The word inferno comes from the Latin ‘infernus’ meaning ‘being underneath’, and many of the world’s religions, myths and traditions locate the last order of creation, hell, the inferno, the underworld, the abyss etc. below the earth’s crust.
Known to many of the World’s Cultures
The infernal worlds have been known by many past civilizations and cultures, for example the Greeks knew it as Tartarus, the Hindus as Patalla, the Romans as the Averno, the Tibetans as Avitchi, the Aztecs as Mixtlan, the Mayans as Xibalbá and the Hebrew Kabbalists as the Kliphoth.
The Kliphoth is the Tritocosmos and is the shadow of the tree of life or perhaps better said an inversion of the tree of life. As shown in the diagram on the previous page the whole of creation can be organized into the tree of life and its inversion. As the tree of life has nine sephirah above Malkuth (physical world) its inversion or shadow has nine sephirah below Malkuth. Which are the famous nine Dantean circles, spheres, regions or infra-dimensions of the abyss.
Below is a diagram of the shadow or inversion of the tree of life showing the nine circles or spheres.
Kliphoth comes from the Hebrew Klipha meaning ‘shells’. In contrast to the sephirah of the tree of life, each sphere of the Kliphoth is an empty shell, because they are devoid of the divine attributes present in each sephirah of the tree of life. In fact each sphere of the Kliphoth contains attributes that are the antithesis of the divine attributes of the tree of life.
The topic of the inferno is not a very pleasant topic but one that is worth the while or reasons that I think you will come to appreciate. The main reason being, that if one knows what takes one there into those inferior regions one can avoid going there.
The inferior dimension or regions of creation exist and they are not in reality too far away from us here in the physical world. The effects of the inferior regions can be easily seen and felt here in the physical world, it is worth conducting a study of the inferior regions of creation so to be aware of the actions and mistakes that in this life can precipitate our fall into those worlds.
The image above is the ‘Map of Whole Hell” – a painting by Giovanni Stradano 16th Century.
Not for the Body
Certainly heaven or hell are not for the body. The body dies and becomes dust but the psyche lives on. Neither is evolution and involution for the body they are for the psyche as well.
Our Psyche has a Weight
What is really determinant in us is the atomic weight of our psyche. If our psyche weighs down from heavy and strong psychic aggregates or elements and heavy karma our psyche can not go up so easily. It has a very great tendency to slide downward to the heavier regions of nature which atomically are similar in nature and have the same weight.
The lighter our psyche the more essence and less karma we have and so our psyche can levitate the to the superior regions of nature.
Basically though heaven and hell are all in our psyche when we are very angry and upset we are heavy in our psyche and we are close in vibration to the inferior regions of nature. Because of that we mechanically and by the laws of physics and nature our psyche descends there.
The secret of the abyss is that it is Physics it is law and each inferior region of nature has particular properties as well as a certain weight, and because of that a certain a certain natural gravitational attraction exists between the regions of the abyss and elements of a similar nature and weight. As the regions of nature outside of the physical are not for the body something in us expressly our psyche, gravitates to these regions.
In total there are seven orders of creation. The fifth and sixth orders of creation, the Mesocosmos and the Microcosmos are the planet earth and the human being, and though we may think creation stops at the human being, there is another final order, the Tritocosmos, which is the infernal world.
The orders of creations are also known as the seven cosmoses, into which the whole of creation is organized into. The seven cosmoses are:
Level of Creation
Highest order (Greek)
All the suns and planets
Great, large (Greek)
Galaxies (e.g. Milky Way)
Solar Systems (Ors)
Planets (e.g. Earth)
Small, light etc. (Greek)
96, 192 ...
The orders of creation unfold along the ray of creation called the Okidanokh ray. The diagram below shows the relationship between the Okidanokh ray and the tree of life.
The inferior regions of creation are part of creation. They are the furthest reaches of creation and they are inside the human being and also inside the planet. The inferior region are always inside of a living entity or a cosmos as all the living creatures are a cosmos in miniature but nonetheless a cosmos to themselves.
Dante described the infernal world as being a bottomless funnel like structure with nine ledges or circles, with each circle being inhabited by the souls of the deceased, who in life had a distinguishing defect.
Here is a diagram of the structure of hell as described by Dante.
Present in each circle are the conditions for the souls of the deceased to receive the appropriate retribution for their errors in life. The nature of their punishment reveals the characteristics of their distinguishing defects. In the seventh circle for example, there is a river of boiling blood that the violent souls are immersed in. As they spent their lives living off the blood of others by killing, murdering etc, so in hell/the abyss they are immersed in blood unable to escape.
Dante gave the inferno a structure and Gnosis agrees with this. Dante’s structure consists of nine circles where each circle has a certain characteristic centre of gravity, that is, a magnetic attraction for those who in life were characterised or marked by specific psychological states and actions. They have just committed one big crime in their life that marked them for life and so the weight of their psyche is what takes them to the region of their characteristic region of the inferno.
In conclusion the inferno of the Earth is for our psyche, not for our body. When we die our body disintegrates and becomes dust but our psyche lives on. It all depends on the weight of our psyche, if our psyche is very heavy it will descend deeper into the abyss.
Midway through his life (35 years old) Dante woke up to find himself alone in a dark forest. This forest symbolizes worldliness with all its passions and vices. Dante recounts that he being “so drugged and loose” with sleep entered that forest after deviating from the ‘true way’ - the path.
Leopard, Lion and She-Wolf
Dante searching for light, saw at the end of the dark forest a little hill glowing with light. As he began to climb the hill he was confronted by three savage animals: a leopard, a lion and a she-wolf, who symbolizing human weakness blocked his way and prevented him from climbing further.
The she-wolf was the animal that drove him to despair the most, she was also the one that he could not surpass. To his aid came Virgil who offered to show him the way back to the light, which is the long, narrow and straight way of the Christ.
Leopard and Lion
Note, the three animals are symbolic, the leopard symbolizes malice and fraud, the lion violence and ambition and the she-wolf incontinence (lust, fornication, gluttony etc.). These three animals represent the broad structure of the infernal worlds.
Virgil tells Dante that he will lead him through the abyss where he will later ascend to the heavenly light. There is no remedy other than descending into the 9 regions of hell (the abyss) in order to ascend.
The Dark Wood of Error (Gustave Doré)
Leopard of Fraud (Gustave Doré)
Lion of Violence (Gustave Doré)
Dante at this point has not yet started his Epic journey through the inferno of the Earth and then to the Earth’s Heaven. This part of his book “The Inferno” is to inform us of how one deviated from the path and the obstacles that one finds. This was a stage at the very beginning of his path, perhaps before he began his initiations.
We say this based on what Master Samael says about Dante, in that he was an initiate and his trilogy the is really an initiatic text or map of the initiatic path left behind for the benefit of humanity or those amongst humanity that can understand it.
The objective of this post is to lay down an outline of the various levels and features of the Earth’s inferior regions. Seeing this outline will allow you to put the posts that are to follow into perspective.
Diagram showing the structure of Dante's Inferno.
The inferior regions of the Earth are structured according to Dante and Master Samael in the following way:
Vestibule of Hell (Opportunists)
1st Circle – Moon-Prechamber of Hell – 96 Laws (Limbo)
2nd Circle – Mercury – 192 Laws (The Carnal – Lust)
3rd Circle – Venus – 288 Laws (The Gluttons)
4th Circle – Sun -384 Laws (Spendthrifts and Misers)
5th Circle – Mars – 480 Laws (The Wrathful & Sullen (Melancholic)
6th Circle – Jupiter – 576 Laws (The Heretics (Atheism and Materialism)
7th Circle – Saturn-672 Laws (The Violent)
First Round – Violence Toward Others
Second Round – Violence Toward Oneself
Third Round – Violent Towards God
8th Circle-Neptune-768 Laws (The Fraudulent, the Seducers and the Flatterers)
First Bolgia (Ditch) – The Panderers and Seducers
Second Bolgia (Ditch) – The Flatterers
Third Bolgia (Ditch) – Simoniacs
Fourth Bolgia (Ditch) – Fortune Tellers and Diviners
Fifth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Grafters
Sixth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Hypocrites
Seventh Bolgia (Ditch) – The Thieves
Eighth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Evil Councillors
Ninth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Sowers of Discord
Tenth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Falsifiers
9th Circle – Neptune – 864 Laws (Treachery)
Caina (treachery against family)
Antenora (treachery against country)
Ptolomea (treachery against guests and friends)
Judecca (treachery against Masters)
Each post from here onwards will describe each of the Earth’s inferior regions with as laid out in the outline above. The descriptions come from Dante and Master Samael.
On the brink of the descent into hell, Dante is overwhelmed with fear. Virgil says to him "I understand from your words and the look in your eyes,” “your soul is sunken in that cowardice that bears down many men, turning their course and resolution by imagined perils”.
Entrance to the Inferno (Gustave Doré).
Fear of the Abyss and Trust in the Divine
Virgil explains how Beatrice was sent from heaven by the prayers of the Virgin Mary (Divine Mother) and St. Lucia (divine light) to ask Virgil to help Dante out of their concern for him. Virgil says to Dante “Why do you lag? Why this heartsick hesitation and pale fright when three such blessed Ladies lean from Heaven in their concern for you and my own pledge of the great good that waits you has been given?”.
Dante said that "the path to paradise begins in hell.", meaning that it is by Divine order that we begin our descent into the submerged regions of the earth and our own mind to study, comprehend and eliminate the defects or parts of purselves that dwell in those regions, so that we can emerge victorious and gain entrance into paradise.
This is our situation, we feel fear for the work in our own abyss, why? Perhaps out of a certain skepticism or distrust in our divinity, we think out of ignorance that our Being may not perhaps want self-realisation and that it won’t happen, and because of that we do not allow ourselves the courage that we need to descend and face our own abyss. By thinking negatively in that way – that we don’t have the support of our Being or that we don’t trust that the support of the Being will reach us, we don’t allow the work and the Being to have their full effective power in us so as to help us.
Before entering the Vestibule of hell Dante and Virgil must pass through the gate of hell, and inscribed in stone above the gate is the following:
Gate to the Inferno (Gustave Doré).
“I AM THE WAY INTO THE CITY OF WOE.
“I AM THE WAY TO A FORSAKEN PEOPLE.
I AM THE WAY INTO ETERNAL SORROW.
SACRED JUSTICE MOVED MY ARCHITECT.
I WAS RAISED HERE BY DIVINE OMNIPOTENCE,
PRIMORDIAL LOVE AND ULTIMATE INTELLECT.
ONLY THOSE ELEMENTS TIME CANNOT WEAR
WERE MADE BEFORE ME, AND BEYOND TIME I STAND.
ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE.”
After passing through the gate Dante asks Virgil about the inscription above the gate: “Master what is the meaning of this harsh inscription?” And then as initiate to novice: “Here you must put by all division of spirit and gather your soul against all cowardice. This is the place I told you to expect. Here you shall pass among the fallen people, souls who have lost the good of intellect.”
In the vestibule of Hell, Dante encounters the opportunists, “those souls who in life were neither for good nor evil but only for themselves. Mixed with them are those outcasts who took no sides in the rebellion of the Angels. They are neither in Hell nor out of it. Eternally unclassified, they race round and round pursuing a wavering banner that runs forever before them through the dirty air; and as they run they are pursued by swarms of wasps and hornets, who sting them and produce a constant flow of blood and putrid matter which trickles down the bodies of the sinners and is feasted upon by loathsome worms and maggots who coat the ground.”
“They took no sides, therefore they are given no place. As they pursued the ever-shifting illusion of their own advantage, changing their courses with every changing wind, so thy pursue eternally an elusive, ever-shifting banner. As their sin was a darkness, so they move in darkness. As their own guilty conscience pursued them, so they are pursued by swarms of wasps and hornets. And as their actions were a moral filth, so they run eternally through the filth of worms and maggots which they themselves feed.”
After crossing the river Acheron Dante and Virgil stand on the brink of hell where Dante sees hell as a circular funnel shaped bottomless pit with a series of ledges. These ledges, nine in total, are the Dantean circles.
Here Dante finds the souls that were sinless, however they are here because they were not baptized. Dante after passing through a citadel finds on a green meadow a group of souls surrounded by a radiant dome of light. He discovers that they are the great noble souls of the poets, philosophers, heroes, artists and scientists of history. Virgil says: “The signature of honour they left on earth is recognized in Heaven and wins them ease in hell out of God’s favour.”
Purpose of Limbo
The first circle is the famous limbo or Orco where the shadows of the deceased reside. Here all the caves of the earth are astrally connected. Here the souls of the deceased reside until they are given a new body and life on the surface of the earth. If, however they have used up all of their 108 lives they descend further into the abyss.
In the vestibule of hell is the river Acheron and the ferryman Charon, who ferries the souls of the deceased into hell. ‘Acheron’ comes from the Greek meaning the river of pain. Once the river Acheron is crossed, begins the first circle of hell.
There in the second circle Dante finds Minos the semi-bestial judge whom the souls of the deceased come before. The souls of the deceased confess all to him and he then decides which place in hell the soul is to go to. Minos then curls his tail around himself a number of times, where the number of turns is the region the soul must descend to.
King Minos (Gustave Doré)
Hurricane winds driving the lustful (Gustave Doré)
Lust is the major characteristic of the second circle. In this region are all the souls who lost themselves in their passions and in the pleasures of their senses. There are also those who were adulterous, Dante even calls and speaks with an adulterous couple (Paolo and Francesca) and seeing their pain he faints.
Here the souls are punished for the various types of sins of incontinence (indulgence of the senses) which was represented by the she-wolf in the dark forest. The murky air in this region is symbolic of the clouding or abandoning of reason to the senses and the hurricane like winds are symbolic of their lust.
The souls are punished in this way for having abandoned their reason to the tempest of their carnal passions. So they are swept up and driven here and there by the tempests of the second circle.
Master Samael says that within the human being is the fight between sex and brain and when sex wins there is the abandon of reason.
“The original sin is definitely fornication, and this is the foundation of the involutionary waves of the infernal worlds”.
“Clearly, inhabitants of the subterranean regions are never free of lust and suffer frightfully. We must specify, however, as does Virgil’s disciple, that certain defects that we carry within us are more evident in particular circles or infra-dimensions.”
There in the third circle Dante and Virgil find a region where a putrid black snow, hailstones and rain, form a refuse-like icy slush on the ground. The souls in that region lie in the icy refuse-like slush all swollen and inert while the guardian of that region Cerberus the three headed dog, rips and tears at them with his teeth and scratches them with his claws.
This is the region of the gluttons, who abused food and drink and only produced “garbage and offal”. Here they lie in an icy slush like the refuse they produced in life and here Cerberus slavers over them as they slavered over food.
This circle is the antithesis of the heaven of Venus. The barks of cerebus represent the “violent animal sexual passions that are Luciferian and out of control”. The orgies, insatiable gluttony and drunkenness are the characteristics of this circle.
After all pleasure comes pain and bitterness, and the tears produced by this pain is symbolized by the rain that constantly falls.
Cerbrus (Gustave Doré)
Gluttens swollen and inert in the icy slush (Gustave Doré)
Summary – Questions to V.M Samael
“Q: “Master, can you tell us what the bacchanalia and orgies in the third Dantean circle or subterranean region of Venus are like?
A: “Ladies and gentlemen, such a question makes me remember the days of my youth. At that time, I also joined the great sparkling feasts. I was right in the midst of the revelry and feasting, in the midst of carousing and orgies. Afterwards, there was bitterness, pangs of consciousness, and similar feelings.
After one of these feasts, I was taken to the third Dantean circle. I was conscious and clothed in my astral body. I sat at the head of the table of destiny at the feast of the demons. Grievous beauty of great materiality, the memory of which moves the inmost fibres of my soul. The table was full of bottles of liquor and filthy viands specially for gluttons. In the centre of that table was a big tray with a pig’s head displayed on it. I was terrified before that macabre feast; I was horrified and in pain as I saw that place of orgy.
Suddenly, everything changed. My divine Real Being, my Intimus, that angel of the Apocalypse of Saint John, who has in his hands the key of the abyss, gripped one of my arms and dragged me, as if by magic, out of the room. He threw me onto a white mortuary sheet that was on the disgustingly filthy floor and whipped me with a big chain. At the same time, he said, “You are my Bodhisattva, my human soul, and I need you to give the message of the new Age of Aquarius to humanity! Will you serve me or not?” Then, my heart was moved. I answered, “Yes Lord, I will serve you. I repent forgive me.”
That was what happened, friends. That’s how I started to abhor liquor, feasts, gluttony, drunkenness, and similar things. The only thing that can come from all that filth is tears, symbolized by the rain of that horrible region, those pestilent waters of bitterness and horrible mud of misery.”
In the fourth circle Dante and Virgil see something like a nation of souls divided into two parties. Where both parties heave and roll huge stones at one another, to only then roll the stones back towards themselves and then against each other once more, endlessly repeating the same.
One party is the hoarders and the other party is the wasters. The wasters shout “Why do you hoard?” and the hoarders shout “Why do you waste?”. They do this continuously without pause.
Dante sees that some of the hoarders were members of the clergy and that they are all so dim and without light. This is because excessive hoarding or squandering is a tremendous bottling of the consciousness and a denial of the light that will allow them to see their predicament. For example, gamblers lack the light to see that their squandering will lead them to complete ruin, and hoarders don’t see that they will die a lonely miserable death and will leave all their precious belongings behind. In fact many hoarders become so reclusive that they have no one to benefit when they die.
Hoarders and squanderers become so fixated in their position being a hoarder or squanderer that one can not understand the other, thus the eternal conflict between them. The clash of stones indicates that the extremes of both sides meet together in misery. The squander becomes the beggar and the hoarder becomes the lonely recluse. The heavy stones symbolize the effort and hard work both sides make to maintain their activities.
The mistake or error of the hoarders and misers is that they didn’t manage their goods with balance.
Virgil and Dante are menaced by Plutus, however Virgil successfully silences him. Plutus is the Greek God of wealth and presides over this circle.
Plutus Silenced by Virgil (Gustave Doré)
Spendthrifts and Hoarders (Misers) (Gustave Doré)
“After deeply analysing this issue, we must solemnly state that squandering is as absurd as avarice. Within the common cosmic “Trogoautoegocratic” process we should always remain balanced. It is clear that the violation of the law of equilibrium brings painful karmic consequences.”
“The particular economy of each person, what each person earns and spends, etc also belongs to the great eternal common cosmic Trogoautoegocratic law.”
In the fourth circle Virgil and Dante come across a black, bubbly spring that has formed what is called the marsh of Styx. The marsh of Styx is the fifth circle which is the last region of upper hell.
Styx is a Greek word meaning hatred and sadness.
In the black slimy marsh Dante and Virgil see souls fighting, attacking and ripping at one another. These are the souls who were overcome with anger.
Below the marsh is another region similar to a sub-region of the fifth circle. There reside the souls of the sullen or the melancholic, who were not happy in life under the sun but instead were sad and sullen when they should have been happy. They say “Sad were we in the air made sweet by the sun, in the glory of his shining our hearts poured a bitter smoke. Sullen were we begun, sullen we lie forever in this ditch.”
Anger, arrogance and sadness are the characteristics of this circle.
Dante and Virgil encounter Phlegyas the boatman of Styx. Virgil commands Phlegyas to take him and Dante across the marsh. Phlegyas does it and leaves them at the gates of the city of Dis.
River Styx and Phlegyas (Gustave Doré)
Wrathful in the River Styx (Gustave Doré)
They are barred entrance into the city of Dis, and it is only by the help of an Angel that the gates of the city are opened to them. The entrance into the city of Dis represents the entrance into the lower and deeper regions of hell. The rebellious angels guard the city of Dis.
Dis is the name for Pluto the King of the underworld. The first five circles are the upper regions of hell and the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th circles of hell are within the walls of the city of Dis.
Phlegyas was the mythological king of Boetia and son of Ares. He had a human mother, and angry at Apollo who had seduced his daughter, he set fire to Apollo’s temple at Delphi.
Dante shows us here that the states of anger are very heavy and can take us rather deep into our own abyss and the abyss of nature. Dante passes on a revelation here to us that when we should have been happy and we were sad and melancholic we even though we were not angry we incur some sort of punishment or karma for that and it is actually in its depth a type of anger that is really quite heavy and negative, even more negative that being visibly angry it seems according to Dante.
Before the gates of the city of Dis are opened to them, “three hellish and inhuman Furies”, “bloodstained and wild” whose “limbs and gestures hinted they were women” called Medusa from a tower to come and turn Dante and Virgil to stone. Virgil held Dante’s eyes closed until the danger had passed. These “three hellish and inhuman Furies” are the three furies or the three traitors. Virgil identified each fury by name as is common in every esoteric tradition; the three furies or traitors always each have a name.
Angel opening the way into the City of Dis (Gustave Doré)
Burning graves of the heretics (Gustave Doré)
Once the gates of the city of Dis are opened by an Angel, Dante and Virgil enter the sixth circle and there they see the landscape like a cemetery littered with tombs of various sizes. Each tomb is like a barrel made from iron that is heated red hot by fires that abound in that region.
Here in this region Dante and Virgil encountered the atheists and the heretics. Specifically those who taught that the soul dies with the body and so they themselves as a soul, are laid in a grave for dead. The tombs also symbolize the passions, prejudices and limitations of those in this region.
Also present in this region are the great legislators of history and the tyrants, who governed with tyranny and only complicated and harmed humanity.
There are certainly people that believe that when their body dies they will cease to exist as well. These people do not know that they are primordially an essence that can not be lost or destroyed and has no ending.
Dante shows us here how negative such a belief really is and furthermore how negative it is to teach that to others.
Also it explains why we suffer so much when we identify with our body and our personality. We may actually descend to a very deep place in our own abyss and we get connected with quite a deep circle within the abyss of the planet as well.
Dante and Virgil scramble down an escarpment and enter the seventh circle of hell. There they are menaced by the Minotaur and once again Virgil successfully wards off the danger. Further on, they encounter the river of blood which marks the first sub-circle or round of the 7th circle.
The seventh circle has three rounds or sub-circles which are for:
Those who were violent towards others.
Those who were violent towards themselves.
Those who were violent towards God.
First Round – Violence Towards Others
In the first region Dante and Virgil encounter those who were violent against their neighbours, war mongerers, cruel tyrants, assassins, soldiers etc. all those who shed the blood of their fellowmen and lived off the blood of their fellowmen. As they wallowed in blood they are immersed in boiling blood according to the degree of their guilt. Alexander the great is there immersed in blood upto his eyebrows. Centaurs guard the river and shoot anyone with arrows who tries to rise up out of the river of blood more than what is allowed. The arrows symbolize the anger that those souls strengthened in their psychology.
Virgil manages to win a safe passage over the river of blood from Chiron the leader of the centaurs. Chiron orders a centaur Nessus to take them across the river of blood.
Nessus - centaur escort across the river of blood (Gustave Doré)
Charion leader of the centaurs (Misers) (Gustave Doré)
Second Round – Violence Toward Oneself
After taking Dante and Virgil across the river of blood Nessus leaves them at the edge of the wood of the suicides. Here they find those who committed suicide, those who destroyed their own substance.
The souls who committed suicide are sent by Minos to this region as a seed that grows into a tree whose leaves are constantly eaten by harpies (witches with bird bodies). As the harpies eat the leaves of the trees blood flows from the trees and only when the blood flows can the souls speak. As they destroyed their bodies they are denied human form and as the maximum expression of their life was self-destruction they can only speak or express themselves through their own destruction or wounds (blood and pain). The Harpies in Greek mythology were those who defiled and destroyed all that they touched so it is apt that they are the ones who harm those who committed suicide.
While in the wood of the suicides Dante saw two famous squanderers and destroyers of goods that are chased by hounds and are overcome and ripped to pieces, with the hounds carrying off their limbs in their teeth. This is the punishment for those who commit suicide destroying their own flesh.
Forrest of the Harpies (Gustave Doré)
Suicides (Gustave Doré)
Third Round – Violent Towards God
Dante and Virgil find a great plain (desert) of burning sand upon which descends a continual slow rain of fire. There blasphemers those who were violent towards God are stretched out on the sand, the sodomites those who were violent towards nature run in endless circles and the usurers those who were violent towards art huddle in a group on the sand.
The burning plain with raining fire symbolizes that blasphemy, sodomy and usury are all unnatural and sterile actions, as sterile as the desert. The burning of the sand represents the punishment from nature (below) and the fiery rain represents the punishment from God (above), where normally rain should be cool and refreshing, it is instead against them as they were against God.
Blasphemers under a rain of fire (Gustave Doré)
Brunetto Latini Dante's tutor (Gustave Doré)
Extraordinary, Saturn is the circle of violence, where all that goes against the correct order of things in relationships is prevalent.. This region is all about cutting, disintegration and breaking down.
There are three basic relationships, they are the one between us and others, the one with ourselves and the one with God. Relationships must be cultivated and strengthened using good will and love. When the opposite of these two qualities are present then we begin to break down relationships and align ourselves with this circle. Very importantly if we approach and act with good will and love in all three of these types of relationships we will travel far from this circle of Saturn and be more e and more immune to its influence.
Dante and Virgil walk beside a boiling blood-red rill or stream that flows from the woods of suicide and across the burning plains of the seventh circle to a great cliff where at the bottom of the cliff begins the eighth circle.
While on top of the cliff Virgil commands Dante to drop a chord he had around his waist over the edge. There answering this signal comes the Geryon, the monster of fraud. Dante and Virgil jump onto the back of the Geryon and the Geryon flies them down to the eighth circle.
The Geryon had an innocent face yet a body of a reptile. Its back, arms and chest were all very hairy and it had a tail with a stinger like a scorpion. Tradition says that Geryon was a Spanish king that Hercules killed so to acquire his cattle. However tradition, gives another later version of the Geryon, as being a murderer and thief of strangers whom he lured into his realm thus defrauding his guests.
Geryon symbol of deceit (Gustave Doré)
Descent into the eighth circle (Misers) (Gustave Doré)
Dante gives the eighth circle a name Malebolge which means the evil ditches. Dante describes the eighth circle as being a great circle of black stone that is like an amphitheatre with ten concentric ditches. Each ditch represents a type of fraud and where souls who in life where guilty of that type of fraud reside.
First Bolgia (Ditch) – The Panderers and Seducers
The panderers and seducers are in the first ditch from the top of the eighth circle. They have been assembled into two files where demons with large horns whip them so to keep them moving in a fast walk without rest. As these souls drove others in life for their own purposes they too here are driven against their own will.
Second Bolgia (Ditch) – The Flatterers
In the second ditch Dante finds the flatterers immersed in a river of excrement. One of those in this ditch said to “Down to this have the flatteries I sold the living sunk me here among the dead.”
Third Bolgia (Ditch) – Simoniacs
Dante finds here in the third ditch the Simoniacs, those who sold church offices and favours for money. This ditch or bolgia is lined with tube like holes where the souls that reside have been placed into the holes head first with the soles of their feet sticking out and on fire. The more guilty they are the more intense is the fire on their feet.
Fourth Bolgia (Ditch) – Fortune Tellers and Diviners
Dante finds in the fourth bolgia the fortune tellers and diviners. They have their head turned backwards 180°, so that they only look back and never forward. Their eyes fill with tears and they are compelled to endlessly walk backwards. As they tried to look forward in time by forbidden means (sorcery) which is against God they have their body deformed only to look backward and not even see in front of themselves.
Fifth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Grafters
Dante finds in the fifth bolgia the grafters. Who are those that trafficked with justice and abused their position as senators and magistrates. They are immersed in boiling tar, and demons stand over them ready to tear at them with claws and grappling hooks if they rise their head out of the tar. Being immersed in tar out of sight could be symbolic for the fact that all their dealings were hidden and behind closed doors. The hooks and sticky tar could indicate how the grafters were in life always trying to get their hands onto things so to corrupt.
Sixth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Hypocrites
Dante finds in the sixth bolgia the hypocrites. They march endlessly in a circle following a narrow track wearing robes similar to a monk’s habit. The habits are golden on the outside and lead on the inside. As the hypocrites appear to shine and even appear holy, their robes are golden on the outside and dark on the inside as is typical of a hypocrite. Their lead robes could symbolize the heavy debt that their deception has on their conscience and which they must pay.
In this ditch Dante and Virgil find Caiaphas, who is nailed to the ground with three stakes and in such a position that every hypocrite has to step on him. As he was the chief hypocrite, being the high priest and yet advised the Pharisees to crucify Jesus the Christ.
Seventh Bolgia (Ditch) – The Thieves
Dante finds in the seventh bolgia the thieves. They are in a ditch filled with reptiles. The snakes coil around them binding their hands behind their back. Other reptiles move through the air and scurry through the ditch. Dante and Virgil see one reptile fly and pierce the jugular of one of the thieves. The thief bursts into flames and burns until only ashes remain, and then with great pain the thief resuscitates, only for it to happen again later.
The act of thievery is reptile like in nature – quiet and astute, so reptiles are the elements that punish those who were thieves. Because the hands are the main instruments of a thief the reptiles bind them, and as the thieves destroyed their fellowmen by making their belongings disappear over and over again their own body is made to disappear over and over again and only be returned to them with much pain.
Hypocrites in endless march (Gustave Doré)
Thieves attacked by snakes (Gustave Doré)
Eighth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Evil Councilors
Dante finds in the eighth bolgia the evil counselors, who in this ditch are hidden in great flames. They were the ones who abused the divine virtues for lower purposes. As they conducted their activities in hiding, they too are hidden from plain sight and as their tongue was the instrument that damaged the most they are continuously tormented by being licked by tongues of fire. Dante finds there Ulysses and Diomede who together planned many strategies which contributed toward the fall of Troy. That is why they are in a joint yet divided flame, to perhaps symbollise their joint guilt and to show that sooner or later a union made for the purposes of evil will split or break.
Ninth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Sowers of Discord
Dante finds in the ninth bolgia the sowers of discord. There a blood covered demon wielding a huge sword mutilates all those there in the ninth bolgia. As they divided and made schisms among things that were meant to be united they are divided (mutilated). They are compelled to drag behind them mutilated parts to have them heal and when meeting the demon again only to have them cut off again.
Dante classifies those in this ditch into three classes. Those who were the: sowers of religious discord, sowers of political discord and sowers of discord among kinsmen. There is one there that in life had separated father from son and has his head cut off and carries it by the hair.
Separated father from son (Gustave Doré)
Mutilated sowers of discord (Gustave Doré)
Tenth Bolgia (Ditch) – The Falsifiers
Dante finds in the tenth bolgia the falsifiers, which he describes there being four classes of. The falsifiers are surrounded by all sorts of decay, stench, disease, thirst, darkness and filth everything that afflicts the senses.
The four classes of falsifiers:
The Alchemists (the falsifiers of material goods).
Impersonators (falsifiers of personal identities).
Counterfeiters (falsifiers of money).
False witnesses (falsifiers of words).
The alchemists suffer from all sorts of diseases, the impersonators run constantly seizing others and being seized by others, the counterfeiters suffer many a manner of diseases compounded by an intolerable thirst, and those who bore false witness suffer by fighting among themselves exchanging blows and words.
Neptune is the circle of fraud. Reading through what Dante said about this circle one gets quite scared. Partly because fraud is very common today in our society, it seems now with the internet that fraud is even more prevalent. We even may find ourselves while reading this post a little bit guilty of some of these frauds to a very minor degree. Well certainly in my case anyway, concerning flattering, hypocrisy and discord.
Well it is just goes to show that we really have to think twice about fraud because it is quite a heavy, it is the second deepest circle in the abyss. It is does harm always to others and this harm is what we usually underestimate and don’t believe that others should suffer because of our fraudulent actions.
After passing over the tenth or innermost concentric bolgia or ditch of the eighth circle Dante and Virgil arrive at the centre of the eighth circle to find a great well or pit. At the bottom of the pit is the ninth and final circle of hell, named Cocytus. Dante discovers that inside the pit are the giants and titans of the past standing guard over those in the ninth circle. Virgil persuades on of them to take them both down into the ninth circle.
The ninth circle is a huge frozen lake where those who were treacherous to those whom they were bound by special ties are fixed frozen in the lake. Dante describes the lake as having four concentric circles which represent four classes of treachery.
TThe four classes of treachery:
Caina (those who were treacherous against the members of own their blood).
Antenora (those who were treacherous against their country).
Ptolomea (those who were treacherous toward their guests and friends).
Judecca (those who were treacherous toward their masters).
At the very centre of the ninth circle Dante and Virgil find Satan or the Typhon Baphomet and they climb down his hairy back to leave hell.
Frozen lake of traitors (Gustave Doré)
Satan (Typhon Baphomet) Judecca (Gustave Doré)
The first circle of Caina is named after Cain who slew his brother Abel. Those in the circle of Caina are those who betrayed members of their own blood. They have their necks and heads out of the ice and can bow their heads to avoid the freezing gale and allow their tears to fall without freezing their eyes shut.
The second circle or round of the ninth circle is Antenora named after Antenor who was believed to have betrayed troy, his city to the Greeks. Those in this circle are those who betrayed their country. They have their heads and necks above the ice but can not bow their heads.
The third circle or round of the ninth circle is Ptolomea named after Ptolomaeus of Maccabees who murdered his father-in-law at a banquet. Those in this circle are those who betrayed their guests or were treacherous toward hospitality. They have their heads half frozen in the ice and their tears freeze in their eyes sealing them shut. The comfort of tears is denied to them. Here Dante says that this type of treachery is so grave that those who commit it are sent straight away to this circle even being alive. Their bodies remain on earth living but inhabited by a demon.
Judecca is the last round or circle of the ninth circle and is named after Judas Iscariot, those who betrayed their masters. They lie distorted in very painful positions and completely frozen and sealed in the ice. They can not speak.
In this round is also Satan himself fixed to the ice at a position where all the rivers of guilt meet. He is there beating his wings trying to escape but the wind from his wins freezes him further to the ice. He has three faces, each with a different colour and each mouth there is someone being ripped constantly by his teeth. Judas Iscariot is in the centre mouth, Brutus and Cassius in the other two mouths.
Way out of hell (Gustave Doré)
Dante and Virgil emerge from hell (Gustave Doré)
Before reading this from Dante and Master Samael I didn’t really think that treachery was so bad. But thinking about it, it certainly really is. It is the maximum of going against something or someone and it is so ungrateful because in all the cases of treachery, the person who betrays is actually receiving many benefits including the benefit of trust from the party that he or she betrays.
I think that it is not treachery when we you betray the party that who belong to because they are going to do something very wrong. That is rather tricky if you do it and they do not know about it, that is a form of treachery but on the other hand you are working for a greater good. Certainly if you tell them before you do it, I think that it is not treachery. It is amazing how speaking, that is just a couple of words can change the whole situation from something belonging to the 9th sphere to something belonging to the 5th or 7th sphere.
The abyss and our own abyss is the special place where all our egos are located. In the abyss of nature is our abyss. The abyss is basically charged with the vibrations and the atoms of the egos and the activities that the egos take part in. The activities of the egos release certain vibrations and atoms and generate certain negative vibrations and these vibrations attract negative atoms.
Descending into Our Abyss
We can descend consciously into our own abyss and into the abyss of nature, or we can go there unconsciously without knowing it.
To descend into our own abyss we use meditation or just deep inquiry. If we are a little drowsy while trying to descend we can experience our own abyss in images, sound and as scenario that we observe or either take part in it.
Descending into Nature’s Abyss
The way we descend into the abyss of nature, is by using the astral body. We have to project the astral and enter the infra-dimensions through a special door or gate.
The Earth is not the abyss, but our descent into the abyss begins here on Earth, It all depends on what we do. We have the ego and so we have our own abyss, which is none other than the special place in us where the ego gravitates to and resides in. The ego can not reside in our heavens but in our abyss. We have no other option but to work on ourselves to remove the inhabitants from our abyss, leaving it clear, clean and illuminated by the light of our consciousness.
n the Gnostic study of the order of the cosmos the last order of creation is the tritocosmos or the inferior regions of nature, also called the abyss or the inferno or in Christian terms: Hell.
Orders of Worlds
According to Gnosis the worlds or levels of creation or the levels of the cosmos are organised into a series of worlds that overlap and have originally unfolded from within the Absolute.
So just taking up the level of creation of galaxies, our galaxy (the galaxy we belong to) which is the Milky Way, then there is the Solar System (Ors), then the planets, then the human being and then the tritocosmos which following the pattern of each world being inside the other (e.g. the planets inside the solar system and the solar system is inside the galaxy etc.), the tritocosmos is inside the human being.
Atomic Infernos and the Inferior Regions of Earth
This is true that we have an abyss inside of us and amazingly enough there is also a correlation with this inferno or tritocosmos inside us and the inferno or inferior region of the planet in which we belong to or are a part of – Earth.
This is because we are a part of the planet, we are an organ of the planet, and we are connected to it. Certain levels of our own abyss link directly to other particular levels of the Earth's infr-dimensions.
Psychological States and the Tritocosmos
The abyss is inside of ourselves and often our egos take us there through identification and we experience or live out of our own abyss and at the same time we are also connected to the abyss of the planet. So in some ways with ego identification we live here physically (our body) but psychologically we live in the abyss! Terrifying! That is why we do such crazy things at times.
The psychological states that we experience due to identification with one or another ego is the same that we can feel or experience in the abyss of the nature or the planet Earth.
So what Dante describe in the first part (“Inferno”) of his trilogy called the Divine Comedy are spot on. The suffering that the souls undergo and experience in the various regions of the abyss or inferno of the planet earth are what we experience in our own abyss when we get identified with the ego or egos that take us down there.
The only way to escape our own abyss and the abyss of nature is dissolve the elements that bring us down there or connect us to those two abysses.
To escape though we have to descend into our own abyss and the abyss of nature to take the light and wisdom from there and then use that light to dissolve the ego. The key is to know when to withdraw from the abyss, staying there to long is dangerous.
I agree with many other people that the abyss is a place that we Gnostics don’t want to go or end up, and so we shouldn’t dwell too much on it. I agree with that, though all in balance. To ignore it completely is I think wrong, to think about it all the time and be scared of it is wrong as well.
I think the wise approach is to study the abyss and the errors and causes that can take us there so that we can avoid going there or ending up there. However, it is also very well known that in the work on ourselves and in the initiatic path, the initiates spend great lengths of time there working to dissolve their defects. They obviously do not enjoy being there but it is necessary to go there to get to know their defects, comprehend them and eliminate them.
There is that principle that we can not get free of something that we do not know. It is always that which we ignore or do not know is that which traps or enslaves us.
What I have Learnt
I learnt from this study that really the breeding ground for the abyss is here in life on level zero, in the realm between the abyss and the heavens. We actually start our descent to the abyss here in the physical world or we start our ascent towards the heavens here as well.
The mistakes that take us to the abyss are performed here in the physical world and the acts that take us up are carried out here as well.
The density and heaviness of our psychology takes us down there after we die physically.
We here of course have a very big decision to make. Should we think, feel and act to go up or to go down. Many of us have already made that choice – to go up. I think just understanding or knowing this is a big help for us, because it makes us more responsible for our destiny and it makes our time here on ground zero, the surface of the Earth much more valuable, because our time here is the a launching pad to take off or either slip downward.
Fear of the Abyss
The major psychological factor in the study of the abyss is fear and the non-acceptance. The fear I believe has to be overcome. It is much better to work on ourselves for the yearning of freedom and to be with our Being than to work on ourselves to escape the abyss because we are scared of it. There are points when we forget this fear and then of course we do not work on ourselves.
No Fear of the Abyss
Really fearing the abyss is something a little illogical. Why? Because it is almost natural or normal for us in our sleeping hypnotised state, that is the abyss is natural or normal according to the way we are and the way we live, in that in the abyss one experiences the egoic states that we live in nearly all the time and are so normal to us. In the abyss we of course have to deal with the egoic states of others which we do all the time anyway.
We have to define ourselves for the light because we may feel very prone to accept the egoic state as natural and then just go to the abyss. But we have to define ourselves for a different nature the nature of the Being which is our primordial, first and only real nature. This is where transmutation comes in because with transmutation we can change our nature to that of the Being’s nature.
Summary - Diagrams
The following diagrams give a good summary of the structure of the abyss or the Earth’s inferior dimensions.