Part 2 of Ophiuchus, the serpent holder
Commentary on Coppen’s article
Coppens points out that, like me, Henri de Lens saw the correspondence between the characters in Poussin’s painting and the constellations:
“… the shepherdess on the right-hand side is the constellation Virgo. The shepherd on the shoulder of Virgo is without any possible doubt the constellation Bootes, known as the “shepherd”. One even took the care to paint him with a foot on a stone, which corresponds with the old representations of the Shepherd. The shepherd of the left, knelt and indicating one of the letters of the inscription, is none other than the constellation of Hercules, whose position is thus characteristic [of his constellation].” De Lens then observes that the whole of the characters on the Poussin fabric are stars suspended on the fabric of the sky; their position on the fabric conforms to their positions in the sky.”
He then points out that Frederic Pineau and Gerard Lacoste in the “Tomb of Virgil” propose that the fourth character in the painting is Serpens rather than Andromeda, as de Lens had suggested. Although this would make it appear that the man should be a serpent, Serpentarius himself – linked with this constellation – is identified as a male. However, and more importantly, it is noted that Serpens is also identified with Asclepius, the god of medicine.
I think this is a highly important connection that Coppens has made here. Asclepius was known as the god of medicine… but also as a mythical healer who could raise the dead. Asclepius is also well-known for his staff, around which runs a snake, which enforces his identification with Serpens. This also makes me think of the staff of Moses and of Aaron and the caduceus, which we have discussed in previous articles and also links with the Egyptian Pharaoh’s Was or sceptre. Asclepius appears in various myths. He was the surgeon of the Argonauts, and elsewhere is present in their boat, the Argo. In a previous article, I mentioned that the two non-bearded shepherds depicted in the painting could represent the twins Castor and Pollux, who are immortalised in the constellation Gemini the Twins. They were also members of the Argo’s crew, as was Hercules. So in Asclepius, we know have a fourth member of the Argo’s crew.
Coppens also points out that Hercules is normally painted with a stretched hand, usually holding an arrow – “arc” in French. Sagitta is the arrow, pointed in the direction of two birds: the eagle, Aquila, and the swan, Cygnus. Now Coppens does not comment on these two constellations, Aquila the Eagle and Cygnus the Swan but the eagle has since come to symbolise the USA and, as was noted in an earlier article, Cygnus is the constellation that in geomancy covers Nova Scotia and Oak Island where we know a TDARM is buried. Was Poussin, painting in the 1620’s, aware that an expedition had been mounted by the Rosicrucians and Alchemist enclave in the Pyrenees in the 16th century to find and then re-bury the TDARM? Coppens then comments that even though the figure in the painting is not holding an arrow… “one notes that Hercules has a stretched hand, with which he indicates the letter R of… Arcadia… a word which contains the word “arc”… Coincidence? I would rather think it is a very intelligent detail painted by Poussin, which reinforces the bond between Hercules and Arc-adia.”
I understand that “arc” in French means a bow and, of course, arrows are fired from a bow. In contrast, the word “arc” in English means a part of a curve, although a bow when pulled obviously describes an arc. Moreover, a rainbow also forms an arc in the sky and the Bible describes how Noah first saw a rainbow when the Ark had safely settled on dry land. Hence, the arc of the rainbow can be linked in this manner with the Ark, which by extension can be linked to the Ark of the Covenant, which may have contained the Holy Grail. Gerald Gardner in his book The Shadow of Solomon sagely points out that the word “Ark” (arca in Latin) means a storage box (remember that Kruger associated the constellation Ophiuchus with the shape of a house or chest, which is a storage box), which is linguistically synonymous with the word “Arc (arcus in Latin). Could Poussin have been cunningly alluding to the Ark of the Covenant in this way? Where Coppens notes that Hercules has a stretched out hand, with which he is indicating the letter “R” of… Arcadia, Laura in contrast thought the Hercules figure might instead be pointing to the ‘RhoChi’ of the Roscicrucians, the letters “R” and “C” forming the initials of Rosen Creutz, the Christian Rose Cross, the symbol of the Rosicrucians, which may in turn be connected to Christian Rosenkreuz, the legendary (but perhaps allegorical) founder of the Rosicrucian Order. Reversing the letters you get the ‘ChiRho’, which was an early visual representation of the connection between the Crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection, where the use of a wreath around the Chi-Rho symbolised the victory of the Resurrection over death.
Coppens makes a good point where he says that nobody has asked the question about what type of shepherds we are supposed to be seeing in the painting. He states that it cannot automatically be assumed that they are sheep-shepherds. He notes that Bootes the herdsman is known to be a shepherd of bears. His bond with the bear is undoubtedly the result of his position within reach of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. It is said that it was Bootes who chases the Great Bear around the Pole star. Again this is a possible reference to the precession of the zodiac or of the equinoxes along the ecliptic (the plane of Earth's orbit) caused by the cyclic precession of Earth's axis of rotation through a natural wobbling motion (called ‘polar motion’), with a total precession period lasting 25,772 years. Precession also changes the “North Star” as seen from Earth. The position of the Sun on the day of the vernal equinox is presently in the constellation of Pisces near the border of Aquarius. Modern star maps have the equinox entering Aquarius in about 600 years time but some think we may be moving into the Age of Aquarius much sooner than this. Coppens also points out that in Poussin’s painting, Bootes is pointing with his left hand to the tomb, and that his left knee (Arcturus) touches the inscription… and thus his left knee… is close to Arcadia. Arc-adia; Arc-turus… Coppens pointedly asks whether “one such occurrence could be chance, but twice?” As such, he states that “we definitely need to ask the question whether these references to “Arc” are by design – the design of the intellect of Poussin, who is thus giving confirmation of a stellar connotation to his painting”.
I have recently discovered that there is a link between the word “Arc” and the ancient City of Petra in Jordan. In Hebrew Talmadic lore, the biblical city of Kadesh or Kadesh-barnea, as it was called, was known as Rekem-Giah, which in the Hebrew commentary on the book of Deuteronomy known as the Targum is said to have been where the Israelites encamped when in the wilderness. Rekem, also spelled Arke or Arce, is Petra, a fact attested not only in ancient textual accounts of Jewish and early Christian origin but also in Nabatean inscriptions recently discovered at the entrance of the Siq where Petra is located. Indeed, Rekem-Giah or Rekem gea actually translates as ‘of the ravine’, which is a reference surely to the Siq itself (where the climax of the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was filmed), which played a prominent role in the religious beliefs of the Petra Nabateans, who had taken over the area from the earlier Edomite inhabitants. You may recall that the writer Graham Phillips has proposed that the Knights Templar could have discovered the Ark of the Covenant in Petra during their occupation of the site in the 1180’s (see my earlier article - The Knights Templar, Jeremiah and the Ark of the Covenant). Again, you may also recall that the C’s have asked the all important question – “where was Arcadia?” If Poussin is deliberately trying to draw our attention to the word “Ark” or “Arc”, is there any place in Western Europe that today denotes or bears the name “Ark” or “Arc”? Well there is one but I will leave that for a subsequent post, as I still have more research to do on this issue.
Coppens then makes the observation that Bootes in the constellation Serpens is seen as a unique constellation, as it exists in two parts: Serpens Caput, the head of the snake, and Serpens Cauda, the tail of the snake. In between both “parts” sits the constellation Ophiuchus, known as the ‘Support of Snake’. But Coppens then points out that what De Lens or other researchers have not noticed is that the constellation of Ophiuchus is also known as… “the coffin”. And with this observation, he states that one can conclude that not only the characters in the painting are constellations but that the tomb equally has a stellar aspect to it: that of Ophiuchus. Coppens goes on to add:
“Moreover, it is noted that the relationship between Serpens and Ophiuchus is visible in the position and the relationship of the man on the left and the tomb, which thus continues the rapport that links the placement of the foot of Bootes, and the relative position of Virgo, making the painting conform with a section of the night’s sky. Was it possible that Poussin possessed such stellar knowledge? The constellations which we have identified were all on the list of Ptolemy and thus well-known in the 17th Century. But with the relationship of Serpens and Ophiuchus, one observes an interesting detail, which the astronomers qualify as typically 17th Century, i.e. the Poussin era. They observe that before this century, Serpens and Ophiuchus were normally seen as only one constellation, a kind of “great constellation”, divided into several parts. In the 17th Century, it was referred to as Serpens and Ophiuchus, and also received a legend linking it with the foundation of medicine. Why “the coffin”? Ophiuchus, one says, resembles the surface of a coffin – a tomb. True, but it is only the most elementary layer. In the legends, Ophiuchus – Asclepius – was known as the god of medicine… but also as a mythical healer who could raise the dead
Coppens poses the question as to whether the group of shepherds was deliberately painted to indicate that there is somebody amongst them who can raise the dead – and who may be able to raise the person inside the tomb – irrelevant of who is inside the tomb. He states that it is noted that Poussin painted the person with his staff (i.e., Asclepius) but has not incorporated the serpent, thus leaving the ultimate identification only to those who have made the proper identification. “After all, if a staff with a circling serpent had been painted by our French master, it would have been a dead giveaway of the identity of this man…” However, in my view, this linking of Asclepius to Ophiuchus may provide us with an indirect connection to the Holy Grail, which in legend could bring about the resurrection of the dead. Perhaps Poussin knew it had been hidden by the Knights Templar in a tomb in the same way that the TDARM on Oak Island has been hidden away in a tomb inside the Money Pit. Again if the Templars found the Holy Grail within the Ark (an Egyptian chest or box) it may have been deposited there by the Prophet Ezekiel in a carefully constructed vault or tomb located under the Petra Treasury building, like the one discovered by modern day archaeologists in the late 20th century. Indeed, the Grail may have been hidden this way on other occasions too, such as perhaps in the Osirian complex or maybe under the Sphinx.
Ophiuchus – the Serpent Holder
What have the C’s had to say about Ophiuchus? Well in the session dated 20 June 1998
they said this:-
Q: What was the head worshipped by the Templars that was supposed to have been called "Baphomet?"
A: Seer of the passage.
Q: What does that mean?
A: Remember, secrets of Knights Templar were kept in caves guided by eternally burning lamps.
Q: Okay, next question, is this Ophiuchus, the serpent holder, the same as what you have called 'the holder of Trent?'
You will note that when Laura asked whether Ophiuchus
was the holder of the Trent they said “close”. However, in an earlier session they had described 'Baphomet
,' as the holder of the Trent.
Session July 26 1997:
Q: What is the definition of the god 'Baphomet,' if they did, indeed, worship such?
A: The holder of the Trent.
The Constellation Virgo
The Constellation formerly called Serpentarius
is, as we have seen, located near to the constellation of Hercules. To the ancient Greeks, the constellation represented the god Apollo struggling with a huge snake that guarded the Oracle of Delphi
. Later myths identified Ophiuchus with Laocoön
, the Trojan priest of Poseidon, the trident carrying Greek god and founder of Atlantis, who as the Roman Neptune often appeared in the guise of a horse. Laura had noted that an image of the shadow of a horse’s head representing Neptune is meant to be contained in the Poussin painting. I have also argued that Baphomet can be linked to Metis, Sophia, Demeter, Athena and Persephone and by extension to Brig or Brigid and all such other wisdom and nature goddesses, many of whom are considered to be triple goddesses, Moroever, Brig today can be found represented by the figure of Britannia carrying a trident.
If Brig or Brigid is the Holder of the Trent, is she represented by a constellation that is close to Bootes, Ophiuchus or Serpentarius? Well the answer, I think, is yes since the constellation of Virgo is, of course, close to these constellations (see the star map above in Coppens’ article) and as de Lens has pointed out, Virgo is represented by the female shepherd on the right in Poussin’s painting. As Coppens also points out, Virgo symbolises justice (think blindfolded Lady Justice holding the scales of justice) but also the harvest (think Demeter and Persephone). In a Catholic interpretation, she is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is interesting that the month of May (springtime) has been set aside by the Catholic Church for the particular veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which includes processions of her statues and crowning ceremonies honouring her status as the Queen of Heaven. This practice may well be a Christianisation of earlier veneration ceremonies involving spring or harvest female deities such as Demeter, Persephone and Brigid. In this connection with crowning, it should be noted that the constellation Corona Borealis is located near the constellation of Virgo and is surrounded by the constellations of Hercules, Bootes and Serpens (Caput). The Corona Borealis is also associated with Ariadne, the wife or consort of Theseus or Dionysus. By Greek tradition, her wedding diadem (corona or crown) was set in the heavens as the constellation Corona Borealis after her death in childbirth. Virgo, the Virgin, is also known as Astraea who was the daughter of Jupiter (Zeus) and Themses. For some reason ‘Themsis’ reminds me phonetically of the River Thames in England, which runs to the south of the ancient city of Troy in Cambridgshire and where London (Trinovantum or Troia Nova – New Troy) is now located along its eastern banks.
Coming back to what the C’s said in those exchanges with Laura about Ophiuchus, which I set out at the commencement of this article, Laura pointed out that Perseus is, 'he who breaks' and the image is one of Perseus overcoming the serpent, and the ancient Celtic engravings of the horned god show him gripping two serpents by the throat. When she said that she would like to understand the symbolism involved here, the C’s simply said that she was on the right track. Perseus, as we know, was an archetypal dragon slayer since he killed the Medusa and he can be equated to Jason and to Hercules (who slew the serpent Ladon) who are also viewed as dragon slayers. In the star map shown in Coppens’ article, the constellation Hercules sits above the constellations of Serpentarius, Serpens Cauda (the tail) and Serpens Caput (the head) forming the two ends of the snake with Ophiuchus (the support, coffin or box) located at the centre. However, if you move to the right (the right track) of Serpens Caput you find the constellation Virgo. Hence, when Laura asked whether Ophiuchus, the serpent holder, was the same as what the C’s had called 'the holder of Trent and they replied “close”, Could they have been implying it was Virgo?
As we saw, the C’s said that Baphomet was the holder of the Trent and I have equated Brig or Brigid with not only Metis, Sophia, Demeter, Athena, Persephone and Ariadne but also with Helle, Kore, Scotia and Hagar, who I think may also be Meritaten, Akhenaten’s daughter. However, Trent may also signify a triad and, as you may recall, the authors of the ‘Shining Ones’ Philip Gardiner and Gary Osborn had speculated whether the pure crystal skull the Templars called Baphomet was in fact a two faced skull (like Janus the Roman god of change, transition or transformation from one condition to another or one world to another – thus a gateway, which strangely equates with qualities associated with the star Algol, the eye of the Medusa) or even a triple faced object with two faces back-to-back and a third face placed centrally like the three headed Celtic god Bran – whose talking head was linked with resurrecting the dead and providing abundance. I have previously suggested that Bran may also be linked with Abram or Abraham and with Brahna and Brahma. Did Abraham possess Baphomet, the head of Bran, when he fled Egypt and did it subsequently become associated in myth with his name and that of his consort Hagar/Kore?
Gardiner and Osborn also make the astute observation that the Baphomet figure is based on the Egyptian triad of Osirus, Isis and Horus and other such ancient triads such as the Druid triad of Bel(i), Taran and Esus and Zeus, Poseidon and Hades the triad of the Greeks (Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto to the Romans). As we learned, Brigid was also part of a triple goddess triad, as was Athena or Artemis. This makes me think that all such triads link back to Baphomet, which I have proposed is the Holy Grail, the Merkhaba or the Gift of God that came originally from Kentakkia. If this theory is correct, then the story of Baphomet seems to have been translated to the sky through the modern Zodiac with Virgo coming to represent the triple goddess and by extension Baphomet.
As I said in my earlier article on Arcturus:
“With the tale of ‘Völund the Smith’, we can see how these Greek myths of the classical age were refashioned for Northern European peoples to explain how the constellations came into being.
“And they invented fables of his performing twelve labours, as the symbol of the division of the signs of the zodiac in heaven; and they arrayed him with a club and a lion's skin, the one as an indication of his uneven motion, and the other representative of his strength in "Leo" the sign of the zodiac.”
Nevertheless, these myths always contained coded information for those who knew how to decode it, which is where the Illuminati and the Brotherhood of the Serpent come in to the picture, with their modern manifestations being Freemasonry and Roscicrucianism.”
The C’s have told us that the roots of Freemasonry lie with the Osirians, who would have viewed the triad as being Osirus, Isis and Horus. This leads me to believe that Baphomet may be directly linked to the head of Osiris and we therefore need to look more closely at that most intriguing of buildings the Osirian, which I hope to do in a subsequent post.
The Tuatha de Danaan and Daniel the Prophet
When it comes to the origins of modern astrology, Gardiner and Osborn had an interesting observation to make about the Tuatha de Danaan, the people of the goddess Danu, whose chief god was the Dagda, ‘the Mighty One of Great Knowledge’ who possessed a giant cauldron that brought back to life anyone immersed in it. They point out that these people of the tribe of Danu (Dan anyone?) can be linked with the Bible and serpent worship. They note that Benjamin Walker in his book Gnosticism had stated that the writers of the Old Testament disliked the Danites who they called serpents (Genesis 49:17). They nevertheless adopted the Phoenician god of divination Dan-El and transformed him into the Hebrew prophet Daniel.
Daniel served as a court astrologer and dream interpreter for both the Persian king Cyrus and for the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar (and was therefore clearly a ‘seer’). We also know from the C’s that he was inspired by them at 6th density. The authors think his name Daniel was not so much a personal name as a title like the Celtic one – a person of the goddess Danu. The authors then surmise that from this and other references one can see that the Tuatha de Danaan were a people who came from the Middle East and left their holy rituals along the way. These holy ways included astrology and dream interpretation or divination.
More importantly, the authors suggest that it is possible that this whole mythological story (of the Tuatha de Danaan) is based around a common astro-theological theme that has spread over the course of thousands of years into all manner of cultures. Hence, could the story of Abraham, Nefertiti, Hagar, the Ark of the Covenant and Holy Grail have become mythologised by subsequent cultures (Greek, Irish, Scandinavian, Persian etc.) and memorialised within the stars of the night sky as the modern Zodiac?
Bootes and the Kite
Finally, the constellation Bootes is also associated with a kite (see below), within which Arcturus is the brightest star. Located in the northern celestial hemisphere, the constellation is dominated by the Kite, a diamond-shaped asterism formed by its brightest stars. Could this be the reason why the bloodline families communicated with each other using the symbolism of a kite? Where these families in on the secret of the Grail?
Philip Coppens article is very incisive and in drawing us to Asclepius and the astrological significance of the four figures in Poussin’s painting, he provides us with major clues helping towards understanding what Poussin was seeking to convey to his audience as regards the secrets encoded in his painting. As Coppens acknowledges, Poussin (the ‘Keeper of Secrets’) was a highly intelligent and educated man who had been tutored by the brilliant Jesuit polymath, scholar, alchemist and astronomer Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680). He would have been very well versed in classical history, mythology and astrology. I also suspect he knew about the mystery of Oak Island and may possibly have known the location of the Holy Grail, hidden by the Templars prior to their dissolution and suppression. The C’s have told us the answer to the mystery lies in the painting itself and not in the brushes. The painting may therefore provide us with a map, guiding us to where the Grail is hidden. But this map may prove to be as much an astrological one as it is physical.