Month: May 2015

Forbidden Gnosis In Prometheus, Lucifer and Icarus

Myth has always presented a problem of meaning and interpretation, and a history of controversy exits over its value that can be approached from a number of viewpoints. In general, it is a narrative that describes and portrays in symbolic language the origin of the basic elements and assumptions of a culture. However, because of its all-encompassing nature, myth can illuminate many aspects of individual and cultural life. While many have written on the subjects I am about to explore, I have yet to find anyone that has crossed referenced this points, in the way I will construct here.

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The same can be said for the Greek myth concerning the famous Athenian Icarus and his father Daedalus, the famous architect, inventor, and craftsman. This story is found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses VIII:183-235. Because he murdered his sister’s son Perdix in fear that the boy’s talent might surpass his own, he had to flee to Crete. He began to work at the court of King Minos and Queen Pasiphae, in the magnificent palace of Knosos. There he constructed a wooden cow for the queen to satisfy her amorous longings for a beautiful white bull and by which she became pregnant with the Minotaur. When the Minotaur was born, Daedalus built the Labyrinth to contain the blood-thirsty, monstrous half-man, half-bull. Later, Minos shut Daedalus and his son Icarus into the Labyrinth. To escape, Daedalus built wings for himself and Icarus.

Icarus and his father Daedalus escape from the tower of their island prison in Crete with wings fashioned of wax. Despite his father’s warning, Icarus becomes enamored of his new found power and of the beauty of the Sun, he flies up to the light (and heat), his wing melt, and he falls to his death and drowns in the sea. The wiser and more restrained Daedalus keeps his flight balanced between heaven and earth, thus succeeding in escape from bondage. The Greeks were very aware of the temptation of Lucifer–in most of their tales of tragedy, “hubris” or overweening pride was the source of a hero’s downfall.

Like Icarus, the archangel Lucifer is said to have fallen because of his pride and vanity over his own beauty and power, much like the myth of Narcissus. This supreme spirit of evil who was once radiant, but who because of his sin of pride fell from heaven into darkness and became Satan, saying: “Non serviam: I will not serve,” and thus brought upon himself the everlasting wrath of God. There is also a Gnostic sensibility in this story. To fall from spirit to matter, to bring radiance to dull earth, is a creative act.

The name Lucifer is Latin for “bearer of the Light”. The typical depiction of Lucifer as a slithering manifestation of evil is hard to reconcile with the meaning of the name. Lucifer represents a force that can combine beauty and its logical conclusion if gone too far to extreme decadence, hence to evil. Like in the Apocalypse of Moses, Lucifer, in the form of a serpent, offered the gift of knowledge to Adam and Eve. By their eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, Lucifer promised that they would “be like God, knowing good and evil”. Like Icarus, they were not yet prepared for such a gift and ignoring warnings to the contrary by God, they accepted it and fell from Paradise. In this example it should be noted that the gift of knowledge, in and of itself is not evil, as many Orthodox theologians have claimed in their authoritarian interpretation.

Satan in his Original Glory: 'Thou wast Perfect till Iniquity was Found in Thee' circa 1805 William Blake 1757-1827 Presented by the executors of W. Graham Robertson through the Art Fund 1949 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05892

Satan in his Original Glory: ‘Thou wast Perfect till Iniquity was Found in Thee’ circa 1805 William Blake 1757-1827 Presented by the executors of W. Graham Robertson through the Art Fund 1949 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N05892

In Isaiah 14:12-17 (NJKV), we find the story of Lucifer’s fall from grace. Many theologians however stresses Lucifer isn’t a name of a rebellious angel, but rather a rebellious king of Babylon. However, it is a wonder how a mere mortal king can exalt himself “above the stars of God”.

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

16 “Those who see you will gaze at you,
And consider you, saying:
Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world as a wilderness
And destroyed its cities,
Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’

The King of Babylon called himself the “Day-Star,” a name for the planet Venus, the first planet or star seen in the morning just before the sun rises, hence the King was also called “son of the morning.” Venus is the Roman name for the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. She has also has many similarities with the Gnostic Sophia, Eve, and Helena of the Illiad as well but we will have to address this further in a future post.

King Louis XIV of France was called the “Sun King,” carrying on this tradition of kings associating themselves with solar and stellar titles. So the fall of the King of Babylon was Isaiah’s way of putting him in his place by sarcastically observing in effect: “OK, so you think you are the Day Star of Heaven and can go beyond the stars of God, you think you’re so high and mighty, well you got another thing coming bitch!”

The Church Father Origen in De Principiis (Book 1, Chapter 5, verse 5), makes an interesting commentary on this passage.

Most evidently by these words is he shown to have fallen from heaven, who formerly was Lucifer, and who used to arise in the morning. For if, as some think, he was a nature of darkness, how is Lucifer said to have existed before? Or how could he arise in the morning, who had in himself nothing of the light? Nay, even the Saviour Himself teaches us, saying of the devil, Behold, I see Satan fallen from heaven like lightning. For at one time he was light. Moreover our Lord, who is the truth, compared the power of His own glorious advent to lightning, in the words, For as the lightning shines from the height of heaven even to its height again, so will the coming of the Son of man be. And notwithstanding He compares him to lightning, and says that he fell from heaven, that He might show by this that he had been at one time in heaven, and had had a place among the saints, and had enjoyed a share in that light in which all the saints participate, by which they are made angels of light, and by which the apostles are termed by the Lord the light of the world.

Many of pointed out that in the Book of Revelation of St. John, Christ refers to himself as “the bright and morning star,” that is, Lucifer. And in the Gospel of John (8:12) it reads:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The infamous Theosophist Helena Blavatsky often identified Christ with Prometheus and Lucifer, who brought fire, light and knowledge to humanity and were all considered savior figures. In The Pillars of Tubal-Cain by Nigel Jackson and Michael Howard, they too also compare Lucifer with that of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross with a Gnostic sensibility and Grail mythos thrown in for good measure.

Esoteric tradition teaches us that until we find the Grail, and it should be clearly understood that it is not a physical object in this time-space continuum, Lucifer must play out his role as the sacrificial king. He is doomed to incarnate in a ‘cloak of flesh’ as an avatar for the human race and pay the ultimate price as a scapegoat on their behalf. This is the ultimate sacrifice for being the light-bearer who brought down from Heaven the illumination of Gnostic wisdom and the primal fire of creativity. Lucifer eternally dies and is reborn to save humanity of itself. As the human race progresses spiritually so he can slowly ascend the Ladder of Lights back to the realm of the Gods beyond the Pole Star. He is the Lord of the Morning Star and the Lux Mundi (Light of the World) whose rebirth from darkness we celebrate every year at the winter solstice. (pg. 68-69)

In Greek mythology, Prometheus, one of the Titans, is known as the friend and benefactor of humanity. He and his brother Epimetheus were given the task of creating humanity and providing humans and all the animals on earth with the endowments they would need to survive. When it came time to create a being who was to be superior to all living creatures, Prometheus (whose name means “afterthought”) took over the task of creation. To make humans superior to animals, he fashioned them in nobler form and enabled them to walk upright. He went up to heaven and lit a torch with fire from the sun.

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The gift of fire (symbolic of wisdom or knowledge) that he gave to humanity was more valuable than the gods intended and because of his actions Prometheus incurred the wrath of Zeus. For this transgression, Zeus had him chained to a rock in the Caucasus mountains, where he was constantly preyed upon by an eagle. Finally he was freed by the hero Hercules, who slew the eagle. John Milton’s depiction of Satan in Paradise Lost seems to combine both Lucifer and Prometheus into one figure as a tragic hero.

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We can also see similar ideas expressed in the Book of Enoch, which explains what was no doubt the popular understanding of the fall of the angels and its disastrous results, being the Deluge. Two hundred angels took wives of the daughters of men, and their offspring were giants three thousand yards in height. These giants having consumed the food of mankind, began to devour men and each other, whose cries were brought to the attention of YHWH by his angels, including Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. The Rape of the Sabine Women accounts found in Livy, Plutarch and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, also seem to echo the Enochian tales of angels and their sexual escapades with their human female concubines.

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In Roman legend, Romulus forcibly carries off the Sabine or Latin women to be provided as wives to his men at the new settlement of Rome. The city had just been founded by Romulus (Cain), and the Romans wish to ensure the future prosperity of their young nation. Because of the lack of women to provide the necessary offspring, they plan a mass abduction, which is actually synonymous with the term “rape”. With this in mind, they invite the neighboring Sabines to a feast during which they seize the women for themselves and drive off the men. These same men return to attack Rome for revenge, but the conflict is resolved thanks to their Sabine women, who stand between their brothers and their husbands in reconciliation to create peace.

And on another level, it is basically the symbolic reenactment of Zeus and the pantheon of Olympian gods descending to the earth to have licentious sex and copulation with a variety of women as well as goddesses like Aphrodite, Demeter, Gaia, etc. The story of the Sabine women describes the capture of women from neighboring cities in order to secure Rome’s future. In any case, these Enochian texts fill in the bare bone details of Genesis 6, with fantastic detail, and in particular giving long lists of the fallen angels and their ministrations and gifts of knowledge to men. Chapter 8 tells us that:

1 And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all 2 colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they 3 were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. Semjaza taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, ‘Armaros the resolving of enchantments, Baraqijal (taught) astrology, Kokabel the constellations, Ezeqeel the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiel the signs of the earth, Shamsiel the signs of the sun, and Sariel the course of the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven . . .

The same thing happens in Chapter 69, when it says:

4 The name of the first Jeqon: that is, the one who led astray [all] the sons of God, and brought them 5 down to the earth, and led them astray through the daughters of men. And the second was named Asbeel: he imparted to the holy sons of God evil counsel, and led them astray so that they defiled 6 their bodies with the daughters of men. And the third was named Gadreel: he it is who showed the children of men all the blows of death, and he led astray Eve, and showed [the weapons of death to the sons of men] the shield and the coat of mail, and the sword for battle, and all the weapons 7 of death to the children of men.

And from his hand they have proceeded against those who dwell 8 on the earth from that day and for evermore. And the fourth was named Penemue: he taught the9 children of men the bitter and the sweet, and he taught them all the secrets of their wisdom. And he instructed mankind in writing with ink and paper, and thereby many sinned from eternity to10 eternity and until this day. For men were not created for such a purpose, to give confirmation 11 to their good faith with pen and ink. For men were created exactly like the angels, to the intent that they should continue pure and righteous, and death, which destroys everything, could not have taken hold of them, but through this their knowledge they are perishing, and through this power12 it is consuming me.

This list is practically identical with that which Prometheus gives his services to humanity, as explained in Aeschylus’ ancient play, Prometheus Bound:

They lived deep within dark caves, and swarmed the earth like throngs of ants. They could not recognize the signs of winter, nor spring with its flowers, nor fruit-laden summer, so they did everything without any rational plan, until I taught them to read the risings of stars and their settings, which up to now they ignored. I gave them numbers, that knowledge most to be prized, and the art of writing words to help memory, the mother of all the muses. I first yoked beasts and made them work so they could relieve Man’s back of his heaviest burdens. I harnessed horses to the chariot and made them respond to reins, a delight for the wealthy. It was me who invented the ship with sails that wanders the sea, a chariot for sailors. All this, to my own misery, I dared to invent and pass on to Man, but for all my cleverness I could devise no escape from my present suffering.

Hear the rest and you will be even more amazed at the arts and inventions I devised. The greatest was this: before, 44 if a man fell sick, there was no remedy— nothing, no pill, ointment, nor drink—and without 480 drugs they wasted away. I showed them how to mix healing medicines that could ward off all diseases. I also gave them skills so that they could predict the future: I showed them which dreams were true; how to interpret strange voices and sayings, and how to understand chance meetings during travel. I taught Man to understand the flight of the taloned bird, what was beneficial, and what meant harm, their daily lives, loves and hates, 490 and how they mate.

Then I taught about the smoothness of entrails, the right color of gall so that it please the gods, and how to read the liver’s lovely mottled lobe. I showed Man thighbones wrapped in fat, and how to burn the long backbone, and thus I taught Man the obscure art of prophecy, sacrifice, and the language of fire, which had not yet been understood. But so much for that. Who could claim before me that he discovered the hidden 500 treasures that lay buried under earth: bronze, iron, silver and gold? No one. That’s clear, unless some fool babbles nonsense. I’ll make a long story short: all the arts and crafts that Man possesses came from me, Prometheus, the god you see suffering before you now.

The Watcher Shemyaza of Enoch (another mask of the fallen angel Azazel and Tubal-Cain and Cain himself), also seems to embody a Luciferian and Promethean power in the way he falls in love with Esterah or Ishtar and reveals to her the forbidden knowledge of the secret name of God being the TetragrammatonMidrash Shemhazai and Azael 3-5, tells us:

They said before Him: “Give us Thy sanction and let us descend (and dwell) among the creatures and then Thou shalt see how we shall sanctify Thy name.” He said to them: “Descend and dwell ye among them.” … Forthwith Semhazai beheld a girl whose name was Esterah; fixing his eyes at her he said: “Listen to my (request).” But she said to him: “I will not listen to thee until thou teachest me the Name by which thou art enabled to ascend to the firmament, as soon as thou dost mention it.” He taught her the Ineffable Name….”

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When Shemyaza told her, Esterah used this forbidden knowledge to ascend to the stars much like how Lucifer desperately desired to do so. While the other fallen angels or Watchers were rounded up by the loyal angels like Michael, and punished by God, Shemyaza voluntarily repented his error and sentenced himself to hang upside down, much like the Hanged Man archetype of the Major Arcana of the Tarot and even the apostle Peter who was said to have been crucified upside down in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. Some have equated the Yezidi angelic patron, Melek Taus with Shemyaza.

They have said about him; i.e., Shemhazai, that he repented and suspended himself upside-down between heaven and earth because he had no excuse for his behavior before the Holy One, blessed be He, and to this very day he remains suspended between heaven and earth in repentance.

The Church Father Justin Martyr had many things to say about Enochian literature, fallen angels and the pagan gods. For example, Justin claims that the children of the Watchers, being the demons, masquerade as the pagan deities and trick the pagans into persecuting Christians. All throughout his Apologies, he claims that the forbidden teachings and occult sciences of the fallen angels given to women serve to explain the origins and continued practice of the Greco-Roman religions and witchcraft since they were polytheistic and idolatrous in nature, to him.

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Instead of placing blame on Adam and Eve for human sin, he instead places the blame on the sins of the angels. Justin Martyr is the first one to equate the Enochian angels with the pagan gods and pagan culture and he certainly wasn’t the last as many other Christian thinkers after him used the angelic descent myth to denounce the Greco-Roman world as demonic. This is the type of thing that probably pissed off Julian the Apostate to no end! This includes, Tatian, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, Commodian, etc. In 2 Apology 5.5, Justin identifies the pagan gods with both “the angels and those demons who had been begotten by them,” and the same chapter claims that the angels gave the names of pagan gods to both themselves and their children.

Whence also the poets and mythologists, not knowing that it was the angels and those demons who had been begotten by them that did these things to men, and women, and cities, and nations, which they related, ascribed them to god himself, and to those who were accounted to be his very offspring, and to the offspring of those who were called his brothers, Neptune and Pluto, and to the children again of these their offspring. For whatever name each of the angels had given to himself and his children, by that name they called them.

The Gnostic-Hermetic alchemist, Zosimos, also had a very unusual take on Prometheus and also had much to say about the fallen angels and the Nephilim. On the later, Zosimos mentions a mythical figure named Chêmes (a pun on the Egyptian art of Alchemy), who is evidently one of the gigantic spawn of the fallen angels and their human wives. This giant, he tells us, he recorded the revelations of the angels in the Book of Chêmes, in which form they were transmitted to the earliest alchemical initiates. And so Zosimos takes the Enochian tale and uses it to explain the sacred art of Chemeia or ancient alchemy.

However, Zosimos in the Book of Chêmes condemns those involved in ritual sacrifices to the powers who run the world and Fate, as well as their own passions. “Al Chemia,” as a name for the Egyptian “the black land,” which refers to the darkness of the unconsciousness or the “Prima Materia,” being the building blocks of creation. Zosimus’ “Chemes” may also refer to the “Black One,” being Osiris’ original title of Khenti-Amenti being the “Lord of Western Darkness.”

In On the Letter Omega, the short text appeals to a number of Hermetic and Gnostic writings which are now lost to us, while having a very unusual and even irreverent and even blasphemous take on the gods that Plato would have balked at. Zosimos draws on the existing Gnostic myth of describing the imprisonment of the divine man in matter in order to show he held Gnostic views on Fate and the cosmos. Zosimos writes:

But Hermes and Zoroaster say that philosophers as a class are superior to Fate because they neither rejoice in her good fortune, for they are master over pleasures, nor are they thrown by the evils she sends, as they always lead an inner life, nor do they accept the fair gifts she offers, since they look to an end of ills.

This is also why Hesiod introduces Prometheus offering h this advice to Epimetheus “What do men consider a god fortune greater than all others?” “A shapely wife,” he replies, “along with great wealth.” And he says “not to accept a gift from Olympian Zeus, but to send it back again,” teaching his bother through philosophy to reject the gifts of Zeus, that is, of Fate.

In essence, Zosimos is saying that one should reject all the gifts of Fate, including good fortune. Later on in the same text, Zosimos depreciates Zeus as a lowly Demiurge and Prometheus as symbolic of the spirit fallen in the tomb of the flesh. No longer is Zeus the lofty and fiery Logos of the Stoics and is relegated to the same fate he meted out against the Titans for their dismemberment and murder of Dionysus-Zagreus as explained in Orphic texts as well as Hesiod.

Hesiod called the outer man “fetter,” with which Zeus bound Prometheus. Then, after this fetter, Zeus set yet another fetter upon him – Pandora, whom the Hebrews call Eve. For Prometheus and Epimetheus are, by the allegorical method a single man, that is, soul and body; and so Prometheus sometimes takes the form of soul, sometimes that of mind, and sometimes that of flesh because of Epimetheus’ disregard when he disregarded the advice of Prometheus, his own foresight. For our Mind says: “The Son of God, being capable of everything and becoming everything, when he wills, as he wills, appears to each.”

According to Hesiod, all the Olympian gods helped created Pandora by giving her unique gifts. She was the first human woman created by the gods, specifically by Hephaestus and Athena on the instructions of Zeus. Moreover, Pandora was modeled out of the earth as part of the punishment of humanity for Prometheus’ theft of the secret of fire. Elsewhere in the same text, Zosimos surprisingly advocates one to reject even magical rites or how he calls it, the “Magian science” as advocated by Hermes, in a now lost book called On the Inner Life, condemns magical rituals,

“….saying that the spiritual man, one who has come to know himself, need not rectifying anything through the use of magic, not even if it is considered a good thing, nor must he use force upon Necessity, but rather allow Necessity to work in accordance with her own nature and decree. He must proceed through that one search to understand himself, and, when he has come to know God, he must hold fast to the ineffable Triad, and leave Fate to work what she will upon the clay that belongs to her, that is, the body. And with this way of thinking and of regulating one’s life, he says, you will the see the Son of God becoming everything for the sake of holy souls, to draw her up out of the realm of Fate into the realm of the incorporeal.

In essence, Zosimos is saying that the true alchemical work of the adept was spiritual purification in nature and can only be achieved internally rather than through external means. One can compare this to Irenaeus in Against Heresies 1.21.4, rendered in Hans Jonas’ The Gnostic Religion, where Irenaeus claims certain Gnostics rejected the idea of magical rituals to attain spiritual salvation.

“One must not perform the mystery of the ineffable and invisible power through visible and corruptible things of creation, nor that of the unthinkable and immaterial beings through sensible and corporeal things. Perfect salvation is the cognition itself of the ineffable greatness: for since through “Ignorance” came about “Defect” and “Passion,” the whole system springing from the Ignorance is dissolved by knowledge. Therefore knowledge is salvation of the inner man; and it is not corporeal, for the body is corruptible; nor is it psychical, for even the soul is a product of the defect and is as a lodging to the spirit; spiritual therefore must also be [the form of] salvation. Through knowledge, then, is saved the inner, spiritual man; so that to us suffices the knowledge of universal being: this is the true salvation.”

We can also see this in the Pistis Sophia (1.15), which is a highly developed anti-astrological Gnostic polemic, also attacks magic on similar grounds. The same fallen angels we find in Enoch, are said to have given man, Mageia, or magical techniques that call upon the evil archons in the twelve aeons or the Zodiac. When Jesus Christ confuses the archons by interfering with the regular revolution of Fate and the sphere over which the archons rule over, and magic ceases to work.

In the Derveni Papryi, associated with Orpheus, it takes on the opposite stance, advocating magical rites to be performed by “magoi,” being the Orphic magicians. These magi offer many things such as:

… prayers and sacrifices to appease the souls, and the enchanting song of the magi is able to remove the daimones when they impede. Impeding daimones are avenging souls. This is why the magi perform the sacrifice, as if they were paying a penalty. On the offerings they pour water and milk, from which they make the libations, too. They sacrifice innumerable and many-knobbed cakes, because the souls, too, are innumerable. Initiates make the preliminary sacrifice to the Eumenides, in the same way as the magi. For the Eumenides are souls.

These daimones function much like the Archons, except for the fact that they are subservient to them, as well as to the gods, in which Zosimos seems to equate with the Archons (Zeus as the Demiurge, much like how YHWH is depicted as Ialdaboath in Gnostic-Ophite writings). The Neoplatonist Proclus in his commentary, On the Timaeus of Plato (1, 77) he mentions different views about how the fall of Atlantis was interpreted as an allegory of the daemons dragging the souls of human beings into matter. Different gods like Osiris, Baccus, the Titans and Typhon were interpreted as evil daemons, much like the Archons of Gnosticism.

Others interpret [Atlantis] as a conflict of daemons, with some being better and  others worse, the one side superior in numbers, the other in power, with the one being victorious and the other vanquished, as Origenes supposed. Others interpret it as a dispute between the finer souls – the foster-children of Athena – and others who work at generation and who belong to the god presiding over generation. Others combine (or so they believe) the views of Origenes and of Numenius and say that is is a a conflict between souls and daemons, with the daemons being a down-dragging force and the souls tying to come upwards. Their view is that there are three kinds of daemons, a divine type of daemon, a type now in that that condition which is made up of individual souls who have received a daemonic lot, and the other corrupt kind – the soul polluters.

So daemons of the final type strike up this war with souls on their descent into generation. And they claim that, just as the ancient theologians refer this to Osiris and Typhon or to Dionysus and the Titans, Plato attributes it to Athenians and Atlantines out of reverence. For he hands down the tradition, that before they came into three-dimensional bodies, there is rivalry between the souls and the enmattered daemons that he assigned to the west, for the west is the Egyptians say, is the region of harmful sous. The philosopher Porphyry is of this view, and one would be surprised if he is saying anything different from the view authorized by Numenius.

Proclus often refers to the gods as theo ephoroi, as they preside over different aspects of the world and human existence. These theoi ephoroi include gods such as Neptune and Athena, who are guardians of generation and philosophical life. He uses the term the most frequently to planetary gods, who are understood in astrological terms to preside over lower being, such as divine and demonic souls, animals, plants, stones, etc. He states that demons are actually the assistants of the planetary guardians, much like how Gnostic writings claim that demons are the lackeys of the Archons, who are portrayed as governors or administrators. On the Origin of the World tells us exactly this.

Now, when the seven rulers were cast down from their heavens onto the earth, they made for themselves angels, numerous, demonic, to serve them. And the latter instructed mankind in many kinds of error and magic and potions and worship of idols and spilling of blood and altars and temples and sacrifices and libations to all the spirits of the earth, having their coworker fate, who came into existence by the concord between the gods of injustice and justice.

The Neoplatonist Iamblichus also claimed the same thing in De Mysteriis. Plotinus also claimed that the stars and planets were visible gods, beneath them being in the sublunary sphere were hosts of aerial daimons who served as a bridge between man and the gods. Plotinus, like the Middle Platonists, the Chaldaean Oracles and his enemies within the Gnostics, thought that the physical universe belonged to the domain under Hades. Zosimos also considers these daimones as hungry, elemental spirits that are “not only hungry for sacrifices but for your soul.”

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In the Corpus Hermeticum 16. 5-6the Sun is identified with the Demiurge, and the surrounding cosmic bodies were instruments with which he crafted the world. The planetary governors are depicted as administering mankind’s fate, and shaping man in their nature—as a microcosm—an act which is explicitly described as being done out of love.

 5. Even so the Creator, that is to say the Sun, ever links heaven to earth, sending his substance down from above, and raising up matter from below. He draws everything around himself and into himself, and from himself gives all to all, bestowing his light in abundance. For it is he whose beneficent powers not only pervade the heavens and the air, but reach down to the lowest depth in the earth and abyss of the sea.

6. If there is a spiritual substance, then it is the body of the Sun, which his light contains. The Sun alone being near to himself in place and nature knows of what his substance is made and whence it flows. We cannot see him, but by systematic efforts we can understand him.

In the same chapter, the CH claims that these daimons control the cycles of reincarnation and fate: “When each of us has been born and ensouled the daimons that are responsible for the administration of birth at that moment take charge of us—the daimons which are ordered under each of the planets….” Although Proclus does not mention Prometheus, Lucifer or Icarus in any of his writings, it should be worth nothing that these daemons are the very forces that causes the fall of souls into the world of matter, and this seems to be a common theme in many religions and myths as we’ve seen here. 2 Peter 1:19 makes a startling statement about Lucifer: “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”

2 Peter compares heading a message of prophecy as Lucifer ascending in the heart of man, as the fallen spirit or genius enmeshed in flesh. Helena Blavatsky in the Secret Doctrine 2.XX, seems to agree with this sentiment.

It is not denied that the moral idea in the myth, as presented in the Theogony of Hesiod, plays a certain part in the primitive Greek conception. The Titan is more than a thief of the celestial fire. He is the representation of humanity — active, industrious, intelligent, but at the same time ambitious, which aims at equaling divine powers. Therefore it is humanity punished in the person of Prometheus, but it is only so with the Greeks. With the latter, Prometheus is not a criminal, save in the eyes of the gods. In is relation with the Earth, he is, on the contrary, a god himself, a friend of mankind ([[philanthropos]]), which he has raised to civilization and initiated into the knowledge of all the arts; a conception which found its most poetical expounder in AEschylus (pg. 519).

So, if Venus is a name of a planet, than by extension and logical conclusion, Lucifer was one of these Archontic administrators in the highest of the seven heavens. And yet, even Jesus Christ in Revelation bares this title as the Morning-Star. Lucifer is a title that may be applied to salvific gods because they brought the light of heaven to earth, like Jesus, Prometheus, Hermes, etc. And as stated earlier, Lucifer is also the name of a cosmocrator, or an archon, since Lucifer is associated with Venus. In the Apocryphon of John, we see the third archon, being Astaphaios. She is a female archon, connected with Astarte and Venus, which in turn, connects to Lucifer. This is where all the occult legends of Lucifer being female or hermaphrodite come from. At the same time, Jesus Christ is presented as the “Light of the world” in the Gospel of John, so he himself, as stated earlier, connects to the Shining Ones.

I would like to end this article with a telling quote from the Latin Church Father, Tertullian. In his polemical Against Marcion (1.1), he equates God and the Christian gospel with that of Prometheus! He also claims that the arch-heretic Marcion corrupted the Christian message and Church, and is equated to a beast, like the one found in Revelation.

Nay more, the true Prometheus, Almighty God, is mangled by Marcion’s blasphemies. Marcion is more savage than even the beasts of that barbarous region. For what beaver was ever a greater emasculator than he who has abolished the nuptial bond?

Clement of Alexandria does the same thing in the Stromata (1.17), where he equates the light of philosophy with Prometheus. However, he claims that the Greek philosophers were “thieves and robbers” for ripping off the Hebrew prophets. In reality, both the Hebrew prophets and the Greeks ripped off the Egyptians and the historical record is very clear about this. Judaism is largely a bastardization of Egyptian religion and philosophy, if one digs deep enough.

There is then in philosophy, though stolen as the fire by Prometheus, a slender spark, capable of being fanned into flame, a trace of wisdom and an impulse from God. Well, be it so that the thieves and robbers are the philosophers among the Greeks, who from the Hebrew prophets before the coming of the Lord received fragments of the truth, not with full knowledge, and claimed these as their own teachings, disguising some points, treating others sophistically by their ingenuity, and discovering other things, for perchance they had the spirit of perception. Exodus 28:3

Hell, if you compare Livy’s History of Rome with the Old Testament, it seems like the later is basically a rip-off from the former! But that, my beloved truth seekers, is for another story. So much for Christian Orthodoxy, right? 

Gnostic Exegesis in Revelation 12

For anyone who is familiar with the multicolored panorama of ancient Gnostic doctrines from different schools and mystery cults, Revelation 12 seems to stand out the most from the Revelation (or Apocalypse) of St. John the Divine. It has the tell-tail signs of being inserted into the main text, since chapter 13 appears to follow chapter 11 without any need for the 12th. Revelation itself follows from a vast tradition of apocalyptic literature. One website goes on to summarize this form of literature, succinctly:

“The Book of Revelation is really an interpretation of earlier apocalyptic prophesies, specifically the Book of Daniel. It was most likely written within a few years after the death of Nero in 68 C.E. The author therefore is not believed to be the author of the Book of John, written three decades later. John speaks of a loving God which is in stark contrast to the vengeful God of Revelation. The author of Revelation was not fluent in Greek and is believed to have been an Aramaic speaking resident of Palestine, possibly a wandering prophet.”

Whoever wrote the rest of Revelation had a very favorable interpretation of the Old Testament and Jewish Christianity and had a lot of ax-grinding against the heretics and the Roman political state. And the author appears to have rejected Paul entirely. The letter to the seven churches that prefaces the actual apocalypse chastises those “who claim to be apostles but are not” and those “who claim to be Jews and are not.” Those were two contested issues about Paul during that era, that is, whether or not he should be considered an apostle and where or not he was actually Jewish. This is some what ironic because the letters of Paul and an apocalypse written by someone who despised him wound up in the same canon of scripture. Even the saying of “the deep things of Satan” of Revelation 2:24 seem to be a direct parody of Paul’s “the deep things of God” per 1 Corinthians 2:10.

The first part of Revelation also condemns eating meat sacrificed to idols and fornication, both practices which the author attributes to a sect call the Nicolaitans, which had a very Gnostic-influenced theology, although the details on their theology differ greatly when comparing the different accounts of the Church Fathers and more shady sources like Psuedo-Tertullian. According to the Church Father, Irenaeus (Against Heresies 1.26.3; 3.10.6), the first “successor” of Simon Magus, was indeed Nicolas of Antioch. The antinomian doctrines taught by the Nicolaitians are in Revelation’s (2:12,15) letter to the church in Pergamos in which Jesus apparently hates with a passion:

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword . . . Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.’

Of course, Paul was originally the one who taught it was acceptable for Christians to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols so long as it didn’t offend another Christian. Paul obviously never condoned fornication, but what the author of Revelation may imply by fornication is Gentile influence upon Jewish Christianity, which would again point to Paul, who also may also be referenced as the “false prophet” per Revelation 13. This corruption or “fornication” can also be paralleled with how the Church Father Epiphanius claimed Marcion seduced a young orthodox virgin, which could be read as a metaphor of Marcion’s corruption of the young Christian Church as claimed by Bart Erhman in Lost Christianities.

The author of Revelation understood Jesus in light of Jewish Messianism. That is, he believed that Jesus, upon his second coming, would fulfill all of the messianic prophecies that he failed to fulfill during his ministry, which included declaring war against the entire world, establish a messianic kingdom and fortify Jewish Christian preeminence over the whole world. Revelation, however, echoes many Gnostic sentiments as well as Egyptian, Babylonian and Zoroastrian concepts and mythology as we will see. While this is in no way a comprehensive review of Revelation, it is a result of drawing some certain parallels I’ve noticed to other Biblical and non-Biblical mythologies, when going through certain parts of the text. the-great-red-dragon-and-the-woman-clothed-with-the-sun-1810

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. The gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

Revelation 12 begins with the Mother archetype characteristic of Wisdom or Sophia so prominent in Gnostic theology who is also pregnant. She is the celestial prototype or counterpart of the Virgin Mary, mother of the son of God. Naturally, the divine Mother can be traced back to the Egyptian Isis and appears many times in Jewish Wisdom literature such as Proverbs and in the the apocrypha such as the Book of Wisdom and the 1 Enoch. In the context of this text, the Woman may very well represent the moon which reflects the light of the sun while ruling the tides that guide the woman’s menstrual cycles. There is also a reference to the Virgo constellation of the Zodiac because of the obvious astrological language used in the divine Mother’s description. guadalupe2 In Greek mythology, the pregnant goddess Leto is pursed by the dragon Python. She escapes to an island where she gives birth to Apollo, who later kills the dragon. Nearly every Mediterranean culture had some variant of this type of combat myth, pitting monster against champion. However, from a Gnostic perspective, there is an even deeper significance to this chapter. In the following passage, the element connects with the apocalyptic passage with Gnosticism, specifically the Sethian and Ophite branches is the enthronement of the son, who escapes the monstrous dragon. Another great beast also appears in the next chapter in 13:1 stating:

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”

What is striking about this passage is the similarity of the beast’s description with the snake-faced seven-headed dragon archon and anguipede mentioned in the Apocryphon of John, Iao. The term Iao is also on many magical amulets, especially with the Basilidean astral god, Abrasax from the the Greco-Roman and the Renaissance periods. slide163 James M. Robinson in On the Genre of Mark and John, compares Revelation 12 with the various Kingdoms featured in the Sethian Apocalypse of Adam of the Nag Hammadi Library. In particular, he compared the fourth Kingdom passage with the great dragon pursuing the child of the Mother.

The fourth kingdom says of him that he came from a virgin. […] Solomon sought her, he and Phersalo and Sauel and his armies, which had been sent out. Solomon himself sent his army of demons to seek out the virgin. And they did not find the one whom they sought, but the virgin who was given them. It was she whom they fetched. Solomon took her. The virgin became pregnant and gave birth to the child there. She nourished him on a border of the desert. When he had been nourished, he received glory and power from the seed from which he was begotten. And thus he came to the water.

Here, the virgin is pursued by the vilified magician, King Solomon and his army of demonic spirits but the virgin barely escapes their clutches and gives birth to her male child who receives power and glory when he “came to the water” which could be a possible reference to Jesus who receives the power of the Holy Spirit when he is baptized and anointed with the Christ spirit, as an “adopted” (hence the doctrine of Adoptionism) Son of God, as mentioned in Mark 1:9-10. In the Gnostic terminology, “male” is the synonym with “pneumatic” or spiritual, as “female” is synonym with “psychic”. The male child in the Apocalypse of Adam is an obvious reference to the Illuminator, the same great spiritual power that the “the god of the powers” or the Demiurge, asks, “What is the power of this man who is higher than we?” In Revelation 12: 7-9, the defeating and casting down of the dragon, Satan, to earth by the archangel Michael, has a possible parallel in the struggle between the armies of angels and the armies of Solomon over the virgin in the fourth kingdom of Apoc. Adam, and in the battle between Jesus and the beasts in Mark 1:13 and Satan/Devil in the temptation stories. So why in the world is Satan and his hosts of principalities and powers cast down to earth at the end of time? Because as St. Paul puts it in Ephesians 6:12:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

In other words, Satan and his angels were active in the lower heavens when they crucified the “Lord of Glory” (e.g. Jesus Christ) in 1 Corinthians 2:8. But in the End of Days, Michael, the archangel and his angels will cast the Devil down to earth.

Isis_suckling_Horus

The story of the divine child, who, together with his divine mother, is threatened by an evil power, yet is rescued and finds safety in the wilderness until the evil power is destroyed can very much be interpreted with a Gnostic lens. And naturally, the divine mother and child archetype is one that repeats in almost every ancient culture around the world, beginning with Isis and her son Horus, and possibly before that. The divine Mother, being Sophia, who also gives birth also suggests a connection to Eve, and the divine male child, being Seth, who (with his seed) is caught up to the aeon or put in a holy dwelling place and stays up there for a time, thus overthrowing the powers, i.e. the dragon archon who brought the great flood as mentioned in the Gospel of the Egyptians. And at the end, a voice or Logos, i.e. Seth, announces the arrival of final salvation much like the divine call of Revelation 12: 10-12.

Revelation 12 could also reflect the activity of Sophia who becomes pregnant with her passions, from which appears the Archon, i.e. the dragon/lion-headed hybrid mutant Ialdabaoth. As seen in On the Origin of the World, the dragon, Ialdaboath and his fellow archons pursue Epinoia or Eve-Zoe, but she becomes an eagle on the tree of Gnosis (like the Savior Jesus in the Apocryphon of John) and in another account, Eve-Zoe transforms into a tree, thus eluding the pursing lustful Archons. The primeval couple is kicked out of paradise, but produces Seth and his seed where they are taken to the ethereal wilderness, after which the Archons bring the flood, a belligerent act of war against the Gnostic offspring of Eve, which parallels Revelation 12:15-16, where it states:

Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

The woman who is pursued by the dragon, sprouts eagle’s wings, which has parallels in the bird of Kingdom 2:

And a bird came, took the child who was born, and brought him onto a high mountain. And he was nourished by the bird of heaven. An angel came forth there. He said to him “Arise! God has given glory to you.” He received glory and strength. And thus he came to the water.

Another parallel is with the descending dove featured in Mark 1:10 and the apocryphal Gospel of the Hebrews where the child is lifted to Mount Tabor. This entire basic mythological structure between Revelation 12 and the Apocalypse of Adam, can also be applied to the Gospel account in Matthew of Jesus’ birth to Mary and their flight to Egypt from Herod. This pattern can also be seen in certain aspects of the Isis-Osiris-Horus cycle as well as stories of Zeus and his mother Rhea Silvia hiding him from his blood-thirsty father Titan Kronos, Perseus and Danae, and Jason and Diomede. Ancient Greek harpies were also said to be the winged female agents (sometimes depicted with talons) of Zeus that snatched away people who would dare reveal the secrets of the Olympian gods.

The idea of a woman with eagle wings also appears in Native American and Aztec legends as the Bird Goddesses, Ix Chel and Itzpapalotl. The symbol of the Eagle was also associated with the soaring spirit over the mundane and base material concerns. It also represented a state of grace achieved through a series of initiations to receive personal, spiritual power through the essence of Shamanic Eagle medicine. There are also strong parallels with Revelation 12 and even the rest of Revelation with the final segment of the Gnostic On the Origin of the World. The woman clothed with the sun is no longer the victimized divine Mother in distress, trying to elude the wrath of the evil powers but is now the one engaged in the pursing against them!

The stars of the sky will cancel their circuits. And a great clap of thunder will come out of a great force that is above all the forces of chaos, where the firmament of the woman is situated. Having created the first product, she will put away the wise fire of intelligence and clothe herself with witless wrath. Then she will pursue the gods of chaos, whom she created along with the prime parent. She will cast them down into the abyss. They will be obliterated because of their wickedness. For they will come to be like volcanoes and consume one another until they perish at the hand of the prime parent. When he has destroyed them, he will turn against himself and destroy himself until he ceases to exist.

The Simonian text, Concept of Our Great Power also has many strong apocalyptic undertones spread throughout. It even has an Anti-Christ/Beast figure.

Then when the times were completed, then wickedness arose mightily even until the final end of the Logos. Then the archon of the western regions arose, and from the East he will perform a work, and he will instruct men in his wickedness. And he wants to nullify all teaching, the words of true wisdom, while loving the lying wisdom. For he attacked the old, wishing to introduce wickedness and to put on dignity. He was incapable, because the defilement of his garments is great. Then he became angry. He appeared and desired to go up and to pass up to that place. Then the appointed time came and drew near. And he changed the commands.

Then the time came until the child had grown up. When he had come to his maturity, then the archons sent the imitator to that man in order that they might know our great Power. And they were expecting from him that he would perform for them a sign. And he bore great signs. And he reigned over the whole earth and all those who are under heaven. He placed his throne upon the end of the earth, for “I shall make you god of the world”. He will perform signs and wonders. Then they will turn from me, and they will go astray.

So, the archons finally go to war at the end of the “Logos” – “… when the times were completed, then wickedness arose mightily even until the final end of the Logos.” Compare this to Revelation 12:7, when again, Michael wages a war against Satan, who is depicted as a chaos dragon, much like Tiamat of the Mesopotamian religions.

And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

It is also interesting to note the same dragon beast that pursues the divine mother is also rode upon the Whore of Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18 or the “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth”, which could be interpreted as the the barbarous “Achamoth”, the name of the “fallen” form of Sophia. Sophia who fled to the “wilderness” (which could also be interpreted as the primeval fall from the Pleroma into the material chaos and the subsequent abortion of her monstrous “child of chaos”) is also called “Echamoth” according to the Gospel of Philip:

Echamoth is one thing and Echmoth, another. Echamoth is Wisdom simply, but Echmoth is the Wisdom of death, which is the one who knows death, which is called “the little Wisdom”.

Another curious passage from Revelation 17: 9 tells us that Whore of Babylon sat on seven heads, which could be a reference to the seven rulers who rule over the seven heavens that is listed in the Apocryphon of John.

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sat.

It also shares ideas of Proverbs 9:1, where it states Wisdom was said to have built a house for herself, and to have set up “seven pillars” a possible reference to the Hebdomad, or the Hellenistic seven heavens or the seven celestial planets or powers of the Apoc. John. This might be a stretch but one can easily see how the “seven heads” and “mountains” could connect to Gnostic cosmology. The fate of the wanton prostitute isn’t a pretty one as she falls prey to her own wiles and is ultimately destroyed by divine fire by the God of judgement and wrath per Revelation. 18:4-8:

‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

William_Blake_whore_babylon The Freemasonic scholar Manly P. Hall in the Secret Teachings of All Ages, claims the whore of Babylon is basically a degenerated and vilified version of the “divine mother” archetype when he writes (p. 188):

Here also is introduced a symbolic figure, termed “the harlot of Babylon, “which is described as a woman seated upon a scarlet-colored beast having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet and bedecked with gold, precious st Here also is introduced a symbolic figure, termed “the harlot of Babylon, “which is described as a woman seated upon a scarlet-colored beast having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scones, and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations. This figure may be an effort (probably interpolated) to vilify Cybele, or Artemis, the Great Mother goddess of antiquity. Because the pagans venerated the Mater Deorum through symbols appropriate to the feminine generative principle they were accused by the early Christians of worshiping a courtesan. As nearly all the ancient Mysteries included a test of the neophyte’s moral character, the temptress (the animal soul) is here portrayed as a pagan goddess.

The Whore of Babylon also fits very well with the dark crone mother figure of Lilith of Kabbalistic lore as well. The Greek Titan Saturn-Kronos (in the guise of the “Son of Man,”) also makes an appearance in the Revelation 14: 14-16, when it states:

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

reaping_the_harvest-p9875698 Behind the Roman Saturn is the Greek Kronos, naturally. And behind those two is the Phoenician El, a name familiar with and associated with YHWH, the god of Israel. The “Son of Man” or Jesus Christ takes on this role of the reaper of souls at the apocalypse. This Son of Man figure also appears much earlier in the Book of 1 Enoch as well. The rest of Revelation also owes a lot of its inspiration from Enochian literature as well. An entire dissertation could be done on this subject alone!

“And they shall be terrified, and they shall be downcast of countenance, and pain shall seize them, when they see that Son of Man Sitting on the throne of his glory. And the kings and the mighty and all who possess the earth shall bless and glorify and extol him who rules over all, who was hidden…”  – 1 Enoch 62:5-6 “And all the kings and the mighty and the exalted and those who rule the earth shall fall down before him on their faces, and worship and set their hope upon that Son of Man, and petition him and supplicate for mercy at his hands… And He will deliver them to the angels for punishment, To execute vengeance on them because they have oppressed His children and His elect. And they shall be a spectacle for the righteous and for His elect: They shall rejoice over them, Because the wrath of the Lord of Spirits resteth upon them, And His sword is drunk with their blood.” – 1 Enoch 62:9-12

So here, we have Enoch refer to the sword of wrath that the Son of Man will wield on His Father’s behalf. Among the many times that Jesus spoke of the Son of Man, He was likely using this term to identify Himself or with another celestial figure in the Son of Man spoken of in 1 Enoch and Daniel. This is especially evident in the following Scriptures:

“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” – Matthew 16:27 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.” – Matthew 25:31

Kronos isn’t the only Greek deity to appear in Revelation. We also see the solar deity Apollo appear as an inverted archetype of the Angel of Destruction, Apollyon who is the chief ruler of an army of locust demons in Revelation 9:8-11:

The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.

It’s rather interesting that the Revelation author would choose to make Kronos be the good guy (through the Son of Man) while invert the beauty, order and goodness of Apollo into an angel of the bottomless pit. Though Apollo was known as a god of prophecy, law and purification, in his earliest accounts, he could place plagues on mankind as well as cure them. This occurs in Homer’s IIliad, when Apollo creates a nine-day deadly plague on the Achaean army and their cattle.

The description given to Apolloyon’s army of locust demons sounds eerily similar to that of the legendary creature of Persia, the Manticore (the “maneater”). This predatory monster is said to be mutated mixture of a man’s face with a lion’s face and body, along with a scorpion’s tail and bat wings. 127285_-Elder_Manticore-final2 James Davila in Melchizedek, Michael, and the War in Heaven, writes about the YHWH’s connection with the Archangel Michael from Revelation:

The origins of this reflex of the myth are extremely ancient. An Ugaritic text (CTA 5.1.1-5) alludes to a battle in which the god Baal defeated LTN, clearly the same creature as the monster Leviathan in the Hebrew Bible and later literature. In the restoration period or later, the apocalyptic section of the book of Isaiah (chs. 24-27) refers to the same myth–in almost the same words, but the battle is projected into the eschatological Endzeit and has Yahweh as the protagonist (Isa 27:1). This eschatological form of the tradition is developed further in Revelation, first by the replacement of Yahweh by Michael, and second by the use of the more generic term “dragon” (DRA/KWN) instead of the name Leviathan. As Richard Bauckham has noted, the picture of the dragon is significantly developed by its identification (perhaps by way of Isa 27:1) with the serpent of Genesis 3 and then, by extension, with the devil or Satan.

This Satan dragon serpent archetype can actually be traced back to the Egyptian “Lord of Chaos” Apep, who is depicted as a serpent, the embodiment of chaos and the enemy of the light and order of Ra, Ma’at and Thoth. Thoth or Tautus was nothing more then the title of an educated linguist and secret society member, who claimed himself to be the embodiment of the Egyptian Logos. Ra, as well as Horus, are also portrayed as often struggling against the darkness and chaos of this serpent, much like how Michael struggles against the Serpent and Dragon, Satan. One can see how this chaos myth repeats itself over and over again, traced back to the Egyptian religion which precedes Christianity and Judaism by thousands of years! apep-papyrus-of-hunefer

The war in heaven motif can also be traced to the Titanomacy which can be found in Homer’s Illiad where Hephaestus was cast down from the heavenly threshold by Zeus. Hesiod’s Theogony also recounts that the gods, after defeating the Titans, hurled them down to Tartarus, beneath Hades for their rebellion. Finally, according to Patristic literature, the arch-heretic Cerinthus is often associated with Revelation. The Latin Church Father Tertullian in Against Marcion 3.13, understands Babylon as the city of Rome:

…Egypt is sometimes understood, in His sense, the whole world as being marked out by superstition and a curse. By a similar usage Babylon also in our (St.) John is a figure of the city of Rome, as being like (Babylon) great and proud in royal power, and warring down the saints of God. Now it was in accordance with this style that He called the magi by the name of Samaritans, because (as we have said) they had practised idolatry as did the Samaritans. Moreover, by the phrase before or against the king of Assyria, understand against Herod against whom the magi then opposed themselves, when they refrained from carrying him back word concerning Christ, whom he was seeking to destroy.

Eusebius quotes from a work by Dionysus of Alexandria, bishop of Alexandria, saying that there were many who rejected the Johannine (John) authorship and authority of Revelation, and actually hated the book in Church History (7.25.1-2).

Some indeed of those before our time rejected and altogether impugned the book, examining it chapter by chapter and declaring it to be unintelligible and illogical, and its title false. For they say that it is not John’s, no, nor yet an apocalypse (i.e., an unveiling), since it is veiled by its heavy, thick curtain of its unintelligibility, and that the author of the book was not only not one of the apostles, nor even one of the saints or those belonging to the Church, but Cerinthus, the same who created the sect called ‘Cerinthian’ after him, since he desired to affix to his own forgery a name worthy of credit.

It is worth noting that, according to the good bishop, Dionysius (yes, there were many bishops named after the Greek god of wine), a certain heretic Cerinthus believed in an earthly kingdom of Christ was filled with material pleasures including fornication and great marriage feasts. Here we have only scratched the surface with all the inner workings of Revelation and I suspect there is much more hidden and coded Gnostic parallels and Gemetria (the Assyrian art of assigning numerical values to words) contained in this seemingly “illogical, unintelligible and false” text, like in the city of New Jerusalem that shows up at the end of the apocalypse, which has strong alchemical and Hermetic traits. Gemetria is something I’ve been toying with for a while now and I may pursue it further in my research.