Helios

Io Saturnalia! Synchronos Returns

In my upcoming book The Sun Lady Unveiled, I discuss many connections that intertwine with Revelation 12 and the rest of the Apocalypse. There is some information that I wanted to explore but did not have the time to devote to it in the book–until now.

Warning: Controversial Research Up Ahead!

The King of Saturnalia

As the festivities and gift-giving for Saturnalia begins, the synchronicities add up to this holiday. For the Romans, Saturnalia was a time of remembrance of a former aeon or epoch of time of that being the Golden Age when ruled over by Saturn. This was commemorated in the five day period between December 25 and January 1. This was a time outside of time, and an occasion for freedom from the constraints of the world, signaled by the return of Sol Invictus. Saturnalia was celebrated with indulgence as a festival for total liberty and freedom where no authority, wars, and submission were recognized during this sacred period. This holiday also included role reversals of master and slave in banquets, gift-giving, gambling, and an appointment of a “king” of Saturnalia, as a “lord of misrule” where the appointed temporary emperor would give absurd commands to his subjects to create a state of chaos until he is ritually sacrificed in honor of the gods. These freed slaves wore a distinctive floppy cap at Saturnalia known as a pileus or cap of liberty, which is where Santa’s hat comes from. The custom of slaves and masters swapping places made the pileus the customary hardware during the Saturnalia festivities. The rejoicing of Saturnalia ended between December 23 and January 1. Over at Antiquitatem, the author tells us more about this festival:

In many cultures the birth of the New Year is associated with the birth of a divine child, with the birth of a sun god. Moreover, the Roman calendar fixed the dates of the numerous religious festivals of the inhabitants of Latium in honor of their gods. In December, they celebrated several parties which are reflected in the current calendar precisely in our Christmas party.

In fact, during the Roman Empire three parties were held in December and they were simultaneous in some of the seven days when they were celebrated: the Saturnalia, the Opalia and Sigillaria. The “sigillaria” are so called from sigilla, or oscilla, small ceramic figures. At this party, trading posts with ceramic figures to give children away as toys were mounted like a fashion market.

These small clay images are memories of ancient sacrificial rituals in which the victim was replaced by the clay figurine. In these Roman celebrations thus we find different elements of our current Christmas and Carnival.

In late December, they especially celebrated the “Saturnalia”, the feast of Saturn, god to whom they attributed the introduction of agriculture and civilized life. Saturn is one of the ancient gods of Latium and his worship and celebration seems to have fallen and reborn several times during the Latin history.

Saturnalia’s connection with Christianity is also covered in the same article.

In the early centuries of Christianity, the birth of Jesus and his baptism took place on the 6th of January, Epiphany Day (from the Greek επιφάνεια which means: “manifestation, apparition”) and it is still held on that date in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

In the West the sixth day of January we celebrate the curious feast of “The three Wise Men”, who according to Saint Matthew’s gospel came to offer their gifts to the baby Jesus, who had just been born in Judea. To remember and imitate it, toys and many other kinds of presents are given to children on the 6th of January in some countries like Spain.

The first written reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast appears in the year 361 in Ammianus Marcellinus, XXI, 2.5:

“And in order temporarily to conceal this (that he had renounced Christianity), on the day of the festival which the Christians celebrate in the month of January and call the Epiphany, he went to their church, and departed after offering a prayer to their deity in the usual manner.”

(Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum John C. Rolfe, Ph.D., Litt.D., Ed.)

In its Latin version:

“Et ut haec interim celarentur, feriarum die, quem celebrantes mense Ianuario Christiani Epiphania dictitant, progressus in eorum ecclesiam, sollemniter numine orato discessit.

And Epiphanius of Salamis also concretes in his Panarion, LI, 27, 4 that the birth of Christ was on January 6th:

(…) the Epiphany of the Lord, January 5th, at the dawn of January 6th, and the eleventh day of the Egyptian month Tybi.

Indeed, Jesus was a demigod born of a virgin who was worshiped as a divine child by Zoroastrian astrologers who offered him gold and incense. His birth is celebrated during the winter solstice on the very same date that Saturnalia and Solis Invicti was observed on the Roman calendar. Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected during the vernal equinox. He had 12 disciples in accordance with the 12 zodiacal signs. He had 72 disciples representing the 72 disciples representing the 72 classical nations. His ministry lasted 3 and a half years (7 divided by two).

For the Neo-Platonic philosopher Porphyry, Saturnalia represented the liberation of souls to be absorbed into the Good from the slavery of matter and Fate, as he reveals in On The Cave of Nymphs. Porphyry claimed that Mithras is actually the Demiurge and “lord of generation” much like Saturn is considered the same by the Peratic Gnostics as Hippolytus claims.

Theologists therefore assert, that_these two gates are Cancer and Capricorn; but Plato calls them entrances. And of these, theologists say, that Cancer is the gate through which souls descend; but Capricorn that through which they ascend. Cancer is indeed northern, and adapted to descent; but Capricorn is southern, and adapted to ascent (note 12). The northern parts, likewise, pertain to souls descending into generation. And the gates of the cavern which are turned to the north are rightly said to be pervious to the descent of men; but the southern gates are not the avenues of the Gods, but of souls ascending to the Gods. On this account, the poet does not say that they are the avenues of the Gods, but of immortals; this appellation being also common to our souls, which are per se, or essentially, immortal. It is said that Parmenides mentions these two gates in his treatise “On the Nature of Things”, as likewise that they are not unknown to the Romans and Egyptians.

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But these places are adapted to souls descending into generation, and afterwards separating themselves from it. Hence, a place near to the equinoctial circle was assigned to Mithra as an appropriate seat. And on this account he bears the sword of Aries, which is a martial sign. He is likewise carried in the Bull, which is the sign of Venus. For Mithra. as well as the Bull, is the Demiurgus and lord of generation (note 13).

In the Christian historian and Theologian Sextus Julius Africanus’ Narrative of Events Happening in Persia on the Birth of Christ, it relates vaguely to the journey of the Zoroastrian Magi from the East. Starting in a temple to Juno in Persia built by King Cyrus, it includes an account of arguing statues, a prophecy about a king of the Jews, the pagan god Dionysus, and a trip to Jerusalem to visit the infant Jesus and Mary. The descriptions of Mary and her son Jesus (as the queen of heaven and Jupiter), however, are far more interesting, however, since they appear to be more pagan than Christian.

As we look at the Talmudic writings of the Avodah Zarah 8a, it tells us that Saturnalia was actually Jewish in its origin (depending on your viewpoint). It also has a very negative view towards Christianity and Christians, much like the rest of the Babylonian Talmud. It tells us that Adam thought that since the days were becoming shorter, his sin in the Garden is what caused creation to return back to a state of chaos and darkness.

With regard to the dates of these festivals, the Sages taught: When Adam the first man saw that the day was progressively diminishing, as the days become shorter from the autumnal equinox until the winter solstice, he did not yet know that this is a normal phenomenon, and therefore he said: Woe is me; perhaps because I sinned the world is becoming dark around me and will ultimately return to the primordial state of chaos and disorder. And this is the death that was sentenced upon me from Heaven, as it is written: “And to dust shall you return” (Genesis 3:19). He arose and spent eight days in fasting and in prayer.

Once he saw that the season of Tevet, i.e., the winter solstice, had arrived, and saw that the day was progressively lengthening after the solstice, he said: Clearly, the days become shorter and then longer, and this is the order of the world. He went and observed a festival for eight days. Upon the next year, he observed both these eight days on which he had fasted on the previous year, and these eight days of his celebration, as days of festivities. He, Adam, established these festivals for the sake of Heaven, but they, the gentiles of later generations, established them for the sake of idol worship.

In Timothy Chilman’s The Christmas Conspiracy, he tells us more about this festival and its connections between Mithraism and Christianity.

The Saturnalia came between the other agricultural festivals of the Consualia and the Opalia. The Consualia coincided with the opening of granaries and honored Consus, god of the granary. The Opalia honored Ops, Saturn’s wife, who was linked to the fruits of the earth and is what we now call “Mother Nature.” Other festivals around this time were Dies Juvenalis— the Coming of Age for Young Men—and Janus Day. Juventas was the god of male youth and the two-faced Janus was that of beginnings and gates. The last god commemorated was Mithras, whose religion started in Persia in the 15th century BCE. “Mitra” meant “sun” or “friend,” and Mithras was a sun god who merged with the Roman sun god Sol Invictus, himself a Syrian creation. Mithras was worshiped by the military and upper classes of Rome. The Roman Emperor claimed to be an incarnation of this god, and Mithraism eventually became the official, main religion of the confusingly polytheist Roman Empire. Mithras was born of a virgin on December 25th, the date that became Dies Natalis Solis Invicti—the Nativity of the Invincible Sun. Mithras had twelve followers, promised immortality, refrained from sexual intercourse, performed miracles, and rose again three days after dying to redeem mankind. Followers of Mithras marked his passing with a sacred meal of bread and wine: The bread represented the flesh of Mithras and the wine, his blood.

Chilman tells us more about the Lord of Misrule as well:

The general public also had a Lord of Misrule. The winter solstice marked the death and rebirth of the sun king Sol Invictus. Instead of killing a real monarch, a Lord of Misrule was appointed for Saturnalia, usually a criminal or slave. He was given royal robes and feathers or ass ears. He was honored as a true king until the end of the festival, whereupon he was killed on the altar of Saturn. The mocking (“mock-king”) of Jesus by Roman soldiers in the run-up to his crucifixion would seem to have been inspired by this.

Emancipated slaves wore a felt cap called a “pilleus,” but during the Saturnalia, everyone wore them. The ideal party had an attendance of “more than the graces” (three) but “less than the Muses” (nine).

The feet of the statue of Saturn in the Roman Forum were normally bound but were untied over Saturnalia. Punishments were suspended and wars had to wait until later. This behavior carried down to the level of individuals, who put grudges aside and did not chastise their slaves for the duration.

In the book Inconsistencies in Greek and Roman Religion, Volume 2: Transition and Reversal in Myth and Ritual by Henk Versnel, he writes that the saying “Io Saturnalia” was a greeting that a slave would say to his master, in their roles reversed, among other situations. The same author tells us more about Saturn:

A majority of scholars agree that Saturn must at some time have been a chthonic deity, somehow connected with agriculture, and more specifically with the corn harvest. According to some of them his chthonic nature involved more gloomy aspects as well: connections with death and the underworld.

Henk Versnel also correctly associates Saturn with the sower and the end of such sowing with the sickle being used for the harvest in the fall/winter months. This is very much connected to the Mithriac Sator Square in ritual magic and the Chi-Rho symbol of Orthodox Christianity–both of which connects to Saturn/Chronos (see the videos below). Saturn’s consort, Ops Consiva, also ruled over the corn harvest which typically happened in August. The Orphic version of Chronos, being the embodiment of time in pre-Socratic literature, was also depicted as a serpent with three heads–those of a man, a lion, and a bull–reminding us of the Gnostic depictions of the Demiurge along with the Biblical depictions of the tetramorphs. He and his consort Ananke (Inevitability), circled the world primal egg in their coils and split it apart to form the ordered universe of earth, sea, and sky, much like the Gnostic Ouroboros.

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The Titan Chronos depicted as an Angipide with a bull and lion head, much like the later depictions of Behemoth, tetramorphs and the Gnostic demon Ialdabaoth.

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Phanes/Eros.

This is, of course, reminiscent of the Orphic myths of the Hermaphroditic Phanes. In the Orphic cosmology, the unaging Chronos produced Aether and Chaos and made a silvery egg in the Divine Aether. It produced the Hermaphroditic god Phanes, who gave birth to the first generation of gods and is the ultimate creator of the cosmos. Pherecydes of Syros in his now lost Heptamychos (the seven recesses), around the 6th century, claimed that there were three eternal principles: Chronos, Zas (Zeus), and Cthonie (the Chthonic). The semen of Chronos was placed in recesses of matter and produced the first generation of the gods.

Chronos was also depicted in Greco-Roman mosaics as a man turning the Zodiac Wheel, much like Aion, the god of Eternal Time. Chronos, however, is usually depicted as an old man with a gray or white beard. Some of the current English words have their etymological roots in kronos/chronos such as chronology, chronometer, chronic, anachronism, and chronicle. The word synchronicity is also connected as well–hence the title. The link between Chronos and chronology will be made evident soon in another post.

Neil Hague, the artist of many covers of David Icke’s books, also has this to say on the Lord of Misrule, in his article Merry Saturnalia.

The Lord of Misrule was generally a peasant or sub-deacon appointed to be in charge of Christmas revelries, which often included drunkenness and ‘wild partying’, in the pagan tradition of Saturnalia. Sounds like every town in the UK to me? The Roman emperor Nero played the role of Saturnalia in his youth. Whereas the first emperor Augustus celebrated the ‘Golden Age of Saturn’ it was eventually lost.

Saturnalia and misrule makes a ‘mockery of a world’ in which law was determined by one man and the traditional social and political networks are reduced to the power of the emperor over his subjects. In general terms, Saturnalia was the celebration of the longing for Saturn to reign again, as in ancient times. The donkey or Ass was another symbol of misrule and ‘mockery of law and order’, ‘title and kingship’. In Ancient Egypt Seth, the enemy of Osiris (his brother) had the image of a donkey. That’s why Apuleius in his Golden Ass describes a great metamorphosis, the transformation of Lucius to a donkey and his way back – spiritual evolution towards the human being. Jesus also was said to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.

The Lord of Misrule is placed on an Ass (or depicted as one) as a symbol of the King of Saturnalia. He rides the donkey facing backwards as a symbol of ‘inversion’ at this time of year.

In this case donkey represents sexuality, instincts, sensuality, ignorance. A red donkey was said to be one of the dangerous creatures that the soul met in its journey after death – possibly an archon of sorts? The Ass and the Lord of Misrule go together at both Saturnalia (Christmas) and Ostara (Easter).

According to the anthropologist James Frazer in his book The New Golden Bough, he says there was a darker side [and the rest] to the Saturnalia festival. In Durostorum on the Danube (modern Silistra), Roman soldiers would choose a man from among them to be the Lord of Misrule for thirty days. At the end of those thirty days, his throat was cut on the altar of Saturn. Similar origins of the British Lord of Misrule, as a ‘sacrificial king’ (a temporary king, as Frazer puts it) who was later put to death for the benefit of all, have also been recorded. See the movie The Wicker Man starring the late Lord of Misrule himself – Christopher Lee. I once stood next to Lee at a Eurostar waiting area over a decade ago and he seemed a very ‘strange’ man to me.

The sordid and sinister rituals that are hinted at in the Kubrick movie Eye’s Wide Shut also happen at Christmas. Note the Sun (Saturn) Star featuring in the Illuminati-style Elite parties early on in the film. Sex is a big part of Saturnalia and of course it plays a big part in Kubrick’s film too.

Over at the Wikipedia entry of the Lord of Misrule, it discusses the Christian Church’s response to this dark pagan tradition:

On 1 January, AD 400, the bishop Asterius of Amasea in Pontus (modern Amasya, Turkey) preached a sermon against the Feast of Calends (“this foolish and harmful delight”) that describes the role of the mock king in Late Antiquity. The New Year’s feast included children arriving at each doorstep, exchanging their gifts for reward:

This festival teaches even the little children, artless and simple, to be greedy, and accustoms them to go from house to house and to offer novel gifts, fruits covered with silver tinsel. For these they receive, in return, gifts double their value, and thus the tender minds of the young begin to be impressed with that which is commercial and sordid.

— Asterius, in “Oratio 4: Adversus Kalendarum Festum”

It contrasted with the Christian celebration held, not by chance, on the adjoining day:

We celebrate the birth of Christ, since at this time God manifested himself in the flesh. We celebrate the Feast of Lights (Epiphany), since by the forgiveness of our sins we are led forth from the dark prison of our former life into a life of light and uprightness.

— Asterius, “Oratio 4”

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The idea of a “lord of misrule” during Saturnalia also reminds us of the Donkey Priest that the Church Fathers mention, including Tertullian. This ass-faced scapegoat messiah connects to Baphomet of the Oriental Templars and the redeemed Gnostic archon, Sabaoth also called the “Lord of Forces” in Gnostic scripture like Hypostasis of the Archons and On The Origin of the World. This donkey god can also be connected to Yahweh/Jehovah as Epiphanius in the Panarion (26:12:1-4), reveals when Gnostics thought that whenever the Jewish high priest would enter the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem temple to make sacrifice, they would wear little bells so that it would give Yahweh enough time to hide his true form as a donkey god. This same Donkey Priest may also be connected to Typhon-Set of the Egyptians and Greeks, as one website explains:

Three and a half centuries before Christ, Plato expressed his opinion of evil by saying that “there is in matter a blind, refractory force, which resists the will of the Great Artificer.” This blind force, under Christian influx, was made to see and become responsible; it was transformed into Satan!

His identity with Typhon can scarcely be doubted upon reading the account in Job of his appearance with the sons of God, before the Lord. He accuses Job of a readiness to curse the Lord to his face upon sufficient provocation. So Typhon, in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, figures as the accuser. The resemblance extends even to the names, for one of Typhon’s appellations was Seth, or Seph; as Satan, in Hebrew, means an adversary. In Arabic the word is Shatana — to be adverse, to persecute, and Manetho says he had treacherously murdered Osiris and allied himself with the Shemites (the Israelites). This may possibly have originated the fable told by Plutarch, that, from the fight between Horus and Typhon, Typhon, overcome with fright at the mischief he had caused, “fled seven days on an ass, and escaping, begat the boys Ierosolumos and Ioudaios (Jerusalem and Judea).”

Referring to an invocation of Typhon-Seth, Professor Reuvens says that the Egyptians worshipped Typhon under the form of an ass; and according to him Seth “appears gradually among the Semites as the background of their religious consciousness.” The name of the ass in Coptic, AO, is a phonetic of IAO, and hence the animal became a pun-symbol. Thus Satan is a later creation, sprung from the overheated fancy of the Fathers of the Church. By some reverse of fortune, to which the gods are subjected in common with mortals, Typhon-Seth tumbled down from the eminence of the deified son of Adam Kadmon, to the degrading position of a subaltern spirit, a mythical demon—ass.

Dancing With The Devil

For the Medieval Cathars, Rex Mundi (Latin for “King of the World”) was a chaotic god of matter and the irrational world soul, closely related to the Demiurge of Plato and the Gnostics along with Satan of the New Testament. According to the Catholic heresiologist Cosmas the Priest in Discourse against the Bogomils, some Cathars and Bogomils–inspired by the earlier Manichaeans–believed that there was one God who had two sons–one being Christ and the other Lucifer. Lucifer had fashioned the phenomenal world from the elements created by the Good God and placed fallen angelic souls in material bodies. Christ, God’s other son, had come to this earth in the appearance of a man in order to teach the angelic souls how to be reunited with the good God, their creator. This view is similar to the Interrogatio Iohannis, also known as The Secret Supper and The Book of John the Evangelist, which depicts Satan as a Demiurgical figure like Yaldabaoth see in various Gnostic texts, like the Apocryphon of John. It was Satan that tempted the angels Adam and Eve and fell from Paradise and into human bodies.

The Bogomils and Cathars were said to have rejected the Roman Catholic Church and its material sacraments, along with the Old Testament but favored the New Testament as authoritative (especially the Gospel of John). They adopted a strictly ascetic lifestyle, rejected sexual intercourse, and abstained from all meat and wine. They met frequently and prayed together by using the Lord’s Prayer repeatedly much like the Jesus prayer of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and confessed their sins to one another. The Cathars may be connected to another Manichaean group with a similar name, who were the followers of Novatus and were called the Novatians, according to St. Augustine in De Haeresibus xxxviii. They set up various churches around France and surrounding countries in competition with Roman Catholicism before they were completely massacred by Rex Mundi and his agents of darkness in the Catholic Church through the Inquisition and its blood-soaked and fiery hunt to stamp out all heresy.

In the article In Search of a Missing Link: The Bogomils and Zoroastrianism by Ewa Weiling Feldthusen, the author writes how the Bogomils considered the Old Testament, much like Marcion (from many centuries earlier), as a Satanic document, channeled directly from the Devil himself.

The following extracts from Euthymius Zigabenus’ Dogmatic Panoply, whose work itself is a compilation of other accounts added to his own interrogation of a Bogomil leader Basil, who was accused of heresy by Alexius Comnenus in the eleventh century, in Constantinople, are fully comparable to both the first account, The Discourse of the Priest Cosmas Against Bogomils (tenth century, Bulgaria) and to The Secret Book (probably tenth – eleventh centuries, probably Bulgaria). On their attitude towards canonical books, Zigabenus writes:

“They reject all the books of Moses and the God who is described in them […], as being written in accordance with the plan of Satan. […] They accept and honour only seven […]; that is, the Psalter, the sixteen Prophets, the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the seventh book, the Acts of the Apostles together with the Epistles and the Apocalypse of John the Divine.” (Hamilton,1998:182).

The rejection of the Old Testament was a logical consequence of their assumption of Satanic origin of this scripture, although a letter from around 1045 written by Euthymius of the Periblepton monastery testified that the Bogomils read the entire Bible, and knew its passages by heart in order to act as a true Christians: “I cannot deceive a Christian otherwise than by pretending to be a monk; we call ourselves Christian and appear in every way to act as Christians do, and put forward the holy scriptures as our teaching”. (Hamilton, 1998: 146). Otherwise, the fact that the Bogomils knew the Scriptures perfectly well, and used this knowledge to convince others of the truth of their orthodoxy, which made it difficult to distinguish them from ordinary Orthodox Christians, is mentioned in several polemical scripts using often the well-known rhetorical figure – hiding the wolf under the fleece – about the deceitful Bogomils.

Not only did the Bogomils thought that the Old Testament was Satanic, but they also believed that Satan had the powers of the Demiurge and created a second heaven and a second earth, and a second human race! This sounds a lot like the Expanding Earth theory. Perhaps this is why mysterious seismic activities have been detected as of late. As mentioned earlier, they also believed that Satan and Jesus Christ were brothers as Sons of God much like how the Zurvanists and many other world religions claimed that the Good God created twin, dual gods–one good and one evil.

As concerning the Bogomil explanation of the origin of Satan, Zigabenus reported that:

“They say that the demon whom the saviour called Satan himself is also a son of God the Father, called Satanael; He came before the Son, the Word [Jesus], and is stronger, as befits the first-born. […] Satan is the steward, second to the Father, having the same form and dress as He does, and he sits at His right hand on a throne. […] He was intoxicated by this, and being carried away […] he plotted a rebellion, and having done so, he seized the opportunity to test some of the ministering powers. He said that if they wanted to lessen the load of their service, they should follow him and join him in breaking away from the Father. […] Then to the aforesaid angels who were enticed by the lightening of their burdensome services and other excessive demands, he said:’ I will place my throne upon the clouds, and I will be like unto the Most High’.(Hamilton, 1989:183).

In the subsequent chapter, Zigabenus gives an account concerning the Bogomil cosmological myth, a myth which states that Satanael was cast down from above, and that he was unable to sit upon the waters because the earth did not as yet exist. “But since he had the form and dress of God and possessed the power of the Demiurge to summon the powers which had fallen along with him and to embolden them, he said, ‘Since God made the heaven and the earth, […] I too will make a second heaven, being the second God’”. (Hamilton, 1998: 184).

Afterwards, Satan created the earth in the way described in Genesis.

One must wonder why the Bogomils and Cathars (along with their Gnostic predecessors) considered the Old Testament as the work of demons. Perhaps Thom Stark’s research and Stewart Felker on Israel’s connection with polytheism and child sacrifice could shed some light on this. After all, Moses is depicted as a horned deity (much like Dionysus/Bacchus and of course, the Devil) in Exodus and threw curses and plagues and turned Aaron’s staff into a snake and parted the Red Sea. The Israelite kings and priests practiced divination with an occult device called the Urim and the Thummim while they burned incense and cannabis to Jah. They observed the phases of the moon and the equinoxes during holidays such as Passover. The Jewish prophets made offerings to angels while Solomon was a world renown as the magician par excellence. They sacrificed animals and even children to Jah and erected idolatrous pillars in his honor. They also observed the Chaldean and Babylonian astrological days and worshiped on the Sabbath (Saturn’s Day). The occult is very much ingrained in Judaism, especially the Kabbalah.

In Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln’s The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. pp. 46-47, writes more about the Cathars and their beliefs.

The Cathars were also dualists. All Christian thought, of course, can ultimately be seen as dualistic, insisting on a conflict between two opposing principles good and evil, spirit and flesh, higher and lower. But the Cathars carried this dichotomy much further than orthodox Catholicism was prepared to. For the Cathars, men were the swords that spirits fought with, and no one saw the hands. For them, a perpetual war was being waged throughout the whole of creation between two irreconcilable principles -light and darkness, spirit and matter, good and evil. Catholicism posits one supreme God, whose adversary, the Devil, is ultimately inferior to Him.

The Cathars, however, proclaimed the existence not of one god, but of two, with more or less comparable status. One of these gods the ‘good’ one was entirely disincarnate, a being or principle of pure spirit, unsullied by the taint of matter. He was the god of love. But love was deemed wholly incompatible with power; and material creation was a manifestation of power. Therefore, for the Cathars, material creation the world itself was intrinsically evil. All matter was intrinsically evil. The universe, in short, was the handiwork of a ‘usurper god’, the god of evil or, as the Cathars called him, “Rex Mundi’, “King of the World’. Catholicism rests on what might be called an “ethical dualism’. Evil, though issuing ultimately perhaps from the Devil, manifests itself primarily through man and his actions. In contrast, the Cathars maintained a form of “cosmological dualism’, a dualism that pervaded the whole of reality. For the Cathars, this was a basic premise, but their response to it varied from sect to sect. According to some Cathars, the purpose of man’s life on earth was to transcend matter, to renounce perpetually anything connected with the principle of power and thereby to attain union with the principle of love. According to other Cathars, man’s purpose was to reclaim and redeem matter, to spiritualise and transform it.

1 John 5:19 tells us: “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” This sounds a lot like the Cathar notion of Rex Mundi. The Gospels and St. Paul also has similar things to say about Rex Mundi.

2 Corinthians 4:4: “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Matthew 4:1-10 also tells us that Rex Mundi owns the world, just as he did before the regeneration of the world as mentioned in Ezekiel 28:14 and 18 and the eventual fall of Adam and Eve:

Then Jesus was led up of the spirit into the wilderness to the tempted os the devil.

[2] And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

[3] And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

[4] But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

[5] Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

[6] And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

[7] Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

[8] Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

[9] And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

[10] Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Job 2 also tells us that Satan has unlimited access to the Earth that directly connects to the underworld.

[1]Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.

[2] And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

The rest of Job 2 presents Satan as the tempter, but interestingly, he tempts with God’s foreknowledge, and, perhaps even, permission. Isaiah 14:12-15 tells us of course, got a bit too proud, and was kicked off the football team.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

[13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

[14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

[15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

In Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Lucifer appears as a minor deity: the god of the Morning Star. Jesus Christ is later connected to the morning star as well in Revelation 2:28. Revelation 12, of course, tells us that Michael fought and casts down the great dragon Satan and his angels to earth, in efforts to protect the Sun Lady and the Male Child, much like the Egyptian myths of Isis and Horus, and Typhon-Set. John Milton’s Paradise Lost features Satan uttering this: “To reign is worth ambition though in hell: Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.”

What is interesting is that in Revelation, the implication is that Satan has been banished to Earth, while Isaiah talks about Lucifer being banished to hell, or the pit. The implication is that Earth is hell. This is further implicated in 1 Enoch, 2 Enoch, The Ascension of Isaiah and the Gospel of Nicodemus, as well, as I explain in my upcoming book, The Sun Lady Unveiled.

One author actually links Rex Mundi with the Grail or Fisher King of the Medieval romances like Parzival/Perceval, in the article Rex Mundi: A Metatronic View of the “King of the World”.

Rex Mundi, the King of the World, is also the Bearer of the Cup of Transfiguration, in which the human being moves through stages of his own duality until he reaches a platform in which he assumes in a specific and dedicated way, the “Wound of the World.” Through this embodiment, he becomes the “Wounded King / Healer” of Grail lore, whose wound is born for the world. Through his glorious act of crucifixion and transfiguration upon the cross of this gnosis which has become his Bodhisattva vow, he heals others who touch his wounds of Light. It is then that the Wounded Healer is transformed into Rex Mundi, for he has now overcome his own creation (the world) to be exalted in the Phoenix Flame of pure Illumination. What sets him free? His becoming (with complete presence) the gnosis that all wounds are only love longing to be illumined in the heart.

The cosmic / world dynamic of Rex Mundi is an important aspect of the “Solar Mysteries”. The Solar Mysteries trace the soul’s development and evolution through the rays of the “Great Solar Cosom”, which is the center of the creative font and from which all sun-stars gain their Presence of Living Light, or what we know in our World Myth as “angelic” beings and realms (which would also include related categories such as the Jinn).

The Light Language streamings which intersect the Adam Kadmon and from whence our humanity is formed, are issued from the constellation of Orion (regardless of from what Star Tribe that particular incarnating soul may originate). Thus, Rex Mundi is very much an “Orion figure” in that he (ie, this universal dynamic) strikes the balance of the Gate of Orion in the universe.

At the Arcane Wiki, it also connects the title of “Rex Mundi” with Persian King Cyrus the Great.

Coincidentally, “King of the World” is also the title given to Cyrus the Great on the Cyrus Cylinder. The cylinder is a piece of Persian propaganda, dating back to 539 BC, which was placed sort of like a time capsule in the foundations of the temple of Marduk in Babylon. It was written in Akkadian cuneiform, not in Latin, so it doesn’t actually call him “Rex Mundi” per se, but academic tradition has none-the-less bestowed the nickname Rex Mundi upon Cyrus the Great. (Additional trivia about the cylinder: In the 1970s the Shah of Iran used the cylinder as a symbol to justify the continued monarchy in Iran, and claimed it was the world’s oldest Human Rights document. They cylinder currently rests at the British Museum in London.)

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For ritual magic practitioners, Saturn is also connected with the archangel Cassiel, who is depicted as a bearded man, wearing a crown to represent that he is a prince of Heaven. He is often shown riding a dragon, and carrying the spear much like an inverted version of St. George since he is riding the beast instead of slaying it. Many hideously looking goetic demons also appear wearing crowns and jewelry as royal dukes and kings of hell in Solomonic grimoires for the magician to conjure into manifestation for practical ends. Perhaps these so-called planetary “angels” are nothing more than the fallen angels and demons, led by Lucifer himself.

The German Luciferian/Thelemic organization Grand Lodge Communitas Saturni or the Fraternitas Saturni, also reveres Saturn as the Demiurge and chief patron deity identified as “the principle of knowledge and awareness in full karmic self-responsibility.” The inner, secret practice of this Saturnian order, much like Aleister Crowley’s Shaitan/Satan worshiping cult being the Ordo Templi Orientis, is, of course, homosexual sex magic. This is part of many different efforts to draw down and incarnate an egregore or planetary spirit into a homunculus and usher in a new Aeon of Horus–the Crowned and Conquering Child–which is just code for the coming rule of the AntiChrist and the Beast of Revelation.

I, Pet Chronos II

In the online cartoon short-film, I, Pet Goat II, it depicts encoded subliminal messages that connect to Saturn/Chronos. In the few opening shots, there are various references to Baphomet and Satan. Vigilant Citizen has a decent breakdown of the video, as well as Point of View and There Is Nothing New Under the Sun (although none of its predictions came to pass of course). The later website reports that the pet goat in the Saturn-cube shape, dog house represents the following:

The Goat with a 666 Bar Code on his forehead “Mark of the Beast” is in a shipping box inside a fenced enclosure in Winter. The Goat symbolizes Saturn during Saturnalia in December; the Yule Goat. Saturnalia begins at the end of Ophiucus “Serpent Holder”, the 13th Zodiac sign (Nov 29-Dec 18). On the $ONE the Eagle (Symbol of Esau) carries the Serpent (Lucifer) symbolized by the Apple in the Garden of Eden.

In another scene, we see a figure called Drako (being shown on television) terrorize and siphon energy from a little boy named Ludovic with an empty, egg-shelled head. The egghead boy sees news of a dramatic stock market crash being reflected in his eyes right before a warplane bombing on a mosque. From there, missiles are launched on a city, presumingly representing America or western civilization. We also see Drako siphon off energy from a fetus growing in an egg with its serpentine form attached to a televised all-seeing eye surrounding it, much like the Orphic serpent and world/universal egg. Much later in the short film, Drako, slithers away from the egghead while the now liberated Ludovic. The Heliofant website tells us more about Drako’s role:

The Sorcerer, the unseen hand and spirit of madness seeking ever more control through trickery, lies, poisons, false-flag events, wars, and mountains of bureaucratic and legal framework to siphon off the energy of the inhabitants of the earth. He fears the light of day as he fears life itself, and operates in the shadows. His greatest power is his hold on the issuance of the currency.

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The coiling serpent imagery along with the reptilian clawed hand at the beginning of the film also reminds me of the recent Satanic idol of an outstretched hand, erected in a Democratic Illinois, sponsored by the increasingly influential Temple of Satan which proliferates the rise of Satanism in popular culture and left-wing ideology. In Joseph Von Hammer-Purgstall’s Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum as Tracy Twyman reveals, we see similar figures resembling Drako and his victim.

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Hammer Purgstall explains the significance of some of the above black and white images:

Regarding the dragon, it will not be irrelevant for us to say a few words. That quadruped, scaly and rough, with tail twisted back, seems in actual fact to be a crocodile rather than a dragon, and soon you will see that it makes no difference if it is called a crocodile. Since in the sculpture of the bowl (Tab. II, fig. 4) it threatens to devour the infant, and since, in the sculptures of the Templar churches the same dragon is represented as swallowing down the infant, we call it a dragon. For according to St. Epiphanius the Ophites taught that the one presiding over this world has the likeness of a dragon. By it, souls not having Gnosis are absorbed, and through its tail, [they are] poured back into this world. We will, however, find below, in the explanation by Schoengrad regarding the sculptures of the churches of the Templars, an image of such a dragon swallowing down and pouring back the infant. It is sufficient here to notice that that man who, in the relief of the second bowl, drags the infant out of the dragon’s jaw, represents a true Gnostic who, by pouring Gnosis into the infant, hinders him from being absorbed by the world.

The imagery also reminds us of Egyptian depictions of the afterlife where the initiate’s heart is weighed against a feather of Ma’at on Thoth’s Scale of Truth in the Duat. If the heart is heavier than a feather, then the initiate is devoured by the monstrous goddess, Ammit. If the heart is lighter, then the initiate is free to move on to the Egyptian paradise Auru.

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HAMMER

“The Square and Compass of Freemasonry is an incomplete hexagram, supposedly signifying, according to Craig Heimbichner, that the Freemason is an incomplete Jew and ritually tied to obey rabbinic masters. As can be seen in the Masonic symbol above, the all-seeing eye is in the center of the square and compass, signifying The Grand Architect of the Universe, (T.G.A.O.U.T.U.). Typically, there’s only a ‘G’ in the center, however, which is said to represent, variously: the “Generative principle” (i.e., the male phallus), “Geometry”, “Gnosis” (i.e., knowledge), “God”, or the Tetragrammaton, or so called “Lost Word” or “Ineffable Name” of God, the Greek form of which is said to be IAO, the Hebrew form of which is said to be Jah, or ‘Jehovah’, which is a name that occurs seven times in the King James Bible…” http://itssinstupid.tripod.com/COMPASS6.HTM

The name of Jehovah along with the King James Version of the Bible are also important aspects of Freemasonry and its mysteries, much to the surprise of many Christians. In another scene, we see Juan “Pepito” sinking into a yellow mire of goo, an obvious reference to failed Communist states in Latin countries like Cuba and Venezuela since he is holding the hammer and sickle. Communism, Marxism, and Socialism, however, as John Paul Jones reveals, is actually the unholy spawn of Kabbalistic Freemasonry.

The hammer and sickle symbol of Communism was adopted from Grand Orient Freemasonry, according to John Daniel, author of Scarlet and the Beast. In 1877, when French Grand Orient Freemasonry declared “God is dead”, and “there is no God but humanity”, they replaced the ‘G’ that had traditionally been at the center of the Masonic Square and Compass symbol with a hammer and sickle. “Notice that the symbol forms the letter ‘G’ backwards, which is symbolic of the negation of God and is French Freemasonry’s declaration of atheism.” (John Daniel, Scarlet and the Beast, vol. II, page 45) Thus it, too, represents the inversion of Christian values, or the spirit of anti-Christ, and the number of the Beast, 666. This should not surprise us, since the communist philosophy was rehashed illuminism repackaged by a German Freemason, Qabbalist magician, and son of a Jewish Rabbi, Karl Marx.

As Pope Leo XIII pointed out in his most famous encyclical against Freemasonry, Freemasonry and communism were closely related. It’s no coincidence that Soviet communism adopted the hammer and sickle emblem; this was presumably a cryptic message to occult initiates that Kabbalistic Freemasonry spawned communism. The hammer represents the male principle (white triangle) and sickle represents the female principle (black triangle), thus making it, in the eyes of the adepts, yet another among many symbolical synonyms of Solomon’s Seal. As such it represents the process (solve et coagula, order ab chao) of the occult paradigm, as well as its alchemical purpose.

The sickle of Communism is also emblematic of Saturn. Heliofant, the name of the company that created I, Pet Goat II, is also an obvious reference to the god Helios, who is the same as El Gabal or Elagabalus. The Church Fathers like Irenaeus and Hippolytus explicitly connect the god Helios, Sol Invicti and the Titans with the rise of AntiChrist, as I discuss in-depth in my upcoming book. Helios may also be connected, oddly enough to Yahweh! Sun worship is strongly linked with occultism/witchcraft through Medieval grimoires and human sacrifice, much like how Saturnalia is connected with the same ghastly tradition. In fact, there are many pagan and Christian historians that connect child sacrifice to Chronos/Saturn/Molech worship such as the Greek historian Plutarch reveals just as Yahweh’s punishment against the rebellious Israelites in Ezekiel 20:25-26, involves the mass sacrifices of the first-born flung into the fiery flames. Perhaps this is why the Cathars and Bogomils condemned the Old Testament and Rex Mundi despite Orthodoxy’s insistence of connecting the God of the OT and the NT as the same deity.

As indicated earlier, Saturnalia was also filled with allusions and references of human sacrifice of not only the “Lord of Misrule” but also through the sacrifice of fighting warriors in gladiator games. According to Marcobius’ Saturnalia, war with other countries, as well as other life-changing events like marriage and child-rearing were strictly forbidden during this time since it was thought that the jaws of Hades and Pluto were open during the Winter Solstice, all those who disobeyed were cursed.

…during the festival of Saturn, because his reign is believed to have been free from any tumult of war; and when the entrance to the underworld is open, this being a sacred occasion dedicated to Father Dis and Proserpine, and men deemed it better to go out to battle when the jaws of Pluto are shut. And that is why Varro writes:

“When the entrance to the underworld is open, it is as if the door of the grim, infernal deities were open. A religious ban therefore forbids us not only to engage in battle but to levy troops and march to war, to weigh anchor, and to marry a wife for the raising of children.”

Finally, in loan E Couliano’s Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, he reveals much fascinating information involving Saturn, along with the six other planetary spirits/angels in Renaissance magic and philosophy. Here is just one small snippet of the information he quotes from Marsilio Ficino’s De Amore (On Love).

Souls descend into the bodies of the Milky Way through the constellation of Cancer, enveloping themselves in a celestial and luminous veil which they put on to enter terrestrial bodies. For nature demands that the very pure soul be united with the very impure body only through the intermediary of a pure veil, which, being less pure than the soul and purer than the body, is considered by the Platonists to be a very convenient means of uniting the soul with the terrestrial body. It is due to that descent that the souls and bodies of the Planets confirm and reinforce, in our Souls and our bodies respectively, the seven original gifts bestowed upon us by God. The same function is performed by the [seven] categories of demons, intermediaries between the celestial gods and men.

The gift of contemplation is strengthened by Saturn by means of the Saturnian Demons. The power of the government and empire is strengthened by Jupiter through the ministry of the Jovian Demons; similarly, Mars through the Martians fosters the soul’s courage. The Sun, with the help of the Solar De-mons, fosters the clarity of the senses and opinions that makes divination possible; Venus, through the Venereans, incites Love. Mercury, through the Mercurials, awakens the capacity for interpretation and expression. Finally, the Moon, through the lunar demons, increases procreation. (Amore, VI, 4)

Couliano also reveals that Saturn rules over philosophy as well as the occult.

Depending on the kind of activity to be stimulated, all the planets are equally important: Saturn has charge of higher philosophy and occultism; Jupiter of natural philosophy and politics; Mars of virile certamina; the Sun and Mercury of eloquence, music, and glory; Venus of festivities; and the Moon of nourishment (ibid., II). The influence of the planets over the parts of our body determines the kind of astrological remedies that should be applied depending on the case (ibid., VI). Pharmacology, moreover, is one of the most important branches of magic (ibid., XI, XIII, XV). To summarize all the above concisely: Res naturales atque etiam artificiosae habent virtutes a stellis occultas: per quas spiritum nostrum stellis eisdem exponunt (ibid., XII)—״Natural things as well as artificial things have occult qualities conferred upon them by the stars: through these things our spirit attracts the influence of the respective stars.”

More follow up research on the magical Eros to follow…

In the next post, we will explore more different connections involving Chronos, false chronologies in history, and news on when The Sun Lady Unveiled will finally be published! Stay tuned.

The Simon Sancus Conondrum

The controversy surrounding the trinity of Simon-Paul, Simon-Peter (Dositheos) and Simon-Jesus, is not a new one and has been addressed by other scholars, although not exactly in the same angle, I’ve been looking at for a while now. However, scant attention, outside of a few scholars, are given to another controversy associated with Simon Magus and that is the Semo Sancus statue that Simon was confused for by the Church theologian and semi-heretic Justin Martyr. Furthermore, the magical act of animating statues was a popular feat among ancient magicians and theurgists. One question does come up in my mind: Does this have anything to do with the Semo Sancus statue associated with Simon Magus?

After this, the next series of articles will explore the Hermetic side of things, delving further into the “divine twin” phenomena that is surprisingly common in ancient literature. There will also be some startling details concerning the Apollos and Apollo, Thoth, Hermes’ connections and the Emerald Tablets. This will all be full explored in False Gods, Divine Charlatans and Hermetic Hustlers.

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In Justin Martyr’s 1 Apology 26, he claims that the Roman ruler, Claudius Caesar built a statue in honor of Simon Magus because he was so impressed by his magical feats:

And, thirdly, because after Christ’s ascension into heaven the devils put forward certain men who said that they themselves were gods; and they were not only not persecuted by you, but even deemed worthy of honours. There was a Samaritan, Simon, a native of the village called Gitto, who in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, and in your royal city of Rome, did mighty acts of magic, by virtue of the art of the devils operating in him. He was considered a god, and as a god was honoured by you with a statue, which statue was erected on the river Tiber, between the two bridges, and bore this inscription, in the language of Rome:— Simoni Deo Sancto, To Simon the holy God. And almost all the Samaritans, and a few even of other nations, worship him, and acknowledge him as the first god; and a woman, Helena, who went about with him at that time, and had formerly been a prostitute, they say is the first idea generated by him.

However, it is said that in this instance, Simon was simply “confused” with another Roman god, Semo Sancus by Justin Martyr. Here is what I wrote in my commentary on the Great Declaration about this issue:

However, some scholars debate this point, claiming that Justin confused a statue dedicated to the Sabine divinity Semo Sancus with that of the historical Simon the Magician. Semo Sancus is an ancient Sabine deity for oaths, contracts, law, matrimony, and legal fidelity. In 1574, an altar dedicated to Semo Sancus was discovered on the island of the Tiber River with the following inscription Semoni Sanco Deo, which translates as “to Semon the Holy God.” This discovery led to the belief that Justin had made an observational mistake concerning what he thought was the idol of “Simon the Holy God” on the Tiber River.

There is a problem with this theory in that it assumes that the deity’s name is Semo. In Latin, semo or the plural semones derives from semi-homines or semi-humans. These are the dii medioxumi who were lower-level deities. The semones are the demigods of the Roman pagan pantheon. According to Marcus Porcius Cato, a Sanco is a spirit (daimon) and not a god (theos).

From the point of view of Roman paganism, it does not make sense to use a generic noun of semo for a demigod and then also the noun deos for a god. It would be like saying, “to the demigod holy god.” What is far more likely is that the Simon Magus, as a magician and adapter of local paganism, co-opted the Roman tradition of a semi-human god of law and covenant and identified himself as the semi-human god. This would conform to the description of Simon Magus in Acts 8:10 as being “this man who is the power of God.” So then, it was probably not Justin Martyr who was confused, but rather Simon Magus (and his followers) who confused his identity with the semi-human god of Rome.

The statue mentioned by Justin was finally discovered in 1574, and found to bear the inscription to Semo Sancus, the Sabine (and possibly, originally Persian) god of contracts. The full name of this god was Semo Sancus Dius Fidius. Another deity who was considered to be a god of contracts was Mithra, the mediator god of ancient Persia and figure-head of the Mithriac mysteries. Ilion---metopa

Mithra was the preserver of law and order and a god of war, described as riding his four-horsed golden chariot against the demons and their worshipers. This image and description brings to mind of that of Apollo, the chariot riding sun god who rescues the fragments of Dionysus, after he was torn to shreds by the jealous Titans. Mithra was also considered synonymous with Helios, a solar deity. The Orphic Hymn to Helios, otherwise known as the Mithras Liturgy tells us:

Be gracious to me, 0 Providence and Psyche, as I write these mysteries handed down for gain but for instruction; and for an only child I request immortality, O initiates of this our power (furthermore, it is necessary for you, O daughter, to take (480) the juices of herbs and spices, which will to you at the end of my holy treatise), which the great god Helios Mithras ordered to be revealed to me by his archangel, so that I alone may ascend into heaven as an inquirer (485) and behold the universe.

The Helios-Mithra imagery also happens to match closely with that of Cyril of Jerusalem’s description of Simon Magus riding a chariot, pulled by demonic powers, from his Catechetical Lectures:

Simon promised to rise aloft to heaven, and came riding in a demons’ chariot on the air.

Of course, Magus, is the singular version of “Magi”, which were the Persian Zoroastrians who ruled over the fire temples of ancient Iran. They too, like Simon, revered the divine fire and thought of it as the primitive origin of all things. Franz Cumont reports on the inner workings of the Mithriac mystery cults in the Mysteries of Mithra, which sounds curiously close with Catholicism:

The priest was the intermediary between God and man. His functions evidently included the administration of the sacraments and the celebration of the services. The inscriptions tell us that in addition he presided at the formal dedications, or at least represented the faithful one on such an occasion along with the Fathers; but this was the least portion only of the duties he had to perform; the religious service which fell to his lot appears to have been very exacting. He doubtless was compelled to see that a perpetual fire burned upon the altars. Three times a day, at dawn, at noon, and at dusk, he addressed a prayer to the Sun, turning in the morning toward the East, at noon toward the South, at evening toward the West.

Interestingly enough, Justin Martyr makes some peculiar statements regarding Mithra in Dialogue With Trypho (Chapter 70):

And when those who record the mysteries of Mithras say that he was begotten of a rock, and call the place where those who believe in him are initiated a cave…they have attempted likewise to imitate the whole of Isaiah’s words?…’he shall dwell in the lofty cave of the strong rock. Bread shall be given to him, and his water [shall be] sure…’

But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find a lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him. I have repeated to you what Isaiah foretold about the sign which foreshadowed the cave…those who presided over the mysteries of Mithras were stirred up by the devil to say that in a place, called among them a cave, they were initiated by him (Trypho, Chapter 78).

It’s uncertain if Justin is merely confused or is deliberately lying. He claims the devil read Isaiah, and thus had the followers of Mithra claim that Mithra came from a cave. Justin’s reference to Isaiah 33:16 does not in any way point to the birth of Jesus in a cave (the passage in Isaiah never mentions a birth and has end time applications). Justin was apparently trying to claim that the followers of Mithra claimed a cave because of Isaiah but the scriptures prove otherwise. Despite Justin Martyr’s supposed opposition to the Mithriac mysteries, he seems to whole sale borrow their terminology and practices!

For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water…And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings… And this food is called among us Εύχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined.

For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished…Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn…

Such terminology such as “illumination” was a common stable in the Mithriac mysteries. From the same book, Franz Cumont tells us about this practice:

Mithraism {provided}…the promise of complete illumination, long withheld, fed the ardor of faith with the fascinating allurements of mystery…The gods were everywhere, and…the light that illuminated their paths, were the objects of their adoration.

It seems to me that Justin’s wholesale embrace of Mithriac terminology and praxis foreshadows the Catholic embrace of Mithra through Emperor Constanine (who’s mother also happened to be named Helena), but we will save that for another story.

Getting back to the main subject, it is usually said that Justin is to be blamed for the error of transforming the cult statue as devoted to “Simon the Holy God”. He does not, however, suggest that he has seen the statue himself, as he certainly would have said so if he had seen it. Indeed, he speaks of Rome throughout the First Apology as a distant, though respected, place, as of a city he had never yet visited. His later stay in Rome, where indeed he died; has made it easy for us to assume that the First Apology represents his knowledge at that stage of life. Of course this same text was addressed to Emperor Antoninus Pius and his sons in Rome, in the days when he was still an itinerant teacher in the Levant. This linking of Simon’s name with a statue also recurs in the evidence of lrenaeus, itself also perhaps from Justin. It is suggested that such an enthusiast might be a Samaritan, not arbitrarily, but in the light of what Justin goes on to say (I Apol. xxvi):

“Almost all the Samaritans, and even a few people of other races, confess this man as the First God, and go so far as to worship him.”

The statement that the Samaritans in question “worshiped” Simon is emphatic, though it may mean only that he was invoked in the course of theurgic operations, or that his statue was venerated with garlands or incense. Or in other words, the statue of Simon was used in animating statue rituals. This practice involves the consecration of a statue of a God. Often one would hollow it out and fill the whole with “sunthemata” i.e. herbs and ingredients related to the deity, and then perform a rite to consecrate it. The Chaldean Oracles lays out a animating statue ritual for a statue of Hekate:

But execute my statute, purifying it as I shall instruct you. Make a form from wild rue and decorate it with small animals, such as lizards which live about the house. Rub a mixture of myrrh, gum, and frankincense with these animals, and out in the clear air under the waxing moon, complete this (statue) yourself offering the following prayer.

The Greek Magical Papryi also have some similar rituals for animating statues. The practice of ritualized animation, also known as the “telestic art”, was a process the telestai (the one who is aimed) or initiate would externalize the quickening of the spirit process in a statue of a god. This does not mean that a statue literally moved and walked around. Of course, the Greek word telestike, quite literally means a process of “completion”, maturation or perfection which essentially was bringing purification to the soul into its most perfect or finished state in which it could rise into the celestial heights, and the cosmos, where the angels, gods, and other divine beings dwelt. The concept of “perfection” of course, is replete in the Paul’s epistles, the Gospels, as well as the Nag Hammadi Codices. In the Clementine Recognitions II, 9, Simon Magus himself brags about his magical prowess, and specifically names animating statues as one of his abilities:

For I am able to render myself invisible to those who wish to lay hold of me, and again to be visible when I am willing to be seen. If I wish to flee, I can dig through the mountains, and pass through rocks as if they were clay. If I should throw myself headlong from a lofty mountain, I should be born unhurt to the earth, as if I were held up; when bound, I can loose myself, and bind those who had bound me; being shut up in prison, I can make the barriers open of their own accord; I can render statues animated so that those who see suppose that they are men.

Justin’s confusion and that of other Church Fathers could be related to the fact that the Simonians themselves were responsible for this identification, since some of them worshiped Simon Magus as a diving being, often in the form of Zeus, as Kurt Rudolph pointed out in his book, Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism, pg. 295.

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A statue of Hekate or Hecate.

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Zeus, naturally.

Semo Sancus was also conflated with Hercules. Hercules was also said to be the son of Jupiter/Zeus. Here is what I also said about Hercules in the first part of my commentary of the Great Declaration:

Stephen Haar in his work, Simon Magus: The First Gnostic? notes that the Phoenician (notice the that connection again as associated with the city of Tyre where Simon found Helen in a brothel) sun-god Herakles (Hercules), like Simon was also conferred with the title of the “Standing One”. Even the name Simon could be traced to the oriental stem of Sem-Herakles, a deity also worshiped in Samaria.

Jesus was considered synonymous with Aesculapius, the son of Apollo, in the Gospel of John and the The Gospel of Nicodemus, and even specifically named as such by Pilate in the later. A divinity described as overseeing oaths, contracts and loyalties sounds eerily similar to that of the Lawgiver Jehovah throughout the Old Testament. This Jewish deity makes a contract with Moses in Exodus by giving him the Ten Commandments written on his tablets, only moments later for Moses to literally break in half! To make things even more thornier, according to Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Hippolytus, statues of Simon and Helena were created in the likeness of Zeus/Jupiter and Athena/Minerva. Hippolytus tells us about the Simonians in Refutation of All Heresies (6,15):

And they have an image of Simon (fashioned) into the figure of Jupiter, and (an image) of Helen in the form of Minerva; and they pay adoration to these.” But they call the one Lord and the other Lady. And if any one amongst them, on seeing the images of either Simon or Helen, would call them by name, he is cast off, as being ignorant of the mysteries.

Compare this to what the Church Historian Eusebius would much later write in Church History 2: 13:

But they nevertheless have embraced again the superstitions of idols, which they seemed to have renounced; and they fall down before pictures and images of Simon himself and of the above-mentioned Helena who was with him; and they venture to worship them with incense and sacrifices and libations.

What could this all mean? As we already know, Simon had a “beloved” disciple and consort, a Phoenician sorceress called Helena, as they were both worshiped in the form of Zeus and Athena, which certainly appealed to the Greeks of their time as well. Helena’s connection with Sophia, the holy harlot, also goes without saying. The manner of Athena’s birth also shares great similarities with the Gnostic Barbelo, who is described as the co-eternal forethought of Godhead (Father) which begets the Nous (Son); it is the out-flowing of Noetic Power which fills/nurtures the Nous’ contemplation of the Father. Athena was also a Virgin and Mother, which all hearkens back to the Egyptian Isis. This is the Sethianized (Dosithean) version of the Simonian myth as seen with Helena being the “First Thought” or “Forethought” of Simon, the Nous or the “Universal Mind” i.e. the incarnation of the Father. This same being describes herself in the Trimorphic Protennoia:

I am the life of my Epinoia that dwells within every Power and every eternal movement, and (in) invisible Lights and within the Archons and Angels and Demons, and every soul dwelling in Tartaros, and (in) every material soul. I dwell in those who came to be. I move in everyone and I delve into them all. I walk uprightly, and those who sleep, I awaken. And I am the sight of those who dwell in sleep.

Notice how Protennoia describes as herself as being “within” the world-creating Archons, Angels, and Demons! This fits into the account as described by Simon Magus in the Great Declaration:

And to this manner did the fire assume both male and female forms, the one from above and the other from below, as each did mature unto perfect conformity with the Heavenly Power whose likeness and image they were. And when they appeared in the midst of the rushing water of the realm of becoming, the female Thought was set upon and defiled by the angels and lower powers who made this world of matter. And they used the fiery power within her to give life to their creations.

Simon Magus, despite his bizarre activities and magical practices, does not come across exactly like a charlatan. Rather, he operated like a Shaman. True, he did practice some necromancy and even said he had created a human being from thin air and a wandering soul in the Clementine literature. But these improbable tales were probably just plain advertising and increased business. And many people benefited from his healing. As I already mentioned, Semo was a Latin term for “semi-human” or “demi-god”, while Sancus meant “spirit” or daimon. A daimon, of course, was also considered to be synonymous with Platonic messenger gods like Eros and Phanes (which are both titles ascribed to basically the same being). Even Socrates equated himself as a daimonic philosopher. My paper, Eros, Orpheus and On the Origin of the World, goes into all of this in depth. The Greek historian Plutarch in On Isis and Osiris claims that daimons or daemons had a inconsistent and contradictory nature, much like humans, which is why philosophers were considered to have daemonic qualities.

XXV. “Do they, therefore, better, who believe the legends told about Typhon, Osiris, and Isis, not to refer to either gods or men, but to certain great Powers (dæmons), whom Plato, Pythagoras, Xenocrates, and Chrysippus (following the ancient theologians) assert to have been created far stronger than men, and greatly surpassing our nature in power, but yet having the divine part not entirely unmixed nor unalloyed, but combined with the nature of the soul and the senses of the body, susceptible of pleasure and pain, and all other emotions the result of these, that by their vicissitudes disturb, some in a greater, others in a less degree; for, in that case, as amongst men, so amongst dæmons, exist degrees of virtue and of vice. ‘

For the deeds of the Giants and Titans, sung of by the Greeks, certain atrocious actions of Saturn, the pitched battle between Python and Apollo, the flight of Bacchus, the wanderings of Ceres do not fall short in absurdity of the legends about Osiris and Typhon, and the others that one may hear told by mythologists to any amount—all the things that are shrouded in mystic ceremonies, and are presented by rites, being kept secret and out of sight from the vulgar, and have a shape similar to those mentioned of the Egyptians.”

The cult of Simon as First God is an enigma. It has been associated with Samaritan-Jewish concepts of God, especially in the Samaritan connection with Moses and YHWH but the title is hardly consistent with any sort of monotheism. Pagan parallels, such as with Samaritan-pagan syncretic cults are more promising. In the book, The Samaritans, by Alan David Crown, he writes:

Abu’l Fath’s account of Hadrian’s activities in Palestine certainly contains a number of legendary elements, but behind his story of Hadrian’s temple, there undoubtedly lies the fact that Hadrian erected on Mount Gerizim – not on the mountain next to it – a temple of Zeus (Jupiter). The remains of this temple erected on Mount Gerizim were excavated at Tell er-Ras by the Drew-McCormic expedition in the 1960’s, and it is presumable the temple to which reference is made in  a passage which has been preserved in the Bibliotheca of Photius, a Patriarch of Constantinople in the ninth century A.D.

Of course, Mount Gerizim is the same mountain which was considered sacred by the Samaritans. John 4:19-20 has the Samaritan woman at the well telling Jesus this:

The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

Jesus responds swiftly to the Samaritan woman (who is likely Helena in disguise):

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

A syncretic mixture between gentile heathenism and Samaritan religion seemed to have been becoming more and more of a common feat in the ancient world as demonstrated above. There are also many hints of this in the Old Testament where Levite priests were even hired to perform rituals and rites based on the heathen gods, outside of Judaism and the worship of YHWH when times were tough. King Solomon was also said to have converted to heathen gods in 1 Kings. One last point on Justin Martyr is that at the end of the Second Apology, Justin admits his motives to destroy the Gnostics and Simonians by government sanction. He begs the Emperor Antoninus Pius to admit his apology into law against the Simonians. They wanted to tear down statues of gods merely because they believed the gods were images of Simon. His only purpose for composing the treatise (not actually an apology) was to convince the Emperor to kill Gnostics by law. He failed.

But the evil spirits were not satisfied with saying, before Christ’s appearance, that those who were said to be sons of Jupiter were born of him; but after He had appeared, and been born among men, and when they learned how He had been foretold by the prophets, and knew that He should be believed on and looked for by every nation, they again, as was said above, put forward other men, the Samaritans Simon and Menander, who did many mighty works by magic, and deceived many, and still keep them deceived.

For even among yourselves, as we said before, Simon was in the royal city Rome in the reign of Claudius Caesar, and so greatly astonished the sacred senate and people of the Romans, that he was considered a god, and honoured, like the others whom you honour as gods, with a statue. Wherefore we pray that the sacred senate and your people may, along with yourselves, be arbiters of this our memorial, in order that if any one be entangled by that man’s doctrines, he may learn the truth, and so be able to escape error; and as for the statue, if you please, destroy it. And I despised the wicked and deceitful doctrine of Simon of my own nation. And if you give this book your authority, we will expose him before all, that, if possible, they may be converted. For this end alone did we compose this treatise.

And our doctrines are not shameful, according to a sober judgment, but are indeed more lofty than all human philosophy; and if not so, they are at least unlike the doctrines of the Sotadists and Philaenidians, and Dancers, and Epicureans and such other teachings of the poets, which all are allowed to acquaint themselves with, both as acted and as written. And henceforth we shall be silent, having done as much as we could, and having added the prayer that all men everywhere may be counted worthy of the truth. And would that you also, in a manner becoming piety and philosophy, would for your own sakes judge justly!

Dangerous and Deceitful Docetic Doctrines

Even more interesting is that in Dialogue with Trypho (CXX.6), Justin Martyr claims that the Samaritans thought of Simon as a docetic, daimonic being, similar to how Paul viewed Jesus Christ as a spiritual being taking on the likeness of a man, in terms of Christus Victor atonement, i.e., that Christ defeated the powers by duping them into crucifying him:

For I gave no thought to any of my people, that is, the Samaritans, when I had a communication in writing with Caesar, but stated that they were wrong in trusting to the magician Simon of their own nation, who, they say, is God above all power, and authority, and power.

This description of Simon matches up perfectly with St. Paul’s “Christ Jesus” or spiritual savior who possessed him, like sort of a “walk-in”. Paul’s Christ was also above these powers, authorities and all might. Paul calls us to be, “strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10). Paul says that the law of sin and death (the Torah) is in the body. Or rather, the flesh IS the law. This is how Simon Magus interpreted the Torah as well in the Great Declaration with each book representing different parts of the body as well as each sensation. Simon even equated the Garden of Eden with the womb and the fetus inside a pregnant woman. The Gnostics themselves believed that the spiritual seed was imprisoned into material bodies by the rulers. So if the flesh is the law, as Paul says, then it must logically follow that by Christ’s body being crucified, the law was crucified, too. This could further lead one to interpret, as Paul does, that the crucifixion wasn’t really a defeat at all, but a victory over the powers. In other words, Christ tricked the powers into crucifying the flesh, which nullified the law by getting them to destroy their own creation.

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That’s why the Second Treatise of Seth said that they crucified “their man,” not Christ. Christ tricked them into destroying their own creation, the prison of the material body. To use Paul’s logic again, no human being could overcome the law because they were constricted by material flesh. Therefore, as he writes in Romans 8, someone had to come in the semblance of flesh (phantasmal flesh) to condemn sin, which no human could do since they were bound to sin by the flesh. And by going to the cross, he crucified the law and sin through the form of the flesh. That’s the logic of Paul’s phantasmal docetism. The flesh is the law, and the flesh impedes righteous because it is predisposed to sin. So anything that has flesh cannot be save itself because it is enslaved to sin and the law. So in Paul’s mind, a savior had to come who wasn’t constricted by flesh so that he could save those who were. Yes, doceticism is found expressly in Paul. And this is how Marcion, the Gnostics and Simonians came up with their ideas on a docetic Christology – straight from Paul!

“But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. … For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Paul’s entire soteriology makes no sense without a docetic Christology. Flesh is what causes sin, and the law is what empowers sin. Since the flesh produces sin, it prevents fulfillment of the law. Therefore, something without flesh had to come and condemn sin, which annihilated the just requirement of the law. So all who believe on Christ are, in Paul’s mind, redeemed (literally purchased) out from the law by spiritually partaking in his crucifixion and destroying their own flesh. If Earl Doherty’s theory holds, the original Pauline Christ was never incarnate on earth. His crucifixion occurred exclusively in a spiritual dimension. So by that interpretation, the rulers would have crucified him themselves. Obviously, the later Paulinists and Gnostics believed that Christ actually did appear on earth and had an historical ministry, so in that case, the Roman authorities would have crucified him, at the behest of the Jews. But the spiritual rulers would have been operating behind them.

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The Concept of Our Great Power says something very similar, which is no surprise since the text itself is considered to be a late Simonian text:

Who is this? What is this? His word was abolished the law of the aeon. He is from the Logos of’ the power of life. And he was victorious over the command of the archons, and they were not able by their work to rule over him.

The crucifixion, for the author of Power, wasn’t the destruction of Jesus, but of the archons. It’s basically a continuation of the interpretation of the cross in Colossians (Jesus crucifying the law, rather than Jesus himself being crucified, i.e., Jesus is secretly the one in complete control behind the crucifixion). The crucifixion is the defeat of the powers and represents each individual’s triumph over their own fleshly impulses. The Basildean Second Treatise of the Great Seth also repeats these same themes of the descent of the Savior through the heavens, during which he assumes different forms in order not to be recognized by the angels.

And I subjected all their powers. For as I came downward, no one saw me. For I was altering my shapes, changing from form to form. And therefore, when I was at their gates, I assumed their likeness. For I passed them by quietly, and I was viewing the places, and I was not afraid nor ashamed, for I was undefiled. And I was speaking with them, mingling with them through those who are mine, and trampling on those who are harsh to them with zeal, and quenching the flame. And I was doing all these things because of my desire to accomplish what I desired by the will of the Father above.

Later in the same text, Christ mocks and laughs with great zeal at the Orthodox and Judaic (the Pharisee Caiaphas’s idea really) doctrine of vicarious redemption through suffering and blood sacrifice, for the sins of Israel and the world:

For my death, which they think happened, (happened) to them in their error and blindness, since they nailed their man unto their death. … But in doing these things, they condemn themselves. … And I subjected all their powers.

They nailed him to the tree, and they fixed him with four nails of brass. The veil of his temple he tore with his hands … for the souls which were in the sleep below were released. And they arose. They went about boldly, having shed zealous service of ignorance and unlearnedness beside the dead tombs, having put on the new man…” …They struck me with the reed; it was another, Simon, who bore the cross on his shoulder. I was another upon Whom they placed the crown of thorns. But I was rejoicing in the height over all the wealth of the archons and the offspring of their error, of their empty glory. And I was laughing at their ignorance.

This other “Simon” is mentioned by Tertullian in Against All Heresies, and also claims was indeed crucified or sacrificed in Jesus’ stead. This is mirrored in the much later Koran, the Gospel of Barnabas and in Islamic beliefs of Jesus not dying on the cross.

Christ, moreover, he affirms to have been sent, not by this maker of the world, but by the above-named Abraxas; and to have come in a phantasm, and been destitute of the substance of flesh: that it was not He who suffered among the Jews, but that Simon was crucified in His stead: whence, again, there must be no believing on him who was crucified, lest one confess to having believed on Simon.

Clearly, as Simon of Cyrene, Simon Magus appears in the Nag Hammadi documents. Simon of Cyrene never actually existed, however. He, like most of the other Simons, was based upon hearsay about Simon Magus. I suspect that the author of Mark was aware of rumors that a certain Simon had been crucified with Christ, but in actuality, this was a misinterpretation of Paul’s (who, unbeknownst to Mark, was actually Simon Magus himself) crucifixion mysticism. Later Gnostics like Basilides, also being unaware of the origin of this Simonian legend, concocted myths about Simon of Cyrene being crucified in Jesus’s stead. However, the Concept of Our Great Power doesn’t think Simon was crucified instead of Jesus. Rather, the author is a monophysite docetist, like Paul, who believed that Jesus Christ was one person with a phantasmal body who actually underwent the crucifixion. Let’s compare the Second Treatise of the Great Seth with Ephesians 2:14:

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished the enmity in the flesh, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

While the Second Treatise of Seth has many Pauline elements strewn throughout, it does warn against the idea of “dying with Christ”: “It is enslavement that we should die with Christ, with flawless and imperishable mind (at our bidding). This is a wonder not understood.” Indeed, it is not understood. The Gospel of Philip also tells us the shape-shifting nature of the docetic Jesus Christ:

Jesus took them all by stealth, for he did not appear as he was, but in the manner in which they would be able to see him. He appeared to them all. He appeared to the great as great. He appeared to the small as small. He appeared to the angels as an angel, and to men as a man. Because of this, his word hid itself from everyone. Some indeed saw him, thinking that they were seeing themselves, but when he appeared to his disciples in glory on the mount, he was not small. He became great, but he made the disciples great, that they might be able to see him in his greatness.

Next, The Ascension of Isaiah also shares numerous similarities with the scenarios described above, which according to Simone Petrement in A Separate God (page 319) was authored by a Simonian school, around Menander’s time (a disciple or son of Simon Magus). The Ascension of Isaiah (10: 8-13) tells us:

“Go out and descend through all the heavens. You shall descend through the firmament and through that world as far as the angel who (is) in Sheol, but you shall not go as far as Perdition. And you shall make your likeness like that of all who (are) in the five heavens, and you shall take care to make your form like that of the angels of the firmament and also (like that) of the angels who (are) in Sheol. And none of the angels of that world shall know that you (are) Lord with me of the seven heavens and of their angels.

And they shall not know that you (are) with me when with the voice of the heavens I summon you, and their angels and their lights, and when I lift up (my voice) to the sixth heaven, that you may judge and destroy the princes and the angels and the gods of that world, and the world which is ruled by them, for they have denied me and said, ‘We alone are, and there is no one besides us.’

Notice how the angelic rulers sentiments of being “alone, and there is no one besides us”, match almost verbatim from various statements made by Jehovah about himself being the “only God” in Isaiah of the Old Testament. His boasting, egoistical comments about himself become transferred to the world-ruling, world-creating angels. The “LORD God” becomes separated and decentralized into multiple powers in Ascension, in this case.

“Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.” Isaiah 44:8

All of this is echoed in Hippolytus who writes in Refutation of All Heresies (Book VI, Chapter XIV) on Simon’s doctrine:

But the angels and the powers below—who, he says, created the worldcaused the transference from one body to another of (Helen’s soul); and subsequently she stood on the roof of a house in Tyre, a city of Phœnicia, and on going down thither (Simon professed to have) found her. For he stated that, principally for the purpose of searching after this (woman), he had arrived (in Tyre), in order that he might rescue her from bondage. And after having thus redeemed her, he was in the habit of conducting her about with himself, alleging that this (girl) was the lost sheep, and affirming himself to be the Power above all things.

The same may be said of the disguise adopted by Simon as he descends to save Helena: he passes down through the powers and authorities and angels “transformed and made like” one of them, to appear among men in the guise of a man as proclaimed in the Great Declaration. This has an obvious kinship with later second-century Christological developments with the Gnostics. The resurrection account according St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 tells us that the dead in Christ, receive spiritual, docetic bodies, which is transformed or transmuted from the bodies of material flesh.

50This I declare, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. 54 And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about:

“Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

“Death is swallowed up in victory” is an amazingly deep phrase. On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, Victory or “Netzach” is the primary title of the sphere which rules over “strength” and “fortitude”. According to Paul, victory is also one of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5-22-23:

22 In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Death, according to On the Origin of the World, is actually one of demonic Archons, created by Yaldabaoth because of his jealousy at Sabaoth (the archon or “Lord of Hosts” that repents to Sophia), which in turn creates his own demonic offspring! This is the Angel of Death, or the Destroying Angel of Exodus.

And having become wrathful, he engendered Death out of his death: and he (viz., Death) was established over the sixth heaven, <for> Sabaoth had been snatched up from there. And thus the number of the six authorities of chaos was achieved. Then Death, being androgynous, mingled with his (own) nature and begot seven androgynous offspring.

Simon, too, is depicted as a victorious supernatural being, who by stealth, slipped past the Archons, to find and rescue his consort, Helena, who is entrapped into brothel of prostitution, which is symbolic of the world of flesh.

After these things, when her body was exchanged by the angels and powers, she was exposed in the streets of Tyre in Phoenicia as an infant, taken up by a brothel master, and raised in a brother, where she knew no other life save that of degradation. But as the poet recounts the stratagem of the Achaians whereby they infiltrated the fastness of Troy inside a great toy horse, so did her yoke-mate Mind, the male, gain entry to the realm of her captors by appearing in the likeness of their creatures as a man. The angels who governed the world were corrupt by reason of their lust for power, and so I appeared to set things right, transforming myself and making myself like unto the dominions, principalities, and angels, so that I manifested myself as a man, though I was not really a man. And I seemed to suffer in Judea, although I did not really undergo it.

Later in the same text, Simon promises his followers this, which sounds like something Jesus Christ would say in the Gospels:

Thus I wrought the ransoming of the human race, recalling to myself the sparks of the latent fire which the angels used to order their creation, and this must issue in the dissolution of the world, but equally in the redemption of all who believe in me.

That Simon had a conspicuous female disciple from a converted prostitute might also be possible. However, the same charge is made against Mary Magdalene in the Gospels, as she too is accused of being a “prostitute” and is associated greatly in her lore. In Luke 7:38, Mary Magdalene washes Jesus’ feet in a very erotic manner, mirroring what Jesus would do for his own disciples in John:

As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

However, Mary Magdalene in Gnostic texts is depicted as being equal if not superior over the Apostles and was favored by the Savior through the act of initiation of the Divine Vision of the mysteries, as illustrated in the Gospel of Mary. Mary Magdalene was seen as sort of a female revealer, or initiator of the pagan mysteries. Perhaps this explicit language of Helena being a prostitute is merely symbolic of the state of the spirit that languishes in the human body.

Régnier_Penitent_Mary_Magdalene

Mary Magdalene looking all uppity with a skull.

It was pertinent for the Orthodox to be eschew charges of misogyny by deleting Mary Magdalene’s role altogether. It was also interesting to see how the Gnostics were often accused of the same attitude when it came to women and their views on the “destruction of the womb” (i.e. the deficiency of matter itself); however, looking at their gospels and texts, the constant harping on Divine Wisdom in feminine terms (even in her fallen state), the role of female revealers like Mary Magdalene, Norea, Helena, Marcelina, etc. are emphatically emphasized in the positive.

The Gnostics brought additional Gospels to the fore with Mary Magdalene among others. Her true importance is said to have been excluded from the Bible by Peter (and the Roman Catholic Church) who denied Christ three times and detested women, especially educated ones, seeing them as the gateway to the Devil, even denying they had souls. There is also no charge of immorality here in Justin Martyr and Ireneaeus’s accounts, still less of sexual rites.

The Simonians, however, are charged with “free love” and living “profligate” lives. It is only later in the Church Father, Epiphanius do we find accusations of sexual immorality and bizarre tales of drinking semen and menses as Eucharistic substances. Or worse–the eating of a fetus. Eusebius, also mentions something about how the Simonians were engaged in “shameful acts” and “unspeakable conduct”, apparently only relying on the slander of the previous Church Fathers. Is this the Simonian attempt to compete with Mary Magdalene or are both women, actually one and the same figure? Helen’s role as Simon’s first thought also matches up with Greek myth as mentioned earlier.

It also could reflect some kind of male-female syzygy-doctrine associated with Simon’s magical systems as reflected in the Great Declaration and mirrored through the later convoluted and intricately constructed Sethian and Valentinian aeonic systems. These models would eventually come to influence later medieval Kabbalistic diagrams of the Tree of Life. It is these magical systems in which Simon supposedly pursued in the aftermath with the the defeat from Peter in Acts, where he mistakenly regarded (and with good reason) Christian healings as magical and the gift of the Spirit as the mark of a higher grade of magic- if one can even make such a distinction.

The pursuit of these magical rites and techniques resulted with Claudius honoring him with a statue. Simon and his first Thought exist on a purely spiritual level, free from the trammels of the flesh until Helen is captured by rebellious angels who imprison her in a physical body in the material world which they have made. The metempsychosis of Helen and the references to Greek literature are among those, and are consistent with the syncretistic nature of the Samaritan cultural milieu and the Simonian schools at Antioch and Alexandria that would later rise from it. In essence, Simon was appealing to all peoples, of all nations, especially the gentile ones, in all three forms of his glory. Eusebius makes a very arresting statement in how Simon was worshiped.

Of whom there is one Simon, a Samaritan, whom we read of in the Acts of the Apostles, who said he was some Great Power. And among the rest of the things written in his volumes, he proclaimed as follows: “I am the Word of God; I am the glorious one, I the Paraclete, the Almighty, I the whole of God.” ix. Hieronymus (In Matthaeum, IV. xxiv. 5). Text: S. Eusebii Hieronymi Comment.; Migne Patrol. Grec., VII. col. 176.

Not only does this mirror Simon’s statements of himself being the Trinity in the Great Declaration, but it also mirrors greatly what Jesus commands of his disciples in Matthew 28:19-20:

Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

Stay tuned for the second part in False Gods, Divine Charlatans and Hermetic Hustlers, as Hermes will give his two cents on all of this.