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Those Stygian Bastards!
Crackpot Mailbox: Shep Cues the Crackpot on Set, Enki and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden
Those Stygian bastards!
Shep
Jan 11, 2020, 3:13 AM (1 day ago)

Sir, I find this fascinating, but do not subscribe to the article writer's "ancient alien theorist" take on why these Lizard People Figurines, naked sometimes, padded sometimes, and not done up in regal fashion, meaning that the figurines must therefore represent aliens instead of idealized deities.
The idea that gods and goddesses must be represented as regal in human, material terms, is something that developed as a result of grain surplus civilizations, structured very much like the pyramids and ziggurats they reared. The abject poverty of Jesus Christ on the Cross and of Mary and Joseph with the Christ child about the manger, is a reaction against the ancient norm that emerged with civilization, not predated it. The sacred shamanistic aspects of material poverty, resurrected with Christianity and other austerity cults in late antiquity, was not knew, but represented a reaction against the blatant anthropomorphic corruption of interaction between the faithful and the holy.
First, this brings to mind Robert E. Howard's extensive lexicon of reptilian villains and snake cults, including "The Worms of the Earth" his best story, being kind of reptilian survivors of a prehumen civilization. He explores this extensively in his Kull and Conan hero cycles.
Below is my supposition, concerning the evidence, fragmentary as it is, that I have been treated to here and elsewhere, considering ancient Mesopotamian religious symbolism.
Real primitive faiths, including those one step into agriculture-based civilization, such as the Central American and South American cosmologies, revere many non-human deities, as a hold over from earlier animistic spirituality.
In our very first document, The Epic of Gilgamesh, we have a reptile which eats the plant of wisdom and everlasting life, denying the hero immortality and cursing him to the life of a man.
In perhaps the next most ancient text, The Book of Genesis, we have the devil in the form of a serpent, precipitating man's falls from ignorant bliss into aware sin.
Mesopotamian and Hellenic faiths persisted in mixing human and animal characteristics in their mythology, with mixed-species beings such as the Chimera, Manticore, Medusa and a composite sky-patriarch, crocodile, chariot deity found on the Golden Bowl of Hassanlu from 1000 B.C.
The reptile, particularly the snake and the dragon, have, across the world, been revered by the earliest religions as maintaining the wisdom agency of the old animistic order, which equates the lizard with patience and the snake with shedding of ignorance with the shedding of its skin, making one an avatar of omniscience and the other an avatar of elder lore.
As in Howard's Kull mythos, many Aryan civilizations saw the serpent as evil as it represented the ancient wisdom of the nations they conquered, and, as they maintained the women and married and enslaved them, then the fear of a snake cult would be the fear of betrayal at the hands of slaves, wife and progeny. Yahweh fixed this danger in the mind of Joshua when he directed the taking of no prisoners form among the land of Canaan, which was a very similar case to the conquest of Europe and the Middle Sea by Aryans, by which nomadic sky god tribes conquered sedentary civilizations possessed of a partially animistic and partially seeded earth mythos. The seeded earth aspects were subsumed in the adoption of female deities as the consorts of the sky gods, but the earlier animistic practices were suppressed into mystery or purged as dissident alternatives to the higher, heavenly animism of the nomad conquerors, commonly accepting and marrying their opposite, but rarely tolerating their like among the conquered, in the same way that women were sparred as mates and men slaughtered.
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Bryce SharperJanuary 12, 2020 10:34 PM UTC

"In perhaps the next most ancient text, The Book of Genesis, we have the devil in the form of a serpent, precipitating man's falls from ignorant bliss into aware sin."

The Hebrew word for "serpent" in Genesis 3 is a triple entendre. It means "Serpent," "Diviner," or "Burnished Bronze." Genesis is not describing a snake but attributes of an angelic being that inhabited the Garden and watched over it and interacted with Adam and Eve. This being - Satan - was crafty like a serpent, could tell the future ("You will not surely die but you will be like God (Gen 3:4-5), and was bright in appearance (2 Corinthians 11:14). Evidently, Satan didn't like the fact that humans would rule over angels and used God's covenant curse in Genesis 2:17 ("The day you eat you shall surely die") to attempt to use God to eliminate his rivals. God thwarted Satan with the protoevangelium in Genesis 3:15.

There are definite parallels with Babylonian and other Ancient Near Eastern religious mythology but Genesis should be viewed as polemical with respect to these other mythologies.
responds:January 13, 2020 9:52 AM UTC

Thanks for this.