The Rising of 'Serpent's Tooth'

It would now do to elaborate further on the points so recently made. It should be noted that in Egyptian the hieroglyph tchet of a serpent means both 'serpent* and 'bods'. The cobra hieroglyph ara means both 'serpent' and 'goddess'. Elsewhere we encounter ara frequently having the common general meaning of 'goddess'.


The frequent incorporation of the serpent into late Sirius-lore among the Greeks probably stems from a pun or corruption of the Egyptian determinative form for 'goddess' in reference to the goddess Sothis-Isis (Sirius).


In fact, if an Egyptian were to write 'the Goddess Sirius' in hieroglyphs, the result would be:

which can also (by pun) be read quite literally as: 'serpent's tooth'! In addition to this Egyptian pun, there is a Greek pun connected with the story of Jason sowing the teeth. In Greek the word which describes the growing of a tooth from the gum is anatole; a variant is anatello. These words would describe the growing from the ground of the teeth, and 'to make to rise up' or 'to give birth to' is their basic meaning. However, these words are also used to describe the risings of stars and constellations. Hence, if one wanted to say that the star Sirius was rising at the horizon, one could pun and say:

'The tooth is growing up from the ground as from a gum, that is, the ground is giving birth to a tooth.'

Hence all the many 'earth-born' creatures linked to the stars, and especially Sirius. As a matter of fact, in translating the now lost early Argo tales from Greek into English it is problematical whether instead of saying 'the teeth in the ground gave birth to . . .', etc., one should really have considered the equally literal translation 'Sirius, namely "the tooth", rose over the horizon.'


In short, when does a pun cease to be a pun and merely consist of a mistranslation based on ignorance of the true subject-matter?

It may be that some of the puns taken over from Egyptian into Greek might have involved the same misunderstandings that ours could do with regard to translating the Greek into English. There may thus be a double layer of obfuscation between English readers and the true subject-matter.


Those experts in Greek mythology who may feel safe in discussing 'earth-born' mythological creatures as being sprung from the earth in a direct sense, mud and grime no doubt still caking their hides as they pop up into the air, may be better advised to take into consideration that these creatures were not meant really to be described as coming out of holes in the ground so much as rising over the horizon, due to the fact that they are stars and constellations. And if they are such cosmic figures their peculiar shapes and characteristics become immediately less bizarre and, instead, more meaningful.

We know that Colchis was the place where Helios stabled his horses and rose each morning, according to Greek mythological tradition. Since Colchis was thus the archetypal eastern rising point to the Greeks, being at the far eastern end of the Black Sea and being 'as far east as you can get' to a Greek, it actually represented 'the East'. Thus it makes sense that Jason should have sowed the serpent's teeth there.


For the growing of the teeth from the ground at that precise point was symbolic language for:

'The star (goddess) Sirius, known in code as "serpent's tooth", is rising heliacally on the eastern horizon which is symbolically represented by Colchis.'

And since the sun follows immediately upon the star at its heliacal rising, all the more reason that 'Serpent's Tooth' should spring up at the place where the Sun, Helios, spends the night and then rises.

The reason why the only other example of serpent's teeth being sown took place at Greek Thebes, when Cadmus sowed them there, is that Egyptian Thebes and Aea at Colchis are equidistant from Greek Thebes (see Figure 14). Hence, a probable reason for the name of Thebes being used in Greece. Greek Thebes is in a sense a 'code' for Colchis, since an action performed there may be understood as taking place within the symbolic framework of the Thebes Colchis-Thebes triangle (Figure 14).


To go to Thebes in Greece was symbolically to step on to the Colchis axis. To sow the teeth at Greek Thebes was to perform the Colchian action on Greek soil because of the knowledge of their geodetic interrelation. This kind of thinking is based on a theory of correspondences such as the Dogon exhibit in all their most minute daily acts.1 In my opinion, a mind is healthy which can perform symbolic acts within mental frameworks which are not immediately obvious.


A mind is diseased when it no longer comprehends this kind of linkage and refuses to acknowledge any basis for such symbolic thinking. The twentieth century specializes in producing diseased minds of the type I refer to - minds which uniquely combine ignorance with arrogance. The twentieth century's hard core hyper-rationalist would deride a theory of correspondences in daily life and ritual as 'primitive superstition'.


However, the rationalist's comment is not one upon symbolic thinking but merely one upon himself, acting as a label to define him as one of the walking dead.

Greek Thebes Phthiotides - quite distinct from the main Greek Thebes almost adjoins Iolchus in Thessaly, a few miles away, from which port Jason and the Argo sailed to Colchis. The voyage of the Argo may be seen as a symbolic journey. For to travel from Greek Thebes - either the proper one or a nominal substitute - to Colchis was equivalent to travelling from Greek Thebes to Egyptian Thebes: the distance was the same.


Greek Thebes, where 'serpent's teeth' were sown, is equidistant from Colchis, where 'serpent's teeth' were sown, and Egyptian Thebes, where 'Serpent's Tooth' was worshipped. And a ship travelling on one of the lines in effect travels on both. The voyage of the Argo, a later form of the magan-boat, or 'Egypt-boat', was both to Colchis and to the equidistant Egyptian centre of Thebes, where the prime omphalos was placed in the temple of Ammon.

The name of Danaos who fled Egypt with his fifty daughters (or sons) and went to Argos seems to be derived from (Danae) which is 'the mythological name for Dry Earth', according to Liddell and Scott, 'whose union with the fructifying air is expressed in the fable of Zeus and Danae'. And Danae, as we have seen, is associated with the Sirius complex and was also set adrift in an ark. It may or may not be relevant that the Egyptian hieroglyph for wind or air, with which Danae is supposed to have united, is a boat's sail.

The word 'ark' itself is an interesting one worth investigating. We already know that the related word Argo was the ship of fifty oars which we believe symbolized Sirius B in its fifty-year orbit. Could this word 'ark5 also have a tie-in with the other characteristic of Sirius B, namely its strength ? In this we are not disappointed. The Greek verb(arkeo) has the meaning, according to Liddell and Scott's lexicon, of 'to be strong enough'!

The word Argus has even applied to a dog. It was the name of the old hunting hound of Odysseus (Ulysses) who recognized his master Odysseus when he finally returned from his voyages, and died as it greeted him. No one else had recognized Odysseus after twenty years' absence except for the faithful old dog, who upon greeting his long lost master, expired on the spot.

Argus has also been used by the Greeks as their name for the hundred-eyed monster set by Hera to watch over Io. And it was Io the cow who led Cadmus from Delphi to Thebes where he sowed the serpent's teeth.

If the words ark, Argo, Argus, etc., could be construed as having an actual linguistic derivation from the ancient Egyptian (which would have had to precede by some time the Aryan invasion of India circa 1500 B.C., as the word exists in Sanskrit, as we shall see shortly), then it might ultimately be from arq and arqi which are

These related words have various curious meanings in Egyptian and can be written many ways other than the simplest given above. Arq means 'to complete, to finish', in the sense of a cycle. It also means 'the last' or 'the end of anything'. For instance, arq renpet means 'the festival of the last day of the year'. Arqit means 'the conclusion of a matter'. All these meanings are reminiscent of the meaning of 'Argus' in Homer - to represent the dog who witnesses Odysseus's return and immediately dies, having seen his master's face once again after so many years. The great cycle was completed - Odysseus was home.


Aria immediately Argus dies. Here in the earliest Greek literature we see 'Argus' used as a synonym for the Egyptian arq.

The Egyptian arqi is even more significant. Note the final determinative (picture not used as a letter) is a sign which is a circle with a dot in the middle. The meaning of this word is 'the end of a period, the last day of the month'. This term, then, has calendrical usage. It can be applied as well to any culmination of a period. Hera's monster Argus has a hundred eyes, and there are a hundred months (comprising two sets of fifty) to a Great Year. Here 'Argus' is a poetic synonym in early Greek tradition for arqi, 'the end of a period' - its culmination, its total when completed.

Our suspicion that there is a distinct reference to an orbital period of Sirius B is hinted at by the additional meaning of arq - 'girdle', representing as it does something around a centre. Arq has the further verbal meaning of 'to bind around', implying specifically a revolution. The Latin arcere means 'to enclose' and our present-day word 'arc' carries on the circular motion idea.

Not surprisingly, an arqu is 'an educated man, a wise man, an expert, an adept'. It is not difficult to realize that anyone privy to the mysteries of arq would have to be an adept, an initiate and wise man. Hence this meaning for someone who knows about arq, an arqu.

In Wallis Budge we find2 a description (taken from Mau) of an Egyptian- influenced Italian temple of the first century B.C. which contained 'seven large paintings representing Egyptian landscapes, and Io watched by Argus, and Io received by Isis in Egypt. [A drawing of the painting of Io watched by Argus is reproduced in Figure 29.


It is in Roman style, of course, and artistically quite mediocre.] In this room the Mysteries of Isis were probably acted. - 'So we have specific archaeological evidence that Argus of the hundred eyes was pictured on the wall of the inner sanctum of an Isis temple, and Isis was, as we know, identified with Sirius. Also pictured there was Io, whom I earlier compared to the Egyptian Hathor who was identified with the Sirius system, and it was of course this same Io who led Cadmus to the Greek Thebes (there being an Egyptian Thebes as well, as the reader well recalls).

What were these mysteries of Isis ? Well, they seem to have been related to the Thesmophoria Mysteries which the daughters of Danaos were said to have brought from Egypt to Argos. For in Liddell and Scott we find that the name Thesmophoros ('law giving') was a name given to Isis. The name was most commonly applied to Demeter, a Greek goddess, but was also the name of Isis in Greece.


In short, Isis was represented as Demeter in connection with these mysteries, but in the Italian temple referred to above was obviously represented as herself. The 'fifty' and 'hundred', connected as we have seen with Danaos, are found again here in the ruins of this Italian temple, where hundred-eyed Argus is portrayed in the inner sanctum of the Isis temple. The name Thesmophoros should not distract us too much. It comes from Thesis, with a meaning including our thesis of today - and thesmos means 'that which is laid down or established, or instituted'.


And thesmodeo is a verb meaning 'to deliver oracular precepts', once again a meaning which should not surprise us.*


* Plutarch in 'Isis and Osiris' (378 D) informs us: 'Among the Greeks also many things are done which are similar to the Egyptian ceremonies in the shrines of Isis, and they do them at about the same time. At Athens the women fast at the Thesmophoria sitting upon the ground.'5

In Wallis Budge we read3 from an Egyptian text of 'the star Septet (Sothis, the Dog Star), whose seats are pure', which is a specific reference to there being seats around Sirius - and, of course, there are fifty seats as we know, which led to the fifty thrones of the Anunnaki, the fifty oarsmen of the Argo, etc.

In Wallis Budge we also read4 excerpts of Egyptian texts speaking of holy emanations proceeding from Sirius and Orion which 'vivify gods, men, cattle, and creeping things . . . both gods and men', and are a pouring out of the seed of the soul. Of course, the Dogon maintain the same thing in almost precisely the same terms. To them the seed which energizes the world pours forth from the Sirius system.

In Wallis Budge we find also a particularly interesting bit of further information.6 There we learn that the deceased spirit of a man 'goes to Nephthys' and the celestial boat. We have much earlier identified the dark Nephthys with Sirius B. It is therefore interesting to learn that as soon as the deceased visits Nephthys and his 'double' (ka) is recorded in heaven, he immediately 'revolves like the sun' - which I think is a pretty specific astronomical description.


As he revolves he 'leads on the Tuat (underworld or heaven)', which is a curious turn of phrase implying a round dance or at least motion which is purposeful, 'and is pure of life in the horizon like Sahu (Orion) and Sept (Sirius, the Dog-star)'. I hope it will be noticed that the phrase here reads 'in the horizon' and much earlier I said I believed the term 'the horizon' applied specifically to the orbit of Sirius B.


Here we have the deceased revolving like a sun in a purposeful way in 'the horizon'. I don't think the Egyptians could possibly have been more specific and clear than this.


Wallis Budge comments:

'The mention of Orion and Sothis is interesting, for it shows that at one time the Egyptians believed that these stars were the homes of departed souls.'

Having learned this (a belief held as well by the Dogon, as we know), let us return to our word arq which I believe to be the origin of ark and Argo and Argus in Greek, all of which I claim are related to Sirius. Perhaps the reader will not be too amazed if by now I inform him that arq heh is a 'necropolis' and arq-hehtt is 'the Other World' - which we have just this moment learned was located by the early Egyptians at the star Sirius! (Also remember that the guardian of the necropolis in Greek was a circe in the Argo story.)

Arq has the further meaning of 'a measure', possibly because spirits are normally measured in Arq-hehtt.

And for final touches of mystery, I will add that arq can mean 'to wriggle (of a serpent)' - from 'binding around' - and arq ur is the word for that mystery of mysteries, the Sphinx!

The same word means also 'silver', and Wallis Budge claims that the Greek (argyros) is derived from it, which gave us our heraldic term argent and the country's name Argentina. Since this term in Greek is derived from arq ur (ur means 'chief or 'Great'), in the opinion of an eminent expert, I believe there is no objection then to my suggestion that the other Greek words came from arq and its forms.*


* In discussion with Professor O. R. Gurney of Oxford, who was sceptical of Egyptian origins of Indo-European words, I found that he considered Wallis Budge's suggestion possible on two bases: (i) The word is a technical one, (2) my explanation of the Colchian connection as providing a geographical forum for such linguistic influence.


But, as I said, this derivation is one which entered Indo-European from Egypt before the Aryan invasion of India, for in Sanskrit arksha means 'stellar, belonging to or regulated by the stars or constellations', and arksha-varsha is 'a stellar year or revolution of a constellation'. This is very similar to the meaning in Egyptian of 'the end of a period', and a calendrical application to the end of a month.


In Sanskrit again arka means 'belonging or relating to the sun'. Arkam means 'as far as the sun, even to the sun inclusively'. Arki has become a name for Saturn, thought at that time to be the most distant planet. Arc means 'to shine, be brilliant', and can mean 'to cause to shine'. Arkin means 'radiant with light'. Arka means 'a ray' and is also a religious ceremony. An arka-kara is a 'sunbeam'. Arkaja means 'sun-born, coming from the sun', and it and arkanandana can be applied to the planet Saturn.


Arkaparna is the name of a snake demon. Arka-putra is also Saturn. Forms of the word relate also to various specific astronomical events and the Arka ceremony and the arka plant which has 'a grain of fruit' of some importance, reminding one of all the grains of the Dogon (which one learns about by reading more about the Dogon than I have given in this book), particularly the grain Digitaria which gave its name to Sirius B among the Dogon - in their own language, of course!

Area means 'worship, adoration'. Arjuna, besides being the famous Hindu mythical personage, means 'white, clear' and 'made of silver' - this latter being clearly a form of arq ur, the Egyptian variant form of arq meaning 'silver', which I mentioned a moment ago and which, according to Wallis Budge, has the cognate in Greek which was just mentioned, argyros meaning 'silver'.

And as Argo is a constellation in the sky, it should not be a surprise to us to find that in India the Sanskrit Arjuna refers to a specific Vedic constellation. The actual name of the constellation is Phalguni. Phala means 'grain' or 'seed'. The Phal-grantha is a work describing the effects of celestial phenomena on the destiny of men.

There is also a connection of the Sanskrit with an expression involving a thigh; in Greek, Arktos became a name for our constellation Ursa Major, which was known to the Egyptians as 'the thigh'.

If the reader can bear some other words, I propose to consider a few which are important in other ways. I beg to refer again to the work of Wallis Budge, which is becoming rather familiar to us now,7 since I have cited it so frequently in recent pages. The reader must realize that we are nearing the end of the matter and summon his last reserves of patience for the final trudge across hieroglyphic soil, craggy though it may be.

In Wallis Budge, then,8 we find a passage from one of the Pyramid Texts where Osiris is described in his role of husband of Sothis (Sirius) and implored: 'Be not wroth in thy name of Tchenteru'. This plaintive plea must be examined. What on earth is so terrible about this 'Tchenteru' ? Well, to begin an explanation, the word tchentch means 'wrath, anger'. So that is obviously the meaning of the word. But we have to continue to pursue this.

Shortly afterwards in the same Pyramid Text we read of the birth of Horus, the son of Osiris, by Sothis:

'Horus-Sept [Horus-Sirius] cometh forth from thee in the form of "Horus, dweller in Sept [Sirius]". Thou makest him to have a spirit in his name of "Spirit, dweller in Tchenteru".'

Well! Here we have an interesting new light on this Tchenteru which seemed so important for no reason which was immediately apparent. It is something to do with Sirius. What, then? Obviously the close association of the place Tchenteru and the Sirius system led me to investigate the word and its related forms.

I found that tchentha means 'throne'. I found that tchenh-t means 'beam (of a ship)' - second significant meaning. And I discovered a third. Namely, that tchens means 'weight, heavy'! This was just too much to be coincidence. We first have the Sirius system described as being the place Tchenteru and then discover that that word in related forms means three strictly Sirius- related things: 'throne', 'beam of a ship', and 'weight, heavy'.


Tchenteru is 'the place of weight or heaviness' and is identified by the Egyptians with the Sirius system! I also discovered that Tchenti is a two-headed god (later this name became one of the seventy-five names of Ra and lost its original importance). Now, a two-headed god with each head representing one orbit and having fifty eyes, gives us a hundred-eyed god, and the hundred-eyed monster of the Greeks was Argus.

Wallis Budge says another form of tchens, 'weight', is tens, which also means 'weight, heavy'. And the very next word in the giant dictionary is teng which means 'dwarf! We thus see an apparent variation of the same word meaning 'heavy' and 'dwarf', and this word is specifically applied to the Sirius system.

But just in case there are any sceptics left (and there always are), a look at the Egyptian word shenit will be helpful. This word means 'the divine court of Osiris'. The same word shenit means 'circle, circuit', and shent means 'a circuiting, a going round, revolution'. Shenu means 'circuit, circle, periphery, circumference, orbit, revolution', and there is a specific expression written:

which Wallis Budge gives, and which means 'the two circuits' - and twice fifty is a hundred, giving us the Great Year. Shen ur means 'the Great Circle' or 'the circuit of the Great Circle' or 'the islands of Shen-ur', which last is interesting in that it indicates that this place of the Great Circle is not only 'the divine court of Osiris', who is the husband of Sothis (Sirius), but is also a place with islands (stars or planets) where one can presumably live. It does seem that the Egyptians had quite as clear a conception of the Sirius system as the Dogon have.

The verb shenu means 'to go round, to encircle', but the verb shen means 'to hover over', and presumably the great orbit is above us in the sky, hovering over us in space.

The Egyptian word khemut means 'hot parching winds, the khamasin, or khamsin, i.e. winds of the "fifty" hot days'. This is rather interesting.* In late times 'the dog days' about the time of the rising of Sirius and called 'dog days' from 'the Dog Star' were supposed to be hot and scorching. There are many references to this in writers like Pliny and Virgil. Here is an earlier tradition of hot days incorporating the Sirian number fifty.


This same word khemut has familiar meanings in its related forms. Khemiu-urtu means 'the stars that rest not'. Khemiu-hepu means 'a class of stars'. Khemiu-hemu also means 'a class of stars'. In short, khemiu means 'stars'. So khem (though apparently not used on its own in surviving texts) really means 'star', as well as referring to fifty days. Khem also has the meanings 'shrine, holy of holies, sanctuary', and 'little, small', also 'he whose name is unknown, i.e. God', also 'god of procreation and generative power', also 'to be hot', and 'unknown'.


All these meanings are relevant to the Sirius mysteries. The Sirius system was held to be the source of generative and procreative power as we have already seen, Sirius B was of course 'unknown', and was 'little, small', and was a star that rests not (that is, it is always orbiting, which is not at all usual for a star). And what is a star that rests not unless it be Sirius B ?


For only the planets, which were well known and differentiated by the ancient Egyptians, 'rested not' with the remarkable Arabic khamsin, 'fifty' and Hebrew khamshin, 'fifty', arc obviously derived from this Egyptian exception of Sirius B. Comets and meteors apart, and they too were well classed to themselves.

There is a Hymn to Osiris preserved on a stele in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, which dates from the XVIIIth Dynasty around 1500 B.C., and which we find in Wallis Budge.


We find khem used in this interesting hymn in the following passage:9

This passage is extremely interesting because of the recurrent theme of 'thrones' (which word as a proper noun in the singular is the name of Isis) as applied to the celestial region of Osiris - which, as we know, is the Sirius system. Of course, in the superficial view this passage may seem merely to describe some vague kind of reference to a great god who is in the sky somewhere or other, and has a heavenly throne and has a lot of stars twinkling here and there around him for added glamour.


But a close inspection of the way things are said here won't let that kind of interpretation stand up. Apart from the fact that the Egyptians were incredibly precise in what they said: what is said in the texts is what is said in the texts. One cannot just gloss over inconvenient precise statements which seem unintelligible and tempt one to brush them aside in order to 'get on with it'. In the above passage describing the khem or stars, we find them associated with - indeed identified with - thrones, which are quite separate from the throne of Osiris himself.


Now, this is precisely equivalent to the description of the throne of Anu and the thrones of the Anunnaki which surround it, as we meet in Sumer. And here too the context is both celestial and related to Sirius. And here too the thrones are 'stars which never rest' which could be a description of the movement of Sirius B, with the familiar meaning of each year's 'step' in the orbit equated with a 'throne'.


All that is lacking here is their number of fifty.

The same word, khemut, however, refers to fifty days; and to Sirius! We therefore have the one remaining ingredient!

There is another Egyptian word which can shed some light on our subject. A possible explanation of serpent's teeth and their springing up as soldiers may result from a pun on the Egyptian word menu This word means both 'soldier' and 'to plough, to till the earth, to cultivate'. A combination of the two meanings yields the strange idea of soldiers resulting from ploughing.


And in the Jason story, Jason has to yoke the bulls and plough the field - only after which can he sow the serpent's teeth. Anyone who has read the Argonautica will know this. Jason didn't just walk into some field, throw some serpent's teeth about like birdseed, stand hack and presto! He had to plough the field. He had to practise meni in order to produce meni.

Now we must turn our attention to the mysterious Egyptian word tcham. A general meaning of tcham is 'sceptre', possibly because the meaning of tcham en Anpu is the name of 'the magical sceptre of Anpu (Anubis)'.

Tchamti are 'bowmen' and Sirius is the Bow Star, as we know. Now, the really intriguing meaning of tcham is 'a kind of precious metal'. There are various expressions in the literature such as 'the finest tcham', 'real Cham and 'Cham from the hill-top'. The impression one gets is that this Cham is a pretty special commodity. Presumably Anubis's sceptre, which is the Cham sceptre, is made of this Cham material.


A sceptre is an object which exercises rule and force. The fact that there is 'Cham from the hill-top' could either have a mundane meaning to the effect that the stuff is a metal mined in the hills or more likely is connected with Anubis, not only through his sceptre, but through the hilltop as the residence of the god in the ziggurat sense such as one finds in Sumer. For Anubis was known as 'Anubis of the hill'.

In Wallis Budge we find more information from Pyramid Texts about Cham.10 The references are entirely stellar. There is a description of the deceased Pharaoh, in this case Pepi I. Pepi's father is Tern 'the great god of An (Heliopolis) and the first living Man-god; the creator of heaven and earth'. In Sumer too the great god of An was the creator of heaven and earth, but there was not, as far as we know, a city named after him as was the Egyptian city of An which came to be known to the Greeks as Heliopolis.

Of Pepi we read in the text that 'the appearance of this god in heaven, which is like unto the appearance of Tern in heaven'. This is all gross flattery typical for the texts mourning the dead Pharaohs. Every Pharaoh looks like the great god of An and every other great god and does every conceivable celestial thing. The Pharaoh is dead, long live the Pharaoh!

Now various gods, including the Governor of the Land of the Bow and Sept (Sirius) 'under his trees', carry a ladder for Pepi. Pepi then 'appeareth on the two thighs of Isis, Pepi reposeth on the two thighs of Nephthys'. Tern puts Pepi at the head of all the gods, and 'Pepi setteth out in his boat', with Horus. He then stands 'among the imperishable stars, which stand up on their Cham sceptres, and support themselves on their staves'. This seems to make clear that the metal Cham is also a specifically stellar material which supports the stars! *


* The Greeks had a tradition of 'the strongest metal' and called it adamant. Kronos used it to castrate Ouranos (Uranus); mythically it was the strongest metal.

Then we read:11

'This Pepi liveth life more than your sceptres au.'

The word au au means 'dog, jackal', and I suspect a connection with 'dog star' and Anubis who is jackal/dog. Also the au-t en athen is the au-t of the sun, or 'the course of the sun'.


But, to resume:

O ye gods of the Sky, ye imperishable ones, who sail over the Land of Tehenu [the Tehentiu are 'the sparkling gods, the stellar luminaries' from tehen which means 'to sparkle, to scintillate'] in your boats, and direct them with your sceptres, this Pepi directeth his boat with you by means of the uas sceptre [Uasar is a variant form of Asar, the name of Osiris, and uas-t is 'a kind of animal, dog (?)'12] and the Cham sceptre, and he is fourth with you. [indicating that he joins a group of three stars!]


O ye gods of heaven, ye imperishable ones, who sail over the Land of Tahennu, who transport yourselves by means of your sceptres, this Pepi transporteth himself with you by means of the uas and Cham, and he is the fourth with you. . . . This Pepi is the anes matter which cometh forth from Nephthys... . Pepi is a star . . . Pepi is Sept, under his sebt trees . . . The star Septet (Sothis) graspeth the hand of Pepi. Pepi plougheth the earth . . . Osiris [Pepi is addressed by the name], thou art the double of all the gods. [Uas is also the Egyptian name of Thebes.]

Here we see the dead Pharaoh Pepi's celestial after-death experiences described. He goes to the stellar regions and joins three stars, becoming 'the fourth'. He uses three sceptres for power, the au (similar to a word for dog/ jackal), the was (also the name of Thebes, similar to another word for dog, and related to a variant form of the name of Osiris), and the Cham (a mysterious metal and the sceptre of the dog/jackal-headed god Anubis).


The star Sirius is specifically described as taking his hand. Pepi himself is transformed into a star, as clearly stated: 'Pepi is a star.'


He becomes a star and his hand is taken by the star Sirius, which can only mean that he becomes a star in the Sirius system, and he 'becomes fourth with them'. He then is identified in turn with the three other stars of the Sirius system, which are Isis-Sothis, Nephthys, and Osiris. The first emits "anes matter', the second is the female Nephthys, which may be identical with the ('female Sorgho' or Sirius C of the Dogon (though sometimes Nephthys refers to Sirius B in other contexts), and the third is called 'the double of all the gods' - being the circling companion and the archetypal 'double' of many figures from Isis to Gilgamesh. This is quite obviously Sirius B.

And there is Cham, the mysterious, potent stellar 'metal' which is said to be the power of Anubis, whom we have earlier identified as the personification of the orbit of Sirius B. And Cham is quite similar to the word we dealt with earlier, tchens, meaning 'weight', and its related forms tens 'heavy, weight', tensmen 'to be heavy' and the similar word teng 'dwarf.


If we spoke of something described only by a series of these apparently related words, namely: tchens fens teng Cham, the meaning would be, quite literally, allowing for the absence of proper grammar, 'the weight (of) heavy dwarf star-metal', remembering that Cham is also specifically identified as the power of the god Anubis whom we have identified previously as the orbit of Sirius B, the dwarf star composed of super-heavy 'star metal'.

Concerning this star-metal it is as well to take notice that in 'Isis and Osiris' (376 B), Plutarch says of the Egyptians:13 'Moreover, they call the lodestone the bone of Horus, and iron the bone of Typhon, as Manetho records' (Manetho fragment 77.) Recall that 'the bones of Earth' in ancient tradition are stones. It is interesting that a heavy metal is 'the bone' of Typhon which we have earlier determined as a description of Sirius B. And magnetized iron or lodestone is 'the bone' of Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris. This is exactly the sort of tradition one would expect.

We must recall that Anubis is our form of writing the actual Egyptian word Anp or Anpu. The verb anp means 'to wrap around', obviously connected with Anubis's role as sacred embalmer. It is significant that Anp heni is 'a jackal-headed god who guarded the river of fire, a form of Anubis'. We have already postulated that 'the river of fire' may be a way of describing the orbit of the star Sirius B, so it is quite interesting to see that Anubis, whom we have already identified as representing the orbit, is specifically said to be the guardian of the same river of fire. And 'wrap around' could have an orbital meaning as well as its obvious meaning of 'swathe'.

We recall that a special description of tcham given in Wallis Budge's Dictionary14 was 'tcham from the hill-top'. Also we have just equated tcham with Anubis. So it should not surprise us that a title of Anubis is Tepi tu-f 'he who is on his hill'. As I mentioned a moment ago, this seems to be a ziggurat-concept such as one finds in Mesopotamia. The tepi complex of words is quite interesting and bears examination.

Tepi means 'the foremost point of the bows of the ship, the hindmost part of the stern' - extremely specific and exactly fitting my specification of what was important about the ship Argo. Tepi also means 'the first day of a period of time', and I maintained earlier that the tip of the prow and the tip of the stern of Argo (with fifty oar-places between them) was a symbol of the orbit of Sirius B.


Also we will recall that arqi means 'the last day of a period of time'. So any period of time has a first day called tepi and a last day called arqi in Egyptian. And tepi describes the Argo just as arq is the origin of the very word Argo. And Tepi is part of a crucial descriptive title of Anubis whom I have equated with the Argo. There is even a further connection between tepi and the Sirius-complex. The word tep ra means 'the base of a triangle' and the words septa and septch both mean 'triangle' - Septit is Sirius and the triangle is its hieroglyph.

The basic meaning of tep is 'mouth' (hence the meaning tep ra sebek ' "crocodile's mouth" - a disease of the eye') and even more fundamentally 'beginning or commencement of anything'. It is interesting for the study of concepts of geometry to note that the Egyptians thought of the base of a triangle as its 'mouth' or beginning.

Now, the link-up which takes place between arqi and tepi - that is, the end of a cycle and the beginning of the next - could lead to some confusion without much trouble. If the last day of the old cycle is the arqi and the first day of the new cycle is the tepi, it would be easy to begin to think of the arqi as the beginning -after all, it and the tepi are adjoining each other and amount to practically the same thing. In a sense one could say that the true end of a cycle is the beginning of the next.


For us, New Year's Day is represented by a combination of an old man with a sickle or scythe walking away and a baby, representing the New Year. The two figures are together. Similarly, the arqi and the tepi are inescapable companions. As time passed and traditions decayed a bit, it must have been an easy thing to think of arqi as the actual beginning of a new cycle, since it was the end of the old. And it is this which I presume happened in Greek, for the verb arkomai means 'one must begin' or 'one must make a beginning'. And it is related to arche, which means 'beginning, starting- point', etc., and which survives in our architecture and archetype.


So here is further evidence that the 'ark' words in the Indo-European languages derived from the Egyptian arq words.

Another link of the 'ark' words complex with the Argonaut story is found in a strange place. One of the most peculiar of all treatises to survive from ancient times is the curious Of the Names of Rivers and Mountains and of such Things as are to be found therein.15 This treatise survived in the corpus of Plutarch's writings but is obviously not by him. In fact ,the treatise strikes me as basically a wild satire on a type of writing which was then common.


One of the rivers discussed in this treatise is the Phasis, up which Jason sailed to Aea in Colchis.


Of this river we read:

'It was formerly called Arcturus . . .'.

Without elaborating on this point, I merely wish to note that the very river at Colchis once may have had a name which may be related to the 'ark' word complex. Arcturus supposedly means 'bear-ward', referring to the ward of the bear known to us as Ursa Major, the Big Dipper.


Arcturus in Bootes is conceived of as its companion according to Allen, who says it had connections with Osiris and possibly Horus. This is probably another of the many confusions arising from 'companions' who are compared to each other. But as I said, I do not wish to be led astray by elaborating on the question of the name Arcturus and all that that would involve. I merely note the fact that the Phasis was once the Arcturus and leave it at that.

The name Phasis had connections with birds, such as with an expression 'the Phasian bird'. Recall the kirke or Circe connections with Colchis. It is interesting then to note that the phassa in Greek is 'the ringdove'. Forms of this word refer to doves and doves, are, as we have seen previously, intimately associated with omphalos-oracle centres marked out from Behdet.


And we know that Aea in Colchis, which is on the River Phasis and has such associations with the Argo and the oracles, is related to doves in this way and also because of the doves let fly from the arks and Argo. So the fact that Phasis and phassa are connected is no surprise. This river, whether named Phasis or Arcturus, seems to be aptly designated. It is also to be noted that in Greek a phasso-phonos or 'dove-killer' is the name of a kind of hawk.


And kirke is likewise!

Before leaving Plutarch behind, we might note also that in 'Isis and Osiris', he tells us that a name for Osiris was Omphis. An interesting tie-in with the oracles, attested by Plutarch as current in Egypt in his day.

To return to tepi, we note that tep ra means not only 'the base of a triangle' but 'divine oracle', which is also quite relevant. I have postulated that the oracles are connected with the Argo as representative of the orbit of Sirius B, the beginning of which I designate by tepi, and we discover that the name in Egyptian for 'oracle' is tep ra.

Tepi a became the word for 'ancestors', due to the connection of tepi with the beginnings of things. And the tepi-aui-qerr-en-pet were 'the ancestor-gods of the circle of the sky', which is again significant. Visitors, perhaps?

Gods of the circle in the sky seem to be referred to by Plutarch's account of the Persian religion in 'Isis and Osiris' (370 A-B). As many people know, the Persian religion prior to Islam was Zoroastrianism, which survives today as the religion of the Parsees of Bombay in India, to which city they fled from their Persian homeland when it was being conquered by the Moslem invaders.


The Persians are not Semitic Arabs but are Indo-European, with a language and original religion closely related to the Aryan Indians and to Sanskrit. In fact, the earliest form of Sanskrit, which is called Vedic, is very little different from the earliest form of Persian, which is called Avestan.

Zoroaster (also known as Zarathusthra) is known to have postulated two basic divine principles: Ahura Mazda the principle of light and goodness, and Ahriman the principle of evil and darkness. These two principles are also known by the names of Oromazes and Areimanius, which are the names used for them in Plutarch's treatise.


If we recall Plutarch's description, cited by us earlier, that Anubis was the circle dividing the light from the dark in Egyptian religion, it will be interesting to note that in 369 E-F he equates with this concept, by describing it in similar terms, the Persian god Mithras who mediates between the darkness and the light. Then in 370 we find this remarkable passage:

'(The Persians) also tell many fabulous stories about their gods, such, for example, as the following: Oromazes, born from the purest light, and Areimanius, born from the darkness, are constantly at war with each other; and Oromazes created six gods, the first of Good Thought, the second of Truth, the third of Order, and, of the rest, one of Wisdom, one of Wealth, and one the Artificer of Pleasure in what is Honourable. But Areimanius created rivals, as it were, equal to these in number.'

These twelve gods would seem to be zodiacal. But it is the following passage, immediately after this, which becomes really interesting:

'Then Oromazes enlarged himself to thrice his former size, and removed himself as far distant from the Sun as the Sun is distant from the Earth, and adorned the heavens with stars. One star he set there before all others as a guardian and watchman, the Dog-star. Twenty-four other gods he created and placed in an egg. But those created by Areimanius, who were equal in number to the others, pierced through the egg and made their way inside; hence evils are now combined with good.'

A footnote to the Loeb edition adds:

'It is plain that the two sets of gods became intermingled, but whether the bad gods got in or the good gods got out is not clear from the text.'

This passage is really deserving of some attention. We find a quite specific description of all this taking place in a region meant to be distinct from our solar system. The Persians seem to have quite clearly understood the fixed stars to have been beyond the system of the sun. This, at least, is what they seem to be trying to convey - a distinction of locale. In any case, the 'light' god Oromazes and the 'dark' god Areimanius each create twenty-five gods, which gives fifty.


And they are placed in an egg, which is an elliptical shape just as in an orbit. One of the twenty-five gods created by Oromazes is by a slight garbling said to be Sirius, but in any case, there were created by Oromazes the Dog Star Sirius plus twenty-four other gods which makes twenty-five and a corresponding twenty-five created by Areimanius - and they mingle in the shape of an egg.


What does that sound like ? And Sirius is specifically stated to be the chief one. And as Areimanius was the 'dark' god and his creations were 'dark', then his creation in opposition to Sirius would be a 'dark' Sirius, wouldn't it?


And as for the fifty gods arrayed round Sirius (speaking strictly from this text one would have to say the forty-nine gods arrayed around Sirius, but I speak of garbling of the tradition because, from what we already know from other such descriptions from elsewhere, Sirius should really be the fifty- first element) they obviously represent the fifty years of the orbit of Sirius B in an egg shape around the Dog Star as its 'guardian and watchman'.

There are further examples of a wavering between forty-nine and fifty in the ancient traditions.


Graves has these interesting remarks:16

'Chief priestesses were chosen by a foot race (the origin of the Olympic Games), run at the end of the fifty months, or of forty-nine in alternate years.'

Apart from the fact that Graves here speaks of 'the fifty months' as antecedent to the Olympiads, a point which we discussed much earlier, we see the alternative use of forty-nine and fifty as a quantitative time measurement. This is rather like the shilly-shallying between forty-nine and fifty in the above Persian description.


There is also this example from the Bible, in Leviticus 25, 8-13:

You shall count seven sabbaths of years, that is seven times seven years, forty-nine years, and in the seventh month on the tenth day of the month, on the Day of Atonement, you shall send the ram's horn round. You shall send it through all your land to sound a blast, and so you shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim liberation in the land for all its inhabitants. You shall make this your year of jubilee.


Every man of you shall return to his patrimony, every man to his family. The fiftieth year shall be your Jubilee. You shall not sow, and you shall not harvest the self-sown crop, nor shall you gather in the grapes from the unpruned vines, because it is a jubilee, to be kept holy by you. You shall eat the produce direct from the land.

The above words and many which follow them, but which I will not quote (as anyone can refer to the Bible for the full account), were spoken by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, and are Jehovah's directions as to what the Israelites must do. It is even more significant that Jehovah is made to say much later in the same speech, all of which has been devoted to his talk of his fifty-year jubilee and what must be done about it by the Israelites:

'. . . for it is to me that the Israelites are slaves, my slaves whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.'

Remember that Egypt as the source of the Sirius tradition had had 'brought out' of it the Sirius mysteries and traditions by Danaos to Argos, etc. It seems the Israelites too are part of this, though there will probably not be a single rabbi unshaken by such a suggestion.

What, then, of the forty-nine versus the fifty? Perhaps for explanation we should return to Robert Aitken's book The Binary Stars.17 In discussing the length of time of the orbit of Sirius B around Sirius A he says:

'Thus, Volet's orbit, computed in 1931, which differs very little from my own, published in 1918, has the revolution period 49.94, whereas Auwers gave 49.42 years' the point being that the orbit of Sirius B takes between forty-nine and fifty years and is somewhat less than fifty.

The Aitken book also firmly informs us that the orbit is an ellipse, as are the orbits of all heavenly bodies. But of course, when speaking generally of the orbit of Sirius B one does not say 'the ellipse', one says 'the circle'.


We say in common parlance: 'The planets circle round the sun,' even though we know their orbits are elliptical. And most mentions of the orbit of Sirius B in our sources are to 'the circle'. But, naturally, the Dogon draw a specific ellipse in the sand to represent the orbit of Digitaria (Sirius B). Figure 6 clearly compares the Dogon tribal diagram of the orbit of Sirius B around Sirius A with a modern astronomical diagram of the same.

We have already seen near the beginning of the book how the Dogon not only know that the orbit of Sirius B around Sirius A is an ellipse, but they also know the astounding principle of elliptical orbits whereby that body around which the orbit takes place inevitably tends to be at one of the two foci of the ellipse. For the Dogon specifically say:

'Sirius ... is one of the centers of the orbit of a tiny star Digitaria'.

Kepler first formulated this principle as a law of planetary motion - a revolutionary step forward in Western science. The Dogon also describe the orbit of the 'Star of Women' (a planet around Sirius C) as forming an ellipse with Sirius G at one of the centers.

Now, in light of the dithering over forty-nine and fifty just referred to, and the references to seven times seven equals forty-nine, seen in the light of the fact that the orbital period of Sirius B is between forty-nine and fifty years, which can be well accommodated as Graves says of the Sacred Year, 'fifty months, or of forty-nine in alternate years', thereby balancing out to a close approximation to reality by alternating the count successively as fifty years, then forty-nine years, then fifty years . . . etc., one can understand why the orbit of Sirius B around Sirius A is 'counted twice to be a hundred years', as the Dogon say and as was done in Egypt and in Greece, and which led to the double-Sacred Year of one hundred and the Greek goddess Hekate which means 'one hundred', and the hundred-handed ones of Greek mythology, etc.


It was because orbits of Sirius B had to be counted in pairs in order better to approximate a whole number. And the fact that this was the case among the Dogon and the people of the Mediterranean area seems to confirm beyond all doubt that the Sirius tradition of the Dogon is a survival of the Mediterranean (namely, Egyptian) tradition brought by the ancestors of the Dogon from the Garamantes Kingdom of Libya where it had been taken by the Minyan immigrants.

It is also significant and conclusive that the Dogon specifically say:

'The period of the orbiting of Digitaria is about fifty years and corresponds with the first seven reigns of seven years each of the first seven chiefs . . .'


'This rule was in operation for forty-nine years for the first seven chiefs who thus nourished the star and enabled the star to periodically renew the world. But, the eighth chief having discovered the star . . .', etc., combining also the sacrifice of the sacred chief concept emphasized over and over by Graves in his many references to the Sacred Year of fifty months.

This passage from Griaule's account of what the Dogon told him almost reads like a straight quotation from the Book of Leviticus in the Bible. Or from The Greek Myths by Graves!

  • Can there be any further doubt that the two traditions are identical?

  • That the Dogon brought it from the Mediterranean world into an obscure wilderness area where it has survived the ravages of time and empire amazingly intact and specific?

  • And that the Mediterranean tradition in turn really was about Sirius and the orbit of Sirius B, the great invisible ?

The Dogon tribe are really the last of the Argonauts, from whom they are quite literally descended - being Minyans in the middle of West Africa.

Turning to the Egyptian word henti, one finds that it is a name for Osiris and it also is 'a crocodile-headed god in the Tuat', which is the Egyptian underworld, and it also means simply 'crocodile gods'.

Hent is specifically 'the crocodile of Set'; hen-t is, interestingly, a specific locality of the underworld and means 'a district in the Taut'. But, more widely, hen-t is 'a mythological locality' which is not necessarily in the underworld.

It would seem that the fabulous Hen-t was a locality which had an underworld counterpart and obviously is somehow connected closely with both Osiris and crocodiles.

The name of this region, Hen-t, when taken as a common noun rather than as a name, means 'dual'. This is a strong clue as to the nature of the fabulous region. A region intimately connected with Osiris and whose name means 'dual5 is reminiscent of Plutarch's description of that circle or ellipse with its dual aspect of separating the light from the darkness.


Lest the reader think this far-fetched I must hasten to add a further meaning of hen-t which is 'border, boundary', and another which is 'the two ends of heaven' - which all appear to refer to a circle and have the hen-t ('dual') nature of outside and inside and the two extremes connected by a diameter. Hen-t also means 'end, limit', and a henti is a specific period of time lasting for 120 years.


Remember that the Sigui of the Dogon was every sixty-years and two Dogon Sigui make one Egyptian henti. In fact, a hen-t henti would be a Sigui or, perhaps, vice versa, depending upon one's grammatical preference. (The use of the word 'dual' can be rather ambivalent and be construed as either halving or doubling by the context.) And this dual time period is also rather like the two fifty- month periods which make the hundred-month period of that sacred Great Year connected with Sirius, which has a dual aspect.

Henti also has the meaning 'endless' - and the endless circling of Sirius B around Sirius A could be referred to here. Some such idea must be at work, otherwise how can the same word have the meaning of 'endless' and also of '120 years'? It must be a reference to an 'endless' cycling of perhaps the orbit of Sirius B or of the Sigui cycle's own basis. In any case, it signifies that the 120-year period was arrived at as an endlessly recurring cycle, and for that to have been the case, the 120-year period must have been quite important, which is exactly what one would anticipate. In Appendix III there is an explanation proposed for the true nature of the Sigui . . . and of the henti based on certain astronomical facts.

Considering that henti means all this and also means 'crocodile gods', etc., it is surprising to see that henn means 'to plough' and a hennti is 'a ploughman'. One immediately thinks of Jason ploughing the field for the dragon's (crocodile's ?) teeth. It may well be that the 'serpent's teeth' motif which was a pun for 'the goddess Sirius' was extended in another layer of pun to 'dragon's teeth' as a reference to crocodiles.

In connection with Sirius B being the hairy, bestial Enkidu-figure, we see with interest that hen means 'to behave in a beast-like manner' and a henti is also specifically 'a beast-like person'. In addition to henti being a name for Osiris, who is the companion of Sirius, we find it describing 'a beast-like person' who is the archetypal companion in Sirius-related legends.


And additionally, we find Hathor the cow-goddess, a form of Isis-Sirius, referred to as Hennu-Neferit. (Neferit simply means 'beautiful'.) But this word hennu with the double 'n' has the basic meaning of 'phallus' and has a phallic determinative hieroglyph, and therefore may not be related to the hen words with a single 'n' Hen-ta significantly means 'grain' in keeping with the Dogon concept of Sirius B being a grain.


Ham means the hawk-god Seker and his henu boat. This boat (echoes of celestial Argo) in 'the sacred boat of Seker, the Death-god of Memphis'. This reminds us of the Circe-complex and the death-god of Colchis. It must be emphasized that the hawk and the falcon are constantly being confused with each other not only in Egyptian studies, but I have asked falconers the difference between a hawk and a falcon and they vaguely suggest a difference in colour of eyes and that the falcon tends to be smallish.


A hawk supposedly has golden eyes (solar ?) whereas the falcon has brown eyes. But their habits are not identical and as there are various species of both hawk and falcon, confusion reigns supreme. The hawk and falcon do not seem to have been distinguished by the ancient peoples, or at least less so than the crocus and the colchicum (or 'meadow saffron').


Of course the differences were recognized in practice, but what we must realize is that in the ancient world the Aristotelian structure of genus and species for plants and animals did not obtain, and differentiation in linguistic or semantic terms did not resolve to so fine a focus. For such precision one would employ qualifying adjectives, but a systematic modern biological terminology did not exist.


Hence we found much earlier that kirke in Greek meant 'a hawk or falcon'. In short, they are as interchangeable at the level of terminology as the 'L' and the 'R' were interchangeable in Egyptian at the level of pronunciation and symbol. It seems the Egyptians, like the Chinese of the present day with their 'flied lice' for 'fried rice' had a paralamdism and inability to differentiate the two liquid sounds.


Indeed, the 'L' could be differentiated further if our ears were so trained. It is possible to pronounce a much more lingual and less dental 'L' than we use in English. But as for the French 'r', I confess to being as unable to form my tongue to pronounce that sound as Aristotle was, for instance, unable to pronounce the Greek 'rho' - this being considered by the Greeks to be a lisp.18

However, I have let myself digress. The subject of hawks and falcons can, it seems, be pursued to a resolution. Seton Gordon, probably the world's expert on the golden eagle, could not tell me a conclusive differentiation between them. Nor could an experienced falconer friend. I was becoming impatient at this lack of an answer until I learned from my friend Robin Baring, who had once considered becoming an ornithologist, that an extremely subtle difference between the hawk and the falcon does actually exist.


According to him, on a hawk, the fourth or fifth pinion feather is longer making a rounded wing, whereas on a falcon, the second or third wing feather is longest - making a pointed wing. I am not certain whether this is fully comprehensive to all the many species. In A Glossary of Greek Birds,19 D'Arcy Thompson says that the ancient Greek poet Callimachus (who was quite a scholarly gent) claimed there were ten species of hawks, and Aristotle claimed Egyptian ones were smaller than Greek ones.


It looks as if people have been trying to sort out hawks and falcons since the Creation. But if the reader is as weary of these birds as the author, let us agree to drop them and face the last few remaining Egyptian words. We have survived a waterfall; can we muster the strength to pull ourselves to shore?

Hensekti means 'hairy one' and also Isis and Nephthys. Nephthys could be identified with Sirius B who is the archetypal 'hairy one', but it seems more likely that Nephthys varied between being a name of Sirius B and being a name of Sirius C, the female star which was also invisible. The henmemit arc, tantalizingly, 'men and women of a bygone age'. The meaning 'to plough' of and 'boundary' of hen-t are linked through 'arable land' of henb-t in the word hen-b which means 'to delimit, to measure land, to make a frontier boundary'. (This seems to connect the single 'n' words with the double 'n' words after all.)


Thus, further possibilities for punning between a reference to the delimiting orbit of Sirius B and 'ploughing' in connection with the ploughing of the ground for the sowing of the serpent's teeth - serpent's teeth being a pun on the goddess Sirius, as we know. Hence a series of dizzying puns all interlocking.

Just for final measure we note that Hen-b is also a serpent god of the Tuat and Henb-Requ is a jackal-god, bringing us into liaison with the jackal/dog Anubis and Sirius B's orbit and adding as a final flourish yet another pun on serpent.

We recall that the throne and the oar were the two most common allusions to the yearly 'steps' in the fifty-year orbit of Sirius B. Also the name of the goddess Isis, which in Egyptian is Ast, means 'throne', and is represented by the hieroglyph of a throne. Significantly, then, as-ti using the same hieroglyph of the throne, means one in the place of another, successor'. This is a specific reference to the sequentially of the thrones. And the orbit which they represent, also known as Anubis, seems to be given specific recognition by the combined form Ast Anpu, which is Isis-Anubis.

Another name for Isis as Sirius specifically is Aakhu-t. In the light of this new name it is not surprising to learn that Aakhuti is 'the god who dwelleth in the horizon'. And aakhu-t sheta-t means 'the secret horizon'. Aakhuti are 'the two spirits, i.e. Isis and Nephthys'. And the aakhu-t are also 'the uraei on the royal crown', etc., demonstrating the origin of the most central of the Pharaonic insigniae. Hence yet further demonstration of the connection of the Sirius system with 'the secret horizon' of Sirius B's orbit and its profound importance to the Egyptians.

Another form of the name of Isis, Ast, is Aas-t, which is seen as significant if we note that aasten means 'one of the eight ape-gods of the company of Thoth. He presided over the seven . . .'


For this is a parallel to the Sirius- linked story of the Dogon, whereby the eighth chief presided over the previous seven chiefs as a means of signifying the orbital period of Sirius B commencing again with the advent of the eighth chief following the seven chiefs, each with a reign of seven years giving seven times seven or forty-nine years. This Sirius concept is here referred to in another form of the very name in Egyptian for Isis, who was identified with Sirius.

Another way of referring to Isis and to Nephthys is as Aar-ti, 'the two Uraeigoddesses, Isis and Nephthys'. There is an intimately related form of this word, Aararut, which probably is the origin of the Sumerian goddess Aruru's name. For she was the counterpart of Isis in Sumer and was known also as Ninhursag, Nintu, Ninmah, etc.


It is specifically in her name of Aruru that she creates the hairy Enkidu, companion to Gilgamesh. No doubt because Enkidu is related to Sirius B, she appears in this name in the Epic of Gilgamesh because this particular name is closely related to the Sirius lore, through its derivation from this Egyptian form.


And the fact that Aar-ti is a common name of both Isis and Nephthys, and Nephthys is more closely connected with the companion of Sirius, the appellation Arum is closer to Sirius B, who is also represented by Enkidu, than another name for the goddess Sirius which was not specifically shared with Nephthys, the dark companion.


This word also means 'uraei' and we have just seen that the other word for the uraei is related to the horizon of Sirius B's orbit, as well as also being shared with Isis and Nephthys - obviously shared because the orbit described by one is described around the other, and as we have seen several times, the orbit was common to them both and divided their respective precincts.


Therefore words connected with this orbit must be common to them both. And what more appropriate name for the Sumerians to use for the goddess in her role as creator of Enkidu, the dark companion of Gilgamesh, than a name derived from this aspect of the goddess ?

Sirius the Dog Star is represented by the hieroglyph of a tooth, so it is important also to know that there is a word in Egyptian which means both 'tooth' and 'dog'. I am referring to shaar, 'tooth', and sha 'a kind of dog', sha-t 'female dog', shai 'a dog-god', and Shaait which is a form of Hathor who is identified with Isis.

Also sha-t means 'one hundred', and is the Egyptian synonym for the Greek Hekate.

Another word for 'tooth' is abeh, and a related form of the same word means 'jackal'. In addition aba means 'to make strong', and ab-t means 'path'. App means 'to traverse', and dp means 'steps'. If I may be forgiven lack of grammar, app ab-t em ap means 'to traverse a path in steps', which is exactly what Sirius B does in its orbit. Since Anubis has been identified as the orbit of Sirius B, it is not surprising that a title of Anubis was 'the counter of hearts' with 'the counter' being the word api and abu meaning 'hearts'.


But if we altered that slightly to api-abt instead of api-abu, the meaning would be 'the counter of months', for abt means 'month'. Another pun with a deeper meaning with reference to the 'hundred months' (or years) 'counted' by Anubis, who is the orbit, as he traverses his ab-t em ap, his 'path in steps'.

To go on examining the Egyptian language would be superfluous to our present intentions. So would a continued elucidation of Sumerian religious names from Egyptian. But it would be just as well to fill in a bit of information on that transition which brought our Mediterranean Sirius tradition south from Libya to the Niger River. Herodotus told us how the Garamantes of Libya had been pushed further and further westwards and southwards. Graves says they were forced down to the Fezzan in the desert regions of south Libya. We find a further account in A History of West Africa by J. D. Fage:20

Herodotus, writing about 450 B.C., speaks of the Garamantes, that is the people of the oasis of Djerma in the Fezzan (who in modern terms would be accounted Tuareg), raiding the 'Ethiopians', i.e. black-skinned peoples, across the Sahara in two-wheeled chariots each drawn by four horses.


About 400 years later, another great early geographer, Strabo, says much the same of the Pharusii of the western Sahara, who may perhaps be equated with ancestors of the Sanhaja. . . . The chariots of the Garamantes and Pharusii were very light fighting vehicles, unsuitable for carrying trade goods, but it is a point of considerable interest that Herodotus's and Strabo's accounts of their activities have been confirmed and given added point by the discovery on rocks in the Sahara of some hundreds of crude drawings or engravings of two-wheeled vehicles each drawn by four horses.


The most significant aspect of these drawings is that they are almost all distributed along only two routes across the Sahara, a western one from southern Morocco towards the Upper Niger, and a central one running from the Fezzan to the eastern side of the Niger bend.

In The White Goddess, Robert Graves says also of the Garamantes:21

Herodotus was right in stating on the authority of the Egyptian priests that the black dove and oracular oak cults of Zeus at Ammon in the Libyan desert and of Zeus at Dodona were coeval. Professor Flinders Petrie postulates a sacred league between Libya and the Greek mainland well back into the third millennium B.C.


The Ammon oak was in the care of the tribe of Garamantes: the Greeks knew of their ancestor Garamas as 'the first of men'. The Zetas of Ammon was a sort of Hercules with a ram's head akin to ram-headed. Osiris, and to Amen-Ra, the ram-headed Sun-god of Egyptian Thebes from where Herodotus says that the black doves flew to Ammon and Dodona.

In his fascinating book Lost Worlds of Africa,22 James Wellard in Book Three, 'The People of the Chariots', discussed the Garamantes and related topics at some length. One of the most amazing elements in the story concerns an apparently lost civilization sitting under the sands of the Sahara which once was the centre of the Garamantian empire, and which was dispersed by the Moslem Arab invaders.


Wellard describes this civilization in suitably mysterious terms:

On the track which runs across the desert from Sebha, the modern capital of the Fezzan, to the oasis of Ghat on the Algerian border, the traveller crosses an underground water system that has few parallels for ingenuity and effort in African history. . . . Seen from inside, the main tunnels are at least ten feet high and twelve feet wide and have been hacked out of the limestone rock by rough tools, with no attempt to smooth the surface of the roof and walls. . . . How many of them actually remain is still not certain, though hundreds of them are still visible.


In places they run less than twenty feet apart and their average length, from the cliffs where they originate to the oases where they terminate, is three miles. If we assume from the 230 that remain visible that there may have been as many as 300 of them in this region of the desert, we have, taking into account the lateral shafts, nearly 1,000 miles of tunnels hewn out of the rock under the desert floor.

We are still not clear as to how the system worked. First, where is the entrance to these tunnels ? One can spend hours trying to find their inlet, and though the solution would seem easy at first, assuming that a particular mound is followed along its entire length, the investigator finally arrives at a jumble of rocks at the base of the escarpment without being able to tell where the tunnel has disappeared to. ... (the system possibly) presupposes an adequate and regular rainfall, in which case we have to go back as far as 3000 B.C. to find such a maritime climate in the Sahara Desert.


Could the foggaras be that old? . . . Wells are the only water sources in the Wadi el Ajal today, and they are adequate for the present population of some 7,000 people. If we compare this figure with the 100,000 or more graves so far found in the Wadi and dating from the time of the 'people of the water tunnels', we can get some idea of how populous this region was.... In addition, the construction of such an enormous hydraulic complex indicates an industrious and technologically advanced people who had reached a stage of culture superior to that of northern Europe before the Roman conquest.

We can, therefore, safely assume that,

  1. between 5000 and 1000 B.C. a cattle-raising and agricultural people belonging to the Negro race had occupied large areas of the Sahara Desert which they kept habitable and fertile by means of the foggaras

  2. it was precisely the prosperity of these defenceless Africans that incited the white settlers along the Libyan coast to invade the Fezzan

These immigrants (originally, it seems, having come to Africa from Asia Minor) were the Garamantes, the people of the four-horse chariots - first mentioned by Herodotus, who describes them as already a very great nation in his time. They thereupon appear and disappear throughout the classical period until, around a.d. 700, they vanish altogether as the last of their kings was led away to captivity by the Arab invaders of the Fezzan. Their Saharan empire had lasted over a thousand years.

Yet we know almost next to nothing about the Garamantes, and the reason is obvious: with the fall of the Roman Empire, Africa became a 'lost' continent, so much so that no European traveller reached even as far south as the Fezzan until the beginning of the nineteenth century.

I should add that it was the Emperor Justinian who destroyed North African civilization, before the Moslems came.

Wellard also says that in the Garamantian territory are myriads of tombs, pyramids, fortresses, and abandoned cities lying untouched by any archaeologist's spade.


For instance, he visited,

'the fortress city of Sharaba which lies out there in the desert gradually sinking beneath the sand. In the first place, perhaps not more than a few score European travellers have visited the site in any case, as it lies off the caravan routes in one of the more inaccessible pockets of the Mourzouk Sand Sea. ... In point of fact, archaeological research in the country of the Fezzan has only just begun. . . .'

After the Arab conquest of the Garamantian empire, the survivors fled south-west and 'fused with the Negro aboriginals on the south bank of the Upper Niger, and adopted their language', as Graves tells us in The Greek Myths,23 and as he learned from the books of the anthropologist Eva Meyrowitz.24

So that is some more light on how the Dogon and related Negro tribes of the Upper Niger came to possess their amazing information. It is a tale of thousands of years, and the drama was enacted across thousands of miles, which only seems suitable considering the nature of the message they were to carry into a much different world - the global village of twentieth-century culture.


According to the Dogon, 'the shaper of the world' visited the earth and returned to the Sirius system, having given men culture. Now that our race has set foot on another heavenly body and we are looking outward to our solar system, we are prepared to give serious consideration to any neighbors who might be within a few light years of us and have solar systems of their own which they inhabit and where they pursue their lives with the same desire to know, to learn, to understand, and above all to build a genuine ethical civilization, that motivates the best of us.


For if they are not so motivated it is doubtful that they will have survived their own technologies. In love one can live, but without love there is no world that will not poison itself. One must assume that any creatures living at Sirius will have come to terms with a wholesome and vital ethic.


If Sirius is indeed the home of a 'shaper of the world', then it may encourage us, too, to become shapers of worlds.




In ancient Egyptian, the hieroglyph and word for 'goddess' also means 'serpent'. The hieroglyph for Sirius also means 'tooth'. Hence 'serpent's tooth' is a pun on 'the goddess Sirius'. In the Argo story, Jason sowed the 'serpent's teeth', an idea which must originally have stemmed from this Egyptian pun. The Greek word for 'the rising of a star' also refers to 'the growing of teeth from the gum'. Therefore when the serpent's teeth were sown in the ground, they grew up from it as from a gum - that is, the star Sirius ('serpent's tooth') rose over the horizon.

Thus we see the mythological code language of sacred puns in operation. Behind the myths lay concealed meanings which are decipherable by returning to the hieroglyphics and finding synonyms which form puns.

We find explanations of the words Argo, Ark, Argos, etc., by looking for Egyptian origins. These words derive from the Egyptian word arq. But related words in Greek give clues as well: Argus was a dog connected with a cycle. Another Argus had one hundred eyes and watched over Io, who is connected with the Sirius traditions and Isis. The Egyptian word arqi refers to an end of a cycle, represented in the Odyssey by Argus. The Egyptian word arq refers to a circular concept and is the origin of the Latin arcere and of our arc.

A temple of Isis found in southern Italy has in its inner sanctum a painting of hundred-eyed Argus (portrayed, however, with a normal face and eyes). The mysteries of Isis were celebrated in this inner sanctum. Also the fifty daughters of Danaos traditionally brought from Egypt to Greece (and hence southern Italy) the mysteries of the Thesmophoria which according to Plutarch were Isis mysteries. So we see Isis connected intimately at the most secret and sacred levels with 'fifty' and 'one hundred' (Hekate) and Isis was identified with Sirius.

The earliest Egyptians believed Sirius was the home of departed souls, which the Dogon also believe. The Egyptians said that when a deceased spirit 'went to Nephthys' he revolved 'in the horizon' and 'revolves like the sun'. This is a pretty specific description of the dark Nephthys as a 'sun' revolving around Sirius.

The Egyptians also maintained that emanations from the region of Sirius vivified creatures on Earth. This, too, is believed by the Dogon.

Since the Egyptians believed Sirius was the other world of departed souls, it is interesting that they called 'the other world arq-hehtt, using the familiar word arq again.

In Egyptian the region of Sirius is described by a word meaning also 'throne' and 'weight' and similar to a word meaning 'dwarf.

The Egyptian word meaning 'fifty' (from which are derived the Arabic and Hebrew words meaning 'fifty') referred to the fifty hot 'Dog Days' of Sirius and also to 'a star that rests not' - obviously a moving star, namely Sirius B with its fifty-year orbit.

Sirius in Egypt is 'the Bow Star'. The Egyptian word for 'bowman' refers also to a heavy star metal connected with Anubis (which we have previously suggested refers to the orbit of Sirius B, which is, after all, made of 'heavy star metal'). The word for heavy star metal is similar to the words for 'dwarf and 'weight'.

The Egyptian word for 'the beginning of a cycle' (which would join up with arq meaning 'the end of a cycle') means also 'oracle' and 'the front and hind tips of a ship' - a vindication of my oracle-Argo. The same word also means 'the base of a triangle' (and the word for 'triangle' is a variation of the name for Sirius, whose hieroglyph is a triangle). We also have geodetic triangles, connected with the ark, from Thebes and Behdet.

Plutarch gives an account of a Persian description of the Dog Star Sirius, which is said to be surrounded by fifty gods forming the shape of an egg (elliptical orbit) in which the 'light god' faces the 'dark god.'

In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, Moses commands the Hebrews to observe a Jubilee every fifty years, but I have never heard of their doing so. Obviously the Hebrews did not understand the fifty-year orbit of Sirius B which Moses (who was an initiate of Egypt and 'raised by Pharoah') presumably had in mind.

In Egyptian the word for 'the secret horizon' also means 'the two spirits' - namely, the light Isis and the dark Nephthys. The same word also means 'the god who dwelleth in the horizon' and 'Isis as Sirius'. The secret horizon would seem to refer to the orbit of Sirius B in which Sirius B lives.

The Egyptian word for 'dog' also means 'tooth' (the triangle hieroglyph meaning 'Sirius' and 'tooth'), and also means specifically 'dog-god' and also 'one hundred'.

Another Egyptian word meaning 'tooth' means 'to traverse a path in steps' and 'to make strong', and is used in connection with Anubis in such a way that could be 'the counter of months while traversing the path'. A synonym means 'one hundred' and 'Sirius'.


We thus have:

'counting one hundred months while traversing the Sirius path.'

But Anubis who does this is 'a circle'. So we have: 'counting one hundred months while traversing the circular Sirius path'. Change months to years (as Moses might have done ?) and we have two fifty-year orbital periods of Sirius B.

We see that the ancient Egyptians had the same Sirius tradition which we have encountered from the Dogon tribe in Mali. We know that the Dogon are cultural, and probably also physical, descendants of Lemnian Greeks who claimed descent 'from the Argonauts', went to Libya, migrated westwards as Garamantians (who were described by Herodotus), were driven south, and after many, many centuries reached the River Niger in Mali and intermarried with local Negroes.

The Dogon preserve as their most sacred mystery tradition one which was brought from pre-dynastic Egypt by 'Danaos' to the Greeks who took it to Libya and thence eventually to Mali, and which concerns 'the Sirius mystery'. We have thus traced back to pre-dynastic Egypt well before 3000 B.C. the extraordinary knowledge of the system of the stars Sirius A, Sirius B, and possible 'Sirius C possessed by the Dogon.

We have thus managed to rephrase, if not to answer, the Sirius question. It is no longer:

'How did the Dogon know these things?'

It is now:

'How did the pre-dynastic Egyptians before 3200 B.C. or their (unknown) predecessors know these things?'

What is the answer to the Sirius question ? We do not know. But knowing the right questions is essential to an eventual understanding of anything. The many investigations which should properly follow upon the asking of the Sirius question may give us more answers than we could at present imagine.

Archaeologists have a difficult task trying to explain the many similarities between Sumer and Egypt, indicating some still undiscovered common origin for the two cultures -an entirely forgot ten civilization whose remains must exist somewhere.

But in considering the very origins of the elements of what we can call human civilization on this planet, we should now take hilly into account the possibility that primitive Stone Age men were handed civilization on a platter by visiting extraterrestrial beings, who left traces behind them for us to decipher. These traces concerned detailed information about the system of the star Sirius which is only intelligible to a society as technologically advanced as ours today.


Today was the time when we were meant to discover these coded facts, I feel sure. Today is the time we should prepare ourselves to face the inevitable reality that extraterrestrial civilizations exist, and are in all probability far more advanced in culture than we ourselves - not to mention in technology which could enable them to travel between the stars!

It may be difficult for us to avoid seriously entertaining that most disturbing and also exciting of notions: that intelligent beings from elsewhere in the galaxy have already visited Earth, already know of our existence, may possibly be monitoring us at this moment with a robot probe somewhere in our solar system, and may have the intention of returning in person some day to see how the civilization they established is really getting on.


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  1. Griaule and Dieterlen, Le Renard Pale, op. cit., p. 44: 'The establishment of categories, of classifications, of correspondences, constitutes an armature comparable to the framework of a construction, to the articulated bone structure of a body. What imparts life to them gives them their own physiology - is, for the Dogon, their relationship with God and with the order in the world he created, that is to say, with the way the universe was organized and functions today.


    • 'It is the myth that lights up the whole. Structures appear progressively in time and are superimposed, each one with its own special meaning, also with its own interrelations which are narrowly connected. That is what lends meaning to the succession of categories and stages of classification, which give evidence of the relationships established between man and what is not of man in the universe.'


    For a more complete account of how the armature of symbolic interrelationships extends even to the smallest daily action or object for the Dogon, one should read the entire section 'The Thought of the Dogon', pp. 40-50, in Le Renard Pale. This section expresses quite well the mentality required to function within a society grounded in reality at all levels. The one drawback to such patterns of thought is that they can ossify if over-elaborated as a baroque maze, and stultify free inquiry, as happened in the Middle Ages in Europe when the Church had the answer to anything, and anyone who disagreed could go fetch his rope and stake, make a bonfire, and commit himself to his divinity.


    There are dangers to anything; no system of thinking is perfect. Only the constant unremitting exercise of a free will and attention can regulate that most ill-regulated of organisms, the human personality, and keep it on course. 'Systems' all are panaceas, whether of thought or society, and all equally useless to the nonvigilant individual. The doctrine of the mean expressed in all sound philosophies is the doctrine of exercise of the attention at all times; the high-wire performer is the archetype of the successful man. {Successful not in terms of bank accounts, must I add?)

  2. Wallis Budge, Sir E. A., Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, 2 vols., London, 1911, Vol. II, pp. 294-5.

  3. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 156.

  4. Ibid., Vol. I, pp. 389-90.

  5. Plutarch, op. cit. This essay in vol. discussed in my Appendix IV.

  6. Ibid., Vol. I, pp. 106-7.

  7. Osiris, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 93.

  8. Ibid.

  9. Gods of the Egyptians, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 164.

  10. Osiris, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 311.

  11. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 341.

  12. See Wallis Budge, Sir E. A., An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, London, 1920.

  13. See Note 6.

  14. Sec Note 12.

  15. In Vol. V of Goodwin's trans, (ed.) of Plutarch's Morals, 1874, op.cit

  16. Greek Myths, op. cit., 60.3.

  17. The Binary Stars, p. 938.

  18. What is so odd about the Chinese inability to distinguish the two liquids is that they have both of them more or less in their own languages. For the 'L' is quite common and a sound rather close to an V is used in words which we commonly transcribe by a 'J', such as in the word jen, which is pronounced almost like 'run' in English and is the Confucian term for virtue.

  19. Op. cit., p. 65 under hierax.

  20. Fage, J. D. A History of West Africa, Cambridge University Press, 1969, pp. 14-16.

  21. Op. cit., p. 182 (Chapter Ten under 'D for Duir').

  22. Wellard, James. Lost Worlds of Africa, Hutchinson, London, 1967; also reprinted by The Travel Book Club, London, 1967.

  23. Op. cit., 3.3.

  24. See Notes 13 and 14 to previous chapter.