ANCIENT SACRED MYSTERIES, RITES AND
By aid of the Popol Vuh and decipherings of the writings within the
Great Pyramid at Cairo I am enabled to describe some of the ancient
mysteries, rites and ceremonies. Le Plongeon translated the Popol
Vuh into English from Brasseur's French translation, checking it
himself with the original Maya. He kindly lent me this copy from
which to make notes.
The following from the Popol Vuh, therefore,
comes through Le Plongeon.
In Guatemala the Quiche Mayas disclosed their sacred mysteries to
the applicants in seven steps or degrees. After the first step or
initiatory degree, the remainder were conducted in six chambers or
Some of these trials or degrees are exceedingly interesting, as we
find them practiced later by the Egyptians and reflected all through
the Old Testament.
First Initiatory Step
In this step the applicants for initiation
to the Sacred Mysteries were made to cross two rivers, one of mud,
the other of blood, before they reached the four roads which led to
the place where the priests were awaiting them.
The crossing of
these rivers was full of dangers that were to be avoided. Then they
had to journey along four roads - the white, the red, the green, and
the black - that led to where awaited the Council, composed of
twelve priests, veiled, and a wooden statue dressed and wearing the
ornaments of a priest.
While in presence of the Council the initiates were told to salute
the King, pointing to the wooden statue. This was to try their
discernment. Then they had to salute each individual, giving his
name or title without being told, after which they were invited to
sit down on a certain seat. If, forgetting the respect due to the
august assembly, they sat as invited, they soon had reason to regret
their want of breeding and proper preparation; for the seat, made of
stone, was burning hot. Having modestly declined the invitation,
they were led to the Second Trial - The Dark House.
In the Dark House they had to pass the night and submit to the
Second Trial. Guards were placed around to prevent the candidates
from holding intercourse with the outer world. Next a lighted torch
of pinewood and a cigar were given to each. These were not to be
extinguished, still they had to be returned whole at sunrise, when
the officers in charge of the house came to demand them. Woe to him
who allowed his cigar and his torch to be consumed! Terrible
chastisement, even death, awaited him.
Having passed through this second trial successfully, the Third
Trial was to be suffered in - The House of Spears.
In the House of Spears the applicants had to produce four pots of
certain rare flowers, without communicating with anyone outside and
without having brought them. They had also to defend themselves
against the attacks of the best spearmen, selected for the purpose,
one for each candidate. Coming out victorious at dawn they were
judged worthy of the Fourth Trial.
This consisted in being shut up a
whole night in - The Ice House.
In the Ice House the cold was intense. They had to prevent
themselves from being overcome by the cold and freezing to death.
Their Fifth Trial then took place.
In the Tiger House they were exposed to the danger of
being devoured by ferocious animals. Emerging safely from the den of
tigers, they were ready to submit to the Sixth Trial.
The Fiery House
This was a burning fiery furnace where they had
to remain from sunset to sunrise. Leaving this unscorched, they were
deemed worthy to undergo the Seventh and Final Trial, the severest
The House of the Bat
This was the House of Cama-zotz, the God of
the Bats, and was full of death-dealing weapons. Here the God
himself, coming from on high, appeared to the candidates, and
beheaded them if found off their guard.1
1 Do not these initiation vividly recall to mind what Henoch said he
saw in his vision? "That blazing house of Creptal, burning hot and
icy cold. The habitation where one appeared in great glory lining
upon the orb of the sun."
The foregoing is a synopsis of Le Plongeon's translations. He says
these rites were practiced at Xibalba, a place in the heart of the
I am afraid Le Plongeon has failed to give the correct impressions
as regards the trials. He should have told his readers that they
were all symbolical; whereas he has tried to leave the impression
that they were literal, thereby attempting to produce a
blood-curdling, awe-inspiring, supernatural mystery. Le Plongeon,
however, forgot himself on one occasion; for he states in the First
Trial that the candidate is prepared beforehand, therefore knowing
what to say, what to do, and how to act. In other words, the
candidate has been previously taught his lessons, and these trials
were examinations to ascertain whether he knew them.
The aforesaid is fully borne out by what is found on the walls of
the temple within the Great Pyramid at Cairo. Here it is stated that
the candidate is prepared beforehand and that a friendly spirit (an
instructor] accompanies him and guides him through all his trials.
When one comes across any literary matter referring to the bat as a
Maya symbol, it is invariably found that the writer says the Mayas
looked upon the bat as a god and worshiped it as such. The Mayas did
not look upon the bat as a god, nor did they worship it. This is so
clearly shown in the Seventh Trial - "the House of the Bat" - that
it is beyond controversy.
How can it be called bat worship when it
is distinctly stated that,
"The Lord comes down from on high to see
and to finally pass the candidate"?
The whole ceremony is a symbolical one, showing the candidate how he
must be prepared to meet the end when it comes.
The Pyramid Temple
I shall now compare the ancient Egyptian
Sacred Mysteries, as disclosed by the temple within the Great
Pyramid near Cairo, with those of the Mayas as disclosed in the Popol Vuh.
The entrance door was placed in the north, and was a single stone in
the form of an equilateral triangle surmounting a square and
revolved on a pivot or apex. This was symbolical of Heaven and
Earth. Through these the postulant must pass, for they symbolized
the passage from a present to a future life. There were twelve
entrances to pass through before attaining the Grand Orient, with
secrets and trials restricted to each.
The first could not be seen; it was apparently a blank and was
guarded by Horus. It was a blank or nothingness because the
postulant was blind and bereft of his senses except motion. This
portal had to be passed through with the aid of a friendly spirit.
Having passed through the portal, he was conducted down these
passages by a friendly spirit he could not see, and was taken to the
place of initiation, where his Manes were regenerated by the descent
of the Soul to the expecting postulants.
He was then conducted to
the chamber of Central Fire, which he extinguished.
Interior of the Great Pyramid, Egypt
Showing Construction of the
Book of the Dead, Chapter XXII
"I come; I do that which my heart
wishes on the day ot the Fire, when I extinguish the flames as soon
as they appear."
And Chapter XXV. - "I make the man remember his
name in the Great House. I make him remember his name in the House
References to the Tank of Fire are constantly met with
throughout the Book of the Dead and are generally accompanied by the
foregoing glyph or vignette.
From the Chamber of Central Fire (the Tank of Fire) the postulant
was conducted up the grand Horizon of Heaven, and came to a portal.
Questions were asked, which he answered, and then he passed through
and was able to see - light was given to him, and he then beheld his
friendly guide. He was next conducted into the Chamber of the
Shadow, Judgment of the Justified, Truth and Darkness, the Seven
Halls of Death.
Here he had to pass an examination, and words were given him which
he had to remember before being led on to the second portal, where
he was required to give answers permitting him to enter.
Having passed through the second stage, the adept was allowed to
enter the hall called the Tenth Hall of Truth, or Trial Scene, which
was depicted in a black-and-white tessellated pavement - Right and
Wrong, Truth and Falsehood.
From this hall he was conducted to the Chamber of New Birth, or
place of coming forth with regeneration of soul. In this chamber
were found emblems of mortality with the sarcophagus empty. A small
opening admits the light of the bright morning star Sothis into the
chamber. The rest of the chamber reminded the adept of what he
passed through. He now emerged from the tomb.
Next he was taken to the Throne of Regeneration of the Soul, and
Investiture of Illumination took place. Then he experienced more
ordeals to attain to the Chamber of the Orient, to the Throne of Ra,
to become a Master. The uncreated light, from which was pointed out
the whole happiness of the future, he could see for himself in the
After passing through another portal where he had to bend,
he was conducted to the Chamber of the Grand Orient.
The initiate had to sustain the fiery ordeal to be approved as an
adept. The adept had to become justified. The justified must then
become illuminate. The illuminate must then be consummated Master
before he could obtain the innermost mansion of the Divine House.
Comparing the Egyptian with the Maya
In the Pyramid Temple 2 there
were twelve rooms or portals - in the Maya seven houses.
2 Much of the detail concerning the Pyramid Temple comes from Dr. A.
Egyptian had a Dark Room, so also the Maya. The Egyptian had a Tank
of Fire - the Maya a Fiery House. The Egyptian had Seven Halls of
Death - the Maya House of the Bat corresponded with them.
After Mu was destroyed, the peoples of the earth symbolized in some
way her destruction, so that,
"her memory should not be forgotten
among coming generations."
The Mayas of Yucatan erected a pyramid as a monument for her, which
stands to this day. They also erected temples to her memory.
The Quiche Mayas introduced it into their religious ceremonies in
the form of a symbolical "Fiery House."
The Greeks symbolized it by forming a Maya epic, which forms their
alphabet today. This epic, as I have already shown, describes the
manner of Mu's destruction.
The Egyptians, like the Quiche Mayas, symbolized the destruction in
their religious ceremonies. As the initiate advanced in religious
mysteries he symbolically passed through the scene of the
destruction of his Motherland - thus, through life, to keep her in
Moses in an abstruse manner symbolized it in his writings, as we
find in our Bible today.
Back to Contents