Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets
* Assorted Quotations from Barbara Walker's Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets *
(Footnotes have been omitted.)
One might think that an 'enlightened' modern society
would have given up the idea of the Devil. But a poll taken in
1978 showed "2 out of 5 Americans believed in devils."
The strange viability of devils may arise from their usefulness
in assuaging the guilt of God and man. "Both Judaism and
Christianity have maintained that God must be given the credit
for all the goodness in human history, and that men must take the
blame for all the evil." Thus, the real purpose of the Devil
was to take some of this heavy responsibility off frail human
shoulders. In short: The Devil, not Christ, was the true
scapegoat who assumed the burden of men's sins.
The Church created the idea that witches were the
Devil's helpers, involved in a vast plot to undermine Christian
society. This theory was the real root of the witch mania. The
people were generally indifferent to the priests' witch-hunting
until this theory was forced on them by propaganda from the
pulpit, which deliberately played on their fear of the Devil
after stimulating it in the first place.
[Birdman comment: Vast plot? Does this mean that Churchmen were the first Conspiracy Theorists???? Good heavens, Martha -- get me my Smelling Salts!!!]
Sacred-oak cults continued throughout the Christian
era. In the 8th century A.D., the Hessians worshipped the oak god
at Geismar, and gave his holy tree the name of Jove (Jupiter). As
late as 1874, an ancient oak-tree shrine in Russia was worshipped
by a congregation Ied by an Orthodox priest. Wax candles were
affixed to the tree, and the celebrants prayed, "Holy Oak
Hallelujah, pray for us." A drunken orgy ensued. Modern
customs of kissing under the mistletoe [which is typically found
on oak trees] are pale shadows of the sexual orgies that once
accompanied the rites of the oak god.
"Magicians", Three Wise Men inserted into the Christian birth-story because Persian-Essenic sages taught that the Magi were the only seers able to read the coming of the Messiah's star and so identify the right Divine Child. This teaching stemmed ultimately from Egypt, where the Three Wise Men were the three stars in the Belt of Orion, pointing to Osiris's star Sothis (Sirius), which "rose in the east" to announce the coming of the Savior at the season of the Nile flood. These three Belt stars were still called Magi in the Middle Ages.
In Rome early in the Christian era, Magi meant priests
of Mithra (the original Persian "messiah"), or
astrologers, or miscellaneous healers and miracle-workers; it was
a term for magicians in general. Roman Christians were hostile to
the Magi but were forced to retain the three Magi of the Gospel
story because their presence was emphasized as evidence of Jesus'
... a Mantra loses its efficacy when translated into another language.
The same belief led the Catholic Church to retain
Latin as its liturgical tongue, 1500 years after Latin ceased to
exist in the mouths of ordinary folk. Like Brahman priests with
their God-controlling mantras, church fathers thought the very
sound of the words had been invested with magic power at the see
of St Peter; so translation of the Latin robbed the words of
their power to make God act. This superstition forced Christian
to listen, century after century, to Church services of which
they couldn't understand a single word.
Some of the early churches taught that martyrdom was
required [for individuals] to be among the blessed in heaven.
Apocryphal Gospels quoted Jesus: "Truly I say to you, none
of those who fear death will be saved; for the kingdom of death
belongs to those who put themselves to death." Tertullian
said he longed for martyrdom, "that he might obtain from God
complete forgiveness, by giving in exchange his blood".
Gnostics however ridiculed martyrdom, saying it made God a
cannibal who desired human blood; and the advocates of martyrdom
were said to inflict it on each other all too often. Some Gnostic
writings denounced other Christians for "oppressing their
brothers" and even making children suffer, to save their
souls. This was one of the sources of the charge that Christians
sacrificed children to their deity. Centuries later, Christians
used the same charge of child sacrifice to justify persecution of
In an effort to make Mary's impregnation as sexless as possible, some Christian ascetics invented very peculiar mechanisms for it. Sacred art showed semen emanating from God's mouth and passing thru a long tube that led under Mary's skirt [Oral sex! And with God sucking himself off! Oh, my .. Martha, hurry up with those smelling salts!]. Some theologians claimed God's seed was carried to Mary in the beak of the Holy Dove. Others said it came from Gabriel's mouth to be filtered thru the sacred lily before entering Mary's body by way of her ear. [Ear sex?] ...
Tho the Christian God took over the Triple Goddess's
ancient trinitarian character at the Council of Nicaea, there is
some evidence that early Christians perceived Mary as a trinity.
... For some centuries, eastern churches worshipped a
Father-Mother-Son trinity modeled on such pagan triads as
Osiris-Isis-Horus, Zeus-Rhea-Zagreus, Apollo-Artemis-Heracles,
etc. This idea was so commonplace that even writers of the Koran
felt compelled to deny the divine trinity of God, Mary and Jesus.
Moslem sources also preserved another manifestation of the Virgin
Goddess Mar (Mariam) or Sancta Maria, mother of the Persian
savior Mani. As "the Sea" (Maria), the Triple Goddess
swallowed up the god she gave birth to. In solemn imitation the
women of Alexandria threw images of Osiris into the sea after his
Passion Play. Hebraic copies of this rite probably account for
Plutarch's report that the chief city of Palestine -- Jerusalem
-- was built in honor of a child whom Isis killed and threw into
From "Menstrual Calendar"
The thirteen months of the menstrual calendar [there
are 13 moon-months in a calendar year] also led to pagan
reverence for the number 13, and Christian detestation of it.
Witches' "covens" were supposed to be groups of 13 like
the moon-worshipping dancers of the Moorish zabat (sabbat), to
whom 13 expressed three-in-one nature of the lunar Goddess.
Some said that 13 was a bad number, because Christ was the 13th in the group of apostles, thus the 13th member of any group would be condemned to death. Actually, it was the Church's opposition to pagan symbolism that brought opprobrium on the number 13. Some even feared to speak its true name, and it was euphemized as a "baker's dozen", or sometimes "devil's dozen".
Sufi sages taught that a man can find spiritual
fulfillment only in love, realizing woman as 'a ray of deity'.
The word Sufi contains 'in enciphered form, the concept of Love.'
Deciphered, it reduced by the Arabic numerological system, to
three letters: FUQ, meaning 'that which is transcendent'.
[Birdman comment: Is this the origin of 'fuck'?]
From "Virgin Birth"
After Christianity was established as the official
religion of the Roman empire, however, Church fathers tried to
discredit all other virgin births by claiming that the Devil had
devised them and maliciously placed them at a past time so they
would pre-date the real Saviour. Justin Martyr wrote: "When
I am told that Perseus was born of a virgin, I realized that here
again is a case in which the serpent and deceiver has imitated
[Birdman comment: How's that for rewriting history? OK, OK, it isn't really history...]
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