Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gardner and Wicca

As with most of the established religions, it is a male/s who institutes such a belief and then retains the highest form of authority within the said religion. The Wiccan movememnt is no exemption to such a rule. I personally do not see how witchcraft can be seen as a religion because of the parameters of discovery and ever changing form within true witchcraft. But it is what it is for such folks.
Wicca was created by Gerald Gardner circa 1953. He made an unsubstantiated claim that he had been initiated by a Traditional witchcraft coven, which Gardner called the"New Forest coven" which later led to the forming of his own concept of witchcraft into a modern religion called Wicca. Gardner claimed that he was initiated naked during this alledged rite and thus "skyclad" became one of the underlying tenets of his religion.
As a note of interest, Ronald Hutton, an accredited professor of History at the University of Bristol, where he had a keen interest in pagan religions, contends that Gerald Gardner's idea of Wicca came instead from the members of the Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship which originated in Liverpool England and who then migrated to ChristChurch England. Gerald Gardner joined this group in 1939 CE and was an avid member for a number of years thereafter.
It is also thought that Gardner's interest in Freemasonry also began with the Fellowship because of the presence of Mabel Besant Scott, who was a one-time head of the British Federation of Co-Freemasonry, and a prominent member of the Fellowship.
Gerald Gardner made many un-substantiated and false claims over the course of his life.
For instance he claimed to have doctoral degrees from the universities of Singapore and Toulouse which in fact he did not obtain.
Gardner also claimed that Aleister Crowley, the ceremonial magician, had given him the rights to the "Ordo Templi Orientis" rites. Though the charter was actually written in Gardner's hand and it was later discovered that Gardner had actually paid Crowley 300 English pounds for his signature.
In 1957, a disagreement with prominent members of the general mystical society, arose over Gardner's non-stop interviews with the media. These interviews were in spite of his own established rules of secrecy. This trend for publicity continues to be a platform for the modern Wicca movement.
In order to establish Wicca as a religion, Gardner, like so many other founders of a religion before him, wrote the laws that his adherents were to follow, in short, the dogma for a mystical religion as defined by Gardner.
After the formation of Wicca, certain laws began to appear that were originally unnumbered, and used the spelling wica, rather than the spelling "Wicca or Wiccan". These Laws contained a mixture of modern and archaic phrases, suggesting a possible plagiarism from older fragments. The Laws did not appear in earlier Wiccan documents, such as Gardner's Ye bok of Ye Art Magical, Text A or B, or in any of Doreen Valiente’s books including the one commonly referred to as Text C.
And so it is quite obvious that these were written and introduced well after Gardner had established his Wiccan religion.
These addendums apparently contained sexist language such as "as a man loveth a woman by mastering her", and "cursing people and condemning them to an eternity in the Christian hell" . Other further addendums were "And if any break these Laws, even under torture, The Curse of The Goddess Shall be Upon Them, so they may never be reborn on earth and may remain where they belong, in the hell of the Christians."
And yet another one was "And the greatest virtue of a High Priestess be that she recognize that youth is necessary to the representative of the Goddess. So will she gracefully retire in favor of a younger woman, should the coven so decide in council."
Doreen Valiente, who was Gardners High Priestess at the time, and other members of Gardners coven questioned why these Laws and their patriarchal language,had not been included in the Book of Shadows if they were so important, and why Gardner had not produced them before.
The refusal of Doreen and their coven mates to accept the Laws eventually led them to leave Gardner’s coven and later that year it was established that Gardner did indeed forge the "newly discovered Laws".
In spite of the inherent fraudulence by Gardner, the Laws nevertheless became a standard part of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows.
Earlier I mentioned that Gardner claimed to have been initiated in the nude, though this was never established as fact. The fact is that in 1945 C.E., Gardner had bought a nudist club called the "Five Acres Nudist club".
In view of all of the false allegations that Gardner made over the course of his life, it is safe to assume that his alledged skyclad initiation, was yet another false allegation that grew out of his ownership of a nudist club.
And so there you have the true beginnings of Wicca.
Gerald Gardner in fact was a nudist, a man with shall we say, a vivid imagination, and a sexist.
When his original HPS became to old, Gardner sought to replace her with a younger woman.
Religions are often filled with hypocrisy and are often dominated by males. It would appear according to the facts, that Wicca like so many other "man - made" religions is no exception.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Who was Melchizedek?

Organized religions are often centered around a person or persons who are given a special status in relation to their associated deity. And then from this personage the word and/or direction of that deity is then given to everyone else. In many cases these personages are clouded in mystery so as to add to their mysterious aura or sense of hidden knowledge.
Melchizedek is one of these personages. And he is interesting in that he is associated not only with the Judaic belief system, but the Christian and Muslim belief systems which later stemmed from the Judaic religion.
To my knowledge, Melchizedek was the first priest mentioned in the Bible. (Genesis 14:18-20)
The Gnostic scriptures refer to him as Melchizedek the Supreme Paralemptor, which means "Light-Bringer or Light-Maker".
And in the Hebrew Bible Melchizedek is called the High Priest of El Elyon, YHVH, the Most High One.
We also find mention of Melchizedek in Psalms:"Your people shall be willing in the day of your power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: you have the dew of your youth. The LORD has sworn, and will not relent, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." (Ps. 110:3-4)
Melchizedek is mentioned again in the New Testament book of Hebrews as the oldest priest of a higher order, more ancient and direct from God, than the Children of Israel (Levite) priesthood. A Levite is a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi in the Jewish tradition. The Levites served as assistants to the sons and descendants of the first chief priest, Aaron, at the Tabernacle in the wilderness and later at the Temple of Jerusalem.
In the Book of Hebrews, Jesus is repeatedly referred to as a High Priest of the Order of Melchizedek. And so it would appear that there was a pre-Christian priestly order, founded by this mysterious personage. And to add to this cacophony of identifications, the name Melchizedek, according to The Urantia Book is the one and the same as the Semitic God.
And yet in Genesis 14, Melchizedek is also referred to as King of Salem, ( which is generally believed to be ancient Jerusalem) the fortress city of the Jebusites, whose people worshipped him.
He was also said to have aided Abraham in his battles with the four kings who beseiged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
According to Numbers rabbah 4:8 Melchizedek acted as a priest and handed down Adam’s robes to Abraham. According to Rabbi Zechariah, the Semitic God intended to bring forth the priesthood through Melchizedek’s descendants, but because Melchizedek blessed Abraham before he blessed God, God brought the priesthood forth from Abraham’s descendants instead. (Leviticus Rabbah 25:6).
And so in Semitic tradition he is a holy man whose blessing resulted in great fortune for Abraham, while in Christianity his priesthood is seen as the forerunner of the Christian "new covenant," superseding that of the Levite priesthood.
But we're not done yet, he is also identified as the priest of El Elyon which translates as "most high God" in reference to the Hebrew god; Yahweh.
And as if this was not enough, some ancient rabbis identify Melchizedek with Shem son of Noah.
According to Genesis, Shem lived the age of 600 years (Gen. 11:10, 11). Therefore, his death took place 13 years after the death of Sarah and ten years after Rebecca and Isaac married. This literal interpretation of the biblical chronology leads some Christians, as well as several ancient rabbis, to believe that Shem might have been Melchizedek.
And so where does all of this lead us to?
Was Melchizedek a pseudonym for the Semitic God? Or was he in fact a religious enigma whose actions offended a jealous god? Of which said actions resulted in the alteration of the priestly lineage away from the Levites which opened the door for the Christian Jesus to become a High Priest in his own right.
In Hebrews 7:3, Paul says that Melchizedek was without father or mother, having no parents. Paul's statement suggests that Melchizedek was in fact a second male deity.
His comments were;
Every human, including Adam, has had a father (Luke 3:38). All the angels have the same father as Adam, and they are referred to many times in Scripture as sons of God. The One who became Jesus Christ is the father of all life except for one human life, His own. The Most High God is the Father of Jesus (Luke 1:32). But, God was not the father of Melchizedek. Paul is clearly saying that Melchizedek, like the Most High God, was without parents. Neither of them had beginning of days nor end of life. The two of them had always lived and there had never been a time that each of them had not lived. Melchizedek had always possessed life inherent. Life was not given to Him, He was not anyone's son.
And so can we assume that there was in fact two Gods present in the early Hebrew belief system. Could this second God have become persona non grata after the Babylon exile which in time led to the creation of the monotheist Christian and Muslim religions?
With the advent of the Babylon exile (586 BCE) the Judaic belief system became more determined to be a pure religion, could this have led to the expulsion of Melchizedek as a recognized deity within the Jewish pantheon?
Or lastly could Melchizedek (righteous King) have been a term used by a number of folks through the ages as it pertained to the religious politics of the time?
As with all religions and spiritual paths, the interpretations are in the hands of the one doing the interpreting. And on occasion such assumptions may actually border on the truth.
But far more often we make assumptions based on our personal feelings and/or comfort zone.
Do you have the answers as to who Melchizedek is?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Baha i

There are numerous religions in the world who make the claim that their chosen Deity appeared to one or more humans whom later become known as prophets. These so called prophets then extol the virtues and beliefs of their particular new found religion. One of the newest religions in the world began its existence in this very manner, they are known as the Bahá'í.
The Baha i Faith began in 1844 CE. It is a commonly held belief that the Baha i were originally members of the Muslim faith. This observation is attributed in part because a handful of students, belonging to the Shaykhi school, sprung from the Ithna-'Ashariyyih sect of Shi`ah Islam, to form what is now known as Baha i.
The first prophet of Baha i who was known as Baha'u'llah was in fact; Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad Shirází who worked as a merchant in Shiraz in the southern part of Iran.
He assumed the title of "Bab" (the Gate) and in May of 1844 he announced his "Declaration of the Bab." He explained that the purpose of his declaration, and those of his eighteen disciples whom he referred to as the "Letters of the Living," was to herald the arrival of "One greater than Himself", who would fulfill the prophetic expectations of all the great religions.
This declaration seems to be in line with prior declarations from earlier self proclaimed prophets who also declared that their personal belief system would serve to accomplish similiar goals.
I make this observation not as a form of mockery or ridicule but only as a pragmatic observation that many so called organized religions start out in a similiar fashion and with identical goals.
As it was, in 1850 CE, the powers to be in Iran, initiated the execution of Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad Shirází (Bab) who was seen as a threat to Islam.
Upon the execution of Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad Shirází, one of his followers; Mirza Husayn-'Ali-i-Nuri took on the mantle of leader of the Baha i. In 1863 CE, he reportedly confided to his followers and to his eldest son that he was the Manifestation alluded to by the Bab. He assumed the title, "Baha'u'llah" (Glory of God).
This event is now commemorated yearly during the holy days of "Ridván".
Because of this declaration, Mirza Husayn-'Ali-i-Nuri spent the last 40 years of his life either in prison or in exile where he authored a number of books about the Baha i faith. He died in May of 1892 CE and his burial place became a shrine which is regarded by Bahá i's as the holiest place on earth.
He was succeeded by his son "'Abdu'l-Baha" (1844 - 1921 CE) who was instrumental to spreading the Baha i faith around the world.
He in turn was succeeded by his eldest grandson "Shoghi Effendi" (died 1957 CE) who became known as "Guardian of the Cause of God". And to his credit he was instrumental in elevating women into various positions of power within the Baha i faith.
Since Shoghi Effendi died without naming a successor, a committee whom he had called "Hands of the Cause" was granted the authority to continue oversight of the Baha i faith.
In 1963 CE, the Universal House of Justice (a.k.a. UHJ) was established in Haifi, Israel. Provisions for such a body had been contained in the will of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Though it was stymied somewhat by the fact that the provisions called for the House of Justice to be headed by the Guardian or someone appointed by him. But the "Guardian" had died and, while he was alive, had not appointed anyone to take that position. And so even though the "House" is the highest authority in the Bahá'í faith, it has no powers to interpret or to change Baha i scripture.
As such, Mirza Husayn-'Ali-i-Nuri nor any of his predecessors interpretations can be changed.
Were I a member of this particular religion which for the most part is based upon the tenets of lineage, I personally would be concerned about the inflexibility to change with the times as it were.
For instance the Baha i faith promotes as its principles the elimination of all forms of prejudice and to uphold equal dignity and respect for all peoples, regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious or national background. Equality of men and women, the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth and economic justice for all peoples, universal education, and the dignity of the individual. These are grand goals but the reality is that sexual orientation is notably absent from their list of protected classes of humans.
Also there is the exclusion of all women from serving on its highest religious court, the Universal House of Justice. And since such issues cannot be addressed per their own self enacted rule that the "House" cannot interpret scripture as it applies to their faith, these issues will never be appended to meet the standards and/or realities of modern society.
And so the taint of hypocrisy is ever present.
I also have to wonder where the line is drawn between the word of man and the alleged word of one's chosen Deity.
But since the only right religion is the one that works for the individual, each person must and should decide for themselves which religion and/or spiritual path works for them.
By having knowlege of the realities of religions and/or spiritual beliefs we are better informed when making such a choice as it applies to our personal beliefs.
And hopefully such knowledge will lead to a greater understanding not only of ourselves but of those who travel through this world with us.
We do not have to agree with someone elses's beliefs, but we should atleast be accepting of the fact that others have the right to make choices that may not be in line with our own.
This is what makes each of us individuals and validates the words "acceptance and diversity"...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Origin of the Pentagram and related hypocrisies

The Pentagram or pentacle is thought by some occultists to trace its esoteric significance to an astronomical observance of the pattern of Venus' conjunctions with the Sun.
The pentagram (pentacle or pentalpha) is arrived at by plotting the recurrence of Venus' westward elongation from the Sun, over five consecutive synodic periods, which in time will create the points of a pentagram. This period is approximately 584 days long, each period determining a different point of the observed pentagram, taking approximately eight years, five days to complete the figure. One would get a pentagram by picking any sunrise date on which the morning star is prominent and then repeating the observation at 584 day intervals following that date.
Keep in mind though that there is a 0.0789 day slippage every 584 days, totaling a one day slippage each 12.67 synodic periods. This means that the pentagram figure is slowly revolving within an oval in a clockwise direction, alternating either one or two points ascendant roughly every 160 years. There is no observation point on Earth that would present a regular pentagram. Moving further north elongates the figure while on the equator the figure is an irregular pentagon.
The use of the pentagram dates back to Uruk IV circa 3500 BCE in ancient Mesopotamia where the general interpretation appears to be "heavenly body." By the cuneiform period circa 2600 BCE the pentagram or symbol "UB" means "region," "heavenly quarter" or "direction".
Venus is equated with the Sumarian goddess, Ishtar (Inanna) whose symbol is an eight or sixteen point star.
In association with the Hebrews, the five point symbol was ascribed to Truth and to the five books of the Pentateuch.
In Ancient Greece, it was called the Pentalpha.
Pythagorians considered it an emblem of perfection or the symbol of the human being. The Pythagoreans used it as a sign of recognition and they called the Pentagram "Hugieia" which is usually translated "Health," but can also translate as "Soundness or Wholeness", and in a more general way, any "Divine Blessing". Hugieia (Hygeia) is the Greek Goddess of Health, who is called Salus by the ancient Romans.
The pentagram was also associated with the golden ratio (which it includes), and the dodecahedron, the fifth Platonic solid, which has twelve pentagonal faces and was considered by Plato to be a symbol of the heavens.
The Pentagram has been found everywhere from Egyptian statues to Gaulish coins. In fact, the Greeks, Aryans, and Etruscans (circa 400 BCE) shared a coin bearing a pentagram and the characters "PENSU" (Etruscan for five).
It is noted that the texts of Solomon from the Mediaeval period gave great importance to the pentagram, under the name "Solomon’s Seal."
It is documented that the first English mention of a pentagram appears In the legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Stanzas 27-28 (1380 CE) where Gawain, who is traditionally the Celtic sun-hero, carries a shield " shining gules, With the Pentagle in pure gold depicted thereon.

"It is a symbol which Solomon conceived once
To betoken holy truth, by its intrinsic right,
For it is a figure which has five points,
And each line overlaps and is locked with another;
And it is endless everywhere, and the English call it,
In all the land, I hear, the Endless Knot."

And yet with the exception of Eliphas Levi who was associated with Catholicism, the Pentagram has never had any established definition or translation in regards to evil or any other negative connotation.
It was Eliphas Lévi who made the claim, with no justification or established historical precedent, that the pentagram with one point upward represents the good principle and one downward, the principals of evil. Eliphas Levi had trained for the Roman Catholic priesthood and was a prolific writer on FreeMasonry magical associations. And as such his motives are somewhat questionable.
In fact the five-pointed star is also defined as a symbol of Christ, "the bright and morning star": and, inverted, one point down, it represents the descent of Christ, which represents his Incarnation. Lo and behold, there is a huge inverted five-pointed star on the steeple of the "Marktkirche", or Market Church in fourteenth century Hanover, Germany and there are the numerous inverted stars that surround a statue of Mary and the Christ Child in Chartres Cathedral circa 1150 C.E.
The early Christians attributed the pentagram to the Five Stigmata of Christ and/or the doctrine of the Trinity plus that of the two natures of Christ.
It can also be seen on gravestones in the Claustro da Lavagem in the Convento at Tomar, Portugal, the monastery of Ravna, Bulgaria and the Church of All Saints at Kilham, Humberside, Yorkshire, England, which incorporates the symbol on the columns which support the Norman doorway. It is indented on the gateposts of the churchyard of S. Peter’s, Walworth, England, built in 1824 CE.
And yet in spite of thousands of years of the Pentagram being seen as a symbol of health and many other positive aspects, the Pentagram is now held forth by a few so called organized religions as being a symbol of a dark foreboding and evil.
It is one thing to establish a religion/spiritual path which is often a mishmash of beliefs from other religious belief systems. But for such religions who were formed after the fact to engage in such blatant distortions doesn't do much to contribute to the understanding and acceptance that these same religions claim as tenets of their own beliefs. Until the members of such religions find the will and Inner strength to empower the truth, there will always be such institutional hypocrisies.
And as such these misnomers will continue to belie and disrupt any real effort at understanding and good will towards others...

Keeping in touch

Folks: Since this blog is extremely new, there will be quite a few improvements in the coming weeks. If there is something that you would like to see, please let me know. Some of the things I am working on is adding a decent music library that you control. I will also be adding links to little known religion related topics from religions around the world. And this is just the beginning. Thank you for being a part of this effort.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Cult of Kali and related thoughts

When we speak of religions we often envision concepts of moral human behavior as they are outlined within the particular belief system that one is associated with. And yet this supposition is not always what it seems, for what exactly is morality?What may represent morality for one set of people may not necessarily be the same for another group of people.In this article I would like to take a look at such an example.And her name is the Goddess, Kali. Kali first appeared in the Devi-Mahatmya, where she is said to have emanated from the brow of the Goddess Durga (slayer of demons) during one of the battles between the divine and anti-divine forces. Etymologically Durga's name means "Beyond Reach". In this context Kali is considered the “forceful” form of the great Goddess Durga.As a point of reference, the Devi Mahatmyam is a collection of 700 Slokas on Sri Durga from MarkaNDeya PuraaNa. The Markandeya Purana is one of the eighteen major Puranas, which in turn are Hindu religious texts.Kali (whose name means Black, as well as Time) is a Hindu Goddess associated with death and destruction. Scriptures like Agni Purana and Garuda Purana describe her fearsome appearance and associate her with corpses and war. Kali is thought to be a pre-Aryan goddess, belonging to the civilization of the Indus Valley. She is often depicted as having four arms. In one hand she has a sword, in another the head of the demon she has slain; with the other two she is encouraging her worshippers. For earrings she has two dead bodies and wears a necklace of skulls; her only clothing is a girdle made of dead men's hands, and her tongue protrudes from her mouth. Her eyes are usually red, and her face and breasts are besmeared with blood. She stands with one foot on the thigh, and another on the breast of her husband, Shiva.In Western media such as movies, Kali is often depicted as an evil Goddess.And over the course of history there have been those that have associated themselves with the dark aspects of Kali.One such example is the Thugees which the modern word “thug” originates from. Thugees were otherwise known as the Stranglers of Kali. Their name in fact is first found in ancient Sanskrit texts. They were murderers who were often members of the same extended family. And they were very efficient at their craft, often piercing the stomach to let out gases that may bloat the body and give away the burial location. Sometimes the eyes were gouged out, based upon the superstition that the image of the murderer was imprinted on the victim’s eyes. Each member of a Thugee gang (not always entirely family members) was a specialist at their assigned duties. Some were scouts, some were stranglers, and some were “hand-holders” who pinioned the victim. There were even specialist grave-diggers and the pick-axe, with which the graves were dug, was dedicated to Kali, the four-armed Hindu Goddess of destruction. They were also very secretive about their murderous craft. It is thought that the Thugees were responsible for approximately 2,000,000 deaths.And yet in spite of the existence of such a cult and the perceived dark aspects of Kali, does this manifest into a cultural behavior in which all Hindus are by nature of their worship of such a Deity as Kali, bloodthirsty murderers? At first glance one may arrive at such a misconception. For people from one ideology will often judge others from their own point of view and sense of standards. But if one takes time to delve beneath the surface of their comfort zone they would discover that Kali represents so much more then just the dark façade she is attributed with.For instance, Kali's blackness symbolizes her all-embracing, comprehensive nature, because black is the color in which all other colors merge. This signifies the nature of Kali as the ultimate reality. In Sanskrit this is known as “nirguna” (beyond all quality and form). Her nudity has a similar meaning in that she is described as garbed in space or sky clad. In her absolute, primordial nakedness she is free from all covering of illusion. In Sanskrit this is “Prakriti”.Her garland of fifty human heads, represent one of the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, which symbolizes the repository of knowledge and wisdom. Her girdle of severed human hands represent the principal instruments of work and so signify the action of karma.Kali's four arms represent the complete circle of creation and destruction, which is contained within her. She represents the inherent creative and destructive rhythms of the cosmos. In short, the light and dark aspects of life that create a realistic balance. To further accentuate this balance; her right hands, make the mudras of "fear not" and, represent the creative aspect of Kali, while the left hands, holding a bloodied sword and a severed head represent her destructive aspect. She is seen as the ultimate representation of reality.And so at first glance, one who is not familiar with the Goddess Kali and thus one of the Hindu religions, would wrongly assume that she is a terrible and frightening Goddess who is bent solely on death and destruction.And from this short-sightedness a pattern of prejudice is sure to follow as it so often does with humans.Far too often people assume that they understand those things of which they have no more then a superficial understanding. And as a result we have the constant and in my personal opinion, unnecessary bias and hatred that is often seen amongst divergent religious belief systems.Perhaps the prime Moral should be one of common respect. If people could embrace the concept that the right religion/spiritual path is the one that works for the individual, then maybe we could focus our attention on issues that really matter. Matters such as hunger and disease and may I dare say it, peace and genuine acceptance amongst the inhabitants of this weary world of ours...

The King James Debacle

There is a line in the King James Bible which states "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." (Exodus 22:18).
However the original Latin from which this infamous alteration originated from is "Veneficos (sive) veneficas non retinebitis in vita", or "thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live".
Poisoning was a particulary common problem in those times.
And it is well known that King James was a firm believer in the occult.
The play Macbeth was written specifically for him by Shakespeare based on King James's interests.
It has been established from a number of sources that King James had consulted two Scottish witches about his on going lineage. When these two witches told him (accurately) that his line would die out with him, he became enraged. And thus he subsituted the word "witch" for "poisoner" in his written version of the Christian bible which was begun in in 1604 and first published in 1611 by the Church of England.
This rewrite was made possible because it was noted by the Puritans (a faction within the Church of England) that the earlier versions of the Christian bible contained "errors".
And thus King James instructed his translators (all 47 of whom were scholars with the Church of England) to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and would reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs.
These revised translations were translated from the Textus Receptus (Received Text) series of the Greek texts that preceded them.
And so with a stroke of a pen, a mortal man was able to change the word of his God, to empower his own selfish revenge.
And not only did this horrific alteration affect a belief system which was divergent to Christianity, but it also put women specifically into harms way.
The word "witch" appeared in Christian scriptures as maleficos, which is gender-neutral, until circa the mid-1500's.
Then along came Martin Luther and in his version of the Christian bible is the line "Die Zuberinnen soltu nicht leben lassen," which makes the word "witch" clearly feminine.

It is one thing to follow the written word of one's Deity, but it is another to blatantly contort such words in an effort to empower ones own sense of revenge and to create a prejudice against those who believe differently in general and against a particular gender, in this case women, in particular.
Is this the way to form a connection with ones chosen Deity? Must humans resort to hatred and lies when claiming to seek love and understanding?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Great Flood Myth

There is a popular misconception that the Christian bible perpetuates which relates a story of survival and by extension the extermination of the majority of the human race as well as all other inhabitants. This is the Great Flood story which has as its main character, the Patriarch known as Noah who rounds up members of his family and two of each type of animal and encapsulates them into to giant ark.
This grand tale is meant to illuminate the revengeful acts of a distant male god who is unsatisfied with the purported actions of his own creations.
This story would never have been told per se had this angry god not spared a particular family and thus given instructions on how to spare the animal kingdom who in all reality had nothing to do with the actions of the species who brought about the anger of this distant and mysterious god.
The only problem with this tale from the Christian bible is that a similar epic event was first recorded by the Sumerians who until very recently were considered the first recorded civilization in Human history.

The following writings are from circa 2300 BC and translated by Arno Poebel, Ph.D Philadelphia: Department of Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania

"After Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursag had fashioned the black-headed people,Vegetation sprang from the earth,Animals, four-legged creatures of the plain,Were brought artfully into existence[37 lines are unreadable]After the....of kingship had been lowered from heaven after the exalted crown and the throne of kingship had been lowered from heaven,He perfected the rites and exalted the divine ordinances...He founded the five cities in pure places,...Then did Nintu weep like a....The pure Inanna set up a lament for its people, Enki took council with himself, Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursag....The gods of heaven and earth uttered the name of Anu and Enlil then did Ziusudra, the king, the priest of...,Build a giant...;Humbly obedient, reverently he...Attending daily, constantly he...,Bringing forth all kinds of dreams, he...,Uttering the name of heaven and earth, he...[...]the gods a wall...,Ziusudra, standing at its side, listened."Stand by the wall at my left side...,By the wall I will say a word to you,Take my word,Give ear to my instructions:By our...a flood will sweep over the cult-centers;To destroy the seed of mankind...,Is the decision, the word of the assembly of the gods.By the word commanded by Anu and Enlil...,Its kingship, its rule will be put to an end.[about 40 lines missing]All the windstorms, exceedingly powerful,Attacked as one,At the same time, the flood sweeps over the cult-centers.After, for seven days,the flood sweeps over the cult centers.After, for seven days and seven nights,The flood had swept over the land,And the huge boat had been tossed about by the windstorms on the great waters, Utu came forth, who sheds light on heaven and earth, Ziusudra opened a window of the huge boat,The hero Utu brought his rays into the giant boat. Ziusudra, the king,Prostrated himself before Utu."

And so the Christian Great Flood story is actually a facsimile or re-telling of an event that occurred thousands of years prior to the advent of the first Christian.
While it is common for pieces of one religion/spiritual path to seep into another, it becomes a point of interest when the religion in question claims to be the only true religion in the world and yet is found to be a mish - mash of former belief systems unrelated to itself. Such elitism is the foundation for ignorance and thus does little to foster any true understanding and acceptance amongst the many divergent people of the world.