothing to do with heliacal risings?
In Mayan lore, Morning Star received the name sastal ek, which means "Bright Star," an appellation that, as we have seen, was also reserved by the Pawnee for Venus as Evening Star. And, in fact, it is the consensus among Mayanists that the Morning Star of these people was the planet Venus.
In a recent book, Edwin Krupp has informed his readers that:
"Venus was observed systematically in ancient Mexico and identified with the god the Aztec called Quetzalcóatl, the 'Feathered Serpent'."
Krupp, of course, is not alone in accepting the identification of Quetzalcoatl as the planet Venus and/or Morning Star, since this identification has been stressed by many an authority since the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Thus one should not blame Velikovsky who, on the testimony of Seler, also adhered to the identification, as so did many of his followers. As the British researcher Jill Abery indicated in 1987, however, the civilizing attributes associated with Quetzalcoatl, like those of Osiris in Egypt, would appear to cast the god in the role of Saturn since, in the mythologies of other nations, it is the Saturnian, and not the Venerian, deity who is usually presented as the civilizer of mankind.
What seems to have confused the issue, and many a mythologist, of course, is the Mesoamerican belief that when Quetzalcoatl died, his heart turned into the Morning Star. "The god's heart, like a great spark, flies up _ to become a new and splendid divinity, the morning star."
The Anales de Cuauhtitlán relate the sequence of events:
"Truly they say that [Quetzalcoatl] went to die _ They say in the year One Reed he set himself on fire and burned himself; they call it the burning place, where Quetzalcóatl sacrificed himself _ When the pyre had ceased to burn, Quetzalcóatl's heart came forth, went up to heaven, and entered there. And the Ancient ones say it was converted into the morning star."
What mythologists and archaeoastronomers seem to forget, or neglect, when attempting to interpret the Quetzalcoatl myth, however, is that it was the heart of Quetzalcoatl, and not Quetzalcoatl himself, who turned into Morning Star.
In the meantime we are left with a conundrum that has been noted and commented upon by various students of Mesoamerican lore-the fact that the Mesoamericans described the Morning Star as having been red. As Brian Stross noted:
"Connecting Venus with the color red is surprising, of course. Venus, if it can be said to have a color, would have to be described as silvery. Only Mars, of the planets, could be described as 'red' or 'reddish'. Oddly, Venus was given by the Maya a Martian color attribute _"
Other than the names already given, the Mayan Morning Star was also known as noh ek, which means "Great Star," and chac ek, that is "Red Star," both designations which, among the Skidi Pawnee, were reserved specifically for Mars as Morning Star.
Another similarity between the Mesoamerican Morning Star and Old World Mars concerns the spear. Thus, in Mesoamerica, the spear was usually associated with the Morning Star, and the spearing of victims took place at the appearance of the Morning Star with the dawning Sun at 584-day intervals. But, in the Roman world, the spear, or lance, was associated with the Martian deity. According to Varro, as also Plutarch, the oldest cult image of the Roman Mars was an upright lance, which weapon was originally addressed as the god incarnate.
Is it therefore possible that students of Mesoamerican lore have been wrong in identifying the Mesoamerican Morning Star as Venus? Could this "star," instead, have been Mars?
Before we answer that question, let me clarify a few items. In conjunction with other data too numerous to mention here, research seems to dictate that Saturn, Venus, Mars and Earth had originally been strung out, in that order, on the same line, sharing a common rotational axis in what Frederic Jueneman has jocularly described as a planetary shish-kebab. It was thus that, as seen from Earth, the small Venerian disc appeared to occupy the dead center of the Saturnian orb with the still smaller Martian sphere as its hub.
Due to a certain imbalance which developed in the orbit of Mars as the entire Saturnian configuration circled the Sun, Mars moved closer to the Earth and was thus seen from terrestrial perspective as dropping low, while growing larger in size. It also emitted, and/or attracted from the Earth, an outflow of iridescent material that was visualized by ancient man as a cosmic mountain of vast proportions. So memorable was this event that, in the Near East, it continued to be commemorated as the Leila Nakhla, or Night of the Drop, well into the historic era.
Concurrent with this event, Venus was also ejected from the common axis of rotation amid a celestial conflagration. And it is this conflagration, seen atop the cosmic mountain, that accounts for the mythological burning to death of Quetzalcoatl atop a funeral pyre.
The debris that accompanied this holocaust temporarily screened the Saturnian orb from terrestrial eyes even as Venus commenced to circle around the center while trailing an enormous cometary tail in an ever winding spiral behind it. And this is why it was said that Quetzalcoatl temporarily disappeared when his heart turned into the Morning Star. I would also like to point out, en passant, that this is what lies behind the Mesopotamian myth which describes Inanna's, or Ishtar's, descent into the underworld in search of her missing consort. In Egypt, the event went down as the wandering of Isis in search of her dead husband Osiris.
As Cochrane and Talbott have developed this theme, the cometary tail of Venus continued to widen its spiral until it eventually congealed into a toroidal ring visually seen through terrestrial perspective to enclose the Saturnian orb. This led to a series of universal myths which, in different but related terms, describe the casting of the cosmic serpent-i.e. the Venerian comet- outside the deity's domain and how this serpent continued to grow until it completely surrounded the Saturnian orb while grasping its tail in its own mouth.
The Venerian orb itself continued to orbit the Saturnian center just outside the periphery of the newly created Saturnian band. Thus, in Mesopotamia, the planet received the epithet of "Edge Star" or "Star of the Periphery."
According to both Cochrane and Talbott, it is the original positioning of Venus and Mars in the center of the Saturnian orb that made the ancients visualize these planets inter alia as the heart, soul, or single eye of the Saturnian deity. Thus the heart of Quetzalcoatl, who was Saturn, was either the planet Venus or Mars. But which?
Mesoamerican lore seems to leave no doubt that the Morning Star was the planet Venus and, unless and until new evidence comes to light, I am not going to disregard the evidence. On the other hand, the Martian associations with the Mesoamerican Morning Star I have enumerated continue to bother me. Like Venus, Mars did not depart from the Saturnian configuration despite its drop from the center. Like Venus, and as seen from Earth, Mars also took up a position in close conjunction with the Saturnian band. But, unlike Venus, Mars was not seen to circle the Saturnian orb. The planet's new position, at least temporarily, became fixed directly beneath Saturn atop the cosmic mountain it itself exuded. As I have already indicated, it was atop this cosmic mountain that the sacrificial pyre on which Quetzalcoatl immolated himself was said to have been placed. When, therefore, this cosmic mountain became known to the Mesoamericans as Citlalpetl-the Mountain of the Star -the "star" in question is best identified as Mars rather than Venus. So what can be said about this ambiguity?
What I have to say next will probably horrify students of Mesoamerican lore but I have reached the tentative conclusion that the identity of the Mesoamerican Morning Star owes its ambiguity to the syncretism of a dual belief-that, in effect, at least originally, both Venus and Mars were considered to have been the transformed heart of Quetzalcoatl and that both these planets filled the role of Morning Star. The duality of the belief may trace to an earlier period in which different tribes entertained different convictions. The amalgamation of the two beliefs should not even be seen as the result of confusion since, as I have tried to demonstrate, both beliefs would have reflected the same cosmic event and, in fact, both beliefs would have been considered to be correct.
But let us now pass on to Egyptian mythology to see whether this can throw any light on the subject. As is well known, Egyptian rites of the dead attempted to assimilate the deceased pharaoh to Osiris. In the text of Unas it is told that "the king's soul, provided with its words of power, flew with its wings to heaven, and 'opened' its seat there with the stars of the sky, and itself became the morning star _" Since the dead king was believed to recreate the events of Osiris' death in order to enable him to join the god in heaven, it is obvious that, originally, it was the soul of Osiris that turned into the Morning Star. This is not so different from the myth of Quetzalcoatl's death; in the one case it was the god's heart, in the other his soul, that flew up to become the Morning Star.
This can be tested by traveling a different route. In Egyptian, the soul was termed the Ba, which entity was also identified as the Bennu bird. Thus Egyptian texts inform us that it was the Bennu that came forth from the heart and/or soul of Osiris and/or Ra. It was said that "this bird was the soul of Ra and also the living symbol of Osiris, and that it came forth from the very heart of the god." "I am the Bennu," proclaims the Egyptian Book of the Dead, "the Ba of Ra."
Now Rundle Clark, among others, has offered the opinion that the Bennu represented the planet Venus. But this seems to be because the Egyptians identified the Bennu with the Morning Star. Thus, in the Book of the Dead, the deceased king is made to utter: "I go in like the Hawk, and I come forth like the Bennu, the Morning Star _" But, in view of what we have already learned, can we be dead certain that the Egyptian Morning Star was indeed Venus?
What is dead certain is that, to the Egyptians, the Ba, the Bennu, and the Morning Star were all one and the same. The identity of the Bennu as a symbol of Venus, however, derives from this fact and this fact alone. This became so because, to those who came later, the major celestial object which they saw as being worthy of the name "Morning Star" was the planet Venus. What should be stressed, however, is that the appellation "Morning Star," in Egyptian rendered inter alia as Pi-neter-Tuau, was not astronomically applied to the planet Venus until Graeco-Roman times.
To those who are familiar with the Saturnian configuration, the correct identification of the Egyptian Morning Star receives a telling clue from the Egyptian belief that the Phoenix, i.e. the Bennu, first appeared on top of the primeval hill. The Egyptian hieroglyph which stands for "primeval hill" has also the connotation "to appear in glory." As Lewis Greenberg noted, this meaning "connotes radiance, indicating [something] far more than a mere earthly hillock." In fact one recognizes in this "hill" the cosmic mountain, or axis mundi, spoken of in the mythologies of numerous races.
This has led Rundle Clark to state that "the rising of the [primeval] mound and the appearance of the Phoenix [or Bennu] are not consecutive events but parallel statements, two aspects of the supreme creative moment." To us this has special meaning because, as already stated, the primeval hill, or cosmic mountain, was the stream of debris which the planet Mars ejected toward, and/or sucked from, the Earth when the former was displaced from the Saturnian center. And it was Mars that took up a semi-permanent position directly atop this stream of cosmic debris. If, then, the Bennu, or Phoenix, first appeared on top of the primeval hill, it should rightly be identified as the planet Mars as, by implication, so should the Egyptian Morning Star. Can Egyptian lore itself verify this?
The Morning Star is mentioned extensively in the Pyramid Texts. There the Morning Star is presented as a male deity and, in fact, identified in the texts themselves as no other than Horus. Thus, just as the Morning Star was referred to as Neter Duat, that is the Star or God of the Duat, so is the god in question called Horus of the Duat. That this is not a false identification is proven by other utterances, one of which reads: "O Morning Star, Horus of the Netherworld, divine falcon _ whom the sky bore." In fact, as Ev Cochrane has already shown, Horus is identified outright with the Morning Star in at least five passages of the Pyramid Texts. To this might be added the fact that one of the most common names for the Morning Star was Heru [i.e. Horus] beht.
Our excursion has thus led us to the following equation: Soul of Osiris = Ba = Bennu = Morning Star = Horus. The next logical question to ask, therefore, is: what astronomical object did Horus represent?
In Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky presented Horus as a personification of Venus, but never throughout Egyptian history was the name Horus ever applied to this planet by the Egyptians themselves. By Graeco-Roman times, Heru- Tesher, i.e. Red Horus, was a name for the planet Mars. But even during the earlier 19th and 20th Dynasties, Mars was known as Heru-Khuti, i.e. Horus Khuti.
The identification of Horus as Mars is also borne by comparative mythology. Thus, restricting ourselves to the Pyramid Texts in which Horus is called the Morning Star, we also find this deity repeatedly referred to as Horus of the Netherworld. That this is the same Horus is indicated by the utterance: "O Morning Star, Horus of the Netherworld, divine falcon." When we turn to Mesopotamian mythology, we find that the god of the Netherworld par excellence was none other than Nergal, whose identity as the planet Mars is well known. The identification of Horus as Nergal/Mars is also indicated from the fact that Nergal was addressed as "the avenger of his father" which, in Egypt, was a well known title of Hor-sa-iset, that is Horus the son of Isis, the Harsiesis of the Greeks. There are many other avenues by which Horus can be identified as the planet Mars that will be discussed in the longer version of this paper but, for the time being, what I have enumerated should suffice.
This, however, leaves us with yet another conundrum because, if the Saturnian scenario upon which I have touched briefly is correct-as already noted-Mars did not leave the Saturnian configuration when it flew off as the soul of Osiris to become the Morning Star. Thus the designation "Morning Star" could not originally have had anything to do with heliacal risings. What, then, lies at the bottom of this appellation?
It is Egyptian mythology itself that comes to our aid in answering this most vexing question. As already indicated, in Egyptian, the term "Morning Star" is rendered "Neter Duat," where neter means "star" and duat means "morning and/or dawn." As we have also seen, however, Horus of the Duat is usually rendered as Horus of the Underworld rather than Horus of the Morning, simply because the word Duat, in its many variants, can mean both "morning" and that place of the dead which mythologists have interpreted as the Netherworld.
According to the Theban doctrine of Egypt's New Kingdom, the Netherworld, that is the Daut, consisted of a great valley enclosed by mountains. Through this valley ran a river on the banks of which lived a multitude of monstrous beasts and devils. These were evil spirits who were supposed to be hostile to the souls of the dead.
This concept, however, was the result of an accumulation of legends from various nomes. As Wallis Budge informs us:
"The ideas about this region, which we find reproduced in the papyri of the New Empire, belong to different periods, and we can see that the Theban writers who described it and drew pictures of the beings which lived in it, collected a mass of legends and myths from every great religious centre of Egypt, wishing to make them all form part of their doctrine _"
Budge, however, also informs us that:
"_ it must be distinctly understood that the Egyptian word does not imply that it was situated under our world, and that this rendering is only adopted because the exact significance of the name Tuat [the same as Duat] is unknown. The word is a very old one, and expresses a conception which was originated by the primitive Egyptians, and was probably known to their later descendants, who used the word without troubling to define its exact meaning _ In the XIXth Dynasty we know that the Tuat was believed to be situated not below our earth, but away beyond the earth, probably in the sky _"
Thus, leaving aside the beliefs of the much later Theban priesthood who thought of the Duat as a river in a valley through which the soul must pass, a clue as to its real nature comes to us from its description as having been divided into regions each of which, among other things, was called qerert-an Egyptian word that means "circle." That the Duat was a circular enclosure is further evidenced by a representation found on the sarcophagus of Seti I in which "the Tuat is likened to the body of Osiris, which is bent round like a hoop in such a way that his toes touch the back of the head." Moreover, as Budge informs us, the text accompanying this representation itself states that "it is Osiris himself who forms the encircling border of the Tuat_"
Ra was also an abider in the Duat. And that here, again, the Duat was represented as a circle is evidenced by some of the Seventy Five Praises of Ra that are found inscribed on the walls of some tombs from the 19th and 20th Dynasties in Thebes in which the deity is lauded as "Lord of the Circles" and "he who entereth [or liveth] in the Circle," in which Budge makes it clear that the Circles being alluded to are the Circles of the Duat.
"Praise be to thee, O Ra_lord of the hidden circles_ "Praise be to thee, O Ra_ who resteth in the Tuat_ "Praise be to thee, O Ra_Governor of thy Circle_ "Praise be to thee, O Ra_the sender forth of light into his Circle_ "Praise be to thee, O Ra_thou art he who entereth into his circle_ "Praise be to thee, O Ra_of the Circles of Ament_"
To those who are familiar with the Saturnian scenario, the implication is clear: The Duat seems to have been nothing more than the celestial band which once encircled the Saturnian orb in the north celestial sphere. This interpretation is further evidenced by the fact that, besides being called qerert, each division of the Duat was also referred to as arret, that is a hall. What is of interest here is that, according to the "Papyrus of Nu," these halls of the Duat were seven in number which, among other things, explains the plurality of circles associated with Ra's habitation. But, more than that, these seven arrets of the Duat refer to the evolution of the Saturnian band into seven concentric circles, concerning which I have been writing since 1978.
The most convincing evidence concerning the interpretation of the Duat as the Saturnian circle of light, however, comes from the hieroglyphic determinative of the name "Duat" itself which is simply depicted as a star surrounded by a circle.
And, in fact, as Faulkner informs us, when the Pyramid Texts state that "Sothis is swallowed up by the Netherworld," that is by the Duat, the term "swallowed up" literally means "encircled."
Thus when Horus the Morning Star is referred to as Horus of the Duat, the reference is to Horus of the Saturnian band. In our enfolding scenario, this translates as Mars within the Saturnian ring, the place the planet occupied when it was seen to drop from the Saturnian center, it having then been encompassed within the congealing band that the trailing part of Venus wound around the Saturnian orb.
Even so, why Morning Star? What did the morning, or the dawn, have to do with the Duat?
That the Egyptian term "Morning Star" had nothing to do with heliacal risings is evidenced when Horus of the Dawn, that is Horus the Morning Star, is lauded as "chief of the imperishable stars," the "imperishable stars" being the usual Egyptian designation for the circumpolar stars. And, to be sure, the same idea continued to be echoed down into the centuries A.D. where, in Christian liturgy, the Morning Star was hailed as the star which never sets.
Now, as already noted, the word "duat," in its many variants, meant both "dawn" and "Netherworld," which latter has here been identified as the Saturnian band. The implication one derives from this is that it was that very Saturnian band that was inter alia referred to as "dawn". This receives further indication from the Hebrew language, which has preserved so much of these primitive connotations, in which we find that tsephirah, one of the words used to denote the morning and/or the dawn, actually means "a crown (as encircling the head)" and/or "diadem."
In Greek mythology, the goddess of the dawn is called Eos but, as Guirand informs us, the goddess was originally "represented as accompanying her brother Helios during his whole journey." That the dawn should have accompanied the Sun throughout its entire course across the sky is not logical. But, keeping to the original Greek identification of Helios as Saturn, we can see how, because of terrestrial spin, its encircling band would have continued to rotate around the planetary orb throughout its entire daily sequence of brightening and diminishing. In keeping with this we find that, in Hebrew, the word for "dawning" is panah, a term which, in actuality, means "to turn."
Thus, Horus of the Duat, Horus of the Underworld, Horus of the Dawn, all mean one and the same thing, the reference being to the planet Mars in its position close to the inside periphery of the band encircling the Saturnian sun. But why was this band thought of as having been the dawn?
Here I must borrow from previous works of mine. Thus, in a paper which I published in 1993, I presented a series of evidential material which led me to conclude that, prior to the formation of the Saturnian configuration, the planet Saturn loomed large in a darkened terrestrial sky during a time when the Sun was hidden behind an obscuring medium. In a later paper which I published earlier this year, I also indicated that, during this time of perpetual darkness, man had no way of calculating the passage of time. It was only when the Saturnian configuration started to form and, more precisely, when the Saturnian band, due to the illumination of the Sun, was seen to split into two halves, one bright, the other dim, that ancient man was supplied with the means of telling time.
"As [the two crescents] revolved around the central orb, the position of the two halves_would have been enough to tell the ancients what time of day it was. In effect, it was like having a colossal clock suspended in the sky."
The first time the band split was therefore the first dawn. Moreover, it was the further brightening of the brighter crescent as it rotated downward that heralded the beginning of the archaic "day". Thus it was said that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of the planet Venus, was vexed to find Ares, who was Mars, in Eos's bed. And, from our point of view, that is exactly where the planet Mars had been removed to, resting on the inside periphery, and in the middle, of the band-in-recumbent-crescent, that is Dawn's bed.
The recumbent crescent would also have appeared as a pair of golden horns and, in fact, it was this aspect of the configuration that made the Egyptians, as well as other ancient nations, refer to Saturn as the Bull of Heaven. And this leads to yet another Hebrew word for "dawn," and that is boqer, a word derived from baqar, which means "to plow," but also "bull, calf, ox, or cow [i.e. a horned animal]."
Finally, because we must draw the line somewhere, we come across further evidence of this concept in Slavonic mythology which speaks of two dawns. Thus it is said that:
"_ the Sun lived _ in a land of eternal summer and abundance _ He lived in a kingdom of light and sat on a throne of gold and purple. At his side stood two beautiful virgins, Aurora of the Morning and Aurora of the Evening _"
The land of "eternal summer and abundance" is a recognizable reference to Saturn's Golden Age, and the "Sun" spoken of here must perforce have been the Saturnian sun of yore. Aurora, of course, is the Latin name of the goddess of dawn. In Slavonic, Dawn was referred to as Zorya (or, according to region, Zarya). Thus we read of Zorya Utrennyaya, the Morning Dawn, and Zorya Vechernyaya, the Evening Dawn. This is an anomaly that is also met with in yet another Hebrew word, nesheph, which, incongruous as it may seem, means both "dawn" and "dusk."
The incongruity is resolved when we keep in mind that, according to the scheme presented here, the primeval dawn began with the brightening of the brighter Saturnian crescent, while dusk was inaugurated with the dimming of the darker one. It therefore seems obvious that while the dawn was inseparable from the Saturnian band, the breaking of dawn and the coming of dusk were related to the circling band-in-crescent. In fact, it can safely be stated that dawn was more correctly thought of as the bright recumbent crescent, with dusk being the subsequent recumbent darker one.
M. Mandelkehr, "The Comet Wasn't Venus!" C&C Review (1992), XIV, p. 37.