Junco has instructed me to bring this blog back under the control of the ladies, since the men seem to be adding a little too much of their own “humor” lately. We’ve heard enough about bam-peep and rock-crawlers. Am I right?
For this historical look at the ancients, I’ve chosen one of my favorite cylinder seals. This piece comes from the Assyrian period (somewhere between the 9th and 8th century B.C.) It depicts a soldier hunting ibex, a family of ibex actually. See the ram, the mother suckling her young, and another young fawn is actually beneath the hunter, almost as if it’s being protected.
On the far right is a person who is considered a worshipper, maybe of the hunt, maybe of trident spear. Above and to the left of the trident is the spade, a symbol for Marduk (he’s an ancient demi-god that was very popular during Assyrian times.)
The Seven Siblings are clearly seen above the worshipper’s head as seven dots. The double wedge symbol on the other side of Marduk’s spade represents Nabu (a god associated with scribal duties) and the wedge is supposed to be a sort of stylus used for writing.
The seven dots in avian culture represent the Seven Siblings, but in ancient Assyria they were called the Seven Sibitti. The Divine Hand of God with a pedigree that goes back to Creation itself. The Sibitti were the bringers of pestilence and disease. So much for us being saviors of Earth and avian.
There is in fact, a quite lengthy poem of about the Seven, called the Seven Evil Spirits.
Raging storms, evil gods are they
Ruthless demons, who in heaven's vault were created, are they,
Workers of evil are they,
They lift up the head to evil, every day to evil
Destruction to work.
Of these seven the first is the South wind...(MOJU)
The second is a dragon, whose mouth is opened...(SOLI)
That none can measure.
The third is a grim leopard, which carries off the young ...(TUKKER)
The fourth is a terrible Shibbu [venomous serpent] ...(ESTA)
The fifth is a furious Wolf, who knoweth not to flee, (SARIEL)
The sixth is a rampant ... which marches against god and king. (IRIN)
The seventh is a storm, an evil wind, which takes vengeance. (JUNCO)
In the ancient myth the Seven were made from divinity, the highest god Ea, making them gods in their own right. They were so powerful and destructive they threatened all existence. The three gods of nature - Sin (moon as a crescent), Shamash (sun - or in this case, the winged disc and little known factoid here, this is also the symbol for ancient god Ashur), and Ishtar (the star - a later version of Inanna) could overcome the Seven if they worked together, but the Seven divided them up, bringing Sin and Shamash to their side and leaving Inanna/Ishtar alone.
No wonder she’s such a bitter bitch.
Until next time,