[Author’s Note: We are, of course, aware that the Book of Revelation is not an Indo-European scriptural source. However, as can be seen in this fine art-work – this does not stop it from consciously drawing upon a veer-y Indo-European set of concepts. With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to pen a commentary bringing together several elements from our previous work (chiefly GHOST DIVISION) to help explore these. [-C.A.R.] ]
The Arrival of #GangSTEPPE , by Viktor Vasnetsov (1887).
I’m … only semi-joking, here – it is not at all coincidental that the depiction of the First Horseman so closely resembles that of an ‘Eastern’ Horse-Archer.
Not least as there’s a pretty compelling argument for this being intentional symbology deployed in the Apocalypse of John anyway about the White Horseman – pertaining perhaps to the Parthians, those much-feared foes of the Roman Empire who would bring about the ruin of so many Imperators [on a complete side-note, this is why it has always amused me, when some Americans vaingloriously think of themselves as “The New Roman Empire”, with “Pax Americana”, flowing and following on from Britain, one supposes, as Thalassocratic Athens. As wars in Iraq/Mesopotamia .. tended not to go very well for the Romans … But again, I digress]
Yet it goes much further than that. Looking out over the annals of Indo-European history, and thence further into the Realms of Myth [from whence the Indo-European Ancestors have an interesting habit of riding upon the ways of the wind back out from again into the mundus-mundanus, at least temporarily, and from time to Time] – we see that there is an intrinsic linkage between quite an array of Indo-European bello-social activity, and turning up on horseback, in war-wagon, mounted upon chariot [or, to be sure, the ‘sea-horse’ that is a raiding-ship … which may, come to think of it, figure further into some of the occurrences demarcated in Revelations – not least due to the well-known aversion of the earlier Abrahamic people(s) to the Sea, the Sea Peoples, and the Terrors which come thencefrom], to carry out acts of conquest, the infliction of death, and the levying of Tribute upon the survivors.
We keep seeing the pattern within Indo-European Mytho-Religion of the All-Conquering Rider, equipped with a Bow, or Spear – in each case potentially a projectile and certainly a skewering weapon [the “skw”, if i recall correctly, PIE particule underpinning also not only the ethnonym of the “Scythians”, but also the very term “To Shoot” in our modern parlance!], and very often mounted upon a ‘white’ or a ‘grey’ [and note, with deference to Indo-European linguistics, just how close these terms actually are – “Pel”/”Pelh” , i think, offhand, rather like “Pale”, effectively means both of these within its steppe-ranging ambit of meaning] Horse or other mount [These PIE words may link, further, to terms around the sky (especially in colouration), animal skins/hides [also useful as shielding], covering/encompassing, charging [‘pelh’] and flying [plew]; [‘peh’ – to hate; and ‘peh’ [slightly different pronunciation], to protect/shepherd, may also be worth a look-in]; the application of all of which, to such a Conquering Cyng, the Lord of Heaven, can clearly be seen … even without having to strain one’s eyes gazing upon the Sun-Wheel [and, for that matter, Moon-Wheel] of the Chariot [consider Lord Shiva as Tripurantaka! for the Chariot; or the Grey Sleipnir of Odin, or the White Nandi, or the White Antelope/Gazelle/Horse of Vayu-Vata … ];
often as the Son of the Above in multiple senses of this phrasing Red, or in some cases, ‘Ruddy’ , Mighty Rider generally correlated with Planet Mars, and the Iron of blood and blood-shedding weapons [Ares, Mars, Mangala, Thor… also, as it happens, the prominent colour association of Ma as Katyayani , one of the fiercest Warrior Forms of the already supremely martial Durga] ;
no doubt, if I were to look further into it, i would find similar symbolic resonances around a ‘black’ mounted rider, within the skeins of Indo-European mytho-typology, also;
and as applies the Death horseman … Who rides on a Pale Horse [‘pale’ here in the sense of ‘corpse-pallor’]… well, leaving aside for the moment the potential alternate or even additional interpretations of the relevant Greek colour-descriptor “khloros” as possibly meaning yellowish-green (potentially meaning Gold – PIE ‘Ghelh’, which gives us both the modern “Yellow”, and also, at least one of the Sanskrit terms “Hari” ) … just take a look at the notation that “Hell Followed With Him”, iirc rendered as “Hades” in the original text. A Horseman, you say, accompanied by the Dead … directly linked with Greek “Hades”, further associated with “wild beasts” …
Whether or not the entire ‘Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ so familiar to us from popular culture – and often, in point of fact, rather unfamiliar in its more ‘authentic’ original Biblical/Christian-theological-and-eschatological formulations – has previously been thought of as Implicitly Indo-European in the past …
… IT IS NOW !
Even in many of those Indo-European peoples who would probably not be immediately thought of as steppe Horse-Folk, the ‘cultural’, ‘mythic’, ‘theological’, and ‘sociological’ Memory yet remains. Consider, for example, why Odin of the Norse is the Attacking Rider. Or the Roman and Greek Equites & Hippeus classes. Or the Chariot of Thor [which you’d think would be a rather impracticable conveyance, for a mortal-projecting mythic metaphoric cultural construction grown up amidst the mountains and fjords and un-even (even marshy, or boggish, in some areas) grounds of much of Scandinavia]. [A similar thought occurs around the Chariot’s cultural saliency in both Greek and Roman religion and society at the height of those cultures, even despite its military fading from prominence in both cases, not least, in the case of the former, due to the relative terrain of Greece]. The “White Horse” motif that has galloped through the English ‘national’ imagination for some centuries if not millennia now. Or all the many and various permutations of the “Horse-Twins” to be found across the Indo-European-osphere.
And, as detailed at quite some length in terms of my thinking upon it, the Very Indo-European phenomenon of the WILD HUNT mytheme!
I would also contend, as applies the STEPPE psycho-military linkage, that this has yet continued in the more modern IE-based peoples of the region in question – and have elsewhere written rather extensively, if dysjointedly, about how Soviet and later Russian armoured/mechanized doctrine is, in point of fact, GangSTEPPE, with seemingly deliberate Horse-Archer characteristics, for the Modern Age. Perhaps I shall collate those writings at some point.
… but for the mean-time, and for further elucidation upon the more direct subject at hand, let us turn to the works of #NASLePati Combat-Theologian Curwen Ares Rolinson: viz. the GHOST DIVISION article published through Arya Akasha, which I shall quote from:
“The etymological roots of the theonym of Skanda are also illuminating. While it is conventionally regarded as deriving from PIE ‘Skendh’ – that is, “To Jump”, and related concepts; I would instead perhaps link it to PIE (S)Kewd – that is, “To Shoot”, “To Throw”, or rather directly .. “To Skewer”. You can see how this is relevant for a Spear-Wielding Deity; and interestingly, it is also the origin-point for the folk-name of those other famous mounted warriors, the Scythians, with their mastery of both riding and firing-on-the-move, as akin to the wind and the hail and the storm themselves .. , and possessed of prominent deific figures with long-arm weapons, mounted upon horseback.”
“The second, starts out as a concept that might look euhemeric .. but in point of fact [and/or lance, spear, arrow, and blade], is potentially anything but.
It is my belief that the phenomenon of the Wild Hunt, and related mythological occurrences, are in fact something of a “Folk Memory” – of the time when the Indo-Europeans were in fact, horse-borne (or chariot/war-wagon mounted), shooters or spearmen [and, in point of fact, even the name “Scythian” derives from the Proto-Indo-European root for “shoot”], ‘huntsmen’ of man and beast, far-ranging and un-keep-out-able as the Wind. An interpretation strengthened via the perhaps surprising references to Odin Himself as hailing from the Black Sea (or possibly Anatolian) area – whence the Urheimat likely lies.
Now lest I be misinterpreted here, I am not seeking to suggest that this means they’re any less Real as a result of this. Rather, quite the contrary. This above-proffered explanation shows a clear pathway of connection between the Mythic and the Historical; with the co-occurring ‘Mytho-Historical’ Manifestation of the ‘Ghost Division’ therefore bringing both the Historical [i.e. the materialy adducible Ancestors and Ancestral existences] into the Mythical, and vice versa [via the ‘grounding’ of the phenomenon, also, in the barrows of the Steppe].
In any case, the idea is not merely one of a legend passed down to keep alive the vague idea of what we once were … but also, and at least as importantly, a “living” [perhaps ironic phrasing] memory, comprised of figures from our past, rampaging through our present, and thence helping to inform and refresh our glorious future. That is to say – these are actual illustrious Forebears, of whatever degree of Divinity or Divine Descent , periodically witnessed across the clouds or amidst the smoke of the cremation pyres. And no doubt, quite especially after the intake of the particular ancient somewhat entheogenic sacraments of Cannabis and/or Psilocybe – which can have a considerable positive net effect, for those able to handle it – of aiding and availing with the re-viewing , the re-velation of the world in a much more Mythic perspective. Both are quite strongly associated with the Lord of the Ghosts Deity in question; and with further buttressing from both the spear-shape of the mushroom, and the well-attested tendencies of Scythians, Sadhus, and Shiva Himself towards the crystal-bearing cane in question. (Indeed, one more colloquial term for Cannabis upon the Subcontinent – Vijaya (Victory) – provides quite an interesting potential #NAS spin on the array of Odinic Theonymics along the lines of “Victory-God”)
The identity of the “High Rider”, then, stands in most strong elucidation as a result of all of the above. Reconfirmed not merely as an ‘Archetypal’ resonance, a cross-cultural ‘resemblance’, nor a vague and now-enhanced ‘remembrance’ … but as the actual Sire – that is to say, King – of the ancient Indo-European Folk.”