Jason and the Argonauts: The Voyage as a Rite of Passage

As I already explained in the post dedicated to the Orkney Islands, the myth of Hyperborea was related to the Megalith Builders, but there is another myth that contains even more explicit references to this correlation, and that is the myth that narrates the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, whose central theme is, appropriately, the renewal of the monarchy.

Succinctly, the kingdom of Iolcos (Thessaly, Greece) was reigned by Jason’s uncle, Pelias, who had overthrown Jason’s father, the legitimate king. The myth begins with a prophecy received by Pelias according to which he will be deposed by someone who will arrive to the kingdom wearing only one sandal. Jason, in his way to meet Pelias to reclaim his right to the throne, helps an old woman (Goddess Hera in disguise) to wade a river and ends up losing one of his sandals. Jason is later announced to Pelias as a man wearing only one sandal, so the king knows immediately that the man of the prophecy has arrived. Pelias agrees to cede the crown to his nephew under one condition, which Jason is forced to accept by means of a sly argumentation, and that is to retrieve the Golden Fleece, a sacred ram’s woolly skin.

Jason recruited a crew of about fifty great heroes, heroines and noblemen to fulfill the mission, to sail in a great ship called Argo, immortalized in the sky as Argo Navis constellation.

The strange –even absurd– prophecy of the “one sandal” gains all its meaning when it is reconnected to its cosmic origin. The celestial scene represented during the ceremony to renew the Megalith Builders’ monarchy provides the link. Orion constellation was embodied by the prince, and the pair of stars that correspond to his legs did not rise above the horizon at the same time, but Rigel did it ahead of Saiph.

In Avebury, that was the precise moment in which the princes left The Sanctuary heading towards the henge, when one of “Orion’s sandals” was still not visible. Between Orion (great hunter) represented by the princes and Leo (great lion) represented by the kings lies the Milky Way, which would explain why in the myth Jason loses his sandal while crossing a river.

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Jason and the Argonauts: The Voyage as a Rite of Passage

Orkney Islands: Capital of Hyperborea

 

The Orkney Islands belong to a Scottish archipelago uniquely rich in Neolithic sites. The “Heart of Neolithic Orkney” is a group of megalithic monuments on Mainland Island consisting of Maeshowe, a chambered cairn, the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar (both henge-type monuments), and Skara Brae, one of the best preserved Neolithic villages.

The Ring of Brodgar is among the northernmost examples of henges in Britain, comparable with Avebury and Stonehenge among the greatest.

Additionally, a recent archaeological site called Ness of Brodgar has been excavated between the Rings of Brodgar and Stenness, and it has provided evidence of housing, decorated stone slabs, a massive stone wall with foundations, and a large building dubbed as “the cathedral.”

The high concentration of Neolithic sites at this location of this northern island is quite remarkable. The people who built the huge chamber of Maes Howe and lived in the houses like those of Skara Brae (they even had sewers in the 3rd millennium BC), surrounded by such extraordinary ritual landscape, were coetaneous with those who built Avebury, Carnac, the early phase of Stonehenge, and Newgrange (described in a coming post).

This coincidence in time, and the geodesic fact that Orkney is the northernmost land on the same meridian than Carnac (ca. 3.2º W), may suggest a connection among these megalithic complexes.

The hypothesis of MacKie proposing the existence of a theocratic élite with capacity of movement over large territories in Neolithic Britain, radiating from Orkney in the north, would fit within a scheme in which these islands were chosen by the Megalith Builders to build the headquarters of their priests.

But, why would they build it in such remote northern archipelago? Find the answer in the book.

 

Orkney Islands: Capital of Hyperborea