isis unveiled: chapter xiv (ancient mysteries)

“The writer in the National Quarterly Review, previously quoted, says that the Phoenicians were the earliest navigators of the world, founded most of the colonies of the Mediterranean, and voyaged to whatever other regions were inhabited. They visited the Arctic regions, whence they brought accounts of eternal days without a night, which Homer has preserved for us in the Odyssey. From the British Isles they imported tin into Africa, and Spain was a favorite site for their colonies.

The description of Charybdis so completely answers to the maelstrom that, as this writer says: “It is difficult to imagine it to have had any other prototype.” Their explorations, it seems, extended in every direction, their sails whitening the Indian Ocean, as well as the Norwegian fiords. Different writers have accorded to them the settlement of remote localities, while the entire southern coast of the Mediterranean was occupied by their cities.

A large portion of the African territory is asserted to have been peopled by the races expelled by Joshua and the children of Israel. At the time when Procopius wrote, columns stood in Mauritania Tingitana, which bore the inscription, in Phoenician characters, “We are those who fled before the brigand Joshua, the son of Nun or Nave.” Some suppose these hardy navigators of Arctic and Antartica waters have been the progenitors of the races which built the temples and palaces of Palenque and Uxmal, of Copan and Arica.

Brasseur de Bourbourg gives us much information about the manners and customs, architecture and arts, and especially of the magic and magicians of the ancient Mexicans. He tells us that Votan, their fabulous hero and the greatest of their magicians, returning from a long voyage, visited King Solomon at the time of the building of the temple. This Votan appears to be identical with the dreaded Quetzo-Cohuatl who appears in all the Mexican legends; and curiously enough these legends bear a striking resemblance, insomuch as they relate to the voyages and exploits of the Hittim, with the Hebrew Bible accounts of the Hivites, the descendants of Heth, son of Chanaan.

The record tells us that Votan “furnished to Solomon the most valuable particulars as to the men, animals, and plants, the gold and precious woods of the Occident”, but refused point-blank to afford any clew to the route he sailed, or the manner of reaching the mysterious continent. Solomon himself gives an account of this interview in his History of the Wonders of the Universe, the, chief Votan figuring under the allegory of the Navigating Serpent.

Stephens, indulging in the anticipation, “that a key surer than that of the Rosetta-stone will be discovered”, by which the American hieroglyphs may be read, says the descendants of the Caciques and the Aztec subjects are believed to survive still in the inaccessible fastness of the Cordilleras “wildernesses, which have never yet been penetrated by a white man… living as their fathers did, erecting the same buildings…with ornaments of sculpture and plastered; large courts, and lofty towers with high ranges of steps, and still carving on tablets of stone the same mysterious hieroglyphics.”

He adds, “I turn to the vast unknown region, untraversed by a single road, wherein fancy pictures that mysterious city seen from the topmost range of the Cordilleras of unconquered, unvisited, and unsought aboriginal inhabitants.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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