Originally published here on tracytwyman.com in January 2018.
Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum
Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall
Latin original first published in: Fundgruben des Orients (Treasures of the Orient), Volume 6, Vienna, 1818
Translated to English 2015 by Professor X (with additional work by David Butterfield, Tracy R. Twyman, and Philip Gonzalez)
Copyright Owned by Tracy R. Twyman
Image above is fragment from The Distinguished Charity of Mete by Jesse Peper, frontispiece to Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled by Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera
My end-notes to this text are at the bottom of this page, but they need to be renumbered. That will be done as soon as possible, probably in the next day or so. Hammer-Purgstall’s own end-notes, quite voluminous, have not been translated yet.
Read my lengthy introduction to this text, Meet Mete, here.
All of this will be published in print soon. All of the Arabic and Greek will be fully represented in the proper characters. Any new relevant factual information to come to light between now and then will be incorporated into the introduction and/or end-notes, or reflected in the translation itself, if relevant. I welcome all tips, in particular, anything to help translate the few unknown Greek words, and anything that would help us identify some of the churches, towns, and other locations mentioned by Hammer-Purgstall that we have not been able to trace. Certainly, if you could help us find more of the artifacts themselves, that would be hitting the jackpot.
In this year of 1818, no more than seven centuries have passed in which the foundations were laid for the Brotherhood of Knights Templar in the year 1120. From that time [on], they increased in such a size that they could boast in their many thousands of horses while continually growing strong by their very costly possessions in Europe and Asia. They were to be feared for their might ([both] spiritual and temporal), yet within less than two centuries they became extinct due to a most grievous disaster. During this same time, wars were undertaken to take back Christ’s sepulcher from the hands of unbelievers. Also the infamous order of murderers best known as Assassins emerged (as if from the turbulent sea of Islamic heresy) in the Orient, similarly proceeding about two centuries before being uprooted shortly before the abolition of the Knights Templar by the combined ecclesiastical and secular authority, for they were offensive to both Caliphs and Sultans.
In the history of this most shameful covenant, (which simultaneously appears with this dissertation in the German language from the press of Cotta) we have already taken note regarding the civil connection between the Assassins and Templars, all of which sheds new light on this subject when considering the secret doctrine of the temple. Each of these orders covered up their chosen ambition with a cloak of piety, while proving their piety worthless by submitting to earthly lust. They continually practiced these wicked disciplines in secret, increasingly storing up this mystery of evil until nothing could restrain it from bursting forth to so great an extent that it became common knowledge. They were thus pursued by Pontiff and King with anathema and sword atoning those occult dogmas with their blood, extinguishing this conflagration with their own ruin.
The history of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar and its secret institutes pertain to the Orient, since it is from there that this order got its start; that is, from Syria, the seedbed of the dominant religions, and at the same time the bosom of the most impious sects. It brought forth the most ancient Oriental philosophy from the inner reaches of the Jerusalem temple beliefs, so that after seven centuries from the finding of the cross by Helena and the raising of the Roman standards by Constantine, they attributed to the cross a more ancient and secret meaning out of the beliefs of the religions of Phoenicia and Egypt, mixing things most profane with things most sacred and adulterating the most recent Christian doctrine with the most ancient symbols of oriental philosophy.
Many heresies of the same age, all of which sprung from the Gnosis tree, have encountered a true and full explication out of oriental sources due to the labors of orientalist philologists. Thus, we read of the ideas of the Farsis brought to light by Anquetilus and illustrated by Kleukerus most recently explained by Norberg. The beliefs of the Druses and Mutavelii sketched out by Adler, await fuller illustration by the celebrated Sylvester de Sacy. The heresies of the Manicheans and the Ophites treated by the celebrated heresy historiographers Beausobre and Mosheim certainly would have become more apparent by now if writers had devoted greater effort to Oriental philology. Finally, the ambiguities of Gnosis from the Cabala were entirely resolved by Horn. Treading in these footsteps, we have made a matter of public knowledge both the history of the Assassins and the απόρρητα (apórrita, Greek, “secret, confidential”) dogmas of the Templars, and how (at least as far as the symbols are concerned) like a Phoenix rising from the flames they most certainly were resurrected in the Order of Freemasons. Plainly we know how to move forward through fires set beneath deceitful ashes, and we perceive how to take a chance on something replete with danger, so that what lay concealed for seven centuries we might undertake to reveal to our readers, that is, the origin of Baphomet.
THE MYSTERY OF BAPHOMET REVEALED
The Brotherhood of Knights Templar convicted of apostasy, idol worship and impurity as Gnostics, indeed Ophites, from their own monuments
What hatred and trials does the title of our accusation bring with it, when the most learned and eloquent men (especially in our time) have undertaken the defense of this order? Sadly, we have that prospect, and therefore we do not intentionally hold back our hand or hesitate to reveal the entire wicked mystery of the arcane doctrine of the Brotherhood of Knights Templar, and when individual points of the accusation have been proved, we will demonstrate that they, being joined together in a wicked and vile society, were condemned in a judgment by no means unjust. We do not deny that many of them were simple folk unskilled in evil and ignorant of the mysteries of impiety, who lived and died as faithful observers of public statutes and strenuous, sincere defenders of Christianity. But history teaches us that in all societies of that sort, things existed that were hostile to republic and religion. It is clear that many were not deceivers, but deceived; not perpetrators but victims of crimes; not conscious, but unknowing. But if the secret discipline of a particular society is in direct contrast to that which it professes publicly, it will overthrow the foundations of morals and religion, profane the most holy things, befoul the purest things. Is it not to be established that the order was inimical both to the Republic and to the human race, and condemnation, if not of individuals, then at least of the order as a whole (and its abolition) should be viewed as just and right? That such was the teaching of the Templars, evinced by their monuments (surviving up to now, but held until recent times to be of no authority): from the idols, sculptures and coins, from all of the signs on stones or bronze, will be very persuasive, only to those who care for truth, not to followers of parties.
Since the hodge-podge of legal documents both of accusation and defense, which first became public in our time, has been thoroughly read, and since I am seeking to furnish the reader with historical erudition, I will touch upon nothing dealt with by these writers except perhaps incidentally, and all of the things brought forth from either side of this celebrated cause, in hatred or favor, I consider as well-known to the reader. I will not discourse with words where stones make confession, and it will not help to invoke writers of history where monuments are present as witnesses.
Unless these new monuments, never previously known, became known to us, if it was necessary to argue from those documents which up to now have been subjected to the public eye concerning the fault or innocence of the Templars, from all writers about this matter, in the end we would strongly agree with the last of them (Grouvellius), who, making nothing of the props upon which accusations against them are based, argues simply, taking into account the nature of human affairs and the contemporary times, and discoursing σκεπτικός [skeptikos, Greek, “skeptically”] about the fault and innocence of the Templars: one he destroys, the other he approves. Indeed, if there is no weight to the accumulated accusations by writers of history against the Templars, if out of the treachery against St. Louis and the king of Jerusalem, from the tradition of the camp of Karak and Acconis, from the covenant struck with the Assassins, from the connivances with the Sultan of Egypt, we wish to argue nothing against them, if we do not care to put faith in their very frequent confessions concerning the cult of the idol, concerning the cross spat upon and trampled, what will prevent us from holding all these things to be not only reasonable, but also true while we consider the nature of men and of those times, and we discern similar doctrine and similar morals in so many other sects of the Middle Ages? Is it any wonder, then, if in the time of wars waged for the recovery of the Lord’s sepulcher, we discover the same dogmas of impiety and the same crimes of unrestrained malice that we find in the diverse sects of the Orient, namely, in the famous [sects] of the Manicheans, Albigenses, Mazdekites and Assassins? What wonder if the plague of this doctrine and crime had crept also into the society of Christian soldiers—whose founders, during a period of ten years, were unable to recruit for themselves even one candidate, until those fleeing into the lap of the church hid the secret doctrine (according to all probability already existing) in the Institute of St. Bernard? What wonder that those knights confederated with the Assassins and, imbued with their nefarious doctrine and, passing time in Syria, affected by the error of the Syrian sects, waging war in the Orient, indulged the same defect conjointly for themselves in all the Oriental camps? Finally, what wonder that this order coveted serving as an example to all other famous societies under the guise of imperial religion, and in its secret teachings, devoted only to natural religion, held all others that did not serve domination and lust as trifles and opinions to be ridiculed.
Since Grouvellius has shown from the nature both of things and of men that all these things could happen and he proved a priori, as I might say, by philosophical reasoning, the sin of the Templars, we will demonstrate the same things a posteriori, through irrefutable arguments made and subjected to the faithful scrutiny of readers—the monuments.
First, we will discuss idols called in the common idiom Baphomet, then next speak concerning mystical cups or chalices, then concerning the sculptures and coins of the Templars. Out of these, it will appear that their secret doctrine is identical with that of the Gnostics, indeed, of the Ophites. Next, in order to avoid the vice of obscurity, by making further inquiry, we will spread out the doctrine of the Ophites and its connection with the most ancient beliefs of Greek, Syrian and Egyptian philosophy, and we will permit ourselves to make an excursion into the deep inner reaches of the Masons. When the symbols of the Templars have been illustrated, we will explain the amazing concordance and identity of them with the Masonic symbols. Finally, when the entire system of this most ancient doctrine has been clarified, moving forward, having been prompted by the articles of accusation against the Templars, we will vindicate from any suspicion their absolute truthfulness and the justness of the condemnation. Yet if the Pontifex Maximus, in a bull of abolition, condemned them not as convicts, but, out of the plenitude of ecclesiastical power, suppressed the order, this to us seems to militate, not in favor but against them, since it is allowable to think the Supreme Pontiff wished more to cover up than to reveal the shameful and reprobate things of this order exalted by the Church for so many years with so many honors and privileges. For this reason, the collection of the original records of proceedings and acts lies under seal at Rome up to present times. With these documents (which are finally being brought to light) made public, we could hardly hesitate to show a surprising agreement between them and the monuments discovered and revealed by us. Meanwhile, these monuments of stone or bronze to the secret discipline and doctrine of the Brotherhood of Knights Templar are sufficiently convincing among all who are imbued with no prejudice, but mere historical scrutiny. We revere the ingenuous candor of other defenders, who, as the celebrated Raynouardus and the most learned Münter (the glory of the Danish church and a great pillar of the literary community), being themselves pure and upright, spurn suspecting others of depravity and wickedness, but, nonetheless, their apologetic arguments are knocked down by the number and authority of our monuments.
l. On idols called Baphomet
No less than twenty-four of these idols have become known to us, which up to now [are] partly published but not understood. Others that have not yet been published remain in treasure [containers]. The first of these was delineated in [an issue of] Gentleman’s Magazine of 1755, incised in bronze. Three others have been delineated in the distribution of curiosities. (Curiositaten, Volume Two, Section Six). Two exist in the Schoenfeld Collection here at Vienna. The twenty-two remaining are preserved in the treasuries of antiquities at the Imperial-Royal [Treasury]. All these idols, inscribed in bronze, can be examined here with the eyes, and from their precise descriptions, compared with four others in another place, even if not of one shape and size and marked by inscriptions in various languages (Arabic, Greek and Latin). However, all bear the same character, and refer to one and the same cult.
These stones, even though only copies, exhibit a guidepost pointing to the profane cult to which they belong, as will become evident from things to be said below. However, since the inscriptions afford the greatest light, these first of all we will subject to examination, and when they, eventually, have been made plain, we will progress to the point of ultimate explanation of the signs, and from there will be forthcoming a series of proofs. The inscriptions produced in three languages (Arabic, Greek and Latin) define a triplex kind of meaning. Many of the Greek ones, inscribed on little idols, indicate nothing other than the names of their possessors, who would preserve them in their small boxes (coffers). Two others—one Greek, the other Latin—contain certain comments devised by their possessors, in interior notes. Then there are the Arabic ones, everywhere the same (though with transposed words and letters), revealing a particular sense of the total mystery of the secret doctrine of this arcane discipline. The Arabic letters, not accurately formed, betray the unskilled hand of the sculptor, but also were purposely truncated and transposed so that even for persons who read Arabic the secret sense of the inscription would be obscured through the ambiguity of writing. It thus turned out that Sickler, in the preface to Promptuary of Curiosities, at first wrongly took Persian writing for Arabic. This error I indeed correct in the following ternion, but I fell into other hermeneutical σφαλμα [sphalma, Greek, “errors”], since I took these signs to be symbols of an alchemist, and the main word they use, (that is, Mete, which offers no real meaning in Arabic) I mistakenly thought was a truncation of (that is, desert water).
I. Greek Inscriptions
Small idols found among the treasure trove of antiquities in the Imperial-Royal [Treasury] are so inscribed:
(1) Κ. ΣΛΚΟΠΤΕ. [K. SLKOPTE] (2) ΓΛΟΠΕΟ. [GLOPEO] (3) ΓΛΥΘΥ. [GLYFI] (4) ΓΛΥΧΟΥΡΟΣ. [GLYCHOUROS] (5) ΛΥΔΟ. [LYDO] (6) ΛΕΥΝΟΓΠΟΛΟ [LEVNOGPOLO]. (The names of these idols’ owners found here, whether they are the true names or not, follow after the same words in the Greek and Latin tongues, born witness by such names as those of Petrus, Toletino and Ludovicus—(Tab. I, fig. 14) (7) ΤΟΥΛΕΙΤΙΝΟΥ ΠΑΣ ΠΕΤΡvΣ, [with] πας for παις; (that is, “Petrus, the son of Toletino—Tab. I, fig. 2) (8) των υδατων χρυσος [ton ydaton chrysos] (that is, “golden waters” —Tab. [I], fig. 13). What is to be understood by this golden water, or by this golden liquid, is reserved for discussion further on.
Tab. I, fig. 14, Tab. I, fig. 2, and Tab. I, fig. 13
There are also two idols found in the Schoenfeld collection that are inscribed (9) ΣΑΔΥΡΥΝ and (10) ΙΗΕΤΗΜ which when read from right to left, is ΜΗΤΕΗΙ, which sounds like, Meti. There are many more idols to be found in this collection of already shown Curiosities(which, although of this same type, are not incised in bronze) that we have omitted, lest the hodge-podge of images grows too big.
II. Latin Inscriptions
Certain idols found in the Imperial-Royal Treasury are inscribed with the following (11) LODIVVKOS ΠΙΜΟ-ΟΥΣ [LODIVVKOS PIMO-OUS], i.e. Ludovicus. (Tab. II, fig. 10) It is uncertain what sort of meaning this surname has, for many of the letters have been erased. In this inscription, Latin letters are mixed with Greek, either due to inexperience or by design of the sculptor, using the reader’s lack of experience to confuse him and to deaden any way for his mind to perceive any meaning. This is especially evident in the next inscription, which not only uses the confused forms of Greek and Latin letters, but also only indicates, by the initial letters, two of their most secret words. The first of these (which only has its first two letters present followed by two asterisks) is Mete. The other word (as noted by the letters GNO and followed by the most noted symbol of Gnosis, the serpent) is Gnostic. 12) This was found in an idol of the Imperial-Royal Treasury, (see Tab. I, fig. 11). TRLOMNINIE TU HOMO ES REMENIESCEQE (Reminiscere) DIEM ME–(Mete) MONET PRO TORO OMNEN (omnem) GNO (Gnosticum).
Tab. II, fig. 10 and Tab. I, fig. 11-12 (front and back, respectively)
III. Arabic inscriptions
Having completed what was to be said regarding Western (that is, the Greek and Latin) inscriptions, we can transfer to the Oriental (that is, Arabic) ones, of which it turns out that we can gather an equal number from 12 monuments of the same type (that is, idols and bowls). The Arabic language in the time of the cross-bearing militia was by no means unknown to the Europeans attacking Syria, but its use was not common. Also, the knights of that period were rude and scarcely able to read and write the vernacular tongue. Persons reading and writing Arabic were considered learned. Therefore, the secret meaning of these inscriptions, all of which we will see were described according to one and the same paradigm, surely did not escape many owners of idols, but that there were many altogether illiterate and unskilled at reading Arabic, in no way deviates from the evidence. This knowledge of Oriental languages at that time flourished only among clergymen (and especially those attached to the sanctuary at Jerusalem). From one of the nine founders of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar, pursuant to what was written by the Ophites of the secret doctrine (obtained by request), a decree was issued stating that Mete be inscribed on all idols. If these things seem to be spoken rashly, it will later be demonstrated by irrefutable arguments that they do not veer away from the truth, and it was necessary here to say a few things by way of preface so that a reader not undeveloped in the Arabic language, yet up to now unknowing of the sequential arguments, will not wonder at the graphic errors, repetition and frequent transpositions of these inscriptions. Rather, the reader might know that these errors proceeded from the cleverness of the owners who, by transpositions of words and letters, hoped either to better conceal from profane readers the secret sense, or might understand that they came from lack of skill on the part of the sculptors. By the same reckoning, in the past the Ancients, when writing letters, would use secret notations, and all things aforementioned are to be observed on the letters of Caesar to Oppius and Balbus too: Individual letters without any connection of syllables, which you may think crudely placed; for out of these letters can be assembled no words. However, there was a secret agreement of correspondence among them with respect to changing the place of letters so that a character can correspond to another place and name. But when reading, each character’s own place and value would be restored. (Ex Agell. I. 17.c.9) Certainly, we shed much sweat while unraveling the knots of these inscriptions, since besides the deformity and transposition of the words, the Oriental philologist is very much deterred by the aspect of the name Mete [Arabic writing], which is not Arabic but borrowed from another language. Therefore, I myself, since I thought at first that these inscriptions were alchemical, came to the conclusion that this Mete, which makes no sense in Arabic, should be read [Arabic letters] Mai-tih (that is, “desert water”). But then, with the recurrence of this [Arabic letters] (that is, “Omnipotent Mete!”) formula in all of the inscriptions, it became beyond a shadow of doubt that this word is not Arabic, but is borrowed from the Greek language, and signifies none other than [Arabic writing], or Mens. Once the significance of this special word was discovered, it became necessary to find one or two out of our twelve inscriptions in which the right order of words is exhibited, without transposition of letters, and this, very fortunately, happened for us through a very well-preserved sculptured inscription in a marble bowl of the Imperial-Royal Treasury. Before I address this term, found among those inscriptions which were published in the little book of curiosities (II B. 6 St.), I have already considered another, found on an idol with beard and breasts, which consists of merely two words, to offer the best foundation and springboard for explaining the others.
Inscription No. 13 (See Tab. I, fig. 5)
However, since these two words are without diacritical marks, even if there be no doubt about the second word, qa-na, (that is, “was” or “were”), with regard to the first word, whether it be read fe sebaa (that is, “and seven”) or fe tissa (that is, “and nine”) remains doubtful. Since the number of founders of the Templars is nine, this number would fit the description of the temple idols. But I think that what is to be read is seven, and the reasons for this reading come from the interpretation of the second inscription, which I gladly entrust to the reader’s judgment.
Tab. I, fig. 5
Inscription No. 14 (On a very large marble bowl. See Tab. II, fig. 1.)
Let us call for a hermeneutic examination of this inscription word by word.
[Arabic writing] Teala (literally, “is exalted”) is the name of God Almighty among the Arabs. That [Arabic writing] Allah teala signifies Almighty God, could escape no one who has been imbued with the least tincture of understanding of the Arabic language.
[Arabic writing] Mete [Greek, Mete], which is not the [Greek, Metis] of Homer, of the Platonists, or of the Ophites, but merely a figure known among other sects of the Gnostics by the name of Sophiae, Prunicos, Barbelo, or Achamot. Out of this last name, “Achamoth,” which is Syriac, our “Mete,” or if you will, “Metis” seems to come. As to what type of person this was, we will examine this more fully below. It is sufficient on this occasion to have touched on these details of the name.
[Arabic writing] Nasch (that is, “sprouting, increasing, developing”) comes from Naschi. It is said thus: [Arabic writing] Nas (that is, “forgetting,”), from [Arabic writing] Nassi, as in that noted Arabic proverb, awal nas awal nassi (that is, the first man, the first of the forgetters; namely, Adam, since he first became forgetful of the Lord’s precept.)
[Arabic writing] Naselna (that is, “our race”).
[Arabic writing] Ena fe sebaa kane (that is, “I and seven were”).
Since this Mete, shown with a horned head and the privates of a woman (See Tab. II, fig. 1), holding an unfurled banner, is considered to speak these words, it is undoubted that she spoke of herself and of the seven Archons (of whom the first was Jaldabaoth, her son, from whom the remaining six were begotten). But if someone wishes to read “nine” in the place of “seven” and to refer this number to the nine original Knights Templar, this opinion is countered with the words “I and nine,” since the founder of the order, Hughes de Payens, was already included in the number of those first nine knights, and by this way of reckoning they would be, against established history, not nine but ten.
[Arabic writing] Munkeri tu antun (that is, “You [are] one who denies”). Munkeri comes from Munker with the final syllable [-ri-] thrown in, either for the studious or to unify the phrase. It indicates “one of those who deny,” from the root na-ka-ra (“he denied,” or “not held to be a Muslim”). (See Golius.) In this inscription, this word is undoubtedly to be read. In all of the other inscriptions, this word is omitted due to the unusual form of the letter Kiaf, either because of the unskillfulness of the sculptor, or by design so that the sense of apostasy be more abstruse to profane eyes.
In a common way of substituting both in Egypt and Syria, people use ta-ya-za or ta-ya-za in place of the Greek word prokto (“anus”). No one who has visited these regions and heard the dialect of the people can escape this conclusion. Thus in the filthiest speech continually they use the idiom [Arabic writing] Eri fi tisek, and in Syria the name John the Baptist is especially servile to the dialects, for the French Jean Baptiste, when pronounced, sounds like [Arabic writing] Dschanbatis.
[Arabic writing] Tesir. I think that this word, which occurs so many times in these inscriptions distinctly, since it too was written without diacritical marks, is erroneously written, putting the letter Sad in place of the letter Sin. Nobody will wonder at this graphical error who is acquainted with the rude character of this script. Moreover, he will come to know that other Syrian sects, such as the Druzes, purposely wrote some words erroneously disregarding the usual orthography. One who prefers to read [Arabic writing] Tessir (that is, “he makes it easy”) will find the same sense, namely: “Return (from apostasy) through πρωκτον [prokton, Greek, ‘the rectum’] is made easy.” Having read this inscription, where all is clear and words follow in natural [order], we will [now] explain those things which have already have been made public in the little book of curiosities (II. B. Issue 6).
Tab. II, fig. 1, left half
Tab. II, fig. 1, right half
Inscription No. 15 (in the little book of curiosities)
In the front it says [Arabic writing], and on the back, [Arabic writing]. Note that here are many errors and transportations of words already made plain in the previous inscription, and that it includes the single letter [Arabic writing], ayin, which occurs in none of the others.
It begins with the word Mete but with repetition of the first syllable, Me [Arabic writing]. Next follows the word Mankur, but shaped in such a way that if it did not occur so many times in other places more clearly written, certainly here it would not be recognized. Then comes the word [Arabic writing], but with a transposed Elif. Ka-na follows, and finally another single [Arabic writing].
The word ta-le, which in other places precedes Mete, but here is made subscript to it, and the following [Arabic writing] are read distinctly. The inscription [Arabic writing] is found, meaning “Exalted (or ‘Omnipotent’) Mete. You are denying. They were even seven, our race. Usefulness (or, ‘It is useful’) in prokto (Greek, ‘anus’) p.” In the material that follows we will indicate this more briefly through “p. p.”
On the back, the inscription begins with the word ta-na which (see Golius) means “become prominent,” so that it can be interpreted, “Utility becomes prominent.” But more probably this ta-na is nothing other than an-ta with the first letter transposed, or omitted. What the [Arabic writing] again repeated here means is more difficult to assert since it occurs nowhere else, yet if we make our judgment from the known quick method of writing Arabic, this single letter, being either the initial or final letter, is placed for the whole word. Thus, the letter Kaf signifies the beginning of the word kei-mei (“chemist”), and the letter Mem signifies the beginning of the word metalab (talismanic art). The letter ayn [Arabic writing], occurring so frequently in all of these manuscript codices, is there in place of [Arabic writing], that is, “hemistich.” Here, though, since it immediately precedes the word ka -na, it appears to be put to stand for Se-ba-ah [the final letter of which is [Arabic writing] (that is, “seven”), so as to repeat this principal formula: “and they were seven,” which is exhibited by itself and distinctly inscribed only on the idol with beard and breasts.
Inscription No. 16 (From the little book of curiosities, II. 6. b. c.)
On the front, it says [Arabic writing]. On the back, it says [Arabic writing].
“Omnipotent Mete sprouting” is written correctly up to this point. Now the single letter [Arabic writing] is to be put at the end of the ka- so that, together with the letters falling in sequence, the formula already recognized, “I and seven were our race,” might be brought out. Following seven seems to be the letter Ya, which is to be transferred to the end of the expression na [Arabic writing], meaning “You are among those who deny!” From the back, in continuation of the inscription on the front, we read: [Arabic writing], that is, Proktos(Greek, “rectums”), and “It is through sprouting water, utility of knowledge.” It is clear from the context that “sprouting water” is none else than sperma genethliakon (Greek, “reproductive seed”). Also, [it denotes] “knowledge,” which is expressed here not by one word but two, ma-la-ma and fi, (which means “art” or “cunning”). (See Meninski). It will become more evident further down that it is none other than Ophitic Gnosis.
Inscription No. 17. (borrowed from Gentleman Magazine)
Even if it was wrongly incised on bronze, in the part having the masculine likeness are the words [Arabic writing], meaning, “Usefulness, Mete, I, our race, you denying, usefulness.” In the part having the feminine likeness, it says [Arabic writing]. “And seven, Omnipotent, knowledge is, return proktos” can easily be read. When rightly composed and integrated, this offers the same meaning as the inscriptions above.
Inscription No. 18. (Tab. I, fig. 13)
On the back of the idol, holding an infant [Arabic writing] in letters written most distinctly but a little transposed, it says “And there were seven, you, if you are denying, one, Omnipotent Mete sprouting, a debauched woman, it springs up for our race through prokton.”
There are two principle transpositions, to [Arabic writing] and to [Arabic writing], so that “you one denying it” is read in place of “if you one denying are.” Then [Arabic writing], that is, “our race,” which ought to follow after “and were seven,” gets pushed back behind the epithet Metis. Among them we find something new here, that is, “making to lie down,” from the root [Arabic writing], that is, “he ordered the camel to lie down on its knees, [to do] the most disgusting things.” This will appear more fully from the fact that in the inscriptions to follow this is substituted for this word. There one reads “fully inclined toward Venus,” from the root [Arabic writing]. A derivative of this, very frequently used, is [Arabic writing], nudnik (from which perhaps came the German nickel), denoting to all a return from Egypt where traveling female dancers (Aalimae [Arabic writing], perhaps borrowed from the Greek allomai), by repeating ma fisch fuluss ma fisch niknik, [Arabic writing] were wont boldly to affect people deeply.
Inscription No. 19 (Tab. I, fig. 7)
On the arms of a male/female arsenothelus-shaped idol, there are distinct yet transposed letters. On the right arm it says [Arabic writing], “Our race and seven were.” Here the letter Nun of ka-na, which is lacking at the end (where it belongs) is placed before fa-sa-baa. On the left arm, we see [Arabic writing] substituted for [Arabic writing], meaning “Omnipotent (Mete) sprouting” or “she who plants,” indicating someone favorable to fertility and desire, or a debauched woman. Here two syllables of the word Mete are separated by the inserted ta-a-le, and the letters of na-sha are put in reverse order to make An-a-ka. The place occupied with an-a-gha is explained in the previous inscription.
Tab. I, fig. 7-8 (front and back, respectively)
Inscription No. 20 (See Tab. I, fig. [3 or 4])
Tab. I, fig. 3-4
Inscription No. 21. (Tab. II, fig. 11)
On an idol bearded and with breasts, it says [Arabic writing], meaning “Omnipotent Mete, Omnipotent planter, you are denying.”
Tab. II, fig. 11-12
Inscription 22 (Tab. II, fig. 9)
On the base of a two-headed idol, we read [Arabic writing], that is, “Our race, you are denying, and seven.” On the opposite side of this base Latin and Arabic characters are mixed so as to designate “Gnosis” thus: The Latin G (initial letter of “Gnosis”), the Arabic Fa (in the same form as in the inscription published in the little book of curiosities), and the letter Nun. Thus it spells Fenn, (Gnosis) when the letters are placed alternately. That Fenn in Arabic signifies “knowledge” is abundantly clear from the notable title in the encyclopedia Hadjii Calfae [Arabic writing]. And this will come forth soon below. (The English word “Funn” is very close to the Arabic word Fenn).
Tab. II, fig. 9
Inscription 23 [Tab. II, fig. 5 and 15]
On an interior tile of a cover of a square bowl (Tab. II, fig. 5), and on the bowl itself, (ibidem, fig. 15), it says [Arabic writing], meaning “and you, if you are one denying, well done! The woman who plants, I, Mete.” Fenn here means “and O,” or “Well done! Overflows.” The word Na-sha is written with transposed letters, and the word Mete is deficient in its middle part, lacking the first syllable.
Tab. II, fig. 5 and fig. 15.
Inscription No. 24
On the exterior periphery if an octagonal bowl is written [Arabic writing]. This inscription contains nothing less than all of the words noted from prior inscriptions, but divulged in such a way that, if they were not already known, they could not be assembled from these disjointed elements.
Moreover, character corruption renders the reading more difficult. Basically, it reads, “Mete [cpp.], and seven. You are denying.”
Here, when these inscriptions have been explained in detail, the sense of them, tending toward what is most disgusting and lustful, speaks for itself. Also, some more things about the doctrine of the Ophites, even more secret than this, will be more extensively clarified through its exposition further down. From time to time, we will bring up descriptions given by the Templars of their idols called Baphomet, which are in complete agreement with ours.
In the 32nd of 120 articles of accusation [against the Templars] published by Du Puy, we read “Also that they had idols in individual provinces, that is, heads, of which some had three faces and others one, and some had a human skull.”
Some of our idols have two faces, others one, and in the bowl, on the cover of which such an idol was drawn, you see the skull placed at its feet (Tab. II, fig. 5).
In articles 52 and 53, it was also said of Baphomet “that she makes the trees blossom.”
In Du Puy, page 519, it is said [of Baphomet]: “the head is bronze, two-faced.” Seven of these idols are two-faced (three, indeed, depicted in the little book of curiosities), and three of our idols are two-headed, placed on postaments. One idol (Tab. I, fig. 2) has one head but two faces in front. Another, as stated above, has only one.
From the confession of Gaucerand de Montperats we read:
Their superior showed him an idol bearded and made in the likeness of Basomet.
Ibidem: It is a terrible figure, which resembles a Devil saying in French ‘Mause.’
Ibidem: [French writing] an idol that was in the form of a human head with a big beard.
These correspond very well with our idols. All are creased and have an ugly appearance, which, as Nicolai observed, seems to have been more from uncertainty of the sculptor than from custom. Made in the figure of a man, many are bearded and present the twinned attributes of both a man and a woman. Also, some appear mainly as a woman, and that testimony, preserved by Moldenhauer, p. 397, very well agrees: “This idol was feminine and could have been viewed as one of 11,000 virgins.”
Testimony 72 to article 46: (From German): “In Paris I often saw a silver head, to which the assembled leaders rendered their worship.”
Testimony 200 (from German): “He showed me a head upon the altar with a long gray beard.” Page 590.
Testimony 201 (from German): “Then he took out of his bosom a figure of gold or bronze which had a female appearance.”
Testimony 209 (from German) . . . “a beautiful head of gilded silver and a female form.” Chapter 58.
At length, though there are many idols discovered by us and a few here are published, the majority were destroyed by the small chapters [of Templars] engaged in this secret form of worship). They are signed with the names of their possessors, and the evidence of this is confirmed by testimony in Du Puy, page 526, where it says that “some Templars carried such idols in their coffers.”
Concerning “adoration,” “denial,” and “the abominable form of worship,” of this idol which the Templars were accused of, the epithets “Mete Omnipotent,” “Subactrix” (“debauched woman”) and words about “denial and return through prokton” clearly speak of it.
These things, having now been brought to light, and this Mete, both in figure and by name having become familiar to us, we wish, first of all, to inquire of what sort was this double-form monster, then into the reason for the vulgar name Bafomet. Mete, both in name and in fact, are not the same as Mete, Metis (Greek) of the Greeks even if there remains no doubt that our Gnostic Mete was borrowed from the Homeric (or even better, the Ophitic Mete). Our Mete is none other than the Sophia of the Ophites, who is known otherwise as Acamoth, Prunicos, or Barbelo. Even if this name, though it occurs in all our inscriptions, is not designated in the writings of the Fathers, vestiges of this name carried over from Greek mythology into the beliefs of the Gnostics. Epiphanius for sure has the distorted sense of it when he affirms that the Ophites transferred the Greek fables, especially of Mete, into another meaning, as will be seen in the same [work of] Epiphanius, where it is indicated why dogs are held in the greatest veneration among the Ophites. By attributing to Mete the same functions of divine wisdom and providence that the Gnostics attribute to Sophia, Eusebius also gives us the way in which Mete of the Greeks was transfigured into Mete of the Gnostics. Like the name, the figure exhibiting both sexes was borrowed from ancient fables, which we have verified from Macrobius, who tells us that Venus was represented as at the same time both masculine and feminine in appearance. Thus also in this idol we discern Mete and Aphrodite combined serving as a symbol of prudence and desire. Finally, the masculine-feminine Firstborn God of the Ophites (distinguished by various names, among which was Mete) seems to be akin to this Meti of ours. Out of this protogenei (Greek, “firstborn”), the God of the Ophites, and out of the Hierapolis Goddess, the Mete of the Ophites was concocted, it seems. The Hierapolis Goddess, as Plutarch testifies, was “Nature” and “she who offered to all seed out of vapor.” This agrees very well with our Mete’s epithet na-sha, or [Greek writing] (“germinating”)’ As Plutarch tells us (Crassus XVII), the Hierapolis Goddess was also called Hodegetes (“of generation” and “knowledge”), as our Mete was called Consivia (“the woman planting”), or Ericapaea.
It is agreed by all the Fathers who wrote about Gnostic doctrine that Sophia, daughter of the Eternal Father, was a feminine spirit of a double kind, masculine and feminine. This Sophia is at times confounded with her daughter Achamoth, and at times distinguished from her. But whether she is the same with her mother, or diverse, certainly all of what is said about Achamoth agrees very well with our Mete. so that one can assert that Mete was one of many names which this masculine-feminine aion was called among the diverse sects of the Gnostics.
The name Metis, if not found in books, nonetheless occurs everywhere in these idols of ours. Since all that which is said about Sophia (alias Achamoth, alias Helene, alias Photina, alias Joel alias Enthymesis) agrees very well with our idols, there is no room for doubt about the true meaning.
It remains for us to inquire into the composite name Baphomet. The true sense of this Greek expression, Baphe meteos (that is, “Tincture of Mete” or “Baptism of Mete”) came forth clearly by Nicolai (from German, Versuche uber die Beschuldigungen des Tempelherrn Ordens Investigation regarding the Allegations against the Templars Order, Part I, Page 137). This very wise man rightly perceived that the arcane doctrine of the Templars was Gnostic, and that the meaning of Basomete should be sought in the beliefs of the Gnostics. He hallucinated only in that he thought that Mete was a synonym for Gnosis, and he felt that the Father, the creator of heaven and earth was represented by idols. Yet Mete signifies not the law of Gnosis, but rather the feminine-masculine legislator otherwise called Achamoth, the daughter of Jaldabaoth, who also was called propater, but not pater.
Hence, in our judgment, Nicolai touched upon the truth: that the word Baphen, or Bapheion, signifies none other than the mystical tincture, or the Gnostic baptism, the theory put forth below with proof from the writings of the Church Fathers and the mystical bowls, of which three are preserved in the Imperial-Royal Treasury, which we used for this Ophite baptism.
Let us now take a look at the passage in Hermes Trismegistus cited by Nicolai where God sends a messenger with a bowl full of Mens, in which perfected souls tending towards Gnosis are ordered to immerse themselves. Other patristic authorities support the connection with this passage, in which is treated the mystical baptism of the Gnostics, and various words distorted out of Hebrew and other languages are adduced, of which one is (Greek, basema). What wonder, therefore, if baptism was changed into Baphen, just as Metin was changed into Meten.
This Gnostic baptism was understood to be not a bath of redemption through water, but a spiritual purification through fire, which is clear from excerpts out of Theodotus and out of Justin, in just so many words.
In support of [the translations of the name Baphomet] as “spiritual baptism” and “tincture of fire,” there are the sculptured bowls at the feet of our idols, full of fire, demonstrating how that mystic rite should be administered. For example, here are two representations of this concept. The first is of an infant (which means a neophyte Gnostic) being placed by Mete at the pedestal to one of these bowls (See Tab. I, fig. 14). The other is of a boy standing over a flaming bowl (see Tab. II, fig. 3). All of this we will discuss more clearly in the next chapter, which treats of bowls.
Tab. II, fig. 3
Three most precious bowls are in the Imperial-Royal Treasury, one of which is made of marble, the other two of steatite stone. All three of these are inscribed with Arabic inscriptions (which already are explained above), wherefore, they pertain to the same form of worship and idols mentioned previously. But, if one is able to harbor doubt by considering the inscriptions as insignificant, realistically all doubt is completely banished by the very form of these bowls (see Tab. I, fig. 9, and Tab. II, fig. 14, 15), repeated on the feet of our three. It is well-known that bowls and cups were used in all of the mystery schools which antiquity cultivated. But here we will illustrate in greater detail the original meaning of these bowls.
Tab. I, fig. 9-10
Tab. II, fig. 13-14
There exists a big bowl (on the upper part of which Ophitic orgies are sculpted) with a duplex figure on the bowl. Decency prevents me from exhibiting here what is imprinted on the bronze, to the extent that we should acknowledge the need for this comment. What needs to be said is that two bowls bear the meaning of both of the sexes, one the masculine, meaning sexual relations; the other one, the feminine, meaning childbirth. Therefore, this bowl references nothing but the female sex as a symbol of generation, which also can be seen on the bases of the three idols, with this one difference: that in that place, instead of a phallus, there blazed a fire, which represents generative power. Thus, in the idol (see Tab. I, fig. 9) obtained from the little book of curiosities, it, on the feminine side, is noted at its feet. However, on the other idol (see Tab. I, fig. 15) such a duplex bowl is placed, bottoms-up, facing the other. One of these is filled with fire as a symbol of generative power; the other exhibits an infant coming out of the womb. The neck of the bowl is sometimes short, sometimes longer; shorter in the marble bowl and in its figure (Tab. II, fig. 9), longer in the vase having the form of what is commonly called a “carafe”, which occurs on the square base of the two-headed idol, and in the multitude of ceremonies of spiritual baptism, or that of fire, brought together by one of the ministers, on a bowl (see Tab. II, fig. 2). Being closest to the fire, he holds in his hand a letter G, which was inscribed on the base of the two-headed idol. [It was inscribed too] on this vase together with the Arabic word Fenn, (that is, “Gnosis”). The best analysis is that this vase is the prime symbol of the birth of Ophitic Gnosis. From what is said above, it seems in no way absurd for us to affirm that there was the same meaning for all the bowls of ancient mythology.
Tab. I, fig. 15-16 (front and back, respectively)
Tab. II, fig. 2
We bring forth in testimony here no less than twelve of the bowls celebrated from antiquity. Of these, six are being held in the hands of the Greatest Gods; six were attributed to genies of an inferior order. Everywhere we will note the symbol of birth. The cups [potions] of the Gods are: Osiris, Liber, Heracles, Mithra, to which we will throw in the cup [potion] of Dschemschidi and Jove. Among the other six cups are: the double cup of souls, the double cup of the Demiurge (in Plato), the cup of Anubis and the cup of Mens (in Hermes Trismegistus).
Who does not know that Osiris and Liber were the same? Heracles and Mithra were none other than the Sun, who, according to Macrobius (Book I of Saturnalias), was called aeigennetos (Greek, “forever begotten”), because, always arising, she [continually] is being generated, and because she generates all things, by inseminating, nurturing, producing, maintaining, and increasing.
We also read the same thing from the same author (Somnium Scipione, Book I, Chapter 2). The mind of the world is also called temperatio [“regulative power”]. We will soon discover more below about the bowl of Mens which founded the world. Temperatio (Greek, krasis, “regulating power”] is none other than mixtio (“a mixture”) on which everything depends, and out of which the very name “bowl” (Greek, krater) is derived. Therefore, in the writings of Plato (in Philebo), Hephaestos and Dionysos (fire and wine) are named “mixtures of God.” It is clear to Oriental philologists that the cup of Dschemschidi was none other than that of the Sun, and from its division this will appear. Also, from the Apology of Justin Martyr for Christians we learn that a cup was used in the Mithraic mysteries to point to the mystery of the Eucharist. These cups symbolize the generative power of the Sun, which inseminates and produces all. Six other symbols, of a higher birth (namely, of creation of the world and of the birth of souls) are also implied. The first cup was called “greater” (Greek, zoogonon), the other “less,” but the idea of generating is expressed through mixing so that (Greek, kerastes) relates to keratera as a man to a woman (Proclus in Timaeus). A double bowl pertains to souls: the one part, oblivion, leading to generating (Greek, geneseos), the other part to Sophia (to wisdom). We see the bowl of Anubis depicted on coins. We discussed already above the bowl of Mens in Hermes Trismegistus. Finally, there is the cup of Jove Alcumenae, given as a gift for the price of pleasure, called as a proper name Carchesium.
Hence, while thoroughly investigating the original significance of the bowl and chalice in the most ancient mythologies, since everywhere we discover the same thing, we will not wonder that the bowl and chalice occupied first place among the vessels of the ancient mysteries, and existed as a symbol of the mystic meal of the Gnostics and of the arcane doctrine of the Templars. Though the use to which they were employed is not clear from writings, from the appearance of the monuments where these bowls are seen flaming (See Tab. I, fig. 9, 14, 15), and from the very structure of one of these three bowls, it is to be affirmed that incense was used inside the braziers, in order to nourish the fire with burning materials. Thus the Neophytes standing at this bowl, with the incense giving forth a smell, were being spiritually prepared for that marriage which among the Ophite Gnostics took the place of baptism, the Eucharist and of all the sacraments. The presence of fire, which we see everywhere glowing from these bowls placed at the feet of the idols (See Tab. I, fig. 9, 15), proves this hypothesis. Next [we see] a Neophyte with the appearance of an infant placed by a parent at such a bowl, surrounded by a whirling cloud of smoke from the incense (See Tab. II, fig. 3). This representation, since it is fashioned on the bowl (Tab. II, fig. 15), plainly demonstrates its use.
This sacrament of fire [is] better yet. As with all ceremonies pertaining to the same, this scene is sculpted onto the second bowl, where the fire glows not from a brazier but from a ritual fire source. The order of ministers and attendants makes it more clear what type of feast this is, or you may wish to call it a “baptism” or a “marriage.” Behold! You have a ritual fire, which represents either the baptismal font or the marriage bed, with flute and lyre players making noise during the ceremonies. At length, we see ministers, each dressed in [a] stola and maniple, of whom one bares that mystic vase made in the form of a vial (the caraffe, which is shown on Tab. II, fig. 9). Another [bore] a securim, which too is depicted on that base (see Tab. II, fig. 9), Third and finally, there is an idol which has behind its back a ladle (see Tab. I, fig. 16).
These are the ceremonies of that mystical sacrament and of the abominable orgies of which the Gnostics are accused by the Fathers, which with promiscuous ugliness they celebrated with the lights dimmed, sometimes under the name of a meal, other times under the name of marriage. These orgies are manifestly portrayed in all three of our bowls presented, so that it might be clear to the onlooker what these orgies are, and to what Gnostic sect these bowls, with the same inscriptions as the abovementioned idols, belonged. For the first bowl contained, in a double circle, a double representation of the orgies. The interior [circle] shows the baccanalium, where [the Roman god] Liber is observed, borne in triumph by satyrs and maenads (female votaries of Bacchus), who surrounded him closely. We will pass over this image of triumph, since it provides nothing in the way of testimony, in order to diminish the number of images [reproduced here]. The upper circle of the vase represents the Ophitic orgies, which here we exhibit to your eyes, only with the phalluses being omitted, as we mentioned above. Lest perhaps you might think that you can here discern Israelites in the desert being attacked by serpents, note that the figure is holding serpents before the others, who are exultant and seem familiar enough with them to be kissing them. He also presents them with a double figure of a certain monster, masculo-feminine, who holds a double chain (bronze), in whom we recognize our mother Achamoth or Mete. However, there is another monstrous figure, supplied with four wings, son of the same, inimical to mother, whom we have discovered to be the same as Jaldabaoth (concerning whom there will be more discussion below). The Ophites, followers of his mother Sophia or Mete, tried to extinguish the form of worship established by the son (Jaldabaoth or Sabaoth). This is symbolized by one of the depicted Ophites, here shown extinguishing a sevenfold candelabra (symbol of the Biblical form of worship). The duplex book [we see here] indicates a double law: one part that of the Old Testament, of Sabaoth, the other part that of Achamoth. We also found a reference to this book in an Arabic inscription that can be found on all of the bowls and idols. On the second bowl, beside the figure of Mete (See Tab. II, fig. 5), we see the Sun and Moon (See Tab. II, fig. 7, 8). A “baptism of fire” is shown there too (See Tab. II, fig. 3), and on the other side, a dragon, from whose jaws the ministers have snatched the infant.
Tab. II, fig. 7-8
Finally, on the third bowl, besides ceremonies of the mystic sacrament, we see on the bottom Jaldabaoth sitting on an eagle (See Tab. II, fig. 6), so that he may be recognized to be the same as the monster sculpted onto the first bowl. Now we will, as it is necessary, explain all these things, so that if we discover the same symbols and the same figures in the sculptures of the churches of the Knights Templar, we might now be certain of their true Gnostic sense.
Tab. II, fig. 6
On the largest marble bowl (the height of which is six digits and the figure of which you see in Tab. II, fig. 14, and the upper relief in the same place, fig. 1), we see first a double figure of Mete, both masculine and feminine, but wrapped in a different cloak. The first one on the left displays [its influence from] the prototype of the Ophitic faith through an Arabic inscription. On the right, however, we see a truncated cross which is inscribed on the front of the idols (Tab. I, fig. 1, 2, and 15), and is carried in the hand of the last idol. Another spreads forth Mete, being borne about by hand, with two hands holding a bronze chain, which the idols have around the neck (Tab. II, fig. 6). Such a thing was discerned even in the covering of the second square vase, which has a tower-shaped miter for the horns. Since this is the adornment of Cybele and Rhea, it sheds new light on the origin of Mother Achamoth.
Besides this double effigy of Mother Achamoth, these bowls also exhibit a double image of her son Jaldabaoth. One is placed in the series of Ophitic orgies among the two symbols mentioned above. The other is on the bottom of the third bowl, sitting on an eagle. One bears a lightning bolt as Lord of Heaven and Earth. The other has a headpiece provided with four wings, like the Supreme Aeon and Archon, which seems to be sculpted like the symbol called Abraxes. (See Tab. IV, fig. 24, 25, 26 of Abraxas by Macarius).
Tab. IV, fig. 24, 25, 26 from Abraxas and Apistopistus,
by Joannes Macarius and Jean Chifflet, 1657
This is the son of Sophia, Barbelot or Achamoth, called Sabaoth or Jaldabaoth. Among the Gnostics he was seen as the father of the seven Archons, creator and governor of all things heavenly and earthly, who rebelled against his mother and, exulting in his glory, insanely boasted that “he was father and God, above whom is no one.” However, the mother, hearing this, cried out, “Don’t lie, Jaldabaoth, for there is above you a father, first of all things, Anthropus, and Anthropus, son of Anthropus.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book I, chapter 30, on the Ophites.)
This is, according to the Ophites, the God of the Jews and Christians, whom they cursed, and whom they trampled underfoot. The Ophites thought that this one wages perpetual war against his mother Achamoth, and prohibits men from getting knowledge of his mother (that is, of divine wisdom). He produced, besides the seven Archons who govern the seven heavens (who rebelled against him as he did against this mother), yet another serpent-shaped son, that is (Greek, ton Noun, “the mind”) in the form of a contorted serpent. He first offered to his father Jaldabaoth a ministry so as to seduce mankind “to purge from him the seed of light.” Next, though, abandoning the sly and crafty aspects of the father, and becoming a follower of Sophia, he proceeded to lead men to her true knowledge, or Gnosis, and to the revelation of all the arcane things of nature. Finally, through the winding of intestines depicting contortion, he was held by the Ophites to be worthy to represent the “genital wisdom” (in Greek Zoogogon sophian, and in Arabic, ma-ta na-sha) of our inscriptions. For this reason, he was sometimes called by the Ophites Nous, and at other times by the name of the angels Michael and Samael. He was worshiped in the orgies as a symbol of the abominable wisdom and the true leader of Gnosis.
It is well-known to everyone that in all the ancient mysteries of Ceres and Liber, both the Elysian as well as the Bacchic, the serpent played the main parts. Hence, through the same serpent the connection, discovered with great difficulty, between the Ophitic and Bacchic orgies will be illustrated by evidence. We learn, indeed, from Clement of Alexandria that a notable likeness of the Bacchic orgies was the serpent, consecrated by the arcane rite.
The serpent and phallus, which are handed around in the Bacchic orgies, we encounter also in those of the Ophites. The T which Achamoth holds in her hands, and is impressed on her forehead in Tab. I, fig. 15, we discern on the bowl (Tab. II, fig. 1). It is as if she is upholding the tree of life serpent to represent “genital wisdom.” [This] retained a double meaning (which it already had among the Egyptians): of a Phallus and a key, and these were called, among the Ophites, “tree of life” and “key of Gnosis.”
But it has yet a third significance in Gnostic doctrine; that is to say, it means the boundary of the Gnostic Pleroma, which is called “Horus,” the significance of which, as we see from the invocation of the Archons in Origen, had been borrowed from the Egyptian Horus (who, according to Macrobius, is identical to Terminus). This tree of life, which they declared was born from man and from Gnosis, and now they call Gnosis itself, is the key and terminus, the Alpha and Omega of all Gnosis. Therefore, we see it elevated in orgies in imitation of the elevation of the Phallus in Bacchic orgies. A similar figure is not only put into the hand of Mother Achamoth, or Mete (see Tab. I, fig. 15), but also impressed on her forehead. This symbol thus indicates life, as does the character noted on the foreheads of the elect in Apocalypse 7, verse 3. This T is, therefore, the character of Baphomet and thus, a part for the whole, signified the instrument of life and life-begetting wisdom.
The two main infamous symbols of this most disgraceful form of worship, [kteidos and phallos]—symbolized by the bowl and truncated cross (or T)—having been explained, let us continue on to two other symbols portrayed on these bowls. One of these, that is, the Sun and Moon, is very frequently discerned also in the symbols of Baphomet; the other, namely, the dragon, is encountered in bowls and in sculptures found in the churches of the Templars. The first of these was borrowed from the ancient mysteries; the second is properly Gnostic, and indeed Ophitic.
The Sun and Moon, as superintendents of generation, have first place in these mysteries, where nothing else was to be treated than the explanation of generation. First there is the Sun, which, upon arising (according to Macrobius, Saturnalia Lib I, cap. 17), generates everything by inseminating, producing, nourishing, all in open light. Then there is the Moon, which (according to the same Macrobius in Samnium Scipionis, Book I) was the boundary line of life and death, watching over the generation of the secret nature. Therefore, their figures are represented in the alabaster bowl in such a way that the Sun would preside over geniture, and the Moon over birth.
Regarding the dragon, it will not be irrelevant for us to say a few words. That quadruped, scaly and rough, with tail twisted back, seems in actual fact to be a crocodile rather than a dragon, and soon you will see that it makes no difference if it is called a crocodile. Since in the sculpture of the bowl (Tab. II, fig. 4) it threatens to devour the infant, and since, in the sculptures of the Templar churches the same dragon is represented as swallowing down the infant, we call it a dragon. For according to St. Epiphanius the Ophites taught that the one presiding over this world has the likeness of a dragon. By it, souls not having Gnosis are absorbed, and through its tail, [they are] poured back into this world. We will, however, find below, in the explanation by Schoengrad regarding the sculptures of the churches of the Templars, an image of such a dragon swallowing down and pouring back the infant. It is sufficient here to notice that that man who, in the relief of the second bowl, drags the infant out of the dragon’s jaw, represents a true Gnostic who, by pouring Gnosis into the infant, hinders him from being absorbed by the world.
Tab. II, fig. 4
Having cited the very valuable passage from St. Epiphanius, who teaches us that by the dragon the Gnostics understood the one who presides over the world, support for this, too, is found in Origen’s Ophitic diagram, in which Leviathan is explained as the dragon, but soon it was confused with Behemoth, or the crocodile. The best witness to this confusion is the book by ibn Wahshiyya called De Alphabetis Incognitis [Concerning Unknown Alphabets], where he depicts the same figure as the diagram, [with] ten circles. Also depicted is a monster in the form of a scarab, holding these circles so that the anima mundi [“soul of the world”] may be explained by the name of [Arabic writing] Bafomid. Through the affinity of the word set aside, since we had translated into the English idiom the aforementioned book by ibn Wahshiyya, we thought that that was a corruption of the word Baphomet. But, even if the close correspondence between the word Bafomid and Baphomet is strongly supported, and even if this explanation is much more probable than that trite one considering Baphomet to be a corruption of Mahomet, it can still be supported by no valid argument, and thus we should yield to the explanation that all our inscriptions, Arabic and Latin, bear on themselves the name Mete. The inscriptions put this beyond any shadow of doubt.
Now that the explanation of all the figures and symbols on the bowls has made completely clear the true sense of “father” and “mother” (that is, Jaldabaoth and Achamoth), as well as of the chalice and truncated cross, the stars and the dragon, we will very briefly speak about the orgies themselves there mentioned. All three Ophite sacraments—baptism, eucharist, and marriage, or rather, the most unspeakably evil profanation of those sacraments—is exhibited in these three bowls. As to the fiery baptism in a burning bowl (Tab. I, fig. 14 and Tab. II, fig. 3), into which we see the infant placed, we have treated that above. Also the eucharist, where the Ophites engage in kissing serpents, we have explained out of passages from the [Church] Fathers. It remains for us to say a few words about spiritual marriage, which is represented in the third bowl. Irenaeus and Tertullian speak about this spiritual marriage of the Gnostics, who thus point to the general conflagration of the Stoics, and we perceive (see Tab. II, fig. 2) that [very thing], along with all other nuptial ceremonies, in the third bowl, where a bed is formed by the flaming ritual fire.
Therefore, having explained the primitive sense of the bowl and the chalice in the mysteries, we think a few words should be said regarding its figurative significance, used as a symbol of society, or etairias (Greek). No one is ignorant of the fact that the bowl or chalice in the most ancient mysteries and religious institutions is also a symbol of a banquet of food and drink, and in the same sense accepted even today among all orders of Dervishes. This is confirmed by the most lucid testimony, through the naming of the bowl Osiris received into heaven, which today among the Orientals is called (Arabic writing) Kasei Dervischan, that is, the “cup of the Dervishes.” It is well-known that this argument is confirmed by sculptures of the Schoengraberian church, where six bowls placed next to each other seem reasonably to indicate six communities of Templars. Also, the passage from Assemanus, communicated to us by the most reverend and most learned Bishop Münter, testifies that the chalice was a symbol of the Templars. In addition, those sepulchers which were discovered, with cups, [perhaps goblets] in Sicily, were of the Templars (see Tab. III, fig. 13).
Tab. III, fig. 13
Tab. III, fig. 6
After these things, there remains no doubt that the most celebrated bowl of the Middle Ages, under the name of the Holy Grail, signifies nothing but a symbol of the Templar community and of Gnostic wisdom. The entire fable, known by the name Titurel, gives support to this assertion. You will see there the temple in constructed by Titurel to the Holy Grail in Monsalvaz (Mount Salvation). Its safekeeping was given to the Templar knights (die Tempeleise), who defended it with their own blood and, through fighting for it, wandered throughout the whole world. Should you seek to discover the place where the most Holy Grail can be found, one always returns to the Orient, and the mystical exaltation which the poem Titurel breathes as often as it celebrates this chalice in eulogia, proves that something abstruse and arcane is to be understood. The whole temple built by Titurel boasts of such ornaments that greatly favor our supposition. Among these ornaments appear also tablets of Mete (Meteteaveln) and the mystical curtain brought down from heaven by an angel, which also is described in Titurel, and is observed today in sculptures of the church of the Templars at Altenburg and Berchtolsdorf (see on Tab. III, fig. 5). The sense of this one may gather below, where we will treat these symbols one by one.
Tab. III, fig. 5
But if as the Holy Grail the mystic chalice be understood as a symbol of the Gnostic Sophia, it is sufficiently clear what the round tablet signifies; for from the statues published by Münter we know that the number twelve is special in all regions of the Templars. Twelve were the electors who, with the one presiding, would elect a new chief; twelve were the dignitaries of the great order; twelve were the seniors of the order, of which their first senate consists; twelve were the Balliae in the Orient; and the same number, as it seems, were the provinces in Europe. Therefore, it is reasonable to represent the Knights of the Round Table over whom Arthur presided to be none other than twelve seniors, or “Archons” of the Templars. And we believe it ought to be understood that, under the custody of the Holy Grail, those brothers of the militia, as custodians of the Gnostic chalice, were initiated into the Gnostic mystery of iniquity.
III. On sculptures existing in churches of the Brotherhood of Knights Templar
There exist in numerous churches of the Brotherhood of Knights Templar sculptures and hieroglyphic figures which, since they agree in large measure with the symbols of idols and bowls, promote full faith in all that we have said regarding Baphomet and cups. Even if, in thoroughly scrutinizing such sculptures, even those found beyond the boundaries of the Austrian Empire, we engaged in sweaty labor, up to now no notices, even very obscure ones, have come through to us. It is altogether probable that up to now many monuments of the Templars exist in boxes, as is the case with idols, or on walls as bas-reliefs, which up to now have been hidden or ignored. If they were brought to light, they would supply new arguments to everything already said about this material, and what is yet to be said as well.
Therefore, we at this time will talk only about the sculptures in the seven Templar churches which, up to now, have escaped the ravages of time. Of these, three were discerned in Austria (Schoengraberian, Waltondorfensis and Berchtoldorfensis), one in Hungary in the city Deutschaltenburg, one in the village of Murau in Bohemia, and two others (one Pragae, the other Egrae). In Styria, which to us is Fatherland, it is established in many places that the Brotherhood of Knights Templar resided there. However, no sculptures remain in the churches, and pictures in the tower of Neukirch in the Cilleiensi district were removed by a deacon of that place hardly ten years ago.
1. The Schoengraber Church
Among all of these the principal monuments, preserved in an amazing way through a period of five centuries among so very many calamities, is the church in the village of Schoengraber, built on the public road leading from Vienna to western Moravia, near the towns of Dietrichsdorf and Sitzendorf, where the principal habitations of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar are mentioned in their history. So many sculptures are enumerated in the Schoengraber Church that a person could not engrave them on this bronze. But it is not only the high number that hinders publication of them all. Some of them (located so high up that, without aid of a ladder, they escape being seen) depict the most obscene and disgraceful acts.
Out of these, therefore, we exhibit only the lower series so as to strengthen our argument. But by throwing in a brief description of the upper series of sculptures, we leave their true natural effigy to the editors of Spintherian and Freemasonic things of the Middle Ages. Besides obscenities and things disgraceful, this series of images [omission in Latin text] and therefore adds less weight to the accumulation of our arguments, since besides the heads of Mete and Jaldabaoth (the one serene and beautiful, the other fierce and ugly; the one angelic, the other diabolical) more phantasmal things are present, which, even if indeed they do not lack a certain arcane sense, up to now our studies keep working toward corroborating in the present. The bas-reliefs of the Schoengraber Church have achieved considerable prominence and up to now are well-preserved, including two series’ of images, which from the posterior part of the church adorn on the outside a semicircular sacristy beautifully constructed out of square stones, so that each series might exhibit the system as complete. The lower one is to be viewed from left to right; the higher one from right to left. And since in this semicircular building there are three windows, the walls of which are made conspicuous, the work of the entire iconism is divided into three parts, so that there were three stations in the upper series and the same number of stations in the lower one.
In three stations three bas-relief images are contained, of which the first one represents the origin and start, the second the progress and development, the third the goal and triumph of Gnosis (that is, of the arcane doctrine of the Templars), so that after the symbols of the Ophites and of other Gnostics have been explained, there can be no doubt about the true sense of the images. We see, then, the history of the lapse of the first parents accomplished, to which certain things were added (but nothing pertinent to Biblical understanding) to be explained only from the figments of the Gnostics. For Eve is not veiled, as modesty would demand, but by her own hand is thoroughly laid bare and, in addition to the serpent, a dog also assaults her. The serpent embraces both the dog and Eve’s arm with its winding coils. Whispering in her ear, he contrives the temptation, to which she easily yields, displaying with her other hand the apple to Adam. Charmed, he is hindered by an ugly figure whose face bares the resemblance of the Devil. But if considered from a different angle, it cannot be denied that it bears some similarity to the head of Christ, crowned with thorns. This is Jaldabaoth, or Sabaoth, who, according to the doctrine of the Gnostics, tried to prevent Adam from yielding to seduction by the serpent, who, through Gnosis (that is, carnal knowledge), tried to show the way to Mother Achamoth. (See the sketch of this iconism at Tab. III, fig. 1.)
Tab. III, fig. 1
Tab. III, fig. 4
Tab. IV, fig. 15-16 and 28
In the middle station a Templar, or Gnostic, is seen sitting on a throne, with his right hand blessing or swearing, while his left hand bears a scepter. The throne at its base sits on that monstrous dragon whom we have come to know from the bas-reliefs of the second bowl, where the infant is threatened with absorption. Lest there be a hint of doubt that that dragon is the same about which Epiphanius speaks as a Gnostic symbol of the one who presides over the world, (who absorbs and again spits out every man not imbued with Gnosis), [note that] in this place a double infant can be seen, of whom one adheres to the jaws; the other, through the lower part of the body, is cast out by means of withdrawal. (See Tab. III, fig. 2.) This is the dragon whom the Templars, having sculpted on their graves, trampled underfoot in the London temple. This, finally, is the same dragon who, at the time of the establishment of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar, came out of Gnostic fabrications on the life of St. George, and with him, but without the infant, transferred into the British Shield. Also, it is certain that the Gnostic dragon absorbing the infant gave rise to the serpent of [the house of] Visconti, who up to the present can be seen in the seals of Milan.
Tab. III, fig. 2
The hand blessing or swearing and the lily-bearing scepter present the same figure, just as on the most ancient coins of the Middle Ages, Emperors and bishops sitting on thrones are depicted blessing and ruling the world. The scepter here signifies world rulership. The figures standing by the throne indicate peoples bringing as a gift to a Templar or Gnostic (or, if you will, to the Order of the Temple or to the Gnosis sitting on the throne) fruits and animals of the earth (grain and egg). From various places of Scripture it is to be conjectured that the Gnostics thought that the right hand showing two fingers down and three raised meant a person possessed a certain secret and peculiar virtue. We believe those places have been perversely twisted to favor their opinion so that the Lord’s right hand has performed virtue was engraved on the law’s sepulcher (in [the Bishop of Seeländ’s book], pag. 112 Tab. B), where the right hand performing blessing covers the upper part of the cross so that, truncated, it might exhibit the figure T, that is, the sign of Baphomet. Scriptural too are such texts as: With a strong hand God led you out of Egypt (Exodus 3:10). I will send my hand and strike the Egyptians and the hand of the Lord will be upon your cattle (Exodus 9:22).
At the third station (Tab. III, fig. 3), we see a lion whom a Templar slaughters, with the assistance of three dogs, of which one grabs the lion from behind. This is the triumph of Gnosis, or of the spiritual Ophitic doctrine, over the religion of the God Sabaoth, who among the Gnostics is named Jaldabaoth, and under the form of a lion or a dragon, is trampled underfoot. You will trample the lion and dragon. Here, though, it is no longer trampled to signify contempt (which the Templars portray by trampling the cross), but now it is slaughtered by a Templar, with the assistance of a guide, who everywhere in these sculptures hints at the mystical and infamous kiss, by which Templars, in reception, kiss the spine at the rear. You see such a dog at the rear of a genuflecting idol (borrowed from the little book of curiosities and here delineated in Tab. I, fig. 4), in which we recognize a Gnostic or Templar, who by means of a dog adhering to the posterior parts, indicates none other than the most disgusting outrage of the Templars. Hence, it is reasonable that by the cat, about which there is repeated mention in the accusation against the Templars, a puppy or dog is signified.
Tab. III, fig. 3 and Tab. IV, fig. 26
Through this slaughtered lion is made known what is the meaning of the axe and the lion’s skin exhibited on the idols and bowls of the temple. The axe is exhibited as the instrument for killing the lion (see the two-headed Baphomet on the base, Tab. I, fig. 9, and the procession of the mystic wedding on the second bowl in Tab. II, fig. 2). The lion skin, a trophy of the lion already slaughtered, is tied around the limbs of the idols as a cloak. Even if the axe was already circulated in the most ancient mysteries of the Good Goddess, and the cloak was already in use among the Essenes, the chief sense of the Freemasonic cloak, as in this cloak of the Templars, is to be noted in the Essenic one. See, therefore, here in three bas-reliefs of the lower series the origin, progress and end of Gnosis, or of the arcane doctrine of the Templars, cunningly depicted through hieroglyphic images of the tree of life, of the Templar sitting on the throne and of the slaughtered lion.
The Upper Series
Even if it is not the purpose of this book to explore and explain all of the sculptures, since very many Freemasonic ornaments may be seen in the same place, nonetheless, let there be a brief mention of things which can contribute to confirming our arguments. As the lower order of sculptures, progressing from left to right, exhibits the entire symbolic history of Gnosis and of the Templar order, in similar fashion the upper system of bas-reliefs, proceeding from right to left, relates the biography of the Gnostic or Templar from infancy to death.
At the first station [we] see a boy, a future Ophite or Gnostic Templar, immodestly fondling a bear, an animal so addicted to this vice that among the Arabs is circulated a proverb [Arabic words]. To prevent this, and to claim the nursling for himself, the Templar charges forward with a lance in order to pierce the bear through and to lead the infant over to his own enticements, at which the abovementioned dog not obscurely hints. On the other hand, the boy, now having become an adolescent, resists the flatteries of the girl, who has tried to entice him by offering him flowers. Among these two erotic sculptures of early youth and adolescence, the one at the top of the vaulted stone with a square covering represents the Order of the Temple, to which adhere two Templars dressed in the robe of the order, and girded about, indicating the true support of their future life to be the angular stone and the door-key of the Gnostic edifice. The Freemasonic ornaments about this station agree very well with the Bacchic sense of the same form, composed from grape clusters and vine foliage, with phalluses intermixed (placed so high up that from below they are difficult to discern), all of which are perceived to be, up to now, well preserved.
The station in the middle of the upper series is, just as the first, divided into three parts. Instead of a human or angelic head for Gnosis, or the temple order, there is a diabolical head there, that of Jaldabaoth, who draws to himself from one hand the feminine (Mete), from the other a Templar, struggling, and thus is a figure of tribulations and adversities by which Gnosis and its followers are attacked by Jaldabaoth. Another Templar, in flight and more fortunate, snatches himself free by sitting on a lion that carries him off, as if fully tamed and obedient to him. From another standpoint, there corresponds to this fleeing Templar a dolphin (as it seems) in collusion with a bird so that its head is being absorbed by it. Since the lower part of the dolphin is cut off and only its upper part remains, one cannot assert what animal is represented there, although the same figures of a dolphin and a bird (indeed, a dove) in collusion and kissing one another are noticed on the golden cross of the Templars, preserved in the treasury of August Prince Archduke Anton, Supreme Leader of the Teutonic Knights.
The third station, divided into three parts, exhibits an abundant supply of all the figures. In the topmost stone of the vault, the keystone, the same head is perceived, with a magisterial cover, which we already saw at the first station, with two hands extended, of which the left hand swears or blesses. The right hand holds up a book (surely, of the new Gnostic law, or of the arcane doctrine of the Templars).
On the right-hand side, where the book is, veiled Mete holds in her bosom the infant, to whom she holds out the fruit of the tree of Gnosis, namely, the apple. However, lest, in such a number of profane figures, that woman be held to be the virgin mother of God, the total character of the veil, identifies it as belonging to the idols, and holds forth the twisted neck chains in which we recognize the gilded attire, which, according to the articles of accusation against the Templars, bears an idol at the neck. Next to the hand performing blessing there are placed mystical vases or bowls in diverse order, namely: three in a series; two up above and one separate. Their meaning remains hidden, but these individual bowls, already having been understood as a symbol for mystical societies, perhaps here indicate ballias, or chapter houses of the Brotherhood of Knights Templar, which are governed by this chair of order in Austria. Or, if you will, even here is to be sought a Gnostic sense of a six-fold group, which already among the Pythagoreans was called the “genital number,” and that of “marriage mates.” According to the Gnostics, however, Jaldabaoth commanded the six virtues (that is, archons, which exactly correspond to Amschaspands of the Magi) to form man. The same world, too, was created in six days, with reference to these six mystic bowls, which signify vessels of generation.
The middle station having been sufficiently explained, finally, we will turn, first, to the right, then to the left. You see on the right a veiled woman with her head covered, such as we have seen earlier on the idols, [holding] an infant. The demon Jaldabaoth tries to drag, by hand, this woman sitting on a chair, or to pull her to himself. With the other hand, however, and holding a trident of three human heads, which were piled in a basket along with other things, another trident is selected. If this woman, head covered, is to be recognized as Mete, what is the meaning of these three heads? Although I do not affirm it for certain, I think, nonetheless, it can be conjectured that, perhaps, these heads are the founders of the Mosaic, Christian and Islamic religions, which, in serving the god Sabaoth, or Jaldabaoth, make known among mankind his form of worship, and therefore were designated, by the non-believers of the age when this church was built, as the three imposters.
On the left side is exhibited the end of a Templar’s life, already dead and lying on the ground, with the Archangel Michael holding a judgment scale and weighing his deeds, descending to the Earth. The scale, on which were placed apples, desserts and other blandishments of the senses, and by which the Ophitic Templar’s life is represented, shows that the judgment of Michael favors him, because in order to hinder Jaldabaoth, he tries to depress the other, ascending, part of the scale. This allegory of the scale of judgment, about which we discoursed more fully in our commentary (page 288, Vol. 5), corresponds very well to the total doctrine of the Gnostics, since, as we have seen above, the serpent, called by the Gnostics “Michael,” carries out the details of judgment in this way: Thinking, in the day of judgment, about the life of the Templar, or Gnostic, he accepts all of his disgraceful deeds as good works. In this way [goes] the cycle of a Gnostic’s life, whom we see being educated towards Gnosis, that is the doctrine of “genital wisdom,” from the earliest years of infancy. Thenceforth, we see him hounded by Jaldabaoth. He is, with the death of the same and the final judgment, terminated, and this double series of bas-reliefs, declares the double history of a Gnostic and of Gnosis, or of a Templar and of the entire order.
Besides these aforementioned bas-reliefs, in the sanctuary of the church itself, lions’ feet were discerned sculpted, which are symbols of Jaldabaoth [and], as his footsteps here, are terrifying. In the four corners the four Evangelists were represented with considerable ridicule, under the figure of three animals and a demon (instead of an angel). In a dwelling pertaining to the deacon, from the region of the church, three bas-reliefs of Templars, inserted into the walls of the ruins of the chapter houses (now a cellar and wine cellar) are noted to have been brought over here. Dressed with the solemn habit, a sword is in one of his hands, and in the other he holds the sign of Baphomet (namely, a phallus; that is, the key of Gnosis, hidden under the sign T).
2. Church of the Templars of Waltendorf
Where the mountains descend into the plain Tayensen, the church of Waltendorf arises, to which not only sculptures but also the idols having two heads, (which were unearthed in the year 1792 from a subterranean location previously unknown), testify that they belong to the Templars. These idols—partly wood, partly pottery, partly stone—are believed by the diggers to be the work of devils, and having been thrown into that place, were a childish plaything, as many yet living will affirm. From their description, it can easily be ascertained that these idols were nothing but ones of Baphomet. From the south side of this church can be discerned a wall brought to a completion, which (as will soon be proved) evidences that the fragments are of a cloister built on the south side. Finally, outside on the wall various bas-reliefs have been inserted, of which three, (according to the Eislianam) delineation and explanation (which you can read about more fully in Archiv fur Geographie Historie Staats–und Kriegskunst, No. 44, 45) is to be discerned here (see Tab. III, fig. 14, 15, 16). In the same place, you will see a Templar knight who holds in one hand a branch or a flaming sword, in the other a staff in the form of the Baphometic sign T, then a dog (fig. 14), and finally the Templar himself (whose ceremonial hat is the same as that of the idols), clothed with the skin of a lion already slaughtered, sitting in the form of an extended tub and fondling his penis. All three of these, the T, the dog and the lion, are mere symbols of the Templars and Ophites.
Tab. III, fig. 14-16
3. Berchtolsdorf Church
In the village of Berchtolsdorf, commonly called Petersdorf, which is no more than two hours distant from Vienna, there is a church and chapter house together with the ruins of a cloister, so well-preserved that it is a wonder how they endured for so many centuries amidst so many and so great calamities from and sieges by the Turks. In this church, built in Gothic style, no sculptures were noticed, but in the troop of Baphomet a huge T sign is discerned, made up of two large stones, of which one was upright, the other lying across it. On the exterior part of the church above the door, a bas-relief appears, but bruised at the middle, which perhaps, can be taken as a likeness of God the Father and of the God-equal Virgin by persons who have not been initiated into the secret doctrine of the Templars. But since the figure bearing the scepter looks like the one in the Schoengraber bas-reliefs, sitting on the dragon, and together with another female has a veil spread out on her head, we think it not absurd that the first woman indicates the Order of Templars, and the second woman indicates Mete.
South of the church there exists, up to the present, a cloister of the Templars, nearly destroyed, yet very well-preserved as to distribution of the building. With the church at Schoengraber, too, there is a cloister on the south side, upon whose foundations we see constructed a lodging house. That this [type of] cloister always arises on the south is no accident, but seems to have been situated there on purpose in imitation of the Jerusalem residence, which, as Willermus Tyrius testifies, “The king had yielded to them the palace located on the southern side of the temple.” This type of reason also agrees wonderfully with the placing of the cloister next to the Titurel temple. Hence, it is confirmed that the temple in Titurel existed as a paradigm for all Templar churches, or rather, to have been decorated by the poet according to their image.
4. The Church at Altenburg
In a town of Hungary, Deutsch-Altenburg, near the boundary of Austria, an ancient Templar church exists in which, similarly above the door, a certain mystic figure is exhibited, the meaning of which can be rightly interpreted from already well-known Gnostic fabrications. You see here the masculo-feminine Mete, or Achamoth, dressed in a mystical cloak and bearded, up to whom comes an angel with a veil. Since in the Pleroma, Sophia (Achamoth, Mete) had approached angels, and observing them naked, had blushed for shame, she snatched a veil to cover her head. Therefore, this is the veil offered to her by the angel in this bas-relief, and that is what is so described in Titurel. It cannot be denied that the description was wholly borrowed from a particular Gnostic representation; that is to say, concerning the angel descending from the heavens and bringing the veil, and concerning the female dove, likewise descending, which signified the Holy Spirit. For the Gnostics believed the very same Achamoth to be the Holy Spirit and represented it under the image of a dove.
5. The Church of the Village of St. Martin in Szaladen
On the border of Styria and Hungary, in the district called Murau, from the itinerary of the late illustrious Count a Teleky we have found to exist a Templar church adorned with various profane hieroglyphic sculptures and provided with subterranean areas. The sketch of these we had intended to incise onto bronze, along with so many other sculptures which we here exhibit, in hope that after six months, during which we left off editing this dissertation, while awaiting these figures (promised by the Most Excellent Count Georgio Festetic), [the dissertation] abided so long under duress. Finally, after the expiration of a year, we gave up on it being published.
Therefore, concerning this church of St. Martin, bishopric of Pomocje, on the peninsula called Murau, we will add here only a few things we were able to learn from the letter of a parish priest, the Rev. Joseph Horvath, through a friend.
That this was once a Templar church is proved by the fact that its daughter church of New Duor (Ui Udvar), distant from it by only a quarter hour, at one time had been of the same association, and had flourished up to the year 1277 CE, according to the testimony of Szentivany (in dissert. Paralip. Catal. 44). The predicted New Curia, which pertained to the church of St. Martin as a daughter to her mother, was given a praeceptor [teacher] subject to the Priory of the Gold Cloister in Croatia. Also, in the time of Father Augustine Gazotti, who was constituted bishop of Zagreb, a throng of cross-bearing soldiers, well known according to historians, existed in the Church of the New Curia on the island of Murodravana, above Csaktornyam. The year, which was seen inscribed on the left side of the arched altar in the Church of St. Martin, testifies to some recent repair of it, namely, 1468. However, certainly sculptures a century or two centuries earlier should be compared with the secret doctrine of the Templars. They consist of figures of a red cross of varying size, and of heads (which, whether they bear the stamp of Mete or Jaldabaoth, is difficult to decide from a distance).
As to other Templar churches or cloister residue in Hungary, we vigorously busied ourselves looking for them, we have been able to discover nothing certain. This alone is to be noted: Coins (to be illustrated below) found among bronzes in a certain building not far from Csekut (District of Weszprim) testify that this was a Templar building. The people attribute this to a certain order (Vörö Baratok, that is, the “Red Brotherhood”). In that past year very large stones (on whose face various figures had been sculpted) were converted for use at the mill. Gilded coins found in a pottery jar in the same location are very much the same as the gilded coins extracted from the brick wall of the cloister of Wultendorf, and as the gilded coins found in the ruins of the Templar stronghold at Neunkirchen, in the district of Cellejensi in Styria (also found in a pottery jar). Thus these coins coming forth from the ruins of Templar mansions in Austria, Styria and Hungary, through similarity of type, offer wonderful testimony.
6. The Prague Church
According to the testimony of the principal writers of Bohemia’s history (who are the following: 1. Continuator Cosmae, 2. Hajek, 3. Paprotzki, 4. Betzkowsky, 5. Gelasius Dobner, 6. Pubitsckka, 7. Voigt, 8. Redel, 9. Pelzel, 10. Rohn, 11. Dubravius, 12. Hammerschmidt), the Prague Temple (with its cloister) began to be built in the name of St. Wencesla by the first king of that name about the year 1249, and was finished in the year 1253. The architect of this was a lay brother by the name of Anastasius. During a period of 15 years he built diverse Templar temples and inns in the same way, in the places called Tiffenbach, Zwikow, Hluboka, Bürglitz and Stara. In the year 1311, after the abolition of the order, the church, with its cloister, was transferred by King John to the Order of the Knights of St. John, and thereafter, under the prior of Berchthold from Henneberg, sold to an order of nuns under the rule of St. Dominic. Since the year 1782, after the abolition of the nuns, the church with its cloister, having been bought, even now is possessed by a knight, according to Schoenfeld—a man very eager for antiquities and most expert in their preservation. There exists in that place most precious monuments of a double genre; that is to say, glass in windows, depicted by the skillful artifice of the Middle Ages, and others on the walls of the cloisters (called in everyday speech Kreuzgang), expressed in colors, which through many centuries lay hidden covered in lime. Now, though, with the covering fallen away or corroded, with the colors being quite well-preserved, spread out with oil, they shine. All fifteen glass objects depicted (which you may note at Tab. IV, num. 13) exhibit the very same figures as certain gilded coins of that age—very singular figures, which not being understood up to now by numismatic specialists, have furnished occasion for various comments. That all of these represent none other than Mete we will demonstrate further down in the discourse on numismatics. The twenty-four Freemasonic symbols (in the same tablet noted under letter B) are depicted in the cloister above the wall, in disks, of which the diameter is twelve fingers. That these temple symbols are identical with the Freemasonic ones we will soon prove, noting only that besides the well-known instruments of wall makers, here also occur the Sun, Moon, stars, sword, truncated cross and seven serpents, all of which, plainly, are Templaric or Ophitic symbols. Concerning the seven serpents, or concerning the water-serpent provided with three heads as a Gnostic symbol, see the mystical ode of the Thebaic Gnostics, wherein the Reverend Bishop and most learned Doctor Münter published many things concerning the Gnostics and Ophites whom, as Templars, he could by no means look upon as innocent.
7. The Egra Church
In this city, there are two very ancient churches on Mt. Castelli that have survived many grievous events of the Middle Ages, most celebrated in Bohemian historical accounts, of which one is higher, the other below it, subterranean. Here, in the time of schism between the Catholic and Reformed religions, they celebrated their sacred rites at the same time. But anciently this was a Templar temple, which had an underground church, as everywhere, for a chapter location. There, in the place of angular stones and keystones for vaulting, are seen the most obscene objects, all of them pertaining to generating, or to Ophitic Gnosis. You see these column ornaments and capitals sculpted in Tab. IV. In fig. 31 you see a male and female shamelessly displaying their sex. In fig. 32, Baphometic capitals are exalted to the apex of the columns. In fig. 33 we see Sphinxes, about which there will be discussion below in the numismatic discourse. Meanwhile, you may wish to compare them with Tab. V, nos. 19, 30, 31, and 45 [discussed and shown later], noting that the shape of these things agrees with that of the gilded coins. Finally, in fig. 34, we see serpents with twisted coils embracing themselves, with dogs’ heads such as are seen in figures of Abraxas (see Tab. IV, fig. 1, 2, 3, 4) and other Gnostic monuments. You will see under the same number in the lower figure the same bird and serpent, united in one body, playing together with kisses, as are seen in fig. 11 and 12, of which one shows, instead of a serpent, a dolphin, just like the ornament of the Templar cross preserved in the treasury of the Supreme Magister of the Teutonics. Such figures seem to have been sculpted also in the church of Prague mentioned above, since the bas-reliefs of all of these angular stones, keystones and vaulting were scratched. It is for certain that this is not to be attributed to damage due to the passing of time, but to the pious zeal of nuns who, since they were not able to withdraw these sculptures from view as pictures forgotten due to lime, preferred to destroy them.
Tab IV, fig. 35
Tab. IV, fig. 31 (top and bottom, respectively)
Tab. IV, fig. 32-33, top and bottom
Tab. IV, fig. 1-8
Tab. IV, fig. 36
Tab. IV, fig. 34 (top and bottom, respectively)
Tab. IV, fig. 10-12
Tab. IV, fig. 17-18
After these descriptions of the Templar churches in the Austrian Empire, many of them up to now not yet described, it is permissible to recognize them as such, or at least as the work of the Gnostic Freemasons. Many such things can be seen up to now both in Germany and France. We make special mention, first, of the Erfurt Church and, secondly, of the church at Mount Montholionis, situated at Pictavis.
The Erfurt church of the Templars today belongs to St. Michael, and has been restored after four centuries from the ruins of conflagration. It exhibits no monument of an earlier age, but in other churches of this city, many Freemason monuments occur. Even if these monuments cannot be proved to be of the Templars, we consider them to be noted as Freemasonic ornaments or symbols of this age and, above all, they agree with the Schoengraberian sculptures. You see in the same place a bear who seizes a man, as [happened to] an infant in the Schoengraberian sculptures. There are in that place, on the lofty western pillars, dogs on the outside, and in this church, in place of a female Caryatide figure, a boy standing on his hands, holding up his prokton (see Tab. IV, fig. 23); then finally, on the vault stone we see a certain monstrous figure engaging in the most vile embracing and kissing with an infant.
Tab. IV, fig. 22-23
Tab. IV, fig. 24-25
According to the testimony of Millinus, similar hieroglyphic figures of heads, both of animals and of monsters, occur principally in Pictavis, the principal seat of the Templars. The most notable of all is the octagonal church on Mount Montholion, which Montfaucon attributes to ancient France. But Millinus restores it to the Middle Ages. Among the statues seen there, the two sketched here (Tab IV, 4-5 [of Millinus’ work]) are certainly Ophitic.
IV. On the Doctrine of the Ophites
Although we will now, in explanation of the monuments, touch upon many things regarding the most evil doctrines of all Gnostic sects, for the purpose of explaining the Ophite system [in particular], as it is found in the writings of the [Church] Fathers, here we shall only briefly expound upon it. Hence, we will go over these subjects quickly, so as to demonstrate the connection between Ophitic orgies and the most ancient mysteries.
No one, indeed, doubts that the doctrine of the Ophites was only a sect of the Gnostics and a heresy from heresies (Irenaeus, Epiphanius, and Theodoretus). Therefore, many things about which the most weighty historians of the Ophites are silent are to be found in [the Fathers’] general comments about Gnostics, and especially out of the history of the Valentinians. Truly there are passages written [by the Church Fathers] about the general system of the Gnostics that add clarity to many of the things being discovered in our monuments. For the sake of brevity, those who find our explanations insufficient must thoroughly read Mosheim’s history of the Ophites. In the first place, we believe that a matter to be investigated is that the correct interpretation of the word Gnoseos (which in the Scriptures signifies true wisdom), has been wickedly distorted. Of no concern to us is anything about Gnostic Neoplatonism, whose spiritual system is expounded in the Apocryphal books of St. Hermes Trismegistus; nor anything about a Gnostic Christian (who, in the Stromata books [by Clement of Alexander], is presented as the perfect ectypon of wisdom); nor anything about heretical Christians. We are only concerned with the most wretched Ophite Gnostics, who, since they trample Christ, are in absolutely no way to be called Christians. Their doctrine, taken from beliefs of the most ancient mythology of the Greeks, Phoenicians, and Egyptians, expands with its fictions the old doctrine of oriental philosophy, and pollutes in every way the true Bible text so that, therefrom, a certain unspeakable monster issues forth.
If you wish to go back to the true origin of Ophitic doctrine, you can derive it easily from Tautus [Thoth] himself, who, according to Eusebius, first introduced the worship of serpents. In the most ancient religions of all nations the serpent plays principal parts, as in the Indian, Orphic, and Druidic systems. However, many who inquired into the origin of serpent worship (as very recently [did] the most learned English mythologist [George Stanley] Faber in The Origin of Pagan Idolatry) failed sufficiently to distinguish the double meaning of the serpent, since the principle of evil, Typho, is represented by the dragon, and the principle of good, Agathodaimon [“good demon”], or Nous [“mind”], is represented by the serpent. Now, the investigation into the origin of the Ophitic doctrine having been, for the time being, set aside, we will undertake to expound the system of the Gnostics.
Butho (that is, “the bottomless pit”), called the First Father, Aeon, Proarchon and Perfect), was cohabiting with Ennoia, otherwise called Kharis, otherwise Syge. From them proceeds Nous (“Mind”), who was called Second Father, and Arche, and Monogenes, and First Son and Truth. These generated Logos (that is, “the Word”) and Zoen (that is, “Life”). Out of these arose the First Man and the First Church, the prototypes of the [human] first man and of the Church on earth.
Out of this ideal ogdoas [“group of eight”], whose seat is the Pleroma, that is, out of fullness, or the spiritual universe, so called, ten other Aeons proceeded, again twelve, so that the number of them [eventually became] thirty. The last of these was Sophia, that is,wisdom, or holy spirit, who among diverse Gnostic sects bearing diverse names was also called Achamoth, Prunicos, Barbelot, Noria, and Enthymesis. This ultimate masculo-feminine Aeon, wishing to learn about the First Father, wasted away in this desire for knowledge and cognition, and would have been dissolved, except that, in order to emend this most miserable cupidity, Horus had come up to Terminus [“the end”] of all things, displayed under the image of a cross, crying out, Iao! The end of carnal desire was, therefore, the cross, otherwise called Horus, otherwise Fundamentum and Lytrottes (that is, “dissolving”), Carpities (that is, “fruit-bearing”), Horothetes (that is, “the end of punishment”), and Metagoges (that is, “the conductor”).
Sophia struck down at the clamor. Iao withdrew into the Pleroma. But Enthymesis (that is, intelligence, or better, his will), who had indulged the desire of acquiring cognition of the Father, went into exile outside of the Pleroma, that is, the seat of the Aeons, and then was called no longer Enthymesis, but Achamoth. This masculo-feminine [deity], even the same one called Metropater by the Ophites, was accepted as one and the same Aeon.
This woman, aflame with desire for getting cognition of Christ, leaped forth, as previously mother Sophia, driven by the desire to get cognition of the Father, had also done. Christ ran to meet her, as to the mother of Horus, crying out Jao! Struck down by this outcry, she generated matter so that out of her tears and laughter came forth water. Along with Christ, to whom she was said to be converted, she was a light to the nations. Christ then left on Earth an only-begotten Paraclete. He, together with angels, came to Enthymes, already called Achamoth, who, when she saw the Paraclete and nude angels, became filled with shame, and covered herself with a veil. Finally, out of shame she generated all existing things, material, animal and spiritual. She also generated a Demiurge, who also was called the Third Father, that is, counting from the First Father (Bytho), and Second Father (Monogene [“only-begotten”]).
This son of Achamoth, situated outside of the Pleroma (the seat of the perfect Aeons), founded the world, distinctions being made between animal and material substances, and the sevenfold order of the heavens, which is called Sabbath in opposition to Pleroma. This Demiurge, or the creator of the heavens and of the earth, named Jaldabaoth, or Sebaoth, with six Archons, his sons, and with Mother Sophia, established the second Ogdoas, the lower one, according to the paradigm of the upper Ogdoas. From the liquid of Mother Sophia’s tears, the Demiurge formed man, both animal and human. He did this not by himself, but was assisted by six archontic virtues, his sons, whom he called upon to help him create man using these words: Come! Let us make man in our image. Once having been formed, the Demiurge, endowed with only demonic virtue and not knowing the Supreme God (Monogenes), acting in haughtiness, saying: I am Father and God Sabaoth [“of armies, hosts”], and besides me [there is] no God. Mother Achamoth, though, hearing these things, responded to him: I do not want to lie, Jaldabaoth, for above you is Anthropus (the first man of the Pleroma) and the son of Anthropus.
Having formed man, Jaldabaoth (with his six helpers) inspired him with part of the divine light, of which he himself was full. Therefore, the man, immediately endowed with mind, began to give thanks to the First Man in the Pleroma (that is, to the true only-begotten God), no longer reverencing the fabricator Jaldabaoth and his six helpers.
This doctrine of the Valentinians and of other Gnostics concerning the Pleroma and the upper Ogdoas seems to have been given less attention by the Ophites, who directed their attention more to the lower Ogdoas, who were time and again involved in altercations happening between Jaldabaoth and his mother, Achamoth, after the creation of man. No doubt, Jaldabaoth, envious of the particle of light in the man he had formed, decided to withdraw the light from him through the woman. That the mother might prevent this, she drew herself down into the twelve parts of the serpent, who was also known as the son of Jaldabaoth. Through him, she persuaded Eve that, contrary to the precept of Jaldabaoth, she should seduce Adam into eating the fruit of the tree of life and knowledge, and that the new awareness gained thereby would show him the way to Mother Achamoth.
Now that this very brief exposition of the Gnostic and Ophitic system is completed, all of the symbols expressed in our idols representing Mother Achamoth, or Mete, will be explained singularly and collectively with a fresh interpretation in new light. Of these, we will address the twelve principal ones each individually. Separately, we have seen to their being incised on bronze, so that their arcane symbolism and its connection with all of the symbols of the Freemasons might appear in clearer light. Aside from the Palm Branch, the Calvary and the Sword, (three things common to the Ophite Templars and the Freemasons), the twelve principal symbols in sequence are: 1.Truncated Cross, 2. Bowl, 3. Serpent, 4. Veil, 5. Chain, 6. Girdle, 7. Rod, 8. Book, 9. Sevenfold Candelabrum, 10. Sun, 11. Moon, 12. Stars.
1. Truncated cross, which, as we have explained, signifies both a phallus and a key.
2. Mystical chalice
3. Serpent, guide to true Gnosis, indicates the most filthy licentiousness, through bending (similar to contorted inner parts) and because of astuteness, was named Cosmocrator (Ruler of the World).
4. The mystic Veil by which Achamoth, having seen the nudity of the angels, covered her head. The significance of this veil among the Freemasons (through the passage of time being poorly understood) was that it was believed to indicate the veil of the temple, as also the tassels hanging from the phallus were interpreted as the fringe of the veil (see Tab. I, fig. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).
Tab. I, fig. 10
5. The Hermetic Chain, [seen] as a collar going around the neck of Mete (see Tab. I, fig. 1, 6).
Tab. I, fig. 1 and 6
6. The Girdle of Mete, made from the skin of a slaughtered lion, signifying the abolished worship of Jaldabaoth (see Tab. I, fig. 2, 6).
Tab. I, fig. 2
7. The Rod, by which the orgies of a wedding are preceded, and the ax, with which the lion is to be slaughtered (see Tab. II, fig. 2 and Tab. III, fig. 3).
8. The Sevenfold Candelabrum, also a symbol of the old worship to be extinguished, and, in Ophitic orgies we see it extinguished (see Tab. II, fig. 1).
9. The Book of the new law, or the codex of arcane doctrine (Ophitic, Templaric, Freemasonic). (See Tab. II. fig. 1.)
10, 11, 12. The Sun, Moon and Stars on idols and bowls of men who generate [ithyphallic fertility idols] are symbols of the new doctrine. This star symbol is called by the French Freemasons etoile flamboyante [“flaming star”]. It is the same thing referred to by the Teutonic term signatstern, which name, according to the inscription of the Templars, to be cited below, means distinguished is Mete’s charity, according to the view prevalent today (see Tab. II, fig. 5, 7, 8).
Tab. III, fig. 12
Since these symbols are still in use among the Freemasons even today, and since much concerning their origin has been thoroughly looked into, it is proved that many of them are very ancient and already were used in various mysteries of the ancients.
1) It is clear from the writings of the Freemasons that, among them, the hammer took the place of the Truncated Cross, which signifies a phallus and key (see Signatstern I, 266, II, 180, 190, III. 193, and 262). The true sense of this hieroglyphic note has already been discussed above.
2) The symbolism of the Bowl is seen as the same by today’s Freemasons as it was by the [Church] Fathers [writing about the Gnostics] Fathers (see Signatstern I, p. 327). We have described two or three such bowls in the treasury preserved at the Imperial-Royal palace, and two or three of them are seen in the sculptures of the Schoengraberian Templar temple. In the Sibylline mysteries we found both the vessel called cernos, and the cymbal, out of which one drank (Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticus, p. 14).
3) The Belt, which among the Freemasons designates the unity of the brotherhood, and was accepted among the Templars in the same sense by that most vile society. Also, no one is ignorant that both from the most distant antiquity up to the present, among the Brahmins and Magi, the belt is held as a most holy and mystical bond. See in the writings of the Farsis about the Costi (from which the Cestus is to be derived), and in the Brahmin system described by Fr. Paulinus, what things are said about this belt.
4) The Veil by which Achamoth or Mete covers her head, we think refers to Pherecydes Peplon, of which Origen (Against Celsus VI, 621) and Clement of Alexandria (Stromata VI, 621) make mention. Under these fables lie, we don’t doubt, a most ancient tradition regarding man’s fall through the Serpent, and concerning the veil which Eve, coming out of paradise, required for covering nudity. These beliefs of Pherecydes, confused with traditions of Scripture, seem to have given to the Gnostics occasion for inventing fables regarding the Veil by which Achamoth, upon seeing nude angels, covered her face.
5) The symbolic Chain, which is used at the conclusion of the ritual meals of the Freemasons, hangs from the neck of the idols, as a necklace hangs down (see Signatstern III, 121). It is in reference to this also that the Freemasons encircle the neck with rope (see Signatstern I, 120 and III, 65). Also, we have said that this is to be compared to the Hermetic chain of the Neoplatonists, and to the gods’ chain in Homer.
6) The Girdle, by which the idols of the Templars are girded, just like today’s Freemasons, was in use not only among the Essenes, but was required already in the Eleusinian mysteries, as the final rite of initiation was performed girded with precious stones in the pelt of a hinny (see Recherches sur les Mysteres du Paganism, Vol. I, 347).
7) The Rod, held in hand by one of the ministers of the mystic wedding, which is engraved on the second bowl, was used in the Sabazian orgies, as can be seen from the aforementioned work (see Vol. 2, 96). [It is quite possible that] the Freemasonic gauge [ruler] corresponds to this Rod, even if the identity isn’t apparent. Thus, on the contrary, Freemasonic instruments, even if they are not portrayed on our idols and bowls, are perceived everywhere in the mathematical figures on Gnostic idols, temple bowls and seals. (See also the icons sent forth from the book Abraxis about Nicolai). In place of such instruments as the square, the compass, and the lead plummet [plumb-bob], we have found the square, the compass and the triangle. However, in pictures on the windows of the Templar church of Prague, we have seen sketched out, very diligently, all of the Freemasonic instruments.
8) 9) The Book and Sevenfold Candelabrum, which signifies the Old and New Testament, were borrowed from this.
10) 11) It would be unnecessary to prove that the Sun and Moon were the most ancient gods of all nations. In the Eleusinian Mysteries the Sun and Moon were represented by the Daduch and Epibom (V.S. Croix I, 397).
12) The stars (shining and radiating things of the Freemasons) are certainly none other than Lucifer, in which Mithra (the Genius of the Sun) according to the Zend-Avesta books, delays, and in which even today, according to the poetic myths of the Persians, resides Anaitis, whose lyre resonates with the solar rays instead of strings. We have said already that the letter G, inscribed on this star by the Freemasons, has the same meaning as on our monuments (see Tab. II, fig. 9), namely, Gnosis (Die höchsten Grade der Freimaurerei, Berlin, 1804, S. 25).
Tab. IV, fig. 21
Besides these symbols common to Templars and Freemasons, there are some others of them, which, undeniably, came into use also by the Templars, although we have not found a trace of them either in sculptures (on idols and bowls), or in the exposition of the system of the Gnostics. Of that kind, for example, are those most celebrated columns of the temple, Jachin and Boaz, which call to mind those more ancient columns of Hermes and Hercules. Concerning these matters, we see on the bowls and idols, indeed, not a trace, but they are depicted in the Templar church of St. Anna of Prague. Also, they are seen engraved on the wall of the citadel of Pottenstein (which was a seat of the Templars). In the same place you see a feminine figure adorned with nipples, which on account of a hammer is called Faber [“Artisan]”, snugly fit between two columns so that she can sustain both of them as they stagger and threaten ruin (Tab. III, fig. 9). This is that Mete, or Sophia, who here, bearing a hammer instead of the Baphometic character T, tries to support the two tottering columns of Solomon’s Temple with all her might (arms and back), or to put it in the very words of the inscription, distinguished by virtue and charity. These two tottering columns are the same as those which, having collapsed into the form of St. Andrew’s cross (X), the Freemasons tried to rebuild with all their power following abolition of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar. By joining the letters together and separating them into words, we can read there (Tab. III, fig. 12): “the distinguished charity of Mete uproots the enemy.” Further down we will present more proof that this “distinguished charity of Mete” was nothing but paiderastian [Greek, “pederasty”]. At this point, it will suffice to address the fact that Mete is sealed on the forehead with the Tau sign (a Baphometic character) (see Tab. I, fig. 1), which the Ophites, along with many others, seemed to have taken from the Mithraites, for, to use the words of Tertullian, (De Praescriptione Haereticorum [The Prescription Against the Heretics], Mithra placed a sign on the forehead of his soldiers, and under the sword redeemed the crown.
Tab. III, fig. 9-11
Besides these (of which, up to now, nothing has been gathered from the idols, bowls and writings of the Gnostics, but which, nevertheless, are observed in pictures of the churches and sculptures of the Templar citadel), it seems reasonable to us that other Freemasonic dogmas (about which there is nothing in our monuments) had already been transmitted in the arcane doctrine of the Templars. For example, consider the myth of Hiram slain, whose columns we discerned in the little windows of the church (and engraved on the walls of the citadel of Pottenstein). This masculo-feminine architect, sustaining these columns, we observe to be none other than Mete. Hence, not rashly, we think that the architect Hiram, slain by his three officers, represents none other than Gnosis, or natural religion, slaughtered by three officers (the three heads of whom we have mentioned above).
These are the three heads which are seen in the Gnostic seal (see Tab. IV, fig. 5), and which are depicted in the Schoengraberian bas-reliefs using a trident to free Jaldabaoth from a coffin of sorts. They were also signified by the three knots of the Templar belt. Besides these three human heads, hated by the Gnostics and Templars, we discover three additional animals loathed by the Templars and Freemasons. We have seen in the bas-reliefs, idols, and bowls found at Templar churches that the Lion, the dragon and the bear represent Jaldabaoth, the one presiding over the world and the author of effeminacy. Also, the lion, bear and tiger were to the Freemasons bitterly hostile animals who disturbed the peace of the “blessed valley.”
Tab IV, fig. 7 (right half)
Tab IV, fig. 7 (left half)
At present, many other symbols of the Gnostics and Freemasons, being in agreement one with another, we will lightly graze. St. John [the Baptist] (whom Freemasonic societies venerate as a patron, and who, their tradition goes, was imbued with a particular arcane doctrine (Gnostic, to be sure), is now held by Gnostics as a special object of reverence. They twist Scripture texts in favor of their own understanding. For example, What did you go into the desert to see? A reed being agitated by the wind? [Further], Among those born of women there arose no one greater than John the Baptist. By “reed” they understand John not yet perfected; by “greater” than those born of women they understand him now initiated. At length, they declare themselves to be greater than John. Indeed, they say, These things refer to us, so that the one among us who is less, that one is more outstanding than John (St. Epiphanius, Against Heresies, Book 1, Heresy 6). From John, or from the fiery baptism of the Mithraites (compare Welker and Zoega’s Abhandlungen[Treastises] I, 376), both the Gnostics and the Freemasons chose the spiritual baptism of wisdom and of fire, which we have found everywhere on idols and bowls. Because it provides purging from the most vile dregs of unspeakable lust, among the Freemasons it was called die Lichttaufe [“the Baptism of Light”]. In this baptism, as we have already shown above out of many passages from the Church Fathers, there are certain especially foreign words, either Hebrew, or others unknown to the profane, that were employed (see Epiphanius, Book I, Vol. III, 20, and St. Irenaeus, Book I, ch. 21, 3), in which they injected a major horror for the initiates. In the same way, too, the arcane words of the Freemasons are all Hebrew, such as Macbenac, Gabaon, Boas, Jakin, Giblim, Chochmah, Hach olel, Jah, Jehova, Elohim, Adonai Schadai, Gagas, Elruach, Urim Tumim (see instructions of diverse grades here and there, Signatstern I, 130, 18, and what Welthusen says about them in Pokeach Iwrim [by Johann Kaspar Velthusen] from 1804, pages 44, 54, 88, 160, 164). Finally, we have come to recognize that various values and rites among the Gnostics and the Templars are the same among the Freemasons. For example, the number thirteen, which was sacred in the election of the Temple Magister, but among the Gnostics signified the number of Aeons (twelve) along with the First Father, was held as sacred also among the Freemasons (see Signatstern I, 190. See page 105), and in their monasteries a watchman armed with a sword kept watch (Frere Gardien, French for “Guardian Brother”), just as in the chapters of the Templars it was customary for one of them to keep watch.
The identity of the symbols of the Templars with those of the Freemasons having been demonstrated by evidence, and the rites of both, on the whole, having been explained, it is now time to investigate the true origin of the Freemasons, and since we have never been admitted to their inmost parts, all the more freely shall we speak concerning their mysteries. Nevertheless, lest the reader lose faith in our conjectures, thinking them merely the declarations of the profane [i.e, the uninitiated], what is to be considered is that we have already scrutinized the instructions for the different grades [of Freemasonry] on various occasions in the time of the [French] expedition [in Egypt] (in a home inhabited by French people and abandoned by them, and through us snatched from the inhabiting Turks), and then in writings made public through heredity, so that in whatever is published in books on Freemasonic mysteries (La Maçonnerie Adonhiramite, Signatstern, Sarsenna, etc.), we will be able to sufficiently discern what is true and false. Therefore, although we are not publishing arcane things or violating oaths of secrecy, nevertheless, as aware ones—not, indeed, initiates, but aware ones—we should be allowed to more freely to bring forth our opinion, and to investigate the sources of Freemasonry.
Although the doctrine of the Templars, once purified after the death of the order, doubtless coalesces with Freemasonry, as is clear from the identity of their symbols, monuments and rites, I nevertheless think the Masonic doctrines to be more ancient than those of the Templars. I say this not on the basis of that Masonic tradition, which talks about the synod already held in England in the ninth century (see Sarsenna), but on the basis of the historical credibility of their buildings and the monuments of antiquity.
The same symbols of Masonic doctrine that we find in pictures from the churches of the Templars and in the sculptures of the Baphomets (namely mathematic figures and building tools) are also seen in more ancient buildings, especially Scottish ones, and in Gnostic monuments, such as in seals and Abraxes (see the icons taken from Macarius and used to decorate the frontispiece of his book from Nicolai). The same are already seen on monuments of a still older age, namely Roman ones (see Tab. IV, fig. 9), [and] nothing from these inscriptions proves that these monuments were set up by masons or builders of walls.
Tab. IV, fig. 9
Tab. IV, fig. 14
Since Astronomy in particular uses Geometry and its tools, and Astrology has arisen from the abuse of Astronomy, it seems probable to us that Astrologers, who in the age of Domitian were called Mathematicians by the Romans (as in Suetonius and Juvenal), used the same instruments.
Therefore we believe that these geometric figures inscribed, on the tombs of women and children, signify that the person who placed them there, or for whom they were placed as a monument, was initiated into the secret doctrine of the Mathematicians, which, by the latter stages of the Roman republic, was antagonistic towards both religion and the state (as we see from Suetonius). If these conjectures are true, it will be easy to relate the roots of the Mathematicians of the Middle Ages, i.e. of architects initiated into the secret doctrine, to the Mathematicians so often expelled from the city (in vain) by decrees of the Senate (see Tacitus Annales XII.52), and from them to Oriental, Chaldaic, Syriac and Egyptian philosophy.
The things that we refer to regarding establishment of the first Freemasonic temple, or Solomonic House, from Arab historians, deserve greater attention, since no episode in history is known to us which better explains the establishment of Freemasonry. We believe that “temple of wisdom” (Darol-hikmet, [Arabic writing]), which Hakemus established in Cairo at the end of the eleventh century, to have been the very first Masonic [Greek writing] [Greek, “Lodge”] to which histories attest. However, this temple of wisdom (as we learn from Macrisio) is a certain kind of academy, enhanced by regal wealth, in which were handed down precepts of mathematics for the clarification of all philosophies to the numerous crowds of students of every kind and sex. In addition to this public doctrine, there also flourished, in the same place, an arcane discipline. There were various levels to it, through which the candidate was launched. Ultimately he was taught to believe nothing and that it is permissible to do anything. Apostles of this incredible sect were soon diffused through all of Asia. Everywhere they would seek and adopt followers. Thus this new, impious doctrine, under the name Ismailis, acquired very great fame, and with fame, power. From the number of these apostles, too, was the [well-known] Hassan Sabah, founder of the Assassins. He became the leader of this most famous order through sword and dagger. He resided in Persia in the citadel called Alamut, and ruled over two very large priories according to his own whim, one of them belonging to Chorassania, in the East, the other one, the western, in the mountains of Syria. The oriental Prior, very well-known by the name of “The Old Man of the Mountain” رشيد الدين سنان [Rashīd ad-Dīn Sinān] stayed in the mountains between Tortosa and Anntaradum, according to the writer of Gestorum Dei per Francos. He was involved with the Templars in various interactions, both in peacetime and wartime, so that, while he was at first defeated by the Assassins, they later became tributaries to him.
Also, that a deeper connection (or communication) between these two orders—that of the dagger (Assassins), and that of the sword (Templars)—is proved by the fact that the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar, in expeditions against Egypt (which was the center of the Ismaili doctrine), openly showed favor to the enemy, so that twelve of them, due to the citadel of Karak having been handed over, perished suspended in a trap. Therefore, to those Freemasonic traditions about the arcane doctrine established by Gualtero Montibarensi, and communicated to him in a cavern through certain oriental sages, some faith must be invited. For by these sages we think some Syrian Gnostics, or Ismailis, are to be understood, through whom the arcane foundations of this doctrine flowed down to regular Canons and, from these, to the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar. More about the Cairo Temple of Wisdom, in imitation of which the Solomonic House of Bacon seems to have been built, you will find in our History of the Assassins, to which, now published, we refer the reader. Here it is sufficient for us to tread in the most ancient footprints, to the extent historical forces admit. Now going back to the genuine doctrine of the Gnostics and the Ophitic [doctrine] of the Templars, we will demonstrate an intimate connection between this and the most ancient doctrines of Persian cosmology and Syriac mythology, so that by [the phrase] “that ancient oriental philosophy” (always in heavy use by recent historiographers), it easily becomes clear that this is to be understood as nothing but Gnosis. The entire doctrine of Gnosis, as we see, revolves around two main points, that is to say, cosmogony and generating, so that it seems not at all granted to mortals to know how this world was generated, and to investigate how through generating it is continually preserved. Cognition of this mystery, and of the origin of evil, was the main focus of philosophy among all peoples, which they tried to attain in various ways. [But] after numerous and vexing labors attempting to discover true knowledge, they found only that they knew nothing. Frustrated in their hope, they nevertheless busied themselves digging up the true beginning of all, to explain the primal cause of all phenomena. This came down to the point where they persuaded themselves that [there is] nothing more than duality to nature (masculine and feminine), which then resulted in the worship of the Sun, Moon, Stars and elements, to which every mythology can be reduced. However, since they abandoned what can be subjected to the senses, wishing to penetrate more deeply into the mysteries of the spiritual world and of the origin of evil, they were driven into an abyss of the most ridiculous fables.
The most ancient of these fables are the Syrian or Egyptian ones, which, having been preserved by Sanchuniathon and Manetho, were analogous to what those writers on Greek affairs handed down to us concerning the religion of those people. In the end, the source of these things is to be sought in India, even if we do not doubt that in the present light we will not advance beyond Persia and the beliefs of the Zoroastrians, which are sufficient for demonstrating the original identity of this doctrine. First, we will investigate briefly the Gnostic cosmogony, and their doctrine about the origin of evil in that of the most ancient mythologies. We will then compare the mysteries of the same with the rites and ceremonies of the most celebrated mysteries [of other religions]. Finally, we will reveal what amounts to nearly the same arcane doctrine, which slopes towards mere Pantheism, and today, in large measure, flourishes in the Orient, so that, to make humanity aware, the dictum of wisdom may be proclaimed: There exists nothing new under the Sun.
Hence, we are to begin with cosmogony. The “first aeon” of the Gnostics was borrowed from Plato’s “aeon,” and is from one and the same oriental fount, since the word aion is Persian [awan], and signifies nothing other than the birth of time, which definition you find in the writings of Plato himself.
In time, two principles of all things, the mental and the material, came forth, which established the perfect dualism [written] of in the Persian books, in which the beginning of spirituality (the summum bonum [supreme good] of Plato and the Gnostics) is called Ormuzd; whereas the beginning of sensible [physical] things is called Ahriman. Although spirit and matter both [presumably would] have worked together for forming this world, after it was formed, being in continual opposition, they were perpetually conflicted. This dualism, which the Gnostics [described as happening over] a long lower series of aeons under the name of Sophia and Jaldabaoth, pervades the whole world right from the beginning to the end.
According to Plato, out of the supreme good, or Eternal God, proceeds the mens creatrix [creative mind], or Demiurge, and from this proceeds the anima mundi [world soul], which constitute the first Platonic trinity. Another, lower [trinity], one and the same, we find constituted out of idea (or Father), out of matter (or Mother), and out of product (or son, that is, the world).
The Gnostics tried to imitate this double Platonic trinity by the multiplication of aeons, so that in their upper Pleroma you can discern the First Father, the First Son, and the Holy Spirit, or Sophia proceeding from the last [aeon]. However, in a space located outside of the Pleroma [you can discern] Mother Achamoth, her son Jaldabaoth, and this visible world (the work of him and his six sons). [Regarding] the primitive trinity derived by the Gnostics, [we hold that], even if one cannot find it in the Persian cosmogony as exhibited by the documents left behind to us in the Zend, nevertheless, we think that it did exist, because it occurs both among the people of India and among the Egyptians, as well as among the most distant peoples. Indeed, [it is found] in that celebrated hieroglyphic placed above all the doors of the Templars, because the globe represents the Sun (which Plato and Hermes Trismegistus declare to be a most apt image of the supreme good). However, under the serpent, Kneph (or “good”), at length a Demiurge was created, and it is more than reasonable that [his] feathers and wings are to be understood [as representing] the spirit or animating principle of the world. Eusebius taught, [based upon quotations from] Sanchuniathon, that a similar figure was to be understood as representing the world itself, but this was too obscure to be grasped clearly. If a person is unwilling to concede [the existence of] this upper trinity, which corresponds to the trinity of Plato, [then by the same reason that person] will deny their second trinity, made up of the Father Osiris, of the Mother Isis, and of the Son Horus, which we see not obscurely expressed in the very same words in the doctrine of Plato’s Timaeus regarding the World Soul, and also in Plutarch’s tractate on Isis. In Timeaus, assuredly, matter is the mother of figures (Εκμαγείον) [Greek, Ekmageíon “mother mold”]. We have seen already above that this image of the seal was preserved in an adulterated form in Gnostic ceremonies, where the discourse was about baptism. Since they named the one doing the baptizing “Father,” and “molder,” [they named] the one baptized “Son” and “molded.” That the six Gnostic Archons, with the seventh, Jaldabaoth, match up clearly with the six Amschaspandis and Ormuzd of the Persians, and with the sons of the Demiurge in Plato, as [well as the Hebrew] Elohim, we have already considered above, and here we make note also of the eight principal gods of the Egyptians, the number of which occurs everywhere in the Gnostic formula inscribed on [our] idols and bowls (I and seven, our race). Finally, this is also the number of Cabiri, the seven of which, together with Asclepius, the eighth (as stated by Eusebius, referencing Sanchuniathon, according to Philo), the Phoenicians restored into their commentaries. One may conjecture that the Cabiri of the Phoenicians, just like the Amschaspandos of the Persians, Plato’s sons of God, and the Archons [who were the] worker Demiurges of the Gnostics, who creating the world, and [we can infer this] from their symbol (namely, the hammer), which all these high magistrates of God bear.
Besides creating the world, we additionally discern that the six Archons of the Gnostics helped the Father, Jaldabaoth, in forming mankind. We also see, among the Ophites, another son of God (indeed, Noun, that is, “Mind”), in the form of a twisted serpent, which seems to have been borrowed from Ophion, Pherecydes, and ancient beliefs of Syriac mythology. As Ophion, a giant endowed with serpentine feet who was the leader of the Sons of Earth, tried to vanquish the gods, thus too the Ophites taught that the Mind, or serpent-form son of Jaldabaoth, having been hurled down into the world, also generated six sons (himself the seventh), in imitation of the archontic hierarchy. These sons, being inimical to mankind, opposed them, on account of the punishment endured by the Father because of man.
However, to find the origin of this Ophion, who we find discussed most anciently by Pherecydes (as referenced by Origen), and by Eusebius (referencing Philo), it seems to us that we must go much further back in Egypt, such as to when, in the writings of Sanchuniathon and Philo [about how] Agathodaemon [is the same as] the Egyptian Kneph ([as derived from] the traditions of Epeis), Ophion is mentioned in passing (as with the traditions of Pherecydes).What Philo says at length in the passage already cited above agrees very well with the beliefs of the most ancient Orphic cosmogony, as seen from the information that has been preserved in the writings of Athenagoras, where an animal in the form of a serpent with the head of a lion, arises out of water and matter holding God’s seed, out of which Heaven and Earth were formed. These are the most ancient vestiges found in Greek writings of the serpent in Syriac cosmogony and mythology, which we can pursue beyond Egypt and all the way to India.
Having made plain the genesis of the Gnostic Demiurge and his sons in the most ancient mythologies, we will now, in the same way, trace [the origin of] Sophia, or Mete.
On this subject, we have already shown above that many attributes of Rhea, Cybele, Venus and Hercules were gathered into the figure of Mete. In fact, we also found in Sanchuniathon that all adornments attributed to [these] various gods and goddesses were nearly the same. Thus, the name (Achamut) was borrowed from Rhea (called Mot or Mut); the triple crown from Cybele; the masculo-feminine gender and the name [Arabic word] from Venus; the horns from Astarte or Proserpina; the veil from Isis and Minerva; the triple-faced dog (to which the Gnostic Hodegetes was consecrated), from Hecate; and finally, the multiple eyes and ears (which we frequently see sculpted on the whole body), from the Phoenician Saturn.
Tab. III, fig. 8
Indeed, the Sun, Moon and Stars which are sculpted everywhere on the breast, back and arms of our idols, [are] the main elements of the Gnostic diagram, and are in agreement with the Platonic diagram, the description of which the composers of that most illustrious Ophite diagram seem to have had placed before their eyes. In the final end, the Achamoth of the Gnostics, from whose sight and tears came forth the elements, certainly is none other than nature herself (from the insertion of Mind into matter), whom the entire Orient celebrated, though under various names (that is, under the name of Isis, Ceres, Astarte, Goddess of the Orient, Good Goddess, etc.). As to the ceremonies of the Ophitic orgies, or the mysteries of the Templars, we have hinted above that all of these, too, are derived from the most ancient mysteries, and this will be confirm here with only a few citations.
The Ophites celebrated the elevation of the phallus, with sculptured bowls situated underneath a serpent depicted in the form of a phallus that was suspended from the Tree of Life. This [same rite] was held as the greatest festival of the Dionysiacs. The mystic bowl or vase (called cernos by the Eleusians) [is something] we come across everywhere.
They revered the serpent with a most holy form of worship: lustrations [to it were] used not only in the Bacchanalia, but also everywhere in the mysteries of the Good Goddess (see S, Croix II, p. 182). These lustrations came under the name of βαφης [Baphs], or “baptism,” since those initiated were called βαπται [Baptai—“the baptized”].
A Rod and Girdle were also sacred to the worship of Bacchus (see in the same book, II p. 96 and I. p. 347). The Phallus and Serpent were preserved in mystic boxes (see I. p. 318 and II. 88), just as the Ophites preserved the serpent in a ladle, and the Templars [preserved] Baphomet in their coffers. Profane persons—βεβηλοι [bebhloi]—were kept away. In the chapter houses of the Templars, a knight would sleep overnight [near the coffers] in order to prevent access to them by profane individuals. Finally, Gnostic suppers and marriages, which were a Eucharist for the Ophites, were established according to the pattern of those things which had been celebrated in the Dionysiac and Eleusinic [mysteries]. To be sure, in the Dionysiac [mysteries], the creonomia (or “dividing of meats”) was just the mystical supper or Eucharist (see S. Croix I, 85). Also, regarding the rape of Proserpina by Pluto, which the Hierophant celebrated with a female priest as hieros gamos [Greek, “sacred marriage”], lights out (see S. Croix, I, 366), what is that, if not a prototype of that mystical wedding which the Valentinians and Ophites celebrated, lights out, by promiscuous sexual relations?
Furthermore, in the ceremonies of the mystic wedding (depicted on bas-reliefs and bowls), where a bull is seen going through the ritual fire, we see the ministers administrating many of the most ancient mysteries. Behold! You have (Tab. II, fig. 2) on the right-hand side of the ritual fire, standing nearby, the Epibomum, who, standing around the ritual fire, or mystic altar, is about to place another piece of wood upon it, [while] another, bearing a rod, follows. On the left, you see the Daduchum, who, along with a torch, also bears a hatchet. Another figure holds a book and a ladle for the lustration of initiates. The Hieraulen, playing the pipe, is also the Spondophorum, and carries a pail of water for libations. Finally, on the left-hand side, next to the ritual fire, is the Stolisten, who bears a stole, as if he himself is the Hierophant [the priest]. In one hand he carries a chalice, [or rather] a bottle (called a caraffe), and in the other, ring-shaped bread. The lighting of the ritual fire (according to Tertullian) signifies the mystic pyre of universal conflagration, which the Gnostics adopted from the Stoics, and through which they taught that at the end of the world, everything will be dissolved.
This dogma concerning universal conflagration is consonant with the most ancient belief of the Stoics, who got it from Chaldea. Also, the first Gnostic cosmogony concerning the formation of the world (done through immersion of spirit into matter with a certain ignoble passion) [is something that] one may find in the doctrine of the Phoenicians, as reported in the writings of Eusebius, based on the work of Sanchuniathon. Indeed, just as Sophia, out of a burning [desire] to get knowledge of the Father, fell into matter, thus, too (in Eusebius) did the spirit of this very prince of the image of the Supreme Being proceeding out of the abyss, called Bau. This supplied Plato with a most beautiful idea regarding the Supreme Being under the image of the Sun. Those holding fast and treading in the footsteps of the Eleaticorum draw all to that superior, immaterial light by which the mind of man, enlightened by the divine, attains to superior levels. The Ophites, though, my no means tending toward moral perfection, thought that the highest peak of all science [knowledge] is to be placed in carnal knowledge. Under the term “enlightenment,” they saw nothing but coitus and promiscuous shameful desire.
This most vile interpretation, by which the Ophites befouled the ancient doctrine, or philosophy, of Oriental wisdom, was to be considered certainly not as true and genuine, but as a heresy from a purer doctrine. Befouled in this way in its own fatherland by Greeks, Syrians, Semi-Barbarians, and Semi-Christians, and soiled by an inundation of the most disgraceful sensuality in the Orient, this very ancient discipline, when cleansed from all these evils, went on to flourish, and even survives today in the mystical doctrine of the Sufis. Even if they number the absolute all like the pantheists, which no one can defend, how very greatly, nonetheless, does its luminous purity shrink away in horror from the perverted imaginings of the Ophites, whose dark orgies were indeed celebrated at night, as Tertullian has already said, and whose epiphania [Greek, “manifestation,”] and photagagia [Greek, “enlightened guidance”] is nothing but an outpouring of desire, by which they believed they could attain to that divine moistening with light of Sophia (about which we have spoken above, referring to the [statements of the Church] Fathers).
After we have shown that the Ophites (and their followers, the Brothers of the Knights Templar) imitated the most ancient mysteries in their orgies, and that all of their natural and supernatural philosophy was the product of certain rude babblings from the most ancient Greek philosophers, having transacted their moral (or rather immoral) cosmogony and aeonology, this is the place for investigating their doctrinal side. From the unrestrained license by which they indulged every desire, certainly it is proper to pronounce their being pigs of the flock of Epicurus, whose physical dogmas (such as the conflagration of the universe [idea] borrowed from Heraclitus), and the moral apothegm ώσ ήδίσα [os hdisa, Greek, “seek pleasure”] they dragged over to their own interpretation. But various dogmas and imaginings of the ancients seem to suggest that arcane doctrines and παιδεραςιας (sp) [paiderasias (sp), Greek, “pederasty”], common among them, are to be excused. There were two opinions especially that they twisted in defense of their shameful indecencies; the Socratic one, “know yourself,” and the prior, Epicurean one, “respect God.”That first one [“know yourself”] was to their shame, since by “knowledge” they understood nothing but the carnal. The other one [“respect God”] they interpreted so as to teach that by means of moistening with seminal luminescence they themselves became gods. Above we have seen what, formerly, Plotinusobjected to about the Gnostics always bearing in their mouths the words “respect God.”
It must also be added here that the Templars, as Gnostics, held themselves to be gods. Of this fact we can bring forth no clearer testimony than the place from Titurel where the perfected Templar himself is called “God,” [or specifically], Tempelgott [German, “Temple God”]. It remains for us to comment on yet another expansion, or rather subversion, of the Delphic dictum. They substituted in place of that golden sentence, “Know yourself,” the crafty, “know all, but let no one know you.” On this truly Machiavellian principal rests their whole politic, which up to now they try to sustain by the gospel precept, “Be wise as serpents.” To this depraved wisdom they connect unrestrained conduct, so that they seem to have proposed as the highest expression of wisdom the precepts “Pursue all,” and “All is permitted.”
This goal of the moral (or, better, immoral) Gnostic-Ophitic doctrine is precisely the same as what has been placed before true initiates in the ultimate doctrinal grades of the Assassins and of the Ismailis, [as is demonstrated by their use of] the words “Nothing is to be believed, and everything is permissible.” It is clear enough to what exceedingly shameful deeds this goal of the Gnostic-Ophite doctrine drives its followers, once all types of evil desires have been exhausted, and that [they are obligated to] commingle with the contaminated flock of those who have purchased infamy, is clear enough. Certainly, nothing either great or good was ever to be expected from the followers of this doctrine, unless men endowed with a higher political genius, having subjected the doctrine to their ambition, used it as an instrument for attaining the highest goal of [their] ambition. Such persons, already destined by nature as leaders, sought the highest goal of their labors, not in satisfying desires, but in conducting state affairs. Finally, people eagerly followed this doctrine because, once a person wickedly indulges every sensual craving, it renders his associates more inclined to all types of illicit activities.
The history of the entire East and West, however, provides us only two examples of this truth (though these very grand). They are the order of the Assassins, and that of the Templars, each of which, fortified by the arcane doctrine, sought to conquer the world in nearly the same way. In only this were they different: The Assassins dealt widely with their enemies [using both] the dagger [and the sword]. However, the Templars used only the sword against the enemy. Each order, though distinct, wore a white mantle with red insignias (a cross among the Templars, and a sash among the Assassins). They had numerous institutions that were in agreement in an amazing way, especially in that they very zealously practiced revealed religion (which their own arcane doctrine wholly repressed), and very urgently defended it. They believed that at the right time, the occasion would come in which, Gnosis sitting on the throne, the lion slain, and the dragon (or the world) trampled under the heel, [they] would gain control over every spiritual and temporal power. The Templars, therefore, thought the only virtues to be political ones. (These were fortitude and prudence, and, being linked together with love (that is, paiderastias, [Greek, pederasty]), made all other things worthless. They though the only virtues to be what would open the way to government, and they supported [these]. Their symbols, the sword and the dog, exist everywhere on their sepulchers. But the secret things of Mete (that is, of the Gnostic Sophia—the serpent and the Tau symbol) are discovered only in the inmost depths, if openly exposed, or by certain hieroglyphic notations hidden away from the eyes of profane ones, or used in such a way that the profane will believe that such a thing is a mere architectural ornament. Thus it is in the Berchtolsdorf Church, in the right-hand part of the choir area, and in the church of the Templars called Acci Catena in Sicily, where the Τ [tau] is often sculpted into the pavement.
This idea of Mete—that is, of wisdom (aseveias [Greek, “impiety”]) and love (paiderastias [Greek, pederasty]), are in various ways symbolically represented, both in bas-reliefs and on idols, as well as on pictures and coins (as we soon will see): now as a masculo-feminine idol; now as a head–only Baphometic; now as a serpentine Sphinx; now as something repulsively ending up as a fish; these things forming a monstrosity. Wherever you discover such figures in Middle Age buildings, you can hold for certain that their designers had been initiated into the Gnostic doctrine of that time, and in all churches possessed at that time by the Templars you will find (unless a destructive age had consumed them) such symbols. Therefore, the dragon absorbing an infant is seen everywhere: in bowls with a bas-relief (Tab. II, fig. 4), in bas-reliefs of the Church of Schoengraber (Tab. III, fig. 2), and in the Church of St. Aegidius (Tab. IV, fig. 20), or the dragon in conflict with a knight, or a lion bound, trampled and killed by a man (Tab. III, fig. 3), or a person fondling and behaving indecently toward the Baphometic head (Tab. IV, fig. 22), or serpents carried by a man in his hands, be advised that these symbols indicate the Gnostic doctrine of the Freemasons. This Gnostic doctrine, common to the most ancient Freemasons and Templars, seems, with the passing of time after abolition of the order of Templars, to have been preserved only in the inmost parts of some of the etairion [Greek, “comrades”] of the Scottish Freemasons.
Tab IV, fig. 19-20
Tab. IV, fig. 12 (right half) and 29-30
Here, opening a new scene, up to now unknown to all numismatists, we have focused on one hundred coins struck in bronze (see Tab. V). Out of these, eighty-two are unpublished. The remaining eighteen were known but had not been understood. Nearly all are gilded with silver (with a very few that are solid), which, as gilded things, served not for money, but as tokens for brothers to recognize one another.
We have already mentioned above that gilded coins of altogether the same type were unearthed in the ruins of a Templar castle near the village of Neukirchen in the District of Cellegensis in Styria, as well as in an enclosed area of the church of Waltersdorf in Austria, and in Hungary amid the ruins of a certain monastery which tradition attributes to “the Red Brothers.” Of these, only the principal ones that represent the different figures are here seen incised in bronze, in order to diminish the confusion of styles.
1. Silver Gilded Coins from the Gadollian Collection
The thirty-six [coins] found in the castle of Rabensperg [were at first] among many others, but these were cast by a Deacon of the place for the purpose of furnishing banquets. He immediately produced knives and forks and out of the coins discovered. Thus did His Excellency the illustrious Knight Gadolla remove [some coins] from the common [fate of] ruin, under that Deacon, of all the [other] Templar monuments [there]. For the Deacon had whitewashed all of the pictures, and converted the meeting place at the head tower (containing twelve stone chairs fixed to the wall, with a thirteenth for the teacher or leader) into a milk cellar.
But luckily, out of wisdom, the knight mentioned above (a man most lauded for all kinds of philosophical studies, who speaks much of their treasures) came upon this confused heap, and out of that numismatic disaster, preserved fifty gilded coins. All are unknown, and marked with figures up to now inexplicable except for the aforesaid, which can be easily illustrated. All, finally, are Templar [coins], bearing their well-known symbols. Out of these, fourteen are so damaged by use or by antiquity that their figures are either doubtful or wholly inextricable. But the remaining thirty-six, very well preserved, we subject to faithful eyes in the first three series of our tablet (see Tab. V).
The first series contains coins which have been marked by the published signs and symbols of the Templars: with a cross and a sword, with dragons of various types, and with an eagle (or, rather, as we will demonstrate a bit further down, a Phoenix).
The first six of these are marked by dragons, of which some have the head of a bird; others, of a dog; others, of a cat. Therefore, I think they are to be held not as [depicting] a hostile dragon (who, for the Ophites, was the overseer of the world, and who was opposed by the Templars [under the figure of St. George]), but, rather, as a friendly dragon, or a serpent (a familiar household god of the Ophites), since even in the seals of the Gnostics—called Abraxas—the serpent is depicted now with a lion’s head, now with a dog’s head (see Tab. IV, fig.1,2,3, 4).
The next three coins represent three eagles (or perhaps phoenixes), which are perched on a bow (probably representing Iris, goddess of the rainbow), just as in numerous well-known gilded coins from [Bishop Frederic Münter of Seeländ], where we see an eagle perched on a bow. More about this bird, whether an eagle or a phoenix, [should be in regards] to another of the gilded coins, where volo Eoi (ich fliege ins Morgenroth) [German, “I fly into the dawn”] is written. The last two coins of this series bear the cross as an image, but are distinct in certain other attributes. On the tenth coin, you see a sword erect between two heads of dragons. On the eleventh you see the cross rising out of a head, and in the twelfth, [the cross] is situated between two Ms. In regards to the first one, [note that] it is known to us that the Ophites and Templars understood the cross [to be a symbol of] the Tree of Life, or that Baphometic character which, in a Gnostic sense, ought to trample underfoot the dragon (that is, the overseer of this world). On Coin 11 [Tab. V, fig. 11], the cross (a sign of life) arising out of a dog’s head alludes to the well-known predilection for the dog. Finally, the cross placed between two letters M indicates the doubled initial letter of Mete.
Tab. V, fig. 1-6
Tab. V, fig. 7-12
The second series contains twelve coins all inscribed with chalices. The first six (Tab. V, fig. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18) are simple goblets without a lid. The chalice on fig. 19 is kept safe by two erect serpents, just as you will see very frequently sculptured on mystic Dionysiac vases. Such snakes are also seen on vases commonly called “Etruscan,” which, it seems, represent and they [are shown accompanying] initiates into the sepulcher. There are chalices on fig. 20 and 21 [Tab. V], the first of which is provided with handles. One of the things I noticed is that between the lid and the bowl itself there is a space where two letters—R and L—can be read. These are, therefore, those mystic bowls, covered by lids adorned with sculptures [like those] on the coins, three of which, which have already been explained by us above). These are the same chalices, which, marked with lilies, crosses, and that same figure of a Pythagorean pentagon that occurs on the lid of our bowl (see Tab. II, fig. 5), are seen on the Maltese sepulchers of the knights of the army of St. Louis, returned from a tortuous expedition. [These coins] have been brought to us from the Most Illustrious and Most Reverend Bishop of Seeländ, Doctor Münter, and we exhibit them to the eyes [of persons interested].
Tab. V, fig. 13-18
Tab. V, fig. 19
Tab. V, fig. 20, 21
It will not be out of place here to examine what the letters R L signify, and to make a conjecture as to their hidden meaning. We think they are none other than the most frequently used parts of the word Gral, which coincides very well with our arguments set forth above concerning the identity of the Grali with the temple bowl. On the base of the two-headed sculpted Baphometic vase, a G is engraved in the same place, the sense of which, through the added Arabic word [Arabic writing] fenn (that is, Gnosis), does not remain ambiguous. With this initial G, now implied as a notation, only the third letter of the word Graal is missing: namely, the letter A. But by turning the figure of the chalice upside-down, [this letter] is expressed by a transverse line, so that, along with these two conspicuous letters RL, there should remain to us almost no doubt that the word Gral ought to be understood. In the same way, too, [on one of] the Baphomet idol[s] (see Tab. I, fig. 11) we see expressed only two letters, M and E, of the word Mete, with the remaining two indicated by asterisks, so that the entire word would easily be restored to the initiated reader, though it would escape the profane ones, which was in every way necessary for protecting the mystery of iniquity.
Since the things said [above] are easily verified by a look at the monuments offered to view, let us now attempt to divulge the true sense of the mystical word Gral. If G, placed on a bowl (see Tab. II, fig. 9), indicates Gnosis, one can also suppose that the three remaining letters are only initials of certain mystical words which, put together, exhibit this word Gral as a token of Gnostic confession. While [we are] in no way stating anything certain about the significance of the three remaining [letters], since so many false interpretations up to now have been published, we will suggest some that are more probable, [being in agreement] with the mystic sense of the Gnostic doctrine. Thus, G R A L could signify: Gnosis Regit Animas Liberas [“Gnosis Rules Free Souls”]; or Gnosis Regina Artium Liberalium [“Gnosis, Queen of Liberal Arts”]; or Gnosis Retribuit Animi Laborum [“Gnosis Rewards the Labor of the Soul”]; or, finally, what perhaps is most similar and most in agreement with Gnostic doctrine, Gnosis Reducit Animam Lapsam [“Gnosis Brings Back the Lapsed Soul”], or Redintegrat Animum Lapsum [“Restores the Lapsed Soul”].
The three last coins (22, 23, 24) [Tab. V] of this series exhibit three chalices [on each coin], into which, in two of them, were interposed three lilies; and in the last one of them, three heads. Nowhere, indeed, did we find that the lily had its own significance among the Gnostics, like the Templars. But the lily occurs everywhere in Templar monuments and sculptures, especially on the end of the scepter, and therefore it perhaps has no other meaning than that of the scepter of dominance.
Tab. V, fig. 22-24
Thus, you see very frequently the lily-bearing scepter in the bas-reliefs of the church of Schoengraber, and in the enumerated gilded coins of the Templars. The same thing is also seen on the Maltese sepulchers already cited. Hence, whatever meaning it may suggest, it is certainly clear that it was some temple-related symbol. The three heads placed between three lilies are to be compared with the three Gnostic heads suspended on the tree, a reproduction of which you have in [one of the] Abraxas [coins] (Tab. IV, fig. 5), and from which Jaldabaoth [is shown extracting] a trident from a certain two-handled jar in the Schoengraber church. At this point, we rightly transition to [the discussion of] the twelve coins of the next series.
The first two of the third series (25, 26) [Tab. V] feature a bowl in connection with a head, which certainly is nothing but [the head] of Baphomet, which we see depicted in all that follows, most ugly and terrible. This [image] truly agrees with the deposition of the Templar Raoul de Gysi, who, in seven Templar chapter houses, had observed him [Baphomet] to be terrible and similar to demons. Coin 27 and Coin 28 [Tab. V] each exhibit the letters F and R, of the same type, which we believe to have been put in place of the chalice to represent its name (Graal), since F (not F) can be considered as the Digamma (that is, the double G). Coins 29 and 30 [Tab. V] bear [Mete] in the form of a sphinx, which especially agrees not only with [Raoul de Gysi’s] deposition (which says this idol had four feet), but also indicates a transferred meaning of Mete: namely, they themselves [view] this idol now as Sophia (or “wisdom”); now Mete, or “prudence”). It is no wonder that this idol, or head, was taken in so many diverse ways, for it seems that as many as were the heads of the initiates, just so many seem to have been the diverse opinions about the figure of Baphomet.
Tab. V., fig. 25-30
Coin 31 [Tab. V] exhibits a no less terrible figure of Baphomet, which, extending his arms, seems to seek being embraced. Coin 32 [Tab. V], if found elsewhere, could be believed to be an image of a clown, but it being found together with these gilded tokens, all of which are Temple-related, [therefore] represents none other than the Baphometic head covered by his hood; or, if you will, one of the Templars who used to adore that [idol] with hoods unremoved. In Coin 33 [Tab. V], in place of the hood, the head is covered with a crown (indeed, with a remarkable Persian tiara). On the next, the 34th [Tab. V], this same effect of form is created with a Roman emperor’s crown. The letters F and R written on it demonstrate this cap to be of the same type as what is shown up above of Baphomet, to which, in place of the chalice, the initial letter of the same name—G—was added. On Coin 35 [Tab. V], a star is coupled with Mete’s head, which, both in idols and in bowls, everywhere seem to be connected to her. The head is inscribed onto the star, which most accurately corresponds to the bronze star (see Tab. II, fig. 16).
Tab. V, fig. 31-36
Tab. II, fig. 16
2. From the Moczyano Treasury
Alex Moczy, the most excellent Hungarian man, especially intent on collecting signs and coins, armed with letters from the office of the Pope for expediting matters, told us that there were found (indeed in the ruins of the monastery Vörös Barátok, or of the Red Brothers) numerous gilded and solid coins. Of these, we felt that only 24 (Series 4 and 5, Nos. 37-58) [Tab. V], incised on bronze, should be chosen and examined, due to the similarity [of the others] with those already described, and because of the locations where they were found.
You will easily distinguish the solid ones from the gilded ones, since the former were imprinted on both sides; the latter, on only one. On No. 37 (a solid one), in the same place where the letter G (the initial letter of Gnosis) would otherwise be, a bust or monument is depicted. (Here it is not sufficiently conspicuous as to what it is, but that is to be clarified below). On the other side there is a representation of an animal, perhaps a dragon, at which a certain man or beast wearing a hood is looking. Since we have already found this hood on the sphinxes of Nos. 29 and 30 [Tab. V], one cannot assert that a hood always signifies a monk, except to those who hold, as [does] the author of Monachologia [Monkology], that monks and beasts are synonymous.
Tab. V., fig. 37
Coin No. 38 [Tab. V](solid) exhibits, on the front, the tower of a temple erect between two lilies, and on the reverse side the Digamma, or double G, inscribed on a crown. In No. 39, [we see], on one part, the Baphometic head; on the other side, once again, the sepulchral monument or bust, which (is also) to be seen on No. 37 [Tab. V], and which will occur yet more often still. On the following eight gilded coins [we note]: Baphometic heads (No. 41 and 42) [Tab. V]; a dragon (40, 46) [Tab. V]; a star and moon (41, 43) [Tab. V]; eagles (40, 44) [Tab. V]; that monster which we mentioned already regarding No. 31 [Tab. V], and which here appears to have a key in his hands (45) [Tab. V]; an armed Templar (47) [Tab. V]; and a dragon, or lion, who holds a sword (48) [Tab. V].
Tab. V, fig. 38-39 (front and back)
Tab. V, fig. 40-44
Tab. V, fig. 45-48
Coin 49 [Tab. V] (solid), comparable with 37 and 38 [Tab. V], with which it is supposed to go, has the G in common [with them]. No. 50 [Tab. V] should be compared to 45 and 31 [Tab. V]. Certainly, this figure cannot be called a king (due to the wings), nor an angel (due to the key shaped as a serpent, and due to the crown). Therefore, [it] is to be taken as some monster not yet explained; namely, for Baphomet. What is signified by the animals depicted on the other side of this coin, and in many which follow, is not obvious, since beyond dragons, lions and eagles (explained by Gnostic imaginings), nothing is clear to us from that source regarding deer, panthers and the unicorn displayed here. On Nos. 51 and 52 [Tab. V], a chalice is being carried by these beasts. This chalice [has been] interpreted as merely a coat of arms. It is also customary among numismatics to interpret the hood of a Sphinx as representing a monk. On the reverse side of Coin 52 [Tab. V], for the third time, [we see that bust which we saw before] on Nos. 37 and 39 [Tab. V]. No. 53 [Tab. V] shows a dog with the epigraph TOTAE [Latin, “all”], and on the other side there are six lilies composed in the same fashion as the six serpents in the Abraxas [seals] (see in Macarius). On No. 56, and also on 57 [Tab. V], a head bears a towered crown just like Mete (see Tab. II, fig. 1 and 5). A lily-bearing scepter in one hand, and a cross in the other hand sufficiently denote the Templar order dominating through the cross.
Tab. V, fig. 49-50 (front and back)
Tab. V, fig. 51-52 (front and back)
Tab. V, fig. 53 (front and back) and fig.54-55
Tab. V, fig. 56-58
3. Coins Found in the Ruins of the Templar’s Monastery at Waltersdorf
Of the gilded coins found in that place a half-century ago (which Count Ferdinand the Magnificent of Colloredo shared with us most generously), we were interested in only six, incised here in bronze, since most of those remaining are either obliterated, or are the same as the others previously mentioned (found in the ruins of the Templars’ castle in Styria and in the monastery in Hungary). Through the amazing agreement [of their symbolism] our interpretation was confirmed. These six coins bring forth the most remarkable evidence regarding the Templars. Besides the Baphometic head worn with a hood, seen on No. 59 [Tab. V], you will see in the same place, on No. 62 [Tab. V], the Ophitic Mete wearing a towered crown and holding two snakes, just [like] those figures in the bas-reliefs of the church of Pictavien, as well as the many idols in the Imperial-Royal Treasury and the collection of Schoenfeld. In No. 63 [Tab. V], these two serpents accompany a chalice, and in No. 64 [Tab. V], a serpent hangs from a chalice. The letter B speaks of Baphomet, and the other hieroglyphic note, T, it is reasonable to assume, signifies none other than the mystical Tau character: namely, Baphomet.
Tab. V, fig. 59-64
Tab. IV, fig. 13
The name of this Mete, whose head we have seen depicted already in various figures, occurs also on Coin 36 [Tab. V], where H and T are written on the side. Above the lily is seen an upside-down M, indicating that the letter H is to be repeated, so that it reads MHTH. One may see that this is the same name which occurs in one of their silver-gilded [coins], and which has already been discussed much.
4. From the Coin Treasury of Bretfeldiano
On both coins 65 and 66 [Tab. V], you see, on one side, two keys placed crisscrossed so that they form the letters M and T. Two letters H are formed within the bits of the keys [one on each key] so that, [all put together], the name MHTH might spring forth. This key was used more aptly as a graphic sign, since the Baphometic character of the phallus was also called “the key of knowledge.” On No. 67 [Tab. V], only one key, in the form of a Crux Ansata, forms the two letters T and H, so that the two final letters of the word Meteare to be read here, as on the idol in Tab. I, fig. 2. The remaining two [letters], however, are to be supplied [by discernment].
Tab. V, fig. 65-67 (front and back)
On coin 68 [Tab. V], the name Mete, in Latin letters, is narrowed into a sign, so that the third line of the letter M affects at the same time the letter E (to be read twice). The cross, though, effects the letter T. In the same way, the character on coin 74 [Tab. V] is to be explained, where Mete can be read if you view the coin not upright but horizontal, from the part where this [combined character] is connected with the image of a crown. M, indeed, occupies the entire width of the coin, and its two extreme lines were simultaneously also formed into the letter E. Similarly, coin 75 [Tab. V] also implies that it is to be explained as a Baphometic triple crown, common to both this coin and the previously-mentioned coin. Coin 72 [Tab. V] brings forth a similar image on both sides: namely, a cross and circles, upon which B (that is, the initial letter of Baphomet) is inscribed. As for the characters on coins 70 and 71 [Tab. V], I would not dare to [try to] explain [them] in any conclusive way. These letters C and A, with a cross connecting them, seems to be [for] nothing [other than to form] the first syllable of the word Charitas [“love,” “charity”], which we have already seen joined with Mete in another Templar inscription. Coin 73 [Tab. V] [is] the Templar coat of arms. In nos. 75 and 76 [Tab. V], [their] secret symbols—namely, a serpent and a dog—present themselves.
Tab. V, fig. 68-69 (front and back)
Tab. V, fig. 70-72 (front and back)
Tab. V, fig. 73-74 (front and back)
Tab. V, fig. 75-76 (front and back)
4. From the Coin Treasury of Gotvicensis
In the celebrated Gotvicensis convent, which has the most ancient reputation in the literary republic (because of the teachings of present-day convent monks, and especially of the most learned Abbot, the Most Reverend Arrigler, at one-time professor of hermeneutics, and of Frederic Camerarius), [just] as a tree flourishes with new vigor, a treasury of gilded coins [has been] preserved, for which there is no match in Europe. Most of the coins published by the Bishop of Seeländ were sold by the same Abbot around that time. Here were are looking at the originals, out of which most ample treasury the next six were most generously shared with us by the Most Reverend Abbot. We have published their unique hieroglyphic inscriptions, and we will demonstrate that, as said above, they were Templar-Gnostic tokens. You also have, on coins 77, 78, and 79 [Tab. V], the monument or tomb, which we have observed already in Nos. 37, 39, 52 [Tab. V], shown here with flourishing palms. On one of these two monuments is inscribed a cross; on the other a double Gamma. It is not to be doubted that the tree arising from the tomb, which is distinguished by the epigraph Gnosis, is none other than the tree of life, or of knowledge. Regarding the tomb itself, I dare not affirm anything certain, but we consider it to be the same as the bust in which, among the Freemasons, the leader Hiram, having been killed, was buried, and for whom a palm branch blossomed, which in later time was changed into an Acacia branch. If we are not able to firmly assert that these and similar coins were used as tokens of the Templars, it is, nonetheless, more than certain that the Freemasons [used them], and in the final end, they are symbols of the same Gnostic doctrine. Concerning the last one and those similar to it, so that there remain to you no doubt, compare nos. 77 and 79 [Tab. V] with the Gnostic seal (Tab. IV, fig. 6) taken from Macarius, where out of the bust, or human trunk, such a tree flourishes.
Tab. V, fig. 77-79
The next (No. 80) [Tab. V] exhibits a temple building, the ichnography [architectural ground plan] of which one can see in a temple coin in the writings of Faure S. Vincenes. You see there, under the title jettons trouvé sous le Fondements d’une maison de Templiers pres Anquignan [“coins found under the foundations of a Templar house near Anquignan”], two coins, on one of which can be seen the ichnography of a building with four towers. This probably represented the temple building, constructed on the model of the sanctuary at Jerusalem. On No. 80 [Tab. V], you have this entire Jerusalem temple with four erect towers. The very well-preserved inscription contains the following letters, which if read from left to right, make no sense: A†SSS SIMOONIVQ. But by reading from right to left, beginning from the first note of distinction placed between two letters S, the letters go in this order: SSTAQUINOOMIS. Assuredly, this too makes no sense, unless [you consider] the mystery of the letter M, here placed in an oblique way [rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise], which therefore could be read as a Σ, the Greek letter for S. [This technique] has already been revealed from the Gnostic [tokens of] Abraxas, where the word Chnusis is to be read from Chnumis or Chnuwis, hieroglyphically indicating Gnosis. With these things understood, the sense of the text of this inscription is easily revealed: namely, S. STA; that is, Sacrosancta QVINOOΣIS, or Quinoosis, i.e. Gnosis, whose name απορρητον [Greek, aporrhton, “Holy hidden secret”], is in this way hidden away from the eyes of profane ones, intelligible only to the initiated.
Tab. V, fig. 80
Coin 81 [Tab. V] represents an eagle or, perhaps, a phoenix, [next] to which is written, in clear letters, VOLO EOI, that is, I fly towards the dawn. But read in a peripheral way, epigraphically, it is truly enigmatic. It contains the following letters, to be read from left to right: ROH, then OP and H (by a note contracted), and then again clearly VIO. The letter which follows has the figure of an N lying down in the shape of a Z, and in this way it is to be read as another [letter] (in this case an A). The remaining [letters are] NBVIQAI, which, by inverting B and V, we think should be rendered, Roh Ophyio Anubiquall (que). Roh, an Arabic and Hebrew word, means “spirit,” which to the Gnostics was the same as Sophia, and was represented also by a dove. So therefore, this bird, which at times we have called either an eagle or a phoenix, is perhaps the figure of a dove. Following the word “spirit” is the name of a serpentine genius, Ophiui or Ophione, which occurs ever so frequently in the inscriptions of Gnostic seals of Abraxas. Perhaps here, together with Roh, this name is to be understood as “serpentine spirit.” Frequently in the Gnostic sculptures we see a dog connected with a serpent, so that very often a serpent with a dog’s head is formed. Therefore, even here Ophiuio (that is, the serpent genius) is connected to the name Anubis (the canine genius), which, very frequently is inscribed on the Abraxas [seals]. It is no wonder that these two tutelary gods are named on a gilded temple coin, but far more curious is the inscription of the following coin (82) [Tab. V], where besides Mete (the name of the god of the Ophites, already well-known), [the names of] Isis and Ertha [are] also [found], [these] being two divinities of the ancient Egyptians and Germans [respectively]. Following this, we read, most gloriously, ME E. ICID. ERTHV. GLHAR., revealing five letters transposed from the name Greal (instead of Graal). What the V between Ertha and Greal signifies, I do not know, unless it is put for the Germanic copula und. From these Templar inscriptions, it is clear that, along with Gnostic and Ophitic symbols, they combined the myths of various other ancient religions, arbitrarily chose, together with their impious doctrine, according to [their own ideas] and rationale.
Tab. V, fig. 81-82
5. From the Schoenfeld Museum
Coin no. 83 [Tab. V] is, of all the gilded coins of this type that we have come to know, by far the most notable, because the star and M (the initial letter of Mete), expressed in type and, further down, G (the initial letter of Gnosis), expressed in sculpture, bear the greatest witness that these coins served as tokens, so that, instead of idols which they had in their baskets, or coffers, they could carry this [more] compact Mete about with them everywhere. Coin 84 [Tab. V] exhibits a figure of Mete who has on her head a most distinct triple crown (just like the Mete on our bowls). In one hand she holds a cross; in the other, a lily-bearing scepter. In this version, the breasts are heavily accented, while they are mostly neglected on other similar coins (incised in bronze). In order to indicate the form of worship for which this coin was held as a sacred symbol, the entire coin, encircled with a crown of most precious stones, had a crystal covering, so that the crown would radiate, making reference to the sort of sacrifice to be [practiced].
Tab. V, fig. 83-84
6. Coins Borrowed from Tablets of the Dissertation by Maderus
The work of Maderus contains no less than 40 gilded coins of the Templars. Among these we find a distinct figure of Mete, her head ugly and fierce. She carries in her hand a star and [variously] a cross and a flag, or a scepter, or a sword, or two trees (of life, and of knowledge).
We are here taking interest only in four, which exhibit a certain peculiar character or inscription (incised in bronze). Coin 85 [Tab. V] presents us with a monster composed of a certain animal, a composite of an infant and a dog, and crowned, with an erect privy member, which certainly is nothing but a guide to pederasty with a dog. Here it is, coupled with an infant, which Mete, in our idols, holds in her arms. Compare with this coins nos. 31, 45, and 50 of this table [Tab. V]. Coin 86 [Tab. V] presents Mete holding in her hands two trees: namely, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. We discovered already in that ancient monument found at the church in Milan that this effigy is Gnostic (see Tab. III, fig.4).
Tab. V, fig. 85-86
In order to remove all doubt, [please note that] even the name Mete is written in the margin by the initial letters M E, as on our idol (Tab. I, fig. 11). The third letter, T, seems to be present, although somewhat rubbed away in one spot. The same name, Mete, can be read in Greek letters on coin 36. We see MHTH, with M in the inverted form (W) that must be inverted. H, though, is to be read twice. The principal converted letter in these secret inscriptions was M, and we have seen, on the Abraxas seals and other gilded coins, that this is the entire key to this mystery regarding transposed or changed letters. Through such an inversion and transposition, the inscription on coin 87 [Tab. V] [can be also explained]. [Doing so takes the interpretation in a] direction far different than what Maderus reads, which is Herrius Del Gratia Marchio Orientalis Missniace. For, in the first place, the letter which he believes to be D is [actually] N, and M, as in the case of the Abraxas seals where S is to be read “S.” Thus, out of the letters GSOSHN, transposed, the word ΓΝΟΣΙΣ is to be read for γνωσισ. Finally, coin 88 [Tab. V] exhibits the same letters, H and T, placed in the center with M, which we have encountered numerous times already in the Bretfeldian coins, and which is to be read in no other way than MHTH, repeating the Htwice.
Tab. V, fig. 87-88
7. From the Writings of the Bishop of Seeländ on the Germanic Coins of the Middle Ages
Just like Maderus, the Bishop of Seeländ published gilded coins, all of which are Baphometic Templar tokens, for which there should be no mistrust concerning what they signify given the discourse above. Such are the 24 coins published in the table on page 17 of this book. All of these [the Bishop] declares to be from Ascano-Brandenburg, and he sees nothing more in this sword-bearing [knight and] crowned woman than an empress and her advocate, which is plainly absurd. More reasonably, others have said that this woman (who on other coins sits on a serpentine throne, with a knight with drawn sword standing guard), is the patron Abbotess of the convent. But all of the inscriptions, proceeding with the same interpretation already explained, instill faith that these coins are Templar [in origin], and represent Mete, or the personified wisdom of the order of Templars, for whom the knight with the drawn sword is presented as a defender and custodian of the temple. Out of these, we will especially scrutinize the twelve most noteworthy, incised in bronze.
On coin 89 [Tab. V], a cross with a hand giving blessing is configured so that the hand conceals the upper part of the cross, and thus only Τ, ([signifying] the tree of life and knowledge—that is, the phallus, the key to Gnosis) appears. The most brilliant one to read epigraphically, Mete you he, needs no explanation, since it contains nothing but Baphometic characters, as can be seen with one’s own eyes. The absurd explanation by the Bishop of Seeländ, who interpreted these words as an invocation of the savior, is slightly improved when we consider that this inscription is to be read as referring to Mete.
Tab. V, fig. 89
On Coin 90 [Tab. V], you see the same Mete sitting on a throne, and, on the other side, two hooded Baphometic heads, each with a cross [above it], and a hand giving blessing [from above]. Coin 91 exhibits Mete, head covered, [holding] a cross and a lily-bearing scepter, whom a Templar with an unsheathed sword stands ready to serve. Read from right to left, the inscription is this: CS AQVNOVMIS, only the C is to be placed after the S, and the M is to be read as the Greek Σ, so that one hears it as Sacra Qunousis, that is, Gnosis. The same inscription, but this time wholly obliterated, can be read on coin 92 [Tab. V], where on one side the entire Jerusalem temple can be seen. On the other side, there are two towers with two crosses, a hand giving blessing, and the head of Mete.
Tab. V, fig. 90
Tab. V, fig. 91
Tab. V, fig. 92 (front and back)
The same inscription occurs in sequential coins with the epigraph of Ottonis Marchionis, which in no way militates against our interpretation, since it only goes to show that he was an initiate Gnostic doctrine or the secrets of the Temple. Thus we read, on coin 94 [Tab. V], RSCSTAQVINOVM(for Σ)IS. This means Sacra Sancta Quinousis, or Gnosis. We get the same result from coin 95 [Tab. V]: S.S.T. (the T here [being] represented by the cross) AQVENEOM (for Σ) IC: i.e., Gnosis.
Tab. V, fig. 94
Tab. V, fig. 95
Coin 93 [Tab. V] offers the same inscription on both parts, yet slightly altered. On one side, we see a bishop or Templar with a curved staff [a shepherd’s crook] standing between two towers, with a star and a hand giving a blessing [both visible in the sky]. [There are written letters to] be read from right to left: STA (the letter T formed again by the cross) QVINOM (for Σ) IS: that is, Sancta Quinosis, or Gnosis. On the other side is the same word, omitting only the syllable Aqui. [If we begin reading] after the cross, [it says]: sancta NOSM (Σ) IS, or Gnosis.
Tab. V, fig. 93 (front and back)
On coin 96 [Tab. V], where an eagle or a phoenix sits on an arch between two towers, [there is a similar] inscription: R.S STA. ([This should be read as] Sacro Sancta, or, perhaps better, Regina Sanctissima) COVINOM (for Σ) and IS (contracted into the form of a lunate sigma [C]), [resulting in] Couinosis, or Gnosis. Coin 97 [Tab. V] is of the same type and inscription as Coin 98 [Tab. V], exhibiting the sacred word Qunousis, or Gnosis. Coin 98 [Tab. V] exhibits the same figures as the previous one, but the inscription, so often repeated already, is disfigured in another way; namely, SSTAQEVNR [E](seemingly erroneously formed) S (in the style of a lunate Sigma) R (again [standing in] for E) T (though completely superfluous) and S: that is, Sacrosancta Qeneosis, or, once again, Gnosis. But far more notable is the inscription of the inner circle, to be read from right to left: ECOL (in the form of a Greek Λ) EEL, which certainly is none other than that celebrated Hakolel, or “divine truth,” the mention of which also has been preserved among the Freemasons (see Pokeach Iwrim, page 44 and 244). We shouldn’t wonder about this Hebrew word thrown in here, since, as we learn from the [Church] Fathers, the Ophites interspersed into their doctrine various Hebrew words, and on another gilded Gnostic coin we have even discovered the Hebrew word Roh (that is, “spirit”).
Tab. V, fig. 96
Tab. V, fig. 97-98
The bird, representing the spirit (whether that is an eagle, a phoenix, or a dove) is seen in Coin 99 [Tab. V], a lion placed underfoot as if being trodden. It has the same inscription as the previous ones, but way more disfigured: SSAQVEIL (L wrongly for N) EVON (Nwrongly figured for Σ) IS, that is, Sacrosancta Queileuosis (that is, again, Gnosis). On coin 100 [Tab. V], a Templar is situated between two towers, with the inscription Otto (the name of the Templar or Ophite prince). This coin, which occurs twice in the Bishop of Seeländ’s work, is merely Gnostic. You see here a Templar standing between a lily-bearing scepter and a frond (which, on other coins, Mete holds in her hands), [and all three] situated between two towers. “Otto” can be read as numeric zeros with two truncated crosses, and also, not incorrectly, understood as phalluses and chalices, or as symbolizing [either χτενός, Greek, “comb,” or κτενός, “shortbread”]. Often, these are found signed at the end of a letter of correspondence, to signify their secret doctrine and arcane principles.
Tab. V, fig. 99-100
VII. On the Concord Between Accusations Against the Templars and the Similar Ophitic Doctrine
From the foregoing explanation of the Ophitic doctrine, which all Templar monuments, idols, bowls, buildings and coins profess, their faults are as clear as can be. Therefore, whatever accusations were brought against them by the Church and [contemporary] rulers appears to be only just and fair. Now, one by one, we will demonstrate that the peculiar symbols of their doctrine match up with their crimes, [serving as] documentation of their impiety and impurity. It is established from their monuments that [the charges of] three capital crimes brought against them by the Articles of Accusation—apostasy, idolatry and pederasty—are foundational teachings of the Ophitic doctrine, of which the Templars were followers. Articles 5 to 14 of the inquiry bring against the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar the charge that they did not acknowledge that “Christ is truly God,” or that he was crucified. Also, “among their crimes, they professed that he was a false prophet, whose cross they spat upon and trampled underfoot,” and this defilement they carried out on the very solemn Holy Friday.
All of these things agree fully with what the [Church] Fathers refer to concerning the Ophites. Already long ago, Origen and Epiphanius made the assertion that we [should not] consider these [groups] to be Christians, but rather haters of Christ, and Beausobre also agrees, as we have already seen. But even if the most learned writer of Ophitic history, Mosheim, affirms that some of their sects were Christian, the Brothers of the Knights Templar, according to the inscriptions of their idols, were not to be numbered among them. If you are inclined to deny this, it has been proved. If, at reception, they spat upon the cross, or trampled it underfoot, which is clear from their very frequent confessions, in this they followed only the most impious rite of the Ophites, among whom it was a law to tread down the God of the Christians and Jews, whom they declared to be “accursed.” That they would perpetrate this on the very day sacred to Venus is less a wonder when you realize that on that day the adoration of the cross was celebrated in the solemn church ceremonies. This they opposed by performing services of their own to Venus (that is, Achamoth, whom Tertullian declares to be Christ trodden down), testifying of their great hatred and contempt by the spitting on the cross.
Now that we have explained the matter of idol worship, seen delineated in our first and second tablets, and [considering that] things similar to those were dug up from the Templar chapter house in Waltersdorf three years ago, there is no remaining doubt at all. Everything, too, about this idol to or for Baphomet (whose name Mete we have found as inscribed on the idols themselves, and on bowls, buildings and coins) seems to be confessed by many of our idols, differing only in the fact that the idols of general [Templar] chapters are very big and very much ornamented, being gilded either with silver or gold, whereas in our case, the material is stone, and the idols of comparatively smaller size, the Templars having kept [them] in their coffers. In the same way, too, Theodoret teaches that the Marcionites carried the bronze serpent with them in their coffers. In our case, we see many idols girded with our serpent, or bearing the serpent in their hands. Each of these idols is made to a greater or lesser size, with more or less ornamentation, according to the will and wealth status [of the maker/possessor], and though diverse in their ornamental details, they all conform to the principal of having a dual masculine/feminine character.
The varied confessions of the parties support the idea that it had a masculine/feminine character, since some declared this idol to be masculine and bearded, while others have declared it to be feminine and clean-shaven. We have indicated above several times that all things which are said inclusively about the idol of the Templars agree optimally in regard to our idols. They venerated [this idol] as God and as Savior (Articles 49, 50), and the confession of Raymundus Rubei (Dupuy 216 and Nicolai II, 86), et le superieur baisant cette idol dit Jallah [“And the Superior called this idol Jallah”], in essence agrees. Jallah—that is, “O, God”—is a common word of the Dervishes, with which they invoke God during celebration of their orgies. It was, however, substituted for Ja-o (which the Dervishes today pronounce Ya-hu). Even Horus, [according to the] Gnostics cried out using this word upon encountering Sophia (or Achamoth) while moving forward in the Pleroma. Finally, from time to time one can see on our Baphomet idols to Mete a gilded collar which they used to carry it (see Tab. I, fig. 6).
Tab. I, fig. 6
Concerning the chain which Mete, in the bowls, holds by hand, and which, clearly, is nothing but the chain of aeons (of the Gnostic Hermetica), and there is no mention of it in the accusations. But weightier and more obscure is the absence of the belt. This could have presented difficulties for our argument were it not for the fact that we see our idol girded not just with belts, but with those that were [in the form of] serpents. Defenders of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar, who assert that this belt is nothing but what was common to many orders, do not ponder the fact that, if nothing else had been [going on], there could be absolutely no place for such an accusation in the future. For the most widely-known aspect of the Articles of Accusation (58-61) involves the question of some secret and mystical belt “by which they were girded below the collar, which they carried about day and night in veneration of the idol,” consecrating this belt through contact with the idol. This they did, carrying it as a sign of an inviolable covenant and of an obligation most strictly imposed upon them through their secret doctrine. Finally, this belt was preserved in their coffers, or boxes, where they kept their idols.
Out of all of these things, to us it seems most noteworthy that these belts—these secret ropelike sashes—were either in the form of serpents, or had been symbolically configured to express their likeness. Promoting especial confidence in this opinion is the bronze statue of an armed knight preserved in the Welzliana Collection, whose belt is actually in the form of serpents, and which stands upon a quadruped base, as does the two-headed idol in the Imperial-Royal Treasury. Thus, the description by some confessors, who stated that they had four-footed idols, is confirmed. Finally, there is the serpent throne, where two serpents are seen rising directly from the buttocks in a bronze stela (see Tab. II, fig. 16), upon which, one can see, sits Mete (or rather, that is to say, the Templar Order, figured as a knight). The position of the serpents corresponds with the passages of the [Church] Fathers (Saints Irenaeus, Epiphanius and Theodoret) already cited above, where the serpent, through its twistings, is said to represent intestinal contortions, thence a hidden generative power.
Tab. IV, fig. 27
Moreover, since we have already noticed that most of the symbols found on our Templar monuments [resemble explicitly the description of] their idols in the Articles of Accusation, we presume that the serpent, who is everywhere present on the idols we found, was not absent in the secret Ophitic worship of the Templars. This [serpent], whose greed and wickedness they studied to equal, was the water of Ophitic Gnosis, and the primary pillar of Templar doctrine. As a person who covers his head and abandons the body, so the Ophites and the Templars kept secret the chief part of their doctrine, leaving in open view only the body; namely, the simple meeting together of the brotherhood, or the Book of Public Statutes. [Just as], by nature, serpents crawl on the earth, [so too] the entire body [of the Templar order] was polluted by the filthiest cravings (the Pedagogia of St. Clement of Alexandria, Book I, 89). They preferred this to [serpent] to Christ (Tertullian, I, 416), and took him for an angel (since both Michael and Samael are so called), adoring him as the Dominator of the World. [Greek characters, Phronimos, “wise”], [Greek characters, panourgos, “intelligent, crafty”], and [Greek characters, kosmokrator, “ruler of the world”]: all of these are things not denied to Satan, but whoso attributes these things to him is the author and high priest of their [the Ophites’] diabolical doctrine. He [the serpent] was, as we have already seen, Nous [Greek, “mind”], or son of Jaldabaoth, creator of the world who, rebelling against the Father, tried to lead Adam and Eve back to the true knowledge of Mother Achamoth (that is, of Sophia, or divine wisdom). It is even more likely that this [element] was not missing at the mystic orgies of the Templars since in the Eleusinian and Bacchic mysteries (the imitation of which we have already shown [to be present] in the Ophitic [rites]), the serpent presents itself everywhere, the contracting Proserpina, the image of God exhibited under this form of Nous [Greek, “mind”], concerning whom Themistius says that he came out of darkness. This comment, which the celebrated Meiners hardly dared to translate in his commentary on the mysteries (see Scripta Philosophica, Volume III, 278), very well illustrates the doctrine of the Valentinians that Nous came forth out of Bythos [“depth”, the Abyss] and life. This son of darkness and life is represented by the serpent, and the serpent is represented by the belt.
It is clear from the passages cited above (where the subject concerns the serpent) that by each of these symbols (namely, serpent and belt), an abominable lust and a topsy-turvy covenant of paiderastias [Greek, pederasty] was to be understood. Also, concerning the accusations of the crime of sodomy, this was conceded to have occurred by multiple confessions, both upon reception (initiation) and during times of private instruction. Even if we, in our own, opinion hold this unrestrained lust and abuse to be among the greatest out of all the crimes of which we here convict the Templars, they will certainly be considered among the matters of least importance by those taking into account the thinking of those times and the nature of the Eastern camps. Reasonably, then, we wonder at those who, notwithstanding the Articles of Accusation, confirmed by very frequent confessions, endeavor to defend the Knights Templar as guiltless in this regard, since the entire matter regarding the widespread acts of love [taking place] in [their] Eastern camps has nothing truly strange-sounding about it, and in this regard, we have already totally subscribed to the opinion brought by Gürtler.
We [have] come upon such a society of masculine love already within the sacred fraternities of Thebes among the Greeks, whose establishment, as with many others from antiquity, appears to have been borrowed by the Templars. What’s more, there are many statutes and common rights of public order that suggest this secret sense of a society joined together by a mutual link of masculine love. By this we mean such things as the establishment of a table with a reading couch for the precept [teacher] to communicate with brothers (see Moldenhauer, p. 284), [arranged so that] only two brothers could sit there (see Münter’s Statutenbuch, p. 126). Finally, [there is] the seal of the two brothers, one behind the other, sitting upon one horse, all of which are indications of the ultimate state of unity and of intimacy by two parties to a binary covenant. Many wrongly interpreted this seal image as a symbol of their original poverty, but the first [Templar charter] by St. Bernard (already mentioned) testifies [against this], as it states that to each individual knight should be ascribed not one, but three horses.
In the same rule, Articles  and 72, he inveighs against [fraternizing with] Sisters [nuns] and kissing of women with these words: “It is even more dangerous to unite with Sisters, for the ancient enemy [Satan], together with a woman [Eve], expelled many from the right path to paradise. Therefore, dearest brothers, that the flower of integrity should always be apparent among you, we are not permitted to engage in this custom.” And again, “We believe (like all religions) that it is dangerous to pay too much attention to the face of women. Therefore, a brother may presume to kiss neither widow, nor mother, nor sister, nor aunt, nor any other woman. Hence, let Christ’s militia flee feminine kisses, by which men frequently become endangered, so that a pure conscience and secure life in the sight of the Lord may successfully and continuously be preserved”. (See Münters Statutenbuch, pages 143 and 148). It is very far afield for us to suspect that by these rules of his and statutes directed against women, St. Bernard favored the love of males. Nonetheless, [it is true] that this hatred of women was interpreted and converted by the Templars into the love of males is patently evident from their confessions. The Templars, faithful followers of the Ophites, who twisted the purest texts of Scripture into the vilest possible meaning, willfully interpreted their rule of life in [terms of a] secret doctrine. Nor was this the only article which, with arcane precepts, they dragged far off into a different meaning. Thus, for example, Article 48, as the lion ever slain, was understood by the Templars (as by the Gnostics) as being about the lion as a symbol of Jaldabaoth being immolated. That this belt, the wrong use of which they were accused of was a very secret symbol of paiderastia [Greek, “pederasty”] cannot be doubted anymore. According to the confessions, (see Moldenhauer here and there), this [belt] was whitened and, through contact with the idol, consecrated. Finally, it is most reasonable that even the cat, or dog, which is said to have appeared in their chapter houses also was a symbol of this abominable lust, since it is to be seen everywhere in the Gnostic sculptures of the Templar temples and sepulchers.
By the [word] “cat,” of which there was mention during the Templar trials Templars, we believe that “dog” should be understood, because everywhere [images of a] dog are observed, but nowhere a cat. Such [a dog] you see in the sepulchers of the Templars, such in the bas-reliefs of the Schoengraberian church, where, from the first slip of Adam from infantia [literally,”infancy,” i.e. “innocence”] all the way up to the ultimate triumph of Templar Gnosis (represented by the slaughtering of the lion), everywhere he [the dog] continues to help the Gnostic, or Templar. You see such a [dog depicted] on a coin [as standing] in front of a Templar Knight on a coin (Tab. V, fig. 76); such a [dog] you see adhering to the followers of an armed knight (see Tab. II, fig. 4), as if [it is the] Daduchum [high priest] of the infamous sodomitic mysteries. Should anyone offer the view that the animal is rather a cat, we won’t put up a fight, but whether it be a dog or a cat, this alone we will take note of: that each of the two animals lived in the East and was employed there in the filthiest acts of pleasure, as can be seen in two chapters in that obscene pamphlet Deluburaderii that deals with the foul desire for encounters with cats and dogs. Everywhere this dog is shown as a guide to the heinous [act], but we do not need to prove the filth of [their] mystery doctrine when some of the monuments presented here give testimony of this truth to the very eyes (though we can touch upon them only lightly because of the heinousness of the crime). Thus, for example, that nude Baphometic idol, positioned on bended knee while behind and opposite him, depravity [occurs] with his rear end, [exhibiting the] very shameful secret of the high offices [of the Templar leadership in the] later [years] (see also Tab. I, fig. 4).
Tab. V, fig. 76
These were, therefore, the mysteries of the [Templar] chapters, celebrated during the silence of night, and shaped according to the image of a “baptism of fire,” for which, as Tertullian truthfully says of the Gnostic mysteries, they were most deserving of [hell]fire and darkness. These secrets were kept from profane ones by [oaths of] silence (in imitation of the institution of Pythagorean Silence), which were imposed upon initiates under the cruelest threats of burning. This is how, for nearly two centuries, so many horrors were being kept secret from the public, kings, and the Church, which can most easily be explained by the nature of these institutions, restricted by the most powerful bonds of sworn oaths. For, as is clear from the repeated confessions of the Templars, [their members] were being received only by these abominable rites, which a person of greater intelligence and strength would refuse, since such a one would think that worship of a lesser idol is horrifying. Not all were immediately received in such a way. Some were received as such after many years, and if at that time they had not matured into impiety, and wavered in their faith about carrying out the things required of them by the point of a sword, then the receiving teachers (of necessity being indulgent of their religious minds) let them believe that all of these things were only vanities, and they permitted timid ones who were conflicted not to spit on the cross, but rather to spit wherever they wished. Once the candidates were received, either the strong, gathered together with the powerful, by their own mental disposition, covered up all mysteries of impiety and impurity which had been revealed to them, and concealed them from profane ones; or, if weaker, they were warned that the accepted opinion about them was false. By the bonds and oaths of the order (so many and great), the revelation of the mystery of that shame which they had been forced to suffer was kept from [the profane]. Thus it happens that this impious doctrine which (as seems most reasonable) from the time of Gualteri Montisbarensis flowed down from the temple clergy to the knights, went unpunished for a century and a half, and by the cloak of religion openly spread through the entire order, and thence throughout the entire world. One may suspect that some of the weaker ones, long before institution of the trials, revealed to their confessors the mystery of iniquity, 30 years before the bulls which opened the door for the abolition of the Templars, and later stood firm in their confessions. At that time, the Church, remembering the great services which the order had performed as an armed force against the infidels, wished to veil rather than reveal the shameful aspects [of the order] (to the extent that was possible, without major detriment to the Christian Republic), and as historical facts declare, sought to correct the vileness of this order by uniting them with the Knights of St. John. These things having been tried without success, evidence of these [charges] was brought publicly to the king, who rightly feared the increasing power of the order as pernicious to the rights of his Christian kingdom. The Church, too, neither could nor would any longer protect the order publicly, which had expanded from its beginnings until it reached the limits of the area under the heavens, and because it was derelict through impiety in religion and impurity in morality, the Church permitted punishment by the secular arm. The principal cause of the heinous nature of this doctrine appears to have been that the Supreme Pontiff wished to bring the sentence of condemnation, not “de jure” [by right], but by means of apostolic provision, lest the scandals of impiety and impurity which the bull suggests become openly exposed.
These scandals, so dire, and the trials [that followed] were so deeply hidden, it was no wonder that the nature of the crimes committed was kept from public notice by the craftiest accomplices of this intimate secret. Others, whether compelled to silence by shame or by fear of being subjugated to force, their souls softened by flatteries and overpowered by threats, did not betray [the oaths of secrecy]. Persons offering resistance were compelled, by swords unsheathed, to give adoration to an idol. The deepest silence was imposed upon brothers by means of oaths, so that even among themselves it was not permitted to speak about the rites of reception. Finally, in order to resist betrayal, a rule was provided, lest the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar should confess their sins in a sacramental tribunal to persons other than priests or members of the Donatist order. If this secrecy became violated, besides the tribunal of confession, imprisonment and death were imminent. Finally, no one of the brothers dared to communicate with another his own thoughts about the abominable reception rites. Thus, it turns out that these mysteries of darkness, which up until this day lie hidden among the Jesuits, and perhaps also among the Druzes, were propagated with impunity for 180 years. Even if, in the religious books of the Druzes, and in their spiritual system (which has the scent of emanating aeons and Gnostic doctrine) no vestige of such defilement can be found, by no means does this argue the innocence of those convent members who were celebrating [the rites] by night with promiscuous lust (with extinguished lamps, and as rumor has it). In the same way also, the public statutes of the Templars (edited by Münter in their defense) do not exclude the existence of a secret doctrine. Indeed, from the confessions of brothers under examination, the existence of an arcane doctrine and a double order of statutes comes forth. Thus, the first witness, Rudolph de Praille, openly spoke of an arcane discipline of the order (given to him by his instructor Gervais de Beauvais), and of a double book of statutes; one ostensible, the other most secret, to be exhibited to no one. Also, the twenty-first witness, Garner de Veneisi, [testified that] since he was against the infamous secret rite of reception, the instructor excused him from it because of the rigor of the statutes. However, these secret statutes were surely compendious, and in the hands of very few receivers who could have endangered the order, [so they] were very easily deleted. They did not come down to us, but [considering] the tenor of the egregious precepts (which are inscribed on Baphometic idols and on bowls, and sculpted onto churches), it is impossible to think that they are anything other than Ophitic doctrine.
The strongest argument of the defenders of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar up till now revolves around the fact that none of those heads about whose adoration they are gravely and frequently accused, up to now, have been found. But this has already been totally overthrown after our finding more than 20 such heads and idols. These idols exist, with one or two heads, standing either on a solid or quadruped base, in treasure rooms and designated collections. Certain things of theirs have been dug up from beneath the locations of Templar churches, where coins, both solid and gilded, have been found, whose figures and inscriptions, up to the present, fit nicely with the obscure symbols and inscriptions on the idols. The same idol inscriptions are also sculpted on the bowls, in which Ophitic orgies are described, and the sculptures on those bowls agree with those preserved up to now on buildings of the Templars. With this collection of monuments and arguments, where one supports and helps another, the existence of the secret doctrine, and the culpability of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar, is placed beyond any doubt.
In the course of our arguments, we have wholly neglected historical facts, even if they most strongly support the arguments brought against the Templars, not because we consider that they are to be held as having no weight, but because the same facts that are rejected by some historians are allowed by others. Sometimes they serve to incriminate the order, and sometimes they serve as an apology in its favor. Thus, the older historians, Matthiu de Paris, Daniel du Puys, and Gürtler, using the same facts of history, have condemned the arrogant impiety and luxuriating of the Templars, while others (such as Stemler and Anton among the German writers, or Jeune and Raynouard of the French writers) composed historical apologetics and dissertations in favor of the order. From the erudite Danes, Münter and Moldenhauer, one published the public statutes, which previously had lain secret; the other published the secret testimony from the trials, in which the order (as a public institution) was indeed exhibited in a pleasant light. However, after the facts are accumulated, these secrets and arcane elements of the detestable doctrine, come forth [into the open]. Finally, Nicolai and Grouvelle, inquiring into the historical facts in a philosophical and skeptical spirit (which should govern all impartial investigators of history), [argues that] once the apologetic arguments of Anton and Münter have been rendered invalid, [it becomes clear that] the culpability of the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar, as far as Gnostic impiety and obscene acts of love [are concerned], is as great as can be. We argued with these twelve writers as the thirteenth at a round table disputing about the Graal bowl, approaching it with an array of arguments drawn from symbols, cups, and other works of art involving, so that it was not us who did the speaking, but the stones, bronzes, buildings and bas-reliefs.
All of these monuments, in no way explained until this moment, are of the greatest important, with perhaps the exception of the coins, [as] our many arguments have not convinced most people that they were actually struck by Templars. But, considering that the coins are sequential, another reading of those inscriptions may be proposed. Either way, there can be no objection brought against the symbols and bas-reliefs on the bowls and buildings, which are truly Ophitic and Templar, and these [depictions of] the crimes of apostasy, idolatry and impurity everywhere dazzle the eyes. Finally, here we cannot silence our judgment with regard to the very weak argument of Baylis, which also Raynouard accepted, in apology for the Templars: S’ils e’toient assez impies, pour reconcer a la religion chretienne, qui etoit celle de leur naissance, comment auroient-ils pu se confier a utie idoie. [French, “If they were so impious as to separate from the Christian religion, which was that of their birth, how could they entrust themselves to an idol?”]
Let me not speak here about the general contradictions of the human character, which we know to be such that the strongest characters are often inclined to superstitious old wives’ tales, being atheists and at the same time subject to demon gods, and that one who believes in or gives adoration to no god still fears and supplicates to ghosts. I will be silent about these things. Here it will suffice only to send the reader back to the history of diverse heresies, in which the same Ophites and other heretics deny Christ as God; they adore Achamoth (that is, Mete of the Templars) in place of such. In those innermost reaches of the human mind and heart is to be sought a far deeper explanation of the facts: that very often it can be said (concerning soldiers and ministers) that men publicly defend a doctrine and live their lives by an oath which in secret they reject and oppose. Examples of this, in Christian and Saracen versions [respectively], is seen in the Templars and Assassins at the time of the Crusader expeditions, for [the members of] each order most vigorously devoted their lives to a doctrine of public faith which in secret they denied and abjured (which seems most absurd).
What wonder is it that, when most of their most powerful soldiers had been thrown into prison, and they saw destruction as impending not only upon themselves but also upon the order, they, having confessed nothing, showed the same constancy and fortitude as in a fight? Others, being weaker, professed the truth, after their patience was exhausted by torments in the hand of the torturer, but upon being returned to prison, or being brought back under judgment, recanted and declared [their confessions] to be false. [But then some], not fearing death, which so often seemed imminent, but having sustained torments after repeating again the assertion of innocence, and unable to bear the guilt after a confession seized by violence, wished to cleanse [it] by their own blood.
Thus, from the arguments brought forth [here regarding] the culpability of the Templars, it stands in clearer light that they were not innocent, but were [rightfully] accused and condemned as guilty by the Apostolic Seat of the Church, and by very many princes of the republic, so that the sentence of condemnation may be attributed to divine and human justice. The barbarous mode of execution—torment and burning alive—is to be attributed to the darkness of that age.
As a conclusion to our critical commentary, we will provide this note about the Middle Ages in which this order flourished: In that dark period, which very recently has encountered so many laudatory remarks, those limited by fanaticism, atheism, superstition and impiety have become confused. The little-known wisdom regarding that time is that it consisted of unbridled license of opinions and lusts, so that we may conclude that this period, which the writer of the same panegyric likened to a serene starlit night, was actually nothing more than a gloomy blackness, distinguished by the sparks of shameful deeds ignited, and the conflagrations of superstitions.
Tracy R. Twyman’s end-notes to Hammer-Purgstall’s text are below (they need to be renumbered). Hammer-Purgstall’s own end-notes to his text have not been translated yet.
Read Tracy R. Twyman’s introduction to this text, Meet Mete, here.
Also Recommended: Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled by Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera.
Genuflect by Tracy R. Twyman (A Novel)
 This is the name of a German publishing house founded by Johann Georg Cotta in the seventeenth century.
 Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Dupperon, J.F. Kleuker, and Matthias Norberg were all Orientalists working in the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries, and they each wrote about the Persian (Farsi) religion of Zoroastrianism.
 “Mutavelii” is a Turkish word for the curator of a mosque (like the abbot of a Christian church).
 This refers to Jacob Georg Christian Adler, an expert on Syriac languages and author of Monumentum Cuficum Drusorum, about the Druze people of the Levant.
 Antoine Isaac, Baron Silvestre de Sacy was a contemporary French orientalist whose last, unfinished work was the 1838 two-volume Exposé de la religion des Druze, apparently in the works at the time of Hammer-Purgstall’s writing in 1818.
 Isaac de Beausobre was the eighteenth-century French Protestant author of Histoire Critique de Manichée et du Manichéisme (Historical Critique of Manes and Manichaeism), about the Persian cult of Manichaeism, which came out in two volumes between the years 1734 and 1739.
 Johann Lorenz von Mosheim was a German historian of the Lutheran church who wrote about heresies, including the Ophite and Manichean cults.
 Johann von Horn was the author of Über die biblische Gnosis (About the Biblical Gnosis), published in 1805 in Hannover.
 Philippe-Antoine Grouvelle was the author of Memoires Historiques sur les Templiers, published in 1804.
 In 1250, the Templars had refused to help pay the ransom of King Louis IX, Philip the Fair’s grandfather, when he was captured by the Egyptian army of the Mamluks, and the funds had to be seized by the French government, a cause of much resentment.
 Al-Karak in Jordan was the location of one of the greatest Crusader castles in the Middle East. Acconis is a Latin way of writing Acre, the last major Crusader fortress in the Holy Land to fall to the enemy in 1291, signaling the end of the Crusades. There were rumors of treacherous involvement between the Templars and the enemy that allegedly led to the disastrous defeat.
 The Assassins were a secret Islamic fighting order that was in operation at a time contemporary with that of the Templars, and sometimes fought against them on the battlefield. The two orders are often compared because of their rigorous training, their suicidal approach to battle, and the accusations both orders faced of having a secret inner doctrine of blasphemy. The Templars have been accused by some historians of having a friendly relationship with the Assassins behind the scenes.
 This refers to the followers of the Zoroastrian prophet Mazdak.
 I have chosen to render the words “Architectonics” and “architechtonic” used in this text as “Masons” and “masonic,” as the context implies that it refers to the symbolism of the Masonic brotherhood and not just those of operative stonemasons.
 Hammer-Purgstall is talking about Francois Just-Marie-Raynouard, author of The Templars: Tragedy in Five Acts, 1805.
 This is Danish scientist Frederic Münter, mentioned in Twyman’s introduction to this work, who allegedly discovered the secret Templar rule, The Book of the Baptism of Fire, in the Vatican archives.
 The author is referring to Curiositaten, a series of books by Friedrich Carl Ludwig Sickler, a contemporary German antiquarian scholar.
 The original text referred to this location in Latin as the treasury of the Caesario-Regius, meaning “Imperial-Royal.” This is most likely the Hofburg Palace, which does house famous collections of antiquities, referred to by Thomas Wright as the “Imperial Museum” in his book Worship of the Generative Powers, where he describes Hammer-Purgstall’s artifacts, specifically, “a large goblet, or bowl, of marble, surrounded by . . . a group of men . . . with prominent phalli … and serpents . . . .”
 I tried translating the rest of the word without the first sigma, since it’s marked with a period, as though it’s an initial. Google translated the resulting word, “SLKOPTE,” as “Stockholm.”
 Google translates this into the English word “glope,” meaning “to gaze in alarm; be terrified; stare.”
 From my research, this seems to be a Greek word that translates literally to “glyph.”
 Google translates “Lydo” as “Lydos.”
 Google suggests “LEFNOPOLO” for this, dropping the “G,” without explaining what it allegedly means.
 The direct transliteration is “TOYLEITINOY PAS PETRuS.”
 This word is transliterated as “pas,” and according to Google Translate, means either “you go” or “each,” “every,” “all,” etc.
 This word, transliterated as “pais,” means “play” in Greek, as far as I can tell.
 A more literal translation is “of golden water.”
 I have corrected the erroneous designation of this picture as being on “Tab. II” in the original printing. As you can see, the correct picture is Tab. I, fig. 13.
 Google Translate rendered the meaning of this Greek word as “sandy,” but the letters transliterate into “SADYRYN,” which, which typed into Google, prompts the suggestion “Did you mean SATURN”?
 “Ludovicus” is considered the origin and equivalent of “Louis.”
 An English translation of Hammer-Purgstall’s odd “correction” of these inscriptions on this particular idol would be: “Trlomninie is a man [who] remembers the day METE turns to warn all Gnostics.” But if we take “omnen” to be a misspelling of “omen” (which has the same meaning as the English word spelled the same way), and if we don’t add in the extraneous “icum” on the end of “Gnos,” we would get a sentence that could translate to “Trlomninie is a man [who] remembers the day METE turns to warn of the omen of Gnosis.” At any rate, I’m note sure why he decided to read the words on the pages of the open book at the idol’s feet going across both pages left to right, instead of first reading the left page, and then the right. It seems that this might yield results with alternate interpretations, though I don’t choose to offer any right now.
 This is a very complicated way of explaining the very simple concept of how a cipher works.
 “Mind” or “wisdom,” a term used frequently in Hermetic writings, which Hammer-Purgstall will later refer to.
 Curiositaten by Sickler again.
 The word munker was used in The Koran’s reckoning of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, Sura 26: 160-175, when Lot is quoted as using this term to rebuke the homosexuals who were attempting to rape his house guests, the visiting angels.
 Most likely this refers to the seventeenth-century Orientalist Jacob Gloius’ Lexicon Arabico-Latinum, 1653.
 This is vulgar Arabic slang for “a penis in your anus.”
 This, phonetically, is Desheb bel tiz, which is Arabic for “shove in the behind.”
 As I mentioned in the introduction to this translation, one could remove the parenthetical ab apostasia from this phrase, as that appears to have been added by Hammer-Purgstall, and then the Latin and Greek words could also be read separately as reditus per facilis redditur: πρωκτον, and thus translated as “Revenue through easy return: rectum.”
 This refers to Francisci à Mesgnien Meninski’s Thesaurus Linguarum Orientalium from 1680.
 The citation from the original printing said “Tab. I, fig. 2.” As this idol is not “genuflecting” at all, I have inserted a reference to “fig. 3 or 4” because these are the only figures on that page that could be construed as striking this pose.
 Did he mean the English word “fun” here? It is unclear. “Fun” seems like an entirely separate concept from “knowledge,” even of the Gnostic type. But I suppose that depends on one’s idea of fun.
 This is none other than the “Mete Coffer” written of by Thomas Wright in Worship of the Generative Powers (1865), which I found in the Duc de Blacas collection in the back catalogue at the British Museum.
 The reference is to Pierre Dupuy’s Histoire de l’Ordre Militaire des Templiers from 1751.
 Masonic writer Albert Pike mentions an “Orphic Trinity” consisting of Metis, Phanes, and Ericapaeus in his book Morals and Dogma.
 This refers to Frankreich von I.G. Modenhauer’s transcripts of the Templar trials, titled Prozess Gegen Order der Tempelherren, and published in Hamburg, Germany in 1792.
 The British legend of Saint Ursula tells how she and 11,000 virgins in her entourage were beheaded by Huns while on pilgrimage through Europe in the late fourth century.
 This refers to The Corpus Hermeticum.
 The is the passage from Discourse Four of the Corpus Hermeticum mentioned in Twyman’s introduction here, stating “Immerse yourself in the mixing bowl if your heart has the strength, if it believes you will rise up again to the one who sent the mixing bowl below, if it recognizes the purpose of your coming to be.”
 Steatite is also known as “soapstone.”
 Hammer-Purgstall tells us that he omitted several of the phalluses featured in the images he reproduced. However, with this particular image, the phallus (shown disembodied and descending into an open vase that sits to the left of a chimera creature, with a baby emerging from a vase on the right side) was reconstructed in the illustration found in the original, unabridged printing of Thomas Wright’s Worship of the Generative Powers, which refers heavily to Hammer-Purgstall’s work.
 Heracles had a magic cup with a lodestone in it that he used for oceanic navigation.
 This is more commonly spelled “Jamshid.” It was a divination cup used by the Persian mythological figure of the same name. It was also filled with the “Elixir of Immortality.”
 This undoubtedly refers to the cup that Jupiter gave to his nephew and catamite, Ganymede, his official “cup-bearer.” Ganymede’s name means “gladdening genitals.” A carchesium is a goblet with handles. Note that “Ganymede” contains the syllables “mede,” evocative of “Mete,” and “Gan,” said by L.A. Waddell to be the name of the ancient king of Sumeria who corresponds to “Cain” in the Bible.
 This is the word for a Roman matron’s outer garment.
 The term is used to indicate an ancient type of ceremonial ax.
 This is the name for the drunken orgies celebrated in the mystery schools of Bacchus in Rome.
 A god of wine and libertinism, Liber was often equated with Bacchus and Dionysus.
 This is clearly describing Tab. II fig. 1.
 Note that this image corresponds to that of Ganymede, who was abducted by Jupiter in form of an eagle. However, it could also be taken as a picture of the mythical Persian bird, the Simurgh, being ridden by the boy king Zal, as described in the epic poem The Shahnameh.
Zal and the Simurgh
 He is referring here to coins featuring the figure of Bes, a Gnostic deity of Egyptian origin depicted identically—with four wings—on many Gnostic coins found elsewhere. Such coins are often found sporting images of Abraxas, another Gnostic entity who may indeed have been seen as the same figure by certain groups.
 He is talking about Abraxas seu Apistopistus (Abraxas and Apistopistus), written by Joannes Macarius and Jean Chifflet and published in 1657. I have corrected the typo that said “tab. VI” in Hammer-Purgstall’s original text.
 Origen was a second-to-third-century Greek theologian from Alexandria, considered one of the early Church Fathers, whose work survives only in fragments.
Origen, legs crossed, standing on dragon
 Terminus was a Roman God of boundary markers, represented in statue as a boundary stone showing a man from the waist up. These were almost identical with the “herms” of antiquity: ithyphallic, goat-horned representations of Hermes/Pan/Priapus that also served as boundary markers.
 Here with κτειδοσ, we have another word that presumably relates to the Cetus, although our translator interpreted it to mean “key,” and Google renders it “quotient.” As for the second Greek word here, I cannot decide if the final letter is more like a lower-case beta, making it φαλλδ (“falld”), or a lower-case delta, making it φαλλβ (“fallb”). But since neither of those words make any sense in any language, I am obliged to go with our translator’s interpretation, which was to take the final letter as a lower-case sigma, and to insert a missing lower-case omicron before it, making the word φαλλοσ, which is fallos, meaning “phallus.” Without the added omicron, it becomes “falls,” which is meaningful in English, but not so much in Greek.
 This book was translated into English by Hammer-Purgstall himself and published under the name Ancient Alphabets and Hieroglyphic Characters Explained.
 The Stoics believed that everything, including the cosmos as a whole, went through cycles that ended in ultimate destruction through fire, and that the world would end in what they called the “Great Conflagration.”
 This is eighteenth-century Lebanese Orientalist Giuseppe Simone Assemani, who served as librarian at the Vatican Library.
 This refers to the biscione, the official device of the House of Visconti, a very influential royal family in Milan. This subject is explored at length in Twyman’s introduction to this book.
 This is Middle Persian for the Aməša Spənta, the Immortals of Zoroastrianism.
 The meaning of this term remains unidentified.
 This is probably William of Tyre, the archbishop of Tyre and ambassador to the Byzantine Empire for King Almaric of Jerusalem in the twelfth century. He is famous today for his written chronicles of the history of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
 He is referencing Reisen durch Ungarn und einige angranzende (Travels through Hungary and Adjacent Lands) by Lander, p. 216.
 I proffer the guess that this refers to Gnostics from the city of Thebes in Egypt.
 A Caryatid is an architectural feature in which a support pillar is formed in the shape of a woman.
 Again, he is displaying his rectum.
 Hammer-Purgstall is referring to Aubin L. Millins, and in the original text cited his 1802 book Monumens antiques, inédits ou nouvellement expliqués (Ancient monuments, unpublished or newly explained), fig. II, page. 323, as well as his 1811 book Voyage dans les departments du midi de la France (Travel in the departments of the south of France), Tab. IV, p. 732.
 This is Bernard de Montfaucon, the seventeenth-to-eighteenth-century Benedictine monk who is credited with founding the science of paleography, and contributing to the beginnings of modern archeology.
 This is Greek, and literally means “printing,” perhaps used here in the sense of “making a representation.”
 Agathodaemon was the name of a figure in Greek mythology considered a bringer of good fortune, a patron of vineyards and grain fields. But also, as reported in Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled (Rivera, Twyman, 2014):
The 1968 book The Thousands of Abu Maʿshar by David Pingree tells us that the aforementioned account of the Babylonian Hermes from ibn Nawbaht was influenced by ‘Harranians,’ and that the Harranians held both Hermes and ‘Agathodaemon’ to be their ‘prophets.’ . . .
. . .
Jean Doresse, in her Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics, suggests that the basis of both the god and the alchemist Agathodaemon can be equated to none other than Seth! This is an interesting idea when you consider that… Hermes, allegedly Enoch, is … listed as the son of Agathodaemon, allegedly Seth, when the Bible says that the Sethian Enoch is removed from Seth by several generations, and that the other Enoch’s father is Seth’s brother Cain. Others, such as Dennis William Hauck [The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation], have claimed that Agathodaemon is really the god Thoth.
According to the Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities by Charles Russel Coulter and Patricia Turner. . . ‘Agathodemon . . . was said to have hatched by a cock from a serpent’s egg.’
Agathodaemon sporting serpent on staff
 This Gnostic, Hermetic, and Neoplatonic “chain” appears to be the chain of the interconnected hierarchies of creation. Since in Gnosticism, each aeon corresponds to an archontic entity, and each Archon corresponds to one of the seven “classical planets” (the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn), each of which was, in antiquity, believed to rule over one of the seven heavens (viewed as being spherical and concentrically stacked inside each other like a Russian doll, with the Earth in the middle), one can imagine this as a chain running from the center of the Earth, through the sky, then up through each of the seven heavens and all the way up to the Pleroma on the outside, where the real “Father” resides.
Ophite diagram of the “Chains of the Archons”
“Hermetic chain of the Neoplatonists”
 This term, meaning “signal star,” here equated with the Masonic symbol of the “Blazing Star,” is also the title of a book about Masonic and Rosicrucian symbols written by Prussian mystic Johann Christoph von Wollner, which was published in 1803.
 The Latin word cestus in the second declination means “belt.” The Farsi word that Hammer-Purgstall compares it to (Costi) most likely refers to a ceremonial belt.
 This is Paulinus of St. Bartholomew, an eighteenth-century Carmelite missionary and Orientalist from Austria, who wrote The System of Brahmanic Liturgy, Mythology, Civil Law, and History, published in 1791.
 Pherecydes of Syros, a sixth-century Greek thinker, is credited with coming up with his own cosmology and theory of creation. It involves a cloth that is wrapped around the Earth by Chronos (Time), which may have been what Hammer-Purgstall saw as analogous to the Gnostic veil.
Hammer-Purgstall’s reference to “the gods’ chain in Homer” points to the passage in The Iliad mentioned in Twyman’s introduction.
 This book was written by Baron de Sainte-Croix and published in Paris in 1817.
 Nicolaus of Antioch was the founder of the Christian Gnostic heresy of Nicolaism. The book in question is once again Abraxas seu Apistopistus by Joannes Macarius and Jean Chifflet, which appears to contain a lot of the same images of Gnostic coins that are reproduced here.
 Ibid. Daduch and Epibom are the titles of officiants in the Eleusian mysteries. I will discuss them more later on.
 Also called “Anahita,” this was the Iranian goddess of “the Waters.”
 Written by J.W. Schmidt, the title means The Highest Grade of Freemasonry.
 See the final chapter of Clock Shavings by Tracy R. Twyman for more information on the creation myth told in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, in which the First Woman, Eve, must support the columns that uphold creation, and these collapse when she stoops down to take fruit from the Tree of Knowledge upon which she is standing.
 Although the translator has chosen the word “distinguished” here (as in “set apart”), a purer rendering of the Latin word signata used here by Hammer-Purgstall is “sealed” or “marked, signed.” The implication is that Mete’s “love” or “charity” is peculiar to her, marked by the signature of what Mete represents.
 Again, he claims that this represents the three Abrahamic religions.
 This is from Luke 7:24, where it says: “And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” (KJV)
 This refers to Matthew 11: 11, which says: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (KJV)
 Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus was a first-to-second-century A.D. Roman historian.
 DecimusIunius Iuvenalis was a first-to-second-century A.D. Roman satirical poet.
 This is the Fatimid Imam-Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Am Allah, who established the Dar al-Hikmah (or “House of Wisdom”) in Cairo in 1004 A.D.
 The identity of “Macrisio” is unknown.
 This refers to The Acts of God Among the French, Guibert of Nogent, early 12th century.
 I have been unable to identify this person, whose first name is the equivalent of “Walter,” but I think it might be a Templar hailing from either what is now called the province of Barensis in Italy, or else what is a now the locality of Montes Obarenes in the province of Burgos, Spain. In this instance, his name is spelled “Gualtero Montibarensi.” Later on in this text, Hammer-Purgstall spells the name “Gualteri Montisbarensis.”
 Sir Francis Bacon wrote in The New Atlantis about a fictional “philosophic empire” centered around a college of wise men he called “Solomon’s House.”
 Hammer-Purgstall is indeed the author of the quintessential book on the subject, History of the Assassins.
 Sanchuniathon was purportedly the Phoenician author of three lost books, allegedly written in the Phoenician language, that have been preserved only as fragments quoted in the works of Philo of Alexandria.
 Manetho was an Egyptian historian from the third century B.C.
 “Kneph” was the name of a motif found in ancient Egyptian art, involving either a globe surrounded by serpents, or a winged egg. The latter image is used frequently in Masonic icons. As its name meant “good,” it is no surprise that, like Agathodaemon, it was a symbol of luck.
Kneph used as Masonic motif
 A group of Greek chthonic deities, associated with metallurgy and the cult of Hephaestus, who became the subject of an ancient mystery school.
 Philo of Alexandria was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher from the first century BC.
 Eusebius quoted Sanchunianthon’s alleged work De Phoenicum Elementis on the subject of Kneph, Agathodaemon, and symbolism of the dragon in Phoenician and Egyptian mythology. According to The Returns of Fetishism: Charles de Brosses and the Afterlives of an Idea by Charles de Brosses, Rosalind C. Morris, Daniel H. Leonard (2017), Philo, referring to either Sanchunianthon or to Thoth, wrote that “that the serpent was called Agathodaemon [“the Good Demon”] by the Phoenicians and Kneph by the Egyptians.”
 From Eusebius, Book 1, Chapter 10, regarding the symbolism of the Dragon:
…The Phoenicians called it ‘Good Demon’ [Agathodaemon]: in like manner the Egyptians surname it Cneph; and they add to it the head of a hawk because of the hawk’s activity.
Epeis also (who is called among them a chief hierophant and sacred scribe, and whose work was translated [into Greek] by Areius of Herecleopolis), speaks in an allegory word for word as follows:
‘The first and most divine being is a serpent with the form of a hawk, extremely graceful, which whenever he opened his eyes filled all with light in his original birthplace, but if he shut his eyes, darkness came on.’
Epeis here intimates that he is also of a fiery substance, by saying ‘he shone through,’ for to shine through is peculiar to light. From the Phoenicians Pherecydes also took the first ideas of his theology concerning the god called by him Ophion….
“Cnouphis Nilis,” a.k.a. “Jupiter of the Nile” spilling his “living waters.” Is this Kneph?
 Athenagoras of Athens was a second-century Church Father and Christian apologist.
 This and several other Greek words in this paragraph are the titles of officers in the Orphic and Eleusian mysteries. This particular person’s role was to prepare the sacrificial pyre on the altar.
 This title means “torch-bearer.” In the image referred to, he is seen carrying a candle.
 Meaning “sacred piper,” this officer’s job was to play the Aulos, an ancient Greek reed pipe.
 This word simply means “he who carries the libations.”
 Translating to “the adorner,” this title was given to the person charged with setting up the altar and the idols for the ritual.
 The word used here by Hammer-Purgstall, stolam, was originally translated as “robe” by our translator, but it is connected to the Latin root of the English word “stole,” which, at the time of his writing, still meant “the long scarf-like garment worn by clergymen” (according to the Online Etymology Dictionary). That matches up with what we see in the image in question.
 This word (with only one letter “f”) had just recently been imported into the English language from French at the time of Hammer-Purgstall’s writing, and generally indicated a glass flask with an open top. In modern speech, almost any vessel for liquid can be a carafe, and indeed, the word is rooted in the Arabic gharraf, which just means “drinking cup.”
 The Eleatics were a fifth-century pre-Socratic philosophy school. They believed in seeking truth through contemplation rather than using the evidence of the senses.
 In other words, he sees these Oriental philosophies as subdividing the attributes of the one true God into multiple gods, as the pagans did.
 Epicurus promoted the pursuit of personal happiness as the highest good, although without the emphasis on sexual pursuits that Hammer-Purgstall implies here. Horace once referred to one of his followers as “A pig from the sty of Epicurus,” perhaps because they tried to be fat and happy like hogs.
 This seems misspelled. A “τ” is missing, and the second-to-last “σ” instead of “ς,” as it is not the final letter of the word. It should be παιδεραστιας. Otherwise, the word translates as “puddles.”
 The notion that semen contains spiritual “light” is common among the presently-discussed mystical traditions.
 This is the title of a Grail romance written by Wolfram von Eschenbach in the thirteenth century, and is considered a prequel to the better-known Parzival.
 This was the motto of the Assassins.
 It seems that this is shown on Tab. IV, fig. 19 and 20.
 The Latin specifically translates to “I seek the dawn.”
 Professor X threw up his hands at the meaning of this word, which he had taken to be κτειδα and transliterated as Kteida (which Google translates as meaning “instances”). I think the word here is something related to κῆτος (kētos, meaning “whale or sea monster,” the source of the English word “cetaceans,” denoting large sea animals. The plural form of this word is κήτη or κήτεα (kētē or kētea). In Latin, these same words were expressed as cetus and cetea, and this is the source of the name of the constellation Cetus, “the whale.” Interestingly, there is another possible translation of the Greek κήτεα—“gardens”—that is highly significant if you consider the idea that the Garden of Eden was actually in the womb of the mother goddess, Gaia (the Babylonian Tiamat, the dragon rent in twain by the hero Marduk, thus initiating creation).
Before I came across this family of Greek words, I had decided that the first character of the Greek word in the original text was intended to be a lower-case lambda (λ), equivalent to an “l,” and thus rendering the word λτειδα: “lydia.”But amazingly, I managed to arrived at the same set of myths and symbols coming from that direction that I would have found if I had already known about Cetus. This is because the defeat of the Lydian Dragon by Hercules—who is in fact the same figure as Cetus—is indeed a feature often depicted on kraters associated with the cult of Dionysus, a god who was thought to have come from Lydia. Snakes can be seen wrapped around all of the initiates of a Dionysian ritual procession on the famous “Lydos krater” on display in the New York Metropolitan Museum.
This dragon was the genius of the Sangarius River in Turkey, and the story of his defeat by Hercules was thought to have been memorialized in the heavens with the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent-Bearer. This brings us to a fascinating and utterly perfect nexus of symbolism and etymology, for in the midst of the constellation of the serpent Hydra is the constellation “Krater,” representing nothing other than the Greek vessel for serving wine, exactly the imagery of a snake-entwined vase found on Tab. V, fig. 19.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, this word may be part of the influence behind the word “Grail,” a term that originated in the mystical romances of the Holy Grail, where it was written in French as Sangreal, or in German as Sangraal. The syllable san is usually interpreted to mean “Holy.” As I mentioned in my book The Merovingian Mythos and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau, the syllable gar meant “vessel” in many ancient languages. Astoundingly, in the very next paragraph after discussing the coin with the serpents guarding the vase, Hammer-Purgstall turns his attention to a coin engraved with the word “GRAL” written in code.
 This Greek letter is now more commonly compared to the W.
 Monachologia, or Handbook of the Natural History of Monks, Arranged According to the Linnaean System by Ignaz Edler von Born, 1852.
 It seems hard to believe that Hammer-Purgstall did not recognize this image of the anguipede Melusine (a common European heraldic device featuring a crowned woman with snakes for legs, now morphed into the mermaid on the Starbucks logo), which it clearly is. Perhaps he would have interpreted all images of Melusine as Templar-inspired depictions of Mete. The story of the Melusine (inspired by a supernatural folk tale stating that the wife of Fulk III, Count of Anjou, was a half-demonic creature spawned by Satan), was first heard shortly before or contemporary with the foundation of the Templar order. The house of Anjou was intimately connected with the families of the founding knights.
 This is the Egyptian symbol known as the Ankh.
 To me, this coin looks like it bears a crown with three points, not three crowns stacked atop one another, which is what I would normally take the term “triple crown” to mean (as in, for example, the old papal tiara, which was actually called that.
 My Latin translator had transliterated this as aporreton and then translated it as “unspoken.” But the word in the original document is απορρητον, which transliterates directly to aporrhton, which is then usually written in the English alphabet as either aporriton or aporrheton. The latter can be found used in rituals from Greek mystery schools, and is frequently translated as “Holy hidden secret.” According to the online “Greek Religion Dictionary,” aporriton can be defined as “that which is forbidden or inaccessible in respect of sacred mysteries, open only to initiates.” (Amazingly, modern online translators render this word to mean simply “confused.”)
This is in contrast to another concept referenced in ritual, the (arrheton) “Holy open (ineffable) secret.” Some say that this is what an aporriton would become after it had been revealed to an initiate, but now could not be spoken of. This must have been what the Latin translator assumed the word to be.
 Ertha was a Germanic Earth goddess.
 I honestly don’t understand what is being said here about Abraxis seals where, according to Hammer-Purgstall, the italicized S is a code for, as far as I can tell, simply a non-italicized S. The Latin translator came up with something else that was entirely unsatisfactory, and this was the best I could do when I tried to sort it out myself.
 This refers to the location Castle Anhalt, still standing in ruins, which was the official residence of the House of Ascania, from when hailed Otto II, Margrave of Brandenburg, to be discussed shortly.
 Years ago, I wrote in my research notes about Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum that I thought (perhaps at the suggestion of someone else) Hammer-Purgstall was saying the coin depicted Otto de Grandson, a knight from Savoy who at the end of the thirteenth century fought off a Mamluk invasion in Cilicia alongside Jacques de Molay. (For this, he is frequently called “the Savior of the Templars,” and the Chateau de Grandson still stands proudly in the municipality of Grandson in Switzerland.)
However, [the Bishop of] Seeländ thought (and Michaud concurred) that the coin actually depicts Otto II, Margrave of Brandenberg, who lived from 1147 to 1205. The word written as “Margrave” in English comes from the German Markgraf, made from graf, the German word for “Count,” and mark, translated “march” in English, which is the German word for a borderland.
Both [the Bishop of] Seeländ and Michaud see this implied in what they take to be the word marchio written on Coin 95, right after the word “OTTO.” Thus they see nothing heretical hinted at in this coin. Indeed, when you compare this coin to another one found on Wikipedia that does feature Otto II, the way the head and face are depicted is quite similar, as is the style of execution for both coins in their entirety (though not the design itself).
Hammer-Purgstall may have had a different Otto in mind, since he wrote that this coin bears “the inscription [or, perhaps, ‘epigraph’] Ottonis Marchionis.” These last two words are not italicized, and he follows them with the statement that “it only goes to show that he was an initiate Gnostic doctrine or the secrets of the Temple.” To me it sounds like Hammer-Purgstall is talking about Ottone Visconti, as he is the only one of the three Ottos I’ve mentioned who was, as far as I can tell, publicly rumored to be a Gnostic heretic.
However, if we examine the image of Coin 95 provided by Hammer-Purgstall, we see that it does not explicitly say either “Ottonis Marchionis” or “Otto Marchio.” It says “OTTO” on the left, to the right of which is a lower-case “g” that’s fallen forward flat on its face, followed by “AR,” and then, to the right of that, “CHIO.” That sick “g” may really be just a sore thumb sticking out and hinting at the word “Gnosis” encoded elsewhere on the coin.
 Again, Hammer-Purgstall has chosen to interpret as a letter C that which appears to me and others, including Joseph Francois Michaud, to be a D.
 Hammer-Purgstall doesn’t explain overtly the fact that the word “OTTO” is on Coin 94, and “Otto Marchio” (if you take that character to be an M) is on Coin 95. It also says “TO OT” on Coin 100, followed by something that could be an H or an X, or a smudged-out character, in my opinion, although Hammer-Purgstall does not mention it.
 Here Hammer-Purgstall choses to interpret what looks like a D as an E, perhaps viewing it as a Greek Omega (lower-case, surely), and thus as an E. He also ignores the presence of the first letter S (for a total of three), which can be found at the 3 o’clock position on the coin’s edge, right below the position of that other S, where Hammer-Purgstall chooses to begin reading the message from. It is to this first S that the period which he places after the third S (his second S) in his attempted reproduction of the letters in the inscription. Also, in the original, according to his own line-drawing reproduced in Fundgruben de Orients, Volume 6, there is a period after the first and second S when reading counter-clockwise, but not the third, which is where he places it in his text.
 Regarding the convoluted set of steps that Hammer-Purgstall must go through in order to decode the characters on this coin into something “Gnostic,” Joseph Francois Michaud write in The History of the Crusades, Volume 3 (1852), that:
In the coin 80, we see, according to M. Hammer, the temple of Jerusalem with four towers; the inscription is: + S. S SIMOONJU[prostrate d]A; but reading it the reverse way, and beginning, not by the final A, but by the prostrate d, which M. Hammer has taken for a Q, whilst other savants, who have quoted this medal, have thought it a D, he reads SSTA QUINOMIS, although there is no T in the inscription; and considering the M as a sigma reversed, M. Hammer has found Quinosis; then Qui into G, and only making a single O of the two, he obtains Gnosis; which, according to his account, reveals and proves the secret of the Gnostic Templars.
- Hammer not only reads it backwards, but he begins by the penultimate letter, and leaves the A, after which is a + which separates the beginning of the inscription from its end. He adds a T, and supposes a Greek letter mixed with the Latin inscription; and yet, after all these changes, he cannot produce the word Gnosis.
And what prevented him from seeing in this inscription what it really is, SS. SIMON JUDA?
 Again, nothing is as it seems. Either we are to read the cross as a symbol completing the implied word sancta (of which we see only an S and an A, with the cross in-between), or we are to ignore the extraneous S and A, begin reading after the cross (which is what Hammer-Purgstall’s Latin seems to instruct us to do if read literally), and then insert the word sancta ourselves from nothing. In Hammer-Purgstall’s text, the word sancta is written in lower-case letters, as if to acknowledge that the word isn’t actually written there.
 To accomplish this, the cross is of course required to form the T, the second R (the backwards one) must be read as an A, the D must be read as a C, and the Q as an O, in addition to the steps he already mentions: taking the M as a sigma, and the C as a lunate sigma, somehow “contracted” with an invisible iota.
 In this instance, it is necessary to start reading with the Q in the 9 o’clock position, and make the M a sigma, as usual. He doesn’t mention the C, S and A, but perhaps we are to take those as an anagram of the letters that he claims signify the word sacra in other instances here.
 It is amazing that Hammer-Purgstall doesn’t mention the fact that his “erroneous” letter “e” in this instance looks like, a circumpunct, the astrological sign for the Sun. He also doesn’t seem to notice that one of the letters “e” in the inner inscription takes the form of a lunar crescent with a face and three points.
 Again, in addition to the unmentioned, now routine substitution of C for E, and in addition to ignoring the cross as an implied but (for the purpose of forming these two particular words, “superfluous,”), we are also asked to substitute an N for an L, and now must use an N as a substitute for the sigma, and assume that it was either done this way to cryptically double-encode the implied “s” that this gives us, or else was done on accident by someone who meant to make an M as a code for a sigma so as to surreptitiously imply the letter S. One also has to ignore the inverted letter V in-between the N/M/Σ and the final letters IS. This is the very same character that he called a cryptic Greek lambda, or L, in the previous paragraph when describing the message on Coin 98, but here he doesn’t even acknowledge that it’s there.
 Is he implying that the now-popular custom of signing a letter to a loved one with “Xs and Os”—taken now to mean “hugs and kisses—is actually a symbol of Gnostic “genital wisdom”? If so, it would be fitting, since another symbol used in this manner, the heart sign, is thought by many to represent the head of a penis.
 Theodoret of Cyrus is considered one of the Fathers of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and lived in the fourth to fifth centuries.
 Themistius was a fourth-century statesman and philosopher living in Constantinople.
 Proserpina’s name literally means “to emerge.” She was a goddess of grain, which emerges from the darkness of the Earth, and she herself was fated to emerge from the Underworld for six months out of every year.
 This refers to Vermischte Philosophische Schriften, a collection of philosophical writings by eighteenth to nineteenth-century German philosopher and historian Christoph Meiner, who among other things was famous for his theory that each human race had a distinct genetic origin.
 This is Nicholas Gurtler, a Swiss protestant theologian who wrote the Historia Templariorum (History of the Templars), published in 1701.
 Hammer-Purgstall erroneously wrote the Roman numerals for “61” here, but that article of the Templar primitive rule is about something else altogether. I take it to be a typo, here corrected.
 This pamphlet, apparently so infamous in Hammer-Purgstall’s time, has not survived for us in any trace. I really have no idea what he is referring to here, although it sounds like it must have been quite an interesting document. Even the title has defied our translation.
 This is presumably the same person referred to earlier as “Gualtero Montibarensi.”
 Matthew of Paris was a Benedictine monk, chronicler, cartographer, and illustrator in the thirteenth century, famous for his Chronica Majora (Grand Chronicle).
 I haven’t been able to track down this personage.
 This refers to Wilhelm Christian Stemler, author of Contingent zur Geschichte der Templer und der Aufhebung ihres Ordens (Contingent on the History of the Templars and the Abolition of their Order), Leipzig, Germany, 1793.
 This is François-Just-Marie Raynouard, a contemporary of Hammer-Purgstall whose Memoires sur les Templiers (Memoires of the Templars) is cited herein by the latter.
 Karl Gottlieb Anton, author of Versuch Einer Geschichte Des Tempelherrnordens (An Attempted History of the Templars of the North), 1771.
 I am not sure which Baylis is referred to here. Thomas Henry Baylis, author of The Temple Church and Chapel of St. Ann, etc.: An Historical Record and Guide, was only one year old at the time, and his book wasn’t published until 1893, so it cannot be him.