An interesting turn of phrase by Sinfield. Superficially, one might imagine the
bottom of the sea where the remains of unlucky mariners are consumed by
scavengers. In ancient times, the word "worm" was used to refer to an
actual worm, a snake, or a dragon.
"The city of "Worms in Germany, according to tradition, is so called
from the Lindwurm or dragon slain by Siegfried under the linden tree."
The Devil's Triangle
, a mythical voyage has been suggested by the names, Triton ("The
Argonauts beseeched him to aid them in navigating safe routes and calm the
waters of the great Deluge.") and Sceiron ("the violent wind that
blows down on the travellers"). The Argonauts also encountered a Worm in a
There were the Golden Apples wrought, that gleamed
In the Hesperides' garden undefiled:
All round the fearful Serpent's dead coils lay,
And shrank the Maids aghast from Zeus' bold son.
And there, a dread sight even for Gods to see,
Was Cerberus, whom the Loathly Worm had borne
To Typho in a craggy cavern's gloom
Close on the borders of Eternal Night,
A hideous monster, warder of the Gate
Of Hades, Home of Wailing, jailer-hound
Of dead folk in the shadowy Gulf of Doom.
The "Loathly Worm" in this story was Echidna, Typhon's mate.
"both were so fearful that when the gods saw them they changed into
animals and fled in terror. Typhon's hundred, horrible heads touched the stars,
venom dripped from his evil eyes, and lava and red-hot stones poured from his
gaping mouths. Hissing like a hundred snakes and roaring like a hundred lions,
he tore up whole mountains and threw them at the gods."
"Osiris plays a key role and is a central figure in the ancient Egyptian
mysteries. It was Osiris who taught the people of the land of Egypt about
farming. Osiris was and is one of the first "Green Men", in that he was also
the god of vegetation. The term 'Green Man' refers to a class of deities from
many different traditions."
The Egyptian equivalent of the other main character on the album cover, Demeter
(the Mother Earth), is Isis.
"Isis, represented in the Song of Solomon by the dark maid of Jerusalem, is
symbolic of receptive nature - the watery, maternal principle which creates all
things out of herself after impregnation has been achieved by the virility of
"Great Mother of the Gods, in ancient Middle Eastern religion (and later in
Greece, Rome, and W Asia), mother goddess, the great symbol of the earth's
fertility. As the creative force in nature she was worshiped under many names,
including Astarte (Syria), Ceres (Rome), Cybele (Phrygia), Demeter (Greece),
Ishtar (Babylon), and Isis (Egypt). The later forms of her cult involved the
worship of a male deity (her son or lover, e.g., Adonis, Osiris), whose death
and resurrection symbolized the regenerative power of the earth."
"The goddess Isis can also be seen in the Temperance trump. According to Walker
(108), her name and several of her titles (Queen of Heaven, Great Mother) have
appeared as names of this trump, and O'Neill (220) mentions a Renaissance image
of Isis in which she carries a water vessel and has one foot on earth and the
other in the water.
Since ancient times Isis has been associated with the Nile, and her
resurrection of Osiris and reunion with him has been taken to symbolize the
periodic flooding of the Nile (Plutarch, Isis & Osiris 39-40). This story
contains the common mythological theme of feminine love bringing rebirth;
recall Ishtar and Tammuz, Aphrodite and Adonis (Walker 109); in some myths
Dionysos was resurrected by Demeter, his lover, or by Athena (Kerenyi, Gods of
"Set was the evil brother of Osiris and Isis. When he was born, he was covered
with red hair. He was jealous of Osiris and tricked him into a box which he
threw into the Nile. When it was recovered by Isis, Set had Osiris' body cut
into fourteen pieces and scattered throughout the land.
Set represented the spirit of evil and destruction, the arid desert, drought,
and darkness. He was the opposite of all that was Osiris."
"The Two Brothers, the Good and Evil Principles, appear in the Myths of the
Bible as well as those of the Gentiles, and Cain and Abel, Typhon and Osiris,
Esau and Jacob, Apollo and Python, etc., Esau or Osu, is represented, when
born, as 'red all over like an hairy garment.' He is the Typhon or Satan,
opposing his brother."
And so we have the three constituents who make up
The Devil's Triangle
: Isis, Typhon and Osiris and their Greek counterparts Demeter, Hades and
Dionysus. On the album cover, Hades is the sinister horn-helmeted warrior in
the lower left-hand corner.
Typhon or Hades is also equivalent to the Devil.
"The first inquiry is whether the term Devil, as here used, actually represents
the malignant Deity of the Christians, or an antagonistic, blind force -- the
dark side of nature. By the latter we are not to understand the manifestation
of any evil principle that is malum in se, but only the shadow of the Light, so
to say. The theories of the kabalists treat of it as a force which is
antagonistic, but at the same time essential to the vitality, evolving, and
vigor of the good principle. Plants would perish in their first stage of
existence, if they were kept exposed to a constant sunlight; the night
alternating with the day is essential to their healthy growth and development.
Goodness, likewise, would speedily cease to be such, were it not alternated by
its opposite. In human nature, evil denotes the antagonism of matter to the
spiritual, and each is accordingly purified thereby. In the cosmos, the
equilibrium must be preserved; the operation of the two contraries produce
harmony, like the centripetal and centrifugal forces, and are necessary to each
other. If one is arrested, the action of the other will immediately become
In the album's title, Poseidon represents the duality of nature, but primarily
its destructive aspect.
"Poseidon, in Greek religion, god of the sea, protector of all waters.
Powerful, violent, and vengeful, he carried the trident, with which he caused
earthquakes. He was the husband of Amphitrite and the father of many sons, most
either brutal men (e.g., Orion) or monsters (e.g., Polyphemus)."
"Most scholars know of the tragic story of the death of Osiris. He was murdered
by his evil brother Set. Set is equated with Typhon-Apophis of the Greeks. Set
is the destructive aspect that the alchemical principal must undergo, and thus
be reborn into a new and purified creation. (Satan is based on the personage of
Set) That is exactly what happened to Osiris. His death or as the alchemist
would say his putrefaction was carefully evolved through the power of Isis
under the magical direction of Thoth (Hermes).
The Devil's Triangle
Essentially, a formula was being created in the mythos. It is the alchemical
formula of I.A.O.,
Isis, Apophis (Typhon), Osiris, Birth, Death, resurrection.
To the Adept this is a powerful process of transformation that unlocks the keys
of magical power and of immortality."
"The Isis-Osiris mystery-myth is the story of the earth goddess Isis' love for
Osiris and her compassion for Typhon. The myth demonstrates the ancient concept
of duality as it was expressed in the persons of good-doing Osiris and wicked
Typhon, with Isis as the Intermediate Principle, representing transcendence of
duality. But how does she bring about the transcendence? Where Osiris is Mercy,
represented by his crook, and Typhon is severity, represented by the scourge,
Isis Unveiled unites them within herself by her unconditional love, her
compassion and her responsive sexuality.
The three of them, Osiris, Typhon and Isis, represent the Three Primordial
Principles of positive, negative and neutral, creating a dimension or plane of
existence upon which the cosmic powers can actualize themselves through us,
their human counterparts. If we accept this tri-fold energy concept as cosmic
law, what does it mean in terms of structuring our own reality and
consciousness for the new millennium? How can the earth goddess society
energies of love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness be released from the
entrapment of religious institutions and widely promoted? "