Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Jonas, Jason, Sonja

In my last post, "Dove and serpent," I mentioned reading in the Wikipedia article on Jonah about a possible link, proposed by Joseph Campbell, between Jonah and Gilgamesh. Campbell also made another link:

Campbell also noted several similarities between the story of Jonah and that of Jason in Greek mythology. The Greek rendering of the name Jonah is Jonas, which differs from Jason only in the order of sounds—both os are omegas suggesting that Jason may have been confused with Jonah

So Jason and Jonas are anagrams, both in English and an Greek. There is a third such name, in English anyway: Sonja. In yesterday's "Look who's still showing up in syncs," I quoted a passage from Unsong about Jonah. In last December's post "American politician spontaneously combusts," I quoted a passage from the same novel that prominently featured the name Sonja.

"[. . .] But with the help of all the brave people in different government departments and all around the country working on this case, we’ve got Alvarez on the run and are tightening the noose around his neck. Some of these people are here with us tonight. People like Robert Mueller, director of the FBI. Like Michael Gellers, a police officer who successfully defused a BOOJUM bomb in Philadelphia. Like Sonja Horah . . .”

President Bush spontaneously caught fire. “HELLLPPP!” he screamed as the entire executive, legislative, and judicial branches watched on in horror. “HELLLPPP . . . HELL . . .”. By the time Secret Service agents reached him at the podium, he was already a charred corpse.

In the novel, the reason Bush caught fire was that the name Sonja Horah contained the sequence Jahorah, a magical "name of God" that causes anyone who pronounces it to die on the spot.

What does the name Sonja mean? It's a Russian diminutive of Sophia -- so, wisdom, but a lesser wisdom. This is precisely what William Wildblood ascribes to the serpent in his recent post "The Serpent and the Dove":

The dove is the Holy Spirit, and the innocence of the dove is true spiritual wisdom compared to the earthly, even if it is occult or esoteric, wisdom of the serpent. The serpent represents the wisdom of experience or evolution. In a way, it is the wisdom of matter. But the dove symbolises the wisdom of purity and innocence and truth that comes from God.

Jonas is the dove. Sonja is the serpent. What about Jason? Etymologically, Jason means "healer" -- but in English it sounds like "son of the jay," and I've known several Jasons who went by Jay or even Jaybird. Jason is a corvid, then -- perhaps even the solar crow ("jay-sun"). Jesus paired the dove with the serpent, but Noah (who is also part of the Joan/Jonah pun) paired it with the raven.


No Longer Reading said...

Intriguing connections

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Jason, as both healer and corvid, is a link to Slow Joe Crow the plague doctor.

Never mind, Lord . . .

Please, God, save us from this terrible storm -- oh, never mind, it's just stopped! -- traditional prayer Good night, Westley. Good work...