Eden and the Mitgard Serpent
In the Bible, Eden is said to be in the East—except the word in Hebrew can also mean “from time out of mind”, so that Eden is not a literal geographic entity.
From Eden flow four rivers—and these four rivers appear in the mandala, each flows from a central circular point; and that circular point, in time, becomes square (and is set in a wider circle—hence the true meaning of “squaring the circle”).
Persian walled gardens, lush in the desert, feature just such a central fountain from which flow four streams—and each compound contains sacred trees, such as the fig (the Tree of Life). I’ve noted this relation before—the Aryan origin of Eden, so picked up by the Jews when they were in Persia or Babylonia.
However, there is another aspect to the symbolism. One river that flows from Eden is said to be the Euphrates, but this does not refer to the geographical river. Rather, per Pausanias (110-180 AD), it is said to be one part of a river that “flows around the whole earth”.
This was known as the Okeanos river to the Greeks—in other words, the god Oceanus. This is the river that Aristotle said originated in the upper heavens and descended as rain upon the earth—it holds the world in its embrace and descends to the Underworld where it is purified by fire.
He notes that in the Akkadian mythology the term “Euphrates” is referred to as “the rope of the world” and “the encircling river of the snake god of the Tree of Life”. Hence the snake who tempted Eve lived in Oceanus—he is in “the heavenly river surrounding the earth”.
Further, Hyginus, Manilius, and Lucius Ampelius speak of the “fall of the world egg” at the beginning of time “into the river Euphrates”—it’s the old Aryan mythology, prevalent in India, where the world egg, surrounded by a snake, splits open on the waters (as in the Bible) in order for creation to begin. Hence, for Aristotle, the river is mythologic and not geographic.
Even more suggestive, the Assyrians said that when the visible and invisible world became mixed together at the beginning of time, the river “of the life of the world” was called “Euphrates”—the river that surrounds us is matter, when its serpent dies then time will end. Spirit and matter will be reconciled.
This all also corresponds to the Norse “world ocean” that surrounds Midgard and contains the serpent Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent—just as with the vision of the snake as a tempter, Jörmungandr is Thor’s opponent (they will fight when the serpent releases his tail from his mouth at the Ragnarök—at the world’s end, the serpent that lives in the river that is “the life of the world” releases itself from its own bondage).
So we see a concordance between Norse mythology and Indo-Aryan mythology—and, just as Christianity is based on Aryan Zarathustrian ideas, so too the “rivers of Eden” relate back to Aryan mythology.
It points to the truth of the primordial Tradition attested to by Evola and Guénon.