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The Night of the Gods Vol II

An Inquiry into Cosmic and Cosmogenic Mythology and Symbolism

John O'Neill

On dentandoit ti Solon s'it avoit estably les rneilleures laix qu'il avoit pert aux Athdniens. "'Otiy bien," respondit-il, "de celles qu'ils eussenit receues" (Plutarch, Solon, cap. ix). Var,-o s'ercuse de pared air, qrce s'il avoit tout de nouveau d escrire de la relz'*,o-ion il diroit ce qii'il en croid; mzis (la religion) estant desia recerce et fornc!e, il en lira selorz l'itsttg-e'plus que selon natiere (Dans S' Augustin, De Civ. Dei, v, q..) -Essais de 1lTontcrigne, III, ix.

PREFACE TO VOLUME II.

' CANNOT let this book go forth without endeavouring to

express my deeply-felt and warmest thanks to all the friends

' who have so kindly helped to bring out this second volume which concludes my dear lost husband'g work, THE NIGHT OF THE GODS, although, as will be seen by Mr. Hewitt's note at the head Of p. 790, and throughout the text, much of the second volume is simply a collection of rough notes which have been printed as they stood' but which would undoubtedly have been worked out, applied, and summarized, had the Author lived to complete his work. The system of index also, which he contemplated, and on which he had made considerable progress, was most elaborate and exhaustive. This it has been found absolutely necessary to curtail very considerably. When all my dear husband's friends have been so kind and helpful in the bringing out of this second volume of THE NIGHT of THE Goes, it seems almost invidious to make distinctions. But I must record my sense of gratitude to Mr. Hewitt, not only for his great kindness in going over the MSS., but also for the consoling words of help and encouragement he gave when I was almost despairing. I must thank sincerely and warmly Mr. Nutt for undertaking the publication, and for the great personal interest he has shown in the book. To the old friends who have known my dear husband longer even than I have' it has been, I am sure, a labour of love to do what they can to help, but I am none the less deeply indebted to them, and thank them from my heart. To take the Committee in the order in which their names stand, after assuring them all of my profound and undying gratitude, I must mention especially Dr. Budge for his kindness in revising the proofs, Mr. Morris Colles for his invaluable help and advice, Prof Douglas for his assistance in the revision of -the proofs, and here again Mr. Hewitt must be assured that his help in that labour has the best thanks I can give.

Preface to Volume II.

Dr. Warren originated the hope that in spite of many discouragements the book might be given to the public in its complete form. Mr. Hewitt gave me the first practical suggestion as to how the book should be brought out. Mr. Rowe carried out that suggestion promptly and efficiently, and prepared the way for the realization of the desire I had scarcely dared to hope to see fulfilled. To my dear husband's brother-in-law, Mr. Grattan Geary, I am indebted for invaluable literary advice and assistance, and to him and to my husband's old friend, Mr. Justice Pigot, for the generous donations which made the task of publishing by subscription comparatively easy.

With these few poor words of thanks I will leave these pages to speak for themselves. My husband's aim will be realized if they prove an aid to students in their endeavour to illumine the "'Night of the Gods."

HENRIETTA O'NEILL.

SELLING,

NEAR FAVERSHAM,

November, 1896.

MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR.

T may be interesting to briefly indicate the various steps which led an official in one of the great public departments, whose active life was spent in the discharge of duties of a very different' if not less arduous kind, to devote years of labour to the study of the origin of cosmopolitan religious myths and symbols' and embody the results in a work of so profound and varied a character.

Gifted with intellectual powers of no mean order, Mr. O'Neill combined an exceptional capacity for grasping general principles with a marvellous patience in mastering details. This faculty was fully recognised by his departmental superiors' and marked him out for employment from time to time on special missions requiring special aptitudes. Thus he was sent by the War Office to Paris in 1363 to investigate the working of the Intendance Militaire, and in 1878 his services were lent to the Foreign Office for employment in their newly acquired possession of Cyprus. He was appointed Auditor and Accoiintant-General' and it- fell to him to evolve order out of the monetary chaos prevailing in that island, where coins of eleven different currencies, having no recognised relation to each other, were in circulation to the great profit of the money-changers, who fixed a rate of exchange almost daily to the bewilderment and impoverishment of the ordinary trader. Mr. O'Neill succeeded in establishing a regular currency #f three factors-the pound sterling, the Turkish beshalik' and the Egyptian piastre-which were accepted thenceforward by the tax-gatherer, the merchant, and the general public as the equivalent of the pounds, shillings, and pence of Great Britain. While engaged in this and other administrative work of considerable difficulty, he found time to observe and note the many remains of the ancient religious beliefs of the island which were continually cropping up.

For such observations in an island which was ' for centuries a debateable land between East and West, between Egypt, Phoenicia, !Z 2.

Memoir of the Author.

and Assyria on the one hand, and Greece and the Hellenic civilisation on the other, in the remoter past, and Venice and the Turks in after ages, the Author was in some measure prepared by the trend of inquiries which he had already pursued with remarkable zest and indefatigable application.

In 1869 he became a contributor to the Pall Plall Gazette, then under the able editorship of Mr. Frederick Greenwood. While so engaged, in what might be called his leisure hours, he had sent to him for review, M. Aims Humbert's japons Ilitisti,,f, a work which so interested him that he at once resolved to study Japanese in order to explore the field of inquiry thus opened to his vices. His first studies in that difficult language were made under the competent guidance of Professor Summers, by whom he was introduced to Mr. W. G. Aston, the accomplished Japanese scholar' then attached to the British Embassy in Japan. The friendship # then begun lasted for his life. Mr. Aston greatly facilitated Air. O'Neill's Japanese studies, and with this view obtained for him through the Foreign Office introductions to several Japanese gentlemen of good family who were then in London for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the mechanism of Western administration. In return for instruction in Political Economy and the principles of scientific taxation, these gentlemen imparted to him a singularly thorough knowledge of the Japanese language, literature, history and religious beliefs. It may be mentioned, that as a special token of personal regard, one of the' most distinguished of these Oriental students presented Mr. O'Neill with the beautiful weapon with which his father, a Daimio of high rank, had committed the Happy Dispatch during the troubles which preceded the establisoment of the new order of things in the Empire of the Rising Sun.

Mr. O'Neill published A Firstjtz

,panese Book, which has been of great use to students. It is a translation of one of the Buddhist discourses of Kiu-d.(Kiza-B-Dow-a) with notes' and the original rendered into Roman characters. This field of Oriental research led naturally in after years to a study of Chinese and some slight acquaintance with the .thousands of.ideagraphs which enable that ingenious people to dispense with an alphabet. In this branch of study Mr. O'Neill was greatly indebted to Professor Gustav

Ybtenaoir of the Author.

Schlegel, of the Leyden University, for help and instruction. That great authority on the learning of the Far East kindly. corrected the proofs of the first volume of the present work.

The conception of embodying in THE NIGHT OF THE GODS the result of years of patient labour in so many and various fields of inquiry' occurred in this wise. After leaving Cyprus, Mr. O'Neill resided in France for some years, writing for many of the Reviews, .English. and French, on a variety of subjects. He gave special attention to medieval French literature, and to the curious and long since obsolete patois of the Free Companies of the France of the Middle Ages. He embodied some of the fruit of these researches in a disquisition in French on Li Roys des RibaTCCls. It was while engaged in these resêarches and on literary work, reviewing books on religious symbols for one of the (,quarterlies, that it occurred to him that the common origin of the religious myths and symbols is to be found in the impression made on the mind of every race in every clime, by thê phenomena of the revolution of the earth, and its relation, real or apparent, to the sun, the moon and the stars. The phenomena being universally observed by primitive man in the same stage of development, and under very similar conditions' gave rise to similar, if not to identical, interpretations. This general principle, applied to the symbols and myths of races and climes so diverse as those of the Aryan races of Europe and India, the yellow races of Eastern Asia, the red races of America' the black races of Africa and Australia, yields some striking and unexpected results.

It was from the midst of these promising labours, of which these pages are the first-frLtitS, that Mr. John O'Neill was removed, almost without warning, by death.

GRATTAN GEARY.

BOMBAY.

Contents of Volume I I .

CHAPTER I.

HEAVEN'S MYTHS.

The Wheel.

The Wheel ... ... 583

The Praying Wheel ... ... 589

The Fire-Wheel ... ... 591

The Heavens-Wheel ... ... 597

The Wheel-God ... ... 60o

The Shoes of Swiftness ... 620

Buddha's Fo0tprint ... 624

The Three Steps ... 633

The Legs o' Man ... 635

The Chakra as Wheel of the

Law ... ... ... 640

The Swastika ... ... ... 649

The Wheel of Fortune ... 605

The Glyph Ra ... ... 610

The Wreath ' ... ... 613

The Romaunt of the Rose ... 614

CHAPTER II.

Buddha's Footprint.

The Labyrinth ... The Doric Fret ... The Conch-Shell

662 670 677

The Chakra as Weapon ... 678 Stone Weapons of the Gods ... 682 The Flaming Sword ... ... 687 Ceraunia, Brontia, and Ombria 689

CHAPTER III.

Dancing.

Circular Worship ... ... 692 The Salii ... ... ... 714

Right and Left ... ... 70o Numa Pompilius . ... ... .7tg

Religious Dancing ... ... 703 The Dance of the Stars ... 723

Leaping ... ... ... 712 The ""Dancing" Dervishes ... 725

CHAPTER IV.

The Sphere.

The Winged Sphere ... 731 Feathers ... , ... 76 1

The Man-Bird-God ._. ... 741 The Egg ... . ... 765

The Wings of Kronos . ... 748 The Winged Scarab ... 769

Divine Birds ... ... ... 75t

Contents.

CHAPTER V.

SOME HEAVEN'S GODS.'-

Kronos and Ptah.

Kronos ... ... ... ... 774 The White Wall ... ... The Symbols O and Q and C# 780 Argos, Argo, and the Argei Fallen Gods ... ... ... 784 Dariaâ ...

Polar versus Solar Worship ... 790 Seb-Kronos

CHAPTER VI.

The Kabeiroi, or Khabirim.

The Seven Kabeiroi ... 8tz The C0rybantes ...

The Kabeiroi Generally ... 822 The Curetes : ...

The Three Kabeiroi . 828 The Dactyles . ...

The Two Kabeiroi # 836 The Telchines ...

The Dioscures ... ... 839 The Arvalian Brothers

CHAPTER VII.

HEAVEN'S MYTHS (reszznzerzr).

The Heavens-River.

The Milky-Way ...

The Bees ... ...

... 803 ... 807 ... 809 ... 811

... 841 ... 843 ... 845 ... 847 ... 848

851 Holy Water ... ... 866

855 . Nebulae and Meteors ... 871

The Milky-Way (continued) . 859 Weaving the Veil ... 872

The Glyph # ... ... ... 863

CHAPTER VIII.

HEAVEN'S (AND AXIS) MYTHS.

The Mountain.

The Mountain Atlas Meru

883

884

... _ 887

'The Dual Mountain .. , '.. 891

Holy Mountains generally ,'.:. . : w 895

Mountain-Climbing ' . #02

Parsf Dakhmas ... - 905

The Marvellous Mountain ... The Mountain as the HeavensVault., .... , ... The Enchanted Island ... Le Pays de Coc.-igne

...

-The Cone . ... ... ...

907

... 911 .- 915 ... 918 gzz

Contents.

CHAPTER IX.

POLAR MYTHS. The Number Seven.

Astrology ... ... ... 931

The Seven of Ursa Major ... 937

Thebes ... ... ... 950

The Number Seven ... 955

The Seven Sleepers ... 962

The South ... ...

Sisyphus and Tantalus ...

The Axis as a Bridge

The Seven Churches ... ... 963 The Week ... ... ... 966 The Maini, Manus' and Rishis 971

The Week (resumed) ... 974

CHAPTER X.

The South.

.., 977 The Tomoye

... 9 3

CHAPTER XI.

Universe-Axis -Myths.

The Dogs at theChinvadh Bridge ggg The Ladder

... ... 985

992 # The Heaven's-Boat ... ... 1009

... 1015

CHAPTER XII.

Whorls ...

APPENDIX.

... ... ... 1019

Rags ... ... ... ... 1029

ERRATA.

Page 5g8, line i0, dele 17, 20.

599, heading, The Heavens-Wheel instead of Wheel-God.

line 3, dele 14.

605, i0, dele 16.

612, 13 from top, Lakshiiii instead of Lakshnu.

774 t t, dele 37. .

776, 12, Ab. Aud instead of Ab. And.- -

866, 12 from top, generator instead of generation.

INDEX TO REFERENCES.

Page 592. heraldry (z lines from bottom) ... ...

601. brothers (3 lines from bottom) ... ... ...

6oz. dealt with at (4 lines from bottom) ... ... ...

Summanus (5 lines from top) ... ... ...

607. Ixion (4 lines from bottom) . ... ... ...

610. Universe-Egg (to lines from top) ... ... ...

618. Maccabees (8 lines from top) ... ... ...

635. Tomoye (bottom line) ... ... ... ...

637. Tomoye (t4 lines from bottom) ... ... ...

,. 646. Serpents-egg (bottom line) ... ... ... ...

654. Ku-Meru (t2 lines from top) ... ... ... ...

Kronos (t6 lines from top) ... ... ... ...

656. bees (t4 lines from bottom) ... ... ... ...

10,000 (t4 lines from bottom) ... ... ... ...

664. dogs (tg lines from bottom) ... ... ... ...

mountain (4 lines from bottom) ... ... ...

682. At (top line) ... ... ... ... ...

At (z lines from top) ... ... ... ...

At (3 lines from top) ... ... ... ...

on p. (t2 lines from top) ... ... ... ...

Yamato (4 lines from bottom) ... ... ...

see pp. (z lines from bottom) ... ... ...

706. at pip. (t t lines from top) ... ... ... ...

711. Helicon (t9 lines from top) ... ... ...

714. Hwang Ti (t4 lines from bottom) ... ... ...

at p. (z lines from bottom) ... ... ...

at pp. (tottom line) ... ... ... ...

750. advanced (4 lines from bottom) ... ... ...

755 see p. (4 lines from top) ... ... _ ...

758. at p. (3 lines fr0m bottom) ... ... ...

805. on p. (t3 lines from top) ... ... ... ...

808. at p. (t8 lines from t0p) ... ... ... ...

8t8. V3yu-Purana (to lines from top) ... ... ...

... 658 ... 848 ... 780 ... 785 ... 643 ... 768 ... 709 ... 986 . 985

... 691 ... 977 ... 778 ... 855 ... 657 ... 1004 9129979

89t, 914

... 704 ... 891 ... 891 ... 891 704,705

815, 816

... 938 178,942

. 924 833 834

... 820 ... 765 ... 956 ... 807 .., 1032 ... 973