Ancient celestial World Order
This appendix is a short way to ancient astro-symbolism for those with little time. My site is big and it could be difficult to get an overlook. Here are the essentials of the moon suite that developed to the Animal Round and sun and moon calendar we know.
Follow Hor, season boat, Egypt, Indus, Sumer, moon suite, Buderupholm, megalith, moon calendar, Ramadan, naksatras, Inanna, double-axe, Sun suite, Animal Round, Month Wheel, Aubrey holes, Medicine WheelWorld Tree|Exodus/ Levantine| Inanna myth | Suites in rock-carvings |arch.language | Cultural stones | back to essays | links |literature |sitemap | home |
Maybe India was the creator of the naksatras around 3100 BC? However the literary Indian tradition want to go back to 7th millennium however it is difficult to prove with substantial evidence of today. But we have several month wheels/ medicine wheels of which Nabta near the Sudan border have be dated to around 5000 BC
Stone circle from Nabta near the Sudan border
The month was defined as the period from one new moon to the next, and this time period is 27 or 28 days. The path of the moon in the sky was thus divided into 27 or 28 parts, and each part was named after a prominent star in it.
When we want to interpret motif in rock-carvings we need usually at least on parameter we know. In my essay aboutOrigin of Script is shown that in the Lascaux cave the motif with 28 dots could be compared to the Indian system of naksatras = mansions of the moon. It would be difficult to prove if all rows with 28 dots are the "mansions of the moon". A better parameter is the moon wheel with 28 rays/ spokes that associate to parting the horizon or seeing the wheel as declinations and sections of the heavenly grid.
My friend John from Australia sent me three photos of "month wheels". Two of them from Australia and one from Brazil and I began to ask my memory about this topic. Immediately in mind is the Medicine Wheels from Big Horn and Alberta in America. But soon I thought that it would be too narrow view with only the wheel. However here I make a category of the Indian naksatras and the moon wheel with ca 28 rays alternatively 56 rays.
For the exact counting 27 mansions of the moon would not do. The system counting nights is maybe the oldest invention and the Indians made it a system with 28 mansions and the 28 at asterism Vega was used for intercalation.
56-ray wheel Bahia Brazil
But why then 56 rays? Hard to know but the intercalation asked for following two whole years. Another possibility is that they maybe counted "forthnights" and the use of counting "new moon" to "full moon" and then the wane moon to "dark moon" that are natural events "as-we-see-it". The 56 so-called Aubrey holes at Stonehenge could have been the first thought when they began to make the observatory.
From the beginning I thought it could be that they thought the declinations as a square and 14 x 14 segments in the grid would be needed to cover the celestial year. The idea got some reason from the golden rhombi/ square found at Stonehenge and that could be used for astronomic calculation. The rock-carvings and paintings are naturally just notes for the memory while stone arrangements could be used for calculation and memory
Month wheel New South Wales Australia and wandjina
The Australian finds are a kind of enigma since we normally do not think that Australia had contact with for instance India in ancient times. And we do not expect calculation at that level among the native hunters and gatherers. The same is case with the American finds
Medicine Wheel Big Horn Wyoming
I have been working on Indus influence in Idaho and the medicine wheels are in neighbouring states Big Horn Wyoming and Majorville Alberta. The later dated to third millennium and that fits the Idaho dating. That is just one possibility besides that local people surely could think by themselves. More archaeology is needed in all cases. And we can only hope for more evidence about intercontinental connections in ancient times. The Indian naksatras reaches Easter Islands too. Maybe we will find more if not wheels so naksatras in other parts of the world.http://www.pma.edmonton.ab.ca/human/archaeo/faq/medwhls.htm
Great variety in Middle West and we can compare these to the Scandinavian types
Unfortunately the wild growing research about rock-carvings and archaeology create "the wild vocabulary" that is affected by local languages and academic primitivism. An example is the world "medicine wheel" that comes from Indian language. True science would use the same term about similar objects. Here I call it "month wheel" since they made month/ moons out of it. I am searching for rational explanations since only pragmatic people could have survived to our times. The teleological attitude lock out many rational descriptions when it makes real thing magical
One-armed Tyr with naksatras Aspeberget Bohuslen
Surely we could find 28 cupmarks/ dots in some other places. However it is hard to prove that it is naksatras = mansions of the moon. In this case we get double proof since we have the one-armed "yearman" in the same image
Early calendar symbolism
Follow Horsymbolism from the Hut to the He-goat and palm leafs on the season-boat.
Hands above head means "I am ready" and the symbol on the standard means "embracing" in the asterism Cancer meaning "go beneath". Her followers are Fertiliser and Watering. This is from the vase paintings pre-dynastic time in Egypt 4th millennium. Later we know that her incarnation in heaven was the asterism Aurigae and she/ Isis has Horus-child on her knees as three stars. Her two followers are maybe the early Gemini brothers.
Since there are three goats it could be the same symbolism as in Indus where they symbolise the three seasons with goats. In Egypt's seasons begun with inundation and then followed the fertile period and the last was the hot summer. We see a goat at the palm leafs and that marks the New Year and season begins. In Bronze Age they got four Khnum = Aries symbolising season according to Sun year. The Egyptian source is difficult since the symbolism is mixed from many temples with slightly different mythology.
In the three cultures Egypt, Indus and Sumer the season pattern in symbolism is much alike. However Sumerian climate is very dry and they compensate it with watering. All of them have in common that culture was along the big rivers. India has its monsoon and Egypt its inundation. The Animal Round must have been created in a landscape with a big river and maybe they made it together.
The rainy period begins after midsummer. For the Indians the frogs were the signal and we find some amulets with frogs. The He-goat/ Goatfish = Capricorn become symbol at the same time as the half year shift was at that time. In Egypt from the predynastic times we see palm leafs at end of season. The symbol becomes later the RENPET glyph.
In the Follow Her painting the symbolism is about following the asterisms in the Animal Round and that means at the same time to follow the sun. Soon the moons where related to the asterisms too. The Egyptians aligned the beginning of season to the new moon around February 1stwhen the moon Toth took over while in Scandinavia they aligned with the first full moon after spring equinox, i.e. the Sun.
The moon year seems to begin at Ramadan while the Sun year began at midwinter solstice. However there have several calendar systems around the Old World. In the megalith cultures we find stone boulders oriented after the sun year as well as after the extremes of the moon cycle.
We must keep in mind that the asterisms were animated as animals and later as humanised idols that were archetypes for certain functions in society. The modern word "icon and role model" is a good description. The solstices and the equinoxes gives relatively stable fixed times of the year and then related to fix stars.
For cultivators the rain period was naturally only the Engender of Fertility. They abstracted the water in nature as the Watergate called Via Lacta in Italy and Milky-way in Denmark. The Moon was more specifically the fertility-rain with the Moon as idol called Inanna in Sumer. Naturally they knew the need for Sun warmth = Aryaman in India. The fertile soil was everywhere symbolised as a Snake = Water-snake Hydra as the river of Underworld under the Animal Round's season. The word "season" is in my texts used for the agriculture period since the symbolism normally is only about that period.
I think we should let it open that West Europe was also a part of this international development. Then I think of the early stone rows from 5th millennium BC and maybe earlier. We have also the Naked with the Moon-horn and other symbolism from the caves that are more than 10000 years old and in the class and age with Gobekli Tepe Syria. There the temple that has reliefs of the Hound, Lion, Reptile, Sheep and Goat, which all belongs to later astro-symbolism too. But let us stay at 4th millennium and later.
We have nowadays enough evidence from the first dynasties in Egypt around 3000 BC to tell that the astro-symbolism and year ritual was fully developed by then. We also know for instance that the Sumerians were in the Nile Delta around 3400 BC being cultivating near the Nile and digging for turquoise in Sinai. Maybe the Sumerian moon god Sin gave name to SIN-AI = moon mountain. They have found some sanctuary with new moon symbolism. In some palette we see battle between Sumerians and the native people. Sumerian kuddurru = border stones have been found at the Nile Delta. They are decorated with the Sumerian season symbols.
The Sumerian season image at left seems to be the original. Maybe the Egyptian in the middle is only a bit later, while the Indus seal is very simplified.
The Sumerian asterisms are Leo as body, wings of Virgo, bow of Archer/ Bearwatcher, the Dog and Ramada symbols and Scorpio with Tab. The Egyptian is just a little different with Neith as Archer. The headgear is the cone that symbolises the harvest. We note the forelegs in the empty boat seen in some of pour rock carvings symbolising beginning of season. Here the basket at the hinter-legs is for the harvest. These samples show that the three big cultures were almost synchronised when it comes to the celestial sphere . Se alsoIndus astro-symbolism Senenmuts Calendar Egypt Lingua Franca Iconography Danish Stone rows have much of the early symbolism
BuderupholmRold Forest at Jutland is the most interesting megalith site since over a low mound 12-metre diameter run a row 70 metres with 27 stones. North of the row is a little stone circle with 9 stones and a stone in the middle. West of the row is a bigger stone circle with 27 stones. And there is also one more stone circle with 7 stones. The number 27 occur three times and 9 and 7 are also from the moon mathematics so we can expect the moon rituals in connection with these arrangements.
When they write about the moon calendars from Sumer and Indus we are only told that the calendar counts 354 days in they moon ear. Here we shall see how it was in the beginning. The sideral = as seen with eyes moon cycle is 27 days or 28 nights, half of it 14 and half of that 7 and the moon is away for 3 nights. It seems that at least in Egypt they in the beginning divided the moon round in 3 x 9 days.
The moon year is 12 moons and 11 nights of the thirteenth moon, which gives a moon year of 354 nights. The moon cycle is 18 to 19 years usually shown as 19. The moon moves 12,5 degrees along the ecliptic and reach the same point in 243 moons. There is nothing magic in this, but you have to watch it and learn how it works as you can see it. Let us look at Rigveda text and compare with rock-carvings from around 2300 BC:
Moon suite at Ramadan in rock-wings of Evenstorp
RV1.161.13: Oh R.bhus! you were asleep; thereafter ask Agohya, who is it that woke us up. The He-goat replied, 'the hound (s'va_nam) is the awakener'. As the year is passed, today you declare the same.
"The spirits of the seasons stop work for 11 / 12 days and go to sleep at Ramadan (intercalated for a lunar year). This period belongs neither to the old nor to the new year."
Firstly Rbhus is the He-goat/ Capricorn and the Dog has the name Rahu and it is the falling node of the moon that later became "head of Dragon". His "brother" is Ketu is the rising node "tail of Dragon" . On one calendar-stick from Skaane the falling node is at September 1st
We see the dogs in Sumerian and Egyptian symbolism at the half year gates. The excavating at Gobekli Tepe, Syria shows that there is a dog animal in relief on some pillars. That means the moon calendars could be at least 11000 to 9000 years old
But let us continue with the evidence from Indus and Evenstorp. After two years and a half, the 366 days in the year contained an error of 3/4 day in each year. That means they must insert a month every second or third year. Furthermore to be correct there is an error of 3/4 of a day to be kept in memory for 40 years and gather it to an intercalated month.
RV 2.12.11: He, who discovered S'ambara dwelling in the mountains for forty years; who slew Ahi, growing in strength, and the sleeping son of Danu; he, men, is Indra.
In the rock-carvings above we see the 12 + 1 brothers connected to the circle's symbolism of three season of the year called Rbhus after the first season and the other two called Vibhva and Vaja. The He-goat symbolised the first season and later we get the Goatfish as symbol of the rain period when people live on goat, fish and sheep and stay in shelter.
Have you ever seen the rain during the monsoon raining heavily for weeks without end? The ritual symbolism was showing what man should do during the seasons. Sense of allegories, Sanskrit, astronomy and Rigveda myths is needed to puzzle together the hidden meaning in some hymns.
The circle with the hook is the new year and the time boat beneath counts days for the synchronising in the Dog or maybe it should be in the Fox since the Sumerian tells about the fox Kiel that taught people things as for instance storing food. Those memories go very long back and we should remember that the Dog is maybe only around 11000 years old as man's best friend.
Above the row there are two figures with crescent as head. That is maybe the phases of the moon that seems to be part of the symbolism and it could mean "fortnights" too. There are a group of 22 short strokes 4 + 12 + 2 + 4 and I have not yet solved the meaning. We have a couple more early rock-carvings with these 22 strokes. We can find them in early vase paintings from Egypt too.
In India they correlated the moon with 27 naksatras, i.e. mansions of the moon in the stars. In fact there was 28 naksatras with on in Vega that was used to even the time-flow. That is like the use of as asterism for the moons = 28 night as we see in the early Sumerian calendar for instance. In the beginning they were divided in seasons that were taken from the real seasons. Later they made the division symmetric. SeeSumerian Animal Round for the first sample. At Haugsbyn there are several rock-carvings in the shape of Vega. However it could also be the Dolphin that also was part of the Indian astro-symbolism. The Pleiades are not all visible and the visible configuration could be taken for Vega
The He-goat from Indus and the double-axe are part of the symbolism. We have finds of double-axes from passage graves and ritual places.
At least in Uruk the town of Inanna the moon goddess they wrote these lines to her:
"The young men carry big bangles and sing for you
The virgins and the priestesses with high coiffures walk in front of you
They carry the sword and the double-axe "
Most of the Sumerian songs are saved from 3rd millennium and the time of cities and temples. see theInanna myth. But in Scandinavia we have finds of double-axes and stony monuments "going beneath" from 4th millennium. We can expect that the bigger cultures also carried out the rituals at that time. The two sides of the double-axe maybe symbolise the phases of the moon and it was created at the same time as they created the ritual, i.e. around 4200 BC. The Follow Her / Time ritual is surely as old as organised settlements.
In the song we understand that Inanna was the rain and she symbolises by the newness of new moon with incarnations in the sky and her twin sister Ereshkigal, the womb "the Great to give Birth" in Underworld. The poems were written in her city at a time when she became the Great in which name everything was done.
Inanna and Soma are the early concepts of circulating water in nature and that carries the smallest material of life. However in the Rigveda we should maybe say that Soma is the fertile flow since the concept was used in agriculture, metallurgy and there is also some hymn about straining through wool cloth that maybe could be cheese making. It is much like Sampo in Kalevala and the Grottekvarn = cave mill in the Edda. It is the "machine" that gives people food.
The symbolism in Indus and Sumer is much the same. Water was the "elixir of gods" mankind was only "the legs of gods" carrying out the wills of the gods. Priesthood knew precisely the will of gods and it is much the same today in our society.
Inanna is the Naked Bride with thunder and lightening in some Sumerian seal. She is the one they followed in suite since he brought agriculture to people at least to her city Uruk. However her myth is spread to Scandinavian rock-carvings. She and her sisters were the first to bring the myth to Europé so to speak. But of course the missionaries did the hard work.. Maybe the West European stone rows and avenues were used for Follow-Her-processions. The cursus could be used to have much fun also, I think, since they gathered people for building, festival and fair. The same counts for theWeoh/ Wih/ Vi, dolmen and passage grave where "She steps down".
In Rigveda they mention libation with water that surely was celebrated in monthly moon processions. Fire offer was celebrated at least in beginning of the season. The god Agni stands for much more than fires since in the symbolism it was "fire in blood" and other places and with technical terms we would say "oxidation". They think the altars were build in a way to keep the ritual in memory in the same way as the European megalith sites.
The Sun Suite
Here are most of the Evenstorp rock-carvings with the moon and sun suite. For the rest seeFollow Gyr
We could also call the upper part "sun suite" since the sun brought warmth and light for the growing. They planned how to let agriculture follow that. The time was related to the asterisms, i.e. Animal Round. The Animal Round counted 360 days and 5 or 6 intercalated days when time stood still for festival.
When it was created the Watergate symbolised the rain and heavenly waters stepping down. In Sumer they say Inanna, the moon steps down and in Egypt they say Isis, the Aurigae steps down at the cross point in Cancer, since the heavenly Watergate runs from Cancer to Hound/ Sagittarius and halves the heavenly hood. In the other end we have the other cross point and Ramadan. The original Sagittarius looks much like a Dog. On some Sumerian seal we see Enki, the first on earth stepping upon the Original Hill and the Watergate is in a bow over him. He was the first-time-act.
The row of boats in beginning of the upper loop is symbolising the first half-year from spring equinox in Perseus. The Snake part starts at Cancer / Head of Hydra and corresponds to the Sumerian and Egyptian season image in next image. For those knowing agriculture it should not be difficult to see the symbolism of early agriculture that stands even today.
The dating comes from the first figure in the upper loop supposed to be Perseus. He was fixstar of spring equinox ca 2300 BC. Another part is the many wedge tombs / squared slab cists in the area plus other archaeology dated to the same time. The pollen curves in the neighbourhood shows agriculture 2300 - 2000 BC.
The symbolism is highly realistic with only a few icons. The wedge tombs seem to celebrate the Isis dagger and that is why I associate this to a variant of the Isis myths behind the ritual law.
The later Egyptian summer symbolism is elegant compared to the Evenstorp version
The Snake/ Hydra is womb of earth into which the seed is sown at the Hand/ Cancer. It is also done in correlation with the moon Toth being the scribe during the season. He stands at left. The enthroning Osiris on the throne is seed and the idol between is the seed to be new harvest. The suite behind Osiris is Isis with the step to Underworld on head; next is the watering maid Nephtys and lastly probably fertiliser, since the Sumerian symbolism have the water-boy and the fertiliser.