The Circle and the Wheel and the Sundoor


[aras-image:2Ak.158,,10,,,Figure 39 The rising sun.]

In another Egyptian image from the papyrus of Qenna, the ankh, the symbol of life is places of top of a djed pillar. The djed pillar is the vertebrae of Osiris representing his death and rebirth. Isis, the goddess of dawn stands to the left of the pillar while Nephys the goddess of night stands to the right. Behind them on both sides baboons are chattering, for in Egyptian mythology baboons call the sun to rise in the morning. In the same way, Chanticleer crows in the morning. A contemporary example occurs at the end of Jean Renoir's film, "Black Orpheus." After the death of Orpheus, two boys with their guitars, sing so that the sun can rise. The common theme in such examples states that the sun must be summoned each day so that the world can be created anew. The sun does not just rise routinely for us. The baboons, the cockerels, and the human beings are responsible for making each new day possible.
A Navajo sandpainting from the Chiricawa Windway shows forty-eight feathered arrows radiating from the sun with rainbow bars forming a circle to prevent unwary human beings from entering and being destroyed by the whirling arrows. Four rectangles at the cardinal points have the sign of fire in them and the arrow points have the sign of thunder. The sandpainting repeats that image of the power and the intensity of the sun. Those who come too near without adequate preparation are destroyed by the arrows of the sun.