Part of the Field Guide to Flying Saints.
born: Gitta in first century
Roman magician, “father of all heretics', founder of Gnosticism, Emperor Nero's court magician, who had a titanic battle with St Peter in an attempt, so we are told, to overthrow Christianity.
He had the power to heal, to turn stones into bread, to travel trough the air, to stand unharmed in fires, change shape, become invisible, move objects and open locks without contact. St. Peter broke his legs trying to imitate Simon's flight.
Nearly all records concerning the Magus have been destroyed.
Simon explained the purpose of the Magus, completely misunderstood by the followers of Jesus, as a certain degree of enlightenment. The consciousness of the magician is at one with 'Nous'; Reason. The form of knowledge that Adam knew before the Fall, a true and perfect knowledge of nature, Natural Magic. This Reason must be combined with Epinoia; Thought. This aspect of enlightenment Simon found in a relationship with a prostitute from Tyre, he claimed to see in her the spirit of God.
In the early days Christianity, like most religions, had sacred prostitutes that were of high stature in the community. Gnostics believe the spirit of God to be trapped in matter, especially humans. This happened during the creation of the world. Thought can be trapped in forms and images it creates and is abused by corrupted men. It must be redeemed by 'Nous'. Simon is thus a Faustian figure; a scientist turned magician. Jesus rescued Mary from her life of prostitution, as Simon did for Helena form Tyre. This was not the image Christians wanted to communicate about the 'Blessed Virgin', so Simon had to be erased from history.
Weight (approx): 65kg
Range and distribution: Egypt, Greece and Italy
Special features: none