"The One"

Discussion in 'Pagan' started by Child of a New Day, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Child of a New Day

    Child of a New Day New Member

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    I just finished reading a Cunningham book and he talked about "The One". A diety higher then the Goddess and God. He said the One is the devine source and created the God and Goddess and the God and Goddess created us. Then I think he wrote an invocation or something to "The One" or for "The One". Anyway it sounded kind of Gnostic to me and I was just wondering where he got that from. He also mentioned "The Key of Solomon". Anyway if some one could elaborate that would be great. I would love to learn more!
     
  2. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Hmmm... interesting. I'm afraid I can't speak to Cunningham, Gnosticism, or the "Key of Soloman," as I haven't read this book nor am I Gnostic.

    However, my own ideas, formed from other sources and my own experience, is that there is a Being I came to call the "Divine One" (without reference to any other source, just of my own thought process) that is experienced by people as Goddess/God or as God in various forms- such as the triune Christian God. My own personal belief is that the One is not a separate Being from Goddess/God or from the triune Christian God, etc., but rather the forms in which people experience the One are perceived and expressed in those terms. Particularly the idea of goddess and god are culturally bound to ideas about masculinity and femininity, and these ideas are not universal and so can be problematic. I believe that the experience of goddess and god are real, but filtered through our cultural and religious lenses, so they may be perceived of and expressed in quite different ways depending on our cultural and religious background. My own experience, however, is that the various forms in which I have experienced God/dess (who I generally just shorten to "God" in a gender-neutral form) are aspects of the Divine One and not separate beings. My own general feeling is that to experience the One as It is in its entirety would entirely overwhelm us, so the One interacts with us based on our needs, backgrounds, etc. so as to further our spiritual growth.
     
  3. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Scott Cunningham does talk about his version of Wicca having a deity structure as follows:

    "The One" -- essentially a supreme, unknowable deity that encompasses everything
    The God (or The Lord) -- the male half of "The One" -- a more accessible way for humans to approach the Divine but works in conjunction with The Goddess to make up a whole
    The Goddess (or The Lady) -- the female half of "The One" -- a more accessible way for humans to approach the Divine but works in conjunction with The God to make up a whole

    Then the Lord and Lady are seen to manifest in the enormous multitude of specific gods and goddesses that we have from all cultures. For instance, Hecate is a manifestation of the Goddess, but the Goddess is definitely much more than just Hecate.

    Cunningham is not the first Wiccan to describe the Divine this way. Patricia Crowther, one of Gerald Gardner's high priestesses, taught (and perhaps introduced to Wicca) a term called "the Dryghten" when referring to what Cunningham calls "The One." Crowther published her Dryghten Prayer in her book "Witch Blood!" back in 1974. Cunningham's Blessing Prayer in "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" (published in 1990) is based on Crowther's Dryghten prayer. (Cunningham's version is the one that starts "May the power of The One, the source of all creation..." so it clearly reinforces the idea of a single Supreme Divine.)

    Another earlier source of this idea about the Divine being a single supreme entity that manifests in the forms of the multiple deities we know about is also clearly present in The Charge of the Goddess. Gerald Gardner included a version of the Charge back in the very first Book of Shadows he used with his initiates. Doreen Valiente rewrote The Charge of the Goddess into the version most Wiccans know today (along with rewriting large chunks of Gardner's original Book of Shadows) back in the 1950s when she was Gardner's High Priestess. She talks about this in her book "The Rebirth of Witchcraft."

    The part in The Charge of the Goddess that talks about the Goddess being known by many names in many different cultures though was, in turn, borrowed from an older source: Lucius Apuleius' novel "The Golden Ass" which was written sometime between c. 123 - c. 170 CE. Apulieus was describing the cult of the goddess Isis, and the passage where Isis appears to the protagonist and speaks to him is the basis of the start of the Wiccan Charge of the Goddess. So we know that the idea of a supreme deity manifesting to humans as a variety of gods and goddesses predates Gerald Gardner and modern Wicca.

    "The Golden Ass" is not the oldest reference to this idea either. The idea of a supreme, essentially unknowable Divine that manifests through lesser more approachable deities is also taught within some popular branches of Hinduism. If you research Hindu deities you'll often find they are described this way, although the most popular one that is described this way is Brahman.

    One other thing to note is that while there are definitely Wiccans who believe that "All gods are One God, all goddesses are One Goddess" (to paraphrase the popular statement made by Dion Fortune which Wiccans have adopted), there are also many Wiccans who disagree and insist that all deities are definitely NOT one supreme deity. There is room within Wicca for these and other ideas. Wicca is not a dogmatic religion.
     
  4. florian

    florian New Member

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    I have not read the Cunningham book you mention however I can offer the following info which I hope is useful.

    The "Key of Solomon" is a book 'Clavicula Solomonis';"the most famous and important of all Grimoires, or handbooks of Magic " There is an online translation here :

    http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm

    Gnosticism consists of many varying sects and beliefs , the closest I can find to your suggestion is this from an article on Gnosticism in Hastings Dictionary of Religion and Ethics vol6

    "The godhead is conceived under the form of a triad ....the supreme unknown father whose essence is light . He is a primal being who descends through a series of lower existences . or Aeons . One of these is Sophia who is identified with the ancient mother goddess (Ishtar,Isis,Atargatis,Cybele ) The male Aeon of supreme rank is called Soter or Christus ( despite his name he is prechristian and similar figures appear in Hellenistic cults .) his task is to deliver the fallen Sophia and rescue the scattered fragments of light ."

    However I suggest that the various
    systems of Gnosticism are so varied and elusive that it is possible to read almost anything into it .

     
  5. didymus

    didymus New Member

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    The concept of gatthering the scattered shards of light is also found in the Kabbalah and other Jewish beliefs. Do you know which one came first? Did the gnosics get this idea from the Jews or vise versa, or was this someone else's idea?
     
  6. florian

    florian New Member

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    Yes it struck me also when I read this passage .The similarity between the scattering of the light in Gnosticism and the Kabbalistic 'Breaking of the Vessels' ( Shevirat ha-Kelim ) As to which came first , the origin of Kabbalah is much disputed but the earliest texts are medieval .It is impossible to say how early the ideas are since it claims a long hidden or oral tradition . The Gnostic texts are much earlier and many date from Classical Antiquity.



    G Scholem in 'Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism' cites many examples of the influence of Gnostic ideas on Jewish mystical writings .'the Kabbalah of the 13th century was the offspring of a union between an older , Gnostic tradition and the comparatively modern element of Jewish Neoplatonism '.

    According to Scholem 'The breaking of the vessels' was developed by Isaac Luria . He says Luria took the idea from a suggestion in the Zohar which refers to the destruction of worlds before the creation of the cosmos .He says that this Lurianic concept is simliar to Gnostic cosmology e.g. that of Basilides .

    According to Luria, the ten vessels that were originally meant to contain the emanation of God's light were unable to contain that light and were hence either displaced or shattered. As a result of this cosmic catastrophe the world within which we reside is flawed , composed of the shards .

    The similar Gnostic idea (acc. to Hans Jonas 'The Gnostic Religion' ) is that the cosmic tragedy took place when the original unity was split up , portions of light were separated from the highest godhead and were dispersed and mixed with lower matter throughout creation .The process of salvation is the gathering in of what has been dispersed .
    A similar idea has appeared in recent cosmology which sees the origins of the forces and particles in our universe to be also the result of 'Symmetry breaking' shortly after the big bang (or perhaps even causing it ) Symmetry breaking is a point where the characteristics and the properties of the Universe make a radical change. "At the supergravity symmetry breaking event , the Universe passed from the an era of total chaos to the era of spacetime 'foam'. Spacetime only emerged at this phase transition. During the later GUT symmetry breaking, mass and spacetime separated and particles came into existence thus matter was created "




     
  7. Child of a New Day

    Child of a New Day New Member

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    Path of one, I think your views are really beautiful. I love reading what you have to say. It is always very inspirational. Helps each individual examine his or her own relationship with divinity. I read something you wrote I think it was about the trinity and it brought tears to my eyes.

    Ben, As usual you give me many new things to look into. I was watching a program last night about Stone Hengde, which Cunningham also mentioned in the book. Ronald Hutton was one of the scholars interviewed on the subject. They indicated that people are visiting Stone Hendge in celebration on Midsummer but the actual makers of stone hendge were thought to have gone there for ceremony on Yule. You probably already know that huh;) I still have not read "Triumph of the moon" but I have the book and am working my way up to those bananas!

    Florian, Thank you for that link. I will have lots of fun checking that out today!

    I apologize, when I said the invocation sounded a little Gnostic I was really refering to the way Cunningham described "The One"
     
  8. didymus

    didymus New Member

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    Yes, there are many similarities betwen Jewish mysticism and Gnostic ideas. I haven't studied either in depth but am familiar with alot of the beliefs. It seems that alot of ideas and theologies merged in Alexandria, Egypt. Isn't this the supposed origin of Gnosticism?
     
  9. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I'm given to the impression that the Kabbalah is referenced from Chaldean interpolations of the Torah, and Bob X gives a wider discussion of Chaldean beliefs here: http://www.comparative-religion.com/articles/torah_torah_torah/torah7.php

    Gnosticism seems to only rise to prominence around the time of early Christianity. Although Gnosticism may indeed be earlier in origin, I simply have difficulty seeing anything resembling the modern form until figures like Simon Magus appear.

    So Gnosticism would appear to myself to be especially influenced by a Kabbalistic perspectives to the New Testament.
     
  10. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Thanks for the information on Cunningham and this concept in Wicca- very interesting!
     
  11. florian

    florian New Member

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    re the Alexandrian origins of Jewish mysticism I would associate Alexandria with the strongly Hellenizing neoplatonism of Philo rather than an esoteric tradition . There was certainly a synchretistic movement in such a melting pot of races and religions .( According to Josephus some Alexandrian Jews did not even object to the identification of their God with Zeus) . The origins of Kabbalah are much later in medieval Spain .

    re The Chaldeans . Thanks for the web link which I read with interest . I am afraid I had not heard of these origins . What little I know of the Chaldeans is from the usual Classical sources Pliny , Diodorus , Cicero .etc . re the suggestion that there are Chaldean interpolations in the Pentateuch . I had never heard of this before , I had heard of course of the so-called 'Chaldean' or 'Chaldee' passages in Daniel and Ezra which are in fact Aramaic and misnamed.

    The idea that the 5 books of Moses consist of a patchwork of passages of various dates and sources ( the so-called 'higher criticism' )is totally antagonistic to the Jewish mystical tradition which in fact totally reveres the received text as being absolutely intact, original and flawless . Every dot , punctuation and unusual spelling or grammar is considered of the highest significance .Therefore I would suggest there is a complete opposition here .For if the bible is a patchwork then Kabbalah is utterly exploded and worthless , on the other hand if the Kabbalistic system has any validity then there can be no interpolations , Chaldean or otherwise.

    Although I realise that Kabbalah is having one of its periodic revivals , the great Jewish historian Graetz is utterly contemptuous of the Kabbalah .Of its origins he says (Vol 3 p.547) 'the Kabbalah in its earliest systematic development is a child of the first quarter of the 13th century . The earliest adherents of this lore frankly confessed that the Kabbalistic doctrine does not appear in either the Pentateuch or the Prophets in the Hagiographia or in the Talmud but rests on scarcely perceptible foundations .. as soon as this secret lore steps out of its obscurity into the light of the sun its shows its nakedness and deformity ....The Kabbalah is the daughter of embarassment ,its system was the way of escape from the dillemna of the simple anthropomorphic interpretation of the bible and the shallowness of Maimonides philosophy."

     
  12. Chalice

    Chalice I am the Grail

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    He got that idea from Genesis 5,6, and 7, the story of Noah. Noah's geanology is listed here, where his father's line is human back to Adam. Then the story takes a peculiar turn, where it is explained that the "Sons of God" married earth women and their offspring became "heroes of old, men of renown" - i.e. the ancient pantheon deities. Because Noah's mother's line is not mentioned, but this story is, we must correctly assume that it is mentioned to describe Noah, who IS a man of renown, a heroe of old, hence his mother's line must have decended from the "Sons of God" and earth women relationships. There is no other reason for this story to be in this place. Noah has magicKal/miraculous powers, and "walks with God" (i.e. the all, the source, etc.) He communes with the one who created all else. This being instructs him in the building of the ark, and then proceeds to wipe out "mortal man", and no more mention is made of the "nephilim" either, which translates as "giants", who are SEPARATE from the "Sons of God". ONLY the Mortal MEN are mentioned as EVIL, never in this passage are the "Sons of God" or the nephilim mentioned as evil. Christian ministers and writers hoping to start some excitement tell you this so their book will sell! But no one reads the TEXT!

    When Noah lands, he sacrifices outside the ark, where they all also live - it is his home and his temple, and he is the priest of it. His children no doubt also have his magickal/miraculous powers. They form a mountain top society and work magick/miracles, and worship "the ALL". Eventually the waters recede, leaveing their mountain-top Island for what it is, a mountain top. A community grows and those who descended from Noah honor him, but do not realize they have inherited his divine powers/magickal powers. They worship and remember him as a deity. IN hebrew, the word "god" (small g) actually means ruler, magistrate, governor, priest, king, heavenly messenger and sometimes idol, while the word God, (big G) means the self-existent, uncreated being (The ALL). Noah worships God, but his descendents worship him and his family as gods and goddesses, which according to the definition, they are. But they take this honor to far, forget God, and make Noah into an idol. Soon the community lives in the Plain of Shinar, and have a "memory" of the flood. Some families remember their pantheon living under the water (memory of the ark in the water), while others remember it on an island (before the water drained away from the mountain top). Still others memorialize the mountain as the home of the pantheon. They build a Temple, the Tower of Babel, perhaps to honor this pantheon. The earth quakes and it falls down. Shortly thereafter, during the life of Peleg, scripture says that "the earth split" -i.e. pangea, the super continent divides. From there the languages evolved and changed, and the names of the deities who were rememberd upon the mountaint top, gained new names, depending on what continent the descendents lived on. That is why pantheons have different names, but similar functions. Many ancient (and modern) pagan groups realize that logically there has to be a source of creation, that created all things, including the deities...but no one remembers Noah's deity, God.

    We are all descended from Noah, so instead of worshipping these deities, we are equal to them and have the same powers. How do we "turn on" these powers, or super power them? Well, Jesus explains that "he who believes on my name, to him will I give even more power than I had while upon this earth." Jesus, who is God personified, tells us to do exactly what Noah did - "Walk with God (thru Christ)". That is how Noah had his powers "turned on", and was able to commune with "the all", speak to animals, live so long, understand complex building instructions and math, have huge strength to build, and prob. much more.

    Because Jesus is "the ALL", he teaches that upon his return, he will marry, "his bride" which greek labels "the church". A bride of a God would obviously become that God's Goddess, right? But who is this Goddess Bride? It is the genuine believer in Jesus, that's who. So not only are you descended from deities (gods/goddesses/pantheon), but you can gain Goddess status if you believe in Jesus. Further, the religious leaders accused Jesus of sorcery and being in league with the devil as his means of doing miracles/magick. He denied any connection with evil, but never denied his ability to work magick/miracles, and if you read the gospels/new testament, you will see that it is filled with the same type of magick that pagan communities strive for: healing, mental communications, predicting the future, levitation, return to life etc. Jesus was crucified for treason against Rome and Israel, because he was declared their King and declared himself "the ALL", and his crucifixion was much like the "burning times" - a torture for ability to do supernatural things. The passion movie by Mel Gibson will display this.

    I hope you consider "The ONE" whom Noah knew, and who began all things, and give this being a chance. You can't have any more power than if you connect with the source of all things and all power, as far as I'm concerned. For me it is "ok" to believe in a historical pantheon, and simultaneously believe in "the ONE" whom Noah walked with, Moses followed, and Jesus claimed to be.
     
  13. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    I seriously doubt that Scott Cunningham was basing his deity philosophy on the Christian Bible. Do you have a source that backs this up?

    While the Noah story and the claim that all the non-Christian deities are really just the "people of reknown" who were direct descendants of Noah might be popular among some Christians, it doesn't hold up to well when we look at the fact that the Noah story came along AFTER many Pagan deities. We know, for instance, that the Noah story came after the much earlier Sumerian flood story where the Noah figure is known as Ziusudra or Upnapishtim.

    The Sumerian version of the flood story was written down about 2000 BC. According to the Bible history timeline given at this mainstream website the earliest that any of the Old Testament documents were written down was around 1000 BC.

    Oh, and Egyptians were writing using heiroglyphs (which included accounts of their deities' stories) at least as far back as 3400 BC. So saying that all the Pagan deities were really just human descendants of Noah (whose story wasn't committed to writing until 1000 BC, if we are overly generous) seems highly unlikely.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2005
  14. Chalice

    Chalice I am the Grail

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    BGRUAGACH: I really enjoy chatting with you, as you know so much, and I always learn something from your posts. I hope you can further educate me, as I thought I had it all wrapped up! hahaha!

    OK...I am thinking that Noah existed, and that everyone else was wiped out by a flood, and there is a world wide flood story...Alot of Cultures have this. So my thinking is that the Noah story states that "since the times of Adam" (from the begining of the world), the "Sons of God" intermarried with the women of earth ,and that their offspring became the "Men of Renown, Heroes of Old" - those beings who were half divine/half human in the pre-Noahide world (the pantheon). In the Biblical version of the tale, two other types of beings are designated, the "nephilim"/giants, and "mortal man". I think that the "Sons of God" descendents are mentioned because Noah descended from them, and that they were deities, and worshipped as such by pre-Noahide people groups. When "God" (The One, The All) decided to preserve anyone from the flood, he chose one of the descendents of the "Sons of God", not nephilim/giants, or mortal men. After the flood, Noah survived, and we are his children- humans on earth who have this deity heritage from antiquity. Noah bridged the gap between pre and post-alluvial worlds, and carries on the lineage of deity from pre-flood times into the post-alluvial world. The Bible says he "walked with God" which was a special thing that these deities could do, and that we can do too, no matter what you call that "All-being" - you can know that being and gain power from him/her. Centuries later, when Christ came along, he re-emphasized this, saying that if you belive in Christ( who claimed to be the All, you will have even MORE power than Christ had while on earth, and Christ did have alot of supernatural power, even having been accused of being in league with the Devil by his religious leadership.

    In the Noahide story, it is told that the descendants of Noah divided when the languages split and the super continent split, which gives a good reason why there are so many traditions of how the pantheon behaved, what their names were and so forth, because stories evolve over time, and languages/names change.

    I'm not saying that the Author got his idea from the Bible per-say, but that since it was a HUGE story in that era, everyone experienced it and the Bible is one very good version of that story, and you can compare notes between the stories. This is my reasoning, and may have errors in it. It also helps me to think this way because I do come from a Christian background and while I am very unhappy with how Christianity behaves itself, I still am very attached to Christ. I like the neo-pagan ideas, and have to figure out how I personally am going to put these two worlds together so that I feel "ok" about it all and that it makes sense to "me". I don't think I have to express my faith in a Christian way...do you think I am a nut? I know the Christian church would not put up with me... I also think that other faiths have bits and pieces of the one whole story, and it all fits together, so it is important to acknowledge and figure out how all the ancient religions fit together...I really do not think they are separate, they just appear to be because time has allowed them to evolve. Do you see where I am coming from? I hope so. I'm not that historically adept, and would enjoy knowing about these wonderful "myth" histories, which I "used" to think were completely fake, but now, thanks to actually reading my Biblical text, "know" for a fact they are real histories. Please educate me, I'm dying to know these things.


    I think the Noah story pre-dates the Egyptians, even if it was written down at a later date. I want to know when the earliest written form of the flood story is, do you know? Is the Sumerian version the earliest writing?
     
  15. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Let's clear some things up.

    This thread started with Child of a New Day asking about where Scott Cunningham might have gotten the idea of "The One" that he talks about in his 1988 book, "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner." I suggested that the idea was in Wicca before Cunningham's time, as evidenced by Wiccan high priestess Patricia Crowther also talking about "The One" (although she used the name "The Dryghten" for it) in her 1974 book "Witch Blood." (Scott Cunningham was born in 1956 so he would have been 18 when Crowther's book came out.)

    We also talked about how the idea of "all gods are One God" predates the modern religion of Wicca, in that it goes back before Gerald Gardner's time in the 1950s when he started promoting the religion. We know it has appeared in a number of places -- the cult of Isis, Hinduism, perhaps even Gnosticism and Jewish mysticism. The idea has definitely appeared before in a number of forms.

    The whole flood myth, the idea that Noah is a common ancestor to all humans, etc. are interesting side discussions but they are awfully tenuous if we are to reconcile them with scientific and historical evidence. To claim that all the Pagan deities were really just Noah's "people of reknown" is really stretching things, since we know that the Biblical Noah story didn't appear until 1000 years AFTER the Sumerian version (which didn't try and peg the "people of reknown" as all those various Pagan deities.) We also know that there have been many Pagan deities worshipped long before the Noah story appeared on the scene around 1000 BC. The Egyptians alone have written evidence that dates back to at least 3400 BC -- that's 2400 years before the Noah story!

    Getting back to the original topic of this thread, I seriously doubt that Wicca drew the idea "all gods are One God" from a literalist Christian interpretation of the Noah myth. We've got way too much Pagan material that predates Christianity to draw on as source material.

    By the way, they believe that Hinduism may have originated somewhere as far back as 3102 BC because details that were recorded about star positions at the time of Krishna's birth match that year. My point is that we have lots of evidence of all sorts of Pagan deities and cultures that existed well before the Noah story was written down in 1000 BC.

    And one last comment on something mentioned in relation to the Noah story -- the supercontinent of Pangea did its split long before anything close to a human species walked the Earth. Pangea started its split around 180 million years ago, and the continents we know today were pretty much in place by 10 million years ago. (There's a cool animated map that includes the timescale in millions of years at this website.)

    And if you look at the evolutionary timescale at places like this pretty standard one you'll see that the Australopithecus, ("Lucy" is a famous example of this pre-human species) weren't on the scene until about 4 million years ago. That's 6 million years AFTER the Pangea splitup was more or less over.

    Neandertals were around about .2 million years ago, and Homo sapiens sapiens (us) didn't appear until about .05 million years ago. So Noah, assuming he was Homo sapiens sapiens and not some older species, could not have possibly been around when the supercontinent was splitting.
     
  16. Chalice

    Chalice I am the Grail

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    I really do learn alot from you Ben! You are very smart! You know they do not tell us this type of stuff in Church, such as time lines and dates and material that pre-dates Biblical stories and so forth, and I would not know where to begin looking for such materials, in fact, I did not even consider that as a possibility, I really thought that Adam and Even, and Noah were pretty much the "first" stories. I know I interupted your thread and I do appologize, but I can't help myself. I read along and that makes me have a question, and so I ask. One think that I don't get to do much in Church is ask questions - they get offended if you ask something they have to explain things, and they want you to "just believe" which I am willing to do, but I do want to have my questions answered as well.

    I want to know something: If you are a pagan, are you forbidden from believing the Noah (or other Biblical) stories? Do you know why the Noah and other ancient Biblical stories developed? I have heard that Moses borrowed Babylonian laws and re-wrote them as the 10 commandments, but when I saw the "hammurabbi" law here, I didn't think that was possible, as Hammurabbi is way to long. And the other thing is, do you really think the pagan deities are actually real? The only way I can feel real about them is in the context of the Noah story, which I already explained to you, (them coming from the "Sons of God" at some point) which makes them real for me..

    I also want to know if you think magic is just like prayer but with props...or are you gaining special access to divine energy or something? I have created little spells and gotten results. But I can't help but wonder if the spells would have worked out the same way with praying. Did the spells super-power the prayer because I presented my problem and my desired outcome more efficiently, and the divine world was able to generate an answer faster because of this?...What do you think about this.
     
  17. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    There are many books out there that explore the origins of Christianity. I would recommend reading as many, by as many different authors (and from different publishers) as you can. This way you'll get a more rounded view of the topic and can make up your mind what seems to make most sense.

    Limiting your source of information to just what a particular preacher or church tells you means you will necessarily have a limited exposure to the information available. Personally, I think if an argument is to hold up then it should hold up when you have full access to all the information -- anyone can be convincing if they are able to control your access to information!

    As we've mentioned in the Paganism & Christianity thread (as well as in other threads I expect) Paganism is a broad and very generic grouping which includes a huge amount of diversity. Different groups have different rules, different philosophies, different ways of doing things. There are probably some Pagan groups that do attempt to limit what information their followers have access to (such as forbidding their followers to read the Christian Bible, for instance) but to be honest I don't know of any off the top of my head. On the contrary, most Pagans I'm aware of today (in real life and through online interaction) tend to read widely on many different topics and tend to encourage investigation of what other groups have to say in their scriptures and texts.

    I'd like to encourage anyone who is looking for primary sources from a variety of spiritual paths to check out the excellent free online collection at Sacred-texts.com. All the material there is in the public domain so it's perfectly legal. For newer published material you should check your local public library as they are not restricted to carrying only public-domain stuff.

    The topic of magick is another whole can of worms that, like the definition of Pagan and witch, has a lot of different meanings depending on who you talk to. Defining magick, Pagan, witch, and even Wiccan are the "perennial topics" that appear over and over again in the Pagan community and I don't think they will ever be resolved. That's a consequence of being a community that is not based on having a single central authority!
     
  18. Child of a New Day

    Child of a New Day New Member

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    Incase anyone was interested this is the part of the book I was refering to.

    Before time was, there was The One; The One was all, and all was The One.
    And the vast expanse known as the universe was The One, all wise, all pervading, all powerful, eternally changing.

    And space moved. The One moulded energy into twin forms, equal but opposite, fashioning the Goddess and God
    from The One and of The One.

    The Goddess and God stretched and gave thanks to The One, but darkness surrounded them. They were alone, solitary save for The One.

    So they formed energy into gases and gases into suns
    and planets and moons; They sprinkled the universe with whirling
    globes and so all was given shape by the hands of the Goddess and God.

    Light arose and the sky was illuminated by a billion suns.
    The Goddess and God, satisfied by their works,
    rejoiced and loved, and were one.

    From their union sprang the seeds of all life,
    and the human race so that we might achieve incarnation upon the Earth.

    The Goddess chose the Moon as her symbol,
    and the God the Sun as his to remind the inhabitants of Earth of their creators.

    All are born, live, die and are reborn beneath the Moon and Sun;
    All things come to pass there under, and all occurs
    with the blessings of The One, the Goddess and God,
    as has been the way of existence since before time was.
     
  19. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Anyone who wants to look it up will find it on page 113 of Scott Cunningham's book, "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" (Llewellyn: 1990.)

    Cunningham's "Blessing Chant" on page 123 of that same book also refers to "the One" and is very similar to "They Dryghten Prayer" that Patricia Crowther mentions on page 39 of her book, "Witch Blood!" (House of Collectibles, NYC: 1974.) The Dryghten Prayer is also available on the web at http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos302.htm
     
  20. Neoplatonist

    Neoplatonist New Member

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    A thread titled "The One" and no mention of Plotinus and/or The Enneads!?!

    That aint' right! :p
     

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