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The Puzzler

Snake Cult of W.Africa Enter Ancient Greece?

11 posts in this topic

The topic is really Did the Snake Cult of West Africa enter Greece within the Goddess Athena and Hermes?

Is The Cretan Snake Goddess really Athena?

OK, within the Serer topic of Abe's, it has become apparent (to me) that Athena is connected with this ancient cult of Western Africa, which, before the Sahara dried up, appears to merge into ancient Libyan territory, so I am speculating that Libyan Berbers and Western Africans were connected. This is apparent in the finds of Serer cosmology symbolism in the Tuareg Deserts dating back to c. 7000BC. Athena is mentioned in Linear B as is Poseidon on Crete. Plato says both came in from Libya to Greece at the dawn of Greek civilisation via Crete. Poseidon is a Libyan God according to Herodotus. Medusa is to be found in these far off Libyan deserts, in Athena's Temple no less. The Akrotiri paintings have negro types in the boats.

Once I became familiar with Serer religion I saw it all around me, particularly in Greece and within many myths,as Hermes and Athena and their serpent connections, so I am going to put forth a 'theory'...

Medusa was a Serer priestess. She was able to receive messages from the Gods via sacred serpents, a kind of receptor that is usually found on a staff. Hermes carries one, a herald's staff, they heralded the messages from God. Snakes were also kept in temples for the same reasons, a kind of protector, guide, of Gods.

The caduceus (☤; 11px-Loudspeaker.svg.png/kəˈdjsəs/ or /kəˈdjʃəs/; from Greek κηρύκειον kērukeion "herald's staff"[2] ) is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves

So, we have Medusa in the temple of Athena, when she is seduced by Poseidon, from Libya, she has upset Athena so Athena gives her retribution, her hair becomes smakes. The Serer women, when they have been unfaithful, unplait their hair, which was plaited apon marriage, this is very shameful. The unplaited hair is the snakes on her head, she has been shamed by Athena, the main snake Goddess. By cutting off Medusa's head, it meant the knowledge she had, of her snake cult was lost. Perseus cut it off, he is not an Athenian.

Athena at this time was also in Crete, she is in charge of all the rites connected to this ancient cult - the double axe is the tree of life, which the snake resides in. The snakes held up by the Snake Goddess are actually receptors, receiving the messages from the Gods. The owl on her head tells me this woman is Athena and that she is the one who has bought in the laws of her cult to Crete. I'll move on to the tonnes of snake connections into Athens - Cecrops, Erichthonius etc and how Hermes fits in next.

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High priests and priestesses were known as Saltigues. This would be Athena, Hermes and Medusa.

The Pangool are the ancient ancestral spirits represented by snakes. The Fangool (singular of Pangool) is the sacred serpent.

Lamanes are men/kings who go out to found villages and new areas to live.

They mummified their dead and buried them in pyramid shaped tombs (like Egyptians).

They made many places with Upright stones, Senegambian Stone Circles aligned to the sky.

Their symbol of the Universe is a star and it is Sirius, called Yoonir.

For the ordinary Serers, they addressed their prayers to the pangool (the Serer ancestral spirits and saints) as they are the intermediaries between the living world and the divine. An orthodox Serer must remain faithful to the ancestral spirits as the soul is sanctified as a result of the ancestors' intercession between the living world and the divine. The pangool have both a historical significance as well as a religious one. They are connected to the history of the Serer by virtue of the fact that, the pangool is associated with the founding of Serer villages and towns as a group of pangool would accompany village founders called "lamane" (or laman - who were their ancient kings) as they make their journey looking for land to exploit. Without them, the lamane exploits would not have been possible. In the religious sense, these ancient lamanes created shrines to these pangool, thereby becoming the priests and custodians of the shrine. As such, "they became the intermediaries among the land, the people and the pangool".

Hermes would have been some kind of Lamane as well as a High Priest, like many ancient Kings were eg; Cyrus.

The Pangool is carried in the form of his staff, that is his ancient ancestral spirits who can intercede between the living world and the divine.

This is the Pelasgians.

Hermes has one in this picture, note the 2 snake heads on the end of his cadeucus on closer inspection.


This picture is of Iris or Nike it says - the interesting connection here is that Nike is often found with Athena, such as the Winged Victory statue called Athena-Nike.


Edited by The Puzzler

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It is generally believed in Serer society that the Lamanes predate the Saltigues. As well as holding economic and political power, they also held religious roles (i.e. priests) before the advent of Saltigues. The Saltigues (the priestly class) came later and acted as the assistants of the Lamanic class. Before the Saltigues, the Lamanes were believed to be responsible for a wide spectrum of religious practices. In fact, a Lamane's economic and political power was linked to his religious power. If he could not control the environment by using his religious power throught the accumulation of charms, he was ritually killed. The control of the environment is of course now linked to the Saltigues (the rain priests) but previously, that was the role of the Lamanes. The Lamanic class (as they used to be) no longer exists in Senegambia, only the Saltigues remain.

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Interesting speculation.

Its worth pointing out that it is likely that a serpent cult existed locally, as they seem to almost everywhere; but whether Athena actually came from west Africa as a cultural phenomenon, or with ethnic migration, or was homegrown but influenced by imported ideas I cannot say.

The Caduceus may have its origins in the East rather than the West however.

Greek mythology seems to be a bit of a melting-pot quite often between Eastern and European ingredients, and Im sure there is a bit of Egyptian in there also.

Its also worth noting that these myths differ from place to place in Greece; and that the Greeks had a habit of equating and comparing their Gods with those of the peoples around them (with varying degrees of accuracy). The problem with making certain statements is compounded by the fact that their view of history is rarely accurate for a number of reasons.

It is likely that Mycenaean culture was influenced by the more sophisticated Minoan, especially through trade, piracy and eventually, conquest.

Influence from the Serer by proxy of Crete is one of those less explored avenues, and it is very interesting to read of and consider. :tu:

Edited by The Gremlin

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From the Göbekli Tepe thread:

A bit more about a relation between ancient Crete and ancient Anatolia:

DNA sheds light on Minoans

Crete’s fabled Minoan civilization was built by people from Anatolia, according to a new study by Greek and foreign scientists that disputes an earlier theory that said the Minoans’ forefathers had come from Africa.

The new study – a collaboration by experts in Greece, the USA, Canada, Russia and Turkey – drew its conclusions from the DNA analysis of 193 men from Crete and another 171 from former neolithic colonies in central and northern Greece.

The results show that the country’s neolithic population came to Greece by sea from Anatolia – modern-day Iran, Iraq and Syria – and not from Africa as maintained by US scholar Martin Bernal.

The DNA analysis indicates that the arrival of neolithic man in Greece from Anatolia coincided with the social and cultural upsurge that led to the birth of the Minoan civilization, Constantinos Triantafyllidis of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University told Kathimerini.

“Until now we only had the archaeological evidence – now we have genetic data too and we can date the DNA,” he said.

Archeological dates for the colonisation of Crete are about 7,000 BC.

In more detail...


They identified J2a parent haplogroup J2a-M410 (Crete: 25.9%) with the first ancient residents of Crete during the Neolithic (8500 BCE – 4300 BCE) suggesting Crete was founded by a Neolithic population expansion from ancient Turkey/Anatolia. Specifically, the researchers connected the source population of ancient Crete to well known Neolithic sites of ancient Anatolia: Asıklı Höyük, Çatalhöyük, Hacılar, Mersin/Yumuktepe, and Tarsus. Haplogroup J2b-M12 (Crete: 3.1%; Greece: 5.9%) was associated with Neolithic Greece. Haplogroups J2a1h-M319 (8.8%) and J2a1b1-M92 (2.6%) were associated with the Minoan culture linked to a late Neolithic/ Early Bronze Age migration to Crete ca. 3100 BCE from North-Western/Western Anatolia and Syro-Palestine (ancient Canaan, Levant, and pre-Akkadian Anatolia); Aegean prehistorians link the date 3100 BCE to the origins of the Minoan culture on Crete.



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I just want to add that snake cult is also in India. Famous Naga. Also Illyrians, Aztecs worshiped snake. And Celts too.

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Could it be that snakes represent dragons? Chinese dragon remind me on snakes. And what about flying snakes. Serpents in the sky are reported all over the world. Especially in Egypt. Look what Herodotus say about it in his History, Book 2:

I went to a certain place in Arabia, almost exactly opposite the city of Buto, to make inquiries concerning the winged serpents. On my arrival I saw the back-bones and ribs of serpents in such numbers as it is impossible to describe; of the ribs there were a multitude of heaps, some great, some small, some middle-sized. The place where the bones lie is at the entrance of a narrow gorge between the steep mountains, which there open upon a spacious plain communicating with the great plains of Egypt. The story goes, that the spring the snakes come flying from Arabia towards Egypt, but are met in this gorge by the birds called ibises, who forbid their entrance and destroy them all. The Arabians assert, and the Egyptians also admit, that it is on account of the service thus rendered that the Egyptians hold the ibis in so much reverence.

Navajo and Seminole have legends about flying snakes. Also I dont need to mention Dragons allover the wordl. Anyway Italian Hieronymus Benzo in circa 1550 in Florida have similar expirience. In his text Istoria de Mondo Nuovo Libr. III, Benzo said:

I saw a certain kind of Serpent which was furnished with wings, and which was killed near a wood by some of our men. Its wings were so shaped that by moving them it could raise itself from the ground and fly along, but only at a very short distance from the earth.

What about Aztecs feathered serpent? Or Maya snakes? It realy amazes me that Egyptians and Aztecs had flying snakes in their culture.

The Washington Post in 1911…“passengers and crew of the White Star liner Celtic brought with them to New York today a revival of the sea serpent tales of other years. They reported having passed early yesterday morning a formidable looking creature that was going at a high speed in pursuit of a school of young whales. The monster, they say, had wings, and rose frequently 10 feet or more from the water. Whales and pursuer faded from sight within a few minutes.”,1532122

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Can't be sure if Kush or older than The Serer culture but the Kushite kings's crowns had the double uraeus(snake) on it.

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