[Graves, R. The Crane Bag. Cassell & Co. London. (1969)].
Leviathan (Genesis) = enhanced crocodile. Behemoth (Genesis) = enhanced hippopotamus. Ziz = enhanced crane (king of the birds).
Enhanced legendary monsters are often confused with fabulous or mythological monsters. Mythological monsters are “…pictorial devices explaining man’s relations with nature.” [10-11].
Centaurs/Satyrs “…simply represented totemic Pelasgian-Greek tribesmen disguised in their ritual dances as horses and goats.” . Similarly – bull-headed Cretan Minotaur. The Minotaur – killed by Theseus = King of Cnossos whilst impersonating the Semite Bull-God called El.
Account of the Minotaur = Queen Pasiphae’s child, the result of her yearning for a bull. Explanation of Minotaur’s birth =
“…the original matrilineal nobles of Crete, immigrants from Libya, had worshipped the Moon-Goddess Neith – ‘Pasiphae’ was a royal moon-title meaning ‘she who stands for all’ – and that their queen, Neith’s high priestess, was unhappily forced to acquiesce in the Semitic conquest of Crete and to accept patriarchal rule and patrilineal marriage with the invading chieftain.” . Thus = queen’s union – Bull-God’s representative.
Disgusted Cretans compared this marriage with the act of bestiality. There was also a Cretan Minotragos = a king who impersonated a Semitic Goat-God. NB – Zedekiah (son of Chenaanah) who spoke with the mouth of El, and bound bull horns to his head.
Began as simple pictograph of astronomical concepts. A lion’s head/goat’s body/tail of a serpent. Killed – Asia Minor – Corinthian Bellerophon. Origin = Leo (Lion); Goat (Chimaera in Greek, but capricornus in Latin); Serpent (Draco). All three = constellations Leo, Capricorn, Draco. Pictograph = sun’s widest orbit .
At an epoch when Leo, not the Crab, was the midsummer sign. Sun rose in the north-east stars of Draco and set in the north-west. Shorter midwinter course when risen in Capricorn.
Original Unicorn = horn of rhinoceros, the head of a deer, the body of a horse, the feet of an elephant, the tail of a lion. Began as a calendar pictograph. Of the five 72-day seasons in the Phaeronic calendar. Another calendar pictograph = the Phoenix. Ancient Egypt = no leap year. Annually, calendar out of step with solstices + equinoxes. After each 1,460 years the calendar = 1 year out.
The medieval unicorn = associated – male pride. Unicorn’s horn (desert Orgye or Narwhal – sea-unicorn). Royal Unicorn = Scotland. Royal Lion = England. Thus – James VI > James ! – Lion + Unicorn support crown on coat of arms.
Nursery rhyme – Lion fights Unicorn = took place in 1651. Thus – Scottish Army invaded England. (Army led by James grandson – Charles II). Lion-hearted Commonwealth forces drummed the Unicorn out at of Worcester.
The Phoenix = an eagle (royal sun-symbol). Born as a small worm on a palm-tree (phoenix = Greek) sacred to Isis. Worm – symbolised the extra few hours (accumulated as one day after 4 years).
Phoenix chick matures, worm > eagle after 1460 years (the Phoenix Cycle). End of cycle – bird > worm form. Cycle inaugurated by burning alive the bird in its nest of aromatic twigs. From the ashes a new worm was said to hatch. The Phoenix Cycle = the ‘Sothic Year’.
Sphinx = woman’s head, lioness’s body + and eagle’s wings = The Great Goddess. Thus – Queen of Birds (Eagle) = domination of the air. Queen of Beasts (Lioness). Sphinx = ‘the throttler’. Ritual murder was by throttling (without blood-shed).
When Oedipus overcame the Sphinx at Beotian Thebes “…his victory represented the same patriarchal triumph over matriarchy as the Minotaur gained at Cnossos.” .
“Mythological birds and beasts often change their semantic associations as society changes.” . Hence – Sphinx eventually > male. Unicorn > confused (in Vulgate Bible) wit the desert wild-ass.
Legendary – red serpent. Greek = Dracon = serpent. Saint George = Christianised Marduk (Babylon). Lizard type dragon = Chinese. Hence – travellers tales of Komodo Lizards.