Tragic Myth of Luxe Ferre
“The Tragic Myth of Luxe Ferre” tells the story behind the story of Lucifer. I’m amazed at how many people have absolutely no idea what the word Lucifer means, much less how it was originally used contextually. Most everyone I know blindly assumes it’s the name of a fallen angel who is unceremoniously morphed into the devil by a jealous and vengeful Yahweh. That particular story doesn’t surface until around the 6th century in a non-canonical text called 2 Enoch, written nearly 100 years after the word Lucifer is first used, and for an entirely different purpose.
In the late 4th century Jerome is commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church to translate the greek Hebrew Scriptures (Septuagent) and the new Christian canon (New Testament) from greek into Latin – this translation is called The Vulgate. Three passages refer to The Morning Star, the Prince of Dawn, the Bringer of Light – in the book of Isaiah where Isaiah is chastising the King of Babylon, and in 2 Peter and Revelation where it refers to Jesus. We have to remember that in ancient times, people had no concept of cosmology – the Morning Star referred to the planet Venus, which people thought was a literal anthropomorphic entity which lead the sun on its journey across the sky – hence the terms the Prince of Dawn and the Bringer of Light. The Morning Star was then used to denote great people and leaders who brought light upon the land and their people. Today we would use the term “celebrity” which comes from celestial and is why we still call people stars, ie rock stars, movie stars, etc. The term Jerome used to translate was the Light Bringer which in latin translates as Lux/Luxe (light) and Ferre (to bring, where we get the word ferry) – together this word is Lucifer in latin. In 2 Peter, Jesus is referred to as Lucifer
So how did we get the story of Lucifer as the proudful angel who fell from heaven to eternal damnation for the sin of pride? The story belongs to the non-canonical text of The Book of 2 Enoch chapter 29, which dates from 6th century as an attack against the Gnostic sects of Christianity who taught in direct opposition to the Catholic Church.
During this period the Catholic Church now had control of the Constantinian armies and was gaining control of land, money and power. Their primary tool was that of behavioral control which established The Church as God’s chosen mediator between Himself and His wretched, fallen creation deserving of hell fire. Through penance and absolution the Church began it’s rapid rise. The Gnostics, on the other hand taught that mankind is of the Divine Spark of God, made with “God Matter” and therefore needed no mediation but could commune directly with its Creator. This posed a direct threat to the economic structure the church had fought to create for itself. The story in 2 Enoch emerged telling of a beautiful Angel Lucifer (Celebrity) who commits the ultimate sin – that of thinking himself like God. He is therefore cast from Heaven into eternal darkness and damnation along with one third of the angels. This became known as The Sin of Satan and was connected with the Gnostic belief of humanity containing a Divine Spark of God. The story gave reason and justification to the Church’s accusation that the Gnostics where not only guilty of the ultimate heresy, but were in fact those angels cast out with Lucifer and systematically slaughtered. With no one left to challenge its authenticity – this story of Lucifer became the origin story that so many today still take literally.
In this painting, “The Tragic Myth of Luxe Ferre”, we see in the valance above the curtains, the faces of many of the pagan minor deities who became demonized once incorporated into the pantheon of patron saints.
The curtains represent the symbolic image of hell, hand painted by tradition as opposed to actual flames – symbolizing hell as a human-creation. We see Lucifer, the Light Bringer starting to push back the drape which reveals a glimpse of not heaven, but enlightenment from which the many spirits of wisdom or Lucifers burst forth, representing the light bringers of the many spiritual traditions of the world. The dove nearest represents Namaste – Hindu for “May the God of your heart be with you.” Her hairnet represents the covering up of the Light – as we’ve seen in numerous mythologies such as Heracles and Samson where the long flowing hair emanated the power giving rays of the sun. Her red hair is symbolic of the demonizing of those who were left handed and red haired as being filled with the devil and burned at the stake during these dark ages. The small, real flame wings on her back represent the original concept of hell from the Persian Zoroastrian religion which greatly influenced the Hebrews upon their release from Babylonian and Assyrian captivity. It was the Zoroastrian religion that gave the Hebrews the concept of duality – forces of good versus forces of evil, as well as heaven and hell. However, for the Zoroastrians hell was not a pit of eternal damnation but rather a place of purification and transmutation. Punishment was for three days in hell, upon completion you were then cleansed and ascended to sit at the right hand of Ahura Mazda (God). In her flowing dress we find the many sparks of the divine of which the Gnostics taught and have been covered up for millennia now starting to shine anew. Looking down, she is still aware of the fact that her name is chained to the concept of eternal damnation. However, we see in the broken link awareness beginning the process of breaking the chain and releasing the understanding of our divinity.