Sun and Lunar Worship: Adonai, Baal and Moloch in the Mysteries
The source of “The Secret Doctrine” on the Ancient Worships of Syria explains the ancient Sun-Gods. These Gods and Names in the ancient world are intimately tied to the history of ancient peoples, cities, and the meanings those people ascribed in their world. S.F. Dunlap was a reference source in H.P. Blavatsky’s major work, who demonstrated most of the famous God-names have a linguistic connection. Furthermore, it explains the narrative, that the Abrahamic religions and beliefs are unconnected from the Old Religions is untrue.
Such narratives resulted in a dichotomous worldview, and a ranked hierarchy of the evolution of religious thought from ignorant and primitive Paganism to Monotheism. However, theosophists demonstrate, the real nature of religio-philosophical thought can be found throughout ancient India, Persia, among the pre-Homeric Hellenes and more. It is not enough, that the dominant religions carry certain ideas from systems before it.
“The proofs brought forward in corroboration of the old teachings are scattered widely throughout the old scriptures of ancient civilizations. The Puranas, the Zendavesta, and the old classics are full of them; but no one has ever gone to the trouble of collecting and collating together those facts.” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1., pg. 307.)
We cannot really understand ancient thinkers and traditions through the biases and narratives of the main three monotheistic religions, and I will show you why.
The significance in the meanings and archaic symbolism connected with Solar and Lunar mysteries are in fact of one worship, and have meanings related to the natural and invisible world.
Helena P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine quoting Ralston Skinner postulates “an ancient language which modernly and up to this time appears to have been lost, the vestiges of which, however, abundantly exist” (Vol. I, pg. 308).
Language can mean a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings. Language in the first sense, describes ordinary human languages, which can be either speech or writing, and in the second sense, a nonlinguistic sort of symbolic system.
This should be taken into account when describing the Mysteries throughout antiquity among the ancient nations, where such means and traditions of communicating developed. The systems contain multi-layered interpretations of singular symbols or ideas, which mean multiple correct interpretations (called “keys”) associated with sciences, or branches of knowledge. To understand this, I have provided a collection of passages from The Secret Doctrine in The Language of the Ancient Mysteries and Secrets to Reading Mythology, in which it is shown, that all mythologies were not built on the worship of the physical Sun. Before the mythicists of our day, there were scholars like this, that relied heavily on one interpretation from which they gleaned themselves.
Blavatsky’s masters often found difficulty in finding appropriate terms from the English to convey their mystic terms from not just their language, but the coded language of their esoteric literature. These are concepts Western philosophy and theology did not possess actual equivalents for. They would thus say, that a certain theory of a particular scientist, or a concept from some metaphysician, or the way they thought about that concept was similar in their philosophy.
This difficulty is demonstrated, when K.H. describes the nature of the sun.
“You ought to come to some agreement as to the terms used when discussing cyclic evolutions. Our terms are untranslatable; and without a good knowledge of our complete system (which cannot be given but to regular initiates) would suggest nothing definite to your perceptions but only be a source of confusion. . .” (Letter, 46, Chron. Ed.)
“To tell you of what it does consist is idle, since I am unable to translate the words we use for it, and that no such matter exists (not in our planetary system, at any rate) — but in the sun.” (Letter, 93B, Chron. Ed.)
As a mere lay person, I have endeavored to give some example of this difficulty, although having provided all equally true interpretations regarding the nature of the sun, and the meaning of the ancient Fire, or Sun-gods.
The ancients believed the Sun fructified life, considering the Sun divine; and they also taught of a “hidden Sun,” the divine fire that lay behind its power, and which lives in man. Signs, that concepts typically seen as far abstract were conceived as being related to forces and phenomena in nature, that created a bridge or connection between the world of the gods, the natural world and spaces, and the body.
ADONAI, BAAL AND MOLOCH IN THE MYSTERIES
“The endeavor has been made to give an accurate outline of the ancient religion of the countries from which we have derived our classical literature; and thus to afford correct ideas of the nature and the signification of their worship.” (Alexander Wilder, Richard Payne Knight. Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology, pg. vi.)
When the Roman poet Ausonias of Burdigala says,
“Ogygia me Bacchum vocat;
Osirin Ægyptian putat;
Mysi Phanacem nominant;
Dionyson Indi existimant;
Romana Sacra Liberum;
Arabica Gens Adoneum.”
“Ogygia calls me Bacchus;
Egypt thinks me Osiris;
The Mysians name me Phanax;
The Indi consider me Dionysus
The Roman Sacra calls me Liber;
The Arabian race, Adonis.”
And Attis of Phrygia to be Adonis and Dionysius, Samuel Fales Dunlap remarked, that the general idea of which the ancients had of the deities (Dunlap, The Origin of Ancient Names, pg. 4), is not only demonstrated, but that in their very names, there contained even verbal resemblance. “They are frequently exactly the same word.”
LINGUISTIC ORIGIN IN GOD-NAMES OF ANCIENT NATIONS
Richard Payne Knight said in Charles Anthon’s Classical Dictionary (1848), in Adonis, that “Adon-is or Adonai was an Oriental title of the sun.” Adon-is, the sun-god, or Adan (Mesopotamian sun-god). The god Adonis was worshipped in Palestine, Egypt, Phoenicia, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor. Ēl, the Northwest Semitic deity is found in Mesopotamia, Greece, Judaea, and Phoenicia. El (Bel), or Al is the Sun, called by Homer — Helios. With the old Turks, and in Assyria, it becomes another set of names under the same change in consonant with an appended vowel, or as the last syllable.
Samuel F. Dunlap asserted, that eight names of sun-gods (the source of spirit-light) compounded together make up most of the gods of antiquity.
Being: Ab, Ak, Am, Ar, El, As, At, and On.
And from there, changing according to the language and its rules.
THE SUN-GOD AND THE DIVINE FIRE
Most of the gods of the nations of antiquity are compounds often of “the (hidden) sun,” who is Ani-ma, “the one life,” and these names and titles were adopted by kings and queens, hierophants, priests; and also applied to rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, people’s names, and islands.
The sun-god did not mean simply the physical sun, but the fire of the sun, from the first-principle, Archeus (the primordial FIRE), represented in antiquity by the Ghebers of ancient Persian religion in the element — fire. The triple fire, referring, e.g., to the solar heat or SPIRIT (anima) fructifying the earthy forms of matter, is also in another sense, the immanent SPIRIT (“the prima materia”) in us.
The systems of heaven were said to come from the cosmic matrix, a parentless abstraction, coeval with DARKNESS. The Arabs and the Hebrews worshiped Adonai-SABAOTH (SPIRIT-Matter) with SEVEN SACRED PLANETS. It was the worship of the Sabians, with the Seven Sons of Sabus — its CENTRE. This centre, is KURIOS and Mind only-begotten (FATHER-Son), which the sects of John the Baptist call LIFE of all, from Non Ens (the Abyss†).
This concept is known throughout antiquity and is not modern. The “Boundless Deep” is identical to Śūnyatā, or tong-pa-nid (in Buddhism), the Chronos of Orpheus, Bythos in the school of Valentinus the Gnōstic, the to kenon of Leucippus, Diagoras, and Epicurus, the Apeiron of Anaximander and in Platonism, Apeiria of Anaxagoras and in Aristotelianism; the Chaos of Hesiod’s Theogony, the Mummu Tiamut of the Babylonians, the Celi-Ced (the Black Virgin) of the ancient British Druidism, the Ein Sof of the Kabbalists, and the Zurvan Akarana of Zurvanism.
The LOGOS was taught by the Greeks, Phoenicians, Babylonians, and Persians. These schools say, the Logos — FATHER-God, or Bel the Older, dwells in the solar orb as its life. Bel, the Younger (Mithra, Christōs) is Son. The FATHER, Bel (ʾĒl) or Baal is the PRIMAL SUN Helios, Adonis or Adonai, Elah or Alah — the Spirit.
The Gnōstics of Valentinus’ school held the God-ANOINTED to be central to their doctrine, holding that, the First DUNAMIS (Christōs with the ancient Gnostics) after God the Father and Lord of all, is “Son” the LOGOS, according to the Apologia (II) of Justin Martyr.
The initiated are redeemed and purified by this POWER.
In Pre-Socratic philosophy, MOTION and SUBSTANCE were considered the conditions of the ONE ELEMENT. We are met with the same idea among the Jews. From Spirit (the Breath, or MOTION) came forth the Word, and in the esotericism, the “fiery world” during cosmic formation. It is natural, from the standpoint of anthropology, since fire was important to the ancient world, that we should find a single basic idea early civilizations were to convey it. With people who lived close to rivers, or to whom rivers and lakes were important, we find the element of water, as a symbol for the Sea or Soul of the Universe, or God as SPIRIT considered vitality, breath (motion), substance, and entity (force).
“The record of the Jews contain the literature of the fire-god” states Samuel F. Dunlap. The old Canaanites were all controlled by the same religion of the natives of Persia, which is the bright home of many traditions, philosophy, and mystics. The natives of ancient Persia were known as “fire-worshippers,” though they worshipped the NOUMENAL FIRE.
These are the philosophies and traditions of Asia and the Mediterranean, in which all things were the progeny of the Sun, or PRIMAL FIRE, and by MOTION set its power enclosed in matter, as the Chaldean Oracles teaches us. This MOTION is the MIND of mind (a divine fire), and is called “the mistress of life.”
We find this old philosophy come down to us in the New Testament in Matthew (3:11), e.g., when it says: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” This fire is not the physical flame, but the divine light of THEION.
The notable god of Arabia, and its gods come into the same vicinity of the Bacchus-Dionysian worship, who was known as Adon, the First Ancestor, the LIFE-god. The worshippers of Adonai tried to distance themselves from the worshippers of Bel (Baal) and Moloch. Bel and Moloch despite their protestations, as well as Mithra, and Saturn — all personify the same principles of the Hebrews. Franz Karl Movers demonstrated, that even the names of Abraham and Israel were names of the chief FIRE of the Kabiri (fire-gods).
THE MYSTERY AND MEANING OF THE GOD-NAME BA’AL
The Mystery of this god-name is the combined meaning, esoterically of the SPIRITUAL SUN (Lord of the Sun) and Full-Moon. The deities names and narratives vary in detail, but are essentially built on the same primitive type, whether it was of India, Babylon, Greek or Roman, Jewish, or Egyptian. We see in all of them: fire, sun, and lunar worship. The attempt to escape this is unnecessary for us, but a heartache to those with vested interests, not truth, in mind.
If you trace this same line in research, you will find a pre-Christian Nazarenism in Mesopotamia, and a Christos-idea (Roman and Persian Mithra) long before the books of the New Testament, with sects among them regarding the god as having been manifest in different bodies, and in various times, similarly to a concept in Indian (Hindu) philosophy.
The early Gnostics are primarily influenced by Chaldean and Syrian ideas along the borders. Dionysius (Adonis) was the Syro-Arabian god under various names, with the principle Urania (Ourania), or both the Sun and the Full-Moon (Sin, or Lunus-Luna), and the Father of Epigeios (Adam, earth), a hermaphroditic or duad in mythology, that contained Eua (Eve, female principle) in it. She was represented by the Crescent-moon, and known as the Daughter of the High God.
Consider the essence of all the Pre-Islamic gods contained by those two principles, as all the gods of Ancient Rome can be reducible to a sacred story in allegories of two “great gods” — Coelus (Heaven) and Terra (Earth), and Tiān (天) and Dì (地) in Ancient China. The most simplest explanation, may also be the most correct, but as time moves on, the conceptions grown more fantastical in the minds of those, who cannot admit the fact. It is common then in ancient Theogony to refer to the Daughter of God, represented under Terra and Lunus (Phoebe) as Wisdom, which is another side of the mystery of the Son of God — Wisdom, Mercury, or Nēbo in Arabia.
MOON AS FEMININE IN LUNAR MYSTERY AND THE ALLEGORY OF THE ARK
The moon as a woman is used as a sexual allegory also, transfigured into other allegories, such as the Ark, or the Argha (Celestial Isis, Astarte, Diana and Venus-worship) containing all the germs of living things. It was an “impersonal symbol of nature” (Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2. pg. 462), and not the physical moon. The Ark or Argha, being simply the allegory of the Ship of Life, carrying all the germs of all beings through the Sidereal Ocean (the Sea of Venus).
In the Chaldean myth, Nuah is the Universal Mother, who is now represented as the fabled Mary the Virgin carrying the “Son of Man,” without having been impregnated.
Certain Evangelical Christians accuse the Arabs of moon-worship, but the moon or Hebrews’ lunar calculations (to record Lunar Months), and Adonai the (Sun-god, or God of life) are also built on the same ground. The lunar mystery helped them record the lunar months.
The Babylonians held that the Sun-god proceeded from the Mother of all, who is the superior of nature, like the Cybele (Mighty Mother) of Anatolia, or Maat (Cosmic Order) in Egypt. The Sisters, Daughters, and Mothers are often the mirror-side of the Brothers, Sons and Fathers.
BAAL AND THE GOD OF SECRET WISDOM
Adonai had for his counterpart Asherah, and Apollo (Bēl, Adonis), or generally, those Sun-gods had mirrored Sun goddesses, e.g., Minerva, or Athēna.
Essentially, for the ancients, every god was the one living and unique god. It couldn’t be reinterpreted into the exoteric monotheistic scheme, which is a later modification, concealing its paradox. Apollo is merely Bēl the sun-god again in Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, and Palestine, guised in another myth in Greece and Rome as Pol-lux, the light and son of Zeus.
Baal-Moloch compounded is a prophet (Malachi), with Moloch (its Semitic root means “king” like the Greek “sōter”), or Melech being merely again, Theion, the fire-sun, or the Fire of Life. Moloch, an Ammonite god is Mithra, the Chaldean Word (the lord), the Fire of the Intelligible Sun (Universal Mind). Mithra is the Persian and Chaldean idea of the Christōs in the Mithraic Mysteries.
Bēl, the fiery Sun is the devouring physical luminary, and the hidden Sun. In India, hence he is also Shiva, the destroyer (destructive aspect of one Force under a triune), and Adon (Adonai, Lord). God is hence, creator, destroyer, preserver, broadly speaking — LIFE as the Mandaeans call their Highest God.
Circle dances were performed to Baal, or Bēl, the mightiest and oldest gods of Babylon. Bēl (Ēl, Enu or Elu in Chaldea) was called father of the gods, and his eldest son in that Chaldean Theogony, was Sin (the Moon), the presiding deity of Ur in Chaldea. Sin is a god in pre-Islamic Arabia, and the lunar god from Ur of Terah, or Abram’s father.
The “Concealed God” was “ineffable, a name unpronounceable,” the Proarche in Mesopotamia. This “HIDDEN GOD” is followed by Ten primal Patriarchates, or Aiōns (Virtutibus), in the Pentateuch, as taught in Bere’shith, usually defined as an ancestral genealogy of humanity from a dual-parentage — Adam (Epigeios) and Eve (Eua).
We must remember, there are multiple meanings ascribed to things. All of the ten so-called Antediluvian patriarchates, correspond to the ten Babylonian sar (solar periods), or the Ages or TIME; and these Ten Patriarchates are the names of the solar periods (Aeons). They are the Ten (a number stressed in the Jewish Kabbalah) Hebrew Aeons, and the ten Babylonian Mythic Kings, who reigned 120 SARS (3600 a solar year) each (see Babylonia), according to Berossus of Babylon. The decade (symbol of 10) is the triad and septenate mystery combined. Add Bel and Beltis, his consort, it makes the TWELVE Powers (signs) of the Gods.
Like the Hebrews, the Babylonians did not speculate on the nature of sige, or silence (Damascius the Syrian on the Babylonians, see Cory, Ancient Fragments, 1832, pg. 318), called DARK SPACE in The Secret Doctrine.
The Primal Sun, the sacred mysteries teach, holds in latency the reservoir of all the energy, of which the physical orb and the planets serves as its medium.
Knorr von Rosenroth, stated in the Kabbalah Denudata, that the God of Israel is the eternal WISDOM (Eternal Logos) united with the soul of the ANOINTED (see Kabbalah Denudata, III, 1912 ed., pg. 271.), i.e., the MONAD (the “One”).
The ANOINTED (“they call Male-Female”—Cyril of Jerusalem) is no man. This Gnostic doctrine began amongst the Jews, with their ancient doctors, schools, Talmud, the Mishnah, the Syrian heresy manuscripts, Magianism, Chaldeism, and Arabian mythology. These systems believed in an ANOINTED-god or ONLY-BEGOTTEN, and FATHER-Mind-Wisdom (represented symbolically as the LION).
LUNAR MYSTERIES IN LIGHT OF SUN-FIRE
“What is known of Chaldaean Moon-Worship, of the Babylonian god, Sin, called by the Greeks “Deus Lunus,” is very little, and that little is apt to mislead the profane student who fails to grasp the esoteric significance of the symbols. As popularly known to the ancient profane philosophers and writers (for those who were initiated were pledged to silence) the Chaldeans were the worshippers of the moon under her (and his) various names, just as were the Jews, who came after them.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1., pg. 388).
The significance of this is in regards to the sacred day, and the relation of their agriculture to the lunar month. The nature of the moon, and beliefs surrounding its subtle or “psychic” relation to terrestrial life, or the mysteries of life and death, were all considered apart of one Knowledge, with its branches. There is no lunar (of the full-moon or crescent) religion versus solar (the sun, or fire) religion.
Some nations and peoples did not have a full system, and had limited philosophical conceptions and different hierarchies, with their special additions and subtractions to their system. H.P.B. states, that the Mysteries was a system of seven “dialects,” but the Hebrew elites only had four of the “keys” to make out from these their special religion, which resulted in a tribal nationalized religion, others have been glad to force onto mankind. The notion of a right, or true religion became popularized through the Christians, and then is adopted by subsequent sects, and the later Islamized Arabs.
There was although, a high philosophy connecting what is so-called “sun-worship” and “moon-worship.” Unlike abstract concepts of God as an invisible gigantic entity, the idea that the Spirit pervaded its creation was evident, and understood in a literal and metaphysical sense in antiquity. Furthermore, through its aspects, the idea was that this Unknown Deity uses the gods, planetary systems and natural objects as receptacles. The astronomical bodies and the Sun played a role, as planets are receptacles and generators of forces, energy, etc., that sustain, preserve, or create life — providing the conditions for the evolution of life.
Each and every name has symbolical, abstruse, and philosophical meanings, as it would when crossing over into any nation, tribe, or language.
Solar and lunar worship are apart of Christian symbolism:
“THIS archaic symbol is the most poetical of all symbols, as also the most philosophical. The ancient Greeks brought it into prominence, and the modern poets have worn it threadbare. The Queen of Night, riding in the majesty of her peerless light in heaven, throwing all, even Hesperos, into darkness, and spreading her silver mantle over the whole sidereal world, has ever been a favourite theme with all the poets of Christendom, from Milton and Shakespeare down to the latest versifier. But the refulgent lamp of night, with her suite of stars unnumbered, spoke only to the imagination of the profane. Until lately, Religion and Science had nought to do with the beautiful mythos. Yet, the cold chaste moon, she (…) stands in closer relations to Earth than any other sidereal orb. The Sun is the giver of life to the whole planetary system; the Moon is the giver of life to our globe; and the early races understood and knew it, even in their infancy. She is the Queen and she is the King, and was King Soma before she became transformed into Phoebe and the chaste Diana. She is pre-eminently the deity of the Christians, through the Mosaic and Kabalistic Jews, though the civilized world may have remained ignorant of the fact for long ages; in fact, ever since the last initiated Father of the Church died, carrying with him into his grave the secrets of the pagan temples. For the “Fathers” — such as Origen or Clemens Alexandrinus — the Moon was Jehovah’s living symbol: the giver of Life and the giver of Death, the disposer of being — in our World. (…) The number seven, so prominent in the Bible, so sacred in its seventh (Sabbath) day, came to the Jews from Antiquity, deriving its origin from the four-fold number 7 contained in the 28 days of the lunar month, each septenary portion thereof being typified by one quarter of the moon.” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1., pp. 386-387)
“Though the regular Sun-Worshippers, the Parsis, are few, yet not only is the bulk of the Hindu mythology and history based upon and interblended with these two worships, but so is also the Christian religion itself. From their origin down to our modern day it has coloured the theologies of both the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. The difference, indeed, between the Aryan Hindu and the Aryan European faiths is very small, if only the fundamental ideas of both are taken into consideration. Hindus are proud of calling themselves Suryas and Chandravansas (of the Solar and Lunar dynasties). The Christians pretend to regard it as idolatry, and yet they adhere to a religion entirely based upon the solar and lunar worships. It is useless and vain for the Protestants to exclaim against the Roman Catholics for their “Mariolatry,” based on the ancient cult of lunar goddesses, when they themselves worship Jehovah, pre-eminently a lunar god, and when both Churches have accepted in their theologies the “Sun”-Christ and the lunar trinity.” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1., pg. 388, The Moon, Deus Lunus, Phoebe).
from “The Ghebers of Hebron”
THE MONOTHEISTIC GOD OF THE ABRAHAMIC FAITHS
As to the name Yahweh, some have traced it to being a volcano, or mountain god, as opposed to the sky-god, Ēl. This attempts to, perhaps confusingly demonstrate the names and titles of the Gods were more than just names and titles, but masks of different aspects of the Sun-God, or an eclectic meaning of God collected from surrounding cultures.
Theosophy recognises, that Judaism, Dunlap refers to as an offshoot of the old Phoenician worship, owes its ideas and concepts to “paganism,” and it shrouds this under the constructed blind of “monotheism.” This god Yahweh, had succeeded Ēl in worship, which appropriated the consort, Asherah, and survives in Christianity under a Father-Son-Mary combination.
“The Jews contend that their God, Yahweh or Jehovah, is the Supreme Being, who deigned to communicate with them and them alone in the covenant at Sinai. Christians and Muslims, their spiritual descendants, have taken up the claim—while insisting that their revelations are the final and complete versions. All of these religions, in their dominant forms, insist that any other god either does not exist or is a demon in disguise.
Sometimes, however, the charges have been reversed to say that the monotheistic God of the Abrahamic faiths is not what he is claimed to be. One of them was H.P. Blavatsky. She writes: “If we are taken to task for believing in operating ‘Gods’ and ‘Spirits’ while rejecting a personal God, we answer to the Theists and Monotheists: Admit that your Jehovah is one of the Elohim, and we are ready to recognize him. Make of him, as you do, the Infinite, the one and the Eternal God, and we will never accept him in this character. Of tribal Gods there were many; the One Universal Deity is a principle, an abstract Root-Idea which has nought to do with the unclean work of finite Form” (Secret Doctrine, I, 492n.; emphasis here and in other quotations is in the original). Blavatsky is not denying that the God of the Abrahamic religions exists; rather she is saying that, contrary to what these religions claim, he is not the sole and unique Supreme Being.” (Richard Smoley, God and the Great Angel, Quest 99. 1, Winter 2011, pp. 24-28.)
- Blavatsky, Helena. The Secret Doctrine Vol. 2 (1888)
- Dunlap, Samuel F. The Origin of Ancient Names of Countries, Cities, Individuals, and Gods, Christian Examiner, Cambridge: 1856.
- Dunlap, Samuel F. The Ghebers of Hebron, New York Revised Edition, 1898.
- See ideas in Knorr von Rosenroth’s (trans. M.L. McGregor Mathors), Kabbalah Denudata (1912).
- See Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1., Irenaeus: Against Heresies Book I (edited by Alexander Roberts). http://www.gnosis.org/library/advh1.htm
- Wallis Budge, E.A. (1921). The Babylonian Legends of Creation. http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/blc/blc06.htm