That Which Has Fallen
"This place is terrible." This enigmatic phrase inscribed above the entryway at Rennes-le-Chateau has been the source of bafflement to many researchers. Why would any priest affix to their church a statement seemingly so at odds with the function and solemnity of a place of worship? A few observers have noted that its actually a quote from Genesis, yet stop short of actually speculating on its possible meaning in this context. The actual passage (Gen. 28:17) describes an incident that happened to Jacob. He goes to sleep, resting his head upon a stone, and has a most unusual dream. In it, he sees a ladder stretching to heaven, and angels are ascending and descending upon it When he awakes, he declares, "This place is terrible but it is the house of God and the portal to Heaven." He anoints the stone and decides that a temple should be erected on it at that very spot.
What seems to be the relevant aspect of the Jacob story is what he saw in his dream: angels ascending to heaven and descending from heaven. An unusual vision, to be sure. But there is another passage in Genesis that refers to angels descending from Heaven and walking on the earth. In Genesis, it says:
"The Nephilim were on the Earth in those days - and also afterward - when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them, the same became mighty men who were old, men of renown."In some translations of the Bible, the word giants is substituted for Nephilim. But Nephilim doesn't mean giants, it means "Those who were cast down." The reference to the Nephilim is extremely brief, and would hardly seem to convey any negative connotation. The "sons of God" took the daughters of men, and gave birth to a dynasty of "mighty men... of renown." What's wrong with that?
But immediately thereafter, the Lord becomes angry with man's incessant evil and decides "to wipe humankind... from the face of the Earth." Are we missing something? It would seem that there is much more to this story which is being left out in this telling. And indeed there is. There is an entire apocryphal text called The Book of Enoch which deals with the Nephilim saga in far greater depth. It is, in fact, a book wholly dedicated to the Nephilim story in all its aspects. And its importance lies not just in the fact that it seems to be a record pertaining to the details of a missing chapter of biblical history, but that it seems also to be the retelling of a story that recurs in numerous mythologies: that of a race of Gods that comes to Earth to teach man their wisdom (only to end up intermarrying with the Earth women.)
It is supposed that The Book of Enoch was written in the first of second century B.C. There is every indication that at the time the text was regarded as a valid piece of sacred literature in its own right. It was referred to by such figures as Ireneus and Clement of Alexandria, whom we are told assigned it an authenticity "analogous to that of Mosaic literature." And Tertullian called Enoch "The most ancient prophet." Archbishop Richard Laurence, who first translated The Book of Enoch, notes that references to the book show up in the Zohar, saying: "In this celebrated compilation of what was long supposed to constitute the hidden wisdom of the Jewish nation, occasional references are made to The Book of Enoch as a book carefully preserved from generation to generation." Despite this, the book faded somehow into oblivion, and was not to be found in Europe for well over a thousand years. Then in 1773, a Scottish explorer named James Bruce found three copies of the text in an Abyssinian Church called the House of St. George.
Bruce brought the manuscripts back to Europe, donating one copy to the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris, and another to the Bodleign Library at Oxford. When Richard Laurence first published his translation of the text in 1821, Biblical scholars were taken aback. The Book of Enoch was equal in apocalyptic intensity only to The Book of Revelation. It relates the story of Enoch the Prophet, a man reputed to have been the son of Cain. The story chronicles how the sons of God taught their wisdom to mankind, and in so doing, unleashed a tide of evil. It starts off with a reiteration of the Nephilim scenario, except in this version they're called The Watchers:
"It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. And when the angels, the sons of heaven beheld them, they became enamored of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children."So the angels, 200 in number, swore an oath to one another in a pact to take as wives the daughters of men. Such a pact essentially constituted a rebellion against heaven. This detail would represent a decisive difference between the story of Enoch's Watchers and the Nephilim of Genesis. If the Nephilim were "those who were cast down", the implication is clearly that they were expelled from Heaven, or were fallen angels. The Watchers, in contrast , are plainly portrayed as willfully conspiring to rebel against Heaven. Enoch continues:
"Then they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabitated; teaching them sorcery, incantations... (and) all the secret things which are done in the heavens."And herein lies what seems to have been the real sin of the Watchers: to have shared "powerful secrets" with mankind, because "men were not born for this." Each of the leaders of the Watchers taught some specialized field of knowledge, such as astronomy and the motions of the stars and planets, the manufacture of goods, the dying of textiles, and so on. And certainly, while the teaching of such things as sorcery and astrology may have been viewed as ungodly at the time, one angel stands accused of "(teaching) men to understand writing, and the use of ink and paper." This is odd, because elsewhere Enoch himself is described as a "scribe of righteousness", and is often credited with being the inventor of mathematic, writing, and astronomy!
The great crime of the Watchers was to teach wisdom to mankind. The subtext of the book would seem to be saying that wisdom beets evil. Like the Luddite sects who felt that man's technological progress lead him away from God, and created all the world's ills and iniquities; the author of The Book of Enoch is telling us that higher understanding was contrary to man's true nature, and resulted inevitably in woe. This book is probably a far more accurate record of how the Watchers were perceived than it is a reflection of who they were or what they did. Its axiomatic that people fear and mistrust those who know more than they do, or wield more power. And it's also a given that people fear and resist that kind of change that accompanies knowledge and new ideas. This, by all accounts, is precisely what the Watchers brought to the ancients. We can see echoes of precisely this same sort of fearful attitude, in more modern times, in the account of certain tribes in Africa who were observed practicing a kind of negative eugenics. When a researching watching from a hidden position in a bush saw a tribesman put to death a perfectly healthy child for seemingly no reason at all, he questioned the motive for their act. They replied that every so often a child was born who was too beautiful, too curious, or too intelligent, and it was simply understood that such people would eventually be the source of problems. Any individual who at so young an age was demonstrably brighter than his peers would inevitably grow up to promote ideas at variance with tradition. Such people create change, sow seeds of discord, and upset the equilibrium of the community, and such behavior constitutes a grave threat to the survival of the group as a cohesive whole. Consequently, dealing with the problem at the earliest possible time was not only prudent, it was a necessity.
In ancient times, wisdom was synonymous with power; and power, especially for those who don't possess it, is more often than not perceived to be synonymous with oppression. Indeed, the Watchers are accused of such when it is said, "let every oppressor perish from the face of the earth; Destroy... the offspring of the Watchers, for they have tyrannized over mankind." As is common in apocalyptic Jewish texts, the oppressors are ascribed mythic attributes. In The Book of Enoch, the offspring of the Watchers are described as a race giants who "devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them; when they turned against men in order to devour them." They consumed birds and fish, "devouring their flesh one after another and drinking their blood." This sounds like the highly exaggerated claim of any peasant anywhere, who watches his rulers feast on fatted calves while he and his family must subsist on porridge.
It must be remembered that the Book of Enoch was the first major text to be written after the Jews Babylonian captivity, and we can clearly see the emergence of the influence of Zoroastrian ideas they assimilated at that time. We see a more clearly defined dichotomy between notions of good and evil, the elect and the unrighteous. Before Enoch, the Lord was both Good Cop and Bad Cop - alternatively blessing and punishing, loved and feared. The devil was, if anything, a bit player in the drama. But in the Watchers we can see an emerging prototype of Satan, the adversary. And too, we can see a variation on the theme of original sin. Just as with Eve & the forbidden fruit, the sin of the Watchers involved a specific combination of infractions, having to do with both disobedience, and knowledge.
If one were to look behind the mythic elements of the story of the Watchers, any number of more purely historical facsimiles of the events described seem to present themselves. What interests us is the persistence of the myth itself. The ongoing story of a race of gods and their descendants, who somehow come to be perceived as Luciferian. Often such figures are associated with water, the sea, or the Flood. At times they are presented as dwellers within the Earth (and often in connection with this, as giants.) Some say that the Watchers themselves were imprisoned within the Earth, while The Book of Enoch places great emphasis on the notion that a flood was sent "so that their seed would perish from the Earth." The question as to whether or not that seed did in fact perish in one of contention, because there is an interesting (and altogether perplexing) addendum to the tale.
Enoch's son Mathusala took a wife for his son Lamach. The text reads:
"She became pregnant by him and brought forth a child, the flesh of which was white as snow, and red as a rose; the hair of whose head was white as wool, and long; and whose eyes were beautiful. When he opened them, he illuminated all the house, like the sun; the whole house abounded with light." Fearing something was seriously amiss, Lamach went to Mathusala, and told him, "I have begotten a son unlike to other children. He is not human, but resembling the offspring of Heaven, is of a differently nature, being altogether unlike us. His eyes are bright as the rays of the sun; his countenance glorious, and he looks not as if he belongs to me, but to the angels."Lamach entreated Mathusala to go to Enoch, who was "with the angels", and find out the truth about his unusual child. At length, Enoch was located "at the extremities of the Earth", and apprised o the situation. Enoch reassured him that, "the child which is born is (Lamachs) child in truth; and that there is no deception." But strongly, he hastened to add that, "his posterity shall beget on the earth giants." Then he foretold of a great flood that would bring destruction to all the Earth - except for Lamach's son.
"This child which is born to you shall survive on the Earth, and his sons shall be saved with him. When all mankind who are on the earth die, he shall be safe. And his posterity shall beget on the earth giants, not spiritual, but carnal. Now therefore inform thy son Lamach that he who is born is his child in truth; and he shall call his name Noah, for he shall he to you a survivor."What are we to make of this bizarre addendum? Its chief elements are highly contradictory, and simply don't add up in the context of the rest of the Watcher's saga. Are we to conclude that the child, although in no way similar seeming to Lamach, is indeed his? Or that the fact that his child is foretold to sire a race of giants has no particular significance? Or are we to infer that Noah was in fact a descendant of the seed of the Watchers - that indeed Enoch himself was once of the watchers. Enoch, after all, is said to be the inventor of math, writing and astronomy, the very bits of knowledge the sharing of which had constituted the crimes of the Watchers. Enoch himself stated, "I am acquainted with the holy mysteries, which the Lord himself has discovered and explained to me; and which I have read in the tablets of heaven." If the sharing of such "powerful secrets" were a sin for the Watchers and their progeny, why could Enoch engage in the same pursuit with impunity? If we understood the precise nature of the reason for Enoch's seemingly unique dispensation, might that constitute the true gnosis to be gleaned from the pages of this text? Like other books of the Bible, that of Enoch is laced with contradictions. Indeed, all of myth contains an element of contradiction, ambiguity and paradox. Perhaps that is central to the mechanism of how myth functions. If we understood its component details in a more straightforward way, we would no doubt be denied the experience of its essence at a more primal level. The fundamental truth that we take away from the myths of the Nephilim and the Watchers is that they seem to be very much in accord with certain basic stories related in myths pertaining to the Merovingians. Though differing in detail, the elemental similarities far overshadow the more superficial dissimilarities. And despite the differences apparent in their outward form, they would essentially appear to constitute an identical tradition, albeit clothed in the symbolism of another time and culture.
The primary symbolism that recurs persistently in connection to the Merovingians is that of dragons, serpents, the sea, and sea serpents. The most well-known dragon or sea serpent is undoubtedly the biblical Leviathan. It is very probably patterned after a much more ancient sea god, and although its mythology is far less cohesive than its earlier prototypes, it nonetheless holds some tantalizing clues in relation to the Merovingians. In some versions of the Leviathan tale, Leviathan is described as a dragon who encircles the Earth, biting his tale; and is said to represent the "world soul." In The Book of Enoch, Leviathan is described as a monster who resides in the ocean, and is female. The apocryphal Acts of Thomas characterizes Leviathan as a dragon who lives beyond "the waters of the Abyss", and says he is "king of the worms of the Earth, whose tail lies in his mouth. This is the serpent that led astray through passions the angels from on high; this is the serpent that lead astray the first Adam and expelled him from Paradise." Elsewhere in the Acts, one of the sons of Leviathan states that he is, "the offspring of the serpent-nature and a corruptor's son. I am the son of he who ... sits on the throne and has dominion over the creation beneath the heavens... who encircles the sphere ... who is around the ocean, whose tale is in his mouth." A similar theme shows up in the Pistis Sophia, in which it is said that , "The outer darkness is a huge dragon, whose tale is in its mouth." This seems fairly emblematic of the consensus opinion regarding the character of Leviathan, with the notable exception of The Book of Enoch, which speaks of, "a female monster, whose name is Leviathan, dwelling in the depths of the sea, above the springs of waters..." The Book of Revelations also equates Leviathan with the sea. Why a dragon, whether dwelling in the sea or encircling the Earth, should be synonymous with the serpent of Genesis, or evolve into a generic term for the devil is somewhat perplexing; yet the connection is undeniable. And in the statement from the Acts of Thomas attributed to a son of Leviathan, he seems to be equating his father with the Demiurge (Le Roi du Monde - Lucifer.) This is intriguing, because another context in which Leviathan shows up is as part of what is undoubtedly one of the world's most recognizable Satanic symbols. In the depiction of Baphomet as a goat's head within a pentagram, the Hebrew characters at each of the star's five points spell Leviathan. And the pentagram is a symbol central to the Merovingian saga. It figures prominently in the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery, it was used by the Cathars, it was encoded in the paintings by Poussin and Cocteau, and continues to be a key symbol for groups such as the Masons. Some scholars even maintain that the pentagram, and not the hexagram, is the true Star of David. Such an assertion seems imminently agreeable, since the symbol generically referred to as the Star of David is more widely known to occultists as the Seal of Solomon; and why would two different designations not infer that two different symbols in fact existed?
It would further make sense that the pentagram would be an appropriate emblem for the House of David, because it is said to be representative of the secret doctrine of the antediluvian gods who taught their wisdom to mankind. Could it not also signify the living remnant of the seed of that antediluvian race of gods, the descendants of which were the House of David, and later the Merovingians? If such a supposition were true, it's easy to see why such a symbol (as well as the doctrine and race it represented) might have been viewed by the ancients as signifying something demonic. Consequently, the pentagram, which may well have been a straight-forwardly Davidic symbol, evolved over the years into a purely occult icon. It continued to be a symbol of central significance to the descendants of David, but their use of it was restricted even more increasingly to more sub rosa, encoded manifestations. Even centuries later, the five-petaled rose would be a prominent monarchistic device, and this symbol was well-known in occult circles as code for a pentagram.
So, key elements of the Merovingian mythos come together in the sea, the pentagram, and Leviathan. But Leviathan was only associated with the sea in some versions of the myth, while in others his place was in "the outer darkness." Such seeming contradictions dissolve when you realize that for the ancients, the sea and the heavens were often conceptualized as one and the same. The vast reaches of the night sky, of space, were viewed as another kind of sea - an ocean in which the terrestrial realm was afloat. And more modern observers, taking this conception as a point of departure, have gone so far as to advance the theory that in ancient times, the world may in fact have been surrounded by a vast watery firmament which was held aloft via centrifugal force. Far-fetched though such assertions may be, the constituted the thesis of a world-wide bestseller, Ignatius Donelly's Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, Such a circumstance, according to Donnelly, would explain why the ancients perceived the heavens to be synonymous with the sea. And, according to the theory, this could have created a vastly different climate on Earth; one which could have allowed men to live much longer than current conditions (i.e., life spans akin to those recorded in the Bible.) This, too, could account for the Deluge, recorded in countless mythologies. If some cataclysm of gargantuan proportions had occurred to disrupt the watery firmament, the resulting disturbance could have caused a global flood. Bizarre though such a theory may be, it turned Donnelly into an international celebrity in the 1800s, and his counsel was sought by both Presidents and European royals. Though by modern standards, Donnelly's ideas would be dismissed as a crackpot theory, in his day they were viewed as a scientific explanation of Biblical events.
Insofar as mythical sea creatures are concerned, Leviathan is not the sole example, nor even the principal example. We look to the pantheon of sea gods due to the fact that there is scant documentation in regard to Meroveus or Merovee. We can only conclude that the name Meroveus is a Latinized variation of a more primordial incarnation of a god who embodied the same attributes; that the word Meroveus is simply a term meaning "born of the sea." Meroveus was said to be the spawn of a mythical creature called a Quinotaur, a god whose form was part man, part fish. None of the preeminent encyclopedias of mythology contain any mention of such a creature, nor have any specialists in the fields of the occult or mythology whom we've contacted remember having ever heard of this entity. And references to Meroveus prove to be very nearly non-existent. We'd often wondered why those researching the Merovingians and/or the Grail mystery had simply glossed over this aspect of the saga, one which (it seemed to us) could perhaps reveal some vital clue to the whole affair. We'd assumed that they had dismissed the Meroveus story as being pure mythology, and therefore irrelevant. But perhaps the lack of coverage given the Meroveus saga was due more to a paucity of concrete information.
Given what we'd seen at Rennes-le-Chateau, we had reason to believe that Meroveus constituted some fundamental clue that was possibly central to the whole mystery. Over and over again we'd seen symbolism relating to the sea and water. There was the Mary Magdalen grotto, constructed out of coral (a material not in great abundance in a town hours from the sea by car.) There were figures as Asmodeus and John the Baptist, both bearing sea shells. There was the depiction, central to the altar in the church, of the Grail chalice, being born aloft on waves of water. And there was a n archway near the Calvaire, also made of coral. Such symbolism was so incongruous, and yet obviously so purposeful, that we were sure it had to signify something.
When we asked the Rennes-le-Chateau tour guide where the coral for the grotto and archway had come from. She informed us that Sauniere had excavated it himself from a riverbed in a nearby town. He'd carried it back to the domain in a sack on his back - a sack such as is used by grape pickers in local vineyards. Such an explanation seems straightforward enough at first hearing, until one considers that there aren't any towns "nearby." And in Sauniere's day, a trip to the nearest town, back and forth on foot, lugging rocks uphill in one direction, would surely have constituted a day's journey, at least. And given the amount of coral used in the construction of the grotto alone, Sauniere would have had to make such a journey dozens of times.
While we know that coral cannot generally be found in freshwater riverbeds hundreds of miles from the sea, we found ample evidence to indicate that this whole region was once underwater. Just outside our mountaintop hotel we found huge rocks such as we'd only ever seen at the seaside, and what were clearly sea shells half-protruding from the mud. It seemed conceivable that there might also be ancient coral formations in the vicinity as well. The tour guide seemed fairly confident about the details of her story - the name of the town and the river, in fact that Sauniere had traveled there and back on foot, and so on. But whether Sauniere had gotten the materials from somewhere in the region or had journeyed all the way to the Riviera, the same conclusion was inescapable. He'd gone to an incredible amount of trouble to procure this specific building material, and it had to be in order to communicate a specific idea: that of the sea.
The tradition of sea gods is as ancient as that of sun gods. And just as sun gods were often depicted as having the head or body of a bird, so the sea gods were represented as being part fish. The sea was a potent symbol in ancient times. Water was viewed as a substance that represented a kind of intermediary plane between the terrestrial realm and the celestial. Heaven was above the waters, Earth below. Mythical creatures associated with water or the sea were seen, then, to exist between two planes, or on two planes at once: the physical and the spiritual. Such creatures were emblematic of the divine spirit having descended into matter, the flesh. This is what Simon Magus referred to when he described the two aspects of the One. One aspect was above in "the unbegotten power", the other below, "in the stream of waters, begotten in the image." Images of water and the sea recur frequently in Biblical texts, apocryphal texts, and gnostic texts. Biblical names such as Mary and Miriam both derive from the Latin word for the sea. Mary was the name both of Christ's mother, and his consort Mary Magdalen. And of crucified Messiahs known to the ancient world, no less than seven had mothers whose names were Mary (or some derivation thereof.) Are we to conclude that this fact represents a bizarre coincidence, or that the sea in fact represented a powerful symbol to the ancients, one whose meaning has grown obscure through the passage of time? And too, are we to conclude that within the context of the Merovingians, that the sea was purely emblematic of an existence straddling two planes, or could it also be a reference to something far more tangible as well?
While the figure of Meroveus remains somewhat elusive at best, evidence of similar sea gods seem suggestive of a Merovingian connection. The most compelling in this regard is Dagon. The very name is suggestive of dragon, a creature much associated with the Merovingians. It is also highly suggestive of Dago-bert, one of the most legendary of the Merovingian rulers. And the Dagon/Dragon/Dagobert association becomes even further compounded by the fact that King Dagobert was recorded by some chroniclers as being called King Dragobert.
In reference to Dagon, Dragons and the sea, Albert Pike tells us:
"The Dragon was a well-known symbol of the waters, and of great rivers; and it was natural that... the powerful nations of the alluvial plains... who adored the dragon or the fish, should themselves by symbolized under the form of dragons"And Later:
"Ophioneous, in the old Greek mythology, warred against Kronos... and was cast into his proper element, the sea. There he is installed as the Sea God ... Dagon, the Leviathan of the watery half of creation."In ancient reliefs, Dagon is depicted as a man dressed as a fish. He looks stern, somber, and has the authoritative bearing of a priest or king. He wears a massive fish head as a hat, and the fish's scaly hide hangs down his back. The shape of the fish head and the contours of its mouth, pointed skyward, are suggestive of the miter worn by the Pope and other officials of the Catholic church; and indeed, some maintain that the Genesis of such regalia may date back to this time. So, likewise, may the fish imagery affiliated with orthodox Christianity.
According to legend, Dagon was a god who came from out of the sea to teach mankind the secrets of civilization, such as science, agriculture, and the arts (sound familiar?) Yet again (and in an altogether different context), we encounter the recurring tale of the being who comes from another realm to teach humanity evolutionary wisdom.
In another version of the same tale, Dagon is called Annedotus. He too emerges from the sea to disperse great secrets to mankind. But there is an important variation to the story: Annedotus begets a race who become the teachers of mankind, the Annedoti. Note the similarity to the names that appear in a Semitic Sumerian myth very much of the same ilk. In this telling, the god Anu comes to Earth, bringing knowledge, and sires a race called the Annunaki. Except, according to Zecharia Sitchin, Anu was from outer space, and his descendants, the Annunaki, were half-human, half-alien. Sitchin's interpretation notwithstanding, this seems to be yet another recapitulation of the same myths, varying only in detail.
Another sea god associated with both Dagon and Annedotus was Oannes, a deity part-man, part-fish, who appeared "from that part of the Erythrean sea which borders on Babylon." He too imparted great knowledge to the ancients, and gave them:
"insight into the letters and sciences and arts of every kind. He taught them to construct cities, to found temples, to compile laws, and explained to them the principles of geometrical knowledge. He made them distinguish the seeds of the Earth, and showed them how to collect the fruits. In short, he instructed them in everything which could tend to soften manners and humanize their lives. From that time, nothing has been added by way of improvement to their lives." (Berossus.)According to legend, Oannes passed the day among men, passing down his teaching, but when the sun set, he "retired again into the sea, passing the night in the deep, for he was amphibious." According to the Theosophical Glossary, this simply implied that Oannes:
"belonged to two planes: the spiritual and the physical. For the Greek word amphibios means simply 'life on two planes'... The word was often applied in antiquity to those men who, though still wearing a human form, had made themselves almost divine through knowledge, and lived as much in the spiritual, supersensuous regions as on Earth."In other words, the man/fish symbolism relates to what was perceived as Oannes' dual nature, part human, part divine and mythic. Such an idea is confirmed when we look to a later incarnation of Oannes as the Roman god Janus. By such time, the sea symbolism had vanished, and his dual nature was depicted in the form of two faces. In an interesting footnote, Oannes is also the figure from whom we derive the names Jonah and John (via Johannes), two Biblical figures equally associated with the imagery of water.
The Oannes/Dagon/Nephilim there appears to show up elsewhere in Greek mythology in the story of the Titans. The Titans were a race of gods who, like the offspring of the Watchers, were giants. When the primordial god Ouranos (a permutation of Oannes) had an incestuous liaison with his mother, Gaia, she gave birth to twelve giants, the Titans. When the powerful race of Titans rebelled against the authority of the parental gods, Zeus cast them into the abyss, imprisoning them in the underworld. Ouranos may be connected to the idea of the ouroburos, the watery Leviathan discussed earlier. And the Titans may well be connected to the Tritons, a race of gods spawned by Poseidon and Amphitrite. Rather than being giants, the Tritons were hybrid fish-men. Also of interest in regard to Poseidon is that he was alternately called Poseidaon, and Dagon was also called Daonos. Another title of Dagon was Daos, which is so similar in sound to words such as deus, dios and so forth that our primary words for deity may well have had their genesis in this strange fish-god.
In Plato's Critias, it is evident that the Titans and the Tritons are one and the same. They are the offspring of Poseidon and a mortal woman, and are giants. The story told is very much that of the Watchers, with a key difference. Here, it is the human element of their nature that leads to their corruption and ultimate downfall.
"For many generations, as long as the divine nature lasted in them, they were obedient to the laws, and well-affectioned toward the gods, who were their kinsmen... but when the divine portion began to fade away in them, and became diluted too often, and with too much of the mortal admixture... human nature got the upper hand, then, they being unable to bear their fortune, became unseemly, and to him who had eye to see, they began to appear base, and had lost the fairest of their precious gifts; but to those who had no eye to see the true happiness, they still appeared glorious and blessed at the very time when they were filled with unrighteous avarice and power. Zeus, the god of gods, who rules with law, and is able to see into such things, perceiving that an honorable race was in a most wretched state, and wanting to inflict punishment on them, that they might be chastened and improved, collected all the gods into his most holy habitation, which, being placed in the center of the world, sees all things that partake of generation. And when he had called them all together he spake as follows..."Unfortunately, we'll never know what Zeus said, as Plato's manuscript ends abruptly at this point.
The tale related in Critias is interesting not only for its striking similarities to other such stories we've examined, but also for the glaring dissimilarities. Rather than casting the gods into the abyss "for all time", Zeus merely imprisons them in "his most holy habitation." Rather than wanting to "wipe their seed from the face of the Earth", Zeus merely wants to see them "chastened and improved." And their sin was due not to any willful rebellion against God (or the gods), but was a byproduct of miscegenation with humans; which lead to their divine nature being overshadowed by the human. There are hints of this in The Book of Enoch, wherein the mortal wives of the Watchers seem literally to be blamed for "defiling" the angels. Plato's version of the Titan/Triton tale seems almost to end on a hopeful note, as though the chance exists that the gods might possibly be reformed somehow. There are numerous permutations of this saga. The names of the gods and the details of the story vary quite a bit in the different tellings. In some versions, one of the sons of Poseidon is Dagon.
Oftentimes when Oannes or Dagon are referred to in print, the same picture is used to depict them both. It's that photograph of an Assyrian relief, showing a man wearing a fish's head as a hat. The figure portrayed is plainly a man, and the fish regalia he's wearing clearly seems to be some form of ceremonial garb. He seems to be perhaps a priest or a king, and it's quite evident that no one at the time this relief was carved had any illusions that he was in any way a sea creature. On the contrary, he was clearly a man invoking the symbolism of the sea in order to align himself in the public mind with whatever symbolic connotations such an archetype would have embodied at that time.
Scholars seem to concur that Oannes, Dagon, and Annedotus are merely different names which all refer to essentially the same mythological character. And yet the Assyrian relief would seem to contradict such a premise. It would seem to bear a kind of mute testimony to the possibility that all three of the aforementioned figures may have had their genesis in what was at one time a real historical personage. In the modern era, we have witnessed even trivial pop culture figures take on a mythic character, morphing from mere singers or actors into figures of an almost religious veneration. We have witnessed the proliferation of urban legends, bizarre tales that are patently untrue and baseless, yet inspire widespread belief. And we have seen (repeatedly) people adapt fanatical beliefs which contradict all the well-established facts relating to exceedingly well-documented public events. (For instance: those who say Elvis is alive, O.J. Simpson was framed, and so on.) All this we have seen in our own lifetime, and in an age supposedly defined by realism and skepticism; an age in which every public event is documented in such thorough detail that even those with an intense interest in the subject become bored, and even those not paying attention know more about the topic than they care to. If we can observe such a dissonance between fact and myth, truth and belief, in our own time, imagine the inherent possibilities of such a process in an age ruled by superstition, in which information was passed on by means of an oral tradition.
Its probably safe to assume that the symbolism associated with Dagon and Oannes was at one time perceived as straightforward, and was readily understood by those who first heard their stories. With the passage of time, as such tales spread to other lands and other peoples, the meaning became lost, and what was once pure symbolism was taken at face value. Remember, when early Babylonians and Egyptians saw a depiction of a man with a hawk's head, they in no way imagined that it represented an entity part-human, part-bird. They understood that the hawk was a symbol of the sun, and that this composite of man/bird was intended to infer a special relationship to the sun, or to the god symbolized by the sun.
The earliest kings of which we know were deified kings - god-kings. They were identified with both fire and water, the sun and the sea. They had solar titles, and lunar titles. If Dagon and Oannes were once historical figures, they were probably among the descendants of such a line of god-kings. And if such were true, they undoubtedly had possessed a greater than usual association with the water element, with the sea. In fact, certain of these kings were so thoroughly identified with the sea that they are actually remembered as Sea-Kings. They were the rulers of an ancient empire known as Sumeria.
Sumeria is the oldest civilization known to man. Long before Greece and Rome had attained their golden age, Sumeria was already ancient. Those in search of the roots of early history often go back to the glory days of the Pharaohs of Egypt, yet Egypt too was in its infancy at a time when Sumeria had long been the center of the world. For all intents and purposes, Sumeria seems to have entered the world stage as a high civilization. It wasn't there, and then suddenly it was - complete with arts, sciences, astronomy, navigation, agriculture, and all the complexities of a highly evolved culture. All of which leaves the modern observer to ponder exactly how such a society could appear out of nowhere and nothing into such a fully realized entity, seemingly instantaneously. The elements that define a high culture evolve, slowly and incrementally over a vast expanse of time. One can't learn to run without first knowing how to walk, and waling begins with baby steps. And yet ancient Sumeria seems to have leap-froged over and beyond the baby steps of civilization; a feat never since repeated in the annals of mankind. How did they do it? Their explanation is quite simple and straightforward: they were taught everything they knew by a race of gods.
The first king of Sumeria was also the first god of Sumeria. He was a deified king named IA, and he was known as the Lord of the Flood, or Lord of the Deep Waters. The name IA served as the basis of god-names from many other cultures, including (but not limited to) Jah, Ihah, Yahweh, Jove, Jehovah, Allah, Janus, Ianus, Uranus, Ouranos, and... Oannes. An illustration of Ia from a Sumerian seal, circa 2730 B.C. depicts him as a bearded figure, sitting on a throne, holding vases from which water is flowing. At his feet are more vases overflowing with streams of water, and indeed the very throne on which he is seated seems to be held aloft by water. This is interesting, because a number of passages from the Christian Bible, in describing God (and his throne) would appear to be straightforward references to this very picture of Ia, the first Sumerian god-king. In Revelation 22 it says: "And then the angel showed me the river of the waters of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God." Psalms tells us that God "gathers the waters of the sea unto jars", and further that, "The Lord sits enthroned over the Flood. The Lord is King forever." Ia was a king. He was also the Lord of the Flood. And these enigmatic passages from the Bible seem to bear testimony to the fact that the Judeo-Christian Jehovah was indeed originally patterned on the far more ancient Sumerian figure of Ia. In fact, many of the major figures from the Bible can be traced back to the deified kings of Sumeria. Here are figures equivalent to Adam, Cain, Enoch, Nimrod, and even Moses, Their stories are, at times, nearly identical, and the names of the figures involved bear a striking similarity to their Biblical counterparts. There is the first man Adamu, the story of the Flood, the tale of the child placed into a boat of reeds and set adrift on a river - the correspondences are so self-evident as to speak for themselves. But we are less interested in the myriad correspondences between the Sumerians and Biblical history than we are in the possible clues Ancient Sumeria might yield in regard to some of the more enigmatic aspects of the Merovingian saga vis-à-vis the Grail family. And the first clue is to be found in the depiction of the god-king Ia described previously.
Ia, dressed in flowing robe and crown, is seated on his throne before an audience of several people bedecked in ceremonial garb. The audience members could represent royal personages of different nations in their native dress, or they could merely be his priests or functionaries. In his right hand, Ia holds aloft a vase from which water gushes forth. Emerging from the vase, and from the springs of water flowing out, we see what can clearly only be described as a fleur-de-lys. During the Middle Ages, the fleur-de-lys was the primary emblem of French royalty. It is to be seen in abundance on the heraldry of French and latter British royalty. It was a symbol essentially synonymous with France. And it is a symbol that pervades the church at Rennes-le-Chateau, more perhaps than the Christian cross. Most people would probably assume that an emblem so closely linked to the French identity probably arose at a time when the old French territories were coalescing into a cohesive national entity. And yet this depiction of a fleur-de-lys, arising from water can be dated to 2,730 years before the birth of Christ!
Some scholars tell us that the fleur-de-lys is the stylized representation of a lily, a symbol associated with King David. Thus, the fleur-de-lys was employed as an emblem of Davidic descent. But the depiction of King Ia predates King David by over two millennia, and the rendering itself is from a period far after Ia's actual kingship. All we can reasonably surmise is that the fleur-de-lys, or lily, seems to have been an emblem of kingship dating back to the earliest period of recorded history of which we know. And the clear implication would seem to be that if, as some scholars maintain, the fleur-de-lys is symbolic of a specific royal bloodline, then the Merovingians (and indeed, much of European royalty) can trace their descent back to a figure who was both the first known king, and the first known god.
Ia was known as the Lord of the Flood or the Lord of the Deep Waters because he was the first post-diluvian king, and because his arrival in Sumeria coincided with the cessation of the Flood. He was said to have come from "beyond the sea" or even "out of the sea." In some versions of his myth, he descended from the heavens, and had been appointed, as God's earthly counterpart, to be the "shepherd of mankind." In the Babylonian/Akkadian tradition he was called Ea, and was depicted as a god who was part-man, part-fish. Instead of the title Lord of the Flood, he was known to the Babylonians/Akkadians as "God of the Abyss." The Chaldeans also knew him as Ea, and they too depicted him on their monuments as half-man, half-fish.
These varying traditions, so very similar and so fundamentally different, seem almost emblematic of the sort of paradox so central to the entire Merovingian mythos. While they all relate what is clearly a story pertaining to a single figure, and while the stories all obviously originated from a single source, each nonetheless possesses key elements which are not in agreement with one another. And yet, even the most seemingly contradictory elements of each version aren't necessarily inconsistent with any aspect of the Merovingian saga. We have a king descended from a god. That fits perfectly. We have a God associated with the sea, who is part-man, part-fish. That fits perfectly. We have stories of this god or king alternately coming from the heavens, out of the ocean, or from "the Abyss." And any of the foregoing scenarios would find numerous points of convergence with some key aspects of the Merovingian mythology.
Nineteenth century author Ignatius Donnelly has offered what might be a very straightforward explanation for the heaven/sea/abyss conundrum. According to him, the ancients perceived the lands beyond where the sun set in the west to be the underworld. Beyond the horizon existed a land of the dead, where the sun sank each day to die. Consequently, people could very well have been seen to be coming from the underworld, or the abyss. Conversely, people coming from beyond the horizon where the sun was reborn each dawn may have been perceived as coming forth from the heavens. And either group, coming from a land which was unseen or unknown to the indigenous population could very probably have been viewed as coming out of the ocean itself. This makes sense. The ancient Sumerian kings are known as sea-kings because they were legendary navigators. Millennia before Columbus, these sea kings had already mapped most of the world's continents. The Akkadians were such reputed navigators that the Straights of Gibraltar were called the Fretum Gaditorum (Akkadians were called Kads or Gads.)
In more recent history, white men appearing in South America were perceived as gods. Could not a people existing in the far more distant past have reached a similar conclusion about a strange race coming from beyond the distant horizon? We know from Sumerian records that this race of gods taught them about astronomy, which is fundamental to navigating the sea. And if this race first appeared following a great deluge, would it not make sense that they would appear on ships - ships in which they themselves escaped the very same massive flood? Ia is, after all, the Lord of the Flood, synonymous in the minds of the Sumerians with the cataclysm which preceded his arrival. This brings us back to the drawing of Ia in which he holds aloft a vase with a fleur-de-lys rising from the flowing water. If the fleur-de-lys is indeed emblematic of a royal bloodline, could not this depiction be a symbolic representation of the survival of that bloodlines, rising from out of the flood waters? If so, it would explain much of the water-based imagery pertinent to the Merovingians. One of the central images on the altar of the church at Rennes-le-Chateau is a very idiosyncratic depiction of the Grail cup. At first glance it appears straightforward enough, and yet it is highly unorthodox. Because it chows the Grail chalice being born aloft on what appear to be the waters of the Flood. That the Grail cup is shown floating on water would be unusual in itself. But it is not merely floating calmly on still waters; the waters depicted are decidedly turbulent. This, taken in conjunction with the other ocean-based imagery to be found at Rennes-le-Chateau convinced us that the sea played some important role in regard to this mystery. Perhaps, in the Lord of the Flood, we have found an important link in the chain; a clue that will place the whole mystery in a far broader context than the mere story of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalen. Christ and the Magdalen are, after all, only bit players in what is plainly a far greater drama. And although they may be the best remembered players, those who came before them and after them may have far greater things to tell us.
Writers examining the lives of Christ and Mary Magdalen in search of clues to the Grail mystery have been left with more questions than answers. And those going over the Bible with a fine-toothed comb have come up equally empty-handed. Undoubtedly the reason for this is due to the fact that the Holy Grail has virtually nothing to do with Christianity per se. Christ may have been a key figure in a long line of servants of the Grail, but its legacy is not to be found within the context of the religion founded in his name. Not a single one of the crucial clues relating to the Grail mystery can be satisfactorily explained in terms of orthodox Christianity. Indeed, it would appear that the Grail story was Christianized precisely to conceal a legacy that was wholly unchristian. It is a legacy that goes back to Ia, and the mysterious race of which he was a descendant.
If the traditional Grail story ala Eschenbach , et. al. has little to do with the Christian tradition, that chapter of the mystery relating to the Priory of Sion, Berenger Sauniere and so on would seem to be even more distant still from it. The clues left behind seem to be far more specific in their meanings, while also appearing to be far less comprehensible in their possible relation to the story of the Grail family. What are we to make of Poussin's mysterious painting, The Shepherds of Arcadia? And why would such a seemingly simple little oil painting figure as such a pivotal clue? What of the bizarre secret society, the Priory of Sion? Though many dismiss it as a hoax, is it not perhaps too elaborate to be a mere hoax? Any hoax perpetrated to serve some functional end would hardly encompass such a vast variety of incomprehensible information and symbols. If, as some suggest, Pierre Plantard created the Priory out of whole cloth as an enticing little puzzle to serve his own political aspirations, he certainly failed miserably. Because if the Priory was nothing ore than a clever cryptogram of his own devising, we can only say that he seems to have been far too clever for his own good. Mr. Plantard has now been dead for some time, and the puzzle that is the Priory of Sion persists in perplexing virtually all those who've attempted to unlock its mysteries. Academics, historians and occultists alike have all run into a brick wall in their efforts to unravel the enigma of the Priory of Sion. Having done so, they were unanimous in their appraisal that the Priory was undoubtedly a hoax. Consequently, that avenue of inquiry was dispensed with before even the most basic questions about it were answered satisfactorily. Questions such as: why are the Grand Masters called Navigators, or why do they adopt the name John as their title?
Although looking for answers to such questions within the Judeo-Christian tradition is fruitless, the tradition from which Judaism, Christianity, and so many other creeds prior to them emerged seems to contain quite a number of intriguing correspondences. The navigator title held by Priory of Sion Grand Masters is an allusion to Sumeria's sea kings, who were legendary as navigators. Of these, the most known were the Akkadians. And Akkadians were obviously being referred to in Poussin's The Shepherds of Arcadia. Sumeria's sea kings were known as shepherds, a term that meant both "protector" and "shining one." Remember, their first king was said to have come from "the heavens" to serve as "shepherd of mankind." And the Sumerian god-king identified with Dagon was, in some records, referred to simply as The Shepherd. The Shepherds of Arcadia, then, can be seen as the god-kings of Akkadia; a royal dynasty of ancient Sumeria. But this is just one level of meaning, and as with so many things central to this mystery, Poussin's painting contains multiple layers of meaning.
It is well-documented that The Shepherds of Arcadia contains a hidden pentagram, the center point of which falls exactly on the forehead of the shepherdess. The pentagram has a dual meaning, representing simultaneously both the forgotten race form which the Grail bloodline descended and that race's secret doctrine. One meaning is to be found in the Akkadia of ancient Sumeria, another in the Arcadia of ancient Greece. In Sumeria, were the pentagram originated, its pictographic image symbolized the "shining ones" or "lofty ones", terms used in reference to the deified kings. In Arcadia, the pentagram was synonymous with the secret gnosis that Hermes was said to have preserved from a race of antediluvian gods. Hermes was said to have been born in the mountains of Arcadia. Poussin's painting purports to depict Arcadia. Hermes was the patron deity of graves and of shepherds. So we have a painting depicting Arcadia, a tomb, and a group of shepherds. The clear implication is that the secret doctrine being alluded to is the royal art known as Hermeticism.
Hermetic imagery recurs constantly in relation to the Grail mystery: the Cross of Lorraine, the rose-cross, the black Madonnas, the Temple of Solomon, and so on. Hermeticism seems to suffuse virtually every secret society linked to Christ and the Grail. and at Rennes-le-Chateau it is inescapable.
A third level of meaning inherent in The Shepherds of Arcadia is the tomb itself, located not terribly far from Rennes-le-Chateau. Poussin has given us ample clues as to who these "shepherds" were and what they believed, and he is also documenting a very real location - a place where the proof which substantiates these clues can be found. Whatever constitutes the real treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau was undoubtedly buried for quite some time at the so-called Poussin tomb. At some point, the treasure was uncovered and removed to Rennes-le-Chateau. Sauniere rediscovered it, reburied it, and devoted his life to leaving a tantalizing trail of clues; clues that might be decoded at some future time in which the populace in general might be far more well-disposed toward accepting a secret tradition that exists well beyond the confines of orthodoxy.
Though some disagree, Akkadia seems to be synonymous with Agade, the Sumerian capital associated with the empire's most well-known leader, Sargon the Great. Sargon was so powerful a ruler that he was known as "The King of the World." One indication that Agade and Akkadia may be one and the same is that the sea-faring men of ancient Phoenicia were referred to alternately as Gads, or Kads. The Sumerians and Phoenicians of old never referred to themselves as Sumerians or Phoenicians, but took their names from the city-stats in which they lived. According to the Sumeriologist L.A. Waddell, the term Gad mutated and was preserved in the name of the Goths. The term Kad mutated to Catti, which was the title given to royalty in ancient Britain. And the word Catti was the source for many place names in Europe that date back to the time at which the Phoenicians had extensive trade routes, and contain the word cat or cad. There are literally so many such names that to list them all would require half a page. They are to be found from the mid-east to Spain, and from North Africa to Scotland. And of interest in regard to this word cat or catti, is that we had heard of it before, from a very strange figure who was staying at the same hotel as us in Rennes-le-Chateau.
The man was in the process of translating what he claimed was the oldest book in the world, a history of Atlantis. He was a linguist who had discovered the primordial language of mankind, and told us that by learning a series of fundamental linguistic principles, anyone could be taught to read and understand forty different languages instantly (and with no imagination.) We quizzed him at length about the roots of words central to our research. When we asked him where the word Cathar came from, he explained that it referred to a people descended from the Cats and the Ari, or Aryans. He was vague as to who exactly the Cats were, but said that their name figured in the place-names of countless cities and regions, such as Catalonia, Cadiz, Caithness, and so on. They were sea-going people who had settlements throughout the known world. In light of our subsequent research, it seems likely that these Cats were Kads, or ancient Akkadians. The word Kad in fact shows up repeatedly in ancient place-names. Along the Phoenician coast of the time of the kingdoms of David and Solomon, there were no less than three cities all named Kadesh. The term Gad shows up repeatedly as well. On either side of the Straights of Gibraltar, their were once two cities both named Agadir, the most famous of which is sometimes referred to as Gades. At the time, remember, those Straights were known as the Firth of the Gads. So our research would seem to confirm what we were told by the mysterious stranger at Rennes-le-Chateau. We wished we could have learned more from him about this people he called the Cats, but unfortunately our mutual language barrier prevented it. For a man who can read and understand some forty languages, his grasp of English was spotty at best (albeit far more expert than our limited grasp of French.)
Conflicting chronicles list both Agade and Akkad as being the capitol of Sargon the Great's empire. Further evidence that the two were probably one and the same is that the ancient maps place both in essentially the same geographic location, not far from Babylon. Also, the maps that depict Agade don't show Akkad, and vice versa. The Agade/Akkad debate seems to be rooted in the fact that scholars are divided over whether this culture was essentially Semitic or Indo-European. Both camps are equally fierce in defending their agendas, and it appears that a slight difference in the spelling one way or another would tend to give credence to each side's arguments over the others. We feel that there is substantial evidence that Agade and Akkad were synonymous. That there was probably confusion over the name at the time is evidenced in the fact that the same sea people were described as both Gads and Kads. We also feel that the controversy over who they were needn't be limited to any Semitic/Indo-European dichotomy. Perhaps this people came from someplace else entirely: a place that some ancient chronicles have called Merou.
The name Merou is certainly suggestive of the Merovingians, but it also ties in with another key element of this saga. The historical personage upon whom the mythic Dagon was patterned was also known as Muru, after whom numerous Sumerian cities were named. His people were known as the Muru, or the Amuru. Amuru is generally translated as meaning "people from the west", but could undoubtedly be seen to mean "people from Muru/Merou" (which, from all historical accounts, lay to the west of the ancient world.) Over the centuries, the mythic empire of Merou has been known by many names, but its most well-known designation is that assigned it by Plato: Atlantis.
TO BE CONTINUED...