Find the metaphors in the story below. Reality is myth, math and metaphor, often with a pinch of magic for flavor.
East-Asian dragons are almost invariably portrayed with a red sphere in their mouths, in front of their mouths, or -- as in Javanese art--on top of their heads. In the famous lantern procession celebrated by Chinese people on the 15th of the first month, the red sphere precedes the dragon. This sphere is called huoh chuh, "fire pearl". Shown here is a Buddhist gong-hanger produced in 18th- or 19th-century Korea. The flames that erupt from the pearl in some representations parallel the flames exhaled by dragons in other traditions. But what does the red sphere signify? And where does the image of the dragon itself come from?
Scholars agree that the pearl is celestial. But does it signify the moon, as some have suggested? Or is it the Sun, as others have claimed? The spiral inscribed upon the pearl remains an enigma.
Some specialists emphasize the pearlŐs connection with thunder. An ancient Chinese charm declares that "a spiral denotes the rolling of thunder from which issues a flash of lightning." Could this apply to the spiral imagery attached to the dragon ball? The comparative symbolist, G Elliot Smith, believed so: The dragon's red ball with engraved spiral, "which was believed to have fallen from the sky, was homologized with the thunderboltÓ. A Korean piece of art in Deoksugung Palace, Seoul, depicts the red pearl between the two dragons in the traditional shape of the Indian vajra or lightning image.
The lightning theory would interpret the pearl as a Chinese variation on the universal motif of the thunderstone. The common belief held that thunderstones fall from the sky during thunderstorms or battles of the gods. Thus huoh chuh, the Chinese designation of the pearl, also means 'meteorite'. A widespread superstition warns that when the blue dragon and the yellow dragon battle in heaven, fire balls and pearls fall to the ground. Some gemstones, known as "dragon's eggs", were believed to cause thunderstorms. When the egg hatched, a young dragon would ascend to the sky amid thunder, lightning, rain, and darkness. A large body of folklore delineates the connection of the dragon with a stone, egg, or ball that produces lightning.
Any explanation for the Chinese dragon pearl must apply to similar traditions found across the globe. The Vedic dragon Vritra concealed the sun.
The "Worm" encountered by Arthur's knight Peredur had a stone in its tail that had the ability to turn everything into gold.
Uncegila, a serpent in the mythology of the Brul Sioux, had an ice-cold heart "made of flashing red crystal".
The Caribs of Dominica believed in a serpent with a sparkling stone on its head, described as an eye. And scores of other dragons around the world swallowed, enclosed, or carried similar spherical objects, alternately identified as the sun, an egg, an eye, the heart or soul of the serpent, or a precious stone.
The catastrophist model interprets the serpent and the sphere as a vagrant luminous object in the sky accompanied by glowing plasma effects. One might interpret the serpent and the ball as the tail and nucleus of a comet. But modern-day comets fail to explain the detailed agreement between the universal traditions. Something much more profound must have inspired the image.
Today, several independent researchers connect both the enclosing serpent and the primordial "sun" to the 'axis mundi' or 'world axis' (axis, as is .... ) (pole shifts, physical and consciousness) a column said to have once risen from the earth to the sky. (Axis, Isis, is is, to exist, to exit)
This suggests that the cross-cultural theme of the glowing serpent and orb might have been inspired by intense plasma discharge in the heavens, perhaps comparable to the aurora, but much more powerful. We know from plasma experiments that such effects would likely include the cosmic thunderbolt described in early traditions.
Axis Mundi goes to the Rod of Asclepius or Rod of Hermes, the symbol of medicine. The similar caduceus or staff is the axis itself, and the serpent (or serpents) are the guardians or guides to the other realm. It is a common shamanic concept, the healer traversing the axis mundi to bring back knowledge from the other world.
The axis mundi connects heaven and earth as well as providing a path between the two. The axis mundi is commonly represented as a rope, tree, vine, ladder, pillar or staff, among other things. In addition to the caduceus, the yin-yang descends from this idea. Sometimes, depending on representation and belief system, the axis mundi is considered explicitly male or even phallic.
Many cultures consider a specific place, almost always a hill, a mountain or a pyramid to be the axis mundi. For example, the Sioux consider the Black Hills to be the axis mundi, while Mount Kailash is holy to several religions in Tibet.
Often, within the same belief system, several places may be considered the axis mundi; in Islam Mecca is said to be the place which was made first on earth.
The Temple Mount, site of the Dome of the Rock, is also holy to Judaism and Christianity. Other nearby sites that are considered sacred and are on hills include the Mount of Olives and Calvary.
The ancient Greeks had several sites that were considered places of the omphalos (navel) stone, such as the oracle at Delphi, while also maintaining a belief in a world tree and Mount Olympus as the abode of the gods.
Many religious structures explicitly mimic axis mundi.
The stupa of Hinduism, and later Buddhism, reflects Mount Meru. The upright bar of the cross is sometimes seen as representing a world axis, while the steeple of a church or minaret of a mosque indicates a place where the earthly and the divine meet.
In Mesopotamian civilizations, the ziggurat works as an axis mundi.
Structures such as maypoles in pre-Christian Europe, linked to the Saxons' Irminsul, and totem poles among Pacific Northwest Native Americans also formed local or temporary world axes.
Other times a specific plant is considered the axis mundi.
In some Pacific island cultures the banyan tree, of which the Bodhi tree is of the Sacred Fig variety, is the abode of ancestor spirits. The Bodhi Tree is also the name given to the tree under which Gautama Siddhartha, the historical Buddha, sat on the night he attained enlightenment.
Other corrolaries include Yggdrasil of Norse mythology, Jievaras of Lithuanian mythology, the pre-Christian Germanic peoples' Thor's Oak, the Sefirot of Judaism, the Chakras common to many Eastern religions, and the Trees of Life and Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.
Entheogens are often considered to be the axis mundi, such as the Fly Agaric mushroom among the Evenks of Russia.
Examples of Axis Mundi
The Mystery About the Senmut Star Map
This takes us to Senmut, the Consort of Hatshepsut...
You may have noticed, most of the important Pharaohs came out of the 18th Dynasty (18, 9, closure), Akhenaten, King Tut and the rest of the gang! The fourth dynasty (4, time, closure) would of course produce the builder of the physical Great Pyramid, which takes us to the Hourglass Effect and linear time. It all came out of Africa, Egypt. Check out the original insert. Identifying Hatshepsut is another key element in the inserts (gears) of time.
The Search for Hatshepsut and the Discovery of her Mummy (Images)
Zahi Hawass (sometimes called the Big Z!) - June 28, 2007
12/10/00 - I flew over the Temple of Hatshepsut in a hot air balloon .
Egyptologists say they have identified the 3,000-year-old mummy of Hatshepsut
BBC - June 27, 2007
Egypt's Female Pharaoh Revealed by Chipped Tooth, Experts Say
National Geographic - June 27, 2007
Hatshepsut Mummy Photo Gallery National Geographic - June 27, 2007
Slideshow Reuters - June 27, 2007
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