The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations Part 37

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Seven provinces.


Seven kings=heptarchy.

Four kings of Kent=tetrarchy.


Seven sanctuaries grouped around central tower.

Four a.s.sociates of king of Erin.

Group consisting of 12+1=13 stone figures, p. 469.


Four guardians of four quarters.

Thor, supreme divinity, pole-star G.o.d, seated and holding "seven stars,"

the symbol of seven-fold power, in his hand.

Group consisting of royal throne surrounded by 12 stones. Odin a.s.sociated with twelve "G.o.des," p. 472.


Huron confederacy=seven tribes, quadriform city, 24=8 gentes, p. 198.


Seven directions in s.p.a.ce, seven quarters of city, seven tribes, seven towns.

Four bands of priests, p. 201.

Twelve, _i. e._, thirteen priesthoods, p. 201.


Seven tribes issued from seven caves, seven G.o.ds or chiefs, p. 62.

Four quarters of city, represented by four chieftains, four subrulers, four divisions of army, four year signs, four tribes, four tribal trees (fig. 52), four storied pyramids.

Thirteen divisions or parts, p. 181.

Calendar and state organized into 413=52 parts.


t.i.tle of ruler, "the divine Four," four sub-rulers, four royal brothers, four-year periods, p. 218, four quarters, p. 223, four year signs.

Twelve _i. e._ thirteen priest-rulers of Mayapan, p. 209.


Seven tribes, seven day period, p. 179.

Four nations, four provinces, four capitals, four Tullans, pp. 164, 171.

Thirteen divisions of warriors, p. 179.


Empire named "Four in one," Creator named "Earth, air, fire and water in One," four provinces, four viceroys.

Twelve _i. e._ thirteen wards in Cuzco, twelve divisions of year, p. 144.

Before commenting upon the above summary, and as its necessary complement, a brief examination must be made of the various modes in which the phenomenon of celestial axial rotation figured in the rituals of primitive people.


The lighting of "sacred fire," by means of the wooden fire-drill and the wooden socket block, appears as the most ancient and widespread ritualistic performance.

To begin with, the reader is requested to read carefully the following detached extracts from Hewitt's work:

"In the Rig-Veda the Aryan invaders of Lydia are called the Tritsu, 'the boring people,' who used the fire-drill; also Arna, 'sons of Arani,' the fire-drill, whose sacred number is four".... "In India, from time immemorial, by a process like churning, fire has been produced by the Arani, made of the Ashvattha (_Ficus religiosa_) wood, being twirled repeatedly round till the fire is lighted, by a string fixed in the cross-bar at its top," a method, I may add, which is a later development of the more primitive mode of twirling the fire-drill by hand. "The Kus.h.i.+tes ... believed that life was generated by the union of heat with water ... and that heat was, in the astronomical myth, engendered by the revolution of the Great Bear and the connection between it, the vital heat and the creating water is shown in one of its Akkadian names, Bel-a-sar-a, which means 'the fire G.o.d who measures the water yoke' (R. Brown and Sayce), or, in other words, Bel, the distributor of the water allotted to the earth. From this heavenly cistern and fire-drill, in which marichi, the fire-spark, is hidden, the water of life is distributed."

Compare the preceding with the following statements: "According to the Arab doctrine of the pole, the seven stars of the Great Bear and the star Canopus [?] formed the fire-drill." According to Hewitt "... It was the Ashvins, ... the twin brothers of day and night, ... identified with the twin stars in Gemini, who twirled round the fire drill of the northern pole ... or, according to a later hymn, drove through the seas with one of the wheels of their chariot in Ursa Major and one in heaven,-that is, to drive around the pole." A deeper comprehension seems to be afforded by this a.s.sociation of the Ashvins with the axis, of the significance of the two figures (of a G.o.d and his consort) who, in the Sippar tablet, appear to be directing the wheel of Shamash-the world-axis and symbol of quadruplicate terrestrial government (see p. 365). Reference should also be repeated here, to Al-kuth and Al-fa.s.s, the Arabian names for Polaris, respectively signifying the axle and the hole of the axle, also to the pole star of Northern India-Grahadhara,-the "pivot of heaven," and to the significant fact that in Egyptian hieratic script the word an=the Akkadian and Sumerian word for heaven, and Babylonian-a.s.syrian word for G.o.d, is found rendered by a man "turning around," an action expressing the verb an.

It is interesting to collate these statements with the descriptions of Dhruva (see p. 448, note 1), the personification of centrifugal power, who, as he turns, causes the heaven to revolve around the fixed centre on which he stands, resting on one foot only, and to note how the two distinct ideas of central stability and rotation influenced the making of pagan divinities. The idea of stability was perpetuated in the house-pole which sustained Aman, the roof of primitive dwellings in the column an, which supported the temple roof and in time was transformed into a hermes, or, in Egypt, into a statue of Amen-ra, and in the mythical mountain of the North, Sama, which supported the heaven (Sama). Dhruva's turning round on one foot, which implies the use of the other, reappears in the Hephaistos of Greek mythology, who was, as Hewitt tells us (p. 504), "the fire-drill and its driver, and was called Amphi-Gueeis, or he who halts on both legs, ... was cast from heaven by Zeus, and was the husband of the fire-socket, the first form of the Greek G.o.ddess Aphrodite."

For information regarding the cult of the fire-socket, the construction of the Hindu fire-altars in the form of a woman, representing "mother-earth"

or "the primaeval mother," Aditi, I refer the reader to Hewitt's work, and also to p. 323 of the present publication, where the description of the Jiddah sanctuary proves the existence of the same ancient form of cult in Arabia. Hewitt relates on page 170 that, on the fire-altar, the central fire called Agni jatavedas is kindled when the officiating priest addresses in the words of Rig-Veda III, 29, 4: "We place thee, O Jatavedas, in the place of Ida (the mountain daughter of Manu) in the navel (nabha) of the altar, to carry our offerings." In Rig-Veda, X, 61, we are also told how Nabha-Nedishtha (that which is nearest to the navel) was born from the union of celestial lightning flash with the earth, and how, on his birth, he claimed to be the supreme G.o.d, saying: "This, our navel, is the highest. I am his son.... I am the twice-born son of the law (of nature)...." Hewitt (p. 171) regards, moreover, the image of the G.o.ddess of the earth altar found by Schliemann in the second city from the bottom of the six cities, built one over another on the site of Troy, a counterpart of the Hindu fire-altar. It is significant that the Trojan image exhibits a triangle surrounded by seven disks, and containing the swastika, which Hewitt designates as "the holy fire, the sun of the revolving year," a view curiously, though indistinctly, a.n.a.logous and parallel to that I have formulated in the present research.

"In the Brahmanas the Try-Ambika offering, a very ancient form of the rain festival, is described.... Its sanct.i.ty dated from the days of primeval theology, for the offerings were made on a spot outside and _to the north_ of the consecrated area, and on one intersected by cross-roads, and thus marked by the cross sacred to the rain-G.o.d, which is said to be Rudra's favorite haunts, and the halting place of the Agnis.... Hence the festival is dedicated to Rud-ra, the red (rud) G.o.d, the father of the seven Marut stars.... He is called the red G.o.d from the spark of fire kindled by him in the fire socket when he was the fire-drill, and from being reddened by the blood of the victim slain in his sacrifices when he was the sacrificial stake to which the annual victims, whose blood fertilized the ground, were bound, and this name was continued to him when he became the red cloud of the thunderstorm which infused the soil of life into the earth by pouring on it the life-giving rain, the blood of the creating G.o.d...."

In the Rig-Veda the rain-G.o.d is termed Ushana, the "lord of fire," who is made to exclaim: "It is I who pour down rain for the good of creatures."

It was he who was also known as Varuna, the Greek Ourauos, who ... became the G.o.d of the dark night.... The union [in India] of the patriarchal wors.h.i.+ppers of the Northern father-G.o.d, with the matriarchal races of the south was followed by the miners, metal-workers and artisans of the early bronze age, who looked on fire and the life-giving heat as the author of life. These were the people (of Finnic origin) who employed the word ku for G.o.d, in Asia Minor became the wors.h.i.+ppers of the mother G.o.ddess Magha, the socket block from which fire was generated by the fire-drill, and it was they, "the Sons of Magha" that became the Maghi of Persia and the Maghadas of Indian history.

In connection with the union of a northern patriarchal and a southern matriarchal race, an astronomical myth deserves particular attention, as it commemorates the combination of a feminine cult of the Pleiades, the "spinning stars," with a masculine cult of Ursa Major. According to this myth, related by Hewitt, the "Spinners"=Krittakas (from krit, to spin) were "the mother-stars of the earth," who were married to the seven stars of the Great "Bear, the father-stars of the North."(145) Remarking how curiously the a.s.signment of the north to the male and the south to the female element coincides with what has been noted in Egypt, I note here the interesting detail recorded by Hewitt (p. 379) that to this day the Hindu bride and bridegroom respectively pay reverence to the Pleiades and Ursa Major, before wors.h.i.+pping the pole-star, "the spotted bull," on entering their house. It would seem as though the fulfilment of this ritual might limit the Hindu marriage season to some particular time of the year, marked by the position of the Pleiades; in which connection it is interesting to remember that, in Mexico, the culmination of the Pleiades at midnight marked the New Year festival, when sacred fire was rekindled and the union of Heaven and Earth took place. On pp. 130-132 of Hewitt's work, vol. I, the reader will find instructive data regarding Pleiades festivals.

The preceding details appear to show that whereas a northern patriarchal race would naturally symbolize axial rotation by the fire-drill, a southern matriarchal race would adopt the spindle for the same purpose.

Such a ritualistic use of the spindle would undoubtedly afford a very simple explanation for the presence of cross-symbols and swastikas and other designs of religious significance upon the terra-cotta spinning whorls found in such quant.i.ties in Troy, for instance, and the cited allusion on one of these, to the pole-star G.o.d, Tur, corroborates this view.(146)

It is instructive to trace how, amongst primitive agricultural races, the art of spinning, the employment of beasts of burden, the invention of the oil-press which "was used in Asia Minor as it has been used for time immemorial in India to extract the oil of the sesame seeds," and of the wheel and cart, influenced their respective adoption of symbols of axial rotation. In turn, these symbols suggested and created divergent forms of ritual and religious cult. "The Turanians ... when they had evolved the idea of the G.o.d of heaven as the pole turned by the revolving days and weeks symbolized it as the pole of the thres.h.i.+ng floors around which the oxen were driven." The reader is referred here to the pa.s.sages from the Bhagavata-purana quoted in the present work (note 1, p. 448), in which axial rotation is compared to "oxen turning around their stakes," to which must be added the Vedic "one-wheeled car to which one horse named seven was yoked" (see p. 452, note 1), and the revolving wheel and the revolving measuring pole of the potter and builder castes, which united formed the Telis caste.

In the Vaya Purana, "the seven Maruts drive the stars which are bound to it by ties invisible to man, round the pole. They move round like the beam in the oil-press, for its bottom is, as it were, standing still, while its end moves round".... In the ritual "the Sanscrit Isha or the beam which turns this pole of heavenly oil-pressing mill, is the husband and father."

A diverging view, which developed and combined the ideas of fixity and circular motion with the kindling of the vital spark by the wooden fire-drill, caused the living tree to become the emblem of the tribal father or mother. The custom, still in use among some primitive people, of drilling for fire in the dry, inflammable bark of dead trees of a particular species, may have forcibly directed the choice of tribal trees.

At all events, in India, we find the mango or Am tree, which recurs in Egyptian script (see fig. 63, 22), the fig-tree, the udumbara, the date-palm and other trees established as the parent trees of different tribes, who made their respective house-poles and presumably their fire-drills and sockets, from their wood. The curious ritual of marrying men and women to their respective mother or father tribal trees, before they are wedded to their respective husbands and wives is mentioned by Hewitt on p. 237, etc. This close bond between some special kind of tree and a tribe is a point which I particularly emphasize on account of its a.n.a.logy to ancient Mexican, Maya and Peruvian tribal trees.

The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations Part 37

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