Friday, April 25, 2008
From Barbara Walker's "A Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets." Mars Rome's "red" war-god Mars was once an Etruscan fertility-savior Maris, worshipped at an ancient shrine in the Apennines, Matiene.(1) At a similar shrine in northwestern Iran, Matiane (Mother Ana), the Medes worshipped the same god who became Martiya to the Persians, a holy "martyr" also called Immanuel or Imanisi. The inscription of Darius at Behistun says the god was incarnate in a sacred king slain by his people.(2) His spirit ruled what Sufis stil call the "fulfilling" death-and-rebirth process, known as mardiyya or martyrdom.(3) An early Phrygian version of the same sacrificial god appears in greek myth as the flayed satyr Marsyas, slain on a pine tree "between heaven and earth" by order of the heavenly father. Mars was "red" because his basic Indo-European prototype was the pre-Vedic flayed god Rudra, father of the Maruts or sacrificial victims, red with their own blood. Rudra "the red one" was born of the three-faced virgin-mother Marici, Goddess of birth, dawn, and the New Year, a manifestation of the ancient feminine Trinity. Thus, Rudra bore the title of Tryambaka, "He Who Belongs to Three Mother Goddesses." In Japan this Goddess was known as Marici-deva or Marishi-ten, whom later patriarchal writers masculinized as a Buddhist monk. However, this alleged monk always wore the garments of a woman.(4) The same Goddess was Marica to the Latins. She gave birth to the god-king Latinus, ancestor of all Latin tribes. Her consort was the flayed goat god of the Lupercalia, Faunus, another incarnation of Mars, who also appeared in bird-soul form as the sacred woodpecker Picus, giving oracles from the top of a phallic pillar in his shrine.(5) The Martian New Year sacrifices took place in the god's month of March, which once began the Roman year; this is why the "Ides of March" were considered dangerous to kings. In the Babylonian sacred calendar, the same New Year month of atonement sacrifices was Marcheshvan.(6) The astrological sign of this month still begins the year, according to astrologers' tradition. In northern Europe, Mars was identified with Tiw, Tyr, or Tig: names derived from Indo-Germanic dieus, "God."(7) Just as Mars was often confused with the sky-father Jupiter [deus-pater], so Tiw was another name for the sky-father Odin. Tiw's sign was a lingam-yoni arrangement of a phallic spear atached to a female disc. As wielder of the spear or lightning bolt of fertility, Mars-Tiw became a god of battle He was the patron of Roman warriors, who called him Marspiter (Father Mars) and honored him with "martial" exercises on the Campus Martius, site of a temple of Maris in Etruscan times. His sacred day was Tuesday, named after Tiw in English, though it is still dies martis in Latin and similarly named in Latinate languages (French mardi). To account for the inevitable story that the Queen of Heaven as Celestial Virgin gave birth to the sacrificial god, Romans claimed the Blessed Virgin Juno spurned the love of her spouse, Jupiter, and to spite him conceived Mars by her own unaided feminine fertility magic, the lily blossom that represented her own yoni.(8) Notes: (1) Hays, 182; J.E. Harrison, 101. (2) Assyr. & Bab. Lit., 178. (3) Shah, 394. (4) Larousse, 342, 422. (5) Larousse, 207-8. (6) Assr. & Bab. Lit., 170. (7) H.R.E. Davidson, G.M.V.A., 58. (8) Larousse, 202.