« ZurückWeiter »
dered this world desolate, and overran the universe; when the star-serpent made a path for himself between heaven and earth,’ &c.; “when Ahriman rambles on the earth, let him who takes the form of a serpent glide on the earth; let him who takes the form of the wolf run on the earth, and let the violent north wind bring weakness.” The dawn of Ormuzd corresponds with April. The sun returns from winter's death by sign of the lamb (our Aries), and thenceforth every month corresponds with a thousand years of the reign of the Beneficent. September is denoted by the Virgin and Child. To the dark domain of Ahriman the prefecture of the universe passes by Libra,_the same balances which appear in the hand of Satan. The starserpent prevails over the Virgin and Child. Then follow the months of the scorpion, the centaur, goat, &c., every month corresponding to a thousand years of the reign of Ahriman. While this scheme corresponds in one direction with the demons of cold, and in another with the entrance and reign of moral evil in the world, beginnings of disease on earth were also ascribed to this seventh thousand of years when the Golden Age had passed. The depth of winter is reached in domicile of the goat, or of Sirius, Seth, Saturn, Satan—according to the many variants. And these, under their several names, make the great “infortune’ of astrology, wherein old Culpepper amply instructed our fathers. “In the general, consider that Saturn is an old worn-out planet, weary, and of little estimation in this world; he causeth long and tedious sicknesses, abundance of sadness, and a Cartload of doubts and fears; his nature is cold, and dry, and melancholy.
* Boundesch, ii. pp. 158, 188. For an exhaustive treatment of the astrological theories and pictures of the planispheres, see ‘Mankind : their Origin and Destiny’ (Longmans, 1872).
And take special notice of this, that when Saturn is Lord of an Eclipse (as he is one of the Lords of this), he governs all the rest of the planets, but none can govern him. Melancholy is made of all the humors in the body of man, but no humor of melancholy. He is envious, and keeps his anger long, and speaks but few words, but when he speaks he speaks to purpose. A man of deep cogitations; he will plot mischief when men are asleep; he hath an admirable memory, and remembers to this day how William the Bastard abused him ; he cannot endure to be a slave; he is poor with the poor, fearful with the fearful; he plots mischief against the Superiours, with them that plot mischief against them; have a care of him, KINGS and MAGISTRATES of Europe; he will show you what he can do in the effects of this Eclipse; he is old, and therefore hath large experience, and will give perilous counsel; he moves but slowly, and therefore doth the more mischief; all the planets contribute their natures and strength to him, and when he sets on doing mischief he will do it to purpose; he doth not regard the company of the rest of the Planets, neither do any of the rest of the Planets regard his; he is a barren Planet, and therefore delights not in women; he brings the Pestilence; he is destructive to the fruits of the earth; he receives his light from the Sun, and yet he hates the Sun that gives it him.’ 1 Many ages anterior to this began in India the dread of 1 ‘Catastrophe Magnatum : or the Fall of Monarchie. A Caveat to Magistrates, deduced from the Eclipse of the Sunne, March 29, 1652. With a probable Conjecture of the Determination of the Effects. By Mich. Culpeper, Gent., Stud. in Astrol. and Phys. Dan. ii. 21, 22: He changeth the times and the seasons : he removeth Kings, and setteth up Kings: he giveth wisdome to the Wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding : he revealeth the deep and secret things, he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth SATAN AND JOB. 255
with him. London : Printed for 7. Vere and Math. Brooke, in the Old Baily, and at the Angel in Cornhil, 1652.'
Ketu, astronomically the ninth planet, mythologically the tail of the demon Rahu, cut in twain as already told (p. 46), supposed to be the prolific source of comets, meteors, and falling stars, also of diseases. From this Ketu or dragon's tail were born the Arunah Ketavah (Red Ketus or apparitions), and Ketu has become almost another word for disease." Strongly influenced as were the Jews by the exact division of the duodecimal period between Good and Evil, affirmed by the Persians, they never lost sight of the ultimate supremacy of Jehovah. Though Satan had gradually become a voluntary genius of evil, he still had to receive permission to afflict, as in the case of Job, and during the lifetime of Paul appears to have been still denied that “power of death' which is first asserted by the unknown author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Satan's especial office was regarded as the infliction of disease. Paul delivers the incestuous Corinthian to Satan “for the destruction of the flesh, and he also attributed the sickness and death of many to their communicating unworthily.” He also recognises his own “thorn in the flesh' as “an angel from Satan,' though meant for his moral advantage.” A penitential Psalm (Assyrian) reads as follows:— O my Lord my sins are many, my trespasses are great; and the wrath of the gods has plagued me with disease, and with sickness and sorrow. I fainted, but no one stretched forth his handl I groaned, but no one drew nigh I I cried aloud, but no one heard O Lord, do not abandon thy servant' In the waters of the great storm seize his hand 1
* See the Dictionary of Böhtlingk and Roth. * Heb. ii. 14. * I Cor. v. 5; xi. 30. * 2 Cor. xii. 7.
256 SET AWD THE SEVEN HATHORS.
The sins which he has committed turn them to righteousness."
This Psalm would hardly be out of place in the English burial-service, which deplores death as a visitation of divine wrath. Wherever such an idea prevails, the natural outcome of it is a belief in demons of disease. In ancient Egypt—following the belief in Ra the Sun, from whose eyes all pleasing things proceeded, and Set, from whose eyes came all noxious things, from the baleful light of Set's eyes were born the Seven Hathors, or Fates, whose names are recorded in the Book of the Dead. Mr. Fox Talbot has translated ‘the Song of the Seven Spirits:’—
They are seven they are seven
These demons have a way of herding together; the Assyrian tablets abundantly show that their occupation was manifested by diseases, physical and mental. One prescription runs thus:— The god (. . . . ) shall stand by his bedside : Those seven evil spirits he shall root out, and shall expel them from
his body :
And those seven shall never return to the sick man again
It is hardly doubtful that these were the seven said to
* “Records of the Past,” iii. p. 136. Tr. by Mr. Fox Talbot. * Ibid., iii. p. 143. The refrain recalls the lines of Edgar A. Poe —
They are neither man nor woman,
7 ERAPH/M AMD TARASCA. 257
have been cast out of Mary Magdalen; for their father Set is Shedim (devils) of Deut. xxxii. 17, and Shaddai (God) of Gen. xvi. I. But the fatal Seven turn to the seven fruits that charm away evil influences at parturition in Persia, also the Seven Wise Women of the same country traditionally present on holy occasions. When Ardá Viráf was sent to Paradise by a sacred narcotic to obtain intelligence of the true faith, seven fires were kept burning for seven days around him, and the seven wise women chanted hymns of the Avesta." The entrance of the seven evil powers into a dwelling was believed by the Assyrians to be preventible by setting in the doorway small images, such as those of the sungod (Hea) and the moon-goddess, but especially of Marduk, corresponding to Serapis the Egyptian Esculapius. These powers were reinforced by writing holy texts over and on each side of the threshold. ‘In the night time bind around the sick man's head a sentence taken from a good book.' The phylacteries of the Jews were originally worn for the same purpose. They were called Tefila, and were related to teraphim, the little idols” used by the Jews to keep out demons—such as those of Laban, which his daughter Rachel stole. The resemblance of teraphim to the Tarasca (connected by some with G. Tépas, a monster) of Spain may be noted, —the serpent figures carried about in Corpus Christi processions. The latter word is known in the south of France also, and gave its name to the town Tarascon. The legend is that an amphibious monster haunted the Rhone, preventing navigation and committing terrible ravages, until sixteen of the boldest inhabitants of the
* The Pahlavi Text has been prepared by Destur Jamaspji Asa, and translated by Haug and West. Trübner, 1872. * Cf. fig. 9. VOL. I. R