What is omphalos? Here is the short version:
This relief depicts Rhea deceiving Cronus by giving him swaddled omphalos stone instead of newborn Zeus.
Here is another Greek coin depicting omphalos stone. Bronze Coin of Pergamon in Mysia, c. 133-16 BCE. On this image the net covering the stone is much clearer to see. This net was called "agrenon".
Agrenon is a Greek word for the white wool netting which covered the Omphalos, and was also worn by bacchanals and soothsayers. It was made of raw wool which had been carded, but not spun or died. Paintings and copies of the Omphalos showed it covered with this netting.
This is a torso of Apollo wearing the agrenon, found at Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli
This is the omphalos stone from Delphi. This is thought to be a (Roman?) replica of the original sacred stone which mysterious disappeared. You can see that agrenon, which originally covered omphalos was engraved into the stone.
Here is something interesting. This is a small clay object from Vinča culture, a Neolithic civilisation located along the Danube in Serbia, Bulgarian and Romania which flourished between 6000 and 3,500 BC. It is currently kept in Sofia Museum, Bulgaria. Please note the net cover...
Is it possible that this is a depiction of the Omphalos stone? I mean it is a depiction of a baby swaddled in a cloth?...Crying...Right? Baby Zeus? If so, this would means that the Omphalos legend survived in the Balkans for 4 millennia. During this time the small clay depiction of omphalos of the Vinčans became large stone depiction of omphalos of the Greeks...
But this would not be the first case where we find earlier small Vinča clay ritual objects transformed by other cultures into later large stone ritual objects. Here is one example:
1) Ritual clay votive bread, carved diamond and spiral ornaments, Potporanj - Kremenjak, Serbia, Vinča culture, 5th mill. BC
2) Entrance stone, carved diamond and spiral ornaments, Newgrange, Ireland, 4th mill. BC
I talked about this in my post "Newgrange"
Here is another example:
1. Vinca clay "carved balls"
2. Scottish stone "carved balls"
I talked about this in my post "Clay balls stone balls".
Back to omphalos. What is the actual meaning of this swaddled omphalos stone and snake wrapped around it? Omphalos means "navel". When does navel look like omphalos? When a woman is heavily pregnant. Just before she is about to give birth....
The "woman" which legend connects with the omphalos is Rhea. Rhea, the mother of gods, was according to Greeks "daughter of Gaia" the Mother Earth. Some ancient etymologists derived Rhea (Ῥέα) (by metathesis) from ἔρα, "ground" basically equating Rhea and Gaia...
Rhea was probably just Young Spring Earth, Fertile Earth, which is in Slavic and Celtic mythology described as the Daughter of the Old Winter Earth...
I talked about this in many of my post, most recently in my post "The old woman of the mill-dust".
It is interesting that Plato connected Rhea with ῥέω (rheo), "flow", "discharge". Imbolc, the beginning of Spring, falls in the middle of Aquarius, the water pourer. This is also the time of the first snow melt in Europe, the first "flow, discharge" of the Young Spring Earth...
The Young Spring Earth meets Young Spring Sun and soon turns into Pregnant Summer-Autumn Earth who starts giving birth to food. The middle of this birth giving period is 2nd of August, which falls in the middle of Leo. This date marks the end of summer and beginning of autumn. And surprise surprise we find Rhea, whom the Romans identified her with Magna Mater (their form of Cybele), sitting on the lion throne.
It seems that Rhea is another "Lion Lady" which I need to add to my list of Goddesses which "Stand on a lion", "Sit on a lion throne", "Ride in lion pulled chariot"...Basically she is another Virgo arriving after Leo to announce the Harvest. I talked about this in my post "Assumption of Mary".
Oh, you are going to love this bit. Rhea, created "omphalos" as a replacement for the newborn Zeus, the Thunder god. She sits on a lion throne, between two lion figures. This means middle of Leo...
And in the middle of Leo is the 2nd of August, which is in Serbian mythology the day of Perun, Slavic thunder god. The day when he "arrives"...Or is born? When the first autumn rains arrive to Continental Eurasia...
You can find more info about this in my posts "The thundering sun god" and "Alidjun".
This was the day when bulls were sacrificed by Slavs and Gaels to their sky gods...Why are bulls sacrificed at the end of summer? Because bull is the symbol of the summer. Killing of a bull symbolically ends the summer. And why is bull the symbol of summer? Because beginning of May, beginning of summer, marks the beginning of the calving season on Eurasion wild aurochs cattle. And the beginning of August, the end of summer, marks the beginning of the mating season of the Eurasian wild aurochs cattle... I talked about this in my posts "Symbols of the seasons" and "Ram and bull".
In the past the Irish sacrificed bulls to the god Crom Dubh. I talked about this in my post "Bull of Crom Dubh".
Is Crom Dubh = Grom Div (Thunder Giant), Perun, to whom Serbs used to sacrifice bulls on the same day? Div today means Giant, but once meant God...I talked about this in my post "Bull of Grom Div".
Here is an interesting fresco from Pompeii depicting omphalos covered with agrenon with a snake coiled around it. And a bull???
Why is there a bull next to omphalos on this fresco from Pompeii? Is this just a coincidence? Apparently not a coincidence. Official description of the scene says: "The fresco shows the Omphalos stone covered with a net and the Python wrapped around it. A priestess stands at left with a sacrificial bull..."
Guess what, Zeus was also associated with the bull..Any guesses why?
In the end, why is snake coiling around omphalos? Snakes are out during the "sunny, warm, fertile" part of the year. They are the symbol of the sun's heat. And when is the sun's heat the strongest? Right at the end of summer beginning of autumn, in the middle of Leo, during the period which Balkan Slavs called "kresovi" (fires)...I talked about this in my post "Two crosses" and "Ognjena Marija".
At the time when the pregnant belly of the Mother Earth is bursting. In the middle of the time when Mother Earth gives birth to food (Summer-Autumn)...
I talked about the link between snakes and the sun in my posts "The sunny part of the year", "The enemy of the sun" and many other...
But there is more that needs to be said about the serpent which encircles the omphalos. Soon...
Check out the Irish Turoe Stone in Galway - here is a link:ReplyDelete
Also, no coincidence given that the Indo-Europeans went to India as well, you should look at the Shiva lingams.
Snake around omphalos is reminiscent of shiva lingam and bull could be "nandi" shivas gate-guardian deity in his abode. OM itself is associated to sound of creation and much more in hinduism.ReplyDelete
JJ Ainsworth made these comparisons already a long time ago....ReplyDelete