initiatix_04 : Shin-To, the New Tao

Preliminaries – initiatix_03: Fish can’t swim

Seal of the Japanese Imperial Household

Seal of the Japanese Imperial Household

At this point we encounter the mysterious Hotsuma-Tsutae:

an epic poem of more than 10,000 lines written in “yamato-kotoba”, an ancient form of Japanese. It tells the story of the “gods” who inhabited Japan in the Late Jomon, Yayoi, and Early Kofun eras (spanning more than a thousand years from the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD). Its authors are given as Kushimikatama, Minister of the Right in the reign of the Emperor Jimmu, and Ohotataneko, who lived during the reign of the Emperor Keiko.

All Hotsuma-Tsutae quotes are from the English translation by Andrew Driver, courtesy of the Japan Translation Centre site.

The Hotsuma-Tsutae is initiatic mystery through and through. Its discovery is the stuff of a Japanese Da Vinci Code and, due to certain crucial differences from other ancient Japanese texts like theNihon Shoki and the Kojiki, it is discredited as a medieval hoax by mainstream Japanese scholars. Most Japanese people haven’t even heard of it. All very well and good, you should be thinking. Suffice to say, doubts about historical or geographical veracity are swept aside by its rich esoteric resonance.

You may have heard that in modern Shinto, contrary to every other system I can think of, the solar deity is a goddess. HT-savvy scholars believe Amaterasu to be a priestly invention at the behest of the Empress Jingu  (c AD 169 – 269), first empress of Japan. One entirely understands. Even if it is against our inversionistic stance, let us revert here to sun:male moon:female convention. In the Hotsuma Legends, the Solar Deity is Amateru. He is, as we shall see, a sage and decidedly Christ-like character. (Or rather, the Christ is a decidedly Solar Deity-like character.)

Furthermore, Amateru is not Of The Beginning or Absolute, but positioned in mythic history as one of the four children of the Divine First Couple, Isanami and Isanagi, initiators of the whole business of genetic procreation, themselves of the 6th generation of Heavenly Rule, making Amateru himself of the 7th. One of the deeply esoteric aspects of the HT – regardless of whether it is the ancient text it claims to be or some less ancient priestly concoction – is the sheer span of its genealogy. It is divided into the Rule of Heaven, from the beginnings of the cosmos until the accession to the Imperial Throne of the First Human Emperor Jimmu (c 509-571 AD), marking the start of the Rule of Man. This direct descent has enormous implications, as we shall see. We should note here the structure of the HT text itself. There are three parts: The Book of Heaven, The Book of Earth, and the Book of Man. We will be exploring the esoteric (shamanic) resonance of this, i.e. the classic three-tiered cosmovision of upper, middle and lower worlds. We shall shortly hear an account of the separation of the formless Before into the three worlds. It is of the utmost importance to the present moment. Why? The three worlds are once again coming together.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Hotsuma Legends is that within their expanse of mythic time, the same events reported in established ancient Japanese texts like the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki explicitly involving Divine characters, are related (in HT) as the goings-on of Lordly but Earthly characters.

You will remember our discussion of Aquarius, the Sign of the Flood. We shall be most interested with those concerning Ryu-jin, the Dragon King, who rules the seas from Ryugu-jo, the legendary subaquatic Dragon Palace. The Nihon Shoki and Kojiki mention him as such, but in the HT his identity is craftily concealed: he is Lord Hadezumi, who rules from the Mizugaki Palace, somewhere near Udo, on the (western) coast of what is now known as Kyushu.

What are we to make of this encoding?

There are many conclusions we might draw:

  • that the HT is a milestone of priestly agenda
  • that the HT is a truly esoteric work, concealing the involvement of divine beings in earthly history by giving them earthly identities
  • that what come down to us as gods and goddesses were in ancient times ‘mere’ mortals
  • that gods and goddesses always work through mortal guise on the earthly plane
  • that all myth and legend, especially when ascribed historical actuality, are the product of priestly agendae
  • that all legends of divine intervention are, via priestly manipulation or not, human projection
  • that (with Joseph Campbell) all myth serves to generate a culture whose principal function is to buffer human consciousness from the Dreadful and Unfathomable Senselessness of Nature – the terrifying fact that it All Goes On, Birthing and Dying and Predating without End.

Transcendentally, we must of course take all of the above as the case. In the Final Synthalysis, anything which can be talked about does not exist. Conversely, That Which Is cannot be talked about. All myth, all initiations and inversions are ladders to be climbed (or descended) and then to be thrown away. Only ironies persist.

But we arrived here from the Fall of Babel.

Fallen, scrabbling amongst the shards of the Logos, we have ground them to dust, to atoms. (This, surely the thesis of Michel Houlebecq’s novel Atomised). At the end of semantics, we regain Meaning from Meaninglessness.

Castaneda fans will recall the story of don Juan instructing his students to carry a large dining table into the mountains and to set it up there, complete with crockery, cutlery and ketchup. Don Juan likens the table to the cognitive world of ordinary men, cluttered with its little conventions. The area underneath the table, he likens to the unconscious self. In a sweeping gesture he indicates the surrounding mountains.

This vastness, only revealed (apo-calypsed) once the Logos has vanished, fallen to dust, is the very vastness only the Logos can encompass.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God.

But not the kind of word you could Google; the kind of Word mountains are made of.

We are looking, you will recall, for the Logos, the original Sonic Handles of the Cosmos. To find them, we must return to times Before the Fall. Amateru himself tells the assembled Heavenly Court:

In the far and distant past, long before our court had come into being, when heaven and earth were not yet separate, and not even the sun, the moon, and the stars had come into existence, the universe was ruled by confusion that had no shape and no form, floating and swirling and bubbling around without end.

HT: Book of Heaven: 2nd Aya: Ame Nanayo Tokomiki-no Aya, “Seven Heavenly Generations and the Ritual Beverage.

The T(a)o, then.

Interestingly, Amateru – the Solar Deity – himself refers to ‘the sun’. This is a clue as to his esoteric identity. He is not, literally, identical with the Sun, but of some Direct Accord with it. Perhaps ‘Through the Sun’ is the best way to think of it. Amateru is, perhaps, an Age of the Sun, corresponding perhaps to stages of solar lifespan, or to revolutions of the equinoctial rising sun around the signs of the zodiac (hello Aquarius) or revolutions of the Sun and planets around the centre of the Milky Way or some even wider-field axis. We may touch on this later, when we visit the Maya.

But then, after an infinitely long passage of time, at last there started to appear a sign that this darkness of the universe would divide into a negative or female part and a positive or male part.


Let us simply note and bear with the value assignments of male and female here; we will transcend them later. Let us also note the paradoxical preposition ‘after an infinitely long passage of time’.

Before heaven and earth and man were separated, Amemiwoya blew the first breath into the swirling confusion and chaos. Then the skies quietly started to turn, rising in the east and setting in the west. Eventually, a heavenly pillar was formed in the centre of the swirling chaos. It split into two, dividing into a negative, female part and a positive, male part. The light, male part turned and rose upwards to form the heavens, while the heavy, female part sank down to form the earth.

HT: Book of Heaven: 14th Aya: Yotsugi norunoto koto-no Aya, “Prayers and Incantations of Succession”.

Let us again note and bear with the value/gender stuff. For here we have The First Word. That first animating breath. The Big Bang. The First Expression of the Infinite Ecstasy of Oneness. The Vedic Om. The First Sonic Handle of the Cosmos.

But where did Amemiwoya come from? This is the question – who created the Creator – that occupies the 600 or so pages of Gore Vidal’s magnificent (but surprisingly exoteric) novel Creation.

Into the midst of this [the formless] was born the Amemiwoya deity (the “August Parent of the Heavens”). When he blew his first breath into the bubbling, swirling universe, it started to turn more quietly and peacefully. At its centre stood a great column called Amenomihashira (the “August Pillar of the Heavens”), and around it the confused mass of the universe at last started to take shape.

HT: Book of Heaven: 2nd Aya: Ame Nanayo Tokomiki-no Aya, “Seven Heavenly Generations and the Ritual Beverage”.

So. The Creator of the Universe was born. Here is the fundamental answer to any complaints re value assignments to the genders. At the end of the day – or rather, before the Day Began – Amemiwoya was born…of a mother. The Great Mother, who is the Void, which is so Empty that it cannot help but give birth to Form. All Form is Emptiness – of the Void. Emptiness is Form, sooner or later. Do you see? There are many things we can take away in our initiatic goodie bag (or is it a baddie bag?) Perhaps most deliciously, that Positive (male, Heaven) was born of Negative (female, Hell).

Wait, you say. You have deftly (priestily) switched Earth for Hell.

Well picked up on. Let me simply say for now that we are talking of a classic three-tier shamanic cosmovision – Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds – which is not to be confused with a modern scientific cosmoview. What’s the difference? The modern view is objective (and therefore illusory), while the esoteric/shamanic cosmovision is subjective-objective, as anything esoteric worth its transmuted weight in gold should be. It is a map of the Inner World – not (only) a psychological map of the labyrinths of consciousness, but a Holographic map. In the HT’s cosmovision, “Earth” is the Lower World, which in our Fishily Polar, End of the Age of Pisces Duality, has been called Hell.

To continue this diversion:
The essential emanation of Hell is Temptation, which is, contra to the typically male and straight patriarchs who line the Way, female. Just as Void gives birth to Form, via Shaping Breath, via Sound, so Temptation gives birth to Purity (assuming, in the end, at least, one doesn’t just keep giving in). To flit rapidly to the Garden of Eden, we can immediately invert everything. That Adam was born of Eve’s spare rib, that the God of the Garden was in fact the Devil, who did not want to Come Down to Earth, that Satan is in fact God, the Promethean Descender and therefore Redeemer of the Earth. The old ‘God’ of the Garden was an old stick in the mud. Soon as the kids saw the Tree and ate its Fruit they were…Incarnate.

Now, being incarnate is, by all convention, the fundement of the human condition. It is human nature. And yet it was anathema to the God of the Garden. Who was it exactly who didn’t like humans? Was it Iblis, who was thrown down because he didn’t dig humans? Or has some kind of switcheroo been worked in? Do you see? Only by inverting everything do we begin to regain some sense of what the hell is being got at. And one inversion is not enough. It is only the first shove that gets the motor turning. Turning and churning, endlessly, which is the True Nature of the Universe – that which Turns.

I reassure faint-hearted readers here that this is not a Satanic tract. In any biblical diversion we are of course being priestly – precisely as priestly as anyone who has given word to the Fundamental Mystery: the Creation of the Creator, the Birth of the Creator, the Emergence of the Being that Blew the First Breath.

In the Void there are no polarities. There is neither Creator and Creation, nor Child and Mother, nor Female and Male, Light and Dark, Good and Evil. The fundemental mystery is the Two from the One: Duality from Unity.

But we came from the Fall of Babel, in search of Sonic Handles which might have been in reach of the Top of the Tower before it Fell.

The spirit of the female part divided into water and earth through the motion of the heavens. The air from the male part created the wind, and the wind gave birth to fire, giving the three elements of air, wind and fire. The three original elements of the male became round with fire to form the sun. The two elements of the female became hardened to form the moon.

HT: Book of Heaven: 14th Aya: Yotsugi norunoto koto-no Aya, “Prayers and Incantations of Succession.

Note the five elements: Water, Earth, Air, Wind and lastly Fire. And note, to divert once again, that it was due to his Nature as being made of Fire that Iblis (according to priestly agenda) refused to accept the sacred nature of Man, whose essence was Earth. We can – crazily quickly – say that it is Fire, the element of Iblis, of Hellfire, that Anima-tes.


these five elements of air, wind, fire, water and earth joined together to form the first human being.


This is fundamentallissimo:

  • That the Human Being is Composed of the Same Stuff as the Cosmos.

The name of this deity was Ameminakanushi (Lord of the Centre of Heaven). He begat children in all corners of the earth and sent them out to every land, where they became the primordial ancestors of all people on earth.


In the 2nd Aya, the narrative runs like this:

Now, the first deity born on this earth was called Kunitokotachi.

Simply note that Ameminakanushi and Kunitokotachi are one and the same.

Kunitokotachi begat eight sons, whom he sent out to rule the eight provinces of the earth. For that reason, the sons are known as the Yamoyakudari (“Eight Directions and Eight Descendings”). These are the ancestors of all earthly rulers, and are also known collectively as the Kunisatsuchi.

The eight sons were named To, Ho, Ka, Mi, Ye, Hi, Ta, and Me (abbreviated from their full names To-no-Kunisatsuchi, Ho-no-Kunisatsuchi, and so forth). And in this way, the number eight came to take on a sacred meaning in this ancient land. The eight sons also came to be known as the Yamotogami (“Eight Original Deities”), upon whose foundation the world was thought to rest.

We now have eight Syllables further to the mystical First (which we shall come to later).

An eight-dimensional Sonic Outline to Creation.

If this is sounding a little more…regular than you had thought, then again, well picked up on. Let us return to the 14th Aya:

The cosmos resembles a craggy mountain in form.

One thinks of the Andean Cross, the Chacana (right ->).

The Andean cross or Chacana

The Andean cross or Chacana

In the realms of the cosmos, there are 49 divine positions, deities of creation who are also called ‘motoake’ (Deities of the First Light). At their centre sits Amemiwoya. Arranged at eight points around the Great Parent Deity, as if to assist him, are the eight Amoto deities (To-Ho-Ka-Mi-Ye-Hi-Ta-Me). Around them are arranged the eight Anare deities (A-I-Hu-He-Mo-Wo-Su-Si)

Et voila.

We have arrived at the essential Sonic Cosmovision of the HT. 16 of the 49 Deities of the First Light. We note that they are Sounds. That is, just as they are of the cosmos, so the Cosmos is of them. According to the HT, these are the first 16 Syllables of the Logos, the 16 Solar Rays of the Imperial Seal.

Now what?

Coming up next:
We continue to listen to Amateru’s discourse on the cosmos at the Heavenly Court, where things will take a genetic turn…Remember the link I hinted at in Sink or Swim II between the Tower and genetics? Between Word and Genetics. Between Abstract and Carnal. A double spiral Fall. Splashdown in the Churning and Sexy Sea of Genome.

Next: initiatix_05: The Tama-no Wo.


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