….The thing is, the men who did the translating of the Bible for King James the First (and Sixth) weren’t simpletons. All but one were ordained clergy – the odd one out had been Queen Elizabeth’s Greek tutor – and most held fairly high positions in the Church, and in the Colleges of Eton, Oxford, and Cambridge. There were 47 of these scholarly gentlemen, including Queen Elizabeth’s personal chaplain; there were child prodigies who could read the Bible in Hebrew at the age of five; there were popular preachers and Calvinist firebrands, one or two of whom had travelled and worked in Europe and most likely did a bit of espionage for the Crown while they were about it. The personal chaplain of Robert Dudley, the unlucky Earl of Leicester, was also among that number. The translators worked in half a dozen teams, called Companies, each having a section of the Bible to go at: they would debate the translations as they went along, and the final test of the day’s work was to have it read aloud to the Company, as if preaching to a congregation. They started in 1604 and finished seven years later.
They knew what they were doing, these scholars. They understood the language of symbols and of myth. They were all incredibly well educated, fluent in Latin and Greek and Hebrew; some were unremarkable except for their scholarship; and others were well known at Court, where they doubtless conversed with other luminaries of the period: the poets and playwrights, the foreign ambassadors, and the Rosicrucians, the alchemists and astrologers and magicians.
Which makes it all the more strange that they chose to make the Latin noun lucifer (meaning the morning star, or as an adjective, light-bringing) into a proper name in Isaiah’s rather peculiar rant against the King of Babylon. Elsewhere in the KJB we find the word translated as “morning star” or “day star” and in the most pleasant and inspiring contexts. In the Book of Job there is the promise of a life brighter than noon so that darkness is merely that of dawn, while 2 Peter 1:19 states plainly that the morning star will “rise in your hearts.” And there are other, more precise references, to Jesus.
King James’ translators may have had some knowledge of Canaanite mythology; they would certainly have been cognisant of Phaeton, who drove the Chariot of the Sun and whose name means “shining one”, and of course the Goddess Venus and her planet were very accessible in the Age of the Virgin Queen. It is inconceivable therefore that these learned men would have concluded that the Hebrew word heylel – “shining one” or “light-bearer”, or the Greek translation heosphorus – “bringer of dawn” or “morning star”, or the Latin Vulgate lucifer had anything even remotely in common with a career-minded angel who was punished by his boss and doomed to stay on the naughty step for all eternity.
Isaiah seems to be making such an association, but even so, why draw attention to it by putting in the capital letter and thus inventing a name for the phenomenon of pre-dawn light and the pearly-diamond radiance of Venus in the brightening Eastern sky?
Elaborate Elizabethan joke? Hoax? A slip of the quill, a printing error? – not likely!
A marker, then, a little spike in an otherwise flat-line read-out, like a slightly raised paving stone that one might trip or stumble on…a clue to a mystery which those scholars (or some of them at any rate) were privy to, a secret too dangerous to think about in a period when a man might easily wake up to find himself on the wrong side of the law, be it state or church, and suddenly in mortal danger and peril: a pre-existing secret, buried in the Hebrew tradition but not of their devising.
Whether or not the translators intended to make it so, the name Lucifer is interesting. Who, or what, is he/she/it? Surely not the morning star Venus, because, well, that’s Venus, right?
I’m not a Bible scholar. I know the Hebrew alphabet, and that’s about as far as it goes.
I’m an English Qaballist.
LUCIFER adds to 110 in E.Q. This is the value of GREATER, STRONGER, and POWERFUL, appropriately enough. 110=QUARTER, meaning one fourth, which might suggest a fourfold formula. The number 110 is a multiple of 11, which reminds me HAD=11, the manifestation of the Star Goddess Nuit. The number 1 brings us back to the four since ONE=46, where the 6 being the value of LAW makes the numeric symbol 46 a Fourfold Law. So to begin with we have a description of some characteristics pertaining to Lucifer: the strength and power of the manifested Stellar Goddess NUIT=78 whose reward is 87=FOURFOLD.
Lucifer is the Light-Bearer. LIGHT(=64) + BEARER(=95) = 159 = UTTERMOST, the only single word of that value in the Lexicon of Liber AL.
159 = THE STARLIGHT.
Lucifer, according to the English Qaballa, is The Starlight.
Which is as it should be.
Once again, our Qaballa does not violate or outrage, though it may surprise…
BEARER=95. This is the value of THE STAR, and AQUARIUS. Aquarius is of course the Water-bearer.
Aquarius then bears A LIGHT(=65) which is the WATER(=65) being endlessly poured out from the vessel.
AQUARIUS(=95) is THE STAR(=95). It carries a light, which is not The Light, but it is UTTERMOST = 159 = LIGHT-BEARER and THE STARLIGHT.
The difference between LUCIFER=110 and LIGHT-BEARER=159 is 49, which is the value of KEY. If we add the KEY(=49) to AQUARIUS(=95) we come to another Title of this fascinating character, MORNING STAR = 144 = 49+95.
It’s beginning to look like Lucifer is the name of the Water-Bearer.
AQUARIUS = 95 = SELF-SLAIN. This personage carries their own life-light, in the vessel containing the BLOOD=42=STAR of AQUARIUS, as a woman bears the life-WATER of A LIGHT within her womb: she also is self-slain by her menstrual cycle. (WOMAN=46 + MOON=49 = 95 = AQUARIUS=95, whose reward is 59=YONI).
So, the Zodiac Sign and constellation of Aquarius are essentially feminine, giving and nurturing; and have the Name and Title of Lucifer.
Lucifer is Aquarius, the first Zodiac Sign of the New Year, when the days are growing longer as the Solar light returns, and Spring begins to look possible again.
A bit tenuous, this argument? The evidence somewhat circumstantial? – bordering on downright flimsy?
I thought so.
Then I remembered that Aquarius rules the lower leg, between the knee and the foot. And there, in the anatomical classification, is a muscle rejoicing in the name extensor hallucis longus, whose function is to lift the big toe away from its fellows, thereby allowing light to penetrate the gap.
That kind of synchronicity warms the cockles of an E. Qaballist’s heart, it really does. Most satisfactory.