911:Mystery Religions

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Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. - Psalm 119:128
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” - Isaiah 5:20


Contents

What were the mystery religions?

Intro

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
"If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world's crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations?--such as] Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them], Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines. Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature)." [Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh.] Colossians 2:20-23

Other than Judaism and Christianity, the mystery religions were the most influential religions in the early centuries after Christ. The reason these cults were called “mystery religions” is that they involved secret ceremonies known only to those initiated into the cult. The major benefit of these practices was thought to be some kind of salvation.

The mystery religions were not, of course, the only manifestations of the religious spirit in the eastern Roman Empire. One could also find public cults not requiring an initiation ceremony into secret beliefs and practices. The Greek Olympian religion and its Roman counterpart are examples of this type of religion.

Each Mediterranean region produced its own mystery religion. Out of Greece came the cults of Demeter and Dionysus, as well as the Eleusinian and Orphic mystery religions, which developed later. Asia Minor gave birth to the cult of Cybele (the Great Mother), and her beloved, a shepherd named Attis. The cult of Isis and Osiris (later changed to Serapis) originated in Egypt, while Syria and Palestine saw the rise of the cult of Adonis. Finally, Persia (Iran) was a leading early locale for the cult of Mithras, which — due to its frequent use of the imagery of war — held a special appeal to Roman soldiers. The earlier Greek mystery religions were state religions in the sense that they attained the status of a public or civil cult and served a national or public function. The later non-Greek mysteries were personal, private, and individualistic.

Homosexuality in Pagan Religions

Extract from: Homosexual agenda - Also see Sodom and Gomorrah and The Bible and homosexuality
" Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it). For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one, And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another--men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own [d]bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution." Romans 1:24-27

We probably all take for granted the fact that today our modern world culture is dominated by the religions based on the Mosaic law (i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam). In their orthodox forms each of these religions regards homosexuality as an abomination. But pagan cultures have no such prohibition. (By definition, pagans are people who are not Jews, Christians or Moslems). In pagan cultures, homosexuals often hold an elevated position in religion and society. When pagan civilizations ruled the world, homosexuality and pederasty were widely practiced and accepted.

Homosexualist author Judy Grahn writes:

Many aspects of shamanism had homosexual content, and many of the gods, spirits, and divinities of the world have been associated with Gayness. In Tahiti there were special divinities for homosexual worship. The ancient Shinto temples of Japan display scenes of sexual ritual orgies similar to those of the Baccanalia of the Romans...the Great Mother Goddess of ancient China, Kwan-Yin, was worshipped with sexual rites that included homosexuality. When the Spanish conquistadores reached Central America and the Yucatan, they found a prevalence of Gay priests and sacred statues and stone sculpture depicting the homosexual union as a sacred act. In the Yucatan the god Chin is said to have established sacred homosexuality and a Gay priesthood serving in the temples just as was true of the temples of ancient Babylon and Sumeria (Grahn:129). [8]

Christian writer George Grant concurs. He writes that:

“Rome was a perpetual satyricon. Egypt, Persia, Carthage, Babylon, and Assyria were all steeped in pederastic tradition. And the ancient empires of the Mongols, Tartars, Huns, Teutons, Celts, Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, Nubians, Mings, Canaanites, and Zulus likewise celebrated depravity, degradation and debauchery” (Grant, 1993:24).

In Sexuality and Homosexuality, historian Arno Karlen writes of homosexual cults throughout the ancient world: “‘male temple prostitutes’—existed among the devotees of Ishtar and Astarte in Syria, the Albanians and Babylonians, the Canaanite neighbors of the ancient Hebrews, and in Cos, Crete and Ephesus in the Greek world” (Karlen:6).

The Mysteries

Pope Jean Paul II using the same Equal length cross (Maltese Cross) at the same place as Shamshi-Adad V
Notice the beaded prayer circle of the pagan priest in this Ancient cylinder seal from Mesopotamia [4]
Catholics pray repetitive words with Rosary Beads that were first invented in 1090 AD, by "Peter the Hermit" and made popular by St. Dominic in 1208 AD. Catholics believe that Mary appeared to St. Dominic in 1208 AD, at the church of Prouille and revealed the Rosary Beads to him. From this time, Catholics prayed 15 sets of 10 consecutive "hail Marys" in a row (150 times), in the Rosary. However, in 2003 AD, Pope John Paul added a new set of Mysteries, so now it is 20 sets of 10 "Hail Marys", (200 times in the Rosary, in total.) Catholics will vainly appeal to Psalm 136 that alternates the same phrase 26 times with 26 different blessings God gives us. It is not 26 in a row as with the rosary! This is also a song, not a prayer. Revelation 4:8 has "angels singing" not "men praying". [5]
Prayer beads were commonly buried with the pharaohs of Egypt. Pagan cults of the East also used the prayer beads in their religious practices. To this day Moslems still use beaded prayer chains [6]


The Mysteries were divided into two general parts, the Lesser Mysteries and the Greater Mysteries.

The Less Mysteries were very largely composed of dramatic rites or ceremonies, with some teaching; the Greater Mysteries were composed of, or conducted almost entirely on the ground of, study; and the doctrines taught in them later were proved by personal experience in initiation. In the Greater Mysteries was explained, among other things, the secret meaning of the mythologies of the old religions, as, for instance, the Greek.

For Dramatic rites see: Hero of Alexandria & the video: Machines of the Gods: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5.

The active and nimble mind of the Greeks produced a mythology which for grace and beauty is perhaps without equal, but it nevertheless is very difficult to explain; the Mysteries of Samothrace and of Eleusis - the greater ones - explained among other things what these myths meant. These myths formed the basis of the exoteric religions; but note well that exotericism does not mean that the thing which is taught exoterically is in itself false, but merely that it is a teaching given without the key to it. Such teaching is symbolic, illusory, touching on the truth - the truth is there, but without the key to it, which is the esoteric meaning, it yields no proper sense.

According to Albert G. Mackey in The Symbolism of Freemasonry Chapter V, The Ancient Mysteries:

  • In the lesser Mysteries: the candidate took an oath of secrecy, which was administered to him by the mystagogue, and then received a preparatory instruction, which enabled him afterwards to understand the developments of the higher and subsequent division. He was now called a Mystes, or initiate, and may be compared to the Fellow Craft of Freemasonry.
  • In the greater Mysteries: the whole knowledge of the divine truths, which was the object of initiation, was communicated. Here we find, among the various ceremonies which assimilated these rites to Freemasonry, the aphanism, which was the disappearance or death; the pastos, the couch, coffin, or grave; the euresis, or the discovery of the body; and the autopsy, or full sight of everything, that is, the complete communication of the secrets. The candidate was here called an epopt, or eye-witness, because nothing was now hidden from him; and hence he may be compared to the Master Mason, of whom Hutchinson says that "he has discovered the knowledge of God and his salvation, and been redeemed from the death of sin and the sepulchre of pollution and unrighteousness."


  • Mystery of all Mysteries: The Sixth Book of Moses: These two Books (as per apostatic Talmud) were revealed by God, the Almighty, to his faithful servant Moses, on Mount Sinai, intervale lucis, and in this manner they also came into the hands of Aaron, Caleb, Joshua, and finally to David and his son Solomon and their high priest Sadock. Therefore, they are Bibliis Arcanum Arcanorum , which means, Mystery of all Mysteries.


Basic Traits

One must avoid any suggestion that there was one common mystery religion. While a tendency toward eclecti­cism or synthesis developed after A.D. 300, each of the mystery cults was a separate and distinct religion during the century that saw the birth of the Christian church. Moreover, each mystery cult assumed different forms in different cultural settings and underwent significant changes, especially after A.D. 100. Nevertheless, the mystery religions exhibited five common traits.

(1) Central to each mystery was its use of an annual vegetation cycle in which life is renewed each spring and dies each fall. Followers of the mystery cults found deep symbolic significance in the natural processes of growth, death, decay, and rebirth.
(2) As noted above, each cult made important use of secret ceremonies or mysteries, often in connection with an initiation rite. Each mystery religion also passed on a “secret” to the initiate that included information about the life of the cult’s god or goddess and how humans might achieve unity with that deity. This “knowledge” was always a secret or esoteric knowledge, unattainable by any outside the circle of the cult.


"The three forms of initiation -- individual, group, or universal -- all lead to conscious or unconscious control by a central power, who in some mysterious way makes its influence felt; often clairvoyantly and clairaudiently seen and heard, but never physically present or visible. The system in all three is the same -- cabalistic. Secretly here and there individuals are prepared; these again form groups or centres from which influences spread until they form a network covering the entire world. Like rays from a hidden sun these groups are apparently divergent and detached, but in reality all issue from the same central body. The system is seen to be an insidious and secret dissemination of ideas, orienting and breaking down all barriers of family, religion, morality, nationality, and all self-initiative thought, always under the cloak of a new and more modern religion, new thought, new morality, a new heaven and a new earth; until it evolves a gigantic robot merely answering to the will and commands of a secret Master Mind. They dream they are free, original, self-determining individuals; they are but the negative moon reflecting and reproducing the light from the same hidden and cabalistic Sun. It is called regeneration by the Illuminati; it is in truth individual death and disintegration, followed by a resurrection as negative "light-bearers" of this cabalistic dark Sun whose Luciferian "Grand Plan" is world domination." (Anonymous, Light-bearers of Darkness, The Christian Book Club of America, p105). [9]


(3) Each mystery also centered around a myth in which the deity either returned to life after death or else triumphed over his enemies. Implicit in the myth was the theme of redemption from everything earthly and temporal. The secret meaning of the cult and its accompanying myth was expressed in a “sacramental drama” (video machine of the gods) that appealed largely to the feelings and emotions of the initiates. This religious ecstasy was supposed to lead them to think they were experiencing the beginning of a new life.
(4) The mysteries had little or no use for doctrine and correct belief. They were primarily concerned with the emotional life of their followers. The cults used many different means to affect the emotions and imaginations of initiates and hence bring about “union with the god”: processions, fasting, a play, acts of purification, blazing lights, and esoteric liturgies. This lack of any emphasis on correct belief marked an important difference between the mysteries and Christianity. The Christian faith was exclusivistic in the sense that it recognized only one legitimate path to God and salvation, Jesus Christ. The mysteries were inclusivistic in the sense that nothing prevented a believer in one cult from following other mysteries.
(5) The immediate goal of the initiates was a mystical experience that led them to feel they had achieved union with their god. Beyond this quest for mystical union were two more ultimate goals: some kind of redemption or salvation, and immortality.

Evolution

Before A.D. 100, the mystery religions were still largely confined to specific localities and were still a relatively novel phenomenon. After A.D. 100, they gradually began to attain a widespread popular influence throughout the Roman Empire. But they also underwent significant changes that often resulted from the various cults absorbing elements from each other. As devotees of the mysteries became increasingly eclectic in their beliefs and practices, new and odd combinations of the older mysteries began to emerge. And as the cults continued to tone down the more objectionable features of their older practices, they began to attract greater numbers of followers.

Secular Humanism

The philosophy at the core of all the Mystery Schools is secular humanism, the foundation and the font of socialism/communism. Most socialists/communists don't have the slightest idea that they are puppets of an arcane philosophy bent upon world domination. They actually believe they will ultimately realize a world where everything is free courtesy of Big Brother and where all risk and worry has disappeared. Any such world would only be a world of slaves dependent upon an elite class of ”Masters”. [10]

Atheism

One may still use this fact (Christianity's Bloody History), however, to make an argument for atheism, but this argument does not stand. For example, one could say that even if all the leaders who committed these acts of unbiblical violence were wrong, they still did it. They still represent Christianity (This is because most people don't separate Biblical Christianity and Catholicism), and how easily people become corrupted and evil in that religion. Thus, they should stick with atheism.

In his book Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-first Century (1993) Zbigniew Brezezinski estimates that Communist oppression has killed sixty million people. Remember, Communism is the supreme atheistic government. These numbers are staggering, especially when compared to the Spanish Inquisition, which is estimated as causing about 32,000 deaths, and the Crusades, between one and five million. The same site with the above death tolls has a median estimation of seven and a half million, which is likely high. Lastly, Pitirim Sorokin estimated that in all the medieval wars in Europe, less than five hundred thousand Europeans were killed. Thus, even if one were to say that Christians were responsible for all the deaths caused in Europe amongst the hundreds of wars (and this, while certainly an exaggeration, is not too far-fetched, for the Catholic Church was directly involved in the majority of European wars), and the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition, and the Thirty Years War, at the median of the estimates given, it would turn out to be around 1/4 of the deaths caused by just Communism.7 Add, for example, the deaths caused by Nazism and Fascism in Germany and Italy, respectively. Or, perhaps, the number of deaths caused by abortion between 1920 and 2000, estimated by the same site to be between 500 and 850 million. You get totals far exceeding anything Christianity or any other religion has ever done.

These stats simply destroy the atheistic argument against religions based on the deaths caused by them. Quite frankly, atheistic governments and societies have killed far more people than any one religion, and likely more than several of the major religions combined. Thus, atheist's view that religious groups have killed more people than any other organization is not only false, but also hypocritical. Yet atheists constantly use the deaths caused by Christianity to accuse it of being made up of bloody, violent people, hypocritical in their teachings of love and kindness.

See: Atheism and communism

List of Mystery Religions

The Eleusinian Mysteries

The major Mysteries at Eleusis used a far more powerful drug, snake venom. The preparation and use of the brew is graphically shown in a terracotta votive plaque dedicated by Niinnion (Ninion) to the two great goddesses of Eleusis, held in the Eleusis Sanctuary in the middle of the 4th Century BCE and now in the Athens Museum. In the pediment, Persephone collects the snake’s venom and blood. In the middle panel, the party approaches [[w:Demeter|Demeter}], who is seated on the ‘sacred cista’, which is the box that contained the snakes. In the middle of the lower row is shown an omphalos over crossed bakchoi, which are symbols of the Mysteries. The use of snake venom to induce powerful hallucinations in deathlike trances was widespread. [11]

  • Eleusinian Mysteries Symbols


Minoan

The Cult of Orpheus

The Cult of Attis

The Cult of Cybele and Attis

Cybele, also known as the Great Mother, was worshiped through much of the Hellenistic world. She undoubtedly began as a goddess of nature. Her early worship included orgiastic ceremonies in which her frenzied male worshipers were led to castrate themselves, following which they became "Galli" or eunuch-priests of the goddess. Cybele eventually came to be viewed as the Mother of all gods and the mistress of all life.

Most of our information about the cult describes its practices during its later Roman period. But the details are slim and almost all the source material is relatively late, certainly datable long after the close of the New Testament canon.

According to myth, Cybele loved a shepherd named Attis. Because Attis was unfaithful, she drove him insane. Overcome by madness, Attis castrated himself and died. This drove Cybele into great mourning, and it introduced death into the natural world. But then Cybele restored Attis to life, an event that also brought the world of nature back to life.

The presuppositions of the interpreter tend to determine the language used to describe what followed Attis's death. Many writers refer carelessly to the "resurrection of Attis." But surely this is an exaggeration. There is no mention of anything resembling a resurrection in the myth, which suggests that Cybele could only preserve Attis's dead body. Beyond this, there is mention of the body's hair continuing to grow, along with some movement of his little finger. In some versions of the myth, Attis's return to life took the form of his being changed into an evergreen tree. Since the basic idea underlying the myth was the annual vegetation cycle, any resemblance to the bodily resurrection of Christ is greatly exaggerated.

Eventually a public rehearsal of the Attis myth became an annual event in which worshipers shared in Attis's "immortality." Each spring the followers of Cybele would mourn for the dead Attis in acts of fasting and flagellation.

It was only during the later Roman celebrations (after A.D. 300) of the spring festival that anything remotely connected with a "resurrection" appears. The pine tree symbolizing Attis was cut down and then carried corpse-like into the sanctuary. Later in the prolonged festival, the tree was buried while the initiates worked themselves into a frenzy that included gashing themselves with knives. The next night, the "grave" of the tree was opened and the "resurrection of Attis" was celebrated. But the language of these late sources is highly ambiguous. In truth, no clear-cut, unambiguous reference to the supposed "resurrection" of Attis appears, even in the very late literature from the fourth century after Christ. [13]


Taurobolium

The best-known rite of the cult of the Great Mother was the Taurobolium. It is important to note, however, that this ritual was not part of the cult in its earlier stages. It entered the religion sometime after the middle of the second century A.D.

During the ceremony, initiates stood or reclined in a pit as a bull was slaughtered on a platform above them. The initiate would then be bathed in the warm blood of the dying animal. It has been alleged that the taurobolium was a source for Christian language about being washed in the blood of the lamb (Rev. 7:14) or sprinkled with the blood of Jesus (1 Pet. 1:2). It has also been cited as the source for Paul's teaching in Romans 6:1-4, where he relates Christian baptism to the Christian's identification with Christ's death and resurrection.

No notion of death and resurrection was ever part of the taurobolium, however. The best available evidence requires us to date the ritual about one hundred years after Paul wrote Romans 6:1-4. Not one existing text supports the claim that the taurobolium memorialized the death and "resurrection" of Attis. The pagan rite could not possibly have been the source for Paul's teaching in Romans 6. Only near the end of the fourth century A.D. did the ritual add the notion of rebirth. Several important scholars see a Christian influence at work in this later development. It is clear, then, that the chronological development of the rite makes it impossible for it to have influenced first-century Christianity. The New Testament teaching about the shedding of blood should be viewed in the context of its Old Testament background -- the Passover and the temple sacrifice. [14]

video: Scene in the series Rome: Taurobolium (Fictional)

The Cult of Dionysus

Bronze hand of the Roman mystery cult of Sabazios/Dionysus (see also the Ancient Greece mystery schools: Dionysian Mysteries and the later Eleusinian Mysteries and Orphic Mysteries).

A hand covered with numerous symbols was extended to the neophytes when they entered into the Temple of Wisdom. An understanding of the symbols embossed upon the surface of the hand brought with it Divine power and regeneration. Therefore, by means of these symbolic hands the candidate was said to be raised from the dead. [7]

It dates from the late Roman Empire, when all forms of divination from scrying to astrology, flourished.

Note: the serpent/dragon/lizard head, the reverse awen handsign (and Cosmos signal handsign), the cow/bull above the altar, and something that resembles a human in a pupa

The Cult of Isis

The cult of Isis originated in Egypt and went through two major stages. In its older Egyptian version, which was not a mystery religion, Isis was regarded as the goddess of heaven, earth, the sea, and the unseen world below. In this earlier stage, Isis had a husband named Osiris. The cult of Isis became a mystery religion only after Ptolemy the First introduced major changes, sometime after 300 B.C. In the later stage, a new god named Serapis became Isis's consort. Ptolemy introduced these changes in order to synthesize Egyptian and Greek concerns in his kingdom, thus hastening the Hellenization of Egypt.

From Egypt, the cult of Isis gradually made its way to Rome. While Rome was at first repelled by the cult, the religion finally entered the city during the reign of Caligula (A.D. 37-41). Its influence spread gradually during the next two centuries, and in some locales it became a major rival of Christianity. The cult's success in the Roman Empire seems to have resulted from its impressive ritual and the hope of immortality offered to its followers.

The basic myth of the Isis cult concerned Osiris, her husband during the earlier Egyptian and nonmystery stage of the religion. According to the most common version of the myth, Osiris was murdered by his brother who then sank the coffin containing Osiris's body into the Nile river. Isis discovered the body and returned it to Egypt. But her brother-in-law once again gained access to the body, this time dismembering it into fourteen pieces which he scattered widely. Following a long search, Isis recovered each part of the body. It is at this point that the language used to describe what followed is crucial. Sometimes those telling the story are satisfied to say that Osiris came back to life, even though such language claims far more than the myth allows. Some writers go even further and refer to the alleged "resurrection" of Osiris. One liberal scholar illustrates how biased some writers are when they describe the pagan myth in Christian language: "The dead body of Osiris floated in the Nile and he returned to life, this being accomplished by a baptism in the waters of the Nile."

This biased and sloppy use of language suggests three misleading analogies between Osiris and Christ:

  1. a savior god dies and
  2. then experiences a resurrection
  3. accompanied by water baptism.

But the alleged similarities, as well as the language used to describe them, turn out to be fabrications of the modern scholar and are not part of the original myth. Comparisons between the resurrection of Jesus and the resuscitation of Osiris are greatly exaggerated. Not every version of the myth has Osiris returning to life; in some he simply becomes king of the underworld. Equally far-fetched are attempts to find an analogue of Christian baptism in the Osiris myth. The fate of Osiris's coffin in the Nile is as relevant to baptism as the sinking of Atlantis.

As previously noted, during its later mystery stage, the male deity of the Isis cult is no longer the dying Osiris but Serapis. Serapis is often portrayed as a sun god, and it is clear that he was not a dying god. Obviously then, neither could he be a rising god. Thus, it is worth remembering that the post-Ptolemaic mystery version of the Isis cult that was in circulation from about 300 B.C. through the early centuries of the Christian era had absolutely nothing that could resemble a dying and rising savior-god. [16]

Also see:

The Cult of Osiris

Todo

Also see:

The Cult of Tammuz

  • The worship of Tammuz
    • The Cult of Adonis

The Adonis rite of Judah
The vision of Ezekiel in circa 594 BCE gives a clear picture of the secret rites of Tammuz. He starts as follows: He “brought me to the door of the inner gate that looks towards the north where was the image of Jealousy which provoketh to jealousy” (Ezekiel 8:3). What was the “Image of Jealousy” opposite the north gate — the symbolic place of darkness? It was Ashtoreth, that is to say, Astarte, the Great Mother, the Lover of Tammuz. In II Kings2 we read that the good king Josiah broke down and defiled the high places “which Solomon the King of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth,” and also for Chemosh and Milcom. So that there should be no doubt of the situation of the shrine of Ashtoreth, we are carefully told that it was on the right hand side. As the temple had its Sanctuary in the west it follows that the right hand side was on the North. The exact spot on which the shrine of Astarte stood was the Mount of Olives. Jeremiah3 about B.C. 600, gives us the following significant details concerning one of the ceremonies performed in honour of Astarte, whom he calls “The Queen of Heaven,” which was one of her later titles.

“Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women kneed dough to make cakes and to pour out drink offerings unto other Gods.”

Here we should note the use of bread and wine for a sacra mental feast, while we know from similar observances else where, which survived in Europe up to the 19th century, that these cakes were in the shape of the male organ. Moreover, Jeremiah complains that even the remnant who fled to Egypt after the fall of Jerusalem would not abandon this custom, and to his protests gave an answer which explains exactly the purpose of these obscene emblems, and of similar incidents connected with the worship of the great Fertility Goddess, who by then had largely absorbed the attributes of the Moon, just as her son and lover has partly absorbed those of the Sun.

They “answered” Jeremiah saying,

“The Word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord we will not hearken unto thee, but will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the Queen of Heaven and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of bread, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. Jeremiah 44:17-18
“And when we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her and pour out drink offerings to her without our men (husbands).” Jeremiah 44:19

From this answer we learn that the worshippers believed that unless they offered the Goddess these "Phallic" (most likely a 8 pointed star as the Jeremiah 44:19 AMP bible notes) cakes they would receive from her no harvest. The reason is clear: the corn God represents the seed which is buried in the womb of the earth. The male organ of the drone bee is literally plucked out by the Queen bee and remains embedded in her for the rest of her life; it is in this way that she is fertilised, but at the cost of the life of the drone. In like manner Attis and Tammuz die that the earth may be fertile, hence the reason why the Priests of Cybele and of Artemis at Ephesus had to castrate themselves and offer up their male organs to the Goddess.

Therefore the Jewish women, like other worshippers of the Great Goddess, offered as substitutes for the male organs of their husbands, models made out of the “Flesh” of the slain corn God, and poured out wine to symbolise the blood which naturally flowed when the human male organ was cut off, as in the case of the Priests of Cybele. In order to make themselves one with the God, the worshippers ate the bread and drank some of the wine. Similar rites were performed all over the world to the Goddess of Fertility, and here we have clear evidence of their survival among the Jews up to B.C. 587. [17]

Druidry

  • Human sacrifice in Norse funeral [18]

Greco-Roman

Mesoamerican religion

Essenes

  • Link between Essenes and Herodians? [19]

Manichaeism

Hinduism

Raëlism

Mithraism

Attempts to reconstruct the beliefs and practices of Mithraism face enormous challenges because of the scanty information that has survived. Proponents of the cult explained the world in terms of two ultimate and opposing principles, one good (depicted as light) and the other evil (darkness). Human beings must choose which side they will fight for; they are trapped in the conflict between light and darkness. Mithra came to be regarded as the most powerful mediator who could help humans ward off attacks from demonic forces.

The major reason why no Mithraic influence on first-century Christianity is possible is the timing: it's all wrong! The flowering of Mithraism occurred after the close of the New Testament canon, much too late for it to have influenced anything that appears in the New Testament.[9] Moreover, no monuments for the cult can be dated earlier than A.D. 90-100, and even this dating requires us to make some exceedingly generous assumptions. Chronological difficulties, then, make the possibility of a Mithraic influence on early Christianity extremely improbable. Certainly, there remains no credible evidence for such an influence. [22]

[23] ?

Freemasonry

Masonry is a search after Light. That search leads us directly back, as you see, to the Kabalah - Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of Freemasonry, Charleston, 1871, p. 741. - Masonry and the Cabala
All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabalah and return to it: everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of all the illuminati, Jacob Bœhme, Swedenborg, Saint-Martin, and others, is borrowed from the Kabalah; all the Masonic associations owe to it their Secrets and their Symbols - Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of Freemasonry, Charleston, 1871, p. 744. - Masonry and the Cabala

Also see:

Rosicrucianism

Kabbalah

Kabalism was merely a unique version of the ancient mysteries specifically designed to deceive God’s chosen people. Unlike other mystery religions, its teachings dealt specifically with Israel, offering occult explanations to the revelations of the prophets—complete with a mystical interpretation of Israel’s history. Moses, for example, was presented in their teaching as an occult figure whose purpose was to initiate the Israelites into the “enlightened,” more advanced teachings of Egypt, rather than the biblical teaching that he was the righteous prophet of God who led the Israelites out of bondage. If Kabalism could be viewed as the occult counter-explanation of the Old Testament, Gnosticism—existing as a further development of Kabalism and addressing Satan’s “new problem” posed by the risen Christ—would serve as the main occult attack against the New Testament. Thus, Kabalism and Gnosticism together, composed a type of occult parallel to the Old and New Testaments. [24]


Also see:

The Druze religion

Yazidi religion

Vodou

See:

Santería

Candomblé

New Age Movement (NAM)

Gnosticism

The Jewish Encyclopaedia points out that Gnosticism "was Jewish in character long before it became Christian," and quotes the opinion, "a movement closely connected with Jewish mysticism." The Freemason Ragon says: "The Cabala is the key of the occult sciences. The Gnostics were born of the Cabalists." [27]

Gnosticism and Christianity

  • The word Gnostic is formed from the Greek word for knowledge. Gnosticism claimed to give a particular knowledge of the mysteries of the unseen world. Greek philosophy merged into Oriental mysticism. In its early years the great danger to which Christianity was exposed arose from Gnostic Heresy by which Christian doctrines were corrupted.
“The Gnostics were a sect of philosophers that arose in the first ages of christianity, who pretended they were the only men who had a true knowledge of the christian religion. They formed for themselves a system of theology, agreeable to the philosophy of Pythagoras and Plato, to which they accommodated their interpretations of scripture. They held that all natures, intelligible, intellectual and material, are derived by successive emanations from the infinite fountain of deity. These emanations they called oeons. These doctrines were derived from the oriental philosophy.” (GNOS'TIC, n. nostic. [L. gnosticus; Gr. to know.] Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of The English Language).
Encyclopedia.com gives the following definition: “Gnosticism - Dualistic religious and philosophical movement of the late Hellenistic and early Christian eras. The term designates a variety of sects, all promising salvation through an occult knowledge...that they claimed was revealed to them alone. Christian ideas were quickly incorporated into these syncretistic systems, and by the 2nd cent. A.D. several posed a serious threat to Christianity; much of early Christian doctrine was formulated in reaction to this danger. Gnosticism taught that the spirit was held captive by evil archons but that through the use of secret formulas it could be freed at death and restored to the heavenly abode.” (Encyclopedia.com "Gnosticism").
  • The very soul of Gnosticism was mystery, and "its end and object was to purify its followers from the corruptions of matter, and to raise them to a higher scale of being", suited only to those who were to become perfect by knowledge. We have a key to many parts of their system when we know that they held matter to be intrinsically evil, of which, consequently, God could not be the author." Some believed that angels were employed in creating the world [in direct contradiction to the scriptures – “God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:9)].
  • At the beginning of Christianity when the Gospel was first preached, the Western world was overrun with Eastern magicians and soothsayers. They claimed for their peculiar knowledge the ability to communicate with a higher world. They advanced the theory that between God and man were various grades or emanations by which we might rise to the highest knowledge. 'Instead of opposing Christianity this Gnosticism took possession of it, invested it, and by this blending of the two the pure truths of the Gospel were perverted. "Its peculiar attraction lay in that it flattered the pride of man by tracing the origin of evil, not to the perverted will of the creature, but to creation, saying it was the necessary consequence of the union of matter and spirit. Then again its utter impractibility made it attractive; teaching as it did that human perfection was not attained by the following of a lowly Saviour in a narrow way, but by embracing barren speculations concerning the nature of unseen mysteries." [28]


Gnosticism [29]

  • According to Masonic historian Albert Pike, Gnosticism was an offshoot of Kabalism—an oral occult tradition which was adhered to by a minority of the Jews. At some point, which remains uncertain, these occult teachings were reduced to writing, and the Kabalah was born. On page 626 of Morals and Dogma—the most esteemed work of Freemasonry—Pike states, “The Kabalah is the key of the occult sciences; and the Gnostics were born of the Kabalists.” [30]
  • As Gnosticism died away in popularity its place was taken by Manichaeism. Out of Manichaeism came Paulicianism, Bogomilism, and out of them both a whole covey of Russian heresies and the famous Cathari of the Albigensian Crusade. In ways that are impossible to trace, much of the mythology of Gnosticism survived, underground, to emerge in the revival of occultism in the seventeenth century. Finally, what did Gnosticism do for the practicing Gnostic of the first Christian centuries? As long as the Church was without power it was forced to suffer dissent. Some men seem to be naturally heterodox (dissident). It is a great psychological consolation to certain kinds of personalities to believe that the official Deity of the Old Testament (see: Pleroma) and the Church is really the Devil. This is not as frivolous as it might sound; it is good for civilization to have Trotskyites around. We have found in our own day that an all-pervading orthodoxy dries up the sources of creativity. Since the official Church was patriarchal and authoritarian, Gnosticism gave expression to those matriarchal and libertarian tendencies which are there, suppressed or not, in all societies. Furthermore, what the Gnostics projected onto the screen of their profound ignorance as a picture of the universe was in reality a picture of their own minds. Its mythology is a symbolic portrayal, almost a deliberate one, of the forces which operate in the structuring and evolution of the human personality. It is, more than almost any other religious system, because it is of all others, the most invented, the most “made up,” an institutionalized panorama of what Jung has called the Collective Unconscious. The whole Gnostic heresy is a sort of socially therapeutic dream. (This notion, as Jung has pointed out, does not involve any mysterious undersoul shared by all men — it is a collective picture because all men respond to life in much the same way, because they all have the same physiological endowment.) We can operate upon our minds by the manipulation of symbols if not on the cosmos; Gnosticism was fundamentally a magical theory of life, man, the universe, God, morality. The spirit-matter, good-evil, God-creature, omnipotence-freedom dilemmas posed by Christianity, Gnosticism attempted to solve with a magical doctrine of correspondences in which man and the cosmos reflected each other. As such, it was a step in the history of science as well as in the history of religion. It was a wrong step, but one which still influences thought, not just the Theosophists, but those who think that Heisenberg’s Principle of Indeterminancy is an ontological discovery rather than a mathematical formula. Alchemy was Gnostic through and through, an attempt to achieve both wealth and salvation by parallel manipulation of the microcosm and the macrocosm. But the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead is based on the same principle — an enormously sophisticated Smaragdine Tablet. We can learn nothing about the solar system from Gnosticism and little about good and evil, in the world, but we can learn considerable about ourselves. [31]
  • Some have seen the roots of Gnosticism in the writings of Apollonius of Tyana and the biblical magician Simon Magus, mentioned in Acts 8:9-24. However, the emergence of gnostic thinking is seen most clearly in passages such as the opening verses of the Gospel of John, Paul's epistle to the Collossians 2:18, and I John 4:1, where gnostic themes are denounced. Among some of the Gnostics, a priesthood of the mysteries existed and these initiated priests practiced magic, astrology, incantations, exorcisms, the fashioning of charms, talismans, and amulets, of which many are in museums and special collections ... The Carpocratians, one of the Gnostic sects, seem to have derived some of their mysteries and rites from Isis worship, and used theurgic incantations, symbols, and signs. The Ophites also adapted Egyptian rites, and, as their name indicates, these included serpent symbolism, an actual serpent being the central object of their mysteries. Gnosticism - Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology




See also:


Prominent Gnostics



Esoteric Christianity

Hermeticism

Setianism

Theosophy

  • Sirius in Theosophy: In Theosophy, it is believed the Seven Stars of the Pleiades transmit the spiritual energy of the Seven Rays from the Galactic Logos to the Seven Stars of the Great Bear, then to Sirius. From there is it sent via the Sun to the god of Earth (Sanat Kumara), and finally through the seven Masters of the Seven Rays to the human race [32]

Category:Theosophy

  • Theosophy is a religious philosophy with emphasis on mysticism, esoteric doctrine, occultism, monism and Eastern philosophy. Theosophy though ancient in origin is presently promoted through the Theosophical Society, founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and is espoused by the New Age Movement. It is through the ideas and tenents of theosophy that the many diverse groups within the New Age find a common ground of purpose. The Theosophical Society affirms the following objectives (Note the Ecumenical tone) :
  1. to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour;
  2. to encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science; and
  3. to investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.
  • One of the society's most controversial claims concerns the existence of a brotherhood of Great Masters or Adepts, who, it is asserted, have perfected themselves and are directing the spiritual evolution of humanity. (Ency. Brit:Vol 18, pg. 277) One of the fundamental principles of theosophy is that all souls are identified with the Universal Over-Soul and are obliged to undergo a cyclic pilgrimage through the Cycle of Incarnation. [33]
    • todo: link to nazi esoterism, Shambala, Great White Brotherhood, Ascended Masters (Djwal Khul).
    • Helena Blavatsky
      • It was in 1873 that she emigrated to New York City. Impressing people with her psychic abilities, she was spurred on to continue her mediumship. Mediumship (among other psychical and spiritual sciences of the time), based upon the quasi-religion known as Spiritualism which began at Rochester, NY, was a widely popular and fast-spreading field upon which Blavatsky based her career. Throughout her career she claimed to have demonstrated physical and mental psychic feats which included levitation, clairvoyance, out-of-body projection, telepathy, and clairaudience. Another claim of hers was materialization, that is, producing physical objects out of nothing, though in general, her interests were more in the area of 'theory' and 'laws' rather than demonstration. (Wikipedia)

Prominent Theosophers:


Thelema

Prominent Thelemites:

Odin Brotherhood

The Odinic Rite was established in England in 1972, and in the 1990s expanded to include chapters or kindred bodies in Germany (1995), Australia (1995) and North America (1997) and later (2006) to the Netherlands. In 1992, The Odin Brotherhood by Mark Mirabello contained claims of a surviving Odinist "secret society", allegedly founded in 1421 to save the Pagan tradition from Christian persecution, comparable to the Witch-cult hypothesis forwarded by Gerald Gardner (1954). Neopagan groups calling themselves "Odin Brotherhood" based on Mirabello's account have since been listed in The Encyclopedia of American Religions. (wikipedia)

Scientology

Shamanism

  • Mercia Eliade, in Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, notes that secret society initiations resemble shamanic initiations, and include seclusion (symbolizing the "beyond), some sort of prohibition (as in a diet), covering the face and body, usually with something that is white, and a difficult ordeal, which involves the infliction of "cruelties." [34]

Wicca


Various notes:

  • Esp. British Traditionalist and certain other Neopagan religions

Zoroastrianism

  • Star worship in Zoroastrianism

Cults

todo: Cults! An outline analysis

Literature


Source

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