“And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”

- Exodus 7:8-12 (emphasis added)

God creates, Satan imitates.

While the mystery schools date many of their traditions, rites, and worship back to the practices of ancient Babylon, and while they embrace the legends surrounding the antediluvian era and the mythic city of Atlantis, there tends to be an overwhelming emphasis on everything stemming from ancient Egypt. Because Egypt is most relevant for them, I have decided to focus on their beliefs about ancient Egypt and forgo discussing ancient Babylon in this book.

One thing that is critical to realize: whether or not all of the things presented in this book are completely factual and accurate about ancient Egypt doesn't matter. What does matter is that what I present in this book is accurate in presenting what the modern secret societies actually believe originated and was practiced in ancient Egypt. All that matters is what they believe, because it is their beliefs (a majority of which are rooted in ancient Egypt) that give them purpose, goals, vision, and motive.

Through their own experts' writings, we are able to get a definitive understanding of their core beliefs – especially from the works that were written for the initiates. Throughout the rest of this book, I will be quoting from a number of influential Masonic authors, Manly P. Hall in particular. Mr. Hall wrote many authoritative books and gave dozens of lectures throughout his life on ancient teachings and arcane matters. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest (if not the greatest) Masonic writer to have ever lived. For an LDS comparison, you can argue that Masons look upon Manly P. Hall in the same regards that we LDS look upon Hugh Nibley.

Mr. Hall wrote the following in his book Freemasonry and the Ancient Egyptians:

We are assured in the authorized version of Holy Writ that the magicians of Egypt changed their staves or rods into serpents in the presence of Pharaoh. The modern scientist does not live who can duplicate that phenomenon… In Egypt we are dealing unquestionably with true manifestations of occult power. The learned author of Art Magic presents what may be accepted as a reasonable accurate estimation of the priest-magicians of the old Egyptian Mysteries. 'They were highly educated, scientific men. They understood the nature of the lodestone [naturally magnetic stones], the virtues of mineral and animal magnetism, which, together with the force of psychological impression, constituted a large portion of their theurgic practices. [Note: “theurgic” is defined as “the divine or supernatural agency in human affairs” and “beneficent magic as taught and performed by Egyptian Neoplatonists and others”] They perfectly understood the art of reading the inner most secrets of the soul, of impressing the susceptible imagination by enchantment and fascination, of sending their own spirits forth from their body which many modern metaphysical teachers claim that they can do, as clairvoyance, under the action of powerful will – in fact, they were masters of the art now known as mesmerism, clairvoyance, electro-biology, etc. They also realized the virtues of magnets, gums, herbs, drugs and fumigations, and employed music to admirable effect…. The highly gifted Egyptologist Lenormant acknowledges Egyptian magic as an essential part of their religious philosophy. James Bonwick, F.R.G.S., thus summarizes the powers possessed by Egyptian adepts: 'Egyptian mystics could levitate, walk the air, handle fire, live under water, sustain great pressure, harmlessly suffer mutilation, read the past, foretell the future, make themselves invisible and cure disease.'

The Nature of Egyptian Magic

Continuing from Manly P. Hall's Freemasonry and the Ancient Egyptians:

From the writings of Proclus and Iamblichus we can gain a considerable insight into the principles of Egyptian magic. To the old philosophers, even Pythagoras and Plato, magic was no mystery. According to Proclus the initiated priests so fully understood the mutual sympathy between the visible and invisible worlds that they were able to change the course of action and focus divine virtues upon inferior natures. And according to Plato the highest form of magic consisted in the divine worship of the gods, and according to Iamblichus the priests, through sacerdotal theurgy, were able to ascend from a material state of consciousness to a realization of the universal essence, thus coming to an understanding of universal purpose by which the performance of high feats of magic became possible.

[It’s] proper at this point to establish a clear line of demarcation of magic and sorcery. The term magic was not associated with occult jugglery by the Egyptians but arose from a profound understanding of natural law. 'Magic,' says General Albert Pike, 'is the exact and absolute science of nature and its laws.' From the knowledge of this absolute science arises occult science. From experience in occult science in turn arises the theurgic art, for as surely as man has adapted his physical universe to his purposes so surely the adept of the Mystery School adapts the metaphysical universe to his purposes. To acknowledge that the Egyptians possessed the power of adapting mystical forces to physical ends is to bestow upon them proficiency in the most perfect and difficult of the arts. Yet to deny this ability on the part of the Egyptian priests is to deny the evident, and we must resign ourselves to the undeniable fact that they possessed a form of learning which has not been conferred upon this present race…"

Note the name “Albert Pike” mentioned in the previous paragraph. Albert Pike was a general for the South in the Civil War. He is one of the most honored Freemasons in history. He wrote a book entitled “Morals and Dogma” which is considered priority reading for Freemasons. I'll be quoting from him and will discuss him later on.

The Religion of Egypt: Sun Worship

One researcher of secret societies, A. Ralph Epperson, explained the following in a book called “The New World Order” (all emphasis added):

Albert Pike identified [Sun Worship] with the worship of the past in this collection of quotes from his writings:

The worship of the sun became the basis of all the religions of antiquity…. Thousands of years ago, men worshiped the Sun… Originally, they looked beyond the orb to the invisible God… They personified him as Brahma, Amun, Osiris, Bel, Adonis, Malkarth, Mithras, and Apollo. Krishna is the Hindu Sun‐God. The Gauls worshiped the Sun under the name of Belin or Belinis. The sun is the ancient symbol of the life‐giving and generative power of the Deity. The Sun was His manifestation and visible image. The Sun is the hieroglyphical sign of Truth, because it is the source of Light.

Mr. Pike identified the sun as a symbol of a deity that should be worshiped. He chose to capitalize the first letter of the word, the 's', as one would in recognizing the name of a deity. Albert Mackey [another highly influential Masonic writer/historian] repeated Mr. Pike's contentions with comments like these about 'sun worship':

[It was] the oldest and by far the most prevalent of all the ancient religions. Eusebius says that the Phoenicians and the Egyptians were the first who ascribed divinity to the sun. Hardly any of the symbols of Masonry are more important in their signification or more extensive in their application than the sun as the source of material light, it minds the Mason of that intellectual light of which he is in constant search. The sun is then presented to us in Masonry first as a symbol of light, but then more emphatically as a symbol of sovereign authority.

The sun was a symbol of something that only the believers in the religion known as the Ancient Mysteries understood. These believers, called adepts, certainly knew that the people would not accept their mystery religion, so they had to conceal it from them. So the task became one of creating a religion around a belief that they knew people would accept, because it would make some sense, at least as far as the adepts would explain it. But their basic purpose was to create a popular religion as a cover for their secret worship. The secret religion would be built around a belief in the sun.

The sun would be a perfect thing to build a religion around because of its basic nature. It is very visible, and has a very important role in man's life. It rises in the morning (it appears to be born) and sets in the evening, (it appears to die) and then appears to be 'born again' the next morning. It also appears to wander in the sky, setting further north (or south) each night. It then returns back to any given position twice each year.
So the sun appears to have a major birth or death twice each day and twice each year. It would be very easy for the adepts to explain to the people that only something bigger than mankind, a god, had the ability to die and come back to life. So, the adepts would teach the people that they had to pray to the god or it would chose not to return. They encouraged a worship of the sun so that it would return to mankind again, either once a day, or once every six months.

Albert Pike confirmed this view with this explanation of why early man worshiped the sun: “To them… the journeyings of the Sun, were voluntary and not mechanical…”

Early man considered the sun to be something that moved voluntarily. In other words, the sun did not have to return each morning. Man must have quickly determined that since the sun did not have to return, man should start asking it to return, for man certainly depended upon the sun for his life. Man certainly must have figured out just how important the sun was to his life and well‐being and certainly must have determined that if the sun chose not to return, all of mankind would certainly perish. It was an easy jump from the belief that the necessary sun was an entity that chose to move across the daytime sky, to a belief that it would return only if man prayed to it to return.

There is something even more interesting to be considered that Pike didn't explain with that comment. Obviously, to make the new religion work, the believers would have to be able to predict the movements of the sun. It wouldn't be too long before some of the common people would start noticing that the sun was neither an actual being nor a god to be worshiped, but something that moved according to precise laws. If the common people figured that out, they would not need the adepts who had computed the sun's periodic cycles. To keep their power intact, they would teach the people that if they did not accommodate their wishes, they would make certain that the sun did not return. They could even predict, as their measurements became more sophisticated, the exact time and date when the moon would go between the sun and the earth, causing the sun to 'disappear.' They could then fool the people into believing that they were the cause of the disappearance. They could then explain to the people that if they did not continue to pay them some sort of tribute, they would not intercede on their behalf, and the sun would not reappear.

To keep the minds of the common people away from figuring out that the whole religion was a scam, the adepts would conduct beautiful and ornate ceremonies around the worship of the sun. And they would expect the people to pay them for the elaborate rituals. To make their rituals valid, the adepts would always claim that the sun obeyed their prayers, thereby convincing the people of their need to keep the adepts around. The people would continue to pay tribute to these adepts as long as they appeared to be successful.

If the adepts knew that the sun was a symbol of something that the people would not support, such as a belief that Lucifer, the devil, was the god that they worshiped, they would have to continue with [their] charade, so that the people would not decide to stop worshiping. Because if the people figured it out, they would no longer support their activities. They would have to keep their beliefs from the people, and conceal their secret worship in hidden symbols. So sun worship as a religion prospered [in Egypt].

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