History of Witchcraft (part 4) As Christianity became a part of this nation, there is much

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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. [

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