(urth) symbolism: Avern

Matthew Keeley matthew.keeley.1 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 9 16:47:03 PDT 2008

On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 7:33 PM, Son of Witz <sonofwitz at butcherbaker.org> wrote:
> Also, I've said "rainbow-black", and black, but he says it's the color of a "scarab's back"
> why Scarab?
> short:
> Quote
> Called the dung beetle because of its practice of rolling a ball of dung across the ground. The Egyptians observed this behavior and equated it with the ball of the sun being rolled across the sky. They confused this balled food source with the egg sack that the female dung beetle laid and buried in the sand. When the eggs hatched the dung beetles would seem to appear from nowhere, making it a symbol of spontaneous creation. In this role it was associated with the sunrise. Khepri was the scarab headed god.
> Long:
> Quote
> The rolling of the dung ball reminded Egyptians of the movement of the constantly renewed sun which rose in the east and set in the west each day. These observations caused the scarab to be associated with the sun, regeneration, renewal, and resurrection.
> The dung beetle was also associated with autogenesis and self-renewal since to others, its young appeared to spontaneously crawl out of the dung heap without mother or father. Both the image of the beetle rolling its own ball and the spontaneously self-generated young associated the scarab with the Egyptian World Egg which gave birth to all life. The male scarab is often shown pushing before him the sun or the World Egg.
> ...
> Early Christians often used the symbols of sun gods to represent aspects of their new religion. They associated the scarab with Christ's Resurrection and the victory of the Light of the World over the darkness of sin and death. Some people believed that each dung beetle laid only a single egg which he used to give birth to himself. This misconception led early Christians to call Christ the "Good Scarab" to remind themselves that He was God's "only begotten Son" and "true God from true God" (John 3:16, 18; see also John 1:1-3). Kircher reports that in Germany, when reading Psalm 22:6, some people once read "But I am a scarab and no man." Probably because the lowly death and "rebirth" of the scarab was as good a symbol of the Crucified Christ anticipating His Resurrection as the changing of a caterpillar into a butterfly was.
> my emphasis.
> I'm sure you all don't need me to elaborate more than those quotes do.
> yowza, I'm halfway through my second read (well, I just finished Claw, so 2/5 I guess) and this book just gets better and better.

Some very good posting going on here.
Wolfe has mentioned scarabs before. From Paul Duggan's site:

Relevant quote:
JJ: I don't know that I have any other questions. It is a universe in
which angelic like things actually have physical control over the
universal stars and suns. I noticed that you had scarabs in the great
machine in Yesod. Severian goes through and sees that

GW: Oh yeah, yeah.

JJ: Scarabs push the suns. But that is a past world just in your imagination.

GW: Yes, I was looking at what past universes might have been like
really and that is how...I began with the idea of what is going to
happen to us if we just keep going the way we are going and continue
to live on the continent of Earth without ever really going into the
sea or going into space and we just wait for the money to run out. The
do nothing future and thinking about what that would be. And then I
got into the idea of universal cycles. And decided that I would show
that this might be a past cycle. Some physicists at least think that
the Big Bang is eventually going to be followed by a Big Gnab in which
the whole universe coalesces again which will be followed by another
Big Bang which is sort of like a succession of universe as piston
impulses in an internal combustion engine. I certainly don't have any
great emotional investment in that idea but I do think it is a useful
idea to play around with. Physics is coming nearer and nearer and
nearer mysticism. It has been doing this now for over 50 years and it
seems to me that is a fascinating thing that much too little attention
has been given to.

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