Monday, March 14, 2005

The Hidden Hero

Mythologists have long recognized the motif of the hidden or sleeping hero. In many cases, these myths take the form of messengers or incarnations (avatars) of a deity sent to earth. Often researchers trace these myths back to the earliest known examples in literature such as that of the abgal of Sumer.

As discussed earlier, the abgal are seven sages sent to earth one after another by the god Enki (Ea). Like Enki who came swimming from Dilmun in the East, these sages arise from the sea. In many instances, we find a similar motif of a hero concealed in the ocean , on an antipodean island, or in a mountain.

Quetzalcoatl, the Mesoamerican deity predicted to return one day, is sometimes said to be in the heart of the ocean. The Hindu savior Kalki is also said to rise from the sea on a white horse. Kalki is an avatar of Visnu, whose first incarnation was in the form of a great fish (matsya) that saves humanity from the flood. In the apocryphal IV Esdras (8:3) the messiah appears as a man coming from the "heart of the sea" in the sixth vision of the prophet.

King Arthur of Celtic fame was sometimes located in the "depth" of the sea or on an antipodean island, sleeping to awake in latter times.

The ancient Kai or Zoroastrian kings went to their repose in the mysterious palace of Kang-dez often said to be in the middle of the cosmic mountain. From there they will accompany the final savior in the last battle between good and evil. The Shi'ites believe the Hidden Imam and his sons wait on five islands for the coming of the messianic al-Mahdi.

A whole host of European monarchs became sleeping heroes hidden in mountains to include Frederick Barbarossa in Kyffhäuser Mountain and Karl V and his army in Odin's mountain.

The Javanese know their coming hero as Satria Piningit the "Concealed Warrior," and the Old Testament says in a passage often cited as messianic:

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me.

Isaiah 49:1-2

Like the planet or star that enters the Underworld by seemingly sinking into the ocean or mountain to the West, only to rise again from the East, so to the cosmic heroes. However, as we can see authentic historical figures, like the Holy Roman emperors, were assigned to the same motif, so it cannot be explained merely as a Jungian archetype. From the perspective of this work, the returning hero is Tala of the Dragon and Bird Clan.

The coming of the saving hero is sometimes indicated with rather vague chronological clues, but at other times with actual dates, at least in the form of the expected year of appearance.

These dates appear based on an astronomical cycle which has been widely studied. Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend examined this cycle, which has been linked with the creation of various calendars, in Hamlet's Mill.

Although estimates for the cycle's beginning vary from about 4,000 BC to 3,000 BC, most tend to point toward the first few centuries before 3,000 BC.

During this period, the star Sirius rose out of the Sun's bright light, known as the heliacal rising, at around the time of the summer solstice. The Pleiades constellation, or "Seven Sisters," was very near the ecliptic, the path of the Sun, and was very close to exactly due East when rising above the horizon.

Paul Kekai Manansala