Posted on Monday, 4 January, 2010 | 0 comments
Columnist: Patrick Bernauw
There are far more "apocalyptic visions" than the ones that now seem extremely fashionable, featuring Nostradamus or the Mayan Calendar. And they don't speak about 2012. These Doomsday Prophecies mostly regenerate very ancient symbols of religion, myth and magic… And the stories concerning the End of the World are often linked with a Creation Myth... and the birth of a New World Order.
The Creation Myth at the beginning of every mythic circle often includes a tale of destruction: the Old World has to be destroyed and rebuilt into a New World. Hindu mythology, for instance, shows us vast cycles of birth and death for the universe, calculates many world-ages and defines the powers of destruction and creation extensively. In Greek mythology we encounter the destruction theme in the never ending war between the Titans and the Olympians, in Norse mythology between the primal Ice and Fire giants.
The apocalyptic content of Christianity derives from older Jewish texts such as the Book of Enoch, and so you can see in the Book of Revelation a truly ancient lore breaking through into the new religion. The destructive imagery starts with water (the Flood) and promises fire for the end of the current world order. Each world age indeed has to end through the agency of one particular Element. Prophetic visions see these Elements as transcendent powers or aspects of the ultimate Being.
Enoch, one of the greatest Hebrew prophets, is said to have vanished corporeally: he walked with God "and was not". This mystical tradition, asserted in Kabbalistic teachings, has even found his way in medieval Grail lore, stating that the once human prophet Enoch had become the great Archangel next to the Throne of God.
The imagery in prophecy is chaotic; it is derived from mythic symbols and the heightened consciousness of the seer. The meaning of the prophecy is often hidden deliberately in obscure terminology, requiring a specific initiation. A fine example of all this is a text written by Nostradamus, not so famous as his centuries but far more fascinating: The Epistle to Henry II of France
. Descriptions of transcendent states, worlds, dimensions and entities are passed on to aid the student.
Thus the thirteenth-century vision of Thomas Rhymer, preserving an ancient Celtic mythology, guides the listener or trained seer through the realms of the Underworld and the Fairy People. It is both the vision and the journey that Thomas experienced, and a map by which his followers will be guided.
All prophetic visions draw upon a core tradition of imagery and guided journeys through the Otherworld: we find them with Nostradamus (predicting the End of the World in 3797)
as well as in the Mayan Calendar
; we find them in medieval literature such as the Merlin and Grail texts as well as in classical and Semitic mythology. There are parallels to be observed, worldwide, in every culture, religion or country. Just as Creation begins beyond and before the stars in the chaotic void, so is the Apocalypse of a stellar nature, and not limited to the purging or redemption of the planet Earth or the human world.
Set in the middle of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain is an enigmatic text, quite different in content and style from the rest of the book, and consisting of two volumes: The Prophecies of Merlin. The first volume reiterates many of the events found in the main historical text, but then flashes forward to describe Britain's future history, with some fascinating predictions for the present era
. The second volume deals also with the future of Britain, but diggs deeper into metaphysical matters to depict the End of the World – a result of a collapse of the solar system.
Copyright by Patrick Bernauw - SuperNatural ParaNormalitiesArticle Copyright© Patrick Bernauw - reproduced with permission.