Here are two French academic texts on the subject of the Geminae Cristae and the Geminae Portae found in Virgil's Aeneid. The subject is the crests of fire... the Crista, which Virgil associates with the descent of Aeneas into the Underworld accompanied by the Sibyl.
"Pourquoi Énée sort-il des Enfers par la Porte d'Ivoire, la Porte des Songes Faux ? (Énéide, VI, 898)" – “Why does Aeneas exit Hell through the Gate of Ivory, the Gate of False Dreams? (Aeneid, VI, 898)”
"Observations sur un texte de Virgile [Enéide, VI, 779-780]" – “Observations on a text by Virgil [Aeneid, VI, 779-780]”
I think it is very important to stress that the Geminae Portae are associated with the Geminae Cristae. We have here exactly what can be found in the Bible with respect to Moses and the Brazen Serpent.
Moreover, we can see the same phenomenon between Ascanius, son of Aeneas, and Moses: It was when Aeneas and Ascanius took their leave of Troy to establish a new fatherland, that the Geminae Cristae; the sign of liberation, manifested itself.... and it was when Moses freed the Hebrew people from Egypt, that the Geminae Cristae appeared on his head. Here we have a symbol and an object that was known in Antiquity by the political and religious hierarchy, and as well known among the Jews as it was among the Greeks.
As these academic studies say, these Geminae Cristae are represented on the coins of the time, and are associated with a variety of fiery crests, or plumes of red feathers that stick out on both sides of a warrior's helmet. However, and this is extremely interesting, I've reported for at least a year now about how coins minted during the period of Herod the Great show the Geminae Cristae, but looking more like a Caduceus. I believe these coins of Herod the Great have already been widely discussed in various studies.
They are interesting in more ways than one, because they associate the Caduceus (intertwined snakes on a stick), with the PAX, also shown on these coins, as well as with the crests of plumes emerging from a war helmet.
This is absolute historical and scientific proof that a symbol common to Judaism and Hellenism existed in Antiquity... and that this symbol or object, without a doubt, represented Moses' horns of fire which manifested when the Patriarch released the Hebrew people from Egypt.
This is absolutely sure with regard to Judaism and Hellenism, and notably Virgil's Geminae Cristae and the Geminae Portae in the Aeneid and the Brazen Serpent of Moses in the Bible.
On the other hand however; one must be honest that, in everything concerning the object that was kept in the Celtic/Gallic temple on the Lendit Plain and dedicated to Apollo, I advise everyone to be extremely wary. There is no guarantee that the object used by Constantine the Great was the same as the one which was kept at the Plain of the Lendit. Personally, I think the latter is not the object used by Constantine, for the following three reasons.
1) To start with, even though Constantine was Arian, and therefore heretical, Arian and Manichean heretics have always had the tendency to exploit all that was Christian or Judaic in origin, to help justify their pagan doctrines. A strictly Celtic pagan object would not necessarily have been recognised by the Orthodox world, but on the other hand, the heretics would have willingly accepted a Judaic object, since they have demonstrated many times in the past that they were by no means hampered when it came to taking over Christian symbols and using them for their own needs. This therefore, is the first reason.
2) The second reason lies in the time frame of Fortunatus and St. Radegunda, in other words, just after the rediscovery of the object by Childebert in Spain. However, I have no more to say on this subject because I wish to keep this information confidential.
3) The third point is that France, since at least the time of Philippe-Auguste, has always claimed a degree of independence vis-à-vis the Germanic Emperor. We have this famous phrase of Philippe Le Bel, "I am Emperor in my own kingdom ". France is virtually the only country in Europe to have always displayed an independence from the Germanic Empire, whereas a priori, the French and Germanic Monarchs were of the same bloodline, and there was really no distinction to be made between them and the other sovereign heads of Europe. This means that it was the King of France who held the Crista, and it was this which made him Emperor in his own kingdom, with the same degree of distinction that Constantine once held.
'Moses erecting the Brazen Serpent' William Blake c. 1801 - 1803
'Aeneas and the Sibyl, Lake Avernus' Joseph Mallord William Turner c. 1798
'Bacchanalian Revel before a Term' Nicolas Poussin 1632-3
Still from Jean Cocteau's film 'The Blood of the Poet' 1930
'Penelope's Dream' John Flaxman 1805
'Hypnos, God of Sleep' Simeon Solomon
So in a way the kings of France, particularly since the time of Fortunatus and Gregory of Tours, claimed for themselves a Trojan origin which corresponds perfectly to the definition that Virgil gave to the Crista:
Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, manifested these plumes of fire and the promise of creating a future kingdom, endowed with glory and power.
I think these points are extremely clear and extremely revealing. The Crista cannot be Celtic. I am not speaking here of the object that was at the Lendit Plain and which resembled the Geminae Cristae of Virgil and of Moses, but by contrast there is no doubt that the Merovingians and the Arians of Constantine as well as the Penitent sects, etc.., had seen in the Geminae Cristae a pagan funerary symbol related to reincarnation.
Let me explain: already in the Old Testament, we see Moses, via Aaron, placing his rod in opposition to the snakes of the magicians in the pay of Pharaoh (we all remember the film "the Ten Commandments" starring Charlton Heston). However, the rod of Moses, having become the Brazen Serpent, ate the two serpents sent by the Magi of Pharaoh. There is therefore, in this Brazen Serpent, at one and the same time the manifestation of Salvation and of Divine Power, but equally and underlying it all, we find the remains of a pagan symbol common to both Egypt and Chaldea, and which is known as the Caduceus or Irminsul. What I mean is that, in the same way that Christianity was swallowed up by Bogomilism in Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, and Bavaria, as well as in Cologne, Germany, etc., it is absolutely possible that a Judaic object common both to the Greeks and Jews had finished up by serving the cult of the dead, and thus became associated with the cult of the dead that was played out on the Lendit Plain on Mount Dionysos (Montjoie – Saint-Denis).
The Dionysian Bacchanals were orgiastic rites which were associated in Greek and Roman Antiquity with the myth of Orpheus. Here we find the explanation of some of the verses written by the poet Fortunatus, who, seeing the Crista in the hands of St. Radegunda, called himself "a new Orpheus."
Now, because we don't have this object in our hands, we cannot know if it's really the Staff of Moses, or a Celtic artifact. There rests however one more particularly strange point: some people among us know that the psychoanalytic school of Frankfurt has always played an important role in Western geopolitics. This school of thought was composed of atheist Jews and Marxist sociologists. It is this school which, via Freud and Marie Bonaparte, had studied the myth of Rennes-le-Château by analysing the myths of Oedipus and Orpheus, myths which had been superimposed by secret Nazi movements, onto whatever had been discovered by Abbé Saunière in the Razès. The Frankfurt school has transposed their thoughts and studies by incorporating them into works of art realised by the French and Anglo-Saxon world.
We have the famous films of Jean Cocteau: "The Blood of the Poet" (1930, directly psychoanalysed by Freud), "Orpheus" (1950), "The Testament of Orpheus" (1960) and "Beauty and the Beast "(1946). Philippe de Chérisey was also part of the French art scene (he was a former actor).
Now, why would Jewish atheists and Marxist intellectuals, captivated by the lure of the myth of Orpheus, and who specialised in the historical and sociological study of Dionysian Bacchanals (sexual orgies), be interested in an allegedly Celtic object called the "Crista", that was lost in the depths of the Razès region?
Sincerely, and listen carefully: Celtic objects of this type, there have been quite a few. And the Temple on the Lendit Plain was certainly not much more important than other temples of the time. Paris was a miserable place during the Merovingian period. Lyon was the capital of Gaul... and Lyon was a Celtic religious center far more important than Paris ever was.
So what could have given legitimacy to a French monarch, over that of the German Emperor? Certainly not a Celtic object.
With that, I suggest you read the two texts that I have given links to at the beginning of this piece.
That Constantine had a vision on the Lendit Plain, why not! That he experienced an Orphic katabasis there, why not? Even Plato said that within the disciples of the Dionysian rites and especially among the Bulgarian Thracians, Orphic katabases (from katabasis, or catabasis, from the Greek κατ, "down", and βαίνω "go", Orphic katabasis = Descent to the Underworld) were relatively common, or at least there had been several such cases noted.
But let's be clear about this: if this Orphic katabasis, like the Dionysian rites, has Thracian-Bulgarian origins, – Dionysian rites were later recuperated by the Thracian Bogomils and by the Arians, whom Constantine belonged to – it is difficult to see how a simple Celtic Irminsul from the Lendit Plain, would have prevailed in the face of Virgil's Geminae Cristae, which were much older and closer to the socio-cultural cradle of the Thracian-Bulgarian myth of Orpheus.
A short commentary on the Geminae Portae and on Cerberus-Hypnos
In our study of the Geminae Portae to which i provided the link, we look at the Geminae Portae as described by Virgil using the framework of the descent of Aeneas and the Sibyl into the Underworld. We can read: "In the Aeneid, why are the two infernal exits known as the "twin gates" and "gates of Sleep"?... "The two doors of the Aeneid are side by side, twinned because of the relationship between Mors-Somnus (Death and his twin brother Sleep)."
"There are two gates of Sleep: one of which is said to be of horn,
through which an easy passage is given to true shades, the other
gleams with the whiteness of polished ivory, but through it
the Gods of the Dead send false dreams to the world above."
Aeneas and the Sibyl enter by one of these gates, the Gate of Horn, and once they had descended into the Underworld to speak with Aeneas' father, Anchises, they emerge through the Gate of Ivory. If the doors are paired, it is because they are twins. And a door is like an arcade or an arch. For example we call the god of gates, the double-faced god Janus, the god of the twin faces. So we are dealing with a double arch, which forms the Geminae Portae, the Twin Doors. All this looks a bit like Jacob's Ladder, where the souls ascend in one direction and descend in another.
But actually it looks even more like Moses' staff with its arches at the top, and which was the key between heaven and earth, the Gate of Heaven, etc. The Midrashim say indeed that Moses' staff is a memory of the rainbow that appeared in the sky to Noah as he left the Ark after the Flood.
What does this double gate represent? The first side of the gate is the Gate of Horn, by which the dead enter, and where those souls destined for reincarnation will emerge, after passing through their "purgatory". And next to it, there is the famous Ivory Gate, by which apparently the elected leave.
Virgil seems to have a different version of the Orpheus myth from the Thracian-Bulgarian version. And indeed, Virgil certainly believed that some souls reincarnate, but that it was only an illusion of salvation, and he judges rather harshly that these souls do not deserve any better. By contrast however, he believes in the resurrection, since he says that the glorious dead, those of the Trojans and the Greeks, can enter the Elysian Fields. So he makes a clear distinction between reincarnation and resurrection. This undoubtedly explains the double gate / Geminae Portae.
Aeneas has the right to use the Ivory Gate, because he had not descended into hell as a dead man, subject to the laws of the Underworld... but as an elected, pledged to the Elysian Fields. Therefore Aeneas himself is a "False Dream", that is to say a "false dead", as opposed to "Real Dreams" who are the real dead, and who enter and leave through the Gate of Horn (death and reincarnation). These doors match those described by Homer in the Odyssey 19, 562-569, in which Penelope said that true dreams pass through the Gate of Horn, and false dreams through the Gate of Ivory.
Apropos of Hypnos, who is none other than Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of Hades: In Virgil's epic, Aeneas and the Sibyl pass in front of Cerberus. This Cerberus is equally known by the Greeks as "Hypnos". It is very interesting to note that Hypnos, which means "sleep", is a term that has been taken up in psychoanalysis to describe hypnosis.
So those who inserted hypnotism into the techniques used in psychoanalysis, knew very well that this same technique was related to the Orphic katabasis, and was intended to delve into the recesses of the patient's soul, that is to say into the unconscious domain of the individual. In brief, by using the term "hypnotism", the psychoanalysts wished to state that in order to treat certain patients, they had to plunge them into the Orphic sleep, so that the patient could realise their true nature and find their own self. It is by making the patient follow the way of Orpheus, that psychoanalysis, in its Freudian sense, will trigger awareness in the patient.
Meanwhile here are some abridged passages from Virgil's Aeneid:
Invocation – The Gloomy Vestibule (Book 6, verses 264-294)
The poet asks the gods of the Underworld permission to tell the tale about the underground voyage; then, Aeneas and the Sibyl advance alone in the darkness (6, 264-272).
At the entrance they see, in a frightening atmosphere, personifications that evoked the harsh aspects of the human condition; then in the center of a courtyard, they see the Tree of False Dreams and various monsters of mythology like inconsistent shadows, that Aeneas would have fought, had the Sibyl not dissuaded him (6, 273-294).
Crossing over the Styx – Charon and Cerberus (6, 384-425)
Before they reached the river Styx, Charon the Ferryman, fresh from his previous experience with Hercules, Theseus and Pirithous, refuses to let the living pass over. (6, 384-397).
The Sibyl reassures Charon on Aeneas' intentions, and on seeing the Golden Bough, the boatman calms down and full of thoughtfulness, ferries them across the Styx. The priestess then lulls the three-headed watchdog Cerberus to sleep, and thus the travellers surmount the last obstacle to them entering the land of the dead (6, 398-425).
The Blessed (6, 628-678)
They arrive in a very pleasant place, where the Blessed are involved peacefully in games, singing and dancing, as did the poet Orpheus and the founders of the Trojan race. Then they meet the anonymous, rewarded for their merits and virtues: soldiers, priests, poets and artists (6, 637-665). (Clearly Virgil did not have the same version of Orpheus as the Thracian-Bulgarian myth.)
Reunion – on the banks of the Lethe (6, 679-751)
Anchises satisfies Aeneas' curiosity concerning the fate of souls after death. He explains that everything comes from a mass of original matter, animated by spirit. In particular, humans are made of a spiritual element, severely burdened by matter, which makes them forget heaven. After death, the souls must expiate their sins by undergoing various tortures, after which some would go to the Elysian Fields, while others would await a reincarnation. (6, 719-751)