The Radiant Queen of the Heavens – On Scythian Tabiti As Template For The Greater Indo-European Solar Goddess [Part 3 – The Wide Shining One And The Eye Of The Bright Sky]

The point of all of this, has been to attempt to sketch out in broad (solar-ray-diant, perhaps via illumination, provided you don’t look too directly at it) brush-strokes a sort of typology for the situation. One wherein we can clearly see that the Sky Father’s Consort may have been ‘replicated’ and referred to in various differing ways throughout even the same Indo-European mythological descendent canons, yet remains remarkably identifiable via the underlying consistencies of each and every account in key details. Even if some of those details and consistencies are less than completely present in this or that particular expression thereof therein. 

This serves quite literally ‘twin’ purposes in terms of our overarching quest. First, it helps to establish in reference to the Solar Children that such situations as can be observed with Helen or Tapati are not isolated occurrences or somehow departures and distortions from the underlying Indo-European mythology – but rather, are contiguous and coterminous instances that are fundamentally in alignment with it. Indeed, which are basically coherent functional expressions of what our ancient ancestors actually believed. Even if some of the slightly more recent ones semi-obscurated these in favour of brighter, then-more-modern (neo(n)) lights.

And second, it helps to identify the common parentage of these children – that is to say, that the various theonyms and functional descriptors utilized to talk of this or that Solar Progenitor and Wife … are also referring to the same Divine Beings. So just as we can point to, say, the Dioskuri, the Ashvins, and Hengist & Horsa and say that these are identifiably the same figures refracted down through the ages by the Greeks, Hindus, and Germanics from the same underlying Indo-European identities … so, too, can we point to Zeus, Dyaus Pitar/Rudra/Vivasvat/Surya, and Odin … and make exactly the same assertion. Which, it should be noted, is not as uncontroversial as it might first appear. I shall not spend too much time dwelling upon this, except to observe that while Zeus as Dyaus is well-accepted, and while Dyaus as Rudra is strongly supportable (including, as it happens, via Agni being referred to as Rudra, the Heavenly [Divo] Sire [Asura] in, for example, RV II 1 6 ), the concept of Dyaus/Rudra being hailed as Surya is a difficult proposition. This is particularly the case given the … downright Greek level of complication introduced when we also include Vishvakarman / Tvastr in proceedings. But more upon that, perhaps, some other time. 

What we can perhaps postulate via way of squaring the Gordian circle in these regards, is that the Surya that is hailed as the Father of the Asvins … is not necessarily the Surya that is most usually hailed as *the* Sun. At least, not directly. For the Sun as the One All-Seeing Eye of Varuna-Aryaman is well attested, but so too is the suggestion of *this* Sun being the Son of Dyaus (That is to say – the Son that is the Eye that is the Sun is the Son of the Sun Whose Eye It Is) [Although it should also be noted that the shining Son of the Sky Father (Whether Surya, or Helios) is not the only deity ascribed the title of His Eye – Ushas, a Divine Daughter of the Sky Father is also hailed repeatedly in similar terms; thus further supporting the notion that for the Vedic conception (and likely, other Indo-European religious understanding as well), the Solar portfolio really is a ‘team effort’, and a perhaps surprisingly both-gender-egalitarian one at that, too.].

It would therefore be my suggestion to regard “Surya” as a ‘functional theonym’ in much the same manner as “Aditya” – and, indeed, quite directly so; for not only does this customarily connote a Descendant of Aditi (and we shall re-encounter Her in short order soon enough), but is specifically used in reference to Varuna and Surya as singular deities. Where am I going with this? Why … upward, of course! 

More specifically, to the Greek archaic pairing of Hyperion and Theia – not at all coincidentally known also as Euryphaessa. These titanic figures are known, in English terms, as “High One” [occasionally also rendered as ‘High Watcher’ or ‘He Who Moves Above’ – both of which would accord well with a Celestial, or even Solar understanding; there is an outside chance of a “Son of High” meaning], and Wide-Shining  [‘Euryphaessa’] Goddess [‘Theia’]. The former has obvious parallels in terms of nomenclature throughout the Indo-European mythology which would logically refer to the Sky Father – although it is feasible to suggest that “High One” is a rather … broad term in its potential application.

But it is the latter that is understandably more illuminating. Particularly when the mytholinguistic resonancies of the terminologies in question are taken into consideration. Whereby the ‘Theia’ that is “Goddess/Divine” also enjoys some resonancy with the “Thea” that is “Sight, View” [‘θεᾱ́’ vs ‘θέα’, respectively]; and should also perhaps be understood in terms of the underlying etymology. By which I mean that – in contrast to the more usual Deific terminologies of the Indo-Europeans, which can be basically grouped into “Deva/Deus/-Tyr” style “Shining Ones” or “Asu/Asura/Aesir” style “Mighty/Sire/Progenitor” … the Greeks developed along a different trajectory: “Theos” effectively meaning “That Which Is Placed”. [It should, perhaps, be noted, that ‘functional’ terms for Deity are not exclusively a Greek innovation – the Germanic/Nordic “God” is similarly derived, from “That Which Is Called To/Upon” and/or “That Which Libations Are Poured To/For”, for example].

To phrase it more succinctly: it would be possible to read “Theia Euryphaessa” as “Wide-Shining Goddess” … , as well as the Wide-Shining That Is Placed (which may mirror the manner in which the Sun is ‘placed’ in the Sky by the Sky Father as part of the bringing of Order to the universe during Mythic Time), and also somewhat as the All-Seeing, All-Illuminating [recalling that the Indo-European terms for Light and for Seeing are frequently coterminous – and even, in the case of Loka etc., turn into terms for ‘Rulership’, also].

“Wide-Shining” as an epithet is also something that is found elsewhere within the Indo-European mythoreligious canons – as ‘Vivasvat’/’Vivasvan’ [also known to the Zoroastrians as ‘Vivanhat’]. This Wide-Shining One is often taken to refer to Surya, but is also encountered as more of a functional descriptor (including in reference to Manu, the firstborn Man, who should, strictly speaking, be Vivasvat’s *son*; as well as in connection to Agni and Ushas); and, as should surprise precisely no-one, it is my belief that the most logical explanation for Vivasvat being the Father of the Asvins – is that this progenitorial Vivasvat ought be Dyaus Pitar rather than the Sun Son of Dyaus Pitar commonly known as Surya.

Although at the same time, it is also interesting to note the potential ‘cross-over’ implied by this – wherein the origin of the Light, the origin of the Sons of the Light, may be traced back to Hiranyagarbha – the Golden Womb, that I have previously suggested may be the Sun. This makes particular sense given the alternate translation of Hiranyagarbha as ‘Golden Egg’, as well as the curious phenomenon attested in the mythology around Helen and the Dioskuri wherein they are born not through the conventional method … but rather via hatching from an Egg. A Goddess [‘Theia’] as Vivasvat [‘Euryphaessa’], therefore, is a not entirely unfounded interpolation. 

But we are somewhat getting ahead of ourselves. The directly attested Children of Theia Euryphassa & Hyperion are another set of three: Helios, Selene, and Eos. Or, phrased another way: The Sun, The Moon, and Dawn. This accords with what we should expect – Ushas [Dawn] as Daughter of the Sky Father, and likewise for the Sun. Although the situation becomes more complex by the light of the Moon. As, as we have previously established, the notion of a Lunar Goddess, is something of a departure from the broader Indo-European celestial typology – and, further, it appears quite plausible that “Helen” (a Daughter of the Sky Father, also evidently a Solar Goddess – or, at least, the refractive ‘echoing’ of one in various retellings) is derived from the exact same Greek term (‘Selas’ – ‘Shining’, ‘Blazing’) as ‘Selene’ [which may itself have an underlying Proto-Indo-European etymology that is either the same, or at least in close resonancy with, the ‘Sohwl’, ‘Suhel’, ‘Sehwl’ that is PIE for “Sun”].

It is therefore possible, in other words, that the situation of the Greeks and later the Romans of a Lunar Goddess rather than a Solar was literally a case of an inversion – the previously Solar Goddess becoming associated with the other celestial body, but keeping the nomenclature relatively the same. There are potential counter-arguments for this position, of course – including that the phenomenon of Classical (and Etruscan) Lunar Goddess(es) with names we would more ordinarily presume to be Solar, due to their strong Light characteristics of meaning … may simply be speaking about the quality of Illumination, rather than being specific recollections of their prior and broader direct referencing of the Sun. However, I am not sure how compelling an argument that is – as in other cases wherein an ‘Illuminating’ theonym for the Moon has become prominent (e.g. Sanskrit: “Chandra”, which derives ultimately from the same root as English “Candle”), these aren’t all that frequently the direct (feminine) equivalent of the Solar terminology; but rather instead speak to the different kind of light cast by the Moon as compared to the Sun. Even if we were to accept the proposition, as advanced by Ronnie James Dio, that “The Moon Is Just The Sun At Night”, it would make little sense – to my mind, anyway – for terms of address that are, in effect, etymologically “The Daylight Sky (Female)” (such as ‘Diana’ – and we shall look at this in greater detail later) to be utilized in reference to a Goddess of the Night-Time Sky’s inconsistently shining object. 

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