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Saturday, 25 May 2013

The bull.



It is hard not to have a soft spot for The bull of Heaven, Gugulanna.

He used to become angry with the Anzu bird...a lion headed, flying nuisance that no one would have missed if it had been swatted.

Anzu bird biting Gugulanna.

He lived in the Great Beyond.
He was the husband of the queen of the Great Beyond...

And the gods used him as a weapon.



Bad tempered, essence of earthquake..

He met his end at the hands of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, an annoying pair of trouble makers who had nothing better to do than devastate the beautiful ceder forests of Lebanon.

And to tear the leg from the bull to throw into Inanna's lap.

Enkidu pays the price...

Gilgamesh must wander  through the world to its very edge, seeking the answer to death.

And then Inanna uses the death of Gugulanna as an excuse to visit her sister, who remains a widow until Lord Flame gains enough courage to drag her from her throne and become Lord of the Great City...



As the Minotaur, he was the bull-headed love-child no one could love.
Done to death in the heart of the labyrinth.
In theory with the double headed axe...
But that isn't how the Greeks drew it.



Latter the theme of human sacrifice associated with the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, resurfaces as 'Moloch'.




But deep in the Underworld, the boy with bulls horns is fascinated with the spinning, shinny things the Titans have brought as gifts.


You know..

The bull is always going to be torn and dismembered..

As the sun blots out his stars.
Every which way this story turns.

But there is time before the bull dies...




He rampages through Crete, tearing trees and flowers and tossing maidens into the air..

Heracles catches him, and lets him free in Marathon.

And not all the maidens are killed..






And there are images of 'bull leaping'
Older than the Cretan...

From the 'Old Babylonian' period.

Or so I'm told


Hittite image.


And images much younger than the Cretan...
People still do it!