This post comes together at the crossroads of three trajectories. The first, mentioned in this post, is the potential that the Watchers are the zodiacal constellations. The second is Aryeh Kaplan’s (Sefer Yetzirah in Theory and Practice) discussion of the two serpents in Kabbalistic lore, one being Draco the constellation, the other being the ecliptic. The third is a vision I had a while ago around spirits dancing down toward the earth on the back of a great snake.
Kaplan distinguishes the visible Draco from the invisible ecliptic serpent and it is pretty easy to start noticing that the invisible serpent is what joins the the zodiacal constellations and distinguishes them from others. These constellations are given pride of place in occult workings, and if I am right about reading them as the watchers, then what the invisible serpent seems to be is a channel that allows them to extend their influence to the earth, with the erotic language found in the Slavonic material being a code for the interpenetration of celestial and terrestrial and the dynamic changes produced in the terrestrial through that interpenetration.
All of this gives especial privilege to sidereal astrology, since it is that practice which continues to track the interaction of the ecliptic and the constellations, but between my personal visionary material and the story of Esterah (Asteroth-Esther) provided by Orlov in Divine Scapegoats, I am beginning to think that the influence of the heavens over the earth isn’t continuous at all, but regulated both by the highest celestial authorities (God and the angels), but also by the earth, and the spirit of the earth, itself.
The story Orlov discusses indicates that the watchers came to earth at a discrete point and produced by their intervention dramatic transformations in it, but only with the receptiveness of Esterah. Afterward, the influence of the watchers was broken, and they were buried. Their progeny, too, suffered and were removed, but there influence remained in their descendants and in the power of divine names that they granted Esterah.
The process initiates an epoch which takes place upon the earth, with the zodiacal influences withdrawing to exert a subtle and indirect force over the forces circulating within that epoch. Over time, though, what happens as those forces become more dilute? Perhaps the zodiacal powers become increasingly indirect along with that dilution. But, if the earth were to renew her intimacy with the heavens, the whole process would begin again, with renewed powers moving upon the earth.
There are good reasons for imagining that such an epochal cycle has happened many times over the course of the earth’s long history. Over time, too, different powers would make their way into the birth of an epoch, as the ecliptic slowly excluded some constellations and included others.
This talk of serpents, too, brings some new life to framing one expression of the law of three to be the division of Adam-Eve-Serpent, for if the relationship of the ecliptic serpent and the zodiacal powers isn’t catalytic, I don’t what is.
(A brief aside: note that the Ophites were associated with the worship of serpents. While this seems to have entailed actual serpents, I suspect that these actual serpents were representatives of their celestial kin. I have to wonder a little, too, that the earliest accounts of West African religion, ca. 900-1000 AD, in the Islamic accounts report a similar worship of serpents, a practice that seems to survive in contemporary Dahomean vodu through the reverence given Mawu and Lisa—the visible and invisible serpents perhaps? There is a lot of time between the burial of the watchers at Gobekli Tepe and the expansion of celestial cults outward into West Africa.)