The Celestial Ship Of The North
Miss E. Valentia Straiton
First of all, let me express my gratitude to Polo Delsalles of Montréal, Québec, for locating this important treatise on the Web and forwarding it along to me several years ago. This is a lengthy document containing 213 pages. In a PDF format its size is 584 KB. Appended below are some excerpts from this treatise. If you would like to obtain a complete copy of the file, you may click on the animated portal below, which will activate your PDF Reader program and bring up the file for downloading.
It goes without saying, I think, that all of these remarks by Miss Straiton ultimately refer to The Cosmic Tree. In her day and age, however, contemporarily with the renown Occultist-Egyptologist Gerald Massey, who was a friend of hers, there was no information available, as yet, by Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, Zecharia Sitchin and other later 20th-Century researchers and writers.
Let me add to those of you who have previously downloaded this file and who might visit this page again, yes, indeed, as some have inquired, the previous version of Celestial Ship was incomplete. You'll need to download this replacement.
Today Polo sent me a full version. Merci, Polo!
Dallas, Texas, 3
Age after age the Great Architect of the Universe has sent his messengers in many lands to make plain to man that the laws under which life spiritual and temporal evolves have been the same from the foundation of the world and are but the reactions of the planet earth to the stimuli of the moon, stars, suns and super-suns of the heavens.
And amongst these the Mighty Ruler, "Ship of the North," was ever pre-eminent in its primal energizing.
The relation between the heavens and earth has been the same fundamentally in all ages. Out of knowledge of this ancient bond has been born the only true religion or "binding back" to causation.
Heavenly forces play upon earth and visibly impress their operative laws. The sun governs earth's motion. The moon sways earth's tides. The pole-star exerts a law-giving, orbit-directing influence upon earth's polar axis. And the signs of the zodiac through which the Sun takes his royal course year after year and in one of which earth dwells every age, being at present in Pisces and proceeding thence into Aquarius, were called the "living creatures" because of their lively magisterial modification of forces playing through the sun upon earth. Of old other celestial governors of earth were known and their forces differentiated and reverenced.
Reverence in its highest essence is an eternal and non-personal attribute of the soul and withers slowly but fatally in the face of the reiterated assertion of a personal exegetic dogma divorced from Nature's laws. To continue in spiritual growth man must worship his Maker alone, that First Cause of which all other causes are but relegations or emanations.
Astrology and astronomy, esoteric and exoteric knowledge of the heavenly bodies or entities, have lain at the generating heart of every great religion that has waxed and waned upon earth in accordance with cyclic celestial law.
Out of the past the author has brought path-finding clues to this First Cause which reveals Itself.
These pages are a contribution to that painstaking, scientific, selfless research which shall in the coming years identify behind the allegory, symbology and ritual of many faiths the same everlasting truth, which perceived will unite all races and creeds in reverence of creature for Creator, the one eternal religion or "binding back" to Causation.
Eden has another name, Gen-Eden, which means Paradise, a "Garden of Delight," a "Region of Supreme Loveliness." It also means to encompass, to surround, to clasp, to enclose. It was a circle of space, a cycle of time, a ring. As Paridhistha, it is situated on the horizon. Eden by whatever name it may be called is a symbol of the Seven Stars and their circle around the pole.
It was the Paradise or Highlands of early Sanskrit-speaking people. Its etymological meaning in Greek signified voluptuousness. It was their Olympus. It was also the early Mount Meru, the abode of the gods, and must have been the Paradise of Mohammed, full of Houris. It was never the property of the Jew. The tale of the lost Paradise restoration has been attributed to the Hebrews but they had stolen it from the Persians. One day its significance as an imperishable symbol of the Mother heaven will again be recognized.
The original Eden meant Wisdom, and a place of bliss like Nirvana. This makes reference to the fact that man has power to evolve his own divine nature, since he holds within himself the Eden in which grows the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and man is the Knower thereof. "The Garden of Eden on the Euphrates became the garden of the Astrologers and the Magi." "China, 2000 B. C., had such a primitive garden in Central Asia, inhabited by the 'Dragons of Wisdom'," the Wise Ones.
The Japanese also had their Garden of Eden "on the Plateau of Pamir between the highest peaks of the Himalayan ranges," a culminating point of Central Asia, where four rivers flowed from a common source called "The Lake of the Dragons."1 The Light descended at these places in the past.
1 Blavatsky, H. P.-See The Secret Doctrine, Vol. ii, pp. 203, 204.
A symbol of sacred knowledge in antiquity was a Tree, ever guarded by a serpent, the serpent or dragon of wisdom. The serpent of Hercules was said to guard the golden apple that hung from the Pole, the Tree of Life, in the midst of the garden of the Hesperides. The serpent that guarded the golden fruit in the garden of the Hesperides and the serpent of the Garden of Eden, which enfolded with its coils that mysterious tree, are the same.
Likewise Mount Meru with its beautiful tree, the abode of the Gods was guarded by the serpent guarding the North Pole, whose secret still defies the greatest explorers and scientists of the day.
We have also the myth of Juno giving to Jupiter on her marriage with him a Tree with Golden Fruit. Is it not the same tree, the Tree of Knowledge enfolded in the coils of the serpent, which was given to Eve in the Garden of Eden, and from which she offered the apple to Adam? What has changed this Serpent of Wisdom into the devil of the Christians? The creative power in man is a gift of divine wisdom and not the result of sin.
It is far better to place the so-called curse of the Garden of Eden where it belongs.
There is also the beautiful Asvattha, Tree of Life, of the Bhagavad-Gita, whose roots are generated in Heaven, representing the Supreme Being, and whose luxuriant branches spread out over the terrestrial world. Those who can reach above its branches need never reincarnate and return to experience the suffering of the world.
But when this tree reached the Garden of Genesis it became changed beyond imagination, its pristine purity was soiled, and it has ever since been the herald of perverted truth and called a Curse.
The cross is of immense antiquity, and was first celestial. The Tree of Paradise was called the Tree of the Cross, and was placed at the Mount of the Four Corners in the Garden of Eden, which was formed by the stars encircling the pole. Here the great Serpent, as the constellation Draco, kept his sacred watch, "the Cross was an evolution from 'The Tree and the Serpent' and thus became the salvation of mankind.
By this it would become the very first fundamental symbol of Creative cause, applying to geometry, to numbers, to astronomy, to measure and to animal reproduction." 1
1 Blavatsky, H. P.-The Secret Doctrine, Vol. ii, p. 216.
The cross that is so sacred to the Christians is supposed to date from the Crucifixion, about two thousand years ago. For many years the cross stood for the Christ, but not the humanized Christ of whom we have learned from the theologians, but for the Christ that in those days of antiquity was a personification of the Supreme Spirit, the Higher Self.
Only in the Catacombs of Rome during the early centuries of the Christian era, has the ageless celestial Christ of the polar cross been humanized, and as an alleged starting point for a new religion.
The Tree of Life and the Cross were identical also with that Mount Meru of the Four Corners that originated at the Pole, with its seven steps, our Paradise.
The Tat Cross or Pillar was a special type of the Moon-god Taht, who was the establisher of the four quarters of the Moon, as well as of Ptah the Sun-god when he established the four quarters of the solar Zodiac. It is the equivalent of the Mount of the Four Corners and was ever a sacred emblem.
A four-headed and four-winged serpent in Egypt symbolized the four corners of the earth, and their serpent, Apta, a name signifying "The Corner or end of the World," was covered with four mystic figures, which represented the four cardinal points. Hapu means "Corner or Secret Places," and the serpent Hapu was represented with four heads. Four serpents, in various forms and conditions, were used in many countries as foundations for temples, within which, designated by a serpent were corners and places for worship.
The four corners that turned four ways were called the Sword of Flyfut, the weapon of Thor. This was a form of the four-footed cross, type of the four corners, as was the Swastika or the God Agni of the Hindus, or the Agnus Dei of the Christians.
From the earliest Sabean reckoning by the constellation of the Great Bear down to the latest periodicity given for the Sun, the Four Corners and the ancient Sabean cycle still remain in our solar Zodiac with the four quarters marked out by the signs of the Lion, the Bird, the Waterer, and the Bull.
In all lands in all languages are found endless myths of the early Four, which belong to the circle discovered to have been made by the constellation of the Great Bear revolving around the Pole. These myths are sacred and elevating in thought, though often crudely expressed by primitive peoples who were giving their impressions and conceptions of the Spirits, Angels and Winds, which were to carry their messages of love and reverence into the Great Beyond.
There is a tradition that the first great tree of earth was hung with clusters of beautiful stars or constellations, and that certain human beings climbing ever higher and higher reached the uppermost branches. There were others who stayed below, and thus the trunk of the tree was divided in two, those human beings in the branches remaining above in the heavens, while those below had their roots in the earth. The vault of heaven was upheld by the first tree, which putting forth two branches, produce our quarters.
The Tree in the beginning was single, feminine, the Mother, the nourisher of life. When the heavens divided, there were two branches. Then there were four, the four quarters of the four cardinal points of the world, and then it became seven-branched, and these were the seven constellations revolving around the Pole, or the Seven Stars of the Great Bear.
Then came the tree with its twelve branches, and variable fruits for every month, representing the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and finally this celestial Tree is depicted with seventy-two branches, the duo-decans of the Zodiac, and known as the Kabalistic Tree.
The twelve-branched Tree of the Book of Revelation is the Bearer, celestial type of the Zodiac. The Chinese Tree of heaven and earth has twelve branches, signifying their twelve hours, which are our twenty-four. The thirty-six Crossings of the Syrians were the decans of the twelve Zodiacal signs, originally known as the thirty-six Crossing Stars.
The Zodiac is completed with three hundred and sixty degrees. The square of ninety degrees is one-fourth of the circle, creating the four corners, which is the Cross within the circle.
There is a tree in the Koran called Al-Zakum. Mohammed had this tree of Knowledge planted in a place called Hell, instead of in Heaven. The fruit of this tree, of which the damned were to eat, was represented by heads of devils and serpents. This interpretation was, in a sense, but a later revival of the tree and the serpent.
The Palm Tree as an ideograph of time as well as of letters was a form of the Tree of Knowledge, and when Taht, the Egyptian scribe, carried a Palm cross in his hand it was a symbol of Time, representing the crossing (astronomical), not the crucifixion. It was the symbol of the equinoctial year. In Egypt the Buka is the Palm Tree, the branch carried in the hand of Taht, is the Book of Taht, and the bark of the tree was used for his writing. The Buka, or Palm-branch finally yields us the name of the Book.
The Palm Tree was the Tree of Knowledge that first supplied the divine drink. The Toddy Palm of Central Africa yielded a liquid like milk, which was fermented and called Koumess. A fermented drink was used in the ancient mysteries to induce the gift of prophecy and divination, while the gods were said to become intoxicated in order to obtain immortality. In Deuteronomy xiv, 26, the Jew is told to save his money "for wine, or strong drink, or for whatever thy soul desireth; and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God," and this was to be his offering to the deity. The first wine, in a mystical sense, was the blood of the Tree of Life.
The juice of the fruit of the tree was mingled with blood to prepare the Eucharist of the ancient mysteries.
Our North American Indians have an instructive symbology originated in reverence for the starry heavens and their knowledge of the signs of Zodiac, and based upon the importance of the four cardinal points symbolized in the Tree.
The Lenni Lenape Indians of Delaware hold a festival, in their "House of Sacrifice," in honor of the God of Fire, recognized as the Sun. Twelve poles or trees are gathered, which they tie together at the top, and spread about below into a circle. This they enclose by folding rugs and blankets around it, so that it suggests a small furnace, into which they roll twelve stones, heated until almost red hot.
These are sacred to their twelve spirits, four of which represent the genii of the four cardinal points of heaven. Twelve men enter this Temple of Sacrifice, and the duty of one of them, an old man, is to scatter twelve handfuls of tobacco on the stones, the fumes from which, being intensified in the enclosed circle, are inhaled by those inside.
This is construed as an inhaling of the spirit, or the Great Breath, and produces a swooning, somnolent condition, which finally reaches a state of ecstasy, in which the supernatural is induced, creating or revealing to them the unseen world.
The Oak Tree is more frequently struck by lightning than any other of the forest trees. Fire kindled by lightning was greatly reverenced by primitive peoples since they imaged their God coming down to earth as thunder and lightning. Great veneration was given the Oak and the Mistletoe growing upon it, for the life or spirit of the tree was supposed to be in the mistletoe, and therefore ever-living.
The Yule Log was of Oak, which was the King of the Forest. Its wood was burned at the midsummer festivals as well as in winter, when the golden treasures of the Sun therein stored were released to find a home in the heart of the true believer.
The Apple Tree was also made sacred by the Mistletoe, and was called the Tree of Pure Gold. In ancient times covenants were made and troths plighted under this tree. With its berried sprigs of Mistletoe, so like the clustering stars, it was named the Tree of the "Lofty Summit," pointing the way above. Today we find the Mistletoe suspended overhead at Christmastime for the Christmas kiss.
"The tree of the Summit" was a type of the Celestial Pole, Seat of Judgment, and was guarded by the celestial serpent, the Constellation Draco.
The Chinese Tree of Knowledge was their Immortal Peach Tree, which bore fruit but once in every three thousand years, around which are woven tales and legends similar to those of the Tree of our Mother Eve of the Garden of Eden. The Chinese manifestation was a Justice one and stressed the three thousand year period, and their Peach Tree of Immortality produced only the one fruit in those years.
It is said also of this Tree that three thousand years elapse before the Tree blossoms and another three thousand years before its sets fruit, all having mystical significance. The Great Mother in China was the Royal King-Mother who produced the Immortal Peach, or the forbidden fruit of knowledge but once in every three thousand years. It was the blossoming and the setting of the fruit at stated periods that made this Tree a cyclic symbol, for their Tree was an important type of Time.
The word God in Chinese, as well as in Egyptian and in cuneiform writing, represents a Star. Under a horizontal line there are three perpendicular wavy lines, apparently bringing down "Light from the Sky," as the blue line above represents the firmament.
This outpouring of Rays of Light from the celestial heaven or from the hidden Sun, their God, undoubtedly signified the pouring out of the Light over China every three thousand years.
The Russians have a belief that if the golden bloom of the fern seed is caught at midnight on the mystical midsummer eve and scattered about in the shadowy darkness, it will fall to the ground like sparkling stars, directly on the spot where great treasures are hidden.
This is a key to the hidden mystical treasures of divine knowledge.
Mithra was the name of the Solar God of Light and Wisdom among the Persians. His birthday was celebrated on the twenty-fifth of December, date of the rebirth of the Sun at the time of the Winter Solstice. The Mithraic cult was introduced into Rome by the early Emperors, and the date of December twenty-fifth was adopted as a special festival by Aurelian A.D. 273.
The Solar character of this festival was well known by the Roman Emperors, and not until the Fourth Century was December twenty-fifth introduced and accepted as the birthday of their Christ. "Augustus and Gregory discoursed on 'the glowing light and diminishing darkness that follow a nativity'." 1 "Pope Leo the Great recognized the day as the birthday of the Sun; and denounced it as the birthday of Christ. He was Pope of Rome in the Fourth or Fifth century. Gregory the Great became Pope about the year 590." 2
1 Olcott-Sun Lore of All Ages, p. 230.
2 Special Reports, Leo the Great and Gregory the Great.
Mithra was said to have been born in a cave at the Winter Solstice, which occurs in the Zodiacal sign Capricorn.3 Abba-Udda, the Akkadian name for the tenth month, which corresponds approximately to December, means "The Cave of Light," and indicates the birth of the Mithraic Messiah. This Mithraic cult with its aspirations towards moral purity and immortality, proved a formidable rival to Christianity.
Our Christmas is borrowed directly from it, and close relation is found between the Sacred Books of Revelation of the two cults-the Persian Zend-Avesta (the Parsee Book of Zoroaster), written about 1000 B. C., and the Book of Revelation of John of Patmos. The foundations of both these books are astronomical and prophetic. All ancient prophets and priests were astrologers.
3 On the twenty-fifth of December, the day of the Nativity of the Sun, the days begin to lengthen, and the Sun's power is on the increase.
This was the time when in Egypt and Syria the celebrants entered the inner shrine, and issued at midnight crying, "The Virgin has brought forth" - "The Light is Waxing." The log burned on Christmas Eve was in celebration of the birth of the divine child as the Solar Sun-god.
A comparison of the two books will reveal the Christian form of the Mithraic Revelation. To attain knowledge of God and see the future, Zoroaster drinks of a special magnetized water which produces a trance lasting seven days and nights. In Revelation we are told that John eats a little Book that he may prophesy.
The Serpent, which was the constellation Draco, called the Serpent, or the Dragon, figures largely in both visions. In one book the Dragon swallows one-third of mankind, cattle, sheep, and other creatures; in the other he draws the third part of the stars from heaven with his tail. When the ancient religion of the Mother and Son was changed into that of the Father and Son, the change was symbolized by the falling of a star from heaven.
This is the demoralization or dethronement of that "Old Mother," who became the degraded Venus in one cult and the harlot in the other.
When the sun rises at the time of the Winter Solstice, and the Christmas celebration takes place, the Zodiacal sign Virgo appears on the horizon. The twenty-fifth of December is a date given not only for the birthday of the Sun, but also for the births of Jesus, Buddha, and Mithra. Virgo, the virgin sign of the Zodiac, is represented as a Mother, and looking at a very old planisphere of the heavens, we can see her there symbolized, holding a child in her arms, and apparently pursued by a serpent which is directly under her feet, and as if about to be trodden upon.
This same symbolism obtains for Isis and Osiris of Egypt, Maya and Buddha of India, as well as in China, and in the Book of Revelation. The Woman and the Child later found in Rome as Mary and Jesus are an example of it. The unity of the ancient myths found in various countries of the world, slightly changed in some renderings, due to elaborations, but identical in their roots, is unmistakable. The myths of the Serpent, emblem of Eternity and type of the night which encircles the world in an endless embrace are similarly identical.
And what of astrology,
And these Stars are reflectors of great and mighty splendors, while our Sun, symbol of the Great Central Sun, which is the source of all Truth and Light, is but the phantom shadow of that great primal Source from which all glory emanates and which manifests in man as a spark of Divine Fire.
1 Ballanche-Orphic Initiation.
As far back as the third "Deluge" of the third Lemurian race, that old Dragon "Whose tail sweeps whole nations out of existence in the twinkling of an eye," that ancient "Old Dragon" of the heavenly constellation was identical with the great Flood.
The first great flood was heaven-born and cosmical. There have been numbers of terrestrial floods.