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Mis último libros
'From earth to heaven: The snake and the indoeuropean religious change',
Transformation of European and Anatolian culture, 4500-2500 B.C.", organised
by the Indo-European Studies Program, University of California, Los Angeles in
conjunction with University College, Dublin. 15-21 Sep. 1989.
Minoan culture on Crete - c.2000 B.C.
Snake Monument, Petra, Jordania
o the Iranian hero Hraetaona against the three-headed Azhi-dahaka or the combat of Baal against Yam, YAhvé againsts Behemoth and Leviathan.
Behemoth and Leviathan
Faigth of Yahve and Leviathan
In some cases, it is previous step to the cosmogoníes, but ín the case of Zeus and Tifón or Apolo in Delphes, the matter is, in our opinion, the i n s t auration of a new Sovereignty .
As M i r c e a Eliade (19 7 8 : 221) said, it is througt the death of a ophidic monster, virtual symbol of the C h a o s, but also of the "autochone", t h a t , a n ew cosmic or institucional situation appears.
Vinca Pottery Snake
Predionica at Pristina, Yogoslavia, circa 6000 b.c.e
For M. Müller and for the compared mythplogical school, in which we can include, among the hellenistics, L. Preller and H.Krappe in Germany, and P. Decharme in France, the greek mythology was the most ancíent expression form this peaple used to express two aspects : the ideal and the already-happened thing.
Container for a snake
Late Period (664-332 BCE)
National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden
The already- happened thing is always
a piece of history of a región, of a city (KERENYÍ: 1972, 39 ), definition that
Kerenyi concretes by saying that the mithology i s a bulk of ol materials we
have received through the traditions, which is the opinión of the own Plato (KIERENYI,
As El iade also saidd (1981: 12), a cultural fact extreamly complicated to be explained under multi-complementary perspectives that can b e used ind ifferent ways.
And even if, as Vernant (1982:196) admits, following the opinión of Will, the greek religion offers an
huge amount of contradictions and paradoxes. And these opinions couId be spreaded to all mythologies we know.
Maenad (white-ground kylix by Brygos ptr.) c. 490 B.C (Munich: Antikens. 2645
Among many Indo—European peoples, the Iliric, Macedónian, Roman, Germany and Hinduists, Zeus is , as has been reminded recently, by PUDIC ( 1973 : 259) as the great heaven's g od, the god of the light
: ZEUS, Deipatros, Diespiter, Tyr, Dyaus, etc., or teh differente gods who fight againsts the snakes or dragons. And Neumann speaks about Apollonian-solar -patriarcal sp i r i t ( NEUMANN, op.cit. p. 55).
With réspect to the snake, that Gimbutas shows as ambivalent, it is also for us, in some cases, a representation of the Great Goddess, mainly when she is represented as an ambivalent and androgynic
o n e, and in other cases in conection to the water, the rain, the earth, the cyclical change and the eggs, however she cannot avoid its strong association with a great part of male representations in the Old Europe : phallics, horns and ithyphalic figures.
This androgyny that we see,for example, in the menhirs from th e South of Portugal, on which a snake figure has been represented in the phallic stone (VARELA GOMÉS: 1983: 389) as a female materialization of a stimulating force that joins together the male force, that is also "life" wishing to materialize itself and to be "ethernal" life".
It is also the snake a no-endless circle, the begining and the end, the eternal life( Figs. 5-7).
And as Fraser said, the snake is an animal considered inmortal by many civilizations,as for exemple , the semites, one of them , Sancunatione , remembered that the snake is an animal of a large life ,because she has the faculty of leaving her old skin to keep her youth.
An animal with these caracteristics should be neccesarily be armbivalent because life and death are always together. And the existence of one of them presuppose the existence of the another one.
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Taking a psychoanalitic approach, this ambivalence malkes the snake to be at the same time both a -fertility symbol , male, phallic, and a female one (VÁZQUEZ HOYS, 1981; ) , in both cases the generative strenth of the Great Mother, and as Gimbutas says , the s a m e Great Mother.
Considering a comparativo religious aproach , Eliade ( Í 9 6 O s 3 9 7 - 3 9 9) s a i d that sna k e s were often associated to the the moon, because of its cyclical shedding of their skins and its montly disappearances.
In these roles, the snake and the moon are seen as the "husband of all the women", and Eliade gave a number of examples of societies that believe that the moon or snakes can impregnat women if they do not take precautions.
Photos : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | Suivante
The idea of vioent opposition, or fight, expressed so graphically by the combat among a male deity, the light, against the earth powers, personalized in the monstruous snake, in the dragón, always destroyed , but that never will desappear, we can reach to the conclusión that it graphically define the last drama of the try to make desappear, violenty, the Great Goddess cult.
Saint George figthing the dragon, eternal symbol of Great Mother
Or perhaps, at least in Europe, to try to make desappear one kind of civilisation, as the preindoeuropean matriarchal or matrilineal, represented in meny cases by the Great Goddess cult.
Hespérides garden , Priestess of the Snake cult
Is it in consecuence a real fact?
Is it the arrival of invaders?.
Are these invaders the indoeuropean peoples?.
Do we see the familiar organization change told under mythical form?
These change, that Gimbutas has studied and defined in a magistral form, are the ones we have wanted to express by the first part of the title of our communicatión, dedicated with fondness to María Gimbutas : "From Earth to Heaven". "De la tierra al cielo" .