compiled by Dee Finney

Matthew 24:29-31

29 "But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31 "And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.)



6-10-09 - DREAM - I was in the backyard of my 16th St. house.  We had a really bad storm and the water froze under the shingles of the garage, which raised them up really high (they were emerald green)  The next morning, the ice all thawed and the shingles started sliding off the roof.  I was going to run into the house to tell my Father about it, when I heard a strange noise.  And when I looked a huge baby eagle with its white baby feathers and a naked neck and head flopped down onto the roof of the garage.  This baby eagle was about 2 feet long so I knew it was going to be a huge eagle when it was grown.

NOTE: This might relate to the grid shift and alignment that is coming:

Also see:


Also note this: 

The "Phoenix" is already stirring in its nest, deep below the surface of our planet....

As it did 12,500 years ago, the Earth will readjust the accumulating burden of ice in the polar regions which has thrown it out of its delicately poised spinning balance.

In taking flight as the "Phoenix", the entire crust of the Earth will break free of the weak, liquid bonds which hold it fixed to the core of the earth. Briefly, the surface of our planet will slide over its fluid bearings of molten magma 200-400 miles below the surface, shifting the polar ice caps to the temperate zones where they will melt. A great portion of the Earth's surface will be radically changed by severe earthquakes, hurricane wind storms, and huge tidal waves.

This event was remembered by the ancient Egyptians as the flight of the Phoenix. They built the Great Pyramid to memorialize the last flight and transmit into our consciousness the certain knowledge that it would come again. It is coming. The past will become the future.


6-12-09 - DREAM - I was moving into a new apartment in a building where we also worked and this apartment was the first floor between my female boss and my male boss who was also her boss.

I wasn't quite done moving in yet, and was standing in the hallway with a couple objects on which there was a large round ticking clock.

My male boss walked by and stopped to admire the clock which was ticking quite loudly. I hoped he wouldn't notice that were late for work and when he admired the clock, I offered it to him to put in his office and he accepted.  I could always get another clock and this clock seemed to please him.  I pointed out to him that the clock had some dust inside the body of the clock and that it would need to be cleaned and he said he would take care of it.  (I didn't notice what time it was on the clock but it seemed very important to the boss to have it so he walked away with it to his office)

Pink Floyd:  Time:

More about Pink Floyd

Michael Jackson: Remember the Time

Cindy Lauper: Time After Time:

Billy Joel:  The Longest Time:

Also see:

  1. The Cycle of Time Number 432

    This article speaks of the number 432 that is found in worldwide myths and religions.
    Most often, it appears as a
    time cycle number.



I went into my apartment for a moment and saw that it had no furniture and had some clothing in piles, but nothing was hung up. I wondered if I would even be able to find my underwear.

My roommate was cooking a meal, and she needed something fixed and it took a screwdriver.  I asked her if she had a tool drawer in the kitchen cabinet, and started opening all the drawers in the kitchen looking for a tool drawer and saw that she had no tools whatsoever so we couldn't fix whatever was broken unless we had a screwdriver.

The telephone rang then, and I answered it and there were two male voices on the phone and it was hard to distinguish what each person wanted, except one old man said he was depressed and that's why he decided to call and he started to read a prayer - but I couldn't make out which prayer it was or a Bible verse perhaps because the other man was talking at the same time and I couldn't focus on either voice.  Then my roommate picked up the extension of the phone and started talking too, and the old man must have hung up and I let my roommate talk to the remaining man.

I walked down the hall to my female bosses office and saw that she was working on some computations about electricity and a couple large monetary numbers were highlighted in yellow highlighter.  Another man walked in who was in charge of electricity and she showed him her computations and told him that she would pay half from one account and pay the other half from another account.  He seemed pleased that she had figured out how to pay for it, and that pleased her that she had figured it out. The number was really large - in the billions, and I wondered what people were going to have to sacrifice so she could take 'their' money to pay the electric bills.

The man had a notebook with him and on the page that was showing was a series of doodles, and each doodle was the letter S in cursive writing and each S was in a different shape, neatly drawn with three lines in the letter S followed by the letters 'elf' in plain print  (which makes the word  Self) and I wondered how many ways one could draw the letter S in cursive and still have it be recognizable.

The man then turned the page and that page had a full page of doodles of the sun that his uncle had done and each sun had a different size and shape and the last one was really large and misshapen, and my female boss said to the man, "Henry!  I hope you aren't trying to be like your uncle Harold!"

Henry said, "Uncle Harold was trying to prepare Humanity!........

and I woke up.

Joe suggested this might be about the Eagle of Zeus which is the first thing I looked up, but an hour or so later, when I was sitting on the sofa watching TV, all of a sudden, I got the thought "the Storm Bird Zu".

The name Henry means:The boy's name Henry \he(n)-ry\ is pronounced HEN-ree. It is of Old German origin, and its meaning is "home ruler". Norman name that is a favored royal name (for eight kings) of England and France.

The name Harold means:The boy's name Harold \ha-ro-ld\ is pronounced HARE-uld. It is of Scandinavian origin, and its meaning is "army ruler". Herald is also literally "one who proclaims".

Photos above from images



From: Mahala G.
Subject: war in space
Date: Saturday, June 13, 2009, 2:37 PM

Hi Dee,
I had a dream on May 9, 2009 about the war that is going on in space. It is quite awesome. I was on a ship watching the lazer beams being fired at each other. Richard Hoagland said on coast a couple of nights ago that they have put a block out on any news regarding anything in space like space rocks, etc. He also talked about the war in space. I wonder how long it will continue.
Anyway, have a great day!
Hi Mahala:  I'm glad you dreamed about it because its true. 
Steve Quayle announced on his radio show:  (  the other day that an object is coming in from space that is 15 to 20 miles in diameter and it is coming towards earth, changing trajectory and speed - and hordes of scientists are rushing down to Antarctica to see what this thing is.  No more details were given - all that stuff is classified now according to the article that came out just this week after the object was spotted.

No asteroid or comet changes trajectories or speed unless it's intelligently guided.

I listened to Richard Hoagland talk about it just yesterday on the  archive, and I heard the other guy who was on a few weeks ago, and he said he can see the fighting up in space about 200 miles up with his infra-red telescope.  that was an awesome show to listen to also.
That is until I found out how those infra-red telescopes cost and I can't afford to get one.
But, I had a dream about it too - war around the sun - that was some time ago.



I hate to say it, but I've had many dreams about aliens shooting lazer beams at people on the ground, not just in space, but as long as the government refuses to talk about it, should we worry?????  How many pilots have we already lost in space because nobody ever reports deaths like that. 

A crop circle has appeared since I created this page, that people are saying predicts bad things to happen with the sun during the lunar eclipse of July 7, 2009

A crop circle has appeared that researchers interpret to be a message that the Sun is about to emit five Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) that will hit the Earth on July 7. The crop circle first appeared at Milk Hill England on June 21 and has evolved over three stages up until June 30. Researchers interpreting the complex images in the crop circle believe these represent positions of planets that correspond to July 6 and 7 as dates when CMEs will hit the Earth. If so, this may be the first barrage of CMEs to hit the Earth in Solar Cycle 24. Importantly, scientists will be able to directly study the impacts of large amounts of solar plasma penetrating a breach in the magnetosphere first reported by NASA scientists in December 2008.

NOTE:  Thus far, according to  there have been no sunspots capable of delivering a CME anywhere,, much less towards earth, but one did appear on July 5, which is crackling with x-rays, which are also worrying some people.

Here is the crop circle. It was increased in size in three phases and now looks like the second photo.

The long strings of glyphs below the main structure are said to be Mayan numbers.  Only an expert could determine exactly what it says.

Here is the information about the eclipse.

The global visibility of this lunar eclipse is shown in the diagram below.

Global Visibility of the Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon on 2009 July 07



The Sun Bird or Phoenix

Edgar has "collected considerable evidence which supports the theory that the ancient Egyptian 'winged solar disk' symbol and the analogous Mesopotamian 'ring with wings' symbol were, in all probability, inspired by ancient observations of total solar eclipses. They were evidently inspired by the Phoenix bird aka 'Bird of the Sun' that is readily perceivable within the sun's corona during the total phase of some total eclipses of the sun. The diaphanous equatorial streamers of the corona, which are most pronounced during total solar eclipses that occur during years when the sunspot cycle is at its minimum phase of activity, bear a remarkable resemblance to the outspread wings of a glorious celestial bird while the plume-like polar rays mimic the fanned-out tail-feathers of a bird. This wing-like appearance of the equatorial streamers of the sun's outer corona was first remarked upon by professional astronomers in the latter half of the 19th century and it quickly became fashionable amongst astronomers to refer to the sun's coronal streamers as 'wings'. The mythological Phoenix bird of classical Greek mythology can be shown to have been inspired, at least in part, by the Bennu bird heron god (Phoenix) of ancient Egyptian religion. There should be very little doubt in modern minds that the enormous cosmic 'Sun Bird', is the source of inspiration for many, if not most, mythical birds.

"Elmer G. Suhr, in his regrettably now out of print book on eclipse lore 'The Mask, the Unicorn and the Messiah', clearly recognized that total solar eclipses were the awe-inspiring celestial phenomenon that, in all probability, originally inspired not only the phoenixes of both the ancient Middle East and the Orient, but also the garuda Sunbird of Indian religion and other mythical Sunbirds:

'There was perhaps no astronomical phenomenon more startling to primitive and early civilized man than the total solar eclipse. Without any warning by way of sound or sight he noticed an eerie and untimely darkness settling over the land, and when he looked at the sun, he saw a menacingly dark circle covered the bright central area of light; from the edge of the darkness a desperate flare of shooting light heightened the dramatic effect of the experience, a flare which tended to take on a feathery texture, so much more spectacular in contrast to the dark centre; in an annular eclipse the light takes on the form of a bright ring. Since the flare of the total eclipse frequently reaches out farther on two opposite sides, the Assyrians and Egyptians pictured this effect as the wings of a mighty bird. The Chinese also developed the bird with outstretched wings in their image of the sun. Then followed the creation of the phoenix, the garuda of India and fanciful birds to represent the sun itself.'

"The primary religious symbols of the ancient Egyptians was the red sun disk. It represented the various Egyptian sun gods including Ra. This sun disk was usually encircled by, or rimmed on either side by, the 'ar'et serpent, also known as the uraeus or 'fiery cobra'. The uraeus cobra was often depicted with a sun disk perched on its rearing head to emphasize its association with the sun. The sun's chromosphere could easily be perceived as a cosmic serpent encircling the sun, with the flaming red solar prominences appearing to the ancient Egyptians to be the rearing heads of flame-spitting cobras. When elongated vulture wings, inspired by the equatorial streamers of the corona, were added to the solar disk stretching out on one or both sides, the sun disk became the 'winged disk'. According to the book 'The Migration of Symbols' by Comte Eugene Goblet d'Alviella, 'It has been said, with good reason, that the Winged Globe is the Egyptian symbol par excellence. According to an inscription at Edfu it was Thoth himself who caused it to be placed above the entrances to all the temples in order to commemorate the victory won by Horus over Set, i.e. by the principle of light and good over that of darkness and evil.'


Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009

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Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009
Image:Solar eclipse animate (2009-Jul-22).gif
Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009
Type of eclipse Gamma 0.0696
Magnitude 1.0799
Saros 136 (37 of 71)
Maximum eclipse
Duration 398 s (6 min 38.8 s)
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 24°12′36″N 144°06′24″E / 24.21°N 144.10667°E / 24.21; 144.10667
Max. width of band 258.4 km
Times (UTC)
Partial eclipse 23:58:18 (Jul 21)
Total eclipse 00:51:16
Central eclipse 00:54:31
Greatest eclipse 02:35:21

The solar eclipse that will take place on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 will be a total eclipse of the Sun with a magnitude of 1.080 that will be visible from a narrow corridor through northern India, eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh, Bhutan, the northern tip of Myanmar, central China and the Pacific Ocean, including Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands and Kiribati. Totality will be visible in many cities such as Surat, Varanasi, Patna, Thimphu, Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Shanghai, as well as over the Three Gorges Dam. A partial eclipse will be seen from the much broader path of the Moon's penumbra, including most of South East Asia and north-eastern Oceania.

This solar eclipse is the longest total solar eclipse that will occur in the twenty-first century, and will not be surpassed in duration until June 13, 2132. Totality will last for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds, with the maximum eclipse occurring in the ocean at 02:35:21 UTC about 100 km south of the Bonin Islands, southeast of Japan. The North Iwo Jima island is the landmass with totality time closest to maximum.

  1. Fred Espenak and Jay Anderson. "Total Solar Eclipse of 2009 July 22". NASA, July 2004.
  2. Kosmandu Astronomical Society 2009 Solar Eclipse in Nepal Page

See also

External links

ZEUS IS THE PROTOTYPE OF THE INDO-EUROPEAN SKY-GOD.  His name is derived from the Indo-European root meaning "to shine".  He is the cloud gatherer, the storm bringer, and the one who brings forth rain from the sky.  His symbol is the thunderbolt, and he has been associated with the Babylonian Storm Bird Zu, the Hindu Gods Brahma, and Indra, and the Roman Jupiter.


THE AETOS DIOS was a giant, golden eagle which served as Zeus' personal messenger and animal companion. According to some, the eagle was once a mortal king named Periphas, whose virtuous rule was so celebrated that he was came to be honoured like a god. Zeus, in anger, would have smote him with a thunderbolt, but Apollon intervened and, transforming the king into an eagle, set him beside the throne of Zeus. In other accounts, Zeus adopted the eagle as his bird when it first appeared to him before the Titan War as a sign of good omen. The eagle was later sent by Zeus to carry the handsome youth Ganymedes up to heaven to become the cupbearer of the gods.

The bird received a place amongst the stars as the constellation Aquila. Its consort was Lyra, the heavenly vulture.

GAIA (Antoninus Liberalis 6)

PE′RIPHAS (Periphas). An Attic antochthon previous to the time of Cecrops. was a priest of Apollo, and on account of his virtues he was made king; but as he was honoured to the same extent as Zeus, the latter wished to destroy him. At the request of Apollo, however, Zeus metamorphosed him into an eagle, and his wife likewise into a bird. (Anton. Lib. 6 ; Ov. Met. vii. 400.)

Although Zeus was well known for his dalliances with various women (and thus infuriating his wife, the goddess Hera), Zeus didn't limit himself to young women. At least once he also fell in love with a young boy: Ganymede, son of King Tros of Troy.

Zeus and Gaymede

Because Zeus found the young Ganymede so desirable, he changed himself into and eagle and swooped down to abduct him. Zeus carried the boy high up to Mt. Olympus and made him a cupbearer for the gods. Hera, already annoyed that Zeus had found yet another mortal to cheat on her with, was made even angrier by this last decision because cupbearer was a position that had previously been held by her daughter with Zeus, Hebe.

Zeus so loved Ganymede that he never wanted to be without the boy's company and so created the constellation Aquarius, the cupbearer, to commemorate their love. It is believed by some scholars that this story was used to explain and/or justify the presence of homosexuality in ancient Greece - in particular the homosexual relationships that developed between younger males and older men. ZZZ


EAGLE OF ZEUS : Immortal bird of Zeus ; Greek mythology ; pictures ...

THE AETOS DIOS was a giant, golden eagle which served as Zeus' personal messenger and animal companion. According to some, the eagle was once a mortal king ...

WikiAnswers - Why does the eagle symbolize Zeus

Ancient History question: Why does the eagle symbolize Zeus? because the eagle symbolized authority from the sky.

WikiAnswers - Why is the eagle a symbol of Zeus

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The eagle said to Zeus, 'Twice my eggs have been destroyed; this time, I am leaving them here under your protection.' When the beetle found out what the ...

Mythology: Eagle-staff, zeus helmet, war helmet

zeus helmet, war helmet, goddess of wisdom: Hello Dan, The statue you describe is Athena. Only two goddesses were portrayed in a sitting position.

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The sign in the Heavens has appeared!
This is the one from Rev. 12

In Sumero-Akkadian mythology, Zu is a divine storm-bird and the personification of the southern wind and the thunder clouds. This demon, half man and half bird, stole the "Tablets of Destiny" from Enlil and hid them on a mountaintop. Anu ordered the other gods to retrieve the tablets, even though they all feared the demon. According to one text, Marduk killed the bird, but in another text it died through the arrows of the god Ninurta. The bird is also referred to as Imdugud or Anzu.

Stela 60 of the Mayans.depicts one of the Hero Twins standing over a fallen Bird Deity. The carvings and orientation of Group A indicate that this Bird Deity represents the Big Dipper to the north, rising and falling over Tacana volcano. In the Maya Creation Myth, the Big Dipper is Seven Macaw, the vain and false ruler of the previous World Age. The Hero Twins facilitated his downfall so that their father, One Hunahpu (a SOLAR lord), could be resurrected. Given the viewing orientation of the viewing seats and anyone standing in front of Stela 60, we are justified in suspecting that the solar rebirth will be found happening over the solstice horizon. And the December solstice itself is the rebirth of the sun in the annual cycle. But the Creation Myth, which is the subject of these carvings, is concerned with the shifting of World Ages, implying we must be sensitive to recognizing a much larger cycle of solar rebirth (a new “Sun” or “Age”). >> [End of excerpt] The "fallen Bird Deity" seemed coincidental. This seems to be the same as the Sumerian/Babylonian, "Storm Bird Zu," who had stolen the tablets with the fates of men. Marduke, who was given the title, "Lord," was the demiurge hero who chased down the Storm Bird Zu and retrieved the tablets.

In the earlier version, it was apparently Marduk's father, Ea/Enki, who defeated the Storm Bird Zu. This bird actually looks like a man with wings, i.e., the prototype for Satan.

See Pazuzu below


Great Central Valley
September, 1993

After composing a hand-written essay about my experiences, and sending copies two weeks ago to John Crowe, of the COSMINAR organization in Essex, England, and two other people, I am now surprised to read that a crop formation appeared called the Bythorn Mandala.

I recognized it immediately as one of the symbols in Tantric Way: Art, Science, Ritual. It is on page 35, and called a "Shyama (Kali) Yantra." The crop formation is not exactly like the one in the book, but it is quite similar. The one in the book is similar to the Sri Yantra, except there is a five-pointed star inside instead of the complex pattern of overlapping triangles. The inner part is quite like the crop formation, except the crop formation had ten petals instead of eight, as in the book. The five-pointed star in the crop formation was inside a pentagon. This is very similar to the symbol of the third chakra, which is represented by a ten-petal lotus flower.  This may be related to the ten horns of the beast in Revelation 17, as the harlot clearly has the same meaning as Kali.

Kali evokes the feeling of tamasisk, which means fury. The kings of the earth become drunk on the wine of the harlot, which causes fury. In dreams the fury is often symbolized by a storm. In the Babylonian myths, the demiurge hero, Marduke, chased down the Storm Bird, Zu, who had stolen the tablets with the fates of men, and retrieved the tablets. In other words, the anger causes one's fate to be controlled from elsewhere. Birds, according to Joseph Campbell, symbolize the descent of the Deity into the field of time. Nowadays, I think, such birds can be represented by airplanes.

My dreams indicate that the demiurge gods, such as Marduke, represent the consciousness gestalt of mankind, sometimes symbolized by the swastika. The myth of Marduke and the Storm Bird suggests that eventually the human race will overcome the problem of having their fates stolen via the storm of anger.


See also:  KALI:




Sumer/Babylon: Pazuzu

Not much is known about Pazuzu -- or Zu, as he is sometimes called. According to one web site, "This little-known demon from Babylonian myth was represented as a very thin, emaciated man with the feet and wings of an eagle, and the forepaws and head of a lion. He is nearly always shown with the right paw raised and the left held at his side.

"The demon first appeared in early Babylonian myth in the guise of the 'storm-bird' Zu, who stole the Tablets of Destiny from the dragoness Tiamat. In the later Babylonian civilization, he once again appeared, this time under the name of Pazuzu, and was said to be the child of the chief wind-demon, Hanpa. When Pazuzu is summoned by worshippers, he appears in a statuesque form, frozen into the position described above. However, he metamorphoses out of the statue form to his living form. In this form, he is fully capable of movement."

The Yezidi tribes of Kurdistan, who worship a Watcherlike god called Malek Taus, or the Peacock Angel, tell a very similar story to the one about Zu and Tiamat. In their mythology, a creature -- who is half-lion, half-eagle -- called Imdugud, or Anzu. "This monster was said to have stolen the Tablets of Destiny from the god Enlil (Ellil) in Akkadian which, in its possession, gave 'him power over the Universe as controller of the fates of all,' enough to endanger 'the stability of civilization,'" Andrew Collins writes in his book "From the Ashes of Angels."

According to wikipedia, "Although Pazuzu was a malevolent force, his image was used on amulets to ward off his enemy Lamashtu, a female demon that preyed on newborn babies and their mothers. The amulet was either placed on the mother or child or larger ones were placed above them on a wall."

In his essay, "The Demon of the South-West Wind," Stephen Sennitt writes, "In his erudite book, 'The Domain of Devils,' Eric Marple describes the wind demon as the most terrible of all demonic entities, having the power to spread loathsome diseases with his dry, fiery breath. The demo has 'for a head the almost fleshless skull of a dog,' representing death, disease, and as the fleshless death's-head of the desert scavenger, starvation. Significantly, william Woods states in his 'History of the Devil,' 'in Mesopotamia, the horned demon, Pazuzu, rode on the wind and carried malaria,' thus emphasizing the demon's destructive role as 'lord of fevers and plagues.'"

It is interesting to put Pazuzu alongside Watcher myths, and compare his protectiveness of women, as well as his ability to bring massive plagues, to the Watchers story in the Book of Enoch.



Stone-cast statue, black hydrostone, 210 mm tall (8.25")  130 mm wingspanZ

Reproduction of the ancient Sumerian-Babylonian tomb guardian Pazuzu, elemental demon of wind and pestilence. As archetypal monster, it incorporates a composite of astrological characteristics and is portrayed with horns, serpentine face, the wings of an eagle, the legs and paws of a lion and scorpion tail.

The oldest of all demons, Pazuzu is first to appear in the Western tradition and responsible for a plethora of demons, devils and genies in the cultures which follow.


As personification of the "evil wind that brings pestilence," Pazuzu is one of the famous Seven Sumerian Demons dispatched upon a hapless earth by the celestial dragononess Tiamat during her epic battle with the solar deity Marduk. In the form of the Demon Storm-Bird Zu, Pazuzu achieved heroic status for stealing the Tablets of Destiny from Tiamat. According to the Sumerian chronicles, the Seven Demons represent the elemental forces which assaulted the world during the terrible cataclysm attending the Great Flood.

Because tradition held that Pazuzu once opposed a powerful demonic goddess, icons of Pazuzu were used for warding off all evil forces. Until late Babylonian times, Pazuzu was worn as an amulet, set on household shelves and placed next to sleeping children to guard them from Lamashtu, a female demon who preyed upon babies and their mothers.

 Statuettes like this were also left in tombs to protect the dead which, at the same time, conferred a relative immortality on the benevolent demon. Pazuzu’s protective presence on the eaves of ancient temples is still echoed today by the misshapen winged gargoyles clutching the roof-tops of Medieval churches and Gothic buildings.


In Mesopotamian mythology, the Tablet of Destinies (not, as frequently misquoted in general works, the 'Tablets of Destinies') was envisaged as a clay tablet inscribed with cuneiform writing, also impressed with cylinder seals, which, as a permanent legal document, conferred upon the god Enlil his supreme authority as ruler of the universe.

In the Sumerian poem 'Ninurta and the Turtle' it is the god Enki, rather than Enlil, who holds the tablet. Both this poem and the Akkadian Anzû poem concern the theft of the tablet by the bird Imdugud (Sumerian) or Anzû (Akkadian). Supposedly, whoever possessed the tablet ruled the universe. In the Babylonian Enuma Elish, Tiamat bestows this tablet on Qingu (in some instances spelled "Kingu") and gives him command of her army. Marduk, the chosen champion of the gods, then fights and destroys Tiamat and her army. Marduk reclaims the Tablet of Destinies for himself, thereby legitimating his rule among the gods, but turns it over to Anu as a gift in Tablet V of the epic.

The tablet can be compared with the concept of the Me, divine decrees.


Zeus - [ENKI] Steals the Tablets of Destiny

It appears that Ensuhgirana wasn't as complacent as he let on because another tale, Lugal-Banda in the Mountain Cave, also called Lugal-Banda and Mount Hurrum, begins with Enmerkar preparing an expedition against Aratta, "the mountain of the holy divine powers", for rebelling against him. The troops wait for five days before they enter the mountains, on the sixth day they washed to purify themselves, and on the seventh day they entered the mountains. Half way there his eighth general, Lugal-Banda, got a sickness in the head that caused him to jerk around like a gazelle caught in a snare. He began to slow them down; they wanted to bring him back to Uruk, but didn't know how they could, so they found a mountain cave and made a camp for him. They left him an axe and a dagger, plenty of food and beer and suspended some incense and other healing resins around his head, but Lugal-Banda soon become unresponsive. His brothers counseled each other, saying that if he rises again like Utu the sun god, then the food would help him walk again and maybe enable him to journey back to Uruk, but if Utu called their brother to the holy "valued" place, then it would be up to them to carry his body on their journey back. Then the men left.

For two days he sat and perspired heavily, then he began to cry, telling Utu that there was no one there to feel sorry for him and asking that he not die lost in the mountains like a weakling. Utu accepted his tears and sent down some divine encouragement. Inanna appeared before Lugal-Banda and the general began to cry as if before is own father. Inanna accepted his tears and enveloped him like a woolen garment, then disappeared back to Uruk. The moon then came out an illuminated the cave and Lugal-Banda cried out to the moon god's sense of justice and hatred of evil. Suen (Nanna) accepted his tears as well and Lugal-Banda was able to walk. The next day he praised Utu and the moon god's wife Ningal before leaving the cave. Thanks to a god who took council with Enlil (probably Utu or Ningal) life saving plants began to grow and life saving water started to flow from the hills' rivers. Lugal-Banda then left the cave to hunt for food. While out he started a fire by striking two stones together. Then, without even knowing how to bake cakes with an oven, he baked some dough and garnished it with syrup from some roots he stripped. He then caught a wild brown bull and two goats either by trap or ambush. Then, with the help of some beer and white linen sheet, he went to sleep:

The king lay down not to sleep, he lay down to dream -- not turning back at the door of the dream, not turning back at the door-pivot. To the liar it talks in lies, to the truthful it speaks truth. It can make one man happy, it can make another man sing, but it is the closed tablet-basket of the gods. It is the beautiful bedchamber of Ninlil, it is the counselor of Inanna. The multiplier of mankind, the voice of one not alive -- Zangara, the god of dreams, himself like a bull, bellowed at Lugal-Banda.

Zangara told him in his dream to sacrifice the bull and goats and to pour out the blood so that the snakes could smell it, so when Lugal-Banda awoke he wrestled the bull to the ground and did just that. The best parts of the bull were burned so that An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursag could feast on them.

At this point the text becomes more and more fragmented. Following this there is a description of some demons:

They are gazelles of Suen running in flight, they are the fine smooth cloths of Ninlil, they are the helpers of Ishkur; they pile up flax, they pile up barley; they are wild animals on the rampage, they descend like a storm on a rebel land hated by Suen, indeed they descend like a storm.

It is also said that these helpers of Ishkur sing out in the dead of night, sneak into homes to nestle at peoples' bedsides, and tie door pivots together. The story then moves on to the elders of city, who seem to have been able to enter the presence of the Anunnaki to confirm the power of the foreign lands. Then there is mention of 14 torch-bearers standing in battle. They pursue like wildfire, flash together like lightning and roar loudly like a great flood rising up in the storm of battle. Seven of these men are favored by Inanna, who wears a crown under a clear sky, and they stand proudly in battle as the holy shining battle-mace of An reaches to the edge of heaven and earth. Utu, who is called "the just god who stands alongside men", then walks out from his chamber. There is then some dialogue regarding evil gods with evil hearts who are the interpreters of spoken evil and spy on the righteous gods. Here the text of the first segment ends and it is unknown if the second undecipherable segment of the tablet belongs to the same composition or not, but the story is continued in another text.

Lugal-Banda and the Anzu bird, alternatively known as Lugal-Banda and Enmerkar, opens with Lugal-Banda still lost deep within the Zabu mountains. He gets an idea to go and talk to the Anzu bird and to treat him and his wife respectfully. He figures that An will fetch Ninkasi, the beer goddess, who will help him get the Anzu bird drunk so that it can help him find his brothers, the troops of Uruk.

There are references to the Anzu bird in the other two stories of Enmerkar, but this is the first one that goes into detail about it. It is described as having sharks teeth and eagle's claws and is so huge it hunts bulls. Its cry is said to shake the mountains and most likely represents thunder. This is most likely the origin of the mythical roc of Persian and Arabian lore. In the Sumerian language, Anzu was spelled Imdugud; it was only later found that it's name was pronounced Anzu, or Zu. In Babylonia and Assyria they were believed to be wind demons called Pazuzu (one of which who made an silhouette appearance in The Exorcist).

While the Anzu bird is away hunting, Lugal-Banda sneaks into it's nest and carefully makes celestial cakes for it's chicks. He then paints their eyes and puts crowns on their heads. When the chicks' parents come home, they at first think that someone stole the chicks and cry out so loudly that the noise reaches up to the gods and below to the abzu. But when they see how the chicks have been exulted, he cries out:

"I am the prince who decides the destiny of rolling rivers. I keep on the straight and narrow path the righteous who follow Enlil's counsel. My father Enlil brought me here. He let me bar the entrance to the mountains as if with a great door. If I fix a fate, who shall alter it? If I but say the word, who shall change it? Whoever has done this to my nest, if you are a god, I will speak with you, indeed I will befriend you. If you are a man, I will fix your fate. I shall not let you have any opponents in the mountains. You shall be 'Hero-fortified-by-Anzu'."

Lugal-Banda makes his appearance and "partly from fright, partly from delight" begins flattering the giant bird. He starts telling them that they're eyes are sparkling and how their wingspan is like a bird net stretched across the sky. He says that yesterday he escaped safely because of the Anzu bird and so leaves his destiny in their hands, naming the Anzu bird father and the bird's wife mother. Anzu then tries to get out of the promise he gave and offers several bargains in exchange: a boatload of precious metals and food, the power to shoot arrows that never miss, the Lion of Battle helmet (which gave courage to it's wearer) and finally the Milk of Dumuzi. To each of these offers the author replies: "Lugal-Banda who loves the seed will not accept this." Apparently, being 'Hero-fortified-by-Anzu' is not a power to be trifled with because the Anzu bird is worried about living up to his word and giving it to Lugal-Banda, saying that an ass should be kept on the straight path.

Lugal-Banda the pure answers him: "Let the power of running be in my thighs, let me never grow tired! Let there be strength in my arms, let me stretch my arms wide, let my arms never become weak! Moving like the sunlight, like Inanna, like the seven storms, those of Ishkur, let me leap like a flame, blaze like lightning! Let me go wherever I look to, set foot wherever I cast my glance, reach wherever my heart desires and let me loosen my shoes in whatever place my heart has named to me! When Utu lets me reach Kulaba [Uruk] my city, let him who curses me have no joy thereof; let him who wishes to strive with me never say "Just let him come!" I shall have the woodcarvers fashion statues of you, and you will be breathtaking to look upon. Your name will be made famous thereby in Sumer and will redound to the credit of the temples of the great gods."

Anzu gives in and bestows his powers on Lugal-Banda, at least satisfied that Lugal-Banda will have wooden idols of him carved out for the Sumerians. The Anzu bird then helped Lugal-Banda find his troops but told him not to say anything about him or the fate he fixed on him. When Lugal-Banda gets back to his brothers, we learn that he was abandoned as killed in battle. They ask how he was able to survive and cross the rivers and Lugal-Banda just replies that he walked over them or drank them. His companions then embrace and kiss him and give him food and drink. The troops then moved on, following the river until they finally reached their target: Aratta.

The army put the city under siege for an entire year. Enmerkar, the leader of the troops is well worried about it and can't find anyone who wants to go back to Uruk because they're all afraid they'll get lost, but then Lugal-Banda volunteers. Enmerkar makes him swear by heaven and earth that he will go along and not drop any of their great emblems. Enmerkar then summons an assembly and begins to question himself and the goddess Inanna in front of them:

"My troops are bound to me as a cow is bound to its calf; but like a son who, hating his mother, leaves his city, my princely sister Inanna the pure has run away from me back to brick-built Kulaba [Uruk]. If she loves her city and hates me, why does she bind the city to me? If she hates the city and yet loves me, why does she bind me to the city? If the mistress removes herself from me to her holy chamber, and abandons me like an Anzu chick, then may she at least bring me home to brick-built Kulaba: on that day my spear shall be laid aside. On that day she may shatter my shield. Speak thus to my princely sister, Inanna the pure."

Lugal-Banda's brothers ask to join him on his journey but he refuses despite great insistence. Lugal-Banda crossed the seven mountains and at midnight entered the temple of Inanna and prostrated himself before her offering table. Inanna asked why he had come all alone form Aratta. Lugal-Banda recites Enmerkar's depressing soliloquy and Inanna tells him that if Enmerkar catches the tamarisk, a type of freshwater fish, and sacrifices it, the a-an-kara weapon, Inanna's battle-strength, will be given to his army and that will put an end to the subterranean waters that give strength to Aratta. Inanna finishes saying, "If he carries off from the city its worked metal and smiths, if he carries off its worked stones and its stonemasons, if he renews the city and settles it, all the moulds of Aratta will be his." With the solution found, the text ends with a praise for Lugal-Banda. The open-ended finish to the story seems to indicate that there is a third text that concludes the epic. It has been said that Lugal-Banda is supposed to kill the Anzu bird but this may be an assumption since Lugal-Banda's name is inherited by a god who also meets up with an Anzu.

Anzu bird
An Anzu bird (?) picking fruit from the Tree of Life

The Anzu bird takes on a much more negative role in Akkadian Myth of Anzu. The text begins with praises for Ninurta, already revealing that he defeated Anzu and also saying that he defeated the bull-man inside the sea and raised a dais for the lesser Igiggi. Enlil and Enki watch the Anzu bird, whose wings bring the South Wind, and whose body was like 11 coats of mail. Enki concluded that it had been conceived from the holy abzu and born out of the broad earth and suggested that it serve Enlil. Enlil made the Anzu an extra fate and appointed him the guardian of his chambers. This included guarding over the Tablets of Destiny, which gave Enlil the power to decree fate. These tablets identify Enlil as the current head of the pantheon instead of the heaven god. The air god seems to have replaced An, or Anu (His Akkadian name), sometime around 2500 B.C. Although earlier stories tell of the Tablets of Destiny giving Anu-power, the tablets here are said to confer Enlil-power.

Every day the Tablets of Destiny tempted the storm bird, so one day while Enlil was bathing in the holy waters, Anzu stole the tablets and flew off. Enlil's chamber was stripped of it's radiance and silence reigned. Enlil summoned his son Adad, or Hadad, the Akkadian name for Ishkur. But the "controller of the canals" only told his father that the Anzu was now undefeatable and that the gods would have to tremble at his utterance from now on. The gods next proposed Gerra, god of fire and the son of Anu, and then Shara, the son of Ishtar (Inanna), but both of them repeated Adad's refusal. Enki suggested that they let him pick the Anzu's conqueror and the Igiggi kissed his feet for taking up the cause. He called Mami (Ninmah) and just like in the Akkadian Creation story asked that her name be changed to Mistress of all the Gods. Enki asked the birth goddess if she would allow her most beloved son, Ninurta, to do the task. She agreed and the gods rejoiced at her decision.

Ninurta attacks the Anzu bird
Ninurta attacks the Anzu bird

The second tablet opens with a long soliloquy about poisoning arrows and slitting the throat of Anzu. Ninurta marshaled the "Seven of Battle", which are said to be the seven evil winds. He and Anzu met on a mountainside and the storm bird bared it's teeth and insolently shouted, " I have taken away every single rite, and I am in charge of all the gods' orders! Who are you, to come to do battle against me? Give your reasons!" Ninurta replied that he was the avenger of Enlil, who established the temple of Duranki ("Bond of Heaven and Earth") in Nippur. The Anzu caused darkness to fall on the mountain and Ninurta began shooting arrows at him, but using the Tablets of Destiny, it caused the arrows to turn back into a reed, or the feathers back into birds, or the bowstring string back into a ram's gut. Using his magical mace Shurur, Ninurta contacts Enki, who relays a plan to him. Enki then promises that once he defeated the Anzu his worship would be established over the four quarters. When Ninurta hears this, he brought out the "Seven of Battle", the seven evil winds, and the gales went silent.

The first three lines of the third tablet are fragmentary but the story returns with both combatants bathed in the sweat of battle. The Anzu grew tired as Enki predicted and Ninurta follows his instructions precisely. When the Anzu's wings slump down in fatigue, Ninurta cuts them off. Just as the Anzu wishes for his wings to grow back, Ninurta lets loose an arrow at it's heart. The feathers on the arrow grow and pierce it's heart and lungs, killing it. Ninurta got back the Tablets of Destiny and the wind carried the great bird's feathers as a sign of good news. Ninurta returns the Tablets of Destiny and for slaying the mountain is given complete dominion and every single rite. Among the 15 titles that are bestowed upon him are: Duku ("Holy mound" in Sumerian), Hurabtil (an Elamite god), Shushinak (patron god of the Elamite city Susa), Zababa of Kish, the warrior Tishpak, and also Lugal-Banda. The text ends going through a long list of aliases Ninurta is known by throughout the lands.

This legend seems to be designed as a response to the belief that Enlil had been replaced as king of the gods. The account is paralleled in the creation story of the Greeks. Though there are something like six accounts of how the Greek gods were born, probably the most popular account is from Theogony, written by the Greek poet Hesiod, who lived sometime around the 600 or 700s B.C.:

In the beginning there was only Chaos, the oldest of the gods, a shapeless mass of darkness and meaninglessness, said to be formed out of mist. Out of the Chaos came Nyx (Night; a great black bird), Erebus (Primeval abyss) and Tartarus. Nyx and Erebus joined and Nyx laid an egg that hatched into Eros (Cupid; Love). From Eros came Light and Day. Once there was Light and Day, Mother Earth, or Gaea, appeared. The Greeks pronounced her name Ge; easily comparable to Ki, the Sumerian earth mother. The Romans called her Terra, from which we get the words terran and terrain.

Uranus, the god of heaven, was born of Gaea as she slept. He became her husband, and together they had many children. Their first-born children were hecatonchires, monsters with 50 heads and 100 hands, and the cyclopses, giants with one eye. The second born children were the titans. Uranus feared that his powerful sons might topple him from his position as Lord of the Universe so he cast the titans and hecatonchires into Tartarus, an underworld as far from Earth as Heaven was. Gaea was upset that Uranus had imprisoned them so she turned for help to her youngest, Chronos ("Chronology"), god of time and the upper sky. Chronos hated his father's evil deeds as much as his mother so he ambushed his father while he was making love to the earth, castrated him with a jagged sickle, and threw his genitalia into the sea. This mixed with the sea water to create Aphrodite (Inanna), who is attended by Eros and Desire as well as some other goddesses as she enters the assembly of the gods. In other myths Aphrodite was the mother of Eros. The blood from the wound created the Erinyes (Furies), Giants, and Melian nymphs. After this more violent separation of Heaven and Earth, Chronos takes his place as Lord of the Universe.

The era that Cronus ruled was called as the Golden Age, but that was not because the gods were peaceful and just. The Titans ("Strainers") were so named because Uranus believed that they wrongfully inflected terror and would one day pay for it. (Outside of Theogony, it has also been said that Ti-ta-an can be read "Those who live in Heaven" in Sumerian.) Nyx then gives birth to hateful Doom, black Fate, Death, and she bore Sleep and the tribe of Dreams. And though she lay with no one, Nyx give birth to Blame, Woe, the Hesperide nymphs, the Destinies, and the three ruthless Fates: Clotho the Spinner, who spins the thread of man's life; Lachesis, Disposer of Lots, who assigns each man his destiny; and Atropos, who cuts the threads of life. The three Fates gave men at their birth both good and evil to choose from. Nyx also gave birth to Nemesis (Indignation), Deceit and Friendship, hateful Age, and hard-hearted Strife. Strife bore Toil, Forgetfulness, Famine, Sorrow, Fighting, Battles, Murders, Manslaughters, Quarrels, Lying Words, Disputes, Lawlessness, Ruin and the worst of all Oath, who troubles those who swear falsely. Theogony then goes into a long list of gods, heroes, and monsters with paternities and short biographies.

Gaea was sorely disappointed to discover that Chronos had no intention of releasing his 100-handed brothers from their dark prison. Chronos married the titan Rhea and together they had Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Poseidon, and the pitiless Hades. Uranus and Gaea prophesied his own son would dethrone him so each time Rhea gave birth Chronos swallowed the newborn god. Determined to protect her sixth child from his father, Rhea gave birth in secret. She named the infant Zeus and sent him to the island of Crete, to be raised by nymphs. Then, pretending to obey her husband's command, Rhea wrapped a stone in a blanket and carried it to Chronos, who swallowed it without any notice. When Rhea thought Zeus was strong enough to challenge Chronos, she told him about his five brothers and sisters trapped inside his father's body and how he narrowly escaped the same fate. With the help of Gaea, Zeus forced his father to regurgitate his five brothers and sisters, as well as the stone (which was taken to Delphi). His children, who were led by their youngest brother, Zeus, waged war against him. However, Chronos was backed by most of his brothers and sisters, the titans. The war between the Olympians and the Titans was so terrible that it nearly destroyed the universe. When the titan Prometheus ("Forethought") could see that Zeus and his siblings were destined to win this war against Chronos, he abandoned his brothers and sisters and joined Zeus. He secretly advised the storm god to release Gaea's first-born children, the hecatonchires, informing him that they wielded thunder, lightning, and earthquakes as weapons. Once released, the monsters fought against Chronos and defeated the titans. Like Enlil, Chronos was then banished deep within the bowels of the earth. The other titans were imprisoned in the netherworld, called Tartarus, as well, although Chronos was able to take rule over the Elysian Fields, where the nicer parts of Tartarus was. Zeus, impressed by the effectiveness of the monsters' weapons, appropriated the thunder and lightning for his own use. The Olympians then chose the cloud-draped summit of Mt. Olympus to be their home.

But Mother Earth then gave Zeus another problem to contend with:

Now after Zeus had driven the Titans out of heaven, gigantic Gaea, in love with Tartarus, by means of golden Aphrodite, bore the youngest of her children, Typhoeus; the hands and arms of him are mighty, and have work in them, and the feet of the powerful god were tireless, and up from his shoulders there grew a hundred snake heads, those of a dreaded dragon, and the heads licked with dark tongues, and from the eyes on the inhuman heads fire glittered from under the eyelids: from all his heads fire flared from his eyes' glancing; and inside each one of these horrible heads there were voices that threw out every sort of horrible sound, for sometimes it was speech such as the gods could understand, but at other times, the sound of a bellowing bull, proud-eyed and furious beyond holding, or again like a lion shameless in cruelty, or again it was like the barking of dogs, a wonder to listen to, or again he would whistle so the tall mountains re-echoed to it.

This monster was so great that Olympus shook when he walked and even the imprisoned Titans were shaken up as the giant walked on top of the earth. But Zeus attacked the monster with his thunderbolts and set the dragon heads on fire.

According to the Greek poet Apollodorus, Zeus chased the monster with a sickle made of Adamant (Diamond). Typhoeus ran to Mount Casius (near Antioch in Syria), where Zeus fell on him, thinking he was badly wounded. Typhoeus then entwined the god with his serpent like tail, took the adamant scythe, and cut out the muscle tendons from Zeus' hands and feet. He then deposited the defeated god and his sinews in a cave and set the drakaina Delphyne (a girl who was half animal) as a guard. But the Greek gods Hermes and Aigipan stole the sinews back and replanted them in Zeus, who then got in his chariot and resumed the attack. Typhoeus continued to flee in other lands, while throwing mountains at Zeus. Zeus destroyed these with his thunderbolts and finally defeated the monster, by throwing Mount Aitna on top of him, which still erupted fire from the thunderbolts Zeus used.

Returning to Theogony, when Typhoeus fell, the earth groaned under the great impact. The flame ran out along the darkening and steep forests of the mountains as he was struck and a great part of the earth burned in the wind of his heat. Earth melted in the blazing fire and Zeus threw the great monster into Tartarus.

Zeus Battles with Typhoeus
Zeus Battles with Typhoeus

From these comparisons it can be presumed that most of the important Greek gods originate from Sumerian, Akkadian and Elamite religion. From these ancient Sumerian texts, we can see Zeus's humble beginnings as an Anzu bird, or Zu bird, before Greek poets and philosophers fashioned him into the licentious storm god recognized today. The name of Zeus forms two important roots in the Greek language: Theo and Dio. Theo is not only the root of Theogony, but also the modern words theology and theory, while dio is the root behind deity and the names of other gods such as his son Dionysus.

Like Enlil, Chronos lost his kingship to an usurper. In the Sumerian myth, Enlil's storm-god son Ninurta kills the storm-bird and gets the Tablets of Destiny back, restoring kingship to his father, but in all subsequent myths, it's the storm god who defeats his father and becomes king of the gods. The Greeks and Romans portray Chronos as evil and scheming, and his loss of kingship is permanent. Zeus replaces his father just as Chronos did to his own father Uranus. The Romans gave Chronos the name Saturn, which also gives us the name Saturday, the same day as the Hebrew Sabbath. The ancient festival Saturnalia is also the origin of the Christmas holiday.

Pazuzu statuette
Pazuzu statuette, Assyria

The Anzu bird is described as being part lion and part eagle, which is believed to symbolize the mastery of heaven and earth. These bird-lion features may have been lost to the later concept of Zeus but they became associated with the Biblical cherubim ("Near ones" i.e. bodyguards), the Egyptian sphinx, the Babylonian and Assyrian lamassu, and the Greek griffons, which incidentally are called the "The Hounds of Zeus". All are considered to be the guardians and a symbol of rulership. In the Middle Ages, the griffon came to be a symbol of Christ's resurrection.

Hesiod's descending sovereignty outline is based on a Hurrian text, or a derivative of it, which begins with a king prior to Anu. The Hurrians were a people of North Syria who rivaled the Hittites and were subsequently conquered by them. The Hittites, who lived south of the Black Sea in Turkey, absorbed as many legends as they could, including the Hurrians', calling themselves the 'country of a thousand gods'. The text Kingship in Heaven was discovered in the Hittite capital of Hattussas and was dated the 13th century BC, shortly before the capital was destroyed by the Philistines.

Map of Hittite Empire
The Hittite Empire

The text begins saying that in the olden days Alulu was king in heaven for nine years and then his cup bearer Anu vanquished him and Alulu escaped into the dark earth. But it was only another nine years until Anu's own cup bearer betrayed him. Kumarbi is said to have rushed him and bit off his "knees". Kumarbi swallowed Anu's manhood and laughed, but then Anu gave him a dire premonition:

"Rejoice not over thine inside! In thine inside I have planted a heavy burden. Firstly I have impregnated thee with the noble Storm-god. Secondly I have impregnated thee with the river Tigris, not to be endured. Thirdly I have impregnated thee with the noble Tasmisus [The Storm-god's servant]. Three dreadful gods have I planted in thy belly as seed. Thou shalt go and end by striking the rocks of thine own mountain with thy head!"

Anu then went and hid himself in heaven. The text is fragmented here but it seems that Kumarbi tries to spit it back out and some of the semen hits Mt. Kanzuras and creates a god inside the mountain. Then filled with fury, Kumarbi goes back to his city Nippur and starts counting the months of his pregnancy. Anu somehow advises the storm god where to exit Kumarbi's body and Teshub (the Storm-god) responds that the earth will give him strength, the sky would give valor, Anu would give him manliness and Kumarbi would give him wisdom. He is warned once again what will happen if he comes out of Kumarbi's "tarnassas". As Kumarbi is walking he falls down, and like Chronos tells his wife Ayas that he wants to devour his son. Ayas probably gives him a rock in this version too since whatever he ate hurts his mouth and he begins to moan. People were brought in to work magic on him and to keep bringing sacrificed meals to him. It is said that Teshub is born out of the "good place" and when the birth is reported to Anu, he plots to use him to defeat Kumarbi. Teshub prepares for the battle although the outcome is not preserved.

The inheritance of godly powers is a common motif amongst tales of the gods. The fact that Teshub is born from both Anu and Kumarbi is probably to show that Teshub was born from the best qualities of both them. Kingship in Heaven is found along with the Song of Ullikummi, which acts as a sequel to Kingship but may have been written by a different author. One perplexity about this story is that one would assume up to this point that as king of the gods, Kumarbi could easily be identified with Enlil, especially since his chief city is Nippur. But in this legend Ellil (Enlil) makes his own appearance and seems to denounce Kumarbi. This may have been an attempt of another author to disassociate Enlil with the villianous role Kumarbi takes. On the other hand, his actions do seem to parallel Kumarbi's, so it may just be a misunderstanding. The text is in particularly poor condition, especially at the end.

The story begins with Kumarbi nursing an evil plot. He takes his staff and shoes and goes to his city of Urkis (Kish?) and sleeps with a great rock ten times. The mountain gives birth to Ullikummi, whose name may mean something like "Destroyer of Kummiya". The Good-women and Mother-goddesses bring the newborn to Kumarbi and place him on his knees. Kumarbi embraces his son and has him dance up and down on top of his lap and says to his soul:

"What name [shall I give] him? The child which the Good-women and the Mother-goddesses presented me, [for the reason that he] shot forth from her body as a shaft, let him go and [his] name be Ullikummi! Let him ascend to heaven for kingship! Let him vanquish Kummiya, the beautiful city! Let him attack Storm-god and tear [him] to pieces like a mortal! Let him tread him under foot like an ant! Let him crush Tasmisus like a reed in the brake! Let him shot down all the gods from the sky like birds and let him break them to pieces like empty pots!"

Kummiya is unidentified but believed to be between the Tigris and Lake Van. Kumarbi then gave the boy over to the Isirra deities (handmaidens of the Fate Goddess Isirra). The Isirra deities take Ullikummi away and nurse him similar to how Zeus was raised by the Nymphs. The Isirra then places the child on Ellil's knees and Ellil says:

"Who is that child whom the Good-women and the Mother-goddesses reared? No one among the great gods will see mightier battles. No one's vileness equals Kumarbi's. Just as Kumarbi raised Teshub, he has [now raised] this awesome diorite man as his rival."

With these words the handmaidens place the diorite man on top of the right shoulder of Ubelluris, an Atlas-like giant who is carrying the world on his shoulders. The strong waters makes the diorite man grow and in a month he is an acre in height. After 15 days he grows up out of the sea until the sea reaches his loincloth. Here, the text becomes so fragmented that it is hard to distinguish the order of events. It seems that the Sun-god sees the diorite man and informs Teshub. Teshub and his sister Ishtar (Inanna) climbs to the top of Mount Hazzi (Mount Cassius) to see it for themselves. Teshub weeps bitterly, asking who could ever defeat such a monster, but Ishtar is not convinced. Teshub orders his servant Tasmisu to fetch his bulls and thunderstorms and goes to do battle with the diorite man. The gods fight him but Ullikummi is impervious to their attacks and makes his way to Teshub's city of Kummiya, where the storm god is forced to admit defeat. Tasmisu informs Teshub's Queen Heba of the city's loss and that her husband must remain in a 'lowly place' for now and the queen almost faints off the roof but is caught by her attendants. Teshub descends to the 'city' Abzuwa (abzu) and tries to gain the help of Ea (Enki). Ea informs Ellil and then goes to talk to the Atlas-giant Upelluri. Upelluri tells Ea that he hadn't noticed when heaven and earth had been built on him, hadn't even noticed when heaven and earth were separated with the great saw, but now the diorite man was causing his shoulder to hurt. When Ea heard this he got an idea. He had the ancient storehouses opened and brought back the saw that had freed heaven and earth. With this he cut the diorite man's feet from under him and then urged the gods to renew the battle. The end of the story is lost but there's little doubt what happens next.

By comparing the Sumerian Texts to Kingship in Heaven and Theogony, we can see the evolution of the story as it goes from the Sumerians to the Hurrians to the Greeks. For instance, neither Sumerian, Akkadian nor Babylonian texts ever portray any antagonism or sense of replacement between An and Enlil, although Enlil-Kumarbi's role in the Hurrian/Hittite epic is that of a tyrant, which is then inherited by Greek version.

In both the Hurrian/Hittite and Greek legends, the fight takes place at Mt. Cassius (Hazzi), where the storm god loses his first battle with the monster. The Sumerian version also places the fight on a mountain. This verification of the battle site is probably a figurative representation of a historic battle. A passage in Milton's Paradise Lost reads: "A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog, betwixt Damiata and Mount Cassius old, where armies whole have sunk."

The story of Ninurta fighting the Anzu bird is a source of inspiration for the later creation story of the Babylonians, who have their own storm god Marduk fighting the multi-headed dragon Tiamat (Nammu) in order save the Anunnaki and man kind. Ninurta himself is considered a storm god because of his ability to control the winds. Many scholars believe the text is meant to explain the replacement of the totem animal deity- the bird representing the thick storm clouds- with a more modern anthropomorphic warrior storm god.6 The association Tiamat has with serpents is matched by the Greek Typhoeus, who has a snake's tail and dragon heads growing from his shoulders. The image of a god with dragon heads growing from the shoulders can also be found on Dumuzi's companion Ningishzida. Typhaeous himself is often represented as having a hundred dragon heads, as well as his children: the Hydra, the Chimera, and the hell-hound Cerberus. Dumuzi's ancestry to the Mother Dragon Nammu mentioned often in Sumerian texts. The slaying of the dragon may have represented the triumph of the warrior-like storm god over the fleeing shepherd/fisherman god as the dominant deity over the seasons. Although the storm god took many different personal names throughout different cultures, some of them reflecting different identities amongst the original Sumerian pantheon, the vast majority of Mesopotamia knew these rain-bringing cloud-riders as Ba'als.


  Sumerian Babylonian Canaanite Hurrian Greek
Freshwater abzu Apsu     abussos
Sky arch   Anshar   Alulu  
Sky god An Anu   Anu Uranus
Air god Enlil Ellil El the Bull Kumarbi Kronos
Storm god Ninurta Marduk Hadad Teshub Zeus
Nemesis Anzu Tiamat Yahm Ullikummi Typhoeus

<<Chapter 5 Chapter 7>>


Stone cast tablet, 85 x 50 mm (approx 3.5 x 2"), antique gold finish, with museum display stand & parchment description

Reproduction of a British Museum cylinder seal design, from the seal of Mushezib-Ninurta, viceroy of the ancient city of Shadikanni in eastern Syria, 883 BC, during which time the city was an Assyrian vassal.

The owner of this seal can be identified from the cuneiform inscription which translates: 
'Seal of Mushezib-Ninurta, governor, son of Ninurta-eresh, 
ditto, son of Samanuha-shar-ilani, ditto.' 
Samanuha-shar-ilani was ruler of Shadikanni 
(Arban in eastern Syria), in 883 BC, and an Assyrian vassal - 
subject to the firm control of Assyria, 
and enjoying the wealth and security that such political domination provided.

During this period, seal designs were often cut on hard stones using cutting-wheels and drills.
The image is similar to two wall reliefs from the throne room of King Ashurnasirpal II 
(reigned 883-859 BC) at Nimrud. The king, shown in mirror image, is protected by 
guardian genii sprinkling holy water from a bucket using what may be a fir cone or sponge. 
A stylized tree stands in the centre, symbolizing nature and the land of Assyria. 
Above is a god in the winged disc.

Found by H.C. Rawlinson and acquired by The British Museum around 1852

D. Collon, First impressions: cylinder seals in the Ancient Near East (London, The British Museum Press, 1987), pp. 76-7, fig. 341

A.H. Layard, Discoveries in the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon (London, J. Murray, 1853), p. 603

Horned Ishtar
2100 BC reproduction

Stone cast terracotta relief tablet, 70 x 45 mm (approx 2 x 2.5”), on 110 mm (4.25") black acrylic mount, with museum display stand & description

Reproduction of an archaic seal impression tablet from Tepe Yahya in Iran, dated to the 3rd Millennium BC … an area notable as the source of refined chlorite bowls for the Sumerian markets.

Following the fall of the Akkadian Empire, during the last Sumerian dynasty around the 21st century BC, a renaissance of Sumerian culture across Mesopotamia saw the reappearance of cylinder seals which harken back to Early Dynastic prototypes.

Designs of this type, depicting the goddess Ishtar with characteristic crescent horns and her ritual attendants, are attributed to the Gutian Invaders. The hand carved silhouette style appeared amongst traders after the destruction of the famous seal-making workshops of the Akkadian Empire.


Flanked by two hand-maidens, the tablet depicts a stark silhouette of the celestial goddess
Ishtar. Her wings indicate her heavenly origins. She is enthroned to symbolize her supremacy of the sky and surrounded by a medley of images, which include the ancient flood symbols of swimming fish. Like the Hathor Cow of Egypt, she is portrayed with the head of a bull, recalling the mythic tale when she dispatched the elemental forces of the “Bull of Heaven” upon a hapless earth.

 The stricken and decapitated earth god Ea-Enki, grasps a branch, symbolic of the Tree of Life. A large star connected to his head shows his subjection to stellar influences. At his feet, twin serpents wrestle to form the double loop of the continuous cycles of nature. On the opposite side, a snake charmer summons the demon-elemental forces of the Genii which assaulted the world during the mythic War of the Gods.


Early European Religious Figurine
 1000 BC

Bronze figurine, cold cast, 55 mm (two & a half inches), with description.

Cast replica of Bronze Age Earth God fertility figure from central Europe circa 1200 to 800 BC, from the time of the Urnfield Culture.

The deity is believed to be Taranis, which translates as "Thunder God." One of the earliest known forms of the archetypal Thunder God, the Celtic attributes of this god were lightning and a spiral design representing "heavenly fire." The pocket-sized figurine would most likely have been used as a personal religious icon of the times.


Central to Celtic religion, the spiral design is also thought to represent the regenerative earth energies which spiral up at sacred sites and places of worship and was believed to be connected with the movements of the stars ... the "heavenly fire."

In the period from 1000 BC to 1 AD, the Celts conquered and settled much of western and central Europe, acquiring wealth through raids and conquests. Archaeological artifacts like this reveal they mastered metalworking technology which enhanced their trade capability with distant partners.


The Sumerian Flood Story

In the beginning, all roads lead to Sumer; until recently, it was the earliest recorded civilization (currently, the oldest extant documents are from Egypt). The Sumerians were a non-Semitic people. The remains show them to be generally short and stocky, with high, straight noses and downward sloping eyes. Many wore beards, but some were clean-shaven. Most, though, looked like Francis Shaeffer, with a clean-shaven upper lip, but a beard around the chin.
        They wore fleece and finally woven wool. The women draped the garment from the left shoulder, while the men bound it at their waists and left the upper half of their body bare.
        Styles changed gradually over time, and later on, the male clothing moved up toward the neck, at least among the upper class. Slaves, from beginning to end, both male and female, went about naked from the waist up, however.
        On their heads, the Sumerians wore a cap; on their feet, they wore sandals; wealthy women sometimes wore shoes of soft leather, lacking heels, that they laced up.
        Bracelets, necklaces, anklets, finger rings and ear rings made the women of Sumer into show windows of their husband's prosperity.
        When the civilization of Sumer was already a thousand years old, around 2300 BC, we find written accounts of creation, a primitive paradise, and a flood that destroyed the world:

After Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursag
had fashioned the black-headed people,
Vegetation sprang from the earth,
Animals, four-legged creatures of the plain,
Were brought artfully into existence
[37 lines are unreadable]
After the....of kingship had been lowered from heaven
After the exalted crown and the throne of kingship
Had been lowered from heaven,
He perfected the rites and exalted the divine ordinances...
He founded the five cities in pure places,...
Then did Nintu weep like a....
The pure Inanna set up a lament for its people,
Enki took council with himself,
Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursag....
The gods of heaven and earth uttered the name of Anu and Enlil
Then did Ziusudra, the king, the priest of...,
Build a giant...;
Humbly obedient, reverently he...
Attending daily, constantly he...,
Bringing forth all kinds of dreams, he...,
Uttering the name of heaven and earth, he...[...]
the gods a wall...,
Ziusudra, standing at its side, listened.
"Stand by the wall at my left side...,
By the wall I will say a word to you,
Take my word,
Give ear to my instructions:
By our...a flood will sweep over the cult-centers;
To destroy the seed of mankind...,
Is the decision, the word of the assembly of the gods.
By the word commanded by Anu and Enlil...,
Its kingship, its rule will be put to an end.
[about 40 lines missing]
All the windstorms, exceedingly powerful,
Attacked as one,
At the same time, the flood sweeps over the cult-centers.
After, for seven days,
the flood sweeps over the cult centers.
After, for seven days and seven nights,
The flood had swept over the land,
And the huge boat had been tossed
About by the windstorms on the great waters,
Utu came forth, who sheds light on heaven and earth,
Ziusudra opened a window of the huge boat,
The hero Utu brought his rays into the giant boat.
Ziusudra, the king,
Prostrated himself before Utu.

        Utu is the Sun god, equivalent to Akkadian Shamash. The translation above is based on the translation by Poebel in ANET. The text was found in Nippur.
        The Sumerians formulated lists of their ancient kings, and gave them extremely long reigns. The time before the flood was said to be a period of 432,000 years. Two kings from after the flood that are listed were Gilgamesh and Tammuz. Legends told about these two kings were so impressive that Tammuz entered the pantheon of Babylon and later became known as Adonis to the Greeks.
        Gilgamesh became the hero of the Babylonian epic poem which bears his name, and which also contains an account of the flood. Until recently, these king lists and the names in them were thought to be purely fanciful. But in the 1930's, Sir Leonard Woolley, while excavating a building at Ur on the Ubaid level, found an inscription indicating that the structure had been erected by the son of the founder of the First Dynasty of Ur, a person up till that time regarded as fiction.
        Gilgamesh, too, has been found to be a real person, with inscriptions telling of the buildings he built.
        The earliest written documents were found in Uruk and are dated to 3100 BC. These texts are not deciphered and perhaps are not decipherable. Fifty to seventy percent of the signs cannot be recognized at all, and so defy analysis.
Those few signs that are recognizable appear to be logographic. There are none that represent syllables. There are no grammatical markers. There are no mood markers. Those handful that can be puzzled out take the form:

5 sheep PN receive.

        Therefore, the best guess is that these earliest documents are mostly administrative and economic in nature.
        When the signs are examined, they are clearly mostly abstract: that is, they have lost their supposed original pictographic form. This implies that these earliest of known tablets do not represent the first attempts at writing; the nature of the writing on them indicates considerable previous evolution in the writing system. These tablets are simply the earliest that have so far been discovered, nothing more.



In 2005, this crop circle appeared in South Korea -  It is the symbol for the Law.





The phoenix (Ancient Greek: Φοῖνιξ, phoínix) is a mythical sacred firebird which originated in the ancient mythologies mentioned in the Greek Mythology, and later the Phoenician and the Egyptian.

Appearance and Abilities

A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colourful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple and blue, according to some sources [1]). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of myrrh twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (sun city in Greek). The bird was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being immortal and invincible — it is also said that it can heal a person with a tear from its eyes and make them temporarily immune to death. The phoenix is a symbol of fire and divinity.[2]


Flavius Philostratus (c. AD 170), who wrote the biography Life of Apollonius of Tyana, refers to the phoenix as a bird living in India, but sometimes migrating to Egypt every five hundred years. His account is clearly inspired by Garuda, the bird of the Hindu god Vishnu. He considered the bird as an emanation of sunlight, being in appearance and size much like an eagle. His contemporary Lactantius is probably the author who wrote the longest poem on the famous bird. Although descriptions (and life-span) vary, the Egyptian phoenix (Bennu bird) became popular in early Catholic art, literature and Catholic symbolism, as a symbol of Christ representing his resurrection, immortality, and life-after-death. One of the Early Catholic Church Fathers, Clement, related the following regarding the Phoenix in chapter 25 of The First Epistle of Clement:

Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the resurrection] which takes place in Eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed.

The phoenix on top of Kinkaku-ji temple, Kyoto, Japan

Michael W. Holmes points out that early Christian writers justified their use of this myth because the word appears in Psalm 92:12 [LXX Psalm 91:13], but in that passage it actually refers to a palm tree, not a mythological bird.[1] However, it was the flourishing of Christian Hebraist interpretations of Job 29:18 that brought the Joban phoenix to life for Christian readers of the seventeenth century. At the heart of these interpretations is the proliferation of richly complementary meanings that turn upon three translations of the word chol (חול) — as phoenix, palm tree, or sand — in Job 29:18. [2]

Originally, the phoenix was identified by the Egyptians as a stork or heron-like bird called a benu, known from the Book of the Dead and other Egyptian texts as one of the sacred symbols of worship at Heliopolis, closely associated with the rising sun and the Egyptian sun-god Ra.

The Greeks identified it with their own word phoenix φοίνιξ, meaning the color purple-red or crimson (cf. Phoenicia). They and the Romans subsequently pictured the bird more like a peacock or an eagle. According to the Greeks the phoenix lived in Phoenicia next to a well. At dawn, it bathed in the water of the well, and the Greek sun-god Helios stopped his chariot (the sun) in order to listen to its song. Featured in the painting Heracles Strangles Snakes (House of the Vettii, Pompeii Italy) as Zeus, the king of the gods.

One inspiration that has been suggested for the Egyptian phoenix is the flamingo of East Africa. This bright pink or white bird nests on salt flats that are too hot for its eggs or chicks to survive; it builds a mound several inches tall and large enough to support its egg, which it lays in that marginally cooler location. The convection currents around these mounds resembles the turbulence of a flame. In zoology, flamingos are part of the family Phoenicopteridae, from the generic name Phoenicopterus or "phoenix-winged."

"Phoenix" is also the English-language name given to the most important bird in Chinese mythology, the fenghuang, with its own set of characteristics and symbolic meanings.

Related usage

Phoenix on the portal of Nadir Divan-Beghi madrasah (part of Lyab-i Hauz complex)

In Persian mythology, Si'morgh, (Persian: سيمرغ, Middle Persian: senmurv) was a winged, bird-like creature that was very large and extremely ancient. The Simurgh appears in many Iranian literary classics such as Farid ud-Din Attar's Conference of the Birds as instructor and birds leader, and in Ferdowsi's epic Shahnameh (The Book of Kings); Phoenix raised up and cherished Zaal or Zal, father of Rostam.

The phoenix in the Summer Palace, Beijing, China.

The phoenix the central figure in Lebanese ancient and modern cultures, as Lebanese are descendants of the Phoenicians and often claim themselves sons of the Phoenix.[citation needed] Lebanon, and Beirut particularly, is often depicted symbolically as a phoenix bird having been destroyed and rebuilt 7 times during its long history.

In China, Fenghuang ("鳳凰") is a mythical bird superficially similar to the phoenix. It is the second most-respected legendary creature (second to the dragon), largely used to represent the empress and females. The phoenix is the leader of birds.

In Japan, the phoenix is called hō-ō(kanji:"鳳凰") or fushichō (不死鳥?); "Immortal Bird".

In Russian folklore, the phoenix appears as the Zhar-Ptitsa (Жар-Птица), or firebird, subject of the famous 1910 ballet score by Igor Stravinsky. The phoenix was featured in the flags of Alexander Ypsilantis and of many other captains during the Greek Revolution, symbolizing Greece's rebirth, and was chosen by John Capodistria (1828-1832). In addition, the first modern Greek currency bore the name of phoenix. Despite being replaced by a royal Coat of Arms, it remained a popular symbol, and was used again in the 1930s by the Second Hellenic Republic. However, its use by the military junta of 1967-1974 made it extremely unpopular, and it has almost disappeared from use after 1974, with the notable exception of the Greek Order of the Phoenix). It was introduced by Johann Bayer in 1603.

See also

The Phoenix represented in the 60 years of peace coin.
  • The Phoenix has been in a numerous times the main motive for collectors’ coins and medals, one of the most recent one is the famous Belgian 10 euro silver coin 60 years of peace. The obverse depicts the Phoenix as a representation of a new Europe, post 1945.
  • Főnix Hall, an arena in Debrecen, Hungary, which was named after the Phoenix.
  • Fenghuang, commonly referred to as the Chinese phoenix.
  • Firebird (Russian folklore), an equivalent of phoenix in Russian mythology.
  • Bennu, an Egyptian correspondence to the phoenix.
  • Angha, a Huma, Simurgh, Persian phoenixes.
  • Adarna, a Philippine version of the phoenix
  • Avalerion, an Indian magic bird that drowns itself once it has laid its eggs.
  • Garuda, an Indian version of the phoenix.


  1. ^ (Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek texts and English translations, page 59.)
  2. ^ [EMLS 11.2 (September, 2005): 5.1-15] Milton's Joban Phoenix in Samson Agonistes
  • R. Van den Broek, The Myth of the Phoenix - According to Classical and Early Christian Traditions, E.J.Brill, Leiden, 1972.
  • Silvia Fabrizio-Costa (ed.), La Fenice : mito e segno (simposio dell’università di Caen), Peter Lang, Bern, 2001. ISBN 3-906767-89-2
  • Françoise Lecocq, « Les sources égyptiennes du mythe du phénix », L’Egypte à Rome (simposio dell’università di Caen), éd. F. Lecocq, Cahiers de la Maison de la Recherche en Sciences Humaines, n° 41, Caen, 2005. ISSN 1250-6419, reed. 2008 (p211-266.)
  • Francesco Zambon, Alessandro Grossato, Il mito della fenice in Oriente e in Occidente, Venezia, Marsilio Editori, 2004. ISBN 88-317-8614-8

External links


Rise of the Phoenix

There are Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Egyptian, and Native American 

counterparts of the Phoenix.

They are -Huang, Ho-oo, Firebird, Benu, and Yel respectively). 
All of these birds are identified with the sun.
A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the 
front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents 
our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our 
environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its 
great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration.


Related to the verb weben (wbn), meaning "to rise", "rise in brilliance" or "shine" as well as ben-ben, the up thrust sacred stone of Heliopolis, benu (bennu) describes a bird that was an important avian deity. Originally of solar associations, the Benu bird came to be connected with three important gods consisting of Atum, Re and Osiris

As an aspect of Atum, the Benu bird was said to have flown over the waters of Nun before the original creation. According to this tradition, the bird came to rest on a rock from which its cry broke the primeval silence and this determined what was and what was not to be in the unfolding creation.

The Benu, according to ancient Egyptian mythology, was also believed to be the ba of Re, and by Egypt's Late Period, the hieroglyphic sign depicting the bird was used to write the name of this sun god. During the Middle Kingdom, it was said that the Benu of Re was the means by which Atum came into being in the Primeval water.

The Benu Bird from the Book of the deadLike the sun god, the Benu's own birth is attributed to self generation. A mythological papyri of the 21st Dynasty provides a vignette of a heart-amulet and scarab beetle near to which stand the Benu, which is described as "the one who came into being by himself". It was believed to constantly rise renewed just like the sun, and was called the "lord of jubilees". The Benu Bird was said to each morning appear under the form of the rising sun, and was supposed to shine upon the world from the top of the famous persea tree in Heliopolis wherein he renewed himself. 

This most likely led to the concept of its long life, later identifying it with the Greek phoenix which also renewed itself from a fiery death like the sun rising at dawn. In fact, it may have been the prototype for the phoenix, and there may well be an etymological connection between the two birds' names, though certainly there are distinct differences between myths surrounding them. 

The bird was primarily associated with Atum and Re, but inevitably, its connection with rebirth came to associate it also with Osiris. In quoting from the Book of the Dead, Wallis Budge quotes a passage that reads, "I go in like the Hawk, and I come forth like the Bennu, the Morning Star (i.e., the planet Venus) of Ra; I am the Bennu which is in Heliopolis" and he goes on to say that the scholion on this passage expressly informs us that the Benu is Osiris. In essence, the Benu was considered a manifestation of the resurrected Osiris. 

Herodotus tells us that the bird lived for 500 years before building a nest of aromatic boughs and spices which it then set ablaze and was consumed within the inferno. From the conflagration a new Benu bird arose who, after embalming its father's ashes, flew with them to Heliopolis where it deposited the ashes on the altar of the temple of Re. However, this tale told by Herodotus has no foundation in actual pharaonic mythology, where the bird never seems to permanently die. There were, in fact, a number of classical interpretations of the Benu bird which resulted in a misunderstanding of the Egyptian myth, perhaps because of the association with the Egyptian bird and the Greek phoenix. 


The yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava)At Heliopolis where the Benu bird first served as a symbol of solar deities, its iconography was probably fashioned from the yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava) which, according to the Pyramid Texts, represented Atum. However, by the New Kingdom, the bird was usually depicted as a gray heron (ardea cinera).  At that point in Egyptian mythology, it was usually represented with long legs and beak, and a two-feather crest growing form the back of its head. Typically, the bird surmounted a stylized ben-ben stone as a symbol of the great solar god, but its association with Osiris meant that it was also sometimes represented in the sacred willow of that god. Sometimes, it was also depicted wearing the Atef Crown in its aspect as Osiris. In at least, one the sarcophagus of the Divine Adoratrice of Amun, Ankhnesneferibre, now in the British Museum, the Benu is imagined as perched on a sacred willow tree in the temple. However, the Benu could also be depicted in a hybrid form with the head of a man. Classically, the Benu bird is described as being as large as an eagle, with red and gold (solar or flame-colored) plumage. 

The Benu Bird with Atef CrownThe bird was frequently depicted in the vignettes of the netherworld books as well as on heart amulets and other objects, particularly those of a funerary nature.  When carved on the back of a heart-scarab and buried with the dead, it is a symbol of anticipated rebirth in the netherworld and ensures that the heart does not fail in the examination of past deeds in the Hall of the Two Truths (judgment of the dead). In the Book of the Dead there are formulae to transform the deceased into the Great Benu. Here, the deceased says, "I am the Benu, the soul of Ra, and the guide of the gods in the Duat." In another verse, he says, "I am pure. My purity is the purity of the Great Benu which is in the city of Suten-henen."


Surprisingly little is known of the formal veneration of this important aspect of ancient Egyptian mythology. However, it is highly probable that it formed the basis for an important role in the cults near Heliopolis, where the cult was first established and probably most important.  Wallis Budge tells us that "the sanctuary of the Bennu was the sanctuary of Ra and Osiris, and was called Het Benben, i.e., the 'House of the Obelisk'..." However, almost nothing else is known about the worship of the most ancient of Egyptian icons.



The ancient Egyptians linked the myth of the phoenix with the longings 
for immortality that were so strong in their civilization, and from there 
its symbolism spread around the Mediterranean world of late antiquity. 
The Bennu bird was usually depicted as a heron. Archaeologists have found 
the remains of a much larger heron that lived in the Persian Gulf area 
5,000 years ago. The Egyptians may have seen this large bird only as an 
extremely rare visitor or possibly heard tales of it from travelers who 
had trading expeditions to the Arabian Seas.

It had a two long feathers on the crest of it's head and was often crowned 
with the Atef crown of Osiris (the White Crown with two ostrich plumes on 
either side) or with the disk of the sun.

This Egyptian phoenix was also associated with the inundation of the Nile 
and of the creation. Standing alone on isolated rocks of islands of high 
ground during the floods the heron represented the first life to appear on 
the primeval mound which rose from the watery chaos at the first creation. 
This mound was called the ben-ben. It was the Bennu bird's cry at the creation 
of the world that marked the beginning of time. The bennu thus was the got of 
time and its divisions -- hours, day, night, weeks and years.

The Bennu was considered a manifestation of the resurrected Osiris and the 
bird was often shown perched in his sacred willow tree.
Perhaps the most well known, the Arabian phoenix was a fabulous mythical bird, 
said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a 
melodious cry. Making it's home near a cool well, the Phoenix would appear at 
dawn every morning to sing a song so enchanting that even the great sun god 
Apollo would stop to listen.

It was said that only one phoenix existed at any one time, and it is very 
long-lived with a life span of 500 years, 540 years, 1000 years, 1461 years 
or even 12,994 years (according to various accounts). As the end of its life 
approached, the phoenix would build a pyre nest of aromatic branches and 
spices such as myrrh, sets it on fire, and is consumed in the flames. After 
three days the birth -- or as some legends say a rebirth -- the phoenix arises 
from the ashes. According to some sources, the phoenix arose from the midst of 
the flames.
The young phoenix gathers the ashes of its predecessor into an egg of myrrh and 
takes it to Heliopolis, the city of the sun, to deposit it on the alter of the 
sun god.

A symbolic representation of the Death and rebirth of the sun. It is also 
described as being either eagle like or heron like. It lives on dew, killing 
nothing and crushing nothing that it touches. Generally considered the king of 
birds. It has alternatively been called the bird of the sun, of Assyria, of 
Arabia, of the Ganges, the long-lived bird and the Egyptian bird. The earliest 
reference to the Phoenix was made by Hesiod in the 8th century B.C., but the most 
detailed account is by Herodotus of Halicarnassus, the famous Greek historian in 
5th century B.C.

In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is the symbol of high virtue and grace, of 
power and prosperity. It represents the union of yin and yang. It was thought 
to be a gentle creature, alighting so gently that it crushed nothing, and eating 
only dewdrops.

It symbolized the Empress usually in a pairing with a dragon (the dragon 
representing the Emperor), and only Empress could wear the phoenix symbol The 
phoenix represented power sent from the heavens to the Empress. 
If a phoenix was used to decorate a house it symbolized that loyalty and honesty 
was in the people that lived there. Jewelry with the phoenix design showed that 
the wearer was a person of high moral values, and so the phoenix could only be 
worn by people of great importance. The Chinese phoenix was thought to have the 
beak of a cock, the face of a swallow, the neck of a snake, the breast of a goose, 
the back of a tortoise, hindquarters of a stag and the tail of a fish.

A common depiction of the Feng Huang was of it attacking snakes with its talons 
and its wings spread. In fact images of the phoenix have appeared throughout China 
for well over 7000 years. Often in jade and originally on good-luck totems. 
Although during the Han period (2200 years ago) the phoenix was used as a symbol 
depicting the direction south shown as a male and female phoenix facing each other. 
It carried two scrolls in its bill, and its song included the five whole notes of 
the Chinese scale (I don't exactly know how it could sing with its mouth full). 
Its feathers were of the five fundamental colors: black, white, red, green, and 
yellow and was said to represent the Confucian virtues of loyalty, honesty, 
decorum and justice. Depictions of the phoenix were placed on tomes and graves. 
The Ho-Oo has been adopted as a symbol of the royal family, particularly the empress. 
It is supposed to represent the sun, justice, fidelity and obedience.  It was used in 
a wide variety of items including mirrors, lacquerware, textiles and chests. 

Origin: China

Feng Huang (Chinese)
Hou-ou (Japanese)
Feng (Hou) represents male phoenix, yang, solar
Huang (Ou) represents female phoenix, yin, lunar

Often depicted together with the Dragon,
either as mortal enemies or as blissful lovers.
Considered equivalent to Red Bird | Big Bird (Suzaku)
One of the guardians of the Four Directions (Shishin)

Phoenix, Image from Imari Porcelain ware, photo courtsesy Nihon Toji Taikei, Vol. 19 (Imari Ware)
Phoenix, Image from Imari Porcelain ware
Photo courtesy Nihon Toji Taikei, Vol. 19 (Imari Ware)

Phoenix Drum, found in the Engaku-ji Bell Tower
Phoenix Drum, Engaku-ji Temple Bell Tower, Kita-Kamakura


In Japan, as earlier in China, the mythical Phoenix was adopted as a symbol of the imperial household, particularily the empress. This mythical bird represents fire, the sun, justice, obedience, and fidelity.

modern cartoon image of Asian Phoenix

According to legend (mostly from China), the Ho-oo appears very rarely, and only to mark the beginning of a new era -- the birth of a virtuous ruler, for example. In other traditions, the Ho-oo appears only in peaceful and prosperous times (nesting, it is said, in paulownia trees), and hides itself when there is trouble. As the herald of a new age, the Ho-Oo decends from heaven to earth to do good deeds, and then it returns to its celestial abode to await a new era. It is both a symbol of peace (when it appears) and a symbol of disharmony (when it disappears). In China, early artifacts show the Phoenix (female) as intimately associated with the Dragon (male) -- the two are portrayed either as mortal enemies or as blissful lovers. When shown together, the two symbolize both conflict and wedded bliss, and are a common design motif even today in many parts of Asia (see below).

= Feng, Male Phoenix    = Huang, Female Phoenix
The Chinese compound term Feng Huang means Phoenix. The Feng Huang was believed to control the five tones of traditional Chinese music and to represent the
Confucian virtues of loyalty, honesty, decorum and justice. Its image first appears on Shang artifacts of China's Western Zhou Period (11th century BC to 771 BC).

The symbolism of the Chinese Phoenix (Feng Huang) is strikingly similar to the symbolism of the mythological Red Bird (Zhuque 朱雀), also of Chinese lore.

In Japan, the Red Bird is pronounced Suzaku (same Chinese characters). I believe the Red Bird is the same creature as the Phoenix, although I may be wrong. The Red Bird is one of four legendary Chinese creatures guarding the four cosmic directions (Red Bird-S, Dragon-E, Tortoise-N, and the Tiger-W). The four appear during China's Warring States period (476 BC - 221 BC), and were frequently painted on the walls of early Chinese and Korean tombs to ward off evil spirits. Please visit the Shishin (four celestial guardians) page for more on these four creatures and their manifestations in Japan. Please click here for more on Suzaku. For more details on Phoenix lore in China, please click here.

The Asian Phoenix should not be confused with the Phoenix found in Egypt and Greece -- that is a bird of completely different feathers and traditions. The Arabian-Western Phoenix, if you recall, is a solidary creature -- only one of its kind. When it dies, it dies in flames, and from the ashes is born the next phoenix.
Click here
for background on the Egyptian and Greek phoenix.

Hou-ou |  鳳凰ほうおう

Below courtesy
A mythical Chinese bird, thought to have been introduced to Japan in the Asuka period (mid 6th to mid 7th century AD). The phoenix has a bird's beak, a swallow's jaw, and a snake's neck; the front half of its body is thought to resemble a giraffe, the back half a deer. Its back resembles a tortoise, and its tail is like a fish. It is often shown in a paulownia tree (Chinese parasol tree, aogiri 梧桐), with bamboo in the background, or surrounded by Chinese arabesque foliage karakusa 唐草. It became a popular decorative motif in the Nara period (late 7-8c), and was used on a wide variety of items including textiles, mirrors, chests, and lacquerware. Outstanding early examples of the phoenix designs can be seen on the ceiling of Houryuuji Kondou Nishi-no-ma 法隆寺金堂西の間 (late 7c). Houou depicted on the back of mirrors were popular in the Heian period (9-12c). Some of these used a Chinese style, but others Japanized the houou motif, replacing arabesque foliage with Japanese wild grasses, and changing the bird to resemble a blue magpie, onagadori 尾長鳥, or a crane, tsuru . A famous pair of houou statues, made of copper and measuring 1 metre in height, can be seen on the roof of
Byoudouin Hououdo (photo here) 平等院鳳凰堂 , Kyoto (10c). Throughout the 13-19c the houou remained a popular design, particularly on gold and silver lacquered boxes (see makie 蒔絵) and for noh costumes. The original Chinese background of paulownia and bamboo was gradually replaced by combinations of peonies, cherry blossoms, crysanthemums, and seasonal Japanese wild flowers. The phoenix appears on three crests, monshou 紋章, known as hououmaru 鳳凰円, lit. phoenix circle, tachi houou 立ち鳳凰 lit. standing phoenix, and tobi houou 飛び鳳凰 lit. flying phoenix. <end quote from JAANUS


Wood carving on entrance hall to Nikko Toushogu in Tochigi Prefecture



Phoenix Design on Edo Era bowl -- bowl from online store of blueandwhiteamerica
Above: Design on Edo-Period bowl
(at the online store of
The phoenix is typically shown with spread wings,
in the act of attacking "naga" with its strong claws.
 Skt. "NAGA" means all serpentines, snakes, and dragons.


Heain Era, 11 century, Atop Amida Hall, Byodo-in Temple

Above & Below
Heian Era, 11c, Atop
Amida Hall, Byodo-in, Kyoto
From early times (by at least China's Han Period),
 the Hou-ou was depicted as a male-female pair facing each other.


In China, the phoenix is ofter paired with the dragon
as well -- the pair represent both conflict and wedded bliss.
Above Photo: Hall of Heavenly and Terrestrial Union (China)
Ornamental door design of Phoenix (Empress) and Dragon (Emperor)

Modern cartoon image of Asian PhoenixCHINESE LORE
Feng, the Chinese phoenix, had the head of a pheasant, the tail of a peacock, the Five Cardinal Virtues inscribed on its body, and the most enchanting song of any bird. Feng was associated with the primordial forces of the heavens and was also the bringer of good fortunes, and visions of the phoenix god were were omens of great luck in the near future. Long (Dragon, East, Water) and Feng (Phoenix, South, Fire) are most often depicted as enemies because of their opposing elements (water and fire). Several Chinese folktales center around the clash between the phoenix and the dragon. However, they're also depicted as partners. Long is the male counterpart to the female Feng, and together they can symbolize both conflict and wedded bliss.

Mandarin Ivory Phoenix Design - piece available online at - the Red Bird
"Phoenix" is used as a translation for Feng, or Feng Huang, the sacred bird of Chinese mythology. It has many miraculous attributes, but not self-rejuvenation, and does not posess the Arabian phoenix's propensity for self-immolation. It is usually portrayed as a beautiful bird, virtually identical to an ornamental pheasant. Few illustrations match its verbal description, as it is said to have the front of a swan, the hinder parts of a unicorn, the throat of a swallow, the bill of a chicken, the neck of a snake, the stripes of a dragon, and the arched back of a tortoise.

Its plumage is of the five mystical colours - black, white, red, green and yellow, and it has twelve tail feathers, execept in years when there is an extra month, when there are thirteen. It feeds on bamboo seeds, lives in the branches of the dryandera tree, and drinks from fountains of fresh water.

It is one of the four emblems of royalty, usually associated with the Empress. The expression "Dragon and Phoenix" signifies wedded bliss. In many respects its symbolism has been confused and merged with that of the Red Bird, one of the four Celestial Emblems (Walters)."
Above exerpts from Derek Walters "An Encyclopedia of Myth and Legend: Chinese Mythology" and Donald A. Mackenzie "Myths of China and Japan."

Unconfirmed Research
The Asian phoenix is said to descend from the clouds only when a virtuous ruler is born. It then alights only on the paulownia tree (though it feeds on bamboo seeds). The paulownia is a real tree that bears fragrant purple flowers, often depicted as white.

Ho-oo Egg Cup (from online store)PHOENIX HISTORY, CHINA
If we look at the Shang ritual cups and bronze decorations of the Western Zou period (around 3,000 years old) we find the images of five animals often repeated: the lion, the fish, the deer, the dragon and the phoenix.

The lion and the fish have origins in Buddhist icons, while the other three are often found together, such as on the inside of the coffin of the wife of the Marquis of Dai (2,200 years old). The four animals dragon, tiger, unicorn (or deer) and phoenix are called "si ling" in Chinese, and with the passage of time other animals such as the snake and the turtle were added to this group of animals to be worshipped.

Right from the earliest representations the phoenix has been shown with spread wings, often in the act of attacking snakes with its strong claws. During the Han period, 2,200 years ago, the Phoenix was used as a symbol to indicate the direction south, and was often shown in a pair of facing male and female birds. It may also be found paired with the dragon, in which case the dragon represents the Emperor and the phoenix the Empress.

An interesting difference between the way the dragon and the phoenix are shown in decorations is that the dragon is used to fill all the space available on a vase for example, while the phoenix is used to fill specific space in the decoration such as around trees, rocks, and flowers.

Phoenix Porcelain Plate - Ruby Lane Item A500 (from web online store)The symbol of the Fenice has been used on objects in China, often in jade, for over 7,000 years, originally on good-luck totems, and then, from around 2,000 years ago to represent power sent from the heavens to the Empress.

A phoenix used to decorate a house showed loyalty and honesty in the people who lived there. The phoenix was believed to control the 5 tones of Chinese music and to represent the
Confucian virtues of loyalty, honesty, decorum and justice.

Considering the importance of this mythical bird, it was inevitable that it would also be used to decorate tombs and graves. The right to wear jewellery showing the phoenix was reserved for important people, and showed that the wearer was a person of high moral values. 





American Indian Pictograph of a thunderbird
connected to a human by a speech line
from Wisconsin's Roche-a-Cri State Park.

Editors note:  This is my own experience:

8-17-00 - DREAM - I was watching a book being created about the people on the Survivor television show.  Pictures and captions were placed on the pages which were white.  Towards the end, someone asked the question as to why this book was being created and then the pages turned from white to grey with overtones of pink and green.


8-17-00 - VISION - I was so tired I lay back down and I started to see the Survivor page again and I heard a voice say, "The 1995 Thunderbird is important"  Then someone said, "Don't you like Indians?" then I heard the name Allan Bronson.




In approximately 2003, I was standing in my backyard, and I saw movement up in the sky out of the corner of my eye. I looked upward and coming out of a large cloud was something that was black.  It was silent as it moved and I was trying to figure out if it was a bird or a plane.  It seemed large for a bird, but it didn't flap it's wings.  It seemed too short to be a plane - so it didn't seem to be either bird or a plane.  Then I thought, 'maybe its a ufo'.  But who ever heard of a black ufo that wasn't a triangle.  This thing seemed more bird-like.  It was absolutely noiseless.  It stayed straight and steady as I watched it until it finally reached my horizon behind some trees to the west of me.

I wrote about this sighting on my website, and several months went by.  Then one day I got an IM from a man I didn't know and he said he lived in Modesto, CA which is about 15 miles directly west of where I live.  He said he saw the exact same thing I described.  He wasn't positive it was the same day I saw my black object in the sky - but the coincidence and description matched.  He told me that he was a cook in a restaurant, and he had stepped outside to cool off between customers and have a cigarette and he saw this object in the sky overhead, but heading north from where he was.

My sighting was a trajectory of slightly south of directly west - very slightly - so from his vantage point, the black object had to have turned and was now headed north. 

The two of us talked about this object several times and I asked him if he could draw a picture of the object and send it to me, but he never got around to it.


This is from the Manatoulin Islands, which lie between the U.S. and Canada.

Manitoulin means spirit island in the Ojibwe language. The island was a sacred place for the native Anishinaabe people who were Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi.


According to their tradition, and from recordings in birch bark scrolls, many more of them came from the eastern areas of North America, or Turtle Island, and from along the east coast. They traded widely across the Continent for thousands of years, and knew of the canoe routes west, and a land route to the west coast. According to the oral history, seven great miigis (radiant/iridescent) beings appeared to the peoples in the Waabanakiing (Land of the Dawn, i.e. Eastern Land) to teach the peoples of the mide way of life. However, the one of the seven great miigis beings was too spiritually powerful and killed the peoples in the Waabanakiing whenever the people were in its presence. The six great miigis beings remained to teach while the one returned into the ocean. The six great miigis beings then established doodem (clans) for the peoples in the east. Of these doodem, the five original Anishinaabe doodem were the Wawaazisii (Bullhead), Baswenaazhi (Echo-maker, i.e., Crane), Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck), Nooke (Tender, i.e., Bear) and Moozoonsii (Little Moose), then these six miigis beings returned into the ocean as well. If the seventh miigis being stayed, it would have established the Thunderbird doodem. At a later time, one of these miigis beings appeared in a vision to relate a prophecy. The prophecy stated that if more of the Anishinaabeg did not move further west, they would not be able to keep their traditional ways alive because of the many new settlements and European immigrants that would arrive soon in the east. Their migration path would be symbolized by a series of smaller Turtle Islands, which was confirmed with miigis shells (i.e., cowry shells). After receiving assurance from the their "Allied Brothers" (i.e., Mi'kmaq) and "Father" (i.e., Abnaki) of their safety in having many more of the Anishinaabeg move inland, they advanced along the St. Lawrence River to the Ottawa River to Lake Nipissing, and then to the Great Lakes. First of these smaller Turtle Islands was Mooniyaa, which Mooniyaang (Montreal, Quebec) now stands. The "second stopping place" was in the vicinity of the Wayaanag-gakaabikaa (Concave Waterfalls, i.e. Niagara Falls). At their "third stopping place" near the present-day city of Detroit, Michigan, the Anishinaabeg divided into six divisions, of which the Ojibwa was one of these six. The first significant new Ojibwa culture-centre was their "fourth stopping place" on Manidoo Minising (Manitoulin Island). Their first new political-centre was referred as their "fifth stopping place", in their present country at Baawiting (Sault Ste. Marie). Continuing their westward expansion, the Ojibwa divided into the "northern branch" following the north-shore of Lake Superior, and "southern branch" following the south-shore of the same lake. In their expansion westward, the "northern branch" divided into a "westerly group" and a "southerly group". The "southern branch" and the "southerly group" of the "northern branch" came together at their "sixth stopping place" on Spirit Island (Template:Coor dms) located in the St. Louis River estuary of Duluth/Superior region where the people were directed by the miigis being in a vision to go to the "place where there are food (i.e. wild rice) upon the waters." Their second major settlement, referred as their "seventh stopping place", was at Shaugawaumikong (or Zhaagawaamikong, French, Chequamegon) on the southern shore of Lake Superior, near the present La Pointe near Bayfield, Wisconsin. The "westerly group" of the "northern branch" continued their westward expansion along the Rainy River, Red River of the North, and across the northern Great Plains until reaching the Pacific Northwest. Along their migration to the west they came across many miigis, or cowry shells, as told in the prophecy.


Thunderbird is a term used in cryptozoology to describe large, bird-like creatures, generally identified with the Thunderbird of Native American tradition. Similar cryptids reported in the Old World are often called Rocs. Thunderbirds are regarded by a small number of researchers as having lizard features like the pterosaurs and Pteranodon. Although reports of Thunderbird sightings go back centuries[1], due to the lack of scientific evidence or fossil record the creature is generally regarded as a myth.

This article deals with modern sightings (the last 200 years) of such a creature, reported as real, as opposed to mythological accounts, though believers in the phenomenon often use the Native American legends to support their claims.

Early reports

There is a story that in April 1890, two cowboys in Arizona killed a giant birdlike creature with an enormous wingspan. It was said to have had smooth skin, featherless wings like a bat and a face that resembled an alligator. This description has some similarity to that of a prehistoric pterodactyl, an animal whose existence was known at the time. They are supposed to have dragged the carcass back to town, where it was pinned with wings outstretched across the entire length of a barn. A picture of this event may have been published in the local newspaper, the Tombstone Epitaph. It should be noted that[2] has an account of this story with the events taking place in the state of Texas.

According to Mark Hall, the Epitaph did indeed print a story about the capture of a large, unusual winged creature, on April 26, 1890.[3] Beyond this single story, however, no one has made historic corroboration that this event ever occurred; it is usually considered an urban legend. Utterly fictional tall tales were not an uncommon feature in newspapers during this era. [4]

No one has ever produced a copy of the "thunderbird" photograph, though numerous people, Ivan T. Sanderson being one of the better known, have made claims to its existence. Sanderson claimed to have once owned a copy of the photo, which vanished after he loaned it to an acquaintance in the 1960s. The television program Freaky Links staged a similar photo, giving new life to the "Thunderbird Photograph" legend.[5]

Jerome Clark speculates that the description of the basic image in question (men standing alongside a winged creature nailed to a barn), is evocative enough to implant a sort of false memory, leading some people to vaguely "remember" seeing the photo at some distant, imprecise time.[6]

 20th century

There have also been Thunderbird sightings more recently. On occasion, such reports were accompanied by large footprints or other purported evidence.

Among the most controversial reports is a July 25, 1977 account from Lawndale, Illinois. About 9 p.m. a group of three boys were at play in a residential back yard. Two large birds approached, and chased the boys. Two escaped unharmed, but the third boy, ten-year-old Marlon Lowe, did not. One of the birds reportedly clamped his shoulder with her claws, then lifted Lowe about two feet off the ground, carrying him some distance. Lowe fought against the bird, which released him.

Viewed by some as a tall tale, the descriptions given by the witnesses of these birds match that of an Andean condor: a large black bird, with a white ringed neck and a wingspan up to 10 feet.[7] Loren Coleman and his brother, Jerry, interviewed several witnesses after the reported event.

 21st century

In 2002, a sighting of a large birdlike creature, with a wingspan of around 14 feet, was reported in Alaska.[8] Scientists suggested the giant bird may have simply been a Steller's Sea-Eagle, which have a wingspan of 6-8 feet.

As recently as 2007, sightings have been claimed in the area around San Antonio, Texas.[9]


As mentioned above, some cryptozoologists have theorized the ancient Thunderbird myth to be based on sightings of a real animal with a mistaken assessment of its apparent size.[10] Some skeptics have claimed such a large bird could never have flown, but several flying creatures with huge wingspans are indeed known. The prehistoric vulture-like Argentavis magnificens had a wingspan of around 7 m (21 feet) and was capable of flight. The massive Cretaceous-era pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi was the largest known flying creature in history,[11] with a wingspan of around 12 metres (39 ft).[12]

Cryptozoologists also posit that the Thunderbird was associated with storms because they followed the drafts to stay in flight, not unlike the way a modern eagle rides mountain up currents. Noted cryptozoologist John Keel claims to have mapped several Thunderbird sightings and found that they corresponded chronologically and geographically with storms moving across the United States.

Angelo P. Capparella,[13] an ornithologist at Illinois State University, argues that the existence of such undiscovered large birds is highly unlikely, especially in North America. There is not enough food, Capparella says, in many areas where abnormally large birds are reported. Perhaps more important, according to Capparella, is the lack of sightings by "the legions of competent birdwatchers ... scanning the skies of the U.S. and Canada" who sometimes make "surprising observations" with cameras at the ready (see for example 20th-century sightings of the Eskimo Curlew). Were there breeding populations of large, unknown birds, Capparella contends they could not remain unknown very long.


  1. ^ The Giant Thunderbird Returns
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Mystery Of The Thunderbird
  4. ^ Hanlon, Tina L. "Tall Tales and Jack Tales: Literature and Writing Activities", 7 May 2007, Study Guides, Ferrum College, official site. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  5. ^ The Cryptozoologist: Cryptozoology
  6. ^ Clark, Jerome (1993). Unexplained! 347 Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurrences, and Puzzling Physical Phenomena. Visible Ink Press. 
  7. ^ Thunderbirds Spotted over Illinois! (Not the airplanes)
  8. ^, Reuters (2002-10-18). "Massive bird spotted in Alaska". Retrieved on 2006-08-11. 
  9. ^ "Sightings of mysterious giant bird continue in San Antonio". My San Antonio News. 2007-07-28. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ The Dino Pit Fossils: Quetzalcoatlus northropi
  12. ^ Lawson, D. A. (1975). "Pterosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of West Texas. Discovery of the Largest Flying Creature." Science 187: 947–948.
  13. ^ cited in Clark, 1993

This photo shows Union soldiers during the Civil War standing over the corpse of an unknown species of giant bird.
This photo is reputed to be of the so-called "Thunderbird" of American Indian myth.


The Quillayute is a Chimakoan tribe living along the Quillayute River, a six-mile river on the Olympic Peninsula. The fishing village of Lapush is at its mouth.

These stories are adapted from Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest by Ella E. Clark, University of California Press, 1953.

Long ago, there was a sad time in the land of the Quillayute. For days and days, great storms blew. Rain and hail and then sleet and snow came down upon the land. The hailstones were so large that many of the people were killed. The other Quillayute were driven from their coast villages to the great prairie, which was the highest part of their land.

There the people grew thin and weak from hunger. The hailstones had beaten down the ferns, the camas, and the berries. Ice locked the rivers so the men could not fish. Storms rocked the ocean so the fishermen could not go out in their canoes for deep-sea fishing. Soon, the people had eaten all the grass and roots on the prairie; there was no food left. As children died without food, even the strongest and bravest of their fathers could do nothing. They called upon the Great Spirit for help, but no help came.

At last the Great Chief of the Quillayute called a meeting of his people. He was old and wise. "Take comfort, my people," the Chief said. "We will call again upon the Great Spirit for help. If no help comes, then we will know it is His will that we die. If it is not His will that we live, then we will die bravely, as brave Quillayute have always died. Let us talk with the Great Spirit."

So the weak and hungry people sat in silence while the Chief talked with the Great Spirit, who had looked kindly upon the Quillayute for hundreds of years.

When his prayer had ended, the Chief turned again to his people. "Now we will wait for the will of the One who is wise and all-powerful."

The people waited. No one spoke. There was nothing but silence and darkness. Suddenly, there came a great noise, and flashes of lightning cut the darkness. A deep whirring sound, like giant wings beating, came from the place of the setting sun. All of the people turned to gaze toward the sky above the ocean as a huge, bird-shaped creature flew toward them.

This bird was larger than any they had ever seen. Its wings, from tip to tip, were twice as long as a war canoe. It had a huge, curving beak, and its eyes glowed like fire. The people saw that its great claws held a living, giant whale.

In silence, they watched while Thunderbird - for so the bird was named by everyone -carefully lowered the whale to the ground before them. Thunderbird then flew high in the sky, and went back to the thunder and lightning it had come from. Perhaps it flew back to its perch in the hunting grounds of the Great Spirit.

Thunderbird and Whale saved the Quillayute from dying. The people knew that the Great Spirit had heard their prayer. Even today they never forget that visit from Thunderbird, never forget that it ended long days of hunger and death. For on the prairie near their village are big, round stones that the grandfathers say are the hardened hailstones of that storm long ago.

Thunderbird is a very large bird, with feathers as long as a canoe paddle. When he flaps his wings, he makes thunder and the great winds. When he opens and shuts his eyes, he makes lightning. In stormy weather, he flies through the skies, flapping his wings and opening and closing his eyes.

Thunderbird's home is a cave in the Olympic Mountains, and he wants no one to come near it. If hunters get close enough so he can smell them, he makes thunder noise, and he rolls ice out of his cave. The ice rolls down the mountainside, and when it reaches a rocky place, it breaks into many pieces. The pieces rattle as they roll farther down into the valley.

All the hunters are so afraid of Thunderbird and his noise and rolling ice that they never stay long near his home. No one ever sleeps near his cave.

Thunderbird keeps his food in a dark hole at the edge of a big field of ice and snow. His food is the whale. Thunderbird flies out of the ocean, catches a whale and hurries back to the mountains to eat it. One time Whale fought Thunderbird so hard that during the battle, trees were torn up by their roots. To this day there are no trees in Beaver Prairie because of the fight Whale and Thunderbird had that day.

At the time of the Great Flood, Thunderbird fought a long, long battle with Killer Whale. He would catch Killer Whale in his claws and start with him to the cave in the mountains. Killer Whale would escape and return to the water. Thunderbird would catch him again, all the time flashing lightning from his eyes and flapping his wings to create thunder. Mountains were shaken by the noise, and trees were uprooted in their struggle.

Again and again Killer Whale escaped. Again and again Thunderbird seized him. Many times they fought, in different places in the mountains. At last Killer Whale escaped to the middle of the ocean, and Thunderbird gave up the fight.

That is why Killer Whales live in the deep oceans today. That is why there are many prairies in the midst of the forests on the Olympic Peninsula.

Back to Atmospheric Sciences Home

Harry Edmonn (


Phoenix crop circle may predict end of the world

Crop circle experts believe the latest pattern to be discovered, a phoenix rising from the flames in Wiltshire, may give a warning about the end of the world.

Phoenix crop circle: Phoenix crop circle may predict end of the world
The 400-foot design was discovered in a barley field in Yatesbury near Devizes Photo: M & Y PORTSMOUTH

The 400-foot design was discovered in a barley field in Yatesbury near Devizes and depicts the mythical phoenix reborn as it rises from the ashes.

Investigators claim more formations are referencing the possibility of a cataclysmic event occurring on December 21, 2012, which coincides with the end of the ancient Mayan calendar.

The Mayans believed civilisation exists within a series of earth cycles of 144,000 days each with the 13th expiring in December 2012, resulting in Armageddon.

Crop circle enthusiast Karen Alexander, from Gosport, Hants, said: "The phoenix is a mythical creature which symbolises rebirth and a new era in many cultures across the world.

"Within the crop circle community many believe the designs are constantly referring to December 21 and its aftermath.

"This could be interpreted as the human race or earth rising again after a monumental event.

"The patterns are becoming more intricate with every find and it is exciting to think how they are going to evolve by the time we get to 2012."

Recent crop circles have included giant jelly-fish and one image discovered in Wiltshire in June which experts dubbed the most 'mind boggling' they had ever come across.

The formation, measuring 150ft in diameter, is apparently a coded image representing the first 10 digits, 3.141592654, of pi.

Rapeseed crop circles
The Gate – 2012 Enigma Music?

Aztec Bird In Crop Circle

On June 14, 2009, a crop circle was reported in Barbury Castle, near Wroughton, Wiltshire. The natural phenomenon or hoax coincides with the representation of an Aztec bird. From our Maya archives (Jorge Enciso. Sellos del Antiguo Mexico. 1947), these motifs are one of the bird designs found in Teotihuacan, Mexico City. We include the image from the Lucy Pringle website dedicated to record the latest in crop circles.



We talked to Lord Pakal Ahau about the Aztec Spirit Bird to know his reactions, however he remained silent looking down, and seconds later with a sense of nervousness in his voice, he said: ‘Look at the discovery date of King Hanab Pakal’s tomb.’

I don’t know what Lord Pakal is hiding from us at this moment but he was right. The crop circle report coincides with the discovery date of King Hanab Pakal’s tomb on June 14, 1952. Thinking more, it reads: ‘We are here but who are them?” I did not bother Lord Pakal after this discovery but I understand now his nervousness because his sacred reincarnation happened when the stone lid of the tomb was moved two months later on August 22, 1952.

Whatever means, it seems like a strange warning message knowing the bird represents our highest divinity called Quetzalcoatl, and in the Maya prophecy Quetzalcoatl (or Kukulkan) appears in 2012. If the message is of extraterrestrial nature I don’t want to know why the latest message is so direct physically and symbolically and I understand Pakal’s nervousness about future messages in crop circles.

To ease my nervousness too about this incident, I made the design as a vector illustration for our 2012 Mayan Prophecy Store to show the message is fun and cool to wear.


NOTES FROM THE EDITOR: In Pakal’s Hidden Secrets, a page that Lord Pakal wrote in 2002 in his trilogy website. He mentions something prophetic about a phoenix as some crop circle experts named the Aztec Spirit Bird, a motive for resurrection time. Here’s the text that he extracted from War of the Worlds, a narrative about hostile alien invasion. Also listen to the sound clip. You can also read breaking news about France to disclose ET presence on Earth here. Holy WOW SETI signal!

“I’m not trying to tell you what to be
Oh no, oh no, not me
But if mankind is to survive
The people left alive
They’re gonna have to build this world anew
And it’s going to have to start with me and you.

Just think of all the poverty, the hatred and the lies
And imagine the destruction of all that you despise
Slowly from the ashes the phoenix will arise
In a brave new world.”

(Lord Pakal Ahau)