One of the painted walls from Catal Hüyük (www.smm.org/catal/murals/murlshw) shows different variations of the mystical cross, the symbol of the four corners of the world melting together into one. This mystical symbol is much later repeated in the symbol of the cherubim: four very different animal species united in one “living being”. To the right a picture of the gate of the sun. In the open space between the two pillars there is room for the rain to fall and the rivers to flow. The letter m is originally the sign for water, Semitic: maim:
A very beautiful sculpture from Mesopotamia (now in Louvre, C.Contenau, L´art de l´Asie Occidentale Ancienne, 1928,p.47) shows the triple bull god guarding the gate of the sun and thereby securing fertility (the flowers and vegetation runners sprouting from the twined pillars). Such twined pillars decorated with symbols of vegetation are well known from St. Peter’s cathedra in the church of St. Peter in Rome and are made after the model of a very special type of pillars supposed to come from the temple of Jerusalem; acc. to tradition Jesus was standing beside (between?) these pillars when casting out demons.
On two holy leopards from the temple walls of Catal Hüyük all the spots are turned into mystical crosses. That the cross is a symbol of mystical vision is seen from a later repainting of the leopard sculptures, where the spots are turned into eyes. (Mellaart AnSt 16,1966, pl.38.) The wheels in the vision of Ezekiel are symbols of cosmos and the four rims meeting in the centre, the hub, are a mystical symbol and therefore “full of eyes”, Ez 1,18 cf. the “living beings” “full of eyes all over”, Rev 4,8. They are all vision.
The longing for mystic vision is old in Israel and so is “the way to the deep silence in the desert”. In my opinion this spirituality is already felt in the name of the mystic psycho-cosmic mountain, Horeb (= “wilderness”, “deserted land”). The strong longing for the “fleshpots of Egypt” is the opposite longing.
The twined Heracles pillars are also seen on the little temple façade from the Dura synagogue, standing on each side of a central pillar marked out with seven discs (see the picture above in chap. 16).
In my opinion the central icon in the Mithraeum dug out at Dieburg (now in Dieburg Kreis- und Stadtmuseum) is not a picture of Phaeton getting permission from Helios to drive the sun’s quadriga as normally presumed. The horses are unharnessed and taken away, not gathered together. The central figure on the throne surrounded by four women, the four seasons, the cosmic ring and the four winds is Aion-Saturn, enthroned on top of the heavenly vault, and the man approaching the throne is the initiated Mithras-believer, the heliodromos (“sun-runner”) who by means of the sun’s chariot has reached the highest goal. The bearded man under the cloak blown up by the wind is Caelus (= “heavenly vault”). Note the four twined sticks carried by the four men taking the horses away. They are the four twined Heracles pillars securing the passage of the sun in and out of cosmos through the gate in the east and the gate in the west.
That these four poles are taken away indicates that we have reached the mystical place beyond time and space and creation, where also the four corners of the earth disappear into the mystic eternity represented by Aion-Saturn. (Relief from 200 AC)
The front cover is a drawing by the artist Egil Lauridsen of a motif from a chalice from prehistoric Susa, now in Louvre, Paris, Mémoires de la Délegation en Perse,XIII,1912, tab.I,4. It shows the holy Capricorn with horns greatly enlarged, thereby becoming a symbol of the moon (producing the juice of life). In the centre a symbol of vegetation.
The back cover is by the same artist: the stele of Urnammu, 3,05m. Sumerian, 2111-2094 BC. At the top the mystic light as the union of sun and moon. Below the king is watering the tree of life in the presence of the enthroned high god (and building a pyramid?) Now in the University of Pennsylvania, Univ. Museum.