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En:Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma 25b

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Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry , prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States: Charleston, 1871.

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XXV NIGHT OF THE BRAZEN SERPENT. ( Part 2 of 4 )


( Part 1 of 4 )( Part 2 of 4 )( Part 3 of 4 )( Part 4 of 4 )
So the risings and settings of the Fixed Stars, and their conjunctions with the Sun, and their first appearance as they emerged from his rays, fixed the epochs for the feasts instituted in their honor; and the Sacred Calendars of the ancients were regulated accordingly. In the Roman games of the circus, celebrated in honor of the Sun and of entire Nature, the Sun, Moon, Planets, Zodiac, Elements, and the most apparent parts and potent agents of Nature were personified and represented, and the courses of the Sun in the Heavens were imitated in the Hippodrome; his chariot being drawn by four horses of different colors, representing the four elements and seasons. The courses were from East to West, like the circuits round the Lodge, and seven in number, to correspond with the number of planets. The movements of the Seven Stars that revolve around the pole were also represented, as were those of Capella, which by its heliacal rising at the moment when the Sun reached the Pleiades, in Taurus, announced the commencement of the annual revolution of the Sun.
The intersection of the Zodiac by the colures at the Equinoctial and Solstitial points, fixed four periods, each of which has, by one or more nations, and in some cases by the same nation at different periods, been taken for the commencement of the year. Some adopted the Vernal Equinox, because then day began to prevail over night, and light gained a victory over darkness. Sometimes the Summer Solstice was preferred; because then day attained its maximum of duration, and the acme of its glory and perfection. In Egypt, another reason was, that then the Nile began to overflow, at the heliacal rising of Sirius. Some preferred the Autumnal Equinox, because then the harvests were gathered, and the hopes of a new crop were deposited in the bosom of the earth. And some preferred the Winter Solstice, because then, the shortest day having arrived, their length commenced to increase, and Light began the career destined to end in victory at the Vernal Equinox. The Sun was figuratively said to die and be born again at the Winter Solstice; the games of the Circus, in honor of the invincible God-Sun, were then celebrated, and the Roman year estab lished or reformed by Numa, commenced. Many peoples of Italy commenced their year, Macrobius says, at that time; and represented by the four ages of man the gradual succession of periodical increase and diminution of day, and the light of the Sun; likening him to an infant born at the Winter Solstice, a young man at the Vernal Equinox, a robust man at the Summer Solstice, and an old man at the Autumnal Equinox. This idea was borrowed from the Egyptians, who adored the Sun at the Winter Solstice, under the figure of an infant.
The image of the Sign in which each of the four seasons commenced, became the form under which was figured the Sun of that particular season. The Lion's skin was worn by Hercules; the horns of the Bull adorned the forehead of Bacchus; and the autumnal serpent wound its long folds round the Statue of Serapis, 2500 years before our era; when those Signs corresponded with the commencement of the Seasons. When other constellations replaced them at those points, by means of the precession of the Equinoxes, those attributes were changed. Then the Ram furnished the horns for the head of the Sun, under the name of Jupiter Ammon. He was no longer born exposed to the waters of Aquarius, like Bacchus, nor enclosed in an urn like the God Canopus; but in the Stables of Augeas or the Celestial Goat. He then completed his triumph, mounted on an ass, in the constellation Cancer, which then occupied the Solstitial point of Summer.
Other attributes the images of the Sun borrowed from the constellations which, by their rising and setting, fixed the points of departure of the year, and the commencements of its four principal divisions. First the Bull and afterward the Ram (called by the Persians the Lamb), was regarded as the regenerator of Nature, through his union with the Sun. Each, in his turn, was an emblem of the Sun overcoming the winter darkness, and repairing the disorders of Nature, which every year was regenerated under these Signs, after the Scorpion and Serpent of Autumn had brought upon it barrenness, disaster, and darkness. Mithras was represented sitting on a Bull; and that animal was an image of Osiris: while the Greek Bacchus armed his front with its horns, and was pictured with its tail and feet. The Constellations also became noteworthy to the husbandman, which by their rising or setting, at morning or evening, indicated the coming of this period of renewed fruitfulness and new life. Capella, or the kid Amalthea, whose horn is called that of abundance, awl whose place is over the equinoctial point, or Taurus; and the Pleiades, that long indicated the Seasons, and gave rise to a multitude of poetic fables, were the most observed and most celebrated in antiquity.
The original Roman year commenced at the Vernal Equinox. July was formerly called Quintilis, the 5th month, and August Sextilis, the 6th, as September is still the 7th month, October the 8th, and so on. The Persians commenced their year at the same time, and celebrated their great feast of Neurouz when the Sun entered Aries and the Constellation Perseus rose, - Perseus, who first brought down to earth the heavenly fire consecrated in their temples: and all the ceremonies then practised reminded men of the renovation of Nature and the triumph of Ormuzd, the Light-God, over the powers of Darkness and Ahriman their Chief. The Legislator of the Jews fixed the commencement of their year in the month Nisan, at the Vernal Equinox, at which season the Israelites marched out of Egypt and were relieved of their long bondage; in commemoration of which Exodus, they ate the Paschal Lamb at that Equinox. And when Bacchus and his army had long marched in burning deserts, they were led by a Lamb or Ram into beautiful meadows, and to the Springs that watered the Temple of Jupiter Ammon. For, to the Arabs and Ethiopians, whose great Divinity Bacchus was, nothing was so perfect a type of Elysium as a Country abounding in springs and rivulets. Orion, on the same meridian with the Stars of Taurus, died of the sting of the celestial Scorpion, that rises when he sets; as dies the Bull of Mithras in Autumn: and in the Stars that correspond with the Autumnal Equinox we find those malevolent genii that ever war against the Principle of good, and that take from the Sun and the Heavens the fruit-producing power that they communicate to the earth.
With the Vernal Equinox, dear to the sailor as to the husbandman, came the Stars that, with the Sun, open navigation, and rule the stormy Seas. Then the Twins plunge into the solar fires, or disappear at setting, going down with the Sun into the bosom of the waters. And these tutelary Divinities of mariners, the Dioscuri or Chief Cahiri of Samothrace, sailed with Jason to possess themselves of the golden-fleeced ram, or Aries, whose rising in the morning announced the Sun's entry into Taurus, when the Serpentbearer Jason rose in the evening, and, in aspect with the Dioscuri, was deemed their brother. And Orion, son of Neptune, and most potent controller of the tempest-tortured ocean, announcing sometimes calm and sometimes tempest, rose after Taurus, rejoicing in the forehead of the new year. The Summer Solstice was not less an important point in the Sun's march than the Vernal Equinox, especially to the Egyptians, to whom it not only marked the end and term of the increasing length of the days and of the domination of light, and the maximum of the Sun's elevation; but also the annual recurrence of that phenomenon peculiar to Egypt, the rising of the Nile, which, ever accompanying the Sun in his course, seemed to rise and fall as the days grew longer and shorter, being lowest at the Winter Solstice, and highest at that of Summer. Thus the Sun seemed to regulate its swelling; and the time of his arrival at the solstitial point being that of the first rising of the Nile, was selected by the Egyptians as the beginning of a year which they called the Year of God, and of the Sothiac Period, or the period of Sothis, the Dog-Star, who, rising in the morning, fixed that epoch, so important to the people of Egypt. This year was also called the Heliac, that is the Solar year, and the Canicular year; and it consisted of three hundred and sixty-five days, without intercalation; so that at the end of four years, or of four times three hundred and sixty-five days, making 1460 days, it needed to add a day, to make four complete revolutions of the Sun.
To correct this, some Nations made every fourth year consist, as we do now, of 366 days: but the Egyptians preferred to add nothing to the year of 365 days, which, at the end of 120 years, or of 30 times 4 years, was short 30 days or a month; that is to say, it required a month more to complete the 120 revolutions of the Sun, though so many were counted, that is, so many years. Of course the commencement of the 121st year would not correspond with the Summer Solstice, but would precede it by a month: so that, when the Sun arrived at the Solstitial point whence he at first set out, and whereto he must needs return, to make in reality 120 years, or 120 complete revolutions, the first month of the 121st year would have ended. Thus, if the commencement of the year went back 30 days every 120 years, this commencement of the year, continuing to recede, would, at the end of 12 times 120 years, or of 1460 years, get back to the Solstitial point, or primitive point of departure of the period. The Sun would then have made but 1459 revolutions, though 1460 were counted; to make up which, a year more would need to be added. So that the Sun would not have made his 1460 revolutions until the end of 1461 years of 365 days each, - each revolution being in reality not 365 days exactly, but 365 �.
This period of 1461 years, each of 365 days, bringing back the commencement of the Solar year to the Solstitial point, at the rising of Sirius, after 1460 complete Solar revolutions, was called in Egypt the Sothiac period, the point of departure whereof was the Summer Solstice, first occupied by the Lion and afterward by Cancer, under which sign is Sirius, which opened the period. It was, says Porphyry, at this Solstitial New Moon, accompanied by the rising of Seth or the Dog- Star, that the beginning of the year was fixed, and that of the generation of all things, or, as it were, the natal hour of the world. Not Sirius alone determined the period of the rising of the Nile, Aquarius, his urn, and the stream flowing from it, in opposition to the sign of the Summer Solstice then occupied by the Sun, opened in the evening the march of Night, and received the full Moon in his cup. Above him and with him rose the feet of Pegasus, struck wherewith the waters flow forth that the Muses drink. The Lion and, the Dog, indicating, were supposed to cause the inundation, and so were worshipped. While the Sun passed through Leo, the waters doubled their depth; and the sacred fountains poured their streams through the heads of lions. Hydra, rising between Sirius and Leo, extended under three signs. Its 'head rose with Cancer, and its tail with the feet of the Virgin and the beginning of Libra; and the inundation continued while the Sun passed along its whole extent.
The successive contest of light and darkness for the possession of the lunar disk, each being by turns victor and vanquished, exactly resembled what passed upon the earth by he action of the Sun and his journeys from one Solstice to the other. The lunary revolution presented the same periods of light and darkness as the year, and was the object of the same religious fictions. Above the Moon, Pliny said, everything is pure, and filled with eternal light. There ends the cone of shadow which the earth projects, and which produces night; there ends the sojourn of night and darkness; to it the air extends; but there we enter the pure substance. The Egyptians assigned to the Moon the demiurgic or creative force of Osiris, who united himself to her in the spring, when the Sun communicated to her the principles of generation which she afterward disseminated in the air and all the elements. The Persians considered the Moon to have been impregnated by the Celestial Bull, first of the signs of spring. In all ages, the Moon has been supposed to have great influence upon vegetation, and the birth and growth of animals; and the belief is as widely entertained now as ever, and that influence regarded as a mysterious and inexplicable one. Not the astrologers alone, but Naturalists like Pliny, Philosophers like Plutarch and Cicero, Theologians like the Egyptian Priests, and Metaphysicians like Proclus, believed firmly in these lunar influences.
"The Egyptians," says Diodorus Siculus, "acknowledged two great gods, the Sun and Moon, or Osiris and Isis, who govern the world and regulate its administration by the dispensation of the seasons . . . . Such is the nature of these two great Divinities, that they impress an active and fecundating force, by which the generation of beings in effected; the Sun, by heat and that spiritual principle that forms the breath of the winds; the Moon by humidity and dryness; and both by the forces of the air which they share in common. By this beneficial influence everything is born, grows, and vegetates. Wherefore this whole huge body, in which nature resides, is maintained by the combined action of the Sun and Moon, and their five qualities, - the principles spiritual, fiery, dry, humid, and airy."
So five primitive powers, elements, or elementary qualities, are united with the Sun and Moon in the Indian theology, - air, spirit, fire, water, and earth: and the same five elements are recognized by the Chinese. The Ph�nicians, like the Egyptians, regarded the Sun and Moon and Stars as sole causes of generation and destruction here below. The Moon, like the Sun, changed continually the track in which she crossed the Heavens, moving ever to and fro between the upper and lower limits of the Zodiac; and her different places, phases, and aspects there, and her relations with the Sun and the constellations, have been a fruitful source of mythological fables. All the planets had what astrology termed their houses, in the Zodiac. The House of the Sun was in Leo, and that of the Moon in Cancer. Each other planet had two, signs; Mercury had Gemini and Virgo; Venus, Taurus and Libra; Mars, Aries and Scorpio; Jupiter, Pisces and Sagittarius; and Saturn, Aquarius and Capricornus. From this distribution of the signs also came many mythological emblems and fables; as also many came from the places of exaltation of the planets. Diana of Ephesus, the Moon, wore the image of a crab on her bosom, because in that sign was the Moon's domicile; and lions bore up the throne of Horus, the Egyptian Apollo, the Sun personified, for a like reason: while the Egyptians consecrated the tauriforn scarab�s to the Moon, because she had her place of exaltation in Taurus; and for the same reason Mercury is said to have presented Isis with a helmet like a bull's head.
A further division of the Zodiac was of each sign into three parts of 10� each, called Decans, or, in the whole Zodiac, 36 parts, among which the seven planets were apportioned anew, each planet having an equal number of Decans, except the first, which, opening and closing the series of planets five times repeated, necessarily had one Decan more than the others. This subdivision was not invented until after Aries opened the Vernal Equinox; and accordingly Mars, having his house in Aries, opens the series of decans and closes it; the planets following each other, five times in succession, in the following order, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, etc.; so that to each sign are assigned three planets, each occupying 10 degrees. To each Decan a God or Genius was assigned, making thirtysix in all, one of whom, the Chaldeans said, came down upon earth every ten days, remained so many days, and re-ascended to Heaven. This division is found on the Indian sphere, the Persian, and that Barbaric one which Aben Ezra describes. Each genius of the Decans had a name and special characteristics. They concur and aid in the effects produced by the Sun, Moon, and other planets charged with the administration of the world: and the doctrine in regard to them, secret and august as it was held, was considered of the gravest importance; and its principles, Firmicus says, were not entrusted by the ancients, inspired as they were by the Deity, to any but the Initiates, and to them only with great reserve, and a kind of fear, and when cautiously enveloped with an obscure veil, that they might not come to be known by the profane. With these Decans were connected the paranatellons or those stars outside of the Zodiac, that rise and set at the same moment with the several divisions of 10� of each sign. As there were anciently only fortyeight celestial figures or constellations, of which twelve were in the Zodiac, it follows that there were, outside of the Zodiac, thirty-six other asterisms, paranatellons of the several thirty-six Decans. For example, as when Capricorn set, Sirius and Procyon, or Canis Major and Canis Minor, rose, they were the Paranatellons of Capricorn, though at a great distance from it in the heavens. The rising of Cancer was known from the setting of Corona Borealis and the rising of the Great and Little Dog, its three paranatellons.
The risings and settings of the Stars are always spoken of as connected with the Sun. In that connection there are three kinds of them, cosmical, achronical, and heliacal, important to be distinguished by all who would understand this ancient learning. When any Star rises or sets with the same degree of the same sign of the Zodiac that the Sun occupies at the time, it rises and sets simultaneously with the Sun, and this is termed rising or setting cosmically; but a star that so rises and sets can never be seen, on account of the light that precedes, and is left behind by the Sun. It is therefore necessary, in order to know his place in the Zodiac, to observe stars that rise just before or set just after him. A Star that is in the Fast when night commences, and in the West when it ends, is said to rise and set achronically. A Star so rising or setting was in opposition to the Sun, rising at the end of evening twilight, and setting at the beginning of morning twilight, and this happened to each Star but once a year, because the Sun moves from West to Fast, with reference to the Stars, one degree a day. When a Star rises as night ends in the morning, or sets as night commences in the evening, it is said to rise or set heliacally, because the Sun (Helios) seems to touch it with his luminous atmosphere. A Star thus re-appears after a disappearance, often, of several months, and thenceforward it rises an hour earlier each day, gradually emerging from the Sun's rays, until at the end of three months it precedes the Sun six hours, and rises at midnight. A Star sets heliacally, when no longer remaining visible above the western horizon after sunset, the day arrives when they cease to be seen setting in the West. They so remain invisible, until the Sun passes so far to the Eastward as not to eclipse them with his light; and then they re-appear, but in the East, about an hour and a half before sunrise: and this is their heliacal rising. In this interval, the cosmical rising and setting take place.
Besides the relations of the constellations and their paranatelIons with the houses and places of exaltation of the Planets, and with their places in the respective Signs and Decans, the Stars were supposed to produce different effects according as they rose or set, and according as they did so either cosmically, achronicany, or heliacally; and also according to the different seasons of the year in which these phenomena occurred; and these differences were carefully marked on the old Calendars; and many things in the ancient allegories are referable to them. Another and most important division of the Stars was into good and bad, beneficent and malevolent. With the Persians, the former, of the Zodiacal Constellations, were from Aries to Virgo, inclusive; and the latter from Libra to Pisces, inclusive. Hence the good Angels and Genii, and the bad Angels, Devs, Evil Genii, Devils, Fallen Angels, Titans, and Giants of the Mythology. The other thirty-six Constellations were equally divided, eighteen on each side, or, with those of the Zodiac, twenty-four. Thus the symbolic Egg, that issued from the mouth of the invisible Egyptian God KNEPH; known in the Grecian Mysteries as the Orphic Egg; from which issued the God CHUMONG of the Coresians, and the Egyptian OSIRISS, and PHANES, God and Principle of Light; from which, broken by the Sacred Bull of the Japanese, the world emerged; and which the Greeks placed at the feet of BACCHUS TAURI-CORNUS; the Magian Egg of ORMUZD, from which came the Amshaspands and Devs; was divided into two halves, and equally apportioned between the Good and Evil Constellations and Angels. Those of Spring, as for example Aries and Taurus, Auriga and Capella, were the beneficent stars; and those of Autumn, as the Balance, Scorpio, the Serpent of Ophiucus, and the Dragon of the Hesperides, were types and subjects of the Evil Principle, and regarded as malevolent causes of the ill effects experienced in Autumn and Winter. Thus are explained the mysteries of the journeyings of the human soul through the spheres, when it descends to the earth by the Sign of the Serpent, and returns to the Empire of light by that of the Lamb or Bull.
The creative action of Heaven was manifested, and all its demiurgic energy developed, most of all at the Vernal Equinox, to which refer all the fables that typify the victory of Light over Darkness, by the triumphs of Jupiter, Osiris, Ormuzd, and Apollo. Always the triumphant god takes the form of the Bull, the Ram, or the Lamb. Then Jupiter wrests from Typhon his thunderbolts, of which that malignant Deity had possessed himself during the Winter. Then the God of Light overwhelms his foe, pictured as a huge Serpent. Then Winter ends; the Sun, seated on the Bull and accompanied by Orion, blazes in the Heavens. All nature rejoices at the victory; and Order and Harmony are everywhere re-established, in place of the dire confusion that reigned while gloomy Typhon domineered, and Ahriman prevailed against Ormuzd. The universal Soul of the World, motive power of Heaven and of the Spheres, it was held, exercises its creative energy chiefly through the medium of the Sun, during his revolution along the signs of the Zodiac, with which signs unite the paranatellons that modify their influence, and concur in furnishing the symbolic attributes of the Great Luminary that regulates Nature and is the depository of her greatest powers. The action of this Universal Soul of the World is displayed in the movements of the Spheres, and above all in that of the Sun, in the successions of the risings and settings of the Stars, and in their periodical returns. By these are explainable all the metamorphoses of that Soul, personified as Jupiter, as Bacchus, as Vishnu, or as Buddha, and all the various attributes ascribed to it; and also the worship of those animals that were consecrated in the ancient Temples, representatives on earth of the Celestial Signs, and supposed to receive by transmission from them the rays and emanations which in them flow from the Universal Soul.
All the old Adorers of Nature, the Theologians, Astrologers, and Poets, as well as the most distinguished Philosophers, supposed that the Stars were so many animated and intelligent beings, or eternal bodies, active causes of effect here below, animated by a living principle, and directed by an intelligence that was itself but an emanation from and a part of the life and universal intelligence of the world: and we find in the hierarchical order and distribution of their eternal and divine Intelligences, known by the names of Gods, Angels, and Genii, the same distributions and the same divisions as those by which the ancients divided the visible Universe and distributed its parts. And the famous divisions by seven and by twelve, appertaining to the planets and the signs of the zodiac, is everywhere found in the hierarchical order of the Gods, and Angels, and the other Ministers that are the depositaries of that Divine Force which moves and rules the world.
These, and the other Intelligences assigned to the other Stars, have absolute dominion over all parts of Nature; over the elements, the animal and vegetable kingdoms, over man and all his actions, over his virtues and vices, and over good and evil, which divide between them his life. The passions of his soul and the maladies of his body, - these and the entire man are dependent on the heavens and the genii that there inhabit, who preside at his birth, control his fortunes during life, and receive his soul or active and intelligent part when it is to be reunited to the pure life of the lofty Stars. And all through the great body of the world are disseminated portions of the universal Soul, impressing movement on everything that seems to move of itself, giving life to the plants and trees, directing by a regular and settled plan the organization and development of their germs, imparting constant mobility to the running waters and maintaining their eternal motion, impelling the winds and changing their direction or stilling them, calming and arousing the ocean, unchaining the storm pouring out the fires of volcanoes, or with earthquakes shaking the roots of huge mountains and the foundations of vast continents; by means of a force that, belonging to Nature, is a mystery to man. And these invisible Intelligences, like the stars, are marshalled in two great divisions, under the banners of the two Principles of Good and Evil, Light and Darkness; under Ormuzd and Ahriman, Osiris and Typhon. The Evil Principle was the motive power of brute matter; and it, personified as Ahriman and Typhon, had its hosts and armies of Devs and Genii, Fallen Angels and Malevolent Spirits, who waged continual wage with the Good Principle, the Principle of Empyreal Light and Splendor, Osiris, Ormuzd, Jupiter or Dionusos, with his bright hosts of Amshaspands, Izeds, Angels, and Archangels; a warfare that goes on from birth until death, in the soul of every man that lives. We have heretofore, in the 24th Degree recited the principal incidents in the legend of Osiris and Isis, and it remains but to point out the astronomical phenomena which it has converted into mythological facts.
The Sun, at the Vernal Equinox, was the fruit-compelling star that by his warmth provoked generation and poured upon the sublunary world all the blessings of Heaven; the beneficent god, tutelary genius of universal vegetation, that communicates to the dull earth new activity, and stirs her great heart, long chilled by Winter and his frosts, until from her bosom burst all the greenness and perfume of spring, making her rejoice in leafy forests and grassy lawns and flower-enamelled meadows, and the promise of abundant crops of grain and fruits and purple grapes in their due season. He was then called Osiris, Husband of Isis, God of Cultivation and Benefactor of Men, pouring on them and on the earth the choicest blessings within the gift of the Divinity. Opposed to him was Typhon, his antagonist in the Egyptian mythology, as Ahriman was the foe of Ormuzd, the Good Principle, in the theology of the Persians. The first inhabitants of Egypt and Ethiopia, as Diodorus Siculus informs us, saw in the Heavens two first eternal causes of things, or great Divinities, one the Sun, whom they called Osiris, and the other the Moon, whom they called Isis; and these they considered the causes of all the generations of earth. This idea, we learn from Eusebius, was the same as that of the Ph�nicians. On these two great Divinities the administration of the world depended. All sublunary bodies received from them their nourishment and increase, during the annual revolution which they controlled, and the different seasons into which it was divided. To Osiris and Isis, it was held, were owing civilization, the discovery of agriculture, laws, arts of all kinds, religious worship, temples, the invention of letters, astronomy, the gymnastic arts, and music; and thus they were the universal benefactors. Osiris travelled to civilize the countries which he passed through, and communicate to them his valuable discoveries. He built cities, and taught men to cultivate the earth. Wheat and wine were his first presents to men. Europe, Asia, and Africa partook of the blessings which he communicated, and the most remote regions of India remembered him, and claimed him as one of their great gods.
You have learned how Typhon, his brother, slew him. His body was cut into pieces, all of which were collected by Isis, except his organs of generation, which had been thrown into and devoured in the waters of the river that every year fertilized Egypt. The other portions were buried by Isis, and over them she erected a tomb. Thereafter she remained single, loading her subjects with blessings. She cured the sick, restored sight to the blind, made the paralytic whole, and even raised the dead. From her Horus or Apollo learned divination and the science of medicine. Thus the Egyptians pictured the beneficent action of the two luminaries that, from the bosom of the elements, produced all animals and men, and all bodies that are born, grow, and die in the eternal circle of generation and destruction here below. When the Celestial Bull opened the new year at the Vernal Equinox, Osiris, united with the Moon, communicated to her the seeds of fruitfulness which she poured upon the air, and therewith impregnated the generative principles which gave activity to universal vegetation. Apis, represented by a bull, was the living and sensible image of the Sun or Osiris, when in union with Isis or the Moon at the Vernal Equinox, concurring with her in provoking everything that lives to generation. This conjunction of the Sun with the Moon at the Vernal Equinox, in the constellation Taurus, required the Bull Apis to have on his shoulder a mark resembling the Crescent Moon. And the fecundating influence of these two luminaries was expressed by images that would now be deemed gross and indecent, but which then were not misunderstood.
Everything good in Nature comes from Osiris, - order, harmony, and the favorable temperature of the seasons and celestial periods. From Typhon come the stormy passions and irregular impulses that agitate the brute and material part of man; maladies of the body, and violent shocks that injure the health and derange the system; inclement weather, derangement of the seasons, and eclipses. Osiris and Typhon were the Ormuzd and Ahriman of the Persians; principles of good and evil, of light and darkness, ever at war in the administration of the Universe. Osiris was the image of generative power. This was expressed by his symbolic statues, and by the sign into which he entered at the Vernal Equinox. He especially dispensed the humid principle of Nature, generative element of all things; and the Nile and all moisture were regarded as emanations from him, without which there could be no vegetation. That Osiris and Isis were the Sun and Moon, is attested by many ancient writers; by Diogenes Laertius, Plutarch, Lucian, Suidas, Macrobius, Martianus Capella, and others. His power was symbolized by an Eye over a Sceptre. The Sun was termed by the Greeks the Eye of Jupiter, and the Eye of the World; and his is the All-Seeing Eye in our Lodges. The oracle of Claros styled him King of the Stars and of the Eternal Fire, that engenders the year and the seasons, dispenses rain and winds, and brings about daybreak and night. And Osiris was invoked as the God that resides in the Sun and is enveloped by his rays, the invisible and eternal force that modifies the sublunary world by means of the Sun.
Osiris was the same God known as Bacchus, Dionusos, and Serapis. Serapis is the author of the regularity and harmony of the world. Bacchus, jointly with Ceres (identified by Herodotus with Isis) presides over the distribution of all our blessings; and from the two emanates everything beautiful and good in Nature. One furnishes the germ and principle of every good; the other receives and preserves it as a deposit; and the latter is the function of the Moon in the theology of the Persians. In each theology, Persian and Egyptian, the Moon acts directly on the earth; but she is fecundated, in one by the Celestial Bull and in the other by Osiris, with whom she is united at the Vernal Equinox, in the sign Taurus, the place of her exaltation or greatest influence on the earth. The force of Osiris, says Plutarch, is exercised through the Moon. She is the passive cause relatively to him, and the active cause relatively to the earth, to which she transmits the germs of fruitfulness received from him. In Egypt the earliest movement in the waters of the Nile began to appear at the Vernal Equinox, when the new Moon occurred at the entrance of the Sun into the constellation Taurus; and thus the Nile was held to receive its fertilizing power from the combined action of the equinoctial Sun and the new Moon, meeting in Taurus. Osiris was often confounded with the Nile, and Isis with the earth; and Osiris was deemed to act on the earth, and to transmit to it his emanations, through both the Moon and the Nile; whence the fable that his generative organs were thrown into that river. Typhon, on the other hand, was the principle of aridity and barrenness; and by his mutilation of Osiris was meant that. drought which caused the Nile to retire within his bed and shrink up in Autumn.
Elsewhere than in Egypt, Osiris was the symbol of the refreshing rains that descend to fertilize the earth; and Typhon the burning winds of Autumn; the stormy rains that rot the flowers, the plants, and leaves; the short, cold days; and everything injurious in Nature, and that produces corruption and destruction. In short, Typhon is the principle of corruption, of darkness, of the lower world from which come earthquakes, tumultuous commotions of the air, burning heat, lightning, and fiery meteors, and plague and pestilence. Such too was the Ahriman of the Persians; and this revolt of the Evil Principle against the Principle of Good and Light, has been represented in every cosmogony, under many varying forms. Osiris, on the contrary, by the intermediation of Isis, fills the material world with happiness, purity, and order, by which the harmony of Nature is maintained. t was said that he died at the Autumnal Equinox, when Taurus or the Pleiades rose in the evening, and that he rose to life again in "lie Spring, when vegetation was inspired with new activity. Of course the two signs of Taurus and Scorpio will figure most largely in the mythological history of Osiris, for they marked the two equinoxes, 2500 years before our Era; and next to them the other constellations, near the equinoxes, that fixed the limits of the duration of the fertilizing action of the Sun; and it is also to be remarked that Venus, the Goddess of Generation, has her domicile in Taurus, as the Moon has there her place of exaltation.
When the Sun was in Scorpio, Osiris lost his life, and that fruitfulness which, under the form of the Bull, he had communicated, through the Moon, to the Earth. Typhon, his hands and feet horrid with serpents, and whose habitat in the Egyptian planisphere was under Scorpio, confined him in a chest and flung him into the Nile, under the 17th degree of Scorpio. Under that sign he lost his life and virility; and he recovered them in the Spring, when he had connection with the Moon. When he entered Scorpio, his light diminished, Night reassumed her dominion, the Nile shrunk within its banks, and the earth lost her verdure and the trees their leaves. Therefore it is that on the Mithriac Monuments, the Scorpion bites the testicles of the Equinoctial Bull, on which sits Mithras, the Sun of Spring and God of Generation; and that, on the same monuments, we see two trees, one covered with young leaves, and at its foot a little bull and a torch burning; and the other loaded with fruit, and at its foot a Scorpion, and a torch reversed and extinguished. Ormuzd or Osiris, the beneficent Principle that gives the world light, was personified by the Sun, apparent source of light. Darkness, personified by Typhon or Ahriman, was his natural enemy. The Sages of Egypt described the necessary and eternal rivalry or opposition of these principles, ever pursuing one the other, and one dethroning the other in every annual revolution, and at a particular period, one in the Spring under the Bull, and the other in Autumn under the Scorpion, by the legendary history of Osiris and Typhon, detailed to us by Diodorus and Synesius; in which history were also personified the Stars and constellations Orion, Capella, the Twins, the Wolf, Sirius, and Hercules, whose risings and settings noted the advent of one or the other equinox.
Plutarch gives us the positions in the Heavens of the Sun and Moon, at the moment when Osiris was murdered by Typhon. The Sun, he says, was in the Sign of the Scorpion, which he then entered at the Autumnal Equinox. The Moon was full, he adds; and consequently, as it rose at sunset, it occupied Taurus, which, opposite to Scorpio, rose as it and the Sun sank together, so that she was then found alone in the sign Taurus, where, six months before, she had been in union or conjunction with Osiris, the Sun, receiving from him those germs of universal fertilization which he communicated to her. It was the sign through which Osiris first ascended into his empire of light and good. It rose with the Sun on the day of the Vernal Equinox; it remained six months in the luminous hemisphere, ever preceding the Sun and above the horizon during the day; until in Autumn, the Sun arriving at Scorpio, Taurus was in complete opposition with him, rose when he set, and completed its entire course above the horizon during the night; presiding, by rising in the evening, over the commencement of the long nights. Hence in the sad ceremonies commemorating the death of Osiris, there was borne in procession a golden bull covered with black crape, image of the darkness into which the familiar sign of Osiris was entering, and which was to spread over the Northern regions, while the Sun, prolonging the nights, was to be absent, and each to remain under the dominion of Typhon, Principle of Evil and Darkness. Setting out from the sign Taurus, Isis, as the Moon, went seeking for Osiris through all the superior signs, in each of which she became full in the successive months from the Autumnal to the Vernal Equinox, without finding him in either. Let us follow her in her allegorical wanderings. Osiris was slain by Typhon his rival, with whom conspired a Queen of Ethiopia, by whom, says Plutarch, were designated the winds. The paranatellons of Scorpio, the sign occupied by the Sun when Osiris was slain, were the Serpents, reptiles which supplied the attributes of the Evil Genii and of Typhon, who himself bore the form of a serpent in the Egyptian planisphere. And in the division of Scorpio is also found Cassiopeia, Queen of Ethiopia, whose setting brings stormy winds. Osiris descended to the shades or infernal regions. There he took the name of Serapis, identical with Pluto, and assumed his nature. He was then in conjunction with Serpentarius, identical with �sculapius, whose form he took in his passage to the lower signs, where he takes the names of Pluto and Ades.
Then Isis wept for the death of Osiris, and the golden bull covered with crape was carried in procession. Nature mourned the impending loss of her Summer glories, and the advent of the empire of night, the withdrawing of the waters, made fruitful by the Bull in Spring, the cessation of the winds that brought rains to swell the Nile, the shortening of the days, and the despoiling of the earth. Then Taurus, directly opposite the Sun, entered into the cone of shadow which the earth projects, by which the Moon is eclipsed at full, and with which, making night, the Bull rises and descends as if covered with a veil, while he remains above our horizon. The body of Osiris, enclosed in a chest or coffin, was cast into the Nile. Pan and the Satyrs, near Chemmis, first discovered his death, announced it by their cries, and everywhere created sorrow and alarm. Taurus, with the full Moon, then entered into the cone of shadow, and under him was the Celestial River, most properly called the Nile, and below, Perseus, the God of Chemmis, and Auriga, leading a she-goat, himself identical with Pan, whose wife Aiga the she-goat was styled. Then Isis went in search of the body. She first met certain children who had seen it, received from them their information, and gave them in return the gift of divination. The second full Moon occurred in Gemini, the Twins, who presided over the oracles of Didymus, and one of whom was Apollo, the God of Divination.
She learned that Osiris had, through mistake, had connection with her sister Nephte, which she discovered by a crown of leaves of the melilot, which he had left behind him. Of this connection a child was born, whom Isis, aided by her dogs, sought for, found, reared, and attached to herself, by the name of Anubis, her faithful guardian. The third full Moon occurs in Cancer, domicile of the Moon. The paranatellons of that sign are, the crown of Ariadne or Proserpine, made of leaves of the melilot, Procyon and Canis Major, one star of which was called the Star of Isis, while Sirius himself was honored in Egypt under the name of Anubis. Isis repaired to Byblos, and seated herself near a fountain, where she was found by the women of the Court of a King. She was induced to visit his Court, and became the nurse of his son. The fourth full Moon was in Leo, domicile of the Sun, or of Adonis, King of Byblos. The paranatellons of this sign are the flowing water of Aquarius, and Cephens, King of Ethiopia, called Regulus, or simply The King. Behind him rise Cassiopeia his wife, Queen of Ethiopia, Andromeda his daughter, and Perseus his son-in-law, all paranatellons in part of this sign, and in part of Virgo. Isis suckled the child, not at her breast, but with the end of her finger, at night. She burned all the mortal parts of its body, and then, taking the shape of a swallow, she flew to the great column of the palace, made of the tamarisk-tree that grew up round the coffin containing the body of Osiris, and within which it was still enclosed. The fifth full Moon occurred in Virgo, the true image of Isis, and which Eratosthenes calls by that name. It pictured a woman suckling an infant, the son of Isis, born near the Winter Solstice. This sign has for paranatellons the mast of the Celestial Ship, and the swallow-tailed fish or swallow above it, and a portion of Perseus, son-in-law of the King of Ethiopia. Isis, having recovered the sacred coffer, sailed from Byblos in a vessel with the eldest son of the King, toward Boutos, where Anubis was, having charge of her son Horus; and in the morning dried up a river, whence arose a strong wind. Landing, she hid the coffer in a forest. Typhon, hunting a wild boar by moonlight, discovered it, recognized the body of his rival, and cut it into fourteen pieces, the number of days between the full and new Moon, and in every one of which days the Moon loses a portion of the light that at the commencement filled her whole disk.
The sixth full Moon occurred in Libra over the divisions separating which from Virgo are the Celestial Ship, Perseus, son of the King of Ethiopia and Bo�tes, said to have nursed Horus. The river of Orion that sets in the morning is also a paranatellon of Libra, as are Ursa Major, the Great Bear or Wild Boar of Erymanthus, and the Dragon of the North Pole or the celebrated Python from which the attributes of Typhon were borrowed. All these surround the full Moon of Libra, last of the Superior Signs, and the one that precedes the new Moon of Spring, about to be reproduced in Taurus, and there be once more in conjunction with the Sun. Isis collects the scattered fragments of the body of Osiris, buries them, and consecrates the phallus, carried in pomp at the Pamylia, or feasts of the Vernal Equinox, at which time the congress of Osiris and the Moon was celebrated. Then Osiris had returned from the shades, to aid Horus his son and Isis his wife against the forces of Typhon. He thus reappeared, say some, under the form of a wolf, or, others say, under that of a horse. The Moon, fourteen days after she is full in Libra, arrives at Taurus and unites herself to the Sun, whose fires she thereafter for fourteen days continues to accumulate on her disk from new Moon to full. Then she unites with herself all the months in that superior portion of the world where light always reigns, with harmony and order, and she borrows from him the force which is to destroy the germs of evil that Typhon had, during the winter, planted everywhere in nature. This passage of the Sun into Taurus, whose attributes he assumes on his return from the lower hemisphere or the shades, is marked by the rising in the evening of the Wolf and the Centaur, and by the heliacal setting of Orion, called the Star of Horus, and which thenceforward is in conjunction with the Sun of Spring, in his triumph over the darkness or Typhon.
Isis, during the absence of Osiris, and after she had hidden the coffer in the place where Typhon found it, had rejoined that malignant enemy; indignant at which, Horus her son deprived her of her ancient diadem when she rejoined Osiris as lie was about to attack Typhon: but Mercury gave her in its place a helmet shaped like the head of a bull. Then Horus, as a mighty warrior, such as Orion was described, fought with and defeated Typhon; who, in the shape of the Serpent or Dragon of the Pole, had assailed his father. So, in Ovid, Apollo destroys the same Python, when Io, fascinated by Jupiter, is metamorphosed into a cow, and placed in the sign of the Celestial Bull, where she becomes Isis. The equi noctial year ends at the moment when the Sun and Moon, at the Vernal Equinox, are united with Orion, the Star of Horns, placed of in the Heavens under Taurus. The new Moon becomes young again in Taurus, and shows herself as a crescent, for the first time, in the next sign, Gemini, the domicile of Mercury. Then Orion, in conjunction with the Sun, with whom he rises, precipitates the Scorpion, his rival, into the shades of night, causing him to set he whenever he himself reappears on the eastern horizon, with the Sun. Day lengthens and the germs of evil are by degrees eradicated: and Horus (from Aur, Light) reigns triumphant, symbolizing, by his succession to the characteristics of Osiris, the eternal renewal of the Sun's youth and creative vigor at the Vernal of Equinox.
end 2 of 4

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