“An Eastern artist has attempted to give pictorial expression to the kabalistic doctrine of the cycles. The picture covers a whole inner wall of a subterranean temple in the neighborhood of a great Buddhistic pagoda, and strikingly suggestive. Let us attempt to convey some idea of the design, as we recall it.
Imagine a given point in space as the primordial one; then with compasses draw a circle around this point; where the beginning and the end unite together, emanation and reabsorption meet. The circle itself is composed of innumerable smaller circles, like the rings of a bracelet, and each of these minor rings forms the belt of the goddess which represents that sphere.
As the curve of the arc approaches the ultimate point of the semi-circle – the nadir of the grand cycle – at which is placed our planet by the mystical painter, the face of each successive goddess becomes becomes more dark and hideous than European imagination is able to conceive. Every belt is covered with the representations of plants, animals, and human beings, belonging to the fauna, flora, and anthropology of that particular sphere.
There is a certain distance between each of the spheres, purposely marked; for, after the accomplishment of the of the circles through various transmigrations, the soul is allowed a time of temporary nirvana, during which space of time the atma loses all remembrances of past sorrows.
The intermediate ethereal space is filled with strange beings. Those between the highest ether and the earth below are the creatures of a “middle nature”; nature-spirits, or, as the kabalists term it sometimes, the elementary. This picture is either a copy of the one described to posterity by Berosus, the priest of the temple of Belus, at Babylon, or the original. We leave it to the shrewdness of the modern archeologist to decide.
But the wall is covered with precisely such creatures as described by the semi-demon, or half-god, Oannes, the Chaldean man-fish, …hideous beings, which were produced of a two-fold principle” – the astral light and the grosser matter.”
H. P. Blavatsky