Part 1

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus Christ said he would build his church; "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Putting the word "hell" in context here is important because whereas the later meaning of the Greek word a/&dhß (transliterated "Hades" hah'-dace) was confused with death and the grave (Thanatos [also see Re 1:18]) at the time Jesus chose to use this word, the reference was to the person of Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions, and Orcus, the nether world and realm of the dead.

Why would Jesus mention a Greek deity, as if Hades were a personal, sentient combatant? Perhaps there is more than meets the contemporary religion-student's eye.


Backing up

In Hesiod's Theogony we are told of twelve pre-Olympian gods known as Titans, who ruled the Universe. These were the children of Gaia, who gave birth to the "elder" gods by cohabiting with Uranus. The important Titans included Oceanus, Tethys, Mnemosyne, Themis, Hyperion, Lapetus, and Atlas. When Uranus attempted to imprison the Titans within the body of his wife (the earth), Cronus, "the youngest and most terrible of her children," conspired with his mother and castrated Uranus with a sickle. The mutilation of Uranus separated Heaven from Earth and succeeded in freeing the Titans. When the powerful Cronus later cast the severed genitals of his father into the sea, a white foam enveloped them from which Aphrodite was born; thus the name aphros, or "foam-born."

As the newly crowned king of the gods, Cronus married his sister Rhea. Six famous god-children were born of their union: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Mother Earth and Father Uranus warned Cronus that his offspring would someday try to overthrow and replace him as the king of the gods. Cronus therefore attempted to circumvent the possibility of threat by swallowing each child whole as it was born. Rhea was displeased and, "cunning as the night air," replaced baby Zeus with a cloth-wrapped stone which Cronus unwittingly swallowed instead. She then hid Zeus at Crete where he was fed on the milk of the goat Amalthaea and remained until adulthood, protected by the nymphs. 

Years later, Zeus made Cronus regurgitate his brothers and sisters. A fierce ten-year war ensued, and the younger, more powerful Olympians overthrew the elder Titans, casting them down into Tartarus where they (except for Hecate) were to remain fettered forever. Eventually Zeus reconciled with the Titans and proclaimed Cronus the ruler of the Golden Age. Meanwhile he summoned his brothers, Hades and Poseidon, and decreed that the universe should thereafter be divided among them. The sky became the dominion of Zeus; Poseidon was chosen to rule over the sea, and the inner-earth or underworld was declared the haunt of Hades; notwithstanding the surface of the earth was determined neutral grounds—a place where sky, sea and underworld joined, and where all deities could merge.

Sky, sea, and underworld inhabited by "gods", with earth the mutual gathering ground? The Bible mentions the same as where powerful spirits are separated.

But let's go on...


Hades and the Mystery Rituals

The Thesmophoria was the most popular of the ancient Greek fertility festivals. Held in honor of Demeter—whose cult secrets were the most protected of the mystery religions—the rituals were performed inside of the inner sanctum of the Temple of Demeter (the Telesterion) and were so well-guarded by the Temple devotees that little survived to enlighten us as to what actually occurred there. Only those portions of the Thesmophoria held outside the Temple were recorded, providing a sparse historical record. 

What is known is that the rituals of the Thesmophoria were based on the mythology of the abduction and rape of Persephone (Proserpina), and of Demeter's (Persephone's mother) subsequent actions in searching for her daughter. The cult's rituals, therefore, are interpreted according to the Demeter myth, which claimed that Hades—the dark god of the underworld—fell in love with beautiful Persephone. 

One day as Persephone plucked flowers in a grassy meadow, Hades swooped down in his chariot and dragged her into the underworld, where he forced her to become his bride. Above ground, Demeter was distraught by her daughter's disappearance and searched the earth in vain to find her. With the help of Helios and Hecate, Demeter finally discovered the truth about what had happened. In her fury, she demanded Hades release her daughter. When he refused, she sent horrific famine upon the earth. Plants dried up; Seeds refused to sprout, and the gods began to suffer from a lack of sacrifices. 

Finally, Zeus dispatched Hermes to intercede with the lord of the underworld. After great debate, Hades agreed to release Persephone if she would eat a pomegranate seed. What Persephone didn't understand was that by eating the pomegranate seed in the mystical location of the underworld, divine symmetry was created that bonded her with Hades. This ensured that the goddess would automatically return to the underworld for a third part of each year (in the winter), during which time the seeds of the ground would not grow. Persephone thus became the upperworld goddess of youth and happiness, and the underworld queen of the dead; a dual role that depicted her as both good and evil. On earth she was the goddess of the young and the friend of the nymphs who appeared in the blooming of the spring flowers (symbolizing her annual return from Hades), and in the underworld she was the dreaded wife of Hades and the Queen of Darkness who controlled the fates of deceased men. 

The reenactment of such myth—the abduction and rape of Persephone—was central to the rituals of the Thesmophoria, and, as such, key to interpreting the bits of information known.

The festival of the Thesmophoria—sometimes called the Eleusinian Mysteries—lasted between three and ten days. Each day of the festival had a different name and included specific rites. A highlight of the festival was a procession from Athens to Eleusis, which was led by a crowd of children known as ephebi. The ephebi assisted in carrying the hiera (sacred objects), and in pulling a statue of Dionysus as a boy (Iacchos), and finally in the ceremonial cleansing of the initiates (candidates of the mystery religion) in the sea. 

Upon arriving at Eleusis, the women organized the first day of the celebration (anodos) by building temporary shelters and electing the leaders of the camp. On the second day (nesteia) they initiated the Greater Mysteries which, according to myth, produced the cult's magical requests (a fertile harvest). Such mysteries included a parody of the abduction and rape of Persephone and the positioning of the female devotees upon the ground weeping (in the role of Demeter for her daughter) and fasting for the return of Persephone (the return of spring). The setting upon the ground and fasting also intended to transfer the "energies" of the women into the ground, and thus into the fall seeds. On the fifth day of the festival the participants drank a special grain mixture called kykeon (a symbol of Persephone) in an attempt to assimilate the spirit of the goddess. The idea was to produce an incarnated blessing of fertility, both of crops and children.

About this same time certain women called "antleriai" were cleansed in the sea and sent down into the mountainside trenches to recover the sacrificial piglets and various other sacred objects that had been thrown into the hillside canyons several days before. The sacred objects included dough replicas of snakes and genitalia, which were burned with the piglets and a grain-seed-mixture, as an offering to Demeter. 

The reason for casting of the piglets into the mountainside cliffs has been thoroughly debated and no single interpretation has emerged as final authority. While mystical representations can be made of the symbology, and the dough replicas are obviously fertility symbols, pigs blood was sacred to the gods and thus the piglets are key to understanding the ritual. 

Greeks venerated pigs because of their uncanny ability to find, and unearth, underground items (roots, etc). Some scholars conclude from this that the ritual casting of the pigs "into the deep" was a form of imitative magic based on the underworld myth of Persephone and Hades. That is to say, casting the piglets into the deep canyon trenches, and fetching them out again, represented the descent of Persephone into the underworld and her subsequent return to the surface of the earth. 

The piglets in the trenches may also have served the practical purpose of supplying a host (body) for Persephone to occupy until the antleriai women could assist her (by retrieving the piglets) in her annual escape from the underworld. Burning the piglets later that night would, according to the ancient religious idea that fire passes the soul from one location to another, free the spirit of Persephone into the upperworld (compare children sacrificed to Baal who "passed through the fire" from the physical world into the spiritual).

Yet the New Testament position seems to be that such pagan rituals were the worship of demons. "The things which the Gentiles sacrifice," Paul said, "they sacrifice to devils..." (1 Corinthians 10:20).

This makes one wonder if a connection between the ritual casting of the piglets into the deep canyon trenches (representing a descent into hell), and the biblical story of the Gadarene demoniac, existed. 

Consider Luke, chapter Eight: 

And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes....And when he [Jesus] went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils....When he [the demoniac] saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not"....And Jesus asked him, saying, "What is thy name?" And he said, "Legion:" because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep [emphasis added]. And there was there an herd of swine [emphasis added] feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea [emphasis added], and were choked. (Luke 8:26-33)

The word deep in this text is Abussos (the Abyss), and refers to the underworld Bottomless Pit. Since the principle elements of the sea, the swine, and the deep were employed; and since the Abyss (part of the underworld) was central to the narrative; and further since the cult rituals of the Thesmophoria were well known throughout Asia Minor and were considered by the Hebrews to be activity of the devil (the inhabitants of Hades were known as 'Demeter's people,' and Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, was Perserphone's underworld guide during the rituals); one could easily surmise that Jesus was either mocking the Thesmophoria, or revealing to His followers that such rituals were the consort of devils. It may be a stretch to interpret the biblical story in this way, but clearly the similarities and historical proximities are startling, especially given that the demons requested entry into the swine. 

Why would demons make such a plea? There are two possible connections with the Thesmophoria: 1) the demons believed that by entering the swine they could escape the underworld deep (as in the magical Persephone escape ritual described above); and 2) Jesus, by granting the request of the devils, was illustrating that the Thesmophoria ritual of casting piglets into the deep was inherently demonic. Obviously there are other possible interpretations of the narrative. Yet since this is the only record of Jesus granting the petition of demons, it seems possible that a powerful social commentary on a popular pagan idea, like the Thesmophoria of Demeter, was made by Christ.


Once upon a time there was this Titan that escaped Hell

Hecate, the Titan earth-mother of the wizards and witches, illustrates, perhaps better than Demeter, the connection between sky, earth, underworld, and the realm of evil supernaturalism. 

As the daughter of Perses and Asteria, Hecate (Hekate) was the only Titan to remain free under Zeus. She was the mother of the wizard, Circe, and the witch, Medea. She characterized the unknown and night-terrors that roamed the abandoned and desolate highways. 

Hecate was often depicted as a young maiden with three faces, each pointing in a different direction, a role in which she was the earth-spirit that haunted wherever three paths joined. As the "goddess of three forms" she was Luna (the moon) in heaven, Diana (Artemis) on earth, and Hecate of the underworld. 

At midnight, Hecate's devotees would leave food offerings at intersections for the goddess ('Hecate's Supper'), and, once deposited, quickly exit without turning around or looking back. Sometimes the offerings consisted of honey cakes and chicken hearts, while at other times, puppies, honey, and female black lambs were slaughtered for the goddess and her strigae (strigae were deformed owl-like affiliates of Hecate who flew through the night feeding on the bodies of unattended babies. During the day, they appeared as simple old women, folklore that may account for the history of flying witches. The same hid amidst the leaves of the trees during the annual festival of Hecate, held on August 13, when Hecate’s followers offered up the highest praise of the goddess). 

Hecate’s devotees celebrated festivals near Lake Averna in Campania where the sacred willow groves of the goddess stood, and they communed with the tree spirits (earth spirits, including Hecate, were thought to inhabit trees) and summoned the souls of the dead from the mouths of nearby caves. It was here that Hecate was known as Hecate-Chthonia ("Hecate of the earth"), a depiction in which she most clearly embodied the popular earth-mother-spirit that conversed through the cave-stones and sacred willow trees.

Yet Hecate had other, more revealing names, and these are the subject of our interest for the time being. These included: 1) Hecate-Phosphoros ( "The Light Bearer" [recalling another powerful underworld spirit whose original name was Lucifer, "the light bearer"]); and 2) Hecate-Propylaia ( "The One Who Guards The Gate").

Ancient deities known as "light bearers" guarding gates?

Bible scholars agree that sky, sea, and physical earth contain spiritual forces behind barriers or 'gates'. In the Book of Revelation, chapter nine and verse fourteen, we read of "the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates." Likewise, in Job 26:5, the literal Hebrew translation says, "The Rafa (fallen angels) are made to writhe from beneath the waters." Additional biblical references indicate that the subsurface earth is a prison or holding tank where God has bound certain fallen entities. (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6) That such spirits might seek to move beyond their confines through human intervention or invitation, is defined in Scripture. The Hebrew people were warned not to communicate with spirits seeking to emerge from darkness ( Deut. 18:11), and, as an example, when the witch of Endor communicated with the same, they ascended up from "out of the earth" (1 Sam. 28:13).

Based on such scriptures, it seems reasonable that an intelligent, functioning dynamic exists beyond or behind mythology, which according to Christian doctrine is identical with legions of fallen spiritual forces held within spiritual boundaries. It also appears that, by invitation, they can "ascend" or transcend these gateways, presenting themselves as 'light bearers' or angels of light (2 Cor. 11:14).

Following an interview with Stephen Quayle this last week, I received substantial email from people wanting to know more about my book The Ahriman Gate and the subject of inter-dimensional doorways. Some wondered of "metaphysical" stargates where astral soul projection could occur while others had questions about etheric energy alignments between points in interstellar space allowing vibrational energies to pass through distances of space along the space-time continuum. This is what I was talking about from the moment I mentioned time-dimensional doorways, and the entities that can and do move through them. Since the beginning of time and on every continent of the world the record bears the frightening image of those who often come through:



IN BC 4000

IN AD 1918


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