ancient and long-discredited sciences have experienced a surprising
renaissance in the modern day: symbolism, alchemy and astrology. The
last particularly has come into widespread vogue, but on a basis which
still inclines conservative positivism in science, scholarship and orthodox
religion to regard it as closely allied with "popular superstition".
In its predictive or "fortune-telling" aspect it is generally
looked upon askance. But there is another facet of it in which it has
pertinence and value that has not been recognized in its modern revival
and on which perhaps its most legitimate claim to consideration should
properly rest. This is its function as symbolic
It is beyond question that the great ancient design of the zodiac is a wondrously conceived graph aimed to depict the structure of the Logos, the pattern or creative evolution, the essential constitution of the universe and the course of the current of life in the cosmos, and by analogy in man the microcosmic replica of the macrocosm. Almost infinite nuances of significance have been adumbrated in those twelve signs or houses of the zodiac and the thirty-six other constellations, as well as in the semantic pictorialization which ancient sagacity and an ingenuity born of a sapient understanding of the profoundest truth of life conceived and drew around those star clusters in the heavens. The uranograph, or chart of the skies, was incontestably the first of all Bibles, pictorially edited. Not quite simply and patently, but still most lumniously for the initiated who held the recondite keys to the symbolic lexicon of ancient writing, it can be affirmed that all Bibles are but amplifications and elaborations of the original volume of ideography that was first written on the open slate of the sky, then charted in the zodiac and the planispheres carved on the ceilings of ancient temples and later transferred to earth and inscribed in scrolls, tablets and parchments. Man, adjured the old Scriptures, was to fashion his new body of spiritual glory "after the pattern of the heavens", the frame of the heavenly or zodiacal man, the primal Adam [Page 2] Kadmon. An cryptic graph of the nature and history of this celestial Personage was sketched by the enlightened Sages in the configurated star groups. Zodiac comes from the Greek word zodion, meaning a small animal zootype, or living symbol of microcosmic life of man, who is indeed made in the image and likeness of the Divine Man pictured in the cosmic heavens. Man's little physical body is a miniature copy of the universal body of God. The illimitable frame of cosmic Man was outlined in the scroll of the skies, the solar systems and the galaxies being living cell clusters in his immeasurable organism.
The almost endless intimations of vital significance inwrought into the structure of these Gestalt configurations carry the essence of the esoteric import of the Scriptures. But there is one group of zodiacal items that strikes so deeply into the heart of general theology that its constituent particulars are assembled here as a striking and challenging exemplification of the methodology of the archaic science which is in truth the "lost key to the Scriptures". This presentation will serve as introduction to a vast body of evidence which will prove beyond controversy that Biblical theology rests more completely on astrological symbology than has been discerned in any age since the ancient day. The republication of this outline will come as a matter of the greatest momentousness, enforcing as it must a new approach through a new avenue of technology to the proper interpretation of the Bibles, yielding a quite new and revolutionary orientation of their true meaning. These items trace the unsuspected and crucial significance of two of the twelve signs, Virgo and Pisces, in the heart of the New Testament narrative. Let the reader picture before him the circle of the zodiac, with the house of Virgo at the western or right end of the equatorial meridian line drawn horizontally through the center and intersecting the circle on the east and west, and with the house of Pisces directly opposite it on the left or eastern end. The simple fact that they stand opposite to each other and six months apart will presently be seen to dramatize cosmological and anthropological truth of the most basic and, in our present state of ignorance, astonishing pertinence and importance. [Page 3]
The exposition must begin with the perplexing and hitherto unexplained item of ancient religious myth that the Christs, the Sun-Gods, the Messiahs were generally allegorized as having had two mothers! How, one asks, can there possibly be rational significance in such a predication? It has been put out of serious consideration as just another of the extravagant conceptions of ancient primitive un-intelligence, just some more of the rubbish of fantastic Pagan superstition. It will therefore come as a surprise and shock if an intelligent re-examination forces us to realize that in profundity of knowledge and semantic skill in portraying it ancient perspicuity so far surpassed our own in this field of anthropological science that we are found to be the ones still immersed in primitive superstition, not the ancients.
This dual maternal parentage of the Messianic characters should not have appeared so outlandish and bizarre, seeing that the Gospel Jesus himself, dramatic figure of the divine principle in man, categorically announced this very feature in declaring to Nicodemus that "you must be born again". The startled Nicodemus asks if this means that he must enter a second time into his mother's womb and experience a second birth in the natural manner. Jesus implying that this idea would be preposterous, replies that you "must be born of water and the spirit". It must be noted here that the Latin word spiritus, translated, "spirit" in many passages, means also "air", "breath" or "wind". Taken in connection with the great basic usage in Scriptural symbolism of the four primary elements, earth, water, air and fire, this "air" symbol at once assumes a position of the deepest revelatory moment.
The body of the physical, natural first man, of the earth, earthly, was symbolically conceived as being composed of the two, or coarser of these four elements, earth and water; while and fire, representing mind and spirit, commingled to constitute the higher, or spiritual man, the second Adam, or the Christ. Jesus' statement to Nicodemus could then as meaningfully have been phrased "born of water and air". Thus we can see a new signification in the statement of John the Baptist, in which he uses three of the four elements to symbolize his meaning when he said that he, the forerunner of the greater Christ, baptizes us with the two lower elements, water and [Page 4] earth, (but omitting earth, which should have gone with it); but that the mightier power of spirit that is to supervene after his preparatory work has been accomplished, will baptize us "with the Holy Spiritus (air) and with fire".
Jesus thus affirms that we have two births, necessitating two mothers, and John adds the corroborating datum that we have two baptisms.
Since man's spirit-soul is an indestructible fragment of God's own eternal spirit, truly a tiny spark of that cosmic Intelligence and Love which we call the Mind of God, the ancient symbologists typified the divine element in man by fire, and in contrast, emblemed the lower human elements by water. The fiery essence of soul is housed in a tenement of flesh and matter, which is seven-eights water by actual composition. The crossing of rivers and seas and the immersion of solar heroes in water in the olden mythologies, and the rite of baptism in organic religion signified nothing beyond the fact of the soul's immersion in a physical body of watery composition in its successive incarnations.
Under the term of this evolutionary condition man is distinctly a creature compounded of two natures, a "higher" spiritual and a "lower" sensual, a divine and a human, a mortal and an immortal, and by symbolism a fiery and a watery, the two being conjoined in a relationship of mutual beneficence, in the organic body of the lower physical self. Says Heraclitus: "Man is a portion of cosmic fire, imprisoned in a body of earth and water". Describing man, Plato wrote: "Through body it is an animal; through intellect is is a God". In creating man God implanted the germ of a fiery spiritual principle of conscious being in the watery confines of physical bodies. This is the truest description of man that anthropology can present. All problems spring from that foundation and for solution are referable back to it.
Man is, then, a natural creature and a god in combination. Our natural part administers to our spiritual part of the rite of baptism by water; our nascent spiritual self is to give us the later baptism by (air and) fire. We are born first as the natural man; then as the spiritual, the latter crowning the former. Or we are born first by water, then by fire. Of vital significance at this point are two statements by St.Paul: "That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is naturally:; and "First that which is natural, then that which is spiritual". Again he says: "For the natural man comprehendeth not the things of the [Page 5] spirit; neither can he". Of course he cannot; for he is not yet at that higher mount of evolution, and he must be transformed, transfigured, lifted up into a superior world of conscious dimension before he can cognize spiritual things. Evolution will thus transform him, and nothing else will.
Utilizing astrological ground facts for the depiction of cosmic truths, the ancient astrologers localized the birth of the natural man in the zodiacal house of Virgo, and that of the spiritual man in the opposite house of Pisces. These, then, were the houses of the two mothers of life's progeny. The first was the Virgo (Virgin) Mother, the primeval symbol of the "Virgin Mary" thousands of years before Christ. Virgo gave man his natural birth by water, and became known as the "Water-Mother"; Pisces, the Fishes by name, gave him his birth by the "fish", or in the sign of the Fishes, and was denominated the "Fish-Mother". The Virgin Mothers are all identified with water as symbol, and their various names such as Meri, Mary, Myra, Myrrha, Miriam, Moira, Venus (born of the sea-foam stirred up between the knees of Jupiter as he waded through the seas), Tiamat and Thallath (Greek for "sea") are designations for water or the sea. On the other side there are the Fish Avatars of Vishnu, such as the Babylonian Ioannes, or Dagon ("Fish" in Hebrew is dag); and the goddesses Atergatis and Semiramis were actually called "Fish-Mothers". Virgo stood as the mother of birth by water, or the birth of man the first, earthy, in a watery body. Pisces stood as the mother of birth by the spirit, or by fire, or the birth of man the second, described by St.Paul as "Lord from heaven". Man's physical body is the high product of a biological evolution that actually started in the ocean water! And the blood in man's veins is still identical in chemical composition with sea water. Virgo was poetized as the Water Mother of the natural man; Pisces as the Fish Mother of the spiritual man. So Virgo was the first of the two mothers of the god-to-be in the life of mankind; Pisces was the second. [Page 6]
spite of the presence of these significant data standing for all to read
in mythology and the Scriptures, any profound grasp of the interior intimations
was missed because the true relevance of the symbolic sense of both water
and the fish had never been glimpsed. Prominent as the fish symbol has
been in Christian literature of the inceptive period, no one has seemed
to divine its enlightening cryptic import. It is of astonishing revelatory
character. Water is the type of natural birth because all natural birth
proceeds in and from water. All first life on our globe originated in sea
water, and all vegetation must have water to maintain its life. The fish
is a birth in and from water, and it therefore stands patently as the generic
type of organic life issuing out of the inorganic! The fish typifies
life embodied in a physical organic structure, subsisting in a sea of
inorganic matter. Organic life is born out of the inorganic just as the
fish is born out of the water. It is the child of the water-as-mother.
And if organic life (the" Fish") is in its turn to become mother,
its child will be mind and spiritual consciousness, son of the Fish
Mother. Water is thus the mother of natural physical life, and organic
physical body becomes the mother of later evolving divine mind.
Now, strangely enough, water is the type of another essence, which is even more than water a universal mother of life, namely matter. Matter is the virginal mother of all life in the aboriginal genesis All things are generated in the womb of primordial matter, the "first old genetrix" of the Egyptians, Apt, Hathor, Meri, Isis. And it is by a consideration of the nature of matter and its evolution that we are enabled at last to arrive at a true comprehension of the double motherhood of the god nature. For this universal matter-mother is now known to exist in two vastly different states, at each of which, at two different levels, it generates its child. Primordial matter, the sea of (to us) empty space, is the first mother of all living forms. This is the primal" abyss of the waters" in Genesis. The Latin word for "mother" is our very word "matter," with one"t" left out— mater. And how close to"matter" is "water"! And matter organized and structuralized over patterns of divine conception is the second mother, genetrix of spiritual mind. [Page 7]
In the sagacious dramatism of arcane writing the two mothers were always presented in pairs. They were designated the "two mothers," or sometimes the "two divine sisters" of the god character. Or they were the wife and sister of the central deity, as Juno was wife and sister of Jupiter, and Isis was wife and sister of Osiris. Others were Venus, Ishtar, Cybele, Mylitta. In ancient Egypt they were first Apt and Neith, later Isis and Nephthys. Gerald Massey relates Neith to "net," the device to catch fish! Clues to their function are found in the great Egyptian Book of the Dead, and there it was that the mystery of this double motherhood of life was solved. For here it is revealed that the function of motherhood was, so to say, bisected into two phases, so that, of the two mothers, Isis and Nephthys, each was seen to have performed but one-half of the function of motherhood of the infant god, thus requiring the two of them to consummate the birth. For the text reads: "Isis conceived him; Nephthvs gave him birth." Again, with a shift of the suggestive symbolism, it is said: "Isis bore him; Nephthys suckled him." Even with these elucidative data the full sweep of the true import was not caught until a further clarification was found in another verse, which ran: "Heaven conceived him; the Tuat brought him forth." With this came the brilliant flash of clear insight into the mystery. For "heaven" is precisely the place, or the state of the first matter-mother, the "firmament" of empty space, and in the bosom of this first mother form the unit potential of the seed of divine mind-to-be is conceived. All later potency of a godly mind is latent in the depths of sub-atomic matter. "The shape of things to come" in the evolution of universal life is archetypically conceived at the arc of the cycle when spirit and matter, as yet undifferentiated, are identical and homogeneous. Spirit yet slumbers in dreamless unconsciousness, and matter exists only as what the Hindus call Mulaprakriti, the "root of matter." All things are initially conceived in the innermost heart of primordial Being, where spirit as Father and matter as Mother are yet One. Being is then Father-Mother, not Father and Mother.
This is mirrored in the Egyptian statement that Isis conceived Horus, the Christ-to-be. Matter was the womb of the first conception, and Nephthys was to give birth to what Isis conceived. Isis is therefore the true Virgin of the world, because she is matter in its virginal state, matter still subsistent, and not yet existent, unable to be paired off as the opposite pole of spirit and hence unwed. As virgin, she has [Page 8] not yet given birth to the Christ. That role will be performed by Nephthys, matter impregnated by spirit. Cosmically and evolutionarily speaking, Isis is the young girl who cannot marry and bear the Christ; Nephthys is that same young girl grown to womanhood and able to produce her child. In the same sense in which we say that the child is father of the man it can be said that Isis is the mother of Nephthys. And we shall see that this legend of the two mothers, the second being the daughter of the first, is found intact in the New Testament Gospel story.
If heaven, in the sense of virginal matter, conceived the divine consciousness principle, what is the"Tuat" that brought it forth? It must be equivalent to Nephthys. This locality is the Egyptian designation for earth, or matter in its substantial evolved form which can finally bring spiritual consciousness to manifest expression. It is matter in its physical form. Isis was matter subsistent in the form of "empty space;" Nephthys was atomic matter, existent as visible structural form, or the 'fish." The fish is seen to be the type of organic matter floating in the sea of inorganic first matter, the "waters of the firmament". We see the physical worlds floating about in the sea of empty space like fish in the water. The physical universe is that Great Fish in the sea of infinite Being which contains the germ of the Jonah consciousness (for Jonah is another figure of the Jesus or Christ consciousness) and which will transport it across the sea of evolving life and spew it out on the farther shore of higher Mind. This great universe is the second form of matter and hence is the second mother, Nephthys. It is the developed bodies of organic matter that give birth to the Logos in the macrocosm and to the Christos, as a unit of that same Logos, in man the microcosm. Man's physical body, with brain and nervous system organized to give expression to that grade of mind denominated the Christ consciousness, is the divine Fish of the mythologic tradition of early Christianity. One needs only to refer to the Greek designation of the Christos of the precessional period of Pisces as Ichthys the Fish to be amazed at the play of the symbolism in the ancient day precisely when Christianity was being formulated. For the sun had entered the sign of the Fishes about 255 B. C.
So under the conception of the divided function of motherhood it can be said that man's future Christhood is conceived in the womb of Isis and brought to birth from the womb of Nephthys, the second mother, the immediate incubator and gestator of the Christly power [Page 9] in the world. One might analogize the situation by thinking of a human child as first conceived in the minds, or in the love of its parents and later born from the womb of its physical mother. For this life has two births and must have a mother for each. It is conceived by the mother and born by the daughter. Life is spiritually conceived and physically born. Man is born first as man, by water, the sea of primordial matter, in whose depths he is conceived; then he is reborn later as god, by the fire of spirit, emerging with biological life out of the womb of the sea, the Water-Mother.
The two mothers can be sharply distinguished as these two forms of matter in the following delineation: the first or virgin mother is matter in its first creative form; invisible, inorganic, unsubstantial (in our sense) and sub-atomic. The second mother is matter in its later evolved form as visible, organic, substantial and atomic. The first mother, virgin though she is, generated her child, organic matter, who by virtue of her "immaculate conception" was confusedly still called "virgin." And this daughter, grown to adulthood by evolution, became the second, or "Fish Mother," and in her turn produced, not now a daughter, but her Son, the masculinity indicating a spiritual and not a further physical progeny, the birth of Mind from matter.
As hinted a moment ago, this genealogy or divine lineage is found in the New Testament of Christianity. The first mother, corresponding to Isis is Anna, and the second mother is her daughter Mary, who bears the Christos, Jesus. Anna and Mary are the Isis and Nephthys of the Christian dispensation. And it is a question whether the Christian Anna and the Hebrew Hannah are not immediate derivatives from the Egyptian An, Ani, Anu. An was an alphabetical glyph for existent being. Ani was the name of the human entity evolving to deity in the Book of the Dead. Anu will come to astonishing significance a little farther on. [Page 10]
first, or virgin birth was depicted as taking place on the western side
of the zodiac, in the house or womb of the Virgin Mother, Virgo. This
allocation was due to the fact that it is in the west that the sun, universal
symbol and embodiment of the fire of spirit, descends each evening into
the earth and water that represented the body in which the soul incarnated,
this body itself being composed of those two elements, earth and water.
So man is, zodiacally, born in the water, as natural man, on the western
side; and is to be reborn, or regenerated, as spiritual man, at the end
of the cycle, on the eastern side. Spirit's descent into water (of the
body) on the west makes it man physical; its later resurrection on the
east makes it man spiritual, man deified. Says the text of old Egypt:"Pepi
saileth with Ra to the eastern side of heaven, where the gods are born." This
is the death and resurrection of the god, the basic theme in all religions.
It is simply incarnation and return to heaven. It is the descent of Messiah
into "Egypt" and
his exodus back to spirit, historicized in the Scriptures as "Canaan."
Further browsing in the ancient tomes brings to light links of connection between the zodiacal pictorialization and the Bible. The chief one is found in the symbol off bread in connection with both Virgo and Pisces. Pisces is the house of the Fishes by name, but it is not commonly known that in the astrological portraiture Virgo was the house of Bread. This is indicated by several items of the typology. Many centuries ago in the precession of the equinoxes the end of the year was marked by the position of the great Dog Star Sirius, brilliant heavenly symbol of the divinity in man. Precisely at midnight of December 24 this bright sun stood on the meridian line running from the zenith to the south. At the same moment there was rising on the eastern horizon the constellation of the Virgin, bearing in her left arm the Christ child, symbol of the Christhood coming to function in man; and in her right hand she clasped the great star Spica (Latin: a head or "spike" of wheat), symbol of that same deity coming as the celestial food for man. It must be remembered that the Gospel Christ told us that, if we would have eternal life, we must virtually eat his body as our divine food, and drink his blood. Hence typism represented him as coming in the form and nature of man, the human babe; and [Page 11] coming as spiritual food emblemed by wheat. The Gospel Christos describes the supernal gift of the spirit in the words: "This is that bread which came down from heaven, that if a man eat of it he shall hunger no more." Jesus took the same symbol, a loaf, and, breaking it into fragments, gave a morsel to each of his disciples, saying it was his (spiritual) body, broken for them.
We now have Virgo established as the House of Bread and Pisces as the House of the Fishes. The characterization of the two houses can now be brought along to a more specific evolutionary reference. Just what are these "houses"? What do they represent? As already set forth, they are poetic graphs for the two states of matter. But now they are to be shown to stand for something in immediate relation to man's life. It should not appear too extravagant a declaration if the evidence warrants our assertion that in the ultimate resolution of their meaning, they are in the allegory to be considered as the human body itself! For these physical bodies of ours consist of matter in both its visible and invisible forms. As St. Paul tells us, we have a natural and a spiritual body. Man's body itself houses the two mothers. The human body is this double house of Bread and of Fish.
The next link is seen when it is considered that the physical body is for the soul the house of death and in its regenerative phase, the house of rebirth. It is the house into which the spirit descends and in which it suffers a more or less complete obscuration of its powers in the darkness of its tomb of matter. It is the house in which for an initial period it lies in a state of relative "death," out of which it is to arise in a new birth, or resurrection, on the opposite side of the cycle. A significant passage from the Book of the Dead recites, alluding to the Horus (Christ) principle: "Who cometh forth from the dusk and whose birth is in the house of death." This applies to the incarnating soul. In the recondite esoteric sense of the archaic Scriptures the soul "dies" on entering the body in incarnation, but has a resurrection from this "death" and a new birth in it (more really out of it) in the upward turn of the cycle. The physical body is therefore the house both of the soul's "death" and its rebirth, or the tomb of the crucified Christ and the womb of his second birth.
As we could expect, the Egyptians had a name for the body as the locus of these evolutionary transactions, which carry the central meaning of all theology. This name now rises out of the dim mists of ancient Egyptian religious lore to enlighten all modern Biblical [Page 12] studentship. This city of the body, wherein the sun of soul sank to its death on the cross of matter to re-arise in a new generation, was called the city of the sun, which in Greek became Heliopolis, but was in the Egyptian Anu. The name was, of course, given to an actual Egyptian town, where the rites of the death, burial and resurrection of Osiris, or Horus, were yearly enacted. But the name bore a theological significance before it designated a geographical city, — as indeed did most Biblical names of localities.
This significant name is obviously composed of Nu, the name for the Mother-Heaven, or empty space, or the abyss of nothingness out of the bosom of which creation emanates. The A (alpha privative) means, as it does in thousands of words, "not." It is prefixed to a host of words to negate an affirmative meaning, as a-theistic, a-moral, a-symmetrical, a-mnesia. A-nu would then mean literally "not-nothingness," or a world of concrete actuality. The negation of a negative posits an affirmative. It refers thus to our world of physical manifestation. Precisely such a world it is in which units of virginal consciousness go to their "death" and again rise out of it. Says God in the Old Testament: "I cast down to death and I raise up again." Anu is then the physical body of mortals on earth. The soul descends out of the waters of the abyss, or the Nun, which is simply space in its primordial undifferentiation. So Nu (neuter), Nun (masculine), Nut (feminine) is the cosmic negative, the name and sign of all non-being. When life is reintegrated at the end of each cycle of out-going and return in the completeness of its restored unity, it is negative. It is the Nun. When it is undifferentiated as spirit and matter, it is neuter. To manifest its potential life it must disintegrate its unity, segregate itself into the duality of spirit and matter, establish positive-negative tension and from that split up into infinite multiplicity.
Here we are brought face to face with the important Biblical sense of the word "multiply." To exhibit its infinite creative resources, life must multiply itself endlessly. The unitary life of deity must break itself up into infinite fragments if it is to fill empty space with a multitude of worlds and beings of diversified natures. The primal sea, or Mother must engender a multitudinous progeny, to spawn the limitless schools of organic "fish-worlds." This is the meaning of the promise given to Abraham that his seed should "multiply" until it filled the earth with offspring countless as the sands and the stars. And if the life divine was symbolized by bread as the type of the first [Page 13] birth, and by fish as the type of the second, then we might expect to find in old religious typology the allegory of a Christ personage multiplying loaves and fishes to feed a multitude. Should we be astonished, then, when we do find that the Gospel Jesus does this very thing? The leads to the significance of the two numbers woven into the story are not too clear. But since the bread symbol pertains to Virgo, mother of the natural man, the five loaves may have been intended to refer to man's five senses, while the two fishes could have represented the two natures unified by the second birth.
This is astonishing enough in all conscience. But even it yields in wonder to the next item of comparative religion data, which came to our notice as a further tie between the Bible and antecedent Egyptian mythology. Who can adequately estimate the seriousness of the challenge which this finding of scholarship throws down to Gospel historicity? For a thrilling discovery indeed it was which brought to notice a passage in the Book of the Dead that referred to Anu as "the place of multiplying bread!"
Here, then, in the long-silent tomes of old Egypt was found the original, the prototype, of the "miracle" of the loaves and the fishes in the Gospels of Christianity. In the light of this correlation of material it is seen that a new and enlightening meaning must be read into this New Testament episode. The revelation indeed makes it necessary to lift the incident quite out of the realm of history and orient it into that of allegory. For at last we are given a lens of proper focus through which to read aright, for the first time in centuries, the hidden sense of the Gospel narrative. We see that Anu, as the physical body, is the place wherein the unity of the Christly power is broken in to an infinite number of fragments, which are distributed out among a multitude of God's children enhungered after a three-days fast. This latter detail can readily be taken as referring to the deprivation of spiritual food suffered by souls in their sojourn in the three elemental kingdoms, mineral, vegetable and animal, before attaining to the plane of mind. St. Paul lends authority to this rendering in saying that before we develop the Christ-mind, we are in bondage to the elements (in several passages the "elementals") of the world, meaning the powers of nature as yet unillumined by mind.
Here are all the components of the inner meaning of the Christian Eucharist: the broken, but multiplied fragments of the body of the god, distributed to feed hungry humanity. And as humanity is [Page 14] composed of twelve groups of conscious units struggling on the road to divinization, there were gathered up twelve baskets of fragments. For in the synthesis of all powers to be evolved in the process of deification, the twelve aspects of the Christ consciousness are finally reintegrated, or "gathered up" in one climactic unity,
One must ask what it can mean to the future of Christianity to realize now that this episode of the ostensible life of Jesus is found to be the Judean republication of an antique Egyptian allegory, completely unhistorical in character. [Page 15]
involvements arise and take us on into still more startling disclosures.
The Hebrews fell heir to the Egyptian wisdom and appropriated Egyptian material.
They picked up the name Anu, and, fitting it back into its zodiacal setting
as Virgo, they called it the House of Bread. This led to their adding to
the name Anu their word for "house," which is beth. This yields
us Beth-Anu. It is a fact of common philological knowledge that when the
ancient Greek and Egyptian "u" in a word is transferred into English,
it is invariably rendered as "y." For instance, the Greek word
for "water" is hudor. In all English words it becomes hydro.
Shifting the " u" of Anu to the "y", Anu becomes Any,
so that Beth-Anu now stands before us as Bethany of the Gospels! Bethany,
then, is just the sign of Virgo, as "the House of Bread," the
home of the great star Spica, the head of wheat!
But let us say "House of Bread" in ordinary Hebrew. What further amazement strikes us here as we find this reads Beth-lehem. For " bread" in Hebrew is lehem. The Christ had the first of his two births in Bethany, or Bethlehem, the astrological "House of Bread", — the human body! And this, be it noted at last, is the only place where it can be of any benefit to humanity.
Later it seems that the two signs, Virgo and Pisces, and their Symbols, bread and fish, were almost interchangeably confused or commingled in symbolic imagery. This was likely, in fact almost inevitable, since the two signs represented the same human body as the two houses in which soul died and was reborn, and the two processes are just the two phases of the one operation.
If Pisces is, then, the" house" in which the Christ in man comes to his birth, it is altogether pertinent to ask if there are evidences in the Bible or Christianity that Jesus was represented under any of the characteristics of the fish typology. Here we encounter material enough to provide another nine-days wonder. For Jesus is decorated and haloed by the Piscean symbolism on every hand. His twelve disciples were "fishermen!" In earlier Egyptian depiction the twelve were at one time or another carpenters, reapers, harvesters, fruit gatherers, sailors, rowers, builders, masons, potters or keepers of the twelve treasures of light. Jesus instructed Peter to find the gold in the fish's mouth; his last "miracle" was the net-breaking draught of fishes; he declared that he would make them "fishers of men." Also astrological ingenuity had delineated the River Eridanus (Jordan) as [Page 16] issuing from the mouth of the constellation of the Southern Fish and flowing north to the very feet of Orion, starry symbol of the Christ, intimating that the stream of life issues forth from the organic physical life of man and runs right up to the foot of divinity. The Bishop's mitre in Christianity is in the shape of the mouth of a fish. In the catacombs under Rome the symbol of the two fishes crossed in the "X" form was displayed on the forehead of the Christ image, at its feet, or on a plate on the altar before it. And the Romans for several centuries dubbed the early Christians Pisciculi" Little Fishes," members of the "Fish-Cult." Augustine and Tertulliam both likened the Christian laity to "little fishes" in the sea, Christ being the Great Fish, or Whale. And perhaps the crowning datum in all this piscatorial Christianity is the fact that the Greeks denominated the Jesus Avatar figure as Ichthys, the Fish. They would doubtless have alluded to any claimant at that time for the mantle of Messianic messenger-ship under the title of Ichthys, even if the Christian movement had not thrust on the world the Gospel character of Jesus as humanized Saviour. For ancient arcane science, resorting ever to subtle types of representation, and all grounded on the circle of the zodiac, attached to the Messianic figure the name, title and features of the zodiacal house in which the sun stood at the time, its sojourn in each sign being two thousand one hundred and sixty years. When the sun was entering Pisces ancient astrological observance would in any event Ichthys.
Still other startling correlations come to view. As has been here delineated, the Christ is the offspring or creation of Divine Mind, first in the innermost bosom of Spirit-Matter, then entified in organic bodily structure. Primeval space, as has been seen, was in Egyptian terms the Nun, the "waters of the Nun." What Bible student does not know of "Joshua, son of Nun"? But so far has ignorance and obscurantism gone with its deadly work in Biblical literalism that hardly any one knows with definiteness that Joshua is just a variant (one of some ten or twelve) form of "Jesus." The phrase has actually been found written in ancient texts as "Jesus, son of Nun." At any rate there is no question and there can be none, that Joshua is Jesus, no less. This asserts that both names in various versions of the Messianic legend stood for the one same typal figure representing man's coming deity. But the wonder increases when we turn to the Hebrew alphabet and find that, while "M" is called and spelled "Mem," and means " water", "N" is called and spelled "Nun," and means, of all [Page 17] astounding things, "fish." Jesus, then, is son of Pisces, the Fish-sign; as indeed he is in the Gospels themselves.
And Horus, the Egyptian Christ, who is identical with the Jesus of the Gospels in some one hundred and eighty particulars, performed at Anu a great" miracle." He raised his father Osiris from the dead, calling unto him in the cave to rise and come forth, intimating that he was not dead but only sleeping. Anu, as has been seen, became Bethany of the Gospels; and it was at Bethany that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead! And we run into another amazing link when, through Egyptian sources, we are enabled to establish the identity of Lazarus, This is close to the greatest of all the marvels in this chain of comparative data. For we find that the ancient designation of Osiris was Asar. Now the Egyptians consistently expressed reverence for deity by prefixing the definite masculine article, "the," to the name of the chief of their gods. This was Osiris. Just as Christians say, or should say, the Christ, they said the Osiris. And there applies here another point of language usage not discovered by scholars, but pertinent to our elucidation. It is that the definite masculine article," the," connoted deity in ancient writing. Our definite article," the", is the root of the Greek word for God, the-os, to which the Greeks prefixed their masculine article, ho theos. The Spanish article masculine, el, is the Hebrew word for God. And the Greek masculine article, ho, is a Chinese word for deity. To say " the Osiris" was equivalent to saying " Lord Osiris."
So when the Hebrews took up the Egyptian names and titles they converted the name of "the Osiris," or "Lord Osiris," directly into their own vernacular, with the result emerging as "El-Asar." Then in turn the later Romans, speaking Latin, took up the same material that had come to them through Hebrew hands and to " El-Asar" they added the common Latin termination of the second declension masculine nouns in which most Roman men's names ended, namely "us"; and the result was now"El-Asar-us." In time the initial "E" wore off, as the scholars phrase it, and the"s" in "Asar" changed into its sister-letter "z" leaving us holding in our hands the "Lazarus" whom Jesus raised from the dead at Bethany! So the allegorical raising of the Egyptian Osiris from death by his son, the Christ of Egypt at the Egyptian Anu became the raising from death of the Hebrew Lazarus by the Palestinian Christ at the Judean Bethany, and what was sublime spiritual dramatism became incredible "history."
To support the contention that this derivation is not a fanciful invention or sheer coincidence, we find the Egyptian" Azar" reappearing in the names of two of the Hebrew High Priests in the Old Testament, [Page 18] Azar-iah and El(e)azar. The - iah (or - jah) appended to deific names substantially equated the prefixed El in Hebrew usage. But a further and far more authoritative confirmation of the linkage was found in one place in Renan's famous Life of Jesus (page 308). The French theologian displayed an extraordinary knowledge of Judean history, geography, sociology and religion, and in connection with the elucidation here presented this citation from his great book confronts the Christian exegesis with a challenge which it may be difficult to fend off. We quote the passage as follows:
"The village of Bethany, in particular, situated at the summit of the hill upon the incline which commands the Dead Sea and the Jordan, at a journey of an hour and a half from Jerusalem, was the place especially beloved by Jesus."
Following this a numeral directs us to the note appended at the bottom of the page, in which the reference is to Bethany:
"Now El-Azerie (from El-Azir, the Arabic name of Lazarus) in the Christian texts of the Middle Ages, Lazarium."
On the next page (309), speaking of Mary he states:
"Her brother Eleazar, or Lazarus, was also much beloved by Jesus."
Here is indisputable evidence that the Egyptian connection with the name of Bethany clung to the town up to the Middle Ages. Since, it is agreed widely that John's Gospel is far more mystical and spiritual and less historical than the other three, it is quite apparent that this reprint of an ancient Egyptian allegory would be more likely to be included in John's Gospel and omitted from the three synoptic ones. What can it mean to Christian theology that the story of the raising of Lazarus was extant in Egyptian papyri possibly 5000 years
Nor was Osiris, masquerading under the name of Lazarus, the only Egyptian personage present at the scene of this supposed Christian "miracle". Isis, the wife and sister of Osiris, under her ancient designation of Meri, was present also. As the feminine counterpart of the male deity was dualized to match the doubling of Horus as Horus the Elder (otherwise Osiris) and Horus the Younger, so the Meri name was sometimes pluralized, becoming Merti. In Latin feminine form this became Mertae. But in Hebrew it resolved into what in English was rendered as Martha. So even in the ancient Egyptian transaction there were present the two Maries, or Mary and Martha, the sisters of "Lazarus". [Page 19]
this sets the stage for the crowning item in the correspondence. In the
Gospel drama John the Baptist enacts the role of the first-born or natural
man, coming first to prepare the physical ground of evolution for the advent
of the second Adam, or Christ. He would therefore stand in the allegory
as the son of the Water Mother, Virgo, and under the astrological symbolism
would be born at the autumn equinox, or in his mother's house, which stands
at that station in the zodiac. On the other side of the cycle of descent, "death" and
resurrection, would stand Jesus, the Christos, son of the Fish Mother,
born in his mother's house of the Fishes. These houses are six months apart
on the zodiacal chart!
Hence the whole edifice of Gospel historicity trembles under the impact of the strange dramatic circumstance, given in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel, that the Annunciation to Mary of her conception of the coming Christ by the Holy Spirit came in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy with John the Baptist. So we can see what the myth-makers devised for discerning intelligence in the allegory in Luke. The natural man, having covered the zodiacal "six months" between his conception and the date of his quickening into spiritual status in his evolution, was dramatized as being "quickened" at a point exactly opposite from the point of the beginning of his life. Six months on the chart would mark the end of an epoch begun opposite it. Six months, speaking purely zodiacally, would terminate the period of mortal life and bring the natural man to the place of his deification. At that point he would be represented as being quickened from natural to spiritual life. So then, according to the Lukan account, when the mother of the true spiritual Christ, who had just been impregnated by the Holy Ghost, came into the presence of the first mother, carrying her child at the figurative completion of his cycle of physical evolution, and awaiting only the advent of the spiritual Lord to be quickened into a new order of exalted being, he was dramatized as manifesting this reawakening by the statement that "he leaped in his mother's womb." The Luke narration makes it clear that the conception of Jesus had just taken place when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth and found her at the six months stage of her pregnancy. Mary's coming [Page 20] into the presence of Elizabeth is made the occasion of the natural man's leaping in his mother's womb. When the Christ comes to the natural man the latter leaps into the higher kingdom of spirit.
It is but a simple matter of arithmetic to note that the last three months of Elizabeth's pregnancy with John coincided with the first three of Mary's pregnancy with Jesus, bringing the birth of Jesus just six months after that of John! So Luke has it. But it was in the zodiacal chart some thousands of years before it could have "happened" in Judea. It had occurred zodiacally long before it could have occurred historically. And the implication is overmastering that the supposed historical occurrence is but a presumption of ignorance based on the zodiacal when that became circulated as history among the unintelligent masses.
The final link of significant data, now to be presented is by no means a minor one. St. Paul declares that we come to birth spiritually only as we die carnally, meaning that the quantum or quality of divine character in us grows in proportion as the quantum of raw nature decreases. We increase deifically as we decrease humanly; the god gains in power as the animal dies. So the structure of the allegory depicted the spiritual man, Jesus, son of Nun, the "Fish", as increasing, while John, son of Virgo, the Water Mother, decreases in stature. Astrologically, as a star or constellation sinks below the horizon in the west, its opposite star or constellation would be rising in the east. As John, type of the first, the natural man, went down (having completed his mission of preparing the way for his greater successor), Jesus, type of the spiritual birth, rose on the world. So the narrative has John saying: "I must decrease, but he must increase". In the descent of soul into the body spiritual power decreases as physical life increases. But on the reverse arc of the cycle, or evolution, the physical (John) decreases as the Christ power increases in its new round of growth. [Page 21]
No intelligent reader can peruse this assemblage of semantic data without
being profoundly impressed by at least two considerations of the most
momentous gravity. He will see first that the great principles of theology
were presented, rather are concealed, it would be permissible to say,
under the cryptographic forms of astrological symbolism. Then he will
be impressed beyond measure by the incontestable evidence of the fact
that Biblical events he had assumed were historical occurrences in the
first century A. D., were already written in time-worn books of the ancient
Egyptians thousands of years before, and that they were there not as objective
history but as spiritual allegory. And in the train of reflection that
would follow upon these recognitions, how could he avoid asking of his
intelligence the question fraught with critical moment for the Christian
faith: were then the Gospels and Epistles of the Christian New Testament
compositions originally written between the years 40 to 80 of that
first Christian century? In the face of the evidence here assembled, can
there be much doubt that these Gospels and Epistles were republications
of old Egyptian religious scripts, revamped and redacted doubtless by Judean
influences, in the first century of our era? Does Christian history make
any authoritative pronouncement that would throw light on the question?
In spite of fanatical zeal to obliterate all trace of the derivation of
its literary heritage from antecedent Pagan sources, there has been permitted
to survive for us a statement made by the man who himself was chiefly
instrumental in founding the Christian ecclesiastical system, the Christian
historian and bishop, Eusebius. In his famous Ecclesiastical History,
chapter 17 of Book II, treating of the Essenes, called Therapeutae in
northern Egypt, he wrote:
"These ancient Therapeutae were Christians and their writings are our Gospels and Epistles."
As if to corroborate this declaration of the fourth-century Christian protagonist the Dead Sea scrolls now rise out of the mists of pre-Christian time to certify beyond cavil that the New Testament documents were products of the antecedent Pagan religions.
If Eusebius' statement and the evidence of the scrolls (and much other data) point to the ancient origin of the Scriptures, there would [Page 22] then arise the further crucial question: for what reason were ancient Egyptian documents of secret esoteric and occult spiritual lore, embodying the innermost teachings of the Magian and Sabean astrological science, brought forth from their age-long sacred custodianship of the hierophants of the Mysteries and spread broadcast to the world in that first Christian century? The answer to this query is many-sided and complicated. But among other influences there was one certainly that can be traced with considerable distinctness. This was the work of a philosopher too little credited with importance. Philo Judaeus was born at or about the year 1 A. D. He laboured in the early and middle portions of the first century to effect a syncretism of Greek Platonism, Egyptian Hermeticism and Mosaic Hebraism on occult theosophical bases. His work could have given a powerful stimulus to the cultism of mystico-spiritual science throughout the mid-Eastern countries, as it apparently did lay the foundations for the great Alexandrian philosophical center which, under the headship first of Pantaenus, then Clement and Origen, introduced these elements into Christianity. In the conjunction of his effort with the currents of spiritual force emanating from such groups as the Essenes and the Gnostics, we are as near to a correct answer as we perhaps ever shall be to the question of the origin of Christianity and the publication in the first century of documents long in existence, but never disseminated beyond secret guardianship in the occult societies until that time.
It therefore seems certainly to be within the bounds of distinct plausibility, indeed of imminent probability, that the rise of Christianity is to be explained on the truly human and rational grounds of a movement that was galvanized into momentum as the result of the first wide republication of the secret and sacred books of the hierarchy of very ancient Egypt. Many astute investigators of the provenance of the Gospels have been driven to the conclusion that the four included in the New Testament canon were traceable to and based upon what they are pleased to call a "common document," which obviously must antedate those building upon it. Almost to a certainty this hypothesis points in the direction of a true solution of the problem of Gospel origins. Irenaeus, first Christian Bishop of Gaul (France) in the second century, states that there was a multitude of Gospels afloat in his day. It would be in accord with some positive data and many other well-grounded assumptions if one were to posit the thesis that the four Gospels of the canon were based not necessarily on any [Page 23] one"common document," but on the collective esoteric tradition coming down from old Egypt and found extant in Irenaeus' "multitude of Gospels".
The historical fact that Christian scholarship has for seventeen centuries spent itself in the effort to account for Christianity's upsurge and character formation entirely without reference to this mass of literary lore of the antecedent world, out of whose very womb it actually was born, is to be seen now as one of the most fantastically eccentric phenomena in all the religious history of mankind. It is only to be accounted for by the factual circumstance that the Christian movement was from the start motivated by a psychology of faith, emotional unction, pietistic zealotry of the most ignorant and fanatical sort, gullible expectation of miracle and the supernatural, apocalyptic revelation with the cosmic "end of the world," the ignorant literalization of Biblical allegorism, — all which elements bespeak the wholly unintellectual, unphilosophical character of the mentality and the psychology that launched the faith, to which after a considerable time the name of the Greek, deific principle, the Christos, was attached. Beyond all contradiction this list of prime psychological factors in the incipient push of Christianity explains its ignoring the whole great corpus of esoteric literature which was unquestionably the garden bed of its growth. Furthermore the invincible repugnance which the movement manifested to this body of the lore of a spiritual science at once too intellectual and philosophical for the simple and uncritical folk who promulgated the Christian faith, attests volubly the plebeian status of the movement and its personnel.
Let the modern mind essay to diagnose with an accuracy that these outer symptoms amply guarantee the motif of a movement to promulgate a claimed divine revelation from the universal All-Father himself, and it will see on what low and unworthy bases the system of Christianity does indeed rest. Completely flouting the noblest and most authoritative characteristic of man's finest culture, his most piquant afflations of aesthetic refinement, scorning the intellectual delight in the classical poetry and philosophy of the great Greco-Roman exaltation, including the two great Homeric and the Virgilian epics, the rabid pietism of the early communicants of Christianity so filled its devotees with hatred of the Pagan cultural treasures that they forced Jerome to recant his earlier statements of his addiction to the classical literature, tore Augustine away from his interest in the [Page 24] philosophy of Plotinus and the esoteric theosophy of Manichaeism, led Tertullian to shriek "What has Homer to do with the Gospels?", burned in a frenzy of wild rage the great Alexandrian library and murdered the esoteric lecturer Hypatia as she took sanctuary at the altar and scraped the flesh off her bones with oyster shells. Deeply inwrought in the texture of this anomalous aberration of good human intelligence are to be found, still weaving the somber thread of the tragic story of the victory of mass ignorance over sage wisdom, the true causes of the rise of Christianity.
The elucidation, then, of a large section of Scriptural text such as is here presented must be seen as valuable and precious beyond all calculation. It reveals how the pietistic fanaticism that bred a hatred of poetry, music and art, and a scorn of wholesome human pleasure which has held pretty solidly to the present day, was generated by the twisting of the normal human mind Into forms of weird hallucination by the literalizing of myth, allegory, drama and natural and astrological symbolism in the mind of the uncultured masses. This episodic debacle of religious culture that befell the ancient world in the first three centuries of the Christian era (treated in full in the author's major work, Shadow of the Third Century) is the crucial key to the understanding of the religious complication in the world today. It is an odd, but a challenging reflection that one can not well escape on reading this assemblage or amazing data of semantic significance, that half the world, and the half boasting more or less justly of leadership in modern intelligence, has been thrown for over seventeen centuries under the spell of a mental and psychological dementia that has given birth to the foulest superstition, bigotry and inhuman savagery recorded in all history, and that this tragic outcome has ensued as the result of the stupidity of a group of Galilean peasants in mistaking zodiacal symbolism for veridical history.
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