The light of the world


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contest of the young and ruddy hero David with the Giant Goliath the Hebrew Version of the Folk-tale still retains the primitive feature of the stone.

We know the universal Mother as the Evil reptile of the Dark, for ever warring with the Light, that also drinks the water which is the life of vegetation, as the fiery Dragon of Drought. But there is a very primitive version extant amongst the Australian aborigines, the Andaman Islanders, and the red men, in which a gigantic Frog drinks up all the waters in the world. Here the Frog plays the part of the Apap-monster that swallows the waters at sundown and is pierced and cut in pieces coil by coil to set them flowing freely at the return of day, either by the Hawk of Ra or the Cat or by Horus, the anthropomorphic hero. In the Andaman version of the conflict between the bird of Light and the Devil of Darkness the waters are drunk up and withheld by a big Toad. An Iroquois or Huron form of this mythical representation also shows the devouring monster as a gigantic Frog that drank up all the water of the world. The Aborigines of Lake Tyers likewise relate that once on a time there was no water anywhere on the surface of the whole earth. This had all been drunk up and was concealed in the body of a monstrous Frog. The Dragon of the waters is also a denizen of the Holy well in Britain; and here again the evil power of drought and darkness is represented by the Devil in the form of a Frog as presiding spirit of the water. In the well on the Devil’s Causeway between Ruckley and Acton there is supposed to be a huge Frog which represents the devil, that is, the hostile power of drought. The proper time for the malevolent Frog to be seen would be when the Well was dried up in times of great drought, hence he is but seldom seen in a rainy climate like ours. (Burne, Shropshire Folklore, p. 428.) The Frog still suffers even in this “enlightened land” of ours for supplying a zootype of the Evil Power. It is yet a provincial sport for country louts to “hike the Toad,” that is by jerking it high in the air from the end of a plank as a mode of appealing to Heaven for rain and the kind of weather wanted. Even so, poor Froggy has to walk the plank and suffer in the present for having been a representative in the past of the Monster that drank up all the water. The Orinoco Indians used to keep Toads in vessels, not to worship them, but to have them at hand as representatives of the Power that drank up the Water or kept back the rain; and in time of drought the Toads were beaten to procure the much-desired rain. (Bastian.)

In various countries the Monster of the Dark was represented by an animal entirely black. This in Egypt was the black Boar of Sut. And what these customs signified according to the Wisdom of Egypt they mean elsewhere. When the Timorese are direfully suffering from lack of rain, they offer up a black Pig as a sacrifice. The Black Pig was slain just as Apap was pierced because it imaged the dark power that once withheld the waters of day and now denies the rain, or the Water of Life. In Sumatra it is the Black Cat that typifies the inimical Power which withholds the rain. Women go naked or nearly so to the river, and wade in it as a primitive mode of sacrifice or solicitation. Then a black Cat is thrown into the Water and forced to swim for its life, like the Witch in the European custom.

The Black Goat, the Black Pig, and the Black Cat are all Typhonian types of the same symbolic value as the Black Boar of Sut or the Apap-Dragon. In each case the representative of the dark and evil Power was slain or thrown into the water as a propitiation to the beneficent Power that gave the rain. Slaying the type of Drought was a means of fighting against the Power of evil and making an appeal to the Good Spirit. It was a primitive mode of Casting out Satan, the Adversary, in practical Sign-Language.

The giant or ogre of mythology was a result of humanising the animal types. At first the Apap-reptile rose up vast, gigantic, as the swallowing darkness or devouring dragon. This, when humanised, became the giant, the magnified non-natural ogre of a man that takes the monster’s place in later legendary lore. The Apap-dragon coiled about the mount was the keeper of the treasures in the nether-world. So is it with the giant. In “Jack the Giant-killer” it is said “the mount of Cornwall was kept by a huge giant named Cormoran.” Jack, our little solar hero, asked what reward would be given to the man who killed Cormoran. “The giant’s treasure,” they told him, would be the reward. Quoth Jack, “Then let me undertake it.” After he had slain the giant, Jack went to search the cave, which answers to the Amenta in the lower earth, in which the treasure was concealed. This was the treasure of light and water that had been hidden by the giant in his lair.

The Aryan fairy-tales and folk-tales can be unriddled in the Kamite Mythos which was based on the phenomena of external nature. It is the Moon, for instance, who was a woman one half the time and a frog or serpent during the other half. In the first character she was Sati, the lady of light. In the second half of the lunation she was the frog that swam the waters of the nether earth and made her transformation as Hekat in Amenta. Some writers have denounced the savage brutality and obscenity of those whom they look upon as the makers of mythology. But in all this they have been spitting beside the mark. Moreover, the most repulsive aspects do not belong to mythology proper, but are mainly owing to the decadence and degradation of the matter in the Märchen. Also to the change which the Mythos suffered in passing from the zoomorphic mode of representation. There is neither morality nor immorality so long as the phenomena are non-human and the drama is performed by the primitive actors. But when the characters are humanised or divinised in human form the re-cast may be fatal to the mythical meaning; primitive simplicity is apparently converted into senseless absurdity, and the drama of the nature-powers turned into a masquerade of monsters. Plutarch will furnish us with an illustration which these idiotai might have selected for an example. When speaking of the elder Horus who “came into the world before his time” as the phantom-forerunner of the true light, he says that Osiris had accompanied with Isis (his spouse) after her decease. Which looks very ominous for the morals of the “myth-makers” who could ascribe such immorality to their Gods. Is it not a fair deduction from a datum like that to infer that the Egyptians were accustomed to cohabit with the corpses of their dead women? Obviously that is one of the possible implications. Especially as Osiris, according to Spencer, was once a man!
But now for an explanation on the plain ground of natural fact. Isis, in one character, was the Mother-Moon, the reproducer of the light in Amenta; the place of conjunction and of re-begettal by the Sun-god, when Osiris entered the Moon, and she became the Woman who was clothed with the Sun. At the end of a lunation the old Moon died and became a corpse–it is at times portrayed as a mummy–in the underworld, and there it was revivified by Osiris, the solar fecundator of the Moon who was the Mother that brought forth the child of light, the “Cripple-deity” that was naturally enough begotten in the dark. (Plutarch.) But worse still. When Osiris lay helpless and breathless in Amenta with a “Corpse-like face” (Rit., ch. LXXIV) his two wives who are likewise his daughters came to cohabit with him, and raise him from the dead, or re-erect him like, and as, the Tat. It is said of Isis she “raised the remains of the God of the resting heart and extracted his seed to beget an heir,” or to make him human by reincarnation in the flesh. (Hymn to Osiris, Records, line 16, p. 102, vol. IV, first series; vol. IV, p. 21, second series.) In this phase it is the female who cohabits with the Corpse of the dead Male. But in neither were the actors of the drama human, although they are humanised in the Märchen. The Mythos is repeated and applied in a Semitic Folk-Tale when Lot’s two Daughters are “with Child by their Father.” (Gen. XIX. 36.) The difference being that Osiris as Father in the Mysteries of Amenta was dead at the time, whereas in the irresponsible Märchen Lot is represented as dead-drunk.

The Myths are not to be explained by means of the Märchen; not if you collect and compare the Nursery-Tales of all the world. But we can explain the Märchen more or less by aid of the Myths, or rather the mythical representations in which we can once more recover the lost key. The Aryan Folk-Tales, for example, are by no means a faithful reflection of the world as it appeared to the primitive mind. They are not a direct reflection of anything; they are refracted mythology, and the representation in mythology is not direct, not literal, but mystical. Egyptian mythology, and all it signifies, lies between the Aryan or other folk-tales and Primitive Man. The Märchen are not the oldest or most primitive form of the Myth; they are the latest. The coinage is the same, but the primitive impress is greatly worn down, and the features are often well-nigh effaced. In the Märchen, the Ancient Wise Woman or old Mother goes on telling her tales, but the memory of their meaning has lapsed by reason of her age. Whereas in the Ritual the representation is still preserved and repeated accurately according to knowledge. The Mythos passes into the Folk-Tale, not the Folk-Tale into the Mythos.

In Egyptian Sign-Language, the earliest language of Mythology, the Sun was represented, in the fulness of its power, by the Lion. When it went down to the Underworld by night or in the winter time it was imaged as the disappearing Mouse. Ra was the Lion: Horus was the Mouse: the blind Shrew-Mouse being a type of Horus darkling in Amenta. Ra as the Solar Lion lost his power in the Underworld and was as the animal in the hunter’s toils. Then Horus the Little Hero as the Shrew-Mouse came to deliver the entangled Lion. Under the type of the Mongoose or Ichneumon
the little hero attacked the serpent of Darkness: and, as the Mouse, it was the deliverer of the Lion in the Mythos. But when or where the wisdom was no longer taught in the mysteries the Gnosis naturally lapsed. The Myth became a Folk-Tale or a legend of the nursery, and passed into the fable of the mouse that nibbled the cord in two which bound the captured Lion and set the mighty beast at liberty. Thus the Mythos passed into the Märchen, and the Mysteries still clung on for very life in the Moralities.

The Ass in a male form is a type of Tum the Sun-God in Amenta. A vignette to the Ritual shows the Ass being devoured by the serpent of darkness called the eater of the Ass. (Ch. 40.) The Ass then in the Egyptian Mythos represents the Sun-God Tum, Greek Tomos, passing through the nether-world by night. It is Tum in his character of Aiu or Iu who is also represented on the tomb of Rameses the Sixth as a god with the ears of an Ass, hauling at the rope by which the Sun is drawn up from Amenta, the lower Egypt of the Mythos. Atum, or Tum, is the Old Man of the setting Sun and Aiu is his Son. Thus the three characters of the Old Man, his Son, and the Ass can be identified with Atum-Aiu=Osiris and Horus; and the nocturnal Sun or the Sun of Winter with the slow motion which constitutes the difficulty of getting the Ass forward in the fable. This difficulty of getting the Ass along, whether ridden by Tum the father or pulled along by his Son, was illustrated in a popular pastime, when on the eighth day of the festival of the Corpus Domini the people of Empoli suspended the ass aloft in the air and made it fly perforce in presence of the mocking multitude. Gubernatis says the Germans of Westphalia “made the Ass a symbol of the dull St. Thomas, and were accustomed to call it by the name of ‘the Ass Thomas,’ the laggard boy who came the last to school upon St. Thomas’s Day.” (Zoological Mythology, vol. I, p. 362.) But we find an earlier claimant than this for the “Ass Thomas” in Tum, or Tomos, the Kamite Solar God, who made the passage of Amenta very slowly with the Ass, or as it was represented, riding on the Ass; and therefore for the Greek Fable of the old Man and his Ass.

The birth of a Folk-Tale may be seen in the legend of “The Sleeping Beauty.” When it was known that the renewing Moon derived her glory from the procreative Sun, their meeting in the Underworld became a fertile source of legends that were mothered by the Myth. The Moon-Goddess is the lovely lady sleeping in Amenta waiting for her deliverer, the Young Solar God, to come and wake her with the Lover’s kiss. She was Hathor, called the Princess in her Lunar character; and he was the all-conquering Horus. It was a legend of the resurrection which at first was Soli-Lunar in the Mythos; afterwards a symbolic representation of the Soul that was awakened from the Sleep of death by Horus in his rôle of Saviour or Deliverer of the Manes in Amenta. So the Mythos faded in the fairy-tale.

It is a cardinal tenet of the present work that the Aryan Märchen and European folk-lore were derived from the Egyptian Mythology. This might be illustrated without end. For example, there is a classical tradition or Folk-Tale, repeated by Pliny (Hist. Nat., 7, 3), which tells of a time when a Mother in Egypt bore seven children at

one birth. Of course this legend had no origin in natural history. Such a birth belongs to mythology in which the Mother of seven children at a birth was primarily the bringer-forth of seven elemental powers, who can be traced as such, in all their seven characters. The One Great Mother with her seven sons constituted a primary Ogdoad. She survived in a Gnostic form as Achamoth-Ogdoas, Mother of the seven Rulers of the heptanomis. “This Mother,” says Irenæus (B. I, ch. V. 2, 3), “they call Ogdoas, Sophia, Earth, Jerusalem.” Jerusalem is identified by Jeremiah with the ancient Mother who was the bringer-forth of seven sons as the “Mother of the young men,” “she that hath borne Seven,” who now giveth up the Ghost. (Ch. XV. 8.) This Mother of seven also appears as the Great Harlot in the Book of Revelation who is the Mother of the Seven Kings which were at the same time seven heads of the Solar Dragon, and also seven Consorts who were born children of the Old Great Mother. There were “the Seven Children of the Thigh” in the Astronomical Mythology. Thus the Ancient Genetrix was the Mother who brought forth Seven Children at a birth, or as a companionship, according to the category of phenomena. Her seven children were the Nature-Powers of all mythology. They are variously represented under divers types because the powers were reborn in different phenomena. We shall find them grouped as seven serpents, seven apes, seven jackals, seven crocodiles, hippopotami, hawks, bulls or rams, who become Seven children of the Mother when the myth is rendered anthropomorphically in the later forms of the Märchen, amongst which there is a Bengalee folk-tale of a Boy who was suckled by seven Mothers. (Lal Behari Day, Folk-Tales of Bengal.) And this boy of the Märchen can be identified with child-Horus in the Astronomical Mythos, as “the Bull of the seven cows.” The seven cows were grouped in the Great Bear as a sevenfold figure of Motherhood. The cows were also called the seven Hathors who presided over the birth of the child as seven Fates in the Egyptian theology. And in later legends these are the seven Mothers of one child. When he became a child they were the seven women who ministered to him of their substance in a very literal manner. The seven givers of liquid life to the nursling were portrayed as women in Amenta: the seven Hathors who were present as Fates, at child-birth; and as cows in the constellation of the Great Bear. The sucklers might be imaged as seven women, seven cows, seven sows. Thus the Romans had evidently heard of them as a sevenfold form of Rerit the sow, a co-type with the Cow. The Bengalee Folk-tale shows the Egyptian Mythos reduced to the stage of the Aryan Märchen. The typical seven Mothers of the child also survive amongst the other curiosities of Christianity. It is said in the Gospel of the Nativity (ch. VIII) that Mary “the virgin of the Lord” had been brought up with seven other virgins in the Temple. Also there are seven women in the Gospels who minister to Jesus of their substance. Again we are able to affiliate the folk-tale with the original Mythos. After which it is of little importance to our inquiry which country the Aryan Märchen came from last. The Seven Hathors or Cows in the Mythos are also the Seven Fates in attendance at the birth of a Child; and in the Babar Archipelago Seven
Women, each of them carrying a sword, are present when a child is born, who mix the placenta with ashes and put it into a small basket, which they hang up in a particular kind of tree. These likewise are a form of the Seven Hathors who were present at Child-birth as the Seven Fates in the Mythos. In such ways the Kamite Mythos passed into the Aryan Märchen.

The Child who had no father had been mythically represented as the Fertiliser of the mother when in utero, like Ptah, the God in embryo. Hence he was called the Bull of his Mother. But why the Bull? Because this was not the human Child. It was Horus as the calf, born of the Cow and a pre-human type when the fatherhood was not yet individualised. The Solar God at Sunset made his entrance into the breeding-place of the nether world, and is said to prepare his own generation for rebirth next day, but not in human guise. The bull of his Mother is shown upon the horizon as Horus the calf. But when the persons and transactions are presented anthropomorphically, in accordance with the human terminology the calf which had no Father but was his own bull becomes the child who was born without a father. Thus the Mythos passes into the Märchen or legendary lore, and the child who fecundated his own Mother takes a final form as the Boy-lover of Venus, Ishtar, or Hathor, the divine Mother, and the subject culminated in literature, as (for example) in Shakespeare’s poem of “Venus and Adonis,” which is at root mythology fleshed in a human form. Again and again the Egyptian Mythos furnishes a prototype that will suffice to account for a hundred Folk-tales. For another instance, take the legend of the Child that was predestined to be a King in spite of the Monster pursuing the Mother, or lying in wait to devour and destroy the infant from before its birth. Har-Ur, or Horus the Elder, was that Child in the Mythos. The title of Repa will identify the Child born to be King as that signifies the Heir-apparent, or the Prince who was predestined to become the King. An instructive example of the way in which the Mythos, that we look on as Egyptian, was dispersed and spread in Folk-Tales over the world may be seen in the legend of the combat betwixt a Father and Son. The story has attained to somewhat of an Epical dignity in Matthew Arnold’s poem of “Sohrab and Rustum.” It is also found in many parts of the world, including New Zealand. Briefly summarised, the story, in legendary lore, is that of the Son who does not know his own Father. In the Maori tale of “Kokako” the boy is called a Bastard. Also in the tale of Peho the child is a Bastard. This is a phrase in later language to describe the boy whose birth was Matriarchal when the Father was unknown individually. But such a legend as this, when found in Folk-Lore, does not come straight out of local Sociology or Ethnology in any country. We have to reckon with the rendering of the natural fact in the Astronomical Mythology of Egypt. In the olden day of indefinite paternity, when the Father was personally unknown it was likewise unknown that the child of light born and reborn in the Moon was the Son of the Solar God. This was a Mythical Son who could not know his own Father. The earliest Son in sociology or mythology did not know his own Father. The elder Horus was the Mother’s child, who was born but not begotten. Now, a child whose
father is unknown is called a Bastard. Thus Horus was a Bastard born, and it was flung at him by Sut that he was a Bastard. Also in Jewish legend Jesus is called the Mamzer or Bastard. Thus, the child of the Mother only was the Bastard, just as the Mother who was “na wife” came to be called the Harlot. The present writer has no knowledge of a Folk-Tale version of the legend being extant in Egyptian. This does not belong to the kind of literature that was preserved in the sanctity of the coffins and tombs, as was the Book of the Dead. But the essentials are extant, together with the explanation in natural fact, in the ancient Luni-Solar-Mythos. Horus the Bastard was the child of light that was born of Isis in the Moon, when the Moon was the Mother of the child and the Father-source of light was unidentified. But sooner or later there was a secret knowledge on the subject. For instance, in the story told by Plutarch it is said that Taht the Moon-God cleared the character of the Mother by showing that Horus was not a Bastard, but that Ra, the Solar God, was his true Father. It is still continued to be told in various Folk-Tales that the woman was no better than a wanton in her wooing of the man whom she seeks or solicits as her paramour. This character may be traced in the mythology. It is the Lady of Light in the Moon who pursues and seduces the Solar God in the darkness of Amenta, and who exults that she has seized upon the God Hu and taken possession of him in the vale of Abydos where she went to lie down and sought to be replenished with his light. (Ritual, ch. LXXX) Child-Horus always remains a child, the child of twelve years, who at that age transforms into the Adult and finds his Father. So when he is twelve years of age, the boy Jokull in an Icelandic version of the Folk-Tale goes in search of his Father. They fight and the Son is slain, at least he dies after living for three nights. In other versions the fight betwixt Father and Son is continued for three days. This is the length of time for the struggle of Osiris in death and darkness who rises again as Lord of light in the Moon and now is recognised as the Father of Horus who was previously the Mother’s child that knew not his Father. Moreover, in the Märchen it is sometimes the Father who is killed in the combat, at other times it is the Son. And, in the Mythos, Osiris the Father rises again upon the third day in the Moon, but at other times he rises as Horus the triumphant Son. A legend like this of the combat between Father and Son does not originate in history, much less does it rise from a hundred different Ethnological sources, as the folk-lorists would have us think. In the Folk-Tales there are various versions of the same subject; the Mythos is one, and in that oneness must the origin be sought for the Märchen. This origin of our Folk-Lore may be found a hundred times over in the “Wisdom” of old Egypt. The Tale of the Two Brothers furnishes a good example of the Egyptian Mythos reappearing in the Folk-Tale. In this there are two brothers named Anup, the elder, and Bata, the younger. Anup has a wife who falls in love with Bata and solicits him illicitly. “And she spoke to him saying, What strength there is in thee, indeed, I observe thy vigour every day.” Her heart knew him. She seized upon him and said to him, “Come, let us lie down for a while. Better for thee. . . beautiful clothes.” Like Joseph in the Hebrew version, the youth
rejected the advances of the lady. He “became like a panther” in his fury at her suggestion. Like Potiphar’s wife, she charges him with violating and doing violence to her. We shall have to return to the story. Let it suffice for the present to say that the “tale of the two brothers” in the Märchen is derived in the course of a long descent from the myth of Sut and Horus, the Brothers who were represented later as Anup and Horus, also as the Horus of both Horizons. The elder brother Anup corresponds to Sut, who in one form is Anup; the younger, Bata, to the Sungod Horus of the East. The name of Bata signifies the Soul (ba) of life in the earth (ta) as a title of the Sun that rises again. On this account it is said that Bata goes to “the Mountain of the Cedar,” in the flower of which upon the summit lies his heart, or soul, or virile force; the power of his resurrection as the Solar God. Hence Bata says to Anup, “Behold, I am about to become a Bull.” And he was raised by Ra to the dignity of hereditary Prince as ruler of the whole land, over which he reigned for thirty years. As myth, such Märchen are interpretable wheresoever they are found. The Solar Power on the two horizons or the Sun with a dual face was represented by Two Brothers who are twins, under whichever name or type, who were earlier than Ra. One is the lesser, darkling and infertile Sun of Night, or of Autumn; the other is the Victor in the Resurrection. These were associated in Amenta with the Moon, the Lady of the lunar light, who is described with them in chapter LXXX of the Ritual as uniting herself with the two Brother-Gods who were Sut and Horus. She is wedded to the one but is in love with the other. Whether as Sut or Elder Horus, her Consort was her impubescent child; and she unites with Hu the Virile Solar God and glories in his fertilising power. She confesses that she has seized upon Hu and taken possession of him in the vale of Abydos when she sank down to rest. Her object being to engender light from his potent Solar source, to illuminate the night, and overthrow the devouring Monster of the dark. This is true mythos which is followed afar off by the folk-lore of the Tale. There was no need to moralise, as this was Egyptian mythology, not Semitic history.

When the Aryan philologists have done their worst with the subject and the obscuration has passed away, it will be seen that the Legend of Daphne was a transformation that originated in the Egyptian Mythos. Ages before the legend could have been poetised in Greece, Daphne was extant as an Egyptian Goddess Tafne or Tefnut by name, who was a figure of the Green Egyptian Dawn. (Birch, Dictionary of Hieroglyphics.) The Green Tree was also a type of the Dawn in Egypt. The transformation of the Goddess into the Tree is a bit of Greek fancy-work which was substituted for the Kamite Gnosis of the Myth. Max Müller asked how the “total change of a human being or a heroine into a Tree” is to be explained. Whereas Daphne never was a human being any more than Hathor, in her Green Sycamore, or Tefnut in the Emerald Sky of the Egyptian Dawn. The roots of these things lie far beyond the Anthropomorphic representation, and in a region where the plummet of the Aryanists has never sounded. As the Egyptians apprehended, the foremost characteristic of the Dawn was its dewy moisture and

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