Sunday, September 12, 2010

Travel the stars with Noah

An illustrated version is here: http://solaria-publications.com/map_2_full_reconstruction_of_the_babylonian_star-map
It would be really strange if the Old Testament didn’t contain any astrology. For a modern reader to appreciate ancient books, it is necessary to put oneself in an ancient person’s environment. West Asia is very much “big sky” country. Also, without electricity, ancient people had no light pollution obscuring their view of the sky. During the warm season (which is most of the year) it was customary to sleep on the flat roof of the home. The stars were ancient people’s nightly TV before bedtime. Everyone was far more familiar with the patterns of the stars than modern people. And, priests were astrology specialists. So, a collection of religious books, like the Old Testament, should contain star lore.


Also, astrologers were the only compilers of “historical” records in West Asia, before the Greek fashion of history writing arrived in the Hellenistic Period. Astrologers were responsible for keeping the calendar and creating omens, based on astronomical events. Mesopotamian astrologers, called “Chaldeans” kept records of the travels of the planets, eclipses, comets, etc. Ancient myths were also composed as star stories, explaining the concept of “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” The myths alluded to changes in the natural environment with the change of seasons, agricultural activities, and religious rituals performed at different times of the year.

The story of Noah was illustrated by the constellations of The Babylonian Star Chart. The stars near the center of the chart were always visible; but, those around the edges only appeared in their season. The myths were composed following the changes in the appearance of the night sky, with the constellations around the edge of the star chart rising and disappearing with the seasons. Genesis Chapter 6 begins around the autumn equinox with the sacred marriage akitu festival, represented by the sons of God having sex with the daughters of men. The constellation Virgo was visible in the sky during the autumn akitu festival and represented mythical female fertility characters. The giants mention in verse 4 were represented by the giant Wild Boar, underneath Virgo “God” overlooked the season as Enlil, represented by the constellation, Supa, standing above Virgo. God then passes judgment on the Earth by threatening a flood as the Scales represented by Libra rising, as the story moves into the next zodiac sign. Verse 11 notes the Earth as corrupt and full of violence, as represented by Zababa and the scorpion of Scorpio. God then tells Noah to build an ark, represented by the Cargo Boat constellation underneath Pabilsag, now known as Sagittarius. The flood begins at the winter solstice, which was the death of the sun, which was the violent character, Zababa. The death caused by the flood was also represented by the Eagle and Dead Man constellation of winter. The Goatfish (Capricorn) and Aquarius represented Enki, the great god of the Abyss. Noah’s flood was lasted 40 days, because the magic number of Enki was 40. Noah releases a raven that could not find a resting place until the flood dried up. This describes the raven in flight until the rising of Leo, when the Raven lands on the tail of the Leviathan constellation. But, the story remains in the spring. The raven only foreshadows the approaching dryness of summer. The dove released by Noah is found on the long arm of Pisces. The ark lands on a mountain after the flood because the Babylonian cosmos was described with a mountain in the center of the star chart. Noah makes a burnt offering, represented by the Hired Man, or Aries, the ram. God’s covenant with Noah was represented by the Rainbow constellation, above Pisces and Aries.
The story then goes back a bit on the star chart to describe the spring akitu festival. The springtime was loaded with religious rituals and myths often concentrate around Aquarius and Pisces. Notably, all characters have a sleepy time, after encountering Enki of Aquarius at this point in the star chart. Gilgamesh was unable to stay awake, as he was challenged by Utnapushtim, in this region of the stars. Noah, the Utnapushtim of Genesis, gets drunk and falls asleep at this point along the star chart. There are many springtime stories occurring in Aquarius of drunkenness and sex. The oldest story is Inanna getting Enki drunk in Aquarius and stealing his me. As the god of wisdom, Enki’s me was wisdom, including the wise acts of sex. His wisdom included the art of fellatio and prostitution. In Genesis 9:21, Noah’s son, Ham, “saw his nakedness” and received a curse for what he did to the drunken old man. The autumn akitu festival always described heterosexual rituals; but, spring sex was often homosexual, and over time associated specifically with man-boy action.

It is not surprising to discover that the Noah story follows the Babylonian Star Chart because that story has long been understood as deriving from Mesopotamian myths. However, it is clear that the author of Genesis knew that he was telling star stories. It is clear because the stories immediately before and after Noah are in sequence with the rotation of the zodiac and refer to rituals that were unique to Canaanite/Phoenician religion, not Mesopotamian. The stories of Cain killing Abel and the birth of Seth are told just before the flood story. The Cain and Abel story illustrated the summer solstice period and the uniquely Canaanite/Phoenician ritual of child sacrifice. It was associated with the Adonai festival, marked in the stars by the Arrow constellation, appearing prior to the zodiac sign of Cancer. The birth of Seth represented the return of the storm god in the autumn, just before Noah’s story begins with the autumn akitu festival. The tower of Babel story follows after Noah, representing the early summer harvest festival of Shavuot. Canaanites (Phoenicians) and Syrians in particular celebrated the holiday by building “Baal’s house” and setting it on fire. The destruction of the tower of Babel represented the bonfire party.
 
Once you learn the method of following myths through the stars, you will discover that most of the stories in the Bible are illustrated in the Babylonian Star Chart, including the story of Jesus. I describe several Bible stories and other ancient myths as star stories in my book: Sex Rites: The Origins of Christianity.


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