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Page 2 - The symbolism of the Milky Way in ancient myths

 

The Milky Way can be perceived as a beach delimiting the continent of the ocean. But there are a host of other symbols to symbolize this protective boundary between the two worlds. Let's look at some examples from among others: A rampart around a country, a city, a garden protecting these citizens against the invaders.

The Milky Way seen as the shell of an egg that protects the life contained within.

In the jungle, villages are often built along a river. This natural limit and the forest form the boundary between the hostile world and the social order of the village. It's chaos versus order. The hunter ventures into the chaotic world where death can surprise him at any moment.

In the 30s, the ethnologist Claude Lévis-Strauss had studied the complex social structure of the Bororos Amazonian tribe. For the Archeodoxa team, their villages plan is strangely similar to the galactic circle crossed by the ecliptic line. Such link seems speculative but in studying their social sectors as well as myths of many Amazonian tribes one obtains a rather surprising correlation with the universal theme of the Milky Way.

Acheodoxa proposes you this very interesting webcast lecture:

 

"Cosmologies of the Milky Way: South American Views on the Unity of Earth and Sky."

By Gary Urton, Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies in the Archaeology program of the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University. 

In deserts, villages are built around water points or a long river that dries up with the seasons (wadi). Outside de town, the world is austere alike a chaos where death is the ruler.

 

The Milky Way seems to have inspired many African myths to express the line between chaos and social order. The myth of creation among the Mandé peoples of southern Mali has been the subject of several studies because of its complexity and abundance of details. This myth explicitly mentions the Milky Way as a border between two worlds while evoking the Niger River as a celestial symbol.

The primordial mountain

 

The sacred or primordial mountain is seen as an inaccessible summit that is unaffected by the evil forces of the supernatural world. It includes the circumpolar constellations: the Big and the Little Dipper, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Dragon and the Giraffe. In return the circumpolar zone is unalterable and divine.

Imagine a flood transgressing the Milky Way frontier. The water rises but up to a certain limit. This insurmountable limit is therefore seen as an imperishable arch during the Great Flood.

In addition, the egg becomes so ubiquitous in the stories of the flood or even the myths of creation.

Always keep in mind the following logic:

 

In myths, creation is often triggered by an outflow of chaotic waters, abysses or just like the Tohu Bohu of the Bible in Genesis 1: 1.

 

In the diluvian myths, there is a recreation of the world thanks to the seeds and animals preserved in the ship, the ark, the cosmic egg, the coconut, the cave etc.

 

The membrane of the egg protects the germs of life during the deluge. In the creation myths the egg contains the shapeless archetypes of life. Just as yellow and egg white are liquid and shapeless, they will take shape at the appointed time just like the fledgling.

 

It is not surprising that there is a rewrite and parallel between the stories of creation and those of the flood.

Breach in the rampart

Curiously, even if the Milky Way is the limit between chaos and order, it is still the case that it is not vulnerable as a border. There is indeed a breach in the Milky Way where Perseus old the head of the Medusa. The Titans for example intend to cross this wall by this breach.

Always keep in mind the following logic:

 

In myths, creation is often triggered by an outflow of chaotic waters, abysses or just like the Tohu Bohu of the Bible in Genesis 1: 1.

 

In the diluvian myths, there is a recreation of the world thanks to the seeds and animals preserved in the ship, the ark, the cosmic egg, the coconut, the cave etc.

 

The membrane of the egg protects the germs of life during the deluge. In the creation myths the egg contains the shapeless archetypes of life. Just as yellow and egg white are liquid and shapeless, they will take shape at the appointed time just like the fledgling.

 

It is not surprising that there is a rewrite and parallel between the stories of creation and those of the flood.

How does the Archeodoxa team build their theories?

 

The following will seem too speculative for some and we understand it. In this web page we do not develop a complete argumentation of our approach in comparative mythology. While waiting for our academic publications, we develop illustrations that help the reader to visualize this mysterious book that is the celestial vault. Once this book is well in mind, we have access to countless keys to elucidate a large number of myths. You need also a base of naked eye astronomy.

 

Our approach is simple.

 

  1. Ancient cultures and civilizations have myths built from mythemes.

  2. Although the myths of the world differ from each other, their myths are strangely similar.

  3. Fortunately, a myth can tell explicitly the astronomical aspect of a mytheme. And now this story reveals the astronomy of a host of other similar myths around the world.

4. It even happens that a myth devoid of astronomy at first glance appears to contain celestial observations more detailed than the revealing myth found at the stage 3.

Let's see a little more of our discoveries ...

 

The Milky Way is also described as a path traveled by souls, when they descend on earth at birth and when they return to heaven at their death.

 

• A path to reach a sacred mountain;

• A bridge to cross the chasm of hell;

• A ladder to climb to a summit.

 

The Milky Way is sometimes seen as two rivers both originating on the primordial mountain.

 

From the original summit are born two posterities:

• The one, lunar, worldly and evil that engenders a great multitude of monstrous beings;

• The other, solar, holy, more discreet, unfinished, waiting for his final victory over chaos.

 

The primordial mountain is the circumpolar part. If you live far enough north of the Tropic of Cancer you will see circumpolar constellations almost all year long: the Big and the Little Dipper, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, the Dragon and the Giraffe.

 

In mythology we often have a river that delimits the world of the dead of the world of the living:

 

• The Tuonela River among Finns

• The Styx River among the Greeks

• Among the Mongolians .... (Huno Harva)

Membrane of an egg

 

 

The white color of the milky circle evokes the membrane of an egg that must be protected from the attacks of a snake, the serpent of chaos. This explains the motif of the egg and the serpent in antiquity:

 

• Among the Greeks, it is the orphic egg

• Among the Persians, it is the serpent of the bad principle, Ahrimanius who according to a text of Plutarch, attacks the creatures of the good principle, Oromase that the latter had protected by the membrane of an egg.

• In India, it is the solar Vishnu that rests on the snake Ananta Shesha, above the waters of chaos.

• In Egypt, it is the solar Atum which rests on the serpent Osiris, above the waters of chaos

The bridge that crosses the chasm of the underworld is:

 

• the Chinvat bridge among the Persians (who gave the Sirat bridge to the Muslims).

• The Bifröst bridge at the Norses.

 

 

The wars in mythology are always described with the theme of order and chaos and that of the seasons:

 

• The Trojan War between the Trojans (land and city) and the Achaean forces (marines).

• The Ragnarök among the Vikings opposing the ases (order, beautiful season) to the giants of the frost (chaos and winter) taking place during the long winter of the Fimbulvetr;

• the titanomachy opposing the threads of Chronos (order) to the titans (chaos).

• In India, the war between the devas (order and beautiful season) to the asuras (chaos and winter).

• The battle of Kurukshetra (epic of Mahabharata in India) opposing pandavas (order, incarnation of solar devas) to kauravas (chaos, incarnation of demons, lunar).