collapse
2019 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $650 (same as last year) to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 16 Sept 2019: $660 donated. $10 more our minimum goal! Let's beat last year's total of $99 more than the minimum!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Solar minoan bull god?  (Read 1036 times)

Pteranotropi

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 145
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Solar minoan bull god?
« on: May 21, 2015, 08:17:37 am »
For a while I've seen some descriptions of what we know about minoan religion as featuring a solar bull god. For a while I dismissed it as classical "sun = male/moon = female" classical colouring (especially since that reasoning was historically applied to cultures that we now know had solar goddesses), but after some research on Talos and the fact that the minotaur is reffered to as "Asterion" I think there might be some truth to this.

I do think it's rather strange, though, because in most neighbour cultures the bull is a lunar symbol, not a solar one. Even in known hellenic religion the bull is still associated with Selene, not Helios. So minoan Crete would be very unusual in that regard indeed.

To make things weirder a known solar symbol, the lion, is associated with minoan goddesses and their possible greek descendents/representations (Rhea, Demeter, Artemis). Was there just a reversal of symbolism in minoan religion?

If there is, it could also mud the waters somewhat in how the sun and moon are gendered in polytheistic religions. Because the whole "the patriarchy turns the sun into a man and the moon into a woman" thing often used to reason greek's unusual stance compared to other indo-european pantheons would fall flat if it had happened in the closest thing to a matriarchal society we know of.

Demophon

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 258
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Solar minoan bull god?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2015, 07:09:09 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;175227
I do think it's rather strange, though, because in most neighbour cultures the bull is a lunar symbol, not a solar one. Even in known hellenic religion the bull is still associated with Selene, not Helios. So minoan Crete would be very unusual in that regard indeed.

 
It's difficult to say because we don't really know much about what Minoan religion actually was, aside from the abundance of female figurines and fresco paintings of people who seem to be venerating a female figure. I think it's safe to say women had high status in Minoan society, and that their religion was composed of many female divine beings, but matriarchy might be taking it too far.

As for solar bull gods, we can look to Classical Greek gods for survivals of such worship. Dionysus, Poseidon, and Zeus were associated with bulls. The Cretan Zeus ("Tallaios") was a solar god, and a dying-and-rising god similar to Dionysus. Osiris in neighbouring Egypt was also associated with bulls, and while not necessarily a "sun god" himself, he was associated with Ra, so there's a solar connection.

Basically, I don't think it's out of the question to suggest in a solar-god figure, but the evidence is too scant to know for sure.

Pteranotropi

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 145
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Solar minoan bull god?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2015, 07:59:19 am »
Quote from: Demophon;175244
Osiris in neighbouring Egypt was also associated with bulls, and while not necessarily a "sun god" himself, he was associated with Ra, so there's a solar connection.

 
Osiris is kind of a bad example, since in traditional egyptian religion he is equated with the Moon, being another example of the bull as a lunar symbol, but not as a solar one.

I guess that for now on has to make due with the scraps of knowledge left.

veggiewolf

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 3105
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Solar minoan bull god?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2015, 10:09:21 am »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;175227
...To make things weirder a known solar symbol, the lion, is associated with minoan goddesses and their possible greek descendents/representations (Rhea, Demeter, Artemis). Was there just a reversal of symbolism in minoan religion?

 
Only weird from certain viewpoints.  To me, as a Kemetic, solar goddesses make complete sense, as does the use of the lion(ess) as their symbol.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4824
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 709
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Solar minoan bull god?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2015, 01:07:15 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;175266
Osiris is kind of a bad example, since in traditional egyptian religion he is equated with the Moon, being another example of the bull as a lunar symbol, but not as a solar one.

 
Worth noting that Hetharu, an actual cow goddess in Egypt, is solar.

The Mnevis bull is a form of Atum-Ra.  (Apis to Ptah and also Wesir (Osiris), and occasionally pictured with the sun-disk, apparently; Buchis to the ka of Montu and eventually Wesir.)

The title 'Kamutef' (bull of his mother) goes to Heru and a few other powers, mostly solar.  (Not that "solar" is, you know, a strong limiting factor in Egyptian god portfolios....)


If I had to peg the bull to anything celestial in Egyptian symbology, it would probably be solar, but that would be way down the list of things I'd note, given that the bull is primarily a fertility and potency/power symbol.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Pteranotropi

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 145
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Solar minoan bull god?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2015, 09:19:12 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;175401
Only weird from certain viewpoints.  To me, as a Kemetic, solar goddesses make complete sense, as does the use of the lion(ess) as their symbol.


Oh, I'm aware of that. In fact the lion is a solar goddess symbol in both Egypt and Hittite religion. Which, by conventional logic at least, would imply that it was so in ancient Crete as well, and that goddesses like Demeter inherited that from solar goddesses.

What makes it more complicated is the aforementioned possibility that there was a solar male mionoan god.
 
Quote from: Darkhawk;175405
Worth noting that Hetharu, an actual cow goddess in Egypt, is solar.

The Mnevis bull is a form of Atum-Ra.  (Apis to Ptah and also Wesir (Osiris), and occasionally pictured with the sun-disk, apparently; Buchis to the ka of Montu and eventually Wesir.)

The title 'Kamutef' (bull of his mother) goes to Heru and a few other powers, mostly solar.  (Not that "solar" is, you know, a strong limiting factor in Egyptian god portfolios....)


If I had to peg the bull to anything celestial in Egyptian symbology, it would probably be solar, but that would be way down the list of things I'd note, given that the bull is primarily a fertility and potency/power symbol.

 
Interesting. If the Mnevis bull does have a Hathor-like solar disc then the connection could be possible, or at least evolved independently.

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4824
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 709
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Solar minoan bull god?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2015, 11:29:29 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;175454
Interesting. If the Mnevis bull does have a Hathor-like solar disc then the connection could be possible, or at least evolved independently.

 
It was Apis I found had the solar disc in my research; the Mnevis appears to be crowned with the double plume, at least if one plugs in those search terms into Google images.  (So rigorous!  Such scholarly!  Wow.)

A thing that I recalled while I was driving: the constellation of the Bull's Leg (the Big Dipper) is Set's.  (In one myth it's that which struck Wesir.)  Not that that's solar, but it's, y'know, another bull representation.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
2451 Views
Last post July 21, 2011, 09:20:07 pm
by KittyVel
3 Replies
3984 Views
Last post June 02, 2013, 11:00:26 pm
by SunflowerP
2 Replies
1101 Views
Last post June 29, 2013, 09:56:32 am
by Ariadne
8 Replies
522 Views
Last post December 02, 2013, 12:51:50 am
by dreamweaver
18 Replies
3350 Views
Last post June 07, 2014, 02:04:20 am
by Leirion

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 32
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 3
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall