8 - Here Be Dragons
The Sacred Places of Ancient Secret Societies
The secret societies of the globe from ancient times down to today all had
many things in common.
Not the least of which was the need for a place to
But what was the origin of the symbolism of a temple or a lodge?
is this place a stairway to heaven? A gateway to another world?
And why is
the serpent or dragon often involved?
If we go back across the mists of time
to the original meeting places of the serpent cults and shining secret
orders, will we discover the secrets of the mysterious landscape that now
Over the course of many years and with more air-miles than I care to
remember, I have journeyed on a quest to uncover the secrets of the ancient
serpent cults that I reveal in my books.
Each time I journey, I discover
something new. There truly is a whole new world opening up before our eyes.
Suddenly, and often without warning, I am faced with a reinterpretation of
history that I am simply not looking for.
In another twist in the tale of the serpent, I am about to uncover before
your eyes one of the ancient truths about dragons, remembering that, in myth
and in ancient history, dragons and serpents are intertwined like the coils
of a pit viper.
I shall to begin in America of all places, for two reasons. Firstly, that
this is the last place I would even consider looking for dragons, and,
secondly, because the evidence is most profound here in archaeological
The evidence of serpent worship in the Americas can largely be shown by the
many serpent mounds that appear across the continent. The most famous by a
long way is the “Serpent Mound” of Ohio, Adams County.
According to some, 1
this marvelous mound is related to Stonehenge, and it is the “Dragon
Guardian” of the East to Stonehenge’s Secret of the West. Indeed, it is
thought that the two ancient structures actually do share the same timeline
and may very well have a relationship to each other - if ancient man shared
the same beliefs and traveled extensively, as is the growing belief of many
Of course, Stonehenge is also directly north of that infamous
serpent temple, Avebury.
Dragon at Cistercian monastery
Avebury is a huge British temple and stone monument erected around 2000 B.C.
in the shape of a serpent when seen from the sky.
Once known as Abury which,
according to Deane, 2 is evidently Abiri or Ab-ir (after the Abiri people or
Cabiri who were serpent worshippers). Abir means the solar snake or fire
Although some have argued whether Avebury was ever Abury or Aubury (serpent
sun), the fact remains that even as far back as the 17th century there was a
Mr. Aubury who said that it should be pronounced and spelled Aubury (found
in the ledger book of Malmesbury Abbey).
Of course even as Ave Bury, the “Ave” reverts back to the root of “Eve”
which I know means “female serpent.” The pathway of Avebury passes through a
large circular temple of the sun, emerging, and then winding again and
ending with an oddly, not quite circular head - directly in line with “Snakes
Head Hill” (Hackpen).
The central circle is symbolic of the sun, which is the male principle in
the creative process and is symbolized elsewhere as a bull or lion. Once the
serpent has passed through or around this sun circle it is recharged for new
In Egyptian hieroglyphs, we can see similar imagery with the symbol of the
snake going over the solar disc, emerging with its head erect. Overlaid onto
Avebury it is the same image! Adding to this, that the snake is often
depicted with the ancient Egyptian ankh symbol dangling from its emergent
neck - the Ankh being a symbol of new life - the great circle of Avebury simply
has to be the “solar disk,” and the pathway is the snake - thus illustrating
in a painfully labor-intensive way, the ritualistic path of the serpent
worshipper toward new life.
The circular aspect of the stone circles of Europe are strangely reminiscent
of the temples of Quetzalcoatl, which were “circular, and the one dedicated
to his worship in Mexico, was entered by a door like unto the mouth of a
serpent” 3 - a very similar ritualistic inference to those based around Avebury and other stone circles.
In his book the Worship of the Serpent Traced Throughout the World,
Bathurst Deane explains,
“A third description of temples consecrated to the
service of the Ophites’ god remains to be considered: and these were not
only the most rare, the most characteristic, and the most magnificent; but,
probably, the most sacred of them all. These were erected in the form of the
Ophite hierogram, the serpent passing through a circle.”
This hierogram is the symbol of the serpent, a circle with a snake passing
through it, like a needle and thread.
“They were composed,
like the circular temples, of a number of Baitulia, or amber stones, so
arranged as to describe the mystic circle, through which the still more
mystic serpent trailed his majestic form.”
And this is the truth of the Stone Circles and physical hierograms: that
they were rebirthing circles (a being born again through the spirit, through
I can even make a remarkable deduction from the strange word
“baitulia” mentioned previously by Deane - these are betyl stones or serpents’
eggs. In Wales, the serpents were said to emerge and congregate on
Midsummer’s Eve to blow into the Serpent Stone-Eggs or Glain Neidr, which is
reminiscent of the Roman historian Pliny’s tale of this activity among the
These serpent stones were said to be colored pebbles, which gave
“second sight” and healing. Midsummer’s Eve was the night when the serpents
would role themselves into hissing balls and create the glain egg, also
known as “snake stone” or “Druid’s egg.” In Welsh myth, even Merlin himself
went in search of them.
The egg, Cosmic Egg, or Cosmogenic Egg is universally seen with the
serpent - as in the symbol of the Orphic Egg shown with a snake wrapped around
it. From the serpent mound of Ohio to Mithras and Cneph, the egg is
associated with serpent worship.
According to most scholars, it is the
emblem of the mundane elements coming from the creating god. Therefore, it
is a symbol of the elements of the universe. Surely there is also another
reason, a reason that would relate to early man more than such complex ideas
sprung into the mind of modern scientists and scholars.
What is an egg? Simply an “entry portal” into this world. A device to give
And what animal is seen in relation to this unique device and portal?
It is the snake. Again, it is the snake - a symbol of the life force - that
creates the device, which gives life.
Megalithic hole from the serpent island of Gozo
The Egyptian creator deity, Cneph, was represented as a serpent with an egg
thrusting from his mouth, similar to the Ohio Serpent Mound and other
From this egg proceeded the deity Ptah, or Phtha - the creative power
and “father god” who is the same as the Indian Brahma. These Brahma have
been related by scholars to the Jewish Essene community and also to Mithra
Mithra was encircled by serpents and can be equated in many ways to
Jesus, being a solar divinity and reborn on the 25th of December, like the
There is little wonder that a Persian god, such as Mithra, and a Judaic
semi-deity, such as Jesus, would be linked when one understands that the
folds of the ancient serpent cult were so all-encompassing that they
encircled the globe like a Leviathan.
We can even see elements of this when
Jesus is equated to the Brazen Serpent of Moses when we are told to be wise
as serpents and that he even shed his shroud or skin once crucified upon the
cross. Incidentally, snakes are still, to this day, nailed to trees in
certain parts of Africa as a sacrifice for our sins and for healing
And so we have circular monuments and serpent mounds associated with the
egg, which from all the evidence simply gives us the conclusion that these
were places of rebirth. One would push through the symbolic circle, or out
of the egg, or slough off the old skin, but there is more evidence yet to be
unearthed and which reveals this sloughing of the skin to be linked with
these ancient sites.
The classical Greeks frequently depicted a serpent squeezing between two
upright stones, which they called Petrae Ambrosiae (stone or rock ambrosia),
noting that Ambrosia is the nectar and Elixir of the gods.
According to the
19th century archaeologist, Bryant, Stonehenge was seen as amber stones,
with nearby Amesbury - previously Ambrosbury - as proof. In this way, the
healing abilities of the megalithic stones are attributed to the serpent. In
fact, we do still find traces of this in many stories about dragons, who
protect, serve, and heal those ancient people of the stones.
The antiquarian and stone circle-spotter extraordinaire William Stukely also
found two other “serpent temples” - one at Shap in Westmorland and the other
at Classerness in the island of Lewis.
Stukely thought that the Greek legend of Cadmus sowing dragons’ teeth
alluded to his building a serpentine temple. Cadmus was turned into a
serpent (or followed the serpent cult), and stone temples were erected in
his and Harmonia’s honor.
Pausanius helps us along and points out that,
the road between Thebes and Gilsas, you may see a place encircled by select
stones, which the Thebans call The Serpent’s Head.” 4
So, ancient tales may
be clues to the real identities of the serpents and dragons of fable, and
these real identities may in fact be literal places and monuments. Places
where, perhaps, snakes were held in high esteem by the ancient Ophites or
serpent worshippers of the world.
There are many more texts mentioning dragons and serpents, such as the one
that Taxiles showed to Alexander the Great, which was sacred to Dionysus. It
was said to be of enormous size, walled around, and resided in a low, deep
place. It is my conjecture that such places, similar to Stonehenge, were
“portals” or “gateways” to the “land of the serpents” - places of mystery and
rebirth, where offerings and sacrifices must be made to the serpent
Indeed, there is plenty of evidence now from people such as Paul Devereux
that shows such places were also great resonance boosters.
That is, they
amplified sound in peculiar ways, thus creating the booming sound of the
dragon. Such scholars even go as far as saying that the resonance creates
spiral and serpent wavelike shapes from the dust and smoke, as the sound
wave carries the particles along its serpentine path. The serpent could
truly have been seen to rise and heard to roar.
However, most people are not aware that similar mounds and monuments also
appear elsewhere and often associated with the serpent or dragon in similar
In 1871, at the meeting of the British Association in Edinburgh, a certain
Mr. Phene gave an account of his discovery in Argyllshire of a similar
“several hundred feet long, 15 feet high, and 30 feet broad.”
The tail tapered away, and a circular cairn, which he presumed to be the
solar disk above the head of the “Egyptian uraeus,” surmounted the head.
This amazingly is not the only instance of huge serpentine images upon the
ground. In the
Zend Avesta of the Zoroastrians, one of the heroes takes a
rest on what he thinks is a bank - only to find out that it was a green snake!
Iphicrates related that in Mauritania “there were dragons of such extent
that grass grew up on their backs,” thus showing the highly likely chance
that tales of massive dragons in far-off lands could easily be serpent
Other instances of serpent mounds, however, are to be found mentioned by
Strabo (Lib xv. P.1022), in which two dragons are said to have resided in
the mountains of India, one 80 cubits long and the other 140.
also tells of one in Syria, which was so large that horse riders on either
side could not see each other. Each “scale” was as big as a shield, so that
a man “might ride into his mouth.”
Bryant concurs with the belief that these
must be ruins of Ophite temples.
And for what were these temples used?
In ancient Egyptian papyri and in the Mesoamerican codex borgia, there are
instances or tales of the king entering the serpent and going through it in
order to be resurrected - much like those I find in the myth of Osiris.
is exactly the same process that lodges and temples today are used for in
modern secret societies. In Freemasonic rituals, the initiate must be hung,
placed in a coffin, and then called forth like Lazarus in the Bible. In my
own ritual, I was ritually slaughtered and then brought back to life by the
symbolic energy of the snake.
A book said to have been written by Votan (Quetzalcoatl) in the language of
the Quiches and thought to have been in the possession of Núñez de la Vega,
the Bishop of Chiapas, also has some revealing elements. So revealing that
the Bishop tried to burn it. Votan says he left Valum Chivim 5 and came to
the New World to apportion land among seven families who came with him and
were said to be culebra or of “serpent origin.”
Passing the “land of 13
snakes” he arrived in Valum Votan, founding the city of Nachan (City of
Snakes), thought to be modern day Palenque, possibly around 15 B.C. or even
earlier. Votan is said to have made four trips to the east and even to have
An interesting aspect of serpent mounds is the description of a subterranean
passage, which is said to terminate at the root of “heaven.”
This was called
a “snake’s hole” and Votan was only allowed in because he was the son of a
snake. Surely this can only mean that Votan was an initiate in the serpent
cult and that there was a ritualized serpent mound or pyramid which led to
snake heaven or Patala.
The Fenian heroes of ancient Ireland are recorded orally in song, and one of
them, Fionn, was their “dragon slayer.”
One of the legends tells us that:
It resembles a great mound, its jaws were yawning wide; There might lie
concealed, though great its fury, A hundred champions in its eye-pits.
Taller in height than eight men, Was its tail, which was erect above its
back; Thicker was the most slender part of its tail, Than the forest oak
which was sunk by the flood.
Fionn asked where this great monster had come from and was told,
Greece, to demand battle from the Fenians.”
It seems that the serpent
worshippers had come to Ireland from Greece, and had fought the ancient
inhabitants, leaving behind such terror of them that they became symbolized
as this great “dragon mound.”
Fionn, it is said, opened the side of the
dragon and released the men, going on to kill it. It may be that there is a
mixture of wartime fact built in with ritualistic truth in this legend.
Emerging from the side of the dragon, as in other myths, gives new life.
The rituals of the secret societies date back thousands of years and have
their origin, yet again, in the worship of the serpent.
With the oncoming of
orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, this serpent worship was
eradicated and went underground - emerging it seems in the guise of secret
societies. Here we have archaeological and textual evidence that the ancient
mounds of the world were rebirthing places for these ancient cults that were
wiped out, adapted, or swallowed up by the dominant cults (Christianity, and
Obviously the lodges and temples themselves would take on many more
symbolic devices as time passed by - such as symbolism from the Temple of
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