The Chaldean Oracles
Rearranged, with English text only.
Translation by Thomas Taylor
Here the Chaldean Oracles—compiled and translated by Thomas Taylor—have been arranged with the hope of demonstrating the essence of the Chaldean system, both theoretic and practical. We begin with an invocation, then outline the objective or goal prescribed by the Chaldeans. From here the arrangement is generally given from universals to particulars, based on the outline provided in Psellus’s “Concise Exposition of Chaldaic Dogma,” which Taylor followed closely in his own arrangement. Following these oracles, which directly relate to the procession from the One Principle (or Fire), we have arranged those that deal directly with the returning direction—the ascent of the soul. We close with a collection of remaining miscellanious oracles, including Taylor’s “oracles of uncertain or imperfect meaning.”
Portions of some of Taylor’s notes have been included within the oracles—in square brackets—where they may aid in elucidating their meaning.
O man, thou subtle production [the work of the secret art of divinity], that art of a bold nature! [exploring things more excellent than yourself].
There is a certain intelligible [immediately subsisting after the highest God] which it becomes you to understand with the flower of intellect.
Learn the intelligible, for it subsists beyond intellect.
The intelligible is food to that which understands.
Eagerly urging itself towards the center of resounding light.
Every intellect understands deity.
For intellect is not without the intelligible; it does not subsist separate from it.
[Thus] You will not apprehend it by an intellectual energy, as when understanding some particular thing, [but by the flower of intellect, the unity of the soul].
[For] It is not proper to understand that intelligible with vehemence, but with the extended flame of an extended intellect: a flame which measures all things, except that intelligible. But it is requisite to understand this. For if you incline your mind, you will understand it, though not vehemently. It becomes you, therefore, bringing with you the pure convertible eye of your soul, to extend the void intellect to the intelligible, that you may learn its nature, because it has a subsistence above intellect.
[Thus] He who knows himself, knows all things in himself, as Zoroaster first asserted, and afterwards Plato in the first Alcibiades.
ON THE PROCESSION FROM THE ONE
All things are the progeny of one fire [i.e. one divine nature].
Nothing imperfect proceeds, according to a circular energy, from a paternal principle, [for divinity is self-perfect; and the imperfect cannot proceed from the perfect].
The number 9 is divine, receiving its completion from three triads, and preserving the summits of theology according to the Chaldaic philosophy, as Porphyry informs us.
THE INTELLIGIBLE ORDER
The monad is there [at the summit of the intelligible order] first where the paternal monad subsists.
The Production of the Middle
The monad is extended, which generates two.
Eternity, which Characterizes the Middle
Father-begotten light. For this alone, by plucking abundantly from the strength of the Father, the flower of intellect, is enabled, by intellection, to impart a paternal intellect to all the fountains and principles; together with intellectual energy, and a perpetual permanency, according to an unsluggish revolution.
For eternity, according to the oracle, is the cause of never-failing life, of unwearied power, and of unsluggish energy.
Thence a fiery whirlwind sweeping along, obscures the flower of fire, leaping, at the same time, into the cavities of the worlds. For all things thence begin to extend their admirable rays downwards.
Nor has it proceeded, but it abides in the paternal profundity, and in the adytum, according to the divinely-nourished silence.
It is the boundary of the paternal profundity, and the fountain of intellectual natures.
It is the operator, and the giver of life-bearing fire. It fills the vivific bosom of Hecate, and pours on the Synoches the fertile strength of a fire endued with mighty power.
[Love], who first leaped forth from intellect, clothing fire bound together with fire, that he might govern the fiery cratera, restraining the flower of his own fire.
Faith, Truth, and Love
All things are governed and subsist in these three.
You may conceive that all things act as servants to these three principles.
The Intelligible Order in General
The intelligible order is the principle of all section.
[And again] This order is the principle of all section.
The oracles show, that the orders prior to Heaven are ineffable, and add, “They possess mystic silence.”
The oracle calls the intelligible causes “Swift,” and asserts, “That proceeding from the Father, they run to him.”
All things subsist together in the intelligible world.
Hyparxis, Power, and Energy
What the Pythagoreans intended to signify by monad, duad, and triad—or Plato, by bound, infinite, and that which is mixed from both—or, we, in the former part of this work, by one, the many, and the united, that the oracles of the gods signify by hyparxis [the summit of the nature of any being], power, and intellect.
Power and Intellect
Power is with them (father and intellect) but intellect is from him (the father).
In every world a triad shines forth, of which a monad is the principle.
The triad measures and bounds all things.
All things are governed [by the father] in the bosoms of the [intelligible] triad.
The father mingled every spirit from this triad.
THE INTELLIGIBLE, AND, AT THE SAME TIME, INTELLECTUAL ORDER
Those natures are both intellectual and intelligible, which, possessing themselves intellection, are the objects of intelligence to others.
The Iynges (the Summit)
The intelligible Iynges possess intellection themselves from the Father, so far as they energize intellectually, being moved by ineffable councils.
These being many, ascend leaping into the shining worlds; and they contain three summits.
The Defensive Triad
(which Subsists with the Iynges)
They [the defensive triad] are the guardians of the works of the Father, and of one intelligible Intellect.
The Empyrean Synoches
All things yield ministrant to the intellectual presters of intellectual fire, through the persuasive will of the Father.
The Material Synoches
But likewise such as serve the material Synoches.
The Synoches in General
He gave them to guard the summits with their presters, mingling the proper force of his strength in the Synoches.
Connectedly containing all things in the one summit of his hyparxis, according to the oracle, he himself [i.e. the first of the Synoches] subsists wholly beyond.
The oracles call the angular junctions of figures Synocheidæ, so far as they contain an image of synochean unions, and of divine conjunctions, according to which, they connect together things separated from each other.
The Teletarchæ are comprehended together with the Synoches.
These fabricate indivisible and sensible natures, together with such as are endued with corporeal form, and are distributed into matter.
THE INTELLECTUAL ORDER
The Fontal Fathers
In a certain respect the world possesses intellectual inflexible [stable] sustainers [i.e. the fontal fathers, or intellectual gods].
Saturn (the summit)
The father [Saturn] has hastily withdrawn himself, [is thus perfectly separated from all connection with matter], but has not shut up his proper fire, in his own intellectual power [but imparts his divinity to inferior natures].
The fire which is the first beyond, did not shut up his power in matter, nor in works, but in intellect. For the artificer of the fiery world is an intellect of intellect.
And of that intellect which conducts the empyrean world.
From him leap forth the implacable thunders, and the prester-capacious bosoms of the all-splendid strength of the father-begotten Hecate, together with the environed flower of fire, and the strong spirit which is beyond the fiery poles.
In the oracles it is said, that Saturn, who is the first fountain of the Amilicti, comprehends and rides on all the rest. “The intellect of the Father, riding on attenuated rulers, they become refulgent with the furrows of inflexible and implacable fire.”
The father did not hurl forth fear, but infused persuasion [as divinity is not of a tyrannical nature, he draws every thing to himself by persuasion, and not by fear].
The Father [Saturn] perfected all things, and delivered them to the second intellect [Jupiter], which the nations of men call the first.
The vivific fountain of souls is comprehended under two intellects.
Immense Nature is suspended about the shoulders of the goddess.
The centre of Hecate is carried in the middle of the fathers.
In the left-hand inward parts of Hecate, [the centre of the intellectual gods], is the fountain of virtue, which wholly abides within, and does not emit its virginal nature.
Her hairs appear similar to rays of light ending in a sharp point.
Rhea is the fountain and river of the blessed intellectual gods. For first receiving the powers of all things in her ineffable bosoms, she pours running generation into every thing.
Jupiter (the Artificer of the Universe)
The Duad sits with this god [Jupiter], and glitters, with intellectual sections; together with the power of governing all things, and placing in order every thing which is not regularly disposed.
And the fountain of fountains, and the boundary of all fountains.
The intellect of the eternal Father governing all things by intellect, said [i.e. energized its perfected intellections] into three.
For the intellect of the Father said all things should be cut into three. His will assented, and immediately all things were cut.
Thence the generation of multifarious matter wholly leaps forth.
[The Demiurgus] having mingled the vital spark from two according substances, intellect and a divine spirit, he added, as the third, to these, pure and holy love, the venerable charioteer that binds all things together.
The paternal self-begotten intellect, understanding his works, disseminated in all things the bond of love, heavy with fire, that all things might remain loving for an infinite time; that the connected series of things might intellectually remain in all the light of the Father; and that the elements of the world might continue running in love.
The paternal intellect, who understands intelligibles, and adorns things ineffable, has disseminated symbols through the world.
The paternal intellect disseminated symbols through the world.
The paternal intellect disseminated symbols [of all the divine natures] in souls.
But the paternal intellect will not receive the will of the soul, till she has departed from oblivion, [till she has recovered her knowledge of the divine symbols, and sacred lessons, from which she is composed]; and has spoken the word, assuming the memory of her paternal sacred impression.
Through intellect he contains intelligibles, but he introduces sense to the worlds.
For he is the power of a strength every way lucid, and he glitters with intellectual sections.
The artificer who himself operating, fabricated the world.
A matrix containing all things.
He glitters with intellectual sections, but he has filled all things with love.
These things the Father understood, and the mortal nature became animated for him.
The theology of the Chaldeans attributes seven processions to this god. Hence he is called, in the oracles, seven-angled and seven-rayed.
The intellect of the Father [Jupiter] made a crashing noise [signifying the procession of ideas to the formation of the world], understanding, with unwearied counsel, omniform ideas. But with winged speed they leaped forth from one fountain: for both the counsel and the end were from the Father. In consequence too of being allotted an intellectual fire, they are divided into other intellectual forms: for the king previously placed in the multiform world, an intellectual incorruptible impression, the vestige of which hastening through the world, causes the world to appear invested with form, and replete with all-various ideas, of which there is one fountain. From this fountain other immense distributed ideas rush with a crashing noise, bursting forth about the bodies of the world, and are borne along its terrible bosoms, like swarms of bees. They turn themselves too on all sides, and nearly in all directions. They are intellectual conceptions from the paternal foundation, plucking abundantly the flower of the fire of sleepless time. But a self-perfect fountain pours forth primogenial ideas from the primary vigour of the Father.
The Unpolluted, or Guardian Intellectual Order
The union of the first father (Saturn) and the first of the unpolluted gods, is transcendent; and hence this stable god is called, by the gods, “silent, and is said to consent with intellect, and to be known by souls through intellect alone.”
And hence, Plato appears to me again to assert the same things which were AFTERWARDS asserted by the gods. For what they have denominated, furnished with every kind of armour, this he celebrates, by the being adorned with an all-perfect and complete armour. “For being furnished with every kind of armour, and being armed, he is similar to the goddess.”
An Oracle Addressed to the Intellectual Gods
Ye [intellectual gods] who understand the supermundane paternal profundity.
THE SUPERMUNDANE, LIBERATED ANDMUNDANE ORDERS, DOWN TO THE SENSIBLE WORLD
Fountains and Principles
All fountains and principles rapidly whirl round, and perpetually abide in an unsluggish revolution.
The Multitude of Rulers
The ruler of the immaterial worlds is subject to them.
Rulers who understand the intelligible works of the Father. These he spread like a veil over sensible works and bodies. They are standing transporters, whose employment consists in speaking to the Father and to matter; in producing apparent imitations of unapparent natures; and in inscribing things unapparent in the apparent fabrication of the world.
The employment of the assimilative order, is to elevate things posterior to itself to the intellectual demiurgic monad (Jupiter); just as it is the employment of another order, which has a transporting power, to elevate natures subordinate to itself to the intelligible monad. For as the gods say, “All things proceed from it, as far as to the matter, and again all things return to it.”
Another time which is fontal, and the leader of the empyrean world.
Theurgists assert, that Time is a god, and celebrate him as both older and younger, as a circulating and eternal god; as understanding the whole number of all the natures which are moved in the world; and, besides this, as eternal through his power, and of a spiral form.
The Fontal Soul
Abundantly animating light, fire, ether, and the worlds.
The speech of the soul of the universe,
respecting the fabrication of the world by Jupiter
I, soul, reside after the paternal cogitations, hot, and animating all things; for the Father of gods and men placed our intellect in soul, but soul he deposited in sluggish body.
Natural productions, and the Soul of the World
Natural productions consubsist in the intellectual light of the Father. For it is soul which has adorned the mighty heaven, and which adorns it in conjunction with the Father. But her horns are established on high.
Unwearied nature rules over the worlds and works, and draws downward, that heaven may run an eternal course; and that the other periods of the sun, moon, the seasons, night and day, may be accomplished.
And that the swift sun may as usual revolve round the centre.
You should not look upon Nature, for her name is fatal. [For Fate is the full perfection of those divine illuminations which are received by Nature.]
The Light Above the Empyrean World
In this light [above the empyrean world], things without figure become figured.
It [the universe] is an imitation of intellect, but that which is fabricated possesses something of body.
Bacchus (the Summit of the Mundane Order)
Dionysus, or Bacchus, was called by the Chaldeans Iao (instead of intelligible light) in the Phœnician tongue, and that he is frequently called Sabaoth, such as he who is above the seven poles, i.e. the Demiurgus.
The Composition of the World
from the Four Elements, by the Demiurgus
He [the Demiurgus] made the whole world from fire, water, earth, and all-nourishing air.
The artificer who, self-operating, fabricated the world. And there was also another mass of fire. All these he produced, self-operating, that the mundane body might be conglobed, that the world might become manifest, and that it might not appear membranous.
The Seven Firmaments, the Heavens,
the Heavenly Bodies, Ether, Air, Earth, and Water
The most celebrated of the Babylonians, together with Ostanes and Zoroaster, very properly call the starry spheres herds; whether, because these alone among corporeal magnitudes, are perfectly carried about a centre, or in conformity to the oracles, because they are considered by them as in a certain respect the bonds and collectors of physical reasons, which they likewise call in their sacred discourses herds, and by the insertion of a gamma, angels. Hence, in a similar manner, they denominate the stars and dæmons which rule over each of these herds (or starry spheres) angels and archangels: and these are seven in number.
The Father gave bulk to the seven firmaments of the worlds, and inclosed the heavens in a convex figure.
He established the numerous multitude of inerratic stars, not by a laborious and evil tension, but with a stability void of a wandering motion; for this purpose compelling fire to fire.
He made the planets six in number, and for the seventh, he hurled into the midst the fire of the sun.
He suspended the disordered motion of the planets in orderly disposed zones.
The ethereal course, and the immense impetus of the moon, and the aerial streams.
O æther, sun, spirit of the moon, and ye leaders of the air.
Of the solar circles, the lunar rattlings, and the aerial bosoms. The portion of æther, of the sun, of the rivers, of the moon, and of the air.
The broad air, the lunar course, and the pole of the sun.
The sun is a fire, which is the channel of fire; and it is the dispensator of fire.
He constituted the heptad of wandering animals.
Placing earth in the middle, but water in the bosoms of the earth, and air above these.
The oracles assert, that the impressions of characters, and of other divine visions, appear in æther.
The most mystic of discourses inform us, that the wholeness of the sun is in the supermundane order. For there a solar world and a total light subsist, as the oracles of the Chaldæans affirm.
The more true sun measures all things together with time, being “truly a time of time,” according to the oracle of the gods respecting it.
The orb of the sun revolves in the starless, much above the inerratic sphere. Hence, he is not the middle of the planets, but of the three worlds, according to the telestic hypotheses.
The Middle of the Five Mundane Centres
And another fifth middle fiery centre, where a life-bearing fire descends as far as the material channels.
The Summit of the Earth
The æthers of the elements, agreeably to the oracles, are there.
We learn that matter pervades through the whole world, as the gods also assert.
Evil, according to the oracle, is more debile than non-entity.
The Aquatic Gods, Dæmons, Nymphs, etc.
The aquatic, when applied to divine natures, signifies a government inseparable from water; and hence, the oracle calls the aquatic gods water-walkers.
Moisture is a symbol of life; and hence both Plato, and prior to Plato, the gods call the soul, at one time, a drop from the whole of vivification; and, at another time, a certain fountain of it.
There are certain aquatic dæmons, called by Orpheus, Nereides, in the more elevated exhalations of water, such as reside in this cloudy air, whose bodies, according to Zoroaster, are sometimes seen by more acute eyes, especially in Persia and Africa.
Fontal nymphs, all aquatic spirits, and monthly terrestrial, aerial, and splendid bosoms, who ride on all matter, viz. the celestial and starry [primogenial] matter, and that which belongs to the abysses.
Typhon, Echidna, and Python
Typhon, Echidna, and Python, being the progeny of Tartarus, and Earth, which is conjoined with Heaven, form, as it were, a certain Chaldaic triad, which is the inspective guardian of the whole of a disordered fabrication.
Irrational dæmons derive their subsistence from the aerial rulers, and hence, the oracle says, “Being the charioteer of the aërial, terrestrial, and aquatic dogs.”
The wild beasts [terrestrial dæmons] of the earth shall inhabit thy vessel [i.e. the soul which is replete with irrational affections].
Nature persuades us, that there are holy dæmons, and that the blossoms of depraved matter [i.e. evil dæmons] are useful and good.
From the bosom therefore of the earth terrestrial dogs [material dæmons] leap forth, who never exhibit a true sign to mortal man.
It is not proper that you should behold them, till your body is purified by initiation: for these dæmons alluring souls always draw them away from mystic ceremonies.
When you behold the terrestrial dæmon approaching [full of deceit and remote from divine knowledge], vociferate and sacrifice the stone Mnizurim, [which has the power of causing another greater dæmon to appear, who, approaching invisible to the material dæmon, will give a true answer to the proposed question].
There is a venerable name with a sleepless revolution, leaping into the worlds, through the rapid reproofs of the Father.
You should never change barbarous names.
[For] There are names of divine origin in every nation, which possess ineffable power in mystic ceremonies.
The centre is that from which, and to which, (the lines) as far as they may happen to extend, are equal.
(and the manner in which they appear to mankind)
All divine natures are incorporeal, but bodies were bound in them for your sake; bodies not being able to contain incorporeals, through the corporeal nature in which you are concentrated.
A similar fire extending itself by leaps through the waves of the air; or an unfigured fire, whence a voice runs before; or a light beheld near, every way splendid, resounding and convolved. But also to behold a horse full of refulgent light; or a boy carried on the swift back of a horse—a boy fiery, or clothed with gold, or on the contrary, naked; or shooting an arrow, and standing on the back of the horse.
The gods exhort us to understand the forerunning form of light.
This axiom then must be first assumed: every god is good, and the oracles witness the truth of the axiom; when accusing the impiety of men, they say, “Not knowing that every god is good, ye are fruitlessly vigilant.”
Since the soul perpetually runs, in a certain space of time it passes through all things, which circulation being accomplished, it is compelled to run back again through all things, and unfold the same web of generation in the world, according to Zoroaster; who is of opinion, that the same causes on a time returning, the same effects will, in a similar manner, return.
According to Zoroaster, in us the etherial vestment of the soul perpetually revolves.
Zoroaster calls the congruities of material forms to the reasons of the soul of the world, divine allurements.
The oracles delivered by the gods, celebrate the essential fountain of every soul, the empyrean, the ætherial, and the material. This fountain they separate from the whole vivific goddess (Rhea); from whom also, suspending the whole of fate, they make two series, the one animastic, or belonging to soul, and the other belonging to Fate. They assert, that soul is derived, from the animastic series, but that sometimes it becomes subservient to Fate, when passing into an irrational condition of being, it changes its lord, viz. Fate for Providence.
This animastic spirit, which blessed men have called the pneumatic soul, becomes a god, an all-various dæmon, and an image, and the soul in this suffers her punishments. The oracles, too, accord with this account: for they assimilate the employment of the soul in Hades to the delusive visions of a dream. [For he who lives under the dominion of the irrational life, both here and hereafter; is truly in a dormant state.]
The oracles often give the victory to our own choice, and not to the order alone of the mundane periods. As for instance, when they say, “On beholding yourself, fear.” And again, “Believe yourself to be above body and you are.” And still further, where they assert, “That our voluntary sorrows germinate in us as the growth of the particular life which we lead.”
ON THE ASCENT OF THE SOUL
The oracle says, that ascending souls sing a hymn in praise of Apollo.
Direct not your attention to the immense measures of the earth; for the plant of truth is not in the earth. Nor measure the dimensions of the sun, by means of collected rules; for it revolves by the eternal will of the father, and not for your sake. Dismiss the sounding course of the moon; for it perpetually runs through the exertions of necessity. The advancing procession of the stars was not generated for your sake. The wide-spread aerial wing of birds, and the sections of victims and viscera are never true: but all these are mere puerile sports, the foundations of mercantile deception. Fly from these, if you intend to open the sacred paradise of piety, where virtue, wisdom, and equity are collected together.
Explore the river [i.e. the producing cause] of the soul, whence, or in what order, having become a servant to body, you may again rise to that order from which you flowed, uniting operation to sacred reason [i.e. the summit, or principle power of the soul, the flower of intellect].
Rivers being mingled, perfecting the works of incorruptible fire.
Verge not downwards, a precipice lies under the earth, which draws through a descent of seven steps [i.e. the orbs of the seven planets], and under which lies the throne of dire necessity.
Nor should you verge downwards into the darkly-splendid world, whose bottom is always unfaithful, and under which is spread Hades: a place every way cloudy, squalid, rejoicing in images, stupid, steep, winding, a blind profundity, always rolling, always marrying an unapparent body, sluggish, and without breath.
And the light-hating world, and the winding streams [i.e. the human body, and the whole of generation externally placed about us], under which many are drawn down.
The furies, [the powers that punish guilty souls and bind them to their material passions], are the bonds of men.
Lest being baptized in the furies of earth, and in the necessities of nature (as some one of the gods says), it should perish.
You should not increase your fate [but should withdraw yourselves from corporeal energy].
Nor should you expel the soul from the body, lest in departing it retain something [of the more passive life].
Nor should you leave the dregs of matter [i.e. the human body] in the precipice [i.e. this terrestrial region].
The expelling powers of the soul [which separate her from the body, and] which cause her to respire, are of an unrestrained nature.
Those souls that leave the body with violence are most pure [for then the soul will rejoice in a liberation from it.]
Fiery [divine] hope should nourish you in the angelic region.
According to the oracle, we should fly from “the multitude of men going along in a herd.” [For he who voluntarily mixes with the multitude, necessarily imbibes puerile notions, and engages in puerile pursuits.]
Theurgists do not fall so as to be ranked among the herd that are in subjection to Fate.
More robust souls perceive truth through themselves, and are of a more inventive nature; “such a soul being saved (according to the oracle) through its own strength.”
As the oracle, therefore, says, “Divinity is never so much turned away from man, and never so much sends him novel paths, as when we make our ascent to the most divine of speculations, or works, in a confused and disordered manner, and as it adds, with unhallowed lips, or unbathed feet. For of those, who are thus negligent, the progressions are imperfect, the impulses are vain, and the paths are blind.”
Nor hurling, according to the oracle, a transcendent foot towards piety. [Nothing so requisite as an orderly progression to the acquisition of a divine life.]
The telestic life, [consisting in the exercise of divinely mystic ceremonies], through a divine fire, removes all the stains, together with every foreign and irrational nature, which the spirit of the soul attracted from generation, as we are taught by the oracle to believe.
The oracles of the gods declare, that, through purifying ceremonies, not the soul only, but bodies themselves become worthy of receiving much assistance and health: “for (say they) the mortal vestment of bitter matter will, by this means, be preserved.” And this, the gods, in an exhortatory manner, announce to the most holy of Theurgists.
[Thus] The powers build up the body of the holy man.
[But] Things divine cannot be obtained by those whose intellectual eye is directed to body: but those only can arrive at the possession of them, who, stript of their garments, hasten to the summit.
It is requisite that [man] being an intelligible mortal, should bridle his soul, in order that she may not incur terrestrial infelicity, but may be saved from it.
You should not defile the spirit, [the aërial vehicle of the soul], nor give depth to a superficies [i.e. the ethereal and lucid vehicle].
Filling the soul with profound love [which must be our guide to the beatific vision of the intelligible world].
Seek Paradise [i.e. the choir of divine powers about the Father of the universe; and the empyrean beauties of the demiurgic fountains].
On all sides, with an unfigured [most simple and pure] soul, extend the reins of fire [i.e. the unimpeded energy of the theurgic life].
The immortal depth of the soul, [the summit or flower of its nature], should be the leader; but vehemently extend all your eyes [i.e. the gnostic powers of the soul] upwards.
[For] The soul of mortals compels, in a certain respect [i.e. through its immortality and purity], divinity into itself, possessing nothing mortal, and is wholly inebriated from deity [and replete with a more excellent life]: for it glories in the [unapparent and intelligible] harmony under which the mortal body subsists [and is, as it were, raised above itself].
The soul being a splendid fire, through the power of the father remains immortal, is the mistress of life, [extends vital illuminations to body] and possesses many perfections of the bosoms of the world.
By understanding the works of the Father, they fly from the shameless wing of fate. But they are placed in God [united with deity], drawing vigorous torches descending from the Father: and from these the soul descending plucks empyrean fruits, the soul-nourishing flower.
It becomes you to hasten to the light and the rays of the Father, whence a soul was imparted to you, invested with an abundance of intellect.
By extending a fiery intellect, [an intellect full of divine light], to the work of piety, you will also preserve the flowing body.
A fire-heated conception has the first order. For the mortal who approaches to fire, will receive a light from divinity: and he who perseveres in prayer, without intermission, will be perfected by the rapid [i.e. the intelligible gods] and blessed immortals.
When you behold a sacred fire without form, shining with a leaping splendour through the profundities of the whole world, hear the voice of fire.
Though you should perceive this particular soul restored to its pristine perfection, yet the Father sends another, that the number may be complete.
Those are in the most eminent degree the most blessed of all souls, that are poured forth from heaven on the earth: but those are fortunate, and possess ineffable stamina, who are either produced from thy lucid self, O king [Apollo], or from Jupiter, through the strong necessity of Mithus.
To these he gave the ability of receiving the knowledge of light, which may be taught; but to others, even when asleep, he extended the fruit of his strength, [for some men acquire divine knowledge through communicating with divinity in sleep].
There is also a portion for the image [the irrational soul] in the place [the region above the moon] every way splendid.
That which intellect says, it undoubtedly says by intellection.
Ha! ha! the earth from beneath bellows at these as far as to their children, [for those who, in a former life, have perpetrated similar crimes, become, through the wise administration of Providence, the members of one family].
The Theurgist who presides over the mystic rites of Apollo, begins his operations from purifications and sprinklings. “The priest, in the first place, governing the works of fire, must sprinkle with the cold water of the loud-sounding sea,” as the oracle says.
Energise about the Hecatic sphere.
If you often invoke me [i.e. the fountain or cause of the celestial constellation called the lion], all things will appear to you to be a lion. For neither will the convex bulk of heaven then be visible; the stars will not shine; the light of the moon will be concealed; the earth will not stand firm; but all things will be seen in thunder.
You should not invoke the self-conspicuous image of nature. [The image to be invoked in the mysteries must be intelligible, and not sensible.]
Oracles of Uncertain or Imperfect Meaning
The ineffable and effable impressions of the world.
He collected it, receiving the portion of æther, of the sun, of the moon, and of whatever is contained in the air.
There appeared in it virtue and wisdom, and truth endued with abundance of intellect.
From these the body of the triad flows before it had a being, not the body of the first triad, but of that by which things are measured.
The first course is sacred, the aerial is in the middle, and there is another as a third, which nourishes earth in fire.
An entire and impartible division.
For he assimilates himself, he hastening to invest himself with the form of the images.
Nor to approach in a scattered manner to the empyrean channels, but collectively.
End of the Oracles