Fiction

Crimson Dusk Novel Excerpt

Hey, folks. My latest book, Crimson Dusk, is coming out this week. And I decided to post an excerpt of the upcoming book. You can also pre-order a copy for yourself via Amazon. The Kindle edition will come out soon after this week. If anyone out there would like a signed copy of the book, then please let me know and I will sign and mail it to you. If you’re on Facebook, you can also join the event party happening and maybe win some free swag! Also, I posted a drawing I did of the main character, Kalek Desmarais, below, after the excerpt. I also posted a DJ Mix I did of music I did, dedicated to the novel. Until next time!

Chapter 1: The Gift

The journey to the queen’s citadel stretched onward towards the horizon. A small carriage passed through the landscape not of sand dunes but of flat, blasted earth left parched and cracked by the sun. This land was a mummified corpse produced by the horrors of a former and long- past Great War. The vampire Avus could sense the dark and somber clouds above crying hysterically, followed by rippling thunder and clusters of flashing lightning. Avus was suddenly seized from his daydream, by a twisted, harsh, and inhuman tongue which drew his attention.

“What is it? Why have we stopped?” Avus questioned, annoyed.

The strained, raspy voice said, “There is something that you should see. I see no movement outside besides the flaming remains of a human village. I would proceed with caution regardless.”

Avus quickly emerged from the carriage and into the stormy atmosphere that hovered over the mountainous range and bridge they stood on. Ahead of the bridge appeared to be the remains of a fresh disaster upon a village that lay ahead of them, and he eyed the smoke that twisted into the sky. Avus was clad with a dark cloak flung over him. His dark, jaw-length hair framed his brooding but handsome face. His cloaked subordinate and bodyguard, Samech, sat on the driver’s seat, guiding the armor-clad horses that pulled with brute force. Avus peered into the darkened heavens and noticed the storm blocked out any source of light from the sun’s rays behind them.

Avus surveyed the torn landscape and said, “All I see is death.”

They both continued their way through the outskirts of the rubble-strewn road that lead into the flaming ruins. Smoke permeated, choking the sky until the sun struggled to breathe. The tall, dark mountains were obscured by the smoke and flame that filled the scene below. Skeletal buildings sagged as their burnt structures gave way. It was a scene from a nightmare, carnage everywhere.

It was the aftermath, and the scene seemed almost tranquil, fires burning and smoke rising from the ruined ground. Bodies of men and women alike were strewn about the filthy mire, like dolls after a child’s playtime. The lifeblood of thousands moistened the packed earth and the feet of the same thousands churned it into a viscous soup. Flies gathered in the eyes of the dead, greedily stealing the moisture. The dead became a home to eggs and writhing maggots.

Crows congregated in the field, croaking hoarsely with delight at this splendid feast set out for them. Cruel beaks plunged into eye sockets, gobbling the soft contents. The stench was horrific. The air was rank with sweat, blood, fear, and decay.

This village, once bustling and busy, now belonged to the dead. Not even a rat scurried amid the debris. The fire destroyed everything. Flocks of carrion-hunting ravens swarmed over the area, landing upon the ravaged lands, feeding upon the bodies. Avus walked away from the carriage and into the burnt village, stepping over charred bodies of villagers. Samech watched his master carefully, studying his every move. The horrible stench of burning flesh assaulted their senses.

“This doesn’t seem like the work of one of our own, now does it? These bodies aren’t drained,” Avus noted.

Samech sniffed the air and grunted. “The blood smells fresh. This was done recently.”

Avus made his own observation and responded, “This also looks like a well-coordinated attack—an ambush maybe. Then again, your eyes house different judgment than mine.”

“The storms are beginning to die down.” Samech replied.

Without warning, a hand dug its way up from Mother Earth’s womb like a sprouting plant and grasped Avus’ boot. Avus instantly hurled himself back and frowned.

“What was that?” Samech asked in dismay.

“I guess they missed one.” Avus prepared to draw his sword with caution. Samech followed suit and leveled his serrated spear against the sudden movement of the dirt.

Again, the hand grasped onto anything it could to get the rest of its body out from under the earth. Once extracted from his nearly final resting place, the stranger rolled over on his back, exhausted. He drank in the late evening air as if it were gulps of water. Avus noticed the ring the dirt-covered figure had on its finger with an embedded symbol of a Red Dragon devouring its own tail―the Ouroboros―which indicated to him the vampire’s higher-ranking status. Avus darted forth to the battered stranger laying there, asking, “What the hell happened here?”

He spat up blood and whispered, “The regents of judgment have arrived.”

“What regents? Tell me your name,” Avus asked, seeing if the man could remember anything of his past.

The stranger’s vocal chords could barely muster a reply and finally said, “Kalek.”

Large, gaping wounds covered Kalek’s torso, neck, and face. He took out a handkerchief and wiped away the dirt, blood, and spit that covered his exhausted face.

“Kill me,” Kalek mumbled in between heavy breaths. “They should have finished the job.” More blood leaked from various orifices, including his eyes.

“Your wounds are deep—perhaps deeper than your regeneration factor can handle,” Avus noted. In an act of pity, Avus picked up Kalek and carried him to the carriage with all his strength, placing him inside a black and intricately detailed casket hidden inside.

“What are you doing?” Kalek asked, barely audible.

“Today, fate is on your side. Your number isn’t up yet.” Avus went inside and closed the door. Samech partially revealed his blood-stained fangs and hoped he would come upon a hapless mortal for his delight and sustenance. He sat himself down again upon the rider’s seat of the carriage and signaled the horses to continue down the burnt and ruined roads and crop fields. Kalek closed his eyes and plunged deep into his unconscious night sea sojourn.

***

Long ago…

“One thousand years.”

“No,” the fledgling vampire gasped, standing in the moonlight between the trees. He was on burial grounds now deep within the forest; his kind often met in places such as this for trials, rituals, and the like. “You can’t do this to me; I’ll go mad! This life, my life, would have all been for naught! Please, you cannot do this thing; I-I’ll leave! I’ll leave forever, travel south to the African continent or to eastern Asia. You’ll never hear of me again! Fa-father! Please, surely, you can change their will…!”

The council said nothing. There were five beings wreathed in shadow save for their eyes, which reflected the moonlight with a demonic malevolence. They were seated amongst the branches of the surrounding trees, completely silent like a congregation of living gargoyles. They didn’t even seem to be breathing.

“Why do you not answer me?” Kalek pleaded, his voice breaking with ever-increasing emotion. “Don’t you realize what you’re doing to me?! It would be better for you to kill me utterly; why such a penalty for this crime? Why?”

Still no answer; the tears streamed down his face. They only looked down upon him in his utterly helpless state. He was an infant in terms of pure power to them; if he chose to fight his way out, there would be no hope at all. And it would be worse: They would break him and then imprison him, and with no fresh blood, he could not heal to such an extent. No matter. He would try to run anyway. Fear always distorted logic—sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The vampire broke into a run, a sprint that not even the swiftest of beasts could hope to achieve. Running through the forest, his head was down, arms pumping madly at his sides. He tore past trees, leaping their roots, and skidded on fallen leaves in his mad dash to escape.

The tree limbs slashed through his clothes in dozens of places, but his supernatural regeneration already healed the cuts and scrapes. He was caught before he reached the outskirts of the forest; the Elders, as they were referred to, jumped from tree to tree gracefully. He kicked and bit and thrashed and screamed at the top of his preternatural lungs, shaking the nearby trees and waking villagers for tens of miles around in the serene valley but to no avail. He broke loose once or twice but got no more than a few yards before he was caught again.

Then, they started to beat him. They wanted him to see his punishment, so they directed their strikes to the lungs and throat rather than the skull. They would not murder this vampire. Rather, they would drain him of his blood, leaving only enough for him to remain aware, and then, they would ravage him until he could no longer repair his own wounds. First the lungs to impair his voice, then the arms, legs, fingers, neck. A mound of flesh and bone—undead flesh and bone—trapped for one thousand years as per the council’s verdict.

One thousand years. He couldn’t comprehend the number; he hadn’t even lived that long yet! So much was the fear of the oncoming doom that he could no longer feel the pain. The number kept running through his mind. He dissected it into months, weeks, hours, even to the seconds he would spend in isolation. It was more than torture, even for his kind. They were dragging him across land now at a great speed. He could barely see any more though they did leave both of his eyes. How long was it? It didn’t matter; he’d been cherishing and loathing every moment the wind swept by and through his body. But as all things must, his journey came to an end.

“Cu interneric vas vilieridel ai valaeridine. Mass vilahar cu tinoel,” the council said in unison. There were other sounds there: the remaining blood pumping in his ears, the labored breathing to keep the cells alive, the gentle wind, and the water. The sound of water pushed and pulled at the shore, but the shore wasn’t near him; it was above him—hundreds of feet below the surface.

There was a dull thud next to him and the sound of chains. It began. They were doing to him as they had done to few before: condemning him to a limited death but far worse than any Hell he could imagine. He had done it to one before. Well, he had been on the council. The only thing he physically did was say the final doom: “Cu interneric vas vilieridel ai valaeridine. Mass vilahar cu tinoel. The moon has set, and the new sun rises. Live to see the moon rise again.” Now, it was his turn to be bound to a locked, silver sarcophagus—the Stone of Condemnation littered with sacred inscriptions. The water quickly swept around his body, dragging him down into the watery depths of the seemingly bottomless darkness and would reemerge upon the shores of a new land.

***

“I have committed grave sins, enough that even tyrannical kings would blush at. They are sins black enough to blot out the brightest sun. I despise what I am, what I was made to be. I once thrived in prowling the shadows, roaring like a lion, ready to devour,” Kalek admitted to the aging sage as he faced downward to the intricate designs of battling dragons.

“This is remarkable. You yourself are vampire immortal, and yet you detest all those like you. The majority who are born in the miasma of Hell stay in Hell, totally unbound,” the gaunt-faced, cloaked man declared calmly after a brief period of meditation as he sat cross-legged underneath his vestments of white robe and red, gold dalmatic as he placed his hands palm to palm and raised them above his head and slowly brought them down while continuing, “The chrism light sacrament is meant for the living, not vampire.” The hooded priest’s voice echoed hollowly in the large antechamber, filling the silence with an eerie portent.

Kalek growled with certain disdain swirling in his mind, just begging to withhold blood-curdling conviction beneath his furrowing brow. “I am not a lowly, monstrous thrall or ghoul unable to stand against the faintest trickle of light. Only but a few years ago when I was still exiled had I learned to barely control my darkness.” Kalek paused to take in the cindering fragrance that came from the burning incense within the golden lamp beside the altar and rose.

The hooded mystic sensed the vampire acolyte’s anger while his human eyes were unable to meet the baneful glow of Kalek’s. Kalek circled him slowly, weighing the stranger’s words carefully. “What purposes have you in helping me—altruism perhaps? I find that hard to believe. You are renowned even though you are human and a desert guardian to the chief of your tribe.” The blazing eyes narrowed. “I have already been betrayed twice: once by my father and once by the tribunal of elders of my own nest. I tell you, it will not go well for you if you are the third.” Kalek swung up a spear underneath his long, trailing, initiatory garments, its shivering tip looming barely inches from the man’s throat. “I find little reason to side with you or with anyone else for that matter. Not that I have much to fear from a mortal.”

“You need not side with me but with your own strength. You called for assistance, and like you, I too was once a slave to my past’s shadow. I was a different man then.”

“Fair enough.” Kalek retracted the curved, golden blade of the spear and placed it upon an altar.

The hooded priest reiterated, “There is a certain balance at work. There must be some atonement or contrition, no matter how black your sins.”

With a sinking tone, Kalek off-handedly moaned then said in his baritone voice, “I sired abominable ghouls from men and women alike. I offered sacrifices for the sake of thaumaturgy with no great Arcanum in sight for catharsis. I was like one of the Mastema—the hostile demons of persecution and oppression who were engendered from the fire of angels and the blood of women. I was consumed with bloodlust.” Kalek turned to a sculpted, marble figure of a fiery Seraph. “Humans are just as bloodthirsty. This is a planet of the walking dead—human and vampire alike. And I don’t just mean rotting corpses who suddenly become animate.”

The hooded yet tanned and bearded man remained silent, but Kalek seemed to want his attention as he turned his grimace at him. “The old days are long gone, yet the memories stay alive like remains of the great Holocaust below the cities.”

Kalek stared into the eyes of the marble statue and remained silent for a minute. He never passed on this knowledge to anyone, so why did he feel he needed to talk about it now? But he did answer in the end. “About what occurred before I arrived here, the events that happened before I became an exile—my sealed fate from the machinations of a few craven Elders, one of which you already know.” He continued to mutter, “Why I am what I am. I was born as one of the infernal. And yet can there be salvation for me or my brethren? Or am I cursed eternally?”

“No soul can be eternally cursed, for nothing is permanent. The stings you have felt from your betrayal—you’re longing to know your families’ clandestine fortunes, the desecrating dregs of unending thirst for blood. They are the imprinting desires and attachments left from your ego that is your shadow. Wisdom is its own reward. Ignorance damns itself. God can convert and save the worst of sinners—even vampires. Are you prepared to slay the demon and channel the light from the darkness?” the hooded sage asked Kalek, who sat cross-legged with his head lowered pensively.

Kalek muttered, “Not even the divine light can illuminate my darkness. The old sun has set, and a new moon’s course is run.” His dark gaze swayed to the nude angel holding a downward, spiraling sword with eyes black as the abyss below. “May the new sunrise be great and memorable indeed.”

***

Inside the phantasmagoric chamber of the castle, the raven-black eye of Kalek opened. A slender, feminine form watched him in complete silence, wondering if he would recognize her. Thoughts of his past conjured up within Kalek’s psyche, utterly ravaged in the onslaught as if the Armageddon opened its sweeping mouth. A waltz of advanced mechanical rings surrounded the vampire that emanated sound vibrations, repairing the damage of his cursed flesh while Kalek made a sidelong glance over Cressida as he heard a voice call out his full name. “Kalek Desmarais, I see that you’re awake. You’re the only survivor.” The figure in his blurred vision, divorced from clarity, became more apparent as it moved closer.

Kalek could hardly speak yet attempted to do so and uttered heavily, “Cressida.”

“I’m glad to see you alive. Your reprisal is due in time.”

Kalek merely stared into nothingness as blood trickled down the side of his mouth. The queen placed her hand over the smooth, rotating sphere, and the vibrating treatment stopped. She placed her cold, pale hand on his face, removing trickling drops of blood from his mouth and, in a suggestive manner, licked it from her finger.

“Kalek, it is time you rejoin the covenant, for your period of healing is just about over.”

***

kalek-4

Advertisements

Press Release: Crimson Dusk (New Book)

As Halloween on October 31 approaches, I am currently in the final stages of preparation to publish my newest book, which is a work of supernatural horror/post-apocalyptic fiction. The book is called Crimson Dusk, and it has been in the making and on the creative back-burner for some time now, but I feel it is now the time to finally release this book for all to seen and read. It is slated to be published later this month, in October 2016, on the 27th. Very soon, all my dreams and fantasies of seeing this book published is becoming more real, as each day passes.

The book (and future books) will be published under my own publishing company, Megas Aeon Publications. That is to say I am still open to publishing books with other companies, but this publication will be the base of operations for my own work. In the meantime, I have to share the cover because I think it is too beautiful. It depicts of the main protagonists–Kalek Desmarais. I found a gifted/genius artist, Dean Samed, whose work humbles me. He is a dedicated cover-artist and has carefully crafted a cover that I couldn’t have asked for any better. I must also thank Shawn King for his superior work on the interior design and Amanda Shore for her careful editing of the book. Shout-outs to Tracy Twyman for her help and guidance on setting up the publishing side for this book.

Here is the link for pre-order. I will be posting more information about the book, free short stories and excerpts associated with it, as well as artwork, in the coming days. The covers and the back-cover blurb is below.

3d-book-template-cd

 

A new, dark age has been unleashed. The vampire nobility has risen from the ashes of the fallout from a previous devastating world war, instigated by humanity. Kalek Desmarais, a vampire warrior and explorer has faced his mortality, numerous times, but his recent brush with death has left him in wave of dismay. His recent discovery of a hidden Necropolis, which housed a sword of forbidden power, otherwise known as “Pandemonium,” was said to belong to an ancient fallen archangel, Melcier-Adonin. The sword was forged from the dark heavens only to be rediscovered at a newly fated Armageddon. Against this backdrop is the fight between ruler against ruler, authority against authority. Servants of Melcier-Adonin are paving the way for his final resurrection. There are wanderers, like thieves in the night—belonging to an ancient lineage of Light and Heaven—prepared to fight these powers, along their pilgrimage for salvation.

The Faustian Grail

Since the early 16th century, a tragic and sinister story has weaved its way through western culture and even today in pop culture and science—the legend of a man who makes a pact with the devil and then has to come to terms with the contract he signed. It’s the legend of Johannes Faustus. Faustus makes a deal with the devil to gain more intellectual enlightenment even though he is at the top of his intellectual studies in society’s standards but for some reason, it did not satisfy him. The main logistics of the deal was that the devil would serve Faust while he is alive to help him find this enlightenment and in return Faust would have to give up his soul and be the devil’s servant in hell.

And yet, both versions of Faustus present us with a highly unconventional representation of both the sinner/sorcerer (Faust) and the devil in the figure of Mephistopheles. He is a malevolent force, yet brings about good despite himself. Aware of this, he still performs his duty in Faust’s corruption, and in his eventual salvation (or damnation in later accounts). This devil-as-savior motif is perplexing from the standpoint of traditional Christian doctrine, though it did correspond with contemporary but radical ideas expressed in the writings of William Blake (1757-1827) and Lord Byron (1788-1824). Unsurprisingly, Faustus has a lot of crypto-gnostic underpinnings.

Yet to truly understand the role that Mephistopheles plays in Faust we must look deeper still, into the shadowy light of the alchemical and Gnostic sources that were so influential in the crafting of these legends. Mephistopheles is inextricably connected to the Ouroboros serpent, the alchemical motif of a snake devouring its own tail. We find this in Cleopatra the Alchemist’s Chrysopoeia as well as the Ophite cabalistic-like diagram described by Celsus and Origen. This interpretation not only helps us to understand Mephistopheles’ individual role in the drama of Faust but can shed new light on the entire structure of the Faustian narrative.

Chrysopoea_of_Cleopatra_1

But before we explore Mephistopheles, we must examine Faustus himself. Since Faustus has already exhausted the known sciences, he wishes to obtain, with the assistance of Mephistopheles, a complete knowledge of the universe. It is in the black arts that he finds what he believes will satisfy his search for the ultimate gnosis, as well as the power that he believes will accompany it:

These metaphysics of magicians And necromantic books are heavenly; Lines, circles, letters, characters- Ay, these are those that Faustus most desires. O, what a world of profit and delight, Of power, of honor, and omnipotence Is promised to the studious artisan!

Faustus was apparently a historical character who lived in Germany during the early 16th century. A student of divinity, Faustus claimed to have extraordinary powers. In his imagination, he was a necromancer (someone who communicates with the dead) and a practitioner of black magic and sorcery. Although this version of Faustus was nothing more than a braggart and a charlatan, his legend flourished.

The earliest collection of the tales of Faust came in 1587 in an anonymous work titled the Historie of the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Dr. John Faustus. The legend was soon picked up by English playwright Christopher Marlowe, a contemporary of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth. According to rumor, Marlowe was an agent of Her Majesty’s Secret Service—much like John Dee, the pious and famous Renassiance man who would engage in various occult operations in channeling “angels”. Marlowe’s version of Faust’s story, the play The Tragicall History of D. Faustus (1604), soon became the model for the many versions of Faust’s story that followed. It is the story of a man who trades his soul to the devil in exchange for a period of ultimate knowledge and power.

The original story of Johannes Faust, was first translated into English by an unknown author in 1592. As it is known that the author of Faustus, Christopher Marlowe studied with English Catholics at Rheims (possibly spying on them), as references are to the Latin Vulgate (also called St. Jerome, after its original translator in the fifth century) and the Catholic Douay-Rheims version. It is also possible that he used the Protestant Geneva Bible, but all the references he makes are to Jerome.

Marlowe’s Faust is not simply a charlatan. He is a tragic hero, a superman, the archetype of the Renaissance man. Where did Marlowe get the idea to depict Faust as a powerful sorcerer whose willingness to do anything for knowledge and power leads him to the dark side? Perhaps from the apocryphal legends of Simon Magus, the first-century magician who challenged God (like Lucifer) and clashed with Peter in magical feats of sorcery. This connection may derive from Simon’s use of the Latin sir-name Faustus, meaning the “favored one,” meaning that he was the “chosen one” to continue John the Baptist’s tradition, according to the Clementine’s.

There were many sources available to Marlowe concerning the life of Simon Magus. Probably the most important was The Golden Legend (Legende Aurea), a popular collection of tales of the saints by the 13th-century archbishop of Genoa, Jacobus de Voragine.

Simon, of course, is portrayed as a sorcerer who fooled Samaria into believing his divine powers and at one point even claimed he was the holy trinity, being the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We already saw in a previous post that, according to Justin Martyr’s Apologia, he went to Rome in the time of Claudius (who was the fourth Emperor of the Roman Empire and ruled between 41 and 54 BCE) and was so convincing at being a God, the nebulous “they” erected a statue to him, under the god “Semo Sancus” being the equivalent to Mithra, Apollo or Helios. He follows Phillip around for a bit before running into Peter and John for trying to bribe them for Holy Spirit power and apostleship (Simony) but those two chastise Simon rather severely before heading back to Jerusalem. But as we’ve already saw in Johnny Mercury, this story seems suspect and reads more like a parody of a Simonian anointing ritual than a genuine account. But, if what Irenaeus says is true about Simon feigning to be the Holy Trinity then this is probably tantamount to blasphemy.

As literary critic Beatrice Daw Brown in Marlow, Faustus, and Simon Magus writes, the careers of the two magicians, Simon Magus and Marlowe’s Faust, follow the same pattern, and their lives have many parallels. Both are extremely powerful sorcerers able to withstand fire, to move objects without touching them and, most importantly, to evoke the spirits of the dead. Both defy God in their own way, Faust with his pact with the Devil and Simon with his arch-heresy of proclaiming himself the Christ and the Standing One. Both travel to Rome, both perform their miracles before the emperor and both have demons at their beck and call. Simon Magus has demons who aid and carry him (shown licking and tormenting him in a relief from the St. Sernin Cathedral in Toulouse, France).

gohistoric_27365_z

Faust has Mephistopheles, a servant of Lucifer, who gives him the power to do his magical acts. Simon Magus and Faust both attempt to fly, Faust in Venice and Simon at Rome, and both fail.

Faustus

(Mephistopheles peers menacingly over Faust’s shoulder in the statue from the Villa Borghese in Rome, celebrating Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who penned his own version of the Faust legend.)

Faust like Simon, has a semidivine female companion, who is also named Helen. According to many church fathers, Helena is a reincarnation of Helen of Troy. In the Faust legends, she is also Helen of Troy. In Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and in the famed poetic drama of Goethe, Mephistopheles employs the most beautiful woman in antiquity to seduce Dr. Faust into the occult realms in Faust’s search for wisdom. Thus Marlowe writes:

“Was this the face that launched a thousand ships / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?”

And finally Simon Magus and Faust both meet an inglorious and violent death. Simon Magus tries to fly but crashes to the ground with broken limbs. Faust’s body is found the morning after his pact ends, mangled and torn to pieces.

In Marlowe’s play, Faust’s final soliloquy, the most moving of the entire work, evokes the fall of Simon Magus. In the last hour before his payment comes due, Faust laments:

“The starres move still, time runs, the clocke wil strike, / The deuil wil come, and Faustus must be damned / O Ile leape up to my God: who pulles me downe?”

Faust is also reminiscent of the fall of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost by John Milton. In a way, Eve’s mistake of eating the fruit of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil to gain more knowledge is somewhat similar to the Faustian Bargain. First, in both cases, the serpent initialized the interactions with the humans. In later traditions, as in Revelation of St. John the Divine and the Books of Adam and Eve, Satan manifests a form of a snake with Eve and in a dog and a nobleman for Faust. In Paradise Lost, it was more to tempt God’s precious recreations to sin for vengeance. By offering the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, Eve did gain knowledge (cabbalists would say sexual knowledge which led to birth and death in the world), but in return, she and Adam were also banished from Garden of Eden for her disobedience to God, in which they were no longer under the rulership of Jehovah and his gods.

In Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled, we wrote:

In Genesis 3:22, Jehovah declares, clearly to other gods (or Elohim divine council found in Psalms 82:1), that “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.” Jehovah expresses fear, “lest he reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” The creator seems concerned that, with the wisdom they gained from the Tree of Knowledge, Adam and Eve will realize that he’s not the only god, and also that, if they gain immortality by eating from the Tree of Life, they will become gods as well, no longer under his control.

In another chapter, we also note:

In mythology, there is an archetypal scenario in which a person travels from one realm to another, and becomes stuck there upon eating the food of the other realm. This happened to the Greek figure of Persephone when she ate the food of the underworld. Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge and it changed the universe, or perhaps it created a new universe, and she became trapped in it. Jesus told us to eat his flesh and drink his blood to live forever in the New Jerusalem (the “Kingdom of God”) after death. In the New Jerusalem everyone drinks of the waters of life from the rivers of Paradise and becomes immortal. So perhaps there are other recipes involving similar ingredients that likewise could affect the universe around you upon consumption.

Satan, according to some interpretations, is God’s firstborn son, who came before Adam. But Adam was his favorite, and when his firstborn son refused to honor his younger brother, God sacrificed or expelled him. Satan embodied the forbidden wisdom that Adam was not allowed to have, and God told him not to eat of that “tree.” Was this “fruit” the product of sexual union? The carnal knowledge that Eve was endowed with, according to the cabalistic legends, came from her having carnal knowledge of the Serpent, which bred Cain (and perhaps others, according to some stories). What happens when a human and a spirit of the chaos realm mate? Better yet, what happens when you eat the child that was born of such a union?

And so, Adam and Eve were sent away and their children would be born with, according to Catholic tradition, the “original sin”. In this sense, the serpent gave Eve what he promised her: knowledge, but Eve did not know that in the end she would become a person under the authority of the Serpent or Satan and entered in a new universe of sex, birth and death (which is symbolized as the Ouroboros) because of her disobedience to God or the Elohim, the angels of order and creation. In Genesis (1:28), it is Adam who originaly has managerial authority over the world and perhaps even the universe:

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

John Milton would write in Paradise Lost:

“Of Man’s first disobedience and the fruit / of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste / Brought death into the world, and all our woe” (1.1-5).

As Sherman Hawkins in The Education of Faust points out, “Faustus’s sin is that of Adam – he seeks by knowledge to be as God.” In fact, the Bad Angel that tempts Faustus to pursue the dark arts says:

“Go forward Faustus, in that famous art Wherein all nature’s treasure is contained. Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky, Lord and commander of these elements!” (Marlowe).

This statement is a parallel for the serpent who tempts Eve by telling her, “God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything both evil and good” (Genesis 3:4-5). Eve and Adam became the followers of the Serpent and yet their relationship is wholly antagonistic as history flows from their deed. This is personified as the “Seed of the Serpent.”

In Gnostic parody accounts, the Serpent was sent by Sophia to awaken Adam and Eve, and in Manichaean accounts, the Serpent was actually an incarnation of Jesus, the Splendor (this is probably connected to John 3:14). According to Hippolytus in Refutation of All Heresies (V. 14), the Sethians equated the Serpent with the Logos in which it entered the virgin womb and produced the perfect man of Jesus Christ:

The perfect Word of supernal light being therefore assimilated (inform) to the beast, (that is,) the serpent, entered into the defiled womb, having deceived (the womb) through the similitude of the beast itself, in order that (the Word) may loose the chains that encircle the perfect mind which has been begotten amidst impurity of womb by the primal offspring of water, (namely,) serpent, wind, (and) beast. This, he says, is the form of the servant, and this the necessity of the Word of God coming down into the womb of a virgin. But he says it is not sufficient that the Perfect Man, the Word, has entered into the womb of a virgin, and loosed the pangs which were in that darkness.

In Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve was the representation of humanity as they were the first to be created by God. They committed a sin and that is why every infant, according to Orthodox tradition is said have that original stain of sin and have to be baptized because under the laws of God, we are their descendants.

The Faustus story much like Paradise Lost, is about the “temptation” and desire, which is not different from any other human cravings of being more than human. His sinful wish is not different from that of Adam and Eve, only his channels are dissimilar. Faustus conjures up the Devil himself, that is why it is quite doubtful to speak about a real temptation in his situation. We can risk saying that Faustus is already a “fallen angel” or rather a “fallen man” at the beginning of the drama.

LuisRicardsFalero_AFairyUnderStarrySkies_Large

“A Fairy under Starry Skies” by Luis Ricardo Falero

The main difference between a sinful human being and a “fallen angel” is in the later one’s incapacity to regret. Both Dr. Faustus (and even Shakespeare’s Macbeth) are in a situation where repentance is almost impossible. Faustus for example is unable to step further to the next station of penitence, namely humiliation. Consequently, he commits the sin of hardening of heart, which is gradually followed by the futile agony of despair. Faustus’ lack of belief in his salvation, his incapacity to regret, which makes him similar to “fallen angels.” Faustus’ free will plays an important role in the tragedy, since if he was predestined to be damned, we would not have any right to speak about tragedy at all.

Mephistopheles makes a vow with the Lord that he himself as the Devil can win the soul of Faust. Many have dealt with the Faust legend dating from Marlowe to Berliez. Faustus was a man who like Shakespeare and Emanuel Swedenborg was well versed in almost every art and science. This story more than likely originates in Job of the Old Testament where Satan challenges Jehovah he can steal the soul of Job.

The Old Testament also condemns the pagan gods of competing religions in the surrounding areas of the Mediterranean. It condemns sacrifice to them, divination and prophecy through those gods, worshiping them, etc. But if you closely scrutinize Yahweh/Jehovah, he operates virtually identically to the pagan gods. He makes pacts with Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and Moses: they worship Yahweh in exchange for material blessings on themselves and their descendants. He demands animal sacrifices and burnt sacrifices. He demands submission. He wants temples and altars erected in his honor. And if the descendants of those who originally made the pacts, i.e., the Jews, renege on those pacts, he takes away everything that he has blessed them with and curses them. Sounds an awful lot the Faustian Devil, doesn’t it? Jehovah really isn’t that much different than Faust’s Mephistopheles.

In a sense, Christ’s death on the cross can be considered a “contract” between the Father (according to Marcion is above Jehovah) and Satan for the souls of mankind, signed with Christ’s own blood. This is very much like how Faustus signs his own contract with blood, a contract in which Dr. Faustus is in fact promising his soul to Satan. Mephistopheles tells Faustus that he “must bequeath it solemnly And write a deed of gift with thine own blood, For that security craves Lucifer.”

Marlowe makes the connection between Faustus and Christ again when Faustus says, “Consummatum est!” Here Faustus quotes Christ’s dying words, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) when he has signed his own contract with Satan, and in doing so, his contact is compared to Christ’s shed blood on the cross. Images of the alchemical crucified serpent also come to mind. Edmund Siderius in Faust and Alchemy, specifically connects Mephistopheles with the alchemical serpent of the Ophite Gnostics:

In the first part of Faust, Mephistopheles is twice directly connected with the serpent, in the Prolog im Himmel and then in Wald und Höhle. In the Prolog im Himmel he brags that he will quickly return to heaven and declare his victory. No doubt; it’s a short journey anyway.

“/ I’ll win my wager without much delay. / And when I do, then, if I may, / I’ll come back here and boast of my success. / I’ll make him greedy fort he dust, the way / The serpent was, my famous ancestress!”

For Alice Raphael, author of “Goethe and the Philosophers’ Stone”, this is the first indication that we should see Mephistopheles’ role as something other than that of the traditional devil, but rather as that of the Ouroboros in both its destructive as well as constructive qualities. According to her, Goethe knew of the Gnostic Naassenes, or Ophites, probably through Geschichte der Schlangenbrüder by J.L. von Mosheim. As she says, they worshiped the Naas, which in Hebrew was Nachash (serpent) and was the numerological equivalent of Messiah. The serpent as savior motif comes from texts like On the Origin of the World and assorted Manichaean texts. In this regard the Naas was:

“…in primitive times a cult object, later a matriarchal power, and finally a symbol of wisdom. [There is a hidden reference to the Serpent in Faust, Part I] not as the traditional temptress of Genesis, but as ‘Frau Muhme,’ Goethe’s allusion to the female divinity of the Ophites.”

In this scene Mephistopheles describes his motion as circular (from heaven to earth to heaven), and his serpent ancestor’s hunger for dust. On the one hand this could be seen as referring to the bible, yet given his later confession that he seeks to specifically destroy all matter it could instead be interpreted in terms of the Ouroboros’ symbolic role of breaking down matter in the alchemical vessel into prime matter, so that it may be purified.

The next time Mephistopheles makes an appearance alongside a serpent he does so in his role as instigator and agitator of yet more circular action in the play. Faust, after a moment of calm reflection, is yet again driven by the “fire” of desire to pursue the maiden Gretchen for his pleasure. Before he does so, however, he curses Mephistopheles for disturbing his quietude with the insult: “Snake! Snake!”

This in and of itself will come as no surprise, for even in orthodox Christianity the serpent is seen as being a sign of the devil. What is perhaps more telling in this scene is its thematic circularity, a circularity which, when seen in light of the whole work, is a fundamental component of Faust’s redemption. It occurs almost immediately after Faust, in a high point of spiritual reflection, muses to the Erdgeist, the earth spirit:

“You added a companion, who already / Is indispensable to me, although / With one cold mocking breath he can degrade me / In my own eyes, and turn your gifts to nothing.”

The image of the serpent as savior, in the most blatant of alchemical formulations, had already appeared in Goethe’s Das Märchen, published in 1795, thirteen years before the publication of Faust: One. According to Ronald Gray in his text Goethe the Alchemist, Goethe encountered the destructive-creative principle of the Ouroboros in numerous forms. As he says:

“The self-destruction implicit in the rotating serpent was identical with the ‘putrefaction’, or death to self, spoken of elsewhere. Only when man’s lust had completely consumed itself ‘by revolution’ […] could he appear again in his former angelic splendor […]. It was necessary to yield all personal desires and become one with the universe.”

Seen in this light, the excesses that Mephistopheles leads Faust to on Walpurgisnacht can be made sense of in terms of the logic of the Ouroboros, for only when Faust’s lust has consumed itself will he able to become “one with the universe” or “Mr. Microcosm”, his soul purified like alchemical matter through a successive series of decompositions and reconstitution.

We must stop here to comment. In the Hymn of the Pearl, it presents things like the serpent, the sea and Egypt as symbols of worldly bondage. The serpent for the Ophites was a pneumatic symbol, but to the authors of Hymn of the Pearl and the Pistis Sophia, the serpent is presented as an earth-encircling dragon from the original chaos, the ruler or evil principle of this world. This is the same as the Babylonian Tiamat, the chaos-monster slain by Marduk in the history of creation. Hans Jonas in The Gnostic Religion, quotes a little known text called The Acts of Kyriakos and Julita and comments on this situation:

The closest gnostic parallel to our tale is to be found in the Jewish apocryphal Acts of Kyriakos and Julitta (see Reitzenstein, Das iranische Erlosungsmysterium, p. 77), where the prayer of Kyriakos relates, also in the first person, how the hero, sent out by his Mother into the foreign land, the “city of darkness,” after long wandering and passing through the waters of the abyss meets the dragon, the “king of the worms of the earth, whose tail lies in his mouth. This is the serpent that led astray through passions the angels from on high; this is the serpent that led astray the first Adam and expelled him from Paradise. . . .” There too a mystical letter saves him from the serpent and causes him to fulfill his mission.

Egypt as a symbol for the material world is very common in Gnosticism (and beyond it). The biblical story of Israel’s bondage and liberation lent itself admirably to spiritual interpretation of the type the Gnostics liked. But the biblical story is not the only association which qualified Egypt for its allegorical role. From ancient times Egypt had been regarded as the home of the cult of the dead, and therefore the kingdom of Death; this and other features of Egyptian religion, such as its beast-headed gods and the great role of sorcery, inspired the Hebrews and later the Persians with a particular abhorrence and made them see in “Egypt” the embodiment of a demonic principle. The Gnostics then turned this evaluation into their use of Egypt as a symbol for “this world,’* that is, the world of matter, of ignorance, and of perverse religion: “A11 ignorant ones [i.e, those lacking gnosis] are ‘Egyptians,'” states a Peratic dictum quoted by Hippolytus (V. 16. 5).

And so Egypt, being the well-spring and source for Alexandrian mysticism that greatly inspired many Gnostic sects is also (ironically) symbolic of the dark world that all lost souls inhabit. It is this serpent’s circle that we find ourselves entrapped in, as a sort of Eternal Reoccurrence, as the atheist philosopher Nietzsche often wrote about. Again, Edmund Siderius successfully connects the Encircling Serpent with Mephistopheles:

…it is possible to gain a better grasp of Mephistopheles’ role, and where it may have come from. If we see Mephistopheles as the Ouroboros of the Alchemists and Gnostics (and not merely as the Christian Satan) he maintains the traditional associations of the devil, such as destruction, the obsession with the material, fire and the serpent, but gains all the other roles he plays in Faust. The destruction he brings is inextricably bound with creation, which is purified through cycles of fire, be they physical or metaphorical. These cycles tend to be brought about either directly though his catalyzing acts or through pharmakon which share in his inherent ambiguity. It is in this way that Mephistopheles as the Oroborus can serve Faust as Vergil did Dante, allowing him to explore the whole circle of creation: “And with swift steps, yet wise and slow. [Go] [f]rom heaven, through the world, right down to hell”!

So, if Faustus is simply modeled after the Simon Magus myth, then it is Simon, who makes a deal with the Ouroboros for knowledge and occult powers (like Eve and Adam), much like how Paul makes a deal with Satan in 1 Corinthians 5. And as Amanda Myers writes in Biblical Parallels in Marlow’s Faustus, there are parallels between St. Paul and Faustus and even Mephistopheles:

Mephistophilis is first summoned by Dr. Faustus, he quotes St. Paul’s query upon converting to Christianity: “What wouldst thou have me do?” (Holy Acts 4:9). By putting the words of a venerated saint into the mouth of a devil, Marlowe contrasts Paul’s decision to accept Salvation with Faustus’ decision to reject it (O’Brien 4). Later, when Marlowe has Faustus ask, “When Mephistophilis shall stand by me What power can hurt me?” (Marlowe 19), which is an adaptation of Romans 8:31’s “…If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”, he points out the grave error in Faustus’ thinking. By replacing “God” with “Mephistophilis,” Faustus deludes himself into thinking that through a minor devil he could access the omnipotence of God.

The Clementine Homilies (XXXII) also presents many of Simon Magus’ magical abilities which includes shape-shifting into a serpent as well as a goat, reminding us the imagery associated with Baphomet. (Please see our book for more surprising connections between Simon Magus and Baphomet). Simon also has the ability to cast illusory banquets. According to Celsus, Christ could summon banquets and in the medieval grimoires, one can do exactly this by the aid of demons.

Aquila having thus spoken, I Clement inquired: “What, then, are the prodigies that he works?” And they told me that he makes statues walk, and that he rolls himself on the fire, and is not burnt; and sometimes he flies; and he makes loaves of stones; he becomes a serpent; he transforms himself into a goat; he becomes two-faced; he changes himself into gold; he opens lockfast gates; he melts iron; at banquets he produces images of all manner of forms.

The name “Faustus” also belongs to the two twin brothers (Faustus and Faustinianus) as well as the father, of Pope Clement, the supposed author of the Clementines. The name Faustus also is given to a Manichaean Bishop who debates St. Augustine in Confessions  and Reply to Faustus the Manichaean over various theological issues, much like how Simon debates Peter in the Clementines.

Throughout the play, Dr. Faustus sins deliberately over and over again. And yet he also doubts his commitment to the devil, but always deliberately and systematically rejects God and reaffirms his contract with Satan:

“What boots it then to think on God or heaven? Away with such vain fancies, and despair Despair in God and trust in Belzebub!”

Faustus’ heart is so hardened that he rejects outright the guidance of the Good Angel, the wise and sympathetic Old Man, and even the warnings of Mephistopheles himself, who describes his own eternal damnation to Faustus:

“Why this is hell, nor am I out of it. Think’st thou that I who saw the face of God And tasted the eternal joys of heaven Am not tormented with ten thousand hells In being deprived of everlasting bliss?”

There is a part in Marlowe’s Faust where Faust asks Mephistopheles how it is possible that a demon can manifest itself on earth, since demons have been condemned to hell, and Mephistopheles explains that earth is merely an extension of hell. This is not so dissimilar to how the Gnostics viewed the world.

“We can say that Faustus makes a choice, and that he is responsible for his choice, but there is in the play a suggestion—sometimes explicit, sometimes only dimly implicit—that Faustus comes to destruction not merely through his own actions but through the actions of a hostile cosmos that entraps him. In this sense, too, there is something of Everyman in Faustus. The story of Adam, for instance, insists on Adam’s culpability; Adam, like Faustus, made himself, rather than God, the center of his existence. And yet, despite the traditional expositions, one cannot entirely suppress the commonsense response that if the Creator knew Adam would fall, the Creator rather than Adam is responsible for the fall; Adam ought to have been created of better stuff.”

But as Amanda Myers reveals, Faustus, in the end, is actually saved—at least in Marlowe’s version:

And just as Jesus forgave the thief on the cross, telling him, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise,” Marlowe provides subtle evidence that Dr. Faustus, too, is saved. Many would find it hard to believe that Faustus could obtain salvation after consciously selling his own soul to the devil, but despite his previous transgressions, “what Faustus has dared or done, seems now irrelevant, because, according to doctrine, he need only repent and have faith to be saved” (Ornstein 1380). And that is exactly what he does. Upon a hasty reading of the play, it would appear that this is not so. The final scene is most commonly interpreted as describing the fulfillment of Faustus’ contract with Satan: as the clock strikes twelve, the devils enter and drag a screaming Faustus away. But a careful reading reveals several instances where Mephistophilis threatens “I’ll in piecemeal tear thy flesh” (Marlowe 73), and Dr. Faustus expresses his fears that the devil will in fact “tear me into pieces if I named God” (Marlowe 77).

What Amanda Myers does not acknowledge is that although Faustus’ final act of repentance nullified his contract with Satan, the Devil is forced to act on his threat to tear Faustus apart:

“His faith is great. I cannot touch his soul. But what I may afflict his body with I will attempt, which is but little worth.”

And so because Faustus finally repented at the 11th hour, such an act will guarantee entrance into paradise. This is very much like how St. Paul inflicts a magical death curse upon a member of his own congregation in 1 Corinthians 5, as we saw in the previous post. And so we come to the end to this sordid tale and realize that it doesn’t take a seminary student to realize Marlow’s Dr. Faustus is still a very powerful work and morality cum tragedy play that reminds its readers to consider their own convictions about the soul, eternity, and God.

dr-faustus-in-a-magic-circle-frontispiece-of-gent-s-translation-of-dr-faustus-published-1648

The occult legends of Faustus and similar tales associated with Cornelius Agrippa and the Knights Templars with Baphomet may also be compared to the sin of Sophia in the Gnostic Gospels, since occultism, in many ways (as demonstrated in the Faustus story), separates the occultist from God because they are dedicated to gratifying the self or self-worship instead of unifying with God by rendering yourself in obedience to his will. This also seems to the prevalent attitude in Western culture as of 2016, especially in the United States (in various forms)—which indicates to me it is on the verge of cultural collapse. We also see a wide variety of rumors associated with Hollywood celebrities, musicians and gangsta rappers who sell their souls for success to the “Illuminati” and sacrifice the non-compliant as well.

In the Gnostic myth, Sophia wanted to separate from the Monad and be her own goddess, and as a result, she was expunged from the pleroma and birthed the demiurge. Even most of the great Christian occultists throughout history, like Cornelius Agrippa, Eliphas Levi and John Dee, eventually realized this and disowned it. Agrippa makes a chilling renunciation of it all in the vanity of arts and sciencesBut fear not, there is still time to reflect on your spiritual life and see the Light. This is what the Holy Grail cycle is ultimately about. Here are some parting words taken from the Apocryphon of John:

And I said to the savior, “Lord, will all the souls then be brought safely into the pure light?”

He answered and said to me,”Great things have arisen in your mind, for it is difficult to explain them to others except to those who are from the immovable race. Those on whom the Spirit of life will descend and (with whom) he will be with the power, they will be saved and become perfect and be worthy of the greatness and be purified in that place from all wickedness and the involvements in evil. Then they have no other care than the incorruption alone, to which they direct their attention from here on, without anger or envy or jealousy or desire and greed of anything. They are not affected by anything except the state of being in the flesh alone, which they bear while looking expectantly for the time when they will be met by the receivers (of the body). Such then are worthy of the imperishable, eternal life and the calling. For they endure everything and bear up under everything, that they may finish the good fight and inherit eternal life.”

Saint Catherine, Norea and the Mother of Dragons

The Youtube clip posted above is taken from Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and HBO. It is probably one of my personal favorite shows and book series. It features one of the principal characters, Daenerys Targaryen speaking with another popular character, Tyrion Lannister. The conversation between the two takes dips into a Gnostic flavor when Daenerys starts talking about “breaking the wheel,” a metaphor for all of the “Houses” in Westeros all vying for the throne forged of the swords of defeated enemies. Game of Thrones is packed with with a rich lore found in the history and many religions of Westeros and they all carry their own smidgen of gnosis as well, including that of Melisandre, who spreads the faith of the “Lord of Light,” or the “Red God,” being R’hllor, who uses various deceptive and violent methods to spread “the one true faith” across the continent of Westeros, including blood magic, sex rituals, and human sacrifice. It seems as though this religious worldview is a strange mix of Zoroastrian and Manichaean/Cathar beliefs. And yet there is reason to believe this “Lord of Light” is in reality a fiery demon who is in opposition with an even worse demon…

The idea that there can be multiple sources of evil is an interesting one. Some exorcists, such as Malachi Martin and Gabriele Amorth, have said that Lucifer and Satan are separate entities. In this view, Lucifer is the original fallen angel, the light-bringer, whose nature fell through pride and envy, and Satan is considered among the third of the angels in heaven who followed Lucifer and embodies death and destruction, the dragon of Revelation who fought Michael and his angels. Perhaps this is why the Bible makes a distinction between the “spirits of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12) and the “beast, that ascendeth out of the abyss” (Revelation 11:17). Following this categorization, R’hllor could be considered a Luciferian being, giving the false appearance of light and divinity, while the Great Other embodies a satanic nature of chaos and annihilation. In Westeros, this false dualism attracts followers to one demon, out of fear for the other.

But, this won’t be an in-depth analysis of the larger metaphysical scheme we see in Game of Thrones, but rather an analysis of some of the archetypes that a very popular character, Daenerys Targaryen, touches on. Her character starts off as a timid and submissive to her brother Viserys, who is a bit of a violent sociopath, prone to mood swings and jealousy. Ever since she got shacked up with Khal Drogo, something changed, and become a strong, independent and courageous chick who would adopt 3 baby dragons as she stands naked and triumphant in the morning light, when she emerges out of the ashes of a funeral pyre. And all of this would serve as a precedent for where she is now in the books and in the show. Also notice that the dragons in the show and the books aren’t depicted as any force for evil but as a force of nature and intelligent “fire made flesh.” They just are.

Her character has a strong resemblance to three different figures in Christian and Gnostic lore. These include Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Hypatia, and Norea from Sethian Gnostic literature. Now let’s get started shall we?

st-catherine-of-alexandria-josse-lieferinxe

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and martyr of the third and fourth century is said to be a patroness (or goddess) of philosophers and evangelists. The Orthodox Church celebrates her feast day on November 25th. It is said that Catherine was born to a noble family of Alexandria but was converted to the faith. The oldest reference to this fourth century martyr comes from a seventh century Syrian liturgical text from the Byzantine Emperor Basil II who died in 886. In this she is called Aikaterine, and the report runs as follows:

“The martyr Aikaterine was the daughter of a rich and noble prince of Alexandria. She was very beautiful, and being at the same time highly talented, she devoted herself to Greek literature as well as to the study of the languages of all nations, and so she became wise and learned. And it happened that the Greeks held a festival in honor of their idols; and seeing the slaughter of animals, she was so greatly moved that she went to the King Maximinus and expostulated with him in these words: ‘Why hast thou left the living God to worship lifeless idols?’ But the Emperor caused her to be thrown into prison, and to be punished severely. He then ordered fifty orators to be brought, and bade them to reason with Aikaterine, and confute her, threatening to burn them all if they should fail to overpower her. The orators, however, when they saw themselves vanquished, received baptism, and were burnt forthwith, while she was beheaded.”

Because of the long gap between the time of her martyrdom and the first written testimony, many scholars and authorities have concluded that St. Catherine never existed, such as the Vatican did in 1969 (though she was restored in 2002). Some have even postulated that her story is an allegory, like many scenes from the lives of various saints, such as the story of St. Christopher (Christ-bearer) who is said to have carried the infant Jesus on his shoulder, or the story of St. George who is said to have slain a dragon to save a princess. And it all stands with good reason.

Interestingly, the original Greek form of the name Αικατερινη (Aikaterine) or Εκατερινη (Ekaterine) is etymologically very obscure and much argued over. The name does not seem to be rooted in any Greek word, although it has been said to derive from the words αει (aei) which means “ever” and καθαρος (katharos) which means “pure”. What we do know is that this name never appears before it is associated with Saint Catherine of Alexandria.

Hypatia_(Charles_William_Mitchell)

One of the more interesting theories is that the story of St. Catherine is based on the life of Hypatia, a Neoplatonist philosopher from Alexandria who was admired by both pagans and Christians for her virtue and learning. She also was a woman who dedicated her life to virginity in Alexandria for the sake of her learning, and was brutally murdered in 415 by a group of Christian monks primarily for political reasons. It is not difficult to see the parallels between the lives of St. Catherine and Hypatia, for the little we know of both, they may be the same figure. However, a case can be made that they are indeed two different persons.

hypatia

We can also see that also St. Catherine represents an aspect of the Divine Mother, who both in the Western and in the Eastern Gnosis has two modes, called by the Indians Avidyâ Mâyâ (Mâyâ of ignorance) and Vidyâ Mâyâ (Mâyâ of Knowledge, that is Gnosis or Jnâna) respectively. The first one (Mary) carries the divine Spark down to the natural world; the second one (St. Catherine) takes the Spark, made free from the schêma (samsâra), upwards to God. This schema is symbolized as the wheel that Saint Catherine and Daenerys Targaryen seek to break. That is why “Mary” finds herself on the left side, on the descending arc, while “St. Catherine” (Greek katharà, “pure”, wherefore the white garment next to her) is on the ascending arc. Her sword is the one that cuts the bonds keeping the Soul chained to the wheel of the samsâra. In fact, according to the legend, St. Catherine freed herself from the wheel to which she had been bound. And we know that, Gnostically viewed, the Resurrection is the liberation from that wheel. It is therefore clear that the circular movement in the picture represents the whole cycle of the Soul’s history, from the “fall” into the deadly (coffin) samsâra to the final liberation therefrom.

The sacrificial blood of the Savior descends from the Ecce Homo (Anthropos) in parallel with the Pneumatic Seed plunging into the Psychic Waters. This means that the divine compassion accompanies the soul in her descent. Projecting Himself into the temporal order the Savior (the Antaryâmin, the “Inner Ruler” of the Hindu Gnosis) remains united with the Soul in all her vicissitudes, suffering with her, saving her, again with her ascending to God. It is this Presence of the Inner Savior in the Soul that promises, makes possible, and ensures the actuation in the Soul of the eternal Plan of Salvation.

The “blood” of the divine Sacrifice descends to impart eternal Life (Aiônios Zöê), while the burden of all kind of suffering is taken up by the Crucified One, and here is the spunge full of a bitter liquid carried upward by the reed which not by chance leaves the wheel of the samsâra to reach the Cross. But the reed, situated on the right side, parallel to St. Catherine, means also that the redeemed ones, the liberated Souls, are at one with the Christ also in the work of salvation: they too take upon themselves the suffering of all those that still wander in the world of Death.

This brings us to the letter H, as the number of H in the Jewish and Simple Gematria equals 8. According to John 20:26, Jesus showed His wounds to Thomas after eight days. The number 8 means the Ogdoad (the eight Aeons from the Father-Mother to the Anthröpos-Ekklësìa), and here two quotations from the Excerpta ex Theodoto are highly relevant:

Whoever is generated by the Mother (the Child in Mary’s arms) is lead to Death (the coffin)and the world; but whoever is regenerated by the Christ is transferred to Life, within the Ogdoad (80,1);

The Rest (“repose”) of the Pneumatics takes place in the Lord’s Day, in the Ogdoad (63,1).

This is the “Place of Rest” (888). The days of the week are seven, and the seventh is popularly the Lord’s Day or the Sabbath. The eighth day does not belong to the temporal series of the common days: it is beyond time, and being the sum of  7+1 has a meaning well discerned in the passage see in The Gospel of Truth, which describes salvation of the hundredth (99+1) sheep, the lost one. This unity is identified with the Sabbath, which signifies the new life both of the Christian revelation and the pnuematic rebirth:

He is the shepherd who left behind the ninety-nine sheep which had not strayed and went in search of that one which was lost. He rejoiced when he had found it. For ninety-nine is a number of the left hand, which holds it. The moment he finds the one, however, the whole number is transferred to the right hand. Thus it is with him who lacks the one, that is, the entire right hand which attracts that in which it is deficient, seizes it from the left side and transfers it to the right. In this way, then, the number becomes one hundred. This number signifies the Father.

He labored even on the Sabbath for the sheep which he found fallen into the pit. He saved the life of that sheep, bringing it up from the pit in order that you may understand fully what that Sabbath is, you who possess full understanding. It is a day in which it is not fitting that salvation be idle, so that you may speak of that heavenly day which has no night and of the sun which does not set because it is perfect. Say then in your heart that you are this perfect day and that in you the light which does not fail dwells.

We also find some numbers tied with 8 in the Epistle of Barnabas, (XV, 7-8), when it states thusly:

… the beginning of the eighth day, that is the beginning of a new world. Therefore we celebrate with joy the eighth day, when also Jesus rose from the dead…”.

When one looks at the banner for the House Targaryen, one finds three red dragon heads.

House-Targaryen-Sigil-16

This likely invokes imagery of the dragon one finds in Revelation. But, there is deeper symbolism embedded in the banner as some think that the three heads represent the “Prince that was Promised,” or the “Lightbringer” that many characters in Game of Thrones of mentioned here and there. Fire and Blood is also symbolic for the baptism of fire mentioned in Luke by Jesus 12:489. This is certainly not arbitrary, for the three heads represent the three souls enveloping the divine Spark or Spirit in the Valentinian Gnosis: the Hylic or earthy (the dark color), the Psychic (red), and the Pneumatic soul (white). In the Excerpta we read in fact that the Pneumatics wear their Souls as garments until the Completion” (63,1) and that “after laying them down … enter the Bridal Chamber within the Limit” (64).

The three colours of the garments have an interesting Vedic parallel. The Divine Mother, who provides the Spirit with its various psychical bodies or souls, is thus described in the Shvetâshvatara Upanishad, IV, 5:

“There is one Woman with three colors–red, white and black–from Whom a numerous progeny issues, having Her same nature.”

The three colors represent here the three modes of the “Woman” in Her manifestations: inertia-reaction-materiality (tamas, black), action-energy-passion (rajas, red), and harmony-equilibrium-spirituality (sattva, white). No wonder therefore that the Indian Gnosis is perfectly parallel with the Western one in the Bible and in the arch-heretics, in grouping the human beings in three classes: the Tamasic (Hylic), the Rajasic (Psychic) and the Sattvic (Pneumatic) ones.

BIGmind-gunas.jpg

Please notice that in the picture the three colors follow the right order: materiality (raja) on the left, after the descent, and spirituality at the top, as the premise to the ascension. On a smaller scale, this is also the cycle of each individual life: the taking a body (black) at birth on the left, then the lifespan as the raja (red) and finally the death (white) on the top.

Fire Woman

Finally, there is also Norea. Norea appears in a few texts found in the Nag Hammadi Codices. Norea in Aramaic means “fiery.” Some think that Norea is related to Naamah as the wife of Noah and sometimes the sister of Tubal-Cain. In Jewish Kabbalistic legends, we see that Naamah is a bit of a naughty girl since she walks about stark naked all over the place and this inflames the lusts of the angels. Because of her striking beauty, Naamah was able to seduce the angels Shemyaza and Azazel. She also produced a demon Asmodeus from her sexual liaisons with the angel Shamdan. Namaah was simply living up to her lineage being descended from Cain, which after all was the son of the Devil, Samael, according to the Palestinian Targam, the Talmud and the Midrash. The Gospel of Philip and the Apocryphon of John make similar claims as well.

First, she appears in the Hypostasis of the Archons, in which she is depicted as the virgin daughter of Eve and also plays a large role in Noah’s Flood. When Noah builds the ark, she attempts to board it, and when she is refused by Noah, she blows against the ark and destroys it with fire! When the wicked creator god, Ialdabaoth and his archons attempt to seduce her, as they attempted to seduce Eve, Norea cries out for help. Eleleth, one of the heavenly Illuminators, appears to her. Norea represent incorruptibility in this world, a being not created by the archons and a woman of heavenly origin. She defies the archons and calls to the God of the entirety to protect her from their advances. An angel comes down–Eleleth, sagacity–and begins to explain the allegory.

A veil exists between the world above and the realms that are below; and shadow came into being beneath the veil; and that shadow became matter; and that shadow was projected apart.

The Thought of Norea acts more like a liturgical prayer with Norea crying out to heaven and receiving aid from the “four heavenly helpers,” who are the Gnostic Illuminators sent from the Pleroma, which matches the Hypostasis of the Archons account. Both Irenaeus and Epiphanius mention Norea in the Ophite and Sethian accounts of creation in their long treatises against the heretics. Irenaeus calls Norea Seth’s sister and in Epiphanius, Norea is Seth’s wife.

Sack_of_Astapor_S3E4

We are introduced to another character, by the name of Zoe, who appears to be a stern female power of judgement and sends an angel of fire against Ialdabaoth:

And Zoe (Life), the daughter of Pistis Sophia, cried out and said to him, “You are mistaken, Sakla!” – for which the alternative name is Yaltabaoth. She breathed into his face, and her breath became a fiery angel for her; and that angel bound Yaldabaoth and cast him down into Tartaros below the abyss.

So, what am I exactly saying? Did George R.R. Martin purposefully place in these Gnostic characters and concepts in his books to help shape his own? I doubt it. But one can’t escape the parallels between these modern fantasy fiction and ancient religious texts of the Sethians, not to mention what I’ve explained with St. Catherine and Hypatia. I am certain that Martin gleaned a lot of inspiration from the Cathars for the foreign religion of the “Lord of Light,” however. I guess it’s true what they say; one can’t escape the pervasive influence of the collective unconscious and this is the place where one may forge their own destiny and reality through a refined and calm mind but yet it ready to take what is his with “fire and blood.”

Short Story: Unknown Territory

Just a quick note. At Smashwords, I uploaded another short story, Unknown Territory, based on H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos for only .99. Here is the blurb:

A bounty hunter, Sigmund and his partner are on a hot pursuit for a dangerous, wanted fugitive. They soon discover they bargained more than they wanted as their world is pulled into a nightmarish abyss. This occurs in their discovery that their fugitive is an avatar for the blind god of insanity, Azathoth! This nightmarish short story is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos.

And yes, I also did the cover. Please help support this hobbit blog by purchasing this short story for only .99, if you like unflinching, noir-style cosmic horror. See you on the flip-side, dear readers.

Unknown Territory Cover

Mythical Drabbles

I wrote these three really, really short stories or what is known as “drabbles” some time ago, but not in the strictest sense since they don’t amount to exactly 100 words but nevertheless they are short and focus in on different myths. The first one is my take on the Hymn of the Pearl. The second is based on the myth of Apollo, and the third is based on the Passion of Sophia story that the Gnostics focused intently upon. And they are all written in first person. Peace.

IN THE SERPENT’S MOUTH

In the dark depths of the deep ocean, where the luminous live, lies a secret cave. A jagged cleft in a high cliff opens into a rounded chamber of stillness and peace. Fish swim within the sphere, in meditation. Crawling bodies move through the floor mud and all are watched over by a huge green serpent. This rests, coiled yet alert, in the center of the cave. And within its mouth it holds a perfect white pearl. And so it has been for many generations.

One hot summer’s day I lay with my lover in a small sandy cove, listening to the swish of the incoming tide. My daydreams washed me over the waves and beneath the waters to the cliff face. Seeing the cleft in the rocks, curiosity spurred me to squeeze through the narrow space and penetrate the chamber of peace and silence. As my eyes adjusted, gems lining the cave walls endowed iridescent rainbows to the void, crossing the darkness in a web of colored beams. With synchronized recognition the serpent eyes met mine and lingered in a moment of unity.

Gradually the serpent’s mouth opened to reveal the pearl. I stroked it gently, feeling the vibrant body under my hand. It’s coils loosened in relaxation. Then, as we engaged with shared joy, the serpent released the pearl into my waiting fingers. Gently, I withdrew from the shadowy cave, and swam back to the beach where my lover now slept in the warmth of the evening sun. And whilst she dreamed, I placed the pearl in her hand as a gift. And so it has been for many generations.

***

A QUESTION OF IMMORTALITY

I parted the clouds and looked down. Far below me lay a sunny land, a land whose fertility gave birth to its great beauty. There on a hillside was a stone hut, a hut in which an old man lay dying. I extended my vision into the hut and tried to will vitality into the old man. This task would have been easy in the days when I had untold numbers of worshipers but now I almost absorbed vitality from the man, something he could ill afford to lose.

Against the wall of the hut was a makeshift altar and, resting on a simple bit of cloth, was a poorly done statue of me, but one done with reverence and as meaningful as one of the giant statues that were made in Rome to my honor in the far past. The old man had found this statue buried in a field and had set it up and burned candles beside it regularly. I’m not sure if he realized what the statue represented but he recognized it as an object of worship and revered it. He was thus my last worshiper and a god must have worshipers to exist.

The old man struggled to breath, producing a rattling sound in his relaxing throat. I reached down a finger and touched his heart. It beat, hesitated, and beat again. Which beat would be the last? And when that last beat fluttered and that noble heart stopped, I, Apollo, would no longer be divine to humans and thus no longer exist. Their chains would be released. How I relish in the thought of being honored once more. I bowed my head as the old man and I awaited the end.

***

A MEETING OF ANGELS

I sit with my back against a mossy tree with my naked frame trembling from the icy swirls that surround me. Silently I weep eyes red-rimmed and luminous in the gloom. Hair once as fair and as golden as a cornfield in the summer sat limply and matted around my shoulders. There is a mirror on the forest floor: I look upon myself within the immaculate mirror, within my eyes of gloom, tear drops of blood falling from my eyes watering the tree behind me. In a former life, I was called many names and once beheld as the Bride of the Canticle, She-of-the-left-hand, the Maiden Pillar, the All-Begettress, the Afterthought, the Alpha and the Omega, the Virgin and the Whore, the Resplendent Mother of Angels and Devils: a thousand names in a thousand books but they all mean the same.

My pupils expand, growing wider than the whites of my eyes, better to see within my own light swirling within the caverns of darkness, wingless and barren of my seraphic domain. I was continually defiled, abandoned, imprisoned in a brothel filled with beckoning whores by the despoilers, these wanton creatures; pregnant with with the feeble-minded and sick, weeping in dismay. This place is unforgiving, like the gloating mistake I birthed and aborted; yet it continued to thrive upon my milk, reserved to revealed and consumed for the wise. Those who refuse to receive my knowledge perish unto darkness and shall beget wrath.

An ascendant pair we were, my husband in holy matrimony and consummation. A tear crosses my face and falls to your lips, my supernal sylph, my ardent hiss, I am your Queen of revelry—an ambered jewel sepulchered in you. I weep in ecstasy at the crimson full-moon like the embittered face of Nebro, my forsaken child of chaos, whose continence flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled with blood. I too am embittered with rage, growing fervent with fiery anger, in both my exile and ascent.

My wrath burns hotter than the face of the sun. The mirror has broken into a multitude of shards by my hands. I will have my retribution against those who would enslave my true children; I will overturn their realms, their heavens will fall and break and consumed and obliterated into nothing but ash and soot: it will be as if they had never existed. My angel of fiery ember will spoil their lot. I raise my hand to the descending owl as I smile to myself. My multitude of wings shall grow once more. Ignorance along with innocence must be torn asunder. In their free reign and mine, shall I ascend.

The Shadow Lurks: The Vampire Archetype

The vampire archetype is hardly one fit for introduction since they’re all the rage nowadays. It has remained a steadily popular and tired figure that has resurfaced in one form or another through various media, especially nowadays, reflecting the nihilistic mood of not only the country but the world at large.  The most common characteristics of the vampire itself include being a “reanimated” corpse that is only active at night and nocturnal in the day, while feeding on the living in order to maintain its immortality. The victim of the vampire can become one themselves, but only if the victim consumes the blood on the verge of death.

It would be exhausting to list all the different types of vampires since they’re all seem to be neatly compiled in White Wolf’s famous role-playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade. The  myth of vampires soon became romanticized by the time Anne Rice came on the scene with Interview With A Vampire. Of course, nowadays if you spend any time at all in the pre-teen/tween/teen/young adult women, you’re likely to be aware of the Twilight phenomenon in which is quite easy to deconstruct and mock at its piss-poor pulp, Mary-Sue ridden prose. Yet those who spend lots of time doing so, seem only to be annoyed at the level of success of the devout Mormon, Stephanie Meyer.

For many years, vampire fiction as a whole was regulated to two pervasive categorical themes: the Christian Worldview and Nihilism. The former was relegated to the first conceptions featured in Romantic literature such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, John William Polidori’s The Vampyre, and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla. The later would resurface in various vampire fiction authored by the likes of (for example) Christopher Moore, Anne Rice and  Laurell K. Hamilton. Other authors would simply reject both worldviews altogether and explore alternative realities such as Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series, Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series and a lesser known but even more intriguing Miguel Conner’s Stargazer novel and Gabrielle Faust’s Eternal Vigilance series. Movies like John Carpenter’s Vampires, The Lost BoysThe Hunger, A Vampire’s KissBlade and Underworld series, anime programs such as Hellsing and Vampire Hunter D and even videogames such as Castlevania and Legacy of Kain also echo these tropes.

The Christian take on vampires is that they are evil, soulless demons, minions of the devil. That’s why crosses hurt them, holy water melts them, and, in part at least, why they can’t go out in the sun without biting the dust. Nihilism in vampire lore usually features a vampire as the tragic (sometimes not) hero who overcomes conventional morality to create his or her own lecherous morality a midst a world of darkness. Good and evil are created through behavior rather than unchanging standards for good and evil. The current vampire we see in pop-culture today is, however, a cultural reconstruction of the vampire demon that has existed through various countries and religious mythologies. The oldest recorded example of the vampire myth in religious mythology can be found in a Babylonian prayer, thousands of years old:

“Spirits that minish the land, of great strength… knowing no mercy, they can rage against mankind. They spill blood like rain, devouring flesh and sucking their veins. They are the demons of full violence, ceaselessly devouring blood.”

Elsewhere, the vampire archetype resurfaces in Jewish folklore which also continues the myth of the Owl Lady, Innana or Ishtar in the form of Lilith. Lilith herself appears in the third millennium B.C.E. in a Sumerian text called the Inanna, Gilgamesh and the Huluppu Tree featured in the Epic of Gilgamesh. She is mentioned only once in the entire Bible in a prophecy that states that when the land is turned into a wilderness on the day of Yahweh’s vengeance:

“…the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There the hoot owl shall nest and lay eggs, hatch them out and gather them in her shadow; There shall the kites assemble, none shall be missing its mate. Look in the book of the LORD and read: No one of these shall be lacking, For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there. It is he who casts the lot for them, and with his hands he marks off their shares of her; They shall possess her forever, and dwell there from generation to generation.” (Isaiah 34).

Although only mentioned once in the Bible, Lilith was so well-known in 8th century B.C.E. Israel that everyone was afraid of her. Sages wrote about her dangerous doings in the Talmud as men were warned not to sleep alone in a house at night because the Liliths (there were more than one) would conceive demons from their nocturnal emissions. There were also male Lili-s or (Incubi) who mated with the women while they slept. The Liliths or (Succubus) were jealous of married couples and hated the children conceived in ordinary human wedlock. They would attack the little children, suck their blood, and strangle them. It was the Lilith that caused barrenness, miscarriages, or complications during pregnancy and delivery.

The vampire trope can also be found in the Zoroastrian religion, which was the first to posit radical dualism in its approach to religion. Angra Mainyu, the inferior “counterfeit” or “evil” spirit that contests against Ahura Mazda, the uncreated and highest deity in the Zoroastrian religion. Ahura Mazda, unlike Angra Mainyu, is able to create the physical universe and to use it as his instrument in the battle against his Adversary. Since Angra Mainyu or “Arihman” has no  corresponding capability to produce an evil world of his own, he must rely instead on his ability to spoil the good world created by Ahura Mazda. Angra Mainyu and his demons can only participate in the life of the universe in a corruptible, secondary way. He and his fellow demons prey on life in a parasitic symbiosis, vampire-like function rather than existing independently and self-sustained. Yet, the difference between the theodicy and dualism posited by Zoroaster and done by Judaism and Christianity is that Zoroaster focused on a primordial dualism in the realm of spirit while those like Augustine, by contrast, believed that Satan is a creature of God or in other words, the good being responsible for evil.

In apocryphal texts such as the Book of Enoch that are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, vampire-like demonic giants called “Nephilim”, Hebrew for castaways become the premiere villains of the text. The text also reveals that these proto-vampire race as the progeny of the fallen angels known as the “Watchers” who had taken consorts with human women which are comparable to the archons or rulers of fate of Gnostic myth. In this regard, the rebellious angels became synonymous with the archons or rulers that work to enslave the human race through doctrines of “error, fear, misery and ignorance”, thus prolonging their deep ignorance under the sway of astral determinism.

In Gnosticism, the demonic powers of the netherworld ascended daily into the sky with the seven planets, and the earth was subject to the netherworld powers. The Gnostics believed that astrology worked, but they did not seek to know their horoscopes. Quite the reverse! They sought salvation from astral determinism, because they regarded fate as demonic. For the Gnostics, the astrological division of the cosmos into the realm of astral determinism and the transcendent Ogdoad implied that matter and the body were evil, while spirit and the mind were good. Underlying these much-remarked antitheses was another pair of opposites: ignorance and gnosis, “knowledge.” The knowledge under question pertained to the unknowable, transcendent God. This knowledge could only be revealed through revelatory information or “gnosis” within the sleeping spirit of the Gnostic through an intermediary figure of revelation.

As wrongdoers, the archons had to be sinners who were ignorant of God; and since they were deficient in spirituality, they had to be material in composition. The archons who are the gatekeepers of the cosmos also feed off the “psychic” energy from the suffering output of the human race. The Gnostics’ identified the leader of the archons as a Demiurge. The concept of a Demiurge, or world-creating deity, who differed from the ultimate God, originated with Plato and was widespread in Hellensitic culture. In Gnosticism, however, the Demiurge was an ignorant and sinful wrongdoer, who imparted his or her failings to the creation. In some Gnostic systems, the creator of the world repented of his ignorance at some point after the act of creation. According to Poemandres, the Shepard of Men of the Corpus Hermeticum, these archons or “seven rulers” are the stewards who:

enclose the cosmos that the sense perceives. Men call their ruling Fate.

Within the Enochic corpus, the identification of the stars with the lustful, fallen angels becomes explicit when in it states that these same beings:

“seized that first star which had fallen from the heaven, and bound it hand and foot and cast it into an abyss…and fathered and took all the great stars whose privy members were like those of horses, and bound them all hand and foot, and cast them in an abyss of the earth.”

The Apocryphon of John says of the Watchers’ unholy deeds:

“And he [the Demiurge] made a plan with his powers. He sent his angels to the daughters of men, that they might take some of them for themselves and raise offspring for their enjoyment. And at first they did not succeed. When they had no success, they gathered together again and they made a plan together. They created a counterfeit spirit, who resembles the Spirit who had descended, so as to pollute the souls through it. And the angels changed themselves in their likeness into the likeness of their mates (the daughters of men), filling them with the spirit of darkness, which they had mixed for them, and with evil. They brought gold and silver and a gift and copper and iron and metal and all kinds of things. And they steered the people who had followed them into great troubles, by leading them astray with many deceptions. They (the people) became old without having enjoyment. They died, not having found truth and without knowing the God of truth. And thus the whole creation became enslaved forever, from the foundation of the world until now. And they took women and begot children out of the darkness according to the likeness of their spirit. And they closed their hearts, and they hardened themselves through the hardness of the counterfeit spirit until now.”

Before the fall of the angels, they had the intention of ministering to the human race with the message of repentance and obedience to God, but soon fell prey to lust over the women of flesh and produced Nephilim “abortions” or in other words, beings or creatures who were not sired and begot in a natural way and instead were ejected violently. These demonic beings became so ravenous they after they had consumed the majority of all life on earth, including mankind and creatures of all kinds, they had even turned on each other, introducing the concept of cannibalism since they became the first anthropophagites. The Book of Enoch asserts:

When they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood.

The Manichaean Book of Giants also gives a much more detailed account of the fall and punishment of the angels:

“ … they took and imprisoned all the helpers that were in the heavens. And the angels themselves descended from the heaven to the earth. And (when) the two hundred demons saw those angels, they were much afraid and worried. They assumed the shape of men and hid themselves. Thereupon the angels forcibly removed the men from the demons, laid them aside, and put watchers over them …. the giants …. were sons … with each other in bodily union …. with each other self-…. and the …. that had been born to them, they forcibly removed them from the demons. And they led one half of them eastwards, and the other half westwards, on the skirts of four huge mountains, towards the foot of the Sumeru mountain, into thirty-two towns which the Living Spirit had prepared for them in the beginning. And one calls (that place) Aryan-waizan. And those men are (or: were) …. in the first arts and crafts. …. they made … the angels … and to the demons … they went to fight. And those two hundred demons fought a hard battle with the [four angels], until [the angels used] fire, naphtha, and brimstone.”

The subject of rebel angels and demonic imposters were no stranger to Gnostic consciousness. In fact, most of the texts dedicated to their various nuanced and complex cosmology are replete with them.  The adaptation of many elements from Judaism and Christianity (among other elements from other religious traditions) into the Gnostic milieu was exploited in a transgressive degree, to the point where many of them were actually reversed. The Gnostic approach to the problem of theodicy or evil was the focal point of their rejection of the deficiency and corruptible nature of the material cosmos. The beckoning of the forces of darkness to “intermingle” and corrupt the children of light was a common theme throughout the ancient heretical variations of the ancient Gnostic doctrines. You can see these ideas reflected even further in various choice texts found in the Nag Hammadi codices. The Gnostic text, on the Origin of the World recounts this tale:

“Let us return to the aforementioned rulers, so that we may offer some explanation of them. 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 same text also describes how Eve was once raped by “the Prime Ruler [God] and his Angels” while in paradise, and thus gave birth to a cursed race of demons implied to be that of Cain and his descendants. And in A Valentinian Exposition, it reveals a contention between the angels and the higher god-forms contained in the Logos and Wisdom:

“And there took place the struggle with the apostasy of the angels and mankind, those of the right with those of the left, those in heaven with those on earth, the spirits with the carnal, and the Devil against God. Therefore the angels lusted after the daughters of men and came down to flesh so that God would cause a flood. And he almost regretted that he had created the world […] the consort and Sophia and her Son and the angels and the seeds. But the syzygy is the complete one, and Sophia and Jesus and the angels and the seeds are images of the Pleroma. Moreover, the Demiurge cast a shadow over the syzygy and the Pleroma and Jesus and Sophia and the angels and the seeds.”

The parallels between vampires and the cosmic rulers so prevalent in Gnostic and Hermetic texts contained within the Nag Hammadi Library are vast. This is what gnosis does to a great degree, covertly sneaking messages to us from all directions, in the form of myth, right out in the open care of our own people who perhaps do so unconsciously, but not accidentally.

In the Clementine Homilies 2.22, Aquila and Nicetas claim that Simon Magus said he would never die and in another place in the same writing Simon eats flesh and drinks blood. This is much like the vampire known to the ancient eastern Europeans as Strigoi in Romania, or Vrykolakas of Greece which drank blood and were slain werewolves. This disease was caused by either a sacrilegious life, excommunication, eating sheep killed by a wolf, or burial in an unconsecrated ground. People with red hair and grey eyes were often thought to be vampires just as people with unibrows were thought to be werewolves. There was a superstition about knocking much related to the angel of death. It was said it was best to burn their corpses while they slept on Saturday or something to that effect.

Vampirism can even be seen in Orthodox Christian ritual. Undoubtedly, the most bizarre ritual conceived out of the Roman Catholic Church is that of the Communion rite which symbolically involves the consumption of the flesh and blood of Jesus. Even as a purely symbolic act,  the ceremony’s connotations are barbaric, and seem to have more in common with Babylonian ritual and occultism. The explanation given for the communion is that the practicing Christian consumes the righteous holiness of Christ and his agape spirit bestowed to the believer. This ritual was partly formed due to the fact that in Matthew 26:29, it states:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Even in Hinduism, Kali the wife of Shiva also seems to embody divine blood-thirst made apparent vampire-like qualities that include protruding, canine fangs and mouth dripping with the blood of her demonic enemies.

Besides all the religious and heretical examples, the vampire archetype is also indicative of psychoanalytical metaphors that both Sigmund Freud and even Carl Jung discuss to symbolize the juxtapositions death and primal sexuality. One example can be found in Freud’s analysis:

“All human experiences of morbid dread signify the presence of repressed sexual and aggressive wishes, and in vampirism we see these repressed wishes becoming plainly visible.”

For Freud, the vampire is largely representative of brutal, primal sexuality coupled with images of death in dark attempts to reach immortality. The vampire to Freud was a very old archetype that compressed one’s projected fears and repressed urges to whatever perverse and depraved inklings. All one has to do is watch a few episodes of True Blood and see this as evident.

Carl Jung viewed the vampire in a similar manner and understood that the vampire image to be representative of the “shadow“, the dark, unconscious aspect of the self that the ego is unable to recognize at first. Within the shadow contains all the shameful vices and desires one person might contain. The vampire shadow in this sense can be synonymous with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, due to its anti-social, predatory and self-absorbed preoccupations while having difficult times with empathizing with others.  The only concern the narcissist is how to bolster their image in efforts to drain and deplete the energy on part of the prey.

While this is by no means a completely in-depth examination of the powerful vampire archetype (a volume tomes would be sufficient for that) this can provide deeper insight into the dark world of the vampire. Speaking of which *Shameless plug alert*, I am putting the finishing touches of my own post-apocalyptic vampire novel, “Crimson Dusk” that will be out sometime in the near future.

I personally find that it is much easier to use fantasy and supernatural themes in fiction which to me are some of the best ways to teach universal lessons and reveal truths or explore philosophies that otherwise would become rather obvious (as far as fiction is concerned). Many of these writers employ folklore and mythology and of course religion. They all remove you from your nice comfortable reality to teach you the truth of that reality through parables and elaborate metaphors for metaphysics, religion, fortean theories, sexuality, pop-culture and even the reality and unreality of the self.