But Pythagoras puts on display his thigh and fails to mention any animal thigh. In the ceiling of Seti I burial temple we can see the figure of a man plowing a bull. Man and bull together form the Ursa Major and this time the thighs containing Dubhe and Merak stars are those of the plowing man.
Nevertheless a complete understanding of the egyptian astronomical mythology is far from being reached. The identification of the “thigh” as a totally different constellation from the Greater Bear will alter the reading of certain inscriptions in which the “Thigh” and “Bear” have been mixed up together. For example, when the alignment was made for the Temple of Hathor to be rebuilt at Denderah, in the time of Augustus, the King tells us that he oriented the corners and established the temple as “it took place before”, while looking to the sky and directing his gaze to the “thigh” constellation.
In ancient Egypt there were even early definition for the northern sky. Before being the place of the “thigh” that was given to a “seat” or a woman sitting in a chair, and the lady of the chair usurped the throne of Isis with her seat and the pre-anthropomorphic type that was constellated ages on ages earlier in Egypt as the cow of Nut or heaven, the birthplace of the celestial waters in the mythos, and the place of re-birth. The mother of water in the northern heaven was imaged as the water-cow. Another type of the birthplace was the thigh or haunch of the cow, and one of the two lakes at the head of the Milky Way in the region of the northern pole was called the “lake of the thigh”. This is in the position of the pole which was the yoke or bond of heaven, and which was known in Babylonia as “the yoke of the enclosure”.
In the land of pyramids Polaris was often defined the Pillar of Osiris and in ancient China the Jade Pillar.
The same impression of a pillar permanence is obtained by fixing a camera to a tripod and make long exposures of the night. The result are sky images filled with star trails around the north celestial pole. A reflection of the Earth’s daily rotation on its axis and the sky seems to rotate around us. The North Celestial Pole (NCP) is easily identified as the point in the sky at the center of all the star trail arcs. The star Polaris makes the very short bright circle near the NCP, it is directly above the axis of our earth at the North Pole so that as our earth spins on its axis it precesses around that point in the sky called the ecliptic center. The impression is of the Earth’s axis pointing toward Polaris, the North Star, near the center of the concentric trails. From a poetic point of view these images may evoke a tunnel of stars (of course the tunnel is only apparent, because in a real 360 degree earth rotation the sun would rise and dominate the frame). Another Egyptian name for the Great Bear stars was the “Serpent Mountain”, which was also repeated with the great serpent winding round the tree or mountain of the north celestial pole.
According to ancient egyptians the stars that never set, the eternals, form a type of stability. The Great Bear made her circuit on the outside of the never setting stars, whereas the “leg” or “haunch” was a constellation in the circle of perpetual apparition. In Egypt too this constellation never set below the horizon, nor did any of its stars go down through all the period of the long great year. Egyptians used the binomial stars-thigh to indicate a source of life or a river overflow. The star Phact, whose name means just thigh, was a herald of Horus in the inundation. Egyptians had dozens of stars in their astronomical mythology, but all gave the impression to flow from a south place in the earth to a north place in the sky. In egyptian myths the deceased, when speaking of their going forth from the tomb, identifies this constellation with the place of re-birth above, saying, “I shall shine above the ‘haunch’ as I come forth in heaven”. The egyptian Milky Way rather than the common bright powdery area in our galaxy was more likely a real “way” to the sky, a mercurial door.
A Mercurial Door which may have opening time mechanisms. In 1755 during the archaeological diggings in Ercolano, a city in the nearby of Pompei subjected to the same fate, a strangely ham shaped solar clock was found. At first it was supposed to be just a kitchen decoration, but after a thourough examination it was unquestionably trusted as a roman time solar clock of about 28 b.c. This specimen is known as Viatoria Pensilia, but commonly as the “Prosciutto di Portici” or Portici ham. So an idea of nourishment from sky can be involved ( or may be, more prosaically, the item was hanging as a calendar in a kithchen). Together with an idea of time, a calendar event. In fact when the time is set Dionysus comes out of the Zeus thigh to life through a cut. In certain old Egyptian calendars, the periodic triumph of Horus over the plagues of drought and darkness was commemorated by a festival called “the wounding of Sut”. Thus a wound here seems to recall a specific interval of time.
I could provide a huge amount of egyptian mythological “thigh” hints, but the whole thing would result in a confusing chaos, since I believe we presently do not have the keys to a whole understanding of the teeming and too sophisticated Egyptian mythology. For now we must be content us with putting some order on astronomical “Thigh” issue.
Finally I would like to mention the weird fact of these thighs very often required to be hollow, like bones, or like the thigh bones. Or flutes, since back at that time these whistling (5) musical instruments were made from the cow femurs. The constellation of the Cow, or the seven cows, was the oldest extant ancient name for the Great Bear. And from above these stellar cows falls milk, a strange milk which doesn’t wet hands (6).
- See also Introitus Apertus vs Waite’s Open Entrance. Chap 4 ;
- See also Fulcanelli & the External Influences;
- See also Thesaurus Hermeticum & the Pythagorean River;
- See also Archarion & the Opus Magnum Scheme , Ostanes, One Nature etc ,
- See also Canseliet, the Art of Music & Weight;
- See also Hans Memling’s Altarpiece with Boar and Jabuary 17 ,
The Aratus manuscript can be downloaded from National Library of Wales. The other ancient astronomical maps can be found at atlascoelestis.com , Star Trails pictures have been downloaded from NASA Picture of the Day.