Somnium Scipionis & The Spheres

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Important Notice(s): This article is not about the story of ‘Somnium Scipionis’ but rather about certain discoveries, hinted by others, which is correlative to the tradition of the Order of Nine Angles. I urge any serious occultist to go read this text as it is written with such numinous beauty that it makes the soul shiver. Along with Oedipus Rex, I have never read such an accurate testimony of the folly of men and their addiction to hubris and causal glory.

One can only appreciate the scholarly diverse and truly occult foundations of the Order of Nine Angles. For it is such subtle and scholarly differences/additions that distinguish this tradition from the now mainstream and affordable Satanism. I hesitated to publish this article, as I felt that I (once again) contributed to make it so easy, so affordable for unknown others to unlock certain answers without the necessary theoretical efforts, the intellectual struggle. It is out of sheer passion for these continuous research and the hope of further discoveries brought forward by known or unknown students of the way that I kneeled and decided to give in to the desire of sharing. Such it is, in the optimistic perspective that ‘Lapis Philosophicus’ is an ever-growing/renewed concept…

Recently, the following question was asked and rightly so:

“Explain why there are two classical esoteric modes – rather than one – associated with the septenary planet named Sol, and does this have anything to do with the Somnium Scipionis?”

‘Somnium Scipionis’ or ‘The Dream of Scipio’, written by Cicero between 54 and 51 BC and part of his great work ‘De Re Publica’ was only translated much later during the medieval era. I will abstain from talking about the story but will instead share certain passages that echoes to an ancestral paganus and perceiveration of the κόσμος that is now forgotten or neglected:

“How long wilt thy mind remain rivetted to the Earth? Dost thou not behold into how glorious a Temple thou art come? Now know that the Universe consists of nine circles or rather Spheres, all connected together, one of which is celestial and the furthest off, and governing the others. In this sphere are traced the eternal revolutions of the Stars and to it are subject the seven spheres which revolve backwards with a contrary motion to that of the Celestial Sphere. the first (of these Seven) Spheres is occupied by the Star which on Earth is called Saturn. Next comes the sphere of that splendid Star, salutary and fortunate to the human race, called Jupiter. then comes
the Red Sphere, terrible to the Earth, which you call Mars. Following beneath these spheres, and in almost the middle region, is placed the Sun, the Leader, Chief and Governor of the other Lights, the mind of the World and the organizing principle,—of such wondrous magnitude that it illuminates and impregnates every part of the Universe with its Light. The Spheres of Venus and Mercury in their respective courses follow the Sun as companions. In the lowest Sphere the Moon revolves illumined by the rays of the Sun. Below this in truth nothing exists which is not subject to death and decay, save indeed the Souls, which by the gift of the Gods are bestowed upon the human race. Above the moon all things are eternal, but the sphere of the Earth, which occupies a middle place and comes ninth  does not move: it is the lowest and to it all ponderable bodies are born by their own gravity. ”

Astute readers will not only notice the attribution of ‘Nine Spheres’ but also the similarities between this explication and the one given by John Dee in his theorems. The functionality of the ‘heaven’ being primarily dependent on the sovereignty of the sun. Unfortunately, here the moon is a lesser sphere while in the theorems, it holds much more importance and so does it in the tradition because of its muliebral attributes. Considering how the sun is the ‘Leader’, the ‘Governor of the other Lights’, the ‘mind of the World’ and the ‘organizing principle’, it is no wonder he is located in the middle region but lets proceed, this is where it gets really interesting:

When I had recovered from my amazement at the sight of these things, “What,” said I, “is this sweet and wondrous melody which fi lls my ears?”

“This,” said he, “is that harmony, which, aff ected by the mingling of unequal intervals, yet notwithstanding in harmonious proportions and with reason so separated, is due to the impulse and movement of the spheres themselves; the light with the heavier tones combined,— the various sounds uniformly going to make up one grand symphony. For, not with silence, can such motions be urged forward, and Nature leads us to the conclusion that the extremes give forth a low note at the one end and a high note at the other. Thus the celestial sphere, whose motion in its starlight course is more rapid, gives forth a sharp and rousing sound: the gravest tone being that of the lunar sphere, which is lowest; but the Earth, the ninth sphere, remains immovable, always fi xed in the lowest seat encompassing the middle place of the Universe. Moreover, the motions of those eight spheres which are above the earth, and of which the force of two is the same, cause seven sounds supported by regular intervals; which number is the connecting principle of almost all things. Learned men, having imitated this divine mystery with stringed instruments and vocal harmonies, have won for themselves a return to this place, just as others, who, endowed with superior wisdom, have cultivated the divine sciences even in human life.“Now to this melody the stopped ears of men have become deaf; * nor is there any duller sense in you.

* This is a statement of the Pythagorean doctrine of the “Music of the Spheres,”
so frequently referred to in occult works. In this consideration refer to the first chapters of the Timæus of Plato.

If you refer yourself to the ‘Timaeus of Plato’ (114, 36D) you will discover the following passage:

“In the parallel passage of the Republic, 6160 617 c, it is not said that any of the planets have a contrary motion, though it is stated that Venus, Mercury and the Sun complete their orbits in the same period. The harmonic numbers of the Timaeus seem to be represented by the eight Sirens, who stood on the (Greek word), each singing one tone. In the Republic there are eight spheres, because the fixed stars are included, which here are assigned to the circle of the Same.”

Next stop, as stated, is the ‘Republic’ (p.480, IDPH):

“The spindle turns on the knees of Necessity; and on the upper surface of each circle is a siren, who goes round with them, hymning a single tone or note. The eight together form one harmony; and round about, at equal intervals, there is another band, three in number, each sitting upon her throne: these are the Fates, daughters of Necessity, who are clothed in white robes and have chaplets upon their heads, Lachesis and Clotho and Atropos, who accompany with their voices the harmony of the sirens–Lachesis singing of the past, Clotho of the present, Atropos of the future; Clotho from time to time assisting with a touch of her right hand the revolution of the outer circle of the whorl or spindle, and Atropos with her left hand touching and guiding the inner ones, and Lachesis laying hold of either in turn, first with one hand and then with the other”

Here is a very valid and scholarly conclusion concerning this passage of the ‘Republic’:

“According to this model, the sun is located at the midpoint of a seven-note scale of revolving bodies; the whole thing is contained within an outer starry sphere that sets the limits of the universe. In his Republic, written some thirty years before the Timaeus, Plato had used striking imagery rather than mathematical relationships to describe his harmonic universe of planetary spheres: “And on the upper surface of each circle is a siren, who goes round with them, hymning a single tone or note. Together they form the concord of a single harmony [musical scale]” (“The Myth of Er,” Republic 617B, pp. 502–505). -Author unknown

Such single harmony would most definitively be related to the Ancient Greek interpretation of the Mixolydian mode rather than the modern one:

“The idea of a Mixolydian mode comes from the music theory of ancient Greece. The invention of the ancient Greek Mixolydian mode was attributed to Sappho, the 7th century B.C. poet and musician. However, what the ancient Greeks thought of as Mixolydian was very different from the modern interpretation of the mode.

In Greek theory, the Mixolydian tonos (the term “mode” is a later Latin term) employs a scale (or “octave species”) corresponding to the Greek Hypolydian mode inverted: in its diatonic genus, this is a scale descending from paramese to hypate hypaton: in the diatonic genus, a whole tone (paramese to mese) followed by two conjunct inverted Lydiantetrachords (each being two whole tones followed by a semitone descending). This diatonic genus of the scale is roughly the equivalent of playing all the “white notes” of a piano from B to B, or B | A G F E | (E) D C B, which is also known as modern Locrian mode. (In the chromatic and enharmonic genera, each tetrachord consists of a minor third plus two semitones, and a major third plus two quarter-tones, respectively).” -Wikipedia

The two conjunct inverted tones are definitively the harmonic union of the Sirens and the spheres rotation. The sirens unite in one tone and the spheres sings ‘out of necessity’ the opposite tonality. At the center of this harmony is Sol, king above all other spheres, holding the harmony. If you look at my table of spheres correspondences (revised), you will notice that the two modes for the sun spheres are; VII & VIII respectively which is Mixolydian and Hypolydian and use the scale of ‘Sol-Sol’.

Read again:

“Moreover, the motions of those eight spheres which are above the earth, and of which the force of two is the same, cause seven sounds supported by regular intervals; which number is the connecting principle of almost all things. Learned men, having imitated this divine mystery with stringed instruments and vocal harmonies, have won for themselves a return to this place, just as others, who, endowed with superior wisdom, have cultivated the divine sciences even in human life.”

Surely, you have to appreciate the implementation of the genuinely esoteric ‘Alchemical Spheres’ in the tradition of the Order of Nine Angles. You have to appreciate the diverse occult influences of the tradition which is present in ancestral texts such as this one but also from a plethora of others, so frequently ignored. You have to appreciate the obvious importance given to the numinous and ancestral practice of chanting and how it is not only an act of sinister sorcery but also sinister mimesis. You have to appreciate the unmissable counsels in regard to the logical axiom of the acausal and the unity of the κόσμος. And finally, you have to entertain the appreciation that Lachesis, Clotho and Atropos, the Three ‘Moirai’ or the Three ‘Fates’ could be another representation of Hecate (the tripartite queen) or the ‘Tria Prima’ which is acting upon everything ‘wyrdfuly’. Such possibilities could well explain or intimate why the Order of Nine Angles tradition is so adamant when it comes to the tripartite nature of its mythos…

Here is a very revealing statement from Naos that I would like to conclude on:

« Sometimes, the Abyss invades our dreams, but mostly the Abyss is reached by following the sevenfold way. It lies between the spheres of the Sun and Mars, and divides the Adept from the Master/Mistress. It is the Gate to the gods within us and the gods without. »

Such are my humble conclusions when it comes to the ‘Somnium Scipionis’ and the Modes question. Another article shall be written as soon as possible about certain splendid passages concerning hubris in ‘The Dream of Scipio’…

These challenging and hidden questions are not created to look fancy. As with anything pertaining to the Order of Nine Angles you have to work but in the end, you reap the rewards.


-Beldam, 128 yf


3 thoughts on “Somnium Scipionis & The Spheres

  1. Not only does light go out from the sun into the whole world, as from the focus or eye of
    the world, as life and heat from the heart, as every moment from the King and mover, but
    conversely also by royal law these returns, so to speak, of every lovely harmony are
    collected in the sun from every providence in the world, nay, the forms of movements by
    twos flow together and are bound into one harmony by the work of some mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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