33 Degrees Number of the Master.
Why is 33 degrees associated with Mastery? This was the question I asked myself when I delved into Masonic symbolism while researching my novel Eclipse of the Soul. Being an astrologer, I was convinced it was a celestial reference, for we measure positions of the planets and stars in degrees, minutes and seconds. The astrological circle equals 360 degrees – 12 zodiacal houses of 30 degrees each. The clue I needed was found in a Vedic (Hindu) astrology book where it stated that the Moon was exalted at 3 degrees of Taurus and debilitated in 3 degrees Scorpio. Exaltation was considered to be the optimum position, where the planet is strong and potent and debilitation was the opposite. Why 3 degrees of Taurus, I wondered? In Vedic astrology, the Lunar Zodiac is based on the Moon’s movement against the brightest stars divided into 27 Nakshatras of 13 degrees and 20 minutes each. 3 degrees of Taurus corresponds with the Nakshatra called Krittika – which we know as The Pleiades and 3 degrees of Scorpio corresponds with the Nakshatra called Vishakha which we know as the North and South Scale of Libra called Tula in Sanskrit. If you plot 3 degrees of Taurus on the great wheel of 360 degrees starting with zero degrees Aries, 3 Taurus equals 33 degrees. This was the answer I was looking for. Alcyone is the brightest star in the Pleiadian cluster and thus Alcyone is 33 degrees – the number of Mastery. Further, I discovered that by using Etymology (origins of words) when the word Master is divided into two becomes Ma / Ster and it means Mother Star. Thus, Alcyone is the number of the Mother Star – 33 degrees.
The Pleiadian star system has been one of the most revered cosmic objects in history, poetry and mythology across all cultures. According to the cultural traditions, the seven visible stars of the Pleiades have been referred to by many names, such as the Seven Sisters, Krittika, Kimah, Flock of Doves, Hens, Virgins of Spring, Sailor’s Stars and the seven Atlantic Sisters. ‘The Pleiades were known as Seven Sisters by indigenous people in North America, Siberia and Australia and this common heritage means they were described more than 40,000 years ago.’ 1
‘The Pleiades seem to be among the first stars mentioned in astronomical literature, appearing in the Chinese annuls of 2357 BC, Alcyone, the lucida, then being near the vernal equinox— And their beginning of the year gave rise to the title ‘The Great Year of the Pleiades’ for the cycle of precession of about 25, 900 years.” 2
Professor Charles Piazzi Smyth in the late 19th century suggested that that the seven chambers of the Great Pyramid of Giza commemorate these seven stars. 3 ‘And here is a wonderful corresponding fact, that the date of the Great Pyramids completion, at midnight of the autumnal equinox…the Pleiades were distributed over the meridian of this pyramid, with Alcyone precisely on the line.” 4
What if the Great Pyramid was actually built in honour of the Pleiades when they rose near the vernal equinox 2357 BC and completed by 2170, as suggested by Siess.
According to Albert Churchward the name of the Great Pyramid was ‘Khuti,’ which denoted the seven Lights, or Glorious Ones. Likewise, the Tower of Babel with its seven tiers was also symbolical of the ‘Great Altar Stairs,’ by which men climbed heavenward.
Many ancient traditions state that Alcyone was the Central Spiritual Sun, the Mother Sun that emits creative Light, that which births great teachers of Light into the world. It was believed to be the centre of the Universe around which our own solar system revolves. Our current astronomers do not support this idea although in the 1850’s it well accepted. ‘Science has at last discovered that the Sun is not a dead centre, with planets and comets wheeling around it but itself stationary. It is now ascertained that the Sun is also in motion, around some other and vastly mightier centre. Astronomers are not fully agreed as to what or where that centre is. Some however believe that they have found the direction of it to be the Pleiades, and particularly Alcyone. To the distinguished astronomer, Prof.J.H, Maedler belongs the honour of having made this discovery. Alcyone, then, as far as science can perceive, would seem to be the “midnight throne” in which the whole system of gravitation has a central seat, and from which the Almighty governs his universe.’ 5
An astronomer will tell you this is complete rubbish but I want to go back to the ancient traditions. Alcyone was called Al Wasat, the Central One by the Arabs and Temennu, the Foundation Stone by the Babylonians. The next quotation I found in a wonderful book on ancient constellations called The Mazzaroth. ‘Wasat, an Arabic name of Alcyone, transmitted by Ulugh Beigh from early Arabian astronomy, is the centre. It thus testifies, like that of Alcyone, to the knowledge of the first astronomers of the long lost but lately removed fact, that in this group is the centre of the revolving, contains the same reference, if explained by its primitive roots. The ancient name Alcyone, now so celebrated in the annuals of science, is evidently of Oriental origin, having the Arabic and old Hebrew article Al, prefixed to its root Cyon, centre. Its meaning, centre, foundation, anticipates one of the greatest achievements of modern astronomy, the discovery that to this point, this centre, gravitates the whole magnificent arrangement of the stars called the Galaxy, to which our sun belongs.’ 6 Does Cyon not sound like Sion/Zion – the heavenly city of God? ‘Glorious things of Thee are spoken, Zion city of our God.’ Psalm 87. The Hebrews believed it to be the City of David- the City of the Lord- the City of Foundation.
I found an intriguing article by ken Raines called Jehovah: Ancient Astronaut from the Pleiades’ 7 Apparently for 62 years, 1891 – 1953, the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witness) taught that God resided on the star Alcyone in the Pleiades constellation and that from this star he governed the universe. It was also stated that the City of Zion in heaven was Alcyone. The original Watchtower magazine was called Zion’s Watchtower. In Micah 4:8 of the Old Testament, it reads, ‘And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.’ Remember the Pleiades were most frequently represented as a flock of doves.
At this point I want to briefly divert to the Priory of Sion and its reported reverence for Mary Magdalene. The clue is in her name, which seems to mean ‘of Magdala’ – with some possible interpretation as ‘place of the dove’, ‘place of the tower’ and ‘temple-tower’. 8 In the Woman with the Alabaster Jar Margaret Starbird writes that ‘tower of the flock’ in the above Biblical reference is translated into Magdal-edar. 9 So was Mary Magdalene just a secret Pleiadian code and the Priory of Sion was actually the Priory of Alcyone? The so-called sacred Merovingian bloodline between Mary Magdalene and Jesus might actually refer to their Pleiadian cosmic origins. For example, like many other ancient cultures, the Mayans of Meso-America called the Pleiades ‘the cranary’ for it was the seedbed of their civilisation and the cosmic star mother who gave her children the codes of light. 10 The Merovingians founded and named the city of Paris after Prince Paris, the son of King Priam of Troy. In the Iliad, Electra (one of the seven Pleiades) was the mother of Dardanos, the founder of Trojan race and according to David Icke, the Merovingian bloodline is traced back to Troy – another Pleiadian connection.
In The Templer Revelation, the authors suggest that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were Initiates of the Cult of Isis. Isis was the most venerated Egyptian goddess – the creatress from whom all arose. The sign of Isis is a circle with horns exactly like the sign of Taurus. Her dance of the seven veils corresponds with the seven stars of the Pleiades. I believe she was often portrayed as veiled because of the nebula around the western side of the Pleiades. I found this quote by J.R. Skinner in The Celestial Ship of the North by E.Valentia Straiton. ‘Isis, Issa, is the Virgin mother of the gods. Neith, Isis, Hathor, Venus and others are all one and the same. Issa, or woman, or Egyptian Isi-s, Isis…but Isi was Jesse, the father of David, who was the father of Jesus, as Isi. So, indeed Isis in Egyptian was the feminine form of Isi, or Jes-, as a form of aish, man, was Jes-us.’ 11
This quote was very exciting because Nicholas Notovitch, a Russian traveller- who while in a monastery in Tibet in 1887 was shown a manuscript by the head Lama claiming Jesus did not die on the cross however he travelled to India and Tibet and was known as Saint Issa. Also, Jesus in Arabic and in the Koran was known as Isa. 12 His tomb is said to be in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, described as the tomb of the prophet. Why would Jesus have been buried specifically in Srinagar – which means Great Serpent? The clue I believe is found in the word naga, which means serpent. In original Aramaic, Jesus was referred to as a naggar 13 actually mistranslated into a carpenter in the Bible, when in actual fact I have found the word for carpenter to be nanger. Jesus was a naggar – a serpent of wisdom. Serpents were the symbol of High Initiates in the mystery schools of Isis in Egypt. ‘Be ye as wise as serpents and as peaceful as doves’ Matthew 11:16 ‘Many Gnostic traditions identified the Serpent with Jesus. In the Pistis Sophia, Jesus was the serpent who spoke to Eve ‘from the tree of knowledge and the tree of life, which were in the paradise of Adam.” 14
Mark Amaru Pinkham in his book The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom, examines the worldwide migration of serpents, some from Mu (Lemuria), and others from Atlantis. They were called Nagas, Naguals, Nacaals, Adders, Djedhi, Amarus, Levites, Lung Dragons and Quetzlcoatls. There are many traditions, which also state that the Serpents were Extra-terrestrials. ‘ Some of the Interstellar Serpents on Atlantis came from the Celestial Serpent, the Pleiades. [According to Dhyani Ywahoo] the records of Cherokees, these androgynous Serpents are known as the ‘sacred seven,’ and said to have traveled from the universal seat of Divine Mind, the Pleiades, in order to instill within developing humankind the spark of the individuated mind. Once on the Earth the Pleiadian missionaries mated with the human population and their progeny spread throughout Atlantis.’ 15 (Could this be the source of the Fallen Angels in The Book of Enoch?) This Pleiadian and Atlantean mating was also mentioned by Greek Historian Diodorus who claimed that Celoene and Alcyone, two of the seven Pleiadian sisters, had mated with Poseidon, King of Atlantis and their offspring populated Atlantis.
Now back to the Watchtower society. According to David Icke, 16 Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Watchtower Society was a high degree Mason. Why am I going here? Because secret societies keep ancient wisdom behind locked doors and Masonry is based on the Egyptian Mysteries. I have a book by Robert Hewitt Brown; a 32-degree Mason called Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy. On page 54 is a picture of a mystic ladder that leads to the seven stars of the Pleiades. He explains, ‘This Masonic emblem, has a direct allusion to the vernal equinox, and thus becomes a beautiful symbol of immortality, reminding us, also, of that starry home beyond the grave to which the soul of man aspires. It was for these reasons that, of all the ‘hosts of heaven’ the Pleiades were selected as an emblem by our ancient brethren.’ 13 The ladder is also made of seven step in the Scottish Rite Ritual and ascends from a red room, that which is said to represent the Great Mother. A red cross was placed over the heart of the candidate for red is sworn to in Masonry. I believe the symbol of the red cross is the same as the rosi-crux of the Rosicrucians and all symbolic of Alcyone and the Pleiades. The first Grand Lodge of the Scottish Rite in America, was formed at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1783: a Supreme Council and it lies exactly on the 33rd parallel of latitude. The highest Masonic degree is 33 degrees – the Grand Master. If you break up the word Mason into two – Ma/Son it equates to Mother Sun. It is interesting to note that one of the Pleiades was named Maia by the Greeks. Maia was the virgin mother of Hermes, the Enlightened One. Maya, was the virgin mother of Buddha, the Enlightened One. Mary, was the virgin mother of Christ, the Annointed one. May is the month of Maia/Maya/Mary when the Sun is in Taurus and thus conjunct the Pleiades. May Day celebrations are in honour of the Pleiades.
In the Mazzaroth, Frances Rolleston connects the Hebrew alphabet with the constellations and Pleiades is said to be associated with the Hebrew letter Ayin, the pictograph being an eye. Immediately, I thought of the ‘All Seeing Eye’ used so prolifically in Masonic imagery, especially above the apex of the Great Pyramid, even on the American dollar bill. Remember, Seiss’ belief that the Pyramid was built as the midnight throne celebrating the midnight culmination of the Pleiades – could this be symbolised by the Pyramid and the Eye? I went a little further and located the letter Ayin on the Kabala tree. It is found on the 26th pathway and connected with the sign of Capricorn and the Tarot card of the Devil. In the Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck, the Devil is represented in the traditional form of the Goat, however there is some unusual imagery that I found very intriguing. The goat has a third eye and his head is adorned with a bunch of grapes. (Wine had a mystical relation to the Dove (the Pleiades) which is the Holy Spirit or the Shekinah in Hebrew.) Below him, is a winged caduceus (Hermes) and under its hoofs are two balls with humans inside going through what I assume to be symbolic creation. You can see the DNA chromosomes and mitosis occurring. Behind this, is a shaft piercing a cosmic ring in the heavens. Most horned creatures like Pan represented fertility and creation and the May Time celebrations of Beltane incorporated this celebration. The Maypole had seven ribbons, I believe representing the seven sisters of the Pleiades. ‘Pan was an important model for medieval pagans’ Horned God, whom the church called Satan. The devil always displayed Pan’s attributes of goat-hoofs, horns, and unremitting lust; sometimes also a goat head and an attendant throng of satyrs.’ 14 When the Knights Templer were accused of heresy in the 14th century, it was based on their worship of Baphomet – a bisexual idol pictured with hoofs, a goat’s face, with both male and female features, and thus they were called ‘devil worshippers’. Could it simply have been another Pleiadian connection?
‘With November, the Pleid-month, many primitive people began their year; and on the day of the midnight culmination of the Pleiades, November 17, no petition was presented in vain to the ancient Kings of Persia; the same event gave the signal at Busiris for the commencement of the feast of Isis, and regulated less immediately the celebrations connected with the 52 year cycle of the Mexicans. Australian tribes to this day dance in honour of the ‘Seven Sisters’. 15 The months of May and November and their numerous festivals and celebrations are all associated with the Seven Sisters. Their rising in November marked the time for worship of deceased family and friends. ‘Egyptian texts allude to Pleiades’ archaic significance as Krittitas, judges of men, assigning them also to seven planetary spheres as the seven Hathors. The dead had to speak the names of these Goddesses to pass their ‘critical’ examination and enter paradise.’ 16
I believe this is the source of the Judgement of the Dead linked with the month of November, when the Pleiades are high in the night sky. In the Halls of Judgement, the goddess Maat weighed the souls of the dead against her ostrich- feather of truth as the ibis-headed scribe Thoth stood to record the judgement. In Christian iconography, Archangel Michael holds a pair of scales on the Day of Judgement recognised as All Soul’s Day on the 2nd November. The ancient Celtic civilisation gathered to celebrate the festival of death ‘Samhain’ during the dark night of October 31st and at midnight, a time of death to the old year and birth to the new, it was the Celtic New Year. November is the month of the dead and Scorpio and ruling planet Pluto are all connected with death and rebirth. The Persians called November Mordad, or ‘Angel of Death.’
I often wonder how the zodiac signs acquired their symbolism, for example why Scorpio and its eight house and ruler Pluto are all linked to death and rebirth? What I have found through my research into The Pleiades, might be the answer. It has been recorded in the Babylonian Talmud that the flood of Biblical Noah was the result of two stars falling from Khima (the Pleiades) towards Earth. Could this correspond with the legend of the lost pleid? Was this the sinking of Mu/Atlantis and the end of the Golden Age and thus we still mourn the dead in November? I discovered some very confirming evidence in the book When the Earth Nearly Died by Allen and Delair. They argue that the world experienced total catastrophe in 9500 BC when a Vela supernova exploded and the Earth’s axis subsequently tilted to 23 and a half degrees and the Age of Darkness took hold. What I found in the book was this. ‘Chinese traditions similarly tell how, during the time of the legendary emperor Ya-hou: ‘a brilliant star issued from the constellation of Yin’ prior to a tremendous global upheaval.’ 17 I searched my Chinese Astrology book and found the Yin Star to correspond with Beta Scorpionis (Graffias, a triple star situated in the head of the Scorpion) and connected with plenty of water (flood). The symbol of Yin and Yang thus represents Scorpio (Yin) and its opposite sign Taurus (Yang). Remember in November, the Sun is in Scorpio but at night The Pleiades are high in the sky, in Taurus. The Maya/Aztec called the Pleiades the tzab rattle – that of a snake and every 52 years, in the middle of November, when the Pleiades were directly at the zenith at midnight at Mexican latitude, it was believed that the world would end; it had already been destroyed and re-created four times in the past. The New Fire Ceremony was held once they knew that they were safe for another 52 years. Thus, the specific symbolism of the constellations, zodiac signs and planets seem to reflect actual historical events, similarly recounted in many Myths.
What I have presented above is just the tip of the iceberg of what I have discovered. It is obvious from legends and myths that the Pleiadian Star System was the locus of our cosmic inheritance and the source of the mystical wisdom known by the High Initiates of the Mystery Schools of Isis.
1. Hand Clow, Barbara. Catastrophobia, Vermont: Bear and Co., 2001. pg 101 2. Allen, Richard Hinckley. Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning. NY: Dover Pub. 1963. pg 392. 3. Ibid., pg 399 4. Seiss, Joseph A. Miracle in Stone: or the Great Pyramid of Egypt (1877). Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, USA. 5. Ibid, pg 6. Rolleston, Frances. Mazzaroth Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, pg 28. 7. http://www.premier1.net/~raines/jehovah.html 8. Picknett, L & Prince, C. The Templar Revelation, NY: Touchstone 1997, 248. 9. Starbird, Margaret, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, Santa Fe: Bear and co, 1993 pg 50. 10. Polich Bluestone. Judith. Return of the Children of Light. Vermont: Bear and Co, 2001. Pg. 12. 11. Straiton Valentia, E, Celestial Ship of the North, Kessinger Publishing, 1927, pg. 101. 12. Hatcher Childress, David, Lost Cities of China, Central Asia and India, USA; Adventures Unlimited, 1985, pg. 271. 13. See note 8, pg. 235. 14. Walker, Barbara G. Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. NY: HarperCollins 1983, pg. 803. 15. Pinkham, Mark Amaru. The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom. USA: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1997, pg. 231. 16. Icke, David. Children of the Matrix. USA: Bridge of Love Publications, 2001, pg. 328. 17. Brown, Robert Hewitt, 32 degrees. Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy. Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, pg. 51. 18. See note 14, pg. 765. 19. See note 2, pg. 401 20. See note 14, pg. 803 21. Allan, D.S and Delair, J.B. When the Earth nearly died. Bath: Gateway Books, 1995. Pg. 212.
Olga Morales is an Australian astrologer and author of Eclipse of the Soul, a novel inspired by much of the information contained in the article above. For more information, visit http://www.booksurge.com.
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