Goddess Murder: A Tale of Love, Witches, and Gnostics (Episode 2)

II. Destruction

[From the Poetic Epistemologies of Apollo.]

They tied her to the tree, and lit the fire.

You taste its ashes in your mouth.

No one tree escapes the forest fire.

Abandoned hills erode, stones topple,

No one dances, and fires are not allowed.


Not just the tree, not just the seed:

The ground itself has been destroyed.

The smoking silence pales the barren sun.


Summer solstice comes and, measured, goes.

Midsummer brings no terror, thus, no joy.

Incarnate beauty is known by mind alone.

Beauty won’t redeem the blasted ground.

The wheel will not turn, nor ringstones sing fire.


The lanterned madman cries, the news still comes:

That rough beast must be more free

Than the goat, his fire more subtle than the sun!


Up the airy mountain,

Down the rushy glen,

We may as well go hunting:

There are no little men.


III. A Meeting

If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not discover it, for it cannot be searched for and is hard to comprehend.


I heard later that two Cardinals had met with Signor Medici. The conversation, though this information was transmitted through several people, went something like this.

Cardinal X: How did he get them out?

Cardinal Y: We’re not sure. It was several hours before Albinioni noticed they were missing. We’re having the security procedures overhauled.

Cardinal X: Now you’re locking the barn. Two of them I don’t care about, but the third must be recovered. We cannot risk letting it damage the faith of the people.

Cardinal Y: What if it does get out? Who would believe it?

A Priest: Eminence, we can simply dismiss it as heretical. That has always worked before.

Cardinal X: This one is different. People couldn’t add up the bits and pieces before; few had ever even seen them. This one makes it blatant.

Cardinal Y: As long as we get the original back, we can claim the copies are modern forgeries.

About this time, Medici arrived and was ushered in, saying: I came as soon as I could, your Eminence.

Cardinal X: Thank you, Signor Medici. The situation is extremely dangerous. I’ve given our most loyal people orders to assist you in any way they can.

Medici: Thank you, Eminence. Do we have any idea where the documents might be now?

The Priest: He most probably sent them to his colleague, Professor Clarence T. Edwards, at the GESW, in Santa Theresa, California.

Cardinal X: Oh, that one, at that hotbed of heresy. I’d have fired him already if he weren’t a layman. I’d love to get rid of him.

Medici: I’ll go immediately, Eminence. I’ll keep you informed.

Cardinal X: Please do.

Perhaps Medici misunderstood the Cardinal’s intent, but I think he thought he had been authorized to assassinate me.


IV. Creation

[Excerpts from The Gospel of Simon and Helen, as translated by S. Dugan]

Sophia saw that the perfection of the Light had become confused. She sorrowed, crying, “All is without form and void; and darkness is upon the face of the deep. The Light that should be manifest has been lost in confusion. Let us destroy this imperfection.”

But her mother, the Beloved Thought, answered her, saying, “No, the great drama has begun and cannot be destroyed. The Light is not lost, it is only hidden. Rather, give form to the confusion, that the drama may create a new perfection. By this means the Light shall be made manifest, in actuality; and yet all Light shall be brought to perfection.”

Wherefore, at her mother’s bidding, Sophia entered into the confusion of creation.

Sophia wanted to separate the Light from the darkness, separate what should be from what should not have been, but all was too confused. Yet from whatever mostly should not have been, she produced matter, which is almost entirely dark. From whatever came mostly from the potential of creation, she produced mind, which is mostly light, but a confused light.

Sophia set the vault of heaven in place and divided the upper waters from the lower waters.

She gathered the lower waters together and caused dry land to appear.

She caused the land to bring forth grass and herbs and fruit-bearing trees.

She made the fixed stars appear in the heavens, to be signs and to mark the seasons.

Gathering the substance of mind together, from it she created the sun and the moon and the other wandering stars, to be messengers to rule over the night and the day.

She made fish and great whales to swim in the sea and birds to fly in the air.

She made the beasts and all four-footed cre­atures to multiply on the earth, to be fruitful and to replenish it.

When she had completed these works, she rested, for she had spun her own substance into the fabric of her creation and was tired. Pleased with her work, she danced on the face of the waters, brooding on the next works to be accomplished.


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