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Ring and staff as a sign of kingship

King and queen with branch (stele of Ur-Nammu)

By on 26 October 2022

King and queen with branch (stele of Ur-Nammu)

Ring and staff as a sign of kingship

In ancient illustrations, the ring and staff are repeatedly depicted in the hand of the king.

What do they mean?

Ring and staff in the stele of Ur-Nammu

Description of the cover image:
The image above from the stele of Ur-Nammu depicts a "royal" couple. Man and woman, royally dressed, sit facing each other. In a vase between them are branches of a felled tree. They wear the "crown of horns" and the man holds in his right hand ring and staff, as well as something hanging loosely - a ribbon?

Ring and rod for the entrance into the living matter

Symbols of penetration and consummated sexual intercourse

Ring and staff with the ribbon symbolize penetration.
the ring figuratively represents the entrance into the female womb, the staff symbolizes the male member, the phallus.

Pukku and Mikku for staff and ring as gifts for king Gilgamesh

Pukku and Mikku in the Sumerian tradition

In Sumerian mythology, Gilgamesh is given "Mikku" and "Pukku" as king (see Gilgamesh and the felling of the tree).

From the crown and roots of the felled tree of the goddess

Here MIKKU is made of the branches of the tree and can well be a wreath or a ring. The round shape as a hoop or a ring also stands for wholeness and thus for spiritual power, which also corresponds to the crown (of the tree). Thus, a laurel wreath adorned the victor and a hoop or crown was placed on the head of the chosen one.

PUKKU, on the other hand, is made of the roots, which symbolize anchoring in matter, and as a staff stands for physical-physical strength and assertiveness (so also number 9 of the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah).

The scepter as a phallic symbol for the assertion of power and the crown for the legitimization of the ruler has persisted to the present day.

A wedding ritual with ring and staff

This symbolic understanding is confirmed, for example, by an old wedding ritual. The groom had to catch a thrown ring with a sword. If this fell to the ground, it was considered a bad omen.

The integration of the inner family

The partnership ring

The finger ring also has a corresponding symbolic meaning as a sign of the connection of a couple. It is to be put on the ring finger, which symbolizes the opposite-sex personality parts (see fig. right and 12 trees in paradise for the inner family).

Holy Wedding

The ribbon as a sign of a binding relationship

The ribbon between the ring and the staff symbolizes the bond of love, which connects female and male, ring and staff.
However, staff and ribbon have been interpreted again and again also as a yardstick and "measuring cord". There may be something in this insofar as the king with his queen has also received his "promised" land, whose height, depth and width he can still sound out (more on this below).

The bond of love also includes mindfulness of higher orders, parents' wishes and traditions that have stood the test of time.

Ring and staff as a sign of kingship

Codex Hammurabi, stele, 2.25 m, Louvre Museum

But why are the ring and staff also considered signs of kingship?

Kingship means the legitimation to "rule" or, in other words, to initiate new reality in the living matter. This comes to bear in three different areas: on the one hand in one's own life, on the other hand in the couple relationship and last but not least, as third, in the rule over people and country.

(See fig. right Codex Hammurabi, 2.25 m, c. 1800 B.C., Louvre, Paris. This stele, over 2 m high and in the shape of a giant phallus, contains an early collection of legal sayings in cuneiform script. The relief at the top shows Hamurabi receiving a ring and staff from the god Shamash as a sign of kingship. Shamash is an animus figure, see Wild Bull / Ferryman in the Gilgamesh epic).

1. in the couple relationship: the goddess and her hero king

In terms of the couple relationship, the ring and staff represent the union between masculine and feminine, which leads to wholeness and to new reality.

[S. Male and female, the two primordial forces of creation.]

Thereby the male side stands for the loving consciousness and the female side for the living, receiving and reality giving birth to matter. If the woman as his fiancée was once his "promised" land, this is now (with the sexual intercourse) "conquered" and "taken". Now the man as her king is the one who is authorized to bring forth new reality (e.g. a child) with his seed and his word (in her).

[S. The Virgin - Miracle Working Love and Potential and The Woman as Goddess and the Man as Her Hero King].

Masculine and feminine and the creation of new reality

New reality from love

In this context, it should be noted that new reality comes into being only when love is involved. Love moves men to surrender their souls, that is, their hearts, and women to surrender their bodies. 

[S.What is the soul and where in the body is it located? and Sexual Magnetism.]

Positive masculinity and femininity

Positive masculinity is creativity, decisiveness and assertiveness. As the loving consciousness (spirit), masculine energy sets active impulse for the emergence of the new. This power is represented by the archetype of the Christ/Messiah, the Anointed One represented.

Positive femininity on the other hand is accepting, space giving and reality birthing force. She is willingly accepts the impulse of consciousness and allows the new to emerge.

[p. Male and Female and the Creation of New Reality].

However, if there is a lack of love on the male side, the feminine will not want to subordinate itself, but will rebel and grow thistles and thorns instead of good seeds. This, in turn, will provoke oppression on the male side.

[S. The curse on Adam and Eve - negative couple dynamics and Sleeping Beauty's thorny hedge.]

2. kingship in one's own life: Wholeness

However, kingship also symbolizes the mythological goal for every human being: (divine) self-efficacy. Because both, man and woman, have both, male parts (body, consciousness) and female (soul, love). The path to wholeness and kingship in one's life requires that their male and female parts have the light of their lives (and do not repress and reject anything).
In other words, it is man's responsibility to reign wisely in his life ("female") with his loving consciousness ("male") and to manage his resources well and faithfully. Thus, he stands creatively in his life and exercises "divine" kingship.

3. in the collective context: the good king and his people

For kingship over people and land, the same applies as in the couple relationship, so that the same symbols come into play in the collective context. Ring and staff, for example in the form of a scepter and crown, are signs of royal authority.

Insignia of power: crown, sceptre, orb

[S. The Insignia of Power: Scepter, Crown and Orb.]

Thereby the loving consciousness (king/queen) represents the "masculine" side, which rules wisely in accordance with higher orders. On the other hand, the people and the land as receiving matter represent the great feminine, which converts the impulses of the ruler into living reality ("obeys").

Ring and staff for authority over matter

Staff, shepherd's crook or scepter as phallic symbols denote the power and potency to bring the seed into living matter (symbolized by the ring or hoop).

The King as the Good Shepherd

The good ruler has the welfare of the people in mind and acts responsibly and unselfishly. In a spiritual sense, he is also represented by the image of the shepherd who cares for his sheep.

[S. Psalm 23 - Purification and Metamorphosis.]

The anointing: sign of acceptance by the feminine

Ring and staff belong to that person who is authorized to enter into the living matter in order to sow in it the seed for the birth of the new. However, the legitimation for this is only truly given when the feminine is also ready and in loving expectation and acceptance. The sign for this is the anointing (in analogy to the vaginal fluid of the woman).

Therefore, whoever comes consciously and in the name of love is an anointed one.

[S. The Anointing - Authority over Matter.]

The anointed king or priest

To demonstrate a higher authority, kings and priests were and are still anointed for this reason. Thereby they themselves represent the potent and anointed human limb the "staff", while at most also a hoop (the crown!) is put on their head to complete the picture of ring and staff.

Crown - kingship

Anointing and coronation are usually performed as a ritual in the presence of the people or their representatives as a sign that the chosen one has also been accepted by the people. Only in this way does he receive the true authority and legitimacy to rule with their consent.

But time and again, power mongers have instead subjected women, peoples and countries to their unjust rule by force, regardless of an "anointing". Whoever acts in this way is identified as a rapist with the "Antichrist".

[ p. Christ / Messiah, the Anointed One, and the Anti-Christ.]


The crown of horns as a sign of fullness

The crown of horns probably originally symbolized a cornucopia, which was to pour out power and blessings over the head of the couple. Because through the first sexual intercourse the couple is also initiated into the world of adults. This is the stage of life of growth and abundance.

Thus, both husband and wife wear this crown. For if they live life lovingly and responsibly, they will prosper and increase their resources.

Sexual intercourse as a means of power

The Burney Relief: Female power through eroticism

However, the Burney relief shows a different picture. In contrast to the royal couple of the stele of Ur-Nammu, here a naked woman with a flawless body holds up ring and staff in both hands. 

Burney relief (the queen of the night, edited)

The Queen of the Night

The woman has been called the queen of the night. She is indeed a queen, for she also wears the crown of horns as a sign that she is an initiated woman. Thus she is indeed "Queen of the Earth", namely woman in her second aspect (red; see The Way Woman). But this woman is not really "grounded", not anchored in the earth. Rather, her feet (symbol for her male side of sexuality) stand on two lions, which together with the owls at her side represent the hunters of the night.

The symbols speak a clear language, because the hands symbolize the soul and the female side of sexuality. The woman thus exercises power in the realm of the soul by offering sexual intercourse. She thus appeals to the male drive in order to achieve a profit for herself at the expense of the other person. The statement of the image is "I do not give away the dominion over my body, but use it as I want - and I have something to offer ...".

The difference from the "ordinary woman

Thus, it differs from positive femininity, from the simple "woman" who gives herself out of love, gives space and can receive and implement the seed (of the word). The Queen of the Night is a figure that belongs to the underworld and the shadow (which symbolize the unconscious). She rules by appealing to the urges of the other person.

Healing by the light

But ultimately she seeks power because she doesn't want to be hurt again (see I am Lilith, the Dark Maiden and Disney's Maleficent, the Dark Fairy).

But the way to the light means that she perceives and accepts herself in her weakness and injury and loves herself with her body. Thus, she integrates positive masculinity (the Father and Christ) and, in the power of loving consciousness, regains her body and her pure love for herself.

[S. Healing: What comes to light becomes light itself and Mary Magdalene and the woman as heroine].

"Inanna" by Jamali

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