Follow in suite Age of Rituals
The suite is the first type of organisation we see in figurative remains and the stony monuments. Then it is a question of delegating the work to the members of the suite and let it follow a time-law. As always it is about resurrection and fertility.
Following the Goddess, new moon goddess, ritual law, time law, work order, law seasons, Lokasenna, in the ban, tales of Homer, Val Camonica the Alps, Lappland, Leirfall Norway, Aesir and Vanir, passage grave, Saros, Irminsul| Many Mothers | Kimberley |Moon temple | Inanna myth | Follow in suite |Isis myth | Cist period |Dolmen & barrow | sitemap | home
In the texts I use Inanna as the name of the new moon goddess. In practise she had of course many local names. It is strange for us to keep apart the animated Inanna from the fact that she was the new moon. Her suite was the 13 moon turns of the year and that is highly an abstract animation. In some places they followed the full moon, but that does not alter the structure of the idea.
When analysing a certain phenomenon one need as big choice as possible to decide if the phenomenon is special or general occurrence. The best choice is if from different places. To make conclusions from single occurrence may result in jumps to conclusions and pure speculation.
I have pictures from 60% of the rock carvings in Scandinavia and many from other places. Some of them are of good quality others give only the idea of what it is about. However that is the overall stage of science, still, it is sufficient basis to make at least some conclusions about some circumstances in the life of our ancestors.
In the following chapters some common outlines are compared with what we know and available explanations are added. The tradition of ritual law and time law on rocks cover several thousands of years. It is of the same family as for an example the laws of Hammurabi and others who made the law eternal by cutting it in stone. We cannot expect static answers over such a long period. People are different, customs varies in places and ritual changes a little due to precession.
Indeed much of the carvings are of Bronze Age but the carrying ideas are as old as agriculture and civilisation. They are solutions to the problems of assembly and depending on the climate, geography of nature, population, technologies and all changed in time. The Suite as principle and icon is the first step in creating a ritual.
The Suite pictures a work order and of course also a hierarchy. When paralleled to time it became ritual and law of seasons. Let us began with symbolic suites of a simple kind. They are usually picturing a season or a year. We have to know the myths behind to understand what it is all about.
This suite tells that after the thirteenth unit follows an empty boat. Notice the cupmark normally used to indicate spring. The units are of course moons. The carving is from Flatberg Norway.
At Torsby Gothenburg it is more precise in the time flow.
It starts from left at the marked cupmark to the twelfth and the over draft of eleven days. Then we see that the time flow continues. Four of the moons are bigger, that is perhaps the season when the earth is open and grow. The other cupmarks are difficult to interpret. The cupmarks of diameter 4 - 7 centimetres are normally units if they are part of the story. It may sometimes be read IS and ER understood as now-flow in Danish. It is the root in German erde that is English earth.
Free small cupmarks could be for an offer. Thicker lines than normal and bigger cupmarks 8 - 12 centimetres in diameter shows that the surface is broken. They are to be understood below the surface or in the underworld alternatively to give out GE UR or GYR. Normally breaking the surface means one of three things: to sow or plant ... search for metals ... or the last journey.
The logic is almost crystal clear. If we break the surface as a ritual it is to forego the real doings. It would need a separate book to explain the language on the rocks. That is in child shoes as book number eight. This is only an introduction. However most of the carvings seem without plan and often in many layers in age. To get a coherent story we need to have strings of symbols in an order to interpret. Mostly we have to be content with readable symbols or icons and short strings that we may at least understand what it is all about. We cannot immediately get much better interpretations than this.
From Ekenberg Norrkauping we get this suite much alike the Torsby suite but in figures. The big man is the old year.
On the picture we see only twelve figures, but the thirteenth is out of the picture.
From the right we have an additional new season boat. The second figure is female with a plait. On the sixth and seventh is another season boat. The figures could be taken for human but they have no arms, as the gods/idols/ideas need no arms because people are supposed to be the legs. The leg was also a symbol for "tool" or " work". In many languages the root of the word moon is man or Sumerian lu as in Latin. At least one Sumerian city build a temple for Nergal the Moon Man.
In Anglia and on Rūgen the moon man probably Roman Manus was in use during Roman age. The figures are slightly different and some of them seem to be eunuchs. In Sumerian symbolic the eunuch was used on neuter or sexless matters. For an example fertiliser and water was symbolised with two eunuchs. Somehow they came around that corn seems sexless. Not a great matter as long as the methods worked.
This detail from Leonardsberg Norrkauping contents three suites about the calendar.
At Bro Bohuslaen are only eleven humanlike in the suite, but some of the other figures may fill up.
The warlike figures are not as serious as they look. One is pointing a spear at the biggest figure, but it may as well be the big cupmark he is pointing at. It is probably the twelfth sign the Mother Earth connected with the Snake below. I was surprised when the figures fit into the world of Edda known about two thousand years later than this carving. Not all of them and that are natural because oral myth always live and change a little in time.
However let us look at the Bronze Age Lokasenna which was in beginning of August when all the asterism were visible except one. In the upper right corner is Tyr, the hero who put his arm in the mouth of the Fenriswolf. Then he was chosen as judge because he had learned what pain is. The big one is Thor with his hammer and below him the Snake and below that the fallen Balder and the Cock of Hell. The flying one left to that is Loke searching for the apples of Idun or fertility under the Crow moon. Two steps up is the one-legged Haener "the three sun-steps“ Meile".
There is a headless figure too. It is seen on some carvings in the late millennium BC. It is also found in the star room at Dendera Egypt and is surely Orion. There is no order and only a few symbols can for sure be connected to calendar. Tor was Gemini and Balder dead was in July or August. The Crow is March and the Snake is February. Loke was also the symbol of the store and Capricorn in August or September.
Nevertheless, even if we do not have a string we may say what it is about. A drawing reflects naturally the society and time. The Greek democracy was only for the nobility and it has to be equal in all aspects ... on paper. But in everyday life everyone will be free, so disorder is around the corner. The legs, ordinary people are in the ban, which is when the yearly rituals are an order and direct man to all doings. The rich nobility does always, as they like. The nobility everywhere was mainly traders like the Phoenicians.
The Romans tell us that the Scandinavians were traders and their main god was Mercurius Rex. If we may talk about some traders association it was founded in contact with the Phoenicians and feed by the demand for import of raw materials to bronze mainly. We can compare some facts with known finds elsewhere. Apollon Keraiates at Cyprus was horned. Some of the swords have a winged chape produced in Haltstatt and date the carving to the Halstatt period.
That was a parallel to the Phoenicians, which influenced the nobility of Southern Scandinavia as seen in the section about the Hand period. We see that the nobility of Scandinavia was up to date. They maybe lived in the Heroic Age like the Greeks. The myths we may imagine are not about agriculture or keeping animals. These are symbols of an upper class.
At the same time the Greeks listened to tales of Homer and heard about the hero Herakles and his twelve feats of valour. They are not too warlike all of them, but the cleaning of the Aigean stable were ingenious. However they are in fact a journey thorough the twelve signs of the zodiac told with other images. In old days many used the main thread of the zodiac as a rational model for long tales. In the adventures of Odysseus the same technique was used and Ariadne used another smart thread.
Now follows some suite picturing mostly growing seasons. This from Allestorp Bohuslaen is a painting and surely the oldest known at the time.
Probably imports from the Hittites where cone hats were fashion in a period. But almost similar hats are also found in the Indus culture. During Middle age it was fashion too. Nowadays they are seen in carnivals and at Lent. These five plus She in the hole is from Aaby Bohuslaen.
These seven bucranias are from Enkauping Austergautland. They are almost identical to ox heads in the Alps.
Twins and Isis-daggers from Val Camonica the Alps. Normally they have eight symbols surely depending on the longer growing season.
Mostly one of them is in another direction than the rest. The same is the case when they describe with female figures is one of them turned 90 degrees. It is likely to be the harvest or "the fallen". Normally we look at Egypt and this dagger model is on early tablets of the sed-festival, i.e. end of year. In the Alps they produced copper daggers and maybe traded with Egypt as we find more figures with Egyptian influence.
On this picture the big man is a leader. In early societies the leader was called "big man" as the Sumerian LUGAL
Observe that some tribes had leaders and other not. The Celtic culture is known for the thing assembly without permanent leaders. If a leader was needed, it was just for the occasion. In principle our democratic leaders are elected only for a period and a defined responsibility. The hook is sometimes the symbol of harvest. But is the upper figure telling about his last fish? This is one of few pictures where the figures lift their hands as worshippers.
Laukeberget Bohuslaen is one of the most detailed and biggest calendars on earth and it seems untouched since it was done. This suite is from the middle of the calendar
Part of Askum 6:1 in composition much alike Laukeberget. We see four symbols of quarters in the middle and to the right the suite. At right a symbol of collegium.
This suite is from Navestad Norway and differs totally from most of the figures on our northern rocks. Some may find the rectangular bodies of the same kind as the tumblers rock Haugsbyn Dal although there is no horsetail style.
In this way symbols ought to be in a string, then "only" the interpreting is left.
This is Inanna with a suite from Lappland in fourth millennium BC. A reminder that the myths reached "the end of the Old World"
The last picture is a year suite from Leirfall Norway.
In the suite two are connected as it is on several carvings. Above the males we have the Three Maidens known from the Edda. . There is not much in the Edda that could directly be identified as heritage from the early civilisation. And if, it is only some line or a word or two. But here verse eight from Voluspa:
On the yard happily
The Aesir played backgammon.
Poverty there was no
until three giant maidens came
very mighty maiden from the world of giants
If it is understood that the three are the star configurations one understand how gigantic they are. The Aesir were the cattle-breeders and the Vanir were the cultivators. Originally they use an old word for the virgin but it is hardly understood in our days. Here maid means the different aspects in fertility. In night sky they are Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and in early calendar May, June and July which should be female names.
The ideas are from the fourth millennium when the older among Aesir sat at assembly and decided how to organize works as well as treaty between Aesir and Vanir.
Laws they set
destiny they gave
to the children
the fait to the man.
Those old men are dead since long ago. But they lived as Aesir and Vanir or the ideas of legislators ... thus they are also our family and roots. This is not history in the bibliographic way or with clear connections.
They are only fragments because a detailed history would fill the Universe. Here we can have a feeling of treaty between Aesir with a stake and Vanir without because of the seemingly sexless breeding. We may imagine the Inanna-myth behind the Three Maidens and that of Isis behind Heid. The sign of Inanna was the axe doubled or not. The dagger was the sign of Isis and she reached us in slab cists and in place-names in Denmark.