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The Gnostics and Their Remains

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Author Topic: The Gnostics and Their Remains  (Read 2976 times)
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δημιουργός (dēmiourgós, latinized demiurgus δήμιος

« Reply #135 on: March 12, 2009, 01:23:53 pm »

figure, making up the mystic number seven--perhaps representing the seven Amshaspands or Archangels. A naked female, surrounded with stars, kneels before the angel on the left--doubtless the soul for whose benefit the talisman was composed--soliciting his patronage.

Could this elaborate composition be interpreted, it would certainly be found to contain a summary of the Mithraic creed as it was received by the nations of the West. As it is, however, some portions of the tableau are explained by certain legends to be found in the Parsee sacred books; whilst others derive light from comparison with the larger monuments of the same worship. Thus, the termination of the bull's tail in ears of wheat allude to the fifty life-giving plants which sprang from the tail of the Primæval Bull (or Life, the same word in Zend) after he had been slain by Ahriman. Of the same animal the seed was carried up by the Izeds (genii) to the Moon, where, purified in her beams, it was moulded by Ormuzd into a new pair, the parents of all that exists in earth, air and water. The scorpion is appended to the part of the body, properly under the influence of the sign so called, for as Manilius teaches, "The fiery scorpion in the groin delights." In this particular situation it expresses Autumn, as the serpent underneath does Winter; and with good reason takes the place of the bull's genitals, for, as the same poet sings (iv. 217.)

"With fiery tail when Scorpio threatens war,
 As through the stars he drives the solar car,
 He searches earth with penetrating rays
 And the mixed seed deep in her furrows lays."

The torches raised and lowered signify the East and West. In the circular altar of the Villa Borghese (Winckelmann Mon. Ined. No. 21) the bust of Luna appears resting on a crescent over an aged head in front face with crabs' claws springing out of his forehead--a speaking type of Oceanus. The bust of the rising sun, with his customary badge, the eight-rayed star, in point, rests upon an erect flambeau, whilst that of the setting luminary looking downwards, is placed upon another lowered towards earth. Again, the serpent winding four times about the figures may signify the sun's annual revolution; an explanation

p. 135

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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
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