The Vine

Friday, December 02, 2005

God of Love, Goddess of Iniquity, Blood Everywhere

This is the sort of conversation you will get into, if you have a witch shop for many years at all.

I thought of her as a sweet older lady, slightly disabled by stroke, and slightly wacky by disposition. We got along great. But I was very much upset by the story she told me yesterday. She had hinted in previous conversations that she wanted to tell me about the origin of the Witches, which I anticipated would be some sort of historically unsupportable fancification. I have over the years dispossessed myself of the 70's feminist revision of middle ages history which many pagans continue to profess, about how the Roman Catholic church burned 9 million witches for practicing herbalism. This is some sort of self-victimization fantasy, sort of like how women have rape fantasies. "I feel repressed, so I will create a mythological alternative to history which gives me every right to feel sorry for myself, explains why I am powerless, and forces me to fight from the bottom." People playing historian, or poets and playwrights in general, always have their fingers on the pulse of such unmet needs of their audiences, and are willing to concoct a supporting document. Once that document gets quoted a few times, you have a completed act of historioveritogenesis, a word I invent with the intention of never using again. Gee, if I am going to revise history, maybe I'd be better off if I create a tale that gives me a chance to blossom as an individual within a culture of justice? I digress here because as a storyteller myself, I am humbled before the power of myth and its ability to change history, whether it is true or not. To footnote myself I will say that much of my thinking in this vein has been shaped by three books: tiumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton, When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone, and Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler.

So when someone uses the Bible as their source material, The Book of Enoch, and a few unnamed UFO crackpots, how do you insist on some sort of reality-based scholarship? I may be upset simply because the story she told involved one of the books of the Bible that I find most abhorrant, most contrary to the God of Love model, and most antagonistic to matrifocal Goddess idealizations. It was he Book of Joshua, a slaughter so profound that I myself wrote a story quite a few years ago in an attempt to resolve this God of Love myth with the reality we see today and in history.

Also I may be upset because usually we think of modern Witches as being primarily Pagan and Goddess-worshipping. But allow me to tell you, the Sybil Leek generation is fundamentally Christian, and because of the Golden Dawn and other Kabbalistic influences, they are more Old Testament than New Testament. Such was the case with my friend.

According to the story, the Witches originated thusly: After the big escape from Egypt, and the wandering in the desert for 40 years, Moses, Aaron and later Joshua were instructed by Yaweh to lead the Israelite tribes into the promised land, which was then occupied by the Canaanites. God warned the Israelites not to mingle, dine, worship with, or worst, interbreed with the Canaanites because they were demons.

Well, the slaughter of all the Canaanites, as per the book of Joshua, proceeded, and according to my informant, two of the tribes managed to remain free of the corrupting influence of these demons. One was the Essenes, into which tribe Jesus Christ was able to be born, a human avatar of the Godhead.

One of the tribes migrated north and became the Druids of the Celtic peoples, and it was the Druids who eventually formed the basis of the later strains of Western European Witches. Now I realize that I am missing a detail. Was this one of the tribes untainted by demon blood or are we all descended from demons, me and my friend as well?

There were a few other tangential details to the story, like the all-powerful people in the spaceships, and Jesus' spaceship being called the Star of Bethlehem. (Reminding me of a story I have yet to write!)

I countered with a refusal to believe that the people of Canaan were demons, and my horror at the brutality with which the Israelites killed them, every man, woman and child. It was a massacre, a genocide, and we see today genocide and mass murder and slavery being justified by the denial of the victims humanity. They are called cockroaches in Rwanda, mudpeople, etc. and these appellations of hatred stick in the books because the winners who write history.

(What I really can't believe is the the very strange synchronicity that the movie my housemate selected for me to see last night was! The Hotel Rwanda, a movie based on a true story which describes one of the most modern examples of a genocide taking place using the dehumanization/demonization apparatus of thinking. Unbelievable that this happened in this modern age, and that the Western world allowed it. But then again what just happened in the Sudan?)

So my story here is almost finished. After a little fevered research I found what many Old-Testament type Christians have used to justify the slaughter of the Canaanites. They were a debased polythestic people who sacrificed babies, and used sexual imagery and rites for the purpose of imbuing the landscape with fertility! Why didn't I realize that??? We had to save the babies by killing them all! This baby-killing was brought up by my friend and informant, who told me that the Canaanites built hollow idols of gold and that they stuffed them full of babies and then burned them inside the statues of their unholy gods. Now, I would just have to see some archaeological evidence of that. The baby-killing accusation often is applied to the intended victims of a genocide. And, archaeology is actually quite good at detecting clues of human sacrifice, so I will leave that for a future investigation.

I told my friend that I would have to side with the demons in this case, and if it was so, I was happey to have demon blood in my veins. She told me that I was a creature of exquisite light, something that I am well aware of. But I am not (very much) afraid of the dark, and over her objections, I had to admit to her that I would continue to work with gargoyles and such in my practice of religion and magic which more and more tends to attempt to resolve the Dark and the Light, because in my 40-something opinion and experience, the attempt to keep them separate and to keep the "purity" of the light has resulted in a lot of bloodshed and violence. I refrained from horrifying her with the details of me and Satan's sex life, however.

Didn't I mention that I had written a story about all of this? It is true. I hope you enjoy:


Once upon a time, there was a warlike and jealous god, whose name was Yahweh. After getting his butt kicked by some pagan gods in Egypt, he undertook the destruction of the Canaanites and many other peoples, and their gods (described in detail in the whole Book of Joshua). This turned out to be way too easy, and soon, this god of war had nobody to fight and he was very bored and lonely there in the desert all by himself. But one day, while he amused himself by burning up bushes on top of his mountain, he had a brilliant idea, that would result in him never being at a loss for war. He divided himself into three, himself, Yahweh, and Allah and Jehovah. Now, he could always have a choice of which of his two other selves to fight. Yahweh, Jehovah, and Allah got busy straight away, filling the history books with blood, and wrecking the world with war happily forever after.

-Princess Poysen Ivieee Jan 2002


At 9:31 PM, Blogger sluggo4 said...

Man, you and my mother could have the longest and most in-depth conversation ever. I am not joking. Keep on stickin' it to da man. That is awesome. Like it, yes I do.

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

once again i am totally blown away by your writing

And, great material!!!




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