“I will sing of well founded Earth, mother of all, eldest of all beings. She feeds all creatures that are in the world, all that go upon the goodly land, and all that are in the paths of the seas, and all that fly: all these are fed by her store. Through you, O queen, men are blessed in their children and blessed in their harvests, and to you it belongs to give means of life to mortal men and to take it away. Happy is the man whom you delight to honour! He hath all things abundantly: his fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures are covered with cattle, and his house is filled with good things. Such men rule orderly in their cities of fair women: great riches and wealth follow them: their sons exult with ever-fresh delight, and their daughters in flower-laden bands play and skip merrily over the soft flowers of the field. Thus it is with those whom you honour O holy goddess, bountiful spirit. Hail, mother of the gods, wife of starry Heaven; freely bestow upon me for this my song substance that cheers the heart! And now I will remember you and another song also.” Homer’s ancient Hymn, To Earth The Mother Of All
To the ancients, the Mother Goddess was deemed the origin of life, and through her, mortals were reborn: moreover, the gods themselves were dependent upon her life-giving powers. Male deities could never bestow life of their own nature as the Mother had done. Hesiod described Zeus and his male colleagues as immortal, but never in the least hinted that they could transmit that quality to their human subjects. This fact was the great point of distinction between the Greek gods and goddesses. The Hebrew myth of the Fall from Paradise, and the new and bitter finality of death introduced into human affairs, is echoed in other mythologies. This new consciousness rippled through most civilised and semi-civilised lands west of Persia. Concomitant with the demotion of the Goddess was the belief that death ceased to be a route to future life.
In Babylonia (in the Epic of Gilgamesh) and in Greece (as we know from Homer) the dead were no longer pictured as significantly existing. The dead were conceived as beings whose characteristics were feeble, bloodless shades existing in some gloomy underworld. The Greeks, for instance, satisfied themselves that “Hades” described this state perfectly. However, this state of being was not absolute; an odd exception might arise due to special divine favour. Several heroes had been elevated to Elysium, a kind of Eden in the Far West, whilst still alive. Heracles, however, had achieved immortality and had been promoted to sit with the Gods. Although this select band of heroes had been so favoured, for the masses there was no hope of this preferred treatment. Unfortunately for the Babylonians, there was no such favoured treatment for anybody. With the eclipse of the Great Mother Goddess, the Eternal-Womanly, with her degradation, death had become the absolute end with the prospect of rebirth a distant dream.
A similar shift occurred in Canaan. Here ancient graves are found filled with artefacts that were deemed useful in the afterlife. Nevertheless, the ascendancy of Yahweh-worship ended this practice, as the worship of the Male Principle did in other areas. The Old Testament has no doctrine of survival or return. As Canaan, as in Babylonia, as in Greece, the dead become shades.
They go down to an underworld called Sheol, the Grave. This place is variously referred to as the “underworld” (Num. 16.30; Matt. 11.23), the “pit” (Isa. 38.18), “the bottomless place” (Luke 8.31; Rom. 10.7), and “the lower parts” [Latin: inferiores partes] of the world (Ps. 63.10; Eph. 4.9). Originally, Sheol was perceived as the place where all souls went after death, independent of character. Jacob, for instance, was reported as saying, when he believed his son Joseph was dead: “I shall go to Sheol to my son, mourning” (Gen. 37.35). Similar pessimism is found elsewhere in the Bible, no more so than in Ecclesiastes: here one is advised to make the most of one’s life while possible, “for there is no work or thought of knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going” (Eccles. 9.10). The deceased retain a vague presence in the shape of their descendants, but their own lives were extinguished once the body was placed in the grave. The concept of the resurrection of the dead was a later development coinciding with the growing conviction of the omnipotence of God, and the foreign influence of overlord Persia’s official religion. Post-exilic Judaism never regarded the dead existing elsewhere in a state of suspension in readiness for a coming resurrection. What was regarded as immortal was the collective soul, the racial soul of Israel itself;God’s chosen people, the nation through which He reveals himself.
The end of the first millennium BC was a period in which the Middle East and the Graeco-Roman world succumbed to complete patriarchal rulership in the secular and religious spheres. This shift to maleness also resulted in the loss of the rebirth notion long served by the ancient Female fertility-cult religions. Societies were haunted by a sense of a far-off loss, a “Golden Age” that had disappeared after the “Fall” beneath a stratum of death and suffering. Consequently there was a deeply felt yet unconscious longing for the life-giving Divine
Female and all she implied. The attempts by the various state-endowed priesthoods to eradicate the presence of the Mother Goddess from religious observances succeeded up to a point. There remained fragments of her majesty in myths and special aspects and in local cults. For instance, Apollo claimed to be the god of poetry yet the nine Muses (the nine facets of the goddess) remained stubbornly feminine. Cybelethe ancient Asia Minor manifestation of the goddess transferred to Rome and cultivated an influential following there. However, the most palpable resurgence was in Greece where the conquest of Egypt brought the Olympian pantheon in contact with the more ancient triad of supreme Lord Osiris, his sister-wife Isis, and their son, Horus. The primacy of the male deity was early rooted in Egyptian culture due to the belief in pharaoh’s divine kingship founded on Osiris, the prototype divine ruler. Isis retained her dignity due to her role as consort to Osiris.
The Greek conquest of Egypt resulted in the ascendancy of Isis over indigenous Greek goddesses of inferior status. The Greeks placed the more rounded character of Isis above their own minor, reduced goddesses, viewing them as lesser aspects of the more senior figure. This elevation of Isis was despite her relative youth: she was not, by origin, one of the very ancient, primordial Mother Goddesses. Isis was for instance very youthful when compared to Neith. This partial reconstitution of the Mother Goddess by the Greeks resulted in them qualifying their own goddesses by reference to Isis. Thus, Aphrodite was Isis-as-goddess-of-Love; Demeter was Isis-as-provider-of-corn; Hera (Zeus’s consort) was Isis-as-wife -of-the-chief God; Hecate, mistress of the magic, wasIsis-as-goddess-of-the-magical arts; and so on. Significant though this revaluation was the most profound resurgence occurred within the Mystery Cults of antiquity. The loss of the Eternal Womanly corresponded with the rise of the influence of the Luciferic Impulse on the consciousness of man. When Lucifer approached mankind he offered a double-edged sword. By accepting self-consciousness and free will mankind also accepted death and suffering. He also began to lose the capacity to perceive the Divine-Spiritual. This was against the Divine Plan envisioned for mankind.
The Divine plan for humanity was to eventually open fully man’s eyes to the workings of the physical world whereby the entire fabric of the material world of sense would have lain around him. But gazing upon it man would simultaneously have perceived the Divine-Spiritual, and would have seen the Divine-Spiritual world behind every physical object. He would also develop the faculty enabling him to look back to the source of life, which is the Divine, and from whence he had come. He would then behold the Gods of Light (these are in opposition to the gods of darkness, the Dark Gods who are Lucifer and Ahriman) sending their radiance into his soul, guiding and leading him. From this heightened illuminated state man could purview the entire world of sense that would have been outspread transparent before him, revealing behind it those other Divine-Spiritual Beings who had taken the place of what had now been lost. Just as one spiritual world closed behind him a new spiritual world opened before him. However, man would have remained a child in the hands of higher, Divine-Spiritual Beings, and independence would not have been established in the human soul. No passions, no desires would have arisen from his sense-perceptions and he would have confronted the physical world in a state of innocence; obedient in his every action to the impulses infused into him by the Divine-Spiritual Beings. Man’s every deed on earth would have been induce by a kind of spiritual instinct and not by mere impulses caused by passions and sensual urges. This Divine plan was subverted when the Luciferic Beings seduced mankind from his lofty state by tempting him to set an independent course than that divinely planned for him. This is the caveat of Creation: left alone, man would have been a beautiful, noble, spiritualised animal but under the sway of benign Divine-Spiritual Beings; traduced by Lucifer, he was blessed with self-conscious knowledge of Creation.
The widespread wisdom-teaching of ancient times was what the Hebrew Prophets later called the “Chaldean Mysteries”, or theBabylonian Mystery Religion, that is, the ancient pagan wisdom. It was this ancient wisdom that the Old Testament prophets railed against because it bore a completely different character than the understanding of life and the world that was possessed by the old Hebrew people. Thus, in the middle of the second millennium BC, the original wisdom was opposed by the new consciousness of the Hebrew religion and their God, Yahweh. It was from this Yahweh impulse that the later Christian element arose out of the Jewish. Thus, an opposition arose between the ancient heathen element and its wisdom with the Yahweh impulse, the Jewish element, out of which Christianity partially evolved. This confrontation between the old heathen impulse and the new Yahweh impulse was a prerequisite for the fruitful completion of the evolution humanity. This was because the pagan wisdom in its totality was not destined to have the sole influence on the further evolution of mankind. The spiritual impulse that had governed mankind’s relationship with the Divine had suddenly become atrophied. The wonderful ancient pagan wisdom, which had served our very ancient ancestors so well, had suddenly been found wanting. It was deemed imperative by Divine-Spiritual Beings that the ancient pagan wisdom needed a transformation through the influence of Yahweh (Yahwehism) and Christianity (Christ). The reason for this revaluation of evolution was due to long-ago events in Asia, at the beginning of the third millennium BC when Lucifer incarnated into flesh for the first time.
Just as Christ had incarnated in the man Jesus of Nazareth in AD 30, another spiritual Being incarnated into human flesh, in China sometime at the beginning of the third millennium BC. This event bestowed upon humanity a faculty that could tap into the primeval wisdom that was later called gnosis. Lucifer byincarnating into human flesh also brought with him a power that was denied man by his Creator, a wisdom that was compassionless, cold, and based purely on ideas. It was a spiritual impulse that penetrated deep into reality. The incarnation in Asia at this time was the human incarnation of the Luciferic Power. Lucifer had incarnated into humanity and had gifted to humanity an ancient wisdom that spread throughout these ancient peoples. The Asiatic Luciferic incarnation unleashed a spiritual impulse that affected all of the cultures in the region down to the Ancient Greek civilisation. This Luciferic wisdom permeated the consciousness of mankind and its influence was apparent in the ancient cultures throughout Asia, the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamia civilisations; it was even apparent in the culture of ancient Greece.
This was Gnosis, the wisdom of the Gnostic religions that permeated the ancient world: a dazzling wisdom that illuminated for mankind the inviolable cosmic realities. All intellectual endeavours, all outpourings of poetry and deeds were largely, the fruit of the entry of this Luciferic Impulse, this Gnosis into human civilisation. Therefore the whole Gnostic knowledge, Gnosis, was inspired by the impulse coming from Luciferic forces. This is not to say that Gnosticism is false or without merit, only that it is permeated by Luciferic forces, and it is therefore Luciferic in its nature. Thus, the whole of Gnostic thought existing at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha was Luciferic in nature. This was the reason why theOld Testament prophets railed against their people and others who revered thisGnosis. The Chosen People were perforce required to be as insulated from this Luciferic Impulse as much as possible. For it was to prepare this people, the Judaeans, for the incarnation of Christ into one of their number. This is the occult eugenic imperative contained in the Old Testament that leads some foolish people to charge the authors of the Bible with “racism.”
The first known system of initiation into the mystery of Creation appeared in ancient Persia approximately 7,000 BC when Zarathustra divined the conversion of three primal necessities, the three great burdens, pain, toil and death. This system of initiation was predicated upon acknowledgement of the primal karma of mankind as a gift from God, that is, as a purposeful blessing from the hand of God. Zarathustra taught that the original path of initiation arose because mankind understand primal karma is a gift from God that is, humanity is protected from the onslaught of Evil by means of three primal necessities: toil, pain and death. The initiation cult of Zarathustra was founded on the premise of conversion, that is, the transformation of the primal necessities inherent in human karma. Hence, the Zarathustrian conversion of the karmic triad pain, toiland death brought forth the great transforming religion that underpins the Western Mystery Tradition. The crucial elements of Zarathustra’s religion were threefold: First, by the spiritualisation of toil the spiritual exercise of meditationarose. Second, by voluntary acceptance of suffering the mystery trials were created. Third, by spiritualisation of death, initiation into the spirit worlds arose. Zarathustrian initiation is thus a threefold nature mirroring the three necessities of the primal karma.
Through meditation the organs of spiritual vision were developed whilst mystery trials of increasing sophistication were devised to help prepare the initiate for existence in the spiritual world. The ultimate trial was the so-called “three-day temple sleep,” during which the soul of the initiate was guided into the spirit world itself. The ancient initiates who passed this final test were then the inhabitants of two worlds, the physical world and the supersensible world. These travellers between the worlds were the guides to their peoples; they were the priest-kings of antiquity of which the Pharaohs are the most fabled examples. However, such guides existed amongst all peoples in many guises. It is from this ancient heritage that Craftmasonry drew inspiration for its rituals and beliefs. It is also from this ancient wisdom that Craftmasonry understood the nature of Christ, the purpose of His Incarnation, Resurrection andSecond Coming.
The knowledge of human evolution and the contraction of consciousness were also known to these medieval masters, as was knowledge of future events pertaining to humanity’s immersion in materialism and the reawakening of ancient spiritual awareness. In fact, the esoteric knowledge of Craftmasonry was wrought into the stonework and cathedrals built by the masters of the Craft, and plainly visible to all those with eyes to see. The secrets of Creation are contained in certain structures built by the craftmasons. The loss of the Eternal Womanly, the World Soul, from religions, the nature and purpose of Christ and the future cataclysmic events were all rendered in prophetic configurations of stone by masters privy to an ancient secret tradition arising from the Near East. This is the hidden apocalyptic configuration in stone that bears witness to the hidden stream of history known to the initiated. For there are two streams of history running parallel to each other: the one outwardly visible to all, the other concealed, hidden to all eyes but the initiated. This is a truth of history wherein the outward visible stream known as ‘history’ is moulded and influenced by the inner concealed stream that continually guides and shapes it.
The Schools of Mystery were not for the masses. They were the preserves of the initiated. They were fraternities of wisdom that provide the initiate with the tools, the training and environs with which to explore the inner realms of Creation. They were immersed in Luciferic consciousness and however successful and relevant these ancient mystery schools had been in antiquity, by the time of the birth of Jesus, they had fallen into complete decline and disrepute. In fact, they had been so corrupted that the gateway of spiritual initiation had been closed.They were only re-opened by the sacrificial ritual at Golgotha. For here, at the apotheosis of the Passion of Christ, the secrets of initiation were revealed in the open arena of history for all those with eyes to see and to perceive its significance. That is why it is said that at the very moment of Christ’s death a plangent voice was heard reverberating across the Mediterranean Sea:
“The god Pan is dead”
Within the ancient mystery schools, the pupil was set tasks whereby base and polluting aspects of their personalities were purged from their souls. This purification process excised those elements that prevented the soul from realising the Divine within and without, and thereby allowing it to be harmoniously reorganised and enabling it to acquire higher organs of perception. Just as good fruit and crops require proper and apposite nourishment then so too does the burgeoning soul need certain feelings and disciplines of thinking and activity to nourish the spiritual organs.
During the course of initiation, the pupil attained the seven ascending degrees of initiation that ultimately led to the conscious involvement of the pupil in the spiritual reality underpinning the world of the sense. The initiation process nurtured within the souls of the students a clairvoyant capacity that enabled them to discern the disposition, thoughts, sentiments and motives of other souls. It also provided a deeper penetrating insight into the laws that permeate all Nature, revealing the sublime unity in Nature that underpins all Creation. Moreover, it was from this exalted state that the initiates apprehended the spiritual realities sustaining the tangible world of the senses. Moreover, it was from this condition of enlightenment that the initiates recognised the primacy ofGoddess Natura in the Divine Plan for the enlightenment of mankind. That is an elemental force, personified as the Great Mother Goddess, which is the body of elemental consciousness giving form to the material sphere, the blue orb suspended in space, a planet mankind calls “Earth.”
Bishop Fulbertus (960-1028) founded the greatest mystery school in Christendom at Chartres Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, or Notre-Dame d’Chartres. The great Christian shrine was built upon a site that had been sacred for centuries. Conquering Roman Legions found that many centuries before their arrival the Gaulish Druids had assembled in the region of Chartres for secret ceremonies of initiation. Julius Caesar led the first Roman armies into Gaul. What he met with on these expeditions he wrote about in his De Bello Gallico (The Gallic War). At a place the Romans called Carnutum, now called Chartres, Caesar describes a cult that venerated a fire-blackened, female figurine that was worshipped at a Druidic grotto. Caesar found that divine revelation was part of these initiation rites wherein a “virgin” was to arise. She would bear a child who was to be the salvation of the world. The Druid initiates erected an altar to this Virgin, inscribing it with words that were later translated into Latin as Virgini Pariturae(“to the virgin who is about to bear”). Also placed upon the altar was a wooden statue of the Virgin with child. Therefore, a cult of worship in her name, “the Virgin” was started many centuries before the coming of Christianity to these parts. Hence, when the first Christian missionaries arrived in this region of Gaul they met little resistance in their efforts to convert the pagans to the Roman Church. The ancient grotto in which the statue was placed was located on a mound above, which the great Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres was subsequently built. Indeed, the ancient Druidic statue itself rested in the crypt of the cathedral along with the Robe of Mary, and was regarded as an object of veneration by generations of pilgrims until the time of the French Revolution.
The Romans tried to eradicate Druidism in Gaul and Britain after their conquest of these lands, so too did the early Church, but both attempts failed. The Old Religion simply removed itself from public view and was practice by initiates in secret. Moreover, in the first millennium of Christianity the difference between Druidism and Church doctrine was not very great at this time. Celtic Christianity that flourished for more than six hundred years before its destruction by Rome was distinct from Catholicism that replaced it. That is because Celtic Christianity evolved from the original Apostolic Christianity that arrived in Britain four years after the Crucifixion of Christ on the Cross at Cavalry. For the Ancient British, the Khumry had adopted Apostolic Christianity in AD 37, “the last year of Tiberius.” Later Catholic and Anglican theologians and historians sensitive to the demands of secular politics of Britain have virulently suppressed this fact. The unification of the separate English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish kingdoms, centralised in London, had its own logic. One precept was the obliteration of early British History, Khumric history, to obviate against incipient nationalist sentiment developing within the distinct kingdoms. This cynical reworking of history has created chaos in the royal genealogies and chronological records of Britain. Thus, a distasteful alliance was forged between the religious bigots who wished to suppress the knowledge of the early Apostolic Christian British Church, and the empire builders who desired to extinguish nationalist feelings.
Joseph of Arimathea brought the Apostolic Christian religion to Britain and founded in AD 37 the Apostolic Christian British Church, which was the parent church of Christendom not Rome. The tradition of the Roman Church wherein Pope Gregory I sent the Monk Austin (later St Augustine, the first archbishop of Canterbury), and thereby Christianity, into Britain 560 years later is a myth. The people who control the world decide the content of received knowledge called “history.” The Church of Rome is one of the most powerful structures in the world that has continually rewritten history to accord with its own agenda. There is the humanly refashioned ‘history’ and there is History that happened regardless of human bias, which is part of objective reality: the keen student of the past should make the distinction between the two. What passes for orthodox history is often more fancy than fact. Kings, popes and sovereign states often rework history for strategic reasons. Rome was not the cradle of Western Christianity. Christianity arrived in Britain in AD 37, and spread outwards from Britain into Western Europe. The Roman Church had no influence whatsoever in early Britain, and even at the beginning of the Fifth Century of the Christian era Britain was independent and free from both Rome and Constantinople. The original Apostolic British Christianity was a pristine vehicle for the transmission of the Christ Impulse. It therefore differed radically from the Roman and Byzantine bureaucratic power structures that had become corrupted by human agents of Evil. The Apostolic Christian religion in Britain was more akin to the teachings of James the Just, the brother of Jesus and first Bishop of Jerusalem, than it was to Roman Catholicism.
A natural catastrophe decimated the powerful British nation in the mid-sixth century, which allowed Germanic tribes to invade and push the ancient indigenous people to the western margins of the islands. It was during this tumultuous time that Gregory, the Bishop of Rome, ordered Austin into England to convert the newly arrived pagan non-British migrants, the primitive illiterate Saxons and Angles. Just as the Germanic tribes had replaced the ancient Khumric tribes, Roman Catholicism ultimately replaced Apostolic Christianity in Britain. Although the evidence of the early Christian Church in Britain was ruthlessly suppressed, it still can be recovered from hidden messages in the ancient Khumric manuscripts and archaeological sites. Roman Catholicism spread across Europe in the centuries following the collapse of the Roman Empire and gathering in strength actively persecuted all rivals. This included theApostolic Christian British Church and the old pagan religions such as Druidism. Although Roman Catholicism became for diplomatic reasons the convenient state religion in Western Europe, the Old Religion remained part of everyday existence at this time. Privately, outside the royal court most of the monarchs still trod the ancient path.
Men, the Craftmasons, following the Old Religion but also bearers of the newly instituted Christ Initiation, built the breathtaking Gothic cathedrals. Sites were chosen specifically because they were sacred centres of ancient reverence. That is why every stone, every image, is seamed with smoke and throbbing with ancient echoes. Trees were held in great reverence and Gothic cathedrals are their expression in stone. The character of the Gothic cathedral is that of the forest. The mighty elevation of the nave above the adjacent aisles, the colonnades, clustered-pillars and fan-tracery that grow up out of the earth and spread on high into seemingly infinite subdivision and interlacing lines and branches: are like arched avenues running through forest glades. Moreover, the giant stained-glass windows that flood the interior with mysterious light: all these are the architectural actualising of a deeply felt religious impulse that had found the first of all its symbols in the high forest of Northern Europe. The great deep mysterious forests that awed men into silent reverence as the immense canopy ceaselessly swayed above their heads and while the seething energies of Creation surged around them in every root, branch and leaf. The endless, lonely, twilight wood was a deeply experienced phenomenon that was the secret inspiration for the Gothic cathedrals. Everything about the these cathedrals was designed to draw eye and soul toward the altar, or the high place, the hidden gateway that led to that other world. Stonehenge is but another representation of this concept of stone trees, simpler and cruder, yet more majestic in its own way.
Druidism also endured into the medieval period and the secular rulers did not usually persecute those who practised it. Thomas à Becket (1118-70), a Saxon in a Norman court, was one of the last true Druids. He was a great friend and favourite of the king, Henry II (1133-89). Henry made Thomas his chief minister, the first Englishman to hold high office since the Norman Conquest, and then Archbishop of Canterbury. This however was not a precedent: St Patrick in the fifth century once reported to the pope that he had ordained fifty druids in a single day and that he considered four of them bishops. The divide between paganism and Christianity was clearly not great at this time. The assimilation of ancient paganism into Christianity is demonstrated by the continued practice of ritual killing. Under ancient bridges, in foundations of old houses, the bones of children are often found. These children were sacrificed in order to bring blessings on man-made structures. Thus, great cathedrals and churches of Europe there are found hallowed tombs of kings and saints. For instance, King William II (c.1056-1100) buried in Winchester Cathedral, with funerary boxes containing the remains of Saxon Kings surrounding his grave in the choir: at Worcester Cathedral, there is the tomb of King John (1167-1216). Again, such rituals were in reverence to the Old Religion predating Christianity. Thus, while prudence dictated that the medieval king in the public arena of diplomacy and high politics affected adherence to Church dogma, outside the royal courts most medieval kings still revered the Old Religion.
Approximately AD 1000 a School of Mystery was founded in Chartres and was nurtured under the guidance of a great medieval classical scholar, Bishop Fulbertus. He created a working synthesis of classical mythology and philosophy suffused with Christian faith, and especially with a deep reverence for the Virgin Mary. The rise of the Cult of Mary within the Church was due in no small part to his works. The nurturing of the Marion Myth, the elevation of Mary to exalted status within Roman Catholic doctrine was also helped by the masters of Craftmasonry who were prescient to the unfolding historical process. For, they too (like the initiates of Chartres Cathedral) had a deep understanding of the spiritual realities underpinning physical world of nature and the essential role that the Eternal Womanly, the Goddess Natura who is the World Soul, has in the Divine Plan for mankind’s enlightenment. This is why the master masons carved a replica of the ancient Druidic statue of the Virgini Pariturae in the guise of Mary, the Mother of God, and placed it above the main portal of the cathedral. This mythic image of immense power and great resonance, the World Soul-as-Mary-Mother of God, was incorporated in most of the important cathedrals and churches throughout Christendom. It was especially used in the six cathedrals and churches that together with Chartres Cathedral form the Apocalyptic Configuration in Stone that portends the coming crises on Earth. They are Santiago de Compostela (St James of the field of the Star); Toulouse (Notre Dame la Dalbade) ; Orléans Cathedral; Notre Dame de Paris; Notre Dame de Amiens; andRosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh.
These great Gothic cathedrals of Western Europe, designed and built by Craftmasons who were privy to the secret of mankind’s destiny, are not only dedicated to the Goddess Natura (who St John depicts as the Virgin of the Revelation) but also they represent the Apocalyptic Configuration in Stone. The sequence of the sites, of the cathedrals, correspond to the sequence of the planets in our Solar System – Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter andSaturn. These are the seven Earth Chakras corresponding to the seven Human Chakras. Moreover, centuries before Christianity, Druid pilgrims who worshipped the Earth Goddess –Goddess Natura– journeyed from Iberia to Scotland via these planetary oracles. Why? Because these Earth Chakras are associated with the alignment of the spirit senses –the organs of clairvoyance– within each human. The pilgrim sojourned at each site, each Earth Chakra, in the hope that he could align his with the corresponding alignment on the Earth’s surface thereby gaining profound knowledge of existence. That is, he became “clairvoyant.” This was the method of the ancient Druid initiation into the Mysteries … of knowledge of theGoddess Natura. The Masters of Craftmasonry chose the sites of these seven very special cathedrals because they were also very special indeed, for, each of them were intrinsic parts of the the Old Religion, the ancient initiation system of Europe; a system lovingly guarded and preserved by the Celtic priesthood whom today we call Druids. There was no arbitrary choice involved in the choosing of each site in the Apocalyptic Configuration in Stone, all were chosen because they each were an integral part of this Apocalyptic Configuration … anApocalyptic Configuration set in stone by the Craftmasons. These cathedrals are:
|Santiago de Compostela
|Notre Dame de Chartres
|Notre Dame de Paris
|Notre Dame de Amiens
Why are these great Gothic cathedrals of Western Europe, designed and built by Craftmasons privy to the secret of mankind’s destiny, dedicated to the Goddess Natura, the Virgin of the Revelation? Why should this archetypal goddess be incorporated into the Christian religion? It is because She is a Truth that transcends man-made conceits. Knowledge of Her existence was a universal possession of all peoples in antiquity. Man perceived her as a wondrous being of immense grandeur and power and spoke of her as the Queen of Heaven, theFeminine Principle who is the World Soul. The Great Mother Goddess, who gives birth to her child, was called Neith and then Isis in ancient Egypt, in Sumer she was worshipped as Nin-Khursag, in Babylon Ishtar while in Canaan, to the consternation of the Hebrew prophets, Asherah and or Anath. The Greeks called her Rhea and worshipped her also as Demeter in Eleusis. The Druids, the ancient Celtic priesthood, also worshipped the Eternal-Womanly, the Madonna, existing throughout time and beyond time, who the conquering Romans called Virgini Pariturae.
Perhaps the most famous classical interpretation of the Feminine Principle in the guise of Isis appears in a ribald serio-comic fantasy called The Golden Ass,also know as the Transformation of Lucius, by the second century Roman authorLucius Apuleius. He was an initiate in the Mysteries of Isis and put as much as he felt free to disclose into this simple, almost pornographic, tale: he is changed into an ass by witchcraft, but is found in this guise and loved by a woman of unusual sexual appetites. He eventually is changed back to human form due to his spiritual endeavours that brings about the evolution of his own consciousness, and thereby the subsequent transformation of his physical body. The tale is an allegory of the human condition. The descent of Lucius into the form of an ass is analogous to the Fall of the human spirit into material existence. It is the imprisonment of Human Spirit in the World of Flesh. The subsequent adventures of Lucius, trapped in the form of an ass, are an account of the ennobling of spirit through a gradual initiation into the Mysteries of Isis. After many adventures the ass-Lucius runs to the seashore desperate and miserable at his plight, and there implores Isis, the supreme Goddess, by a soundless prayer for help:
“Blessed Queen of Heaven, whether you are pleased to be known as Ceres, the original harvest mother who in joy at the finding of your lost daughter Proserpine abolished the rude acorn diet of our forefathers and gave them bread raised from the fertile soil of Eleusis; or whether as celestial Venus, now adored at sea-girt Paphos, who at the time of the first Creation coupled the sexes in mutual love and so contrived that man should continue to propagate his kind for ever; or whether as Artemis, the physician sister of Phoebus Apollo, reliever of the birth pangs of women, and now adored in the ancient shrine of Ephesus; or whether as dread Proserpine to whom the owl cries at night, whose triple face is potent against the malice of ghosts, keeping them imprisoned below earth; you who wander through many sacred groves and are propitiated with many different rites – you whose womanly light illumines the walls of every city, whose misty radiance nurses the happy seeds under the soil, you who control the wandering course of the sun and the very power of his rays – I beseech you, by whatever name, in whatever aspect, with whatever ceremonies you deign to be invoked, have mercy on me in my extreme distress”.
‘The apparition of a woman began to rise from the middle of the sea with so lovely a face that the gods themselves would have fallen down in adoration of it. First the head then the whole shining body gradually emerged and stood before me poised on the surface of the waves. . ….Her long hair fell in tapering ringlets on her lovely neck, and was crowned with an intricate chaplet in which was woven every kind of flower. Just above her brow shone a round disc, like a mirror, or like the bright face of the moon, which told me who she was. Vipers rising from the left-hand and right-hand partings of her hair supported this disc, with ears of corn bristling beside them. Her many-coloured robe was of finest linen; part was glistening white, part crocus yellow, part glowing red, and along the entire hem a woven bordure of flowers and fruit clung swaying in the breeze. But what caught and held my eye more than anything else was the deep black lustre of her mantle. She wore it slung across her body from the right hip to the left shoulder, where it was caught in a knot resembling the boss of a shield; but part of it hung in innumerable folds the tasselled fringe quivering. It was embroidered with glittering stars on the hem and everywhere else, and in the middle beamed a full and fiery moon. . . .All the perfumes of Arabia floated into my nostrils as the Goddess deigned to address me: `You see me here, Lucius in answer to your prayer. I am Nature, the universal Mother, mistress of all the elements, primordial child of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, queen of the dead, queen also of the immortals, the single manifestation of all gods and goddesses that are. . Though I am worshipped in many aspects, known by countless names, and propitiated with all manner of different rites, yet the whole round earth venerates me. The primeval Phrygians call me Pessinuntica, Mother of the gods; the Athenians, sprung from their own soil, call me Cecropian Artemis; for the islanders of Cyprus I am Paphian Aphrodite; for the archers of Crete I am Dictynna; for the trilingual Sicilians, Stygian Proserpine; and for the Eleusinians their ancient Mother of the Corn…. But both races of Ethiopians, whose lands the morning sun first shines upon, and the Egyptians who excel in ancient learning and worship me with ceremonies proper to my godhead, call me by my true name, namely, Queen Isis. I have come in pity of your plight, I have come to favour and aid you. Weep no more, lament no longer; the hour of deliverance, shone over by my watchful light, is at hand.’
This wondrous being of infinite beauty continued to tell Lucius something of her power, that she had the grace to alter an individual’s destiny:
“I and I alone have the power to prolong your life, beyond the limits appointed by destiny.”
This concept of the great elemental Being, the Feminine Principle within Creation, is contained in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Here Dante (1265-1321) tells us of his ascent from the Hells to the summit of the Mount and thence into the formless worlds of the spirit realm. Dante’s guide for most of the way is Virgil the symbol of the masculine intellect expressed at its most poetical, magical and highest form and thus an ideal model of the Masculine Principle. Yet, Virgil so gifted with reason can only escort Dante so far, to the brook separating Mount Purgatory from the Garden of Eden. That is, Virgil can only help Dante until the limit of physical reality; the earthly Paradise of Limbo is reached. Here Virgil must leave Dante and the Female Force of Love employed to further guide him to the godhead. Virgil can only operate in Limbo, the noble but loveless state of the pure intellect that can only see the world on its own terms and within its own limitations. The Feminine Principle must perforce take over from the Masculine Principle if the poet is to reach his goal of apprehending the godhead.
Thus, appears Beatrice, Dante’s mortal love, who confronts him on the Mount once Virgil can help no more. Here the purified soul of Dante comes face to face with the reality of Divine Love after sloughing off the limitations of materialism, the Faculty of Reasonand the Veils of Illusion. The meeting with the Female Principlepersonified by Beatrice prepares Dante for the revelation that the core of the mysteries is the Feminine Principle that is the World Soul: the animating spirit or creative principle that is related to the world as the soul is to the individual being. Virgil disappeared because he was rendered functionless and could not help in this realm and henceforth Dante’s guide is Divine Love in the guise of Beatrice. This is not and abstraction but a reality, for this great being declares: “Look at me well: truly I am Beatrice.”
This meeting is analogous to waking of the goddess Venus in all her glory and splendour in the “chemycal marriage” of the Alchemist or the wondrous and breathtaking appearance of Isis to Lucius. This great elemental Being is the Feminine Principle within Creation that gives birth to all life. She is the Great Mother Goddess, the Queen of Heaven, and the World Soul who is known to Christians as Mary, theVirgin Mother of God, and the Madonna. The wondrous goddess Isis who bears the Horus Child that prefigured Mary who bears the Jesus Child. The initiates of antiquity understood this primordial event in ancient Egypt as a portend of thecoming of God in the guise of Christ. This is why the idea of the Virgin Mary as the “Mother of God” (Theotokos) and “bearer of God” was a long-planned stratagem that was brought to fruition when the Council of Ephesus in AD 431 made it dogmatic standard, and thereby facilitated the rise of the Marion Mythwithin Catholicism. The vision of the Divine Mother, the Eternal Womanly, giving birth to a Saviour-Son did not first arise with the Christmas Story in Bethlehem. It is an ancient metaphor concerning the evolution of human consciousness that reverberated throughout the mystery religions of antiquity, which was perceived by the atavistic vision of all ancient peoples.
This great archetype is also at the heart of the Christian mysticism contained inThe Revelation of St John the Divine. For the Woman in Heaven who appeared to the Divine John was none other than the World Soul, the Queen of Heaven, the very same goddess described by Lucius Apuleius.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered” (Rev. 12:1-2).
This was the goddess who had already been perceived by all other ancient peoples, using atavistic picture consciousness; the innate clairvoyant faculty now lost to modern men. The Great Goddess cannot be seen with the physical eyes of a rationalist, neither is she perceived by reason. John the Apostle describes a scene familiar to all initiates, but unlike his contemporaries, John apprehended the vision using the faculties of the new initiation instituted by Christ and released into the world at Golgotha. St John was the first to attain this vision of the World Soul through the new initiation that is the crux of mystical Christianity, as it is the hope and redemption of all. For, just as the human soul is the bridge between theindividual spirit and the physical body, so too is the World Soul the bridgebetween the spirit world and the terrestrial world. The meaning of the all this can be found in the prophetic work The Revelation of St John the Divine, also called the Apocalypse.
Here, John tells us of his vision in which humanity would once again apprehend the spiritual world using the super-sensory eye in the same way the initiates of the mystery school at Chartres Cathedral had perceived the Goddess Natura. The wondrous gift and great secret of human existence is contained in the Hermetic formula “As above, so below”. That is, within every person resides an exact copyof the World Soul: every human soul is a microcosm corresponding to the Great Divine Mother, the Virgin of the Revelation, who is the World Soul. The people of antiquity knew this, as did the Craftmasons who built the cathedrals of Europe and so too did the great initiates of Christendom. It was also the Great Truthknown to the original authors of the Arthurian Holy Grail Legends.
It is the source of Hermeticism and Alchemy and the very root of Rosicrucianism. It is the reason why Mary became the adored mythic figure”Mother of God” and “Queen of Heaven.”
Thus, Humanity is the “bride” and the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM), the World Soul, represents each individual human soul preparing itself for the “cosmic marriage”: that is the union of the purified human soul and godhead.
Lucius Apuleius and Dante’s masterpieces show the great power and transforming energy of the Feminine Principle that was the very same Principle known to the ancients under different guises. It was also the source of the”Woman in Heaven” that so enthralled the Divine John. Moreover, it is the same Principle enshrined in the image of the BVM and is the essence of the Marion Myth. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic feast of the BVM initiated in 1954 that established Mary as the Queen of Heaven was the ultimate recognition of the Principle within orthodox Christianity.
The master initiates at Chartres perceived the vision of the Great Divine Motherand understood that they looked into a heavenly mirror of their own being: and by this act of adoration could perceive exactly what God thought when he called human souls into being. St John anticipated the initiatory process later developed by the masters at Chartres and those other seekers of the Holy Grail. His vision of the Virgin of the Revelation is not the Great Divine Mother in the guise of Mary, “Mother of God”. The child the Virgin pains to deliver is theindividual human spirit that is born within the soul of every human being as a”virgin birth.” That is, the birth of the spiritual Male Principle from the womb of the Eternal Womanly, the Eternal Feminine that is the World Soul.
This is an event that the Dark Gods, Ahriman and Lucifer, have also anticipated and have worked ceaselessly to prevent. These Dark Gods, these Overlords of Chaos, are the architects behind the Great Conspiracy to subvert God’s rule and to pervert the coming spiritual awakening of humanity for their own ends. The master initiates at Chartres also understood that the ancient concept of the Eternal Womanly, the World Soul, the Eternal Feminine of the Universe, was now indivisible from the Christian concept of Mary as the Mother of God. That is why they ordered that her image to be raised above the portals of the cathedral, and that her image become as exalted as her begotten Son, so that she might approach each and every human heart. Moreover, the figure of the Chartres Virgin Mary was in the same image as the venerated a fire-blackened, female figurine that was worshipped centuries before the birth of Jesus at the Druidic grotto on which the cathedral had been built.
Although the Chartres initiates had exalted the Eternal Womanly within the rigidly male religion, there was also another, more pragmatic reason for their efforts. Their knowledge of the extreme importance of the Virgin of the Revelation in the unfolding historical process had to be preserved for future generations they knew would be lost in the abyssal sea of materialism. The master initiates of Chartres, who are known to history, and the Craftmasons who poured the fruits of their initiation into their work who are not, both left to us a testimony in stone. This testimony tells of the spiritual realities behind the physical world and the powerful forces working on what is prosaically called the historical process. It hints of the action of Higher Hidden Hands guiding man along the allotted path that leads to his ultimate Fate. And, it is a Fate contained in the Apocalyptic Configuration in Stone.