In part one we looked at the reality of the Lucifer mythos behind the TV show adaption of the Vertigo comic, as well as the current conspiratorial huffing and puffing about so-called 'Luciferian' elitists.
We found that Lucifer is in fact a title that originally referred to any number of entities and individuals in ancient texts, one of whom was Jesus Christ himself (in the Book of Revelation).
So what then are to make of this?
A new instrument with an evil-sounding name is helping scientists see how stars are born. Lucifer, which stands for (deep breath) "Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research," is a chilled instrument attached to a telescope in Arizona. And yes, it's named for the Devil, whose name itself means "morning star." But it wasn't meant to evoke him, according to a spokesman for the University of Arizona, where it is housed.
Lucifer is part of the Large Binocular Telescope, which happens to be right next to the Vatican Observatory on Mt. Graham in Tucson. That's right, the Vatican has an observatory in Arizona, manned by Jesuit astronomers. Now its next-door neighbor is named for the Devil.See, this is where you get to thinking these people are just screwing with us.
Because how do you possibly get the acronym 'Lucifer' from "Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research?"
Answer: you don't.
We're not just getting into planet/star lore- which the Babylonians focused their entire religion around- we're inching towards a richer and stranger vein of heretical belief, one which continues to have a powerful effect to this day. The Jewish Encyclopedia:
The brilliancy of the morning star, which eclipses all other stars, but is not seen during the night, may easily have given rise to a myth such as was told of Ethana and Zu: he was led by his pride to strive for the highest seat among the star-gods on the northern mountain of the gods, but was hurled down by the supreme ruler of the Babylonian Olympus. Stars were regarded throughout antiquity as living celestial beings.
The familiarity of the people of Palestine with such a myth is shown by the legend, localized on Mount Hermon, the northern mountain of Palestine and possibly the original mountain of the gods in that country, of the fall of the angels under the leadership of Samḥazai (the heaven-seizer) and Azael (Enoch, vi. 6 et seq.; see Fall of Angels).
Another legend represents Samḥazai, because he repented of his sin, as being suspended between heaven and earth (like a star) instead of being hurled down to Sheol.Bearing in mind that both Jewish and Christian authorities saw this entire cosmology- or at least as it's described in the extrabiblical Book of Enoch- as heresy and blasphemy, we should be aware that there's an active subculture in Christian conspiracy circles that is very much focused on Semhazai, or Semjaza, and his friends as the fallen angels described in the Book of Genesis. The late, great Filip Coppens:
The Chaldeans referred to the Watchers as “Ir”. The Egyptians “neter” means Watcher. And the Watchers are also in the Bible, where, in Genesis 6:1-4, they are listed as the sons of Gods who “fell” for the Earthly women, descended from heaven, chose women, and had children.
They were described as “giants”, though the height of their fathers is never stated. Still, the giants did not sleep or spoke.
The Bible refers to the Watchers or Grigori as “evil”. They were the ones who “fell from heaven” and who were “weak” for the flesh of women. In this respect, they sit within the tradition of Lucifer, the leader of the Fallen Angels, who came to Earth. Could the leader of the Watchers and the biblical Lucifer be one and the same?Chapter VIII of the Book of Enoch describes these fallen angels- often described as somehow "reptilian"- and their role in the affairs of their mortal followers.
And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures.
And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways.
Semjaza taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, ‘Armaros the resolving of enchantments, Baraqijal (taught) astrology, Kokabel the constellations, Ezeqeel the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiel the signs of the earth, Shamsiel the signs of the sun, and Sariel the course of the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven.Fornication again. These old scribes had a major hang-up about sex.
Now, I don't know about you but I'd say these Watchers were pretty darn helpful, seeing as how they were supposed to be fallen angels and all. It almost seems as if these Watchers got the old "let's demonize other people's gods" routine.
Sure enough, that actually seems to be the case. From Ha'aretz:
The myth of the Watchers, familiar to us mainly from Jewish texts, started out as an Aramaic myth in Lebanon. Most of its elements are best understood against the backdrop of Lebanese folklore and local artistic landmarks, which played an important role in historical memory as early as the Hellenistic period.
Jews learned about the myth through apocalyptic circles, only then connecting it with the biblical story of the “sons of God and daughters of man” in Genesis 6.As it happens the same images that Islamic State maniacs are destroying (and thereby inadvertently replanting into the collective consciousness) today- winged bull-men (or Lamassu) and the like- were a major inspiration in formulating the Watcher mythos, since these statues were kicking around the area at the time but had long since lost their meaning. So the writers of Enoch and related texts came up with their own, fanfic-style. From Ha'aretz:
The ancient, engraved images looked to the later observer like a vestige from the world of the Watchers (Aramaic: ‘irim ), primordial angels who, according to popular mythology, descended to earth in hoary antiquity and bequeathed civilization to mankind.
We don't know how these Watchers were regarded by their original Lebanese (read:Syrian/Phoenician) followers but we can get some idea by the way they were portrayed in Enoch, and how they've been repurposed by conspiracists ever since: Ha'aretz again:
If you will, these are aliens, in a way resembling those recounted by Erich von Däniken in his pseudo-scientific book, “Chariots of the Gods.”
Babylonian mythology already told of ancient sages who were half-man and half-fish who emerged from the sea and bequeathed civilization to mankind. This old myth was revived in new garb in Lebanon, Syria and the Land of Israel in the Hellenistic period.
In its Jewish form, the myth bore a new aspect: the Watchers conveyed forbidden knowledge, brought to human beings in an original sin. The bearers of the knowledge in the present version were not ancient fish who emerged from the sea but the mysterious angels who descended from heaven.Bear in mind the forbidden knowledge the Watchers provided were all very useful and practical skills that any Bronze Age culture needed to survive in a very dangerous neighborhood at a very dangerous time in history.
What exactly did the "good" Watchers do for us?
Given the many mysteries of the Phoenicians and kindred, we can only speculate on how all this was being processed within their cultures, given that so much of this history has either been stolen or destroyed. But again, Enoch was considered a heretical text and was lost for a very, very long time.
I have a very strong feeling these mysteries want to be revealed and will be. It could reveal a body of knowledge- and a way of knowing- that we can't even begin to imagine right now.
But given the timetable and the political realities of the Levant at the time of the writing of Enoch (which is to say not long after Alexander brought most of the known world under the Greek thumb, including Israel), it's very well possible that Semjaza and Azazel could have been reflections of Prometheus, who was in fact mythology's best-known lightbringer.
The arts the Watchers taught humankind strongly reflects Prometheus' soliloquy in Aeschylus’ ancient play, Prometheus Bound.
Here Prometheus- one of the Titans- explains that he did much, much more than bring fire to men. He taught many of the same arts as the Watchers, not to mention that of figures such as Osiris (who also suffered terribly), Enki and Oannes:
"I taught them to read the risings of stars and their settings, which up to now they ignored. I gave them numbers, that knowledge most to be prized, and the art of writing words to help memory, the mother of all the muses.
I first yoked beasts and made them work so they could relieve Man’s back of his heaviest burdens. I harnessed horses to the chariot and made them respond to reins, a delight for the wealthy.
It was me who invented the ship with sails that wanders the sea, a chariot for sailors. All this, to my own misery, I dared to invent and pass on to Man, but for all my cleverness I could devise no escape from my present suffering.
...Then I taught about the smoothness of entrails, the right color of gall so that it please the gods, and how to read the liver’s lovely mottled lobe. I showed Man thighbones wrapped in fat, and how to burn the long backbone, and thus I taught Man the obscure art of prophecy, sacrifice, and the language of fire, which had not yet been understood.
I’ll make a long story short: all the arts and crafts that Man possesses came from me, Prometheus, the god you see suffering before you now."Aeschylus was born in Eleusis, home of the mysteries of the corn goddess, Demeter. We'll see why that is so important in the near future.
But what we should understand is that the Lucifer myth as is commonly understood was largely created at the tail end of the Renaissance, a period when European scholars had rediscovered the art, literature, science- and yes, even the religion- of the Greco-Roman world.
This cannot be stressed enough because Lucifer was seen by some as a wedge which would re-open Europe's doors for the old gods to once again hold dominion.
This is not as ridiculous as it sounds- depictions of the old gods were to be seen everywhere during the Renaissance, particularly in Italy. Florence would even adopt hoary old Hercules as its patron and stamp his image on the city seal, as if the last millennium had never happened.
And Hermes would enjoy a whole new wave of admirers with the Hermetic Revival, a movement that captured the imaginations of some of the finest minds of their time. So more traditional-minded believers who felt a sense of siege from Europe's old gods weren't entirely unjustified in their misgivings.
And as we'll see, those same fears persist into the present, among a considerable subculture in religious communities. And not entirely without cause this time either.
Oh no, not at all.
TO BE CONTINUED