Your Daily Number for May 5: 7

Your Daily Number: 7

You may have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be today. Nagging self-doubt may also be a problem. Before it gets out of hand, take a break and spend some quiet time by yourself.

Fast Facts

About the Number 7

Theme: Quiet, Insightful, Analytical, Mystical, Intuitive
Astro Association: Cancer
Tarot Association: Chariot

Today’s Tarot Card for May 5 is The Emperor

Today’s Tarot Card for Everyone:

The Emperor

This Tarot Deck: Dragon

General Meaning: In the most practical terms, what has traditionally been called the Emperor card represents the highest leadership, a head of state or the most exemplary and powerful person in the realm. This archetypal ruler is responsible for the positive working out of affairs of a society or community, which are directly proportional to his well being and happiness.

The more enlightenment and cosmic perspective this energy brings, the better life is for all. The Emperor archetype masters the world of matter and physical manifestation. When you apply this card to your situation, acknowledge your potentials for mastery. Reinforce a sense of sovereignty within yourself, despite any self-limiting beliefs, habits or appearances to the contrary.

Daily Horoscopes for May 5

General Daily Horoscope

 

We are still experiencing the excitement of what’s new in our lives since five planets are in pioneering Aries. However, the Sun is in practical Taurus, motivating us to finish what we start. But today’s jittery Gemini Moon speeds up our thinking so much that we may become too scattered to stay focused. Thankfully, a midday lunar trine to realistic Saturn might help us temporarily filter out the excess noise so we can actually get some work done.

 

Aries Horoscope
Aries Horoscope (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

It seems as if your hectic life keeps getting busier and busier. As much as you enjoy the hustle and bustle, you are looking forward to a quieter time. However, it won’t likely happen today. Fortunately, the fast pace feels good; you don’t have time now to worry about what’s not going right. Nevertheless, pick one task out of everything that’s on your plate and focus on it with all the determination that you have. The results may be more satisfying than you expect.

 

 

Taurus Horoscope
Taurus Horoscope (Apr 20 – May 20)

You may feel as if your finances are a bit uneven today, even if nothing much has changed recently. But you probably won’t share your insecurities with others now, for you might believe that giving a voice to your fears will only make them worse. You don’t have to dwell on the negatives; take positive action instead — even if it’s as minor as paying a few bills. Anything that gives you a sense of control will help to ease your stress.

 

 

Gemini Horoscope
Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)

Your friends may think that you’re not very grounded now that the Moon is moving through restless Gemini, but you are more stable than you appear. Nevertheless, your moods can fluctuate at a rapid rate today, so try keeping your opinions to yourself for a while before sharing them. Instead of running all over the map, speak your piece later on once you’re sure of what you want.

 

 

Cancer Horoscope
Cancer Horoscope (June 21 – Jul 22)

There’s no need for you to push so hard at work now, especially if you have been focused on your career ambitions all week. It’s not that you can just take the day off, but you can keep your best ideas to yourself for a few more days, giving them a chance to mature. If you share too much of your current thinking today, others may stop listening. Let your patience work in your favor and give your strategy time to develop.

 

 

Leo Horoscope
Leo Horoscope (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

It’s nearly impossible for you to concentrate on the present moment with the Moon in your 11th House of Long-Term Goals plus five planets traveling through your 9th House of Adventure. Although you are looking forward with great anticipation, you must demonstrate your reliability today by putting in extra effort, because important events are unfolding at work. If you handle the immediate situation with integrity, the future will take care of itself.

 

Virgo Horoscope
Virgo Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You might have mixed feelings about a new project at work as the Moon moves through your 10th House of Career. Others are pushing you to make a decision today, yet you’re probably unwilling to make a commitment just yet — you may learn new facts that could motivate you to change your mind, or something better could come along. However, you can reduce the uncertainty and increase the stability in your life by choosing now.

 

 

Libra Horoscope
Libra Horoscope (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

You may be thinking about pursuing a new course of study that isn’t related to your career. Even if you have many choices before you, it’s logistically impossible to follow more than one path. Thankfully, the Moon’s harmonious trine to Saturn in your sign today can give you the clarity you need in order to make the smartest decision. After considering all your options, trust your intuition, pick your direction and get going.

 

 

Scorpio Horoscope
Scorpio Horoscope (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You are tempted to talk about your feelings today, even if you’ve been holding them back for a reason. You don’t intend to hurt anyone, but your direct approach might sound insensitive. It’s not what you say that can stir up ill will; it’s how you say it. Think twice before you blurt out the truth. You can still express yourself honestly while also treating others with kindness and respect.

 

 

Sagittarius Horoscope
Sagittarius Horoscope (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

You may be more curious than usual today as you seek other people’s opinions to help you clarify your own. It takes extra effort on your part now to pin someone down who continues to evade responding to your questions. Unfortunately, the more you push for resolution, the less likely you will get it. Step back and allow others to have some elbow room. You’ll become more confident of your perspective by looking within, rather than listening to anyone else.

 

 

Capricorn Horoscope
Capricorn Horoscope (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

As a general rule, information isn’t something you collect unless you have a way to make use of it as you work toward your goals. You may be learning a lot at work now with the clever Gemini Moon moving through your 6th House of Employment, but you are hard-pressed to apply your new knowledge. Nevertheless, the tools you’re gathering can help you to express yourself in ways you haven’t yet imagined.

 

 

Aquarius Horoscope
Aquarius Horoscope (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Although you may have plenty to do at work, you could get antsy enough that you want to begin your weekend a couple of days too soon. You are able to come up with sufficient reasons to justify your restlessness, but all the talk in the world won’t make your busy schedule any less demanding. Fortunately, managing your calendar becomes easier once you decide to have fun with it, instead of worrying about fitting everything in.

 

 

Pisces Horoscope
Pisces Horoscope (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Your personal business could keep you hopping today as the light-footed Gemini Moon visits your 4th House of Home and Family. Unfortunately, it may take you longer than you expect to complete each and every task that’s now on your plate. Thankfully, your self-esteem is running high these days, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble responding to the current demands. Set your priorities by making a list to help you be more efficient.

History of Witchcraft (part 7)

History of Witchcraft (part 7)

We  have looked briefly at the similarities of  the  philosophies
and vocabularies, but is that all that they had in common?  Let’s
look at symbologies.

For  many years, the cross has been the symbol  representing  the
death  of the Christian Christ.  It has represented that  through
his  death, man could be reborn into God’s grace.  Thus, we  have
the  philosophy  of life in death being connected to  the  cross.
Is  this the only time where this symbol was recognized as  such?
Let’s go back to Egypt and find out.

An upright piece of wood, tied to a horizontal beam indicated the
height  of  the  flood waters on the Nile.  This  beam  formed  a
cross.   If  the  waters  failed to rise  during  the  season  of
planting,  it  meant a poor harvest for these people.   Thus  the
cross was revered as a symbol of life and regeneration.

The Ankh represents the genitals of both sexes.  The cross itself
is  a  primitive form of the phallus, and the loop  that  of  the
womb. Again, we continue the symbol of the cross as the giver  of
life.

Oh  my gosh…did I use the word phallus in connection  with  the
cross?  Oops!

Yes…even  prior  to  this time was the cross a  symbol  of  the
phallus  or  fertility.   This is not the  only  thing  that  the
phallus has symbolized over the many centuries within and without
the pagan world.  It has also been used as a symbol of strength.

Within the Bible, we find several references to the horn also  as
a  symbol of strength.

2 Samuel 22:3 – He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation.
Luke 1:69 – And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us.
Psalm 18:2 – He is my shield and the horn of my salvation.

The move from horn to helmet is followed up also in the bible  as
follows:
Isaiah 59:17 – For he put an helmet of salvation upon his head.
Ephesians 6:17 – Take the helmet of salvation.
1  Thessalonians  5:8  –  …putting  on  faith  and  love  as  a
breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

In  Roman days a warrior would were horns on his helmet.   If  he
came back defeated, he was said to have been dehorned.  There are
several  references  where a soldier who lost his helmet  on  the
field  was killed for this offense because it meant dishonor  for
him to loose his horn.

Shakespeare had much knowledge of the use of horns as a symbol of
protection  and victory as is evident in his works “As  You  Like
It” (IV,2) and in “Measure for Measure” (II,4:16) when he writes:
“Let’s  write  good  angell on the devill’s horne;  tis  not  the
devill’s crest.”

Even  in modern days, the Catholic Church uses this  symbol  when
setting  the mitre upon the head of a newly  consecrated  bishop.
The  words used at such a time are: “We set on the head  of  this
Bishop,  O  Lord,  Thy champion, the helmet  of  defense  and  of
salvation, that with comely face and with his head armed with the
horns  of  either  Testament  he  may  appear  terrible  to   the
gainsayers of the truth, and may become their vigorous assailant,
through  the abundant gift of Thy grace, who didst make the  face
of Thy servant Moses to shine after familiar converse with  Thee,
and  didst adorn it with the resplendent horns of Thy  brightness
and Thy truth and commandedst the mitre to be set on the head  of
Aaron,  Thy high priest, Etc…” (Copies in Latin and  translated
can be found in The Order Consecration of a Bishop Elect with the
imprimatur  of H. Card. Vaughn, p. 14, Burns and Oates, 1893.)

If  we are looking at protections and the like, we must  look  at
the  use of stones and crystals within our lives.  Yes,  even  in
the Christain bible, the powers and uses of stones is  mentioned.
Exodus  28:15-21 – “Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions  –
the  work  of a skilled craftsman.  MAke it like  the  ephod:  of
gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted
linen.  It is to be square – a span (9 inches) wide – and  folded
double.   Then mount four rows of precious stones on it.  In  the
first  row  there shall be a ruby, a topaz and a  beryl;  in  the
second  row  a  turquoise, a sapphire (or lapis  lazuli)  and  an
emerald; in the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst; in
the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper.  Mount them in
gold  filigree settings.  There are to be twelve stones, one  for
each  of  the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved  like  a
seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.”

Exodus  28:9-14  – Take two onyx stones and engrave  on  the  the
names  of  the sons of Israel in the order of their birth  –  six
names  on one stone and the remaining six on the other.   Engrave
the  names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a  gem
cutter  engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in  gold  filigree
settings  and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod  as
memorial  stones  for the sons of Israel.  Aaron is to  bear  the
names on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord.  Make  gold
filigree  settings  and two braided chains of pure gold,  like  a
rope, and attach the chains to the settings.

Though it does not say as much, we might take the engraving as  a
form of runes, again creating a similarity between the craft  and
religions of old.

From  man’s search for protection, we come to the telling by  the
stars…Astrology, and the use of stars as protectors of man.

The  lore behind the star of David is an interesting  tale.   The
easy interpretation is that of Zionism.  The more research you do
on  this though, you will find that once again, depending on  the
cultures  you  look at, it’s interpretation  changes.   The  six-
pointed  star  formed  by the superimposing of  one  triangle  on
another.  The symbol is a combination of the male (apex  upwards)
and female (apex downwards) triangles;  it is said, in cabalistic
writings, to comprise the signs of the four elements and the four
letters of the Tetragrammaton, and thus it came to be the  symbol
for God.  Since the Biblical commandment puts a taboo on the  use
of  the Name of God and on the depiction of God, the  symbol  was
inscribed as the graphic representation of God in synagogues  and
wherever the Name was appropriate.  In alchemy, the star of David
combined  the  symbols  for  fire  and  water;  hence,  it  meant
distillation.   Until recently, therefore, it appeared  on  shops
selling  brandy.  The star of David is the symbol of Zionism  and
appears  on the flag of Israel.  As Solomon’s seal, the  hexagram
possessed  power to control demons of all kinds.  The stopper  on
the  bottle containing the bottle imp or jinni was  stamped  with
the  seal  of Solomon.  In the Nsibidi script of West  Africa,  a
native  form  of  writing,  the symbol  means  ardent  love;  the
universality  of  the  male-female content of the  sign  is  here
apparent.

Astrology also has interesting roots.  Though the word itself  is
made  up of the Greek words meaning “star logic” (astra  –  star,
Logos  – logic), the actual origin is yet to be  determined.   We
read  in the Epic of Creation of Sumer – Akkad, or Early  Babylon
(ca  2200-1900  B.C.)  that:  “The  Star  –  Jupiter  who  brings
prophecies  to all is my Lord.  My Lord be at peace.  The Star  –
Mercury  allows rain to fall. The Star – Saturn, the star of  Law
and Justice…”

The  telling  of fortunes by the stars underwent an  avid  growth
spurt during the times of the Roman Empire, and though with minor
qualms with the Christian church, it co-existed peacefully  until
the  time  of  Constantine  when  all  “pagan”  activities   were
outlawed.  Though  outlawed within the  Roman  Empire,  Astrology
continued to thrive within the Middle East.

I  realize that I said that I would touch on the inquisition  and
such,  however, I think that it is common knowledge the  document
used to persecute those involved was written by the Friars within
the  Catholic  Church  at the time.  The  document,  The  Malleus
Maleficarum,  was a document designed to bring about fear  within
the  Christian community, and more power to the church.  What  is
not widely realized is that the majority of the persons that were
either burned, drowned, or hung were not witches, but Protestants
within the Christian church.  (The ones that were Protesting  the
Catholic church.)

I realize that, at this time, this is a rather sketchy  document.
I hope in the near future to be able to take the time to  develop
more  of  the depth that I would like to put into  bring  up  our
roots.  I  hope to include in the expanded edition the  times  of
burning,  modern witchcraft, more symbols, and famous persons  in
the craft.

We’ve  changed…but  then as a good friend has told me  on  more
than  one occasion…”When we cease to change, we cease to  grow.
When we cease to grow, life ends.”

Bibliography

The Golden Bough – Frazer, Sir James George, Macmillan Publishing
Co., NY, NY  c 1922

Witchcraft The Old Religion – Martello

Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and
Legend

The History of Witchcraft – Russell, Jeffrey B., c 1980

Encyclopedia Britanica – 1986

The Holy Bible (New International Version)

Under the Spell of the Zodiac – Mark Graubard

Alchemy: Origin or Origins? – H. J. Sheppard, AMBIX, July 1970

Magic, Supernaturalism, and Religion – Seligmann c 1948

This  Bibliography encompasses the entire 7 document series  here
on this series.

History of Witchcraft (part 6)

History of Witchcraft (part 6)

As  we  can see, even though the pagan community  has  been  trod
upon,  it  was  never  destroyed.   The  date  of  Christmas  was
purposely  fixed on December 25 to push into the  background  the
great  festival of the sun god, and the Epiphany on January 5  to
supplant  an  Egyptian festival of the same day  and  the  Easter
ceremonies were set to rival the pagan spring festival.

Let’s take a look at a few of the holidays and compare.

Easter
On Easter Sunday, everywhere, the children hunt the many  colored
Easter  eggs, brought by the Easter rabbit.  This is the  vestige
of  a  fertility rite, the eggs and the rabbit  both  symbolizing
fertility.  The  rabbit was the escort of  the  Germanic  goddess
Ostara  who  gave her name to the festival by way of  the  German
Ostern.

The first day of Spring holds much in the way of folklore.  It is
also  known  as the Spring Equinox, Ostara, Eostre’s  Day,  Alban
Eilir,  the  Vernal Equinox, or Festival of the Trees.  It  takes
place  between March 19 and 22.  It marks the first day  of  true
spring (verses the balmy weather that may procede it.)

The day and night is equal on this day, thus the name of Equinox.
There is a story in one culture that says that the sun has  begun
to  win it’s race with the night and that the days get longer  as
the sun pulls ahead. (Followed by the fact that the sun begins to
lose  the  race at Mid-Summer, and loses the race  at  Mid-Winter
just to start the race again the next day.)

It  is  a time of beginnings, of action, of  planting  seeds  for
future grains, and of tending gardens. On the first Sunday  after
the  first full moon following Eostre’s Day (the name from  which
the  Easter was derived), the Christian religion celebrates  it’s
Easter Day.

Spring  is  a time of the Earth’s renewal, a  rousing  of  nature
after the cold sleep of winter.  As such, it is an ideal time  to
clean your home to welcome the new season.

Spring cleaning is more than physical work.  Some cultures see it
as  a  concentrated  effort on their part to  rid  themselves  of
problems  and  negativity  of the past  months  and  tho  prepare
themselves for the coming spring and summer.

To  do this, they approach the task of cleaning their homes  with
positive thoughts.  They believe that this frees the homes of the
hard  feelings brought about by a harsh winter. Even  then,  they
have  guidlines that they follow such as any scrubbing of  stains
or  hand  rubbing  the floors should be  done  in  a  “clockwise”
motion.   It is their belief that this aids in filling  the  home
with good energy for growth.

To the Druidic faith, this is a sacred day occuring in the  month
of  Fearn (meaning, “I am the shining tear of the Sun”). Part  of
thier  practices  are to clean and  rededicate  outdoor  shrines,
beliving that in doing so they honor the spring maiden.  This  is
a  time  of fertility of both crops and families.   In  promoting
crops,  they believe that the use of fire and water (the sun  and
rain)  will  reanimate all life on Earth.   They  decorate  hard-
boiled  eggs, the symbol of rebirth, to eat during  their  rites,
and  such foods as honey cakes and milk punch can also be  found.
The  mothers and daughters give dinners for each other  and  give
cards and gifts as a way of merging with the natural flow of life
and  with each other. (The Druids consider this also as  Mother’s
Day.)

In Greek mythology, spring was the time when Persephone  returned
from  the  underworld (where the seed was planted in  the  barren
winter  months) and thus represents the seedlings of the  spring.
Demeter, Persephone’s mother represents the fertile earth and the
ripend  grain of harvest since it is alleged that she is the  one
that  created  the need to harvest crops when  her  daughter  was
kidnapped  and  taken  to  the underworld.   It  was  through  an
arrangement that her daughter could return for 1/2 the year  that
Demeter allowed the crops to spring forth for that time until she
again went into mourning for her daughter in the fall.

In some cultures, even today, the ones that continue to celebrate
the  rites  of  spring rise on Easter morning to  watch  the  sun
“Dance” as it rises.

The Christian festival commenmorating the resurrection of Christ,
synchronized  with  the  Jewish Pesach,  and  blended  since  the
earliest  days of Christianity with pagan European rites for  the
renewed  season.   In all countries Easter falls  on  the  Sunday
after  the  first  full moon on or following  March  21.   It  is
preceded by a period of riotous vegetation rites and by a  period
of  abstinence,  Lent (in Spain Cuaresma, Germany  Lenz,  central
Italy, Quaresima) and by special rites of Holy Week.

Everywhere  Easter  Sunday is welcomed with  rejoicing,  singing,
candle processionals, flowers in abundance, and ringing of church
bells.   Many pagan customs survive, such as the lighting of  new
fires  at  dawn, among the Maya as well as in Europe,  for  cure,
renewed life, and protection of the crops.

May Day
The first day of May: observed as a spring festival everywhere in
Europe, the United States, and Canada, and as a labor festival in
certain European countries.

Rites such as the ever famous May Pole occur in the town  squares
or  in the family’s front yard.  The gathering of green  branches
and  flowers on May Eve is the symbolic act of bringing home  the
May, i.e. bringing new life, the spring, into the village.

The  May Queen (and often King) is choosen from among  the  young
people, and they go singing from door to door throughout the town
carrying  flowers  or the May tree, soliciting  donations  for  a
merrymaking  in  return  for  the “blessing  of  May”.   This  is
symbolic of bestowing and sharing of the new creative power  that
is stirring in the world.  As the kids go from door to door,  the
May Bride often sings to the effect that those who give will  get
of nature’s bounty through the year.

In parts of France, some jilted youth will lie in a field on  May
Day  and  pretend to sleep.  If any village girl  is  willing  to
marry  him, she goes and wakes him with a kiss; the pair then  go
to  the village inn together and lead the dance  which  announces
their engagement.  The boy is called “the betrothed of May.”

This  festival is also known as Beltane, the Celtic May  Day.  It
officially  begins  at  moonrise on May Day Eve,  and  marks  the
beginning  of  the third quarter or second half  of  the  ancient
Celtic  year.   It is celebrated as an  early  pastoral  festival
accompanying the first turning of the herds out to wild  pasture.
The  rituals  were held to promote fertility.   The  cattle  were
driven  between the Belfires to protect them from ills.   Contact
with the fire was interpreted as symbolic contact with the sun.

The  rowan  branch  is hung over the house fire  on  May  Day  to
preserve  the fire itself from bewitchment (the house fire  being
symbolic of the luck of the house.

In early Celtic times, the druids kindled the Beltane fires  with
specific incantations.  Later the Christian church took over  the
Beltane  observances, a service was held in the church,  followed
by a procession to the fields or hills, where the priest  kindled
the fire.

In some rituals, a King and Queen May symbolize the male and female
principles of productivity.

We  have looked briefly at the similarities of  the  philosophies
and vocabularies, but is that all that they had in common?  Let’s
look at symbologies.

History of Witchcraft (part 5)

History of Witchcraft (part 5)

It’s with these beliefs and doctrines that I state that not  only
was   the  doctrine,  or  teaching  almost  identical,  but   the
vocabulary was extensively the same.

Greek  life  was  characterized  by  such  things  as  democratic
institutions,  seafaring, athletics theatre and  philosophy.  The
mystery  religions adopted many expressions from  these  domains.
The  word  for their assembly was Ekklesia of  the  mystai.  They
spoke of the voyage of life, the ship, the anchor and the port of
religion,  and the wreath of the initiate.  The  Christians  took
over the entire terminology, but had to twist many pagan words in
order  to  fit  into the Christian world.   The  term  Leitourgia
(meaning  service of the state) became the ritual or  liturgy  of
the  church. The decree of the assembly and the opinions  of  the
philosophers  (dogma) became the fixed doctrine of  Christianity.
The term for “the correct opinion” (orthe doxa) became orthodoxy.

The  mysteries  declined  quickly when  the  emperor  Constantine
raised Christianity to the status of the state religion.  After a
short period of toleration, the pagan religions were  prohibited.
The  property of the pagan gods was confiscated, and the  temples
were  destroyed.  The metal from which Constantine’s gold  pieces
were coined was taken from the pagan temple treasuries.

The main pagan “strong holds” were Rome and Alexandria.  In Rome,
the old aristocracy clung to the mysteries and in Alexandria  the
pagan Neoplatonist philosophers expounded the mystery  doctrines.
In  394, the opposition of the Roman aristocracy was  crushed  in
the battle at the Frigidus River (modern stream of Vipacco, Italy
and stream of Vipava, Yugoslavia).

According  to  the Christian  theologian  Origen,  Christianity’s
development  during the time of the Roman Empire was part of  the
divine  plan.   The whole Mediterranean world was united  by  the
Romans,  and  the  conditions  for  missionary  work  were   more
favorable  than  ever before.  He explains  the  similarities  as
natural considering the cultures etc.  The mystery religions  and
Christianity had many features in common.  Some examples of  this
are  found in their time of preparation prior to initiation,  and
periods  of fasting.  Their were pilgrimages, and new  names  for
the  new  brethren.  Few of the early  Christian  “congregations”
would   be  called  orthodox  according  to  later  more   modern
standards.

Though for many years, the pagan “churches” of this area tried to
bring  about  a  unity  among  their  “doctrines”,  beliefs,  and
practices  to  raise support for their practices,  the  Christian
philosophies and doctrines were so organized and strong that this
fell  as well.  Little did they know that a couple hundred  miles
away, peoples were still worshipping in pagan temples.

Let’s take a look up north.

The  worship of trees goes far back into the history of man.   It
was  not until Christianity converted the Lithuanians toward  the
close of the 14th century that tree worship was thought to be  in
the  past.  The truth is…whereas they are not  worshiped,  they
are  still  honored by society today in the burning of  the  Yule
log, May Day bon-fires, Kissing under the Mistletoe, and the ever
famous Christmas tree.

The worship of the oak tree or god appears to have been universal
by  all branches of the Aryan stock in Europe.  Both  Greeks  and
Italians  associated  the tree with their highest  god,  Zeus  or
Jupiter,  the  divinity of the sky, the rain,  and  the  thunder.
Possibly one of the oldest and most famous sanctuaries in  Greece
was  that of Dodona, where Zeus was revered in th  oracular  oak.
The  thunderstorms  which  are  said  to  rage  at  Dodona   more
frequently than anywhere else in Europe, would render the spot  a
fitting  home  for  the god whose voice was heard  alike  in  the
rustling of the oak leaves and in the crash of thunder.

Zeus  of Greece, and Jupiter of Italy both were gods  of  thunder
and rain, and to both the oak tree were sacred.

To  the  Celts,  or Druids, their worship was  conducted  in  oak
groves.  The Celtic conquerors, who settled in Asia in the  third
century b.c., appear to have carried with them the worship of the
oak to their new home.  In the heart of Asia Minor, the  Galatian
senate  met in a place which bore the Celtic name of  Drynemetum,
“the sacred oak grove” or “the temple of the oak.”

In  Germany, we find that the veneration for sacred groves  seems
to  have held the foremost place.  According to Grimm, the  chief
of their holy trees was the oak.  Again, here we find that it  is
dedicated to the god of thunder, Donar or Thunar, the  equivalent
of  the Norse Thor. Among the Slavs, the oak tree was  sacred  to
the  thunder god Perun. Among the Lithuanians, the oak  tree  was
sacred to Perkunas or Perkuns, the god of thunder and rain.

The  Christmas  tree,  usually  a  balsam  or  douglas  fir,  was
decorated  with  lights  and ornaments as  a  part  of  Christmas
festivities.   The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and  garlands
as  a symbol of eternal life was an old custom of the  Egyptians,

Chinese,  and  Hebrews.   Tree worship, common  among  the  pagan
Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity in the
Scandinavian  customs  of  decorating the  house  and  barn  with
evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting
up a tree for the birds during Christmastime.  It survived in the
custom  observed  in Germany, of placing a Yule tree  inside  the
house in the midwinter holidays.

The  modern  Christmas tree originated in Western  Germany.   The
main prop of a popular medieval play about Adam and Eve was a fir
tree  hung  with apples (the tree of Paradise)  representing  the
Garden  of Eden.  The Germans set up the Paradise tree  in  their
homes  on December 24, the religious feast day of Adam  and  Eve.
They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian  sigh
of redemption).  In later tradition, the wafers were replaced  by
cookies  of  various  shapes.  Candles were often  added  as  the
symbol  of Christ, though they were also a pagan symbol  for  the
light of the God.

As  we  can see, even though the pagan community  has  been  trod
upon,  it  was  never  destroyed.   The  date  of  Christmas  was
purposely  fixed on December 25 to push into the  background  the
great  festival of the sun god, and the Epiphany on January 5  to
supplant  an  Egyptian festival of the same day  and  the  Easter
ceremonies were set to rival the pagan spring festival.

Let’s take a look at a few of the holidays and compare.

History of Witchcraft (part 4)

History of Witchcraft (part 4)

As  Christianity  became  a part of this nation,  there  is  much

evidence to show where the Christians of the time, and the pagans

lived peacefully together.

In  theology, the differences between early Christians,  Gnostics

(members  –  often  Christian – of dualistic  sects  of  the  2nd

century  a.d.), and pagan Hermetists were slight.  In  the  large

Gnostic  library  discovered at Naj’Hammadi, in upper  Egypt,  in

1945,  Hermetic writings were found side by side  with  Christian

Gnostic  texts.   The  doctrine of the  soul  taught  in  Gnostic

communities was almost identical to that taught in the mysteries:

the soul emanated from the Father, fell into the body, and had to

return to its former home.

It was not until later in Rome that things took a change for  the

worse.  Which moves us on to Greece.

The doctrinal similarity is exemplified in the case of the  pagan

writer  and  philosopher  Synesius.  When the  people  of  Cyrene

wanted  the  most able man of the city to be their  bishop,  they

chose  Synesius,  a  pagan. He was able to  accept  the  election

without  sacrificing  his  intellectual honesty.   In  his  pagan

period,  he  wrote  hymns that follow the fire  theology  of  the

Chaldean Oracles.  Later he wrote hymns to Christ.  The  doctrine

is almost identical.

To  attempt to demonstrate this…let’s go to some  BASIC  tenets

and beliefs of the two religions:

Christian Beliefs

The 10 Commandments

1.) You shall have no other gods before me.

To the Christian, this means there will be no other God.  Yet, in

the bible, the phrase is plural.  I does not state that you  will

not  have another god, it says that you will have no  other  gods

before the Christian God.

In  the case of the later, it could be interpreted to  mean  that

whereas other gods can be recognised, as a Christian, this person

should  place YHVH ahead of all gods recognising him/her  as  the

supreme being of all.

2.) You shall not worship idols

Actually,  what it says in the New International Version is  “You

shall  not make for yourself an idol in the form af  anything  in

heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You

shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord  your

God, am a jealour God, punishing the children for the sin of  the

fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate  me,

but   showing  love  to  thousands  who  love  me  and  keep   my

commandments.

3.) You shall not take the name of the lord in vain.

This one is pretty self explanitory.  When a person is calling on

the lord he/she is asking the lord for guidance or action.  Thus,

the phrase “God damn it!” can be translated into a person  asking

the  lord  to comdemn whatever “it” is to hell.  The  phrase  “To

damn”  means  to  condem to hell.   In  modern  society,  several

phrases such as the following are common usage:

“Oh God!”, “God forbid!”, “God damn it!”, “God have mercy!”

Each  of these is asking God to perform some act upon or for  the

speaker with the exception of “Oh God!” which is asking for  Gods

attention.

4.) Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

Depending on which religion you are looking at (i.e. Jewish, from

which  the 10 commandments come; or Christianity,  which  adapted

them  for their use as well.) the Sabbath is either  Saturday  or

Sunday.   You  may also take a look at the  various  mythological

pantheons  to  corelate which is the first and last days  of  the

week…(i.e. Sun – Sunday.. Genesis 1:3 “And God said, “Let there

be  light,’  and there was light., Moon – Monday..  Genesis  1:14

“And  God said,”Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky  to

separate  the day from the night, and let them serve as signs  to

mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the

expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16

God  made two great lights – the greater light to govern the  day

and  the  lesser  light to govern the night.  He  also  made  the

stars.”  Thus the Sun was created first.  With the day of the Sun

being  the first in the week, then Saturday would be the  7th  or

Sabbath.

5.) Honor thy mother and thy father.

This  is  another that is fairly self explainitory.   It  is  any

parent’s  right  after spending the time to raise you  to  expect

that you respect them.

6.) You shall not murder.

This does not say “You shall not murder…except in my name.”  It

says YOU SHALL NOT MURDER. PERIOD. Out of the 10 commandments,  I

have found that over the course of history, this one has been the

most  ignored.   As we look as the spread  of  Christianity  from

around 300 A.D. forward, we find that as politics moved into  the

church  and  those  in charge of man’s “souls”  were  given  more

control that this one commandment sort of went out the window.

We  see  such things as the Crusades, the  inquisition,  and  the

dominating fear that was placed into the Christian “psyche”  that

one should destroy that which is not like you.

Even  though  we here stories about the “witch trials”,  and  the

“witch  burnings” etc….There were actually very  few  “Witches”

tried  or  burned.   Most  of  these  poor  souls  were  that  of

Protestant  beliefs  (Against  the  Catholic  Church)  yet  still

maintained that they were Christians. But…more on this later.

7.) You shall not commit adultery.

You  can  look  up the meaning in the dictionary,  and  this  one

becomes  pretty self-evident.  What it comes down to is  that  no

person who has ever been divorced can marry again, and you  don’t

have sex with someone that you are not married to.

8.) You shall not steal.

Again, enough said. However…don’t go looking at Constantine  to

be  obeying this one!  The Pagan temples were looted to make  his

coinage.

9.) You shall not give false witness against thy neighbor

Again,  during the times of the inquisition, this also  went  out

the window.  Such tools as torture were used to pull  confessions

from  these  poor  people who then  signed  statements  that  the

inquisitors  had written up saying that they freely  signed  this

document.   Of course…the inquisitors stated that  this  person

was  not tortured, but it was his clever wit that  had  extracted

this confession.

It  was  also  during this time that persons,  refusing  to  take

responsibility  for their own actions or accept that nature  does

in  fact  create strange  circumstances…(i.e.  drought,  flood,

etc.)  and  the resulting illness and  bug  infrestations.   Very

often,  as the Witch-craze developed stronger, the  one  neighbor

would  accuse another of Witchcraft and destroying the fields  or

making their child sick, or whatever.

10.)You shall not covet your neighbor.

On  the  surface, this one is pretty  self  explainitory.   Don’t

crave your neighbor’s possessions.  Yes…I can relate this  back

to  the inquisitional times as well since most of  the  accused’s

property   reverted   back  to  the  Catholic  church   at   this

time…there  were  several accused and convicted  of  Witchcraft

simply because they would not sell their property to the  church.

However…How  does  this effect persons today?  How  far  do  we

carry the “Thou shalt not covet…”?  This can be even so much as

a want, however is it a sin to want a toy like your neighbor has?

If so…we’re all in trouble.  How many of us “want” that Porsche

that  we see driving down the road?  Or how about that  beautiful

house  that we just drove past?  Do we carry this commandment  to

this extreme?  If so…I pity the person that can live by it  for

what that would say is “Thou shalt not DREAM.”

Wiccan Beliefs

Since the religion of Wicca (or Witchcraft) is so diverse in it’s

beliefs,  I have included several documents here  that  encompass

the majority of the traditions involved.  Again, this is simply a

basis…NOT the be all and end all.

Wiccan Rede

Bide ye wiccan laws you must,

in perfect love and perfect trust

Live ye must and let to live,

fairly take and fairly give

For the circle thrice about

to keep unwelcome spirits out

To bind ye spell wll every time,

let the spell be spake in rhyme

Soft of eye and light of touch,

speak ye little, listen much

Deosil go by the waxing moon,

chanting out ye baleful tune

When ye Lady’s moon is new,

kiss ye hand to her times two

When ye moon rides at her peak,

then ye heart’s desire seek

Heed the north winds mighty gale,

lock the door and trim the sail

When the wind comes from the south,

love will kiss thee on the mouth

When the wind blows from the east,

expect the new and set the feast.

Nine woods in the cauldron go,

burn them fast and burn them slow

Elder be ye Lady’s tree,

burn it not or cursed ye’ll be

WHen the wheel begins to turn,

soon ye Beltane fires will burn

When the wheel hath turned a Yule

light the log the Horned One rules

Heed ye flower, bush and tree,

by the Lady blessed be

Where the rippling waters go,

cast a stone, the truth ye’ll know

When ye have and hold a need,

harken not to others greed

With a fool no season spend,

or be counted as his friend

Merry meet and merry part,

bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Mind ye threefold law ye should

three times bad and three times good

When misfortune is enow,

wear the star upon thy brow

True in love my ye ever be,

lest thy love be false to thee

These eight words the wiccan rede fulfill;

An harm ye none, do what ye will.

One of the Pagan Oaths recognised nationally here in the U.S.

A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality

I  am  a Pagan and I dedicate Myself to channeling the  Spiritual

Energy of my Inner Self to help and to heal myself and others.

*   I know  that I  am a  part of  the Whole  of Nature.   May  I

grow   in  understanding of  the Unity  of all  Nature.   May   I

always  walk  in Balance.

*   May  I  always be  mindful of  the diversity  of   Nature  as

well as its Unity and  may I  always be  tolerant of those  whose

race, appearance, sex, sexual preference, culture, and other ways

differ from my own.

*  May I  use the  Force (psychic  power) wisely  and  never  use

it   for aggression nor  for malevolent  purposes. May   I  never

direct  it  to curtail the free will of another.

*  May I  always be mindful that I create my own reality and that

I have the power within me to create positivity in my life.

*   May  I  always act  in  honorable  ways: being   honest  with

myself and others, keeping  my word  whenever I  have given   it,

fulfilling   all responsibilities and  commitments I  have  taken

on to  the best of my ability.

*  May I  always  remember  that whatever  is  sent  out   always

returns magnified to  the sender.  May the  Forces of  Karma move

swiftly   to  remind me  of these  spiritual commitments  when  I

have  begin  to  falter from them,  and may  I  use  this  Karmic

feedback  to  help myself grow and be more attuned  to  my  Inner

Pagan Spirit.

*   May  I  always remain strong and committed  to  my  Spiritual

ideals in the face of  adversity and  negativity. May  the  Force

of my Inner Spirit ground out  all malevolence  directed my   way

and   transform  it  into positivity. May  my Inner  Light  shine

so   strongly  that  malevolent forces can not even  approach  my

sphere of existence.

*   May I  always grow  in Inner  Wisdom & Understanding.  May  I

see  every  problem that  I face  as an opportunity   to  develop

myself spiritually in solving it.

*   May  I  always act out of Love to all other  beings  on  this

Planet — to other humans,  to plants,  to animals,  to minerals,

to elementals, to spirits, and to other entities.

*   May  I  always be  mindful that the  Goddess and God  in  all

their  forms  dwell  within   me  and   that  this   divinity  is

reflected through my own Inner Self, my Pagan Spirit.

.pa

*  May I  always channel  Love and  Light from  my  being.  May my  Inner

Spirit, rather  than my ego self, guide all my thoughts, feelings, and

actions.

SO MOTE IT BE

In  the  Wiccan Rede above, and scattered in the  oath,  we  find

words  such  as Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.  What  are  these

strange words and what do they mean?

Before  one  can analyse the meaning behind the  phrase  “Perfect

Love  and  Perfect Trust”, one must first define the  words.  For

this  purpose, I will use the Webster’s New World  Dictionary  of

the  American  Language  1982 edition. Perfect:  adj.  [L.  per-,

through  + facere, do] 1. complete in all respects;  flawless  2.

excellent,  as  in  skill or quality 3.  completely  accurate  4.

sheer;  utter  [a perfect fool] 5. Gram. expressing  a  state  or

action completed at the time of speaking – vt. 1. to complete  2.

to make perfect or nearly perfect – n. 1. the perfect tense 2.  a

verb form in this tense – perfectly adv – perfectness n.

Love: n. [<OE. lufu]  1. strong affection or liking of someone or

something. 2. a passionate affection for one of the opposite sex.

3. The object of such affection, sweetheart.

Trust:  n.[ON,  traust]  1.  a)  firm  belief  in  the   honesty,

reliability,  etc.  of  another;  faith b)  the  one  trusted  2.

confident  expectation,  hope, etc. 3.  responsibility  resulting

from  confidence  placed in one. 4. Care,  custody  5.  something

entrusted to one….

Using  these  definitions,  we  come  up  with  “Flawless  strong

affection and flawless faith.

Is this possible?  Those that follow the religion of Wicca  often

give  excuses for this just being words.  When this is the  case,

they are not obeying their faith….thus..they are not  following

perfect love and perfect trust.  But to the rest…the answer  is

a  resounding YES.  This does not ask that you “like”  a  person.

It asks that you see the divine light and love within  individual

whether you like them or not.  Can this be done…YES. As to  the

perfect  trust…we  can always trust a fox to be  a  fox  right.

Therefore,  when we are entering circle, we can  honestly  answer

perfect  trust even if it is on shaky ground.  We may have  faith

that this person will act like any other human.

It  with these beliefs and doctrines that I state that  not  only

was   the  doctrine,  or  teaching  almost  identical,  but   the

vocabulary was extensively the same.

History of Witchcraft (part 3)

History of Witchcraft (part 3)

From  here, let us move on to Egypt where we will look  at  other
mystical symbols and more history of magic and the craft.

The Sphinx was a mythological creature with lion’s body and human
head,  an important image in Egyptian and Greek art  and  legend.
The  word sphinx was derived by Greek grammarians from  the  verb
sphingein (to bind or squeeze), but the etymology is not  related
to the legend and is dubious.

The winged sphinx of Boeotian Thebes, the most famous in  legend,
was said to have terrorized the people by demanding the answer to
a riddle. If the person answered incorrectly, he or she was eaten
by  the sphinx.  It is said that Oedipus answered properly  where
upon the sphinx killed herself.

The  earliest  and  most famous example in art  is  the  colossal
Sphinx  at Giza, Egypt.  It dates from the reign of  King  Khafre
(4th king of 4th dynasty; c. 2550 b.c.)

The  Sphinx did not occur in Mesopotamia until around  1500  b.c.
when  it was imported from the Levant.  In appearance, the  Asian
sphinx differed from its Egyptian model mostly in the addition of
wings  to the leonine body.  This feature continued  through  its
history in Asia and the Greek world.

Another  version  of  the sphinx was that of  the  female.   This
appeared  in  the  15th  century  b.c.  on  seals,  ivories   and
metalworkings.   They  were  portrayed in  the  sitting  position
usually  with one paw raised.  Frequently, they were seen with  a
lion, griffin or another sphinx.

The  appearance of the sphinx on temples and the like  eventually
lead  to a possible interpretation of the sphinx as a  protective
symbol as well as a philosophical one.

The Sphinx rests at the foot of the 3 pyramids of Khufu,  Khafre,
and  Menkure.  It talons stretch over the city of the dead as  it
guards its secrets.

The myth goes that a prince who later became Thutmose IV, took  a
nap in the shadow of the half-submerged Sphinx. As he slept,  the
Sun-god (whom the Sphinx represents, appeared to him in a  dream.
Speaking  to  him  as a son, he told the  prince  that  he  would
succeed to the throne and enjoy a long and happy reign.  He urged
the prince to have the Sphinx cleared of the sand.

In his book on Isis and Osiris, Plutarch  (A.D. 45-126) says that
the  Sphinx  symbolizes  the  secret  of  occult  wisdom,  though
Plutarch  never unveiled the mysteries of the Sphinx. It is  said
that  the magic of the Sphinx lies within the thousands of  hands
that chiseled at the rock.  The thoughts of countless generations
dwell  in it; numberless conjurations and rites have built up  in
it  a mighty protective spirit, a soul that still  inhabits  this
time-scarred giant.

Another  well know superstition of the peoples of  Ancient  Egypt
was that regarding their dead.

They believed that in the West lies the World of the Dead,  where
the Sun-god disappears every evening.  The departed were referred
to as “Westerners.” It was believed that, disguised as birds, the
dead  soar into the sky where in his heavenly barge Ra, the  Sun-
god,  awaits them and transforms them into stars to  travel  with
him through the vault of the heavens.

The  occult of the dead reached it’s height when it  incorporated
the  Osiris  myth.   Osiris was born to  save  mankind.   At  his
nativity,  a voice was heard proclaiming that the Lord  had  come
into  the world (sound familiar?).  But his  brother/father  Seth
shut  him  up  in  a chest which he carried to  the  sea  by  the
Tanaitic mouth of the Nile.  Isis brought him back to life.  Seth
then scattered his body all over the place.  It is said that Isis
fastened  the limbs together with the help of the  gods  Nephtis,
Thoth, and Horus, her son.  Fanning the body with her wings,  and
through  her magic, Osiris rose again to reign as king  over  the
dead.

The  Egyptian  believed that a person had two souls.   The  sould
known  as Ba is the one that progressed into the afterlife  while
the  Ka  remains  with the mummy. The Ka is believed  to  live  a
magical  life  within  the  grave.   Thus  the  Egyptians  placed
miniture belongings of the deceased into the tomb.  Such items as
images, statuettes, imitation utensils, and miniture houses  take
the place of the real thing.  They believed that the Ka would use
these  as  the real item because the  mortuary  priests  possesed
magic that would make them real for the dead.

The priests believed that the gods could be deceived, menaced and
forced  into  obedience.   They had such trust in  the  power  of
magic,  the  virtue of the spoken word,  the  irresistibility  of
magic gestures and other ritual, that they hoped to bend even the
good  gods  to their will.  They would bring retribution  to  the
deities  who  failed  to  deal leniently  with  the  dead.   They
threatened  to  shoot lightning into the are of Shu, god  of  the
air, who would then no longer be able to support the sky-goddess,
and  her star-sown body would collapse, disrupting the  order  of
all things.

When Ikhnaton overthrew the Egyptian gods and demons, making  the
cult  of the One God Aton, a state religion, he  also  suppressed
mortuary magic.  Ikhnaton did not believe in life after death.

As  Christianity  became  a part of this nation,  there  is  much
evidence to show where the Christians of the time, and the pagans
lived peacefully together.

History of Witchcraft (part 2)

History of Witchcraft (part 2)

From Mesopotamia lets move over to Persia.

Unlike  the Mesopotamians, and Egyptians, who believed  that  all
was  done with either the favor or lack thereof of the Gods,  the
Chaldean  star  religion taught that luck and  disaster  were  no
chance  events,  but  were controlled from  the  heavenly  bodies
(planets/stars) which send good and bad according to mathematical
laws.  It was their belief that man was incapable of fighting the
will  of  the  planet divinities. Though, the  more  this  system
evolved,  the  more the wise men read ethical values  into  man’s
fate.  The  will of the stars was not  completely  separate  from
man’s behaviors. The stars were important, but not omnipotent  in
deciding  man’s fate. It was believed that the star Sirius  would
carry  messages  to the higher gods and he returned  to  announce
their will.

Around  the  7th Century B.C. Zoroaster, the Median  prophet  was
preaching the doctrines that evil could be avoided and  defeated.
He  brought  about the principles of the good and  evil  spirits.
Below,  we will look at the beliefs and influences of this  man’s
life which created the religion named after him.

The  first of the belief structure had to do with Ormazd  (Ahura-
Mazda) king of light, and his twin brother Ahriman  (Anro-Mainyu)
prince of darkness.

Zoroaster  brought  about  the belief in  the  “holy  war”  (that
between  good  and  evil.) In this  faith,  the  archangels  (the
spirits  of  Divine Wisdom,  Righteousness,  Dominion,  Devotion,
Totality, and Salvation) and the demons (the spirits of  Anarchy,
Apostasy,   Presumption,  Destruction,  Decay,  and  Fury)   were
constantly  at  battle  with one another.   The  archangels  were
controled by Ormazd and the demons by Ahriman.

This  religion  had it’s belief that in the end, Ormazd  and  his
demons would prevail, but until then, Ormazd would keep the world
safe.

It is interesting that the last of the demons (the demon of Fury)
holds such a hard and fast thought that it was incorporated  into
the  Hebrew and Christian belief structure. The last  archdemon’s
name is Aeshma Daeva also know to the Hebrews as Ashmadai and  to
Christians as Asmodeus.

Asmodeus was the “chief of the fourth hierarchy of evil  demons”,
called  “the  avengers of wickedness, crimes  and  misdeeds.”  He
appears  with  three heads, a bull’s, human, and a ram.   He  has
goose  feet, and a snake’s tail. To appear more  frightening,  he
also exhales fire and rides upon a dragon of hell.

It  is said that Asmodeus is not to be feared.  When you  say  to
him:  “In truth thou art Asmodeus,” he will give you a  wonderful
ring.   He  will teach you geometry,  arithmetic,  astronomy  and
mechanics. When questioned, he answers truthfully.

The  other  demons  tempt people away from the  true  worship  of
Mazda.   They  are  Paromaiti – Arrogance, Mitox  –  The  Falsely
Spoken  Word,  Zaurvan – Decrepitude, Akatasa  –  Meddlesomeness,
Vereno – Lust.

Much  of the current day Christian beliefs were taken  from  this
man’s  religion.  (That of good and evil forces, the  redemption,
the “savior” factor, etc.)

From  here, let us move on to Egypt where we will look  at  other
mystical symbols and more history of magic and the craft.

History of Witchcraft – Part 1

History of Witchcraft

As I am trying to put this all together, I hope to bring about an
understanding  that Witchcraft, like any religion, has  undergone
it’s  changes  throughout  the  centuries.   It  is  my  personal
feeling,  however, that the religion of Witchcraft has  undergone
far fewer changes than any other in history.

As the song sung by Neil Diamond starts:
” Where it began, I can’t begin to knowin…”

Witchcraft,  sorcery, magic, whatever can only begin to find  its
roots  when we go back as far as Mesopotamia. With their  dieties
for  all  types of disasters, such as Utug – the Dweller  of  the
Desert  waiting  to  take you away if you wandered  to  far,  and
Telal  –  the  Bull  Demon,  Alal  –  the  destroyer,  Namtar   –
Pestilence, Idpa – fever, and Maskim – the snaresetter; the  days
of superstitution were well underway.

It  was believed that the pharaohs, kings, etc. all  imbued  some
power  of  the gods, and even the slightest  movement  they  made
would cause an action to occur.  It was believed that a  picture,
or  statue also carried the spirit of the person. This is one  of
the reasons that they were carried from place to place, and  also
explains  why  you  see so many pictures  and  statues  of  these
persons with their hands straight to their sides.

In  the Bible, we find reference to “The Tower of Babel”  or  The
Ziggurat in Genesis 11. “Now the whole world had one language and
a  common speech.  As men moved eastward, they found a  plain  in
Shinar  (Babylonia) and settled there.  They said to each  other,
`Come,  let’s  make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’  They  used
brick  instead  of stone, and tar instead of mortar.   Then  they
said,  `Come,  let us build ourselves a city, with a  tower  that
reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for  ourselves
and  not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’ But  the
Lord  came down to see the city and the tower that the  men  were
building.   The  Lord said,`If as one people  speaking  the  same
language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do
will  be  impossible for them.  Come let us go down  and  confuse
their language so they will not understand each other.'” It  goes
on to say that the tower was never finished.

In  other  references,  we  find that the  “Tower”  was  in  fact
finished,  and that it was a tower that represented the  “stages”
between earth and heaven (not a tower stretching to the heaven in
the literal sense.) From this reference, it was a tower built  in
steps.  A hierarchy on which heaven and hell were based.  It  was
actually a miniature world representing the Mountain of Earth.
.pa
Each stage was dedicated to a planet, with its angles symbolizing
the  four corners of the world.  They pointed to Akkad,  Saburtu,
Elam,  and the western lands.  The seven steps of the tower  were
painted  in different colors which corresponded to  the  planets.
The “Great Misfortune:, Saturn, was black. The second was  white,
the  color  of  Jupiter.   The third,  brick-red,  the  color  of
Mercury,  followed by blue, Venus; yellow, Mars, gray  or  silver
for  the  moon.  These  colors boded good  or  evil,  like  their
planets.

For the first time, numbers expressed the world order.  A  legend
depicts  Pythagoras traveling to Babylon where he is  taught  the
mystery  of numbers, their magical significance and  power.   The
seven  steps often appear in magical philosophy. The seven  steps
are: stones, fire, plants, animals, man, the starry heavens,  and
the angels.  Starting with the study of stones, the man of wisdom
will attain higher and higher degrees of knowledge, until he will
be  able  to  apprehend the sublime,  and  the  eternal.  Through
ascending  these steps, a man would attain the knowledge of  God,
whose  name  is  at the eighth degree,  the  threshold  of  God’s
heavenly dwelling.

The  square  was  also a “mystical” symbol in  these  times,  and
though divided into seven, was still respected.  This  correlated
the  old tradition of a fourfold world being reconciled with  the
seven heavens of later times.

It is thought that here was the start to numerology, but for this
to  have  developed  to  the point  where  they  had  taken  into
consideration the square as the fourfold world, it would have had
to have developed prior to this.

From Mesopotamia lets move over to Persia.