(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:47 AM)
Old Time Religion
is the fits and starts of the most influential globalized religion in
all of history. The story of Jesus is universal, deeply permeating
every level of our culture. This is why we must learn of it to find
some clues as to why the culture we have today, that evolved with
Christianity as its host religion, is failing on such a large scale.
Keeping the Story Straight
the “Bible is true” and the “Bible is the Word of God,” then I would
place great value in those words. But, there are so many contradictory
elements of the four Gospels regarding the life of Christ, it might
seem that God would be somewhat confused. Here is a sampling:
Matthew and Luke disagree on the locale of the birth in Bethlehem. (Most modern scholars believe that Jesus was born in Nazareth.)
According to Matthew, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fled to Egypt to avoid Herod’s soldiers. (2:13-15) Luke says that Jesus was circumcised, taken to Jerusalem for purification rites before he escaped to Egypt. (2:21-39)
Mark says that Mary does not want to tell the disciples what had happened, while the other three says she does.
Luke says that after seeing the angels, Mary met with the disciples, while the other three say she first meets Jesus himself.
John says that Mary is not permitted to touch Jesus, while the other three say she can.
How many times does Jesus Christ appear after resurrection? Matthew says 2; Corinthians I says 6; Mark says 3; Luke says 2; John says 4.
John says Jesus carried the cross, but the others say that Simon did.
Luke says one of the thieves believes that Jesus is the Christ, but according to the other three, neither thief accepts Jesus.
How many people come to the tomb? Matthew says 2 (Magdalene and Mary his mom); Mark says 3 (Magdalene, Mary his mom, and Salome); Luke says more than 4 (both Magdalene, Mary his mom, and other women); John says that only Magdalene came alone.
says that when Jesus was crucified, the dead emerged from the graves of
Jerusalem! Yes, they were walking around showing themselves to
everyone. This would have to have been an amazing event that could
hardly escape the notice of the other gospel writers, or any other
historians of the period. Yet not a word was said about this amazing
event from any other sources.
Only Matthew says there was a great earthquake and an angel rolled back the stone. All the others say it was already moved.
The first three (Synoptic) gospels claim Jesus taught for one year before he died, while John says it was three years. While Matthew says Jesus delivered “The Sermon on the Mount” before “the multitudes,” Luke says it was a private talk given only to the disciples.
people of the story in the New Testament believed that the Kingdom of
God was at hand, meaning that they thought they were living in the last
century. The title, “Messiah,” means “inaugurator of the end.” (see Mark 1:15; 9:1; 13:30; Matthew 10:23; 23:29-36; Luke 12:49-50).
It would seem that Jesus had died without accomplishing what a Messiah
was predicted to do. If a Messianic expectation is only to be fulfilled
by a second coming, what was the point of the first?
disciples were under the impression that this coming would be in their
own lifetime. Jesus never says he’ll be back a couple thousand years
later. In fact, Jesus said that his 12 disciples will “not have gone
over all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” (Matthew 10:23) “There are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom.” (Matthew 16:24)
It would seem that, perhaps, something may have been lost in the “translation.”
the time of Jesus, there were many writers who were recording the
events of the time, bequeathing us with extensive volumes that could
fill a library. One
of these writers is named Philo. Philo was famous, and he lived during
the time of Jesus in Jerusalem, from 20 BCE to 50 CE. Philo was there
when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Philo was living
right there when Christ was crucified. He was in town when the
earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead took
place. Philo was there when Christ himself rose from the dead and, in
the presence of many witnesses, ascended into heaven.
there was Josephus, the renowned Jewish historian. Josephus was also a
native of Judea and was born in 37 AD, making him a contemporary of the
Apostles. Everyone knew who Josephus was. He served as Governor of
Galilee, which was the province in which Christ lived and taught.
Josephus knew and had traveled throughout every part of Galilee, the
very same place where Christ had performed his prodigies just a few
years back. In fact, Josephus lived in Cana, which is the very city in
which Christ is said to have wrought his first famous and renowned
miracle. In his writings, Josephus takes great pains to mention every
possible important and non-important event as his work is extensive,
comprising twenty books. He dedicates whole pages to petty robbers and
cult leaders. The life of a single King took up forty chapters.
And yet, Josephus never once mentions Jesus nor even so much as hints of such a personage. (There were two paragraphs which have now been proved to have been forged in the 4th century by Bishop Eusebius.)
is an extensive list of writers living in the same place and time as
Christ is said to have lived, and none of them mention anything about
him. In fact, the four Gospels we are so familiar with were completely
unknown to the early Christian Fathers. Take Justin Martyr as an
example. He wrote in the middle of the second century and was one of
the most eminent Fathers of Jesus and the Christian movement of his
time. He wrote of the divinity of Christ. One would think he would
prefer to quote from the Gospels to support his position. And yet,
quotes books from the Old Testament nearly 300 times. He quotes from
the Apocryphal books around 100 times.
Justin Martyr not only never quotes or mentions any of the four
Gospels, he never even mentions the writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or
Christians are aware that the name “Jesus Christ” was not formally
adopted until after the first Council of Nicaea. Furthermore, it is
quite interesting that there is no cross in early Christian art before
the middle of the 5th century. In fact, the first clear crucifix does
not appear until late in the late 7th century. They pictured him as a
shepherd, or symbolized him as a fish. Were they unaware of the crucifixion?
Historical Fact or Intentional Mythology?
So, what is going on here? Are we missing part of the story?
in natural human tribal structure has a great purpose, which is
detailed in Cultural Vision. We know that mythology (and most
particularly “Living Mythology”) evolves naturally. What I call
“Intentional Mythology” is really an agenda to manipulate. Which is the
case here? And if the story of Jesus Christ comes from Intentional
Mythology, what does that mean for us here today?
I think we can all agree that without the resurrection, there is no Christianity.
The whole system is based upon the myth that Christ paid for sins by
suffering, dying, and being resurrected. If these events are fictional,
maybe there is other aspects of the institution that are designed not
to find a life eternal, but to create control and power here on Earth.
Lucius Calpurnius Piso
While this is not exactly a household name, it certainly should be. Lucius
created the fictional characters of the New Testament: Jesus, his
parents, Mary Magdalene, the apostles and disciples, Paul, John the
Baptist, and tied them together with a slew of real people (King Herod,
Pilot, etc) in a specific point in time and place in history. He used
ancient stories and the writings and characteristics of various Pagan
gods to create the story line of his birth, life, death, and
was married to the great granddaughter of Herod the Great. He produced
his ‘Ur Marcus’ in 60 AD, which was the forerunner of the Gospel of
Mark. His son, Arius, went on to rewrite it, and also wrote Matthew and
with the help of the Roman writer Pliny the Younger, wrote Luke.
Arius’s son, Justus, then wrote John in 105. Julius Calpurnius Piso
(one of his sons) who wrote The Revelation near the end of the reign of
the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
Piso family descended from Philip II of Macedon (359-336 BCE). King
Philip was the father of two sons - Alexander the Great and Lagos (the
Rabbit). The Piso line descends from Lagos down through the many
Ptolemys (kings of Egypt) to include Cleopatra. In their day they were
well known, as many great writers mentioned them. They were members of
the closed society of Zoroastrianism, and priests of the temple at Zela
in the homeland of Pontus on the southern coast of the Black Sea.
Piso family was betrayed by Julius Caesar in many ways. This is
important to know, because much of the early history of Christianity is
based on revenge taken by the Piso family against Julius Caesar. The
major form taken by that revenge was to replace Caesar as head of the
Roman state religion.
Pisos had many reasons to hate Julius Caesar. He had made war against
their homeland. He had betrayed his wife Calpurnia, who was a Piso,
with another Piso relative: Cleopatra. He had conspired with the Jewish
People against Alexandria, which was another Piso stronghold. He had
written the Pisos out of his will. In addition to all this, he was a
Populist and was against the Royals, who suspected that if he were to
become dictator he might even abolish slavery. The Piso family were
Royals. Sixty percent of the people in the Roman Empire were slaves.
in 66 CE, Arius Piso waged war against Jerusalem and defeated the
Jewish People. He tore down the temple there with the help of a Piso
relative named Titus in 70 CE, just as Caesar had torn down the temple
at Zela. To commemorate his victory and to create a religion to keep
the slaves humble, he and his family authored the New Testament,
cleverly inventing a Jesus Christ (with the same initials as Julius
Caesar oddly enough) who would replace Caesar as the head of what was
to become the new state religion of Rome: Christianity.
The Foundation of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
the base of all these religions is the God of Moses. All the great
religions go back to this same deity, which was perhaps the scariest
version of God there is. So before we move forward, let’s take one look
back to get more clues to what makes us tick as a culture. If we are to
dig deep into the foundation, we need to take a look in the basement.
usertype:1 tt= 0
Create free forum and click the links below and your donations will make a difference here.
A Huge Online Store for Various Cool Gadgets, Accessories: Laser Pointer, Bluetooth Headset, Cell Phone Jammer, MP3 Players, Spy Cameras, Soccer Jersey, Window Curtains, MP4 Player, E Cigarette, Wedding Dresses, Hearing Aids, eBook Reader, Tattoo Machines, LED Light Bulbs, Bluetooth Stereo Headset, Holiday Gifts, Security Camera and Games Accessories and Hobby Gadgets.
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:48 AM)
Biblical Violence, Hate, and Immorality
Truth Does Not Demand Faith
a jazz pianist I feel I possess truths that do not require faith. I
have never gotten together with other jazz musicians and chanted, “Yes,
the notes of an E minor half-diminished chord are E, G, B flat, and D,
praise the Chord, brothers and sisters! May the Chord be with you. Have
faith in the Chord.” I further believe that a waltz is in 3/4 time, but
I don’t need to meet every week to talk about it; it is just a fact.
Likewise, scientists don’t gather and keep chanting together in a
huddled mass every week that they know biological evolution is
responsible for the creation of life. They feel no need to reassure
themselves of what they see as Truth.
Truth is a different thing, though, isn’t it? We need to keep drumming
this stuff into our heads all the time, lest we fall victim to rational
Christians seem to have a difficult time hearing and dealing with
rational thought that in any way contradicts what they think is actual
historical fact. They must continuously repeat these shocking ideas to
themselves every Sunday and every religious celebration. Look at the
Nicene Creed that Constantine and his conspirators wrote for people to
repeat over and over and over. Why must people, once they are given to
accept a religious belief, gather in support groups and repeat their
beliefs over and over?
school systems are constantly under pressure to give equal time to the
religious concept of Creationism. This religious-mythology-as-science
intrusion of anti-intellectual compulsion into the public school system
is damaging to society. We know that the movement to teaching
Creationism is not about science, it is about religion and politics. It
would be as if to give equal time to the stork in obstetrics. Critical
thinking is not critical thinking when you exempt religious beliefs
from its scrutiny. Religious beliefs (raising the dead, God as a
Burning Bush, Noah saving the animals, a talking serpent, parting of
the sea, and so on) all crumble when examined from a scientific
the Creationists are right (and they realize they must be right if
their religion is to survive) then God would have to be a rather odd
fellow. Did Adam and Eve have a belly button? Whom did Cain marry if
there was only him with Mom and Dad? Did God create light waves to look
as if they were coming from old galaxies to keep us confused as to the
truth of the age of the Universe? Did he create everything to look as
if it were old, even though it was brand new? Did God create fossils to
look like life actually evolved? Brian Fellow (a character from the
Saturday Night Live television show) would have to exclaim, “This is
Consistency in Myth and Knowledge is Critical
But this creates a problem. Cultural Vision
notes that in true tribal culture (which is the type of societal
structure humanity evolved with), one of the functions that mythology
serves is to offer an image of reality that is consistent with the
knowledge of the tribe. Mythology, in order to fulfill its higher
purpose, must corroborate with that which is known to be factual.
I was around seven years old I deduced that there was no Easter Bunny.
I confronted my parents, who could not defy my logic and fessed up to
the secret. But as I realized the scam, I deduced right there that the
Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus were also a hoax, and they admitted as such.
is similar to the dilemma the Church has with its mythology dependant
on such a delicate house of cards. But we are not gullible children who
are genetically programmed to soak up as much mythology as possible.
The problem here is that if the world actually did evolve as science
claims rather than created by God as the Church claims, somewhere there
needs be a concession. How we began should be a question we, as a
culture and all-encompassing society composing of many faiths and
system of beliefs, should have a mutual understanding of.
problem is that if there was no Adam, the whole system crashes because
there was no original sin, the “fall” of man. But that means there is
no hell or heaven. If that is the case, then we have no need for
salvation. From that one would have to admit that there was no need for
the resurrection, and science would determine that such an event could
not have happened anyway.
Believing as a “Get out of Hell Free” Card
religious indoctrination teaches that what makes you eligible for
eternal salvation is what you believe, not necessarily what you do. In
other words, the true believers and the faithful will join God in
life-everlasting. You can even kill someone and be saved by asking for
forgiveness from the Lord. Ask and thou shalt receive. But if you are
an atheist and don’t “believe in the Lord,” no matter how pleasant or
giving of a person you might be, then you will not be “saved” and will
go someplace else, like eternal damnation burning in Hell. If you want
to sin and get away with it, all you have to do is believe in God (and
Jesus for the Christians) to be saved.
The Calvinistic Inhuman Tendencies of Civilization
order for this system we live in to survive, you need large numbers of
people to agree on some foundational tenets that support all the other
attributes. We’ve looked at some of the foundation. I’d like to look at
the most damaging attribute this system of beliefs has perpetuated on
today’s societies. At this point I am going to be referring to Judaism
and Islam, as well as Christianity.
most fatal meme (a sociological snippet of information) to come forth
from the Old Testament days is the righteous mentality that emanates
from the highly egocentric point of view that mankind is predestined to
rule over creation, that mankind should “own” parts of the planet to
alter in any way he chooses. (This must be eliminated if we are to
survive as a species.)
is the meme in its most extreme, although it sounds to us modern-day
civilized folks like a perfectly reasonable assumption. The doctrine of
predestination lies at the root of the great religions. They all think
they are the “chosen people.”
most dangerous form of predestination is Calvinism. Calvinists think
that material wealth is a blessing from God signaling divine favor.
This was also the Puritan way of thinking. They are extremely moral in
their personal life, but all’s fair when it comes to business,
patriotism, and military violence. They take a dour attitude with
physical pleasure, but compensate for their dreariness with a fierce
greed and lust for power and wealth.
Our Myths are Sane, Yours are “Crazy”
seems that Christians can easily dismiss the “miracles” of Islam. They
scoff at other supernatural claims, such as the visit between Joseph
Smith and the angel Moroni. If they are holding claim to our society,
we should take a good look at their own outrageous claims. Even the
disciple Thomas, who was there to see Christ in action, said that the
women’s news “seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them
not.” (Luke 24:11)
should anyone dare to examine these now written (and therefore second-
or third-hand information) tales, they might be denounced for “picking
the Bible to pieces.” But I believe failing to look closely at all
aspects of the story(s) would be in violation of a basic principle of
scholarship and study.
Biblical Morals and Commands
might be most frightening about the Bible is that if you Believe in it,
you are commanded by God, Creator of the Universe, to follow the Word
of God. But if a
person in our society were to follow the Word of God of the Old
Testament, that person would soon be put in prison. Here is a sampling:
If a woman was not a virgin when she married, you should stone her to death. This is part of Mosaic Law. (Deuteronomy 22:21) And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast. (Leviticus 20:16) If your child hits you or swears at you, you are to put that child to death. (Leviticus 20:9) A stubborn and rebellious son should be stoned to death by all the men of his city. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) It is a good practice to sell your daughter into slavery. (Exodus 21:7) Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. (Psalm 137:9)
sexual abuse, anti-women, domestic violence, and child abuse all rolled
up into one. Consider that Abraham drove one child into the desert to
starve, and made preparations to butcher the other. The Bible even
advocates slavery! (see Timothy 6:1, Ephesians 6:5, Titus 2:9, Peter 2:18) Leviticus 25:44 states that you may buy slaves from the nations that are around us.
Intolerance to non-believers is innate in these religions:
People who work on the Sabbath should be put to death. (Exodus 35:2)
It certainly fosters a bad attitude towards women . . . :
not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in
silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not
deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing. (1 Timothy 2:12-15) There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. (Ezekiel 23:30) Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exodus 22:18)
Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially
unclean for seven days. If you touch her during that time, you will be
defiled until evening. (Leviticus 15:19)
. . . but I find the promotion of ethnic cleansing the most disturbing aspect of the Bible: But
they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused
his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people,
till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of
the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of
their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old
man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. (2 Chronicles 36:16-17)
The Bible even says we should ostracize the children of broken families . . . :
A child born out of wedlock should be publicly exposed by the church. (Deuteronomy 23:2)
. . . and that we should kill Gay people:
Death for homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:27,32)
The Bible can be as gross and disgusting . . . :
Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces. (Malachi 2:3) Hath he not sent me to the men who sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you? (2 Kings 18:27)
And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons
and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. (Deuteronomy 28:53) And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man. (Ezekel 4:12.15)
. . . as it can be threatening:
He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. (Mark 3:29)
Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,
nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves,
nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall
inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6: 9-10)
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:49 AM)
is glorified in the Bible, just as it is in other religious traditions
and teachings. Moses murdered an Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.
Moses exterminated whole nations to secure the spoils of war. Moses
butchered in cold blood thousands of captive widows as he tore babies
from the breast of dying mothers and put them to a cruel death.
called David “a man after God’s own heart,” and yet didn’t he lead an
enemy’s troops against his own countrymen? Didn’t he plunder the
country on every side? He was a liar to avoid justice. But worst of all
he was a butcher of people as he tortured and slaughtered thousands of
men, women, and children, forcing them through burning brick ovens.
Using saws and axes he tore them to pieces. He murdered a faithful
soldier after raping his wife. I know this because the Bible told me so.
The Bible is stained with blood. Open it at random:
not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace,
but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father,
and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against
her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and
he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10: 34-37)
Take all the heads of the people and hang them up before the Lord against the sun. (Numbers 25:8)
And this is the thing that ye shall do, ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man. (Judges 5:30)
when the Lord thy God hath delivered [a city] into thine hands, thou
shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the
women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the
city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself. (Deuteronomy 20:13-14)
they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and
they slew all the males. . . . And the children of Israel took all the
women of the Midian captive, and their little ones, and took the spoil
of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. (Numbers 31:7-9)
therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman
that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that
have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. (Numbers 31: 17-18)
God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an
one as goeth on still in his trespasses. The Lord said, I will bring
again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the
sea: That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the
tongue of thy dogs in the same. (Psalms 68:21-23)
David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their
hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. (2 Samuel 4:12)
when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite
them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them,
nor show mercy unto them. (Deuteronomy 7:2)
they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the
silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put
into the treasury of the house of the Lord. (Joshua 6:24)
Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred
talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God
answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this. . . . And
Amaziah strengthened himself . . . and smote the children of Seir ten
thousand. And the other ten thousand left alive did the children of
Judah carry away captive, and brought them unto the top of the rock,
and cast them down from the top of the rock, that they all were broken
in pieces. (2 Chronicles 25:9-12)
of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee
for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. (Deuteronomy 20:16)
shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city [of nonbelievers] with
the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein,
and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. (1 Samuel 13:15)
that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword,
and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that
were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as
he did unto the king of Jerico. Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and
all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah: And the
Lord delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel:
and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were
therein; he let none remain in it. (Joshua 10:29-30)
go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare
them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and
sheep, camel and ass. (1 Samuel 15:3)
And let’s not forget all the adulterous sex:
Abraham who married his sister and seduced his wife’s handmaid.
Abraham’s nephew, Lot, had two daughters. When Lot’s wife was turned
into a pillar of salt, his daughters got him drunk and had sex with
him. They both got pregnant and their sons were the progenitors of two
nations, the Moabites and the Ammonites. Jacob won God’s love by
deceiving his father, cheating his uncle, robbing his brother,
practicing bigamy with two of his cousins, and committing fornication
with two of his housemaids. David was a drunken polygamist who had a
harem of wives and mistresses known as concubines and danced half-naked
before the maids of his household. This well-known religious icon also
abducted and ravished the wife of a faithful soldier. Why, even Moses
made orphans of 32 thousand innocent girls, and turned 16 thousand of
them over the brutal lusts of a savage soldiery.
“That’s Carazy!” Sounds more like a pornographic movie than thoughts about spiritual interconnections with the universe!
we are coerced into accepting an entirely fictional and utterly
fantastic set of events over the past 7000 years that we know is
physically impossible to the point that it is simply silly to take the
God instructed Moses to order 3 million people to stone to death one man who had upset Him. (Numbers 15:35,36)
God struck an entire city of men down with Hemorrhoids. (I Samuel 5:8,9)
The planet Earth is a four-cornered flat earth floating on water (Isiah 11:12, Psalms 24:2, 136:6) with heaven above and the earth below. (I Thessians 4:16-17) All of this was created in just one week. (Genesis 1:1-2:2)
Adam could speak a language when he was just one-day old. (Gen 2:19)
If you are sick or if you commit a sin, it is because you are infested with demons. (Mk. 1:21-34, 2:6-9)
The moon will turn to blood at the end of history. (Acts 2:20)
The bible says that there was no rain on the earth up to at least the time of man’s appearance. (Gen 2:5) The
bible also says plants appeared on the third day and insects not until
the sixth. And yet we know from high school biology that plants depend
upon insect pollination for their very existence. Another mystery?
from the dead, walking on water, rivers parting, talking snakes, voices
from burning bushes, magic wands and rods, demons, giants, angels,
devils, ghosts, disembodied voices, unclean spirits, and curing
blindness with spit is just a few of the Bible’s wonders. It just goes
on and on.
is so callous towards all of mankind that at one point He was sorry
that He even created people. So, out of spite and anger and to show
these sinful folks who is in charge and make them suffer for their sins
God destroyed all but a sample of them in a world-wide flood; wiped out
everybody! Even all the animals too. Then he commenced to start the
whole bloody process all over again! (Gen 6:5-7)
Eliminate all Faith-based Institutions from all Civil Structures
of the above insane and psychotic (by definition) ideas and quotes are
not only entirely responsible for the rationalization for the Crusades,
the Inquisition, the torture and murder of millions of women, the
overrunning of many thousands of indigenous cultures around the world
and right here in America, as well as the Holocaust, it is also in
these modern times the subliminal justification for forcing unwanted
pregnancies on abused women, spousal abuse, sex discrimination,
sexual-preference discrimination, all Holy wars, terrorism, ethnic
strife, slavery, colonialism, among so many other ills and damaging
aspects of our modern day system of morals and sense of justice, all of
which ultimately block us from achieving true freedom.
Religious institutions not only have not the answer, they are the root of the problem.
Society Must Promote Human Values and True Freedom
institutions have now acquired ample political power to enforce its
views on the mass population, which demands a question of ethical
integrity and moral foundation. These institutions earned their place
by pure political conquest, not by argument, not by evidence, nor any
proof of Truth.
so it has become time for all people, religious and not, to affirm the
truly sacred duty of our societal structures to protect true Freedom
and return to humanity our humanity by disallowing religious influence
in the secular business of society. In this way we can bring true
Freedom to the masses by allowing people to decide for themselves how
and what to honor. This is the task we have before us today.
What is Freedom?
is true Freedom? This is a valid question. Most people think it means
being free to do whatever you want whenever you want to do it. The
second part of these twin websites, PrimalTrinity.org will take a close look at the spiritual aspect of freedom and how we can have it when we are ready for it.
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:51 AM)
Druids, Sorcerors, Mages, Wizards(some differences explained)~heather
|Category:(Ancient Beliefs) Created:(9/8/2004 8:27:00 AM) Viewed (815 times)|
• Druids approach magic using nature as a basis for context and power.
• Druids consider themselves and their magic to be a part of nature, not above it, below it, or outside of its influence.
• People are also a part of nature.
• All nature is sacred, and trees particularly so.
Druids ask instead of command when performing ritual and casting
spells. This is in direct contrast to several traditions of sorcery or
ceremonial magick. Again, this is a matter of respect for nature and an
acknowledgment of the druid’s place within it.
• Druids get to
know the forces they work with through meditation, study, ritual, and
spending time in nature. This relationship can be as professional or
personal as the Druid desires, although most relationships with natural
forces take on very personal and direct meanings very early on. This
takes time. There is absolutely no way around it… of course, your
mileage may vary, but you must walk the walk.
• The primary natural forces that the Druid works with are Air, Fire, Earth, Water, and Spirit.
• A Druid is free to work with whatever god forms he deems appropriate or partial to his working.
• The Druidic path is primarily solar.
• Druidic magic taps into energy and bends or directs it.
• As much as possible, include nature in your workings. Work and meditate outside as often as circumstances permit.
Druids do not consider their spiritual path above or better than any
other. (of course, we Druids are human and do take pride in our path!).
In fact, it is a Druid’s responsibility to allow each individual to
grow according to the pattern nature has dictated. Helping where help
is needed is one thing, forcing another sentient being to accept your
view of reality is something else entirely.
The Three Keys to Mastery
• To know
• To dare
• To be silent
Raw Power and Dark Energies
world of the Sorcerer is one which is wreathed in the mystic fires of
the future. Having the same cunning and foresight as a Wizard,
Sorcerers attempt to change their world through a slightly different
means. While the Wizard tends towards "good" magics, and a defensive
position, the Sorcerer tends to have an affinity for the "evil" magics
and an aggressive mannerism. This does not imply that they are evil,
per se, but it does show that they have a different approach tactic.
use the aggressive magics because they desire to take a pro-active role
in the shaping of their future, or the future of their target. They use
things that, by the definition of "White" and "Black" magic which is
used in The Library of Knowledge, classify as black magics to shape
things around them. The idea is similar to the famous analogy used in
the magical community concerning psychic warfare: To participate in
psychic warfare, one may either attack all of their enemies, or they
may shield themselves. Both approaches accomplish the same goal -- the
safety of the magician's target (even if it is themself). These
approaches bear the same differences as Wizardry and Sorcery.
Wizard would adamantly defend themself, never becoming too concerned
with whoever might be wasting their time attacking. The Sorcerer,
conversely, would be the one counter-attacking their enemies, making no
effort to adapt themselves to the enviroment, but rather adapting their
environment to themselves. To this end, it is often useful for the
Sorcerer to utilize an array of skills. These skills include scrying,
enchanting, conjuring, and heavy reliance on the art of Magecraft.
This unique art known as Sorcery is one which knows no bounds and has no limits, except those which are allowed by the user.
Over Matter The art of subtle domination of the environment and one's
surroundings is summed most perfectly in the art of Magecraft. The Mage
is a highly intelligent, peaceful, mentally focussed individual who
seeks the purest forms of control over themself, their surroundings,
the people they meet, and the beings they come into contact with(A Mage
must be peaceful, as an angry, vengeful, confused or otherwise highly
emotional person cannot properly concentrate). Everything aspect of
life that concerns a Mage from day to day is domineered so that the
Mage is always in total control. Magecraft, as a whole art, consists
essentially of three hubs: Psychism, Natural Magic, and Temporal Magic.
draw their energy from somewhere. Truly, anywhere. The Mage appears to
be a slightly different breed when one examines their method of energy
storage/usage. Energy flows through a Mage. Unlike many casters who
store energy and use it at a later time, the Mage uses their stored
energy only to initiate a link. The Magecraft system runs on the
principle of the four elements: Fire, Air, Earth and Water. A Mage
views the entire world as ethereally composed of one or more of these
elements. Each of these elements also governs different properties. If
a Mage were to attempt a psychic link, their stored energy of Air
(intellect) and Water (spiritualism) would be used to open a channel
between themself, their target, and to turn themself into ethereal
"lightning rods". The environment then, with each spell casting,
continuously feeds a Mage so that energy is not spent on the casting of
the spell itself, but rather only in the spells initiation. A link
between the Mage and the environment is opened with stored energy. The
environment then starts flowing through the Mage. The Mage filters the
energy into what is wanted and what is not.
The Mage uses the
required energy type/s (Air & Water, to keep with the example), and
lets the energy then flow into its purpose. In this fashion, energy is
conserved and the spell can continue (as long as the required
concentration level is maintained). Warning: Be sure to learn your
limits! When you are getting tired, stop the spell! Because the energy
will never stop flowing through a Mage until it is willed to do so,
many Mages injure themselves by continuing a spell until they can no
longer maintain precise concentration and collapse to the floor with
exhaustion and suffer from an ethereal backlash. You have been warned.
Be careful. The last thing a Mage does is Temporal Magic.
Magecraft is a powerful art but, above all other caster types, requires a great deal of mental control and concentration.
Challenge of Mind "Wizardry is the type of magic that is intellectually
based, drawing on elements not identifiable by modern science, to
perform various magical effects." --“Cerberus” Master Wizard of the
Hall of Legions
So, you have an interest in Wizardry, eh? Before
we get into the real essence of Wizardry, let me make sure that you
understand what it is all about. Wizardry is more focused on magic as
science as opposed to magic as religion. Wizardry is based around logic
more than faith. To have this explained further, please read on.
basically has three rules that can quantify how to make spells and
magic work for you. I shall tell the rule, and then explain it.
One cannot learn and focus on the parts of magic, but forget the whole.
Easy to understand, right? If you have a car and you wash the car
everyday but ignore the rest of it, do you think it will last forever,
or have the same performance as the day you bought it? Don’t think so.
So to paraphrase, do not learn the basics of magic, forget them, and
then jump off and cast spells all the time. Meditate, do spell
research, and collect spell components yourself. Work on all the parts
of magic and see them as a collective. The basics of magic are what
helps you to fully understand why magic works.
The second rule of magic is somewhat an extension of the first.
The magic comes from knowledge of the principles of its use, and in the
user’s knowing of how magic affects the environment. This one is a
little confusing. Magic works because the spellcaster knows how magic
works. It is not as simple as flipping a light switch and not expecting
a light to come on. Ignorance of magic combined with the performing of
magic will get you nothing. In knowing how magic affects the
environment you come to understand the why of how spells function.
Magic rarely cooperates with physical laws. Magic bends a lot of
physical laws, and occasionally breaks them.
The final law of magic is probably the simplest.
Magic comes from the combined effort of your heart and mind. Simple. To
make a spell work you must have the spell completely in your mind,
casting it in your head as you are casting it in the physical world.
You must KNOW the spell in your mind. Inside out, backwards, forwards,
etc. The other half comes from the heart. The magic has to flow from
your heart into every part of your body, and then into your mind for
any spell to work. To paraphrase, you must know in your heart that the
spell will work. Not believe, KNOW. Only when you are fully in control
of both your thoughts and your heart will the magic work for you.
These three rules constitute the core of Wizardry.
thing that is significant to Wizardry is knowledge. Knowledge is what
makes a wizard do what he does. He operates outside of the accepted
norm of society. For knowledge, he ventures into places that even the
bravest men would run from. Always remember that knowledge and wisdom
is power. Knowledge holds the universe together. Knowledge gives the
wizard purpose in an uncertain world. When you are depressed and the
uncertainty of the world brings you down, remember that the magic and
knowledge are what gives your life purpose.
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:52 AM)
How much did Christianity inherit from the Pagans?
The POCM web site introduces you to the mainstream modern scholarship about Christianity's origins in ancient Pagan religion.
already know Christmas trees and Easter eggs were originally Pagan, and
you probably know the traditional mid-winter and spring timing of the
two holidays was Pagan too. Mildly interesting. Not what you'll find
What you'll discover here is that Christianity inherited everything from the Pagans. The core of Christianity -- the worship of a dying Godman who is resurrected, ascends into heaven and brings salvation
to mankind -- was also the core of a number of ancient Pagan religions
that began in the Near East two thousand years before Jesus.
Christian theology borrowed more than the archaic myth of the dying-resurrected Godman. Initiation by baptism, communion with the God through a holy meal that represented the flesh of the dead God, the Holy Spirit, monotheism, and immortality of the soul were all core beliefs of many ancient faiths. They were simply part of ancient Mediterranean culture.
Christianity also borrowed elements of Jesus' mythology: the virgin birth, the miracles
(including turning water into wine, walking on water, and especially
healing the sick) were all common elements of pre-Christian Pagan
religions. Mithras had 'em. So did Dionysus, Attis, Osiris, and
Orpheus. And more. And they had them centuries before Christianity was a twinkle in Saint Paul's eye.
|Enter POCM |
So, how much did Christianity inherit from the Pagans?
Christianity is an ancient Pagan religion
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:53 AM)
(also spelled "Qabalah," "Cabala," and various other ways) Hebrew for "collected teachings."
system of theosophy, philosophy, science, magic, and mysticism
developed since the Middle Ages. Collection of anonymously-written
works on mystical topics. Holds God is both immanent and transcendent,
is all things, and letters and numbers are the keys to unlocking the
mysteries of the universe. Main imagery is the Tree of Life, which
shows the ten sephiroth as the emanations from the Godhead to humanity.
Each sephiroth corresponds to levels of knowledge, parts of the body,
aspects of the universe, etc. By traveling up the Tree of Life, one may
attain divinity (similar concepts are found in Gnosticism). Kaballah
had a great influence on the founders of many modern Pagan traditions,
and many Pagans use Kaballistic principles in their workings today.
Traditional Witchcraft and Wicca
many times have you seen a sentence start with "Witchcraft, or Wicca,
is.." leaving the reader with the impression that these are one and the
same thing. Such generalizations are unfair to the practitioners of
both, and more than a little confusing to those who wish to learn some
form of the Craft. Yet, in an age of electronic information, it becomes
difficult to set the boundaries that would allow one to study
witchcraft or Wicca as distinct disciplines. There are many pagan web
sites that proclaim connections to Wicca, although few are truly
Wiccan. I must admit that my own web site often fails to make a clear
rooms and message boards are filled with arguments over whether this or
that act is within the parameters of the Wiccan Rede, yet those
chatters are not themselves Wiccan. Perhaps the argument concerns how
many traditional witches are needed to call the guardians of the
Watchtowers, but the well-meaning participants are unaware that
traditional witches usually do not even call the guardians. It's
difficult to even find terms to use that haven't already been so
blended as to obscure any divisions.
you are a newcomer, you might ask why this is so important. Well, when
you start out to study to be a doctor, you wouldn't want to study only
psychiatry if you planned to become a surgeon, would you? If your goal
in life is to be a great violinist, would you forego violin lessons in
favor of piano lessons? In the first case, both are medicine and in the
second, both are music, but you certainly wouldn't want a psychiatrist
performing your appendectomy, nor would you wish to sit through a
violin concert performed by a pianist. You need to know where you are
going in order to map out a path that will get you there. If you don't
follow some plan, some path, but just pick up a little information here
and there, you'll never get anywhere at all.
following sections give some of the differences between Traditional
Witchcraft and Wicca, though certainly not all. Before beginning, let
me explain my choice of terms. The term Wicca is obvious in that its
practitioners use the term to define their religion, and as it has been
recognized as a religion by the US government for some years now, the
term is widely accepted.
Witchcraft is a bit more difficult to define. To some degree it is a
continuation of the religion practiced by early European pagans and
Druids, called witchcraft by the conquering Christians. However, as
practiced today it is still a form of neo-paganism, as is Wicca. In
other words, it has been revived and reinvented in modern times. It is
traditional in the sense that it is not derived from the work of a
single founder. The term as I use it should also not be confused with
the traditional witchcraft of Hereditary Witches. Families of witches
may indeed practice what I call Traditional Witchcraft, but the
designation is not limited to such families.
discussing the differences between these two religions, it should also
be remembered that they have many things in common, particularly when
contrasted to the world religions such as Christianity, Islam and
Judaism. In fact, they are far more alike than they are different.
Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to explore the differences. These
differences fall into several categories: history, beliefs, ritual, and
students of the Craft are at least vaguely aware of the historical
origin of Wicca, but have much less precise ideas about the origin of
Traditional Witchcraft. This is not particularly surprising. Wicca
originated in modern times and has the advantage of being set out in
written texts and even in the memories of living people. Traditional
Witchcraft, on the other hand, is tied to ancient cultures and myths,
and to largely unverifiable ideas about practices and beliefs.
began with the writings and teachings of Gerald Gardner in the 1930s.
Gardner claimed to have been initiated into the New Forest Coven in
England by Dorothy Clutterbuck. He published both fictional and
non-fictional accounts of witchcraft, the first non-fictional book,
"Witchcraft Today," appearing after the last of the anti-witchcraft
laws in England were repealed in 1954. Believing that the Craft was
dying out, he dedicated himself to reviving it. In his coven, many
things were secret, so his writings combined some things from the coven
along with elements of ceremonial magick (Quabbala), Masonic ritual,
various versions of the Craft, Celtic mythology, eastern philosophies,
Egyptian ideologies, and even fictional ideas from mystical works along
the lines of Lovecraft and Hubbert. The elements (earth, air, fire,
water) which form an important part of Wiccan ideology are from
Classical Greece. Gardner was clearly a learned man to combine diverse
philosophies and religions in such a way that it not only stopped the
decline of the Craft, but led to the powerful and influential religion
that Wicca is today.
students had an important role to play in the evolution and spread of
Wicca. Doreen Valiente added the poetic quality to many of the rituals
that have been passed down. Others whom Gardner initiated took the new
practices to distant lands, while still others branched off forming
their own traditions such as the Alexandrian tradition begun by Alex
Sanders. In America, many new traditions appeared, among them Dianic
witchcraft and the Faerie traditions, both of which are further from
Gardnerianism than the direct descendents, but still clearly influenced
by Gardnerian Wicca.
we're calling Traditional Witchcraft has an older history than Wicca,
but a much less well-defined one. Witchcraft has been around since the
beginning of mankind, long before people could write about it. Our
ancestors did leave a few clues such as goddess statues and drawings,
but not much can be learned about the nature of their beliefs and
practices. Anthropologists surmise that primitive cultures of modern
times have at least a passing resemblance to the long dead cultures of
the past, and nearly all have some form of witchcraft or magic.
However, the witchcraft practiced by most neo-pagans today is clearly
of Pre-European origin, and even the most traditionally minded witches
rarely try to trace the origin of their practice back much further than
the early Middle Ages.
do know a few things about these times. The native peoples throughout
Europe believed in spirits or gods, usually associated with the Earth,
Sun, and Moon, and they saw their lives and the lives of the gods as
having a cyclical pattern, following the yearly cycle of seasons. The
latter part is typical of native peoples everywhere. When one lives by
agriculture or by hunting and gathering, knowledge, and if possible,
control of the seasonal forces of Nature are vital to existence. Thus,
the development of a religion in which the seasons are recognized and
celebrated and through which one might attempt to control the more
violent and destructive aspects of Nature is quite understandable.
of our knowledge of European witchcraft comes from the writings of th
(clearly prejudiced) Christian conquerors and priests. In fact, it was
the Christians who first called the practice witchcraft. Before the
invasion there was no need to give the religion a name. It was simply
what all the people were brought up to believe. Some specialized roles
existed with special names, though the names reflect the language of
the region rather than a common system of belief.
suppressed the native religion, in part, by adopting, absorbing and
renaming many of their rituals and customs. Yule became Christmas and
Ostara became Easter, and all became a part of Christian tradition.
However, not all pagans abandoned their beliefs when they "became"
Christians. Many of the practices simply went underground and were
passed from generation to generation within families. Since most people
could neither read nor write, these oral traditions were the only means
of keeping the knowledge alive. Without written records, we know very
little of these ancient traditions. The records we do have are often
distorted, having been written by priests of the inquisition or taken
from the inquisitions records themselves.
isn't to say that we know nothing of Traditional Witchcraft. A little
knowledge trickled down and scholars often preserved the mythologies of
conquered peoples. Archaeological evidence helps a little too. The
neo-pagan revival has attempted to recapture the spirit of the ancient
religion, if not its actual practices. Be a little skeptical of those
who profess to practice the Old Ways, unless they recognize that they
are reinventing those ways rather than reviving them.
are some fundamental differences in the beliefs of traditional witches
and Wiccans. It is vital that any student of the Craft understand these
differences, especially if the student is still seeking a path to
follow. How can you know if your path is to be Wiccan or that of
Traditional Witchcraft if you have no knowledge of the beliefs
associated with them?
now is a good place to comment on the eclectic witch. All too often
newcomers to the Craft grab onto that label because it seems to mean
they can believe and do whatever they want without having to adhere to
any particular belief or ritual system. That's simply not the case. To
say something is eclectic does mean that it is composed of elements
drawn from various sources. However, there must be sources for such
eclecticism in the Craft. It does not mean that you can make up your
own way of doing everything, your own way of thinking, and still call
it the Craft. It does not mean that you can incorporate every New Age
idea, regardless of how appealing it may be to the individual, and then
claim that what you do is the Craft. An eclectic witch carefully
chooses a path that has elements from different witchcraft traditions,
making sure that there are no contradictions or conflicts among the
element chosen, and that each is well understood. There are some
limits. Not only can the path not be entirely idiosyncratic, but it
must be clearly pagan.
will argue against this, but in my opinion, it is impossible to be
simultaneously Christian and a witch without sacrificing important
components of one or the other. Conflicts between the two belief
systems are immediately apparent, and some are impossible to resolve.
Witches of whatever tradition are not monotheistic nor do they follow
any revealed scripture (Torah, Gospels, Quran, Book of Mormon, etc.).
There are many other conflicting elements, but that must be put aside
for another essay.
worth noting again that neither Wicca nor Traditional Witchcraft is
traditional in the sense of strictly adhering to the beliefs and
practices of our ancestors. Like it or not, this is neo-paganism, for
we simply have no other choice. Most likely the religion of the
original European pagans was quite different, but we have arrived at
the point where we need to look at the traditions being practiced today
rather than the "old ways," though with some references to the latter
first, and I believe the most important, difference between Wicca and
Traditional Witchcraft is the relationship to Deity or deities. Wiccans
worship a Goddess and sometimes a God, regarding them as supreme
beings. Traditional Witches do not worship any entity as their
superior, though they recognize the existence of other entities. They
believe in the equality of all beings in the Universe, seeing them as
different, separate, but never superior or inferior. This difference is
often a source of confusion. A traditional witch may speak of the God
and the Goddess, usually referring to the female and male aspects of
Nature, and while they revere and respect Nature, they do not worship
it or its representatives. A Wiccan may speak in similar terms but
Wiccan rituals make it clear that the Goddess and God are seen as
superior beings to be worshipped. This dualism forms the basic
foundation of Wiccan theology, the necessary feminine and masculine
components of creative energy. Traditional Witchcraft, however, is
polytheistic and animistic, incorporating a number of spirits/deities
into a meaningful whole.
me make this a little clearer by example. When a Wiccan calls upon the
Goddess and the God in ritual, she/he means exactly that - "the"
Goddess and God, the ones who appear so prominently in the mythologies
that inform this belief and the rituals associated with it. The Goddess
is a Triple Goddess and may be called by different names in different
circumstances, but most Wiccans believe these different names and
personalities are aspects of the one Goddess rather than different
entities. Traditional witches, however, may call the Goddess and the
God as representatives of the creative force of the Universe, but will
usually call on other spirits as well, each being seen as a separate
and equal entity.
Traditional Witchcraft there is a Spirit World or Other World where
these other entities reside. Most do not see this as actually separate
from this world, but rather a part of it that is usually unseen. Thus,
the spirits who are contacted during ritual are already there but may
be conjured or evoked to facilitate communication. This is an important
point in that Traditional Witches see the interaction between this
world and the Other World as constant and not wholly dependent on
ritual. Wiccans rely more on ecstatic ritual to obtain contact with the
Goddess and to increase ones spirituality.
are some who say that traditional witchcraft is not a religion at all,
because no deities are worshipped. From a strictly anthropological
standpoint, that would be a fair statement in that religion may be
defined as a system of belief which includes the worship of one
superior being or group of beings. However, to say that the practice of
witchcraft lacks spirituality is simply untrue, at least among modern
witches. For many witches today, it is the spiritual enlightenment
offered by the practice of witchcraft that draws them to it, even if
their approach to the deities is somewhat different than that found in
other religions, including Wicca.
discussion of religions inevitably leads to consideration of the
rituals performed in connection with them. In Wicca, rituals tend to be
compulsory or at least advised. One must celebrate the Wheel of the
Year with its eight holy days that represent parts of the mythic cycle.
Traditional Witches often observe the same days as they correspond to
solstices and equinoxes, but do not relate them to a specific
mythology. In Traditional Witchcraft it is the seasonal changes
themselves that are honored, not the lives of gods and goddesses
associated with them. Both Wiccans and Traditional Witches observe Moon
phases and other natural phenomena.
sacred circle is central to Wiccan practice. Wiccans generally create
sacred space for their rituals by casting a circle, using techniques of
visualization and raising energy. Placing more significance on ritual
and ceremony, Wiccans create and perform beautiful rituals, filled with
symbolism, to mark the seasons of the Earth and the seasons of life.
Traditional Witchcraft, all space is sacred and all life is ceremony.
When ritual or magick is performed, the Traditional Witch is likely to
go to a place that has special qualities, such as a stream or mountain,
but practitioners also recognize that the local park or someone's
backyard is equally sacred. I'm not saying that Wiccans don't see the
Earth as sacred; they do. However, most Wiccans still cast a circle
(defined as sacred space) before performing a ritual. These differences
are often a mere matter of degree and emphasis.
is often difficult for urban witches to gain any practical experience
of the countryside. Perhaps the absence of daily opportunities to be in
direct contact with Nature is what draws so many of them to the more
formal and symbolic rituals of Wicca. The separation from natural
settings may also have led to the intense concern with environmental
issues among both Wiccans and Traditional Witches.
consideration of ritual in witchcraft would be complete without some
discussion of magick. Magick is central to Traditional Witchcraft,
whereas many Wiccans do not much practice the magickal arts. However,
there is a sense in which all religions use magick, as it may be
defined as any attempt to affect the outcome of a given situation by
supernatural means (though in Traditional Witchcraft these means are
seen as natural). Prayer, for example, is one form of magick.
practiced, the magick of Wicca tends to be more ceremonial, whereas in
Traditional Witchcraft it is more practical. Herbal healing, for
example, is a traditional practice which may or may not be part of a
Wiccan's custom. Also, the magick of Traditional Witchcraft may include
hexes and curses without a specific rule to prevent such acts (see
more important difference, however, concerns the presence or absence of
spirituality in magick. Some say that magick is never spiritual. Since
there are often spirits or deities involved, a better way to look at it
might be to consider the relationship between the witch and the spirit
in performing magick. The idea noted above in relation to defining
religion is also applied to magick, that when witches work with spirits
in performing magick, it is not spiritual unless the spirits are
worshipped. Regarding spirits as a natural part of the witch's
environment and as equal beings in the Universe would deny any
spirituality to the magick of Traditional Witchcraft. Wiccans, on the
other hand, perform magick in which a goddess or god is appealed to for
aid and paid homage to during the magickal act. By the previous
definition, this would be seen as spiritual. I'm not at all convinced
that seeing spirits as natural and enlisting their aid without
worshipping them reduces the magick of Traditional Witchcraft to
something that is merely practical and without a spiritual component.
of passage are also an important part of the ritual structure of both
Wiccans and Traditional Witches. Initiatory rites of passage are
central to Wicca, at least as it is practiced in covens. Within each
coven there is a hierarchy among the members based on the levels or
degrees each member has attained, with the High Priest and Priestess at
the pentacle. As a member goes through the levels, she/he learns the
Mysteries from someone in authority. The degrees are determined
primarily by what the witch has studied and for how long so that the
hierarchy, at least theoretically, is one of knowledge.
Traditional Witchcraft, there are usually rites of passage of some
kind, though groups tend to be less hierarchical than Wiccan covens. In
some cases, rituals are performed at different stages of a person's
life, while in other cases, rites may reflect the individual's choice
to dedicate herself to some aspect of the Craft. The only thing that
can be said with certainty about rites of passage in Traditional
Witchcraft is that they are variable, and are determined more by the
specific group or individual than by a conventional structure.
ethics is based primarily on one rule, the Wiccan Rede (advice or
creed), "an it harm none, do as ye will." A true follower of the Wiccan
path will know that this does not translate into "do anything you want
as long as it doesn't hurt anyone." A person's "will" is the path
chosen after careful reflection, not just the whim of the day.
Discovering your true will is part of the path you take to spiritual
enlightenment, tolerance of others, service to the Universe, and
ultimately a fulfilling life. The second most important feature of
Wiccan ethics is the Threefold Law, that what you do will come back to
you threefold (with three times the energy). This is a karmic principle
that has it's origin in eastern religions and replaces the concept of
sin and retribution found in Christianity. In other words, if you harm
someone (sin), you will be repaid times three (retribution).
Witchcraft has neither the Wiccan Rede nor the Threefold Law. There is
no morality test, only personal responsibility and honor. Also, there
is no good or evil, only intent. Humans have the ability to make
decisions and act on them, and they may choose and act with good or
evil intentions. Traditional Witchcraft does not set out laws as to
what actions and intentions are evil, but followers of this path take
responsibility for them. In practical terms, this means that using
curses, hexes, and the like are not ruled out on principle. If provoked
or threatened, the Traditional Witch may act for self-preservation or
the protection of family and home. These are considered honorable acts.
Yet if there are negative consequences, the Traditional Witch is
willing to suffer them.
A final word
hope this essay will serve two purposes. For those of you studying the
Craft and trying to learn a little about the rather confusing
terminology applied to its practitioners, perhaps this will be a
starting point, but only that. Don't take what I've written as gospel.
Many others will have a different view of these issues, but these few
words may help you find the questions to ask. For those of you who saw
a movie last week or read a web page somewhere, I hope it will make you
think twice about calling yourself a "Witch" or a "Wiccan." Without the
training, knowledge, and dedication, neither designation is appropriate.
May the Ancient Ones guide you in whatever path you choose.
is a reason for this blurring of lines in web sites that is not likely
to be apparent to the average observer. Web sites must depend on search
engine listings to be found by interested readers, and using multiple
keywords such as pagan, Witch, Wicca, Witchcraft and so on makes the
site more accessible. Also, those of us who sell supplies and tools do
carry products used by people on a variety of spiritual and magickal
paths. The result, however, must be a bit confusing to the newcomer.
Copyright © 1998 to 2005 Branwen's Cauldron of Light
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:53 AM)
today Paganism is a collection of diverse contemporary religions rooted
in or inspired by indigenous traditions worldwide. Pagan religions are
characterized by Earth- centered spirituality, belief in the
interconnection of all life, personal autonomy, polytheism, and
immanent divinity. Pagans value diversity, good works, living lightly
on the Earth, individual freedom, personal responsibility, community
service, gender equity, and spiritual development.
the largest segment of the Pagan population is Caucasian, highly
educated, and middle class, Pagans come from all walks of life. Most
are avid readers with interests in ecology, creativity, and personal
growth. Many work in scientific and computer- related disciplines.
Since Paganism is not an organized movement, it is difficult to
determine the number of practitioners. Estimates range from 100,000 to
several million in the U.S. alone.
religions may draw on ancient historical practices or be entirely new.
In the case of the former, Pagans look to the beliefs, practices, gods,
symbols, lands, music, and myths of a particular historical culture and
adapt them for contemporary needs. Anachronistic elements, such as
ritual violence, are rejected. Elements such as reverence for the
natural world, honoring of the ancestors, and responsibility to the
community are retained. Pagan religions which are not historically
based take their inspiration from visionary, artistic, and libertarian
traditions to create vibrant spiritual systems centered in Pagan values.
Characteristics of Pagan faiths
as a movement grew out of the growing environmental awareness in the
1960s, though it encompasses some traditions from the Middle Ages and
earlier. Consequently most Pagan religions are nature-centered. Pagans
rethink the way in which we relate to the Earth. Rather than seek
dominance over the environment, Pagans work to live as a part of
Nature, finding a balance between the self, the biosphere, and society.
Part of this rethinking goes along with the resurgence of
Goddess-worship, which is widespread in the Pagan movement. Many Pagans
look to the fertility Goddesses of old and find vibrant, dynamic models
for ecological balance. The myriad Goddesses from the past also provide
Pagans with a vision of powerful feminine divinity which is missing
from other Western religions.
many mainstream religious traditions, Pagans view Divinity as immanent
rather than (or in addition to) transcendent. Rather than pray to some
form "out there," Pagans view all living things as sacred. Diversity is
seen as an expression of the divine order. People are viewed as
essentially good and holy, although still capable of acting
of this, Pagans view the relationship with Divinity as a deeply
personal calling. It is up to each individual to develop a relationship
with Divinity as s/he defines it. Because of this, there is no
institutionalization within Paganism. There is no single holy book,
common creed, or hierarchy of religious representatives. Spiritual
communion, even when in groups, is direct and immediate. Each
congregation is autonomous, as is each individual within that
congregation. While leaders are respected for their wisdom or service,
there are no charismatic gurus within the movement. There is no one
spokesperson for Pagans. All Pagans value choosing one¹s own path and
beliefs and consequently do not seek to convert others. Pagans self-
identify; there is no one body or rite which confers membership in the
Pagan community. However, almost all Pagan organizations require
members to abide by specific guidelines and principles.
emphasis on personal exploration and development creates a highly
dynamic culture of diverse people who share values of intellectual and
spiritual freedom. Rather than conform to a specific set of beliefs or
practices, Pagans participate in a vibrant marketplace of ideas, where
people contribute and take away what resonates most deeply with them.
Community is created through regular gatherings and festivals, numerous
publications, and an extensive Internet presence. While specific ethics
are discussed at length within the Pagan community, the most common
summation is "If it harms none, do what you will." This combines
personal freedom with responsibility to the community.
religions are dynamic, changing systems based on timeless values of
faith, freedom, justice, honesty, responsibility, creativity, caring,
courage, and respect. Specific beliefs and practices vary as people
adapt concepts to their particular needs. Pagans celebrate rituals to
mark the Wheel of the Year (see below), as well as life transitions
such as marriage, moving, birth, or death. Some traditions celebrate
rituals to commemorate specific historic events, while others celebrate
natural transitions such as lunar phases or the first snowfall of the
year. Pagan religions are a way of life, affecting choices from how we
pray to where we shop. Pagans believe religions must change to meet the
needs of people on an everyday basis, while connecting them to their
most deeply held spiritual beliefs. While some Pagan religions can be
quite esoteric, most Pagan beliefs and practices are rooted in
everyday, natural experience.
The Wheel of the Year
Pagan religions follow the Wheel of the Year for celebrations and holy
days. Names and exact dates may vary. Some traditions celebrate only
the solstices and equinoxes. Others include holidays not shown here.
Some Pagan religions
American Pagans practice adaptions of ancient ethnic traditions, the
most popular of which are Celtic, GrecoRoman, Native American, ancient
Egyptian, Baltic, and Norse.
Norse Pagan religion based on the principles of courage, truth, honor,
fidelity, discipline, hospitality, industriousness, justice,
selfreliance, and perseverance.
Church of All Worlds: Promotes celebration and honoring of all life and the planet as a living, divine organism: Gaea.
Many types of Druidism are practiced, with varying emphasis on
scholarly research into the original Druids, who were the priest/ess
and judicial class of the ancient Celts.
Also known as Wicca or simply the Craft. Honoring of Goddess and God
(some traditions honor the Goddess alone), use of magic, and healing,
all within the context of "If it harm none, do what you will." Pagan
Witchcraft has nothing to do with and is antithetical to Satanism.
Drawing Down the Moon, Margot Adler
Being a Pagan (formerly People of the Earth), Ellen Evert Hopman
The Truth about Neo-Paganism, Anodea Judith
A History of Pagan Europe, Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick
Positive Magic, Marion Weinstein
usertype:1 tt= 0