Demons & Spirits

When encountering the topic of demons and spirits, a multiplicity of sources can be brought to the tableone of the more well known being the Ars Goetia (a book of seventy two demons, included in the Lesser Key of Solomon). However, contrary to what is noted in the Lesser Key itself (i.e. "The spirits of the Goetia are portions of the human brain"), some seem to be under the impression that the demons spoken of are actual existing beings⁠—ones that can be summoned. Yet, such a perspective is not only at odds with ancient ideology, but also holds no solidity as far as the literature itself goes.

The underlying text (The Testament of Solomon) shows itself to be coated in astro-theological content, the demons being connected to the stars and constellations (e.g. TSol 4:6; 5:4, 8; 6:7; 7:6). In chapter 14 you even have the mention of the esoteric dragon (similar to Revelation 12 in the Bible), the context of "the heavens" being quite conspicuous. But this is no surprise of course, given the ancient Hebrew culture (one of star-tales, e.g. Genesis 37:9-10; Job 38:7; Isaiah 14:12). In fact, the Tanakh does not even speak of demons as "spiritual beings" at any point. Aside from the Hebrew term שֵׁד, the Septuagint utilizes the Greek δαιμόνιον, a word in reference to graven images⁠ and insentient idols (e.g. Psalm 105:36-37 LXX).1 Where the Masoretic text says "all the gods of the peoples are idols" (Psalm 96:5), the Septuagint has "all the gods of the nations are demons [δαιμόνια]." And so, this was "demons" in the ancient perspective⁠—inanimate objects of silver and gold (Psalm 135:15-17).2

This also comes down to canonization, as the apocryphal Book of Tobit (not included in the Masoretic tradition) does indeed speak of a "demon" (δαιμονιον) as an evil spirit (πνευμα πονηρον). However, it is in the context of clear solar eclipse mythology. Notice, the angel instructs Tobias to open up a fish, take out its heart and liver (Tobit 6:4), and burn them in order to create smoke which drives the demon away (Tobit 6:16; 8:2-3). This burning of what came out of the fish depicts "the sun" which chases away "darkness" (the demon). How so? Notice, this same story is told in the Gospel of Matthew (17:27), where Jesus instructs the apostle Peter to open the mouth of a fish, take out a coin, and "chase away" the tax receiver (like the demon). Such stories clearly fit the motif of Jonah and the fish,3 Jonah being the sun of course (Christ/God, Psalm 84:11; Matthew 12:39-41; 16:4; Luke 11:29-32; see Ecliptic Lore) who comes out of the fish (these correlations are quite specific). And so, you do have the concept of the demon as an evil spirit in the Book of the Tobit, but, it's a solar eclipse.

More than this, Christians may attempt to read demonic beings into the Old Testament term mentioned above. Actually, certain Christian Bible translations of Leviticus 17:7 mention sacrifices to "demons" (e.g. NKJV), but in the Hebrew, this passage is actually referring to goat worship.4 The same Hebrew word (שָׂעִיר) is in the prior chapter, used in reference to the sacrificial goat (Leviticus 16:8, 10). Interestingly enough, the "scapegoat" in these passages is specifically the word for "Azazel" (עֲזָאזֵל), one of the fallen angels in the Book of Enoch (e.g. ch. 8-10, 13). Azazel is also mentioned in the Apocalypse of Abraham (e.g. ch. 13), appearing as a talking bird who tells Abraham of the destruction which would come upon him if he "ascends to the height." Later on in the story, Azazel is seen as one who is likened to a dragon with 12 wings (23:7-12), the esoteric signification being quite emphatic.

Further, the New Testament has its usage of δαιμονιον, likewise referring to idols as demons (e.g. 1 Corinthians 10:19-21; Revelation 9:20), but for the most part, "demons" are seen as the embodiments of sicknesses and diseases (e.g. Matthew 4:24; 8:16; Mark 1:32-34; 6:13; Luke 9:1), things like blindness (Matthew 12:22) and epilepsy (Matthew 17:15-18). Indeed, they are found speaking as characters, but it is in an enigmatic context.Basically, when the evil spirits left people, it was the sickness leaving them (e.g. Acts 19:12). And keep in mind, the Greek word for "spirit" is πνεῦμα, and it literally means "breath" (e.g. 2 Thess 2:8 "breath of his mouth").This term is repeatedly used in reference to ones "context." For instance, if the "spirit [breath] of deep sleep" was to come upon someone, it meant they were tired (Isaiah 29:10). Or, the girl who was possessed with a spirit [breath] of divination" (Acts 16:16), she was a fortune-teller in other words, for once the apostle Paul commands the spirit out of her, her fortune telling ceased.7 

So, this is "demons" in ancient culture. Essentially, today there remains a very common misunderstanding regarding these sorts of topics, as many confuse esoteric symbolism with "the supernatural." The problem? It makes a butchering out of the texts, removing the initial setting and placing things into an abyss of disorientation.

[Also see the accompanying video: Demons & Spirits]


____________________________________

Footnotes:

1. Also used in Deuteronomy 32:17, "They sacrificed to demons, not to God . . ." Compare this to Exodus 32:8. Also, Isaiah 65:3 has "they offer sacrifices in gardens, and burn incense on bricks to demons, which exist not." Exist not? Such fits the perspective of graven images, as 2 Kings 19:18 says: "for they [were] not gods, but the work of men’s hands–wood and stone." Also, in Isaiah 65:11 there is "they . . . prepare a table for the demon."

2. There is also the usage of Isaiah 13:21 which states:
But wild beasts shall rest there; and the houses shall be filled with howling; and monsters shall rest there, and demons [δαιμόνια] shall dance there, (LXX)
The context of demons here is wild beasts, actual living animals (unlike idols, e.g. Psalm 115:4-7). Such a usage appears to fit "evil animals" (Genesis 37:20, 33; Leviticus 26:6; Ezekiel 5:17; 34:25) or something similar (as idols [the normative usage of the term] are evil). This also may be the intention of Psalms 90:6 LXX, "nor of an evil thing that walks in darkness; nor of calamity, and a demon at noon-day." There is also Isaiah 34:14 which says:
And demons shall meet with satyrs, and they shall cry one to the other: there shall satyrs rest, having found for themselves [a place of] rest. (LXX)
Yet again, the context is living animals (Isaiah 34:13, 15). This "satyrs" translation is from Brenton, but the Greek term is ὀνίνημι, and its usage in Philemon 1:20 shows that it has to do with profiting. The Greek word for satyr is actually σάτυρος. Moreover, the Hebrew text of Isaiah 34:14 mentions "the night creature" using the term lilith (לִּילִית). However, nothing in this particular setting suggests the demoness character as the meaning. Although, you do have the Dead Sea Scrolls mention of Lilith:
"And I, the Instructor, proclaim His glorious splendor so as to frighten and to te[rrify] all the spirits of the destroying angels, spirits of the bastards, demons, Lilith, howlers . . ." (Songs of the Sage, Lines 4–5)
Left to the Tanakh however, you have no such theme given.

3. Notice Tobit 6:2, "a fish leaped out of the river, and would have devoured him."

4. You also have the 2 Chronicles 11:15 usage: "for goats, and for calves, that he made." In this case, it is a handcrafted goat idol. In the Leviticus 17:7 case, you have no such specific mention, and the Hebrew term is used for actual goats throughout Leviticus (e.g. Leviticus 4:23-24; 9:3, 15; 10:16; 23:19).

5. This is simply how Hebraic mythology works. Notice, the evil spirit who speaks in Acts 19:15 is identified as a disease in the context (Acts 19:12). Thus, it is a talking disease in the passage, and this brings the point across; Paul and Jesus held power over the sickness, while the traveling exorcists had no such power (Acts 19:16). This is a good example of an ancient medical perspective—it was spiritually related (like a witch doctor). In Leviticus 14, the leper was to be taken to a specific priest (regarding the healing). As for Jesus and the herd of swine tale (e.g. Matthew 8:28-32), it is the same motif as the scapegoat in Leviticus 16:21-22; the animal bears their iniquities into the wilderness, and likewise the pigs carry the "sickness" (demons) into the sea (iniquity and sickness are likened, Mark 2:17). Yet, the story is told in the form of talking demons (as in Acts 19:15). Inanimate concepts "talking" is simply part of the ancient form of literature. Notice in Judges 9:8-15, it describes trees as talking, having a conversation. 

6. Notice in Revelation 16:14, "breaths of demons" coming out of the mouths of the dragon and the two beasts ("unclean breaths" 16:13). 

7. Additionally, in 1 Timothy 4:1 Paul mentions some "giving heed to deceiving breaths and doctrines of demons." Doctrines of demons? Notice Habakkuk 2:18, it calls the molded image "a teacher of lies" yet says "mute idols" (also see Jeremiah 10:8; Isaiah 19:3 "consult the idols"). How is a mute idol a teacher of lies? By means of depiction of course, as the earth itself can even teach (see Job 12:8; Isaiah 19:3 LXX). A field even teaches in Proverbs 24:30-32.

Mark of the Beast

The number 666 is quite popular within satanic/occult culture today. It is often put to use in a "blasphemous" context of t-shirts, band logos, and dark arts display in general. However, what is absolutely baffling about this is, such individuals typically stand in complete opposition to the Bible. Yet, the Bible is what made 666 evil in the first place (Revelation 13:18). And it is here we come across the very common and confusing mentality of modernized commercial occultism⁠⁠—an inconsistent position void of any substance. 

Aside from The Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Odyssey, and many other esoteric sources that could be listed, the Bible reveals itself to be quite a large body of ancient occult literature; sources of magic, witchcraft, and necromancy making their way⁠—oddly enough⁠—into the hands of Christians for some reason (as Christianity is in direct contrast to the Biblical content).
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:18)
Firstly, there is a Greek textual variant in this passage. In papyrus 115 the number is actually 616 (χις), which is completely different. Thus, it is all a matter of which Greek reading one goes with. Dogmatically speaking, the concept is left ambiguous.

And additionally, this number is usually associated with "the Antichrist," a character foreign to the book of Revelation. The Antichrist is mentioned in 1 John 2:18, but nothing textually demands that the beast of Revelation 13 is this same exact character. So, the entire context frequently tacked onto the number is without justification as well. 


Ornithomancy

Within the cryptic paradigm of ancient divination, ornithomancy not only ranks as one of the most powerful in its practice, but was also put to use⁠ in particular by the Greeks and Romans. Aside from its usage in The Odyssey, such omens can likewise be spotted within the Hebraic texts of the Bible (e.g. 1 Kings 17:4-6; Job 12:7; Matthew 26:34; Mark 14:30). Be it the flight, sounds, or actions of birds in general, this practice mystically allows the interpreter to cut into the hidden knowledge of nature⁠—pattern correlated depictions pointing in directions of obtainable mastery.

What you are seeing here (in the picture) is an example of an actual ornithomantic omen taking place. The photo was taken at about 6am, this instance of roaming birds following hours of previous meditation (in that same patio area). Let it be noted: this kind of event of wandering turkeys is emphatically unusual for this location. It took place at my family members house, such a thing having never occurred there before (see below).

Nevertheless, omens work in this manner (context, timing, uniqueness). I document this for the purpose of exemplification, as I practice this art on a periodical basis (among other things). And let it further be noted: this is not a supernatural event—although some may consider it to be⁠—but instead, a motif of nature. Actually, cicadas are a perfect example of nature working in this kind of way; the insects arrive only in a seasonal manner (13-17 years), but the earth is in no way limited to such a phenomenon, as many other things likewise act in this way. It is simply a matter of being studied in the patterns and timing.

Additionally, about only a month or two prior to this event, these four birds (to the left) showed up one day, but this time in the front yard (my wife and I were staying at this home temporarily). Both of these events were unique to this particular summer⁠ of 2019. These birds camped out in the yard for some time, with only one of them "crowing," the others following along in their journey of movement. However, the next morning, only one of the birds showed up again in the yard, and after that, they were never spotted again.

The meaning? What we are seeing here is a ten year recurrence pattern. These four birds signify four recurring events which parallel things that took place ten years prior (2009). The single bird which revisited the next morning of course implies the mark of the new season which would take place after. I am actually convinced (based on the examination) that this was specifically an equilibrium of opposites pattern, as four specific events that pertain to my life which took place in 2009 parallel four others in 2019, only in an "opposite form." When things on this earth align (so to speak), they can be matched with other phenomena (and this allows one to tap into the foretelling of events, similar to the prediction of an eclipse, based on positioning).

These things may sound highly odd and unusual to a layperson who is unfamiliar with true divination, but it is not unusual to the ancient practitioner. For instance, read Genesis 41 in the Bible; Joseph (who admits to practicing divination, Genesis 44:5, 15) is seen interpreting an omen of cows⁠ which took place in Pharaoh's dream. Notice, seven cows "randomly" represent seven years of famine. One may wonder how in the world this could even be possible, but again, it is only another day in the life of the diviner (understanding such symbolism on an expert level).

- Robert Anthony

Tarl Warwick?

Tarl Warwick (perhaps better known as Styxhexenhammer666 on YouTube) not only claims to be an occultist, but has also edited/authored quite a large number of occult books, as seen available on his amazon.com page. To put it briefly, Tarl was once a Christian, later became a Satanist, and now calls himself an occultist (but is actually more of a political speaker, since he basically uses the occult as mere "candy at the register," running a periodic series entitled Occult Literature alongside his political videos).

Moreover, what most people are unaware of is, that Tarl and I debated years ago (before his rise to "fame" on YouTube) by means of what is known as ICQ Chat, as we both attended the religious section there quite regularly for discussion at the time. This of course was before the high increase in usage of social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, I myself being more known for Paltalk, engaging in many different kinds of theological disputations over the course of time (especially in 2008-09). On ICQ however, it wasn't long until Tarl and I debated in 2012; the encounter ended up leading him forth to record a 19 minute YouTube video (still available), ranting on about our discussion, only to contradict his entire argument towards the end of the rant.

Furthermore, at this time Tarl was calling himself a Satanist⁠—not an occultist—I myself still being ensnared in a certain form of Christianity (which highly differed from your typical Protestantism).1 My interest was in complex theological discussion (e.g. Greek manuscripts, textual variation, etc.), while Tarl insisted on detouring us towards the very general and common debate of "the existence of God." At the time, I was putting forth a misusage of Romans 1:18-23, arguing for the "self evidence of God" (which later, based on the Greek text of Romans, I realized was not accurate). Thus, Tarl put forth his assertions, I put forth mine, and he took things—at least as he understood them—to his YouTube channel. In the end, he was unsuccessful in refuting the argument theologically of course. He simply resulted to philosophical and logical means, which although may be sufficient for some, speaks absolutely nothing towards those engulfed in such a Christian perspective. In fact, Tarl doesn't seem to be very knowledgeable of the Bible at all, but nevertheless attempts in handling such doctrinal subjects as a layperson (e.g. see his video: Hell, Sheol, Gehenna, Tartarus, Hades, etc). This is actually quite an issue I see within the alleged occult community, even today⁠—they are frequently unable to properly debunk Christianity, even in standing in direct opposition to it (for an example of what an actual refutation looks like, you may see my post entitled Turned into Hell).

And so it was, Tarl would go on to sit at home and make more videos for his channel, and I myself (in 2013) would go on to join a commune based cult group in Oklahoma, living on a ranch for 10 months among rattlesnakes, copperheads, deadly spiders, coyotes, and severe tornado warnings (only to later outsmart the leader with the Bible, several others following the exit door along with me after my departure).2 Taking a 25 (or so) hour bus ride with my wife across the country back to some family, I would then engage in further Biblical studies (along with examining nature in general from a more sincere perspective). This followed much more examination into comparative mythology, and resultantly, ancient practices which would lead inevitably to true enlightenment, exploring deep and dark hidden esoteric knowledge (which I continue to engage in to this day).

My journey is quite similar to other occult authors of the past actually (and I would only learn this later on, after my deconversion). Aleister Crowley is said to have been raised into Christianity, only to later point out inconsistencies he saw with the Bible, resulting to occultism. Eliphas Levi and ⁠Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa were very theologically based, utilizing the Bible itself in their occult teachings. To put it bluntly: only those who are learned in theology (e.g. Christianity, the Bible), actually living out these kinds of things (as displayed above) are fit to speak with understanding on magick and the dark arts, as Agrippa once said: 
"if he be not learned in theology . . . he cannot be possibly able to understand the rationality of Magick. (Natural Magic, Ch II).
True occultism/magick is an experiential process, one of authenticity and sincerity. If one is not sincere in their journey, then what realness is there to it? What power do they hold? What wisdom do they even acquire? I did not plan these things out, but instead, was lead by nature into them (Proverbs 6:23). Thus, occultism is something that is lead to through a gradual learning process, not merely "put on" one day out of nowhere. In today's "occult community" however? Many seem to be here for the clothes evidently—it is about image for many people. In fact, such is the case with Tarl as well, since he even admits (in an interview) that he wears his signature leather jacket for the purpose of fashion and image. Clearly, he is an entertainerI of course find this sort of occultism (if we dare even use the term) to be fraudulent, lacking substance and purpose. Really, having absolutely no idea what you are talking about (when it comes to religion, doctrine, mythology, and ancient texts) is not occultism. Attempting to imitate Crowley, putting on chains and leather, and walking around "angry" is not an occultist. Instead, becoming an occultist involves a unique process of metamorphosis, receiving correction and advancing in a path of wisdom and instruction. It can take many years to obtain.

Additionally, I was not even aware of the name "Tarl Warwick" until more recently. See, aside from my 2 Volume Pseudepigraphal set (which contains the Testament of Solomon), one day, as somewhat of an "add on item," I purchased the Tarl Warwick edition of the Testament of Solomon through Amazon. Afterwards, upon searching who the editor even was, I found out that it was in fact "Styxhexenhammer666," or as I know him: some guy from ICQ that I debated years ago who made a video rant about me after. Nowadays? He leads slightly under 400 thousand people on his YouTube channel, apparently being viewed as some kind of "occult authority" (which I myself find comical). Moreover, I have not conversed with Tarl since our discussion back in 2012. However, I must say that the woman who runs his website and merchandise is a very kind soul (as we have both met unintentionally through the Instagram hashtag system, and discussed some of my work, which she was very complimentary towards). 

For whatever it's worth, this above has been written for documentation purposes. Although I might add, Tarl is lacking some serious basic knowledge regarding the ancient concept of demons. Based on his testimony, he seems to think that an actual being he supposedly saw was a "demon." In antiquity, demons are the embodiments of diseases and sicknesses (e.g. Matthew 4:24; 8:16; Mark 1:34; 3:15; 6:13; Luke 9:42). A spirit (e.g. 1 Timothy 4:1) is simply a breath, the Greek term πνεῦμα, and it gets used esoterically for symbols (e.g. lamps, Revelation 4:5). In the Testament of Solomon you have, for instance, the spirit of the ashes (Tephras), which brings darkness and sets fire to fields, in correlation to the season of summer (hence the astrological implication), the demon's star likewise being mentioned (in the tip of the moon's horn). Those who claim to be seeing ancient demons are simply missing the obvious spirituality involved in the concept. For more on this topic see Demons & Spirits.

[Also see the accompanying video: Tarl Warwick? A Commercial Occultist]

- Robert Anthony

____________________________________

Footnotes:

1. The Christian doctrines I once held to exceeded that of even the most extreme Calvinist, holding to views of predestination (to eternal condemnation); understanding God as the cause of all things, including sin; holding no room for disagreement among churches (based on 1 Corinthians 1:10), so on and so forth. They were not your typical "Sunday church" views (to say the least). Of course, the Christian perspective I held to would not allow me to make it through the Bible in totality (without reading dogma into certain passages, along with making other gratuitous assumptions). You may want to see my article: Is The Bible Biblical? for more on this topic.

2. Some of them having been in the group for 15-18 years.


True Divination

Particularly common within ancient ideology, divination reveals itself to be a practice not only of observational relevance, but also one of enlightenment and prognostication. It is a meticulous practice, one that seeks to obtain both hidden knowledge in general, as well as the precognition of future events (more specifically).  However, on the downside⁠, its frequent association with the "supernatural" is quite misinformative. To the contrary, the traditional art is very natural and realistic.

Similar to the foretelling of an eclipse (based on astronomical observation), or the 13-17 year seasonal marking of cicadas, divination allows one to foretell an occurrence before it even takes place. This is not based on "supernatural powers," but instead, a disciplined study of the earth itself. As the Bible says in Job 12:8,  "speak to the earth, and it will teach you." The earth works in patterns and timing; thus, not only will the diviner expediently search for synchronistic occurrences in nature, but will also be quite learned in this practice⁠—on an expert level. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa well defined the magician as "a wise man" (Natural Magic, Introduction). One who is well learned in this field becomes "at one with this earth" (so to speak), memorizing patterns, signs, and harmonious phenomena in general. This is exactly how divination works.

So why the equation of the supernatural? Such a thing apparently comes from a gross misunderstanding of ancient esoteric symbolism. For instance, primitive civilizations would depict the sun as a man (or woman) riding a fiery chariot across the sky each day, for this was their understanding of transportation. They saw the sun as an object which races across the heavens1 and therefore described it in such a way. One reading this kind of literature from a modernized standpoint however would obviously misapprehend such a description, viewing it as superstitious and impossible (missing the entire idea). The fact of the matter is, the ancients simply worked in riddles and enigmas, and so it is with their writings on divination.

There are many different forms of divination, one of the more "well known" being necromancy. In antiquated literature, this occult practice was often pictured as individuals conversing with the dead, as if they were in fact alive (quite the contradiction). Based on the evidence however, this was simply a form of expression in the writings, since in reality, the corpse "speaks" as a motionless object by means of depiction.2 It is similar to the carved image in Hebrew mythology which is described as a "teacher of lies" in Habakkuk 2:18, and yet elsewhere is seen as a mere object that does "not speak" (e.g. Psalm 115:4-5). Thus, this inanimate "teacher" fits the knowledge being obtained by means of observance (this same concept likewise fitting with the corpse). In fact, the Egyptians were apparently obsessed with this practice, as is evident in their decorative display of tomb imagery (or the Book of the Dead).

Additionally, divination is quite at one with the interpreting of omenseven in a necromantic context. For instance, 1 Samuel 2:34 notes that the death of Hophni and Phinehas would be a sign to Eli. Receiving such knowledge from ones death is exactly what necromancy is. And, such a thing is also what is witnessed later on in the story of King Saul and the medium (1 Samuel 28). The dead (Samuel) is called up out of the ground, only to speak of King Saul's forthcoming doom. In essence, the implication of this tale is: Saul was a walking dead man by the very fact he was in opposition to God and His prophet, the esoteric attestation being that one in contrast to the righteous dead is himself cursed with death (as in Acts 5:3-5). It is no wonder that Saul in Hebrew means death.3

Furthermore, omens commonly have to do with animals, as the book of Job also asserts:
But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you. (Job 12:7)
This actually cuts into another form of divination known as ornithomancy which has to do with the receiving of knowledge via the actions (or flights) of birds, a practice condemned in the Septuagint reading of Leviticus 19:26 ("nor divine by inspection of birds [ορνιθοσκοπήσεσθε]"). An explicit example of this practice can be found in the second book of The Odyssey. There, Zeus is found sending forth two eagles which end up taring each other, the people subsequently pondering what was to come from this event. Immediately following the incident, Halitherses interprets the omen to mean that Odysseus will return.

Furthermore, one may also take note of the ornithomantic omen that takes place with Elijah and the ravens in 1 Kings 17:6, as the birds give him the bread instead of eating it themselves. The bread? Indeed, such is an enigmatic depiction of the sun, as Christ defines it in Matthew 26:26, identifying the bread as his own body (Jesus is the sun, e.g. Psalm 84:11 [cf. John 20:28]; Malachi 4:2; Revelation 1:16). Keep in mind, Elijah is of the same exact solar motif as Sol and Helios, the chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11; see Eliptic Lore); in Norse Mythology, Skoll is found chasing Sol (the sun). Since Elijah is parallel to Sol, who is after him in the story? Jezebel is (1 Kings 19:1-3). However, unlike Skoll (who eventually catches Sol) or Rahu in Hinduism (who swallows the sun), Elijah is found escaping from Jezebel. So, instead of the bread (the sun/Elijah) being eaten (caught), it is given by the birds (i.e., he escapes his pursuer). Thus, this would be an example of an ornithomantic interpretation.

Moreover, another traditional form of divination is scyphomancy which involves the utilization of a cup. This practice of course is seen in Genesis 44:5 with Joseph, who even says: "Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?" (Genesis 44:15). However, confused with the occult teachings of the Bible, some Christians may attempt to argue against a passage like this. For instance:
"If Joseph did practice divination with the silver cup, it was not divination in the pagan sense but seeking God’s will through a particular method." (https://www.gotquestions.org/Joseph-divination.html, fourth paragraph)
This is a classic example of what I call "consecrating evil." Basically, it is when one comes across the occult or pagan teachings of the Bible, but instead of condemning the teaching (as they normally would given any other culture), they justify it, setting it aside as holy and proper! The fact of the matter is, the Bible is not a Christian source; it is rather an accumulation of ancient esoteric teachings, assuredly "pagan" in its content. Notice also, Joseph is found interpreting an omen early in Genesis 41 (the cows, seven years of plenty, seven years of famine, etc.). Even in Genesis 37:9-10 an astro-theological context is seen with his dream. Actually, Jeremiah 27:9 speaks of prophets, diviners, dreamers; soothsayers, and even sorcerers all as synonymous (also see Micah 3:6-7). And, like Agrippa's idea of the magician above, Joseph defines himself as "a wise man" in Genesis 41:33. He is clearly seen as a diviner, one who interprets omens (Deuteronomy 18:10).4

Finally, as far as fortune tellers prophesying, we can look to Book XI of The Aeneid (Virgil). There, the prophetess is identified as a "foreknower of the future." In this setting, Aeneas seeks help from the god Apollo, and yet goes to the Sibyl. It is here where she results to divination, and like the fortune-teller in Acts 16:16, she becomes possessed by Apollo⁠—prophesying of what was to come. Interestingly, in the story Aeneas claims to have already guessed and prepared for what the prophetess foretold (i.e. the war to come). The difference? A diviner is well learned and skilled in the practice of divination, while Aeneas simply took a guess at it.

This story is coated in symbolism of course; beside the necromantical scene that follows after (a desire to descend into the underworld in order to visit his dead father, a golden bough required to be plucked, and a corpse to be placed in a tomb), this idea of Apollo (the sun/light) possessing the woman fits well with what is known as a high level of enlightenment (cf. Psalm 119:99-100). Basically, the ancient concept of "god" was understood as wisdom itself (e.g. Yahweh [Proverbs 8:14; 1 Corinthians 1:24]; Athena; Minerva; etc.). Therefore, this possession was a way of describing wisdom and understanding overtaking the individual. This is how the "divine" concept fits in actually, since wisdom was thought of in such a way. Divination is practiced by the wise (the sage), and only through strict discipline and industrious study will the hidden knowledge be properly obtained.

[Also see the accompanying video: Ancient Divination]


____________________________________

Footnotes:

1. Psalm 19:4-5 is a good example of this.

2. As Isaiah 66:24 says:
"And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
Notice, even though these people are dead, they are nonetheless an abhorrence to the others. Why? Aren't they mere corpses? Well, that is the point, they are seen through the lens of a specific context⁠—how they lived previously on the earth (i.e. as transgressors). Thus, their dead bodies depict this idea, and cause them to be hated by the living. It is an understanding based on looking upon the corpses in other words.

3. Minus the vowel pointing, Saul and Sheol [grave, death] are the same exact word: שאול. Does this matter theologically speaking? Of course, as the Dead Sea Scrolls lack vowel points, and this would make the words identical therefore (not to mention Saul's context is killing himself [1 Samuel 31:4], pointing death in his own direction).

4. In Deuteronomy 18:10, a practitioner of witchcraft, a soothsayer, an interpreter of omens, and a sorcerer are all in the same spiritual theme. Yet, it also mentions those who make their children "pass through the fire." This is another concept that often gets pulled out of its mystical context. It turns out that this actually has to do with one going through suffering and discipline, as 1 Peter 1:17 well shows, their faith being tested by fire (cf. Revelation 2:10; Isaiah 43:2). The condemnation of this in Deuteronomy 18:10 evidently had to do with those who suffered for the name of other gods instead of Yahweh, as it is used in Ezekiel.
For when you offer your gifts and make your sons pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. (Ezekiel 20:31)
As it says in 2 Kings 23:10, "pass through the fire to Molech." One offering their own child is code language for giving up their own body (e.g. Gen 15:4) in the Bible, and this had to do with suffering (e.g. 1 Corinthians 13:3). It is similar to the "crucifying yourself daily" notion (Matthew 16:24/Galatians 5:24), giving yourself up as an offering to the gods spiritually (as it says above in Ezekiel 20:31, "offer your gifts").


[Note: if you are interested in topics such as divination, I will be covering this concept (among other things) in much more detail in my upcoming book, Consecrated Evil]


The Biblical Occult

As this internet age of touch screens and digital propaganda takes its control like some kind of enlarging typhoon, the categories of so-called occultism and "dark-arts" can be spotted and identified as nothing more than a meaningless gathering of costume show attenders—with not a foundation of substance in sight. Of course, occultus in Latin means hidden or concealed (its context being one of mystery and divine knowledge), but today's idea seems to be something completely different⁠—like some kind of Spencer's display, or a mall-metal festival. The implications are shocking indeed.

One of the most common spreading mentalities that I have seen in fact, is this odd sort of repudiation of the Biblical documents within the context of occultism. That is, that the Bible itself seems to be completely disregarded and separated from the occult in the mind of such people, as many seem to think of the Bible as some kind of Christian source, where in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact of the matter? The Biblical writings are loaded with Hebrew esotericism, Gnosticism, and astro-theological symbolism⁠—quite an amazing body of occult literature to say the least (and it need not be separated from any other ancient mythology). Those who fall for the Christian bear trap (i.e. the lie that the Bible is a Christian set of documents) obviously fail to perceive this truth. The Kybalion asserts:
"From old Egypt have come the fundamental esoteric and occult teachings which have so strongly influenced the philosophies of all races . . ." (The Hermetic Philosophy, Ch. I)
Yet the Egyptian and Hebrew connection is quite emphatic (e.g. Exodus 9:1), and so the connection of occultism should come across as no surprise.

Moreover, unlike the absurdity of today, the occult "icons" of the past were very much involved in and associated with the Biblical context. For instance, well known occultists such as Crowley, Eliphas Levi, ⁠Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, and even Hermes Trismegistus were all connected to the Bible in some kind of way. Aleister Crowley not only claimed a deep rooted "intimate knowledge of the Bible" (see Crowley on Christ), but as far as his philosophical perspective went, he was apparently influenced by the Biblical usage of the Greek term Θελημα (Thelema), resulting in the well known "Do what thou wilt" concept. Moreover, Eliphas Levi (which is a "transliteration" of his actual name "Alphonse Louis" into Hebrew) not only speaks on Christ in his book The Paradoxes of the Highest Science, but also shows himself to be very theologically informed; this is emphatically manifest in his book Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual, as he references the Biblical content left and right. Speaking of such a work, his famous Baphomet drawingwhich of course has to do with the equilibrium of opposites—seems to nowadays get pulled out of its original context and turned into some kind of "Hot Topic" symbol. Really, it's interesting how this particular drawing of his remains popular while his drawing of the seven seals from the book of Revelation (Apocalyptic Keyseems to get less recognition. But if anything, that just presses my point even further.

As for Agrippa, he was clearly a learned theologian, well aware of Biblical and Kabalistic teaching. Firstly, he rightly understood the concept of "the Magician" not as a superstitious sorcerer, but rather, as "a wise man, a priest, [and] a prophet" (Natural Magic, Introduction).1 He even said that if one is not learned in theology, they could not "understand the rationality of Magick" (Ch. II, ibid.). His Biblical involvement is quite obvious in fact, referencing Christ's words to Nicodemus as well as pointing to the content of the Book of Joshua (and "the Chaldeans furnace" in the Book of Daniel).

Hermes Trismegistus, to whom the well known aphorism "As above, so below" is attributed (Emerald Tablet), not only wrote in accordance with Biblical teaching,2 but was even understood to be either a contemporary of Moses, or thought to perhaps be Moses himself (e.g. see Theologica Platonica). The latter is quite a good argument actually given the parallel between the "tablets," along with the obvious Egyptian connection (Exodus 2:10; 7:10-22). It is also no marvel that Hermes and Gnosticism get associated together, since the Gnostic Acts of Peter even mentions "those that are above as those below" (XXXVIII.), and Gnosticism itself is very Biblical (see The Gnostic Testament). Thus, the connection is surely manifest.

And so, as can be seen, true and pure occultism cuts back to the ancient world⁠—the Bible being no exception to this. Even today, with the 50th anniversary edition of The Black Arts going around, Biblical/Hebraic references can be seen (e.g. p. 1, 117, 252). It is basically inescapable. Yet, since many are not studied in the Bible's complex content (nor do they usually understand what the Bible even is), how could such a thing be discerned? Many people claim to be occultists, but why? Are they interested in speaking to the dead? That is necromancy, an ancient esoteric practice (see Necromancy). Are people worshiping deities such a Hecate, the triadic moon goddess? That cuts back to Greek Mythology, which is basically the same thing as Hebrew (and Roman) mythology (e.g. Yahweh, Zeus, Jupiter). Are they into magic? That cuts back to the Hebrew Key of Solomon, and hence, the Levitical Grimoire. Before jumping ahead, one may want to ponder these things, as this is traditional occultism.

- Robert Anthony

____________________________________

Footnotes:

1. Agrippa rightly used the term "occult" of course, stating:
"Whosoever therefore is desirous to study in this Faculty, if he be not skilled in naturall Philosophy, wherein are discovered the qualities of things, and in which are found the occult properties of every Being . . ." (ibid.)
2. For instance, compare The Holy Sermon, #7 with the creation account of Genesis. Also, notice Proverbs 25:3, "[As] the heavens for height and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings [is] unsearchable." There is an equation between above, below, and the heart. This balance is consistent with Hermetic thinking (not to mention Jesus' prayer in Matthew 6:10).

3. In the context of writing against Hermeticism and Gnosticism, the Christian website www.gotquestions.org says the following:
"However, according to the Bible, wisdom is not set aside for a select few who have the key to a secret door" [https://www.gotquestions.org/Hermeticism.html]
This is the exact opposite of Mark 4:11-12; Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21.

Satan & Lucifer

The Satanic Temple and Church of Satan aside, antiquity has its own set of perspectives to offer regarding the concept of satan. Among other things, the idea itself can be traced back to the Hebraic writings of the Bibleand that to no surprise. Of course, even Biblically speaking the term satan (שָׂטָן) simply means adversary, and is not a word specifically limited to one particular character (although Christians often seem to think otherwise). For instance, not only is the apostle Peter called satan in Matthew 16:23, but God himself is even identified as satan in Numbers 22:22; the passage more literally reads that he "took his stand in the way as satan [לְשָׂטָן] against him." This chapter actually speaks of the angel of Yahweh, but the God of Israel is the angel of Yahweh in the Bible (e.g. Hosea 12:3-5).1

Additionally, ever so often people can be found identifying characters such as Beelzebub or the serpent2 in Genesis as the same exact one mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:9)
However, nothing demands that this is even the case. As noted, the term is very general in its meaning/usage. Yet when one is dogmatically ensnared by a compulsive and forced religious standpoint, well, what should we really expect to see? Passages unnecessarily being glued together is quite normal in Christendom. 

Furthermore, the Book of Job mentions a "satan" who is seen as more of a Loki character, neither good nor evil3 in his mythological nature. Him and Yahweh are basically found gambling over Job's life choices like some kind of heavenly dice game, or the toad race scene in Natura Contro. It's as if they are colleagues in this particular setting. Plus, by the time one arrives at the Gospel of Matthew, Satan comes across as one who even has power to offer Jesus. As he says to him: "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me" (Matthew 4:9). In fact, one could even draw a parallel with Zoroastrianism's Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu at that point (good vs evil). Even in Native American mythology, the Evil Maker (Ojibwa) mentions a "Good Spirit" creator as well as an "Evil Spirit" creator.4

Of course, the general "satan" descriptions by themselves placed on a shelf for a moment, let's not forget that these things are found in the esoteric context of Hebrew occultism. The same scroll that mentions "the great dragon" who is "called the Devil and Satan" also mentions seven stars, seven lampstands (Revelation 1:20) and seven spirits (3:1); seven seals (5:1), seven horns, and seven eyes (5:6); seven trumpets (8:6), and a drunk woman who is identified as a city (17:18). This is simply traditional esotericism—similar to the demons in the Testament of Solomon. But that being the case, just what does the dragon who is called Satan represent in the Book of Revelation? Well, evidently a river (Revelation 12:15-16), as that is precisely what the dragon (δρακων) Leviathan is identified as Hebraically (see Psalm 74:13-15). Yet, just as Leviathan is also found in the context of the stars (Job 3:8-9), so Satan here is found in the astro-theological context (Revelation 12:3-4); thus, the meanings are apparently functioning dualistically.

And what about Lucifer? The term is found contained in the famous King James Version reference of Isaiah 14:12 ("How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!"). But actually, lucifer is a latin term⁠—a translation of the Hebrew word הֵילֵל which has to do with light and brightness. And, the passage makes absolutely no mention of the Christian idea of Satan, but rather, is in the context of the king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:4). Such an anachronistic insertion is obviously the cause of much of the confusion regarding this term. And if that doesn't unplug the speakers quick enough, notice also that Jesus himself is even identified as lucifer in the Latin Vulgate.
et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris (2 Peter 1:19, Latin Vulgate)
English translations usually have "morning star" or "day star" here in this verse, referring to Jesus specifically. Thus, Christ is lucifer here in this passage.5 

Robert Anthony

____________________________________

Footnotes:

1. Then again, "Satan himself transforms [μετασχηματιζεται] himself into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14), activity similar to Ovid's Metamorphoses

2. Those who claim "serpent of old" (Revelation 12:9) demands the specific serpent of Genesis 3 are simply being assumptive. In Genesis 1:21, sea creatures are mentioned. The Bible mentions several serpents of old therefore (e.g. Job 7:12; Psalm 74:13; Isaiah 27:1). All the serpents in the world of creation are allegedly created back in Genesis (the beginning). So what demands that Satan in Revelation 12:9 is the exact same serpent speaking in Genesis 3? Nothing at all in the Bible.

Further, the serpent is seen as the one speaking the truth in Genesis, while Yahweh speaks the lie (cf. Genesis 2:17; 3:4-5, 22). This is the proper reading of the ancient story, while the church understanding flips things around.


3. That is, the book does not demand he is only one or the other. The actions against Job certainly come across as evil, but from a Christian theist perspective, the fact that Satan is "side by side" with God in heaven may come across as a bit odd (cf. Psalm 5:4)! Such a presence is viewed as holy in Hebrew literature (cf. Isaiah 6; Revelation 4:8).


4. Native American Myths and Legends, Arcturus Publishing, p. 83


5. Jesus is also called "morning star" in Revelation 22:16.

Ecliptic Lore

The solar (and lunar) eclipse can be seen as somewhat of a central focus in the mindset of ancient observers. Based on the evidence, it can be learned that they consistently expressed their interest in such phenomena by means of artistic practices and religious traditions. And although there may have been some cultural distinctions (when comparing), the ecliptic motif can nevertheless be perceived as a very commonly shared point of view. From understanding the sun and moon as husband and wife,1 to viewing the ending eclipse as a fire spitting dragon (see below), these sort of mythological descriptions are seen as just another day in the esoteric life of primitive astro-theological cultures.

Given the necromantical context of ancient civilization, their emphatic interest in solar eclipses (along with sunrises in general) comes across as no surprise, as the concept of "life out of death" (resurrection)2 parallels "light out of darkness." For instance, this exact notion can be seen even with the resurrection of Christ in the Bible. Notice, his resurrection occurs specifically in the morning (e.g. Mark 16:1-6), and is therefore in the context of "the rising of the sun" (ανατειλαντος του ηλιου). As the text teaches, the two Mary's (i.e. the two witches) arrive only to find that Jesus is not in the tomb⁠—the stone having been rolled away already. This is highly solar ecliptic in description; the "Christ" of course depicting a rising sun deity (very general knowledge, e.g. Malachi 4:2).

But it doesn't stop there. Hebraically speaking, there is also a connection made between Jesus and the prophet Elijah in the Bible. Elijah? Indeed, yet another obvious solar deity (see below). Notice in John 3:13 how Jesus actually identifies himself as Elijah by saying that "No one has ascended to heaven" except for Christ (i.e. himself). As it turns out, Elijah is seen ascending to heaven in 2 Kings 2:11, since "a chariot of fire" appears "and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." Thus, he is identified as Christ in this very point.3

Thus, similar to Helios (Greek) and Surya (Hindu), the prophet Elijah is seen as yet another example of the "sun and chariot" motif. Interestingly, 2 Kings 23:11 condemns "the chariots of the sun", even though it falls right into this very category. But of course, this is not shocking given the Bible is seen teaching in opposition to itself quite frequently (see Is The Bible Biblical?). Further, we can also look towards classic Norse mythology to find this same kind of "sun and chariot" idea; Sol⁠—the sun personified⁠—is chased by Skoll, a sky wolf.4 And, since "he eventually will catch her," the solar ecliptic concept is clearly depicted, since darkness overtaking the sun is just that⁠—an eclipse. What is interesting in light of this is the fact that Elijah likewise flees, only instead of a wolf, he is found fleeing from Jezebel (1 Kings 19). Well, in somewhat of a "flip of the script," Jezebel is the one who ends up being eaten [by dogs] instead (2 Kings 9:10, 36-37). To keep things in context, an omen is seen two chapters earlier with Elijah; ravens are found feeding bread and flesh (or meat) to Elijah. And if this all isn't enough, you can also see the Chinese solar tale of Tiangou, a flying dog who eats the sun. When comparing these different cultural understandings, the parallelism is clearly seen in its essence, only the difference in certain details is witnessed.

More than this, the Greek word ηλι can also be placed on the table of examination. The term means "my God," but in Matthew 27:46-47 is connected with Elijah/the sun (ηλιαν). This of course fits with Psalm 84:11, since the Hebrew God is the sun, but it goes further than that. In 1 Samuel, Eli the priest has the same exact name (ηλι) in the Septuagint. And notice what 1 Samuel 4:18 (1 Kings LXX) says:
And it came to pass, when he mentioned the ark of God, that he fell from the seat backward near the gate, and his back was broken, and he died, for [he was] an old man and heavy: and he judged Israel twenty years. (LXXE)
In other words, the sun "fell" (went down, or out). This is a clear example of the "sudden darkness" motif (also seen in The Oddysey, Book 11). Basically, the coming of darkness (the ark being stolen) and the leaving of light (Eli, the sun). 

Actually, the entire Book of Job in the Bible appears to be one big solar eclipse. It starts out great, sudden darkness and anguish arises, but then towards the end as Elihu5 (which also apparently means sun) comes into the picture, Job's life is restored⁠—and all is well again (light). Additionally, you have the fire breathing dragon, Leviathan mentioned in this same book. It says:
His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes [are] like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as [from] a boiling pot and burning rushes his breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth. (Job 41:18-21)
This fits right in with solar eclipse lore. In Hindu culture, Rahu is a serpent who swallows the sun. In Buddhism, Rahu attacks the sun deity, only to release it later on (instead of having his head split into seven pieces). This ecliptic motif depicts the fire breathing ("release") dragon concept. Leviathan is mentioned in a heavenly context (Job 3:8-9) and described with "a flame" (and light) going out of his mouth. The association of clouds and lightning appears to be sprinkled in as well, since the "burning lights" and "sparks" are mentioned along with "smoke" in the passages.

Moreover, notice how it says "may it look for light, but [have] none" in Job 3:8. This is said in the context of Leviathan and the heavens, the "darkness" concept fitting an eclipse. Interestingly, the Septuagint (in Job 3:8) does not use the usual term δαρκων for Leviathan, but instead has το μεγα κητος (i.e. the great whale or fish). With this in mind, notice the story of Jonah:

Now the Lord had commanded a great whale (κητει μεγαλω) to swallow up Jonas: and Jonas was in the belly of the whale (του κητους) three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17 [2:1] LXXE)
The same Greek word for "whale" (used in Job 3:8 for Leviathan) is used in this tale. The fish swallows Jonah, and ends up casting him out (εξέβαλε), just like in the ecliptic motif. But how does the sun chain into this? Well, sure enough, this story of Jonah and the fish ends up being deified in the Gospels, as Jonah gets understood as Christ (see Matthew 12:39-41; 16:4; Luke 11:29-32). Jesus draws the parallel between himself and Jonah, and Jesus being identified as God Himself (e.g. Titus 2:13) is "the sun" (e.g. Psalm 84:11) of course. Thus, we see the solar connection with the predecessor (Jonah), as well as the "Leviathan" and "whale" parallelism⁠—the whale (dragon) swallowing Jonah (the sun) and later vomiting him out depicting a solar eclipse. 

What about the Book of Daniel? Similar to Jonah and the fish, Daniel is cast into the lions den (Daniel 6), only to be released alive after. And, like Christ in the tomb (Matthew 27:66), "a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den" (the moon). Then, early in the morning, it was seen that Daniel was unharmed. So, he was released from the den. Moreover, this same story is basically told in chapter three with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (a triad). Of course, they are put into the midst of a burning fiery furnace, only later to be released uninjured⁠—sort of the "fight fire with fire" scenario.

And the lunar eclipse? Actually, the ancients did not hold to modern cosmology. Therefore, they did not believe in a lunar eclipse (as it is understood today that is). To the contrary, they believed that the moon gives its own light (see Isaiah 13:10; 30:26). And furthermore, they apparently understood the "lunar ecliptic" occurrence as the moon turning into blood (e.g. Joel 2:31). Specifically, in the case of Acts 2:20 the moon was understood as "feminine" (η σεληνη). Thus, the association of "blood" (αιμα) and the feminine appears to depict a menstrual cycle (cf. Leviticus 15:19; 20:18). Evidently, they viewed a "lunar eclipse" as a periodic occurrence of blood regarding the female moon.

Furthermore, in the case of Jesus in Revelation 19:13, the "He [was] clothed with a robe dipped in blood" evidently is a reference to the blood moon. The context specifically notes that he sat on "a white horse" (Revelation 19:11), certainly fitting the brightness of the moon. Therefore, this places Jesus (in this instance) into the category of a lunar deity. The ancients understanding of transportation was chariots and horses (e.g. Nahum 2:4). Thus, the sun and moon "racing" (cf. Psalm 19:5) across the sky day by day (and night) was described as men (or women) riding horses/chariots.
____________________________________

Footnotes:

1. See Sun Lore of All Ages, ch. 2; Native American Myths and Legends, p. 161-162; Myths & Legends, William G. Doty & Jake Jackson, p. 24 (The Sun and the Moon). Also see Psalm 19:5 ("bridegroom").

2. Of course, "resurrection" is found in an esoteric context (e.g. Matthew 13:34-35; Mark 4:11-12; Revelation 1:1b). Since the Hebraic understanding of the dead was "the earth" (Genesis 2:7; Psalm 7:5; Job 5:6; Daniel 12:2), to animate or "bring to life" (resurrect) the earth was to live out Job 12:8 ("speak to the earth, and it will teach you"). This is the ancient practice of necromancy. In essence, the corpse speaks as an inanimate object. That is, the corpse "depicts" (e.g. Isaiah 66:24 "They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh"). For more on this subject, see Necromancy.

3. Also see Luke 9:7-9; 18-19.

4. The Prose Edda, Gylfaginning, XII.

5. Ελιου (Job 32:2) and ηλιου (1 Samuel/Kings 1:1) both are understood as "Elihu" in the Apostolic Bible Polyglot, the latter commonly translated "sun" (e.g. Genesis 15:12; Job 1:3).


Necromancy

Necromancy is quite a fascinating topic. The concept itself is often defined as "communication with the dead," specifically in the context of divination⁠—but is that accurate? The reality is, many people seem to completely misunderstand the actual ancient practice of necromancy. Many seem to think that ancient diviners were claiming to physically speak with dead people in conversations (like in The House by the Cemetery). Those who think in this manner are obviously not understanding the esoteric nature of these ancient cultures (namely, the Egyptians, the Hebrews and the Greeks/Romans). They were obsessed with obscure language, riddles, and solar-ecliptic worship.

Simply put, traditional necromancy is the seeking of enlightenment through the context of the dead. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a classic example of necromancy in antiquity. Its title is actually more literally The Book of Coming Forth in the Light, further making the point. The Tibetan Book of the Dead of course is another example of traditional necromancy with its spiritual teachings of the mind, and yet a simultaneous focus on the dead. The ancient Hebrews can also be seen understanding this practice in the same manner. In Isaiah 8:19-20 it says the following:
When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 
Notice here, mediums and the dead are mentioned in the context of "dawn" (שָׁחַר). The point of view at hand argues that there is no such light (cf. John 1:9) in those who seek the dead. Why mention the dead and light/dawn together? Well, such is a classic example of solar mythology. The sun coming forth—light, dawn—is parallel with the dead coming forth into life (light out of darkness), the sun (i.e. Yahweh, Ps. 84:11) being the symbol of enlightenment (e.g. Psalm 43:4; Isaiah 60:1; Malachi 4:2). This is likewise the focus in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, as it says "they see Ra in his rising; his beams flood the world with light" (ch. XV.). And such is the case with The Odyssey as well; in Book 11, Odysseus is seen speaking to the dead, yet the beginning of the book puts a focus on the sun and its light, or perhaps I should say the lack of. As it reads: "The eye of the Sun can never flash his rays through the dark and bring them light, not when he climbs the starry skies . . ." This depicts a "dimming" of light followed by the dead speaking to Odysseus.

Just how was necromancy put to practice? Basically in the manner of animism. In the Hebraic writings, notice Job 12:7, "ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you." Biblically, this is done by receiving instruction and wisdom through observing nature (cf. Proverbs 6:6; 24:31-32). The next passage reads: "Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you." This is how necromancy is done, only "speak to the corpse." Actually, "the earth" and "the corpse" are one and the same thing esoterically (e.g. Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 3:20). As Ovid's Metamorphoses exemplifies: "Our mother is the Earth, and I may judge the stones of earth are bones that we should cast behind us as we go" (Book I., 381). This is said in light of the bones of the dead mother of Deucalion, and after the stones are thrown, they assume a human form (the earth to flesh, solid to bone). This fits in with the creation of "man from clay," as seen with Prometheus earlier in the book (cf. Pros Edda, XIII.). Thus, to go to the earth ("speak") like this (receiving wisdom, enlightenment) well displays a traditional view of necromancy.

More than this, in Hebrew culture the view was that "the dead know nothing" (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Thus, in this "under the sun" of a context, it is quite clear that they believed the dead had no knowledge of this world (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Yet in 1 Samuel 28, the medium of En dor is seen raising up the dead body of Samuel (1 Samuel 28:8-15), and there, Samuel is seen having knowledge of the world (in obvious contrast to Ecclesiastes 9:5). Therefore, this is evidence that the story is strictly esoteric in nature. It expresses the idea of wisdom being obtained by means of divination. Keep in mind, the world is being understood from a perspective of synchronistic fortune-telling and prophecy in this kind of culture (e.g. Deut. 13:1-2; Isaiah 41:22). Their view was that the dead did not return to this life (Job 10:21; Eccl. 9:6), and yet the corpse itself was thought of as an object of power (e.g. 2 Kings 13:21), an inanimate source of instruction (e.g. Job 12:8). The medium is simply the spiritual practitioner familiar with this custom, one spiritually "in touch" with the earth/the dead (Isaiah 29:4). And, although the Bible presents the mediums and necromancers in a bad light (e.g. Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Leviticus 20:27), it also presents the same practice of divination (that Yahweh's own prophets are involved in) in a good light (e.g. Micah 3:6-7; also see Witchcraft). The Bible is not a Christian "book," but rather, a compilation of occultism and differing theological perspectives (which certainly oppose one another at times; see Is The Bible Biblical?).

In summary, this custom is seen as one of mental relevance. Psalm 119:99 speaks of understanding gained through meditation, and this concept applied to a "dark" context (death, the underworld) is a good outline of what necromancy truly means. In the association of "the dead" with spiritual research, a humbling view is indeed acquired.


- Robert Anthony