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TRACY R. TWYMAN | Regnum in Potentia, Part 2: Fishing for Men

Read Part 1 here.

Up to now it has been assumed that all our cognition must conform to the objects; but … let us once try whether we do not get farther with the problems of metaphysics by assuming that the objects must conform to our cognition.

— Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

— Anonymous senior aide to President George W. Bush, as quoted by Ron Suskind, New York Times, October 17, 2004

In the Grail story, the hero Parzival comes upon the Grail castle by accident. He is on a quest for something else entirely, or so he thinks, although that object varies according to the version of the tale in question. However, at some point in his adventures, he comes across an old man fishing in a boat. He asks the man where he might find lodging for the night, and is pointed to a nearby castle with a tall tower. Only later does he discover that the man he spoke to was the lord of the castle and the king of the surrounding lands.

This is the Grail king, the “Rich Fisher” who lives on the food provided magically by the Grail, and rules by virtue of the power that it gives him. But his kingdom is sick, as he himself is sick, from a wound inflicted during battle with another king, to whom he is related biologically. Both the king and his kingdom are kept in a death-like dream state by the power of the Grail, but they suffer constantly because the king cannot be healed from his wound, called “the Dolorous Stroke.” The wound gets more painful when Saturn is ascendant in the heavens, and is said to be “in the thigh,” a phrase thought by many mythographers to be a euphemism for castration.

The Dolorous Stroke

If this is so it might link him to Ouranos, the god-king who was castrated and dethroned by his son Chronos (Saturn). However, there are also many figures in mythology, including the Greek blacksmith god Hephaestus and the biblical patriarch Jacob, who became incurably wounded in the thigh at some point during their lives. The potential connection with Ouranos, though, is interesting, since this god, whom the Chaldeans called Oannes, was depicted by them as a man who was half-fish.

But none of the details of a holy myth are ever present by accident. There is a reason why Parzival is led to the Grail castle by a man in a fishing boat who turns out to be the king. That’s because it was really Parzival he was fishing for.

Jesus told his apostles, speaking of their training as miracle-workers and evangels, that he would teach them to be “fishers of men.” What is the real meaning of this phrase and why is Christianity associated with the symbol of the fish? It is commonly said that this Christian emblem, the Ichthys symbol, is the “sign of Jonah” which Jesus said was the only sign that his disciples would be given to rest their faith upon. Jonah, you will recall, was the prophet swallowed whole by a whale in the Old Testament. The whale is associated by cabbalists with the sea monster Leviathan, who, Jewish legends state, is destined to be cut up and served for dinner to the righteous in a eucharistic rite at the end of time, after the final judgment, as a way of exacting revenge for the swallowing of Jonah.

The Christian Ichthys fish symbol

But really, the idea of “fishing for men” alludes to the concept of setting a trap, baiting someone and luring them in, where they will be captured, killed, and consumed. When the Fisher King is sitting out on his boat, waiting for someone like Parzival to come by so that he can encourage him to go to the Grail castle, he is playing the role of the Psychopompus. This is a label applied to Hermes the trickster god, who is both the initiator for adepts of alchemy , so too is he the guide of souls traveling to the Otherworld.

Christ the Fisher King

In these things, there is no contradiction. Initiation always involves being lured with false promises. The mysteries one seeks when one joins a mystical fraternity are never those which were initially sought after by the candidate. Indeed, the initiate may not have even known he was on a quest for enlightenment. He is going about his business one day, and something peaks his interest. He pulls on a thread and follows it all the way to the center of the labyrinth. Most of the people who make it there are but sacrifices, meant to be eaten by the Minotaur. In ancient societies, luring the sacrificial victim, whether human or animal, to the place of death via an elaborate ruse was often a major part of the rite.

The intention of the Fisher King in luring Parzival to his castle is different depending on which version of the story is being read. But one common theme is that he needs Parzival to heal him from his wound. In some versions, this can be achieved by magic if Parzival will only ask of the king a certain question, usually, “What ails thee?” The Fisher King apologizes to Parzival upon meeting him because he cannot rise to greet him. He then waits for Parzival to ask him what is wrong. When the young knight doesn’t pick up on the hint right away, he is cursed by the king’s court for his failure to do what was expected of him.

This is the way that the Fisher King, the Lord of Unrule, exerted his subtle influence. This is what it means to “rule but not rule,” as the magical line of the Frankish Merovingian kings were said to have done. According to some Eastern mystics and proto-Nazi German magical orders, this describes the rule of the “Lord of the Earth,” an eternally sleeping being who they believed to reside in the center of the world. From there is was thought that he manipulated events on the surface world by subtly influencing his human adepts to do what he wanted, through visions, dreams, oracles, and magic spells.

The wounded Fisher King lies on his bed

The way in which Parzival was lured to the Grail castle is similar to how Alice is enticed down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. When she sees the white rabbit scurrying around, late for his appointment, she becomes curious about where he is going, and follows him down his hole, falling a seemingly infinite distance. (Similarly, a white salamander played a role in Joseph Smith’s initiation, showing him the location of a magic hole where the golden tablets of Mormonism were buried.) As if it were not already clear that this world underground is in fact the Underworld, Alice makes it obvious that this is Saturn’s kingdom when she asks:

What if I should fall right through the center of the Earth and end up on the other side, where everything is upside-down?

When she finally reaches the bottom of the hole, Alice learns that in order to follow the rabbit into his lair, she must shrink in size so that she can fit through the door. This indicates the multidimensional nature of the Underworld, which could fit into a single mustard seed, or could be larger than the entire universe. Alice accomplishes her size change by consuming a magical cake that says “Eat me,” and a bottle of magic potion that says “Drink me.” This shows that the initiatory substance, the Philosopher’s Stone, the Apple of Wisdom, is in fact a living intelligence that can be consumed to create transformations in the body.

Alice finds a bottle that asks her to drink it

In the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the rabbit is clearly playing the role of the Psychopompus, the Judas goat, who lures his prey to initiation through sacrifice via the land of the dead. The concept of fishing for men in this fashion, using subtlety and trickery, is represented in the sub-story of “The Walrus and the Carpenter” that was told to Alice by Tweedledee and Tweedledum. This story seems at first take to be totally nonsensical, but it is actually a metaphor for how Alice herself got down the rabbit hole.

In the story, a walrus and a carpenter (clearly an allusion to Jesus) live in a land where the sun shines at night. For food, they fish for oysters by hypnotizing them with false promises, calling them to come out from their beds beneath the ocean. When they come to the surface they are swallowed up into the belly of the walrus, just as Alice herself had been swallowed up by Wonderland. When Alice spoke aloud the words “Eat me!” and “Drink me!” she was describing what was, in fact, already happening to her.

The Walrus and the Carpenter scene from the animated film Alice in Wonderland

Perhaps, like Persephone eating the pomegranate seeds offered to her by her captor, Hades, it was Alice’s consumption of these items that obliged her to remain for a spell in the Underworld (a common theme also in Jewish folk tales about the underwater castle of Asmodeus, the king of demons). The earlier story she was told of the oysters being invited by the Walrus and the Carpenter to come to dinner with them, before realizing that the dinner was them, was but foreshadowing of Alice’s invitation to join the tea party. They are both really a coded reference to the Grail service of the Parzival legend, at which, it is implied, the blood and flesh of children was served.

The Mad Hatter character is an alchemist. Hat-makers, like alchemists, were at one time at high risk of developing permanent brain damage as a result of breathing the vapors of the liquid mercury they used in their trade. Significantly, the Hatter’s tea party is being held in celebration of the “unbirthday” of the attendees. The negation of birth is apparently held holy in the topsy-turvy world of Wonderland.

Here we see the mystical concept of preventing the birth of the king’s heir by swallowing the newborn as it emerges from the womb, just as King Saturn did to his children. Thus, while they remained in his belly, they had still technically never been born, but were “unborn.” This is what is meant by the rabbit who is perpetually “late,” a euphemism for being dead. The fact that the rabbit’s watch is said to be “two days slow” indicates that he and the other subjects of the kingdom may never have been born to begin with. So the “unbirthday” cake given to Alice at the party may be a metaphor for the epiphany cake or king cake discussed in the previous installment of this series, which itself was a representation of King Saturn eating his own children.

Alice is presented with an unbirthday cake

Returning to the story of the curious oysters, the meaning of this metaphor was not lost on the screenwriters of Alice, a modern adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic made to air on the SyFy Channel. In this film, Wonderland is a parallel universe that Alice is lured to when her fiancé is kidnapped. There, the Queen of Hearts feeds off of the souls of humans, captured from our own world. They are lured into Wonderland, just like Alice, through the “man-fishing” process.

The Walrus and the Carpenter having drinks with the Curious Oysters

Once there, they are imprisoned in a 24-hour make-believe casino. Here they are kept in a trance state, perpetually winning every rigged game the casino has to offer. The good feelings generated by the sensation of winning are channeled from the bodies of the prisoners through a special vent in the floor, then magically turned into potions that the queen and her court feed off of like drugs. The people of Wonderland refer to their captive humans as “oysters” because of the “precious pearls within” — their souls.

The Walrus eating the Curious Oysters

The description of the Wonderland casino prison on this SyFy channel program from 2009 resembles remarkably a metaphor used by economist Max Keiser, starting around the same time, of the “casino gulag” to describe the global economy. In his view, everyone in the peasant class here on Earth is forced to speculate with their earnings on the stock and bond market in order to avoid losing wealth every time the government inflates the fiat currency by alchemically printing more money. Since, like a casino, the game is rigged by the banking cartel, who can front-run the market with high-frequency trading and are insured against losses with government bailouts, they keep the gambler slaves playing by hypnotizing them with the prospect of being the one-in-a-million lucky slave who gets to win the jackpot.

Max Keiser on the casino gulag

The people at the casino in Alice always win, or at least they feel like they do, and because of this, they are oblivious to the fact that they are prisoners. Towards the end, they are freed from their spell, and only when they stop playing the games do they remember the children that they have left abandoned at home. This is like the “Caucus Race” of the original Lewis Carroll story, a perfect metaphor for the modern rat race. At this event, people run around in a circle competing with each other, but with no end in mind, because “No one ever loses, and no one can ever win.”

Another obvious comparison to be made with the casino gulag is, of course, to The Matrix film series. This story is replete with references to Alice in Wonderland from the very beginning, with the white rabbit playing the role of the initiator yet again (only this time waking the sleeping victim out of his dream state instead of luring him into it). The idea of human bodies being sucked of their essence by unseen monsters, their bodies used as batteries to power the machines of an unseen world, is in fact a perfect metaphor for our economy, and does correspond to many Gnostic descriptions of the universe.

So why do the monarchs of the hidden realm fish for men using subtlety instead of force? Well, for one thing, initiation must be freely sought by the initiate, like the Apple of Wisdom proffered by the serpent in Eden. Was it the intention all along that Adam and Eve would eat the forbidden fruit, obtain the forbidden knowledge, and fall down, down, down, like Alice, into another world? It seems likely.

The other things is that, imprisoned as he is in the center of the Earth, lost eternally in a death-like slumber in the land of Nod — the land of Not! — there are not a lot of other options available to Saturn, the Lord of the Earth. Like Alice says, “When one is lost, it is best to wait for someone to find you.” Just as Cain proclaimed “Whosoever findeth me shall slay me,” Saturn passively awaits resurrection through the discovery of his tomb, as is the case with the sleeping occupants of the tombs of both Hermes and Christian Rosenkreutz.

The tomb of Venus, according to the Rosicrucian text The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, is just like these other sacred tombs — in the center of the Earth, lit by an inner sun, etc. Guarding this tomb is a man who has been appointed this task since he accidentally stumbled on the naked body of Venus many centuries earlier. There he is, condemned to wait until someone else makes the same mistake and comes to take his place.

This like the story of Atlas, obliged to play the part of the World Tree, the Earth’s mythical central pillar or pole, upholding the weight of the Earth upon his back. There he must stay until someone else comes along that he can trick into taking his place (a role temporarily played by Hercules at one point). Likewise, Prometheus had to stay chained to Tartarus, having his liver eaten daily, until someone else agreed to be sacrificed in his stead (a role eventually played by Chiron).

On a similar note, in the New Testament, it is proclaimed that God the Father will not let his children out of Hades until his first-born, Jesus, is willingly sacrificed, and descends into Hell to take their places. There the dead are eternally eaten, digested, and eaten again by Satan. In the images of Hell that decorate European cathedrals, inspired largely by Dante’s Divine Comedy, Satan is always seen as a monster eating the damned, and his mouth is sometimes akin to the gates of Hell itself.


Furthermore, in the Grail legend, Parzival takes up the crown of the Fisher King after obtaining the kingdom’s release from the spell caused by the Dolorous Stroke. Sometimes he is sent by the king to avenge his wounding by killing the rival king who hurt him. Then somehow the hero must use the very same sword or spear to cure the Fisher King’s wound through sympathetic magic. In some versions, when this happens, the old man is finally able to die, and Parzival is revealed to be his nephew, who then takes his place as Grail king.

Another image of the Dolorous Stroke

Another story with this theme is that of Sleeping Beauty, who waits for a prince to discover her castle and kiss her, breaking the spell caused by pricking her finger on the cursed spindle. In older versions of this story, the hidden kingdom is called the Venusberg, and there the goddess of love waits for men to stumble upon her. When they do, she entraps them with a spell and makes them serve her for centuries as sex slaves.

This is exactly what the demon-witch Circe did to Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey when his ship landed on the shore of her land, drawn there by a magical attractive force. He was also held under a similar spell on the island of Calypso, and at one point his crewmembers had to stop their ears up with wax to prevent themselves from being drawn to their deaths by the irresistible call of the sirens (mermaids).

In his book Aion: Researches Into the Phenomenology of the Self, Carl Jung discussed the legendary “remora” or “echeneis.” This was a fish to whom a magical magnetic property was ascribed by the sailors who reported encountering them. Supposedly, they exerted an invisible influence, so powerful that they could stop a ship dead in its tracks. As Jung explains:

The Echeneis exercises an attraction on ships that could best be compared with the influence of a magnet on iron. The attraction, so the historical tradition says, emanates from the fish and brings the vessel, whether powered by sail or oarsmen, to a standstill. I mention this seemingly unimportant feature because … in the alchemical view the attraction no longer proceeds from the fish but from a magnet which man possesses and which exerts the attraction that was once the mysterious property of the fish. If we bear in mind the significance of the fish, it is easy to understand why a powerful attraction should emanate from this arcane centre, which might aptly be compared with the magnetism of the North Pole…

The Echeneis fish stopping a ship with its magnetic power

Jung says the fish of legend really represents the creative power of God sought by the alchemists, which they would imbibe, so as to internalize that power through digestion. Jung writes:

What is it, then, that one adept whispers into the ear of another, fearfully looking round lest any betray them, or even guess their secret? Nothing less than this: that through this teaching the One and All, the Greatest in the guise of the Smallest, God himself in his everlasting fires, may be caught like a fish in the deep sea. Further, that he may be ‘drawn from the deep’ by a eucharistic act of integration (called teoqualo, ‘Godeating,’ by the Aztecs), and incorporated in the human body. This teaching is the secret and ‘cunning’ magnet by virtue of which the remora (‘little in length, mighty in strength’) [is caught] …

The “cunning magnet” is nothing less than the “Magnet of the Wise” or “Compass of the Wise,” the “Philosophic Mercury” which the alchemists said could be used to extract the Philosopher’s Stone from the lead of cosmic chaos, just as this magical fish could be overcome and drawn from the waters of the ocean. Of this, Jung says:

The ‘magnet of the wise,’ which is to draw the wonder-working fish to the surface can, our text says, be taught. The content of this secret teaching is the real arcanum of alchemy: the discovery or production of the prima materia. The ‘doctrine’ or ‘theory’ is personified or rather, concretized as ‘Mercurius non vulgi,’ the philosophical mercury. This conception is as ambiguous as the antique Hermes; sometimes Mercurius is a substance like quicksilver, sometimes it is a philosophy.

Jung went on to describe how this magnet or compass could be used to navigate the waters of chaos to the hidden kingdom at the center of the Earth, which can metaphorically be found, according to some legends, through a secret entrance at the North Pole. Quoting the alchemist Philathes, we read in Aion that:

… in the Pole is found the heart of Mercurius, ‘which is the true fire wherein its Lord has his rest. He who journeys through this great and wide sea … may guide his course by the sight of the North Star, which our Magnet will cause to appear unto you.’

Then, Jung seems to be blown away by his own conception that the Lord of the Earth, interred in the Earth’s center, is himself the source of that magnetic field, and the fire of Hades:

… I would emphasize, by way of recapitulation, that the infernal fire is nothing other than the Deus absconditus (hidden God) who dwells at the North Pole and reveals himself through magnetism. His other synonym is Mercurius, whose heart is to be found at the Pole, and who guides men on their perilous voyage over the sea of the world. The idea that the whole machinery of the world is driven by the infernal fire at the North Pole, that this is hell, and that hell is a system of upper powers reflected in the lower — this is a shattering thought.

This reference to the pole star as a guide to navigation can also be found in alchemy, where they say that the appearance of a six-pointed star heralds the birth of the alchemical “child.” Jung again shares with a us a quote from Philathes that indicates the fate of this child once its location is determined with the help of the pole star or Compass of the Wise:

This, he says, is the ‘ami minera’ (the prima materia of the gold), ‘the true key of our Work, without which no skill can kindle the fire of the lamp … Do you, when you see his star, follow it to the cradle, and there you shall behold the fair infant. Cast aside your defilements, honour the royal child, open your treasure, offer a gift of gold; and after death he will give you ‘flesh and blood, the supreme Medicine in the three monarchies of the earth …’

If it isn’t already clear to you that this is a reference to the “wise men” — the alchemists — eating the flesh and blood of a child, Fulcanelli makes it even more obvious when addressing this same subject in Mystery of the Cathedrals:

… this sign has been called by the ancient authors the Seal of Hermes, Seal of the Wise (Sel des Sages, sel, salt, being put instead of Scel, seal, which confuses the mind of seekers), the Mark and the Imprint of the Almighty, his Signature, also the Star of the Magi, the Pole Star, etc. This geometric pattern remains and shows up more clearly when the gold to be dissolved is put into the mercury in order to restore it to its first state, that of young or rejuvenated gold, in other words to infant gold. That is why mercury — that faithful servant and Seal of the earth — is called the Fountain of Youth. The Philosophers are, therefore, speaking clearly when they teach that mercury, as soon as the solution has been carried out, bears the child, the Son of the Sun, the Little King (Kinglet), like a real mother, since the gold is indeed reborn in her womb. ‘The wind — which is winged and volatile mercury — carried it in her belly’, says Hermes in the Emerald Tablet. Furthermore, we find the secret version of this positive truth in the Epiphany cake, which it is the custom for families to eat at Epiphany, the famous feast marking the manifestation of the Christ Child to the three Magi-Kings and to the gentiles. Tradition has it that the Magi were guided to the cradle by a star, which was for them the annunciatory sign, the Good News of his birth. Our cake is signed like the matter itself and contains inside it the little child, commonly called the bather. It is the child Jesus, carried by Offerus, the servant or the traveller; it is the gold in its bath, the bather; it is the bean, the sabot, the cradle or the cross of honour and it is also the fish ‘which swims in our philosophic water’, according to the very expression of the Cosmopolite.’

The appearance of the star, from Amiens cathedral, as presented by Fulcanelli.jpg

Of note here is an electrochemical effect called even by modern chemists the “Beating Heart of Mercury,” which is produced when an iron nail touches a glob of liquid mercury. This causes the glob to pulse, and at times form the shape of a hexagram, the “Seal of Hermes.” This effect would have been known to the alchemists of old.

The Beating Heart of Mercury demonstrated

Jung, like many other mythographers, saw the god of the Jewish religion as synonymous with Saturn, particularly because they celebrated their Sabbath, or “day of rest,” on his holy day of Saturday (fitting since Saturn is the god of rest and leisure). Another connection between the Judaism and Saturn is the so-called “Star of David” or hexagram, which, Fulcanelli says, is also the “Hermetic seal” of the Great Work of the alchemists, the pole star that indicates the birth of the child destined to be ritually sacrificed (like Christ) and turned into gold. The hexagram and the number 6 are both associated with Saturn in ritual magic. That same can be said of the biblical God, who supposedly created the Earth in six days. Interestingly, the planet Saturn has a storm on its north pole as of this writing that is creating a bizarre electromagnetic effect taking the form of a hexagon as seen from space. The phenomenon has yet to be explained by scientists.

The hexagon at Saturn’s North Pole

In 2007, a fascinating film about polar inter-dimensional portals and child sacrifice came out entitled The Golden Compass, based on a book called Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (part of a series called His Dark Materials). In this story, which takes place in a fantasy land, a scientist named Lord Asriel (like the alchemist warlock in The Smurfs) has discovered evidence of the existence of another dimension. This evidence involves the presence of a strange etheric substance called “Dust,” visible at the North Pole. He believes that this substance is leaking in from the other dimension, and undertakes a journey to the Pole to find an entrance to this world.

An important part of the story is that, in the world in which it takes place, every single person is accompanied at every moment by a familiar spirit, literally called a “daemon,” that takes the shape of an animal corresponding to their personality. With children, the daemon is able to shape-shift into different animal forms until the individual’s core personality has solidified.

During this transition period, it is revealed that the children are vulnerable to “attack” from the pernicious influence of the Dust. The meaning of this is unclear, but is of great concern to the evil empire that rules this fictitious world, called the “Mysterium.” They are believed by the main character, Asriel’s niece Lyra, to be behind the theft of children that has been plaguing the orphanages and underclass families of the land. Lyra sets off on a quest to solve the mystery of these disappearing children, rumored to have been captured by enemies called “Gobblers.”

To aid her in this quest, Lyra makes use of the “golden compass” referred to in the film’s title, which is actually called an “alithiometer”: a divination device for detecting truth. It looks like a large pocket watch, and contains wheels with strange emblems on them, which it uses to communicate oracles in answer to questions. In reply to these queries about the kidnappings, it points to images of a baby and a pot boiling over a fire.

The Alithiometer

Lyra later discovers that the children are being used in experiments in which they are permanently separated from their daemons, supposedly so that they can “grow up” properly. In fact, it drains them of vitality and ends up killing them. In the original book, it is revealed that Lord Asriel is in fact conducting similar experiments at the North Pole. It turns out that Lyra’s whole quest has been a ruse all along, devised by him. His purpose was really to lure Lyra and her friend Roger to his polar laboratory. There, he separates the boy from his daemon and used the energy generated by this to power an inter-dimensional portal machine that he has invented. So instead of just looking for a portal, he created his own, ripping a giant hole in the atmosphere at the top of the Pole.

This story is rich on many levels, as are the other books in the series. The second part is called The Subtle Knife, which refers to a tool that can cut a window between dimensions (and can cut through anything else as well). This seems reminiscent of the Masonic and Arabian legends of the “shamir worm,” which Hiram Abiff and/or Asmodeus purportedly used to cut the stones for Solomon’s Temple. I think it may also be what Fulcanelli refers to in Mystery of the Cathedrals as “Le Bon Saber” (“the Good Sword”). It is the Flaming Sword, shaped like a lightning bolt, which cut a hole around paradise and created space-time, separating Adam and Eve from their home, who were trapped outside of the sacred boundary. It is the power by which the Cheshire Cat made a shortcut through the trunk of a tree and allowed Alice to go straight to the labyrinth that led to the castle of the Queen of Hearts. It is the Spear of Destiny which caused the wound of the Fisher King, and caused the kingdom to fall into a death-like trance, trapped in a bubble of chaos.

Shortcut to the castle, created by the Cheshire Cat

The location of the portal in Philip Pullman’s novels indicates that the author has knowledge of the nineteenth and twentieth-century stories of secret entrances to a hidden underworld at the North and South poles, where supposedly could be found the so-called “Black Sun.” This is a development of the more ancient concept of the hidden sun at the center of the Earth which is said to light the tomb of the sleeping god-king (or goddess-queen) of the fallen kingdom. In the ancient world, where some viewed the Earth as a flat disk, it was envisioned that the sun went to the Underworld at night, where it reigned as the “Midnight Sun,” sometimes expressed in ancient artwork as a dark disk. The next morning it returned, reborn as the golden sun.

As the Earth moved through the cycle of the year, towards the Winter Solstice the sun spent more and more time “underground.” Thus its death and rebirth was seen as happening on this larger scale as well, and was associated with the king-killing ritual of Saturnalia discussed in part 1 of this essay series (as well as in my book Money Grows on the Tree of Knowledge). In alchemy, this concept of the Black Sun or “Midnight Sun” was seen as synonymous with the “nigrido,” the dead King Saturn, the “Chaos of the Wise” or prima materia that was the raw material for the Work. As Jung wrote in Aion:

Saturn, in astrology the ‘star of the sun,’ is alchemically interpreted as black; it is even called ‘sol niger’ and has a double nature as the arcane substance, being black outside like lead, but white inside.

The Black Sun is pure potential energy, the pre-elemental element that the Otherworld consists of, and of which our own world is made through reflection upon its shiny black surface. It is the blank slate or black mirror into which the magician or alchemist projects his consciousness. As it is reflected back to him, his perception of it creates the illusory reality he lives in. This is why mirrors, and other reflective surface, like lakes and baths, were seen as portals to the Otherworld, as demonstrated in Jewish folk legends of the kingdoms of Lilith and Asmodeus, and also repeatedly portrayed in the films of initiate Jean Cocteau. By staring into the Abyss, you can see and then experience new ways of organizing the particles of the universe to create new realities.

In this way, the Black Sun corresponds to the power of the “Lord of the Earth,” who, like Saturn, is said in myths to sleep in a hidden tomb at the center of the world, influencing surface reality with his dreams. Like Alice staring at the looking-glass, the creation of the Wonderland we live in occurs when Saturn sees his own projected image of his desired reality staring back at him from the Abyss, the dark mirror of the Black Sun. This is the meaning of the black orb seen in the palms of potentates the world over and from time immemorial. It is the “regnum in potentia” that they wield as their power, the word “potential” and “potentate” both being etymologically linked through the root word “potent,” meaning “powerful and virile.”

Alice traveling through the looking-glass into another world

The word “reality,” of course, is linked to “royalty” in European languages. Like a magic circle, the invisible political boundaries of a kingdom or “realm” dictate the confines within which everyone must live in the king’s version of reality. It is through manipulation of the probabilities that govern the quantum world of possibilities that the priest-king manipulates reality. It is not what the king does that makes him powerful so much as what he can do. Once this potential energy becomes kinetic through action, the energy is spent, the hand is played, and the power is transferred elsewhere.

Not surprisingly, as the scientific era dawned and more was known about the cosmos, mystics began to adapt their metaphysics to the new physics, and new concepts were born to explain old symbols. The Black Sun came to be interpreted as being a dark sphere of energy that was literally present within the center of the Earth. It was thought to be the secret source of sustenance for a hidden kingdom called Agartha (no doubt linked to the kingdom of Asgarde in Norse mythology).

Some authors also wrote of the Black Sun as having influence upon the activities of the surface world, and some even thought of it as the source of the world’s electromagnetic field. They believed that this subterranean kingdom could be accessed by secret entrances at the North and South poles, or through the caverns of the Himalayas. Supposedly, certain secret societies were in contact with “hidden masters” from Agartha, who conspired with them on how to control the populations of the Earth.

Numerous science fiction authors and mystical adepts wrote about concepts like Agartha and the Black Sun from the nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth, including Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft, H.P. Blavatsky, and Alexandre Saint-Yves d’Alveydre. It was the latter author who wrote about the politics of the hidden kingdom. He purported that a political system existed called “synarchy,” which involved a surface world (ours) governed by a wise council of elders (the secret chiefs or illuminati, drawn from the world’s secret societies), who were themselves governed by hidden masters from the inner world below the Earth’s surface.

Strangely, these ideas of a Black Sun and an underground kingdom did have a direct influence on politics during World War II, as it appears that leaders on both sides believed in such notions. On the Nazi side, Himmler and perhaps even the Fuhrer himself were converts to the concepts. To Himmler, the Grail stone and the Black Sun were the same thing, and he purchased a castle in the German village of Wewelsburg, where he planned to build a modern “Grail castle” for special work with elite members of his S.S. (“Schutzstaffel” or “Protection Squadron”) military corps.

On the floor of the lowest chamber in the building, Himmler created an “inner sanctum” where rituals would be performed, and on the floor he placed the symbol of the Black Sun that was being employed by contemporary German mystical orders: a wheel, the hub of which radiated lightning-bolt-shaped rays. The German orders saw the swastika as the original root symbol representing this concept, and its use may have signified, to the inner hierarchy of the Reich, a shorthand code for the secret source of their government’s power.

The Black Sun symbol at Wewelsburg Castle

The Nazi government sponsored all sorts of bizarre missions to search for magical artifacts, including the Holy Grail, the Spear of Destiny, and the Ark of the Covenant. Other missions purportedly included a trip to Antarctica to search for an entrance to the inner Earth, and another one to the Himalayas for the same purpose (among others). Many members of the inner hierarchy of Hitler’s administration had been influenced by a secret mystical order called the Vril Society. This group believed that Germans were of the “Aryan” race, descended, they believed, from a superhuman species that lived in the center of the Earth. They believed that this underground race used the “light of the Black Sun,” the so-called “Vril force” or “Green Ray,” as the power source for an advanced technology.

The Spear of Destiny, believed to have pieced the side of Christ (or the Fisher King)

These mystics were into channeling, and believed that they were in contact with these hidden chiefs of the inner world. Purportedly, information was passed on about how to use the energy of the Black Sun to build anti-gravity craft and time machines. Allegedly, the Germans later developed flying saucers based on this technology (called “foo fighters” by the Allied pilots who witnessed them in the war theater). They are also said to have built a machine called “the Bell” that may have been meant to act as a time machine or inter-dimensional portal. The use of the lightning-bolt shaped sign rune as the logo for the S.S., along with the Death’s Head (symbol of the alchemical nigrido) may have been intended as a reference to the natural force of electromagnetism that many mystics thought was the very real manifestation of the Black Sun’s power.

Insignia of the S.S. with death's head and lightning bolts (sig runes)

A documentary called “Nazi UFO Secrets of World War II”

One the side of the Allies in World War II, a Russian mystic named Nicholas Roerich was heavily influential on the US administration. President Roosevelt and his Secretary of Agriculture, Henry Wallace, as well as his Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, were all members of the same Masonic lodge. Through Wallace they all came to be persuaded by Roerich, who believed that he was in contact with the hidden masters of Agartha. He convinced Wallace to arrange government financing for a quest for the “foundation stone of the world,” which he believed to be in the Himalayas. Under the guise of a trip to obtain agricultural samples, the adventure was embarked upon, at American taxpayer expense.

The documentary “Eye of the Phoenix” covers the influence of Nicholas Roerich on the Roosevelt administration

The whole incident later became a major embarrassment for the administration. Nonetheless, there is no reason to think that belief in such things was not still rampant in the upper echelons of the government. After the war, Nazi scientists who had worked on secret projects with purportedly Agarthan technology were smuggled into the US and recruited to work for NASA as part of a CIA operation called “Project Paperclip.”

At this point in our study we really must mention the work of David Talbot, who is building upon theories of Immanuel Velikovsky regarding major cosmic cataclysm in our solar system in the distant past. Talbot speculates that during the antediluvian Golden Age, when the Earth’s tilt was much different, Saturn was the dominant orb in the night’s sky. He believes that most of the symbols said by mythographers to represent the sun are in fact depicting Saturn, and that it was his chariot or boat in the night’s sky whose movements the priests of the ancient world were really concerned with. This is because, he says, everything back then looked much different than it does now.

The Earth’s magnetic field, in addition to protecting us from the damaging effects of solar radiation, also creates a boundary that prevents us from seeing what would otherwise be fantastic optical effects in the sky, caused by that very radiation. At the North and South poles these effects can be seen even today as a colorful aurora. Talbot believes that in the past, when the magnetic field was much weaker (as it always is before and after a major shift of the poles), Saturn formed a spectacular sight in the arch of the sky, as did the other heavenly bodies.

When at times their images conjoined at times, they formed what Talbot calls the “polar configuration”: an image that was represented by ancient man as a starburst or a cross. Talbot has made computer simulations of all the different forms these shapes might have taken in the sky as the Earth’s axis continued to shift, and the magnetic field varied in intensity. He believes that these shapes formed the origins for a great many of the most common religious symbols used in the ancient world. He also used these simulations to interpret all of the earliest myths as describing the movements of this configuration in interaction with other heavenly bodies, as seen from Earth by our supposedly primitive ancestors.

A clip from a documentary about Saturn based on the work of David Talbot

A hair-raising fact to consider is that scientists acknowledge that the Earth’s magnetic field has been getting much weaker in the last couple of hundreds years, and is weakening at an exponentially increasing rate that is now advancing quite rapidly. Perhaps this explains some of the bizarre optical effects in the sky that have been seen by observers in the last couple of years. These include the image of a twin sun at dawn and dusk, sightings of which have been reported dozens of times. Also, dozens of spiral-shaped light formations have been seen over the same time period, with a dark hole in the center, making the appearance of a vortex or portal. Traditional flying saucer-type UFOs have even been recorded vanishing into these holes. In addition, images that look remarkably like the old German Black Sun symbol have appeared mysteriously on the radar at an Australian weather station.

An image resembling the Black Sun, from the radar of an Australian weather monitoring station

Duel suns at sunrise and sunset

Spirals in the sky seen all over the world

Talbot is part of a minority in the scientific community who hold to alternative theories involving the properties of plasma, the so-called “fourth state of matter.” Plasma is said even by mainstream science to be the true fundamental state of all matter, a real alchemical “prima materia.” Without going into detail beyond the scope of this essay, let us say that Talbot and his colleagues believe that plasma which we cannot see is creating electromagnetic energy throughout the universe that is currently going unnoticed. They think that this is the true source of the gravitational effects measured in space, which have traditionally been attributed by scientists to invisible “dark matter.”

In this alternative viewpoint, these scientists turn on its head Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, which is based upon a definition of gravity that Einstein himself acknowledged was flawed. Instead of matter, they say it is the electromagnetism of the hidden plasma that is “bending space-time.” This, then, would be a viable description of the power of the Black Sun, and would raise it from merely a power within the center of the Earth to a wholly universal phenomenon. It would also explain why the Black Sun’s “rays” were thought by German mystics to be useful for creating antigravity, as well as their obsession with lightning bolts.

This is also the basis of some alternative theories about what exactly powers the heat of the sun (presently thought to be nuclear explosions taking place within its core). These theories connect with modern experiments dealing with a technology derisively called “cold fusion” by its critics. Trend forecaster Gerald Celente recently proclaimed that this would be the basis of a new alternative energy source that could have a “game-changing” effect on geopolitics. Interestingly, cold fusion has always been openly compared to alchemy by both its critics and its devotees.

Gerald Celente on cold fusion

A documentary about modern “cold fusion”-type experiments

Talbot has many detailed theories about how plasma may have caused electromagnetic bolts to form between heavenly bodies, with cataclysmic effects upon every planet in the solar system. He believes that this happened at least once, and perhaps several times, in the distant past, and that it may happen again someday, as part of a cyclical cosmic pattern. His documentary film Thunderbolts of the Gods is a fascinating exploration of these theories.

The Talbot documentary Thunderbolts of the Gods

The idea that we are living in a universe powered by an unseen source of electromagnetic energy, forming an invisible web around us, governing the movements of the heavens, can only increase the paranoid feeling that this really is like The Matrix. It truly does seem like a giant machine being run for the benefit of someone either too large to see, or just outside of our perception in another dimension. Perhaps we are unable to see that “someone” because the machine is part of its internal organs, within which we may very well be being digested slowly without ever knowing it. But what would our jail-masters’ aim truly be for keeping us in a clockwork such as this?

That is something which we shall explore in future installments of this essay. But in the meantime it is interesting to note that the Earth’s core is believed by mainstream scientists to be made of iron, and this is thought to be the real source of the Earth’s electromagnetic field. Many alchemical texts referred not to the transmutation of lead so much as that of iron. I suppose that would make the iron core the real “Black Sun,” which really is beginning to exert its powerful influence upon the surface of the Earth, in the form of magnetic pole shifts, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

Once again, let us recall that the Romans and the Indians both believed that the Kali Yuga, the last aeon before the rebirth of the Golden Age, would be the “Iron Age.” They said it would be ruled by a war-like race made of iron, the metal thought by alchemists to correspond to Mars, the god of war. They would ravage the Earth with violence before being unmercifully snuffed out by the great alchemist in the sky, anxious to throw the Earth into a cosmic athanor, so that it may be reborn again pure and new like gold. Only the elect — those who known how to cut a hole in the cosmos and build an ark made of space-time — will survive the coming cataclysm.

A Grail knight with the Black Sun on his shield

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