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Harold S. Burr, of Yale University. Human eyes are powerful electric batteries. This discovery, showing that each eyeball is an independent battery, was announcwl to the National Academy of Sciences in by Dr. Walter H. MUes, Yale University pathologist. To their Christian opponents this was mere shame- lessness; but students of comparative religion know that, apart from the practical magical reason given above, nudity in religious ceremonies is a very old and world-wide practice. It may seem strange that the beliefs of the witch and the dis- coveries of the man of science should ever find a realm in which they could meet and touch; yet this is not the first time such a thing has happened.

The doctor who introduced the use of digitalis into medical practice bought the secret from a Shropshire witch, after taking an interest in her herbal cures. The latter proceed by the invocation or evocation of spirits, sometimes of demons, whom they seek to compel to serve them. On the great Sabbats all the covens that could forgather together would do so; but apart from these great Sabbats. Traditionally, the Esbat is the meeting of the local coven for local matters, or simply for fun. As might be expected from a moon cult, the leading part in the ceremonies is played by the High Priestess, or Maiden.

She has the position of authority, and may choose any man of sufficient rank in the cult to be her High Priest. Titania, which is found in the Metamorphoses of Ovid as a title of the uranian queen He states further that. The only place in which you will find such a personage described is. Here you will find quite a number of Homed Gods, and sometimes Horned Goddesses too. When only initiates were present, there was less need for the ritual disguise, so the custom of wearing it has tended to fade out. It will be seen that witchcraft is a system involving both magic and religion.

This in itself is an indication of great age, because in primitive times magic and religion were closely inter-related.

Full text of "Meaning Of Witchcraft"

The priest was also the magician, and the magician had perforce to be a priest. Indeed, when one comes to consider it, many religious rites to-day are directed towards ends which might be called magical. What is the essential difference, for instance, between prayers for rain, or for a good harvest, and the old fertility rites which were directed to the same end? And why must a King or a Queen undergo the ritual of Coronation?

The question of the necessity of Coronation ritual raises the whole idea of the Divine King or Queen which has engaged the attention of anthropologists for many years. I think that this was probably the practical secret of the ancient Mysteries also. However, I am not going to be drawn in this way to break my word: a statement which will, I hope, result in a saving of note- paper and stamps on the part of some of my more aggressive correspondents. Certain of the present-day enquiries of psychical research, archaeology, anthropology, and psychology are beginning to converge in a manner that is gradually revealing facts about ancient beliefs and their effect upon human evolution which have not been realised before.

It is iny hope that this book will be a useful contribution to these lines of enquiry, and perhaps assist in their convergence. Upon the 1st March. When pressed by M. The Old Homed God of the witches is not the Satan of Christianity, and no amount of theo- logical argument will make him so. He is, in fact, the oldest deity known to man, imd is depicted in the oldest representation of a divinity which has yet been found, namely the Stone Age painting in the innermost recess of the Caveme des Trois Freres at Ariege.

He is the old phallic god of fertility who has come forth from the morning of the world, and who was already of immeasurable antiquity before Egypt and Babylon, let alone before the Christian wa. Nor did he perish at the cry that Great Pan was dead. Secretly through the centuries, hidden deeper and deeper as time went on. It does so still.

The real thing is deeper hidden than this. People, especially country people, are reluctant to talk about it; but no one, I think, can study folklore in this country for long without becoming con- vinced of the amazing vitality and tenacity of old beliefs. I submit that this is an unreasonable view, and has been promulgated by persons who possess no qualifications beyond a bent for sensationalism or an outlook blinded by rehgioas bigotry.

Of course, the benefit they derive from the belief may not always seem to us to be hi ghl y ethical. Nevertheless, no one but a maniac would deliberately cultivate evil for its own sake. The foundation of magical beliefs, of which witchcraft is a form, is that unseen Powers exist, and that by performing the right sort of ritual these Powers can be contacted and either forced or per- suaded to assist one in some way.

People believed this in the Stone Age, and they believe it, consciously or not, to-day. It is now well- known that most superstition is in fact broken-down ritual. The unseen Powers that have interested man most in his early history have been the powers of fertiUty and of contact with the spirit world; of Life and Death. These are the elementary powers that became the divinities of the witches, and their worship is as old as civilisation itself.

The meaning of witchcraft is to be found, not in strange religious theories about God and Satan, but in the deepest levels of the human mind, the collective unconscious, and in the earliest developments of human society. It is the deepness of the roots that has preserved the tree. Witchcraft Today, and asking me to write more about the cult. The difficulty is, as I explained in the former book, that witchcraft has become one of the secret religions, wherein people can express their greatest longiugs and aspirations without being mocked at; those archetypal reverences which, arising from deep levels of the unconscious, so strangely stir the soul.

These thiogs I think are a true form of religion because they are natural; though constant bludgeoning and conditioning of ffie min d may blunt perception, and cause people to shut their intuitions away in the inmost recesses of their being. With this Old Religion comes the knowledge of a type of magic, difficult at all times to learn, and more so in these days, when everything is against you in this respect; but which exists all the same as a closely guarded secret. Magic is in itself neither black nor white, bad nor good; it is how it is used, the intent or the knowledge behind it, that matters.

It is just what I think, not what I know, because I do not see how anyone will ever find the first beginnings. The trees grew thinner and tlfinner, and they had to search luirder to get food. Their shambling gait ma y have resembled that of apes, sometimes perhaps even dropping to all fours; but when snow came they found that by w alking upright they kept their hands warmer, and could see further. This upright position affected their brains, which grew keener. Their speech improved, and with it their ideas. With the discovery of fire-making, ritual may have started.

You did this and this, and up sprang Jhe magical flame, a spirit at your command. Then slowly certain people took to doing the rites, and something like a priesthood was formed; that is. The dance was the chief method performed, mimicking the stalking and slaying of game. Later it took the form of a fertility dance, when they became cattle breeders and not so dependent on hunting.

Then came animism, and perhaps the worship of natural phenomena, moon, stars and sun. Magic has been classed as a trick closely guarded by the primi- tive magician. The airmen who drop a bomb could not make the bomb itself; they make intelligent use of a certain force which they do not wholly understand; and that is what magic is.

If they misuse that force, and detonate the bomb in thdr plane, they may destroy themselves. This also occurs in magic; you must Imow how to keep the effects away from your- self. When you ask them where the Sununer Land is they do not know; but it seems to have been a place of warmth and happiness, the Earthly Paradise of which all races of mankind have some tradition, and which so many adventurers have risked their lives seeking. Witches also say that they came because man wanted magical rites for hunting; the proper rites to procure increase in flocks and herds, to assure good Ashing, and to make women fruitful; then, later, rites for good farming, etc.

They considered it good that men should dance and be happy, and that this worship and initiation was necessary for obtaining a favourable place in the After-World, and a reincamaUon into your own tribe again, among those whom you loved and who loved you, and that you would remember, know, and love them again. They think flat in the good old days all this was obvious to the whole tribe.

Witches were supported by the community, and they gave their services freely to all who asked their help. A primitive National Health Service? As they worked for the good of the tribe, they were inclined to favour a strong chief or king, someone who would see that the laws were observed, that everyone had their fair share, and that everyone did their work properly. For this reason, too, they were inclined to dislike politics; anything that made the tribe fight among themselves they considered bad.

They think that they were not Druids, but representatives of an older faith; that the Druids were a good and strong male priesthood who worshipped the sun in the daytime, and were inclined to mix in politics, while the witches worshipped the moon by night. It is almost as if the Druids were the bishops, etc.

It must be understood clearly that witchcraft is a religion. Its patron god is the Homed God of hunting, death and magic, who, rather like Osiris of Egypt, rules over the After-World, his own Paradise, situated in a hollow hill, or at least in a place which is only approached through a cave, where he welcomes the dead and assigns them their places; where they are prepared, according to their merits and wisdom, for rebirA into a new body on this earth, for which they will be made ready by the love and power of the Goddess, the Great Mother, who is also the Eternal Virgin and the Primordial Enchantress, who gives rebirth and transmu- tation.

They think that the God and the Goddess assist them in making their magic, as they assist the God and the Goddess in their turn by raising power for them by their dances and by other methods. In fact, they seem to consider the gods as being more like powerful friends than deities to be worshipped. They can see no reason why each people should not worship their national gods, or why any- one should strive to prevent them from doing so.

This has always caused them to t? They do not think that the real Jesus was literally the Son of God, but are quite prepared to accept that he was one of the Enlightened Ones, or Holy Men. In former times attendance at church was compulsory by law, and absence both punishable and dangerous, in that it aroused suspicion; but of this more anon. It must be understood that witches were for the last two thousand years, at least the village priestesses, wise men and women, etc. Then the Druids in Britain contacted the first Christian missionaries, who may have been led by Joseph of Arimathea.

They had long had a god called Hesus, and a tradition of a Divine Quid, so it was not dMcult for them to accept primitive Christian teaching. This tended to separate them further from the witch cult, but there is no evidence of any antagonism between them. Then first the Roman, and later the Saxon invasions came.

The kings, nobles, and the Christianised Druids suffered badly, and many fled to Ireland and, Scotland, as did many good craftsmen, jewellers, etc. The Saxons, at first heathen, were converted to Christianity by missionaries from Rome, and some laws against witchcraft were made. After the Norman Conquest the Saxons became a race of serfs under Norman masters. Later the two races tended to amalgamate and intermarry, becoming English instead of British and Saxon.

As there is no trace of Saxon customs in the cult, it does not seem that such Saxon witches as there were ever came into it; but when the Normans arrived they had a tradition of something like witch- craft. Whether this came from Norway or from Gaul I am not sure, but it certainly existed. At any rate, the British had always thought of the Saxons as oppressors who had robbed them of all the best in their country, and the witches disliked them because they made laws against witchcraft, so both were wryly amused to see the Saxons being bullied in their turn.

They made good mercenary soldiers, who lived hard and liked fighting. Christianity sat lightly upon the Normans. Their fathers had received lands from the French king to keep other pirates away, on the condition of accepting baptism. Not so many years ago in China, Feng Hu Sang, the Christian general, used to baptise his troops by playing hoses on them as they marched past, and as Charlemagne used to drive pagan tribes through rivers at swords point, having a bishop blessing it higher up.

Such mass-conversions are apt not to be very sincere. But Christianity was at that time something to which, although you might not believe it or even clearly imderstand it, you had to conform if your ruler was a Christian convert, and to give up your pagan gods and dedare them to be devils. You could do that easily, by word of mouth at any rate; but the customs and beliefs of centuries are not altered so readily or so quickly as this.

William the Conqueror had wisely proclaimed that he was the ruler of the Church, and he appointed his own Bishops; but as the Church at Rome became more powerful it insisted on appoint- ing non-English Bishops to all offices of profit. This and other matters caused some of the Normans to take notice of the older faith. This, to the younger men at least, was easy and romantic.

You simply went out hunting with a few faithful retainers, and lost yourself in the woods for a while. There were several wars which troubled the countryside in places, but otherwise things remained much the same until about the time of Edward I, who expelled the Jews. Until then the Jews had been a race apart, who were merchants, money-lenders, tax- collectors and doctors, living chiefly in the towns, marrying usually among themselves, hated but tolerated by the Church, their num- bers kept down by occasional massacres.

When King Edward banished them from England large numbers from the big towns left the country; though numbers went to ground, into the outland districts beyond the law; that is, into the British settlements, the witch districts. These probably had some connections there already. At least, it is a witch tradition that during the Jewish massacres they had always given them shelter when they could, and it is from these Jews that the witches got to know of the Qabalah. All I can say is that there is a witch tradition that this teaching among others was given and believed, namely that the ancient religion of Israel was the worship of the Elohim, the Supernal Father and the Supernal Mother, Who had made man in Their image, male and female Genesis, Chap.

To gain power and wealth, these priests had committed many pious forgeries of Holy Writ, ami so led men from the truth. In this connection, I may quote from the Introduction to S. The Kabbdah Unveiled. Speaking rf the symbolism of the Sephiroth, the Ten Emanations of Ddty. Of these some are male and some female. They have translated a feminine plural by a masculine singular in the case of the word Elohim. They have, however, left an inadvertent admission of their knowledge that it was plural in Gen. Now, we hear much of the Father and the Son, but we hear nothing of the Mother in the ordinary religions of the day.

But in the Qabalah we find that the Ancient of Days conforms Himself simultaneously into the Father and the Mother, and thus begets the Son. Now, this Mother is Elohim. Again, we are usually told that the Holy Spirit is masculine. It is noticeable that soon after the Qabalists began to mingle with them the Church began to persecute them. They had to pretend to be good Christians, and they could not moneylenders any more. Astrology was always respectable; many Churchmen practised it, and the law never bothered them.

The great authority for early astrologers was Claudius Ptolemy 2nd century A. From the Arabic the books were rendered into Latin by the doctors of the church. Astrological ideas form an integral part of the Hebrew Qabalah. Under the Saxon kings there were laws against magic and witchcraft; but the punishment was usually only by a fine or by doing penance in church, and there is no record of it being actually inflicted.

The first trial recorded for witchcraft in England was in the tenth year of the reign of King John, when the wife of Odo the merchant accused one Gideon of bewitching her. Gideon was tried by the ordeal of red-hot iron, and acquitted. As the ordeal by red-hot iron was a serious thing, either Gideon was favoured by the priests who conducted the ordeal, and who were said to have methods of protecting their favourites from the fire, or else he was able to work quite good magic, possibly of the self-hypnotic type, for recent experiments at the University of Texas have been producing remarkable results in the use of hypnotism for the treat- ment and cure of bums.

Witchcraft continued to be an ecclesiastical crime only in Eng- land for many years, and was largely mixed up with charges of denying the existence of demoniacal agency; for the Church said that denying a personal devil was equivalent to a confession of atheism and a denial of the Holy Scriptures themselves. In this way a great number of witches were doubtless convicted.

Who are they? The mention of so popular a figure of legend as Robin Hood in this context may seem strange. However, he is one of the forms of the old god of the woods who presided over the May games. Some will doubtless say that even if the witches did not know they were doing wrong, they knew it as soon as the Church proclaimed witchcraft to be heretical and sinful; but to the witches it did not seem just that they should be condemned for doing what had been done for centuries and thought no ill of; what, they asked, was wrong with the old customs, anyway?

And was not the Church always forbidding anything nice? The Pope accused him Quod diabolo homagium fecerat, et eum fuerit osculatus in tergo. Chartier iii. What, incidentally, is this crime of heresy, that the early Qmrch adjudged to be so terrible that it warranted burning alive the perpetrator of it? Greek fudresis, choice. In England the whole power of the State was not at first behind these persecutions. It was a matter for individual Bishops and nobles.

It took longer, but was none the less thorough, because everyone knew who followed the Old Religion. Although Bishops occasionally burned witches as heretics, the general way of extermination in England was by hanging. Torture was not legal, but was used at times and conditions of imprisonment in those days were often torture. Propaganda played an important part. There were many statues of Pan surviving, half-man. The Church said very plausibly that the pagans would not have made such statues they had no model to work from; they had had models for the other statues they made.

Hence the ascribing to witches and other heretics of every crime, possible imd impos- sible, that the human mind can conceive, until they are represented as being cohorts of Satan on earth. That is surely one of the saddest things of all. She had been married four times, her first husband being the brother of Roger Outlaw, who was Head of the Order of the Knights of St. John in Ireland, and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. It was to enrich his nephew, her son.

While in jaU he excommuni- cated his opponents, and placed the whole diocese under interdict, which brought the Archbishop of Dublin out against him for im- posing an interdict without due enquiry. He left his easy jail in a grand procession, and attacked Lady Alice and her son again. But eventually William Outlaw, the son. Dame Alice went to England where she was safe.

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Mean- while. If his clerk had not written down the songs the Bishop made, it is unlikely that this curious witch trial would ever have been recorded. If all this could go on without any record except the notes of a clerk writing down songs and this was an outstanding case which lasted for years, involving many of the great ones of the realm , then it is evident that Bishops could and did do whatever they liked in their own dioceses, without any record being kept, at any rate none which survived the dissolution of the monasteries. They copulated with other witches in male or female form, whom they took to be incubi or succubi; they committed abuses with domestic animals.

Their motives were confused, their impulses were bemused, and their proceedings were more and more ronote from any common origmal practice. Yet they did them, and the reasons for what they did lie in the earliest religions and beliefs. Beside these witches, thousands of technically innocent people died as the result of mass hysteria and pious fear. Her Catholic cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, made the Scottish law of burning for all witches and those who consulted them. Her son, James VI of Scotland, afterwards James I of England, burned witches with zest, and brought in the death penalty in England; but he could not get the English to allow burning.

Torture, too, was legal in Scotland, but not in England. The Puritans in England took up the persecutions and hangings with vigour. This represents, at present-day values, a considerable sum. Hopkins sold these talis m ans as a preservative against witchcraft, asking a handsome price. However, people were ceasing to be as credulous as they formerly were; and a number of gentlemen, notably the Vicar of Great Staughton.

John Gaule, protested against his activities. Hopkins seems to have come, in fact, to a rather mysterious end. He started his witch- finding career in ; and by he was dead. One story goes that Hopkins floated, so proving himself a witch, and got a severe chill from which he soon died. Certain it is that his career was somehow cut short. Not, however, before he had created a minor reign of terror in East Anglia, and had been the instrument of very many deaths.

How many perished in the witch-mania throughout Western Europe, in the whole of its long course, will probably never be known; they are estimated to munber nine millions. Can anyone be surprised that adherents of this ancient cult prefer generally not to be known? Yet people are annoyed when I refuse to give them the names and addresses of persons whom I know to be witches, or to take them to where they can watch a witch meeting unobserved!

What does a witch get out of witchcraft? For one thing, she has the satisfaction of knowing that she is serving an ancient creed which she believes to be true. Nowadays, many people have only the simple pleasure of being themselves and following those things in which they are interested, among friends who understand them. To some there is the fun of belonging to a sort of secret society. This is a harmless type of amusement, realised by many organisa- tions, such as that of Freemasonry. But in witchcraft there may be more. If you have any power, you are among people who will teach you how to use it.

I get a life that holds infinite possibilities, and is entirely satisfying to me on all planes of consciousness. I have power to move in other dimensions and realms of being. I have communication with entities of different life forms, and by the development of new and magic gifts within myself I have certain powers of extra-sensory perception.

I have knowledge, and the ability to bring about anything I really want in my own life. I experience forms of pleasures whose very existence is unknown to the majority of people. I have conquered fear. I have learned of the ordered pattern behind apparently unrelated things. We were never encouraged to try to understand the spirit world.

Since I have studied these things, however, I have lost this fear. This is one of the things that witchcraft has done for me. When one is studying any belief or religion, an honest scholar asks the people concerned what they believe, or he reads what they them- selves say about their beliefs. Anyone who wrote about the Roman Catholic religion, using only the works of the early Protestant reformers, or who wrote about the same Protestant reformers using only what Roman Catholic writers have said about the Protestants, would not be considered a serious critic: anyone searching for facts about contemporary life in England who only read the Communist newspapers of this and other countries would be apt to form distorted views.

Yet it is a curious fact that until Dr. Margaret Murray investigated witchcraft about thirty years ago in her two monumental works. At the time these authors were writing it would have been easy to investigate. Since then two wars, and changing social conditions, have disrupted the whole countryside.

Only fragments of the old traditions remain. Before the dawn is pale. The hamadryad in the brake, The satyr in the vale, Caught in thy net of shadows What dreams hast thou to show? Who treads the silent meadows To worship thee below?

Once more the old stone altar smokes. The fire is glimmering bright. Scattered and few thy children be. Yet gather we unknown To dance the old round merrily About the time-worn stone. We ask no Heaven, we fear no Hell, Nor mourn our outcast lot. Treading the mazes of a spell By priests and men forgot. Chapter HI. J HAVE endeavoured to tell as much as I can of what witches know and believe about themselves and their history.

Now I am going to discuss the probable origins of the cult, and to do this I shall try to show the various influences which may have been brought to bear upon it in Britain. I hope this may encourage others to investigate along similar lines in this and other countries. When you begin to examine the origin of witchcraft, it is like excavating one of those prehistoric caves in France which are still occupied. A few inches down you find a copper coin of Napoleon; a few inches further you find those of various French king s, then mediaeval pottery; a little lower Gallo-Roman remains and those of the Bronze Age, then beautifully polished stone axes of the New Stone Age; then rougher and more primitive work of the Old Stone Age; and these all serve to form the floor of this dwelling, as the people who made them were the ancestors of the people who live there to-day.

So while I believe that we find the origin of witchcraft in the primitive hunting magic of the Old Stone Age people, one must try to see what different types of people have influenced it through the ages. Everyone has heard of the cave paintings of France and Spain, but not so well known is the carving on a bone found in the Pin Hole Cave in Yorkshire, under six inches of stalagmite, showing a dancing man wearing an animal mask. In various caves in France and Spain, often half a mile or more from the entrance, in prehistoric times circles have been made by putting stones together, fires have been lighted inside, and pictures of animals painted on flat stones are carefully placed face-down- wards mside them.

In other places clay figures of animals were found, which had been pierced with spears. We do that every year when we want to kill wolves. The intense concentration necessary was obtained by painting the picture. At a later date, apparently, they had discovered other methods of inducing the concentration necessary, and they often used the same picture over again, only retouching it a little here and there. Being an anthropologist, I am concerned with what people believe and what they do because of these beliefs.

When I first began to write about witchcraft I realised that it seemed to be a Stone Age cult which began by practising hunting magic, and had found that the magic which would affect a nimal s could be used to affect human beings, and to attempt to cause events to occur. I realised that the practice of magic had become a cult, which later grew into a religion, and that obviously at some later time foreign or exotic ideas had been introduced into the original simple folk- magic; but I thought that these ideas had only come in at a com- paratively late date, via the Greek and Roman Mysteries.

That is still the simplest explanation; yet in real life one finds that seemingly simple ideas are apt to prove complicated on examina- tion. As an anthropologist, I am accustomed to talk to people and try to find out what they believe on certain points, at the same time attempting to avoid the trap of reading into their answers my own preconceived opinions. Also, they reverence their gods, and do not wish their names to be known, or bandied about and mocked. Also, I think the same causes which have affected British witches would have affected those of most other European countries.

At first I thought it was just a matter of knowing what witches did and believed, and then seeing what race or tribe did and believed the same. But when I began to look closer, I foimd that so many people did and believed much, or all, that the witches did. People did things and believed things because they were the natural things to do and believe, and that meant that these things were probably true. As elephant herds are led by an evil-tempered female, so early tribes of hunters were led by a matriarch; that is, the strongest and strongest-minded woman ruled the tribe, and the men.

The matriarch and her daughters sat at home and governed the tribe because it was her magic which made the tribe. She made the babies. There are primitive tribes which have retained similar con- cepts to this day. Charles Seltman. He saw that there were too many coincidences, and that these coincidences produced babies, and it struck him that he was the coincidence and that the tribe could depend on him. Between the idea of the young woman he loved and the old woman he feared, man found a goddess to worship, who loved him and protected him, and at times punished him Those modem psychologists who belong to the school of C.

Jolan Jacobi, in The Psychology of C. From both figures emanates a mighty fascination. I mentioned before that the peasants in France and Spain knew what the clay figures of animals which had been thrust through with spears meant, because they in the twentieth century still hunted wolves that way. That is, this inherited magical custom or knowledge had descended from father to son for ten or twelve thousand years.

Nominally, all sorts of people had occupied the land in turn, each with their different languages; but in fact all these invasions simply meant that some new people came in and possibly seized the best pieces of land and some of the women.

Evidendy he is playing the ritual part of an animal. In the Stone Age, when man possessed as yet no metal weapons, he had to rely on knives, spears, axes and arrows made from flint or stone. It is no easy proposition to kiU a great stag or buflalo with such weapons as these; so the Stone Age hunters adopted the strategy of luring a herd of game into some favourable position where they either could not escape and were shot with arrows, or where they fell over a cliff or into a pit, and were there caught and despatched. It has been suggested by anthropologists that in order to get the herd where the hunters wanted them one of their number, probably the chief because he would have to be brave and resourceful, used to dress up in the horns and skin of an animal in order to act as a decoy.

Some primitive tribesmen hunt in this manner to-day. One man with these crept up to the right place, the rest of the party being on the other side of the herd. One of these would yell to startle the animals, then the man with the horns would put up the pole and run. The herd of deer, seeing horns moving, ran towards it. In the swamp the deer were easily speared.

The country there was brushwood five or six feet high, so it was not necessary to wear skins as well as the horns, but in Europe it would be more open country, and hence a more complete disguise would be necessary. It is very probable that the man who took the chief part in the hunt also took the chief part in the magical ceremonies, and became the priest of the tribe; because in those days religion and were closely related.

The purpose of contacting the gods was to keep contact with the forces of life, and these were identical with the forces of magic and fertility. It was the custom, too. Hence the homed hunter became the homed magician-priest, and eventually the Homed God. However, the Homed God had another function besides being the provider of food.


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He was also the dealer of death. It was after his magical dance that the great stag was brought low. One day, the himter knew, he too must leave this world by the gate of death. Living closer to nature, their psychic powers were more active, and they were used to the idea of communicating with their dead relatives and friends. They looked upon it as quite a natural thing. Their idea of the After-Life is rather that of a place of rest and refreshment, where people await their tiun to be bom again on this earth. This, of course, is the concept of reincarnation, which is widely held among primitive people of aU kinds.

To them, the most logical place for the souls of new-born babies to have come from is the Land of the Dead, where there are plenty of souls awaiting another body. He and his consort Diana are two of the oldest deities of Western Europe, and Diana is named in the Canon Episcopi of the early tenth century as being the goddess of the witches. Presumably he represented the god, and this was some magical ceremony to give him power. Women seldom came into the pictures on the walls of the caves; but the Stone Age people made small statuettes of very fat naked women with their sexuil attributes very much emphasised, obviously representing a fertility inducer or goddess.

At any rate, they spent much time and skill in carving these figures out of ivory with stone tools, and we may presume that this was because they venerated this goddess and asked blessings from her, at a period when from himters they had become cattle herders and wished for plentiful offspring, both animal and human. On the other hand matriarchy seems to have been very prevalent in early days, and it is probable that, as with witches to-day, the god-representative, or high priest, was the choice, and often the husband, of the goddess-representative, or high priestess.

While Man went out to hunt or herd the cattle. Woman, the Witch, stayed by the camp fire and made medicines and spells. What this amounts to is that certain people were bom with natural psychic powers. They discovered that certain rites and processes increased these powers, and that if they directed them properly they could use them to benefit the community. So the community demanded that they should perform these rites, the more so when they discovered that they could join in the rites themselves, helping to raise power by wild dancing and in other ways. This meant that the witches had to leam to use their br ains.

So I presume that the ancient witches had also to explain certain things away, and that there were tricks of the trade as well as genuine manifestations. In Britain, prior to B. They were akin to those in France and Spain, and probably had the same beUefs. Being unafraid of nakedness, they were strong and healthy, for sun and fresh air are the best medicines known; but I will speak more of this anon. We can only guess what their reUgious views were; though, as I have said, I believe they had their homed hunting god and their naked goddess of generation. They buried objects with their dead, so it seems that they believed in a future life, or a next world, and we can reasonably assume that they connected this m some way with their gods.

Their chief form of worship was probably the dance, a group dance performed with fanatic fervom: in a circle, for by the circles they made in the depths of the caves they evidently had the concept that a circle magically constructed conserves power. It is probable that by a number of people twanging bow-strings they could produce a harp-like effect. It was probably a symbohe dance performed with wild abandon till they reached a state of ecstasy.

To primitive people a dance is a prayer, by which they attain at-onement with the gods. These early Britons hved much as the modem nudists hve. They were clean and healthy, in fact they were certainly much cleaner and healthier than, for instance, the inhabitants of rat-infested, plague-ridden mediaeval cities, where the streets were heaped with household garbage, and where the people regarded taking a bath as being a dangerous operation; or, for that matter, than the dwellers in our slum districts to-day.

For many years doctors in foreign lands were puzzled as to why native women could bear children without any trouble, and go to work the next day. These people are said to have come from North Africa. At first they came overland by way of France and Spain; later they came by sea, and by about B.

They made magalithic burial mounds of the long barrow type, and appear to have had a cult of the dead akin to that of Osuis of Egypt; that is. It appears that some early peoples, the Egyptians and Assyrians, believed in the unhappy After- World, where the wandering soul might suffer from hunger, thirst and darkness, though not from physical pain. They could be aided by the gods, who could rescue them from these conditions; but this aid was difficult for the com- mon people to obtain, being reserved for the kings and mighty men who could be buried in appropriate tombs with the proper ceremonies, and who in their life-time had gone through the rites which taught them the way to rebirth; otherwise, who had gone through an initiation ceremony which mimicked being killed and revived again — death and resurrection.

They, knowing the way to the Land of the Gods, could lead favoured followers there. At a later date it was the custom in that country to paint pictures of a noble and all his household on the sides of his tomb, and all who were thus depicted would share his paradise, though continuing to work for him as servants. This belief led to the curious custom of occasionally bribing the tomb builders so that at the last minute, after the funeral ceremonies were com- pleted, and just as they were closing the tomb for good, they would scratch out the face of an impopular person, usually an overseer, to deprive him of his share in the good After-World.

They believed that in some mysterious way salvation depended on either the preservation of your body or of an image of it; so a great man would have a number of images of himself buried along with him, so that if the body was destroyed his life would continue by means of these magical images. It is likely, however, that this was a later Egyptian conception, possibly invented by priests and image-makers to get more money.

Or perhaps the Neolithic immi- grants adopted the native beliefs that at-onement with the gods by dances and other means was all that was really necessary, though being of the band or family of a king or hero helped greatly. By now, I think, this body of primitive belief and practice had become a real religion. Whether they had only two gods, the old hunting god and the new god of death and resurrection, one cannot say; but there is a natural tendency to amalgamate gods, to regard two different gods as being really different manifestations of the same deity, and it appears to me that at some time the Great Hunter and the god of Death and What Lies Beyond became one and the same.

About B. They had bronze weapons and built round barrows. These are the people who are supposed to have built Stonehenge and Avebury. There is little doubt that ships from Crete came to this country regularly, and that they or the Mycenaeans brought the blue faience beads manufactured in Egypt circa B. The researches of the late Michael Ventris, and excavations at Pylos, show that there was a great civilisation on the mainland as well as in Crete from at least B. The sea power thus lost was slowly acquired by the Phoenicians and their colony Carthage, on the coast of North Africa opposite Sicily.

They conquered most of Spain and stopped all passage of other nations througji the Straits of Gibraltar. These are all more or less recognised historical facts, each of which has some bearing on the making of the faith of Ancient Britain, and consequendy upon that fragmentary survival of it represented by witchcraft. It is well known that ideas of all kinds tend to follow the trade routes; and by this means, and by means of the various immig rations of setders, different religious ideas arrived here.

CJiapter IV. They brought with them bronze weapons, and their arrival is generally considered as the commencement of the Bronze Age is Britain. Unlike the Neolithic peoples, who. They laid the bodies in their graves in a curious manner. A body lying on its side in this position, under the rounded hillock of earth, may have been intended to mimic an unborn child lying in the womb of its mother. In other words, they laid their dead in the womb of Mother Earth, to be bom again when the time should come, and this custom may well be a mute witness to a belief in reincarnation. With the body would be laid a few precious possessions, such as weapons and ornaments, and one of their characteristic beaker-shaped drinking vessels.

We know that the Ancient Egyptians laid valuable possessions with their dead, and we are aware why; they thought that the dead person would be able to use these things, or a kind of spirit- sunulacnun of them, in the next world; so the Beaker People may have held the same idea. These are the people who are thought to have built Stonehenge, commenced circa B. They seem to have built Avebury circa B. The avenue at Avebury consists of stones in pairs, which have been roughly dressed on the sides which face one another.

One stone is always long and thin, and the other short and almond- shaped, obviously the male and female principles. Music, dancing and drama have not been secularised as in the West.


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While I think there was no direct connection between India and Britain, I believe there is a natural form of religion which was universal in the hearts of men, and it was universal because it is founded on certain facts. To him the phallus and its feminine counterpart were the only reasonable representation of the Divine creative energy. It was thus in Pales- tine in ancient times, and it seems that there was the same objection to shaping the stones which they set up as there was in Ancient Britain.

They searched for stones naturally so formed. The BroiKe Age people who built Stonehenge would appear to have worshipped the same principle?. It is the local custom to watch for this, though it is generally said that it is to see the sun rise over the Hele Stone, which is obviously phallus-shaped.

Nowadays it is known that this fairy tale is nearly true; they were actually brought from South Wales. It is generally thought that they were brought round by sea. Other people think they were brought across country direct from Wales. Whichever way it was done it was a colossal task, and there must have been a very strong driving force, either rehgious or pohtical, to cause the people to undertake it. The gigantic sarsens of the outer circle, erected circa B. There is one curious thing to be noted in connection with them; in ancient Crete they had noticed that if you erected a pillar which was dead straight it seemed to get smaller at the top, because it was further away from your eye, so they made their pillars wider at the top, to make them look straighter.

The builders of the outer ring at Stonehenge employed this device, which strongly suggests that the man who designed it had seen Cretan buildings, and it has been suggested that Egyptian masons may have been imported as there are resemblances to temples built by Khofra of the Fourth Dynasty in Egypt, where the lintels meet halfway on the pillar tops and these lintels are fitted to engage the dowels, of which there are two on each pillar. This suggests a prototype in wood, and we know that at an earlier date the Stone Age people made wood circles; Woodhenge, for instance, is quite close.

As nothing but the post holes remain it is impossible to say if Woodhenge had lintels on the tops of the pillars, and it has been suggested that it was roofed over, and was only a very large hut. A further reason for thinking that Stonehenge was built by foreign masons is that the surface of the pillars was dressed, then rubbed down with rubbing stones, an Egyptian technique; these rubbing stones were later used to pack the base of the pillars.

It is on these pillars that carvings of early type bronze axes, and of daggers of Mycenaean type, have been found in Stonehenge is unlike Greek or Egyptian temples in being round, so whether it jvas built by foreign or British masons it is clear that it was built to British ideas, for British gods. We have no real proof that this was the belief in Britain, and I am inclined to think that the early Stone Age people built largely with undressed stone, though they could dress stones a little.

Whether this was due to conquest of South Wales, or simply by order of the king, or high priest or priestess of the oracle, it is impossible to say; but it was done, and then this wonderful new temple was embellished by further works. It is said that in the Fourth Dynasty in Egypt the king had one hundred large ships of cedar. This would seem to be about the time when the foreign stone circle was built in Wales. Perhaps at that time Egypt had no rivals at sea, and it is not impossible that some of these Egyptian ships came here exploring, seeking for gold, copper, tin, etc.

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As there was a constant migration up the coasts of Spain at the time, they would doubtless have fairly full information as to where to go, and as soon as they were past Finisterre the usual south-west wind would take them to Brittany, where there were great settlements of megalith builders who were in communication with the west of Britain.

The Egyptian priests boasted to Solon circa B. Now, these dates seem to fit. There is nothing impossible in it; anyone could make the voyages in quite small boats if they went by easy stages and only travelled in good weather, that is if they were not pressed for time. There are things which suggest Egyptian influence; that is, copying what was done in Egypt. Silbury HUl at Avebury was built on a plateau cut away from a slope; it covers an area of five acres.

Now, while I quite agree that a circle is the easiest way to build a mound, all other nations seem to have found it easier to build their stone buildings quadrangular; but Stonehenge is circular, even the lintels being rounded inside and out. Also, there is a very ancient belief that a circle will keep out evil influences. I think there were priest-kings, magicians, who worshipped their gods and worked their magic in this and at least some of the many stone circles in Britain. I have previously mentioned the fact of the sun rising over the Hele Stone on the morning of the Summer Solstice.

The edition of the Ministry of Works Official Guidebook to Stonehenge points out that every sunrise during the year must have a sunset point directly opposite, and the opposite point of the sunrise on the longest day will be the sunset on the shortest day, the Winter Solstice.

At Stonehenge on this latter date, an observer standing in the centre will see the sun set just to the left of the tallest stone, behind the altar, that is, the remaining upright of the great central trilithon, of which the other stone and the lintel have fallen. It is calculated, therefore, that if the now fallen central stone of the Bluestone horseshoe was of the same height as its neigh- bours, the setting sun on the day of the Winter Solstice would have appeared exactly over it, and framed by the stones of the great trilithon.

The Hon. John Abercromby, in his book on Bronze Age Pottery, written in , has called attention to this fact, and pointed out that in no religion or temple does one enter by a door, walk some way into a building, and then turn round to the entrance to face the chief point of worship.

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ITie writer of the Official Guide, R. Newall, F. In his very remarkable book. Jung, shows a number of representations in ancient art of the door, or gateway, or trilithon, as a symbol of the Great Mother, the Goddess from whom the sun-god is reborn. Hence the appearance of the red disk of the setting sun, glowing between the mighty stones of the great trilithon through the gathering winter dusk, would symbolise to those ancient people not only death but the promise of rebirth, alike perhaps for man as for the sun, from the womb of the Great Mother. I have described in my previous book.

Witchcraft Today, how present-day witches secretly conduct a rite at the Winter Solstice which represents exactly the same idea. The priestess, or female leader of the coven, stands behind a cauldron in which a fire is ignited, while the rest dance round her sunwise, with burning torches. The fire in it is the Sun-child in her womb. Although it has been moved from its original site it consists of two upright stones, and between them a huge stone in the centre of which a hole has been carefully carved out large enough for a human being to crawl through it.

The sexual significance of this group of stones is obvious; and the careful carving of the central stone must have entailed much labour, with the tools then avaU- able. A persistent legend, often referred to in early English literature, is that when Troy fell a number of its princes with their followers took refuge in Western Europe; and in particular Brutus, the great- grandson of Aeneas, settled in Britain and founded a city that is now London. Hence an old poetic name for London is Trino- vantum. New Troy. When Troy was thought, in later years, to be a purely legendary lorality.

Mycenaean power ex- tended over Asia Minor and the Aegean, including Troy, and even after Mycenae was destroyed by the Dorians. Troy seems to have kept up trade with Britain until Troy itself was destroyed, circa B. When the home town of a great shipping nation is destroyed there is apt to be a huge crowd of fugitives, and then, as nowadays, closely settled states did not welcome them, so there is nothing impossible in the legend that a number of these came to Bri tain , and not being welcome in the closely settled West Country passed up the English Channel and up a wide river to the first high land suitable for defence, and there founded a city where London now stands.

She had great power at Alba the White City , first colonised by emigrants from the Peloponnese at the time of the great dispersal. His wife was Jana, or Diana Dione , goddess of the woods and the moon, and of witch- craft. What Happens in Vegas Scott Fitzgerald, Seedbox Classics. The Memoirs of Clifford T. Pet Whisperer Angels with Attitudes Author: Mimi Barbour.

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