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Ancient Origins: The Secret, Hidden Origins of Western Symbols, Myths & Legends and Customs & Traditions.

Ancient Origins: The Secret, Hidden Origins of Western Symbols, Myths & Legends and Customs & Traditions.

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Ancient Origins: The Secret, Hidden Origins of Western Symbols, Myths & Legends and Customs & Traditions.

419 pagine
5 ore
Oct 2, 2015


Have you ever wondered about the origin of our western cultural artifacts (symbols, myths, legends, customs and traditions)? Where was the Garden of Eden? From where did the magic spell Abracadabra originate? What was the original use of the zodiac? How did the concepts of sin and Hell come about? Was Hitler the first to use the Swastika symbol? Why is 13 considered unlucky? Why do we have 360 degrees in a circle? How did mermaids originate? Why is Christmas Day held on December 25th?

The longevity of many cultural artifacts is simply remarkable. Some have been with us since prehistory and still retain the same meaning. Some have lost their meaning over time and have been given completely new meanings. Some cultural artifacts are simply added to or are deliberately changed to override previous beliefs - usually to suit a specific agenda.

Many books have been written explaining the meaning of various cultural artifacts, however in most cases they only give a single explanation for their origin. This is Ancient Origins point of difference. It is the culmination of 20 plus years research and offers the reader a linked, holistic view on the origins of a wide range of cultural artifacts - something that appears to be missing from historical literature.

There is literally nothing new under the Sun, nothing occurs by chance, everything has a reason for being. This book has been written for those inquisitive beings who wonder if there is an alternate, hidden side to the origin of our western cultural artifacts.

Oct 2, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Robert Dehoy grew up on a sheep and cattle station in the outback of Australia, in western New South Wales. Growing up in the outback gave him a strong sense of independence and was invaluable experience, whether it was for building sheds, vehicle maintenance, animal husbandry, flying planes or raising crops. His parents were also of rural stock and this gave him a solid grounding in morals and values. He attended the local primary school and then went on to a Marist Brothers boarding school, where he learnt a lot about life in general. It was while working near Melbourne, some twenty plus years ago, that he discovered a Theosophical Bookshop. The Theosophical Society’s motto states that there is no higher religion than truth, and they attempt to stock books for all religious and philosophical beliefs from all walks of life. But it was Wallis Budges’ Amulets and Superstitions that really fired his imagination. This started a hobby (when does a hobby become an obsession?) of researching ancient history, and in particular, religious and esoteric history. Rob has also adopted the moniker of The Naked Historian ( and similar to other naked professionals, he agrees that everything should be stripped back to the bare essentials, and built up from first principles in order to understand its true meaning (or origin). In 2015, Robert launched his first book “Ancient Origins: The Secret, Hidden Origins of Western symbols, Myths & Legends and Customs & Traditions”. Robert Dehoy currently lives with his wife and children in Perth, Australia and is still both a mining engineer and an author. He enjoys travelling and experiencing other cultures, learning new languages, carpentry in the back shed and sports...mainly rugby and cricket, of course!

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Anteprima del libro

Ancient Origins - Robert Dehoy

Why is the number 13 unlucky?

Why was the Zodiac created, and how is your birth sign calculated?

Why is Christmas Day held on December 25th?

Why are there seven days in a week?

Where was the Garden of Eden?

Where do mermaids come from?

What do all the different pointed stars mean?

Was Hitler the first to use the Swastika symbol?

Where did the concept of Hell originate?

Where did magic come from?

Was Mary the first virgin mother?

What is the origin of the Black Madonna’s?

Where did sin come from?

Where do our various hand signs originate?

Why are people still scared of the Evil Eye?

Why is a horse shoe on a front door considered lucky?

Why do storks bring babies?

Why do we have a Grim Reaper?

Why are St George and a lion both emblems of England?

Was Jesus from Nazareth, or was he a member of the Nazarenes?

Where did the magic spell Abracadabra come from?

Why were there three wise men?

Why do we say Amen at the end of prayers?

Why do we have 360 degrees to a circle?



Robert Dehoy

Some things shalt thou publish, and some things shalt thou show secretly to the wise (2 Esdras XV, 26)

First published as an Ebook and Copyrighted by Robert Dehoy in 2015.

Cover Design Copyright 2015, Pamela Dehoy.

The moral right of Robert Dehoy to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Australian Copyright Act, 1968.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

ISBN-10: 0994373201

ISBN-13: 978-0-9943732-0-5

Every effort has been made to contact copyright holders of material reproduced in this book. If any have inadvertently been overlooked, the publishers will be pleased to make restitution at the earliest opportunity.


To my wife, my partner in this book, as in all things in life.




Chapter 1: It All Began With the Sumerians

Chapter 2: Taking it to the Next Level…The Babylonians


Chapter 1: Gods and Mythical Beings

Early Themes

Major Characters

Chapter 2: Symbols

First Signs

Celestial Bodies

Life, Death and Regeneration

Chapter 3: Myths and Legends

Early Themes

Major Characters

Chapter 4: Customs and Traditions

The Zodiac


Magic and Rituals

Amulets and Talismans

Measurement of Time and Space

Further Customs and Traditions


About the Author

Connect with Robert Dehoy

Figures and Tables

Figure 1: Sumerian Timeline

Figure 2: Map of sea level of Persian Gulf (c. 14000 BCE)

Figure 3: Map of Fertile Crescent

Figure 4: A Sumerian Pictogram

Figure 5: A Sumerian God list in Cuneiform

Figure 6: Map of Sumer, showing City-States

Figure 7: The Sumerian cosmos

Figure 8: The Assyrian king Samsi-Adad (Sun-Storm)

Figure 9: The Babylonian Timeline

Figure 10: King Hammurabi’s Babylonian Empire

Table 1: The signs of the modern zodiac

Figure 11: Possibly Ninhursag, Mother Goddess

Figure 12: The Greek letter Delta, a feminine symbol

Figure 13: The Sumerian goddess, Inanna

Figure 14: Sumerian woman and child

Figure 15: Isis and Horus

Figure 16: Christian Madonna and Child

Figure 17: Black Madonna and Child

Figure 18: The demon Lilith

Figure 19: The Babylonian Sun god, Shamash

Figure 20: The winged Sun of Egypt

Figure 21: The winged Sun of Egypt in a modern fence design

Figure 22: The Egyptian Sun god, Ptah, Karnak

Figure 23: Sin, the Babylonian Moon god

Figure 24: The Sumerian and Babylonian god of Mercury, Nabu

Figure 25: The caduceus symbol, Petra, Jordan

Figure 26: The caduceus symbol, Prague

Figure 27: The Babylonian god of Jupiter, Marduk

Figure 28: Babylonian god Ninurta and the double headed eagle

Figure 29: The double headed axe motif, Catal Huyuk, Turkey

Figure 30: The double headed eagle, Prague

Figure 31: Lucifer (Milton, 1695)

Figure 32: The circumpunct, the sign of the Egyptian Sun god, Ra

Figure 33: The Ouroboros

Figure 34: A square as the Canaanite symbol for B (Bet)

Figure 35: Alchemical triangles (Four elements, plus unity/balance/harmony)

Figure 36: Christian symbol for the Holy Trinity

Figure 37: An ancient Mesopotamian lozenge motif

Figure 38: The Christian Vesica Piscis

Figure 39: A Greek Orthodox priest, wearing the lozenge or vulva symbol

Figure 40: The simple or Greek cross

Figure 41: A typical Mesopotamian Sun cross

Figure 42: Babylonian Sun god Shamash - solar cross

Figure 43: The Egyptian Tau cross

Figure 44: The Egyptian Ankh

Figure 45: A Christian priest wearing the Egyptian Ankh

Figure 46: The Chi-Rho symbol

Figure 47: The Latin cross

Figure 48: Hand of Fatimah

Figure 49: Door knocker in Morocco

Figure 50: The OK hand sign

Figure 51: The benediction or blessing hand

Figure 52: The fig hand sign

Figure 53: The horned hand sign

Figure 54: The thumbs up or down sign

Figure 55: Twelve point star of the Kabbalah

Figure 56: The blazing ten point star of Freemasonry

Figure 57: Cuneiform symbol for the Sumerian god, An

Figure 58: The Egyptian Ogdoad symbol

Figure 59: St Peter’s Square, Rome, showing an eight point star

Figure 60: The Star of Bethlehem

Figure 61: The Khatam or Sufi Star

Figure 62: The Hermetic or Alchemical Star

Figure 63: Seven pointed star

Figure 64: Seven pointed Sherriff’s star

Figure 65: Star of David

Figure 66: Hexagram, Baalbeck, Lebanon

Figure 67: Hexagram on the Papal Mitre

Figure 68: Five pointed star or pentagram

Figure 69: The Christmas Star

Figure 70: The Egyptian hieroglyphic for Isis (Venus)

Figure 71: The pentacle

Figure 72: Mary, Queen of Heaven

Figure 73: Symbol of the Egyptian Sun god, Ra

Figure 74: Symbol of the Assyrian Sun god, Shamash

Figure 75: Modified Sun cross, precursor to the Swastika

Figure 76: The Swastika of Nazi Germany

Figure 77: The Samarra bowl, Sumer

Figure 78: A round altar, a Sun god remnant, Maaloula, Syria

Figure 79: Sun rose (with hexagram above), Florence Cathedral

Figure 80: A monstrance, Vatican, Rome

Figure 81: A simple cross section of the eye

Figure 82: Eye of Horus

Figure 83: All Seeing Eye of God, Lutheran Cathedral, Helsinki

Figure 84: An amulet used to deflect the Evil Eye, the Nazar

Figure 85: The Horn of Plenty and Amalthea, Prague

Figure 86: The fouled anchor

Figure 87: Tau Cross and serpent

Figure 88: The Orphic or Cosmic Egg

Figure 89: The Rose or Rosy Cross

Figure 90: The Erechtheion Temple on the Acropolis, Athens

Figure 91: The Egg and Dart Motif, with the Bead and Reel on the Erechtheion Temple

Figure 92: Grapevines, Temple of Bel, Palmyra

Figure 93: Labyrinth, Chartes Cathedral

Figure 94: Horus rising from the lotus

Figure 95: Christian dove carrying an olive branch

Figure 96: Babylonian Tree of Life

Figure 97: Assyrian Tree of Life

Figure 98: Menorah carving, Jerusalem, 1st Century BCE

Figure 99: Kabbalistic Tree of Life (Sephirah Tree)

Figure 100: Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Figure 101: Assyrian priests with fish head dress and fish skin cloaks

Figure 102: Bishop’s Mitre Hats

Figure 103: The Birth of Venus (Botticelli, 1485)

Figure 104: The Egyptian crook and flail on the coffin of Tutankhamun

Figure 105: The Triskelion

Figure 106: The flag of the Isle of Mann

Figure 107: The Freemason’s beehive

Figure 108: Giant cock, Thap Klo, Thailand

Figure 109: Dolphins carrying Jonah to safety

Figure 110: The Christian dove, Vatican

Figure 111: Eagle and stars, Temple of Bel, Palmyra

Figure 112: ICTHUS, the Greek symbol for fish and Jesus Christ

Figure 113: A Lamassu, palace of Ashurnasirpal II, Nimrud

Figure 114: Agnus Dei, Lamb of God

Figure 115: Lion motif, Ishtar Gate, Babylon

Figure 116: Owl carving, Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Figure 117: A Christian emblem with a pelican and its young

Figure 118: Scarab beetle carving, Aswan, Egypt

Figure 119: Two serpents, symbol of the Sumerian god, Enki

Figure 120: The swan as a figure in alchemy

Figure 121: The tortoise, with its neck as a phallic symbol

Figure 122: An apple cut in half, showing a pentagram

Figure 123: The Fleur de Lys, emblem of French kings

Figure 124: The Sumerian Fleur-de-Lys

Figure 125: The emblem of the Prince of Wales

Figure 126: The Mandrake plant

Figure 127: A Palm tree, Temple of Bel, Palmyra

Figure 128: A Sun rose, Sienna Cathedral

Figure 129: A Sun rose, Mt Nebo Church, Jordan

Figure 130: The trefoil (3 Leafed Clover/Shamrock)

Figure 131: King Gilgamesh, an Assyrian depiction

Figure 132: Assyrian priests dressed as Oannes the man-fish

Figure 133: Assyrian mer-man

Figure 134: The Rebis of the alchemists

Figure 135: Hermes Trismegistus

Figure 136: A model of the second Solomon Temple

Figure 137: Arch of Titus showing plunder from Second Temple of Solomon

Figure 138: The Ark of the Covenant

Figure 139: The Brazen Sea

Figure 140: The first Solomon’s Temple, showing the two pillars, Boaz (Left) and Jachin (Right)

Figure 141: Detailed interpretation of the two pillars, Boaz (Left) and Jachin (Right)

Figure 142: Marduk and the Dragon (Mushussu)

Figure 143: George of Lydda

Figure 144: St George and the Dragon, Jerusalem

Figure 145: An angel stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac

Figure 146: Map of Abraham’s journey from Ur to Harran and finally, Canaan

Figure 147: Sargon, the Babylonian Moses

Figure 148: The Abracadabra Spell

Figure 149: A King Solomon derived magic circle

Figure 150: Babylonian amulet meant to repel the demon Pazuzu

Figure 151: Byzantine amulet to repel the Evil Eye

Figure 152: The Chnoubis, a Gnostic amulet

Figure 153: The Abraxas, a Gnostic Amulet

Figure 154: Byzantine iron cross as an early Christian amulet

Figure 155: Kabbalistic (Jewish) amulet from Armenia

Figure 156: Byzantine Christian cross amulet from Istanbul (Front Side)

Figure 157: Byzantine Islamic charm from Istanbul (Reverse Side)

Figure 158: The ROTAS magic square

Figure 159: The ICTHUS charm, Ephesus

Figure 160: The VMA charm

Figure 161: The IHS (or JHS) charm

Figure 162: The INRI charm

Figure 163: The Pythagorean Tetractys

Figure 164: The Tetractys in a Bishop’s coat of arms

Figure 165: Early Christian baptismal font

Figure 166: The Taurobolium, a baptism of blood

Figure 167: Medieval torture on a Catherine or breaking wheel

Figure 168: Halo around a pagan god, Temple of Bel, Palmyra

Figure 169: Examples of Christian halos

Figure 170: A golden calf idol, Egypt

Figure 171: Moses raises the brazen serpent

Figure 172: King Edward I’s chair showing the Stone of Scone underneath

"One history passes by in full view and, strictly speaking, is the history of crime, for if there were no crimes there would be no history. All the most important turning-points and stages of this history are marked by crimes: murders, acts of violence, robberies, wars, rebellions, massacres, tortures, executions…This is one history, the history which everybody knows, the history which is taught in schools.

The other history is the history which is known to few. For the majority it is not seen at all behind the history of crime. But what is created by this hidden history exists long afterwards, sometimes for many centuries…The visible history, the history proceeding on the surface, the history of crime, attributes to itself what the hidden history has created. But actually the visible history is always deceived by what the hidden history has created."

Ouspensky, P.D, A New Model of the Universe, London, Routledge & Keegan Paul Ltd. 1932.



Robert Dehoy

Some things shalt thou publish, and some things shalt thou show secretly to the wise

(2 Esdras XV, 26)


"Liber enim librum aperit" (One book opens another) – Rhazes ar-Razi.

If you were like me and took history as a subject in high school, then you can be forgiven for perhaps never picking up a history book again. This is a fault of the system, not the teachers. Fortunately, I loved reading so it was only a matter of time before I began reading books with a historical bent to them. The fact that I later discovered a magical (from the Median Magi) bookshop that stocked remarkable books on esoteric history, helped as well. From that time on, 20 plus years ago, I was hooked.

The book that started me on my journey was called "Amulets and Superstitions" by Sir Wallis Budge, a famous curator of the London Museum who specialized in Ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian antiquities. Being inquisitive by nature, the book raised more questions than answers and I started researching various topics within it. Budge explained that he would write down any visitor’s questions that he didn’t know and try to find the answer later. That way he was prepared for the next time the question was asked. That method is something that has stayed with me through my professional years.

Part 1 of this book sets the scene because without context, the myths, legends, customs, traditions and symbols (known as cultural artifacts) will not have the same relevance or significance. It’s a lot like visiting an ancient ruin - if you don’t have a good guide, or at least a good guide book - then it is just another pile of rocks. We also need to know and appreciate the historical timeline and cultural settings to be able to appreciate the second part of the book.

Part 2 is the main section of this book and deals with many examples of the ancient origins of western cultural artifacts. It is a natural continuation from setting the scene and contains the detailed analysis and conclusions.

It is remarkable the longevity of many cultural artifacts. Some have been with us since prehistory and still retain the same meaning. Some have completely lost their meaning over time and others have been given completely new meanings. Some cultural artifacts are simply added to or are deliberately changed to override previous beliefs - usually to suit a specific agenda. However, everything is intertwined, intermingled and convoluted. But there is literally nothing new under the Sun and as you will find, nothing occurs by chance, everything originally had a reason for its being.

I am always amazed by how persistent our links are with the ancient past. Take the word Phar for example, as in Pharaoh, meaning Great Light. Phar, in this case, actually means the Sun and by extension, the great Sun-god as well, the father of all life. In Egypt, one of their great Sun-gods was Ptah, another was Ra, both similar in sound to Phar. This also explains the name of the Pharos of Alexandria (or the great lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the World). The French word for lighthouse is still Phare to this day. Pater is the Latin variant of father. The English words parson and parish are derived from the root word Phar. As we will later see, that great yellow ball in the sky was exceptionally powerful and symbolic to the people of ancient times.

In the same vein, the Latin word mare, meaning sea, was derived from the Latin for mother, mater. Mater more than likely originated from two Indo-European words meh-ter, again meaning mother. The ancients recognized the sea as a giant womb. All life has originated from the sea and the word mother, in some shape or form, has been linked with the sea ever since humans could speak.

As the name suggests, the Indo-European language is the common ancestor of all the languages spoken from Europe to India. Mankind first started using speech approximately 50,000 years ago and it is estimated that the Indo-European language may have been spoken as a single language as early as 4000 BCE (Before Current Era). The most popular hypothesis for the origin of the language is the lands to the north of the Caspian and Black Seas.

A single definition of a cultural artifact is often inadequate, for it can be many things to many people. For example, a cultural artifact may operate on several levels – one for the layman, one for the initiate and another for the adept or master. The artifact in question may also have literal, allegorical, symbolic or other meanings within these levels. For example, the symbol of the Rosicrucian’s (a well-known secret society), is a red rose on top of a Latin cross. The rose or rosy cross was a symbol initially adopted by the Christian church in the first century CE (Current Era). It combines the masculine principle (the phallus) of the cross with the feminine principle (the vulva) of the rose. Thus it is a symbol of life, procreation and regeneration.

We must need to keep in mind that throughout history, people were executed for their religious beliefs. Hence, the true meaning of cultural artifacts sometimes needed to be well hidden and only decipherable by those who should know. The Holy Inquisition was a good reason for having hidden cultural artifacts. This need for secrecy has filtered down through the ages in the form of secret societies and occult brotherhoods. Not so much upon the penalty of death for belonging to a certain group in modern times, but more for exclusivity and social status. Da Vinci and other great Renaissance painters often hid meanings in their works, particularly when commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church. Whether artists did this because they held their own beliefs or because they wanted to antagonize the Church for other reasons is not known. Also, concerning the great alchemists, if you could decipher the true meaning of their work, then you were deemed suitable to know their secrets – sort of a Catch 22 situation.

Knowledge is, and always has been, power - ancient man yearned for the control and status that knowledge provided. We need explanations in our lives, something that not only explains our existence but also gives meaning to it. Humans are by nature inquisitive creatures. We tend to prefer order to chaos, the simple rather than the complex and hence tribal stability to individual uncertainty. This is what the cultural artifacts of the western civilization helped to provide.

Some say that we have lost contact with our cultural artifacts, along with nature and the way of leading simpler lives. Alienation is common in western society as we are surrounded, and have become obsessed by, the acquisition of the latest technology and material goods. Smart phones have become the remote controls for our daily life. But there has always been an alternative element of society that has stayed grounded and connected with nature. Nature imposes order on the chaos that is the universe.

The ancient teachers tended to be multi-faceted in that they would teach subjects to their pupils holistically. There was little separation between religion, geometry, mathematics, architecture, medicine, chemistry, history and so forth. They were all interlinked and interdependent. Perhaps due to man’s insistent need to specialize, organize and compartmentalize; life’s teachings have become separated and isolated. Operating in silos oblivious to others, is a phrase that comes to mind. Perhaps the wheel will turn, and in the future teachers, scientists and philosophers will revert to a more holistic approach.

The principle of Occam’s razor can be summarized as the simplest solution is usually the best solution. This is also similar in concept to the path of least resistance. That is, if all other solutions can be eliminated, then usually the most credible and simplest solution is the

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