Out of This World, 9-11


9. (pp. 154-87) "Seven Palaces and the Chariot of God".

p. 159 [Abyssinian] 1st H.no^k 14

heavenly mansion

is composed of __

and is __



"surrounded by flames of fire"



containing "the throne of God"

p. 160 [Slavonic] 2nd H.no^k


its denizens


"meteorological angels, responsible for weather"


"the sun and the moon"


"seven armies of angels"


"fallen angels"


"the righteous"


"the watchers"


"God’s court"

p. 161 (one of the Testaments of the 12 Patriarchs) Testament of Lewi^ 3:4


its denizens


"the wicked"


"meteorological phenomena"


"powers of the hosts"


"thrones and authorities"


"messenger angels"


"ministering angels"


"the Great Glory in the holy of holies"

p. 162 3rd Baruk (Hellenic Apocalypse of Baruch)


is abode of __


"builders of the Tower of Babel in the monstrous form of hybrid animals."


"those who commissioned the tower to be built have feet of stags and the appearance of dogs."


"a serpent (ophis) or a dragon (drakon), whose belly is Hades and who grinds the bodies of the wicked"


"the righteous ... in the shape of birds."


"the fiery chariot of the sun, led by a crowned man and borne by forty angels ... preceded by a phoenix with fiery wings ... (6:3)."


"the chariot of the moon ..., drawn by bull-shaped angels and containing the moon as a woman surrounded by lamblike angels (9:4)."


"a pool containing heavenly dew and "unearthly birds" beside it (10:2)."


"365 gates and the archangel Michael ..., descending with a clash of thunder, a vessel in his hand containing the merits of the righteous ... in the shape of baskets of flowers".

p. 183 the 4 spiritual universes


its contents


10 spiro^t


7 he^kalo^t & merkabah


angelic hosts


visible world


10. (pp. 188-211) "Interplanetary Tours".

p. 201 elements ruled over by the 5 planets (according to Kephalaia 69)


its element











p. 205 the sun is visible at night, during a return-journey from the realm of Persephone

[translated from Apuleius of Madaura : The Golden Ass 11.23] "I crossed the border of death and, moving beyond the threshold of Proserpina, I came back, carried through the elements; I saw, in the middle of the night, the bright sun full of light;

{It is a commonplace belief, worldwide, that the sun is visible to the dead while it is night in the realm of the living.}

I came before the inferior and the superior gods and I worshiped them from close-by."

pp. 205-6 descent of souls, via a ladder, from the sphaire of the fixed stars to the sun

p. 205

[translated from Origenes : Against Celsus 6.22] "in order to descend from heaven to earth and to ascend from earth to heaven, the souls pass across the planets ... in mysteries of Mithra. They have a symbol that represents ...

p. 206

the journey of the soul across the heavenly bodies ... is a tall ladder with seven gates (heptapylos) and an eighth gate above the others. {The 7 "gates" on the ladder must have been installed between 8 rungs.} ... This disposition of the planets ... follows certain musical relations."

p. 207 Mithraic attributions of planetary tutelage to the 7 grades of initiation

























pp. 207-8 praecipice & threshhold

p. 207

The "Chaldaean Oracles ... advise the soul no to look down into {a chasm, ravine (praesumably Tartaros), from atop} a praecipice (praesumbaly the earth?), which

p. 208

would attract it "far away from the threshold (bathmidos) with seven roads (heptaporos)." [Fragment 164, in OCh, p. 106)] The eleventh-century Byzantine Platonist Michael Psellus thus explains ... : "The threshold with seven roads represents the planetary spheres. Thus, when the soul swings down from above (neuasa goun anothen) toward the earth, it is carried onto the earth across these seven spheres." [OCh, p. 169] ... elsewhere in the Chaldaean Oracles ... ascent occurs ... after death. Knowledge of watchwords to tell the heavenly guardians is as important as the help of the sun, whose beams allow the initiate to climb to heaven." [EE, p. 129]

OCh = Edouard des Places : Oracles chaldai:ques, avec un choix de commentaires anciens. Paris : Belles Lettres, 1971.

pp. 208-11 vestures of the soul; vehicle of the soul

p. 208

"Aristotle, ... starting from ... Plato (Laws, 898c), invented a wrapping for the soul, made of astral fire, that would allow the soul to enter the body (On the Generation of Animals, 736b). ...

Plotinus knows of the doctrine of the subtle body (leptoteron soma), but does not yet adopt the word "vehicle" ..., nor does his disciple Porphyry. It is designated as such only after Iamblichus".

p. 209

[quoted from Proclus (transl. by E. R. Dodds) : Elements of Theology. Oxford : Clarendon, 1963. p. 182] "The vehicle of every particular soul descends by the addition of vestures (chitones) increasingly material; and ascends in company with the soul through divestment of all that is material and recovery of its proper form".


"Thus the Platonic space shuttle, meant to carry the soul to the earth from its heavenly dwelling and from the earth back to its origin, was continually perfected. ... Thanks to Macrobius, who wrote in Latin, it was never completely forgotten ... . And it became once more extremely influential in the Italian Renaissance."


"Aristotle’s "first instrument" (proton organon) is made of spirit (pneuma) or stellar fire, and the soul uses it in its communication ... . ... It has the role of collecting all messages ... . There in the heart these messages are translated into a language accessible to the intellect present in the soul, that is, into images (phantasmata). For the soul "cannot understand without the help of images"".

p. 210

According to "the Platonist Synesius of Cyrene (at the end of the fourth century) in his tractate On Dreams, ... "the "internal sense" is thus ... more saintly than others, for it is because of it that we can communicate with the gods"".


According to Marsilio Ficino, "Souls descend from the Milky Way through the constellation of Cancer, wrapping themselves in a celestial and

"The passage derives from Macrobius ..., although Ficino makes some changes (... he introduces the "planetary demons" ...)."

p. 211

luminous veil which they put on to enter terrestrial bodies. For nature demands that the very pure soul be united with the impure body only through the intermediary ... which, being less pure than the soul and purer than the body, is considered by the Platonists to be a very convenient means of uniting the soul with the terrestrial body. ... The same function is performed by the seven categories of demons, intermediaries between the heavenly gods and humans."


__ daimones




"gift of contemplation"



"power of government and empire"



"fosters the soul’s courage"



"makes divination possible"



"incites Love"



"capacity for interpretations"



"increases procreation"


11. (pp. 212-31) "Apogee of Otherworldly Journeys".

pp. 212-3 the Apocalypse of Paul ["originally composed in Greek in the third century C.E."]

p. 212

"the account of Paul’s vision as having been written down by himself, hidden in a box together with his apostolic shoes, and buried under the foundation of his house at Tarsus. An angel reveals the presence of the relic to an "honorable man" who lives in the hose."

p. 213

"In the apocalypse, ... Everything – the sun, the moon, the sea – complains about human iniquity. An angel takes Paul and ... leads him to the first heaven, where evil and hideous angels are located; they are responsible for the evil that befalls humankind and for the tortures in Hell. ... These heavenly beings are ... with "teeth stuck forward in their mouths, and ...


eyes like the morning star of the east,"

{"I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Revelation of Ioannes the Divine 22:16)}


charged with electricity that sends forth sparks from their hair and out of their mouths. ...


When the soul of the departed goes through the lower region of heaven, the evil angels check it to see if their is any trace of the vice that each of them carries with him and represents. ... . ... when a vicious soul is intercepted by an evil angel, the guardian angel can do nothing for it. ...


The angelic guide leads Paul further to the third heaven, to the Mansions of the Just, where he meets Enoch and Elijah."

p. 214 Mechthild’s trip to heaven

"a woman mystic, the Be’guine Mechthild of Mageburg (ca. 1207-82), ... took trips to heaven on various occasions. According to her writings,

in the earthly Paradise

she met Enoch and Elijah,

in the first heaven

she found another paradise,

in the second heaven

she discovered the multistoried building where the angels abide, and

in the third heaven

she found God’s own palace and throne,

together with Christ bridal chamber ... . Mechthild herself was received and was met with a tender kiss that elevated her above the ten ranks of angels. Another time she entered "the bed of love" and was stripped by Christ of all "garments of fear and shame and all outward virtue." [HH, p. 100]

HH = Colleen McDannell & Bernhard Lang : Heaven : a History. New Haven : Yale U Pr, 1988.

p. 218 drying wet clothing on one’s body

"Drythelm ... performed penances worthy of a Houdini : he said his prayers in ice-cold water of a river, and

"when he came ashore, he never took off his cold and frozen garments until they grew warm and dry on his body."" [Psychanodia, p. 63]

{[TY&SD, p. 159, quoting WM&MT, pp. 227-9] "Sheets are dipped in the icy water. Each man wraps himself in one of them and must dry it on his body. As soon as the sheet has become dry, it is again dipped in the water and placed on the novice's body to be dried as before. The operation goes on in that way until daybreak."}

TY&SD = W. Y. Evans-Wentz : Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. Oxford U Pr, 1935. http://www.scribd.com/doc/35504018/Tibetan-Yoga-and-Secret-Doctrines

WM&MT : Alexandra David-Neel : With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet. London, 1931.

pp. 219-20 Buraq

p. 219

"the Prophet mounts his famous winged, human-faced female ass Bura^q and follows Jibri^l to various places".

p. 220

"in a Persian version compiled in 510 H./1116 C.E. ..., Bura^q is now male and is "a horse bigger than a donkey yet smaller than a camel. He has" :


the __

of a __

























pp. 224-5 Vision of Alberic of Monte Cassino

p. 224

"born in the castle of Settefrati, diocese of Sora, province of Caserta, ...

p. 225

The boy saw a dovelike bird insert its beak in his mouth and pull out something (the soul?) {more likely his propensity to sin} from his insides. Then the bird


seized his hair in its beak and raised him above the earth,

{"Just now my mother, the holy spirit, took me by one of my hairs and carried me to Tabor, the great mountain" {"gospel according to the Hebrews", quoted by Origenes : On John 2.12; On Jeremiah, homily 15.4 – "GH--O"}


showing him ... the joys of paradise." [vide Psychanodia, p. 61]

"GH--O" = "The gospel according to the Hebrews" – "Origen" http://www.textexcavation.com/gospelhebrews.html#origen


I. P. Couliano : Out of This World : Otherworldly Journeys. Shambhala : Boston, 1991.