The Renaissance sense of the Unicorn myth

In the middle of the twentieth century, the art world was shaken by a sensation. X-ray examination of the icon of the saint Catherine of Alexandria by an unknown author, unveiled that this was not an icon, but a heavily “corrected” portrait of “Lady with a Unicorn” by Raphael (the model was Julia Farnese). The picture was restored, the later edits were removed, and the picture appeared in all its glory.

The unicorn is a very interesting symbol in Western culture. Its profane interpretations are as follows:

This strange mystical animal, which is very difficult to hunt, according to the official version, came to the mythology of the West from India. Ancient authors describe it as a real but amazing animal, and it was dedicated to Artemis, the virgin goddess.

In the Bible, in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, the word unicorn μονό-κερως is very often used, but in a purely symbolic sense. In the Masoretic text, it is clear that this word does not exist. There are three versions. 1) The translators of the Septuagint translated the term רְאֵם as a unicorn, this is a bull, but some kind of special one, with mystical and symbolic attributes. 2) Another animal רֵּ֣ים was translated as the unicorn. This word is used only once in Scripture, and we do not know its meaning, but judging by the root, it is some special mystical animal, which was translated in the Septuagint as a unicorn. 3) A unicorn is a translation of a concept that was first in the Torah, and then disappeared from it.

We dwell on this in detail because in the Bible the unicorn is a sign with two meanings. Sometimes it is a very large, irresistible and terrible force. Sometimes it is a symbol of Christ.

Later, in the profane culture the sign-unicorn received two meanings:

Religious (less commonly) – is Christ, who is often depicted as a unicorn in the arms of the Virgin Mary.

Mythological – it is an amazing animal that cannot be tamed, except for a virgin. This topic is used many times in art, both in paintings and in literature, from ancient bestiaries to romantics and Gary Potter. There is a special plot about a wounded unicorn.

Raphael, like all other masters of the Renaissance, was initiated into esoteric circles, and painted a picture in Florence, which was the nest of occultism of that time. The fact that the unicorn on the picture was later painted over, tells us that the story with the unicorn has one more mysterious and esoteric meaning.
We do not know of any written sources about these meaning, but we do have a clue. These are fragments of the painting of the Palazzo Farnese in Italy. The villa was built at the beginning of the XVI century as the residence of the influential Farnese family. So Giulia Farnese was the mistress of Pope Alexander VI Borgia, and her brother later became Pope Paul III.
In particular, we are interested in fragments of the painting from the bedroom of Giulia Farnese.

Obviously, the images of the unicorn are saturated with occult symbolism. It was noticed long ago that Italy and Vatican during the Renaissance (and even till now) is a real nest of occultism. There is a legend about the words of Pope Leo X Medici, who ruled just during the completion of the construction of the Farnese Palace: “It has served us well, this myth of Christ“. By the way, it was during Leo X that Luther put forward his theses, launching the Reformation.

There are studies and multiple interpretations of frescoes in an alchemical key (the unicorn symbolizes mercury). However, we consider this interpretation a dead end without understanding the true meaning of the “great work” of alchemy and the unicorn. Julia clearly had something to do with the occult world of that time. Firstly, it is Julia Farnese who is depicted by Raphael in his famous painting with a unicorn. And Raphael was not alone, for example, here is a picture painted long after Julia’s death in 1602.

Julia (who was very beautiful) was the model of many paintings and icons, including Madonna. To paint Madonna from whores is a popular “joke” of the Renaissance. However, one has to pay attention on a strange thing: a married woman, the Pope’s mistress, roughly speaking a harlot, and a unicorn, which, as one knows, contacts only with virgins. Obviously, occultists understand plots about unicorn with a completely different meaning than profane. The paintings of the Farnese palaces, like other famous families of that time, are abundant with the image of the heraldic lily.

As you know, it was this lily that was the coat of arms of the Merovingians, and later it was taken as the coat of arms of the successor of their activities – the Priory of Zion. Many Renaissance artists and thinkers were also members of this order. It is interesting that in the 60s of the first century AD in the radical religious circles of Israel there was talk that supposedly the ancient prophecies would come true soon and the Jews would receive world power. Under this cause, they raised an uprising against Rome, but everything ended in failure. The rebels minted their coins on which they depicted, yes, the very lily!

Let’s analyze the brightest and most intense fresco:

So, we see a woman who clearly looks like Julia, sitting on a red dragon. This is the unambiguous symbol of the Babylonian harlot from the Apocalypse. Her dress is all covered with the lilies of the Priory of Zion and the Merovingians. She holds a bowl in her hands.

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication” (Rev.17: 3,4).
So, the harlot sits on the devil and feeds from a cup with abominations the unicorn. On the unicorn lies a blanket with the same lily. In the side of the unicorn, next to the blanket, we see a small wound. It turns out the Babylonian harlot, associated with a secret powerful occult society and the Merovingian family (from which, according to legend, the Antichrist is expected) heals with the abominations and sins of a wounded mystical one-horn beast.

What is this horn? “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Dan .7: 8). Here Daniel describes the last world satanic kingdom, which John in the Apocalypse calls the Beast: “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast” (Rev. 13: 1-3).
The symbolism of the beast in the Scripture has a double meaning. The Beast is a kingdom, an empire, a political force. By the way, the horn is also a symbol of strength and power. On the other hand, the sea beast is a symbol of the devil, or even his incarnation in the world.
That is, the Beast from the above quotation of the Apocalypse is a devilish world state, which should arise after the world civilization of consumption (Babylonian harlot) will be defeated. We wrote about this in the articles “The structure of Apocalypse” and “The Bible about the Beast”.

The Beast, as a world diabolical empire of the last times, was wounded through the coming into the world of Christ and the emergence of Christianity. God incarnated, it would seem that the kingdom of the Beast will no longer arise, people will follow the righteous path. By the way, many Christians thought and still think so. However, the Apocalypse paints a terrible picture for us. People will turn away from Christ and follow Babylon’s sins and abominations. And in this way, they will heal the wound to the Beast inflicted by Christ (yes – there are healers, therapists of the devil among people). Thus, the unicorn in the occult Renaissance interpretation is a symbol of the Beast of the Apocalypse.

The fresco not only illustrates the plot from Revelation, but also clarifies who specifically laid the foundations of the modern global civilization of consumption (the ideology of “humanism” and the Renaissance), and organizes the healing of the Beast and preparation for its arrival. These are the aristocratic families of old Europe, the Vatican, and the secret societies such as the Priory of Zion.

So, if you see unicorns in films, cartoons, paintings, on coats of arms – remember about the hidden meaning of it. Coat of Arms of Great Britain. Do you see lilies on the neck of the unicorn?

Let’s go back to alchemy. Eliphas Levi defined the Great Work, the main essence of all alchemy: “The Great Work is, before all things, the creation of man by himself, that is to say, the full and entire conquest of his faculties and his future; it is especially the perfect emancipation of his will“. In other words, this is a manifesto of the builders of the old Babylonian tower, and also the main aim of the ideology of the modern Babylonian harlot (Kabbala, humanism), which the Templars and Renaissance era were reviving so zealously. And a unicorn in alchemy is a symbol of the decisive stage of the Great Work. That is, humanism, Renaissance, alchemy and other esotericism are healing and then worship of the apocalyptic Beast, the devil.

By the way, about therapists-healers. One of the most important families, descending from the Templars, which laid the foundation for the healing of the devil during the Renaissance, bore the name Medici – doctors. The coat of arms of the Medici family with the same lilies.

The evolution of the devils image in the religious culture

It is interesting to review how people represent the devil in art.

According to the Bible, the devil on the earth appears in certain forms, defined by God. After being thrown from Heaven, Satan could appear on the earth as a serpent with legs. For example, his image from the Ishtar gate in Babylon (Sirrush, more precisely mušḫuššu – translated from Akkadian “great serpent”, “red dragon”, “fierce dragon”).

It is the unique image – because it absorbed almost all the symbolism of the devil from the Bible.
However, over time, in the Bible, the prophets have other artistic forms that complement the image of the devil. Moreover, some of the images have a double meaning – they depict, depending on the context, both God and the devil.
So the popular images of the devil among the prophets are a lion and an eagle. Let’s take a closer look – the Babylonian Sirrush has a reptilian body, the hind legs of an eagle, and the front legs of a lion.

He has also three horns. The two horns like a lamb’s and one straight.

Daniel (who lived in Babylon) describes the beasts used many features taken from Sirrush. According to Daniel, the sign of the triumphing devil as a global state is a horn.

According to John, the incarnation of devil as a man is the beast of the earth with two horns like a lamb. Therefore, this image of the Sirrush contains the features of the devil’s trinity:

  • The fallen angel Satan (the serpent with eagles’ and lion’s legs). After Satan tempted Eve, God took his legs away from him and he began to crawl on his belly like an ordinary snake.
  • The Incarnation of the devil as a state – horn, and the unicorn is one of the symbols of the devil. We have already written about this above.
  • The devil as a man/Antichrist with two lamb’s horns.

However, there is another point that Sirrush does not have – this is the human body.

Since in the Bible there is a strict prohibition on images, Jewish images of the devil have not reached us. However, with the spread of Christianity, the image of the devil also appears in iconography. He is depicted in various ways, but most often as humanoid with horns. The fact is that in the overwhelming majority of the image of the devil, human traits are present in one way or another. And this is not casual. John in Revelation writes that in the Last Times, when people heal the wound of the devil that Christ inflicted on him, and the devil returns to the world, one of his incarnations will be the form of a man “beast with horns like a lamb” as a parody of Christ. Moreover, the goat-faced devil was also adopted by various devil worshipers and occultists, for example, the Baphomet of Templar.

The Bible describes a very specific ritual of Yom Kippur (Judgment Day).
The fact is that, having sinned, the Jew had to come to the Jerusalem Temple and offer a sacrifice to God for sin. Sin leads to death, but in the sacrifice, the sacrificial animal died instead of the sinner. So the sin departed from the Jew, the animal died, and the sin did not disappear, but, as it were, fell on the Temple and the priests of the Temple. However, once a year, on the Day of Judgment, the high priest performed the rite of cleansing the Temple from the sins of the people that had accumulated in it over the year.
They took two goats. One was sacrificed to God, and on the other the priest laid his hands and, as it were, shifted, returned their sins to their original source and owner – the devil, symbolized by that second goat, who was called Azazel (the name of one of the fallen angels, which was also used as one of the names of the devil). The goat-Azazel was driven into the desert to take away sins to their primordial source – the devil. Thus, the devil received one of his images – like a horned goat.

In the Last Times, a man degrades so much and falls into sins that the devil can incarnate in a man-Antichrist. During the Renaissance, a strong foundation was laid for this. The place of God is taken by man – humanism. But everyone who is even a little familiar with the basics of philosophy and theology knows that man, due to his weakness, cannot be a deity. Under the guise of a man-god, people are worshiping the devil. Humanism is not possible; real humanism is Satanism.

Hence, the more humanism spread among people, the more humanlike they depicted the devil. In the “Middle Ages” he is still like this:

In the Renaissance he is already like this:

This is a picture of the devil, presumably by Botticelli (XV-XVI century). He has three faces.Then the devil acquires more and more human features, and in the XIX century, he is already like this:

And in the XX century he is already like this:

It is interesting that in the anthropomorphic depiction of the devil, the sexual issue is either ignored (he devil is represented as asexual), or, on the contrary, as a bisexual creature (like Baphomet). And this is not casual. The famous image of the devil in Isaiah – as the Morning Star, Lucifer, from ancient times symbolized the goddesses Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus. If we carefully study the theology of Ishtar, then we will actually see a copy of the biblical story of the devil and the fall of man. Ishtar is a female devil. Aphrodite was born from the sea. And according to the Bible, the sea is an image of the abode of infernal forces. By the way, Luc Besson’s film “Lucy” also hints to us in this direction.

However, let’s return to Botticelli’s drawing.
In my opinion, in the époque of modern the most adequate image of the devil is presented on the first page of the famous work of Thomas Hobbes “Leviathan”. Hobbes describes the mechanisms of the existence of human society in a Kabbalistic manner. And as an illustration, he presented us with images of humanity as one big collective devil, who, having in his hands the political power and power of the church, rules the little slaves, making them part of his supermachine body. It is a parody of the Church as the Body of Christ in which people are its members. In fact, the image of Hobbes is an analogue of the film “Matrix” of the XX century.

Let’s compare this drawing with Botticelli’s drawing.

They have something common. Botticelli indicates to us  not the reverse direction, to the outdated Templar Baphomet, but, as it were, foreshadowing the global diabolical system-Matrix, which Hobbes so aptly depicted to us 150 years after Botticelli or the Wachowski brothers/sisters 500 years after Botticelli.