- The Mystery of Cain
I have been studying the works of D. Schulke (unfortunately I have yet
to own any works by Chumbley), and find his work to be one of the most
unique and profound kinds of literature that I know. It is what many
must feel when reading the Bible; layers and layers of meaning in a
single paragraph or sentence, and it makes sense on some level deeper
than the linear, rational mind.
However, when I first encountered the devotion to Cain, who fills the
same position of the Horned One, I was a little taken back, as Cain
has always stood as a symbol for the violence and jealousy that is so
rampant in our species. I understand his significance as the "first
tiller of the soil", and the first wanderer in his exile in the
wilderness, but the reverence paid to him perplexed me, as he is also
the first murderer and the ultimate symbol of brother killing brother,
of the stupidity of wars and violence, of greed and envy. He is
described as "a sullen, self-willed, haughty, vindictive man; wanting
the religious element in his character, and defiant even in his
attitude towards God."
However, I decided to take Chumbley's warning to heart:
"One must be wise to discern the use of veil upon veil: the use of
demonological terms should not be misconstrued as advocacy for vulgar
'satanism', 'black magic' or such like; neither should our positive
use of Judaeo-Christian terms imply religious adherence in any
conventional sense. The Sabbatic Craft uses sorcerous teachings of a
specialised gnostic character, an outer part of which combines a coded
use of both Luciferic and Christo-pagan terms. One must be careful to
interpret this; it is a test! Few pass beyond it."
Paying attention to what clues Schulke has given us, as well as
following a trail of research, what emerges is actually the vestigal
remains of an aspect of Mesopotamian Paganism in myth and ritual. My
principle motivation behind this research is that I cannot begin to
feel any reverence or devotion for a numinous entity of whom I have no
First of all, I am intruiged by the usage of a mythical human ancestor
in the role of the Green Man or Lord of the Wild. Spare's concept of
"atavistic resurgence" has a great bearing here in the wortcunner's
aim in accessing the original "Pleasure Garden of Shadow", where "each
tree was a wise angel earthed in hollow ground". To reach backwards
towards something that has already been, which is encrypted into the
collective memory of the human species, in order to serve as a bridge
in reaching one's desire; this is an interesting new take on the
worship of the God of Green Gnosis. Cain's importance as an ancestral
entity is further defined by Schulke as "the father of all sorcery",
and of "the noble arts of Botany, Agriculture, and Herbal Wisdom".
In the midst of the "Lover's Call", an important prayer and magical
text of the Cultus Sabbati, entreaty is made to a being named "Qayin
Azaka". At first, the name seems to be unrelated. However, upon close
inspection, it is revealed as a particularly fascinating name for Cain
that revealed more information than the more widely known title, most
notably that of his parentage.
From Laurence Gardner's "Genesis of the Grail Kings", we hear this of
the first part of the name:
"Qayin (Cain/Kain) - properly Q'ayin - has often been called the
`first Mr Smith' because the term qayin also means `smith', as in
metalsmith, or more precisely as in blade-smith, a required skill (or
kenning = knowing) of the early kings of Mesopotamia. In this respect,
his given name (Cain) in the Book of Genesis in the Bible, is a
descriptive appellation rather than a real personal name.
"In the alchemical tradition he was indeed a qayin - an artificer of
metals of the highest order, as were his descendants, particularly
Tubal-Cain (Genesis 4:22) who is revered in scientific Freemasonry.
Tubal-Cain was the great Vulcan of the era, the holder of Plutonic
theory (knowledge of the actions of internal heat) and was, therefore,
the prominent alchemist.
"Qayin's heritage was that of the ancient Sumerian metallurgists and
the supreme Master of the Craft was Qayin's father Enki, described as
`the manifestation of knowledge, and the craftsman par excellence, who
drives out the evil demons who attack mankind.'
"The alchemical pursuits of this family were of the utmost
significance to their history, and for mankind."
Here we have a Cain that is not a tiller of the Earth, but a
metalsmith, a different sort of Earthworker. However, it is important
to note that all students of alchemy begin their workings with the
vegetable kingdom, before applying their art to the mineral kingdom.
It is also interesting that a particularly distinguished brand of
traditional British witchcraft was named after Cain's descendant,
Tubal-Cain, who is honored as the maker of the Athame, or ritual tool
of witchcraft used for many diverse purposes, with ritual
blood-letting among them.
Also, the reference to Enki as the father of Cain is quite
fascinating, as the symbol of the Caduceus, or the entwined serpents,
was originally attributed to this Sumerian God, considered "Chief of
the Magicians" and "infamous for being the serpent of the Garden of
Eden." Enki's name in Sumerian literally means "Lord of the Earth",
and from the Wikipedia, we hear that "Alongside him were trees
symbolising the male and female aspects of nature, each holding the
male and female aspects of the 'Life Essence', which he, as apparent
alchemist of the gods, would masterfully mix to create several beings
that would live upon the face of the earth."
Developing the parentage of Cain further, Barbara Walker explains that
he is "Mother Eve's firstborn, begotten by the Serpent and not by
Adam, according to Rabbinical tradition." Verily, it is the from the
Zohar that we obtain this passage: "The Beasts of the Field are the
offspring of the original Serpent who had sexual intercourse with Eve
. . . From them came forth Cain who killed Abel." (Zohar 1:28b). The
section of this passage concerning the "Beasts of the Field" speaks
volumes in regards to whom the Earth is sanctified. It is not Yahweh
who is the creatrix of Nature, but the Serpent, given, in the VU, the
name of Lumiel. We may discover in this perhaps the real reason why
Cain is stigmatized as the grandfather of sinners, as the Serpent is
cursed "above all beasts of the field", as well as Cain's descendants
who bear the "seed of the Serpent." Are we not given a picture here of
a deeper jealousy than that of Cain's, one born by Yahweh, and perhaps
even projected upon Cain, and serving as a layer of meaning unto the
reason why Cain's offering was rejected? Are we given a glimpse here
of Yahweh, not as loving God, but as spiteful steparent?
Allow me to interject here a passage from the Viradarium Umbris,
concerning not Cain, but his numinous parentage, which gives a new and
profound illumination to the relationship between Eve, the Serpent and
Nature as a whole.
"The First Descent of Heavenly Fire into the Pleasure-Garden was
accomplished by three agencies: the Tree of Power, living staircase of
spirit; the great Serpent-Angel Lumiel, intermediary between the Elder
Gods and Man, and the Power of Woman, seeking unto the Light. Here was
mankind first nourished with the Fruit of Illumination, her eyes
opened to Behold the Spirit, and the primal transmission of Witch-Fire
passed. This Light of Power permeates all Trees and Herbs, and ever
seeks its reunion with the First Garden; it is is this Light which
gives a wort its power, and a medium for its Genii."
Truly, it is to the Serpent that the field and "the Beasts of the
Field" are sanctified. In a discussion on the Gnostic Kabbalah, Onell
Alkmaar says, concerning the sexual powers of Nature within the human
body, "This is called Cain: the sexual Fire going downwards to earth.
This is why in Genesis we find Cain always working with earth.
Jehovah, Iod Heva, does not like the work of Cain, which is related to
inferior matter, to the fornication of the inferior mind."
Scorned by the authors of the Old Testament, the descent of divine
power, carried on the wings of the fallen, is a most holy communion of
spirit and flesh. We hear, from the the books of the Apocrypha, of the
Nephilim, the Fallen Ones or Watchers, who consorted with human women
and taught them, among many things, the magical arts. Again, Schulke
illuminates this point:
"The Bequest of Light from the Serpent also made the way clear for the
descent of the Heavenly Host, come to establish the enchanted Dominion
of Elphame...The Spirits of Faerie are the earthbound Celestial Host,
corresponding in many ways with their heavenly bretheren, but making
their habitation instead amid the green Round of Nature and the
elements, hence their appelation `fallen'".
Cain is thus the first child begotten by sexual intercourse between
humankind and the divine powers of Nature, similar also to Dionysus.
From myth and legend, we hear a great deal of such beings, who are
classed as gods or demi-gods walking amongst the mortals. The great
wizard, Merlin is, by lore, such a being, whose father was said to be
Far from being a curse upon our kind, Sculke again brings light to
"The sexual perichoresis of eartlhy and celestial powers, through the
dual union of spirit and flesh is an echo of the First Gift of Wisdom
from the Bright Serpent. The Periodic reintroduction of Angelic Power
into the Seed of Man is a natural ordering of Spirit and Flesh,
seeking balance in the twain dominions of Heaven and Earth. From the
first counsel of `Take, Eat, Be Wise' to the descent of the Watchers,
to the taking of fairy wives and husbands, the communion of the two
realms is reverently attested by lore."
Cain's "Mother Eve", as explained by Barbara Walker, however, was no
mere mortal woman. Although Lilith enjoys the status of being the
first woman, Eve, as sister of Lilith, may perhaps be another aspect
of Lilith. Walker explains that from "Assyrian scripture, she was
entitled Mother-Womb, Creatress of Destiny, who made male and female
human beings out of clay The original Eve had no spouse except the
Getting back to the "Lover's Call", the second name given is Azaka,
and actually belongs to that of a deity from the Voudon pantheon. He
is the Loa, or God, of the harvest, patron of agriculture, and is
depicted as a peasant working in the fields. So the two names together
seem to signify an identification of one with the other, while
stressing, with the addition of the second name, his aspect as a
tiller of the soil and worker in the field. It is also worth noting
that the Serpent enjoys prominent status in the Voudon pantheon as
"the eldest and chief of the Loas, a primordial serpent deity who
created the world and the Gods."
However, it is the murder of Abel, and Cain's consequential exile into
the wild which are the most puzzling and deplorable aspects of the
story. It seems to me, though, foolish to take the word of the Bible,
and the word of the god of the old testament, who even diabolized
Lilith simply because she was beyond his control and subjugation.
The follwing passage, however, in VU, completely changes the
perspective on Cain's murder of his brother, describing it in an
altogether different fashion:
"Let the magician who would abide with the Virid Retinue first go
forth into the Field as Abel with his brother Cain, and there, upon
the good earth let him be slain. In Holy Sacrifice let his blood
nourish the Vines of the Field and fatten their Fruit...By turn of the
Season's Wheel shall his bones be laid barren as a Virgin Field,
warmed by the sun, kissed by moon and stars, and baptised by the holy
waters of Heaven: from these bones shall the New Flesh arise in
glory .By this mystery is the Self overcome, and the first step taken
toward eternal self-overcoming."
Here is the quintessential Sacrificial King, or John Barleycorn, the
slain God whose blood feeds the Earth, ensuring the abundance of the
crops, and who shall be reborn anew; the archetype of the shamanic
ordeal of death and ressurection, from which comes the drama of the
crucifiction and ressurection of Christ. In this sense, Cain's murder
of his brother, Abel, represents the slaughter of the lower, mundane
self as an act of holy sacrifice in devotion to the "Virid Retinue".
The two brothers are, in this context of Schulke's ritual, one and the
It almost goes without saying that modern Witchcraft still honors this
rite, celebrated also by the Celts, as one of the eight great Sabbats,
upon the day of September 25th, the autumn equinox. It is upon this
day that "the spirit of the vegetation god". "Mythically, this is the
day of the year when the God of Light is defeated by his twin and
alter ego, the God of Darkness. It is the time of the year when night
From Tibet, we hear of the Chod rite, wherein the yogic practitioner
slays himself, and dies to his ego, alchemically transforms the
substances of his body into the magical elixir of Amrita, and bestows
this nectar unto the throng of spirits, fairies, demons, angels and
gods whom the practitioner has evoked for the ceremony. An interesting
coincindence here is that practitioners of Chod wander nomadically
through the wilderness, as did Cain, seeking lonely, solitary haunts
inhabited by hosts of spirits.
The "exile" itself is interesting. An exile is not a chosen journey,
but a banishment, something that is inflicted upon another, similar to
Lilith's self-imposed exile to the Red Sea. Again, Schulke gives clues
as to the meaning of Cain's exile:
"Every foray into wilderness is Exile, and thereby the domain of Cain.
This hallow'd act entails a magical seperation from the common,
profane world and an entry into Earth Self-Hallow'd".
S.H. Hooke says of the exile, and the "Mark of Cain", which he
received upon his banishment that "The sacrificer is defiled by his
act It is this which explains why the slayer enjoys ritual
protection the most likely explanation of the mark is that it
represents a tattoo mark or other indication that the fugitive
belonged to a sacred class. We have evidence from Hebrew sources that
the prophets bore such marks...Tammuz, who bears the title of "the
Sheperd", dies, or is ritually slain, during the period of summer
drought and his official slayer was obliged to flee in order to remove
the ceremonial guilt of the slaying from the community".
This "sacred class", Barbara Walker belives, survived as the Gnostic
cult of "Cainite smiths" who "worshipped the Goddess and dedicated
sacrifices of the Good Sheperd to her as the Earth, who `opened her
mouth' for Abel's blood (Genesis 4:11). Cain's myth reflects the
patriach's hostility to this caste."
The "Mark of Cain" is but further unveiled by Schulke as the
"perpetuation of Edenic Fire among the races of Humankind .The boon is
the Gift of Art, or the Second Sight bestowed; the curse is the
suspicion with which they come to be regarded by humankind, or the
eventual loss of such powers by treating them profanely."
One could relate this to the so-called Cassandra Complex, but it it
would ultimately more likely be that dual curse and blessing of the
shamanic calling, which is not to be treated lightly, and deals out
its cards whether one wishes to play or not. It furthermore seperates
one who carries the mark from those who do not, herding the marked on
a path of loneliness and is known to create feelings of being
"different" or "abnormal".
"Thus the kin of Second Sight contain within their blood the brilliant
shards of the Race of Faerie: this seed may awaken from its ancient
slumber in the form of increased sensitivities to the spirit-world,
powers of healing and or miracle-working, or roused by certain
initiatic arcana. Such magical abilities are oft attended by the Curse
of Exile, being the scorn and mistreatment by the Race of Adam, and
for this reason Blood of Elphame has also been called by the wise `The
Mark of Cain'."
Is it not interesting to give reference here to the infamous burning
of the witches, who it was said by the Inquisitors, bore this very
mark, "granted to those who were initiated into the Craft Mysteries of
those fens and downs"?
As a beginning Kabbalistic magician, I find it strange and almost
schizophranic to have faith in the power of the holy name of Jehovah,
and yet be repulsed by the Biblical persona of this deity, the
"jealous god" who judges Cain as sharing this very same fault. The
spite which this god feels towards Nature is reflected in the fact
that he'd rather us slaughter animals in his name than offer up a bowl
of fresh fruit. The former being Abel's offering which was favored
over the latter, the fruits of Cain's labour, picked fresh from the
garden and field.
Although, religious politics aside, in order to better decipher the
symbolism of the brothers' relationship, we may assume that Abel's
offering of slaughtered cattle and "and of the fat thereof" signifies
perhaps his identification with the sacrificial goat, while Cain's
offering may signify his identification with the fruit and crops fed
on the blood of the sacrifice.
However, many scholars debate as to whether or not this signifies "the
ancient conflict between nomadic herders and settled agrarian
farmers." We may assume, then, that the two separate cultures had two
very distinct and separate myths and forms of worship. The
righteousness of the Old Testament Yahweh may be explained as merely
the victory of the patriarchal, monotheistic herders over the more
Pagan, matriarchal farmers.
"For ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down
"Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of
the Lord thy God"
So, what we have here is at least a partial unveiling of the visage of
the Pagan Mesopotamian deity of life-death-rebirth, who was, through
the Old Testament, twisted into the ancestor of sin, as any sacrifice
of humankind, given to the Earth and not to Yahweh, is an act of utter
evil, especially if it the executor be the child of Nature and the
Serpent, the greatest enemies of Yahweh.
In light of this new understanding, I believe this has a great
significance to the Sabbatic Craft, and to the Craft as a whole. From
the point of view of the Craft, the descent of the divine into matter
is the holy act of manifestation of desire into reality, and the light
of the Gnosis being delivered unto the mind and body of mortal-kind.
Cain's field is thus both the literal grove of tree and herb, as well
as the field of the "Plot", or "sealed domain of magical working", in
which the descent is made. From the point of view of the Old
Testament, however, this grove is to be destroyed, and the inherent
sexual and magical power of Nature and of humankind is to be crushed
and removed from our grasp.
The murder of Abel, by Cain's hand, thus signifies, through ritual
arcana, alchemical self-sacrifice, in the manner of the "solve et
coagula" for the purpose of renewing the magical stream of Nature, or
the "seed of the Serpent" within the domains of humankind, in the same
manner as the "Mark of Cain" branded the individual as bearing the
"Spiritual Heredity of the Bright Angel, called by some `Witchblood'.
Cain is therefore, in this context, verily the "father of sorcery", as
he may lead the initiate back to the original garden, the "Pleasure
Garden", hidden from mortal eyes, wherein dwells the primaeval
- Who is Tubal Cain by Carol Stuart Jones and Blackthorn. June 2008
This isn't by any means an exhaustive, exhausting, fully referenced academic piece. Here information from the most relevant sources for our purposes have been brought forward for interest's sake, other material and opinions exist.
The name itself suggests much from it`s Hebraic origin.
Tubal conveys the meanings of bringer/bearer and also ram's horns,
while Cain translates as forger of the sword, or blacksmith.
Put together, (ram's) horned bringer of smith craft, could be one rendition.
His stories are to be found in Judaic etc. scripture, particularly the suppressed apocryphal kind, and also in the legends of Free Masonry.
Where the reader is informed he "taught the use and working of metal ores and iron."
Curiously some sources also describe him as a shepherd, this can be read as a metaphor for guardian of his flock, and certainly links in with having the ram as a totem. Alternatively since Cain killed Abel the shepherd it could also mean Cain and thence the line of Cain usurped the victims totem.
Tubal Cain is the 7th generation from Eve's son Cain, the changeling, agriculturist, murderer and outcast.
His father is Lamekh = god's servant, his mother is Zillah = darkness
and his sister is Naamah = pleasure.
Last in his line, he is murdered by his own father before he reproduces, but other versions of the tale exist, from Masonic texts for example where he and his son survive "the flood" by hiding in the mines, and thus by assumption the line continues. The whole concept of "witch blood" hinges on this survival, Tubal Cain is seen as the ancestor of those with fire in their blood.
He has been identified by some to be the real life Ubaid King,
Mes Kalam Dug, who ruled in the cradle of civilisation in 3200BCE.
He could also be the inspiration for Hosheng / Haoshana, an early Persian mythic King, and also a form of Azazel, Enlil, Shiva, Vulcan, Thor and Wayland, to name but a few.
Unravelling millennia of folk tales and obfuscation is no easy matter.
In one sense these legends, preserved in oral traditions of story telling, long before committed to writ, describe man's early technological developments, and the consequential progression from a hunter gatherer nomadic lifestyle, to settlement, the foundation of city states and kingship.
Reductionist argument would suggest that men became heroes, became gods which is fine for personal alchemy. We adopt a faith in a spiritual element and by gods infer immortal Spirit.
Without a doubt the Jews adopted the legends of other peoples especially during the Babylonian captivity.
Here in the very place associated with the dawn of civilisation, legends inspired by the past ( Ubaid, Sumer ) abounded. The Jews produced a new vision of the Watchers, angelic beings who descended to
Earth of their own free will to impart the gifts of civilisation and found dynasties.
These powerful beings were at times depicted or envisaged bearing the horns or horned crown of their celestial dynasty, a pan ( ! ) global mark of divinity recognised since the dawn of humanity.
Their totems included many horned beasts, including, the goat, the ram, and strangely enough, the viper.
In the apocryphal book of Enoch we are informed the watcher Azazel = God has been made strong, "taught men to make swords and breastplates and made known to them the metals of the Earth and the art of working them; and bracelets and ornaments; and the use of antimony (stibium) and the beautifying of the eyelids; and all kinds of costly stones and all colouring tinctures."
Aside from attractive eyeliner, antimony has another use. It is the essential alchemical ingredient in the process of producing the philosopher's stone.
Azazel, the active force of Godhead, the master of the primal fire, is the father of alchemy, this is not the vulgar manufacture of gold from lead, nor advanced 21st century metallurgy, this is the process of human transformation, the accruing of spiritual wealth.
In the Masonic text, "The Temple Legend" * Tubal Cain instructs Hiram
in alchemy;" be without fear, I have rendered thee incombustible.
Cast thyself into the flames." Hiram threw himself into the furnace, and where others would have found death he tasted ineffable delights."
To 21stcentury readers this reads as a hellish experience. However fire has not always been regarded with such negativity.
Old beliefs are still held dear in orthodox Christianity where the world of eternal spirit is the "body" of God; like the Gnostics' "divine container."
This is envisaged as a fluid fire where the righteous, the people who have worked to be there experience bliss, and where the sinners experience torment.
Theology accepts that God is perfect hate as well as perfect love.
It's not a massive leap of intellect to understand the link from here to Hell fire, devils and all that nonsense, but empowerment of the common man has never been favoured politics.
It's no surprise then that Azazel / Tubal Cain has, over time, been identified variously with Satan, Iblis, and Lucifer the Light bearer.
Before the arrival of electricity there was no distinction between light and fire. Perhaps this name retains a memory of the truth, as does Sufi belief;
"Whoever does not learn adherence to Divine Unity from Iblis is an
unbeliever." Ahmad Ghazali.
In the Alan Parker film "Angel Heart" Lucifer, played by Robert Deniro, asks only one thing of Harold Angel (Mickey Rourke) and that is - know thyself, it is Angel's actions that damn him including his spiritual blindness.
We certainly hope to fare better;
"Tubal Cain forges our human personalities until we learn how to do it for ourselves. Only then can we partake of his power, which is our heritage." Ann Finnin (2007).
The ones who attain this level, the successful alchemists arrive "where liberty reigns" to "taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge." *Such a person becomes an enlightened being whilst still incarnate, at one with the gods, he or she, has achieved Heaven on Earth.
Witches, heretics, magicians and masons have all been vilified for reaching for godlike qualities, all at some point have been labelled as satanic. At certain points of history the outcast have even banded together, and exchanged lore, content in their conviction of truth and unity.
That Truth unifies and for no small reason did Roy Bowers, the Magister of our clan in the 1960s, describe godhead as Truth and Beauty.
His critics then as now, insist he made it all up, that there was no witch great grandfather, no aunt Lucy, and that he must have been fantasising about visiting lodges of cunning men and seeing the hammer and tongues of the blacksmith's forge at the altar.
We have NO cause whatsoever to doubt He was active as a hereditary witch, and it was not all made up.
People forget that before the repeal of the witchcraft act care was taken to leave no evidence, this makes reconstruction hard for the academic and easy for the charlatan. If his system didn't work, and hadn't endured anyone would agree this was a fake, validation, results and the test of time prove otherwise.
Where ever it was he came from - we know the truth - one could argue to his detractors that he hit upon something real.
Clan members are often engaged in detailed research. Nothing can beat those moments of revelation when the connections are made between seemingly disparate pieces of information, and suddenly the wisdom of his lore shines forth making perfect sense.
He identified with Tubal Cain, sore to have been brought up in a Methodist - and no extra curricular activity - branch of the family. Maybe he saw his grandfather as a Lamekh, who he held responsible for making him the last of his line, responsible also for evoking the curse of Cain
What the families' superficial, social front faith had been prior to this, we may never know, It wasn't unusual for witch families to attend a church or other place of public worship, and this wouldn't be done solely out of fear, the wise blood recognised a part of a greater truth hid within revealed scripture and practice, they were not about to turn their noses up at any resource on offer.
Interestingly Methodism had a bit of a thing for the watchers though so that could have had an influence.
Roy even worked for a time as a blacksmith, and his lore contains many references to the smith's craft as indeed it does to "The Good Book" .
What was true then is good to run now and that is, that this eclectic mix is not interfaith, but a return to source.
But what of alchemy?
Roy embraced apotheosis, "I am the devil in fact" said he, what is this if not alchemy by another name?
While Roy's immediate biological line is silent, those adopted into his clan are now finding their voice on a global scale.
Autonomous groups within the clan enter its transforming mysteries at any point of the old histories of the spread of civilisation, particularly the spread of smith craft.
Through lineage they aspire to connect with the ancestors, those gone before into spirit and thence godhead, to emulate their knowledge and follow in their wake.
Copyright © Carol Stuart Jones 2008
- I really like this post it gets into the deeper Lucifcerian details
Cain (long post)
The aim of this post is to discuss Cain in a Luciferian light and as the first lord of the Left Hand Path presented in Biblical (and thus Judaic, Christian, and Islamic) lore. I've cast Cain as the first to tread this path through a metaphorical reading of the Biblical and extra-Biblical traditions rather than a literal reading.
According to some Kabbalistic lore, Cain is the child not of Adam and Eve, but rather of the Serpent and Eve. The Serpent, in this case is identified as Sammael. It's necessary to indulge in a little recursion to see the link between the Serpent, Sammael, Satan, and Lucifer.
Lucifer, as understood by Christianity (and thus Gnosticism and Luciferianism), does not exist within a Judaic understanding of the Hebrew Bible, nor is he present in Judaic lore in this manner. However, the juxtapositions of these figures in Judaic lore does allow for the emergence of a Luciferian figure.
We must begin by understanding the concept of "God" in the Kabbalah. The most basic understanding is that God is a place created for the purpose of containing creation. It stems from the Talmudic use of "hamakom" (the place) as a euphamism for God. In the Zohar, this idea is elucidated by stating that En Sof (without limit - referred to also as the mysterious unknown, i.e. chaos) vacated a space into which a single point of light (singularity) was projected. This place is known as God, and the opening line of Genesis may be read as "with beginning ___ created God, the heavens, and the earth." This one point of light is referred to as Kether, the first and highest of the Sefiroth, which is part of En Sof itself. It is interesting to note that this idea of God as the cosmos itself, or the static, cosmic order, is mirrored in the modern Setian belief that Horus is the static, cosmic order (Set being the Platonic ideal of the first Isolate Intelligence, from which all others are derived).
The Sefiroth, arranged as they are in the diagram known as the Tree of Life, comrpise a figure known as Primordial (divine) Man - the blueprint of creation and the "image of God" in which the first man was created. It should be noted that this image is a static one - natural harmony with the cosmic order. Man, in this state, is pure with the innocence of naivete. He has no real conscious will, and such would not manifest without the incursion of a universal id.
This universal id, as much a creation and expression of En Sof as God, was known as Satan (Heb: hasatan, the adversary). His express purpose was to create a dynamism in man, to allow free moral agency. Satan, in terms of the Hebrew Bible is God's agent in testing and prosecuting mankind. In extra-Biblical texts, he is often identified as man's id. Kabbalistically, Satan is the title of the being known as Sammael.
Sammael, as a daemonic being, is considered the ruler of the Kelifah of Kether - the dark side of the Crown, as it were. Since he is identified with the title of Satan, we can say he is the figurehead of the supernatural id, the archetype of psyche-centricism. As the ruler of Kether, he is the inversion of Metatron (the angel which serves as the agent of theophany and the fugurehead of the supernal super-ego). It is interesting to note that sometimes, Sammael and Metatron are considered the same being with two sides, much like the oldest portayals of Horus and Set in Egyptian lore.
Ignoring, for the time being, the transfiguration of Enoch into the Metatron (as this is another mythical recursion - the Crown was created before Enoch was born, much less translated), we have, as previously established, a composite being within the Sefirah of Malkhuth: Metatron/Sammael. All descriptions of Metatron indicate that he is a being of fire - one of the Serafim, and the first of them all.
Serafim are beings of flame. The word seraf itself means "burning," "flaming," or "smouldering." However, they are more than that. At one point in their wanderings through the desert, the Hebrews are plagued with flaming serpents (hanehashim haserafim). In order to cure the Hebrews of the malady caused by these creatures, Moses is instructed to fashion a serpent (here called seraf) out of brass - the resultant brass serpent is referred to as "nehash neshosheth." Isaiah envisions the serafim with wings (Is 6) and makes reference to flying flaimg ones (seraf me'opep).
The purpose of identifying Sammael as a Seraf and the Serafim in general as serpents (nahashim) is to shed light on the tale of Eden. Ironically, the assosciation of the serpent of Eden with Satan (Sammael) is one area of theological agreement between Judaism in Christianity. We also see how Sammael plays his role as the supernal id by inciting Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
What we do not see in the Biblical account is written of in extra-Biblical texts, such as the Zohar and other Kabbalistic works. This is the seduction of Eve by the serpent. The child of this union is Cain.
We are then brought to the story of Cain and Abel. Part of understanding this story on a level deeper than the gross surface reading that many engage in is taking a look at the words themselves. Most important of these are the names Cain and Abel: Cain (Kayin) is derived from "possess" (kana), Abel (Hevel) is the word for "vanity" or "shallowness" (cf Ecclesiastes). Furthermore, Cain was a tiller of the ground - he affected change, while Abel was a shepherd. This may be viewed as follows: the one who possesses the power to affect change slays empty vanity. Cain's mastery is further evidenced by the fact that the earth assissts him in his brother's murder, for it "swallowed" Abel's blood. The only times the Hebrew Bible uses this imagery, it literally depicts the earth opening up to entomb something or someone.
This is an interesting facet of the story, for we can see that Cain is not the one cursed, but rather the earth, as it is no longer able to assist and serve its master. Cain's only punishment is exile from his land into Nod (a word which means wandering). The surprising result of this exile is the construction of the first city, a momument to the refined, luminescent intellect.
I would like to state that this path did not cease with Cain or the deluge, but was continued by one of the twelve tibes of Isael, the tribe of Dan, whose icon is the serpent and who shall sit in judgement upon his brothers. From the place of religious history, Dan was the tribe which consistently existed on the edges of orthopraxy and the spirituality of Israelite society. Just as Satan was the supernal id and Cain the id of man's emergence, Dan (using the analogy of Israel as indicative of a person's spiritual essence) was the spiritual id.
In fact, this concept was so strong that an early Judaeo-Christian text states the antichrist would rise from the tribe of Dan, and the Apocalypse of St. John omits Dan from the listing of the tribes of Israel sealed by God.
As a self-styled "dark Kabbalist," the honour to which I hold myself is the honour of knowledge, the illumination brought by the serpent (lux ferre) and enshrined in Cain.
Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell.... Kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.
Marquis de Sade, Last Will and Testament
- First of all, Gnosis maintains that Cain was not the son of Adam and that Eve conceived her first son Cain with the Serpent, Lucifer. The Serpent Lucifer impregnated Eve with his breath. In other words, Cain was not completely human, born from flesh. His Spiritual nature was great because his father was Lucifer, coming from the unknowable world of the Spirit.
On the other hand, Abel was the son of Adam and Eve, in other words Abel was indeed born from flesh.
We can now see the first difference between the two brothers: Cain is superior to Abel. Cain is the son of Eve and Lucifer, the initiatory Serpent of Eden. Cain is the son of the Spirit and of flesh. Abel, on the contrary, is born only from flesh. Therefore we can see first of all that Cain is not someone evil but that in fact he is superior, important, and much more so than Abel.
Secondly, Cain as much as Abel made sacrifices to the creator god to please him, offering him things that he liked. Cain offered vegetables and Abel animals, lambs for example. According to the bible the creator god preferred the latter: the blood from the dead animals and the smell of burnt flesh of the corpse. The bible says that the creator was pleased by Abel's sacrifices but not by Cain's. It appeared that Cain had little desire to please the creator since he only offered him a few seeds and with little devotion, as if he wasn't entirely convinced of the usefulness of making sacrifices. Naturally then, Abel's sacrifices were accepted by the creator and Cain's weren't. Cain didn't like to offer sacrifices to the creator because of his roots, because he was the son of Lucifer and had the divine spark of the Angel of Light within him. That is why he did not make suitable sacrifices to the creator and why it disgusted him to do so since he did not belong to this created world. Abel, on the other hand, whose nature was not of the Spirit but of an animal, did make suitable sacrifices and these were the ones which most pleased the creator.
An ancient legend relates what Abel said to his brother Cain on one particular occasion: "my sacrifice, my offering, was accepted by God because I love him, your offering was on the other hand rejected because you hate him". Now it is quite clear, Cain hates the creator because he is born from the Spirit, his true nature is Spiritual! Put this way it is quite clear. All these legends and myths surrounding Genesis tell us many things. Through them we realise that much information has been distorted and hidden from us.
There are other interesting things which Cain said to his brother. One small sentence sums up his position. These words are key: "There is no law, no judge" Palestinian Targum, Gen., 4:8). Cain is denying the authority of the creator god and the fact of paying homage to and obeying him.
Later on we see that Cain murdered his brother Abel. This is something very profound as it signifies that the Spirit rejects, destroys and murders the soul. Abel, presented as pure love and devotion in the bible, represents the soul of man according to Gnostics. Cain, on the contrary, represents the Spirit, which explains his hostility and hatred. Hostility and hatred typical of the Spirit, since the Spirit really hates this impure world, full of unfair and absurd rules. This explains Cain's resistance to making sacrifices and his disobedience as regards the creator's commandments. Cain and Abel are as opposed and irreconcilable as are the Spirit and the soul.
The soul is pure love, not True Love but that which we know as love, that which we believe is love, that which we have been told is love, which in actual fact is hatred. The Spirit is the opposite; It is perceived as pure hatred, hostility and revenge. Due to being shackled in this satanic creation the only thing the Spirit can feel is hostility and hatred, that which ordinary men know as hatred. The Spirit, which is Pure Love, can only feel aversion and disgust before this thing that is, in fact, pure garbage. That is why the Spirit wants to destroy this satanic creation, because for It, creation is a deformed monstrosity which should never have come into existence. This is what Cain's murder of Abel symbolises.
Cain, through his actions, freed himself completely from the creator and from his own body and soul. Through these acts against the creator god and his half-brother Abel he freed himself once and for all from the inferior god and his impure and flawed creation. With these acts he transformed himself into an opponent, an eternal enemy of the demiurge and his work.
This whole episode of Cain and Abel, such as it is in Genesis in the bible and in legends such as the jewish midrash amongst others, has been interpreted by Gnostics in a way that totally opposes the generally accepted version.
After committing his Supreme Act, the bible says that Cain was cursed by god and banished from that place. "Cursed and banished", the same destiny as the Serpent of paradise. It was logical that this should happen, as Cain had turned himself into an absolute opponent of the creator god, but as well as that, many more interesting things happened which we are going to be highlighting here:
First of all, we saw that Cain was cursed and banished by the creator god. This, which could have appeared to be punishment, is just the opposite for a Gnostic. To be cursed and banished by the creator is an honour for a Gnostic. It is the natural reaction of the demiurge faced with someone who has defied him and slapped him in the face, faced with someone who has made himself equal or superior to him. Cain is in exile because he completely transformed himself, successfully exiled himself and now no longer belongs to this world, although he carries on living in it. The bible says that the creator banished him, but Cain is free, liberated in life and through his acts he cursed the creator and exiled himself from this abominable creation.
Secondly, several jewish legends relate that the creator punished Cain forever with insomnia, condemning him never to sleep again, with eternal wakefulness. To a Gnostic, this is not punishment but a triumph. Being condemned to eternal wakefulness is an advantage, a virtue, an important achievement. Cain woke himself up disobeying the creator's commandments and "murdered" his soul.
Thirdly, the bible says that the creator protected Cain, not allowing anyone to harm or kill him. This is another interesting fact. Gnostics say that a man who has transformed himself into pure Spirit, although he continues to inhabit his physical body, is immortal, untouchable. Absolutely no-one can harm or attack him now and he has no fear since he is beyond everything and will never die. He is in this world but outside of it as well. He is outside of matter and time and now does not form part of creation. He exiled himself from this world by his own will. The creator god can't harm him anymore, because Cain is now superior to him.
Fourthly, the bible says that the creator put a mark on Cain, a sign, so that everyone would recognise him and would not hurt him. Some ancient jewish legends say that this sign was a horn on his forehead. A horn on the forehead signifies power, power that comes from the Spirit, power that distinguishes him from other men. This callous on his forehead signifies that the Spirit has freed Itself and has taken possession of the body, hardening it, Spiritualising it. No-one put a mark on Cain. Cain put it there himself. When this happens, it is noticed by other men and the whole of creation. Every Spirit freed from the prison of matter will have this mark for all eternity. Now the Spirit will never be what It was before being shackled to matter. That characteristic mark is the body transformed, as hard as a diamond. The Spirit has transmuted the body and is now immortal and eternal. This will be Its eternal reminder, the everlasting proof of Its path through hell and Its triumph over it.
We can find several syntheses in the Gnostic explanation of the myth of Cain in Mgr. Meurin's book on masonry which we quoted earlier. Also in "Le dieu rouge" by Robert Ambelain and also in "Atheism in Christianity", by Ernst Bloch. Likewise, there are also several interesting facts in "The Hebrew Myths" by Graves and Patai. There is also a very profound Gnostic interpretation of this myth in a strange novel I found on the Internet called "El Misterio de Belicena Villca".
> Continue reading next chapter: The plans of the creator god
- Others again declare that Cain derived his being from the Power above, and acknowledge that Esau, Korah, the Sodomites, and all such persons, are related to themselves. On this account, they add, they have been assailed by the Creator, yet no one of them has suffered injury. For Sophia was in the habit of carrying off that which belonged to her from them to herself. They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas. (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses,"Against Heresies")
Notice in the above comments from Irenaeus, the authors of the Gospel of Judas are identified as followers of Cain. The Cainites were a sect of Gnostics who worshipped Cain. The same Cain that murdered his brother Abel; that God "cursed" Cain (Gen 4:12) and God said Cain "was of that wicked one" (1 John 3:12). That is the authors of "The Gospel of Judas." Much of modern day Satanism and witchcraft comes from the lineage of the Cainites. The Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, under the topic "The Gospel of Judas" writes:
This is in reference to the Cainites, a sect of gnosticism that especially worshipped Cain as a hero. The Cainites, like a large number of gnostic groups, were semi-maltheists believing that the god of the Old TestamentYahwehwas evil, and a quite different and much lesser being to the deity that had created the universe, and was responsible for sending Jesus. Such gnostic groups worshipped as heroes all the Biblical figures which had sought to discover knowledge or challenge Yahweh's authority, while demonizing those who would have been seen as heroes in a more orthodox interpretation. . .
Certain of the Cainites maintained that Judas acted as he did in order that mankind might be redeemed by the death of Jesus. For this reason, they regarded him as worthy of gratitude and veneration. (Wikipedia, "The Gospel of Judas")
- AND THE WOMAN REPLIED, "NACHASH [THE SERPENT] SEDUCED ME." (Gen. 3:13)
According to Rashi, Nachash (the Serpent form of the Satan) sexually desired Eve when he saw her naked and having intercourse with Adam. Thus, the Zohar states:
"Two beings [Adam and Nachash] had intercourse with Eve [the Second woman], and she conceived from both and bore two children. Each followed one of the male parents, and their spirits parted, one to this side and one to the other, and similarly their characters. On the side of Cain are all the haunts of the evil species; from the side of Abel comes a more merciful class, yet not wholly beneficial -- good wine mixed with bad."(Zohar 136b)
And even more specifically:
"Nachash injected his impure semen into Eve and she absorbed it; therefore, when Adam had intercourse with her she bore two sons -- one from the impure side [Nachash] and one from the side of Adam; and Abel [the second] bore a resemblance to the higher form, and Cain [the first] to the lower." (Zohar 154a)
Therefore, neither Cain nor Abel was a "full son" of Adam, but instead also carried the seed (or gene) of Nachash; and each was the prototype for a later species of mankind. The question that always arises, of course, is how could Abel, who was killed by Cain, become the progenitor of any species, let alone one that was "good wine mixed with bad." The Oral Torah answers:
"Cain rose up against Abel and killed him because he was jealous of Abel on account of Abel's WIFE, as indicated by the words, 'and it came to pass when they were in the field,' the word 'field' signifying a woman." (Zohar 1:36b)
As I point out later, this wife of Abel -- according to the Zohar, Rashi and other works of Oral Torah -- was his twin sister. Thus, Abel had taken his twin sister for a wife, and from this incestuous union came the later species of "good wine mixed with bad," or genetically recessive throwbacks, so to speak, to their mutual parentage from the side of Nachash. Also, we are told, it was to steal this woman and make her his own that Cain killed Abel and had sexual intercourse and offspring with her. As it is written, "And Cain knew his wife and she conceived." (Gen. 3:17)
So it was that the brothers Cain and Abel had sexual intercourse with their sister, and from this inbreeding came the "mixed multitude" spoken of in Torah, which was two species of mankind: From the side of Cain came the evil seed (gene) of Nachash tempered by the holy seed (gene) of Adam; and from the side of Abel came the holy seed of Adam corrupted by the "evil semen" of Nachash. (Zohar 1:36b)