On Not Buying into Ancient Propaganda

When I was working on Gnostic and New Testament Studies and stuff like that at the GTU in the 1970s, there was one especially important book I could not get hold of: the Panarion (“Medicine Chest for Heresies”) by Epiphanius (d. A.D. 403).  More precisely, I could not find a translation of it. The Greek text I could find, in Professor Migne’s collection of all the writings by the Church Fathers, in Greek and in Latin, from many centuries. Not a vast number of libraries own the complete set of abo … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 5: The Work Begins

VII. The Work Begins  To Zeus all things are beautiful, just, and good, but men have supposed some things to be just, others unjust.At eight o'clock on Saturday night, I walked up the steps to Brendan and Megan’s house on the hillside behind the campus, the sort of Tudorish half-timbered mansion you might expect a college professor with lots of kids to have. The members of the ad hoc translating committee were already filling the circle of overstuffed chairs and couches in Megan’s li … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder (Episode 3)

V. Burgled By the will of Fortune all things are conscious. . . . At times Love makes one out of many; at others, Strife makes many out of one.  EmpedoclesAfter the Jesuit community Mass in Bob's honor, I went up to my office. Opening the door, I gazed upon chaos. All the drawers in the desk and file cabinet were open. Paper was strewn everywhere. All the books on my shelves had been swept onto the floor. At least paint and ink hadn’t been poured on everything.I went downstairs, told Sh … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder: A Tale of Love, Witches, and Gnostics (Episode 1)

 [I’ve been posting on here only about once a week recently. I enjoy this, I’m able to have people see my writing, I think what I’m writing is important, but it is hard to find or justify the time when I’m dealing with issues like, “It’s more sensible to pay the electric bill rather than the cable bill. Internet won’t work anyway without electricity.” In theory I could earn money from this—if I had three times as many hits per month. But, of course, what I write doesn’t have the entertainment val … [Read more...]

More Wisdom & Wisecracks of the Old Ones

Hermes Trismegistos, X, 24-25: Humans are being divine in nature,  comparable not to other living creatures on the Earth, but to the Gods in Heaven. Indeed, if we speak truly and fearlessly, a person who is indeed truly human is superior to the Gods in Heaven, or at least equal to them in power. None of the Gods of Heaven will ever quit Heaven, pass its boundaries, or come down to Earth, but humans ascend to Heaven and measure it. What’s more, they mount to Heaven without quitting the Earth, to … [Read more...]

Wisdom & Wisecracks of the Old Ones

“No Greek sacrifices an elephant or a camel to the Gods—because Greece does not produce camels or elephants.” That’s Porphyry, quoting someone much smarter than himself. It explains a great deal about religion in general.Once someone asked Victor Anderson why he used a red tablecloth on the altar. He replied, “Because I had a red tablecloth.” “Beware lest these teachings be divulged to uneducated people. For dew teachings sound more ridiculous to the ignorant  . . . or more profound to the … [Read more...]

The Queen Who Is Hidden in the Gospels, Part II

At the end of Part I, I asked, Would the people in Jesus’ time have known who the Queen of Heaven was? Yes, they certainly would have, but to see why, we must look at how the state religion of the Kingdom of Judah (which therefore came to be called Judaism) was founded and at the career of the prophet Jeremiah. The full history of the founding of Judaism can become a very long story, which I will save for another time. Here I want to touch upon only the details relevant for answering that q … [Read more...]

On Gnosticism, the Book of Shadows, and Sex

I received a few days ago my monthly statistical report from Patheos on how many hits I received last month, total, per day, per blog, etc. My total has been running just under 5,000. If I get up to 12,500, I start getting paid (hint, hint). It was interesting to see that the greatest number of hits were on two blogs: “On Jesus as a Gnostic” and “Some New Pages for the Book of Shadows.” I suppose I might garner some more hits if I expand upon those particular topics. I also see I’ve written somew … [Read more...]

Why the Gods Are Infinite

A dialog about whether the Gods are infinite or not often begins with “Gerald Gardner wrote that the Gods of the Wica are ‘little gods.’” Yes, he did, but he was not very interested in abstract theology. I don’t think he was asserting that, if the Abrahamic God is infinite, then our Pagan Gods must be finite. Rather, his point was that, whereas (many) Christians believe in a God who is distant, arbitrary, angry, vengeful, and punishing, Witches believe in Gods who are nearby, kind, compassio … [Read more...]

Aporrheton5: The Laws of Magic (Revised), Part III

[Yes, this is the third and last part, for now.]9. You must not betray the secrets that cannot be told.This Law addresses the Arrheta. Insofar as Craft Laws are simply observations of how psychic reality works (and it is for that, really, that we should value them), then they are "self-enforcing" like any other statement of fact.  So what this law means is:(a) Never give anyone power of life and death over you;(b) Don't violate your own sense of your self-integrity; you know what … [Read more...]