When considering the sacred bull of antiquity, the symbol of the fecundating force in nature, I referred to Osiris the national sun-god of the Egyptians, as distinguished from the Semitic Seth (Set), who was identified with the detested Shepherd race. The association of Osiris with Khem shows his phallic character, 108 and, in fact, Plutarch asserts that he was everywhere represented with the phallus exposed. 109 The phallic idea enters, moreover, into the character of all the chief Egyptian deities. Bunsen says: "The mythological system obviously proceeded from 'the concealed god,' Ammon, to the creating god. The latter appears first of all as the generative power of nature in the phallic god Khem, who is afterwards merged in Ammon-ra. Then sprung up the idea of the creative power in Kneph. He forms the divine limbs of Osiris (the primeval Soul) in contradiction to Ptah, who, as the strictly demiurgic principle, forms the visible world. Neith is the creative principle, as nature represented under a feminine form. Finally, her son Ra, Helios, appears as the last of the series, in the character of father and nourisher of terrestrial things. It is he whom an ancient monument represents as the demiurgic principle, creating the mundane egg." 110 The name of Ammon has led to the notion that he was the embodiment of the idea of wisdom. He certainly was distinguished by having the human form, but his hieroglyphical symbol of the obelisk, and his connection with Khem, show his true nature. He undoubtedly represented the primitive idea of a generative god, probably at a time when this notion of fecundity had not yet been extended to nature as distinguished from man, and thus he would form a point of contact between the later Egyptian sun-gods and the pillar-gods of the Semites and Phoenicians. 111 To the Egyptians, as to these other peoples, the sun became the great source of deity. His fecundating warmth or his fiery destroying heat were, however, not the only attributes deified. These were the most important, but the Egyptians, especially, made gods out of many of the solar characters; 112 although the association of the idea of "intellect" with Ammon-ra must have been of late date, if the original nature of Ammon be what I have suggested.
As man, however, began to read nature aright, and as his moral and intellectual faculties were developed, it was necessary that the solar deities themselves should become invested with co-relative attributes, or that other gods should be formed to embody them. The perception of light, as distinct from heat, was a fertile source of such attributes. In the Chaldean mythology, Vul, the son of Anu, was the god of the air; but his power had relation to the purely atmospheric phenomena rather than to light. 113 The only reference to light I find in the titles of the early deities is in the character ascribed to Va-Iua, the later Bar or Nin-ip, who is said to irradiate the nations like the sun, the light of the gods. 114 But this deity was apparently the distant planet Saturn, although it may have been originally the moon, and I would refer to the Aryan mind the perception of light as a divine attribute. 115 Thus the Hindu Dyaus (the Greek Zeus) is the shining deity--the god of the bright sky. As such, the sun-gods now also become the gods of intellectual wisdom, an attribute which likewise appears to have originated with the Aryan peoples, amongst whom the Brahmans were the possessors of the highest wisdom, as children of the sun, and whose Apollo and Athene were noble embodiments of this attribute. The Chaldean gods Hea and Nebo were undoubtedly symbolized by the wedge or arrow-head, which had especial reference to learning. In reality, however, this symbol merely shows that they were the patrons of letters or writing, and not of "wisdom," in its purely intellectual aspect. If the form of the Assyrian alphabetical character was of phallic origin, 116 we have here the source of the idea of a connection between physical and mental knowledge embodied in the legend of the "fall." In the Persian Ahuro-Mazdao (the Wise Spirit) we have the purest representation of intellectual wisdom. The book of Zoroaster, the Avesta, is literally the "Word"--the word or wisdom which was revealed in creation, and embodied in the divine Mithra, who was himself the luminous sun-god.