In my previous blog on the Syrian Refugee crisis, I proposed resorting to Sorcery to find out what the best solution ought to be. This naturally leads to the question: can Magic be used to put such a solution into effect?
Category Archives: Religion
Happy Epiphany! Or, if you are a member of one of the Orthodox Churches, or are reading this in Africa, Merry Christmas! This post is a follow-up to my previous Epiphany-themed post, Jesus Christ: Pagan Messiah.
Astrologers are mentioned with high-praise in the Bible! All you Christian Fundamentalists who say that Astrology is evil, are ignoring the literal word of the good book, for the Gospel of St Matthew clearly says that the first foreigners to recognise Jesus as Christ were Astrologers. In fact, the Churches have instituted a day to honour the fact – today, the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th.
Yes indeed. The Magi who came to offer gold, frankincense and myrrh were astrologers, who used their powers of casting horoscopes to predict the birth of the Messiah. The key to understanding this is the passage:
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”
The phrase at its rising has been also been translated as “in the East.” This has given rise to an erroneous belief that there was an actual Star of Bethlehem, moving comet like through the sky to guide the Magi to the place of Jesus’ birth. Some have also speculated, also erroneously, that the passage refers to a planetary conjunction which occurred in 6BC. (NB: all stars rise in the East, simply because of the Earth’s rotation).
However, to an Astrologer, the passage takes on a completely different meaning. It refers to Jesus’ “rising sign” or Ascendant. Hence the Magi computed Jesus’ Horoscope. Incidentally, the Rising Sign is the literal “Horoscope” – the word means “house marker,” hence the Ascendant is the point from which the Houses of the chart are measured. Likewise they used the power of Astrology to identify the specific house in Bethlehem (it so happens that there is a method in Horary Astrology where the geographical location of a thing may be determined by the position of the ruler of the house under which it falls in the Horary chart – see, e.g. here).
This has given me a brilliant idea – the Christian Church should celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany as Astrology Day, precisely because it is the day when a group of Astrologers came to visit Baby Jesus. Given that every other Christian holiday inevitably becomes secularized soon enough, we may rely on the power of big business to soon open it up to people of all religions and none! Heck, if this idea takes off and finds widespread popular appeal, we shall soon have internet memes going round saying it was a pagan feast day all along!
Updated version of a post from 2011
The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated by Christians on January 6th. It is thought to be the date upon which Jesus was visited by the Wise men, and in many non-English speaking countries (e.g. most of Africa) is regarded as the actual date that Santa Claus comes to visit (Europeans – though not those in the UK – believe he comes a month earlier on December 6th – the feast of St Nicholas). However all this is by the by as in this blog post I intend to analyse the symbolism of the feast of the Epiphany from a Qabalistic perspective.
It is widely thought that there were three Wise Men i.e. Magi, however this is a misconception – the number three only arises because of the number of gifts specified. There could in actual fact have been any number of Magi – they might for example have decided to ignore a literal reading of the constitution and quietly re-elect one on the sly! The actual wording of Matthew’s Gospel in fact seems to indicate that there were many so-called Magi living in Jerusalem – perhaps making up an actual cult or secret society.
Nevertheless, let’s examine the symbolism of the three gifts: Gold, Frankincence and Myrrh. It has been said many times in the past that they are symbols of Jesus’ ministry: Gold – because it symbolises his Kingly role; Frankincense – His Priestly role; and Myrrh – the mastery over Death. Now let’s compare this with the Tarot. Although there is a rather obvious card associated with “Death,” there is at least one less obvious one as well – “The Empress” – because in Rosicrucian terms, Daleth / Venus is “the Door” to the Tomb. The Kingly role is most obviously associated with “The Emperor” and the Priestly role with “The Hierophant.”
Now you see the pattern emerging? The three gifts represent paths leading to the sephirah Chokmah. And, in the Rosicrucian tradition, an initiate of the grade of Chokmah is called a Magus. What actually makes this most remarkable is that the name of the Rosicrucian grade of Magus pre-dates the assignment of Tarot trumps to the Tree of Life by over a hundred years or so, coming as it does from the Gold + Rosy Cross.
What we have in effect in Matthew’s Gospel is Jesus, whilst still a small child, effectively being advanced to the grade of 9=2 Magus. I say with no intended irony that it is the very model of a modern Magus ritual. Seriously though, the fact is that thereafter, “being warned in a dream they returned to their own country by another route.” In other words, these Magi were not Jews at all but foreigners – i.e. Pagans! Moreover there is at least one Gnostic gospel that claims that Jesus’ coming was foretold by “Zeredusht” (i.e. Zoroaster). What this means is that Matthew – and indeed perhaps the early Church itself – intended Jesus not just to be the Messiah of the Jews, but of the Pagans as well.
If this is true, then it represents a notion which would have proved far too radical for later and more modern Christians, if indeed they even dared to conceive it all. For example – how many times have you heard preachers trying to explain Jesus’ life by reference to the Old Testament? A lot. How many times, however, have you heard preachers trying to explain Jesus’ life by reference to Pagan scriptures in the same manner? I am keen to wager it is somewhat less. Yet the implication of Jesus being initiated as a Magus by Pagans would seem to imply, to my mind at least, that it would be appropriate to do so.
Tarot Cards are bad for your health and can give you violent stomach-ache! So you’d better stop eating them! Joking aside for one moment, that would actually have been far more sensible advice than that given by US Televangelist Pat Robertson to a woman who emailed into his show.
Apparently, a woman’s son experienced violent stomach pains when she prayed to him in the name of Jesus. She then emailed Robertson for advice. Now I am no Doctor, but I am a qualified First-Aider, and can tell you for nothing that if someone came to me with stomach pains I would firstly carry out a full Secondary Survey, and then – unless a specific medical condition indicated otherwise – call 111 (NHS Direct) or 999 (for an Ambulance) (i.e. in the UK) depending on how serious the patient’s condition apppeared.
Ah! But does Robertson do any of this? Does he even suggest getting checked out by a doctor at all? Erm no. He automatically assumes that it is caused by one of the woman’s ancestors having practiced witchcraft, or used tarot cards, and then recommends getting in an exorcist who really believes in spiritual warfare to sort this whole thing out.
Let’s just rewind for one second: it was when the woman prayed to Jesus that the boy felt sick. I suppose it would have been beyond Robertson to suggest, “Well stop praying to Jesus, then?”
Robertson is well-known in the USA as a particularly rabid right-wing televangelist. I have had to cause to mention his antics before on this blog in regard to his remarks on the 2010 Haitian Earthquake. Indeed, I noted at the time:
“Pat” apparently is not actually his real-name, but a childhood nickname derived from the fact that as a baby people liked to pat him a lot.
May I suggest that in the future he might consider changing it to Punch Robertson.
As Greenberg describes it: “Torah doesn’t say that God waved a magic wand and everything appeared; according to Kabbalah, He created a complex evolutionary system through which infinite Divine energy evolves into finite forms.”
This is a re-posting of a blog from 2010. I was prompted to do so after reading another blog, by a Catholic Priest, who was adamant that Saturnalia had nothing to do with Christmas. Apparently, all though he admitted that Saturn was associated with human sacrifice, the fact that Jesus Christ Himself was a Sacrificed God eluded him! Nevertheless, the same blog was interesting as it pointed out that the available evidence as to dates suggests that the feast of the birth of Sol Invictus is based upon Christmas, not the other way round. See here for more details.
Happy Saturnalia to you all. This is of course the ancient Roman festival that was celebrated from the 17th to the 23rd December, and involved a lot of feasting, revelry and debauchery. And guess what? It was being condemned as sordid and commercial as early as 400 AD! O Tempora – O mores!
The pagan customs obviously survived into the Christian era. In mediaeval times there was elected a “Lord of Misrule” who was the master of revels of the Saturnalia *cough* I mean Christmas period. However, James Frazer (he of The Golden Bough fame) reported that there was at least one incident of Roman soldiers choosing a “Lord of Misrule,” and at the end of the Saturnalia period – sacrificing him on the altar of Saturn.
This got the Sumner family brain cell working. Where had I heard of Roman soldiers doing something like that before? Oh yes! Here:
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band [of soldiers]. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put [it] upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify [him].
The “coincidences” stack up even further when you consider that Jesus was “sacrificed” on a Cross, which in Hebrew is Tau – the letter associated (in the modern Hermetic Qabalah) with Saturn. Thus, what we have here is Jesus being put through a version of the Saturnalia ritual!
The idea that Jesus Christ is in fact the Lord of Misrule might seem strange at first, although I suspect that it occurred to William Blake in the past, when he made the point in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell that Jesus was all virtue yet he acted from impulse. Thus the “Misrule” of which Jesus was Lord was defiance of the stifling restrictions of old religion which often ran counter to justice.
Esoteric Christianity is a theme which I explore in my latest book. Many of the most powerful rites in occultism are essentially Christian in nature, though not necessarily associated with the mainstream churches. And yet the subject does not get as wide an airing as it deserves! (Or so it appears from my point of view). Anyway, I reblogged this because this post because it is part of a series which raises some of the issues involved.
In my previous post, I stated in no uncertain terms that Christianity is, at its root, a theurgical mystery religion. Although I did explain a bit of the context for that, I present the following as a more thorough explanation with context.
The early Christian period, preceding the council of Nicaea in 325, was characterized by many disparate groups, each with their own particular philosophical and spiritual charism. It is important to recognize that far from being a monolithic movement – Christianity is best described as Christianities.
The first Christians, as described in Acts, were primarily Jewish and centered around Jerusalem and nearby cities. Although it is very clear that the early Christians participated in many of the rituals associated with temple-period Judaism, the pervading Hellenism of the Mediterranean at the time may suggest that Christ himself may have not only been familiar with the mystery religions of the Greeks…
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News today that Britons still believe in miracles, angels and ‘spiritual forces’. From a sample of 2000 people, the following numbers were crunched:
% of the population who think spiritual forces have no influence on earth: 25%
% of Christians who think such spiritual forces can influence people’s thoughts or the human or natural world: 62%
% of non-religious people who think the same: 35%
% of people who said they or someone they knew had experienced a miracle: 16% – including 8% non-religious people.
More interestingly though (from my point of view), the full report also says:
Nearly a quarter (23%) of people say they have had their tarot cards read, whilst 17% have had their star sign read, and 12% have had a reflexology session.
- Smaller numbers had experienced more esoteric spiritual experiences, such as having a reiki session (8%), having their aura read (6%), or healing with crystals (5%).
- Women are considerably more likely than men to undergo these experiences (51% vs. 26%).
- Interestingly, while 39% of the overall population admits to having undergone at least one of these experiences, so do 38% of the non-religious(compared to 40% of the religious). When it comes to these more obviously non-religious spiritual activities, there appears to be no difference according to whether someone is religious or not.
The United Kingdom is a nation of 63 million – including 49 million adults. Hence assuming that the sample reflects the nation as a whole, that means that 11 million adults have had or are likely to have their Tarot cards read. To those 11 million people I say: I can be contacted via this website and my rates are very reasonable.😉
It’s that time of year again when tired internet hacks try to capitalise on the symbolism of the Summer Solstice in a pathetic attempt to drive traffic to their website. But enough about me, and let’s have a good chortle at what journalists around the web have been down to recently.😉
Your humble blogmaster’s interest was briefly awakened this morning when I saw a news report saying that the Church of England is trying to create its own Pagan Church. The otherwise sensible Daily Telegraph even went as far as saying:
The new move could see famous druids such as druid leader Arthur Pendragon move to Anglicanism.
This reminds me of a sketch from Not The Nine O’Clock News some thirty years ago, in which the premise was that the Church of England was so desperate for members that it was now accepting practising Satanists into its ranks. Cue trendy vicars trying to justify why this was a sensible proposition.
As always, the truth is far more boring. Since the news report first came out, the Church Mission Service – the body alleged to be wanting to create this Pagan CofE church – has issued a clarification:
CMS is happy to categorically say, for the record, that we are not seeking to create any kind of ‘Pagan church’. Our vision remains unaltered: we want the world to know Jesus.
The story may have come about due to the fact that a member of the CMS attended a Lammas festival in Eastbourne last year, and did “readings” for visitors to her tent, with something called the Jesus Deck. Presumably a cunning plan to prosetelyse Tarot enthusiasts!
Perhaps though, the CMS could teach the Catholic Church in Ireland a thing or two. The Association of Catholic Priests there has said that Irish people have “to all intents and purposes, become pagan.” NB: in the mind of the ACP this is supposedly a Bad Thing. Their response however is bizarre. Ask any right-thinking person why this state of affairs might have come to pass, and they will probably say it is because the Irish Church has made a complete balls-up, including most notably – but not exclusively – the scandal surrounding its treatment of child molesters. Ah no, says the ACP, it is because the Irish have been seduced by the evils of materialism and consumerism – it’s not the Church’s fault at all! Hence the answer is not wholesale reform of the Church but more evangelisation. Which is another way of saying more of the kind of stuff that got it into so much trouble in the first place.