Sunday, August 31, 2014

The name of the Ankh, continued: Kundalini around the world

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The foregoing series of posts has been exploring the evidence which suggests that the concept of "raising the Djed" is absolutely central to the ancient wisdom which was apparently given to humanity from some pre-historic source and which manifests itself in the world's sacred scriptures and traditions, from the earliest "historical" civilizations of Egypt and Sumer and Vedic India, ancient China, and around the globe to the lands of the Norse, the Americas, Africa, Australia, the islands of the Pacific, and the vast lands of Asia.

We have seen evidence that the raising of the Djed-column has a celestial component, in the cycles of the heavenly bodies of the sun, moon, stars and planets -- especially in the annual sun-cycle and the "Cross" that is created by the equinoxes (where the Djed is "cast down") and the solstices (where the Djed is "raised up"). 

And we have seen evidence which suggests that the same raising of the Djed-column has an individual component, in which each and every one of us has the opportunity to recognize (or even remember) the spiritual, celestial, and in fact divine nature inside ourselves and to raise it up within this material incarnation that we find ourselves in during our earthly sojourn. In doing so, we are connecting with the vertical component of the Cross discussed above, and transforming and transcending the horizontal, material, and animal portion of our human experience, according to the ancient wisdom texts and traditions. 

We have seen that this process of "raising the Djed" was also symbolized by the ancient Egyptians using the Scarab and especially the Ankh, and that the name of the Ankh and the linguistic sound of the N-K has found its way into a myriad of words which are associated with the process of raising our consciousness and restoring our cast-down inner divine nature, including the word Yoga (a derivation of yonga) and the English words king and queen.  

Alvin Boyd Kuhn has demonstrated, in texts referred to in that previous post, that the N-K sound at times shows up as the K-N sound, and sometimes as the N-G sound or the G-N sound.

In light of that fact, it may be instructive to examine still further manifestations of this all-important "sound of the Ankh," and see that they are in almost every case illustrative of the concept of the "raising of the Djed" that the ancient wisdom tells us is so central to our human existence.

Pictured above, for example, is a shrine in a temple in southern India, showing the intertwined and ascending serpents associated with the kundalini, the dormant, primordial, and divine life-force-energy in each of us, described as a serpent coiled at the base of the spine (notice from the quotations in the Norse Eddas found in this related previous post that the World-Tree Yggdrasil is always described as having a serpent or serpents at its base) which should and can be elevated through deliberate practice.

Obviously, the word itself begins with the K-N sound, which Alvin Boyd Kuhn would argue to be a connection to the name of the Ankh and to the concept of the hidden divine force inside each incarnate man and woman.  There is no doubt that the concept of kundalini is closely related to the concepts we have been discussing with the Scarab, Ankh, and Djed in previous posts, and it is hard to deny that the name of kundalini is closely related as well.

Here is a link to an interesting web page tracing the concept of the serpent-force of the kundalini through various world cultures.   

What other manifestations of the "name of the Ankh" can we find around the world which may be similarly instructive to our understanding of this absolutely central ancient teaching? Let's have a look!

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The ancient civilizations of South and Central America share a legend of a benevolent civilizing figure who was described using many different names by the Maya, the Inca, the Aztecs, and other cultures of the Americas, but whose characteristics were largely similar across many different legends from many different peoples, as Graham Hancock documented extensively in Fingerprints of the Gods, and as Thor Heyerdahl documented in previous texts including American Indians in the Pacific.  

Among the names of this divine figure are Conn, Kon-Tiki, Kukulcan, and Quetzlcoatl. The first three clearly contain the "Ankh-sound" in its K-N form. While the fourth does not, its meaning of "Feathered Serpent" (the serpent which can fly, or ascend into the heavens) is clearly related to the concept we have been discussing, and to the upwards motion of the kundalini mentioned previously.

The pyramid of Chichen-Itza (also called the Pyramid of Kukulcan) is well-known for its annual serpent-shadow manifestation, which appears each year on the equinoxes. The equinoxes, of course, create the horizontal line in which the Djed-column is cast-down, and so it is appropriate that the serpent in this case is seen coming down to earth on those days. Note that linguistically, the word Chichen in Chichen-Itza contains the K-N sound in its second syllable (chen), the K-sound in this case being "palatized" to the "ch-sound" (palatization is a linguistic term for the softening of the K-sound into a "ch-sound," as happened in English with the word kirk, that became church in southern parts of the British Isles, when the k-sounds of kirk were palatized into the "ch-sounds" of church).

Along the same lines, the sound found in the sacred name of the Ankh is also found among the Native peoples of North America in the holy name of the Great Spirit, which among different nations has been spoken as Wakhan Tankh, Wakan Tanka, and Omahank-Numakshi. The names of numerous Native American peoples contain this same sacred sound, among them the name of the Kansa or Kanza tribe, the Mohicans, the Mohawk (whose name for their people is the Kaniankenhaka), and many others too numerous to list within the scope of this short essay but which may be found through study by those interested in the subject.

It has already been noted in the previous post about the "name of the Ankh" that the name of the Inca comes from the title given to the kings of that people: he was known as the Inka.

The previous point about the "Feathered Serpent" of Kukulcan or Quetzlcoatl being conceptually (as well as linguistically) related to the kundalini serpent should point us to another "winged serpent," and one who is also a "fire serpent" (Alvin Boyd Kuhn has much to say about the "fire serpent" and about the element of fire, to which he devotes an entire chapter in his masterful 1940 text Lost Light). The "Feathered Serpent" or "Fire Serpent" I am thinking of here is the Phoenix, which traditionally starts out life as a worm or serpent found inside the ashes of the previous Phoenix, and which then grows into the fiery bird that flies upwards and away -- an upwards-rising serpent which is clearly related to the upward-rising motion of the kundalini.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

It is certainly possible to argue that the N-K-S sound at the end of the word Phoenix is related to the N-K sound of the Ankh, despite being commonly spelled -nix. Note also that Chinese legend describes a very important "fire bird" named Feng-huang, also called the "vermillion bird" (more discussion of Phoenix-birds around the world can be found here). That name clearly contains the N-G sound twice.

Along these same lines, we can suspect that the -nx sound at the end of the word Sphinx is, like the -nix sound in the name of the Phoenix, associated with the N-K sound of the Ankh.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The Sphinx was also a mythological creature, like the Phoenix, and is found in many myths in addition to being embodied in the famous Giza Sphinx shown above. In some legends, the Sphinx is also depicted as having wings, and in the myth of Oedipus the Sphinx is depicted asking the "Riddle of the Sphinx," which relates to the lifetime of a man, and hence to the incarnation we are discussing in the general topic of the casting down of the Djed-column and the act of raising it up (in the episode of the Riddle of the Sphinx, she gives the answer in terms of the ages of a man, although it could also of course apply to a woman; in any case, it is interesting that like the Phoenix, the Sphinx in mythology is often female, although sometimes male as well -- we might conclude from this that the message was intended to apply equally to all incarnate men and women).

The monument of the Sphinx at Giza faces due east, looking towards the point of the rising sun on the day of the equinox. In Keeper of Genesis: A Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind, originally published in 1996, Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock articulate their now-famous thesis that the monuments of the Giza Plateau reflect and model the celestial landmarks, specifically the belt of the constellation Orion and the outline of the constellation Leo (see especially pages 58 through 82). 

If so, then they are clearly associated with the "raising up" of the Djed-column (the "Backbone of Osiris"). The Sphinx, who looks towards the rising sun across the north-south watercourse of the River Nile, may also be associated with that "raising up" motion -- and there is reason to believe that the Nile itself was esoterically associated with the kundalini-serpent and the human backbone as well (I articulate some of the mythological evidence for this association in pages 137-147 of The Undying Stars).  And certainly the presence of the N-K sound in the Nile-facing Sphinx upon the Giza Plateau would seem to argue for the validity of this connection.

The connection of the Nile River to the rising "serpent force" is further established by the name of the sacred Nile's counterpart in India -- the sacred River Ganges (Ganga).  

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The sacred nature of the Ganges to Hindu tradition needs no embellishment here -- it is well attested and continues to play a central role to this day. Clearly, the name Ganga can be argued to contain "the name of the Ankh," and the restorative role that the river plays according to sacred tradition would argue that this alleged linguistic connection is not spurious.

It is notable to examine the evidence that there are very profound parallels between the sacred traditions of India and those of ancient Egypt, including the reverence for the Ganges and the Nile but also between the deities Osiris and Vishnu, both of whom are described as being "cast down" (and dismembered) and then subsequently "raised up" (a connection which I explore in this previous post).

Interestingly enough, there is new evidence that the worship of Vishnu is extremely ancient -- including this very significant discovery of Vishnu sculptures in the region of what is modern-day Vietnam, which Graham Hancock posted as an article on his website

While that article is noteworthy on several important levels, one point that should not be missed that is very pertinent to the present discussion is the linguistic connection that the article itself makes between the name of the Ganga in India and the name of the mighty Mekong River in Vietnam. The article calls the Mekong Ma Ganga, which is also the name given to the Ganges in India in the river's role as "Mother Ganga." There is certainly room to argue a connection between the names of the two sacred rivers. Here is a link to a beautiful post describing some of the points the author visited along the Mekong, and the ancient traditions which have been preserved to this day by those who hold the Mekong sacred. 

In light of the connections already shown between Vishnu and Osiris, and in light of the newly-discovered ancient Vishnu statuary in Vietnam, it is certainly plausible to argue a possible connection between the N-K or N-G sound of the Ankh and the N-K and N-G sounds of the Ganga and the Mekong. The reverence given to these rivers through the centuries (and the millennia) suggests the clear connection to the human process of "raising the Djed" and "restoring the cast-down" in our individual journeys as well.

Finally, it is perhaps not inappropriate to point out the undeniable linguistic connection to the Sanskrit word for cannabis or hemp, which is of course the word Ganja. It is well-known that Ganja is viewed as a sacred plant among Rastafari, and that it is seen as essential to the process of raising consciousness and seeing through illusions. 

It can be argued that here again there may be an ancient connection to the mighty Ankh, and to the central task of raising the Djed.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Note that the varied history of the human experience provides clear evidence that it is definitely possible to achieve states of ecstasy (transcendance of the "static" or physical vehicle of the body) without the use of external plant-derived substances, and that many shamanic cultures use a variety of techniques including drumming, chanting, rhythmic breathing, dancing, and other methods to induce ecstasy without the aid of plants. However, it would be ridiculous to deny that the use of plants, including ganja, peyote, ayahuasca, and mushrooms, has also played a central role in many shamanic cultures in shamanic rituals and techniques of inducing ecstasy.

In light of this, and the assertion in the previous post (which is traced out much more extensively in The Undying Stars) that all of the world's ancient sacred traditions are or were fundamentally shamanic but that there has been a concerted effort to rob humanity of this shamanic heritage, we must wonder whether the strict prohibitions against the use of these plants is not part of the same ancient campaign.

In any event, there is no doubt that the message of the Ankh and the raising of the Djed is absolutely central to our human experience -- and that tracing out the echoes of the N-K name of this ancient symbol can be greatly instructive.

There are certainly many more places where the name of the Ankh is hidden, waiting for you to discover!