The Sun Sons, High Priests in the City
The sun brings forth all. When we go back a little bit, we will find out that the "su" part of our word "sun" finds its source in a Sanskrit root, the verb "su," which means "to bring forth."
The ancients watched the cyclical journey of the sun, the brightest star. The sun was born, died and came back again. It was then the sun reborn. The cyclical nature of the sun's journey inspired the idea of an unconquerable God who is self-born, who appears to be created, who appears to die and who appears to be reborn. So many religions and philosophies, including the understanding of the transmigration of the soul (reincarnation), have this "solar component" built in. The famous Mayan Calendar is a great example of ancient urban culture and its pre-urban relationship to the cycles of life as per the solar wheel.
Causing our watery planet to wobble in its orbit ever so slightly, the sun is also gently "tugged" by the earth. A pull and a wobble, shivers up the spine and a ringing in the ears. This flirtation continues for a time until the sun draws all back inside it, one big fiery day in the future. The cyclical nature of this star has been of utmost importance in all forms of human society through the ages. Not always, but often, its generating power is associated with masculine principles. Clouds and eclipses come and go and yet the sun remains invincible. Along the way it's a passionate and explosive, tugging and wobbling, solar-controlled universe.
The sun is our oldest friend. We're amazed at the simplicity and truth that seems to emanate from the sun. All that we enjoy is made possible by the sun. The rays give us life and beauty to experience. The sun's rays are represented in the plumes worn on the heads of the kings and queens of Egypt, the horns or rays seen on the crowns of the kings and queens throughout the ages everywhere. Furthermore, royalty, as a concept, started with clans, families and bloodlines that thought themselves the true representatives of The Sun for the people to worship. Part of what is symbolic of the crown and is meant by the idea of a divine right of kings stems from the halo of "the shining ones," the devas.
Without the sun, we can see that there would be no opening flowers, no green plants, no sentient beings, no vegetables, no fruits, or grains. Even a houseplant moved away from the window actually stretches back toward the sun. A forest of trees fights itself, in slow motion, for light. These things are easy to witness. Sun worship is the most organic and universal form of meditation and focus--everything is focused on it. What greater symbol of unification is there than the disc of the sun? The empirebuilders, history reveals, were all devotee-warriors of sun cults.
The big, shared, worldwide solar story addresses the sun gobbling up the earth. It also indicates a shared memory of a time when there was no sun and no earth for far too long, as they were submerged in the Cosmic Ocean. According to the Vedas, a huge cloud at the end of every kalpa, or Day of Brahma covers the sun. There is then too much rain and the planet drowns. This drowning of the sun and earth is actually a cyclical event in the Vedas and it's also addressed in the Bible. In Genesis 1, Verse 2, it is written, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face ofthe deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Nippon, or Japan, is literally the Land of the Rising Sun. Emperors were always the god-kings of that country. They had as their symbol a golden solar disc and they wore solar helmets. Solar allegory is very alive in this country named after the sun. For example, the chrysanthemum is considered a solar symbol of eternity. The Nihon-jin are the "people of the sun." In a rare example of female energy ascribed to the sun, it's believed that the sun gave birth to them. It is a built-in understanding that it is to the sun that they will return. Male, female, neither, divine or not, the sun will certainly draw all that is back inside.
The sun was known to the ancient Sumerians as APSU, meaning "The One Who Was There From the Beginning." It is recorded in the so-called Sumerian Myth of Creation, the Enuma Elish. The Enuma Elish creation epic can be found echoedin the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, especially in the Book of Genesis. Apsu created Mummu (Mercury) which is called the Sun's Messenger both by the Sumerians and the ancient Greeks because it "runs" so quickly around the sun doing its bidding. The other was a saltwater planet called Tiamat. She was quite big, Tiamat was, and is often called "The Monster." According to foremost expert in this area, Zecharia Sitchin, Tiamat was the first Virgin Mother and thus Apsu, Mummu and Tiamat were the first Holy Trinity. In the vast space between them, Apsu and Tiamat co-mingled via elements from each, forming two new planets, Mars (LAHMU) and Venus (LAHAMU).
Lugh was Ireland's sun god. His name means, "shining one." He was handsome, full of energy and skills that were put to the test in Battle of Magh Tuiredh wherein a gatekeeper at the royal house of Tara was dumbfounded by the fact that Lugh possessed all skills possible simultaneously. In order to gain entrance, a demonstration of a talent or a skill was required. This is one of many such sun-is-all stories related to Lugh.
The sun cult comes in and out of favor in true seasonal fashion. It would appear that certain people get picked by the sun to bring back the cult every now and again when society gets just a little too soft, or sickly. Is it any wonder that the obelisk is a solar symbol? With the skyscrapers and rocket ships we see today, we can remind ourselves that the obelisk is a monument to the erect penis, or lingham of Osiris, Egypt's God of Resurrection, the hapless victim of Seth and the consort of Isis.
In recorded history, some of the big city solar high priests that Fate has picked for bringing monotheism into society include Pharaoh Akhenaten and Emperor Constantine. Eventually to become known for all time as god-kings, these products of royalty each had a unique vision of their respective societies, a great sense of intuition and creative drive. Through their respective lenses of material privilege, they perceived the simplicity ofthe sun's power early in their lives by viewing, carefully, all the examples of the sun's power in the earth.
It has been said that there are certain esoteric and not-so-esoteric schools who have the ability forecast the dynamics of the stock market by studying the sun and especially its solar flares. The idea is to learn what the elite controllers of the economy know. During the recent economic "bust" in our boom/bust economic construct we all have an umbilical attachment to, solar flares were going so wild that new terms and measurements had to be made. Whether or not we believe this, it is interesting how the world's central banks control the world's economies in much the same way the sun controls the earth. The skulking eagle, a solar symbol from prehistory, is a typical banking gargoyle seen all over the older buildings housing financial institutions.
One doesn't have to look too hard to find solar symbolism everywhere. Arches, obelisks, eagles (some double-headed), snakes, veils, lions, lion heads, horses, shells, rosettes, flower garlands, crosses, swastikas, certain discs and globes, as well as other flora, fauna, reptilian, aquatic and mammal motifs seen in much Indo-European architectural styles and buildings of the elite and the officialdom are ultimately solar symbols. It's a vocabulary of symbols and images found around the world. All of these symbols, emblems and royal crests have been brought to us by the various behind-the-scenes solar cults in Europe. However, when traced back further, these symbols seem to have come to the behind-the-sceners via the mystery schools of the ancient land of the Black Earth, KMT, or the Khemet, what we call Egypt. The ancient "Egyptians" themselves called Egypt "KMT" as vowels were sacred and therefore kept hidden.
In Ancient Greece, there is Helios, the youthful sun god with a halo glowing from his head. One of the children of Hyperion, Helios, travels the skies in a chariot going east to west. The Aryan archetype that Helios represents can also be found in India via Surya and the elaborate sun cult that continues there, uninterrupted. All over the world there are similar such solar deities and archetypes. Helios was known as Sol to the ancient Romans. The word "helium" comes from Helios. Helios was later merged with Apollo.
Apollo, the chief god of the Trojans, would be considered a solar sky god by modern classifications. A son of Leto and Zeus, Apollo is often identified with Helios and is called "god of light." Yet, in Homer's Iliad, he is the exiled god who brings forth war and pestilence to the lower beings, the human race, causing trouble with his Cosmic Bow and Arrows, his plagues and other dark acts. Let us never forget the fact that the solar gods can bring big hardship. When in a certain mood, the various "bringers of light" in history wish you or me nothing but ill will. As Phoebus, meaning "radiant, "Lord Byron praises the god's qualities in the poem "Childe Harold," which alludes to Apollo's success in the slaying of a giant python.
All the gods and angels, including those in the Bible, had halos, or rays of light glowing forth from their heads. The halo, or nimbus, is the mark of the devas, or the "shining ones." Deva comes from "div," another Sanskrit root verb, which means "to shine." It is from the "div" root that we not only get "deva," but other more familiar words like divine, diva, day, Deus, Theos, deity, daemon, demon and even Zeus. Zeus is identified with the Roman Jupiter. Both names Zeus and Jupiter come from the Sanskrit Dyaus-Pitar, which means "Shining Father," "Divine Father," or "Heavenly Father." "Dyu" means "sky" and "day." Indo-European speaking peoples in India, Greece and Rome for the bringing about of rain, praise both Zeus and Dyaus-Pitar. Like just about everyone else on earth, the Aborigine Australians also trace their origins to "shining ones." They don't use the word "deva," but the idea is the same and they're depicted in the cave art as luminous beings with halos emanating from their heads.
According to Friedrich Nietzsche, Apollo is the lord of all things just, logical and symmetrical. His symbols are the lyre and the bow and arrow. His opposite equal is Dionysus, or Bacchus, associated with things lunar, the god of orgies, drink and drugs--the non-symmetrical--who rides the Cosmic Bull. That which is called Apollonian is with that which is deemed forthright and disciplined, according to the Nietzsche dialectic. What is more forthright and disciplined than a strong military? A common characteristic of the sun worshippers is a belief in a strong military followed by an organized and "just" warfare. Another important symbol of Apollo/Helios is the Omphalos, the "navel of the world." The navel of the world is considered to be an emblem of truth.
One often thinks of Athens when one thinks about Greece. Athens is a place of antique sun worship. Most recently, it was named after Athena, Greece's sun goddess. Athena has been through many transformations and she ended up with so many interesting combinations of patriarchal and matriarchal official emblems and totems. The most recent version has her as the third daughter of Mount Olympus' topmost god, Zeus. She is thus the third Olympian. Her origins lay in the stormy side of Zeus, who brought her into recording history, fully clothed in armor and wielding weapons. Pallas is the Greek word for "girl," "maiden" but is also similar to a word indicating "storm" or "stormy." It all seems to work no matter how you look at her. She is born out of the forehead of Zeus, who was in an angry mood. Similarly, Rudrais born out of the angry mood of Shiva. He is armed and dangerous and emanating from the third eye region of Shiva. Kali is often remembered and celebrated to have come from the third eye region of Shiva's consort, Parvati, when she too was in a particularly focused and angry mood.
According to many, Pallas was the name of a previous Goddess in Greece and in the coupling-up tradition was later merged with Athena. She is the grey-eye'd goddess of the sun and the Queen of Heaven. In her heart center is the aegis given to her by Zeus. The aegis is an animal skin breastplate, in this case, and Athena's has the screaming snake-haired gorgon Medusa at its center. The tassels of the aegis are sometimes represented as squirming and hissing serpents. All of these combined elements and shapes indicate the terrifying aspect of things having to do with that big hissing fire disc,the sun. This is also part of the business of attributing snakes and other hunters with similar moods--like various cats and birds, especially the owl--to female magician/warrior deities of the Kali and Durga archetype. The Minoan Snake Goddess of Knossos, Crete, from around 1600 BC is a clear expression of a certain aspect of a European version.
Despite these sorts of details, there is much about Athena that is emblematic of the just side of the sun, the part that has to do with preserving and cultivating, with laws and governing. She's also the Goddess of Democracy. In election using the ballot system, she won the city of Athens from Poseidon by one vote. She brought a better product, the olive tree, than Poseidon, who made a saltwater spring with his trident. There's no pegging her to a certain mood. I have to agree with Robert Graves and other revisionists that this Goddess of Justice idea is to be seen as a patriarchy's acknowledgement and clue-leaving of past matriarchal eras. Overall, Athena, who is protector and goddess of all cities, has a very civic look about her. She's one of urban Europe's earliest historical representatives of female civic divinity. This urban look is especially true by the time she made it to Rome as Minerva. Rome in general has many things to it that are very dear to Athena/Minerva, like the number 7. Rome is the city of seven hills and Athena is the patroness of the Seven Arts and Sciences. She is the Statue of Liberty essentially, in the sun temple named after her, the Parthenon. Parthenon means "girl's room" or "maiden'schamber." Athena Parthenos of 438 BC standing in the relaxed warrior pose of ancient Greece, with the bent knee and elbow, has the owl-like stare preserved well.
Her headgear is one of a kind. The spiky helmet/chakra/halo/crown is at once terrifying, protective and awe-inspiring. There is no way around Athena. It is a Roman copy figurine of a gigantic Greek original now gone. Her warrior spirit is uncanny and to look into her eyes gives me the same feeling as when I stare into the eyes of the giant eel at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Her winged horse aspect, the Pegasus, representing shining mind is seen ready to take flight from both her left-brain side and her right-brain side.
In the tradition of Vishnu, of the Cosmic Cow, of Ra and other Cosmic Eagles, the sun is to be thought of as one of the eyes of Athena. She is to be remembered by the rose, a magical solar symbol. In Athena's case,the rose is just as much a death-is-near emblem as it is veritas or "truth." The Mediterranean world brought the rose glyph everywhere they went no matter which deity they were bringing with them. The rose comes in various colors, especially red, black and white--corresponding to the tri-guna, or the three-fold aspect to things (red-creative, black-destructive and white-preserving). Solar female symbolism also includes the mirror, and Athena's mirror happens to also be a shield that she lends to those in crisis. Her spear of truth is what really got to Francis Bacon, the Elizabethan esotericist of profound importance, who said he was shaking the spear of truth, referring to his purpose in life which he attributed to Athena, who he also called his muse. She is associated with the veil. The veil is the eclipse of the sun. The veil reveals the hidden when moved away and Athena's veil is associated with entertainment and fama (fame). The curtain is drawn back and the performance starts or the sun starts shining again.
Surya is still the solar god of India, praised heavily in the religious texts and in daily life of that country. One can always observe women offering water from the river to Surya in the early morning. Sitting in a chariot, Surya, the sun, is driven by 7 horses through the sky. This image is similar to Greece's Apollo/Helios and Syria's Elagabalus. Like Ancient Egypt's Aten, Surya is addressed with hymns of praise. The Varnamala, or Garland of Letters, as translated by Sir John Woodroffe, tells us that Suryais praised as the personified aspect of the Creator represented in the sun. The Gayatri Mantra is the most sacred of all the Vedic mantras. It essentially asks all spheres of life--earthly, atmospheric and celestial, sometimes called The Three Worlds--to concentrate upon and contemplate the sun as Savitri (literally "brilliance"), the Solar spirit of the Divine Creator, the Eye In the Sky and smokeless fire within the heart. One of the most fabulous sun temples on earth is found in Konarak, Orissa, India. There are colorful depictions of sensuality and ecstasy carved into the living rock. There is also the solar wheel, or Wheel of Fortune/Karma amidst the fun. According to author David Frawley, one of the world's foremost scholars on Vedic culture, there is much evidence of the Surya cult, specifically, all over the Middle East and Europe. In the Bhagavad-Gita, "Celestial Song," Krishna explains to warrior-in-crisis Arjuna, that He gave laws of Sanatana Dharma first to Surya as Vivasvan, the Rising Sun, who then passed them on to Manu, the Lawgiver. Manu gave the laws to Ikshvaku, the first king. Manu is similar to Moses in both name and function, for both are considered as Lawgivers for their worlds.
Besides Surya, there is Vishnu, the Cosmic Sleeper, who is emanating just and logical decidedly solar ideals to aspire to in all-encompassing patterns within His Dream. Our word "wish" comes out of Vishnu. "Vish" means "to pervade." He pervades as does the sun and his beams of light are everywhere. Vishnu is identified in the Rg Veda, or "King" Veda, with the three daily phases of the sun. All the gods have cosmic vehicles or cosmic animals to ride upon. Vishnu has Garuda, a glittering golden eagle. Riding a Cosmic Bull, Shiva can be considered as Bacchus/Dionysus, covered in the white ashes from the funeral fires, drinking from the skull bowl, smoking the ganja. Shiva, like Bacchus, is the noire aspect of the Divine. Sometimes Shiva is called "Nataraj," literally "Dancing King," who is often depicted in sculpture dancing on the dwarf of ignorance. Shiva represents lunar time, has three eyes and the crescent moon is always above his head in depictions. Both Vishnu and Shiva share symbols of divinity, including mountains and rivers and both are associated with cobras, or nagas--solar representatives of knowledge, eternity and purity. This is a simplistic roundup of very complex principles. It's a neat, tidy package, and the very prolific author Alain Danielou covers it thoroughly in his book Shiva and Dionysus. Danielou's attractive formula looks something like this: Apollo/Vishnu vs. Siva/Dionysus. Sun vs. Moon, Conquerors vs. Natives. It can't help but be appealing.
At the heart of certain royalty-affiliated elite societies, like Freemasons, the Rosicrucians, Knights of Malta and others, is the conviction that the worship of and the ritualized sacrifice to the Sun is actually the oldest form of religion. According to this line of tradition, the glorification of the sun is the most basic conception of God, or Supreme Source common to all the islands and continents. It's what we all have in common and thus the sunis to be known as Source and Best Friend. The commonality provided by our dependency on the Best Friend is the true meaning behind a belief in a "Brotherhood of Man," a phrase so important to self-help groups, Shriners, Masons, Christian organizations, charitable and various philanthropic organizations.
The psychology of the longing for the sun is just like the moth in a state of absolute attraction for the candle flame. One can imagine the realization about the power of the sun an up-and-coming emperor, king and/or dictator could have while he's pondering the implication of the moths flying into the flame.
Both Akhenaten and Constantine brought much change to the lives of their respective subjects along with a concept of social cement and an enhanced state of fear. They both believed themselves divine representatives of God and they both ultimately believed the sun to be the True Living One God. Constantine's sun cult is to be found behind a veil called Christianity. If you look at the faces of Constantine and Akhenaten, side by side, the two god-kings have similar spirits. Each shares the impish royal grin of antiquity, the impressive skull size and the haunted eyes typical of god-kings around the ancient world. Both are unappreciated and both had equally unappreciated reformers following their reigns. The reformers tried to bring back the old time religion, which tolerated all forms of theism.
One should remember that Emperor Constantine, the father of the legalization of Christianity in Europe, was officially the pagan title of Pontifex Maximus, the High Priest of the sun cult, Sol Invictus. The Pope, to this day, is still the High Priest, the "Pontiff."
Becoming emperor of the Roman Empire in 306 AD, Constantine gets the credit for making the Roman Empire a Christian one. This is what is called the Holy Roman Empire. Its official religion is the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a synthesis of faith-based cults, which themselves were infiltrated and altered by the elites, bullies and controllers of the societies they came out of.
Through Christianity, Constantine made the empire a subservient monotheistic being, or more accurately, a tritheistic being. Three is a magic number and there was a well-established world culture that included Holy Trinities. For example there is the Trimurti, or Trinity, in India which is Brahma (Creator)-Vishnu (Preserver)-Shiva (Destroyer). The Egyptian Trinity is Isis-Osiris-Horus. Osiris is the Christ-like figure, sometimes called "God of Resurrection." Isis and Horus are akin to our Virgin and Child. The Ancient Roman (Capitoline) Trinity is Jupiter-Juno-Minerva, a transplant of the Mithraic Trinity. The Mithraic Trinity is Ormazd (Ahura-Mazda, Jupiter)- Speńta-Armalti (Juno, Earth)-Apām/Napāt (Neptune). An Irish Trinity is Dagda-Lugh-Ogma, and an all-goddess Greek Trinity is Hera-Athena-Aphrodite. There are many such triune representations of truth everywhere in the ancient world. In the Indo-European world, the Three Fates, known by various names, spin, weave and cut the tapestry of life.
The more we look, the more we find a melding of the three most important Roman cults, namely the Cult of Mithra, the Cult of Sol Invictus and the Cult of Christianity, into a new synthesis which today we call Christianity, particularly The Holy Roman Catholic Church. A synthesis of ideas serves many purposes. One needs only to look at the genius of Elizabeth Tudor, a.k.a. Queen Elizabeth I, and her Church of England, a synthesis of Catholicism and Protestantism.
The Constantinian plan for empire included the necessary step of unification and this required a very restrictive code of ethics. It was time to shape up and bring the sheep back in the pen. Of the savior cults, from Asia especially, that were appearing and gaining acceptance in Rome at the time, it was the Christian cult that was decided perfectly fit the bill. There was something unique about Christianity, detractors and supporters agreed. It was this cult's built-in sense of self that attracted the people in power. The emperor and his inner circle watched the Christian cult's absolute faith, its ecclesiastical nature, its self-importance, its self-loathing, its guilt, its self-discipline, its self-denial and its stubbornness. These were seen as useful qualities. The character of Christianity could be turned into a societal binding agent. It was so amazing how it all fit together. Despite being made up of very old ideas, epics and symbols, a whole new psychology of devotion was being created.
If Roman society at large saw the recruiting practices of the Christians as inappropriate or undignified, the leaders understood it as a very useful feature, a part of a bigger, more long-range picture. Arnaldo Momigliano, in his book, On Pagans, Jews, and Christians, points out that the"ecclesiastical structure" of Christianity was turned into a "subservient institution" to Imperial Rome, under Constantine. It is simply genius. However, if it was going to happen, Imperial Christianity had a big challenge. It had to swallow Mithra and Sol.
Sol Invictus was a mirror image of the religion of Mithra, or Mithraism, surviving but reformed in the religion-in-exile, Zoroastrianism. Mithra started in the Indo-Iranian part of the world of ancient Iran and Northern India. The Indian spiritual literature is called the Vedas and in Persia it is called the Avesta. Mitra is the Sanskrit root of the Persian name of solar god Mithra. It comes from a verb, "mit" which essentially means,"meet." Mitra was summoned whenever a contract needed consecration. Sometimes called the "god of meetings" or the "god of contracts," Mitra binds contracts, concepts, elements or people together and does so in a friendly mood. That's why most often Mitra/Mithra is defined as "Friend." This definition is true in both his Vedic Aryan identity as well as his Persian Aryan identity. He was originally one of the twelve Adityas, or solar deities as per the Vedic conception of the twelve seasons of the sun. An Aditya is a being issued forth from the Unbound Expanse (space/time). The Adityas included Ansa, Aryman, Bhaga, Daksha, Dhatri, Indra, Mitra, Ravi, Savitri, Surya, Varuna, and Yama. In Persia's Mithraism, the Adityas are called the Amshaspands, or the Amesha Spentas (Immortal Beings), numbering the magic number of seven. They are named Ameretat, Armaiti, Ashavahishta, Haurvatat, Khshathra vairya, Sraosa and Vohu Manah. In the end, Sol Invictus was, like all faiths, a syncretism. It absorbed into it aspects of what supported the ruling class and its political structure. This included aspects of the Apollo/Helios, native solar cults and Christianity.
The local sun cults in Rome existed, of course, but it seems, at least for the sake of history, that they served as nutrition and seasoning for the cult of Sol Invictus, which swallowed them. Sol Invictus is traced back to Emesa; a city now called Homs in Western Syria. It was brought into Rome by an emperor named after the sun god, Elagabalus. Born with the name Sextus Varius Bassianus, sometimes historians call him Heliogabalus. He was called Marcus Aurelius Antoninus when he became emperor but his friends -- and enemies -- knew him as Elagabalus, and his reign, which ended when he was murdered, was short, from 218-222 AD. The Syrian emperor made Invincible Sun the official religion of the Roman Empire and it remained the Roman norm and societal frame until the 4th Century. Aurelius was called High Priest of Elagabalus when he was but a teenager. All the charms and all the big problems that are associated with adolescence are not too surprisingly associated with Aurelius' reign. He over-indulged and lost his mind. He had no mind for the militaristic style of leadership expected from an emperor. Drunk with love for his sun god, he started acting in ways that were seen as very peculiar. For instance, he started dressing like a woman and at one point called himself "the empress's husband," giving one of his many lovers absolute authority.
Sol Invictus/Mithraism was big with the military and remained so despite the fact that the Roman aristocracy at the time hated the monotheistic cult and its god-king, the Syrian youth Aurelius. The coins from his era portrayed the veneration of the Elagabalus, the emperor Aurelius's god, in the form of a meteorite. The book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, contains a beautiful description of the sun worship of Elagabalus. Milk-white horses through the streets of Rome drew the black conical meteorite, set in precious gems, which were strewn in gold dust. Gibbon goes on to describe a scene worthy of Cecil B. DeMille, complete with sexy dancers, human sacrifice, rich foods, kinky sex, wines, drugs and doubting military officials shaking their heads in bemusement.
The disgraced boy emperor was murdered by Praetorian guards in a conspiracy cooked up by the three most influential women in his life -- his mother, grandmother and aunt. It was obvious that Caesar Alexander Severus, his popular cousin whom he adopted, was to be the next emperor of Rome. At last, an end to the madness, everyone thought. In a dramatic end to a dramatic life, Aurelius' body was thrown in the Tiber.
The similarly named Emperor Aurelian came to power in a coup d'Etat in 270 AD which overthrew Emperor Quintillus. The coins from Aurelian's reign reveal someone who is just the opposite of Elagabalus of earlier times. Whereas Elabalus (Aurelius) was a cherubic and naive idealist, Aurelian was a lean and mean military man. Quintillus was the brother of Claudius, a friend of Aurelian. Later, Aurelian declared Quintillus a usurper; thus validating the way in which he himself came to power. What can be said about someone who comes to power in a coup d'Etat? Either they're in the military or they've got an extra special relationship with the military. It was the sun cult's popularity with the military that Aurelian knew to be his empire's fangs as well as its galvanizing agent. He set up the solar priesthood and erected a big solar temple in Rome along with a once-every-four-years solar festival. All of this influenced the unification of Roman society.
A Bosnian, Emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletanius, was born in Dalmatia Salona in 243 AD and given the Greek name of Diokles ("glory ofZeus"). After a feisty military career, Diocletian became emperor of Rome in 284 AD. One of his innovations was the Tetrarchy, or a gang of four holding the reigns of power over the vast Roman Empire of the time being overwhelmed with too many geographical areas to protect. The Tetrarchy worked thusly: Diocletian ruled as Augusti of East, in Syria, and his friend Maximus ruled the West. Each Augusti picked a Caesar. Diocletian's Caesar was Galerius and Maximinus' Caesar was Constantius I Chlorus. The four of them were loyal soldiers and once the original Tetrarchy dissolved so did the concept. I bring this up to illustrate the strength of the militaristic brotherhood that was the sun cult. After the Tetrarchy ended, civil war followed. Out of this chaos emerged Constantine, the father of legalized Christianity.
Loyalty and the military arts are heavily tied in with the SolInvictus/Mithra cult. This is only natural, as Franz Cumont points out in his book The Mysteries of Mithra. The Roman soldier had so many hardships and saw so much death, a Divine Creator was sought for help and solace. This religious sentiment among the military class wasn't lost on Diocletian. Some of the Diocletian reforms included the separation of powers of the military and the civilians in each province, or diocese, making rebellion more difficult. He issued a series of edicts against Christians and Christianity as well as burned certain Christian documents. He had himself and Maximian elevated to god status when he called himself The Vicar of Jovius and Maximian was the Vicar of Herculius. This followed the Persian Mithraic tradition of "Divine Vicar" and paved the way for the Pope to be called "Vicar of Christ." Late in Diocletian's life, he dedicated a temple, a Mithraeum, to his god, Mithra (who was declared "Protector of the Empire"). Many such underground Mithraeums have since been discovered in Britain and Europe.
Constantine was born Flavius Valerius Constantinus. He was familiar with the stories, concepts and sentiments of the Near Eastern savior cult of Jesus Christ and the Judeo-Christian tradition through his mother, a devout, very wealthy and eccentric woman, named Helena. Referred to now as St. Helena, the mother of Constantine is said to have discovered the True Cross. Constantinian Christianity was different from the Christianity of his Helena. It moved steadily down the more martial, well-established and well-lit path of Sol Invictus, "Sun Invincible." The Constantinian coinage was marked "Sol Invicto Comiti," or "Committed to Sol Invictus" (Apollo/Helios, Mithra, etc.). He, like many before him and after him, saw Christianity as yet another form of solar allegory. This is not meant to be a blasphemous statement, it is only natural that his faith was committed to Sol Invictus. We shouldn't forget this because it is important in the understanding of who and where we are today. All that was needed was a good bath, a little sprucing up, a little haircut, a big, steamy meal of Sol Invictus/Mithraic fundamentals and a nicely tailored Roman outfit. There we are: Proper Roman Christianity/Solar Mythos. With its Holy Trinity, it can also be considered a tritheism as well as a monotheism. All of it comes to us courtesy of Constantine, Pontifex Maximus.
The transformation event happened in 325 AD and is known to us now as the Council of Nicea, Emperor Constantine's biggest achievement. Nicea was in Western Turkey and is today called Iznik. The finished product that came out of this editing room/post-production house, of 325 AD, is the Bible, specifically the formalization of the New Testament, and its accompanying official religion. What also came about was the consolidation of financial, political and spiritual authority in the Vatican, always a power spot of sun worship and most recently a place of the Mithraic version of sun worship. In Mithraism, ceremonies were presided over by a "papa" (pope). The solar cult origins of the Vatican can be seen, most obviously, in the huge sun diagram with an obelisk in the center in St. Peter's Square.
As par for the course, the Christian version of the Sabbath moved from the traditional Judaic Friday/Saturday (also the Sabbath day of Jesus, the rabbi, and his original followers) to Sunday, or Deis Solis, the holy Day of the Sun. December 25 was an important day all over Europe. In Rome, it was the day of Natilis Invictus, the Rebirth of the Invincible Sun. The sun was being "born" again after the shortest day of the year, December 24. Prior to December 25, the birth of Jesus Christ was typically celebrated on January 4. Some extremely important features of Christianity, which can be directly traced to the Council of Nicea, include the establishment of a Blessed Virgin, a Mother of God, a Holy Trinity (tritheism) as well as a Holy Communion representing the body and the blood of the Savior. One of the most important additions was the concept of damnation after death for the non-believers. This is called Hell, a place where there exists fire pits solely for eternal punishment of souls considered unworthy of the association of God. If we are to consider human time on earth but a flicker in the eternal time of God, it seems strange that acts performed in this temporary material plane could be eternally punished. It works politically because it works on the psychology of fear. If an eternal fire pit of damnation doesn't wake up the people to straighten up and fly right, what will? According to the book The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism, by R.C. Zaehner, the evidence indicates that there is actually no eternal place of damnation in Zoroastrianism, the reformed cult that started with Mithra. It wasn't until Islam that the concept of a place for eternal damnation was put into the minds of Persians.
Eternal damnation and eternal loveliness are often tied in with the ideals of martyrdom. Martyrdom is big with certain of the warrior cults in Europe, the Near East and the Far East. There is some co-mingling of names and concepts involved here. Hell is named after Hel, the Norse goddess who ruled the Underworld, Helheim. She was half-black and half-white, half-alive and half dead and originally took the souls of the old aged and those who died of natural causes. The valiant warrior who died on the battlefield went to Valhalla, the Hall of Heroes. Valhalla is a splendid place for the martyr as opposed to Hel's Elvidnir, the Hall of Miseries for the murderous, lazy and corrupt. Hades, or "Unseen," was the Greek name of the Olympian god of the Underworld. Like Christianity's Lucifer, he was a god of light, who committed an offence and was exiled from the gentile society of gods. The Greek Afterlife is divided into Elysium, the eternal place for the souls ofthe good, otherwise known as the Immortals, and Tartarus, Elysium's opposite. Pluto was the name of the Roman counterpart of Hades.
The conversion process of the early Roman church was blunt--rape, robbery and murder--but effective. The tough love route is often used when the military and any given do-or-die belief in an Absolute are being worked in tandem by authorities. It could be argued that the ultimate goal wasn't salvation at all, in the scriptural Christian sense of the word. The ultimate goal was an ordered empire where people had no religious freedom, no privacy and a heightened sense of fear of a centralized governing body. A modern Christian could say Constantine gave his subjects the opportunity to be "saved" from their former, pagan ways. Arnaldo Momigliano defines the word "pagan" as a word that means "civilian" in the Christians-vs.-Pagans context.
Imperial Rome of Constantine and its accompanying restrictions ushered in a new dawn of the most centralized government humanity had experienced thus far. So, 312 AD should be considered a very big date in history for those of us alive today. This was the year, the big year that Constantine, Pontifex Maximus of Sol Invictus, decided to call himself a "Christian" and thus Christianity was legal. After that, through baby steps, the pre-Christians and their traditions began to be restricted. As more Christians came into power, both Jews and Christian "heretics" became marginalized if not criminalized. Heretic is a word that comes from a verb meaning, "to choose." There was no more choice. By around 391 AD, non-Roman Christian ways of being became completely illegal. This was in the time of Theodosius' reign.
Catholics and Protestants alike refer to God's famous words whispered to Constantine or written in the sky in a dream, "In Hoc Signo Vinces," or "By This Sign You Will Conquer." This dream is considered the turning point when glorifying Europe's change from its savage pantheism to the religion of the Cross-. In Christianity, the cross represents the Tree of Life as well asthe Crucifix. Ancient Egyptians placed much importance on the cross in the form we have today as well as the loop cross, or Ankh. The miraculous vision was on the eve of Constantine's victorious battle with rival bully Maxentius on the Milvian Bridge at the gates of Rome. Maxentius had a big vision in the sky during a dream he had which promised him victory via divine credence. Constantine saw a burning cross in the sky, an oldalchemical symbol. This same burning cross is used today by the Methodist Church. There are some awkward points to this story. One point is that Maxentius and his army crowded on the bridge and the bridge collapsed and that was the end of the war. Creak-Plop-Splash! In 350 AD, one of Constantine's allies, another bully general named Vetranio, had his official coinage minted with the phrase "Hoc Signo Victor Eris" stamped on it ("By This Sign You Will Be Victor"). The coin depicted Magister Militum Vetranio holding a flag emblazoned with the phrase.
The cross, or the axis mundi, according to some schools, represented the Solar Eclipse. It is the meeting place between heaven and earth. Its origins are lost through tangled roots, into the various mystery schools of the ancient and pre-historic worlds.
Going back a bit, an emblem of Sri Krishna is the cross. It is especially an emblem of Krishna as Gopal. "Gopal" literally "Cow-Pal," Cow-Friend or Cowherd. The familiar words in the English language, like good, goat, cowand even God sound similar for a reason. All of these words originate in "go," meaning "cow" and also, "light." Krishna was born into the Solar Dynasty (Surya Vamsa), called the Yadu Dynasty, as opposed to the Lunar Dynasty (Chandra Vamsa) of Pandu. His name means the All Attractive, and technically comes from the root verb arkarshana, "to pull." Krishna appeared on the planet around 3228 BC in Mathura, located in the tract of land that is now called Northern India. Incidentally, the word Christ (The Anointed) comes from the word Krishna.
The true meaning of the cross vision of Constantine is thus multi-leveled and not solely the Crucifix/Tree of Life revered by Catholics and Protestants the world over. We have to remember the context. Christianity's cross, as a war symbol, is thus Constantinian. It had been a well-established war symbol for Mithraic soldiers. Mithra is associated with the slaying of the Cosmic Bull. In the Mithraic tradition, the believers were given baptism and the cross was drawn upon their foreheads in ash, as is done in modern Catholicism the world over to this day. The hymn goes "Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus as it was before." The cross was painted on the shields of Constantine's soldiers, most of which were of the Mithra/Sol Invictus sentiment. The discipline brought to the military by Aurelian was still very much alive and very much Mithraic.
Constantine wasn't the first monotheistic High Priest god-king reformer of the sun cult aligned with the solar cross. In fact, I think that had they lived at the same time, Emperor Constantine and Pharaoh Akhenaten would have immediately understood one another.
The first likely recorded monotheist reformer was Akhenaten. Though many people today claim they can disprove it, Akhenaten's solar One-God cult really started something rolling, something very unique, especially in the Desert regions of the Near and the Middle East. No words can alter this fact.
The power of the Aten and the urge for an all-encompassing One-God (called Neter Neteru) had been a reality in ancient Egypt since pre-dynastic times. The Aten is the pure "sun disc" aspect of the sun, meaning the light within the disc alone and without anything cumbersome like the personalities of gods or goddesses behind It, attached to It or being emblematic of It. For It was God to Akhenaten, his True God.
Ancient Egypt's Akhenaten (XVIII Dynasty, his rule spanned 1350 - 1334 BC) was the second son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye. He was an unpopular reformer but that's not to say he wasn't in the tradition of more popular reformers throughout history. Akhenaten is famous for three things: He is considered to be the father-in-law of King Tut, the husband of Queen Nefertiti and the Father of Monotheism.
Sometimes called Sun Son, Akhenaten and his monotheistic revolution,Atenism, had a little help from his family tree. There was Amenhotep III, Akhenaten's father, who started a separate religion and priesthood solely for the Aten amidst all the pantheism. He ruled for 37 years, from 1386 -1349 BC, and is considered one of Egypt's most successful diplomats and empire builders. He was named after the decidedly solar deity, Amun, a name meaning "The Hidden." Like Vishnu, or Krishna, Amun, when depicted in his human form, has bluish skin tone, sometimes rendered in lapis lazuli. Also, like Vishnu he is said to permeate everything and is acknowledged as the One who Permeates. Incidentally, Amun is not another "dead god from Egypt." Amun is very much alive. Amun continues to live up to his name, remaining hidden from those who think themselves devout monotheists of today. Yes, it is this same Amen whom do Christians and Muslims at the end of their liturgies invoke, I assume for the most part unknowingly. "Amen" means "Amun is." According to the evidence, at the end of the liturgies chanted congregational or privately, there was always the name of Amun invoked as "Amen."
There was also Hatshepsut, a cross-dressing, very nationalistic usurper. She wore the ceremonial false beard that the kings always wore. She was Akhenaten's grandmother who came to the throne in 1473 BC, a controversial rule spanning about 20 years. Inscriptions on the famous Obelisk of Hatshepsut, in the Temple of Karnak, praise the Aten and liken Egypt'sluminous nature unto it.
Like the many reformers who have come and gone since, Akhenaten followed a now well established pattern of co-opting, annihilating and/or ignoring and separating from the existing traditions. Do these traditions ever really go away? No, they do not. This instinct to cut or severe from what's gone before is a type of behavior necessary for any reformation, great or small. There is evidence that certain male religious fanatics, from all traditions, have even castrated themselves. Is this a move to become closer to the Divine or is it just hate? The Levant has its own special flavor of "cutting" with the past/self and we've all come to know it so well.
Moses, the Lawgiver of the Israelites, made mandatory the devotion to the One God, Yahweh (YHWH), a manifestation of Elohim in the form of a thundercloud. YHWH is now officially called the Tetragrammaton, a Greek word that means four letters; the four letters being Yod-Hey-Vod-Hey. The Divine Thundercloud Yahweh shot the laws out of the sky in bolts of lightning and then burned them into stone tablets. The laws were brought about via the fire from heaven because Moses' people had reverted back to the worship of Baal (literally "Lord), a form of the sun god as the Cosmic Bull in the Age of Taurus. Baal is yet another pagan sun deity represented by a particular style of cross. Strangely enough, the Pope wears the cross of Baal to this day in full view of the believers.
Nowhere near the Levant, there was Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan, who lived in England from 1599-1658. He was a man who had such profound embarrassment for his pre-Christian Church ancestors that he tried to destroy what was left of the native religions and societal norms of British Isles. He is called the Protector of England.
Gautama Buddha, of India's Bodh Gaya, can be considered, among many things, a reformer for the Vedic culture as per his mission and his appearance place of India (Bharat Varsh). Buddhism is different from the many reform cults in that it doesn't justify violence, even if a warrior god backs it up. It has no use for ascribing personalities on phenomena or on Dharma in its pure form. There has always been pantheism, henotheism and monotheism and even various forms of atheism, all existing side by side in India. This was true since before the time of the pyramids of Giza.
The Buddha (literally "The Knower") lived the ahimsa (non-violence) ideal, an ideal already very present in the existing Vedic philosophies but it had been clouded over with so much goat, horse, bull and human sacrifice. The prince became a sadhu ("one who cuts"). He cut himself off from his privileged place in society as well as society in general. He cut himself from the gods, the sacrifices, the endless mythologies and stories in favor of the essence, the Dharma and the Middle Way. He referred to his cult "Arya Samaj," the society of the Aryans. This is not a brand new idea and there have been plenty of Arya Samajes before the Buddhist one. The Aryans represent solar ideals and this is true no matter what interpretation of Aryan society one is familiar with. Sometimes the Aryans are considered to be the poetic barbarian and white skinned invaders of Alain Danielou and endless others, and sometimes they are considered the natives of Northern India who "began" in the mountainous regions as contended by David Frawley and others. "Aryan" is not a race but a title that is earned by conduct. It means "refined individual."
Full of violence or not full of violence, the reformer cults have in common a dislike of their respective accepted societal norms. An editing out, or cutting of what each considered non-truth, or a dharma, is only natural. They pick up the cosmic axe or the golden scissors and sever.
Like Prince Gautama, Akhenaten was a product of high society and privilege that saw as hypocritical and corrupt the ever-growing priesthood and he wanted it gone. His father, Amenhotep III, enacted reforms upon the Amun priesthood and Akhenaten enacted the destruction of it.
Often, it is human sacrifice that seems to be the big protest that the One-God people have against their own and others' traditions. This is interesting because the record shows that life's tough for those who haven't "the eyes to see" when the monotheists ride into town full of the solar "just" war spirit.
As it was with Emporer Constantine, politics and religion were inseparable; their powers were consolidated and part of a larger philosophy of humanlife. As well as being king of the secular world, Akhenaten was also High Priest to his subjects. Thus, there was no other way to the Aten except through Akhenaten. This has a familiar ring for those of us in the Judeo-Christian tradition. He was the Intermediary, the god-king, the Pharaoh. More precisely, he is the first in Egypt to call himself Pharaoh. In the end, "pharaoh" is a Hebrew word for what was actually a female designation.
Pharaoh Akhenaten changed his name from Amenhotep IV, "Amun is satisfied, "to Akhenaten, "Living Spirit of the Aten." Because of the pharaoh's devotion for the Aten, all manners of depictions of the mysterious Theban god Amun, a name meaning "Hidden," were desecrated or destroyed. We should not forget that Amun was the god that Akhenaten was raised to worship as True One God. I'd like to point out that some of the very well known monotheistic religions of today, which also happen to come from this part of the world, prohibit "graven images." This is Atenism.
After moving the capital city from Thebes, Akhenaten set up his official residence and lakeside resort temple in what's now called Tel El-Amarna. He changed the existing name to Khut-en-Aten, meaning "Horizon of Aten." The Aten temple was shaped like a cross, the alchemical solar emblem. The royal artwork found from this period depicts The Aten with rays of light as arms ending in little mitten-like hands, each of them holding the Ankh (literally "Life"), the Egyptian loop cross amulet blessing the royal family. The Ankh is shaped like a key and can be considered the key to truth. It is emblematic of the goddess Maat, the Sanskrit cognate of which is Mata. Maat can be remembered as she of the one white, glowing ostrich feather of Truth rising from her headdress or standing alone. One esoteric meaning is that the Ankh represents the sexually united siblings Osiris and Isis, the harmonization of the opposites, the big Synthesis as Truth. Osiris and Isis are two of the children born out of the cosmic union of Nut (as sky goddess) and Geb (as earth god).
Much has been made about what the experts call the Amarna Style of the royal art of Akhenaten. The royal couple, Akhenaten and Nefertiti, were shown in open embrace, taking tea in the garden with the children, enjoying the sun. This is a big break with tradition. It skipped even family portraiture and went right into candid camera, snapshots, life caught unawares. The children are pointing, playing with mother's earrings, the helmets are askew, the royal streamers are blowing in the wind. What?! How could this not have raised eyebrows? One can imagine those waiting in the wings observing all this.
The Aten Age that Akhenaten hoped for would probably have included equality of the sexes. Akhenaten's rule was co-regency. This is something very different from the Constantinian realization of the sun cult and its society. Devas have consorts and this is obviously part of Akhenaten's understanding of truth when we observe the role Nefertiti played as queen. For example, there is no way to Krishna or Shiva without the express permission of their consorts, the power, or Shakti devis who are, in the final analysis, the true controllers of the devas. For instance, in Bengal, India, Kali worship is the norm, for it is Kali who controls Kala (Father Time, or Lord Shiva). Who wouldn't want to gain access to She who controls Time? When the rites to the sun were performed in public, it was Akhenaten and Nefertiti performing them together. This was a big break with the norm and looked upon as exceedingly strange. Akhenaten's devotion to Nefertiti (which means "The Beautiful One has Arrived") and his Supreme Lord Aten was a very controversial devotion that influenced his behavior, his decisions, and was the cause of his alienation. One can look at the facial expressions Akhenaten wore in the depictions of him, and guess that he enjoyed challenging people with his ideas. To whom can this behavior be compared? What are some other weirdo lovers in the public eye in recent memory? Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII of England? Yoko Ono and John Lennon?
Akhenaten was more of a "solar art student" type than he was a soldier of the sun and perhaps my fantasy of Akhenaten and Constantine meeting face-to-face would be a big disaster for this reason. The styles of devotion are very different. The art of Amarna includes none of the obligatory "slaying of the Asiatics" by the king save for one depiction and it is Nefertiti who is doing the slaying. This isn't Constantinian.
Queen Nefertiti was a princess, a Hittite, who came from the land of Mitanni, a small kingdom and Sanskrit-speaking Aryan stronghold, north of the Upper Euphrates. She brought Aryan gods and goddesses with her, including Mitra and Surya. Akhenaten had much influence from Mitanni not only from his in-laws but via his own bloodline as well. Mitanni was a place of solar spirituality and this is a factor in Akhenaten's solar reformation.
Realism was employed in the graceful wall frescoes of birds, reeds, flowers, and water. This realism, which broke away from the conservative comic bookstyle idealism of Egypt, is part and parcel to Akhenaten's belief in Aten bringing forth all that lives. The sun brings forth and so, in true solar manner, the living things are brought forth even from the strictures of official art.
Another quirk of the Amarna Style has to do with the depictions of the mysterious pharaoh himself at his lakeside resort. Akhenaten is depicted in sculpture as having huge, birth-bearing hips, a womb-like belly, gigantic lips and narrow, pointy shoulders. The experts speculate that either he was a woman or that he had a disfiguring disease. I don't see why one would need to see it this way. Taken in all at once, he looks to me more like an insect. He was an esotericist who ascribed symbolic meaning to everything. He lived in the Ancient World. The sun harmonizes the opposites. Akhenaten was trying to demonstrate this harmonizing in his role as High Priest of the sun. If one wants to go with the "really a woman" theory, I challenge that he was demonstrating that the female and the male are made one by Aten. This isn't a new idea. All through the Egyptian pantheon one will find so many "contradictory" divine personalities. Many have human bodies, which are topped with various heads of animals, reptiles, insects and more. Divine animal-human combinations can be found, along with pyramids, in South America, India, China and Africa as well as in the Book of Revelations. The hermaphrodite or divine androgen is another well-established esoteric tradition. One need not look far to find the evidence. Nefertiti, his wife, considered by many the most beautiful human being of the ancient world, was rendered in a more realistic style and I'm guessing that was her choice. The Egyptian Museum in Berlin houses the very famous limestone bust of Nefertiti that continues to inspire much awe. She clearly had independence from societal norms.
The Ankh, crux ansanta, or handle-shaped cross, was later adopted by the Coptic Christians.
Some thoughts on monotheism:
- Monotheism is an interesting lens through which to view the worlds.
- Monotheism is considered solar most of the time.
- Pantheism is often confused with "expanded theism,", as in personalities or things representing the Creator but aren't actually separate "Supreme Gods."
- There is no true monotheism because it always seems to bear a kind of "genetic stamp" of the pantheism from whatever it comes out of and it always comes out of something. Sometimes, the "something," the older gods or goddesses, turn into co-deities, saints or angels. Along with this, the rest of this "something" is turned into an officially designated group of daemons or officially designated pretenders to the True Godhead.
More information: The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, Esq.; Arcadia: The Ancient Egyptian Mysteries, Arcadia and the Arcadian Academy (The Life and Times of Francis Bacon, 1579-1585), by Peter Dawkins; The White Goddess, by Robert Graves; The Catholic Encyclopedia, by Robert Appleton; Encyclopedia Britannica; British and Irish Mythology, by John and Caitlin Matthews; Bulfinch's Mythology; The Spell of the Sensuous, by David Abram; Julian, by Gore Vidal; On Pagans, Jews, and Christians, by Arnaldo Momigliano; The Birth of Tragedy, by Friedrich Nietzsche; The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism (Putnam History of Religion series), by R.C. Zaehner; The Mysteries of Mithra, by Franz Cumont;Tutankhamen (Amenism, Atenism and Egyptian Monotheism), by Sir Ernest A. Wallis Budge; Rex Deus (The True Mystery of Rennes-Le-Chateau And The Dynasty of Jesus), by Marilyn Hopkins, Graham Simmans & Tim Wallace-Murphy;A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, by George Hart; Varnamala, translation and commentary by Sir John Woodroffe; Fingerprints of the Gods,by Graham Hancock; Sexual Personae, by Camille Paglia; The Biggest Secret, by David Icke; Shiva & Dionysus, by Alain Danielou; The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, by Max Heindel; Manual of Mythology, by Alexander Murray;The Stairway To Heaven (Book II Of The Earth Chronicles), by Zecharia Sitchin; "Childe Harold," poem by Lord Byron; The Hieroglyphic Monad, by Dr. John Dee; Gods, Sages & Kings, by David Frawley; Sri Isopanisad, Krishna(Books 1 & 2), by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.