Examining Myths: Janet Rudolph, “One Gods”

Although I disagree with Janet Rudolph’s view of the “unity of religions,” (Note 1.) I agree with her points on how to examine various myths. “Each person is also human, each editor, writer and reader have the potential to filter the knowledge through one’s own ego, triggering biases and distortions. When accessing divine knowledge, divine truths can easily be changed into subjective opinion.” This I cannot stress enough; I have my own biases. Like Rudolph, I try to be straight forward as to what they are. The readers then can decide how to interpret what I or Rudolph writes.

Points made by Janet Rudolph in looking at myths:

  • What has been removed from the telling?
    In various versions of the same myth, certain things may be left out to emphasize other aspects. In the Neo-Pagan retelling of the “Descent of Inanna,” (Note 2.) the focus is on Inanna descending into and rising from the Underworld. Left out is Inanna’s indirect killing of Ereshkigal’s husband, the Bull of Heaven. (Note 3.) Leaving that out neglects Ereshkigal’s anger towards Inanna. That does change how the myth is read.
  • What is hidden only for initiates to know?
    The “Descent of Inanna” can be read in many ways. The Neo-Pagan version emphasizes the initiations into the mysteries of the Underworld. How Inanna leaves her godly possessions behind is how the initiates need to prepare to enter into the mysteries.
  • What has been changed to further a political agenda?
    “The Enuma Elish,” the Babylonian creation story, adds onto the original Sumerian myth. The exploits of the God Marduk of the Fifty Names is depicted as He defeats the Elder Goddess Tiamat, and recreates the world. Marduk of Babylon now rules the Pantheon. This epic omits Enlil, the Holder of the Tablets of Destinies who was the Head of Pantheon after Anu, the Father of All.
  • What if the actual messages are different from what the commentaries suggest.
    Herodotus (484 – 425 BCE) wrote in his “Histories” that the Babylonians practiced sacred prostitution. (Note 4.) This became the basis of several factoids that got repeated and expanded over time. What was overlooked was that Herodotus, a Greek, was writing at a time when Persia was expanding into the West. The actual Babylonian culture presents a different reality from what he wrote.

Rudolph details how she approaches myths, which I find useful.

  • Layering.
    “Layering recognizes that differing interpretations can all be true.” This is looking at myths with a Polytheistic lens.
  • Examination of the form of Hebrew letters.
    The alphabet of a culture offers spiritual clues in a myth. Examining the mysteries of the alphabet is an exploration into a culture’s thoughts and language.
  • Spiritual forensics.
    This is pondering the meanings of the concepts and symbols of a myth. It also entails comparing the translations with the original language of the myth.

Note 1. Rudolph wrote a trilogy of books – “One Gods,” “When Eve was a Goddess,” and “When Moses was a Shaman” to explore the myths of the Bible.

Note 2. Inanna, Goddess of the Morning and Evening Stars, decides to pay her respects to Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld. This starts her journey into the Underworld.

Note 3. Gilgamesh had rejected her advances, and She wanted to punish him. Inanna asked that the Bull of Heaven kill him. Instead, Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven and Husband of Ereshkigal.

Note 4. Herodotus is called the Father of History and the Father of Lies.

One Gods: The Mystic Pagan’s Guide to the Bible

Blogging at “Feminism and Religion,” Janet Maika’i Rudolph presents her ideas of the “magic and spirit behind the Bible.” Both a Shaman practitioner of Divine Humanity and a Hawai’ian Alaka’i with Aloha International, Rudolph calls herself a “Mystic Pagan.” (Note 1.) In her writing, she endeavors to “strip away the layer of Patriarchy with its attempts to hide and change original teachings.” Rudolph aims to reach into ancient Pagan knowledge in order to reclaim “universal, earth-based mystical lessons.” She embraces in her writing, “the inter-arching oneness” of all. To do this, Rudolph examines myths across cultures to find the common elements.

Rudolph states her personal belief that “each person as a divine human has direct access to god (creation) and the mysteries without going through an intermediary.” She continues, “in the beginning all the threads, both the warp and weft, were spun from the wellspring of First Knowledge. First Knowledge is ancient knowledge of the stars, life, the veils between the worlds, and inter-arching all, the Great Mysteries.” (Note 2.)

“One Gods” is a part of a trilogy of books on the “shamanic lessons underpinning Biblical wisdom.” The other two are “When Eve was a Goddess” and “When Moses was a Shaman.” (Note 3.) Rudolph believes that the Bible is filled with ancient shamanic knowledge. For example, according to her, Moses did not only bring “the belief of Monotheism. He brought to the world, the understanding of nothing less than the Oneness of all Creation.”

When writing “One Gods,” Janet Rudolph had not been initiated by Serge Kahili King of Hawaiian Huna Shamanism. The focus of “One Gods” is from Rev. Jim Husfelt of the Divine Humanity Church, which believes in the Oneness of All. In her other books, Rudolph adopts King’s point of view as the “shaman is a healer of relationships.” Rudolph herself seeks to remember the original knowledge of humankind to guide others.

Rudolph writes that her cultural and ancestral Jewish heritage is important to her. She examines the myths of the Bible through a Monotheistic lens. Therefore, according to her biases, she sees these and other myths as converging onto a single religion and God. Also, Rudolph is a follower of the Goddess religions, and views through that lens as well. However, her writings do inspire a Polytheist as myself to regard Biblical myths in a new light.

Note 1. Divine Humanity and Aloha International (Huna) are New Age religions. Founded by Rev. Dr. JC Husfelt, Divine Humanity believes that all things of creation hold within them a divine being. All are “non-dual and interpentrate.” Huna (Aloha International) was founded by Max Freedom Long and is now run by Serge Kahili King. Huna is New Age philosophy mixed with Hawaiian ideas.

Note 2. These are fundamental beliefs of many New Age religions.

Note 3. “When Eve was a Goddess” and “When Moses was a Shaman” repeats much of the materials in “One Gods.” Rudolph did include more myths in those books to compare and contrast with the Biblical myths.

Rudolph’s books can be purchased at her website: https://themysticpagan.com/books/

Coming Attractions and Readers’ Choice

Since I have gained a lot of new subscribers, I thought I would list what I was working on. Also, ask if anyone had anything they would like for me to write on.

Roman magic. Arabian magic. My definition of magic

Examining Janet Rudolph’s “One God, Many Gods.” She is a Monotheist who details how there both One and Many. I explore it from a mythic Polytheist point of view.

A Mesopotamian Ghost story for July, the month of the Dead. (I wrote it.)

“Birthing the Holy” by Christian Vaters Paintner. How to apply her writing to Polytheism. She explores the 31 Virgin Marys as one being.

Daily rituals are good for you.

My encounter with a flying cryptid, and what it is or could be – real, other spirit, from the Gods.

And of course, my monthly calendars.

Is there anything people would like me to explore further?

(Picture is of William Lily, famous Astrologer.)

Babylonian Month of June-July

The month of mid-June to mid-July is called “Dumuzi (Tammuz).” This fourth month of the Babylonian year is named for the God of Fertility and Shepherds. With the advent of the hot, dry summer, Dumuzi goes to the Netherworld to live for six months. The months between June and September are the months that the Dead can roam among the living.

On the 18th day of this month, the statue of Istar (Dumuzi’s wife) is washed, and Dumuzi’s one is anointed in oil. Starting on the 25th day, people honored his death. On the “Day of the Striking,” Dumuzi’s statue is displayed. During “The Day of the Screaming,” people wailed for Him. On“The Day He is caught,” barley is burned and his statue is thrown out the main gate. (This refers to the Galla coming from the Underworld to fetch the God.) On the “Day of the Stall (where He was captured),” Dumuzi’s statue lies in state. At this time, a priest whispers prayers into the statue’s ears.

Meanwhile, in Sumer, the month is called “Su-numum” after the Akiti Su-numum (the Ploughing Festival). Ploughing has begun and will continue for four more months. This month is also referred to the “Month of the Barely Seed,” reflecting the preparation for the planting season. Stones and stubble are removed, and the rows are ploughed. Burnt offerings of fruit and oil are made to the plough. (Traditionally, the festival is started at the full moon after the summer solstice.)

Since Su-numun is also the onset of summer, there also rituals that focused on death and mourning. The first day of the month is “The Festival of the Canebrake (Apum).” (This was traditionally held on the new moon after the summer solstice.) “Canebrake” refers to the burial practice of wrapping the corpse in a shroud and laying it in the burial marshes. “In the reeds of Enki” refers to the canebrake receiving the body. Burial marshes were common. During the festival, it is customary to read laments such as “Lament over the Destruction of Ur” and “Lament over the Destruction of Ur and Sumer.” The “Time of the Great Wailing” commemorates when Ur was destroyed by the Elam and Sua peoples in 2004 BCE.

Babylonian Month of May/June

In the Standard Mesopotamian Calendar, the month starting from the new moon of May is called Simanu (“Month of the Brick Gods”). The King would lay the first brick in the brick mold. Then brickmaking and construction could begin in earnest. The Gods of Bricks and Building were honored in eight rituals that centered on the brick kilns.

For modern people, this can be the time to celebrate masonry and other aspects of building. Think of how bricks provide for safe and snug homes. The beginnings of civilization could be said to be represented by bricks and mortar.

The Gods of Bricks and Building are:
Girra: The God of Fire. The God of Kilns
Kabta: God of Pickaxes, Construction and Bricks
Kulla: The God of Building.
Musdama: The God of Foundations. The God of Architects
Arazu: The God of Completed Construction
Nuska: The God of Fire. The God of Civilization.

Note: In Sumer, the time of the inundations of the fields began at the new moon of May. The month of May-June is known as Sig-ga.