Friday, October 23, 2015

The Religion of the Saka

The stiff front piece on the head covering 
is like those worn by Ainu chiefs.

Saka Yuetzhi warrior

Alice C. Linsley

There has been some fascinating speculation about the Israelite origin of the Saka Scythians. Indeed, there are indications of a connection between the Saka and the biblical rulers known as Horites. The Horites dispersed very widely in the ancient world, taking their religious practices with them.

The Saka ruled in India, Syria, Anatolia, Serbia, Bactria and Southern China. These rulers were kingdom builders, like Nimrod. They also appear to have been devotees of Horus, the "son" of the Creator. The eye of Horus is called vidjet. In Serbian vidjet means to see. There are many linguistic connections between words in Serbian, Nilo-Saharan languages and Sanskrit.

The Saka rulers appear to have the same marriage and ascendancy pattern as the Horite rulers listed in Genesis 4, 5 and 10. These rulers had two wives, as did their descendants Abraham, Jacob, Amram, Moses and Elkanah. Horite ruler-priests were found among the Saka.

According to Hindu sacred texts, the Saka ruled the ancient world for 7000 years. They were ethnically Kushites. Genesis calls these rulers of the archaic world "the mighty men of old"(cf Nehemiah 3:16). Some of these rulers dispersed far from their ancestral homes and established kingdoms in Syria, Southern Europe, Northern India and the Tarim Valley of China. In all the regions to which their ancestors dispersed we find a common toponym: Tamana. Proto-Saharans formerly lived in these areas. Tamana means "great place." The ancient Tamana sites were rock and river shrines established by Proto-Saharan peoples.

The Saka are grouped into Eastern Scythians and Western Scythians. The Western Scythians were followed by the Sarmatians, then the Alans and finally the Ossetes, but they share a common patrimony. They are related to the Yuezhi of Bactria and China. Both the Saka and the Yuezhi are ethnically Kushite.

The Yuezhi from around 176 BC to 30 AD

The Kushan-Yuezhi called themselves Visha or the Vijaya. This is usually rendered "tribes" although the word refers to their two ruling royal houses, as in vijana, the splitting of wisdom. The honorific title Pharaoh originates in the term pr-aa, which means "great house." In Vedic tradition, pra-jna means "wisdom of the great house." The words have multiple, related meanings (polysemic). In Vedic tradition the a-laya-vijña-na is the seed of the receptacle-world, but literally it means the receptacle of the seed, as in va-gina, symbolized originally by the pictograph V.

Karmic seeds - bija - are laid down in Alaya-vi-jña-na to produce karmic fruition. Alaya (aalaya) refers to a house, dwelling, or a receptacle. Bi is a variant of vi.

vi or bi - separation, division into two parts (social moiety)
jna - wisdom / to know
pra- intensifier

The divine Seed was regarded as giving life on earth and also immortality. Consider how the Bible refers to Christ our God as the Seed. Genesis 3:15 foreshadows the Christ's birth to the Woman who shall bring forth the Seed that will crush the serpent's head. Jesus refers to Himself as the Divine Seed in John's Gospel.

The Solar Arc and Animal Symbolism

The Ra-Horus-Hathor narrative involves the sun as the emblem of the Father and Son. This is represented in images of Ra's solar boat upon which Horus is often shown as a falcon perched on the mast. "

Horus of the Two Crowns" Horus is the only mythological figure in ancient Egypt who was understood to be a man, and as a man he wears the two crowns. This is alluded to in the account of the priest Yeshua/Joshua who receives the c owns in Zechariah 6:11: "Take the silver and gold, and make crowns, and set it upon the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest..."

The expectation of a Righteous Ruler-Priest who would overcome death and save his people has a very early expression in the Re-Horus-Hathor narrative. Horus was regarded to be co-equal and co-eternal with his father Ra. He was spoken of as the fixer of cosmic boundaries. Horus was invoked to send favorable winds. The four winds often appeared as birds at the four quarters of the heavens announcing the accession of Horus' deified ruler on earth. On the walls of Amenemhat III's burial chamber at Hawara Horus is depicted at the cardinal points and associated with the resurrection of the ruler. The four forms of Horus: the man, the jackal, the falcon, and the baboon top the canopic jars holding the ruler's organs.

Depending on the cultural context the animal symbolism changes. In the story of the binding of Isaac, the lamb is exchanged for a ram, signifying resurrection of the appointed ruler for which Horus stood as the archetype. "Horus of the two horizons" was the sacred calf on the western horizon who rises as a bull in mature strength on the eastern horizon. In another version, Horus was a lamb who rises as a ram. The ram was the symbol of the Giving God. All stories about a dying deity who returns from the grave are essentially the same myth with variations. This myth has a wide global dispersion, indicating that it is very old. Joseph Campbell called it the "monomyth" of the hero's journey.

The expectation of a divine ruler who would overcome a sacrificial death was expressed in the religion of Ammon as a ram. Believing that he might be the living god, Alexander the Great made a pilgrimage to the Ammon shrine at Siwa in the Libyan Desert to consult the oracle there. He became known as Dhul-Qarnayn, the two-horned one because coins minted during his rule show him with ram's horns.

Among the Nilotic peoples, the sun is shown between two lions. The Nilotic Luo speak of piny horu (soft h), a reference to the dawning of a new day. Horu refers to Horus of the two horizons, the son of Re. Horus was said to have fixed the rising and setting of the sun. The temporal sacred center was high noon when the sun rested exactly over the Nile. This is depicted by the Egyptian Akar, an image of twin lions carrying a sun disk on their backs.

Akar relates to the solar arc, the sun's big stride over the earth, a sign of the Creator's sovereignty over all. The two lions are called ruti (or rute/ rude) which in Luo means twins or things coming in pairs.

Long before Abraham's time, the Giving God was associated with the Sun. He was sometimes portrayed as riding the sun as a chariot, or as sailing in a solar boat. He was sometimes portrayed as a bull calf with the sun cradled between his horns.

This Giving God was also associated with the constellation of Leo. The bull was often shown in ancient European images between two lions, just as the Sun was shown between two lions among the ancient Nilotes. The Giving God was called Horus among the Saharo-Nilotes and the Kushite Saka called him Hromi Daba, the "Giving God."

Hromi Daba was also known by the names Crom Dubh and Grom Div. His association with the Sun is seen on the Triglav Stone (below) from Istria which shows the Giving God haloed by the Sun. This Giving God was also understood to be a Trinity. Triglav refers to trinity or triune.

Among the Saka the Siberian deer was a symbol of the Giving God. Deer antlers are found in many Saka burial sites. This creature was associated with gold and the Sun, the emblem of the Creator.

British archaeologists are aware that long before Stonehenge was erected, ancient inhabitants of the British Isles used such head dresses in religious ceremonies dating back to 9,500 BC. At Starr Carr, 21 such red deer skulls with antlers were discovered. All had holes that would have been used to tie them to the head with a leather thong for ceremonial use. (For more on this go here.)

The Red Deer of Europe, western Asia and North Africa is a distinct species from the red elk of eastern Asia and North America. These red stag and hinds roamed from North Africa to Ireland. The red color symbolized revitalizing blood and may have had the same significance for the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles and their kinsmen living in Serbia. That would explain the presence of red-deer antlers at Stonehenge and in the graves of the Saka of Northern India, Bactria, Thrace, and the Steppes of central Eurasia.

Here is a description of Christ as the "true sun" in Gildas' De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae:
Meanwhile, to the island stiff with frost and cold, and in a far distant corner of the earth, remote from the visible sun, He, the true sun, even Christ, first yields His rays, I mean His precepts. He spread, not only from the temporal firmament, but from the highest arc of heaven beyond all times, his bright gleam to the whole world in the latest days, as we know, of Tiberius Caesar. At that time the religion of Christ was propagated without any hindrance, because the emperor, contrary to the will of the senate, threatened with death informers against the soldiers of that same religion.


Joseph Messner said...

Alice: as you've talked about the dispersal of early peoples, you've noted the use of red ochre in burial and as a powerful symbol of the hope of redemption. Those stories, from my memory, seem to be largely confined to Africa Nd other areas in "the old world". The NYT has a recent article on the excavation of a burial site from about 12,000 years ago in Alaska that also has the children buried in red ochre. Here's the link:

Thanks for your posts! Best,

Joseph Messner
Wooster, Ohio

Margaret said...


Another group of peoples who might be remnants of the Sarks are the Sarakatsani of Greece. They are nomadic shepherds who moved their flocks according to the seasons in the regions of Bulgaria, Macedonia, Yugoslavia, Albania, and Northern Greece, and some may still do that. They are considered to be an ancient people, but no one has, to my knowledge, definitively determined their origins. Their language is Greek with words of arachaic Greek, they have adopted Orthodoxy, but they hold to many tribal customs. In the 1950s they still traveled with their flocks, but have become more settled now, still holding to their traditions. Their costume is not like those above, but is made primarily of goat-hair and they live in "wigwam" type portable dwellings. Marriage is traced patrilineally. They are fair and blonde.


DManA said...

How do these people relate to the Indus Valley civilization. Did they conquer and displace them?

Alice Linsley said...

The Indus Valley was earlier populated by peoples who moved out of the Nile Valley, Canaan, and the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. Their ancestors were cattle-herding Proto-Saharans (c. 12,000-5,000 BC). The Proto-Saharans imagined that the Y of the long cow horns was a cradle for the sun, and they regarded the sun as the Creator's emblem. The so-called "Canaanite Y" indicated the divinely appointed ruler. That is why so many Biblical rulers have names with the initial Y: Yaqtan (Joktan), Yishbak (son of Abraham by Keturah), Yitzak (Issac); Yishmael (Ishmael), Yosef (Joseph), and Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus).

The veneration of cows in Hinduism can be traced to those ancestors and the Harappa civilization that recognized Horus as father. Har-appa means "Horus is father" in Dravidian. Images of Horus and solar boats have been found as far east as Cambodia.

Julien Etienne said...

Hello Dr. Linsey! I just wanted to say that your research has been an eye-opening experience for me, and also has gotten me to re-read the scriptures (again) from scratch as well as conduct more research in the tribes of Africa. I have one question and one request that I am wondering you can do for me:

1) I reread the table of nations but I am lost as to how Abraham stemmed off Nimrod and is eventually a descendant of Arpacsad. Can you elaborate again on how you came to this conclusion? Thanks.

2) Have you ever conducted research on the Eve/Ewe people of west africa? They have customs that are In line with the Hebrews of the scriptures and their oral history matches them to the kingdom of Kush and beyond (in Arabia). I have researched them for months now and have found them to have an uncanny semblance in the ways of the Hebrews. Especially in Necromancy, spoken of as a middle-eastern custom. This source came from Jacob spieths findings on the "Ewe people of German Togo".

Last, they call their God "Yeve" or Mawu. I have found the name Yeve to be found in the older scriptures that date back 200-300 years ago. Yeve associated with Yhvh or Yehovah. What is your take on this? Thanks again! Much appreciated.

Alice Linsley said...

Thank you, Julien, for this thoughtful comment. To understand how all the rulers of Genesis are related, you will need to understand the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham's ancestors, the Horim (Horites). The ruler-priests lines intermarried and had a distinctive kinship pattern.

Here are some articles that will be helpful in answering your questions:

The Marriage and Ascendancy Pattern of Abraham's People

Sent-Away Sons

The Nubian Context of YHWH

Genesis 10 is not a table of nations. It provides details about a speciic line of people - the R1b Haplogroup which dispersed across the archaic world. Some of these, like Nimrod, were Abraham's kingdom-building ancestors. They were culturally Nilo-Saharan or Kushite. This dispersion has been verified by many sciences, including DNA studies, comparative linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, climate studies and migration studies.

This should help you with the questions you are asking. If not, let me know.

Best wishes to you!

DManA said...

Is the Dravidian language related any Proto-Saharans languages.

Alice Linsley said...

Dravidian and Proto-Dravidian words share many of the same roots as the languages found along the ancient Nile during the time that the Sahara was wet.

There is a connection between many Sanskrit words and words found in the languages of Serbia, ancient Anatolia and ancient Bactria.

See this:

DManA said...

Saw a TED talk from a guy working to decode the Indus Valley Script. Fascinating subject. I understand they are making some progress too.

I've read a couple of books, watched documentaries on how the Maya script was decoded. Just a triumph of human intelligence and perseverance.