Hey, I am LOVING your writing on the Gnosticism themes on Homestuck--I hadn't thought about the Aeons as Cherubs yet, and that's fascinating stuff. However, a couple comments and leads: I don't think Abraxas is ever referenced as Sophia's partner, or at least, I haven't found a source making that claim. far as I can tell, Abraxas was the name of a totally different god later attributed to the Ur-God that generates the Aeons, by Carl Jung in the 7 Sermons to the Dead (1)
That paper describes Abraxas as the ultimate, invisible God that unites all opposites into one being, as well as the Lord of frogs and amphibians (puts a whole new spin on consorts and BSlick, not even to mention Jake’s consort kingdom, huh?). I also think the most obvious analog for Aeons are actually the Aspects themselves–it’s important that the world of the Pleroma is also the world of Ideas, and that Yaldabaoth is a “blind” god because it cannot perceive the Ideas that created it.
The Ideas angle also links into the Ur-Self stuff you talked about with Davepeta. I think Hussie covered that pretty thoroughly, because the Ur-Self is just another branch of a topic Hussie already covers from Act 1: Platonic Realism, and the expression of the pure realm of Ideas in the world of Material reality. My next two videos are covering the links between Gnosticism and Greek theory of Platonic Realism, but in the meantime Tex Talks’ alchemy stuff breaks the latter down v well.
Oh, also notable is that Yaldabaoth is described as having created “seven heavens” in the sky–lending additional weights to the Seven Gates leading to Skaia, as the characters must Ascend the gates much as humans must Ascend to the Heavens to reach Pleroma ;) And you are indeed correct that Skaia is the metaphysical manifestation of Pleroma–hence why it acts as the Sessions’ Sun. It also gives off Light, but Skaia’s Light is more focused on Ideas.
At last I finally have a chance to post your very helpful correction! Sorry it took so dang long! XD
Yeah, I was totally wrong on Abraxas when I said he was Sophia’s counterpart Aeon. I think I must have decided that because 1) it seems weird to me that we wouldn’t know the name of that Aeon, but mythological systems are weird and arbitrary like that I guess 2) I misread one of my sources, which referred to Abraxas as “in Pleroma with Sophia,” which is still technically true, but as it turns out, true in a more general way. I’ve corrected the original post. Won’t stop old reblogs of it from going out, but ah, that’s the nature of the tumblr beast. ^^’
I’ll have to look into Jung’s take, but I’m intrigued. I think Abraxas predates Jung, existing in earlier Gnostic systems (but not all of them) and I think he does start as a separate god originally. But I LOVE that he’s associated with amphibians! That’s fantastic. That really ties him closely into the system of Sburb, even more than I originally thought, and suggests that Hope is somehow tied to the unlimited creative potential of Skaia.
Also, I was looking into Abraxas, and as far as I can tell he seems to have been a Hellenistic-Roman god of curses and power, of a type that was pretty common in that period of history—gods whose long, bizarre names were written on papyri and stones to summon the god’s magic power, frequently as a curse to bring down your enemies. Variations on Abraxas’s name were common, and in fact (I made sure I double-checked this this time, ha!) this does appear to be where we get the word ABRACADABRA, from tablets and similar riffing on ABRAXAS. Or Abraxas is a riff on ABRACADABRA and similar bizarre power-god names. Which is fascinating in its own right, but on top of that, it occurred to me…
Writing ABRAXAS like this might look something like:
And oh my god Jake is closely associated with Abraxas as his denizen and Roxy even wonders on that page if he was writing ABRACADABRA and this just ties Jake and the mysteries of the Hope aspect even more closely into Gnosticism, and fuck, Homestuck really is the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it? Fucking love it.
You’re right, Homestuck has always engaged pretty closely with the platonic/archetypal nature of its entities, all the way from Act 1 onward! Thanks for pointing that out. It’s interesting to see how it becomes more explicit (and more focused on characters) later on, but it’s so satisfying to notice how the seeds were already there. I like the Platonist Forms connection lots of folks have made; I’ll admit Platonism isn’t my area of expertise, though. I tend to approach this much more from a Lit Crit/ Structuralist theory of ideas. But it kind of comes to the same result, doesn’t it? Structuralist concepts and Platonism get along pretty well, the only difference is that one’s encoded in language and one in the universe. Given that Homestuck’s a linguistic-narrative structure that represents a cosmic structure, it’s a pretty fantastic marriage!
Seven Gates / Seven Heavens is another SWEET CATCH, thanks! Sevens are a pretty classic magical number, but they don’t appear super often Homestuck outside the acts and the gates, do they? Curious. Very curious. Another echo of Narrative as Cosmos, Story as Gnosticism? From what I gather the archetypal power of sevens historically comes from the seven visible heavenly bodies, (the sun and moon plus the five visible planets), and that’s probably pretty closely tied to the Gnostic idea of Seven Heavens. Which all ties in very nicely with the planetary and cosmic structure of Sburb. Excellent stuff.
Thanks so much for writing in! I always look forward to hearing your ideas. :D