Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ancient Ghost Town

One of the reasons behind my daily blogging is to set aside time to investigate and research and to contemplate what I know and what I only think I know. There is so very much on this topic- it's a huge body of water with a great number of tributaries. There's no way I'm going to parse all of this tonight, so come take a trip on my train of thought...

When I made my offerings eariler, I found myself in a prayer pose which I recall my Aunts using, even the ones who went to Church (tho not as exaggerated). Almost no one else in the church did this, certainly not anyone who wasn't Italian (It was a mostly Italian parish anyway!). From there, it was a quick leap to the Minoan figures of worshipers. I remember how striking they were when I saw them in person:

I took this picture in the Heraklion museum.

I meditated tonight before blogging and was reminded of my dance with Ereshkigal. I didn't really understand why until, when searching for pictures of the figures of worshipers, I came across pictures of the Minoan Snake Goddess.

I wound up looking at these pictures side by side for the first time. I've known about Ninhursag, but somehow I've never connected these two pictures before.

Ninhursag, meaning "Lady of the Mountain," is the Sumerian Earth Goddess/Mother Goddess. Her attributes were later subsumed into Inanna/Ishtar. If you are unfamiliar with this Goddess I highly suggest this article. "In art, Ninhursag is often depicted with a tiered skirt, often with a horned head-dress. She sometimes carries bow cases at her shoulders, and/or a mace or staff with an omega motif at its top."

What really has me in a tizzy tonight is this article I've found on the links between Egypt and Crete. I would love to just post the entire article here on the blog. Instead I'll summarize it and add a few excerpts of interest, tho I have to say the entirely article is fascinating and makes a lot of sense. I would love to hear from those who work with the Egyptian pantheons weight in on this. Happily, I know a few and will ask them to comment.

Points to ponder from the article:
Was Crete an Egyptian colony, with care for the dead their primary occupation?
Were the "palaces" of Crete actually temples?
These were made of gypsum, when limestone was available.
No artifacts of daily living or waste have been found in the complexes
The stairs showed little sign of travel
There are identical processional paintings, of the same age, found in both Crete and Egypt; They speak of an island, identified in Egyptian sources as “Keftiu” – Crete.
The Phaistos Disc, found in Crete, might be a version of the Egyptian the snake game, Senet, which became an important funerary object and a metaphor for ascending to Heaven.

An excerpt:

The bull was important both in Crete and Egypt. In Egypt, the animal is linked with the deceased king, whereas the bull is depicted on all Minoan monuments, though its specification function is unclear, because of the absence of any knowledge on the Minoan religion. The palaces depict lilies and lotus flowers, plants that had an important, religious function in Egypt.
The Minoan palaces have a depiction of what is known as “bull leaping”: people performing acrobatics on a leaping bull. Experts have identified that this form of acrobatics is physically impossible – humans and bulls cannot interact in such a manner. The question is therefore whether these scenes depict “imaginary” scenes, i.e. scenes that might occur in the Afterlife?
The name of king Minos is identical to the first king of the Egyptian First Dynasty, Menes. But in the Homeric legends, Minos is not so much king, as a judge, “wielding a golden sceptre while dispensing laws among the dead.” If Minos ruled Crete, Crete was therefore an island of the dead.                  

YES! It makes such perfect sense to me.

Talking to hubby about our time in Knossos and about the rest of our experience in Greece in general, we both agreed that the "palace" felt very different than the other sites we visited. It was quieter in a way. I don't mean lack of tourist quieter, I mean energy of life quieter. We explored out of the way places like Eleusis and popular places like the Parthenon and Delphi- It wasn't a matter of how many tourists were around, it was the quality of the energy. There was a palpable difference. Despite the presence of people and a booming tourism industry, Knossos felt like a ghost town. According to this article? Literally.

And this isn't even getting into the Labyrinth, or Ariadne, or the Goddess cult on the island before it was colonized by Egypt or claimed by Greece! Another time!

Thanks for following my train tonight. Here are a few more pictures from that trip:

"Horns of Consecration"

The Prince of Lilies doesn't look Egyptian at all...

I thought this was just darn cool.

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