Sunday, 6 September 2020

Re'em

A re'em, also reëm (Hebrew: רְאֵם), is an animal mentioned nine times in the Hebrew Bible. The Greek Old Testament (3rd-2nd c. BC) translated re'em as "unicorn" which stayed as the main translation of this word until the end of the 19th century...

Then, in 1899, Johann Ulrich Duerst discovered that the word "re'em" it was based on the Akkadian cognate "rimu", meaning "Auroch", the Eurasian wild cattle...This has been "generally" 🙂 accepted today as the correct translation, "even among religious scholars" 🙂....

Now, I would like here to talk about the folklore related to re'em. Which is really interesting as it is directly based on the ancient Hebrew solar cult from the time of the First Temple...You can find more about this cult in my post "Sun god from the First Temple". Pic: Sun on the seal of the kingdom of Judah (739-687 BC)


Re'em in folklore: 

1. "The re'ems live at the opposite ends of the earth, one in the east, the other in the west" Solar symbolism? 

Well yes...

Serbian riddle:

Q: "I slaughtered a bull behind one hill and the blood spurted from behind another" 

A: Sun, setting in the west and rising in the east

Another example of the deep link between bull and sun in Serbian culture...And possibly an explanation why there are ever only two "re'em" animals...Sun rising in the east and setting in the wast? But why would "re'em" be the symbol of the sun? Read on...

2. "They meet only when they mate, after which the female kills the male" 

Summer starts in Taurus, which is the time when Aurochs calving season starts...

Summer ends in Leo, which the time when Aurochs mating season starts...

You can read more about why Taurus is where it is on the Zodiac (Solar year) circle in my post "Ram and bull"...


Which is why Bull is the symbol of summer...

You can read more about the animal symbols of the seasons in my post about "Symbols of the seasons"...

By the way, summer ends during Auroch's mating season...Bull (summer) dies during Auroch's mating season...

3. "The female becomes pregnant...[At the end of her pregnancy] she cannot walk...and she survives only because her saliva waters the earth around her sufficiently to produce enough vegetation for her support"

Female aurochs gestation lasts 9 months...They are pregnant during autumn, winter and spring...During the cooler, wetter part of the year...Which is why cows are in many mythologies linked with clouds, rain, feminine...While bulls are linked with sun, masculine...

4. "Instead of giving birth, her stomach bursts open and she dies instantly. However, twins are born, one male and one female. They get up immediately and wander away, one to the east, one to the west"

This is here just so it is obvious that we aren't talking about real animals

Finally here is the "interesting bit":

So David, the guy who bought a threshing floor (used in the past as solar observatories), on which the First Temple was built (later denounced as a place where people worshiped sun) is minding his own business...

Pic: Threshing floor observatory how to...

You can read more about the link between the threshing floor and the First Temple in my post "Boaz and Jachin"... 

When he happens to stumble upon a re'em (gigantic bull representing summer which starts at the beginning of May in Taurus-Bull) and mistakes it for a mountain (often used as a symbol for sun's ascent and descent and used for solar cult celebrations)...

David starts climbing the mountain (the summer progresses). The "re'em" wakes up, looks at David and goes, WTF, and lifts David up on his gigantic horns (sun between the bull horns, sun above middle of a bull, summer solstice, when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky)...

Summer continues...David prays...Lord sends lion (because the beginning of the mating season of the Eurasian lions starts (or most likely once started in Europe where lions lived until Iron Age) in August, in Leo, (as today it starts in Asia in September)...

The "re'em", the gigantic bull, bows down before the lion (because summer, symbolised by the bull, ends in Leo, which is why lion is the symbol of autumn)...Hence lion killing bull symbol which is literally everywhere in Eurasia and North Africa...

Lion looks at David, goes "mmmmm" and licks it's lips...David prays again...Lord sends deer (because the mating season of fallow deer, most common deer species in the middle east, starts in August, in Leo)...Lion goes off chasing deer (autumn progresses)... 

You can read more about the fallow deer as an ancient solar calendar marker in my post about the "Entemena vase"...

David stays on the border between summer and autumn...A very peculiar point on the solar circle...The point where sky gods are worshiped...Like Elijah (allegedly old god, Helios???) whom Hebrews (allegedly) worshiped in the First Temple built by David...And whom Serbs also worshiped as Ilija Gromovnik (Elijah the Thunderer)

Anyway, interesting beast that "re'em"...

1 comment:

  1. Very good point.

    The "They meet only when they mate, after which the female kills the male" part reminds of this motif in Slavic mythology of killing the lover by the female. Katičić wrote about it in his Hoditi – roditi... in context of Marzanna/Mora. This theme is also present in Polish folklore.

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