Lucifer and Satan

By Barbara Walker

 

"Lucifer"

From The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

"Light-bringer," Latin title of the Morning Star god who announced the daily birth of the sun. Canaanites called him Shaher. The Jewish Shaharit (Morning Service) still commemorates him.1 Shaher's twin brother Shalem, the Evening Star, announced the daily death of the sun and spoke to him the Word of Peace (Hebrew shalom, Arabic salaam).2 Shalem was worshipped along with his brother in Jerusalem, which means "House of Shalem." Shaher and Shalem were the same as the Greeks' Dioscuri or Heavenly Twins, Castor and Pollux, born of Leda's World Egg. They were also prominent in Persian sun worship as the two torch-bearers, one with his torch ascendant and the other with his torch directed down.3

Both Shaher and Shalem were born of the Great Mother Asherah in her world-womb aspect as Helel, "the Pit."4 Canaanite myth said Shaher coveted the superior glory of the sun god and tried to usurp his throne, but was defeated and cast down from heaven like a lightning bolt. Pagan scriptures of the 7th century B.C. included a dirge for the fallen Morning Star:

(QUOTE)How hast thou fallen from heaven, Helel's son Shaher! Thou didst say in thy heart, I will ascend to heaven, above the circumpolar stars I will raise my throne, and I will dwell on the Mount of Council in the back of the north; I will mount on the back of a cloud, I will be like unto Elyon. (UNQUOTE)

Centuries later, a Jewish scribe copied this Canaanite scripture into the Bible and pretended it was written by Isaiah:

(QUOTE)How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!... For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend to heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of Cod: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14)(UNQUOTE)

The biblical writer further told Lucifer: "Thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit" (Isaiah 14:15). This "pit" was the same as Helel, or Asherah, the god's own Mother-bride; and his descent as a lightning-serpent into her Pit represented fertilization of the abyss by masculine fire from heaven. In short, the Light-bringer challenged the supreme solar god by seeking the favors of the Mother. This divine rivalry explains the so-called sin of Lucifer, hubris, which church fathers translated "pride", but its real meaning was "sexual passion."6

Actually, all sacred kings aspired to the same proud position Lucifer or Shaher coveted: to be the spouse of the Goddess, to stand at the hub of the heavens (carried thence on a cloud), to become one with the supreme deity. Egyptian pharaohs made almost identical claims to glory, as shown by Pepi's tomb inscription stating that he "standeth upon the north of heaven with Ra, he becometh lord of the universe like unto the king of the gods."7 He also descended into the earth in the guise of the immortal serpent Sata, father of lightning; and his Hebrew name Satan merged with the image of Lucifer in Jesus's words: "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18).

Lucifer continued to be linked with both lust and lightning during the Christian era. He became the Prince of the Power of the Air (Ephesians 2:2) who threw his lightning bolts at church towers. He wielded the trident, in Eastern symbolism a triple lightning-phallus destined to fertilize the Triple Goddess.8

Another ancient source of the Lucifer legend was the Assyro-Babylonian lightning god, Zu the Storm Bird, a forerunner of Zeus; sometimes he was a seraph or "fiery flying serpent," the lightning bolt personified. Zu was punished for coveting the power-filled Tablets of Destiny that Great Mother Tiamat had given her firstborn son, the father of gods. Zu said to himself, "I will take the tablet of destiny of the gods, even I; and I will direct all the oracles of the gods; I will establish a throne, and dispense commands, I will rule over all the spirits of Heaven!"9

Egypt called the Morning Star god Bennu, the dying-and-reborn Phoenix bird known as "Soul of Ra," who died on the World Tree in order to renew himself, to "shine on the world." His spirit dwelt in the phallic obelisk, called Bennu or the Benben-stone, which stood for the god's sexual union with the Mother. Another of his phallic forms was the mighty serpent Ami-Hemf, "Dweller in his Flame," who lived on the Mountain of Sunrise and was identified with the morning star. Thus Egypt and Mesopotamia had several versions of light-bringing Lucifer long before scraps of his myth found their way into Judeo-Christian writings.

Plato knew the morning-star god as Aster (Star) and also understood that the same star appeared at evening in a different position and so became the evening star (actually the planet Venus). Plato therefore viewed Aster as the dying-and-reborn deity himself: "Aster, once, as Morning-Star, light on the living you shed. Now, dying, as Evening-Star, you shine among the dead."

Gnostic Christians maintained that the "light" Lucifer brought was true enlightenment, which he gave humanity against God's will, as Prometheus stole the fire of heaven to bring civilization to mankind against the will of Zeus. The Bible's story supported the Gnostic view. God denied Adam and Eve the fruit of the tree of knowledge, desiring to keep them ignorant; but Lucifer, in the form of the serpent, gave them the "light" of wisdom.

The Persians, too, said their own Great Serpent Ahriman gave knowledge to the first couple in the garden of Heden. Ahriman, too, was the twin brother of the solar God, cast out of heaven for his hubris; the Magi worshipped the Great Serpent as the source of their wisdom.12 He was often thought more influential in terrestrial affairs than the Father who cast him down.

Such Persian precedents influenced Gnostic Christians who regarded Jehovah as the villain and Lucifer as the hero, savior, and friend of man, revealer of sacred mysteries that the Heavenly Father jealousy withheld. Medieval secret fraternities perpetuated the Gnostics' respect for Lucifer and sometimes identified him with Hermes, god of revelation. These Gnostic doctrines persisted through the first half of the Christian era and well into the second half.15 Meister Eckhart said, "Lucifer, the angel, who is in hell, had perfectly pure intellect and to this day knows much."14 [Note: Those who are up in arms that the 'secret societies' are worshippers of Lucifer/Satan should be alert to this and succeeding paragraphs.]

In the 14th century A.D. there were Gnostic groups called Luciferans, who "worship Lucifer and believe him to be the brother of God, wrongly cast out of heaven."15 Luciferans were first heard of in Austria, Their cult soon spread to Brandenburg, Bohemia, Switzerland, and Savoy. In 1336 the Inquisition burned fourteen men and women at Magdeburg for holding heretical opinions about Lucifer. In 1384, a priest at Prenzlau accused his entire congregation of believing that Lucifer was God or the brother of God.16

One of the "great questions" among medieval Schoolmen was many angels fell with Lucifer and how many remained in heaven under the command of Michael. Some authorities said "most" fell. Some said "most" remained. Some said a tenth, a ninth, or a third of the angelic host fell, because "the dragon with his tail plucked down with him the third part of the stars." Furious debate raged also between Thomists, Scotists, and followers of Augustine on the "great question" of the battle's location and duration. It was said to have taken place in the air, in the firmament, or in paradise. It lasted one instant, two instants, or four instants; the consensus of learned opinion was that it lasted three instants.17 Thus the theologians supposed that it didn't take long for God to subdue Lucifer. On the question of why Lucifer's army rebelled against the supremely beneficent, supremely lovable God in the first place, the theologians were silent -- perhaps knowing all too well deep within their minds what Lucifer really stood for.

[Birdman comment: The Scotists, followers of Duns Scotus -- and for that matter, probably the Thomists, Augustinians and the other casuists -- became known -- first, respectfully, and then less respectfully -- as Dunces. Can anyone hazard a guess as to why? Perhaps the Luciferans would enlighten us.]

l.Palai. 147. 2. Hays, 85. 1 Cumont. M.M.,68. 128. 4. Hooke, M.E.M.. 93.
5. Albright. 232. 6. Potter & Sargent, 176. 7. Book of the Dead. 86.
8. O'Flaherty, 130. 9. Assyr. & Bab. Lit.. 304. 10. Budge, G.E. 2,96-97; 1, 24
11. Lindsay, O.A.. 94. 12.' Legge 2. 239. 13. Waite, O.S.. 195.
14. Campbell. Oc.M., 513. 15. Wedeck, 142. 16. J.B. Russell, 177, 180.
17. Scot, 422-23.

 

 

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