Ecliptic Lore

The solar (and lunar) eclipse can be seen as somewhat of a central focus in the mindset of ancient observers. Based on the evidence, it can be learned that they consistently expressed their interest in such phenomena by means of artistic practices and religious traditions. And although there may have been some cultural distinctions (when comparing), the ecliptic motif can nevertheless be perceived as a very commonly shared point of view. From understanding the sun and moon as husband and wife,1 to viewing the ending eclipse as a fire spitting dragon (see below), these sort of mythological descriptions are seen as just another day in the esoteric life of primitive astro-theological cultures.

Given the necromantical context of ancient civilization, their emphatic interest in solar eclipses (along with sunrises in general) comes across as no surprise, as the concept of "life out of death" (resurrection)2 parallels "light out of darkness." For instance, this exact notion can be seen even with the resurrection of Christ in the Bible. Notice, his resurrection occurs specifically in the morning (e.g. Mark 16:1-6), and is therefore in the context of "the rising of the sun" (ανατειλαντος του ηλιου). As the text teaches, the two Mary's (i.e. the two witches) arrive only to find that Jesus is not in the tomb⁠—the stone having been rolled away already. This is highly solar ecliptic in description; the "Christ" of course depicting a rising sun deity (very general knowledge, e.g. Malachi 4:2).

But it doesn't stop there. Hebraically speaking, there is also a connection made between Jesus and the prophet Elijah in the Bible. Elijah? Indeed, yet another obvious solar deity (see below). Notice in John 3:13 how Jesus actually identifies himself as Elijah by saying that "No one has ascended to heaven" except for Christ (i.e. himself). As it turns out, Elijah is seen ascending to heaven in 2 Kings 2:11, since "a chariot of fire" appears "and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." Thus, he is identified as Christ in this very point.3

Thus, similar to Helios (Greek) and Surya (Hindu), the prophet Elijah is seen as yet another example of the "sun and chariot" motif. Interestingly, 2 Kings 23:11 condemns "the chariots of the sun", even though it falls right into this very category. But of course, this is not shocking given the Bible is seen teaching in opposition to itself quite frequently (see Is The Bible Biblical?). Further, we can also look towards classic Norse mythology to find this same kind of "sun and chariot" idea; Sol⁠—the sun personified⁠—is chased by Skoll, a sky wolf.4 And, since "he eventually will catch her," the solar ecliptic concept is clearly depicted, since darkness overtaking the sun is just that⁠—an eclipse. What is interesting in light of this is the fact that Elijah likewise flees, only instead of a wolf, he is found fleeing from Jezebel (1 Kings 19). Well, in somewhat of a "flip of the script," Jezebel is the one who ends up being eaten [by dogs] instead (2 Kings 9:10, 36-37). To keep things in context, an omen is basically seen two chapters earlier with Elijah; ravens are found feeding bread and flesh (or meat) to Elijah. And if this all isn't enough, you can also see the Chinese solar tale of Tiangou, a flying dog who eats the sun. When comparing these different cultural understandings, the parallelism is clearly seen in its essence, only the difference in certain details is witnessed.

More than this, the Greek word ηλι can also be placed on the table of examination. The term means "my God," but in Matthew 27:46-47 is connected with Elijah/the sun (ηλιαν). This of course fits with Psalm 84:11, since the Hebrew God is the sun, but it goes further than that. In 1 Samuel, Eli the priest has the same exact name (ηλι) in the Septuagint. And notice what 1 Samuel 4:18 (1 Kings LXX) says:
And it came to pass, when he mentioned the ark of God, that he fell from the seat backward near the gate, and his back was broken, and he died, for [he was] an old man and heavy: and he judged Israel twenty years. (LXXE)
In other words, the sun "fell" (went down, or out). This is a clear example of the "sudden darkness" motif (also seen in The Oddysey, Book 11). Basically, the coming of darkness (the ark being stolen) and the leaving of light (Eli, the sun). 

Actually, the entire Book of Job in the Bible appears to be one big solar eclipse. It starts out great, sudden darkness and anguish arises, but then towards the end as Elihu5 (which also apparently means sun) comes into the picture, Job's life is restored⁠—and all is well again (light). Additionally, you have the fire breathing dragon, Leviathan mentioned in this same book. It says:
His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes [are] like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as [from] a boiling pot and burning rushes his breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth. (Job 41:18-21)
This fits right in with solar eclipse lore. In Hindu culture, Rahu is a serpent who swallows the sun. In Buddhism, Rahu attacks the sun deity, only to release it later on (instead of having his head split into seven pieces). This ecliptic motif depicts the fire breathing ("release") dragon concept. Leviathan is mentioned in a heavenly context (Job 3:8-9) and described with "a flame" (and light) going out of his mouth. The association of clouds and lightning appears to be sprinkled in as well, since the "burning lights" and "sparks" are mentioned along with "smoke" in the passages.

Moreover, notice how it says "may it look for light, but [have] none" in Job 3:8. This is said in the context of Leviathan and the heavens, the "darkness" concept fitting an eclipse. Interestingly, the Septuagint (in Job 3:8) does not use the usual term δαρκων for Leviathan, but instead has το μεγα κητος (i.e. the great whale or fish). With this in mind, notice the story of Jonah:

Now the Lord had commanded a great whale (κητει μεγαλω) to swallow up Jonas: and Jonas was in the belly of the whale (του κητους) three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17 [2:1] LXXE)
The same Greek word for "whale" (used in Job 3:8 for Leviathan) is used in this tale. The fish swallows Jonah, and ends up casting him out (εξέβαλε), just like in the ecliptic motif. But how does the sun chain into this? Well, sure enough, this story of Jonah and the fish ends up being deified in the Gospels, as Jonah gets understood as Christ (see Matthew 12:39-41; 16:4; Luke 11:29-32). Jesus draws the parallel between himself and Jonah, and Jesus being identified as God Himself (e.g. Titus 2:13) is "the sun" (e.g. Psalm 84:11) of course. Thus, we see the solar connection with the predecessor (Jonah), as well as the "Leviathan" and "whale" parallelism⁠—the whale (dragon) swallowing Jonah (the sun) and later vomiting him out depicting a solar eclipse. 

What about the Book of Daniel? Similar to Jonah and the fish, Daniel is cast into the lions den (Daniel 6), only to be released alive after. And, like Christ in the tomb (Matthew 27:66), "a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den" (the moon). Then, early in the morning, it was seen that Daniel was unharmed. So, he was released from the den. Moreover, this same story is basically told in chapter three with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (a triadic deity). Of course, they are put into the midst of a burning fiery furnace, only later to be released uninjured⁠—sort of the "fight fire with fire" scenario.

The lunar eclipse? Actually, the ancients did not hold to modern cosmology. Therefore, they did not believe in a lunar eclipse (as it is understood today that is). To the contrary, they believed that the moon gives its own light (see Isaiah 13:10; 30:26). And furthermore, they apparently understood the "lunar ecliptic" occurrence as the moon turning into blood (e.g. Joel 2:31). Specifically, in the case of Acts 2:20 the moon was understood as "feminine" (η σεληνη). Thus, the association of "blood" (αιμα) and the feminine appears to depict a menstrual cycle (cf. Leviticus 15:19; 20:18). Evidently, they viewed a "lunar eclipse" as a periodic occurrence of blood regarding the female moon.

Finally, in the case of Jesus in Revelation 19:13, the "He [was] clothed with a robe dipped in blood" evidently is a reference to the blood moon. The context specifically notes that he sat on "a white horse" (Revelation 19:11), certainly fitting the brightness of the moon. Therefore, this places Jesus (in this instance) into the category of a lunar deity. The ancients understanding of transportation was chariots and horses (e.g. Nahum 2:4). Thus, the sun and moon "racing" (cf. Psalm 19:5) across the sky day by day (and night) was described as men (or women) riding horses/chariots.
____________________________________

Footnotes:

1. See Sun Lore of All Ages, ch. 2; Native American Myths and Legends, p. 161-162; Myths & Legends, William G. Doty & Jake Jackson, p. 24 (The Sun and the Moon). Also see Psalm 19:5 ("bridegroom").

2. Of course, "resurrection" is found in an esoteric context (e.g. Matthew 13:34-35; Mark 4:11-12; Revelation 1:1b). Since the Hebraic understanding of the dead was "the earth" (Genesis 2:7; Psalm 7:5; Job 5:6; Daniel 12:2), to animate or "bring to life" (resurrect) the earth was to live out Job 12:8 ("speak to the earth, and it will teach you"). This is the ancient practice of necromancy. In essence, the corpse speaks as an inanimate object. That is, the corpse "depicts" (e.g. Isaiah 66:24 "They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh"). For more on this subject, see Necromancy.

3. Also see Luke 9:7-9; 18-19.

4. The Prose Edda, Gylfaginning, XII.

5. Ελιου (Job 32:2) and ηλιου (1 Samuel/Kings 1:1) both are understood as "Elihu" in the Apostolic Bible Polyglot, the latter commonly translated "sun" (e.g. Genesis 15:12; Job 1:3).


No comments:

Post a Comment