zoroastrian symbol

Limestone sculpture depicting Ahuramazda in the Winged Disk or the Faravahar, one of the most famous symbols of Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of the Persian Empire. The Achaemenid sculpture dates back to 486-460 BCE. The Sasanian capital Seleucia-Ctesiphon (near modern-day Baghdad) was a major center of Zoroastrian theology prior to the city’s destruction in 637 CE. Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Photo by Babylon Chronicle

André-Robert Andrea de Nerciat - Original table from the German edition of Zoroaster’s Telescope, 1796.

Zoroaster’s  Telescope is a wonderfully strange book of oracle magic. The 18th century was an active time for occultism; magicians and fortune tellers of note were spread throughout Europe, often playing significant roles in historical or political events. 

While  ancient divination systems such as geomancy and hepatoscopy have been around for centuries, the 18th century was giving way to new forms of occult sciences. André-Robert Andrea de Nerciat appears to have high regard for his particular amalgamation of divinatory of kabbala and spiritual astrology. Some of his statements appear as though they might be in direct contrast to actual Jewish thought such as the day starting with the first ray of light, making one ponder what the sources for some of his ideas might be. This unusual fusion of religious and mystical ideas presented within a divination system are illustrated by various instructive Tables. The Zoroaster’s Telescope claims to be The Key to the Great Divinatory Kabbala of the Magi, and indeed within the text we find an eclectic mix of Angel Magic, Astrology, Divination, twenty-eight Mansions of the Moon, Kabbala, Zoroastrianism, Sacred Geometry and Numerology.

We can see a cross over to the draught like pieces in Zoroaster’s Telescope which are laid out in specific patterns, each hexagonal piece showing its notation of rank, degrees and astrological correspondences. With these compositions, referred to in the text as mirrors, the Kabbalist reads and interprets through their placement in astrological houses and lunar mansions in order to see into the future. As we peer into Zoroaster’s Telescope and the Great Mirror we indeed find ourselves gazing directly into a looking glass and the ancient concept of know thyself. All this makes it apparent that Zoroaster’s Telescope is an oracle, and divinatory tool, for bringing the operator closer to the Divine. A medium for receiving messages and revelation directly from God i.e. Special Providence. This is an unusual but precise method to obtain answers to inquiries, to access occult knowledge and insight of a practical nature. Here is an attempt at divine communication, to see into future circumstances using the divine or simply as a guide to making the navigation of life’s obstacles a little easier.