Anacalypsis: an attempt to draw aside the veil of the Saitic Isis : or an inquiry into the origin of languages, nations, and religions – Volumes 1 & 2
By Godfrey Higgins
- Full text of Anacalypsis An Attempt To Draw Aside The Veil Of The … – Archive.org
- Anacalypsis: Vol I & Vol II [PDFs] – TheDarkSideOfHistory
Anacalypsis (full title: Anacalypsis: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis or an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages, Nations and Religions) is a lengthy two-volume treatise written by religious historian Godfrey Higgins, and published after his death in 1836. The book was published in two quarto volumes numbering 1,436 pages, and contains meticulous references to hundreds of references. Initially printed as a limited edition of 200 copies, it was partially reprinted in 1878, and completely reprinted in a limited edition of 350 copies in 1927. In 1965, University Books, Inc. published 500 sets for the United States and 500 sets for the British Commonwealth with Publisher’s Note and a Postface.
The original term anacalypsis comes from the Greek ανακάλυψης, which can be translated as “discovery” or “find”. The word “anacalypsis” is the antonym of “apocalypse”. In the work, the meaning of the word is twofold: on the one hand, the idea of anacalypsis is seen as something that is evident, transparent and clear, while the apocalyptic is mysterious, dark, and enigmatic; on the other hand, the term “apocalypse”, from the Greek ἀποκάλυψις, means Revelation, and refers to the last canonical book of the New Testament, Revelation, where a teleological (Christian) principle states that the world is heading for an imminent and tragic end; whereas the “anacalypsis” does not refer to a teleological principle, but a regression towards the beginning that allows us to see through light how myths were created, precisely like the apocalypse in many religions. In fact, the title of the book speaks precisely about this unveiling from the Egyptian goddess Isis. The idea of “anacalypsis” as “unveiling”, was discussed in depth by the Russian-born writer and theosophist Helena Blavatsky, in her book Isis Unveiled.
The work is the product of more than twenty years of research, during which Higgins tried to uncover “a most ancient and universal religion from which all later creeds and doctrines sprang”. It includes several maps and lithographic plates of Druidical Monuments. The book itself details many of Higgins’ beliefs and observations about the development of religion. Among these was his theory that a secret religious order, which he labeled “Pandeism” (from Pans- or Pandu- referring to a family of Gods, appending with -ism), had continued from ancient times to the present day, stretching at least from Greece to India, and possibly having once covered the entire world:
- “All this seems to confirm the very close connexion which there must have been in some former time, between Siam, Afghanistan, Western Syria, and Ireland. Indeed I cannot doubt that there has been really one grand empire, or one Universal, one Pandæan, or one Catholic religion, with one language, which has extended over the whole of the world; uniting or governing at the same time…”
Among the many unusual theories presented in this book is that both the Celtic Druids and the Jews originated in India – and that the name of the Biblical Abraham is really a variation of the word Brahma, created by shifting the last letter to the beginning: Abrahma. Higgins used the term “Pandeism” to describe the religious society that he purported had existed from ancient times, and at one time had been known throughout the entire world. Higgins believed this practice continued in secret until the time of his writing, in the 1830s in an area stretching from Greece to India.
I think Pandeism was system; — and that when I say the country or kingdom of Pandæa, I express myself in a manner similar to what I should do, if I said the Popish kingdom or the kingdoms of Popery; or again, the Greeks have many idle ceremonies in their church, meaning the Greeks of all nations: or, the countries of the Pope are superstitions, &c. At the same time, I beg to be understood as not denying that there was such a kingdom as that of Pandae, the daughter of Cristna, any more than I would deny that there was a kingdom of France ruled by the eldest son of the church, or the eldest son of the Pope.
His usage appears related to pantheism, but is distinctly different. While pantheism normally refers to one universal god, the Pandeism described by Higgins, refers to the worship of a family, a union, or a pantheon of gods which are collectively universal.