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Magic



 
Magic is the art of influencing the external world (and the Magician's own mind) by will and imagination combined. In this context 'imagination' is the mental faculty of forming images of objects or entities not immediately present to the senses; 'will' refers to the force of intention directed and focussed by the conscious mind.

Thus Magic involves creating clear mental images, sustaining them by concentration, and projecting them (by various means designed to maintain and increase the focus) into reality. Likewise can be said of the Christian Prayer and supplications at the altar made by Christian priests.

 

The essence of this ancient system is a belief in that the external world reflects the inner spiritual realms, and that external effects proceed from forces originating in the spirit realm within which Man (Sanskrit manas, 'mind') is said to exist.

Identification and invocation of such forces (visualised as guardian angels, demons, etc.) may thus through imaginative demand produce desired effects.

Distracted by the trials of the material outer realm, our inner perception is usually occluded or scattered: successful magical working demands preparatory rites and purifications to steady the mind, focus imagination and direct the will.

Stan Goochhas suggested that magic and psychic powers are associated with the 'old brain' or cerebellum, and were well-developed in Neanderthal man. Certainly such power seems to be a 'lunar' or 'right-brain' faculty, or at least to be channelled through the right-brain. If so, no surprise that 'magic' is denied by left-brain 'solar' reason, which proceeds by deduction and manipulation, not be induction and imagination. Science and magic both aim to control the natural world but proceed by means as different as day and night. Perhaps in time each will see the other as complementary.

 


Much reference is made in 'occultism' books to the theories and practices of the esteemed psychologist Carl Gustav Jung(1875-1961).

Carl Jung was born at Kesswil on Lake Constance and was the son of a clergyman. In 1879 the family moved to Klein-Huningen on the Rhine, where at school he was nicknamed 'Father Abraham'.

As a student at Zurich Jung was angered by the 'lack of ordinary, healthy curiosity' on the part of 'men in command of religious, and scientific and philosophic heights'. He sensed the danger of the European split between religion (faith) and science that denied individual and subjective meaning.

Later he analysed some 67,000 dreams before beginning to theorise about their meaning and function. Even so, and despite the rigour of his observations, for much of his life he was dismissed as a 'mystic'.

He supported Sigmund Freud despite doubts as the Freud's concept of sex as the main subconscious driving force, but where Freud reacted against repression of the sex-drive, Jung aimed to transform it by reconciling opposites which Freud saw as permanent and fixed.


 


Jung belongs to the Analyticalschool of Psychology and sees the psyche as a whole of personality ... the totality of all psychic processes, conscious and unconscious.

It embraces all thought, feeling and behaviour and helps the individual adapt to the social and physical environment: the term psyche, from which the term Psychology derives, also includes what is normally called 'soul'. And thus the person is seen as a whole from birth, and personality is not acquired piece by piece through learning and experience (as in Behaviourist, Humanistic, Cognitive, and Neuro-Biological psychological theories and practices).

 


Jung's work can be seen in his writings on Memories, Dreams and Reflections; Man and his Symbols; Collected Works; and Dreams. And other works relating to Jung include Jung, and the Story of our Time by Laurens van der Post; and The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead by Stephan A. Hoeller.
 
Essential to Jung's work are the Collective Unconscious and Archetypes. Jung sees archetypes (symbols) such as the 'Mother' as a collective entity of  the various 'goddesses' worshipped since time immemorial.





 
Witchcraft, Wizards, and other Mystical Thought




Probably the oldest school of mystical thought is the Qabalah (also spelt Kabbalah, Cabbala, Cabala, Cabbalah, Kabbala and Kabala) which, according to Rabbinical tradition was first taught to Adam in Eden by the Archangel Gabriel.

The Hebrew root QBL signifies 'to receive'; thus the body of teaching known as Qabalah means 'the received'. Jewish in origin, the profound and complex body of knowledge assumed Persian, Egyptian, Grecian, Gnostic, and Neoplatonist elements during its development.

It was transmitted orally until 1280AD when Spanish Qabalist Moses ben Shemtob de Leonissued the Zepher ha Zohar (Book of Splendour). This vast commentary on the Pentateuch was said to be the work of the legendary Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai, who had died in estatic trance some 1200 years earlier.

Departing from orthodox Judaism, the Zohar provided a basis for the growth of Qabalah into a system so flexible and sophisticated that today it lies at the heart of the Western Mystery Tradition.
 

 
The Kabbalah is not an individual book or even a spcific compilation of doctrine, although certain texts are almost always considered cabalistic.

The Kabbalah is the collected thought and the never-ending interpretation of many of the occult writings from Alchemy, Greco-Roman Magic, Assyrian Magic, the Chaldeans, Judeo-Christian mysticism (including books purportedly written by Solomon and Talmudic testaments), eastern influences (such as the precepts of Zoroaster) and Egyptian Magic.

It shows the way in which the supernaturalinteracts with the natural world and how the infinite universe interacts with the finite world. It also attempts to reveal the true, inner meanings of the ancient Jewish legends.

Even before the creation of the Kabbalah, Jewish tradition and lore was filled with mysticism. A Samaritan legend claims that the source of sorcery was a Book of Signs, which was delivered to Adam after the Fall. In Jewish mythology, the arcane text is known as the Book of Adam or the Book of Razel, the latter title being the one most often mentioned in cabalistic texts.


 
The book of Enoch in the Bible suggests that sorcery was thought to humans by two 'fallen Angels' named Uzza and Azael. Azael was responsible for teaching women Witchcraft and the art of cosmetics and makeup.

Although wizardry and sorcery was forbidden in Jewish law, the practice was endured if the magician called upon Angels to fight against the 'forces of evil'. Thus, from the earliest Judeo-Christian ethics, there arose a distinction between White Magic and Black Magic.




Cabalistic legend suggests that Moses had already been trained in Egyptian Magic in the court of Ramses II.

The Book of Tobitin Catholic Bibles tells the story of  the demon Ashmodaeus falling in love with Sarah, and there are many references to consulting witches in the Bible.

But perhaps the greatest Jewish mystic of Old Testament times was King Solomon.

Solomon is credited with writing, among many other tracts, two of the most famous magical Grimoires ... The Greater Key of Solomon, which calls upon God in his unspoken names (Elohim and Jehovah (the Tetratrammaton - IHVH)); and the Legemeton ... The Lesser Key of Solomon, in which the 72 demons are described.

The Tree of Life is seen as the Sephiroth ... a system of  states or being with their 22 interconnecting paths through which the soul ascends until it reaches the state of limitless undifferentiated being ... the Ain Soph.
 

 
In much of the pagan Arabic world, the jinn (also seen as jinne, jinnee, genie, or genii) were considered to be malevolent, dark or hostile supernatural forces. Among the Muslims, or Mohammedan culture, it was though that, although the jinn could be evil, they were more often good Spirits, closer in concept to that of the 'Guardian Angel'. Although the jinn were independent sprites, wizards and sorcerers had incantations and spells to invoke and control them.

Acording to the Kaballah, King Solomon was able to control the jinn, and, by using a Magic Ring, he forced them to build his great temple and palaces.
 

 
The Order of the Knights Templar, the source of so much mystery, was founded in Jerusalem in 1118, its first knights being quartered in a wing of a palace said to be built on the foundations of the Temple of Solomon.

The builder of the Temple of Solomon was Hiram Abiff, who was murdered by his colleagues. The circumstances surrounding his death are venerated in the rituals of the Freemasons, and at various times the masons were associated with the Knights Templar, Illuminati, Rosicrucians and other secret societies.

"Free" masons were once a guild of itinerant mediaeval  builders using secret signs and passwords to establish their mastery of their craft which, as seen in the great Gothic Cathedrals, must certainly have seemed occult to the uninitiated.

The association of masonry with the Hermetic Mysteries seems first to surface in 1638 in a poem by Henry Adamson of Perth :


 
For we the brethren of the Rosie Crosse;
We have the Mason word, and second sight,
Things for to come we can tell aright ...

 

By the end of the 17th century 'Operative Masonry' ... the functional practice of the Craft ... was changing into 'Speculative Masonry..., as evolved in Scotland (Scotch Rite). Such lodges were possibly a repository of  Templar lore: they did require loyalty to the Stuarts; thus to the Jacobite cause.

The formation in 1717 of the English Grand Lodge arose as a Whig/Hanoverianattempt to break this Jacobite monopoly: by 1723 the original four English lodges had grown to 52; in 1733 in Massachusetts the first American lodge was formed; and in 1776 masons played a prominent role in establishing the Constitution of the United States.

Masonic symbols like the Eye in the Triangle remain conspicuous on the Dollar bill to the present day. Freemasonry was banned in all Communist and remains so in most Catholic countries.



Freemasonry insists on the Brotherhood of Man and requires the purification and enlightenment of its members via the 'seven steps of Solomon's Temple' which are: discretion, obedience, morality, love of mankind, courage, generosity, and love of death.

Modern Freemasonry is divided into three 'Craft' degrees ... Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason ... these are under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of Englandwhose present Grand Master is the Duke of Kent.

 

 
Comparisons between the Authorised King James version of  the Bible and The Jerusalem Bible finds that the St. James version leaves out various Books ... namely: Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Baruch, and The Book of Wisdom; and contains a Book which The Jerusalem Bible does not include ... that of  Nehemiah.

In his book The Lost Bible ... Forgotten Scriptures Revealed Professor JR Porter explains that in the centuries around the beginning of the Common Era, the Jewish people drew faith and inspiration from hundreds of sacred writings, not just those that make up the Hebrew Bible. But in spite of their exclusion from the Jewish canon, they continued to inspire and influence the great Jewish teachers and were a rich source of popular legends and traditions.

These often powerful and beautiful works were also important to the founders of the Church ... including the writers of the New Testament. Early Christianity itself produced a wealth of sacred writings which, although excluded from the Christian canon, were popular among believers and important in spreading the faith.

The Forgotten Scriptures include miracles of the boy Jesus and the adventures of the Apostles among magicians, and emperors.

 


 

The idea of a personified principle of evil ruling the material world and called Satan, Lucifer, Mephistopheles, or the Devil, is deeply rooted in Christianity.

Christ called Satan 'the prince of  this world'; St. Paul named him 'the god of this world' ... admissions later used by Gnostics to support their Dualist claim that Evil not only rules the world but created it, God being busy elsewhere.

But this belief and even orthodox Catholic belief in Satan as the rebellious fallen angel, inspiring all worldly ill, has always been contradicted by Isaiah xiv 7:

 

"I form the light, and create darkness:

I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things".




 
The Devil is a mental construct developed by early Church fathers as a scapegoat for human nature and as an image terrible enough to make pagans abandon their (devilish) gods and embrace Christ. The origins of the names Satan and Lucifer show this clearly.
 
Satan in Hebrew means 'adversary', and originally implied an accuser of men (as in the book of Job).

The satan, God's prosecution lawyer, was only gradually magnified, in later Jewish and early Christian writings, into Satan, God's Adversary, the source of all evil.

Lucifer (in Hebrew Helel ben-Shahar, 'day-star, son of the dawn', the beautiful morning star who walked in Eden) is Latin for the planet Venus, meaning 'light bearer'.

The passage in Isaiah: 'How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning', predicts the doom for the King of Babylon, oppressor of the Jews, employing as a metaphor the daily eclipse of this brightest planet by the greater light of the rising sun.

The passage was later used, as was the Enochian myth of the fall of the Watchers, to demonise Lucifer as the proud angel fallen to earth, there in darkness to oppose God (the sun) in eternal contest for human souls.

 
 
Thus grew the myth that Satan and his angels were expelled from heaven for refusing to worship Adam. This was yoked to the tale that the Serpent tempted Eve to persuade Adam to eat the Appleand so gain knowledge of good and evil (self-consciousness).

It was not said in Genesis that the Serpent  is the Devil: this came later, as did St. Paul's dogma that Adam's original sin plunged all later generations into the power of the Devil, to be redeemed only by Christ.

Very convenient, as was the now-logical association of the serpent, or dragon (originally a symbol of natural energy fertilising Eve, the Mother Goddess Earth, or Gaia) with the by-now thoroughly blackened 'satanic' or 'luciferian' principle.

The Book of Revelationcompletes the link: 'And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him'. Meanwhile in the East, the dragon retained its beneficient image of life-fertilising energy.

With this in place the young Church could now tame the wild, impulsive gods of the old nature religions ... meaning the wild, impulsive aspects of human nature. Thus the Great God Pan, horned and cloven-hooved, became the conventional Christian Devil, alias 'Old Nick' ... Nik being a title of the pagan god Woden.
 

 
Everywhere the Christian missionaries went, local nature gods were demonised or absorbed. Failed missions were blamed on the Devil ie that part of human nature resisting repression. So fear of the Devil proved effective in enforcing submission to the God of Love, with fear of the stake as a useful back-up.


 

 

 

The Witches Hammer

 

Fear stalked Europe during the Witch Hunts of the 15th to the 18th centuries. In the eyes of the Church, witches were heretics to be rooted out, tried and executed. Many thousands of people were put to death.
 
The early Church had a generally lenient attitude towards witchcraft, believing that its followers could be persuaded away from their 'delusions'. Attitudes began to change from the 12th century and even the scholastic philosophers speculated on the possible powers of magic used for evil purposes. Witches, who were believed to have been given malevolent powers by Satan and to be his agents on earth, became figures of hatred.
 
 
 
In 1484 two Dominican friars persuaded Pope Innocent 3 to authorise the suppression of witchcraft. Their book The Witches Hammer, became the handbook of demonology in Europe. It taught that the guilty were condemned but that their souls could be saved by confessions, usually obtained by torture.
 
Those who confessed quickly might be granted an 'easier' death such as hanging, rather than being burned alive.
 
 

 
The 'Holy War' against witchcraft, begun before the Reformation, was carried on by both Catholics and Protestants. Old women were often accused, but anyone ... priests, nuns, magistrates ... could attract suspicion. Sickness, crop failure, and other misfortunes were blamed on individuals accused of witchcraft. Allegations were sometimes made to gain revenge or the land or property of those condemned.



Witch hunts were not as widespread in England as in continental Europe, where witches were fanatically pursued. In Elizabeth I's reign witchcraft was punishable by death, but the accused were usually pilloried for the first offence and were put to death only if convicted of persisting in malevolent magic. They were not burnt to the stake but hanged, and confessions were not extracted from them by torture. Among the most notorious American witchcraft trials were those in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, in which village girls accused a group of respectable citizens of witchcraft. 

 

 

 



The  Star Of Bethlehem





The Three Wise Men who came to Bethlehem bearing the gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh as offerings to the new born infant Jesus, and seen on much of the Christian Christmas cards were the Magi.
 
The first record of the Magi can be dated to Persia at around 591BC, but they were at their greatest power and prestige when Cyrus established the Persian Empire. Most probably descendants of the Medians, the Magi set themselves apart from the Persians and further split their own sect into castes. Most of the priests followed the teachings of Zoroaster.

 

The Magi were philosopher-priests. The term (particularly in its singular form: magus) came to be applied to 'wise men' in general, especially to those involved in hermetic, or magical practices. The terms 'magic', 'magician', and 'imagination' also derive from this root.


 
The Magi were famous for healing and their practice of various forms of divination, which they performed in their temples. Although forbidding idolatry, the Magi believed in the divinity of the Cosmos, and according to the Greek historian Herodotus (c.480-c.425BC), they made supplications to all of the heavenly bodies, including the Earth, Fire, Water, and Winds.
 
The Persian word magus (meaning 'priest' and 'fire worshipper') was adapted into Greek as magus (meaning a 'wise one', 'wizard' or 'juggler'). Demonstrations, feats or traits 'of a wizard' were said to be magikos, and it was this Greek root that was Westernised into magic and magical.

 

Many biblical scholars believe that the three 'wise men from the East' who attended the newborn Jesus (Matthew 2.1) were probably Persian Magi.

Their hypothesis is based on several factors 'Wise Men' could refer to their being followers of Ahura-Mazda, the omniscient source of ultimate knowledge.

They had obviously travelled some distance because Herod based his slaughtering of 'all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under' (Matthew 2.16) on the time that the wise men had been seeing and trailing the Star.

Finally, having followed 'the star, which they saw in the east' (Matthew 2.9), the wise men were not only acutely aware of heavenly signs but had travelled from the Zoroastrian stronghold of Persia.
 
Those who doubt the Zoroastrian connection suggest that it was the star that was in the east and not the wise men. Also, the prophet Jesus was worshiped by the wise men. But the Zoroastrian Magi never proclaimed Jesus to be a deity or made him the major figure in their faith or a replacement for their own religion's founder.

 


It has been suggested by religious scholars, however that the story of the Magi (whether an actual event or not) may have been included in the scriptures by the early Christian writers to suggest that all pagan deities and religions are inferior and subservient to Jesus and the new 'true faith'.







 
Sources :
 
The Paranormal ... An Illustrated Encyclopedia by Stuart Gordon  ISBN 0-7472-0356-3 Pub Headline Book Publishing PLC
 
Psychology ... The Science of Mind and Behaviour (3rd Edition) by Richard Gross ISBN 0-340-64762-0 Pub Hodder & Stoughton
 
A Witches' Bible ... The Complete Witches' Handbook by Janet and Stewart Farrar ISBN 0-919345-92-1 Pub Phoenix Publishing Inc.
 
Wizards and Sorcerery ... From Abracadabra to Zoroaster by Tim Ogden -5 Pub Checkmark Books ISBN 0-8160-3152
 
Family Encylcopedia of World History Pub The Reader's Digest Association
 
The Jerusalem Bible Edited by Alexander Jones Pub Dartman, Longman & Todd
 
The Holy Bible Authorised King James Version Pub Collins' Clear-Type Press
 
The Lost Bible ... Forgotten Scriptures Revealed by Professor JR Porter ISBN 1-903296-53-6 Pub Duncan Baird Publishers

 


 
Catholic Literature:



www.tiberriver.com

 
 
 
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