I’ve talked about the snake thing before. It’s a through line for me and I continue to marvel at its vivacity. Refutation of All Heresies* devotes the entirety of Book 5 to different expressions of serpentine gnosis. It’s not a small section of the Refutation, coming to some 80 pages of translated material. The text is divided between four main sects identified as Naassenes, Peratai, Sethians (not the same gnostic group identified by many contemporary scholars as Sethian), and the followers of Justin.
Okay, well, if I had any questions whether I was on the right track with the last post’s experimentation, I don’t anymore. It has been a useful few days of vigorous communication, the sort where I am struggling to keep up with what is being relayed as I am trying to formulate some kind of response to ti. This morning’s dreams pushed me up early and writing, clarifying what the facial configuration meant, and then dropped something into my lap that, well, I’m not quite sure what to do with yet. The proverbial one to grow on, I imagine.
One of the things I like about an account that distinguishes different sorts of klippoth is that it provides me with a simple but well-structured model of the ‘physics’ of the gnostic fall and the sorts of existence it made possible. I am not big on ‘results centered’ magic, but I do like my models to be as actionable as possible. Here, when I say ‘actionable,’ I mean it to refer to action in its rich, ethical dimensions, not just to its practical, ‘can I do it?’ sense.
Scratching the surface of Glycon’s cultus makes me realize how much Alan Moore’s offhanded down-talking of him as a fake god has distorted my appreciation of his historical place. I’ve been fidgeting a bit to see what I can do with google maps, so here is a crude map of how his cultus flashes across the ancient world following Alexander of Aboniteichus calling himself Glycon’s prophet.
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.
Yesterday was a good day in numerous small ways and one of them was following a little nudge to wander by the library. I walk by the new books shelf and the first thing I see is Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism by Andrei A. Orlov. After having just had a lengthy post about mimesis, it feels like someone dropping an anonymous note through my mail slot, so I picked it right up.
Following the tail of the last post, I want to turn toward the account of the Fall in Genesis, focusing on a couple of details. The first is that the creation of Eve is something of a capstone to the creation of animals. The second is that Eve is not given a name until after judgment has been passed on the Serpent, Eve, and Adam.