Page:Psychology of the Unconscious (1916).djvu/168
The various attributes of the sun, separated into a series, appear one after the other in the Mithraic liturgy. According to the vision of Helios, seven maidens appear with the heads of snakes, and seven gods with the heads of black bulls.
It is easy to understand the maiden as a symbol of the libido used in the sense of causative comparison. The snake in Paradise is usually considered as feminine, as the seductive principle in woman, and is represented as feminine by the old artists, although properly the snake has a phallic meaning. Through a similar change of meaning the snake in antiquity becomes the symbol of the earth, which on its side is always considered feminine. The bull is the well-known symbol for the fruitfulness of the sun. The bull gods in the Mithraic liturgy were called κνωθακοφύλακες, "guardians of the axis of the earth," by whom the axle of the orb of the heavens was turned. The divine man, Mithra, also had the same attributes; he is sometimes called the "Sol invictus" itself, sometimes the mighty companion and ruler of Helios; he holds in his right hand the "bear constellation, which moves and turns the heavens." The bull-headed gods, equally ἱεροὶ καὶ ἄλκιμοι νεανίαι with Mithra himself, to whom the attribute νεώτερος, "young one," "the newcomer," is given, are merely attributive components of the same divinity. The chief god of the Mithraic liturgy is himself subdivided into Mithra and Helios; the attributes of each of these are closely related to the other. Of Helios it is said: ὄψει θεὸν νεώτερον εὐειδῆ πυρινό-