Well, not the Biblical Lucifer, but the Roman one, the celestial body that heralds the rising and falling Sun in the sky, and they plan to get there aboard the Venus Climate Orbiter – AKATSUKI.
In more esoteric terms, especially to any Scottish Rite Mason of the 19th or higher degree, the idea of Lucifer is a much much more.
Pike saying in Morals and Dogma:
The Apocalypse is, to those who receive the nineteenth Degree, the Apotheosis of that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and works of Lucifer. LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls? Doubt it not! for traditions are full of Divine Revelations and Inspirations: and Inspiration is not of one Age nor of one Creed. Plato and Philo, also, were inspired.
Grand Pontiff – 19th Degree, Scottish Rite Freemasonry
For all those NOT stuck on the quote from Pike above, I wanted to share a story that taps that part of us from our path in the second degree – which is the study of astrology, better reffered to as astronomy.
In a few days (December 7th) the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter “AKATSUKI” will begin to enter the Venus orbit to begin study on Earth’s sister planet.
From the mission website:
This project’s main purpose is to elucidate the mysteries of the Venusian atmosphere.
You can see a terrific video on the project below, or if your feeling creative, you can make a paper-craft of the Akatsuki orbiter.
If your an early riser, and happen to have a clear sky, take a look up into the sky for a glimpse of the “evil light bringer”, the son of the morning Venus, before the orbiter gets there and starts beaming back images.
For the best times and how to find Venus without blinding yourself in the sun, check out Stardate.org’s December Stargazing Info for December.
For those who are still scratching your heads over the Lucifer/Satan/Light Bringer question and want to dig deeper into the history of it, all we need do is look at how the two became so intimately associated, even in such that Pike carried the mistranslation.
Lucifer is a Latin word meaning “light-bearer” (from lux, lucis, “light”, and ferre, “to bear, bring”), a Roman astrological term for the “Morning Star”, the planet Venus. The word Lucifer was the direct translation of the Septuagint Greek heosphoros, (“dawn-bearer”); (cf. Greek phosphoros, “light-bearer”) and the Hebrew Helel, (“Bright one”) used by Jerome in the Vulgate, having mythologically the same meaning as Prometheus who brought fire to humanity.
It wasn’t until later that Christian writers and translators made him into the bad guy and put horns and lakes of fire around him. It was Saint Jerome in a 4th century Vulgate(translation) that associated the two in a translation of a passage from Isaiah in which he substituted Lucifer for Satan. The passage, in the King James Version reads:
12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
In later translations, the use of Lucifer is dropped all together, which you can see here at the Bible Gateway.
The reason Jerome used the term Lucifer stems from his translation of the original Hebrew text הילל בן־שׁחר which is Heylel ben Shachar, which in turn he translated into “lucifer qui mane oriebaris” or more aptly in English “morning star that used to rise early”. The word Lucifer, in Roman times as Jerome was firmly entrenched, was the name they gave to the early morning and evening star we commonly call Venus today. (an interesting read on the translation lives on the website Riding the Beast , but the Wikipedia entry for Lucifer is a good one too).
Hell, pardon the pun, even Pike picked up on Christian view of Lucifer in saying that
“Masons of the nineteenth Degree see the apocalypse (insert revelations) as “the Apotheosis of that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and works of Lucifer.”
Two poems that look at this starry idea of Lucifer seem also to retain the mistranslation from antiquity, the first from the nefarious Aleister Crowley himself in his Hymn to Lucifer
Ware, nor of good nor ill, what aim hath act?
Without its climax, death, what savour hath
Life? an impeccable machine, exact
He paces an inane and pointless path
To glut brute appetites, his sole content
How tedious were he fit to comprehend
Himself! More, this our noble element
Of fire in nature, love in spirit, unkenned
Life hath no spring, no axle, and no end.
His body a bloody-ruby radiant
With noble passion, sun-souled Lucifer
Swept through the dawn colossal, swift aslant
On Eden’s imbecile perimeter.
He blessed nonentity with every curse
And spiced with sorrow the dull soul of sense,
Breathed life into the sterile universe,
With Love and Knowledge drove out innocence
The Key of Joy is disobedience.
And from the Victorian Era novelest and poet George Meredith in his poem Lucifer in Starlight.
On a starred night Prince Lucifer uprose.
Tired of his dark dominion swung the fiend
Above the rolling ball in cloud part screened,
Where sinners hugged their spectre of repose.
Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.
And now upon his western wing he leaned,
Now his huge bulk o’er Afric’s sands careened,
Now the black planet shadowed Arctic snows.
Soaring through wider zones that pricked his scars
With memory of the old revolt from Awe,
He reached a middle height, and at the stars,
Which are the brain of heaven, he looked, and sank.
Around the ancient track marched, rank on rank,
The army of unalterable law.
- Average distance from the Sun: 108.2 million kilometers.
- Size (equatorial radius): 6,052 kilometers
- Mass (compared to that of the Earth): 0.815 times
- Average density: 5.24 g/cm³
- Revolution period: 224.7 days
- Rotation period: 243.02 days
Some interesting tid bits on Venus:
The astronomical symbol for Venus is the same as that used in biology for the female sex: a circle with a small cross beneath. The Venus symbol also represents femininity, and in ancient alchemy stood for the metal copper. Alchemists constructed the symbol from a circle (representing matter) above a cross (representing spirit).
The website the Hallow Planet has some interesting ideas on the atmosphere of Venus worth reading too.
And some ancient history about Venus from Wikipedia:
One of the brightest objects in the sky, Venus has been known since prehistoric times and has had a significant impact on human culture from the earliest days. It is described in Babylonian cuneiformic texts such as the Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa, which relates observations that possibly date from 1600 BC. The Babylonians named the planet Ishtar (Sumerian Inanna), the personification of womanhood, and goddess of love. The Ancient Egyptians believed Venus to be two separate bodies and knew the morning star as Tioumoutiri and the evening star as Ouaiti. Likewise believing Venus to be two bodies, the Ancient Greeks called the morning star Φωσφόρος, Phosphoros (Latinized Phosphorus), the “Bringer of Light” or Εωσφόρος, Eosphoros (Latinized Eosphorus), the “Bringer of Dawn”. The evening star they called Hesperos (Latinized Hesperus) (Ἓσπερος, the star of the evening), but by Hellenistic times, they realized the two were the same planet. Hesperos would be translated into Latin as Vesper and Phosphoros as Lucifer (“Light Bearer”), a poetic term later used to refer to the fallen angel cast out of heaven. The Romans would later name the planet in honor of their goddess of love, Venus, whereas the Greeks used the name of her Greek counterpart, Aphrodite (Phoenician Astarte).
To the Hebrews it was known as Noga (“shining”), Helel (“bright”), Ayeleth-ha-Shakhar (“deer of the dawn”) and Kochav-ha-‘Erev (“star of the evening”). Venus was important to the Maya civilization, who developed a religious calendar based in part upon its motions, and held the motions of Venus to determine the propitious time for events such as war. The Maasai people named the planet Kileken, and have an oral tradition about it called The Orphan Boy. In western astrology, derived from its historical connotation with goddesses of femininity and love, Venus is held to influence those aspects of human life. In Indian Vedic astrology, Venus is known as Shukra, meaning “clear, pure” or “brightness, clearness” in Sanskrit. One of the nine Navagraha, it is held to affect wealth, pleasure and reproduction; it was the son of Bhrgu and Ushana, preceptor of the Daityas, and guru of the Asuras. Early Chinese astronomers called the planet Tai-pe, or the “beautiful white one”. Modern Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese cultures refer to the planet literally as the metal star, based on the Five elements. Lakotan spirituality refers to Venus as the daybreak star, and associates it with the last stage of life and wisdom.
So look for some new photos of the mysteriously veiled planet and perhaps we can learn some insight on the light bringer which for so long has held as the sinister Lucifer in the sky.