Time symbolising 1

Time symbolising 1

The files are showing different kind of calendars from the oldest at Alta ca 4000 BC to Roman Age. The suite symbolises the moons of the year and mostly only the summer season. In this part is a look at Egyptian symbolising and ideas of time.

Egyptian calendar, Sethos night sky, time symbol, ideas of time, Egyptian time boats, moon calendar, Echnaton, Toth, time, Nut, time-flow, Follower, flying Etana, volador, Kalevala epos of Karelia, Swan of Tuonela, Gerum Volador, Karelian volador, Karnak

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Egyptian moon calendar

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Egyptian moon calendar from ca 1500 BC

This drawing is from about 1500 BC and it is mainly a moon calendar. The asterisms Scorpio and Ox are fixstars of equinoxes and then they originate from ca 3100 BC. We see also twelve wheels as a calendar contending months. The thirteen moons are below and the changing of years is in the middle. The ongoing year is a hippotamus with a crocodile on its back and the new little crocodile in hand. We see Horus the time or sun using a stele pointing at the Taurus and the opposite Scorpio with a moon symbol.

Some glyphs are special signs or icons in use with calendar or when writing about time. In the upper row fourth from right the symbol reads KA KA and in beginning of the third is a square with an eagle. In the second row the first wheel from right has a Hathor-cow icon with a year glyph. In the suite behind Taweret is Isis the leading one as she has been in Egypt for thousands of years before this drawing.

About watering the Earth from the Song the to Sun by Echnaton


You created the Nile under ground

You carried it on as you wished

keeping people on Earth alive


You is the ruler of the homes and houses

you their Lord when they are weak

When you travel, the sun of day

you frighten people in distant lands.

In heaven you created a Nile too

that it may fall on us

creating stormy rivers in the mountains

huge like mighty lakes

aimed watering fields around cities

Oh, how wonderfully you plan

Sun, Lord of Eternity

The Nile was meant for foreigners too

meant for cattle in all lands.


Of this we see that they had pragmatic thoughts about the circulating water. We use other words and symbols to tell that the waters rise from land and sea and come down again with the rain. In the Nile valley the hot summer of lions was a standing prayer for rain.

Observe that I use the original word Sun for Aton, since I do not think that my readers understand Egyptian. It gives another dimension to the poems!

Click for the entire Sun Song by Echnaton

Night sky of Ramesses IV

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The shortened half night sky from the tomb of Ramesses IV

The picture shows parts of the ceiling in the tomb of Ramesses IV ca 1163 - 1156. They have cut out a section in the middle with 23 figures in the lower row and three of the ships in the moon-ship row. The wall painting shows the entire Egyptian calendar in one half of the ceiling. The other half is a more detailed version that contends speculations about the night life. The same is case in another room in the tomb of Seti I similar to the calendar of Senemut with a moon calendar like that in the beginning of this chapter.

Both ceilings show the phase shift between the Age of Scorpio and Ox and the Age of Ramesess with Khnum in the lead, which is our Aries. We see it in the upper row to the left. In trhe row there is first a pillar with a bird which is Crab/Cancer, The two sitting images are our Bear-watcher and Libra, Then follow Khnum our Aries and the bird with Amun-feathers is our Eagle

The Arabians have still a 354-day year but it is running, while in ancient times they synchronised sun and moon years by counting the eleven days 354+ 11 = 365. However the Ramadan was like at half year and the winter season started then and that was the same in both big river cultures.

From the vase painting we may see that they had a half year of 9 x 22 = 198 days or nearly seven moons. Whole the year was 9 x 40 = 360 days. It a little confusing since we cannot speak about half year counting. The season of Toth the Moon was seven moons and after that followed the other season around five moons with Atum the Evening Sun as leader. However the calendar vary from temple to temple. Her I give only what we can easy explain.

Here shortly about the painting it will be discussed later in detail. In this picture a short section is cut out in the mighty picture from a ceiling. In the lower road are 22 stars and in the next row starting from the three Crows there is 16 more with Toth as the last. A star showed many of the Egyptian and Sumerian gods in the beginning of their name or as here on their head. But here they are not all gods, but specified stars to fit the decades.

However we see for an example ninth from left in the lower row is Osiris. Thus, he is a heavenly god. Five more stars ahead we see a text above the staress and it shows a Sail surely that of Argos. The upper row begins with three Crows we nowadays name Crow on the star chart. Originally this has surely been a one or three pickaxe before they invented the arder.

Under Leo is Crater, symbol of watering and Virgo with her ax is a symbol of growing. There are pairs of Hunting Dogs and they are like the three Crows on the line when new age s began.

Toth was among many other things manager of time. Here he is the last of the star year. In the lower row is also eight figures with the same serech (cartouche) above and eight presume

In the left corner crosswise are boats and remedies to determine Ramadan when the late summer moon is at its lowest. In the upper row from left are the four symbols of quarters and stars of solstices and equinoxes. First is the Eagle with Amon feathers a likely figure is found in Bohuslaen. Next is Khnum our Aries and third is a pillar maybe with a Horus hawk.

We know a similar icon from Greece. Last is pair that is our Libra and Arcturus. In the row is forty figures and probably used in the moon year. In the second row are four boats of quarters and the first have the half moon or hook used to show Ramadan sometimes. In the middle of the row are some symbols belonging to moon counting and a figure Fox on a scythe as the pole. On the Egyptian sky the pole stands low and the new moon is lying.

Time symbols

Time is indefinitely continued existence if we follow one of the Concise Oxford definitions. This one corresponds closely with the Finnish word A-I-KA that we may read "a flow go". The Anglo Scandinavian word has the root TI, which in many early languages was symbolised with an arrow. The root is also used in words inferring flow.

Until the middle of this century the majority lived on the countryside and was near the flow in nature. Our ancestors said them where in the flow. They meant their entire living space and the duration of growing as flow. In Sumerian TI means "life".

Time is progress viewed as affecting persons or things. This is another definition but not quite as good as the first, because then would follow that time existed as the cause and force. Again we meet the problem in holding apart the virtual otherworld from the real world. Only material things or doings affect persons and things, but we may say that they happened at certain points along a timeline.

The Egyptian solution picturing the visible part of the circulation is from the New Kingdom after 1500 BC.

I guess next question would be too difficult for a citizen? A farmer could maybe draw some image of the living space and the daily continuos flow in the biosphere. The difficulties come when we request simplicity so that a child might understand.

In the boat the sun has a suite that means usually different circumstances during the journey. Here the first is Maat, which means order in this case. In the Egyptian drawing is much consideration. We ought to know their entire outlook really to explain all.

The enclosure is Nut and she contains the stars. Tefnut, the damp holds up the biosphere. It is the cultivators' image, because a cattle-breeder would have used a cow. In growing they were interested in the rain and the Edda is telling about the giantess that let her water from the heaven.

Many hunters and cattle-breeders were so close to their animals that they outlined their living-space as if they lived within their main animal. They need also rain to feed the grass. In Danish and Italian they call Watergate the Milk gate.

When we read a word we do not reflect a bit about what the word describes, because we have learnt for what it stands. We should also omit the forms in the Egyptian image and concentrate on what it really describes.

The sun has more than one function and the conditions vary thorough time. Flow of photons from the sun gives the growth. The Egyptians were aware of that. Another function was that we use the sun and moon to count time. In other words the cycles of sun are used as dividers.

To the left is a figure with crown and two symbols. The spiral IN means spring and the cone is the harvested grain in autumn.

Illustrating time-flow as a river and our journey in time as a tour in a boat is natural. They talk about the Judge River and mean the Judge Time. They show the same in consequence with vocabulary as we when we not always keep distance to the virtual world.

In our days we would not draw a closed living space. That because some nations invest rather the money in growing tomatoes on Mars, than organise their own society to total wealth. For the military industry and space they always find the money, but for health and common security they do not. Some explores want to own the entire universe.

Anyhow, Egyptians, Hittites, Greeks and others enclosed their living space and set their main gods as a virtual Otherworld in outer space.

Sometimes they rationalise and have a Follower sign showing that a known suite is in the boat.

The glyph is one of the older and content of a hooked staff, a foot, a knife and probably a pack. Gods, the Pharaoh, officials and other Sires let their servants carry whatever they needed. We saw earlier that man become the legs of bigger and smaller gods real as well as virtual. A swallow foresees normally the dawn. In graves it is a wish for resurrection. In our graves more than ten thousand years ago they enclosed a wing in the grave and the same is found during Bronze Age.

This picture is speculation about the invisible part of the circulation.

In the underground the night boat is on its way along the serpent and four jackals pull it. The chief-jackal as idol was chosen because the jackals are feed on carrion and create new life of dead meat.

The four Ureus-serpents are signs of rising. Otherwise, the baboons with their chatter like our cocks wake up people in the morning. Another symbol of night sun was the dung-beetle Kheper. It rolls the sun when it transports the dung ball. A poetic and true image about how the sun in detail feeds the soil.

First known trial towards space at least as an idea

The Sumerians analysed early that we could only solve problems of man on earth. That we find in the myth about the flying Etana, a very sensitive father who wanted to ease the pain of his wife when she was to give birth. He tried a virtual flight to the gods in heaven, but understood that man has to meet the pains as well as the well-being without help from outer space.

The volador is still in use in some places like Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico. We know it from India and Siberia too. In Bohuslaen folk-memory have saved the place-name Ruangstungur, i.e. wind-pole. Then associating it to Windmill Hill is natural although the connection is weaker. The same is the case at a feast place at Kinnekulle Vaestergautland where a big stone with a whole is spared.

From the Aztecs we know that the volador was used at astronomical events and the flyers wore bird-feathers. On the zodiac it is the Eagle and the Swan and thus birds of autumn. In some places we find symbols that could be interpret as birds and it is also possible that some tumblers are the image of birds.

From the Estonian Society of Prehistoric Art I borrow this Karelian picture.

We see four swans that ell us they followed Swan four times a year in the same way as the Egytian Khnum. In Kalevala epos of Karelia the Swan of Tuonela is symbol of the last Otherworld.

Tuone = away and in the general astro-symbolism the Ramadan was where the Watergate crosses the ecliptic and the birds flow downward. Dead and harvest was associated to that part of the round. We se the volador with three arms and that is symbol of trisection of the moon year. We see on right wing a pair in the same way as on the next Gerum volador. From that we can see they tied the moon year to Geminis. In Indus civilisation they used Unicorn below the Gemnis. The Karelian volador make it easier to understand the other.

A carving from Gerum Bohuslaen is a retouch and contains what it seems to belong to the ritual.

The birds to the right, the Tors hammer, and the animal perhaps Leo is from the zodiac. I suppose the Scandinavians had never seen a lion and just carved something like the animal. Otherwise they had a very steady hand and could catch the form of an animal exactly. I have found a carving of a snow leopard with its characteristic long tail on the ground.

In front there is a suite and we see also two groups of worshippers that are very rare on carvings. The suite has a forerunner, the pair and a little one, the lure blower or warner and the defender.

On the top there is a man with bullhorns. They may not date the carving as they were in use during the entire Bronze Age. The lure of the man in the suite is of same shape as in the Kivik grave and may date it to after 1350 BC. However, there is a lot of unreliability here because the rock is very eroded and there may be more layers of carvings.

This is a normal problem in many places. Our ancestors thought the rocks would be everlasting, but they did not know the real nature of mankind.

Usually interpreters call all vessel-like figures ships. But in this book we go more into details and use the word boat for smaller vessels, as we do not know whether that had bigger ships. We have to define the difference between the image and what they meant to say. Then the Egyptian picture material is a good teacher. We may call boats with a suite a ritual boat. A ritual boat represents mostly a boat meant to be used at a feast as at Abu al Haggag. Amon of Karnak sailed with Mut and Khons and their followers from Karnak to Luxor. This feast is still going strong.

To the same kind we may count other procession boats with people or offer. A special kinds are models of real boats in the graves which tells us about the normal life in Egypt thousands of year ago. Life has at places not altered a bit to our days.

Indirectly the boats with a suite tell about a defined period as the ritual boat with its figures is looking forward and tells what is to happen. Often one figure tells about beginning of the season and another tells about the end.

Our carved boats and ships are much alike. However it is first in the late Bronze Age we find many human-like figures. Instead the strokes as units stand for different elements in time. They may count days, periods or other units. Some vessels have a sign in the stem and another in the stern telling about which period is in question as to and fro.

Other boats of seasons have a figure from the break point as there normally were four important days in the ritual year: Imbolic or Candlemas, Beltaine first of May, Lugnasad or second of August and Samain/Bron Trogain the meat feast at October. Here I use the Celtic year we know for sure. Another division is equinoxes and solstices.

At Haugsbyn Dal we have two other types of symbols for a defined period. Here they are on a little rock at the Spit.

Whole the image we may name "marriage" as it was a natural idea when animating how nature gets two fertile forces together and they together make a follower. A circle encloses a bit of the Universe and become a unit and we have to imagine what may be within. The circle is also used to enclose time, sometimes a whole year, but during Bronze Age often a quarter. Some may see it as the sun. That is true since the sun counts years. However, the nearest words are a year and a quarter.

The serpent is a dynamic living symbol of time. I suppose their word was ADDA that also we may read to and fro and is the root in the word ladder where the prefix "l" gives it determination. A serpent was also the womb of the Earth and as such ongoing life in time and space. Thus if one join two serpent it is like a marriage or when two forces have to work in the same direction. A Year is sometimes drawn as two-jointed serpent plus a little bit.

In every chapter of this analysis ought to be the warning: "Keep the map and the terrain apart!" We inexperienced forget easily that gods were idols or dynamic icons of natural forces as well as methods of getting something out of nature. Normal people are satisfied with food and clothes for the day. Rich people want spices and decorations on the table and jewellery on their women.

When they created the gods, idols and icons once, the body had to learn that pure talk has done nothing. They made them to be symbols for dividing the heavenly vault and guide everyday life.