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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, 01:24:06 pm »

rendered the more plausible by the torso of Mithras at Arles, in which the Zodiacal Signs occupy the intervals between the coils of the same serpent. The lion and raven stand for the attendant priests; for in these mysteries the higher officials were denominated Lions, the lower Ravens: whence the rites themselves got the name of "Leontica," and "Coracica."

The fires, the planets and the genii presiding over them are in number seven--a numeral the most sacred of all amongst the Persians. But of these seven Fires, three are ever depicted in a special manner as those most worthy to be held in reverence. These three are the "Fire of the Stars," that is, of the planet Venus, named Anahid; the "Fire of the Sun," or the Fire Mihr; and the "Fire of Lightning," or the Fire Bersiov, that is, the planet Jupiter. The Mihr is the winged orb, so common in all Assyrian sculpture--an emblem which serves to explain the Prophet's simile, "the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his wings."

The worship of the Fire Gushtasp (or that of Anahid) figures on the Zend sculptures as a very ancient worship, and also in the "Shah Nameh;" just as that of the goddess Anaitis does in many Greek authors from Herodotus downwards. This historian observes (I. 131) that at first the Persians worshipped only the sun, moon, and elements, until they learnt from the Assyrians the worship of Venus Urania, whom they called Mitra, the same being the Mylitta of the Babylonians, the Alata or Alilat of the Arabians. Now Mitra (feminine of Mithras) and Anahid, are one and the same goddess, that is to say, the Morning Star, a female Genius, presiding over love, giving light, and directing the harmonious movement of the other planets by the sound of her lyre, the strings whereof are the solar rays--"Apollo's lyre strung with his golden hair" (Creuzer, Ital. de l’Antiq. ii. 731). In this doctrine we discover the reason for the separation of the Fires upon Caylus’ gem into two groups; the principal group consisting of the three most anciently adored; the subsidiary one of the remaining four.

Other Mithraic symbols are of a very speaking character, and almost explain their own meaning at first sight. Thus Mithras piercing the bull's throat with his dagger signifies the penetration

p. 136

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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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