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Investigations of Sacral Electrical Roots in Ancient Languages of the Mediterranean Region

by Hugh Crosthwaite

Chapter 16


Dancing is often associated with magic, and we will consider several typical examples of dancing described by ancient authors.

ARKS Not only king David, but also Egyptian monarchs danced. Vide II Samuel V: 14: David danced before the Lord, girded with a linen ephod.

Why dance before an ark? I hope that the answer to the question will emerge later, after a general review of what was done.


Dancing was part of resurrection technique aimed at fertility of fields and at raising the dead. In the first millenium B. C. the Etruscans were the acknowledged experts in the Mediterranean world and were consulted by the Romans.

Histriones were the Etruscan mimes who performed their dance ritual when summoned in times of danger. Histrio may contain hia, the Etruscan and Albanian for a shadow, Greek skia. The aim would have been to resurrect the dead, who would appear as a ghostly image, and to ask the dead person's advice. The histrio may even have played the part of a shade that was the 'fire of Set' i. e. an 'electrical' spirit.

There is support for this interpretation of histrio. The early form was hister, e. g. in Livy VII: 2: 6. Skia, shadow, is used by Circe for the spirits of the dead in Odyssey X: 495, when she advises Odysseus on his journey to the Cimmerians and the land of the dead.

The chief actor and choreographer was Larth Matves. Larth, or Lars, means high, or chief. Matves may be mat, dead, and ves, knowing, as in netsvis. He would thus be the one who knew how to communicate with the dead and elicit their advice.

The tanasar, or thanasar, raised the Di Manes, the Good Ones, the departed spirits. His title is probably related to the German tanzen, to dance, but a fuller explanation will be attempted in a later chapter.

It may be that the special shoes worn by senators were originally dancing shoes, resembling the Greek phaikades, worn by gymnasiarchs and dancers, and the white shoes worn by Egyptian priests. The Etruscan lucairce, priest, is one who raises [Greek airo] the light [Latin luc-].

The Lydians were famous shoemakers. Cothurni, actors' boots, were of Lydian origin. The word may mean 'doorway of ka', ka + thura.

The title tanasar of the Etruscan spirit raiser resembles the name of the Egyptian chthonic deity Thanasa-Thanasa.


The Arabic raqs means to dance. Reversed, it becomes sqr, the consonants of the Latin sacer, sacred, and resembles the Egyptian Seker. Osiris, hidden in a chest, had this title, the name of an ancient earth deity.

Thanasa-Thanasa is a name of Amen, an Egyptian hidden god. Vide Budge, Egyptian Magic, p. 172; Book of the Dead, p. 542. The word Thanasa suggests not only the Etruscan tanasar but also the Greek thanatos, death.

The Greek schematizo, create dance figures, may be related to the Egyptian sekhem, power.

Board games were played in Ancient Egypt, Crete and Greece. The men on the draughts board were called dancers, or dogs, by the Egyptians. The ark before which David danced had three main uses: it revealed the presence of the divine power, it was an oracle that made sounds and gave a visual display, and it could be used as a war machine.


Hebrew chaghagh is to dance, or to stagger; chaghav is a ravine. A possible explanation of the similarity of the two words is to be found in the history of Delphi.

Diodorus Siculus, 40 B. C., tells the story of the goats dancing and the conclusion that Delphi must be a home of an earth deity. Plutarch, 1st century A. D., gives the name of the goatherd, Koretas, and tells of the accident to the Pythia when the goat needed extra drenching to make it indicate, by shivering, that the deity was present and ready to inspire the Sibyl.

Skirtao is a Greek word meaning to make movements like a goat.

Hebrew natar is to tremble, or to leap. It shares the same consonants with Egyptian neter, divine, and Greek antron, cave.

The god Pan is half goat. Grottos were sacred to him, and the horns symbolise the electrical god in the sky. The leaps of a goat reveal the divine presence in the earth as felt where there were split rocks and caves.

A goat is in Latin caper. Per is Egyptian for a house. Was a goat thought of as a ka-container? The German Kaefer is a beetle, and in Egypt the scarab was sacred. Scarab is another of the words based on the letters scr or sqr.


The Salii, Roman priests, performed a threshold dance [salio means 'I leap']. Livy, I: 20, writes: "Salios ancilia ferre ac per urbem ire canentes carmina, cum tripudiis sollemnique saltatu iussit". Numa ordered them to go through the city with the shields, with stamping and solemn leaps, singing songs.

In Rome the Arval brothers, an ancient priestly college, danced the tripodatio, a solemn stamping of the earth to ensure the fertility of the fields, arva.

In the hymn of the Salii, there occur the words "limen sali". This probably means 'leap over the threshold', as an invitation to the Manes to cross the threshold between the world of the departed and the world of the living, and to appear and give advice.

The Hebrew shal means transgression. The Hebrew letters shin, sh, and sin, s, are almost identical, and shal could be the Latin salio.


Latin calceus is a shoe. An early spelling is calcius, suggesting a connection with cio, 'set in motion', and ka may have been a component. Kupassis is a Lydian word for a shoe. There may be a link with ku, or ka, and the Greek phaos or phos, light. Hungarian cipö is a shoe; cipész is a shoemaker. A principal aim of dancing was to "raise the light of ka", like the Latin verb quaero, or quairo, to give it its original spelling.


The labyrinth at Knosos was achanes, roofless [Sophocles, Fragment 1030, and Kerenyi, The Gods of the Greeks, p. 270]. This supports the theory that the labyrinth was a dancing floor where drama was enacted.

At Delphi, the drama of Apollo and the snake was performed on a threshing floor next to the Sibyl's Rock, a rock which may have been chosen by the Sibyl Herophyle because it was split, and showed a difference of electrical potential, presumably as a result of an earthquake.


In the dance at Knosos described by Homer, the young men carry sacrificial knives, Greek machaira.

The Cretan sikinnis was a dance in honour of Sabazios [Dionysus], danced by satyrs. The root skn means knife.


Epilepsy was a sacred disease. The jerky movements of a sufferer in a fit led to the belief that an external power was in control of the sufferer's body. Such a belief may have influenced the movements of Greek dancing; fits would certainly have been studied.


The adjective poluskarthmos, much-leaping, is applied to Myrine, an Amazonian queen [Iliad II: 814]. Skairo = dance.

In the Prometheus Vinctus of Aeschylus, l. 599, Io's skirtemata, dancing movements, are irregular.

At Samothrace there was a frieze of dancing girls at the entrance to the precinct. Plato, in his Euthydemus, tells of thronosis, corybantic dances round a seated figure. According to Nonnos, Dionysiaca, Kadmos saw a dance at Samothrace in which the diaulos was played and spears were clashed on bronze shields. A bronze shield and iron knives have been found there.

The Karpaia was a Spartan dance in honour of Artemis. Karyatizein was to dance at a festival of Artemis at Karyae.

Iliad XVIII: 590: The dance at Knosos begins as a round dance like a dithyramb, then becomes confrontational like a tragic choros, with two acrobats loose in the company.

Odyssey VIII: 264: The dancers strike the holy floor [choron theion] with their feet. Odysseus marvels at the flashing movements [marmarugas] of their feet. According to Hesychius, choros is the same as kuklos and stephanos, circle and crown. Choros is especially the round dance of the dithyramb, or the floor where it is performed. Choros kuklikos is a dithyramb.


Raqadh is to leap, jump, or dance, and is close to the Arabic rqs, dance.

We have already mentioned the Greek halma, leap. It may conceivably be a reversal of the Hebrew melekh, king. Kings were leapers. But melekh may also mean 'he who has the honey', like the infant Zeus.


The two acrobats loose in the dance company at Knosos may be representing some sky phenomenon.

At the court of King Alkinous, the dancing floor is an agon, a place for a contest. In Odyssey VIII: 260ff., it is cleared for dancing, and Demodocus sings of the love affair between Ares and Aphrodite.

Agon can be the sky, and should be understood thus in the passage where Hephaestus is described in his workshop, putting the finishing touches to his tripods, which have wheels so that they may be able to travel and enter the agon.


The purpose of dancing was: to charge a war machine, the ark; to charge an ark for an impressive display; to summon the deity at an oracle; to achieve the resurrection of Osiris; to bring to life the Manes for consultation; to rouse fertility deities [e. g. the Arval dance]; to destroy monsters by sympathetic magic, as at Knosos and in Greek tragedy; to imitate epilepsy, thereby showing that the god is in one; to imitate animals, some of which were ka-containers.

There was considerable sharing of vocabulary and technique. Reversals indicate the meeting of Indo-European and Semitic speakers.

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