Above: The Distinguished Charity of Mete by Jesse Peper
(Frontispiece to Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled by Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera.)
Introduction to the first English Translation of Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, 1818.
(Translation commissioned, edited, and annotated by Tracy R. Twyman, Copyright 2015-2017) [Read the Translation Here]
For 25 years, I have been writing professionally about history and current events, viewed through the angle of comparative mythology and the anthropology of religion. One of my areas of focus has been the influence of occult ideas and groups on civilization, particularly that of the West. Early on, I chose the subjects of Freemasonry, and the mythos of the Holy Grail as topics of research, and this inevitably led me to Baphomet, the idol allegedly worshipped by the Knights Templar. My interest in Baphomet was especially ignited by a series of personal supernatural encounters I had with this entity myself through a Ouija board, beginning in 2001. I detail these encounters in my 2014 book Clock Shavings.
These events sparked a life-long fascination and dedication to solving the mysteries of Baphomet: what it was, where it came from, what its name meant, and what purpose it had served for the Templars. The culmination of this research, which I was aided in during the latter years by research partner Alexander Rivera, was published in 2015 under the title (Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled), co-authored with Rivera.
As part of the research for that book, I hired someone to translate the contents of a very important essay written in Latin and published in 1818: Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum, or The Mystery of Baphomet Revealed by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall. It was originally published in Volume 6 of the Viennese research journal Fundgruben des Orients (Treasures of the Orient). This translator, (whom we shall call “Professor X,” for reasons I shall explain) completed his work shortly before I finished my book with Rivera, allowing us to utilize lengthy quotes from the text, as well as many of the images. However, it became clear that much work still needed to be done on this translation before I could present it in full to the public.
Therefore I scrapped my original plan, which was to include this text as an appendix to that book (now weighing in at over 600 pages even without Hammer-Purgstall’s text added), and decided instead to publish it separately after I had “smoothed it out a bit.” I of course assumed that this would not take very much longer, and of course, I was completely wrong. What you see now is the result of two years’ work on my part. In addition to “smoothing out” the text, there were many segments that needed to be retranslated entirely, mostly because the meaning of the esoteric concepts behind the images presented is so ambiguous and multi-faceted.
I was repeatedly reminded of the words of advice given to readers by the authors of the cryptic poem Le Serpent Rouge, published by the French secret society called the Priory of Sion: “Meditate and meditate again. The dense lead of my writing may perhaps contain the purest gold.” I mentally mumbled this mantra thousands of times through hundreds of rough hours spent pouring over the muddled mélange and menagerie spread out upon my desk: printouts of the original text and pictures (at which I could often be seen gazing through a magnifying glass); printout of my translator’s English version; my Latin dictionary; the Bible; plus several reference books on Gnostic sects, European history, Greek mythology, and Western philosophy. In addition, both versions of the Mysterium text were usually open on my on my two computer screens also, along with at least two browsers: one for Google Translate and Lexilogos; the other for the average 250 tabs I had open at any given time, researching various subjects related to the contents of the text. This was why, on the days that I chose to work on this project, the nights always ended with a terrible headache.
In my opinion, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum is, in addition to being a study of history, also a piece of history itself, and is history’s most important document pertaining to Baphomet, aside from the Templar trial documents themselves (including the recently-revealed “Chinon Parchment,” discussed below) and Jules Michelet’s coverage in his History of France. This is because, as we demonstrate amply in Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled, while the story of Baphomet (as an entity under that name) may have begun with the Templars, it really developed as a concept mostly since Hammer-Purgstall’s time, under his influence, both directly and indirectly.
My research, and that of my partner Alexander Rivera, makes it quite clear that Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum was the source upon which occultist Eliphas Levi based his own speculations about Baphomet a few decades after Hammer-Purgstall’s writing. It was the inspiration for his famous illustration of the Baphomet figure as a hermaphroditic goat-man/woman. It is clear that he was referring to it in Magic: A History of Its Rites, Rituals and Mysteries, where he wrote about the Templars that:
They even went so far as to recognize the pantheistic symbolism of the grand masters of Black Magic, and the better to isolate themselves from obedience to a religion by which they were condemned beforehand, they rendered divine honors to the monstrous idol Baphomet, even as of old the dissenting tribes had adored the Golden Calf of Dan and Bethel. Certain monuments of recent discovery… offer abundant proof of all that is advanced here.
Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet
By “monuments of recent discovery,” he is referring to the “Baphometic Idols” that Hammer-Purgstall presents line drawings of. These consisted mostly of statuettes, coffers, cups, and coins that he claimed had been found in churches on formerly Templar properties, all located in what are now Austria, Germany, France, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
Hammer-Purgstall believed that these were all actual Templar artifacts that demonstrate the truth about their secret doctrine and rituals. This would be amazing if true, as many of these objects depict orgies involving children and animals, as well as child and animal sacrifice. Hammer-Purgstall claimed that these pictures show the secret religious practices of the Templars, and that they were actually Ophite Gnostics rather than Christians, something that Pope Pius IX also accused them of.
Hammer-Purgstall’s artifacts present strange images of both human and inhuman or quasi-human figures with breasts, beards, and horns. Some of the figures have eyes all over their bodies, or multiple faces, and there are some that are just heads, including some with two faces, much akin to the descriptions given by some Templars of the Baphomet head. One image in particular, from the lid to a coffer allegedly found in Burgundy (which writer Thomas Wright calls the “most interesting” of the artifacts), shows a bearded, full-breasted figure crowned with towers a la the goddess Cybele of the ancient world. She shown holding a pair of chains, with shackles and the bottom that seem to have just been broken off from her legs. The Sun is attached to the top of one chain, and the Moon is attached to the other. The solar and lunar faces are shown upside-down and looking angry. Below the figure’s feet are a seven-pointed star, a pentagram, and a humanoid skull.
While ridiculed by fellow scholars at the time, and by many historians since, Hammer-Purgstall’s revelation of the Gnosis of Mete found a fertile medium in which to grow in the Satanic stylings of Anton LaVey and Aleister Crowley, particularly the latter. Aleister Crowley not only adapted many of Eliphas Levi’s ideas about Baphomet and ritual magick, but saw himself as a reincarnation of Levi. He took on “Baphomet” as his own initiatory name in the magical order he headed: the Order of Oriental Templars (a.k.a. “Ordo Templi Orientis,” or “OTO”), when he proclaimed himself the “Caliph” of. He had taken over leadership of an older German order (many members of which carried on without him), and made it his own.As for the meaning of the name of the Templar demon, Crowley wrote in his Confessions:
Baphomet was Father Mithras, the cubical stone which was the corner of the Temple.
He also mentioned that the word “totaled 729” when interpreted cabalistically. TI have discovered indications that Crowley based some of the elements of the rituals he wrote for the O.T.O. on this text (as I shall explain).
Like Crowley, almost none of the historians who wrote about Hammer-Purgstall’s essay had actually read it all the way through. In addition to the text being in Latin, the messages found by the author on the “Templar artifacts” were often found written in Greek and Arabic—both separately, and in combination (sometimes with Greek words written in Arabic letters, or vice versa). Therefore, a working knowledge of all of these languages would have been necessary to understand it. It has also been hard to get ahold of, historically. Up until my friends and I got involved, there were no copies of the full set of illustrations available anywhere besides the original copies of the periodical it was published in.
Several historians, most of whom seem not to have looked at Hammer-Purgstall’s work themselves, have claimed that these are not genuine Templar items. Some even accused Hammer-Purgstall and his patron, Louis, Duc de Blacas, of deliberately trying to pass off forged antiquities. This would be extraordinary if true, considering that Hammer-Purgstall’s influential works on other subjects are still referred to by scholars quite often, from his definitive History of the Assassins, to his translation of Ancient Alphabets and Hieroglyphic Characters Explained by ibn Wahshiyya, which contains what may be the first pre-Templar mention of a demon called “Bafomid.”
Illustration of demon “Bafomid,” from ibn Wahshiyya’s De Alphabetis Incognitis
Various portraits of Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, and postage stamp from 1981
Included on Hammer-Purgstall’s illustrious resume is the fact that he was the first president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Austrian Oriental Society in Vienna still bears his name as a tribute in their longer formal title. Today they teach German to immigrants, amongst other things. In addition to working closely with the powerful and connected Duc de Blacas, Hammer-Purgstall was friends with Johann von Goethe and Ludwig von Beethoven. He provided them both with his translation of the Koran, which influenced them both notably in different ways. Despite the attempts by some to trash his good name, he is still considered a national treasure in Austria, and has even been featured on a postage stamp.
While not all critics of his Baphometic artifacts have outright accused Hammer-Purgstall of fraud, many have doubted their authenticity. Charles William King didn’t think much of them when he took up the subject in his 1887 book The Gnostics and Their Remains. There he proclaimed that any “sober archaeologist” would conclude them to be:
…Nothing more than a portion of the paraphernalia of those Rosicrucian or alchemical quacks, who fattened upon the credulity of that arch-virtuoso, Rudolf II, ever since whose reign these “fonts” have been treasured up in the Imperial Cabinet.
Rudolf II was the Hapsburg Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. His political failures, leading to the disastrous Thirty Years’ War, are often blamed by historians on his preoccupation with the occult. Clearly, King thought that Hammer-Purgstall’s artifacts may have been items collected by the emperor because of their seemingly esoteric nature, but with no real connection to the Templars. In more modern times, Peter Partner wrote in his 1987 Templar history The Murdered Magicians that:
A few of the archaeological exhibits may have been forgeries from the occultist workshops; there is an especially suspicious pair of so-called “Templar caskets,” found after the publication of Hammer’s first article, which were supposed to have been medieval artefacts of Templar provenance. The Gnostic “orgies” depicted on these supposedly medieval caskets are uncannily like the late classical objects which had a few years earlier been published in the original “Baphomet” thesis. The “medieval” caskets had come into the possession of the Duc de Blacas. Since Blacas was a leading figure in the reactionary French government, and a close personal friend of the renegade Freemason Joseph de Maistre, it is not impossible that they were forged on his behalf. Whether they were forged or not, Hammer failed to prove that they had anything to do with the Templars.
The caskets that Partner calls “especially suspicious” are, in fact, referring to the two caskets I found in the catalog of non-displayed items at the British Museum, where the antiquities collections of the two Ducs du Blacas (Pierre and his son Louis) now reside. I discuss these caskets in greater detail later on. So did these items, in fact, have nothing to do with the Templars? If not, who made the decision to present them as such? Were the artifacts found by chance and incorporated into the plot, or were they created specifically for that purpose. What was the point of the plot in the first place?
Peter Partner sees Hammer-Purgstall’s theories as an outgrowth of the paranoia, rampant during his time, about Adam Weishaupt’s Bavarian Illuminati, a real secret society that had operated through Masonic lodges in Europe to foster republican revolutions against the crowns. Partner accused Hammer-Purgstall, (and, by implication, all of his informants involved in the research for Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum), of being part of their own vast right-wing conspiracy to discredit the French revolution by connecting it, via the Illuminati, then Freemasonry, and then Templarism, to heresy, Satanism, and debauchery. Partner derides Hammer-Purgstall as “a writer enrolled in the service of rampant conservatism, whose duty it was to demonstrate that advanced radical thought was subverting the foundations of Christian civilization….” His evidence seems to be that Hammer-Purgstall worked as a diplomat for the government of Austria, and that some of the artifacts he showed in his book were owned by Louis, Duc de Blacas, whom he calls a “reactionary.” Partner wrote:
Hammer was not employed by Metternich [the Austrian Empire’s foreign minister], the greatest conservative minister in western Europe, for nothing. The whole drift of Hammer’s argument is in the sense of that used by the ubiquitous Abbe Barruel. Everything connects, from the Gnostics of the early Church, to the Albigensians in the west, the Assassins in the east, thence to the Templars, thence to the Freemasons, thence to the revolutionary anarchists. In 1818, the political order of European conservatism was making its greatest effort to master the threat of radical ideology and radical sedition. The center of that effort was in Vienna, where Hammer was employed by the Austrian Chancery.
Louis, like his more famous father Pierre (also an antiquarian), was indeed a Legitimist (in support of the rule of the older Bourbon dynasty and against the revolution that had dethroned them). Like his father, he was very highly ingratiated within this political group. His godfather was the King of France himself, Louis XVIII, for whom his father had worked as one of his most trusted ministers. Pierre had also worked as the French ambassador to the Holy See in Rome.
Furthermore, Pierre’s interest in antiques was such that he was been involved in discovering and unearthing the Temple of Castor and Pollux in Rome, and was responsible for creating the Egyptian Museum within the Louvre. So I suppose it is possible that his son had both access to the means for faking antiquities, and the motivation, if you believe that he concocted all of these artifacts to make the Templars look bad, so as to, in a roundabout way, cast aspersions on the Revolution.
Louis, Duc du Blacas
Pierre, Duc du Blacas.
The “Blacas Cameo” from the collection of Louis, Duc de Blacas at British Museum. Wikipedia describes it as “an unusually large ancient Roman cameo” with a bust of “Augustus I.” The same source continues: “He has thrown the aegis, an attribute of Jupiter, over his shoulder.”
The “Projecta Casket,” alleged wedding furniture from the “Esquiline Treasure” of Louis, Duc de Blacas at British Museum. Wikipedia reports: “In spite of the Christian inscription on the Projecta Casket, the iconography of the figurative decoration of the treasure is purely pagan, a common mixture in Roman metalwork from the period to about 350, when Early Christian art had not yet devised iconography for essentially secular decoration. Three sides of the Projecta Casket’s lid are decorated with pagan mythological motifs – these include the deity Venus on a cockleshell, nereids (sea-nymphs) riding a ketos (a dragon-like sea monster) and a hippocamp (a monster with the front quarters of a horse and the tail of a fish). The mixture of Christian and pagan inscriptions and symbols may have been a compromise reflecting the affiliations of the bride and groom’s families.”
Temple of Castor and Pollux, identified by Louis, Duc de Blacas
As for Purgstall-Hammer himself, his text is not very political at all, and it is almost hard to believe that Peter Partner and I are writing about the same book, considering the way he describes it. Besides the passage quoted before about the Templars’ alleged “Machiavellian principle” of blackmail, Hammer-Purgstall made very few comments in this text, tying the Templars, even implicitly, to the conspiracies brewing in his own day.
What he does do, however, is describe in detail the items he found, the entity of Mete that he believed was depicted on many of them, and the meaning he ascribed to the messages he found on them. These idols items bear inscriptions written in Greek and Arabic characters, but often in code (according to Hammer-Purgstall). Sometimes these letters are anagrammatized, and sometimes they are transliterated into the alphabet of another language. He believed that the messages identify the character depicted as “Mete” (M-E-T-E), which Hammer-Purgstall says was short for the Greek name Metis, meaning “wisdom,” “cunning,” “prudence” and “good advice.”
In Greek mythology, Metis the first bride of Zeus. She played a very important role in initiating and upholding his rule as king of the gods. To understand what happened to her, we must examine the quintessential Greek creation myths.
Zeus was the son of Chronos, who was, in turn, the son of Ouranos. Chronos castrated his father in order to escape the womb of his mother, Gaia. Ouranos had deliberately prevented his children from being born, cognizant that one of them was fated to overthrow his divine position. When Chronos engendered his own children with his wife Rhea, he became aware of a similar fate that was to come from one of these progeny. Therefore, he devised his own way of dealing with it by swallowing them upon birth.
But just as Gaia had schemed against her husband to aid her son Chronos in fulfilling his destiny (by supplying his with the castration knife), Rhea came up with a plan to save her son Zeus from ending up in his father’s stomach. In this case, she substituted the baby with a decoy in the form of a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes. Later, they say, Zeus found a way to poison his father, causing him to vomit up all the other children that had already been swallowed. Zeus and his siblings then fought their way to supremacy, overthrowing Chronos. The clever witch who conceived the poison plot was Metis, whom Zeus subsequently married.
As the story goes, Zeus, just like his predecessors, gained knowledge of a prophecy that if he bred with Metis, one of the children would overthrow him. Having already impregnated her, his solution was to swallow the mother before the birth ever happened. He was able to do this, some say, by tricking her into turning herself into a fly, so that she was small enough to go inside of his mouth. However, other depictions of the act show him eating her limb by limb at full size.
Whichever way it happened, as with the Olympian gods in the gullet of Chronos, Metis was immortal, so she remained alive inside of Zeus eternally. Eventually she gave birth to a daughter, the wise Athena. Metis worked from within Zeus’ body to hammer out a coat of armor for her daughter to wear. The hammering caused Zeus discomfort, and so he had his head cleaved open to alleviate the pressure. This allowed Athena to escape.
Athena with gorgon head on Aegis shield and Nike in hand
Athena went on to become an important goddess to the Greeks, associated, like her mother, with wisdom. But for some reason, Metis did not escape with her daughter, and remained inside of Zeus. He reportedly utilized her as a source of wise council during his reign, and she was often depicted supporting his throne from underneath, propping it up, like a royal slave.
Athena freed from the head of Zeus. But where is her armor?
Thus I theorized in my novel Genuflect, via a fictional persona, that the image of Mete on the casket in the Duc de Blacas collection depicts Metis escaping from this bondage. This may be why she is shown breaking the chains off her legs while—it seems to me—dragging the Sun and Moon down, both of them inverted. As she does it, she is smiling maniacally. I think she is being shown upending Heaven, disrupting the order of the Gnostic Archons and their leader Jaldabaoth (a.k.a. Jehovah, and thus Jove, and thus Zeus, bit also Mithras, Chronos, and Saturn, as I shall explain).
Hammer-Purgstall said that Metis, or Mete, was the same a Sophia, the personification of divine wisdom associated with the Holy Spirit in the Christian religion, but known by the name of Achamoth to the Gnostics. Hammer-Purgstall believed that the word “Baphomet” came from the Greek Baphe meteos, meaning “tincture (or baptism) of Mete.” Although Sophia is a mainstream Christian concept, endorsed by the Church and identified with the Holy Spirit, to the Gnostics, she was the mother of the Demiurge, the god who created this world and ruled over it as a tyrant.
The Demiurge, whom they called Jaldabaoth, was seen by Gnostics as identical to Jehovah as depicted in the Bible. They thought of him as a crazy villain because he claimed to be the only god when he wasn’t. Sophia was the female figure from the Pleroma, the pure realm of light beyond the “curtain” of the fixed stars. In their cosmology, it was Sophia who accidentally miscarried the malformed fetus which became Jaldabaoth, in a misguided attempt to create her own “aeon” (god-world) without a male partner. As such, Sophia was a flawed, fallen figure to the Gnostics.
Hammer-Purgstall found what he thought were “Templar” inscriptions about Mete that refer to her as “sprouting,” or “the planter.” One inscription on an image of Mete given by Hammer-Purgstall refers to “sprouting water.” This, he said, is meant to indicate sperma genethliakon (Greek for “reproductive seed”). This fits with accepted history, for according to several of the confessions given by some of the knights who were arrested in Paris in 1307, Templar initiates were taught that the Baphomet idol “caused the land to germinate.” They were also reportedly told that this demon was responsible for the fecundity of the order’s finances. This, the confessors said, was why they kept copies of the idol in their money coffers.
In Hammer-Purgstall’s assessment as one of the top Orientalists of his time, the symbolism he found on his “Baphometic idols” was that of the “Ophite” sect of Gnosticism, which he believed was the secret Templar doctrine. They were a group who revered the Serpent of Genesis, and all of the villains in the Bible, for their opposition to Jaldabaoth and his creation. Hammer-Purgstall believed that they also revered Sophia, in the form of Mete, and that they did sex rituals in her honor.
The images he showcases seem to suggest the ritual sacrifice of young boys as well. In his analysis, however, rather than accusing the Templars of murdering children, Hammer-Purgstall merely gives his own interpretation of a Gnostic concept of a symbolic “baptism of fire.” As he wrote:
This Gnostic baptism was understood to be not a bath of redemption through water, but a spiritual purification through fire, which is clear from excerpts out of Theodotus and out of Justin, in just so many words.
In support of [the translations of the name Baphomet] as “spiritual baptism” and “tincture of fire,” there are the sculptured bowls at the feet of our idols, full of fire, demonstrating how that mystic rite should be administered. For example, here are two representations of this concept. The first is of an infant (which means a neophyte Gnostic) being placed by Mete at the pedestal to one of these bowls (See Tab. I, fig. 14). The other is of a boy standing over a flaming bowl (see Tab. II, fig. 3).
Hammer-Purgstall references a passage in the Corpus Hermeticum referring to nothing less than a “baptism of wisdom.” Egyptian Hermeticists used a cosmology similar to that of the Gnostics, and likewise taught that there was redemption through Gnosis (as you will see below). But they can be distinguished from Gnostics by the fact that they held a relatively positive view of the Demiurge and his creation. Therefore, rather than condemning him for imprisoning mankind in the bondage of ignorance, they gave the excuse that this was merely a test to see which were aggressive enough in seeking wisdom to be worthy of it.
The Corpus Hermeticum allegedly records the wisdom of Hermes Trismegistus. As we explain in Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled, this figure seems to be simultaneously the Greek god Hermes, yet also a pre-Christian pagan prophet/philosopher-king. In the fourth chapter of the Corpus, entitled the “Discourse of Hermes to Tat on the Mixing Bowl or the Monad,” Hermes explains that the Father of all didn’t give Nous (“mind,” “intelligence,” or “wisdom”) to every person born in the world. Rather, he put it in a “mixing bowl” which he sent down from Heaven, intending for people to compete with each other for access to it. Then a herald was sent (implicitly, it seems to me, Hermes himself), who declared to the people of the world:
Immerse yourself in the mixing bowl if your heart has the strength, if it believes you will rise up again to the one who sent the mixing bowl below, if it recognizes the purpose of your coming to be.
Then, according to Hermes:
All those who heeded the proclamation and immersed themselves in mind participated in knowledge and became perfect people because they received mind.
In Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled, Alexander Rivera discuss, in the context of the Hermetic bowl of mind, the famous so-called “Ophite Bowl” (alternately sometimes called the “Orphic Bowl”). A link between these two things was also instinctively seen by Emma Jung, writer and wife of Carl Jung, in her book The Grail Legend, where she wrote:
Think of that vessel filled with nous (understanding and consciousness) which is mentioned in the Corpus Hermeticum and which, as Hermes taught his pupil Thoth, was sent from heaven to earth so that men, plunging into it, might understand the purpose for which they were created. A vessel of this kind also played a part in the Gnostic mystery celebrations of late antiquity. In Hans Leisegang’s study, “The Mystery of the Serpent,” an illustration is given of a bowl that appears to have originated in an Orphic community. On it sixteen naked men and women, in reverential and worshipping attitudes, stand around a coiled and winged serpent, the symbol of the Redeemer and Son of God in the Orphic Gnosis. . . . In this bowl the Logos-serpent is clearly being worshipped by the initiates.
The Ophite Bowl
Hammer-Purgstall argued that this “mixing bowl” of nous, a.k.a. Gnosis, is what is represented by all of the ritual bowls that he discovered. He said that this is what the Holy Grail symbolized as well, as he believed the Grail romances were Gnostic Templar allegories. It was, to him, the flaming censer of the Gnostic “baptism of fire” purification. Evidence connecting the Templars to this ritual is implied by the alleged existence of a secret Templar rule called The Book of the Baptism of Fire.
A text by this name was supposedly discovered in the Vatican archives by the Danish scientist and bishop Dr. Frederic Münter, who claimed that it described their secret baptism rite. It is this Baptism of Fire that Hammer-Purgstall believed to be depicted in this image of what looks like a child being put into a flaming bowl, and (presumably) another (seen on one of the caskets at the British Museum) of a body in flames on an altar. He wrote that this represents a Templar initiate, depicted as a child because he has not yet matured in the “wisdom” that he is about to be initiated into, represented by the bowl of fire. This is why he wrote:
Next [we see] a Neophyte with the appearance of an infant placed by a parent at such a bowl, surrounded by a whirling cloud of smoke from the incense (See Tab. II, fig. 3).
Tab. II, fig. 3, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Memorial to Dr. Frederic Münter, Bishop of Seeländ
Another symbol for the same idea, according to the learned Orientalist, was that of a dragon swallowing a child, an emblem also seen repeatedly on his Templar artifacts (and discussed in greater depth below). As he put it:
On the second bowl, beside the figure of Mete (See Tab. II, fig. 5), we see the Sun and Moon (See Tab. II, fig. 7, 8). A “baptism of fire” is shown there too (See Tab. II, fig. 3), and on the other side, a dragon, from whose jaws the ministers have snatched the infant.
Then later he writes:
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.
I have much more to say about this symbol later on in this analysis, but for now, let us just unpack what Hammer-Purgstall is saying here. Gnostics and Hermeticists both believed that our fate as individuals was controlled by the planets (what they called the “Archons”) and their father, the Demiurge. This fate included multiple incarnations in different bodies, between which we are usually made to forget by drinking from the river of Lethe (“forgetfulness”) in the underworld. They thought one could escape fate by obtaining Gnosis directly from the realm of light beyond. This some said, could cause them to remain awake after death, and remember their past lives upon reincarnation. Or, said some, one could avoid reincarnating entirely by transcending the prison of materiality altogether.
The River of Lethe, Thomas Benjamin Kennington, 1890
In the Orphic mystery school, which is thought by scholars to have influenced Gnosticism, the initiates were baptized in the river of sobriety instead, and drank “wine” that made them sober too. The Gnostic Pistis Sophia also talks about a “cup of sobriety.” This brought awareness of one’s past lives, rather than forgetfulness, and caused one to be free of fate, so that you would not be forced to reincarnate again. It seems to represent the same thing as the bowl of Nous mentioned in Discourse 4 of the Corpus Hermeticum.
Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, baptizing an initiate of Orphic Mysteries with the waters of sobriety
This idea seems to have been at the root of another concept that later developed in Western ritual magic. The idea is that one can become free from fate while still alive, and thus have the power to contravene the laws of nature by commanding the material world to do your bidding, having risen above it. This same concept was expressed in one of the secret messages that Hammer-Purgstall found encoded on one of the artifacts: “The distinguished charity of Mete uproots the enemy.”
My interpretation is that “distinguished” means “peculiar,” or “strange; “charity” means “love,” and therefore “sex”; and “the enemy” is the Demiurge, along with his servants, the planetary archons. This is why Mete was depicted pulling the Sun and Moon down from the heavens by a pair of chains. She was “uprooting” the tyranny of the cosmic order, and freeing herself from the chains of her master.
In his analysis, Hammer-Purgstall seems to be saying that the Templars viewed sexual sin as a path to “uprooting the enemy” through transgression of the creator-God’s rules, and also to what they perceived to be the rules of nature. Hammer-Purgstall compared this to the libertine creed of the later incarnations of the Order of Assassins, which became a heretical Gnostic Muslim sect promoting the creed “Nothing is true and all is permitted.”
In Aleister Crowley’ O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis, meaning “Order of Oriental Templars”), which is accompanied by an affiliated “Gnostic church,” a similar creed is promoted, plagiarized from Rabelais: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” Added to this were the words “Love is the law,” again putting emphasis on the use of transgressive “love” or sex as a path to spiritual freedom from the rule of the Demiurge and his cohorts. Crowley practiced and promoted homosexual, pedophilic and bestial sex rituals, just as the Templars were suspected by Hammer-Purgstall of doing. Thus, one of the phrases that Hammer-Purgstall found repeated in variations on the idols was (as per one example):
Reditus (ab apostasia) per πρωκτον facilis redditur
Professor X translated this for us as “Return (from apostasy) through prokton [Greek, “the rectum”] is made easy.” But I have discovered that the Latin, (reditus per facilis redditur) could also be read, by themselves, as “revenue through easy return,” as suggested by Google Translate. If we add in the word πρωκτον, it beings to sound as if we are talking about male prostitution and anal sex. This is absolutely relevant, as I am about to explain.
I am unclear as to exactly why Hammer-Purgstall added in the words ab apostasia (“from apostasy”) to this particular quotation (assuming this parenthetical addition wasn’t in the original inscription). But elsewhere among the artifact inscriptions, the Arabic word munker (“denier” or “apostate”) is used (meaning someone who denies the truth of the Islamic faith). It has a very particular meaning, as Satan or Lucifer (Iblis) was, according to the Koran, the first denier, because he refused Allah’s order to genuflect to Adam. As it says in Sura 23:97 (Pickthal translation):
And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.
Fay ce que devras (“Do what thou wouldst”), the phrase written on the Front of Rabelais’ fictional “Abbey of Thelema”
Also, Munkir and Nakir (“the Denied and the Denier”) are two angels who are said to test the faith of Muslims after their death. Furthermore, munkir carries with it an inherent implication alluding to the crime of sodomy, and is sometimes used as a euphemism for such. This is probably related to the lines from The Koran mentioned in one of my footnotes to Hammer-Purgstall’s text, “the word munker (or munkir) was used in The Koran’s reckoning of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, Sura 26: 160-175, when Lot is quoted as using this term to rebuke the homosexuals who were attempting to rape his house guests, the visiting angels.”
Munkir and Nakir, as depicted by Zakariya ibn Muhammad Qazwini
Later in the text, Hammer-Purgstall describes a “genuflecting idol,” with what he calls a “dog” shown positioned behind it, “adhering to the posterior parts,” which, he says, “indicates none other than the most disgusting outrage of the Templars.” On another artifact, he found an inscription stating:
He ordered the camel to lie down on its knees, [to do] the most disgusting things.
Camels bowing down to Mohammed as an angel anoints him with fluid
Finally, he also describes another disturbing image:
…[We] see a boy, a future Ophite or Gnostic Templar, immodestly fondling a bear, an animal so addicted to this vice that among the Arabs is circulated a proverb [regarding such]. To prevent this, and to claim the nursling for himself, the Templar charges forward with a lance in order to pierce the bear through and to lead the infant over to his own enticements, at which the abovementioned dog not obscurely hints. On the other hand, the boy, now having become an adolescent, resists the flatteries of the girl, who has tried to entice him by offering him flowers.
The connection being made here is one I also made in my novel Genuflect, although I hadn’t at the time put together all of these layers of meaning consciously at the time. But implicitly, I think, the concept of anal rape is being subtly hinted at in the ritual of bowing down, whether to a king, a deity, or an army that has just slaughtered all of the adult men in your village, leaving you defenseless. As the villain Blake Rosenberg stated in that book:
[G]enuflection is ultimately a sign of sexual submission made into a societal custom. It’s an evolutionary vestige of our wild bestial ancestors. The animals do it whenever they lose a fight, or whenever they don’t even dare to fight. It was first practiced by human tribes conquered in war, to obtain mercy from the victors. Then it was made a general sign of ‘respect’ from slaves to their owners. Why do you think Muslims put their asses in the air when they submit to Allah?
The story of the fall of Iblis tells you that an angel fell from God’s grace, and was essentially kicked out of the Heavenly royal court for having refused to submit in this way. Is it possible that Iblis might be able to “easily” return to his previous position there with Allah if he did submit and prostrate himself to Adam? Would that, in the filthy minds of the Ophite Gnostic Templars, possibly involve submission to anal penetration?
Perhaps that would have made perfect sense to them, as in Greek mythology, that appears to have been the way in which Zeus, having escaped the attempts of his father Chronos to swallow him when he was a baby. He later obtained victory over his father Chronos by pretending to be his “cupbearer.” This was a euphemism used in the ancient world for a catamite—a young male sex slave. (This, by the way, is the position held by the figure personified by the constellation of the “water-bearer” Aquarius.)
A Roman with his catamite
It was said that Zeus used his intimate position in his father’s royal court to obtain an opportunity to “poison” Chronos, a plot said to have been devised by the goddess Metis. This caused Chronos to vomit up the children he had swallowed, the siblings of Zeus (the gods of Olympus). They emerged in reverse order from how they had been first born from their mother’s womb and eaten.
We should also note that, with these Greek creation stories (which I see as being referenced directly and indirectly by the Ophite and Templar code words and symbolic images that Hammer-Purgstall brings to us here), we once again we have the idea of a child being swallowed by a dragon, as Chronos and his wife Rhea were both, at times, depicted as such. They were certainly understood by mythographers to be giant monsters, as all the Titans were. Even Zeus was sometimes depicted with a serpent’s body from the waist down. They were a race of dragons, so the image of a baby being swallowed by a dragon, mentioned repeatedly by Hammer-Purgstall and recurring many times within the pictures on his artifacts.
Zeus as an anguipede, raping a human
A medieval rendering of the same incident
The parallels with the story of Jesus Christ might have been obvious to the Templars. After his death on the cross, he was swallowed by Hell, but, according to Catholic doctrine, released all the souls there (and according to most Christians, he certainly purchased the potential release of them all). Also, many Gnostic texts describe Christ as an “alien” from the light realm of the Pleroma beyond creation, whose presence here is being rejected as a foreign object by the body of the Demiurge, within whose gullet creation apparently was thought to reside. Finally, the way in which the children of Chronos are “born again” with the stone in reverse order from their first birth, like a Christian reborn with Christ, could have been seen as a fulfillment of the prophecy made by Jesus in Matthew 20:16 that “the last shall be first, and the first last”(KJV). Also, in Revelation 4:1, the one sitting on the throne of God is actually described as a stone.
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
This takes place within the New Jerusalem, described as a cubic city, the righteous ones selected to be saved must enter before the Lake of Fire destroys the rest of creation (thus making the inside of the box a new cosmos in itself). It is described by St. John the Divine as “coming down out of heaven from God, shining with the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious jewel, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.”
Thus, any future emergence from this crystal enclosure into a larger realm could be considered a “birth from the stone,” and the cubic city viewed as a vehicle that safely guides the passengers through the ocean of chaos into a new realm. This is actually how oceans were viewed in ancient cosmologies: as bowls of primordial chaos, full of that which preceded material existence. Thus, existence was viewed as literally coming out of the sea, just as evolutionary biology now claims more complex forms of life were formed on Earth.
This would explain why the stone in the Greek story, the substitute for Zeus, was called omphalos, and said to be the “Navel of the World.” In Jerusalem, in the floor of the Al-Aqsa mosque, there is something similar, called the Eben Shityah, the “Foundation Stone of the World.” The Ark of the Covenant supposedly rested upon it, and there are even Christian traditions saying that this is the real location of Golgotha (“the Place of the Skull”), where Jesus was purportedly crucified.
Considering the anal connections here, it is not ridiculous to consider a connection between the English word “shit” and the Foundation Stone, as “fundament” is an antiquated term for both the buttocks and feces. The commonly-accepted etymology of this word, as expressed by EtymologyOnline.com, is:
Old English scitan, from Proto-Germanic skit– (source also of North Frisian skitj, Dutch schijten, German scheissen), from PIE root skei– ‘to cut, split.’ The notion is of ‘separation’ from the body (compare Latin excrementum, from excernere ‘to separate,’ Old English scearn (‘dung, muck,’) from scieran (‘to cut, shear’; see sharn). It is thus a cousin to ‘science’ and ‘conscience.’
“Scat,” of course, comes from this. “Earth,” “dirt,” and “soil” are synonymous in English, and at times, synonymous with excrement outright as well, as in the verb “to soil.” Tartarus was the womb of Gaia, the Earth. Again, the careful examination of the meaning of the words and their origins tells us how to interpret the myths that we have been dealing with here.
Saturn is specifically associated with sodomy, as the root words connected to his name attest. Satu means “sewing,” referring to planting seeds in the earth, just as Saturn’s title sator means sower. But amazingly, the noun “sewer”—a conduit for human waste—has its own etymology that nonetheless leads us right back to sodomy and male prostitution, stemming ultimately, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, from the “Gallo-Roman exaquaria (source of Middle French esseveur),” which itself comes from the “Latin ex (‘out’)… + aquaria, fem. of aquarius”—the “Cup-bearer,” a.k.a. the “Catamite.”
Saturn’s epithet Sterculius comes from stercus, meaning “dung.” The English word “sod,” referring to earth covered with grass, may come from this connection in Latin between feces and agricultural fertilizer, and also from Saturn’s name. It’s also probably no coincidence that in Britain the word “sod” is a slang term for “sodomite,” or that the inhabitants of Sodom were known to be haughty because of their vast mineral wealth, which the subterranean Saturn (imprisoned in Tartarus ever since his) was thought to be the ruler of. Vulgar words for feces are often used colloquially to refer to gold, money or treasure in cultures around the world, probably because of the traditional connection between these things and the underworld.
In a section of his book about the Louis Bunuel’s 1930 film L’Age D’Or (The Golden Age, named after the term for Saturn’s pre-Olympian kingdom), Paul Hammond, analyzing the film’s scatological imagery, quoted one of the influencers of the film, Salvador Dali, who in the same year (1930) wrote somewhere that:
We learned long ago to recognize the image of desire behind the simulacra of terror, and even the reawakening of the ‘ages of gold’ behind ignominious scatological simulacra.
The Etruscans called Saturn Satre, and said that he “hurls his lightning from his abode deep in the earth.” It was lightning, remember, that fertilized the rock which Mithras was born from. The similarly-named Egyptian god Set is most likely connected to the figure of Saturn, as well as the character of Seth in The Book of Genesis. In my book The Merovingian Mythos and Clock Shavings, I described how similar names in the lists Seth and Cain appears to be a refurbishing of the tarnished figure of Cain, I also demonstrate how Cain corresponds in many ways to the figure of Saturn.
Scholars speculate, based on the imagery found in the cult’s temples, that in the Roman mysteries of Mithras before cutting the bull’s throat, Mithras and his assistants sodomized the bull. This bestial rape is literally shown in some of the “taurtoctonies” (the term for depictions of the Mithraic bull slaughter) found in Europe. Even more common is for wheat to be shown sprouting out of the bull’s anus.
Mithraic relief from Heddernheim showing the sacred bull being sodomized by the Chiaramonti. From Franz Cumont’s Mysteries of Mithras.
Mithras was actually said to have been born from a rock that had been divinely inseminated. The source of the semen he came from was, strangely, said by some to be Jupiter or Zeus. Yet Mithras was considered interchangeable with Chronos by his followers, and thus identical to the figure who cut his way out of the womb of Gaia, castrating his father Ouranos (Uranus) in the process. Does this imply some sort of inverse order of generation? These details are, indeed, clues to a mind-blowing idea that is being hinted at in these myths. He was also said to have created a son of his own son in the same manner. I explore these facts in much greater detail below, and also in my novel Genuflect.
Mithras emerging from the rock
It seems to me that a story similar to that of Zeus and his revenge against Chronos is being referred to here by Hammer-Purgstall as coming from the Ophite Gnostics when he, after mentioning the anguipede (meaning “serpents for legs”) Gnostic figure of Abraxas, he writes (as rendered by Professor X):
This is the son of Sophia, Barbelot or Achamoth, called Sabaoth or Jaldabaoth. Among the Gnostics he was seen as the father of the seven Archons, creator and governor of all things heavenly and earthly, who rebelled against his mother and, exulting in his glory, insanely boasted that “he was father and God, above whom is no one.” However, the mother, hearing this, cried out, “Don’t lie, Jaldabaoth, for there is above you a father, first of all things, Anthropus, and Anthropus, son of Anthropus.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book I, chapter 30, on the Ophites.)
This “Anthropus” is also called, by Manichean Gnostics, “Iblis Kadim.” The Catholic Encyclopedia from 1922, published by the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Truth Committee, describes this figure thusly in a section on Manicheanism:
This incarnation of evil, called Satan or Ur-devil (Iblis Kadim, in Arabic sources), a monster, half fish, half bird, yet with four feet and lion-headed, threw himself upward towards the confines of light.
I believe we are talking here about an evil angel incarnating through an anal birth, coming out of the intestines of something, and taking on the form of a monster in the process. More on this in a bit.
Regarding the Demiurge Jaldabaoth, Hammer-Purgstall continues:
This is, according to the Ophites, the God of the Jews and Christians, whom they cursed, and whom they trampled underfoot. The Ophites thought that this one wages perpetual war against his mother Achamoth, and prohibits men from getting knowledge of his mother (that is, of divine wisdom). He produced, besides the seven Archons who govern the seven heavens (who rebelled against him as he did against this mother), yet another serpent-shaped son, that is (Greek, ton Noun, “the mind”) in the form of a contorted serpent. He first offered to his father Jaldabaoth a ministry so as to seduce mankind “to purge from him the seed of light.” Next, though, abandoning the sly and crafty aspects of the father, and becoming a follower of Sophia, he proceeded to lead men to her true knowledge, or Gnosis, and to the revelation of all the arcane things of nature.
Just to be clear: Hammer-Purgstall is saying that the Gnostic Demiurge Jaldabaoth, who is equivalent to Chronos in the Greek myths, was drained of his semen deliberately by the Gnostic Christ figure Anthropos, the First Man, the Alien, in order to empty him of his divine light. The words that Professor X rendered as “offered to his father Jaldabaoth a ministry” could, I think, be changed to “offered to minister to his father,” as in the form of a cup-bearer, or catamite. Hammer-Purgstall continues:
Finally, through the winding of intestines depicting contortion, he was held by the Ophites to be worthy to represent the “genital wisdom” (in Greek Zoogogon sophian, and in Arabic, ma-ta na-sha) of our inscriptions. For this reason, he was sometimes called by the Ophites Nous, and at other times by the name of the angels Michael and Samael. He was worshiped in the orgies as a symbol of the abominable wisdom and the true leader of Gnosis.
What Professor X renders as “offered to his father Jaldabaoth a ministry,” I take to more probably mean “he offered to minister to his father,” most likely referring to the role of the cup-bearer. The parallel being drawn between intestines and serpents is found in many ancient traditions. Thus, the image of a child being swallowed by a serpent may, in this context, imply a child being consumed in the process of anal rape. It may also imply the reverse, as Hammer-Purgstall himself suggests: a child coming out of the dragon. This, then, could mean a child being born rectally—though not, necessarily, any normal sort of child, as I shall explain.
In his analysis of all the images he found of children being swallowed by monsters and dragons, Hammer-Purgstall claims that the imagery of St. George (the patron Saint of England) slaying the Dragon—which is a veritable copy of similar imagery seen in depictions of the Saint/Archangel Michael (another name used by Gnostics)—is Gnostic in origin. He writes:
This is the dragon whom the Templars, having sculpted on their graves, trampled underfoot in the London temple.
He is talking about the effigies of Templar Knights on top of their tombs where they are buried beneath the floor of Temple Church in London. Their feet are indeed resting on top of creatures that do sort of look like lions, and a bit like dogs, but do also, in some cases, appear to have dragon-like tails. They seem to me somewhat like the “Luck-Dragon” featured in the fantasy film The Never-Ending Story.
Templar effigies at Temple Church in London
The way they are being walked upon reminds me of the way in which the goddess Cybele is shown standing on top of two lions who, in many depictions, are shown connected to one another as Siamese twins with one trunk and no backside between then, ala the Nickelodeon cartoon “Catdog.” This same emblem was called, in Egypt, Aker, and represented the past and future, just like a Roman bust of Janus. According to Hammer-Purgstall, these creatures represent the Demiurge, and the effigies of the knights are being shown trampling upon him.
But I have my own interpretation of the meaning of why they are being shown this these creatures, and positioned in the way that they are, as this study progresses. For now, I will just note that most of the knights are shown on their effigies with their legs twisted in a strange way, so that, to me, they look like they’re in pain. It looks exactly like the way Cybele’s son Attis is traditionally shown, as well as the two servants of Mithras, Cautes and Cautophanes, who are present when he emerges from the rock, and when he slays the bull, holding torches to light the way for him.
In the case of Attis, this is because he has been castrated. The cult of Cybele celebrated this by castrating their newly-initiated Galli priests—who were thereafter referred to as female—on what they called the “Day of Blood,” March 24, near the Spring Equinox.
As I pointed out in my novel Genuflect, this was the same date that men in the Heaven’s Gate cult castrated themselves before they committed suicide. They believed that they were going to be taken up into a portal that they thought was riding past Earth with the Hale Bopp comet that night. They thought they needed to be castrated to get in. They wanted to be the “eunuchs of Heaven” that the Bible talks about. Some people think that comet was actually Nibiru, also called Planet X, which the Babylonians identified with the time of the Spring Equinox.
But the festival of Cybele and Attis began on March 15, which is also the same time at which the Gnostic Christian heretics known as the Cathars performed their secret ritual called consolamentum. The most famous such rite took place at the end of the siege of their fortress of Montsegur. As I explained in The Merovingian Mythos:
The Cathars and their defenders fought bravely, but in the end it was no use. Some of the few remaining Cathar strongholds, towards the end, were those in Arques, Narbonne, Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Rennes-le -Chateau. But the final fortress to capitulate was that of Montsegur, “poised”, as Holy Blood, Holy Grail relates, “like a celestial ark above the surrounding valleys.” It was besieged by the invaders for ten months, and finally fell in March of 1244.
On the first of March, the less than 400 remaining defenders, 180 of them actual Cathars, and the remainder mercenary soldiers, were offered terms for surrender. The soldiers would receive full pardon, and the heretics would only have to renounce their beliefs and make a full confession. The Cathars agreed to a two-week truce while they considered the terms, with the understanding that if anyone tried to escape, they would be immediately executed. They took the whole two weeks, but in the end, the Cathars refused, and were immediately burned to death.
Yet according to the legends, the night before the end of the ceasefire, a small group of Cathars managed to sneak out of the fortress carrying some unnamed treasure—one quite separate and distinct from the famed hordes of gold and other booty the heretics possessed, which had been smuggled out safely much earlier in the siege. Given the importance of the date, which was Easter, March 14, the day of the Spring Equinox, the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail assumed that the “treasure” must have been some sort of holy relic, which they had needed to hold onto until that point for use in their Spring Equinox ritual. Records indicate that an equinox ritual did indeed take place. Whatever it consisted of was in all probability the reason why at least twenty of the mercenary soldiers who were defending the Cathars converted to their religion at the last moment, thus sealing their death warrants. The writers of Holy Blood, Holy Grail have theorized that the ritual had more to do with the equinox than with the Christian Easter, since Easter celebrated Christ’s resurrection after the crucifixion, and the Cathars did not believe that Christ had died on the cross. But could it not have been both an observance of the equinox and an Easter ritual—one that actually repudiated the crucifixion?
A letter written by Jean de Joinville, friend to French King Louis IX during the 13th century, stated that: ‘The king once told me how several men from among the Albigenses had gone to the Comte de Montfort… and asked him to come look at the body of Our Lord, which had become flesh and blood in the hands of their priest.’
The Cathar rite will come up again later on. It seems to involve several of the same ritual aspects that we are dealing with here in the alleged Ophite Templar ceremonies discussed by Hammer-Purgstall and illustrated on the artifacts he presents. But for now, allow me to quote from the article “Secrets of the Ordo Templi Orientis” on parareligion.ch:
In the O.T.O.’s Gnostic Mass (Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Catholic Mass (Liber XV—Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae) a host called Cake of Light contains the Logos. Ingredients may be sperm, blood and vaginal secrets. … It is given its character in the making. It is consecrated, but not transubstantiated. The deity in the cake of light is the “Childe,” properly an aspect of Horus (or a sort of homunculus) and not of either Osiris or the cognate Christ. Transmutation is change of form, in the instance of the pertinent passage in Crowley’s Mass, by chemical processes of digestion. Transsubstantiation (sp), on the other hand, is change of essential quality without change of form. Transmutation is a physiological process. Transubstantiation is a non-physical process. Thus, a cake of light is transmuted in the preparation, to afford a character appropriate to the “miracle of the Mass”: it’s a sexmagical medium of the participant’s Will (the ritual itself can be interpreted as a mirror of the perpetual creation of the Universe). …Consumation (sp) of the host is necessary, body contact. Some say, it is not the host that is changed but the consumer of the host. Through contact with saliva, chewing, stomach acid. This is the transformation, the unification of the host with the consumer. The thelemic host changes the consumer—contrary to the Roman Catholic host. A Roman Catholic host is said to be transsubstantiated (sp) during the RC Mass, a change of its invisible essence (for the entering of the real-presence of the Christ) without a change in the appearance and chemical qualities of the thing. If a thing such as that was both transmutated (sp) and transsubstantiated (sp) to the body and blood, it would become actual bleeding meat from the transmutation.
It sounds to me very much as if the host here is a sort of seed or egg containing the necessary ingredients for a homunculus, just as the quotation mentions. This is an artificial man (what is, in Hebrew, called a golem), made out of mud, or even dung, it seems, and animated through magical or alchemical processes that I shall describe shortly. When commenting upon the emblem of the boy being swallowed by a “dragon” that looks suspiciously to me like he’s actually emerging from a set of intestines, Hammer-Purgstall mentions the biscione of the Royal House of Milan:
This, finally, is the same dragon who, at the time of the establishment of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar, came out of Gnostic fabrications on the life of St. George, and with him, but without the infant, transferred into the British Shield. Also, it is certain that the Gnostic dragon absorbing the infant gave rise to the serpent of [the house of] Visconti, who up to the present can be seen in the seals of Milan.
Tab. IV, fig. 19-20. Does the knight represent Ottone? (See below)
This latter reference is about the biscione, the official device of the House of Visconti, a very influential royal family in Milan. It consists of a “Saracen” boy (naked, with red skin) being swallowed alive, feet, first, by a large serpent, much like many of the images on Hammer-Purgstall’s idols. The insignia is said to have been stolen, quite literally, as spoils of war from the Crusades in the year 1100. I will tell you the story, but I must warn you that it lacks sense because it contains several inconsistencies.
The biscione of Milan
Logo for Alfa-Romeo cars, featuring biscione and St. George’s cross
I first heard the story, or at least the details of it, just a couple of days ago, on a YouTube video, made by an Italian named Gian Luca Margheriti, which was published little over a month ago. It was called “The ‘biscione’ of Visconti and Sforza families of Milan in 90 seconds (or nearly so).” In it, the presenter states that:…[I]n 1100, during the Second Crusade, Ottone Visconti was leading seven thousand Milanese soldiers. During the siege on Jerusalem, Ottone was facing the cruel Saracen Voluce, who… fought under the symbol of a serpent devouring a man. [Voluce was defeated] and, following the custom of the epoch, Ottone took his arms and his emblems and brought them back to Milan. Since then he decided to make Voluce’s emblem the crest of his family, with one small change: the serpent, instead of devouring whatever man, would have a red Saracen in its mouth…. The symbol was then changed again, substituting the Saracen with a child, in order to suggest the innate kindness of the Visconti grass snake.”In addition to the absurdity of the last statement—for how is eating a child more “kind” then eating a grown man?—the main things that jump out are: 1) the year 1100 was at the end of the First Crusade, not the second, which didn’t start until 1147, 2) the siege of Jerusalem is recorded as happening the previous year, in 1099, and, 3) Ottone Visconti was not born until more than a century later in 1207. Yet every version of this story I found stated that it was Ottone Visconti who vanquished the Saracen, and that it took place in 1100 specifically. The closest thing I found to an admission of the inconsistency was a source that said it must have been a relative of his with the same name.
Ottone defeating Voluce
The story becomes even more convoluted when you consider Gian Luca Margheriti’s assertion that there is another possible origin of the Visconti device. He says that “Uberto Visconti,” one of Ottone’s ancestors, defeated a dragon named “Tarantasio” that was terrorizing the women and children of Milan.A long time ago, between Milan, Lodi and Bergano, there was a large lake called Gerundo. Today there is nothing left of that lake. It was reclaimed during the Middle Ages, together with other territories around Milan, to create new arable lands. According to legend, a giant dragon called Tarantasio lived in the Milanese part of this swampy marsh, more or less where today we can find the gardens dedicated to Indro Montanelli. Chroniclers told that whoever approached its den would get devoured. All those that were not eater by the dragon were roasted by its mephitic burning breath. The dragon in the end was defeated by Uberto Visconti, count of Angera.
Biscione in the midst of a hydra
This Uberto appears to be the progenitor of the royal line, and while his birth date is not recorded, his death is put by history at 1248, so we still don’t have a link to 1100. Further reading revealed that this creature was also called “Tartanus,” and that it is thought to be buried on the isle of Achilli. The biscione appears on the arms of Angera, as it does in Milan, to this day. Clearly, there is more to this story than is meant to be understood by the casual listener. The motto of the Visconti family is Viperas mores non violabo, which means “I will not violate the customs of the serpent.”
Ottone Visconti leads Milan’s surrender to Barbarossa, March 1, 1162
The biscione story has fittingly been compared with the image of the prophet Jonah, sometimes shown halfway through the act of being swallowed (or is he actually emerging)? He is also properly compared, then, with images of the Mesopotamian myth of Oannes, who is sometimes shown and emerging from the ocean to teach wisdom to his students. Also, Matsya, an incarnation of Vishnu, whose body is half-way out of the mouth of a fish. The name, of course, is undoubtedly connected to the same roots as the words Mete, Metis and Maat, discussed here. In full-fish form, Matsya is said to have rescued a king called Manu from a worldwide flood.
Various depictions of Matsya
This seems to be true with the biscione story as well, for, according to some sources, the boy is actually to be coming out of the serpent, a possibility that Hammer-Purgstall also suggests. Julia Kaziewicz writes in Study and Teaching Guide for the History of the Renaissance World that there is a version of the biscione that shows the creature “giving birth” to the boy, though I am not sure if she means that it is doing so orally, or otherwise.The biscione story was referenced by Italian poet Torquato Tasso in his 1581 book Jerusalem Delivered, which Hammer-Purgstall quotes in his footnotes commenting on this symbol. Strangely, Tasso seems to describe the Saracen’s shield as being decorated with a “naked boy coming out of the serpent.” There doesn’t seem to be any doubt that it was always a little boy, not a grown man.” As for the eleven possible translations of the Italian word esce, all indicate “coming out of” except one, “sticking up,” which is ambiguous in this instance.
If he is actually coming out of the biscione, this would explain the look of surprise, but not always anguish, that is sometimes seen on the face of the boy victim. Significantly, the word “anguish” shares the same root found in many words associated with snakes in several different languages, including the words that Torquato Taso used for the biscione: Angue. The syllable Ang, etymologically, has to do with twisting and bending, thus forming “angles.” “Anguish” comes from being twisted up emotionally, and causes physical contortions in the body.”
The house of Anjou, who consider as their ancestor the demonic creature Melusine, are undoubtedly named after her, since creatures like her, with serpents for legs, are called “Anguepedes.” As I have explained in other writings, there is also a connection between this word, due to its connotations involving angles, and the name of the people known as the “Angles,” as well as the language of English that they helped to influence.
Melusine flies away from Fulk the Black’s castle
The Italian pronunciation of “biscione” is specified by writing it with ʃ twice in place of the “sc” (to be pronounced like the “sh” in “ship), or as bissa in Milanese. (I at first thought I was looking at a double “f,” and almost jumped out of my chair thinking that the alternate spelling offered by Wikipedia to aid pronunciation was baffone, and thus almost identical to baffomet.)
Ultimately, “biscione” is said to come from the Latin bestia. But there are obvious connections with the names of other, similar creatures, explored in the paragraph below. To these I would add the unknown root of the word “bitch,” which, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, comes from the Old English bicce meaning “female dog,” but stems “probably from Old Norse bikkjuna (“female of the dog”), “which is of unknown origin,” and, in that language, also applies to “the fox, wolf, and occasionally other beasts.” The same source also notes something significant to this book’s topics when it mentions that it has been “used among male homosexuals from 1930s,” and that “In modern (1990s, originally African-American vernacular) slang, its use with reference to a man is sexually contemptuous….” But then, what about “vicious,” from the Latin vitiosus and the Medieval Latin vicious, meaning “faulty, full of faults, defective, corrupt; wicked, depraved”?
Another family of related words includes guivre, which is defined as a mythical “dragon-like” animal with poisoned breath. That word connections to the French vouivre, and vipera, and thus to “viper,” then to wyvern, wurm, and thus “worm.”A side branch of this word cluster brings us to “wolf,” coming to us, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, from:
Wlkwo (‘wolf’ source also of Sanskrit vrkas, Avestan vehrka); Albanian ul’k; Old Church Slavonic vluku; Russian volcica; Lithuanian vilkas (‘wolf’); Old Persian Varkana (‘Hyrcania,’ district southeast of the Caspian Sea, literally ‘wolf-land’); probably also Greek lykos, Latin lupus).
The name of “Hyrcania,” of course, made me think of Hercules, who seems to be all over these etymologically-related myths of fabulous beasts, as we shall see.
Supposedly there were two noble dynasties in Italy named Visconti, separated chronologically and physically by small amounts, and historians say they were unrelated, although I find that hard to believe. The later Viscontis, centered in Sardinia, used a black cock as their insignia. But the earlier Viscontis of Milan ended up fusing with the House of Sforza and adding another type of black bird to their arms, which they call an “eagle.”
Arms of the House of Sforza
But considering that the Gnostic anguipede symbol of Abraxas involves a creature with the head of a cock and two serpents for legs, I can’t help but wonder if the second house of Visconti is indeed related, but just chose a nicer way of depicting their mascot. Other creatures, like the cockatrice and the basilisk (whose name means “little king”), also combine the features of snakes and roosters, are also known for eating children, and are decidedly demonic in association. Interestingly, the Sforzas started out in the service of the Angevins, descendants of the anguipede Melusine, who herself was said to have such features because she had been fathered by the Devil himself.
Hammer-Purgstall describes the image on Tab. V, fig. 62 as “the Ophitic Mete wearing a towered crown and holding two snakes, just [like] those figures in the bas-reliefs of the church of Pictavien, as well as the many idols in the Imperial-Royal Treasury and the collection of Schoenfeld. It seems hard to believed that he did not recognize this image of the anguipede Melusine (a common European heraldic device featuring a crowned woman with snakes for legs, now morphed into the mermaid on the Starbucks logo), which it clearly is. Perhaps he would have interpreted all images of Melusine as Templar-inspired depictions of Mete. The story of the Melusine (inspired by a supernatural folk tale stating that the wife of Fulk III, Count of Anjou, was a half-demonic creature spawned by Satan), was first heard shortly before or contemporary with the foundation of the Templar order. The house of Anjou was intimately connected with the families of the founding knights.While for the present edition of this book I have not had Hammer-Purgstall’s footnotes to this essay fully translated yet, I have looked at them, and he seems to take the biscione symbol as a Gnostic one, as well as that of St. George slaying the Dragon. As he explains in the main text, the Dragon, in this instance, is the Demiurge. In his favor, the Viscontis were accused by Pope Giovanni XXII (particularly Ottone’s nephew Matteo, who replaced him in leading Milan) of being heretics in league with the Gnostic Cathars, practicing magic, stealing items from the church, and of teaching young women in their domains that casual sex was not a sin.I think this is the same “OTTO” that he mentions when analyzing coins with that name on them found at Templar properties (Tab. V, fig. 93-95), although there are two other candidates for the person that have been suggested by other scholars. Hammer-Purgstall wrote regarding one of these coins that it bears “the inscription [or, perhaps, ‘epigraph’] Ottonis Marchionis.” These last two words are not italicized, and he follows them with the statement that “it only goes to show that he was an initiate Gnostic doctrine or the secrets of the Temple.” Ottone Visconti is, as far as I know, the only one of the three who was an accused Gnostic heretic.Years ago, I wrote in my research notes about Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum that I thought (perhaps at the suggestion of someone else) Hammer-Purgstall was saying the coin depicted Otto de Grandson, a knight from Savoy who at the end of the thirteenth century fought off a Mamluk invasion in Cilicia alongside Jacques de Molay. (For this, he is frequently called “the Savior of the Templars,” and the Chateau de Grandson still stands proudly in the municipality of Grandson in Switzerland.) However, Frederic Münter, who first wrote about these coins, thought (and Michaud concurred) that they actually depict Otto II, Margrave of Brandenberg, who lived from 1147 to 1205. The word written as “Margrave” in English comes from the German Markgraf, made from graf, the German word for “Count,” and mark, translated “march” in English, which is the German word for a borderland.
Oddone of Savoy
Arms of the House of Grandson
Both Münter and Michaud see this implied in what they take to be the word marchio written on Coin 95, right after the word “OTTO.” Thus they see nothing heretical hinted at in this coin. Indeed, when you compare this coin to another one found on Wikipedia that does feature Otto II, the way the head and face are depicted is quite similar, as is the style of execution for both coins in their entirety (though not the design itself).
Tab. V, fig. 93, front and back
Tab. V, fig. 94
Tab. V, fig. 94-95
Left: Otto II, Margrave of Brandenberg
Right: Tab. V, fig. 31 and 56, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
This coin has been labeled by a numismatics website as featuring Heinrich II von Rotteneck, Prince-Bishop of Regensburg (-1277-1296) on the obverse side (left), with his head “between two pillars.” On the reverse side (right),where the image is almost completely obliterated, the samesite says there was once “probably” an image of “Otto III… Duke of Lower Bavaria in 1290 and King of Hungary in 1305.”
One of the things that occurred to me when examining the mystery of the Ottos is that Aleister Crowley may have seen significance in the name “OTTO” when he saw this material while reading Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum, which I know for certain he did. Considering that these are the letters involved in the name of his order, the OTO, he might have seen it as an omen that one of these coins was number 93, a number he held as sacred because of a message he divined from spirits telling him that this number somehow symbolized the zeitgeist of the coming “New Aeon” that his followers proclaim is upon us.
Further research into the names “Otto” and “Ottone” revealed some fascinating connections. I immediately thought of Odin, a.k.a Woden, the one-eyed Norse god considered equivalent to Hermes/Mercury. I also wondered if it was related to the name “Anthony.” Finally, I wondered if it was related to the name “Ottoman,” because the type of armor which the character “Otto Marchionis” on the said coin is depicted wearing reminded me of the way Ottoman knights dressed (even though the timeline, I figured, was off for there to be such influence).
Left: One-Eyed Odin. Right: Tab. I, fig. 5, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum, allegedly
“Mete” Idol. The Dajjal, the Islamic Anti-Christ figure, is also said to have only one eye.
Wotan riding white horse, slaying dragon, just like St. George
As it turns out, “Othin” is an alternate way of spelling Odin, while “Othone,” “Ottho,” “Odo” and “Odon” are all alternate ways of spelling “Otto” in European languages. This brings to my mind the name of Thoth, the Egyptian equivalent of Hermes/Mercury.
In Latin the root “odo” connects mainly with words having to do with odor or hatred (odium). But “den,” which we find in “Woden/Odin,” but also, in “Eden” (I will explain, in due course, the symbolic connection between these things) yields interesting results in Latin and in many other languages, relating to a “grinder,” a “sickle,” a “tooth,” or, more broadly, anything that is, to quote my Latin dictionary, “sharp, biting or destructive.”
It means all these things in Latin, and has similar meanings in other tongues. This, of course, is where we get “dentist,” “orthodontia,” and the like. In Latin, the share-beam of a plough was called a dentalia. Saturn, who is Chronos and Mithras, was considered by Romans to be not only the patron deity of agriculture, but the actual inventor of the plough. The Latin dictionary even connects dens for “tooth” directly with a reference from Virgil about Saturn’s sickle, dens Saturni.
This is significant for many reasons. For one thing, I think it is reasonable, if one tries to imagine a baby cutting the penis off of his father from inside his mother’s womb (the first use of Saturn’s sickle), that we should consider the idea that the cutting instrument was really his teeth. Saturn was a beast, after all, a dragon, a Titan, connected to the word “Satan,” and he had been kept inside the womb too long, so his teeth might have been quite large.
Also, in the Persian-influenced Mithras cult, the bull is castrated by a scorpion, who then feeds the testicles to the Moon goddess. Luna was considered the genetrix of souls who brings them into human incarnation, and through which they must pass when they exit. In Ophite Gnostic cosmology, the realm directly above the Earth plane is occupied by Behemoth, a bull-headed monster. The next one after that is the Moon. In his The Makers of Civilization, L.A. Waddell connected Odin with “the first Sumerian king Uduin,” and adds:
[T]he Star named after King Uduin is called ‘The Star of the Lord King ME-TI-RA,’ which discloses the Sumerian origin of the Sanskrit title of Mitra and the Persian Mithra for the Sun, which luminary was the sole ‘star’ worshipped by the first king and his Goths in the Eddas. Stills further the Planet Jupiter, named as we have seen after the first Sumer king’s title of Ia or Ja, was called by the later Sumers ‘The planet UDU, the Etil (Lord), the GUT, wherein Gut, here spelt with signs meaning ‘The Bull of the Sun,’ is as we shall see later the ordinary Sumerian form of the word Goti or ‘GOTH.’
This identity is further confirmed by this Sumerian record stating… that ‘Kingship from Heaven was made arise. At Urdu City kingship was … At Urdu City Udu-in the king reigned.’ This is in strict agreement with the Nordic Eddas which state that Thor, also called in different stanzas of that episode Odo, descended from his Himin, i.e. ‘Heaven’ and enthroned himself as king at Urd.
The word “heaven,” which the names “Ouranos” and “Uranus” are most commonly taken to refer to, has, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, an uncertain origin, but they mention Watkins derives it elaborately from the Proto-Indo-European ak meaning “sharp,” itself coming from akman. This latter word means “stone or sharp stone,” and also “stony vault of heaven,” pertaining to the ancient concept of the arch of the sky being a hard domed firmament. I see in here the obvious lingering influence of the idea that the connection between the sky and the Earth (symbolized as the sky’s penis) has been severed by one of more of the objects in the sky.
Now consider that on Tab. V., fig. 100 of Hammer-Purgstall’s images, we see another coin featuring the name “OTTO,” but this time there is another strange character right after the last “O.” It looks like an X inside of a square. It really makes no sense, and I might take it to be the place where another letter or symbol has been rubbed off over time. But the first time I looked at this image, long before I knew about the etymological connections, I thought that I saw the word “TOOTH” there. See for yourself.
This seems significant, especially when combined with the fact that Otto is shown here holding a lance, with another weapon in the shape phallic fleur-de-lys (more on this symbol later) standing next to him, both standing between two phallic-looking towers, and a hand sticking out from above, poking through the veil of heaven as though through a membrane. In German the word “heaven” is himmin, and its etymology, as I mention elsewhere in this essay, means “stony vault,” while the word “hymen” (the same in German) is supposedly unrelated. (The fleur-de-lys, by the way, was supposedly handed down to the Frankish Merovingian king Clovis from Heaven by his wife Clothilde.)
Tab. V, fig. 100
Hammer-Purgstall himself made note of this extraneous X, and had a most unique interpretation. He wrote:
“Otto” can be read as numeric zeros with two truncated crosses, and also, not incorrectly, understood as phalluses and chalices, or as symbolizing [either χτενός, Greek, “comb,” or κτενός, “shortbread”]. Often, these are found signed at the end of a letter of correspondence, to signify their secret doctrine and arcane principles.
I’m not sure if either of those interpretations of the Greek word written here are correct, but I do note, of course, that a “comb,”—that is, the type that one uses for the hair—has teeth. This may be right on the money, since, as I wrote in my end-notes to the text:
Is he implying that the now-popular custom of signing a letter to a loved one with ‘Xs and Os’—taken now to mean ‘hugs and kisses’—is actually a symbol of Gnostic ‘genital wisdom’? If so, it would be fitting, since another symbol used in this manner, the heart sign, is thought by many to represent the head of a penis.
There is another reason why this is significant. Remember when I mentioned my pondering on the possible connection between “Otto” and “Ottoman”? Well, just keep in mind that the symbols associated with the Ottomans, which also came to be seen as synonymous symbols of Islam, were also used by the Knights Templar, particularly in conjunction with images of the mosque built on the alleged “Temple Mount” in Jerusalem, which they occupied. These symbols are the scimitar and the crescent. I will elaborate more on the significance of this in due time.
When we look at the name “Woden” as it’s commonly-used alternate, “Wotan,” interesting things happen, for then we can connect it to Lotan, a sea-monster in Ugaritic mythology in whom many scholars see the roots of the figure of Leviathan. The latter beast occupies, in Ophite cosmology, the position of Ouranos or Uranus. This is because he is not only the Perfect Man (the Zodiac Man, soon to be discussed below), but also the Ouroboros, the snake biting his own tail or, as I have reconstructed it (using the etymology of the root words), “he who drinks his own urine directly from his penis.” You see, the name Ouranos means “urinater,” although it is often just translated as “rain-maker,” since the deity of that name was the personification of the sky and the rain was considered as his urine. The word being translated here as “tail”(οὐρά) is being used as a euphemism for the male member.
Ouroboros fellating himself
Strangely, in the mystical Jewish cosmology of the Cabala, Behemoth and Leviathan are at once both rivals at war and long-lost lovers pining to unite with each other again. In Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled, we wrote:
Very similar things are said about Leviathan and her consort as are said about Lilith and Samael. They are clearly just different names for the same figures. In both cases, it is said that they were once together physically, but that God separated them, because the act of their mating was somehow dangerous to the well-being of the universe. So, in both cases, they were cleaved apart, castrating the male, and preventing them from ever uniting sexually again. With both sets of characters, it is written that if they ever come together again, all of existence will somehow be annihilated.
In the case of the leviathans, it is said numerous times in the Bible that at the End of Times, God will slaughter them and feed their flesh to the righteous among men. This will take place at a feast with the messiah in the New Jerusalem, inside of a tent made from the monsters’ skin. This is what the Jewish festival known as the “Feast of the Tabernacles” is meant to celebrate, and it is probably why the early Christians adopted the fish as their symbol.
Because Samael and Lilith (a.k.a Leviathan and Behemoth) are constantly longing for each other, they found a way to mate via an “intermediary” called “Tanin’iver” (“Blind Dragon”) or “the Groomsman.” We read about it in Treatise on the Left Emanation:
You already know that evil Samael and wicked Lilith are like a sexual pair who, by means of an intermediary, receive an evil and wicked emanation from one and emanate to the other. . . . The heavenly serpent is a blind prince, the image of an intermediary between Samael and Lilith. Its name is Tanin’iver. The masters of tradition said that just as this serpent slithers without eyes, so the supernal serpent has the image of a spiritual form without color—these are “the eyes.” The traditionists call it an eyeless creature, therefore its name is Tanin’iver. He is the bond, the accompaniment, and the union between Samael and Lilith. If he were created whole in the fullness of his emanation he would have destroyed the world in an instant.
The name “Tannin,” which contains key syllable “tan,” (interchangeable with “don,” “den/din,” and “dan”), applies another Ugaritic sea-monster who ended up in the Bible. As Wikipedia tells us:
The tanninim (תַּנִּינִים) also appear in the Hebrew Bible’s of Book of Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Job, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. They are explicitly listed among the creatures created by God on the fifth day of the Genesis creation narrative, translated in the King James Version as ‘great whales.’ The tannin is listed in the apocalypse of Isaiah as among the sea beasts to be slain by Yahweh ‘on that day,’ translated in the King James Version as ‘the dragon.’
Returning to the meaning of “Otto,” “Wotan,” and “Woden,” we find the root syllables both connected to the very concept of water itself. Wed is a Proto-Indo-European root meaning “water” or “wet.” According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, its cousins are the Hittite watar, the Sanskrit udrah, the Greek hydor, the Old Church Slavonic and Russian voda, the Lithuanian vanduo, the Old Prussian wundan, the Gaelic uisge (meaning “water”), the Latin unda (meaning “wave”), the Old English wæter, the Old High German wazzar, and the Gothic wato water.
Regarding wazzar, I wondered if it was connected to “vizier.” While I didn’t find absolute confirmation, I think it’s close enough, as the same source quoted above also says of this word that it is:
…[F]rom Turkish vezir (‘counsellor’), from Arabic wazir (‘viceroy’), literally ‘one who bears (the burden of office),’ literally ‘porter, carrier,’ from wazara (‘he carried’).
Here again we have the concept of the cup-bearer illustrated, and defined not only as the role of a royal catamite, but also, by extension or by comparison, the role of the royal “prime minister” who must take all of the responsibility for the actions of the crown while the king remains regal, aloof and untouchable. All in all, the same source says that the root wed:
It forms all or part of: abound; anhydrous; carbohydrate; clepsydra; dropsy; hydra; hydrangea; hydrant; hydrargyrum; hydrate; hydraulic; hydro-; hydrogen; hydrophobia; hydrous; Hydrus; inundate; inundation; kirsch-wasser; nutria; otter; redound; redundant; surround; undine; undulant; undulate; undulation; vodka; wash; water (n.1); wet; whiskey; winter.
The connection with “otter” is particularly revealing. Again, from the same source:
Otter: Old English otr, otor (‘otter,’) from Proto-Germanic otraz (‘otter’) (source also of Old Norse otr, Swedish utter, Danish odder, Dutch otter, Old High German ottar, German Otter), from PIE udros, literally ‘water-creature’ (source also of Sanskrit udrah, Avestan udra (‘otter’); Greek hydra (‘water-serpent’), enydris (‘otter’); Latin lutra, Old Church Slavonic vydra, Lithuanian udra, Old Irish odoirne (‘otter’), from root wed– (1) (‘water’; ‘wet’). Sea otter attested from 1660s, also known as sea-ape.
This, they say, is the root of hydra, meaning “water-snake.” The connection with the word “vizier” is important for several reasons, some of which I’ve already mentioned. But now consider the biscione and the house of Visconti. The Italian word visconte means “viscount,” and visconti means “the viscounts.” Since the letters “v” and “b” are interchangeable in many languages, I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to consider that the biscione may have been the source of the name of the noble family, and also of the notion of a viscount as a “water-carrier,” despite the fact that the Online Etymology Dictionary traces it to the fourteenth century, and to the Latin word viscomes.
Considering the possible connection between these words and “vicious,” which I mentioned before, I decided to see if there was any connection with “victory,” and that’s where I found the Proto-Indo-European root weik, meaning “to fight, conquer,” which, according to the same source, “forms all or part of: convict; convince; evict; evince; invictus; invincible; Ordovician; province; vanquish; victor; victory; Vincent; vincible.” As a verb, the same root weik means “to bend, to wind,” just like the previously-mentioned ang, another word based on serpentine symbolism. This, according to the same website, “forms all or part of: vetch; vicar; vicarious; vice (‘deputy,’ ‘assistant,’ ‘substitute’); viceregent; vice versa; vicissitude; weak; weakfish; week; wicker; wicket; witch hazel; wych.”
The connection (to be explained a bit later) between this and the name of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory and the tiny palm-sized companion of Metis’ daughter Athena, brings me to Hammer-Purgstall’s comments on the image of a coin featured on Tab. V, fig. 19. He writes:
The chalice on fig. 19 is kept safe by two erect serpents, just as you will see very frequently sculptured on mystic Dionysiac vases. Such snakes are also seen on vases commonly called “Etruscan,” which, it seems, represent and they [are shown accompanying] initiates into the sepulcher.
Tab. V, fig. 19 Professor X, whose main expertise was Latin, also attempted his best at translating several of the Greek words and phrases in the document. But he threw up his hands at the meaning of this word, which he had taken to be κτειδα and transliterated as Kteida (which Google translates as meaning “instances”). I think the word here is something related to κῆτος (kētos, meaning “whale or sea monster,” the source of the English word “cetaceans,” denoting large sea animals. The plural form of this word is κήτη or κήτεα (kētē or kētea). In Latin, these same words were expressed as cetus and cetea, and this is the source of the name of the constellation Cetus, “the whale.” Interestingly, there is another possible translation of the Greek κήτεα—“gardens”—that is highly significant if you consider the idea that the Garden of Eden was actually in the womb of the mother goddess, Gaia.Before I came across this family of Greek words, I had decided that the first character of the Greek word in the original text was intended to be a lower-case lambda (λ), equivalent to an “l,” and thus rendering the word λτειδα: “lydia.”But amazingly, I managed to arrived at the same set of myths and symbols coming from that direction that I would have found if I had already known about Cetus. This is because the defeat of the Lydian Dragon—who is in fact the same figure as Cetus— by Hercules is indeed a feature often depicted on kraters associated with the cult of Dionysus, a god who was thought to have come from Lydia. Snakes can be seen wrapped around all of the initiates of a Dionysian ritual procession on the famous “Lydos krater” on display in the New York Metropolitan Museum.
Hercules vs. the “Trojan Ketos.” Theoi.com refers to the weapon as a “fish-hook.” Note the otter behind the Ketos.
“Lydos” is the name of the maker of the vase, and it is thought to mean “the Lydian.” I began to wonder if the name “Lydia” was related to “Lotan,” as the Lydian dragon was considered the genius of the Sangarius River in Turkey. The story of his defeat by Hercules was thought to have been memorialized in the heavens with the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent-Bearer.
Consider, then, the City of London, financial center of the world, which sits on the site of Roman Londinium, and utilizes two dragons, combined with a sword and the shield of St. George, as its official emblem. According to modern scholars, St. George was supposedly from Lydda, or (in Hebrew), Lod (Greek: Διόσπολις), now a town in Israel southeast of Tel Aviv. There is an Islamic hadith stating that this is where the antichrist (called Dajjal) will be killed right before Judgement Day.
The arms of the City of London
However, that same article goes on to state that:
Accounts differ regarding whether George was born in Cappadocia or Syria Palaestina, but agree that he was raised at least partly in Lydda in Palestine. His parents were Christian, of the nobility and of Greek heritage. His father Gerontius was a Roman army official from Cappadocia, and his mother Polychronia was from Lydda in the province of Syria Palaestina.
So strangely, like a child born of two natures, George’s ancestry hailed from two towns in two different countries with names that sounds and are spelled similar, and which are often confused with each other. But some writers have considered George to be from Cappadocia—that is, from Lydia, Anatolia, Phrygia, or Modern Turkey—with the alleged connection to the Palestinian town added later. I don’t really see much evidence against this notion. As it says in Wikipedia regarding George:
A titular church built in Lydda during the reign of Constantine the Great (reigned 306–37) was consecrated to ‘a man of the highest distinction,’ according to the church history of Eusebius; the name of the titulus (‘patron’) was not disclosed, but later he was asserted…to have been George.
By the time of the early Muslim conquests of the mostly Christian and Zoroastrian Middle East, a basilica in Lydda dedicated to Saint George existed. The church was destroyed by Muslims in 1010, but was later rebuilt and dedicated to Saint George by the Crusaders. In 1191 and during the conflict known as the Third Crusade (1189–92), the church was again destroyed by the forces of Saladin, Sultan of the Ayyubid dynasty (reigned 1171–93). A new church was erected in 1872 and is still standing.
One such scholar who thought he was from Cappadocia, and that the history had been misunderstood, was L.A. Waddell. According to him, George is the same as Adam, and King Arthur. (While I haven’t come across it in his book yet, we can safely presume that he thought the name “Turkey” ultimately stemmed from this character.) In The British Edda, Waddell presents texts he’s found and translated describing the figure he identifies as “Thor” having a battle with a “lion” called “Meide-Asa,” whom he connects with Medusa of Greek legends. (Note, again, the syllable med, or “Mete”). Waddell saw the Meide-Asa beast as representative of a tribe there in Cappadocia that had lions as their totem symbol. He writes:
[T]he Lion tribe in Asia Minor [was] flocking to Thor’s standard at Troy from so far afield as Vind in Eastern Phrygia, Aur-Vang, or ‘the Van Lake’ in Uri or Armenia, as far as Lofar in the anti-Taurus in Cilicia on the S.E. border of Cappadocia, also from Brimi’s Land to the north of Carchemish.
The name ‘Phrygia,’ I have shown in my Dictionary is a Sumerian word, from the Sumerian name Firig for Asia Minor, including also ‘the Western Lands’ generally. It means ‘Land of the Lions,’ from Firig or Pirig, ‘a lion,’ literally ‘Frightful, Fierce, or Ferocious,’ and it is the Sumerian source of these and their other derivative English words. The name was written by the picture of a Lion’s head; and the people of that land were called by the Sumerians Firig-su.
Regarding this Thor’s alleged title of George, Waddell writes:
Striking corroborative evidence for the historical authenticity of this Eddic tradition of the victory of Thor, Meide-Asa or Miod-Asa in Ancient Phrygia [exists], as George with his Red Cross is found in the stupendous rock-sculpture standing at the source of the Sangarios River in the heart of Phrygia, at the site of its prehistoric capital with mounds of ruins…. It is ‘the most beautiful of all Phrygian monuments,’ and is popularly called the ‘Tomb of Midas,’ see Fig. 39—although it is admittedly not a tomb. It covers the face of an immense cliff, and whilst its facade is characteristically Gothic, its chief ornament consists of nine enormous St George’s Crosses. These are arranged in the form shown in Fig. 40. Its inscription contains the name ‘Midas’ in letters supposed to be of about the ninth century B.C., but more probably of the twelfth or still earlier.
Interesting confirmation of these nine St George’s Crosses of Thor or Meidi-Asa of the Eddic lay in their victory over the Serpent cult of the Phrygians and Edenites and their identification of him as Midas I of Fig. 4o.—The Nine St. George’s Crosses on the Midas Monument…. Phrygia is found in the painting on an archaic Greek vase of about 500 B.C., see Fig. 41…. The number Nine, moreover, is significantly in Sumerian the mystic number of King Dar or Sagg (i.e., Thor or Sig) as the He-Goat…; and amongst the Greeks the number Nine was also the mystic number of Prometheus…, who, we have found, is identical with Thor as Bur-Mioth (‘Pro-metheus’) otherwise entitled Miot or Miod-Asa (Midas) or St. George of Cappadocia.
Illustrations from The British Edda by L.A. Waddell. In fig. 41, the 9 crosses together form another symbol, the double-barred Cross of Lorraine
Once again, we have a connection here with Mete/Baphomet when Waddell says that Medusa is “also as Bur-Mioth (‘Pro-metheus’) otherwise entitled Miot.” In addition to connecting with her Gnostic title of Pronoia (‘forethought, providence,’ same meaning as Prometheus), “Bur-Mioth” brings to mind Behemoth, same as the Persian Bahumed, a.k.a. Bafomid, and thus, Baphomet, according to Hammer-Purgstall.
Also, it is hard not to notice the similarity with the stories of the Babylonian story of Marduk and Tiamat, which itself is very similar to my reconstruction of the Greek stories of Ouranos, Gaia and Chronos (built through the implications found in the myths of all three figure). Ouranos and Gaia were originally one hermaphroditic being, locked in perpetual sexual union, and pregnant. Chronos is the one who, in order to release himself from the prison of the womb, which was called Tartarus, had to cut his way out of the beast. In the process he castrated his father, and severed it into its male and female halves. The female fell down and became Earth, while the castrated male stayed up and became the sky.
As they were all three Titans, that means they were dragons, and Chronos, though a dragon himself, is the one famous for defeating the dragon, with the present cosmology we live in resulting from it. That would make him the “son of Heaven,” and could thus be taken as the progenitor of a race called “sons of Heaven,” or “sons of God.” This term is used in the Bible to refer to a race of angels called, in the extra-biblical Book of Enoch, the “Watchers,” or the Grigori, who fathered a race of semi-human giants called Nephilim.
Likewise, Marduk famously severed the beast Tiamat, cut her in half, and used her body to form the universe. Her name not only contains the syllable mat, indicating that she is the same as our Mete, but her name contains the same syllables as Waddell’s “Meide-Asa”—“Dea” and “Meid” if the “d” in that word is taken as interchangeable for “t” and all vowels considered interchangeable for each other: something that is done all the time when interpreting ancient writings.
Also, Waddell’s interpretation of his translated texts as describing St. George killing Medusa makes sense if we take seriously what J.M. Roberts said in A History of Europe, stating that “St. George only acquired his heroic repute as a dragon-killer in the twelfth century (possibly by confusion with the Greek hero, Perseus,” the one known for killing Medusa and for riding a white horse, like St. George. The fact that Perseus put the Gorgon’s head on his shield also reminds me of the story of the alleged hero Ottone Visconti taking the emblem of the biscione from the shield of the Saracen he defeated and putting it on his own. That story too, as I have proven, was projected erroneously back into the twelfth century. It is hard not to think that all of these coincidences somehow add up to something. In the Russian icon below, St. George looks red in skin color, just like the boy being swallowed by the biscione.
St. George of Lydda
However, he is more often depicted with green skin and conflated with the figure of the Green Man. We wrote in Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled that this character was one:
…[W]hose foliage-sprouting face can be seen in gardens and greenery throughout Europe and the British Isles. Like the ritual phalli of Priapus, these fertility totems were omnipresent there at one time. They show the face of a man grimacing, seemingly almost under torture, as plants sprout from his face, and even from his nose and mouth. In a sense, it is reminiscent of the Gorgon head on the Aegis. He is frequently shown horned, and seems somewhat similar to the bearded faces of Bacchus or Dionysus that most of us have seen at one time decorating a garden gate. These Green Man masks are purported to ensure favorable circumstances to the crops nearby when given proper homage, just like the herms mentioned previously. The oldest known version has been found in France dated to 400 AD.
This “Green Man” is probably connected to several others in Celtic folklore. Most notably, the story of the “Green Man of Knowledge” is quite interesting. In this story, the title character, whose face is described as similar to that of the Green Man totem mask mentioned above, rules over a netherworld called “No Man’s Land,” which like the chaos that Lilith sprang from, doesn’t really exist. He is, as a title implies, as wise man, but he uses his wisdom for ill, to keep the land enchanted under his spell, and rules as a tyrant.
St. George defeating a cockatrice
Both St. George and the Green Man are connected by scholars, and by tradition, with the Islamic figure “Al-Khadir,” of whom we wrote in Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled that:
His name… is usually taken to be a misspelling of al-akhdar, and he is known for wearing green clothing. Like Hermes, he is a psychopompus. He shows up suddenly when worthy people need guidance, and imparts wisdom (usually strange wisdom against common logic). He will steer you into unforeseen luck, or away from danger, as he wishes. He is known to appear to pilgrims on the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, where he “gives power” to the holy Black Stone on display in the shrine called the Kaaba. Like Mercury, he can appear and disappear quite suddenly because his movements are very quick. He is said to look like a young man, but with a white beard. He features in many stories having to do with the Fountain of Youth and immortality. He lives at the junction of two rivers.
Various images of Al-Khadir riding a fish
Al-Khadir is mentioned in The Koran as the “Servant of God” whom the deity granted divine wisdom to. Al-Khadir then met Moses at the crossing of two rivers, and taught him what he knew. He is also associated with the Prophet Elijah. According to a hadith, the spirit of Mohammed spends the month of Ramadan every year in Jerusalem with those of Al-Khadir and Elijah. Sufis also believe that Al-Khadir is the ruler of the rijalu’l-gyab (“the men of the unseen”), a panel of saints and angels who actually make some of the more important decisions regarding the fate of the universe and the things in it. This makes him part of the “Qutb,” the spiritual pole of the universe that holds everything up properly, and around which everything rotates.
The Green Man at Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland,
built by descendants of exiled TemplarsBut according to Wikipedia, George himself is an Islamic figure as well:Saint George is described as a prophetic figure in Islamic sources. George is venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims because of his composite personality combining several Biblical, Quranic and other ancient mythical heroes. In some of he is identified with Elijah or Mar Elis, George or Mar Jirjus and in others as al-Khidr. The last epithet meaning the ‘green prophet,’ is common to both Christian and Muslim folk piety. Samuel Curtiss who visited an artificial cave dedicated to him where he is identified with Elijah, reports that childless Muslim women used to visit the shrine to pray for children. Per tradition, he was brought to his place of martyrdom in chains, thus priests of Church of St. George chain the sick especially the mentally ill to a chain for overnight or longer for healing. This is sought after by both Muslims and Christians.The same article quotes from Elizabeth Anne Finn’s Home in the Holy land (1866):St. George killed the dragon in this country; and the place is shown close to Beyroot. Many churches and convents are named after him. The church at Lydda is dedicated to St. George; so is a convent near Bethlehem, and another small one just opposite the Jaffa gate, and others beside. The Arabs believe that St. George can restore mad people to their senses, and to say a person has been sent to St. George’s is equivalent to saying he has been sent to a madhouse.The article cites J. E. Hanauer’s 1907 book Folklore of the Holy Land: Muslim, Christian and Jewish to say that Christians saw this same shrine as the tomb of George, and Jews saw it as the tomb of Elijah. Furthermore, the same article quotes G.A. Smith’s Historic Geography of the Holy Land thusly:The Mahommedans who usually identify St. George with the prophet Elijah, at Lydda confound his legend with one about Christ himself. Their name for Antichrist is Dajjal, and they have a tradition that Jesus will slay Antichrist by the gate of Lydda. The notion sprang from an ancient bas-relief of George and the Dragon on the Lydda church. But Dajjal may be derived, by a very common confusion between n and l, from Dagon, whose name two neighbouring villages bear to this day, while one of the gates of Lydda used to be called the Gate of Dagon.Dagon, mentioned in the bible as the name of a Canaanite demon or “false god,” took the form of a half-man/half-fish just like Oannes. Thus he connects to Jonah/Jonas. Interestingly, around the same time in 2014 the terrorist group ISIS destroyed both an alleged tomb of St. George along with the supposed tombs of Jonah and Seth, both located in Mosul, Iraq.
While comparing a prophet to a sea-monster may seem absurd, when it comes to Oannes, it is important to take seriously how he is remembered as a teacher.
An account from third century BC Babylonian writer Berossus regarding Oannes (who actually purported to quote the writings of this “Oannes” himself) was paraphrased first century BC Greek scholar Alexander Polyhistor, as quoted by Cory’s Ancient Fragments from 1876:
At Babylon there was (in these times) a great resort of people of various nations, who inhabited Chaldea, and lived in a lawless manner like the beasts of the field.
In the first year there appeared, from that part of the Erythaean sea which borders upon Babylonia, an animal endowed with reason, by name Oannes, whose whole body (according to the account of Apollodorus) was that of a fish; that under the fish’s head he had another head, with feet also below similar to those of a man, subjoined to the fish’s tail. His voice, too, and language were articulate and human; and a representation of him is preserved even to this day.
This being was accustomed to pass the day among men, but took no food at that season; and he gave them an insight into letters and sciences, and arts of every kind. He taught them to construct cities, to found temples, to compile laws, and explained to them the principles of geometrical knowledge. He made them distinguish the seeds of the earth, and showed them how to collect the fruits; in short, he instructed them in every thing which could tend to soften manners and humanize their lives. From that time, nothing material has been added by way of improvement to his instructions. And when the sun had set this being Oannes retired again into the sea, and passed the night in the deep, for he was amphibious. . . .Dagon and Oannes are literally considered the same figure by scholars, and images of them are frequently labeled as one or the other interchangeably. But some are indistinguishable from images of Jonah, and I wouldn’t doubt at all if some images of these characters have been incorrectly labeled by historians at variance from the creators’ original intentions.
In my book The Merovingian Mythos, I speculated that the name of Iraq, thought by many scholars to come from the city of Uruk, called “Erech” in the Bible, might have been the world’s first city, mentioned in Genesis, that Cain allegedly built. It was the first of six, each named after one of his sons. (The connection between this and Gnostic creation stories, in which the Demiurge generates six sons occupying “aeons” or layers of the heavens, will become obvious to you as our study progresses.)
Ophite diagram of the cosmos
I also pondered the possibility that this figure was also connected to Poseidon Erechtheus, a king of Athens who was also thought to be synonymous with the famous sea-god. The earliest texts also make no distinction between him and Ericthonius, later listed as his grandson. He was said to have been born from the womb of Gaia (Tartarus), who was impregnated when Athena wiped the semen of Hephaestus from her thigh with a piece of wool and then cast it to Earth. When he was born, Athena placed the baby in a box to keep his presence secret. In the later stories, where Erichthonios is distinct from King Erechtheus, it is said that the box was given to the king’s three daughters, one of whom was named “Pandrosus.” They were told to never open it, but eventually their curiosity got the best of them. Finding inside a baby whose lower body was that of a snake, they are said to have gone made and jumped from the Acropolis to their deaths. The creature later succeeded Erechtheus as king. Another king of Athens, Cercrops I, was said to have similar anguipede features. He purportedly taught the people of Athens the techniques of navigation.
Left: Cecrops I. Right: Erichthonius.
Returning to the subject of Enoch, I have mentioned elsewhere in this essay that I consider the biblical Seth to be an alternate identity of Cain, or perhaps literally a rebirthing of him (which you will understand as you read further). He too had a son named Enoch, and it was he who supposedly stands in the line of the biblical patriarchs, ancestor to their kings and priests, and thus supposedly an ancestor of Jesus Christ. He was the grandfather of Noah, and in The Book of Enoch, he purportedly warned Noah of what was coming after learning about it during a miraculous trip to Heaven that mirrors precisely that of his counterpart Hermes. This is hinted at in Genesis 5:21-24, where it says:And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.This is always taken by modern Christians and Jews to mean that he was translated to Heaven directly, and never died, just as the rapture is said to be. What, then, if he was taken into this City of Enoch, somehow? Could that possibly be the same as the cubic city of New Jerusalem that the righteous saved go to live at the End of Days according to the Revelation of St. John, including, presumably, those who are raptured like Enoch beforehand?It was said that Enoch lived 365 years and wrote 366 books. Hermes, according to ancient writer Manetho, wrote 365,000. The Gnostic Basilides said that there were 365 heavens, with the highest god occupying that upper layer. The name of Abraxas, in Greek, when interpreted numerically, adds up to 365 as well, as does Mithras. Amazingly, Wikipedia tells us that in the country of Georgia, there are:Exactly 365 Orthodox churches… named after Saint George according to the number of days in a year. According to myth, Saint George was cut into 365 pieces after he fell in battle and every single piece was spread throughout the entire country.
Considering all of the evidence linking St. George to Lydia/Cappadocia/Phrygia, I would now like to submit for consideration some of the amazing coincidences I found between the European royal house of Ascania, from whence the previously mentioned Ottos called Margraves of Brandenberg, purportedly featured on the “OTTO” coins presented by Hammer-Purgstall. The name of the royal house was named, as Wikipedia puts it, after “Ascania (or Ascaria) Castle, known as Schloss Askanten in German,” which was itself located in and named after Aschersleben, now in Germany. It was founded in 1036 by a man named Esiko, grandson of Odo I, Margrave of the Saxon Ostmark. Odo was married to Hidda, sister of Gero, margrave of Geronis.
No link whatsoever is mentioned in the Wikipedia article, nor overtly in anything else I’ve found, to the region now occupied by Turkey. However, you will see that it is impossible for there not to be a link.
Tab. V, fig. 13-18. This “vase,” as Hammer-Purgstall calls it, appears to me to be the royal arms of the House of Ascania (see below)
As in turns out, there is a lake in Turkey that is incredibly historically significant, the name of which was always written in European languages just the same as that of this royal House of Ascania. Its name is said to be derived from the Assyrian Askuza, a name associated with the ancient people called the Scythians. On modern maps of Turkey, the lake is labeled “Isnik,” and the famous town located next to it is known to us as Nicea, where several ecumenical councils were held to decide on the tenets of Christian theology, and where the Byzantine Orthodox “Greek Empire” was based during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was occupied. The name Iznik may even be connected with the victory goddess Nike, as well as Enoch, for, as one source wrote:
Nikaia (or Nicae) is located in the Turkish province of Bursa, on the southeastern edge of Lake Isknok (ancient Lake Ascania).
Apparently, this place may be the very source of the Phrygian race, for as we read in Paul and the Nations: The Old Testament and Jewish Background of Paul’s Mission to the Nations :
The earliest settlement of the Phrygians may be the Mygdones, the tribe of the eponymous Phrygian hero Mygdon, who traditionally lived around Lake Ascania, by Nicea.
Then in an essay found online called “From Macedonia to Anatolia: Some comments on the Phrygians and their migration,” by Manolis Manoledakis, the author writes:
The first mention of the Phrygians in Anatolia occurs in the Iliad, where they are described as coming from remote Ascania’ (mod. Isnik Golu) and the banks of the river Sangarius….
That’s the same River Sangarius associated with the Hydra or Cetus killed by Hercules. But moreover, it seemed impossible for this to be a coincidence when I discovered that the lance that Saint George used to kill the dragon, according to medieval romances, was named “Ascalon,” allegedly, according to Wikipedia, “after the Levantine city of Ashkelon, today in Israel.” Whatever the real source, it occurred to me that the name of King Arthur’s sword Excalibur is related as well.
I started to wonder if the Ashkenazai Jews, of whom so many conspiracy theories were written, might be from this area too, or somehow have a common provenance with both the royal house of Ascania in Germany and the Phrygian people of the Lake Iznik area in Turkey. I found nothing to preclude that, but no outright confirmation.
Wikipedia defines the Ashkenazai as:
…[A] Jewish diaspora population who coalesced as a distinct community in the Holy Roman Empire around the end of the first millennium.The traditional diaspora language of Ashkenazi Jews is Yiddish (a Germanic language which incorporates several dialects), with Hebrew used only as a sacred language until relatively recently. Throughout their time in Europe, Ashkenazim have made many important contributions to philosophy, scholarship, literature, art, music and science.Ashkenazim originate from the Jews who settled along the Rhine River, in Western Germany and Northern France. There they became a distinct diaspora community with a unique way of life that adapted traditions from Babylon, The Land of Israel, and the Western Mediterranean to their new environment.
The Ashkenazi religious rite developed in cities such as Mainz, Worms, and Troyes. The eminent French Rishon Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki (Rashi) would have a significant impact on the Jewish religion.As to where the Ashkenazai name came from, the same article states:The name Ashkenazi derives from the biblical figure of Ashkenaz, the first son of Gomer, son of Japhet, son of Noah, and a Japhetic patriarch in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10). The name of Gomer has often been linked to the ethnonym Cimmerians. Biblical Ashkenaz is usually derived from Assyrian Aškūza (cuneiform Aškuzai/Iškuzai), a people who expelled the Cimmerians from the Armenian area of the Upper Euphrates, whose name is usually associated with the name of the Scythians.
Here we are presented with the Scythians again. A scythe, of course, is an object synonymous with a sickle, the weapon of Chronos, but perhaps that’s just a coincidence.
The article continues:In Jeremiah 51:27, Ashkenaz figures as one of three kingdoms in the far north, the others being Minni and Ararat, perhaps corresponding to Urartu, called on by God to resist Babylon.In the Yoma tractate of the Babylonian Talmud the name Gomer is rendered as Germania, which elsewhere in rabbinical literature was identified with Germanikia in northwestern Syria, but later became associated with Germania. Ashkenaz is linked to Scandza/Scanzia, viewed as the cradle of Germanic tribes, as early as a 6th-century gloss to the Historia Ecclesiastica of Eusebius. In the 10th-century History of Armenia of Yovhannes Drasxanakertc’i (1.15)
Ashkenaz was associated with Armenia, as it was occasionally in Jewish usage, where its denotation extended at times to Adiabene, Khazaria, Crimea and areas to the east. His contemporary Saadia Gaon identified Ashkenaz with the Saquliba or Slavic territories, and such usage covered also the lands of tribes neighboring the Slavs, and Eastern and Central Europe. In modern times, Samuel Krauss identified the Biblical Ashkenaz’ with Khazaria.Sometime in the early medieval period, the Jews of central and eastern Europe came to be called by this term. Conforming to the custom of designating areas of Jewish settlement with biblical names, Spain was denominated Sefarad (Obadiah 20), France was called Tsarefat (1 Kings 17:9), and Bohemia was called the Land of Canaan. By the high medieval period, Talmudic commentators like Rashi began to use Ashkenaz/Eretz Ashkenaz to designate Germany, earlier known as Loter, where, especially in the Rhineland communities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz, the most important Jewish communities arose. Rashi uses leshon Ashkenaz (Ashkenazi language) to describe German speech, and Byzantium and Syrian Jewish letters referred to the Crusaders as Ashkenazim. Given the close links between the Jewish communities of France and Germany following the Carolingian unification, the term Ashkenazi came to refer to both the Jews of medieval Germany and France.
“Loter” sounds related to Lydia, and Mount Ararat is commonly identified as a mountain in the Lake Van region of Turkey. Flavius Josephus thought that the name Lydia came from Lud, the son of Shem, the later of whom is the namesake of the racial group “Semites,” containing both Jews and Arabs. According to Wikipedia, “The whole west of Asia Minor had Jewish colonies very early, and Christianity was also soon present there.”One of the key take-aways here is that these Ottos from the House of Ascania seem to be related to these tribes from Turkey, who themselves seem to stem from the earliest characters in The Book of Genesis, including the giant Gog-Magog. I would also assume that there is a relationship between the House of Ascania and the numerous Ottos from the House of Habsburg who occupied the throne of the Holy Roman Emperor throughout the Middle Ages. So it is natural to wonder if there is also a relationship between the European Ottos and the royal dynasty that took over Turkey and, from there, formed an empire that threatened the autonomy of Europe: the Ottomans.Indeed, the Ottomans were named after their founder Osman, an Oghuz Turkish tribal leader. Osman is a Turkish form of the Arabic “Uthman,” the source of the Arabic “Osamah,” and even the European “Osmond.” Uthman, it seems to me, may also be related to “Uberto,” a name found frequently among the House of Visconti, and to “Uther,” a.k.a. “Arthur,” both meaning “bear.” The bear is the totem animal of the House of Ascania, with several of their scions boasting the title “the Bear” as part of their names.
Coins featuring Albert I, “the Bear,” Margrave of Brandenberg, circa 1100
This, I am sure, would all make sense if we could put it in the context of the work of Anatoly Fomenko. This Russian mathematician, working with a team of experts with the same background, has created a ground-breaking series of books titled History: Fiction or Science? In it, they theorize that the chronology of history is greatly flawed. He says that most of what we think of as “ancient” history is fake. Basically, he claims that the stories that we have from the ancient world are really just garbled versions of things that happened in medieval Europe.
But more than that: he also says that the “Dark Ages” never happened, and that this explains why so many of the alleged literary works from the ancient world can be found now only in the form of translations that were made in the Renaissance, with the originals lost. He says that there was never such a long stretch of time in which the great cities of Rome and Athens collapsed into ruin, men forgot the basics of science, and everybody lost interest in art and literature. This, he says, is a fabrication meant to cover up the erroneous nature of ancient history, itself a result of mistakes made by a handful of people (central among them sixteenth century theologian and chronologist Joseph Scaliger), which were then covered up deliberately by academics with a vested interest in keeping this flawed understanding of chronology as the accepted version. Among his more radical claims, Fomenko says that Jesus was actually born in what we think of as the twelfth century.
Actually, says Fomenko, tons of these stories are about things that actually happened to the Ottomans, and that hundreds of Ottoman buildings were destroyed to make room for fake “ancient” ruins, when in face, he claims, the Ottoman buildings were the originals. What if, for example, what’s being called the Temple of Solomon is actually an Ottoman structure? Looking at the way “Otto Marchionis” is dressed on the coins presented by Hammer-Purgstall, and at his weapons, and at the turrets on the castles represented on these coins, which Hammer-Purgstall takes to be the Temple of Solomon, I must admit that it all does look quite Ottoman to me. Even the hooded people on the coins that Hammer-Purgstall takes to be female and representations of Mete look, to me, identical to the way in which some Ottoman kings dressed.
Coat of arms of antipope Benedict XIII
Templar seals: Left: Star and crescent. Right: Mosque on Temple Mount
Fomenko is not the first to theorize that the Dark Ages never happened. In 1986, the German Heribert Illig wrote about what is called the “Phantom Time Hypothesis,” evidence of which, he claimed, could be found when looking at the Gregorian calendar reform. Immanuel Velikovsky had suggested something similar in 1952’s Ages in Chaos. When we open yourself up to the possibility of rearranging the chronology of history, it then becomes possible to build an entirely Christ-centric view of history. This is what one of Fomenko’s predecessors and influencers, Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov, another mathematician, did before him when he wrote the potentially revolutionary but little-known book Christ.
Many have noted the similarity between the figure of Jesus and other gods of the ancient world, such as Dionysus, Osiris, Tammuz, Mithras and Krishna. Often this is cited as evidence of the fraudulent nature of the Church, accused of ‘stealing’ the biographies of pagan gods. But in Fomenko’s world-view, it’s the other way around: all these other gods just represent Jesus, and they probably came about at around the same time. He writes:
If we step aside from Scaligerian chronology, we shall see that all of these parallels indicate the simultaneity of these cults, whose differences are merely a consequence of the ethnic distinctives of their localization. All of them probably hail back to the same common source—that is, they are a reflection of the life and deeds of Jesus Christ in the XII century A.D.While it would be impossible and inappropriate to, in the present volume, explain Fomenko’s entire world-view, or to examine everything presented by Hammer-Purgstall from this perspective, I mention it as something to keep in mind. Correlation does not equal causality, so I would submit that Fomenko’s view is useful for breaking down the mental barrier of accepted chronology, since in my 25 years of examining both history and mythology deeply, I have often found myself spinning in circles created by the numerous counter-claims of historians, and forced to question the assumptions of historians made on the basis of previously assumed facts that I can see with my own eyes are not true.
All this leaves us with is the humbling reality that the things we’ve been taught are things that nobody really knows for sure. Often, the best I can do as a researcher is to point out correlations and say “these things must be related somehow.” While I may, for practical purposes, explain that one thing came from another, I must admit that it can be impossible to tell sometimes what gave birth to what. I mean this in every conceivable sense. When the Online Etymology Dictionary says that the word “hymen” is somehow unrelated to the identical name of the Greek god of marriage, using the sneering term “folk etymology” to denote the popular assumption of things seemingly obvious, I remember Fomenko’s theories, and tell myself not to get too hung up about it.This brave Russian mathematician faced the scorn of the academic community to claim that the Crusades happened directly after Christ’s death, or perhaps even began during his lifetime. He said that the stories of the Trojan War and the Quest for the Golden Fleece were, like the Grail romances, merely allegories for the Crusades.
While I haven’t read this in his work yet, I would assume that Jason, the hero who piloted the ship Argo in the Golden Fleece adventure, and the purported founder of the city of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is taken by Fomenko as another version of Jesus. In my view, Jason and Zeus are both recapitulations of Jesus, who in the Gnostic Christian world-view is an agent from beyond the created world sent to free those trapped in the prison of the Demiurge, as I mentioned previously. Zeus also shares aspects with Jehovah as presented from the Jewish perspective, but this becomes reconcilable if we allow a Trinitarian sort of solution. The idea of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Sophia, the Mother and Bride) all being a little bit separate, but also a little bit inside of each other, is really, quite frighteningly, the exact sort of beast we are dealing with here. (I will add more on this topic later on in this essay.)
There are many hints of this in Jason’s story. Jason’s father is Aeson, just another version of the same name. His partner in crime and first wife is Medea, a crafty witch, just like the relationship of Zeus to Metis (Hammer-Purgstall’s Mete), also described as a crafty witch. Among her tricks, she artificially extended Aeson’s life by draining some of his blood, infusing it with invigorating herbs, and pumping it back into him. She also claimed she could to turn another old man, Pelias, into a baby by chopping him up and boiling him in a cauldron with these herbs, after successfully turning a full-grown ram into a lamb using this process. But sneakily, she didn’t put the herbs in, and let the man die, resulting in her and Jason being driven into exile.The Fleece sought by Jason was a royal totem, consisting of the head, skin and wool of a magically golden ram mounted on a stick.
This brings to mind both the figure of the crucifix, and the Aegis of Zeus, his magical buckler, or shield, made from the skin of the goat Amalthea who raised him in exile, and whom he subsequently slew to make use of her body parts. This story, in turn, hints at the universe being formed from the body of Tiamat after it was cut up by Marduk, or from the beast that Chronos separated into Ouranos and Gaia. Of course, the goat/ram imagery also brings to mind the Templar Baphomet.Jason’s quest took him to Colchis, in modern Georgia. St. George is the patron saint of Georgia. Now you might think that Georgia was named after George, but according to academia, you’re just showing your peasant ignorance there, even though they don’t actually seem to know where the name came from. As Wikipedia puts it:
The country of Georgia, where devotions to the saint date back to the fourth century, is not technically named after the saint, but is a well-attested back-formation of the Greek name. However, a large number of towns and cities around the world are. Saint George is one of the patron Saints of Georgia; the name Georgia (Sakartvelo in Georgian) is an anglicisation of Gurj, ultimately derived from the Persian word gurj/gurjān (‘wolf’). Chronicles describing the land as Georgie or Georgia in French and English, date from the early Middle Ages, as written by the travellers John Mandeville and Jacques de Vitry ‘because of their special reverence for Saint George,’ but these accounts have been seen as folk etymology and are rejected by the scholarly community.
To take the Fleece from Colchis, Jason and Medea had to defeat a dragon, which they did by putting it to sleep with tricks. Before that, they had to defeat an army of sparoi (“Spartans,”) a word seemingly connected to Sfard (Sparda in Old Persian), which is the name that the “Lydians” referred to themselves with. These Spartans, like the other race of Spartans created by the hero Cadmus, sprang from the ground after Jason, forced under duress, sewed a ploughed field with the teeth of a dragon. Here again we have a hint about Chronos using his teeth to break himself out of the womb of Gaia, the Earth.Considering that Anatoly Fomenko sees both Jason’s quest and the Trojan War to be retellings of the Crusades, and that Troy was part of the same land called Lydia, I thought it was significant that there is a story of Hercules rescuing a Trojan princess named Hesione from a horned water-dragon. She had been chained to rocks by her father, King Laomedon, in an attempt to appease the monster, which had been sent by Poseidon to destroy the city. Hercules ended up being swallowed by the dragon, and then, as the Wikipedia article on Hesione puts it, he “he hacked at its innards for three days before it died,” eventually emerging from it just like Jonah from the whale.
Strangely medieval-looking Hercules rescuing Hesione
Another rendering of the same incident
Amazingly, about five minutes after I first began pondering the similarities of Jason and Jesus, a book that I rarely look at, Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with 1000 Faces, literally leapt out of the bookshelf next to me. When I picked it up, it fell open to an illustration that shocked me, with the following mind-blowing caption:[This] view of the Return of Jason (from a vase in the Vatican Etruscan Collection) illustrates a reading of the legend not represented in any literary document.
Douris Cup from Vatican collection, featuring Jason
This is from an Etruscan krater called the “Douris Cup,” currently held by the Vatican. The woman standing over Jason, watching him either get swallowed by, or return from, the mouth of the dragon, is clearly Athena, with a warrior’s helmet, clutching her pet, the Owl of Minerva, and sporting her own trademark Aegis—said by some to be the same as that of Zeus—which is always shown augmented with the head of the Gorgon killed by Perseus. (This token was used by her to avert and reflect the Evil Eye of her enemies). Note that this is an Etruscan vase, just like those mentioned by Hammer-Purgstall, where he also mentioned the word “Lydia.” Wikipedia tells us:An Etruscan/Lydian association has long been a subject of conjecture. The Greek historian Herodotus stated that the Etruscans came from Lydia, repeated in Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid, and Etruscan-like language was found on the Lemnos stele from the Aegean Sea island of Lemnos. However, the decipherment of Lydian and its classification as an Anatolian language mean that Etruscan and Lydian were not even part of the same language family. Nevertheless, a recent genetic study of likely Etruscan descendants in Tuscany found strong similarities with individuals in western Anatolia, indicating that Etruscans may have lived in or near the region at one time.I cannot say for sure whether Jason—whose name is an anagram of Jonas—is coming or going from the belly of the beast in this instance. Neither did Joseph Campbell, from what I read, but the image in his book is still labeled “The Return of Jason.”
There are, of course, essentially identical images of Jonah/Jonas in the mouth of the whale, as I have shown. But it seems to me that Athena is here playing the role of Medea (who, like I said, seems to be a reimaging of Athena’s mother Metis. She’s immersing Jason in her “cauldron,” the gullet of the beast, from which, with her magical techniques, she can regenerate the human body. This seems just like the Cauldron of Rebirth (called the Pair Dadeni) of Welsh mythology, supposedly discovered by “the Irish king Matholwch,” is whose name we now know to see Metis, or Mete. Examining this myth, when I saw the word Dadeni, I immediately thought of Dagon (another name for Oannes, as I mentioned). How appropriate, then, that the Cauldron’s myth also contains a copy of the story of Samson, who, in the biblical Book of Judges, sacrificed himself by pulling down the pillars of the Temple of Dagon in which he was imprisoned. Likewise, the Pair Dadeni was destroyed from within by a man named Efnisien, who willingly died in the process.Among Hammer-Purgstall’s images, there is a picture of someone either pulling down pillars, or attempting to holding them up.
Tab. III, fig. 9
This brings us to a fascinating and utterly perfect nexus of symbolism and etymology, for in the midst of the constellation of the serpent Hydra, the Cetus, defeated by Hercules, is the constellation “Krater,” representing none other than the Greek vessel for serving wine, exactly the imagery of a snake-entwined vase found on Tab. V, fig. 19.According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “krater” may be part of the influence behind the word “Grail,” a term that originated in the mystical romances of the Holy Grail, where it was written in French as Sangreal, or in German as Sangraal. The syllable san is usually interpreted to mean “Holy.” As I mentioned in my book The Merovingian Mythos and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau, the syllable gar meant “vessel” in many ancient languages. Astoundingly, in the very next paragraph after discussing the coin with the serpents guarding the vase, Hammer-Purgstall turns his attention to a coin engraved with the word “GRAL” written in code.
Relevantly, the royal family being referenced in the title of that book, called by some the “Grail family,” Meroveus was, according to the legend, the spawn of two fathers: one, the Frankish King Clodio, the other, a mysterious sea creature called “the Quinotaur.” This beast raped his mother, already pregnant, as she was swimming in the ocean, and managed to magically inject his own seed into the developing fetus, co-mingling his own inhuman blood with that of the Frankish kings. This is why Meroveus’ name bore within it the French word for “sea”, and why his descendants, the Merovingian kings, were believed to possess magical, super-human powers. As Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lindon states:
According to tradition Merovingian monarchs were occult adepts, initiates in arcane sciences, practitioners in esoteric arts – worthy rivals of Merlin, their fabulous near-contemporary. They were often called the sorcerer kings or thaumaturge kings. By virtue of some miraculous property in their blood, they could allegedly heal by the laying on of hands; and according to one account the tassels on the fringes of their robes were deemed to possess miraculous curative powers. They were said to be capable of clairvoyant or telepathic communication with beasts and with the natural world around them, and to wear powerful magical necklaces. They were said to possess an arcane spell that protected them and granted them phenomenal longevity—which history, incidentally, does not seem to confirm.
In the New Jerusalem, according to The Book of Revelation, there will be a Fountain of Life coming from the body of Jesus, which the righteous will drink from, thus gaining eternal life. In Christian iconography, we often see this represented by the Lamb of God standing on the altar near God’s throne, bleeding into a cup—the Holy Grail. This cup is often shown pouring from beneath the cup into the Rivers of Life, also mentioned in Revelation, that seem to run like a sewer system throughout the whole city, looking just like how the four Rivers of Paradise are shown flowing through the Garden of Eden in Christian religious imagery. I mean “sewer system” literally, for, when not shown coming as blood from the neck of the Lamb, the Rivers are sometimes shown coming from beneath the throne of the Lord. In color version of these pictures, the rivers are sometimes shown as brown, and running through pipes.
The Fountain of Life, from the Ghent Altarpiece
Fountain and rivers depicted as sewer system
An alternate depiction of the Fountain of Life: revelers bathe in Christ’s blood
According to Hammer Purgstall, one of his idols, Tab. I, fig. 13, sports an inscription that reads των υδατων χρυσος [ton ydaton chrysos], which he interprets as meaning “golden waters.” He adds: “What is to be understood by this golden water, or by this golden liquid, is reserved for discussion further on.” It obtained this quality because of the food and drink—nectar and ambrosia—eaten by the gods, which, in a previous book of mine (Clock Shavings), I argued was most likely the flesh and blood of those sacrificed to them.
I think it is noteworthy that the gods of Greece were said to have blood which was golden in color, called ichor, the possession of which was considered the cause of their immortality. When drained of it, they died. But in medical pathology, the same term, according to Dictionary.com, means “an acrid, watery discharge, as from an ulcer or wound.” Regarding this, Church Father Clement of Alexandria wrote that “the ichor of the poets is more repulsive than blood; for the putrefaction of blood is called ichor.” This makes sense once we realize that the gods of all traditions appear to be literally zombies rotting in the bowels of the Earth, using magical techniques involving the blood and flesh of humans to regenerate themselves.
Tab. I, fig. 13, Mysterium Baphometis
Unfortunately, when dealing with things supposedly ancient and supposedly sacred, we can’t seem to get away from the gore of dead and dismembered bodies, sexual depravity, and the unnatural abuse of bodily functions, along with the resulting byproducts. The Gnostics were accused of heresy for saying these things, and scorned for practicing them, but we seem to find it hidden within every religious tradition, but still hinted at by the myths and imagery in a way that is obvious once you understand the symbols. So what is Jason “returning” from in the picture provided by Joseph Campbell? Does the dragon represent the intestines, as Hammer-Purgstall tells us? Is this what the inscriptions were referring to that say “Return through the rectum is easy”?
There is a version of the Egyptian myth of the war between Horus and Set where instead of nephew and uncle (respectively, with Osiris and Horus’ father and Set’s brother), they are both brothers, and Isis is their mother. (These two versions would reconcile if Isis was recognized as being both the mother and the lover of all of them, which would match the proclivities of most of the goddesses of the ancient world.) Set tries to overcome Horus’ position as heir to the chief god by sodomizing and, thus, overcoming him as this was apparently how things worked in the divine legal system in which Thoth was the judge.
But it turned out that Set had been having sex with Horus’ thighs, not his buttocks, unbeknowst to him. Therefore the semen never went “inside” him. Meanwhile, their mother Isis had conspired to help Horus overcome Set. She jerked him off into a vase, them took the semen and used it to contaminate the lettuce that Set ended up eating (yes, just like the salad scene in Fight Club). Therefore Horus became the heir, while Set was impregnated. The progeny emerged from the top of his head as a golden solar disk, which Horus then took and used to crown himself as the king of the gods.
In the Egyptian the Ogdoad cosmology (which influenced Hermetic and Gnostic cosmology), Thoth reportedly gave birth to several of his children by laying eggs from his anus. This aspect of the myth must have influenced the Gnostics as well. Each one of those eight gods was, for them, one of the aeons of the planetary archons, which were all stacked inside of one another, imprisoning each other, with the Earth in the center.
Were the aeons then also perceived as each bowing down to the ones on top, forming a cosmic daisy-chain of sexual subjugation? This certainly seems implied by of Nut, the night’s sky (female Egyptian equivalent of the Greek male Ouranos) and her relationship with Shu, said to be the god of the air. She is shown arched naked over him, bending over, and he hold her body up over his head whilst simultaneously massaging her breasts and vagina. Reflexively, Ouranos is depicted in astrological emblems as the night’s sky, the “Zodiac Man,” also called the “Perfect Man” (reminiscent of the Gnostic savior Anthropos or “First Man”), shown bending over backwards with his pelvis sticking upwards, in a position of stress and pain known as “the Arch of Hysteria.”
Nut, Shu and Geb
Nut and Geb, with erect phallus instead of Shu
In the image below, from The Secret Teachings of the Ages by Masonic writer Manly P. Hall, Ouranos is shown in this position at the feet of Zeus, who can be identified by the figure emerging from his forehead. This could be Athena from the well-known Greek myth, mentioned earlier. But since she is not wearing any armor, or indeed, anything at all, I think she is more likely the “debauched woman” Mete, or Metis, a.k.a. Pronoia, “Dear Prudence,” finally “coming out” of the prison of her husband’s body.
Zeus, Ouranos, and Athena, from
The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall
The Zodiac Man, by Michael of Rhodes
Diagram of unknown origin
Perfect Man reborn from colorectal cloud, Paradox Emblematica, Dionysus A. Freher, 16th-17th century
This position is called “the Arch of Hysteria” is because this is exactly the way in which victims of clinical hysteria are often found to contort themselves. The position is technically known as “opisthotonos” by doctor. It is also associated with other ailments, such as meningitis and strychnine poisoning: anything that would cause “reduced brain function or injury to the nervous system.” (Meningitis, incidentally, is something associated anecdotally with chemtrails). We see something similar with the idol of Mete shown on Tab. I, fig. 3.
Tab. I, fig. 3 and 4, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
I couldn’t help but notice that this word contains “Opis”—reminiscent of Ops, another name for Rhea, the wife of Chronos, and “thoton”—reminiscent of “Thoth,” “Otto,” “Ottone,” “Othin,” (Odin), etc. Looking up the etymology involved here, we find that tonus means “tension,” and opisthen means “from behind.”
The one shown next to it, Tab I, fig. IV, is the one Hammer-Purgstall referred to as a “genuflecting idol” with a so-called “dog” positioned behind him. Is it not possible that both of these figures are actually being shown giving anal birth? Note also that the idol’s stomach appears to have a surgical wound on it that’s been stitched up, as if it has had a caesarian recently.
The neck is decorated with images of an “annular eclipse,” which is when the Sun appears with a black dot in the center, surrounded by a white ring. “Ring” is actually the meaning and etymological root of the word “anus.” The name “Uranus” most likely contains this root for more than one reason. It is a reference to the Zodiac ring, but it’s also a symbol, I believe, of this god’s sexual subjugation underneath Zeus, as symbolize by image of the Zodiac Man doing the Arch of Hysteria pose in The Secret Teachings of All Ages.
Above: Stills from a Marilyn Manson video
In addition, the “genuflecting idol” is decorated with crescents, as can be found on other idols of Mete presented by Hammer-Purgstall. The conjunction of the Sun and Moon is a symbol of sexual alchemy, and really, sexual alchemy, as practiced by ceremonial magicians, so that is most likely the reason why these things are presented by Hammer Purgstall. These represent the crescent-shaped “shadow bands” that appear on the ground during a solar eclipse.
The inscription on the back of this idol, according to Hammer-Purgstall, reads:
Another idol, the previously-mentioned Tab. I, fig. 13, inscribed with the message about “golden waters,” also sports another inscription that reads, according to Hammer-Purgstall:
And there were seven, you, if you are denying, one, Omnipotent Mete sprouting, a debauched woman, it springs up for our race through πρωκτον (prokton, Greek, “the rectum”).
The “seven” in the “race” are the seven immortal planetary Archons, and we are being told quite frankly that they are birthed anally. This is how those of their “race” are reproduced. Most likely, this is a variation on the process of producing a golem in the Jewish tradition. Or, quite possibly, this is the process of creating a golem, and what we are discovering here are the details of the process. According to the article “Modern Jewish History: The Golem,” by Alden Oreck, published on the Jewish Virtual Library
The word ‘golem’ appears only once in the Bible (Psalms139:16). In Hebrew, ‘golem’ stands for ‘shapeless mass.’ The Talmud uses the word as ‘unformed’ or ‘imperfect’ and according to Talmudic legend, Adam is called ‘golem,’ meaning ‘body without a soul’ (Sanhedrin 38b) for the first 12 hours of his existence.
Since God is quite specifically described in Genesis as forming him in “his own image” So God created man in his own image (1:27), and this type of language is used again in 5:3, when Adam begets “a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth,” it seems likely to me that both Adam and Seth actually were golems. Seth was most likely an artificial creation meant to host the soul of Cain, who had been banished to “Nod,” seemingly a netherworld that doesn’t really exist except in dreams, and which was overcome with the waters of the Abyss of chaos during the Flood. This would explain why Cain’s descendants—who, it is implied, died out with the Flood—have nearly identical names to the first few generations that came from Set. I think the hints in the story are implying that Cain’s soul was trapped in Nod, but that his parents used magic to tap into that soul, and that they were able to use it to animate the golem they had made—the real Pinocchio.
Sumerian depiction of Golem creation.L.A. Waddell labels this image “The Birth of Cain,” but I think it is more likely to be Seth.
Continuing with his description of the making of a golem, Alden Oreck writes:
According to one story, to make a golem come alive, one would shape it out of soil, and then walk or dance around it saying combination of letters from the alphabet and the secret name of God. To ‘kill’ the golem, its creators would walk in the opposite direction saying and making the order of the words backwards.
Other sources say once the golem had been physically made one needed to write the letters aleph, mem, tav, which is emet and means ‘truth,’ on the golem’s forehead and the golem would come alive. Erase the aleph and you are left with mem and tav, which is met, meaning ‘death.’
Drawing of a rabbi animating a golem
This word emet seems to have the same meaning as the Egyptian maat, “truth,” personified as the goddess Maat of the proper “world order,” the basis of sound governance. Is this not also the same, essentially, as the meaning of metis: “wisdom,” “prudence,” and “wise rule”? Note that emet is a literal anagram of “Mete,” and that Hammer-Purgstall found this name written on idols within messages that he thought were coded in the form of anagrams.
In Europe up until the mid-nineteenth century, Jews were accused of sacrificing Christian boys and torturing them in bloodletting rituals around Passover/Easter. This was happening while Hammer-Purgstall was writing. As Alden Oreck writes:
Between 1805 and 1816 various cases of blood libel occurred in places within the Pale of Settlement, and the investigations always ended by exposing the lie on which they were based. In an attempt to stop their dissemination the minister of ecclesiastic affairs, A. Golitsyn, sent a circular to the heads of the guberniyas (provinces) throughout Russia on March 6, 1817, to this effect. Basing his instruction on the fact that both the Polish monarchs and the popes have invariably invalidated the libels, and that they had been frequently refuted by judicial inquiries, he stated in his circular that the czar directed ‘that henceforward the Jews shall not be charged with murdering Christian children, without evidence, and through prejudice alone that they allegedly require Christian blood.’ Nevertheless Alexander I (1801–25) gave instructions to revive the inquiry in the case of the murder of a Christian child in Velizh (near Vitebsk) where the assassins had not been found and local Jewish notables had been blamed for the crime. The trial lasted for about ten years. Although the Jews were finally exonerated, Nicholas I later refused to endorse the 1817 circular, giving as a reason that he considered that ‘there are among the Jews savage fanatics or sects requiring Christian blood for their ritual, and especially since to our sorrow such fearful and astonishing groups also exist among us Christians.’
Because of this ever-present suspicion against the Jews, according to legend, golems would be created around this time to protect the ghettos from rampaging Christian mobs anxious to lynch the suspects of the latest child disappearance in town. This, of course, is the same story fictionalized in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was an artificial person, in that case, made from pieces of human cadavers, animated with electricity (like Mithras being brought to life by lightning). The roots of the word “frank” mean “truthful, honest” just like emet and maat mean “truth.” Its also the name of the Germanic people in Western Europe, the Franks, now known as “the French,” whose first king was Meroveus, the creature with two fathers, one of which was a water-dragon. Of course, “Stein” means “rock,” in German. So “Frankenstein” means “Rock of Truth,” or “Rock of Mete.” Here’s how the Online Etymology Dictionary puts it:
[A]llusive use for man-made monsters dates to 1838, from Baron Frankenstein, character in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus. Commonly taken (mistakenly) as the proper name of the monster, not the creator, and thus franken—extended 1990s as a prefix to mean ‘non-natural.’ The German surname is probably literally ‘Franconian Mountain,’ stein being used especially for steep, rocky peaks, which in the Rhineland often were crowned with castles. The Shelleys might have passed one in their travels. The German surname also suggests ‘free stone.’
Prometheus means “foreknowledge” (containing, again, meth, that is, “Mete”), and meaning the same as the Greek Pronoia, as well as the English words “prudence” and “providence.”
Flyer from Kiev, 1915: “Christians, take care of your children! March 17 is Jewish Passover.”
Aleister Crowley is recording as having an intention to, through homosexual magic and alchemy, create a homunculus (another word for a golem) that would be born rectally from a male, and whose birth would herald the start of a new era. He called the anus the “Eye of Horus,” and the vagina the “mouth of Isis.” He is quoted as writing:
Oh, how superior is the Eye of Horus to the Mouth of Isis!… The ‘Child’ of such a love is a third person, a Holy Spirit, so to speak, partaking of both natures, yet boundless and impersonal because it is a bodiless creation of a wholly divine nature.
He was the first to coin the English word “Superman” in English. This came from Aleister Crowley’s novel Moonchild, which is about creating a child with divine parentage through sexual magic. Regarding this process, he had said:
…[T]he idea has been almost universal in one form or another; the wish has always been for a Messiah or Superman, and the method some attempt to produce man by artificial or at least abnormal means.
Note that the word “Superman” contains all of the letters of the word “sperm.”
Superman appears on Earth. Note cosmic egg/Sun behind him, and pose of Mulier (“The Wife”), a.k.a. “Sign of Baphomet” from Crowley’s AA order dedicated to anal sex rites
In the “Secrets of the Ordo Templi Orientis” article on parareligion.ch, we read:
The name Baphomet is used to signify the Lion-Serpent or Semen. This is the Blood of the Phallus in which its life-force is concentrated. The Phallus is the Wonder-Tree (in Crowley’s Gnostic Catholic Mass) and the semen is the sap that continues its existence from generation unto generation. Baphomet as the Semen is also the Holy Ghost, the continuity between the Father and the Son, and one part of the matter of the Sacrament.
Certainly, the acolytes of Aleister Crowley are taught that the way to creating a “servitor” (an artificial spirit created as a servant) is to make a sigil representing it and then “bring it to life” by applying fresh sperm to a physical representation of the image. Does it not seem likely that this is, along with the writing of the magic word emet or mete, might be the way to animate it?
From temple at Luxor, comes with inscription: “Water of Life and Good Fortune, rejuvenating thee like thy father Atum.” L.A. Waddell takes “Atum” to be the same figure as Adam
So were Hammer-Purgstall’s idols actually meant to be golems? UCLA’s Medieval History expert Zrinka Stahuljak, in her book Pornographic Archaeology: Medicine, Medievalism, and the Invention of the French Nation, quotes Friedrich Nicholai from 1782 (Essays on accusations against the Templars, and the secret of this order, with a paper on the origin of Freemasonry) and writes that he claimed, according to sources he had read that:
[T]he name ‘Baphomet’ mentioned in the deposition… ‘was not the name of the idol, but rather a hieroglyph imprinted on it. The head … had been a symbol, the image of the eternal Father in a state of rest, as the ancient Gnostics represented him.’ Baphomet would thus have been a name for a Gnostic symbol.
This, then, may provide a total explanation for the inscriptions referring to “sprouting water,” what Hammer-Purgstall interprets as “sperma genethliakon (reproductive seed),” the source of the “genital wisdom” (Arabic, ma-ta na-sha) of Mete? In the Bible, “to know” is a euphemism of sex, and we still have the term “carnal knowledge” for this. It was the “fruit” of the Tree of Knowledge that they were forbidden to eat, because it made them as smart as the gods were.
God reposing on the seventh day, from the first Russian engraved Bible
One of the words found on the inscriptions means “sperm” directly in Arabic. I found this by typing out the letters from the inscribed word myself into a search engine. The letters are the equivalent of “MNSY.”
MNSY from Mysterium Baphometis
I have many pages of notes I have made about the etymology of this word and its associated syllables. They all have to do with wisdom and sperm. Even the word “mayonnaise,” and the city of Mahon in Spain that it’s said to be native to, are connected, and just think about the implication of that (but not while you’re eating a sandwich, please). The other amazing connections relate directly to the name of the Prophet Mohammed, and also that of the Prophet Mani, founder of the Gnostic movement of Manicheanism.
The Egyptian fertility god Min
Amazingly, Mohammed is said to have died and been buried with his penis remaining erect (a sign of poisoning, by the way). A glyph formed by his name creates an image that looks like a skeletal man lying on his back with his penis pointing up. This information can be found on a website called “Pengetahuan Agama Islam,” where the writer also points out that Mohammed’s name can also be viewed as forming a human body genuflecting in prayer (see both demonstrated on screenshots from that site featured below).
Note the symbol for the Multi-National Corps of Iraq, the name of which, in Arabic, in shortened into an acronym with the same letters as the Arabic word for sperm (MNSY). With the one on the right, it looks like the spear is going through the lion’s body. According to Hammer-Purgstall, the Ophites and Templars sacrificed lions because they saw them as symbols of Jaldabaoth, the Demiurge, whom Gnostics depicted as a serpent with the head of a lion. As for the spear with the palm branches coming out, it reminds me very much of a European heraldic device called the Alerion.
The Alerion is supposed to be a bird with no beak and only one eye. It is associated with the region of Lorraine in France, and with the royal house that famously ruled it, related directly to the Merovingians, Angevins and Plantagenets. The name “Alerion,” spelled properly in French, is, by design, an anagram of the proper French way of spelling “Lorraine” (Loraine). It is often featured alongside the Cross of Lorraine. In The Complete Guide to Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, published in 1909, the author writes that:
[I]t is difficult to conjecture what may have been the origin of the bird in this debased form, unless its first beginnings may be taken as a result of the unthinking perpetuation of some crudely-drawn example.
But in Historic Devices, Badges, and War-cries, by Mrs. Bury Palliser from 1870, we are told that this symbol is traced to the mythos surrounding Godfrei de Bouillon, the first of the Christian “Latin Kings of Jerusalem” and one of the leaders of the first Crusade. Writes Palliser:
It is related of him, that he, ‘At one draught of his bow, shooting against David’s Tower in Jerusalem, broched three feetless birds, called Alerions, upon his arrow, and thereupon assumed in his shield, or, three Alerions argent on a bend gules, which the house of Lorraine, descending from his race, continue to this day;’ adding to it these words from Virgil, Dederitne viam casusve deusve, ‘Did chance or God direct way?’
Left: Godfrei de Bouillon. Right: His royal device, the alleged inspiration for the Alerion
Godfrei de Bouillon dying, from William of Tyre’s History. What is going on here?
To me, the Alerion is quite obviously a sanitized version of a winged fascinus, a phallus worn for good luck, or to protect against the evil eye, what Pliny the Elder called a medicus invidiae (“remedy for envy”). In Worship of the Generative Powers, Thomas Wright claims that these are all votives belonging to the cult of Priapus, stating:
The first of these is the figure of a double phallus. It is sculptured on the lintel of one of the vomitories, or issues, of the second range of seats of the Roman amphitheatre, near the entrance-gate which looks to the south. The double and the triple phallus are very common among the small Roman bronzes, which appear to have served as amulets and for other similar purposes. In the latter, one phallus usually serves as the body, and is furnished with legs, generally those of the goat; a second occupies the usual place of this organ; and a third appears in that of a tail.
Fascinum, most with wings
Only a few writers have commented on this obvious connection, as far as I can tell, and only in the form of hints. But more scholars have commented on the phallic appearance of another symbol associated with French royalty, and specifically the first dynasty, the Merovingians. I am speaking of the fleur-de-lys, which I think may derive from the fascinus as well. Purportedly, as I mentioned before, it was handed down from Heaven to Saint Clothilde, the wife of King Clovis I (who converted him to Catholicism), and became the national heraldic device from then on. In the context of all the myths we’ve examined, this would almost have to be interpreted as the severed penis of “Heaven” himself: Oannes/Uranus, the “Perfect Man.” (The Cathar heretics of France, by the way, called themselves “The Perfect Ones,” and the rite that made them “Perfect” was the consolamentum, which, as I allude to later in this essay, may have, in my opinion, been a castration rite.)
The Legend of the Fleur-de-Lys
Interestingly, France, and Lorraine in particular, is home to many places with names similar to Mete and its variations, including the town of Metz in Lorraine, spelled “Mettis” locally. It was known as Mediomatrici “in ancient times,” according to Wikipedia, a name which the same source says means “the people between the Matrona (Marne) and the Matra.” There’s also the Meurthe river, after which the department Meurthe-et-Moselle in Lorraine is named. Also, the town of Stenay, in the Meuse department, was once the capitol of the Merovingian kingdom, and used to be called “Satanicum.”
Left: Arms of Meurthe-et-Moselle. Right: A Merovingian coin inscribed with letters from which Hammer-Purgstall could surely form the name “Mete.”
One figure said to be personified by the fascinus was called Mutinus Titinus. Mutuniatis is a term for a well-endowed male, but let us also not again the presence of the syllable “Mut,” interchangeable with Mete in the present context. Like Baphomet’s head, the fascinus was considered capable of “saving” those who believed in its power. According to Wikipedia, scholars think that “Mutinus” comes from the Latin muto or mutto, which they say was a slang word for a penis and which, in other contexts, is defined as a “cognomen,” and as something like a surname, but also nickname.
But when I looked up muto and related words in my Latin dictionary, I also found it to be the root of the English “mutual” and “mutation,” because it means moving, shifting, changing, or exchanging one thing for another. When I read this, I immediately thought of the inscription on one of Hammer-Purgstall’s idols that I had translated to “revenue through easy return.” Also, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “mutton, ” from the Old French moton, has been used as slang that meant “food for lust, loose women, prostitutes” since the(1510s, which “led to extensive British slang uses down to the present day for woman variously regarded as seeking lovers or as lust objects.”
The phallic god’s second name, “Titinus,” is based on yet another old Roman slang word for a penis, “Titus.” This, in the present context, reminds me of the Titans of Greek mythology, the race “giants,” “dragons” and “monsters,” ruled by Ouranos and Gaia, then by Chronos and Rhea, before the overthrow of Chronos by Zeus. I also think about the fact that in Lydda (Lod), Israel, Eusebius reports that during the reign of Constantine the Great (the fourth century), a church was dedicated there to an ambiguous “man of the highest distinction,” designated there as the titulus, meaning patron. This man was later considered to be St. George. George’s father’s name, Gerontios, means “old man,” bringing to mind both Chronos in his role as “father time,” and also his even older father Ouranos, whom he castrated. According to The Birthday Book of Saints, “Riding Saint George”—that is, sexual intercourse with the woman on top—was long considered a certain way of begetting a bishop.”
Woman riding a green penis-shaped dragon
The Wikipedia article for Mutinus Tintinus mentions that this figure, being a disembodies phallus, is comparable both to the fascinus, and also to Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome. Like Meroveus of the French dynasty, he also had divine parentage, possibly even with dual human/divine insemination, just like his French counterpart. The Wikipedia page for Servius Tullius states:
Most Roman sources name Servius mother as Ocrisia, a young noblewoman taken at the Roman siege of Corniculum and brought to Rome, either pregnant by her husband, who was killed at the siege: or as a virgin. She was given to Tanaquil, wife of king Tarquinius, and though slave, was treated with the respect due her former status. In one variant, she became wife to a noble client of Tarquinius. In others, she served the domestic rites of the royal hearth as a Vestal Virgin, and on one such occasion, having damped the hearth flames with a sacrificial offering, she was penetrated by a disembodied phallus that rose from the hearth. According to Tanaquil, this was a divine manifestation, either of the household Lar or Vulcan himself. Thus Servius was divinely fathered and already destined for greatness, despite his mother’s servile status; for the time being, Tanaquil and Ocrisia kept this a secret.
Interestingly, in the non-canonical Protovangelium of James, it says that Mary, the mother of Jesus, been given over by her parents at age three to temple priests, just as Ocrisia had been forced to serve the priesthood. The author Mark Gibbs, in his book The Virgin and the Priest, points out that this would have been highly unusual for a female child. This sort of thing would only have happened with male children, who were sometimes given to the temple, essentially as slaves, as a form of ransom payment by the family. She would have been raised solely by men not related to her. When she was approaching age 12, the priests decided she could no longer stay there, but she went directly to the home of Zacharias, described as “high priest.” Shortly after that, she was engaged to Joseph, but before that was consummated, became “miraculously” pregnant. More on this in a bit.
A denarius issued by Quintus Titius allegedly featuring Mutunus Tutunus
In Richard Payne Knight’s A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus, he writes:
. . . [T]he celebrated bronze in the Vatican has the male organs of generation placed upon the head of a cock, the emblem of the sun, supported by the neck and shoulders of a man. In this composition they represented the generative power of the [Eros], the Osiris, Mithras, or Bacchus, whose centre is the sun. . . . The inscription on the pedestal [says] . . . The Saviour of the World . . . a title always venerable under whatever image it be presented [with].
Fascinus ejaculates into the Evil Eye
The fascinus is ejaculating into the Evil Eye in counter-attack. The eye’s poisonous effect is symbolized by the presence of the scorpion. In the rites of Mithras, the scorpion was associated with the grade of Perses, the Persian, which was dedicated to the Moon goddess. According to their mysteries, when Mithras slayed the Bull, its testicles were cut off by a scorpion and offered to the Moon, as she was the goddess considered to be in charge of sexual generation. The Moon was thought by the Romans to be the gate through which souls passed into physical incarnation, and also how they exited this realm.
Perseus, by Cellini
You realize, now, that a caduceus, which is now commonly used as a symbol of medicine (the “remedy,” with the etymology of “med” being related to metis), is really a winged fascinus entwined with snakes. In alchemy and other arcane traditions, a crucified snake or impaled serpent or Dragon is symbolic of poison used as an antidote, like the poison Zeus gave to Chronos, causing him to vomit up his children.
El Greco’s John the Apostle, showing John’s symbol, a serpent in a cup. The story, according to Our Christian Symbols by Friedrich Rest, is that “an attempt was made to poison John, but the attempt was unsuccessful because the poison vanished in the form of a serpent.” The image below is from the same book.
Bohemian coin featuring Christ crucified on obverse side, brazen serpent on cross from Numbers 21 8-9 on reverse. The latter healed the Israelites from the bites of “fiery serpents” when they gazed upon it. The former was compared to this in The Gospel of John 3:14-15: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
It is also said to be symbolic of fixing the volatile. Consider the fact that the “Evil Eye” can caused someone to freeze, like the stare of the head of the Gorgon, Medusa, a dragon. This is what it means to “fascinate,” and what a fascinus is really supposed to do. It points the Evil Eye right back at the aggressor. Like a gargoyle used to scare away evil spirits, it takes a demon to slay a demon. This is what St. George and the Archangel Michael slaying Dragons is all about. They themselves were both viewed by Gnostics as symbols of the Demiurge.
Left: Gorgon head on Byzantine Gnostic amulet. Inscription reads: “Holy, holy, Lord of hosts, in the highest, Blessed!” Right: Medusa by Carvaggio
The caduceus between the legs of Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet is a bit more complicated though. I rather think that it represents a straw connected to his urethra, as used on the castrated priests/priestesses of the Roman cult of Cybele, to keep them from closing up. I also think it could be used to remove the “sprouting water,” as such transgendered people can still produce it. Levi himself wrote in Dogme et Rituel about Baphomet’s caduceus that “The rod standing instead of genitals symbolizes eternal life.”
Add that to the alleged existence of a magical technology to engender children rectally, and you have the ability for a parthenogenic birth from the anus of a castrated man. The Ophites and Templars could have seen that as a “virgin birth,” and a miracle. It would explain the chicken symbolism seen on the emblem of Abraxas, on the “Savior of the World” at the Vatican, and on the arms of the House of Visconti-Sforza.
Even more horrific, one could conceivably conceive within one’s own anus, and thus create a child without a partner, just like Sophia/Mete is said to have done in Gnostic theology. (That pun about conception was meant to prove once again the connection in our minds and our language between knowledge or mental activity and sexual generation.) You might even be able to project your own soul into the child, thus escaping death and achieving “eternal life.” This self-impregnation, this parthenogenesis, could presumably be achieved either through masturbation or self-penetration, as long as there was a fertile receptacle, or some (perhaps supernatural) way of making it fertile. Is that what it means when, in the Gnostic Apocryphon of John, it says that the Father of All knew himself to generate Barbelo (seemingly an aspect of Sophia)? In that text (as presented by Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism by Kurt Rudolf), we read:
He [the Father of All] knew his own image when he saw it in the pure water of light which surrounded him. And his thought (ennoia) accomplished a work, it revealed itself. It stood before him out of the glory of the light: this is the power which is before the all, which revealed itself, the perfect providence (pronoia) of the all, the light, the likeness of the light, the image of the invisible.
I think this—the Father’s self-knowing—is what is being illustrated in the image referred to by Eliphas Levi regarding what he called “The Great Kabbalistic Symbol of the Zohar” in his Magick: A History of Rites, Rituals and Mysteries, of which he writes:
That synthesis of the word, formulated by the human figure, ascended slowly and emerged from the water, like the sun in its rising. When the eyes appeared, light was made; when the mouth was manifested, there was the creation of spirits and the word passed into expression. The entire head was revealed, and this completed the first day of creation. The shoulders, the arms, the breasts arose, and thereupon work began. With one hand the Divine Image put back the sea, while with the other it raised up continents and mountains. The Image grew and grew; the generative organs appears, and all beings began to increase and multiply. The form stood at length erect, having one foot upon the earth and one upon the waters. Beholding itself at full length in the ocean of creation, it breathed on its own reflection and called its likeness into life. It said: Let us make man—and thus man was made. … Hereby is man but the shadow of a shadow, and yet he is the image of divine power. … Such is the sense in which he is depicted as a giant; and this is why Swedenborg, haunted in his dreams by reminiscences of the Kabalah, says the entire creation is only a titanic man….
But when you look at the image called “The Great Kabbalistic Symbol of the Zohar” (see below), it really doesn’t look like any shadow would. After all, how would the shadow of his legs be cast behind him like that? It really looks like he’s knowing his own shadow, in a biblical sense. Also, notice the surprised look on the top figure’s face, as though what he is doing is causing pain to himself that he didn’t expect.
Left: “The Great Kabbalistic Symbol of The Zohar.” Right: The Kabbalistic image “Zaur Anpin,” both from Magic: A History of its Rites, Rituals and Mysteries, by Eliphas Levi.
The story of creation in The Apocryphon of John continues thusly regarding Barbelo:
She is the perfect power Barbelo, the perfect aeon of glory… She is the first thought (ennoia), his (the Father’s ) image. She became a first ‘man,’ which is the virgin spirit (pneuma)… And Barbelo asked of him to give her a first knowledge; he granted it. When he granted it, the first knowledge was manifested…
Note that Barbelo is described as becoming “a first ‘man’”: like Adam? Adam, in the first description of the making of men in the first chapter (verses 26-27) of The Book of Genesis, is described as possessing both sexes within him. This was the creation of Adam as the “image” of God, who, again, seems to be consist of a multiplicity of beings, and presumably, like the image, possessing both sexes.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
It is only in the second creation of Adam, after God has already rested from the previous creation, that Adam is said to be formed from the dust of the ground, and Eve taken from his rib. This takes place starting at verse 4 of the second chapter of Genesis, and here there is no language implying the plurality of God. The Kabbalistic interpretation of this is that the first creation described is of another, more primary, cosmos, existing within and constituting the body of that first first man, whom they call “Adam Kadmon.”
Adam Kadmon is always portrayed as a Hermaphrodite, like God presumably is. Notice that in Genesis, this “man” is only declared to be made after the rest of the cosmos is done—as if each element of creation appeared as the corresponding part of Adam’s body rose from the depths of chaos. This is just like what The Zohar claims happened when “God” arose in this manner, as paraphrased in the passage from Eliphas Levi quoted above.
The cleaving apart of the hermaphroditic prime parents Ouranos and Gaia by Chronos seems to be represented holding his scythe in the image below, based on a bas relief at a church that Hammer-Purgstall included in Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum as Tab. III, fig. 4. This picture has no doubt naively taken by most who have seen it to merely represent the curse of death that Genesis says the eating of the “knowledge fruit” brought to Adam and Eve. But clearly, the genitals have been cut, and they are bending over in pain, while the man who did the cutting still holds the weapon, and one of the Titanic monsters born from out of them slithers nearby.
Tab. III, fig. 1 an 4, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Left: Eve tempted by fruit of “genital wisdom.” Right: Both prime parents indulge.
This leaves me to wonder if the notion of Adam and Eve having an instinct to cover their genital areas immediately after obtaining the result of their forbidden “knowledge” wasn’t at least as much about stopping the bleeding with a bandage as it was about covering the results of their act out of shame. Genesis abruptly moves from their expulsion from Eden to the birth of their two sons, one of whom grows up to have an occupation associated with imagery now commonly applied to Christ, which the other focuses his expertise in the same area as Chronos, inventor of agriculture. “And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground” (Genesis 4:2).
Thus the man with the scythe is Cain, that is, Chronos, who killed his brother, since his father was the also the son of his mother, Gaia. Thus, he is the “Son of the Widow” of the Freemasons, and likely equivalent to Horus in the Egyptian myths. His mother was the Earth, who cried out when the blood was spilled, because her own guts were being torn apart in the process also. Four fruits are shown on the tree on Tab. III, fig. 4, which we could take to stand for Cain, Abel, Seth, and perhaps a fourth progeny whose name is unknown or hidden in the Biblical text.
Returning to The Apocryphon of John, Kurt Rudolph summarizes the next stage of creation:
In the same fashion (prayer, assent, manifestation) other aeons also come into being: ‘incorruptibility,’ ‘eternal life’ (the formation of a second Ennoia has evidently dropped out of our text); altogether they form a bisexual ‘pentad of the aeons of the father’ or a ‘decad.’ Then a further action begins: Barbelo after ‘steadfast looking’ at the Father brings forth a ‘blessed spark of light,’ which is described as ‘only-begotten’ (monogenes), ‘divine self-begotten (autogenes),’ ‘first-born son of the all’ and is identified with the heavenly Christ (interpreted as ‘kindly’=chrestos).
So Jesus is autogenes—self conceived and, the way I read it, conceived within himself. Most would just chock up the oxymoronic nature of this statement only seeming nonsensical because we can’t understand God’s mysterious ways, and after all the Son is in the Father, while the Father is in the Son, right? Yes, and I refer you to the Great Kabbalistic Symbol of the Zohar as an illustration of how this was done, quite literally.
Am I somehow saying that Christ and the Virgin, the Mother of God, are in some way the same person? The Trinitarian doctrine says that there is one primary creative deity with three distinct personalities. This is commonly illustrated by the image you see below, where the only commonality between them is that they are all somehow God, while any sense of them being actually merged together is specifically denied:
But The Gospel of John couldn’t be more clear about the matter: “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” Therefore, a better illustration, also commonly used by mainstream Christian theologians today, can be found below:
This image demonstrates how to visualize that the Father and Son are within one another; that the Father and the Holy Spirit are within one another (as though married and joined physically); and that this latter statement also applies to the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Divine Sophia. The Holy Spirit Sophia is also thought of as the creative Logos, “the Word,” described in The Gospel of John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God.” (Thus again John affirms and clearly describes the Trinity relationship.) Also, theologians frequently agree with the idea that Sophia/the Holy Spirit is the same as the Shekinah, the Cloud of Glory of God’s manifestation, as described in the Old Testament, stated in Jewish theology to be God’s bride.
This is something taken quite literally by Kabbalists, who even say, as in The Zohar, that God has taken a concubine, equated with the dark demoness Lilith, who has alienated him from his wife, but that God will return to her at the End of Days and reconcile everything. We see this in Greek mythology, where Zeus takes a second wife, Hera, who is hostile towards all of the demigod children that he then breeds with a variety of human females. But we see from The Apocryphon of John that in the Gnostic view, these sexual identities of God’s various personalities, which they all calling different aeons, are not really distinct unless in the context of breeding. That is, Barbelo (Sophia) seems to be female by virtue of the fact that she gives birth to another aeon. Merely a few lines of text before that, she is described as a “first man,” like Adam.
But Jesus, whom both mainstream and non-mainstream Christians frequently identify as a “second Adam,” is, in Gnostic theology, both, seemingly, a son of Barbelo (the autogenes and chrestos described above), and also as her husband or mate. Now recall that in that Gnostic theology, the main fault with Sophia, the reason why she is presented as a fallen figure, was because she made a baby by herself, without her partner’s consent! In the passage below from The Apocryphon of John, that Christ figure is described as “the male virgin spirit.”
Our sister Sophia, who is an Aeon, thought a thought of herself. And through the thought of the spirit (pneuma) and the first knowledge she wanted to reveal the likeness (of her thought) out of herself, although the spirit had not consented or granted [it], nor again had her partner consented, the male virgin spirit. So she did not find one in harmony (symphonos) with her, when she was about to concede it without the consent of the spirit and the knowledge of her own partner, when she became strong (pregnant) in consequence of the passion that was in her. Her thought could not remain inactive, and [so] her work came forth: imperfect, hateful in appearance, since she had made it without her consort (syzygos). And it was not like the appearance of the mother, since it was of another form. But she looked upon it in her consideration that it was of the stamp of a different appearance, since it had the external (appearance) of a serpent and a lion; its [eyes] shone with fire. She cast it away from herself, out of those places, that none of the immortals might see it, since she had born it in ignorance. She bound it with a cloud of light, set a throne in the midst of the cloud, that none might see it except the holy spirit—whom they call ‘life’ (zoe), the mother of all—and gave him the name ‘Jaldabaoth.’ This is the first archon. He drew much power from the mother, removed himself from her, and turned himself away from the place in which he had been born. He took possession of another place. He made for himself an aeon flaming with shining fire, in which he now dwells.
The Demiurge thus involuntarily brought into being now begins to create his own world—again, by knowing himself! “He united himself with the unreason (aponoia) which is with him,” the text says. It continues:
But Jaldabaoth, Saklas, the many-formed, so that he can show himself with any face, gave to them (the planets) of the fire which belongs to him; but he did not give them of the pure light of the power which he had drawn from the mother. For this reason he ruled over them, because of the glory which was in him from the power [of the light] from the mother. For this reason he had himself called “God,” in that he resisted the nature (hypostasis) from which he had come into being. And he bound the seven powers with the principalities.
The seven powers, I think, are represented in the Mete casket image in the Duce de Blacas collection at the British Museum as the 7-pointed star on the bottom left, while the pentagram on the bottom right (an ancient hieroglyph that literally meant “shackle” and “prison” to the Sumerians) represents the shackles that bind them. The notion of all the Archons being chained together by the Demiurge is represented in Homer’s Iliad, where Zeus says to the other gods:
If you tied a chain of gold to the sky, and all of you, gods and goddesses, took hold, you could not drag Zeus the High Counsellor to earth with all your efforts. But if I determined to pull with a will, I could haul up land and sea, then loop the chain round a peak of Olympus, and leave them dangling in space. By that much am I greater than gods and men.
Many of the sons of the Demiurge have names corresponding to words used in the Old Testament for God (“Adonaios,” “Adonin,” like Adonai, and “Sabaoth”), demons or “false gods” (“Belias,” like “Belial” or “Baal”) and the names of Old Testament characters, such as Cain, who the text overtly describes as being “the sun.” There’s also a “Hermas,” corresponding to Hermes. But the syllable “Adon” has also been connected by some writers (such as L.A. Waddell) to Adam. Some even suggest that Adam is actually God himself, a notion implied in the Adam Kadmon concept.
Also implicit with this belief in, and interpretation of, the idea of Adam Kadmon, is the notion of God’s multiple personalities, and not just two sets of sex organs, for “male and female created he them.” In several of the lines in the Eden story in Genesis, God speaks to unnamed others. This fact has inexplicably been interpreted by mainstream theologians as God speaking to himself in the plural (and calling himself a name with a plural form: Elohim) for no particular reason.
The main concern of the Elohim at the end of the Garden tale is that Adam and Eve should not be allowed to eat from the “tree of life.” They had already transgressed and eaten from the “tree of knowledge” that was “in the midst of the garden.” In other words, Eve had already been persuaded by this mysterious serpent creature, which is so often depicted in religious artwork as wrapped around the tree of knowledge, to eat the fruit from the tree, because it would make her wise.
What if we interpreted the tree as the human body, and note that it was considered interchangeable with the cross of the crucifixion, symbolized by the letter Tau (T), then take into account what Hammer-Purgstall says about the letter Tau being a symbol for the phallus? These things, taken together, would indicate that Adam’s penis, with a mind of its own, persuaded Eve to eat of its produce. This somehow made her “wise,” and so she persuaded Adam to do the same. Then they realized they were “naked,” and that made the Elohim aware that they had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge. God then discovered their crime, and Adam blamed it on Eve.
In Gnostic cosmology, Jaldabaoth then seems to become the first male entity to voluntarily bring forth sons. Before that, Sophia-Barbelo, the “first man” and “virgin spirit,” couldn’t find a willing partner to breed with, so she did it with herself. This, I think, is how, in a Gnostic sense, she can still be described as a “Virgin” even after she conceived: because she didn’t unite with a separate entity in order to do it, but only with herself. That is why, thus impregnating herself, she could be thought of as the “first man.”
As we know so well now, in Greek creation myths, we are told that Ouranos, Chronos, and Zeus all wanted to avoid having offspring. In each case, they were thwarted by their female half, and by the children themselves. Zeus eventually changed his mind and wanted to beget offspring, esp. with human females, but it was his wife Hera who was always trying to kill them off. This is purportedly what led to him having to rebirth Dionysus from his “thigh” (regenerating him from his heart after the rest of him was torn apart in a plot devised by Hera).
Dionysus is said to be the “first-born heir” of Zeus (although the same was also said of Apollo). But having an heir was purportedly what he wanted to avoid when he swallowed Metis. After all, as an immortal, he would have to lose his immortality before Dionysus could inherit his throne, or at least die the type of death that gods are occasionally described as experiencing in Greek myths: 1) it involves being drained of ichor, and 2) it involves being locked in Tartarus, the womb of the Earth (where all the gods came from) once again. However, all they seem to retain some semblance of life down there and their return from there through resurrection seems to be possible in the right circumstances.
This resurrection seems to involve “return through the rectum.” Certainly this is what I see in the image of Dionysus coming from the “thigh” of Zeus. Now, many scholars have noted similarities between Dionysus and Jesus—far too many to enumerate here. Anatoly Fomenko, of course, thinks that Dionysus was actually Jesus. So given everything we’ve just reviewed, is it possible to identify the Virgin Mary with Sophia-Barbelo, and to say that she generated her son, who is God, in the same manner of autogenes? Is it possible that she was a “virgin” because she was not exclusively a “she”? Does that explain why the Catholic Church seems to venerate Mary almost as much as God and Jesus himself: because she is the Holy Spirit, and they are all part of the same triplicate beast, all joined together, stuck within each other?
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?
Quite possibly, it seems, the answer is “it springs up through πρωκτον (prokton, Greek, ‘the rectum’).”
A rosary, by the way, is said by the Church to symbolize Mary’s rose garden specifically. The word “rosebud” is, as I mentioned in Genuflect , a term used in the modern pornography industry to refer to an anus that has prolapsed and extended externally due to repeated abuse during sex acts.
Perhaps this is what’s going on beneath the blanket draped over Baphomet’s crotch, and may explain why he/she is called the “Goat with 1000 Young.” It could also explain the look on Baphomet’s face. Levi futher writes of Baphomet in Dogme et Rituel that:
The beasts head expresses the horror of the sinner, whose materially acting, solely responsible part has to bear the punishment exclusively; because the soul is insensitive according to its nature and can only suffer when it materializes.
Golems, according to the Kabbalists, reportedly don’t have souls. Perhaps that would be why, in the Ophite world-view, creating such children is not a bad thing, since you are not entrapping souls in the world. But, as Crowley’s writings would suggest rather, such creatures can also be occupied by the geniuses of gods, enticed to come into human form. Does this constitute bringing down the Archons from Heaven, perhaps thus allowing you to destroy them? Is this was is symbolized by the image on the Mete Coffer of Metis pulling the Sun and Moon down from the sky with the very chains that Zeus has used to bind them all?
Where Mete she bound? In the gullet of Zeus, of course. As it was said that Zeus used Metis as a chair-leg, forcing her to hold up his throne, does that mean that she was performing the role of Atlas and is being shown shrugging gleefully? As the seven “days” of creation in Genesis are really the seven aeons, does that mean that Mete is the seventh, upon which God—that is Jehovah, Jove, Jupiter, or Zeus—chose to rest?
Priapus with a caduceus
Right, the “Savior of the World.” Left, two Templar seals featuring Abraxasand the words Templi Secretum (“Secret of the Temple”)
The Golden Dawn has a ritual attitude which they call “the Sign of Theoricus,” named after one of their grades. The title of this grade is derived from a Latin term pertaining to theorizing and consideration. Aleister Crowley’s Astron Argentum order also used the same sign for their grade 2°=9°, and in their literature they openly describe the attitude as “the God Shu supporting the sky.” This grade is dedicated to the element of air, and so the idea is that you are the pillar of air supporting the roof of the Temple.
The Golden Dawn’s Sign of Theoricus involves mimicking Atlas holding up the Heavens
However, the O.T.O. also has another, similar gesture, described as “Isis in Welcome,” used during the “Babe of the Abyss” grade, in which you form your body into the letter X, like how Saint Andrew was crucified. It seems appropriate, then, that the “Isis in Welcome” gesture is officially named the “Sign of Mulier,” after a fourteenth-century Anglo-French word that translates to both “wife” and “born in wedlock.” Dictionary.com says “A tone of contempt often attaches to mulier and its derivatives. Wictionary.com says that mulier means “woman” in Latin from mollior, meaning “softer, weaker”… “comparative of mollis (‘soft, tender’).” This brings to my mind the she-goat Amalthea who is said to have nursed Zeus when he was a babe in exile, whom he afterwards sacrificed, making a buckler out of her skin. Her name is translated as “tender,” as this word originally meant “nurse” in English.
These connections with the life of Zeus and his relationship with his surrogate goat mother seem to go along with the fact that Crowley also labeled the Sign of Mulier as the “Attitude of Baphomet.” In The Book of Thoth, Crowley wrote “that Baphomet’s pictorial correspondence is most easily seen in the figure of Zeus Arrhenothelus.” I could not find any other examples of “Arrhenothelus” use anywhere, but I note that it is very similar to “Arsenothelus,” a word meaning “hermaphrodite” that is used in Hammer-Purgstall’s Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum. Crowley was clearly quite familiar with this text, but could have easily misread this word, and those copying him would not have known any better. Or it’s possible that it was typed incorrectly by a secretary, and the typo has never been fixed.
What seems to be implied by Crowley’s use of this term—which I believe he understood the meaning of, if not the correct spelling of it—is that he thought Zeus, when combined with Metis either inside of his stomach or supporting his throne from below, formed a hermaphroditic being. Also note that the etymology of the English word “arse” is traced, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, to the Proto-Indo-European ors, meaning “buttock, backside,” which, that website claims, is the “source also of Greek orros, [meaning] ‘tail, rump, base of the spine.’” The same site tells us that “arsy-versy,” meaning “backside foremost,” goes all the way back to the sixteenth century! So does this image below (of unknown provenance) represent arsenothelus?
In the trials of European witches, they often confessed that at their Sabbats, the Devil would appear to them as a goat-headed figure like Baphomet, and make them kiss his second face, located beneath his tail, as a sign of respect. That face was frequently described as feminine in appearance. My guess is that this is Mete, and that, despite the claim on the idols that “return through the rectum is easy,” it’s not easy enough, because she’s presumably still being anally retained.
The Osculum Infame (‘Obscene Kiss’) of the Witches’ Sabbath
But perhaps in the form of her “son,” also of ambiguous sexual identity, she has managed to send a piece of herself out as an envoy. Perhaps that’s what the Greek story of Dionysus, and the Gnostic story of Christ as her son, are implying.
Is it possible, then, that the reason why effigies of the knights at Temple Church in London, and many other burial grounds for Crusaders, are actually being shown as giving anal birth to monstrous dragons? Could that explain why their legs are twisted in that manner, and why they have those strange luck-dragon creatures beneath their feet? Looking at the way Hammer-Purgstall drew his own impressions of these same effigies (Tab. IV, fig. 7), one looking like an aborted lion fetus, the other like a severed and stomped-on human penis, I feel that this is a strong possibility, and that he may have been hinting at this when choosing which features of the dragons to emphasize in his reproduction. Many of the other images presented by him fit this hypothesis as well.
Tab IV, fig. 7, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum (right half)
Tab IV, fig. 7, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum (left half)
Tab. I, fig. 15-16 (front and back, respectively)
Tab. III, fig. 2
Tab. II, fig. 4
Tab. III, fig. 8
Tab. IV, fig. 34 (top and bottom, respectively)
Tab. IV, fig. 10-12, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Tab. IV, fig. 17-18, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Tab. IV, fig. 22, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Tab. IV, fig. 23, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Tab. IV, fig. 24, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Tab. IV, fig. 12 (right half), Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Tab. IV, fig. 29-30, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Tab. II, fig. 16, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum. Hammer-Purgstall says the serpents are issuing forth from the “buttocks” of an enthroned Mete
As I briefly mentioned before, the key to understanding these effigies lies in the hidden connections between the Knights Templar, the “ancient” cult of Cybele, and the “ancient” cult of Mithras. I must say that I did not really understand the significance of the symbols on these coffers until a couple of years after publishing Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled. This was because I hadn’t looked deeply enough into the cults of Cybele and Mithras. I only knew that bull sacrifices ere associated with both the cult of Cybele and the mysteries of Mithras. This should have been a red flag for me, because a bull sacrifice was depicted on the side of the allegedly Templar-originated “Mete coffer” I found at the British Museum.
However, the truth is that I didn’t, at the time, realize the depth of their commonalities, nor how their myths and symbol sets operated together to tell the secret of Baphomet. Indeed, they also teach us how to correctly interpret Greek and Roman, and Persian mythology. However, it seems that nobody else has noticed these things before either. Luckily, in writing my novel Genuflect, I ended up forcing myself to do this, and that’s when all of these things opened up for me.
I started looking for connections between Mithras and Cybele. I found quickly that a debate had been raging among scholars on the subject for the last 250 years. They couldn’t agree on whether or not these two cults, both of Eastern origin and active concurrently in the late Roman Empire, were related at all. It was mostly modern scholars who were claiming that they were not. I shall give you a history of the two religions, based mostly on accepted theories and chronology (though I don’t necessary wholly embrace these things in whole, as you will no doubt ascertain through the course of this essay.
Cybele had been adopted into Hellenistic Greece from their western Anatolian colonies as early as the sixth century BC. The Greeks compounded her with Rhea, the wife of Chronos and mother of Zeus. The aspect of her relationship with Attis, some historians said, was really only fully adopted by the Western version of the cult after the Romans absorbed it into their official religion in the second century BC. (Attis, by the way, was said to be the father of King Lydus, after whom the Lydians, in this legend, were purportedly named.)
But the Gallu of the temples of the Great Mother Goddess Inanna in Sumer also practiced the same rite, and had a myth about the son of the goddess, Baal, who was identical in many ways to Attis. Like him, Baal was a victim who played essentially the same role with the goddess Inanna (a.k.a. Ishtar). The anniversary of her murder of her own son/husband, for the exact same reason that Cybele killed Attis (erotic jealousy), was observed as a holiday of morning by her worshippers, as it was with Cybele’s. Likewise, Baal’s resurrection was celebrated joyously a few days afterwards. This took place during the Spring Equinox, which was also their New Year’s Day, morphing eventually into the European holiday of Easter, which was named after Ishtar/Inanna.
There in Mesopotamia, her priests were called the Gallu, almost the exact same word as the title of Cybele’s priests, the Galli. It’s derived from the Sumerian word “gal,” meaning “cup” or “vagina.” The Gallu, just like the Galli, were also castrated and dressed as women. In both cults, the priests were actually considered women from this point on, and addressed as such.
Fragment from Tab. I, fig. 1, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum. A disembodied phallus with testes has been smudged out by prudish Hammer-Purgstall for “decency.” Right: Phallus revealed by P. Gonzalez, who scannedour only copy of Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum from the original. This result was obtained by tracing “dotted lines” (his words) visible when the image is enlarged.
Tab. I, fig. 1 with phallus restored, from Thomas Wright’s Worship of the Generative Powers.
Mithras Leocephaline (“lion-headed”), with winged serpent draped
over his head, its his entering his mouth. Compare with Tab. I, fig. 1.
This Mithas Leocephaline would fit in with Hammer-Purgstall’s Mete idols easily
The Babylonian equinox rites also included the sacrifice of the Celestial Bull, Gugalanna, just like Cybele was honored with the taurobolium, a bull sacrifice in which her priests were completely drenched in the blood of the victim. This was performed in Cybele’s specially-outfitted slaughterhouse temples, known as metroons, after her title “Magna Mater” (“Great Mother”).
Mithraism, however, had been imported from Persia much later, starting in the first century after Christ. There were many obvious differences. Mithraism was an all-male cult that, at first blush, seems to promote masculine attributes and shun everything feminine. It was popular in the military, particularly among the foreign legions, and indeed, that is where it had originally begun its spread throughout the empire.
It took a couple of centuries for it to be anything more than a barely tolerated subterranean mystery school (operating literally underground, in caves on the frontiers, and in the basements of other buildings in cities). But eventually, some of the emperors were converted, and the cult, which had originally forbidden its members to join any other religious groups, began to allow amalgamation with the followers of “Sol Invictus” (“Invincible Sun”), a.k.a. Helios. This new and improved Mithraism became the dominant religious force at the end of the empire, until its rival, Christianity, with which it shared mutual influence, eclipsed it altogether.
Early in the twentieth century, two authors—Franz Cumont and Jessie Weston—separately published important works arguing that Mithraists had also made formal pacts with Cybele worshippers. Cumont had stated it as though it were established fact in his 1903 book The Mysteries of Mithra. There he had argued that:
…[I]n conciliating the priests of Magna Mater, the sectaries of Mithra obtained the support of a powerful and officially recognized clergy, and so shared in some measure in the protection afforded it by the State.
He also pointed out that the temples of both cults (mithraeums and metroons) were often very close to one another. In Ostia in Italy, where the oldest known mithraeum has been found (along with dozens of others scattered throughout the same town), the two temples were actually attached contiguously. Cumont suggested that they may have shared ritual materials, and perhaps even conducted joint rituals.
If the two cults did work together, it would actually put to rest one of the points of argument between historians on the subject. Cumont had claimed that both the Cybelists and the Mithraists practiced the rite of taurobolium. This was the ceremony wherein the priest would rip open the guts of the victim on a platform with a metal grate over it so that the blood would pour down onto an initiate positioned below. It was a form of sanguinary baptism, after which the recipient was said to be renatus in aeternum “reborn for eternity”).
Modern scholars, criticizing Cumont, argue that, although the central myth of the cult is about Mithras hunting and killing a bull, a true taurobolium would have been impossible to conduct inside of a tiny underground mithraeum. But they ignore the fact that Cumont had already addressed this issue. He said the evidence suggested that Mithraists performed few if any of their own sacrifices of.
Instead, he thought that they most likely contracted this work out to a professional victimarius (sacrificial butcher), which was a common practice at the time. Any metroon would have been equipped for this, and the Cybelists may have been the ones to fulfill this purpose. Cumont also noted that mithraeums were usually built directly upon a source of running water. He proposed that the relatively sophisticated plumbing systems they usually sported might have been useful to the Cybelists, and that access to these things might have been traded to them by the Mithraists in exchange for help with butchery.
It seems to me that Cybele’s anti-male transvestite priesthood and the Mithraists’ aversion to femininity may have made them an odd yet complimentary pair: they both were against traditional sexuality. Furthermore the mythologies of both cult figures complemented each other in the same way. I told you before that according to some sources, Cybele wasn’t always just a woman. Prudentius, a Roman Christian poet, writing in the fourth century, said in Peristephanon: 10.1071-3:
Both sexes are displeasing to Cybele’s holiness, so he [the Galli priest/ess] keeps a middle gender between the two.
As I mentioned, initiates of Cybele’s priesthood went through an orgiastic public ritual in which they were expected to go mad on drugs and wine. They would then become possessed by the goddess, just like Attis, so that they would be inspired to castrate themselves just like he did. These priests were thereafter referred to as women, just like the Gallu priests of Sumer before them, and just like a post-op transgender person would be in modern times. Like the Gallu, they dressed in women’s clothes, spoke in affected effeminate voices, and sang in an effeminate manner that was supposed to be pleasing to the goddess.
Earlier, in the first century BC, another Roman poet, Gaius Valerius Catullus, had written in Carmina, Poem 63 about how Attis castrated himself and thus became a priestess of Cybele. From that point on, she was thereby immediately referred to as feminine:
Over the vast main borne by swift-sailing ship, Attis, as with hasty hurried foot he reached the Phrygian wood and gained the tree-girt gloomy sanctuary of the Goddess, there roused by rabid rage and mind astray, with sharp-edged flint downwards dashed his burden of virility. Then as he felt his limbs were left without their manhood, and the fresh spilt blood staining the soil, with bloodless hand she hastily took a tambour light to hold, your tambourine, Cybele, your initiate rite, and with feeble fingers beating the hollowed bullock’s back, she rose up quivering…
Later, when her reason returned to her, she lamented the loss of her penis and the fact that she was now a “slave” to the mother goddess:
Then when from quiet rest torn, her delirium over, Attis at once recalled to mind her deed, and with lucid thought saw what she had lost, and where she stood, with heaving heart she backwards traced her steps to the landing-place. There, gazing over the vast main with tear-filled eyes, with saddened voice in tristful soliloquy thus did she lament…
This all appears to be an echo of the earliest versions of the Cybele myth, influenced more closely by the Phrygian version. In these, she was called “Agditis,” and was said to have originated in the realm of the gods. She had been formed when some of Zeus’ semen fell upon a rock called “Agdo.” But the other gods found Agditis to be a freak, and so they had her castrated, and cast her down to Earth. This, then, would explain why Cybele was sometimes represented by a rock, particularly a meteorite—a “stone that fell from heaven.”
As the story continues, according to a Greek travelogue from Pausanias in the second century AD, the goddess then became pregnant with a boy, whom she abandoned at birth and left for dead. The boy was born so beautiful that he was rescued by a she-goat that felt pity for him. Eventually, when she found him again, his own mother fell in love with him.
He was later engaged to a princess. But during the wedding, Agditis/Cybele possessed his mind and inspired him to castrate himself, resulting in his death. Afterwards, in regret, she “persuaded Zeus to grant the body of Attis should neither rot at all nor decay” (according to a travelogue of Phrygia written in the second century AD by the Greek geographer Pausanias). This is the skeletal story, upon which a variety of flourishes about the boy’s death, resurrection, and alleged “love” for his mother were added.
Some obvious parallels between this and the story of Mithras jump out right away. Just as they say Agditis was born from a petra genetrix (“fecund rock”), so too was Mithras. Votive depictions of the god’s birth show him emerging as a fully-grown young man, with a torch in one hand and a knife in the other, which he used to find his way and tear himself out.
On either side of the rock they always depicted the two Chiaramonti (“Torchbearers”), two male youths who wore Phrygian hats just like Mithras, and just Attis Cybele’s Galli priests. The Chiaramonti were also often shown in that same peculiar cross-legged attitude; just like how Attis and the Galli were often shown, whether standing or laying; just like the effigies of the cross-legged knights on the graves at Temple church. The names of the two Chiaramonti were Cautes and Cautophanes. Each held a torch, with one pointing it upwards, and the other pointing it downwards, respectively. Seeing this reminded me again of Eliphas Levi’s depiction of the Templar demon Baphomet, with one hand pointing up, and the other pointing down, along with a torch burning between his goat horns.
The ultimate provenance of Mithras is a mystery. It was a true parthenogenesis, “fertilized by the heavenly father’s phallic lightning,” as Barbara Walker wrote. He was truly the self-born,” like the nameless figure identified by Jesus in the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, where he said:
When you see him who was not born of woman, fall down upon your faces and worship him; that one is your Father.
Thus during the initiations, according to the one-surviving Mithras Liturgy, inductees took an oath to the god which included the words:
I… who was born from the mortal womb of (his mother’s name) and from the fluid of semen, and who, since he has been born again from you today…resolves to worship you.
In the myth of Mithras, when the time came to have progeny of his own, he chose to mate with a rock because he detested females. A writer known as “Pseudo-Plutarch” wrote in De Fluviis 23.4 about a certain mountain in Armenia called “Diorphos.” This was named after “Diorphos the Earth-born (or the Titan),” about whom it was said:
Mithras, who wanted to have a son but hated the race of women, ejaculated onto a stone. The stone became pregnant and—after the appropriate time—produced a boy called Diorphos.
The name of this figure brought to mind the myth of the “Orphic Egg” from the Orphic Mystery Schools, which went back to Greece in the fifth century. They taught that the primordial being was a figure named “Phanes,” whom they also called “Eros.” The creator of this egg was “Nyx,” whose name meant “Night,” just like what the name of the Kabbalistic demoness Lilith translates to. I felt that Phanes might also relate to Ophion, a serpent who, with his Titan bride Eurynome, was said to have ruled the Earth for a spell after being “cast down” by Chronos and Rhea. This again indicates an identification with Diorphos, the son of Mithras, identified with Chronos/Saturn.
Depictions of Phanes with his body surrounded by a serpent, strongly resemble the images of the leontocephaline (lion-headed) version of Mithras as Saturn (also shown wrapped in a snake) that were found in many mithraeums, as were Orphic depictions of the cosmic egg. Other related symbols include the one-snaked rod of Asclepius and the double-snaked rod of Hermes, the caduceus
Like Baphomet, the Persians had originally seen their Mitra as an intermediary power, helping connect creatures on our plane with both the celestial powers above and the infernal powers below. In the Roman mystery school version, he became identified with Saturn, the furthest from Earth of the planets then known about, seen in classical astrology as the highest of the heavens. But he was also identified, especially in the latter years of the Roman Empire, with Sol, the Sun. In the old geocentric systems, Sol occupied the middle sphere of the heavens, with other spheres, including those of Jupiter and Saturn, on top of that.
The worshippers of Sol Invictus, like the Egyptians, saw the Sun as the ultimate symbol of an omnipotent god. But in the Mithraic Mysteries, which attempted to incorporate this cult in its later years, the initiate made a symbolic journey through each of the heavens, in imitation of this enhanced story of the adventures of Mithras. This did not merely involve him passing through the various gates of Heaven with special passwords. This (taught by Gnostic and Hermetic schools as necessary for the soul to ascend to the highest realm after death). Rather, in this case, it seems that Mithras actually conquered the intelligences that ruled over these spheres, subduing them to his will.
After slaying the bull from which the material world was made, he ascended this stairway to heaven, the “ladder of lights” we know as the seven classical planets, until he got to Sol’s kingdom. There, after the sun was overthrown, the luminary was forced to bow down on one knee to his new master, Mithras. The two then shook hands as friends, and then feasted together on the bull, with the domination of the new sun god now having been established. Then Mithras took the reigns of the Sun’s chariot and ascended to the next realm, which was that of Saturn. Mithras then took on as his own identity as well, indicating that he overtook that god just like he did the others, and henceforth ruled all of the kingdoms below.
I think it is because he victoriously overthrew both the Sun and Saturn, then took on both of their roles, that Mithras was seen as the source of a light more primordial, beyond the known universe, the “sun beyond the Sun.” The realm of light beyond the sphere of Saturn was called Hyperurania. It was named after Saturn’s father Uranus, for the same reason the planet beyond Saturn was so named by modern astronomers. A document called “the Mithras Liturgy” described a Mithraic initiate, in imitation of Mithras, entering the palace of the “Seven Pole Lords” with the faces of black bulls. These are the guys who turn the wheels of the heavens, causing earthquakes, thunder and lightning. But Mithras basically makes slavish bitches out of them all.
The fact that Mithras was known for literally “storming heaven,” invading the highest realm of the universe with shock and awe, seemed to be part of why his cult was popular with the military of an imperial power. Cybele was already an official patroness of the Roman military, and it is no accident that her holy week took place during the month dedicated to the war god Mars. But whereas the Magna Mater was seen as the protectress of the state, and the status quo Mithras was a god of rebellion.
The red Phrygian cap worn by Mithras and his helpers Cautes and Cautophanes—as well as by Cybele’s Galli, coincidentally—is also known as a “liberty cap,” because in Rome it was the symbol of a slave that had been freed. Saturn himself was shown wearing it too, which is the origin of the hat that Santa Claus slaves wore them during the festival of Saturnalia at the winter solstice, because they were considered free during this time period. Indeed, all rules were considered null during these days, giving way to orgies, drinking, and much mischief.
This was done in honor of Saturn and his Golden Age, when nobody had to work. It is the reason why we all take vacation around Christmas, and why Santa Claus wears that funny red hat. It’s also why we get wildly drunk on New Year’s Eve, just like the “Feast of Fools” celebrated in medieval Europe, when the social order would be upturned in honor of the “Lord of Misrule.” It’s why the liberty cap became the symbol of the French Revolution, inspired by Freemasons, who, like the Mithraists, gave no regard to social status within the boundaries of their lodges. The seals of the US Army and the US Senate bear this symbol as well.
The record on the Mithraists is a bit confusing. On the one hand, there are sources saying that the cult valued abstinence from sex, as an extension of their general hatred of women, and that many of their priests took vows of chastity. But at the same time they had a ceremony for the second degree of their order, which is called “Nymphus”—“the Bride.” It was dedicated to the love goddess Venus. The initiate would be married to another brother in the order, dressed in a bridal veil.
From a Mithraic temple
In my research, I found indications that both Cybele and Mithras frowned upon all practice of procreative heterosexual relations, and that both had been born from inseminated rocks. I thought about the castration of Cybele, and her original hermaphroditic state, in comparison to Baphomet, also missing his penis, according to Eliphas Levi, and sporting a caduceus instead.
These revelations about the nature of these two cults, apparently connected, do fit in with what we know about Ophite Gnostics, the Knights Templar, and the neo-Gnostic, neo-Templar order started by Aleister Crowley. Crowley believed that new universes—new aeons—could be created through homosexual sex magick. He and his partners recorded in their journals that they could see with their own eyes the presence of “universes” of their semen-filled rectums, formed by the fluids there, and imagining they saw various events occurring with the inhabitants thereof. Again, see the notes from “the Paris Working,” which state:
Inspection of Cakkras…. Muladhara. Blood-red, velvety, deep-bell shape. Around it the Kundalini coiled, but in constant spiral motion. Luminous triangle—mirror-like—opens at base (very small.) I looked down through infinite stages of these triangles, at the bottom glitters a pearl-like (but self-luminous and most intense) phallus. Presently this goes, and up the tunnel march millions of men of every race, creed, caste and colour—not a single woman.
The Muladhara is the base chakra, a.k.a. the “Fundament.” So he is talking about a universe formed inside of an anus. As for this celebration of the lack of women in the race of beings they witnessed, this same attitude can be found in the Mithraic mystery schools, where women were not allowed and were considered superfluous to life. It can also be found in the fictional world of “The Smurfs,” which, as I explain in Genuflect, is a model of a Mithraic commune, populated by an all-male race of blue beings, led by Papa Smurf, a figure clearly modeled on Mithras, the “Pater,” and all wearing Phrygian hats. They were originally created, and can only reproduce, through alchemical magic.
These Smurfs look just like not only Mithras himself, but also the Chiaramonti, and Attis. The creatures seen on the sides of the coffers in the British Museum, presented later on this this essay, look similar, but without the hats: they seem short and hairless. This seems to be what an all-male (or perhaps asexual) race of homunculi, look like. Crowley would have seen them as a superior breed of humanity, as he saw women to be only an obstacle standing in the way of man’s salvation through sexual Gnosis.
It seems the Templars had a similar world-view. According to their own confessions, as detailed by the Chinon Parchment released by the Vatican in 2007, newly-inducted Templars promised to refrain from the “impurity” of sex with women (including their own wives, many of whom were reportedly abandoned when their husbands were inducted into the order). They promised to instead unleash their lusts upon one another, swearing to never deny their brothers’ requests for sexual favors.
This is in keeping with Ophite Gnostic doctrine. Perhaps the composers of the Templars’ secret doctrine felt that transgressive sex was somehow “pure” compared to normal, procreative sex with a female. In the Ophite view, the latter form of sex is harmful because it has the potential to lock more souls in the prison of the Demiurge by engendering children. But transgressive sex went against the grain of the creative world, therefore taking away a bit of Jaldabaoth’s over them.
While we may find it hard to believe that grown men of respectable positions (such as the Templars always were) would convince themselves that sexual abuse of children and animals was somehow spiritually enlightening, we should also keep in mind that this could also be yet another veneer, with a more practical agenda behind it. In our own time, our politics is occasionally rocked with scandals of child sex abuse by the rich and powerful. This often involves so-called “pedophile rings” that are quite secret and exclusive, making use of child prostitutes that have often been obtained from orphanages. Photos are usually taken at their meetings, for the purpose of establishing the ever-present threat of blackmail and mutually-assured destruction should any members of the abuse ring be tempted to give information to the authorities about what they’ve been involved in. This ties the participants together in a bond of evil, which is used for the coalescence of power into the hands of a cabal. On more than one occasion it has come out that these rings were actually being orchestrated by the intelligence services acting on orders of some group within government that was using it to control other powerful people. (See my 2008 book Mind-Controlled Sex Slaves and the CIA for more on this subject.) According to Hammer-Purgstall, something similar may have been going on with the Templars:
It remains for us to comment on yet another expansion, or rather subversion, of the Delphic dictum. They substituted in place of that golden sentence, “Know yourself,” the crafty, “know all, but let no one know you.” On this truly Machiavellian principle rests their whole politic, which up to now they try to sustain by the gospel precept, “Be wise as serpents.” To this depraved wisdom they connect unrestrained conduct, so that, “Pursue all, and all is permitted,” they seem to have proposed as the highest branch of wisdom…. Such persons, already destined by nature as leaders, sought the highest goal of their labors, not in satisfying desires, but in conducting state affairs. Finally, people eagerly followed this doctrine because, once a person wickedly indulges every sensual craving, it renders his associates more inclined to all types of illicit activities.
In addition to the sexual crimes, Hammer-Purgstall’s artifacts evidenced what I would consider the most outrageous accusation against the Templars: the sacrifice of babes in a “Baptism of Fire.” There are several pictures of babies or young boys either standing inside of a burning brazier, or standing over one as if he they are about to. According to Jules Michelet’s History of France, Volume 1, published in 1860 (and drawing on the Chroniques Francaises de Saint-Denys, compiled during the Templar trials), there were:
…reports spread among the people against the Templars, ‘… that a new-born infant, begotten of a Templar and a maid, was cooked and roasted by the fire, and all the grease roasted out, and their idol consecrated and anointed with it.’
Similarly, Thomas Wright described a group that once met in Orleans, about which a document was found at the abbey of St. Pere in Chartres that told of their alleged activities. After calling a demonic spirit to appear “in the form of an animal,” they would purportedly indulge in group sex (men and women both). Then, Wright says:
The child which was the fruit of this intercourse was taken on the eighth day, and purified by fire, ‘in the manner of the ancient pagans’—so says the contemporary writer of this document—it was burnt to ashes in a large fire made for that purpose. The ashes were collected with great reverence, and preserved to be administered to members of the society who were dying, just as good Christians received the viaticum. It is added that there was such a virtue in these ashes, that an individual who had once tasted them would hardly ever be able to turn his mind from that heresy and take the path of truth.
All this was backed up by papal pronouncements that had been made both before Hammer-Purgstall’s time, and before. Pope Pius IX, in his “Allocution against the Templars,” said:
Their watchword was, to become wealthy, in order to buy the world. They became so, and in 1312 they possessed in Europe alone more than nine thousand seignories. Riches were the shoal on which they were wrecked. They became insolent, and unwisely showed their contempt for the religious and social institutions which they aimed to overthrow. Their ambition was fatal to them. Their projects were divined and prevented. Pope Clement V and King Philip le Bel gave the signal to Europe, and the Templars, taken as it were in an immense net, were arrested, disarmed, and cast into prison. Never was a Coup d’Etat accomplished with a more formidable concert of action. The whole world was struck with stupor, and eagerly waited for the strange revelations of a process that was to echo through so many ages.
It was impossible to unfold to the people the conspiracy of the Templars against the Thrones and the Tiara. It was impossible to expose to them the doctrines of the Chiefs of the Order. The Templars were gravely accused of spitting upon Christ and denying God at their receptions, of gross obscenities, conversations with female devils, and the worship of a monstrous idol.
In 2007, during Benedict XVI’s reign, a book called Processus Contra Templarios was published by the Vatican in a limited edition of 799 copies selling for $9000 each. It purported to reveal the “truth” about a document they had dubbed the “Chinon Parchment.” It had been purportedly discovered six years earlier in the Vatican Secret Archives by a paleographist who worked there named Barbara Frale, “misfiled,” allegedly, for 700 years. The book release was timed to coincide with the 700th anniversary of the arrest of the Templars by the French police on October 13, 1307, and gained a great deal of attention from the international press.
What grabbed the headlines was the extraordinary claim that the document proved that Pope Clement V had held his own trial of the Templar leadership after King Philip IV’s, the results of which had “exonerated” knights and proved that they were “innocent” after all. These were the terms used in newspaper articles that were published. They were also the words used by Barbara Frale herself when she published a more accessible book on the subject several years later, called The Templars: The Secret History Revealed. This would certainly seem newsworthy: both the discovery of the document, and the revision of history that its existence would apparently require.
The only thing is that once you read what Frale writes about what’s actually in the document, you find that it proves nothing of the sort. If fact, trying to follow Frale’s version of the story of the end of the Templars, it quickly becomes very confusing, mostly because of the meaning she attaches to certain elements of it. She has her own spin on things, but frequently asserts these opinions as though they are facts. It was these assertions that journalists repeated unquestioningly. For instance, here is an utterly misleading description of the document’s content from BBC News, using Frale’s own words:
However, according to Prof Frale, study of the document shows that the knights were not heretics as had been believed for 700 years.
In fact she says ‘the Pope was obliged to ask for pardons from the knights… the document we have found absolves them.’
Actually, according to the Parchment, they did confess to what most Christians today would consider blasphemy, including denying Christ and spitting on the cross, as the BBC article states:
In the hearings before Clement V, the knights reportedly admitted spitting on the cross, denying Jesus and kissing the lower back of the man proposing them during initiation ceremonies.
This mention of the “kiss on the lower back” (which was also applied to the navel and mouth, according to the document) is as close as the BBC comes to addressing one of the most shocking things that one of the knights, Hughes de Perraud, confessed to Clement’s cardinals: that the brotherhood had a doctrine condoning—even insisting upon—homosexuality. As the show relates, the knights were obliged to swear off all contact with women the moment they joined the order (dumping their wives and children, in many instances). So, as one of the knights told the cardinals questioning him, they were instructed that if they couldn’t control their desires, they should turn to each other for relief, and not refuse one another’s advances. As Frale wrote in her book:
[T]he preceptor exhorted the new Templar not to have sexual relations with women, inviting him, should he absolutely not be able to live chastely, to unite with his brothers and not refuse them should they request sexual favors from him. The novice often reacted angrily, but there were no consequences because the ritual sequence did not provide for any concrete application of this ‘precept of homosexuality.’
As far as the absolution the BBC refers to in their article, this was the absolution of sin after confession, which of course the cardinals had the right to issue. It in no way negated the fact that the sin had taken place. But why did the BBC’s writers have the wrong idea here? Even the Catholic News Agency presented the news with this spin when Frale’s book came out in 2007, using the word “exonerated”:
The investigation took place in Rome between 1307 and 1312. According to the document, Pope Clement V exonerated the Templars on the charge of heresy, but found them guilty of other infractions. He also ordered the Knights Templar to disband.
The BBC article had also used the word “exonerated,” and went even further:
The official who found the paper says it exonerates the knights entirely.
The last sentence refers to Ms. Frale. One can certainly see upon inspecting her book where the authors of the news articles got their ideas. In the first chapter, she declares that her discovery has finally set the record straight on the Templar issue, even using the word “innocent”:
[The Chinon Parchment] reveals that the grand master and other high-ranking Templars were found innocent of the charges of heresy, were absolved for less serious offenses by the apostolic authority, and were fully integrated into the Catholic community. Historians believed that the Templars were innocent of the charges brought against them by Philip IV, but many outside academia still suspected the Templars of having been heretics and occultists. The Chinon Parchment is the definitive and incontrovertible proof of the Templars’ innocence and should finally put this question to rest.
Apparently, only the uneducated ever had any doubt in the first place! Now this word “innocence,” which has now been repeated by so many other writers on the subject without any qualifications, could only conceivably be used in regards to the very narrow definition of heresy given by Ms. Frale. After describing the juicy details of the secret Templar initiation ceremony, as the knights confessed it to Clement’s cardinals, she says:
Although it was an unworthy tradition that the Templars had further embellished with other vulgar and violent practices, under no circumstances could it be confused with heresy, an offense that implied a strict and long-term adherence to subversive doctrines.
So the Templars were not heretics, she thinks, because their bizarre practices were not part of a religious lifestyle to the individual knights, who, perhaps at least initially, had no idea why they were being asked to do these things. She tells the story of the circumstances that led up to the papal inquiry. Prior to sending the cardinals to question the knights, and prior to Philip’s arrest of them, in March 1307 Pope Clement personally interviewed a couple of them. First he called in grand master Jacques de Molay himself “and immediately demanded an explanation for the infamous rumors of the idol said to be secretly venerated in the Temple. . . .” This the grand master denied, and insisted that the matter be investigated to clear the Order’s reputation. She writes:
The grand master of the Templars, indignant at the rumors the sovereign had been spreading, expressly requested the pope to open an inquest into the state of the Temple so as to demonstrate that the slanderous accusations were unfounded. . . .
“Slander” of course would mean that they were the targets of willful lies. But is that what we’re talking about here? When the Pope then interviewed Hughes de Perraud, he “confirmed to the pope that the Templars practiced a ritual that required new members to spit on the cross during their induction ceremony.”
After the knights were arrested by Philip, Clement sent the cardinals to question the leaders mentioned, and that is when they all, including De Molay, confirmed many of the accusations, as we have discussed. That is also when all of the details about the initiation ceremony finally came out. Frale’s description of events is full of contradictions. For instance, she writes:
The written statutes of the Temple, which date back to the second half of the thirteenth century, contain the complete text of the initiation ceremony.
But she then admits that the controversial final elements of the ceremony were not written in the Rule, and “can be constructed only from the testimony given at the trial.” So the statutes didn’t in fact give the complete ceremony, as she’d said earlier. According to her, after the knight had sworn his oath to the Order and donned his mantle, he was taken to an ante room, where he was suddenly told to spit on the cross to prove his obedience. Frale gives the details of the ceremony, which she put together from all of the similar elements found in each of the confessions:
A systematic analysis of all the testimony revealed that at this point most of the brothers resigned themselves to doing what had been commanded, perhaps attempting to spit in the direction of the cross without actually hitting it, while others adamantly refused. . . . Sometimes a candidate’s firmness was respected, and he was asked nothing more, but more often his brothers threatened him with prison or death, beating him brutally with their bare fists or holding a sword to his throat. Then the preceptor gave him the kiss of monastic brotherhood—on the mouth. Often this kiss, common to all religious orders, was followed by two more kisses on the belly and the posterior, which was usually covered by the tunic, but at times there were officiators who exposed their bottoms and, according to some witnesses, even obscenely proposed kisses on the penis. Most postulants obeyed without arguing when the request was moderately humiliating, such as a kiss on the behind, and refused in more extreme cases. While the preceptors demanded that a postulant at least deny Christ or spit on the cross, they usually overlooked a refusal of kisses, and unwilling candidates were not forced to comply.
Now a couple of questions about this clearly need to be asked. For one thing, does spitting on the cross and denying faith in Jesus constitute blasphemy for a Christian knight? Well, Ms. Frale manages to describe the spiritual consequences of this without actually using that term:
Although it was clear that they were not heretics, it was equally clear that under church doctrine they were guilty, albeit of a much lesser offence. According to canon law, anyone who commits an act of rejection of the faith, even if he does so without conviction, removes himself from the Catholic community, effectively excommunicating himself. The excommunicant can be absolved of his guilt but cannot be acquitted.
At this point in the story, the knights had been excommunicated, but this decision got reversed later, according to the Chinon Parchment, for reasons we will discuss shortly.
The second question that comes to mind after learning the details of the Parchment is this: why was more of an issue not made about the institutionalized homosexuality in the Order? According to Frale, Pope Clement wanted to assign the knights penance, grant them absolution (forgiveness), reverse their excommunication, and then combine the Order with the Knights Hospitaller so that he could launch a new Crusade. How could he even think of doing this in medieval Catholic Europe with a bunch of guys who had all been kissing each others’ butts and penises at the very least, and who had sworn not to refuse each others’ sexual advances? The Parchment even details the initiation of an eleven-year-old relative of the king of England, who was purportedly subject to the same treatment (and pathetically begged for his uncle to save him when they told him to spit on the cross). Frale seems to think that almost no homosexual activity occurred beyond the homoerotic initiation rite and oath. She writes:
The surviving trial testimony consists of approximately one thousand depositions with only six attesting to homosexual relations, all of which were described as long-term relationships that almost always had a dimension of affection. . . .
As for the sexual humiliation and forced alienation from God that each knight experienced during initiation, Frale says that these feelings were alleviated afterwards because the neophytes were encouraged to confess their “sins” immediately afterwards. This is in fact how all those “slanderous” rumors got started, she says– you know, the slanderous rumors that accurately stated exactly what the Templars were doing? As she put it:
At the end of the ceremony, the ‘victim’ of all these impositions was invited to report to the chaplain of the order to confess the sins he had just committed and ask for forgiveness. The priests of the Temple comforted these penitents by telling them that they had not committed grave offenses and that if they demonstrated remorse and shame, they would be absolved. Often, however, the brothers confessed to priests outside the Temple, generally Franciscans or Dominicans, who, naturally, were dumbfounded and amplified the brothers’ moral disquiet by telling them that they had committed mortal sins, sometimes encouraging them to leave the order. These indiscretions of these honest priests, who were totally ignorant of the real function of the secret ceremony within the Temple, undoubtedly contributed to the gossip circulating in the secular world about the ‘dark side’ of the order.
So what on Earth was the supposed reason for doing any of this stuff in the first place, if they were not heretics or even “occultists,” as she put it? Ms. Frale trips all over herself to argue that it was just a test of the postulant’s mettle.
Bernard of Clairvaux . . . insisted on inserting into the text of the Rule a clause exhorting the leaders of the order not to accept new vocations too hurriedly, but rather to subject candidates to a test to ascertain their character and commitment. The exact nature of the test is unclear. Bernard elegantly alluded to Saint Paul’s advice to ‘put them to the test to see if they come from God. . . .’
The written Rule offers no details as to how the preceptor might discourage postulants who were less than totally convincing. . . .
In her imagination, without specific instruction it was only logical that over time tests would be devised that involved blaspheming Jesus and making people kiss their private parts. But she simultaneously makes two contradictory claims about the purpose of this:
1) To see if a candidate would have the courage not to renounce Christ if the Saracens tried to force him to.
2) To see if a candidate would be obedient to his superiors no matter what.
So which were they looking for: loyalty to the Order, or loyalty to Christ and Christian morality? Apparently, nobody flunked the test no matter how they reacted. Frale’s opinion on the matter is confusing (especially when she claims that it has somehow been established by the evidence of the Parchment whilst still admitting that it’s purely theoretical on her part). Regarding the need for strict obedience within the Order, she states:
A cardinal point of the Templars’ ethical code was absolute obedience to one’s immediate superiors. . . .
As for the idea that they were testing their recruits to see how they’d stand up to the religious persuasion tactics of the Muslim enemy, here is what she bases it on. She says:
Perhaps they [did these things] because it immediately confronted the new Templar with the violence that he would be subjected to if he were captured by the Saracens.
. . .
We know that the Saracens used to beat and torture capture Christians, forcing them to deny Christ and spit on the cross before ultimately compelling them to convert to Islam.
. . .
The ritual took place according to a fixed script based on the actual experiences of Templar escapees from Muslim prisons, and dated back to the earliest days of the order… Over time, extraneous elements were added, such as the kiss on the buttocks, a true example of hazing aimed at humiliating the recruit in front of the veterans, and the verbal exhortation to homosexuality, which probably started as a parody of the precept that required Templars to give their whole selves to the order and to their brethren. These vulgar and derisive practices were typical of the often crude behavior found among military corps, and probably arose when the order’s traditional discipline began to deteriorate.
This does not seem to fit with the existing legend of the brave Templar knight. How is it that men who were charged never to retreat on the battlefield when fighting Muslims for God would crumple under a bit of peer pressure when asked by their superiors to renounce Christ? Also, how does committing the blasphemy beforehand, without torture, help to prevent you from doing so again later under torture from the enemy? If renouncing Christ is a big deal with real spiritual ramifications, and they were being trained to avoid having to do that, why would they go ahead and commit the blasphemy during the training?
At any rate, this is what the Templars confessed to, twice, both to the king of France’s inquisitors, and to the Pope’s. So while they may have had their reasons (if you follow and believe Frale’s twisted apologist logic), and while they may have been absolved (as any murderer or rapist who confessed to a priest would be), they were certainly not innocent, either by contemporary standards, or today’s.
But it does seem that when Frale says “exonerated,” she means reconciled with the Church. She seems to place all the importance on the Templars’ charter and the fact that it put them under the sole authority of the Pope. She completely rejects the notion that the king of France should have anything to say about the activities of the knights who were stationed in his country. She constantly describes Clement as having the best of intentions. She says he wanted to use his power to protect them, but was constantly thwarted by the king of France trying to “illegally” (her word) claim jurisdiction over them.
The battle for political supremacy between the French crown and the Papacy had been going on for several years. The election of Clement, historians say, had been orchestrated by Philip IV in the first place, as he felt that Clement could be a useful puppet. He then insisted that Clement move the seat of St. Peter from Rome to Avignon, France, where it remained until 1378. Prior to this, there had been a feud between Philip and Clement’s predecessor, Pope Boniface VIII.
It is interesting that, according to a National Geographic documentary that featured Frale, one of the ways in which Philip kept Clement in line was by threatening to publicly accuse Clement of heresy as well. Furthermore, as she states in her book, Philip even wanted to exhume the bones of Pope Boniface VIII and put him on trial as “a heretic, a blasphemer, an atheist, and a practitioner of witchcraft.” She describes how the bishops in France wanted to separate from the papacy because they believed it “to have reached a state of decadence as to be incapable of performing its traditional role.” Then she complains about how a bishop in Troyes named Guichard was burned at the stake for witchcraft at this time, “despite having been acquitted by the pope.”
Frale describes the bizarre ending to this series of events. In December of 1307, Jacques de Molay recanted his confession to Philip IV’s inquisitors, claiming he’d lied because he was under torture, and publicly displaying his wounds before an audience he was granted at Notre Dame cathedral. The Pope’s panels of bishops decided that the knights should be absolved, but that the leaders who were already in prison must remain there for the rest of their lives to pay for what they had done. The way Frale puts it, the papacy saw this as a compromise, bargained down from the death penalty that Philip wanted (although Philip had not actually negotiated with them at all). The Church leaders thought this would enable them to wrap up the matter quickly so they could get about the business of launching another war in the Middle East:
Upon the return of the three cardinals to Poitiers, the pope drafted a second version of his bull faciens misericordiam. It reiterated the main points expressed in the first release, but added that the leaders of the Temple had been absolved and were now protected by judicial immunity and that no one, except the Roman pontiff, could so much as interrogate them.
But as it turned out, De Molay and his sidekick, Geoffrey de Charny, did not care for this solution. They then recanted their confessions again, this time presumably including the ones they gave to the Church authorities who, according to Frale, had not tortured them. Instead, as Frale put it, they proclaimed “the Temple’s absolute innocence of all the charges brought against them. . . .” Again, it is hard to see how any of this behavior could be classified as particularly noble, considering that even Frale acknowledged that the Templars were, on many of the counts, “guilty,” which normally is thought of as the opposite of “innocent,” a term she also used to describe the knights.
At any rate, Frale still seems to think that the Church’s authority here, which had failed on all counts, should have continued to reign supreme over the situation. She describes what happened next as a violation of the rights of the Church, as Philip took matters into his own hand and acted decisively:
In 1310 [Philip IV] ordered 54 Templars who had been found innocent burned at the stake, in total violation of papal authority. Even the theologians of Sorbonne opposed this decision, declaring it completely illegal, but their opinion was ignored.
In the south of France, where the powers of the Inquisition were strongest, there were records of convictions for violations associated with witchcraft, such as the witch’s Sabbath and group orgies, which even went beyond the accusations of Philip the Fair in his indictment.
These Frale calls “the most baseless charges, which drew from the most abominable fantasies of the popular imagination.” Then, she says, Philip thwarted Clement’s authority once again:
Although the leaders of the Temple were still detained illegally by Philip IV, the pope granted them judicial immunity. Templar grand master Jacques de Molay tried multiple times to obtain an audience with the pope, but royal agents prevented that meetings from ever taking place. Nor were the Templars allowed to be in contact with their grand master. . . .
Finally, Philip had De Molay and De Charny both executed, burnt at the stake. Predictably, Frale sees these deaths as nothing short of noble martyrdom. She writes:
Accounts of the execution attested to the great heroism demonstrated by the two leaders. Jacques de Molay asked his executioners to untie the knots around his wrists, raised his eyes to the cathedral of Notre Dame, and prayed to the Virgin Mary. . . With his prayer, the grand master bore glorious witness to the demise of the Temple and proclaimed its innocence and fidelity to the Christian faith.
So clearly, the Templars have in no way been exculpated. They seem to have been quite guilty of the elements of blasphemy (at least according to the common definition) and committing homosexual acts. Many people have been executed for less. The idea that this was not done as part of a larger heretical doctrine is unproven and groundless. Contrary to the sweeping claims of Barbara Frale (who in 2009 also claimed to have found the name of Jesus written on the Shroud of Turin), the question of why they did these things, and the extent to which they did, as well what other crimes they may have committed, is as unanswered today as before the Chinon Parchment was discovered in 2001. As for the question of the Baphomet idol, Frale offers one sentence, proposing what seems a very odd idea:
The last point raised in the indictment against the Templars concerned the secret veneration of an idol in the shape of a bearded head. There is clear evidence of the existence of an unusual image of Christ in the religious life of the order, as well as a mysterious cult devoted to the Sacred Blood.
So is she suggesting that the Baphomet head was a representation of Jesus. It seems so. As strange as this may seem, the same idea was the subject of the 1998 book The Head of God: The Lost Treasure of the Templars by Keith Laidler. However, instead of claiming that it was a mere representation of Christ, he theorized that actual man’s head had been removed and preserved by them. He proposed that it is now buried underneath Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. Perhaps he gave Frale the spark of insight that led to her concocting the only “innocent” explanation she could come up with for why the knights would be prostrating themselves before a mummified head that the confessors described as “terrifying.” But we need not go that far. The skulls and mummified remains of many saints, including John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene, are regularly venerated by Christians the world over, and all of them look rather creepy. As we mentioned, the Templars were involved in the relic trade. It could have been any one of these that the Templars used in their ceremonies, or something else altogether.
As for Barbara Frale herself, who’s worked at the Vatican Secret Archives since 2001, she comes across as a Church spokeswoman apologizing for what happened to the knights, and offering up excuses for why the Pope failed to protect them from Philip. While Philip’s control of Clement has long been known, to us it seems that an attempt is being made by her to rehabilitate the reputations of both the Church and the Temple. We can only speculate on whether this is personal interest on her part, or something that her employers have asked her to do, but the Church certainly doesn’t seem to have corrected the record at all on these issues in the intervening fourteen years since she allegedly discovered the Chinon Parchment in 2001.
We should also note that, long before the Templars were openly accused and arrested by Philip IV, several papal pronouncements had stated explicitly that the Templars were guilty of the same sort of things they were eventually prosecuted for. Prince Michael of Albany, in his 2006 book The Knights Templar of the Middle East (co-authored with Walid Amine Salhab), recounts some of these:
Innocent II (1198-1216), writing to the grand visitor of the order, said, ‘The crimes of your brothers pain us deeply by the scandal that they provoke within the Church. The knights Templar practice the doctrines of Satan.’ Gregory IX (1227-1241) mentions the fact that he knew that the Templars practiced the act of homosexuality and occult sexual magic under a secret new rule established by Roncelin de Fos (later master of Tortosa and Syria) in 1240. This new rule was written in a Templar book known as ‘the book of baptismal (sic) by fire.’
This final item is of great interest to us. We found mention of The Book of the Baptism by Fire in a few other places, but not many (although we were not able to corroborate that it was ever mentioned by Gregory IX, who as we said previously, also condemned the Cathars for worshipping the anuses of black cats). Oddvar Olsen writes about it in The Templar Papers, also from 2006:
In 1877, a German Masonic specialist named Merzdorf claimed to have found, among other Masonic manuscripts, two Latin ‘Rules’ of the Templars (purported to date from the 13th century). One was the Rule for the ‘chosen brothers,’ and the other for the ‘consoled brothers.’ The first Rule describes the church as the ‘Synagogue of Anti-Christ,’ and stipulates an elect reception ceremony (involving various ritual kisses—one on the male member—and including readings from opening verses of the Koran). The latter Rule implies strongly that the Templars shared the doctrines of the Cathars, including that of the ‘consolamentumm (sp),’ or mystical baptism. Still authenticity of these has yet to be determined.
. . . I have recently been referred to a text called The Book of the Baptism of Fire (The credence of this text needs to be ascertained, so I will just briefly mention it here.) The text was apparently transcribed by the Grand Master in England (Robert Sandford), in 1240 AD. It lists the different articles of The Order of the Weather. Some of the articles refer to both the “chosen” and “consoled” brothers. There is also mention of Baphomet and “the Secret Science of the great philosophy: Abrax and the Talisman.”
So according to Prince Michael, The Book of the Baptism of Fire (which he calls the “baptismal”) actually contained these secret rules, while Olsen claims that they are separate documents that nonetheless seem to confirm one another. Yet another author, Timothy Hogan, in his 2012 book Entering the Chain of Union, tells the story differently still (drawing on a French website edited by one Jean-Pierre Schmit):
There is a series of documents first published in 1877 by Theodore Merzdorff, which were said to come from the Masonic Grand Lodge of Hamburg. These Latin documents were the official Rule of the Knights Templar followed by three other documents said to be secret statutes of the Order. They were said to be copies of the original documents that existed in the Vatican, which were copied in the 1780s-1790s by the Danish scientist Frederic Münter. The documents were translated into German, and from there into French in 1957 by Rene Gilles.
Hogan adds an extra “f” to the end of Merzdorf’s first name and tells us that before they were stumbled upon at a German Mason’s lodge, they were stumbled upon in Latin in the Vatican archives and translated into German. That’s a whole lot of stumbling upon something that is of such great historical importance, and presumably excuses the Church’s treatment of the Templars. But yet again—whoopsy!—those Vatican file clerks just can’t do anything right! Masonic lodges, as you will find later in this chapter, are just the natural place for such things to show up later for historians to find them. Hogan goes on to describe in more detail what some of the documents were:
The third document dated July 1240 opens with “Here begins the ‘liber consolamenti’ or secret statutes, written by Master Roncelinus for the Consoled Brothers of the militia of the Temple.” These statutes, composed of twenty articles are signed by Master Roncelinus and another dignitary of the Templar Order, brother Robert of Samford, Procurator of the Knights Templar in England. . . . The last piece dated August 1240 starts with “Here begins the list of secret signs that master Roncelinus has assembled in eighteen articles and addressed to the same Robert of Samford.”
Yet another version of the story, told by Mark Amaru Pinkham in his article for Atlantis Rising Magazine, entitled “The Templars’ Biggest Secret & the Vatican,” calls the text Baptism of Fire of the Brothers-Consulate, and says that it was discovered in 1780 at the Vatican Library by “a Danish Bishop” (not, as Hogan had claimed, “Danish scientist Frederic Münter”). Also, like the others but unlike Oddvar Olsen, Pinkham purports that this document is one and the same as that which, he says, is “often referred to by Templar historians as the ‘Secret Rule of the Templars.’” According to him, the document contains quite a few amazing admissions not mentioned by the other writers on the subject:
Said to have been written in 1240 AD. by a French Templar Master named Roncelinus, it appears to give a green light to all the heretical offenses that the Knights were accused of in the 14th century. Permission to indulge in all manner of Templar heresy can be found in this document, including defilement of the Cross, denial of Christ as the Savior, sexual liaison, and the worship of the idolic head known as Baphomet. There is even a passage within the document that gives the Knights permission to initiate other [G]nostics into their order, including Cathars, Bogomils, and even Assassins. If the Baptism of Fire of the Brothers-Consulate was indeed in circulation beginning in 1240 AD. It would have been an easy task for a Church or Royal spy to procure a copy for their employers.
The references made by the above-quoted sources to the “Consoled Brothers,” “Brothers Consulate,” and “consolamenti” are taken by Oddvar Olsen to imply that the Templars practiced the consolamentum of the Cathars, which he describes as a “mystical baptism.” Benjamin Walker tells us more about this mysterious ritual in Gnosticism: Its Influence and History:
The central Cathar rite was the consolamentum, a kind of adult baptism of the spirit, which was administered only once. It was reserved as a rule for those who had attained the level of the Perfect, but it could be given to any Cathar prepared to make an irrevocable renunciation of the flesh and consecrate his or her life to God. The rite was preceded by a fast and imparted by the laying on of hands and placing on the head the gospel of St John. If anyone sinned after being “consoled,” he was expelled from the Cathar communion.
So strict were the requirements that many Cathars only underwent the rite at the point of death, so as to avoid any further chance of sinning. Because it was generally held that death through illness or old age only proved that Satan was still in control of the body, some Cathars hastened the end by what was called the endura, a ritual suicide or killing. It was thought best to be purified by the consolamentum and then face the endura, for then salvation was certain. The methods of endura included fasting to death or taking poison, or being smothered by one or more of the Perfect who held a pillow over the mouth of the endurist, or strangled him.
So this is the ritual that the “Consoled Brothers” of the so-called Book of the Baptism by Fire were named after? We presently cannot be sure. A copy of the book in which the alleged document was published, compiled by Theodor Merzdorf (who spelled his first name without an “e” on the end, a detail that none of the authors quoted above got right), has been obtained by our research staff and is now being analyzed. It has an extremely long title in German. But it seems to us that Prince Michael was probably able to read the text, or at least knew someone who could, because it appears that some of the “inside information” in his book about the Templars must have come from this.
One thing we do know, though, is that this Roncelin/Roncelinus fellow has been associated with the Cathars, and blamed for introducing blasphemous rituals to Templar tradition, in many books before. The Temple and the Lodge by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh (1989) tells us:
Between 1248 and 1250, the Master of Provence was one Roncelin de Fos. Then, between 1251 and 1253, Roncelin was Master of England. By 1260, he was again Master of Provence, and presided in that capacity until 1278. It is thus quite possible that Roncelin brought aspects of heretical Cathare thought from their native soil in France to England. This suggestion is supported by the testimony before the Inquisition of Geoffroy de Gonneville, Preceptor of Aquitaine and Poitou. According to Geoffroy, unnamed individuals allege that all evil and perverse rules and innovations in the Temple had been introduced by a certain Brother Roncelin, formerly a Master of the Order. The Brother Roncelin in question is bound to have been Roncelin de Fos.
Pope Pius IX (reigning from 1846 to 1878), in his “Allocution Against the Freemasons,” charged that the Templars had tapped into the existence of a secret Johannite church. Here are some of his words on the subject, as quoted by Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma:
The Johannites ascribed to Saint John the foundation of their Secret Church, and the Grand Pontiffs of the Sect assumed the title of Christos, Anointed, or Consecrated, and claimed to have succeeded one another from Saint John by an uninterrupted succession of pontifical powers. He who, at the period of the foundation of the Order of the Temple, claimed these imaginary prerogatives, was named THEOCLET; he knew HUGUES DE PAYENS, he initiated him into the Mysteries and hopes of his pretended church, he seduced him by the notions of Sovereign Priesthood and Supreme royalty, and finally designated him as his successor.
Thus the Order of Knights of the Temple was at its very origin devoted to the cause of opposition to the tiara of Rome and the crowns of Kings, and the Apostolate of Kabbalistic Gnosticism was vested in its chiefs. For Saint John himself was the Father of the Gnostics, and the current translation of his polemic against the heretical of his Sect and the pagans who denied that Christ was the Word, is throughout a misrepresentation, or misunderstanding at least, of the whole Spirit of that Evangel.
On the one hand, the implication seems to be that the person who initiated Hughes de Payens (whose name means “Hugh the Pagan”) into the secret doctrine of Johannism was John the Baptist himself—or, at least, that the Templar tradition claimed he was. This created a bizarre unexplained gap of 1000 years between the alleged date of the death of John and the alleged date of the inception of the Templar order. But this gap is eliminated if we consider the chronological revisions of Anatoly Fomenko, which eliminates the Middle Ages and puts the Crusades right after the death of Christ. Also, another intriguing possibility is allowed which makes this whole matter potentially much simpler. One can then consider the perspective that maybe the Templars were, in fact, practicing the religion of the Church that chartered them. However, the rituals and teachings of the Church may have been quite different than what has been handed down to us today. It may be that, somewhere along the line, a decision was made to sanitize the religion, to make it more palatable with the developing mores of the day. This may have required the public sacrifice of the Templars, Cathars, and other Christians, now “heretics,” to make it look as though the “impurities” of the Church had been dispensed with. If we consider this, then a lot of the most peculiar elements of Christian mythos and doctrine, as well as many of the otherwise bewildering physical artifacts left behind by our Christian ancestors, make a lot more sense.
First, let us note that the way in which some anti-Christian Roman chroniclers described the “Agape feasts” of early Christian sects sounded more similar to descriptions of the Satanic Black Mass or the Witches’ Sabbath, rather than what we think of now as the traditional Eucharist celebration. These rituals reportedly involved intoxication, orgies, infant sacrifice and cannibalism. It is now thought by most scholars that these chroniclers were probably mixing up reports on the activities of both Christian groups, Gnostic Christian groups, and non-Christian Gnostic groups, not being able to tell the difference. Perhaps, though, the differences were not quite as great as modern Christians would like to think.
La tentation de Saint Antoine (1878), Felicien Rops
The Agape feast
Another thing to note is the presence of a great many “medieval” churches in Europe containing idols and other artwork involving Priapian symbolism. I already mentioned the bust of a rooster with a penis for a nose called “The Savior of the World,” once on display in a museum at the Vatican. Much more can be found in the form of fascinum present in old churches throughout Britain and the Continent, along with vagina-flashing, masturbating Melusines (called “Shiela-na-Gig” by the Irish), and thousands of monstrous beings, often shown contorting with another like the host of Hell, or giving birth, anally or otherwise, to more monsters. These latter are called “gargoyles,” and laughed off by church historians as superstitious luck charms intended to “scare away” demons. (Obviously, the idea is that nothing is more intimidating for demons than other demons, which has mind-blowing implications when you consider the Ophite view that Christ, like the rest of the family of immortals he came from, was a serpent too.
Gargoyle from the Church of St. Peter in York, England
Gargoyles at Temple Church, London
Anatoly Fomenko’s radical view of history is the only thing I have seen that makes perfect sense of a conundrum I have dealt with in my research for decades: the fact that Christianity and traditions labeled “pagan” or even “Satanic” seem to have a common origin. When it comes to the Black Mass and the Witches’ Sabbath, Fomenko comes right out and says what I have been thinking for some time:
According to the experts in the history of religions, the Western European Christians of the Middle Ages had . . . religious rituals including nocturnal congregations called ‘agapes,’ or ‘nights of love.’ Despite the efforts of the late medieval and modern commentators to convince us that these Christian ‘love suppers’ involved nothing but ‘comradely libations’ and ‘platonic cordialities,’ the initial meaning of the word ‘agape’ reveals something completely different. As N.A. Morozov duly remarks, the correct Greek word for fraternal love is philia, whereas agape is solely used for erotic love.
Therefore the ‘agapes’ have most probably merely been the way Christians referred to the medieval Western European baccanals of the Dionysian cult with all of their orgiastic attributes–the attributes considered ‘extremely ancient’ nowadays. . . .
. . .
The medieval descriptions of the infamous ‘diabiolic sabbats’ in Western Europe must have been based on the same archetypal ‘agape’ Baccanals as mentioned above, but these have already been declared ‘a creation of the devil.’ Let us remind the reader that dissolute orgiastic excesses had been a notable feature of the agapes or sabbats (according to Scaligerian history). Quite naturally, the new ‘reformed’ Western European church conveniently delegated the responsibility for the agapes (or sabbats, or Baccanals) to ‘the devil’ in order to smother all recollections of the recent Bacchic Christian past in the congregation. The people’s own history was thus ruthlessly severed and attributed to a ‘different religion’ or even to ‘the devil.’
This matches up precisely with something that my former colleague Nicholas De Vere once wrote in his book The Dragon Legacy: The Secret History of an Ancient Bloodline . In De Vere’s worldview, Jesus was a genetic descendant of Satan, part of what he called the “Dragon bloodline,” which he identified as being the same as the “Grail bloodline.” He said that the ritual known as the “Black Mass” is: “the original mass of Jesus which the Catholics later stole and sanitized for public consumption. . . .” Also, he wrote:
. . . Royal Witchcraft, or Witchcraft proper, from the early Dark Ages onwards owes as much to its clearly Christian [origins] as it does to its direct Druidic origins. Both [traditions], [both] in their original form, and in the publicly disseminated opinion of the Catholic popes, were and are Satanic. Jesus’ heredity, and the descent of the Druidic dynasties both derived from an identical Dragon nascence that the Roman Catholics decided was devilish, because the descent of both bloodlines was from the Sumerian Enki who was the Akkadian Samael; the Roman Lucifer and thus the Catholic Satan. In Jesus’ case the Roman church, as do all outsiders who know they are onto a good thing, sanitized his rituals and concealed his descent. All those who continued to follow Jesus’ original teachings—like the witches—they burned as ‘heretics’. . . .
The Witches’ Sabbath
Certain rites that early Christians were found to be celebrating, which were then forbidden by the church, included those called “The Feast of the Mad,” “The Feast of the Innocent,” and “The Feast of the Ass.” These have been compared in symbolism to the Black Mass, in that they contain what seems to be mocking imitation of Catholic rituals. However, Fomenko again theorizes that they were not making fun of Jesus but rather celebrating him in authentic form.
Illustration of Black Mass from Juliette by the Marquis De Sade.
Furthermore, Fomenko unequivocally sees the early Catholic Church as perpetuating the rites of both Mithras and Cybele, whom he believes were worshipped together. Quoting two other writers, he reports:
…[I]t isn’t a case of Christ resembling the ‘ancient’ Mithras, but rather that Mithraism was a form of the Christian cult after the XI century A.D. …
A. Drews says this about strong and extensive parallels between ‘ancient’ Mithraism and mediaeval Christianity:
‘The main Roman sanctuary of Mithras was in the Vatican, on the site of St. Peter’s Cathedral. That is where he was worshipped, together with Attis, who had been recognized officially even earlier…. Mithras, or Attis, was called Pater, or Father. The High Priest of this deity was also called ‘Pater’ (or the Father of Fathers); the Roman Pope is still called the Holy Father. The latter wears a tiara, or a mitre, on his head, which is a head-dress of Mithraism, or Attis… and red soldier shoes of the priests of Mithras, as well as keeping the keys of the ‘Rock God’ [or St. Peter—A.F.], and has ‘the power to bind, and the power to permit….’ The Catholic Pope’s equal in rank was the Pater, the Pope of the Mithraist cult. This pagan Pope resided in the Vatican, worshipped the sun as the savior, and Cybele as the virginal Mother of God, who was usually depicted sitting with a child in her lap—her Christian double is the Virgin Mary.’…
Like medieval Christianity, ‘ancient’ Mithraism had a concept of purgatory; the two also shared the use of the aspersorium, and the tradition of crossing oneself… Ecclesial ceremonialism and public forms of church office are similar—the liturgy was read in a dead language that the masses did not understand, both services used hosts (wafers, or altar bread), albs, wide cingula, episcopal hats, etc….
N.A. Koun also tells us that ‘the Mithraist oblation is virtually similar to the Christian Eucharist… Christians, as well as Mithraists, considered Sunday a Holy Day, and celebrated… Christmas in the Christian tradition, on the 25 December, as the day their ‘Invincible’ deity was born’…Some monuments depicting a clandestine Mithraist Lord’s Supper have reached our age. We can see altar bread with Christian crosses on these ‘ancient’ pictures. The famous Cathedra Petri, or the Chair of Peter in Vatican, also appears to belong to the Mithras cult.
If true, this would mean that the cult practices which we know were done in the mystery schools of Cybele and Mithras, including the public castrations in drug-induced frenzies, the transgendered priestesses, the bestiality, the marriages of boy initiates as young as 7 to older males, the subjection of initiates to hallucinogenic drug trips while confined in a coffin, and all the other so-called “Tortures of Mithras” that the Church Fathers wrote about, were all part of the early Christian Church itself. This explains why all of the Christian holidays are all based on the cycles of the solar year.
The article “Secrets of the Ordo Templi Orientis” article on parareligion.ch quotes Aleister Crowley as writing, in a letter to William Bernard Crow (1895–1976), dated 11th November 1944, that the purpose of the O.T.O. was “to restore Christianity to its real status as a solar-phallic religion.” Where did he get this radical viewpoint, when almost no scholars at the time would have thought that way? Everyone else writing on the subject merely thought that the symbols of antiquity had been co-opted by the Church.
All this brings us back to the question of the Templars. As I have shown, the Templars confessed to such things as spitting on the cross, kissing each others’ butts and penises, and taking an oath not to refuse each others’ homosexual advances, all as part of their initiation rite. They confessed to this twice, once to the French government, and once to the Pope, according to the Chinon Parchment, which, as you now know, says that the Pope then assigned the knights minor penance and absolved them. Modern Christians would think such practices unforgivable, but the Pope was reportedly ready to send the knights out on a new Crusade, had the King of France not had them executed instead. The king had also accused the previous Pope, Boniface VIII, of witchcraft, and exhumed his body so that it could be tried of this charge.
Depiction of the death of Boniface in a 15th-century copy of Boccaccio’s De Casibus
It seems that the French crown viewed the Church as a threat, and, being more powerful than the church at the time, France had forced the church headquarters to be moved to Avignon rather than Rome, so that they could keep a close eye on the situation. I suggested earlier that perhaps the first French King, Meroveus, rumored to be a descendant of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, may have actually been Jesus himself, if we accept a chronological rearrangement such as that suggested by Fomenko. So maybe they had reason to believe that the Church and its most favored militia had been infiltrated by the anti-Christian enemy beyond the point of reconciliation, and sought to destroy them.
Considering all of the foregoing, is it not possible that Christianity was an entirely different animal at the time that the Templars were founded? Am I right to speculate that their initiation rites, having much in common with the Black Mass and the Witches’ Sabbath, were not considered unusual at the time, but fell out of practice later, and eventually became an embarrassment to the Church? Is this the real reason why the French crown persecuted them while the Church tried to protect them?
Templars desecrating the Cross at initiation
As we mentioned in Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled, the figure of Jesus shares many aspects with that of Dionysus, but so too does that of John the Baptist. We also explained in that book that there are very real reasons to believe that John was the originator of a Gnostic mystery school of his own, the leadership of which was passed on to Simon Magus after his death, and then from there, to many of the Gnostic groups that followed in his footsteps. Shockingly, in his book The Mysteries of John the Baptist, Tobias Churton described a painting that appears to depict John the Baptist as Dionysus (known to the Romans also as “Bacchus”). He wrote:
Underlying the ambiguous and arguably pagan inspiration of Leonardo’s John is the existence of a similar work, thought to have been painted between 1510 and 1515 by a follower of Leonardo from a drawing by the master. The painting has a dual identity. It is known both as St. John in the Wilderness and as Bacchus, the god of religious ecstasy, wine, and intoxication.
. . .
[The painter] chose to add vine leaves to the figure’s head and leopard spots to John’s hairy loincloth. A vine wreath added to the Baptist’s former staff transformed it into a Bacchic thrysus, Dionysus’ sacred staff borne by his wine-intoxicated followers. According to Euripides, the thrysus dripped with honey….
St. John in the Wilderness/Bacchus
St. John Goes Into the Wilderness, apparently leaving a medieval walled city
Left and Center: John the Baptist in attitude of Levi’s Baphomet (right hand forming Manu Pantea (“Hand of Blessing”), pointing upward, the other pointing down). Right: Crucifixion amulet inscribed “Christ, Orpheus, Bacchus.”
These concepts, and their impact when combined with Hammer-Purgstall’s evidence presented here, make it possible that John himself was the original Templar secret chief while still in the flesh, and that the Baphomet “head” they used for worship and divination was in fact his. This, then, makes perfect sense out of the meaning of Baphomet’s name “Baptizer of Wisdom (i.e., Gnosis).”More amazing things become possible when we allow for a shortening of the chronology. Let us consider another possible identity for the Templar secret chief called the “Theoclet.” We mentioned this idea in Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled. In John 14:16-17 (KJV), Jesus told his apostles before he left them that:
I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
The Greek word here, Periclytos, has been variously translated as “comforter” and “consoler.” Some Islamic theologians choose to believe that it is the equivalent of the Arabic word for “praised one,” which is “Ahmad,” one of Mohammed’s epithets. In Sura 61:6 of The Koran (Sahih International translation), Mohammed is identified as the one whose coming was promised by Jesus:
And . . . when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, ‘O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.’ But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, ‘This is obvious magic.’
However, verse 22 of John Chapter 14 (KJV) makes it clear that the Comforter is in fact the Holy Spirit:
The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
This would seem to disqualify Mohammed, unless we want to identify the Prophet with the Holy Spirit. Certainly, we previously mentioned evidence that suggests Baphomet may have been identified with the Holy Spirit, as he/she was with Sophia, the Divine Wisdom, which the Church has always equated with the Holy Spirit. So we can connect Mohammed with Allah, Allah with Allat, Allat with Lilith, and Lilith with Sophia, and thus get to the Holy Spirit that way. Also, there is the possibility that the baptism “with fire, and with the Holy Spirit” that John the Baptist promised the one to come after him would bring was, in the eyes of the Knights Templar, the same as their “Baptism of Wisdom.” Let us recall that the Templars’ alleged secret rule, supposedly contained in The Book of the Baptism of Fire, was said to have been written for the “Consoled Brothers,” and possibly referred to the Cathar rite of Consolamentum.
There are images of Mohammed being baptized with such fire, and frequently his head is shown surrounded by flames. Many of these pictures are illustrations of his “Night Journey,” during which he allegedly flew from Mecca to Jerusalem and back in a single night. Actually, The Koran says that he was taken “for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque,” but these have always been taken by believers to be the Kaaba in Mecca and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, respectively. He was taken to Heaven during this trip, just like Enoch and Hermes are said to have done. While he was there he met Jesus and John the Baptist.
Supposedly, it all started when he laid his head on the black stone of the Kaaba (analogous to the biblical story of Jacob falling asleep with his head on a sacred beytl stone), and was visited by the archangel Gabriel (the angel of wisdom and communication, similar to Hermes in that regard). He was given a ride on a winged horse with the face of a human female whose name was “Barak” (meaning “Lightning”).
Recall that lightning was what supposedly inseminated the rock that Mithras burst forth out of in the famous depictions of him. This rock, it seems, was Cybele. She, like the meteoric, magnetized Kaaba stone, was thought of as a black rock. Not only does the word Kaaba evoke her name, but qibla, the word for the direction in which Muslims are to pray towards the stone, is almost identical to the way her name was purportedly pronounced by Romans. The fact that Cybele may have been the mother of Mithras makes me wonder if that it why it is now shattered into numerous pieces, most of them seemingly missing. Are we really looking at a broken eggshell here, with the main contents gone long ago?
Amazingly, before the Night Journey began, Mohammed was baptized with “the holy water of wisdom,” including his internal organs (which I take to be “the living waters of Mete”). A hadith attributed to Malik bin Sa`sa`ah (as reported in the first footnote on Sura 53 of the Hilali and Khan translation of The Koran) says that Mohammed told him:
While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness, (an angel recognized me) as the man lying between two men. A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen and then my abdomen was washed with Zam-zam water and (my heart was) filled with wisdom and belief. (Emphasis added.)
Zam-zam is used by Muslims today in much the same way that holy water is used by Catholics. It’s the word for water drawn from the sacred well near the Kaaba, which they say miraculously sprang from the ground when Abraham’s first son Ishmael, forefather the of the Arabs, and his mother, the slave-woman Hagar, were dying of thirst in the desert after being ditched there by Abraham.
In this, I see echoes of the Kabbalistic story of the “slave woman” Lilith, who distracted God from his true wife, the Shekinah. We made a case in Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled, as other scholars have done, before us, that Allah and Lilith might be identical. Meanwhile, reminiscent of the castration of Attis, Ishmael had to sacrifice his foreskin in Abraham’s religious ritual. The two Jewish “tokens” of covenant with the Lord—circumcision and the observance of the Sabbath Day on Saturday—and both evidence of devotion to the cult of Saturn.
The whole incident is called “Isra,” which sounds an awful lot like “Israel,” yet is from the root sera, meaning “to travel by night. But these are the actual words that are being translated as “Night Journey.” Although it is described as happening to Mohammed while he was in a state “midway between sleep and wakefulness,” most Muslims take it to have been a literal, physical, and miraculous journey.
However, to us it sounds identical to the term “go forth by night,” which is used in the European witchcraft tradition to refer to the process of astral-projecting in one’s sleep as a method of attending the Witches’ Sabbath on a high mountain peak. After projecting their souls into the ether, it was said that the witches would ride flying goats or broomsticks to the secret meeting place for the ceremony. The Devil or “Black Man” was sometimes said to arrive at the Sabbath by the same method. Just like with Mohammed’s Night Journey, while it sounds like it’s all just a dream, it was taken by the witches themselves to be real. The Church took it to be so real that confessing to it was punishable by death.
Though I haven’t read his thoughts on the matter yet, I’m willing to bet that Anatoly Fomenko sees Islam as, originally, just another branch of Christianity. Not only is Christ heavily venerated in The Koran, as well as Mary, but it even asserts the truth of the Virgin Birth. But it calls Jesus the “spirit of God,” seemingly identifying him with the Holy Spirit, rather than the Son of God, which is a notion that Muslims find blasphemous. Shia Muslims believe in the prophecy of the coming Anti-Christ, and that Jesus will work in tandem with a figure called the Mahdi to cleanse the Earth of his influence.
“Mahdi,” of course, makes me think of Mete. I also think of Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki, who is often depicted as the companion of Saint George. They are always shown with their appearance made to compliment each other in several ways. Both are dressed in the armor of knights, mounted and armed. George rides a white horse and is shown spearing a Dragon, while Demetrius commands a red horse and pins down a man with his weapon—supposedly an emperor, either third-century Roman emperor Maximillian or Kayolan of Bulgaria. His epithet is Μυροβλήτης (Greek, Myrovlētēs, “the Myrrh-streamer”), by which I cannot help but be reminded of the Frankish King Meroveus.
Do we see, in the combination of these two saints, Christ and the Mahdi working together to destroy the Great Beast (the Dragon) and his human cohort, the Anti-Christ (the Emperor)? Also, considering the color of their horses, are we looking here at two of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? The one on the white horse is usually taken to be Saint Michael, who appears to me, Alexander Rivera, and many other myth interpreters, to be a form of Mithras. Theologians often see him as synonymous with Jesus Christ, which, again, fits right in with the hypotheses I have presented her. The Wikipedia article offers the interpretation that they could be seen as “earthly manifestations of the archangels Michael and Gabriel.” It was Gabriel who acted as guide to Mohammed on the Night Journey.
Then we can’t forget the fact that until Hammer-Purgstall, most writers on this subject assumed the truth of the assumption that the name “Baphomet” was a corruption of “Mohamet.” Also, some prosecuted Templars confessed to using the “words of the Saracens” in their rituals, such as, for instance, “Yallah!”
Jules Michelet reports that some knights said “they have fancied they saw a devil’s head, a mauffe’s head, that in these ceremonies they have seen the devil himself under the shape of a cat, or of a woman. . . .” The word mauffe appears to originate in French as a way of spelling this alleged alteration of Mahomet, the name of the Muslim prophet, more frequently spelled “Mohammed” or “Muhammad,” which supposedly morphed into the word Baphomet. Variations seen in print also include Maufe, Mauffez, and Maphumet (according to the Bulletin de la Societe Academique de Laon, Vol. 21, 1876). .” Also, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, “Mahomet” was used in the Middle Ages as a generic word for “idol.”
The term Maphumet, I think, may have common origins with the inspiration for Christopher Marlowe’s invented Devil Mephistopheles, to whom Johannes Faustus sold his soul in the Marlowe play named after him. Centuries later, a new revision on the Faust story was produced by Johann von Goethe. As I mentioned previously, Goethe exchanged correspondence with Hammer-Purgstall and greatly appreciated his translation of The Koran.
Faustus signs contract with Mephistopheles
In a search for the exact meaning of these names, it may help to look at the Latin mephiticus, source of the English word “mephitic” (meaning “foul-smelling,” usually in reference to vapors), from mephitis, meaning “noxious inhalation.” In the story of Faustus, the demon he conjures appears with an unpleasant sulfuric odor around him. That’s the smell of Tartarus, which is commonly warned about in the “medieval” grimoires of ceremonial magic, where the operator is told to demand that the demon appear without any noxious scent.
Faustus creating a homunculus through alchemy, part of the legend
It is interesting to note that John the Baptist, a prophet—whose name, Hammer-Purgstall tells us, was used by Arabs as a slang term for buggery—lost his head. The Templars were accused of worshipping a head and using it for prophecy. John was a patron saint to them, and some people think the Baphomet head was his. In inverse reflection of this, Mohammed was often depicted with his head either completely missing, or blotted out, as if erased after the fact.
Often, the blank space of Mohammed’s missing head is surrounded by those “flames of wisdom” I mentioned earlier. Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet also has a “flaming torch of wisdom” issuing from his forehead, in a manner similar to the Catholic icon of St. Jude (whom some of the coins in Hammer-Purgstall’s collection appear to commemorate). The pictures of Mohammed headless are especially haunting when he is shown riding on Barak, like an even more nightmarish Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Mohammed baptized by angels with flames of wisdomas he flies above the Kaaba on his Night Journey.
Or are the“flames” spots where something has been deliberately erased?
Mohammed casting out idols from Mecca. Two faces are blanked out and surrounded by “flames of wisdom.”
Various images of Mohammed on the Night Journey with veiled head. Note the peacock tail, symbol of Satan to the Yezidis of Iraq, who openly
worship the devil under the name “Melek-Taus.”
The alleged reason why Mohammed’s head is often not shown is that this is to prevent people from making an idol out of the said depiction. Such idols were widely used throughout the Middle East, and they are even mentioned in the Old Testament. They were called teraphim.
In his 1652 book Oedipus Aegyptiacus, Athanasius Kirscher depicted the Egyptian magical practice of making a golem, often of the firstborn son of the magician, which could be used for divination purposes. The head would be mounted on a wall or a golden plate and animated with the same means as a golem is animated: writing the magic word Emet on parchment and putting this in the idol’s mouth. This then purportedly would make it come to life and begin talking, answering whatever question the wizard demanded. In 620 BC, they were classified as a form of idol and banned by the Hebrew prophets.
Teraphim were also used, apparently, by the Sabians of Harran. Kevin van Bladel’s The Arabic Hermes describes a festival that included “a ritual involving a decapitated boy whose head is placed on an altar where it howls; its howls were used to predict the future of the Sabian people.” At this rite the pagan god Mara Samya, “the Blind Lord,” was invoked, perhaps equivalent to the demon Samael, whose name means the same thing.
Teraphim, from Athanasius Kirscher’s Oedipus Aegypticus
According to some legends about Venus, and her Egyptian counterpart Isis, she is veiled, representing the secrets of nature, and anyone who unveils her will be cursed to remain in the underworld eternally. In modern times, printing a picture of the prophet in the wrong context can get a hit put out on you, or even inspire a riot or a terrorist attack, with mass casualties. I feel that this is mostly manufactured outrage, as clearly there are many old pictures of the prophet that have survived and were not considered controversial at the time.
Mohammed’s “Night Journey” used for advertising
Perhaps the real motivation for those who plot these things is to prevent people from discussing what the figure we now know as Mohammed actually looked like. Perhaps most of the older depictions of his head and face have actually been removed after the fact, to conceal who he or she—that is, Mohammed—really is.
Regarding Mohammed’s head, there is, according to Hammer-Purgstall, an image of it among his treasures. It is one of the three heads hanging from a tree on a Gnostic amulet presented as Tab. IV, fig. 5 of Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum.
Tab. IV, fig. 5, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Regarding this image, Hammer-Purgstall writes:
Although I do not affirm it for certain, I think, nonetheless, it can be conjectured that, perhaps, these heads are the founders of the Mosaic, Christian and Islamic religions, which, in serving the god Sabaoth, or Jaldabaoth, make known among mankind his form of worship, and therefore were designated, by the non-believers of the age when this church was built, as the three imposters.
Above is an illustration of the Garden of Eden with a similar image. But there are two other examples of heads hanging from trees in religious mythology that I think are worth mentioning here. One involves these strange images of a tree laden with ripe Mithraic Chiaramonti heads wearing Phrygian caps, found at a temple of Mithras (see below).
Chiaramonti heads on tree, found at mithraeum
The other is the tree called Zaqqum, mentioned in Sura 37 of The Koran. Supposedly it “springs out of the bottom of hell-fire” or Jahannam, and it’s “the food of the sinful.” Moreover, “the shoots of its fruit stalks are like the heads of devils.” As the Wikipedia article on Zaqqum tells us:
The inhabitants of hell are forced to eat the tree’s fruits, which tears their bodies apart and releases bodily fluids as a punishment. According to Shaykh Umar Sulayman Al-Ashqar, a professor at the University of Jordan, once the palate of the sinners is satiated, the fruit in their bellies churns like burning oil.
The Zaqqum Tree by Homa Title, 2012
I would also like to add here that I see the name of the Islamic prophet quite blatantly on the image from a medieval coin on Tab. V, fig. 87. The letter “MOMHD,” followed by a “G” (for “Gnosis,” as Hammer-Purgstall himself would say), jumps right out at me, even though Hammer-Purgstall had a different and more labored interpretation on this inscription. The head of the figure on the image is surrounded by nine dots, perhaps corresponding to Mohammed’s nine wives.
Tab. V, fig. 87, Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Let me now present the reader with the images found on the coffers I discovered in the catalogue of the British Museum. The lid of one of the coffers corresponds with an illustration in the Mysterium Baphometis. The other corresponds with a description that is given without illustration. I found them in the back catalog of the British Museum. They are not on display. I paid to have these items fully photographed from every angle for the first time ever. The photographs, along with several of the illustrations from Mysterium Baphometis, and several translated passages, were published last year in Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled.
I first contacted the British Museum about these caskets in 2014. I was looking for the one with the lid, featuring the bearded “Cybele” figure, when I first asked to look through the catalogue of the Duc de Blacas collection online. When I did, I was shocked to find not only the casket in question (which I had read about in Thomas Wright’s book from 1865, Worship of the Generative Powers), but also the other casket, obviously related.
I have since found descriptions in other old texts that correspond to this second casket, and of course, in Hammer-Purgstall’s Deux Coffrets Gnostiques. I was not even aware of the content of this latter essay until somewhat recently, and was pleased to see that it has drawings of the images on this second casket. Neither caskets are depicted in Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum, but many similar images from other artifacts are.
Research confirmed that this collection had been sold some years ago to the British Museum, where I found the first (and as Thomas Wright says, “most interesting”) coffer, labeled as a limestone casket that has been:
….sculptured with crude figure of Cybele lifting up chains; sun and moon in top corners; pentagram and seven-pointed star with skull in lower corners; Arabic inscription round edges; sides carved with scene of human and animal sacrifices.
At the time of this writing, on the museum’s website, only two sides of the coffer are shown. It is very hard to see what’s going on in the images. I had to pay the museum to re-photograph the item, so that I could see all of the sides of the coffer clearly. Those photographs are featured in the upcoming books. It seems a bit damaged, but on one side of the coffer, we see a bull being held by the neck while a group of people sit around a flaming bowl.
On another side, we see some similar themes to other images in Hammer-Purgstall’s book: a man wielding an ax (as well as a shovel) over a small child who is riding a crocodile. (Axes and crocodiles are featured in several of the other pictures.) This child is holding the right hand of a taller figure. To that person’s left, a smaller child is kneeling and holding his other hand. To the right of all of this we see a winged angel holding a serpent behind his back. In his left hand he holds the animal’s head, and in his right hand, the tail is coiled up into a circle.
On a third side of the coffer, there definitely seems to be an orgy depicted. Everyone shown there is naked and appears to be male. On the left edge, there is a man with his back to us, spreading the legs of someone in front of him, of whom only the legs can be seen. To the right of this, there is a large cauldron with what looks like a crocodile bring dragged into it. Bending over the cauldron from the right are two men who seem to be forcing the creature into the bowl. One of them is pouring something over it from a vase. Both of the men restraining the crocodile are bent over so that their bare buttocks are sticking up to the right, and from that side, another man is reaching with his right hand to fondle them. To the right of all of this, there is a short brick altar with a man sitting on it, and two others molesting him, one of whom appears to be a child, and who seems to have his backside pressed against the man behind him—the one who is touching the buttocks of the men leaning over the cauldron. Everyone in this picture seems to be smiling. On the left edge, next to the man with a pair of legs in front of him, there is what looks like a very large bird talon reaching up from out of nowhere.
On the fourth side of the coffer, we found the origin for a line drawing featured in Thomas Wright’s Worship of the Generative Powers, which he had said was from the same coffer as the image of Mete pulling the chains, but which wasn’t shown in the Purgstall-Hammer book. On the left it shows a statue of a horned demon with breasts and male genitals—clearly Baphomet. There are no legs, but just a column below the genitals, like the classical Greek herm statues that were used to protect gardens. A man is kneeling beside this statue, kissing its buttocks (the osculum inflame or “obscene kiss” of the Templars) and grabbing its testicles. A woman in a long dress stands over the kneeling figure on the right, pouring something onto him with a vase. To her right, a man holds another vase lazily in his right hand while a man to his left fondles him with his penis and testes visible. All of these things are shown in the drawing in Wright’s book.
However, that’s only half the image. To the right of this scene, there is more. We see a man riding what looks very much to be a goat. The creature has his front right hoof resting on the back of a man kneeling in front of him, who is helping to support a round tray full of vases that is being held by another man standing to the right. The man riding the goat is removing an item from the tray. To the right of everything, there is a winged and crowned creature with bird-like legs, including large talons for feet similar to the one sticking up from the ground on the left edge of the second side of the coffer, described above. The crown and facial features somewhat resemble those of Mete on the lid of the coffer.
I also found, in the Duc de Blacas collection, another coffer in near-perfect condition (except for the missing lid) which for some reason is labeled “fake.” This item has not been featured, as far as we know, in any book or website ever, yet it is clearly part of the same group of items as the Mete coffer. The images found thereon are described in the following paragraphs.
On one side, a group of people are involved in very strange activity. To the left, we see a person stirring a cup in one hand with a large stick in the other. In front of him, another person kneels and fondles him. To their right, another man is pointing a stick to his right, over the head of another man who seems to be having sex with a hooved creature, the details of which are hard to make out beyond the bent hind legs. Whilst he mounts the animal, he is simultaneously stirring a bowl that sits on the ground with a large pole. The bowl has an object sticking out of it that may be a small child standing, and the animal’s front paws or arms are on his head. To the right of this, another man is kneeling over the bowl, and reaching up over his head to the right to grasp what looks like an alchemical vessel by the neck, holding it over the flames of a brazier that sits on the ground to his right.
To the right of the brazier, another man holds out his left hand and grasps the vessel by the neck as well. Over the brazier and the two men holding it, there is a banner tacked to the wall with a message in Arabic. The look of this banner, and the entire scene as well, makes it clear that this piece, “fake” or not, was made by the same artist that made the coffer with the orgy scenes featured in Hammer-Purgstall’s book. The poorly-written “Arabic” letters on the banner are of the same style. It particularly resembles those images found in a bowl that, at least in 1887, was on display in the Imperial Museum in Vienna (the one featuring a banner that says “She is exalted, Mete…,” as quoted earlier).
On another side of the “fake” coffer that we discovered, we see someone being baptized, perhaps forcibly. He is standing waste-deep in a cauldron, bent forward, with his head buried in another man’s hands, while a third man, standing on top of a bricked platform, pours something on his head from a vase above, just like in the previously described image of the crocodile being dragged into the cauldron. In the upper left, a disapproving owl scowls at the viewer. The man holding the other man’s head is also looking at the viewer, as if we have walked in on a secret ceremony.
On yet another side, a bull is on an altar being worshipped. One of the participants clutches a stick like in the previous scenes, and holds out a garland as if to place it on the neck of the bull. Another kneels in front of it with a vase that looks like it might contain wine. One of them holds up a tau sign identical to those seen in several pictures featured by Hammer-Purgstall. Floating in the air next to the bull we see an equilateral cross. At the bottom of altar sits a billows for fanning flames, although no fire is featured in this scene.
As to whether the animal on the altar is being worshipped or sacrificed, it seems that Thomas Wright thought the latter, for he described it thus and wrote that Hammer-Purgstall thought it was part of an Ophite Gnostic ceremony, adding:
The offering of a calf figures prominently among the Nossarii, or Nessarenes, the Druses, and other sects in the East.
Finally, on the last side of the box, a man slumped backwards as if dead has been placed on a flaming brick altar, on top of some logs, while two men lift up their hands in worship towards an unseen god.
The Louis, Duc de Blacas collection also contains a great many Gnostic talismans featuring the images of the deities Abraxas, Bes and Ialdabaoth. The images are similar, and in some cases seemingly identical to the images on some of the coins featured in Hammer-Purgstall’s book. I did not find any other coffers of a similar nature, nor any of Hammer-Purgstall’s “bowls” or other artifacts, nor did I find anything else in the de Blacas collection labeled “fake.”
As recently as the week of this book’s publication (in January 2018), I have been in contact with the staff of the British Museum regarding these caskets. They have been friendly, but understandably too busy to do much more than tell me what they have on record about the items, which is nothing more than we already know. Lloyd de Beer, whose title there is “The Ferguson Curator of Medieval Europe,” wrote back to me to say:
When these two caskets were acquired by the British Museum as part of the Blacas collection their date of production was not recorded in the register of acquisitions. As I understand it they were described in the nineteenth century by Baron J. de Hammer as Deux Coffrets Gnostiques Paris 1832 and again by Mignard, Monographie du Coffret de M le Duc de Blacas, Paris 1852. Another note in the register states that these caskets were generally perceived to be 18th century ‘fakes’, although this is in a 20th century hand. This probably references a (at the time) general scholarly perception of the objects rather than a result from a detailed scholarly or scientific investigation. To my knowledge these objects have not been studied recently.
The real reason I was in contact with them was to try to schedule an interview with Curator De Beer for a documentary program on Hammer-Purgstall’s artifacts that I am currently working on with a large television production company that has offices both in California and in Britain—right there in London, in fact. So far, the museum’s Media Relations department hasn’t demonstrated much enthusiasm for this project, and currently claims that their schedule for facilitating film recordings is so full that they cannot even book us for anything in the conceivable future. Our requests about date-testing the objects has not, frankly, even been addressed at all in the responses we have received. We still do not know if they would even consider allowing that.
So, for the time being, I will simply publish this translation and my introduction, both on my website, TracyTwyman.com, and in print. I am inviting all interested parties to help determine the answers to some of the manuscript’s many remaining mysteries. In many cases, as you shall see, I was unable to track down any of the items featuring the images given to us by Hammer-Purgstall here.
Regarding the pictures that he found on the walls of churches in Europe, in most cases the churches no longer exist, and even the townships they were in have changed names. In the case of the Imperial Hofburg Palace collections, which I believe is what Hammer-Purgstall calls the “Caesario-Regius” museum in Vienna, I simply have not had occasion to visit there yet, and a language barrier has prevented me from making any progress interviewing the staff there. But I am sure that this could be accomplished by someone else who can easily obtain access to the collections and can speak to the staff fluently.
I feel that I have done what I set out to do here to the best of my ability. So, after I publish a first, rough edition on my website soon, my final act on the matter will be to update this document in a few weeks, taking into account any new information that may have been gleaned in the interim. I will then lay down my burden on the shoulders of academia, and the “autists of the internet,” so that others may experience the joy of pursuing this quest. Yes, I am being a bit facetious here, but if you really want to spend your time looking into these things, by all means, be my guest.
I am greatly indebted to Philip Gonzalez for his help in obtaining the main translator, Professor X, and for obtaining photocopies of the illustrations from an original copy of the publication. For many of the images, I have used Photoshop to clean up the marks from damage to the pages. Some of this is done right now, as you can see. Some of it has yet to be done, but it will be in a few weeks when I revise this text for the last time, and publish the printed version.
Professor X did the bulk of the translation. He accidentally skipped over about two pages of material in the middle, which we did not discover until long after he thought he had finished, so rather than burden him with it, I turned to David Butterfield of Classical Turns in Britain, a translation service, to render this passage into English.
I then put what I estimate is at least a hundred hours of my own effort into clarifying the translation, using a combination of my own (skimpy) experience with Latin grammar from college, Cassell’s New Latin Dictionary (compiled by D.P. Simpson, 1960), and, when helpful, Google Translate. I used other transliteration tools online as well, in combination with Google translate, to determine the meaning of some of the Greek words that Hammer-Purgstall seems to have left untranslated. The Arabic in the original remains untransliterated thus far. Hammer-Purgstall translated it for us already, and preliminary checks seem to indicate he did this accurately. However, I do encourage help in this regard, both with the transliteration, and the perfection of the translations, so that we can make everything as clear as possible.
The author probably assumed his intended audience of learned Orientalist scholars in Vienna would already be familiar with all of the Greek terms that he used without adding translation, just as he knew they would be able to understand his Latin. In fact, this was the language he was expected to write in at the time for this particular type of scholarly enterprise. He probably did not envision a future in which the average educated Westerner would have no knowledge whatsoever of Greek, or even of Latin. Such is the krater of ignorance into which we have all allowed ourselves to be immersed, and I am certain that he would be ashamed for us if he had known this was coming.
In addition to the hired translators, along with the aforementioned books and translation tools, I also relied a bit on the expertise of a few friends, including Bjorn Freiberg, Karl James Smith, Lefteris Heretakis, Amy Keller, and the aforementioned Philip Gonzalez. But, in the end, I decided to mostly suffer alone, and hack through the brambles myself with my own dull blade.
You see, the entire time I was working, it always seemed like I was about to unlock the next clue to explain the next mystery that was waiting for me to decode it. I would usually catch glimpses of these peeking at me from around the corner of whatever the current question before me was at the time. I knew it would take longer for me to explain to others what I had already figured out, and what I thought I was about to figure out, in order to invite their help, than it would to just figure it out on my own. So I would push through, and this always ended in me getting the most astonishing results, which you see before you.
There are several reasons why Professor X asked not to be credited publicly for this project. For one thing, to be known to have dealt with anything involving this subject matter could potentially create controversy in his particular social circle, which I do not think he realized when he first agreed to take on this work. Secondly, he, and another associate who worked with him on this, experienced very negative psychic phenomena while engaged in the work, including what seemed to them both to be supernatural apparitions that were quite frightening.
Professor X attributed this to the disturbing nature of the images. His associate commented to me that he felt himself confronted by an intentional psychic barrier of occlusion surrounding Hammer-Purgstall’s text, stating that he “got the feeling” that “they” did not “want their secrets known.” It is understandable that they both would want to wash their hands of it upon completing their portion of the work.
However, from my own experience on this project, I do believe that this text, the images, and indeed the entire subject matter, is cursed. I have had the hardest time concentrating, and frankly the worst luck of my life, while studying the subject of Baphomet for the last sixteen years, especially whenever I tried to focus on the Hammer-Purgstall translation in particular. My other colleagues on this project have expressed the same observation, and we have even have a term we have coined—“the Fog”—for the mental confusion, inertia, and weariness we felt overtake us whenever we sit down to work on it.
It seems that we are not alone in this, historically. Regarding the work of French historian Jules Michelet on Templar history, Peter Partner wrote in The Murdered Magicians that:
The immense amount of effort he must have expended on the edition of the Templar trials must have seemed to him so much time lost on a sad and irrelevant business, and indeed, this period (1837-51) coincided with a period of depression and frustration in his life.
This is exactly what my own experience has been while writing about essentially the same subject for about as long—nay, even longer. The curse of Baphomet strikes again!
But I hope that these ghost stories and tales of woe do not discourage you from reading what we have presented here. If you have any relevant information to add that will clear up the remaining mysteries about the text or images, please share them with us. An online community forum will be provided on TracyTwyman.com. There interested parties can share information and hopefully achieve together some useful breakthrough.
I think the curse on Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum was intended to prevent anybody from getting as far as I have with making sense of this particular text, and from publishing it. If you are reading this, then that means the curse has failed, and maybe, with the help of the benevolent deity (however he may be identified), this demon guardian has been destroyed.
So please, carry on, dear seeker, forward and beyond!
Tracy R. Twyman
January 13, 2018
Endnotes to Introduction Below
Also Recommended: Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled by Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera.
Genuflect by Tracy R. Twyman (A Novel)
- According to Masonic writer Albert Mackey, ibn Wahshiyya also wrote the now-lost Arabic book Sun of Suns and Moon of Moons, which referred to “Bafomid” as an entity symbolizing “the secrets of the nature of the world, or secret of secrets.” ↑
- Barruel was a Jesuit priest who wrote conspiracy theories about the Revolution. ↑
- http://www.parareligion.ch/2009/secret/secrets.htm ↑
- Probably the author here meant “consumption” through eating, but the misspelled and misapplied word “consummation,” meaning “the action of making a marriage or relationship complete by having sexual intercourse,” or “the point at which something is complete or finalized,” could be cryptically significant here, for reasons that should be becoming obvious to the reader at this point. ↑
- http://www.colleconline.com/fr/Artefact/Viewer/a72a85a1-88df-4a44-b0be-de969d7b8771 ↑
- L.A. Waddell even connects him to the “Bodo or Banta,” the “Serpent of the Deep” in the Indian Vedas. ↑
- The dragon Cetus is also a constellation, and among the stars in this group, we note the following:α Ceti, traditionally called Menkar (‘the nose’), is a red-hued giant star of magnitude 2.5, 220 light-years from Earth. It is a wide double star; the secondary is 93 Ceti, a blue-white hued star of magnitude 5.6, 440 light-years away. β Ceti, also called Deneb Kaitos and Diphda, is the brightest star in Cetus. It is an orange-hued giant star of magnitude 2.0, 96 light-years from Earth. The traditional name ‘Deneb Kaitos’ means ‘the whale’s tail.’ γ Ceti, Kaffaljidhma (‘head of the whale’) is a very close double star. The primary is a yellow-hued star of magnitude 3.5, 82 light-years from Earth, and the secondary is a blue-hued star of magnitude 6.6.Tau Ceti is noted for being the nearest Sun-like star at a distance of 11.9 light-years. It is a yellow-hued main-sequence star of magnitude 3.5.Notably, “93” is held by the acolytes of Aleister Crowley to be a number symbolizing the “new aeon” which they seem to view as synonymous with the Apocalypse scenario in Revelation, when Horus and the Anti-Christ will overthrow the old gods, headed presently, according to their world-view, by Jesus Christ, equated in their cosmology with Saturn. This heavenly revolution is acted out once a year in the O.T.O.’s ritual “The Equinox of the Gods.” ↑
- It has its own church dedicated to “Hagia Sophia,” divine wisdom, built on the orders of Justinian I in the sixth century, but smaller and supposedly younger than the structure of the same name built in Constantinople. ↑
- The way that the Zodiac Man is positioned makes it seem as if he’s submitting to this, perhaps to the goddess Nut, usually shown bending over in the opposite direction, as I mentioned previously. Nut, like the Persian Bahumet, was sometimes depicted as bovine, supporting the sky on her back as Bahumet supports the world. ↑
- Recall that the white flying steed of Perseus, Pegasus, was born from the neck of Medusa when her head was severed, the horse having been conceived within her by Poseidon when he raped her in Athena’s temple. ↑
- Demetrios also sounds even more specifically like the name of the Greek grain goddess Demeter, also called Σιτώ (Sito), meaning “she of the grain.” Fomenko sees her as another version of the Virgin Mary. He interprets her name as meaning “simply ‘D-Mother,’ or ‘Deo-Mater,’ or ‘Mother of God.’”M. ↑