Monday, November 30, 2015

Forty-Seven (47)

"I walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire..." ~ Bo Diddley ("Who Do You Love?" 1956.)

The essayist and “Discordian Saint,” Robert Anton Wilson, popularized the notion of the “23 Phenomenon.”[1] Jim Brandon, Loren Coleman, James Shelby Downard, Michael Hoffman and others have called attention to the high-strangeness surrounding the number 33.[2] Anyone having a cursory familiarity with the mystical discipline of numerology will recognize instantly that esoteric significance is attached to many numbers.[3] But one that is less-acknowledged also seems to have a buzz about it lately. I’m thinking of 47.

A guided sampling of current events might help the reader to get a flavor for my opinion on this matter. Take this, for instance. Several news sources over the last week have reported that “Nearly 47M Americans Will Travel for Thanksgiving.”[4] As synchronicity would have it, this is the same number of Americans – 47 million – reputed to be receiving food stamps.[5] If you can believe it, and diehard Obama-supporters probably do, that’s also the number of Americans (maybe the selfsame ones) who lack (or until recently lacked) health insurance coverage.[6]

In the face of the criticisms of Obama’s numbers issuing from the political “right,” it is worth remembering the fact that the number 47 was at the center of controversy just four odd years ago when Republican presidential hopeful “Mitt Romney told a group of donors in a secretly taped video that 47% of Americans will vote for President Obama because they are ‘dependent upon government’ and ‘believe that they are victims.’”[7] That didn’t go over so well for him.

Why should 47s figure so unusually – or so it seems to me – in political controversies? We probably should not even get started on the claim that the Silicon Valley company Ubiquiti Networks’s claim that it had been taken in by a “cyber scam” to the tune of… Well, I’ll leave you to guess the amount.[8]

In any case, to return for a moment to population statistics, it turns out that “47 million” is also alleged to be the approximate number of subscribers to Amazon’s “Prime” service.[9]

Consider, also, the regrettable fact (if it is a fact) that “Nearly 47 Million People Now Have Dementia.”[10]

One can only presume that the 47 million spoken of – if some or all of the figures are veridical – in these cases are not the same people. The notion that 47 million dementia sufferers without health insurance might have been traveling this weekend on food stamps seems a bit too much to put up with, even for someone with sympathies towards the peculiar world of synchro-mysticism.

In other news, in March, the “progressive” organization MoveOn expressed concern about “47 Republican senators [who] wrote directly to the ayatollah of Iran urging him to break off diplomatic negotiations with President Obama.”[11]

This past October, word reached the United States of an important anthropological find in China involving “Forty-seven smooth teeth dug out of a cave…”.[12]

On a lighter note, a recent flurry of YouTube commercials featuring one “Tai Lopez” has him report: “I remember sleeping on a couch with $47 in my bank account in a mobile home in North Carolina…”.[13]

In 2013, Matrix-actor Keanu Reeves was featured in Universal’s box-office failure 47 Ronin. Aficionados of the genre can compare, and probably have already, the 1941, Japanese-made film Genroku Chūshingura (“The 47 Ronin”).

Or again, in 1998, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based software company Io-Interactive A/S released the video game Hitman: Codename 47.[14] The storyline revolves around assassinations carried out by the character Agent 47.

And those are just a few scattered items that have crossed my desk (or computer screen) over the last couple of years. Are the 47s simply random? Maybe. If they are actual figures, then perhaps their appearances lately, especially on the high-profile political scene à la Obama and Romney before him, is just a curiosity.[15]

It is conceivable, however, that the 47s are orchestrated, by persons or “forces” unknown. But why should one think that the number 47 has any “force” in these and other reports? For that matter, why should any number?

One possible answer to this latter question apparently proceeds from the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras. According to the Plato’s illustrious student, Aristotle, “the Pythagoreans say that things exist by ‘imitation’ of numbers.”[16] This Pythagorean strand was subsequently woven into the abstruse metaphysical framework known as “Neoplatonism.”[17]

The 15th-century Italian Renaissance thinker Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, “in his Mathematical Conclusions[,] had stated that ‘By number a way may be had for the investigation and understanding of everything possible to be known.”[18] Erstwhile Lord Mayor of London[19] Sir Henry Billingsley actually included Pico’s statement in his seminal English translation of Euclid’s Elements.[20]

The 13th-century Spanish Kabbalist Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia “translate[d] numbers into his meditations on the combinations of Hebrew letters.”[21] “For [15th-16th-century German humanist scholar] Johannes Reuchlin …Pythagoras’ philosophy, as he outlined in the dedication of his De arte Cabalistica[22] …to Pope Leo X, ‘derives in origin from the teachers of Kabbalah’.”[23]

Considerations of this sort led 20th-century British scholar Frances Amelia Yates to conclude that Kabbalah “could transform into a kind of mystical mathematics.”[24] Of course, this Pythagorean/Kabbalistic legacy, this sort of “mystical mathematics,” has become something of a foundation stone in the various “brotherhoods” of Freemasonry.

And now, at last, we’re better-positioned to answer the question: What about 47?

First of all, it must be recalled that the above-named Euclid’s “47th proposition” figures prominently in many Masonic emblems.[25] Masonic sources often link Euclid with Pythagoras.

In one such book, under the heading “Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid,” we read: “This was the invention of our ancient friend and brother Pythagoras, who, in his travels through Asia, Africa, and Europe, was initiated into several orders of priesthood and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. This wise philosopher enriched his mind abundantly in a general knowledge of things, and more especially in Geometry, or Masonry.”[26]

47 is not simply peripherally connected to Freemasonry, then. It is arguably quite near to its symbolic heart.

Another anchor for 47 might be its link to other phenomena, such as that in the vicinity of Wilson’s 23s. Consider: “The Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5° away from the plane of the ecliptic.”[27] Furthermore: “The Tropic of Cancer is the circle marking the latitude 23.5 degrees north, where the sun is directly overhead at noon on June 21, the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. The Tropic of Capricorn is the circle marking the latitude 23.5 degrees south where the sun is directly overhead at noon on December 21, the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere.”[28]

Not to put too fine a point on it, but: “This makes the whole tropical belt 47 degrees wide.”[29]

Another possibly relevant consideration has to do with the calendar. Of course, since no month has more than 31 days, 47 will not show up in date calculations in precisely the same sorts of ways as some of the examples catalogued by Wilson. It can be present in years. Indeed, 47s figure just that way with respect to historically interesting, and even anomalous, events.

Consider an ancient example. Christianity owes a lot to Saint Paul. No fewer than 7 books of the New Testament are attributed to him[30] and his efforts as “Apostle to the Gentiles”[31] were instrumental in assisting the spread of early Christianity. “[T]he earliest date at which the commencement of the first missionary journey[32] …can be placed is the spring of AD. 47.”[33]

In my own notes, 1947 has many intriguing examples of bizarre events. For instance, the grisly “Black Dahlia” murder of Elizabeth Short (who had only attained the youthful and Kabbalistically-significant age of 22) occurred on or around January 15, 1947.

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had a life-changing experience later that same year. “After …[World War Two], he [Roddenberry] was a pilot for Pan Am. On June 18, 1947, as the airline was inaugurating its ‘round the world’ service, the engines of the ‘Clipper Eclipse’ conked out, the aircraft caught fire and crashed in the Syrian desert.”[34]

As far as more recent mysteries go, Kenneth Arnold’s alleged sighting of a “flying saucer” must surely rank as one. It happened June 24, 1947. Ufologists and “UFO buffs” alike also know that the “Roswell Incident” occurred on or around July 8, 1947. It was a busy year.[35]

Whether related to the UFO business or not,[36] a key event from the standpoint of Anglo-American crypto-politics was the creation of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Its official birthday is given as September 18, 1947.

Another way of searching out the possible significance of 47 is to observe that February 16 is the 47th day of the year.[37] Fidel Castro become Prime Minister of Cuba on February 16, 1959. Castro has independent interest. 19th-20th-century British researcher Nesta Helen Webster wrote that “[i]n 1779 Spartacus [i.e., Adam Weishaupt] [wrote] to [others in the occult society] suggesting that instead of ‘Illuminati’ the Order should be called the ‘Order of Bees’ [Bienenorden oder Bienengesellschaft], and that all the statutes should be clothed in this allegory.”[38] With this in mind, I note that, in Jim Brandon’s Sirius Rising audio recordings (vol. 1), James Shelby Downard mentions Fidel Castro in connection to T. H. White’s The Book of Beasts.[39] It turns out that word “castro,” designates a sort of bee. “The Greeks call the ones [i.e., the bees] that are produced in the outer part of the honeycomb ‘castros,’ the drones (workers?) or castrated ones…”.[40]

Some other notable 47th-day occurrences include, in 1985, “the official launch” of Hezbollah by Sheik Ibrahim al-Amin[41] and, in 2005, the effective date of the Kyoto Protocol.[42]

Before the confederate surrender on the highly-symbolic date of July 4, 1863, Union General and later U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant subjected Vicksburg to “forty-seven days of constant shelling… Thereafter, Grant became Abraham Lincoln’s favorite general.”[43]

As an aside, I register the quick point that 47 also seems to be a popular numerical designator for various pieces of military technology. One thinks, for example, of the Soviet-designed machine gun Avtomat Kalashnikova, better known as the AK-47; the Colt Walker single-action revolver (first sold in 1847); the Bell Hellicopter 47;[44] Boeing Aircraft Company’s Boeing B-47 Stratojet;[45] Douglas Aircraft Company’s C-47 “Skytrain”; and the Republic Aviation P-47 “Thunderbolt.” Given the Obama/Romney 47s, the CIA-connection and some of the other tidbits cataloged above, one might get the impression that 47s are “keyed-in” on militaristic and political wavelengths of some sort.[46]

Maybe 47 is an emblem of the “shadow-government.” During the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the Pentagon and on the “Twin Towers” of the World Trade Center (WTC) complex, WTC “Building 7” also collapsed. Building 7 had been 47 stories high. Additionally, WTC’s buildings 1 and 2, the “North” and “South Towers,” each contained “47 massive core columns” near the central elevator machinery.[47]

Possibly any number, when raised to salience in one’s consciousness, may take on symbolic proportions. Maybe I was pre-tuned to 47 in particular, owing to the fact – “coincidentally” – that my father was that very age when I was born. Or, just perhaps, “The 47 Society” has been on to something big.

- Matthew J. Bell


[1] Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminatus! Trilogy, New York: Dell, 1984; “The 23 Phenomenon,” Fortean Times, <>; etc.

[2] For the merest sampling, see, e.g., Jim Brandon, The Rebirth of Pan, Dunlap, Ill.: Firebird Press, 1983; Loren Coleman, “33s: The Rebirth of Pan,” Twilight Language, Oct. 5, 2015, <>; and James Shelby Downard and Michael A. Hoffman II, King Kill 33, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Downard Trust; Independent History and Research, 1998. The number 33 is of prime importance in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, where the ultimate and honorary degree is the thirty-third. Additionally, occult writers such as Helena Blavatsky and Manly Palmer Hall have periodically made mention of, or visually represented, thirty-threes in various works. I am too lazy to look up the references right now, but will try to get around to it later.

[3] Besides the various meanings assigned to the numbers 0-9, other numbers of interest – among the probable infinity that could be cited! – include (beside 13, which I ignore because of its complexity):

11 – see Recluse, “The Fall of 11?” VisupView [weblog], Sept. 13, 2012, <>.

24/42 – see Loren Coleman, “It Could Be Tomorrow! Black Sunday,” Twilight Language [weblog], Nov. 21, 2015, <>.

36 – see Celtic Rebel, “Sing Our Own Song [VII],” The Rebel Path [weblog], January 7, 2009, <>.

72 – see Matthew J. Bell and Jim Brandon, “Star Trek In Tenebris,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jun. 5, 2013, <>.

[4] See, e.g., Bart Jansen, “AAA: Nearly 47M Americans Will travel for Thanksgiving,” USA Today, Nov. 17, 2015, <>. Jansen remarks that: “The projection for 46.9 million travelers from Nov. 25 through Nov. 29 is based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight,” ibid. The source apparently is Julie Hall, “46.9 Million Americans to Travel for Thanksgiving, According to AAA,” AAA News Room, <>. Loren Coleman will be gratified to know, however, that an alternate AAA release – dated the 23rd, no less – indicated: “Approximately 42 million Americans are expected to take a road trip this Thanksgiving,” Amanda Shapiro and Michael Green, “Drivers to Pay Lowest Thanksgiving Gas Prices Since 2008,” AAA News Room, Nov. 23, 2015, <>.

[5] The food stamps recipient number is disputed, but see Brad Plumer, “Why are 47 Million Americans on Food Stamps? It’s the Recession – Mostly,” Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2013, <>.

[6] See Munir Moon, “Do the Math: Obamacare Won't Change the Number of Uninsured,” Huffington Post, Feb. 5, 2014, updated Apr. 5, 2014, <>. Or, more cautiously, it might have been the number before the roll-out of “Obamacare”; who knows what the story is, presently? And it should be noted that some Obama supporters might have instead believed Obama’s alternate count of 30 million. See Byron York, “Obama: I used to say 47 million Uninsured. Now, It's 30 Million,” Washington Examiner, Sept. 8, 2009, <>.

[7] Gregory Korte, “Romney: Obama Voters ‘Believe They are Victims’,” USA Today, Sept. 17, 2012, <>. Actually, the hoopla surrounding Romney on that occasion marked my first awareness of this “47 phenomenon.” My early thoughts on the number were recorded under the ponderous title: “47 (Or How Romney Lords It over Inferior Fools with Euclidean I-Ching).” (Available at Bell Curve [weblog], Sept. 18, 2012, <>.)

[8] James Eng, “Ubiquiti Networks Says It Was Victim of $47 Million Cyber Scam,” NBC, Aug. 7 2015, <>.

[9] Jennifer Booton, “Amazon Now Has Around 47 Million Paying Prime Members,” Market Watch, Oct. 20, 2015, <>.

[10] According to a report from Alzheimer’s Disease International. “Nearly 47 Million People Now Have Dementia, Report Shows,” Yahoo Health, Aug. 25, 2015, <>.

[11] Anna Galland, email, MoveOn, Jul. 14, 2015; citing Leslie Savan, “‘Daily News’ to GOP ‘Traitors’: Drop Dead,” The Nation, Mar. 11, 2015, <>.

[12] These teeth, it was said, “…reveal that Homo sapiens may have arrived there [China] 80,000 years ago.” Amina Khan, “Find Alters Human Migration Theories: The Discovery of 47 Teeth in a Chinese Cave Suggests People Arrived There at Least 80,000 Years Ago,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 17, 2015, p. B2.

[13] The actual text, here, is from: Joel Brown, “3 Ways to Maximize Your Life & Riches – Tai Lopez,” Addicted2Success, <>.

[14] Eidos Interactive, 2000.

[15] Perhaps my perception of the 47s merely owes to my own idiosyncrasies.

[16] Aristotle, Metaphysics, ca. 350 B.C., W. D. Ross, transl., online at <>.

[17] In general, “Neoplatonism” was an “[a]ncient Greek philosophy, metaphysics, [and] philosophy of religion. [It was t]he philosophical tradition founded by Plotinus , developed through his disciple Porphyry , the Syrian School of Iamblichus, the school of Athens, represented by Plutarch, Proclus , and Simplicius, and the Alexandrian school until the fall of Alexandria in 642. Plotinus' Enneads (edited by Porphyry) was the source of this tradition, and Proclus' Elements of Theology was the systematic exposition of its doctrines. Neoplatonism, which was the last philosophical system of the classical world, explained the origin of the world in terms of Plotinus' three hypostases (the one, nous, and the soul) and the process of emanation. Neoplatonism attempted to reconcile the two supposedly incompatible systems of Plato and Aristotle, by considering Aristotle's philosophy as an introduction to Plato's higher wisdom. This attitude led many Neoplatonists to comment extensively on both Plato and Aristotle and thus contributed greatly to the history of philosophy. Neoplatonism advocated polytheism and mysticism and had a favorable attitude toward theology. Hence it became the main opposition of early Christianity, which it directly attacked.” “Neoplatonism,” in Nicholas Bunnin and Jiyuan Yu, The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy, Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

[18] Frances Yates, The Occult Philosophy of the Elizabethan Age, reprint ed., London and New York: Routledge, 2001, p. 30. Here is the apparent sense of Yate’s reference to Pico’s “Mathematical Conclusions”: “When Pico went to Rome in 1486 to publicly defend his 900 theses or intellectual propositions drawn from all philosophies, fourteen were conclusions ‘according to the mathematics of Pythagoras’ …Giovanni Pico della Mirandola regarded Pythagoras as a ‘wise man’, observing that according to Iamblichus ‘Pythagoras took the Orphic theology as a model’ after which he patterned and shaped his own philosophy. For that reason alone Pythagoras’ sayings were called ‘sacred’ because they derived from the ‘Orphic initiations’, from which flowed ‘the secret doctrine of numbers and whatever was great and sublime in Greek philosophy’.” Ariel Hessayon, “Gold Tried in the Fire”: The Prophet TheaurauJohn Tany and the English Revolution, Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publ., 2007, p. 339; archived online at <>; citing Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man, Charles Glenn Wallis, transl., Paul J. W. Miller, ed., Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965, pp. 15 and 33. (Note: “TheaurauJohn Tany” was the assumed name of the 17th-century English religious figure Thomas Totney.)

[19] For information about the Lord Mayor, see again Bell and Brandon, “Star Trek in Tenebris,” op. cit., <>.

[20] “By Numbers, a way is had, to the searchyng out, and understandyng of euery thyng, hable to be knowen,” Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; quoted by Sir Henry Billingsley, transl., Euclid, The Elements of Geometrie, 1570; citing Conclusiones sive Theses DCCCC, Rome, 1486, 25, 35, no. 11.

[21] Hessayon, loc. cit..

[22] ‘On the Art of the Kabbalah,’ Hagenau, 1517.

[23] Hessayon, loc. cit. According to Frances Yates: “The kind of Cabala which Pico expounds in his seventy-two Cabalist Conclusions is a simplified version of Spanish Cabala. This fact alone is sufficient to indicate that this powerful influence on the Italian thinkers came from Spanish Jews, and was brought about through the disturbances in Spain which uprooted Spanish Jewry and led to the Expulsion of 1492 [by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella]. Though Pico’s Cabalist Conclusions were formulated by 1486, some years before the actual date of the Expulsion, there seems little doubt that his instructors were Spanish Jews. Chief among them was the mysterious character known as Flavius Mithridates who provided Pico with Cabalist manuscripts. Pico certainly knew Hebrew fairly well, but would have been dependent on Jewish experts for interpreting these difficult sources. And it would seem that Flavius Mithridates encouraged Pico in the Christian interpretation of Cabala, even to the point of inserting into the texts interpolations of his own pointing in a Christian direction. What can have been Flavius’s motive in this encouraging and directing Pico towards his momentous adoption of Cabala into Christianity, as he understood it, remains a problem, and one which awaits further investigations by the Hebrew experts,” Yates, op. cit., p. 19.

[24] Ibid. Michael Hoffman rehearsed much of this history on his “Magic and Paganism in the Reign of Elizabeth I,” audio CD, <>.

[25] For information, see Thomas Greene “The 47th Proposition: The 47th Proposition of the 1st Book of Euclid as Part of the Jewel of a Past Master,” Ars Quator Coronatorum [transactions of the Quator Coronati Lodge, No. 2076], vol. xiv, 1901, London: United Grand Lodge of England, pp. 27-30; archived online at the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, <>.

[26] George Thornburgh, Masonic Monitor of the Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason: Together with the Ceremony of Receiving Visitors, Instituting and Constituting Lodges, Installation, Laying Corner Stones, Dedications, Masonic Burials, and Lodge of Sorrow, Little Rock, Ark.: G. Thornburgh, 1909, p. 70; archived online at <>. “What was there in the discovery of this [i.e., the 47th Problem] that should have given such joy to our ancient friend and brother Pythagoras? From time immemorial, buildings have been constructed as rectangles, which, to be true, must have a perfect angle of 90° in each corner. To erect these angles was the great problem of the Master Mason of ancient times. To the Master only was given the secret by means of which a perfect angle could always be formed. This secret was usually communicated by means of three rods, bearing the relation of 3, 4, and 5. When these three rods were joined together, their ends touching, a right angle was always formed,” “The Swastika in Masonry,” John. H. Brownell, Arthur Maurice Smith, Joseph E. Morcombe, Richard Pride and George T. Campbell, The American Tyler-Keystone: Devoted to Freemasonry and Its Concordant Orders, vol. 24, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Tyler Publ. Co.; J. H. Brownell, 1909-1910, p. 363; archived online at <>.

[27] “And it’s because of this tilt that we have seasons here on Earth,” Fraser Cain, “Earth’s Axis,” Universe Today, Dec. 8, 2009, <>.

[28] “When the lines were named 2000 years ago, the Sun was in the constellation of Capricorn during the winter solstice and Cancer during the summer solstice (hence the names). Now due to the precession of the equinoxes the Sun is no longer in these constellations during these times, but the names remain.” Cathy Jordan, “What is the Significance of the Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle? (Beginner),” Ask an Astronomer, Cornell Univ., Jun. 27, 2015, <>.

[29] Guy Stanton Ford, ed., Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia, vol. 8, Chicago: F. E. Compton, 1922, p. 3,862; archived online at <>.

[30] This is the number accepted by scholars of all theological stripes. Academics more congenial to Christian church tradition typically credit 13 or 14 of the New Testament books to Paul.

[31] See The Bible, The Epistle to the Romans, chapt. 11, verse 13.

[32] See The Bible, The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapt. 13, verse 4 through chapt. 14, verse 28.

[33] Cuthbert Hamilton Turner, “Bible,” Hugh Chrisholm, ed., The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, 11th ed., vol. 3, Cambridge [U.K.] and New York: Univ. Press, 1910, p. 892; archived online at <>.

[34] Jordan Hoffman, “One Trek Mind #46: Roddenberry... Beyond Star Trek,” Star Trek [dot] com, Oct. 24, 2012, <>. Too bad it wasn’t recorded under the title “One Trek Mind #47.” Dang it! Another factoid: Some accounts put the later Dead Sea Scroll discoveries in 1947.

[35] As part of his “case” for the number 23, Robert Anton Wilson noted that Ordo Templi Orientis (“Order of the Eastern Temple”) “magician” Aleister Crowley “began the study of magick [sic] in 1898, at the age of 23,” Wilson, “The 23 Phenomenon,” loc. cit. Since Crowley’s persona has retained its occult “aura,” I cannot resist observing that the “Great Beast” died on December 1 in 1947. (He was 72 years old, which number is important in Kabbalism.)

[36] Note that Vice Admiral Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter, an early director of central intelligence, has also been named as a suspected member of the so-called “Majestic 12” group.

[37] Another avenue of research could revolve around November 14. On that date there are 47 days left in the year. I observe that compulsory school-integration began on a November 14. “On November 14, 1960, the nation watched as six-year-old Ruby Nell Bridges walked into William Frantz Elementary School and into history. A federal court ordered the New Orleans school system to desegregate, making Bridges the first African-American to attend the elementary school,” “Ruby Bridges: A Class of One,” News Hour, PBS, Feb. 18, 1997, <>. The symbolism of the name “Ruby Bridges” should probably not be overlooked. In a previous post, I reviewed the Dorothy’s “ruby slippers” and the JFK assassination’s Jack Ruby, in the light of a particular presentation of Michelle Obama wearing a ruby-colored dress. See Matthew J. Bell, “Al-O,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jan. 23, 2013, <>.

[38] Nesta H. Webster, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements, London: Boswell, 1924; archived online at <>.

[39] New York: G. P. Putnam, 1960.

[40] Ibid., p. 153; archived online at <>.

[41] According to information presented by Itamar Rabinovich and Jehuda Reinharz, eds., Israel in the Middle East: Documents and Readings on Society, Politics, and Foreign Relations, Pre-1948 to the Present, Waltham, Mass: Brandeis Univ. Press; Hanover, N.H. and London: Univ. Press of New England, 2008, p. 424; archived online at <>.

[42] “The Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 in accordance with Article 23…”, Status of Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol,” Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations, <>. The article number clearly deserved attention by those interested in the 23-phenomenon, which raises the possibility that one number might be a “gateway” to another.

[43] William B. Hopkins, The Pacific War: The Strategy, Politics, and Players that Won the War, Minneapolis, Minn.: Zenith Press; MBI Publ. Co., 2010 [orig. 2008], p. 328; archived online at <>.

[44] This was militarized and designated H-13 Sioux.

[45] One of these “disappeared” under mysterious circumstances, and carrying nuclear material.

[46] Whereas, e.g., 23s are perhaps quintessentially “Fortean,” 33s are characteristically “Masonic,” 22s and 72s are “Kabbalistic” and so on. Do the numbers have well-defined “spheres of influence”? Perhaps not. I would guess that investigators, should any care to look into the issue, would find that the number-symbols blend into each other at the edges.

[47] David Ray Griffin, Cognitive Infiltration, Northampton, Mass.: Olive Branch Press, 2011, p. 68. Cf. David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes against Democracy Succeed, Northampton, Mass.: Oliver Branch Press; Interlink, 2011, p. 37; archived online at <>. Another interesting tangent might be the genetic angle. Persons with 47 chromosomes are supposed to be anomalous and are variously considered inferior or superior. I explored this theme a bit in my earlier 47-related post.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Isis Unveiled in Paris?

(Image from Wikipedia.)

Samuel Liddell "MacGregor" Mathers and his wife Moina (born Mina Bergson) introduced their "Rite of Isis" in Paris in the 1890s. Have we now, to borrow the title from Russian-born mystic Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, seen "Isis Unveiled"?

Pictured: A promotional poster for As Above, So Below, Universal Pictures, 2014. Of course the phrase "as above, so below," traces back to alchemical texts such as the fabled Emerald Tablet. Among other things, it signifies the mystical correspondences that various occultists believe exist between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm.

In his Dans l’ombre des cathedrals,[1] Robert “Ambelain claims that Notre Dame [cathedral] was constructed on the site of an ancient temple to Isis, worshipped by the early settlers, known as the Parisi, and constructed on an alchemical formula for the control of natural forces.”[2]

The 19th-20th c. Ezra Pound associate and modernist poet Hilda Doolittle, writing as “H.D.,” once wrote:

"Isis, Iris, Fleur-de-lis, Bar-Isis is son of Isis,"

"(bar ou ber ou ben, signifiant fils). so Bar-Isis is Par-Isis? Paris, anyway; …"

"why do they punish us? come out, come out of the darkness; will I be burnt to cinders in this heat? …"

"Bar-Isis, Paris; I call Paris, Paris, not to the Greek …"

"This is my new prayer; I pray to you? Paris, Bar-Isis?"

"to Osiris? or to Isis-self, Egyptian flower … out of the sea, over the sand,"

"a symbol, obelisk, no man, Memnon, Bar-Isis, son of Dawn ["Dawn" = "Aurora" - Ed.]."[3]

“H.D. at Yale: photograph of Hilda Doolittle, Norman H. Pearson, and Bryher in front of Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University.”[4]

In wartime London, “…the ‘Lowndes Group’ [after her residence at 49 Lowndes Sqaure, SW1] had begun to form around H.D. …Besides Hilda …, there was Norman Pearson…”.[5] Pearson, by the way, not only penned a foreword to H.D.’s above volume of poetry, but also is credited as the copyright holder.[6]

“In 1942, erstwhile Yale student Donald Downes recruited English professor Norman Holmes Pearson into the OSS [i.e., William Donovan’s wartime spy-shop, the Office of Strategic Services]. …Pearson knew how to read materials ‘as intently as possible for hidden messages’ because the Yale Department of English taught him ‘how to read, really read, closely, without interruption, how to interrogate a manuscript. …’ (After the war, Pearson would resume his scholarly career, which included collaborating with his friend W.H. Auden in the editing of the five-volume anthology ‘Poets of the English Language.’)”[7]

“During the Second World War, [later Central Intelligence Agency counterintelligence chief, James Jesus] Angleton worked at the Office of Special [sic] Services, the CIA’s forerunner. Angleton’s OSS boss Norman Holmes Pearson was another Yale alum. Angleton ran counterintelligence until [investigative journalist] Seymour Hersh laid him low in 1974 with a series of New York Times exposés about the CIA’s involvement in domestic spying.”[8]

Now, a New York Times headline reads: “After Paris Attacks, C.I.A. Director Rekindles Debate Over Surveillance.”[9]

In the 2006 movie The Good Shepherd,[10] British actor Michael Gambon plays the character Dr. Fredericks, who appears to have been modeled upon Norman Holmes Pearson.

[Dr. Fredericks:] "Use your trade craft well. Particularly the use of black propaganda, and the ingredient known as playback - understanding how effectively your own disinformation is actually working on the enemy. It's vital to penetrate the enemy's intelligence services; push them into an unreal world, as it were. The very qualities that make a good intelligence officer - a suspicious mind, a love of complexity in detail - are the very qualities of someone you will be observing. A mental facility to detect conspiracies in betrayal are the same qualities most likely to corrode natural judgment. Everything that seems clear is bent. Everything that seems bent is clear. Trapped in reflections you must learn to recognize when a lie masquerades as a truth, and then deal with it efficiently, dispassionately."[11]


For crypto-political analysis, see "ISIS: The US/CIA Connection."


[1] Robert Ambelain, Dans l’ombre des cathédrales: étude sur l’ésotérisme architectural et décoratif de Notre-Dame de Paris dans ses rapports avec le symbolisme hermétique, les doctrines secrètes, l’astrologie, la magie et l’alchimie [“In the shadow of Cathedrals: Study on the Architectural and Decorative Esoteric Notre Dame de Paris in Its Relations With the Hermetic Symbolism, Secret Doctrines, Astrology, Magic and Alchemy”], Paris: Ed. Adyar, 1939.

[2] Timothy Materer, Modernist Alchemy: Poetry and the Occult, Ithaca, N.Y. and London: Cornell Univ. Press, 1995, p. 91; archived online at <>.

[3] H.D., Hermetic Definition, sixth printing, New York: New Directions, 1972, pp. 5ff.

[4] “H.D. at Yale: photograph of Hilda Doolittle, Norman H. Pearson, and Bryher in front of Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University,” Online Exhibits [Yale Univ.], Sept., 1956, <>.

[5] Bryher [Annie Winifred Ellerman], The Days of Mars; A Memoir, 1940-1946, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971; quoted by Michael Howard Holzman, James Jesus Angleton, the CIA, and the Craft of Counterintelligence, Amherst, Mass.: Univ. of Mass. Press, 2008, p. 42; archived online at <>.

[6] Hermetic Definition, op. cit., front matter.

[7] Jeet Heer, “School for Spies: What the CIA Learned (and Mis-learned) in the Groves of Academe,” Boston Globe [online], Dec. 28, 2003, <>.

[8] David Hillel Gelernter, America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled our Culture (and Ushered in the Obamacrats), New York: Encounter Books, 2012, p. 47; archived online at <>.

[9] Scot Shaneov, “After Paris Attacks, C.I.A. Director Rekindles Debate Over Surveillance,” New York Times, Nov. 16, 2015, <>. On John Brennan’s lies, see Editorial Board, “Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism,” New York Times, Nov. 17, 2015, <>. H/t: Michael A. Hoffman, “Top US Security Officials Caught Lying,” Revisionist Review [weblog], Nov. 19, 2015, <>.

[10] Universal Pictures. Directed by Robert De Niro, it featured an all-star cast, including Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon, William Hurt, Angelina Jolie, Joe Pesci and John Turturro.

[11] Transcript at "The Good Shepherd," Eye of the Mind [weblog], Mar. 11, 2010,

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Name Game Notes: Sandman and Trump

Is there, above and beyond the patchwork of presidential hopefuls, a part to be played by what Loren Coleman periodically presents as the "name game"?

Out of the numerous contenders, two names immediately stand out: Bernard "Bernie" Sanders and Donald John Trump.

In some contexts, the Democratic-Socialist candidate, Bernie Sanders, is being called "Sandman." Take, for instance, the London Guardian article "Enter Sandman: Why Have Democrats Fallen in Love With Bernie Sanders?"[1]

"The Sandman is a mythical character in central and northern European folklore who brings good dreams by sprinkling magical sand onto the eyes of people while they sleep at night."[2]

Does Bernie Sanders's function to bring "good dreams" to left-of-center humanists, disenfranchised by "New Democrats" who (like the Clintons and Obama) are - in the words of Noam Chomsky - "in effect, moderate Republicans."[3]

Sandman lore goes back at least to the early nineteenth century. The character is depicted by German short story writer E. T. A. Hoffmann in Der Sandmann,[4] and was further popularized by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen in "Ole Lukøje."[5]

Recently, it was reimagined by British graphic novelist Neil Gaiman in his Sandman series, which extended from 1989 to 2013.

A "Sandman" also figures in director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3.[6]

Readers can discover more about the several incarnations of the Sandman D.C. comic character here.

"Trump" (definition) "'[S]urpass, beat,' 1580s... 'playing card of a suit ranking above others,' 1520s, alteration of 'triumph' ...which also was the name of a card game. ...'fabricate, devise,' 1690s, ...'deceive, cheat' (1510s), from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper "to deceive," of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de 'to mock,' from Old French tromper 'to blow a trumpet.' Brachet explains this as 'to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying. ...' The Hindley Old French dictionary has baillier la trompe 'blow the trumpet' as 'act the fool,' and Donkin connects it rather to trombe 'waterspout,' on the notion of turning (someone) around. Connection with triumph also has been proposed. Related: Trumped; trumping. Trumped up 'false, concocted' first recorded 1728."[7]

Donald Trump's surname, on the other hand, conjures up the so-called Major Arcana of the occult "Tarot" deck.

"The antiquity of the game of Tarot is unknown. In packs now ascribed to the 15th century, trump cards bear the images of Fame, Death, and other subjects taken from [the card game of] ...Trionfi. During the Renaissance age, Tarot was played by the wealthy, and card packs were painted by artists..."[8]

Some investigators think it "probable" that "...'trionfi' is the same game as 'trump'..." and is of Italian origin.[9]

A similar theme is the "face card" - king, queen and jack - in the standard deck of 52 (four suites of thirteen cards each).

According to the Anglo-American esotericist and occultist A. E. Waite: "As to the trump cards they may be explained by a final couplet: - 'King, Queen, Knight, Knave. The bridegroom, youth, and child, then all the human race - Thy path by these degrees back to the One retrace."[10]

Of course, the "Jokers" both stand outside of this system and are related to it.[11]

As "coincidence" would have it, as I sit typing these notes, Infowars commentators Paul Joseph Watson posted the following to his Facebook account:

"The delusion of 'happiness' is dependent on an ever growing detachment from reality."[12]

It puts me in mind of the much-repeated, but less-analyzed phrase, the "American dream." The Online Etymology Dictionary reports:

"‘American dream’ ...coined 1931 by James Truslow Adams (1878-1949), U.S. writer and popular historian (unrelated to the Massachusetts Adamses), in 'Epic of America.' '[The American Dream is] that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.' [Adams] Others have used the term as they will."[13]

To many Americans, the "American dream" probably did (or maybe does) designate "...the dream of being a blue-collar manufacturer living, in a suburban house with a white picket fence, with your wife and two kids."[14]

Maybe this "dream" has a shadow-side - to be distracted with "fast-food" and "professional sports," in an updated version of Juvenal's "bread and circuses.”[15] Or perhaps it's entirely shadow-play - a mockery of the sleeping "masses," sustained by illusion. They get their "news" from the same corporate-owned media that make Transformers look real and (in Noam Chomsky's words) "sell us toothpaste." In fantasy-land, the ephemeral lottery ticket symbolizes the chance that the "average Joe" will make it big. One recent count puts your odds at "one in 175 million" - give or take 220,000.[16]

"Mr. Sand-man ...bring me a dream."[17]

It's Hil[l]ar[y]ous.[18]

"Medieval English form of Hilarius or Hilaria. During the Middle Ages it was primarily a masculine name. It was revived in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century as a predominantly feminine name. In America, this name and the variant Hillary seemed to drop in popularity after Hillary Clinton (1947-) became the first lady."[19]


[1] Steve Winkler, Jul. 7, 2015, <>.

[2] "Sandman," Wikipedia, Sept. 27, 2015, <>.

[3] Noam Chomsky, "Rollback," Z Magazine, Jan.-May, 1995, <>; cf. Gabrielle Dunkley, "Noam Chomsky: Obama Would Have Been A 'Moderate Republican' Several Decades Ago," Huffington Post, Feb. 1, 2013, <>.

[4] "The Sandman," in Nachtstücke ["Night Pieces"], Berlin: n.p., 1817.

[5] Eventyr, fortalte for Børn ("Fairy Tales Told for Children)", 3rd ed., Copenhagen: C. A. Reitzel, 1842.

[6] Columbia, 2007.

[7] Douglas Harper, "Trump," Online Etymology Dictionary, <>.

[8] Elizabeth Boyd, Popular arts of Spanish New Mexico, Santa Fe, N.M.: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1974, p. 463; archived online at <>.

[9] Cavendish [pseud. of Henry Jones], "Historical Notes on Our National Card Game," London Society, vol. 9, London: William Clowes and Sons, 1866, p. 66; archived online at <>.

[10] Arthur Edward Waite, The Mysteries of Magic, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., 1897, p. 184; archived online at <>.

[11] See also "Veritas Vincit", "Joker Copycats", "Victor Hugo, The Joker, Joker Copycats," and "Hue of Lincoln".

[12] Paul Joseph Watson, post, Facebook, Oct. 11, 2015, <>.

[13] Douglas Harper, "American Dream," 2015, <>.

[14] "American Dream," Urban Dictionary, Apr. 18, 2006, <>.

[15] Panem et circenses, Satires, book 10.

[16] Ronald L. Wasserstein, "A Statistician's View: What Are Your Chances of Winning the Powerball Lottery?" Huffington Post, May 16, 2013, updated, Jul. 16, 2013, <>.

[17] Francis Drake "Pat" Ballard, "Mr. Sandman," recorded by The Chordettes, Cadence, 1954.

[18] From Latin hilarius, (“cheerful”)…. "Hilarious," Wiktionary, <>.

[19] "Hilary," Behind the Name, <>.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Water of Fire: On Rainbows and Hexagrams

Water of Fire: On Rainbows & Hexagrams

As readers are doubtless aware, California is presently beset with epic drought conditions. Meanwhile, as I write this, the Midwest was racked with another round of severe thunderstorms, several of which spawned tornados, and many of which exacerbated flood conditions in any areas already experiencing their wettest June on record.

What might a person of synchromystic turn of mind make of the conjunction of such pressing news items as drought-plagued Golden State[1] and rain-soaked “heartland”?[2] A rough starting place would be to explore the age-old juxtaposition of the primal elements fire and water. Amongst the many representations of the symbolical union of these two primal elements in the occult, two stand out.

The first notable fire-water combination is the rainbow.

(Still frame from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999.)

(“Rainbow Brite.”)

Aleister Crowley associates the Zodiacal fire “triplicity” water of fire with the: “Rainbow – fading spiritualized reflection of the Image.”[3]

In some forms of Buddhism: “The rainbow …is the pathway that separates the supernal and the sacred realms from the mundane and the profane. …[T]he rainbow is …the Pathway of the Gods…”.[4]

“[T]he seven colours of the rainbow-staircase are assimilated to the seven directions of space. The ascent of the rainbow stairway is symbolically equivalent to the seven steps taken by the Buddha at his nativity.. It is a progress through the six directions back to the seventh ‘direction’, the dimensionless and spaceless point of Unity; it is a return to the hub of the six-spoked Wheel of the World; it is a transcendence of the spatial condition. The Buddha’s descent of the rainbow-staircase, coming down from the celestial spheres to the world of men, is yet another expression of the genesis of the spatio-temporal world from its Principle; it is a descent from the point-summit of the universe into the world of spatial and temporal differentiation.”[5]

This Buddhist “pathway” has an analog in the so-called “rainbow bridge” of Norse mythology – and “blockbuster” Marvel movies.

Is there a multi-colored game afoot? Is Roy G. Biv a servant of God or of the Devil?[6]

On the one hand, the Biblical book of Genesis relates that God said: “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”[7]

“[T]he bow is the symbol of fate. As a rainbow, it displays the will of God himself in religious mysticism.”[8]

On the other hand, according to the Jewish website “[T]he rainbow is a sign that mankind is sinning… [A] generation that never sees a rainbow is on an especially high level of spirituality and righteous conduct.”[9]

As just outlined, the rainbow’s biblical history is bound up with a cataclysmic flood. “As a result of the moral decay of the generation, 1,656 years after the world was created, G‑d flooded the world and destroyed it. The only survivors of the Flood were Noah, his family and the animals that were on the ark with them.”[10]

The New Testament book of Second Peter tells us that, in the future, things will end differently. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”[11]

One subcurrent to the rainbow theme that is relevant to the question of sin is the sexual aspect of all of this.

For example, “[t]he powerful Voodoo god, Dan …is generally depicted in Benin in the shape of a serpent biting its tail [i.e., as an alchemical ouroboros]. It is …assimilated to the rainbow and is regarded as a doubly bisexual being since it is its own twin, the two in one, ‘coiled in a spiral round the world which they preserve from disintegration.’”[12]

(Rainbow serpent Dan.)

Maybe the Nordic “Bifröst” should be pronounced with an emphasis on the “bi.”

This sexual dimension comes to the forefront in the “gay rights movement.”[13] (See below for a discussion of how the phrase the “gay science” was previously used as a synonym for alchemy.)

One of the centerpiece symbols in alchemy is the "rebis." Literally, the word designates a "dual" or "double thing." Maybe we could say a "bi thing"? It is a representation of the androgyne ("man-woman"), called the "bisexual man" by James Shelby Downard. The presentation of alchemical rainbows follow, therefore, closely upon the elevation of the transsexual poster-androgyne, Bruce (alias "Caitlyn") Jenner.

According to the relevant Wikipedia article the so-called “Rainbow Flag”: “…commonly the gay pride flag and LGBT pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements.”[14]

The second fire-water symbol is the hexagram.

“The hexagram consists of two equilateral triangles with the same centre but pointing in opposite directions, usually upwards and downwards. …The downward-pointing and upward-pointing triangles …symbolize the sexual union of the female and male principles, of Śakti and Śiva, of water and fire.”[15]

As indicated in the above paragraph, the hexagram occurs in Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The primary significance of the hexagram is arguably Jewish-Kabbalistic.[16] (More on Judaism, below.) However, there is a related (and possibly derivative) line in alchemy.[17]

“In alchemy, the two triangles of the hexagram …represent the union of fire and water.”[18]

However, the rainbow also has its place in the alchemical tradition.[19] “The rainbow is …symbolical of …[a particular] stage in the alchemical process. At a certain period, as a result of putrefaction, there is observed a phenomenon of many-coloured lights…”.[20] “A rainbow of colors appeared in the alchemist’s flask.”[21]

(From Kenneth Anger's [born Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer] Lucifer Rising, 1972.

Crowley associates the Alchemical rainbow with “[t]he ‘coat of many colours’ said to have been worn by Joseph and Jesus, in the ancient legends…”.[22]

As with the rainbow, the hexagram has sexual undertones. The upwards-pointing triangle is said to symbolize the active, male generative organ, the phallus; the downwards-pointing triangle supposedly represents the passive, female receptive organ, the womb. Anyone familiar with Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code novel, or its big screen adaptation, will recall the importance of the “blade” and “chalice” to the “Holy Grail”-themed plot.

For that matter, alchemy itself is thoroughly shot-through with the psychosexual if not the explicitly sex-magical. In The Path of Alchemy, Mark Stavish writes that “The ‘gay science’ is an ancient name for alchemy.”[23]

Following the visionary thinker James Shelby Downard, revisionist historian and writer Michael Hoffman has pointed out that alchemy comes in two “types.” On the one hand, there is an ersatz, exoteric, lead-into-gold variety. On the other hand, there is a genuine, esoteric, man-into-“superman” variety.

“By way of illustrating [this latter form of] human alchemy let us recall that Friedrich Neitzsche popularized the nickname for alchemy, the ‘gay science.’[24] In 1996, according to Pew Research, 65% of the American public opposed homosexual ‘marriage.’ …Pew reports that [by] 2012 only 44% of the American people oppose[d] homosexual marriage. …[T]here is no question that in a mere 16 years homosexual marriage has gained acceptance among an increasing number of Americans. The ‘gay science’ marches on and manages to process Americans away from a bedrock of Christian civilization.”[25]

It is worth pointing out that, “[i]n alchemy, the ‘first matter,’ the substance from which the Philosopher’s Stone is created, or even the stone itself …[is] the Prima Materia[,] …the material beginning and end of all things.” Wouldn’t you know it? According to Martino Rulando, in his Lexicon Alchemie Sive Dictionarivm Alchemisticvm (“Lexicon of Alchemy or Dictionary of Alchemy,” 1612) one of the fifty “alternate names for the Prima Materia” was “The Rainbow – on account of its colors.”[26]

The rainbow theme also surfaces in Freemasonry.[27] Notables here would include an appendant body called the “Royal Ark Mariners.”

Additionally, there is the Masonic youth group known as the International Order of Rainbow Girls.

The rainbow shows up on several Masonic “tracing boards” and “aprons.” For example, one website selling the “George Washington Apron” notes that said smock represents the prominent arch as a stylized rainbow. “The rainbow is sometimes associated with the Royal Arch. It is also part of the architectural arch, being the 9th arch under Solomon’s Temple. It is supported by two Pillars.”[28]

A further question is what, if anything, do rainbows have to do with hexagrams? Can these symbolic threads be woven together? Is there a nexus at which the two strands meet?[29]

One possible answer is that the symbolism of rainbows and hexagrams intersect in the religion of Judaism or in the persons of various Jews. On the idea of religious intersection, consider two points.

Firstly, rainbows have a significance in Judaism beyond the minimal “sin symbol” noted above. Blogger Maurice Pinay informs us that “[t]he rainbow is the symbol of the Noachide movement – the movement to bring humanity under a rabbinic system of double standards called ‘Noachide Law’ enforced by subsidiary courts of a Sanhedrin based in Jerusalem.

“From Chabad Lubavitch website, ‘The Seven Noachide laws are general commandments with many details. Transgressing any one of them is considered such a breach in the natural order that the offender incurs the death penalty. Apart from a few exceptions, the death sentence for a Ben Noach is Sayif, death by the sword / decapitation, the least painful of the four modes of execution of criminals.[30] (The four methods of capital punishment in Torah are: S’kilah - Stoning; S’rifah - Burning; Hereg - Decapitation; Henek - Strangulation.) The many formalities of procedure essential when the accused is an Israelite need not be observed in the case of the Noachite. The latter may be convicted on the testimony of one witness, even on that of relatives, but not on that of a woman. He need have had no warning from the witnesses; and a single judge may pass sentence on him.’”[31]

Secondly, the rainbow and hexagram symbols actually dovetail. This is suggested pictographically. Consider that, under at least one representation, “[t]he rainbow relaes to …spatial symbolism by way of its seven colours, or, more precisely, its six colours and white.[32] …Placed on the circumference of a circle the three primaries will be found at the three points of an equilateral triangle; the three complementaries will be at the points of a second triangle which is the reverse of the first, in such a way that each primary colour is placed at a diametrically opposed position to its complementary… [T]he seven colours form a wheel with six spokes, which is the two-dimensional equivalent of a three-dimensional cross having six branches emanating from a centre. In this way the colours correspond to the seven directions of space.”[33]

As to the notion that the rainbow and hexagram merge in a more personal way, we remind readers that the rainbows springing up like weeds nowadays are related to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize “same sex marriage.” Interestingly, despite the fact that Jews, statistically, are supposed to comprise only 2.5 percent of the U.S. population,[34] Jewish justices make up 33% of the “Supremes.”[35] Leaving aside the very important discussion concerning the genetic differences between Ashkenazi (who are probably descended from a tribe of Asiatic Turks known as “Khazars”) and Sephardic Jews, the received view is that Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan are all ethnically Jewish.


[1] Readers should keep in mind the preoccupation of alchemy with gold. To your appetites, see John Matson, “Fact or Fiction?: Lead Can Be Turned into Gold, Particle Accelerators Make Possible the Ancient Alchemist’s Dream – But at a Steep Cost,” Scientific American, Jan. 31, 2014, <>. For more on alchemy see Jim Brandon, “Neil Armstrong: Astronaut …or Alchemist?” Bell Curve [weblog], Dec. 11, 2012, <> and “Speculation and Reflection on Chess,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jul. 24, 2013, <>.

[2] As an additional “sync,” I note that USA Today reported on a fire at a water park. Jane Onyanga-Omara, “More than 500 Injured in Fire at Taiwan Water Park,” USA Today, Jun. 28, 2015, <>.

[3] The Book of Thoth, reprint ed., Stamford, Conn.: U.S. Games Sys., 1996, p. 286. Cf. ibid., p. 35. Elsewhere, by inference, Crowley associates the rainbow with the drunken ecstasy (which word derives from the Greek for “standing outside of oneself”) of the Fool. See ibid., p. 68.

[4] Adrian Snodgrass, The Symbolism of the Stupa, Ithaca, N.Y.: Southeast Asia Program Publications; Cornell Univ., 1985, p. 289. “To the Khmer, the nāga was ‘the symbol of the rainbow, regarded as the magic bridge giving entry to the abode of the gods.’” Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols [PDS], John Buchanan-Brown, transl., reprint ed., New York: Penguin, 1997, p. 691.

[5] Ibid., pp. 275ff; citing René Guénon, Symboles fondamentaux de la science sacrée, Paris: 1962.

[6] Except for the extraneous “V” – a symbol that represents, variously Venus and vaginas (or wombs) – the letters R-O-Y-G-B-I are an anagram for “Bi Orgy.” Doubtless this is a coinkydink.

[7] The Holy Bible, Book of Genesis, chapt. 9, verses 12-17. “Guénon has drawn attention to the importance of the way in which the rainbow complements the Ark by appearing over it as a sign of the ‘covenant.’” PDS, p. 42.

[8] PDS, p. 115.

[9] Mendy Kaminker, “What is the Significance of a Rainbow in Judaism?” Chabad, <>; citing Likutei Sichot vol. 35, Noah III. Kaminker adds that “The Zohar [she refers to vol. 1, 72:2] says that before the Messiah comes, an especially bright and colorful rainbow will appear.” For more on several Jewish angles, see further on.

Of possible interest is the remark of the mysterious – although some would say the literally incredible – John Todd. Todd, who alleged that he had been raised in a family of occultists, once remarked that, amongst practitioners of various “black arts”: “…Lucifer is [known as] the god of the rainbow. …And if you’ll read Ezekiel 28, you’ll find out [that] he is. He does kind of radiate like a rainbow. He’s covered with different colored jewels and so on.” (Listen beginning between 5:19-28.) A quick review of the cited passage in the Old Testament book of the prophet Ezekiel reveals that the jewels at issue include carnelian [reddish-brown], chrysolite [yellow] and emerald [green], topaz [red, yellow, gray, reddish-orange, or blue-brown], onyx [black] and jasper [red, yellow, brown or green], lapis lazuli [dark blue], turquoise [greenish blue] and beryl [colorless]. (Bracketed information comes from the top hits of various Google searches on strings such as “what color is [stone type]?”)

Also accruing to the “shadow side” of rainbow lore must be the statements of “serial” (cereal) killers Herman Mudgett and Anders Breivik. For Mudget – alias H. H. Holmes – murder was like “the seeking of buried treasure at the rainbow’s end.” (<>. For Breivik’s part (and he is technically classified as a mass murderer rather than a “serial” one), one website relates that “The defendant [Breivik] is of the opinion that Norwegian culture has been destroyed by the Marxists through a Marxist cultural revolution. The curriculum of Norwegian schools supports this. Songs such as ‘Children of the Rainbow’.” (<>.)

Some esoteric "adepts" try, through several means - often having to do with sex-magic - to manifest an spirit or "rainbow body." "Tibetan systems run somewhere between the Chinese and Indian, in that they are concerned with liberation, but also with the creation of an etherial body made from their bodily essences. This Diamond Body, or Rainbow Body, is pure light and can materialize at the will of the adept. Like the Chinese and Indian systems, the Tibetan system uses rituals for the purification of the mind and emotions of the practitioners, as well as the visual images in both anthropomorphic deities and abstract geometric forms. The Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram fulfill this function when performing the Middle Pillar." Mark Stavish, "Secret Fire: The Relationship Between Kundalini, Kabbalah, and Alchemy," Hermetic [dot] com, Mar. 11, 1997, (<>.).

A final “satanic” aspect of the rainbow is its association with the chameleon. “Since the chameleon ‘has been given every color’,” certain tribes like the Dogon – important in the lore of the star Sirius – “associate it [i.e., the chameleon] with the rainbow, the path from Earth to Heaven.” PDS, p. 181. Interestingly, as Michael Hoffman has pointed out, the separation of heaven and earth was effected by means of Cronus-Saturn’s (i.e., Satan’s) “fateful sickle.” Michael A. Hoffman II, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho: Independent History and Research, 2001, p. 31

According to Crowley, however, the rainbow can be “pierced.” “[T]he occult significance of Sagittarius is the arrow piercing the rainbow; the last three paths of the Tree of Life make the word Qeseth, a rainbow, and Sagittarius bears the arrow which pierces the rainbow…”. Op. cit., p. 101.

[10] Ibid.

[11] 2 Peter 3:10, New Intl. Vers. For related information touching on “fire and ice,” see “Hercules (and his Twin),” Bell Curve [weblog], Oct. 8, 2012, <>.

[12] PDS, p. 909. There is another interesting voodoo tie in. “In his books The Serpent and the Rainbow ([New York: Simon and Schuster,] 1985) and [Passage of Darkness:] The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie ([Chapel Hill, N.C.: Univ. of N.C. Press,] 1988), [Canadian anthropologist Wade] Davis not only gives his readers the components of zombification but also outlines his theories on why such a horrifying act exists: Making a zombie is a very effective method of capital punishment. …[T]he members of the secret Maroon societies used zombification – or the threat of it – to control first the slaves then the superstitious Haitian citizens. Davis’s conclusions have been clouded by allegations of farud and questions about his sensational, rather than scientific, approach. The Serpent and the Rainbow movie, starring Bill Pullman and directed by Wes Craven, opened in 1988.” Rosemary Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy, New York: Facts on File; Infobase Publ., 2006, p. 347.

Hence, the rainbow symbol arguably fits in with the so-called “Zombie culture.” “You probably know that zombies are popular right now. You might not know just how outrageously, staggeringly, mindblowingly popular they happen to be. Zombies are the undisputed king of all genres. Not only do they top bestseller lists and video games and the iPad, the undead dominate television, too. The Walking Dead attracts somewhere between three to four times the viewers of Mad Men on a typical night. And this week, World War Z arrives in theaters – the Brad Pitt adaptation of the bestselling novel. It will complete the zombie apocalypse. They are now, officially, everywhere.” (Stephen Marche, “Why Zombies Are Everywhere Now,” Esquire, Jun. 19, 2013, <>.)

[13] This is also mentioned in “The ‘Gospel of Judas’ and ‘Yezidism’ (‘Yazidism’),” Bell Curve [weblog], Aug. 20, 2012, <>.

[14] “Rainbow flag (LGBT movement),” Wikipedia, Jun. 29, 2015, <>. The flag, as designed by American artist Gilbert Baker, originally “had eight colors, each with a symbolic meaning: Hot Pink: sexuality[,] Red: life[,] Orange: healing[,] Yellow: sunlight[,] Green: nature[,] Turquoise: magic/art[,] Blue: serenity/harmony[,] Violet: spirit[.]” “Gilbert Baker (artist),” Wikipedia, May 21, 2015, <>. A caption on the same page (ibid.) reads: “The six-colour version of the pride flag is the most commonly used version. The original version from 1978 had two additional stripes – hot pink and turquoise which were removed due to manufacturing needs.” If this information is accurate, it is noteworthy that the two omitted colors, considered jointly, exemplify sex-magic – which is precisely the esoteric meaning of the alchemical magnum opus (“great work”).

As an aside, Gilbert Baker “designed the rainbow flag …in San Francisco in 1978.” So the rainbow flag first appeared in the now drought-affected Golden State. He was said to have been born in Kansas, however – in the water-drenched Midwest. See “82 Interesting Facts About …LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender),” <>.

For more analogs to the “rainbow flag,” see Bob Schlenker, “Part 11 – The Sodomite Gateway – FedEx – Our Most Important Package is Yours,” Open Scroll Blog [weblog], Feb. 15, 2012, <>.

[15] Gudrun Bühnemann, Maònòdalas and Yantras in the Hindu Traditions, Leiden: Brill, 2003, pp. 43-44.

[16] According to Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Judaism itself is an “Eastern religion.” “I think people often forget that Judaism is an Eastern religion. The prophets were really mystics.” Aryeh Kaplan, interviewed by Russell Barber, “Jewish Mysticism,” First Estate, WNBC-TV [New York Ciy], channel 4, 1979; archived online at <>.

[17] As I disclosed three years ago in the “Knight of Aurora-Athena,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jul. 28, 2012, <>: “There are two traditional ways of preparing the Philosophers (sic.) Stone, the wet way and the dry way. The dry way takes only eight days using double philosophic mercury. ...Fragments from the writings of Heraclitus of Ephesus, a Greek philosopher who lived about 500BCE, suggest that the dry and wet methods have the same result: Pleasure of souls is to become wet | The dry soul is the best of all and the most wise | The way up and the way down are One and the same. The wet way, from Persia, is convenient because it only requires a simple flask, although it can take up to eighteen months to complete. …Preparing the Philosophers’ Stone by the wet method involves a number of stages. The first three of these stages are: 1. Prepare the Secret Fire, a nitrate catalyst. 2. Elicit and purify the white vapor of Mercury. 3. Dissolve the Sulphur and prepare the Philosophers’ Stone. …The ancient Egyptians reputedly used the dry method and called it the Saturn Regime. …The mineral of lead is certainly appropriate for the Saturn Regime or Dry Method. …Shakespeare concealed Portia, the Virgin of the Merchant of Venice, in lead.” Stuart Nettleton, The Alchemy Key: Unraveling the Single Tangible Secret in All Mysteries, Sydney, Australia: privately publ., [1997] 2002, pp. 201, 202-203 and 210; archived online at <>.

[18] Bühnemann, op. cit., p. 44, n. 75.

[19] It is apparent that the alchemical rainbow is itself a symbolic bridge. The rainbow symbol is a gateway to such other, now-prevalent symbols as the aurora, the peacock and winter.

“The rainbow of colors seen in the Peacock’s Tail gradually merged together into pure whiteness. …Symbolism of the Peacock’s Tail includes a rainbow appearing in the dark clouds of a thunderstorm, the bursting forth of the colors of spring after the darkness of winter, and the colors of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) gleaming against the night sky.” Dennis William Hauck, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy, New York: Alpha Books, 2008, p. 151.)

As I have sketched elsewhere, the peacock is also associated with Satan. See “The ‘Gospel of Judas’ and ‘Yezidism’ (‘Yazidism’),” Church Bell, Aug. 20, 2012, <>. NBC’s logo is a rainbow peacock.

Although I have touched upon the winter symbol complex in such places as “47 (Or How Romney Lords It over Inferior Fools with Euclidean I-Ching),” Bell Curve [weblog], Sept. 18, 2012, <> and, with Jim Brandon , “Re: ‘Alias St. Nick’,” Bell Curve [weblog], <>; it deserves a fuller treatment. For instance, in the popular “Game of Thrones” cable television series, adapted from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the phrase “Winter is Coming” is the motto of the House of Stark. The “stark” name also occurs in the Marvel Avenger’s orbit, being the surname of “Iron Man” (Tony Stark). For a startling, side-by-side comparison of Tony’s father, Howard Stark, with the real life Jet Propulsion Lab-cofounder Jack Parsons, see “Shuttling Symbols,” Bell Curve [weblog], Oct. 14, 2012, <>. Of course, if one is cataloging recent items, one should not forget to list Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Apparently there is a new tv show titled “Winter.” For something a bit more historical, one might note the Russian Winter Palace.

On Auroras, see for example “Aurora Rising (Aurora Consurgens), Part 1,” Bell Curve [weblog], Aug. 30, 2012, <> and Loren Coleman, “Aurora: Synchromystic Wonderland,” Twilight Language [weblog], Jul. 25, 2012, <>.

[20] Crowley, op. cit., p. 103. He further wrote: “In this card [i.e., Trump 14, ‘Art’], therefore, is foreshadowed the final stage of the Great Work. Behind the figure, its edges tinged with the rainbow, which has now arisen from the twin rainbows forming the cape of the figure, is a glory bearing the inscription Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem. ‘Visit the interior parts of the earth: by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone.’ Its initials make the word V.I.T.R.I.O.L., the Universal Solvent…”. Ibid., pp. 103-104.

[21] Nettleton, op. cit., p. 13.

[22] Ibid. Crowley refers the reader back to his discussion of “Au 0, the Motley of the Green Man, Dreamer-Redeemer.” Ibid.

[23] Mark Stavish, The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing and the World of Natural Magic, Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Publ., 2006, appendix c, p. 204, n. 12.

[24] Nietzsche also popularized the idea of a “superman,” in the relevant sense.

[25] Michael Hoffman, “Of Human Alchemy and the Gay Science,” Revisionist Review [weblog], Aug. 4, 2012, <>.

[26] Guiley, op. cit., pp. 261 and 262.

[27]For information on a possible link between Freemasonry and the "homosexual movement," see "Freemasonry's Connection To The Homosexual Movement," <>.

There are numerous other associations. For example, in Ancient Greek mythology, “Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, the messenger of the Olympian gods. …Her name contains a double meaning, being connected both with iris, ‘the rainbow,’ and eiris, ‘messenger.’” “Iris,” Theoi, <>. See also “Tony Scott, Etc.,” Bell Curve [weblog], Aug. 21, 2012, <>.

Or again, there is a rainbow in the back of Albrecht Dürer’s celebrated 16th-century engraving, Melancholia I. For more on this, see Frances Amelia Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, reprint ed., London and New York: Routledge, 2001.

[28] “The George Washington Apron,” Lodge Aprons [dot] com, <>. Cache.

[29] For those who think that it is absurd to view symbols in this way, see Albert Mackey who, in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, likens the rainbow to a masonic handshake. “The Hebrew word oth, is frequently used in Scripture to signify a sign or memorial of something past, some covenant made or promise given. Thus God says to Noah, of the rainbow, ‘it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth’; and to Abraham he says of circumcision, ‘it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.’ In Freemasonry, the grip of recognition is called a token, because it is an outward sign of the covenant of friendship and fellowship entered into between the members of the Fraternity, and is to be considered as a memorial of that covenant which was made, when it was first received by the candidate, between him and the Order into which he was then initiated.”

For more on how symbols are used to bamboozle non-initiates, see Michael A Hoffman, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Independent History and Research, 2001 and “Are the Pyramid and All-Seeing Eye Symbols 'Masonic'?” Bell Curve [weblog] Jun. 6, 2015, <>.

[30] Chabad’s website encourages the reader to “see the Rambam’s Hilchos Melachim 9:14.”

[31] Maurice Pinay, “The Real Dangers of the Rainbow,” MauricePinay [weblog], Jul. 30, 2007, <>; reproducing an excerpt from “The Seven Laws of the Descendents of Noah,” Noahide [dot] org, <>; citing Talmud tractate Sanhedrin, folios 57a and b and Maimonides, Hilchos Melakim, 9:14.

[32] “The six colours of the rainbow are the three primaries – red, yellow and blue – and the three complementaries – orange, purple and green.” Snodgrass, op. cit., p. 287.

[33] Snodgrass, op. cit., pp. 286-287.

[34] Alan M. Dershowitz calls this a “high estimate”: “…take a high estimate of Jews as 2.5 percent of the general U.S. population…”. (Alan M. Dershowitz, The Vanishing American Jew: In Search of Jewish Identity for the Next Century, Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 2000, p. 346, n. 22.)

[35] Patrick J. Buchanan, “Are Liberals Anti-WASP? If Kagan is Confirmed, the Court Will consist of 3 Jews and 6 Catholics,” WorldNetDaily, May 13, 2010, <>.