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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

Are seen caverns where the Druids celebrated their mysteries


In

the cavern of the god Sun, or Mithra, the priests had represented, among the mysterious pictures of the initiation, the descent of the souls to the earth, and their return to the heavens through the seven planetary spheres. Also were exhibited the phantoms of invisible powers, which chained them to bodies, or freed them from their bonds. Several millions of men witnessed those various spectacles, of which they were most severely forbidden to speak before the public. However the poets, the orators, and the historians give us in their writings some idea of what were those scenes, formulas, ceremonies, fables, and morals,--as, for instance, in what they have written about the adventures of Ceres, and of her daughter. There was seen the chariot of this goddess drawn by dragons; it seemed to hover above the earth and the seas. It was a true theatrical exhibition. The variety of the scenes was pleasing, and the play of machines was attractive. Grave were the actors, majestic the ceremonial, and passion-stirring the fables and representations.

The hierophants, or priests, profoundly versed in the knowledge of the genius of the people, and in the art of leading them, availed of the minutest circumstances to create in them the desire to be initiated to their mysteries. Night seems to be the mother of secrecy and the emblem of mystery; it is favorable to prestige and illusion; in consequence they celebrated their mysteries in the night. The fifth day of

the celebration of the mysteries of Eleusis was renowned by the superb torchlight procession, in which those initiated, holding each one a bright torch, walked two by two wearing enigmatic emblems.

It was during the night, that the Egyptians solemnly and processionally went to the shore of a lake; they embarked, and landed in an island beautifully situated in the middle of the lake; and there they celebrated the mysteries of the passion of Osiris. At other times those celebrations took place in vast and dark grottos, or in retired and shady thickets. Even now, in France, are seen caverns where the Druids celebrated their mysteries; and forests where the Gauls assembled at midnight; hung the heads of their vanquished enemies; immolated a young virgin on the altar of Teutates; and celebrated their mysteries under the leadership of the Druids.

The ceremonial of the mysteries was ordained, particularly among the civilized and populous nations, in such a manner that it could not fail to excite the curiosity of the people, who naturally eagerly desire and seek to know what is held in secrecy. Legislators and hierophants rendered this curiosity more intense by the extremely stringent law of secrecy imposed upon those initiated. Thus the profane, namely, those uninitiated, were the more desirous to be acquainted with the mysteries, and thus they joined them in large numbers. Legislators gave to this spirit of secrecy the most specious pretext. It was proper, they said, to imitate the gods who concealed themselves from man's gaze, for the purpose of creating in his soul the desire to find them; and who have made the phenomena of nature a profound secret to them, in order to stimulate them to the study of the universe. Those initiated were not permitted to speak of the mysteries except among themselves. The penalty of death had been decreed against the one who would have revealed them, even without purpose; and also against any one who would have entered the sacred temple before having been previously initiated.


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