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IN a very elaborate and interesting book, published in the year 1867, the title of which, at length, is the following: Life and Work at the Great Pyramid, by C. Piazzi Smyth, Professor of Practical Astronomy in the University of Edinburgh, and Astronomer Royal for Scotland. Edinburgh, 1867: the conclusions (though a mistake) which we now supply from the author are offered as definitions, after infinite care, of this important name or word, 'PYRAMID'. 'Pyramid' is derived in this book from two Greek terms. πυρός, 'wheat'; μετρον, 'measure'; or from Coptic roots, signifying pyr, 'division'; met, 'ten'. However, we offer to deduce this term 'Pyramid' from quite another source. The present writer originally sought to do. this in the year 1860, in a dissertation on the origin and purpose of the 'Pyramids of Egypt'. It is well known that the letters P and F are radically the same letter (as is evidenced by their peculiar pronunciation in certain countries), and that they are interchangeable. In Professor Smyth's book, Πυρός is wrongly translated 'wheat'. It signifies 'product', or 'growth', or 'elimination'; in other words, and in the symbolical sense, it means 'sun-begotten', or 'fire-begotten'. The Coptic derivation (re-read by a new light) is the true one. Thus we obtain another reason upon which we rely as the real interpretation of the name of the pyramid, or obelisk, or great original altar or upright, raised in the

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divinity working secondarily in nature. Πυρ is fire (or Division produced by fire); Μετρον is Ten (or measures or spaces numbered as ten). The whole word means, and the entire object bearing this name means, the original Ten Measures or Parts of the Fiery Ecliptic or Solar Wheel, or the Ten Original Signs of the Zodiac. Therefore the Pyramids are commemorative altars raised to the divinity Fire.

The Ophites are said to have maintained that the serpent of Genesis was the Λογος, and the 'Saviour'. The Logos was Divine Wisdom, and was the Bhudda, or Buddha, of India. The Brazen Serpent was called Λογος, or the 'Word', by the Chaldee Paraphrast (Basnage, lib. iv. ch. xxv). It is very certain that, in ancient times, the serpent was an object of adoration in almost all nations. The serpent-worshippers seem to have placed at the head, or nearly at the head, of all things (Maia), and most intimately connected with the serpent, a certain principle which they called 'Sophia'. This is clearly a translation of the word 'Bhudda' into Greek. It also reminds us that the old Bhuddas are always under the care of the Cobra-Capella. This is evidenced in all the Memnonian or Egyptian heads; and in the asp (or fleur-de-lis), more or less veiled or altered, displayed as the chief symbol upon the universal Sphynxes. The serpent, in one view, was the emblem of the evil principle, or destroyer. But, as we have seen before, the 'destroyer' was the 'creator'. Hence he had the name, among his numerous appellations, of ΟΦΙΣ; in Hebrew, ‏אוב‎, Ob; and as he was the 'logus', or 'linga', he was also ΟΨ, and in Hebrew ‏מרא‎∙‏מ‎. Query, hence, Συφαρ, a seraph or serpent?--see Jones's Lexicon (in voce), and Σοφος, wise. The Συφ and Σοφ are both the same root. The famous 'Brazen Serpent', called Nehustan, set up by Moses in the Wilderness, is termed in the Targum

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a 'Saviour'. It was probably a 'serpentine crucifix', as it is called a cross by Justin Martyr. All the foregoing is allegorical, and hides deep Gnostic myths, which explain serpent-worship, united with the adoration paid to a perpendicular.

The three most celebrated emblems carried in the Greek mysteries were the Phallus, Ι; the Egg, Ο and the Serpent, Φ; or otherwise the Phallus, the Ioni or Umbilicus, and the Serpent. The first, in each case. is the emblem of the sun, or of fire, as the male, or active, generative power. The second denotes the passive nature, or feminine principle, or the element of water. The third symbol indicates the destroyer, the reformer, or the renewer (the uniter of the two), add thus the preserver or perpetuator--eternally renewing itself. The universality of the serpentine worship (or phallic adoration) is attested by emblematic sculpture and architecture all over the world. This does not admit of denial. Its character and purpose are, however, wholly misunderstood. Not only is the worship of the serpent found everywhere, but it everywhere occupies an important station; and the farther back we go, the more universally it is found, and the more important it appears to have been considered. The Destroyer or Serpent of Genesis is correctly the Renovator or Preserver. In Genesis there is a 'Tree of Knowledge' and a 'Tree of Life'. Here we have the origin of the Ophites, Ophiones, or Oriental emblematical serpent-worshippers, to account for whom, and for whose apparently absurd object of adoration, our antiquaries have been so much perplexed. They worshipped the Saviour-Regenerator under the strangest (but the sublimest) aspect in the world; but not the devil, or malific principle, in our perverse, mistaken ideas, and with the vulgar, downward, literal meanings which we apply. The mythic and mimetic art of the

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[paragraph continues] Gnostics is nowhere more admirably or more successfully displayed than in their hieroglyphs and pictured formulæ. Even in the blazonry and in the collars and badges of chivalry (which seems so remote from them), we find these Ophite hints. The heathen temples and the modern ritualistic churches alike abound in unconscious Gnostic emblems. State ceremony harbours them; they mix with the insignia of all the orders of knighthood; and they show in all the heraldic and masonic marks, figures, and patterns, both of ancient and of modern times. The religion of the Rosicrucians is also concealed, and unconsciously carried forward, perpetuated, and ignorantly fostered, by the very persons and classes who form, contrive, and wear decorations with special mysterious marks, all the world over. Every person, in unconsciously repeating certain figures, which form an unknown language, heired from the ancient times; carries into futurity, and into all parts of the world, the same carefully guarded traditions, for the knowing to recognize, to whose origin the sun, in his first revolution, may be figuratively said to be the only witness. Thus the great inexpressible 'Talisman' is said to be borne to the 'initiate' through the ages.

Proposals were published some years ago for a book entitled, 'The Enigma of Alchemy and of Œdipus resolved; designed to elucidate the fables, symbols, and other mythological disguises, in which the Hermetic Art has been enveloped and signalized in various ages, in ecclesiastical ceremonies, masonic formulæ, astronomical signs, and constellations--even in the emblazonments of chivalry, heraldic badges, and other emblems; which, without explanation, have been handed down, and which are shown to have originated in the same universal mystic school, through each particular tracing their allusion to the means and

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mechanism.' This intended work was left in MS. by its anonymous author, now deceased, but was never published. The unknown author of it produced also in the year 1850, in one vol. 8vo, a book displaying extraordinary knowledge of the science of alchemy; which bore the name A Suggestive Enquiry into the Hermetic Mystery; with a Dissertation on the more celebrated of the Alchemical Philosophers. This book was published in London; but it is now extinct, having been bought up--for suppression, as we believe--by the author's friends after his decease, who probably did not wish him to be supposed to be mixed up in such out-of-the-way inquiries.

The Vedas describe the Persian religion (Fire-Worship) as having come from Upper Egypt. 'The mysteries celebrated within the recesses of the "hypogea"' (caverns or labyrinths) 'were precisely of that character which is called Freemasonic, or Cabiric. The signification of this latter epithet is, as to written letters, a desideratum. Selden has missed it; so have Origen and Sophocles. Strabo, too, and Montfauçon, have been equally astray. Hyde was the only one who had any idea of its composition when he declared that "It was a Persian word, somewhat altered from Gabri of Guebri, and signifying FIRE-WORSHIPPERS".' See O’Brien’s Round Towers of Ireland, 1834, p. 354). Pococke, in his India in Greece, is very sagacious and true in his arguments; but he tells only half the story of the myths in his supposed successful divestment of them of all unexplainable character, and of exterior supernatural origin. He supposes that all the mystery must necessarily disappear when he has traced, and carefully pointed out, the identity and transference of these myths from India into Egypt and into Greece, and their gradual spread westward. But he is wholly mistaken; and most other modern explainers are equally

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mistaken. Pococke contemplates all from the ethnic and realistic point of view. He is very learned in an accumulation of particulars, but his learning is 'of the earth, earthy'; by which we mean that, like the majority of modern practical philosophers, he argues from below to above, and not, in the higher way, from above to below, or (contrary to the inductive, or Aristotelian, or Baconian method) from generals to particulars, or from the light of inspiration into the sagacities of darkness, as we may call unassisted world’s knowledge--always vain.

The Feast of Lanterns, or Dragon-Feast, occurs in China at their New Year, which assimilates with that of the Jews, and occurs in October at the high tides. They salute the festival with drums and music, and with explosions of crackers. During the Feast, nothing is permitted to be thrown into water (for fear of profaning it). Here we have the rites of Aphrodite or Venus, or the Watery Deity, observed even in China, which worship, in Protean forms, being also the worship of the Dragon or Snake, prevails, in its innumerable contradictory and effective disguises, over the whole world. How like are the noises and explosions of crackers, etc., to the tumult of the festivals of Dionusus or Dionysius, to the riot or rout of the Corybantes amongst the Greeks, to the outcry and wild music of the priests of the Salii, and, in modern times, to the noises said to be made at initiation by the Freemasons, whose myths are claimed to be those (or imitative of those) of the whole world, whose Mysteries are said to come from that First Time, deep-buried in the blind, unconscious succession of the centuries! In the Royal-Arch order of the Masons, as some have said, at an initiation, the 'companions' fire pistols, clash swords, overturn chairs, and roll cannon-balls about. The long-descended forms trace from the oldest tradition;

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the origin, indeed, of most things is only doubt or conjecture, hinted in symbols.

The Egyptian Deities may always be recognized by the following distinctive marks:

Phthas, Ptah, by the close-fitting Robe, Four Steps, Baboon, Cynocephalus.

Ammon, Amn, by a Ram's Head, Double Plume, Vase, Canopus.

The Sun-God (Phre or Ra) has a Hawk's Head, Disc, Serpent, Uræus.

Thoth, or Thoyt, is Ibis-headed (means a scribe or priest).

Sochos, or Suches, has a Hawk. Hermes Trismegistus (Tat) displays a Winged Disc.

The Egyptians, however, never committed their greater knowledge to marks or figures, or to writing of any kind.

Figure 313: the Gnostics have a peculiar talisman of Fate (Homer's Αισα). This is one of the rarest types to be met with in ancient art. In Stosch's vast collection, Winckelmann was unable to find a single indubitable example. It is of brown agate, with transverse shades, and is an Etruscan intaglio or Gnostic gem. The Gnostics, p. 238, makes a reference to this figure.

Later in our book (figs. 191, 300, 301) we give a figure of the 'Chnuphis Serpent' raising himself aloft. Over, and corresponding to the rays of his crown, are the seven vowels, the elements of his name. The usual triple 'S.S.S.' and bard, and the name 'ΧΝΟΥΒΙC', are the reverse of, this Gnostic gem. It is a beautiful intaglio on a pale plasma of the finest quality, extremely convex, as it has been found on examination.

In the Ophic planetary group (Origen in Celsum, vi. 25) Michael is figured as a lion, Suriel as a bull, Raphael as a serpent, Gabriel as an eagle, Thautabaoth

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as a bear, Eratsaoth as a dog, Ouriel as an ass. Emanations are supposed to pass through the seven planetary regions, signified by these Chaldæan names, on their way to this world. It was through these seven planetary spiritual regions, or spheres, filled with their various orders of angels, that the Gnostics mythed the Saviour Jesus Christ to have passed secretly; disguising Himself and His Mission in order to win securely to His object. In evading recognition, in His acceptable disguises, through these already-created 'Princedoms of Angels', He veiled His purpose of His Voluntary Sacrifice for the Human Race till He was safe, in His investment in 'Humanity' for the accepted 'Propitiation'--through the 'Virgin' for production only; not for 'office'.

There was deep mystery in the Gnostic method of teaching that, although the 'Sacrifice' (the source of sacrifice in all faiths) was complete and real and perfect, the Saviour did not--nor could--suffer bodily or be nailed really, and die upon the Cross, but that He suffered in appearance only, and vicariously--the Scripture being misread. The Gnostics maintained that Simon the Cyrenean--who, the Evangelist states, bore His Cross--did really bear it as the culprit, and suffered upon it. As human and divine are totally different, this could not impair the efficacy of the 'Crucifixion', for the substitution of persons was miraculous and remote (of course) from human sense.

Next: Chapter I. History of the Tower or Steeple