The First Happy New Year in 2014

view of palantine hills from coliseum rome italy by eva the dragon 2013

Warm greetings to my Rooster friends on this Roman, New Year celebration.

It is only twenty-five days until the Year of the Horse begins.  And then a string of New Year celebrations until we get to the Islamic New Year which will be celebrated on a most auspicious day, October 24th, my birthday.

2013, the Year of the Snake, was good for a Dragon like me.  The Chinese say a Dragon falling down from the sky becomes a Snake.  Literally spreading my wings, I flew over 57,000 miles, landed, then slithered around ancient lands.

The UAE near Jebel Faya – Recent 2010 evidence changes our evolutionary history.  Tools found in the lower, Arabian Peninsula, dated 125,000 years ago, challenge the old hypothesis that the migration out of Africa began 75,000 years ago.

Cairo, Egypt – What else do I need to say?

Amman and Petra, Jordan – Almost as old as Jericho, Al-Beidha (near Petra) has been inhabited since 9,000BC and Amman reaches back to 7,500BC.  Jordan is truly the Holy Land of the Bible.

Rome, Italy – Founded by the prophetess Carmenta, she made her son, Evander, the king of the Pallene settlement that eventually became Rome.  Evander instituted the Lupercalia, a spring, cleansing festival associated with the wolf. Those hills later evolved into the fashionable, Palantine Hills, home of Roman Emperors which archeologists continue to excavate and to find “new” discoveries.

Hawaiian Islands – Oahu, Maui and Hawaii – Prior to Captain Cook, Polynesian’s long-distance, ocean navigators are thought to have paddled to the islands as early as 3000BC.  We climbed Mauna Loa, the largest volcano on Earth and the Hawaiian’s sacred mountain where benevolent spirits reside.

Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Australia – The Aboriginals, whose 44,000 year-old culture is the oldest in the world, continue to dream in the red desert.  The Aboriginal say Uluru was created during Creation.  Kata Tjuta is even more sacred to the Aboriginals.  It is the home of Wanambi, the snake god and his stories are kept secret.

My Dragons and Rabbits ended 2014 in another corner of the Polynesian Triangle: the land the Maoris called Aotearoa; the British originally called New South Wales and later changed to NEW Zealand; and the place Lord of the Rings followers now refer to as Middle Earth.  Scientists believe New Zealand is the last major landmass to be settled by Homo sapiens.

It was a magical year.  I am certain these experiences will continue to reverberate through my life and, as they inspire me, I will share my stories with you.

Wherever you are on planet Earth, Happy Beginnings.

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Superman Smiles – Who Else Will Be Happy?

Superman Waving Egyptian Flag near the Nile v2

Superman and his team have been out voicing their opinion and encouraging people to vote.  We are praying for good news tomorrow.

Superman Takes a Stand in Tahrir Square

Superman in Tahrir Square, Cairo Egypt Dec 7 2012

“You’ve got to see what my crazy father is doing,” Mojo said when I woke up this morning.

He showed me the photo on his Ipad.  Superman was sitting in Tahrir Square protesting President Morsy and his constitution.  His slogan was simple and to the point.  “NO.”

My eyes brimmed with tears.

“Egypt has been a Muslim country for fourteen hundred years,” my father-in-law had told me during his visit.  “We don’t need an Islamic government telling us how to behave.”

Mojo’s family holds Egypt’s memories.  Since the beginning of time, his mother’s family has lived in Egypt.  Her great, great-grandfather was the Grand Mufti of Cairo married to Rifa’a al-Tahtawi’s sister.  Al-Tahtawi wrote about the patriotic responsibility of citizenship and how a divided Egypt would fall to outside invaders.

For generations, Superman‘s family married into the royal family, acted as military officers, and managed the royal land.  His father was a senator who drafted legislation to turn land over to the fellahin.  His presence in Tahrir Square, the garden of his youth, is a positive sign.  This 78-year old man represents generations of moderate, tolerant, Egyptians.

The light of his ancestors shines on him.

Superman to Save Egypt

Superman flying over Nile to save Egypt

On Thanksgiving, as we toasted three generations of the family celebrating together, my visiting, Egyptian in-laws received a text.  President Morsy was grabbing power.

The last few days, around our kitchen table, the December 15th vote on the new Egyptian constitution has been a key conversation.  Declaring the 230 articles approved by the Islamists as “ridiculous”, my father-in-law decided enough is enough.   Donning his cape, he flew home to Cairo this morning.

My question is – will he make it in time to save his beloved Egypt from a second revolution?

Flying Into Cairo – Views from the Air

The fields watered by the life-giving Nile River surround the crowded communities on its shores.

This view was south of Cairo as we flew towards the airport which is east of Cairo.

Shanties are holding their ground on the desert cliffs surrounding the city.

With 17 million people living in Cairo and the suburbs immediately surrounding the city center, from the air Cairo’s high-rise apartments resemble a Monopoly board in overdrive.

View of Cairo’s famous traffic along main arteries around the airport.

Do You Know the Way to Nearest Pyramid?

Do you know what this is?

Flying during the day has its advantages.  Looking out the window I knew the Gulf Air pilot was going the right direction because there were several very visible landmarks.

North of Riyadh were the crop circles.

Crop Circles North of Riyadh

When I was growing up in Saudi Arabia I never really questioned where they grew the fresh alfalfa we fed to our Arabian horses.  It was so green, it had to be dried in the sun before the horses could eat it.  The Saudis grow wheat and alfalfa using water from ancient water reserves created during the Pleistocene era – after the dinosaurs but just as homo erectus started wandering around.  It was quite amazing to see this green in the desert.

Obviously the water will not last forever. My father used to be involved in figuring out ways to bring water to the desert.  During a family dinner he told us about an idea to tote an iceberg from Antarctica.  That was never done.

Sarawat Mountains

As we turned west we flew over the Sarawat Mountains.  These look like mini volcanoes with something hiding in the center.   I think it was sand but maybe inside are secret UFO landing sites.  Supposedly millions saw UFOs over Riyadh in 2009.

Saudi Arabia Meets the Red Sea

The Red Sea looked extremely blue next to the brown desert.

Over the Red Sea

I enjoyed how the land and the sea intertwined creating a beautiful view that can only be seen from above.

Importance of the Nile

Over Egypt the Nile’s water keeps the desert at bay.  The human settlements are only within the areas the water reaches.

Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara

Outside of Cairo we flew over the oldest pyramid in Egypt – the Djoser at Saqqara.    It is a step pyramid built around 2,700 BC about 300 years after the stone pyramid in Peru.  Imhotep the founder of medicine was the architect who designed the pyramid.  In artwork he was associated with the Goddess Hathor.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.  The pyramid is at the top of the photo.

All the photos were taken with my Ipad.  I will start using a better camera soon but I can only learn so much technology at a time.

Tomorrow Cairo!

When Snakes Could Fly

Eve's Bible the Book

“I didn’t understand your Sphinx reference,” said Mojo  referring to Who was the Sphinx? .

Walker’s Encyclopedia’s cover  reminded me of who could rectify my error.   I turn to a real expert, Dr. Sarah Forth author of “Eve’s Bible: A Woman’s Guide to the Old Testament.”   She is a theologian whose specialty is the Old Testament.  (note: I added the images for the post.  If they are a bit incorrect blame me, not her.)

In her chapter When Snakes Could Fly, she writes “theacentric” (goddess-centered) civilizations throughout the Eastern Europe, the Near East and India portrayed the goddesses as snake and with snakes as well as bird women.”  These were more than mere fertility figures but “Goddesses of regeneration who were responsible for the entire cycle of life.”

Sumer’s religion “more than forty-five hundred years ago is among the oldest we know much about,” she writes.   But it was Egypt, “the Land Beyond the Rivers” that more directly influenced Israelite beliefs.”

Egypt had a PRE-history, before the dynastic pharaohs.  During this period, Wadjet represented by the cobra was the patron goddess of Buto an important “city” during the Neolithic period.  Her sister Nekhbet was a vulture.

Together they were called the Two Ladies.

Lower and Upper Egypt were combined and the two started to merge into one.

The Narmer Palette is thought to represent the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.  Notice the intertwined serpent heads of the lions.  Wadjet was also associated with Bastet represented by a cat/lion.

3100BC Narmer Palette thought to depict unification of Upper and Lower Egypt

“Egyptian Snake Goddess Uatchet (I think Wadjet is the more common spelling) was both a woman and a large winged serpent.”

Human Headed Winged Cobra from King Tut's Tomb

Uraeus, a spitting snake, denoted both a goddess and a serpent.  “The Uraeus adorned the headdress of pharaohs for thousands of years.”

Uraeus On King Tut's Death Mask approx 1333BC

Over millennia societies changed from earth based religions and “serpents were demoted to servants of the gods, or worse, their enemies,” says Dr. Forth.

Slowly Wadjet became Isis.  Isis merged with the Great Goddess Hathor and became Horus’ mother instead of his sister.

Isis

In Christianity the most famous serpent enemy was the one in the Garden of Eden who tempted Eve to eat from “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” that Yhwh (God) had made off limits.  Because of this snake incident, the entire human history was changed.

According to Dr. Forth this story “remains the best example of the Israelite campaign against the snake-goddess.  Yhwh (God) reacted by cursing the serpent.”

Because you did this/More cursed shall you be/

Then all cattle/and all the wild beasts

On your belly shall you crawl / And dirt shall you eat/

All the days of your life. (Gen 3:14 JPS)

Dr. Forth writes “Assigning the serpent to crawl on its belly suggests that it had a previous mode of transport.  Wings perhaps?”

Gustav Moreau's Oedipus and the Sphinx located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

By the time we get to Moreau’s 1864 Oedipus and the Sphinx we see the traces of the ancient goddess: Wadjet  the cat/lion, Nekhbet’s wings, and the female head all rolled into the Sphinx the “winged monster” Oedipus confronts.

Eve and the Serpent demonstrates the power of a good story.  In western civilization, Genesis chapter 3 chopped off the Goddess’ wings and completely changed her-story.

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