The Pectorius of Autun and the Secret Dossiers of Henri Lobineau

At the end of my book The Merovingian Mythos and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau, I presented a somewhat clumsy translation from French to English that I had done of one of the essays included in the Secret Dossiers of Henry Lobineau.You can find the translation here as well. If you don’t know what the Secret Dossiers are, this article I wrote in 1998 for Dagobert’s Revenge Magazine explains it well enough as follows:

[In] 1956… someone claiming to be the Priory of Sion began to release a flood of apparent propaganda, the best of which was deposited in Paris’ Bibliotheque Nationale. Often it would be released under obvious pseudonyms of symbolic significance, such as “Marie-Madeleine” (“Mary Magdalene’) and “Antoine l’Ermite” (“St. Anthony the Hermit”). Other times it was published under the names of actual people, (some of whom died mysteriously shortly after publication). For instance, Dossiers Secrets (Secret Dossiers), was a strange collection of purported data pertaining to the Merovingians and the Priory of Sion. It contained genealogies, letters, newspaper clippings, and other scraps all thrown together, along with commentary from the author, “Henri Lobineau,” and some other unnamed commentator. However, within the Dossiers themselves it is revealed that “Lobineau” is a pseudonym, and it is claimed that the real author was one Leo Schidlof, who died in 1966. The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail talked to his daughter, who denied that he had written the Dossiers, but said that during his life and especially on the day of his death a number of people had tried to contact him on the subject, which he claimed to no nothing about. Yet Secret Dossiers asserts that he had not only written or compiled most of the material in the book, but had also possessed a leather briefcase filled with secret documents pertaining to the Rennes-le-Chateau between 1600 and 1800. The Dossiers claim that shortly before his death M. Schidlof passed the briefcase onto a courier named Fakhar ul Islam, who was supposed to meet in East Germany with an “agent delegated by Geneva” in February 1967 in order to transfer the briefcase to him. However, it is claimed that Fakhar ul Islam was expelled from East Germany before this could occur, and went back to Paris to “await further orders.” His body was found on February 20 on the railway tracks at Melan, France, having been thrown from an express train. The details of Mr. Fakhar ul Islam’s death turned out to be true, as the discovery of his decapitated were reported in the papers the following day. The briefcase, of course, was gone.

At the end of the passage, the author quotes an inscription on a monument in France. The translation I provided at the time was:

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.

Beneath this, the author has signed himself as “Le Poulpe” (the Octopus), with a picture of the creature below.

Le Poulpe.
Le Poulpe. From Secret Dossiers

I noted several interesting things about this passage, including that, as I wrote, “A link could also be made between the ‘eternal flood of wisdom’ and the deity Baphomet worshipped by the Knights Templar, whose name means “baptism of wisdom.'” The photocopy of the document I had to work with was rather poor, and I certainly don’t know everything about France or the French language. I ignorantly translated the town name “Autun” in Burgundy as being a reference to “Autumn.” But I recently found another reference to the monument in the book Orpheus the Fisher by Robert Eisler from 1920. This has helped me to track down other translations of the inscription, and also helped me to understand the meaning of it much better. In fact, the monument is known as the “Pectorius of Autun,” because that is the town it was discovered in during the year 1893. In has been dated between the third and fourth century AD. The inscription was in Greek, and it was an acrostic in which the first letter of each line formed the word “IXTHUS” — “fish,” a reference to the Christian symbol.

Robert Eisler translated the inscription in his book, and it seems to me that it was his translation that the author of this section of Secret Dossiers had probably translated into French, which I then tried to translated back into English. His says:

Divine race of the Heavenly Fish,
Among all the mortal ones, take and taste the [one] immortal spring of the god-given waters.
Refresh, O Friend, thy soul with the ever-flowing flood of blissful wisdom.
Take the Saviour’s honey-like food, the meat of the Saints.
Eat, O starving one, holding the fish in thy hands.

Christ's Appearance on Lake Tiberias by Duccio di Buoninsegna
Christ’s Appearance on Lake Tiberias by Duccio di Buoninsegna

Another translation I have found here goes thusly, and includes several lines not mentioned in Lobineau’s document:

  • 1 Thou, the divine child of the heavenly Fish
  • 2 Keep pure thy heart among the mortals
  • 3 Once thou hast been washed in the fountain of divine waters.
    Refresh thy soul, friend,
  • 4 With the ever flowing waters of wealth-giving wisdom.
  • 5 Take from the Saviour of saints the honey-sweet food;
  • 6 Eat with joy and desire, holding the Fish in thy hands.
  • 7 I pray thee, Lord Saviour, satisfy his hunger with the Fish.
  • 8 May my mother rest peacefully, I beseech thee, Light of the dead.
  • 9 Aschandius, father, my heart’s beloved
  • 10 With my dearest mother and my brothers
  • 11 In the peace of the Fish remember thy Pectorius.

Pavement de la basilique d'Aquilée, pêcheurs

In his book, Robert Eisler discussed the “Agape” feasts of early Christians, which, from paintings found on the walls of catacombs and other monuments left behind, seems to have involved the eating of fish as a Eucharistic ritual. He theorizes that Christians came into the idea of having fish on Friday because post-diaspora Jews brought the tradition back from Babylon, where it was considered the proper think to eat on the day of Venus, who was associated with fish. He says that those Jews then observed it as a celebratory rite anticipating the feast at the End of Days, when prophecy says that righteous Jews will dine on the flesh of Leviathan, sea-beast of the primordial abyss (now celebrated annually by Jews as the “Feast of the Tabernacles”). (This subject is discussed heavily in my most recent book, Clock Shavings. Of this, Eisler wrote:

…The earliest Church was wont to celebrate a mystic fish-meal, which seems to have been closely related to, but not identical with, the properly so-called eucharistic rite of the “bread-braking.” As no such rite is practiced in the communion services of any modern Christian Church, we much either conclude that it has completely fallen into oblivion in a later stage of Christian history or — identify it resolutely with the private observance of a fish-diet which is still enjoined for every Friday by the Roman Catholic as well as by the Eastern Churches.

The Agape feast
The Agape feast

Robert Eisler’s book is more broadly about the possible roots of Christian baptismal and communion rites in the mystery cult of Orpheus. He shows pictorial evidence left behind by the cult that indicates their initiation rites may have involved ritual hunts and fishing expeditions (including sometimes baptism in the fishing waters), with someone playing the part of Orpheus as the chief huntsman and fisher. Furthermore, he thinks the etymology of the name Orpheus derives from the “orphoi,” the word for the fish kept in Apollo’s sanctuary, although Eisler believes it was originally a generic word for “fish.” He writes:

…If any mysteries are to be connected with the “hieros ichthys” we can now safely venture to identify them with Orphism, or the religion of the sacred Lycian fish orphoi.

In the course of his study, Eisler draws the symbolism all the way back to the ancient Middle East, with their half-fish gods like Ea, and their priests dressed as fish worshiping them at sacred baptismal pools named after the gods’ watery abode, the “Absu.” Says Eisler:

By “putting on” their mystically fish-shaped divinity — just as certain Greek and Assyrian worshipers of the fish-god clothe themselves with fish-skins, the Christian neophytes equally believe themselves to be symbolically transformed into “fishes” by the baptismal immersion. As “reborn” fishes they are taken up from the water… by the hook, or… by the net.

Priest of fish-god Ea dressed as a fish
Priest of fish-god Ea dressed as a fish

Eisler describes the rites of Orpheus involving the initiates pretending to be fish, who have to be lured in and captured by their initiators in a pantomime involving a fishing rod (in one case, bated with a jug of wine), and he believes that early Christian rituals were very similar:

The “hook” itself is frequently identified with the Christ, or the Logos, whom the neophytes swallow in the Eucharist, immediately after the immersion; and in like manner is the mystic “net” taken as a figure of the Christ by S. Damasus….

fisher_king_jesus

Just as Christ was “fishing for men” with his preaching, Orpheus, the poet with the irresistibly hypnotic song of the lyre, did the same. Writes Eisler:

[The] Chaldean and Orphic fetish-cult of the sacred “net,” a precious specimen of Old-Babylonian logos-mysticism in a frequently recurring text, where the powerful “Word” (Amatu) of the Divinity is said to be “a snare prepared on the shore of the sea, out of the meshes of which the fish cannot escape, and a net in which man is taken….”

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, full of fish

The subjects in this post will be explored, in connection with another investigation, in a new book that I just finished writing with a friend that should be available very soon. Eisler’s book Orpheus the Fisher contains a great deal of insight, not the least of which pertains to the “Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau” in Southern France. I will explore one more connection in the next post here.


Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled by Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera.

finalfrontcoversnip

“Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

For seven centuries, the enigma of Baphomet has mystified both scholars and the general public. Did the Knights Templar really worship a demonic idol of that name? If so, what does the word mean? What is the origin of this figure? What was the nature of the rituals that the Templars performed in secret? What were their covert beliefs? And why, if the Templars initially described their idol as a mummified severed head, is this figure now represented as a hermaphrodite human with the head of a goat?

Authors Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera have dived head-first into the bottomless abyss of mystery and returned with some astounding wisdom to share. Here for the first time they reveal the genesis of these symbols, showing how they relate to the Witches’ Sabbath, traditions of Sufi Islam, alchemy, Gnosticism, cabalism, the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, and so much more.

Learn why the Templars and their beloved severed head are frequently associated with John the Baptist, and how this connects to his student, Simon Magus. Discover the known facts about things like the Chinon Parchment, the Book of the Baptism of Fire, the Templar Abraxas seals, and newly-found documents which claim that the Templars discovered the real Temple of Solomon during a secret trip to Mecca.

Join Twyman and Rivera on this exciting adventure into the unknown. Immerse yourself in this knowledge, if your heart has the strength. It is certain that your mind will never be the same.