Iacchus and The Green Language
Iacchus is an epithet of Dionysus, particularly associated with the Mysteries at Eleusis, where he was considered to be the son of Zeus and Demeter. In a Paean to Dionysus discovered at Delphi, the god is described as being named Iacchos at Eleusis, where he “brings salvation”.
Iakkhos bearing a torch, seen here with Hekate
If the pilgrimage has always been associated with the re-birth of the pilgrim, in an alchemic way, as Flammel was taught by Abraham the Jew, I think we can see a direct correlation here. The pilgrim would become Iago/Iacchus, (St. James) the Divine child born in the darkness at the end of the world, though modern pilgrims who walk the route without this knowledge are simply …walking the route in reverse to see some relics that are probably not even the bones of ‘St James’! (see various articles claiming they may belong to Priscillian – one here: http://pilgrimagetoheresy.com/who_was_priscillian )
“One such legend holds that walking the route was a pagan fertility ritual; this however is based on the explanation of scallop shell being a symbol of the pilgrimage. An alternative interpretation is that the scallop, which resembles the setting sun, was the focus of pre-Christian Celtic rituals of the area. The Pilgrims’ road seems related to prehistoric cults of fertility arriving to Atlantic Europe from Mediterranean shores. Symbols of Ashtarte, the star within a circle, or Aphrodite,Venus coming on a shell,have been found along the roads to Compostela and among the ancient basques’ mythology and legends,those related to Mari, the Mairu and the rising of Megaliths. Joseph Campbell associated the cult of Mari to that of Ishtar and Kali and in pre-Israelites times, the rejected consort of God called “the great prostitute”, Asherah There is also claims that the pre-Christian origin of the Way of St. James was a Celtic death journey, westwards towards the setting sun, terminating at the End of the World (Finisterra) on the “Coast of Death” (Costa da Morte) and the “Sea of Darkness” (that is, the Abyss of Death, the Mare Tenebrosum, Latin for the Atlantic Ocean, itself named after the Dying Civilization of Atlantis).”
Wiki also has this:“In Fulcanelli’s Mystery of the Cathedrals the pilgrimage to Compo-stella is decoded as a metaphor for one of the processes for making the Philosopher’s Stone, namely the method using antimony. This method will produce stellated crystals in the arm of the retort, which are then further worked upon. A common misunderstanding which mislead many, including Newton, is that the “stellate regulus” of antimony is the matter to be used.
The pilgrim’s shell was a motif used by the alchemist Jacques Coeur on the many buildings he erected, and was his personal motif; it is also the shell upon which Venus rides as she rises from the sea (morning star = stellated matter); this ocean is green, the color of many Venusian minerals, but it’s meaning is deeper. Basil Valentine said that the alchemists called their first matter by the name of anything green to confuse the ignorant, but in truth there is such a first matter that is a green esculent water. Venus represents the generative force, the power of attraction/repulsion which brings forth the cosmos. Her water is that of the Fire of Desire which motivates this push and pull. The shape of the calabash carried by the pilgrims is another clue to the source of this green water.
It was also common for churches to place holy water in a container shaped like this shell, although it is unlikely most clerics would know why. This holy water (imbued with the Spirit) was another metaphor for the Mercury of the Philosophers.”
‘This goal is a strange substance, which the Chemistry of men ignores, which they have never analyzed, and which they will perhaps ignore forever. It is a substance which university theses do not describe, and whose very name makes the profane smile. This substance is the “Chrysoprase”, the Philosophers Stone.
To obtain these fine crystals, of the color of ruby, to which the shadows instantly reflect back their mysterious luminescence, the artisan of the Great Work will have met strange companions along the way: such as the Archons who stand watch over the successive thresholds of the intermediary worlds, the better to bar the way to the seeker, innumerable and symbolic personalities: the Crow and the Swan, the Lion and the Dragon, the King and the Queen, etc., each of which poses their particular enigma for him to solve!
It is only after having understood the secret meaning these that the pilgrim will finally see rise, shining in the heart of the metallic shadows, the Star of Compostella, which announces the end of the golden periplus.
Yet, divorced from any rational basis, and without any possibility for industrial application, the procedure employed nevertheless constitutes a real spiritual enrichment for the Hermeticist, since Life will eventually deliver one of its greatest secrets to him. Now transmuted by this second Revelation, the Initiate finally becomes the Adept, and, in the plane of his inner spiritual alone, with the Arcana finally conquered, he can finally become transformed, to become and remain forever: the Illuminated One.
As the mysterious Stone engenders and multiplies itself in continuous mathematical progression; the Illuminated One, in his turn, transmits his own spiritual light to those who, intelligent and docile prima materia, will themselves accept the need to die as lead in order to be better reborn as gold…
The pilgrimage of St. Iago of Compostella, is one of those enigmatic myths of the quest of the Great Work.
Pilgrims wear a scallop shell as an emblem, also called mérelle. And in the
middle of the matras, as the beginning of The Work, upon the finally decomposed prima materia, a crystalline silver star must appear and float upon the surface – a first indication that the Operator is on the right path…’