Assorted Quotations from the

Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

By Barbara Walker



* Assorted Quotations from Barbara Walker's Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets *

(Footnotes have been omitted.)

From "Devil"

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.

From "Devil"

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!!!]

From "Mistletoe"

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.

From "Magi"

"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' divinity.

From "Mantra"

... 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.

From "Martyrs"

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 the Jews.

From "Mary"

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 the sea.

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".

From "Romance"

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 our religion."
[Birdman comment: How's that for rewriting history? OK, OK, it isn't really history...]


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