Papers, Religion

The Horned Hunter on a Lost Gnostic Gem

Jehovah and the Peiresc gem: The Horned Hunter on a Lost Gnostic Gem

Drawing of the Peiresc gem (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

The ‘Horned Hunter’ on a Lost Gnostic Gem

Gnostic Gem

Translation (image above) above according to Kotansky and Spier. See reference to ‘Jehovah’ in The “Horned Hunter” on a Lost Gnostic Gem by Roy Kotansky and Jeffrey Spier (1995), published in the Harvard Theological Review, Volume 88, Issue 03, July 1995 pp 315-337


The Name & Titles

Kotansky and Spier translate the name and titles as follows:




Ba (‘Soul’) of Darkness—Son of Darkness, or Prince of Demons


“Horned Hunter” or “Hunter of Horn”

  • If the name means “horned hunter,” it is a deity who actually wears horns. [cf. Revelation 13:1, Daniel 7:7-8, 1 John 5:19]
  • If the name means “hunter of horn” then it implies one who hunts with the bow (traditionally made of horn) [cf. Revelation 6:2]

Yehovah, Soul of Darkness, the Son of Darkness, Prince of Demons, Horned Hunter

Christ or AntiChrist?

This one is the First-Father, the one being single of substance, passing through all (things).

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. (Genesis 3:4)

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

“He said, ‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and prevail also. Go and do so.’ Now therefore, behold,  יְהוָה֙ has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets, for  יְהוָה֙ has proclaimed disaster against you.” (1 Kings 22:22,23, 2 Chronicles 18:21,22)

“You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.” (Acts 13:10,11)

Make the serpent with a lion’s head.

They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon. [Abaddon and Apollyon mean Destroyer.]

The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.

The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.

The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.

The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” — Revelation 9:11-21

“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns…

“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.“—Daniel 7:7,8

“Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.” — Revelation 12:3

And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. — Revelation 13:1-6

666-chi-xi-stigma Χ ξ ςThen I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666. — Revelation 13:11-18

In that day  יְהוָה֩ will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan, the swiftly moving serpent, the coiling, writhing serpent. He will kill the dragon of the sea. — Isaiah 27:1


It is said that the scribe included details which were from the instructions—scribes were not necessarily literate, just adept copyist. Thus, removing these notes, we end up with the inscription which properly should have been inscribed, and translated:

Yehovah, Soul of Darkness, Prince of Demons, Horned Hunter

This one is the First-Father, the one being single of substance, passing through all things. *ZZZ.

Who is this First-Father? Let us consider the scriptures…


The Children of the Devil—The Father of the Lie

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” — John 8:41-47


Test the Spirits

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” — 1 John 4:1-6


Passing through all Living Things

You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. (Genesis 3:4)

“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” (Romans 5:12)


This one is the bodiless primordial, the one being single of substance, passing through all (things). *ZZZ

Mastrocinque, contrary to Kotansky and Spier’s interpretation, points out that the expression “he who passes through all things” comes from an account at Job 2:2:

“On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”

Gnostic Gems

“Gnostic Gems were not involved in any blasphemy as a path of liberation or transcendence, but rather, like medieval age people did with devil and his legions, those stones were regarded as a source of power. In the very sense that they are alleged to draw spirits.” — Gnostic Gems & Art of Drawing Spirits

Kotansky and Spier’s paper The Horned Hunter on a Lost Gnostic Gem concludes, “What better way to represent the fullness of the magical cosmos than to have capped the third element of the tripartite god, Ioaeouaue-Bakaxichyxch-Keratagras, with a name recognized to carry both netherworld and solar attributes, not to speak of a host of other aspects both ghostly and divine? By combining he more canonical heaven-and-earth deities of magic, the Ia of the Sky and the Ba of the Earth, with the more circumscribed theriomorphic, tutelary god of the hunt, the Horned One, the writer of this charm was able to bring together a diversity of religious traditions in shaping a new trinity for protection and security.” [See Ezekiel 14:1-11,21-23]

“The Horned Hunter” presents the tripartite god as (I) Yehovah as Ia of the Sky, (II) The Soul of Darkness or Prince of Demons as the Ba of the Earth, and (III) the Horned Hunter as Apollo (as the brother of the goddess Artemis, “Mistress of Beasts” for whom there was a horned altar in Delos).

The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Revelation 12:9) “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”(1 John 5:19; Matthew 4:1,8-10; 2 Corinthians 4:4)

Attilio Mastrocinque, Professor of Art, Archaeology, History and Society at the University of Verona, speaks of this same gem, and the interpretation of it’s inscription in his book From Jewish Magic to Gnosticism:

This group of magic [exorcism] gems shows a lion-headed ouroboros snake encircling the whole. One of these gems [the Peiresc gem] bears the inscription: [see Greek in image above] (“Ioaēouauē, Bakaxichych, Keratagras, he is the first Father, he who is the only (lord?) of the body, who passes through all things. The seal of Solomon: YZZZ; let the snake have a lion’s head”).

Kotansky and Spier quite rightly trace this text back to Gnostic circles, and compare the expression “he who passes through all things” with similar definitions in the Tripartite Treatise (Valentinian) of the Nag Hammadi library. But the origin of the expression is the famous passage from the book of Job [See Job 1:6,7, 2:1,2] in which the devil, in the form of a dragon, tells God he came by crossing all the regions under the heavens. The leotocephalous serpent is identified with the creator, known as Protopator, to which the body is sub-ordinate, [See Matthew 10:28] and is also called Ioaeouaue — possibly a variation of Yahweh —, “soul (Ba) of darkness (mach), son/daughter (Si) of darkness (chych): and “horned”. Clearly the purpose of the seal of Solomon, which contained the sacred name of God and was able to subjugate demons, was to keep the disquieting cosmic snake under control. The faith inspiring the person who designed this type of amulet was inspired by a passage in Psalm 91:

You will tread up the lion and asp
You will trample on the young lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me I will protect him,
I will exalt him, because he knows my name”.

The seal of Solomon contains the three archaizing Yods, reversed as though in a mirror, plus a fourth sign. In this category of gems, then, the secret name of the supreme god and saviour is used against a god who is similar to Chnoubis, but, like Leviathan, is despised. Since the serpent is called “(lord) of the body”, it is likely that the god of the seal was the god “(lord) of the spirit”.

Other gems show, inside the snake biting it’s tail, an anagram of the word Βαινχωωωχ, which means “living (inkh) soul (ba) of darkness (choch); one gem has four charakteres in the centre of the ouroboros — based on a design very widely used on aniconic magic gems — and on the outside the word whose second part could mean “son (bar) of Tartarus (pharanges = pharangos). Other gems have the sign of Chnoubis inside the ouroboros, or on the other side of the stone.

The magic power of all these gems consisted of “sealing” the demonic serpent, or it’s “mouth”, with God’s name. These were therefore exorcisms like those performed by Thomas and Cyriacus.”

“For God did not spare angels when they had sinned, but hurling them down to Tartarus consigned them to caves of darkness, keeping them in readiness for judgement.” — 2 Peter 2:4

“He has also held in eternal chains those angels who did not keep their own position but abandoned their assigned place. They are held in deepest darkness for judgment on the great day.” — Jude 1:6


Could it be…?

The devil who deceived them deceived them even into invoking his name in the place of our Father’s?

Yehovah, Soul of Darkness, the Son of Darkness, Prince of Demons, Horned Hunter

This One is the First-Father [of the lie], the One being single of substance [Sin], passing through all things [so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned].

“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41)

“He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:2)

While Isaiah 47:11 is an instance of the Hebrew word “hovah” used in scripture, it is followed by Isaiah 47:12 offering us a warning,

“Stand fast now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you shall be able to profit, perhaps you may prevail.”

Jehovah the Creator, the Destroyer

Regarding “Jehovah” meaning God [Jah] of Ruin and Disaster [hovah], “ΒΑΡΙΑ ΖΑΣΤΑ ΙΑ” is translated from slightly corrupted Chaldee, “Jehovah the Creator, the Destroyer”. (The Gnostics and their Remains, King)


The Gnostics and Their Remains, by Charles William King, 1887



Terms & Definitions

an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.
consisting of three parts
deity having an animal form
consisting of three parts
deity having an animal form
serving as protector or guardian
Deus Leotocephalous
the lion-headed god whose image is found in the sanctuaries of the mystery cult of Mithras (first to fourth centuries C.E.).
Chnoubis is depicted with the head of a lion and the body of a serpent, usually with seven rays emanating from the head, sometimes with the twelve zodiacal signs. Often found inscribed on gnostic gems, and amulets for protection against poison and disease, from the first century onward.
“First Father” according to Egyptian magic; forefather or ancestor according to Sethian Gnosticism and the Platonic Tradition


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