3 - Solomon's Seal and the Treasure of the World
Solomon’s Seal and the Treasure of the World
As with Tolkien’s One Ring, the Ring of Solomon went underground, or under a mountain if you like, disappearing from sight without textual mention for centuries. The legend survived and eventually resurfaced in writing; we can note and anchor it there. Not so the ring itself; the truth is, the fate of the ring can only be guessed.
Before we do that, though, let’s address the legend and the shape it took. There’s the Western tradition and an Eastern one, both of which naturally center on esoteric mysticism and occult practice.
In the Abrahamic tradition of the West, the ring surfaces in one of the books of the historian Josephus, composed in the first century CE. His is the mindset of an aristocratic Hebrew scholar descended from royal lineage on his mother’s side and from the High Priests of the temple of Jerusalem on his father’s. A dynamic Jewish commander and brash opportunist, he survived the destruction of his nation by Rome successfully enough to become a Roman citizen, a diplomat, chronicler, and historian - writing many books about his people and its history. His work constitutes an accurate view of events and concerns at the time (from a certain perspective) as well as a voicing of some of the traditions passed down within Jewish culture. He mentions Solomon and magic rings in the following passage:
“…God also enabled him [Solomon] to learn that skill which expels demons, which is a science useful and sanative to men. He composed such incantations also by which distempers are alleviated. And he left behind him the manner of using exorcisms, by which they drive away demons, so that they never return; and this method of cure is of great force unto this day; for I have seen a certain man of my own country, whose name was Eleazar
, releasing people that were demoniacal in the presence of Vespasian, and his sons, and his captains, and the whole multitude of his soldiers. The manner of the cure was this: He put a ring that had a root of one of those sorts mentioned by Solomon to the nostrils of the demoniac, after which he drew out the demon through his nostrils; and when the man fell down immediately, he abjured him to return into him no more, making still no mention of Solomon, and reciting the incantations which he composed. And when Eleazar would persuade and demonstrate to the spectators that he had such a power, he set a little way off a cup or basin full of water, and commanded the demon, as he went out of the man, to overturn it, and thereby to let the spectators know that he had left the man: and when this was done, the skill and wisdom of Solomon was shewed very manifestly...” (History of the Jews; 8:2:5)
This remarkable passage doesn’t mention Solomon’s ring, but rather a contemporary magic ring in context with Solomon’s fabled occult skills with demons, incantations which apparently had been transmitted to others down through the ages. It sets the stage for what will come.
Not long afterward, about the 3rd-5th century CE, the Babylonian Talmud is written by Jewish scholars in Mesopotamia, and it contains extensive references to Solomon, Asmodeus, and a ring with the divine name engraved (Tractate Gittin, Mishna).
A long account of Ashmedai appears in the Talmud, relating how King Solomon succeeded in capturing him and forcing him into service for the building of the Temple. Later Aggadic legend depicts him as a merry trickster rather than an evil demon, while according to some sources his influence is actually beneficent and is directed to guarding the moral order of the universe.
The Demon Asmodeus and Solomon Trade Places
For many years after the Temple was completed, Solomon kept the demon Ashmedai prisoner in his dungeon. One day Solomon said to him, “How can you call yourself King of Demons if I, a mere man of flesh and blood, can hold you captive?"
"Release me from my chains and give me your magic ring," answered Ashmedai. "Then we shall see who is king."
Confident of his own power, Solomon granted Ashmedai's wish. Instantly the demon seized the king's crown, and with a single flick of his powerful wing, hurled Solomon four hundred miles from Jerusalem.
Ashmedai then flung Solomon's magic ring into the sea, where it was swallowed by a fish. For Ashmedai thought, "If anyone should gain possession of the ring, he will know what I have done."
Then the Demon King disguised himself as Solomon and sat down upon his golden throne. –ATS.com
According to the Talmud, Solomon’s ring was engraved with the shem ha-meforesh—the Ineffable Name of GOD. And Islamic authors tell us that it contained “the Most Great Name of GOD,” along with four jewels that had been given to Solomon by angels. The jewels are said to be inscribed with phrases. The first jewel gave Solomon dominion over the winds, and was inscribed “To GOD [Allah] belong power and greatness.” The second gave him dominion over birds and beasts, and was inscribed “Let all living things praise GOD.” The third gave him dominion over earth and water, and was inscribed “Heaven and earth are the servants of GOD.” The fourth gave him dominion over the jinn, and was inscribed “There is no GOD but GOD, and Muhammad is His messenger.” [There exist several curious explanations for the anachronism. Another variant of the story has the jewels bestowing power over the four elements.]
The ring served King Solomon as a signet ring, for sealing letters and decrees. But it was also the source of his supernatural powers. With it he was able to control the winds, and to fly about on a wind-borne carpet. It allowed him to communicate with animals (and even with flowers). But its most notable use involved the jinn. By means of his ring, Solomon could summon these otherworldly spirits and make them do his bidding. He could also exorcise them from possessed persons. –ProfessorSolomon.com
The legend of the Seal of Solomon was developed primarily by medieval Arabic writers, who related that the ring was engraved with the name of God and was given to the king directly from heaven. The ring was made from brass and iron, and the two parts were used to seal written commands to good and evil spirits, respectively. In one tale, a demon, either Asmodeus, or Sakhr
, obtained possession of the ring and ruled in Solomon's stead for forty days. In a variant of the tale of the ring of Polycrates from Herodotus, the demon eventually threw the ring into the sea, where it was swallowed by a fish, caught by a fisherman, and served to Solomon. –Wikipedia
So it was that the Medieval Arabic authors, delving into the implications of Josephus and the Talmud, began to refer to it regularly as the signet ring of Solomon, or the Seal of Solomon, a practice followed later by Jewish Kabbalists and Western occultists and Alchemists, complete with mythology, esoteric symbols and sigils, and prescriptive and ritual incantations with an emphasis on the summoning of spirits and demons. Because of Josephus’s reference to a heritage of magical teachings from Solomon, the validity of an ancient magical/ritual corpus had a foundation that could be pointed to, and lends justification for such claims made to this day. Before long the signet itself would gain emphasis as the source of the ring’s power (in conjunction with incantation), not from the jewels or a holy stone with the name of God written on it. The Seal was depicted in either a pentagram or hexagram shape; the latter also known as Shield of David or Star of David in Jewish tradition. However, the evolution of the tale of the ring into the Great Study of the Seal sprang from medieval Islam in Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Through the study and practice of occult magic the one Seal developed into many seals, or keys - symbols for personal and ritual magic to guide the focus of the magician, as well as talismans for protective shielding against hostile energies, often inscribed on amulets to be worn. Whole systems were developed as an aid to the practice and grimoires were compiled in esoteric fashion, largely for purposes of spirit and demonic contact in pursuit of some magical goal of will.
We know that the hexagram is a very ancient symbol with multi-cultural lineage, the two interlaced triangles representing (a) a twining of dual powers or functions of the phenomenal world or (b) aligned point to point as a conjunction, vortex or wormhole symbol (actually this is a pentagram).
To the hexagram and pentagram were added various other sigils and geometric conflations, often compounding the sacred and magical elements with astrological themes. The evolution of adding sigils and runes of pagan mysticism, numbers, Hebrew letters, and alchemical symbols into format with the hexagram, or with the similarly ancient pentagram, and morphing the geometry into a coherent shape, is said to have developed the subtle tuning of the talisman, to assist the working of energies according to the will and skill of the occult practitioner. Use of the Seals of Solomon for occult practice and study has grown over time, and in modern practice is still associated with the summoning of spirits and demons.
The Eastern tradition concerns the making of the ring, and so we'll turn back to Solomon's time, close on a thousand years BCE.
It begins with a very ancient meteorite, fallen somewhere in the Tibetan/Mongolian mountainous plateau, that was formed in the shape of a shield tetrahedron and was composed of a greenish tektite sometimes called Moldavite (technically, if it doesn’t come from Moldavia, or modern Slovakia, then it’s not Moldavite.) These tektites are glassy and magnetic, formed as the meteor’s surface is vaporized in the atmospheric fireball and re-formed in glassy ripples, found scattered near the impact site or as a skin striated upon the remnants of the meteorite itself, which would have been metallic. They exist in various colors, but are quite rare.
Their magnetic properties are curious and are considered to be psychic accelerators, varying from stone to stone, from meteor to meteor. The stone which concerns us is undoubtedly the most famous tektitic meteor of all.
It’s called the Chintamani stone, or the wish-fulfilling jewel, or the Treasure of the World, and it figures in the traditions of both the Buddhist and Hindu canon. In Buddhism the Chintamani is sometimes said to be one of four relics that came in a chest that fell from the sky. Within Hinduism it is connected with the gods, Vishnu and Ganesha. In Hindu tradition it is often depicted as a fabulous jewel in the possession of the Naga king or as on the forehead of the Makara. --Wikipedia
A maṇi-jewel; magical jewel, which manifests whatever one wishes for (Skt. maṇi, cintā-maṇi, cintāmaṇi-ratna). According to one's desires, treasures, clothing and food can be manifested, while sickness and suffering can be removed, water can be purified, etc. It is a metaphor for the teachings and virtues of the Buddha. … Said to be obtained from the dragon-king of the sea, or the head of the great fish, Makara, or the relics of a Buddha. –Digital Dictionary of Buddhism
Skt: Cinta-mani. This is represented in art as a bluish colored stone as large as a crystal ball. Mani literally means "stone", in contrast to the word "jewel" (ratna). The term Cinta means "thought". The Cintamani is literally the "thought-stone" or the stone which magnifies one's thoughts, i.e., fulfils one's wishes. –China Buddhism Encyclopedia
According to many occult writings, the Stone is kept in the hidden (or sometimes underground) city of Shambhala where live the Ascended Masters, or the Eight Immortals (Taoist), beings of high resonance and consciousness; fragments of it are lent out to humanity to assist them in the time of great change or opportunity. Ancient Tibetan texts reveal a tradition of shards having been sent to King Solomon, Genghis Khan, and Akbar the Great, among others. Nicholas Roerich, the Russian artist and mystic, Rosicrucian Martinist and Kalachakra initiate, received just such a shard in 1923, laid in an antique casket, to present to the League of Nations which was forming at the time; upon the failure of the League, Roerich returned ‘the Stone’ to the East.
Chintamani, the wish-fulfilling jewel mentioned in Tibetan religious tradition and Hindu legend, was one of the names Nicholas and Helena Roerich used for a possession which had two manifestations: firstly as a ‘spiritual treasure’, by which was meant the psychic faculty or ‘instrument’ each of them utilized; and secondly as the symbolic counterpart of the ‘treasure’ in material reality, which was a talisman of mineral nature. This is said to have been a ‘chip’ or piece from the main mass of a large meteoritic stone located at a place known by a legendary name – Shambhala. […]
The ‘chips’ or pieces of the Chintamani stone were believed to have a special property, which was to enhance psychic communication, and in particular to open channels to receive instruction and guidance from the ‘Ascended Masters’ of Shambhala. Pieces of the Chintamani stone were said to maintain a ‘magnetic connection’ with a main stone located at Shambhala – which, for the Roerichs, was likely to have had an identifiable location. The idea is found most clearly in Nicholas Roerich’s book Himalayas – Abode of Light, and the passage in which it occurs is perhaps the most informative statement about the Stone in any of the Roerichs’ writings: ‘Many… wonderful things have been told by educated Buriats and Mongols… of the miraculous stone coming from a far star, which is appearing in different places before great events… The chief body of this stone is lying in Shambhala, and a small piece of it is given out and wanders all over the earth, keeping magnetic connection with the main stone’. –Chintamani of the Roerichs, Chap. 1
Roerich described the stone as greenish Moldavite with an undeniable psycho-magnetic energy; the Russian paranormal scientist Barchenko, who analyzed it in Moscow before sending it on to Roerich in Paris on behalf of the Panchen Lama of Tibet, wrote that the extra-terrestrial stone is stronger than penetrating Radium and its dynamic rays can instantly increase a person’s own vibratory frequency.
Many myths are attached to the stone. It is also considered by some to symbolize an aspect of awakening or attainment, but may not be a physical object - contradicting the old Tibetan tradition of sending out pieces of an actual stone to exceptional persons.
For us, the meteoritic reality of the stone is first alluded to by Madame Blavatsky after she visited the Tashilumpo Monastery in Tibet and its Panchen Lama, late in the nineteenth century. Nicholas Roerich’s extensive contacts with Russian, Mongolian, Indian, and Tibetan personages led to the shard being sent to him. Helena Roerich, Nicholas’s wife, an associate and translator of Blavatsky, was a spiritual medium who encouraged her husband and son to travel to Tibet and Mongolia in 1925 after the failure of the League of Nations, to return the stone and find Shambhala. Helena Roerich handled the stone while her husband had it in his keeping, used it for séances, and wrote about it in her diaries.
There is not enough room in this essay to fully expound on this topic, so we’ll here leave the East and the modern age and return to King Solomon, who reportedly received a shard of the Chintamani as a gift from the ‘King of the World’ in Shambhala, a piece of which he then set into his ring. This then would be the ring that conjured ‘demons’, a greenish stone, a conveyor of great wisdom – a quality for which Solomon was renowned, in some legends found inside a great fish, a psycho-magnetic tektite from an iron meteorite that enabled a resonant connection with its parent specimen and with the Ascended Masters in Shambhala.
It is possible to speculate that if this were in fact the scenario, the high priest and elders of Jerusalem might have distrusted the ringstone’s pedigree and powers, and hid it away deep under the Temple Mount after Solomon had died, so that it may be lost.
Professor Solomon: http://www.professorsolomon.com/ringofsolomon.html
Jewish Encyclopedia.com: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13843-solomon-seal-of
Kaballah Online/Practical Kabbala: http://www.kabbala.co.il/site.php?page=sgulot11.html
China Buddhism Encyclopedia: http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php?title=Cintamani..Wish_Fulfilling_Gem
James Axler.com: http://www.jamesaxler.com/outlanders...mani_stone.htm
Roerich Museum NY: http://www.roerich.org/
Roerich and Chintamani: http://roerichandchintamani.wordpre...inary-tales-of-an-extra-terrestrial-talisman/
Biblioteca Pleyades: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_shambahla09a.htm
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