Globes: scepters, swords, and crystal spheres

Globes: you often see them when watching television news, documentaries or films. Sometimes, when visiting a  museum,  you can view old, remarkable world globes. The only public museum entirely devoted to globes is in Vienna and it is an imperial collection. There are a number of terrestrial and celestial globes, the majority of them dating from before 1850. Anyway, in museums, there are many small globes that escape your eyes and you don’t easily connect with their primitive, original meaning.

Constantine’s portrait on coins and medaillons

Coins and silver medaillons dating about 313-321 AD show Constantine portrait. He is wearing his special helmet with the clear chi-rho sign as a crest on his head, a solar halo symbol. When looking for details, you will immediately notice a scepter surmounted with a globe on the right of his face.

The only Roman scepter found at the Palatine Hill is believed to have been held by emperor Maxentius. It is topped by a blue orb that represents the earth. Maxentius drowned in the Tiber at the battle of the Milvian bridge (312 AD), fighting against his brother in law, Constantine. The battle was a turning point in world history. Constantine won the Western Empire as a result. Without that victory, the Byzantine Empire would probably never have been founded.  In such important moments, the introduction of symbols has to be considered important. The use of the Christ monogram on the imperial helmet along with the scepter capped with the pattern of the globe enter together as pagan religious symbols of the papacy.

Constantine the Great remained a pagan until his death. However, he is considered to have given a start to the institution of the papacy. So he was the first Pope. The emperor kept on worshiping Sol, the sun god the Romans always had worshiped, thus even shifting the day of worship to the Dies Solis, the Sunday. Eusebius, his biographer, maintains that before that important battle against Maxentius, Constantine had a vision. He saw a cross over the sun with the inscription “By this conquer”. As he was in a deep state of anxiety, the need to receive some higher help from God was a torment. Maybe something of a superstitious feeling was obsessing him. To ward off bad luck, he felt the necessity to resort to some form of talismanic gestures.

A staff surmounted with globe

So, by night, as told by Eusebius, Christ appeared to him in a dream suggesting to paint the cross (called the Labarum, a staff surmounted with globe and capped with the Chi-Rho) on his soldiers’ shields. Notice that up to then soldiers shields had brought the sign of the sun rays. So the Chi-rho sign was a simple equivalent of the sun. Constantine retained the office of pontifex maximus and continued the sol invictus legends on his coinage and monuments. The Sol Invictus became a representation of Christ as it is evidently shown by the choice of the winter solstice period to commemorate Christ’s nativity. Sun was mixed again with God’s worship. And, in addition, kings and emperors went on establishing dogmas according to their political needs.

Maxentius’ military regalia

Scepters topped with a globe where introduced by Augustus as a symbol of Rome’s power. They were carried by emperors while riding in chariots to celebrate military victories. Emperors were often pictured on coins holding a scepter. Scepters capped with calcedonium globes were symbols of the territories kings and emperors kept under their authority. It was a way to signify the royal person in front of his subjects.

Maxentius’ scepter is on display at the National museum of Rome. Scepters were found by archaeologists together with a number of different regalias which were the revered spear tips for the emperors’ standards. Maxentius’ military artifacts were found in 2005 on the Palatine hills, in a wooden box alongside with other imperial battle insignia and ceremonial lance heads. A number of glass spheres, believed to be a symbolic representation of the earth, were hidden together. Maxentius’ supporters hid the box with its military contents, carefully wrought in silk and linen, to prevent the artifacts from falling into enemy hands.

Crystal balls among the many national state regalia

The tomb of Childéric, king of the Salian Franks (457- 481) and the father of Clovis, was discovered by chance in 1653 in present-day Belgium. The treasure in 1665  was presented to King Louis XIV of France by Emperor Leopold I as a diplomatic gift. It included Byzantine coins, jewels from Childéric’s sword, and among other, a crystal ball. Crystal pendants were commonly worn by warriors as lucky charms and by mariners for navigation.

The Scepter of Scotland was a gift of Pope Alexander VI to King James IV in 1494. It is fashioned of silver gilt and encases both a finial of polished rock and a single, impressive Scottish pearl. The Sword of State is a similarly impressive papal gift. Pope Julius II presented the etched blade to James IV in 1507. A sword of state is a sword used as a part of the regalia, symbolizing the power of a monarch to use the might of the state against its enemies, and his duty to preserve right and peace. Many scepters and swords of State are topped with globes. The same will be the case when examining the Scottish regalia. They remain some of the most iconic crown jewels of Europe.

A crystal ball lies in the scepter of Scotland that is said to have been originally possessed by pagan druids. The Honors of Scotland were used for the coronation of the Scottish monarchs. They have been used to represent  Royal Assent to legislation at the Scottish Parliament before the Acts of Union. The polished ball of rock crystal is surmounted by a small golden globe and a pearl set atop.

Cleopatra’s famous eye

Cleopatra’s famous “Eye” was a large, rough quartz stone that had been ground and polished as smooth as glass on one of its upper surfaces. Staring into the dark depths of the crystal was supposed to reveal images of both the past and future. Cleopatra is said to have first seen the face of Mark Anthony in this stone.  The Sphere is currently in a private collection in Istanbul.

This way, it should appear totally clear the fact that world globes are associated both with politics and divination. When you think of fortune telling,  among the few classic objects coming to the mind there is, of course, the crystal ball. Pliny the Elder devoted one chapter of the Natural history to the Druids of the Gallic Provinces. He describes various forms of magic which include scrying with balls. Staring into an obsidian mirror was considered a mean to gain otherworldly wisdom.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi

crystal ball

You could be astonished to find important analogies between Constantine’s portrait and the Savior Mundi. They both are carrying the globe in their powerful hands, like Atlas of old. There are many Salvator Mundi carrying globes painted by well-known artists from around Leonardo’s time. For instance,  just to mention a famous one, Titian’s Salvator Mundi depicted in 1570 is exhibited at the Hermitage Museum. The Salvator Mundi painted by Leonardo, owned once by English king Charles I, has an illustrious history. It was commissioned by Louis XII of France when the painter was performing his celebrated masterpiece, the Mona Lisa. It is one of the fifteen Leonard’s paintings still existing.  The portrait is quite popular in its way of representing the Savior as holding in his left hand a large crystal ball.

The orb should be regarded as an emblem of the world Christ came to save. There’s an important reasoning staying at the base of the icon. Crystal balls were seen as a microcosm of creation and their language was understood as the language of the secret powers of the earth.  Kepler himself had the idea that crystal balls were a kind of reflection or image of the soul of the earth. Pagan religions used to attribute the earth its own soul, anima mundi. So, some balls were decorated with zigzags and chevrons, suggestive of water and waves, to indicate the image of the earth they represented.

I would like here to show how the ancient divinities, notwithstanding their multiple forms, were all assimilated into one. I’ll quote from the Westminster Review (1845),  Volumes 43-44, page 199 where I read that “As in other systems of mythology, the Celts united a female divinity Freya with Odin, as the Phoenicians did with…The offspring of their union was Thor, the Jupiter Tonans of classical writers presiding over air, wind, storms, and tempests in the creed of the Gauls. The Dies Jovis of the Romans, the Thorsdag of the Scandinavians, and the Donnerstag of the Germans have all derived their appellations from him. He was represented and worshipped also under the image of the sun.”

The most striking here is the fact that the Jupiter Tonans was represented and worshipped under the image of the sun. This is a clear indication of the interchangeability of all the pagan pantheon. The ultimate divinity was the sun, which also was a vegetation god. The Yule feast was held in December, the Saturnalia. Hylé was the sacred wood, the forest holy to Jupiter.  The Christmas Tree and the Sol Invictus have always been strictly associated. The globe, in this sense,  becomes a magical association with the sun, the earth and all the planetary gods united. The globe is an idol. It’s a magical object, a dirty representation of pagan worship. It has the goal to induce people to believe the sun is at the center of the earth among the planets movements. The globe becomes an image of power, used to activate hypnosis. Magic and hypnosis go hand in hand. They involve the ability to make the false true, but also to force people to do what somebody else wants them to do.

Putting a veil in front of  the eyes

The continuous exposition to the presence of the globe at school, in films, television news, books, documentaries, advertisements or cartoons is part of the magical hypnosis necessary to put a veil in front of all the eyes, to hide from them the truth. “If, in fact, the good news we declare is veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing,  among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.” (2Cor 4:3-4)

Magic is this: to make true what is false and the inverse. This is the reason why there is so much occultism in politics, religion, and science. Newton was an alchemist, Galileo an astrologer. In Swiss, at Cern, there’s a statue of Shiva, the goddess of dance to represent the movements of the celestial bodies. Magic is necessary to deceive people and make them act as Satan wants. His goal is to induce people to believe in God is not the Creator.

Hypnosis and the globe

Goebbels, the minister of the Nazi propaganda, said once that, by repeating hundreds of times a lie, it becomes a truth. This is the hypnosis mechanism used for enhancing the sun worship. Rulers need to induce a hypnosis state in their subjects, to make them believe what is false. To do this, communication is important. It is called communicational hypnosis. It doesn’t produce a trance effect, but a sort of daze that makes it quite impossible to understand the truth. To reach this effect It is necessary to repeat many and many times the same idea. Hypnosis is in fact called also monoideism. Think again to the fact that a lie repeated many times becomes truth. It is possible then to bypass the rational part of the brain by depicting images like the globe. When we see the globe we immediately think: this is the Earth, it is true. So we shut off the other part of the brain that shouts: the Earth is motionless and flat, the sun moves, it is small. This way people accept the lie and don’t investigate because they have a hypnotic veil over their eyes.

False worship always had to count upon images, because they involve the working of the superstitious part of the mind and shut off the rational one. God wants us to worship him without any sort of images in order to be free from any form of hypnosis. Isaiah 1:13, righteously states: “Stop bringing in any more valueless grain offerings. Incense—it is something detestable to me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of a convention—I cannot put up with the [use of] uncanny power along with the solemn assembly.”

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