Paradise Found, by William F. Warren, , at sacred-texts.com
The Tree of Life,
Sowohl der Apfelbaum and die Quelle, als auch der Drache des Hesperidengartens, werden in den Mythen and Märchen der meisten Völker in das Centrum der Natur, an den Gipfel des Weltberges, an den Nordpol verlegt.Wolfgang Menzel.
In the centre of the Garden of Eden, according to Genesis iii. 3, there was a tree exceptional in position, in character, and in its relations to men. Its fruit was "good for food," it was "pleasant to the eyes," "a tree to be desired." 1 At first sight it would not perhaps appear how a study of this tree in the different mythologies of the ancient world could assist us in locating primitive Paradise. In the discussions of such sites as have usually been
proposed it could not; but if the Garden of Eden was precisely at the North Pole, it is plain that a goodly tree standing in the centre of that Garden would have had a visible and obvious cosmical significance which could by no possibility belong to any other. Its fair stem shooting up as arrow-straight as the body of one of the "giant trees of California," far overtopping, it may be, even such gigantic growths as these, would to any one beneath have seemed the living pillar of the very heavens. Around it would have turned the "stars of God," as if in homage; through its topmost branches the human worshiper would have looked up to that unmoving centre-point where stood the changeless throne of the Creator. How conceivable that that Creator should have reserved for sacred uses this one natural altar-height of the Earth, and that by special command He should have guarded its one particular adornment from desecration! (Gen. ii. 16, 17.) If anywhere in the temple of nature there was to be an altar, it could only be here. That it was here finds a fresh and unexpected confirmation in the singular agreement of many ancient religions and mythologies in associating their Paradise-Tree with the axis of the world, or otherwise, with equal unmistakableness, locating it at the Arctic Pole of the Earth. 1
That the Northmen conceived of the universe as
a tree (the Yggdrasil) is well known to ordinary readers. Its roots are in the lowest hell, its mid-branches inclose or overarch the abode of men, its top reaches the highest heaven of the gods. It was their poetical way of saying that the whole world is an organic unity pervaded by one life. As the abode of the gods was in the north polar sky, the summit of the tree was at that point, its base in the south polar abyss, its trunk coincident with the axis of heaven and earth. 1 It was, therefore, in position and in nature precisely what an idealizing imagination magnifying the primitive tree of Paradise to a real World-tree would have produced. 2
But while most readers are familiar with this Norse myth, few are aware how ancient and universal an idea it represents. This same tree appears in the earliest Akkadian mythology. 3 And what is precisely to our purpose, it stood, as we have before seen, at "the Centre" or Pole of the earth, where is "the holy house of the gods." 4 It is the same
tree which in ancient Egyptian mythology inclosed the sarcophagus of Osiris, and out of which the king of Byblos caused the roof-pillar of his palace to be taken. But this was only another form of the Tat-pillar, which is the axis of the world. 1 In the light of comparative cosmology it is quite impossible to agree with Mr. Renouf in his treatment of the Tree in Egyptian mythology. It is neither "the rain cloud," nor "the light morning cloud," nor "the transparent mist on the horizon." His own citations of texts clearly show that under all its names the Egyptian Tree of Life is a true World-tree, whose trunk is coincident in position and direction
with the axis of the world; a tree in whose sky-filling branches Bennu, the sun-bird, is seated; a tree from whose north polar top the "North-wind" proceeds; a tree which, like the Yggdrasil, yields a celestial rain that is as life-giving as Ardvi-Sûra's, and that descends, not merely upon the fields of Lower Egypt, but, like Ardvi-Sûra's, to the Underworld itself, refreshing "those who are in Amenti." 1 The super-terrestrial portion of the Egyptian's Yggdrasil, therefore,like that of the Northman's,stands at the Arctic Pole.
The Phnicians, Syrians, and Assyrians had each their sacred tree in which the universe was symbolized. 2 In the lost work of Pherecydes the former is represented as a "winged oak." 3 Over it was thrown the magnificent veil, or peplos, of Harmonia, on which were represented the all-surrounding Ocean with his rivers, the Earth with its omphalos in the centre, the sphere of Heaven varied by the figures of the stars. 4 But as this self-interpreting
symbol was furnished with wings to facilitate its constant rotation, it is plain that we have in it, not only a World-tree, but also one the central line of whose trunk is one with the axis of heaven and earth. 1 In the language of Maury, "It is a conception identical with the Yggdrasil of Scandinavian mythology." 2 That section of the tree, therefore, which reaches from the abode of men into the holy heavens rises pillar-like from the Pole of the earth to the Pole of the sky.
Among the Persians the legendary tree of Paradise took on two forms, according as it was viewed with predominant reference to the universe as an organic whole, or to the vegetable world as proceeding from it. In the first aspect it was the Gaokerena (Gôkard) tree, or "the white Hôm" (Haoma = Soma); in the second, the "tree of all seeds," the "tree opposed to harm." Of the former it is written, "Every one who eats of it becomes immortal; . . . also in the renovation of the universe they prepare its immortality therefrom; it is the chief of plants." 3 Of the second we read, "In like manner
as the animals, with grain of fifty and five species and twelve species of medicinal plants, have arisen from the primeval ox, so ten thousand species among the species of principal plants, and a hundred thousand species among ordinary plants, have grown from all these seeds of the tree opposed to harm, the many-seeded. . . . When the seeds of all these plants, with those from the primeval ox, have arisen upon it, every year the bird (Kamros) strips that tree and mingles all the seeds in the water; Tîshtar seizes them with the rain-water and rains them on to all regions." 1
Where stood this tree which, in its dual form, was at once the source of all other trees and the giver of immortality? Every indication points us to the northern Pole. It was in Aîrân-Vej, 2 the Persian Eden, and this we have already found. It was at the source of all waters, the north polar fountain of Ardvî-Sûra. 3 It was begirt with the starry girdle of the zodiacal constellations, which identifies it with the axis of the world. 4 It grew on "the highest height of Harâ-berezaiti," 5 and this is the celestial mountain at the Pole. Finally, although Grill mistakenly
makes the Chinvat bridge "correspond with the Milky Way and the rainbow," he nevertheless correctly discerns some relationship between Chinvat and the Persian Tree of Life. 1 By this identification we are again brought to the one unmistakable location toward which all lines of evidence perpetually converge.
The Aryans of India, as early as in the far-off Vedic age, had also their World-tree, which yielded the gods their soma, the drink which maintains immortality. As we should anticipate, its roots are in the Underworld of Yama at the hidden pole, its top in the north polar heaven of the gods, its body is the sustaining axis of the universe. 2 Weber long ago expressly identified it with the World-ash of the Edda; 3 and Kuhn, 4 Senart, 5 and all the more recent writers accept without question the identification. Grill's interesting sketch of the historic developments of the myth may be seen in the Appendix to this volume. 6 Some of the late traces of it in Hindu
art betray the ancient conception of the Pole as a means of ascent to heaven, a bridge of souls and of the gods, a stair substituted for the slippery pillar up which the Tauist emperor vainly sought to climb. 1
Among the Greeks 2 it is more than probable that the "holy palm" in Delos, on which Lêtô laid hold at the birth of Apollo, represents the same mythical World-tree. If so, and if we follow Hecatæus in locating the scene, we shall be brought to the Arctic Pole. 3 The eternally flourishing olive of Athênê (Euripides, Ion 1433) seems also but another form of the holy palm, and this in some of its descriptions brings us again to the land of the
Hyperboreans. 1 In the Garden of the Hesperides, the tree which bore the golden apples was unquestionably the Tree of Paradise; but following Æschylus, Pherecydes, and Apollodorus, we must place it in the farthest North, beyond the Rhipæan mountains. 2 Traces of the same mythical conception among the Romans are presented by Kuhn. 3
The sacred tree of the Buddhists figures largely in their sculpture. An elaborate specimen representation may be seen on the well-known Sanchi Tope. One inconspicuous feature in the representation has often puzzled observers. Almost invariably, at the very top of the tree we find a little umbrella. So universal is this that its absence occasions remark. 4 This little piece of symbolism has a curious value. In Buddhist mythological art the umbrella symbolizes the north polar heaven of the gods, 5 and by attaching it to the tip of the sacred tree the ancient sculptors of this faith unmistakably showed the cosmical character and axial position of that to which it was attached.
But this cosmic tree was the mythical Bôdhi tree, the Tree of Wisdom,
[paragraph continues] Its location is in "the Middle of the Earth." 1 Notwithstanding his doctrine of an African origin of mankind, Gerald Massey says, "In the legendary life of Gautama, Buddha is described as having to pass over the celestial water to reach Nirvana, which is the land of the Bôdhi Tree of Life and Knowledge. He was unable to cross from one bank to the other, but the spirit of the Bôdhi tree stretched out its arms to him and helped him over in safety. By aid of this tree he attained the summit of wisdom and immortal life. It is the same Tree of the Pole and of Paradise all mythology through. The Tree of the Guarani garden, the Hebrew Eden, the Hindu Jambu-dwîpa, is likewise the Tree of Nirvana. This final application of the imagery proves its origin. The realm of rest was first seen at the polar centre of the revolving stars." 2
The ancient Germans called their World-tree the Irmensul, i.e., "Heaven-pillar." Grimm speaks of its close relationship with the Norse Yggdrasil, and
lends his high authority to the view that it was simply a mythical expression of the idea of the world's axis. 1 The same view was advanced still earlier by the distinguished Icelandic mythographer, Finn Magnusen. 2 How profoundly the myth affected mediæval Christian art is illustrated in many places, among the rest in the sculptures on the south portal of the Baptistery at Parma. 3 It is also not without a deep significance that "in the mediæval legend of Seth's visit to the Garden of Eden, to obtain for his dying father the Oil of Compassion, the Tree of Life which he saw lifted its top to heaven and sent its root to hell;" 4 and that on the crucifixion of Christ, himself the
this cosmical Tree of the Garden died, and became the "Arbre Sec" of mediæval story. 5
The Paradise-tree of the Chinese Tauists is also a World-tree. It is found in the centre of the enchanting Garden of the Gods on the summit of the polar Kwen-lun. Its name is Tong, and its location is further defined by the expression that it grows "hard by the closed Gate of Heaven." 1 As in many of the ancient religions, the mount on which, after the Flood, the ark rested was considered the same as that from which in the beginning the first man came forth, it is not strange to find the tree on the top of the mountain of Paradise remembered in some of the legends of the Deluge. In the Tauist legend it seems to take the place of the ark. Thus we are told that "one extraordinary antediluvian saved his life by climbing up a mountain, and there and then, in the manner of birds plaiting a nest, he passed his days on a tree, whilst all the country below him was one sheet of water. He afterwards lived to a very old age, and could testify to his late posterity that a whole race of human beings had been swept from the face of the earth." 2
It is at least suggestive to find this same idea of salvation from a universal deluge by means of a miraculous tree growing on the top of the divine Mountain of the North among the Navajo Indians of our own country. Speaking of the men of the world before our own, and of the warning they had received of the approaching flood, their legends go on: "Then they took soil from all the four corner mountains of the world, and placed it on top of the mountain that stood in the North; and thither they all went, including the people of the mountains,
the salt-woman, and such animals as then lived in the third world. When the soil was laid on the mountain, the latter began to grow higher and higher, but the waters continued to rise, and the people climbed upwards to escape the flood. At length the mountain ceased to grow, and they planted on the summit a great reed, into the hollow of which they all entered. The reed grew every night, but did not grow in the daytime; and this is the reason why the reed grows in joints to this day: the hollow internodes show where it grew by night, and the solid nodes show where it rested by day. Thus the waters gained on them in the daytime. The turkey was the last to take refuge in the reed, and he was therefore at the bottom. When the waters rose high enough to wet the turkey, they all knew that danger was near. Often did the waves wash the end of his tail, and it is for this reason that the tips of the turkey's tail-feathers are to this day lighter than the rest of his plumage. At the end of the fourth night from the time it was planted the reed had grown up to the floor of the fourth world, and here they found a hole through which they passed to the surface." 1
The opening sentence of the above citation gives us a topography exactly corresponding to Mount Meru, the Hindu "mountain of the North," with its "four corner mountains of the world," in the four opposite points of the horizon. Moreover, in the Deluge myths of the Hindus, as in this of the Navajos,
it was over this central mountain that the survivors of that world-destruction found deliverance. However explained, the coincidences are remarkable.
In Keltic tradition the Tree of Paradise is represented by the tree which bore golden apples in Avalon. But Avalon is always represented as an island in the far North, and its "loadstone castle" self-evidently connects it with the region of the magnetic Pole. 1
In the ancient epic of the Finns, the Kalevala, we see the World-tree of another people. If any doubt could rise as to its position in the universe, the constellation of the Great Bear in its top would suffice to remove it. 2
Thus the sacred trees, like the sacred waters, of every ancient people invariably conduct the investigator to lands outside the historic habitats of the peoples in question, and ever to one and the same primeval home-country, the land of light and glory at the Arctic Pole. 1
262:1 Was this "tree of knowledge" identical with the "tree of life"? Possibly. "The tradition of Genesis," says Lenormant, Beginnings, p. 84, "at times appears to admit two trees, one of Life and one of Knowledge, and again seems to speak of one only, uniting in itself both attributes (Gen. ii. 17; iii. 1-7)." Compare Ernst von Bunsen, Das Symbol des Kreuzes bei allen Nationen. Berlin, 1876: p. 5. To make the whole account relate to one tree it would only be necessary first to translate the last clause of ch. ii. 9 "the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, even the tree of knowledge of good and evil;" and then the last clause of ch. iii. 22 "and now lest he continue to put forth his hand and to take of the tree of life," etc.,for both of which constructions there are abundant precedents, if only the gam be rendered with the freedom used in some other passages. As to the first, see 1 Sam. xvii. 40; xxviii. 3; Dan. iv. 10; as to the second, the Hebrew grammars on the use of the future. Compare also Prov. iii. 13, 18, where wisdom is a tree of life.
263:1 "The Mythical Tree, like the Pillar and the Mount, is a type of the celestial Pole." Massey, The Natural Genesis, vol. i., p. 354. The arguments of Professor Karl Budde in favor of eliminating the Paradise-tree from the original Genesis account of the Garden of Eden betray a strange lack of insight. Die biblische Urgeschichte. Giessen, 1883: pp. 45-88. Even Kuenen refuses to entertain so arbitrary a notion, and M. Réville well exclaims, What would a Paradise be without lArbre de Vie!
264:1 Menzel, "Dieses Sinnbild entsteht ursprünglich aus der Vorstellung der Weltachse." Die vorchristliche Unsterblichkeitslehre, i. 70.
264:2 See "Les Cosmogonies Aryennes," par J. Darmesteter, Revue Critique. Paris, 188 t: pp. 470-476.
264:3 "By the full waters grew the giant 'overshadowing tree,' the Yggdrasil of Norse mythology, whose branches were of 'lustrous crystal,' extending downwards even to the deep." Sayce, Babylonian Literature, p. 39. Compare Lenormant, Beginnings of History, pp. 83-107. Had Professor Finzi duly considered the Tree of Life in Akkadian tradition, he could hardly have felt "constrained" to ascribe the origin of the sacred tree of the Assyrian monuments to "Aryan, more particularly Iranian influences." Ricerche per to Studio dell Antichità Assira, p. 553, note.
264:4 "In Eridu a dark pine grew. It was planted in a holy place. Its crown was crystal white, which spread towards the deep vault above. The abyss of Hea was its pasturage in Eridu, a canal full of waters. Its station was the centre of this earth. Its shrine was the couch of Mother Zikum. The (roof) of its holy house like a forest p. 265 spread its shade. There were none who entered not within it. It was the seat of the mighty Mother."Records of the Past, vol. ix., p. 146.
265:1 "It was most likely at Memphis, too, that he [Ptah] was imaged as a pillar beginning in the lowest and ending in the highest heaven, a conception which is undoubtedly referred to in that feature of the myth, as related by Plutarch, where the king of Byblos causes a pillar to be made in his palace out of the tree which had grown around the sarcophagus of Osiris. In fact, we possess delineations of Osiris as well as of Ptah answering to this description. On a post, on which is graven a human countenance, and which is covered with gay clothing, stands the so-called Tat-pillar, entirely made up of a kind of superimposed capitals, one of which has a rude face scratched upon it, intended, no doubt, to represent the shining sun. On the top of the pillar is placed the complete head-dress of Osiris, the ram's horns, the sun, the ureus-adders, the double feather, all emblems of light and of sovereignty, and which, in my judgment, must have been intended to represent the highest heaven. [See the plate in Wilkinson, M. and C., 2d series, suppt. plate 25 and 33, No. 5. Mariette, Abydos, I., pl. 16.] The Tat-pillar is the symbol of durability, immutability. This representation of Osiris, which its rude and simple character, without trace of art, proves to have been one of the most ancient, must apparently be held to be symbolical of him as 'Lord of the length of time and of eternity.'" Tiele, History of the Egyptian Religion, pp. 46, 47. See also G. Massey, The Natural Genesis, vol. i., pp. 417, 418, 422; and Brugsch, Astronomische and Astrologische Inschriften, p. 72.
266:1 See Renouf, "Egyptian Mythology, particularly with Reference to Mist and Cloud." Transactions of the Society for Biblical Archæology. London, 1884: pp. 217-220. A beautiful confirmation of our view is found in the important text in which "the abyss under the earth" (die Tiefe unter der Erde) is poetically expressed by the term "the cavity of the Persea" (die Höhle der Persea). Brugsch's version, from which the above German expressions are taken, may be seen in the Zeitschrift für Aegyptische Sprache and Alterthumskunde. Leipsic, 1881: pp. 77 ff. Surely no opening in an ordinary cloud could be called the subterranean deep.
266:2 "W. Baudissin is wrong in supposing it unknown to the Phnicians."Lenormant, Beginnings of History, vol. i., p. 104 n.
266:3 But δρῦς was originally a generic term for tree. See Curtius, Etymologie, s.v.
266:4 "This veil is identical with the starry peplos of Harmonia." Robert Brown, Jr., The Unicorn. London, 1881: p. 89. The Myth of Kirkè. London, 1883: p. 71.
267:1 "Thus the universe definitively organized by Zeus, with the assistance of Harmonia, was depicted by Pherecydes as an immense tree, furnished with wings to promote its rotary motion,a tree whose roots were plunged into the abyss, and whose extended branches sustained the unfolded veil of the firmament decorated with the types of all terrestrial and celestial forms." Lenormant, Beginnings of History, p. 549. Compare Louis de Ronchaud, "Le Péplos dAthéné Parthénos," Revue Archéologique. Année, xxiii. (x872) pp. 245 seq., 309 seq., 340 seq.; xxiv. 80 seq. Also W. Swartz, "Das Halsband der Harmonia and die Krone der Ariadne." Neue Jahrbücher der Philologie, 1883: pp. 115-127. This writer's view of the connection of the Halsband with the foot of the Yggdrasil is very curious and not wholly clear.
267:2 Religions de la Grèce Antique, iii. 253.
267:3 Bundahish, xxvii. 4. Compare the Venîdâd, Farg. xx.
268:1 Ibid., xxvii. 2, 3.
268:2 Bundahish, xxix. 5.
268:3 Ibid., xxvii. 4. Compare Windischmann: "Also der Baum des Lebens wächst in dem Wasser des Lebens, in der Quelle Ardvîçûra Anâhita." Zoroastrische Studien. Berlin, 1863: p. 171.
268:4 Homa Yasht, 26. Haug, Essays, 2d ed., p. 182.
268:5 Yasht, IX. (Gosh.), 17. Compare Bundahish, xviii., as translated by Justi and Windischmann. See Grill, Die Erzväter, i., pp. 186191. Windischmann, Zoroastrische Studien, p. 165 seq. Spiegel, Erânische Alterthumskunde, i. 463 seq. It is by no means inconsistent herewith that; according to the Minokhired, the tree grows in the sea Var-Kash "am verborgensten Orte," since this statement has reference to the subterranean rooting of the tree in the lowest part of the Underworld. Kuhn, Herabkunft, p. 124.
269:1 Grill, Ibid., p. 191. Compare the original Zend invocation in the Homa Yasht: "Amereza gayêhê stûna," "O imperishable Pillar of Life." Haug, Essays, p. 197 n.
269:2 Rig Veda, x. 135, 1; Atharvan Veda, vi. 95, 1. See Kuhn, Herabkunft des Feuers und des Göttertranks. Berlin, 1859: p. 126 seq. J. Grill, Erzväter, i., pp. 169-175. Obry, Le Berceau de lEspèce Humaine, pp. 146-160. Windischmann, Zoroastrische Studien, pp. 176, 177. It is true that the roots of this divine Aśvattha are sometimes represented as in the heaven of the gods, its growth being downwards; but this is only to symbolize the emanation of Nature and of Nature's life from the divine source, as clearly expressed in the opening verses of the fifteenth reading of the Bhagavad Gītā. See John Davies translation, London, 1882, p. 150; and for a parallel, M. Wolff, Muhammedanische Eschatologie, Leipsic, 1872, p. 197.
269:3 Indische Studien, Bd. i., p. 397.
269:4 Herabkunft, etc., p. 128.
269:5 La Légende du Bouddha, p. 240.
269:6 See Appendix, Sect. V.
270:1 "In the Naga sculptures (Fergusson, Tree and Serpent Worship, pl. 27), the Tree of the Mount or Pole is identified at the bottom by one tree, and at the top by another, and between the two there is a kind of ladder, with a series of steps or stairs which ascend the tree, in the place of a stem. These denote the Tree of the Ascent, Mount, or Height, now to be considered as representing the Pole."G. Massey, The Natural Genesis, vol. i., p. 354.
270:2 Kuhn, Herabkunft, etc., pp. 133-137.
270:3 Menzel, Unsterblichkeitslehre, i. 89. Its "central" position with respect to the world of men is recognized by old Robert Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy, New York, 1849, p. 292. Compare Massey: "The Tree of the Pole is extant in Celebes, where the natives believe that the world is supported by the Hog, and that earthquakes are caused when the Hog rubs itself against the Tree. . . . At Ephesus they showed the Olive and Cypress Grove of Lêtô, and in it the Tree of Life to which the Great Mother clung in bringing forth her twin progeny. There also was the Mount on which Hermes announced the birth of her twins Diana and Apollo [sun and moon]. The imagery is at root the same as the Hog rubbing against the Tree of the Pole." The Natural Genesis, vol. i., p. 354. And again, the cosmical imagery of Hesiod: "Das leitende Bild eines Baumes, dessen Stamm sich von den Wurzeln erhebt and oben ausbreitet, tritt in den Worten der Theogonie v. 727: vom Tartarus aufwärts seien die Wurzeln der Erde and des Meeres, deutlich hervor." W. F. Rinck, Die Religion der Hellenen. Zurich, 1853: Bd. i., p. 60.
271:1 Nonnus, Dionysiac, xl. 443 seq. Luken, Traditionen, p. 74.
271:2 Preller, Gr. Mythologie, i. 149. Völcker, Mythische Geographie. Leipsic, 1832: p. 134.
271:3 Herabkunft, etc., pp. 179,180.
271:4 James Fergusson, Tree and Serpent Worship. London, 2d ed., 1873: pp. 134, 135.
271:5 Lillie, Buddha and Early Buddhism. London, 1881: pp. 2, 19. A different study of the cosmical nature of this tree may be found in Senart, Légende du Bouddha. Paris, 1875: pp. 239-244.
271:6 Arnold, Light of Asia, Book vi.
272:1 "The Buddhists assert that this tree marks the middle of the earth."E. C. Brewer, Dictionary of Miracles. Philadelphia, 1884: p. 314.
272:2 The Natural Genesis, vol. ii., 90. On the independence of the Buddhist cosmogony and cosmology Beal remarks, "But whilst we may regard Buddhism in the light of a reformation of the popular belief in India, we must bear in mind that the stream of tradition which reappears in its teaching, and may be traced in its books, is independent and probably distinct from the Brahmanical traditions embodied in the Puranas and elsewhere. At any rate, this is the case so far as the primitive question of creation and of the cosmic system generally is concerned. Mr. Rhys Davids has already remarked that 'the Buddhist archangel or god Brahma is different from anything known to the Brahmans, and is part of an altogether different system of thought' (Buddhist Suttas, p. 168 n.). I am inclined to go further than this, and say that the traditions of the Buddhists are different from those of the Brahmans in almost every respect." Samuel Beal, Buddhist Literature in China. London, 1882: p. 146.
273:1 "Mir scheint auch die im deutschen Alterthum tief gegründete Vorstellung von der Irmensäule, jener altissima, universalis columna quasi sustinens omnia, dem Weltbaum Yggdrasil nah verwandt."J. Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, p. 759. Compare pp. 104-107.
273:2 Den aeltre Edda. Kjöbenhavn, 1822: Bd. ii., 61. Compare the following: "Yggdrasil has never been satisfactorily explained. But at all events the sacred tree of the North is, no doubt, identical with the 'robur Jovis,' or sacred oak of Geismar, destroyed by Boniface, and the Irminsul of the Saxons, the columna universalis, the terrestrial tree of offerings, an emblem of the whole world as far as it is under divine influence." Thorpe, Northern Mythology, vol. i., p. 155.
273:3 See F. Piper, Evangelischer Kalender für 1866, pp. 35-80 (illustrated). Also Piper's "Baum des Lebens," in the same Kalender for 1863, pp. 17-94.
273:4 Gubernatis, Zoölogical Mythology. London, 1872: vol. ii., p. 411, note.
273:5 The Book of Marco Polo. Edition of Col. H. Yule. London, 1871: pp. 120-131. Notice particularly the picture on p. 127, which corrects Polo's blunder in confounding the Arbre Sol with the Arbre Sec. The bird at the top of the central and highest of the trees depicted conclusively identifies it with the World-tree of universal Aryan tradition. On this bird see Kuhn.
274:1 Lüken, Traditionen, p. 72.
274:2 The Chinese Repository, vol. viii., p. 517.
275:1 W. Matthews, "The Navajo Mythology." The Am. Antiquarian, July, 1883, p. 208. The difficulty of any interpretation of this cosmology other than the true is illustrated by the efforts of M. Réville. Les Religions des Peuples Non-civilisés. Paris, 1883: vol. i., pp. 271-274.
276:1 Menzel, Unsterblichkeitslehre, i. 87, 95; ii. to. Keary, Outlines of Primitive Belief, p. 453. Especially see Humboldt's references to "Monte Calamitico," the mediæval magnetic mountain in the sea to the north of Greenland. Cosmos (Bohn's ed.), ii. 659; v 55. Also, Le Cycle mythologique irlandais et la Mythologie celtique. Par H. dArbois de Jubainville. Paris, 1884. Dr. Carl Schroeder, Sanct Brandan. Erlangen, 1871: pp. 57, III, 167, etc.
276:2 The German translation by Anton Schiefner. Helsinfors, 1852: Rune x., 31-42. Compare Schiefner, Heldensagen der minussinischen Tataren, p. 62 seq. Traces of the same myth are found among the Samoans (Samoa a Hundred Years Ago and Long Before. By George Turner, LL. D. London, 1884 pp. 199, 201). Also, among the Ugrian tribes (Peschel, Races of Man, p. 406); and among many of the tribes of the American aborigines, and in Polynesia. See M. Husson, La Chaine Traditionnelle, Cantes et Légendes au point de vue mythique. Paris, 1874: especially pp. 140-160. Massey, The Natural Genesis. "It was at the top of the Tree of Heaventhe Polethat the Guaranis were to meet once more with their Adam, Atum, Turn, or Tamoi, who was to help them from thence in their ascent to the higher life. Here the Tree of Life becomes a tree of the dead to raise them into heaven. So in the Algonkin myth the tree of the dead was a sort of oscillating log for the deceased to cross the river by, as a bridge of the abyss, beyond which the Dog, as in the Persian mythos, stands waiting for the souls of the dead, just as the Dog stands at p. 277 the Northern Pole of the Egyptian, and is depicted in the tree of the Southern Solstice,the Tree of the Pole which was extended to the four quarters." Vol. i., p. 404.
277:1 Since completing the foregoing chapter I have seen the work entitled Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics; embracing the Myths, Traditions, Superstitions, and Folk-lore of the Plant Kingdom. By Richard Folkard, Jun. London, 1884. In the first three chapters the reader will find valuable supplementary reading on "The World-Trees of the Ancients," "The Trees of Paradise," "The Tree of Adam," "Sacred Trees of all Nations," etc. Other chapters treat of "Plant Symbolism," "Plant Language," and of the fabulous trees and miracle plants which play so important a part in the history of religious and scientific credulity. Should any reader thereof be inclined to claim that "the progress of science" has forever done away with such ignorant mediæval mystagogy, he will do well to turn to The Weekly Inter-Ocean, Chicago, Dec. 11, 1884, in which, in an illustrated article entitled "The Tree of Life," we are informed that "science has now discovered in a most unexpected manner both the Tree and the River of Life." The former is the brain and spinal cord of man. "We do not mean that the brain merely looks like a tree or resembles one externally. We are not dealing with analogies. But we do mean that the brain and spinal cord are an actual tree. By the most rigid scientific examination it is shown to fill the ideal type and plan of a tree more completely than any tree of the vegetable kingdom. The spinal cord is the trunk of this great tree. Its roots are the nerves of feeling and motion branching out over the body. . . . The Tree of Life is planted in the midst of many others, for the heart is a tree, the lungs are a tree, and the pancreas, stomach, liver, and all those vital organs. The brain is its radiant and graceful foliage. The mental faculties are classified in twelve groups by the most recent scientific analysis. This Tree bears twelve kinds of fruit. . . . On each side of the Tree of Life is the great River of Life. Let us lay a man down with his head to the north, and his arms stretched to the west and to the east. The River of Life has its four heads in the four chambers of the heart, the two auricles and the two ventricles. The branches of this river pass upward to the head, 'the land of gold,' p. 278 eastward to the left and westward to the right arm and lung. But greatest of all the branches, 'The River, or Phrath,' are the aorta and vena cava, reaching southward to the trunk and lower limbs. In branching over the body this river divides into four parts at seventeen different points. Two branches of the river form a network around the very trunk of the tree, and spread upward among its expanding branches. The blood is the 'Water of Life,' and it looks 'as clear as crystal' when seen through the microscope, the eye of science. It is three fourths water, and through this are diffused the red cells and the living materials which are to construct and to maintain the bodily organs." Had this article and its antique-looking illustration been found in one of the Church fathers, it would have afforded to a certain class of "scientists" great edification.