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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Native American Petroglyph and Pictographs. PART THREE

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Understanding The Terms Used

The 3rd Panel I had ever found...
(as short as the story it tells is... it is an interesting one.)

Hieroglyph or Character

This is what is referred to as a symbol combination and/or symbol incorporation. A Hieroglyph or Character is NOT a symbol. Many would call this a symbol and it is often viewed as a symbol which they assume has a one word meaning, when in fact a Hieroglyph or Character is a combination of symbols to express some Extended concept, action or idea of the symbols that make up the character. In the same way you would add to a sentence using the English words such as The Red House you have used 3 words of which house and red would represent single symbols, but if you wanted to be more descriptive you would add more words such as The Big Red House or if you wanted to expand upon this idea it may be something like The big Red House on the Hill and so on, this is exactly how symbol combinations work. Each Hieroglyph or Character used whether it is of the Mystery Glyphs, Wallum Olum, Egyptian Glyphs or the Ojibwa Glyphs is designed to express a specific idea According to their manner of speech. This is the very reason why some of the Mystery Glyphs may not be exactly the same as the Ojibwa Glyph because a slightly different concept, action or idea is being expressed or the two are from two similar but different speaking language groups and do not share the same meaning in a specific word.

The most likely solution as to why they are and not all identical is that you are comparing apples to oranges in that you are comparing two seemingly like symbols used by both groups but you are comparing The Big Red House to The Big Round Red House or to The Big Scarlet House  or The Blue House OR, the subject of the panel is similar but different enough to warrant a different derivative word other than the assigned base meaning word for that symbol. Also, not all languages have interchanging words which perfectly describes the other.

Symbol Combinations

Another example of this would be from Tomkins' book and the Ojibwa Character that he says means Morning. You will notice that he has two other glyphs; one meaning Noon and one meaning Evening.

Are these symbols the same? Are these symbols? No they are not symbols, they are Hieroglyphs or Characters and no, even though it is the same concept or idea showing the positioning of the sun, they are not the same because some variable in the concept is different. This is pointed out because some would say that the Ojibwa Glyphs are not exactly the same as the Mystery Glyphs or visa versa and are only similar. I would say that is because we have yet to see ALL of the possible combinations of the symbols that make them up. This would be like someone who had never seen the English language supposing that, because they had identified 250 phrases using English words, they now understood the English language. We do not have to point out the hundreds of thousands of combinations of English words to form different phrases.

The glyph we see as Morning using the symbol of Hidden or Covering as the sky and the short line placed at the suns position at the location of Morning, Noon and Evening which comes from the symbol, On Top being a symbol looking like an upside down capitol T. this is also an extension of the meaning Holding Firm or Having to do with which is a sideways capitol T. These two symbols COMBINED give us the Glyph for Morning, Noon and Evening by virtue of the positioning or placement of the upside down T.  This you will find is the same in all of the discussed writing systems differing only in a application, style of writing or none at all. In one more example in which some would say that they are similar but not identical is the symbol found in the mystery glyphs.

Are these two hieroglyphs identical? Many would say they are the same yet the answer is NO they are not, yet it would seem quite obvious that they share a common root. The biggest difference that I see is probably not what you would see. The difference which matters most to me is the lines surrounding the circle which forms the head. In the Mystery Glyph the lines touch the head and in the Ojibwa Glyph they do not, why?  Let’s look at a little rule I discovered many years ago through much trial and error and application of this rule. I won’t bore you with how I discovered this and further more I wouldn’t expect you to believe it. But in short the best way to explain it is by using the Gone symbol which is actually two symbols together and technically it is a Hieroglyph, Character or a combination of symbols.

Wherever movement or locater symbols are used with the line (Trail or Path) attached to another symbol; this means From and where it leads but is not attached means To.

Assuming that Tompkins was correct in the meaning that he had attributed to Wise Man, it would be most fitting in which perspective comes into play when you examine the two together meaning the Mystery Glyph and the Ojibwa Glyph. In the Ojibwa glyph, what is coming INTO the head? Well the only thing that really makes sense is some form of knowledge. So in the Mystery Glyph by the same token, what is going out (From) the head? Again it would seem that the logical explanation is again: some form of knowledge. But how do you get knowledge to go out to another with nothing but thought?  Depending upon your perspective or the manner of your speech, these two glyphs can mean the same thing or either can mean any derivative of wise man such as Prophet or Teacher, and are more than just wise men. It depends on the intended subject of the author of the panel and his perspective along with his manner of speech, etc...

Symbol Incorporation

Symbol Incorporation is very much like a symbol combinations except that rather than one symbol being attached to another or being added to the overall glyph, a single symbol may take upon the characteristics of another symbol, thereby creating what might be viewed as a new symbol or character. The chart below, created by LaVan Martineau, is the best example of the differences between Symbol Combinations and Symbol Incorporations. Keep in mind that once two symbols are put together by combination or incorporation it becomes a hieroglyph or character.

The examples shown above are found on page 14 of LaVan’s book. We see in column A, the symbol combinations, and in column B, the symbols that make them up. In column C are the symbol incorporations, while in column D, the symbols that make them up. If you take a good look at any of the Glyphs whether they are Egyptian, Mystery Glyph, Ojibwa or the Wallum Olum, you will find examples of this; Column A and C are Characters NOT symbols.

Symbol base meaning

The Symbol Base Meaning is a word meaning attributed to a single symbol, but it is NOT its absolute meaning, it is general. Largely this exists due to the differences in Language. We may not have an exact word which describes a symbol used by those who created the symbol. Depending upon the subject of the panel, a proper or best fitting derivative word of the base meaning word must be identified and most certainly will vary from panel to panel never loosing its base meaning. An example would be in the Symbol known as a simple circle, the base meaning would be Holding, yet many meanings can be attributed to just this one symbol depending on the subject of the panel. It can mean Camp, Lake, Sky, Cave, or even infinity, anything that holds something. The word infinity is added simply because the circle is actually an extension of the symbol which carries the base meaning of Go which is just a straight line, which can also mean Trail, Path or Path of Life. By bringing the line full circle, infinity is accomplished. However, I have yet to see this symbol meaning infinity in any panel. The point is that you need to find the best word or set of words that fit the subject.


The Subject of the panel is self explanatory, it is what the panel is about, and knowing or discovering the subject can make the task of translating much easier in finding the proper derivative word of the Base Meaning. Discovering the subject can be easy or very difficult, study of the ways of the ancients is a must, their beliefs, study of the area in which the glyphs was found is often very helpful in discovering the subject, and there is another little trick as well which I will withhold at this time.

The Breakdown...

To Be Continued.... In Part Four

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