IV. NEOPAGAN SYMBOLISM Today's lecture has two purposes. First, we will deal with the lege
IV. NEOPAGAN SYMBOLISM
Today's lecture has two purposes. First, we will deal with the
legends, meta-legends, and conventions that form the basis for most
Neopagan ritual. Then we will discuss the purposes behind a witchcraft
initiation, and walk through the one that the graduates of this class
Theology and thealogy (the alpha-ending, Thea, being the Greek
feminine ending) are outlined to show how Neopagans relate to
their own and other people's choices of gods. The hook on which
this will all be hung is that most of the Gods represent facets of
human experience personified.
1. Forms of the God
Discuss the various types of masculine gods that appear in
pagan and Neopagan myth: the Sun-child, the Horned Hunter,
the Sensitive Artist, and the Lord of Death.
2. Forms of the Goddess
Discuss the image of the Three-Fold Goddess: the Maiden, the
Mother, and the Crone.
B. The Wheel of the Year
Read aloud the story of the Wheel of the Year from THE SPIRAL
DANCE, pages 28 and 29. Point out that this is the solar
calendar, and relate it to the agricultural cycle. Then add the
mystical component by telling the story of Persephone's descent
into the underworld, showing how it relates to the Wheel.
Tell the story of how Osiris was slain by his jealous brother,
Set, and how his sister/wife Isis went down into the Underworld to
gain the secret of resurrection from the dead (for reminders, use
Wilson's account in COSMIC TRIGGER).
Discuss how Isis's humiliation in the land of the dead compares to
the psychology of initiation (with a brief aside into Paul's
revelation of Eleusis: "Except a seed of grain fall into the Earth
and die, it cannot rise again"). Use this and the discussion from
Day One of how Craft Law arose to outline the dual purpose of a
witchcraft initiation: to lead the initiate through humiliation
and death into elevation and new life, and to bind the initiate to
the laws necessary for the group experience of the Craft.
Finally, if time permits, do a walk-through of the initiation to
familiarize the candidates with it, then give them their scripts
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