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            FOR the modern world, which sees in astronomy only a science which is mathematical and physical, there is no perceptible connection between astronomy and prophecy, save as relates to the prevision of physical phenomena. For the ancients it was otherwise. For them, astronomy, like all other things, had a soul. This was astrology. And not only did they universally recognise a close connection as subsisting inevitably, from the very nature of things, between the apparent courses and relative positions of the heavenly bodies and the affairs of earth, but they credited the former with being the abodes, and even the bodies, of superior intelligences, of whose functions one is to influence the course of human affairs.


            It is to the Magians of old that we must refer for the true origin alike of the sacred books of the various religions, and of the predictions which concern these latter days. At

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once the theologians and scientists of their time, the Magians were able, as calculators of celestial cycles, to indicate the periods of probable change in respect of matters dependent upon stellar influences. And they also possessed, in virtue of their mastery of the occult sciences, faculties and knowledges which enabled them to foretell the nature as well as the periods of the events which would make or mark the world’s history even to a remote future. Thus combining spiritual with physical science, they were able to prophesy, and, as we propose to show, actually did prophesy, certain events which would occur upon the earth even in times so remote from their own as ours.


            If, moreover, any value is to be placed on human experience and testimony, there is, accessible to human intercourse, a sphere of being at once interior and superior, wherein are preserved the records of all that takes place on the earth, – a sphere tenanted by Intelligences, to whom the nature and periods of the changes undergone by the race on the planet, and the laws which govern those changes, are as familiar as are the seasons of the year and the periods of the vegetable world to ourselves. And if we consider also that one of the chief ends of “magical” culture was to enable the individual to rise into communion with the

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occupants of those exalted spheres, (1) it is no longer difficult to believe that, just as the processions of the vegetable kingdom can be surely prognosticated, so can those of the human kingdom. The spirit in man, moreover, does not cease to be spirit, nor does it lose necessarily its capacities of spiritual perception, by the mere fact of its investment with a material envelope. But all that is possible to the freed spirit, is possible also to the embodied.


            Regarding the soul – whether individual or universal – as the supreme subject and object of culture, it was to the science of the soul that the Magians especially devoted themselves. And they called it the Hermetic Science because the soul, being interior, mystic, spiritual, belongs to a world hidden from the outer senses, and because of that world the opener and revealer is always Hermes, whose name signifies alike the Rock, and the hidden one, and who is the Angel of the Understanding. Hence the bestowal of this name on the greatest reputed master of this science, who for his exceeding eminence was called Trismegistus, the thrice greatest. He is said to have been king of Egypt. But if so, he was no less priest than king; no less prophet than priest; no less natural philosopher than

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prophet; no less theologian than natural philosopher; scarcely less Divine than human.


            Whether or not a king in the ordinary sense, Hermes Trismegistus was assuredly a “King of the East,” and that the greatest. And whether or not he was a king of Egypt in the ordinary sense, he was assuredly a king, and that the greatest, of that which, in the mystical sense, Egypt denotes. For in this, the scriptural sense, Egypt implies the Body, and has for its chief divinity Khemi or Cham, who are one with Canaan and Ham. Hence the significance of the so-called “curse” on Canaan, – “A servant of servants shall he be to his brethren;” an expression implying the subordination of the body to its fellow-elements, the mind, soul, and spirit. Hence also the terms, Alchemy and Chemistry, for the peculiarly Hermetic art of transmutation. And it was of the science of the body, with man’s infinite capacities of evolution beyond the merely material, that Hermes was master.


            Teaching, as does the Hermetic philosophy, that man contains within himself the seed of his own regeneration – a process which, culminating in the Christ, demonstrates by its achievement the essential Divinity of man – this philosophy regarded its initiates as candidates for Christhood. Of its mysteries Moses, as the Bible shows, was an adept. And it

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was because he “esteemed the reproach of Christ,” or pursuit of the spiritual perfectionment of the Hermetist, “above all the riches of Egypt,” or gratifications of the body, that Moses instituted the fresh departure, in search of new and more favourable conditions, related in the story of the Exodus, – thus making that advance towards the perfect way which resulted in the manifestation of the Christ recognised by Christendom.


            The Great Pyramid, then, no less than the spiritual portion of the Bible, was an Hermetic work, built for a special and unique purpose, its very site being determined by the same Divine appointment which controlled all the details of its construction. For Egypt was the rendezvous of the old-world religion, the “body” wherein the soul of the humanity of the West was to take substance and form, – being expressly selected even less for its natural fertility than for its central and commanding position between the Eastern and Western worlds. (1) Representing, as does Egypt especially, the function of generation, as shown in the symbolic form of its presiding genius the god Cham, Ham, or Khemi, thither, under Divine direction, the sacred mysteries had migrated, by way of Persia and Chaldæa, from the lofty plateaux of Thibet – a word identical with Thebes, and

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signifying an Ark, – to become in Egypt the spiritual centre of the new development of the mysteries of which the whole Western world would be overspread.


            In virtue of their science, at once spiritual and physical, and the Divine illumination accorded them, the Hermetic Magians were able, as we have said, to discern the affinities subsisting between the heavenly bodies and the human soul, and to calculate and foretell their times and seasons. And on the basis of this correspondence were the dimensions, proportions, and arrangements generally of the Great Pyramid as their crowning symbol of the human kingdom, constructed, as had been ages before, the planisphere of the Zodiac.


            For, as the Great Pyramid is a sacred Parable, or rather a Bible, or collection of sacred parables, written in stone, so the Zodiac is a Bible written on the stars, inasmuch as both of them deal, not with things material and transitory, but with the great purpose of creation, namely, the evolution and elaboration of the soul. And while the Pyramid symbolises the attainment of the full stature of the perfect Manhood, or “Christ” by means of the “crucifixion and burial” of the lower nature, the Zodiac symbolises the final divinisation of the individual through the purification and exaltation of the soul.


            Possessing such knowledges, the Magians knew that the

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human mind is subject to recurrent periods of retrogression and obscuration, after the manner of the day and the year, due to a lapse into materiality; that a time would come, therefore, when the Mysteries would be degraded by gross and idolatrous materialisations; and that, alike for their preservation and propagation, they would require a new migration, and transplantation into more favourable conditions.


            Already had the declension in regard to the world gone far when the Pyramid was built, which appears to have been some two millenaries after the original “Fall,” and some centuries after the second “Fall,” that which, following the “Flood,” is typified under the descent of the saved from Mount Ararat. And there were still over 600 years to elapse before the “Exodus,” or next migration of the mysteries. And though the Hebrew period then to commence would last some fifteen and a half centuries, terminating in the great spiritual wave in which Christianity had its birth, there would yet remain a cycle of 1881 years to be accomplished before the true nature and significance of that event would be duly comprehended even by the Church founded thereon, and before the materialistic system, alike in the Church and in the world, would finally receive its death blow. It is thus that the index-measurements in the Pyramid represent, respectively,

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the periods of 628, 1542, and 1881 years. And though constructed to serve as a place of initiation in the mysteries, it constitutes a prophecy of the various leading steps of the whole cycle, as well as of the crowning event, to occur at the termination of the latest period. There are, it may be here stated, reasons both physical and mystical which favour the belief that it was never actually used for initiations.


            It is unnecessary to lay stress on the peculiar characteristics of the number 1881 itself; such as, that, as written in our numerals, it reads the same also backwards, and when inverted. More to the purpose is its apparent relation to the Apocalyptic 666 – for 1 + 8 + 8 + 1 = 6 + 6 + 6 – in virtue of which it may also stand for the number of the “Beast,” and of the “Man.” This is, for the completion of the latter in his proper Divine image by the conquest of the former; man being fully man only when he has subdued his animal, and developed his spiritual, nature. As this is a result which, as shown in the Mosaic (and Hermetic) parable of the Creation, occurs only through the development and manifestation in him of the “Woman” or soul, these numbers denote also the renovated exaltation of this essential element within him, and the consequent restoration from the “Fall,” and removal of the “curse of Eve.” The number 1881 therefore represents the conclusion of the six

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millenaries, or “week-days,” of man’s spiritual creation; when the soul, at length purified, and having her intuition restored, is fitted to become the “Bride of the Spirit,” and “mother” of the Man Regenerate, – a stage after which, as said in the Apocalypse, the Christ in him “comes quickly.”


            In relation to this number, and the degree in man’s spiritual development denoted by it, as well as to the harmony, or rather identity, subsisting between the Pyramid and the Bible, it is not a little significant that the age of Abram, when divinely called to “Be perfect,” was 99, which, multiplied by 19, the key number of the astronomical period known as the Metonic cycle, gives 1881. (1)


            Coincident with the periods indicated in the Pyramid are certain conspicuous conjunctions of the planets. Of these one is calculated as occurring in Pisces, about B.C. 2580, or the time ascribed to the “Flood;” another at the Nativity of Christ; while the recent grand assembly of the planets in Taurus took place in the middle of 1881. The events specified are all of such first-rate importance, from the spiritual point of view, as to constitute precisely those which would receive the prominence assigned them in a fabric such as that of the Pyramid, constructed as it was by persons absorbed in things spiritual, and profoundly versed

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in the science of Correspondences. Their conceptions in these regards grew out of their recognition of an universal, inhering, conscious, living Substance, of which matter itself is but a mode, and of which all modes and individualisations whatsoever are but differentiations on the divers planes of its manifestation. That beliefs such as these should appear to the modern mind wholly preposterous is a fact which of itself both justifies the motive and fulfils the anticipation of the builders of the Pyramid. So densely over-materialised has that mind become, that it is unable to entertain a conception of an universe other than mechanical and chemical only.


            It is precisely to the same obscuration of faculty that is due the readiness with which students of mythology persuade themselves that in finding the key to the symbolism of the mysteries in the phenomena of the heavens, they have found all, and that the ancients themselves saw no further, but simply worshipped the sun itself as the Supreme Divinity. Whereas the sun was, at least for all initiates of the mysteries, but the symbol of the soul, at once universal and individual, “the brightness of the glory and express image of the person” of God; and the religious system constructed after the solar phenomena was really a mode of worshipping Deity as Pure Power and Essential Being, and

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therefore altogether spiritual. In order, however, to be able to appreciate the meaning and fitness of this system of symbology, it is necessary first to have comprehension of the being, nature, and ways of God and the soul. It is through their failure to attain to this knowledge that the would-be interpreters of the sacred mysteries of antiquity have failed so egregiously to find the master-key to them. “From without cometh no Divine revelation; but the secret of things is revealed from within.” For, “the kingdom of heaven is within.” Failing this, the interior light, we fail necessarily to discern the significance alike of the mysteries of religion and of the external world.


            The very fact of the recognition at this time of the significance of the Great Pyramid and its kindred mystical monuments of the far past, constitutes a proof that “the end is at hand” – nay, has already come – of the system of things in which blindness so profound could prevail. Only in anticipation of precisely such a restoration of spiritual vision as that now being manifested, could Isaiah, evidently referring to the Pyramid, have said, “In that day there shall be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord God of Hosts.” (1)


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            Now, the land of Egypt is a triangle or delta, having for base a segment of a circle which radiates from the apex of the triangle. And as the Great Pyramid stands at this apex or centre, its site is at once “in the midst and at the border thereof.”


            While the prophecies of the Great Pyramid, or stone Bible, would thus appear to have been based upon the periods of the planets, and to indicate the precise termination of the old and inauguration of the new dispensation or era, the prophecies of the Scriptures, or written Bible, which point to 1878 as the closing year of prophetic time, would appear to be based upon the astronomical periods known as soli-lunar cycles. Such is the result of a rigorous investigation of the “days,” “weeks,” “months,” “years,” “millenaries,” and other prophetic periods of Scripture; and notably of the 1260 and 2300 years of Daniel and the Apocalypse, as set forth in Mr. Guinness’s well-known book, The Approaching End of the Age, published in 1877.


            The soli-lunar cycles are periods which harmonise different revolutions of the sun and moon by containing a certain definite number of each without fraction or remainder; and the prophetic periods just enumerated are, the author maintains, now proved to be natural astronomical

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cycles of singular accuracy and beauty, which were unknown to the moderns until the middle of the last century, when they were discovered anew by a Swiss astronomer, M. de Cheseaux, who found them by means of the prophecies themselves.


            Mr. Guinness gives an elaborate, yet clear and concise, account, with illustrative tables and diagrams, of these cycles, and their application to the solution of this great problem. And he shows, as it seems conclusively, that 1878 was to be the termination of the record – when prophetic “time shall be no more” – and the eve of that seventh millennial “day” which is to witness the accomplishment of man’s spiritual evolution for the current “week” of his creation; the entire period being that of which the beginning was the culmination of the Edenic Church, or first attainment by humanity to the perfectionment of the Hermetic mysteries.


            The cycles in question are of four kinds, harmonising respectively, 1, the solar day and year; 2, the solar year and lunar month; 3, the solar day and lunar month; and, 4, the day, month, and year. Three hundred and fifteen is a cycle of the second kind, and is one-fourth of the 1260 years of Daniel and the Apocalypse, showing this to be a soli-lunar cycle. Of this great cycle the smallest integer,

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or “day,” is thirty-three years, seven months, seven days (the sun in this time gaining on the moon one solar year). It is the period computed to be that of the life of Christ. The “month” is 1007 years 7 months (the actual periods not being absolutely exact); and the “year” is seven of these “months” or millenaries.


            The historical coincidences adduced by Mr. Guinness in support of his view are no less striking than the astronomical, even where we may consider that he has not reached the full measure of the application of the predictions, but has rested content with significations which are local and accidental, instead of seeking on to the universal and essential. Otherwise, rather than manifest what cannot but be regarded as a sectarian bias, by finding the ultimate expression of “Antichrist,” “the Man of Sin,” and “that Wicked One,” in the Pope and the Papacy, he would have traced it to the materialistic and idolatrous tendency which has everywhere so fatally affected both Church and world; and to the humanity at large, which, ignoring God and the soul, has built itself up after an image the very reverse of Divine. Similarly, instead of recognising the “false prophet” in Islamism only, he would have discerned him in the tendency, everywhere operative, which leads man to substitute the lower, or – to use a term derived from occult

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Science – astral, elements in the human system, as the regulators of faith and practice, for those higher elements, the soul and spirit, which, being celestial, alone are the true guides.


            It is, nevertheless, the fact that the time foretold for the consummation of these spiritual revolutions has witnessed their partial corresponding phenomenal manifestations, in the loss, first, by the Papacy of its temporal power, and secondly, by the Ottoman Empire of its independence. These, and other like events, have at least served as indexes to the true interpretation of the prophetic periods.




(27:1) See Appendix, Note 3.

(29:1) For the full significance of this position, see “Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid,” Plate XX, by Professor Piazzi Smyth.

(33:1) See Appendix, Note 4.

(35:1) Is. XIX, 19, 20. See also The Perfect Way, Lecture VIII, Part 4.



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