isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter iii (religious sects)

“There is another hypothesis possible, which is that Zero-Ishtar was the high priest of the Chaldean worship, or Magian hierophant. When the Aryans of Persia, under Darius Hystaspes, overthrew the Magian Gomates, and restored the Masdean worship, there ensued an amalgamation by which the Magian Zoro-astar became the Zara-tushra of the Vendidad. This was not acceptable to the other Aryans, who adopted the Vedic religion as distinguished from that of Avesta. But this is but a hypothesis.

And whatever Moses is now believed to have been, we will demonstrate that he was an initiate. The Mosaic religion was at best a sun-and-serpent worship, diluted, perhaps, with some slight monotheistic notions before the latter were forcibly crammed into the so-called “inspired Scriptures” by Ezra, at the time he was alleged to have rewritten the Mosaic books.

At all events, the Book of Numbers was a later book; and there the sun-and-serpent worship is as plainly traceable as in any Pagan story. The tale of the fiery serpents is an allegory in more than one sense. The “serpents” were the Levites or Ophites, who were Moses’ bodyguard, (see Exodus 32:26); and the command of the “Lord” to Moses to hang the heads of the people “before the Lord against the sun”, which is the emblem of this Lord, is unequivocal.

The Nazars or prophets, as well as the Nazarenes, were an anti-Bacchus caste, in so far that, in common with all the initiated prophets, they held to the spirit of the symbolical religions and offered a strong opposition to the idolatrous and exoteric practices of the dead letter. Hence, the frequent stoning of the prophets by the populace and under the leadership of those priests who made a profitable living out of the popular superstitions.

Otfried Muller shows how much the Orphic Mysteries differed from the popular rites of Bacchus, although the Orphikoi are known to have followed the worship of Bacchus. The system of the purest morality and of a severe asceticism promulgated in the teachings of Orpheus, and so strictly adhered to by his votaries, are incompatible with the lasciviousness and gross immorality of the popular rites.

The fable of Aristaeus pursuing Eurydike into the woods where a serpent occasions her death, is a very plain allegory, which was in part explained at the earliest times. Aristaeus is brutal power, pursuing Eurydike, the esoteric doctrine, into the woods where the serpent, (emblem of every sun-god, and worshipped under its grosser aspect even by the Jews), kills her, i.e., forces truth to become still more esoteric, and seek shelter in the Underworld, which is not the hell of our theologians.

Moreover, the fate of Orpheus, torn to pieces by the Bacchantes, is another allegory to show that the gross and popular rites are always more welcome than divine but simple truth, and proves the greater difference that must have existed between the esoteric and the popular worship. “

H. P. Blavatsky

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