Saturday, March 23, 2013

Barbara Walker: The Letter 'A'

In 'The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets', the very first article concerns itself with the letter A.

Sacred Alphabets of the ancient world signified birth and beginning by the letter A. This letter meant the Creatress, who invented alphabets and gave them to mankind - though most traditions said womankind had them first.
Babylonians called the Great Mother "A", the Beginning; or Aya, the Mother of All Things.1 [1, article "A", the entire article has not been copied here]
As source for this she gives "Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, Selected Translations", New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1901. Pages 133-134.

As luck would have it, a searchable version of exactly that book is now available online. Turns out the claim is not explicitly supported by the book she refers to - Aya does not occur once, all the more so not at pages 133 and 134. "A" does occur, but without any further elaboration as to what it refers to. This does not justify claiming that the source supports the claim.

Walker, Barbara: The Woman's Enyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, Selected Translations, New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1901

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