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Amenti-that is, in the "Lands of the West "-where she was employed in noting on the palm branch of Thoth the years of human life, was not a deification of the M West Indies of our day.
Selk was also called the lady of letters, from which she appears to have been the goddess of writing; and her emblem was placed over the doors of libraries, as the keeper of books.
What connection could possibly have existed, in the mind of Egyptian wise men, between a scorpion, the letters of the alphabet, and the art of writing, Egyptologists do not inform us. Still they did nothing concerning their symbols and their deities without a motive. In thus making Selk the goddess of writing, and symbolizing her as a scorpion, did they intend to indicate that the art of writing and knowledge of the books came to them from the "Lands of the West," and take the shape of the West Indies as emblem of said lands?
This suggestion seems plausible if we consider that they figured the land of Psek as a scorpion, and that, from the general contour of the group of islands known to us as the West Indies, the Mayas called them Zinaan, the "scorpion.' But Zinaan means also an accent, a "mark in writing." (See Plate V.)
As to the name Selk, it may have been suggested by the color of the black ink used in writing, or by the name of the large black scorpion quite abundant in Central America. Eek
1 Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, vol. iii., chap. xiii.
Ibid., p. 169 (note). Champollion le jeune, Panthéon, plate xv.
'black" in Maya. If to designate the name of a goddess we prefix the word with the feminine article X (English sh), we have X-Eek, that may easily become Selk. Ekchuch is the name of the black scorpion. X-Ekchuch would be that of the female black scorpion. From it the name of the Egyptian goddess of writing and the connection of the scorpion with letters may easily be derived.
From Zinaan we set sail for the nearest seaport in Mayach. It is Tulum, a fortified place, as the name indicates, situated in lat. N. 20° 11′ 50′′ and long. W. 87° 26′ 55′′ from Greenwich. Its ruins, seen from afar, serve yet as a landmark to mariners navigating the waters of the eastern coast of the peninsula of Yucatan.
Proceeding thence inland, in a direction west eight degrees north, one hundred and twenty miles as the crow flies, we reach the city of Chichen whence we started on our voyage of circumnavigation.
It is well that we now return with a knowledge of the myths of the Hindoos and the Egyptians regarding creation. We shall need them to comprehend the meaning of the tableau over the doorway of the east façade of the palace. Many have looked at it since, toward the beginning of the Christian era, the wise Itzaes abandoned the city when it was sacked and devastated by barbaric Nahuatl tribes coming from the south. How many have understood its meaning, and the teaching it embodies? Very few, indeed; otherwise they would have respected instead of defacing it.
Among the modern Americanists and professors of American archæology, even those who pretend to be authorities as to things pertaining to the ancient Mayas and their civilization, how many are there who understand and can explain the
1 In order to thoroughly apprehend the full meaning of this most interesting cosmic relation, it is necessary to be versed in occultism, even as taught by the Brahmins and other wise men of India. Occultists will not fail to comprehend the teaching conveyed in this sculpture, which teaching proves that, in very remote ages, the Maya sages had intimate communications with those of India and other civilized countries.