Κυριακή, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Lucifer Princeps By Peter Grey - Scarlet Imprint (July 1, 2015)


Lucifer Princeps By Peter Grey - Scarlet Imprint (July 1, 2015)

Lucifer: Princeps is a seminal study on the origins of the Lucifer mythos by Peter Grey. It is the first in a two volume work; the companion volume, Praxis, being an exposition of ritual actions, is due to be published in 2016.
The fall of Lucifer, and that of the rebel angels who descended upon the daughters of men, comprise the foundation myth of the Western occult tradition. Lucifer: Princeps is a study of origins, a portrait of the first ancestor of witchcraft and magic. In tracing the genealogy of our patron and prince, the principles that underlie the ritual forms that have come down to us, through the grimoires and folk practices, are elucidated. 

The study draws on the extensive literature of history, religion and archaeology, engaging with the vital discoveries and advances of recent scholarship, which render previous works on Lucifer, however well intentioned, out of date. A concomitant exegesis of the core texts conjures the terrain and koine of the Ancient Near East, the cradle cultures and language of his nascence. Of critical importance are the effaced cultures and cults that lie behind the Old Testament polemics, viz. those of Assyria, Ugarit and Canaan, as well as Sumeria, Egypt and Greece; they provide the context that give meaning to what would otherwise be an isolated brooding figure, one who makes no sense without being encountered in the landscape.

Intended to be the definitive text on Lucifer for the witch, magician and student of the grimoires, Princeps spans wingtip to wingtip from the original flood myth and legends of divine teachers to the Church Fathers, notably Augustine, Origen and Tertullian. The tales of the Garden of Eden, the Nephilim, of the fall of Helel ben Šahar and the Prince of Tyre, the nature of Azazel, and the creation of the Satan are drawn beneath the shadow of these wings into a narrative that binds Genesis and Revelation via the Enochian tradition. The story of the Serpent in the Garden and that of Lucifer are revealed to be a singular myth whose true significance had been lost and can now be restored. It illuminates the path to apotheosis, and the role of the goddess as the transforming initiatrix who bestows the crown.

Fragments :
Another cause of confusion occurs in Hebrews, the New Testament text that, as previously shown, relies so heavily on Psalm 110. Here Jesus is described no less than five times as ‘exalted to the right hand of God,’ an image perilously close to Isaiah 14:13, where Lucifer is seated upon the mount of the congregation. As both are kings they are identically clothed. Christ appeals for legitimacy to the archaic symbols of the Royal House of David, whereas Lucifer is an improper ruler but still bears the same insignia. Both draw on the same cultural conventions of divine kingship.

The feared error of mistaking Lucifer for Christ is exactly what we find in some modern esoteric interpretations. At times, the similitude is presented as an esoteric Christianity; at others, as a core component within certain streams of modern traditional witchcraft. Such theories draw heavily on modern angelic speculation – more proto-New Age than historically derived.3 Deeming Christ as Lucifer and Lucifer as Christ is a logical nonsense, rooted in the 19th century conception of a universal religion, as mooted by the Theosophists. Other notable attempts to solve the Christ- Lucifer antipathy are to be found in Thelema and The Process Church of the Final Judgment – again, in origin, theosophically inspired. My position on the matter is clear: Lucifer is not Christ, as a careful reading of scripture demonstrates. The confusion is due to a shared metaphor, or more accurately, epithet, that references an undergirding unity: kingship.

The error has occured because of the misuse of concordance as a tool of exegesis. In comparing the use of phrases and words to draw equivalences, none of the theories cited above distinguish between the capitalised name Lucifer, as introduced by St Jerome, and the New Testament use of the uncapitalised morning star as a metaphor for Christ. Neither do they take account of the context of the passages. By combining and identifying the figures of Lucifer and Christ, such readings inevitably go on to render Satan anathema. The impossibility of such a reading will be addressed in due course, as both scripture and the historical record unequivocally show that Lucifer and Satan are bound to one another. Language is a slippery thing, and we must be careful, in our eagerness to de- cipher meaning, that we do not repeat such avoidable errors.

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The fall of Lucifer is not a unique mythic event. His fate is mirrored in a plethora of figures in the Ugaritic, Greek and Mesopotamian traditions, whose legends are marked by certain common elements: doomed flight, the bringing of the fire of knowledge, and transgressing the limits of divine power. Notable amongst these figures are Icarus, Etana, Athtar, Gilgameš, Prometheus, Phaëthon and Bellerophon. All are worthy of study. The biblical sources are supplemented by the great storehouse of myth. The sparsity of the references, in Isaiah in particular and scripture in general, is fleshed and feathered out with borrowings from the common cultural inheritance.

Having acknowledged the breadth and depth of possible influences, my task is to narrow my focus to regard the most striking examples. Those I have selected are the Greek Phaëthon and Bellerophon and the Sumerian Etana. These three serve to illuminate key traits of the character of Lucifer as it is developed in the sub- sequent grimoire tradition, to be covered in Praxis. The notable absence from this company is Prometheus, who has become the tragic image of Lucifer, via Shelley as much as Aeschylus. For reasons that will become apparent, he is discussed in relation to the Enochian material in the later chapters, ‘The Key’ and ‘A Mass of Blood and Feathers.’
The myth of Phaëthon’s tragic course places the action on a cosmic scale. This evokes not only Isaiah, but its reflex in the apocalypse of Revelation, where it is not the fate of a single king, but a conflict that engulfs both heavens and earth. The resemblance of the story of Hêlēl Ben Šaḥar to that of Phaëthon has long been remarked. Gunkel1 first made the identification; and Gruppe,2 backed by the more recent work of Grelot,3 advanced the thesis that Isaiah 14:12–15 preserved fragments of a lost West Semitic myth which corresponds to that of Phaëthon, recorded in Hesiod’s Theogony,4 Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Nonnos’ Dionysiaca and numerous other sources.
Phaëthon means ‘the shining, glittering,’ and, in a comparative analysis of Hesiod’s text, can be identified as both the morning star and the son of Dawn (Êôs).

We remember how Phaëthon forces his father Helios to let him ride across the sky at the reins of his solar chariot, but loses control of the mighty team of horses, dropping the reins when confronted with the horrifying sight of Scorpio. The rising and plunging of the uncontrolled fiery chariot threatens to destroy the world. The ensuing disasters are very reminiscent of Revelation. The luck- less youth is finally struck through with a thunderbolt hurled by Zeus, who thus restores the cosmic order. The boy pitches head first and aflame into the river Eridanus. The name of this river – variously identified with the earthly Po (called Eridanus by the Greeks), with the Rhine,5 and the Rhône, (where the stench of his corpse is related in the Argonautica) – is significant. Eridanus was also located in the infernal Hades, which accords with the earlier version of the myth in which Hêlēl falls into Sheol, the nether- world; and the river is also identified as the celestial constellation of Eridanus itself. Of note is that the name Eridanus is derived from the Sumerian Eridu, the city sacred to Enki, god of water and cunning wisdom.6

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Mark Shipp, in his exhaustive study of Isaiah 14, Of Dead Kings and Dirges,4 insightfully concludes:

While the passage does not relate specifically to a myth of the primordial fall of one of the members of the divine court, there are points of contact between the historical /mythological setting and its later theological appropriation by Church and Synagogue. 
If the ‘King of Babylon’ personified arrogance, presumption, and usurpation of the gods’ prerogatives, how much more are these attributes characteristic of Satan, the great accuser of the Lord’s elect and tyrannizer of creation?

The figure of Satan is aptly invoked. Witness Luke 10:18, (a direct linear descendant of Isaiah): And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. A direct equivalence between Lucifer and Satan is made. Here Satan is struck down by the disciple’s use of the name of Christ. 
The compulsion of malevolent spirits by the divine name(s) is no innovation, and can be traced back textually to the work of the Sumerian exorcists. Earlier in the same chapter (Luke 10:15) the ritual formula of being exalted to heaven and struck down to hell is given: And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. Evidently, Isaiah has been instrumental in the New Testament, and thence the burgeoning demonology of Christianity that has informed the structure of European magic. 
By returning through the door that Satan slipped through, demonology is reclaimed as chthonic: the roots of religion, rather than an inverse hierarchy with ritual actions as mere reactive blasphemy.

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