History of Witchcraft (part 4) As Christianity became a part of this nation, there is much
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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."
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.
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
* 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.
* May I always channel Love and Light from my being. May
Spirit, rather than my ego self, guide all my thoughts,
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. [
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank