The Star of Egypt

George Gheverghese Joseph has produced a radical revision of the globally accepted Eurocentric view of history in his book, The Crest of the Peacock.[1] Joseph is not concerned with religion or esotericism; his subject is the history of mathematics. With mathematics came science, astronomy, agriculture, irrigation, architecture, spiritual philosophy, fine arts and working with metals. These designations include the profane sciences, which came along at a relatively late stage in the cycle of manifestation, as well as the sacred science, for example yoga and theurgy. The notion that all learning has its source among the classical Greeks and Romans is a myth. The source is Egypt.

Nebhet and the Star of EgyptThe facts have been suppressed down the ages, wittingly or no, through deep-seated prejudice. A canine corpus has been produced, and is served up every day in schools and universities. It has become part of our language; it is in the very terms that we use. The cunning fictional narrative insists on a pristine lineage, a fountain of knowledge that springs not from Africa, the ‘dark’ continent, but to the hallowed halls of an ‘Indo-European’ heritage. The Indo-European source of language—which includes ancient Greece as part of the European continent—is a complete fantasy that was made to fill a gap in the explanation of language, when that explanation excludes Egypt.

To contrast this, we could posit Shambala, which is thought by profane scholars to be ‘mythical’ and not really existing, or having existed. Shambala is a type of the ‘holy city’; its validity surpasses all profane or ‘historical’ considerations. Historical fact is an illusion created by profane science, which regards the Indo-European notion as ‘real’ and Shambala as ‘myth’, by which it means ‘not existing’—whereas the original meaning of ‘myth’ is that of spiritual truth that is not directly communicable by words, and which can only be conveyed in any way through symbolism, for example, the holy city that exists in all cultures and traditions.

Egypt and Pythagoras

To return to the historical narrative: in times of great antiquity the knowledge of Egypt travelled first to Mesopotamia, which was the purest stream as it was closest to the source. Much later, the Greeks took it out of Egypt—though Egypt was by then already in decline and much had been forgotten. We may suppose that those who had progressed further than the Outer Court kept their esoteric knowledge to themselves, having sworn oaths of strictest secrecy. Pythagoras, for example, did not write down what he knew. In short, the external framework of the mysteries was rationalised, reduced and from there promulgated to the world through war and conquest.

The rejection of the plain facts about the Egyptian heritage was reinforced through the sheer cultural prejudice of the ‘learned gentlemen’ of Europe and America, all of whom were infected by what Guénon termed as the ‘modern mentality’. By this, we do not mean to exclude Britain and America.[2] It was unacceptable to historians, Egyptologists and the rest, that Egypt could have had a civilisation far more intelligently organised than ours, and which had spiritual and scientific knowledge that makes our civilisation look utterly primitive by comparison. Consequently, Egyptologists and historians have always focussed on the later Dynastic period of Egyptian history, when the real knowledge was already being fast forgotten and the rituals had degraded as far as the mummification of the dead, animal sacrifices and so on. This satisfied the learned gentlemen that the Egyptians could not inconvenience such notions as ‘progress’ and ‘evolution’.

The Mesopotamian Influence

In very ancient times, India received the knowledge from Mesopotamia, close to the source. Later, the Hindus received the rational Greek influence. Some of the Tantrik schools, especially the Vamacharya, retained elements of the earlier Mesopotamian version of the Egyptian mysteries.[3] When the Vamacharya gurus did write or teach anything, they used what is called in the Sanskrit of Hindu scholars, the ‘twilight language’.[4] Both Crowley and later Grant and the postmodern Left-hand path schools of thought assumed the most exoteric practices of the Vamacharya cults, the preliminaries, to be methods of ‘high initiation’. Consequently, the so-called advanced practices adopted by Crowley, for example, were only used by real Vamacharya cults to test and prepare the veriest beginners.

If we persist in thinking we can understand the ancient Egyptian legacy as filtered through the minds of Western philosophers, Egyptologists and egocentric occultists, we have no hope of understanding what Thelema is really all about. Egypt will not come to us. We must first visit Egypt in our hearts and minds. Then she will come to us. Only then can we break the shackles of causal determinism.[5] At the last we may come to know Nuit, not through the veils of abstract conception such as ‘emptiness’ or ‘one’, ‘spaciousness’ or ‘ground of all’, but as Nuit truly is.


1. The Crest of the Peacock, George Gheverghese Joseph. Of particular interest is his historical map, ‘A non-Eurocentric historical timeline of Mathematics’ (pp. 45).

2. Modern America was founded by European apostates, who sailed there in ships looking for a ‘promised land’. They found what they were looking for, but there happened to be an indigenous, nomadic people already inhabiting the place. The fictional fabric of the ‘American Dream’ veiled the resultant genocide. The cover-up was achieved with remarkable success for the lie is told and retold in a countless variety of ways on a daily basis. Belief is self-perpetuating, for its function is to gratify the concealed wish-desire.

3. Vamacharya means literally, ‘Left-hand path’. Profane commentators have distorted the meaning of this, so that it is supposed to indicate some kind of ‘enlightenment through sex’—a typical modernist reversal of spiritual knowledge.

4. By which is meant, symbol and metaphor.

5. Esoteric Thelema is explained in ‘Lapis Philosophorum’, Babalon Unveiled [Ordo Astri Books]. This includes a concise guide to the influence of causal determinism, and the remedy for the ill.

© Oliver St. John 2019, 2021 (revised). The illustration of Nebhet (or Nephthys) and the Star of Egypt is a detail from the Esoteric Tarot of Thelema trump Isis IX.

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