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The God-Idea of the Ancients or Sex in Religion by Eliza Burt Gamble

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old Goddess with her child in her arms, the inscription being in
Etruscan characters. "No doubt the Romish Church would have
claimed her for a Madonna, but most unluckily she has her name,
Nurtia, in Etruscan letters, on her arm, after the Etruscan

From the monuments of Etruria the fact is observed that descent
and the rights of succession were traced in the female line, a
condition of society which indicates the high position which must
have been occupied by the women of that country.

In Oman is said to exist a fragment of the government of the old
Ethiopian or Cushite race. If this is true, then we may be able
to perceive at the present time something of the character of the
political institutions of this ancient nation. As no people
remains stationary, and as degeneracy has been the rule with
surrounding countries, we may not expect to find among the people
of Oman a true representation of ancient conditions, yet, as has
been observed, we may still be able to note some of the facts
relative to the organization of society and their governmental

In a description furnished by Palgrave, Oman is termed a kingdom,
yet it is plain from the observations of this writer that the
existing form of government is that of a confederacy of nations
under a democratical system, identical with that developed during
the later status of barbarism. This writer himself admits that
Oman is less a kingdom than an aggregation of municipalities, and
that each of these municipalities or towns has a separate
existence and is controlled by its own local chief; but that all
are joined together in one confederacy, and subjected to the
leadership of a grand chief whom the writer is pleased to term
"the crown," but why, as is evident from the description given,
bears no resemblance to a modern monarch. The chiefs who direct
the councils of the municipalities are limited in their powers by
"the traditional immunities of the vassals," the decision of all
criminal cases and the administration of justice being in the
hands of the local judges. In the descriptions given of their
governmental proceedings, it is stated that the whole course of
law is considered apart from the jurisdiction of the sovereign,
who has no power to either change or annul the enactments of the

Here, it is observed, exists almost the identical form of
government which was in use among the early historic nations,
before governments came to be founded on wealth, or on a
territorial basis[67]; or, in other words, before the monied and
aristocratic classes had drawn to themselves all the powers which
had formerly belonged to the people.

[67] See The Evolution of Woman, p. 238.

We must bear in mind the fact that under these earlier
democratical institutions, the term "people" included not only
men but women, and as the grand chief, the local rulers, and the
judges held their positions by virtue of their descent from, or
relationship to, some real or traditional leader of the gens, who
during all the earlier ages was a woman, we may believe that the
power of women to depose their political leaders so soon as their
conduct became obnoxious to them was absolute and unquestioned.

Doubtless, as we have seen, the government of Oman has undergone
a considerable degree of modification since the days of Cushite
splendor and supremacy; that, like all other nations which have
come in contact with the Aryan and Semitic races, the tendency
has been toward monarchial government; nevertheless, with its
practically free institutions, representing as they do, in a
measure, the political system of the grandest and oldest
civilizations of which we have any knowledge, it furnishes an
illustration of the degree of progress possible under gentile
organization, at the same time that it points to the source
whence has proceeded the fierce democratic spirit observed among
succeeding nations, notably the Greeks.

Modern writers agree in ascribing to the Touaricks, a people
inhabiting the Desert of Sahara, a considerable degree of
civilization. We are informed that in the Sahara, which, by the
way, is far less a barren waste than we have been taught to
suppose it, "the Touaricks have towns, cities, and an excellent
condition of agriculture"; that with them fruit is cultivated
with great success and skill. Their method of political
organization is democratic and similar in construction and
administration to the old Cushite municipalities. Baldwin,
quoting from Richardson, says: "Ghat, like all the Touarick
countries, is a republic; all the people govern. The woman of
the Touaricks is not the woman of the Moors and Mussulmans
generally. She has here great liberty, and takes an active part
in the affairs and transactions of life."[68]

[68] Prehistoric Nations, p. 341.

One who is disposed to search for it, will find no lack of
evidence going to prove that in an earlier age of the world,
prior to the written records of extant history, the human race
had attained to a stage of civilization equal in all and superior
in many respects to that of the present time.

That this remarkable stage of progress, the actual extent of
which has not yet been fully realized, was attained during a
period of pure Nature-worship, or while the earth and the sun
were venerated as emblems of the great creative energy throughout
the universe, is a proposition which, when viewed by the light of
more recently acquired facts, is perfectly reasonable, and
exactly what might be expected.

That this high stage of civilization was reached while women were
the recognized heads of families and of the gentes, and at a time
when Perceptive Wisdom, or the female energy in the Deity, was
worshipped as the supreme God, is a fact which in time will be
proved beyond a doubt. Indeed, had not the judgment of man
become warped by prejudice, and his reason clogged by
superstition and sensuality, the fact so plainly apparent in all
ancient mythologies, that in the early god-idea two principles
were contained, the female being in the ascendancy, would long
ere this have been acknowledged, and our present religious
systems, which are but outgrowths from these mythologies, would,
with the partial return of civilized conditions, have been so
modified or changed as to embrace some of the fundamental truths
which formed the basis of early religion.

Regarding the religion of the ancient race which we have been
considering, we are told that they worshipped a dual Deity, under
the appellations of Ashtaroth and Baal, and that this God
"comprehended the generative or reproductive powers in human
beings and in the sun, together with Wisdom or Light." In other
words, they adored the great moving force throughout Nature, a
force which they venerated as the Great Mother.

Before the Zend and Sanskrit branches of the Aryan race had
separated, their religion was doubtless that given them by their
Cushite civilizers. The worship of the sun and the planets, with
which were inextricably interwoven the fructifying agencies in
Nature, explains their devotion to the study of the heavenly
bodies and their advanced knowledge of astronomy. The types of
regeneration or reproduction which they venerated were symbols of
abstract principles, and, from facts connected with their
religious ceremonies as practiced by their immediate successors,
and from the pure significance attached to their emblems, we are
justified in the conclusion before referred to, that the sensuous
element, which became so prominent in later religious
developments, constituted no part of their worship.

The number of ages during which the most primitive religion,
namely, that of pure Nature-worship, prevailed among the
inhabitants of the earth may not be conjectured, and the exact
length of time during which earth and sun adoration unalloyed by
serpent and phallic faiths remained is not known. It is
probable, however, that its duration is to be measured by that of
the supremacy of the altruistic or mother element in human
affairs, and that the gradual engrafting of the later-developed
sensuous faiths upon their earlier god-idea, marks the change
from female to male supremacy.

We have observed that whenever a remnant of the civilization of
the ancient Cushites appears, exactly as might be expected, women
hold an exalted position in human affairs, at the same time that
the female principle constitutes the essential element in the

Of the ancient Persians who received their religion and their
civilization from this older race Malcolm observes:

"The great respect in which the female sex was held was, no
doubt, the principal cause of the progress they made in
civilization. . . . It would appear that in former days the
women of Persia had an assigned and honorable place in society;
and we must conclude that an equal rank with the male creation,
which is secured to them by the ordinances of Zoroaster, existed
long before the time of that reformer, who paid too great
attention to the habits and prejudices of his countrymen to have
made any serious alteration in so important an usage. We are
told by Quintus Curtius, that Alexander would not sit in the
presence of Sisygambis, till told to do so by that matron,
because it is not the custom in Persia for sons to sit in the
presence of their mothers. There can be no stronger proof than
this anecdote affords, of the great respect in which the female
sex were held in that country, at the time of this invasion."[69]

[69] See History of Persia.

No one I think can study the sacred books of the Persians without
observing the emphasis which is there placed on purity of
character and right living. Indeed, within no extant writings is
the antithesis between good and evil more strongly marked, at the
same time that their hatred of idolatry is clearly apparent. The
same is observed in the early writings of the Hindoos. Within
the Vedas, although they have been corrupted by later writers,
may still be traced a purity of thought and life which is not
apparent in the writings of later ages. Not long ago I was
informed by a learned native of India that the original writing
of the Vedas was largely the work of women.

That the early conceptions of a Deity in which women constituted
the central and supreme figure were in Egypt correlated with the
exercise of great temporal power, may not, in view of the facts
at hand, longer be doubted. By means of records revealed on
ancient monuments, we are informed that in the age of Amunoph I.
a considerable degree of sovereign power in Egypt was exercised
by a woman, Amesnofre-are, who had shared the throne with Ames.
She occupied it also with Amunoph, and, notwithstanding the
statement of Herodotus, that women did not serve in the capacity
of priests, this Queen is represented as pouring out libations to
Amon, an office which was doubtless the highest connected with
the priesthood.

Less than forty years later, it is observed that another woman,
Amun-nou-het, shared the throne with Thotmes I. and II. and that
"she appears to have enjoyed far greater consideration than
either of them." Not alone are monuments raised in her name, but
she appears dressed as a man, and "alone presenting offerings to
the gods." So important a personage was she that she is believed
by many to be the princess who conquered the country, perhaps
even Semiramis herself. Her title was the "Shining Sun."[70]

[70] Rawlinson, History of Herodotus, app., book ii., ch. viii.

As these women doubtless belonged to the old Arabian, Ethiopian,
or Cushite race, the people who had brought civilization to
Egypt, we are not surprised to find them holding positions which
were connected with the highest civil and religious offices. The
Labyrinth, in the country of the Nile, is described by ancient
writers as containing three thousand chambers. Strabo says of it
that the enclosure contained as many palaces as there formerly
were homes, and that there the priests and priestesses of each
department were wont to congregate to discuss difficult and
important questions of law.

According to the Greeks, the Egyptian God Osiris corresponds to
their Jupiter; and Sate, the companion of Kneph, is identical
with Juno. It is quite evident, however, that the Greeks
understood little of the true significance of the gods which they
had borrowed, or which they had inherited from older nations. It
would seem that as a people their conceit prevented them from
acknowledging the dignity even of their gods, hence, they endowed
them with the attributes best suited to their own depraved taste
or pleasure, and then worshipped them as beings like themselves.

It has been observed of the Egyptians that they were wont to
ridicule the Greeks for regarding their gods as actual beings,
while in reality "they were only the representations of the
attributes and principles of Nature." Unlike the religions which
succeeded it, Egyptian mythology, as understood by the learned,
was essentially philosophical, and dealt with abstractions and
principles rather than with personalities.

Notwithstanding the importance which in process of time came to
be claimed by males, and the consequent stimulation which was
given to the animal tendencies, it is evident, from certain
historical and undeniable proofs in connection with this subject,
that although woman's power in Egypt, as in all other countries,
gradually became weakened, the effect of her influence on manners
and social customs was never wholly extinguished.

Regarding the existence of polygamy, it has been said that the
high position occupied in ancient Egypt by the mother of the
family, the mistress of the household, is absolutely
irreconcilable with the existence of polygamy as a general
practice, or of such an institution as the harem. Although the
plurality of wives does not appear to have been contrary to law,
it "certainly was unusual," and although Egyptian kings
frequently had many wives, "they followed foreign rather than
native custom."[71]

[71] Renouf, Religion of Ancient Egypt, p. 81.

Herodotus says of the women of Egypt: "They attend the markets
and trade while the men sit at home at the loom"[72]; and
Diodorus informs us that in Egypt "women control the men."

[72] Book ii., ch. xxxv.

Were we in possession of no direct historical evidence to prove
that down to a late period in the history of Egypt women had not
lost their prestige, sufficient evidence would be found in the
fact that, notwithstanding the growing tendency of mankind in all
the nations of the globe to suppress the female instincts and to
reject, conceal, or belittle the woman element in the Deity,
still Isis, the gracious mother, retained a prominent place in
the god-idea of that country.

I am not unmindful of the remarks which a reference to a past age
of intellectual and moral greatness will call forth; indeed, I
can almost hear some devotee of the present time remark: "So we
are asked to regard as a sober fact the existence in the past of
a golden age; also to believe that man was created pure and holy,
and that he has since fallen from his high estate; in other
words, we are to have faith in the ancient tradition of the 'fall
of man.'" If by the fall of man we are to understand that a
great and universal people, who in a remote age of the world's
history had reached a high stage of civilization, gradually
passed out of human existence, and that a lower race, which was
incapable of attaining to their estate, and which, by the over-
stimulation of the lower propensities, sank into a state of
barbarism, in which the original sublime conceptions of a Deity
were obscured and the great learning of the past was lost, I can
see no reason to disbelieve it, especially as all the facts, both
of tradition and history, bearing upon this subject unite in
proclaiming its truth.

After stating that in Chaldea has been found rather the debris of
science than the elements of it, Bailly asks:

"When you see a house built of old capitals, columns, and other
fragments of beautiful architecture, do you not conclude that a
fine building has once existed? . . . If the human mind can
ever flatter itself with having been successful in discovering
the truth, it is when many facts, and these facts of different
kinds, unite in producing the same results."

That the descendants of a once mighty nation lapsed into
barbarism, forgetting the profound knowledge of the sciences
possessed by their ancestors, is a fact too well attested at the
present time to be doubted by those who have taken the pains to
acquaint themselves with the evidence at hand.

Regarding the manner in which this ancient civilization was
reached, or concerning the way in which it was achieved, history
and tradition are alike silent, although it is believed that the
present methods of investigation will, at least in a measure,
unravel the mystery. At present we only know that, as far in the
remote past as human ken can reach, evidences of a high stage of
civilization exist which it must have required thousands upon
thousands of years to accomplish.



After the decline of Nature-worship, and when through the
constantly increasing power gained by the ruder elements in human
society a knowledge of the scientific principles underlying
ancient religion had been partially lost or forgotten, it became
necessary for philosophers to conceal the original conception of
the Deity and to clothe their sacred writings in allegory. Hence
it is observed that every ancient form of religion has a cabala
containing its secret doctrines--doctrines the inner meaning of
which was known only to the few. In order that these truths
might be preserved, they were inscribed on the leaves of trees in
characters or symbols understood only by the initiated. The
allegories beneath which these higher truths were concealed were
handed down as traditions to succeeding generations--traditions
in which history, astrology, and mythology are strangely

After long periods, through war, conquest, and the various
changes incidental to shifting environment, these traditions were
in the main forgotten. Fragments of them, however, were from
time to time gathered together, and, intermingled with later
doctrines, were used by the priests as a means of increased
self-aggrandizement and power.

It is now thought that the Iliad (Rhapsodies) of Homer is only a
number of "detached songs" which perhaps for centuries were
delivered orally, and that they contain the secret doctrines of
the priests. Porphyry says that "we ought not to doubt that
Homer has secretly represented the images of divine things under
the concealment of fable." It has been said of Plato that he
banished the poems of Homer from his imaginary republic for the
reason that the people might not be able to distinguish what is
from what is not allegorical. Hippolytus informs us that the
Simonists declared that in Helen resided the principle of
intelligence; "and thus, when all the powers were for claiming
her for themselves, sedition and war arose, during which this
chief power was manifested to nations." These songs which were
gathered together by Pisistratus and revised by Aristotle for the
use of Alexander, have generally been regarded merely as a bit of
history recounting a severe and protracted struggle between the
Greeks and Trojans.

Within the earliest historical accounts which we have of the
Egyptians, we observe that their ceremonies and symbols have
already become multitudinous, the true meaning of the latter
being concealed. The masses of the people, who had grown too
sensualized and ignorant to receive the higher divine
"mysteries," and too gross to be entrusted with their true
significance, had become idolaters.

Not only the Egyptian and Chaldean priests, but Moses and the
Jewish doctors were well versed in religious symbolism. The fact
is observed, also, that as late as medieval Christianity, the
fathers in the Church, the Christian painters, sculptors, and
architects, still employed signs and symbols to set forth their
religious doctrines. Even at the present time, many of the
emblems representing certain ideas connected with the creative
principles, and which were part and parcel of the pagan worship,
are still in use. The masses of the people, however, are without
a knowledge of their origin or early significance.

Everywhere, throughout the early historic nations, were
worshipped symbols of the attributes or functions of the dual or
triune God. Each symbol represented a distinctive female or male
quality. Animals, trees, the sea, plants, the moon, and the
heavens were, at a certain stage of religious development,
symbolized as parts of the Deity and worshipped as possessing
certain female or male characteristics or attributes.

It is plain that, with the decline of female power, and the
consequent stimulation of the animal instincts in man, the pure
creative principles involved in Nature-worship gradually became
unsuited to the sensualized capacities and tastes of the masses;
but in addition to this were other reasons why the female
principle in the Deity should be concealed. Women were already
deposed from their former exalted position as heads of families
and as leaders of consanguine communities. All their rightful
prerogatives had been usurped. The highest development in Nature
had become the slave of man's appetites, and motherhood, which
had hitherto been accepted as the most exalted function either in
heaven or on the earth, trailed in the dust.

Under these conditions it is not perhaps singular that the
capacity to bring forth, and the qualities and attributes of
women which are correlated with it, namely, sympathy--a desire
for the welfare of others outside of self, or altruism,--should
no longer have been worshipped as divine, or that in their place
should have been substituted the leading characters developed in
man. From the facts at hand it is plain that at a certain stage
of human growth physical might and male reproductive energy, or
virility, became the recognized God. With passion as the highest
ideal of a Creator, the female element appeared only in a
sensualized form and simply as an appendage to the god which was
dependent upon her ministrations. Under the above conditions it
is not in the least remarkable that by the priests it should have
been deemed necessary to conceal from women the facts bound up in
their nature. Woman's importance as a creative agency and as a
prime and most essential factor in the universe must be
concealed. "Isis must be veiled."

Through the appropriation of the titles of the original dual God
by reigning monarchs, is perceived at least one of the processes
by which the great universal female Deity of the ancients has
been transformed into a male god. We are assured that the
"redundant nomenclature of the deities of Babylon renders an
interpretation of them impossible. Each divinity has many
distinct names, by which he is indifferently designated." It is
observed that each

Deity has as many as forty or fifty titles, each of which
represents a certain attribute.

Since the invention of the cuneiform alphabet, by which pictures
have been reduced to phonetic signs, the attempt has been made to
arrange or classify these gods according to their proper order in
the Pantheon, but thus far much obscurity and doubt seem to
pervade their history.

In Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian mythologies are observed
much confusion and no small degree of mystery surrounding the
positions occupied by certain gods. "Children not unfrequently
change positions with parents," but more frequently, we are told,
"women change places with men," or, more properly speaking, the
titles, attributes, and qualities ascribed to the Great Universal
female God are now transferred to the reigning monarch. Thus not
unfrequently a deity is observed which is composed of a male
triad, the central figure of which is the king or military
chieftain, and to which is usually appended a straggling fourth
member, a female, who, shorn of her power, and with a doubtful
and mysterious title, appears as wife or mistress to his
greatness, while upon her is reflected, through him, a slight
hint of that dignity and honor which was originally recognized as
belonging exclusively to the recognized Deity.

The Goddess Vishnu, from whose navel as she slept on the bottom
of the sea sprang all creation, after her transformation into a
male God, is supplemented by a wife--Lacksmir. Lacksmir means
wisdom; but she has become only an appendage to her "lord," upon
whom is reflected all her former glory.

So greedy did rulers become for the splendid titles belonging to
the female divinities that we are told that "the name of the
Great Goddess Astarte not unfrequently appears as that of a man."

Although man had usurped the titles of the female God and had
denied her recognition as an active creative agency, still, as
nothing could be created without her, she was permitted, as we
have seen, to remain as wife or mistress to the reigning monarch,
in whom had come to reside infinite wisdom and power. Her symbol
was an ark, chest, boat, box, or cave. This woman, although
dignified by the title "Mother of the Gods," and even by that of
"Queen of Heaven," is utterly without power.

Not only is it plain that the titles and attributes of female
gods have been appropriated by males, but it is also true that
the more ancient deities, which are now known to have been
female, have by later investigators been represented as male.

The interpretations which have hitherto been put upon the
Babylonian and Assyrian deities by many of those who have
attempted to unravel the mysteries of an earlier stage of
religious worship, is doubtless due to the fact that since the
so-called historic period began, the qualities which have been
considered godlike have all been masculine; it has therefore
never occurred to the minds of these writers that the ancients
may have entertained quite different notions from their own
regarding the attributes of a Deity; hence, whenever the sex of a
god has appeared doubtful, especially if it be in the least
degree powerful or important, it has at once been denominated as
masculine, and this, too, notwithstanding the fact that such
rendering has oftentimes involved inconsistencies,
contradictions, and absurdities which it is impossible to
reconcile either with established facts or with common sense.

Unless the symbols representing religious belief and worship are
viewed in the light of later developed facts in mythology,
archaeology, and philology, there occur many seeming absurdities
and numberless facts which it is found difficult to reconcile
with each other; especially is this true in regard to some of the
symbols used to express the distinctive female and male
qualities. The serpent, for instance, although a male symbol, in
certain ages of the world's history appears as a beautiful woman.

This is accounted for by the fact that a woman and a serpent once
stood for the god-idea. Together they constituted an indivisible
entity--the creating power in the universe. They therefore
became interchangeable terms. The woman when appearing alone
represented both, as did also the serpent.

"In most ancient languages, probably all, the name for the
serpent signifies Life, and the roots of these words generally
also signify the male and female organs, and sometimes these
conjoined. In low French the words for Phallus and life have the
same sound, though, as is sometimes the case, the spelling and
gender differ"; but this fact is thought to be of no material
importance, as "Jove, Jehova, sun, and moon have all been male
and female by turn."

No doubt many of the inconsistencies hitherto observed in the
religion of the ancients will disappear so soon as we obtain a
clearer knowledge of their chronology; and events which now seem
contradictory will be satisfactorily explained when placed in
their proper order with regard to date. Religion, like
everything else, is constantly shifting its position to
accommodate itself to the changed mental conditions of its
adherents; hence, ideas which at any given time in the past were
perfectly suited to a people, would, in the course of five
hundred or one thousand years, have become changed or greatly

During a certain stage in human history "all great women and
mythical ladies were serpents"; but when monumentally or
pictorially represented, they appeared "with the head of a woman,
while the body was that of a reptile." This figure represented
Wisdom and Passion, or the spiritual and material planes of human
existence. The mythical woman whom Hercules met in Scythia, and
who was doubtless the original eponymous leader of the Scythian
people, had the head of a woman and the body of a serpent.[73]
Even the Mexicans declare that "he, the serpent, is the sun,
Tonakatl-Koatl, who ever accompanies their first woman." Their
primitive mother, they said, was Kihua-Kohuatl, which signifies a
serpent. In referring to this Mexican tradition, Forlong
remarks: "So that the serpent here was represented as both Adam
and Adama; and their Eden, as in Jewish story, was a garden of
love and pleasure."[74]

[73] Herodotus, book iv., 9.

[74] Rivers of Life, vol. i., p. 143.

The traditions extant among all peoples seem to connect the
introduction of the serpent into religious symbolism, with a time
in the history of mankind when they first began to recognize the
fact, that through the abuse of the reproductive functions, evil,
or human wretchedness, had gained the ascendency over the higher
forces. The Deity represented by a woman and a serpent involved
the idea not alone of good, but of good and evil combined.
Together they prefigured not only Wisdom and generative power,
but evil as well. Mythologically they represented the cold of
winter and the heat of the sun's rays, both of which were
necessary reproduction. From this conception sprang the Ormuzd
and Ahryman of the Persians, the story of Adam, Eve, and the
serpent in Genesis, and the legend of Kihua-Kohuatl and
Tonakatl-Koatl in Mexico.

"The serpent remained in the memory and affections of most early
people as wisdom, life, goodness, and the source of knowledge and
science, under various names such as Toth, Hermes, Themis, the
Kneph or Sophia of Egyptians and Gnostics, and Set, Shet, or Shem
of the Jews."[75]

[75] Forlong, Rivers of Life, etc., vol. i., p. 143.

The Serpent Goddess, although embracing evil as well as good, was
still the "Giver of Life" and the "Teacher of Mankind." These
were the titles which in later ages began to be coveted by
monarchs, and then it was that the attributes belonging to this
Deity began to appear in connection with royalty.

There is no ancient divinity about which there seems to be
connected so much mystery as the Assyrian Hea. When referring to
the "great obscurity" which surrounds this God we are assured
that there is at present "no means of determining the precise
meaning of the cuneiform Hea, which is Babylonian rather than
Assyrian," but that it is doubtless connected with the Arabic
Hya, which is said to mean "life," or the female principle in
creation. This Deity is the God of "glory" and of "giving,"
titles which during the earlier ages of human existence belonged
to the Queen of Heaven, the Celestial Mother.

The representation of the god Amun or Amun-ra, which superseded
the triune Deity, Kneph, Sate, and Anouk at Thebes, and from
which in Assyria doubtless proceeded the trinity, Amun,
Bel-Nimrod, and Hea, is supposed to be identical with the Greek
Zeus, which means the sun. This God is represented by a female
figure seated on a throne. It is crowned with two long feathers,
and in the right hand is observed the cross, the emblem of life.
Manetho, the celebrated Egyptian historian, declares that the
name of this God signifies "concealed."

There can be little doubt that the titles of the ancient
Deity--the Destroyer or Regenerator, or, in other words, those of
the God of life which embraced the idea of the moving force
throughout Nature, were, in course of time, appropriated by the
rulers of the people. It is stated that the name of a certain
Egyptian God appears first in connection with royalty, that "his
name was substituted for some earlier divinity whose
hieroglyphics were chiselled out of the monuments to make place
for his."

According to the testimony of Rawlinson, the God Hea is
represented by the great serpent, which occupies a conspicuous
position among the symbols of the gods on the black stones
recording Babylonian benefactions. Now these flat black stones
are themselves said to symbolize the female element in the Deity,
in contradistinction to the obelisks, which prefigure the male,
while the serpent, for reasons which have already been explained,
appeared for ages in connection with the figure of a woman. In
later inscriptions "king" is everywhere attached to the name of
the God Hea, which fact shows that the titles ascribed to her
were those particularly coveted by royalty. Hence we are not
surprised to find that in an inscription of Sardanapalus, in the
British Museum, there "occurs a remarkable phrase in which the
king takes the titles of Hea."

Among the Assyrian inscriptions appear Bel-Nimrod, Hea, and Nin
or Bar. In view of the facts which have come to light regarding
Hea, it is altogether probable that the triad Bel-Nimrod, Hea,
and Nin represent the trinity as figured by the father, mother,
and child. That Nin was the son or the child of Bel-Nimrod "is
constantly asserted in the inscriptions." He appears also as the
son of Hea, yet the fact that Hea should be represented as a
woman, or as the mother of Nin, and the central figure in the
trinity, seems not to have been observed by those who thus far
have been engaged in deciphering these inscriptions. By
representing Hea as male, Nin is made to appear as the offspring
of two fathers while he is left absolutely motherless. To
obviate this difficulty an ingenious attempt has been made to
account for his existence by substituting his own wife as the
author of his being. Although in the numerous accounts which I
had read of Hea, in my search for information concerning her, she
had always been designated as male, still I was satisfied from
the descriptions given that originally this Deity was female.
Therefore upon receiving a copy of Forlong's Rivers of Life and
Faiths of Man in All Lands, I was not surprised to find the

"Hoa or Hea, the Hu of our Keltic ancestors, whose symbol was the
shield and the serpent, was worshipped near rivers and lakes, and
if possible on the sea-shore, where were offered to her such
emblems as a golden vessel, boat, coffer, or fish, and she was
then named Belat Ili (the mistress of the Gods)."[76]

[76] Vol. ii., p. 94.

She was the Goddess of Water. Of this Forlong says: "Water,
perhaps more than fire, has always been used as a purifier. . .
. Christians have but imitated the ancients, in the use of
Lustral water--now-a-days called Holy Water, and into which salt
should be freely put."

According to Francis Vasques, the Cibola tribes of New Mexico pay
no adoration to anything but water, believing it to be the chief
support of all life. The Hindoo faith and the Greek Christian
Church prescribe "adorations, sacrifices, and other water rites,
and hence we find all orthodox clergy and devotees have much to
do with rivers, seas, and wells, especially at certain annual
solar periods."

The extent to which these ancient rites are still practiced as
part and parcel of modern religious observances is not realized
by those who have given no special attention to the subject. As
spring advances, all ranks of Russians from the Czar to the
humblest peasant proceed with their clergy to the Neva, where
with solemn pomp the ice is broken and the water, which is held
to be of virgin purity, is sprinkled upon the heads of Czar,
nobles, and other dignitaries. The following is an account given
of the worship of Hea not many years ago in the public press:

"An Imperial and Arch-episcopal procession was formed, consisting
of, first, the High Priest of the empire in all his most gorgeous
robes, the two masters of ceremonies walking backwards (probably
because not of a holy enough order), long double files of white-
and gold-robed bearers of sacred flambeaux or candles, for Fire
must enter into every ceremony, whether it is the male or female
energy which is being worshipped. Following these Religieux came
all the sacred relics and fetishes of the Church, as Maya's holy
cup for water, all holy books, crosses, banners, with sacred
emblems in their order, and finally the Czar, humbly, and, like
all his people, on foot, followed by courtly throngs. These all
proceeded to a handsome pavilion or kiosk, erected close to the
edge of the water, when the Metropolitan of the Church reverently
made an incision in the ice, and took out a little water in a
sacred golden cup bearing strange devices. The firing of guns
accompanied these solemn acts in all their stages, and wherever
the grave procession moved, it always did so with measured tread,
chanting sacred verses to the old, old Deity of our race, and
surrounded with all the pomp of war; whilst at intervals, peals
of Christian bells and the booming of near and distant guns added
to the solemnity of this water pageant. After the filling of the
golden cup, which, of course, represents the earth and its
fulness, and, at this season, the now expected increase, the High
Priest placed a golden crucifix on the virgin water and blessed
its return from wintry death, invoking the precious fluid to
vernal life and productiveness, when lo! a holy child suddenly
appears upon the scene, reminding us that this is everywhere the
outcome of the 'wafers of life' in all animal as well as
vegetable production. Boodha in the garden of Loobim through
which flowed a holy stream, and Christ by the brook at Bethlehem,
nay, the first pair in the garden of the four rivers, are all the
same idea--fertility and creation. The high Russian Pontiff now
slowly and solemnly stooped, and taking up some of the holy
water, proceeded to sprinkle the vernal child--Jesus, whispered
these crowds, but the ancients said Horus. The sacred fluid was
then sprinkled on the clergy, the Czar, and all dignitaries, and
finally on the sacred emblems, banners, guns, etc. Men and
women, aye, wise as well as foolish, of every rank, now crowded
forward, and on bended knee besought their Patriarch to sprinkle
and to bless them. Finally, the great Czar put the cup to his
lips, humbly and reverently, and then filled it to overflowing
with a wealth of golden pieces, for it is the still living
representative in the nineteenth century A.C. of 'the golden
boat' of Hea of the nineteenth century B.C.'[77]

[77] Forlong, Rivers of Life, vol. ii., p. 95.

The symbol of Neith or Muth, Athene or Minerva, the great
universal female principle of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans,
was the shield and serpent. In Celtic Druids I find that Nath,
the Egyptian Neith, the "goddess of wisdom and science whose
symbol was the shield and serpent, was worshipped among the
ancient Irish." The male God associated with her was Naith, and
according to Higgins represented "the opposite of Neith."

In Rivers of Life is observed a reference to the Assyrian Goddess
Hea by Lucian. In a note Forlong says that no doubt Hea is the
same as Haiya or Haya. In other words she represents the
universal hermaphrodite--the creative principle throughout
Nature, which was originally worshipped as female. The actual
signification of the word Haya is "life." In ancient Arabia it
was applied to a group of kinsmen.

The Rev. Mr. Davis is of the opinion that Noe or Noah was the
same as Deon and that both were Hu or Hea the mighty, whose
chariot was drawn by solar rays. This God was in fact the same
as Zeus, Bacchus, and all the rest of the sun and water Deities.
It has been observed that, according to the ancient cosmogonies,
within water was contained the life principle, and as a woman
presided over it, or was the only being or entity present, she
must have been the self-existent Creator. From this woman sprang
all creation. According to the account in Genesis, the Spirit of
God moved on the face of the deep and creation began.

By all nations water has been employed as a symbol of
regeneration, and as it contained the beginning of things it was
female. The Hindoos regard it as sacred, and in one of their
most solemn prayers it is thus invoked: Waters, mothers of
worlds, purify us![78]

[78] Quoted by Inman from Colbrook, vol. i., p. 85.

Doubtless it was from these ancient speculations regarding the
beginnings of things that Thales, the Milesian philosopher,
received his doctrine that water is the original principle. The
ancient Egyptians and the Jewish people to this day have the
custom of pouring out all the water contained in any vessel in a
house where a death has taken place, because of the idea that as
the living being comes from water, so does it make its exit
through water. Hence "to drink or to use in any way a fluid
which contains the life of human beings would be a foul offense."

The fact is noted by Inman that in all Assyrian mythology the
water God Hea is associated with life and with a serpent.
Although Rawlinson declares that Hea is Babylonian rather than
Assyrian, may she not, in view of the facts concerning her, be
not only Babylonian, but Egyptian, Indian, Phrygian, Mexican, and
all the rest?

It would seem that in this Deity, who is figured in connection
with a shield and serpent, as is Minerva, and who is worshipped
near water-- an emblem which is sacred to her,--and whose titles
correspond exactly to those of Neith or Cybele, might be traced
the remnants of a once universal worship--a worship in which the
female energy constituted the Creator.

Although it is declared that "great obscurity surrounds the God
Hea," no one, I think, whose mind is free from prejudice, and who
understands the significance of the early god-idea, and the true
meaning of the symbols used in later ages to express it, can
study the myths connected with this Deity without at once
recognizing her identity with the great female God of Nature who
was once worshipped by every people on the globe, but whose
worship had become sensualized to satisfy the corrupted taste of
a more depraved age--an age in which passion constituted the
highest idea of a God.

Although the serpent Deity was originally portrayed with the head
of a woman and the body of a serpent or fish, after the change of
sex in the god-idea which has been noted in the foregoing pages
had been completed, it is observed that this figure is
represented by the head of a man and the body of a serpent. Hea,
the great goddess to whom water, the original principle, is
sacred, and who is suspiciously connected with Noah, the
life-principle which appears at the close of a cycle, has changed
her sex. This god is now the "Ruler of the Seas," "Master of the
Life-Boat" (the ark), and "Lord of the Earth." The earth is his
and the fulness thereof. He is the "Life Giver," the "Lord of
Hosts," who subsequently becomes the maker of heaven and earth.

Minerva, who had been the first emanation from the Deity and the
daughter of the Great Mother of the Gods, now has a father but no
mother. Jove, who in course of time came to be represented as a
male Creator, brought her forth from his head. Later, woman is
produced from the side of man. The male principle, symbolized by
a serpent, has become "the one only and true God." It is Passion
--the "Healer of Nations"--the great "I Am."

No unprejudiced individual who carefully follows the results of
later investigation, and who attempts to unravel the mysteries
surrounding the ancient gods and the significance of the symbols
of worship belonging to the earliest historic times, will fail to
note the attempt which has been made in later ages to conceal the
fact that the Deity worshipped in very ancient times was female.
Neither will he fail to observe the modus operandi by which the
attributes and prerogatives of this Deity have been shifted upon
males--usually deified monarchs. After priestcraft and its
counterpart, monarchial rule, had robbed the people of all their
natural rights, kings assumed not alone the governing functions,
but arrogated to themselves the symbols, titles, and attributes
of the dual Deity. The reigning monarch became not only the
temporal ruler and priest, but was actually God himself, the
female principle being concealed under convenient symbols.



Not only were religious doctrines veiled beneath allegories and
convenient symbols, but names also had a religious significance.

We are given to understand that in Chaldea and Assyria every
child was named by the oracle or priest, and that no one thought
of changing the appellation which had come to him through this
heavenly source.[79]

[79] Inman, Ancient Faiths, vol. i., p. 3.

Inman, in his Ancient Faiths, calls attention to the fact that in
the Old Testament kings, priests, captains, and other great men
have had names bestowed upon them, each of which has some
religious signification; that this name was given the individual
"at circumcision, or soon after birth."

In the ancient names of what are designated as the Shemitic
races, children were called after the god alone, and sometimes in
connection with an attribute. Especially were these names
applied to royalty or to persons of distinction; for instance,
names were given signifying, God the good, God the just or the
merciful, God the strong, The Warrior God, etc.

As the higher conception of a Creator was forgotten, and as human
beings, or perhaps I should say their power to control
circumstances coupled with the ability to reproduce or create,
had become god, they assumed the titles or names of the Deity;
hence, it is not perhaps singular that in later times kings and
heroes were invested with all the attributes of the gods.

We have seen that according to various writers Om or Amm was the
holy one whose name in India it was sacrilege to pronounce. It
was the eternal sun, or the Great Mother. As this word stands
also for "tribe or people," it seems to mean, too, that which
binds, holds, or endures.

As Om or Amm signifies the Great Mother, so An or On means the
Great Father. Concerning the word Am-mon, Inman writes as

"The association of the words signifying mother and father
indicates that it is to such conjunction we must refer creative
power. With such an androgyne element the sun was associated by
ancient mythologists. Jupiter was himself sometimes represented
as being female; and the word hermaphrodite is in itself a union
between Hermes and Aphrodite, the male and female creative
powers. We may fairly conclude, from the existence of names like
the above, that there was at one time in Western as there was in
Eastern Asia a strong feud between the adorers of On and Am, the
Lingacitas and the Yonijas, and that they were at length
partially united under Ammon, as they were elsewhere under Nebo
or the Nabhi of Vishnu."[80]

[80] Ancient Faiths Embodied in Ancient Names, vol. i., p. 237.

Inman relates that once when a friend of his was conversing with
a very high-caste Hindoo he casually uttered this word Amm or Om,
whereupon the man was so awe struck that he could scarcely speak,
and, in a voice almost of terror, asked where his friend had
learned the word. Of this word Inman says:

"To the Hindoos it was that incommunicable name of the Almighty,
which no one ventured to pronounce except under the most
religious solemnity. And here let me pause to remark that the
Jews were equally reverent with the name belonging to the Most
High; and that the third commandment was very literal in its

The same writer remarks that in Thibet, too, where a worship very
nearly identical in ceremony and doctrine with that of the Roman
papists exists amongst the Lamas, the name of Om is still sacred.

The Iav of the Jews was equally revered, but in the later ages of
their career they seem to have lost sight of its true meaning.

According to Inman's testimony and that of other etymological
students, the true signification of the cognomen Jacob is the
female principle.

It is believed by various writers that the story of Jacob and
Esau as related in Genesis has an esoteric as well as an exoteric
meaning--that Jacob has reference to the female creative energy
throughout Nature, or, rather, to the great mass of people who in
an early age of the human race believed in the superior
importance of the female in the office of reproduction, and that
Esau signifies the male. Attention is called to the fact that
Esau is represented as a "hairy" man, rough-voiced and easily
beguiled, while Jacob, on the other hand, is smooth-faced,
soft-voiced, and the favorite of his mother.

There is indeed much in this myth which seems to indicate that it
is an allegory beneath which are veiled certain facts connected
with the struggle between two early contending sects regarding
the relative importance of the sexes in reproduction. Of this
Inman says:

"My own impression is that Esau, or Edom, and Jacob are mystic
names for a man and a woman, and that round these, historians
wove a web of fancy; that ultimately the cognomen Jacob was
recognized, and that to allow the Jewish people to trace their
descent from a male rather than a female, the appellation of
Israel was substituted in later productions."[81]

[81] Ancient Faiths, vol. i., p. 607.

As most of the myths or allegories in Genesis are now traced to a
source far more remote than the beginning of legitimate Jewish
history, it is not unreasonable to suppose that this story, too,
was copied by the Jews from the traditions of earlier races; nor,
when we remember the true meaning of the cognomen Jacob, that the
entire story should be regarded as an attempt to set forth
certain facts connected with the great physiological or religious
conflict between the sexes.

The significance of the idols worshipped by Jacob and his family
is not for a certainty known, but it is believed by certain
writers that the Seraphim and Teraphim were the usual images
which were used to represent the male and female energies. "Then
Jacob said unto his household and to all that were with him: Put
away the strange gods that are among you." In referring to this
passage, Inman, in a note, says:

"The critic might fairly say, looking at Genesis xxxv., 2, 'Put
away the strange gods that are among you,' that there were images
of God which were not strange, and that in these early times
there were orthodoxy and heterodoxy in images as there are now.
In ancient times the emblem of life-giving energy was an orthodox
emblem; it is now a horror and its place is taken by an image of
death. We infer from the context that Laban's gods were

So, also, must have been the stone pillar set up by Jacob at
Bethel (place of the sun). From a study of similar stones,
examples of which are to be found in nearly every country of the
globe, it is known that they represent the male energy, and from
all the facts connected with the story of Laban's gods it is
probable that they were emblems of this power. We may suppose
then that the "strange gods," the unorthodox gods, which Jacob
ordered put away, were those representing the female energy.

It seems strange that any person can study the history of the
Israelitish Exodus by the light of later developments in biblical
research without recognizing the fact that the "Lord" which
brought the children of Israel out from the bondage of Egypt was
the male power, which by a certain sect had been proclaimed the
only actual creative agency, and therefore the "only one and true

Although, at the time at which Abraham is said to have lived, the
knowledge of an abstract dual or triune God still remained, yet,
during the five hundred years which elapsed until the time of
Moses, the grossest idolatry had come to prevail.
Notwithstanding the fact that Moses had learned much from the
Egyptians, he seems not to have risen above a very gross
conception of a deity. His god was by turns angry, jealous,
revengeful, vacillating, and weak. He was in fact the embodiment
of human passions and desires. We have seen that the third
person in the ancient Trinity had, in Egypt, India, and Persia,
come to be recognized in place of the three principles originally
worshipped--that, as it really embodied the essence of the other
two, little was heard of the Creator and Preserver. Doubtless
this God was the one which Moses intended the Israelites to
worship, but as they were unable to conceive of an abstract
principle he invested it with a personality which, as we have
seen, was burdened with the frailties and weaknesses common to

As the Regenerator or Destroyer represented the processes of
Nature,--the dying away of the sun's rays at night only to
reappear on the following day, and the withdrawal of its warmth
in winter only to be renewed in the spring,--so this God
portrayed also the beneficent Creator and Preserver of all
things, at the same time that it was the Destroyer. It embodied
the fundamental idea in all religions, namely, life and
fertility. So also did the "Lord" of the Israelites represent
reproductive energy, but as man being spirit had come to be a
Creator of offspring, while woman being only matter furnished the
body, this "Lord" was male. Connected with it was no hint of the
female nature or principle, except the ark or chest in which it
was carried about. To those who have acquainted themselves with
the significance of ancient religious symbols, the fact is plain
that the "Lord" of the Israelites, which in their journeyings
toward Canaan they carried in an ark or chest, and which was
symbolized by an upright stone, was none other than a
"Life-giver" in the most practical sense. It was the emblem of
virility, and from the facts at hand, at the present time, there
is little doubt but that all the spirituality with which we find
this "Lord" invested was an after-thought and comprehended no
part of the belief of the Jews until after their contact with the
Persians during the Babylonian captivity.

Doubtless the story in which their journeyings toward Canaan are
set forth contains an esoteric as well as an exoteric
significance for ages known only to the priests, and that within
it is embodied not alone something of the true history of this
people, but an account also of their struggle against an older
religion. At this time the Israelites had practically commenced
the elimination of the female principle from their god-idea, and
had begun the worship of the male element, the female being
represented by an ark, chest, or box. This ark, as the
receptacle of the god, was still a holy thing.

Not only among the Israelites, but among other nations of the
East, we find the devotees of the male god beginning to assume a
position quite independent of the beliefs of their fathers. At
this time great towers or pillars begin to be erected in honor of
this deity, which is figured as the "God of Life," or as the
"Lord of Hosts." Notwithstanding the fact that the story of the
Exodus contains much historical truth, it is altogether probable
that the priests have used it, as they did that of the flood, to
conceal their religious doctrines.

At the time of the Exodus, the Israelites were ignorant tribes
without laws or letters, and while in Egypt were menials of the
lowest order. Hence, the laws written on the two tables of
stone, and which it is claimed were elaborated during their
wanderings in the wilderness of Sinai for the guidance of these
unlettered slaves, show the desire of the priests of later times
to invest the "chosen people" with the insignia of enlightenment.

Regarding the character of the god which they worshipped, we have
ample proof in the Old Testament. It is plain that at the time
of their bondage in Egypt the Jews had become the grossest
phallic worshippers, adoring the emblems of generation, with no
thought of their earlier significance as pure symbols of creative
force in mortals.

The fact will doubtless be remembered that, among the Jews, to be
barren was the greatest curse, and that the principal reward
promised to the faithful was fruitfulness of body. The essence
of this deity was heat or passion, and his emblem was the serpent
or an upright stone. It has been observed that when this "Lord"
was invested with personality he was subject to all the frailties
of his followers. His chief and most emphatic characteristic,
however, was jealousy of other gods, and most of the imprecations
thundered against the chosen people were directed against the
worship of the gods of surrounding nations, those which the
Israelites had originally worshipped.

That portion of the Decalogue relating to a jealous god is seen
to belong wholly to the Jews, or to the Israelites, who were
descendants of Jacob. The older nations, among which was the
ancient family of the Hebrews, knew nothing of a jealous god.
Notwithstanding the fact that the God of the Jews appeared and
talked face to face with Moses, that he exhibited portions of his
body to him, and that he thundered his law to this people from
Mt. Sinai, still they were constantly lapsing into the worship
of Baal and Ashtaroth, which fact shows how deeply rooted was the
belief in a dual or triune God. It is plain that this "Lord,"
the fierce anger of whom was kindled because of their
digressions, was none other than the jealous male god which had
but recently been elevated to the dignity of a supreme Creator.

Although the angel of the Lord when he came down from Gilgal
commanded his followers to "throw down the altars of the people
of Bochim," they nevertheless continued to do evil in the sight
of the Lord, and

"followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round
about them, and bound themselves unto them and provoked the Lord
to anger.

"And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And
the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel."[82]

[82] Judges ii., 12, 13.

"And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do
return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the
strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you and prepare your hearts
unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of
the hand of the Philistines.

"Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth
and served the Lord only."[83]

[83] I Samuel vii., 3,4.

The extreme hatred of the schismatic faction for the opposite
worship, and the punishments which were meted out to those who
should dare to rebel against the chosen faith, are indicated by
the language which throughout the Old Testament is put into the
mouth of their Lord--a Deity which rejoices in the title of a
jealous God.

"If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy
daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as
thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve
other gods, which thou hast not known thou nor thy fathers:

"Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you,
nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the
earth even unto the other end of the earth;

"Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither
shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt
thou conceal him:

"But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon
him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the

"And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he
hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which
brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

"And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any
such wickedness as this is among you."[84]

[84] Deuteronomy xiii.

The constantly recurring faithlessness of the Jews, their
restlessness and proneness to wander from their one-principled
deity which had been set up by their priests for them to worship,
was doubtless an unconscious effort on the part of the people to
mitigate the outrage which had been committed against their
Creator. It was but a reaching out for that lost or unrecognized
element which comprehends the more essential force both in human
beings and in the conception of a deity. In other words, it was
an attempt at recognition, in the objects worshipped, of that
missing female element which had always been worshipped, and
without which a Creator becomes a misnomer--a meaningless,
unexplained, and unexplainable monstrosity.

When the Jews first make their appearance in history, they are
sun worshippers, as are all the nations by which they are
surrounded. They are worshippers of Seth the Destroyer and
Regenerator; but when the philosophical truths underlying the
ancient universal religion were forgotten, or when through
ignorance the language setting forth these mysteries was taken
literally, Seth became identified with the Destroyer, or the Evil
Principle. In the meantime man had come to believe himself the
sole creator of offspring. He is spirit, which is eternal; woman
is matter, which is not only destructible but altogether evil.
He is heat or passion--the principle through which life is
produced. She represents the absence of heat. She is the simoom
of the desert and the chilly blast which destroys.

That it was no part of their plan to change their original form
of worship for a spiritual conception of a Creator is apparent
from their history. On the contrary, it is plain that they
desired simply to eliminate from the hitherto dual conception of
a deity the female principle, which, in their arrogance, and
because of the change which had been wrought in the relations of
the sexes, they no longer acknowledged as important in the office
of reproduction.

It is quite true they would worship only one god--the
"Lord,"--but that lord was, as we have seen, a deity of physical
strength and virile might, a "Lord of Hosts," a god which was to
be worshipped under the symbol of an upright stone--an object
which by every nation of the globe down to a comparatively recent
time has typified male pro-creative energy. That the masses of
the people, even as late as the time of Jeremiah, had no higher
conception of a God than that indicated by an upright stone, is
shown by that prophet when he accuses the entire house of Israel,
"their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their
prophets," of "saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a
stone, Thou hast brought me forth."

That the people could not, or would not, be prevailed upon to
renounce the Queen of Heaven, the Celestial Mother, is seen in
Jer. vii., 17, 18:

"Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the
streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers
kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes
to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings unto other

Also in Jeremiah xliv:

"Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense
unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great
multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt,
in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, As for the word that thou
hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken
unto thee.

"But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our
own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven and to pour
out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we and our
fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and
in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals,
and were well, and saw no evil.

"But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven and
to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things,
and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.

"And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured
out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship
her and pour out drink offerings unto her without our men?"

That the above represents a quarrel in which the women of Judah
openly rebelled against the worship of the "Lord," at the same
time declaring their allegiance to the female Deity, the
Celestial Mother, Queen of Heaven, is only too evident, the curse
pronounced upon them by Jeremiah, in the name of the lord, having
little effect upon them to change their purpose.

"Therefore, hear ye the word of the Lord, all Judah that dwell in
the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith
the Lord, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any
man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord God

"Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and
all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be
consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of



The name of one of the oldest deities of which we have any record
is Set (Phoenician) or Seth (Hebrew). Traces of this God are
found in all oriental countries; and in the most primitive
religions, whose traditions are still extant, he (or she) appears
as the supreme God. After the subjection of Egypt by the
stranger kings and the consequent introduction into the country
of Sabianism, the dual creative force residing in the sun is
represented by Seth. We are told that Seth signifies "appointed
or put in the place of the murdered Abel."

That there is some deep mystery connected with this subject none
who has studied it carefully can help observing.

According to the story of creation as set forth in the Jehovistic
account, on Saturday night, after God had finished his work, and
immediately after he had commanded Adam to "be fruitful," he
presents him with a staff, which we observe is handed down to
Enoch and all the patriarchs. Here the mystery deepens, for it
is declared that this staff was presented so Seth, and that it
was a branch of the Tree of Life.

That beneath this allegory is veiled a contest, or perhaps a
compromise, between the worshippers of two distinct sects, seems
altogether probable. That the handing down of this branch of the
Tree of Life, first to Adam, or man, by Aleim, and its subsequent
transference to Seth, the God of Nature, the Destroyer or
Regenerator, seems to indicate a victory for the adherents of a
purer religion. The translator of Kallimachus says: "It is well
known to the learned reader that the descendants of Cain are
distinguished in Scripture by the name of the sons of man or
Adam; those of Seth by the name of the sons of God." Gen. vi.,
2.[85] It is stated in Julius Africanus that all the righteous
men and patriarchs down to the Saviour himself have sprung from
Seth and have been denominated as the sons of God in
contradistinction to the sons of man.

[85] Forlong, Rivers of Life, vol. i., p. 527.

Doubtless at the time indicated by the transference of the
creative agency from Aleim to Adam, the worship of an abstract
principle, or of a Trinity composed of the powers of Nature, was
losing its hold on the minds of the people, and the creative
power, or the reproductive energy in human beings, was rapidly
taking the place of the older Deity. These higher principles
forgotten, Adam, or man, had become the Creator.

It is not improbable that the terms Adam, Cain, Abel, and Seth
have an esoteric meaning which for ages was known only to the
priests. From various facts which in later times are being
brought forward regarding the ancient myths of Genesis, it is
believed that these names originally stood for races of men, and
that subsequently certain religious doctrines came to be attached
to them. The offering of fruit by Cain, the elder brother, who
was a tiller of the ground, and that of flesh by Abel, who was a
keeper of sheep, indicates a quarrel which ended in the death of
the latter. After the death of Abel, or after one of these
principles or sects was subdued, the older religion was revived,
and Seth, as the Aleim, or as the creative power within the sun,
was "appointed" or again worshipped.

It would seem that Seth was appointed to represent the third
person in the ancient Trinity--the Destroyer or Regenerator which
had previously come to embody all the powers of the Creator and
Preserver. The fact has been observed that the very ancient
philosophers believed matter to be eternal, hence, seeming death,
or destruction, was necessary to renewed life or regeneration.
In other words, creation was but continuous change in the form of

Of the doctrines of the Sethians extant at the beginning of
Christianity, Hippolytus says that their system "is made up of
tenets from natural philosophers. These tenets embrace a belief
in the Eternal Logos--Darkness, Mist, and Tempest." These
elements subsequently became identified with the Evil Principle,
or the Devil. The cold of winter, the darkness of night, and
water, were finally set forth as the Trinity. Regarding cold,
darkness, and water, or darkness, mist, and tempest, Hippolytus

"These the Sethian says are the three principles of our system;
or when he states that three were born in paradise-- Adam, Eve,
the serpent; or when he speaks of three persons, namely, Cain,
Abel, Seth, and again of three others, Shem, Ham, Japheth; or
when he mentions three patriarchs--Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; or when
he speaks of three days before the sun, etc."

The same writer says that their entire system is derived from the
ancients; that, antecedent to the Eleusinian mysteries, were
enacted by them the ceremonies connected with the worship of the
Great Mother.[86]

[86] Hippolytus, Refutation of all Heresies, book v., ch. 15.

We have observed that through some process not thoroughly
understood at the present time, the adherents of the older faith
had succeeded in reinstating their Deity. The powers of Nature
had come to be represented by Typhon Seth. It was the God of
Death and of Life, of Destruction and Regeneration. The simoom
of the desert and the cold of winter were Seth, as were also the
genial powers of Spring. We are informed by various writers that
Typhon Seth was feminine. She was the early God of the Jews. In
other words, the Jews were formerly worshippers of a female
Deity. Jehovah, Iav, was originally female.

Although the secret meaning of all the allegories contained in
the Old Testament is not fully understood, still the belief that
Cain, Abel, and Seth represented the self-triplicated Deity at a
time when the idea of man as a creator had been accepted, or when
his power to reproduce was becoming the highest idea of a
creative force, is consistent with what is known of the Cabala of
the Jews, or of the esoteric meaning of the Jewish scriptures
formerly known only to the priests. In other words, the ancient
doctrines, the true meaning of which was no longer understood by
them, were patched together as a basis for the later developments
in Jewish religious experience.

We have seen that six hundred years after Adam appears Noah,
another self-triplicated Saviour or preserver of man, with his
ark or seed vessel, beneath which is veiled the female element.
Afterward Abraham becomes the Great Father or Saviour, and later
Moses. That, in the time of the latter, the more ancient worship
of a creative force in Nature represented by the Aleim, had, by
the masses of the people, been wholly lost, is evident from the
Old Testament writings. The worship of the Father, the male
power, in opposition to that of the Mother, or the female power,
constituted the religion of Moses. In the religion of the Jews,
Jehovah came to be regarded as wholly male and as spirit, while
Edam (translated "downward tending"), the female principle, was
matter, or woman, which finally became identified with the Devil.

The philosophical doctrine that spirit is evolved through matter,
or that matter must be raised to a certain dynamical power before
spirit can manifest itself through it, was no longer understood;
only the husks of this doctrine --the myths and symbols of
Nature-worship--remained; these were taken literally, and thus
man's religion was made to conform to his lowered estate.

When man had so far gained the ascendancy over woman as to assert
that he is the sole Creator of their joint offspring, he was no
longer of the earth earthy, but at once became the child of
heaven. He was, however, bound to earth through his association
with matter, or with woman, from whom he was unable to free
himself. The "sons of God" were united "to the daughters of
man." Jahvah, the "God of hosts," who was revengeful, weak,
jealous, and cruel, was worshipped in the place of Aleim the
great dual force throughout Nature. The ethereal, spiritual male
essence resided somewhere in the heavens and created from afar,
while the earth (female) furnished only the body or material

In the history of the god Seth is to be found a clue to the way
in which the sublime and philosophical doctrines of the ancients,
after their true meaning was forgotten, were finally changed so
as to conform to the enforced humiliation and degradation of

Seth or Typhon was for ages worshipped throughout Egypt, and as
she comprehended the powers of Nature, or the creative energy
residing in the sun and earth, little is heard of any other god.
Strange it is, however, that Seth is worshipped more in her
capacity as Destroyer than as Regenerator. So soon as we
understand the origin and character of the Devil, and so soon as
we divest ourselves of the false ideas which under a state of
ignorance and gross sensuality came to prevail relative to the
"powers of darkness," we shall perceive that his (or her) Satanic
majesty was once a very respectable personage and a powerful
Divinity--a Divinity which was worshipped by a people whose
superior intelligence can scarcely be questioned. Regarding this
subject Higgins remarks:

"Persons who have not given much consideration to these subjects
will be apt to wonder that any people should be found to offer
adoration to the evil principle; but they do not consider that,
in all these recondite systems, the evil principle, or the
Destroyer, or Lord of Death, was at the same time the
Regenerator. He could not destroy but to reproduce, and it was
probably not till this principle began to be forgotten, that the
evil being, per se, arose; for in some nations this effect seems
to have taken place. Thus Baal-Zebub is, in Iberno Celtic, Baal
Lord, and Zab Death, Lord of Death; but he is also called Aleim,
the same as the God of the Israelites; and this is right, because
he was one of the Trimurti or Trinity.

"If I be correct respecting the word Aleim being feminine, we
here see the Lord of Death of the feminine gender; but the
Goddess Ashtaroth or Astarte, the Eoster of the Germans, was also
called Aleim. Here again Aleim is feminine, which shows that I
am right in making Aleim the plural feminine. Thus we have
distinctly found Aleim the Creator (Gen. i., 1), Aleim the
Preserver, and Aleim the Destroyer, and this not by inference,
but literally expressed."[87]

[87] Anacalypsis, ch. ii., p. 66.

At one period of their history the Hebrews worshipped Ashtaroth
and Baal, they together representing the great Aleim, the
indivisible God, but after the Israelites had chosen the worship
of the male principle as an independent deity, or as the only
important agency in the creative processes, as Baal might not be
represented aside from his counterpart Ashtaroth, he was no
longer adored but came to stand for something "approaching the
Devil." Forlong has observed the fact that, although in Hebrew
Baal is masculine, in the Greek translations he is feminine both
in the Old and New Testaments.[88]

[88] Forlong, Rivers of Life, p. 223.

Jehovah was originally female, so, also, was Netpe the Holy
Spirit of the Egyptian Tree of Life. We are given to understand
that Netpe was the same as Rhea, the partner of Sev or Saturn,
and that her hieroglyphic name was "Abyss of Heaven." Osiris was
the son of this goddess who was really a Mai or Mary, the
Celestial Mother, he being the only God of the Egyptians who was
born upon this earth and lived among men. Of this Forlong
remarks: "His birthplace was Mount Sinai; called by the Egyptians
Nysa, hence his Greek name Dionysos."

As the Palm was the first offering of Mother Earth to her
children, so Osiris was the first offspring of the Egyptian
Celestial Virgin to mankind. He was the new sun which through
the winter months had been "buried," but which in process of time
arose to gladden all the earth. He was also the new Sun of
Righteousness which was to renew the world, or redeem mankind
from sin.

The female principle for the time being cast out of the Deity,
Osiris, the male element, now outwardly assumes the position of
supreme God. It was, however, reserved for a later and more
sensuous age to permanently adopt an absurdity so opposed to all
established ideas relative to a creative force in Nature and in
man. Seth, the Destroyer, had been deposed, but, so deeply
rooted in the human mind had become the idea of a female Creator,
that Isis, the Queen of Heaven, a somewhat lower conception of
Muth, or of universal womanhood, soon assumed the place of Seth
beside Osiris. Later in the history of Egypt, when the gods have
become greatly multiplied, and the original significance of the
deity obscured, Horus, the child and the third member in the
later Egyptian triad, not unfrequently appears in her place as
one of the eight great gods.

The fact is observed that the history of Osiris is not alone the
"history of the circle of the year, or of the sun dying away and
resuscitating itself again, but that it is also the history of
the cycle of 600." It has been said that of the component
elements of his hieroglyphical name, Isis is the first, and that
the name Osiris really signifies the "Eye of Isis."

According to Plutarch, Isis and Muth are identical, but from the
evidence at hand it is plain that Muth comprehends divine
womanhood, or the female principle as it was regarded at an
earlier stage of human growth. Muth is not only the parent of
the sun, or the force which produces the sun, but she is also
Wisdom, the first emanation from the Deity, at the same time that
she comprehends all the possibilities of Nature. Isis seems to
represent the Deity at a time when the higher truths known to a
more ancient people were beginning to lose their hold upon the

Renouf informs us that the word Maat, or Muth, means Law, "not in
that forensic sense of command issued either by a human sovereign
authority, or by a divine legislator, like the laws of the
Hebrews, but in the sense of that unerring order which governs
the universe, whether in its physical or its moral aspect."[89]
The same writer observes further that Maat "is called mistress of
Heaven, ruler of earth, and president of the nether world," and
in a further description of the conception embodied in this
Deity, refers to the fact that while she is the mother of the sun
she is also the first emanation from God.

[89] The Religion of Ancient Egypt, p. 126.

Although Typhon Seth was long worshipped as the sole Deity in
Egypt, in later ages the god-idea came to be represented by Seth
and Osiris. Toward the close of Typhon Seth's reign, Horus, the
child, the young sun, was represented "as rising from his
hiding-place, attracting beneficent vapors to return them back as
dews, which the Egyptians called the tears of Isis."

Seth and Osiris represent a division of the Deity. Osiris, as
the sun, represents heat; as man, or as god, he stands for
desire. Seth or Typhon stands for the cold of winter, the simoom
of the desert, or the "wind that blasts." Seth, Osiris, and
Horus constitute a Trinity of which Muth is the Great Mother.
Finally, with the gradual ascendancy of male influence and power,
it is observed that Seth appears as the brother of Osiris.

It is the opinion of Bunsen that the fundamental idea of Osiris
and Set was "not merely the glorification of the sun, but was
also the worship of the primitive creative power."[90] But, as in
Egypt the creative agency was regarded as both female and male,
the former being in the ascendancy, this fact of itself would
seem to determine the sex and position of Seth.

[90] History of Egypt, vol. iv., p. 319.

In the ideas concerning Seth and Osiris may be observed something
of the manner in which the fructifying agencies of the sun and
the reproductive power in human beings were blended and together
worshipped as the Deity; while through the history of these gods
are to be traced some of the processes by which the idea of the
Creator was changed from female to male.

In all countries, at a certain stage in the history of religion,
the transference of female deified power to mortal man may be
observed. In the attempt to change Seth or Typhon into a male
God may be noted perhaps the first effort in Egypt to dethrone,
or lessen the female power in the god-idea.

The fact seems plain that the Great Typhon Seth, or Set, who
conferred on the sovereigns of the eighteenth and nineteenth
dynasties of Egypt "the symbols of life and power," was none
other than the primitive Regenerator or Destroyer, who was for
ages worshipped as the God of Nature the Aleim, or the
life-giving energy throughout the universe.

We have observed that when the profound principles underlying the
most ancient doctrines had been lost or forgotten, and when
through the decay of philosophy, and through the stimulation of
the sensual in human nature, mankind had lost the power to reason
abstractly, Destruction, which was symbolized by darkness or the
absence of the sun's rays, finally became the evil principle, or
the Devil. Darkness and cold, which had formerly been worshipped
as the powers which brought forth the sun, or as mother of the
sun, in process of time became the agency which is ever warring
with good and which is constantly destroying that which the
latter brings forth.

We are informed by Forlong that "some derive our term Devil from
Niphl or Nevil, the wind that blasts or obstructs the growth of
corn; and it used sometimes to be written th' evil, which is
D'evil or Devil."

It was "this Dualistic heresy which separated the Zend or Persian
branch of the Aryans from their Vedic brethren, and compelled
them to emigrate to the westward."[91]

[91] See Rawlinson, Notes on the Early History of Babylon.

The ancient philosophical truth that matter is eternal, and that
the destruction of vegetable life through the agency of cold was
one of the necessary processes of re-generation, or the renewal
of life, had evidently been lost sight of at the time when Seth
was dethroned in Egypt. Wilkinson informs us that "both Seth and
Osiris were adored until a change took place respecting Seth,
brought about apparently by foreign influence." Sethi or Sethos,
a ruler whose reign represents the Augustan age of Egyptian
splendor, received his name from this Deity. It is said that
during the twentieth dynasty Seth is suddenly portrayed as the
principle of evil "with which is associated sin." Consequently
all the effigies of this great Goddess were destroyed and all her
names and inscriptions "which could be reached" were effaced.

Bunsen tells us that Schelling, who has made a study of Egyptian
mythology, although totally ignorant of the later historical
facts which by means of hieroglyphical monuments have been
obtained, had arrived at the conclusion that Seth had occupied an
important position in the Deity down to the fourteenth century
B.C. "Schelling had on mere speculative grounds been brought to
lay down as a postulate that Typhon, at some early period, had
been considered by the Egyptians as a beneficent and powerful

Wilkinson says that the character given to Seth, who was called
Baal-Seth and the God of the Gentiles, "is explained by his being
the cause of evil." We are assured that formerly "Sin the great
serpent, or Apophis the giant, was distinct from Seth who was a
deity and a part of the divine system. But after the recondite
principles underlying sun-worship were lost or forgotten; when
cold and darkness, or the sinking away of the sun's rays, which
are necessary to the reappearance of light and warmth, came to be
regarded as the destructive element, or the evil principle, woman
became identified with this principle. She was the producer of
evil, and came to be represented in connection with a serpent as
the cause of all earthly or material things. She is Destruction,
but not Regeneration. She is in fact matter. The cold of winter
and the darkness of night, which are necessary to the return of
the sun's warmth and which were formerly set forth as a
beneficent mother who brings forth the sun, became only the evil
principle--that which obscures the light. In fact Darkness or
absence of the sun's heat has become the Devil. It is the "cause
of evil in the world."

With woman blinded by superstition, with every instinct of the
female nature outraged, and with her position as the central
figure in the Deity and in the family usurped, her temples were
soon profaned, her images defiled, and the titles representing
her former greatness transferred to males.

There is no doubt but this doctrine was the legitimate outcome of
the decay of female influence. Through the further stimulation
of the lower nature of man its absurdity gradually increased,
until under the system calling itself Christian it finally
reached its height. This subject will be referred to later in
these pages.

When we remember that the original representation of the Deity
among the nations of the earth consisted of a female figure
embracing a child, and when we observe that subsequently in the
development of the god-idea woman appears associated with a
serpent as the cause of evil in the world, the history of the God
Seth, who, as we have seen, represented the processes of Nature,
namely Destruction and Regeneration, seems quite significant as
indicating some of the actual processes involved in this change.

There can be little doubt that the facts relating to this Deity
indicate the source whence has sprung the great theological dogma
underlying Christianity, that woman is the cause of evil in the



"Daughters of Jove, All hail! but O inspire
The lovely song! the sacred race proclaim
Of ever-living gods; who sprang from Earth,
From the starred Heaven, and from the gloomy Night,
And whom the salt Deep nourished into life.
Declare how first the gods and Earth became;
The rivers and th' immeasurable sea
High-raging in its foam; the glittering stars,
The wide impending Heaven; and who from these
Of deities arose, dispensing good;
Say how their treasures, how their honors each
Allotted shar'd: how first they held abode
On many-caved Olympus:--this declare,
Ye Muses! dwellers of the heavenly mount
From the beginning; say, who first arose?
First Chaos was: next ample-bosomed Earth,
Of deathless gods, who still the Olympian heights
Snow-topt inhabit. . . .
Her first-born Earth produced
Of like immensity, the starry Heaven:
That he might sheltering compass her around
On every side, and be forevermore
To the blest gods a mansion unremoved."[92]

[92] Hesiod, The Theogony.

So long as human beings worshipped the abstract principle of
creation, the manifestations of which proceed from the earth and
sun, they doubtless reasoned little on the nature of its hitherto
inseparable parts. They had not at that early period begun to
look outside of Nature for their god-idea, but when through the
peculiar course of development which had been entered upon, the
simple conception of a creative agency originally entertained
became obscured, mankind began to speculate on the nature and
attributes of the two principles by which everything is produced,
and to dispute over their relative importance in the office of
reproduction. Much light has been thrown upon these speculations
by the Kosmogonies which have come down to us from the
Phoenicians, Babylonians, and other peoples of past ages. In the
Phoenician Kosmogony, according to the Mokh doctrine as recorded
by Philo, out of the kosmic egg Toleeleth (female) "sprang all
the impregnation of creation and the beginning of the universe."
In this exposition of the beginnings of things, it is distinctly
stated that the spirit which in after ages came to be regarded as
something outside or above Nature, "had no consciousness of its
own creation." Commenting on the above, Bunsen is constrained to
admit that it is usually understood as being "decidedly
pantheistic." He suggests, however, that the writer may HAVE
INTENDED TO SAY (the italics are mine) that "the spirit who was
heretofore the Creator was the unconscious spirit."

Berosus, the scholar of Babylon, who, until a comparatively
recent time has furnished all the information extant concerning
Babylonian antiquities, in his account of the creation of man and
of the universe, says that in the beginning all was water and
darkness; that in the water were the beginnings of life; but as
yet there was no order. Men were there with the wings of birds
and even with the feet of beasts. There were also quadrupeds and
men with fishes' tails, all of which had been produced by a
twofold principle. Over this incongruous mass a woman presided.
This woman is called Omoroka by the Babylonians and by the
Chaldeans Thalatth. The latter name, signifies, "bearing" or
"egg producing."

In the Babylonian Kosmogony, according to Endemus, the pupil of
Aristotle, the beginning of the universe was called Tauthe, which
being interpreted means "Mother of the Gods." Associated with
her sometimes appears the male principle--Apason. In the history
of Berosus, there is given an account of Oaunes--a mythical
teacher of Babylon, who appeared with the head of a human being
and the body of a fish or serpent. This personage brought to the
Babylonians all the knowledge which they possessed. Oaunes wrote
"concerning the generation of mankind, of their different ways of
life, and of their civil polity." He it was who gave the above
account of creation. He says that finally Omoroka, or Thalatth,
the woman who existed before the creation, was divided, one half
of her forming the heavens, "the other half the earth." "All
this," Berosus declares, "was an allegorical description of

[93] Prof. Smith, Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 34, 35.

In the following legend will be observed the groundwork for the
story of the flood. Xisuthrus was a king of Chaldea. To him the
deity, Kronos, appeared in a vision and warned him that upon the
fifteenth day of the month Daesius there would be a flood, by
which mankind would be destroyed. He therefore enjoined him to
write a history of the beginning, progress, and conclusion of all
things down to the present time, and to bury it in Sippara, the
City of the Sun. He was commanded also to build a vessel, and
take with him into it his friends and relations, and to convey on
board everything necessary to sustain life, together with all the
different animals, both birds and quadrupeds, and trust himself
fearlessly to the deep. Having asked the deity whither he was to
sail, he was answered: "To the gods"; upon which he offered up a
prayer for the good of mankind. He then obeyed the divine
admonition, and built a vessel five stadia in length and two in
breadth. Into this he put everything which he had prepared, and
last of all conveyed into it his wife, his children, and his

"After the flood had been upon the earth, and was in time abated,
Xisuthrus sent out birds from the vessel, which not finding any
food, nor any place whereupon they might rest their feet,
returned to him again. After an interval of some days, he sent
them forth a second time; and they now returned with their feet
tinged with mud. He made a trial a third time with these birds;
but they returned to him no more: from which he judged that the
surface of the earth had appeared above the waters. He therefore
made an opening in the vessel, end upon looking out found that it
was stranded upon the side of some mountain, upon which he
immediately quitted it with his wife, his daughter, and the
pilot. Xisuthrus then paid his adoration to the earth: and,
having constructed an altar, offered sacrifices to the gods, and,
with those who had come out of the vessel with him, disappeared.
Him they saw no more, but they could distinguish his voice in the
air, and could hear him admonish them to pay due regard to the
gods. He informed them that it was on account of his piety that
he had been taken away to live with the gods, and that his wife
and daughter had obtained the same honor."

It is more than likely that this story, which as we have seen has
extended to the remotest corners of the earth, has an esoteric
meaning, and that it embodies the doctrines of the ancients
relative to re- incarnation and the renewal of worlds. Doubtless
it portrays not only the end of a cycle, but that by it is
prefigured the fortunes of a human soul, which in its ascent, is
from time to time forced into a human body.

All the early Kosmogonies are intermingled with the history of a
great flood, from the ravages of which an ark which contained a
man was saved. The Gothic story of creation indicates that the
Scythians belonged to the same race as the Chaldeans. At the
beginning of time when nothing had been formed, and before the
earth, the sea, or the heavens appeared, Muspelsheim existed. A
breath of heat passing over the vapors, melted them into water,
and from this water was formed a cow named Aedumla, who was the
progenitor of Odin, Vile, and Ve, the Trinity of the Gothic

There is also another tradition, probably a later, which asserts
that from the drops of water produced by the primeval breath of
heat, a man, Ymer, was brought forth. The son of Ymer was
preserved in a storm-tossed bark, his father being dragged into
the middle of the abyss, where, from his body the earth was
produced. The sea was made of his blood, the mountains of his
bones, and the rocks of his teeth. As three of his descendants
were walking on the shore one day, they found two pieces of wood
which had been washed up by the waves. Of these they made a man
and a woman. The man they named Aske and the woman Emla. From
this pair has descended the human race.

The marked resemblance between the characters of the Gothic Ymer
and the Chaldean Omoroka, from each of whose bodies the universe
is created, has been observed by various writers. After
referring to Mallet's conclusions upon this subject, Faber

"They are indeed evidently the same person, not only in point of
character, but, if I mistake not, in appellation: for Ymer or
Umer is Omer-Oca expressed in a more simple form. The difference
of sex does by no means invalidate this opinion, which rests upon
the perfect identity of their characters: for the Great Mother,
like the Great Father, was an hermaphrodite; or, rather, that
person from whom all things were supposed to be produced, was the
Great Father and the Great Mother united together in one compound
being. Ymer and Omoroca are each the same as that hermaphrodite
Jupiter of the Orphic theology."

We have observed, however, that in all the older traditions this
hermaphrodite conception is accounted as female, it is the Great
Mother within whom is contained the male; in later ages, however,
it is represented as male, the female being concealed beneath
convenient symbols.

The Trinity of the Goths was male; yet as Odin could not create
independently of the female energy he is provided with a wife,
Frigga, to whom "all fair things belonged, and who had
priestesses among the early German tribes." Frigga when
worshipped alone was both female and male. According to one
German tradition, Tiw (Zeus), which in its earliest conception
was female, was the parent of the first man. This man begat
three sons who became the fathers of the three Deutsch tribes.
Ish (or Ash) was the parent of the Franks and Allemans; Ing was
the progenitor of the Swedes, Angles, and Saxons; and Er, or
Erman, was the eponymous leader of the tribes called by the
Romans Hermiones.

The Kosmogony of the Chinese is similar in all respects to that
of other countries. The first man, Puoncu, was born from an egg.

The Chinese say that this egg-born Puoncu, who is identical with
Brahm, Noah, and Adam, is not the great Creator or God, but only
the first man. Their great God or Tien is a Unity which
comprehends three, and their human triad--a triplicated being who
is the parent of the human race--is a lower expression of the
same power, and to him has finally been ascribed the office of

The Kosmogony of the Japanese begins with the opening of the
sacred egg from which all things were produced. This egg is
identical with the ark, and from it the diluvian patriarch was
born. He was "Baal-Peor or the lord of opening; and, from an
idea that the Ark was an universal mother, he was considered as
the masculine principle of generation, and was adored by his
apostate descendants with all the abominations of phallic

In the Theogony of Hesiod, Uranus is represented as being the
parent of three sons, and the same legend repeated in the story
of Cronus portrays him also as a triplicated deity. According to
the Peruvian Kosmogony all things sprang from Viracocha who is
said to be identical with the Greek Aphrodite. Besides this
superior God they venerated a triad which was closely connected
with the sun. These gods were called Chuquilla, Catuilla, and
Intyllapa. They say that as their ancestors journeyed from a
remote country to the Northwest they bore the image of their god
in a coifer or box made of reeds. To the four priests who had
charge of this box or ark he communicated his oracles and
directions. He not only gave them laws but taught them the
ceremonies and sacrifices which they were to observe. "And even
as the pillar of cloud and fire conducted the Israelites in their
passage through the wilderness, so this Spanish devil gave them
notice when to advance forward, and when to stay."[94]

[94] Faber, Pagan Idolatry, book i., ch. v.

According to Marsden, the New Zealanders believe that three gods
created the first man, and that the first woman was made from one
of his ribs.

Among the Otaheitans and various tribes of Indians, the belief
prevails that all created things have proceeded from a
triplicated deity who was saved from the ravages of a flood in an
ark or ship.

The fact is observed that the Theogonies and Kosmogonies of all
peoples have reference to a flood or to the renewal of life after
the destruction of the world, and that the Great Father who is
preserved, and who comes forth from an ark or ship with the seeds
of a former world, represents the beginning of a new era. Adam
with his three sons, Cain, Abel, and Seth, Noah with his triad,
Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Menu and his triple offspring, and so on,
all mean exactly the same thing, namely, the renewal of life at
the close of a cycle, or manwantara.

From the traditions extant in nearly every quarter of the globe,
it would seem that, prior to the so- called flood in the time of
Noah, man, as a Creator, had not to any extent been worshipped,
but, on the contrary, that the great universal dual principle
which pervades Nature and which is back of matter and force, for
instance Tien among the Chinese, Iav among the Hebrews, and Aum
among the Hindoos, had been the Deity adored; but with the
decline of virtue and knowledge, this God was gradually abandoned
for a lesser one, a deity better suited to the comprehension of
"fallen" man.

In the Elohistic narrative of creation which appears in the first
chapter of Genesis, a dual or triune God, female and male, says,
Let us make man in our own image, and accordingly a male and a
female are created. In the Jehovistic account, however, in the
second chapter of the same book, a document of much later date,
man is made first and afterward woman. In fact, in the latter
narrative she appears as an afterthought and is created simply
for his use; she is taken from his side and is wholly dependent
upon him for existence. This fact is recognized by Bishop
Colenso in the following words:

"Thus in the second account of creation, the man is APPARENTLY
created first, and the woman is CERTAINLY created the last, of
all living creatures; whereas, in the older story the man and
woman are created last of all, as the crowning work of Elohim,
and are created together--'and Elohim created man in His own
image, in the image of Elohim created He him; male and female
created He them.' This ancient Elohistic narrative, then, the
Jehovist had before him; and he enlarged and enlivened it by
introducing a number of passages recording additional incidents
in the lives of the patriarchs before and after the flood, and
especially by inserting the second account of the creation, ii.,

Colenso observes that verse four of chapter second belongs to the
Elohist, and that it was removed from its original position at
the beginning of Gen. i., in order to form the commencement of
the Jehovistic account of the creation.[95]

[95] Lectures on the Pentateuch, p. 32.

Quoting from Bishop Browne in the New Bible Commentary, the same
writer remarks that in the Elohistic account of the creation "we
have that which was probably the ancient primeval record of the

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