by John Lash

from MetaHistory Website

Spanish version




From Greek archai, "origins, beginning things, prior in time."


In the classical Mediterranean world, archon was commonly used for the governor of a province, or, more loosely, any religious or governmental authority. Hence the plural, Archons, is often translated in Gnostic texts as "the Authorities." (There is no Coptic word for Archon, so Gnostic texts use the Greek term in Coptic transliteration.)


Pronounced Ar-kon. Adjective, Archontic (Ar-KON-tik).

In my usual habit of attempting the impossible, I propose three definitions, or three levels of definition:



Level One - Cosmological

In Gnostic cosmology, Archons are a species of inorganic beings that emerged in the solar system prior to the formation of the earth.


They are cyborgs inhabiting the planetary system (exclusive of the earth, sun and moon), which is described as a virtual world (stereoma) they construct by imitating the geometric forms emanated from the Pleroma, the realm of the Generators, the Cosmic Gods.


The Archons are a genuine species with their own proper habitat, and may even be considered to be god-like, but they lack intentionality (ennoia: self-directive capacity), and they have a nasty tendency to stray from their boundaries and intrude on the human realm. Archons are said to feel intense envy toward humanity because we possess the intentionality they lack

The Gaia Mythos describes how the Archons were produced by fractal impact in the dense elementary field arrays (dema) of the galactic limbs, when the Aeon Sophia plunged unilaterally from the galactic core. See especially Episode 10.


This event is also described in detail in Alien Dreaming.



Level Two - Noetic-Psychological

In Gnostic psychology, the noetic science of the Mystery Schools, Archons are an alien force that intrudes subliminally upon the human mind and deviates our intelligence away from its proper and sane applications.


They are not what makes us act inhumanely, for we all have the potential to go against our innate humanity, violating the truth in our hearts, but they make us play out inhumane behavior to weird and violent extremes.


Left to our own devices, we would sometimes act inhumanely and then correct it, contain the aberration. Obviously, we do not always do so. In the exaggeration of our insane and inhumane tendencies, and in extreme, uncorrected deviance from our innate intelligence, Gnostics saw the signature of an alien species that piggy-backs on the worst human failings.

Hence, Archons are psycho-spiritual parasites.


Yet as offspring of the Aeon Sophia (see below insert), they are also our cosmic kin.







Gk: "emanation, divine power, cosmic time cycle. " Pronounced A-ON,. Adjective, Aeonic. E.g., "Reefs of Aeonic dreaming." (Gaia Mythos)

This essential term in Gnostic cosmology might be useful in getting away from the awkward terms God and gods. An Aeon is a god understood, not in theological terms, but in terms of the physics of consciousness.


Aeons are not entities but processes that may best be conceptualized as immense currents, but currents that are alive, self-aware, sensuous. The Goddess Sophia who becomes embodied as Gaia is an Aeon, hence the Aeon Sophia.


Aeons are gendered. In some Gnostic scenarios the male counterpart to the female Aeon Sophia is the Aeon Christos. 



As inorganic entities of two types, embryonic and reptilian, Archons can at moments penetrate the terrestrial atmosphere and terrorize humans, although there is no reason or order to these forays, for the aliens cannot remain for very long in the biosphere and, anyway, they have no master plan to accomplish here.


The ontological status of the Archons is dual:

  • they exist as an alien species independent of humankind

  • they exist as a presence in our minds, rather like a set of programs operating in our mental environment

The risk they pose by invading our mental software is far greater than any physical risk they might pose by erratically breaching the biosphere.

Working through telepathy and suggestion, the Archons attempt to deviate us from our proper course of evolution. Their most successful technique is to use religious ideology to insinuate their way of thinking and, in effect, substitute their mind-set for ours.


According to the Gnostics, Judeo-Christian salvationism is the primary ploy of the Archons, an alien implant.

Our capacity to discern alien forces working in our minds is crucial to survival and co-evolution with Gaia who, as Sophia, accidentally produced the Archons in the first place. (This comment belongs to Level One, the cosmological definition, but as so often happens with Gnostic teachings, noetic and cosmic elements tend to merge.)


By recognizing and repelling the Archons, we claim our power, define our boundaries in the cosmic framework, and establish our purpose relative to Gaia, the indwelling intelligence of the planet.



Level three - Sociological

In the Gnostic view of human society, the Archons are alien forces that act through authoritarian systems, including belief-systems, in ways that cause human beings to turn against their innate potential and violate the symbiosis of nature.


LIVE spelled backwards is EVIL, but the Archons are not evil in the sense that they possess autonomous powers of destruction, able to be applied directly upon humanity.


They are agents of error rather than evil — but human error, when it goes uncorrected and runs beyond the scale of correction, turns into evil and works against the universal plan of life. Gnostics taught that the Archons exploit our tendency to let our mistakes go uncorrected.

Because the Archons need human complicity to gain power over humankind, any one who assists them can be considered a kind of Archon, an accessory. How do humans assist the Archons?


One way (suggested in the Level Two definition) is by accepting the mental programs of the Archons — that is, adopting the alien intelligence as if it were human-based — and implementing those programs by actually enforcing them in society. Another way is by actively or passively conforming to the agendas so proposed and imposed.

Jacques Lacarriere suggests that Gnostics detected the humanized face of the Archons in all authoritarian structures and and systems that deny authenticity and self-determination to the individual.


He argues that Gnostics recognized,

"the fundamentally corrupt character of all human enterprises and institutions: time, history, powers, states, religions, races, nations..."

(The Gnostics, p. 24)

Corruption occurs, not because we make errors, but because the errors we make go uncorrected and extrapolate beyond the scale of correction. Lacarriere says that Gnostics reached this conclusion “out of rational observation of the natural world and human behavior.”


Ultimately, they asserted the,

“contention that all power – whatever kind it may be – is a source of alienation... All institutions, laws, religions, churches and powers are nothing but a sham and a trap, the perpetuation of an age-old deception.”

(p. 28-29)

This may seem like a dark view of human affairs, but given the evidence of history (not to mention current events), it cannot be said to be unfair or exaggerated.

For an intimate glimpse of Gnostic teaching on the Archons, including advice on how to act when directly confronted by them, consider the passage from The First Apocalypse of James, cited in A Gnostic Catechism.