Paganism 33

(NOTE: Some of the themes of these articles may not be appropriate for young readers. Please keep that in mind when sharing this information).

It is written:

“But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9  Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him. 10  and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11  And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12  Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.” (Acts 13:8-12)

We have noticed that pagans meet together in meetings called “circles.” While there are ritualistic sexual perversions that often take place in these meetings, what else do pagans practice?

The following account is from a modern day witch. He is a journalist who has studied the Craft for some time.

“How often a coven meets is up to the coven. The year’s eight festivals or sabbats (described in detail in Ch. 7) are the high spots of the calendar. For these, two or more covens may join forces. The ordinary meetings or esbats are traditionally held ‘once in the month and better it be when the moon is full’, but an active and enthusiastic coven is likely to meet more often….The work of an ordinary coven meeting may include initiations, either first degree (making a newcomer into a witch) or second and third (which are normally taken together; the second degree qualifies a witch as a High Priest or High Priestess, and the third celebrates the fact). It will almost certainly include healing work, for members of the coven or for non-witches who may or may not be present. It may include the tackling of personal problems (amatory, professional, domestic), again for witch or non-witch. It may include scrying, evocation, trance—either to help in healing or problem-solving, or as independent exercises for the development of individual witches and the coven as a whole. Problems of fertility or its limitation, once a mainstay of a coven’s activity, are seldom brought to witches in these days of (among other things) fewer horses, factory farming, better hygiene, and the Pill. Problems of psychic defence and counterattack (another old mainstay) have softened, with the end of persecution and terror, into neutralizing the occasional case of personal malice. So the role of healing has expanded in proportion….After the Circle has been cast, every meeting starts with Drawing Down the Moon.1 In fact the whole of the Circle casting ritual enters into this, but the heart of it is the calling the Goddess to descend into the body of the High Priestess, who then continues to personify the Goddess until the Circle is finally banished. Instead of the High Priestess, the Maiden may be chosen for this role on any particular occasion. The Maiden is, in effect the Deputy High Priestess….For Drawing Down the Moon, the High Priestess stands in the north of the Circle, facing south and assumes the ‘God position’—feet together and hands crossed on her breast. The High Priest gives her the Fivefold Kiss….She assumes the ‘Goddess position’—feet astride and arms outstretched making a Pentagram of her own body—and recites the Charge.2 The Drawing Down of the Moon is now complete. Any initiations on the agenda usually come out. The second and third degree rite is dealt with in the next chapter. I have tried to show in Chapter 1 how the first-degree ceremony appears to an initiate, but a few comments on it from the coven’s point of view might be helpful here….Apart from this, the only difference between initiating a man and initiating a woman is the wording of the Fivefold Kiss. For a woman, it is ‘blessed be thy womb’ instead of ‘blessed be thy phallus’, and ‘thy breasts, formed in beauty’ instead of ‘thy breasts, formed in strength.’…One other point should perhaps be emphasized, to avoid misunderstanding. The sharing of cakes and wine, which follows every invitation (and most meetings, in fact), is in no way a parody of the Christian Mass, whatever professional persecutors may have said.” (Stewart Farar, What Witches Do: A Modern Coven Revealed, 1035-1100 (Kindle Edition); FW Media)

This author also talks about other activities of the coven, including: initiation and training of new witches; tarot card reading and instruction; and astral projection. Each of these will be studied in-depth in future articles.

Another interesting thing of note is the similarity between the terminology and practices of paganism and Freemasonry. These connections will also be explored in future studies. There are many reasons why Christians should not be involved in the Masonic Lodge.

Furthermore, while many modern day pagans and Satanists talk about the “healings” that they perform, they are often not as quick to speak about the curses that they regularly perform. Several that I have worked with in the Hazard area over the years have told me about the ways in which they attempt to curse people, especially Christians and churches, in order to afflict and destroy them. I have been told at times of specific rituals which were performed to afflict various individuals. I have heard from several sources about how the church of Christ in Couchtown has been specifically targeted and is a regular focus of pagan and satanist curses, in which demonic spirits and attacks are leveled against us.

Following is the account of one woman who was, for years, thoroughly involved in witchcraft. She describes what happened when her coven invoked a deadly curse on a preacher:

“A small robed group who had parked on the north side in a Parking Lot was standing on the perimeter of the circular clearing as I hastily parked and got out to join them. The “entry” to the Circle was marked with a staff planted in the ground, its red, white, purple and blue flags with occult sigils flying in the breeze. Next to it were two guardians, and I walked confidently toward them. “Halt!” the taller man in a tan robe said. “Who goes there?” I stood before him in the pine-scented winter night, shadows on the guards’ faces, “It is I,” I replied. “I come in the name of the L.O.R.D.” “Who is the L.O.R.D.?” the second guard asked. For a moment, my nervous excitement almost made me forget the answer. “Legions of Regal Dissenters.” “Pass,” they said in robotic chorus. I’d entered the Hidden Hierarchy’s Invisible Knights’ Sanctorum, where twice-thirteen robed members stood in the Circle on the wintry ground, surrounded by tall, dark pine trees. The trees whistled in the wind like eerie sentries, guarding the secret meeting, and I shivered in the cold. Somewhere nearby, outside the Park, children were casting admiring glances up at Christmas trees decorated with popcorn and twinkling lights, and sitting on their parents’ knees, while they told them happy stories about Santa Claus. Some of them were no doubt members of the Churches for which I played harp. But here, an alternate reality was taking place, here at the midnight meeting of the most secret Occult Circle, and I was a welcome participant! • A tall robed man stepped into the Circle briskly. He wore dark glasses in spite of our being there in the dark, and he rang a bell that resounded. All the robed figures in the big Circle stood motionless, at attention. “We are here,” he said, “to practice the dark arts on this auspicious time, midnight, in the forest primeval! Hail, ye members of infinity, come to practice Hay-ka!” I shivered, for I knew that in ancient Egyptian, “Hay-ka” meant speaking magickal Words of Power. “If any here is a spy, may he be cursed forevermore! Join hands, those who are loyal royal beings, to chant creation of our magick Circle.” He stamped his staff into the ground and they hummed and chanted on a single tone: “This Circle’s cast And all who’ve passed From mortal guise Join us, the Wise Men’s League of Maguses, As, through the ages, We have wielded lightning strokes Of power! We are Zeus’s folk. We now invoke Our magick spell: Ready? Foretell!” The leader pointed at the man standing in the northern corner, and called, “Tobin, announce the rite we’re gathered to do tonight!” A short, plump man in a black robe took one step into the Circle, holding up something for us to see. “First,” said Tobin, “we welcome to our Circle one whose reputation reached us. Ann Grammary! Sorceress of power — remove your hood that we may be sure it’s you!” I slipped my hood back, and shivered as a cold breeze whistled through the pines. I waved tentatively to the group, who’d drawn wavy daggers from their waists, and saluted me, “Hail, our guest of honor Come to cast a spell that’s right! Though you’re female, you have donned A man’s mantle tonight!” They sheathed their daggers. “This,” said Tobin grimly, “is our target tonight:” he held up a poppet voodoo-type doll in his left hand and pointed his ritual dagger at its throat, “This be our Enemy — whom we smite, Darkness engulf him on this night, He will not live to cast the light Of Jesus, or give pretty speeches To lost souls. Our power reaches Out to stop his words, I say — DEATH TO THE PREACHER-MAN, TODAY!” I gasped as he lifted the poppet high, and the moon darted out from behind rushing clouds, showing me the poppet’s cloth face was a photographic replica of Billy Aymen, the famous Preacher who was to speak on Sunday to an enormous crowd in Berkeley, entreating them to come forward and be born again. Tobin handed it to the robed man on his left, who stabbed it, and shouted, “DEATH TO YOU! O PREACHER-MAN! GO STRAIGHT TO OUR HELL, DIE AND BE DAMNED!” He handed it “Widdershins”, to the man on his left, who repeated the curse, stabbing the poppet’s heart. I grew cold, not from the 40 degree temperature outside, but from the frozen realization that SOMETIMES SPELLS WORKED, and that someone had thought that my “great magical powers” were an essential addition to Circle #9’s hex! If this curse worked, I’d have helped cause Pastor Aymen’s death! I couldn’t believe Zak had known tonight’s ritual would be a death curse: Zak was a kind, wise genius who had goodwill toward all, as I’d seen again and again. Yet he’d phoned Loki to have me invited here! My head whirled with conflicting thoughts, and fear. As it was passed from hand to hand, knives plunged into the replica of the Preacher Man; it began to look more and more ragged. Was the Pastor beginning to feel a horrible heart attack? I knew in a flash that if I did not repeat the curse with the exact Ritual phrase, and stab the replica, they would turn on me, and target ME. I stood frozen in place, not knowing what to say. The man on my right plunged his dagger into the heart of the poppet, and extended it to his left, thrusting it into my hand. If only I were back at Church, where they prayed harmlessly to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, my pounding heart and breathless gasps calmed, as if the tornado of my emotions had whirled me to the eye of a storm. I opened my mouth and words came out unbidden, like a clarion call: “THOU SHALT NOT KILL!” I ran away toward my car parked to the north, and after a moment’s silence, the occult Circle’s members screamed their imprecations at me. “Traitor!” called the leader, who’d whipped his dark glasses off as the mob ran after me. “You’ve ruined our Ritual!” I made it to my car, grabbing my keys from my pocket, immensely grateful for the clicker that unlocked its front door, and I threw myself in the driver’s seat and drove away. Behind me I could hear them casting curses at me. I was trembling. How had I pronounced those words, “Thou shalt not kill” so steadily?” (Joyce Rosenfield, Witchcraft & Christianity: The Story Of My Salvation, 110-114 (Kindle Edition); Bloomington, Indiana; West Bow Press)

Do pagans really have power?

This will be the focus of our next article.

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