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The Akkadians

   Occult science makes mention of two races which developed in Atlantis after the departure of the Original Semites. The Original Semites were the Fifth Atlantean sub-race; the Akkadians were the sixth. In view of recent archeological discoveries it may be clearer to amend the traditional nomenclature and say that the Akkadians of Atlantis were the Original Akkadians. They in their turn migrated to the new lands of Aryana where they underwent further racial development in the interim between the first and the fourth catastrophies, which finally laid the island continent on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. During this interim the earth globe was continually shaken by earthquakes. New lands arose in the light of Aryana, among which were the Persian Gulf Delta areas that were to become the home of the Sumerians; and where, under their antediluvian kings, a great civilization was to appear.

   The third Flood occurred sometime during the period when the Sun was passing through the constellation Cancer. This is the flood referred to in Chaldean legend and history as overwhelming Sumeria. Sometime after this flood the Delta was invaded by two Semitic peoples who, according to Wooley, came from Asia Minor by way of the Tigris valley and from Northern Syria by way of the Euphrates. These were the historical Akkadians whose first strongholds were in the northern parts of the valley, whence they proceeded to conquer the southern portions. By the time history dawns these three elements were already amalgamated into one race, a state referred to in Genesis as the time when the sons of God married the daughters of men. The Sumarian elements, however, remained dominant.

   It was the Semitic Sargon of Agade (Akkad) who first brought the Valley civilization under Semitic control, about 2528 B.C.; but the Sumarian cities arose and fought for their independence again and again. They were not completely quelled until Hammurabi of the First Babylonian Dynasty (1791-1749 B.C.) drove out the Elamite (Iranian) invaders who had conquered Ur and Isin, and united the nation under his rule with Babylon as the capital. From this time forward the nation now called Babylonia was dominantly Semitic. Therefore, the Chaldeans of history are termed "Semitized Sumerians."

   Historians in general consider that the Semites added little to the Sumerian civilization of Chaldea, merely developing what they found. It is admitted, however, that the Akkadians knew how to work in metal and stone, hence they would seem to correspond to the biblical sons of Cain. It was the Sumerians who developed the religion, cuneiform writing, literature and distinctive architecture which the Akkadians translated into terms of sculpture and buildings of stone — for stone was plentiful in the North but scarce in the South.

   Sumerian cities were governed by Patesi (priest-king), typified in Dumuzi (Tammuz) the Shepherd, and the Akkadians adopted this style of city-state government. Tammuz is the prototype of the sons of Seth. He corresponds to the slain shepherd of Genesis, Abel.

   The Akkadians, best personified historically in Sargon of Agade, were by no means lacking in knowledge of the arts and crafts of civilization. They came from Atlantis later than the Original Semites (the Aryan race in embryo) and by their time Atlantean sciences had reached new and spectacular heights. So it is not without significance to esotericists that the Semitic conquerors collected and organized with precision and logic all the sciences of their predecessors, and built up a thoroughly integrated religious philosophy based upon natural law as observed in the action of the heavenly bodies.

   Had it not been for the beneficent wisdom of the Lords of Destiny, this Chaldean lore would have been almost wholly lost to the world; that it was not lost was due to the Hebrews of the Exile who carried it to Palestine, where it became the marvelous theosophical structure of the Kabbala.

   Abraham was contemporary with the First Dynasty of Babylon which began about 1884 B.C., according to the Talmud, a date agreeing closely with that given by Assyriologists. Hammurabi appears later in history than Abraham, but he belongs to this First Dynasty of Babylon. The migration of Tereh and his clan from Ur to Harran, and the migration of Abraham and his clan from Harran to Canaan, took place sometime during the chaotic period when Elemites were invading the country and establishing a temporary rule over the Chaldean cities. Abraham had already established his people in Canaan long before Hammurabi made Babylon the ruling city of Chaldea, whence forever afterward the nation was to be known as Babylonia.

   Dan sings, "A wandering Aramean was my father." Aramean (Eastern Aramaic) was "the tongue of the Chaldeans" mentioned in the Bible. It was the language spoken by the Patriarch himself in his Chaldean home before he went forth into Canaan whereto, legend has it, the Archangel Michael summoned him and where Michael taught him the Hebrew language. (The Akkadians had, in effect, retained their own Semitic idiom but had learned to write it in the cuneiform script of the Sumerians, just as different modern languages may use the same Roman alphabet.)

   Arrived in Canaan, Abraham adopted the Amorite tongue of Melchizedek (Western Aramaic), which then evolved into the Hebrew language. His religion was obviously similar to that of the Amorite King of Salem for he celebrated with him a Ritual Supper — the first example in Scripture of the Sacrament of Bread and Wine, signifying that Abraham was adopted into Melchizedek's Brotherhood. Incidentally, Hammurabi of Babylon was also an Amorite. This mysterious King of Salem, without father and without mother, is identified in Kabbalism with the Archangel Michael himself. Thus, legend suggests to a discerning mind that Abraham went forth into Canaan as one who seeks hospitality in the house of a friend.

   The Amorite religion was not really dissimilar to the Chaldean, for throughout this period Chaldea was in close touch with the lands of the West. Adonis (Tammuz) and Ishtar (Astarte) were worshipped at Salem and continued to be worshipped even in the Hebrew Temple area as late as the time of the Restoration. Many centuries later the Adonis figure re-emerges in the person of Jesus, our Lord, the Christ of Palestine. Abel and Adonis were slain; so also was Jesus the Shepherd slain. The ancient Mystery Drama repeats itself from age to age.

   Due to their contact with Chaldea, and also with Egypt, the Canaanites possessed a luxuriant and flourishing, if spiritually decadent, civilization at the time of their conquest under Joshua. Again in Abraham's time, the invading Hebrews intermarried with the Amorites and from this mixture, plus an admixture of Philistine and Egyptian blood, came the Hebrew people of history. There was no conflict at all in the basic theology of these peoples, and that is why the Jahweh of the conquering Hebrews was so easily accepted into the Canaanite pantheon as the Supreme Being, or Supreme Baal, of the land.

Babylon the Mighty

   Babylon was close to the end of her glorious career when she attacked Palestine and took its upper classes into captivity. Did her Wise Men not know, could they not read in the heavens, the warning written by the Gods in letters of light? The story of Daniel shows that they did know and that he, an alien and a captive, tried to help the King at the last, while Belshazzer feasted with his men and the very priesthood turned traitor.

   According to archaeologists, Belshazzar of the Bible story was not the king of Chaldea, but may have been his general or his son. The king, according to Chaldean records, was Nobonidus, a great scholar and antiquarian who was more interested in exploring ancient shrines of the Gods than in carrying on warfare. Accordingly, he was despised by the military. A hint of this situation may be found in the fact that he asked Daniel to decipher for him certain inscriptions upon a wall. Archaeologists have discovered that these mysterious letters were actually inscribed upon the walls of an ancient Babylonian Temple dedicated to the Goddess of Earth. The ruins of this vast structure in a once populous city have been unearthed in the eastern section of the Province of Kish, a city called The Twin of the City of Kish. Kish was the seat of the First Dynasty of antediluvian kings, according to Chaldean chronicles. It was situated not far from Babylon.

   The Temple, once the chief ornament of the city, was of enormous size. The great central hall and altar shrine were surrounded by twenty-seven smaller halls and chapels. The exterior of the building was embellished with many of the elaborately decorated columns for which Babylonian architecture was famous. Huge buttresses flanked the six massive entrance gates. Excavators are convinced that in one of these outer halls Belshazzar, "the prodigal, tyrannical and insolent," gave the banquet for his favorites as described by Daniel, who declared that "They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood and of stone."

   During this period the Babylonians still maintained punctilious observance of the four Sacred Seasons, the two Solstices and the two Equinoxes, as well as of the New and Full Moons. It has been shown that to them astronomy was a branch of religion. The sign by which a God or spirit was indicated was a star, and they held that the spirit of man is of the same divine fire as the stars of heaven. Hence, they confidently claimed that they could decipher the Will of God in the stars.

   Cyrus, King of the Persians, was familiar with Babylonian customs and took advantage of the festivities to approach unobserved and occupy the city.

   The world has probably never seen a city so magnificent as Babylon during its golden age. The city proper, sixty miles in circumference, was surrounded by a wall three hundred and fifty feet high, whereon was a great moat. Fifty streets, each one hundred and fifty feet in width, traversed the city for a distance of fifteen miles in all directions, crossing each other at right angles. The city was laid out in squares, some of them being rich gardens fragrant and beautiful with subtropical plantings. In their midst stood the palaces of nobles and dignitaries. Fruits and flowers were laid out in accordance with astrological laws, making for rare luxuriance of growth — the secret of which has been all but forgotten. For botanical as well as architectural reasons, the famous Hanging Gardens are numbered among the Seven Wonders cf the World.

   Babylon's two royal palaces, one twelve and a half miles in circumference and the other eight, were connected by a subterranean passage built under the waters of the Euphrates. Appolonius of Tyana has given us a description of these magnificent Babylonian palaces as they were in the time of Nero. The walls of the interior apartments, he states, were lined with silver and often with solid gold. The walls of the Hall of justice in the king's palace were covered with gold, and the ceiling, made to imitate the sky, was of sapphire; around the walls, and so far above that they seemed to be floating in mid-air, were images of the Gods worshipped in the country.

   Dedicated to the city's patron Deity was the vast Temple of Bel, with its golden dome and priceless treasures of gleaming metals and precious jewels. It stood in the center of the city while nearby was the storied tower, also sacred to the God. The latter was ablaze with color, chiefly red and gold, and appeared to ascend step by step to the heavens. Here the populace was ministered to daily by thousands of richly appareled priests assisted by their attendants and acolytes. The labor of the Temple involved other thousands of artisans, scribes and workmen, for the Temple was a city within a city, sheltered by its high walls. It was believed that in the foundation of the red-and-gold stepped pyramid or tower was the tomb of Bel Marduk, mediator between man and his Father in Heaven, who had brought order out of chaos; and that he bad lain there from the beginning. Under the huge sapphire-studded Temple dome was the God's statue and another one of his dragon, both of solid gold. The Temple was devoted to ritual worship, while the storied tower or ziggurat was one of a number of such structures used not only as storehouses for the ancient wisdom, but also as astronomical observatories. A school was attached to the Temple, and therein were Daniel and his young friends educated.

   The copper-plated domes of other Temples gleamed above the palms. Beyond the walls of the city proper, but connected with it by the Sacred Way, was the Temple of Nabu (Mercury) and its attendant Tower of Borisippa, of which a description has already been given. The library of Borsippa contained copies of the most ancient Chaldean "books," including Scriptures believed to antedate the Flood (Atlantean). Among these were the sacred tablets telling of the Seven Days of Creation as dictated by Oannes. The pyramid rose high, each of its seven steps or stories a different color. The cell on its summit was sacred to the use of the High Priestess of the Moon, whose oracles were received from the Gods as she slept. This High Priestess for the God was, as before stated, usually the daughter of the king.

   Not only the Hanging Gardens but the tremendous walls inclosing Babylon proper inspired awe. Because of them the city was thought to be impregnable. And because of this Belshazzar held high carnival while Cyrus and his hosts besieged the city. However, the one hundred and fifty ponderous gates in the wall, which opened to permit the inflow of waters from the Euphrates, proved to be its vulnerable points.

   Knowing that vigilance of the guards would be relaxed, and aided by treachery, on the third and final night of revelry at the Feast of the Autumnal Inflow, Cyrus of Persia placed a detachment of soldiers north of the city to dig a lake and divert the waters of the river. Another detachment was stationed below the city and a third was stationed at the gates, which had been left unguarded. Intent on their celebrations, the people failed to notice the lowering of the water until the Persians had forced entrance via the river bed.

   One fateful day the citizens of Babylon awakened as subjects of Nabonidus (or, as the Bible has it, Belshazzar). Before dawn of the following day they were the enslaved subjects of the Persian Cyrus.

   With Cyrus a new policy of empire was born. It was his custom to grant complete religious freedom to all conquered people within the borders of his empire. He encouraged Jewish exiles to return to Palestine, promising them all possible aid in the rebuilding of their Temple and their city. The exiles returned to their ancient homeland, but not with empty hands; nor with empty hearts. They carried with them the wisdom of Chaldea; also they carried with them a Book of their own. Inspired by the scholarly research of the Chaldean King, their own Wise Men and their Scribes for the first time brought together in one volume the Hebrew Bible, now known as the Old Testament.

The Babylonian Genesis
The Tablets of Creation

   If the soul of Chaldean civilization was Sumarian, much is yet to be said for the Semitic (Akkadian) conquerors who possessed the intelligence to appreciate that ancient culture at its true worth and who went to great lengths to preserve it. All that could be done to preserve libraries was done by the Semitic kings, beginning with Sargon. He instigated the collection of many ancient tablets then existing in various libraries and appointed scholars to translate and codify them. Incantations and formulas of magic were assembled and studied; hymns and prayers were carefully arranged and translated into the Semitic language, together with the texts in their original tongue. Sometimes the translations were interlinear, sometimes written in opposite columns — rendering their interpretations easy for later archeologists. Sargon also ordered the compilation of grammars and vocabularies so that the priestcraft, at least, might retain the old wisdom, although the tongue of the original scripts was rapidly going out of popular usage.

   What Sargon began, later Chaldean kings continued. With the rise of the Babylonian Dynasty the Semites and their language were supreme in the nation. In the Temples, however, the ancient tongue, now become cryptographic, was still used in liturgy and magic, as Latin remains sacred to the Catholic Church of today.

   Thus, in addition to the grammars and vocabularies, texts of the ancient epics were preserved, together with tablets on astrology, divination and magic. The greatest depository for these texts was the ancient library at Erech, called "the City of Books." Modern archeologists have shown that the heroes of these epics are found among kings who actually lived in the First Dynasty of Erech. Their deification, as previously noted, was the outworking of the Principle of Overshadowing, by which a Cosmic Intelligence seems to incarnate in a human instrument.

   The eighteenth century B.C. was the Golden Age of Babylonia, as the country came to be called after the rise to power of the Dynasty of Babylon. Hammurabi of Babylon continued and completed the work begun by his great prototype, Sargon of Agade (Akkad). When Assyria conquered and overran Babylonia, the Assyrian kings continued true to type in preserving the wisdom of the Chaldeans. It is to Asshurbanipal that history is indebted for a number of precious tablets and documents of imperishable value, many of which he took from the library at Borsippa.

   In this connection it is noteworthy to observe that the Sumerians were, like their kindred Aryans of India, a spiritually reasoning people. The Akkadians (Semites which includes the Assyrians of history) were an intellectualizing people. They had descended deeper into materiality than the Sumerians, and their intellectualism is shown in their careful codification of ancient wisdom along astronomical lines. It is a curious fact that Abraham's people, still clinging to Sumerian tradition, showed little interest in the progress of material science in the ancient world. They concentrated their whole interest upon the contemplation of spiritual truths and magic, as did the Brahmins of India.

   The Babylonian Creation narrative comes down in the form of several badly mutilated tablets, the work of each day apparently having been engraved upon a separate tablet, The first tablet contains a description of primordial Chaos and the generation of the Gods; the third describes the creation of land; the fifth, the creation of heavenly bodies. Despite the fragmentary condition of these tablets, they reveal a story which is in close concord with that of Genesis in our own Christian-Hebrew Bible.

   The likeness of the Babylonian version to the biblical does not end with the sevenfold Creation account. It also contains references to the war in heaven, to the Tree of Life in the Garden, and to the temptation. There is the evidence of an early Babylonian cylinder depicting the Tree in the midst of the Garden, with two figures seated near it and a Serpent standing upright in the background.

   As previously mentioned, the Chaldeans attributed the origin of their sacred books to the God Ea, personification of Divine Wisdom, who rose in the form of a Fish-Man (Oannes) from the waters of the Persian Gulf. Berosus says, "He wrote a book on the origin of things and the beginning of civilization and gave it to me."

   It has been shown that the name of a being or thing is its essential quality. Hence, if something is unnamed it does not exist, for it comes into existence only when the WORD is spoken or chanted; and it continues to exist only by reason of the divine power of the Word, which is continuously sounding throughout the universe. Were the divine sound of manifested existence to cease, the universe would no longer exist. In the Chaldean Tablets of Creation it is written that when the heaven above and the earth below were as yet unnamed, the Abyss and the Billowy Sea (Apsu and Tiamat) were the beginning of all things. Their waters mingled and flowed together, but darkness was not lifted from the face of the waters. Life mingled in the deep, yet nothing sprouted or grew. The Gods also were not yet, for "They were as yet unnamed and did not rule the destinies." Then the great Gods at last came into being and the hosts of heaven and earth, "And the days stretched themselves out, and the god Anu (Heaven) ... He, Anu, appointed the mansions of the great gods," the constellations of the Zodiac. "He appointed the mansions of Bel and Ea with his own: he also opened the great gates of heaven, fastening their bolts firmly to the right and to the left . . . He created the Moon also to shine and set him to govern the night, determining the time of his quarters which measure the days and saying to him, "Rise and act, and be subject to his Law.'"

   Still another tablet tells how the Gods created the living creatures of the earth, the cattle and wild beasts, the creeping things.of both field and city. There also appeared men with wings, men with two and four faces, male and female. Still others possessed the hindquarters of a horse united to the upper part of a man. The likeness of these strange creatures was preserved in the art of Babylonia. Berosus, who was a priest of Bel, refers to pictures he had seen upon the walls of the Temple of Bel in Babylon.

   Scholars recognize an allegorical or symbolical quality in these curious representations; yet it must be remembered that early peoples in general possessed a form of clairvoyance which has been lost by the races of this present materialistic age. Thus, the Prophet Ezekiel also saw in a vision strangely formed creatures. It is evident from an analysis of his statements that they represented certain Race Spirits of the human kingdom and Group Spirits of the animal kingdom, as will be seen still more plainly in the lzdubar Epic which follows. The animal Group Spirit is described by modern Seers as a creature predominantly human but with certain characteristics of the species which he guards and protects. "Talking animals" of fairy lore belong to this category. Primitive peoples relate many stories of speaking with such man-like animals in their dreams; it was, in fact, important that witch doctors be able to do this. Such creatures should not be spoken of as monstrous and terrible, but rather as strange and unusual.

   The Tree of Life and its counterpart, the Tree of Knowledge, are found in Hebrew Genesis; they also figured prominently in Chaldea and were important in the land of Canaan. The Bible makes mention of a tree that is cut down, decorated with ornaments and worshipped. To our own time this tree is the central symbolical figure of the Hebrew Kabbala.

   In Chaldean designs found on cylinders and sculptures the Tree of Life is a conifer, perhaps a cypress or a fir, or even a palm. It became stylized in art forms, and artificial trees were made of branches tied together with ribbons. In the Hebrew Temples the Tree is represented by seven-branched candlesticks. Josephus admits that the seven lights of the candlcs represent the seven planetary bodies. Parts of the tree are still used as talismans for protection against evil; also as talismanic ornaments to embellish the walls of homes and Temples, as was the lotus in Egypt, and to wear upon the person. The cone is often represented.

   As astronomy became the leading science of Chaldea, the ancient Tree was interpreted as the starry universe, the Tree of the Cosmos, with its roots in the earth and its crown in the heavens where it was fruited with golden apples (the stars) and decorated with red fire (lightning).

   Again, in the Hebrew Bible the Tree grows in a Paradise located upon a mountain. According to Hebrew legend, Paradise was a mountain and Seth dwelt on its slopes long after Cain had gone down to the wilderness of the plains. Paradise is really the dwelling place of the Gods, where men walk and talk with them as with brothers and friends. The Chaldeans placed their Mountain of Paradise in the far north or northeast and named it the Father of Countries and Arallu, because it was situated at the entrance to Arali, the Underworld. Heroes and great men dwelt there with the Gods after death, in the land with a sky of silver. This mountain is, in fact, the "Pillar" which joins heaven and earth and around which the heavens revolve. It is the central Pillar or Trunk of the Cosmic Tree (the Masonic Pillar of Beauty), pointing to the Star of the North. At one time in Chaldean history (about 2100 B.C.) this star was Thuban in the constellation Draco, the Dragon. Hence, the Serpent that stands upright by the Tree.

   A hymn apostrophizes the Mountain of Bel in the east, whose double- head reaches unto the skies; which is like to a mighty buffalo at rest; whose double horn sparkles as a sunbeam, as a star. The double-headed mountain occurs in many mythologies, a notable instance being Mount Parnassus of Greece.

   The holy Mountain of Paradise was reproduced in artificial hills upon which ziggurats and Temples were constructed; the seven-storied ziggurats (towers) with their sacred lights again representing the Mountain of the Universe. By the ascent of these one came nigh unto the Father of Heaven. The tiers were built in series of three, five or seven, sacred numbers of Chaldea. The Hebrew Temple upon Mount Moriah was also built in three levels, the sanctuary being on the summit.

   Since Paradise was not only designated as a mountain but as a garden upon a mountain, sacred groves were planted about the Temples. There was one such grove in Eridu, at the mouth of the Euphrates, sacred to Ea. Meridug, Ea's son, the Marduk of Babylon, was sometimes called the Son of Eridu. This sacred grove of Eridu is often mentioned. Connected therewith is the story of Tammuz (Dumuzi) and his slaying: "A black pine, growing at Eridu, sprung up in a pure place, with roots of lustrous crystal extending downwards, even into the deep, marking the center of the earth, in the dark forest into the heart whereof man hath not penetrated." There, in the garden of Eridu, the solar hero received a blow which compelled him to spend six months of the year in the nether world.

   A very ancient name for a part of Babylon, according to George Smith, was Din-Tir, which means the life of the forest. Most probably a Temple was located in this vicinity wherein the Rites for the transference of life forces were practiced. It is a fact known to many that great trees emit a powerful radiation; it is this which makes pine forests so valuable to weak persons who need to have their vital forces replenished.

   Each great tree, like the Tree of Eridu with its roots going down toward the center of the earth, is ensouled by a powerful spirit. The Tree of Eridu was said to be thousands of years old, so it must have been of a family of trees similar to the great redwoods of California. Some of the latter have been standing since the time of Hammurabi. Such must have been the tree worshipped at one time in the grove of Eridu; its fall doubtless seemed an omen of great evil to the people.

   An interesting Assyrian cylinder shows a sacred grove guarded by Cherubim. The Creation story of Bel and the Dragon depicts the struggle be tween Michael and Lucifer, although the Babylonian Tiamat is considered feminine. The Serpent becomes the sworn enemy of the Gods of Light. Arrayed in the armor of Anu, bearing a sickle-shaped sword, a beautifully bent bow and a thunderbolt for weapons, Bel rides forth in a matchless chariot to champion the cause of Light. Tiamat, the Dragon of the Sea (Chaos), comes forth to the fray and is vanquished.

   Another story is that of seven spirits, originally the throne-bearers of the Gods, who rebelled against heaven. All but one of these wicked Gods or rebel spirits resemble various animals; that one is the raging south wind. In short, they represent the principle of disorder in the cosmos. "From the foundations of the heavens like the lightning they darted." They are evidently spirits of the abyss, titanic forces of nature which occasionally run amok in natural catastrophies.

   In this narrative, the lower region of the heavens, ruled by Moon, Sun and Venus (Sin, Shamash and Ishtar), is soon in a condition of chaos (storm). The Moon is driven from the sky. The Sun and Venus desert him. Mercury speeds to the Father in Heaven for aid, and Anu sends Meridug (Marduk) to bring order once more in the realm. "Go, my son.... The light of the sky, my son, even the Moon god, is grievously darkened in heaven, and in eclipse from heaven is vanishing. Those seven wicked gods, the serpents of death who fear not, are waging unequal war with the laboring Moon." Marduk obeys and overthrows the seven Powers of Darkness. Here is an allegorical account of an eclipse of the Moon.

   Directly related to Chaldean astronomy is observance of the Sabbath. As long ago as the time of Sargon of Agade, certain days were set apart as sacred to holy observances. George Smith discovered an Assyrian calendar upon which the day called Sabbattu or Sabattuv is defined as "completion of work, a day of rest for the soul." The observance of holiness on this day was carried to extremes. It was forbidden to cook food, to change clothing, to offer sacrifice. The king might not speak in public, ride in a chariot, perform any kind of military or civil duty; he could not even take medicine!

   And the Babylonians did not observe one day only of a week. There were five Sabbaths in each month that fell on certain dates in a regular cycle, independent of the day of the week: on the 7th, 14th, 19th, 21st and 28th. Thus, Sunday, the Sun; Monday, the Moon; Tuesday, Mars; Wednesday, Mercury; Thursday, Jupiter; Friday, Venus; Saturday, Saturn — as they are now designated. In the course of time a day of rest was observed for each one of the planetary Gods in regular succession, for each day was ruled by its own planet. The Assyrians and Phoenicians, as well as the Hebrews and Chaldeans, held Sabbath observances.

   The Hebrews settled upon Saturday, the Day of Saturn, which was also sacred to the Moon because the seven-day period marks the moon's passage of the quarter. The Moon was also called the God Thirty, referring to his rulership over the month.

   Another similarity between the Chaldean and Hebrew traditions is to be found in the life histories of Sargon and Moses. The story is related of the Chaldean hero: He knew not his father; he knew not his mother, a princess, who gave him birth in a hiding-place near the Euphrates, although his family were the rulers of the land. "She placed me in a basket of rushes; with bitumen the door of my ark she closed. She launched me on the river which drowned me not. The river bore me along; to Akki, the water-carrier, it brought me. Akki, the water-carrier, in the tenderness of his heart lifted me up. Akki the water-carrier, as his own child brought me up. Akki, the water-carrier, made me his gardener. And in my gardnership the Goddess Ishtar loved me."

   Again, focal points of Sargon's era were the twin cities of Sippora, the name being the same as that of Moses' wife (Zipporah) which means The Shining One or the Moon. Shamash, the Sun God, was also worshipped at Sippora. In this connection it is interesting to note that Moses received the Ten Commandments upon Mt. Sinai, a name derived from Sin, the Babylonian Moon God; and he received further spiritual teaching, was transfigured and died upon Mt. Nebo, a place sacred to Nabu, the Chaldean Mercury.

   The Ark of the Covenant, so closely associated with Moses as the Seer-representative of God, is also found in the Chaldean religion. Near Mosul was discovered a Temple dedicated to the God of Dreams by Assur-nazir-pal III in 883 B.C. In it was a stone coffer or Ark containing two rectangular alabaster tablets. (The Assyrian God Asshur is the Anshar of the Chaldean Duad.)

   Numerous other similarities are readily uncovered between the Chaldean and Hebrew texts, proving that both teachings had a common source. The five tablets recording the exploits of the plague-demon Dibbara parallel in many respects the biblical account of the plagues in Exodus. The same cause for the visitation by plague is given in both instances: as punishment for sins of the populace, or, as esotericists express it, action of the law of cause and effect (karma). The name Dibbara, meaning the Darkening One, is reminiscent of Psalms 91:6 "the pestilence that walketh in darkness."

   Another striking parallel may be found in a comparison of the Gilgamesh Epic, Tablet XI, and Ezekiel Chapter XIV. Punishment of the people through famine and flood is mentioned in both. The lions and leopards of the Epic, which are "to come and diminish mankind," parallel the "noisesome beasts" of Ezekiel which "shall pass through the land and leave it desolate."

   We will never be able to comprehend the full meaning of the Gilgamesh Epic or of our own Bible until we study them in the light of Initiation. The content of every world Bible was originally the Temple Teachings of the people to whom they were given; only later, as the people progressed spiritually, were these Teachings made available to them en masse.

 — Corinne Heline


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