We have just posted a rearranged version of the compilation of Chaldean Oracles that were collected and translated by Thomas Taylor. We would appreciate any feedback, particularly on the chosen order of this arrangement.

The Chaldean Oracles

Rearranged, with English text only.

Translation by Thomas Taylor

Here the Chaldean Oracles—compiled and translated by Thomas Taylor—have been arranged with the hope of demonstrating the essence of the Chaldean system, both theoretic and practical. We begin with an invocation, then outline the objective or goal prescribed by the Chaldeans. From here the arrangement is generally given from universals to particulars, based on the outline provided in Psellus’s “Concise Exposition of Chaldaic Dogma,” which Taylor followed closely in his own arrangement. Following these oracles, which directly relate to the procession from the One Principle (or Fire), we have arranged those that deal directly with the returning direction—the ascent of the soul. We close with a collection of remaining miscellanious oracles, including Taylor’s “oracles of uncertain or imperfect meaning.”

Portions of some of Taylor’s notes have been included within the oracles—in square brackets—where they may aid in elucidating their meaning.

See here for the full text:

http://www.universaltheosophy.com/articles/the-chaldean-oracles/

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Nice work John - the similarities with the SD are striking (Mead discusses this in his work on Orphism)  here's a chart from the Westcott version (a lot of versions of this, a fairly popular field of study at the moment):

The Intelligibles The Paternal Depth
World of Supra-mundane Light The First Mind

__________

The Intelligible Triad

Pater: Mater or Potentia: Mens
____________________________________________ ____________________________________________

The Second Mind

__________
Intelligibles and Intellectuals Iynges
in the Synoches
Empyraean World Teletarchæ
____________________________________________ ____________________________________________

(The Third Mind.)

Three Cosmagogi
Intellectuals (Intellectual guides inflexible.)
in the Three Amilicti
Ethereal World (Implacable thunders.)
____________________________________________ ____________________________________________
Elementary World Hypezokos
The Demiurgos of the (Flower of Fire)
Material Universe Effable, Essential and

Elemental Orders

__________

The Earth-Matter

Representatives of the previous classes guiding our universe.

 

I. Hyperarchii—Archangels

II. Azonæi—Unzoned gods

III. Zonæi—Planetary Deities.

______________

Higher demons: Angels

______________

Human Souls

______________

Lower demons, elementals

Fiery

Airy

Earthy

Watery

______________

Evil demons

Lucifugous; the kliphoth

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Thanks Casady. And thank for posting this summary.

One item in the rearranged order that I'm not 100% sure on is this:

Dionysus, or Bacchus, was called by the Chaldeans Iao (instead of intelligible light) in the Phœnician tongue, and that he is frequently called Sabaoth, such as he who is above the seven poles, i.e. the Demiurgus.

This oracle was drawn from Lydus de Mensibus, and I've attempted to place it in order, under the title "Bacchus (the Summit of the Mundane Order)". But I'm not sure the placement is exactly right, or if the Chaldean "Bacchus" is the summit of the mundane order. Taylor places Bacchus at the summit of this order, but Psellus says that "the azonicgods, according to them, are Serapis, Bacchus, the series of Osiris, and of Apollo." Taylor explains that "The azonic gods are the same with the liberated order of the Greek Theologists, or that order which is immediately situated above the mundane gods." Given the complexity of the names and their use within multiple orders, I'm not confident in placing the Bacchus oracle in its most appropriate place...

Wonder if anyone knowledgeable on this can help sort this one out.

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You're most welcome -

Mead seems to follow the Psellus orderhttp://hpb.narod.ru/OrpheusP1GRSM.htm:

The general Neoplatonic concept of Dionysios is something like thishttp://hpb.narod.ru/OrpheusP2GRSM.html#117:

On this passage Taylor (Myst. Hymns, p. 88) summarizes the Commentary of Olympiodorus on the Phaedo of Plato, as follows: 'We are composed from fragments, because through falling into generation, i.e., into the sublunary region, our life has proceeded into the most distant and extreme division; but from Titannic fragments, because the Titans are the ultimate artificers of things, and the most proximate to their fabrications. Of these Titans, Bacchus, or the mundane intellect, is the monad, or proximately exempt producing cause'. Bacchus is said to be the 'spiritual part of the mundane soul' in one aspect, and also the highest of the 'mundane gods' in another, this both macrocosmically and microcosmically. [Page 120]

Hecate seems to resemble Isthar, who's consort is Tammuz or Inanna/Dumuzi - so it's maybe one could equate Dionysios with Tammuz/Dumuzi in this context - in Greece his bride could be Persephone (in Southern Italy) so the fertility couple fits (or sometimes his bride is Ariadne)....

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A little more on Bacchus, first from Taylor's "Hymns of Orpheus":

"Bacchus, who is the last king of the Gods, receives the kingdom from Jupiter. For the father (Jupiter) establishes him in the royal throne, puts into his hand the sceptre, and makes him the king of all the mundane Gods."

"Likewise, according to an hyparxis transcending the other powers of this triple vivific order, the dominion of Hecate is established; but according to a middle power, and which is generative of wholes, that of Soul; and according to intellectual conversion that of Virtue. Core therefore, subsisting on high, and among the supermundane Gods, uniformly extends this triple order of divinities; and together with Jupiter generates Bacchus, who impartibly presides over partible fabrication."

"...we are composed from fragments, because through falling into generation,i.e. into the sublunary region, our life has proceeded into the most distant and extreme division; but from Titannic fragments, because the Titans are the ultimate artificers of things, and the most proximate to their fabrications. Of these Titans, Bacchus, or the mundane intellect, is the monad, or proximately exempt producing cause."

And from the "Dissertation on the Eleusinian Mysteries...":

"Bacchus is the evident symbol of the partial energies of intellect, and its distribution into the obscure and lamentable dominions of sense."

"In the first place, then, by Dionysus, or Bacchus, according to the highest establishment of this deity, we must understand the diety participated by the intellect of the mundane soul; for there are various processions of this god, or Bacchuses, derived from his essence. But by the Titans we must understand the mundane gods, of whom Bacchus is the summit..."

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That gives a pretty good explanation of Dionysios - HPB has written a lot about this topic, Isis Vol. 2, Chap. 10, SD1, sect.2, chap. 9 for example - Here are some intriguing passages in relation to Chaldean Oracles:

The sign and myth of the mother and child were known thousands of years before the Christian era. The drama of the Mysteries of Demeter represents Persephoneia, her daughter, as carried away by Pluto or Hades into the world of the dead; and when the mother finally discovers her there, she has been installed as queen of the realm of Darkness. This myth was transcribed by the Church into the legend of St. Anna* going in quest of her daughter Mary, who has been conveyed by Joseph into Egypt. Persephone is depicted with two ears of wheat in her hand; so is Mary in the old pictures; so was the Celestial Virgin of the constellation. Albumazar the Arabian indicates the identity of the several myths as follows:

"In the first decan of the Virgin rises a maid, called in Arabic Aderenosa [Adha-nari?], that is, pure immaculate virgin,** graceful in person, charming in countenance, modest in habit, with loosened hair, holding in her hands two ears of wheat, sitting upon an embroidered throne, nursing a boy, and rightly feeding him in the place called Hebraea; a boy, I say, named Iessus by certain nations, which signifies Issa, whom they also call Christ in Greek."***

At this time Grecian, Asiatic, and Egyptian ideas had undergone a remarkable transformation. The Mysteries of Dionysus-Sabazius had been replaced by the rites of Mithras, whose "caves" superseded the crypts of the former god, from Babylon to Britain. Serapis, or Sri-Apa, from Pontus, had usurped the place of Osiris. The king of Eastern Hindustan, Asoka, had embraced the religion of Siddhartha, and sent missionaries clear to Greece, Asia, Syria, and Egypt, to promulgate the evangel of wisdom. The Essenes of Judea and Arabia, the Therapeutists**** of Egypt, and the Pythagorists***** of Greece and Magna Graecia, were evidently religionists of the new faith. The legends of Gautama superseded the myths of Horus, Anubis, Adonis, Atys, and Bacchus. These were wrought anew into the Mysteries and Gospels, and to them we owe the literature known as the Evangelists and theApocryphal New Testament. They were kept by the Ebionites, Nazarenes, and other sects as sacred books, which they might "show only to the wise"; and were so preserved till the overshadowing influence of the Roman ecclesiastical polity was able to wrest them from those who kept them. (Isis2 491)

“The Egyptians,” says Dunlap,† “distinguish between an older and younger Horus; the former the brother of Osiris, the latter the son of Osiris and Isis.” The first is the Idea of the world remaining in the Demiurgic Mind, “born in darkness before the creation of the world.” The second Horus is this “Idea” going forth from the Logos, becoming clothed with matter, and assuming an actual existence.‡

“The Mundane God, eternal, boundless, young and old, of winding form,”§ say the Chaldean oracles.

This “winding form” is a figure to express the vibratory motion of the Astral Light, with which the ancient priests were perfectly well acquainted, though its name was invented by the Martinists. (SD1 348)

The whole riddle of the solar and lunar worship, as now traced in the churches, hangs indeed on this world-old mystery of lunar phenomena. The correlative forces in the “Queen of Night,” that lie latent for modern science, but are fully active to the knowledge of Eastern adepts, explain well the thousand and one images under which the moon was represented by the ancients. It also shows how much more profoundly learned in the Selenic mysteries were the ancients than are now our modern astronomers. The whole Pantheon of the lunar gods and goddesses, Nephtys or Neith, Proserpina, Melytta, Cybele, Isis, Astarte, Venus, and Hecate, on the one hand, and Apollo, Dionysius, Adonis, Bacchus, Osiris, Atys, Thammuz, etc., etc., on the other, all show on the face of their names and titles — those of “Sons” and “Husbands” of their mothers — their identity with the Christian Trinity. In every religious system the gods were made to merge their functions as Father, Son, and Husband, into one, and the goddesses were identified as “Wife, Mother, and Sister” of the male God; the former synthesizing the human attributes as the “Sun, the giver of Life,” the latter merging all the other titles in the grand synthesis known as Maia, Maya, Maria, etc., a generic name. Maia, in its forced derivation, has come to mean with the Greeks, “mother,” from the root ma (nurse), and even gave its name to the month of May, which was sacred to all those goddesses before it became consecrated to Mary.* Its primitive meaning, however, was Maya,Durga, translated by the Orientalists as “inaccessible,” but meaning in truth the “unreachable,” in the sense of illusion and unreality; as being the source and cause of spells, the personification of Illusion.

In religious rites the moon served a dual purpose. Personified as a female goddess for exoteric purposes, or as a male god in allegory and symbol, in occult philosophy our satellite was regarded as a sexless Potency to be well studied, because it was to be dreaded. With the initiated Aryans, Khaldii, Greeks and Romans, Soma, Sin, Artemis Soteira (the hermaphrodite Apollo, whose attribute is the lyre, and the bearded Diana of the bow and arrow),Deus Lunus, and especially Osiris-lunus and Thot-lunus,† were the occult potencies of the moon. But whether male or female, whether Thot or Minerva, Soma or Astoreth, the Moon is the Occult mystery of mysteries, and more a symbol of evil than of good. Her seven phases (original, esoteric division) are divided into three astronomical phenomena and four purely psychic phases. That the moon was not always reverenced is shown in the Mysteries, in which the death of the moon-god (the three phases of gradual waning and final disappearance) was allegorized by the moon standing for the genius of evil that triumphs for the time over the light and life-giving god (the sun), and all the skill and learning of the ancient Hierophants in Magic was required to turn this triumph into a defeat. (SD1 397)

Truly, Neith, Isis, Diana, etc., etc., were each of them “a demiurgical goddess, at once visible and invisible, having her place in Heaven, andhelping to the generation of species” — the moon, in short. Her occult aspects and powers are numberless, and, in one of them, the moon becomes with the Egyptians Hathor, another aspect of Isis,* and both of these goddesses are shown suckling Horus. Behold in the Egyptian Hall of the British Museum, Hathor worshipped by Pharaoh Thotmes, who stands between her and the Lord of Heavens. The monolith was taken from Karnac; and the same goddess has the following legend inscribed on her throne: “The Divine Mother and Lady, or Queen of Heaven;” also “the Morning Star,” and the “Light of the Sea” (Stella matutina and Lux maris). All the lunar goddesses had a dual aspect — one divine, the other infernal. All were the virgin mothers of an immaculately born Son — the Sun. Raoul Rochetti shows the moon-goddess of the Athenians — Pallas, or Cybele, Minerva, or again Diana — holding her child-son on the lap, invoked in her festivals as [[Monogenes Theou]], “the one Mother of God,” sitting on a lion, and surrounded by twelve personages; in whom the Occultist recognises the twelve great gods, and the pious Christian Orientalist the apostles, or rather the Grecian pagan prophecy thereof.

They are both right, for the immaculate goddess of the Latin Church is a faithful copy of the older pagan goddesses; the number (twelve) of the apostles is that of the twelve tribes, and the latter are a personification of the twelve great gods, and of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Every detail almost in the Christian dogma is borrowed from the heathens. Semele, thewife of Jupiter and mother of Bacchus, the Sun, is, according to Nonnus, also “carried,” or made to ascend to heaven after her death, where she presides between Mars and Venus, under the name of the Queen of the World, or the universe, [[panbasileia]]; “at the names of which, as at the names of Hathor, Hecate, and other infernal goddesses,” “tremble all the demons.” (SD1 400)