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Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour


Ancient Egypt, the light of the world

by Gerald Massey

Excerpt:

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the changing pole. In his visions Enoch sees the "seven splendid mountains which were all different from each other." These are described as six, with "the seventh mountain in the midst of them." In furnishing the ark of testimony according to the pattern seen in the mount, instructions are given for the lamp-stand to be made with six branches going out of the candlestick. But it is added, "Thou shalt make the lamps thereof seven " (Ex. xxv. 37); this, then, was likewise a figure of six encircling the one that was a fixture in the centre. The six stars that kept revolving whilst the seventh stood or rested on one foot are to be met with in a legend of the Ainu. "Suddenly there was a large house on the top of a hill wherein were six persons beautifully arrayed, but constantly quarrelling (always in motion). Thereupon Okikurumi (a name connected with the wheel) seized a firebrand and beat each of the six with it in turn. Whereupon the six all ran away in the shape of hares" (Chamberlain, B. H., Memoirs of Tokyo University, p. 32).

It is stated in the Chow Ritual that the Chinese rules for divining were contained in three books—the Lien-shan, the Kwei-Tsang, and the Kwei-chang. The name of the first signifies "United Mountains," a title that is said to have been derived from its first mystical and divining six-fold sign Kan (O'Neil, The Night of the Gods, vol. ii. p. 892). These united mountains, determined, as stated, by the six-fold sign, appear to be a form of the six which, with the seventh at the centre, marked the seven stations of the pole in the circle of precession. The Zuni Indian system of the seven mountains is the same. These consist of six mountains which are stationed round the central one. When Remus saw the flight of the six vultures he was standing on the rock of the Aventine Hill—that is, the Bird-hill, which looks as if it represented the seventh to the six stars; the one that was stationary on the pivot of the pole, whilst the other six were moving round it with the sphere. Thus there is a central mountain and a central land to the seven mountains. One of the seven united mountains is the tree-mountain. Elsewhere we meet with the stonemountain, the mount of the papyrus reed, the ever-white mountain whence the Korean people came, the mount of the white wall, the pearl mountain. The mount of Saturn = Sebek, in the Dragon, was one of the seven hills in Rome. A " festival of the six " is made mention of in the Ritual (ch. 136, Pap. of Nu). This occurs in a chapter for making a spirit perfect, which memorizes the birth of a god who is called the newly-born, as the 'lamp in Annu at the pole. He is described as a god of the rope. It is said, "He is born, he of the strong cord. His cable is complete" (ch. 136, Renouf). This we understand to be a god of the rope that was made fast at one end to the solar boat and at the other to the star Ak at the pole. The luminaries in Annu are addressed. They are the seven Khus. One of these seven is newly-born, or his star is just lighted, as god of the lamp and likewise of the rope, and the event is celebrated at "the festival of the six "—not of the sixth. Moreover, he is called "the Prince of the inundation." There had been a deluge, and he has turned back the water-flood which had risen over the thigh of Nut at the staircase of Seb, god of the earth.

This figure of the one at the centre of the six will enable us to explain a mystery of the cyclops. These in one version of the mythos were seven in number, therefore they are a form of the seven giants or powers of the pole-stars—the seven that were 6+1. Now, it was fabled that all the seven could see with one single eye, and the single eye we take to have been the pole-star for the time being that was fixed at the centre as the eye of the group. The mythical unicorn was another figure of the horn-point at the pole. As such it was a type of Sut, the founder of the pole. Sut being first as founder, his was the single horn. It was as the symbol of sustaining power stationed at the pole that the unicorn became a supporter with the lion of the royal arms in British heraldry. The unicorn has but one eye, and thus it became a co-type with the cyclop as a figure of the one star of the pole. The unicorn is associated with the tree, because the tree also stands for the pole. Sometimes its single horn is stuck fast in the tree, which position intensifies the figure of stability at the pole. Futile attempts have been made to show that the unicorn was an emblem of the moon. But though the lunar orb might be imaged as a single eye, it would not, could not, be represented by a single horn. The ancients knew the moon was doublehorned when it was figured as the celestial cow. The horn is another of those figures which, being single at first, became seven-fold as types of the heptanomis. Thus there is a group of seven horns to add to the rest. This group is portrayed above the head of Sesheta, a goddess of laying the foundations, which are seven in number, as figured by means of her seven horns upon a pole.

In the heaven of the heptanomis the ancient Genetrix had seven sons. The figure is repeated in the seven sons of Japheth (Gen. ch. x.\ the seven sons of the divine lady of the holy mound in Babylonia, the seven sons of Quanwon in Japan, the seven sons of Albion, the white land in the north, and various other groups of the seven on board the ark, which was earlier than the foundations that were laid in the four quarters. The heptanomis came to an end with the great deluge of all ; and in the book of Genesis the deluge of Noah is followed by the new kingdom that was reared on a four-fold foundation, the seven cities on the other side of the flood being succeeded by the cities of the four quarters built on this. When Nimrod or Gilgames became "a mighty one in the earth" "the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Ereck and Akkad and Kalneh, in the land of Shinar," and out of that land he went forth and built four other cities in Assyria. A heaven of the four quarters had then superseded the heptanomis or heaven founded on the seven stars or astronomes, and this was the figure followed in the building of the four cities on earth.

After the great deluge of all had taken place and the inhabitants of the heptanomis generally were drowned, it was seen that the seven pole-stars kept their places in the circumpolar heaven. And thus the seven gods sat in their circle round the tree of the pole, the fixed and never-setting stars for ever safe from all the deluges of time, as the seven lords of eternity. These are the seven that were saved when all the world was drowned. The Shenin in the Ritual are a group of spirits that surround the seat of the highest. The name denotes the circle of those ministers or officials that surround the throne of the god or the king. In one text this circle is called the shenin of fire. They are the spirits of fire = the saluting apes in the circle of the eternals. Their number is not directly given, but they are the princes who elsewhere are a form of the seven great spirits that surround the throne. Now, there is a stellar enclosure or circle of stars in the northern heaven which the Chinese recognize in the region of Draco and Ursa Major. These bear the names of ministers and officers who surround the sovereign, and therefore are identical with the Egyptian circle of the shenin. This is very probably the constellation of the Northern Crown, in which the seven were grouped as a numerical figure of the pole-star circle. The circle of the seven lords of eternity was first; the throne of the highest was erected in the centre. Thus the seven as servants (seshu), khuti, uraeus-gods, saluting apes or angels, spirits, or lamps of fire, are depicted round the throne of God according to the mystery of the seven stars in Revelation.

As already said, the earliest form of an enclosure in heaven called the Aarru is depicted as a field of reeds, the habitat of the water-cow, who brought forth Sut, her first-born bull, upon the summit in a field of reeds that rose above the waters at the station of the pole when this was represented by the bed of reeds. Thus the ancestral pair that were saved from the deluge by climbing up the reed-mountain, like the Navajo Indians, would derive their origin from the reed. The main significance of the reed as a symbol of the pole depends upon its being a plant that grows up through the water and flowers above the surface to present the type of an ark or station or other means of escape from the mythical water that flowed betwixt this world and the other. We have now to suggest that the seven stars of the rulers were neither in the Great Bear nor the Pleiades, but that they were the past representatives of Polaris in the cycle of precession, and to show that the mystery of the seven stars in the drama of "revelation " was a mystery of the celestial heptanomis in the astronomical mythology. As we have seen, in various myths the land enclosed in the celestial sea was lost because the woman betrayed the secret of the waters, which then burst forth and overthrew the bulwarks that had been erected by the male, who in the Egyptian mythos was her son, the founder Sut. In other legends paradise was lost by the unwatchful dog. This, as the jackal, was the dog of Sut. Thus in one case the deluge was let in by the mother, and in another by the son, who were the primal pair as founders of the pole. Whilst in some parts of the world it was the dog (as typical guide) who let in the deluge, in Fiji it was the race of men that had tails like dogs who were destroyed by the deluge. In other legends mankind were changed into dogs after one of the several deluges. The Bonaks or root-diggers said the first Indians that ever lived were coyotes or prairie-dogs. The Chichimecs of South America are the dogs by name. In Africa these would have been totemic jackals. But without going back so far in time and space as the submergence of the southern pole and the declination and disappearance of its star below the horizon for those who travelled northward, there is another origin possible for the legend of the dog. The jackal or Egyptian dog was also constellated as the guide of ways in Sothis, and as Stella Polaris at the northern pole. As the planisphere of Denderah shows, the dog's tail in which the pole-star Cynosura shines to-day was the tail of the Jackal. Twenty-six thousand years ago the position was the same. The jackal of the mythos or dog of later legend was then the watcher in the circumpolar paradise or garden of the Tree. Now, whichever zootype represented the pole-star of the period —hippopotamus, jackal, ape, bird, tortoise, or dragon (crocodile)—it might be held responsible for the loss of paradise or enclosure through letting in the waters. This would be rendered according to the mythical mode, and afterwards related in a legend or a folktale.


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