History of Witchcraft – Part 1

History of Witchcraft

As I am trying to put this all together, I hope to bring about an
understanding  that Witchcraft, like any religion, has  undergone
it’s  changes  throughout  the  centuries.   It  is  my  personal
feeling,  however, that the religion of Witchcraft has  undergone
far fewer changes than any other in history.

As the song sung by Neil Diamond starts:
     ” Where it began, I can’t begin to knowin…”

Witchcraft,  sorcery, magic, whatever can only begin to find  its
roots  when we go back as far as Mesopotamia. With their  dieties
for  all  types of disasters, such as Utug – the Dweller  of  the
Desert  waiting  to  take you away if you wandered  to  far,  and
Telal  –  the  Bull  Demon,  Alal  –  the  destroyer,  Namtar   –
Pestilence, Idpa – fever, and Maskim – the snaresetter; the  days
of superstitution were well underway.

It  was believed that the pharaohs, kings, etc. all  imbued  some
power  of  the gods, and even the slightest  movement  they  made
would cause an action to occur.  It was believed that a  picture,
or  statue also carried the spirit of the person. This is one  of
the reasons that they were carried from place to place, and  also
explains  why  you  see so many pictures  and  statues  of  these
persons with their hands straight to their sides.

In  the Bible, we find reference to “The Tower of Babel”  or  The
Ziggurat in Genesis 11. “Now the whole world had one language and
a  common speech.  As men moved eastward, they found a  plain  in
Shinar  (Babylonia) and settled there.  They said to each  other,
`Come,  let’s  make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’  They  used
brick  instead  of stone, and tar instead of mortar.   Then  they
said,  `Come,  let us build ourselves a city, with a  tower  that
reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for  ourselves
and  not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’ But  the
Lord  came down to see the city and the tower that the  men  were
building.   The  Lord said,`If as one people  speaking  the  same
language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do
will  be  impossible for them.  Come let us go down  and  confuse
their language so they will not understand each other.'” It  goes
on to say that the tower was never finished.

In  other  references,  we  find that the  “Tower”  was  in  fact
finished,  and that it was a tower that represented the  “stages”
between earth and heaven (not a tower stretching to the heaven in
the literal sense.) From this reference, it was a tower built  in
steps.  A hierarchy on which heaven and hell were based.  It  was
actually a miniature world representing the Mountain of Earth.
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Each stage was dedicated to a planet, with its angles symbolizing
the  four corners of the world.  They pointed to Akkad,  Saburtu,
Elam,  and the western lands.  The seven steps of the tower  were
painted  in different colors which corresponded to  the  planets. 
The “Great Misfortune:, Saturn, was black. The second was  white,
the  color  of  Jupiter.   The third,  brick-red,  the  color  of
Mercury,  followed by blue, Venus; yellow, Mars, gray  or  silver
for  the  moon.  These  colors boded good  or  evil,  like  their
planets.

For the first time, numbers expressed the world order.  A  legend
depicts  Pythagoras traveling to Babylon where he is  taught  the
mystery  of numbers, their magical significance and  power.   The
seven  steps often appear in magical philosophy. The seven  steps
are: stones, fire, plants, animals, man, the starry heavens,  and
the angels.  Starting with the study of stones, the man of wisdom
will attain higher and higher degrees of knowledge, until he will
be  able  to  apprehend the sublime,  and  the  eternal.  Through
ascending  these steps, a man would attain the knowledge of  God,
whose  name  is  at the eighth degree,  the  threshold  of  God’s
heavenly dwelling. 

The  square  was  also a “mystical” symbol in  these  times,  and
though divided into seven, was still respected.  This  correlated
the  old tradition of a fourfold world being reconciled with  the
seven heavens of later times.

It is thought that here was the start to numerology, but for this
to  have  developed  to  the point  where  they  had  taken  into
consideration the square as the fourfold world, it would have had
to have developed prior to this.

From Mesopotamia lets move over to Persia.

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