An interesting petroglyph is circulating around the internet. Unfortunately, the only info I could find about it is that it has been discovered in Khakassia region, Siberia and that it dates to 5000 BC. What we see is clearly an astrological imagery, and I will try here to decode each of its symbols, one by one.
Khakassia petroglyph, 5000 BC
The world tree
The tree on the right represents the world tree or “axis mundi”. This is one the most common prehistorical symbols so I will not go deeper in explaining its meaning, in order to save space for more interesting conclusions. You can get more info at the following links:
The seven heads
This is a much more interesting symbol, also present in many prehistorical cultures. My first association was the Hindu goddess Manasa who was depicted with seven cobras behind her head. (not that the symbolics of the world tree is missing either). Manasa was a fertility goddess, sometimes depicted with a child on her lap.
However, the fact is that seven-headed serpents appear all over the Indo-European world. Sometimes they are male, and sometimes female. In Sumerian mythology for example, there is a seven-headed serpent known as Mušmaḫḫū, which probably became a model for the Lernean Hydra, slain in the second labor of Heracles. In Hinduism, many deities are fighting with multiheaded serpents – Indra, Krishna and even Bhishma in Mahabharata, attacked by many snakes of the river. But that is not too surprising, as the shared cultural influence between Mongolia, India, Iran and Ancient Greece is not disputable.
Heracle slaying Hydra
However, even though these similarities could relate to a common Indo-European heritage, this claim does not apply for the connections with the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica, at least not in the light of the current, mainstream history. Namely, there is a figure with seven serpent heads in ancient Mexico too. How to explain that one?
Snakehead figure deity, Aparicio, Veracruz, Mexico
While looking for this answer I found the following text:
Kucumatz is equivalent to the Mayan resurrection god Kuculcan and the Aztec culture-hero, moon-god and creator of humanity, Queztalcoatl (both these names mean ‘feathered serpent’). Hunbatz Men, a modern Mayan daykeeper and ceremonial leader, has attempted to reconstruct the initiatory sciences of the ancient Maya in his book Secrets of Mayan Science/Religion.
In analysing etymology and surviving Mayan temples, he concludes that the Mayan religion was based around a system of seven energy centres, very similar to the Hindu chakras. TO both systems, the realization of a divine serpent-power is the goal. In Tantra, it is Kundalini, In Mayan tradition, the serpent is Kuculcan. but there is also the Mayan word k?ultanlilni—built up from k’u (‘sacred’), k’ul (‘coccyx’, the base of the spine), tan (‘place’), lil (‘vibration’), and ni (‘nose’). This amalgamated word embodies the Mayan equivalent of a yogic tradition.
Men also discusses a seven-headed serpent form carved on a monolith in Aparicio, Veracruz, Mexico. HE notes that the Buddha was bitten by a seven-headed serpent while in the river of initiation. “This serpent is called chapat in India. Curiously, the people of the Yucatan, Mexico have the same word and it, too, refers to the seven-headed serpent, just as in India.”
Besides the amazing parallels with India from the second paragraph, I found the Mayan connection with the moon god really interesting. The “head” of the constellation of Hydra is located near the constellation of Cancer – a Moon sign, another perfect match. In Hindu astrology, Hydra constellation is one of the moon houses, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakshatra
The constellation Hydra, seen as a seven-headed (or multi-headed) snake by Sumerians, Greeks, and Hindus. (and possibly Mayas)
The name Hydra is related to water. And so were virtually all of the mythological snakes that we have mentioned so far. In Indo-European mythology snakes and dragons were guardians of the water. A hero needs to conquer them in order to release the water and bring back fertility to the earth.
The sun shield
Aztec goddess of fertility was Chicomecōātl – meaning seven snakes. She was a mother goddess who uses the sun as a shield. Note how her sun-shield looks exactly like the depiction of the sun on our petroglyph.
Chicomecōātl, Aztec fertility goddess, with the sun shield and seven snakes
This prehistorical symbol had the same meaning in India, from the seals and beads of Indus valley civilization, to the tattoos of contemporary tribal women.
Seals and beads of the Indus valley civilization and contemporary tribal tattoo in India
Our petroglyph clearly represents the goddess. If you wonder how do I know that, the answer is simple – because of the presence of the other human figures underneath her legs and on the side. Also because of the characteristical “birth goddess” pose. The same pose, in the same context of childbirth, existed all over the world. We see it from Paleolithic to middle ages, but I will illustrate it here with one example from Neolithic China. I chose this image because, even though she doesn’t have seven heads, her head is in the shape of the same sun symbol.
Jar, Majiayao culture, Machang phase, ca. 2300–2050 B.C., China
Back to the sun shield symbol
Now, even though this symbol probably relates to the sun, you may wonder why it looks like a cross with four dots. The answer to this question may lie in another famous episode from the Hindu mythology – Samudra manthan – the churning of the ocean. In short, in this episode that depicts the creation of the universe, the benevolent and malevolent deities were using a snake god Vasuki (brother of above mentioned Manasa) to rotate the mountain (axis mundi) and churn the milk (Milky way) in order to create the nectar of immortality.
Constellation Hydra, stretching for over 100 degrees on the sky was the longest constellation known to ancients. It is therefore not surprising that precisely the snake moves the axis mundi.
This event is commemorated in India in one of the most important festivals, known as Kumbh Mela. According to the legend, after the process of churning was finished, the four drops of the nectar were spilled in four different places in India. Ever since that event, these four cities became pilgrimage sites for this religious festival. Each of the cities has its own date of celebration. These dates are not fixed, they depend on the positions of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter (Indra).
But if you look at the position of the Sun, you will see that it has to be in signs of Aries, Leo, Capricorn and Libra (one for each city). These four constellations depict the celestial cross on the Zodiac, and in antiquity, they used to mark the four seasons. I believe that it is for this reason that our sun-shield symbol has the cross and four dots.
And even though the symbolic of the Siberian petroglyph is obvious, it raises a couple of important questions:
- Is the Vedic tradition much older than mainstream history is willing to accept, as the full symbolic appears in Siberia, at 5000 BC
- How did this belief system reach ancient Mesoamerica?
As for the second question, there are plenty other texts on this blog that present my view on how this contact may have happened. Feel free to check them out.
And finally, what is this mysterious looking text representing, and why does it look so much like Brahmi alphabet?