Portrait of Madame Blavatsky resized


No Religion Higher Than Truth

Symbolism of Sun and Stars

From Blavatsky Collected Writings
Vol. 14 pages 314 - 325

And the Heaven was visible in Seven Circles and the planets appeared with all their signs, in star-form, and the stars were divided and numbered with the rulers that were in them, and their revolving course, through the agency of the divine Spirit. *[Footnote: * Hermes, iv. 6. See Isis, 1, p. 255; 569-70.]

Here Spirit denotes Pneuma, collective Deity, manifested in its “Builders,” or, as the Church has it, “the seven Spirits of the Presence,” the mediantibus angelis of whom Thomas Aquinas says that “God never works but through them.” † [Footnote: † Summa, opusc. II, art. ii. Cf. de Mirville, Des Esprits, Vol. IV, p. 32 and p. 33 fn.]

These seven “rulers” or mediating Angels were the Kabiri Gods of the Ancients. This was so evident, that it forced from the Church, together with the admission of the fact, an explanation and a theory, whose clumsiness and evident sophistry are such that it must fail to impress. The world is asked to believe, that while the Planetary Angels of the Church are divine Beings, the genuine “Serâphîm,” ‡ [Footnote: ‡  From Saraph שָׂרָף,  “fiery, burning,” plural (see Isaiah, vi, 2-6). They are regarded as the personal attendants of the Almighty, “his messengers,” angels or metatrons. In Revelation they are the “seven burning lamps” in attendance before the throne.] these very same angels, under identical names and planets, were and are “false”—as Gods of the ancients. They are no better than pretenders; the cunning copies of the real Angels, produced beforehand through the craft and power of Lucifer and of the fallen Angels. Now, what are the Kabiri?

Kabiri, as a name, is derived from Abir, great, and also from Venus, this Goddess being called to the present day Kabar, as is also her star. The Kabiri were worshipped at Hebron, the city of the Anâkîm, or anakas (kings, princes). They are the highest Planetary Spirits, the “greatest Gods” and “the powerful.” Varro, following Orpheus, calls these Gods “divine Powers.” The word Kabirim when applied to men, and the words Heber, Gheber (with reference to Nimrod, or the “giants” of Genesis vi) and Kabir, are all derived from the “mysterious Word”—the Ineffable and the “Unpronounceable.” Thus it is they who represent tsaba, the “host of heaven.” The Church, however, bowing before the angel Anael (the regent of Venus), * [Footnote: * Venus with the Chaldaeans and Egyptians was the wife of Proteus, and is regarded as the mother of the Kabiri, the sons of Ptah or Emepht—the divine light or the Sun. The angels answer to the stars in the following order: The Sun, the Moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; Michael, Gabriel, Samael, Anael, Raphael, Zachariel, and Orifiel; this is in religion and Christian Kabalism; astrologically and esoterically the places of the “regents” stand otherwise, as also in the Jewish, or rather the real Chaldaean Kabalah.] connects the planet Venus with Lucifer, the chief of the rebels under Satan—so poetically apostrophized by the prophet Isaiah as “O, Lucifer, son of the morning.”† [Footnote:† xiv, 12.]  All the Mystery Gods were Kabiri. As these “seven lictors” relate directly to the Secret Doctrine their real status is of the greatest importance.

Suidas defines the Kabiri as the Gods who command all the other daemons (spirits), . Macrobius introduces them as

Those Penates and tutelary deities, through whom we live and know (Saturnalia, I. iii. ch. iv.).

The teraphim through which the Hebrews consulted the oracles of the Ûrîm and the Thummîm, were the symbolical hieroglyphics of the Kabiri. Nevertheless, the good Fathers have made of Kabir the synonym of devil and of daimôn (spirit) a demon.

The Mysteries of the Kabiri at Hebron (Pagan and Jewish) were presided over by the seven Planetary Gods, among the rest by Jupiter and Saturn under their mystery names, and they are referred to as  and , and by Euripides as . [Orestes, 597.] Creuzer, moreover, shows that whether in Phoenicia or in Egypt, the Kabiri were always the seven planets as known in antiquity, who, together with their Father the Sun—referred to elsewhere as their “elder brother”—composed a powerful ogdoad;* [Footnote: * This is one more proof that the Ancients knew of seven planets besides the Sun; for otherwise which is the eighth in such a case? The seventh, with two others, as stated, were “mystery” planets, whether Uranus or any other. (Creuzer’s work on Religions, t. III; p. 285 (as translated from his earlier title Symbolik und Mythologie . . .) is quoted in De Mirville’s Des Esprits, iv, 9.)] the eight superior powers, as , or solar assessors, danced around him the sacred circular dance, the symbol of the rotation of the planets around the Sun. Jehovah and Saturn, moreover, are one.

It is quite natural, therefore, to find a French writer, d’Anselme, applying the same terms of  and  Jehovah and his Word, and they are correctly so applied. For if the “circle dance” prescribed by the Amazons for the Mysteries—being the “circle dance” of the planets, and characterised as “the motion of the divine Spirit carried on the waves of the great Deep”—can now be called “infernal” and “lascivious” when performed by the Pagans, then the same epithets ought to be applied to David’s dance; † [Footnote: † II Samuel, vi. 20-22.] and to the dance of the daughters of Shiloh, ‡ [Footnote: ‡ Judges, xxi. 21, et seq.] and to the leaping of the prophets of Baal; § [Footnote: § I Kings, xviii. 26.] they were all identical and all belonged to Sabaean worship. King David’s dance, during which he uncovered himself before his maid-servants in a public thoroughfare, saying:

I will play (act want only) before  (Jehovah), and I will yet be more vile than this,

was certainly more reprehensible than any “circle dance” during the Mysteries, or even than the modern Râsa Mandala in India, || [Footnote: || This dance—the Rasa Mandala, enacted by the Gopîs or shepherdesses of Krishna, the Sun-God, is enacted to this day in Râjputâna in India and is undeniably the same theo-astronomical and symbolical dance of the planets and the Zodiacal signs, that was danced thousands of years before our era.]  which is the same thing. It was David who introduced Jehovistic worship into Judea, after sojourning so long among the Tyrians and Philistines, where these rites were common.

David knew nothing of Moses, it seems, and if he introduced the Jehovah-worship, it was not in its monotheistic character, but simply as that of one of the many [Kabeirean] gods of the neighbouring nations-a tutelary deity of his own [] to whom he had given the preference, and chosen among “all other [Kabeiri] gods,” *[Footnote: * Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 45.]

and who was one of the “associates,” Habir, of the Sun. The Shakers dance the “circle dance” to this day when turning round for the Holy Ghost to move them. In India it is Nârâyana who is “the mover on the waters”; and Nârâyana is Vishnu in his secondary form, and Vishnu has Krishna for an Avatâra, in whose honour the “circle dance” is still enacted by the Nautch-girls of the temples, he being the Sun-God and they the planets as symbolised by the gopîs.

Let the reader turn to the works of de Mirville, a Roman Catholic writer, or to Monumental Christianity, by Dr. Lundy, a Protestant divine, if he wants to appreciate to any degree the subtlety and casuistry of their reasonings. No one ignorant of the occult versions can fail to be impressed with the proofs brought forward to show how cleverly and perseveringly “Satan has worked for long millenniums to tempt a humanity” unblessed with an infallible Church, in order to have himself recognized as the “One living God,” and his fiends as holy Angels. The reader must be patient, and study with attention what the author says on behalf of his Church. To compare it the better with the version of the Occultists, a few points may be quoted here verbatim.

St. Peter tells us: “May the divine Lucifer arise in your hearts” † [Footnote: † II Epistle i, 19. The English text says: “Until the daystar arise in your heart,” a trifling alteration which does not really matter—as Lucifer is the day as well as the “morning” star—and it is less shocking to pious ears. There are a number of such alterations in the Bible.] [Now the Sun is Christ]. . . . “I will send my Son from the Sun,” said the Eternal through the voice of prophetic traditions; and prophecy having become history the Evangelists repeated in their turn: The Sun rising from on high visited us. ‡[Footnote: ‡ Luke i, 78. Again the English translation changes the word “Sun” into “day-spring.” (Another little correction of the Lapsus Calami of an Apostle for whom divine inspiration is claimed. (WMS. 143 fn.; also in The Theosophist, Vol. LIV, August, 1933, p. 506 & fn.)) The Roman Catholics are decidedly braver and more sincere than the Protestant theologians: (See de Mirville, Des Esprits, IV, 34 and 38.)]

Now God says, through Malachi, [iii, 20 ] that the Sun shall arise for those who fear his name. What Malachi meant by “the Sun of Righteousness” the Kabalists alone can tell; but what the Greek, and even the Protestant, theologians understood by the term is of course Christ, referred to metaphorically. Only, as the sentence, “I will send my Son from the Sun,” is borrowed verbatim from a Sibylline Book, it becomes very hard to understand how it can be attributed to, or classed with any prophecy relating to the Christian Savior, unless, indeed, the latter is to be identified with Apollo. Virgil, again, says, “Here comes the Virgin’s and Apollo’s reign,” and Apollo, or Apolouôn, is to this day viewed as a form of Satan, and is taken to mean the Antichrist. [The Latin Church is brave, and had the courage of her opinions at all times. Why does she not try to be logical, as she is daring? (WMS.143)] If the Sibylline promise, “He will send his Son from the Sun” applies to Christ, then either Christ and Apollo are one—and then why call the latter a demon?—or the prophecy had nothing to do with the Christian Savior, and, in such a case, why appropriate it at all?

But de Mirville goes further. He shows us St. Denys, the Areopagite, affirming that

The Sun is the special signification, and the statue of God* [Footnote:* Thus said the Egyptians and the Sabaeans in days of old, the symbol of whose manifested gods, Osiris and Bel, was the sun. But they had a higher deity.]  . . . “It is by the Eastern door that the glory of the Lord penetrated into the temples” [of the Jews and Christians, that divine glory being Sun-light.] . . . “We build our churches towards the east,” says in his turn St. Ambrose, “for during the Mysteries we begin by renouncing him who is in the west.” † [Footnote: † Op. cit., 37-38.]

“He who is in the west” is Typhon, the Egyptian god of darkness—the west having been held by them as the “Typhonic Gate of Death.” Thus, having borrowed Osiris from the Egyptians, the Church Fathers thought little of helping themselves to his brother Typhon. Then again:

The prophet Baruch* [Footnote:  * Exiled from the Protestant bible but left in the Apocrypha which, according to Article VI of the Church of England, “she doth read for example of life and instruction of manners” (?), but not to establish any doctrine (as the Papists do. (WMS. 145))] speaks of the stars that rejoice in their vessels and citadels (chap. iii, 34); and Ecclesiastes applies the same terms to the sun, which is said to be “the admirable vessel of the most High,” and the “citadel of the Lord,” .† [Footnote: † Cornelius a Lapide, v, 948.]
In every case there is no doubt about the thing, for the sacred writer says, It is a Spirit who rules the sun’s course. Hear what he says (in Eccles., i. 6), “The sun also ariseth—and its spirit lighting all in its circular path (gyrat gyrans) returneth according to his circuits.” ‡[Footnote: ‡ Ecclesiasticus, xliii. The above quotations are taken from de Mirville’s chapter “On Christian and Jewish Solar Theology,” in Des Esprits, IV, 35, 37, 38.]

De Mirville seems to quote from texts either rejected by or unknown to Protestants, in whose Bible there is no forty-third chapter of Ecclesiastes; nor is the sun made to go “in circuits” in the latter, but the wind. This is a question to be settled between the Roman and the Protestant Churches. [The point to show is, the strong element of heliolatry in the former-hence Sabaeanism to this day. (From WMS. 143, also: The Theosophist, Vol. LIV, August, 1933, pp. 507-08.)]

An Oecumenical Council having authoritatively put a stop to Christian Astrolatry by declaring that there were no sidereal Souls in sun, moon, or planets, St. Thomas took upon himself to settle the point in dispute. The “angelic doctor” announced that such expressions did not mean a “soul,” but only an Intelligence, not resident in the sun or stars, but one that assisted them, “a guiding and directing intelligence.” § [Footnote: § Nevertheless the Church has preserved in her most sacred rites the “star-rites” of the Pagan Initiates. In the pre-Christian Mithraic Mysteries, the candidate who overcame successfully the “twelve Tortures” which preceded the final Initiation, received a small round cake or wafer of unleavened bread, symbolising in one of its meanings, the solar disc, and known as the manna (heavenly bread). . . . A lamb, or a bull even, was killed, and with the blood the candidate had to be sprinkled, as in the case of the Emperor Julian’s initiation. The seven rules or mysteries that are represented in the Revelation as the seven seals which are opened in order were then delivered to the newly born.

Thereupon the author, comforted by the explanation, quotes Clement the Alexandrian, and reminds the reader of the opinion of that philosopher, the interrelation that exists “between the seven branches of the candlestick—the seven stars of the Revelation,” and the sun:

The six branches (says Clement) fixed to the central candlestick have lamps, but the sun placed in the midst of the wandering ones () pours his beams on them all; this golden candlestick hides one more mystery: it is the sign of Christ, not only in shape, but because he sheds his light through the ministry of the seven spirits primarily created, and who are the Seven Eyes of the Lord. Therefore the principal planets are to the seven primeval spirits, according to St. Clement, that which the candlestick-sun is to Christ Himself, namely—their vessels, their ? *[Footnote: * [Des Esprits, IV, p. 39]

Plain enough, to be sure; though one fails to see that this explanation even helps the situation. The seven-branched chandelier of the Israelites, as well as the “wanderers” of the Greeks, had a far more natural meaning, a purely astrological one to begin with. In fact from Magi and Chaldaeans down to the much-laughed-at Zadkiel, every astrological work will tell its reader that the Sun placed in the midst of the planets, with Saturn, Jupiter and Mars on one side, and Venus, Mercury and the Moon on the other, the planets’ line crossing through the whole Earth, has always meant what Hermes tells us, namely, the thread of destiny, or that whose action (influence) is called destiny.† [Footnote: † Truly says S. T. Coleridge: “Instinctively the reason has always pointed out to men the ultimate end of various sciences. . . . There is no doubt but that astrology of some sort or other will be the last achievement of astronomy: there must be chemical relations between the planets. . . the difference of their magnitude compared with that of their distances is not explicable otherwise.” Between planets and our earth with its mankind, we may add.] But symbol for symbol we prefer the sun to a candlestick. One can understand how the latter came to represent the sun and planets, but no one can admire the chosen symbol. There is poetry and grandeur in the sun when it is made to symbolise the “Eye of Ormuzd,” or of Osiris, and is regarded as the Vâhana (vehicle) of the highest Deity. But one must for ever fail to perceive that any particular glory is rendered to Christ by assigning to him the trunk of a candlestick, *[Footnote: * “Christ then”, the author says (p. 40), “is represented by the trunk of the candlestick: [He is the Vine, the support of all the Solar system and all the planets are merely its branches.” (WMS. 149; also The Theosophist, Vol. LIV, August, 1933, p. 509.)—Compiler.] in a Jewish synagogue, as a mystical seat of honour.

There are then positively two suns, a sun adored and a sun adoring. The Apocalypse proves it.

The Word is found in Chap. vii, in the angel who ascends with the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God. . . . While commentators differ on the personality of this angel, St. Ambrose and many other theologians see in him Christ himself. . . . He is the Sun adored. But in Chap. xix we find an angel standing in the sun, inviting all the nations to gather to the great supper of the Lamb. This time it is literally and simply the angel of the sun—who cannot be mistaken for the “Word,” since the prophet distinguishes him from the Word, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. . . . The angel in the sun seems to be an adoring sun. Who may be the latter? And who else can he be but the Morning Star, the guardian angel of the Word, his ferouer, or angel of the face, as the Word is the angel of the Face (presence) of his Father, his principal attribute and strength, as his name itself implies (Mikael), the powerful rector glorified by the Church, the Rector potens who will fell the Antichrist, the ViceWord, in short, who represents his master, and seems to be one with him.† [Footnote: † De Mirville, Des Esprits IV, 41, 42.]

Yes, Mikael is the alleged conqueror of Ormuzd, Osiris, Apollo, Krishna, Mithra, etc., of all the Solar Gods, in short, known and unknown, now treated as demons and as “Satan.” Nevertheless, the “Conqueror” has not disdained to don the war spoils of the vanquished foes—their personalities, attributes, even their names—to become the alter ego of these demons.

Thus the Sun-God here is Honover or the Eternal. The prince [or Vice-Verbum, (the Anti-Christ evidently)] is Ormuzd, since he is the first of the seven Amshâspends [the demon copies of the seven original angels] (caput angelorum); the lamb (hamal), the Shepherd of the Zodiac and the antagonist of the snake. But the Sun (the Eye of Ormuzd) has also his rector, Korshid or the Mitraton, who is the Fravashi of the face of Ormuzd, his Ized, or the morning star. The Mazdeans had a triple Sun. . . . For us this Korshid-Mitraton is the first of the psychopompian genii, and the guide of the sun, the immolator of the terrestrial Bull [or lamb] whose wounds are licked by the serpent [on the famous Mithraic monument]. * [Footnote: * Op. cit. p. 42.]

St. Paul, in speaking of the rulers of this world, the Cosmocratores, only said what was said by all the primitive Philosophers of the ten centuries before the Christian era, only he was scarcely understood, and was often wilfully misinterpreted. Damascius repeats the teachings of the Pagan writers when he explains that

There are seven series of cosmocratores or cosmic forces, which are double: the higher ones commissioned to support and guide the superior world; the lower ones, the inferior world [our own] .

And he is but saying what the ancients taught. Iamblichus gives this dogma of the duality of all the planets and celestial bodies, of gods and daimôns (spirits). He also divides the Archontes into two classes—the more and the less spiritual; the latter more connected with and clothed with matter, as having a form, while the former are bodiless (arûpa). But what have Satan and his angels to do with all this? Perhaps only that the identity of the Zoroastrian dogma with the Christian, and of Mithra, Ormuzd, and Ahriman with the Christian Father, Son, and Devil, might be accounted for. And when we say “Zoroastrian dogmas” we mean the exoteric teaching. How explain the same relations between Mithra and Ormuzd as those between the Archangel Mikael and Christ?

Ahura Mazda says to holy Zarathushtra: “When I created [emanated] Mithra . . . I created him that he should be invoked and adored equally with myself.”

For the sake of necessary reforms, the Zoroastrian Âryans transformed the Devas, the bright Gods of India, into daevas or devils. It was their Karma that in their turn the Christians should vindicate on this point the Hindus. Now Ormuzd and Mithra have become the daevas of Christ and Mikael, the dark lining and aspect of the Savior and Angel. The day of the Karma of Christian theology will come in its turn. Already the Protestants have begun the first chapter of the religion that will seek to transform the “Seven Spirits” and the host of the Roman Catholics into demons and idols. Every religion has its Karma, as has every individual. That which is due to human conception and is built on the abasement of our brothers who disagree with us, must have its day. “There is no religion higher than truth.”

The Zoroastrians, Mazdeans, and Persians borrowed their conceptions from India; the Jews borrowed their theory of angels from Persia; the Christians borrowed from the Jews.

Hence the latest interpretation by Christian theology—to the great disgust of the synagogue, forced to share the symbolical candlestick with the hereditary enemy—that the seven-branched candlestick represents the seven Churches of Asia and the seven planets which are the angels of those Churches. Hence also, the conviction that the Mosaic Jews, the inventors of that symbol for their tabernacle, were a kind of Sabaeans, who blended their planets and the spirits thereof into one, and called them—only far later—Jehovah. For this we have the testimony of Clemens Alexandrinus, St. Hieronymus and others.

And Clement, as an Initiate of the Mysteries—at which the secret of the heliocentric system was taught several thousands of years before Galileo and Copernicus—proves it by explaining that

By these various symbols connected with (sidereal) phenomena the totality of all the creatures which bind heaven with earth, are figured. . . . The chandelier represented the motion of the seven luminaries, describing their astral revolution. To the right and the left of that candelabrum projected the six branches, each of which had its lamp, because the Sun placed as a candelabrum in the middle of other planets distributes light to them. *[Footnote: * Notwithstanding the above, written in the earliest Christian period by the renegade Neo-Platonist, the Church persists to this day in her wilful error Helpless against Galileo, she now tries to throw a doubt even on the heliocentric system!]  . . . As to the cherubs having twelve wings between the two, they represent to us the sensuous world in the twelve zodiacal signs.†[Footnote: † Stromateis, V, vi.]

And yet in the face of all this evidence, sun, moon, planets, all are shown as being demoniacal before, and divine only after, the appearance of Christ. All know the Orphic verse: “It is Zeus, it is Adas, it is the Sun, it is Bacchus,” these names having been all synonymous for classic poets and writers. Thus for Democritus “Deity is but a soul in an orbicular fire,” and that fire is the Sun. For Iamblichus the sun was “the image of divine intelligence”; for Plato “an immortal living Being.” Hence the oracle of Claros when asked to say who was the Jehovah of the Jews, answered, “It is the Sun.” We may add the words in Psalms, xix, 4, 6:

In the sun hath he placed a tabernacle for himself *[Footnote: * The English bible has: “In them (the Heavens) hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,” which is incorrect and has no sense in view of the verse that follows, for there are things “hid from the heat thereof” if the latter word is to be applied to the sun.]  . . . his going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

Jehovah then is the sun, and thence also the Christ of the Roman Church. And now the criticism of Dupuis on that verse becomes comprehensible, as also the despair of the Abbé Foucher. “Nothing is more favorable to Sabaeanism than this text of the Vulgate!” † [Footnote: † [Mémoires de L’Academie des Inscriptions, Vol. XXV, p. 2.] he exclaims. And, however disfigured may be the words and sense in the English authorised bible, the Vulgate and the Septuagint both give the correct text of the original, and translate the latter: “In the sun he established his abode”; while the Vulgate regards the “heat” as coming direct from God and not from the sun alone, since it is God who issues forth from, and dwells in the sun and performs the circuit: in sole posuit . . . . et ipse exultavit. From these facts it will be seen that the Protestants were right in charging St. Justin with saying that

God has permitted us to worship the sun.

And this, notwithstanding the lame excuses that what was really meant was that

God permitted himself to be worshipped in, or within, the sun, *[Footnote: * Ibid. See article on “Sabaeanism,” by Bergier.]

which is all the same.

It will be seen from the above, that while the Pagans located in the sun and planets only the inferior powers of Nature, the representative Spirits, so to say, of Apollo, Bacchus, Osiris, and other solar gods, † [ † Footnote: “Gods,” subordinate as a hierarchy to the one ever invisible and unknown Deity, (WMS. 145; The Theosophist, Vol. LIV, Sept. 1933, p. 637).] the Christians, in their hatred of Philosophy, appropriated the sidereal localities, and now limit them to the use of their anthropomorphic deity and his angels — new transformations of the old, old gods. Something had to be done in order to dispose of the ancient tenants, so they were disgraced into “demons,” wicked devils.

[WMS.159 closes this section with these words:

This must suffice. It is thus shown that the only point of difference between the exotericism of the Latin Church and that of the old Astrolators and even the modern Hindus and Parsis lies in the entirely arbitrary interpretation by the churches of both the Christian and the pagan systems; especially by the Catholic, or rather Roman Church. Emblems, symbols, allegories and often even names being shown identical in both, we may proceed to point to a few more parallels in order to explain them in the light of esoterism. The Occultists have no desire to hurt anyone’s feelings—the Theosophists least of all. They only claim the same privileges for themselves, that the Christians are monopolizing for nearly two millenniums: common rights for all, mutual respect shown for each other’s religions or—an equal liberty of opinion and right of interpretation as their opponents have. (Also see The Theosophist, Vol. LV, Oct. 1933, pp.13-14) — Compiler.]

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