Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ishtar egg hunt!

Our story here begins waaay back in the Old Kingdom of Egypt which started around 2600 B.C. During the Old Kingdom the Egyptians subscribed mainly to a group of eight deities that were called the Ogdoad. At this point I don't deem it necessary to get too in depth into the specific beliefs of the Old Kingdom but there is something in the mythology that relates. The eight deities were made up of four male and four female couplings that also contained Ra the sun god. Each of the four couples represented primordial elements that the Egyptians believed existed at the beginning. According to the mythology, which is vague and has changed with the culture over time, Ra and the eight deities were birthed from an egg that came from an ibis bird. The Ibis bird was deified in the god Hathor. In other words, we have a goose laying a golden egg.

This concept reminds me of the age old chicken or egg dilemma. It looks like the Egyptians believed the egg came first! According to Aristotle, "If there has been a first man he must have been born without father or mother – which is repugnant to nature. For there could not have been a first egg to give a beginning to birds, or there should have been a first bird which gave a beginning to eggs; for a bird comes from an egg." Aristotle believed that every being on Earth first existed as a spiritual being. The concept of a corresponding spiritual form to all physical forms is a powerful concept that we will return to later, but for now I want to focus on the egg symbol.

Departing from the Egyptian creation mythology and moving to the Babylonian and Assyrian counterpart mythology, let's take a look at a particular goddess figure called Ishtar. According to the epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar is a goddess of fertility, love, sex, and war. In the Babylonian pantheon, she "was the divine personification of the planet Venus". The same way that the Egyptians deified or idolized the aspects of nature that played significant roles in their lives, so did the Babylonians. The mythology surrounding Ishtar was meant to parallel the cycle of birth-life-death-rebirth of the seasons and the fertility rituals that were celebrated in it's honor. To the left is a depiction of Ishtar complete with owls and lions by her side.

Ishtar was perceived as being the consort of the gods. She had many lovers and was conceptually perceived as being an archetypal "lover of the gods". This makes me think of Ishtar as a universal symbol of feminine sexuality. This aspect of Ishtar as a deified lover is very significant and we will return to this aspect of her later. Ishtar's primary aspect was her association with sex. In fact, her cult involved sacred that an oxymoron?! So in this regard, Ishtar is only half of the story. The other half of the story revolves around her lover Tammuz.

So the story goes that Ishtar gets hitched with a shepherd boy named Tammuz. Their marriage is deified and so Tammuz is made a god of vegetation and fertility. The Babylonians believed that the marriage of Ishtar and Tammuz made the Earth fertile, ensured the cyclical renewal of the seasons, and all is right with the world :) But, it seems that all good things must come to an end and it wasn't any different for Ishtar and Tammuz. For one reason or another the locals decided that they were going to dismember Tammuz and spread his body parts out all over the place!! There is a bit of confusion on how Tammuz died. I was able to find other sources that claimed he was killed by a wild this point I'm not sure what that means.

Long story short, Ishtar is able to eventually secure the resurrection of Tammuz from the underworld for six months out of the year paralleling the life-death-rebirth cycle of the seasons. During the period of time that Tammuz is dead Ishtar supposedly became miraculously pregnant by Tammuz and in honor of this pregnancy had a golden egg made. Hmmm...there's that egg as a fertility symbol again. This pregnancy seems to also be symbolic of the rebirth of vegetation in the spring. Another concept worth noting here is the apparent immaculate pregnancy of Ishtar. This story is loaded with symbolism!

The symbolism of the egg as a point of creation exists in many cultures around the world and throughout time. For instance, in the Hindu mythological tradition Brahma, the creator, was born from a golden egg. Almost all cultures' mythology symbolize the egg as a point of creation. It's not a stretch to assume that if the egg was a symbol of universal creation that it would also be viewed as a symbol of life and birth. Thinking of the concept of immaculate conception in parallel with the cosmic egg one can see the obvious similarities. In other words, egg without chicken and child without sex. Hence the reason behind Ishtar and her golden egg.

Moving back to the original Egyptian hieroglyph for Sirius I want to call attention to the dome symbol and suggest that the dome relates to the feminine mother aspect as it is intended to be reminiscent of an egg or womb. I will also suggest that the dome in architecture is meant to metaphorically depict the feminine egg or womb. For example, "The main mass of the classical form of the stupa consists of a solid, hemispherical dome. Early Buddhist texts refer to this as the garbha, meaning 'womb' or 'container.' With this reference the stupa as a whole is called the 'dhatu-garbha.' Dhatu is Sanskrit for element. Herein lies the derivation of the word 'dagoba,' which is the short form of dhatu-garbha and which is the most usual designation of the stupa in Sri Lanka. Thus this section of a stupa is an allusion to the primordial, creative waters. Indeed in all the major cosmologies, life arose from the archetypal waters, a female symbol of formless potentiality. The dome by virtue of representing the womb from which issues all manifested existence signifies this creative matrix."

So now we've got the potential meaning behind two out of three of the symbols contained in the Sirius hieroglyph. The obelisk indicating the masculine/father aspect and the dome representing the feminine/mother aspect. Historical record has hinted at the type of ritualistic worship that came into play regarding the worship associated with these symbols (orgies and sacred temple prostitutes) which leads me to wonder what role these symbols play in modern society. To the left we can see the domed U.S. capital building that is capped off by the goddess Columbia standing triumphantly atop the building to further solidify the dome as feminine symbol.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In-ies and Out-ies...

Before we can really get started analyzing the symbolism present around us it's necessary to understand which symbols are significant to this conversation and which are not. I'll be the first to admit that it is easy, in this context, for one's imagination and paranoia to run away with them so we need to have some type of grounding to solidify our understanding and validate said paranoia in relation to symbols and agendas.

So, trying to lay things out as logically as possible, I think the place we should start is here:

This is the Egyptian hieroglyph for the constellation Sirius. It consists of an obelisk (pyramid), dome, and star. You don't have to be an art history major to recognize that we are exposed to these symbols today constantly. To understand the origins and significance of these symbols and their usage then we must understand what they meant to the Egyptians and how this meaning has translated itself across time and cultures through art, language, and architecture.

In ancient Egypt, Sirius was associated with the god Osiris. Osiris was the child of father Horus and mother Isis.

This is a depiction of the family of Osiris. Osiris on a lapis lazuli pillar in the middle, flanked by Horus on the left and Isis on the right. The father of this trinity is associated with the obelisk (a supposed phallic symbol), the mother with the dome, and the child with the star. An interesting aspect of this father/mother/son trilogy is the seeming interchangeability of the father and son. Also worth noting is that Osiris was considered Isis' brother. This element of interchangeability will come into play later.

So the question we are left with at this point is why are these particular symbols associated with father, mother, and child? Another question that I will hypothesize about later is whether these symbols and the father/mother/child trinity actually originated in Egypt, but for now we will try to understand the associations with the symbols.

Let's start out with the obelisk. On to

  /ˈɒbəlɪsk/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [ob-uh-lisk] Show IPA

1. a tapering, four-sided shaft of stone, usually monolithic and having a pyramidal apex.
2. something resembling such a shaft.
3. an obelus.
4. Printing. dagger (def. 2).

An interesting side note that I discovered while looking up the definition for obelisk is the word's association with the word dagger.

- 6 dictionary results
  /ˈdægər/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [dag-er] Show IPA

1. a short, swordlike weapon with a pointed blade and a handle, used for stabbing.
2. Also called obelisk. Printing. a mark (†) used esp. for references.

Funny thing about this relation between obelisk and dagger is that it plays directly into the direction I had planned to go with this entry. It's great when things sync up like this!

Encyclopedia at


short stabbing knife, ostensibly the diminutive of the sword, though in ancient and medieval times the distinction between a long dagger and a short sword was often obscure. From approximately 1300 the European dagger was consistently differentiated from the sword; in the 16th century a school of fencing developed in which a specially designed dagger with a large guard was held in the left hand and used for parrying.

If the phallic nature of a sword/dagger/obelisk is not immediately apparent based on the shape and function then let's do a quick definition exercise here. Question: where does one keep their sword/dagger when not in use? In their scabbard of course! What is a scabbard? Back to

Word Origin & History

1297, from Anglo-Fr. *escauberc "sheath, vagina" (13c.), probably from Frank. *skar "blade" (cf. O.H.G. scar "scissors, blade, sword") + *berg- "protect" (cf. O.H.G. bergan "to protect").

In other words, one keeps a dagger inside a scabbard; of course there won't be any little daggers and scabbards running around nine months later! Sorry, bad joke but I couldn't resist. In other words, the obelisk is meant to be a representation of the male anatomy, and every instance of an obelisk in architecture and art is meant to signify this. Now onto the story of Osiris and Isis according to Plutarch to help solidify this symbolic association. I've personally read Plutarch's account and it is really long and wordy so I'm just going to post a summary from wiki:

The cult of Osiris (who was a god chiefly of regeneration and re-birth) had a particularly strong interest toward the concept of immortality. Plutarch recounts one version of the myth surrounding the cult in which Set (Osiris' brother) fooled Osiris into getting into a box, which he then shut, had sealed with lead, and threw into the Nile (sarcophagi were based on the box in this myth). Osiris' wife, Isis, searched for his remains until she finally found him embedded in a tree trunk, which was holding up the roof of a palace in Byblos on the Phoenician coast. She managed to remove the coffin and open it, but Osiris was already dead. She used a spell she had learned from her father and brought him back to life so he could impregnate her. Afterwards he died again and she hid his body in the desert. Months later, she gave birth to Horus. While she was raising him, Set was hunting one night and came across the body of Osiris. Enraged, he tore the body into fourteen pieces and scattered them throughout the land. Isis gathered up all the parts of the body, less the phallus (which was eaten by a fish) and bandaged them together for a proper burial. The gods were impressed by the devotion of Isis and resurrected Osiris as the god of the underworld. Because of his death and resurrection, Osiris is associated with the flooding and retreating of the Nile and thus with the crops along the Nile valley.

If interested you can read Plutarch's words here:*/A.html

For whatever reason the most significant part of Plutarch's story, in this context, was left out of the wiki summary so here it is:

The traditional result of Osiris's dismemberment is that there are many so‑called tombs of Osiris in Egypt; for Isis held a funeral for each part when she had found it. Others deny this and assert that she caused effigies of him to be made and these she distributed among the several cities, pretending that she was giving them his body, in order that he might receive divine honours in a greater number of cities, band also that, if Typhon should succeed in overpowering Horus, he might despair of ever finding the true tomb when so many were pointed out to him, all of them called the tomb of Osiris.

Of the parts of Osiris's body the only one which Isis did not find was the male member, for the reason that this had been at once tossed into the river, and the lepidotus, the sea-bream, and the pike had fed upon it; and it is from these very fishes the Egyptians are most scrupulous in abstaining. But Isis made a replica of the member to take its place, and consecrated the phallus, in honour of which the Egyptians even at the pr
esent day celebrate a festival.

It is starting to become apparent where this story is going and what is significant about it in regards to the obelisk as phallic emblem. According to Diodorus:

Now the parts of the body of Osiris which were found were honoured with burial, they say, in the manner described above, but the privates, according to them, were thrown by Typhon into the Nile because no one of his accomplices was willing to take them. Yet Isis thought them as worthy of divine honours as the other parts, for, fashioning a likeness of them, she set it up in the temples, commanded that it be honoured, and made it the object of the highest regard and reverence in the rites and sacrifices accorded to the god. 7 Consequently the Greeks too, inasmuch as they received from Egypt the celebrations of the orgies and the festivals connected with Dionysus, honour this member in both the mysteries and the initiatory rites and sacrifices of this god, giving it the name "phallus."*.html#22.6

According to Wikipedia, for that's worth, "
Obelisks were prominent in the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, who placed them in pairs at the entrance of temples." I don't think it would be a big leap of faith for us to assume that the replicas of Osiris' manhood that were placed at temples to signify his worship were none other than Obelisks. So now the question I'm asking myself is why the hell do we find these Obelisks everywhere around the world?! There are Obelisks in London, New York, Rome (Vatican City of all places!) and even the Washington Monument is an Obelisk meant to recognize the Father of the United States. I think the plot just got thicker ;)

Next I think we will take on the dome as feminine signifier...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Symbolism all around Us

I think it makes sense to first establish the "filter" through which I'm going to be processing information to make it easier to understand where I'm going with this blog. It has become apparent to me that there is more going on in our daily lives than is immediately evident at first glance. What I'm getting at is that there is symbolism all around us. Everywhere we look there are symbols present. Even the letters that you are reading right now(hopefully!) are symbols. So it's important not to underestimate the power that symbols have on our subconscious and conscious minds.

Definition thanks to

  /ˈsɪmbəl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [sim-buhl] Show IPA noun, verb, -boled, -bol⋅ing or (especially British) -bolled, -bol⋅ling.
Use symbol in a Sentence
See web results for symbol
See images of symbol
1. something used for or regarded as representing something else; a material object representing something, often something immaterial; emblem, token, or sign.
2. a letter, figure, or other character or mark or a combination of letters or the like used to designate something: the algebraic symbol x; the chemical symbol Au.
3. a word, phrase, image, or the like having a complex of associated meanings and perceived as having inherent value separable from that which is symbolized, as being part of that which is symbolized, and as performing its normal function of standing for or representing that which is symbolized: usually conceived as deriving its meaning chiefly from the structure in which it appears, and generally distinguished from a sign.

Symbols are essentially a type of communication device. I will be exploring some of the "mysterious" symbols present in our culture and what they attempt to communicate to us on a conscious and unconscious level.

Another fun little concept that everyone should be aware of is Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). A quick jump over to Wikipedia gives us some insight into NLP:

Wikipedia says:
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a controversial approach to psychotherapy and organisational change based on "a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them" and "a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour"

I would recommend reading up on NLP. What's important in the context of this blog regarding NLP is the concept of side stepping the conscious mind (gate keeper)and communicating directly with a person's subconscious mind. NLP theory suggests that the conscious mind is essentially a gate keeper for the subconscious mind that accepts all information as universally true.

Example, think about riding on an elevator with several other people. On the way up you are forming a mental list of things you must do that day. The elevator door opens and everyone on the elevator exits and you follow them. When you get off the elevator you realize that it is not your floor...oops!

What happened there?! Why did you get off at the wrong floor? Your conscious mind, the gate keeper, was occupied with the things that must be done that day and what order you were going to do them in. But your subconscious mind was aware of the other people on the elevator exiting and accepted this action as universally true and so your subconscious mind told your body to exit the elevator. Your conscious mind was in a "trance" leaving your subconscious mind susceptible to suggestion. The word suggestion is significant here because it seems that the subconscious mind has a tendency to reject commands and accept suggestions...this concept will come into play later.

Another buzz word that relates here is the word occult. I think there are a lot of misconceptions with this word so let's define it.

  /əˈkʌlt, ˈɒkʌlt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [uh-kuhlt, ok-uhlt] Show IPA
Use occult in a Sentence
See web results for occult
See images of occult
1. of or pertaining to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies.
2. beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding; mysterious.
3. secret; disclosed or communicated only to the initiated.
4. hidden from view.
5. (in early science)
a. not apparent on mere inspection but discoverable by experimentation.
b. of a nature not understood, as physical qualities.
c. dealing with such qualities; experimental: occult science.
6. Medicine/Medical. present in amounts too small to be visible: a chemical test to detect occult blood in the stool.
7. the supernatural or supernatural agencies and affairs considered as a whole (usually prec. by the).
8. occult studies or sciences (usually prec. by the).
–verb (used with object)
9. to block or shut off (an object) from view; hide.
10. Astronomy. to hide (a celestial body) by occultation.
–verb (used without object)
11. to become hidden or shut off from view.

So, in a nutshell we are talking about hidden knowledge. I'm sure everyone is familiar with the saying, "knowledge is power." I would suggest, along these same lines, that occult knowledge is more powerful. The fact that said occult knowledge is hidden is where this knowledge derives its power. For instance, NLP would lose a lot of its impact if it were not occult.

So, what I'm going to explore with this blog is the possibilities of subconscious Neuro-linguistic programming through occult symbolism in the media, the government, Hollywood, religion and anywhere else that I find it. I will analyze the nature of this communication, what is being communicated, what responses the communicators are hoping to elicit, and the meanings behind the symbolism. I also reserve the right to explore any path that might be revealed to me as significant along the way.

It's an option...

The latest super star Hollywood gossip, my take on the "news", and interpretations of the symbolism that's all around us...and basically anything else that I believe is relevant and significant to the cause. The cause is whatever I say the cause is be-cause this is my blog. :)