Le Temps Revient...

Poetry, Music, Art & Ideas for the Archaic Recurrence...

sábado, 20 de junio de 2015

Gobekli Tepe

Extracts taken from Andrew Collins' Gobekli Tepe: Genesis Of The Gods.

A Life Of Beer

"One more anomaly at Gobekli Tepe is that the nearest water source is 3 miles away, meaning that any drinking water has to be carried to the site. This lack of a constant water supply seems illogical, especially given that the construction of the monuments would have required the presence of a labour force involving hundreds of workers and their families, all of whom would have needed to be fed on a daily basis. The only explanation is that the workers lived in settlements nearby and climbed the mountain with sufficient supplies to last them for the duration of their stay.
 This said, there is a strong possibility that a form of beer made from wild wheat was on the menu at Gobekli Tepe. Large stone vats unearthed by Schmidt’s team have been linked with beer production. Whether the beer was brewed for reasons of necessity or for some ritual function remains to be seen, although as an intoxicating beverage it is likely to have possessed an otherworldly significance. The term ale, used today for beer, originally meant any kind of alcoholic drink made using wheat grain. The word could well derive from the Indo-European root alu, which has definite connotations of shifting realities and altered states of consciousness through its presence in key words such as hallucinate and hallucination."

Cult Of The Snake

"Pillars 3 and 4 were without relief, while pillar 5 bore yet another representation of a snake. This strong presence of serpentine imagery on the carved stones at Gobekli Tepe begged the question of just what this  creature might have symbolised to the peoples of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic age.
 Universally, snakes are seen as symbols of supernatural power, divine energy, otherworldly knowledge, male and female sexuality, and, because they shed their skin, metaphysical transformation. The snake also represents the active spirit of medicines, the reason it is today a universal symbol of the medical profession through its association with the cult of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Moreover, the snake is associated not just with beneficial medicines, but also with those that bring forth hallucinations and even death. In Christian legend, for instance, poison offered to John the Evangelist in a laced chalice of wine was made to slither away as a black snake moments before the apostle was about to drink it.
 Are the snakes carved on the pillars at Gobekli Tepe meant to symbolise the visionary effects of psychotropic (mind-altering) or soporific (sleep-inducing) drugs? It seems likely, for as Schmidt writes himself, several large basalt bowls found at the site were perhaps used in the preparation of medicines and drugs.
 Visionary snakes are the most common creatures glimpsed by shamans and initiates during ecstatic or altered states of consciousness induced by mind-altering substances, which among the indigenous peoples of the Amazonian rainforest is most commonly the sacred brew called yage or ayahuasca, known as the “vine of the soul”. These serpentine creatures are seen as the active spirit of the drug and can even communicate with the shaman or initiate.
 More pertinent to the decorative art at Gobekli Tepe is that during yage or ayahuasca sessions, visionary snakes appear in such profusion that on occasion they have been seen to wrap themselves enmass around either the experiencer or nearby houseposts, creating an effect that cannot be unlike the mesh or net of snakes represented on Enclosure A’s Pillar 1 and found also on other standing stones uncovered at the site. So is this what the snake imagery at Gobekli Tepe shows, rare glimpses of the visionary world experienced by the shaman? Whatever the answer, the presence of so many snakes in Enclosure A was enough to convince Schmidt to christen it the Snake Pillar Building."

Eve, The Giver of Life

"Strangely, in Aramaic, the West Semitic language used in the Bible lands during the first millennium BC, the word for Eve (chava or hava) is more or less identical to the word for snake. In Arabic also the name Eve, hawwa, means “snake,” although it can also mean “giver of life.” Life, Eve, and the Serpent of Temptation are ultimately bound together, reflections of each other, and if this is the case then the fact that Eve bears correspondences with the goddess Ninkharsag, Mus or Sir, the wife of Enki, is significant. Could Eve simply be a Hebrew form of this snake goddess who was responsible for the creation of humanity, the same way that in biblical tradition Eve is considered to be the First Mother of humankind?"

Elite Ritual Center

"The strange dark garments or cloaks of feathers worn by the Watchers were most likely the ritual paraphernalia of a shaman, arguably one associated with the vulture. This probably led eventually to claims that these individuals were bird people or that they bore wings, something that was added to the description of angels as late as the fourth century AD."

 "Not only were the book of Enoch’s watchers seen as walking serpents, but the Anunnaki also were were said to have distinct serpentine qualities. For instance, Christian O’Brian points out that Ninkharsag, the wife of Enlil in the Nippur foundation cylinder, bears the epithet “Serpent Lady,” while Enlil himself is described as the “Splendid Serpent of the shinning eyes.” Remember, it is the Anunnaki that Klaus Schmidt proposes are perhaps represented by the T-shaped pillars at Gobekli Tepe. So are these anthropomorphic pillars representations of the Watchers as well?"

jueves, 4 de junio de 2015

Athenaze Vocab

Here are the vocabulary lists for Athenaze chapters 1-7 to accompany my series of online recitations which can be viewed here:

Athenaze: Learn Ancient Greek