Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.


A picture is worth a thousand words.

~Napoleon Bonaparte

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Tau symbol, The Lesser key of Solomon, Attis, and Adonis

Tau (uppercase Τ, lowercase ) is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 300.
Tau was derived from the Phoenician letter taw Phoenician taw.svg. Letters that arose from tau include Roman T and Cyrillic Te (Т, т).

The ankh, also known as key of life, the key of the Nile or crux ansata (Latin meaning "cross with a handle"), was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that read "eternal life", a triliteral sign for the consonants -n-. Egyptian gods are often portrayed carrying it by its loop, or bearing one in each hand, arms crossed over their chest.

Ankh-shaped mirror from the tomb of Tutankhamun, Valley of the Kings, Egypt

 Temple  Kom Ombo: Ankh

Facsimile of a vignette from the Book of the Dead of Ani. The sun disk of the god Ra is raised into the sky by an ankh-sign (signifying life) and a djed-pillar (signifying stability and the god Osiris) while adored by Isis, Nephthys, and baboons. The motif symbolizes rebirth and the sunrise.

 Pharaonic crown at the Palace Museum of Abedin,

The Tau Cross use in Christianity dates back since the latter's beginnings. It is most commonly used in reference to the Franciscan Order and Saint Francis of Assisi, who adopted it as his personal coat of arms after hearing Pope Innocent III talk about the Tau symbol. It is now used a symbol of the Franciscan Order. St. Anthony of Padua bore a cross in the form of a tau on his cloak.

                                                               The Tau cross

The Cross of Tau, named after the Greek letter it resembles, is suspected to have originated with the Egyptians. When a King was initiated into the Egyptian mysteries a tau was placed against his lips. It has been a symbol to many cultures before Christianity, including a mention in the Old Testament book of Ezechiel. It has been adopted by Christianity as a representation of the Cross. .

 Sebastien Bourdon, Moses and the Brazen Serpent
We find tau in Primeval, Chinese, Indian And Thibetan Talismans.
Theosophical Seal (version of emblem of Theosophical society, adopted late 19th century

Triple tau in masonry.
 The emblem of the Royal Arch Degree is called the Triple Tau, and is a figure consisting of three tau crosses. The Tau Cross, or Cross of St. Anthony, is a cross in the form of a Greek T. The Triple Tau is a figure formed by three of these crosses meeting in a point, and therefore resembling a letter T resting on the traverse bar of an H. This emblem, placed in the center of a Triangle and Circle - both emblems of Deity - constitutes the jewel of the Royal Arch as practiced in England, where it is so highly esteemed as to be called the "emblem of all emblems," and "the grand emblem of Royal Arch Masonry."

 Badge of a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre (Masonic Order)

According to Wilipedia, Tau  is identified with the bull in the astrological sign of Taurus.
 Francesco del Cossa, Allegory of April, Triumph of Venus

 Taurus: one of the twelve zodiacal signs ornating the chevet of the church Saint-Austremonius of Issoire (12th century), Auvergne, France.

 Windberg abbey church ( Lower Bavaria ). Altar of Saint Sabinus ( 1756 ): Astrological sign of Taurus ( bull ).

                                                                Cathedral d'Amiens.

                                                                    Taurus symbol

 The Palace of Tau in Reims, France, was the palace of the Archbishop of Reims. It is associated with the Kings of France, whose coronation was held in the nearby cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims.
A large Gallo-Roman villa still occupied the site of the palace in the 6th and 7th centuries, and later became a Carolingian palace. The first documented use of the name dates to 1131, and derives from the plan of the building, which resembles the letter Τ (tau, in the Greek alphabet). Most of the early building has disappeared: the oldest part remaining is the chapel, from 1207. The building was largely rebuilt in Gothic style between 1498 and 1509, and modified to its present Baroque appearance between 1671 and 1710 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte. It was damaged by a fire on 19 September 1914, and not repaired until after the Second World War.
The Palace was the residence of the Kings of France before their coronation in Notre-Dame de Reims. The King was dressed for the coronation at the palace before proceeding to the cathedral; afterwards, a banquet was held at the palace. The first recorded coronation banquet was held at the palace in 990, and the most recent in 1825.
The Lesser key of Solomon by S.L. Macgregor Mathers and Aleister Crowley
This edition of the Lesser Key of Solomon is based on manuscripts from the British Museum, edited by two prominent occultists. Although Mathers took lead on the body of the text, Crowley's literary fingerprints are all over this book, such as the polite sniping at A.E. Waite, the Preliminary Invocation, and the essay The Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magic, which is classic Crowley.  

Magical Circle
This is the Form of the Magical Circle of King Solomon, the which he made that he might preserve himself therein from the malice of these Evil Spirits. This Magical Circle is to be made 9 feet across, and the Divine Names are to be written around it, beginning at EHYEH, and ending at LEVANAH, Luna.
(Colours.--The space between the outer and inner circles, where the serpent is coiled, with the Hebrew names written along his body, is bright deep yellow. The square in the centre of the circle, where the word "Master" is written, is filled in with red. All names and letters are in black. In the Hexagrams the outer triangles where the letters A, D, O, N, A, I, appear are filled in with bright yellow, the centres, where the T-shaped crosses are, blue or green. In the Pentagrams outside the circle, the outer triangles where "Te, tra, gram, ma, ton," is written, are filled in bright yellow, and the centers with the T crosses written therein are red.

The Lesser Key of Solomon or Clavicula Salomonis (the Clavis Salomonis, or Key of Solomon is an earlier book on the subject), is an anonymous 17th-century grimoire, and one of the most popular books of demonology. It has also long been widely known as the Lemegeton.
It appeared in the 17th century, but much was taken from texts of the 16th century, including the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, by Johann Weyer, and late-medieval grimoires. Some of the material in the first section, concerning the summoning of demons, dates to the 14th century or earlier.
The Lesser Key of Solomon contains detailed descriptions of spirits and the conjurations needed to evoke and oblige them to do the will of the conjurer (referred to as the "exorcist"). It details the protective signs and rituals to be performed, the actions necessary to prevent the spirits from gaining control, the preparations prior to the invocations, and instructions on how to make the necessary instruments for the execution of these rituals.
The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King (Clavicula Salomonis Regis) is a 1904 translation of the text by Samuel Mathers. It is essentially a manual that purports to give instructions for summoning 72 different spirits.
The first section, called Ars Goetia, contains descriptions of the seventy-two demons that Solomon is said to have evoked and confined in a brass vessel sealed by magic symbols, and that he obliged to work for him. It gives instructions on constructing a similar brass vessel, and using the proper magic formulae to safely call up those demons.

It deals with the evocation of all classes of spirits, evil, indifferent and good; its opening Rites are those of Paimon, Orias, Astaroth and the whole cohort of Infernus. The second part, or Theurgia Goëtia, deals with the spirits of the cardinal points and their inferiors. These are mixed natures, some good and some evil.
 You may find the list of 72 demons  at the link above.
 John William Watwerhouse, Magic Circle
Let's look at Magical Circle by Mathers & Aleister Crowley.

In the Hexagrams the outer triangles where the letters A, D, O, N, A, I, 

The Greek Ἄδωνις ( Adōnis is a variation of the Semitic word Adonai, "lord".
 Syrian Adonis is closely related to the Cypriot Gaus or Aos, to Egyptian Osiris, to Semitc Tammuz, and Baal Hadad, to the Etruscan Atunis and the Phrygian Attis.

ATTIS was a Phrygian vegetation god, the consort of the great Mother Cybele. He was forced by the goddess to castrate himself in a mad frenzy as punishment for his infidelity. Initiates into the eunuch priesthood of Cybele, called the Gallai, re-enacted the myth with their self-castration.
Attis was closely identified by the Greeks with Iasion, consort of the Great Mother in the Mysteries of Samothrake.
IASION was an agricultural here, the springtime consort of the goddess Demeter in the Samothracian mysteries. In myth, he lay with her in a thrice-ploughed field during the wedding celebrations of Cadmus and Harmonia  on the island which were attended by all the gods. When Zeus learned of the affair, he was angered and struck Iasion down with a thunderbolt. Some say Iasion and the agricultural hero  Triptolemos were afterwards placed amongst the stars in the form of the  constellation Gemini (the heavenly twins).

Triptolemos was a demi- god of the Eleusinian mysteries.

 Attis wearing the Phrygian cap. Louvre

 Statue of a reclining Attis at the Shrine of Attis in Ostia
Cybele was the great Phrygian Mother of the Gods, a primal nature goddess worshipped with orgiastic rites in the mountains of central and western Anatolia. The Greeks closely identified her with their own mother of the gods, the goddess Rhea. 
 Archaeological Museum in Milan,  Detail from the Parabiago patera: the chariot with Cybele and Adonis   Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto 

I think that it is Cybele and Attis.

Dionysus was taught the orgies by Cybele.
 Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 33 :
"He [the young god Dionysus] went to Cybela in Phrygia. There he was purified by Rhea (Cybele) and taught the mystic rites of initiation, after which he received from her his gear and set out eagerly through Thrake [where he introduced the orgiastic cult]." 

Adonis ( Earths "lord"), in Greek mythology, the god of beauty and desire, is a figure with Northwest Semitic antecedents, where he is a central figure in various mystery religions. His religion belonged to women: the dying of Adonis was fully developed in the circle of young girls around the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, about 600 BCE, as revealed in a fragment of Sappho's surviving poetry.

 Birth of Adonis. Engraving by Bernard Picart

 Adonis Dream, Richard Franklin

                                                     Adonis, Louvre Museum


 John William waterhouse, The Awakening of Adonis

In the central myth in its Greek telling, Aphrodite (Venus) fell in love with the beautiful youth (possibly because she had been wounded by Eros's arrow). The most detailed and literary version of the story of Adonis is a late one, in Book X of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Aphrodite sheltered Adonis as a new-born baby and entrusted him to Persephone. The latter was also taken by Adonis' beauty and refused to give him back to Aphrodite. The dispute between the two goddesses was settled by Zeus (or by Calliope on Zeus' behalf): Adonis was to spend one-third of every year with each goddess and the last third wherever he chose. He chose to spend two-thirds of the year with Aphrodite.

 Annibale Carracci, Venus, Adonis and Cupid

 Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 2. 69b-d (trans. Gullick) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.)

"Kallimakhos [grammarian C3rd B.C.], too, says that Aphrodite hid Adonis in a lettuce-bed, since the poets mean by this allegory that constant eating of lettuce produces impotence. So also Euboulos, in the Defectives, says: ‘Don’t put lettuce on the table before me, wife, or you will have only yourself to blame. For in that plant, the story goes, Kypris [Aphrodite], once laid out Adonis when he died; therefore it is dead men's food.’"
Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Book 5 (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190) :
"Adonis, having become androgynous, behaved as a man for Aphrodite and as a woman for Apollo."
 Nicolas Mignard, Venus and Adonis

 Adonis was killed by a wild boar, said to have been sent variously by Artemis ( Diana), jealous of Adonis' hunting skills or in retaliation for Aphrodite instigating the death of Hippolytus, a favorite of the huntress goddess; or by Aphrodite's paramour, Ares, who was jealous of Aphrodite's love for Adonis; or by Apollo, to punish Aphrodite for blinding his son, Erymanthus. Adonis died in Aphrodite's arms, who came to him when she heard his groans. When he died she sprinkled the blood with nectar, from which sprang the short-lived anemone, which takes its name from the wind which so easily makes its petals fall. And so it is the blood of Adonis that each spring turns to red the torrential river, the Adonis River.

 Giuseppe  Mazzuoli, Death of Adonis

 Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Book 1 (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190) :

"Erymanthus, son of Apollon, was punished because he had seen Aphrodite after her union with Adonis and Apollon, irritated, changed himself into a wild boar and killed Adonis by striking through his defenses."
 Jose de Ribera, Venus and Adonis
                                        Francisco de Goya, Venus Adonis
 Nicolas Poussin