Expressing an alternative view of reality was necessarily a secret pursuit until recent times. Only 227 years ago, in the apparently cultured and enlightened lands of Europe – Anna Göldi was executed for witchcraft in the village of Glarus, Switzerland. She was beheaded by the blade of a state-sanctioned executioner. This brutal killing represented the final chapter in a centuries long tale of deranged witch-hunts that beleaguered Europe for centuries.
In 1682, in Devon, England – Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles and Susanna Edwards were tried for witchcraft and hanged at Exeter jail. The same year, Guenevere Damascus, her lover and their spiritual teacher, were accused of speaking in unknown languages, practicing knowledge beyond their natural abilities and acting in peculiar manners. They were burned at the stake. In 1684, Alice Molland was sent to the gallows at Exeter jail, becoming the last witch to be executed in England. In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts, 150 people were arrested and imprisoned on charges of witchcraft. 19 were hanged, one was crushed to death under heavy stones. At least 5 more perished in their prison cells.
Opposing official religious doctrine, on any spiritual matter or common natural law, and often simply just upsetting the wrong people, would see you branded a witch. A few allegations of supernatural powers, and in particular communication with spirits and animals, was usually sufficient to secure a guilty verdict. In every case I’ve looked through, the evidence against the accused was truly pitiful and in some instances quite non-existent, most data being either pure hearsay or entirely circumstantial.
So why the extraordinary and lethal hysteria? Where did it all begin?
Hand Of The Host
The origins of the madness are to be found with Pope John 22nd, who in 1320 formalized the persecution of witchcraft by sanctioning the explicit prosecution of ‘sorcery’ in the shape of the now infamous Inquisition. This was an appalling social manipulation designed to separate man from his spiritual heritage – from his transcendent connection to the universe. It was not a theological mistake or ignorant lunacy, it was a fierce campaign to destroy all indigenous European shamanism by exploiting the supernatural fears of an uneducated populous. Though this was specifically channelled through the dominant religious apparatus, I would suggest that few, if any, of the senior religious and political leaders, knew anything about the true purpose of the coming massacres.
In 1484, Pope Innocent 8th issued a papal charter authorising two inquisitors Kramer (no relation) and Sprenger, to systemize the persecution of witches. Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger authored the infamous treatise on witches, Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer Against Witches, or Hexenhammer in German). So began centuries of Church-sanctioned massacres of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. A fully intended pandemic of witchcraft hysteria swept across the peoples of Europe and across the Atlantic to America. It’s hard to imagine the savage terror it brought to many rural areas in particular, with many thousands of accounts of inconceivable cruelty.
The Romanist machinery was determined to despiritualize the sacred lands of Albion. Man was pitted against himself. The unknown was setup as the enemy of the known, hurling the consensus psyche into a regressive vortex of self ignorance. Anyone who dared to express their own personal spirituality or undertake transcendental exploration was in mortal danger. The emotional fallout of this sweeping perfidy is still with us today.
Understandable then that any victims of centuries of irrefutable Christian/Catholic aggression would disregard the entire canon of Christian scripture as poisonous rubbish. Yet this would be a mistake. For even in what has now become a confusion of neutered allegory, we can trace the roots of something far more profound and spiritually animate.
The enduring veracity of truth has a habit of surviving even the most ruthless and systematic campaigns of repression and extermination. It can be good to remind oneself of this, especially when things look a little bleak.
Early European Christianity was penetrated and compromised by a bloodline of ancient Solar Cultists, who speedily diluted and edited the existing holy texts to fit their own oppressive ideologies. The formula of control is simple. First, kill those who stand up against you, then either destroy or rewrite the spiritual and cultural heritage of their people. Certain groups who had foreseen the coming genocide, such as the Gnostics, fled to foreign lands and took their sacred texts with them, in the hope of preserving their spiritual wisdom for future times. It worked.
In 1945, twelve leather-bound papyrus texts were discovered in an earthenware jar in the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi. The 52 Gnostic tractates were written in the Egyptian language of Coptic, these already likely being translations from Greek originals, so the purity of the original works has no doubt been somewhat diminished. Even so, a very different understanding of the origins of Christianity and the mythic figure of Jesus began to unfold to a modern audience as the texts first became available in an English translation in 1975.
The most explosive Gnostic material told of a lesser god who created Earth and its heavenly neighbours and who has incorrectly come to think of himself as the one supreme creator. In The Apocryphon of John we learn more about this extraordinary ‘demiurge’.
“Now the archon (ruler) who is weak has three names. The first name is Yaltabaoth, the second is Saklas (“fool”), and the third is Samael. And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, ‘I am God and there is no other God beside me,’ for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come.”
In Gnostic lore, salvation from the energetic emanations, the false world of the Demiurge, is attainable in the form of gnosis, self attained and imparted by certain redeemers, most notably Christ, a figure sent from the higher God to free humankind from the Creator God Yaltabaoth. Gnosis involves an understanding of our true nature and origin, the metaphysical reality hitherto unknown to us, resulting in the Gnostic’s escape from the enslaving material prison of the world and the body, into the transcendent dimensions of spirit. However, in order to make this ascent, the Gnostic must pass by the Archons, who are jealous of his/her luminosity [soul] and who thus try to hinder the Gnostic’s ascendant voyage. The Gnostics state that the Archons are servants of the Demiurge. They are interpreted in the Old Testament texts as angels and demons, as indeed the Demiurge is cast as the old wrathful God, jealous and vengeful.
The Matrix trilogy of films are sleek modern representations of the principles of Gnosticism; basic coursework for any alternative researcher and student of esoteric knowledge. All the main ingredients are there in the films: the illusory world, the path of awakening, the false God (the Architect), good and bad Archons (the Oracle, the Merovingian, Persephone, Seraph, the Trainman), slick propaganda, beautiful delusions, repressive control, divine resurrection, awakening and transcendence. Look out for the quintessential Gnostic sign above the Oracle’s door in The Matrix, where (in rather non-traditional Latin) we see the words temet nosce – “thine own self thou must know” – translated in the Matrix as “know thyself”.
Nosce Te Ipsum
These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down. And He said, “Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death.”
These are the captivating words that begin The Gospel of Thomas. Whilst a high degree of astute interpretation is required to get to the core of the teachings, many aspects of the text are so evocative, so profound, that the wisdom still radiates out from the crumbling codices with little effort on the part of the reader.
We can posit several things. Firstly, the word secret (or ‘hidden’ depending on the translation) suggests that the words were not necessarily for the uninitiated; they were meant for those on the path of transcendence. Secondly, the term ‘the living Jesus’ seems purposely used to distinguish between the divine Christ energy, or Logos, and the actual mortal man who was Jesus of Nazareth. The living Jesus is the transcendent spirit – the pathway of the divine spirit, the route back to the creator.
Jesus said, “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.”
My interpretation: The student of the transcendent path will pursue his own gnosis. He will become engaged, he will unveil and he will encounter an inner psychic disturbance, a deep cognitive dissonance. But he will break through this to true gnosis and wisdom; and this will permit him to penetrate the illusory construct, the world of Maya, the All.
Jesus said, “If those who lead you say, ‘See, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”
My interpretation: The leaders who talk of a heaven above, or below, or indeed only in the afterlife are wrong. Jesus is saying that self-gnosis connects you to the field, the eternal spirit, the spiral of universal creation that reaches into all things, to God. It is inside us. Those with gnosis become aware that in a sense they are God, they carry his divinity within them. They are inextricably linked to the living father. Whereas those who choose to hide from their truth, from who they really are, who decide to refute their own sacred path of transcendence, and instead choose an inauthentic existence of distraction and pleasure – they suffer the ultimate shattering separation from him, becoming absolutely lost and alone.
This is remarkable wisdom. Quite refreshing compared to many of the condescending platitudes found in the modern canon of Christian texts, represented in the bible as we know it. You can see why the hijackers of Christianity wanted this stuff out and why they relentlessly pursued the Gnostics across Europe to the point of extinction.
The Many Sons Of God
Most are unaware that the King James version of the bible, the main reference work for modern Christian scholars and worshippers, was only put together, collated and edited in the 17th century. This being just one of many revisions. Every time the bible underwent an edit, throughout its several dozen editions, it was subject to the various ecclesiastical notions and changing political ambitions of the day. To put it bluntly, the authorities regularly changed it to suit their needs. So the bible we see in our churches, schools and universities today, is not a balanced representation of the incredible and empowering spirituality from which Christianity originated many aeons ago. Of course, it is not meant to be.
As one example, let us see how the real personage of Jesus was mutated into much older deities by the Christian scripture editors.
Consider these characteristics of the ‘son of god’: born of a virgin mother on 25th Dec, birth was announced by three wise men, earthly father was named Joseph, 12 disciples who were his ‘witnesses’, performed miracles and raised people from the dead, walked on water, was crucified between two thieves, buried for three days in a tomb, and later resurrected, was also variously known as: The Way, the Truth, the Light / Messiah / The Son of Man / The Good Shepherd / The Lamb of God / The Word made flesh / The Word of Truth / God’s Anointed Son.
This are other precedents for such an avatar. Horus (son of Osiris and Isis, worshipped from around 4000 BC). Many of the saviour characteristics also apply to other deities: Attis of Phrygia, Dionysus/Bacchus, Krishna, Mithra and Zoroastra. One thing is for sure, they are most certainly not the sole property of Christianity or Jesus. Jesus’ story was hijacked somewhere along the way.
For those uncertain of the Solar Cult link to Christianity, it is most patently observable in the latter’s adoption of Mithraism, dedicated to the worship of the sun god Mithra. Prevalent in Persia (Iran) in about 400 BC, Mithraism was the most wide-spread religion in the Western World, with its teachings, art and temples scattered throughout Europe (including Britain), which then comprised the known civilised world. Even in the early centuries of Christianity, it thrived.
After a few hundred years of the two systems of religion running somewhat parallel, in around AD 377 a decidedly rampant Christianity decided it was powerful enough to suppress its former rival. It achieved this using the Borg method of assimilation – absorbing the enemy, keeping the good bits and discarding the bad (or inappropriate) bits, until the enemy is no longer existent. And so, Mithraism disappeared; though its rituals, festivals, iconography and symbolism were determinedly co-opted and rebranded until they became part of the Christian theology.
In AD 325, at the Congress of Nicaea, Emperor Constantine gathered together a bunch of bishops to help consolidate Christianity as the official state religion of Rome. From this quasi-political assembly, Jesus was formally declared to be the Son of God. The new Mithra. The new Horus. Erasing the real Jesus and replacing him with an archetypal Solar God, thus doing away with the real liberating teachings of Jesus. This was not a profound theological battle, it was not a complex study of ancient mystical traditions – it was a colossal psyop.
Constantine himself was a conceited and disturbed man. He had several members of his friends and family butchered in the most vicious ways, as well as being responsible for countless military and civilian deaths. Constantine knew that Christianity forgave repentant sinners and permitted them passage to the higher world, unlike Mithraism. As Constantine had committed some truly monstrous crimes, he felt he must do something to quell his deeply tormented mind. When he became sick, knowing he may not recover, Constantine summoned the Arianizing bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia (the city in which he lay dying) as his baptizer. He delayed his own baptism to the last minute, so as to be absolved from as much of his terrible sin as possible. He died on 22nd May 337.
Return Of The Shaman
Indigenous shamanic traditions in Europe, and particularly England, are rarely equated with the archetypal south American, native American or Siberian shaman. Yet, each land has its own traditions and tonalities. The fact that shamanism now only exists ‘natively’ where the military industrial complex does not have an active storefront, speaks volumes of the strategies of eradication that we have examined above.
As the dimensional shift quickens, and the polarity between conscious and unconscious, light and shadow necessarily widens – the primal instinct of shamanism is being re-discovered, honoured and practiced as the principal means of growth and transcendence. Much of this renaissance is personal, intuitive and natural. The tonalities of each system depend on the land, the people, the resources and the needs of each community. What is perhaps changing is that the shaman’s traditional service to his community is becoming ever more transcendental. That is, as well as healing, locating resources, resolving disputes and recovering lost objects, an increased focus on the experiential spiritual teachings of the higher dimensional realms is gaining significance.
Only the very dimmest of minds still believes that focusing one’s energy on the inner journey and evolving one’s own consciousness is somehow a selfish activity. Only the catatonic ignoramus believes that expending mental resources on improving authentic unegoic spiritual growth is somehow terribly self-centred. Simply put, considering the self separate from the whole is a deep error. This heavily promoted Control System containment meme is coming to an end. It just doesn’t hold up anymore.
The most delicate stroke of the archaeologist’s brush reveals that, even at the very uppermost surface layers of reality, there are no separate things. Chairs, tables, shoes, apples, grains of salt… all merely temporary configurations of energy arising from the same ultrasoup of potentiality. Everything is connected to everything else at the deepest level. This is now basic knowledge, not abstract, fringe supposition. It’s simple physics, day one coursework. So if everything is one system, undivided and intimately co-existent, if a single being becomes more conscious, this inevitably brings awareness into the entire system. The shaman understands that to affect the apparently external world (a mind projection), one must familiarize oneself with the inner landscape to make any real progress. They are one and the same.
It is natural to want to understand the relationship between oneself and the universe. I feel it is the primary purpose of being alive here on this Earth. Hiding from such a truth, denying the sacred journey, is like trying to run from one’s own shadow. Not a wise move. The ancient systems of indigenous shamanism allow this mysterious connection between the personal and the supra-personal to be brought into one’s own felt presence of experience. The teachings are there. They show us that the seemingly intimate and inseparable component of our own identity, can be placed carefully to one side, from where we are then more able to fully embrace the whole – safe, harmonious, connected and deeply aware. From here, we may glimpse the true creative nature of our being.