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2001 The foundation which I am trying to lay here (having used many of Paul Foster Case's own words) is that of the willing sacrifice. If we go back far enough in Human History, we will find Human sacrifice. It is nothing to be proud of certainly, but it is nothing to hide from either. In the first note I explained why this practice was performed. What I did not address was how the sacrificed body was used. Because it was considered to be descended from other Divine Kings (the Breed- ing I spoke of), it was believed that the flesh and blood of the Slain God contained mystical properties. Therefore small bits of his flesh were distributed to the Clan, and diluted portions of his blood were consumed. In this way, the Clan was connected to his divine nature. In time, animal sacrifice replaced Human sacrifice, and later still plants served as the Slain God. But the practice of consuming the Slain God never changed. Today it is still performed in the ritual of cakes and wine, which represent the body and the blood of the Slain God (now Lord of the Harvest). In some Traditions the cakes symbolize the God and the wine symbolizes the Goddess (that is, their "essence"- ). This is all part of the Mystery Tradition, and goes deeply to our very core as members of a Clan, a Race, a People, or a Nation. An excellent book on the subject of the Divine King/Slain God is WESTERN INNER WORKINGS by William Gray. Dear Seraluna, Yes, I have seen the Robin of Sherwood series from England. I nearly fell out of my chair when Robin met Herne. You have no idea how close that series got to certain aspects of the Aridian Tradition (did you notice that Herne was played by an Italian actor?). At the sanctuary of Nemi in Medieval Italy, there were outlaw camps in the forests of the Alban Hill Region. Aradia lived with the outlaws at Nemi for a period of time, before she disappeared. The legend of the King of the Woods at Nemi, goes back to Antiquity. He was a outlaw and a guardian of the Grove. Because he was outlawed he often wore a hood, and was called the Hooded Man/the Hooded One. He became the symbol for the god of the forest, lord of the Trees, etc. He had to accept a challenge to his "kingship", which was always a fight to the death. In this aspect he represented the Slain God. As I stated in an earlier post, the Hooded One came after the Horned One of the Forest, and so was called his son. The Horned One was a Stag God. When Humans began to grow crops, the Animal God figure began to lose its high stature, and the Slain God was transferred into the crops, which were slain at the harvest. Blessings, Raven ---------- INNER TEACHINGS - THE HANGED MAN 2002 The title of the "Hanged Man" means, in an occult sense, "suspen- ded mind" because "man" and "mind" are from the sanskrit root (used by early occultists). The title refers also to the utter dependence of Human personality upon the Cosmic life. He hangs now as a co-worker with the Divine, having placed his own Ego out of the way of the Divine inflow. Only in this way can he attain the Higher Conscious- ness, and become useful to his People. The sacred tree of the grove represents the bridge to the other worlds, and it is the Consciousness which "hangs" upon the tree, which serves to unify Humankind with the Divine. The mental attitude suggested by the Hanged Man, then, is "Not my Will, but Thine". This is ever the position of the Adept, as, indeed, it is the position of every person who works in any field of applied science. It is an illusive, personal thing which is but the reflec- tion, or mask, of "Thy Will", which is the purpose or motive of the Cosmic Life - a Will absolutely free, and certain to be realized. The foundation which I am trying to lay here (having used many of Paul Foster Case's own words) is that of the willing sacrifice. If we go back far enough in Human History, we will find Human sacrifice. It is nothing to be proud of certainly, but it is nothing to hide from either. In the first note I explained why this practice was performed. What I did not address was how the sacrificed body was used. Because it was considered to be descended from other Divine Kings (the Breed- ing I spoke of), it was believed that the flesh and blood of the Slain God contained mystical properties. Therefore small bits of his flesh were distributed to the Clan, and diluted portions of his blood were consumed. In this way, the Clan was connected to his divine nature. In time, animal sacrifice replaced Human sacrifice, and later still plants served as the Slain God. But the practice of consuming the Slain God never changed. Today it is still performed in the ritual of cakes and wine, which represent the body and the blood of the Slain God (now Lord of the Harvest). In some Traditions the cakes symbolize the God and the wine symbolizes the Goddess (that is, their "essence"- ). This is all part of the Mystery Tradition, and goes deeply to our very core as members of a Clan, a Race, a People, or a Nation. An excellent book on the subject of the Divine King/Slain God is WESTERN INNER WORKINGS by William Gray. Dear Raven, What do you think of the view that, besides consuming a part of the Slain King's body, the people also spread the diluted blood and perhaps the body itself around the fields to sanctify them? It would also fertilize them, since a dead body contains a lot of nitrogen. Jana Dear Jana, Yes, that is exactly what was done with the majority of the body. I come very close to a violation of secrecy oaths with this, goes. In the Autumn Equinox Rite there is perfor- med a Mystery Play in which the Divine Victim is symbolically slain. A skull is present at this rite, and symbolizes the former divine victim. A token fluid of the life essence of the new "King" 2003 is obtained, and mixed with a token portion of fluid from the High Priestess. This is placed in a bag and is buried in a sacred garden, where ritual plants are grown. Originally it would have hung in the Forest on a tree, to provide for a plentiful hunt, or buried in a cultivated field for abundant crops. Today we offer it up for the needs of our Clan, whatever they may happen to be at the time. In ancient times the Divine Victim was cut up into pieces and given to the soil. Small portions of his flesh and his blood were incorporated into a "communion" meal, and given to the Priest(ess)hood to distribute. Today we still perform this ancient rite, hidden within the ceremony of cakes and wine. Today the sacrifice comes from the Plant Kingdom, but the Human connection is still there, and the ancient current still flows through the Ceremony. As Humans evolved spiritually, so too did their practices. But nothing is forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten... Raven ---------- INNER TEACHINGS - THE TIDES OF POWER There are certain Tides of Power within the Bound Ether of the Earth which aid us in all of our works of Magic. The Stars, Sun, Planets and the Moon radiate their influence upon us through the Magnetic Sphere of the Earth. In Eastern Occultism these Tides are called the Tattvic Tides, and the medium through which they flow is called Prana. This is the substance just above Terrestrial Matter, known as Etheric Matter, of which there are two kinds: Free Ether & Bound Ether. Free Ether is that which surrounds the Sun, and through which pass the Earth and other Planets within its sphere of influence. Bound Ether is that which surrounds the Earth itself (or any planet) and may be called the Magnetic Sphere. As the Earth orbits the Sun, revolving on its axis as it does so, centers of stress occur in the Magnetic Sphere of the Earth. As a result there is a positive current of energy flowing from the East to the West, and a magnetic current passing from North to South during six months of the year (which reverses for the remaining six months). The "positive" currents emanate from the northern center, and the "negative" from the southern center. The Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the positive current which reverses after the Summer Solstice to negative. These currents of energy are marked by the Lesser Seasonal Rites of the Old Religion, occurring at the Solstices and Equinoxes The terms "positive" & "negative" refer to electrical and magnetic energies of an etheric nature, as well as to those ener- gies which we might call "waxing" and "waning". ---------- 2004 BEING "OF THE BLOOD" It was once believed that certain individuals, namely royalty or other spiritual leaders, were actually descended from the "gods" (or in some cases from non-Human Races such as the Elven or Fay). It is obvious from this that their blood was held to be very precious, since they were considered to be "Dedi-gods". Since they represented the spiritual base power of the Clan, it was important to preserve the purity of their Bloodline, and to ensure that it was passed along through the Generations. In those early times it was taught that the gifts of psychic abilities were maintained and transmitted by a direct blood link with the Priestesshood/Priesthood (who were themselves either direct descendants by bloodline, or were indirect by virtue of having "received" the Royal Blood). This is one reason why the Church ordered the slaying of whole families of Witches during the Inquisi- tion, in hopes of destroying the ancient Bloodlines. It is interesting to note that witches were very often associated with Fairies and other non-Human Races, and were considered to be different from Humans, in many European tales of Folklore. Symbolically, anyone who drank of the Blood of one of these Descendants was said to be "of the Blood" and could in turn, pass on the blood through ritual communion of the Wine and Cakes (which were anointed with the Royal Blood, of either a direct descendant, or indirect blood receiver). As the Old Religion grew, anyone who was born into the family of those who had been of the blood, were considered to be also, and this was the basic significance of being "hereditary" (along with being reborn among those who one had known and loved before). It is also interesting to note that the "cords" used in the Initiation Ceremony, are remnants of those cords which once bound the Sacrificial King. ---------- CONCERNING THE TOOLS & TRAPPINGS If one looks closely at the tools of the Craft, it is easy to see that they resemble the weapons of a Knight. The tools to which I am referring are the Athame, Chalice, Wand and pentacle (in the Aridian Tradition the athame is called the Spirit Blade, and bears different symbols as well as a slightly different aspect). The athame is symbolic of a Knights sword. The wand is a lance, the chalice is a helmet (turned upside down) and the pentacle is a shield. These Craft tools are the "weapons" of a spiritual warrior, or a Priest(ess) as in the tradition of a Shaolin. The cords of Initiation, as mentioned earlier, are remnants of the bindings which once held the Sacrificial King/Slain God, and mark an individual as a member of this ancient mystery tradition. The altar is symbolic of the portal, which is the tomb. It is the Gateway throu- 2005 gh to the other Realms. The ritual circle represents the unbroken Cycle of the year, which is at the heart of The Old Religion. The Watchtowers at the elemental quarters represent the portals to the higher Realms, which lay beyond this World. The Watchers them- selves represent the "awareness" of our Path, as it is imprinted upon the Planes ("watched", so to speak). There are many other such as- sociations, but I thought that I would mention just a few. These are not commonly known, or discussed, and the knowledge of them will soon disappear if someone doesn't pass them on. You may consider it Witch- lore, but it is quite a bit more... ---------- RAISING A PLANT FAMILIAR The purpose of this technique is to raise, or grow, a plant as a "familiar" (serving spirit) or as a magical plant. In ancient times, a small circle of stones was set around the chosen plant, to "bind" the numen there. Then a hole was dug down toward the roots (carefully) and a chosen power stone was set in place, to "charge" the plant. Today the technique has been expanded, but is still true to the original intent. You can begin with a seed, or young sprout. Simply prepare the soil for planting, in a secluded area, which is suited to the physical needs of the plant. Place a stone or crystal of your choice about three inches deep into the soil. Quartz crystals are a good choice, but you may wish to consult a table of correspondences for various stones, etc. Next fill in the soil over the stone, and plant the seed (or sprout) as is appropriate. Then lay a circle of 8 stones around the plant site. At each of the four elemental quarters place a crystal of the same type as the one you buried (these four are part of the 8 forming the circle). The other stones may be of any kind you wish, as long as they compliment each other, in relationship to their occult nature. Space the stones to allow for the growth of the plant. I will give two techniques for the raising of a plant familiar. These will show you how to establish contact with the plant numen, and how to communicate your purposes to the plant familiar. In this way the plant will become charged, and conscious of your needs. Then you will have a physical and spiritual helper, for your works of magic and healing. This technique is important to magical work involving herbs. Dry herbs in an herb store are not charged (in most cases) and can only serve through their remaining physical properties. There is, however, the placebo effect to consider, as well as coincidence, and self-delu- sion. These have been used successfully for quite some time. I will not deal with these here, as most popular Authors are doing an excel- lent job of passing this off on us as authentic spells. 2006 I intend to give you the actual techniques which empower herbs, and whose effects were the basis for the powers attributed to herbs from ancient times. No Con, just the facts. Method 1: If planting by seed, wait 7 days after the sprout appears to proceed with the following (if a young plant, wait 7 days after plan- ting it). Remove the stones between the quarter stones, and plant a seed at each point. Next bury the quarter stones where they lay, at least an inch deep. The seeds may be of the same type as the plant within the circle, or an assortment. Each day, place both palms upon the ground within the circle, forming a triangle with fingertips (index fingers touching & thumbs touching). The stem of the plant will be in the open area of the triangle, centered between your hands. Using your imagination & visualization abilities, sense your power flowing out through your arms, from your personal power center (just below the navel for women, and at the solar plexus for men). You must also talk to the plant and send it visuals, communicating your needs and desires through mental images. You must take good care of the plant from this point on, and keep it from harm. To create a strong bond with your plant familiar, you can add 3 drops of your own blood to a quart of water, and use this to water the plant as needed. Magically, you have first increased the level of the numen throu- gh the crystals. Secondly, you have extended its power and influence to the other plants. This is because these plants became alive under the influence of the center crystal and plant. They were also bathed in a cross quarter current of energy, controlled from the center entity, through the quarter crystals. If you need the physical parts an herb for your spells, potions or whatever, then use only the plants enclosed within the original circle of stones, and never the center plant. The center plant IS the familiar, and the others are merely extensions of it. The final step in creating this plant familiar, is to establish your "link" and your "rapport". To do this, you must sit comfortably before the plant, and stare at it. Allow your eyes to lose focus and your vision to blur. In this state, observe the shape of the plant, trying to leave your mind blank. The plant will "send" you an image as you stare. You will receive this as a distortion of the plant's shape, so that it will begin to resemble some other creature such as an animal or an insect. This new shape is the spirit of the plant, and you will employ this image as you work with the familiar. The familiar can give you extra power in any magical work, when- ever you summon it. "House plants" can become protective entities for your home through plant magic. Plants can be given as gifts, charged for a special purpose. To summon the familiar, you simply imagine your plant in it's setting, and visualize it becoming the spirit creature. Mentally call it to yourself, and allow it to enter into your personal power center. To empower through the familiar, mentally send in into any herbs which you are charging (instructing it as to the desired effect) and 2007 imagine that it passes power to them, imagine them glowing after contact with the familiar. When you are finished, always return the familiar to the plant. ---------- MOON LORE It was once believed that: 1. The shadowed areas of the Moon were forests where the Goddess Diana hunted, and the bright areas were plains. 2. That the Moon was a spinning wheel, upon which the Goddess spun the lives of Men and Women. 3. That the Moon was a gem worn by the Goddess, and that the stars were decorations upon Her gown. The names by which the Moon was called, as she appeared in each month of the year, varied with the significance of the seasonal month. In October and November we see the need for preparations for Winter. In February, the wolves were drawing closer to the villages looking for food. In March the sounds of ravens signaled the coming of Spring. April through June we see the signs of growing things. In July, the Moon marks the signs of horns and antlers upon young animals. In September, of course, we find that the time is marked to reap the Harvest. Names of the Moon: October: Hunter's Moon November: Larder Moon December: Long Night Moon January: Winter Moon February: Wolf Moon March: Raven Moon April: Meadow Moon May: Flower Moon June: Rose Moon July: Antler Moon August: Piscary Moon September: Harvest Moon ---------- MOON MAGIC The accumulation and direction of the subtle forces of the moon, is one of the arts of Witchcraft. Moon magic is a personal art, even though there are basic guidelines. In ancient times, witches held the position of the Moon priestesses/priests. In coastal regions, and upon islands, witches were also Sea Priestesses/Priests. The use of water from the sea was an important aspect in Moon Magic (salt being a crystal form). The "charging" of water, and the release of the "char- ge" through evaporation, was an important aspect. So too was the soaking of woods and herbs in sea water, which were later dried, and 2008 burned as incenses and offerings. Two excellent books on this subject are MOON MAGIC and THE SEA PRIESTESS by Dion Fortune. The use of Portals to gain access to the Lunar Realms, and the building of magical images there, is a very important aspect of Moon Magic. The actual "essence" of the power used in Moon Magic, origin- ates out among the stars. The Sun draws in the stellar influences and transmits them into our Solar System. The Planets within our System absorb this energy which then merges with their own vibrations or energies. The Planets, in turn, then emanate a composite energy within our Solar System. Each Planet's energy or vibratory pattern is unique, and influences other planetary bodies and forces, within each planet's sphere of influence. This is the basis of Astrology and Planetary correspondences in Magic (this is how and why it works). The Moon is the focal point of power upon the Earth. The Moon absorbs, condenses, and channels all of these forces, which are then carried to our Plan- et, upon the Lunar Light Spectrum. Agrippa, a 15th Century magician, understood these principles when he wrote "...but the Moon, the nearest to the heavenly influ- ences, by the swiftness of her course, is joined to the sun, and the other planets and stars, as a conception, bringing them forth to the inferior world, as being next to itself, for all the stars have in- fluence on it, being the last receiver, which afterwards communicates the influence of all superiors to these inferiors, and pours them forth upon the Earth..." Aradia, the Holy Strega, told her followers to seek the Moon above all others, for the purposes of Magic. In the closing prayer of the Full Moon Ritual, we find these words which Aradia's followers were later to have written : " O' Goddess of the Moon...teach us your ancient mysteries.- .. that the Holy Strega spoke of, for I believe the Strega's story, when she told us to entreat Thee, told us when we seek for Knowledge, to seek and find Thee above all oth- ers". Agrippa understood this also, when he wrote, "Therefore. her (the moon) motion is to be observed before the others, as the parent of all conception......hence it is, that without the Moon intermediating, we cannot at any time attract the power of the superiors..." What Agrippa spoke of, is what witches have known for Ages: The Moon is the focal point of power upon the Earth. Without the Moon we cannot make use of the Universal Forces beyond her. In Moon Magic, the ritual altar is the focal point for the Lunar forces which are drawn upon. Women are the vessels for Lunar Energy, receiving and directing the magical force. Men can also become lunar vessels, but women are much better suited (as their biology is more attuned to the Moon's Cycles, than are men's biology). The method used by both women and men will be given in another note (part 4 or 5, depending upon available space). 2009 The Moon altar is placed facing the West Quarter. The altar itself should be round, but a square or a rectangle is OK. In the center of the altar, place a bowl of saltwater. A white sea shell is then set into the center of the bowl. As this is done, whisper the name of the Goddess who rules the current phase of the Moon, under which you are working. The new moon belongs to Diana (De-ah-nah), the Full Moon to Jana (Jah-nah) and the waning Moon to Umbrea. Around the bottom of the bowl. set nine white shells, forming a crescent (horns upward, as in a smile). If the magic is for the gain of something, place the shells from right to left. If the magic is for the removal, or loss of something, then place the shells from left to right. As each shell is placed, chant the name of the Goddess who presides over the goal of the magical influence you desire. Matters concerning "beginnings" are under Diana. Matters involving "forces", energies, or powers are under the influence of Jana. Matters of Death, decline, and stagnation are ruled by Umbrea. Censers of Moon Incense are placed around the bowl, upon the altar, forming a triangle (so you have 3 incense containers forming a triangle, with the Moon Bowl in its center). A reversed triangle (V) is formed for manifestations desired upon the physical plane. Upright triangles (A) are formed for manifestation upon the astral plane. During the magical work, the energy is focused into the altar bowl (or moon bowl, as it is often called). This can be done in several different ways. In group rituals, members may point their ritual blades at the Priestess, who stands before the altar. The members visualize their energy flowing from their themselves, through their blades, and into the aura of the Priestess. The Priestess then visualizes this collective energy flowing from herself, through her own blade, into the moon bowl. Or she may simply place her palms over the bowl and focus the energy out through her hands. During this technique, she may recite an incantation, stating the purpose of the "charge", or the group may chant the spell's intent. One of the ways in which energy can be raised for this technique, is through deep breathing. Each person draws in air slowly and deeply, and exhales as they visualize the energy flowing outward through their ritual blades, or their hands. Eastern Mystics teach that the Ether of our planet can be drawn in through the breath, and condensed as pure energy. This they call "Prana". Another method is to "enchant" the water. Begin by passing your right hand, palm down, over the bowl in a clockwise manner. Perform nine passes, then do the same with your left hand. You will need to create a Chant which will serve to describe your intent. It can be a simple rhyme, or whatever you want. As you chant, blow gently upon the water slightly disturbing the surface. Formulate the incantation to be as descriptive as you can, about what you desire. Once you have spoken the incantation into the bowl, it is time to release the "charge". One technique for this is to boil the water, and observe the steam as it evaporates. Boil it until all of the water is gone. As the steam rises up, repeat your incantation, and watch the 2010 steam as it moves upward. It is carrying off your magic, so that it may take effect. Think this as you watch it (thoughts ARE things). Another very old method is to pour out the contents of the bowl into a stream, or river. As you do this, you recite a simple rhyme spell, such as : " Water to water a witch's spell I give this stream to speed it well" Receiving the Moon's Light: (for women) The Priestess receiving the Full Moon, will need an assistant. The assistant will require a silver disk, smooth and highly polished. If absolutely necessary, a small hand mirror may be used in its place. The Priestess will stand or kneel before the altar, with her head bowed down. The assistant will part her hair at the base of the skull, using water or oil to help separate the hair, if it is short. While the priestess visualizes the form of the Goddess merging from behind, into her own form, the assistant will reflect the Moon's light upon the base of the skull, using the silver disk. You will find that this is quite difficult in city light pollution, and works best in a country setting, or a desert. Once the Priestess receives the Moon she can channel it into the Moon bowl, or she can "store" it within her Being for seven days. This light is pure Lunar energy, and can be "impregnated" with whatever "thoughtform" the priestess des- ires. Receiving the Moon's light: (for men) The Priest receiving the Full Moon, does not need an assistant, but may choose one if he desires. Men cannot receive the Moon in the same manner as women, nor should they visualize the Goddess merging with them. The Priest will stand, or kneel, before the altar with his head slightly bowed. Using a polished brass disk, the Moon's light is reflected upon his forehead. At this point the Priest will visualize himself as the Full Moon itself. Once the light is received, the Priest can channel it into the bowl. Men do not "hold" Moon Light very well, and it is best to channel it off before the seven day period, which the Priestess enjoys. There are several ways for a woman to receive the Moon's Light, without any assistant. The technique I gave in this subject note, is just one of the magical techniques. The Moon may also be received in a religious setting (no magic intended, just a blessing or a union with Deity). In these modern times, you can set up a mirror behind you, and angle it so that it reflects down upon you, if you desire to try the magical technique. One of the old ways of non-magical union, was for the woman to lay nude beneath the Full Moon in the Full Moon Goddess Posture. This posture is also referred to as the Star Goddess Posture, 2011 and is an X formation, arms and legs spread out wide. The woman anoints herself with an oil of the Moon, just below her navel (forming a crescent with the oil). As she lays upon the earth, she will look up into the Moon, and slowly draw in the muscles of her abdomen, as she mentally pictures that she is drawing down the light of the Moon, into herself. Just as men draw power into themselves through the solar plexus, a woman draws power into herself through the navel region ("pit of the stomach" kind of thing. This is the center of a woman). This is just one method, but it can be a powerful experience. ---------- ARADIA This is the Legend of Aradia, who was called the Holy Strega (pronounced Stray-gah). Strega is the Italian word for witch. She lived in Italy during the 14th Century, and brought about the revival of the Old Religion, among the peasants who were enslaved by Feudal Lords and the Church. Charles Leland wrote a book in 1894 called ARADIA, gospel of the witches. Unfortunately, his material is a Christianized distortion of the original text. In 1508 A.D. the Italian Inquisitor Bernardo Rategno (having studied witch trial records preserved in the archives of the Inquis- ition at Comom) wrote a text called the Tractatus de Strigibus. In this text he states that the "witches sect" had begun to "expand" about 150 years earlier. This would place the "expansion" around 1350 (14th Century). In the Aridian Tradition we believe that this confirms the legend of Aradia. In Leland's ARADIA, he also tells the tale of a woman who travelled about Italy teaching The Old Religion. According to this story, there once was a young woman from the town of Volterra who "travelled far and wide, teaching and preaching the religion of old times, the religion of Diana, the Queen of the fairies and of the Moon, the goddess of the poor and oppressed". Leland goes on to say "and the fame of her wisdom and beauty went forth over all the land, and people worshipped her, calling her La Bella Pellegrina (the beautiful Pilgrim)". In the Aridian Tradition, we believe that this legend is based upon the true life story of Aradia. We consider her to have been a great Teacher, and a type of Avatar, but we do not worship her. We do, however, honor her each Full Moon by the telling of her Legend, and by drinking to her memory. According to our teachings, Aradia formed covens (called groves) in central Italy. She taught the Old Religion of Nature, and of Magic, but above all she taught a Spirituality. Beyond this she gave hope to peasants whose lives were made miserable, in service to the wealthy class. She taught them personal power, and personal value, in an Age when the Church taught them shame and sin, and servitude. Aradia returned their beautiful pagan heritage back to them once again. A heritage which was preserved in secret by courageous Priests and Priestesses of the Old Religion. Aradia taught Harmony with Nature, and directed her followers to merge with Nature through Seasonal Rites, and ritual observation of the Full Moon. 2012 The "Charge" of the Goddess, known to many Wiccans, originally came from the Italian. The beginning paragraph can be found in Lel- and's text. Doreen Valiente now claims to have written it sometime during the 1950's or early 1960's. Leland recounted a portion of it in 1894, with an english translation from the Italian. I copied from a copy of it which came to the U.S. in 1946. So, this is all very curious to me!! In the next note I will post the Italian Charge, as written by the followers of Aradia, during the late 14th Century (well, a public version of it, anyway). FROM DOMI O'BRIEN Part of the problem, Raven, was that Leland was a Marxist, and Aradia was written less to record the legend than to place his political theory in a folklore frame. FROM RAVEN GRIMASSI I've heard that theory about Leland, and its influence on his book. I do not personally believe that it is correct. When you read all of Leland's books, it is quite clear that he was extremely fascinated by the Witchlore of Italy. This was a man who spent many years of his life in Italy, and elsewhere, tracking and recording myth after myth. He spent a lot of time with Lady Vere de Vere (Italian Folklorist) and Professor Milani (Director of the Archaeological Museum in Florence) recording Italian Witchlore. His intense love of this subject is evident in his book LEGENDS OF FLORENCE, as well as several of his other books, including ETRUSCAN MAGIC & OCCULT REMEDIES. Whatever his political leanings may have been, ARADIA is more the result of a con job by the so-called "witch" Maddalena (and his obsession with preserving the old Witchlore), than it is anything else. It is curious that actual elements of true Italian Witchcraft were obtained by Mad- dalena. She was well known by the Craft, in those days, as a Gypsy Con-Artist, but clearly she did come upon some valid aspects of The Old Religion. Most of the text is utter nonsense, but there is enough there to make you go Hmmmmmmm. ---------- THE CHARGE OF ARADIA (To her followers) "Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month when the Moon is full, then shall you gather in some deserted place, or within the woods, and give worship to She who is Queen of all Witches. Gather then all together, within a circle, and secrets that are as yet unknown shall be rev- ealed. And you must be free within your mind and your 2013 spirit, and as a sign that you are truly free, you shall be naked in your rites. For therein is the essence of spirit, and a knowledge of joy. Be true unto your own beliefs, and keep to the Ways, beyond all obstacles. For ours is the Key to the Mysteries, and the Cycle of Rebirth, which opens the way unto the Womb of Enlightenment. I am the Spirit of Witches All, and this is Joy and Peace and Harmony. In life does the Queen of all Witches reveal the Knowledge of Spirit. And from Death does the Queen deliver you unto peace, and renew your Life again. When I shall have departed from this World, in memory of me, make cakes of grain, wine, and honey. These shall you fashion in the shape of the Moon, and partake of these cakes, and of wine, all in my memory. Offerings then shall you give unto She is who our Mother. For She is the beauty of the earth, and the white Moon among the heavens, and the Mystery which gives Life, and ever calls us to gather in Her name. Let Her worship be the ways within your heart, for all acts of love and pleas- ure, are as rituals unto the Goddess. But to all who seek Her, know that your seeking and yearning shall avail you not, until you know the Mystery. For if that which you seek, is not found within you, you shall never find it without. For She has been with you since you entered into the Ways, and She is that which awaits attainment, and your journeys end". This is an altered version of the full length "Charge" as it appears in the Aridian Tradition. On the next note I will post Lel- and's version, which was written in 1894. Following this I will post one of the popular Wiccan versions, which will probably be better recognized. I am sorry that I cannot post the actual Charge, but this one comes very close (without dishonoring my oath of Initiation). (Leland's version - written in 1890): "When I shall have departed from this world, whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and when the Moon is full, ye shall assemble in some secret place, or in a forest all together join to adore the potent spirit of your Queen, my Mother, great Diana. She who fain would learn all sorcery yet has not won its deepest secrets, them my mother will teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown. And ye shall be freed from slavery, and so shall ye be free in everything; and as a sign that ye are truly free, ye shall be naked in your rites, both men and women also: this shall last until the last of your oppressors shall be dead; and ye shall make the game of Benevento, extinguishing the lights, and after that shall hold your supper thus:" (Leland goes on with the conjuration, and blessing, of the meal for the Sabbat, and then concludes the Charge) 2014 "And thus shall it be done: all shall sit down to the supper all naked, men and women, and, the feast over, they shall dance, sing, make music, and then love in the darkness, with all the lights extinguished; for it is the Spirit of Diana who extinguishes them, and so they will dance and make music in her praise". I just thought that you might find this of interest. There are many verses in Leland's writing, which Doreen Valiente now claims to have written for Gerald Gardner, circa 1958. (Text from: ARADIA, gospel of the witches by Charles Leland) FROM: JANA HOLLINGSWORTH A version of the Charge of the Goddess appeared in Charles Godfrey Leland's ARADIA around the turn of the century. According to Raven Grimassi, it was known among Italian traditional Witches long before that. The Leland publication alone would indicate that Valiente merely rewrote it. The Charge of the Goddess--who wrote it? Was Leland the first one to note it? Did Doreen create It in Fifty-eight? Or did they from Italy quote it? FROM: JANICE BURGESS Doreen adapted and expanded the Charge from a bit that is in Aradia. The part in Aradia is not nearly as beautifully written and doesn't contain as much text as Dor- een's adaption. It also contains things that modern pagans probably wouldn't understand cul- turally or want to include as they wouldn't apply well at this point in time. I'm a fanatic about where things come from and always like to know although, like you, it doesn't affect my enjoyment of the work at all. I like getting credit for what I've written and like to extend the courtesy to others as well, so I guess that's part of it. I also just went through a lot of problems with a book I have coming out this fall. I wanted to include things like chants and songs I've been hearing for over 10 years in the appendix. I had to track down who had done what and get permis- sions from all concerned. Most of them I wanted to use had been done by friends. A few I had no idea who had written them. It was really a mess. It cured me from ever jotting something down and using it and taking it for granted I would remem- ber where it had come from later on. FROM RAVEN GRIMASSI Yes, Doreen based her version of the Charge on ARADIA by Leland (among other writings as well). The beginning of the 2015 Charge ("once in the month and better it be when the Moon is Full...") comes from Aradia's ins- tructions to her followers. In Leland's ARADIA it is in Chapter 1, being the last English trans- lation there. I will provide the first section here for you, directly from Leland's book: "...whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month and when the moon is full, ye shall assemble in some desert place, or in a forest all together join to adore the potent spirit of your Queen, My Mother, great Diana. She who fain would learn all sorcery yet has not won its deepest secrets, them my Mother will teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery, and so shall ye be free in every- thing; and as the sign that ye are truly free, you shall be naked in your rites...". Remember, this was first published in 1890. Seem somehow fam- iliar? ---------- ITALIAN CRAFT As an introduction to this subject, I'll begin with some excerpts from a few books. In the LEGENDS OF FLORENCE we find these words by Charles Leland (written 1895): "The witches of Italy form a class who are the repositories of all the folklore; but, what is not at all generally known they also keep as strict secrets an immense number of legends of their own, which have nothing in common with the nursery or popular tales, such as are commonly collected and published....Lady Vere de Vere, who has investigated witch- craft as it exists in the Italian Tyrol, in an admirable article in La Rivista of Rome (June 1894) tells us that "the Community of Italian Witches is regulated by laws, trad- itions, and customs of the most secret kind, possessing special recipes for sorcery" which is perfectly true. Having been free of the community for years, I can speak from experience. The more occult and singular of their secrets are naturally not of a nature to be published..." After consulting with Lady Vere de Vere (Italian Folklorist) and Professor Milani (Director of the Archaeological Museum in Florence) Leland wrote (concerning Italian Witchlore), "That this is of great antiquity is clear, for out of this enchanted forest of Italian Witchcraft and mystical sorcery, there never came anything, great or small, which was not at least of the Bronze, if not Neolithic Age". In his book, ARADIA, Leland writes of the popular Christian image of the witch, but goes on to say: "But the Italian Strega or sorceress is in certain respects a different character from these. In most cases she comes of a family in which her calling or art has been practiced for many generations..." 2016 In Leland's ETRUSCAN MAGIC & OCCULT REMEDIES we find these statements: "Among the cliffs and scrubby moors of northern Italy there dwell today descendants of an ancient people whose stubborn and exotic mystery has provoked historians to conflict, linguists to despair, archaeologists to poetry, and poets to philosophy. For almost two thousand years the astounding secret of their existence was kept without living whisper save in the anachronistic echoes, recorded for the first time in this book, of Tuscan Catholic peasant voices calling through unbroken generations upon the pagan deities of their remar- kable ancestors..." Later in this book he states "But I was much more astonished to find that in Tuscany, the most enlightened portion of Italy, under all Roman rule, an old pagan faith, or something like it, has existed to a most extraordinary degree. For it is really not a mere chance survival of superstitions here and there, as in England or France, but a complete system, as this work will abundantly prove". ---------- LA VECCHIA RELIGIONE (The Old Religion) ITALIAN WORD ENGLISH WORD Strega (Stray-gah) Witch (female) Stregone (Stray-go-nay) Witch (male) Treguenda (Tray-gwen-dah) Sabbat Veglione (Vay-yoe-nay) Esbat Stregeria (Stray-gare-e-a) Witchcraft Boschetto (Bos-ket-oh) Coven La Vecchia (La-vek-kia) (slang) The Craft The Old Religion of Italy is called La Vecchia Religione (La-vek- -kia Re-lidge-oh-nay). In La Vecchia, female witches are called Strega and males are called Stregone. In the structure of a Boschetto there are several offices or positions. Most groups are run by a woman who is a High Priestess, assisted by a man who is a High Priest. The High Priestess has an assistant known as Dama D'onore (Dama-Dee-o-nor-ay). This is like a Queen's attendant except that it the Goddess who she actually is serving during the ritual, represented by the High Pries- tess. The High Priest has an assistant called "La Guardia" who is the Guardian of the ritual area. In the days of the Inquisition it was his duty to protect the High Priestess and High Priest if the Christians should attack the ritual gathering. It was also his responsibility to 2017 keep the new initiates from disrupting the ritual, by helping move them along as needs be. Both positions of service are "in training" for the respective positions of High Priestess and High Priest. There are four degrees, or stages, of attainment, within La Vecchia. The 1st is a time of training and orientation. The 2nd is becoming a Priestess or a Priest of the Old Ways. The 3rd is becoming a High Priestess or High Priest. The 4th is when a person actually dies, and we say that she, or he, has taken 4th Degree. Over all of the 3 Degrees, is the position of Grimas (Gree-mahs). A Grimas oversees the Tradition as a whole, and is responsible for its preservation. A Grimas makes sure that nothing is ever written out of any ritual material, or edited from any oral teaching. In Italy, this is a much respected position, and a Grimas always has the final word in all matters regarding the preservation of the Ways. This position can be held by either a woman or a man, though for the most part, La Vecchia is a matriarchal system. A High Priestess always has "auth- ority" over that of a High Priest. However, a Grimas (regardless of gender) always has "authority" over the High Priestess, in matters concerning the integrity of the Tradition as a whole. Each Clan has a Grimas, and this is why the Religion has survived intact down through the Ages. Preservation of the Ways of a People requires a structured System. Without this you have, well, look around... ---------- THE LARE HOUSE In the Aridian Tradition, we have a belief in spirits known as the Lare (Lar-ay), or Lasa (Lah-sah). In a way, these are spirits who carry the memories of our Ancestors. They are the Collective Con- sciousness of our Clans. They are also Nature spirits similar to the Elven or Fay, but are considered a different Race. The Lasa appear in Etruscan Mythology and the Lare appear in Roman Mythology. In the Aridian Mythos there is a blending of the two. Aridian Initiates are required to obtain, or to construct, a Lare house, as part of their training. These spirits houses can be of any design, however the Roman Temple design is the most common. These are simply two pillars supporting a cross beam. At the base is a small protruding ledge upon which offerings may be placed. As part of the Community rites a votive candle is placed on the ledge. Whenever someone in the Family has a birthday, or some other personal event, the candle is lit as part of the Celebration. The children of our Clan seem to enjoy lighting the candles, and sharing in the tradition of the Lare. Offerings are placed before the Lare house on each of the Season- al Rites, and each Full Moon. These are usually offerings of grain, or nectar. Nectar is a mixture of milk, honey and wine. As part of the Rite of the Lare, the names of our ancestors (and "departed" Clan members) are recalled in a "toast" before the Lare House. This tradit- ional rite has served to preserve the lines of descent back into Time. 2018 We view the Lare as many spirits who comprise a single Conscious- ness. In other words as a Community of spirits. They are connected to us through our worship of the Nature and the Old Ways, and through that of our Ancestors. Through our practices they recognize us as those who gathered in ancient times, and they "follow" us through Time. This is a very primitive belief, but is still honored today. ---------- ARIDIAN PANTHEON I thought that you might like to know about some of the Gods and Goddesses of the Aridian Tradition. The list given here is only partial, and I am using the common names of these Deities. In the Aridian Tradition the original names of the Deities are not revealed until the Second Degree Initiation (as they are considered names of the Priestess Craft/Priest Craft). These are names, however, which we do use: The Goddesses TANA: the Star Goddess (Universal Aspect) JANA: Goddess of the Moon, and the Mysteries of the Moon FANA: Goddess of the Earth, and of Fertility FORTUNA: Goddess of Fortune, Fate, and Luck CARMEN/CARMINA: Goddess of the casting of spells, and of Enchantments DIANA: The Triad Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone. Goddess of outcasts, outlaws, slaves, and oppressed Peoples. Diana encompasses many other Goddesses, and is the name also used for the Moon Goddess, Earth Goddess, and Star Goddess. UMBRIA: Goddess of the Shadows. Umbria is the Dark Aspect of the Goddess (waning moon), and rules with DIS in the Underworld. Goddess of things which are Hidden, or secret. NOX: Goddess of the Night. Nox rules the Darkness which falls upon the Earth, and all within it. She is the sister of Umbria, and shares her associations (except for the Underworld connection). Nox can be a bit on the sinister side if care is not taken. ASTREA: Goddess of Justice COPIA: Goddess of Abundance and Plenty 2019 PERTUNDA: Goddess of sexual love and sexual pleasure The Gods JANUS: God of the Sun, and god of all beginnings, portals, doorways, and thresholds. It was Janus who brought the elements into harmony from Chaos. FAUNUS: Nature God of Fertility (similar to Pan) TANUS: The Star God (Universal Aspect) TERMINUS: God of boundaries, protector of personal property DIANUS: Nature God of Fertility, similar to Faunus except that he is a Stag God instead of a Goat God. He is also known by the name Kern or Cern. FEBRUUS: God of purification and initiation COMUS: God of revelry, feasting, drinking, and the "pleasures of the night". CORVUS: Messenger of the Gods. Also the Trickster God, known as Raven. LUPERCUS: The Wolf God ANTEROS: God of Passion and Sexual Unions VIRBIUS: God of outcasts and outlaws. Guardian of Sanctuaries FROM: JANA HOLLINGSWORTH Are the secret names of the deities in Etruscan? Or are you not allowed to say? FROM: RAVEN GRIMASSI I cannot go into this completely, but I can say that many of the names can be found in the Etruscan Pantheon. Some of the names are not exact matches, but are so close that they surely must have a common origin. There are a couple of names, however, which seem to be unique unto themselves. The curious thing about our relationship to Etruscan, is that we do not share the basic Mythos. Little is known publicly of Etruscan Mythology, but in many cases what we do know does not match Aridian Mythology. Their Underworld mythos, for example, is completely different. On the other hand, many of the natures of the Gods & Goddesses do seem to match. Per- haps it is a case of ancient Roman eclecticism, but then again we do not consider our Tradition to have grown out of Roman Religion entirely. Curious... ---------- 2020 WATER SCRYING This technique is a very ancient one, and common among Shamanis- tic Traditions. Divination is the ability to see what patterns are forming towards manifestation. What you "see" is actually what is likely to occur if nothing changes the pattern being "woven". Here is a technique which I teach: Pour some bottled water into a cereal bowl. Mix either a blue or a green food color into the water, so that the liquid is dark enough to hide the bottom of the bowl. At this point you have a reflective surface. Place two candles as your source of light, so that the light does not reflect upon the liquid (off a foot or two, in front of you should do it). Next is a series of hand passes over the liquid, slowly and deliberately. Magically speaking, the right hand is of an electrical nature/active charge, and the left hand is of a magnetic/receptive charge. Right handed pass will strengthen the image and left handed passes will attract the image to form. Begin by making left handed passes over the bowl, in a clockwise circle, just a few inches above the water (palms open and facing down). Stop, and gaze into the dark liquid, not At the liquid, but INTO the liquid. You will need to repeat these passes as you go, from time to time. Alternate between the left hand and the right hand. This requires patience, and time. Use your intuition as you sit before the bowl. Make sure the area is quiet and there are no distractions. Drinking some Rosemary tea, prior to Divination, can aid in the work. There are several herbs which aid the Psychic Mind, this is just one of them (careful though, Rosemary can be toxic in large quan- tities). ---------- ELEMENTALS In the case of an artificially created elemental, you must specifically state the date in which it will cease to exist. If you do not, it is quite likely that the elemental will move off into the astral, and begin to manifest there. It does not require a name in order to exist. The purpose for giving it a name, is to have some control over it, while it serves its designed purpose. Whether it survives as a permanent, and separate entity on the Astral Plane, is dependent upon many factors. The danger here is, though, that it is still connected to its "creator", and once established upon the Planes, can effect the creator in return. This is why it is essential that its lifespan be stated once it is created, and a method for making sure that it "ceases to be" must be ready as well. Usually, this is done by making a hollow image of the elemental and filling it with a magical condenser. Once "charged", by simply pouring out a bit of the condenser at a time, the elemental will ebb away. Once the fluid is gone, so too is the artificial elemental. Now, as to the ethics of all of this ..... ---------- 2021 BEFANA - A "CHRISTMAS WITCH" Just wanted to share an old custom from Italy, concerning a witch during the Yule/Christmas Season. Though purely pagan,it is still a part of the Season there (among Christians and Pagans alike). In Italy there is a figure similar to Santa Claus, except that she is a witch named Befana. On January 6th, children set out stockings to be filled by the "good witch" Befana. She has a consort who accompanies her (usually in Festival Parades) named Befano. Early in the evening an indeterminate number of people gather, and Befana takes to the streets accompanied by her husband and entourage. She is accompanied by a makeshift band of 3 or 4 musicians, and a live horse. They will go from house to house, singing the Befana song. Having done this, the Befana and her company receive a glass of wine, or a bite to eat, and continue on. In a book by Carol Field (celebrating Italy) Befana is associated with Hecate. An etching by Bartolomeo Pinelli in 1825, shows Befana as the Mother Goddess seated and surrounded by fruits, grains, and other items of the Harvest. The celebration of Befana ends in a burning in effigy. Upon a hill a pyramid of corn sheaves, brushwood, and pine branches are piled. The effigy of Befana is placed on top, and fire is set to the wood. Chestnuts are tossed in as symbols of fertility. Custom says that if the smoke blows to the West, then the crops will be poor. If to the East, it is an omen of a year of abun- dance. This has many similarities to the Slain God Mythos. This rite is not one of punishment, but one of replenishing the Earth through returning the Life Giver, Herself. In Italy today, candy images of Befana, and statues are available during the Season. My mother says that Befana and Befano are remnants of the old God & Goddess of the Witch Clans, preserved by witches from the time of the Persecution. Seems likely when you do some research. There are two books (written in Italian) which present the associations of Befana with various seasonal rites. These are; The Sacred Day (a book of Festivals) by Franco Cardini. The Calendar: festivals, myths, legends, and rites of the year (also by Cardini - professor of History at the University of Florence). The words to the song follow, however something is lost in the translation (as they say). Also, even in the Italian there is little attempt at rhyme: "Upon the wind the snow is falling and is blown on the wind before, and with a light step she descends to us, a witch that is dear to you all a witch that many here love who comes every year to find you she has arrived with us 'la Befana' every heart is full of joy from among the valley, villages, and countryside our Befana has arrived here she has brought a great sackful of gifts that she wants to give to you dear children that promise to be good for their mothers and fathers." (tempo changes here, and another verse begins) 2022 "and now friends you that are here we want to sing and dance and a ballet we want to do with the Befana and Befano and we want to salute you all friends we shall always remain and the Befana before she goes wishes you all happiness and prosperity". This is repeated twice. Another part of the custom which I neglected to mention deals with the children preparing for the arrival of Befana (before the festivities). Each child writes his or her wishes upon a piece of paper and places it in the fireplace, allowing the small bit of paper to float up the chimney. My mother says that the Befana customs differ somewhat from region to region, in Italy. I know that in Naples, the street fes- tivals are no longer commonplace, and I hear that in the region of Val d' Aosta the Befana celebrations have all but vanished. Still, the custom survives (due to the Children, no doubt). The Old Lady is still going strong! ---------- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND For those who expressed interest in the Aridian Tradition, I would like to share the following historical background material: In 30 B.C. (common era) the Roman poet Horace, wrote a work which is called the Epodes of Horace. In part, it is a dialogue between he and a witch (from Naples,Italy) named Canidia. In epode 5 he assoc- iates Proserpine and Diana with witches in a Mystery Cult. In epode 17 he also names these goddesses as "Patron" goddesses of Witchcraft, and states that witches use a book called Libros Carminum by which they "call down the moon", make philtres and evoke spirits. Other Roman writers of the Era such as Lucan and Ovid clearly support the theme of Horace's writings. From this we can conclude that the association of witches with Diana was common knowledge. The association of Proserpine with the Old Ways is important also, as can be seen in the Underworld mythos/descent legend. Bear in mind that this is being said in 30 B.C. in Italy (not in the 1950's of Gerald Gardner). As will be seen here, the association of Diana with Italian witches, will come to be called "The society of Diana". Epode 5 : "...Night and Diana, who command silence when secret myst- eries are performed, now aid me: now turn your vengeance and influence against my enemies' houses..." Epode 17: (to Canidia) "Now already I yield to your mighty art, and suppliant beseech you by the realms of Proserpine, and by the powers of Diana, not to be provoked, and by your books of enchantments that are able to call down the fixed stars from heaven Canidia, at length spare your magic words, and turn backward your swift wheel..." 2023 (Canidia replies) "...must I, who can move waxen images and call down the Moon from the sky by my spells, who can raise the vaporous dead, and mix a draught of love, lament the effect of my art availing nothing upon you?" So, you can see that this association of Diana with Italian witches is quite old. Also note the use of the term "call down the Moon" with the Italian witch Canidia. FROM ROBERT THOMAS It should be noted for the record that Horace was writing a satire in the Epodes, rather than a study on witchcraft. This indicates that the things in it were not his own inventions (except maybe the book-name) but were public opinion of the times. The concept of drawing down the moon can be traced back to the witches of Thessaly, and is mentioned as early as 300 BCE in Greek literature. Also, the "popular" witch (as opposed to the actual witch) was almost always female and worked exclusively with the chthonic powers (i.e., the scary ones) like Night (Nyx), the Furies, the Harpies, Hekate, Diana, Selene, etc. etc. as opposed to the Olympian gods. FROM RAVEN GRIMASSI Actually, Horace wrote his satires in the SATIRES OF HORACE. The Epodes were lyric poems/songs, and were written for various reasons. The dialogue concern- ing the witch Canidia was not intended as a study of Witch- craft, but simply illustrates some of the common thinking of the Era. You mention Diana and Hecate as the "scary" ones, as opposed to the Olympian gods (who I assume you think are the good guys?). To a witch, the powers of Night are not scary, nor are its Deities. My mother used to say that the moon was more powerful than the sun, because the moon can be out at both day time, and at night. But the sun can only show itself during the day (a most inferior light). The Olympian gods represented the restrictive Roman System, to early Italian witches, and they preferred the deities of the common folk. Diana was, among other things, the goddess of the oppressed (something Rome was rather fond of doing). I find the non olympians worthy in their own RITE. There is little more beautiful than the night of a Full Moon, and a circle of Her children in loving worship, beneath Her. We see the Sun/God as Her worthy Consort, and a balance. When I see what goes on during the day, such as Corporations spewing filth into the air and the waters, governments plotting against one another, Wall Street and so forth, that is scary ! FROM ROBERT THOMAS No, no, Raven, you misunderstood. I don't personally think that the chthonic gods are scary at all; I'm friends with most of them, and one of them is my patron! I meant that they were scary to the average Roman citizen of the time. Horace's writings reflected popular opinions of witches, rather than their actual practices. In all of the Classical and Greco-Roman spells that I've seen, the Olympians were not excluded; anybody that they thought 2024 might be willing to help, they invoked. A number of the spells read like Hesiods Theogony with a request tacked on to the end, so I wouldn't call them limited in their scope. Still, to the educated Roman citizen, the witch was thought to represent a dangerous feminine power which was not under the control of the Empire and thus was antagonistic to the Roman way of life and to its gods (the Olympians) as well. This was their (the Romans) conception, not the truth of the matter. These conceptions were what Horace was drawing from when he wrote his works, since this group (the educated Romans) were the audience for which his works were intended (actually, they were the only ones who could read them, since literacy was not common among the people). Hope this has made my point a little clearer and look forward to reading your other posts...Gwydion ---------- FROM MARTIN DUGAN III Is it true that you guys really worship the ancient gods of Rome and Greece? FROM RAVEN GRIMASSI Different cultural Traditions worship different deities. I follow an old Italian Tradition and worship some of the ancient goddesses and gods who were known to the ancient Romans. A wise Holy Woman who lived during the 14th Century in Italy addressed the issue of there being different gods in an interesting manner. She was asked which God should be worshipped and she answered saying: In a man's lifetime he is known by many names and titles. To one person he is called "brother" and by another he is called "father". To still another he may be called "cousin" or even "husband". Some may call him "sir" or some by his given name, but is he still not the one man ?". She was addressing the issue of Deity and the need for Humankind to give it a name or a title. She taught that Deity was not as petty as Humankind and had no need to be addressed by a particular name only, or in a particular manner only. These were Human concepts and expressions of the limited understanding of Humankind. Oops, sorry, I guess I wandered away from your original question... Blessings to you, Raven ---------- We chose the word "Aridian" instead of "Aradian" for two reasons. First there was an Aradian system already established in the mid-west during the early 80's and they were following a modified version of Leland's Aradia. I did not want to be confused with their system. Secondly, Arida was the name of an old village in Italy where Aradia and her followers first began to practice as a group. So, we decided upon the term Aridian (two birds with one stone, so to speak). ---------- 2025 ARTS OF WITCHCRAFT This is a series of notes concerning the arts of the Craft; meaning magic and ritual etc. This first note is on "energy". When you hold your hands a few inches apart, palms facing, you create an electromagnetic field between them. This magnetism indicates the presence of polarities; opposite poles which attract one another. The first thing we can say about energy is that it is composed of opposites. The best way to understand these opposites is to think of them as directions of force: feminine -----> <-------- masculine negative -----> <-------- positive inward ------> <-------- outward Though we divide them to talk about them, these opposites within energy can never be separated. One cannot exist without the other. Positive and negative pulls are both necessary for movement. Together the two create vibration. When opposites are in the correct relation- ship the result is balance. The second thing we can say about energy is that it IS balanced. Balance is the natural state of the Universe. However when energy becomes plural it is reduced to positive and negative charges and is considered unbalanced. Because they are incomplete forms of the universal "all", energies set up separation between the whole and its parts. Separations of such, manifest physically and mentally. Held as such they must occupy definable territories. You may have noticed this in yourself perhaps as a sadness in the heart area or fear in the pit of your stomach. These are energies occupying space. When energies are held in by emotion they can be felt as a weight or a presence. Another word for energy is ego. Ego separates us from the All. The truth is that we are no more or less than anything around us. Everything is a physical manifestation of energy in its state of positive and negative charges. The effects of magic are worked through the aspect of energy which the modern systems sometimes term "od" or "odic" force. It is the vital element which flows through all terrestrial globes and all living beings. By its various influences this agent attracts some things to others and keeps other things away as well. The Human body radiates this energy. It can submit one person to another's will. The Odic force is capable of being consciously developed, energized and intensified. It is this power concentrated and directed which is the basis of personal magic. The will of the person performing a work of such magic concentrates and controls the energy. This concentration of energy is then sent to its goal, either stored in a talisman or sent in a thought-form to the person or thing to be effected. The power of the odic force must be used in accordance with the solar and lunar tides, as well as Cosmic Tides. 2026 FROM JANA HOLLINGSWORTH In your first note concerning energy, you say that energy is "composed of opposites," by which you mean it is polar in nature. This sounds like you mean ALL energy is polar. While electro-magnetism is polar, the other three forces of nature-- the strong force, the weak force, and gravity-- are not. The magical energy you describe is similar to electro-magnetism, but electromag- netism is not by any means the only force in the universe. Although the analogy between electromagnetism and magical polar energy is clear, they don't seem to me identical because magic is not always perfectly polar. There is more flexibility in magic than there is in electromagnetism. Physicists have never yet found a magnetic monopole, but in magic they're everywhere. Hmmm...there ought to be a good limerick in this somewhere. I'll think about it. TO JANA HOLLINGSWORTH This is indeed too complex an issue to fully cover in a BB format, unfortunately. When I speak of energy polarity I am speaking of magical energy. It is an old teaching that each of us has within ourselves an energy current comprised of masculine and feminine polarit- ies (active & receptive). When we raise magic, or draw magic, we cannot help but give it dual polarity because that is our nature. In the Eastern mystical traditions they would call this the Ida and Pingala currents (which divide and flow from the base chakra, cross each other at the heart chakra, and then flow into the 3rd eye uniting once again). If we take the old Occult axiom "As above, so below" we can also say that the Creators set within all things this same Ida & Pingala nature (since it would be their imprint on their creation). The nature of the artist is always within the nature of his or her art. So what I am speaking of is the etheric essence of energy. On a mundane level I do not know a great deal about the physical properties of all "natural" energy forms. But I do know that things are not always as they seem, or appear to be. The occult nature of a physical object, or a physical property, is not always readily apparent ( I suppose that is why it is called "Occult", meaning hidden or secret). I don't know if this helps clarify my statements or not. I'm just sort of winging it here, but I think I've covered the basic concept. I would be happy to go into this more if you have any other questions or comments. I do not claim to be "all-knowing", but I am pretty solid on occult science. FROM JANA HOLLINGSWORTH If we count etheric or occult energy as a fifth force of nature, then the Creators made a universe with two polar forces and three which are non-pol- ar. That means we, their creations, have natures which are both polar and non-polar. The strong and weak forces have tiny ranges of sub-atomic size, while gravity--the weakest of all forces--is thought to have infinite range. It becomes weaker with distance, but never quite disappears. Is magical energy similar to gravity in this respect? Is its range limited or infinite? Does it fall off with distance? Does it 2027 travel at the speed of light? Does it exhibit wave/particle duality? I don't necessarily expect answers, but I find these questions interesting. They can be answered about all other forms of energy. I expect no one has studied magical power in these terms, but if magic is a form of energy there ought to be answers somewhere. FROM: RAVEN GRIMASSI When you can pluck the wave/par- ticle duality from my hand it will be time for you to go . Sorry... I would not count occult energy as an additional force of nature but as an animating element within nature. You lost me on the polar universe stuff though. Great questions !! Let me tell you what I know about how magic works and manifests, and perhaps some answers might appear. First of all the action of magical manifestation actually takes place within the astral dimen- sion. Time and space as we understand it, does not exist there. So I would not say that the range of magic is infinite, but rather that it behaves (from our perspective) as though it had infinite range because it manifests without reference to distance. The effects are as though it had infinite range. As to speed of travel, I would say that it is accurate to say that magic travels at the speed of thought, whatever that might be. Magical energy is affected by a variety of external forces. Magical force fields, such as protective pentacles, can slow or deflect the force. Greater forces such as those exerted by deity or high level spirits can certainly alter the course of one's magic. I always tell my students that there are only two reasons why one's magic will ever fail: one is that it was performed incorrectly (including at the wrong time) or a greater force opposes it. Does this help ? FROM JANA HOLLINGSWORTH I don't know the actual speed of thought, but it is the speed at which electrical impulses travel across one's neurons, and is considerably less than the speed of light. Perhaps magic could be thought of cutting through the "Elsewhere" portion of a space-time diagram where all particles MUST travel faster than light. I don't mean that literally, but as an analogy for the astral. I don't know the current status of the theory of tachyons (faster-than-light particles). It may be entirely old hat. My knowledge of physics is based on popular books and subscriptions to SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and SCIENCE NEWS, so I'm not always up-to-date. Making an analogy between physics and magic helps me make sense of what's going on with magic. I fear I'm a theore- tician of magic more than a practitioner; despite a horo- scope loaded with psychic potential, my talent for practical magic is nil. So I try to work up theories of magic instead. I suspect we may someday discover that magic and quantum physics are intimately related. Which science fiction writer said that any sufficiently sophisticated technology is indistinguishable from magic? 2028 As for wave/particle duality, it is yet another pair of united opposites:an electron is a wave or a particle (female or male) depending entirely on how you choose to look at it. If you don't look at it at all, it is neither and both; it is entirely potential. FROM RAVEN GRIMASSI Thanks for the scientific info. I'm sure that Occult Science and Physical Science are definitely related, and perhaps someday Physical Science may catch up. Just to add another aspect; the plane of forces (elemental plane) flows like a river to and from the physical dimension and the astral dimension. It is this plane which carries magical energy to the Astral Plane where it takes on the image of the desired effect. Once the thought is formed there, it then passes back through the Elemental Plane and manifests upon the Physical. Perhaps the substance of the plane of forces has more to do with the physical science of which you speak. It would make sense because the substance of the Elemental Plane is more closely related to physical matter than is the astral. FROM JANA HOLLINGSWORTH There has to be some unity of physical and metaphysical forces or magic wouldn't function in the physical world. BTW, I think it was Arthur C. Clarke who said that any sufficiently sophisticated technology is indistinguishable from magic. ---------- ARTS OF WITCHCRAFT: MAGIC & ENERGY There are many different types and styles of magic involved in the practice of magical Witchcraft. Some covens/practitioners differ in the type used; some use all and some may combine only a few techni- ques. Basically they may be organized into two categories; operative & ceremonial. The first covers spells, words of power, the use of unguents/potions, etc. The second is concerned with the operation of Craft rituals. The aspects of magic can be thought of in this manner: Sympathetic, ritual, raised, drawn, and sex magic. Ritual is a means of concentrating and attracting those energies which are symbolized through the use of gestures, word phrases and images (symbols, runes, etc). The magical theory being that by acting out certain symbolic gestures, with concentration upon their meanings, one can attract sympathetic energies inherent throughout the Universe. These energies can be directed by the use of one's controlled will. This aspect is sometimes called the witches' pyramid. The witches' pyramid is a glyph which symbolizes the mentality necessary for the directed manifestation of magical energy. It is comprised of these attributes: Personal Will 2029 Imagination Visualization (all three of these must enclose the expectation of success) Will * (expectation) * * imagination visualization Expectation is essential to a successful manifestation. You must will a thing to be, imagine the outcome in your mind, and visualize what it is that you desire. But beyond this you must have the expec- tation that it will manifest as you desire it to. FROM MICHAEL MAGEE What in all of Ma Natures perfection is Sex Magick???? Sounds messy? FROM RAVEN GRIMASSI Sex magic is the use of energy raised through sexual union. This is the most condensed and powerful form of energy which can be raised from the human body. Some Craft Traditions employ it in the 3rd Degree Initiation ceremony. In Eastern mystical traditions it is known as Tantra. The ancient Egyptians employed it as well. The energy raised in sex magic is sometimes referred as the kundalini power, or serpent power. The headdress of ancient Egyptian rulers bore a serpent protruding from the forehead of the wearer. This was symbolic of the serpent power having been raised to the 3rd eye, the sign of Divine Union, or samadhi. The kundalini force is seated at the base of the spine and governs the sexual nature of the individual. In magic it is drawn up through each of the Chakra points, to the third eye, employing sexual energy. ---------- ARTS OF WITCHCRAFT: MAGICAL LINKS All things connected with a person contain an energy link with that person. For example, a person's hair holds the vibra-tions of his/her energy pattern, and by the use of sympathetic magic that person can be influenced by energy directed to him/her. This could be used for emotional healing of that person, motivation, or whatever. The hair acts as a point of concentra-tion and as a kind of "homing device" for the directed energy. The same is true for unwashed items of clothing and other personal items. By making an image of an in- dividual and placing his/her personal items within it, one creates a center of focus. 2030 Works of magic for the gain of something should be done while the moon is waxing (new to full) and works to be rid of something or to undo something should be performed when the moon is waning. Cord magic is a basic magical tool in witchcraft. The theory being that by concentrating a desire upon the cords, using them as a focus, one can raise and condense magical energy. This energy can be set into the cord itself by knotting the cords at the point of great- est concentrated effort. In other words, you concentrate on your desire and make an exclamation of the desire as you quickly make a knot (pulling it tightly as you confirm the desire). Later, untying the knot will release the desired effect. This can be helpful when working with someone who really bothers you a lot. You can set the message "leave me alone" into the cord (knot) and untying it (sec- retly) when the person is really on your nerves. In this case you would simply think about the person so that you raise your emotions on the subject, then begin to loop the cord into a knot. Before pulling the cord tight into a knot, visualize the person's face. Then shout (out loud or within yourself) "Leave me alone!". Visualize the person leaving you alone as you continue for a moment to exert tension on the cord. As with all forms of magic, be responsible when you perform a work which effects another person. Why you do something is often more karmically established than what it is that you did. For example, if you harm someone in order save another person's life as opposed to harming someone because you seek revenge, there is a difference in the karma which you are establishing for yourself. Obviously, you should seek to harm no one in the first place. ---------- ARTS OF WITCHCRAFT: THE UNIVERSAL CONDENSER Condensers are fluids which are used to carry magical charges. One method of charging them is to place your hands together palms down (as you might for a "push-up" exercise) so that the index finger-tips meet as do the tips of the thumbs. Next inhale deeply, visualizing the full moon above your head. Bring the triangle opening in your hands over the condenser liquid and exhale three times through the opening and upon the liquid. As you do this visualize the light of the moon pouring down through your head and into your lungs (as you inhale) and then visualize it flowing out with your breath as you exhale. The Condenser: take 2 level teaspoons each of camomile flowers and eyebright and place them in a bowl. Boil two cups of water on an open flame and then add the herbs. Set the mixture aside to cool for 15 minutes. Then filter the mixture through four layers of clean linen cloth/cheesecloth. This condenser can be used medicinally as a lotion or magically for evocations (also to improve clairvoyance). Diluted in 7 parts of warm water it can be drank for stomach problems. Undiluted it can be used for various minor aches & pains by applying it to the area with a cotton soaked pad for 1 - 2 hours. Ears can be treated by applying 2031 it with cotton balls in an "earplug" fashion. For clairvoyance place soaked cotton balls upon your closed eyes for about 20 minutes. To increase occult sensitivity in the palms of your hands (for psycho- metry) use the cotton pads on your hands for the same 20 minute period. ---------- ARTS OF WITCHCRAFT: MAGICAL USES OF THE FOUR ELEMENTS There are four basic systems which are useful in creating magical influences related to the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Fire works through combustion, water through mixture, air through evaporation, and earth through decompo-sition. These aspects are incorporated in the completion of a spell or other magical work. Generally you will have some material left over to dispose of (wax, ashes, and so forth) and it is correct to use one of the elemental methods to complete the final stages. If your spell was to influence a person then the earth element is used. If it was to accomplish a specific goal then fire is good. Romantic works are best with water and matters concerning mental creativity employ the element of air. The following examples can be used to complete whatever spell you were working on. FIRE: Take a piece of paper or cloth and moisten it with the univer- sal condenser. Place this in front of you and concentrate on the work of magic. Strongly imagine your thoughts to be filling the material. Imagine your desire being "written" by your thoughts across the material. When your concentration is breaking then the material is fully saturated. Now simply burn the cloth or paper in an open fire. While it is burning concentrate on your desire. The fire releases the charge and merges it with the element. AIR: Take a small metal container and fill it about half full. Add 3 drops of universal condenser. Put the container over a flame and concentrate upon your desire as you gaze into the water. As the steam begins to rise, imagine your desire being drawn up and carried off. Continue until all the water has been evaporated. WATER: Take a container and fill it about half full with fresh water. Add 3 drops of universal condenser and 3 drops of rubbing alcohol. Now impregnate the water with your concentrated desire. When you feel that it is full pour the water into a stream, river or any moving body of water. EARTH: With this element your concentration is centered on the universal condenser which you place in a jar after it has been loaded. Then this is poured out over a selected spot of earth to be absorbed directly into the element of earth. FROM JANA HOLLINGSWORTH A good, useful, practical note. It seems people often use the four elements only for casting a 2032 circle, or simply have them represented on their altars. It's a good idea to use a specific element for a specific purpose, rather than always calling on all four. I suspect these spells would be best performed outdoors, making the elements seem more real. Pouring one's spell-water into a stream would feel better than pouring it down the drain. ---------- ARTS OF WITCHCRAFT: THE COMPONENTS OF RITUAL & MAGIC There are essentially five so-called ingredients which comprise the art of creating successful works of magic, or effective ritual. You can adapt them, or arrange them according to your own needs, so long as you employ them all. They are: 1. Desire 2. Timing 3. Imagery 4. Direction 5. Balance Let's look at each one and gain an understanding of the concept. DESIRE: this can also be thought of as motivation, temptation, or persuasion. You must be sufficiently moved enough to perform a ritual or work of magic, in order to establish enough power to accomplish your goal. If you care little about the results, or put only a small amount of energy into your desire, then you are unlikely to see any real results. The stronger the need or desire, then the more likely it is that you will raise the amount of energy required to bring about the change you seek. But desire or need is not enough. TIMING: In the performance of magic, timing can mean success of failure. The best time to cast a spell or create a work of magic is when the target is most receptive. Receptivity is assured when the target is passive. People sleep, corporations close over-night & holidays, etc. One must also take into account the phase of the moon and the season of the year. Work with nature and not against it. IMAGERY: The success of any work also depends upon images. Anything which serves to intensify the emotions will contribute to success. Any drawing, statue, photo, scent, article of clothing, sound or situation which helps to merge you with your desire will greatly add to your success. Imagery is a constant reminder and acts as a homing device in its role as a substitute. Imagery can be manipulated and modified "all according to the will of the witch, and the very blueprint that is created by imagery becomes the formula which leads to realization of desire". Surround yourself with images of your desire and you will attract the proper vibrations which will attract the object of your desire. DIRECTION: Once enough energy has been raised you must direct it towards your desire. Do not be anxious for the results because anxiety will act to draw the energy back to you before it can take 2033 effect. Try to give the matter no more thought so as not to drain its effectiveness. Mark a 7 day period off on your calendar and evaluate the situation 7 days later. It usually takes about 7 days for magic to manifest (one lunar quarter). BALANCE: The balance factor is simply the "reality check" or prac- tical mentality which keeps you focused in actuality. You must discern the need for any work of magic you engage upon, and take into consideration the practical concerns of the phase of the moon and other factors. Remember that every work of magic has an ongoing connection with yourself, and you must consider the intent of your actions. This deals with what many call "the 3-fold law". According to this teaching, every magical act with return back to you with more increased intensity (sort of like tossing a rock up in the air, and having it speed back down upon you). This is also an aspect of 'Karma", or the accumulation of debts which must be paid (in a mys- tical sense). The balance factor is also applied to any perception of super- natural manifestations, psychic attack and so on. Always consider the mundane causes first before you leap into a paranoia of supernatural attack. When things go "bump in the night" it more likely your cat than it is a spirit. There is an old saying in the medical field concerning diagnosis: "When you hear hoof beats, think horses before zebras". I think this applies to magical or psychic phenomena as well. MICHAEL POE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN METAPHYSICS Many requests for me to do some teaching (largely from a book that I am now writing on ancient Egyptian Metaphysics and Personal Worship) about metaphysics, worship and the ancient Egyptian trad- itions. To start off, I want to briefly quote some ancient Egyptian philosophers to give you the gist of ancient Egyptian philosophy and Metaphysics. The next note I enter will be on general comments on ancient Egyptian metaphysics. The material I will use is NOT from Masonic or Rosecrucian but from authentic Egyptian sources. In many cases I can quote the exact sources, most are translations of papyrus, temples, tombs, etc. Having studied the subject for 33 years, gotten a degree on the subject, and working on the book for 10 years, I will pass on some of what I have learned. All of the translations are from Egyptologists and Archaeologists. To quote an old Egyptian philosopher (found written on his tomb), Ptah hotep : "To give a few words of Truth, And what you make of Them will be your Test." From the College of Priests House of the Temple of Horus at Edfu: "The Lamp of Wisdom burns steadily, If the soil that feeds it be reality. If the oil that feeds the lamp be Love, The beloved will meet the Lord or Lady and be blessed. (Lord or Lady means personal God or Goddess, ed.) If the air that feeds the Flame be Truth, The Breath of He who breathes will inhale Wisdom. If the Spirit enters the Flame, The Fire will be as bright as a Star." Next little lesson; what is a hymn when I mention one or quote one (which I will from time to time)? The hymns of Egypt tell of the nature and workings of the God/- dess they glorify. They mention his /her name and his/her ties to a locality, allude to the myths and describe his/her appearance and powers and attributes. A occult tradition is like a journey. Before one ventures onto any unknown journey it is best to have an idea of the dangers and preventive protection. Ancient Egypt had 14 traditions. I will, in these notes, outline them all. To share another "wisdom texts" as the ancient Egyptian philos- ophy is called: This one is from Kagemni, whose tomb can be visited at Sakkara, as is known as one of the wisest men around. This text is for a student in order for him to select the right metaphysical teacher. 2035 "He who is a Priest of the Living, whom a Neter* favors Like the Bennu on the Obelisk," Performs Right Actions without seeking a reward for them. Such a Teacher lives a life of true piety. He seeks no gain from any good deed he does, But sets his Heart only on the Neter's service. He has compassion upon all Living creatures. He holds fast to the Neter's name and inspires others to meditate on it.* He accepts joy and sorrow with an equal mind. He is always happy and never set apart from his Neter. To him gold and dross are as one; Nectar and poison are as one The King and the beggar are as one." * 1. Neter - Neter is the ancient Egyptian word, that we would equate with God or Goddess. But Neter's exact translation is "Abstract Principle" or "Divine Principle" and is not a male or female word. * 2. Bennu on the Obelisk - the Bennu bird is the Egyptian Phoenix, which lives in Arabia, and comes every 500 years to built a nest on an obelisk where it lays an egg, and when the egg starts hatching, it dies in its own flames, and is reborn from the egg. The obelisk is the Egyptian symbol of the first ray of sun light striking the earth, and when built, is usually covered in gold or electrum. The top of the obelisk is like a pyramid and is called the Pyramidion; and the pyramids are all representations of the suns first light on the Newly Born Earth. * 3. "He holds fast to the Neter's name and inspires others to meditate on it." - In addition to the common name of any god, like Heru for Horus, they also have a hidden name, a name of power, that the priest/esses use in ritual and meditation. ---------- PRIESTS AND PRIESTESSES How did a person become a priest/ess in ancient Egypt? Well, each family had their own family worship area, the size of which is wholly dependent upon the size of the house they lived in. More about this when we get into the path of the Aait-Shesheta. Therefore, in each family, someone had to act as the family priest/- ess. If the father or mother was a priest/ess, then he or she was the family religious leader, in charge of the family rituals. If the parents were not initiated priest/esses, then usually the Elder Son acted as the religious leader. However, in some nomes (or states), matrilineal descent (through the female) was a tradition so the Eldest Daughter was the religious leader. 2036 The only schools, including most crafts, were taught in the temple colleges. A child would be sent to a college to learn a craft between the ages of 6-10. If the family had a tradition of priest/- esses then usually the children would go to the temple college to be interviewed and tested for the priesthood. Exactly how the priest/- esses at the college tested the would be initiate is not well known yet, but we do know that usually the following priests would be involved: 1. A Divine Scribe (reader and writer initiate) 2. A Prophet (who uses divination of some sort and inner visions) 3. A Purification Priest 4. A Priest of Anubis (or some other sort related to traveling in Egyptian heavens (astral plane directly related to Egyptian heavens). Every Egyptian temple had 2 types of staff, a magical one and a working one (working meaning the scribes, bakers and people who run the every day part). If the would be initiate was found wanting in the magical staff (called People of the Circle, which we will get to when we talk about temple organization), the person may be sent back, or taught a craft, or go into the working temple staff. One of the first things that any initiate is taught is Egyptian Philosophy, which is really less like Voltaire, and more like Ethics and Conscious. The would be priest needs to come up with his own ethics or philosophy before embarking on to magical training. Therefore ethics and morals was the beginning of the training. If one had to make a "Readers Digest Condensed" version of all of the Egyptian ethics and philosophy teachings it would be; as one Egyptian Philosopher put it (but not quite as well). Do anything you want, but only in moderation, and while doing so, do not harm anyone physically or psychology. Almost exactly like the Wiccan motto : Do what they wilt, but harm none. But to the ancient Egyptian, theirs also says, "don't harm yourself, and don't go overboard on anything: Moderation. ---------- DIVINATION OF BES, BAST, OR HATHOR (from Leyden Papyrus) Use a divining bowl of pottery. Use green or some vegetable based ink. Preferable to use hieroglyphics, but try it a few times without them and use english (but if you can, do as the Egyptians do) Write your request or formula in base and inner sides of bowl using the vegetable ink. Also write in either Bes, Bast, or Hathor's name three 2037 times while meditating on the goddess and your request. (pick one goddess, not all three) Pour consecrated water in it to dissolve the writing. Swallow water Go to sleep (If you can sleep in a temple, sacred area, so much the better, otherwise at home, and record your dreams when you wake up.) A divination bowl, in Egypt, was specially made for the purpose; however, if you're not a potter, pottering around, find one out of pottery, usable (no lead based paint or in the clay), about the size of rice bowl. Consecrate and bless it, and viola, a divining bowl. Back in those days, green paint was either a vegetable dye or green ochre. They didn't use the ochre, but a vegetable dye would work. Although I know of people who specifically prepare a vegetable ink (macerated herbs in a small bowl of water), a food coloring would be okey, but I would still suggest using a mortar and pestle and grinding some herbs you specially selected, and putting it into the food colored water and let it seep for a bit, and then use that. It would definitely be closer to the spirit of the occasion. I know, next you are going to ask, what herbs? Well, the ancient Egyptians had comfrey and you can heal thyself at the same time. Lettuce was considered an aphrodisiac, sacred to Min (so if your request or question is along that line, add that); they also used mint a lot. ---------- A BRIEF HISTORY OF EGYPT Egypt wasn't always a thin ribbon of life surrounded by desert. From 200,000 to 10,000 bce most of what is now known as the Sahara desert used to be verdant grasslands and plains with many trees and several rivers. There was an accumulation of different cultures down to 5,000 bce. From 6,000-4,000 bce different belief structures, and both matrilineal and patrilineal societies existed along the Nile, for by then the Sahara was rapidly turning to desert and the cultures went to the only remaining source of water, the Life Giving Nile. Agriculture was already developed, and irrigation systems in use. There was already predominant Goddess and God worship in these societies. From 4,000-3,100 bce, Egypt now evolved into states, between 36-44 of them, called Nomes. From time to time, Egypt became united into two kingdoms, the Upper Kingdom, from about Aswan down to Cairo, with its capital at Nekhen, whose chief god was a goddess, Nekhebit, the Vulture Goddess; and Lower Egypt in the Delta with it's capital at Uatchet, whose chief god was also a goddess, Uatchet. 2038 Nekhebit, the Vulture Goddess was an Earth Mother, and considered very maternal (the type of vultures in Egypt are very maternal birds). She also symbolized regeneration of life, from Death comes Life, as the vulture is one of the few animals that can survive and mainly subsists on bodies of animals that would poison others. Uatchet, the Snake Goddess, was also venerated as protection from snakes, and of fertility (snakes lay many eggs). The two goddess, Nekhebit and Uatchet, Vulture and Snake goddess became the part of the crown over the third eye, look at the two on most crowns of egypt. Later, the snake goddess became associated with the Serpent Fire of the Egyptian equivalent of the Kundalini, and it's power came out at the third eye, instead of the top of the head (which became associated with another god). The worship of Hathor, Amon, Thoth, Horus, Bast, Sekhmet and a few others have already been well established. Isis is yet to be found or mentioned. The first three Dynasties: I The 1st king, Narmer, united the kingdoms forever (after a brief unification prior), and on the famous palette of Narmer is found not only the Nome standards (our equivalents of flags), but the 1st known name of Hathor. The 2nd king of the 1st Dynasty established the right of women to rule Egypt. It was during the 1st Dynasty that a woman ruled Egypt, to take that into perspective, if the US followed that, we would have a woman president well before the Civil War. She was one of the 11 women to rule one of the greatest civilizations in the world. And it, like most of the others, was peaceful. Rights of women were established. they could marry and divorce; there was no community property; women could establish their own businesses without a man's consent or cosignature; they could conduct them before, during and after marriage. Married couples were con- sidered co-partners and co-equals. Pregnant women, by law, had to be taken care of by the husband or the police came and beat him up! ---------- ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ASTRAL HEAVEN(S) Ancient Egypt had more than one heaven, and most of their heavens were subdivided into sections or parts akin to, and probably best equated with the astral plane. As the astral plane has many different levels, the lowest next to the earthly plane, and highest sections up to and pass most of earth's religions concept of heaven, the astral plane is like a onion with the material world in the center, and the layers going outward (or inward, 2039 or higher, or whatever). As most religions heavens are manifested in the astral plane, they are also separate from each other. This is also true in Egyptian heavens of the astral plane. The Book of the Dead (a misnomer as the egyptians never called it that), lists the sections of the Heaven of Osiris. As you read the book, you also see that there is a specific way to get to the heaven and through it. There is an ancient Egyptian writing from a scribe that says, in effect: "If you don't use the specific directions to get to a par- ticular heaven, you won't get there but to a false heaven." As most of us are aware, the astral plane is composed and made up of the thoughtforms of mankind and of the gods, hence, there is an Egyptian heaven that was formed by the thousands of people who have conceptualized it since the beginning of the 1800's, made stronger through the Rosecrucians and Blavatsky's, and into the modern metaphy- sical movement. But it is NOT the ancient Egyptian heaven. Hence, you can't simply just astrally project in order to get to a real Egyptian heaven. You have to follow the directions by the ancient Egyptians in order to make it to one of their specific heavens. You may even have to change your astral form to conform to a certain type in order to enter. For example, one of the ways to get to the Horus heaven is to have project to the Nile, and do certain things in order for a boat with a hawk on it to come over to the bank and pick you up to take you to the Horus Heaven. One of the things you have to do, and not the only thing, in order to get into the Heaven of Isis is to change your astral body into the shape of a bird, a Swallow! So if someone, no matter how much you respect them, tells you that they dreamed or astrally projected to astral Egypt, they are wrong, unless they know the specific ways to do it. The Egyptians then, have a sort of astral lock on the proverbial doors to the entrance of their heavens, and you can't just blindingly end up there without the right keys to get there. I can probably safely say that no more than a couple of dozen people in the last century have been able to enter these heavens, and no one who has written a book about Egyptian metaphysics has (including Eliz. Hatch who wrote Initiation; who knows nothing about Ptahhotep). The teachers are still pretty much in the Egyptian heavens, waiting to teach the student who is able to get there. Although the ancient Egyptians had the wherewithal to go into drug induced states (they had mandrake and poppies for medicine), I have yet to find one example of them using them for magic or astral projection. 2040 Astral sight was taught before astral projection, using tech- niques that we still use today. Several techniques that are used today in astral projection today were also used in astral projection then, but usually, a priest led the student in the first several experiences in order for the student to get used to the experience and feelings associated with projection to a particular heaven. Therefore the guided trips were first used. Usually the first trips were done in the temples (easier to do with all of the power already resident in the temples). Some, like the priests of Horus were also done by the Nile's edge, the student going into a sleep, the priest astrally projecting and drawing the students astral body and consciousness out doing what is necessary for the Horus boat to arrive on the astral Nile, then going on the trip through the Horus heaven. Sometimes it was done out in the desert. Once when I was in Egypt, after finding a Eye of Horus between the pillars of the temple of the ka of Ptahhotep, I went into the Serapeum (desert underground chambers for the burials of the Serapis bulls; talk about sensory deprivation! Light wouldn't go farther than 20' and normal talking didn't extend past 30-40'.) and in the Serap- eum, while sitting down next to the stone coffin of one of the bulls I instantaneously, and lack of trying on my part, astrally projected. I found myself several hundred feet over the desert at Sakkara and flew to the Nile and commenced on a trip to an Egyptian heaven. When a teacher died, such as Imhotep, he went to the appropriate heaven and taught from there (according to the ancient Egyptians, who said that at that point their teachers on earth would astrally project to the heaven to be taught by him). At that point, all priest/esses called him Master, or another appropriate remark. Since apparently there was much connections between the two worlds, the priest/esses knew when Imhotep finally left the astral heaven to ascend beyond and into the world of the god/desses. At that point Imhotep on earth was called a God (this process is found in a papyrus fragment translated courtesy of the French Institute of Archeology of Cairo). Hence, if you know when Imhotep or some other lived, and know that after death he was called a master, then the earliest time that he, or she, started being called a God was the time he moved out of the astral plane. Some other traditions use the symbology of ladders as an analogy of the ascent to their astral plane. Each rung represents a god or goddess to invoke, the ladder is always held by two gods, which symbolize the type of path being used. In some other traditions, there was a way to ascend through the astral plane and into the spiritual realm, reserved for the higher priests who have passed the Guardian of the Threshold. These traditions can be found when you go to Egypt for in some of the temples the staircase to the roof will have a god/dess for each step, symbolizing those that you will need to ascend to the spiritual plane. 2041 Certain god/desses and spiritual beings can assist or deter you from your astral trip. THE HELPERS: Anubis is one of the best. Hathor is also great, for she gives you magical power during your astral projection. The god Seb supplies all a person needs to astrally travel in many places. The god Seb, Shu, the goddesses Nut and Tefnut defend people during their journeys. There was also the Souls of the West, Souls of the East; Lady of the Evening, Calf of the Goddess (Morning Star), Souls of several different cities for their special heavens; The Catcher of Gods, the Divine Being who Examines Gods for Men, the God who Binds Gods. THOSE THAT YOU WANT TO AVOID: The Unmentionable Terrible Serpent (with Lovecraftian powers and would be great in his novels, like Chuthulu or Hastor the Unspeakable, occasionally used in Black Magic, which apparently was very uncommon in Egypt) I won't give you his name. There is of course, Apep, Apophis, and a few specific to each of the heavens, but are usually particular to the Osirian heaven (Reading the Book of the Dead will give you a great idea about them). A zoomorphic projection is when you astrally project then change your astral body into a zoomorphic figure in order to get to specific egyptian astral heavens. An example is turning your astral body into a swallow to get to Isis's heaven, or into a hawk to get to one of Horus's heavens. Following the Eastern Tradition of the astral plane, the Egyp- tians have an almost exact duplicate of the concept. Basically it says that there is a plane of existence between the realm of the high gods and earth, called the astral plane, which has layers like an onion. The astral plane is made up of the mind stuff of heaven and earth dwellers alike and is as real as both. To the Eastern people, all the heavens of all the religions are there. To both Egyptian and Easter- ners, to get there you astrally project or out of body experience. Although the Egyptians had a more elaborate version. The Egyptians, therefore, which had several religious traditions, of which Isis plays in a couple) had several heavens. These were usually conceived of in layers or parts, corresponding to the layers of the astral plane. In Heliopolis there were 12 layers or planes to their heaven. Each tradition had a different heaven and a different way of getting there. The temples trained the people how to do it at home, at the temple, or elsewhere. Sometimes more than just the astral body took the trip, there was also a spiritual body, the soul, the spirit and other forms. 2042 According to ancient Egyptian practices, you can project your astral body, soul, spirit, or spiritual body. However, there is no ritual to do all at once, probably because it would kill the person. Of course the sa is considered the spiritual power of a person and the animating force of the body. As long as you have the sa and one of the three (soul, spirit or spiritual body) you're body can still live during the projections. The Egyptians are the only ones that I am aware of (other than a very few Native American tribes) that even project the spirit or the spiritual body or the soul. Altered state of consciousness was used in Egypt, usually by NOT using drugs, although they did have mandrake, poppies and hemp (used in medicine as an anaesthetic). What was taught differed by tradition, and what kind of altered state differed also. For example: A scribe of Anubis: Does he want to become a doctor/priest, a mummification priest, or a priest/guide to the astral plane? If the latter, then he is taught the basics of the Egyptian astral planes and how each one differs, and how each tradition of Egypt has a different path to their own. He is taught how to astrally project, and then his teacher will project and take him on a guided tour. Eventually he will astrally project to the Anubis temple in the astral plane and receive higher knowledge from their teachers. Eventually he will teach others to project, and lead them on journeys. No one except probably about 15 people know how to astrally project to an ancient Egyptian astral plane. The form you take, the route you take, what you see determines if you will get there, and if you don't know these things, according to the Egyptians you will not reach the plane. Instead you will end up on an astral plane of Egypt created by people who lived from the 1700- 1800's on, such as Golden Dawn people, Rosecrucians, Wicca people. Is there an astral plane? It's up to you. I have my own opinion. My opinions are almost always based on experts in their own fields. ---------- ANCIENT EGYPTIAN INITIATIONS The mysteries and initiations varied from temple to temple. In the Lesser Mysteries of Isis there is preparatory instruction, medi- tation within the temple and introduction to the sanctuary for par- ticipation in a performance of drama of death and resurrection. In today's society, there are many groups that give initiations, but the initiation usually fails, and usually for the following reasons; 1. The group doing the initiation does not know enough to do one successfully (usually through lack of full knowledge of their trad- ition). 2. Incomplete preparation of the Initiate. 3. Incomplete preparation of the group. 4. Incomplete Initiatory Ceremonies or process. 5. Initiation Rituals becomes a bad play at best. 2043 6. The people directing the Initiations weren't properly prepared or initiated in their own initiation. In Egypt, they allowed for self-initiation (but only for some levels). All cognition, after all, comes from the inside. We are therefore initiated only by ourselves, the master or teacher gives us the Key. In some Egyptian initiations the goal is the receive the Sa, the innate virtue or power of the gods as a sort of fluid (or magnetic fluid or aura). It is transmitted by the God's (I will sometimes say God, but take it as either God or Goddess) hands through touch or passes on the neck or spine of the individual. This operation is called the Satapu-sa. "The Summit is the Apex of the Mountains height, but there are both Summit and Valley, hence, something exists which causes both. Equally there is within you that which wants to lift itself despite the animal instincts, and also that which wants to remain earthly. Summit and Valley, are 2 powers manifested. If there were not these two there would be only one. Since there are two there are also all the others which sprang from these, the other Neters or Gods/desses." "One should pass through complexity in order to exhaust the various possibilities until the awakening of the consciousness which leads towards simplicity; it is on intermediate phase between dream and reality." "If the essence and perfection of all good are comprehended in the god/desses, and if you adhere to a more excellent nature, you will obtain a union with them, the contemplation of truth, and the posses- sion of intellect. A knowledge of the gods is accompanied with a conversion to and knowledge of ourselves." I'll let you contemplate that one for awhile. Written on the college walls of the Temple of Horus at Edfu. The Egyptian path can be considered (as defined by Frankfort) as; 1. Evolution = Ignorance 2 Destruction = Knowledge 3 Dissolution = Experience 4 Reintegration = Understanding 5 Integration = Wisdom FROM: JANA HOLLINGSWORTH Dear Michael, Not only was this the usual excellent note on Egypt, but I was most impressed by your concise description of failed initi- ations. You have touched on a topic only a few Pagans are willing to think about. Too often initiation in Wiccan and other Pagan groups has become a spiritually meaningless ritual, and the worst part is that people don't even know the difference. Then there are all these novices with no qualifications "self-initiating" themselves. I was once initiated as a Dianic Witch, but it didn't "take." I never refer 2044 to myself as a Witch or a Wiccan. I am a Pagan, and I don't need to be initiated for that. So many who use the name Wiccan Could use, in the pants, a good kickin'. A Pagan I am! I'd give each dam Self-proclaimed Wiccan a lickin'. Jana, Pagan and Proud! FROM: MICHAEL POE Except for those very few hereditary witches, most of Wicca is new (1940s and later) and as such, much of it is from books and people who taught themselves from books and then taught others. All of the spiritual exercises and goals that need to be done to be truly init- iated are usually missing (unless you are lucky enough to be one of the few who was disciplined enough to intuitively done all the right things first. I have been to many Wiccan initiations and while a few have been magical, none have been fully effective, and most have been more like a Catholic mass, all pomp and circumstance and no magic. That's also essentially true of white people learning shamanism, they don't get the teachers that really know. Ancient Egypt had 14 traditions in which the majority of them were magical ones. After more than 30 years of studying ancient Egypt, even I can't tell you about the proper initiations of several of the traditions; but at least I now have the spiritual exercises and whole initiations for some of the them and in the group that I am involved, we have done a couple of them. Most wicca systems that I am aware of need to spend more time on the spiritual and magical development of the individual. Some ancient Egyptian systems took a minimum of a year to two years of spiritual exercises before the person cast their first spell. The priests had the ability to make people astrally project at will, for example. It's also a mistake being too eclectic. For example, Mercury is equated with Thoth by the Greeks and Romans, but while they did share some powers and attributes, they were not the same. 8 track tapes and regular cassettes both play music, but try putting a 8 track tape into a cassette player! Isis, for example, is never invoked as a Great Mother Goddess unless she is holding baby Horus. NEVER! I have seen many wiccan ceremonies where they use the wrong Egyptian god/desses in their rituals, or the wrong god/desses forms for the powers they are invok- ing. Remember, that despite some current thinking that it's only the association in your mind that counts, and if you want to invoke Sekhmet with a knife (for example) as a gentle mother goddess, she will appear as that; it just isn't so. This is coming from people who have never been properly initiated. the prevailing thought up to 10 years ago is that if a form and function of a god/dess has been worshipped for thousands of years by 2045 hundreds of thousands of individuals, including those properly in- itiated, then that form and function will always override what one individual or group over a few years may invoke. The thoughtform was constructed in the Astral plane and is extremely strong, and a few people who have decided that (usually through ignorance) he/she had a different form or function, will never be able to compete with the stronger form. Which is probably why many eclectic wiccan magic doesn't work or work well. They don't know what they are drawing from, and instead of trying to get the vast astral power out there to work for them, it works against them, or else their own little power will be the only power they will be able to tap into. Michael ---------- FROM: BRENDA RYAN I was wondering about those temples that have been moved, do they still retain the power. Is it in the temple building itself or in the ground upon which the temple stands? As you know, the temple at Abu Simbel had been moved during the building of the Aswan Dam but I think you mentioned it one time as a power spot. Also, I was more impressed with the temples and tombs in Upper Egypt than in the pyramids and the Sphinx. In fact, the Great Pyramid was musty smelling and claustrophobic so I didn't go all the way up. My friend thought I was missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime, but I just wasn't impressed. I didn't "feel" anything there. The tombs in the Valley of the Kings were another matter. I felt completely comfortable going all the way down in the tombs that were open and was much more in awe of the whole area. FROM: MICHAEL POE To make a short answer long, let me respond by this: Back in pre-dynastic times, the priest/- esses had no stone temples, they worked outside (or later, in mud and dabble temples) and cast circles; hence their name; "People of the Circle". Eventually they had temples of sun dried brick, but still retained the name. During the Dynastic period they were building temples out of stone. Now the stone temples, if you have seen them, are covered with figures of the gods and goddesses and religious texts and invocations. The walls became the psychic circle of protection and were imbued with their own power. Despite the fact that the magical group no longer needed to cast circles for protection from without or raise power within (as the temples walls did that), they were still called the "People of the Circle". Some traditions just won't die! So, yes, the temples themselves, despite having been moved, are still full of power as the walls themselves is the stone circle of power. Now you might ask, well, that makes sense, magic being used in them for thou- sands of years, but what about the power spot it was orig- inally built over, if any? Well, of course, the temple, being built over the power spot and with all the magic working in it for hundreds or thousands of years, the power from the spot would seep into the temples walls. That power would still be there if the temple was rebuilt. Remember that the ancient Egyptians would sometimes take an older temple apart and incorporate the stones into the walls of 2046 another temple far away. That is the method of getting stones already imbued with power and "precharging" the new temple with power. So yes, any temple that has been moved still retains it's power. Michael Imagine if you will, a temple 2/3 of a mile long and 1/4 mile wide, 6 stories tall. The courtyard, big enough for over 4 football fields surrounded by a high, 2 story wall. You enter through 20 foot high doors encased in gold into the courtyard at night. The courtyard is done in highly polished black granite, so well polished that it reflects the milky way. It is like walking in space! In the middle of the courtyard is a full size tree, made with trunk and branches of blue lapis lazuli, and leaves of turquoise. A dream you say? No, for it was the Temple of Ra at Heliopolis, built around 1800-1900 bc, and shown to Greeks during 500-200 bc. And if you think that was a truly magical and awe inspiring courtyard, imagine what was inside the huge covered temple that took up over 1/2 of the area! Complete with it's secret corridors and chambers, etc. Also, you are familiar with Egyptian temples in Egypt, but did you know that Egyptian temples also existed in Lebanon, Syria, Greece, Delos, Crete, Italy, Spain, France, Britain and Germany? The ancient Egyptians in addition to doctors, also had special- ized surgeons, psychologists, OBGYN's, midwives, vets, brain surgeons (with 80% success rate in trepanning, dentists, herb- alists, in addition to their botanists and ethnographers. The Temple is the House of God. The Body of Man is the House of God, therefore the Temple is the Body of Man. (from temple of Amon). In nature, everything is linked with everything else, and you are a part of nature. Observe outside, observe inside, you begin to see the relations between things. The ancient Egyptians didn't worship animals. They had sacred animals, but what they worship was the Divine Principle made manifest in that animal. Hence, the Serapis bull symbolized the Divine Prin- ciple of Strength. The Baboon of Thoth for two things: Society (bab- oons have, among the animals, one of the most complex societies), and of Contemplation (Baboons will sit and watch the Sun rise, among other things). Horus with the Hawk, one who sees or watches the earth from above, and sees it extremely well (hawks and birds of prey have a binocular vision of about 7x power); Hence the celestial Horus eyes were the Sun and the Moon. The attributes of Bast and of the Cat is very close. And so, to the Egyptian, while man is an example of ALL the powers of all the god/desses; certain animals manifest specific powers, and manifest them more than man. Hence they worship the power behind the animals. Observe outside, observe inside, you begin to see the relations between things. 2047 An animal does not reason, it experiences directly. Man is deceived by the incomplete testimony of his senses and his reason and has allowed the instinctive consciousness to atrophy without having learned to use his intuitive faculties which to the Egyptians, is the wisdom of the heart. Therefore there are ancient rituals to strengthen the heart. Raise your eyes to know what relates to the laws of the heavens, Look around you to study the principles of nature, Look inside you to determine your attributes, to integrate your personality, and identify it with the heavens and nature, One can cast your heart ahead on the Chosen Way, then go and retrieve it, and let your steps loyally follow its voice. The Egyptian Way of Life is of Harmony; Within the All-Inclusive Unity of God/desses, Nature and Society; Man can move with Dignity, Safety and Happiness. The Egyptian essential Unity in the conviction that man can find immortality and peace by becoming part, or as one, with the perennial cyclic rhythms of Nature, a recurring movement, part of the estab- lished and unchanging Order of the Universe. With the occasional exception, I will start posting notes on the different traditions; The Ceremonial Tradition, the Philosophical, The Arts and Crafts, the Hermetic like, the Wiccan like, the Alchemical, etc. Stuck in between will be the occasional hymn to a god/dess, observations on astronomical god/desses; parts of man, temple struc- ture, etc. Make any comments or questions that you want that are related. Michael Ankh em Maat ---------- THE PATH OF THE CRAFTSMEN IN ANCIENT EGYPT One of the traditions in ancient Egypt was that of the artists and craftsmen. All of the best artists and craftsmen were trained in one place, the Temple of Ptah in Memphis (presently 20 min south of Cairo). all other artists and craftsmen were usually trained at the Temple or by people who were trained there. These artists and craftsmen include: Architects, draftsmen, stone workers (large stones and small), jewelers, painters, eventually glass workers, dyers, (but not weavers, who studied at the Temple of Neith in the Delta). All the architects and draftsmen who produced all of the pyramids, temples, palaces, royal tombs, and even forts were trained here. Have you noticed how all the men and women in paintings and statues have a similar body? Unlike the Greeks, who wanted to show how a persons body really looked like, the Egyptian were interested in showing the "inner essence" of the person. Therefore only in the background, the workers, and not the central family, are people shown 2048 as they really were, crippled people, occasional starvation, over weight persons, etc. Therefore the Egyptians were interested in the "inner man (or woman)". Look at a book on Egyptian art and check out what the god/desses are holding or wearing. That is important to see what powers and attributes are being portrayed. For example, if Bes is holding a knife, she/he becomes a protector and avenger; if holding a sistrum, he/she (it's hard sometimes to tell which sex Bes is), becomes the God/desses of joy, pleasure, music, dance, and another kind of protec- tor; if holding other objects or wearing other outfits, she/he becomes a Protector of Women and of the Family, of Mothers. The same holds true with all of the other gods and goddesses. Hence, Isis can be a Mother Goddess or a Goddess of Women, or of the Visible World depen- ding on what she is wearing or carrying. All of this is taught by the temple of Ptah to the artists. The similar thing occurs with amulets and talismans. Some amulets and talismans are always shown in a certain color or always made of certain material. The Buckle of Isis is almost always of red carnelian or garnets. The Ankh is almost never down in silver (because the ankh is associated with the Sun, and gold is the metal of the Sun). The temple of Amon at Luxor is patterned after a human body; in fact, in the sanctuary part, if you observe the stones in the floor, you see that two different stones were used. If you had an archaeolog- ical map of the temple with the floor stones shown, and color in the darker stones, you end up with a huge side profile of a face! So the Temple of God reflected the Temple of Man! Ptah had other powers and attributes than just artists and craftsmen (he was one of the Great Creator Gods), and was married to Sekhmet (who was into other traditions including healing). Ptah is also associated with the Science and Art of Alchemy. Their offspring is Nefertum, the God of perfumes and aromatherapy, and of the Lotus. As you will see in future discussions, more than one god/dess is associated with a tradition. Ptah is one of the few gods who ever since predynastic periods, was always portrayed as a human. Remember that most of the popular literature is from material of the New Kingdom and later periods. By then Horus was associated in the popular ancient Egyptian mind as the son of Isis, and especially popular as that during the Greco-Roman period. ---------- RITUALS and RITUAL ELEMENTS How many times do you get into a Book of Shadows and look at the rituals? How many of these rituals are complete from opening or drawing the circle, invocation of the four directions, blessings, consecrations, invocation, and closing? And how many are incomplete; in other words, missing some of the elements to the rituals, but maybe referring to use a certain 4 direction invocation or closing rite? Or 2049 missing complete elements; such as a hymn or invocation to a Goddess but no rituals around it? To the major ancient Egyptian temple colleges, the elements of ritual were emphasized. A magician, priest/ess, magic worker at home would end up with several invocations to the four quarters, several closings, etc. To the Egyptian; The Way of the Ritual; it's chief god/dess to be invoked and the way the ritual is to be directed (weather magic for example) will determine which other ritual elements are used. Also remember that the Egyptians had generic ritual elements, usually blessings, consecrations and hymns. A generic hymn to a goddesses will have spaces in which the goddesses name, titles and some of her powers would be included. There were more than one set of god/desses for the four directions; and even the direction that you started your ritual changes with the orientation of the ritual. For example; if you wanted to do a ritual for fertility of the land, you start off facing south (the Life Giving Nile), then West (to appease the desert), then North (symbol of fertility), then the East (rising sun, cosmic fertility), then back to South. Naturally if you are solar oriented using gods like Amon, Ra, Horus, and goddesses like Sekhmet or Bast, you started with the east and work your way around (clockwise). If you are invoking a goddess in your ritual you DO NOT invoke the four sons of Horus, UNLESS it is Isis or Nepthys that you are invoking. There are 2 sets of goddesses of the four directions, and one of the sets would do better. There are at least three different sets of gods for the four directions, more, since Thoth has his own set, as does some cities. I have a hand written 35 page list of powers and the god/desses associated with them. It probably corresponds to a book listed in the Library of the Temple of Horus called "The Book of God and Goddesses and their Powers". So a magician at home would have more of a recipe collection of ritual elements rather than a book of Shadows of complete rituals, and would have the know how of how to put them together. I have about 3,000 such recipes, from Astral projection to Zoomorphic projections, including blessings, opening and closing rites, spells, divination, consecration, initiation, weather, tantric, etc. The Pyramid Texts contain about 700 more, and the Coffin Texts, over 1,200 more. Orig- inal, not new. ---------- 2050 BAST The only fully developed cult of the cat existed in Egypt and it lasted for over 3,000 years. No one knows when the cat was first sanctified in Egypt. Bast wasn't associated with Isis until the New Kingdom, about 1600 bce and later. When associated with Isis it came to be recognized as the incarnation of deity, and it was the daughter of Isis and her husband, the sun-god Osiris (Osiris was also a Moon-god) (Isis was also a Sun/Moon/Earth Goddess by then). The worship of Bast overlapped that of Isis, Hathor, Mut and others depending on the district in Egypt. Bast had a solar son, Nefer-tum (He is associated with unguents, perfumes, aromatherapy, alchemy, Lotus) by the Sun God Amen-Ra, and Khensu, the Moon God, by Ptah. Bast or Bastet, was originally a lion headed goddess, associated in powers and attributes with Sekhmet and Tefnut, and as such, Bastet has powers of ferocity and rapacity. It is her later cat-headed form that Bastet became so immensely popular, although she never ceased to be worshiped as a lion headed goddess. The earliest known portrait of Bastet was found in a temple of the 5th dynasty, a lion-headed goddess who was known a "Bastet, lady of Ankh-taui." One of the earliest forms of her as a cat headed goddess is in a papyrus of the 21st dynasty. Bast cult center was at Bubastis, situated east of the Nile delta, and hence, Bast became known as the "Lady of the East" (also because of her association with the sun). She then, is almost without exception, invoked while facing the East, and is one of the Goddesses of the Four Directions. In the XII dynasty, Middle Kingdom, she had her own temple at Bubastis. In the 22nd dynasty, about 950 bce, she was known as the Lady of Bubastis and became an immense power in Egypt, due to the Pharaohs embracing her as a national goddess. The temple of Bastet has been vividly described by the historian Heroditus, who travelled in Egypt about 450 bce. It stood in the center of the city of Bubastis and was virtually on an island, since it was surrounded (except at its entrance) by canals from the Nile, which were a hundred feet wide and overhung with trees. While the houses were gradually raised, the temple remained on its original level so that the whole city commanded a view down into it. The temple was a building in the form of a square, and was made of red granite. Stone walls carved with figures surrounded the sacred enclosure, which consisted of a grove of very tall trees within which 2051 was hidden a shrine. In the center of the shrine was a statue of Bast. Note: this is the only temple in Egypt known to have had a sacred grove of trees in the center of it, and a shrine in the center. There are other sacred groves, some with shrines; but instead of being inside of temples, these are all out in the open. Cats were found within the sacred temple area and were ritually fed. Temple maidens carried cats or kittens in baskets. April and May were the chief festivals and rituals for Bast. All cats were revered in the Temple of Bast. Now the question is, what kind of cats did the Egyptians have? Orange cats Orange stripped cats A Tabby Type Black Cats Gray cats And an Abyssinian (I used to do well in spelling!) type. Of course, Bast is also associated with Lioness, so small cubs and adult lionesses were also sacred to her. Of the principal Egyptian festivals, that of Bast was one of the most popular. Herodotus describes how, in April and May, thousands of men and women set off on the pilgrimage in parties which crowded into numerous boats. The voyage was gay if not positively orgiastic. Men played the flute, women a type of cymbal called crotala, and all joined in singing and hand-clapping. As they passed towns, the boats drew near to the banks and the women shouted bawdy jokes, often flinging their clothes up over their heads. Eventually they arrived at Bubastis, sacrificing many animals, and consuming vast quantities of wine. Cats were portrayed in every conceivable activity, sculptured every material from gold to mud, and in every size from colossal to minute size. A orange brown cat is depicted on tomb walls, and so is a ginger cat, and grey tabbies. During the Bubastite period (XXII dynasty), cat cemeteries became popular, and a huge profusion of cat amulets were being made. During the entire time of Egypt, household cats were treated with the greatest respect. Many of them were bejewelled, and they were allowed to eat from the same dishes as their owners. Sick cats were tended with solicitude, and stray cats were fed with bread soaked in milk and with fish caught in the Nile and chopped up for them. Cats love basking in patches of sunlight, and Bast was first worshipped as a form of the sun, the source and sustainer of life and light. Some of the Egyptians believed that when the Sun went down, a combat of cosmic proportions took place in the underworld. One of the 2052 legends had a persea tree with a cat with a knife leaping on a spotted serpent and cutting off its head. During solar eclipses people would gather in the streets and shake knives and rattle sistrums in an effort to spur on the celestial cat and to terrify the threatening serpent in their struggle beside the Tree of Life. From the cat's identification with the sun arisen the "cat's cradle", a name given to certain string-games. The cats cradle was used to control the movement of the Sun through sympathetic magic. Sekhmet was combined with Bast and Ra for a triparte goddess combining the attributes and powers of all three. It was a combination made for ceremonial magic only, as there is no public worship of Sekhmet-Bast-Ra at an individual level. Are you soaking this all in with no questions? Remember the story about the cat and the Persea tree that I just related? You should have asked about the Persea tree and if this Egyptian Tree of Life is or can be grown in the U.S. and if we know it by another name. Come on, ask, come on, come, after all, its the Cat's Meow! There are two sacred trees in ancient Egypt. I mean SACRED! One is the acacia (which varieties grows all over the US. The other is the Persea. There are only 2 variet- ies of Persea in the entire world. One is the Egyptian persea, which I have no idea if it bears fruit. The other variety of Persea (which by Egyptian thought would be just as sacred) bears fruit. The other varieties common name is AVOCADO! That's right, the avocado is a sacred tree of the ancient Egyptians. So the next time that you are preparing to eat guacamole, remember that you are eating a sacred dip! The green avocado would probably also be sacred to Osiris and any other god/dess of vegetation. The ancient Egyptians usually made their wands out of acacia or persea, so if you have any of these trees, you can make yourself an Egyptian wand. Also remember that if you trim your tree, use the branches in the firep- lace for a sacred fire! ---------- To relate a story, true: When I was married my wife and I brought home a tabby, and a very young boy, about 5 came up and wanted to pet the cat. He asked me what was her name, and I replied that we haven't named it yet, what would he suggest? He said Abaton. I replied that I would consider it, thinking that it was a strange name for a kid to come up with ("out of the mouths of babes...). About 3 days later, I was going over a book of cities and towns in ancient Egypt, and on a whim 2053 (which I have a lot of), looked up Abaton. LO AND BEHOLD, there was an Abaton in the Delta part of Egypt. AND IT WAS KNOWN AS THE CITY OF THE CATS WITH "TON" MEANING CITY, AND "ABA" MEANING CAT; OR "CAT CITY" to us folk. So our Tabby became known as Abaton, or Aba for short. A year later she became pregnant and we decided that in honor of the Egyptian intercalary days (those 5 remaining days of the ancient Egyp- tian calendar of 365 days, divided into 12 months of 30 days with 5 intercalary days left over, sacred to certain god/desses); as the kitties would pop out (so to speak), we would start naming them for the 5 god/desses. Well, eventually here they came, Isis, Nepthys, Osiris, Horus, and the last, a black kitty, Set. Set died that night, the only one that didn't live to a ripe old age. Horus grew up (a male cat by the way, we named them regardless of sex; when the first popped out, it became Isis; luckily sexually matched their names) to be a hunting cat, who would bring home live rabbits bigger than he was. Nepthys, a black female, was a loveable, loving cat who went to an excellent Wiccan friend, along with Isis, who was occasionally disruptive, usu- ally loveable. Osiris stayed with us and even disappeared for a little over 2 months (close to the 72 day mummification process) until we thought that he was dead, but he came back and lived out his life playing big daddy, master of his domain, and approving the field mice and rabbits that brother Horus would bring back for his approval. They are all gone none, but never forgotten. I now have 2 cats, a blue eyed, long white furry female originally called "Popcorn" (forgive her previous owners, Lord and Lady, they do not know better), but now called Sheba (although, to be truthful, she answers to any name). The other is a Calico, previously named Nikita (little one in Russian, and she is a little cat); now called Spook (she spooks easily, still hasn't figured out shadows yet, and doesn't come to any name called to her). Sheba, by the way, will willingly join you in the bathtub if you're taking a bath! In ritual she just lays there looking bored, but Spook, ah Spook; stays inside the circle and even watches the entities! A LIMERICK FROM JANA HOLLINGSWORTH The five cats of Michael were named For five Gods of Egypt far-famed. Each suited its title In character vital. A five-year-old boy can be blamed. 2054 ---------- FROM LDE BLACK Cat Fancy March 1993 pg 13, at bottom. . A French scientist has found evidence confirming that the domestic cat existed 4,000 years ago. During excavations of ancient Egyptian burial chambers, Alain Pierre Zivie, an Egyptologist, found a network of tombs that contained stacks and stacks of cat mummies. "Some histor- ians believe the first house cats were wild with long coats," Zivie said, "but these cat mummies have short hair and look much like modern cats." Zivie made his discovery in Sakkara, 20 miles south of Cairo. ---------- FROM BRENDA RYAN I have a set of hieroglyphic stamps put out by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Have you seen these? Are they useful at all for actual writing, are they accurate translations, or are they toys? FROM MICHAEL POE The hieroglyphic stamps are very useful, extremely accurate of the hieroglyph. If using them in magic, be sure to bless and con- secrate them first, along with the ink. You can use henna as an ink. Michael FROM ANDY BALESTRACCI Did Hieroglyphics play a similar role in the Temple philosophy(ies) as seed syllables, i.e., that symbolized and embodied the first levels of creation(for lack of a better word) such as the Sanskrit alphabet of Hinduism (& maybe others)? FROM MICHAEL POE Hieroglyphics did play a part in the Temple teachings, as symbols of the god/- desses, of power objects, of inter-relations. They themselves had power within them and the mere act of writing them down (or using a rubber stamp in today's world) would give the spell more power. As for being seed syllables, I'm not sure; you will have to give a few more examples, but there are hieroglyphics that do stand for and embodied the levels of creation, but not all of them were syllables or letters. Remember that while a number of hieroglyphics stood for letters, and some syllables, most of them stood for showing what the letter/syllable was for; so that if two objects were spelled the same, another hiero- glyphic of the object would be inserted. Example: Aunt and ant. In Egyptian Aunt would have a female human figure next to it, and in Ant, an ant would be next to it. FROM: ELLEN GUSTAFSON I was just wondering if you ever checked out the Stele of Revealing and stud- 2055 ied It in relation to Its time frame, etc. Crow- ley's intent never was to reproduce the ancient Egyptian religion, as you know. In fact, the A:.A:. has as a guideline, that all cultural references are incidental, not to be taken liter- ally. The Aeon of Horus is a new aeon, and not meant to return to the beliefs of ancient Egypt. I guess that's the difference in perspective. The Stele of Revealing is a funerary monument to Ank-f-n-Khonsu, a Theban priest of Month,or Mentu, who flourished, according to modern scholarship, 725 B.C.E. in Egypt's 25th dynasty. I copied this from notes in The Holy Books of Thelema. There is much about the Stele there. It is interesting that in the Bolouq (sp?) Museum, the Stele was clas- sified as #666! LVX, Ellen FROM: MICHAEL POE That's cute, and very appro- priate about the 666. Such stelaes of that period were for protection primarily, invoking various gods, including lesser spirits and beings, includ- ing many that weren't in existence prior to about 1,000 bce.I have read Crowley's work, and unfor- tunately, he doesn't know ancient Egyptian, and the Golden Dawn, and A.A. knows very little; when they do use original material, it is always Greco- -Roman Egyptian, a usually decadent form of Egyp- tian magic. Their interpretation of god/desses forms from ancient Egypt doesn't always jive with ancient Egypt's. That is probably because of the both the Greco-Roman later period information and their efforts to try to peg Egyptian god forms into Cabbala Sepheroah. Crowley is NOT ancient Egyptian magic. Even he acknowledges that his ritual that he did in Egypt didn't work out right. It's always potentially dangerous to try to fit square pegs into round holes! Or for that matter, try and change a religious tradition that was used for over 4,000 years by over a hundred million people (based on population estimate of 5-10,000,- 000 people at any one time, life span of 40 years, or 15-30,000,000 per 100 years X 4,000 years. ---------- MOON LORE Isis is also Goddess of the Sun as well as the Moon, so don't invoke her unless you know what you are doing (what symbols she should hold, what items should be on her head, etc.). Usually she is invoked as both Goddess of the Sun and Moon at the same time, rarely as Moon by itself. ---------- 2056 IMPORTANT METAPHYSICAL SPOTS IN EGYPT TODAY Since the Great Pyramid was built by the ancient Egyptians for a king, Khufu, that is not an important metaphysical spot. Before we get into an argument about that let me point out that the Great Pyramid has tombs around it by the workers who built it and mention it's building and its use as a burial place. There are also ancient Egyp- tian records of the Keeper Priests who lived there providing food to Khufu. There is absolutely no mention of it as an initiation place, and beside the stone coffin, Khufu's viscera was found there! However, Europeans are impressed by what is large and commanding (it embarrassed the ancient Egyptians) and put greater stock in the Great Pyramid than the Egyptians. Also what with the vast number of people in the occult who have visited there, it now has it's own aura added to it, and most people today can't tell the difference. So let's list the truly sacred. The Temple of Bast at Bubastis; Delta area. Although not much remains there, it still exudes a feeling of serenity and peace there. Center to the Bast cat tradition. Memphis: Temple of Ptah: also not well preserved, but serene with the ponds of water within the temple enclosure. Sakkara: The tombs of Ptahhotep and Kaegemni are extremely mag- ical, housing at one time two of the greatest teachers of Egypt. the Labyrinth, near the Fayyum; Herodutus described it as having 3,000 rooms; 1,500 above, and 1,500 below ground that was so sacred, no one but high priests could enter the underground rooms. Extremely magical, and what is better, almost no tourists, even at the height of the tourist season! Initiations took place here. Temple of Hathor at Denderah. Magical place with secret chambers and passageways, Initiation center of Hathor. The Zodiac ceiling was found in the Temple of Hathor at Denerah (original in British Museum, replica in temple). Osirieon at Abydos: Center of the highest initiations of Osiris (his tomb is located nearby but has not yet been discovered). You can visit the once underground chambers where the initiations took place, surrounded by a pond, with a secret passageway (now underwater) sup- posedly going to Osiris's tombs. The Ramesseum: west bank of Thebes; Luxor. Sit on the stone throne of Rameses, feel the power, or go find the initiation chamber there (the only one that utilizes a coffin). Highly magical. The Temple of Hatshepsut, same general area. Temples of Amon and Mut at Karnak and Luxor; if size impresses, this will! The courtyard itself can easily hold Notre Dame! Too bad so many tourists, but seek out the small temple of Sekhmet (but beware of doing rituals there, Sekhmet is unforgiving). 2057 Temple of Horus, Edfu: Most complete temple in modern Egypt, lots of subtle power waiting to be reawakened, doing a gentle chant in the sanctuary can be heard over the entire temple! Temple of Isis, Philae; despite being moved from the original island; still very magical, especially because of the surroundings. Temple of Shahabu: The Egyptian equivalent of Tantric magic, it's place is unknown, and even to the ancient Priests, it's location was kept a secret! Oracle of Amon; Siwa Oasis, where Alexander the Great went and never spoke of his prophecy! ---------- HORUS The great god Horus was one of the most popular gods of ancient Egypt. At least a 1,000 years before Egypt was unified a new group of people entered Egypt called the Followers of Horus. Whether from southern Africa, the Sahara are from the Red Sea area we don't know, but they settled in Upper Egypt and opposed the Followers of Set in the Delta. Eventually the Followers of Horus united Egypt and their king, Narmer or Menes became the first king of Dynastic Egypt, and the Horus name of the king started being used. Who was Horus the Hawk or Falcon God? We are especially blessed since the Temple of Horus at Edfu is the best preserved temple in ancient Egypt, and on its walls contains such things as the different forms and powers of Horus, the names of the books in the Temple lib- rary, many rituals, hymns, and parts of the types of initiations. First and foremost, perhaps, Horus was a sky god, whose right eye was the Sun and whose left eye was the Moon, and where we came up with the concept of the right side being solar, the left, lunar. Associated with the hawk soaring over the land, and his eyes being the Sun and Moon, came his attributes as "All-Seeing, All-Knowing", yet not inter- fering unless he chooses to, or is summoned (like a Master of Falcons summons his Hawk or Falcon). Probably associated with the idea of a Falconer being protected by his birds, Horus is one of the most popular gods of Protection. Now remember that we have to speak in generalities, for Horus had over 24 different forms with associated aspects, so invoking one form would not necessarily get you another one of his powers (now you can understand why I am writing a book explaining all of this fully!). Horus was also the patron god of martial arts, and a couple of his temples, and their colleges taught military warfare, strategy, 2058 tactics, and all sorts of fighting, the officer corps or military west point of ancient Egypt. this is one of Egypt's tradition. Another tradition in which Horus figures prominently is Alchemy. Ptah, Horus, and Thoth were the leaders in the Egyptian school of Alchemy. Although Horus, during the New Kingdom and later was especially popular as the Son of Isis, remember that that designation is only one of his many forms. His real consort was Hathor. and Hathor means House of Horus. During one festival, the statue of Horus was removed from his sanc- tuary and sailed down the Nile in all the pomp and circumstance re- quired and was put into Hathor's temple at Denderah for a connubial visit. One of the most powerful forms of Protection Rituals in Ancient Egypt was invoking the four Sons of Horus as the four directions, and Horus as the Protector (and/or as the Avenger). In fact, the most common form of invocation of the four directions was the 4 sons of Horus; For women however, there are 2-3 sets of goddesses of the four directions. While the four sons are associated with various parts of the human body, stomach, liver, etc., Horus himself is associated with the Eyes (it figures, doesn't it?), but not the third eye (which is one or both goddesses, Uatchet and Nekhibet). Sometimes used for astral sight, there are actually two ways to get to his heaven, by turning your astral body into a hawk, or a boat with a hawk on it. ---------- INTERESTING QUOTES Note that I will use the term god in place of neter, but if you are goddess oriented, you can use that instead. Early Egyptian saying: Put not thy faith in length of years, For the Gods regard a lifetime as but an hour; A man remains over after reaching the haven of Death. His deeds are laid beside him for all treasure. He who has reached it without wrongdoing, Shall continue yonder like a god, Stepping forward like a Lord of Eternity. God does not confine his favor to the prosperous and the powerful. He bestows it also upon the poor. His will is that they be fed and clothed, and exempted from tasks beyond their strength. 2059 That they may not be oppressed, and unnecessary tears be spared them. From Rameses II: The mortal person is a manifestation on earth of His Divine Spirit. Splendid actions and great deeds are worthy and precious to the gods. but the tasks the Gods alone see- they surpass all. The Ways to God are as many as the breaths in the bodies of men. Quote from the entrance to the College of Priests, Temple of Horus at Edfu, Egypt: "Knowledge is the Way to Life; The Way to Life leads to the Way to God. The Way to God leads to Inner Knowledge. Inner Knowledge leads to Wisdom. Wisdom becomes Life." The Egyptian word "Neter" is neutral and literally translates as "Abstract Principle" or "Divine Principle." Ancient Egypt had no conception of the Ultimate as being either male or female, for to them, the Ultimate Deity combined both sexes. It's only when the "Divine Principle" starts descending down through the planes that male and female deities begin. Ancient Egypt, for those who don't know, may have had a god, or a goddess as a national deity (worshipped during national holidays, etc), and a god or a goddess has head of a city or nome (state); such as Bast, head of Bubastis; but to the Egyptians, god and goddess were CO-PARTNERS, were in reality none was above the other (exceptions might be during certain festivals, or the Sun goddess rules during the day, the Moon God during the night; that's right, many male moon gods and many female solar goddesses!). ps. Although that inscription was found at the College of the Temple of Horus, it did not directly refer to Horus, or Heru by name, there- fore, "Divine Principle" is the logical translation since they did use the word "neter" in the saying. ---------- EGYPTIAN RITUAL MUSIC They used a 5 note scale, and had such instruments as lutes, pipes and flutes, drums, zills, tambourine, and sistra. The sistra or sistrum was the most magical instrument used, based on three hori- zontal metal bars with round metal clappers sliding on them. ) ( 2060 I-I-I-I clappers I I I-I-I-I clappers I I ------- I handle I These were used by women only, and only during ceremonies and ceremonial singing. We have made several reproductions, most don't sound very well. But I was able to "rattle" an original and it sounded wonderful. Something of a cross between a babbling brook and wind chimes. Developed by the Egyptians to help bring on trance states and whatever other emotional responses prior to and during ritual, it may very well have worked, especially with half a dozen or more going at once. ---------- THE METAPHYSICAL PARTS OF MAN The material body: the spirits of the heart is called Hati. Of hear- ing, Setem; of sight, Maa; of taste, Hu; of touch, Saa; of the mat- erial body, Khat. The astral or Inner Self: Setem, compassion, the ability to feel rightly. Maa, justice, the ability to perceive rightly. Hu, command, divine utterance. Saa, perception, knowledge, understanding. Heka, magic. Ab, the seat of life, source of will and intentions. Ka, the astral body; principle of the body and protective genius. Khu, the intellect; low form Khu, highest intellect. Then we have the Khaibit, or Dweller; the Shadow, the part before, at and after the Dweller of the Threshold. Higher up, the Ba, soul, sublime, and multi-leveled. Next comes the Sahu, part of the spiritual self and is the spiritual body otherwise called the spiritual body. There is also the sekem; lower force; the power of forms, names, and life. There is also the Sa, the higher force, essential energy of all. To give you an idea of the complexity of it all: Touch: Saa (Sia) god of feeling, knowledge, understanding, intel- ligence. Personification of perception, to feel, to understand (comes from Memphis and the Ptah/Sekhmet/Nefertum triad). As Saau-ur "The Great Intelligence: the cognitive reception of a situation, object or idea. Saau-ur is mentioned as early as the Vth dynasty. As Saa Amenti-Ra "The Intelligence of the Amenti of Ra" god of conscience and character. 2061 Sa is a god of protection within his functions and is associated with Hu, taste. Oddly enough Sa is associated also with the heart. Hu and Saa together are the Eyes of Horus. More importantly they are the tongue and heart of Ptah; as such it is thur the heart that men relate their lives to moral precepts, and to be craftsmen. ---------- EGYPTIANS AND THE TAROT The first Tarot cards known were found in Italy. A reproduction of them has been done and is usable. I believe that they were nailed to something. Perhaps someone can fill in where it was found and the time period they were made. Bernard Bromage, in his book, which I can't recall the exact title of (it was years ago), but is something like The Secret Wisdom of the Egyptians (I'll look it up). Basically the book is fairly uninteresting as it relates to how ancient Egyptian traditions really worked. But there was, in one paragraph, something that struck my eye. In discussing, I believe, the Tarot he says (and despite not remember- ing the title, I do remember the sentence) "The Tarot, of course, originated from the Temple of Serapis in Naples, Italy." Well, here is something specific. Now to find a picture or reference from another source on a Temple of Serapis in Naples. Ancient Egypt did expand their temples outside of Egypt, and had temples and sanctuaries in Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, and other plac- es. To make a long story longer, it took about five years before I finally found a reference to the Temple of Serapis in Italy. The reference referred to the excavation report done early in this cen- tury; that the temple is now pretty much at water level, that the illustrations on the wall were destroyed by WWII. That means that if the Tarot came from a chance find, it would be in the excavation report, if it came from illustrations on the walls, it would still be in the report. A friend of mine was in Naples and took a picture of the temple, and indeed, it was awash with water and the illustrations were definitely not there. Was Bromage right? Did there exist a pre- tarot illustrations in either wall form or chance papyrus? If true, did it include the minor arcana as well? If only the major arcana, what was it supposed to portray at that period of time? Perhaps the path of the initiate as supposed today? And whose initiate; a Roman/- Egyptian one or an Egyptian one? Where indeed is the excavation rep- ort? It was printed in Italian, but is there illustrations or photos of the illustrations? Is there a reference to cards or a papyrus or manuscript? Are there English translations? How did the Tarot get from a 3-5th century ad temple to 13-14th century cards? We know that the Italians were interested in retrieving Greek and Roman statues and works during that period; was that why and when the transition was made? All of these things depended on finding the excavation report. And if the report confirmed it, then did it mean that an even earlier version existed in Egypt? Lo and behold this could take forever (like this note is). But finally, voila! The French Institute of Archaeology in Cairo found the report for me and sent me a translation of the illustrations found on the wall. The report consisted of, among other things not particularly germane here, of descriptions of the illustra- 2062 tions, and a statue standing in the entrance. There are 20 illustra- tions that were on the wall prior to their destruction during WWII. Assuming for a moment that Major Arcana card number 0, which is the fool and generally interpreted as the initiate starting out on his journey, it would follow that, given the sequence of illustrations on the temple's walls, that indeed the ) card would be the initiate of Serapis. Card One: Magician: Found at the entrance to the temple, just inside, was a partially damaged statue of the god Khnemu, and in front of him, an altar. The god Khnemu is the only god in ancient Egypt that is shown (and even at that, rarely), and applies in this case, with one hand pointed towards the sky, the other towards the earth. Khnemu is the god of the Nile, and since in the major arcana, water in the cards represents the flow of consciousness, it follows that the flow starts from Khnemu, the Nile (at least for Egyptians it would). The ritual equipment would have been placed on the altar. Card II: High Priestess: The first illustrations, the first one on the left side is of Veiled Isis (also one of only two Egyptian goddesses ever shown veil- ed). The illustration was between two pillars, the lotus and a papyrus pillar, and in the illustration Isis is seated, holding a lotus. Crown of sun and crescent moon. Card III: Empress: The second illustration again shows Isis, this time holding and suckling the baby Horus. Crown of Isis, the throne, symbol of the maternal power behind the throne, etc. Card IV: Emperor: The third illustration is of a Roman emperor in Egyptian garb, holding the was and flail. Card V: Hierophant: The next illustration is of an Egyptian priest, dressed in the leopards garb, making offerings to an altar. Card VI: Lovers: The next one is of the unification of Northern and Southern Egypt. The intertwining of the lotus and sedge plant, two Hapi gods (Showing both male and female traits). The Egyptian meaning is very similar to the card. Card VII: Chariot: 2063 Shrine procession, with two sphinxes in front of the shrine, being dragged by 4 anubian priests and 4 Horus priests (in a Temple of Serapis in Egypt, it actually is a chariot scene). Card VIII: Strength: The illustration is of the goddess Sekhmet, the Lioness goddess, who is the Egyptian symbol of strength. The scene also has a priestess offering a symbol of her heart to her (which is done after the bal- ance, weighting of the heart). Card IX: Hermit or Sage: The next illustration on the temple wall is of Imhotep, the prime example of the perfect man or Sage/Priest, with a scroll in hand. Card X: Wheel: The illustration is of the 7 Hathors, long regarded as the 7 fates in ancient Egypt and part of the concept of time as regarding man. Card XI: Justice: This illustration is a quite common one in ancient Egypt, the Judgement scene, where the initiate or deceased is judged of his heart (actions, etc.) against truth. Card XII: Hanged Man: This illustration in the temple walls, although badly damaged, does show Osiris, who you may remember, was martyred, cut into bits, put back together, etc., and who symbolizes resurrection. Card XIII: Death or the Reaper: This scene, also badly damaged, clearly shows the god Set (Lord of Chaos and Disorder) with what looks like Anubis before him (the Guardian of your soul, the Guide of the Initiate). The interpretation works in well with our interpretation of the 13th card. Card XIV: Temperance or Alchemist: The illustration in the temple, damaged up to the waist of the individuals, shows Horus and Set, which would mean in its broadest sense, the tempering of one's bad traits with the good, the unifica- tion from within. Card XV: Devil or Black Magician: 2064 This illustration is a classic Egyptian one of the solar god Ra fighting Apophis, with a lesser scene of priests offering. In Egyptian initiations, this is the part of the Dweller of the Threshold, and the attempted crossing. Card XVI: Tower or Lightning: The illustration is of two obelisks. Obelisks, you may remember, always stood in front of the temple. Obelisks represented the first ray of light striking the earth. It would symbolize here the initiate passing the Dweller and now ready to enter the temple for final in- itiation for the first time, like the light hitting the earth for the first time, the transition is almost complete. Card XVII: Star: The goddess Seshat and a libation scene. Priestess with two bowls, one of water, the other of earth in front of Seshat, a Bennu bird in the water. Seshat has many attributes, but she has a star as a crown, the only one that does, and she is a consort of Thoth (god of Ceremonial Magic) as well as being the goddess of Libraries and Sacred Knowledge. The initiate is about to, or is receiving his sacred know- ledge about the world, himself, and of magic. Card XVIII: Moon: Top part of illustration only, of Khonsi, God of the Moon, and possibly of Thoth, also a God of the Moon. Card XIX: Sun: Clear painting/carving of the sun god Ra. flanked by hawks (also solar deities, Horus) and the sign of eternity. Perhaps at this point the initiate, now at dawn, is led out (or the doors are opened to reveal the morning sun) with the initiate now in the light (symbolic- ally and realistically). Card XX: Judgement: Illustration scene of initiate, hand in hand with the god Thoth, being led away from the Weighing of the Heart scene. His heart has been found true and just, in balance. Card XXI: World: The last illustration is somewhat damaged but clear enough to show the famous Nut, Geb, Shu scene. This scene is of the goddess of the Heavens, Nut, over the god of earth, Geb, with the god of space, Shu, in between. This is the classic Egyptian motif of all the world, heaven, earth and everything in between. The initiate is now one with ALL. Now, although all of the above scenes are for initiates, this could mean two things: 2065 1. This is a "storyboard" set of illustrations of one, albeit, long and very involved type of initiation. 2. This is a "storyboard" set of illustrations of a series of steps and initiations of any initiate of Serapis and could conceivably take a lifetime to achieve. It is important to note that this room does not have one illust- ration of Serapis himself in it! He shows up on the outside of the temple in illustrations! The excavation report concluded that this room was either a special place of initiations or a special place of worship. During the 10th-16th centuries, when the Europeans were rediscovering Greek and Roman statues, books, etc., this temple could very well have been recovered and uncovered. In fact the illustrations were partially still open to view before the excavation! I have traced several temples of Serapis, and have been trying to get notes on their illustrations as well. Two temples of Serapis in Egypt, one during the Greek/Ptolemaic period, and one of the 19th dynasty also show like illustrations, getting more and more Egyptian as the temples got older. Did the Egyptians actually have tarot cards of the major arcana? Not likely, as papyrus would be pretty much impossible to shuffle!! But here is the initial result of my study, it took years to find this material. Did the Temple of Serapis inspire the Italians to make the Major Arcana of the Tarot? It certainly contained the elements and the interpretation! Perhaps Bromage, who is rarely right, was right about this one. Further studies on Serapis temples that I did seem to keep the illustrations in order, but we do have a big gap between the temple and the first known cards! The tradition of Serapis starts from an early age, from the 1st dynasty of about 3,100 bce with Seken-ka as the first master of the tradition. In the XVIII dynasty Amenhotep enhanced the tradition, as did XIX dynastic Khawmwese, XXVI dynastic Amen-em-apt, XXXth dynastic Nectanebus, the last native king of Egypt, who ordered the spread of Egyptian temples throughout the known world. During the Roman period, Psoiphis and Chaeremon were leaders in the tradition. We have possible other sources of the ancient origin of Tarot including the ancient book, "78 Phases of Ra," the Book of Gates (it has 21 gates). There are temples of Serapis at Alexandria, Naples, Rome, Mem- phis. The nome state of Ament's capital was sacred to Serapis, called Apis, from the pre-Serapis tradition of Apis, from which Serapis is derived. There is a temple of Serapis in northern Amant called He-t sekha-hera. There is a temple of Serapis at Pithom (the Bible mentions the city); a cult center at Mendes, one at north Meteliles. 2066 Now, is the word Tarot actually Egyptian or a derivation of an ancient Egyptian word or words? It very well could be. Ta and ro or rot are two Egyptian sounds. Ta = the following words: thou bread, cake to give staff (wand) this moment/time land/earth TO JOURNEY THOTH earth god time forms/likeness/image essence of a god glory the You also have the possibilities: tara: (long a) meaning time or season; teru: meaning a god of light. Ra, ro, or rot (no Egyptian vowels): man chapter of a book a covered court mouth, entrance, opening, door, gate entrance to a path or road sun, day sun god words, acts storehouse or chamber Chapters of Coming Forth by Day " " Divine Rites " " Mysteries " " Praisings So you see, if Egyptian, it could mean "journey of the road" or "journey of time" or any number of things! It could mean "the glorious road." Or it all could be just a coincidence!!!! It's up to you. A LATER RELATED NOTE: To give you an example of the differences, take the Strength card. That normally is depicted as a woman holding open the jaws of a male lion, quiet strength in check. In the temples of Serapis that corresponds to the illustration of the goddess Sekh- met. Sekhmet is a lioness goddess, but is usually depicted with a small mane! Hence, in Egypt, the female and male are combined into the Sekhmet form. The Isis Veiled card is almost the same in the two illustrations. Isis is shown veiled (one of two goddesses ever shown that way), sitting, holding stalks of wheat and a container of water in the Roman Serapis temples. ANOTHER LATER RELATED NOTE: So far, there hasn't been found any evidence of wood, stone, papyrus, or any other form of the major arcana for use in divination. Note that many of the arcana of the Temple of Serapis are common motifs, and as such, can be found in clay, stone, papyrus, etc.; but never has been found in a group, incomplete set or not. Perhaps to the Egyptians, the Major Arcana was not a form of divination but the initiate's initiation or life cycle. Divination was used in ancient Egypt, by both priests and people alike. I have various types of divination by bowls, by oracles, by dreams, by ceremonies. There is even divination by casting stones into a certain type of decorated bowl of water. There is divination by using a particular set of the popular Senet game. But, alas, none yet by Tarot. 2067 ---------- there is a lot of information out there about divination and ceremonies, but much of it, like I said before, is in German, French, Arabic, and part in english. for example, there is a two volume work on Senet, including the divination part, but alas, it is in German. See if you can get a book by Serge Saureon, called, the "Priests of Ancient Egypt." although it is mainly during the greek period of ancient Egypt, much has not changed. if you look at the translations of the Pyramid Texts, the Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead (Papyrus of Ani, translated by Faulk- ner), you would find that it is a lot of disjointed rituals put toget- her. Most was not originally written for the dead, it was just sligh- tly revised. In the Pyramid texts and Coffin Texts, for example, you have texts on astral projection, blessing tools, consecration, initiation, hymns, etc. If you can find an english copy of the Harris Papyrus (good luck, long out of print, very expensive), it is THE magical texts and divin- ation. ---------- RESOURCES I am familiar with the Church of Light organization in Los An- geles. They are no help in assistance, as all of their information is of Greek/Roman period and doesn't go any further back, and I already have the Greco/Roman period down. It's true that Iamblichus did write about Egyptian initiation, but the translations of his work do not include any descriptions of Tarot-like illustrations. Unlike what the Church of Light says, the translations are readily available. One must remember that initiations done in the 4th century do not and will not accurately reflect the initiations that took place in ancient Egypt. Egypt took a profound change in the late dynastic period prior to the Greeks, and even more during the Greek and Roman periods. Much of the magic, mysteries were lost and new ones invented or gaps were sub- stituted by current thought. It was a decaying period for Egypt, adopting to Greek ways and then to Roman ones. The mysteries and initiations became an echo of what they once were. The Church of the Eternal Source, also in Los Angeles, on the other hand, is a very Egyptian mystery oriented organization, but centers around the Old, Middle and New Kingdom, using the original papyrus and temple inscriptions for their mysteries and initiations. But still, in both cases, their knowledge is limited by what has been published and available. The translations and the original documents about such things are either not published, or published in limited editions and not available in most libraries. The French Institute of Archaeology in Cairo has the most complete library of all published and unpublished material related to ancient Egypt. I use them exten- sively. The Church of Light, on the other hand, uses adapted to modern symbolism, not ancient ones. The Tower card would never have been done 2068 in ancient Egypt like the Church of Light did it. In essence the Church made up a Neo-Egyptian religion incorporating ancient symbols and modern thought, when they just could have used the ancient symbols as is. In other words, they tried, without much research, to make a modern Tarot deck using ancient symbols out of place, rather than making an ancient tarot deck using ancient symbols in place. Then they think that this is going to get you in touch with ancient Egypt. Wrong! It may get you in touch with modern man's (since the time of Blavatsky) metaphysical idea of what ancient Egypt was, but to get in touch with ancient Egypt, you need to use ancient Egyptian methods. Kind of like getting a model airplane and putting it together without a picture to go by or the guide to do it right. ---------- THE INHERENT DIFFICULTY OF STUDYING ANCIENT EGYPTIAN RELIGION Throughout its 4,000 odd year old history there is no systematic account of the doctrines used. Different men living at different times do not think alike; and no college of priests had formulated a system of beliefs that was received by all clergy and laity alike. 42 nomes; 42 religions in 4,000 years! Changes were extent, differences, even in the same periods, were great. But all had one thing in common, Organic Totality. Organic Totality: the physical environment, human organizations, conscience, language and ultimate goals, all make up Egypt's totality. Egypt did not have a central dogma or sacred book. But the one thing that prevented them from losing their individuality and from coa- lescing into a common unit is the belief in more than one set of gods. The Egyptian religions were both personal and nationalistic. It was personal to each individual or family; private, interwoven with a sense of personal right and wrong, with a personal shrine or "niche" in every house to their personal gods/desses. It was nationalistic because usually the place of the national seat of government deter- mined, for the most part, the overall thought of the period, the morality of the period. The Egyptian religion offers a variety of paths to the ultimate source by individual contact and tailoring information and guidance according to an individual's needs and level of development. Three aspects of the Egyptian religion and culture. 1. Polytheism; all gods and goddesses are emanations or forces from one source (although in each state, the one source may have a dif- ferent name). 2. Actualization of the Individual; the development of the potential of the individual was important to the Egyptian colleges. 3. Direct communication/relationship of an individual's surroundings. The kings of Egypt had from three to five "great names" and Lee mentioned only one, the Horus name. There is also the "nebti" name. This name is from the Two Ladies, Nekhebet and Uatchet, and Pharaoh becomes the force uniting the dual monarchy. This name goes back to 2069 the 1st dynasty and is based on the two capitals of pre-dynastic Egypt, Neken and Buto, seats of the two goddesses. The third name is the "bee" name. "He who belongs to the sedge plant and the bee," the "nesu-list" name, symbolizing the union of Upper and Lower Egypt. Predynastic: According to Manetho, a race of people came into Egypt and some became the founders and rulers of This and Memphis. The system of solar theology arrived in Lower Egypt (Delta) as early as 5,000 bce in the form of the "Shensu Heru" or Followers of Horus. They made their way to upper Egypt before the 1st dynasty. In predynastic times there were two distinct kingdoms, Upper and Lower Egypt, with their capitals at Neken (slightly north of Thebes) and Buto (in the Delta). We have names of at least 12 kings of these two areas, al- though the Book of Sothis lists 86 kings, and the "Old Chronicles" lists 84. There are several approaches taken by metaphysically minded people of today about ancient Egypt. There are those who see only what Edgar Cayce or something like Urantia has to say about Egypt, and don't take the time to discover Egypt for themselves, or to see if what they learned was actually true. There are those who have worked beyond Cayce, and find a "pull" towards Egypt and read many books about the subject. Unfortunately, Budge, the most predominant writer, gives an unrealistic view of ancient Egypt, and many things are not mentioned, such as personal worship, initiations, changes of con- sciousness; therefore the reader is forced to rely on another source, who may not know anything at all about Egypt, but a lot about meta- physics and give you bum information. Elizabeth Haitch's (?) book, "Initiation," supposedly an Egyptian initiation, bears no relation to an actual Egyptian initiation and should be treated as fantasy. Then there are those in metaphysics that like to practice the ancient religions. Their approach is usually through another tradition, i.e. Golden Dawn, or Wicca. Both of these traditions (Wicca having many traditions and only some incorporate Egyptian into them) do not draw upon real Egyptian traditions. The Golden Dawn uses Greco-Roman Egyp- tian Tradition, acknowledged by Egyptologists as the period when most of the Egyptian traditions have been radically changed by outside influences, much already lost, and even hieroglyphic writing being incomprehensible. The Wicca traditions take god/desses wholesale, give them new attributes, new powers that they never had, have the rituals in English, etc. No one studies the Egyptian traditions from the texts, temples, or tombs in order to find out how it works. Except me. Perhaps that is because I believe in finding out about a tradition by getting it from the original sources. And a major part of the problem is that although there are a lot of books, they are for the most part, too general. To find out what the Egyptians practiced, how, why, when and by whom requires years of searching obscure journals, papers, translations of texts, excavation reports (which have illustrations, translations of what was excavated) of tombs, houses, temples, and how many people have the time, money, experience to do that? Almost no one. So every- one else makes it up or speculates about it. I am going to try to make up for this loss by publishing a series of books on the ancient Egyp- tian personal worship, and the Temple Priesthood. What was taught, how was it taught, who did they teach it to, who were the teachers, how 2070 were they qualified, where was it taught, what differences are there between personal worship at home and temple worship, etc.? ---------- There was a note about religions borrowing elements from others and that it happened for millennia. Such is definitely not the case. Granted it is easy to find a few that did, Christianity, Islam, Roman. And granted it is easy to find more that borrowed SOME of its trad- ition, but let's look at a couple of those. There is no evidence that the Ancient Egyptian religion came out from somewhere else. From pre-dynastic to the Middle Kingdom there were only one or two examples where borrowing took place, but in each and every case, they adopted THE ENTIRE SYSTEM. In fact in almost every case of a pagan religion part of another system, they almost invariably adopted the priesthood with it, or had the priesthood teach them, Or made it a part but separate from the main religion. This is totally different from today's pagans. Instead of being taught from the priesthood of the other religion or adopting the entire priest- hood, they take bits and snatches that they don't understand and adopt it. Now it is agreed by both Egyptologists, The Church of the Eternal Source (see Drawing Down the Moon), and many Hermeticists that in the Late Period of ancient Egypt, the priesthood not only started forget- ting the important esoteric side of their own religion, but started adopting others bits and pieces, without the total integration that they practiced earlier. It resulted in a almost total breakdown of usefulness in practicing magic, mumbling now meaningless phrases, and effectiveness in their magic and rituals. One can count numberless examples of just how much one can be effective when you only know a small part of the whole (kind of like driving a car for the first time when the only thing you know about is the trunk). Also in ancient Egyptian, Hindu, Buddhism, and many American Indian religions (and paganism in the 1950-1970's) there was a belief that a symbol, if believed in by a large number of people over a large span of time, is far more effective than a symbol that is used by a small group over a short period of time. Does it not hold true that a magical object is imbued with more magic every time it is used? Thus, then how effective can a system be if it is 20-30 years old, practiced by 500 people, using symbols that are either brand new or misunderstood? (Like using a red pentagram for bring forth the earth element; how less effective is it as opposed to a green one which has been used by millions of people for thousands of years?) Occult philosophy by these groups and many others maintain that the more powerful an object is based on the formula: # of people using it + # of years in use + the ability of the individual to use it + the correctness in its use. The astral plane is exclusively made up by 2071 just this principle, and it's this plane where much of the magic is done. The effectiveness of the individual to practice his magic or religion is also directly proportional to the abilities and effective- ness of his/her teacher, and the degree of success in achieving the goals in his/her training. FROM MARK REYBURN On borrowing, syncretism is and was common among many religions, including Egyptians, as you note. It tends to occur most frequently in cultures with regular contact with different practices. One of the Sun Dances, I think it's the Cherokee, is supposed to be syn- cretic. Who they got it from escapes me, my anthro classes are practically history themselves by now! Selective borrow- ings are, as you note, tricky things. But, we would be poorer without it. And ceremonial magic aside, symbol use is more free-form than most of us would prefer. Not quite, words mean what I want them to mean, but symbols are much more personal than the "Official" correspondences. The "well-worn path" of symbol meaning is certainly helpful IN SOME TRADITIONS, but is completely irrelevant to someone who is using symbols on a personal level. Although less potent magickally, religiously personal symbolism is much more potent than time-worn symbols. Besides, how else do new religions develop symbolism? FROM DOMI O'BRIEN In ADF ritual we specifically note that the more-- and the more of us-- that call upon the old gods the more they respond to our need-- one is reminded of "the old gods only sleep, you know, although betrayed and slan- dered; they guarded us from every woe, and blessed each crop and fine herd..." and, oddly enough, Tinker Bell-- if you believe in fairies-- read DDW-- we focus belief, and will... FROM GARY OHLEMILLER This is an interesting dichotomy I haven't heard much about before. One group seems to prefer the Bonewits/Parapsychological approach which holds that the power of a symbol comes from the strength of association it holds in the individual's unconscious. Mr. Poe seems to advocate a Jungian approach in which the archetype exists "objectively" and is waiting there to be used. Does anyone out there have enough practical experience to tell us which is more efficacious? I sure don't. FROM MICHAEL POE In reference to what is more (?) effec- tive or powerful, actually both together would be the most powerful of all. My little experience, such as it is, has been working in the area for 20 years, bring apprenticed to an Havasupi shaman, personal knowledge from four other systems, watching and working with 3 other shamans, and personal tours to sacred 2072 sites around the world. Go to a sacred site and see just how powerful it still is, like a huge untapped battery. Feel a talisman that was made and used 4,000 years ago, yet still has as much or more power than anything you have touched by a modern worker of almost any system. I gave a 4,500 year old scarab that hasn't been used since to a friend of mine who put it in a box. 2 months later, when he opened the box to use it he found the box has been burned from the inside out. (although admittedly that scarab is an exception). I have found that both ways can work, but an old cultural symbol (in Jungian terms) is more in our subconscious as a type of universal symbol, and will be more powerful and last longer than a personal one. Get the most magically powerful person you know, have him/her do a circle ritual in a square area, and go back a month later and see if you can find it by feeling for it. Go to a ancient sacred spot that hasn't been used for hundreds or thousands of years and feel its power. Which is greater? My bet goes to the ancient one. More use over more time. ---------- ALCHEMY There are some definite misconceptions expressed here on Alchemy. Alchemy is not about transmuting lead into gold (that was, at the most, a test on your elixir), it does not involve using electricity, it is not part of tantric. One of the problems involved is that people get a tradition that they don't understand and misuse the term until it loses almost all of its original meaning. Alchemy is a spiritual experience that is a combination of two things, the transmutation of the workers spirit with the transmutation of physical substances (which creates the Elixir of Life). while in the broad sense that Alchemy is a transmutation, it has no part in Tantric. The physical and metaphysical process has always been described in allegories, hence the confusion of work with metals. In order to practice alchemy today, you need to read only about 2 or 3 good books on the subject "Gold of a Thousand Mornings" is a non-fiction book describing alchemy by a man/wife team in France. It dwells on both the spiritual and physical aspects and describes the work that they did. "An Alchemists Handbook" has a brief description of the meaning and the "Great Work" (as it is called), and gives you in great detail how to do the physical work. 2073 In order for alchemy to work, you need to do both at the same time as you need self transformation to work in order for the physical transformation to work. the chemical side of work delves mainly into herbs, and if you use herbs in your regular work, then you will have real use with alchemy. In the chemical aspect, the herb's essence is extracted (the gold from the dross), as well as yourself (your essence is purified). To do so, you usually need chemical glassware such as a condenser, or soylent extractor. This is a typical operation when making perfume from flowers or making an herbal extraction. The main difference is that the extraction takes place with a magical bent to it. rituals are done during the extraction process, timing is essential (astrological, lunar, and solar, and seasonal timing) . So, since you may already be familiar with blessing and con- secration of magical tools, and putting power into them, a very similar thing is done to yourself (an human vessel) and your herbal product during the alchemical process. also, there are two existing alchemical schools, one in France, one in Utah (of all places!) If you already use herbs in your other work, following this process will net you much more powerful herbal concoctions as well as a more powerful and spiritual self. I myself use the process. One of the aspects in alchemy is that one gathers certain herbs, minerals to produce an elixir that will extend life (as one of it's benefits). but before ingesting it, an alchemist would sometimes test it by adding a pinch of it to lead, and if it turned into gold, then your elixir is finished and can be used. However, turning lead into gold was never the end product for the work, but merely a test. You can make other useful herbal/concoctions without achieving the 'Elixir of Life.' Since alchemy is non-denom- inational, it can be used with practically any tradition. The source of the word Alchemy has had a lot of discussion among alchemical writers and alchemists. Although chemy did eventually become chemistry, the origin of the word did not. The most agreed upon definition of the term Alchemy is this: Al (arab word meaning THE) Khemia; meaning Egypt, which comes from the ancient Egyptian word for Egypt meaning "black land" thus: The Black Land since Alchemy does originate in Egypt, it makes sense. The first alchemical work is called the Emerald Tablet, written by Thoth, or Hermes Trismigistos. the father of alchemy is Zoismos, an Egyptian. 2074 the mother of alchemy is Marie, the Egyptian, who describes in her works the actual equipment used. (the only person who does!!!!). ---------- ISIS The Fellowship of Isis is the only group that I am aware of that worships only Isis and is not a Wiccan group. Their headquarters is on the British Isles but has many members in the US. They do, however, use almost exclusively late Dynastic and Greco-Roman Isis rituals, which many people believe are disbased and not well understood (true of most of the Egyptian traditions at that time). The Church of the Eternal Source uses rituals from the Old to New Kingdom ( I-XXIst. Dynasty) and includes Isis. It is a federation of Egyptian temples, so there are Priests of Horus, Thoth, Ptah, Pries- tesses of Bast, Sekhmet/Bast, Hathor and Isis. And, oh yes, a priest and priestess of Osiris. They are currently looking at an initiation plan based on ancient Egyptian sources to possibly adopt as their own. If there is a group by the name that the person mentioned, it may be either a new Egyptian traditions group, or an eclectic Wiccan group. Isis was never worshiped by Wiccans prior to the 1950's and should best be worshipped by people acquainted with the ancient Egyptian Traditions related to her. Isis went through many changes, adding more powers and attributes as time went on. She wasn't even called a Mother Goddess for the first 2,000 years of her worship. Most people who don't know ancient egyptian traditions don't get the response from Isis that they expect (or a totally different response). Isis is very powerful, but exacting. It's always best to know what power relates to which of her forms in order to invoke her. One thing to remember. Isis belongs to several ancient Egyptian traditions. As such, you won't be aware of her powers and attributes unless you are familiar with the Egyptian traditions. For example, as an Enchantress, she is invoked with a special form in mind (holding specific objects, in specific positions, wearing specific clothes). Not to have that form in mind, according to ancient Egyptian tradition, is to negate your entire ritual, or to degrade it (it won't have the effect as much as if you did it the right way), or to have an effect entirely different. Isis, for one, has many powers and attributes, and many forms. Just invoking her in a different direction invokes a power you may not be aware of. As such she can appear to be both benign or terrible (she is one of the Dweller of the Door, or Threshold goddesses). Even during the Egyptian period, 4,000 bce (predynastic) to 641 ad (the closing of her last temple) she went through many modifications and changes. She wasn't even known as a mother goddess for at least 1,500 years! 2075 It's too bad that people borrow god/desses from traditions that they know little about, to use in ritual. If they knew the tradition better, their ritual would be better. There is also an Isis heaven to astral project to, but again, in Egyptian tradition, you must know the way, the form to use to get there, otherwise you go to a false one. She also appears as an astral guide, but again, only assumes a specific form. Unfortunately there is little written about how to actually prac- tice Egyptian ritual (although the Church of the Eternal Source knows). That is a gap that I hope to fill one day, having spent over 30 years studying ancient Egypt, worked there for several years in the tombs and temples, and have the best resources available to me in the term of published and unpublished material. I am currently working on what could be several volumes on the Theory and Practice of the Ancient Egyptian Traditions (good title!) ---------- INFORMATION ON BAST from ancient Egyptian sources Powers and Attributes of Bast: Lady of the East (IVth Dynasty on) Female Personification of Fire the Light Bearer Female power of Light, Heat, Sun, Fire, Mild Heat of the day and Year Power of germination of seeds Power of early Summer Goddess of the Birth Chamber Goddess of Full Moon Goddess of Cats Protection Bast festivals occur in April and May in her temple at Bubastis, facing east. The Greeks associated her with Diana. Bast was also used to learn words of power to vanquish the powers of darkness (IVth Dynasty). Bast attributes are also related to cats. Bast had at least four different forms (and no breastplate related by another, more contemporary book) FROM BRANDY WILLIAMS Ref.: THE BOOK OF GODDESS & HEROINES by Patricia Monaghan. "She originated in the Nile delta, but by 930 B.C., the power of Bast 2076 was acknowledged by all Egyptians. At first she was a lion-goddess of sunset, symbolizing the fertilizing force of the sun's rays. Later her image grew tamer: she became a cat carrying the sun, or a cat-headed woman who bore on her breast- plate the lion of her former self." Bast ruled pleasure and dancing, music and joy. At Bubastis ("House of Bast"), the center of her worship, great celebrations were held. Boatloads of wor- shipers - hundreds of thousands of them, Herodotus said - were greeted by pleasant flute melodies as they debarked for a worship service combined with a vast trade fair. Bast's followers believed that in return for this reverent celebration Bast bestowed both mental and physical health. As a cat goddess of the moon she lit up the night, throwing light on things which would otherwise be concealed. Moon lights up a world hidden in darkness, and the cat gives us insight with her light of the under, or inner world. The Moon is the searcher, a seeker of Truth. Bast is known as the Lady of Truth. Beams of the moon point the way and a narrow path called a cat walk, usually called in Egyptian as the Middle Way or Path. When a cat curls up with its head touching its tail, it forms a circle, symbol of eternity. Bast also symbolizes sensuality, grace, coordination of movement. Bubastis (town of Bast) also called Per-Bast, Pa-Bast, Pibeseth, Tell-Basta Location: lower Egypt, northern kingdom and capital of the 18th nome or state, Am-Khent. time Period of Bubastis: IInd Dynasty to at least 640 ad. IInd Dynasty: "in the reign of the 1st king, a chasm opened up and many people perished." IV: Khufu (builder of the Great Pyramid) built here. XXII: Libyans ruled Egypt here 640 ad: Bubastis still alive and worshipping cats here. Temple of Bast on an island with only an entranceway bridging it. There is also a Temple to Thoth, and a shrine to Temit. Minor gods: Temit: Lady of the Two Lands and Osiris: the thigh of Osiris is in a hidden chest at Netert. Triad at Bubastis: Bast, Osiris, Heru-hekennu, and to a lesser extent: Nefer-tem. Invoke the cat Bast to learn words of power to vanquish the powers of darkness (IVth dynasty on) Bast attributes related to cats; refusal to take things overseriously science of relaxation, never waste energy accepts the nature of things, superb indifference to opinion, refusal to be at beck and call 2077 insistence of complete freedom of expression when a cat curls up with its head touching its tail, it forms a circle, symbol of eternity luxuriating sensuality, grace, coordination of movement Egyptian cats are typically orange-brown, ginger and a gray tabby. As a lioness, (her earliest forms), painted green, she personifies the Sun. As a cat, she has connections with the moon. Mother of lion god Ari-hes of Aphroditopolis, Mother of Sekhem, of Denderah Bast is also considered to be the Soul of Isis. Forms usually seen: 1. Upright cat, holding a sistrum and aegis, surrounded by four protector cats. 2. woman's body, head of lion or cat, holding sistrum and either a basket or a aegis (can hold uatchet) 3. Aegis of Bast sometimes has a head of a cat crowned with solar disk and uraeus, emblems of Sekhmet. 4. Lion headed woman, oldest form of Bast. In 5th Dynasty temple called, "Bastet, Lady of Ankh-Taui." Also associated with: Mut-Bast: personification of the moon in Thebes, she is a woman wearing horns on her head with a sun's disk between them. Mut-Bast is the counterpart of Amen-Ra-Temu-Khepera-Heru-Khuti Sekhmet, as a counter-part Assessor Thenemi (he who goes backwards) and who comes forth from Bast. Assessor Basti A good description of the Festival of Bast, called the Festival of Lights, has been described by various Greek and Roman writers. The temple of Bast in Bubastis, while on a island, is lower than the rest of the city, and therefore, is the only temple that the people can see into the courtyard. Also there is a sacred grove of trees in the courtyard (the only one known of all temples in Egypt). At the festival of Lights, all light in the city is extinguished. then a new fire is made in the temple and the priests come out to light the torches of the people who then parade throughout the city to relight all the home fires. by the Greek/Roman period there was also a kind of sexual license at the time at the festival. Food and drink for all (which is typical of the temple festivals). Speaking of cats! I had a request from Jennifer about Wadjet, the rearing cobra, sometimes lioness. Good observation, most people don't know that Wadjet is VERY occasionally depicted as a Cat. Here is the answer. Wadjet, the cobra depicts two things: the real snake (in the prov- erbial papyrus grass) with it's dangerous forms and powers. And 2, the Kundalini, or Serpent Fire of the human body coming out of the third eye! That's why the serpent is always on the crown or is the crown 2078 over the third eye. It's also symbolic of the sun. I know, you think that the Kundalini comes out of the top of your head, as Hindus would have you believe. Could be true, but in Egypt, when one works with Wadjet's fire, you direct the route to the third eye (the burning, purifying fire), while redirecting a lesser (gentle growing heat of the sun) to the top of your head (hence, the Lotus depicted on top of the head). So, yes, different aspects of her nature. As depicted as Wadjet the cat, here is a dichotomy! Cats protect humans from snakes, so Wadjet is also invoked to protect humans from her very own physical manifestation, the deadly cobra. As depicted as a cat, it shows her protection from her very real counterpart, the asp. Asp and you shall receive! (g) Now as to relationships with Bast/Sekhmet/Mut. Think of fire and think of sun/moon. Think of opposing sections of the same thing (burning fire, gentle heat; light of day, dark of night) and you have some basic differences between Bast/Sekhmet. Have you seen the National Geographic special on cats: our pets and how they relate to the big cats. think of the attributes of the big cats and think of Sekhmet; think of the attributes of the domesticated cats (really, cats domesticate people) and think of Bast. The shared at- tributes of Bast And Sekhmet are the same as the shared attributes of big vs. little cats. Mut is a maternal cat, big or small. Sekhmet destroys, but she is also a healer Bast is playful, but also protective When the Christians decided to kill all the cats in Egypt in the 700's ad, they did so. Two years later, the Black Death came out of Egypt and devastated Christian europe. Was this revenge by Sekhmet and Bast onto the Christian population for destroying their physical symbols, the little kitties? Or was it because the amount of cats kept down the rat population enough that the Black Death (a rat flea borne disease) didn't come out until the decline of the cats? Or both? ---------- A BLESSING FOR THE DEAD (TO BAST) Having worked with the High Priestess of Sekhmet-Bast-Ra (and taught most everything she knows), and member of the Egyptian temple federation, Church of the Eternal Source, I have the information you need. Since you don't practice Egyptian traditions, instead of giving you a whole ritual, I will give you a hymn/prayer to Bast that is a Blessing for the Dead, that you can incorporate into your ritual, plus hints. 2079 Bast is a goddess for the Sun and the Moon, but for the dead Sunset is the best time; Night comes second, sunrise third, and daylight comes in fourth for ritual for this. Face the West, setting sun (or if not at sunset, either the moon or the sun depending on you doing it in the day or night time. If you have an oil lamp lit it; if not use white candles, and a little votive candle. Bless the two white ones to Bast, the votive to the dead cat. Meditate upon the cats attributes; able to see at night, intel- ligent, quick, independent, very maternal, luxury minded and sensual. (if you have a cat, invite her in your circle). Bast nefer dy ankh Beautiful Bast giving Life, A Bast, shu asenu Hail Bast, in visible form, casting light into the darkness sesept em kekui, I have come before you, the path is opened, the earth is at peace. i kua ser-ten, uat sesh-tha, ta em hetep. (Egyptian pronunciation is optional, but in ancient Egypt was imperative to speak the language to create the sounds to get the response.) O Great goddess, Bast, Soul of Isis, Heart of the Sun-hear my call. Enter now this consecrated shrine (or circle) Make Thy presence known to me. (envision the dead cat) Aid thy servant in reaching the source of all things, Guide thy servant's steps on the true path Answer your physical manifestation's soul's desire for Thou. Blessed be Bast, Who gathers her children into life everlasting. Blessed be Bast, The Beloved of Bast has gone to the Horizon, Your physical manifestation lives now only in the sunset. May it's ka endure and it's shadow seek the light. The power of Bast protects her, Shut en Bast sau. ---------- 2080 FROM PETE STAPLETON Michael Poe, I knew if I posted here i would find someone who could help me resolve some of problems regarding the failure of certain historical astrological techniques. The Egyptian calendar I was referring to was the 30 day lunar calendar - the one introduced to the Romans. To my knowledge there has never been an Egyptian Solar Calendar. I'm sure I must have misunderstood your post - or you may have confused my reference. So we will both relate to the same calendar - I refer to the 360 day lunar Calendar composed of twelve 30 day lunar months and with the extra five days added on each year. This was the calendar discussed at the meeting called to discuss what to do with the extra five days of the year - which resulted in the Decree of Canopious - I think if was first published about 250 BC or thereabouts - hope this helps. I am impressed with your EZ cosmos program which shows the sky 4,117 BC to 10,000 AD - how delightful for you. I wonder if you could tell me how such a program handled the calculation past 500 BC - to my knowledge even Ptolemy's eclipse tables only go back to about 580 BC - which suggests some problems with calculations beyond that date - but I'm certain you must have taken this factor into account - so could you help me understand what they are? Certainly the meeting to account for the extra five days of the year at that time must have been the reason why there is not any contiguous record extant in the entire world past 580 BC. I would appreciate your help here. Then next area where you have set me stra- ight is the day starting with sunrise at that time. I know the marking stars and the water clocks of that era all showed the day starting with Sun set - but certainly you have a better grip of the details and can explain why all the WATCHERS began their vigil and day at sunset. I do think the evidence points very definitely toward the source of the constellational names being that of river based culture where there was a great inundation once a year - but since you make the point that the Egyptians at that time didn't have the present names, then what did they have - or what other river based culture was there where there was a flood of the dimensions of the Nile river within the Nile valley. The zodiac at one time on the ceiling of the Temple of Dendrah has to have been painted about 100 ad and the constellational names as we use them today were in existence much before that time. I am also a little confused about your reference to Sign as being dis- tinct from Constellations. There never was a zodiac of Signs prior to the 8th century AD. All previous reference were to the star spangled constellations - each precisely 30 degrees in length - each measured by a precise 30-day lunation - again I refer you to the problem of what to do with the extra five days of the year meeting. It is my understanding that the Kings list and the dynasty lists are in com- plete disarray - so how do you know these astronomical texts you mention relate to the 18th dynasty. Also, I do believe the Pleides were referred to as the seven sisters in ancient Egypt - but of course I will bow to superior knowledge - I wonder if you could cite the reference. As far as being the goddess of Fate and Fortune - the influence of this particular pattern was then and is now considered quit negative - bad luck. FROM MICHAEL POE You are partially out of my league except for the Egyptian lunar calendar, which was not made up of 30 days months, but 28 day months. Of course since the Egyp- 2081 tians was made up of 42 states, 2 kingdoms, and at least 13-14 traditions, there was more than one calendar. there was one based on the Sothic year (when Sirius sets just before the sun rises, which is a 365 day solar calendar; a Lunar calendar of 28 day months (which eventually coincided with the solar during the "Sothic" cycle), a 260 day calen- dar not based on any aspect of the sky, a solar 360 day calendar with 5 "intercalerary" days. Their lunar calendar was made up of 7 day weeks, while the solar had 10 day weeks. Oddly enough (or perhaps not so oddly), the solar calendar was the civil calendar for working, the lunar calendar was for the farmers. My EZ Cosmos program, which shows the sky from anywhere on earth from 4,117 bce to 10,000 ad, can give me the beginning Sothic year during ancient Egypt. It gave me the date of the 1st day of the 1st use of the Sothic calendar (which also coincided with the lunar calendar that year). A friend of mine did an astrology chart that showed a most intriguing configuration for that time. In case you're wondering, the year always starts on sunup, so the date was sun up at Memphis, Egypt at a certain day in July, in a certain year. Of course the Egyptians didn't, at the time, have the same zodiac names, although they recognized the constellations. The first zodiac of the common signs (or today's signs) in Egypt were done in the temple of Denderah (temple of Hathor), a beautiful work on the ceiling. Astronomy played a big part in ancient Egypt, notice the astronomical texts of the 18th dynasty. In case you are interested, Pleides was called the seven Hathors in ancient Egypt, and were considered the goddesses of fate and fortune. ---------- THE TEMPLE OF RA AT HELIOPOLIS The Temple of Ra in Heliopolis as described by Herodutus. Probably the largest temple in the world, it was about 2/3 of a mile long, and a 1/4 of a mile in width. The courtyard was described as made with polished black basalt stones, so polished that it reflected the stars above and made it look like one was walking among the stars. In the middle of the courtyard was a full size tree, its trunk and branches made with Lapis Lazuli, its leaves made with Turquoise! No doubt a most impressive court- yard! The entire temple is now under the suburb of Heliopolis, a suburb of Cairo. A small portion was uncovered 3 years ago, and showed the black basaltic paving stones of the courtyard. TAROT SYMBOLISM 2082 FROM: MICHAEL POE Since the tarot is not related to any Hindu philosophy, I don't, and neither do the earlier tarot references, refer to their philosophy to the symbolism, which is generally Her- metic (Hermetic is derived from Hebrew, Christian, Greek, and Egyp- tian). In hermeticism the eye is also symbolic of the Eye of Horus, the Egyptian Hawk god, who soars over the earth seeing everything that happens. White, red and black also refer to Egyptian garments worn by Initiates at least as early as the Greco-roman period and represents something completely different than the Hindu. White is the undergarment because it symbolizes the purified; the first garment put on after the initiate bathes in the sacred lake. The red lining is for the Inunda- tion of the Nile, or potential life giving. and Black is symbolic of the black earth of Egypt, the life, manifested. In the Waite deck, the dog also represents God, which it is if spelled backward, nipping the initiate along the path, but in ancient Egypt it is Anubis, the Guide and Guardian of the Initiate. Right hand and left hand have always in Hermeticism been associated with the Sun (right) and Moon (left), with the symbolism and meanings associated with both (and corresponds to what was prev- iously noted) Actually, all of the early Tarot decks, from the very first found in Italy up to the 1970's, reflect Hermeticism, and probably should be interpreted that way. However, currently there are so many different types of variations that interpretations of elements may need to be referenced to a particular deck. Hence, although, taking the Waite deck in view, the Hindu interpretation of the clothes changes the meaning from the original meaning of the card. Symbolism of the tarot is not universal. For example, black represents death (as a color) in Hermeticism, the tarot, and western civilization; but in eastern civilization black represent life, and white represents death. clearly a problem there! Skeletons generally represent death or afterlife to western civilization, but to some native american tribes and other people, it represents power and not death! Hence, not every symbol in the Tarot is universal or has a universal meaning. The tarot cards in general, like Jungian's archetypes, are universal, but the individual symbols are not. Another example: the lightning hitting the pyramid and the person falling off has no meaning with civilizations that don't have pyra- mids, and little to most that do. However, did you know that the pyramid in ancient Egypt represented the obelisk, which symbolizes the first ray of light (lightening) striking Earth? And that the pyramid, represents the top of the obelisk. that the obelisk were lightning rods? Pyramid in ancient Egyptian language means "Place to Ascend", whereas the card shows the person falling off after being struck by the first ray of light! 2083 Now, as to the left/right hand depictions. Of course in the earlier decks the Magician does not hold all four elements, but are located on the table. The Ace of cups, representing water, is not feminine in ancient Egypt; it is either masculine or both. Wands are neuter (the word for wand is neither male or female), earth can be either male or female, and air is male (while heaven is female). In fact the variety of male, female, neutral of the elements vary greatly in shamanistic religions of the Native Americans. But it is Hermeticism, which combines the Hebrew, Christian (more accurately Gnostic/Coptic), Egyptian and Greek, than assigns our present meanings to the four elements and suits. Since the earliest deck is Italian of the 14-15th century, the major influence would have been Hermeticism, not Hindu or other eastern religion. Bernard Bromage builds a decent case for Egyptian origin, which I explored in previous notes (did you see it, the symbols were so close that there had to be an influence). One may expect some Arab/Islamic influence (the Crusades were over), but the interest in Greek/Roman art and writers were great at that time. MIXED PANTHEONS, ETC. Pan is not Bacchus, or the great horned god of Europe. Despite the eclectic mind of today's Wiccan, that is of associat- ing all male gods with each other and all female gods with each other, is a disservice to both the god/dess and to the tradition. Ancient Egyptian traditions (of which there were a dozen or more) taught that you don't mix gods and goddesses indiscriminately, even if they do share SOME attributes or powers. Their "High Concept" was that even any one god/dess has several powers and to invoke specific powers required the knowledge of what sacred symbols are associated with that power, even if he/she (the god/dess) should be sitting down or stand- ing up, the ritual done in daylight or nighttime. Many shamastic religions don't mix and match their god/desses, don't do sun god/des- ses at night and vice versa. The thoughts or reasons behind it is that mixing and matching causes: a. The ritual will not be as effective. b. The ritual may not be effective. c. The ritual or the residue afterward will have powers that weren't intentioned by the person, but was part and parcel to the god/dess invoked. d. The ritual will backfire. e. The ritual will have residue that will be uncomfortable. f. It's warps the lines of power (more shamanistic thinking than Egyptian, who says that it warps the Sa, which translates as spiritual power). Many shamanistic religions do not ground their power after the ritual (after all, it usually is being held at a sacred spot). They feel that either because the power will be contained at the power spot, or the powers you invoked were clear enough not to leave a side effect. Still, I am not proposing to not ground yourself afterward. 2084 So, what I do propose is to not try to associate one god/dess with another. None of them will have the exact same attributes or powers. And invoking Pan and Bacchus at an Egyptian temple, or Pan at Stonehenge is just as bad as invoking Gabriel at the Great Pyramid! It won't work, you won't get the power from the spot you want, only your own, or negative power. Isis, for instance is considered by most Wiccan's as one of the Great Mother Goddesses. yet in ancient Egypt, out of her 3,000 year history, most of the time she was not known as a Mother Goddesses. At the Church of the Eternal Source (federation of Egyptian temples) Isis Priest/esses rarely held out for very long. All kind of terrible things generally happened to them. The main reason is that all of them used part of Isis's powers, and would not work, or refused to recognize her other powers. Eventually though, they seeped in anyway and to their detriment. Had they recognized all of her powers in the first place, things might have been different. Perhaps your basic misconception is that all goddesses represent the same forces; they don't; and neither do the gods. Yes, basically there is one great force that encompasses both male and female powers. This basic force, as it filters down, dif- ferentiates into different types of forces, and these forces are the god/desses that we know. Isis doesn't have the same powers as Sekhmet or Hathor or Bast. they may share some of the powers, but they have powers unique to them. Kind of like Leonardo De Vinci knowing a lot about everything, but Cellini was an excellent goldsmith, Van Gogh a painter, Perot a businessman. Hence, not all goddesses are the same, nor do they have the same powers. You might consider it like rivers and oceans in reverse. The ocean has all the attributes, and it drains it attributes into separate rivers (some swift, some calm, some wide, some narrow, some short, some long. In Egypt the ultimate deity was called "Neter", which translates as "Divine Principle" and the work is neuter, having both male and female principles within. The next in order is a male neter and a neteriat, a god and a goddess. Below that comes numerous god/desses which more specific powers and attributes. Now the question is, where these receptacles of specific powers invented by mankind or higher powers? In the long run, it doesn't matter as long as they work. 2085 Patheonists generally believe that there was a highest deity, followed by two (male and female), followed by others down to the spirits of earth, air, fire and water. If you want to make use of a specific power, you should go to a specific spirit or god/dess who has that power. You may not have a great success with one who only has some of it, or is so undefined or has so many other powers that it may get a little lost. If you want spicy food, don't go with a mole sauce, go for a Jalapeno sauce. Also it seems that the further away from the highest deity to get, the closer and more responsive it is to you. You may find that you get a better response with a fire ritual when using a fire elemental than of Sekhmet, and even less than using Amon (a solar god). ---------- THE ANKH Unfortunately the entry for "Ankh" in Barbara Walker's "Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets" got just about everything wrong. The ankh is not evolved from an ancient symbol of the Goddess in Libya and Phoenicia; the narrow triangle surmounted by a crossbar and a round or oval head in both Libya and Phoenic evolved long after the standard Egyptian ankh was made. In fact, it wasn't until after the ancient Egyptians either conquered or did extensive trading with both areas did their symbols evolve. Well, maybe the book didn't get it all wrong. It is a symbol for life (although not universal, for universal means that it was used universally or all over the world, and it isn't). It is true that both gods and goddesses in ancient Egypt held it, but they never presented it to kings and the people, the scenes show the god/dess holding it to the person's lips or head (which means bestowing life, and was not a present). the part about the Christians is true, and it's true that the ankh is the hieroglyph for the word "life", and is used in a common saying "Life, Health, Strength." But the ancient Egyptians never said that the ankh represented the union of male and female sexual symbols (which were quite dif- ferent symbols and bore no relation to the ankh, or resemblance to it). It was not the "Key of the Nile" (except maybe it was mentioned by the Greeks, who got most everything wrong about Egypt), nor is there any sacred marriage between God and Goddess taking place at the source of the Nile before the flood. In fact, in all of the Egyptian mythologies there is not one mention of any God and Goddess being married at the source of the Nile. the copts and the Gnostics both used the Ankh or Crux Ansate (Coptic word) before the 5th century ad, and both are Christian (well, an argument can be made about the Gnostics being Christians). 2086 The question is then: what did the ancient Egyptians consider the ankh representation? There are two ancient Egyptian references to the ankh representation, and both agree. The round oval or loop represented the Sun rising above, but not yet above the horizon; in the desert that makes the Sun elongate next to the horizon, making a loop like affair. The crossbar represents the horizon. The vertical section below the crossbar is the "Path of the Sun", which would be the light casting a path across the Nile. Hence, the Ankh represents Life because it represents the Path across the Nile (life blood of Egypt, but oddly enough the Nile is either male or hermaphrodite) past the horizon to the Sun (which, depending on the traditions of Egypt can be either male or female, but usually male). The most ancient ankhs cross bar was actually the symbol of the two mountains of sunrise and sunset (life and death, east and west), and also consisted of papyrus (or some other plant tied together). Taken as the two mountains, then the ankh represents the path of birth, life, and death. It never had male or female attributes, but as the path of birth, life and death, represents both. ---------- CO-PARTNERSHIP IN ANCIENT EGYPT The goddess dominated group seem to be the most outspoken in the *p* BBS, and it's a good thing that this particular subject was broached, as all the co-partner groups have come out (and alleviated the possible false impression that Wicca was just goddess oriented to those who are new). Horned gods in Egypt include Amon, Menthu, Serapis, Sokar. Since at the inception of ancient egypt, 42 different societies were involved in the consolidation of the kingdom (later to become nomes or states), and these societies were patrilineal or matrilineal, accommodation had to be made for both, so laws were passed making male and females equal. It was the 2nd King of the 1st Dynasty (around 3,070 bce) that passed a law that women could rule Egypt. Here they are, with the dynasties that they belonged. 1. Ist Dyn. Merneith 2. " Horneith 3. IV " Henutsen 4. V " Inty 5. VI " Ankhsenmerira 6. " Nitrokris (Noblest and Loveliest) 7. VII queen, name unknown 8. VII queen, name unknown 9. XII Sebek-neferu-Ra 10. XIII Aufna 11. XVIII Hatshepsut 12. Ptolemiac Period Cleopatra II 13. " " Cleopatra III 14. " " Cleopatra VII (the famous one) 2087 In the high magic section of ancient Egypt (the temples and their staff), in the temples to Gods the male priesthood predominated. Conversely in the temples to the Goddesses the female priesthood predominated (yet you still find male and females in both). Since many of the groups of gods in the cities were triads (male, female, off- spring), there were rituals to each separately, and rituals for both. Many times the god was worshipped in the day, the goddess at night, but of course, in Egypt, where many traditions did their own thing, sometimes it was reversed. In others, such as the city of Memphis, the female was the Sun, the male god was the moon or something else. Now as to magic and worship within the family and village. this is the part that is closest in tone to Wicca, so those of you into Wicca may find this interesting (especially as this is a little explored area even within Egyptology!). All families had a family shrine. Who presided over the shrine was usually determined by whether any in the family was an initiated priest/priestess. If none were, the eldest son usually presided (but again, there were many exceptions, in states where goddesses predominated, it was the eldest daughter). The orien- tation of the family life (farmer, sailor, trader, etc) determined the chief god/dess. A farmer's family usually had Osiris and Isis and co-partners; a healers, Sekhmet and Thoth. In villages, where there were no temples, then there were groups of interested people who belonged to a group, more formal than the family group, less formal than a temple, and was headed by an initiated priest/ess. Hence, in a village where there may be four initiated people, there usually would be four groups. For example, in a suburb of Hermopolis state there was a male healer of Thoth, a female healer of Sekhmet, a priest of Thoth, and a Priestess of Isis. Hence, there was a healing group, a female oriented (emphasis on midwife types) group, a divination group, and a family group (Isis). Some people belonged to several groups. All groups also worshiped other god/dess besides the chief one, and even in Isis, Osiris, during part of the year, had more emphasis than Isis. The Isis group did their magical thing in a sacred grove (another similarity, as sacred groves were important). Many families had dual shrines, with eldest son leading the god rituals, and eldest daughter leading the goddess, and neither predom- inated. In fact, god AND goddess were considered essential, each predominate in their powers, but always complementing each other. In the big temples, there was a lot of god/dess images going on visits to their spouses, and once a year, all of the god/desses journeyed down the Nile to the main temple. There is a book called "Mythological Papyrus" that has exact copies of the initiations of both priests and priestesses of various god/desses of the 21st Dynasty. All involved astral journeys of some sort according to their traditions. For those who are really into goddess worship you will be pleased to know that the last operating temple of Egypt was the Temple of Isis 2088 at Philae before it was closed by the Christians in the late 5th/early 6th century, however people continued coming for 100 years later, despite the Islamic conquest over the Christians in Egypt during that century. ---------- OSIRIS Hatshepsut is well known because the next Pharaoh became famous and his monuments (and those of hers that he defaced) are still in existence. In case you, or anyone else is interested, and especially if you are planning on a trip to Egypt in the future, Queen Henutsen, also called Isis, Mistress of the Pyramids and wife of Khufu (or Cheops) is sometimes seen in a white robe flittering (if that is a correct term) around the Great Pyramids and the other pyramids. The Egyptians raised Henutsen to the status of a Goddess and shrines were built for her. if you visit the pyramids, give an offering or a prayer to her, for she is the Mistress of the Pyramids and Guardian thereof. In ancient Egypt, to say the name of a person who is deceased is to make them live forever in heaven. by the way, other ruling queens were later elevated to Goddes- shood, Nitrokris, Merneith, Hatshepsut. If one looks carefully at the legends (also the sources and time periods of each legend) concerning Isis, one is led to the conclusion that there were indeed, two Isis's. There was Isis, the Goddess worshipped in the Predynastic period, and there was Isis, the Queen, who eventually merged with the goddess to our presently known Isis. the early stories of Isis's, shows a definite mythology of Isis the goddess, and a historical treatment of Isis the queen. Can it be, you ask? Yes. Predynastic and early Dynastic rulers had very short names, many of them named after their local gods. There was a predyna- stic king of Upper Egypt called Aher, named after Anher, the God of War. There are other examples,and everyone knows that later kings still incorporated God/desses names into their own names. Perhaps then the Contendings of Horus and Set, which is a tale of Osiris the King and Isis the Queen battling their brother Set, between the two kingdoms is actually a revised version of 2 brothers vying to unite the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt in predynastic times, with the names of the King and Queen of Upper Egypt being Osiris and Isis (or a close version thereof), versus Set of Lower Egypt (or a version thereof). It is interesting to note that up until the 7th Dynasty, the Egyptians reported to have known exactly where the tomb of King Osiris was in Abydos, and regularly put offerings there. during the 2nd Intermediate period (civil wars abounded), this knowledge was lost, and another tomb was misidentified as the tomb of Osiris. 2089 Therefore, if indeed, as the ancient Egyptians insist, that there was indeed a real Osiris, then it follows that there was an Isis that lived and breathed. The canonization of people in ancient Egypt into a form of saints or even gods are as old as predynastic times and existed all the way through to Cleopatra VII, last ruler of Egypt. There are famous women who were not rulers who were thus canonized. If you want to read more about Osiris, I suggest you read: Henri Frankfort: Ancient Egyptian Philosophy E. Wallis Budge: Osiris (not great, but comprehensive) W. Faulkner: The Egyptian Book of the Dead Rundle: Ancient Egyptian Religion Sigmund Morenz: Ancient Egyptian Religion Klaus Baier: Osiris, His Tomb in Abydos (article in the French Institute of Archaeology of Cairo, if you read French). ---------- Have you gotten a newsletter in May? The CES is currently undergoing a restructuring, there should be 4 newsletters and 1 to 2 Khepera (journals) per year. I will be contributing to both. In past newsletters I have contributed some spells, rituals, and many hymns that have been translated from temple walls or papyri or osteraca. I will be doing more extensive articles for the magazine, like one that will be on the metaphysical parts of man in ancient Egypt. Much of the material are extracts from my Magnum Opus. 90% of it is on paper as notes, and 1st drafts. Only 10% currently on computer, and that is where the future time will go. As putting it on computer, the notes will become 1st drafts; the 1st drafts will become more finished and polished to the 2nd draft stage (with additional notes added in; isn't computers a wonderful tool; insert note between sentences or add a paragraph without having to retype the entire page!). The 3rd and probable final draft will be adding last notes, final polishing, footnotes, indexing, and grammar and sentence checking. the Rituals, hymns, spells, blessings, consecrations, 4 direct- ional rituals, initiations are complete on paper, with about 10% of that on computer. Basically all of this is going into a data base, so cross referencing can be done. Although it may not be needed (but you may want to think about doing it) in Wicca, in Egyptian it is essential because of the traditions and large time frame involved. Example: Type: Blessing, Consecration, astral projection, mantras (yes, even mantras in Egypt). Main God/dess or Goddess: Main goddess invoked, plus any others, also there are some generic rites. Traditions: identifies the different traditions this particular ritual comes from. Source: Where did I acquire this? Much is from translations from published books (like Excavations at Abydos by Petrie (translations of hymns on temple walls), or from the French Institute of Archaeology in Cairo. 2090 Time Period: important occasionally because the god/dess powers and attributes changed over time. Form: what does the god/dess look like, stand/sit, hold during this spell/ritual. Visualizing one form of Isis that naturally invokes one set of specific powers, but using a ritual that invokes another set of powers creates conflict, and at best, won't be effective, and at worst, down right dangerous. Corresponding Codes: Since most Egyptian rituals are composed (as are wicca) of elements, such as drawing the circle, consecration, blessing, hymns, etc.; in Egypt they were given to the individual in parts. the individual was already trained on how to put the parts together. Hence, he or she may have 5-6 ways to invoke the 4 direc- tions, using three sets of god/desses. He/she may also have 10 bles- sings, 20 hymns, etc to different gods/goddesses. He has to know (like a alchemist) how to successfully match the parts together to make a successful whole. ---------- Recommendations on books on ancient Egypt and it's practices: Priests of Ancient Egypt: Serge Sauron (last word is probably misspelled.) Egyptian Religion: by Morenz Ancient Egyptian Thought and Culture: Henri Frankfort Egyptian Temples: by Margaret Murray Isis in the Greco-Roman World: probably by Michael Hoffman. ---------- MICHAEL POE'S EGYPTIAN READING LIST Compiled by Lady Lyn DenElder Black Ancient Egypt Thought & Culture, Henri Frankfort Ancient Egyptian Literature, Miriam Lichtheim 3 vol. set Ancient Egyptians, A. Rosalie David Egyptian Astronomical Texts, 3 vol. Neugebauer & Richard Parker..astrology/astronomy Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Mercer, SAB vocabulary & exercises Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, Faulkner Egyptian Reading, deBuck, Middle Egypt texts, exercises Egyptian Religion, Sigmund Morenz Egyptian Temples, Serge Sauneron Egyptian Temples, Margaret Murray Isis in the Greco-Roman World, ? Michael Hoffman ? Origins of the Zodiac, Rupert Gleadow, astronomy/astrology Priests of Ancient Egypt, Serge Sauneron Rise & Fall of the Middle Kingdom, H.E.Winlock anything by Henri Frankfort NO - BUDGE!!! There are some more specific books out, one on Thoth, one on Hathor, one on Imhotep, and a couple of others. The most interesting ones not on the list are also long out of print; The Coffin Texts (XI-XII Dynasty) of about 1,200 rituals and spells. The Pyramid Texts (IV-VI 2091 Dynasties) of about 700 rituals and spells, The Harris Magic al Papyrus, whose English edition runs around $ 1,700 or more, assuming you can find one. I finally found a German and perhaps a French translation and have a friend whose roommate reads both. The Harris Magical Papyrus is considered THE MOST IMPORTANT magical papyrus EVER found. I believe that Michael Grant is the author of Isis in the Greco-Roman world, but will check up on that. 2092 This is the transcript of the Online Beltane CON held on May 2, 1990 in Section 8 (New Age/Pagan/Occult) of the Religion Forum. (8-6,Gwynndon) This is a special night... relax, and the extra energy of it... will flow into you... we are a part of the Earth... dig your toes down into the soil, like the trees... and pull up the energy of the Mother... Breathe in with your heartbeat... also a lifeforce of the Earth... circulate the energy, and see the Earth as it is at night... visualize a bubble of blue light... forming to the East... spreading North... around to the West.... through the South, and connecting east again... and know that this circle is purified of the mundane. Facing the East ... Hail, Guardians of the Watchtower of the East... We do summon, stir and call ye... to join us, witness this rite, and Guard our Circle! Hail and Welcome! Facing the South... Hail, Guardians of the Watchtower of the South... We do summon, stir and call ye... to join us, witness this rite, and Guard our Circle! Facing West... Hail, Guardians of the Watchtower of the West... We do summon, stir, and call ye... to join us, witness this rite, and Guard our Circle! Facing North... Hail, Guardians of the Watchtower of the North... We do summon, stir, and call ye... to join us, witness this rite, and guard our Circle! Inspiration and air from the East... Fire and passion from the South... Water and Compassion from the West... Earth and stability from the North... All meet in the center, and form a web of life and power! So mote it be! (8-1,S.H.) So mote it be (8-5,Ian) So mote it be! (8-2,Jehana) so mote it be! (8-4,Peri) so mote it be! (8-6,Gwynndon) On this night at the beginning of the Warmtimes... 2093 let us remember the Belfire, and how it came to be... The Moon and the Sun, Goddess and God... are great lovers, the model for us all... and like human lovers, they have had quarrels. This particular quarrel developed because of the god... He built himself a beautiful garden... though he would not let his lady in to see it... a minor point became overblown... as it usually happens... and they stopped speaking for a while... Of course once forbidden... the lady wanted to see it all the more... and so the Moon Goddess wrapped herself in a cloak of Night... and by stealth got into this Garden... Well, the God was no fool... and he laid a trap for her... and so once inside, she could not leave again without alerting him... So the Goddess hid herself and began waiting... and since her patience far outshone that of the God... he began looking for her; he tired of waiting As soon as he left his post at the entrance of the garden... she sprang again into the air, getting free! So began a great chase through the Heavens... though the God could not catch his lady against her will... the people on Earth meanwhile were very worried... with all of the comings and goings of the Sun and Moon... and their priests bid them build great bonfires... on all of the hills to get the attention of the God and Goddess... Well, they eventually tired of the chase... and the Goddess let the God catch her... and being too tired to go back to that lovely garden... they forgave each other right in the middle of the sky... and so the eclipse was born... though it only looks like one from the Earth... it is really that cloak of the Goddess... covering their rites of Love! So we commemorate this beginning of warmtimes with the Belfire to this day. (8-2,Jehana) So mote it be. (8-5,Ian) As it was, so shall it be. (8-4,Peri) so mote it be! (8-1,S.H.) So mote it be! (8-6,Gwynndon) Green-eyed Lady, laughing lady! Brown-eyed Lady, sensuous lady! Blue-eyed Lady, Lady of Steel... Join our Circle... Be Wellcome!! Please honor the Goddess as you choose... in all of Her Forms, be Welcome! 2094 (8-2,Jehana) Be welcome! (8-5,Ian) Ceud Mile Fialte, Lady! (8-6,Gwynndon) Lady of Flame, Lady of Night, Blessed Be! (8-1,S.H.) With Adoration, I implore you. (8-1,S.H.) Blessed Be! (8-6,Gwynndon) Lord of Stream and Field... Lord of Mountain and King of Beasts... Wild Man of Nature, Be WellCome! Behold, the God has come to his Lady! Please honor the God in your own way... (8-1,S.H.) Hail Bounding One, Lord of Life and Death! (8-2,Jehana) Hail Hunter! (8-5,Ian) Ceud Mile Fialte, Lord! (8-6,Gwynndon) Great trickster, yet faithful master, Blessed Be! (8-1,S.H.) Blessed Be! (8-6,Gwynndon) Help me build the Bel-fire, so that the Lord and Lady be honored... As the flames jump higher and higher... So grows the cone of power... As we circle round the fire... in imitation of the Great Chase of the God and Goddess... so the energy builds and builds... envision that which you wish... and that which you wish to lose... and in this night of joy and celebration... cast it into the fire! That which we wish SO MOTE IT BE!! (8-1,S.H.) So mote it be! (8-4,Peri) so mote it be! (8-2,Jehana) So mote it be! (8-5,Ian) So mote it be! (8-6,Gwynndon) Allow the flames of the Belfire to calm down slowly... and as they lower, know that the energy is not gone... just transmuted... as the love of Goddess and God ever changes... yet always endures... (8-6,Gwynndon) May the energy help me with my finals next week... and those papers (8-2,Jehana) May the energy keep a one I know healthy. Thru the surgery he will have to undergo. (8-1,S.H.) May the problems of my past year and stay in last year. (8-5,Ian) I wish for the physical and spiritual strength to continue my physical rehabilitation and integration of my person again. 2095 (8-6,Gwynndon) Together we are greater than alone... and the Goddess and God are here to guide our energy onward... So let's leave them to finish their lovemaking in private... and thank them for attending!! (8-2,Jehana) Thank you, oh, yes! (8-6,Gwynndon) Great God... thank you for your help and attendance... and may we meet again!... Hail and Farewell, though not Goodbye! (8-1,S.H.) Oh My Lady, thou art the breath in my life... Oh my Lord, thou art the blood in my veins... As Life goes on, I shall never forget not forsake you. (8-5,Ian) Great Lord & Noble Lady, thank you for attending this circle! (8-1,S.H.) Blessed Be, and Merry Meet! (8-4,Peri) Hail and Farewell! (8-6,Gwynndon) and let us not keep the lady from her lover... Merry met, merry do we part, and merry shall we meet again! (8-1,Ian) So mote it be! Blessed Be! (8-6,Gwynndon) Guardians of the Watchtowers, without your balanced elements... (8-1,S.H.) Thank you Lord and Lady, and thank you Gwynndon, Blessed Be and Merry Meet! (8-6,Gwynndon) the world would not be.... thank you for attending our Circle! (8-2,Jehana) Hail & Farewell! (8-6,Gwynndon) The circle is open, but the Magic lingers... (8-1,S.H.) Hail and Fare thee well, oh Guardians of the Towers of the Universe. (8-6,Gwynndon) Thank you all! (8-2,Jehana) And, thank you, Gwynndon!! (8-1,S.H.) (pouring wine for Gwynndon) (8-2,Jehana) (g) (8-6,Gwynndon) takes a sip.....good wine! (8-5,Ian) (passing buttered Scones!) (8-2,Jehana) Nice vintage! (8-2,Jehana) Yum. (8-1,S.H.) nothing but the best for this crew... 2096 CompuServe on-line Imbolc Ritual, 1990 (Ladyhawk) This is Imbolc...or Candlemas...or Brigit's day This is the feast of the waxing light. What was born at the Winter Solstice begins to manifest The Lady, midwife to the infant year, now sees the Child Sun grow strong as the days grow visibly longer. It is a time of beginnings, when we select the seed we will later plant, nurture, and eventually harvest. After I do each invocation, I will pause and let each of you say a FEW words no more than 2 lines, your particular deity Right now, I'd like everyone to ground and center themselves... in the way that is best for you. As you do, see yourself bathed in a white light, cleansing you and your area. Now, mentally turn to the East: Powers of the East We bid you come To witness our rite And protect us! Now mentally turn to the South: Powers of the South We bid you come To witness our rite And protect us! Powers of the West We bid you come To witness our rite And protect us! Powers of the North We bid you come To witness our rite And protect us! Now, let us all link together Feel the earth energy welling up from the bowels of the Earth, our Mother Feel it rise to our feet and up through our bodies White light energy Feel it flow through us and link us, 2097 one with the other So finally we feel and see the circle of energy, the circle of power binding us together and setting us apart In a space not of this time, but of all times Not of these places, but all places! Blessed Be! Sun King! Horned One of animals and wild places Joyously we ask you come! All the land is wrapped in the chill of winter The trees are bare and the air is cold. Yet still our hearts are glad For we know you have been reborn And nurtured in your early days By the gracious Mother Goddess, Lady of all fertility. We bid you welcome And rejoice in your growing strength! Hail Great God! Hail and Welcome! (Jehana) Hail & Welcome! (Ocean Mist) u!/u (Shadow Hawk) Hail Mother, from you the Sun once more does grow! (Gwynndon) Hail and Welcome! (Shadowstar) Welcome, Lord of the Sun! (Jehana) Brigid, Arianhrod, Cerridwyn, Herne... Welcome! (Larne) Welcome Lord! Share with us your warmth and light! (Ocean Mist) Hail and welcome in your new light! (Ladyhawk) Great Goddess, Noble Lady! Known to the Celts as Brigit, Bride, Cerridwen, and more Goddess of Light Keeper of the sacred wells! We gather tonite to honor your who has nurtured the Sun King. As the spring lambs are born and the ewes come to milk, as we sense spring itself so close We bid you welcome as we Clear out the old and make way for the new Welcome Lady 2098 Welcome and all Hail! (Gwynndon) Bride is come! Bride is Welcome! (Jehana) Welcome, bright lady, spark of inspiration! (Rita) Welcome, Great Mother. Welcome and grow strong, Young Lord. (Shadowstar) Welcome, Lady of Light! (Larne) Welcome Lady! Nurture and help us as we grow! (Shadow Hawk) Mother smile upon us and bring us Life, Son shine down upon us and bring us Light! (Ocean Mist) Welcome goddess of light! (Ladyhawk) Now, let us each concentrate on that which we need to "sweep out" of our lives Picture it as, with a new, clean broom, you sweep it away and it vanishes in the air. And now, with ourselves cleansed, let us meditate on that we might wish to plant for this year... the "seed" we will plant in the spring. For, this is the time of chosing the seed and preparing for the planting. Gracious Lady! Help us chose wisely the seed! and now, with our seed selected and held dearly in our hearts, it is time to thank the Lady and the Lord. O Sun King, Horned One! We thank thee for thy presence Surely we feel your growing strength In our heart of hearts and find joy in knowing that as the sun grows, so do you! We thank thee for teaching us that even in the depths of winter Life grows! Farewell, Lord, if you must go. Though, gladly would we have you stay and rejoice with us. Hail, Sun King! Gracious Lady, We thank thee for thy guidance in selecting our seed. Truly will we hold it in our hearts 2099 Till the time of planting. We thank thee also For teaching us the wisdom of cleansing and letting go of that which is no longer useful to us. Thus do we heal of past hurts and grow in strength, even as does our Lord. We thank thee and bid you farewell if you must go, but gladly would we have you stay and rejoice with us! Hail, Gracious Lady! And now, we will let our circle sink back into the Earth once again. For all that comes of the Earth, must surely return to Her. But even as the circle departs, know that we are still bound By our love of the Gods and the Love between us. Blessed Be! (Shadow Hawk) Blessed Be (Rita) Blessed Be! (Ocean Mist) Blessed Be! (Shadowstar) Blessed Be! (Larne) Farewell Lord and Lady. Depart our circle, but be always with us. Blessed Be! (Jehana) Blessed Be! So Mote it Be! (Gwynndon) Blessed Be! (Vkai) Blessed Be! (Ladyhawk) Farewell, Powers of the East We thank you for Your attendence and protection Peace ever between thee and we! Farewell Powers of the South We thank you for your attendence and protection Peace ever between thee and we! 2100 Farewell Powers of the West We thank you for your attendence and protection Peace ever between thee and we! Farewell Powers of the North We thank you for your attendence and protection Peace ever between thee and we! The circle is open, but unbroken Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again! (Shadow Hawk) Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again! (Ladyhawk) (Shadow Hawk) (passing food) (Jehana) (Passing drink) (Larne) I'll have some of those cakes!