Origin of the Seven Archons

Yaldabaoth Creates the Seven Archons

Fleeing Sophia’s presence, Yaldabaoth/Yahweh used the divine energy he had stolen from her to create offspring of his own:

“Yaldabaoth is the first ruler, who took great power from his Mother. Then he left her and moved away from the realms where he was born. He was strong, and created for himself other realms by means of a bright flame of fire that still exists. He mated with the Mindlessness that is in him, and produced his own Authorities.” ((“The Secret Book of John.” The Secret Teachings of Jesus. Trans. Marvin W. Meyer. Vintage, 1984. 65.))

These “Authorities” were the archons, seven animal-headed angels who help Yaldabaoth govern our solar system; in a shocking parody of the traditional view, these sinister beings were sometimes identified by divine names normally used for the Old Testament creator god.

“The names of glory of those who rule over the seven heavens are these:

The first is Athoth, with the face of a lion;
The second Eloaios, with the face of an ass;
The third Astaphaios, with the face of a hyena;
The fourth Yao, with the face of a seven-headed snake,
The fifth Sabaoth, with the face of a dragon;
The sixth Adonin, with the face of an ape;
The seventh Sabbataios, with a face of shining flames of fire.

This is the Seven of the week; these are the ones who govern the world.” ((“The Secret Book of John.” The Secret Teachings of Jesus. Trans. Marvin W. Meyer. Vintage, 1984. 56.))

The ancient gnostics identified the seven archons with the seven visible planets; together these wicked archons ruled over the “hebdomad,” a multi-layered network of prison walls with the Earth at its core.

Rev Illuminatus Maximus

Welcome to GnosticShock.com, online home of occult researcher and visionary artist Rev. Illuminatus Maximus.


  1. Pete on June 28, 2006 at 1:44 am

    Hyena? Really? I don’t know when this stuff was written, but surely this is a mistranslation from the original Greek/Aramaic or whatever. Africa was virtually unknown beyond the Nile and I do not think hyenas live further North. A Jackal, like the Egyptians had, yes, go for that, but a Hyena?

  2. Bruce on July 13, 2006 at 7:54 am

    Love the graphic

    I just wanted to say how much I love the art on this post. Do you have a full size version you could share?

  3. Guest on September 21, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    Look into the teachings of Carpocrates for the method (praxis) to end the madness of this world. This world was not created by the true acosmic nad Unknown God, but is merely the shadow created in His Light. It’s the illusion the profane and hylic live in like sleepwalkers trapped in a nightmare of endless sleep. Maya. It’s not Reality, but as nonexistant or dead as a carny act from the 19th century, nothing but a grand hoax, nada pues nada: all smoke and mirrors. Though seemingly the Cruel and O so real “Iron Prison” of an “Empire that never ended.” See Philip K. Dick, read his ‘Exegesis’ concerning Parmenides. We are One with the Father, this is the Gnosis Christ brought. Christ held the rulers of this world in contempt, having never forgotten what he experienced within the sphere of the True Eternal Fire of the Alien God. Holding the 7 Rulers in contempt is the beginning of wisdom.

  4. Guest on September 21, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    Carpocrates is my man, the first radical antinomian or “Cainite” libertine & spiritual anarchist. It’s curious to note a certain hint of “Cain contra Seth” (of the “Sethian” school of gnosticism) where Cain is dumped and Seth takes the limelight, this because Cain is listed as a “lion-faced” oppressive archon or ruler in the Nag Hammadi codices. Although, Cain is also, paradoxically, the first human to follow Lucifer into noble rebellion.

  5. Mo on May 17, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Few comments here. Lucifer is the word we were stuck with when Jerome latinized his version of the Bible. This section of Isaiah is lifted verbatim from Canaanite texts found in Ras Shamra and other Ugaritic sites. These texts of course venerate El– one of the two names for the OT God so often associated with the Demiurge, his wife Asherah, his son Baal aka Halel/Hallel, and other elohim. Halel, the “son of the dawn” goddess, shined like her and thus Jerome inserted Lucifer, from Luci (sun-like) and fer (pherous aka fire-like). Astute Gnostics are supposed to understand that whereas “Lucifer” was ejected from heaven, he was immediately incarnated as Adam’s son Cain. Cain isn’t even a formal name but, according to texts like the 13 Petaled Rose, was derived from Cohen, meaning Priest, because he inherited Adam’s vestiture of the High Priest to the world.

  6. Mo on May 17, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    As far as the alien headed sons of the Demiurge, this follows many religions in the world which recognized that before this very young version of Adamite humanity was created c. 4000 bc (only 6000 short years ago), there was a previous race of hybrid humans whom had animal features. The Corpus Hermetica is very explicit on this, saying that these hybrids were employed by the “Demiurge” to create humanity.

    On the “Demiurge”, since it is a Greek word which came to the Gnostics through Alexandria and Syria, recognize the two trains of thought here. Syrian Gnostics patronized the concept as that of an evil overlord creating an entire Universe. Alexandrian Gnostics, being Hermetics at heart, understood that the Hermetica stated that there was a small number of gods whom banded together to save the earth after a great calamnity. Individually they weren’t that powerful, but collectively they could marshal their TK or whatever to really terraform. Each of this Ogdoad or Hebdomad, mentioned in several later Gnostic texts, was called a “Demiurge”. Collectively they were also called the Demiurge because they had melded into a single being for the necessary time to accomplish their task.

    The word is used a lot more in Greek and Roman texts than most Gnostic experts are aware of, including my old pal Max for sure. Originally it denoted a Demos– a city, and the meeting place within this city. Here an aspiring leader would stand (an American colloquelism would be “stumping”) and *creatively *urge the collective to a desired course of action. Hardly the image of a totalitarian creator of Universes is emerging. The Syrian camp of Gnostics always were the Drama Queens, while the Alexandrian camp were known as the cerebral ones. Choose your path wisely with this one question in mind– which ones speak of fairy tales evincing evil overlords, and which ones lead the initiates towards inner seeking, contemplation, reflection and ultimately… enlightenment?

    If anyone wants to learn about the real story behind all of the fairy tales, just email me with specific questions. Sometimes we have to understandably solve such mysteries before we can move on to the mystery of ourselves and get back on track with living in the journey of the Now.

    Shout out to brother Max– it’s been a long time. Good to see the new website is up and running.

  7. Mitch on January 27, 2012 at 11:18 am

    If either is real then what do they want from us? What is our purpose here?

  8. Dave on May 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Fascinating. Such knowledge and hidden for so long? They are all stories made up by frightened people like me and you who are afraid of the unknown; who we are, where we come from, how we got here, where we go from here. It’s not a bad or evil thing to give comfort by making up stories and making it seem as though we know the answers. It also gives some of us a feeling of grandeur to take the posture of one who knows the answers. There ARE no answers! The greatest comfort comes from NOT knowing and admitting it and admitting that we know NOTHING.

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