September 28, 2010 by korshi
At the end of my last post I threw in Morton Smith’s hypothetical original Book of Moses cosmology, and I realised I was being a bit lazy for not actually presenting it in infograph form. So here it is.
Briefly, the original pairs identified by Smith are:
- Phos (male, light) – Auge (female, radiance)
- Earth (female) – Water (male)
- Nous (male, mind) – Phrenes (female, wits)
- Genna (female, creative power) – spora (male, procreation)
- Moira (female, fate) – Hermes (male)
- Kairos/Helios (male, time/the sun) – Basilissa/Selene (the Queen/moon)
- Psyche (female, soul)- Pythian Serpent (male)
In addition to these, Phobos (fear) was created to fix everything in place.
Looking at it now, it seems a) a lot less interesting than the final version and b) a bit arbitrary. Hermes and Moira and Psyche and the Pythian Serpent don’t make particularly obvious pairs; I’d say it’s more likely that, if the original system did involve syzygies, Hermes-Nous-Phrenes was probably one being, partnered with Moira-Psyche; the Pythian Serpent and Phobos would have been part of some other mythic fragment that was tagged on the end. Why? Because the identification of Hermes/Thoth with the mind (nous) of god is pretty common in late antique thought, and Moira is closely related to Hekate, the World Soul (Psyche) of the Chaldaean Oracles; with God they’d then correspond to the God-Nous/Aion-Hekate/Psyche triad of the Neoplatonist/Chaldaean system. But it’s just a thought.
(I realise that the last paragraph may make very little sense, but this is a just follow up post; keep reading the cosmologies
series and eventually all will become clear.)
Source: Morton Smith, ‘P Leid J 395 (PGM XIII) and Its Creation Legend’ in Studies in the Cult of Yahweh, Volume II, Shaye J D Cohen (editor), E J Brill, Leiden, 1996 (1986), pp.227-234