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The Three Wise Men and The Revelation of The Magi

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posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 11:00 PM
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If you have ever wondered if there is more depth involved in the story of the Three Wise Men (3WM) you are in for a Christmas treat. In this thread I would like to share some mysteries with you all about a very old interest of mine that has just recently received an update of sorts. I wanted to make this thread accessible to everyone, so I have essentially put the basic story up front for those that may only have an interest in learning about what the central book that we will be talking about brings to the table. Later I would like to go deeper in to some stuff concerning Fulcanelli, Alchemy and the 3WM.

Many of the texts that have become the cornerstones of European thought had a long and arduous journey. Greek classics of philosophy, literature and medicine were not available to Europe until the Renaissance, well after they had been translated by Syrian scholars and they had made their way in to Europe via Spain. Besides the Greeks, a great many other types of books containing philosophical and metaphysical thought were making their way in to Catholic countries and The Church had a tight rein on information control.

So, I suppose it should come as a surprise to no one that sometimes these sorts of books get "lost". One such book was recently snatched from its previous state of mouldering obscurity where it lay upon some shelf in the Vatican library and, despite having been available nearly 600 years ago in Europe, the text has been translated for the very first time in to English.



In 2010 Brent Landau, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma, published Revelation of The Magi, which is based on his translation of a (possibly) 2nd or 3rd century AD Syriac text of the same name. Although the text has been dated to as late as the 8th century AD, Landau says that it could be as old as having been written less than 100 years after the Gospel of Matthew, which is the only other source (common source) for the story of the 3WM. Revelation of The Magi provides a much richer version of the story of The Star of The Magi, purportedly from the perspective of The Magi themselves.

Numerous articles can be found on the web that analyze the contents of Landau's book, and I will provide links. Here is some of what we learn about The Magi from Landau's translation:



-There were at least 12 of them. Not 3. Landau has suggested there may have been many more if animal trains (caravans) are considered.

-They say they came from a land called Shir, which was by the ocean in "the extreme east of the world"; where silk is made. This is beginning to lead some scholars to look away from Babylon and ancient Persia when trying to understand the story and towards China and its environs, of all places.

-The text claims that their name means "Those that pray in silence", which has gotten scholars looking even harder at the east for a possible place of origin for these guys as their name seems to suggest that they engaged in spiritual practices similar to Buddhist spiritual practices. This sort of flies in the face of what has always been held as nearly solid evidence that they had been Zoroastrian and from ancient Persia.

-The Magi claimed to be descendants of Seth, the righteous third son of Adam and Eve, and say that they were the guardians of an age-old prophecy that a star of never-before-seen brightness would someday appear “heralding the birth of God in human form.”

-Their story tells that 12 were selected from their society, son replacing father as the generations continued. They waited, maintaining a high-mountain sanctuary, The Mountain of Victories, so that they could look out for the "Star" that their ancient texts told them would appear so they could make their journey and deliver their gifts.



-When the star does appear only The Magi, the selected 12 (at least) can see it, it descends in a column of light hovers over the water of the prepared sanctuary and blinds The Magi, ultimately resolving itself as a child called by Landau in his translation as, you guessed it, The Star-Child who tells the Magi this before leading them on the journey to His birthplace "far away"...




"And I am everywhere, because I am a ray of light whose light has shown in this world from the majesty of the Father, who has sent me to fulfill everything that was spoken about me in the entire world and in every land by unspeakable mysteries, and to accomplish the commandment of my glorious Father, who by the prophets preached about me to the contentious house, in the same way as for you, as befits your faith, it was revealed to you about me."



-The Star-Child led them by day and night on their journey of two years, protecting them and replenishing their supplies.



-When The Child is born, he is born in a cave, which incidentally was a belief held by some of the early church fathers, according to Landau's book.

-The Star-Child, so-called by Landau is never referred to explicitly as Christ by The Magi, but as the Incarnate Son of The Father. It is much later in the text, after The Magi are visited by the Apostle Thomas that The Child is referred to as Christ.



-Much later parts of the text of Revelations of The Magi, which is written in first person, have the narrator confiding that The Magi reminded the Apostle Thomas, when he came to convert them, that they had been Christians before the birth of Christ.

The thing that stands out the most about the message of The Star Child as revealed in Revelations of The Magi is the very reason that Brent Landau thinks that the text may have been "ignored" by the English speaking world for so long, The Star-Child's message is insistently one of universality, as demonstrated in the above quote. The Magi reinforce this by telling Herod when they meet him that The Star-Child has "worshipers in every land" (17:5), they also tell Mary and Joseph that, “forms of him are seen in every land, because he has been sent by his majesty [God the Father] for the salvation and redemption of every human being” (23:4).




"Further statements by Christ, the Magi, and even God himself reinforce this conception of Christ's boundless revelation throughout the world.

In sum, the Revelation of the Magi contends that Christ is actually the hidden source of all or most of humanity's religious systems. Therefore, according to this text, non-Christian religions do not actually exist, since Christ pervades them all."

-Brent Landau

continued...




posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 11:01 PM
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...

The text called the The Revelation of The Magi and the legends associated with it were well known to Europe in the middle ages; passages have been cited by Thomas Aquinas. Yet all we apparently have in English concerning the 3WM is what we get from the Gospel of Matthew. Maybe the most telling and useful part of the Gospel of Matthew version is the part where Herod immediately tries to co-opt The Magi in to his nefarious plans to kill Jesus? It has always seemed to me that the simple message "Love one another", has been unnecessarily beset by the heaviest confusion and violence due to politics and paranoia just like Herod's

Did the translation to English wait as long as it did, behind the walls of the Vatican library due to lack of interest? I know there was interest, because I had heard the story before, via Alchemical lore, which often functions as a sort of "underground railroad" for "unpopular" spiritual knowledge, but we'll get to that in the appropraite section. So, for now...



I have always had a love for traditional Christmas stories and the story of the Three Wise Men was the first to leave a deep impression on me. I think that what must have struck me as peculiar when I first heard the tale as a child was the idea of how the appearance of the star caused the people in the story to get right up and start travelling for days. I think I remember imagining them trudging through the sand alongside their camels, in a perpetual night lit by a perpetual full Moon, arms held dutifully to the front bearing the heavy burden of 'The Gifts", despite days of aching arms. I was inspired even as a young person by what seemed to me to be their nearly kamikaze-like sense of mission and duty. It was like, "Damn, who are these guys and where can I get an application?", and my interest persists to this day.

I have to agree with the writer of the article linked below from biblicalarcheology.org, the revelations in the Revelation of The Magi don't really clear anything up, it all just deepens the mystery; and it is going to get even a little deeper. Prof. Brent Landau doesn't think it is very likely that the text was written by the very magi of the Gospel story, but he had this to say when he was interviewed...




“In terms of who wrote it, we have no idea. [But] the description of the magi and [their religious practices] is so remarkably detailed and I’ve often wondered whether it’s reflecting some actual community out there that practiced and kind of envisioned themselves in the role of the magi.”



I was also inspired by the Pony Express at about the same age as my fascination with The Magi had begun, the idea of getting a message across no matter what made my thoughts and dreams soar. Now I feel as though I understand their sense of mission and duty better than ever. The Magi, as they are presented in the text attributed to them, were the heralds of a coming peace, love and grace that excluded no one. A message that I am personally very thirsty for this Christmas.



Thanks for reading up to this point ATS,

Merry Christmas!



Links;

.pdf link...
The Three Kings, A Star Child and Universal Religion. By Nick Gier, Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho

"Who Were The Magi?"

We Three Kings of Orient Are. Lyrics.



posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 11:35 PM
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Very interesting! I may just get and read that book. On the other hand, up to this time the best theory I had seen on the identity of the Magi was that they were members of a hereditary caste of priests in the empire of Parthia. The ruling dynasty of Parthia was of the House of David, and this caste (can't remember the spelling, something like "Megistenes") kept track of all candidates to the throne. In Parthia, any male member of the House of David (in Parthia called "Arsacids" [sp?]) could take the throne. The Magi noted Jesus and His ancestry, and gave gifts fit for a potential heir. All of Jerusalem was upset at their arrival for the simple reason that Parthia had ruled Palestine some 40 years before, and war with Rome was always possible. Here's an except from the book I got it all from:

www.israelite.info...

The excerpt contains the full account I have condensed above. In the end, as always, it comes down to what source we trust...
edit on 19-12-2013 by Lazarus Short because: lah-de-dah



posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 11:41 PM
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Thanks for the thread. Some interesting stuff to go over for sure. This really makes me consider some bits that I recall from past research that always just kind of stuck out to me but never went anywhere. I will have to dig around for the links but I recall some stuff about a connection with the Japanese and Jews which was even seen to be recognized by Israel and Japan but most considered it politics. As well as a thread I authored a while back about claims of Christianity being in India and morphing into present Hinduism. That theory was presented from someone who claims some type of connection to Thomas in India through a Church order or some such. I will definitely be revisiting this thread.



posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 12:08 AM
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The more and more texts you read about biblical times, the more and more it sounds like Cylons created us…




posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 04:18 AM
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There is theory regarding the TWM story that they came from Tibet. Like when the Tibetin llamas go in search of the next Dali Lama. They follow signs from the stars etc.
edit on 20-12-2013 by DrunkYogi because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 04:33 AM
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reply to post by Bybyots
 


Don't stop!! I was getting into that!
That is really interesting, thank you so much. What I wouldn't give for a week in the Vatican's library...

The thing that sticks with me from your prose is the word 'silk'. The silk route crops up time and again, from the Tarim mummies, through to modern times. I always get so confused with biblical texts, because it feels like we've got three pieces of a thousand piece jigsaw to work with, if you know what I mean.
Finding the roots of myth always fascinates me, so I'm intrigued to see how your thread develops!

B x



posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 06:47 AM
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reply to post by Bybyots
 


There are several versions of the Magi story in the Syrian tradition, for example the list of the 12 named Magi is the same as in the Book of the Bee, but that is probably later, around the 12th century, and the 12 were probably derivative of astrological speculation.

The most interesting aspect of the narratives for myself is the importance placed upon the Mountain of Victories and the Cave of Treasures.



As touching the nature of that star, whether it was a star in its nature, or in appearance only, it is right to know that it was not of the other stars, but a secret power which appeared like a star; for all the other stars that are in the firmament, and the sun and moon, perform their course from east to west. This one, however, made its course from north to south, for Palestine lies thus, over against Persia. This star was not seen by them at night only, but also during the day, and at noon; and it was seen at the time when the sun is particularly strong, because it was not one of the stars. Now the moon is stronger in its light than all the stars, but it is immediately quenched and its light dissipated by one small ray of the sun. But this star overcame even the beams of the sun by the intensity of its light. Sometimes it appeared, and sometimes it was hidden entirely. It guided the Magi as far as Palestine.



Book of the Bee




Now, it was two years before Christ was born that the star appeared to the Magi. They saw the star in the firmament of heaven, and the brilliancy of its appearance was brighter than that of every other star. And within it was a maiden carrying a child, and a crown was set upon his head. Now it was the custom of the ancient kings, and the Magi of the Chaldeans, to consult the Signs of the Zodiac about all the affairs of their lives. And when the Magi saw the star they were perturbed, and terrified, and afraid, and the whole land of Persia was disturbed. And the kings, and the Magi, and the Chaldeans, and the wise men of Persia, were stupefied, and they were exceedingly afraid of the portent which they saw.


Cave of Treasures



posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 07:17 AM
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Bybyots
-The text claims that their name means "Those that pray in silence", which has gotten scholars looking even harder at the east for a possible place of origin for these guys as their name seems to suggest that they engaged in spiritual practices similar to Buddhist spiritual practices. This sort of flies in the face of what has always been held as nearly solid evidence that they had been Zoroastrian and from ancient Persia.


From your source, and extrapolations on Landau, it seems that they were likely both, from China and
Zoroastrian...


The word shir is a play on the word for silk. The men are said to come from the capital which would have been Chang’an (modern day Xian). They worshipped on a mountain called the Mountain of Victories which is Mount Taishan. I believe this is a mountain outside of present day Xian in the Qianling Mountain Range. The five peaks of this sacred mountain area includes caves and inscriptions dating back 3,000 years. Zoroastrians certainly gravitated to this mountain area as did others. It was recognized as a place to welcome the sun and where heaven and earth meet. Emperors of China worshipped at the foot of this mountain.

Zoroastrians had a presence in Xian before the time of Christ. Some of the earliest firm evidence of Zoroastrian presence in China is found in the so-called “Ancient Letters,” dated to around 313 CE and found near Lou-lan, demonstrate the presence of Sogdian Zoroastrianism in Xinjiang by the early fourth century.

The magi were the priests of the Zoroastrians who had several temples in and around Xian at the time. They were fire worshippers and students of the stars. Astrology was their forte.


daleinchina.wordpress.com...



posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 07:21 AM
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Kantzveldt

As touching the nature of that star, whether it was a star in its nature, or in appearance only, it is right to know that it was not of the other stars, but a secret power which appeared like a star; for all the other stars that are in the firmament, and the sun and moon, perform their course from east to west. This one, however, made its course from north to south, for Palestine lies thus, over against Persia. This star was not seen by them at night only, but also during the day, and at noon; and it was seen at the time when the sun is particularly strong, because it was not one of the stars. Now the moon is stronger in its light than all the stars, but it is immediately quenched and its light dissipated by one small ray of the sun. But this star overcame even the beams of the sun by the intensity of its light. Sometimes it appeared, and sometimes it was hidden entirely. It guided the Magi as far as Palestine.



Book of the Bee


That's my preferred version of events too...lovely text...plus it's translated by E A Budge who had a fantastic mind for comprehending and interpreting ancient works. I'm a big fan.



posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 08:03 AM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 



The accounts generally place and name them as Persian, but it has to be considered that the first stage of their mission was to recover the gifts from the Cave of Treasures;



Now Adam and Eve were virgins, and Adam wished to know Eve his wife. And Adam
took from the skirts of the mountain of Paradise, gold, and myrrh, and frankincense, and
he placed them in the cave, and he blessed the cave, and consecrated it that it might be
the house of prayer for himself and his sons



This would not have been so easy to locate'



The Book of Adam says that when Noah and his sons were carrying the body
of Adam out of the Cave, the bodies of the other Patriarchs cried out, and asked the body of
Adam if they were to be separated from it. Adam replied that he must leave the holy
mountain, and told them that he knew God would bring their bodies together again on
another occasion, and bade them wait patiently. Adam asked God to allow the lighted
lamp to remain with the bodies in the Cave, until the resurrection. This God did, and then
He closed the Cave until the day of the resurrection. Noah and his sons marvelled greatly
when they heard the bodies of the Patriarchs talking together in the Cave. Having carried
away the body of Adam and the gold, myrrh and frankincense, they returned to the
mountain, intending to enter the Cave once agaln; they sought carefully, but could not find
the Cave, and then they knew that God had sealed it, and had hidden it from them, so that
they might never dwell therein again.]



This is the reason for the length of the journey, the return to the place of the first Patriarchs and Mountain and cave of Paradise, which lay to the North East.

the mountains of Nôdh, which lie inside the entrances to the East from the lands on the skirts of the North





So they had to go to China to do their Christmas shopping...
edit on Kam1231353vAmerica/ChicagoFriday2031 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by Bybyots
 


Here is another secret.

"The Eastern Star" or "The Morning Star" is not Mercury or Venus. It is actually the star Sirius. From Ancient Egyptian times, that star is always associated with Creation and Holiness. According to Egyptians, The son of God (called "Ra" in Egyptian) is associated with Sirius.

This is the same star that foretold the birthplace of Jesus Christ.




posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by Kantzveldt
 





...but it has to be considered that the first stage of their mission was to recover the gifts from the Cave of Treasures;



Exciting stuff. I couldn't help but think last night that this story would make a great Mel Gibson blockbuster action movie.

Thanks for coming by, Kantzveldt.




posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 06:11 AM
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reply to post by Bybyots
 



There is a whole lot more involved in the Magi tradition and the gifts of the first Adam than is generally recognized and i'm pleased you made this thread




The Tian Shan, also spelled Tien Shan, is a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Victory Peak

The Chinese name for Tian Shan may be derived from the Xiongnu language name Qilian (Tsilien; Chinese: 祁连), which was described by Sima Qian in the Records of the Grand Historian as the homeland of the pre-Xiongnu peoples of the region, the Yuezhi


The name is formed from yuè (月) "moon" and shì (氏) "clan". According to the Kangxi Dictionary, it referred to a country beyond China's borders

The Yuezhi were an ancient Indo-European people often identified with the Tókharoi (Τοχάριοι) of Classical sources. They were originally settled in the arid grasslands of the eastern Tarim Basin area, in what is today Xinjiang and western Gansu, in China, before they migrated to Transoxiana, Bactria and then northern South Asia


Yuehzi


It is perhaps not so surprising that the Persians and Syrians could look to ancestral associations in that region.

edit on Kam1231354vAmerica/ChicagoSaturday2131 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 09:55 AM
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Kantzveldt
The accounts generally place and name them as Persian, but it has to be considered that the first stage of their mission was to recover the gifts from the Cave of Treasures;

This would not have been so easy to locate'



One at least is usually Persian, but generally the others are variously identified as Arabian, Jewish, sometimes Babylonian. The Persian seems to have come to prevalence later when the Persians took possession of the story...as demonstrated in The Cave of Treasures, where they attempt to link the two religious lineages. The Cave of Treasures, as depicted in the book of the same name, is somewhat of an invention, as is the ascribing of astrological meanings, there being no such tradition in Persia at the time of Christ's birth, that coming much later, round about the same time as the book is said to have been written in the 7th century. I presume that is why it differs so much from all other accounts. The Cave of Treasures of the Hidden Mysteries does have a much older tradition in Near Eastern mythology, and it is fascinating that in the Revelation of the Magi that the OP links to, that it is while they are in the cave that the revelation occurs, that brings the story into much greater clarity, geographically. And there is no looking for the cave necessary because they are the guardians of the treasures, and keep their vigil there. With The Cave of the Treasures, doesn't it look to you that the author is mixing up the Cave of Treasures with the Cave of the Patriarchs?


Kantzveldt
Yuehzi


It is perhaps not so surprising that the Persians and Syrians could look to ancestral associations in that region.


Not at all


Plus, Bactria would definately be on Thomas's way to India.

This, particularly, is gold...


Although they remained north of the Oxus for a while, they apparently obtained the submission of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom to the south of the Oxus. The Yuezhi were organized into five major tribes, each led by a yabgu, or tribal chief, and known to the Chinese as Xiūmì (休密) in Western Wakhān and Zibak, Guishuang (貴霜) in Badakhshan and the adjoining territories north of the Oxus, Shuangmi (雙靡) in the region of Shughnan, Xidun (肸頓) in the region of Balkh, and Dūmì (都密) in the region of Termez.[40]

A description of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom was made by Zhang Qian after the conquest by Yuezhi:

"Daxia (Greco-Bactria) is located over 2,000 li southwest of Dayuan, south of the Gui (Oxus) river. Its people cultivate the land and have cities and houses. Their customs are like those of Ta-Yuan. It has no great ruler but only a number of petty chiefs ruling the various cities. The people are poor in the use of arms and afraid of battle, but they are clever at commerce. After the Great Yuezhi moved west and attacked the lands, the entire country came under their sway. The population of the country is large, numbering some 1,000,000 or more persons. The capital is called the city of Lanshi (Bactra) (modern Balkh) and has a market where all sorts of goods are bought and sold."[41]


One would presume that, much like elsewhere in antiquity, that those chiefs had a council or League to oversee trade, they had five, but in the Mediterranean it was more commonly twelve...this could explain the reason why the number of 'kings'/'Magi' etc varies according to region before narrowing to conform to trinitarianism


And there are also shared traditions with Qumram (which means Two Moons)...the library cave here...


The cave no. 17 discovered by Wang Yuanlu came to be known as the Library Cave. It is sited off the entrance leading to cave no.16, and was originally used as a memorial cave for a local monk Hongbian on his death in 862 CE. Hongbian, from a wealthy Wu family, was responsible for the construction of cave 16, and the Library Cave may have been used as his retreat in his lifetime. The cave originally contained his statue which was moved to another cave when it was used to keep manuscripts, some of which bear Hongbian's seal. Large number of documents dating from 406 to 1002 CE were found in the cave, heaped up in closely packed layers of bundles of scrolls. The Library Cave also contained textiles such as banners, numerous damaged figurines of Buddhas, and other Buddhist paraphernalia. According to Stein who was the first to describe the cave in its original state:[16]

“ Heaped up in layers, but without any order, there appeared in the dim light of the priest's little lamp a solid mass of manuscript bundles rising to a height of nearly ten feet, and filling, as subsequent measurement showed, close on 500 cubic feet. The area left clear within the room was just sufficient for two people to stand in. ”

— Aurel Stein, Ruins of Desert Cathay: Vol. II


en.wikipedia.org...

The mistake would be to assume that the 'Treasures' are entirely material in nature...

This is certainly proving to be a very interesting thread, the Revelations of the Magi, as a text draws the whole series of events into much greater context geographically and fits the archaeology, and history, much, much better.


edit on 21-12-2013 by KilgoreTrout because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 04:08 PM
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KilgoreTrout
...there being no such tradition in Persia at the time of Christ's birth, that coming much later, round about the same time as the book is said to have been written in the 7th century.


I am being a little anal here, so just to be clear, technically, at times, the Magi were part of the Persian empire but they are held to be distinct from the Persians by most Ancient sources.


After the fall of the Assyrian Empire, between 616 BCE and 605 BCE, a unified Median state was formed, which, together with Babylonia, Lydia, and Egypt became one of the four major powers of the ancient Near East. An alliance with the Babylonians and the Scythians helped the Medes to capture Nineveh in 612 BCE which resulted in the collapse of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The Medes were subsequently able to establish their Median kingdom (with Ecbatana as their royal centre) beyond their original homeland (central-western Iran) and had eventually a territory stretching roughly from northeastern Iran to the Halys River in Anatolia. The Median kingdom was conquered in 550 BCE by Cyrus the Great, who established the next Iranian dynasty—the Persian Achaemenid Empire.

A few archaeological sites (discovered in the "Median triangle" in western Iran) and textual sources (from contemporary Assyrians and also Greeks in later centuries) provide a brief documentation of the history and culture of the Median state. These architectural sources, religious temples, and literary references show the importance of Median lasting contributions (such as the Safavid-Achaemenid-Median link of the tradition of "columned audience halls") to the Iranian culture. A number of words from the Median language are still in use, and there are languages being geographically and comparatively traced to the northwestern Iranian language of Median. The Medes had an Ancient Iranian Religion (a form of pre-Zoroastrian Mazdaism or Mithra worshipping) with a priesthood named as "Magi". Later and during the reigns of the last Median kings, the reforms of Zarathustra spread in western Iran.



There are very limited sources concerning the religion of Median people. Primary sources pointing to religious affiliations of Medes and found so far include the archaeological discoveries in Tepe Nush-e Jan, personal names of Median individuals, and the Histories of Herodotus. The archaeological source gives the earliest of the temple structures in Iran and the "stepped fire altar" discovered there is linked to the common Iranian legacy of the "cult of fire". Herodotus mentions Median Magi as a Median tribe providing priests for both the Medes and the Persians. They had a "priestly caste" which passed their functions from father to son. They played a significant role in the court of the Median king Astyages who had in his court certain Medians as "advisers, dream interpreters, and soothsayers". Classical historians "unanimously" regarded the Magi as priests of the Zoroastrian faith. From the personal names of Medes as recorded by Assyrians (in 8th and 9th centuries BCE) there are examples of use of the Indo-Iranian word arta- (lit. "truth") which is familiar from both Avestan and Old Persian and also examples of theophoric names containing Maždakku and also the name "Ahura Mazdā".[52] Scholars disagree whether these are indications of Zoroastrian religion of Medes. Diakonoff believes that "Astyages and perhaps even Cyaxares had already embraced a religion derived from the teachings of Zoroaster" which was not identical with doctrine of Zarathustra and Mary Boyce believes that "the existence of the Magi in Media with their own traditions and forms of worship was an obstacle to Zoroastrian proselytizing there".[52] Boyce wrote that the Zoroastrian traditions in the Median city of Ray probably goes back to the 8th century BCE.[53] It is suggested that from the 8th century BCE, a form of "Mazdaism with common Iranian traditions" existed in Media and the strict reforms of Zarathustra began to spread in western Iran during the reign of the last Median kings in 6th century BCE.[52]


en.wikipedia.org...

Anyway, to move on...this is another commentary on the Revelations text...I really like this...


After the experience in the Cave of Treasures, the Magi, excited about being the chosen generation, share with each other what they had seen.



While story-swapping, they realize that each of them had not seen the same thing. They share what they had seen with each other. While reading these “visions” one will notice a progression of events. They tell it this way, In this order: One saw “a light in which there were many images that were amazing”, one saw “an infant who had unspeakable forms”, one saw “a youth who did not have a form in this world”, one saw “a human being who was humble, unsightly in appearance, and poor”, one saw “a cross and a person of light who hung upon it, taking away the sins of the entire world”, one saw “that he went down to Sheol with force and all the dead rose and worshiped him”, one saw “that he ascended in glory and he opened the graves, and he raised up the dead” and one saw “him ascending to the heavenly heights”. These visions briefly tell the story of Orthodox Christianity.


xcntrik.wordpress.com...

The author of that also make mention of John M Allegro's work on the Dead Sea Scroll...


Let me insert another one of those meaningless things that rattles around in my mostly empty skull. In 1956, John Allegro, one of the scholars working on the Qumran texts, wrote a book entitled “The Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed”. Allegro took a lot of heat later in his career, especially after “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross” made it to the public, but he noted something particularly interesting, that has stuck to the roof of my brain ever since. This is from a chapter discussing the community writings on the Zodiac.

“Doubtless the Qumran astronomers would be searching the skies particularly for this conjunction of the planets, and we need not look far from Bethlehem to find a school of thought from which the Magi story of Matthew could have come.” 1981 edition, Gramercy Publishing, p. 127.


This is the full passage from my copy of the book...

“...the saint like person who has inherited no less than eight parts from the ‘House of Light’, as the scroll puts it, and but one from the ‘Pit of Darkness’ will rejoice in ‘eyes that are black and glowing’, will have a curly beard, subdued speech, and fine and well-ordered teeth. He will be of moderate build, ‘neither too tall nor too short’, with smooth thighs and fine and tapering fingers.

This document is unfortunately only fragmentary and we lack information on the particular constellation that would herald the birth of one whose spiritual inheritance would come entirely from the ‘House of Light’. He, surely, would be the Prince of Light himself, on the titles given in the scrolls to the Messiah or Christ. Doubtless the Qumran astronomers would be searching the skies particularly for this conjunction of planets, and we need not look far from Bethlehem to find a school of thought from which the Magi story of Matthew could have come.”

Uh huh...yeah?



posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 06:43 PM
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We will be discussing this great topic on ATS live tonight.



posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 11:04 PM
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Congrats on being an ATS Live choice! Well deserved.

My take on the 3 wise men is that they are pagan constructs inserted into Jesus' life story in order to make the pagan conversion easier on both the empire and the citizens when it was outlawed after Nicaea. In fact, the entire nativity story is completely fabricated and laced with pagan themes throughout.

The 3 wise men brought with them gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Egyptians burned frankincense and used myrrh in the mummification process, and as we know the Egyptians loved to deck their dead kings coffins with gold.

Weird that they would bring these gifts used in Egyptian death rituals to the birth of a baby boy isn't it? I think so. There is even a passage that details John the Baptist's birth where Zechariah (John's father) burns incense as an angel appears to him to tell of John's upcoming birth.

The NT is full of pagan myths and customs, all cleverly hidden in plain sight throughout it. The 3 wise men never existed in my opinion, they are only a story made up by men.
edit on 36012323CST363 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 12:21 AM
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"Thamus, are you listening?

When your ship comes in at Palodes, take care to proclaim that the great god Pan is dead."



I don't think that everyone here has had the pleasure of reading the works (all two of them) of French Alchemist Fulcanelli, so I will offer you a brief introduction to him so that the following post makes sense. We don't know who Fulcanelli was because his moniker was a nom de plume, so we don't know when he was born, but we know that he died in 1926. He left two books to be published after he passed on, one of them is the source from which I originally heard the legend that I now know to be the contents of the Syriac text Revelation of The Magi and it is called Mysteries of the Cathedrals (MotC).

Frontispiece of Fulcanelli's Mystery of the Cathedrals painted by Jean-Julien Champagne


One of the over-arching themes of Fulcanelli's book is that of time or, ages, he uses them as a teaching tool to try to impart a sense of lost knowledge and from where it might be regained. In fact, the whole book is a treasure hunt like that, the clues to which Fulcanelli offers up from ancient and classical literature, ancient history and myth and legend. Fulcanelli tries to teach us about our present by using the tool of analyzing the crux upon which the ages have turned; the turning-point-of-the-ages, I suppose. He said, for instance, that we live in the "Age of Iron". Another important thing that Fulcanelli has provided us with is an authentic voice of the Alchemical tradition that comes from a time much closer to our own, as he lived in the 20th century.

I am personally very grateful for Fulcanelli's books, especially at Christmas time. Without them my education would be sorely lacking. As we all know now, the story in Fulcanelli's MotC, originally written in French and published in 1928, was the only other place in English that I had heard the story (1992?) related in the Revelation of The Magi until Brent Landau's translation which I have just found in nearly 2014. So, thank God for Fulcanelli.

Now, what did he say? A lot. If you have never read the book you can read it or sample it at Sribd. If you are still with this thread then you probably have an interest in this sort of thing. Mysteries of the Cathedrals was published during a time when there was stiff competition, especially in France, Germany and England, for the attention of the esoterically minded. There has always been a great deal of competition in the house amongst those that write on that sort of thing and Fulcanelli's posthumous MotC walks in the room and clears the floor with a two-by-four of scholarly rigour. Annnd he talked about this thing having to do with the ages.

Fulcanelli goes full-bird with Matthew and prints all 12 lines, so you know something important is up. Of course, the book is about Alchemy so he is just coming off of a sub-chapter where he has hinted at the Alchemical Fire and its duration. You want to know that stuff if you are expecting to set out and cook something in your Alchemy lab, right? I mean, even a cake has a recipe.

So he comes straight out of talking about cooking duration and that's when he gives us a description of the Star. The Star in Alchemy is not the representation of the completion of the Great Work of Alchemy as one might intuitively think, it is a sign of its impending completion.

It was Plato that told us that we all have a star; he said that God created “souls equal to the number of stars and assigned each soul to a star” and in the text of the Revelation of The Magi, The Magi refer to the star specifically as "His" star. Fulcanelli also compares the Cathedrals that he is decoding for us in MotC to the human body. That is important because Fulcanelli is trying to stress that these cyclical ages that he is discussing are not just global process that mankind goes through but that an an individual goes through as well. For those so inclined you might imagine that Fulcanelli is evoking the hermetic axiom As Above So Below here.

It is in the chapter about the Star that Fulcanelli brings up the 3WM, he recounts the tale from the Revelation of The Magi, but then he points us to a story called Narrative of Events Happening in Persia on the Birth of Christ by one Sextus Julius Africanus who lived at just about the same time that Brent Landau thinks that the Revelations was penned in Syria, 200 AD or so. Africanus was one of the early church fathers and he lived and wrote 100+ years before the First Council of Nicaea.

I will give you the short version of the tale that Fulcanelli points out here. If you are following along, you'll remember that I told you that Fulcanelli offers clues to the secrets of the Alchemical processes he describes in MotC by way of history, literature, social observation and myth and legend. The Star section reads as pure Christian mysticism. As I said, he thought enough of the story to include all of what is offered about the 3WM from the Gospel of Matthew, and I know he would have like to have plugged in all of Africanus. The awesome thing is that with Google, one can now tap Fulcanelli's extensive citations in nanoseconds.

Okay here is the short version of Africanus' story:



Once, there was a temple in ancient Persia that was more glorious than the palace of Cyrus the king. It was filled with statues of all the gods and goddesses made in solid gold and silver and encrusted with precious gems. The king was having weird dreams so he set out for the temple to confide them to the priest, Prupupius.

When the king got there Prupupius told the king that his dreams were prophetic as the great goddess Juno had conceived the night before. When the king looked stupified Prupupius immediately went on to tell the tale that had begun late the night before last.

Prupupius had been awakened by the sounds of dancing and celebrating, and when he went to the inner temple he found all of the statues celebrating together and they announced to him all at once that Juno had been, "embraced" and had conceived. Let me give you a taste of Africanus so you can get an idea of how this goes, this is what the gods tell the priest Prupupius...




"Her name, moreover, is Myria; for she bears in her womb, as in the deep, a vessel of a myriad talents' burden.

And as to this title Pege (Ed. The new name of impregnated Juno), let it be understood thus:

This stream of water sends forth the perennial stream of spirit,-a stream containing but a single fish, taken with the hook of Divinity, and sustaining the whole world with its flesh as though it were in the sea.

You have well said, She has an artificer [in espousal] (Ed. spouse to The Sun, in this case); but by that espousal she does not bear an artificer on an equality with herself. For this artificer who is born, the son of the chief artificer, framed by his excellent skill the roof of the third heavens, and established by his word this lower world."



...continued
edit on 22-12-2013 by Bybyots because: . : .



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 12:24 AM
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So, Juno is pregnant with the child of The Sun. Prupupius tells this to the king and as if on cue the statues come back to life and start to argue the whole thing over in a big ruckus, gods are up in goddesses faces, animal gods are bucking around and neighing and the king is scared witless.




"And when the king abode there and watched the statues, the harpers of their own accord began to strike their harps, and the misses to sing; and whatsoever creatures were within, whether quadruped or fowl, in silver and gold, uttered their several voices. And as the king shuddered, and was filled with great fear, he was about to retire. For he could not endure the spontaneous tumult.

The priest therefore said to him, Remain, O king, for the full revelation is at hand which the God of gods has chosen to declare to us."



Just then, the roof of the temple opens up (!) and down comes a star. Mind you now, Juno, who is now Pege, is in the room during this whole mess and the star comes down and says...




"Sovereign Pege, the mighty Son has sent me to make the announcement to you, and at the same time to do you service in parturition, designing blameless nuptials with you, O mother of the chief of all ranks of being, bride of the triune Deity. And the child begotten by extraordinary generation is called the Beginning and the End,-the beginning of salvation, and the end of perdition."



At this declaration all of the statues of the gods and goddesses fall to the ground except for Juno now Pege, who now bears a crown with a jewelled diadem that the king has his soothsayers come to augur. This is what they tell the king. How's this for some heavy proto-Christian symbolism? Remember now, we started in Fulcanelli who was describing to us the Alchemical Star, harbinger of the Magnum Opus, the conclusion of the Great Work of Alchemy, and he is the bastard that sent us out on this wild goose chase, not me. Just sayin'




O king, a root (offspring) divine and princely has risen, bearing the image of the King of heaven and earth. For Pege-Myria is the daughter of the Bethlehemite Pege.

And the diadem is the mark of a king, and the star is a celestial announcement of portents to fall on the earth. For he who comes, being of more ancient dignity, shall displace all the recent.

Now therefore, O king, send to Jerusalem. For you will find the Christ of the Omnipotent God borne in bodily form in the bodily arms of a woman. And the star remained above the statue of Pege, called the Celestial, until the wise men came forth, and then it went with them.



Why am I taking you here? Ages, that's why, and Fulcanelli liked to talk about the end of them. We all do too, right? ATS? You have to know about Plutarch now to understand what Fulcanelli was trying to express by sending us to this story.

Somewhere around the year 100 Plutarch wrote about something that became a pivotal 'artifact' of history that many religious and ideological arguments swung upon during the early development of the church and its rise to becoming The Church. See, Plutarch was an early Roman historian and he wrote famously of an event that was supposed to have happened during the reign of Tiberius in 20-whatever AD.

Story was that a sailor named Thamus was on board a ship making its way to Italy, when they passed an island called Paxis Thamus heard this, "Thamus, are you listening? When your ship comes in at Palodes, take care to proclaim that the great god Pan is dead.". And so he did, and when he did, it is said that a great lamentation of wailing and crying and howling went up from the whole shoreline. That's the story.

It was the end of an age. It was the only subject on the lips of everyone that had any thoughts at all on the whole affair. In Alchemical terms the Star had arisen signalling the future completion of the Magnum Opus, the Summum Bonum The Great Work. The begin had been begun.

They had burned the whole day up trying to scry the jewelled diadem of Pege, also now called Myriah, and the king was a troubled and weary man as the sun was setting. As soon as twilight had gone and darkness had fallen there was a clamour at the door of the temple. Prupupius and the king turned at once to see what the noise was about just in time to see Dionysos himself lurch in to the room followed by a retinue of saturus.

Dionysos breifly addresses the king and Pege's preist, as his platoon of satyr take a knee. The son of Zeus and god of the ecstatsy and madness then addresses the prostate statues of the fallen gods and goddesses who can only stare at the floor with their jewelled eyes as he speaks.




Wherein we have been deceivers, we have been deceivers; and wherein we have ruled, we have ruled. No longer give we oracular responses. Gone from us is our honour. Without glory and reward are we become.

There is One, and One only, who receives again at the hands of all His proper honour. For the rest, be not disturbed. No longer shall the Persians exact tribute of earth and sky.

For He who established these things is at hand, to bring practical tribute to Him who sent Him, to renew the ancient image, and to put image with image, and bring the dissimilar to similarity. Heaven rejoices with earth, and earth itself exults at receiving matter of exultation from heaven.

Things which have not happened above, have happened on earth beneath.

He whom the order of the blessed has not seen, is seen by the order of the miserable. Flame threatens those; dew attends these.

To Myria is given the blessed lot of bearing Pege in Bethlehem, and of conceiving grace of grace. Judaea has seen its bloom, and this country is fading. To Gentiles and aliens (Ed. Well there you go, neformore
), salvation is come; to the wretched, relief is ministered abundantly. With right do women dance, and say, Lady Pege, Spring-bearer, thou mother of the heavenly constellation. Thou cloud that bringest us dew after heat, remember thy dependants, O mistress.



To draw this together as an Alchemical allegory and take the obvious risks of attempting to interpret Fulcanelli, I will tell you how he finishes up: to end the chapter on the Star Fulcanelli gives the reader the image of all the planets in the solar system and the Moon circling the Star like a crown. He seems to be suggesting that all of the powers of our planetary system are focused on fostering the coming fruition of what the Star promises, in the microcosm and the Macrocosm. As Above So Below.

Once more we have this message of inclusion, on earth and in heaven, all of our efforts, in all of the forms that they had ever taken were focused on bringing this event to pass. Only to herald a day that has yet to come.

The differences that we inflict upon one another are an illusion. They are an artifact of human politics. What this message says is that no matter who we are, we can find a place of fraternity, sorority and human loving-kindness in the shared knowledge that we are all working for the same thing.

The stream that is spoken of in the above quotes is a spring of living water that is the birthright of us all. Our Star is rising. Every one.



Merry Christmas, ATS.


edit on 22-12-2013 by Bybyots because: . : .






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