Sometimes the social sites on the internet can bring together an information exchange that could only happen thanks to the technology of this age. Ideas are accessed and bounced quickly across the world, and the internet becomes kind of like a travelling library of Alexandria. One thought sparks another and soon you have a global dialogue running. Anyone who has taken five minutes to look at the cube of space knows what a rabbit hole that it is but to try and take it on and offer some sort of explanation is really trying to tame a leviathan.

This particular Pandora's box was opened by the events described in Richard Stanley's long running 'LACHRYMAE' blog - his first hand account of how his youthful admiration for the work of Italian horror movie maestro Dario Argento lead to an ongoing initiation into the baffling mysteries of the Western esoteric tradition and the true secrets of the so-called 'dark' art...

The blog is reproduced in its entirety elsewhere on this site (see 'LACHRYMAE' *) but the relevant passage from chapter sixteen is extracted below. The events took place more than fifteen years ago while Mr. Stanley and his mentor were guests of writer, film maker and fellow esotericist Adam Simon in Southern California. Much to their surprise Adam succeeded in sourcing several key leitmotifs in the maestro's seemingly private mythology to certain aspects of the Sefer Yetzirah, the 'Book of Creation'. Now read on...



"But that's... that's impossible..."


Dario shook his head, one of those rare goofy smiles lighting up his face as he tried to take it in, taking it pretty well under the circumstances, all told.


"A great, mystical secret covered and sealed with six rings. And from them emanated air, water and fire. And from them are born Fathers, and from the fathers, descendents..." Our host, Adam Simon, narrowed his eyes, reading slowly and carefully from the Sefer Yetzirah, the Book of Creation. Adam was a fine screenwriter in his own right and the director of a weird and wonderful low-budget brain surgery movie Brain Dead, starring the two Bills, Pullman and Paxton, and sporting a plot that was a virtual dry run for Pi, without the pretension. Despite his years in the trenches turning around such noted epics as Carnosaur and Body Chemistry II on a dime, our host was a man of considerable taste and no mean intellect, who possessed one of the finest private libraries west of Arkham and knew more about the nuts and bolts of the kabbalah than myself and il maestro could fathom in a month of Sundays.


"But I had no idea. It is... unbelievable... all of this... incredible, fantastical!"
"Go on. Tell him the rest."


I turned away as Adam took a deep breath, adjusting his specs. It was the day before Hallow'een and a full moon hung over the shining Pacific and the LA basin, traffic seething along the PCH far below, part of another world separated from us by more than geographic distance. I had been firmly ensconced in Adam's guestroom all summer, preparing The Island of Dr. Moreau and enjoying the seclusion of his crumbling, open-plan hacienda just off Big Rock that had become a veritable home away from home. Part of the building had slipped down the hillside in the previous earthquake and one side of the lounge was now somewhat lower than the other, a split-level arrangement that gave rise to our affectionate nickname - 'the crack house'.


The original icon of La Moreneta, Our Lady of the New World, was perched on an impromptu shrine overlooking the bay and since her installation had presided over a swarm of Mexican killer bees, a second quake, the Malibu fire which had reduced every other house in the vicinity to a gutted stub and the subsequent mudslides, rocking backwards and forwards on her pedestal but never giving an inch, seemingly extending her implacable grace to all that surrounded her. It was a precarious perch but on a clear day you could see as far as Point Dume, it came rent-free and above all, I was happy there.


I was in love or at least I thought I was, cresting my fifteen minutes of fame, at the peak of my powers and on the brink of the biggest feature film project of my career, the eternal uncatchable dream so close I could taste it. What could possibly go wrong with a scenario like that?


"The Tetragrammaton actually only relates to the Ten Sefirot. There is, however, an aspect of creation that existed before the Sefirot. In the language of the Kabbalists, this is known as the Universe of Chaos (Tohu). In this state, the Vessels, which were the proto-Sefirot, could neither interact nor give to one another. Since they could not emulate God by giving, they were incomplete and could therefore not hold the Divine Light. Since they could not fulfil their purpose, they were overwhelmed by the Light and 'shattered'. This is known as the 'Breaking of Vessels'..."
"The what?"
"The Breaking of Vessels; the broken shards of these Vessels fell to a lower spiritual level and subsequently became the source of all evil. It is for this reason that chaos is said to be the root of evil."
"And this book is how old?"
Dario inclined his head a little closer, not understanding where any of it was heading, but liking the sound of it more and more.
"It's without question the oldest and most mysterious of all Kabbalistic texts. I think the first commentaries were written in the tenth century, but the text itself is quoted as early as the sixth. References to the work appear as far back as the first century and tradition attests to its existence even in pre-Biblical times."
"So, it's the business, right? The motherload. The Ur-text."
I prompted.
"The root of all evil..." whispered il maestro and he said it in such a way that Adam and I sat as if turned to stone. It was a voice that had haunted us since we were teenagers, the voice of the maniac in half a dozen giallios, the voice of the one and only, inimitable Dario Argento and although we loved him dearly, he could still scare the crap out of us sometimes without even knowing it. He was just wrapping up Trauma at the time and a VHS dub of the workprint rested on the coffee table beside a copy of Mystery of the Cathedrals and the official guidebook to the Mountain of Montserrat.


Trauma was Dario's first purely American work and Asia's debut in the leading role had brought something new and faintly unsavoury to the mix. The Tom Savini severed heads looked a li'l rubbery and some of the ungraded photography unduly murky, but it was hard to judge in it's raw, unfinished state so we avoided comment, dutifully waiting for il maestro to wave his wand and work his usual magic, to somehow smooth over the rough edges and transmute base matter into gold...


"The three Mother letters, AMSh, also spell out the Hebrew word Emesh, meaning 'yesternight'. This occurs in the verse, "You slept last night (emesh) with my father (Genesis 19:34)". The word emesh also denotes deep impenetrable gloom, as in the verse, "Gloom, waste and desolation (Job 30:3)". This is the inky gloom that existed before creation, in the Universe of Chaos, the 'yesternight' before the Sefirot were brought into being. At least according to what Laban told Jacob..."

Adam's white labrador, Merlin, snarled, getting up and shaking himself as if hearing a coyote calling out in the Malibu dark somewhere just below human audio range.


"The Three Mothers represent the reconciliation of opposites, but as there is logically no way in which opposites can be reconciled, they represent a mystery that cannot be penetrated by logic."
"'Sealed with six rings', remember? 'The script which is written in the King's name and sealed with the king's ring cannot be reversed (Esther 8:8)'."
"As in the Seal of Solomon, right? Bringing us back to the goddam pentagram!"


Dario shook his head, trying to follow the elision.


"The three Mother letters, AMSh, represent cause, effect and their synthesis. Shin is cause, Mem is effect and Alef is the synthesis between the two opposites. Three Mothers, AMSh, in the Universe, are air, water, fire. Heaven was separated from fire. Earth was created from water and air from breath decides between them..."
"Suspiriorum... the breath..."


"Well, in the simplest physical terms 'water' represents matter, 'fire' is energy and 'air' is the space that allows the two to interact. On a somewhat deeper physical level, fire, water and air represent the three basic physical forces. 'Fire' is the electromagnetic force through which all matter interacts. The atomic nucleus, however, consists of like-positive charges, which would repel each other if only electromagnetism existed. There must therefore exist another force, which can bind the nucleus together. This is the 'strong nuclear' or pionic force represented by 'water'. If this nuclear force were to interact with all particles, however, all matter would be mutually attracted together, forming a solid lump denser than a neutron star. On the other hand, even within each elementary particle, there is a need for a cohesive force to counteract the electromagnetic repulsion within the particle itself. This force can be neither electromagnetic nor pionic. This is the 'air', the 'suspiriorum', the third mother representing the weak nuclear force which decides between the other two. It is this force that allows light particles (leptons) to exist."
"What Fulcanelli calls the 'art of light', si?"
"Gotcha. Unscramble the symbolism and what we're really talking about here is sub-atomic structure. According to the publisher, Eugene Canseliet, the real Fulcanelli was an old man working at the Paris gasworks, who had been aging backwards for some years before changing gender. Ridiculous, I know, but at face value the facts check out. At least I can't dismiss Canseliet's claims out of hand."
"And this device he was supposed to have patented?"
"The calorimeter? I dunno. Measures calories as far as I can figure it. Minute heat exchanges. Which is exactly the kind of by-product you could expect from someone carrying out research based on the third law of thermodynamics."
"Sorry. But you have to talk more slowly. My English..."


"Entropy. I mean, according to Einstein, energy cannot be destroyed but according to the third law of thermodynamics, it can dissipate to the point where it can no longer be measured. So long as we're living in a 'flat' universe rather than a closed system and the fabric of space-time continues to expand, so things will continue to get older rather than younger, champagne goes flat, ideas go stale and people die. Figures that if you were trying to find a loophole in the third law, you'd need a device for measuring the unmeasurable, for keeping track of the rate of entropy. Hence the 'calorimeter'."

Sensing il maestro's confusion, Adam pushed back his chair, putting together the makings of another smoke.


"The OSS were given a specific brief to round up everyone in occupied Europe, who knew anything about nuclear power but apparently came up with squat. The CIA have been carrying a file on Fulcanelli for years but the only thing you can be sure of is that he isn't really hiding beneath the floorboards."  I nodded. "The real Fulcanelli disappeared just before the war after writing the second book. As far as we know, the third book is only a myth but I brought Elizabeth van Buren's commentary just in case..."


Dario narrowed his dark eyes, paging through the softback edition of Elizabeth’s commentary on Finis Gloraie Mundi, trying to make head or tail of the turgid text; "The end of the glory of the world... 'in ictu occuli', in the blink of an eye..."


"As far as I can work out, the earth seems to be the 'negrido', the black stone that has to pass through the nuclear fires of the third great war; of the alchemical crucible, so to speak, in order to become the whitened Philosophical Stone of the completed Arcanum - what our man refers to as the 'supreme hour' - the time of death for some and martyrdom for others. Granted Elizabeth might be a little nuts but right now her commentary to the third book is all we've got to go on, if the third book exists at all..." Looking over il maestro's shoulder I read slowly and carefully: "The universal spirit incarnated in man exists to teach the Truth, the Word and the Secret. All Christians await the return of Christ, yet he will appear neither before nor after but during the planetary chaos, not in human form but as pure light, a light that will break the cycle of incarnation and bring all of us back to God, an autodafe next to which all the suffering the world has ever seen will be the merest taper. Fulcanelli indicates the cross is the hieroglyph of the alchymical crucible, in which matter is purified and INRI, which signifies exoterically Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews, means esoterically 'Igne Natura Renovatur Integra', 'Nature is regenerated or made whole by the fire'."


"So we're... how would you say in this country? Fucked! Bottom line, no?"
"Save the elect. There's a get-out clause, see? No flesh shall be spared save that of the elect. That's what this is. Again in Fulcanelli's words 'a self-censoring secret available only to the elect'. Literally hidden in plain sight!"
"But it is written in code... in pictures..."
"A secret language passed down from God knows when. If the knowledge exists, then it figures it must have come from somewhere to start with. Mythology would have it that the famous soothsayer Tiresias had perfect knowledge of the 'language of the birds', which Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom, revealed to him. It is said he was "deprived of his sight". There are penalties, see, for breaking what you call 'silentium', for revealing the secrets of Olympus to mortals, although Tiresias is also supposed lived for 'seven, eight or nine ages of man' and is said to have been successively both man and woman."
"Like Fulcanelli, no? The original alchymical hermaphrodite..."
"No shit. The 'language of the birds' was spoken also by Thales of Miletus, Melampus, Apollonius of Tyanna and Adam's namesake, Simon the magician, who was eventually buried alive by his own congregation, insisting that on the third day he would rise again. He didn't."
Adam coughed. "I mean, these are folk stories. Fairytales. Metaphors in their own right. According to the Torah, the language of the birds was spoken before the building of the tower of Babel, an act of hubris which caused the ancient common tongue to become perverted and forgotten by the greater part of humanity."
"Analogous to what the Inca's called the 'Court Language'. The double science, "both sacred and profane". Solomon was the last mortal to have spoken the language of the birds in some apocryphal accounts, but he too forgot it when he lost his seal and was forced to battle Asmodeus to regain his treasure. At least that's what it says in that 15th century magical treatise... where the hell is it now?"
"The 'Lemegeton'? I dunno. You had it last! In the Hebrew versions, he's called Midrashim. He was wounded in the knee before being cast out into the wasteland."
"Right, a devil by any other name, hence the posture of the daemon on the font."

I indicated one of the stills on the tabletop. The grimacing plaster figure glaring down at the floor of the church and the sixty-four black and white flagstones laid out as a chessboard, its corners indicating the cardinal points.

"And what we're doing is like speaking a language without really understanding it! Like, y'know, phonetic English or Italian," murmured Dario under his breath, enough of it connecting to finally make some kind of sense; "a symbolic language we can read in our dreams."
"Who knows where the concept of the motion picture apparatus, the modern mass media even begins. Griffiths and Melies licensed the invention from the Lumiere brothers, who drew their inspiration from Roget's famous pamphlet on fusion frequency, which in turn is derived from the zoetrope or the Jesuit monk Athanasius Kircher's 'moving picture wheel', the 'toy of the devil', the heretical 'illusion of life', shunned for centuries by Islam and the Holy Roman Church. I mean, it figures that the 35mm projector with its Maltese cross configuration, that throws the strip of film past the picture head and the light generated by the burning carbon rod, that, like the Holy of Holies, you may not behold with the naked eye, but which is enclosed within the ark of the projector body, has become the new conveyor of the art of light, that we can find within the mass media and in particular the modern horror film as exemplified in your goddam work the attributes of Dante's ancient common language!"
"Particularly 'Inferno'. The one no one understands..."
"Even the title's on the money."

Dario's smile broadened. Taking a last toke, he stared out over the waves rolling silently in and the distant lights of the LA basin, as if expecting a nuclear flash at any moment.


"C'mon, guys." Adam rose, noticing the headlamps of a stretch nosing its way uncertainly up the dirt track from Big Rock. "I think it's time!"
"Already?"
"Can't keep 'em waiting, dude. We've got about an hour, depending on traffic we should be okay."


This is an excerpt from a letter sent from Richard Stanley to Scarlett Amaris on MySpace. During the equinox in March of 2008, four shadowtheatre irregulars had been brought together in Montsegur by sheer coincidence and some improbable supernatural interference. They were all trapped on different part of the mountain during the largest snow storm that the Pyrenees has seen in many years. In going through some of the data afterwards, they realized that astrologically speaking they represented the four different guardians of the cube. It seemed a stretch of the imagination, but then, so did the fact that while trapped on that mountain, the various parties had come within inches of each other and never once crossed paths, only realizing in letters soon after that they had all been there at the same time.


According to the Hebrew 'Book of Creation' the external dimensions of the 'Cube of Space' represent the manifestation of energy in its external or outer aspect. The inner creation is hidden in the four inner dimensions, or "Inner Court," the literal 'cross roads' of the four winds where the initial stepping down of the cosmic energy from Ayn-Sof takes place via the thirty-two Nativot-Phaliot or "Wondrous Paths".

Each Sephirot of the Cube of Space is "sealed" with, or receives, the energy of YHWH in one of six combinations of the three root letters. This sealing can be understood from the inside, that is to say, in terms of the inner meanings, or semantic structure, of the "signs" (autiot) themselves, and the structures can literally speak for themselves. The seventh seal lies at the center of the cube - the aforementioned 'crossroads' from whence the 'wondrous paths' radiate and to which conversely all roads lead...

This Cube of Space is the luminous Cube of 'Ayn Sof Aur, whose arms extend to infinity' according to Rabbai Aryeh Kaplan. It is a map of cosmic energies and their functions in the manifestation of energy/structure and consciousness in the universe. The Cube of Space is an internal mapping of the familiar outer mapping of the wheel of the Zodiac and represents an inner view of energy in manifestation.


Hidden within the Cube are the four inner dimensions symbolized by the four winds or the houses of Taurus, Leo, and Aquarius and of course - Scorpio. The seventh planet, found at the center of the Cube is Lavanah, the Moon formed by Tav, the last letter and Aleph's counterpart. What else could be at the center, but our own psyches?

Cube of Space: The Seven Seals Represented by their Tarot Trumps

It goes without saying that Thomas de Quincey gave his 'Three Mothers' a single name - 'Levanah or Our Lady of Sorrows' - the title of the discourse that seems to have been Daria Nicolodi's inspiration for the mythos of 'SUSPIRIA' and 'INFERNO' who appears in the Tarot trump in her whitened, perfected form as the 'High Priestess' herself, guardian of the unconscious and the secret, unrevealed scriptures symbolized by the partly veiled scroll that rests in her lap.

In some ways it seems so obvious. Why isn't the High Priestess's Sanctuary, with the Moon at her feet and the Tau solar cross on her chest seen for what it is, and where it is? Literally at the crossroads, the very center of the web.


The Moon's, our psyche's, true place is at the center of the Cube of Space, where we experience the six energies passing through us, while the seventh dwells within at the center of our being, the eye of the needle...


Ravyn Navarro, aka 'Dragon' on MySpace, a friend and the author of The Sons of Darkness and Light, took a definite stab at defining the cube in the following material which was originally posted as a blog named “The Confounded Cube”.


THAT DAMNED CUBE

I've figured out some things about the Cube. Maybe you have, too...but here they are. Correspondences, indeed. In fact, it seems to be some kind of weird  'Rubik's Cube'...at the moment. And in some weird way, it is 'squaring the circle'. You have to think in terms that Space is a sphere, while Time is a Cube.

Things about the Cube:

The letters by the names of the signs and the planets are their gematriac correspondences. For example:

There is also no Shin/300 or Fire visually given. Is it implied? There is Aleph/Air (implied in 1 at the Moon), Mem/Water and Tau/Earth.

It starts with 10 (Virgo/Yod) which corresponds to 100 (Pisces/Qoph) - which are antipodal to one another in the Zodiac. The Swimming Seed....Earth. This is a good correspondence. Sign/sign good.

Then 20 (Sun/Kaph) which corresponds to 200 (Mercury/Resh) according to this diagram. This is an unclear correspondence, because Mercury should be Peh, which is given as the letter for Venus. Resh is attributable to Saturn, which is in turn represented by Beth...but Beth is the Moon. But then this correspondence involves two bodies, not two signs. Planet/planet wrong.

Next, we have 3 (Jupiter/Gimel) and 30 (Libra/Lamed). The 30 correspondence is good, but the 3 correspondence isn't good. Gimel = Mars. Planet wrong/sign good.

After this, we have 40 (Mars/Daleth) and 400 (Mercury/Tau). Daleth = Sun. Teth = Jupiter. Planet/planet wrong.

5 is Aries/Heh, which is a good correspondence. 50 (Scorpio/Nun) is also a good correspondence. Sign/sign good.

6 is Taurus/Vau, which is a good correspondence. 60 is a good correspondence too (Sagittarius/Samekh). Sign/sign good. Taurus is in opposition to Scorpio, however not Sagittarius.

7 is Gemini/Zayin, also a good correspondence. 70 is good as well being Capricorn/Ayin. Sign/sign good. Capricorn and Gemini are contiguous to one another in Zodiac.

8 is Cancer/Cheth, which is good. 80 is Venus/Peh, which doesn't correspond. Sign good/Planet wrong. Peh = Mercury.

9 is Leo/Teth, a good correspondence. 90 is Aquarius/Tzaddi, another good one. Sign/sign good. Leo and Aquarius in opposition in Zodiac.

Either the planetary correspondences I know are wrong and the signs are right (which would seem odd), or there is a reason that the planets are assigned the incorrect attributions. There is only one planet/planet connection, the Sun and Jupiter shown as Mars/Mercury.

Take 20/200: This is really messed up. Sun is shown corresponding to Mercury. Mercury corresponds with Saturn, but Saturn is shown to correspond to the Moon. This is very twisty and I can't quite wrap my mind around it right now. (220 - nephilim, the elect, # of verses in LAvL)

Take 8/80: 8 IS the ancient attribution of Venus geometrically and sigilistically speaking (octogram) but Venus is attributed to Mercury's value as the Mouth...the Voice? It would explain some things about Metatron being the Shekinah in disguise. But does it really mean something? So, is it really Mercury that's in Cancer? (88 - burning, roaring, seething, darkness.)

Take 7/70: UZ/ZU. Gemini and Capricorn are beside one another. (77 - the He Goat, towers, overflowing, influence from Kether.)

These 'rights' and 'wrongs' are only in relation to the usual attributions given these things. But it doesn't mean that just because they're 'wrong' that they don't mean something. In fact, they may be 'wrong' just to point to something else hidden.

Screenshot

A comment about the screenshot. First, I tweeked the GC, the Ec and the Horizon to where they all three come together at dawn on a Winter Solstice date. I believe the three interior lines refer to those (planes) and they have to converge. Now, keep in mind that the Sun has not always appeared on this 'cross' on the Winter Solstice. These 'planes' move around in relation to one another depending on the time. I shifted from AD to BC and went backwards from about 2600 BC. I could see how they were shifting and I figured out it was probably more in AD when all three started coming together like that at the limit of the Sun going south. So, for the hell of it I tried 2012. It worked...but it took me awhile to figure out exactly how it worked in keeping with the parameters within the Cube. Also, Jupiter is not always in opposition to Saturn like this. Earth isn't shown on here, but it's in Virgo, right about where Spica is. It's the observation point.

Galactic Center = Purple
Ecliptic = Orange
Horizon = Green

Winter Solstice 2012 - dawn (roughly 7:19 am):  
          Sun in Sagittarius - sitting on Galactic Pole and Ecliptic
          Moon in Pisces
          Mercury in Scorpio
          Venus in Scorpio
          Earth in Virgo
          Mars edging toward Capricorn in Sagittarius
          Jupiter in Taurus
          Saturn in Libra
         
Jupiter and Saturn oppose one another as in the diagram - white line.

There is no way the Moon can be in the center in a planisphere. The Sun has to be in the center. Mars is to the left of the Sun in both the Cube and the diagram. Venus and Mercury lie to the right of the Sun. Also, the Sun is not quite on the cusp between Scorpio and Sagittarius, which join in the Cube on the front face. If you draw another white line between the North and South Poles, there's the Moon...not quite in the center, but close. It would have to be where the horizon crosses the line at North.

Notice also that Cygnus (see top left of purple circle) lies right close along the Galactic Center.

 

In Closing:

Anyway, that's my stab at the Damned Cube. If, perchance I happened to be correct, it begs a question or two. Was whoever constructed the Cube aware of this date? It was someone Hebrew and if so, was it constructed on the basis of ancient Sabaean/Magian Star-Lore? Was the Mayan calendar based on ancient Sabaean/Magian Star-Lore? Obviously our bold sailors, the Phoenicians, had been to the other side of the pond as well as points east, south and north. Stella Maris was the Pole-Star whatever that Pole-Star happened to be at the time. It used to be Thuban in Draco, about four thousand years ago. Before that, it was Deneb in Cygnus and Vega in Lyra. That alone will give you an idea how much the pole shifts around every few thousand years and then some. The positions of these things are so interdependent upon the 'turning of the wheels' and their relative speed and orbits to one another - like a giant clockwork of many gears - that these alignments are not something you can 'make happen'. They're either there, or they're not. So, I rest my case as far as the strange lay-out goes...that it is pointing to a time. But then I started out with this premise, so...?

Anyone got any better ideas?


Following is an excerpt of a letter written by Richard Stanley to Dragon on MySpace, partly in reference to her blog and partly to reference in some bits information that he had just come across and was trying to faction the various pieces together. But the cube is tricky, it almost connects fully to so many things and then it doesn’t. The farther you go, the deeper that the rabbit hole gets.


In order to understand Esclarmonde we have to understand the metaphysics of the early 13th century which means clearing away seven centuries of esoteric thinking like removing layers of dust from a fresco. I made reference previously to Crowley having modified the 'tree of life' to include an additional sefirah but rather more cogent to our current conundrum is McGregor Mather's decision to assign the trump of 'The Fool' in the Rider Waite deck the numeric value of zero - presumably following on the lead set by Levi in his attempt to 'improve' the Marseilles deck by repositioning 'the Fool' between cards 20 and 21. Crowley's version of this would seem to boil down to the sophism: - "Aleph is one, one, one, but none by the book." This apparently alludes to Aleph's gematria of 111 whilst simultaniously trying to have his cake and eat it by claiming that in the "book" of the Tarot, Aleph is zero, not one. After first accepting the inescapable conclusion, Levi's premise that 22 Tarot = 22 Hebrew letters, ol' uncle Al would seem to gloss over the underlying significance of the Hebrew alphabet by proclaiming: "it means one thing, one, in Hebrew, and another thing, zero, in the Tarot. These two things, one and zero, are actually the same."

The only reason to introduce the notion of "zero" when there are obviously twenty-two trumps which equally obviously correspond to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which already have their own numeric values starting with "one", is to seemingly break the connection with the true, underlying tradition, thus making it doubly hard for us latterday dabblers to scry into those anterior mists and perceive the true workings of her world.'Zero' as I recall is an Arabian or possibly Indian concept utterly alien to Hebrew thought.

For the same reason I wouldn't go out of my way to try and work Polaris into the weave just because of Otto and his funky friends in the 'Polaires'. Fond of him as I may be we cannot lose sight of the fact that Otto was a Nazi and seems to be bending over backwards to claim the 'Cathars' as the exemplars of an authentic European ( ie: Nordic ) religion rather than a Mediterranean or even ( heaven forbid ! ) Hebraic tradition. Regardless of whether the summit of Mount Bugarach really does lie at 'exactly the same height as the battlements of Montsegur' the caldera definitely isn't 'due north' of the castle as Michel Lamy states any more than the outline of the keep truly resembles a mirrored version of Arcturus. I picked up this latter notion from one of Danielle's 'fourth dimensional' roadmaps myself and Miss Scarlett found hanging from a tree near the River of Colors and while it proved food for thought at the time I remain unconvinced and will check out the alternative correlations you suggest with interest. ( Merak, Dubhe, Phad and Megrez )

I may well be speaking through my hat here but the cube would seem to represent the sequence of the planets, the zodiac and their corresponding position in the Hebrew alphabet as an integrated indivisible whole hence in its original form ( at least in the system Esclarmonde and her peers may have been familiar with ) the zodiac would begin with Aries ( Toleh ) formed by Hay and end with Pisces ( Dagim ) formed by Qof. The planets would begin with Saturn ( Shabatai ) formed by Bayt and inevitably end with the Moon or 'Lavanah' formed by Tav - evoking not only the source of the 'white lady's power but the shade of De Quincey and the 'three mothers' from whose dread names this puzzlebox was first conjured. Mathers changed the traditional sequence of outer planets to Mercury, the Moon and Venus in order to justify the positions of the Magician, High Priestess and Empress and for the remaining planets, the classical Hebrew and Ptolemaic sequence of Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon - moving in from the Sun and hence through the alphabet - was discarded in favor of Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, and Saturn. The graceful sequence of the outer and inner planets moving gradually in towards the Moon is discarded in favor of an ungainly hopscotch pattern - kind of like replacing an elegant 13th century minuet with a vaudevillian rag. Of course Mathers wasn't the first to monkey about with the climbing frame of the kabbalah - the Rosicrucians had already switched the Moon and the Sun to put the Sun at the center of the six-pointed star, probably under the influence of Christian solarization - an inherently patriarchal reordering of the traditional schema seemingly designed to hide the truth of the Moon's position at the center of the labyrinth, not to mention the 'white lady's position at the very heart of the web...

To make matters worse when I went back to my copy of the Sefer Yetzirah ( Samuel Weiser Inc/ York Beach, Maine/1993 ) to try and shed some light on the origins of the cube I found instead the exact same pattern - ironically on page 111. ( figure 18. The 231 Gates )which works the cat's cradle up from a triangle of 3 points and 3 lines through a pentagram of 5 points and 10 lines and a figure of 8 points and 28 lines that bears a striking similarity to the Bugarach pictogram.

The accompanying text is way too dense to bear any easy explanation other than the fact that it seems to describe a way of binding oneself to the sefirot and 'creating a Golem' - presumably the very passage that put the hook in Ben Judah Lowe. Unsurprisingly the passage on the 231 Gates comes with a stark warning from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan who concludes : - " ...many people who embarked on these mysteries were successful but then met with untimely death. The higher the climb, the more dangerous the fall..."


The following is a response to Richard's letter from Dragon.


You wrote:

In order to understand Esclarmonde we have to understand the metaphysics of the early 13th century which means clearing away seven centuries of esoteric thinking like removing layers of dust from a fresco. I made reference previously to Crowley having modified the 'tree of life' to include an additional sefirah but rather more cogent to our current conundrum is McGregor Mather's decision to assign the trump of 'The Fool' in the Rider Waite deck the numeric value of zero - presumably following on the lead set by Levi in his attempt to 'improve' the Marseilles deck by repositioning 'the Fool' between cards 20 and 21. Crowley's version of this would seem to boil down to the sophism: - "Aleph is one, one, one, but none by the book." This apparently alludes to Aleph's gematria of 111 whilst simultaniously trying to have his cake and eat it by claiming that in the "book" of the Tarot, Aleph is zero, not one. After first accepting the inescapable conclusion, Levi's premise that 22 Tarot = 22 Hebrew letters, ol' uncle Al would seem to gloss over the underlying significance of the Hebrew alphabet by proclaiming: "it means one thing, one, in Hebrew, and another thing, zero, in the Tarot. These two things, one and zero, are actually the same."

The only reason to introduce the notion of "zero" when there are obviously twenty-two trumps which equally obviously correspond to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which already have their own numeric values starting with "one", is to seemingly break the connection with the true, underlying tradition, thus making it doubly hard for us latterday dabblers to scry into those anterior mists and perceive the true workings of her world. 'Zero' as I recall is an Arabian or possibly Indian concept utterly alien to Hebrew thought.

Okay, I beg to differ that the concept of Zero was foreign to the Hebrews. There is Ain Soph Aur, the Limitless Light which is not anything because it has "no shell" - without limitation. (And here we could get into massive discussions on the qlippoth, I'm sure.) Yes, it is an Arabic idea worked out in al'jabr, but the Arabs didn't "invent" algebra. The Babylonians developed it first or maybe it actually came from the Magi to calculate star charts and motions... and the Hebrews probably did know about it. They clearly knew about everyone the myths of everyone around them, so I don't see why they wouldn't have known about this sort of thing too.

I think Crowley sums up this position rather well in Chapter O of The Book of Lies, wherein he takes the "ante-primal triad" (before creation) of Ain Soph Aur, Ain Soph and Ain (1,1,1) which is not yet ANYthing. It doesn't become Something until the Limitless Light passes through the "door" or membrane (Ain/Kether) between the Nothing and the All. In many ways this is completely in agreement with M-Theory in quantum physics as to the manner in which this all started. Kether is the membrane between Nothing and the Multiplicity. It's the "prism" through which the Limitless Light is directed and confined/limited - the Zero point but also the POB for the All and the First Emanation of the Limitless Light into One, which becomes the Many. So, in a way, Kether IS both Zero and One as this doorway. Kether manifests Itself as the duality of Chokmah and Binah (1, 1, 1) becoming the "primal triad", because without that duality It has no way to manifest Itself.

 And, you may recognize this:

Crowley expounds on The Fool in the “Book of Thoth” rather in depth in a Chapter called "Tetragrammaton" which is really pretty cubistic in its nature. I juggled (pun intended) with this idea of the Fool being both Zero and One for several years and one day the metanoia finally went off about it. He actually does belong in both places - at the beginning and at the end. "I am the Alpha and the Omega". The POB is the POE in any circular cycle, but the point of ending is at a different level vertically than the point of beginning was...because of all that occurred between POB and POE (butterfly effect?). Thus, you get a spiral which is ever-expanding. So, the Fool starts out an "idiot" who has all the tools and materials but doesn't know what to do with them. It's only by traversing the meanings and experiences of the cards in between that he becomes the "Wise Fool" or "Divine Madman". "We all come down" as your friend Carl points out, but what goes down also must rise again. It's all a triangular exposition and the Universe isn't really "dualistic" but "triadic" in nature. Holy men were often considered to be possessed by "divine madness" because they knew things that were so far beyond the mundane mind as to seem "crazy".

The very first Path from Keter to Chokmah is the path taken by the Fool at the beginning. Unless he goes straight up the Middle Pillar, it will also be the last Path he travels on his return. By making him both First and Last, the whole process is encompassed - not just the coming down but the return as well.

Now comes the concept called "Baphomet". What if it isn't "baph" but "bab"? Bab means "gate". The substitution there between the peh and the beyt is entirely a possibility and has happened before. The name "Omet" in Hebrew means "my Light". I think I've brought this up before, but seemed like a good time to reiterate. To interpret it through the Greek "baphe-metis" never seemed entirely correct to me, because Baphomet is NOT a native Greek concept. It was brought from the Holy Land and the Arabs. According to Wikipedia, "The name Baphomet first appears around 1195 in the Occitan  poem "Senhors, per los nostres peccatz" by the troubadour Gavaudan.

Moses de Leon, who wrote the Zohar lived between 1200 and 1300, about the same time period the Albigensian Crusade was happening. Eleazar of Worms, a major kabbalist, lived from about 1175-1238. Abraham Abulafia lived between 1240 and 1290. It was "in the air", even then and probably known well before it was committed to writing. Montsegur is very close to Spain and who knows what traveling pilgrims brought with them. According to Gershom Scholem in "Kabbalah" the concept of Da'at appears late in the 13th century (1200’s) as a harmonizing and synthesis of Chokmah and Binah. You see, it is essentially "the Impregnated Womb" which contains the Seed and the Forms by which it will manifest Itself. It is also the synthesis of all the other sephira...which falls back to the triadic nature of the Universe - there is This and That, and then there is the Unity of them both. Can’t have a coin without both a Head and a Tail.
 
However, all of this really has nothing to do with The Cube, because there is no Zero in the Cube. There can't be, because it is a "map" of manifested reality. Logically, I find it rather odd that Levanah is given the attribution of "1". However, considering where She sits in the Tree of Life (over Daath - the true Alpha and Omega), She does in fact incorporate a point of beginning and ending and guards this "secret" of Life/Death. I think the old Sumero-Babylonian "Law of Conservation of Life and Death" (a concept which has been of particular interest lately to me) has something to do with this. The Paths where she sits are Dalet and Gad – d-g or fish and g-d or God. There’s your Father and Son and the (Northern) Cross…which also sits in the polar region.

And you also wrote:

For the same reason I wouldn't go out of my way to try and work Polaris into the weave just because of Otto and his funky friends in the 'Polaires'. Fond of him as I may be we cannot lose sight of the fact that Otto was a Nazi and seems to be bending over backwards to claim the 'Cathars' as the exemplars of an authentic European ( ie: Nordic ) religion rather than a Mediterranean or even ( heaven forbid ! ) Hebraic tradition.

Well, yes he is a Nazi and we both know better. These are not only Hebraic traditions but far older than that. The Anjou dynasty (known to be Templars and part of all of this heretical business including Joan of Arc – who was the “divinely mad maid of Orleans”) used the fleur d'lys as their house symbol. That is related directly to imagery found in cylinder seals and associated with Ea. What is the meaning of this symbol? It’s right there in Ea’s right hand.

I do still hold that the Axis is part of the equation and as such, so is the Pole Star - as the Gate. It doesn’t matter if it’s Polaris, Deneb, Thuban or Vega – it’s the Pole Star itself that matters. It's got nothing to do really with "Nordic traditions" and is purely Sumero-Babylonian in the form of Ningishziddha, who is the personification of the polar axis of the world (Lord Tall Timber - the "Roof Beam of the World"). Both Ea and Ningishzidda are figures of 'men' with either serpents or flowing waters coming from their shoulders. At the Pole lies the heavenly Abyss, mirrored down on Earth in the earthly Abzu. There are two Abysses, just like there are two Niles - the one down here and the Milky Way. In the Tree there is Daath and Yesod, which is the Abyss of Dreams and the place from which come all manifestations of deity here in Malkuth. Dreams are the province of the Moon.
 
There is a big dark gap right there at the Pole in the Milky Way. I believe that the fleur d'lys is a simplified representation or sigil of both Ea and Ningishziddha. I also think in a sense, Ningishziddha is "the Stairway to Heaven" or Jacob's Ladder if you will. Conversely, it is also "the Stairway to Hell". On Gudea's kudurru dedicated to Ningishziddha "his personal god", we find the "caduceus" which is really just another fleur d'lys in a different form. Ningishziddha is the Middle Pillar of the Tree and is in all three worlds simultaneously...at least from our perspective. He is Ereshkigal’s Head Gate Guardian and appears at both the first and last gates – at least theoretically speaking. As I recall, in “The Magan Text” HPL has him at all SEVEN of the Gates, removing Ishtar’s attributes as she enters Erkalla. He gives them back when she leaves, restoring her “power”. ((She is most definitely NOT taking off parts of her “space suit” – grrrrrr – but removing her ‘powers’, so she has none down there.)) If Ereshkigal let her take her powers in with her, the Dark Queen could not have rendered her dead. No one has power in Erkalla, except for the Dark Lord and Lady, their Viziers Namtar and Ukur, and the Guardians. Okay, if she had a ray-gun, she could have killed them all and done away with Death altogether. But then everything would really be a mess!

Esclarmonde may have been a real person who really lived…and I have no doubt that she was. There’s too much historical documentation to think otherwise. But as “the Light of the World” – legendarily speaking - she has also come to be syncretized with both Venus/Jesus and the White Goddess through those legends. I think if you look there, you’ll find where the “Lamb of God” and the “Book of the Seven Seals” fit in. If you ask me, I think that perhaps the Templars might have known that the Goddess and the Savior were one in the same and that Jesus is just a new version of Her and the Shekinah. It would explain why they “denied Jesus” and left sigils of the Goddess carved into the walls in their prison cells and on walls and rocks wherever they went. I think that’s why you have that octogram on the rock there. THAT is the ancient symbol of the Goddess. Suddenly, the Necronomicon is not as daft and questionable as it may appear.

But, the Goddess as Ishtar/Inanna is not the only deiform involved in all of this. Ishtar is one of the Mothers. Her sister, the Dark Queen is “the Mother of Sorrows” who could very well be equated to the Black Madonna. Belit-ili or Ninhursag is the third Mother – the Mother of the Earth and Mankind, as well as several gods, including the Moon god, Suen. They are all aspects of the same Goddess. Then, there is Dumuzid – the True Son and god of vegetation god (who is Ninhursag’s child along with his sister Geshtinanna) and Nergal (who is the son of Belit-ili), the Dark Lord and Head Judge of Erkalla. Nergal is also a dying and resurrecting god and he looks very much like an ear of corn or head of wheat lying in his ‘sarcophagus’ in seals that bear his image.

They are all aspects of one another presented in a dualistic fashion because that’s what our minds understand most readily. They have to all be seen as One and polar extremities of one another – male/female, dark/light, etc. Even if you do brush away seven centuries of esoteric ‘dust’ it was still there, in the beginning. Always has been and always will be.

Cheers!
R.


Cobweb Mehers is an artist from Northern England and another MySpace friend. Next up is two blogs combined that he published on MySpace. One can get a sense of how these ideas influence and spin off into new thoughts of their own. Just like Dragon all of his research brought something new to the mix. It is an infernal mix with a huge list of ingredients that adds up to? Well no one can definitely define that, let alone know what that cake looks like when baked.


We’ll begin with a little Blake I think.

“Four Mighty Ones are in every Man: a perfect Unity
Cannot exist but from the Universal Brotherhood of Eden,
The Universal Man, to Whom be glory evermore. Amen.
What are the Natures of those Living Creatures the Heavenly Father only
Knoweth: no Individual knoweth, nor can know in all Eternity”

I have a thing about William Blake. When I was twelve I found a “Complete Works” in Blackburn Library, and while I had no idea what most of it meant it was something of a revelation. He thought like I did. He was considerably better at putting it down on paper as words and images, and we didn’t necessarily think the same thoughts, but I recognised the process. He shared my “eyesight problems” too.  When he was four he had a screaming fit when God looked at him through the window.  Later in his childhood he narrowly escaped a beating (due to the intervention of his mother) when he carelessly told his dad he’d seen a tree full of angels. He had “visions” quite frequently on the streets of London and in the surrounding countryside and apparently he once saw Ezekiel sitting under a tree. I’ve never seen Ezekiel myself, and I’m not sure if I’d recognise him if I did, but I spent a lot of my childhood drawing weird and wonderful creatures. A lot of children do; it makes me wonder how many of them, like me, are drawing “from life”.


Mr Blake wrote, or started to write, an epic entitled the “The Four Zoas: The Death and Judgment of Albion The Ancient Man “. It was to be the story the giant Albion, his fall from grace, and his redemption. Albion as divine humanity is made up of four Zoas in perfect balance. Their names are Tharmas (Instinct), Urizen (Intellect), Luvah (Emotion), and Urthona (Imagination). They become unbalanced, everything goes pear shaped and Albion is divided loosing both his divinity and humanity. Intellect becomes Reason and crushes Emotion and Imagination. Thankfully Imagination (in its fallen form as Art) remembers that it was once divine and part of a fourfold and balanced creature. For Blake Art was our only hope and perhaps he was right.


The reason I’ve had Blake on the brain, and the four Zoas in particular is because of this diagram.

It reminded me of something very similar I’d seen on the interweb a long time ago in an article about Blake’s Zoas and the Kabbalah. I managed to track it down again. It looked like this.

The first diagram appeared in a series of blogs by Richard Stanley. I’d recommend them with extreme prejudice to anyone who hasn’t read them. They can be found here. The relevant ones are called “LACHRYMAE” but you may as well read the rest while you’re there.


The diagram is almost an irrelevance, but there were other things in Mr S’s blog that filled gaps in mystery I’ve been pondering in various forms for over ten years. Ezekiel features in it, he’s sitting under a tree….. but I didn’t see him.


For a long time I’d wondered what a Zoa was. All I knew was that it was the plural of Zoon. It’s an exotic and intriguing word and for various reasons it’s one of the first things I ever Googled. I had been unreliably informed that it might mean, “beast”, and needed to check if that was true. As is the way on the web you never need to go too far to find naked ladies or religion.


It turned out that the word Zoon appears in the bible (well it does if it’s in Greek) and that most of the occurrences are in the Book of Revelation. With  talk of beasts still ringing in my ears I went to look at Revelation, which as everyone knows if full of beasts. I soon found that Thee Great Beast I’d expected to be Zoon was Mega Therion (which translates back into English as Edward Alexander). For an hour or so I was very excited about a constellation once called Therion and now known as Lupus (the wolf). My head was briefly filled with the possibilities of astrological secrets, and Fenris, and the End of Days. The Greeks and Romans called the constellation Therion and it was considered to be a random animal until the early seventeenth century. So that was that idea buggered.


I did find the Zoon in Revelation though. There were four of them and being plural they were Zoa. The writer of Revelation says he saw them and he wasn’t alone. I don’t know if Blake ever saw them, but he saw Ezekiel, and Ezekiel saw them.


“I saw a windstorm blowing in from the north. Lightning flashed from a huge cloud and lit up the whole sky with a dazzling brightness. The fiery centre of the cloud was as shiny as polished metal, and in that centre I saw what looked like four living creatures. They were somewhat like humans, except that each one had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight, but their feet looked like the hoofs of calves and sparkled like bronze. Under each of their wings, these creatures had a human hand. The four creatures were standing back to back with the tips of their wings touching. They moved together in every direction, without turning their bodies. Each creature had the face of a human in front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of a bull on the left, and the face of an eagle in back. Two wings of each creature were spread out and touched the wings of the creatures on either side. The other two wings of each creature were folded against its body.”

That isn’t the whole vision, but it’s enough for now. There is much speculation about what it was he actually saw, what he’d been taking, and what it all meant. It wasn’t an alien invasion or the Aurora Borealis, it was something even odder and it concealed a secret. Actually it concealed Thee Secret (or one of them). It concerns a mysterious cube, a goddess hiding under the chair of a god who isn’t a god and as there always are…there are Nephilim.


By now (if you didn’t already) you should know why the Pope isn’t Catholic. Most of what I’m about to tell you has been floating about in my head for many years. Some of it I discovered recently whilst enquiring into the mother of a couple of brothers, but the final pieces of the puzzle were provided by Richard’s blogs. The problem was that I didn’t really know very much about this

Or this

and I knew bugger all about this

Especially not that it had this inside it.

Let’s begin where we left off. Its 593BC (give or take) and a Jewish priest called Ezekiel finds himself about 50 miles south east of Babylon on the banks of the river Chebar (which was actually a canal). He hadn’t been badly treated but being shipped halfway across the known world against your will is never a settling experience.

Everything that had been his life is a pile of rubble a very long way away, and William Blake is not on hand with a nice cup of tea.


Then he sees something which he would have recognised as the very centre of his world, and it isn’t in a pile of rubble a long way away, its right there where he is. It wouldn’t have crossed his mind that the aliens were coming and he was in for another abduction. What he saw was familiar, it was probably also gobsmackingly awesome, but he knew what it was and what it meant.


We don’t have the advantages of his training so what he saw comes across pretty much as impossible nonsense. What it actually is is very precise and horribly technical information about just about everything. It’s the unified field theory of mysticism, and it makes physics look easy.

Before the vision begins two things happen that set the context.


The heavens open and a there is a wind from the north. We’re being orientated….we’re at the centre of the world.

The weird thing about the centre of the world is that it moves about quite a lot and is sometimes in several places at the same time. The wind from the North is a dead give away that this particular movable centre has been borrowed from the Canaanites. The Canaanites had the same sense of direction as I do…it didn’t change if you turned round. There were four ritual directions (remember that number), and they were left, right, before, and behind. They were magical directions because they didn’t just apply to space but to time and they were fixed around the centre no matter which way you turned it. Ezekiel’s wind came from the left. Left is always north no matter which way you face, because you can only face east. Baal lived to the north on Mount Saphon, which despite being to the north was the centre of the world (told you it moved about). His temples were built on a north/south axis, and if Baal was to whisper in your ear it would always be your left ear. Presumably that’s why sitting at God’s right hand is so important; otherwise you wouldn’t be able to hear him.

Something that centres of the world had in common was doors into heaven. When the writer of Ezekiel says that the heavens opened he didn’t mean that it was raining. Just before John has his vision of the Zoa in Revelation he says this:


“After this I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open!”


There are other doors above other centres and it doesn’t take long to spot a theme developing.


Take Hebron.


Abraham was said to have settled there. He met three mysterious beings in a sacred grove who told him his wife was pregnant. She was buried in a cave there when she died and according to tradition Adam and Eve were also buried there. The reason it made such a great graveyard was that the gate of heaven was above it. According to a medieval Jewish commentary on the Book of Genesis, “the heavenly city…lies above that place…in which the four hosts stand about the Shekinah.”


It wasn’t always called Hebron either. That was what the Israelites called it when they invaded. It had been the Canaanite city of Kiriath Arba. The name means the city of Arba. It was supposedly founded by Arba who was the father of Anak. Anak was the ancestor of the Anakim who according to Numbers13:33 (as all good FOTN fans should know) came from the Nephilim.


The Greeks had stories about a giant called Anax. He was the son of Heaven and Earth. Anakes, the plural of Anax, was a title applied to the Greek gods generally.

Oh …and before I forget… Arba means FOUR. I’m sure you can do the maths.

North of Hebron is Bethel where Abraham’s grandson Jacob had an unusual experience featuring a piece of stone and a gateway to heaven. Bethel had been inhabited since around 2100 BC. There had been a Canaanite shrine there long before Jacob was a gleam in his daddy’s eye. According to Genesis his grandfather had built it, which is unlikely. He probably did sacrifice there though, as did Jacob. It was what the bible refers to as a “high place” i.e. it was sacred to Athirat. It was also briefly home to the Ark of the Covenant long before Solomon built it the “permanent” Temple that Ezekiel had served in. Before Jerusalem was the centre of the world Bethel was.

Jacob found a stone there and used it for a pillow as he settled down for the night. He dreamed there was a ramp or a staircase that reached to heaven and he saw angels walking up and down it. God also had a little chat with him and when he woke up he set the stone upright and poured oil on it. It marked the location of the centre of the world and the gate to heaven.


Before we move on to what happened to the stone after that, it’s interesting to note that Jacob’s face was allegedly the face of the man-faced Zoon, and it was also the face of the moon.

Jacob’s pillow/pillar turns up later in Ireland looking like this

and in Scotland, and then England, and then Scotland again, looking like this

You might be wondering how that happened but it’s really quite simple.


Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh who discovered baby Moses in the bulrushes, was married to a Scythian bloke who had a lot of names but we shall call Mil. Scota thought Moses was really great, so as a mark of respect she nicked an old stone pillow that had been in his family for ages which apparently gave the owner victory in battle, sang in the presence of a rightful king, and gave insight into past present and future. When Moses started with all the plaguey stuff Scota and Mil emigrated to Spain and the stone was incorporated into a throne.


Mil’s uncle Ith was murdered by the Danaans in what is now Ireland due to a misunderstanding over whether or not he was planning an invasion. Mil’s sons got upset about it and invaded Ireland taking the stone with them.

It became known as Lia Fail or the Stone of Destiny and was used in the inauguration of the Celtic kings of Ireland. It somehow found its way to Lindisfarne and finally to Scone in Scotland where it was incorporated into a wooden throne and used in the inauguration of Scottish kings. Edward I stole it from the Scots in 1296, had a new throne made around it, and stuck it in Westminster Abbey. In 1950 it was stolen by students and broken in two. One part of it spent a night on Ilkley Moor, so that’s something I have in common with it. The stone was eventually mended and returned to Westminster the year after. It stayed there until 1996 when the British Government very kindly gave it back to the Scots on the understanding that they would be allowed to borrow it for coronations.


There are many other stories about how the stone got where it did and when it got there. Some of the stories may even bare a passing resemblance to the truth, but that doesn’t really matter. All that we really need to know is that there was a special stone that was hidden in a throne and you needed it to make kings. However unbelievable and contradictory the various myths and legends surrounding it may be their sheer number and persistence point to …something. It’s just a case of working out what that “something” is and what it has to do with the front door of God.

 Let’s knock on a couple more doors and see who answers.

There’s a second century Christian text called the Ascension of Isaiah. It isn’t really about Isaiah at all but it does appear to be a genuine account of … something.


“And (having entered) he sat down on the couch of the king, and they brought him a seat, but he would not sit (thereon)….  And when Isaiah was speaking to Hezekiah the words of truth and faith, they all heard a door opened and the voice of the Holy Spirit…. And it came to pass when they had all heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, they all worshipped on their knees, and glorified the God of truth, the Most High who is in the upper world and who sits on High the Holy One and who rest among His holy ones. And they gave glory to Him who had thus bestowed a door in an alien world had bestowed (it) on a man. And as he was speaking in the Holy Spirit in the hearing of all, he became silent and his mind was taken up from him and he saw not the men that stood before him. Though his eyes indeed were open. Moreover his lips were silent and the mind in his body was taken up from him. But his breath was in him; for he was seeing a vision.”

In Mecca there is a cube called the Ka’abah. Not surprisingly it gets its name from the Arabic word for cube, but this might be the time to mention that Arabic for four turns out to be arba’a. The four corners of the cube are aligned to the cardinal points. Inside is a black stone about a foot across that fell from heaven…but I’m sure you know that by now. It is thought to be the centre of the world and the gate of heaven is just above it. I’ll steal the next bit from Mr Stanley’s blog, because even if you’ve read it (which I hope you have) it bares repeating at this point.

“The stones that fell from heaven were venerated not because of their extraterrestrial origins which primitive man could barely have guessed at but because of their alleged physical properties - the power to heal grave illness, protect against one's enemies and grant the gift of prophecy are so closely intertwined with the veneration of the Black Mother that the two are effectively one and the same. The ideograms for the 'mountain mother ' in the Hittite alphabet range from a lozenge or cube, a double headed axe, a dove, a cup, a door or a gate – all images of the goddess in Neolithic Europe. The very name Kubaba may betoken a cave or empty vessel, a wombspace or possibly derive from kube or kuba, recalling at once the black meteoric cube of the Ka'bah that was brought into Islam after Mohammed routed its original idolatrous worshippers out of Mecca.


It is said that in pagan times the seven priestesses of the Ka'bah circled the black stone naked as when the world was yet young. Today that practice is still recalled in the tawaf, the sevenfold counter clockwise circuit of the shrine performed by all pilgrims to take the Hadj. The ancient rituals roots almost certainly descend from the Sumerian goddess Inanna and her Babylonian equivalent Ishtar who was supposed to have passed through the seven doors of death or 'seven gateways' on her journey to the underworld, each successive gate keeper demanding she remove a garment as tribute until she finally stood naked before her elder sister Ereshkigal, 'Queen of the Great Earth', goddess of the underworld, a dance of death clearly echoed in the later Christian myth of Salome and the 'seven veils.'


Erishkigal is also known by the epithet 'Allatu' (literally 'the goddess’) which is beyond question an earlier form of Al'Lat or Alilat identified by Herodotus in the fifth century B.C. as the divinity worshipped in Mecca before the coming of the prophet, Mohammed and the substitution and subsequent veneration of her patriarchal counterpart, Allah – essentially the goddess Al'Lat with a soft 't' )

Al’lat is the Arabic equivalent of the Canaanite Elat. Both of them mean Thee Goddess. It’s one of many titles applied to Athirat wife and/or sister of El. She is also the Great Lady who treads upon the Sea, the block that holds back the Abyss. Lady of the Sea, Mara Yam, Miriam, or Mary to you and me. She’s the mother of all gods and you didn’t get to be king without her say so.


Did I mention this?

So let’s go back to Ezekiel.


Ezekiel had started something. For a long time the centre of the world had been in Solomon’s temple. Strange things were no longer allowed to happen in sacred places scattered willy nilly. They were safe and centralised and secret. They were put in a box and that was where they were supposed to stay. Ezekiel took the box with him, and he opened it when he needed it most. In his box was the raz nihyeh, the mystery of being, the secret of creation.

When the second Temple was knocked down by the Romans things got a bit out of hand. The second Temple had been even safer. It contained an empty box and nothing ever gets out of an empty box. Except …something…did. Gnostics, Hebrew Christians, Jewish mystics and a ragbag assortment of “others” all wanted a piece of Ezekiel’s vision.


The centre of the world was anywhere you wanted it to be and the door of heaven was just above your head. Anyone could see God, not just the professionals. It was, however, a dangerous business. According to tradition four rabbis made the trip to heaven for the death and resurrection show. One was successful, one died, one went mad, and worst of all one converted to Christianity. The price was high, but the prize was priceless. That some people attempted to reproduce the vision is undeniable, some certainly succeeded, but much of what was written down was pure speculation. True visionaries are rare, people willing to go on at length about what they imagine the secrets of the universe to be are two a penny. It was called the Work of the Chariot, but somewhere along the way the wheels seem to have fallen off. I was going to go into more detail about these people (the genuine ones and the pious fantasists), but we’re getting away from the centre of it all; it’s time to open the box.

In Ezekiel’s case the box in question was the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple. The Hebrew for Holy of Holies doesn’t mean something more holy than holy. It means something which makes other (formally unholy) things holy. It was a box; a golden cube representing the fire at the centre of creation. It’s described in the Book of Enoch like this:


“And behold there was another habitation more spacious than the former, every entrance to which was open before me, erected in the midst of a vibrating flame. So greatly did it excel in all points, in glory, in magnificence, and in magnitude, that it is impossible to describe to you either the splendour or the extent of it. Its floor was on fire; above were lightnings and agitated stars, while its roof exhibited a blazing fire. Attentively I surveyed it, and saw that it contained an exalted throne; The appearance of which was like that of frost; while its circumference resembled the orb of the brilliant sun; and there was the voice of the cherubim. From underneath this mighty throne rivers of flaming fire issued. To look upon it was impossible. One great in glory sat upon it: Whose robe was brighter than the sun, and whiter than snow. No angel was capable of penetrating to view the face of Him, the Glorious and the Effulgent; nor could any mortal behold Him. A fire was flaming around Him. A fire also of great extent continued to rise up before Him; so that not one of those who surrounded Him was capable of approaching Him, among the myriads of myriads who were before Him.”
Aristotle  had this to say about it:


“the more genuine members of the (Pythagorean) school regard fire as the centre, as the creative force which gives life to the whole earth and warms it’s cold parts. Some call it Zeus’s tower or his watch tower, or the throne of Zeus.”


The Holy of Holies was also known as the watch tower, but it’s not overly surprising that Pythagoras used the same description. While Ezekiel was over in Babylon, Pythagoras was “initiated into the sacred operations performed in many parts of Syria”. Some of the elements which found their way into his teachings almost certainly came from an understanding of the same things that Ezekiel had known. Elements like the correspondence of microcosm and macrocosm, the ideal of becoming like God, and most tellingly the description of the unity underlying all things as a chariot…the Chariot throne of Ezekiel’s vision.
Surrounding that throne were the Four; the living creatures.

Ezekiel has four identical four-faced Zoa, in Revelation they each have one of four faces, but essentially they were the same. The faces they had (or shared) were those of a man, an ox, an eagle, and a lion. I’ve spent much time pondering the meaning and significance of the choice of faces over the past couple of weeks. There is a lot of symbolism in them, but lets just say they are the components necessary for …well…everything. They’re the riddle of the Sphinx.


Their physical reality probably took the form of masked priests who acted as the guardians of whatever or whoever was in the box. In the Gnostic Codex Brucianus they are the guardians of the four gates of the heavenly city which corresponds to the Holy of Holies. They are also closely related to the four Archangels and both Revelations and Enoch present them as agents of judgement. These are the beings who round up the fallen Watchers, summon the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and are granted the power to harm the earth and sea. They are not something you would want to mess with. They act as a pretty effective KEEP OUT sign. Ezekiel (or his editor) seems to suggest they are one and the same as the Cherubim and the biblical texts do seem to back him up, but they are regarded as something else by those who studied the Work of the Chariot.


3 Enoch has two separate angels Hayli’el and Kerubiel as being in charge of the Zoa and the Cherubim respectively. Some texts have the Cherubim on either side of the throne and the Zoa carrying it. This makes some kind of sense. There were Cherubim in the Holy of Holies. A couple on top of the Mercy Seat above the Ark, and two enormous ones carved in olive wood and covered with gold, stretched the full width of the room and formed a huge throne. According to some accounts they were a male and a female and they were…ahem…”embracing”. It must have been a rather impressive chair, and don’t ask me why but, I get the impression there may have been a bit of rock built into it. So the Cherubim were the throne, but they are also synonymous with the winds and clouds that carried Yahweh through the heavens, presumably in a southerly direction.


The distinctions between Zoon and Cherub are a bit blurry. Things get confused and forgotten over time. The Zoa are very old indeed but they didn’t stick around for ever. Having nothing to guard in the Second Temple they probably got bored and wandered off. The prophet Habakkuk seemed to be firmly of the impression that there were two Zoa rather than four, so he was almost certainly thinking of the Cherubim. These things happen.

So there you go…it hasn’t been too tricky. Except now it’s time to turn the whole thing on its head and look at what Ezekiel was really talking about. This is where it gets tricky.


The language Ezekiel uses is a little bit odd. Its one of those passages where you get little footnotes that says, “Hebrew unclear”. In places it is pretty much untranslatable into English, and he uses words that don’t appear anywhere else in the Hebrew scriptures so there’s nothing that you can compare things to try and work out a context. Those lightning flashes in the cloud are a guess. No one really knows what bzq means because it doesn’t appear anywhere else.


Then there is the matter of singular/ plural and masculine / feminine. Thing switch between them seemingly at random. You can start a sentence with four feminine Zoa and halfway through it mentions his face. The usual explanation for this random oddness is that it’s a way of getting across that you’re dealing with meaningless concepts. Ezekiel has passed though the door and beyond the material world. Time, space, male, female, singular, plural have no place here. It’s a little more fluid. It’s an argument that to some extent stands up very well, but it certainly isn’t the whole story. The switch between singular and plural happens with other words without the same problems. Elohim is used to mean God or god, but it’s actually plural and you can tell if it means God, god, or gods from the context. The problem with Ezekiel is the lack of context. He’s in a world of his own.

At this point I’d like to thank the Gnostics. They may have been a little barking at times but they’ve managed to preserve the context in their some of their mystical ramblings.


What Ezekiel is trying to describe is this:

The Zoa are Zoon.


In the fiery centre of the cloud that may or may not have been flashing with lightning was a four-fold feminine Living One and their appearance was like that of a human. She had four faces (or presences) ,and four wings, and human hands. Two pairs of wings spread upwards touching those on either side of them, and two pairs covered the body. In the midst of the Living One was something that looked like a fiery torch moving about.

We’re going to skip the wheels, the throne, it’s occupant, and the firmament that it rests on, because for now I’m more interested in this being beneath the throne.


The Gnostics knew of a four-fold female/male figure. They called her Barbelo. To be honest, when I started trying to plough through Gnostic texts a few years ago I thought Barbelo was a place rather than a person.
Here is a quotes from the Apocryphon of John  so you can see what I had to put up with


She is the forethought of the All - her light shines like his light - the perfect power which is the image of the invisible, virginal Spirit who is perfect. The first power, the glory of Barbelo, the perfect glory in the aeons, the glory of the revelation, she glorified the virginal Spirit and it was she who praised him, because thanks to him she had come forth. This is the first thought, his image; she became the womb of everything, for it is she who is prior to them all, the Mother-Father, the first man, the holy Spirit, the thrice-male, the thrice-powerful, the thrice-named androgynous one, and the eternal aeon among the invisible ones, and the first to come forth.
She is the forethought of the All - her light shines like his light - the perfect power which is the image of the invisible, virginal Spirit who is perfect. The first power, the glory of Barbelo, the perfect glory in the aeons, the glory of the revelation, she glorified the virginal Spirit and it was she who praised him, because thanks to him she had come forth. This is the first thought, his image; she became the womb of everything, for it is she who is prior to them all, the Mother-Father, the first man, the holy Spirit, the thrice-male, the thrice-powerful, the thrice-named androgynous one, and the eternal aeon among the invisible ones, and the first to come forth.”

The name is a mixture of the two Hebrew words “be’arba” and “eloah”. Be’arba as you may have guessed means “in four”. Eloah is the feminine form  of “El” the word for god. It’s sometimes found in conjunction with the word Shaddai. In a subsequent vision Ezekiel sees the Shekinah (the Glory of God) leave the Temple and says that the sound of her wings was like the voice of El Shaddai. It set me thinking.


I’m sure it’s probably set you falling asleep, but I’m nearly there.


Barbelo shares a lot of similarities with El or Eloah Shaddai. She/He is just a more modern form with a few cosmopolitan influences.


Shaddai is one of those “debatable” words that are so obviously not debateable unless you have something to hide. It is usually translated as Almighty. I don’t really have too much of a problem with that except that it hides the truth. Shaddai is derived from the word for tits. Even with the El in front of it you’ve got God… with tits. People seem to have a problem with the concept that a boy without a tinkle is called a girl. Admittedly the androgynous thing is actually quite important, but in the interest of a little balance I’m willing to emphasise the tits for once.  There is an outside chance that it might just be derived from the word for mountains, but again it doesn’t require a great leap of the imagination to work out why the word for tits and the word for mountains are kind of similar.  If there is any doubt at all you just need to look at the kind of blessings that El Shaddai. According to Genesis Abraham’s God/dess blessed, ” With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.”


If there is any doubt at all you just need to look at the kind of blessings that El Shaddai bestowed. According to Genesis Abraham’s God/dess blessed, ” With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.”


She was the Goddess of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. She was the Goddess of Moses’ ancestors who Moses had no idea was called Yahweh until Yahweh told him otherwise. She likes cake, she doesn’t like to be kept in a box, and sometimes she throws stones through the gates of heaven to try and wake us up. If she thinks you should be king she’ll sing out…and did I mention …She shines.