Mari's Amor-ite city or 'City of Love' of Mari was considered as one of the wonders of the ancient world.2 It was the Holy Land or power center until it was conquered by the armies of Hammurabi in 1700 BC.
The people of Mari believed that the universe was the property of a large pantheon of gods and goddesses who were human in form, but superhuman in their powers. They believed the goddess Mari lived in her temple on Earth.
Among the numerous wall paintings and sculptures uncovered at Mari in Syria archaeologists discovered the jaw dropping 4,000 year-old three-dimensional, life-size statue of the goddess Mari below. Called simply The Goddess with a Vase, in this statue Mari is wearing a coat, a hat and other garments. She holds a water jar in her hands.
Mari full-length coat is blue, the color of the sea. It is called the PALA garment or 'ruler's garment'. The component PALA is key. It is the root for palladium, Pala-to, palace and paladin, the name given to the knights of the Grail in medieval chivalry.
Mari has a cluster of blue stones (apples?) gathered around her neck and throat area.
The 'hat' is no ordinary helmet. It is called the Shugurra helmet. Whenever attempting to understand or explain The Goddess with a Vase statue, I turn to (and embellish on) Sumerian scholar and linguist Zecharia Sitchin. In his seven books he re-interprets the Sumerian myths. Shugurra, he says, translates as "that which makes go far into the universe."3
What kind of a helmet or thinking cap is this?!
'The Goddess With a Vase' statue from Mari, 2000-1500 BC. Is she holding the Holy Grail?
Two straps run out of the TET, a box of rectangular shape on the back of Mari's neck, and run across her chest.4 The box is joined to her helmet, the Shugurra, by another strap. This box is apparently quite heavy, as evidenced by the straps. A hose is connected to the base of the box by a circular clasp or buckle. Two identical 'stones' adorn her shoulders.
The TET corresponds with the Menat worn by Ptah on the back of his head and with the TET pillar that is part of the All.
These accoutrements underlined that this goddess was the Queen of Mari. According to Sitchin, no one has been able to explain the nature of Mari's strange ensemble of coat, hat and other garments. It is too bizarre to think of it as some form of ancient virtual reality system that assists one in transforming themselves in order to go far into the universe. But what if that is what it is? What is this ensemble doing on the body of a 4,000-year-old statue?
Apart from these sensational questions, the question that is most integral to our search concerns what Mari did once she donned this outfit.
THE SHEEPFOLD: THE VESSEL OF CREATION
Among Mari's many titles she was known as Ma-Ya, 'the Lady of Life', or Ma.5 Her temple/womb/sheepfold was considered the vessel of Creation. With her Shugurra helmet snuggly fitting her head, Mari goes to her sheepfold, which is the center of nature of Sumer (or Su-Meru). Leaning against a fruit tree, she rejoices in her own natural powers -- her wondrous vulva.
Within this temple emerged Mari's son who was named 'Lord of the Sheephold\ 'the Shepherd', 'Lord of the Net', and 'Lord of Life'.6
According to Sumerian legend, in a night of wild drink and sex, Inanna/Mari, a cunning and ruthless beauty, seduced the god E.A. and made off with his prized Key of Life, as well as the divine ME-tablets, the divine formulas which were the basis for high civilization.7
That night she also conceived a son, Thoth. Mari's name anticipates the Virgin Mary by 3,000 years. Both women had a son who died a violent, sacrificial death. Mari's titles 'Light of the World', 'Morning and Evening Star', 'Righteous Judge', 'Forgiver of Sins', and 'Holy Shepherdess' were later given to Mary's son, Jesus.
Jesus said he had many sheepfolds. Among the beautiful treasures that were discovered at Mari were stone molds for cakes found in the kitchen of the palace in the shape of the Goddess' body. The cakes eaten by the worshippers of the Queen, says scholars,8 may have been a precursor of the Christian Eucharist the bread and water used at the Last Supper.
The similarity between Mari's son and Jesus are striking. Raised by priestesses in the Vessel of Creation, the halfhuman, half-divine son, who was called the Lord of the Net, appears to have been privileged to learn the secrets of the universe, including those of the Key of Life.
In Matthew Jesus states the Kingdom of Heaven is a Net.9 When he appears to John he is wearing the attire of the goddess including a floor-length garment and helmet white as wool. He also wields Key of Life in the form of the seven stars that he holds in his hand.10
The creation of Mari's son is also equivalent to the story of the creation of the Adam in the Hebrew story. The Sumerians are considered by many Old Testament scholars to have been the original authors of the creation myth as found in the Book of Genesis. The tale of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, particularly the Tree of Life incident, is also of Sumerian origin.
According to Sumerian myth, Mari/Inanna rescued the Tree of Life from the world flood and planted it in her garden at Mari. This Tree was an axis connecting the underworld with Earth and the heavens.11
Mari seeks to use the wood from the Tree to make a throne and a bed. However, she discovers that the Tree has some unexpected occupants. A serpent has "made his nest in the tree." This serpent is not alone. The "anzu bird who set his young on the branches," also dwells within, as does the "dark-maid Lilith" who built her home in the trunk.12
The seal of Mari's son, Thoth/Ningishzidda. The entwined serpents also symbolized E.A.'s son, Ningishzidda ('Lord of the Artifact of Life'). Libation Cup of Gudea, c. 2000 BC
The inhabitants of the Tree -- two snakes named Lilith and Samuel -- refuse to leave. In temple depictions Mari is pictured holding these two serpents wound around a rod. Known as the caduceus this symbol was the logo of a priesthood of Therapeutae, or physicians of the soul.
This was also the symbol for her son, "the Lord of the Key of Life." The figure 8 or the entwined serpents also symbolized him. The Egyptians changed his name to Thoth,
Mari wearing her helme, blue stones, and coat holding the caduceus.
but retained his sacred number 8. The Greeks called Thoth or TAT by the name Hermes ('stone').
In Amorite legend this tube-shaped serpent's name is Yamm, derived from the Hindu Lord of Death, Yama.13 Mari and this serpent apparently married, for Mari, who is also called Maya, was worshipped along with her serpent-husband Ya-Ma, whose name is Ma-Ya in reverse. Yama means 'twin'.14
The Hindu Vedas say Yama, Lord of Death, sits in the midst of the cosmic ocean on the Navel of the Waters, where "matter first took form."
Incidentally, the Japanese associated this center with the Mountain-Mother Fuji the Ancestress. This sacred mountain became known was Fuji-Yama. From his throne Yama, as the 'King of Righteousness', sips on soma and gives judgment (or balances Heaven and Earth), much like Thoth.15
In the Judeo-Christian religion Maya's husband Yama, the serpent, became a figure the Hebrew scribes did not exactly know how to handle.
When Moses asked God his name, God replied from the burning bush, "I am."16
He became known as Y-Am or I-Am, the Old Testament Hebrew god who was also known as Yahweh or Jehovah. The Pillar depicted in the Sumerian and Egyptian examples we will look at momentarily are symbolically equivalent to the Tree of Life of the Garden of Eden story. Ya-Ma or I Am is the name of the serpent that lived within it. Logically, the Old Testament Lord and the Serpent appear to be one. Despite the Lord's injunction in Leviticus 26:1, "You shall make no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall you set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: For I am the Lord your God" the Hebrews continuously sought the Pillar, sometimes at the request of I-Am.
In the Book of Numbers, chapter 21, I Am said to Moses, "Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten when he looks upon it shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." 17
Jews and Christians later remembered this duo, combining their names Maya and Yama into one, Mari-Yama or Mariam, the name of the mother of Jesus.18
In the Gospel of John Jesus speaks directly of this serpent, "And as Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth may in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son..." 19
Let us now look at the Sumerian and Egyptian depictions of the Tree of Life. The TET box on the back of Mari's helmet, which she wore when entering her sheepfold, appears to serve the same function as Ptah's menat charm. It connected her to the TET pillar. Ptah sometimes appears standing in front of a TET pillar.
In Egypt, the TET pillars were called "the backbone of Osiris." In Egyptian mythology, Osiris is the green-faced savior god. He, along with his wife Isis, came from Sirius and taught the art of gardening.
They were profusely illustrated in ancient Egypt. Many of these depictions survive today.
In the illustration above from the Temple of Isis at Denderah in Egypt, a site within walking distance of Abydos, the Egyptian 'Garden of Eden', the TET columns are shown with 'serpents' of current flowing through them. Some believe these symbolize electricity.
If so, how did the ancient Egyptians generate electricity?
Modern electrical engineers, physicists readily observe that the ancient Egyptian religious artwork portrays an object strikingly similar in design to a modern Van de Graaff Generator.
Designed and built by American physicist Dr. Robert J. Van de Graaff, who was a professor at MIT, this generator was built in 1931 as a research tool in early atom-smashing and high energy X-ray experiments.
The device that bears his name has the ability to produce extremely high voltages -- as high as 20 million volts. Van de Graaff invented the Van de Graaff Generator to supply the high energy needed for early particle accelerators. These accelerators were known as atom smashers because they accelerated sub-atomic particles to very high speeds and then "smashed" them into the target atoms. The resulting collisions create other subatomic particles and high-energy radiation such as X-rays. The ability to create these high-energy collisions is the foundation of particle and nuclear physics.
In 1931, the large Van de Graaff generator was constructed in an unused dirigible dock at Round Hill, Massachusetts. Photos © MIT.
Modern physicists readily notice that these pillars bear an uncanny resemblance to cathode ray tubes. Developed in the 1870's by Sir William Crookes, an English physicist and chemist, the tube was integral to the study of what came to be called cathode rays.
Cathode-ray tubes are glass tubes with the air sucked out of them. Metal plates are sealed at either end and then connected to a battery or an induction coil. When charged with electricity, the vacant areas in the tubes glow. Crookes concluded that invisible rays from the cathode caused the glow. The glow emanated from the negative plate -- the cathode -- and disappeared into the positive plate -- the anode. Significantly, Cat-hode comes from the Greek kathodos, going down, from kata, meaning 'down' and hodos, way. Cata is also the root for Cat-har and Cat-holic, meaning 'universal'.
What are these "serpents"? The ancient linguist, poet, and holy man, King Solomon, might remind us that in Hebrew nahash is the word for serpent and wisdom. The Hebrew word for soul is neshamah. The linguistic and phonetic similarity of these words would force a question in Solomon's poetic mind. Are the ancient Egyptian artists asking us to link these serpents with souls?
"I TAWT I TAW A PUTTY TAT"
The "patient" on the operating table beside the TET or TAT does appear ready to receive the contents of the tube or jar. The "doctor" holding the cutting knife has the head of a cat.
Following our pattern of investigating word meanings, I find it fascinating that kathodos contains the element Os, or Osiris. Equally prominently it displays kat or cat. In the Egyptian story of Osiris, the Primordial Garden of Creation housed a World Tree or a Tree of Life linking Heaven and Earth. To the Egyptians this tree is also known as the persea tree. The tree is shaped like a spade, the tool of the gardener, and is accompanied by a cat, giving rise to the notion that it is a "pussy tree."
According to the story told by the priests at Heliopolis, Egypt, the cat is another form of Ra-A-tum, the name the Egyptians gave to the spark of life (the Akh) that releases the infinite energies of Nun (creation).
Why the cat? As noted, the Egyptians were fond of word play and puns. Electricity that spat and hissed and bit and numbed became depicted as a cat. In order to free itself from the serpent's coils, A-tum (or A-tom) took the form of a cat and killed the serpent by splitting it with its knife. When the cat (atom) splits the serpent the persea tree emerges from within it.
The cat's persea tree can be treated a number of ways in the Language of the Birds. For example, what is the relation of the cat's purr to the per-sea tree? What is the significance of the fact that Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of perfume? What significance, if any, is there to the fact that the Grail Stone is also known as the "Pearl of Great Price"? Was a play on words intended when the Cat-hars called themselves the Pure or Purr Ones?
In the hieroglyph of Osiris two 'TET' pillars are featured on either side a mysterious object that resembles the Hebrew Ark of the Covenant. Beside them is Osiris' Pillar of Love (far right). The Pillar of Osiris stood approximately forty feet tall and was lined with gold. This pillar contains what appears to be a serpent. However, we are told it actually contained the "head" of Osiris.
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