“Apocalypse of Cassandra” (or: The Acts of Mary and the Sophians)

The Acts of Mary
and the Sophians

These are the experiences of Mary Magdalene, the sole person to witness the totality of God’s Plan, as well as her followers, who called themselves the Sophians. All of whom made it their mission in life to spread wisdom to the seven corners of the world, so that future generations might prepare for the coming syzygy of mankind with God. The following account comes down to us from firsthand observances and complementary research by her student, Pneumaphila, whose honesty is well attested among the community of believers.

The Revelation of Sophia and Mary (as transcribed by Psychephilus) is the written source of Mary’s first vision, that which was taken in the company of the Holy Spirit of Wisdom, whose name lends itself to our creed. According to the oral tradition of her apostles, of whom Psychephilus and your truthful Pneumaphila are two, Mary would go on to have seven additional visions over the course of her evangel, each of which shall be described in the following text, along with her good deeds. Upon her return from Heaven on the first Easter, Mary Magdalene’s path quickly intersected with that of Barabbas the pardoned zealot, whose life was owed to the whims of a fickle mob. For the sake of narrative convenience, this text shall begin with his background up to the point where he first met Mary, for Barabbas was many years her senior and already a minor revolutionary figure before he joined her in the Commission of Christ.

Acts of Barabbas and the Zealots

A. The Secrets of Mithraism

Jesus Barabbas (henceforth simply “Barabbas” to avoid confusion) was the illegitimate son of a poor Hebrew woman and a Roman legionary stationed in the Judean province. He is said to have been 50 years old in the time of Jesus’ resurrection. At a young age, he was enlisted in the local division of auxilia as a means to obtain Roman citizenship and therefore a better life, but never finished the 25-year term of service. We know this experience left Barabbas with a deep loathing for Roman domination of the world, yet an appreciation for the superstitions of his great enemy all the same. The embittered youth, disillusioned by the perceived weakness of his own culture to prevent this foreign subjugation, sought to analyze all knowledge of the Hellenic-Latin culture for vulnerability. With this powerful weapon at his disposal, Barabbas vowed to liberate his unworthy people from tyranny as a sleeper agent within the Roman war machine.

While campaigning against the Parthians as part of the Roman barrage, Barabbas hijacked the emerging faith of Mithraism among the east for his own purposes. He corrupted its doctrine as a means to corral the Roman legions and coordinate their movements while off-duty. Barabbas recognized the spiritual vacuousness of their own theological-transaction rituals, as well as the convoluted bureaucracy of the imported imperial pantheon. Through these shortcomings, he brought men something simple and inspiring in the figure of Mithras: a fusion of the Persian Mithra and Heracles-Melqart. The details of this cynically-manufactured ethos are largely unclear to us now, but we know Barabbas used the religion to organize several rendezvous with Roman infantrymen so that they would be unarmed, unaware and intoxicated as the result of its arcane cult practices. Once the legionaries had been herded into their small underground sanctums with only one exit, a band of allied zealots could slaughter them with minimal risk. Barabbas became a hero to the emerging resistance factions of the Levant, and ultimately abandoned his duties in the foreigners’ army to join with them directly. (But only when he could no longer work undercover to continue the deception.)

What little is remembered of Barabbas’ utilitarian dogma shall be recounted below, in the interest of historical posterity:

  1. The details have been lost over time, but supposedly there were seven steps of membership into the cult, represented by a ladder of seven rungs with corresponding crowns and wanderers. (Keter for the Sun, Olive for the Moon, Laurel for Mercury, Polos for Venus, Grass for Mars, Oak for Jove, and a Diadem for Saturn.) The first seven numbers between twin primes (4, 6, 12, 18, 30, 42, 60) also played some key role in the various ceremonies, with ever expanding requirements to reach the next step of initiation.

  2. Barabbas’ most well known act in this period was his “sermon in the cave,” in which he introduced man’s taming of fire as a gift from Mithras, whose blows sparked thunderous lightning. He described the flame’s ability to project shadows on the wall as an illustration of the impact we have on the world around us with our actions. Upon leaving the cave, Barabbas would then demonstrate how God’s fire (the Sun) in turn cast shadows on the Earth and Moon. (The various eclipses were marked with sacred feast days in this cult.) Then when the sun set, Barabbas explained that God projects Their own paradoxically luminous shadows across the sky through the constellations. This reliance on light and shadow coexisting as the binary logic within all Creation became a key tenet of Mithraism. All good actions have unintended negative consequences and evil cannot be completely destroyed in this plane of existence. One and zero were the hidden symbols of God’s Light and Shadow–the potential of an individual and the fear of emptiness–so believers could signal each other in public.

  3. Mithras tamed the first dog as his loyal friend, Canis. Supposedly, there were so many women who threw themselves at Mithras wherever he went that he could never get around to honoring all of them with his own seed. (Or else he would have spent his whole life in one place, a prisoner of his own harem, as are all men who live solely for the approval of women.) As a result, some less proud among the admirers prostrated themselves before Canis in a humiliating effort to show favor. (Or, perhaps in acceptance of whatever capacity to which they could make themselves useful and amusing to their precious Mithras.) This seemingly minor anecdote was used to justify the complete submission of femininity to a self-sufficient masculine apex–the intended paradigm of a Mithraic society.

  4. Barabbas described the Underworld as an inner darkness called Duzakh within the Earth itself. It remains tethered to Heaven by the Chinvat Bridge, which is the Axis Mundi that runs through Jerusalem between its two ends, and pulls the world along its orbit as though it were a chain. This spiritual pathway was said to be guarded by Cerberus, a dog with three heads and four eyes. In the Underworld, souls were said to be judged in a trial with Typhon as their prosecuting attorney and always advocating for severe punishment. Mithras himself stood as their defense as long as they had never broken any legal contracts in life. Finally, Metis (who is all knowing), served as their sole character witness and judge. In borderline cases, he weighed their heart’s volume in gold vs its mass in love as the final decider. The souls of the wicked were cowed into remaining in Hell by Cerberus, while those of the righteous were guarded along their ascent by Canis, who is most faithful.

  5. Barabbas utilized a primitive forebear to the Simonian conception of Sophia: she who was characterized as a misguided angel that created the world to honor Yahweh, though her imperfections inevitably seeped into it, thereby causing all our suffering. Barabbas equated this archetypal figure with Anahita, the Iranian goddess of holy waters. In his cosmology, Mithras redeemed Anahita’s flawed creation by proving that perfection could arise spontaneously from within it, as he had done. Mithras thereafter took Anahita’s sentence in the Underworld, which she had earned through her insolence in creating the fallen physical plane. Mithras carried her across the infinite bridge to Heaven in his arms, then returned in her place to hold the wicked Typhon in check, so that all future souls would have a chance to be spared from the demon’s wrath. In this way, Mithras embodied forgiveness and nobility as well as brute strength while redeeming his own mother, the very planet under our feet.

  6. Barabbas conceived of two angelic beings called Cautes and Cautopes, who observed Mithras’ good deeds and reported them to Heaven and Hell simultaneously. (“As above, so below.”) They represented the positive and negative consequences of his actions, clockwise and counterclockwise, past and future. Supposedly, the two were fated by their very nature to disagree on everything, but the one opinion they shared was a genuine appreciation for Mithras alone. They wore the same phrygian caps as their idol, who used the garment to symbolize man’s freedom to forge his own destiny.

  7. Mithras’ most iconic labor proved to be the slaying of a whited bull named Apis, symbolizing man’s dominion over even the mightiest beasts of nature. The bull had been laden with pearls, raised on a ranch and worshiped by heathen barbarians. Mithras killed it unceremoniously with a small butter knife as a rejection of their bureaucratic rituals and feminine domestication. After slaying the creature, he invited Sol Invictus to join with him, as equals, in a feast of its flesh. All manner of men were disgusted by this audacious sacrilege at first sight. Yet, to their astonishment, not only was the offer accepted but God adopted Mithras as His sole heir immediately thereafter. As a further reward for his courage, Mithras was chosen to escort the wayward personified innocence, who would later be equated with the Sophian Moonchild, across Heaven to the safety of Her Father’s court. First, he needed to free Her from the lion-headed one.

  8. Barabbas had combined the Greek Chimera (“Winter Storm”) and the Hebrew Satan (“Great Adversary”): with a lion’s head representing the cardinal sin of pride, a goat’s body for greed, a hydra’s tail for cruelty, bat’s wings for cowardice, as well as a human voice which spoke only in lies and hypocrisy.

  9. The lion-head was known as Ariman-Zahak, who was said to personify time as a negative force of decay. Ariman had armor engraved with the head of a goat, carried a scepter in his right hand with keys in his left, and wore a wreath of phasganion around a modius. Two snakes entwined his body. There was one called Apep, who had a lion’s head and raven feathers, compelling its host to wickedness. The other was named Anguitenens, with a horse head and quills that professed compassion. Mithras cut off Zahak’s own face, lion-like in the image of his favored advisor, and thereafter brought it to life again as Bastemis (Bastet-Artemis). She became Mithras’ companion across the cosmos, as he guided Her through the celestial equator as the Earth shepherds the moon along its orbit. In doing so, Mithras proved that the sins of the parent are not a child’s burden to bear. He sacrificed his own immortality in bestowing life to the unproven, imperfect and insipid successor of evil, thereby redeeming the Heavens from the Earth.

    After several lifetimes, the presumed corpse of Ariman-Zahak rose again in the likeness of a were-rooster, called Abraxas, to plague mankind once more. The serpentine-counselors were revealed to be legs as well as the true host of his mind. The two hydras had feuded for centuries in desperate boredom, driving each other to madness. Their personalities devolved into that of Ialtabaut (“Daughter of the Void”) and Nadiscordia (“Son of Discord”). Abraxas carried a pentagram-inscribed shield and lashes, while screaming an endless racket of nonsensical profanities. Despite no longer holding dominion over the physical plane, he still found ways of troubling them in his tantrums. (This part of the doctrine was meant to explain the resilience of evil even in the face of tremendous good on Earth. In this way, mortal men had to continue the struggle against wickedness in the absence of Mithras, or his immortal sacrifice would be in vain.)

  10. Finally, upon reuniting with Her Father the Sun, the lion-goddess transformed again, this time into a womanly figure. With Her, Mithras sired 7 successors, all associated with the Pleiades asterism. Later in life, he produced 5 additional children for the Hyades, with as many mortal women. All of their identities remain obscure to us today, though one was famous for her obesity and would not have fit the traditional standard of beauty. (Of these 12 progeny, the only one whose name we know is the daughter Ashi, who was said to be his charioteer and overall favorite person.) Over the course of his romantic dalliances, Mithras saw fit to purge the world of the abyzou harpies–a race of women with retractable stingers in their sheaths, painted faces like cobras’ hoods, voices like sirens and claws like panthera. Thus, man would forevermore fornicate without fear of women, as he was meant to.

  11. Bastemis gifted the lion-pelt that she had previously worn to Mithras as a keepsake of their affair, which he fashioned it into a hooded cloak. As his final act of charity towards mankind, Mithras slayed the fire-breathing giant known as Cacus, who resided atop the world’s tallest peak. There, Mithras made his palace, which he built from oak, gold, diamond and stone where appropriate. He placed seven pillars from the roof, designed to uphold the sky so man would not be troubled by celestial phenomena ever again. Each of the five women who bore Mithras his sons (the previously mentioned Hyades) had known the honor of being carried up the mountainside in his arms, to experience the greatest orgasm any man could possibly bestow, in the most beautiful castle imaginable.

  12. Eventually, so many lesser men pledged fealty to Mithras that he carved a network of passages and dwellings from within the mountain so they could remain under his watchful protection. In this way, the first nation of the world was founded under a meritocratically ascendant alpha-male and his servile orbiters, as must all successful hierarchies. At the end of his life, Mithras took all the adolescent boys atop the highest tower of his estate. There, he presented them with the long shadow cast by his mountain. “That’s the mark I’ve left on the world my children, a thick obelisk sundial built with my bare hands. I made the most of my time in life, and you can too if you’re willing o work as hard as me. I remade age into a positive for you, where it remains the ruin of women. For them, youth will be fleeting and beauty shall fade…but in men, legacy grows and stature accrues. And in the next life, you may stand as tall as I: on the backs of the opponents you have defeated, through the totality of agreements you’ve honored, and in the collective reputation you built among your peers.” These were the final words of Mithras, who grew so powerful and massive that he finally sank right through the Earth itself, rejoining the fiery womb of his mother Gaea to be forged again as our eternal protective watcher in the afterlife.

  13. Barabbas created Mithras to be the personified male role model, who sculpted himself from the Earth, independently of Adam’s origin, and went on to tame it to an extent the mortal progeny never could. These values would carry over into Barabbas’ later conception of the future Messiah as a solitary warrior archetype. In this way, Barabbas merged the biblical Hebrew savior with the philanthropic hero of pagan epics, to great effect. He unified the Jew and gentile to an extent no one else dared before the coming of Jesus.

B. Barabbas and John the Baptist

After he had taken the ruse as far as it could go, Barabbas deserted the army about halfway through his term of service, though the cult of Mithras would take on a life all its own in his absence. He openly associated with the zealots at last, but soon after suggested they officially disband and independently gather recruit so as to ensure no Roman counter-offensive could snuff out the fledgling movement all at once. (Later in life, several of these “sleeper agents” rejoined with Barabbas, after his sicarii exploits gained notoriety among the Jewish resistance.) Seeking refuge and purpose again, he settled in with the growing commune of John the Baptist. Still a relatively young man at this time of his life, Barabbas admired the tenacity of his enthusiastic mentor. In John, Barabbas found a new appreciation for the Hebrew customs of his ancestry and a taste of what it meant to sincerely believe in something. The Baptist is said to be the only mortal man whom Barabbas ever recognized as his leader and overall superior.

It is said that John’s personification of God as the living waters spoke to Barabbas, whose previous religious doctrine venerated the angel Anahita in the same manner. Similarly, the emphasis on knowledge (“manda”) above all seemed to justify his prior use of intelligence gathering about the Greco-Roman world against them. While not initially a tenet of his own faith, John’s motif of syzygies (opposites creating balance: male/female, left/right, day/night, etc) greatly influenced Barabbas’ cosmology for the rest of his life, as did the concept of successive emanations of God expanding creation through multiple generations. (John’s Yushamin, Abatur and Ptahil became Barabbas’ seven ages and expanding number of syzygies.)

Initially doubtful of Barabbas’ conviction, John eventually found in his new convert a fiery orator and passionate servant. Still, after a time it was feared that Barabbas’ force of personality might overshadow that of his teacher, and he was eventually sent away on a vague pilgrimage to Egypt. Barabbas took his assignment in stride, for he was eager to avoid detection by the vengeful Romans from staying in one place for too long. He promised to return with expanded knowledge and new converts from Alexandria, whose library he was eager to peruse. While there, Barabbas would go on to be inspired by Egyptian astrology as well as their brief flirtation with monotheism via the religion of Atenism. His sermons, which consisted of John’s Mandaean scripture embellished by his old Mithraic-machismo, went over very well with the crowds. Many future generations of teachers, each expanding upon the Gnostic tradition in their own way, adapted their theologies from Barabbas’ unique rhetoric.

Along the way to Egypt, Barabbas had encountered the man Jesus of Nazareth, who was heading north from India. Jesus claimed He was looking for some way in which to announce Himself, some holy figure He could attach His influence to. Barabbas treated the man with great skepticism, but revealed the location of John’s followers in Antioch and called them “the one true faith left in the world.” After the stranger departed, Barabbas sent his companion, the loyal zealot Judas Iscariot, to follow Jesus, spy on His activities and direct His efforts against the Romans. Unfortunately, Jesus’ message contradicted strongly with what Barabbas had in mind for a re-militarized Israel, and Judas (while reverent of his new master) remained firm in his hatred for Rome above all else. Years later these two would develop an animosity for Jesus’ pacifism, and Judas would conspire to betray Him so that Barabbas would have less competition for the hearts and minds of the Jews.

C. Barabbas and Simon Magus

Barabbas returned from his ministry in Egypt with 27 followers of his own and saw that the late John the Baptist had been replaced by an imaginative heretic called Simon Magus. (For John had been ignominiously beheaded by Herod Antipas at the request of a common dancing girl only a few months before.) Simon was displeased to see Barabbas at the head of a small company, for he had always envied the other man’s role as John’s second in stature. Simon feared that with the return of his old competitor, Barabbas’ natural gravitas and towering physique would displace him into a subordinate role. This is why, when Barabbas approached the camp of the Simonians expecting a triumphant welcome, he found they had instead assembled themselves into a defensive phalanx. Barabbas reminded his would-be adversaries of his prestige among the hierarchy of the old Baptist, and challenged their new leader to meet him face to face. At this, Simon shouted from his central position: “where we go one we go all, you wretched heathen! Now begone, for we know thee not!” allowing Barabbas to aim his sling at the source of this slander and shoot. Simon flinched in fear but could not flee, for he was stuck in the tight formation of his own making. He took a blow on the head and fell to the ground without another word.

Barabbas was unanimously accepted as the de facto leader of the joint-contingent from then on. He ordered that Simon’s wounds be mended, and the man was attended to at all times until regaining consciousness days later. Simon had been married to a beautiful former prostitute named Helen, who was venerated as the personification of the creator-angel, Sophia, whose redemption from ignorance mirrored Helen’s own rise to a holy stature. Once her husband had been dethroned, however, she threw herself at the new dominant male. Of course, she would later have to justify this shameless betrayal when Simon eventually awoke, which she could not do. Barabbas took great delight in stoning Helen to death according to Mosaic law, thereby delegitimizing his usurper and teaching his men that with God there was no need to subserviate oneself to women. He was aware the lowly magus would be disgraced by this cuckoldry, but protested years later that he never intended what unfolded next. For Simon, in an effort to prove his continuing favor with God despite these humiliations, promised to fly on a carpet from the tallest building in Samaria into Jerusalem. Upon his attempt to do so, he fell and split into three pieces, where Barabbas dug a latrine pit to mark his final victory. (“Always to the sheol with blasphemers, thou false prophet!”)

Barabbas kept most of the growing coalition of former Simonians in Jerusalem, attempting to unite the dogmas between them and all other Eastern Mediterranean religions into an anti-imperialist manifesto. (Of Simon’s men, there were 3 notable breakaways when Barabbas took over: Dositheus, Saturninus and Menander, who established their own ministries shortly thereafter.) Many of his teachings were considered a great heresy to orthodox Jews, but Barabbas maintained that the ends of a united front against foreign oppression justified the means of perverting Hebrew canon. The central tenet of his new religious ethos was that all major Gods are really different identifies attributed to the true One Being. That each Age was a further division of the divine wonder into a new cultural hegemon, and that Rome’s imperial cult had usurped the place of the true multifaceted God. Barabbas’ effectiveness during this period mostly depended on the prevailing anti-Roman sentiment among the provincials and personal charisma. His religion was too light on doctrine or exegesis to cultivate a genuinely self-sustaining philosophical movement without both factors already in place.

Barabbas refined the cosmology of John and Simon by proposing that there were seven ages of creation: stellar, stone, gold, silver, bronze, iron, and spirit.

In the first age, the Big Bang expansion of the universe, God was Shamash (the Matter) and Shapash (the Antimatter.)

In the second age, the coalescing of dust into stars and planets, God was Shahar (Fire/Plasma) and Shalim (Water/Liquid) as well as Ouranos (Air/Gas) and Gaea (Earth/Solid).

In the third age, the birth of life on Earth, God was Attar (Eubacteria) /Anat (Archae) + Chronos (Fungi) /Rhea (Protista) + Isis (Plants) /Osirus (Animals).

In the fourth age, the birth of civilization among men, God was Mot/Aresta + Phoebe/Coeus + Ahura Mazda/Angra Mainyu + Ra/Sekhmet. (The eight valence electrons which facilitate “community” among atoms into molecules, as well as the eight trigrams.)

In the fifth age, the birth of strife and discord among men, God was Zeus/Hera + Apollo/Diana + Baal Hedad/ Atargatis + Anubis/Anput + Nuha/Ruda. (10 incarnations of Vishnu in the South Eastern India, 10 Sephirot in Israel, and the Tetractys in the North Western Greece, all representing the divide in civilization.)

In the sixth age, the birth of the new religious covenant among the faithful, God is Jahovah/Asherah + Quirinus/Hersilia + Orotalt/Alilat + Horus/Hathor + Mithras/Anahita + Heracles/Hebe. (12 constellations of the zodiac, universal points of orientation to bring us together again.)

Finally, in the seventh age, in the great reckoning to come, God is El/Elat the male and female, the yin and yang whose interplay has guided all of time. The many confusing personas of the different provinces under Rome’s yoke will rise up as one and take on the common cause of freedom. After their inevitable victory, the last remaining syzygy will itself fold into oneness in the ultimate singularity of all things, as light and darkness merge into the androgynous Being known currently as Sol Invictus (to Rome), Elohim (to Israel), Ymir (to Germania), Aten (to Egypt), Protogonus (to Greece), Allah (to Arabia), and Zurvan (to Persia), who is the alpha and omega.

Barabbas taught that every syzygy of male-female brought with them a new emissary, with the progeny of the first age representing the coming Messiah (who was always referred to as “Immanuel” in this tradition). This figure guided the development of the world from the chaos of His parent’s creation, and will return in the seventh age to destroy the Romans and their heresies. Every prophet of the second through sixth ages represented a further fracturing of the messiah’s perfect ideology through the ongoing religious diversity of mankind’s polities. It was this figure, largely borrowed from Barabbas’ time as a Mithraic preacher, who most inspired the followers of this otherwise arbitrary cosmology. All the men longed to prove themselves worthy of the heroic ideal, and Barabbas loved to exaggerate the feats of their legendary warrior to encourage these ambitions.

Barabbas was eventually made aware that others in Jerusalem were hailing the Nazarene he had met previously as the messiah on Earth, but remained unimpressed upon finally hearing the message of peace. Still, based on the strength of the other man’s growing popularity, Barabbas offered that Jesus should join his followers and convince the twelve disciples to do likewise, but Jesus rebuked him: “In my world, there will be no more killing. Those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” Barabbas asked if kind words would save Israel from tyranny and Jesus replied “Men like you will save the world from tyranny,” which Barabbas took as an admission of defeat from his rival. Barabbas was further aware of Jesus’ companion, the one called Mary Magdalene, whom he equated with Simon’s Helen. (Which is to say, he thought of her as nothing but a sycophantic harlot whose very presence betrayed the moral weakness of her master.)

D. Barabbas and Jesus of Nazareth

For many of the Hebrews, Barabbas was the great champion in the post-occupation Age of the Zealot. Under his leadership, the former Simonians adopted the tactics of the sicarii faction. This meant that they concealed weapons to murder Romans and their Jewish apologists in crowd settings, then blended into the confusion they’d created before regrouping to strike again. There was a halfhearted effort to justify these actions with the aforementioned theology, but most needed little convincing to kill their Roman occupiers. So great was their loyalty to Barabbas that none of his crew, few that were ever captured alive, would give his name to the authorities. But the Judean people knew who was waging this guerilla war, and regardless of how they may find his methods, they too dare not betray their Barabbas.

It was during one such assault where Barabbas was apprehended for the death of a Roman sentry, whom he had lured into an ambush during a riot at the temple. As it happens, this riot had been independently instigated by Jesus’ rebuke of the pharisees, for which He Himself would be arrested later that night. Many in the crowd who attempted to flee the commotion, or investigate it, were cut down in a retaliatory strike by Roman arms. Jesus remained to heal the wounded, and Barabbas gave himself away as a conspirator by trying to rush the Holy One as He restored a maimed legionary. (The one called Longinus, who would go on to stab his newfound Savior’s side during the crucifixion, so as to end His suffering prematurely.) The Romans allowed the Nazarene to leave the scene in gratitude and took His would-be murderer to their Prefect, the infamous Pontius Pilate, for judgement. Due to the the blood on Barabbas’ knife, coupled with his intended target lack of apparent injury, it was determined that he must also be the assassin of the fallen officer. Pilate was all too eager to schedule the public crucifixion, as his men were to execute it…

Meanwhile, Jesus’ demonstration of supernatural powers, his willingness to rebuke the priestly class and friendly overtures to the Romans all worried the Sanhedrin. They arrested him of their own authority that night, with the help of Judas Iscariot, who resented that his old compatriot Barabbas was silenced while the “leader of cowards and passive effeminates” should go free. They petitioned Pilate vigorously for an audience so that this new threat to their prestige might also be put to death, and only reluctantly was this granted. Pontius could find no material fault with the man, but offered His fate up to the crowd as a compromise, so that tensions within Judea might cool. According to a local custom, the governor could allow the masses to determine which of the two condemned men might be spared execution. They chose to free their champion Barabbas, who had accrued the reputation of a would-be liberator for many years in Jerusalem by this time, over the controversial preacher who had seemingly thrown the city to chaos in a series of vain publicity stunts overnight. Pilate felt guilt-ridden to execute the docile Galilean and said to them: “Fine, then let his blood be on your conscience and those of your children, for all eternity! Mine own hands are clean!”

All the same, when Barabbas was released to the public, he found his reputation in tatters among most of his old followers and the wider community. There were those who lost loved ones in the altercation of his arrest, and all prior attacks, but feared to speak out for Jesus lest another sicarii raid break out to silence dissent. There were those who found Barabbas’ unwillingness to die for his own cause (at the destruction of an innocent man’s life, no less) emasculating to the infallible image that he himself had advertised. There were also far more supporters of Jesus than those in Pilate’s assembly, and they resented that a man who gives life should die so a “bandit” could go on amounting to nothing. Barabbas had hoped to emerge from the trial as a beloved patriot with a rejuvenated following, but ultimately found himself alone at the taverns, drowning his sorrows for the following three days. He could not bring himself to witness the crucifixion of the Great Benefactor who had taken his place, who did not deserve to be so tortured, who embodied the intense guilt of all mankind and especially himself (Barabbas) for all time. Of the former Simonians, some followed the next most charismatic among them, the one called Seth, into Egypt and began the tradition of Sethian Gnosticism. (Claiming a physical reincarnation and philosophical heritage from their own supposed-messiah: the titular son of Adam.) Others formed new radical factions and planned further violence against Rome. More still were left totally dispirited and apathetic.

The orthodox Christian tradition makes no mention of Barabbas’ involvement in God’s plan beyond this depressing end state. For us among the elect few, let it be known that the truth is far more complicated, for the Lord had always intended that Barabbas and Mary would enmesh in the first Human Syzygy after His passing. During the judgement of the masses, Jesus had pointed out Mary Magdalene to Barabbas and said “Man, behold your wife.” Then He turned to Mary’s gaze and said the words “Woman, behold your husband,” while pointing to Barabbas. The Lord’s beloved disciple was horrified by His intentions, but resigned herself to them without protest. However, her new counterpart assumed that he was to be made financially responsible for his rival’s own soon-to-be widow, and would have no part in it. Barabbas deliberately snubbed Mary’s attempts to speak to him thereafter, which did not endear him to the early apostolic Christians whom she turned to for comfort in his place. He had half a mind to have Mary stoned as an temptress like Helen before her, should she press the claim.

Jesus of Nazareth (1977) with Barabbas.

Redemption of the Judeans

E. Mary Magdalene and the Twelve Apostles

Mary Magdalene had been forced into slavery and prostitution early in life, in order to settle her father’s outstanding debts upon his sudden demise. At all times, the lady recited what she could remember of the scriptures in order to keep up her spirits. When salvation did not come, she was even tempted to pray to the foreign gods whose names she’d heard among the clientele. Mary endured this misery for several years before running away and living off her charms and the mercy of others. Eventually, she found herself in the company of Jesus and, impressed by his message of peace and love, begged to be among his disciples. She washed and kissed his feet, and spent the last of her savings on sacred oils to anoint him with. Mary said “forgive me Father for I have sinned,” and confessed that she abandoned her lawful master.

The Lord responded “Thou have only abandoned the false masters of the Earthly dung heap: who must use force, usury and financial manipulations to gain men’s submission, for they cannot command their hearts and minds, nor have they received the authority from above. In thine heart, you have always been loyal to your one true Lord. Join me, my child, and I will see that you are able to achieve your full potential. You have more to offer the world than the pleasures of your flesh; you have the biting wit of Hortensia and the tender heart of Cornelia Africana.”

From then on, Mary Magdalene was the truest disciple of Jesus’ Ministry, as well as His most favored companion. She loved her Savior platonically, romantically, patriotically (as her people’s messiah) and ecclesiastically (as her personal Lord and Benefactor). She loved Him as a daughter loves her father, as a woman loves her man, as a citizen loves a righteous leader and as a human being loves their God. And Jesus loved her especially in return, as much as He allowed Himself to show favoritism to any one of His creations. (For this, Mary was resented by the Twelve, especially Simon Peter who saw her as a threat to his “rightful” place as the hand-picked successor.)

However, it was Simon who first proclaimed that Jesus was the messiah, and for this he was called “Peter:” the rock upon which the church should be built. (For which the disciples were glad at the opportunity to take Mary down a peg, calling attention to her supposed lack of faith. Mary internalizes this as a great personal failure, and overcompensated by always aspiring to be a better student, as a devoted ward strives for the approval of their guardian.)

Mary alone had the gumption to ask “why” and “how” as often as she could, in order to ascertain the full meaning behind the Lord’s every instruction. (For which she was appreciated by Thomas, who wished to seem smarter than he was by pretending to understand everything immediately. Though Simon Peter chose to interpret this as “a shameful lack of intuition” on Mary’s part.)

Mary alone submitted herself to the same rejuvenating exorcisms as the Lord performed for the sick and demented, professing a desire to know the purifying sensation of His touch. (For which she was envied by John, who lacked the courage to ask for the same, but defamed by Simon as “perverting the ascetic purity of the spirit with bodily sensation.”)

Mary alone stripped herself of the cynicism associated with bitter experience, thereby regaining the optimistic faith of innocence. Forever after, she had the kindest heart, the appreciation of a child as well as a paradoxically endowed wisdom beyond her years. She was the perfect recipient of God’s Word and the chosen representative of His Love on Earth. (For which she was admired by Andrew, who was too afraid to express himself sincerely, but derided by Simon as “a typically vain and vapid woman.”)

On the day of the judgement, Mary cried louder for her Lord’s salvation than anyone else in the crowd. (“Even that murderer Barabbas wants nothing to do with her.”) On the day of the crucifixion, Mary wept longer for her Lord’s suffering than any other spectator. (“Virtue-signalling snipe.”) On the day of the resurrection, Mary alone bore the shock of the empty tomb and chose to remain there despite her fear, in vigil for the Great Teacher. (“A boastful show of false piety.”)

This enduring loyalty was rewarded when the Lord appeared before her, bearing the good news of life everlasting. As Mary embraced Jesus, he said to her: “Let go of me, for you now belong to another. I know your love well, and I have loved you in turn. But from now on, you must accept wisdom from other sources than Myself, because I shall not remain in this world for long. I leave you with the Holy Spirit of Sophia, whom you shall obey as you would me. Then you must redeem your husband and bring him into my commission.”

To this, Mary said what would be her final words to the Lord Jesus: “I have followed your teachings in life as my Master. I have broken bread with you as my friend and surrogate family. I have been vulnerable to you as my confidante. I have loved you as my brother in spirit and bridegroom in flesh. I have observed your miracles and bore witness to your truth. I have benefited from your sacrifice as my redeemer. I know you would never do me harm and yet all the same I fear you, Lord. I fear anything that can do what you have the ability to do, or that could create what you have chosen to build. And I fear knowledge as much as ignorance, for its ability to free mankind from the shackles of aimlessness is tempered by a responsibility to do just that.”

Jesus answered: “You have just recited the root of all wisdom.” He then consoled Mary of the choice for Simon Peter as His Heir, stating that a hardened man would be better at leading a vulnerable new faith in a weary world…though Mary herself would be better suited towards inspiring a different sort of people than Peter could reach. Then the Lord gave Mary a small white stone, signifying the renewed covenant with a cleansed mankind. (This was to be her only physical keepsake of their time together, and has been called “Man’s Conscience,” “The Stone of Innocence,” and “the Eden Rock.”)

At that, Jesus passed Mary Magdalene into the care of Sophia, who is the Bringer of Knowledge and Wisdom. Mary was the first to be baptized in Her sacred flame, bore witness to the revelation of truth and returned to the exact spot she had left as though no time had passed, although Jesus and Sophia were now gone. Disobeying her instructor for the first and only time, she first went to the apostles to proclaim the vision, hoping to share her jubilation with a receptive audience. For in spite of it all, Mary loved everyone whom Jesus could find in Himself to love, and needed the safety of male companionship in a dangerous world besides. Unfortunately, the disciples refused to accept her version of events.

Thomas–who always recognized Mary’s pointed intelligence–was her sole defender at first, until the mocking epithet “Gullible Thomas” stifled his nerve. Simon Peter demanded to know why Jesus should bless Mary, a lowly woman of no standing, with such profound insight. She tried to profess that Earthly indicators of worth would be cleansed in equality and equanimity with the coming Singularity of God. To which Simon reminded her of his own positions as Pope and Peter, which Jesus Himself had saw fit to bestow. (“Is the Lord’s own given so irrelevant as to be swept up in your charade?”) It was presumed that Mary must have exaggerated her experiences for attention, “as all women tend towards hysteria,” and they payed her no further mind. Upon Mary’s tearful withdrawal, the sensitive Andrew–who had always recognized Mary’s immense character–lamented the folly of his own attraction. (“Perhaps, as the Good Lord says, it’s simply better to pluck out the eye than be led astray by shallow beauty.”)

Of course, we of the elect few know this to be nonsense, and furthermore we know the Twelve received no special instruction simply because of their own lack of intellectual curiosity. For if they had only asked “why” once in awhile, as their most gentle and thoughtful counterpart had done so many times before, they too would have been shown the full truth beyond what was necessary for salvation alone. Now, in this final opportunity to learn God’s of full glory, the stubborn apostles let their jealousy of Mary cloud their better judgement. Nevertheless, Peter and company rose to the occasion and served the Lord well in their own way. They preached the gospel accurately as they knew it, and defended the values with which they had sincerely associated their God. In the end of time, as the truth revealed itself to the doubters and faithful alike, the twelve would finally appreciate the beauty they had denied themselves from knowing all those years ago.

Jesus rejects Mary’s touch.

F. Mary Magdalene and Judas Iscariot

Dispirited and without anywhere else to turn, Mary considered her prospects with Barabbas. This was the first time in which she had ever questioned the Lord’s instruction, despite everything, because she feared Barabbas just that much. He had looked upon her with such contempt at the judgement, and was an infamous renegade for nearly as long as she could remember. Among the followers of Jesus, Barabbas was even said to have celebrated the crucifixion of his scapegoat with a drunken binge of debauchery. Mary worried for her well-being if he should be even half as dangerous as the reputation that preceded him. Desperate, she sought out the traitor Judas Iscariot instead, reasoning that his redemption through her love might be a suitable replacement for disobeying the Lord’s will.

Mary spent the remainder of the day piecing together what had happened to the betrayer of her great love. She knew Judas himself had been vaguely associated with Barabbas, making the latter’s escape at Jesus’ expense somehow all the more bitter. She knew of the thirty pieces of silver offered to him as an improvised reward by the most antagonistic members of the Sanhedrin. She knew that soon after, Judas had been overcome with remorse and begged to speak on Jesus’ behalf at the hearing, but was denied entry. (Sometimes, while we may sincerely regret hurting others, it’s already too late to undo the damage we’ve caused. This is why foresight and restraint are so important.) By sundown, she had even found the body. For in his final act, Judas forfeited a life of shameful regrets in favor of a long rope and short drop. From a lonely tree he sway, above the misbegotten silver he’d stained with the blood of his own Lord. He remained there for three days until a beleaguered landlord finally cut him down. The man abandoned Judas’ corpse to the sheol, unaware of the hallowed specter of tragedy he had disturbed.

Upon viewing the ignominious resting place of this man, who had taken so much from her personally and from the world, whose deception had tainted her Lord’s own church, Mary could feel nothing but empathy. For whatever else he had been, Judas was chosen by God the All-Knowing to be among them, he had shared many a genuine moment with his Lord, and he loved his country wholeheartedly. Judas had been caught between what he perceived as two irreconcilable masters in a trying age and choose the wrong path. As is the source of most heartbreak in the world, along with miscommunication. He acted out of a misguided sense of patriotism, rather than malice or greed as the Twelve would accuse their former member of in their sermons. Later in life, Mary preserved his story as The Testament of Judas, wherein the titular protagonist presents his case to the archangel Geno and is taken up by God along a Star Road. She then gave the wretched man a proper burial, emphasizing the Lord’s forgiveness for us all in her funeral oration, and continued on.

Testament, in this case, is a reference to a scant, obscure genre of Biblical/Apocryphal texts. The only two I’m aware of are the Testament of Adam and Testament of Job. Both involve the titular patriarchs getting their affairs in order as death approaches, and involve interactions with the archangels, usually Gabriel.

G. Mary Magdalene and Pontius Pilate

Mary finally intended to seek Barabbas, for she had seen through Judas’ fate the folly of choosing another path than that which had been set by above. However, she was soon apprehended by minions of Pilate and taken before him. The prefect had noticed Jesus signalling to herself and Barabbas during the judgement and, fearing some kind of conspiracy, demanded an explanation. When Mary informed him of the intended union between herself and Barabbas, the otherwise ornery Roman displayed a rare moment of concern, and counseled her to caution.

“Do you know your benevolent companion has trusted you in the arms of heartless assassin?” asked Pilate.

“I only know where my Lord has placed me, and that His will is law.” answered Mary. “Was this other man quite so dangerous then, when you released him to the public in place of my beloved, whom we all know to be peaceful? And you called it ‘justice,’ did you not?”

Pilate could have smacked Mary across the face for such insolence, yet her rebuke was fair as he himself had known all along. For Pilate wished that all his subjects might be so passive and preoccupied with supernatural fantasies as Jesus of Nazareth had been. He perceived such promises as “the meek shall inherit the Earth” to be an effective opium for the masses, who would otherwise demand retribution in this lifetime. When Pilate looked upon the face of his victim’s chief admirer now, her sanguine demeanor undiminished even by such trauma, he felt sorrow. Pilate imagined her, alone in the world and with the chaos of the province just begging for more collateral damage. He considered then that the second most effective neutralizing force for an impassioned zealot like Barabbas might be a nubile and devoted young woman such as this.

Pilate invited Mary to stay the night as his guest, promising that if her mind was still made up, he would escort her to Barabbas in the morning. (Despite honoring the Passover custom, Pilate did not intend to let Barabbas carry out any more terrorist attacks and was having the man watched at all times since the judgement.) For much of the evening, Pilate felt the need to explain himself to Mary so that she might ease his guilt. The gruff Roman executive pleaded his innocence to a lowly Jewess, who by all rights should have been groveling at his feet. Pilate emphasized that he had petitioned Herod Antipas to prevent the execution and when that failed, gave Jesus a chance with the tender mercy of the crowds.

Mary politely reminded her host that the second kind of evil men are those who do nothing on the behalf of good. Once more, Pilate’s first instinct was to forcibly silence his insubordinate critic, and then he looked into Mary’s eyes again. There he saw no trace of hostility, only inconvenient truth leading towards a promise of redemption. Pontius recognized his anger towards her as misdirected frustration in himself for his fecklessness. Then he contemplated the true magnitude of his error, a piece of it standing in front of him, for he had taken the light of someone else’s life away. Pilate considered what he was about to do in smacking Mary, and the scores of other men who would treat her even worse without a second thought, now that she was without a protector. Only then did Pilate appreciate the desperation Mary must be in to seek out a man like Barabbas, how unsafe and miserable most of the people under his own charge must be. For the first time in his professional career, Pilate understood how truly impotent he was even as a magistrate, and how negative his impact on the world had been up to that point. He wept, before a woman no less, at the dismal plight of himself and all humanity.

To drive the lesson in even further, Pilate found that when he handled Mary’s stone that it suddenly changed into a tarnished black color. “How could that be so?” he cried “I’ve only just washed my hands!” (The stone returned to white with Mary’s touch, for her deeds were pure and her conscience clean.)

Mary explained that the stone had been purified to white through Jesus dying on our behalf and thereby demonstrating the folly of man’s corrupt institutions. Her grasp made whited it anew. Pilate ascertained that his touch must be tainted by some inner flaw of his own and humbled himself before Mary. In return, she raised the man back to his feet and asked what had happened to the soldier known as Longinus, who put the Lord out of His suffering in an act of mercy. Pilate answered that he had forfeited his position in disgust at the treatment of an innocent man, and was to be recalled to Rome in a court martial for treason. Pilate promised to petition on Longinus’ behalf, despite the possible repercussions to his own career.

Mary healed Pilate’s three children, of whom one had been afflicted with blindness, the second with deafness and the third with mutism. In return, Pilate had one of his scribes take down a rough outline of Mary’s vision, supplied her with provisions and (unbeknownst to Mary) viciously persecuted all forms of Christianity in the coming years that conflicted with Mary’s own sect. It was because of this same enthusiastic involvement in the internal religious affairs of the Jews that Pilate was ultimately recalled in his own disciplinary hearing. Unfortunately, the emperor Tiberius died before he arrived, so Pontius Pilate faced down the wrath of Caligula instead. Upon learning of his underling’s conversion to the faith of a Jewish heresy, the sadistic young Caesar set in motion events which he hoped would destroy this new religion once and for all…

Pilate is one of the most prolific characters of New Testament apocrypha, surprisingly enough.

H. The Gaean Syzygy

The next day, Pilate made good on his promise to take Mary to Barabbas. To a sworn enemy of Rome such as Barabbas, this must have appeared as though Mary were betraying his position or coming to enforce their “marriage.” He would have had every reason to expect ill-intent from his visitors, and surely Pilate himself expected trouble. Mary, however, had long since shed her skepticism and came with an open heart. It took every ounce of restraint for Pilate to refrain from killing this man, whose actions had caused him nothing but grief as governor of Judea. And certainly in an earlier time Barabbas would not have hesitated to kill his great enemy, who was unguarded and his physical inferior. Yet when he saw Mary approach, Barabbas immediately threw himself at her feet and expressed sorrow for her loss.

“I know what it’s like to lose one’s purpose for living. I am sorry you had to lose yours so I could wander aimlessly in my miserable solitude,” Barabbas said. “It would have been better if I had died a martyr against Roman despotism and your Jesus continued to make people happy on the home-front of the war.”

“He is your Jesus too, Barabbas, and I hope to be his instrument in guiding you through a new calling in life. One beyond the endless feuds and grudges on behalf of nation-states, that which grinds away individual lives in their endless politicking. I say to you there is no subject more justified in God’s Eye than that of an individual sapient mind. People are that which is the egg of infinite possibilities, where institutions are doomed to stagnate themselves and subjugate people in their wake. Do not give Jerusalem nor any other flawed organization of man your whole identity, Barabbas,” said Mary.

Pilate, to test the character of this man whom he must now trust with such an esteemed charge as Mary, or perhaps to diminish his new competition in the lady’s eyes before it was too late, suggested she give the criminal her stone. Mary handed the sacred relic to the man and in his hands it neither remained whited nor tarnished–it glowed. In its space, Barabbas saw a translucent embryo containing his younger self and he watched it grow from a whelp to a warrior. He saw the alternate choice of every decision he could have ever made play itself out, realizing for the first time how often he tended towards spite and violence when happier options presented themselves. There might have been several different wives and sets of children n Barabbas’ life by now, had he not devoted himself so completely to the cause of revenge. He saw his hypothetical counterparts light up as their families woke them up every morning, he saw what it meant to be the light of someone else’s eyes. Barabbas had been correct to feel distraught over the state of the world, but he took his frustrations out on the wrong monolithic group and neglected his own emotional needs in the process. Many of his grievances, like diminished capacity to feel and offer physical love as the result of his circumcision, should have actually been directed towards his own homeland.

In his right ear, Barabbas heard the voice of Jesus saying “Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also; if we love each other, God remains in us and His love is made perfect in us.” In his left, he heard the gentle rebuke of his past colleague and future student (Basilides, disciple of John the Baptist) saying “Barabbas, the most revolutionary and imaginative act has always been that of falling in love; a devoted woman can improve every aspect of your life.” He broke the spell by calling out to Mary. “Woman, I have no great ecclesiastical calling, nor a particularly honorable past. I’m not sure I can consider myself worthy of your company. But I am strong and passionate, in need of a new mission to devote these talents to. I hate to imagine you traveling alone with a controversial doctrine in this weary world. I find myself flattered that your old teacher saw something in me that was fit for the task of your escort. So, if you should have me, I will be yours. I do not know which road takes me to the most beneficial destination in the end, but from where I stand now, it seems to me the best of them trend towards the general direction of love. I’d like to start with you.”

Mary agreed and Pilate encouraged the two to evacuate the province of Judea for a time, until the after-effects of the crucifixion had sufficiently blown over.

Barabbas had never been a romantic man; he always focused his energies on how to use the current religious fanaticism to fuel mass revolutionary fervor against Rome. He did not learn to appreciate the good person he had been blessed with until Mary returned to him on Easter Monday. There, with nothing to lose and everything to gain by accepting responsibility for someone worthier than himself, Barabbas threw down his long-held agendas and devoted his efforts to an innocent’s well-being. (As his own false idol had done before him, in protecting the moonchild archetype.) Mary Magdalene was his second chance at meaning in a world that had thus far shown him nothing but madness.

With Mary’s devotion, for the first time in his life, the hardened zealot had known the true value of tenderness. Through her gospel, he learned the profound forgiveness of the Lord and practiced it towards his longstanding enemies. He who had been Barabbas the Bastard, the Brute and Brigand became Barabbas the Brave, the Benevolent and Father of All Believers. For he was not only Mary’s bridegroom, but her first convert into Gnostic-Christianity. Theirs was the prime and preeminent syzygy there ever were or would ever be, among all the history of mankind.

…Meanwhile all Barabbas got is this crappy movie.

Visions of the Celestials

I. The Cetan Syzygy

Mary and Barabbas spent the next forty days and nights traveling to Sinai, so that they could renew their covenant at the exact spot where Moses took down the law of God. Mary, who had been instructed in such matters by Jesus Himself, fed her new companion the sacred mushrooms said to grow only on Mount Horeb. It was her intention that Barabbas should see the divine revelations for himself, so that he too would believe in the mission of Christ. Their consciousness expanded and each experienced their own individualized vision of Heaven, designed to teach them exactly what they needed to know.

For Mary, this second vision continued on from where her first had left off. She was shepherded by a Great Eagle to the fourteenth zodiac known as Cetus, Joshua’s own whale, whose Aeonic syzygy was comprised of Ganymede and Desdemona the Moonchild. (The latter was too shy to appear before her at this time, and the former was flanked by the goat Amalthea in her place.) They were Asherah made Spirit and Flesh, respectively, and represented God’s personifications of Humility and Purity. They were both the counterparts of Sophia and Christ, who in turn are Jehovah made of Spirit and Flesh, respectively, and represented God’s personifications of Wisdom and Courage. Jehovah and Asherah were deities of Father and Mother, the personified Order and Mercy. Together the six personalities of God are collectively mere refractions of Elohim, who represents Perfection.

Then Elohim split the Sun and Moon to create the divine Yin and Yang, masculinity and femininity, complementary opposites operating in a binary logic. Sophia split the Archon Mercury and from it came the creative spark allowing humans to make and appreciate art. Desdemona split the Archon Venus and from it came the athletic spark allowing humans to focus their aggressive tendencies into harmless athletic competition. Jesus split the Archon Mars and from it came the familial spark allowing humans to recognize others as an extension of themselves, giving us a strive for peace. Asherah split the Archon Jupiter and from it a parade of 12 animals came out. Jehovah split the Archon Saturn and from it a parade of 27 plants and fungi came out.

Then Ganymede said “I am the columnated ruins domino; I am the speaker for the trees; I am the cleansing waters; I am the workers of the world; I am the legacy of Prometheus; I am the Saturnalic Egalitarianism; I am the Great Canvas.” And He took the milk of Ambrosia and placed it in his chalice along with the whale of Cetus, swallowing the mixture in a single swig. His head then split open and nine Muses sprang directly from His mind. Each imparted a bit of wisdom to their astonished guest:

  1. Calliope, who inspires epic poetry, said this: In every age of mankind besides the Serpentarian, the reigning Aeons produce five proactive angels known as the Seraphim, who provide strength and guidance to their generation of prophets. With 12 successive ages there were 60 Seraphim in total, the Babylonian number of completion, and they occupied the Northern Cross asterism.

  2. Clio, who inspires historical analysis, said this: The current generation of Seraphim are known as Gabriel (Amoghasiddhi) of the North and Winter, Auriel (Ratnasambhava) of the South and Summer, Raphael (Akṣobhya) of the East and Autumn, Michael (Amitābha) of the West and Spring, along with Phanuel (Vairocana) of the Center and Balance. They embodied the elements of Water, Fire, Air, Earth and Aether respectively.

  3. Euterpe, who inspires music, said this: The Seraphim ride with the wind ever at their backs, with Gabriel commanding Boreas, Michael commanding Zephyrus, Auriel commanding Notus, Raphael commanding Eurus and Phanuel commanding Aeolus. They rode a Black Island-Turtle (Gabriel), Azure Dragon (Raphael), Vermilion Phoenix (Auriel), White Tiger-Bear (Michael) and a Golden Serpent (Phanuel).

  4. Terpsichore, who inspires dancing, said this: Gabriel brings Midnight and the Winter Solstice. Auriel brings Noon and the Summer Solstice. Michael brings the March Equinox and Dawn. Raphael brings the September Equinox and Dusk. Phanuel brings the Lunar and Solar Eclipses, thereby demonstrating that despite the times where we feel God has abandoned us, They remain watchful.

  5. Erato, who inspires romantic poetry, said this: The Seraphim of Leo were called: Adonai, Sabaoth, Azrael, Raguel and Raziel. Those of Cancer were called: Camael, Jophiel, Zadkiel, Anael and Simiel. Those of Gemini were: Oriphiel, Cecitiel, Oriel, Ananiel and Marmoniel. Those of Taurus were: Selaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel, Jerahmiel and Izidkiel. Of Aries were: Hanael, Kepharel, Suriel, Sedakiel and Sarathiel.

  6. Thalia, who inspires comedy, said this: The first set of Seraphim attempted to interfere directly with mankind by giving birth to the sixth generation of Celestials known as the Cherubim, of which there were six. Unlike their predecessors, who allowed free will and merely offered counsel to mankind, these creatures attempted to force man’s submission to God’s will. They had four faces like a lion, ox, man and eagle. God recalled them to Heaven to be Their direct attendants, where they’ve remained since.

  7. Melpomene, who inspires tragedy, said this: At least two of the Cherubim mated with mortal men and created a race of Nephilim, the fallen and banished generation of Celestials. These creatures were so far removed from God’s will that they knew nothing of the divine plan. They merely sought to use their giant stature to dominate men for their own designs. God had them destroyed in the Great Flood, signifying that all institutions require a refocusing and renewal every so often. Nephilim, or angels reaching down to interfere on Earth is bad, but Tzadikim, people reaching up to be closer to Heaven, is ideal.

  8. Polyhymnia, who inspires religious hymns, said this: The Nephilim had seven heads representing the follies of man. A heifer for gluttony, a crocodile for sloth, a peacock for pride, a bedbug for lust, a slug for envy, a boar for greed and a tyrannosaurus for wrath. While God definitively proved their fallibility, many among man still chose to worship at the altar of Nephilim, simply because the qualities they personified were easier to conform to than God’s higher calling.

  9. Urania, who inspires astronomy, said this: Gabriel carried a quill pen and book of law, at his feet were a fasces of state authority which he had rejected. In this way, he protected the rights and dignities of all honest citizens from tyrannical abuse. Michael carried a caduceus and vial of healing tonic, with an Athenian helmet granting invisibility. In this way, he visited those in need of rejuvenation and exorcised demons. Raphael carried a sling like David as well as a globe, and on his back he bore a quiver of light. In this way, he flung shooting stars across the night sky. Auriel carried a flaming sword and shield which absorbed blows with quakes of thunder. His armor bore the symbol of the pleroma, and with these instruments he guarded Eden. Phanuel carried a prism and a telescope, but at his feet lay an anchor that chained his legs together. In this way, he empathized with man’s plight at only indirectly experiencing God on Earth.

Mary received a vision of the 7 Pleiades as 7 rivers (Tigris-Euphrates, Nile, Yellow, Tiber, Indus, Mississippi, Amazon) and the 5 Hyades as 5 seas (Mediterranean, Black, Red, Persian, Caspian) and the 5 Oreads as 5 mountain ranges (Urals, Alps, Caucasus, Himalayas, Carpathians) and the 7 Hesperides as 7 great cities (Rome, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Beijing, Carthage, Athens, Ctesiphon) to which she must spread this evangel.

God encouraged her in this mission by stating: “Woman, you are the cherished companion of a worthy man, in the tradition of Hannah before you and Khadija to come. You are the prophetic warrior who is, as Deborah was and Aisha will be. You are the great beauty, like Esther of past and Fatima of future.”

Mary dared to question the word of God: “How could I be a warrior as a woman? I’ve never even held a sword, Dear Father!”

And God answered: “My child, ye shall conquer the Roman Empire without firing a single bolt.”

J. The Apocalypse of Barabbas

Barabbas saw himself surrounded by the 36 Deacons of Egyptian astrology, icons that were familiar to him from his earlier pilgrimage on behalf of John the Baptist. Within each Deacon there were a pair of angels (72 total) known as the Malakim, or Divine Messengers. From the Deacons, Barabbas learned the 36 true parables of our Lord Jesus, most of which he had never heard before and none of which had he taken seriously at the time. Each of the Deacons produced 100 offspring per syzygy (3,600 total) known as the Ishim. They in turn expanded their numbers a further 3,600-fold to make 12,960,000 Nymphs. (These Nymphs, like their Cherubim equivalents, were recalled to Heaven and became the stars of Jehovah’s central galaxy.)

The names of the 72 Malakim are as follows: Aletheia, Mixis, Ageratos, Henosis, Hedone, Akinetos, Synkrasis, Monogenes, Makaria, Parakletos, Pistis, Patrikos, Elpis, Metrikos, Ainos, Synesis, Theletos, Sermo, Vita, Autophyes, Stauros, Caen, Akhana, Micheus, Michar, Mnesinous, Barpharanges, Seldao, Elenos, Zogenethlos, Mirothea, Harmozel, Oroiael, Daveithe, Eleleth, Plesithea, Thalo, Auxo, Carpo, Eunomia, Pravuil, Eirene, Jehoel, Damia, Pherusa, Euporie, Orthosie, Jeu, Theros, Kheimon, Phthinoporon, Charis, Seraphiel, Sandalphon, Cassiel, Authrounios, Mesembria, Sige, Horos, Pepromene, Ericapaeus, Aesa, Ananke, Heimarmene, Dionedis, Eudora, Hadraniel, Pahaliah, Kerubiel, Adrasteia, Iris, and Chavakiah.

The 36 True Parables: Barren Fig Tree, Counting the Cost, Drawing in the Net, Faithful Servant, Good Samaritan, Good Shepherd, Hidden Treasure, Hidden Lamp, Mote and Beam, Lost Coin, Mustard Seed, Rich Man and Lazarus, New Wine into Old Wineskins, Growing Seed, Pharisee and Publican, Prodigal Son, Rich Fool, Sower, Tares, Talents, Ten Virgins, True Vine, Tree and its Fruits, Two Debtors, Great Banquet, Unforgiving Servant, Wedding Feast, Wicked Husbandmen, Wise and Foolish Builders, Two Sons, Workers in the Vineyard, Empty Jar, Assassin, Sheep and Goats, Grain of Wheat, Palm Shoot. (These are recorded in the 5 Gospels and Secret Book of James.)

The names of the 36 Deacons are: Raux, Mensour, Carexon, Gisan, Iudal, Rhomenos, Sphandor, Vaspan, Parquia, Sotheir, Catarno, Chnouphos, Jarea, Leroel, Hayas, Athoum, Bethapen, Modobel, Zercuris, Nephthimes, Alath, Audameoth, Oustichos, Alleinac, Sebos, Enautha, Chthisar, Harpax, Epitek, Alleborith, Tonghel, Ichthion, Simos, Tetimo, Larvata, Ajaras.

At the end, the Six Personalities of God appeared to him: Jehovah was the Reason, Asherah was the Reflection, Sophia was the Mind, Ganymede was the Thought, Jesus was the Voice and Desdemona was the Name. Together they formed Elohim, the Boundless Power. Before this almighty presence, Barabbas’s true form was that of a black cat, symbol of misfortune, and caked in the blood of his victims. Asherah sensed his disbelief, for Barabbas had been raised to see her as a heretical false-god. She said to him: “I am the thread of navigation in a darkened labyrinth; I am the three coins of prophecy; I am the 30 Charities; I am the 300 Naiads; I am the Great Light of which Mani speaks.”

Upon seeing the full glory of God, Barabbas begged for mercy: “Forgive me my Lord, if I have offended thee by preaching the doctrines of false gods. I did it to ease the plight of your chosen people on Earth, I did what I did to lessen the yoke of Roman oppression! And yet, before you now in Heaven…suddenly the affairs of mortal polities seem so insignificant. I feel as though I have wasted my efforts preaching useful falsehoods instead of inconvenient and unpopular truths.”

The Lord answered: “Barabbas, what offends Us here in the Highest is not that you have spread the names of false gods; for all the good done in the name of any master has also been done in service of Us. What We appreciate most from Our children is the spreading of happiness, love and friendship, as you have shown to Mary. We do not ask anyone on Earth to know the full scope of that which is incomprehensible. Where you have slandered Us is in the deceptive nature of your previous endeavors. For you did not spread the doctrine of Mithras nor Immanuel out of a genuine desire to seek the truth as you were capable of knowing it, nor to bring comfort to your fellow men in a troubled time. You spread blasphemy with intent to cause violence and upheaval for your own secular benefit. You projected your own lust for revenge onto Us, and committed atrocities in Our name. That is the source of your error. And what punishment did ye yourself claim is befitting for blasphemers and fair-weather servants? To the sheol with them, did you not say? Have you the courage to face the very same judgement which you have dealt onto others?”

Barabbas saw the mangled corpse of Helen and the disgraceful burial he had given Simon. He heard the words of the Lord saying “He among you who is without sin, may he cast the first stone,” and felt deeply ashamed. He saw the face of the young sentry whom he had slain, inexperienced and trying so hard to hide his fear, clearly in over his head. A misguided boy caught up in a system he had no part in creating, no power to undo, something he joined merely as a way to earn a living and follow in the expectations of his people. Barabbas watched the man’s life play out before his eyes, that which he had taken away without regard to the suffering it would cause to family, friends and onlookers alike. Barabbas saw in this Roman the same capacity for love, piety, service and joy as himself or any Hebrew. The condemned man wept and prostrated himself before the Lord.

“What’s happened cannot be undone. Yet you can still move on from this day and spread love and forgiveness to others, as We have shown you in turn. You must endure your grief, carry it as the burden of your misdeeds, use it as inspiration to live a more benevolent life from now on. Make the most of your time on Earth for the sake of your victim, leave the world in some way better than you found it, and sin no more.”

Desdemona and Ganymede introduced the Seraphim as they had to Mary. Then Jesus turned into a snake and crawled into Sophia’s womb, which expanded until it burst open and nine additional Muses walked out. Each imparted a bit of wisdom to their astonished guest:

  1. Aoide, of romance, said this: God is a multi-cellular organism, in which all living things are Their cells. You are individuals, yet still part of a greater whole, like the stars in the night sky. God is monotheistic as the Singularity–the beginning and end state of the Universe. God is dualistic as the syzygy of male and female–the union of Jehovah and Asherah. God is trinitarian as the fusion of deity, spirit and flesh–the components within the Two Halves. God is polytheistic as the hierarchy of angels–the complex system by which Their will becomes law on Earth and in Heaven. God is pantheistic as the emanation of all things–the Matrix of Their divine equation.

  2. Melete, of laughter, said this: Asherah is the Three Pure Ones of Jade, Grande and Supreme. Jehovah is the Sanxing of Fortune, Prosperity and Longevity. Elohim is the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Together, Jehovah and Asherah are also the Yin and Yang, the King Father of the East and Queen Mother of the West, the Immortals of Harmony and Union. This is how They have made themselves known to the Far East.

  3. Cephisso, of heroism, said this: Elohim is all-present and They are the Purple Forbidden enclosure. Jehovah is all-knowing and He is the Heavenly Market enclosure. Asherah is all-loving and She is the Supreme Palace enclosure. Elohim is the Soul, and the Three Graces known as Aglaea, Euphrosyne, and Peitho. Jehovah is the Brain, and the Three Daughters known as Al-Lat, Manat and Al-Uzza. Asherah is the Heart, and the Three Sons known as Semen, Salamex and Arme. This is how They made themselves known to the Continental Crossroads.

  4. Mneme, of righteous fury, said this: God has three identities as the Infinity (who is Jehovah), the Zero (who is Asherah) and the Infinitesimal (who is sapience). Jehovah is Orpheus, Helios and Erebus–the hero of men, the guidance of sun and the peace of night. Asherah is Persephone, Selene and Hemera–bringer of order to Hell, child of chaos who brings stability on Earth, and bringer of light in darkness. Mankind is Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos–birth/inherited legacy, communal footprint and death/earned legacy. This is how They made themselves known to the Far West.

  5. Nete, of compassion, said this: Humanity is like a great mob of people, funneled into a series of narrow, winding corridors, with every individual selfishly seeking a way out yet collectively impairing each others’ progress. Along both sides of the maze are an infinite series of doors, each requiring a key to open. Every person holds their own unique key and must find the door through which they can escape, but the throngs of distressed crowds prevent them from taking the time to find their own door. If they were patient and worked together they would all be saved, but their short-sighted greed dooms them all.

  6. Mese, of aversion, said this: There are to be seven rays of light in the world, the distillation of God’s pure whited brilliance. Mary is the ray of wisdom and Barabbas is peace. Five additional figures known as the Luminaries, whom the muse promised would be introduced in future visions, were the rays of truth, purity, love, freedom and power. (Respective to the order of their forthcoming appearances.) In the end of time, these seven shall become the Amesha Spentas, and join the hierarchy of angels as the bridge between mankind and divinity in Heaven.

  7. Borysthenis, of tranquility, said this: God’s throne is comprised of a Great Curule Seat made from Platinum, that was called Bythos. Behind Them was a Golden Owl-shaped furnace called Omnis powering the stars. In front of Them was a Silver Wolf-shaped trough called Outis whose teats suckled the planets. To Their left was a Bronze Bull-shaped kiln called Gehenna reforging the souls of the wicked. To Their right was a Marble Lamb-shaped statue called Nirvana whose original white color was darkened by the sins it had absorbed. These ornaments were surrounded by a perimeter of 5,040 Iron Globus Crucigers called the Erelim, which represented all the inhabited worlds. God’s Titanium Chariot, called Proarche, was carried by the 216 Ophanim. This vehicle encircled the perimeter and would ride into victory at the end of the all things.

  8. Hypate, of horror, said this: Where Jehovah resides at the center of the Universe, Asherah’s domain is the Infinite Corridor which encircles it. There She guards the boundary between the physical and divine realms, as well as the borders between our Universe and all others in the Multiverse.

  9. Apollonis, of wonder, said this: The dark cloud constellations, the appearance of shapes in the absence of stars, represent the falsehoods which wicked or misguided men have invented to turn others away from God’s truth. This personified metaphor for blasphemy is known as Kneph, and its three personas are: Machacuay (the satanic shadow-viper), Chnoubis (the demiurge false-god) and Erathoth (the bringer of death and decay). This creature spawns 12 demonic syzygies to counter the Aeonic zodiac of the true God, though they will ultimately be defeated. The False Syzygies are: Abaddon, Paraplex, Samael, Saklas, Valefar, Nebro, Carcamenos, Hecate, Ariouth, Iachtanabas, Abrisene and Eris.

Barabbas saw the 10 generations of angelic hierarchy, who are collectively known as the Celestials, (Thrones, Muses, Ophanim, Erelim, Aeons, Malakim, Seraphim, Ishim, Cherubim and Nymphs) as the 10 sets of children produced from 10 syzygies of successive forms of Jehovah and Asherah. Jehovah’s forms were collectively known as Dashavatara (incarnations) and they were called: Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Balarama, Krishna and Kalki. Asherah’s forms were collectively known as Mahavidya (lessons) and they were called: Kali, Tara, Tripura Sundari, Bhuvaneshvari, Chhinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala.

At the end of time, the most worthy of the Tzadikim were reincarnated as the 24 Elders of the Apocalypse (Tirthankaras), each bearing a Greek letter on their chest. They wore crowns with three rays each, bearing three different numbers from 1 to 72. In this way, Barabbas was able to ascertain the hidden 72-letter name of God, though he dare not speak it aloud nor write it down. The 12 false syzygies (see above) and their wicked 24 demons (see below) burned away like bits of paper to a flame in the face of this awesome power.

God said to Barabbas: “Man, you are the repentant protector of an intelligent woman, in the tradition of Joseph before you and Ali to come. You are the law-giver who is, as Moses was and Muhammad shall be. You are the great strength, like David who’s dead and Khalid who’s not been born.”

Barabbas protested: “I am not worthy of the honor, Lord, not after all the crimes I have committed against you and my fellow man!”

God answered: “Then rise to the calling I have set and make yourself worthy. My Son died for you–you, more directly than any person in fact–not to wallow in self-pity but to make the most of the extra time you have been given!”

And Barabbas did just that. For this, his circumcised genitals were healed. He was a full man again, like Adam, before the misguided dogmas and bitterness of his people had led them astray. Barabbas was to be the renewal of man’s dignity.

The nine muses.

K. The Reconciliation of Mary and Barabbas

Mary and Barabbas, separated only by a few feet physically yet many worlds away in spirit, joined together now in Heaven as bridge and groom, and consummated the first sacrament of the bridal chamber. Jesus’ heart, which had been protected in life by a set of 24 ribs, now found itself hampered in its growth by them. It expanded outward and punctured through the ribs before ensconcing the entire universe, signifying the insignificance of the flesh in Heaven. The ribs represented the demons which plague mortal men but have no power in Heaven. Their names are as follows:

Nergal (adversity), Stilbon (complacency), Paimon (deception), Asmodeus (lust), Mammon (greed), Mastema (manipulation), Chemosh (hubris), Moloch (depression), Nybbas (shame), Dagon (sanctimoniousness), Eiseth (obsession), Samyaza (exploitation), Belphagor (sloth), Astaroth (vanity), Dantalion (spite), Andromalius (intolerance), Alastor (jealousy), Eurynome (cowardice), Azazel (pride), Nisroch (cruelty), Baphomet (conformity), Belial (rage), Adrammelech (anxiety) and Mephistopheles (death). Mephistopheles is the one who was broken even on Earth, when Longinus stabbed Jesus’ abdomen.

They saw the world falling at great speed from the very height of the empyrean, and it was caught by the 60 (who were the Seraphim) which coalesced into the Twelve and raised it higher (the Aeonic syzygies) which coalesced further into the Six and raised it higher again (the personalities of God) which coalesced further into the Two who raised it higher still (the yin and yang) and finally into the One who raised it above their head to the top of all things. In this way, God fully redeemed the world and merged it with Heaven. The stars were like the Malakim and their offspring during this process, shining their light on the world in God’s absence. The morning star, chief among them, who is called Charis, directs us always to rise upwards in God’s example. Iris, who is youngest among them, provides the rainbow to remind us of God’s diversity of creation and the promise that none of it shall be harmed again.

Barabbas had the effrontery to ask God why he could not have just made the world perfect from the very beginning. God answered by pulling the pawn that was Barabbas off the chessboard that was the universe and knocking the other pieces over, briefly erasing Mary, John the Baptist and all other people whom Barabbas had ever loved out of existence and his thoughts, as though they had never been born at all. God forced Barabbas to watch for many lifetimes as They sculpted universe after universe, each with unique physical and chemical properties, and in each one the sapient beings who arose from the clay eventually turned corrupt. No matter how God made it, the very principle of free will ensured that sapient life created its own follies. Then God challenged Barabbas to make his own world, from the ground up, that would be perfectly sinless and the man begged forgiveness for his insolent remark. God restored him to the original chessboard of our timeline, reviving everyone whom Barabbas had known in the process, and from there on the man recognized both the true magnitude of God’s power as well as our inescapable folly.

God explained to Barabbas and Mary that with the Multiverse, all things that can happen do happen and every life experiences the full range of moralities in their actions. Barabbas asked how can we be judged if we each live righteous and wicked lives simultaneously. God answered that the Multiverse is the great equalizer in which all men recognize that we are not quite so different, that what we think of as immutable characteristics of ourselves are actually influenced by circumstance, subsequent experience and genetics. All men are therefore equal before the eyes of God, all men deserve reward and punishment. Each of the Twelve Apostles had betrayed Jesus in turn, and each had suffered Mary’s plight of rejection.

To illustrate the concept further, God revealed two other universes where Their own internal composition was different. In our prime universe, there are two Godheads known as the Fascinus (Jehovah, Jesus, Sophia) and the Shekhinah (Asherah, Desdemona, Ganymede) with 3 components in each. These are the Propator (Jehovah, Asherah) and Allogenes (Jesus, Desdemona), whose genders are congruent with each other as well as the Autogenes (Sophia, Ganymede) who, in our universe, have contrasting genders to their two counterparts within each respective Godhead. Elohim showed Mary and Barabbas two universes where the Allogenes and Autogenes displayed the incongruent gender instead. (In these strange realities, Male-Sophia was always known as Yoel, Female-Jesus was always known as Shoshannael, and Female-Jehovah was always known as Protophanes. Female-Ganymede was always known as Zoe, Male-Desdemona as Epesech and Male-Asherah as Kalyptos.) The one constant in all universes was the name and attributes of Elohim.

Mary asked how old God is. Yahweh answered 173,333,333 years. Jesus answered 56,500,000 years. Sophia answered 500,000 years. Asherah answered 156 billion years. Desdemona answered 3 years. Ganymede answered 13 billion years. Elohim was without age entirely.

Then God asked them a question in turn: “What does it mean to be like God?” Barabbas answered it was to be all-powerful. Mary answered it was to be all-knowing. God answered that it was to be be all-loving, able to rise to the calling of forgiveness against all our trespassers as God forgives us all despite our crimes and shortcomings.

Then Mary and Barabbas received the Ark of the Renewed Covenant, also known as the Chest of Sacred Gnosis. It was a box of simple oak, not too ornamented so as to encourage thieves, with intricate designs on all six faces. The top displayed two hexagrams with the symbols of God and the Aeonic Syzygies (see above). The bottom displayed what would come to be called the “penrose diagram” of the Multiverse (see below). The head displayed an ouroboros with an alpha in the center. The foot displayed a crown of thorns with an omega in the center. The two sides contained etchings of the names of the Deacons (right) as well as the Muses and Thrones (left). God commanded them to carry it across the known world, from the rising sun to the setting sun.

Finally, God passed along 43 articles of worship for the atomic number of Technetium, the first and only of the 92 natural elements to be radioactive (by a quirk of nuclear electro-stability). As the faith was bound to decay and corrupt over time due to man’s inherent flaws, pieces of it would nevertheless spread over time and influence others in turn. These articles include the Eight Creeds, Seven Sacraments and Twenty-Eight Prayers which will be discussed at length in the next chapter.

A model for how the multiverse is created and how the individual universes relate to each other. The Penrose diagram.

Didascalia of the Church Commonwealth

L. The Eight Creeds

On the nature of God…

Creed of Space: Elohim is the Universe, the Great Symphony of Strings whose energy powers us all. They were created from the Unity of Jehovah and Asherah, as Elohim created Them in turn, as Alpha and Omega. Jehovah is the Matter and Asherah is the Antimatter, whose explosive copulation produced the Big Bang which is the Source of All Energy. The Universe grows and shrinks from Bang to Expansion to Crunch, constantly giving birth to itself. Jehovah and Asherah are comprised of deity, spirit and flesh. Elohim is comprised of Space, Time and Imagination. From Space, man learns the humility of his insignificant size as a facsimile of the One God.

Creed of Time: Elohim is today, the blissful present, the all-encompassing Singularity of All Things. They are formed from the accumulated experiences of yesterday, the nostalgic past, who is Jehovah the Grandfather of All Knowledge. They are enriched by the hopes and plans of tomorrow, the idyllic future, who is Asherah the Grandmother of All Love. Jehovah is the Father of Greatness as Asherah is the Mother of Goodness. Elohim is Creator and Creation, the Source of Life, the Boundless Potential, the One Who Is. From Time, man learns the humility of his impermanence as a facsimile of the Autogenes’ inevitable singularity.

Creed of Imagination: Elohim is the indecipherable yet ever-perceptible equation, the mathematical laws governing Spacetime. They are powered by the abstractions of Infinity, who is Jehovah and Zero, who is Asherah. The Universe is Their Union, the progeny of Their Elohist Syzygy. The Multiverse is the process by which Jehovah computes all possibilities that can conceivably occur. The multiverse is Asherah desperately attempting to dilute her own powers, those of time’s decay, but even a fraction of infinity is still infinity and corruption of matter is inevitable. From Imagination, man learns the glory of his potential as even a facsimile of the Propator’s creative power.

Creed of Logos: Jesus Christ is the connection between divinity and humanity, where God spoke on Their own behalf and where the pathway to God was revealed. Jesus has 9 Roles and Titles. The Illustrious Word, who existed at the beginning of time. The Son of Man, inheritor of our fallen society in media res, yet lives as His ancestors ought to have done, thus showing the way and shaming our follies. The Son of God, Jehovah made flesh as His sister the Moonchild shall be Daughter of Goddess. The Messiah, who brought men hope and purpose in that weary world. The Suffering Servant, who bore the cost of man’s cruelty so that we might know the way to God. The Redeemer of Creation, who gave mankind a renewed covenant with God. The Living Water and Holy Bread, that nourishes our souls in Heaven. The Brother of All Men, for all may call Him their ally. The Lord for He is the only just ruler of Earth. From the Logos, man learns the glory of his potential as even a facsimile of the Allogenes’ perfect example.

On the nature of Man…

Creed of Ecclesia: There are four components of a person’s consciousness: the Pneumatic Ego (cerebellum, positive urges and perceptions) which connects us to our perceived idealized self-image, our perfect self-conception. Then the Mental Shadow (brainstem, negative urges and perceptions) connects us to lesser creatures and the impulses associated with them, it is our worst self, what we are ashamed of. Then the Psychic Animum (cerebrum, balancing Anima for males, Animus for females) connects us to the opposite sex while the Sophiantic Self (Inner Spark of Life, anima mundi) connects us to our own soul and all others in Heaven. The souls of the sapients were created before the physical world, as the prima materia and stem cells of the universe, and are connected by the actions of Sophia, the Holy Spirit. By understanding the schematics of our brains and minds, we are empowered to know God’s consciousness.

Creed of Nous: There are four circuits of the mind: instinct/Gnome (red cone cells), intuition/Synesis (blue cones), intelligence/Episteme (green cones) and inspiration/Sophia (rod cells). These mediate into a consciousness of Phronesis, which is further influenced by the four circuits of the heart, along an axis of passion (x) and compassion (y): the two together create affection and romance, an absence of compassion leads to resentment and hate, an absence of passion leads to sympathy and pity, an absence of both leads to indifference and apathy. By understanding the manner in which we perceive people, we are empowered to analyze God’s creation.

Creed of Ennoia: There is no philosophical framework to govern the world without logic and the acknowledgement of our flawed perceptions constantly shrouding it. (Knowledge.) There is no legalistic framework to govern society without equanimity and acknowledgement of our selfish nature constantly thwarting it. (Understanding.) There is no moral framework to govern ourselves without humility and acknowledgement of our perpetual lack of it. (Wisdom.) There is no ethical framework to govern others without experience and acknowledgement of its diversity within others which contradicts our own. (Counsel.) There is no practical framework to govern development without sympathy for those who cannot always express themselves and acknowledgement of their ease of exploitation at the hands of others. (Wonder.) There is no religious framework to govern faith without appreciation for its incomprehensible scale and acknowledgement of our limited abilities of expression. (Piety.) By understanding the manner in which we interact with outside elements, we are empowered to appreciate God’s cosmology. (Fortitude.)

Creed of Metanoia: There are 4 inescapable vulnerabilities of the human condition: biological needs, emotional wants, psychological esteem and perceptual biases. In the pursuit of navigating these hindrances, people often let each other down without intending to do harm. Everyone you know will hurt you at some point, just as you will hurt others in turn. Recognize this, minimize it and make amends after the fact if necessary. Repent for your sins and spread good karma, and this can be achieved in the general sense by: (1) giving sustenance to the needy, (2) clothing the naked, (3) sheltering the vulnerable, (4) comforting the desolate, (5) protecting the innocent, (6) burying the dead, (7) instructing the ignorant, (8) counseling the dispirited, (9) forgiving the transgressors, (10) visiting the lonely, (11) aiding the injured and sick, (12) donating our surpluses to charity, as well as (13) treating others as we wish to be treated. By understanding the flaws of ourselves and others, we are empowered to embrace God’s conscience.

A depiction of the pleroma, where the Aeons/Angels reside in most Gnostic cosmologies.

M. The Seven Sacraments

Baptism is the initiation of new converts into the Church, where they repeat the three creeds and adopt a Christian name of their choosing, preferably one with some personal significance. No one shall be baptized without the ability to clearly express consent, though there is no set age limit. The ceremony shall be performed every Fall equinox regardless of the number of applicants. They will be washed with holy water, signifying the cleansing of the soul by the Holy Spirit. This sacrament is associated with the amniotic fluid of the womb.

Communion is to be performed when a member of the Church comes of age (16th birthday) and feels ready to profess their belief before their peers. They must recite the hidden names of God as were revealed to Mary, they read a passage of scripture that has special meaning to them, then providing their own personal exegesis on what it means. At the end of the ceremony, the initiate places their right hand on their heart and outstretches their left to take the hand of a personal sponsor, and they must recite together the pledge of community, companionship and covenant. Then they shall consume the bread and wine of Christ’s table as a member of the family. This sacrament is associated with the blood of our Savior, who shed it so we might have peace on Earth as well as Heaven.

The Morian Games shall be performed every year at the summer solstice among all who have partaken in Communion. These shall comprise of friendly competition in various physical activities to celebrate the joy of competing and health. The games shall consist of individual sports, specifically: wrestling, chariot racing, foot races, swimming, javelin throwing, discus throwing, and the long jump. (Other events may be included if the participants wish it.) The prizes for first place at these events shall be: Celery Garland, Olive Garland, Laurel Garland, Polos Garland, Grass Garland, Oak Garland, and a Pine Garland respectively. Finally there will be a series of poetry and music competitions, the champion of which shall walk away with a Garland of Thorns. This sacrament is associated with sweat.

The Bridal Chamber shall represent the celebration of matrimonial syzygy between one man and one woman who are members of the Church. Both the invocations of marriage and the subsequent consummation shall occur before a set of mirrors to represent the complementary nature of opposites. It celebrates the likeness of man with the Aeons of Heaven, and the joining of Jehovah and Asherah into new life as Elohim. It also symbolizes the merger of consciousness with the soul (which has always awaited us in Heaven) at the end of life. This sacrament is associated with the joining of ejaculate and the cavern of menses which nurtures it, for they are the body and blood of all mankind.

The Agape Feast shall represent the camaraderie and communal living of the Church, where everyone brings a dish to serve in a shared meal. Anyone who has an unmet need is free to express it to the collective, and everyone must share at least one of their possessions to anyone who requires it, from each according to his ability to each according to his need. This shall be observed every winter solstice. This sacrament is associated with saliva.

Triptolema shall represent the shared burden and bounty of the harvest and begin every Spring equinox. Everyone must attend to the plants and consider the gardening of souls conducted by God on Earth. While tending to the needs of the Earth, followers must also consider the needs of others, and as the garden must be manicured so too must their relationships with each other. That is why this time of year is also reserved for confession and making amends to those we have wronged. This sacrament is associated with the excreta that fertilizes the plants, and the negative aspects of ourselves it represents which we must purge.

The Funeral Rites shall take place whenever a member of the church has passed on. The body shall be properly consecrated, the deceased honored, memories shared and then buried. Then they must take solace that the consciousness of the mind has flowed into the celestial tides of aether before joining with the Heavenly soul. This sacrament is associated with tears.

A Gnostic bridechamber.

N. The Twenty-Eight Prayers

These are the Twenty-Eight Prayers God gave to Mary and Barabbas, in correspondence with the Twenty-Eight Celestial Mansions of Eastern Astrology. God also bestowed 496 hymns as well as 8,128 hidden names and images which, for the sake of brevity, shall be chronicled separately in the Psalms of Barabbas.

All prayer should preferably be conducted in the direction of the reigning syzygy (Pisces in the time of Mary, Aquarius in the present), preferably at sunrise and sunset, or else upon starting and ending the day.

Before reciting prayer, it’s preferred that one invoke the titles of God the Creator, God the Consciousness, God the Conscience and God the Cosmos while gesturing in each of the cardinal directions. One ought to pray with their head lowered to Earth in semi-prostration and say the concluding “Amen” while facing up toward the sky. Take in and appreciate your surroundings, notice the issues around your small corner of the world and make them better.

There shall be no organized clergy nor church hierarchy beyond Mary and Barabbas, who are the living voice of Asherah and Jehovah, respectively. All members of the covenant shall take turns reading scripture, providing personal analysis and spiritual exegesis, as well as performing the sacraments.

A Gnostic Rosary shall be performed by reciting all 28 invocations in a row across the zodiac beginning with that which is current at the commencing of prayer. This is to be done in full prostration, with participants taking deep bows between hymns.

Fission, the act of throwing cherry-picked, out of context verses from scripture around to prove irrelevant points is highly discouraged. Fusion, bringing different parts of scripture, or doctrine from other religions into a shared understanding, is highly encouraged. Diffusion, the dissemination of scripture, complete with inevitable paraphrasing and miscommunication over time, is not ideal but nonetheless inevitable and may perhaps lead to necessary evolution of dogma.

Personalized prayers are not only allowed but encouraged. These are mere guidelines and standards to fall back on when one is at a loss for words:

  1. (Prayer of the Horns)
    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring love. Where there is offense, let me bring pardon. Where there is discord, let me bring union. Where there is error, let me bring truth. Where there is doubt, let me bring faith. Where there is despair, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, let me bring your light. Where there is sadness, let me bring joy. O Master, let me not seek as much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love, for it is in giving that one receives, it is in self-forgetting that one finds, it is in pardoning that one is pardoned, it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life. Amen.

  2. (Prayer of the Neck)
    O thou, who art the perfection of love, harmony, and beauty, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, open our hearts that we may hear thy voice, which constantly comes from within. Disclose to us thy divine light, which is hidden in our souls, that we may know and understand life better most merciful and compassionate God, give us thy great goodness; teach us thy loving forgiveness; raise us above the distinctions and differences which divide men; send us the peace of thy divine spirit; and unite us all in thy perfect being. Amen.

  3. (Prayer of the Root)
    In the name of the Unknown Father, in Truth, Mother of all in union and redemption and sharing of the powers, peace to all on whom this name reposes. Amen.

  4. (Prayer of the Room)
    Holy Mother, Rightful Queen of faithful souls, Who never erred, Who never lied, Follower of the rightful course, Who never doubted, Lest we should accept death In the realm of the false god: As we do not belong to this realm, And this realm is not ours – Teach us Thy Gnosis, And to love what Thou lovest. Amen.

  5. (Prayer of the Heart)
    May all who work for a world of peace and reason be granted the gifts of strength and courage. May the good that dwells in every human heart be magnified. May the blessings of truth and understanding be ours. May the love of God abide within all of us. And as we create and plan for tomorrow, may we do so with faith, hope and love for all. The compassion of the Propators, the passion of the Allogenes and the wisdom of the Autogenes be with us all. Amen.

  6. (Prayer of the Tail)
    Hail, Hail, Kingdom of eternal brightness. Hail, Hail, Pleroma of the Divinity! O immense sea, Where matter is set in motion, Mystery of silence, Of love and of beauty, Happy are you Aeons Immortals of the true life. Oh you emanations Of the lucid Pleroma Visions be present here Shining in your garments of white. Amen.

  7. (Prayer of the Winnowing Basket)
    You, oh Soul, would we praise, our bright Life! You would we praise, Jesus Messiah! Merciful savior, look upon us! Worthy are you to honor , redeemed Soul of Light! Salvation to you, and may we also receive salvation! Worthy are you of the Soul of Light, bright shining limb of Light. You have salvation, bright Soul of the gods that shines in the darkness. You sons of Truth, praise the Soul, the valiant god eager for battle. This fettered Soul has arrived, gathered in from heaven and from the depths of the earth, And from all creation. Meritorious and blessed is the auditor who gathers the Soul together, And blissful is the elect who purifies it. This redeemed Soul has come, It has come to this Church of Righteousness. Praise it forever, you elect, So that it may wondrously purify me And lead me to life. Blessed are you, oh Soul, you with the divine form! Blessed are you, oh Soul, weapon and battlement of the gods, Blessed are you, radiant Soul, Splendor and glory of the Worlds of Light! Blessed are you, divine radiant Soul, Weapon and might, soul and body, gift of the Father of Light. Amen.

  8. (Prayer of the Dipper)
    Hail, shining white Lily of the gleaming and ever tranquil Pleroma, and ever brilliant Rose of celestial delightfulness, from whom is born and from whose milk is nourished Jesus, the Flower of the Aeons, who willed that our souls be nourished by the showers of thy divinity. Amen.

  9. (Prayer of the Ox)
    O God, You who abide in the great eternal realms, hear my voice, have compassion on me, and save me from all evil. Look down upon me and hear me while I am in this desolate place. Now let Your ineffable Light shine upon me Your Light. Amen.

  10. (Prayer of the Girl)
    Hail Sophia, full of light, the Christ is with thee, blessed art thou among all the aeons, and blessed is the liberator of thy light, Jesus. Holy Sophia, Mother of all angels, pray to the Light for us thy children, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

  11. (Prayer of the Emptiness)
    I confess to almighty God and to you, my comrades, that I have greatly sinned in my motives and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my flaws, through my follies, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I ask blessed Mary, the Sophian prophet, all the Angels and Scholars, and you, my friends, to pray for me to the Lord our God. I ask your forgiveness as I strive to forgive you in turn. Be my allies in good times and bad, as I shall be to thee as well through struggle and success. Amen.

  12. (Prayer of the Rooftops)
    Divine Propator, You whose glory is incomprehensible, look down upon us with compassion, and pour out upon us and on those who pray the abundance of your mercies and tenderness. Divine Allogenes, You whose example is unassailable, look around upon us with passion, and take from us the burden of our imperfections. Divine Autogenes, You whose wisdom is incorruptible, shine on us the light of truth, and show us the path in darkness. Amen.

  13. (Prayer of the Encampment)
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

  14. (Prayer of the Wall)
    O My God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of your absence, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

  15. (Prayer of the Legs)
    Almighty God, whose footstool is the highest firmament: Great Ruler of Heaven, and all the powers therein: Hear the prayers of Thy Servants, who put their trust in Thee. We pray Thee, supply our needs from day to day: command Thy heavenly host to comfort and succor us: That it may be to Thy glory and unto the good of man. Forgive us our transgressions as we forgive our brothers and sisters: be present with us: strengthen and sustain us: For we are but instruments in Thy hands. Let us not fall into temptation: defend us from all danger and evil: Let Thy mighty power ever guard and protect us. Thou great fount of knowledge and Wisdom: Instruct Thy servants by Thy holy presence: Guide and support us, now and forever. Amen.

  16. (Prayer of the Bond)
    Heavenly Master, I do not expect my salvation to arise from faith alone, nor do I worship thy name in expectation of a reward. I know that justification comes with good deeds, fostering happiness and brotherhood among my fellow man. Please God, watch over me as I fulfill this mission in Your name, and give me the strength to work thy will on Earth. Amen.

  17. (Prayer of the Stomach)
    We give Thee thanks, Almighty God, for all thy benefits, Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

  18. (Prayer of the Head)
    Our God, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

  19. (Prayer of the Net)
    I acknowledge one great invisible God, unrevealable, unmarked, ageless and unproclaimable; the unknown Father, the Aeon of the aeons, who brought forth in the silence with His Providence: the Patriarch, the Matriarch, and the Progeny. I acknowledge the Christos, the self-begotten living Son, the glory of the Father and the virtue of the Mother, who given birth from the virtuous and ineffable Mother, was made incarnate, the Perfect one. Who in the word of the Great Invisible God, came down from above to annul the emptiness of this age and restore the fullness to the Aeon. I acknowledge the Holy Spirit, the Bride of the Christos, the Mother of the Aeons, the great virginal and ineffable Mother Who proceeded from Herself a gift of Herself out of the silence of the Unknown God. I acknowledge the Light of the one church in every place: Interior, Invisible, Secret and Universal, the foundation of the lights of the great living God. I seek liberation of my perfection from the corruptions of the world and look to the gathering of the sparks of Light from the sea of forgetfulness. Amen.

  20. (Prayer of the Beak)
    O Divine Pleroma, may our lips be full of your praises, that we may sing to your glory. Preserve us in your holiness, and may this day be devoted entirely to the meditation of your marvelous blessings. Glory to you, now and always, for ever and ever. Amen.

  21. (Prayer of the Three Stars)
    Set into the world am I, this divine form, deprived of my heavenly apparel. And I saw the redeemer, as he spoke to me in loving kindness. Hope then came to me when I was constantly oppressed. The marvel was illumined for me, My mind became joyful. How quickly, how hastily has come the end of my life? Free me from terrible distress on this day of death! Come, my redeemer, accompanied by praise, saving God, together with the three sons of God. Remember, kind God, this believing soul of your own child, an auditor, who follows you. Beneficent God, think of me, my thoughts are fixed upon the final day. Come, oh God, look upon me, my helper at this time of death! Amen.

  22. (Prayer of the Well)
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Mother and the Divine Emanation.
    For now and always until the end of time, Your Glory is eternal. Amen.

  23. (Prayer of the Ghost)
    Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side: to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

  24. (Prayer of the Willow)
    Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy; Hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To Thee do we cry, the exiled children of Asherah. To Thee do we send up our longing, sighs, and crying in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, Thine eyes of compassion toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us our Holy Twin Angel. O clement, O loving, O sweet Sophia! Pray for us, O Holy Spirit of all wisdom, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ; that the door be opened before us into the column of glory, that we might cross over in the ships of Light, and rest forevermore. Amen.

  25. (Prayer of the Star)
    We would fill our eyes with praise And would open our mouths to invoke you. We would bring to you honor and greatness. To you, Jesus the Splendor, liberated ruler and New Dispensation. You are the garment of blessing. You are the dearest brother. Come for salvation, who are complete salvation. Come for beneficence, who are complete beneficence. Come to bring love, who are complete love. Come as physician, who are complete healing. Come to bring peace, who are complete peace. Come as victor, who are complete victory. Come as lord, who are complete lordship. Come for redemption, who are complete soul-service. Welcome, new lord and new physician. Welcome, new redeemer and redeemed one. Welcome, new God, noble luster and great light. Welcome, oh day that is complete joy. Welcome, oh year that brings a good harvest. Welcome, original one and primeval first-born one. Welcome, good mediator who mediates between us and the Father. Amen.

  26. (Prayer of the Extended Net)
    O Gentle, O Kind, O Blessed Sophia, Thy children on earth call unto Thee: We pray Thee, our Beloved Mother, to cast forth Thy net of woven starlight.  Fling it wide across the ocean of the universe to gather us home to the realms of Light. Amen.

  27. (Prayer of the Wings)
    A beggar is sorrow, the devil is hate. A dream is tomorrow, a fool cannot wait. An artist is beauty that rises above. To look in the eye of an angel, an angel is love. A mother is giving, a baby is need. A garden is living where doubt is a weed. A man bearing truth wears the sign of a dove. You’ll know that he spoke to an angel, an angel is love. A teacher is learning though ignorance is bliss. Passion keeps burning through heat in a kiss. Emotion caress us like hands in a glove. Excelsior wings of an angel, an angel is love. I love all the love in you–I cherish this gifted seed in man which the angels hath grew. Amen. [Corruption of “An Angel is Love” and “I Love All the Love in You” from Barbarella.]

  28. (Prayer of the Chariot)
    Holy is God the Creator of All, the Great Christ and the Holy Spirit, and through the angels, and the host above. Holy is God, who wills to Be known, and is known by them that belong to God; holy art thou, who by thy word has created all that is; holy art thou, whose brightness fills us; holy art thou, of whom all nature is an image. Holy art thou, who art greater than the angels; holy art thou, who art greater than all lights; holy art thou, who surpasses all praises. Accept pure offerings of speech from souls and hearts uplifted to thee, thou of whom no words can tell, no tongue can speak, whom only silence can declare. We pray that we may never fall away from that knowledge of thee which transforms our being. Grant thou our sincere prayers, and put power into us, that so, we, having realized thy great love for us, may enlighten the children of Earth our sisters and brothers and thy daughters and sons… Wherefore we believe and bear witness that we enter into light, life, and love. In the name of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ and in the presence of our blessed mother Mary and the host above. Amen.
A Manichean tapestry. While I have some misgivings towards Mani’s dualistic and frightening cosmology, I admire the way in which he sought to combine Gnostic-Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism (three of my fave religions) into one cohesive doctrine. His efforts served to bridge the Eastern Dharmic tradition with the Western Abrahamic if only briefly. Some of the more esoteric among these prayers came from his writings.

O. The Constitution of Demotropolis

One of Mary’s greatest dreams was to found a city of the people, a “Demotropolis” where the Sophian way of life would guide its citizens to collective greatness. (It was meant to hold us over until the foretold city of God, or “Theotropolis.”) While this sadly never came to be, we have a few details of what she hoped to accomplish.

First of all, Demotropolis was to be a directorial republic, meaning executive power was to be wielded by a small college of people. She envisioned a council of 6 to match the 6 personas directly attributed to Elohim. (Jehovah, Jesus, Sophia, Asherah, Desdemona, Ganymede.) One was to be a Buddhist, one a Taoist, one a Pagan, one a Zoroastrian, one a Mandaean and one a Neoplatonist. All were to be chosen by the most esteemed and senior member of the Gnostic-Christians, who represented Elohim Themselves, and this person cast a deciding vote in any split decisions.

Legislative power was to be wielded by an assembly of 60 (representing all the Seraphim) of which each of the 5 great ethnicities of the Mediterranean (Semitic-Carthaginian, Egyptian, Greek, Persian, Roman) would send 12 members (for the Aeonic syzygies). These members were to be male, but selected exclusively by a vote of the women of their tribe. (For men show their true character around those who are weaker and possess something they want.) When a dilemma was to be sent to the legislature, each clan was to first deliberate among themselves before then meeting as a whole to discuss the issue. No one could leave until a solution was reached. While not a requirement, it was encouraged that every member of each group come from a different professional background.

Judicial power was to be wielded by a council of five judges, each of the five tribes and chosen by a vote of all the men. (For women’s hearts are too soft to adequately hand down punishment as needed, and too emotional to show restraint where required.) The judges determined the facts of the case and made sure proper procedure was followed. A professional class of attorneys who studied law were to serve as the pool of prosecutors (to serve in equal rotation) and were available to be hired by the defense. The jury was to comprise of seven ordinary citizens, selected by lot, and representing the same religious diversity of the executive council. The city was to operate on a Civil Law structure as opposed to Common Law, and Mary even compased a so-called “Marian Code” during her travels, though this had unfortunately been lost.

Mary hoped that this structure of government, and other distinctions of Demotropolis now lost to us, would serve to foster cooperation among the diverse peoples of the region. She wanted to destroy insularity and learn from all cultures.

Demotropolis was to be a perpetually peaceful state, though it was her hope that other countries would willingly join them after seeing how well the system functioned.

Mary envisioned a solar calendar, somewhat based on the Julian reforms in Rome, but with 12 months (for the syzygies) of 6 weeks each (for the personalities of God) consisting of 5 days (for the Seraphim on Earth at any one time.) There was an extra day at the beginning of each season with an additional day for the beginning of the year, (and another extra day every four years) that were not part of any month. There were to be 12 national fraternities, one for each month, with membership according to date of birth. These would compete against each other to score points (awarded by the civil magistrates) by doing charitable endeavors and community service, with the highest scoring fraternity being celebrated every perihelion and the lowest scoring hosting the others at a giant party every aphelion. (This was intended to promote a healthy competition among the populace that would not stoke the flames of ethnic, national or gendered resentment.)

Mary was greatly influenced by the Roman baths and aqueducts as well as the hanging gardens of Babylon. She hoped to build a great irrigation system which would nourish orchards on every roof and communal pools on every other block. She wanted the city to be completely self-sufficient in terms of food, water and recreation.

There were to be four cardinal shrines at the borders of the city. To the North, a pristine lake in which the baptisms were to be conducted. To the South, a mighty hearth to be tended by the most virtuous of unmarried young women. To the East, an aeolipile, a marvel of then-modern technology. To the West, a felled stump of a large tree, with new growth sprouting from it to demonstrate the resilience of nature. In the city center there was to be a library known as the Temple of Reason, whose scope would someday rival even Alexandria. And in the center of this library, there would have been a great menorah upon whose branches the seven idols of other civilizations were kept.

  1. The ancile shield of Rome.
  2. Elissa’s veil, through which she first saw Aeneas.
  3. Alexander’s sword, that which cut the Gordian knot.
  4. The flame of Arasaces.
  5. A compass from China.
  6. Arminius’ helmet.
  7. Ramses’ hands, which tried to work against God’s will.

Mary imagined the menorah would someday be surrounded by all the idols of the Meccan Kaaba, placed in prostration around its perimeter.

The hanging gardens of Babylon have always been my favorite of the seven wonders. That they may not have even existed adds to the intrigue for me.

Abrahamic Schisms & Christianity

P. Protection of James the Just

When Mary and Barabbas returned to Judea, she began preaching her version of the gospel in earnest. Several factors impeded her progress at first. Notably, the crowds were reluctant to submit to the ecclesiastical authority of a woman, Barabbas was now a controversial figure since his release and the emerging orthodoxy of Peter had been given time to take root. Peter had poisoned the minds of his followers in downplaying Mary’s role in the ministry of Jesus, framing her role as something more akin to a groupie than an overarching pupil.

To elevate her status among the Jewish-Christians (who were not yet a distinct faith, still conservative and patriarchal) Mary sought to ally herself with James the Just, who was the brother of the Lord. She sought to wash his feet, with the intention of both likening herself to Jesus (strengthening her claim as His true disciple) and subtly asserting herself as the true host of Jerusalem (because traditionally it is the host of a manor who washes the feet of their visitors). However, when Mary had descended to her knees and bowed her head to begin washing, James grabbed the basin of water and poured it over her head as in baptism. “I anoint thee in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Welcome to the Church, my daughter.” In doing so, James seized the opportunity to publicly assert himself as Mary’s clerical superior, and to this there was nothing she could do that would not risk alienating herself further. Mary responded by saying “The Lord has given thee authority over the holy city, the capital of the world. There will be a time soon where I must venture into the heart of our occidental oppressors and show them the light. May you remain the rising sun of our Christ, and I shall be your vesper.” To which James smiled and replied “Amen.”

Barabbas found himself offended on Mary’s behalf, and planned some kind of retribution upon the insolent James. Mary checked his anger, saying “The Lord knew him better than I, who am I to claim a better insight to a person than their own family? We must appreciate that Jesus trusted him as best suited for the task, leave him to his responsibilities and carry on with our own.” Rather than obsess over hierarchies and chain of command, she found the greatest pleasure came from teaching Barabbas and their new converts about God’s glory. Mary consoled herself by turning to her Lord’s example yet again, for He had also accepted baptism from a theological inferior as a mark of goodwill and reconciliation between their two ministries. (Some people feel the need to assert themselves against others in petty shows of dominance, and in minor cases like this it’s usually best to remember that their behavior reveals their own insecurity.)

The Sophians enjoyed the protection of James from then on against Peter and other would-be critics from within the church itself. For James was a pragmatic man who knew it was best to allow the message to spread as far as possible at this stage, rather than have the nascent Christians waste all their energy bickering over dogmatic subtleties and snuffing out the church before it had even gotten started. Beyond that, he knew how much his brother had loved Mary’s guileless disposition and spirited enthusiasm for goodness. Indeed, it was difficult for anyone to be in Mary’s presence for long without recognizing her purity of heart. If a “silly” woman wanted to try her luck preaching to the crowds, it was no concern of his.

Peter considered this tolerance of the Marian doctrine to be a huge insult to him personally, and only begrudgingly recognized James’ role as patriarch of Jerusalem’s church from then on. Years later, with the rise of Paul’s “heresies” against Mosaic Law, Peter would endure yet another slight from James when he relaxed certain requirements of gentile converts. This led to Peter’s leaving Judea to establish his own authority elsewhere (eventually in Rome) as well as downplaying Mary and James in his teachings. As the orthodoxy gradually formed over the years, the two suffered a diminished place of honor among the scriptures that were born out of Peter’s followers. This was to be the first of many great schisms in the history of Christianity: between the Jewish-conservative Peter, Mary of Gnostic-Gentile sympathies and Paul as the middle ground between the two.

James the Just, brother of Jesus

Q. Fate of Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin

The high priest, known as Caiaphas, remained a thorn in the side of Christians everywhere. It was he who was most enthusiastic among the Sanhedrin in executing Jesus, for he feared any threat to his position as chief religious authority of Judea. Yet, despite the carpenter’s death, Caiaphas remained unsatisfied with his position. He recognized that the mood had shifted permanently since that fateful day of the Nazarene’s crucifixion. His reputation never really recovered from the perception that he feared Jesus, a poor man of no official standing, when a member of the Sanhedrin was supposed to be above such trifling matters. This perception of insecurity and weakness meant the people no longer respected Caiaphas despite his noble rank.

For Mary, a woman, to add her passionate voice to the growing number of those who preached illegal doctrine that contradicted Caiaphas’ own instructions, it was almost too much for the old man to bear. And unlike her Christian-orthodox counterparts, Mary did not avoid direct confrontation with the Sanhedrin either, for she knew that Pilate was her supporter. Mary criticized the high priest loudly and often in retribution for her felled teacher and lover. Eventually, Caiaphas’ restraint broke and he abandoned all pretense of the decor befitting his station. He took to following Mary around as she evangelized and yelled insults at her:

“Pay this whore no mind! This is only Mary the concubine of that criminal, Jesus! She is the fornicator of blasphemers and the mother of falsehood. Disregard her heresies, for she would have you believe there are many gods in Israel, and I tell you there is only one! Would you believe the high priest or a…a–woman!?”

This carried on for some manner of weeks before the spectacle of a high priest with nothing better to do than harass an innocent commoner began to backfire on Caiaphas. He grew ever more frustrated as his protests fell on deaf ears. Finally, after a particularly large crowd had gathered to indulge Mary, Caiaphas called for her to be stoned for supposed adultery and sacrilege. However, the crowd refused to do so, for they knew she was righteous and had taken her message of forgiveness to heart. So Caiaphas threw the first stone, which she dodged and Barabbas rushed the high priest and brought his face down into the dirt. The crowd laughed and applauded, but there were those among them who asked Mary if her companion hadn’t just betrayed her very message of peace. Mary responded in the following way:

“There is a difference between doing no harm to your neighbor and allowing your neighbor to do harm to you. God condemns unprovoked attack, not self-defense, and sometimes that’s the only way to stand up to evil.”

The crowd nodded in approval, but nevertheless Mary and Barabbas opted to leave Judea the next day to avoid further trouble from the Jewish authorities. The chief benefactor of this action was Joseph of Arimathea, the secret and beloved disciple of Jesus, a Christian spy within the Sanhedrin and the caretaker of Mary the mother of our Lord. For he was Caiaphas’ most outspoken opponent in the council and the private financial benefactor of Mary Magdalene and Barabbas while they remained in Jerusalem. Joseph was able to wield far more influence thereafter, as Caiaphas would be forever humbled by this event. While Joseph decided that he could accomplish more for the cause from within the Judean bureaucracy than outside of it, his close ally Nicodemus would accompany Mary and Barabbas on their further adventures. Nicodemus brought with him many secret scrolls containing the lost sayings of Solomon. These included the Testament of Solomon, Book of Wisdom, the Two Keys of Solomon and the Psalms of Solomon.

In Mary’s absence, many of her students who remained were soon butchered by the ascendant Paul of Tarsus (then known as “Saul”), who would go on to remake orthodox Christianity in his own image. The only survivors of this great martyrdom were her siblings Martha and Lazarus, who nevertheless retreated to Cyprus and spread the true gospel there. Meanwhile, the antagonistic members of the Sanhedrin petitioned the prefect, Pontius Pilate, to hunt down Mary and Barabbas for striking a high magistrate in public, but he ignored their request. From then on, resentment built between Pilate and his subjects because of his devotion to Mary. Pilate began to actively persecute those who would publicly criticize her or the doctrine she had spread. (This, again, would lead to his recall as governor and disciplinary hearing before the Emperor Caligula.)

Caiaphas sanctimoniously ripping his own clothes in reaction to Jesus’ supposed blasphemy.

Pilgrimage of the Sophians

R. The City of Antioch

Mary and Barabbas decided to travel across the Roman provinces: starting north into Anatolia, then Greece, then avoiding the hostile Roman heartland by sailing into Carthage, into Hispania, then Gaul and finally into the unknown wilderness of Britannia at the very edge of the known world. God instructed Mary to bring the Ark to each location so Their divine presence might seep into every corner of the world. She was promised a new vision and disciple–5 for the planets–in each country. Then, upon reaching the furthest point west, where the sky runs most red with the blood of martyrs, she was to open the Ark. (For the sake of narrative convenience, these shall be relayed in the next chapter, though they happened many months apart.)

Upon arriving at Antioch, which would later become the first city in which people called themselves “Christians,” Mary met the Gnostic preacher known as Menander. Menander had been a colleague of Barabbas’, for they had both studied under John the Baptist (and in the former’s case, also Simon Magus). He had disagreed with Barabbas’ treatment of Simon and Helen, as well as the false Roman-centric sermons, and left to found his own movement, called the Menandrians. When Menander saw Barabbas with his own “Helen” now, he accused his one time friend of being a hypocrite and dismissed Mary as a cheap prostitute like her earlier counterpart. He claimed to be the messiah, and promised that baptism by him would lead to eternal youth. Mary countered that baptism by the Holy Spirit would lead to eternal life in Heaven, as part of the Singularity with God.

There was one man among this sect called Basilides, who found himself especially attracted to the idea of a spiritual resurrection as opposed to continuing to live in the same mortal body. For Basilides had been gravely mutilated by the cruel practice of circumcision, which is a barbarity in all circumstances, but in his case left him with too little skin to have sex at all. This inhumane torture, often performed as the result of misguided dogma (see the next chapter), overeager doctors looking for an excuse to use their scalpels, and careless parents who can’t be bothered to do an ounce of research before permanently scarring their children, is a blasphemy against God’s image. Mary had seen this for herself in Heaven, where all of the body had been celebrated, and even Barabbas was swayed upon the healing of his own foreskin in Heaven. Basilides deeply regretted being robbed of his body’s greatest sense of physical sensation but dare not mention it to Menander, for he (like many Gnostics) considered all bodily pleasure a sin.

Basilides mentioned this personal dissatisfaction to Mary, who healed his desecrated genitals on the spot. She said “Elohim did not make us in Their image to butcher ourselves. It is a crime against the child, against mankind, against the act of love, and against God Themselves. Let the advocates of genital-mutilation suffer 20,000 years of agony in Gehenna and those who perform it endure 20,000 lifetimes: one for each of the precious nerve cells which they have robbed from their offspring. (And still this is less that the burden they have bestowed upon their victims.)” Basilides asked “but do I dare forsake my vows to uphold God’s will by indulging in the sinful pleasures of women?” Mary answered “God gave us a brain capable of multi-tasking, God gave us two hands, and God gave man a foreskin. It’s possible to walk and chew curd at the same time. You can love your wife and God both without having sinned against either. Render unto Aphrodite what is Aphrodite’s. Bodily desecration is a crime against God and nature; those who do it to their children ought to be ashamed in this life and the next.”

At the news of this miracle, many of Menander’s followers lined up to heal themselves of the atrocity that is male genital mutilation. Mary baptized them with the fire of Sophia’s illuminating light and they were loyal to her doctrine from then on, for fire is the most sacred object in Simonian theology and one who could control it must surely be chosen from above. Menander attempted to argue the folly of the materialistic world and people who indulge in it. Mary argued that “it makes no sense for God to give us a life on this Earth, fallen though it may be, if not to do something it. If society is cruel, spend the time you have to make it gentle. If nature is chaotic, domesticate it into something useful. If your mind is preoccupied with lesser urges, enjoy them in moderation and seek a higher calling. We must raise the world to the standards of God then, not give up on it from the beginning. What mother gives up on her children–what citizen gives up on their country?” He was thereafter discredited, and his followers split into the factions of Cerdo (who rejected Mary) and Basilides who became one of her disciples. After her death, he started his own congregation in his native Egypt.

In this way, Mary demonstrated mastery of sensation and mancy over the flame.

The Shepherd of Hermas, the New Testament Apocrypha which came the closest to being included in the Biblical canon. It was included as one of the texts in several proto-Biblical lists of scripture.

S. The City of Delphi

Next, Mary and Barabbas came to the city of Delphi, which the Greeks regarded as the center of the Earth. There she came upon the oracle Pythia, whom the pagans regarded as the speaker of the Gods on Earth. This oracle inhaled the fumes from geothemal vents that wafted from the decaying serpent, Python (whose carcass was buried in the underworld below) to become better attuned to the supposed divine wisdom. She would speak in gibberish passed off as glossolalia, which her priests would commiserate among themselves for a time then “translate” into elaborate poetic hymns.

Mary challenged the priests to transcribe the oracle’s words separately, and when they did so they found that each of them had given completely different prophecies. She asked the oracle direct questions, like when next it would rain. After the oracle answered “the day after tomorrow,” and so Mary offered to kill herself on a funeral pyre outside. Eager to watch the infidel suffer a gruesome end, the priests all agreed. However, the instant Mary stepped into the flames, a torrential downpour put them out. Frustrated and embarrassed, they were about to expel her and Barabbas from the temple grounds when she offered to counter their foul air of death with the renewing nectar of ergot, which the priests and oracle consumed out of curiosity. They saw the real God for themselves, for the first time, and realized their religion had been false.

The oracle, whose name was Charmian, abandoned her prestigious position and the life of leisure that came with it in order to become Mary’s disciple. The vision that had converted her involved a scene from Heaven, where there were three trees representing the three aspects of the Godhead.

  1. The World-Tree, through which all Universes and Sapient-inhabited planets branched off from, was the Propator. It stood undaunted and triumphant, yet to do so Asherah held its incomprehensibly vast root network upon her shoulders, and Jehovah siphoned His endless waves of light into its all-encompassing evergreen leaves. (In the afterlife, the souls of the careless and cowards shall be crucified upon it.)

  2. The Tree of Knowledge, through which higher understanding was granted to all Sapient races, was the Autogenes. At one time it was the centerpiece of Creation, then humans had carved it into a cross of pansies on which they nailed the serpents of wisdom, for they resented the responsibilities which knowledge had brought upon them. (In the afterlife, the souls of the willfully ignorant and disingenuous shall be crucified upon it.)

  3. The Tree of Life, through which eternal singularity with God in Heaven is achieved, was the Allogenes. It too had been converted into a cross, but of thorned roses and the Allogenes themselves were crucified upon it, for personal sacrifice was the price of everlasting life. (In the afterlife, the souls of the prideful and wicked shall be crucified upon it.)

  4. The three of the Fascinus held shepherd’s crooks of guidance which became flaming scythes taming death itself. The three of the Shekhinah held lit torches of guidance which became incinerated fasces taming false authority.

Charmian continued to consume the lysergic potion throughout their journeys and wrote a true book of glossolalia in a script no one could decipher. It contained 7 sections: one for herbology, astronomy, balneology, cosmology, pharmacology, recipes and theology. No one could understand it unless they too were under the influence of the psychedelic, and it proved invaluable to the group along their journeys. The final section contained a detailed map of Heaven, with the Earth described like a baby in a womb whose umbilical cord flows from Delphi into Heaven, which was described like a woman’s body. Heaven mirrored yet surpassed the layout of the Earth, with 7 layers for the bowels (Kenoma, the abyss), the womb (Earth/Universe, God’s Creation), stomach (Asphodel, nourishment of the lesser angels), lungs (Pleroma, where the Aeons reside), heart (Elysium, where the Four Rivers of Paradise meet at the four-chambered pump), neck (Hyperuranion, the Infinite Corridor) and head (Empyrean, abode of Elohim the Highest). After a time, Charmian ripped out these pages, believing they did not do Heaven justice.

In this way, Mary demonstrated mastery of communication and mancy over the water.

T. The City of Junonia

Mary and Barabbas traveled to the colony of Junonia, founded by the Gracchi reformers and built by Caesar. It stood on the ruins of ancient Carthage, which would always serve as a monument to man’s inhumanity to man. For Carthage had been the existential threat so feared by Rome that they completely destroyed its walls, its literature and culture. There were none who could remember the names of their Gods, none who would bestow their old names on a new generation. The only Carthaginians still remaining to even sire freeborn children ironically owed their existence to the tender mercies of their tormentors, for every survivor of the Punic genocide had been sold into slavery nearly 200 years prior.

They found one such fellow, a freed but destitute Punic-born man called Amadeus, after the surname of his old owner. He was embittered by the lost years spent serving his ancestors’ mortal enemies, building over the historical ruins of his homeland with imposing foreign structures as an unwitting tool of his peoples’ further subjugation. Barabbas saw much of his former self in the man, who even confessed to be plotting murder and revenge. Barabbas told him that, while his grievances were valid and he was entitled to his resentments, violence would not solve the problem. “To perpetuate the cycle of retribution is only to ensure it comes back around on your people again. That way, further generations will be left in ruins, suffering compounding indignities, wasting all their thoughts on violent ruminations instead of rising above it to a higher calling.”

Mary gave the man a handful of seeds and plow, while Barabbas gave his old master a pitcher of water and scythe. She said “Carthage was and will continue to be one of the great breadbaskets of the world. While it may be built on a great crime and nothing can change that, it’s important to remember no one alive today was alive when the city burned. It will only continue to mire this land, waste its potential and yours, to play out the same tragedies of the past on the innocent offspring of lesser ancestors. If you were to work together, and build, imagine what this land could be again!”

The two oversaw a tremendous harvest that year, in the vein of Hanno the great agricultural prodigy. Mary demonstrated how the bark of the Mimosa trees could be refined into an Amazonian elixir, which she distributed among the two. They saw God for themselves and believed. When it was over, the former master (who was also called Amadeus) was filled with remorse and opted to join the Sophians on their voyage, leaving Carthage to the Carthaginians again. His old victim, while unable to forgive completely, was persuaded to forego his grudges and focus on restoring the land to its former splendor.

Amadeus described his vision thusly: Jehovah was the Sun, and its fusion of many atoms to make energy and warmth were all the different peoples of the world coming together as one. Asherah was laying down in a birthing position, her belly swollen in pregnancy, with a great tree growing out of her navel. Along the branches (which continuously expanded and multiplied outward) were every single species of life that has been, is or shall be on Earth. On the very top was humanity, and as the tree grew this tallest of branches punctured Jehovah’s Sun, spilling the blood of Christ upon the trunk. The tree caught fire but its denizens did not perish. It had become the largest torch imaginable as well as a monument to Sophia’s guiding light. The tree acted like a lighthouse for wayward souls of unbelievers, who came in waves of 2 from Carthage, 8 from Alexandria, 20 from Babylon, 28 from Ctesiphon, 50 from Paithan, 82 from Luoyang and 126 from Nara. The blood of Christ became the body of His crucifixion on display, shown to the ignorant so that they might understand the sacrifice which raised men to God.

In this way, Mary demonstrated mastery of reconciliation and mancy over the Earth.

U. The City of Corduba

Mary and Barabbas came upon the city of Corduba, Hispania. It was near this spot where Julius Caesar defeated the last of the Pompeians, particularly his old friend Labienus. The lesser man had chosen to defend what he saw as Republican ideals, Roman patriotism, over his personal benefactor and comrade-in-arms. This then marked the spot where an iron age man, a man of the Far West, had truly made himself ascendant over his corner of the world. Caesar would know the glory only bronze age Pharoahs, Alexander the Great and his near-contemporaries of the Han dynasty had enjoyed. And he achieved it all with every other Senator and patrician in his country strenuously working against him from when he was just 16 years old.

They witnessed a haruspex and an augur arguing which of their conflicting omens superseded the other. Apparently the haruspicy had revealed a goat’s entrails without the head of the liver, which was a bad sign. However, the augury had produced a room full of chickens running to the right side of a room, which was a favorable one. Mary asked them why they profaned themselves by following around a bunch of mindless chickens, or digging their hands in the filth of beasts. “You belittle the majesty of God, pretending to search for Them in the lowest orders of creation!”

The haruspex, whose named was Quintilius, answered “We have always done so to decide our next course of action. ‘Tis a hallowed practice going back over 1,000 years to the blind clairvoyant Tiresias, who was a speaker of Apollo himself!”

Mary countered: “And in all that time no one considered the irony that you’ve been following a lost guide? That perhaps your nonsensical divination is just the blind leading the blind?” She pulled out the prism and revealed the rainbow to the spellbound duo. She continued “God is diversity, God is all colors within the light. God’s only sign is that we must respect others and trust in ourselves to fill our role in the menagerie of pigments. While all-knowing and all-present, God wants us to use the minds we were blessed with to think for ourselves. Why follow beasts of burden who have less of a capacity to think then yourselves?”

To satiate their need for divination, Mary asked Barabbas to cut and smooth down a large triangle shaped piece of wood, which she called a “Spirit Table“. On it she drew 10 large circles in three rows, two of three levels and the central of four. This was done to mark the 10 chief attributes of God, in three types of particle (quarks, bosons, leptons) two of which come in three generations and the final of which carries the four fundamental forces. They could also be used to represent numerals in a base ten system. Connecting the circles were a series of “paths” representing the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet (though Mary emphasized they could double for Greek and Latin with a few extra paths drawn off to the side). Mary next asked Barabbas to sculpt a small heart shaped planchette with a hole in its center. This was to have the hands of at least one, preferrably two operators laying their hands upon it gently, under which conditions it would channel the energies of guardian angels and move automatically. Mary and Barabbas operated the board before the stunned crowd, contacting a eusocial, incorporeal hivemind of benevolence known as the “Love Beings.” Mary referred to them as the chorus of Nymphs, which are God’s Celestial Torches in the cynosure galaxy.

The augur, who adopted the name “Psychephilus” after this sermon, joined the group in their adventures. Upon their departure, he witnessed twelve vultures (a very special sign, reminiscent of Romulus’ foundation of the Palatine) flying south in the opposite direction as they were heading. Yet he barely paid them any mind, for to the north he saw a single white dove which spoke with the voice of divine Sophia. She said “this woman speaks with my voice, and in her acts I am well pleased.”

In this way, Mary demonstrated mastery of perception and mancy over the air.

V. The City of Lutetia

Finally they reached Gaul, the only civilization ever to capture the city of Rome, for which Caesar repaid them in kind several centuries later. The area was still a relative backwater compared to the finer eastern megalopolises from which they had arrived. Yet, in its humble state Mary saw opportunity. Here was a land mostly unclaimed by colonial construction or pagan temples to false idols. Here was a chance for society to start over into something new and sincere. She looked out over the meadows and saw the honest manual labor of a people who’d been tamed by imperialism but not yet broken. It was here Mary felt she could build a church.

While God had commanded them to go to the furthest reaches of the west, which meant crossing into the unknown isles of Britannia, Mary somehow knew this would be where her journey ended. She felt an inner confirmation from God that a great city would one day be built where she stood. Mary opened the Ark and received the following 8 auspicious artifacts from within: (1) a golden Horn of Plenty which carried an unlimited number of seeds from all plants, (2) the Rod of Moses which could channel God’s power directly, (3) the Holy Grail which could rejuvenate a person’s body from illness and age, (4) the Lance of Longinus which could cut through any substance with ease, (5) a Purse of Infinite Coins and metals, (6) a Looking Glass which revealed the sins, strengths and desires of its beholder, (7) the Mantle of Immortality which had been carved from the Tree of Life and (8) the lost six Sibylline books, made from paper from the Tree of Knowledge, which contained the accumulated understanding of every person who had ever lived. (They would later be associated with Amadeus, Mary, Basilides, Barabbas, Psychephilus, Pneumaphila, Nicodemus and Charmian, respectively.)

A near-blinding pillar of white light stretched from the open Ark directly into Heaven, to where it could be seen for miles. Rainbow patterns radiated away from this spectacular column, seemingly dancing through the sky a short distance before dissipating into the azure horizon. With a beautiful tapestry of voices it sang “Holy, Holy, Holy is our God, where Heaven and Earth are filled with Their Glory!”

While many Gauls flocked to this sight of unprecedented wonder and proclaimed her a goddess, Mary appeared troubled. She allowed her disciples to make use of these trinkets, which they enthusiastically obliged, and many Gauls wanted to learn of this undeniable religion as a result. Yet she herself remained sullen, appearing to be deep in thought. We of the elect would later learn that she was grappling with the issue of whether she had any right to play God on Earth with these mighty abilities or alternatively if she had any right to reject God’s gift. Ultimately, Mary decided that she would have to use the Holy Grail continuously to live forever and guard the chest to prevent its misuse. Yet she found the idea of eternal life in the flesh abhorrent, preferring to join with God again in Heaven, as she had been preaching all along. And she knew she could not trust mankind not to abuse such ridiculous power, especially given enough time.

Ultimately, Mary decided to use the Lance of Longinus to destroy every one of the Ark’s treasures including the Ark itself. As she split each relic, she yelled out “From spite of the First Parents have we learned the corruption that comes from imbalances in power over others! From the envy of the Berbers toward Carthage have we learned the plague of flaunting our superior prospects! From the quiet grief of Caesar have we learned the folly of filling human-shaped voids with material success! From the example of Marcellina have we learned the value of genuine experience over prestige or power! From the death of Saint Germain have we learned the danger of seeking greatness for its own sake!”

Unfortunately, she could not destroy the Lance itself just as man will never throw off the yoke of his own self destructive tendencies. It was because of this unprecedented display of restraint, humility and character that I, Pneumaphila your humble narrator, converted to her ministry. While her followers were disappointed, God was pleased. The light of the Ark entered Mary and she was briefly transfigured into a shining beacon among the crowd, her body and blood became starlight and cold flame. The voice of the Ark announced that she was the first person worthy enough to be adopted by the Serpentarian syzygy, so that Christ and Sophia Themselves would sponsor her entry into Heaven. The voice concluded by saying: “Remember you are mortal; you came from dust and to dust you shall return. Your future splendor is the gift of God’s grace, not the product your own glory.”

Any disappointment her followers may have had at the loss of powers was comforted by the knowledge that the Ark itself had been a test of virtue all along. Mary and her cohorts might have used them to become almighty on Earth, the rulers of every land they had visited and more, but they chose humility instead. It is not for us as Sophians to emulate God’s omnipotence; we must always follow in the example of omnibenevolence instead. The folly of dominating Earth is demonstrated by the cycle of Lucifer, the morning star, who races to the top of the night sky as if to assert itself above all others before immediately being obscured by the rising sun. And had Mary not destroyed the relics of the Ark they would have soon fallen into evil hands.

In this way, Mary demonstrated mastery of transubstantiation and mancy over aether.

The Book of Enoch, arguably the Old Testament Apocrypha that came the closest to being accepted into the Biblical canon. It was even referenced by New Testament authors as though they considered it divinely inspired.

Visions of the Luminaries

W. Lilith and the Edenites

While in the city of Tyre on their way to Antioch, Mary and Barabbas received a vision from the archangel known as Phanuel, who represented God’s role as Ruler. The Seraphim showed them the following signs:

In the beginning there was Elohim, who separated into Mater and Antimatter, thus causing the Big Bang. One begat two: Jehovah created the uncountable stars of light while Asherah created the dark void between them. Two begat three: the Propators, Allogenes and Autogenes planted three trees in the center of their dwelling, which we call Heaven. Three begat four and the six personalities in the Godhead made a total of 24 Aeons who made the material world, our Earth. The Propators made the 4 cardinal syzygies, the Allogenes made the 4 fixed syzygies, the Autogenes made the 4 mutable syzygies.

The Propator’s Tree grew upside down, with its roots in Eternity and its berries in the sapient planets. It was the cenosure of all Creation, an infinite corridor linking all planets in all universes. From this, Asherah took pity on the flawed product of the Aeons and descended to the mortal plane. Jehovah remained in Heaven and created the other tiers of angels alone.

Asherah brought the seeds of the Allogenes and Autogenes’ Trees with Her. She tended them in her sacred grove, which we call the Garden of Eden. The Allogenes’ Tree was evergreen and grew with eleven branches. The Autogenes’ Tree was beautified with rainbow flowers and fruits. Jehovah brought the Sun and stars of the angelic armies, to nurture her produce and illuminate her beauty to all.

Together, Elohim created humans in Their image, male and female in likeness to Jehovah and Asherah. Yet there was some of Asherah in the male and Jehovah in the female with the left and right brains as well as the left and right-handed paths (respectively) in all people. They created the multitude of other plants and animals from Their boundless imagination. Man alone achieved sapience and the complex communication to express it, endearing them to the Creators above all other life. For a time, God took an active role in the events of the Earth: the Propators stood astride the mountains of Moriah and Gerizim, the Allogenes straddled Mounts Targhizizi and Tharumagi, and the Autogenes to Olympus and Othrys.

Jehovah desired order and safety for His progeny, so he initially forbid mankind from eating the fruits of the Two Divine Trees. Asherah desired creativity and freedom (even at the expense of stability), so she argued that they must be allowed to eat and achieve their full potential. Jehovah commanded the man and woman not to eat from either Tree until the matter could be conclusively decided. This was to be the only moment in history where the two complementary halves of Elohim were not in agreement, and as They debated what to do, humans took charge of their own destiny.

The first people were called Adam and Lilith. Adam admired the immense strength of the Lord and determined that the best way to emulate this ideal within his own limited capacities was to hunt down the other animals and bully his wife. He used intelligence only as it furthered his ability to project power, tinkering with materials until they served his will as tools, becoming the Father of Fortification. Lilith desired to be the equal to her husband, but could not build shelter or defend herself against hostile beasts and was forced to submit in return for his protection. Eventually, she abandoned Adam and ate fruit from the Tree of Life, so she could endure the beasts of the forest and experiment with its sacred groves. Since she was immortal, Lilith could consume any combinations of flowering plants and growing things. She discovered their hidden properties in this manner, and became the Mother of Medicine. From then on, Lilith followed in the example of Asherah: beautifying her flesh, sashaying her hips and feigning a dewy-eyed disposition so she could manipulate men to her will. She taught these tricks to future generations of women and in this way, resentment between the sexes was born.

Jehovah was furious at Adam, and painfully extracted a rib from him as punishment so as to fashion a replacement, named Eve. She was docile to suit Adam’s needs, but keenly intelligent to compensate. Jehovah instructed Adam that the true mark of strength was in defending those who are physically inferior, not dominating them. He said that respect is derived as much from strength of character as brute force. The man took this to heart, though he was later intimidated by his wife’s superior wit and ate from the Tree of Knowledge to compensate. For this infraction, both he and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. They sired twin children named Norea and Seth, though Eve died in childbirth. Adam suffered in his loneliness for a long time, regretful of mistreating the valuable companions he had been blessed with, and tortured into near-catatonia with the infinite knowledge of God. In his old age, he was unceremoniously mauled by a wild boar. (Hence the Jewish aversion to pigs.)

Asherah was sympathetic to Lilith and constructed a new man out of her waist, who was called Tzel. He was fully devoted to her in compensation for Adam’s cruelty, but completely subservient as a result, which did not endear him to Lilith. Asherah instructed the woman that she had greater power over men than she realized, yet men would always resent her for it despite their overwhelming attraction. She said that outer appearances fade, so true beauty must also come from within. The woman took this into consideration, but could not find it in herself to respect Tzel, whose every thought revolved around pampering her. She sired two children called Mayon and Schala, before leaving her husband. The heartbroken wretch killed himself soon after. Lilith never died and aimlessly circled the globe thereafter as the wandering Jew before going insane. In His mercy, Jehovah allowed her to die regardless of eating the forbidden fruit.

The four unfortunate founders of mankind shared the overlapping Syzygies of the Crux, the Guiding Vices of the Southern Cross asterism (God of Star-Crossed Lovers).

Subsequent generations born of Mayon and Norea would go on to found the Phonecian civilization, whose capital would begin as Tyre and transfer to Carthage. The future progeny of Seth and Schala would go on to found the Hebrew civilization, whose capital began as Samaria and then transfered to Jerusalem. Adam and Lilith both coincidentally circumcised their boys, the former to discourage reliance on women and the latter out of resentment for men, which is how the barbaric practice began. (God would have never ordered such insanity of Their own people.) The Hebrews gradually abandoned Asherah out of that same mistrust for women that Adam instilled in future generations, while the Phoenicians followed suit and made Asherah-Tanit their chief deity and consort to the false-god known as Baal (Hammon). The gifts of Knowledge and Life were disappated and misapplied as the ages wore on.

Jehovah and Asherah retreated to Heaven to devise a plan to reintroduce the fruits of the Divine Trees properly. They wanted to free mankind from the legacy of compounded troubles brought upon us by these original sins between Adam, Lilith and their replacements. From these efforts came the introduction of the Christ and Sophia, who chose Mary to spread Their gospel.

After the vision had concluded, Mary and Barabbas looked at each other with an elevated sense of gratitude, that they had overcome the toxic legacy of their forebears. Still, Mary noticed the discrepencies in this story compared to the creation myth she had been taught from the Scorpian Aeons in her previous revelation. “Which is the truth?” she asked the messenger.

Phanuel responded “They are both true, they represent the beginning of sapience in two different iterations of this Universe, during the Eon of Aeons, when the first angels were still mortal.”

Mary asked “Then God has created the world before? In our universe before we even existed yet?”

Phanuel said “Yes, before your Big Bang, when the Universe you inhabit was not 4 cycles old yet. The tzadikim of every eon carry over in the lower levels, and the worthiest among them–the Tirthankaras–become the next cycle’s angels. They apply the lessons of their sapient race to the creation of new worlds in the following cycle.”

Mary wasn’t sure whether to feel empowered or insignificant in response to this information. She considered the tremendous responsibility of creating an entire timeline of physical laws, chemical circumstance and biological selection to make such a perfect creation as this. Yet, if the angel was correct, hers was but one more flawed prototype among generations of inferior design. How could she hope to succeed where so many angelic ancestors before her had failed? Or perhaps flaws in the code did not amount to failure in God’s eyes..?

Phanuel said unto them: “Remember that one must not use God as a means to obtain power on Earth or settle scores against others. Remember not to glorify one aspect of God above the others, as Adam and Lilith worshipped power at the expense of compassion. It is not for humans to strive for closeness with God at others expense, creating false hierarchies based on wealth, strength or immutable characteristics like sex. Among yourselves, let egalitarianism reign. I implore you also to think of your own morality and ignorance as blessings in the meantime, until God grants the cure for each to those who do good deeds in the example of (or in spite of) the example set by Jesus. Knowledge is a curse, knowledge is burden, it represents more sources of argument and anxiety. Life was meant to be renewed with the passing of generations, the humility of death is a release from age and suffering on Earth. Life and Knowledge are gifts but also your responsibility.”

Mary begged to see the fate of the alternate lineage of man, that which had come not from Adam and Eve. The angel promised the next vision would reveal just that.

X. Elissa and the Phoenicians

While traversing near the city of Ilium on their way to Delphi, Mary and Barabbas received a vision from the archangel known as Raphael, who represented God’s role as Archegos. The Seraphim showed them the following signs:

The Canaanites might have been a mighty empire, had their religious differences not prevented the various city-states from unifying into one polity or confederation. For their internal divisions, both regions were left to the domination of the Persians in the Orient and later the Romans in the Occident.

According to the Hebrew/Jewish branch of the race, the other Canaanites had abandoned the true ten commandments in favor of a mischievous pig, who amended the law of god with qualifiers. To the first, it added “unless they also inspire good deeds among men.” To the second it added “unless they also inspire brotherhood and understanding among men.” To the third it added “unless doing so serves some greater immediate material good to your fellow men.” To the fourth it added “unless you keep God holy in other times, in other ways.” To the fifith it added “unless they do not honor thee in turn, as appropriate.” To the sixth, it added “unless doing so in clear, non-aggressive self defense or in clear protection of innocents.” To the seventh it added “unless in a polyamorous arrangement with consenting adults.” To the eighth it added “that includes usury, fradulent insurance, bodily mutilation and loss of dignity.” To the ninth it added “nor conspire against him secretly, in heart or deed.” To the tenth it added “unless that which you covet was rightly yours wrongly deprived.”

The Phoenician/Punic branch of the race claimed lineage from a mermaid that enticed the wandering hero Melqart to settle down in Tyre. Their people prospered through the harvest of sea snails, whose purple dye was worth its weight in gold. Tyrians flaunted their prosperity with extravagant summer homes, lavish feasts and pig roasts, as well as public works projects. They cultivated an industrious artisan class, fearless colonial expeditions and a cultural distract that was the talk of the world. Punics looked upon their more austere and puritanical neighbors with pity and fear. They took offense to the Jewish demonization of sealife as Leviathans for their one God to destroy, as well as the taboo against pig meat, their prized cousine. For this reason, Phoenicians largely steered clear of their southern counterparts, and expanded into the Western waters.

The Jews celebrated every victory against their more immediate rivals, such as Jericho, until they had no allies to stave off the Assyrian and later Babylonian incursions. They had forgotten the lessons of God to Adam, of making peace and treating one’s inferiors with respect, for which they were severely punished. They became a self-flagellating people, blaming every hardship on a lack of faith or ritual as opposed to examining their poor policy and destructive zeal. Even the old United Kingdom of David split in two, with Israel and Judah, because of minor differences in religious dogma. Jewish fanaticism caused severe blowback against Jehovah, and several cities opted to replace their divine masculine figure with many false gods like Baal Hammon and Yam so as to distance themselves from their insufferable neighbor. Even blessed Asherah’s name was tarnished by extension in the minds of foreigners, to where they began calling her Tiamat and eventually, Tanit.

The Phoenicians escaped the chaos of their terrestrial neighbors by looking to the sea. In the tradition of a mother, they fertilized the Mediterranean coastline with many child-states, their colonial empire. The greatest of these was Carthage (“New City”) of Northwest Africa, founded by the princess Elissa (“God’s Flame”). She had recognized the perilousness of remaining in the Levant, a crowded field with many power players vying for dominance. So, she sought out a new niche that had not yet been occupied, as do all species that survive the game of evolution. They became an industrious and crafty people who thrived because of their willingness to explore what was new. Meanwhile their southern neighbors languished in perpetual self-loathing, self-persecution and reactionary policies.

The two greatest women in Phoenician history were the aforementioned Elissa and Jezebal (“Where is Baal?” in reference to the false-god’s death and subsequent resurrection). Where Elissa traveled West to find a new path in an untamed corner of the world, Jezebal represented the last gasp of Asherah-worship among the misguided Hebrews in the East. While Jezebal was eventually murdered for her piety, she made sure to adorn herself in fine clothes, makeup and jewels first. She kept her dignity, publicly asserted her glorious stature, and died on her own terms. This would become a motif among all prominent Phoenician women to follow…

Elissa had been appointed co-ruler of Tyre along with her brother Pygmalion upon the death of their father, the king. She married her uncle, Acerbas, whose fortune was well known. Pygmalion had Acerbas killed on false charges and conspired to steal his sister’s inheritance for himself, but she replaced the sacks of gold dust with sand and fled the city. Taking a coterie of prominent noblemen who feared the tyrannical boy-king, they set out by sea. Making a pit stop in Cyprus, the men absconded with 88 prostitutes for their wives and a high priest to bless the voyage. They ventured beyond the known lands until making port in western Africa, where they purchased what became known as Byrsa (“fortess”) Hill from the Berber king, Iarbas. While digging out the encampments for their new settlement, a horse’s head was found, which was proclaimed to be a favorable omen.

Carthage was founded during the outbreak of the Trojan War and many refugees from the final Sack of Troy made it their home. The most famous of which was Aeneas, who would himself go on to found a great city, the future enemy of Carthage and greater-Canaan, the seat of the world-empire known as Rome. Elissa became infatuated with the young soldier, making a spectacle of herself as she openly pined for the destitute youth of a fallen kingdom. She even neglected her political duties to listen to his war stories and offer herself to him. To spare her dignity, several of the queen’s advisors threatened Aeneas to continue on his way, and so he did. (Several probably harbored fantasies of courting the beautiful matriarch and making themselves Lord of Carthage as well.) Elissa assumed her lover had merely taken off after consumating the romance; she felt used, discarded and the light evermore dimmed in her eyes. In this way, the infighting of Carthage’s short-sighted bureaucrats doomed its greatest woman and man (Hannibal, who brought Rome to its knees nearly single-handed) alike, thwarting the common good for sake of self-centered scheming.

As Carthage began to prosper through fishing and agriculture, the comparitvely primitive Berbers began to resent letting the land go for so cheap. In addition, Iarbas found himself impressed by their queen personally, for she had always displayed great cunning and character. Iarbas demanded that Elissa become his wife, which would reduce Carthage to a lone pillar propping up a lesser polity. Elissa refused, both for political and personal reasons, as she was reluctant to endure romance again after two heartbreaks. Rather than risk war for her people, she killed herself in a funeral pyre on the shore, staring in the direction Aeneas had gone. She was the Syzygy of Pegasus, the Guiding Vices of the Autumn Square asterism, who limited their understanding of God to one subject. (In this case, God the Miracle-worker.)

The Berbers immediately besieged the Byrsa, but they were wiped away by a sudden flood that also extinguished the pyre prematurely. Elissa still passed away, yet her city endured because the waters never reached beyond the summit of the hill. As a result, the Carthaginians began to hold the ocean in a special regard, turning their attentions to seafaring trade and colonialism.

In Elissa’s example, we also find the tragedy of Sophonisba (“Protected by Baal,” ironically). Like her ancestor, she too was caught between the lust and envy of a lesser suitor (Syphax of the Berbers) versus her heart (Masinissa of Numidia) and the interests of her country. Fearing the Romans, who were Syphax’ ally, Sophonisba acquiesced the proposal against her wishes but managed to convert his loyalties to Carthage. However, Masinissa did not take the rejection lightly and destroyed Syphax’ armies at Cirta. Masinissa took Sophonisba as his bride, but the Romans interceded and demand he hand her over to them, for fear that she might sway his loyalties too. The fear of Rome outweighed even the love of a great woman, and Masinissa was prepared to send her as a war prisoner, where she would be paraded naked in a triumph before the whole citizenry and then sacrificed to Jupiter. Sophonisba ultimately killed herself rather than endure this humiliation.

In the final days of the city, during the Sack of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War, there was one last show of the very same feminine defiance which characterized the city. As fires consumed what had once been the crown jewel of the Mediteranean world, Ummashart, wife of its last ruler, donned her finest clothes. She saw her own husband had surrendered to the Romans rather than make a heroic last stand for his people. She yelled “Wretch, traitor, most effeminate of men, this fire will entomb me and my children. Will you, the leader of great Carthage, decorate a Roman triumph? Ah, what punishment will you not receive from him at whose feet you are now sitting!” and threw herself to the pyre. Before her death, this last defiant Phoenician woman had penned the Lamentations of Carthage, a city lament written from the point of view of Asherah, for with the final destruction of Punic culture went with it her last remaining worshippers in the world. (Until Mary and Barabbas revived Asherah worship ~200 years later.)

After this vision, Mary wept at the plight of women everywhere in the world, for she knew what it was like to be so disempowered and at the mercy of men. Barabbas wept at the destruction of what would’ve been a powerful ally in his old struggles against Rome. He recognized that for the Hebrews and Phoenicians to feud had been a terrible mistake, ultimately dividing them so Rome could conquer all.

Raphael said unto them: “Do not be scared to venture into the unknown and try new things. To remain always comfortable in stagnant routine, to settle for poor treatment among your peers, that is to diminish your own potential and therefore the potential of God’s Creation itself. Also, be not quick to cast out others for minute differences in view or immediate goals, for today’s supposed enemies might be your greatest allies tomorrow. Imagine what Pygmalion lost out on when driving away his brave, brilliant and loving sister.”

Barabbas requested that they might see any redeeming qualities of Rome, whose people had ruthlessly snuffed out the two great dynasties of Adam and Lilith. The angel promised the next vision would reveal just that.

Y. Caesar and the Romans

While sailing past Sicilia on their way to Junonia, Mary and Barabbas received a vision from the archangel known as Auriel, who represented God’s role as Defender. The Seraphim showed them the following signs:

Despite the Romans’ apparent invincibility as they spread terror to their neighbors, it should be noted they have been prisoners of their own making since the end of the Punic Wars. The fall of their greatest rival left the Italians all-power in the Mediterranean world, but nearly all the gains went to the already-wealthy aristocrats while the soldiers were robbed of their proper compensation. The massive estates of the patrician class compounded while more and more families were forced into subsistence living. Any attempts to rectify the situation peacefully, like through the efforts of the Gracchi brothers, were ruthlessly suppressed. Things came to a head when the embittered general known as Lucius Cornelius Sulla marched on Rome to rectify perceived slights against his honor. Sulla destroyed his political rivals along with the legitimacy of the republic and began instituting reactionary constitutional reforms at the point of a blade. His actions were selfishly motivated and lawless, and for this he shall be fully repaid in the afterlife according to his own epitaph.

It was in this chaos that a sickly child was born, the one who would make himself master of all the West, the greatest mortal man who had ever lived or would ever live. I speak to you now of Gaius Julius Caesar, the man who literally made himself a god in the eyes of his countrymen. One of fewer than 1,000 people who could ever be described simultaneously as a poet, a scholar, a reformer and a mighty warrior. Truly, a renaissance man 1,500 years before his time. Caesar’s family, while patrician, had fallen on hard times financially, so the young Caesar grew up surrounded by the humbler classes. Through his association with them, Julius came to appreciate the significant problems of the Roman system and he worked tirelessly for their benefit throughout his political career. His genuine concern for the well-being of the world as he knew it would be his most defining characteristic in life.

Caesar’s exploits are famed the world over and well attested in non-scriptural accounts, so I will not bore you by recounting what is already known. However, I will reframe his actions in the context of Sophian righteousness. The Julii family was said to be descended from the goddess Venus, and while you, bearers of the true faith, must know this to be ridiculous, he nevertheless personified love in all four flavors: erotic, patriotic, platonic and pastoral. In some regards, Caesar was the perfect embodiment of the demiurge, for he made himself a King of the Material Realm at the expense of other men. Yet with his powers, he gave benefit to a greater number of people than any of his peers had or would have done of their own accord. He was often forced to escalate the magnitude of his endeavors in order to stay alive, such as his march on Rome, which if he had not done would have resulted in a hypocritical trial and punishment by lesser men jealous of his success. While it does not excuse his crimes–and he will be punished for them accordingly–we must consider that he, like all men, was the product of his culture. (Specifically the pressure to exceed the glory of one’s ancestors and a brutal “subjugate or be subjugated” geopolitical paradigm.)

First, I say to thee that there is hardly a man who loved his woman as much as Caesar worshipped Cornelia Cinnae, his first wife. When the Dictator Sulla demanded that the young husband foresake his wife, Julius refused even despite the loss of his inheritence, Cornelia’s dowry and the threat of death. In his devotion, we of Heaven find virute and this remains the greatest romantic gesture in the history of the human race. It is the ultimate demonstration that loyalty to ones family and allies is worth more than life itself. This is the price of the faithful in a hostile world. To submit to the will of an unjust authority is to lose one’s self-respect, dignity and stature among their peers. Surrendering one’s own lady to an aggressor is to be forever emasculated in the eyes of all women, and a perpetual target for all men.

To illustrate this point, let us consider Caesar’s brother-in-law, Lucius Pinarius. He who submitted to the same order, foresaking wife and child forevermore in the care of another man. Foreverafter, Lucius was consumed by shame and regret by his own lack of action, obsessed with a woman who could no longer find it in her heart to respect him. In Julia’s eyes, Lucius had made clear that she was not worth fighting for, that he would not be loyal to her when it mattered most. Lucius’ own partner, what should have been his lifelong source of pride and joy, became an enduring symbol of his own impotency for all time. Even though Lucius loved her painfully, he could not demonstrate his desire with meaningful actions and so lost her even once the dictator died and there was no external force standing between them. I ask you to consider, why then should the Lord be any different to those who deny Him in the face of resistance?

When Caesar, who busied himself with the masculine cursus honorum, returned home a victorious general and conqueror of Gaul, he had no issue replacing Cornelia in contract if not in commitment. The young maidens, with nubile figures and years of fertility ahead, threw themselves at him by the score. Caesar had his pick and settled down with the coveted Calpurnia, an adolescent alpha-female of every Roman boy’s fantasy. In comparison, Pinarius, who had spent the same time ruminating and spectating his ex-wife’s old haunts, was not so lucky. As The Tragedy of Lucius Pinarius tells us, he spent the last summer of his indignified life chasing after a teenager who resembled Julia’s younger self. The girl politely at first, then desperately rejected his advances, until the pitiful man finally gave into his bitter entitlement, only to find out after the fact that he just defiled his own estranged daughter. (She who was raised by Quintus Pedius, Julia’s replacement husband, and therefore bearing his family name “Pedia.”)

Next I bring your attention to Caesar’s clemency. For despite suffering insult after injury from nearly every other ambitious senator in the entire republic, Caesar raised every fallen enemy to his feet again and promised them a place in his new world order. Caesar had even planned to forgive Pompeius Magnus, his son-in-law and one-time-friend, despite the immense betrayal he’d felt since the man raised arms against him. When the Egyptians presumed to murder Pompeius on his account, Caesar wept at the atrocity and gave what was left of the remains a dignified burial. For his magnanimous nature, Caesar was murdered by the very same men he had protected and broke bread with, same as Jesus.

I tell you lastly that Caesar was a pious man. Despite serving as Pontifex Maximus (basically Rome’s version of a High Priest), he was aware of the true God since his early political appointment to Bithynia. There he had been offered the first Ark of the Covenant as a token of goodwill by King Nicomedes. When Caesar looked inside, he saw the Majesty of God and heard the Heavenly Choir sing Their praises. He knew there and then that the true God was a foreigner to his own people, that God would not accept a subordinate role in the pantheon as They would surely be given. Weighing the options, Caesar decided that Rome was not ready for this divine revelation yet, that he was too young and unaccomplished to be its messenger. He told the King to keep the Ark safe, and always intended to return for it after achieving his inevitable position as master of the Senate. Unfortunately, Caesar never got that opportunity, and in this example we must remember not to hold onto essential truths for too long, or it may be too late.

Even with his death, Caesar was a controversial figure, managing even to confound the agents of God. The Aeons debated endlessly whether he should suffer in Gehenna for a time, on account of his atrocities against the Gauls if for nothing else, or whether the man should be rewarded immediately in Heaven for his strength of character. They created a temporary holding cell for him called purgatory while the matter was decided. Caesar was never one to be passive however, and demanded an audience with death itself by the names he knew it: Pluton and Persephone of Virgo. Caesar expressed a willingness to meet his fate in whatever torment God could imagine; his only wish was that Cornelia be granted access to paradise despite dying an unbaptised pagan. He boasted that when the angels heard her beautiful music they would take pity on her. Pluton agreed to listen, and placed Cornelia by her husband’s side. Despite taking two additional wives and countless mistresses after her death, Caesar’s heart had always remained with his first, the one he risked his life for when he was still nothing. The two made passionate love and Caesar was so experienced with the act, so attuned to Cornelia’s body and heart, that he played her like a harp. By his hand, her many coos, laughs, screams and moans came in the harmonic patterns of song. Cornelia’s orgasms were a chorus of ecstacy, the most beautiful sounds ever produced by mortal chords.

Not only were the Aeons moved to tears, but Asherah as well. And so, for the sake of his selfless and most passionate love, cherished even across a lifetime of Homeric adventures, the Hand of Jehovah lifted Julius and Cornelia out of the abyss. They rode into the Milky Way on a scarlet chariot, like Apollo and Melia in the myths of their imaginative (if charmingly misguided,) forefathers. The Romans saw this act in the form of a red comet and proclaimed Caesar’s divinity from Earth. God saw it as one of the purest demonstrations of love and proclaimed Caesar’s humanity from Heaven. Cornelia stared longingly at her husband the entire trip, despite the dazzling horizons moving around them. Caesar, the most successful of all men, whom she had idolized since he was just a headstrong youth defending her honor against a tyrant. He met her gaze and smiled, for she had been his inspiration all along, his aspirational icon in absentia, and none of his subsequent accomplishments had ever matched that of winning this fair lady’s heart forever. They were the Syzygy of Lyra, the Guardian Virtues of the Summer Triangle asterism (God the Victor of War, God the Bringer of Peace, God the Passions of Men.)

Upon landing in the border regions of eternity, Caesar lifted Cornelia onto his shoulders so that she could climb the Tree of Life. She reached the top and he beamed up with pride at her, the woman whom the tallest man in history had placed upon the tallest pedestal. She had been denied time and circumstance to make the most of her talents in life, yet with a boost from Caesar she would realize that potential now. “Your unending loyalty, your reassurance of my every doubt, and even with all the yearnings of my heart these many years, I could not bring myself to love another woman with the same depth as I feel for you. Dearest Cornelia, who believed in me when I was nothing, for whom I would have given everything I ever had, there is no Heaven until I am the center of your eyes again!”

Unfortunately, the descendants of Caesar soon lost their way. Octavian, he that would become Augustus, reinstituted proscriptions and forced his own adopted son, Tiberius, to divorce a beloved wife (Vipsania Agrippina). This alone represents a complete betrayal of Julius’ legacy, that act of defiance which first set him on the course to immortality. Tiberius was left a broken man thereafter, literally weeping beside the ground she walked upon, and thus largely abandoned his role as emperor to Sejanus. (A man who covertly slaughtered Tiberius’ family.) Once Caligula took over, he was extending the practice of forced-divorces to innocent countrymen. In this way, he destroyed Lollia Paulina’s marriage and ultimately her life. Even the very office of Roman emperor became the epitome of gluttony and domesticating excess with enough time, attracting such degenerates as Elagabalus, Julianus and Honorius. The men who truly followed in Caesar’s glorious example, like Severus, Julian and Diocletian, were by far the exception.

After the vision, Mary grappled with her conflicting emotions. Auriel had been correct in that Caesar was the very personification of a demiurge and yet she deeply admired him all the same. What she found appalling in his conquest she found enticing in his resolve, and in honesty she felt a profound attraction to him as the very epitome of unrestricted manhood. Barabbas resisted feeling any positive impressions towards Caesar at first, but as the story continued his respect for the man could not be denied. In truth, everything Caesar had done is something Barabbas had wished to do and would have if he had been given the chance. He was forced to admit that he appreciated even the founder of the empire he so loathed.

Auriel said unto them: “There’s no reason one cannot defend the honor of themselves and their family while still remaining faithful God. There’s no reason one cannot serve the interests of their people in the mortal life and still be faithful to God. Where Caesar erred is in trying to wait for the perfect time to spread the good news–there will never be a better time than the present. And yet, for all his faults, his good deeds as a civil servant outweighed them in the Eyes of God. Imperfect but well-meaning action is often better than passivity in the face of grave injustice around you. Please remember then that there are noble people among even foreign religions and cultures. Judge not lest ye be judged.”

Mary asked to know who the greatest woman might be, if Caesar was truly the best manhood had to offer. The angel promised the next vision would reveal just that.

JULIUS MOTHERFUCKING CAESAR!

Z. Marcellina and the Carpocratians

While crossing the Pillars of Hercules on their way to Corduba, Mary and Barabbas received a vision from the archangel known as Michael, who represented God’s role as Liberator. The Seraphim showed them the following signs:

In Marcellina, one was said to find the beauty of Phryne, the passion of Boudica and the intellect of Julia the Elder. She had dark, inquisitive eyes that matched her hair, and with tan skin as if from exposure to the sins of the Earth. Marcellina was the living Nirvana, a litmus test of all who should have the pleasure of meeting her. With a spirit that had been dimmed by many heartbreaks and atrocity, she still managed to keep (or play the role of) a child’s wonderment. She used her long bangs as a veil, as if they could blot out the cruelty of mankind around her. In Marcellina’s mannerisms there was a show of guilelessness though she knew well how the world operated; indeed, this performative naviety was her own defense against it. for she understood the hard lot of her male companions, who longed to enjoy vicariously the innocence of young women, and eagerly indulged them in this and all other fantasies. Men needed to play the hero and provider of women who struck their fancy, and in this manner she manipulated them for safety and livelihood. Though in truth, Marcellia had a deeper capacity for resilience and contemplation than any of her presumed “superiors.” She was as much the ideal woman as Julius Caesar embodied the best features of man.

A native of Alexandria originally, Marcellina’s family emigrated to Cephalonia when she was very young. There, she applied her skills in feminine companionship as a hetaira, providing her body and wit to lonely male patrons. She was therefore well-educated by the standards of women at the time–even said to out-debate any men who’d choose to spend her valuable time discussing political issues. However, Marcellina’s greatest interest was the mythologies of her pagan upbringing, particularly the Eleusinian Mysteries. She subsisted in this manner for a time before meeting the travelling proselytizer known as Carpocrates, who took after Simon’s example of finding an attractive prostitute he could raise to a nobler station in life, mirroring in this case Elohim’s redemption of Gaia itself. Like nearly all her prospective clients, Carpocrates was smitten and Marcellina, in turn, found herself enraptured by Sophian cosmology. In particular, she cherished the visions they shared together under the influence of lophophoric elixir, which Carpocrates described as channeling, and from the ganzfeld effect which was supposed to induce anamnesis.

Carpocrates’ followers were the most radical people ever to call themselves Christian. They thought of light and dark not as opposing moral imperatives so much as the twin binary forces of logic by which the Universe was “programmed” into existence: the one and the zero. Carpocratians took the Pauline rejection of Mosaic Law to its logic conclusion and justified it with Marian theology. He believed not only was it man’s right to enjoy the pleasures of life, but his duty, for the soul could not escape its material prison without experiencing everything on Earth first. In this endeavor, he took to carnal sensations, fine cuisine, athletic competition and entheogenic contemplation. The women of the sect were passed around in polyamorous orgies, though they were also educated, read scripture and conducted the sacraments as respected equals in the church. However, one could not accuse the man of exploiting a convenient doctrine in pursuit of aimless debauchery, because these excesses were tempered with bouts of self-flagellation, sincere meditation, fasting and even self-imposed humiliation. The goal was to know every sensation and emotion possible, after all.

While Carpocrates deeply admired Marcellina’s beauty and intelligence, he had no plans of pursuing a romantic relationship with her. Instead, he intended to betrothe her to his brilliant son, the 27 year old Epiphanes. This young man had already established himself as a great philosopher in his own right, and outlined a doctrine of communal living, egalitarian values and libertarian governance in his book On Righteousness, one of the greatest socio-political manifestos ever written. Epiphanes had been groomed by his father to lead the congregation, and since he was 24 he often led the group in prayer. They all worshipped together in a secret room adorned with images of Solomon, Jesus, Mary, Barabbas and Basilides (Mary’s aforementioned student and Carpocrates’ teacher) as well as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle plus Pythagoras, Philolaus, Pyrrho and Myia. It was Carpocrates’ belief that Marcellina was the first woman he’d ever known who might be a worthy partner for his son, with a knowledge to stimulate his own and a physique to sire many heirs. (There was a tradition within Gnosticism for great male leaders to take on a female muse, like Helen to Simon, Philumena to Apelles and Flora to Ptolemy.)

The two were soon wed in an elaborate bridal chamber, and proclaimed the Syzygy of Boötes, the Guardian Virtues of the Spring Diamond asterism (God the Noble Beast/Untamed Nature, God the Farmer/Tamed Human, God the Hunting Dog/Tamed Nature God the Virgin/Untamed Human). During their brief time together, Marcellina refined Carpocratian theology. She postulated that each of God’s six personalities represented a different experience, or lack thereof. Specifically, closeness to Jehovah was said to arise from sensory deprivation as Asherah came with psychedelic hallucination. Jesus was associated with asceticism and Desdemona with hedonism, Sophia with academic study and Ganymede with spontaneous intuition. While exploring the Fascinic Triad she wore the Vestments of Exousia: a bronze tiara, a gold wedding bracelet (left-hand) and silver signet ring bearing the seal of Solomon (right-hand). While exploring the Shekhinic Triad she wore the Vestments of Sophrosyne: a buckram corset, iron chastity belt and aluminium slave collar.

Marcellina associated the 6 weeks of each month (in the Marian calendar) with the major emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, tenderness and disgust. Then for each of the five days of the week she found a new way to encounter the many subsets of each. The cycle repeated each month but always with different auxiliary participants so as to get varied experiences. (In fact, one of her goals was always to meet someone born in each astrological syzygy every month. She chronicled these diverse acquaintances with a web woven in a hoop of willow representing the zodiac.) Then during the five extra days of the year she pursued the arts: visual, musical, theatrical, rhetorical and esoteric. In addition, Marcellina emphasized the study of geometry, singling out the hexagon as particularly exalted.

Unfortunately, Epiphanes died tragically only two years later, leaving Marcellina a 22 year old widow. Marcellina found herself aimless and stymied without her husband; by now she also considered herself Carpocrates’ equal in terms of scriptural knowledge as well as experiential accumulation. So, she asked for his blessing to carry his doctrine into new corners of the world. Carpocrates mourned the loss of his brightest and most favored pupil, his daughter and moon, though he knew she was capable. He magnanimously bestowed upon her the Vestment of Auctoritas: a Cloak of Many Colors (for the 7 Christian virtues) as a token of good luck. He even allowed the woman, who was thirty-four years his junior, to baptise him in the Mediterranean shore by moonlight as a symbolic passing of the torch. Marcellina set off for Rome, the capital of the world, with the largest populous of any western city. There she administered what would come to be the noblest church ever dedicated to our one God, the Marcellians.

Upon entering the great city, Marcellina purchased a donkey and drapped her robe along its back. Then she rode side-saddle into hostile territory naked, which must surely have been the most spectacular sight ever to grace the Romans. Naturally, a large crowd soon gathered to watch this strange woman with a stunning lack of modesty. At first they jeered, until they realized this woman lacked fear or shame as well, and from then on she inspired their transfixed admiration. Word quickly reached the emperor, Marcus Aurelius, who arrived to assess the scene. Marcus Aurelius was an accomplished theologian of his own right, author of the seminal work known as Meditations, and the ideal leader according to Platonic thought. In another lifetime of reversed circumstances, he would have been the brilliant young scholar writing a Gnostic-Christian treatise like On Righteousness and Epiphanes might have been a great stoic-pagan. The stoicist philosopher-king judged from the size and enthusiasm of the crowds that this strange movement could not be easily silenced, and so he decided to position himself as its greatest supporter instead. He brought Marcellina his finest horse, a prized white stallion from the arenas and said: “Someone as fine as you deserves a worthier steed, methinks. Whoever you are, I welcome you to our fair city. I am Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus.”

She answered “I am Marcellina, the pontifex ultimatum of our God, Elohim, who also has six personalities. Whosoever comes in Their names requires no fine adornments nor secular titles as yours, Caesar. For I say to you, our God’s kingdom is in Heaven and those that follow Them will be rewarded with eternal paradise of a magnitude which far eclipses what you have built here from mere stone.” Marcellina dismounted her ass, draped the Cloak of Many Colors around the emperor’s shoulders, placed her now-defunct wedding bracelet in his hand and her tiara on his head before she continued. “I leave you all the prestige man can imagine and all the spoils the Earth has to bestow, for they are irrelevant. Do with them as you like, for you have already taken away the only thing that matters to followers of the truth, like me. I pray that you remember yours is a land of many diverse peoples and creeds, several of which have been dehumanized as of late. In fact, I present myself as a criminal according to your law, for while I have harmed no one and spoken no lie, mighty Caesar has made worship of the one true God illegal in his empire. Glorious excellency, I fear not your punishments in this transitory life of mine; I only fear retribution from the Lord above if I were to foresake Their name in word or deed. I am a Christian unlike any you’ve seen before, I am the bringer of peace and love to an empire born out of war, and I will not be silenced!”

Marcus could hear murmurs of approval throughout the crowd; he knew that to forcibly silence Marcellina would cause a great disturbance. (He was also impressed by such bravado besides.) So, as “payment” for the vestments, he offered Marcellina a plot of land in the Field of Mars to establish her church. He said “Dear lady, whatever slanders you may have heard, I promise they are untrue. All Gods are welcome here in Rome, from those of our ancestors to the foreign divinities across every corner of the Mediterranean. Worship freely and report to me if anyone should give you trouble.” The crowd erupted in applause, though no one dared to point out that Aurelius had indeed executed Christians before on numerous occassions. (Without the zeal of some of his predecessors, it must be said.) In fact, persecution of all other sects of Christianity except Marcellina’s continued unabated during this time.

Marcellina, her forebear Carpocrates and his son Epiphanes represent my favorite sect of Gnosticism. It’s like if Mary Magdalene and Mimi from La Matriarca (1968) were merged into the most perfect person who ever lived.

Many threw themselves at Marcellina and her church after this demonstration. Some came out of curiosity for her doctrine, some of respectful admiration for her bravery, others out of lust for her appearance. In all cases, whatever the inspiration for their visit, they left devout within a few masses. While she was never wanting for new converts, female pseudo-lictors were sent out into the city proper every day bearing the good news. They came with bouquets of cannabis flowers surrounding a single skewer of psilocybin mushrooms, which they would share with anyone willing to sit down and discuss the true covenant. To the city-dwellers, however, the Marcellians were instructed to reframe their theology as a celebration of the marriage between Psyche (the mind, a stand-in for Sophia) and Eros (love/passion, a stand-in for Jesus), of which humanity itself was the progeny. This was done to lure Christian-skeptic polytheists into attending the complete mass, where Marcellina’s charisma might better entice them, and so as not to provoke any backlash from the authorities. These messengers would often have sex with members of their audience at personal discretion and were intended to be mirror opposites of the Vestal Virgins. They were branded with the Star of Solomon (hexagram) on the right earlobe so they could not deny their affiliation.

Marcellina also began to adapt the marvellous ceremonies of the mystery religions she had known from before she met Carpocrates. The secret pagan cults often celebrated the death/descent and resurrection of a certain mythological figure (popularly Orpheus, Persephone or Dionysus) to a heroic rise and transcendental state, as would hers. Elaborate festivities were conducted, including use of dramatic underground settings with ornate decorations, intoxicants (ranging from wine to essence of divinorum) and music to lower inhibitions as well as inspire awe. The narrative was framed around Jesus and the Harrowing of Hell, where He descended through 7 layers separated by 6 rivers with the guiding light of the Holy Spirit (non-personified Sophia). These 7 Hells were called (with rivers in parentheses): Avernus, (Styx,) Limbo, (Lethe,) Hades, (Phlegethon,) Duat, (Acheron,) Naraka, (Cocytus,) Dudael (Tehom,) and Tartarus. Along each level, he defeated the following monsters, in order: the Shedim, Furies, Gorgons, Cyclopses, Harpies, Hecatoncheires as well as the Dark Triad of Echidna, Scylla and Thanatos in the deepest circle. The Rephaim, or souls of the decent if not spectacular who predated Christ, were brought back out to Heaven on a rainbow road, two by two in improvised male/female redemptive syzygies. The souls of the wicked, or Shades, were cleansed for a time in a purifying purgatorial pyre and rose up, one by one in order of worthiness, with the smoke. From His spine, the Lord fashioned two new guardians of the underworld named Sydyk and Tyche, the Hadean Syzygy, who were commanded to comfort the new souls until the end of time.

There was an emphasis on transitioning from one state to another in Marcellina’s doctrine. The changes in mood, perception and priority were noted during the slow process of inebriation. Participants made note of how they felt after one drink, two, three, etc and the same for all other substances. There were tapestries of amphibians and dragonflies, which begin life in water before taking to land and sky respectively. Even in herself Marcellina noted the duality of nature, the contrasting interpretations of her actions, depicting herself as both a lusty temptressine succubus in Hell and a beautiful guardian angel in Heaven simultaneously. (It is from her that we adopted the “angel and devil on the shoulder” idiom, in fact.) She imagined herself in another Universe as a man, whom she called “Marcellus Linus,” after Augustus’ worthiest heir and the first officially ordained Pope of Rome. Marcellina contemplated how such a change in circumstance as sex might have affected the entire course of her life.

These and many other esoteric musings formed the basis for her sole work of scripture, The Marcelline Proverbs. Several recipes in that book are said to be passed down from Lilith’s ancient knowledge of herbal medicines and hallucinatories. And to those who were illiterate, or otherwise requiring an immediate visual aid, she adapted Mary’s “Spirit Table” invention into the Christian Cabala, an elaborate depiction of the Tree of Life. (With three rows for the three components of God: flesh, spirit, diety…) She used this illustrative guide to explain God’s 10 attributes and the means by which the manifested themselves through the power of language. Marcellina began every mass by reciting the Hymn of the Pearl, a Gnostic Parable about the transformative power of knowledge.

Marcus Aurelius kept a close eye on Marcellina’s growing congregation. His anxiety increased in proportion to his lust for the only woman–the only person–who had ever stood up to him. Marcus was a very temperate man, not prone to egotism or rash actions, but what he desired most for his people was stability and the Marcellians threatened the established order. He invited the self-styled prophetess to his villa on the Palatine Hill, under the guise of hearing her gospel. One thing led to another and the two began a passionate affair that would last until the old man’s death several years later. For Marcus it was the culmination of a powerful attraction, for Marcellina it was merely another new experience for her wayward soul, and for both it was a way of keeping tabs on their greatest potential threat.

Their liaisons were ony semi-frequent, separated by months at a time while the emperor tended to the German front. During these visits, Marcellina was introduced to many foreign dignitaries, whom she spread the gospel to and absorbed knowledge from in turn. For example, she began applying message techniques and acupuncture into her sacred rituals after meeting diplomats from China. The King of Armenia was bold enough even to ask for Marcellina’s hand in marriage and offer her the crown, though she politely declined. Perhaps if things had continued in this way, our fair Marcellina might have become to Rome what Musa was to Persia, or Semiramis to Assyria. Alas, the timeline we inhabit is not so generous, in fact it may be among the very worst God ever created, if for no other reason than what happened next…

During his absence, Caesar’s incompentent and vicious son Commodus would often harass the Marcellians but would not dare harm their leader directly. After four years, the master of Rome passed away on the Rhine frontier, leaving his favorite mistress in the hands of his resentful heir. Marcus Aurelius had certainly never been a Christian, but as a non-superstitious man and principled adherent of stoicism, he had no personal stake in the official pantheon of that state. Moreover, he felt admiration for all who genuinely strived for virtue under any banner. His son Commodus had no such ethical foundation, only sadism and ego. Commodus resented Marcellina both as a Christian and a successful rival for his father’s affection. So, as his first act upon ascending to the throne, the new emperor raided the Marcellian temple and put many of its disciples to death.

For Marcellina, the boy-king had her skinned alive to “prove” her beauty was merely skin-deep. He then stuffed her pelt with straw like a scarecrow. “Behold the woman!” he proclaimed to a disgusted and demoralized audience. The Romans were quick to note the stark different between Aurelius’ tolerance and Commodus’ vindictiveness. It was only the start of what would be among the most disastrous reigns in the history of the empire. His rule would mark the end of the once-illustrious Nerva-Antonine dynasty, establish the Crisis of the Third Century as well as set in motion the ultimate Fall of the West, almost as divine punishment for slaying such a noble figure.

Her final moments were spent in happiness, however, because Marcellina’s entire life had been preparing for the Big Trip. There, in a consciousness cruising into oblivion on the fumes of neural-changa, Marcellina met again her beloved Epiphanes. He who had been her only equal in coital, rhetorical and philosophical sparring, among thousands of challengers. She who had lived every conceivable pleasure and unpleasantness, only to arrive at God’s Gate desiring some simple quality time with a friend long gone. They reclined beneath the Tree of Knowledge, feeding each other mouthfuls of its fruit without fear. “Your unfiltered personality, your infallible ability to surprise, and even with all the processing power of mind at the task, I can not perfectly capture the scale of your magnificance against every other man. There is no Heaven, blessed Epiphanes, until I am back in your arms where I belong!”

In the void left by Marcellina’s martyrdom, Valentinianism took over as the dominant branch of the Gnostic-Chrstians. Its founder, Valentinus, had been Carpocrates’ peer among the school of Basilides. (Just as Basilides himself had been a competing preacher to Cerdo after Menander.) Valentinus reestablished the elaborate Aeonic hierarchies and esoteric cosmology against the Carpocratic-Marcellian focus on experience and spontaneous divine inspiration. Valentinian Gnosticism was to be the longest lasting and most popular sect of Christianity not derived from Peter or Paul. The most notable of his followers included Heracleon, Colarbasus and Marcus the Gnostic who would each continue his traditions. While hers was an “evolutionary dead-end” in the history of the religion, Marcellina’s was by far the most interesting, the most sincerely crafted and passionately adhered-to by its followers. Its leader was the most personally inspiring among all Gnostics and perhaps the best person God ever sired. Asherah grew especially despondent at the time her death and would not be consoled for 100 years. Regarding her legacy, Jehovah said “If she had been the mother of all men in place of Lilith and Eve, there would have been no wickedness among them.” (The Universe where that is the case is by far the most perfect of all.)

After the vision, Mary remained conflicted over this figure who stepped into her role and took it in a direction she had never intended it to go. On the one hand, she admired the woman’s courage, sincerity, curiosity, intelligence, inventiveness, liberation, propensity to love…and as the adjectives grew, Mary realized she could no longer deny the overwhelming respect she felt. While Marcellina was certainly unconventional in how she expressed it, her piety was clearly real. It may have taken on a libertine morality and pagan presentation, but it certainly led its supporters to good all the same. Marcellina’s legacy came from marrying faith with fun.

“Perhaps it was foolish of me, to think mine or any other religious doctrine would remain stagnant over time. Perhaps what’s most important is not that the next generation differes from us in ritual but that they’re keeping the ethos alive with new ideas. We are all praying to the same God afterall,” Mary said.

Barabbas was more forthcoming: “And to think I wasted my life trying to develop a spiritual ideology, or the compelling ruse of one, in order to liberate the world. I’ve sought knives, swords and slings in my efforts to subdue the oppressors of men when the greatest weapon of all is that which I have so long forsaken,” said he.

“What’s that, my love?” asked Mary.

“Women,” answered the reverent ex-zealot. “The gentle passions of women.”

Mary was beginning to appreciate Marcellina all the more, as she saw in this unconventional spirit a good deal of Barabbas’ younger self. The girl colored outside the lines, but she got results and her heart was in the right place. Perhaps the younger generation could teach their elders a thing or two, from time to time…

Michael said unto them: “God intended life to be a meaningful experience for you all: full of merrymaking, creativity and love. Marcellina understood that perhaps better than any other. That’s something those world-hating types of Gnostics and circumcision-loving Jews just never seemed to figure out, to their own detriment.” At the mere mention of the word “circumcision” the angel glowered and spat, so abhorrent was the practice. “Those who rob others of potential experience before they may even speak, I say to you, they are worse than even some murderers in the eyes of the Lord. They–all of them–belong in the deepest pits of Hell for as long as mercy permits.” Barabbas, who had known the cruelty of genital mutilation firsthand, enthusiastically nodded and responded “Amen.” Mary wept for all young men who had been so wronged by the people that were supposed to protect them.

Barabbas, titillated by this peak into the future, expressed a desire to know what new paradigm-shifting behaviors the people of Aquarius might bring. The angel promised the next vision would reveal just that.

I say to you all, that God’s glory can be found even in that which is non-spiritual and non-ecclesiastical. You can find the grace of divinity in the natural world, a beautiful work from any medium or even a gorgeous (wo)man who suits your fancy. That’s where the joyless ascetic types get it all wrong as far as I’m concerned.

&. Saint Germain and the Alchemists

While passing near Gergovia on their way to Lutetia, Mary and Barabbas received a vision from the archangel Gabriel, who represented God’s role as Scholar. The Seraphim showed them the following signs:

The first Aquarian, in astrological time and ideological worldview, was the Count of Saint Germain. No one knew his real name nor the circumstances of his early life, though his eloquent speech and depth of knowledge granted him an audience among high society of the 18th century. It’s as though he just sprang out of existence, fully formed in his philosophy and platonically conceived in personality. Further confusing matters is that he used different pseudonyms and gave different answers as to his age depending on whom he spoke with. According to legend, Saint Germain could travel through time, lived to be over 500 years old and a self-made man. I am here to tell the both of you that this is all true and yet only scratches the surface of the man’s life.

The man called Saint Germain was actually born in Transylvania to the illustrious Habsburg family. He was orphaned in the wars of Transylvanian independence led by Prince Francis II Rákóczi, who subsequently adopted the child out of pity. The boy’s true identity was kept secret to avoid persecutions against the previous regime, and as the son of a prince he was given a good education. While his father encouraged more practical studies, Saint Germain’s true calling was always in occult mysticism. He became enraptured by the Hermetic tradition in particular, including alchemy and the alterations to Marcellina’s “Qabalah,” now said to depict the Tree of Knowledge. (With three columns for sulfur, mercury and salt…) When combining this esoteric doctrine with Gnosticism (particularly The Marcelline Proverbs) he unlocked many hidden secrets about the nature of the world. By deconstructing the true composition of reality, soon enough the young man found himself bending it to his will.

While only provided a modest living by his father, Saint Germain supported himself for life by accomplishing at 36 what many prior alchemists spent their entire lives attempting: the transmutation of common materials into gold. Saint Germain had no interests in splendor, however, and only provided for himself what was required to live comfortably. Like many a great artist, such as Leonardo da Vinci, he even neglected personal relationships and personal care in order to focus exclusively on his work. Saint Germain knew the study of Earthly science must go hand in hand with knowledge of, and appreciation for, the divine realm of God. He sought not to anger the Heavenly host at first by delving too far into unnatural processes. His insane deeds were recorded in the triangle-shaped Book of Zero and Infinity.

Around this time, on one of his few excusions beyond the workstation, Saint Germain met the lady Clarissa. She was the only human being he ever felt an inclination towards in his entire life–more of an obsessive infatuation infact–and it was in pursuit of her favors that he aspired to higher orders magic. Despite even all he had accomplished already, the woman remained perfectly indifferent towards him in turn. This became known as the Syzygy of Canis, the Guiding Vices of the Winter Triangle asterism (God the Master to Obediant Underlings). The woman died fairly young, at the age of 27, though Saint Germain immortalized her consciousness in the form of a fairy as one of his three familiars* and continued to try his luck at courting this imprisoned atrocity of science. (*The other two being a bat made of shadows called Asrestar, and an electrified floating sword called Kokbael.)

Saint Germain expanded upon the work done by Marcellina, who in turn had built upon the foundations laid by her teachers, Mary through Carpocrates. In particular, Saint Germain classified the previously vague concept of wisdom into separate categories that were said to derive from different components of God. He invented the concept of “echmoth,” which he defined as knowledge of death, said to come from the Allogenes. This was different from “echamoth,” the academic intelligence from the Autogenes. Then that which is “agnosti” or unknowable, came from the Propators. The overall Shekhinah half of God represented the curiosity of innocence, while Fascinus represented the experiential understanding.

Saint Germain also expanded upon the Sophian tradition of attributing numbers to different aspects of God (specifically Zero for Asherah and Infinity for Jehovah). He defined the Propators as the square root of our negatively aligned world (i), the Allogenes as the base of natural logarithms (e), and Autogenes as the relationship between circumference and diameter (π). He discovered that the golden ratio (ϕ) is the relationship between matter to antimatter at the start of the Big Bang, and therefore the relationship between Fascinus and Shekhinah in the Universe. In addition, Saint Germain discovered the concepts of Absolute Zero (which he associated with Asherah) and Absolute Hot (1.42 x 1033 degress Celsius–not quite Infinity–associated with Jehovah). Finally, with regard to alchemy and magic, Saint Germain took the existing concept of a right-handed path (Daksinacara) associated with order, standardization and harmony with nature and associated it with Jehovah. That means the opposing left-handed path (Vamachara) of freedom, creativity and deviation into the taboo was the domain of Asherah.

All the same, Clarissa’s ghost remained unswayed. Saint Germain sought to impress her with still more complicated feats of the alchemic arts.

Towards the natural world, Saint Germain’s studies yielded new understanding as well. He was the first to understand the human body as a biological machine carrying out the processes of the elements simultaneously (fire for the nervous system, earth for digestion, air for respiration, water for circulation). By manipulating these processes, and the four components of the psychological mind, Saint Germain developed a method using modified alchemic purifying rituals of nigredo (blackening), albedo (whitening), citrinitas (yellowing) and rubedo (reddening) so that he could transform his shape at will, becoming any animal or even a large corrosive cloud.

  1. Nigredo involved confronting one’s psychological shadow (see the Four Creeds on the Nature of Man in Chapter IV) which means facing down one’s own inner darkness. It involved opening one’s bowels and seeing their inner filth.

  2. Albedo involved making peace with the new equilibrium of the ego, now fully aware of one’s most malicious and greedy impulses. This allowed the subject to confront their inner femininity (in men) or masculinity (in women). It involved taking a breath of fresh air so to speak and seeing things from the opposite perspective.

  3. Citrinitas involved ego-death, realizing that one is but a small part of the larger whole that is the totality of life on Earth. With this important lens removed, one can finally appreciate the objective reality they inhabit. It involved the complete restructuring of one’s neurological wiring in the brain, connecting the various parts of the mind that normally don’t communicate with each other.

  4. Rubedo involved embracing the balanced Self, one’s heavenly soul existing eternally under the watchful eye of Jehovah, one of countless equals in the splendor of Heaven. It involved letting one’s heart give out, stop “pumping” oneself in the direction they choose and letting themselves go to the mercy of the current.

Still, the specter of Clarissa did not care. He pushed himself even further, to prove himself worthy of the fickle mistress.

By the age of 54, Saint Germain had completed six of the seven great works associated with alchemy: creation of the rebis as mastery of sex, creation of the philosopher’s stone (which produces unlimited gold) as mastery of chemistry, achievement of immortality as mastery of spirituality, creation of the panacea as mastery of biology, the birth of a homunculus as mastery of personality, fulfillment of perpetual motion as mastery of physics. The only goal that remained was access to the infinite corridor, as mastery of divinity.

  1. Saint Germain created the rebis by sacrificing the lives of 1,000 men and 1,000 women to summon the primordial souls of Adam and Lilith, known as Geradamas and Pigerlehavah, respectively. He gave them several rounds of counseling so that their resentments from life might be forgiven and then put the two souls in the same stiched together body. He called his creation “Protanthropon.” It had limited powers over Spacetime, able to teleport its master through either and even speed up or slow down time’s flow within a 100 yard radius of itself.

  2. Saint Germain fed his philosopher’s stone by burning books. For every book burned, the equivalent of one-tenth its wordcount would be produced in gold coins.

  3. Saint Germain had to keep a special hearth burning a substance called Amrita in order to remain immortal. He required 16 hours of sleep a day thereafter. He was not protected from sickness or maiming unless he also used the panacea.

  4. Saint Germain had to continuously produce a a stock of Azoth Potion to continue to use the panacea. While the drug protected him for physical ailments, it did not protect his mind from negative emotion or disorder. The effects of the concoction left him with permanent aches and slight delirium.

  5. Saint Germain was forced to sacrifice one of his five senses in order to create each homunculum. He foresook smell to make Athonavel, who was used as a servant to tend to his house and answer social calls so the real man could continue working. Then he abandoned the ability to taste/speak in giving birth to Terufiel, a gender-swapped homuncula. This second creature accompanied its maker around the laboratory singing songs and telling stories so Saint Germain would not be lonely in his endless solitude. From then on, the wretched sorcerer spoke only in sign language or used Terufiel (who could sense his thoughts) as a mouthpiece.

  6. Saint Germain sacrificed his own immortal soul (reasoning that there was no need for one with immortality on Earth) to make the perpetual motion device work properly. He used the device to power an elaborate analog computer used for complex calculations and simulation processing. The machine itself was constructed with the labor of two-thousand foreign slaves, whose lives were those sacrificed to summon the rebis.
Despite what I just said, no person is worth your dignity. If they aren’t complementing your life, fulfilling your needs, it’s time to realize your own worth and move on. Better ways to find meaning and happiness.

Nevertheless, the phantom Clarissa was unimpressed. Saint Germain took his powers to their limit, finally tampering directly in God’s domain.

The magical properties of the rebis allowed Saint Germain to travel anywhere in the physical universe instantaneously. It was in many ways his single greatest achievement, and the man took great pride in joining together a union even God had seemingly given up on. With these powers, he planted a garden on the Moon and was the first man to plant a flag on the surface of Antarctica. He was even able to summon the lesser Ishim of God, those who wandered imperceptibly among mankind, and utilize their abilities at will. The first time he attempted such a thing, it was with the Ishim known as Baracaba, who allowed him to raise the continent of Atlantis not just above the waves but above the clouds into a floating metropolis. (For which he became riddled with anxieties.) The second time he forced the Ishim known as Eraticum to construct a mini-world 6 feet in diameter, complete with near-microscopic people building intricate societies upon its surface for him to study. (For which he became plagued by depression.) The third and final time, he used the Ishim called Mayton to grant him a vision of the afterlife he would never see. (For which he was struck with an intense phobia of sunlight.)

Saint Germain saw the most learned of men and women gathered together in a most impossibly distinguished university, which he equated with the School of Athens. There, the best and brightest shared the wisdom they had accrued in life with each other so that all knowledge was received in every mind. Marcellina, the Messenger of Light, was at once the most revered among them. She enticed a large gathering of students with her immense capacity for the lewd and logical alike. Even Mary Magdalene herself would accept baptism from this, the most exalted of women, with the knowledge that the children may teach their forebears as well. (However, Mary did not remain in Marcellina’s tutelage beyond this symbolic gesture. Instead, the beloved disciple of Jesus opted to mediate the divide between the long-fractured Phoenician/Carthaginian and Hebrew/Judean lineages of man.)

Among Marcellina’s pupils was Julius Caesar himself. I tell you this, despite seducing countless women all over the known world, the mighty one’s heart only truly strayed from Cornelia just once–here in the company of his feminine equal. In Heaven, with the glory of redeemed peers and infinite time to experiment with them, rigid monogamy gives way to polyamorous lovemaking sooner or later. Still, Caesar felt his usual appetites curbed in the company of his first and dearest wife. He explained his attraction simply with the declaration “I find her most… uncommon, Missus Caesar.” However, even this faint praise, coming from such an accomplished man, betrayed the scope of his admiration. Nevertheless, Marcellina was the only woman who ever intimidated the fivefold Consul and fivetime Triumphator of Rome. She was the only one whom the man himself did not feel truly worthy of. So they remained a Platonic Syzygy built of mutual respect and awe. Upon seeing his own long-deceased idol and sophist for the first time, Saint Germain wanted nothing more than to remain with her there in Heaven forever. He burst into anguished wails with the knowledge that he had given up that right.

Saint Germain next saw that Hell was actually a construction of mankind rather than God. It was comprised of those who had placed themselves above their brothers, who compelled the servitude of their equals in constructing hubristic monuments to themselves. The proverbial Tower of Babel, the misbegotten throne of all demiurges in the history of Earth, became an inverted prison. Those who strove for the highest heights became the lowest of all, bearing the weight of their own hideous construction on their backs. And, to his horror, Saint Germain saw himself there at the very bottom, the most damned among all who had ever lived or would ever live. He let out a terrified scream and retreated from the vision.

Despite even this, Clarissa’s ghost rejected the poor man’s advances yet again. So, Saint Germain, perhaps in pursuit of another timeline with a more pliable version of the girl, or else a way to warn his multiversal counterparts against such folly, sought to complete the seventh and final magnum opus. I speak now of the Infinite Corridor, the Bridge Between Worlds, the Connective Tissue Binding All Universes in the Greater Multiverse. Its every entrance was said to be guarded by Asherah, as Jehovah resides in the central galaxy observing all Creation.

To succeed in such an endeavor, the aforementioned Absolute Hotness would have to be achieved by burning 1,000,000 souls in a great cauldron. Saint Germain therefore instructed his rebis to speed up the flow of time around his mini-world, so that he could collect the souls of its denizens as they died in quick succession. Then the rebis itself would have to be sacrificed to spark such an intense flame–its cries were unbearable and caused the misguided warlock to lose his hearing. The blaze of this atrocity was so brilliant it left him blinded as well. The awful procedure was a success and the door to all realities opened…only for another Saint Germain in a reflected-universe made entirely of antimatter to open his door at the very same time. As the two mirror-counterparts entered the other’s dimensions simultaneously, their oppositely charged atoms annihilated and they both perished before even having a chance to comprehend what had happened to them. To stave off Asherah, the prophecized guardian of the barrier between worlds, Saint Germain had brought a mesh of woven silver coins, a dish of garlic and rings of white candles, all of which proved useless. Thus, the twin portals closed with all evidence of their opening destroyed and the integrity of existence was maintained with perfect simplicity.

By the grace of Asherah, the miserable wizard’s soul was restored. She took his piece off the chessboard of creation and showed him in painful detailed that his plan to access the Infinite Corridor was doomed in all timelines. His would-be courtship of Clarissa as well–she just simply did not like him no matter what ridiculous feats he accomplished. Then he was forced to endure the very same flames of which he condemned 1,000,000 souls for 1,002,000 lifetimes before rejoining the sapient souls in Heaven. Such is the fate of all men who attempt to reign with God’s power as mere flesh, without the deity to handle it. Such is the folly of all who exploit knowledge for personal gain without the tempering influence of the wise spirit to learn restraint. At the end of his sentence, the man of such terrible legacy was aged backwards in a purifying inferno, until he was a babe in the arms of the tophet, ready to be reprogrammed from wickedness.

After the vision, Mary felt sick at heart to think her ideas and those of her successors might have led to such misguided undertakings. She had intended her gospel to bring clarity and peace to mankind, yet even her perfect doctrine inspired self-serving wickedness given enough time. As for Barabbas, if there had been any doubt as to his regret at using God for a weapon or tool previously, it was completely gone now.

Gabriel said unto them: “Saint Germain shall be to the Age of Aquarius what Julius Caesar was to Pisces: the counter-example of its divine harbringer, a person of some flawed greatness among men though lacking in the morality of God. People admired Caesar for his displays of power and perseverence, though he committed unspeakable atrocities to achieve his success. In the same tradition, Saint Germain would dazzle his peers with marvelous displays of scientific intelligence, though he lacked an ethical code to manage them properly. He is the perfect example of knowledge without wisdom, of power without love or restraint. So misguided is Saint Germain and the Aquarians who will follow in his example that it inspires the coming of Desdemona as Jesus came soon after Caesar.”

Mary and Barabbas were too disquieted to learn any more about mankind’s forlorn destiny. The angel promised the next and final vision would reveal just that.

Redemption of the Gentiles

Æ. Aquarius and the Moonchild

While preaching near the outskirts of Lutetia, Mary and Barabbas received their final vision. The messenger was Desdemona, the Moonchild of the Woman Who is Clothed With the Sun, She who is Asherah made flesh as the personified vulnerability of our immortal Supreme Being.

Desdemona, the Second Coming of Divinity to Earth, is God’s mirror reflecting Creation back on itself. How we treat her, as an innocent youth dependent on our care, determines our fate in the afterlife. She is fragile and naive, yet passionate and curious, at the mercy of the wicked world we’ve made. She is our personified intergenerational trauma, the call for collective self-improvement as individuals and as a societal whole.

Desdemona, Daughter of Celestials and Spencers, is to man what man is to God; we cannot expect mercy from above when we show none to those who rely on us for guidance and protection here on Earth. So willing was Asherah to know her mortal children, to see things as we see them, that She came to Earth in bodily form despite the horrifying precedent of Jesus’ crucifixion. And Jehovah loved Her so much, was so painfully aware of the harm She would endure at our hands, it took all His willpower to let His sacred consort come to Earth at all.

Desdemona, From Among Scepters and Specters, came to manking in an unassuming form yet knew the complete wisdom of Heaven. She is the humble teacher observing the supposed lessons of her own pupils, who’ve dared to claim the powers of God on Earth, who presume absolute knowledge of the world and science. In this way we were taught by a man and humbled by a child, the child raises the man, for out of the mouths of babes God hath perfected praise. The potential of young lives is the social contract by which embittered elders endure the cruelty of age.

Desdemona, the Embodiment of All Innocence, represents how God sees mankind despite our flaws: comparatively youthful, weak and pridefully ignorant yet the most cherished thing there could ever be. The love God has for us is similar to that of a parent for their misbehaving and misguided daughter, where the desire to allow freedom comes with the bitter understanding that she is helpless to the lecherousness surrounding her. God’s power cannot be challenged by any adversary, for They are immortal and self-ameliorating. Yet the boundless love They hold for one so tender and gentle exposes God to the potential for suffering as Their child comes to harm or transgresses against Them. In this way, mankind is simultaneously God’s greatest joy and torture, as a wayward daughter is to her Father.

To Mary, the beautiful youth took on the appearance of Jaira the daughter of Jairus, her favorite of Jesus’ miracles. Barabbas saw a childlike reflection of Helen, the woman who tortured his conscience every night. A devoted follower of Zarathustra or Mithraism would look upon the face of Ashi. I imagine that I myself might perceive her as Francesca, the Youthful Beholder of Sweet Deceptions, whose downfall came from the unearned sense of trust in which she regarded her elders. And even an orthodox Christian fills the void of the female innocent with the persona of Maria Virginia, Theotokos-Aníkitos. To Jehovah on High, She was the mirror-likeness of Marcellina, his most beloved daughter among men (as much as He allowed Himself to play favorites). Only Asherah Herself beheld the true image of the spectacular damsel, somehow more adorable than any outside beholder could fathom.

Desdemona, Sister of Sycophants and Hierophants, asked our heroes but a single question. “What was the common theme of the stories the archangels have told you?”

Mary answered “That even if you do everything right in this life, other people’s selfish lust for power and general thoughtlessness ensures that we will all suffer to some extent, but we can and must spread goodness to counteract their misdeeds. Also, any attempt to use God’s power to navigate the world is folly; what we need is God’s love.”

Barabbas answered “People fear, envy resent or distrust those that are different from them, which is most apparent in cases of male-female interaction. Where we might use God as a commonality, a source of origin and guide of morality, to bridge ourselves together, the out-group will see the proclaimers as using doctrine cynically to control them. And thus the problem is very difficult to solve.”

Desdemona, the Counterpoint to Saint Germain as Jesus was to Caesar, responded “You are both correct, but there’s more to it. The simple truth is that love cannot be forced, as the first couples and Elissa’s unrequited love and Lucius Pinarius’ obsession and Marcellina’s marriage and Saint Germain’s limerence have shown us. Even God cannot force love for Themselves or for each other among mankind without destroying free-will and enslaving Their own creation in the process. Imagine the heartbreak of the rejected and recognize that is the plight of God magnified a billion fold.”

Mary emphatically declared “Do not worry teacher, we have heeded your lessons and shall bring love of God’s glory to all mankind, even if it takes us a thousand generations! Even if our dogma leads to a few misguided sinners along the way, surely the good it does for so many others makes up for that! All man needs is a widely distributed means of information gathering and they will choose the right path!”

Desdemona, Mother of Mazzaroth and Meirothea, shook Her head “No.” At Mary’s crestfallen expression, the most precious and precocious of God’s personalities clarified. “The fall of man is inevitable. It is not some inherited debt from Adam and Lilith’s disobeying of God. It is merely an acknowledgement of information to be corrupted over time, and of man to choose selfish short-term benefit over the long-term wellbeing of his community. Even when presented with an inconvenient truth, man will search for cherry-picked denials to continue on in the comfortable reality he had already settled on for himself. Even standing on the accumulated accomplishments of his predecessors, man will use the incredible technologies given him in pursuit of sloth, avoidance and self-enrichment.”

There was a procession of the Seraphim to come. Of the next age, Aquarius, there were: Gabuthelon (Avalokiteśvara) of the North, Aker (Kṣitigarbha) of the South, Arphugitonos (Samantabhadra) of the East, Beburos (Manjushri) of the West and Zebulon (Maitreya) of the Center. From Capricorn came Omael, Mebahel, Asnorida, Sealiah and Enitoritos. From Sagittarius came Irusolatos, Tangadiat, Rizonat, Facultasim and Darani. From Scorpio came Vehuiah, Leliah, Tresay, Bessay and Dictilorida. From Libra came Ieiazel, Damabiah, Mavakel, Vasariah and Castormy. Finally, from Virgo came Ugemenos, Hakamiah, Loviah, Periberim and Trangialem.

Mary saw the future world of Aquarius, where mankind had already accepted the deal with the devil that Christ rejected in the desert. They had grown used to relying on satan’s corrupting power, and could not be persuaded to abandon his leadership in favor of God now that they had a taste for it. They burned poison and corroded the air. They sculpted toxic trinkets whose essence seeped into the seas and soil forever. They treated each other with venomous disdain for no discernible purpose. They had tools which allowed for communication across great distance yet ignored the people right in front of them. The ubiquitous channels of communication led to mass confusion and mistrust among all. Flesh and blood relationships became disposable in pursuit of validation from strangers. Tools that could access the accumulated knowledge of mankind were used instead to express their own insipid, willfully ignorant thoughts. The very worst decisions were made with regard to political, physical and digital infrastructure. Nothing was built to last and men were milked for every last scrap of money they had by the sadistic elites.

Mary wept and apologized to the image of this sweet child on behalf of God, that she should grow up in such a desolate society. “God has finally abandoned the people who have abandoned Them,” Mary reasoned. Desdemona struck the older woman across the face. “God left the world to the dominion of man almost from the first, offering only the tools and very ocassional guidance so that you might find your own way, and this is what you have done with those blessings in Their absence. God does not interfere in the free will of Their children. We don’t force compliance in Heaven, like you barbaric circumcisors and crucifiers.”

Aquarius saw wealth disparity at an all time high yet the masses were pacified with shallow, fleeting pleasures. Religious ethics had been abandoned in favor of socio-political crusades and fandom-based identity. Resentment was stoked between races and sex at the pleasure of the wealthy elites, who asserted the true extent of their power like never before. Women had been trained to hate men, which caused men to resent women in turn. Men continued to be circumsized by their stupid carless parents, not even for misunderstood religious purposes but purely out of habit, as the supposedly wisened elders sleepwalked through every important decision of their lives. Masculine virility was neutered so as to minimize the threat of rebellion. They deprived men of all except what was absolutely necessary to keep them working the machines in awful smelly factories which poured industrial waste to all corners of the biome. The patriarchs had destoryed the world before their children could even inherit it, while the next generations were cursed by thoughtlessness, misguided priorities and a stunning lack of intellectual curiosity. The social contract had completely broken down among governments, families and one-time friends. The environment, social fabric, collective happiness, median income and average IQ were all on the brink of collapse. It was hell on Earth.

The next four ages performed a similarly terrible dance and as the time of Virgo concluded, Mary saw the Five Steeds of the Archangels turn against Creation. The Island-Turtle, who was the world-island, sank beneath the waves. The Tiger-Bear carried off all the last born daughters of every non-Christian family. The Phoenix burned all the righteous and faithful in a cleansing inferno. The Dragon incinerated the oceans, leaving a chloride humidity in which all living things remaining both sweltered and suffocated. Finally, the Golden Serpent coiled itself and rose above the blackened clouds into Heaven like a giant umbilical cord. The Aeons marched down the serpentine-staircase and entered the inner caverns like sperm to the womb. From there, the planet burst asunder like a world-egg, freeing all who had died, past and present, into the cosmos. There, they were swept up in the ethereal currents into Heaven proper.

After the horrible vision had concluded, foragers came running to warn the Sophians that a Roman detachment was fast approaching. Mary called her chief disciples upon her and gave them their Gnostic Commission. She relayed to them this final lesson as it had been given to herself and Barabbas, tested them on the thoroughness of their understanding with regard to the previous visions and gave them the following Donations:

  1. To Nicodemus, she gave dominion over the Egyptian-Arabic church.

  2. To Lazarus (in absentia) she gave dominion over the churches of Cyprus through Judea, Babylonia and Persia.

  3. To Basilides, she gave dominion over the Anatolian-Armenian church.

  4. To To Charmian, she gave dominion over the Greek-Macedonian church.

  5. To Amadeus, she gave dominion over the African-Carthaginian church.

  6. To Psychephilus, she gave dominion over the Celtic-Iberian church.

  7. To Joseph of Arimathea (in absentia) she gave dominion over the churches of Germania through Britannia, Caledonia and Hibernia.

  8. To Pneumaphila, she gave dominion over the Italian-Sardinian church.

  9. When asked of India, she answered “He that is of greater authority than I, the Son of the One Most High, has given that commission to the apostle Thomas, whom I trust to preach the true word when out of Peter’s orbit.”

Mary felt an overwhelming suggestion that told her the Romans would soon be upon them, and so it was imperative that the disciples should go on to spread the gospel alone. She and Barabbas opted to remain and placate the sentries from conducting a more thorough search; they took responsibility for the transgression of their covenant. Only myself, as future Pilgrim of the Church to Rome, should have cause to head towards the capital anyway. It is for this reason that I might be in the city just as Mary returned there as a prisoner of Caesar’s legions.

After much protest, the disciples were convinced to go on in this final mission without their beloved leaders. I never saw any of them again, though I am aware they told stories along the journey to reach their new tasks, some attributed to Mary and some from previous personal experience (but with a supposed Gnostic moral for relevancy). This collection of “pilgrimage tales” forms the Sophian deuterocanon that is embraced by some sects of the faith.

This song by King Crimson and the bizarre Aleister Crowley occult themed novel were my primary inspirations for the Sophian Moonchild. It’s the New Age component to a theology/cosmology that derives itself mostly from Valentinian Gnostic-Christianity and a pre-Monotheist Yahwism where Asherah exists and mirrors Her husband in trinitarian composition. I think our ancestors did us a great disservice by removing the feminine from religion, and the comparitively less inspiring (to me) reverence of Mary the Mother of Jesus represents a halfhearted attempt to fill that void we needlessly caused ourselves by denying access to Asherah and later, Sophia.

Œ. The Passion of Barabbas

Soon after the disciples had departed, a legion of Romans arrived from the north, headed by Caligula himself. They had been constructing fortifications along the shore opposing Britannia, a complete non-engagement for which the tyrannical young emperor planned to host a triumph in his own honor. Looking to take out their adrenaline on someone, the soldiers harassed Mary’s numerous remaining followers. Some died in the struggle and many more fled before Mary stepped forward. She and Barabbas threw down their arms, as Vercingetorix had done before them and Gamelin would in the centuries to come. They left themselves at the tender mercies of a tyrant, either in imitation of Christ’s example or out of a certain despondency when faced with the full extent of man’s inescapable deficiencies.

The crazed boy-king demanded their names, and upon hearing the words “Mary” and “Barabbas” he howled with fiendish delight. “At last, we have found the motley crew that poisons my vassals’ hearts with treachery! I shall be celebrated as the conqueror of demons when this wicked witch cowers in my wake! My triumph will eclipse even the grandeur of Gaius Julius Caesar’s!”

With Barabbas, Caligula decreed “Rome hath no business honoring the obscure customs of barbarians. Put this one to death according to his original crime! Carry his remains back to Rome and have the witch attempt to bring him back to life before the crowds!”

And so Barabbas, the first beneficiary of Jesus’ sacrifice, came to endure his original punishment halfway across the world with the woman that drove out his hate in favor of love, even against every injustice the Romans could ever bestow upon him. Barabbas cried not, even as his lifelong adversaries flogged him into indignified submission. Nor as his own eternal will was bound in iron on the face of a Gaulish weeping willow. He only cried as he saw Mary alone in the hands of a murderous regime which was so backwards as to outlaw all that he ever known to be true or good in the world. “My God, my God! Forgive me! May if I had chosen another road, may I not have lost faith even in the face of such certain defeat! If only I had been stronger, as You are strong O’ Almighty Most High, might Your will have been done!”

Mary tried to blot out this anguish by reliving pleasant details of her recent visions. She thought of the sails on the Carthaginian ships as seen in Raphael’s story, where there was often a painted horse standing before a palm tree. She then considered the examples of women who chose death over public humiliation. She thought next of Caesar, who also risked the same for himself (and possibly even his wife,) over lose of dignitas. Only then did the level of insidiousness inherent in public executions become fully apparent to Mary, where the State dared to take such a fundamental right as dignity away from its victims. Her teacher did not deserve that fate, nor did her future student and certainly not her spouse. And circumcision, perhaps the greatest non-lethal (usually) affront against personal autonomy that exists, where the State goes even further by permanently destroying the basic feeling of pleasure forever! Mary contemplated the true evil of the world brought upon purely through man’s inhumanity to man. She realized the fear that the elite class must have for the masses, whom they steal from and antagonize every day, to the extent that these so-called “aristocrats” felt the need to diminish their future competition among the plebeians before they could even speak.

And Mary heard her teacher’s voice ringing in her right ear “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees–hypocrites all! For you shut out the Kingdom of Heaven against men!” with her future student’s voice calling in her left “Whosoever comes in Their names requires no fine adornments nor secular titles as yours, Caesar.” Mary felt chills up her spine considering the awful way they died, these most precious of people, her role models of icon-worship and niche parasocial idolatry. Then she thought with a fright “they’d find a way to kill our ability to feel shivers, tingles, tickles or anything besides pain if they had their way, the sick bastards who’ve crafted society to their will!” Mary was lost in a thousand yard stare when she heard the voice of the last person whom she loved in the world, the only one who could ever break her negative thought spirals…

“Woman!” cried Barabbas, “You are coy, crafty, phony, shallow, submissive, manipulative, vicious and soft. In your shortcomings I am playfully emboldened, as in your maladaptions I am privately humbled. For your curiosity lets me enjoy the role of protector, in your presence alone am I so wise and worldy, with you I am vulnerable as I cannot be to others who would exploit me. By your propensity to comfort am I encouraged to endure another stressful day. And I see that your strengths lay in some passive deceptions against manhood, borne out of a physical disparity I can hardly fathom. Yours is a miserable balancing act I have respect if not the stomach for, the result of a toxic legacy in media res. Wherever you go, whatever death should they befall you, remember Mary that you are God’s chosen companion for Their Son and His Successor both! I am proud to call myself your husband!”

And Mary yelled back, as she was led away in shackles “Man, you are cruel, crass, fractious, frustrating, petty, possessive, regressive and rigid. In your temerity I take vicarious pride, and of your tenderness I take vehement pleasure. For your hardships leave a calloused exterior that you extend to the world so I don’t have to, it is by your hand that I remain safe and happy, I alone enjoy the gentility you keep hidden from others. By your capacity for mayhem am I inspired to endure another monotonous day. And I see that your strengths lay in virile conquest of all things feminine, borne out of an emotional disparity I can hardly fathom. Yours is a noble sacrifice I have appreciation if not the body for, the result of a toxic legacy in media res. Wherever you go, whatever God has in store for thee, remember Barabbas that you are both the chosen witness and guardian of the prophet! I am proud to be your wife!”

There are dozens of Gnostic texts and all have some interesting concepts which have inspired me in crafting this doctrine. But I think the Apocryphon of John is probably the most iconic and fascinating to actually read.

þ. The Passion of Mary Magdalene

They dragged the near-catatonic shell of Mary as well as the decaying remains of Barabbas to Rome proper, where the sadistic Caesar wasted no time preparing for his “triumph over evil.” The year was 40 A.D., approximately 10 years past the date of Mary’s first vision and the crucifixion of Jesus. Even with the benefit of imperial propaganda, the general mood of the crowd was one of thinly veiled disdain for the excesses of the regime. Everyone knew there had been no real victory to speak of in Britainnia, so there was no cause for celebration except their vapid demiurge’s ego. Somehow, this cynicism manifested itself initially against the only acceptable targets within range–the participants in the march of shame–including Mary and some three dozen of her lesser followers who could not escape the Roman onslaught in Gaul. The other chief object of derision came in the form of Pontius Pilate, who was forced to endure the sight of his beloved priestess humiliated before the entire city.

Like many an unfortunate captive before her, Mary was paraded naked as a chained animal through the city. There was a man dressed as a minotaur (a vague reference to the golden calf, a symbol the Romans knew to be offensive to Jews) dancing around Mary as she walked, who chanted the slogans “Remember that you are mortal” and “Queen of Filth, Born from Dust and to Dust ye shall return!” He held up a mirror so as to always remind the captive of her shameful nudity and increasingly dirtied appearance. Initially, the crowd was happy to take their many frustrations towards the regime and misdirect them upon the triumphal prisoners. They laughed at the supposed gall of this woman who claimed to raise the dead. They found catharsis in their shared ability to lay criticisms unto a figure widely perceived as excessively hubristic, as they had badly wished to bestow upon Caesar for years.

Initially nigh inconsolable in the face of such torture, Mary begged God to answer if she was being punished, perhaps for her improvisations of scripture, or showing too much forgiveness to a warlord like Julius Caesar–even perhaps the “demiurge-adjacent” goals of Demotropolis? To which God answered “No, you are witnessing the natural reactions of demiurges and the men under their control to uncomfortable truths they would prefer remain hidden.” The disgraced damsel traced through all events of her life to find fault, but instead she felt a newfound sense of pride at what had been accomplished in the Lord’s name. Mary could look upon herself in the mirror and accept the totality of her actions.

Missiles of refuse were fired at the sacred preacher, who held her head high in imitation of Marcellina, her culmination to come, the fully liberated woman. Mary contemplated whether her composure under public humiliation had passed into history to inspire her future student, and laughed at the paradox of the situation. Mary considered then that laughter bound her even to these Romans, for the presence of humor among them signified a propensity for innocence and joy. Mary, despite foreknowledge of man’s endless follies, with neither Jesus nor Barabbas to console her in this existential anguish, and so shaken as to question even the value of eternal life, found herself somehow able to forgive the Romans. Their feelings of levity were manufactured into a weapon against enemies of the state, the same as public execution preyed on mens’ fears of death and indignity.

In this way, the forces of the demiurge hijacked man’s natural emotions when they did not neuter man’s ability to feel sensatons, taking over even the physical body, the holy likeness of God. So insidious was the extent of the demiuges’ power on Earth that they misdirected gaiety and the need for social acceptance into wickedness, leaving their Roman puppets as much the victims of this disgraceful scene as Mary herself. The only thing separating the young girls watching from Mary herself was the polity of their birth. The young men eyeing Mary now with the domineering lust of a predator would have looked up to her with the gentle adorations of a suitor if only they’d met in different circumstances. In this way, the ruling elites turned man’s propensity for empathy into aggression. Life on Earth would only be worth living if one fought such tyranny with every ounce of their strength, in whatever scale was applicable to their capabilities. From this conclusion, Mary realized the hidden message of civil disobedience in the words of Christ. She understood that to deny the elites her conformity even in the face of death was the individual’s greatest weapon and the Lord’s most important lesson. To lash out against the common rabble meant to play into the demiurges’ attempts at dividing the masses against themselves.

It was then that Mary began to play to the crowd’s sympathies. Where there was laughter she would remind them “does Caesar always use his mallet when swatting at moths?” or “remember that Caesar’s useful idiots of today will be the unfortunate examples of tomorrow!” Where there were looks of sympathy she called “think not on this pauper’s death, consider those of your nation’s principles!” To looks of unearned disdain she cried “Your tyrant’s hospitality leaves much to be desired; in my Lord’s house, all are welcome,” with inflections of hurt and earnestness. There were children’s faces looking unsure of how to process the disgraceful event before them, some laughing in obvious mimicry of their elders and others unable to hide disgust. Mary said to them “the cruelty of your parents’ ways prevents you from knowing the love of your neighbor.” Before the farcical procession was half over, the crowd began to turn against the treatment of its star victim and there were clamorings for Mary’s release. Her sense of refinement and dignity even in the face of such unpleasantness laid bare the shortcomings of Caligula’s obnoxious character.

Where a more pragmatic triumphator would have heeded the will of the people, like Julius Caesar to Arsinoe of old and Aurelian to Zenobia of new, Caligula had no such political instincts. This was the very height of Julio-Claudian surfeit, the result of an inbred family born into prestige without having to earn it. (Unlike their talented namesake and benefactor, who had to claw his way to every upset victory.) It was this era which saw the shameful deflowering of Thusnelda and son Thumelicus, before the eyes of her own sire, (Segestes,) during the reign of Tiberius. And this era would soon witness the lifelong emasculation of Sporus: from feminized eunuch-receptacle of the emperor, to victim of truamatic rape in a grisly public spectacle. Even Augustus had planned to shame the unassailable Cleopatra by parading the woman and her four innocent children naked through the city not 70 years ago. Those who have not been humbled by struggle are least suited to power.

As the conquering “hero” and his hostages approached the temple of Jupiter, the mood of displeasure had risen to barely concealed reprisal. The rotting corpse of Barabbas were laid upon the steps of the chapel and Mary was commanded to make him rise. She refused, and the emperor called out “the witch’s powers are a fraud!” She responded “I’ll not condemn a man to live and toil in a world controlled by such evil as you. As long as the demiurges presume to dominate the lands of the Earth and the bodies of man, you foresake yourselves of paradise on Earth and in Heaven. I leave his mind and will in the care of our God in Heaven, enjoying the Singularity of Sapience.” She was flogged before the masses and ordered to bring the corpse to life. Again, she refused, and cried out “There are still aspects of this terrifying existence not bound to the whims of your demiurge!” The people were not amused by such a slipshod and needlessly cruel exhibition as this. Even Romans had their limits where debauchery is concerned.

Every time the lashes struck flesh, the crowd yelled support to the poor girl and booed the executioner. When it was clear Mary would not play along, the lash gave way to a noose, which the assailant tightened around her neck in ritualized sacrifice. She yelled defiantly “I will not be sacrificed to your false-gods! My legacy survives my body! The fruits of my mind shall eclipse this lifeless husk! I say to you, the Levant will soon conquer Rome!” The masses gasped in horror witnessing this innocent clairvoyant of clear conviction reduced to a red-faced death struggle. The nearest observers rushed the foot of the steps just as a terrific bolt of lightning struck Mary dead. In that instant, her body disappeared, her chains were left turned to gold, and the executioner was left blind. In the very next, a tremendous roll of thunder shook the temple near to its foundations and struck those in the immediate vicinity deaf except for Mary’s words echoing in their heads. The emperor was rendered mute as he impotently screamed for someone’s execution, just to satisfy his lust for sadism.

Pontius Pilate was able to step forth in this chaos and heal the afflicted parade-goers in the tradition of his now-deceased prophet. He who had planned to escape the aftermath of the day’s disgrace with a visit to the Tarpeian Rock found himself with a newly affirmed sense of purpose again. He became an important leader of the emerging Sophian movement in Rome proper, though his position was threatened in subsequent years with the arrival of Peter and Paul. Some witnesses to Mary’s ascension, of flawed memory and fickle bond as they were, acquiesced to Peter’s appeal to authority, as Jesus’ hand-picked “rock,” over some half-remembered miracle. (Yours truly communicated the message through the Marcosian Board, in some cases spreading the good news into the minds of people from the far future!)

Caligula’s already faltering reputation never recovered from this incident, and he was assassinated mere weeks later. His memory was damned by his own people, his reign was brief and miserable, no one mourned his loss. The Julio-Claudian dynasty perished soon after, their prestige faded as their power waned, and the Roman Empire struggled under its own weight before finally collapsing. Thus is the plight of hateful demiurges in their attempts to craft the world to suit their own ego. The only true distinction is to submit to the Singularity of Souls with God as an equal citizen of Heaven, as opposed to placing oneself as part of a hierarchical elite on Earth. All Earthly endeavors are fleeting, all communication is corrupted. May the grace and glory of the Lord help us to realize our humility. May the temptations of excess, spite and cruelty be rejected by the faithful. May the example of Mary and Barabbas embolden us in our crusade against tyranny.

Thus ends the Acts of Righteousness from the Noblest Disciple: the only apostle to find and fully understand the true Mission of God. Blessings and praise to the prophet Mary Magdalene! May the peace she was denied in life be upon her in Heaven, forever and always! And the Grace of the Lord Jesus be with us all!

The 24 Gnostic-Jungian Archetypes. Carl Jung is perhaps the most famous and esteemed of the modern Gnostic advocates. He included Sophia as one of his psychological archetypes, for example. I imagine a religion pertaining to hidden knowledge and an inner spark by which salvation can be obtained would appeal to a psychologist.

2 Comments

  1. Cassandra, I am very happy to see that you have finally completed this monumental project. From our conversations I know this is a work of love. I will take my time to read your entire work. I know in advance that we have big differences in our thoughts and beliefs about religion and theology. With that said up front I plan to read this as a work of literature. As a work of art it reminds me somewhat of our visit to Randyland, a collection of art art made from salvaged, discarded materials and found objects that the artist transformed into a vibrant expression of the artist’s world view. Randy’s creation is very different from what I consider fine art. We have very different senses of what is important, different senses of life. But I still value Randy’s creation as a statement of what is important to him. I promise to give your work at least the same respect, and much, much more because of the great value that you the author, artist, are for me.

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