Karena A Karras, “The Bath”
I.”The Zodiac & the Dying/Rising God
While the daily rising and setting of the sun told the tale of Atum -Re’s deadly boat journey, the moon’s monthly crescendo and diminuendo portrayed the myth of Inanna’s death and rebirth. But, after she rose from the Underworld, the goddess Inanna was warned that, if she hoped ‘to escape the pit alive, she must leave another who shall wait in her place.’
Henceforth, it was Damuzi, her shepherd-king and consort that descended into the dark Underworld. Though he passed through the same Mythologem of Death and Rebirth as Inanna, Damuzi descended, died and rose again yearly, with the seasonal cycle of rain and drought. Like Osiris in Egypt, Attis in Syria, and Baal in Canaan, the ‘Son of the Abyss’ became a new Iconologue of Time’s Measure, marking the span of the sacred year.
The dying/rising god marked the passage of a year by mythologizing the signs that recurred in the earth’s fertile cycle. Like the fertile seed at the time of the harvest, Damuzi was seized, thrashed and cut to pieces … And, like the seed buried under the earth so as to gestate and sprout again, he was dragged into the Underworld, where he remained – until the re-emergence of the crops themselves embodied his resurrection …
Each time the fields manifest new growth, the god of vegetation also became manifest. Through the image of the dying/rising god, the intervals of the fertile year were measured and, through his earthly epiphany, that span was rendered sacred. …
Meanwhile, a fascinating series of images have come down to us from Sumerian culture … This array of images, when taken together, also symbolizes the yearly cycle. From the vantage point of the spiraling ziggurats, the Sumerian priesthood were able to discern a multitude of ancient images in the night-sky.
Eventually, they learned to read the heavens like a book – which is what they called astrology, Shitir Shame, ‘The Book of Heaven.’ By following the path of Sin, the moon, over the course of the year, they recognized twelve celestial figures: Luhunga ‘the Hired Man’ (Aries), Guanna ‘the Bull of Heaven’ (Taurus), Mastabbagalgal ‘the Great Twins’ (Gemini), Allul ‘the Crab’ (Cancer), Urgula ‘the Lion’ (Leo), Absin ‘the Furrow’ (Virgo), Zibanitum ‘the Scales’ (Libra), Girtab ‘the Scorpion’ (Scorpio), Pabilsag ‘the Centaur’ (Sagittarius), Sahurmasku ‘the Fish-tailed Mountain Goat’ (Capricorn), Gula ‘the Great’ (Aquarius) and Kummes ‘the Tails’ (Pisces). Together, these twelve images formed, what the Greeks called, ‘the wheel of the Zodiac’ (from zôé, life, zôidion, small figure, and kyklos, circle or wheel, giving us zodiakos ‘the wheel of life’.)
Thus, in Mesopotamia, there were two iconologues to measure the passage of a year, one celestial and one terrestrial.”
Caruana, Enter through the Image: The Ancient Image Language of Myth, Art and Dreams, pp. 75-76
“Almost two thousands years before the circular zodiac of Bet-Alpha, Near Eastern rulers, especially in Babylon, invoked their Gods on treaty documents; boundary stones (Kudurru) were emblazoned with the celestial symbols of these Gods – planets and zodiacs – within the heavenly circle, embraced by an undulating serpent that represented the Milky Way” (via http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sitchin/whentimebegan/whentimebegan07.htm)
II.“The Moon … represents all raw materials, all elemental or psychic energies not yet organic or individuated. But it is not only the inorganic as such. It is the inorganic striving to become organized. It is the ‘woman’ yearning to be fecundated and to become a mother, longing for her ‘home’. It is not chaos; but rather, the response of chaos to light; an unsteady, changeful, moody response, now waxing, then waning — yet it is light nevertheless; as much of light as the resurgent past may mirror and reflect. And the Earth and all living things thereon are the temples where the song of light and the song of life resound. Light gives to men the will to be whole and integrated. Life gathers their chaotic soul-energies, churns them up, dissolves and boils them in the alchemical vessel in which may be generated the gold of consciousness and of individual selfhood.”
Dane Rudhyar, New Mansions for New Men: A Spiritual Interpretation of Astrology in the Light of Universal Symbolism http://khaldea.com/rudhyar/nmnm/nmnm_moon.php
III.“The Goddess is the Encircler, the Ground of Being; the God is That-Which-Is-Brought-Forth, her mirror image, her other pole. She is the earth; He is the grain. She is the all encompassing sky; He is the sun, her fireball. She is the Wheel; He is the traveler. He is the sacrifice of life to death that life may go on. She is the Mother and Destroyer; He is all that is born and is destroyed.”
Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 72
Goddess Kali as Great Mother