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The History Of Witchcraft 

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7





History of Witchcraft (part 7)

We have looked briefly at the similarities of the philosophies 
and vocabularies, but is that all that they had in common? Let's 
look at symbologies.

For many years, the cross has been the symbol representing the 
death of the Christian Christ. It has represented that through 
his death, man could be reborn into God's grace. Thus, we have 
the philosophy of life in death being connected to the cross. 
Is this the only time where this symbol was recognized as such? 
Let's go back to Egypt and find out.

An upright piece of wood, tied to a horizontal beam indicated the 
height of the flood waters on the Nile. This beam formed a 
cross. If the waters failed to rise during the season of 
planting, it meant a poor harvest for these people. Thus the 
cross was revered as a symbol of life and regeneration. 

The Ankh represents the genitals of both sexes. The cross itself 
is a primitive form of the phallus, and the loop that of the 
womb. Again, we continue the symbol of the cross as the giver of 
life.

Oh my gosh...did I use the word phallus in connection with the 
cross? Oops! 

Yes...even prior to this time was the cross a symbol of the 
phallus or fertility. This is not the only thing that the 
phallus has symbolized over the many centuries within and without 
the pagan world. It has also been used as a symbol of strength.

Within the Bible, we find several references to the horn also as 
a symbol of strength.

2 Samuel 22:3 - He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation.
Luke 1:69 - And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us.
Psalm 18:2 - He is my shield and the horn of my salvation.

The move from horn to helmet is followed up also in the bible as 
follows:
Isaiah 59:17 - For he put an helmet of salvation upon his head.
Ephesians 6:17 - Take the helmet of salvation.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 - ...putting on faith and love as a 
breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 

In Roman days a warrior would were horns on his helmet. If he 
came back defeated, he was said to have been dehorned. There are 
several references where a soldier who lost his helmet on the 
field was killed for this offense because it meant dishonor for 
him to loose his horn.

Shakespeare had much knowledge of the use of horns as a symbol of 
protection and victory as is evident in his works "As You Like 
It" (IV,2) and in "Measure for Measure" (II,4:16) when he writes: 
"Let's write good angell on the devill's horne; tis not the 
devill's crest." 

Even in modern days, the Catholic Church uses this symbol when 
setting the mitre upon the head of a newly consecrated bishop. 
The words used at such a time are: "We set on the head of this 
Bishop, O Lord, Thy champion, the helmet of defense and of 
salvation, that with comely face and with his head armed with the 
horns of either Testament he may appear terrible to the 
gainsayers of the truth, and may become their vigorous assailant, 
through the abundant gift of Thy grace, who didst make the face 
of Thy servant Moses to shine after familiar converse with Thee, 
and didst adorn it with the resplendent horns of Thy brightness 
and Thy truth and commandedst the mitre to be set on the head of 
Aaron, Thy high priest, Etc..." (Copies in Latin and translated 
can be found in The Order Consecration of a Bishop Elect with the 
imprimatur of H. Card. Vaughn, p. 14, Burns and Oates, 1893.) 

If we are looking at protections and the like, we must look at 
the use of stones and crystals within our lives. Yes, even in 
the Christain bible, the powers and uses of stones is mentioned. 
Exodus 28:15-21 - "Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions - 
the work of a skilled craftsman. MAke it like the ephod: of 
gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted 
linen. It is to be square - a span (9 inches) wide - and folded 
double. Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. In the 
first row there shall be a ruby, a topaz and a beryl; in the 
second row a turquoise, a sapphire (or lapis lazuli) and an 
emerald; in the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst; in 
the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper. Mount them in 
gold filigree settings. There are to be twelve stones, one for 
each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a 
seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes."

Exodus 28:9-14 - Take two onyx stones and engrave on the the 
names of the sons of Israel in the order of their birth - six 
names on one stone and the remaining six on the other. Engrave 
the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem 
cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree 
settings and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as 
memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the 
names on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord. Make gold 
filigree settings and two braided chains of pure gold, like a 
rope, and attach the chains to the settings. 

Though it does not say as much, we might take the engraving as a 
form of runes, again creating a similarity between the craft and 
religions of old.

From man's search for protection, we come to the telling by the 
stars...Astrology, and the use of stars as protectors of man.

The lore behind the star of David is an interesting tale. The 
easy interpretation is that of Zionism. The more research you do 
on this though, you will find that once again, depending on the 
cultures you look at, it's interpretation changes. The six-
pointed star formed by the superimposing of one triangle on 
another. The symbol is a combination of the male (apex upwards) 
and female (apex downwards) triangles; it is said, in cabalistic 
writings, to comprise the signs of the four elements and the four 
letters of the Tetragrammaton, and thus it came to be the symbol 
for God. Since the Biblical commandment puts a taboo on the use 
of the Name of God and on the depiction of God, the symbol was 
inscribed as the graphic representation of God in synagogues and 
wherever the Name was appropriate. In alchemy, the star of David 
combined the symbols for fire and water; hence, it meant 
distillation. Until recently, therefore, it appeared on shops 
selling brandy. The star of David is the symbol of Zionism and 
appears on the flag of Israel. As Solomon's seal, the hexagram 
possessed power to control demons of all kinds. The stopper on 
the bottle containing the bottle imp or jinni was stamped with 
the seal of Solomon. In the Nsibidi script of West Africa, a 
native form of writing, the symbol means ardent love; the 
universality of the male-female content of the sign is here 
apparent. 

Astrology also has interesting roots. Though the word itself is 
made up of the Greek words meaning "star logic" (astra - star, 
Logos - logic), the actual origin is yet to be determined. We 
read in the Epic of Creation of Sumer - Akkad, or Early Babylon 
(ca 2200-1900 B.C.) that: "The Star - Jupiter who brings 
prophecies to all is my Lord. My Lord be at peace. The Star - 
Mercury allows rain to fall. The Star - Saturn, the star of Law 
and Justice..."

The telling of fortunes by the stars underwent an avid growth 
spurt during the times of the Roman Empire, and though with minor 
qualms with the Christian church, it co-existed peacefully until 
the time of Constantine when all "pagan" activities were 
outlawed. Though outlawed within the Roman Empire, Astrology 
continued to thrive within the Middle East.

I realize that I said that I would touch on the inquisition and 
such, however, I think that it is common knowledge the document 
used to persecute those involved was written by the Friars within 
the Catholic Church at the time. The document, The Malleus 
Maleficarum, was a document designed to bring about fear within 
the Christian community, and more power to the church. What is 
not widely realized is that the majority of the persons that were 
either burned, drowned, or hung were not witches, but Protestants 
within the Christian church. (The ones that were Protesting the 
Catholic church.)

I realize that, at this time, this is a rather sketchy document. 
I hope in the near future to be able to take the time to develop 
more of the depth that I would like to put into bring up our 
roots. I hope to include in the expanded edition the times of 
burning, modern witchcraft, more symbols, and famous persons in 
the craft.

We've changed...but then as a good friend has told me on more 
than one occasion..."When we cease to change, we cease to grow. 
When we cease to grow, life ends."


Bibliography

The Golden Bough - Frazer, Sir James George, Macmillan Publishing 
Co., NY, NY c 1922

Witchcraft The Old Religion - Martello

Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and 
Legend

The History of Witchcraft - Russell, Jeffrey B., c 1980

Encyclopedia Britanica - 1986

The Holy Bible (New International Version)

Under the Spell of the Zodiac - Mark Graubard

Alchemy: Origin or Origins? - H. J. Sheppard, AMBIX, July 1970

Magic, Supernaturalism, and Religion - Seligmann c 1948

This Bibliography encompasses the entire 7 document series here 
on this series.








 

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