Orphic

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.

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden (Part 2)

{Forgive the lateness of this article as my life has given me a few curve-balls as of late. But, the show must go on…}

In the previous article, I illuminated the Gnostic interpretation of the Genesis creation account which downgraded the Hebrew God and identifying it with the malicious Demiurge while upgrading the pariah figure of the serpent into a hero and champion of knowledge. I will be focusing on not only the serpent but also the symbols of the Tree of Knowledge and Life and the Fruit, in Part 3.

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The Serpent Revisted. 

One of many bothersome issues that have puzzled many, including scholars and Christian apologists appear right in the first chapters of Genesis, which posit two separate portrayals of the creation of Adam and Eve. In Chapter 1, verses 26-31, where on the sixth day of creation, after God created the heavens and the earth, he proclaims:

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiple, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Note the use of the plural possessive pronoun through the supposedly singular “God”, which indicates that there was more than one creative being involved—which tends to corroborate the Gnostic creation accounts in many different texts.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

It is at this point Adam is charged with tending of the garden and told not to touch the fruit of a particular tree:

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

In the first creation account, man and woman are created in the same way, being from the dust of the Earth. In the second version, woman was fashioned from Adam’s rib:

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. … And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

The first creation account, man and woman are created in “God’s image”. In the second creation account, God breathes into Adam the “breath of life”, not mentioned in the first account.  There is no mention of a garden, and no mention of forbidden fruit. Rather mankind is specifically told to eat whatever they want because it was all “good” in the Lord’s eyes. Perhaps most importantly, since only the creatures of the second creation are given rules to follow, only they can transgress those rules. The first mankind is blessed and told to “be fruitful and multiply.” Interestingly, it is only the second mankind that experiences the fall from grace after eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and gain sexual experience as a result of it.

As mentioned Part 1, the “knowledge” that serpent promised to Adam and Eve was also sexual in nature, according to some sources. Not only did Eve and her husband Adam gain an awareness that was previously forbidden to them, but also gained the power of generation or the power to create life “in their image” just like God. Through the Serpent’s gift, Adam and Eve had also gained the power of generation and through their “transgression” death entered into the world as a result.

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The deuterocanonical text, Baruch claims that the Serpent had sexual relations with both Adam and Eve:

For going to Eve he deceived her and committed adultery with her, which is contrary to the law; and he went also to Adam and used him as a boy, which is also against the law. Hence arose adultery and pederasty.

The Gospel of Philip suggests something rather similar:

First adultery came into being, afterward murder. And he was begotten in adultery, for he [Cain] was the child of the serpent.

The 13th century Spanish Kabbalist, Rabbi R Isaac Hacohen, the author of A Treatise on the Left Emanation, claimed that the disaster caused by the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was a sexual awakening among the two pairs of “twins,” an awakening in which the snake, called “Nahasiel” or Gamliel  took part. The result was that the snakes became “biting snakes,” that is, Evil came into its own, and began to express itself.

Certain Gnostic schools (Saturnilus specifically per Irenaeus’ testimony) regarded sexual intercourse as an abomination because it involved the expenditure of man’s precious seed, used to propagate other human beings, multiplying suffering and perpetuating the kingdom of the Demiurge. They quoted St. Paul’s support for celibacy from 1 Corinthians 7. The pleasure and lust that comes with sexual union and climax were seen as the contrivances of Satan. (Also note that the spermatozoon itself is shaped like a serpent or snake). The whiplash of sexual desire was wrought as a wonderful weapon to be brought under the domain of Saklas (‘fool’), the archon of fornication because man is reduced to a state of imbecility by his wiles and seduction into lusting, adultery and continual fornication. This strong element of sexophobia was also attributed to misogyny because intercourse with seductive women resulted in further flesh with a terrible stench that imprisoned the lost light sparks. A better alternative to physical, sexual union was a spiritual union which implied a return to a state of androgyny symbolized as the bridal chamber. (More on this later.) 

The serpent itself has a vast array of symbolism. It is associated with immortality and the conquest of death. It is also regarded as a phallic symbol and deity of sexual pleasure as noted above. Philo of Alexandria in Allegorical Interpretation of Genesis allegorized the serpent of Genesis 3 as pleasure or sexual lust. He also equated the bronze serpent of Numbers 21 as being opposed to the serpent of Genesis 3, as being a symbol of self-mastery and purity.

Glycon was considered to also be a snake god in satirical form as mentioned by the satirist Lucian, and was said to be the incarnation of Asklepios in the mysteries of Alexander of Abonutichus, a pagan philosopher of the 2nd century.

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In paganism, the bacchoi held their sacred orgies as well as eating raw flesh from their butchered victims in honor of the frenzied Dionysus and the consecrated serpent was symbolic of this. Zagreus being the “first-born Dionysos,” was a god of the Orphic Mysteries. He was a son of Zeus and Persephone, who would seduce others in the guise of a serpent. Being a chthonian creature by finding its home underneath the ground, it is also associated with darkness.

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In Orphic mythology, the serpent was sometimes linked with the primordial egg from which all things emerged and is shown entwined around the egg. Epiphanius in The Panarion discusses the doctrines of the Epicureans who believed that the universe was formed by chance rather than providence:

Originally the entire universe was like an egg and the spirit was then coiled snakewise round the egg, and bound nature tightly like a wreath or girdle. (3) At one time it wanted to squeeze the entire matter, or nature, of all things more forcibly, and so divided all that existed into the two hemispheres and then, as the result of this, the atoms were separated. (4) For the light, finer parts of all nature—light, aether and the finest parts of the spirit—floated up on top. But the parts which were heaviest and like dregs have sunk downwards. This means earth—that is, anything dry—and the moist substance of the waters. (5) The whole moves of itself and by its own momentum with the revolution of the pole and stars, as though all things were still being driven by the snake like spirit.

In the Pistis Sophia, the serpent was linked to the cosmos, whose ruler is the earth-circling dragon called Satan:

The outer darkness is a great dragon, whose tail is in his mouth, outside the whole world and surrounding the whole world. And there are many regions of chastisement within it.

The circular symbol of the serpent eating its own tail is known as the Ouroboros, the primal being who said,

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last (Rev. 22:13).

The serpent is also seen in the Syriac Hymn of the Pearl as it depicts the soul’s descent into the world, forgetting his mission but eventually roused by the call on high to remind him of his original nature and duty, his glorious rising again into the Kingdom of the Father. The Pearl, the Prince seeks in Egypt, represents the Gnosis, and the terrible Serpent that guards it, is depicted as the passion of egotism.

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Typical to Jewish and Christian tradition, another negative portrayal of serpent imagery was used by the Church Father Epiphanius in his closing comments in the Panarion to high-light the “evil nature” of Simon Magus as being like a snake, asp and a viper.

In the Targum Psuedo-Jonathan, it equates the Serpent with the fallen angel Samael, the “Blind One” who was a originally a great prince in heaven, descended to earth and rode upon the serpent to deceive Eve and seduce her. The fruit of his seduction, as the same text claims (like the Gospel of Philip) was Cain, being the son of the Devil.

And the woman saw Sammael, the angel of death, and she was afraid, and she knew that the tree was good for food.

Rabbi Isaac in The Treatise of the Left Emanation, also compared Samael and Lilith as husband and wife, much like Adam and Eve—an inverted, “Satanic” power, a concept which is featured later in the Zohar and Jewish myth concerning evil. Samael acts as an evil doppelganger of the first man that came into being with the first human transgression:

The first prince and accuser, the commander of Jealousy and Enmity…he is called ‘evil’ not because of his nature but because he desires to unite and intimately mingle with an emanation not of his nature… it is made clear that Samael and Lilith were born as one, similar to the form of Adam and Eve who were also born as one, reflecting what is above. This is the account of Lilith which was received by the Sages in the Secret Knowledge of the Palaces. The Matron Lilith is the mate of Samael. Both of them were born at the same hour in the image of Adam and Eve, intertwined in each other.

As this passage suggests, Jewish mysticism contains a dialectic notion of “evil”; all things emanate from God, so Samael is one of God’s “severe agents,” yet he grows beyond the attenuated form God intended because he feeds upon the evils of the world. The Zohar builds upon the image of Samael found in Rabbi Isaac’s text as the demon king and consort of Lilith; together they are the evil counterparts of Adam and Eve. Samael is the tempting angel from who “copulates” with Lilith as the male and female principles of the “left side emanation”, united and achieve their full potential by spawning demons. Samael is in effect the evil left-side counterpart of Tiferet in the Sefirotic system of the Tree of Life. In the Apocryphon of John, Samael also happens to be one of the alternative names for Ialdabaoth, the Satanic creator god.

In later Kabbalistic thought, Samael is increasingly de-personalized, becoming the organizing force of the Qliphoth, the garments of evil that enshroud the divine sparks contained in the material universe, similar to the Gnostic idea of matter blinding the souls of their divine origins in a miasma of forgetfulness.

The underlying philosophy of most Gnostic schools was one of androgyny (Andros, ‘man’, gyne, ‘woman’). This relates to the condition that the two sexes are present in the same person. Androgony was symbolic of wholeness and unity in spiritual power. In several Gnostic systems, the Supreme being or Monad is regarded as almost always androgynous despite being called the “Unknowable Father”. In Hermetic writings such as Asclepius and Poimandres, there are several references to the bisexual nature of God.

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In Plato’s Symposium, he relates that there was originally a race of hermaphrodites who were split in two by Zeus for their lofty ambitions. The perfected person is one who unites both the male and female aspects into one. The virgin is also considered to be a type of androgyne. The Gnostic idea of the Anthropos or Primal Man, like the other aeons, was a hermaphrodite (‘Hermes’ being male, “Aphrodite” being female). The figure of the Primal Man has a close relationship with the idea of the “Son of Man”, the pre-existent heavily being—something lower than God and something higher than the angels. According to Enoch 42:8, the Son of Man is to be “the staff of the righteous whereon to stay themselves and not fall”.  The rabbinical school known as the Pharisees believed that the Adam Kadmon, the perfect Primordial Man was a mirror image of the divine Logos (“the Word”), and a hermaphroditic being.

The Gospel of Philip says of the:

Son of Man [emphasis mine] came forth from Imperishability being alien to defilement. He came to the world by the Jordan river, and immediately the Jordan turned back. And John bore witness to the descent of Jesus. For he is the one who saw the power which came down the Jordan river; for he knew that the dominion of carnal procreation had come to and end. The Jordan river is the power of the body, that is, the senses of pleasures. The water of the Jordan river is the desire for sexual intercourse. John is the archon of the womb.

The River Jordan who flows south to the Sea of Galilee and further into the Dead Sea, came to symbolize lust and its name implies descent into the natural direction of sexual pleasure and desire for carnal cohabitation. However, the river can be made to ascend by damming the upward flow of the stream which represents the conservation of semen during intercourse, and the generation of divinity instead of seminal emission and expenditure of male energy, much like how we see in certain Tantric practices. The Valentinian Gospel of Philip regarded the separation of the sexes as the cause of death:

When Eve was in Adam there was no death. But when she was separated from him, death came into being.

The Gospel of Thomas presents the child as an exemplar of the androgynous state:

Children are like those who enter the kingdom. When like little children you take off your clothes without shame, when you make the two become one, when you make the male and female into a single unity, then you shall enter the kingdom.

According to the 19th century Catholic mystic, Franz Von Baader, he writes:

The higher meaning of sexual love, which should not be identified with the instinct for reproduction, is nothing other than to help both man and woman to become integrated inwardly (in soul and in spirit) in the complete human or original divine image.

This notion of the divine hermaphrodite reoccurs over and over again in ancient mystical traditions such as the Qabalah and alchemy to modern practices involving sex magic.

As noted in Part 1, many Gnostic sects had strong Ophite leanings—most notably the Naasseenes, who are mentioned by Hippolytus. Hippolytus claims that the Nassenes were the founders of the Gnostic heresy; but he is alone in making this claim (Refutation., 6:1). All of the other Fathers claim that the Gnostic heresy was founded by Simon Magus, starting with Irenaeus. And then there is Origen, who in contrast with Hippolytus says that the Naassenes were an “insignificant sect” (Against Celsus, 6:24). Hence the Church Fathers do not agree on the Naassenes in terms of their role in history and their significance.

The Ophites connected the eternal principle, Nous, “mind”, with Naas, the Greek word for serpent—stating that the serpent in the Garden of Eden was actually Nous in serpent form. Accordingly, the Demiurge tried to prevent Adam and Eve from acquiring knowledge, and it was the serpent who persuade them to disobey the Demiurge and taste of the fruit. This was the origin of gnosis. Because the serpent frustrated Jehovah’s designs, the serpent was cursed (Gen. 3:14). The Naasenes also agreed with the sentiments expressed in the Gospel of Philip, in that the separation of sexes marked the beginning of death and evil when they claimed that sex was “…man’s fatal effort to become one without recognizing that the only real unity was spiritual.”

According to the Church Fathers, the Ophites had a peculiar ritual meal involving a snake. The Ophites made a distinction between Christ the Savior, and Jesus, the man. Christ equated the serpent with the Son of Man (John 3:14), whereas Jesus equated serpents with scorpions, and spoke of the serpent as the “enemy” (Luke 10:19). For this reason some Ophite sects vilified Jesus. Origen in Contra Celsum records that the Ophites cursed Jesus, and wanted converts to do the same. St. Paul’s reference to those who curse Jesus (1 Cor. 12:3) may point to these snake-worshipers. The Ophites also happened to believe that Adam and Eve were originally beings of light, according to Irenaeus in Against Heresies, I, 30.9:

Adam and Eve previously had light, and clear, and as it were spiritual bodies, such as they were at their creation; but when they came to this world, these changed into bodies more opaque, and gross, and sluggish.

The Epicurean Celsus and the Church Father Origen described different diagrams of the Ophites that described their cosmology, which are similar to the account described in the Apocryphon of John. The drawing depicted the seven cosmic spheres ruled by the archons, each symbolizing an aspect of the demiurge enclosed within a large outer circle called the Leviathan or Ouroborous. The innermost circle lay the netherworlds of evil—Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna and Behemoth. The Church Father Origen writes in Contra Celsum that the seven heavens controlled by angelic powers in animal shapes take on the forms of either predatory or aggressive beasts such as a lion, bull, scorpion, eagle, bear, ape, etc. Origen also claimed that the Ophite Demiurge had the head of a lion and was connected with Saturn, and this has led some scholars to conclude that Ialdabaoth was a combination of Baal and Kronos. Others have noted Ialdaboath’s similarities with the Greek monstrous Typhon. These are the same angelic rulers which the Christian Gnostic Saturninus of Antioch describes as the “seven angels who made the world”.

Cherubim by William Blake

Interestingly, the Alexandrian Gnostic teacher, Basilides called the demiurge “the Seven” which could have been a reference to the seventh planet, Saturn, which rules the rest. The Hebrew name of the planet Saturn is Shabbathai, clearly transcribed in the form “Sabbataios” in Gnostic verbal play on the term “Lord of Hosts” as a reference to YHWH. Tacitus in Histories 5,4 associates the Jewish God with Saturn. Saturn is naturally also honored on the same day by the Pagans that the Jews did with Jehovah on Sabbath. Since the Jews worshiped on Saturday, the Graeco-Roman world in which Basilides lived in tended to identify Jehovah with Saturn. Saturn is the Graeco-Roman sky-god so consumed with fear of being overthrown that he devours all his children, missing only Jupiter (Zeus), who does later overthrow him. In Rome the overthrow of the old year by the new, the hunched-up old man by the babe, was celebrated in the Saturnalia. Similarly, for Gnostics, the Christ child replaced the tribal god Jehovah.

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As Irenaeus relates in his Against Heresies, Ialdabaoth is the eldest of seven rulers born of Lower Wisdom (See the Secret Book of John for this story). Ialdabaoth is depicted as a grotesque mutant—a lion-headed serpent which fits with Plato’s distinction of the “rational soul” part from the lion and the many headed beast portions of the soul in the Republic along with the Orphic Phanes or Eros.

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Using a stolen spiritual power from his Mother, Yaldabaoth creates a material world in imitation of the divine Pleroma. To complete this task, he spawns a group of entities known collectively as Archons, “petty rulers” and craftsmen of the physical world. Like him, they are commonly depicted as having the heads of animals. At this point the events of the Sethian narrative begin to cohere with the events of Genesis, with the demiurge and his archontic cohorts fulfilling the role of the creator. As in Genesis, the demiurge declares himself to be the only god, and that none exist superior to him; however, the audience’s knowledge of what has gone before casts this statement, and the nature of the creator itself, in a radically different light.

They make a human being being Adam, during the process unwittingly transferring the portion of power stolen from Sophia into the first physical human body. He then creates Eve from Adam’s rib, in an attempt to isolate and regain the power he has lost. By way of this he attempts to rape Eve who now contains Sophia’s divine power; several texts depict him as failing when Sophia’s spirit transplants itself into the Tree of Life; thereafter, the pair are ‘tempted’ by the serpent, and eat of the forbidden fruit, thereby once more regaining the power that the demiurge had stolen. Irenaeus continues:

But their mother, Sophia, planned to seduce Adam and Eve through a serpent, so that they would transgress the commandment of Ialdabaoth. Eve, hearing this word as if it came directly from the Son of God, readily believed it and persuaded Adam to eat from the tree from which Ialdabaoth had said not to eat. When they ate, they knew the power which is above all, and they departed from those who had made them.

This paraphrase is a good example of how Irenaeus colors his reportage with his own prejudices. Several Coptic texts have been found recounting the story of Sophia’s intervention in the garden, but none talks Sophia “seducing” Adam and Eve, or the advice coming “as if” from the Son of God. In one text, the Origin of the World, Christ actually does appear in the tree to speak to Eve. But Irenaeus does paraphrase correctly when he says that in these texts what Adam and Eve get from following the serpent’s advice is Gnosis of the Most High, a knowledge that even their own creators, Ialdabaoth and his crew, lack. Another group of Gnostics makes the connection to Sophia even clearer. Irenaeus says,

Some assert that the serpent was Sophia herself; for this reason it was opposed to the maker of Adam and gave knowledge to men, and therefore is called the wisest of all.

The text in front of him is probably the Hypostasis of the Archons, which we will see below:

Then the authorities came up to their Adam. And when they saw his female counterpart speaking with him, they became agitated with great agitation; and they became enamored of her. They said to one another, “Come, let us sow our seed in her,” and they pursued her. And she laughed at them for their witlessness and their blindness; and in their clutches she became a tree, and left before them her shadowy reflection resembling herself; and they defiled it foully. – And they defiled the stamp of her voice, so that by the form they had modeled, together with their (own) image, they made themselves liable to condemnation.

Later on in the the Hypostasis of the Archons, the Feminine Spiritual Principal entered a serpent, who instructed Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of knowledge, that they might know their divine origins.  Accordingly, eating the forbidden fruit was not the first sin, but the first act of redemption and liberation! The Gnostics emphasized a crisis of the Divine Fullness as it encounters the ignorance of matter, as depicted in stories about Sophia. Adam and Eve’s removal from the Archon’s paradise is seen as a step towards freedom from the Archons, and the serpent in the Garden of Eden becomes a heroic, salvic figure.

Calling the snake “the wisest of all” is a reference to Jesus’s saying, “Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16). The implication is that the serpent, far from being evil, was honored by Jesus himself, just as the dove was honored as the symbol of the Holy Spirit. (Anyone wondering what orthodoxy made of that implication may consult the “Church Father” Epiphanius [1987, 247] for a rebuttal. According to him, Jesus obviously meant only that the serpent is wise because in coiling it protects its head, just as the faithful should protect their faith in Christ when preaching to unbelievers. What an image of Christian preachers! With refutations like this one, it is no wonder the Church Fathers decided just to burn such commentaries on scripture, rather than debate them.

Accordingly, the rulers wanted to confine Adam in the lowest plane of existence (being matter), so they created and imprisoned Adam in the earthly paradise (the Garden of Eden), and bound Adam in sleep and placed the bond of forgetfulness upon him. But this material body was lifeless and without a soul. According to Saturnilus, Adam was initially created as a spine-less, golem-like creature who writhed on his stomach:

The (first) human being was a creation of angels [but was] unable to stand erect because of the angels’ impotence, and rather writhed on the ground like a worm….

The Second Treatise of the Great Seth refers to Adam as a:

laughingstock, since he was made a counterfeit type of man by the Rulers.

As briefly discussed earlier, to regain the creative power that Ialdaboath stole from Sophia (his mother), she secretly counseled Ialdabaoth to blow the spirit into the face, so that the body would waken. Ialdabaoth ignorantly blew on Adam’s face, so that the spirit and the power of his mother (Sophia) left Ialdabaoth’s own body and entered into the body he had created: Adam became alive. The purpose was to put the image (soul) of God into physical body so that they can capture it. The theme of “stealing light” is also only understood in the context of an energy based universe, where the archon’s need the Light to maintain their very existence if not their powers over a beautiful but nonetheless bungled prison, that is the cosmos.

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According to On the Origin of the World, Ialdaboath immediately became jealous, because his creation was more powerful and intelligent than him and the other archons. Eve, being an avatar of Sophia, is the one who awakens Adam from his forgetfulness while helping him escape the wrath of the authorities.

Then the authorities were informed that their modelled form was alive and had arisen, and they were greatly troubled. They sent seven archangels to see what had happened. They came to Adam. When they saw Eve talking to him, they said to one another, “What sort of thing is this luminous woman? For she resembles that likeness which appeared to us in the light. Now come, let us lay hold of her and cast her seed into her, so that when she becomes soiled she may not be able to ascend into her light. Rather, those whom she bears will be under our charge. But let us not tell Adam, for he is not one of us. Rather let us bring a deep sleep over him. And let us instruct him in his sleep to the effect that she came from his rib, in order that his wife may obey, and he may be lord over her.”

Then Eve, being a force, laughed at their decision. She put mist into their eyes and secretly left her likeness with Adam. She entered the tree of knowledge and remained there. And they pursued her, and she revealed to them that she had gone into the tree and become a tree. Then, entering a great state of fear, the blind creatures fled.

The Hypostasis of the Archons is somewhat different in detail, and can be supplemented with the longer text of On the Origin of the World. In the Hypostasis of the Archons, Ialdabaoth is infuriated with Adam and Eve’s disobedience and pursues Eve in order to rape her and implant sexual desire into the human race, so that he would have more people to have his counterfeit spirit, who were susceptible to his blandishment and fall into sins and wickedness. Through this mechanism, he was able to ensnare them because desire is part of the dominion of death and ignorance.

The Gnostic authors of these texts instead saw the creator god as the one who implanted sexual desire instead of the serpent. Eve, the woman and “mother of the living”, no longer is the reason behind the fall from grace occurs, but instead becomes a beacon of illumination and salvation for man. True to form, the lustful archons become enamored with Eve and pursue her, foreshadowing their future, disastrous actions when they would return to intermingle with the human race once more and breed a race of terrible, blood-thirsty giants being born of the “fire of the angels and the blood of women.”

As quoted earlier, the Hypostasis of the Archons relate how the brigade of lustful archons literally gang-rape a mere shadowy image or projection of Eve, while the Spiritual Eve escaped their clutches by shape-shifting into a tree through docetic means.

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The Pompeii mosiac of “Pan and Hamadryad” found in Museum of Antiquities in Nola, Italy, seems to repeat the theme of the Spiritual woman escaping her satyr-like pursuers when the horny pagan god Pan attempts to reach out to the nude woman, consumed with lust; but the attempt to have sex with her is in vain because she is changing into a tree! The woman in essence reveals her true nature as a tree-nymph. The tree was often associated with life, knowledge and enlightenment. Just as the Hamadryad is ultimately inaccessible to Pan, so also are Life and Knowledge from inaccessible to the worldly “Authorities.”

In modern occultism, the Serpent is considered to be symbol of sexual liberty and hedonism as the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley writes in his book, Liber Al vel Legis (The Book of the Law):

I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this. I am alone: there is no God where I am.

In Part 3, the archetypal symbols of the Tree and Fruit will be explored and discussed in-depth in relation to the helper and instructor figure of the serpent and how the Orthodox version of events in the Garden became the Archon of Christian theology.