The Bread of Heaven, the Water of Life, and the Plant of Immortality: Excerpts from Clock Shavings

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The following is a collection of excerpts from Clock Shavings, my new book, now available. The topics are immortality, paradise, and the “food of the Gods.” Full analysis and more details are available in the book.

Enki receives sacrifice and proffers the Plant of Immortality as living waters flow from his throne
Enki receives sacrifice and proffers the Plant of Immortality as living waters flow from his throne

In the Greek myths, the gods of Olympus live on “ambrosia,” which is brought to them by doves. Whatever this substance is, it is what gives them immortality, and because of that, they don’t need to eat normal food. It is said specifically that, because of the ambrosia, the gods have no blood in them, and therefore they cannot die. “Their thirst, thence bloodless and from death exempt,” as Homer said it in The Illiad. Instead of blood, their bodies contain a golden substance called “Ichor,” which is toxic to humans.

Remember, the angels in The Third Book of Enoch complained to God that he had given his secret name to someone of flesh and blood. But in the stories of vampires, it is drinking blood that gives them eternal life. This is because it is believed to contain the essential human life force, which, being without a soul, vampires lack. Therefore they need to get it through dietary supplements.

The inhabitants of the Grail king are eternally youthful, except for their gray hair. This is because they are fed by the food of the Grail. In Eschenbach’s version, a dove brings a communion wafer from Heaven, and the Grail somehow transmutes it into food that brings immortality. In most of the Grail stories, there is a mysterious banquet at the Grail castle, called the “Grail service,” in which people eat from the Grail. Events that occur at the meal imply that they are eating human flesh and drinking human blood.

Plutarch describes a strange sacrificial rite in which the “servants of Saturn” are sent out on perilous voyages to this island, where they serve him for a period of thirteen years. After that time, they have the choice of staying in his realm or returning home. He writes:

“But when the star of Saturn, which we call the ‘Informer,’ but they ‘Nocturnal,’ comes into the sign of the Bull every thirty years, they having got ready a long while beforehand all things required for the sacrifice and the games … they send out people appointed by lot in the same number of ships, furnished with provisions and stores necessary for persons intending to cross so vast a sea by dint of rowing, as well as to live a long time in a foreign land. … it is, indeed, allowed to such as have served thirteen years in waiting upon the god, to return home, but the greatest part prefer to remain there, partly out of habit, partly because they have all things in abundance without toil and trouble, as they pass their time in sacrifices and hymn singing, or in studying legends and philosophy of some sort. For wonderful are both the island and the mildness of the climate; whilst the deity himself has been an obstacle to some when contemplating departure, by manifesting himself to them as to familiars and friends, not by way of dreams or by tokens, but conversing with them in a visible form with many apparitions and speeches of genii … The stranger having been carried there, as he told us, and waiting upon the god at his leisure, he gained acquaintance with astrology and geometry as far as it is possible to advance, whilst he took up ‘natural science’ for his department of philosophy.”

An interpretation of the broken column given by several Masonic scholars is that it has something to do with the myth of Isis and her brother/husband Osiris. Their mutual brother Set (also called “Seth”) resented Osiris (who was the lord over Earth at that point) because, like the Green Man of Celtic lore, and like Cain of the Bible (tiller of the soil), he made plants grow all over the land. Set supposedly hated this because he was a desert dweller. However, to me it sounds like he was jealous of Osiris’ green thumb.

At any rate, Seth invited all of his brethren, the gods, to a banquet, and presented them with a beautiful chest he had crafted out of various woods. In addition to being a marvel of carpentry, it also have an overwhelmingly sweet and pleasant aroma. Everyone at the table loved it, and Seth told them that he would give it to whoever’s body conformed to its dimensions most closely.

They all tried it out, like the ruby slipper in the story of Cinderella. Osiris fit inside perfectly, once he took his crown off. This was because Seth had secretly taken measurements of Osiris’ body using his shadow. As soon as the god laid down in the box, Seth locked it and ran away with it. He had his servants pour molten lead over it, and then it was tossed into the Nile.

A “flood” caused the box to wash up in a thicket of trees near Byblos, now part of Lebanon. In this context, it makes sense to think of the flooding of the Nile that occurs annually. However, just the word “flood” and a box carrying the body of a god links it up with Noah’s Ark (which carried the body of Adam), and with the basket of bulrushes that carried young Moses down the Nile.

The story goes on to say that one of the young trees there in Byblos grew up around the box, and subsumed it into itself. This tree then grew to be fragrant and lovely, due to the divinity trapped within it. So the king and queen of Byblos had the tree cut down and installed in their royal place as a column. There it continued to give off its wonderful scent, and was admired by all.

Now the king and queen of this land are reported to be none other than the Phoenician gods Melquart and Astarte. Melquart is the same as Baal (and also, according to many scholars, the same as Hercules). Astarte is the same figure as Ishtar, who is the same as Isis! Obviously, some major myth morphing (what poet Robert Graves called “iconotropy”) has gone on over the years.

As the tale continues, Isis discovered the column and informed the royal family of Byblos about the contents of it. They cut it open and allowed her to take the casket. She was able to open it, and used magic to resurrect Osiris’ body. But then Seth found them, and murdered Osiris again, this time chopping his body into 14 pieces and tossing them about.

Again, Isis was able to find the pieces. She put them together, and was able to resurrect him again. But this time, it was different. His body was still immobile, but “undead.” Isis learned that his soul was alive in the underworld.

Isis resurrecting Osiris
Isis resurrecting Osiris

Just as death came into the perfect world of Eden through the sin of Adam, the death of Osiris (starting with his first death, when he was closed in the casket) was the initiation of mortality in our world. Prior to that, all had lived in peace, immortality, and leisure similar to the Garden before the Fall, and much like the Golden Age of the Greeks.

This ended when he died. People and animals began to expire, and the crops failed. But when Osiris was resurrected in the underworld, and his body parts were reunited on Earth, fertility came to the land again. Also, like Jesus, by descending to the world below, he somehow won for humanity the right to eternal life. However, like Jesus, Osiris is the judge of the dead at the end, and will decide who is not worthy of eternal life down there with the gods.

The octopus on the Blanchefort tombstone, and the one mentioned in Le Serpent Rouge, are joined by a third clue. In the Secret Dossiers of Henri Lobineau, another set of documents published by the Priory of Sion, there is an article that talks about the Priory front group known as the “Hieron du Val d’Or.” A large portion of the text is about the esoteric meaning of the color red. The author talks about it being the color of a royal, priestly race, mentioning that Jesus comes again wearing a red cloak in Revelation.

At the end of the article, there is a quote from an inscription on a tomb in France. Lobineau points out that the first letter of the first five words form the word “ICHTUS” (fish). At the bottom he signs the piece “Le Poulpe” (the Octopus), with an image of the creature beneath. The inscription reportedly says (when translated into English):

“‘O divine race of the celestial fish, receive with a respectful heart in immortal life among the mortals the waters of the divine ones. Friend, remake your heart with the eternal flood of the wisdom which gives treasures. It is a reservoir of nourishment, soft like the honey of the Savior of the saints. Eat with hunger: you hold the fish in your hands.’”

The words “eternal flood of wisdom” bring to mind the interpretation of Baphomet’s name as meaning “Baptism of Wisdom.” In Le Serpent Rouge, a flood (likened to that of Noah) is described as being like a baptism. This makes since, as the flood waters of Noah’s time were brought to wash away all of the impure elements from the Earth, allowing it to be reborn afresh, as the Christian is reborn free from sin at baptism. But a baptism in the wisdom of Baphomet has a different connotation. It means being immersed and reborn into the “knowledge of good and evil” that gave rise to sin in the first place.

The Rivers of Paradise Cross
The Rivers of Paradise Cross

It seems to me that the “celestial fish” here is the same as the octopus, and the red serpent of the poem. It is the Red Dragon, the Beast of the Apocalypse. It is Leviathan, the sea beast of the infernal Abyss. Her name can be found on the Baphomet sigil designed by Stanislas de Guaita, along with the names of Lilith and Samael (all written in Hebrew). Rabbinical tradition tells us that she has a male consort, Behemoth, another infernal monster who resides on dry land.

The Book of Enoch says that Behemoth lives in “a waste wilderness named Duidain, on the east of the garden where the elect and righteous dwell.” This sounds a lot like Cain’s land of Nod, which is also east of Eden. It is also reminiscent of “Dudael” (“Cauldron of God”), the desert wilderness with burning-hot sands where the fallen angel Azazel was imprisoned, as mentioned in Chapter 10 of The Book of Enoch.

The rabbis say that God has separated the monsters because if they ever came together, the world would be annihilated. This is exactly what they also say about Lilith and Samael (and what Greeks said about Gaia and Ouranos). Some sources specify that the danger occurs when the “procreate.” By all appearances, Samael and Lilith are the same entities as Behemoth and Leviathan, respectively. Together they are what the Cabalists call the “Other God” and simply “the Beast.” They are also sometimes both called “the Leviathans,” or also, “the Taninim.”

But these Jewish traditions go into even greater and more bizarre details that not only figure perfectly into our inquiry, but also specifically shed light upon the tomb inscription quoted by Henri Lobineau. For supposedly, at the End of Times, Behemoth and Leviathan will be slaughtered by God, salted, and served to the righteous at a great banquet. Psalm 74, 13-14 praises God thusly:

“Thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.”

This final banquet will occur within a tent that God will fashion from Leviathan’s “beautiful skin,” as the prayer book known as The Artscroll Siddur tells it. This is why, during the holiday known as the “Feast of the Tabernacles,” which takes place inside of a ritual tent, it is traditional to conclude with a prayer before the participants leave the tabernacle, in which they say:

“May it be your will, Lord our God and God of our forefathers, that just as I have fulfilled and dwelt in this tabernacle, so may I merit in the coming year to dwell in the tabernacle of the skin of Leviathan next year in Jerusalem.”

Rabbinical legends tell us that Leviathan is the same as the so-called “whale” that swallowed the prophet Jonah, in whose body he lived for a time before miraculously being spit up on dry land again. (This is another story about traveling through a portal to a new dimension, just like that of Noah, with the whale being the “ark,” in this case). So I suppose sitting under a tent made from the monster’s skin is like being inside her too. Eating her flesh is an inversion ceremony, and a fitting revenge for what happened to Jonah.

In the article by Henry Lobineau that I discussed earlier, it is clear that the author’s repeated mentioning of the color red, and its mystical meaning, has something to do with blood. The gravestone inscription that he quotes encourages the reader to drink “the waters of the divine ones” which give “immortal life among the mortals.” Earlier in the article, Lobineau talked about the “wine” of Dionysian rituals. Now, Jesus said that the wine at the Last Supper was his blood. Therefore, it seems to me that this tomb inscription is quoted by the author because it is about drinking blood to obtain eternal life.

So let us reexamine what the Bible has to say about eating flesh, drinking blood, and the benefits, as well as the potential consequences, of each. In Genesis Chapter 1:29-30, God declares to the man he has created that he has given him “every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Likewise, he proclaims that to the animals he has “given every green herb for meat.” There is no mention of anybody actually eating meat as meat – not even the animals!

Later, in Chapter 2: 8-9, it talks about the LORD God planting a garden “eastward in Eden,” where he made “to grow very tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The tree of life is mentioned, but it is later in that chapter, in verses 16-17, that:

“… The LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Note that it is only the Tree of Knowledge that is prohibited. Since God told him that he could eat “of every tree” other than that one, presumably the Tree of Life was included as being available. So why then, in Chapter 3:22, after Adam and his wife have both eaten the contraband fruit, does God, speaking to persons unknown, declare his concern that they will eat of this other special tree as well:

“ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”

The first mention of humans eating meat comes from Chapter 9:2-4, right after Noah’s family and the animals have exited the Ark. It is at this point that God proclaims to Noah the so-called “Noahide Code”: seven laws which preceded and are in many ways similar to the Ten Commandments of Moses. One of these involves the declaration of a carnivorous food chain with mankind at the top. He says:

“ And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”

But this event is preceded by something important. At the top of that mountain, the only visible land mass in a world covered by water, Noah sacrificed to God a burnt offering from among the animals on board his ark, the only non-aquatic creatures alive still on Earth. God was attracted to the scene, and moved with compassion, by the pleasant smell of the meat cooking on the fire. As the text says in Chapter 8-20-21:

“Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake.”

As far as I can tell, this is the first time that the Bible mentions a burnt offering, or the cooking of flesh at all. It is not, however, the first sacrifice mentioned. The first and only other sacrifices described in Genesis before this one are those offered by Cain and Abel.

Cain was the first to sacrifice, and there is no mention of anybody telling him to do it. Rather, it was something that “came to pass” in “the process of time.” Therefore it may have been a spontaneous act, based on some innate understanding of what God wanted from him. However, Cain, apparently not understanding fully, offered the fruit of his labor, the “the fruit of the ground,” thinking that would be a fitting gift for the Lord who had given him life. But it wasn’t. God wanted blood.

The four rivers of life spring out from beneath the cross of sacrifice
The four rivers of life spring out from beneath the cross of sacrifice

Was it because he had a deeper understanding of God, or was it mere coincidence, that Abel offered God what he really wanted, which was “the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof”? It seems that he may have been copying his brother by offering a sacrifice, and it just so happened that he had cattle to give instead of vegetation. Also, why were these people keeping cattle anyway, if nobody on Earth was eating meat until after the Flood, as Genesis seems to indicate?

Well, it seems that God, at least, was carnivorous. The basic understanding in the ancient world was that the gods were actually eating the sacrifices that were offered to them, and even when a portion of it was consumed by the priests (as was the common tradition), some of it was going to the gods as well. Particularly they were known to be attracted to blood. This was because, long before it was scientifically understood that blood carries oxygen to the heart, “blood” and “life” were considered synonymous to our ancestors. In the Old Testament, the same word, “nephesh,” has been variously translated as “life,” “soul,” “breath,” and “blood.”

This is what God breathed into the clay man he had formed to bring him to life as Adam. When Cain killed Abel, in Genesis 4: 10-11, it was this same “nephesh” that went into the Earth, and “cried” unto God. As the text states:

“And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand….”

Cain had just witnessed Abel killing freshly-born cattle and offering them to God. This was probably the first time anybody on Earth had killed anything that bled. Cain witnessed God “accepting” his brother’s sacrifice. Afterwards, Cain murdered his brother. Was he trying to offer the blood of his brother as a sacrifice to God, or perhaps, to some other entity? After all, it was the “Earth” (known to the Greeks as the goddess Gaia) that “opened her mouth to receive” Abel’s blood. Or was he intending to eat the flesh and drink the blood, just as he had seen God taking the blood and flesh of cattle? Did he think that doing so would make him immortal like God?

Illuminated manuscript image of Cain drinking Abel's blood from the throat
Illuminated manuscript image of Cain drinking Abel’s blood from the throat

In the Hebrew tradition, the priests were allowed to eat the flesh of sacrifices, but the blood was to be poured upon the altar, and the fat was to be burned to make a “sweet savour” that the “LORD” enjoyed. Humans were specifically prohibited from consuming blood because “the blood is the life.” Leviticus 17: 6-14 lays it all out:

“And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and burn the fat for a sweet savour unto the LORD … And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.…

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.

And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.

For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”

So blood is literally “soul food,” containing the very life essence of which the living soul consists, only to be had by God. Therefore its purpose (perhaps, it seems, the very reason why animals exist on Earth) is to make “atonement” for the human soul. In other words, animals that bleed exist so that their lives can be offered to God, in exchange for the souls (that is, the blood) of man that God would otherwise be hungry for.

Just as a ram was offered instead of Isaac, lambs took the place of the firstborn sons of Israel on the Passover, and Jesus then finally came and paid the price for all, God wants his blood sacrifice, one way or another. Critics of Judeo-Christianity often complain that their God is “bloodthirsty.” Usually when people say this, they are referring to all of the wars that he instigated and encouraged, but it is quite literally true. However, all gods of the ancient world were viewed as being this way.

The New Jerusalem, with the four rivers coming from the divine throne and the Tree of Life
The New Jerusalem, with the four rivers coming from the divine throne and the Tree of Life

Years ago, when Cain was explaining to us what led to the “Wrath of Cain,” the fall of the “Dohir Kings,” and the Deluge, he said “I WANTED YOUTH.” It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but it does now. In a recent discussion I had with Cain on the Ouija board, he repeatedly talked about “GUM,” which he seemed to be describing as a sort of life force derived from freshly harvested blood.

Cain indicated that he fed on this “GUM” to maintain his semblance of life. He said that God sends “BIRDS” down to feed him this stuff. Remember what Plutarch wrote of Saturn sleeping on his island: “… Birds fly down from the rock, which are ordained [by Jupiter] to carry ambrosia to him,” just as doves carry ambrosia to the Olympian gods. “Gum,” by the way, is a word that is traced back to Sumer, where, according to Stephen Bertman’s Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, it was called “shim-gam-gam-ma.”

Now compare Cain’s story about himself, and Plutarch’s story about how Saturn is nourished, with how Wolfram von Eschenbach’s says that the “Grail stone” of the hidden “Grail kingdom” received its nourishment, which it then had the ability to transmute into any kind of food that anyone in the kingdom desired, in abundant supply. Remember what is says in Parzival: that every year on Good Friday (the day Jesus’ blood was shed on the cross and fell onto the ground), a dove would come down from Heaven and places a small white wafer on the Grail stone, from which it got its power to produce food and other miracles in abundance out of nothing, including flesh.

The food from the stone is what gives everyone in the kingdom their perpetual youth (albeit with gray hair), and keeps the Fisher King alive despite continuously suffering from a grievous wound that acts up whenever Saturn is ascendant in the heavens. I assume that what is being implied here is that the blood of Christ is what feeds Saturn, the Stone, the King of underworld, and allows him to nourish the others who are there with him.

Of course, this is what Jesus repeatedly offered to those who would follow him: the fruit of the “tree of life,” the “bread of heaven,” and the “living waters” to drink. At the beginning of The Gospel of John, Chapter 4, while visiting Jacob’s well, which is said to be in Sychar, “near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph,” Jesus has an encounter with a Samaritan woman. He asks her to draw some water for him, and she expresses surprise that he is talking to her. Then he tells her:

“If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water… Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Jesus and St. Photina, the 'Woman at the Well'
Jesus and St. Photina, the ‘Woman at the Well’

Continuing from John Chapter 4, in verses 31-36, when his disciples return from buying meat, Jesus tells them that he has access to special meat:

“… His disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of … My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal…”

The Great Cross from the Mosaic from San Giovanni Laterano, with the four rivers of paradise coming from the foot of the Cross
The Great Cross from the Mosaic from San Giovanni Laterano, with the four rivers of paradise coming from the foot of the Cross

In John Chapter 6, right after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus again returns to the theme, preaching:

“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

In lines 31-35, as the gospel continues, Jesus proclaims that he himself is the “bread from heaven,” “the bread of God,” and “the bread of life.” He also says that this bread “came down from Heaven,” like the Grail stone is said to have. He preaches:

“Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat … Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world…. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Then later still in that chapter, Jesus again identifies himself as this bread that “came down from heaven,” and uses the word “living bread.” He also reveals that the bread is specifically his flesh. He tells his disciples to actually eat his flesh, and also to drink his blood. In Verses 48-58 he states:

“I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

… Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”

Of course, as we all know, at the Last Supper, Jesus told them again to eat his flesh and drink his blood, in a ritual that is the basis for the primary rite of Christendom: the Eucharist. As The Gospel of Matthew describes it in Chapter 26: 26-29:

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

This is why the symbol of the Pelican plucking at its own breast to feed its young is often used in Christian churches to represent the sacrifice of Jesus, and the miracle of the Eucharist. This symbol shows up quite frequently in cryptic alchemical treatises as well. Since we know that “blood” and “life” are synonymous in the Old Testament, and since Jesus repeatedly instructed his followers to drink his blood, should we imagine this “living water” of which Jesus spoke as being blood? He did at one point describe the fluid as coming out of a person’s stomach. In John 7:38 he is quoted as saying:

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

Regardless, all of these special life-giving foods and beverages will be served to the righteous at the End of Times, just like the Jews say Leviathan will be. In St. John’s vision of Christ, as recorded in Revelation 21:6, Jesus said to him:

“It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”

Furthermore, Revelation describes the special water flowing as a river through the New Jerusalem, which actually issues forth from beneath the throne of God. Verse 21:1 states:

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

There are illustrations of this river coming from God’s throne. They greatly resemble the Sumerian God Enki in his “Absu,” which was his house within the Abyss (and where etymologists think the word “abyss” ultimately comes from). The Absu was depicted as a square chamber with waves of water all around. There are also depictions of Enki with the waters of the Abyss issuing from a square chamber filled with water pots upon which he sits, as though it is his throne. In the pictures, this water is offered to others, with a plant, believed by Sumeriologists to be the “plant of immortality,” springing up from it.

What is being illustrated here pertains to the Mesopotamian versions of the Flood myth. It was Enki who told the hero that the Flood was coming. He contravened his oath to the other gods (particularly Enlil, the storm god) in order to do this. He gave the hero specific instructions on how to build an ark to save himself and his family. Interestingly, the ark he built was perfect cube, about the size of an ocean liner. It was made starting with the hero’s own house, which was used as the basis for the vessel. Enki spoke to him through the walls of his house, which means that he spoke to him telepathically.

Akkadian image of the Tree of Life
Akkadian image of the Tree of Life

Then afterwards, the gods blessed the hero and his wife just like Enoch was blessed in the Judeo-Christian tradition. They were translated to the realm of the gods, given a residence at “the mouth of the rivers,” and turned into gods themselves, because they were permitted to eat from the secret plant of immortality. This is why, in one version of the story (found in The Epic of Gilgamesh). The Flood hero is called Utnapishtim, which means “he found life.” He is also given the epithet “faraway.” In another version, the ark pilot’s original name was “Atrahasis” (“extremely wise,”) but after becoming immortal he was renamed “Ziusudra” (“found long life” or “life of long days”).

Again, in one of our early séances, when I asked Cain to describe the situation surrounding the Deluge, he said:

“FALL OF ATLANTIS. I WANTED YOUTH. TRIED TO SAVE EVE. LIVE WATER.”

Was he saying that he tried to rescue his mother, and himself, from mortality, utilizing the same “living waters” of which Jesus later preached? Was he saying that this was somehow tied in to the events of the Flood, just as the Mesopotamian Deluge stories are all about the “plant of immortality”? Is this the same as the Tree of Life that grew “in the midst” of the Garden of Eden”? Is it one that was also spoken of by Jesus in Revelation 2:7?

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

In the Mesopotamian myths, the Flood hero is rewarded for enduring the hardship of watching the death of the world around him by being granted eternal life. The same reward, it is being said, will come to those who make it faithfully through the tribulations of the End Times. Matthew 24: 37 reports that Jesus said:

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

But in the Biblical flood tale, instead of granting immortality to anybody, God does the opposite. Right before the story of the Deluge, as God is announcing his plans to bring the catastrophe, he also declares that he is going to shorten the lifespan of man, which had heretofore averaged several hundred years per person. In Genesis 6:3 he states:

“My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”

Thereafter the lives of the people recorded in the Bible from that time forward are similar to those of modern people. However, it is interesting to note that Noah’s grandfather, Enoch, was granted immortality in a manner very similar to that of the Sumerian Flood hero. Also, The Book of Enoch tells us that it was Enoch who was first warned about the coming of the Deluge.

Therefore, we should take seriously L.A. Waddell’s claim that Enoch and Noah were probably the same person. Waddell believed that it was Enoch (whom he views as Cain’s son, with the son of Seth being a fabrication) who built and navigated the Ark. This would also make Enoch the first to sacrifice burnt offerings upon an altar.

In the Mesopotamian stories, when the waters began to subside, just like Noah, the hero found his vessel resting upon a high mountaintop. He went forth from the ark and immediately sacrificed a burnt offering to the gods, just like Noah. Then, as in the Bible story, the gods were attracted to the “sweet savor” of the meat cooking, and gathered around “like flies.”

Ninmah and Enki, Sumerian gods, enjoying the food of the immortals. An Omega (end-times) symbol hovers over the altar
Ninmah and Enki, Sumerian gods, enjoying the food of the immortals. An Omega (end-times) symbol hovers over the altar

Strangely, the gods are described as starving during the flood (which in these versions only lasts a week instead of forty days). They had retreated up into the heavens during the destruction because they themselves were frightened by it. For us in modern times, it is probably hard to imagine gods needing to eat, much less being so careless as to fail to pack away emergency supplies for a cataclysm that they themselves had brought about. But perhaps that is because we don’t understand the cosmic food chain.

God actually was witnessed consuming the sacrifices made to him, according to the Old Testament. He licked them up with a tongue of flames. As it says in Leviticus 9:24:

“And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”

Also, in I Kings 18:38, we read:

“Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”

Then, in II Chronicles 7:1, it says:

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.”

Finally, in Hebrews 12:29, it is put simply:

“For our God is a consuming fire.”

Eden, with the four rivers
Eden, with the four rivers

According to the online “Bible Dictionary,” the word translated as “altar” in the Old Testament is “mizbe’ah,” which it says is “from a word meaning ‘to slay.’” This Hebrew word referred to “any structure of earth or unwrought stone on which sacrifices were offered.” Dictionary.com says that the English word “altar” is “of disputed origin and formation, but probably akin to Latin “adolēre,” meaning to ritually burn.” Clearly, the concept has at its root the idea of killing to offer food to gods, and most likely of cooking the meat as well.

In Revelation 2:17, Jesus describes the New Jerusalem as a stone. He also describes it as being edible. He proclaims:

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

This is a reference to the “manna” that the Israelites ate, fed to them by Metatron (Enoch), who appeared to them alternately as pillars of fire and cloud. This is what they were fed during the forty years that they wandered in what, as I theorized before, may have been the land of Nod, which they probably teleported to when the “Red Sea” opened up a gateway for them. The mysterious, flaky white substance rained down on them from above every morning, and they had to catch it as it fell or gather it into baskets from the ground before it melted in the “sun.”

A pot of this stuff was kept for years, miraculously, and placed in front of the Ark of the Covenant, or inside of it (according to varying traditions) in the temple in Jerusalem. This is probably connected to the mysterious “shewbred” that was always presented to the “Presence” of God in the inner chamber of the temple, which only the priests were allowed to eat.

The Hebrew word for this literally meant “Bread of the Presence.” Recall that in the “Real Presence” of Jesus is what is said to incarnate within the communion wafer in the making of the Eucharist. After it is made, it is kept inside of a container called a “tabernacle” (meaning “dwelling place”) which is flanked by two cherubim in the style of the Ark of the Covenant. During their wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites kept the Ark, which housed the Presence, inside of a “tabernacle” whenever they were camped.

In Revelation, Jesus says that eating the “hidden manna” causes rebirth, and thus the receipt of a “new name” on a “white stone.” The stone and the manna are implied to be the same. Now what could this all be about?

The Gathering of the Manna, by the Master of the Manna, 1470
The Gathering of the Manna, by the Master of the Manna, 1470

In the story of Zeus, his mother protected him from being eaten by his father Chronos, like his eleven brothers before him, by substituting a stone for his body, which Chronos ate instead. In I Peter 2:5, the Apostle tells Christians:

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

Remember what it said in Leviticus 17:11:

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls.…”

Crowley suggested people store their supplies inside of their altars. But in the New Jerusalem, according to St. John, there is an altar full of souls, and they cry out for the vengeance of their blood. Revelation 6:9-10 tells us:

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

The Adoration of the Lamb, from the Ghent Altarpiece of Hubert and Jan van Eyck, showing the Fountain of Life, with the blood from the Lamb on the altar as the source
The Adoration of the Lamb, from the Ghent Altarpiece of Hubert and Jan van Eyck, showing the Fountain of Life, with the blood from the Lamb on the altar as the source

We know that the words for “soul” and “blood” were the same: “nephesh.” It seems that in modern Western occultism, this life force within the blood is viewed as a form of light. Aleister Crowley’s OTO, in certain private communion rituals, distributes tiny cookies called “Cakes of Light” that include, as their “active ingredient,” menstrual blood. Eliphas Levi wrote in his book Magic: A History of Its Rites, Rituals, and Mysteries, about what he called the “Astral Light,” defined as:

“… a natural and divine agent, at once corporeal and spiritual, an universal plastic mediator, a common receptacle for vibrations of movement and images of form, a fluid and a force which may be called, in a sense at least, the imagination of nature.”

It was this agent which he said reflects the magician’s will, expressed during a ritual, and actualizes it into existence. He illustrated this concept with the hieroglyphic form of the Baphomet. More details on the subject can be found in the introduction written by David Godwin for the book The Golden Dawn: As Revealed by Israel Regardie:

“The key theme in both the Neophyte Grade and the ritual of Adeptus Minor is that of being brought to the Light…. But a true ‘secret’ of the entire system is that this Light is not a metaphysical or philosophically speculative construct meaning grace, spirituality or healing (although the Light does bring all of these) but is an ACTUAL FORCE which although independent of egoic man can be generated by men through the use of his consciousness to bring about CHANGE AT WILL!”

So then, let us again consider the concepts of the “bread of life” and the “water of life” that Jesus spoke about, and which the hero of the Mesopotamian flood epic was questing for. In the Garden of Eden, where life purportedly began, there were four fivers flowing through it all, issuing from a common source, In Genesis 2:10-14 we read:

“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.”

Hiddekel is generally taken to be the Tigris River in Iraq, where the Euphrates flows as well. The Gihon and Pison have been identified with various rivers on Earth by different scholars throughout history. There isn’t much consensus as far as I can tell, although the Nile and the Ganges have been frequently suggested. But what is important here is the idea that Eden is the source of the rivers on Earth.

But how could Eden be the “source” and below ground? Wouldn’t that put it in the same region as “Hell”? Remember, Cain described Eden as having “fallen,” as part of the same series of events that included Adam and Eve being expelled, his expulsion to the land of Nod, the war between him and his brother, and finally the “Wrath Of Cain” that sent large portions of both Eden and Nod beneath the waves.

Also remember how The Book of the Cave of Treasures portrays things, in which there is a holy mountain that contains Eden within its center, as well as the Cave and Well of Jacob, with the children of Seth living close to the top, and the realm of the Cainites at the bottom of it. It could very well be that when Adam and Eve were expelled, Eden became occulted within the mountain, and thus is “fallen.”

In this sense it is very similar to Enki’s Absu, where the Sumerian god lived and commanded the waters. The Absu was thought to be the source of all bodies of water. Thus all of these could be considered portals to the Absu, including man-made water features, such as the baptismal Absu pools that were placed at the front of temples to Enki.

Inside the Absu, Enki is shown seated on a cubic throne that has what looks like a tic-tac-toe board depicted on the side of it. Alternatively, within the seat, we see pots of water around, with water flowing out of them into other pots on the outside of the throne. Water is flowing out of those pots as well, and mingling with the others to form a continuous stream that encircles the god. This culminates in the budding of the “plant of immortality” that flowers out of a pot held in his hands, which he proffers forth to worshipers in from of him that are offering him sacrifice.

Furthermore, Enki was always shown with two streams of water seemingly issuing from his back, which, anthropologists say, are the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (the latter being one of the rivers of Eden. In Christian scripture, these paradisal rivers also appear in the New Jerusalem at the End Times, where they are again associated with the Tree of Life. In Revelation 22: 2, after describing the “pure river of water of life” flowing from “the throne of God and of the Lamb,” St. John says:

“In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month….”

The Body of Enki, with the Tigris and Euphrates, rivers of paradise, issuing forth from his back
The Body of Enki, with the Tigris and Euphrates, rivers of paradise, issuing forth from his back
Enki, or Ea, in the Absu, or watery Abyss
Enki, or Ea, in the Absu, or watery Abyss

In Christian iconography, it is not uncommon to show the four rivers with the Tree of Life, both in depictions of the Garden of Eden, and in the New Jerusalem. Another emblem also frequently included in this scene, is an altar with a lamb on top (the “Agnus Dei,” or “Lamb of God,”
representing Christ). The lamb is usually wounded in the jugular vein and pouring forth blood into a chalice.

The Agnus Dei
The Agnus Dei

It is implied that the blood is the source of the four rivers, which both issue from, and also feed, the Tree of Life. Sometimes a fountain is also included in the picture, demonstrating the idea that the water is available to drink. These are the “living waters” that Jesus invited his followers to imbibe. They consist of his blood, spilled in sacrifice, as any Christian theologian will tell you. Thomas Jefferson said that the “Tree of Liberty” must be “watered” with the “blood of patriots,” and similarly, the divine tree of immortality must be watered with the blood of holy sacrifice.

The New Jerusalem: River of Life, by Urgell Beatus
The New Jerusalem: River of Life, by Urgell Beatus

In the Sumerian, Akkadian, and Babylonian myths, Enki is one of the gods who was involved in the creation of mankind. As the story goes, the gods decided that it was too much work to keep “creation” going, so they made humans as a slave race to do the work for them. The tablets are in bad condition, and the translations have always been sketchy, but in the Babylonian Enuma Elish, it appears that they created mankind to manufacture something for their consumption, which is frequently interpreted as being “bread.”

Ancient astronaut theorists bandy about the idea, proposed in the books of Zecharia Sitchin, that the Sumerian gods were aliens from another planet, and they made humans to mine gold for them in Africa, which they needed, supposedly, for their far-off civilization. But that’s not what the texts say. They say that the gods created us to “keep the cosmos working,” and to make for them something that they needed.

If it was “gold,” it probably wasn’t common gold. However, it may have been more akin to the gold of the alchemists, which is made with the Philosopher’s Stone. The images of Enki sitting on a box containing a network of water pots all flowing into one another greatly resembles the images of athanors and other glass vessels connected via tubes in the laboratories of alchemists.

Maybe that is actually what it is depicting. Enki was the god of wisdom and magic, and he is credited with creating several species of animals, in addition to humans, in what sounds like a laboratory. Hybrid species abound in these stories, as the gods themselves were frequently depicted with the body parts of fish, goats, bulls and other animals. These are the types of creatures that show up in every alchemical treatise from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The adept can reportedly create things like this through the hidden science of transmuting matter and extracting souls from bodies.

Enki’s alchemy lab in the Abzu was sometimes called the “House of Life.” To the Akkadians and Babylonians he was known as “Ea.” This is from the same Semitic root word that Eve of Genesis gets her name: “hyy,” meaning “life.” Enki’s wife, Ninhursag, was nicknamed “Ninti,” which means “Lady Rib.” This may be connected to the story of Eve being created from Adam’s rib bone, because Ninhursag was also called “the mother of all living.” These are the exact words we find in Genesis 3:20:

“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.”

She is given this name immediately after their expulsion from the garden and immediately after they are cursed to forevermore to eat “in sorrow,” and “in the sweat of thy face.” Recall that Adam and Eve were created and placed inside of the Garden “to dress it and to keep it,” and “to till the ground.” The word “husband” means “tiller of the soil,” and Adam was the first, with his wife as his “helpmeet.”

Cain followed in Adam’s footsteps as a “tiller of the ground.” But Adam’s husbandry must have been different from Cain’s, for before Cain was conceived they were cast from the garden, and told “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field….” So perhaps, what was going on in the Garden of Eden was gardening of another sort: what the alchemists called “celestial agriculture.”

Note that in myth and legend, eating certain foods can cause you to translate from one dimension to another, just like in Lewis Carroll’s adventures of Alice. If you have traveled through a portal to another world, eating the food there can cause you to get stuck there. Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden upon eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Thus began “all living,” and also “death,” for God had told the man and woman that upon eating that fruit they would “surely die.”

Adam was then barred from the Tree of Life, “lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” Likewise, we know that Persephone became condemned to stay in the Underworld when, in her hunger, she devoured six pomegranate seeds while there.

One can only wonder what manner of existence was happening in the Garden of Eden before they ate the forbidden fruit that caused “life” and “death” to begin. Adam and Eve were told to “freely eat” from “every tree in the garden.” (Genesis 2:16.) Before that, remember, in Genesis 1: God told them:

“I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

The words “fruit” and “seed” are often used in the Bible to indicate children, offspring, and descendants, as they are in common parlance today. “Knowledge,” in the Bible often refers to the “carnal knowledge” of sex. The word “tree” could indicate the generations of a family of blood relatives. So we are back, once again, to the subject of blood – “the water of life,” it seems.

In particular, the fruit of the vine – the grape – is used and scripture, and literature of all sorts, to represent blood, just as the wine of the Eucharist is viewed as the blood of Jesus. The vine, then, is, again, the family tree. There is an interesting line in The Book of Isaiah that appears to refer to God himself keeping a “vineyard” to make red wine, and announcing his intention to “water” it at “every moment.” This line comes right after one in which the LORD promises to “punish leviathan” and “slay the dragon that is in the sea.” As it says in Isaiah 27:1-3:

“In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.”

This may be related to the Messianic promise that God will let the righteous feast on the flesh of Leviathan. Perhaps they will be permitted to drink of his blood too. Maybe Leviathan’s blood will be part of the rivers of living waters in the New Jerusalem, issuing from the throne of God. We know that according to St. John, in the Last Days, a third of the sea will turn to blood. Revelation 8:8 says:

“And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood….”

Another version of the Rivers of Paradise Cross
Another version of the Rivers of Paradise Cross

We further know that Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding at Cana, something that Baphomet tried to take credit for. Baphomet also emphasized that “turning water into wine” could be used as alchemical metaphor. At the Last Supper, Jesus promised his disciples he would drink the “fruit of the vine” with them in his “Father’s kingdom.” Also, in Revelation 7: 16-17, John says of the righteous citizens of the New Jerusalem:

“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more…. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters.”

We know that those waters are depicted in Christian iconography as the blood issuing forth from the neck of a sacrificial lamb on an altar. Jews were certainly not allowed to consume blood, as I mentioned earlier. But Jesus is clearly telling people to make an exception and drink his blood. In the Jewish sacrificial system, the blood was reserved for God himself, because it contained “life.” Mortals, who had their own life (albeit in short duration), were told not to touch it.

Jesus, of course, is viewed as God incarnate, and part of the Holy Trinity. So would his blood be similar to “ichor,” the golden fluid in the veins of the Greek gods? The living waters of the New Jerusalem are said to be “clear as crystal.” Also, in Revelation 5:8, St. John witnesses the Lamb of God being offered “golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints.”

With these things in mind, let us look at the story of Tantalus. He was one of the sons of Zeus and a mortal. According to Edith Hamilton’s Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, Tantalus was “honored by the gods beyond all the mortal children of Zeus.” He frequently dined with the gods on Mount Olympus, eating ambrosia. At one point he stole some of the holy food and shared it with some of his human companions. This was taboo. He also illegally passed on some Top Secret divine intelligence that humans were not supposed to know.

For these crimes, he was chastised. However, this was not what got him consigned to the worst tortures of Tartarus in Hades eternally, where he is tormented with an apple that he can’t eat and water that he can’t drink. This happened because he murdered his own son Pelops – or “sacrificed him,” as some chroniclers put it. He then chopped him up, and tried to feed his meat to the gods.

The way the story is told in some cases, it is as though he had invited the gods to a banquet that he was throwing for them, just as he had been a guest at their table. However, since his son’s death is described sometimes as a “sacrifice,” and knowing what we know about how deities eat sacrificial offerings, it makes sense to consider that the “table” which he invited them to was probably an altar.

According to the myth, the gods knew what the meat was that they were being offered. That is why they all refused to eat it, except for Demeter, who “accidentally” ate some of the shoulder, because she was distraught with grief over her daughter Persephone, who had been kidnapped by Hades. Afterwards, the boy was resurrected, with his remains being placed in a magical cauldron. Hephaestus fashioned a prosthetic shoulder for him out of ivory.

The Food of the Gods of Olympus, by Nicola da Urbino, 1530
The Food of the Gods of Olympus, by Nicola da Urbino, 1530

“Demeter” literally means “Mother Earth.” So it was “the Earth” that ate Pelops “absent-mindedly,” just as Genesis says she “opened her mouth to receive” the blood of Abel. In his book The Holy Grail: Its Origins, Secrets, and Meaning Revealed, Malcolm Godwin recounts the details of an Arthurian legend about the “Ship of Solomon,” which purportedly contained wood taken from trees that were descended from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. As he writes:

“When Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, Eve still carried a part of the branch of the Tree of Life which she planted and it took root.… The twig … became a tree, but white as snow, signifying the pure soul and the virgin body. For at the time Eve plucked it from the tree in Eden she was still a virgin. Abel was conceived beneath that tree which then turned green…. God curses Cain and the earth upon which the blood of Abel had been spilled, except for the tree, which underwent a transformation, becoming red in remembrance of the blood of Abel. The shoots from the tree were each red, white and green, and it was from these trees that Solomon’s wife had cut the three posts around the bed of the ship.”

So here we have a myth that combines the idea of the tree of life being watered by the blood of the martyred Abel (causing it to turn red and virile, springing forth more trees), with the idea of a ship – an “ark.” But what is really interesting here is the claim that Eve indeed dared to “put forth” her hand “and take also of the tree of life.” This is exactly what God told his unnamed companions in Genesis 22 that he feared would happen. There is no mention of her eating the fruit of that tree in this Grail story, but she was able to grow another tree, so presumably this would have been possible.

Returning to the story of Pelops, we learn that this unfortunate soul was the father of Atreus, patriarch of the accursed house which resulted in Meneleus and Agamemnon, who started the Trojan war. Atreus did to his own nephew what his grandfather had done to Atreus’ father. He killed him, cut him up, and served him to the boy’s father, his brother Thyestes, as part of a fraternal vendetta. Significantly, the nephew’s name was Tantalus, just like his eternally damned great-grandfather who started the infanticidal, brephophagic family tradition.

Now are we really going to believe that the original Tantalus wasn’t influenced to sacrifice and serve the meat of his firstborn son to the gods because of what he’d seen at their own dinner table on Olympus? He had been initiated into the secrets of their ambrosia. Supposedly the gods were too civilized to eat human meat, perhaps most especially that of someone like Pelops, who was still one-quarter divine in lineage.

Furthermore, wasn’t giving away ambrosia, and the secrets of the gods, to humans (including, most likely, the secret of what ambrosia was) in fact his biggest crime against the gods? Isn’t this a much more likely reason for them to imprison and torture him? Is the story of the murder of Pelops told in such a way as to obscure what the gods were really eating at their banquets on the holy mountain? What made Tantalus think to feed them the flesh of his son in the first place?

In The White Goddess, Robert Graves theorized that the story of Tantalus was doctored for political reasons. He states:

“…Tantalus belonged to the old religion superseded by Olympianism, and the Olympian priests have deliberately misinterpreted the icons in favour of Father Zeus by presenting him as an odious criminal. Tantalus’s crime, the mythographers explain, was that, having been privileged to eat ambrosia, the food of the gods, with Olympians, he later invited commoners to try it.”

Perhaps in these older religions, where human sacrifice was rampant, the priests were more open about what the gods wanted to eat, whereas in later religions, these things were wrapped in allegory. Now we really get down to the crux of the issue. In every major culture, they say that their immortal gods, who live in an unreachable realm on high, maintain their immortal status via consumption of a special food. They keep the location of this food a secret, along with the mystery of what it is. The holy place is both psychically and physically guarded by creatures of terrifying countenance.

For those outsiders who dare to penetrate this forbidden realm, there is reserved the most awful of punishments. So, too, for those apostates among their own realm, and their privileged guests at that august table, who profane the mysteries by sharing the Bread of Life and its secret recipe with those who have not been invited to dine thereof.

As soon as Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, God became concerned that they would “stretch forth” their hands, take from the “tree of life,” and “live forever.” Since the Tree of Life was mentioned previously in Genesis, but in narration to the reader, and not as the quoted voice of God speaking to Adam, we can infer something: God was not concerned that they would eat from the Tree of Life until after they ate from the Tree of Knowledge.

This implies that the fruit of life was located somewhere that was inaccessible to them before they ate of the Tree of Knowledge. With what they had gained from eating the first forbidden fruit, it became conceivable that they might be able to access the fruit of life as well. It is like a parent who is not concerned about the baby putting his fingers in the electrical outlet until the day that he learns to crawl, and isn’t concerned about the knives in the drawer until he can stand up.

But there is no reason to believe that the erection of this barrier between us and the Tree of Life was done for our own good. All we know for certain is that the gods don’t want us to have that fruit, and they don’t want us to know what it is. For this reason, as Genesis 3:24 tells us, God “drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden, cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.” There are brave heroes who try to bring us the secret of this fruit as a stolen treasure from the other side. But they are always sent to Hell as a punishment: like Tantalus; like Prometheus; like Jesus.

The Garden of Eden before the Fall, according to the Golden Dawn
The Garden of Eden before the Fall, according to the Golden Dawn

In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the second degree is that of “Zelator,” which, the candidate is told, is a term for a zealous (that is, “daring” or “persevering”) student of alchemy. After being instructed to “Enter the Pathway of Evil,” the neophyte is directed to a pair of pillars that he is told mark the entrance to the zone in the Garden of Eden where the Tree of Life is protected by cherubs and a flaming sword. The person playing the part of the Hierophant explains it to them thusly:

“And Tetragrammaton [the Hebrew letters of the name ‘IHVH’ – that is, Jehovah] placed Kerubim at the East of the Garden of Eden and a Flaming Sword which turned every way to keep the path of the Tree of Life, for he created Nature that man being cast out of Eden may not fall into the Void. He has bound Man with the Stars as with a chain. When the times are ended, he will call the Kerubim from the East of the Garden, and all shall be consumed and become Infinite and Holy.”

Note that the Neophyte is told that he or she has the power to penetrate into the sanctity of a realm that God literally sealed off from our plane of existence just to keep us out of it. Furthermore, at the end of that passage, the Hierophant talks about the total annihilation of creation through fire at the End of Times. Then the Neophyte is told that if they know the proper passwords (which he will have been given before the ritual), then he can enter the “Holy Place.” The imagery of Eden suddenly becomes replaced with that of the inner sanctum of the Israelites’ Tabernacle, wherein God was worshipped with the Ark of the Covenant. The Hierophant explains further:

“… In this Grade you pass through the Gate-way and come into the Holy Place. You are now in the Court of the Tabernacle, where stood the Altar of Burnt Offering, wereon was offered the sacrifice of animals….

Between the Altar and the entrance into the Holy Place, stood the Laver of Brass wherein the priests washed before entering the Tabernacle. It was the symbol of the Waters of Creation….

Having made offering at the Altar of Burnt Sacrifice, and having been cleansed at the Laver of Brass, the Priest then entered the Holy Place.”

Again, just as the candidate is encouraged to imagine himself penetrating the forbidden realm of Eden, now he is being told to imagine himself going forth into that inaccessible chamber within the Temple at Jerusalem, where only the priests were permitted. In the Old Testament, those who entered the inner sanctum of the temple that were unworthy were killed instantly by the Ark of the Covenant. But here in this rite, you are told to just walk right in like you own the place.

As we know, the inner sanctum of the Tabernacle of the Israelites was a cube. In this Golden Dawn ritual, they tell you that behind that cube is another cube. Just as with the “Second Square” in Ageio, this is where the “real power” resides. The Hierophant’s speech continues:

“To the Northern side of the Holy Place, stood the Table of Shewbread…. On it twelve loaves were laid as emblems of the Bread of Life, and it is an image of the Mystery of the Rose of Creation….

Before the Veil of the Holy of Holies, stood the Altar of Incense, of which this Altar is an image. It was of the form of a double cube, thus representing the material form as a reflection and duplication of that which is Spiritual … For were this double cube raised in the air immediately above your head, you would but see the single square forming the lowest side, the others from their position being concealed from you. Just so, behind the material Universe, lies the concealed form of the Mystery of God.”

Masonic Banner of the Royal Arch, with the four creatures of God's throne and the Ark of the Covenant between two cherubim
Masonic Banner of the Royal Arch, with the four creatures of God’s throne and the Ark of the Covenant between two cherubim

The ritual then goes on to explain the Golden Dawn’s cabalistic paradigm, which includes their schema of the Tree of Life, and below it the Tree of Knowledge (a.k.a. the “Tree of Death,” the “Qlippoth,” or the “Kingdom of Shells”). In their graphic depiction of “the Garden of Eden Before the Fall,” Eve (whom they also refer to as “Isis”) stands with her feet upon the spheres ( the “sephiroth”) of the Tree of Knowledge. The spheres are quite small, and all bound up into a tiny circle that sits beneath her. This circle is surrounded by the coils of a red dragon with seven heads, all of which appear to be sleeping. Each head corresponds with one of the spheres, and just like on the Tree of Life above, these spheres correspond to aspects of existence – or in this case, negative (non-)existence.

Four branches, or perhaps sprigs of young trees, are sprouting out from Malkuth, the lowest sphere on the Tree of Life, which sits behind Eve’s ankles. Her hands are thrust upwards above her head to hold two pillars: one white and one dark, one in each hand. On top of her head, stacked on her as though in a cheerleading formation, is Adam. Coming forth from the six spheres that surround him are vines, which are winding their way up both of the pillars.

Let us think about this cabalistic “Tree of Life” for a moment. It’s not really a tree, is it? This is a schematic arrangement of chambers into which fluids flow, from one to the other, with the quality of the fluids changing as they leave each chamber. It looks just like an image of an alchemist’s laboratory, with various glass vessels hooked up to one another via tubes, because that’s exactly what it is. In an alchemy lab, substances pass from one vessel to another, getting separated into elements, added to, heated, cooled, and otherwise transmuted along the way. That is also what is described as happening as the energy of creation moves through the various spheres on the cabalistic Tree of Life.

Here on the Golden Dawn diagram of the Tree before the Fall, living things, such as tree sprouts and vines, are shown coming from the spheres. What this demonstrates is that the entire system is itself a garden (just as the Golden Dawn calls it in this diagram). It is a system of irrigation, producing different “fluids” that water different “plants” to produce various “fruits.”

If you’ll take a second look at some of the ancient Mesopotamian depictions of the gods gathered around the “Tree of Life,” you will notice the same thing. It often looks like a fountain, with one main tube standing upright, and several other connected tubes with bulbs on the end sticking out of it. It sometimes almost looks like a hookah, artfully arranged to resemble a tree. Around it, the gods are usually shown greedily waiting to feast upon it.

This also appears to be what’s going on with Enki in his Absu chamber. Recall that he is depicted with streams of water coming off his back (or possibly hoses), and streams of water flowing between a network of pipes (or alternately, again, those streams could actually be hoses). In one scene he is apparently being approached by a priest who is offering him animal sacrifices, as he proffers to the priest the “plant of immortality.” It is budding forth from one of those posts connected to the network of hoses that issue from the pots set beneath his chair.

… In the Golden Dawn’s diagram of “the Garden of Eden Before the Fall,” the spheres around Adam on the Tree of Life have vines coming out of them, which are wrapped around the pillars that Eve is holding. Andrei A. Orlov, in his book Dark Mirrors: Azazel and Satanael in Early Jewish Demonology, explores pseudepigraphal writings stating the grape was the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – or rather, from a vine wrapped around that tree.

This is interesting for many reasons. For one thing, a vine is actually a parasite that feeds off of other plants, like trees, and coils itself around its host like a snake. Clearly, there are parallels here with the concept of the serpent on the Tree. We get the idea that the serpent may have possessed one or both of the human protoplasts to encourage them to eat from the tree, and have carnal knowledge with each other.

Orlov talks about a passage in The Apocalypse of Abraham where a picture is painted of Adam and Eve standing under the Tree of Knowledge, entwined with each other physically, and with the fallen angel Azazel between them. In the midst of this a bunch of what appear to be grapes hang from the Tree.

Orlov likens this to a menage a trois, and suggests that it may be an allusion to the first couple being “ridden” via demonic possession. As I have said, I think that this is, in fact, what is meant when it is said that Lilith and Samael cannot have sexual union without the “Taniniver” as an intermediary. Remember, some rabbinical traditions say that Azazel is the name for the combination of Lilith and Samael.

Now symbolically, grapes imply blood, and vines imply bloodlines being bred over generations. The Bible certainly mentions the grapevine being preserved as a species in the new world that Noah and his family emerged into. Genesis says that Noah made wine from the grapes and got drunk from it (which is why Jews credited Noah, like Dionysus was among the Greeks, as the inventor of alcoholic beverages). He ended up naked in his tent, where his children scandalously found him, echoing the realization of their own nakedness that Adam and Eve had after eating from the Tree of Knowledge.

But in the scriptures cited by Orlov, there is much more to the story of the grape. In the Slavonic version of the book 3 Baruch, it talks about angels being assigned by God to plant trees in the Garden of Eden. The angels were Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, and Satanael, and they each planted a tree. The first four planted good trees. But Satanael planted the vine. This is undoubtedly a reference to the rebellious angels who injected their own seed into human females.

Orlov cites certain texts, and commentary on those texts, that make it seem like the Garden of Eden was almost as a prison, complete with “bailiffs,” where humans were kept and bred like livestock by angelic “gardeners”:

“4Q530 refers to the gardeners watering numerous roots issued from their trunk. Who are these gardeners? Jozef Milik was first to identify the gardeners as angelic beings. He argued that the gardeners are ‘guardian angels’ or ‘bailiffs of the world-garden’…. Loren Stuckenbruck … suggests that in light of 4Q530 line 8 the ultimate outcome of the gardeners’ work seems to be the production of ‘great shoots’ from the root source, which, in Stuckenbruck’s opinion, signifies ‘the birth of the giants from the women.’ He further argues that the ‘watering’ activity is a metaphor for impregnation and the gardeners, in fact, represent fallen angelic beings, the Watchers.”

The intentions of the angels towards the humans that they bred with may not have been based on erotic love. Rather, it could have been a mass rape intended to humiliate the race of Adam, whom they jealously despised. Orlov says that in 3 Baruch, Satanael sets out purposely to plant “a tree designed to cause the fall and degradation of the human race.” Then in the Midrash of Shemhazai and Azazel, according to Orlov:

“…The evil desire of the Watchers over humans seems to come as consequence of the Watchers’ disrespect for humanity in general and the first human creature in particular.”

In order to wipe out this accursed bloodline, God caused everything, including the Garden itself, to be destroyed in the Deluge. But according to 3 Baruch, the vine – the bloodline “planted” by the fallen angels – survived. It was washed out of the Garden as the waters receded, and ended up at the feet of Noah as he disembarked the Ark. Lines 4:10b-11 state:

“(A]nd the water entered into the garden, (and took all that was blooming), bringing out one shoot from the vine as God withdrew the waters. And there was dry land, and Noah went out from the ark.”

When Noah discovered that the vine had escaped, he did now know what to do. He did not want to plant it because it would produced the fruit that caused the fall of Adam and Eve. But God sent an angel named Sarasael to tell Noah: “Rise, Noah, and plant the vine, and alter its name and change it for the better.”

Inanna and Enki seated by the Tree of Life
Inanna and Enki seated by the Tree of Life

More evidence that the vine, and in fact, all of the trees of the “Garden” represent bloodlines can be found in the Midrash of Shemhazai and Azazel, where it talks about prophetic dreams had by two giants, sons of the (soon to be fallen) angel Shemhazai. It involves a “stone” hovering over the Earth, followed by genocidal gardening:

“One night the sons of Shemhazai, Hiwwa and Hiyya saw … dreams. One saw the great stone spread over the earth…. The other (son) saw a garden, planted whole with (many) kinds of trees and (many) kinds of precious stones. And an angel (was seen by him) descending from the firmament with an axe in his hand, and he was cutting down all the trees, so that there remained only one tree containing three branches. When they awoke from their sleep they arose in confusion, and, going to their father, they related to him the dreams. He said to them: ‘The Holy One is about to bring a flood upon the world, and to destroy it, so that there will remain but one man and his three sons.’”

In 3 Baruch, the placement of the passages about the survival of the vine, right next to verses about the survival of Noah’s line, implies that the former is a metaphor for the latter. This seems to be a method that is often used in scripture to draw parallels between things and explain symbolism. There are also references in The Book of Enoch to Noah being a “plant of righteousness and truth.” In the Syncellus translation of The Book of Enoch, God tells the angel Sariel to tell Noah:

“And now instruct the righteous one what to do, and the son of Lamech, that he may save his life and escape for all time; and from him a plant shall be planted and established for all generations for ever.”

Recall that, in the Mesopotamian versions of the Flood story, the pilot of the Ark was rewarded with the plant of immortality. However, in most versions of the Judeo-Christian tales, it was Noah’s grandfather Enoch who was made immortal, as he was also given the first warning about the impending disaster of the Deluge. But here we have an angel being told by God that Noah will “save his life and escape for all time.”

Just think about the story of Prometheus having his liver eaten every day by an eagle, a symbol of Zeus, only to have it grow back the next day. If this is what they would do to one of their own, another immortal, imagine what they do to us. Certainly it does seem as if there are invisible entities running the shown that have historically demanded blood sacrifice, from whence they feed on the blood, as well as spiritual energy given in the form of religious rituals, prayers, and meditation.

The events which led up to the unfortunate fate of Prometheus are worth mentioning, for they pertain to the subject of sacrifice. The whole matter began with something called the “Trick at Mecone,” where the precedent for the Greek custom of sacrifice was established. At a meeting between gods and men at a mysterious place called “Mecone,” Prometheus invited Zeus to choose which portion of the animals killed for meat on Earth would be offered to him in sacrifice.

What Prometheus had done was killed at ox, and created two portions out of the remains. One was the stomach of the ox, stuffed with all of the meat. The other portion was a pile of bones wrapped in glistening fat. Zeus purportedly had not seen Prometheus arrange the portions, and chose the one that looked good on the outside: the bones. Mankind, then, would get to eat the meat from each kill.

Apparently unable to alter the decision once it had been made, Zeus became angry, and punished mankind by removing fire from Earth. Now people could not cook the meat that Prometheus had won for them, nor could they keep themselves warm at night. Prometheus felt sorry for people, and stole fire from Olympus to bring it back to humanity. Then Zeus, in retribution for this, chained Prometheus to the Caucasus Mountains, and sent the eagle after him to peck his liver.

Ancient Greek poets and chroniclers repeatedly wrote that the Gods “starved” and began to die, or fade from existence, whenever belief in religion would wane with the populace. These people clearly suspected that the immortals secretly relied on the efforts of mortals to survive. Similarly, the Mesopotamians described their gods as starving on their holy mountaintop retreat while humanity was drowning in the Deluge. Is this because there was nobody to feed them, both with bloody sacrifices, and with the energy of reverent belief? When Utnapishtim cooked the gods a burnt offering after leaving his ark, they ravenously descended upon it, as God did in the version in Genesis.

Let us contemplate again the images of Enki in the Absu. Priests present the god with sacrifices. Then, perhaps, he is taking the energy from that, running it through a divine alchemical process, maybe within his own body, and/or those of others (the “vessels” shown in the images beneath and surrounding Enki’s throne). He then returns the energy to the priests in the form of the plant of immortality.

In the Temple in Jerusalem, blood was being poured on the altar. The power of that went towards God, whose “Presence” was inside of the Ark. When the Presence came, it could be seen hovering over the lid of the Ark, seated right between the two cherubim on the top that formed the “Mercy Seat.” Perhaps it was the power derived from this blood that was transmuted inside of that mysterious vessel. The output of this was then manifested on top of the Ark in the form of the Presence. This Presence then infused the shewbread, which was eaten by the priests.

Shewbread of the Temple
Shewbread of the Temple

Then there is the “hidden Manna” that Jesus promised to give the saved in the New Jerusalem. Is this related to the feast of the meat of Leviathan that Jews believe the pious will eat at the End Times? Is this another type of divine alchemical process? Leviathan can be thought of as the serpent of chaos who encircles creation (thus holding everything within its body, so to speak), and which eats the souls of the dead, like the giant maw that the gates of Hell are frequently depicted as being. In that sense, she had the oldest and largest stomach in the universe, being the ultimate landing place of every soul that dies.

So is it that this beast, having consumed all of this soul essence and gained from it vast energy, is then butchered and served to the chosen few, who get to benefit from ingesting all of that essence into themselves? Is this what brings them immortality, as the symbol of the Ouroborous (an encircled serpent eating its own tail) represents? Is this also the meaning of that other alchemical symbol of eternal life, showing two dragons who form a circle by eating each other’s tails?

Clock Shavings by Tracy R. Twyman, now available!
First Edition, blue hardcover w/ glossy jacket

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