THE HISTORY OF A PLANET
NO star, among the countless myriads that twinkle
over the sidereal fields of the night sky, shines so dazzlingly as the planet
Venus--not even Sirius-Sothis, the dog-star, beloved by Isis. Venus is the
queen among our planets, the crown jewel of our solar system. She is the
inspirer of the poet, the guardian and companion of the lonely shepherd,
the lovely morning and the evening star. For,
Stars teach as well as shine,"
although their secrets are still untold and unrevealed to the majority
of men, including astronomers. They are "a beauty and a mystery,"
verily. But "where there is a mystery, it is generally supposed that
there must also be evil," says Byron. Evil, therefore, was detected
by evilly-disposed human fancy, even in those bright
luminous eyes peeping at our wicked world through the veil of ether. Thus
there came to exist slandered stars and planets as well as slandered men
and women. Too often are the reputation and fortune of one man or party
sacrificed for the benefit of another man or party. As on earth below, so
in the heavens above, and Venus, the sister planet of our Earth,1 was sacrificed to the ambition of our little globe
to show the latter the "chosen" planet of the Lord. She became
the scapegoat, the Azaziel of the starry dome, for the sins of the
Earth, or rather for those of a certain class in the human family--the clergy--who
slandered the bright orb, in order to prove what their ambition suggested
to them as the best means to reach power, and exercise it unswervingly over
the superstitious and ignorant masses.
This took place during the middle ages. And now the sin lies black at
the door of Christians and their scientific inspirers, though the error
was successfully raised to the lofty position of a religious dogma, as many
other fictions and inventions have been.
Indeed, the whole sidereal world, planets and their regents--the ancient
gods of poetical paganism--the sun, the moon, the elements, and the entire
host of incalculable worlds--those at least which happened to be known to
the Church Fathers--shared in the same fate. They have all been slandered,
all bedevilled by the insatiable desire of proving one little system of
theology--built on and constructed out of old pagan materials--the only
right and holy one, and all those which preceded or followed it utterly
wrong. Sun and stars, the very air itself, we are asked to believe, became
pure and "redeemed" from original sin and the Satanic element
of heathenism, only after the year I, A.D. Scholastics
and scholiasts, the spirit of whom "spurned laborious investigation
and slow induction," had shown, to the satisfaction of infallible Church,
the whole Kosmos in the power of Satan--a poor compliment to God--before
the year of the Nativity; and Christians had to believe or be condemned.
Never have subtle sophistry and casuistry shown themselves so plainly in
their true light, however, as in the questions of the ex-Satanism and later
redemption of various heavenly bodies. Poor beautiful Venus got worsted
in that war of so-called divine proofs to a greater degree than any of her
sidereal colleagues. While the history of the other six planets, and their
gradual transformation from Greco-Aryan gods into Semitic devils, and finally
into "divine attributes of the seven eyes of the Lord,"
is known but to the educated, that of Venus-Lucifer has become a household
story among even the most illiterate in Roman Catholic countries.
This story shall now be told for the benefit of those who may have neglected
their astral mythology.
Venus, characterised by Pythagoras as the sol alter, a
second Sun, on account of her magnificent radiance--equalled by none other--was
the first to draw the attention of ancient Theogonists. Before it began
to be called Venus, it was known in pre-Hesiodic theogony as Eosphoros
(or Phosphoros) and Hesperos, the children of the dawn and twilight. In
Hesiod, moreover, the planet is decomposed into two divine beings, two brothers--Eosphoros
(the Lucifer of the Latins) the morning, and Hesperos, the evening
star. They are the children of Astros and Eos, the starry heaven and
the dawn, as also of Kephalos and Eos (Theog: 381, Hyg.
Poet. Astron. 11, 42). Preller, quoted by Decharme, shows
Phaeton identical with Phosphoros or Lucifer (Grech. Mythol:
I, 365). And on the authority of Hesiod he also makes Phaeton the
son of the latter two divinities--Kephalos and Eos.
Now Phaeton or Phosphoros, the "luminous morning orb," is carried
away in his early youth by Aphrodite (Venus) who makes of him the night
guardian of her sanctuary (Theog: 987991). He is the "beautiful
morning star" (vide St. John's Revelation XXII. 16) loved
for its radiant light by the Goddess of the Dawn, Aurora, who, while gradually
eclipsing the light of her beloved, thus seeming to carry off the star,
makes it reappear on the evening horizon where it watches the gates of heaven.
In early morning, Phosphoros "issuing from the waters of the Ocean,
raises in heaven his sacred head to announce the approach of divine light."
(Iliad, XXIII. 226; Odyss:XIII. 93; Virg: Æneid,
VIII. 589; Mythol. de la Grèce Antique:247).
He holds a torch in his hand and flies through space as he precedes the
car of Aurora. In the evening he becomes Hesperos, "the most splendid
of the stars that shine on the celestial vault" (Iliad, XXII.
317). He is the father of the Hesperides, the guardians of the golden apples
together with the Dragon; the beautiful genius of the flowing golden curls,
sung and glorified in all the ancient epithalami (the bridal songs
of the early Christians as of the pagan Greeks); he, who at the fall of
the night, leads the nuptial cortège and delivers the bride
into the arms of the bridegroom. (Carmen Nuptiale. See Mythol.
de 1a Grèce Antique. Decharme.)
So far, there seems to be no possible rapprochement, no
analogy to be discovered between this poetical personification of a star,
a purely astronomical myth, and the Satanism of Christian theology.
True, the close connection between the planet as Hesperos, the evening star,
and the Greek Garden of Eden with its Dragon and the golden apples may,
with a certain stretch of imagination, suggest some painful comparisons
with the third chapter of Genesis. But this is insufficient to justify the
building of a theological wall of defence against paganism made up of slander
But of all the Greek euhemerisations, Lucifer-Eosphoros
is, perhaps, the most complicated. The planet has become with the Latins,
Venus, or Aphrodite-Anadyomene, the foam-born Goddess, the
"Divine Mother," and one with the Phnician Astarte,
or the Jewish Astaroth. They were all called "The
Morning Star," and the Virgins of the Sea, or Mar (whence Mary),
the great Deep, titles now given by the Roman Church to their Virgin Mary.
They were all connected with the moon and the crescent, with the Dragon
and the planet Venus, as the mother of Christ has been made connected with
all these attributes. If the Phoenician mariners carried, fixed on the prow
of their ships, the image of the goddess Astarte (or Aphrodite, Venus Erycina)
and looked upon the evening and the morning star as their guiding
star, "the eye of their Goddess mother," so do the Roman Catholic
sailors the same to this day. They fix a Madonna on the prows of their vessels,
and the blessed Virgin Mary is called the "Virgin of the Sea."
The accepted patroness of Christian sailors, their star, "Stella
Del Mar," etc., she stands on the crescent moon. Like the
old pagan Goddesses, she is the "Queen of Heaven," and the "Morning
Star" just as they were.
Whether this can explain anything, is left to the reader's sagacity.
Meanwhile, Lucifer-Venus has nought to do with darkness, and everything
with light. When called Lucifer, it is the "light bringer,"
the first radiant beam which destroys the lethal darkness of night. When
named Venus, the planet-star becomes the symbol of dawn, the chaste Aurora.
Professor Max Müller rightly conjectures that Aphrodite, born of the
sea, is a personification of the Dawn of Day, and the most lovely of all
the sights in Nature ("Science of Language") for, before her naturalisation
by the Greeks, Aphrodite was Nature personified, the life and light of the
Pagan world, as proven in the beautiful invocation to Venus by Lucretius,
quoted by Decharme. She is divine Nature in her entirety, Aditi-Prakriti
before she becomes Lakshmi. She is that Nature before whose majestic
and fair face, "the winds fly away, the quieted sky pours torrents
of light, and the sea-waves smile," (Lucretius). When referred to as
the Syrian goddess Astarte, the Astaroth of Hieropolis, the radiant planet
was personified as a majestic woman, holding in one outstretched hand a
torch, in the other, a crooked staff in the form of a cross. (Vide Lucian's
De Dea Syriê, and Cicero's De Nat. Deorum,
3 c. 23). Finally, the planet is represented astronomically, as a globe
poised above the cross--a symbol no devil would like to associate
with--while the planet Earth is a globe with a cross over it.
But then, these crosses are not the symbols of Christianity, but the
Egyptian crux ansata, the attribute of Isis (who is Venus,
and Aphrodite, Nature, also)
or the planet; the fact
that the Earth has the crux ansata reversed, having a great occult significance upon which
there is no necessity of entering at present.
Now what says the Church and how does it explain
the "dreadful association"? The Church believes in the devil,
of course, and could not afford to lose him. "The Devil is the chief
pillar of the Church" confesses unblushingly an advocate2 of the Ecclesia
Militans. "All the Alexandrian Gnostics speak to us of the
fall of the Æons and their Pleroma, and all attribute that fall to
the desire to know," writes another volunteer in the same
army, slandering the Gnostics as usual and identifying the desire to
know or occultism, magic, with Satanism.3
And then, forthwith, he quotes from Schlegel's Philosophie
de l' Histoire to show that the seven rectors (planets) of Pymander,
"commissioned by God to contain the phenomenal world in their seven
circles, lost in love with their own beauty,4
came to admire themselves with such intensity that owing to this proud self-adulation
they finally fell."
Perversity having thus found its way amongst the angels, the most beautiful
creature of God "revolted against its Maker." That creature is
in theological fancy Venus-Lucifer, or rather the informing Spirit or Regent
of that planet. This teaching is based on the following speculation. The
three principal heroes of the great sidereal catastrophe mentioned in Revelation
are, according to the testimony of the Church fathers--"the Verbum,
Lucifer his usurper (see editorial) and the grand Archangel who conquered
him," and whose "palaces" (the "houses" astrology
calls them) are in the Sun, Venus-Lucifer and Mercury. This is quite evident,
since the position of these orbs in the Solar system correspond in their
hierarchical order to that of the "heroes" in Chapter xii of Revelation
"their names and destinies (?) being closely connected in the theological
(exoteric) system with these three great metaphysical names." (De Mirville's
Memoir to the Academy of France, on the rapping Spirits and the Demons.)
The outcome of this was, that theological legend made of Venus-Lucifer
the sphere and domain of the fallen Archangel, or Satan before his apostacy. Called upon to reconcile this statement with
that other fact, that the metaphor of "the morning star," is applied
to both Jesus, and his Virgin mother, and that the planet Venus-Lucifer
is included, moreover, among the "stars" of the seven planetary
spirits worshipped by the Roman Catholics5
under new names, the defenders of the Latin dogmas and beliefs answer as
"Lucifer, the jealous neighbour of the Sun (Christ) said to himself
in his great pride: 'I will rise as high as he!' He was thwarted in his
design by Mercury, though the brightness of the latter (who is St. Michael)
was as much lost in the blazing fires of the great Solar orb as his own
was, and though, like Lucifer, Mercury is only the assessor, and the guard
of honour to the Sun." (Ibid.)
Guards of "dishonour" now rather, if the teachings of theological
Christianity were true. But here comes in the cloven foot of the Jesuit.
The ardent defender of Roman Catholic Demonolatry and of the worship of
the seven planetary spirits, at the same time, pretends great wonder at
the coincidences between old Pagan and Christian legends, between
the fable about Mercury and Venus, and the historical truths told
of St. Michael--the "angel of the face,"--the terrestrial double,
or ferouer of Christ. He points them out saying: "like Mercury,
the archangel Michael, is the friend of the
Sun, his Mitra, perhaps, for Michael is a psychopompic genius, one
who leads the separated souls to their appointed abodes, and like Mitra,
he is the well-known adversary of the demons." This is
demonstrated by the book of the Nabatheans recently discovered (by
Chwolson), in which the Zoroastrian Mitra is called the "grand enemy
of the planet Venus."6 (Ibid
There is something in this. A candid confession, for once, of perfect
identity of celestial personages and of borrowing from every pagan
source. It is curious, if unblushing. While in the oldest Mazdean
allegories, Mitra conquers the planet Venus, in Christian tradition Michael
defeats Lucifer, and both receive, as war spoils, the planet of the vanquished
"Mitra," says Dollinger, "possessed, in days of old, the
star of Mercury, placed between the sun and the moon, but he was given the
planet of the conquered, and ever since his victory he is identified with
Venus." ("Judaisme and Paganisme," Vol. II.,
p. 109. French transl. )
"In the Christian tradition," adds the learned Marquis, "St.
Michael is apportioned in Heaven the throne and the palace of the foe
he has vanquished. Moreover, like Mercury, during the palmy days
of paganism, which made sacred to this demon-god all the promontories
of the earth, the Archangel is the patron of the same in our religion."
This means, if it does mean anything, that now, at any
rate, Lucifer-Venus is a sacred planet, and no synonym of Satan,
since St. Michael has become his legal heir?
The above remarks conclude with this cool reflection:
"It is evident that paganism has utilised beforehand,
and most marvellously, all the features and characteristics of the prince
of the face of the Lord (Michael) in applying them to that Mercury,
to the Egyptian Hermes Anubis, and the Hermes Christos
of the Gnostics. Each of these was represented as the first among the
divine councillors, and the god nearest to the sun, quis ut Deus."
Which title, with all its attributes, became that of Michael. The good
Fathers, the Master Masons of the temple of Church Christianity,
knew indeed how to utilize pagan material for their new dogmas.
The fact is, that it is sufficient to examine certain Egyptian cartouches,
pointed out by Rossellini (Egypte, Vol. I., p. 289), to
find Mercury (the double of Sirius in our solar system) as Sothis, preceded
by the words "sole" and "solis custode,
sostegnon dei dominanti, e forte grande dei vigilanti,"
watchman of the sun, sustainer of dominions, and the strongest of all
the vigilants." All these titles and attributes are now those of the
Archangel Michael, who has inherited them from the demons of paganism.
Moreover, travellers in Rome may testify to the wonderful presence in
the statue of Mitra, at the Vatican, of the best known Christian symbols.
Mystics boast of it. They find "in his lion's head, and the eagle's
wings, those of the courageous Seraph, the master of space (Michael); in
his caduceus, the spear, in the two serpents coiled round the body, the
struggle of the good and bad principles, and especially in the two keys
which the said Mitra holds, like St. Peter, the keys with which this Seraph-patron
of the latter opens and shuts the gates of Heaven, astra cludit et recludit."
(Mem. p. 162.)
To sum up, the aforesaid shows that the theological romance of Lucifer
was built upon the various myths and allegories of the pagan world, and
that it is no revealed dogma, but simply one invented to uphold superstition.
Mercury being one of the Sun's assessors, or the cynocephali
of the Egyptians and the watch-dogs of the Sun, literally,
the other was Eosphoros, the most brilliant of the planets,
"qui mane oriebaris," the early rising, or the Greek
It was identical with the
Amoon-ra, the light-bearer of Egypt, and called by all nations
"the second born of light" (the first being Mercury), the
beginning of his (the Sun's) ways of wisdom, the Archangel Michael being
also referred to as the principium viarum Domini.
Thus a purely astronomical personification, built upon an occult meaning
which no one has hitherto seemed to unriddle outside the Eastern wisdom,
has now become a dogma, part and parcel of Christian revelation. A clumsy
transference of characters is unequal to the task of making thinking people
accept in one and the same trinitarian group, the "Word" or Jesus,
God and Michael (with the Virgin occasionally to complete it) on the one
hand, and Mitra, Satan and Apollo-Abaddon on the other: the whole at the
whim and pleasure of Roman Catholic Scholiasts. If Mercury and Venus (Lucifer)
are (astronomically in their revolution around the Sun) the symbols of God
the Father, the Son, and of their Vicar, Michael, the "Dragon-Conqueror,"
in Christian legend, why should they when called Apollo-Abaddon,
the "King of the Abyss," Lucifer, Satan, or Venus--become
forthwith devils and demons? If we are told that the "conqueror,"
or "Mercury-Sun," or again St. Michael of
the Revelation, was given the spoils of the conquered angel,
namely, his planet, why should opprobrium be any longer attached to a constellation
so purified? Lucifer is now the "Angel of the Face of the Lord,"7 because "that face is mirrored in it."
We think rather, because the Sun is reflecting his beams in Mercury seven
times more than it does on our Earth, and twice more in Lucifer-Venus: the
Christian symbol proving again its astronomical origin. But whether from
the astronomical, mystical or symbological aspect,
Lucifer is as good as any other planet. To advance as a proof of its demoniacal
character, and identity with Satan, the configuration of Venus, which gives
to the crescent of this planet the appearance of a cut-off horn is rank
nonsense. But to connect this with the horns of "The Mystic Dragon"
in Revelation--"one of which was broken"8--as
the two French Demonologists, the Marquis de Mirville and the Chevalier
des Mousseaux, the champions of the Church militant, would have their readers
believe in the second half of our present century--is simply an insult to
Besides which, the Devil had no horns before the fourth century of the
Christian era. It is a purely Patristic invention arising from their desire
to connect the god Pan, and the pagan Fauns and Satyrs, with their Satanic
legend. The demons of Heathendom were as hornless and as tailless as the
Archangel Michael himself in the imaginations of his worshippers. The "horns"
were, in pagan symbolism, an emblem of divine power and creation, and of
fertility in nature. Hence the ram's horns of Ammon, of Bacchus, and of
Moses on ancient medals, and the cow's horns of Isis and Diana, etc., etc.,
and of the Lord God of the Prophets of Israel himself. For Habakkuk gives
the evidence that this symbolism was accepted by the "chosen people"
as much as by the Gentiles. In Chapter III that prophet speaks of the "Holy
One from Mount Paran," of the Lord God who "comes from Teman,
and whose brightness was as the light," and who had "horns
coming out of his hand."
When one reads, moreover, the Hebrew text of Isaiah, and finds that no
Lucifer is mentioned at all in Chapter XIV., v. 12, but simply
bright star," one can hardly refrain from wondering that
educated people should be still ignorant enough at the close of our
century to associate a radiant planet--or anything else in nature for the
matter of that--with the DEVIL!9
1 Venus is a second Earth."
says Reynaud, in Terre et Ciel (p. 74), "so
much so that were there any communication possible between the two planets,
their inhabitants might take their respective earths for the two hemispheres
of the same world, . . . They seem on the sky, like two sisters.
Similar in conformation, these two worlds are also similar in the character
assigned to them in the Universe."
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2 Thus saith Des Mousseaux. "Murs
et Pratiques des Demons." p. X--and he is corroborated in this by Cardinal
de Ventura. The Devil, he says, "is one of the great personages whose
life is closely allied to that of the Church; and without him
. . . the fall of man could not have taken place. If it were not for him
(the Devil), the Saviour, the Redeemer, the Crucified would be but the most
ridiculous of supernumeraries and the Cross an insult to good sense."
And if so. then we should feel thankful to the poor Devil.
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3 De Mirville. "No Devil, no Christ,"
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4 This is only another version of Narcissus,
the Greek victim of his own fair looks.
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5 The famous temple dedicated to the Seven
Angels at Rome, and built by Michael-Angelo in 1561, is still there, now
called the "Church of St. Mary of the Angels." In the old Roman
Missals printed in 1563--one or two of which may still be seen in Palazzo
Barberini--one may find the religious service (officio) of
the seven angels, and their old and occult names. That the "angels"
are the pagan Rectors, under different names--the Jewish having replaced
the Greek and Latin names--of the seven planets is proven by what Pope Pius
V said in his Bull to the Spanish Clergy, permitting and encouraging the
worship of the said seven spirits of the stars. "One cannot exalt too
much these seven rectors of the world, figured by the
seven planets, as it is consoling to our century to witness by
the grace of God the cult of these seven ardent lights, and of
these seven stars reassuming all its lustre in the Christian republic."
(Les Sept Esprits et l'Histoire de leur Culte; De Mirville's
2nd memoir addressed to the academy. Vol. II. p. 358.)
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6 Herodotus showing the identity of Mitra
and Venus, the sentence in the Nabathean Agriculture is evidently
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7 "Both in Biblical and pagan theologies,"
says de Mirville, "the Sun has its god, its defender, and its sacrilegious
usurper, in other words, its Ormuzd, its planet Mercury (Mitra), and its
Lucifer, Venus (or Ahriman), taken away from its ancient master, and now
given to its conqueror." (P. 164.) Therefore, Lucifer-Venus is quite
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8 In Revelation there is no "horn
broken," but it is simply said in Chapter XIII, 3, that John saw "one
of his heads, as it were, wounded to death." John knew naught in his
generation of "a horned" devil.
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9 The literal words used, and their
translation, are: "Aïk Naphelta Mi-Shamayim Hillel Ben-Shachar
Negdangta La-Aretz Cholesch El-Goüm," or, "How
art thou fallen from the heavens, Hillel, Son of the Morning, how art thou
cast down unto the earth, thou who didst cast down the nations." Here
the word, translated "Lucifer," is Hillel, and its meaning is "shining brightly or
gloriously." It is very true also, that by a pun to which Hebrew words
lend themselves so easily, the verb hillel may be made to mean "to
howl," hence, by an easy derivation, hillel may be constructed into
"howler," or a devil, a creature, however, one hears rarely, if
ever, "howling," In his Lexicon, Art. Parkhurst says: "The Syriac translation
of this passage renders it
'howl'; and even Jerome observes that it literally means 'to howl.' Michaelis
translates it, 'Howl, Son of the Morning'." But at this rate, Hillel,
the great Jewish sage and reformer, might also be called a "howler,"
and connected with the devil!
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