Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Werewolves in the Bible...first pass

I have decided to annotate the Bible. This is the third time I am doing this. The first time was to incorporate the Bible, Pseudepigrapha, and any and all legends I could find into my general mythology notes. (For Christians, Jews and Muslims it may be important to note there is a great deal of overlap with Biblical material and mythic material- for example the Biblical interdiction against seething a kid in its mother’s milk, is known to be a mechanism to make one a God in Orphism.) The second time I annotated it was to point out instances where art traditions are evident, and especially art traditions around caves, or subterranean areas (the biblical God is several times depicted as rising from beneath the ground), or art with outsiders or outcasts (like the Rechabites or Kenites.) This time around, I must admit my annotations are a bit adversarial, as I am looking at debunking some aspects of fundamentalism, and some silly ideas regarding acceptance of the Bible as history.  Or history as we generally think of history.

As I have been going through the Bible, I stumbled across some of my old notes. I found that there is a great deal concerning , almost an obsession with, werewolves in the Bible.

This may sound very strange, and certainly not very Biblical, but it is true just the same. Let me clarify my terms here a bit. “Werewolf” may not clearly get the idea across. To spare everyone my usual long winded, pedantic lectures I’ll summarize. People considered “outside”, “strangers” or “aliens” were thought of as estranged, and wild. There were specific rituals that made one “estranged” or a stranger, and some of these were very clear in what exactly “strangeness” entailed. It had to do with murder, cannibalism, and man turning into animals. We can’t think of animals in the terms that we think of them today. Animals had specific magical histories and traits that set them apart. For example leopards and fawns were seen as divine because their spots were thought to be the likeness of the stars. In Egypt the Ba priests wore leopard skins to be heavenly, and among the Greeks the fawn skin was used in Dionysos cults for the same reasons.
So when I say werewolf I am referring to something more than a guy turning into a wolf, though that is included also. To be a werewolf several things had to happen. 1. A murder had to be committed. 2. In most cases this murder is followed by an act of cannibalism. 3. The head hands and feet of the victim are mentioned for special notice, and shown. 4. The appearance of dogs, or wolves, either as a relative to the victim or perpetrator, or signaling that the perpetrator is a fellow wolf. 5. The murderer is known as “the stranger”, “foreigner”, the “outcast”, the “wild man”, and cannot be harmed. 6. Hairiness (that is specifically growing hair to look like an animal, especial if one has red hair. 7. Leprosy (or a white skin disease). 8. Eating honey from bee hives found in dead bodies (see Samson or Saxo Grammaticus’ Amleth). 9. Rams, especially the shoulder blade of a ram appears as a puzzling but important element but also shoulder blades are a strangely persistent mythic element.

Okay this sounds unorthodox enough. It is, however, all connected. Let’s take number 7, leprosy,  from the list above as a jumping off point. Several places in the Bible mention lepers. There is mention of people becoming lepers, and what to do when one becomes a leper (that is how to treat leprosy.) To be clear about the terms, the Biblical Hebrew does not note leprosy from other skin diseases, notably those that cause white flaky skin. Flaky white skin, whiteness of skin, was seen as a signal, a malady of sorts, but a magical malady. Pausanius mentions a battle close to Delphi, in Greece, where the soldiers covered themselves in white flour, or powder and attacked at night. The enemy forces believed they were besieged by ghosts or demons. This way of thinking of whiteness was very wide spread over a very long period of time (still ghosts and “supernatural” descriptions are white or pale.). But if we take this to Greece and Rome we’ll get a better idea of what is meant by “leprosy” or white skin diseases. In Greek the word is “Lepo” the word indicating whiteness and white skin disease. In Latin we are given a clearer understanding of the word. “Lupus” means white skin disease and is still used today to describe a disease whose symptoms include flaking skin and white patches. As may be noticed, “lupus” also means wolf. This relationship of white and wolf is very wide spread. In Germanic, and other Indo-European languages (including Latin and Greek) the term “alb” means white, as in reference to the snow covered “alps” or the white cliffs of Dover giving Britain the Latin name Albion. The word appears in Germanic and Scandinavian languages as “alb”, “alf” and “ulf”, meaning white, elf and wolf. In Scandinavian traditions elves are not small spritely things but stranger Gods of the light and subterranean darkness.

The whiteness was not a stand alone issue, and it had nothing to do with the germ theory of disease. Leprosy, that is werewolfism, was the result of some act. Plato notes “it is told of the sanctuary of Lykaian Zues (wolfish Zeus) in Arcadia, namely, that he who tastes one bit of human entrails minced up with those of other victims is inevitably transformed into a wolf.” From other sources it is known the “he who tastes” was ritually a shepherd, and the victim a shepherd boy. This story goes back far earlier than Plato. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, not only is there a wild man, Enkidu, but the Goddess Inanna is accused of turning her lover, a shepherd, into a wolf that is torn apart by dogs. To kill a man, and eat him made one a wolf. Now let’s look at an example of this in the Bible. The account in Exodus of the Jews escaping Egypt is an account of werewolfism. It must be recalled one of the Pharaoh’s emblems was the shepherds crook. Without getting into the events of the Passover (though extremely import to this issue) we’ll recall the Pharaoh’s first born son dies as the “angel of death” passes over. At which point the Jews are told to leave Egypt. As they leave, God has it as a sign that the dogs were silent. That is no dogs barked at the Jews. This may seem like a strange but unclear thing. First let me say that the dog used as pets in Palestine at this time was very wolf like, not very dog like. Second, it was a folk tradition that dogs do not bark at their own. In other words the dogs didn’t bark because the Jews were “fellow citizens of wolves”. And what is more they were being estranged, that is cast out of the city. This is important, inside the confines of a city vs outside was the signal of man’s domain or “the wild” or the “desolate places”. It may seem like I am reaching a bit here to connect werewolfism to a Biblical story. So let me mention another version of this story known among the Romans and mentioned by Pliny the Elder. According to Pliny there were two leaders among the Jews Moses and a character named Hierosalemneus (Jerusalem), and they and a few followers were kicked out of Egypt because they had Leprosy. At the time this Roman account written, what it meant was unclear to the Romans and they thought it was meant as a derisive statement about the Jews. But they did not invent the story, nor change any details though they were garbled. The two accounts have a common source, and refer to the same thing. The Roman account is explicit and emphatic, where the Biblical account needs some context, and is idiomatic. It should be noticed that among all the werewolf accounts, estrangement is present. The afflicted become estranged, outcast, or separated. Often they are termed “strangers”, or “outsiders” (literally meaning outside the walls of a city). In some instances, like among the Rechabites, they literally lived outside the city walls to maintain their holiness.

Let’s look at another aspect of this werewolfism. Among the legal and ritual directions given in the Pentateuch can be found the ritual procedures to create priests and High Priests. The priest must participate in the sacrifice of a bull. Then (and keep this in mind) blood from the sacrifice is placed on his ear, thumb, and big toe. To “purify” the leper the leper must shave his head (that is remove hairiness) then, without performing the sacrifice, blood from the sacrifice is placed on his ear, thumbnail and big toe. In other words the priest has to commit a sin before he can be purified. The priest has to participate in a killing. The leper is already under the “curse” of murder. There is a difference that should be noted. The priest sacrifices a bull, which is meant to stand in for another, human, victim, while the leper uses a lamb. (Oh check Leviticus 8 and 14 for this stuff.) these different animals signify something important and unsaid in the text. Animal sacrifices are stand ins. They are not random choices or favorite food items. To choose a specific animal for sacrifice means a specific victim is implied. Likewise they are not only killed specifically but cooked specifically, notably boiled, but in accounts from other places and times both boiled and broiled- in a tripod kettle. What is more is the victim is slain in an act to “purify” a state called “unclean.” Unclean does not mean dirty. Unclean means holy to the point of poisonous. The implements of rituals considered in close contact with God were “unclean”. In other words, lepers were not seen as dirty and diseased, this is a modern idea. They were seen as frighteningly, dangerously, cursed with holiness. The purification was to restore them to the company of living men. I say living because they were is some sense considered dead or even resurrected, but not quite among the living or reborn.  (Adoption and reinstating the mistakenly dead type of  rituals are important here but may be a bit of a tangent.)

As I mentioned it is important to keep in mind the blood on the ear, thumb and toe of the “purified”, or priest. These blood spots are references. Like circumcision is a reduced form of completely removing the male genitalia, this is a reduced form of something more gruesome. It will be recalled in 1 Samuel 5.2–7 the story of the statue of the god Dagon. The statue is found fallen before the Ark, its head and hands severed across the threshold of the temple. Or the story of Jezebel, who is eaten by dogs, whose only remains are her head, hands and feet (Ahab whose blood is licked by dogs is also of note here.) This emblem of murder and cannibalism, the remains of head, hands and feet are very wide spread over a long period of time. In Greece, the story of Thyestes and Atrius recounts how Thyestes’ children, torn from the alter of Zeus, are slaughtered, boiled and broiled in a kettle, and without Thyestes knowledge served to him as a meal. He was later shown the head hands and feet of his children to reveal his crime. A similar story occurs with Arcadian King Lycaon (the wolf king whose sons are all changed into wolves) who slaughters a young boy (sometimes his grandson) and attempts to serve them to the Gods at a feast. The boy is boiled and broiled in a tripod kettle. Likewise in Arcadia a ritual was practiced wherein shepherds would gather and eat an umble stew. One piece of meat supposedly from a shepherd boy (archeological remains have only come up with sheep and goat bones at the areas of ritual sacrifice so it was likely only said to be a boy) was in the stew. The unlucky recipient of this piece of meat had to leave, swim across wolf lake and live like a wolf for 8 years before he could return to the settlements of men. At the original Olympics the tripod kettle was important. At the Olympics sacrifices were made to Zeus and Pelops. Pelops had been slain boiled and broiled in a tripod kettle, and served to the Gods. He was restored to life, except his shoulder blade which Demeter had accidentally eaten. A rams shoulder blade was used to replace it. It is important to note Thyestes and Atreus were sons of Pelops. But we don’t need to stick with the Greeks, we can look to the Norse myths, where Volund Smith, who lived at the wolf dales, murders the sons of the king who holds him captive and makes drinking vessels of their skulls which are given to the kings as trophies. Or in the story of Sigurd the Volsung, where Atli dreams he has eaten his sons and they become dogs. Later “ Then the king asked where his sons were, and Gudrun answered, ‘I will tell thee, and gladden thine heart by the telling; lo now, thou didst make a great woe spring up for me in the slaying of my brethren; now hearken and hear my rede and my deed; thou hast lost thy sons, and their heads are become beakers on the board here, and thou thyself hast drunken the blood of them blended with wine; and their hearts I took and roasted them on a spit, and thou hast eaten thereof. ‘ King Atli answered, "Grim art thou in that thou hast murdered thy sons, and given me their flesh to eat, and little space passes betwixt ill deed of thine and ill deed.’ " The story occurred around Cyrus the Great. When Astyages orders Harpagos to kill Cyrus and Harpagos does not obey, Astyages has Harpagos son slaughtered, boiled and broiled and served to his father . Following the meal the boy’s head, hands and feet are given to his father in a basket. It is important to note that Cyrus was said to have been raised by a she wolf, or prostitute (note the name Caleb in Hebrew means dog or prostitute). The story of Jason and Medea is to be included in this group (his sons are slain at the alter), as is Achilles son Neoptolemus (later called wolfish, and connected with Delphic wolf cults) slaying Priam at the alter.

But let’s back track a moment and note, that most of the grisly accounts above mention the presence of a lamb, or a ram. Thyestes and Atrues were fighting over a golden ram fleece. Jason of course has the Golden fleece. Everyone else eating with Harpago is eating lamb. The sacrifice to Pelops, was a ram and his shoulder blade was in some instances ritually shown to be a ram’s shoulder blade. With this we can return to the Bible.

The use of a lamb to sacrifice in relation to a leper (a wolf) seems widely dispersed, but doesn’t indicate anything about obsession with werewolves in the Bible. I’d like to follow the idea a bit further along. On the island of Mykonos, a ritual was performed for Poseidon wherein a ram was sacrificed, and then it’s shoulder blade was sprinkled with wine. This ritual was very much like the ritual for Pelops. But this ritual of a shoulder blade and wine are not confine to the Greek sphere. This will point us back in the direction of Biblical reference.

“And the priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven: / And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.”

The relationship to a rams shoulder blade and wine are important here. There is a bit of a reversal as wine is sprinkled on the shoulder in one instance and the shoulder is waved about in the other. But the elements are in place. Even the whiteness from Lamnetations: “Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk.” What is more is like the Leper, the Nazarite (separated or held aside) has his head shaved on the threshold of the sanctuary. This is because the Nazarites vow not to shave their heads or eat grapes or drink wine. It is noted however they can eat honey and have honey mead. This is very important. Wine was the “blood of the grape”. Grapes had to be “killed” and bleed to cause fermentation. Recall it is forbidden for Jews to eat something that has died naturally. things must be prematurely killed for magic to occur. Or better put, you can't make wine from raisins.

The “death” of the grape or vine is often blamed on a goat, or ram, or shepherd. And it is sometimes asserted that the rams blood colors the wine. A Nazarite in his vow, cannot, like the Arcadian wolf men, partake of cannibalism during their werewolfism. In other words, the wine was held to be the blood of the sacrificed ram, which in turn stood for a man (or god). A Nazarite under his vow could not partake of the flesh or blood of a person and hope to return to the status of a man. This should also be mentioned, it was not only the grape but the vine itself that was connected to the ram.

The Nazarite grew his hair to be an animal, a wolf, and his hair is where his power resided. The story of Jacob and Esau ( Esau is also called Edom-red, and Seir- hairy) has still another account (closely related to Odysseus and Polyphemus and the story of Humbaba in Gilgamesh) of wild men, and sacrifice regarding the stolen blessing. But these examples can go on and on. Other that could be brought in are Samson, Caleb, the 300 dog soldiers of Caleb, the treatment of strangers, the title “stranger” taken by several of the Patriarchs, Naboth slain for his vineyard through the devices of Ahab and Jezebel- stoned outside the city "In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs shall lick your blood, even yours," also dogs and prostitutes (Caleb) bathe in the blood of Jezebel. The Old Testament examples are daunting to list because there are so many of them. The word “Hebrew’’ has the sense of “stranger” or “one from the other side (of a boundary)”. And Jew or YD and it’s Minoan derived relative “Id” as in the Idean cave, mean  “wild or desolate”. Were wolves were also termed wild men, and Plutarch notes the Jews made a distinction between drinking wine and drinking beer or mead which the Greeks shared. Men drink wine, bearded animal men drink mead or beer (barbarians- “bar bar”- bearded, or a jibberish noise). Mount Sinai, also known as Mount Horeb, the mountain sacred to god, is Horeb) “desolate place”- the mountain of the wilderness. The position of wild man/ werewolf to a “civilized man” is noted everywhere. The homeless, wandering Wildman, was not just understood it is mandated. The Jews may not own a land. All land is turned over to God, the Jews are perpetual, “unclean” and holy, wild men. Nazarites, in a sense, that is separated, as a whole people. I would like to mention this position was the origin of “chosen” people. Chosen by God in the sense they were chosen by lot to perform the hard task. The idea of chosen as in “Elect” was a later development and groups such as the Essenes reacted against the idea. Modern versions of these “chosen” people, or those elected the hard task still exist.  To be chosen wasn’t the position of advantage.  It was, however, deemed holy or sacred.

In Gilgamesh the example of Enkidu and his transition from animal man to human is explicit. It is not accident that Jesus is connected with Bethlehem or Bet Lahmu, though very old by the 1st century C.E. Though transformed through time, traditions still surrounded the “house of lahmu”. Lahmu were heroes known for their redness (termed muddy) and hairness. Enkidu was a Lahmu hero.

When we come to the New Testament era, we run into the Dead Sea Community, who again, outcast themselves to return to proper holiness. That is they assumed the former ritual werewolfism, and were careful about accepting the goods from gentiles relating to “threshing floors” (meaning the area in front of the threshold where grain was threshed- like where Dagon was fallen and Nazarites cut their hair). This indicates they were aware of some memory of the werewolf tradition, if greatly changed after Babylonian, Greek and Roman influence. What is most telling and most complete, is the account of the Last Supper where nearly all elements are met. The sacrificial paschal lamb is connected to the victim, who is eaten (“This is my body, this is my blood” in reference to lamb and wine). Likewise Jesus declares  that wherever he hands the sop, or who eats the portion given him will betray him. This is the same event that took place among the Arcadian Shepherds. They were given a vegetable dish and whoever ate the lamb was outcast and a werewolf. It must be recalled that “Judas” that is “Judah” or Yd- means wild, or Wildman (man of the Jews or strangers), and is not an accidental designation. This isn’t anti-Semitism at the table of Jesus. The tensions in the definitions of righteous Jews was often violent and with several diverse interpretations.  These were both religious and political issues.  Among some groups righteous separation was still a very strong impulse.  Chosen and righteous still had a strong dose of the magical outcast.
The tradition of the werewolf carried through with surprising consistency well into the 17th century A.D. In the 12th century A.D. the Grail Romance the Perlsevaux mentions a character “Gargaran the Albanian” who cannibalizes children. Albanian of course from the root alb meaning both white and wolf, but also “gar” which means stranger, and is the old Testament term for “stranger”. It carried still further forward in time. The Brothers Grimm recount a story called the “Juniper Tree” which still carried vestiges of  the werewolf lore from the same traditional sources as the Bible. As did little Red Riding Hood. In the original story Grandma is turned into bread and wine that Red Riding Hood is made to consume. Then Red Riding Hood is bound with, strangely, woolen rope, that is, with rams fleece.

Seen through the lens of lycanthropy, the Bible may need some review.
So we have considered the idea that werewolves are in the Bible, and maybe at this point it doesn’t seem so strange.  It isn’t exactly the werewolves that are handed to us from somewhat modern European stories but it isn’t a comfortable distance either.  Removed from horror movies, and scary stories the idea of werewolves takes on a somewhat different sentiment.  And it is sentimental, not a reasoned difference.  When the Eucharist is performed it is not thought of as a horrific monster movie act, though it is eating the body and drinking the blood of a man.  The transubstantiation is deemed a miracle of actually turning a wafer of bread and sip of wine into the flesh and blood of Jesus.  A great deal of medieval ink was expended describing just how it was a miracle that bread and water should magically change.  It was never discussed as cannibalism, or lycanthropic, at least in orthodox circles.  In the Grail Romances it was explicitly mentioned.  The Great mystery of the Grail, the question that is supposed to be asked by Percival when seeing the Grail “who is served with it” is never answered, but the answer is “the werewolf or the cannibal man”:  Who is served with a cup of blood and the flesh of a man?  (This is because the grail is variously described as many things but sometimes a platter that held human flesh, or a cup of human blood.)  Likewise in the Grail myths the hero Percival (or a similar name) is described as a “welsc” which is sometimes taken to mean Welshman, but simply means “stranger” or “foreigner” or “alien” (as was mentioned in the previous werewolf post, another term for werewolf is stranger).  Welsc, is an Anglo–Saxon word meaning “strangers”, and was the term used to described the Brythonic Gaelic speakers already occupying southern England.    The invaders referred to the established occupants as strangers, or aliens.  Back to Percival, he wears animal skins (that is he is clothed like a wolf, or an animal), and he meets cannibals, such as King Gargaran of the Albanians.
The tradition and history of this werewolf lore is very old and exists today in Catholic ritual and beliefs, and in some derivative Judaic concepts, though the older ideas have largely been retermed and offered as metaphor.  Some Wiccan and New Age ideas have taken up the idea, but they are not at all related and have much more to do with fictional ideas and accounts from novels in the late 20th century.
Presently, I would like to consider some ideas, and consider some questions, as well as point out some relationships and strange trajectories connected with the werewolves.  These may unveil some surprising ideas, I think especially around Jesus.
First, let’s consider some things.  If what I am saying is correct, then Judaism and Christianity have a central set of ideas regarding the laws, stories, and lineage of werewolves.   That mentioned, the Greeks, Romans, Scandinavians, Egyptians, Celts, and many other peoples did have werewolf/stranger, as a central premise.   Though sometimes wolves, or dogs were replaced by other animals, but this will be explained shortly.
I would like to consider Judaism and Christianity here, and the common points of importance between them.  I have mentioned previously that Hebrew, or “Abiru” or “Apiru” means “strangers” or people from the other side- that is the foreigners.  In Egypt they seem to have been assimilated to some extent and considered the lowest class.  The term “apiru” had the meaning of “low class” or a low caste.  The idea of the strangers and outcasts was connected to these tribes from a very earlier period.   They are first described as invaders arriving with the Hurrians (Indo-European invaders), and causing the usual havoc and disorder of invaders arriving from the Caucasus.  This history has little to do with Bible accounts, but I note it to point out in some sense of the idea of the Hebrews as foreigners, and strangers of a special sort is already in place.
The idea of the stranger was present, as was the idea of Wildman, in Sumer, and the idea of the Wild man as enemy was in place in Egypt when the Hebrews arrived.  His position and importance changes and varies, but he is easily recognizable.  As Set in Egypt he is known as hairy, and the foe of Osiris or Horus and identified with the constellation Hyades which are the horns of Taurus.  As Taurus he perennially fights Osiris, or Horus as the constellation Orion.  In Sumero-Babylonian stories and throughout the ancient near east he was a hairy hero, sometimes called “Lahmu heroes” which means both muddy and hairy, or red and hairy.  The name Bethlehem- House of Lahem- is derived from this word.  Likewise the story of David and Goliath contains this “lahm” character.  In II Samuel and First Chronicles David (also called Elhannon), notably from Bethlehem, kills Goliath, or Goliath by another name, Lahmi.  (The name Goliath is interesting but maybe for another discussion.) The figure appears in earlier stories like Jacob and Esau, where Esau called “Seir” hairy, and “edom” red, is easily discernable as a lahmu hero.  The most famous Lahmu hero is probably connected with the story of Gilgamesh, the Hero, Enkidu.  In this story it is important to consider that Enkidu is enemy of the Bull of Heaven (The constellation Taurus, therefore he is Orion).
Enkidu is interesting for other reasons.  He is made of clay, he is a hairy animal man, and he seems to be intimately connected with the heavens.  He is referred to as an axe and a meteor from heaven.  In Egypt stones from heaven made of meteorite iron were thought to be the bones or semen of the gods or sometimes called “benben” and were thought to be the eggs or bodies of the Pheonix.   This will be important in a moment.
To consider the origins of man according to Judaism and Christianity, we have to consider Adam, who seems, at first glance, werewolf free.  There are some clues though that point to werewolves and murder.  We must first consider some things, and these things would be other Adams. In Egypt Adam was Atem, or Temu.  Tem comes from the same root as the word “adam” and both mean mankind (adam also has the sense of earth, as does Latin homo and humo which may show the idea of man and earth are closely linked in several places- the English word man also a god, Mannus, who emerged from the earth).  Atemu is a god created from clay on a potter’s wheel, in some accounts, and is often associated with a serpent.  Atem is said to reside atop the Benben stone, and rises to heaven on the Benben stone.  As may be imagined Atem is connected with the creation of mankind, but he does so in the capacity of a god, as well as engendering men, he also creates the other gods.
In the Sumero-Babylonian accounts the term “tem” appears as Temu and Etemmu.  It is much closer to our subject of werewolves, so may be more familiar in form.  It is decided that man must be created to ease the burdens of the Gods.  So the Gods set about a magic charm to create the first men.  To do this they must kill.  They decide to kill a god named “Geshtu-E”.  The assembly of Gods kill Geshtu-E and his blood is mixed with clay, from which man is them made.  The redness of the clay is often mentioned in connection with Adam.  In Islam, Adam is not made of clay but a clot of blood.  The connection between blood and the redness of the clay was also mentioned as a pun with Adam’s name and the word “edom”-red. This is not a very strong connection, but it gets a little help when it is considered Geshtu-E was also called Etemmu, or even more close, it is said “an etemmu came into existence from the God’s flesh.”  Etemmu is a variant of the words Atem and Adam. Along with the Etemmu, or ghost, a drum beat is mentioned which, though extremely important, can’t be covered here.  Along with Etemmu, to emphasize the word, a pun is used referring to Geshtu- E as Temu.  For those who read the post on “the muse” may recall mention of Moses and Meshkenti, as womb goddesses or Goddesses of birth, likewise the account of Geshtu-E also includes womb Goddesses and importantly a “room of fate”.  This room of fate, to make a long story short, is usually connected with Ursa Major, and is the place of origin for the “breath of life” from India to Egypt and among the Greeks, Romans, and Scandinavians as well as the Hebrews (the idea of the northern stars or Ursa Major as the origin of the “breath of life” and a thunderous drumming have been traced around the world.) *Note: Geshtu-E is also read Ilawela.
So with these accounts we can consider Adam, and consider whether he is connected to werewolves and if he is, how so.  The commonality of the names Adam, Atem, Tem, Temu, Etemmu, should be held a side for just a moment.  They are interesting and suggestive, but direct connections seem a bit tough to make even with the elements I mention above with Lahmu heroes, and the various “tems” relationship with creation. The Biblical Adam, at first glance, seems a different matter.  For our werewolves we have had some specific needs, like werewolves, cannibals, and estrangement-not to mention animal qualities, hairiness or the like.    The Biblical Adam seems to be alone, so unable to murder, and when he does have company, he doesn’t kill her.  Likewise Eve is not described as bestial, and she performs no killings, as there is only Adam, and one other character of note: the serpent.
As I mentioned above Atem was connected with a serpent, his temple was called the “serpent house”.  If we accept Atem and Adam, as even distantly, related stories how did it come to pass that in the Egyptian Adam is the serpent and in Hebrew he is the enemy of the serpent.  The serpent is a tricky problem.  Where does it come from?  Why is it there? Then by extension we have to ask-what is the original sin?
Where does it come from is actually fairly easy to answer.  As I mentioned above our werewolves are connected with stars.  Certain constellations were known as the werewolf, and identified in the stories as the earthly werewolves.  Often the werewolf was assigned the role of enemy of the Gods, as he was in Egypt as Set, in the constellation Hyades (Taurus), or with Apep -again the Hyades.  As Apep the constellation Hyades was a serpent or dragon of sorts.  This isn’t unusual.  Among the Norse the constellation Hyades was “Hati’ the wolf, or Fenris the wolf.  It was also the midgard serpent, Jordmungund.    Still further it was a bull, or a bullshead.  Several Norse myths are devoted to describing the scene the constellation represents.  This may seem a bit far removed from Egypt and Biblical stories.  It isn’t.  Though following by a few thousand years the Norse maintained icons and images  with direct relationships to the icons and images of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians.  In one example, a recurring theme (also found among the Greeks) is a nude, but belted, figure fighting a monster.  This image is always Orion.  In the rune poems the Rune “Tyr” is known as a constellation shaped as an arrow, which is Orion’s belt.  In the stories Tyr, or Orion, loses his hand to Fenris wolf.   There are pictures of the nude belted Orion fighting a werewolf, who conspicuously holds a spear descending from his wolf’s head into the foot of Orion.  In Egypt, on one of the versions of the Benben stone was carved a depiction of Orion, nude but belted, offering up his hand to the Hyades (that is to Fenris).  These depictions of Orion of are fairly consistent, and were the basis of the formulaic pose depicting Gods or the Pharaoh known as “Osiris smiting his enemies”.  It may be interesting to note that our sense of composition is the heir, in large part, to constellational composition.  That noted the enemy of Orion, isn’t quite so stable.   He appears in seals, wall paintings, amulets, and other designs as a serpent with several heads, a dragon, a boat with a dragon head that attacks Orion, a serpent shaped boat, a serpent shaped as a staff, an ass, a minotaur, a wolf, a man, a hairy man, , etc.  the only sure and consistent thing to identify the image as the enemy of Orion, that is the Hyades, is Orion itself, and the direction of the enemy- always facing left to fight Orion.  A few general traits are such things as heads at weird angles, or awkward poses.  This is to maintain likeness to the constellation which isn’t precisely placed with Orion to make a perfect scene.   The Norse shield dye from Ollund made in the 6th century a.d which depict the two constellation are based closely on the angles of the constellation,  as are some seals from Neo-Assyrian sites dating to the 8th century bc., but the Greeks were known to take some liberties with the compositions.  They did not completely disregard the stellar compositions but did create more “naturalistic” poses.  Still within these poses, sometimes intentionally made with dark stone or wood, they would place white stones at the appropriate points in the composition to match the stars upon with the constellation was based. (One such mentioned by Pausanius is Athene of the Bridle.)
So we might consider that perhaps the serpent appears as the role of the enemy in a stellar play that was well known and very wide spread.  And this serpent was sometimes not a serpent but instead a wolf, or werewolf, and was ritually portrayed by a person or persons.  In this scenario, we might assume the werewolf is ritually given the history and traits of the enemy as seen in the narrative of the stars.  But again we would be guessing at a thing.  It doesn’t say anywhere that Adam is a constellation or represented by a constellation,  and it doesn’t suggest that the serpent is either.  It is true the god Atem, and Geshtu_E can be connected to stars, and the connections are fairly clear.  Likewise it can be connected in several places that werewolves are related to constellations, and calendars with certain constellations as their emphasis.  But the story of Adam doesn’t seem to mention any such things.  Does it?  It does.
In Genesis 1:27 it says: “So God created Adam (or man) in his image (shelem), in the image of God he created them; male and female he created (shelem) them.”
This word “Shelem” is an interesting word.  In Hebrew it is usually translated as “likeness”, “carved image” or “image”.  But this isn’t exactly correct.  The name “Solomon” is also “shelem”.  The seal of Solomon, the five pointed star, is emblematic of Solomon because it refers to the morning star.  Before Solomon was a supposedly historical king he was a mythical divine figure with a brother named “Shakar”.  Shakar and Shalim (Solomon) were the morning and evening star- that is the five pointed star (Venus the morning and evening star, creates the form of the five pointed star every eight years.)  The word “shelem” or “shalim” are forms of the Akkadian word “shalmu”- meaning likeness, statue, constellation.  They did not mean these things apart.  A likeness was a constellation.  A Shelem was not a simple likeness but a specific type of likeness, like a statue made to look like a constellation.  The name Solomon, is not actually a name it is a title, and was attached to names, or positions.  Like a “regnal” title.  A name acquired at the ascension to kingship.  The Bible notes Solomon is given his name Jedidiah, by the prophet Nathan.
Solomon is surrounded by stars, his mother is BathSheba (daughter of the star), and he has an adventure with the Queen of Sheba (Sheba, shb, means star or constellation)  which was the subject of a many legends, not to mention the “shulemite woman” in the Song of Songs (Shulemite means “one of the people of the stars”) and his brother Absalom (likeness of the father, or in likeness of the constellation of the father).  The legends of Solomon are filled with astrological and stellar references.  Each demon who Solomon controls through the use of his seal gives descriptions of their constellations and powers.
I mention this to show that Adam is a sculpture created in the likeness of God’s constellation, not simply created in God’s likeness.  The understanding of “shelem” and its wide meaning were still in use when Kabalistic books such as the book Bahir (first published in the 12th century AD) which continues to juggle the word shelem and incorporate the popular meaning of “peaceful” with the wider definition.  When Adam’s creation is mentioned it refers to stars, to translate shelem as “image” or “likeness” is to distort the meaning to fit some traditional misconceptions.  The tradition goes beyond Adam. One tradition describes Cain as colored as the stars, another reports that when Adam’s son Cain was born, “Who shall tell my lord Adam? I implore you, ye luminaries of heaven, what time ye return to the east, bear a message to my lord Adam.’- that is the sign of Cain is a constellation.  Reading these ideas of the “likeness”, it also becomes clear “shelem” is not only how a thing appears.  It refers to behavior.  A Shelem must enact the thing it is like.  For example, one legend states Adam creates Seth in his image, unlike Cain, who behaved badly.  Seth behaves in accordance with the behavior of Adam.  A likeness also includes a sequence.  Meaning the shelem is based on a moving thing.  It is not static.  For Solomon to be like the morning star he has to enact certain things as the “star” is actually a calendar.
Armed with the information that Adam is a constellation (shelem in summary), we can now safely ask- which constellation is Adam?  The answer is given fairly clearly by the Bible.  Gen 3:15 “...he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”  The constellational battle between Orion and the Hyades has one repeated event: a wounded heel and a struck head.  Robert Graves describes at length the various heel Gods in the ancient world in his book the White Goddess, but a couple of the important ones he missed would be Ra in a story regarding a betrayal by Isis, wherein Ra is bitten on the foot by a “serpent shaped as a dart”,  and again the Ollund shield dye with Orion wounded in the foot by a spear from a werewolf whose head is awkwardly tilted in the shape of the Hyades.  Mesopotamian versions have a many headed dragon (one head per star in Eridanus) whose lowest head attacks the foot of the Orion.  The heel wounding may seem odd, but it isn’t if you look at the stars.  A line of stars project from the “lower jaw” of the Hyades to the foot of Orion.   This line with open jaws atop is the origin of the “serpent staff” in its various guises-this includes Moses Serpent staff, as well as the Nehushtan.  The “staff” portion is known as the constellation “Eridanus”, the celestial river.  When the Bible reports that Moses cannot ever cross the Jordan, it is speaking very clearly, especially if it is understood Moses is Orion, which sits beside Eridanus (Jordan in Hebrew).  The Orion constellation will not cross the Jordan constellation.   The list and examples of the icons and stories regarding wounds to the head and heel involved with the constellations is very long and spans several thousand years, among very different cultures.  In the Bible there are several examples, the birth of Jacob and Esau, Jacob wrestling the angel (as well as the ladder-Eridanus was called the “ladder” in Egypt), Baalam and his ass, and this proceeds into the New Testament in ways that will be addressed shortly.
This is all interesting, but the werewolf connection is a bit unclear.  What I seem to have mentioned is a pictoral battle between constellations and the understanding of this battle by various peoples in the past.  Thus far I have noted some ideas present in early Judaic thought that give biblical characters some strange coloring, and imply some unusual beliefs.  But I haven’t clarified how Adam is related to werewolves.  I did mention, previously that werewolves were very prominent in the Bible, and to be  Jew, a Yd, was to a be a werewolf, likewise here I will put forward, to be a Christian, regardless of whatever rationale one follows, is also to be a werewolf (The Eucharist is one of several examples,, which I will bring up shortly).  But it would seem reasonable that  to assert this I must connect the first man with this tradition, if I am to make my case at all.  I say this because, Adam is the cause of both Judaism and Christianity.  In the first case because Adam sets the precedent and situation in which law can exist (Jewish law, or the laws that emerge out of werewolf ideas), and in the second case because Jesus was fully in line with werewolfism and deemed the second Adam.  There is much discussion about Seth, Adam’s son, as one of Jesus’ ancestors, and through Seth having Adam’s Likeness.  With Jesus, according to Christians, the werewolfism comes full circle (though I doubt this would be offered in these terms.)  Adam is said to be crucified at the place of Adam’s burial.  He refers to himself as the “Son of Man”, which in Hebrew would be rendered, the son of Adam (this connection was not lost on the Sethian Ophites, who venerated Seth as a precursor to Jesus and refer to Jesus as the Great Seth).
But we are left with a bit of a conundrum.  The werewolf has to do with sacrifice, ritual killing, scapegoats, and fairly dark happenings.  There seem to be some hints in stories like that of Geshtu-E that something was killed in order to create Adam, but the story of Egyptian Atem doesn’t seem to support this.  His creations involve masturbation and ideas of sex, not murder.  A read through Genesis doesn’t give over any descriptions of Adam killing anything to earn his rejection from paradise.  But here we seem to stumble upon a strange marker.  Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden.  One of the characteristics of the werewolf is to be an outcast, a stranger, and this situation is visited on Adam and Eve.  What is more is the werewolf becomes a werewolf through eating.  In Greece, and Rome, and many other places (as mentioned previously in the first werewolf post), what is eaten is a shepherd boy.  An act of murder and cannibalism takes place leaving the head hands and feet as evidence or left overs.  As I noted previously the heads, hands and feet are conspicuous elements, and recur not only in myth, but the bible mentions these “left overs” several times including the destruction of the statue of Dagon, and the death of Jezebel.  Likewise I previously mentioned the High Priest of the Jews had to ritually place a drop of blood from a sacrificial animal on his head (ear), hands (thumb) and feet (toe).  These left overs were not simply unedible parts, they are the points in a constellation- Orion. Owing to the description Adam and Eve are cast out for eating something forbidden it might be wise to look for a death- a murder, and the traces of that murder.  We have some reason to suspect that Adam is a werewolf.
We must first look at what is eaten.  One of the “mysteries of the Bible” regards the Tree of the Fruit of Knowledge.  Traditionally in Western Europe it is considered to be the apple.  This is an add on, mystical, application.  This fruit was chosen because when sliced in half the apple reveals a five pointed star which was mystically connected with Mary and the secret “rose of heaven”- the patterns of Venus.  Much of this is influenced from the Greeks, and the fruit is not mentioned in early legend.  It may have some relationship to some Latin word games (Latin apple- malum, and evil-malus) or relationships to Mary, derived from Venus.  Apple trees are almost never mentioned biblically, and they are not mentioned as the tree of Knowledge, nor do they seem to have any magical or ritual properties.  Other fruits appear more frequently in connection to the forbidden fruit, and can be supported by internal Biblical evidence.
Without hashing through the suspects, I will bring out the two important fruits: the grape, and the fig.  Both are given credit as the fruit of the forbidden tree, but only one holds up in relation to the situation in question, though the other plays a supporting role.  First we have to toy with a few ideas.  1. The “fruit of the tree” is not a fruit, as such 2. More went on in the story of the Fall of Man than is mentioned in the Bible 3. That there is a reason the Nazarites, deliberately werewolves, cannot touch grapes once their vow is undertaken.
We have to depart from the Bible, and cover some related mythic figures to flesh this out.  YHWH, is not an uncommon name for a God, though it is held to be the name of the True and Jealous God of the Hebrews.  Among the Canaanites the name was Yah, and this version was also used centuries later among some Gnostics. Yah was another name of the God Baal. In Rome the God Jupiter (Diu Pater- father God, or if you want to trace it further “resplendent”- the meaning of the word Deus, or theos or Deva) was also called Jove which is pronounced Yohweh in Latin.  It was also recognized that the vowels taken and placed together created variations of the word YHWH, iouea, Euoia, etc. In Egypt the Gods made prayers to the Gods by singing their names as seven vowels in succession (according to Demetrius of Alexandria.)  Some have suggested this is why Hebrew has no vowels, as using the vowels one may accidentally spell the holy unspeakable name of God.  I mention this because we are going to discuss another YHWH, Euoia- Dionysios.
Plutarch, in Questionnes Conviviales, discusses the many similarities between the rites of the Jews and the worship of Dionysos.  Some of these are misconceptions, others are fairly reasonable observations of similarity.  One of the points he mentions and is worth noting, is the Jews, like the Greeks had some ideas regarding an adversarial stance between wine and beer or mead.
Wine is an interesting subject because it is very closely tied to sacrifice, werewolves, magic and the defining characteristic of a God.  In regard to Dionysos some ideas have to be understood.  As maybe expected with the subject of werewolves, life death and murder play a part, as does cannibalism.  First let’s consider wine- the blood of the grape.  Definitions and categories as we think of them today were not quite so precise 2000 years ago, not to mention further back in time.  For example the word for “crow” in Greek could be applied to several types of black birds.   At a very early point in history it appears any and all animals with horns or tusks were simply called “horn” and lumped together (whether bulls, goats, boars or elephants) by the single term.  This didn’t mean they were considered to be one and the same, it meant they all shared a quality, and this is how things were placed into categories.  Grape juice, a reddish fluid that comes from the living grape as it is “killed” was considered to have a relationship to blood and the blood of animals.  This is clearly mentioned, and not a poetic metaphor.  Grape juice and wine are the “blood of the grape”, and this term was current among several ancient cultures.  In Greece the story was attached to the wine hero “Ikarios” who is invents wine, and is murdered by shepherds who, upon being drunk for the first time, assume they have been poisoned exact drunken revenge on Ikarios.  Ikarios blood is said to color the wine forever after.  It is important to mention, as I will show shortly, that Dionysos was called at times around the precincts of the Delphic oracle.
It must be remember that in the Bible there is an interdiction against eating blood because “the blood is the life”.  But blood was not the only thing that defined something as living.  Breath, or the “breath of life” was the other component.  The word spirit and animus (as in animate) both mean breath.  The reason alcoholic beverages are called “spirits” is a related to some Greek, and Judaic ideas regarding the magical process of making wine.  Grape juice was put in containers called “kerykos”.  These were sacks made from the skins of animals- bulls or rams.  When the dead skin was filled with the blood of the “murdered” grape, it was left out to stand under the rising summer stars “Sirius”- the Dog star and the constellation Orion (both Hesiod and Pliny mention this recipe).  During this time of year, when the heat is intense, the skins filled with air, they breathed.  The wine was transformed from juice into a drink that made you crazy.  We know this as fermentation, but the ideas was a bit more elaborately understood by our ancestors.  This “breath of life”, coming from the dead was very important.  In Mesopotamia the head God was Enlil, God of the Breath of Life and the “ether”.  It was thought (from India to Scandinavia and beyond) that the “breath of life” was a special type of wind that originated by a spinning motion around the pole star called “the mill” (Hamlet’s or Frodi’s mill in Scandinavia, the Shambha mill in India, and many mills or spinning posts in between).  This mill was also called the potter’s wheel.  In Sanskrit is is the source of “Khert” or “Kharma” to do or make in the sense of making pottery.  This is often misunderstood.  Kharma in its earliest form (among the Jains) is a type of colored dust or earth, it is not the “wheel of fortune” and the idea of Kharma coming back around is also the wheel of fortune or ideas of Justice.  The Wheel of Kharma refers to a specific area in the heavens “the wheel”,  “the mill”, “the mill wheel”, “The potter’s wheel”.  It was thought the act of creation was a result of the spinning of this wheel.  In Norse and English, a related word ‘Weird” or “Urd” (from a root krt) means to make or spin out.  Even in modern colloquialisms we stills say “it  turns out…” referring to the idea “it came to pass” or “It came to be”.  In the Bible the references to this turning or the mill go under such terms as ‘Golgotha”, “gilead”,  and “Goliath”, which refers to a mill stone or a circular ring of stone, or a round stone.
Among the Greeks the idea of Kharma and the potter’s wheel is fairly directly related to the word “keramos”, ceramic.  But it is also present with Dionysos and wine lore.  In Greece the Gods of the breath of life are the Kouretes (from the root krt or kur), but there is also a clearer connection to Dionysos and “the Kharma” spinning.  In Attica there was a place named “Kerameikos” named after the son of Dionysos and Ariadne- Keramos.  Dionysos and Ariadne derive their names from the old Minoan religion on Crete.  Inscriptions found in Crete describe offerings to “Du on wo so” (Dionysos) and “ar ah ad ne” (Ariadne) .   The Minoan civilizations were not Greeks but were related culturally and linguistically to the Western Semitic peoples like the Canaanite Phoenicians, and Hebrews.  They spoke a Semitic language.  In the Semitic languages the word “Keram” seems to have a relationship to both the Indo-European words “Kharma” and  “Keramos”.  Keram, or Kerem means vineyard in, for example, Hebrew.
This description of the word “keram” or kharma, or kerem, or Keramos, is mentioned here to point out several things. The idea of breath, and the magical recipe for making wine involve murder.  A biblical another interdiction tells the Jews they cannot eat anything that has died naturally.  They can’t eat things that are not killed prematurely.  This may seem fairly sensible as eating already dead things can be bad for your health, but as the Jews and everyone else was unaware of the germ theory of disease, and recipes for making honey involved using corpses as homes for bee hives, it doesn’t seem that the reason for avoiding dead food was a health issue as we would think of it.  It was instead because of the idea of wine.  If you kill something prematurely it can still be brought back to life.  They kill the grape, they kill a bull, put the two things together as a wineskin and it breathes again and creates a magical- living- thing.  It is in a body (the skin) it has blood, and it “possesses” whoever drinks it. This formula was believed to have some connection to anything the Jews ate.  The Jews were forbidden to eat the permanently dead.
Also Kharma (as colored dust), or ceramics bears an interesting treatment in creation myths, and the making of wine, also has an interesting connection the creation myths.  Stomping or treading on wine is not a good way to make wine.  It doesn’t seem the productive way either.  They had wine presses or sacks in which grapes were pressed and strained.  Trodding on grapes is a ritual act.  It has some extension.  In the Dionysion festival of Choes (wine pitchers) at one point in the event boys would try to jump on inflated goat skins. That is they would attempt to stomp, not on the grape, but the breathing skin that holds the grape juice.  The important part is trodding or stamping on something connected with the recipe of wine making.  In the Creation myths from Mesopotamia the God is murdered and his blood is mixed with clay (as with Ikarios who’s blood is mixed with grape juice).  Then the clay is trod upon (the explanation given here is often they were making man like making bricks).  But the Mesopotamians made bricks using a wooden frame from clay found along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.  Even when mixing the clay with straw this stomping wouldn’t apply.  The Mesopotamians didn’t make figures (as is described in the myth) using the method for making bricks.  They didn’t mix the clay with straw for terra cotta figures.  The process described has nothing to do with bricks anymore than it does with making wine.  These are descriptions of a ritual action- and this action is standing atop or treading on something.  It has to be understood rituals involved with religion are something like re-enactments. When the boys jump on wine skins, or grapes are trodden, or clay is trodden it refers to a previous story.  And as the story is told with Geshtu_E, or Ikarios, someone is murdered first.
More soon….maybe

No comments: