Out of Anatolia came …

Extracted from Timeless Myths:

Relevance of Anatolian myths is their possible provenance for the mythical motifs in Japan:

Fertility motif, deities of regeneration 

Phallic symbolism – Dance of Izanagi and Izanami, the cosmic pair around the cosmic pillar resemble Anatolian / Mesopotamian / Hellenistic pairs:  

Ba’al and Ishtar
Yhwh and Asherah
Osiris and Isis
Priapus/Tychon and Hestia/Vesta
Attis and Cybele
Apollo/Ares and Aphrodite Urania/Astartes
Dumuzid and Inanna
Iswara and Iswani

Ἀφροδίσιας Aphrodisias

A Carian fertility goddess. Aphrodisias was equivalent to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

Her cult centre was in the city that was named after her, Aphrodisias, which existed at the time of Hittite and Phrygian empires in Asia Minor. The city Aphrodisias was later known for its art, science and philosophy. It was still a prosperous city during the Roman Empire.
The pine tree motif and vegetation deity

Ἄττις Attis

A Phrygian vegetation god. Attis was the son of Nana, daughter of the river god Sangarius.

Nana fell pregnant when almond dropped into her lap. The almond came from the tree that was originally the severed male genital from hermaphrodite being. This being with now only female genitals became the mother goddess Cybele.

Nana couldn’t explain the miracle of giving birth to a son, so she exposed the infant in the wild, but it was saved by suckling on a goat.

As Attis grew and became a young man, his beauty was noticed by Cybele. She fell in love with the handsome youth, but he wasn’t aware of the goddess’ love for him. Attis became engaged with a princess from the kingdom of Pessinus. In a jealous rage, Cybele drove both Attis and the king mad. In their mad frenzy they castrated themselves on the pine trees, and bled to death.

In earlier legend, a wild boar killed Attis. Either Attis became a pine tree or he was buried at Agdus in Pessinus.

Attis was often seen as Cybele’s consort and a vegetation god, who was celebrated with Cybele in her feast. The galli, who were devotees of Cybele, would dance in a state of frenzy, before they castrate themselves, apparently to commemorate Attis’ death.

Note:  This myth is central to the Mystery Religions –  Every spring, the death of the god was mourned until he was resurrected by the Great Mother, when grief turned to joy. At this festival the pious male devotees of Cybele castrated themselves, holding up their bloody organs to the heavens to make themselves eligible for the priesthood, the Galli

Cybele’s most ecstatic followers were males who ritually castrated themselves, after which they were given women’s clothing and assumed female identities….” Wikipedia

“…castrated priests who had long hair and processed in strange costume through the streets to the sound of flutes, pipes and tambourines…It was believed they could {both} bind and release men from spells, and both induce and heal madness.” The Myth of the Goddess

The genital were placed on the altar of Cybele as a sexual sacrifice of sorts. Other already emasculated ‘priestesses’ would self-flagellate and cut their arms during the ceremonies. Their blood dripping into the ground as ‘fertilization’ of the earth. It was now that the priestesses were ‘virgins’ just like their great mother Cybele. Again just as with the cult of Inanna and Ishtar ‘virgin’ did NOT mean that they didn’t participate in sexual acts. In the temple of Cybele there was plenty of sexual acts taking place. The catch was that they were between the castrated priestesses{now acting as women} and other men, therefore there could be no conception of birth; meaning they remained ‘virgins’. There is also some question on whether the temple of Cybele had actual woman priestesses who would take the male role in sexual acts with certain phallic apparatus{yes folks, they existed back then}.

To say the very least…this new incarnation of the fertility goddess, Cybele, had once again successfully blurred the lines of gender in her temple proceedings. Interestingly enough it was these sexual fertility rites that seemed to focus on the fertility of the earth.– Blueprint of a Goddess

Νάνα  Nana

Nana was a daughter of the Phrygian river god, Sangarius. She was mainly known for her connection to the goddess Cybele.

According to the legend, the gods severed the penis of hermaphrodite being; this being became the mother goddess, Cybele or Agdistis. The severed male genital was throw away, but it grew into an almond tree. When Nana went to pick some fruits and nuts, which she gathered around her lap, one almond vanished from thigh, impregnating the girl. She gave birth to Attis.
Πρίαπος Priapus
The fertility god worshipped by the Greeks, Phrygians and the Romans. Priapus or Priapos was the son of Dionysus and Aphrodite. Priapus was the god of fertility and sex of human and animals. Priapus was normally portrayed in art as an ugly and deformed satyr-like creature with abnormally huge phallus. Of course the phallus was symbol of sexual potency and fertility.

According to the historian Diodorus Siculus, he wrote that the Titans had killed the Egyptian god Osiris, the husband of Isis. His body was carved up into many parts. Isis killed the Titans and went to recover the pieces of her husband’s body. Isis rebuilds her husband’s body by joining the pieces together. The only part that was missing was Osiris’ phallus. Isis constructed an erect phallus in place of the missing organ.

Though, Diodorus also say that Priapus had been identified with another Egyptian god of fertility, Min. Priapus was sometimes called Ithyphallus or Tychon.

Ovid had recorded that after the feast at Olympus, Priapus was at the point of mounting the sleeping virgin goddess, Hestia (known as Vesta here), when she was timely woken by an ass braying. Her scream had frightened off Priapus.

Σαγγάριος Sangarius

The river god of Sangarius River in Phrygia, northwest of Asia Minor. The river flow through the valleys of Phrygia, out into the Black Sea. Three important Phrygian cities were founded on the banks of Sangarius – Ancyra, Gordium and Pessinus.

In classical mythology, Sangarius was mostly known in as the father of Hecuba, who was wife of King Priam of Troy, and of Nana, who was mother of Attis. It was centre of worship of Cybele in Asia Minor


The geography and strategic location of Anatolia in dispersing Indo-European language and with it, core myths and legends (Anatolian hypothesis):

The word Anatolia covers much of present Turkey, whereas Asia Minor is limited to Central and Western portions of the country. As generally referred, Asia Minor doesn’t include the eastern Turkey. So, Anatolia, relatively covers a larger area than Asia Minor does. We don’t know exactly when and how the Anatolian Peninsula came to be called Asia Minor or Asia, but we have some clues from ancient writers like Homers, Herodotus, Strabo who refer to the land by this name. The name Asia Minor was first clearly used by Ptolemaios in the 2nd C., and in the modern geographical meaning it was used in the first half of the 5th C. In the ancient times, Asia Minor referred to was a much narrower area than what we know today. Asia Minor was used to discriminate the land in question from a larger area Asia Major that covers the continent of Asia. Besides the name Asia Minor, another name is often used to refer to this area as well. Anatolia or Anadolu in Turkish means “the land where the sun rises” comes from the ancient Greek name Anatole and has been used since the 3rd C. Anatolia in general covers a larger area than Asia Minor does and is used to cover Syria, Mesopotamia and Egypt as well as Asia Minor. Anatolia is more often used after the 3rd C., and in the Byzantine times it was used replacing the name Asia.”

“Two great mountain chains run from west to east, being Pontic mountain chain along the Black Sea coast to the north and Taurus mountain chain that goes parallel to the coast of Mediterranean Sea and bends inward towards the eastern Turkey. … Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey was the final resting place of Noah’s Ark after the great flood that is told in the chapter Genesis of the Old Testament. Mt. Ararat is the highest peak in the land with its elevation of 16,000 feet. Mt. Nemrut on the northern shore of Lake Van in eastern Turkey that is at an altitude of roughly 5,500 feet has one of the largest volcanic craters in the world with a 4 1/4 miles diameter. Known in ancient times as, Mt. Argaeus (Erciyes) located in eastern Cappadocia with an elevation of 13,000 feet spewed out volcanic tufa that was to form unreal volcanic rock formations of Cappadocia. Mt. Hasan that marks the western border of Cappadocia has an elevation of 10,000 feet and its eruption in the past played a role along with Mt. Argaeus in forming Cappadocia area.

Anatolia has abundance of water. There are great rivers in Anatolia that emerge from various parts of the land and run in various directions. Sangarios river (Sakarya) emerges from Pessinus in Phrygia and after running through Galatia, Phrygia and Bithynia flows into Pontus Euxinus. River Halys with a length of 400 miles emerges from the mountains in eastern Turkey and flows through central Anatolia into Pontus Euxinus. Inside the bent of Halys was the homeland of Hittites. Iris river (Yesilirmak) emerging from eastern Anatolia runs through the hinterlands of Pontus area and joins the Pontus Euxinus. Rivers of the Old Testament, Euphrates and Tigris both emerge from eastern Turkey and flow down through respectively Syria and Iraq into Persian Gulf, having in between the ancient land of Mesopotamia. Araxes river rises in eastern Turkey and flows through Caucasus east to the Caspian sea.”

See Researchers identify present-day Turkey as origin of Indo-European languages Aug 24, 2012 Washington Post

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