Avatars of Light: Christ and Lucifer

One of our mysteries relates to the double-rose.

In botany, a double-rose occurs when a rose bud grows within another rose bud due to a genetic abnormality.

But what does the double-rose represent? It represents the dual nature of the divine light.

But let us backtrack a bit.

In Hermeticism, God was all that existed within the primal chaos before creation. For reasons hitherto unknown, God emanated the light into the darkness that surrounded it. As the Hermetic Corpus states: “there was darkness in the deep and water without form and there was a subtle breath — intelligent — which permeated the things in chaos with divine power. Then, when all was yet undistinguished and unwrought, there was shed forth holy light and the elements came into being.”[1]

This explosion of light is known in scientific parlance as the Big Bang. It was the Logos — the Word. John 1:1 states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

The Opening by Watchtower ritual describes the Word as the “image of a voice.” The Logos was created in the image and likeness of God as a declaration of the divine will.

scan0040The light burst through the darkness like lightning. The Watchtower ritual states that it was “abounding, revolving, whirling forth, crying aloud.” The Logos is depicted as a “lightning flash” that zigzags down the Tree of Life from Kether to Malkuth.

As the light lost inertia, it began to condense into physical matter. The energy released from the Big Bang formed the matter that would become stars and planets. This was the formation of the physical plane.

Like lightning striking the earth, the Word crackled as it struck physicality. This was the fall of Lucifer recounted in various stories, such as John Milton’s Paradise Lost. In Luke 10:18, Christ states: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

According to mythology, Lucifer was a proud, rebellious angel, who fell from heaven. In some accounts, he was once a member of the seraphim, the “burning ones,” the highest order of angels. Like Tiamat, a dragon who embodied primordial chaos, the seraphim were described as dragon-like creatures with six wings.

Lucifer is also associated with the planet Venus when it appears as the “morning star.” Small and dim in comparison with the sunrise, this inferior source of celestial light is considered a “false light.”

In Cabala, Tiphereth is the sixth Sphere of the Tree of Life. It corresponds to the sun, and as such, it occupies the center of the Tree of Life, much in the same way that the sun is at the center of the solar system.

But Tiphereth not only relates to the sun, but also to the heart center. It is the rose at the center of the cross.

The light of Tiphereth shines down upon the “loud resounding sea” of Yesod, the astral plane. Like a sunrise over the ocean, one source of light is real and tangible (the sun) and one is false and illusory (the reflection of the sun on the water).

Christ is considered to be the real and tangible source of light. He is known as the “Light of the World.” He was humble and meek — compassionate and benevolent.

Lucifer the “Bearer of Light” is the illusion of light mirrored in the astral world. He was arrogant and prideful — tyrannous and malevolent. Many occultists exude an overabundance of pride and egotism; fortunately, such personality traits can be transmuted.

In Lucifer’s Court, Otto Rahn describes how the Holy Grail was a stone (meteorite) that fell from the crown of Lucifer during the War in Heaven.[2] This makes sense considering that Kether, the highest Sphere on the Tree of Life, is analogous with a crown.

In alchemical terms, Christ is associated with gold, the Royal Metal, whereas Lucifer is associated with fool’s gold (iron sulfide) that can be used to produce the green lion (sulfuric acid). Just as sulfuric acid can be used to refine gold, Lucifer serves only to make the light of Christ brighter when he consumes and ravages the physical plane.

Like Janus, the two-headed god, Christ and Lucifer embody the two polarities — positive and negative — of the light. As two sides of a coin, these two opposing forces are intrinsically linked.

While we have Christ as the “Light of the World,” we also have Lucifer as the “Bearer of Light.” Thus, we have two avatars of light. One is “true” and one is “false.” But we live in a world in which truth is dependent upon perspective. So, which is which? Could both of them be equally valid? Could both of them be equally invalid? Could the two, Christ and Lucifer, be seen as two sides of a cosmic coin?

Joséphin Péladan, the founder of the Salon de la Rose + Croix, believed that Lucifer could be redeemed through our compassion and sympathy,[3] for his fall was due to his misguided love for humans.[4] In this capacity, Lucifer was more akin to Prometheus than the demonic monster depicted in the works of Dante Alighieri. Evil is a base material that can be transmuted into something good. Lucifer is an unfinished expression of the cosmos that can be made to move toward good.

Fortunately, for Lucifer, the great villain (or antihero) of the world, his tale follows the cyclical nature of the sun. As the sun sets in the evening, Lucifer falls from heaven and bathes the world in darkness. But as the sun rises the next morning, Christ is risen, illuminating the world. The villain is redeemed and becomes the hero — at least until he falls again. The cycle continues ad infinitum — ad nauseam.


[1] Hermes, Scott, W., & Ferguson, A. S. (2001). Hermetica. Montana (USA): Kessinger Publishing Company.

[2] Rahn, O. (2008). Lucifer’s Court: A Heretic’s Journey In Search Of The Light Bringers. Inner Traditions.

[3] Peladan, J. (1893). Istar. Paris: Dentu.

[4] Péladan, J. (1894). Comment on Devient Artiste: Esthetique. Paris: Chamuel.

Author: Frater Dana

Dana Wright was born and raised within an esoteric Christian sect. He was introduced to the Rosicrucian tradition when he was seventeen. He studied cultural anthropology, comparative religion, and philosophy in university. He is known for his genuine, down-to-earth personality. He is accompanied on his spiritual journey by his loving wife and daughters.

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