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KRONOS Vol X, No. 2
JERUSALEM - CITY OF SATURN
LEWIS M. GREENBERG
Copyright (c) 1984 by Lewis M. Greenberg
In an earlier paper,(1) Warner Sizemore and I presented a wide range of evidence in support of the thesis that first millennium Jerusalem could rightfully be called "the city of Venus".
Now - as a result of further research, the perspective of time, and the work of others - it has become necessary to reassess our previous position. While not wishing to discount the importance and direct influence of Venus on ancient Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular,(2) it would appear that the role of Saturn was highly, perhaps preeminently, significant. And, as it happens, Saturnian aspects were not entirely overlooked by us; they were merely underestimated.(3)
Before proceeding further, however, it should be stated quite emphatically that no firm conclusion can be drawn from the religio-historical data regarding the celestial activity of Saturn during the period under discussion. Most likely, the Saturnian elements that confront us in first millennium ritual, symbolism, and theophoric names either echo residual influences emanating from the so-called Golden Age - a time when Saturn reigned alone and supreme(4) (apparently, the Saturnian legacy is so powerful that it is capable of transcending centuries, even millennia), and/or it could be that later cosmic events such as those described in Worlds in Collision rekindled the Saturnian imagery and presence.
Many of the conclusions drawn in "Jerusalem - City of Venus" were based upon the supposed astral meaning of various deities and the etymology of certain divine names, particularly that of the god Shalem.(5) Despite the fact that J. Gray held Shalem to be Venus, R. A. Rosenberg - following in the footsteps of M. Jastrow and H. Lewey - maintains that Shalem was Saturn.(6)
According to Rosenberg: "The West Semitic deity Shalem or Shulman is the god whose name is perpetuated in that of the city of Jerusalem, 'the foundation of Shalem'. In the Assyrian vocabulary K.4339 he is identified with Ninurta, the Assyro-Babylonian deity manifested in the planet Saturn, which was, in the thinking of the ancient Semites, the 'stable' planet."(7)
Furthermore, "it is likely that in the cult of Jerusalem, 'elyon ('the most high') was another name for Shalem. . . . Saturn was the most distant of the planets known to the ancients, and it was quite natural that it be called 'the most high'."(8) Additionally, Cardona's exposition on Bet Shulman elsewhere in this issue further solidifies the case for Shalem as Saturn. Hence, Jerusalem was quite literally "the city of Saturn". (Also cf. Psalms 48:2.)
Whereas it was previously suggested that Solomon and Absalom were examples of Venerian names,(9) Rosenberg has proposed that they were bestowed by David upon his sons so that the former could pay his respects to the Saturnian god of Jerusalem(10) - a conclusion that seems to be correct.
In addition to Jerusalem, some notable cities originally founded by and dedicated to a Saturnian deity were, among others, Byblos, An (On), Baalbek, Delphi, Mecca, and possibly Carchemish.* Even Rome - the Eternal City - initially bore the name Saturnia;(11) and the temple to Saturn which formerly stood on the lowermost slope of the Capitoline hill was as old as the Etruscan temple of the Capitoline Jupiter and "consecrated to a divinity whose real character remains somewhat mysterious".(12)
The reach and potency of Saturnian influence even into our own century is an area still open to study and debate. Nevertheless, several ominous clues have already begun to surface. The late Zvi Rix once wrote that "the never resting glowing furnaces of Dilbat-Venus, already mentioned in cuneiform inscriptions, remain deeply engraved in human memory. Bachofen's saying that the terrestrial development of the Pelasgians never stopped until it succeeded in fulfilling the cosmic example in its whole truth concerns all humanity. Auschwitz and other places of horror, with their smoking crematoriums, clearly reveal how mankind makes every conceivable effort to establish on earth a replica of the celestial hell and terror it had once experienced."(13)
Rix, of course, was thinking solely of Venus. Yet, the crematoriums of Nazi Germany could just as easily be considered a horrifying 20th century extension of the rites of Moloch/Saturn! (14) Consider the following: At Auschwitz, there was a method of mass execution euphemistically called a "Special Action" (Sonderaktion). "Prisoners, especially mothers and their babies, were customarily thrown alive into pits measuring 20 by 40 meters on piles of wood soaked in gasoline. The piles were then ignited. When Dr. Kramer [Chairman of the medical faculty at the University of Munster before joining the SS] experienced his first Sonderaktion he found the experience shattering: 'Awful. . . . Dante's Inferno. . . . I cannot stand it.' But his diary indicates that after repeated performances he was able to take them in stride and indeed could discuss them with equanimity."(15)
And Adolf Hitler - capstone of the Third Reich and all that it stood for, and described by one individual as a "crazed worshipper of Wotan [Odin] "(16) - may have even thought of himself as Wotan (Odin),(17) the living Germanic Saturn.(18) Of especial note is the fact that the Fuhrer's favorite artist was one Franz von Stuck; and in a terrifying painting titled Die wilde Jagd (Wild Chase), von Stuck "caught the spirit of the Teutonic legend of Wotan the mad hunter, the personification of death and destruction, who rides forth at night leaving horror in his wake. The huntsman in von Stuck's picture bears an uncanny likeness to Adolf Hitler. There is the dark brown hair with the famous forelock over the left temple, the brooding eyes, the large nose, the memorable little mustache. A blood-red cape swirls in the wind, and he brandishes a bloody sword. Hitler's favourite images are also pictured: decapitation, wolves, and death."(19)
"To the student of Hitler, however, the most arresting thing about this portrait of rampaging destruction is the inscription in the lower left-hand corner. It reads: 'Franz Stuck, Mein erstes Olgemalde, 1889. ' That was the year in which Adolf Hitler was born. . . .
"Is it not possible that Hitler, sometime in the 1920s, saw the picture and was immensely excited by it; that he pictured himself, very literally, as the Wild Huntsman, and adopted von Stuck's figure as his own self-image? It seems likely that he adjusted his personal appearance - forelock, mustache, and the red cape he affected at Nuremberg party rallies - to conform to this image of the hard riding apotheosis of brutality, power, and destruction."(20) In light of the above, it is instructive to note that, up until the Middle Ages, the Jews were still remembered as the people or children of Saturn.(21) Thus, Hitler's attempted extermination of the Jews - coupled with his Wotanic masquerade - could be interpreted psychologically as a terrestrial re-enactment of the mythocelestial Saturn destroying his children.(22) *(*Footnote: The material on Hitler presented here is only a small part of the present author's research - research which he hopes to publish in great detail in a forthcoming article titled "Let There be Darkness: Hitler and Collective Amnesia". The symbol known as the swastika will also be treated at that time.)
In the fullness of time, if cosmic catastrophes and human behavior and institutions are indeed inextricably linked,(23) then the cultic behavior and military actions of Hitler find a frightening affinity with those of Nebuchadnezzar(24) and his kind; and unless it is consciously altered, the wheel of human history and destiny will remain a self destructive Saturnian millstone, mindlessly grinding all in its path.(25)
REFERENCES1. L. M. Greenberg & W. B . Sizemore, "Jerusalem - City of Venus", KRONOS III: 3 (1978), pp. 56-90.
2. Ibid, pp. 71-75.
3. Ibid., pp. 77-79.
4. See, for example, the articles by Cardona, Ashton, Talbott, Cochrane, and Wescott in KRONOS X:1 (1984), pp. 1-51; Also see D. N. Talbott, The Saturn Myth (N. Y., 1980).
5. Greenberg & Sizemore, op. cit., pp. 60-61; J. Gray, "Shalem", The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, IV (N. Y.,1962), pp. 303-304.
6. R. A. Rosenberg, "Shalem", The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Supplementary Volume (N. Y., 1981), pp. 820-821.
7. Ibid, p. 820.
8. Ibid., pp. 820-821.
9. Greenberg & Sizemore, op. cit., pp. 68-70.
10. Rosenberg, op. cit., p. 820.
11. A. Hislop, The Two Babylons (London, 1916), p. 270 with reference to Ovid, Pliny, and Aurelius Victor.
12. P. Grimal, The Civilization of Rome (N. Y.,1963), p. 264.
13. Z. Rix, "The Great Terror", KRONOS I:1 (1975), p. 62.
14. On the rites of Moloch and his identification as Saturn, see D. Cardona, "The Rites of Moloch", KRONOS IX:3 (1984), pp. 20-39 (29-34); cf. "Molech, Moloch" in The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Part 2 (1980), p. 1018; J. Gray, "Molech, Moloch", The Interpreter'sDictionary of theBible, III (1981), pp. 422-423.
15. R. G. L. Waite, The Psychopathic God, Adolf Hitler (N. Y., 1977), p. 25.
16. W. Mullen as cited by A. de Grazia in Homo Schizo I (Princeton, 1983), p. 100 (the source for Mullen's statement is erroneous, however, and the correct one cannot be ascertained).
17. Waite, op. cit, pp. 76-78.
18. D. Cardona, "Odin", KRONOS X:1 (Fall 1984), pp.52-57.
19. Waite, op. cit, p. 77 and back cover illustration.
20. Ibid., p. 78.
21. al-Biruni, Kitab at-Tathim, ed. by R. Ramsay Wright (London, 1934), p. 253 and pp. 433-434. I am indebted to Dwardu Cardona for providing me with this reference and the information.
22. Cf. D. Cardona, "The Rites of Moloch", op. cit., pp. 30-3 1; W. Langer, The Mind of Adolf Hitler (N. Y.,1972), pp. 183-185; S. Haffner, The Meaning of Hitler, trans. by E. Osers (N. Y., 1979), pp. 103-104; W. Carr, Hitler: A Study in Personality and Politics (N. Y.,1979), pp. 120ff. and pp. 156ff.
23. I. Velikovsky, Mankind in Amnesia (N. Y ., 1982); L. M. Greenberg & Warner B . Sizemore, "Cosmology and Psychology", KRONOS 1:1 (1975), pp. 33-50.
24. I. Velikovsky, Ramses II and His Time (N. Y., 1978), pp. 126-127.
25. G. de Santillana & H. von Dechend, Hamlet's Mill (Boston, 1969).