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Magick of Ancient Babylonians, Assyrians, and Persians

The Babylonians, Assyrians and Persians believed that myriads of evil spirits, demons or devils hovered about the face of the earth and caused all the evils of humanity. This belief in legions of devils was passed through the Jews, into Christianity, and soon became associated with the old religion and the Pagans or Heathens.

Pagan Magick

The term Pagan comes from the Latin word paganus, meaning country dweller. Paganus, in turn, was derived from pagus, Latin for rural area or village. As Christianity took hold, the last people to be converted lived in outlying areas. These people remained as practitioners of the old religion and were referred to as being Pagan or Heathen (heath dweller); names that, due to political pressure from Christian sources, became derogatory but failed to eradicate them.

The Old Religion

The old religion, which was based upon the reverence of nature and the magick that surrounded them, was now twisted by governments and the Christian church to represent Devil worship (a Christian image of the Pagan Horned God), and persecution of so-called "Witches", the Pagans and Heathens, began in earnest. The Fathers of the Church, particularly St. Augustine, the most influential of them all, had formally denounced the old religion and its magick as "pagan".

Religion - Heathens and Pagans

The association of the old religion and the Heathens and Pagans with Devil worship and St. Augustine's denouncement of it all, marked the beginning of a dark period in the history of the world, even to the Christian Church's new, supposedly beloved converts. The synods of Elvira (306), Ancyra (314), and Laodicea (375), and the sermons of St. Chrysostom and other great preachers, reveal that the new Christians had brought with them many popular, magickal practices of their pagan world. Abashed and annoyed and upon deeper reflection, St. Augustine now felt it was not enough to denounce these as pagan, so he concocted a more deadly theory: the diviner or magician, in whose powers he firmly believed, was in league with the devil. Moreover, as far as the Christian Church was concerned, its Bible was quite clear about such people. It defined a witch as one who "hath a familiar spirit" and condemned them to death. Moreover, in the Latin and Catholic Bible verse 5 of Psalm xcvi (Psalm xcv in the Catholic Bible) reads: "The gods of the heathen are devils." Paganism and devil worship became one.

Collusion with the Devil Means Death

This correlation by the early Christians and their Bible was devastating and resulted in horrible atrocities. In the eyes of the early Christian fathers, magick meant collusion with the devil, a dangerous combination in a religion that taught that the world swarmed with devils. Moreover, it was precisely this elaborate devil-doctrine held by the great theologians of the Middle Ages that caused the appalling witch-massacres. The thirteenth century, being the most tyrannical, superstitious and sanguinary century of the Middle Ages and of which modern Catholics are so proud, inaugurated the massacres on a large scale. This persecution reached its pinnacle in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, continued in varying degrees, and still exists today, albeit in limited areas. Thousands of innocent people have been tortured, maimed and murdered as Witches and Devil-worshippers.

An Introduction to Magick