THE ORPHIC THEOGONY - Orphic Pantheon by G. R. S. Meade

The Orphic Pantheon (By G. R. S. Meade)
Unaging Time
∆ther, Chaos and Night
The Cosmic Egg
The Crater
Phanes, Ericapśus and Metis
The Children of Heaven and Earth
The Titans
The Four Ages
Vesta, Ceres, Juno
Diana and Minerva
Neptune and Pluto
Vulcan, Venus, Mars
The Cyclopes and Centimani
Curetes and Corybantes
The Orphic Pantheon by G. R. S. Meade
Orpheus designated the Supreme Cause, although it is in reality ineffable, Chronus (Time). This Time, and with it other ineffable Powers, was prior to Heaven, Uranus (Procl. in Crat., p. 71, Boiss.). The name Chronus closely resembles the name Cronus (Saturn), remarks Proclus (loc. sit., p. 64) suggestively; and in the same passage he says that '

"God-inspired" words [Oracles] characterize this divinity [Cronus] as Once Beyond.' This may mean that Chronus is ideal Unending Duration, and Cronus Time manifested; though this leaves unexplained the strange term 'Once Beyond,' which is found in the Chaldśan system. The same statements are found elsewhere in Proclus' works (Tim., i.86; Theol., i.28, 68; Parm., vii.230).

And Philo (Quad Mand. Incorr., p. 952, b) says: 'There was once a Time when Cosmos was not.' This is called 'Unborn Time, The ∆on,' by Timśus of Locris (p. 97). It is the 'First One, the Supersubstantial, the Ineffable Principle.' It may be compared to the Zervan of the Avesta, the En Suph and Hidden of the Hidden of the Kabalah, the Bythos of the Gnostics, the Unknown Darkness of the Egyptians, and the Parabrahman of the Ved‚ntins.

Next come ∆ther and Chaos, Spirit-Matter, the Bound and Infinity of Plato (Proc., Tim., ii. 117), the Purusha-Prakriti of the S‚nkhya. Orpheus calls this ∆ther the Mighty Whirlpool (Simplicius, Ausc., iv.123); called Magna Vorago by Syrianus (Metaph., ii.33a). And Proclus (Tim., ii.117), speaking of Chaos, says: 'The last Infinity, by which also Matter is circumscribed--is the Container, the field and plane of ideas. About her is "neither limit, nor foundation, nor seat, but excessive darkness".' This is the MŻlaprakriti or Root-Matter of the Ved‚ntins, and ∆ther is the so-called first Logos, ∆ther-Chaos being the second. 'And dusky Night comprehended and hid all below the Ether; [Orpheus thus] signifying that Night came first.' (Malela, iv.31; Cedrenus, i.57, 84.)

Then comes the Dawn of the First Creation. In the Unaging Time, Chaos, impregnated by the whirling of ∆ther, formed itself into

Proclus (Parm., vii.168) calls this Chaos the 'Mist of the Darkness.' It is the first break of the Dawn of Creation, and may be compared to the 'fire-mist' stage in the sensible universe. Thus the author of the Recognitions (X.vii.316) tells us: 'They who had greater wisdom among the nations proclaim that Chaos was first of all things; in course of the eternity its outer parts became denser and so sides and ends were made, and it assumed the fashion and form of a gigantic egg.' For before this stage, the same writer tells us (c. xxx): 'Orpheus declares that Chaos first existed, eternal, vast, uncreate--it was neither darkness, nor light, nor moist, nor dry, nor hot, nor cold, but all things intermingled.'

Apion (Clement, Homil., VI.iv.671) writes that: 'Orpheus likened Chaos to an egg, in which the primal "elements" were all mingled together. . . . This egg was generated from the infinitude of primal matter as follows.

[The first two principles were] primal matter innate with life, and a certain vortex in perpetual flux and unordered motion--from these there arose an orderly flux and interblending of essences, and thus from each, that which was most suitable to the production of life flowed to the centre of the universe,
.......... while the surrounding spirit was drawn within, as a bubble in water.

Thus a spherical receptacle was formed. Then, impregnated in itself by the divine spirit which seized upon it,
.......... it revolved itself into manifestation--
.......... with the appearance of the periphery of an egg.'

Proclus (Crat., p. 79) mentions this circular motion as follows: 'Orpheus refers to the occult diacosm [primary or intellectual creation] in the words, "the boundless unweariedly revolved in a circle".' He also refers to it elsewhere (in Euclid, ii.42; Parm., vii.153), and in his Commentary on the Timśus (iii. 160), he writes: 'The spherical is most closely allied to the all.. . . This shape, therefore, is the paternal type of the universe, and reveals itself in the occult diacosm itself.'

And Simplicius (Aus., i.31, b) writes: 'If he [Plato in Parmenides,] says that Being closely resembles the circling mass of the sphere, you should not be surprised, for there is a correspondence between it and the formation of the first plasm of the mythologist [Orpheus]. For how does this differ from speaking, as Orpheus does, of the "Silver-shining Egg" ?'

And so Proclus (Tim., i.138) sums up the question of the Egg by reminding us that: 'The Egg was produced by ∆ther and Chaos, the former establishing it according to limit, and the latter according to infinity. For the former is the rootage of all, whereas the latter has no bounds.'

It would be too long to point to the same idea in other religions, whether Phoenician, Babylonian, Syrian, Persian, or Egyptian (cf. Vishnu Par‚na, Wilson, i.39; and Gail's Recherches sur la Nature du Culte de Bacchus en GrŤce, pp. 117, 118); it is sufficient to refer readers to the Hiranyagarbha of the Hindus, the Resplendent Egg or Germ, which is set forth at length in the Upanishads and Purŗnas.

It is a most magnificent idea, this Germ of the Universe, and puts the doctrine of the ancients as to cosmogony on a more rigidly scientific basis than even the most advanced scientists of our day have arrived at. And if this shape and this motion are the 'paternal types of the universe' and all therein, how is it possible to imagine that the learned of the ancients were not acquainted with the proper shape and motion of the earth?

But as the subject is of great interest not only from a cosmogonical standpoint, but also from an anthropogonical point of view, some further information may with advantage be added.

This Egg of the Universe, besides having its analogy in the germ-cell whence the human and every other kind of embryo develops, has also its correspondence in the 'auric egg' of man, of which much has been written and little revealed.

The colour of this aura in its purest form is opalescent. Therefore we find Damascius (Quśst., 147) quoting a verse of Orpheus in which the Egg is called 'silver-white', that is to say, silver-shining or mother o' pearl; he also calls it, again quoting Orpheus (op. cit., p. 380), the 'Brilliant Vesture' or the 'Cloud'.

Leucippus and Democritus (Plutarch, Placitt., also 'stretch a circular vesture and membrane round the cosmos'. It is interesting to compare this idea of a membrane or chorion with a passage in the Vishnu Pur‚na (I.ii; Wilson's trans., i.40). Par‚shara is describing the Vast Egg, 'which gradually expanded like a bubble of water' (the very simile used by Apion), and referring to the contents of the Jagad-yoni or World-matrix, he says 'Meru was its amnion, and the other mountains were its chorion'--(MerurulbamabhŻttasya jar‚yushcha mahÓdhar‚h--see Fitzedward Hall's note loc. cit.). These two membranes, which play such an important part in embryology, are easily explained in the world-process, when we remember that Meru is the Olympus of the Greeks, the Celestial Arch, whereas the 'other mountains' are the circular ranges, or spheres, which separate the 'oceans' of space from each other.

In this connection also we should remember that the Egg contains the 'Triple God', the 'Dragon-formed'. Without the spermatozoon the ovum would remain unfertilized. But the Dragon-formed will be referred to again later on. In connection with this graphic symbol of an Egg, we must briefly mention the Mixing-Bowl or

This is so called from the Goblet which the Deity orders to be given to the souls to drink from, in order that they may imbibe the intelligence of all things. Proclus (Tim., v.316) speaks of several of these Crateres: 'Plato in the Philebus hands on the tradition of the Vulcanic Crater [the Cup of Fire] . . . and Orpheus is acquainted with the Cup of Dionysus, and ranges many other such Cups round the Solar Table.' That is to say, that the various spheres were each in their turn Cups containing the essence of the Spheres or Eggs. We may compare this with the Cup of Anacreon and of the sŻfi mystics. For the same idea, and the same term, in the Chaldśan Oracles and the Books of Hermes, see my Simon Magus (p. 56). Proclus (Tim., v.291) identifies this Crater with the Egg and Night, the mother and wife of Phanes. And Plato, in his psychogony, speaks of two mixtures or Crateres; in the one the Deity mixed the All-Soul of Universal Nature, and from the other he ladled out the minds of men (Lobeck, op. cit., 786). And Macrobius (Somn., XI.ii.66) says that:

'Plato speaks of this in the Phśdo, and says that the soul is dragged back into a body, hurried on by new intoxication, desiring to taste a fresh draught of the overflow of matter, whereby it is weighed down and brought back [to earth]. The sidereal Crater of Father Liber [Dionysus, Bacchus] is a symbol of this mystery; and this is what the ancients called the River of Lethe; the Orphics saying that Father Liber was the Material Mind [Indra, Lord of the Senses].'

This shows us that we must continually bear in mind the aphorism 'as above so below', if we would understand the intricacies of the system. There is the Supernal Crater of the Super-sensible World, and the Material Crater of the Sensible World--and others also. The following passages from Proclus' Theology of Plato, however, will throw further light on this interesting subject. Thus the Demiurgus is said to 'constitute the psychical essences in conjunction with the Crater' (V.xxxi)--this in the Sensible World. Again, 'the Crater is the peculiar cause of souls, and is co-arranged with the Demiurgus and filled from him, but fills souls'. Thus the Crater is called the 'fountain of souls', the 'cause of souls'

(c. xxxi). But we must pass on to the God born from the Egg and his associate deities.

The Triple God born from the Egg was called Phanes, and also Metis and Ericapaeus, the three being aspects of one Power.

As Clemens Alexandrinus (Lobeck, p. 478, gives his authority as 'Clemens, p. 672'--an absolutely useless reference) writes: 'The Egg of Life, having been brought forth from boundless Mother Substance, and kept in motion by this subjective and ever-moving Mother Substance, manifests endless changes. For from within its periphery a male-female living Power [the absolute "Animal"] is ideated, by the foreknowledge of the divine [Father] Spirit [∆ther],

which is in it [the Egg], which Power Orpheus calls Phanes, for on its shining forth the whole universe shone forth by the light of Fire--the most glorious of the elements--brought to perfection in the Moist [Principle--Chaos]. And so the Egg, the first and last [of all things], heated by the living creature within it, breaks; and the enformed [Power] comes forth, as Orpheus says, "when the swollen wide-capacious Egg brake in twain"; and thus the outer membrane [skin, shell, or chorion] contains the diacosmic evolution [that is to say, the two diacosms, or in other words, the upper half of the membrane is the container of the intellectual cosmos, and the lower of the sensible cosmos]; but he [Phanes] presides over the Heaven [which lies between], as it were seated on the heights of a mountain range, and in secret shines over the boundless Eon.'

In Hindu mythography this mountain range is figured as circular.

Malela and Cedrenus, in the passage referred to under 'Night', add that Orpheus tells us that: 'Light [Phanes, "Bright Space Son of Dark Space"] having burst through the ∆ther [the ¬k‚shic Eggl illuminated the Earth [the First Earth--or Cosmos]; meaning that this Light was the Light which burst through the highest ∆ther of all--[and not the sensible light that we see]. And the names of it Orpheus heard in prophetic vision, and declares them to be Metis, Phanes and Ericapśus, which by interpretation are Will, Light and Light-giver [or Consciousness, Light, and Life]; adding that these three divine powers of names are the one power and one might of the One God, whom no man sees--and from his power all things are created, both incorporeal principles, and the sun and moon and all the stars.'

This deity is also called Protogonus, the First-born (Lactantius, Inst., I.v.28), and Proclus (Tim., ii.132) quotes a verse of Orpheus in which he is named Sweet Love, son of most beauteous ∆ther; and the same mystic philosopher (Theol. Plat., III.xx.161) tells us that: 'He is the most brilliant of the NoŽtic Powers, the NoŽtic Mind, and Radiant Light, which amazes the NoŽric Powers and causes even Father [Zeus, the Demiurge] to wonder.' And Hermias (in Phśdr., p. 141) quotes the lines of Orpheus which describe the brilliancy of the First-born: 'And none could gaze on Phanes with their eyes, save holy Night alone. The others, all, amazed beheld the sudden Light in Space. Such was the light which streamed from Phanes' deathless fame.'

As Metis (the Mahat of the Ved‚ntins), Phanes is said to bear the 'far-famed seed of the Gods' (Proc. in Crat., pp. 36, 52; in Tim., v.303, ii.137; Damascius, p. 346).

Of the three aspects, Phanes is said to be the 'father', Ericapśus the 'power', and Metis the 'intellect', in Platonic terms (see Damascius, Quśst., p. 380). Damascius (p. 381) further describes this Power as being symbolized by Orpheus as 'a God without a body, with golden wings on his shoulder and having on his sides the heads of bulls, and on his head a monstrous dragon with the likeness of every kind of wild beast.' This symbolism is more simply given in the same passage as 'a dragon with the heads of a bull and lion and in the midst the face of a God, with wings on the shoulders.' This was the symbol of Pan, the All-Father, the Universal Creative Power or absolute 'Animal'--the source of all living creatures. And Proclus (in Tim., iii.130) writes of the same symbol:

'The first God, with Orpheus, bears the heads of many animals, of the ram, the bull, the snake, and bright-eyed lion; he came forth from the Primal Egg, in which the Animal is contained in germ.' And later on (p. 131) he adds: 'And first of all he was winged.'

I would venture to suggest that this graphic symbol, in one of its meanings, traces evolution from reptile to bird, animal and man. But there are other meanings. For Hermias (op. cit., p. 137) quotes a verse of Orpheus which speaks of Phanes 'gazing in every direction with his four eyes,' and 'being carried in every direction by his golden wings,' he also rides upon various 'steeds'. This has most probably some connection with soul-powers.

Eliphas Levi, the French Kabalist, in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (p. 333) gives a most interesting drawing, which may with advantage be compared with the symbol of Phanes. It is a pantacle made out of the two interlaced triangles composed of wings; in the centre is the head of a man, on the left the head of a bull, on the right that of a lion, and above the head of an eagle.

Beneath are two other pantacles called respectively the Wheel of Pythagoras and the Wheel of Ezekiel.
The figure is also called the 'fourheaded sphinx', and is
symbolized in India by the Svastika contained in a circle.
These four 'beasts' are said to typify the four elementary kingdoms--earth, air, fire, and water--and much else.
They are given by
Christian mystics as the symbols of the four Gospels. In brief, they signify the four great creative forces of the cosmos.

But with regard to Phanes, in the Orphic Theogony, these forces are noŽtic, and not sensible. For Phanes is the creator of the Gods, and the great-grandfather of Zeus, the creator of the sensible universe. As Lactantius (Inst., I.v.28) says:

'Orpheus tells us that Phanes is the father of all the Gods, for their sake he created the heaven [the intellectual universe] with forethought for his children, in order that they might have a habitation and a common seat--"he founded for the immortals an imperishable mansion".'

Now Phanes, as we have already remarked, was also called Love (ErŰs). This is that Primal Love or Desire (K‚ma-Deva) which arose in the All; in the words of the Rig Veda, the 'primal germ of Mine--that which divides entity from non-entity,' and which also unites entity with non-entity. This Love is admirably explained by Proclus, in his Commentary on the First Alsibiades of Plato (see Taylor, Myst. Hymns, pp. 117-120, and also his notes on the speech of Diotima in the Banquet of Plato, Works, vol. iv), where he writes as follows: 'The [Chaldśan] Oracles, therefore, speak of Love as binding and residing in all things; and hence, if it connects all things, it also couples us with the government of dśmons [cosmic and nature powers]. But Diotima calls Love a "Great Dśmon", because it everywhere fills up the medium between desiring and desirable natures. . . . But among the intelligible and occult Gods [the NoŽtic Order], it unites intelligible intellect to the first and secret Beauty, by a certain life [the "higher life"] better than Intelligence. Hence [Orpheus] the theologist of the Greeks calls this Love "blind", for he says of intelligible intellect [Phanes], "in his breast feeding eyeless, rapid Love." But in instances posterior to intelligibles, it imparts by illumination an indissoluble bond to all things perfected by itself; for a bond is a certain union, but accompanied by much separation. On this account the Oracles are accustomed to call the fire of love a "coupler"; for proceeding from intelligible intellect, it binds all following natures with each other, and with itself [the "love for all that lives and breathes"]. Hence it conjoins all the gods with intelligible Beauty, and dśmons with gods; and conjoins us with both gods and dśmons. In the gods indeed it has a primary subsistence; in dśmons a secondary one; and in partial souls a subsistence through a certain third procession from principles. Again, in the gods it subsists above essence for every genus of gods is super-essential. But in dśmons it subsists according to essence; and in souls according to illuminations.'

Phanes is also called the Limit or Boundary, since 'that God who closes the paternal order is said by the wise to be the only deity among the intelligible Gods that has a name; and theurgy ascends as far as this order' (Procl., in Crat., Taylor, op. cit., p. 183). It is curious to notice that the same term, Limit or Boundary, is used in the Gnostic Valentinian System, and in precisely the same sense: 'It is called the Boundary because it shuts off (bounds) the HysterÍma [Sensible World] without from the PlerŰma

[Super-sensible World]' (Hippolytus, Philosophumena,; see my translation of Pistis-Sophia, in Lucifer, vi.233).

Pistis-Sophia Part One
Pistis-Sophia Part Two

Closely associated with Phanes (intelligible 'Light'), as mother or wife, or daughter, is Night (intelligible 'Darkness') which may be compared with the Maya or Avidya (root-objectivity), of the Ved‚ntins.

Just as there are three aspects of Phanes, so there are three Nights. Thus Proclus (Tim., ii.137): 'Phanes comes forth alone, the same is sung of as male and generator, and he leads with him the [three] Nights, and the Father mingles [noŽtically] with the middle one.' And so Patricius (Discuss. Perip., III.i.293): 'For we know from Olympiodorus that Orpheus evolved all the Gods from one Egg, from which [proceeded] first Phanes, then Night, and then the rest.'

And again Proclus (op. cit., v.291) tells us that Phanes and Night 'preside over the NoŽtic Orders, for they are eternally established in the Adytum [the Vestibule of the Good in the NoŽtic Order], as says Orpheus, for he calls their occult Order the Adytum.'

Night, then, is the Mother of the Gods, or, as Orpheus says, 'the Nurse of the Gods is immortal Night' (Proc., in Crat., p. 57). Just as M‚y‚ is the consort and power of M‚yi, or Ishvara (the Logos, or ideal Creative Cause) of the Upanishads, and thus all Gods and all men are under her sway, so Phanes hands over his sceptre to his consort Night. As Proclus tells us (ibid.): 'Night receives the sceptre from the willing hands of Phanes--"he placed his far-famed sceptre in the hands of Goddess Night, that she might have queenly honour".'

To her was given the highest art of divination, for M‚y‚ is the creative power of the Deity, the means whereby he 'imagines' the universe, or thinks it into being.

Thus she, his spouse, is in the secret of his thoughts, and thus presides over the highest divination.

So Hermias (Phśdr., p. 145): 'Orpheus, speaking of Night, tells us that "he [Phanes] gave her the mantic [i.e., pertaining to divination] art that never fails, to have and hold in every way".' And further back the same writer (p. 144), tells us that of the three Nights, Orpheus 'ascribes to the first the gift of prophecy, but the middle [Night] he calls humility, and the third, he says, gave birth to righteousness'. These are said to be referred to by Plato when he discourses of Prudence, Understanding (for true understanding is always humble or modest), and Righteousness.

And so in prudence, and understanding, and righteousness, Night (the occult power of Deity) gives birth to the noumenal and phenomenal universes; in the words of Orpheus (Hermias, ibid.): 'And so she brought forth Earth [the phenomenal universe] and wide Heaven [the noumenal], so as to manifest visible from invisible.'

This is most graphically set forth by Proclus in his Commentary on the Timśus (pp. 63, 96; as given by Taylor, Mst. Hymns, pp. 78, 79): 'The artificer of the universe [Zeus, the creative aspect of Phanes], prior to his whole fabrication [says Orpheus], is said to have betaken himself to the Oracle of Night, to have been there filled with divine conceptions, to have received the principles of fabrication, and, if it is lawful so to speak, to have solved all his doubts. Night, too, calls upon the father Zeus to undertake the fabrication of the universe; and Zeus is said by the theologist [Orpheus] to have thus addressed Night:

' "O Nurse supreme of all the powers divine,
Immortal Night! how with unconquer'd mind
Must I the source of the Immortals fix?
And how will all things but as one subsist,
Yet each its nature separate preserve?"
'To which interrogation the Goddess thus replies:
' "All things receive enclos'd on ev'ry side,
In ∆ther's wide, ineffable embrace;
Then in the midst of ∆ther place the Heav'n,
In which let Earth [visible Cosmos] of infinite extent,
The Sea [the Ocean of Space], and Stars the crown of Heav'n be fixt." '

It is curious to notice that the original for 'Nurse' is Maia (MaÓa). In Sanskrit i before another vowel changes into y. The Greek Maia, therefore, bears a most suspicious resemblance to the Sanskrit Maya. But this is philology, the most fallacious of all 'sciences', while Maia, the Nurse of the Gods, is the queen of the mantic art that 'never fails'.

Chief of the children of Night was Heaven (Uranus), the Lord of the NoŽtic-noŽric Triad in Platonic terminology. As Hermias (op. cit., p. 141) says: 'After the order of the Nights [triple Night] are three orders of divine Powers, Heaven, the Cyclopes, and the Hundred-handed. For first came forth from him [Phanes] Heaven and Earth.' This Earth is the first Sphere of the Sensible World, the true Earth, for we read of 'another earth', our globe. And Heaven has the characteristic of his parent, for we learn from Achilles Tatius (Arat., p. 85): 'The Heaven of Orpheus is meant to be the Boundary and Guard of all.' Taylor (Myst. Hymns, p. 16, n.) quotes the same sentence from Damascius, on First Principles, but gives no reference. And between this divine Earth and divine Heaven there is the first 'marriage'. For as Proclus (in Tim., v.293) remarks: ' "Marriage" is peculiar to this order. For he [Orpheus] calls Earth the first bride, and the first marriage, her union with Heaven. For between Phanes and Night there is no "marriage", they being at-oned in a noŽtic union.'

From their union arises a strange and curious progeny, the Fates (Parcś), Hundred-handed (Centimani), and They-who-see-all-round (Cyclopes). As Athenagoras (xviii. 18, Gall.) writes: 'Heaven uniting with Earth begets the female [powers] Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos; and the males, the Hundred-handed, Cottus, Gyges, Briareus; and the Cyclopes Brontes, and Steropes and Argos; whom he bound and cast into Tartarus, learning that he would be driven from his kingdom by his children.'

The Fates are the Karmic Powers, which adjust all things according to the causes of prior Universes; while the Centimani and Cyclopes are the Builders, or rather the Overseers or NoŽtic Architects, who supervise the Builders of the Sensible Universe. Thus Hermias (p. 141), calls the Cyclopes the 'Builder-handed' (meaning a 'builder'). And so these first Builders are fabled by Orpheus (Proc., Tim., ii.100), to be they who 'devised the thunder for Zeus, and fashioned the lightning [the Svastika]; and they it was who taught Vulcan and Minerva all the cunning tasks which Heaven works within'--that is to say, which Heaven works poetically; whereas Vulcan and Minerva are Builders in the Sensible World.

These were the first progeny of Heaven and Earth, and were cast down to Tartarus, for they worked within all things, and so, as evolution proceeded, permeated every kingdom of nature. But then, without the knowledge of Heaven, Earth brought forth, says Orpheus (Proc., Tim., iii.137), 'seven fair daughters, bright-eyed, pure, and seven princely sons, covered with hair'; and these are called the 'avengers of their brethren'. And the names of the daughters are Themis and Tethys, Mnemosyne and Thea, Dione and Phoebe, and Rhea; and of the sons, Caus and Crius, Phorcys and Cronus, Oceanus and Hyperion, and Iapetus (Proc., op. cit., v.295). And these are the Titans.

It is difficult to thread one's way through the legends of the Builders and Titans, and their correspondences, the Curetes and Corybantes, or to find any clear distinctions between Heaven and Saturn and Zeus, in the 'battles fought for space'--dim legends of primary creation and nature-workings, and much else. Let us, however, take the Titans first.

So 'Our Lady' Earth, enraged at the banishment of her first-born, 'brought forth virgin youths descended from Heaven,

to whom, indeed, they give the title of Titans [the Retributors], because they exacted retribution from starry Heaven' (Orpheus, quoted by Athenagoras, loc. cit.). But Hesiod (Theog., v.207) says that the name means 'Stretchers' or 'Strivers'.

But of all the Titans, Night, their mother's mother, the nurse of the Gods, loved Cronus (Saturn) most, for, by her gift of prophecy, she knew he was destined for the kingship of the world, and thus she nursed and tended him, so that he became of all the most subtleminded. And so, led on by their mother,

the Titans revolt against Heaven, with the exception of Ocean.
That is to say, the spiritual forces break the bonds of their restrainer Heaven, and
descend into matter--all except Ocean, who remained as the Ocean of Space within his father's kingdom (Proc., loc. cit., p. 295). And

Cronus becomes their leader. Thus Porphyry (De Ant. Nymph., xv.) writes:

'The first of those who set themselves against Heaven is Cronus,
and so
Cronus receives the powers that descend from Heaven, and Zeus receives those that descend from Cronus.'

And so they dismember their father;
and from his blood the Giants are born (Etym. M., sub voc.).

Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak with outstretched neck.'" Psa 75:5

Qeren (h7161) keh'-ren; from 7160; a horn (as projecting); by impl. a flask, cornet; by resembl. an elephant's tooth (i. e. ivory), a corner (of the altar), a peak (of a mountain), a ray (of light); fig. power: - * hill, horn.

I asked, "What are these coming to do?" He answered, "These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise his head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people." Zec.1:21

Qeren (h7162) keh'-ren; corresp. to 7161; a horn (lit. or for sound): - horn, cornet.

As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Dan 3:5

All these were the sons of Heman the kings seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn (h7161) . And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. 1 Chr 25:5

Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. Zech 1:18

And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. Zech 1:19

Zech 1:20 And the Lord shewed me four carpenters

Charash (h2796) khaw-rawsh'; from 2790; a fabricator of any material: - artificer, (/) carpenter, craftsman, engraver, maker, / mason, skilful, (/) smith, worker, workman, such as wrought.

Choresh (h2794) kho-rashe'; act. part. of 2790; a fabricator or mechanic: - artificer.

And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. Gen 4:22

Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it. Zech 1:21

And thus Saturn establishes his kingdom. 'Orpheus tells us that Cronus seized on celestial Olympus, and there enthroned reigned over the Titans--but Ocean dwelt in the ineffable waters' (Proc., loc. cit., p. 295).

In the Sensible World, the Giants play the same role with regard to Zeus as the Titans with regard to Heaven, as we learn from Proclus in the fragments of his Commentary on the Republic of Plato; who also, after giving a full philosophical explanation of the operations of the Divine Powers, says:

'Is it, therefore, any longer wonderful, if the authors of fables, perceiving such contrariety in the Gods themselves and the first of beings, obscurely signified this to their pupils through battles?'

And again, 'hence fables, concealing the truth, assert that such powers fight and war with each other' (see Taylor's Myst. Hymns, pp. 71, 74). And Proclus (Tim., v.292, Taylor) writes:

'Of the divine Titannic hebdomads, Ocean both abides and proceeds, uniting himself to his father [Heaven], and not departing from his kingdom.

But all the rest of the Titans, rejoicing in progression,

are said to have given completion to the will of Earth,
but to have
assaulted their father, dividing themselves from his kingdom, and proceeding unto another order.

Or rather, of all the celestial genera, some alone abide in their principles, as the first two triads.'

Thus far the legend of the Titans with regard to the Gods, or the macrocosm; next follows the fable with regard to the human soul, or the microcosm.

The Sacred Rites of Dionysus restored by Orpheus, depended on the following 'arcane narration' (Taylor's Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries [Wilder's edition], pp. 126, 127):

'Dionysus, or Bacchus [Zagreus, the human Soul], while he was yet a boy, was engaged by the Titans, through the stratagems of Juno, in a variety of sports, with which that period of life is so vehemently allured; and among the rest, he was particularly captivated with beholding his image in a mirror [the Astral Light which allures the young soul];during his admiration of which he was miserably torn in pieces by the Titans [cosmic and elemental powers, which absorb the energy of the soul through its desires for things of sense]; who, not content with this cruelty,

first boiled his members [powers] in water [the psychic sphere], and after roasted them by the fire [the spiritual sphere].

But while they were tasting his flesh, thus dressed, Jupiter [the parent-soul], roused by the odour, and perceiving the cruelty of the deed, hurled his thunder at the Titans--[the human soul as it grows in stature turns to its father-soul, and the divine fire (thunder) "converts the Titans to its own essence"]--

but committed the members of Bacchus to Apollo, his brother [the solar part of the soul, or "Higher Ego"; Bacchus being the lunar part, or "Lower Ego"] that they might be properly interred [converted by the alchemy of spiritual nature].

And this being performed, Dionysus (whose "heart" during his laceration was snatched away by Pallas [Athena, Minerva]), by a new regeneration [through a series of reincarnations] again emerged, and being restored to his pristine life and integrity, he afterwards filled up the number of the Gods. [The soul reaches liberation and the man becomes a JÓvan-mukta.]

"But in the meantime, from the exhalation arising from the ashes of the burning bodies of the Titans, mankind was produced. [This refers to the "transmigration of life-atoms" composing the bodies of men.]'

On this passage Taylor (Myst. Hymns p. 88) summarizes the Commentary of Olympiodorus on the Phśdo of Plato, as follows: 'We are composed from fragments because through falling into generation, i.e., into the sublunary region, our life has proceeded into the most distant and extreme division;

but from Titanic fragments, because the Titans are the ultimate artificers of things, and the most proximate to their fabrications.
Of these Titans,
Bacchus, or the Mundane Intellect, is the monad, or proximately exempt producing cause.' Bacchus is said to be the 'spiritual part of the mundane soul' in one aspect, and also the highest of the 'mundane gods' in another, this both macrocosmically and microcosmically .

Now Ficinus (L. IX, Enn., i.83, 89), says that: 'Because men were generated from the Titans, who had been nourished with the body of Dionysus, he [Orpheus],

therefore, calls them Dionysiacal, as though some of their members were from the Titans [and came from Dionysus], so that the human body is partly of a Dionysiacal [psychic], and partly of a mundane [physical] nature.' For the smoke from the ashes of the Titans 'became matter,' we are told (Mustoxides and Schinas, Anecd., iv.4).

The Platonists called Dionysus 'Our Master' for 'the mind in us is Dionysiacal and the image of Dionysus [the Mundane Soul]' (Proc., Crat., 59, 82, 114).

Dio Chrysostom (Or., xxx.550) has a curious sentence on this point, when he writes: 'I will tell you something which is neither pleasant nor agreeable.

We men are of the blood of the Titans [Asuras]; and since they are hostile to the Gods [Devas], we also are not friends with the latter, but are ever being punished by them and ever on the watch for punishment to fall on our heads.'

And not only are our animal bodies thus generated, but also the bodies of animals themselves (Ther., v.7; Acusilaus, Fragm., p. 227; Fabric. ad Sext. c. Gramm., I.xii.272).

The legend therefore, can be interpreted from the macrocosmic and microcosmic standpoint. From the former we see the symbolical drama of the World-Soul being differentiated into individual souls; from the latter the mystical spectacle of the individual soul, divided into many personalities, in the long series of rebirths or palingeneses, through which it threads its path on earth.

As Macrobius says (Somn., I.xii.67): 'By Father Liber [Dionysus] the Orphics seem to understand the Hylic Mind [Mundane Soul, or human soul], which is born from the Impartible [Mind] and is separated into individual minds [or personalities]. And so in their Sacred Rites, [Dionysus] is represented to have been torn into separate members, and the pieces buried [in matter], and then again he is resurrected intact.' This Proclus (Tim., i.53) explains as 'a partible progression from the impartible creation'. And Hermias (in Phśdr., p. 87) says: 'This God is the cause of reincarnation.

Proclus (Parm., iii.33, Cousin) further tells us that: 'The theologists say the mind [the higher mind, called the "heart" of Bacchus in the fable], in this Dionysiacal dismemberment, was preserved intact by the wisdom of Athena; it was the soul [lower mind] that was first divided, and it was divided sevenfold.'

And Plutarch (On the E. at Delphi, ix; see King's Plutarch's Morals, p. 183), referring to the same legend, writes: 'The wiser sort, cloaking their meaning from the vulgar, call the change into fire, "Apollo", on account of the reduction to one state (a--"not", and polloi-- "many"), and also "Phoebus" on account of its freedom from defilement and its purity, but the condition and change of his turning and subdivision into airs and water and earth, and the production of animal and plants, they enigmatically term "Exile" and "Dismemberment". They name him "Dionysus" and "Zagreus" and "Nycteleos" and "Isodi"; they also tell of certain destructions and disappearances and deceases and new births, which are riddles and fables pertaining to the aforesaid transformations; and they sing the dithyrambic song, filled with sufferings, and allusions to some change of state that brought with it wandering about and dispersion.'

Thus the story of Dionysus and the Titans is a dramatic history of the wanderings of the 'Pilgrim-Soul'. And curiously enough we end the story of the resurrection of Dionysus, after his dismemberment by the Titans, compared by the most learned of the Christian Fathers with the resurrection of the Christ. Thus Origen (Contra Celsum., iv. 171, Spenc.), after making the comparison, remarks apologetically and somewhat bitterly:

'Or, forsooth, are the Greeks to be allowed to use such words with regard to the soul and speak in allegorical fashion , and we forbidden to do so ?'--thus clearly declaring that the 'resurrection' was an allegory of the soul, and not historical. And so Damascius (Vit. Isodori, Phot. ccxlii.526), speaking of the dismemberment and resurrection of Osiris, remarks, 'this should be a mingling with God, an all-perfect at-one-ment, a return upwards of our souls to the divine.'

But let us return to the elder children of Heaven and Earth, and first give our attention for a brief space to

Proclus, in his Commentaries on the Cratylus of Plato (Taylor, Myst. Hymns, pp. 172-178), tells us many things about Cronus. There are six kings, or rulers holding the sceptre of the Gods, viz., Phanes, Night, Heaven, Saturn, Jupiter and Bacchus. In this series there is an orderly succession as far as Heaven,

and from Saturn to Bacchus; 'but Saturn alone perfectly deprives Heaven of the kingdom, and concedes dominion to Jupiter, cutting and being cut off, as the fable says'.

And, therefore, Saturn is said to have taken the kingdom by violence or insolently, and he is therefore called the Insolent (corresponding to the Sanskrit R‚jasa in this connection).

He is also called by Plato the Great DianoŽtic Power of the Intellectual Universe, and thus rules over the dianoŽtic part of the soul, 'for he produces united intellection into multitude, and fills himself wholly with excited intelligibles,

whence also he is said to be the leader of the Titanic (Satanic) race, and the source of all-various separation and diversifying power. . . the division and separation of wholes into parts receives its beginning from the Titans.'

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. Matt 11:12

Biastes (g973) bee-as-tace'; from 971; a forcer, i.e. (fig.) energetic: - violent.
Biaios (g972) bee'-ah-yos; from 970; violent: - mighty.Biazo
(g971) bee-ad'-zo; from 970; to force, i.e. (reflex.) to crowd oneself (into), or (pass.) to be seized: - press, suffer violence.

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John Matt 11:13
And if ye will receive it, this is
Elias, which was for to come. Matt 11:14
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matt 11:15

But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, Matt 11:16

And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. Matt 11:17

Auleo (g832) ow-leh'-o; from 836; to play the flute: - pipe.

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. Matt 11:18

The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. Matt 11:19

And yet Saturn is an intellectual power and not a builder of sensibles: 'for King Saturn is intellect, and the supplier of all intellectual life; but he is an intelligible exempt from co-ordination with sensibles, immaterial and separate, and converted to himself.

He likewise converts his progeny, and after producing them into light, again embosoms and firmly establishes them in himself. For the demiurgus of the universe [Zeus], though he [also] is a divine intellect, yet he orderly arranges sensibles, and provides for subordinate natures. But the mighty Saturn is essentialized in separate intellections, which transcend wholes.

"For the fire which is beyond the first [Creative Fire--of the Sensible World]," says the Chaldśan Oracle, "does not incline its power downwards." '

Now the NoŽtic Order of the Powers consists

of Saturn, Rhea, Jupiter,
three Curetes and the separating monad Ocean.
Saturn is the chief of the seven, and, as such, is the NoŽtic Power of the NoŽric Order. And 'this impartible and imparticipable transcendency of Saturn' is characterized as 'Purity'.

Thus it is that Saturn is Lord of the Curetes (the Virgin Youths or Kum‚ras); and as the Oracle says:

'The intellect of the Father [Saturn] riding on these rulers [Curetes], they become refulgent with the furrows of inflexible and implacable fire.'

They are the powers of the Fire-Self or Intellectual Creative Power of the Universe; they are the Flames and the Fires.

So, as the same Oracles tell us, 'from him leap forth the implacable Lightning-bolts, and the comet-nursing Breasts of the all-fiery might of father-born Hecate [Rhea] . . . and the Mighty Breath beyond the Fiery Poles'.

And with regard to the three Minds, Proclus writes: 'Again, every intellect (nous) either abides, and is then intelligible [noŽtic], as being better than motion; or it is moved, and is then intellectual [noŽric]; or it is both, and is then intelligible and at the same time intellectual [noŽtic-noŽric]. T

he first of these is Phanes;
the second, which is alone moved, is Saturn;
and the third, which is both moved and permanent, is Heaven.'
So far for Saturn among the Gods,
but Saturn is also among men;

and certain of the early races of mankind, which follow an orderly progression, like to the genera of the Gods, are said in their turn to be appropriately ruled over by Saturn.

Thus Lactantius (I.xiii.11): 'Orpheus tells us that Saturn also reigned on earth and among men--"Saturn ruled first over men on earth." ' And Proclus (Scholium ad Hesiod. Opp. 126): 'Orpheus says that Cronus ruled over the silver race, meaning that, according to the pure [esoteric] sense of the word, those who lived a "silver life"; just as those who lived according to the [pure] mind are golden.' And again, commenting on v.113, 'Orpheus says that the hair of Cronus was ever black; and Plato (Philebus, 270, D), that men in the Age of Cronus cast aside old age and were ever young.'

This explains why the seven Titans are said above to be 'covered with hair'. And also in his Theology of Plato (V.x.264): 'Freedom from old age is peculiar to this order, as the barbarians [non-Greeks] and Orpheus say. For the latter says mystically that the hair on Saturn's face was ever black, and never whitened . . . "they lived eternal years, with pure cheeks, and lovely fresh locks, nor were they mingled with the white flower of infirmity".'

And thus that blessed race lived in the happy days of Father Saturn, in Elysian Fields, and peaceful Paradise, 'and all who had the heart to keep their soul from every sin, essayed the Path of Zeus, to Saturn's Tower' (Pindar, Ol.,ii.123);

that is to say, they became perfect and ascending to the Gods by the Path, 'which Zeus commands the pious to tread,' sat them down in Saturn's Tower (Olympus, Meru) secure from sorrow and ignorance.

And Plutarch (Symp., VIII.iv.2) says: 'The plane-tree [phoenix] is the longest lived of all trees, as Orpheus somewhere bears witness--"a living being like to the leafy branches of plane trees".' These were the 'trees' in the 'garden'. In the Pur‚nas and Upanishads, in the books of the Chaldśans and Jews, of the Egyptians and Gnostics, 'trees' were the glyphs of men, and especially of men perfected.

But with regard to these various ages and races, let us pause a moment to add a few remarks. Nigidius (De Diis, iv) writes: 'Certain divide the Gods and their orders into periods and ages, and among these Orpheus; and these ages are first of Saturn, then of Jupiter, next of Neptune, then of Pluto, and some also, for instance the Magi, speak of the reign of Apollo.' And Servius (on Ecl., iv.4) says: 'The Cumśan Sibyl divides the ages according to the metals; she also tells us which is to be ascribed to each metal, the last being that of the Sun, meaning by that the tenth. . . . She said also that when these ages had all run their course they were again renewed.' This period was called the Great Year (Magnus Annus, or Mah‚-Manvantara in Sanskrit). And Censorinus (xviii) says: 'The mid-winter of this Great Year is a destruction by water, but the mid-summer a destruction by fire.'

This period was said to be marked by the stars apparently returning to the starting points of their respective courses. And Proclus cites an opinion based on Orpheus that the end of the Great Year is marked by 'Cronus squaring the account of the Gods and taking his kingdom again; or in other words, he assumes dominion of that most primśval darkness, the zodiacal cycles that control the stars' (Lobeck, op. sit., p. 793). And Pliny (VI.xxi) calls it 'that eternal and final night that impends over the world'.

The account of Hesiod (Opp. et Dies 109-120, 127-142) differs considerably from that of Orpheus, but there are some interesting details that may with advantage be set down here from Decharme's Mythologie de la GrŤce Antique (pp. 288-290).

The men of the Golden Age lived exempt from suffering and care, the earth fed them spontaneously; they never grew old, and when death finally came upon them, they fell peacefully asleep. After their death they became the guardians, who 'wrapped in clouds' (Nirm‚nak‚yas) winged their flight over the earth and watched over its inhabitants.

The men of the Silver Age are far inferior to the former. They die in youth, are impious and revilers of the Gods. After death they too become Genii, but evil instead of beneficent, and so they are plunged in subterranean abodes. They are the 'race of sorcerers,' they of the Black Path.

The men of the Age of Bronze are strong and violent; their heart has the 'hardness of steel.'

The fourth period is the Age of Iron; its men are, or rather will be, 'virtuous and just,' for the Age of Iron is still in progress. But we must leave this interesting subject and return to Cronus and his wife

According to Orphic and Platonic theology, Rhea holds the middle rank between Cronus and Zeus in the NoŽtic Order. 'She is filled from Saturn with an intelligible and prolific power which she imparts to Jupiter, the Demiurgus of the universe: filling his essence with a vivitic abundance.' (See Taylor, Myst. Hymns, pp. 41-45.)


NoŽtic Order



Plato in Cratylus mystically connects her name (Rhea) with the idea of 'flowing' (from the Greek reo--'to flow') [Rheology, for example, is the science of fluid flow.], meaning thereby simply 'that fontal power by which she contains in transcendent union the divisible rivers of life'.
Rhea, is, therefore, the 'mother of lives,' the mystical Eve, the 'mother of all living.'

Proclus (Theol. Plat. Taylor's ed., i.267) says that according to Orpheus, 'This Goddess, when considered as united to Saturn by the most exalted part of her essence, is called Rhea; but considered as producing Jupiter, and together with Jupiter unfolding the total and partial orders of the Gods [i.e., the powers of the Sensible World], she is called Ceres.' This is a very important distinction to bear in mind.

Now Rhea, as Ceres, in Hymn XIV, is called 'brass-sounding' and 'drum-beating'. This has reference to the mystical results of certain sounds and rhythm, part and parcel of what the Hindus call Mantravidy‚. I remember reading a curious old French book in the BibliothŤque de la Ville of Clermont-Ferrand, one of the books confiscated from the Minime Monastery of the same town, at the time of the Revolution.

This work dealt with the magical properties of music, and described for what especial purposes the various instruments of music were used in the Temple-service of the Jews.

Now Iamblichus (De Mysteriis, III.ix) goes into the matter of the so-called Corybantic and Bacchic 'frenzies' produced by musical instruments in the

Mysteries of Ceres and Bacchus; and in his Life of Pythagoras (xxv) he, further, tells us that:

'The whole Pythagoric school went through a course of musical training, both in harmony and touch, whereby,

by means of appropriate chants,
they beneficially converted the dispositions of the soul to contrary emotions.


In addition to these things you remark as follows: "So also certain others of these ecstatics become entheast or inspired when they hear cymbals, drums, or some choral chant, 21 as, for example, those who are engaged in the Korybantic Rites, 22 those who are possessed at the Sabazian festival and those who are celebrating the Rites of the Divine Mother."23

21. Some exhibition of this kind is described by the Apostle Paul in the first Epistle to the Corinthians. "If," says he, "the whole assembly come together to the same place and all prattle in tongues, and common men should come in, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are raving?"

Hence he counsels that only two or three should speak in turn, and one interpret; but if nobody present is capable of this, they should keep silence, and speak only to themselves and to God:

"for not of tumult is he a god, but of tranquillity." (Ovid; Fasti IV,
"The attendants
beat the brass, and the hoarse-sounding hides. Cymbals they strike in place of helmets, tambourines for the shields; the pipe yielded its Phrygian notes.")

22. The Korybantes are variously described. Their cult was identified or closely allied to that of the Kabeirian divinities, and that of the Great Mother. It was celebrated in the islands of the Aegean Sea and in Phygia. Music, dancing, processions, and ecstatic frenzy were characteristics.

23. Sabazios, Sabaoth, or Sabbat, the god of the Planet Saturn, was better known as Bacchus or Dionysos, and was also styled in Semitic countries, Iao or Yava. His worship was more or less associated and identified with that of the Great Mother, under various designations, and it was characterized by phallephoric [carrying the penis] processions, dances, mourning for the slain divinity, and the Watch Night. It came from Assyria as its peculiar symbols, the ivy or kissos, the spotted robe or Nimr, and the Thyrso, indicate.

The name Zagreus the Kissos and nimr remind us of Kissaia or Asiatic Ethiopia, and the Zagros mountains occupied by the Nimr. Assyria was called "the land of Nimrod." -Amos VIII.

It is proper, accordingly, to tell the causes of these things, how they came into existence, and what explanation there is for the performing of the Rites.

These allusions which you make, namely, that the music at these festivals is exciting and passionate;

that the sound of the flutes causes or heals conditions of aberration; that the music changes the temperaments or dispositions of the body;

that by some of the choral songs the Bacchic frenzy is excited,
but by others the
Bacchic orgies are made to cease;

how the peculiar differences of these accord with the various dispositions of the soul, and also that the peculiar wavering and variable choric chants, such as those of Olympus, and others of the same kind., are adapted to the producing of ecstasies 24 -- all of them seem to me to be stated in a manner unfavorable to the entheast condition; for they are both physical and human in their quality and performances, according to our technic, but nothing essentially divine appears in them.

24. Proclus declared that the choral songs of Olympus were adapted to produce ecstasy. Plato describes an audience in Ion, comparing it to a series of iron rings connected by a chain and moved by the lodestone: "Some hand from one Muse and some from another," he remarks, "some, for example, from Orpheus, others from Mussios, but the greater part are inspired by Homer and are held fast by him."

26. With the Korghantians, this represented a guard about the Demiurgos or Creator; with the Kuretes, it denoted a protecting of the divine maid Kora.

26. Servius remarks that the Sacred observances of Father Liber, the Roman Bacchus, related to the purification of souls. This cleansing, as here declared, was considered to be not only from contamination acquired by coming into the conditions of physical existence, but also from guilt actually incurred.

Thou seemest to think that those who are enrapt by the Mother of the gods are males, for thou callest them, accordingly, "Metrizontes";

yet that is not true, for the "Metrizontesś" are chiefly women. A very few, however, are males, and such as may be more delicate. [that always meant homosexuals]

This enthusiasm has a power that is both life-engendering and perfective, in which respect it differs from every other form of frenzy.

For, before they retired to rest, they purified their minds of the [mental, says Quintilian] confusion and noises of the day, by certain songs and peculiar chants, and so prepared for themselves peaceful repose with either few or pleasant dreams. And again, when they rose from sleep, they freed themselves from drowsiness by songs of another character.

And sometimes by means of melodies without words they cured certain affections and diseases, and this they said was the real means of "charming". And it is most probable that the word "charm" (epode) came into general use from them. It was thus, then,

that Pythagoras established a most salutary system of regenerating the morals by means of "music" [Mantravidy‚].' (Op. cit. Kiessling's text, pp. 245, 246; see also Taylor, Iamblichus on the Mysteries, 2nd ed., pp. 130, 131, n.)

Music and Mantras, therefore, were used by the Orphics to attract, or call down, the influence of the Mother of the Gods, who at the same time was the 'Store-house of Life', of Divine Nature. Thus Proclus in his Commentary on Euclid (ii) tells us that 'the Pole of the World is called by the Pythagoreans the Seal of Rhea' (Myst. Hymns, p. 63).

Now the pole is the conductor of the vital and magnetic forces of the earth-envelope, and is, therefore, appropriately called by this name, as being the seal and signature of the vital forces of Divine Nature, whereby all diseases can be healed and all states of the soul vitalized.

Rhea was also called BrimŰ by the Phrygians, and her son (Zeus) was called Brimos. This in the macrocosm; in the microcosm Rhea was the Spiritual Soul (Buddhi) which gave birth to the Human Soul (Manas). Thus Hippolytus, in the Philosophumena (v.6): 'The Phrygians also (he [the writer of the book from which the Church Father took his information] says) called it [the Human Soul] the "Plucked Green Wheat-ear." And after the Phrygians the Athenians, in their Eleusinian Mysteries, show those who are initiated in silence into the great and marvelous and most perfect mystery of the Epopts [those who "see face to face"], a plucked wheat-ear.

Now this wheat-ear is also with the Athenians the Illuminator from the Undelineable [Spiritual Soul, Great Mother, the Soul of Peace (Sh‚nta Atman) of the Kathopanishad], perfect and great, just as the hierophant also--not emasculated like Attis, but made eunuch with hemlock juice [soma-juice] and divorced from all fleshly generating--in the night, at Eleusis, from beneath many a cloud of fire [doubtless some psychic phenomenon], accomplishing the great and ineffable mysteries, shouts and cries aloud, saying: "Our Lady hath borne a sacred son, BrimŰ [hath given birth to] Brimos"--that is to say, the strong to the strong. Our Lady (he says) is the spiritual generation, the celestial, the above; and the "strong" he who is born.' That is, the new 'Twice-born,' or Initiate who is born from the 'Fountain of Life.' (But see my translation in Lucifer, xiii.47). We next pass to Rhea's royal son and husband, Zeus.

The sacred fable tells us that 'when Jupiter was born, his mother Rhea, in order to deceive Saturn, gave him a stone wrapped in swaddling bands, in the place of Jupiter, at the same time informing Saturn that what she gave him was her offspring. Saturn immediately devoured the stone; and Jupiter who was secretly educated, at length obtained the government of the world.' (Phornutus, see Opusc. Mythol., p. 147; see also Taylor, Myst. Hymns, pp. 44, 45.)

This 'stone' has been a stumbling-block to all the scholars. Whatever is the meaning of the 'perfect cube' and 'corner-stone', the same is the meaning of Jupiter's substitute. Thus Damascius, On First Principles, writes: 'The ogdoad pertains to Rhea, as being set in motion [remember the idea of "flowing" contained in the name] towards everything according to its differentiation, and yet nevertheless remaining firmly and cubically established.'

Taylor explains this by saying (loc. cit.): 'Damascius uses the word "cubically", because eight is a cubic number. Rhea, therefore, considered as firmly establishing her offspring Jupiter in Saturn, who exists in unproceeding union, is fabulously said to have given Saturn a stone instead of Jupiter, the stone indicating the firm establishment of Jupiter in Saturn. For all divine progeny, at the same time that they proceed from, abide in their causes. And the "secret" education of Jupiter indicates his being nurtured in the intelligible [noŽtic] order, for this order is denominated by ancient theologists "occult".'

All this is very obscure. I can only suggest that, as Rhea is the third of the three Supernal Mothers, Night and Earth being the first and second, and that, as the mothers all correspond to duads, according to the numeration of Pythagoras, that, therefore, the cube naturally pertains to Rhea (2 X 2 X 2 = 8). The solid figure the cube is figured by the square in plane geometry, and the square is the symbol of the lower or sensible world, and therefore of its ruler Jupiter, just as the triangle is the glyph of the supersensible world.

Another interesting explanation of this famous 'stone' is that it means the 'discus', that is to say, the Svastika, which is the glyph of the fourfold creative forces of the universe. 'By Zeus he means the discus, on account of the stone swallowed by Cronus instead of Zeus, as Hesiod says in his Theogony, which he stole without acknowledgment and disfigured from the Theogony of Orpheus' (Schol. ad Lyc., 399).

Now Zeus being the creative power of the sensible world, and, therefore, corresponding with the creative soul or mind in man, is said to be closely associated in his creation with Karma, for he builds the universe according to the karmic causes set going by preceding universes, for 'there are many Words on the tongue of the Ineffable,' according to one of the gnostic philosophers. Thus Proclus writes (Tim., v.323): 'The Demiurgus [Zeus], as Orpheus says, is nursed by Adrastia [her "from whom none can escape," from a, "not", and didrasko, "to run"]; but he marries Necessity, and begets [a daughter] Fate.' For 'Adrastia is the one goddess that remains with Night [the most supernal Mother, the great Grandmother of all], and her sister is Form . . . for Adrastia is said [mystically] to clash her cymbals before the Cavern of Night. [That is to say, she directs the sound, that sound which "goes out into all worlds," and by the sound all forms are created.] For back in the Inner Chamber [Adytum] of the Cavern of Night sits Light (Phanes), and in the midst Night, who delivers prophetic judgment to the gods, and at the mouth is Adrastia. Nor is she the same as Justice, for Justice, who is there, is said to be the daughter of Law and Devotion. . . . And these are said to be the nurses of Zeus in the Cavern of Night.' (Schol. in Plat., p. 64; Hermias, Phśdr., p. 148.)

And so Proclus (Theol. Plat., IV.xvi.206): 'Adrastia is said by Orpheus to guard the Demiurgus; "with brazen cymbals and sounding drums in her hands" she sends forth sounds so that all the gods may turn to her.'

In the sensible universe, the 'language of the gods' is said to consist of 'sound and colour.' Sounds and colours attract certain 'elementals' which immediately and mechanically respond to the call.

There is some confusion as to the nurses or guardians of Zeus. For sometimes they are said to be Adrastia, and EidÍ (Form) and DicÍ (Justice), and then again they are said to be the three Curetes. Thus Proclus (Theol. Plat., VI.xiii.382):

'The life-producing goddess placed the Curetes first of all as a sure guard, who are said to surround the Demiurgus of wholes, and dance round him, brought into manifestation by Rhea.' And again (op. cit., V.iii.253): 'Orpheus places the Curetes as guards to Zeus, being three in number; and the religious institutions of the Cretans and the whole Grecian theology refer the pure and undefiled life to this order; for coron [whence Curetes and Corybantes] means nothing else than "pure".' The nurses and guards are, therefore, apparently six, three male and three female. But we will return to this subject later.

And so Zeus having reached his full stature, Orpheus tells us (Porphyry, Ant. Nymph., xvi), uses honey to ensnare his parent Cronus. And thus Cronus 'fills himself full of the honey and loses his senses, and becoming drunk as though from wine, falls asleep. . . . And so he is captured and dismembered, like Heaven (Uranus) was.'

That is to say, that the delights of the sensible world enslave the soul, and so the lord of the senses rules in its stead.

And so Zeus attaining the sovereignty constructs the universe with the help of the powers of Saturn and Night for Night is the great providence of the gods, and dispenser of divine foresight. For 'the gods beneath Zeus are not said to be united with Phanes [the Ideal Cause], but only Zeus, and he by means of the midmost Night [the spouse of Phanes]' (Hermias, op. cit., p. 141).

It is because of this union that Zeus is said to 'swallow' Phanes. For the creative deity and architect of the sensible world must first imbibe the ideal and eternal types of things before he can fashion them forth into sensible shape. Thus Proclus (Tim., iv.267): 'Orpheus called God the Manifestor (phaneta--Phanes) as manifesting the noŽtic monads, and stored within him the types of all living creatures [calling him the Absolute Creature or "Animal Itself"], as being the first container of noŽtic ideas. And he called him the "Key of the Mind". . . . And the Demiurgus [Zeus] is made dependent upon him [Phanes]; and thus Plato said that the latter "looked toward" the Absolute Animal ; and Orpheus that he "leaped upon him and swallowed him" at the instance of Night.'

And thus the noŽtic creation comes in contact with the sensible world; and the Above is embosomed in the Below. And so Proclus (Tim., ii.137), again writes: And 'therefore, Zeus is also called Metis and Absolute Daimon--"One might, one Daimon" was he, great cause of all'. And again (Op. cit., iii.156): 'The Demiurgus contains himself in himself the cause of Love; for Metis is "First Progenitor and All-pleasing Love": and Pherecydes said that Zeus when he began to create was changed into Love.'

And also again (Parm., iii.22): 'Orpheus says that after swallowing Phanes, all things were generated in Zeus; for all things were manifested primally and unitedly in the former, but secondarily and partibly in the Demiurgus, the cause of the Mundane Order. For in him are the sun and the moon, and the heaven itself and the elements, and "All-pleasing Love," and all things being simply one, "were massed in the belly of Zeus".'

And thus Plato (Legg., iv.715, D) writes of Zeus: 'God, as the ancient Scripture [of Orpheus] tells us, possessing the beginning and end and middle of all things, with direct course accomplishes his path, cycling round according to natural law; and Justice ever is with him to seek retribution from those who leave the path of divine law.'

The special idea connected with creation was that of Law, in substantiation of which many passages could be brought forward. The following, however, from Proclus (Tim., ii. 96), is sufficient for the purpose: 'Following the advice of Night he [Zeus] takes to himself an assistant and makes Law sit by his side, as Orpheus also says.'

And thus it is that the visible world is created--this creation being summed up by Proclus (Crat., p. 53) as follows: 'Orpheus hands down the tradition that he [Zeus] created the whole of the celestial creation, and made the sun and moon and all the starry gods, and created the elements below the moon.' And in the same place (p. 52) the great commentator sums up the two creations, intellectual and sensible, in the words: 'The noŽric emanation of the Gods being bounded by the king of the divine orders of wholes [Phanes], but proceeding by the three Nights and celestial hypostases [the aspects of Uranus] into the Titanic order [of supernal Architects or Builders], which first separated itself from the Fathers [Phanes and Uranus, when Cronus rebelled against Uranus], and then it was that there arose the whole demiurgic order of Gods. . . . And Zeus before all the other creative powers came into the united power of the whole demiurgic line . . . and was filled with all the powers above himself [referring to the swallowing of Phanes].'

We next pass to the wives of Zeus. The record is imperfect; but they were most probably three and seven in number. The chief of these is Ceres, mother of Proserpine.

Now Ceres is the same as Rhea, or in other words both are aspects of one and the same power. Thus Proclus (Crat., p. 96): 'When Orpheus says that Demeter [Ceres] is the same as Rhea, he means that when she is above with Cronus she is Rhea, and it is contrary to her nature to proceed into evolution, but when she evolves . . . she is Demeter.' And again (op. cit., p. 85): 'Orpheus says that in one aspect Demeter is the same as the whole life-production, and in another aspect she is not the same [that is, she belongs to the partible life-production]: for above she is Rhea, but below with Zeus, Demeter.'

It is exceedingly difficult to distinguish clearly one power from another, when we reach this plane of secondary differentiation. Of the other wives of Zeus, Metis and Themis, Eurynome and Leto, and Hestia (Vesta), it is sufficient to merely mention the names of the first four. Nor can much here be said of Hera, or Juno, and Vesta, for it is necessary to keep this essay within reasonable limits. Proclus (Tim., ii.137), however, tells us that: 'great Zeus was united with Hera; wherefore also she is called [by Orpheus] the sharer in his privileges .' And again (op. cit., v.315) he speaks of the emanation of a goddess 'vivifying the whole cosmos, whom Orpheus calls the sharer of equal privileges with the Demiurgus, and joins her to him. The Barbarians [Chaldaśans, etc.] call this life-endowing source the Soul, which is manifested together with the sources of virtue from the reins of the universal life-giving divinity. But the theologist of the Greeks [Orpheus] calls her Hera.'

And again Proclus (Theol. Plat., i.483, Taylor) tells us that 'Juno is the source of the procreation of the soul [of man]'. From the same writer's Commentary on the Cratylus, however, we are enabled to pick out the three chief syzygies of Zeus, as the Gnostics would have called them, for he writes that 'The Theology of Hesiod [based on Orpheus] from the monad Rhea produces, according to things that are more excellent in the co-ordination, Vesta [Hestia]; but according to those that are subordinate, Juno; and according to those that subsist between, Ceres' (Myst. Hymns, Taylor, p. 195). That is to say, that the Triad proceeding from Rhea, and conjoined with Zeus, is





Therefore Vesta and Juno are distinguished as follows by Proclus (Crat., p. 83):
'Vesta imparts from herself to the Gods an uninclining permanency and seat in themselves, and an indissoluble essence.

But Juno imparts progression, and a multiplication into things secondary. . . . She [Juno] generates maternally such things as Jupiter generates paternally. But Vesta abides in herself, possessing an undefiled virginity, and being the cause of sameness to all things. . . . The orbs of the planets, likewise, possess the sameness of their revolutions from her; and the poles and centres are always allotted from her their permanent rest.'

Now 'in her mundane allotment', that is on this physical plane, Vesta is the Goddess of the Earth. Thus it is that Philolaus (apud Stobśum, Eclog. Phys., p. 51) says: 'That there is a fire in the middle at the centre, which is the Vesta [Hearth] of the Universe, the House of Jupiter, the Mother of the Gods, and the basis, coherence, and measure of nature.' All of which puts us in mind of gravity, the god of modern science. And Simplicius in his Commentary on Aristotle's De Cślo (ii) says: 'But those who more genuinely participate of the Pythagorean doctrines say that the fire in the middle is a demiurgic power, nourishing the whole earth from the middle, and exciting whatever it contains of a frigid nature. Hence some call it the Tower of Jupiter, as he [i.e., Aristotle] narrates in his Pythagorics. But others denominate it Guardian of Jupiter, as Aristotle relates in the present treatise. And according to others it is the Throne of Jupiter.

They called, however, the earth a star, as being itself an instrument of time; for it is the cause of day and night.' (For the above see Taylor's Myst. Hymns, pp. 155-157.) All of which proves that the Pythagoreans knew of the sphericity of the earth and its revolution on its own axis, and further the real cause of gravity;

for if we recollect what has been said above of Rhea, the primal source of life and magnetism, and the pole, the seat of Rhea, it will be easy to understand why Vesta, her eldest daughter, is described by the above mystical names. Microcosmically, again, Vesta is the 'ether in the heart' of the Upanishads, the 'flame' of life; and he who knows the mysteries of Tapas, that practice which calls to its aid the creative, preservative, and regenerative powers of the universe, as Shankar‚ch‚rya explains in his Bh‚shya on the Mundakopanishad (i), will easily comprehend the importance of Vesta both macrocosmically and microcosmically.

And his brothers name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. Ge.4:21

Taphas (h8610) taw-fas'; a prim. root; to manipulate, i. e. seize; chiefly to capture, wield; spec. to overlay; fig. to use unwarrantably: - catch, handle, (lay, take) hold (on, over), stop, * surely, surprise, take.

Now Proclus (Crat., see Myst. Hymns, pp. 195-197) tells us that Ceres 'comprehends Vesta and Juno; in her right hand parts Juno, who pours forth the whole order of souls; but in her left hand parts Vesta, who leads forth all the light of virtue. . . . For Ceres, our sovereign mistress, not only generates life, but that which gives perfection to life; and this from supernal natures to such as are last; for virtue is the perfection of souls. . . . Again, the conjunction of the demiurgic intellect with the vivid causes is triple [Rhea-Ceres, Juno and Proserpine]; for it is conjoined with the fountains prior to itself [Rhea]; is present with its kindred co-ordinate natures [Juno]; and co-energizes with the orders posterior to itself [Proserpine, daughter of Ceres and Jupiter].

For it is present with the mother prior to itself convertively with Proserpine posterior to itself providentially; and with Juno co-ordinate to itself with amatory energy.

Hence Jupiter is said to be enamoured of Juno. . . . And this love indeed is legal, but the other two appear to be illegal.

This Goddess [Juno] therefore produces from herself, in conjunction with the demiurgus and father, all the genera of souls, the supermundane [supercosmic] and mundane [cosmic], the celestial and sublunary, the divine, angelic, demoniacal, and partial [? Human]. . . .

Through this ineffable union therefore of these divinities, the world participates of intellectual souls. They also give subsistence to intellects who are carried in souls [the soul being the psychic and substantial envelope of the monad, and the intellect the mind], and who together with them give completion to the whole fabrication of things.

The series of our sovereign mistress, Juno, beginning from on high, pervades to the last it of things; and her allotment in the sublunary region [on the elemental plane] is the air.

For air is a symbol of soul, according to which also soul is called a spirit (pneuma); just as fire is an image of intellect, but water of nature, by which the world is nourished, through which all nutriment and increase are produced. But earth is the image of body, through its gross and material nature.'

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. 1 Corinthians 14:2

So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air (to breath unconsciously). 1 Corinthians 14:9

From which we get the following interesting correspondences with the Ved‚ntic koshas or envelopes.

These correspond to the K‚ma RŻpa, Pr‚na, Linga SharÓra and SthŻla SharÓra of the Esoteric Philosophy; this being all in the Sublunary Region. (For the meaning of 'Nature' see Chapter VI, 'On Nature and Emanation.')

But let us now leave the NoŽric Order and pass on to the Supercosmic.

Of the three syzygies of Zeus (Ceres, Juno and Proserpine) Proserpine is in the Supercosmic Order, and following the usual correspondence and analogy, as Proclus says (ibid.), 'possesses triple powers, and impartibly and uniformly comprehends three monads of Gods. But she is called Core (korh)through the purity of her essence, and her undefiled transcendency in her generations. She also possesses a first, middle, and last empire.

And according to her summit, indeed, she is called Diana by Orpheus; but according to her middle Proserpine; and according to the extremity of the order Minerva.'

From the union of Core with Zeus in the Supercosmic Order, Bacchus is born. But this Zeus is the Celestial Jupiter who is the invisible ruler over the Inerratic Sphere of the Visible Cosmos, and Core is then said to be the 'connective unity of the three vivific principles', viz., the 'zoogonic triad', Diana-Proserpine-Minerva. Whereas the Core that is conjoined with Pluto or Hades is Core, as Proserpine, her middle aspect.

Now Pluto is 'Subterranean Jupiter', the invisible ruler over the Sublunary Region of the Visible Cosmos.
And it is in this connection and aspect that she begets the Furies, for she 'imparts vivification to the last of things', and
the Furies are only the elemental correspondences of the supernal Karmic Deities, Adrastia, Necessity and Fate.

'Hence in the Proserpine conjoined with Pluto [i.e., the lower Core], you will find the peculiarities of Hecate and Minerva; but these extremes subsist in her occultly, while the peculiarity of the middle [Proserpine] shines forth, and that which is characteristic of ruling soul, which in the supermundane Core was of a ruling nature, but here subsists according to a mundane peculiarity.'

And Proserpine is said to derive her name mystically 'through separating souls perfectly from bodies, through a conversion to things on high, which is the most fortunate slaughter and death, to such as are worthy of it' (ibid.).

Click Here for making souls fly and the Juno - "singing into the air" in Corinth connection:

Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. Eze.13:20

Now the King of the Dead in the ordinary sense is Hades or Pluto. But there was another death--'a death unto sin and a new birth unto righteousness'. It was by Core, the pure, the spouse of the 'king of terrors', that the bright side of death was revealed, and so she was pre-eminent in the Mysteries, and the 'Rape of Proserpine' was enacted for the instruction of all neophytes, in a mystical drama (Clemens Alexandrinus, Cohort., I.ii.12). In the drama she was symbolically represented as having 'two ordinary eyes,

and two in her forehead, with her face at the back of her neck, and horned' (Athenagoras, xx.292)--this signifying spiritual sight, or the possession of the so-called 'third eye', and other spiritual powers. It is interesting to read in the same passage of Athenagoras,

that Zeus after dismembering his father and taking the kingdom, pursued his mother Rhea who refused his nuptials. 'But she having assumed a serpent form, he also assumed the same form, and having bound her, with what is called the "Noose of Hercules", was joined with her.

And the symbol of this transformation is the Rod of Hermes [the Caduceus]. And afterward he violated his daughter Proserpine [who was born from the above-mentioned union], she too, assuming a serpentine form.'

Now Hercules is a transformation of the 'Dragon of Wisdom', Phanes, for the 'god is a twisted dragon--a certain spiral force, called Kundalini (the 'serpentine') among the Hindu mystics, which lies coiled in three and a half coils in man [at the base of the spine]; it is a fiery energy which must be roused before the 'third eye' will open.

The Caduceus of Hermes is a symbolical wand, consisting of a male and female serpent twisted round a central wand, which is sometimes also represented as a serpent. In treatises on Yoga, the male force is called the Pingal‚ (the sun force), and the female Id‚ (the moon force) and the centre tract is denominated Sushumn‚, whose locus in man is said to be the spinal cord, for the symbolism applies to man as well as to the universe.

Here we have another clear proof that the Greater Mysteries dealt with practical psychological instruction, and that their inner secrets pertained to Theurgy and the Yoga-art. These spiral creative, vital and magnetic currents are, in the psychic envelope of man, what the serpentine Phanes is in the World-Egg, which symbol has been already explained.

Help from the gods was needed, and they believed that the gods in their love for men had provided it, giving to all things the power of return in prayer and implanting even in inanimate material things--herbs and stones and the like--sympathies and communications with the divine,

which made possible the secret rites of theurgy, through which
the divine gave the needed spiritual help by material means.

Theurgy, though its procedures were generally those of late Greek magic, was thus not thought of merely as magic; in fact a higher and more intellectual theurgy was also practiced. The degree of attention paid to external rites varied considerably from philosopher to philosopher; there seem to have been men even in the last generation of pagan Neoplatonists who had little use for or interest in such things and followed a mystical way much like that of Plotinus. Britannica Online

Now the work that Core performs is that of weaving; she plies her shuttle in 'the roaring loom of time', and weaves out the universe. Thus we read in Proclus (Theol. Plat., VI.ii.371): 'The story of the theologists who handed on to us the tradition of the most holy Mysteries at Eleusis, is that she [Core-Proserpine] remains above in the house of her mother [Ceres], which her mother with her own hands prepared in the inaccessible regions.'

And so when she proceeds from her own habitation, she is said (Proclus, Tim., v.307) 'to have left her webs unfinished, and to have been carried off [by Pluto] and married'. And the same writer (Crat., p. 24) tells us that 'she is said to weave the diacosm of life'.

And Claudianus (Rapt., i.254) speaks of a goddess weaving a web for her mother, 'and in it she marks out the procession of the element and the paternal seats with her needle, according to the laws whereby her mother Nature has decreed.' {Kosmos}

And his brothers name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. Ge.4:21

Taphas (h8610) taw-fas'; a prim. root; to manipulate, i. e. seize; chiefly to capture, wield; spec. to overlay; fig. to use unwarrantably: - catch, handle, (lay, take) hold (on, over), stop, * surely, surprise, take.

Taphar (h8609) taw-far'; a prim. root; to sew: - (women that) sew (together).

I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust. Jb.16:15

And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?Eze.13:18

Taphaph (h8608) taw-faf'; a prim. root; to drum, i. e. play (as) on the tambourine: - taber, play with timbrels.

Topheth (h8611) to'-feth; from the base of 8608; a smiting, i. e. (fig.) contempt: - tabret.

God has made me a byword to everyone, a man in whose face people spit. Job 17:6NIV

And Diodorus (v.3) tells us that when Proserpine dwelt with her sisters Diana and Minerva, she 'weaved a robe for Zeus.' And we are also told by Sidonius (Carm., xv.354) that

Minerva also worked a mantle marvelously interwoven with pictures of the sky and sea, like the robe which Plutarch describes (Vit. Demetrii, xli) as

'the image of the cosmos and heavenly phenomena'. All of which plainly shows us the part played by Core macrocosmically, and also the part enacted by this power in weaving the vital vesture of man.

Now Proclus (Crat., see Taylor, Myst. Hymns, p. 201) quotes a verse of Orpheus which says that Core bore to Zeus

'nine azure-eyed flower-weaving daughters'. These are most probably the Muses,

for whom I must refer the reader to Chapter VI, 'The Gods and their Shaktis'. It is interesting to remark that there was a feast in honour of Core-Proserpine, the Anthesphoria, for Proserpine was carried off while 'plucking flowers', that is to say was distracted from her work by the attraction of the senses.

Thus the Muses, her daughters, are said to be flower-weaving, for, as shown above,
they are the higher side of psychic sensation and emotion, whereas the Sirens are the lower.

Perhaps this may with advantage be compared with a phrase of the Fragment from the Book of the Golden Precepts, called 'The Voice of the Silence,' rendered into English by H. P. Blavatsky, who in referring to these realms

graphically portrays this 'pleasureground of sense' as filled with blossoms and 'under every flower a serpent coiled'.

Diana is the Chaldśan Hecate, but her three aspects so closely resemble those of Core that it would take too long to explain the niceties of distinction in this place. Of Minerva, again, much could be said, but it is only necessary here to refer to two of her characteristics, the 'defensive' and 'perfective', thus explaining why she is armed and a warrior goddess, and why she is also the goddess of wisdom. 'For the former characteristic preserves the order of wholes undefiled, and unvanquished by matter, and the latter fills all things with intellectual delight' (Proc., Crat., loc. cit.).

Thus Plato in Timśus calls her both 'philo-polemic' and 'philo-sophic'. And of the three aspects of Minerva the highest is noŽric, the second supercosmic, and the third liberated. In the first she is with Zeus, in the second with Core, and in the third 'she perfects and guards the whole world, and circularly invests it with her powers, as with a veil' (ibid.). In her guardian capacity she is called Pallas, but in her perfective Minerva.

Now 'Orpheus says that Zeus brought her forth from his head--"shining forth in full panoply, a brazen flower to see" ' (Proc., Tim., i.51).

And in so far as she 'circularly invests the world with her powers,' Minerva is the revealer of the 'rhythmical dance' of the celestial bodies (Proc., Crat., p. 118).

Moreover 'while she remains with the demiurgus [Zeus] she is wisdom, but when she is with the "leading" Gods [the supercosmic demiurgic powers], she reveals the power of virtue' (Proc., Tim., i.52).

The 'Marine Jupiter' is the reflection of Ocean, the 'separating deity' who remained behind with Father Heaven when Saturn and the others revolted.

As already explained so often these gods have their aspects on every plane. Thus in the sublunary sphere we are told that 'Heaven terminates, Earth corroborates, and Ocean moves all generation' (Proc., Tim., v.298).

Here we see the reason why Neptune is between Zeus and Pluto, a middle and not an extreme. The kingdom of Neptune extends as far as the sublunary regions, all below that properly belonging to Hades or Pluto.

But there is yet another reflection of Ocean and his consort Tethys ('who imparts permanency to the natures which are moved by Ocean') in the sublunary regions themselves, so that 'their last processions are their divisible allotments about the earth: both those which are apparent on its surface, and those which under the earth separate the kingdom of Hades from the dominion of Neptune' (Proc., Crat.; Taylor, Myst. Hymns, p. 189)--a mysterious depth that I must leave to the reader to fathom.

It may be of advantage, however, to point out that the Earth was imagined as surrounded on all sides by Ocean that Heaven was above and Tartarus below. Now of the three, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, 'Jupiter subsists according to being; but Neptune according to power; and Pluto according to intellect. And though all these divinities are the causes of the life of all things, yet one is so essentially, another vitally, and another intellectually. . . .

Neptune is an intellectual demiurgic God, who receives souls descending into generation [reincarnation];
but Hades is an intellectual demiurgic God, who frees
souls from generation.

'For as our whole period receives a triple division, into a life prior to generation [beyond the sphere of reincarnation] which is Jovian, into a life in generation, which is Neptunian, and into a life posterior to generation which is Plutonian; Pluto, who is characterized by intellect, very properly converts [this being the characteristic of intellect] ends to beginnings, effecting a circle without a beginning and without an end, not only in souls, but also in every fabrication of bodies, and in short of all periods; which circle also he perpetually convolves. Thus for instance, he converts the ends to the beginnings of the souls of the stars, and the convolution of souls about generation and the like.

[He is Lord of the Cycle of Generation and the Cycle of Necessity, and the Guardian of the "Ring Pass Not", on every plane.] Whereas Jupiter is the guardian of the life of souls prior to generation' (loc. cit., ibid., pp. 190-192).

Socrates in the Cratylus denies that Pluto has anything to do with the wealth of the earth or that Hades is 'invisible, dark and dreadful'. He refers the name of Pluto, as intellect, to the wealth of prudence, and that of Hades to an intellect knowing all things.

'For this God is a sophist [in a good sense], who, purifying souls after death, frees them from generation.
For Hades is not, as some improperly explain it, evil: for neither is death evil; though Hades
to some appears to be attended with perturbations [of a passional nature, a state of emotion];
but it is invisible [Hades meaning the Unseen] and better than the apparent; such as is everything intelligible. Intellect, therefore, in
every triad of beings convolves itself to being and the paternal cause, imitating in its energy the circle' (ibid.).

But indeed the k‚malokic aspect of this Unseen is dreadful for the evil; still Socrates preferred to insist more on the devachanic aspect, and, therefore, Proclus continues:

'Men who are lovers of body badly [erroneously] refer to themselves the passions of the animated nature, and on this account consider death to be dreadful, as being the cause of corruption.

The truth, however, is, that it is much better for man to die and live in Hades a life according to nature, since a life in conjunction with body is contrary to nature, and is an impediment to intellectual energy.

Hence it is necessary to divest ourselves of the fleshly garments with which we are clothed, as Ulysses did of his ragged vestments, and no longer like a wretched mendicant, together with the indigence of body, put on our rags.

For, as the Chaldaean Oracle says, "Things divine cannot be obtained by those whose intellectual eye is directed to body; but those only can arrive at the possession of them who strip off their garments hasten to the summit" ' (ibid. p. 193).

And so we are finally told that: 'Neptune, when compared with Jupiter [the one] is said to know many things; but Hades, compared with souls to whom he imparts knowledge is said to know all things; though [in fact] Neptune is more total than Hades' (ibid.).

And thus we bid farewell to the demiurgic triad of the Supercosmic Order, or Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, the Creator, Preserver and Regenerator, or Celestial Jove, Marine Jove and Subterranean Jove.

"Manesseh also cultivated star and planetary worship (II Kings 21:3, 5) and the cult of Moloch, an Ammonite deity, whose worship was closely connected with astral divination (Amos 5:25, 26 Acts 7:41-43) and whose ritual was characterized by parents sacrificing their children by compelling them to pass through or into a furnace of fire." (Unger, Merrill, Archaeology and the Old Testament, Zondervan, P. 279)

We next pass to Apollo, who is said, conformably to Orpheus, to be in the Supercosmic Order what Jupiter is in the NoŽric Order (Taylor, Myst. Hymns, p. 83, n.). This is Apollo as a monad. But just as Jupiter has three reflections in the Order immediately below him (see Chart of Orphic Theogony), so Apollo has also his triple reflection in the Liberated Order. (Compare also Chart of Chaldśan Theogony.)

In Hymn XXXIV, Apollo is said to 'fix his roots beyond the starry-eyed darkness.' Now Apollo, the Sun, is something vastly different from the visible orb of day, according to this theology. For this 'starry-eyed darkness' is the sphere of the fixed stars, the region immediately beyond which consists of the ethereal worlds, which according to the Chaldśans are three.

'For they assert that there are seven corporeal worlds,
one empyrean and the first;
after this,
three ethereal,
and then
three material worlds,
which last consist of the
inerratic sphere,
the seven planetary spheres and the sublunary regions.' (Taylor, op. cit., p. 78; see also Chart of Chaldśan Theogony, and also Chart of the Muses, Supra.)

It is somewhat difficult to make out precisely what these Ethereal Worlds are. The worlds, however, are apparently in triads, just as the Powers are. Thus there seem to be three triads, Heaven, Earth and Sea, each reflecting the other, with an all-containing ∆ther encompassing all, and thus we get the scale:

Thus we read in Orpheus, quoted by Proclus (Tim., i.96), that the Demiurgus was counseled by Night to 'surround all things with ∆ther; and in its midst to place the Heaven; and in that, the boundless Earth [Earth Proper, Prima Materia, that which Eugenius Philalethes assures us, on his honour, no man has seen]; and in that, the Sea [Astral Envelope]; and in that all the Stars wherewith Heaven crowns his head.'

'We also learn from Psellus, that according to the Chaldśans there are two Solar Worlds; one of which is subservient to the ethereal profundity; the other zonaic [i.e., having a definite location in space], being one of the seven [planetary] spheres' (Taylor, ibid.). From which I deduce that this Upper Solar World belongs to the Azonic or Liberated Order.

And Proclus (Tim., i.264) informs us further, that 'the most mystical of the logia have handed on that the wholeness [monadic essence] of the Sun is in the supercosmic order; for there is the [true] Solar World, and the totality of light, as the Chaldśan Oracles say.' From which I further deduce that the Sun is a monad and a triad, and a hebdomad, respectively on the supercosmic, liberated and cosmic planes. For by 'wholeness' Proclus means 'the sphere in which the visible orb of the sun is fixed, and which is called a "wholeness", because it has a perpetual subsistence, and comprehends in itself all the multitude of which it is the cause' (Taylor, ibid.). That is to say, that sphere which gives the solar power to all the stars, which are equally suns with our own sun.

And thus it is that Julian, the Emperor (Orat., v), says: 'The orb of the [true] Sun revolves in the starless [spheres, which transcend the visible stars], much above the inerratic sphere. Hence it is not the middle of the planets, but of the three [ethereal] worlds, according to the telestic [i.e., that of the initiates] hypothesis.'

And so we can understand the meaning of Apollo being 'rooted beyond the starry-eyed darkness.' For in symbology these 'roots' signify his divine origin. The 'heavenly trees' have all their roots upward, and branches below; compare this with the Ashvattha Tree in the Upanishads and GÓt‚. And Proclus (Parmen., vi) finely explains the symbology by writing:

'As trees by their extremities are firmly established in the earth, and all that pertains to them is through this earthly; after the same manner are divine natures by their extremities rooted in the one, and each of them is a unity and one, through an unconfused union with the one itself.'

But we must leave this interesting subject, and put off the symbology of Apollo's Lyre till a later chapter. With Apollo is closely associated Hermes (Mercury) who is also said to have invented the lyre. But, indeed, we must hasten to bring our Orphic Pantheon to a conclusion, for it has already run into greater length than was intended. Many other names could be introduced, and many interesting side-paths of mythology entered into, but these must be reserved for another occasion. Of Venus, Mars, and Vulcan, however, we must say a few words.

There are three main aspects of Venus, one connected with Uranus, the second with Saturn, and the third With Jupiter. The name of the middle Venus is Dione. Venus is said to be produced from sea-foam, the creative energy of the father being cast into the sea. And the highest and lowest Venus are said to be 'united with each other through a similitude of subsistence: for they both proceed from generative powers; one from that of the connectedly containing power of Heaven, and the other from Jupiter, the Demiurgus. But the sea signifies an expanded and circumscribed life; its profundity, the universally extended progression of such life; and its foam, the greatest purity of nature, that which is full of prolific light and power, and that which swims upon all life, and is as it were its highest flower' (Proc., Crat., Taylor, Myst., Hymns, p. 194).

And Venus is married to Vulcan, who, the theologists say, 'forges everything' (Proc., Tim., ii.101), that is to say, Vulcan is the formative power, and Venus the vivific.

'Venus, according to her first subsistence, ranks among the supermundane divinities. She is the cause of all the harmony and analogy in the universe, and of the union of form and matter, connecting and comprehending the powers of all the mundane elements' (Taylor, op. cit., p. 113, n.).

As to Mars, Proclus (Plat. Rep., p. 388) tells us that he 'is the source of division and motion, separating the contrarieties of the universe, which he also perpetually excites, and immutably preserves in order that the world may be perfect and filled with forms of every kind. . . . But he requires the assistance of Venus that he may insert order and harmony into things contrary and discordant.'

Thus we see that, in the Sensible World Vulcan is the Creator, Venus the Preserver, and Mars the Regenerator. And so the myth exhibits Vulcan as the legitimate husband, but Mars as the lover of Venus.

As to Mars, the God of War, this is a vulgar conception; in reality, as says Hermias (Phśdr.), 'the "slaughter" which is ascribed to Mars signifies a divulsion from matter through rapidly turning from it, and no longer energizing physically, but intellectually. For slaughter, when applied to the Gods, may be said to be an apostasy from secondary natures, just as slaughter in this terrestrial region signifies a privation of the present life.'

And finally Taylor tells us (op. cit., p. 129, n.) that: 'Vulcan is that divine power which presides over the spermatic and physical productive powers which the universe contains; for whatever Nature [the psycho-physical forces] accomplishes by verging to bodies, that Vulcan effects in a divine and exempt manner, by moving Nature, and using her as an instrument in his own proper fabrication.'

In order finally to complete the subject, we must add a few more notes on the Constructive and Preservative Powers.

In this connection I would refer the reader to what has been already said of the Titans, and especially of the Cyclopes and Centimani, the Primal Architects and Guardian Powers. Now Hermias (Phśdr., Taylor, op. cit. pp. 12-14) tells us that:

'Theology says that figure is first unfolded into light in these, and that the divinities, the Cyclopes, are the first principles and causes of the figures which subsist everywhere. Hence theology says that they are "manual artificers". For this triad [Cyclopes] is perfective of figures, "And in their forehead one round eye was fix'd" (Hesiod, Theog., v.145).

[This has reference to the "third eye" and the creative force of the power which energizes thereby.]

'In the Parmenides, likewise, Plato, when he speaks of the straight, the circular, and that which is mixed [from both these], obscurely indicates this order. [The "straight" (1), or diameter, or "bound", is the paternal creative power; the "circular" (o), or circumference, or "infinity", is the maternal vitalizing power; and the "mixed" (all numbers) is the resulting universe, or the son.]

'But these Cyclopes, as being the first causes of figures taught Minerva and Vulcan the various species of figures. . . . For (1) Vulcan is the cause of corporal figures, and of every mundane figure; but (2) Minerva of the psychical and intellectual figure; and (3) the [triple] Cyclopes of divine, and the everywhere existing figure.'

This is the line of the Architects and Builders. But closely united with them is the triad of the Centimani, both triads being in the NoŽtic-noŽric Order, for as Hermias tells us (ibid.), 'the triad of the Centimani is a guardian nature.'

The reflection of this Guardian Triad is found on both the noŽtic and supercosmic planes, in the triads (and also hebdomads) respectively of the Curetes and Corybantes.

The Curetes and Corybantes are frequently confused; they are the Guardians of the Creative Power, while it is yet too weak to defend itself. Therefore they watch over Zeus when a child. Now as the Guardians are closely associated with the Formative Powers, we naturally find the appropriate Minervas associated with both the Curetes and Corybantes, they being armed as she is armed (Proc., Polit., p. 387). These Guardian Powers are also given the dragon-form (Nonnus, vi.123).

So much for the Orphic Pantheon, an apparent chaos of unmeaning verbiage, but on closer inspection, a marvelous procession and return of divine and nature powers, ever revealing similar characteristics in orderly sequence, and affording an example of permutation and combination according to law, that it will be difficult to find paralleled elsewhere. But the most stupendous thought of all is, that all this multiplicity is, after all, One Deity; emanating, evolving, converting and reabsorbing itself; creating and preserving, destroying and regenerating itself; the Self, by itself, knowing itself, and separating from itself, and transcending itself.


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