Your lion-headed Aion is also associated with Mithras whose story, in symbolic terms, has close parallels with that of so many later religions including Christianity. He too is often depicted with a thunderbolt.
Your mention of the thunderbolts reminded me straight away of the Valknut, the triangular knot of Norse mythology that we came across before… the entwined thunderbolts thought to refer… perhaps…to the power of Odin to bind the minds of men with fear or unleash them through inspiration. The double edged sword…
We know the same symbol was found associated with Woden as lord of the dead in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries… the binding and unbinding of the cords of life seems a similar interpretation, albeit operating on another level of being.
The thunderbolt is a perfect symbol, really, for those flashes of illumination that seem to come out of nowhere, light us with the utter clarity of understanding… then fade, leaving only an impression and a knowing behind.
It is odd that Thor, whose use of lightning is well known, had the battle with the jötunn Hrungnir… whose heart was a triangular affair of stone. The entwined thunderbolts of the valknut are often called Hrungnir’s heart. He and Thor fought and though Thor triumphed, smashing the stone giant’s head with his hammer… that same hammer that we know from the ancient crosses… a shard of the whetstone of the giant lodged in Thor’s forehead.
The story is very similar to that of Conchobar mac Nessa… which takes the symbolism across to Ireland. Scholars, of course, argue for importation of the tale… or at least a common source. I am of the latter opinion… though don’t discount the former as far as the tale itself goes… but wonder if it goes deeper than that… if perhaps the common source is an innate need to understand the world.
The deeper we delve into the ancient symbols , the more apparent it becomes that all of them are starting from a similar point of need and inspiration. The tales address human themes that transcend place, time and culture and all seem to resemble each other.
Which brings us back to the spokes on a wheel, doesn’t it? All starting from widely different, but equidistant points, yet seeking the same centre. And as you said the other day, the closer we get to the Hub, the less the separation becomes between the paths.
Wen and Anu x
P.S. You know that this weekend of the equinox marked two years since our first expedition to Uffington and Wayland’s Smithy… I still can’t quite believe all we have seen and done in that time or how many books we have written since then!