Site Section Links
KRONOS Vol X, No. 3
CHILD OF SATURN (PART V)
Copyright 1985 by Dwardu Cardona
Our quest for the progenitor of Venus has led us from an analytical study of the Persian Anahita to the Canaanite and Carthaginian deities, Anat and Tanit.(1) Shall we fare better in our attempt to unmask Venus' real parent through an investigation of these deities? The case for Anat, with whom we shall commence, is straightforward enough.
As Immanuel Velikovsky pointed out, a Cyprian inscription identifies Anat with the Greek Athene(2) who, despite Bob Forrest's contention to the contrary,(3) has been ably demonstrated to have been an alias of the Venerian goddess.(4) But we ask for more.
Like the Venerian deities of other nations, Anat was a goddess of love and war.(5) What we know of her comes mostly, but not solely, from the tablets discovered at Ras Shamra, the ancient Ugarit, in a priest's house adjoining the temple of Baal.(6) One of these tablets describes a sacrifice which took place "when the morning star [appeared] before the sanctuary of the virgin Anat".(7) In partial response to Forrest's oft-repeated assertion that the ancient deities were not "synonymous" with planets,(8) we read in another Ugaritic text that Anat was herself described as a "star".(9) These two items imply that it was the "morning star" that was symbolized by the goddess Anat. Her alter-ego, the Persian Anahita, further identifies Anat's "star" as Venus,(10) concerning which there has never really been any doubt. If this is not enough, we also find Anat identified as the Babylonian Ishtar,(11) whose Venerian identity has never been contested.(12) Anat's identity as Venus can therefore be considered as established.
We ask then: Whose child was Anat? The answer is not hidden. As William Albright explained:
In one of these Egyptian accounts, Anat's father is alluded to as Re (or Ra).(14) That the Egyptian Ra was originally Saturn, I have already indicated elsewhere.(15) But, because it has long been assumed by conventional mythologists that Ra personified the Sun, I had better add the following.
That Ra could not have been the Sun we know today is evidenced by the fact that he was said to have shone during the night. Ra was lauded as "the One alone . . . lying awake while all men lie asleep".(16) In the Per(t) Em Hru he is unambiguously made to declare: "I am that god Re who shineth in the night."(17) That it was Saturn who shone as a sun during the night was known to the Assyro-Babylonians.(18) Moreover, Ra is described as having been surrounded by a ring.(19) I need not point out that our present Sun is not so encircled. In fact, that Ra was Saturn rather than the Sun was admitted by the ancient Egyptians themselves, and still remembered as such as late as Ptolemaic times.(20)
Let no one now surmise that the Egyptians may have incorrectly identified Anat's Canaanite father as their own Saturnian Ra. In the Ugaritic pantheon itself, Anat was considered to have been the daughter of El.(21) The identity of El as Saturn should be well known to the readers of this periodical. It can thus be readily admitted that Anat was a veritable child of Saturn.
L. Delaporte's contention that "the virgin Anat was the daughter of Ba'al"(22) does not seem to be substantiated. On the contrary, Baal, like Anat, was also considered the offspring of El. This would have made Anat not Baal's daughter but his sister and, in fact, that is how Anat is usually presented.(23) That she was also considered the consort of Baal(24) need not surprise us, since sister-marriage was a common traditional practice among various kingdoms of the ancient Near East, including Egypt. There is, however, one Ugaritic myth in which Anat is called the mother of Baal.(25) Since these Canaanite myths so often associate Anat with this brother/consort/son of hers, it behooves us to ask: Who was this Baal?
The identity of Baal as Saturn has been delineated elsewhere.(26) But, because I did not there delve into the individual deities who bore the epithet Baal, I would now like to concentrate on that particular Baal whose sister, wife, and mother was said to have been Anat i.e., the Ugaritic Baal Tsaphon.
What can be said of this god?
25. Baal Tsaphon
A suggestion put forward by J. Aitchison might be considered of some importance to Velikovskian students. It is thrice reported in the Old Testament that, when the Israelites fled from Egypt, they camped at a place called Pi-ha-hiroth which was "over against" or "before" Baal-zephon.(1) In no other context is the name of this locality again mentioned in the Scriptures. Because the catastrophes accompanying the Exodus were attributed by Velikovsky to a near encounter with the planet Venus, and also because Velikovsky saw in Baal a personification of the same planet, Aitchison asked: "Am I seeing more in the first part of the name [i.e., Baal], or was this place [Baal-zephon] named after and in connection with the Venus miracle at this place?"(2)
Despite the fact that Baal-zephon was the patron god of Ugarit - the present Ras Shamra, on the Syrian coast, far from the borders of Egypt - there is some evidence which does suggest that the Egyptians might have named a place in his honor. The Semitic Baal was not, after all, unknown in Egypt. Neither, it seems, was a female counterpart of him. I quote E. A. Wallis Budge:
The worship of Baal-zephon, or at least a female counterpart of him, in Egypt makes the existence of a place named after the deity in that land all the more probable. Extra-Biblical sources, which describe a shrine to Baal-zephon in Egypt,(4) confirm it.
Zephon is the same as Tsaphon (sometimes rendered Zaphon, Saphon, Sephon, and/or Safon). All variants are conventional transliterations of the Hebrew name for Mount Khazzi, the same as Mount Casius, which was sacred to Baal Tsaphon,(5) not far from Ugarit on the same Syrian coast.(6)
It has often been stated that the Romans alluded to Baal Tsaphon by the name Jupiter Casius.(7) But before this is accepted as a direct identification it should be noted that Jupiter Casius was the Latin translation of the Greek Zeus Casius who succeeded - i.e., transplanted - Baal Tsaphon.(8)
When Baal was slain by Mot, it was to Mount Tsaphon that Anat went with his body; it was from the top of this mountain that Baal continued to reign.(9) This is the same Baal I have previously equated with Attis/Osiris/Adonis and, therefore, with Saturn.(10) Since it was this particular myth which bestowed the title of Lord of Tsaphon on the Ugaritic Baal, it can safely be stated that Baal Tsaphon has already been identified. But before I am accused of forcing the issue in favor of a Saturnian identification, let us, together, see where the rest of the evidence leads.
In Hebrew, "tsaphon" derives from a root which means "hidden" and also "dark".(11) As the Dark Lord, Baal Tsaphon compares favorably with Black Saturn, a topic which I have often touched upon before. But as the Hidden Lord, Baal Tsaphon is also the equivalent of Saturn. Consider the following:
Whether by the Babylonians themselves, or by the later Greeks, "Belos/Bel" was used as an epithet of Enlil.(12) In a hymn to Enlil we read:
In a more direct way, Dio Cassius (and what a coincidence in the name!) spoke of the Greek Saturn as the "hidden Kronos".(14)
"Tsaphon" also means ''north''.(15) "Baal Tsaphon" can therefore be read as "Lord of the North", and, in fact, this is the generally accepted meaning of the god's name.(16) And, again, it was Saturn who was particularly remembered as the god of the north.(17)
In following Otto Eissfeldt's lead, Albright has indicated that the correct vocalization of "Tsaphon", as it appears in the Ugaritic texts, should be "Sapan" and that the god's name should correctly be read as "Baal Sapan"(18) - which makes Budge's transliteration of the Egyptian form as "Tchapuna" all the more understandable. But, as it appears in Assyrian inscriptions, "sapun", the same as "sapan", means both "god" and "mountain".(19) Thus "Baal Sapan" can mean both "Lord God" and "Lord of the Mountain"(20) - which makes Budge's identification of Baal as "a god of the mountain"(21) a little more palatable. It therefore seems that Tsaphon was originally a sacred or divine mountain. Furthermore, it must be surmised that Mount Khazzi, or Casius, which the Hebrews called Tsaphon, was named in honor of Baal's original sacred mountain. It is but a short step from this to the World Mountain of Saturnian myth. Nor is this merely my conclusion. Julian Morgenstern also understood "Safon" as "the cosmic mountain - whose top reaches up into the sky. and upon whose very peak was the throne of the supreme god of the entire universe".(22) To tie it all in, this World, or Cosmic, Mountain was said to have been situated in the north,(23) which was Saturn's very special abode.
Despite the later supplanting of Baal Tsaphon by Jupiter, or Zeus, Casius, we have found no Jovian traces among the many faces of this god. Neither have we caught a single glimpse of Venus. And, without wishing to berate anyone, Aitchinson's suggestion cannot be accepted.
If the countermarch of the Israelites to Baal-zephon during their Exodus from Egypt proves anything, it is that the Israelites were already worshipping this god long before their conquest of Canaan. Their halt at the shrine of this god could only mean that they wished to pay him homage before departing the land. So, for instance, did Heidel understand it.(24) That the Israelites were partial to this god is ascertained through Jewish legends which state that, when the Egyptian gods were destroyed by Yahweh just before the slaves left Egypt, Baal-zephon alone was spared.(25) As I have pointed out elsewhere, the Israelites continued to honor Baal-zephon in Israel as is evidenced by the fact that a city of Ephraim was also called by his very name.(26) The Israelites, of course, knew exactly who Baal-zephon was. This is indicated by the Israelite name Elizaphan(27) which means "El is Zephon". Since El was Saturn, Baal Tsaphon's identity is all the more firmly established.
As the sister, consort, and mother of Baal Tsaphon, Anat becomes the sister, consort, and mother of Saturn. Seeing as Anat was also Saturn's daughter, we are left with what appears to be such a confusion that we sympathize with those conventional mythologists who have despaired of ever resolving this and similar dilemmas.
One of the doors which allows us entry into this mysterious sanctum can be opened with the aid of the goddess Tanit, the figure of whom - as depicted by the ancients themselves - ironically bears an uncanny resemblance to a key-hole. Let us next turn our attention to her.
Tanit is known to have been worshipped at various localities in the ancient Near East including Biblical Hazor;(1) the Phoenician city of Sarepta, eight miles south of Sidon on the Mediterranean coast;(2) Akko;(3) and probably at Shaveh-Ziyyon, north of Akko.(4) Now recognized to have been originally a Near Eastern deity,(5) her cult was introduced by the Phoenicians to North Africa where she was worshipped at Mauretania - under the additional name of Panthea(6) and at Dougga in Tunis.(7) She is, however, remembered chiefly as having been the leading goddess of Carthage.(8) The oldest known shrine at Carthage, a small square space hewn out of the rock, hardly a yard wide, was dedicated to her.(9) The much vaster open-air precinct which today is named after Tanit was, to judge by the inscriptions discovered in the area, shared by her with Baal Hammon. Most of the stelae bearing the goddess' stylized image were discovered there.
As with Anat, we were led to Tanit by the Persian goddess of the planet Venus, Anahita. As has already been disclosed in a previous installment of this serialization,(10) the true Persian form of the name Anahita, also known as Anaitis, seems to have been Tanata.(11) Would this be considered enough to identify Tanit as Venus? Personally, I would be the first one to say not but, as usual, there is more.
An ivory plaque found in a small shrine at Sarepta bears a dedicatory formula commemorating the erection, or installation, of a statue of Tanit-Ashtart.(12) This is clear and direct evidence that the Phoenicians themselves identified Tanit with Ashtart/Astarte/ Ashteroth who has long been recognized as the goddess of the planet Venus.(13) This identification was not lost to the later Romans who saw in the Carthaginian Tanit a form of their own Venus Caelestis,(14) the Heavenly Venus. The latter, in turn, was the Roman counterpart of the Greek Aphrodite Urania(15) - the Venerian identity of whom need not be re-stressed in the pages of this periodical. To complete the circle, Aphrodite Urania was herself identical to the Syrian Attart, the same as Ashtart/Astarte/Ashteroth whom, as we have seen, was not only the same as Tanit, but also the same as Anat.(16)
Tanit receives no mention in Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision. This is perhaps understandable since, despite the above, very little is actually known about her. In fact, not a single myth concerning her seems to have survived. How then is this goddess going to help us resolve the dilemma raised by Anat's conflicting relationships to the Saturnian deity? Why do I even include her in this study which has been stated to be a quest in search of Venus' mythical progenitor? Tanit's divine parents, it might as well be told right now, seem to be entirely unknown.
On the other hand, Tanit was not exactly a goddess without kin. She is known to have been the consort of Baal Hammon,(17) the patron of Carthage. In this respect, Tanit is again the equivalent of Anat who, as we have just seen, was also considered to have posed as the wife of Baal - in her case, Baal Tsaphon. But, before we accept Tanit as the wife of Saturn, let us make doubly sure that her consort - Baal Hammon - can really be so identified.
27. Baal Hammon
William Albright was of the opinion that "The name Ba'al-hammon meant 'Lord of the Incense Burner"' or "Lord of the Brazier";.(1) The "Divine Incense Burner" that Albright had in mind was actually an obscure deity known as 'Utht(2) but, despite his detailed treatment of the subject, the transition from 'Utht to Hammon remains a forced one. This is especially so since, as we shall soon see, there is a more logical, and very direct, identification at our disposal.
The emblem of Baal Hammon, a crescent with a disc within it, has been discovered in such places as Zinjirli, Hazor, and Carthage. This emblem led Yigael Yadin to conclude that Baal Hammon was a Moon god.(3) This god's emblem, however, is often pictured upside down, that is, with the cusps pointing downward.(4) This is a position which the lunar crescent, as seen from Earth, cannot achieve. Also, if the crescent is seen as representing that of the Moon, one has to ask what the disc within it stood for. As David Talbott has conclusively shown, the disc within the crescent, whether inverted or not, was a symbol of Saturn. It represented the planet as it was seen in primeval times within the sun-lit crescent(s) of its encircling ring(s).(5) Since the very emblem of the god cannot be considered incidental, this alone is enough to identify Baal Hammon as Saturn. But, so that this will not have to be accepted as the last word, there is more.
Yadin was also of the opinion that Haman (the same as Ham(m)on) could have been an ancient name of the Amanus Mountains in the region of which Baal Hammon is known to have been worshipped. He thus believed that Baal Hammon could mean "Lord of the Amanus".(6) But as Julius Lewy had earlier shown, mountains were named in honor of deities and not vice versa. In fact, Lewy had made it quite clear that the Amanus were named in honor of the god 'Aman - and 'Aman was a name of the planet Saturn.(7) In Assyrian inscriptions, "Amanus" appears as "Hamanu".(8) It is therefore more than evident that 'Aman and Hamon were one and the same, and that Baal Hammon means nothing more than Lord Saturn.
While archaeological evidence of child sacrifice to Moloch/Saturn has not yet come to light in the valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem, remains of such sacrifices have now been unearthed in quantum sufficit in the Precinct of Tanit at Carthage. In an area estimated to be somewhere between 54 and 64,000 square feet, as many as 20,000 urns filled with the remains of such sacrificed victims were deposited between the years 400 and 200 B. C. These children, as well as lambs, were sacrificed to Baal Hammon.(9) Yet, Classical Greek and Roman writers claimed that these sacrifices were conducted in honor of Kronos/Saturn,(10) thus unequivocally equating Baal Hammon with that planetary deity.
Tertullian, the earliest of the Church Fathers, was no mere visitor to Carthage. He lived most of his life there (circa 150-225 A.D.). He not only attributed these Carthaginian sacrifices to Saturn but understood quite well that they were conducted in memory of the slaying of Saturn's own children.(11)
Finally, according to a stela inscribed in Latin that was discovered at Ngaus in eastern Algeria, it becomes evident that these sacrifices to Baal Hammon were conducted at night (sacrum magnum nocturnum)(12) thus retaining the additional memory that Saturn had been a god, or sun, of night-time.
As the consort of Baal Hammon, there is therefore no reason not to see Tanit, like her counterpart Anat, as the wife of the Saturnian deity. What we must now account for is why she was so represented, and why she was also considered to have been his sister as well as his mother. More crucial to our central theme, we must also discover why she was called his child. As already promised, it is Tanit herself who will help us to solve this problem.
. . .to be continued.
1. D. Cardona, "Child of Saturn," Part IV, KRONOS VIII:4 (Summer 1983), p. 13.
25. Baal Tsaphon
1 . Exodus 14: 2, 9; Numbers 33:7.
1. L. E. Stager & S. R. Wolff, "Child Sacrifice at Carthage - Religious Rite or Population
Control?" Biblical Archaeology Review ( Jan./Feb. 1984), p. 38.
27. Baal Hammon
1. W. F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan (N. Y., 1968), p. 144.