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The Warring Goddess Athena
by David Talbott

As a follow-up to the previous discussion of James Fitton, I shall attempt to illustrate a principle of methodology.. How does one evaluate the explanatory power of the Saturn theory in the concrete terms we have suggested? Since Fitton criticized Velikovsky for
claiming the Greek Athena was Venus, I will employ this goddess as our test case, though any well-documented goddess figure could be approached in the same way. Our reference for now is a "snapshot" of the Saturnian configuration on the thunderbolts.info website. Scroll down to the ad for the full-length documentary Symbols of an Alien Sky and look at the 8 pointed star in the configuration on the cover. This snapshot resolves a more complex, evolving planetary configuration into a single glimpse.

Our subject is the central "star" of Venus, seen in the center of the gas giant Saturn, with luminous streamers radiating from Venus to spread visually across the much larger sphere of Saturn. In our previous discussion, I presented a list of mythical attributes attached to this unique form of Venus. It is my contention not only that these forms are essential to the Venus or goddess-archetype, but that no comprehension of the archetype is even possible apart from the explicit contexts suggested in this illustration.

These contexts include, 1) CENTRALITY in relationship to another body remembered as the universal sovereign, 2) Comet-like STREAMERS exploding into light as the Sun set
and the surrounding sky darkened, and 3) the appearance of a darker or reddish smaller body in front of (i.e., visually inside) the sphere of Venus, this body being identifiable through comparative analysis as the planet Mars, the archetypal warrior-hero.

The primary mythical forms (among a larger list of secondary symbols) are:

1) Great Star, Great Comet

2) Long-haired, fiery-haired goddess

3) Radiant heart, soul, or "life" of the primeval sun or universal sovereign god (Saturn)

4) Visible glory, radiance, majesty, splendor, power, or strength of the primeval sun

5) Nave (hub) and spokes of the "sun" wheel (Saturn's wheel)

7) Radiant eye of the "sun"; eye with streaming "tears"

8) Rayed crown worn by the warrior-hero (Mars)

9) Feathered headdress worn by the warrior-hero

10) Shield or protection of the warrior-hero

For the sake of focus in the limited space allowed here, we'll look at two motifs - number 7 and number 10 - to illustrate the comparative test. Then, in our next submission, we'll show the crucial connections to the other symbolic forms.

THE EYE GODDESS.

It seems that around the world ancient races identified the planet Venus as "the Eye," or "Great Eye," though the speck of light we know as Venus today does not stand in relation to another body in any way that might suggest a central eye. (On considering our illustration
of Venus in relation to Saturn, however, the most common statement we receive from people is, "That looks like an eye!")

In fact, the Sumerian Inanna and Akkadian Ishtar, both identified with Venus, are the commonly acknowledged prototypes of the famous "eye goddesses" whose influence
reached as far as northern Europe. (A good introduction is OGS Crawford's classic work, THE EYE GODDESS.)

On the other side of the world, the Maya knew Venus as Nohoch Ich "Great Eye." In the Hervey Islands of the Pacific, Venus was called Tamatanui, the "eye of Tane"
(ancestral great king). The ancient Chinese term for Venus is connected with a root meaning "Eye of the Ancestor." (This information came to me from Eric Miller, who spent many years investigating Chinese imagery of Venus.) And the Ringa-Ringaroo of Australia
remembered the planet Venus as Mimungoona, "The Big Eye". This widespread identity of Venus as the "eye" is surely the key to understanding why the Egyptian goddesses Isis, Hathor, Sekhmet, and others commonly identified with the Mediterranean Astarte/Aphrodite/Venus were invoked throughout ancient Egypt as "the Eye of Ra". More specifically, as I have noted elsewhere, the Egyptian language implies a SMALLER orb appearing squarely in the center of a LARGER sphere. The texts describe the Eye shining "with splendors on the forehead of Ra". (The "splendors" of the Eye must be understood
in substantive terms, as the streamers radiating from central orb; see #4 above.)

It is also worth noting that the respected Egyptologist Rudolf Anthes investigated the Egyptian Eye-motif in great detail, concluding that the Eye goddess was the planet Venus. Of course, he drew this conclusion without the benefit of the global comparative analysis
which secures the case beyond any reasonable doubt.

Immanuel Velikovsky, in identifying Athena with Venus, never discussed the eye motif, but the very presence of such an unusual theme attached to Venus can hardly be ignored in an investigation of the Greek goddess. There are at least four epithets of Athena which are
suggestive of the connection to the eye goddess. Athena is the "flashing-eyed", the "strong-eyed", the "owl-eyed" (or bright-eyed) and the "Gorgon-eyed", Are these epithets to be taken as loose metaphors, whose precise meaning has been lost over time? Or are they echoes of an ancient theme (EYE-goddess), which the experts on Athena have missed?

In his DESCRIPTION OF GREECE (3.18.2), Pausanias gives a form of Athena as Ophthalmitis "Goddess of the Eye". That alone should give us a strong indication of the
connection to the worldwide theme of Venus as central Eye.

Obviously we cannot here pursue all of the leads, but let us simply take one, that of Athena as Glaukopis, the "owl-eyed" goddess. Will comparative analysis give us grounds for connecting this Athena epithet to the attributes of the more widespread Eye goddess?

In "Symbols of an Alien Sky", I have noted that the general trend of symbolism over time was toward increasingly naturalistic representation. And thus, in the course of giving the central eye-star a human form (as goddess), the symbolists DUPLICATED it, since single
eyes do not occur in nature. Put two pictographs of the Venus-eye together, and you have the beginnings of anthropomorphic representation, a trend which can be easily documented. But something else happens. The "head" of the goddess so represented takes on a strange resemblance to an "owl" ("Symbols", pages 90-91).

As shown by Marija Gimbutas and others, the ancient eye goddess does, in fact, pass into the figure of an "owl" goddess. From eye goddess to owl goddess: nothing more
is needed in order to explain the owl-eyed Athene, a goddess who was also REPRESENTED by, or as, an owl, One such representation of the "owl of Athena" is given on page 91. Note that the form of the owl-eyes is precisely that which we have given as the original eye-star of Venus.

Of course, to the experts, this aspect of Athene seems to bear no connection to the other attributes of the goddess. If our hypothesis is correct, that will be because these specialists have yet to discern the connection between the later symbol and the celestial object originally symbolized. Such regional symbols DO NOT EXPLAIN THEMSELVES, but are explained in the most concrete way by the hypothesized celestial form, as it is reflected in evolving symbolic patterns.

THE SHIELD GODDESS

Of all the symbols of Athena, none is more prominent than the AEGIS, the famous "shield" on which artists frequently portrayed the head of the Gorgon Medusa, with which Athena herself is so intimately associated. Is it possible, then, that there is a simple, but unrecognized connection between the "owl-eyed" Athena and the "Gorgon-eyed" Athena?

In the general tradition, the central star of Venus and its effusion of "radiance" was the protection of the warrior-hero (Mars), who is represented by the innermost orb in the pictographs under discussion. You see this, for example, in the role of Egyptian goddesses as "the Great Protectress". To stand inside the radiant eye (goddess) was to find the unassailable position. Thus, Egyptian texts proclaim, " He is Horus encircled with the protection of his Eye". "My refuge is my Eye, my protection is my Eye". But while Egyptologists acknowledge the identity of Eye and goddess, they have nothing to tell us about the meaning of this enigmatic language.

What, then, was the "protection" enjoyed by the hero, when he occupied that desired position INSIDE the eye? It was nothing other than the jetting of luminous or "fiery" material outward, presenting the appearance of explosive, UNAPPROACHABLE streams.

Of the Egyptian Eye goddess Sekhmet, the texts declare, "It is a flame which drives away on its account....No one at all can approach her, the streams behind her are flames of fire." (The streams stretch up the polar axis BEHIND Venus.)

Similarly, The Sumerian "Exaltation of Inanna" speaks of those "who dare not proceed before [Inanna's] terrible countenance". The texts depict the goddess "clothed in radiance." And it was said that the world stood in "fear and trembling at [her] tempestuous radiance." In considering these images, I trust the reader will appreciate why translators, despite the power and explicitness of the images, do not take them seriously -- they simply find NO REFERENCE FOR THEM in our sky today.

On our earth, great warriors represented this protective function by duplicating the image on their shields. I have given an example on page 92, which shows all of the hypothesized components and precisely replicates both the Eye-goddess pictographs and the eye form of the "owl of Athena" on the previous page. The innermost orb will mean the warrior hero (Mars), protected by the blazing radiance of the central star or "comet".

All that is needed in an investigation of this sort is that one uncover the underlying forms. No selectivity is required in order to take the tests in one direction (eye motif), or another direction (shield motif). One will either find the precise form predicted by the model, or one will find something else, thereby challenging the model as a unified theory.

[As a footnote I should mention that Ev Cochrane has sent to me a few notes on the Athena-eye connection. Until I received these notes, I did not know that Athena was called Eriopis ("strong eyed") or Gorgopis ("Gorgon-eyed"). As it turns out, both epithets will figure crucially in our next installment, dealing with the eye as the power or "strength" of the primeval sun (#4 in our list of symbols above) and as the head of the feminine chaos monster (Gorgon/Medusa) in an unstable phase of the configuration.]

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