Augury

Augury


Augury is an ancient form of divination. The practice was performed in ancient Rome by priests called augurs. It entailed the interpretation of auspices, that is the movement of birds and/or the movement of animals. Also included in this form of divination was the interpretation of the significance of thunder and lightening. Those signs on the augur’s left or east side denoted a favorable outcome, while those on the right pointed to an ill-omen. This method of divination was practically unknown in ancient Mesopotamia and Palestine.

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Anthropomancy

Anthropomancy


Divination of human entrails. This horrid form of divination is very ancient. Herodotus wrote that Menelaus practiced it when detained in Egypt because of contrary winds. Because of his barbarous curiosity he sacrificed two country children in order to discover his destiny.

Also, Heligabalus practiced anthropomancy.


Julian the Apostate incorporated anthropomancy in his magical operations. He had large numbers of children killed so he could read their entrails. During his last experiment at Carra, in Mesopotamia, he enclosed himself within the Temple of the Moon, and having performed all manner of evil within, he had the Temple doors sealed and placed a guard there so no one would enter until his return. However, he was killed in battle with the Persians. When men of Julian’s successor entered the Temple at Carra they discovered a woman hanging by her hair with her liver torn out.


It is speculated that the infamous Gilles De Laval also performed such hideous species of this divination.

The Wicca Book Of Days for March 29th – Mesopotamian Deities

The Wicca Book of Days for March 29th

Mesopotamian Deities

The story of the Goddess Ishtar (or Inanna) and Tammuz (or Dumuzi) was at the forefront of the people of Mesopotamia’s minds at this time of year, for the Spring Equinox was said to have marked the resurrection of Tammuz (and Nature), and to have reunited the lovers on Earth following his ascent from the underworld, Ishtar, the deity of the Morning and Evening Star (the planet, Venus), was the pre-eminent Goddess of the Mesopotamian Pantheon, which included Anu, the Sky God, Ea, or Oannes, the Sea God, Sin, the Moon God Shamash, the Sun God, and Marduk, the Babylonian National God whom the Assyrians replaced with their own God, Ashur.

Take the Lead

Because March 29th falls during the time of Aries, its polarity is masculine, active, or positive, which means that this would be an auspicious day on which to assert yourself, take decisive action, or be pioneering in some way.

The Wicca Book of Days for Jan. 27th – Lady Of Heaven

Fantasy Images, Pictures, Comments
January 27th

Lady of Heaven

January 27 is sacred to Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of feminine sexuality, fertility and ferocity, who as equated with the Sumerian Inanna, and whose lover was Dumuzi. So beautiful was Ishtar that she was addressed as “Shining One” and equated with the planet Venus (one of her symbols was the eight-pointed star); so wanton was she that she was termed “Great Harlot”; and so blood-thirsty was she that she was called “Queen of Attack,” depicted astride a lion. Wiccans invoke Ishtar when a libido needs livening up; when her powers over fertility are desired; or when there re enemies to be vanquished.

“Divine Cupcakes”

Commune with Ishtar today in the same way that her devotees did in Mesopotamian times, namely by baking cakes in her honor. After you have taken a batch of cupcakes, perhaps, out of the oven and left them to cool, you could decorate them by frosting them with Ishtar’s symbols: eight-pointed stars and crescent moons.

Dragons In Other Cultures

Dragons In Other Cultures

Everywhere the legged dragon is associalted with creation or life-giving. Throughout the world the Goddess or Great Mother, is connected with serpents, dragons, and spirals. As the great whale-dragon, Ishtar brought about the catastrophic flood which made it possible for a new order of humans to develop. Tiamat of Mesopotamia was the Mother-creator-dragon whose body was shaped inot the heavens and Earth. Worldwide, dragons and serpents are symbolic of the energy source of life, healing, oracular powers, fertility and maternal blessing.

H. P. Blavatsky states in her books that the dragon is a very old sign for Astral Light or Primordial Principle. This means that there is always wisdom in chaos, even if humans cannot see it. The dragon stood for psychical regeneration and immortality. Perhaps the stories which insist that dragons were partial to virgins simply meant that the seeking of wisdom and true innocence of the spirit were traits which attracted draconic beings.

In some cultures a full initiate was called a dragon or snake. Priests of Egypt and Babylon called themselves Sons of the Serpent-God or Sons of the Dragon. Even the Druids of the Celts spoke of themselves as snakes. In Mexico, the priests of Quetzalcoatl referred to themselves as of the race of the Dragon. The Welsh word Draig or dragon, was used to denote a leader, hero, warleader or prince. King Arthur and his father Uther Pendragon were said to have used a dragon as their emblem. Even today the royal banner of Wales has four-legged red and gold dragon on it.

The dragon has become a symbol of evil and the Christian devil only after the church gained power. In an attempt to crush the ancient beliefs of Pagans, the Christians spread their propaganda of their devil, calling them the Dragon. By instilling deep fears, particularly of eternal punishments, the priests and church leaders managed to grasp control of rulers and governments. By becoming the controlling forced behind governments, the church could control the people themselves, either through making their own Christian religious belief the state religion or by influencing the laws that were passed. Even then, though, there were truly individualistic people who refused to give up what they knew to be for them, true spiritual paths. These Pagans had to go underground, living in fear of persecution and death, for centures until they were once again granted the freedom to follow their ancient ways, freely speak of contacting the powerful astral beings who aided them.

 

“Dancing with Dragons”

D. J. Conway

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.
.pa
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.