The true origin of Western civilization is to be found not in Greece, but in Babylon, in the sixth century BC, with the development of the Kabbalah. The exact origins of the Kabbalah have long been subject to controversy. According to the Kabbalists themselves, its teachings date back to the prophets like Solomon, or Moses, and even Adam, and supposedly represent a hidden interpretation of the Bible.

However, the key to understanding the origin of the Kabbalah, and reassessing not only the claims of mainstream historians, but those suggestions put forth by controversial authors like Graham Hancock, or those of the Holy Blood Holy Grail , or Dan Brown's notorious Da Vinci Code, about the true teachings of the Bible, is to recognize that the basic ideas of the Kabbalah are definitely foreign, were heretical in nature, and introduced only later. Specifically, these ideas are identical to those attributed in ancient times to the Chaldean Magi of Babylon.

Babylon, which at one time may have held as many a 250,000 inhabitants, famed among the Jews and the later Greeks for its sensual living, was the greatest city in the ancient world. According to Greek historian Herodotus, in the fourth century BC, "Babylon lies in a wide plain, a vast city in the form of a square with sides nearly fourteen miles long and a circuit of some fifty-six miles, and in addition to its enormous size it surpasses in splendor any city of the known world." The city's legendary Hanging Gardens, were deemed in Hellenistic times one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Chaldean Magi

Babylon was the origin of a myth that would come to pervade, not only the mystical systems of antiquity, but which would transform Western religion and philosophy, that of the dying-god. Every spring, at their most important festival, the Akitu, or New Year's festival, corresponding to our Easter, the Babylonians celebrated the death and resurrection of their chief god Marduk, also known as Bel. There was a dramatic representation of the conflict between the Thunder-god Bel and the dragon Tiamat, as recounted in the epic of creation the Enuma elish, during which the god is vanquished and slain, but is raised from death by magical ceremonies, and eventually overcomes the dragon.

Babylon was also the birthplace of the mother of all sciences, astronomy, recognized as the special skill of the renowned Chaldeans, a term that had originally referred to the inhabitants of Chaldea, but eventually understood to refer to the Babylonian astrologers. Although often attributed to the distant past, and falsely presumed to represent the survival of the Ancient Wisdom, scholars have now established that, due to a lack of a reliable system of chronology, the astrology of the Chaldeans, though based on older traditions, was not developed until the seventh and sixth centuries BC.

These centuries were also the period in which a substantial Jewish population was found in Babylon. As a result of the Assyrian conquests of Jerusalem and the sacking of its great Temple, at the beginning of the sixth century BC, the great portion of the Jewish people were relocated to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar, where they would remain for nearly half a century, a period in Jewish history known as the Exile.

It is at this time that a faction of the Jews develop a system of magic and sorcery later known as the Kabbalah. These Jewish heretics rejected the God of the Bible, because he forbade the practice of magic, and instead revered his enemy, who introduced man to the "forbidden knowledge". This devil they identified with the dying-god of the Babylonians, who was identified with the planet Venus, whose original Latin name was Lucifer.

Because they came from Babylon, the various scholars of the ancient world confused these early Kabbalists with the Chaldean Magi. In fact, in the Book of Daniel, Chapter 2:48, Daniel is made chief of the "wise men" of Babylon, that is, of the Chaldean Magi, and yet remains faithful to the laws of his own religion.

This is what has caused so much confusion among modern scholars. Originally, the Magi were the official priests of the religion of the Persians, who conquered Babylon in 539 BC. The Persians were followers of Zoroaster, the founder of the religion of Zoroastrianism.

However, as scholars have repeatedly demonstrated, the teachings that were attributed to the Magi by ancient scholars held nothing in common with orthodox Zoroastrianism. Rather, as recognized by Franz Cumont, who was perhaps the greatest scholar of the last century, those Magi, which these historians referred to, and which he referred to instead as Magussaeans who followed a heretical interpretation of the religion. Rather, as I demonstrate in my book, these Magi followed a set of beliefs that were essentially identical to the early Kabbalah.

Therefore, it is by following the development and influence of these so-called Magi, that we can determine the influence of the early Kabbalah on those beliefs in the ancient world that eventually shaped the Western occult tradition, and ultimately Western society as a whole.