Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Slay the Woman Loose the Dragon

Out of the wonderment and the power that was the very early church came a very angry dragon. The time of equal right and unity between men and women within the new faith was unfortunately short lived. The dragon had lost his hold over the woman and the huge polytheistic pantheons had begun to crumble. So the devil had to come up with a new way to revive the goddess and the catalyst came from within the church.

Remember how I discussed earlier that the woman seem to have a better perception of the spirit realm? I believe that is a gift that God gave woman that was intended to be coupled with mens strength of sober evaluation. So that together the perception of the woman and the evaluation of the man could produce proper judgement in situations. In Eden Eve could perceive the serpent but Adam was silent in his evaluation of the situation. Therefore proper judgment was not made. Maligned judgement of the situation lead to deception for both Adam and Eve.

Now we saw that the devil chose the woman not only because she was the one that bore the seed of man but also because of her spiritual perception. In this way the devil could use her for his spiritual deception via her sexuality and power of persuasion based in her spiritual sensitivity. This is how the role of the goddess flourished from the time of the Sumerian Inanna all the way through to the Greek goddesses like Artemis/Diana. What added fuel to the flame is that spiritual power was the only power that women were "allowed" to have in a man driven world. Then we saw how Jesus changed all that. The very early church was a spiritual power to be reckoned with because of the unity between men and women.

So the dragon let loose once again against women. But this time he created a fear of women from within the church. I believe the early "church fathers" were petrified of the power in the Spirit that a woman could wield. Instead of working along side that power they repressed it and in a way extinguished the Spirit from the church all together. Not only did they smote the spiritual fruit of woman they smote they physical fruit as well, by calling for a life of celibacy. Is it any wonder that this was the perfect catalyst for the enemy to draw woman away from the faith? To draw them back to the arms of the "loving" goddess that celebrated their sexuality and supernatural tendencies. I am confident that it is quotes like these that helped create the "witch" of the middle ages.

"You are the devil's are the first deserter of the divine law; you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your desert- that is, death- even the Son of God had to die." Tertullian{ 160-220AD}

"By herself woman is not of the image of God. The man, on the other hand, alone, is
the image of God." Saint Augustine{354-430AD}

"Woman is a temple built over a sewer. It is contrary to the order of nature and of
the law for women to speak in a gathering." Saint Jerome {347-420AD}

"As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power." Thomas Aquinas {1225-1274}

"God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoilt all, when she persuaded him to set himself above God's will. 'Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error." "There is no gown or garment that worse becomes a woman than when she would be wise." Martin Luther {1483-1546}

"It cannot be denied, but that the woman was created after the image of God, though in the second degree." "All women are born that they may acknowledge themselves as inferior to the male." John Calvin {1509-1564}

"Woman is more carnal than man….She always deceives….What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colors….To conclude, all witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable." Malleus Maleficarum {a treatise on witches written by the church in 1486}

And from a modern day non-Christian perspective...

"Christianity did not heal the wound to the image of woman caused by the literal reading or the story in Genesis 2 and 3. The inference that is that Adam was perfectly happy by himself in the Garden until Eve came along. With her appearance his troubles begin. As Luther put it, following a well established tradition, if the serpent had assailed Adam, then the victory would have been Adam's." The Myth of the Goddess, Baring & Cashford

Now I am not saying that the paganism of the middle ages was the fault of the church. I am not saying that women were forced into folkloric witchcraft because of the church. What I am saying is that the mistreatment of women within the early church had to have been a large reason for their leaving or never adhering to the faith in the first place. Women were drawn to the witchcraft of the middle ages for the same reasons they were drawn to the fertility cults of the old and new testaments. And again if the church would have been doing its job{that is presenting the gospel of Jesus as a freedom and unity for the sexes, as well as a life in the Spirit} I don't believe that folkloric witchcraft would have had the draw it did.

It is estimated that the church executed up to 300,000 witches during the middle ages{1480-1700AD}; most of whom were women. This was usually done by burning at the stake after having been tortured. So you could say that this was the end result of what the devil had intended for the spiritual and physical destruction of women. He used the goddesses Inanna and Ishtar to destroy their sexual intimacy. He used the goddess Cybele to destroy sexual identity. He used the goddess Artemis to destroy reproduction via required chastity and abortion. Then the devil used the early church to destroy the woman all together by putting her to death at the stake! Sad but true.

The woman who weren't burned at the stake were forced to take vows of celibacy thus riding themselves of any female characteristics or any hope to be a wife and a mother. While the Reformation allowed women the right to marriage and motherhood that was all they were allowed. Any hopes for a dynamic and powerful spiritual life was unheard of. So the women of the middle ages had the choice of servitude and silence in the church or "freedom" and supernatural power in folkloric witchcraft. With one you were dead spiritually and with the other the threat of physical death. All the while the devil was in a win-win situation for the bondage of women.

Now, before you think I am sounding too sympathetic as to what was happening in the ways of folkloric witchcraft let me tell you this...I only have sympathy to the bondage of woman wherever that may come from; I never have sympathy for the devil! But I think it is sad that when the church should have been a beacon of freedom for women it instead was a faint light leaving them to wander back into darkness. And who should be waiting for them? The new incarnation of Artemis herself, this time called "Diana-goddess of the pagan" and she has a bore a daughter named Aradia to teach witchcraft to the oppressed. More on her next...

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