In the Gnostic M-Istery tradition, which forms the backdrop to the Rennes mystery, we find a belief in a winged, radiant and loving Good Serpent who was called ‘the Reconciler’, ‘the Deliverer’, the ‘Angel of the Dawn’ (i.e. the Morning Star), and, like Akh, was ‘the Spirit of All Knowledge’. His name is Nous or Chnoubis   Chnoubis therefore is an Egyptian Gnostic Solar icon, found most often on Gnostic gems and amulets for protection against poison and disease. It is a composite figure 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.


Chnoubis is an aspect of the Gnostic Demiurge, Yaldabaoth, and is associated with Abraxas. Images of Chnoubis are most often found inscribed on Gnostic gems, small talismans made from semi-precious stone, that date from the first century onward.

 The lion’s head represents the solar forces, enlightenment.

 The serpent, the lower impulses, Earth.  The Rays represent the seven planets, the seven Greek vowels and the seven colours.

 

Late Roman chromium chalcedony magic gem intaglio, c. 3rd century, CE. The convex oval stone engraved on the obverse with Chnoubis, the lion-headed serpent with his radiate head in profile to the left; the reverse with the sign of Chnoubis, framed by his name in Greek: XNOYBIC.

 

Lion-headed Chnoubis to left, head encircled with five rays. Inscription around the edge, on the left: χνουμισ → Χνουμίς.

 

Dokumente de Gnosis, Wolfgang SchulzJena: Verleg Bei Eugen Dietrichs, 1910

 
TwiggieTruth 2016

Sources

1. The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, Volume 3 By Sir John Gardner Wilkinson

2. A guide to the third and fourth Egyptian rooms: Predynastic antiquities …By British Museum. Dept. of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities

3. symbolicdictionary.net

4. Museum of Fibe Arts, Boston online catalogue.

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