Egyptian Hieroglyphic Hallucinations and the Wicked Ibis

Hieroglyphic Hallucinations and the Wicked Ibis, Lycanthropy and Hybrid Creatures. Before we begin, let me inform you of the first to Egyptology Athanasius Kircher, he was a German Jesuit scholar and polymath who published around 40 major works, most notably in the fields of comparative religion, geology, and medicine. Kircher has been compared to fellow Jesuit Roger Boscovich and to Leonardo da Vinci for his enormous range of interests, and has been honoured with the title “Master of a Hundred Arts”. kircher believed in a pre-christian tradition of esoteric wisdom shared by different wise men of different pagan cultures. He places the Egyptian Hermes Trismegistus at it’s head. He laboured for many years on the decipherable Egyptian hieroglyphs. In Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652) he used the Bemnine tablet as a primary source for developing his translations of hieroglyphics, which are now known to be incorrect.But in relation to my previous documentary where we learned that the mandrake may be the Ankh key, I have found his interpretation for the method of reading the hieroglyphs to be correct but simply out of context, meaning Kircher was ahead of his time. Kircher was a Polymath and his interests were in natural magic and mysticism within the context of the Scientific Revolution. There are connections between Kircher and 17th-century figures such as René Descartes, Gottfried Leibniz, and Isaac Newton. He also illustrates later influences on Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Madame Blavatsky, and Marcel Duchamp. “It was said that it would be idle to hold Kircher responsible for his inability to understand the nature of hieroglyphic writing, for which in his time nobody had the key. ” Nothing can explain the duplicity of the research of Kircher better than the engraving which opens the Obeliscus Pamphilius: The hieroglyphic configurations had become a sort of machine for the inducing of hallucinations which then could be interpreted in any possible way. Rivosecchi (1982: 52) suggests that Kircher exploited this very possibility in order to discuss freely a large number of potentially dangerous themes, from astrology to alchemy and magic, disguising his own opinions as those of an immemorial tradition, one in which, moreover, Kircher treated pre-figuration’s of Christianity. Only his sensitivity to the incredible and the monstrous can explain the dedication to the Emperor Ferdinand III that opens the third volume of Oedipus: “I unfold before your eyes, O Most Sacred Caesar, the polymorphous reign of Morpheus Hieroglyphicus. I tell of a theater in which an immense variety of monsters are disposed and not the nude monsters of nature, but adorned by the enigmatic Chimeras of the most ancient of wisdoms so that here I trust sagacious wits will draw out immeasurable treasures for the sciences as well as no small advantage for letters. The works of Kircher contain the Enoch Fragments of Syncellus (Greek text & Latin translation), with annotations (vol.2.1, p.69-80). In Kircher’s view, Enoch was “the first founder of Egyptian Wisdom” (Henoch primus Sapientiae Aegyptiacae conditor, vol.2.2, 149).

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