Thursday, March 18, 2010

From Goddess to Witch

So we have been discussing the time of the middle ages after the fall of the Roman Empire. Speaking in very general terms covering many years. We find that the church fathers had fallen into a fear of women's sexuality and closeness to the spirit realm. So if you were a woman in the church at that time{speaking in very general terms} you were kept close to home. Sex was only for procreation , if at all, as we know most catholics of the time were celibate. Woman had no role in the church and only learned of God what the men taught them which was most often skewed.

So during this time throughout we have a resurgence of pagan folklore sort of mixing with the old Greco-Roman pantheons. It was mostly woman who were involved in these practices and they became known as witches. We could spend a lot of time discussing all the evil practices, the witch hunts, the trials. But what I want to focus on is the scheme of the enemy and his arsonist firefighter trick. Once again he had created a misogynist oppression{this time within the church} then created a goddess to save them. What I find very interesting is that the principle goddess was Diana{Artemis}.

Remember Artemis/Diana was the goddess with the most disdain for men. She was the one that required virginity as a part of her worship of being subject to no man. We also found that much of the practice of infanticide in that time seemed to be loosely connected to her. Women would either consume or sit in baths of wormwood{artemisia vulgaris} to induce abortion. What changes about the goddess Diana/Artemis in the middle ages is that she is no longer a virgin. Given that the oppressive spirit of celibacy was already being taken care of by the church the devil used Diana to loose the chains of chastity or "procreation only" sex. But being the devil of course he didn't create a freedom of sexuality in a Godly sense but instead hearkened back to the damaging sexuality of blurred gender and lack of intimacy or relationship.

Many of the rites of "witchcraft" in the middle ages were no different of the ritual sex and sacred marriage of the fertility cults of the old and new testaments. With focus on goddess worship, human fertility, earth fertility, the use of herbal potions, and yielding to supernatural powers via sexual orgies or ecstatic intoxication with alcohol and drugs. In fact the notion of witches being able to fly came from such drug induced delusions.

"Have you believed or have you shared a superstition to which some wicked women claim to have given themselves, instruments of Satan, fooled by diabolical phantasms? During the night, with Diana, the pagan goddess, in the company of a crowd of other women, they ride the backs of animals, traversing great distances during the silence of the deep night, obeying Diana's orders as their mistress and putting themselves at her service during certain specified nights." Canon Episcopi 906AD

Now we could spend days looking over the varying degrees of witchcraft during the middle ages and the subsequent witch-hunts that ensued. A 'witch' could be defined as someone who simply rejected the church, or still practiced folk medicine, or had gotten pregnant outside of wedlock. On the other hand I do believe that there were varying degrees of darkness and that many 'witches' knowingly consorted with demonic powers. One major theme of that dark spirit seems to be that of abortion. Just as we learned with the other goddess cultures the enemy seems to twist the notion of feminine sexual freedom/fertility into the concept of right over the life of an unborn child. So while 'witches' became known for the beauty that is midwifery and bringing life into the world they were also known as the dark agents to extinguish that same beauty.

"Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring..." Jerome Letters 22:13 {A.D. 396}

"Here is set forth the truth concerning four horrible crimes which devils commit against infants, both in the mother's womb and afterwards. And since the devils do these things through the medium of women, and not men, this form of homicide is associated rather with women than with men, And the following are the methods by which it is done." Malleus Maleficarum 1486AD

We could go on and on over the darkness of the middle ages that was both emitted from the church and from the new incarnation of the goddess. There is so much heaviness and sorrow during this time especially when it comes to women. There is tons of evidence on both the side of the church and the pagan witch for the damage that they did in destroying what a woman was meant to be in the eyes of God. What I want to show you is that during this time the scheme of the enemy didn't change. And from that time until this it hasn't changed either.

During the Victorian Era in 1899 Charles Godfrey Leland published a book called Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches. The goddess Aradia was the 'messianic' daughter of the goddess Diana/Artemis to bring the art of witchcraft to the next generation and to free them from the oppression of the age. Unfortunately once again woman of the Victorian Age did feel an oppression and so once again sought after the goddess. The church again fails to testify a God who values woman the same as the man. A God who longs for the restoration of intimacy and love in the lives of women. A God who longs to see women no only fulfill their roles of marriage and motherhood but also their roles as a powerful teachers, healers and missionaries of the faith.

Today Neopaganism{Wicca, Druidism, Shamanism, Occultism and New Age} is arguably the fastest growing religion boasting between 1-2.5 million members worldwide. Although because many practice on their own it is hard to get a solid number. Neopaganism has become particularly popular among young people given all the pop culture acceptance. There are also about three times as many women as their are men in the religion. Most popular to women being the "Goddess Wicca" which is still often called "Dianic Wicca" following many of the traditions that we have discussed. Why?

For the same reasons the goddess has survived through the millina. Women have been deeply wounded by men in the name of a patriarchal God. Women have been deeply wounded in the way of sexuality and intimacy. They have depraved of respect as wives, mothers or spiritual leaders. So they have sought their power supernaturally. They have have sought comfort in the arms of the goddess who hates God and men just the same. But in a quest to find their femininity they have been tricked by a neuter enemy. In a quest to find sexual fertility they have been tricked into sacrificing their gender and their offspring. In a quest to find power they have only found darkness disguised as light.

God is grieved at the treatment of his daughters. God longs to heal, he longs to bring life, and he longs to bestow power that no man or devil can take away. I really believe that women are called for a special purpose in the Spirit. Deep calls to deep and God is calling his daughters back to make war against the dragon. For it is only the woman coupled with the power of the Spirit that can destroy the goddess and fight for the return of true fertility in the land. Next...finding the 'woman' of God.

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