Where Did Magick Originate?
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For early man, religion and magick were inseparable from the world around them, and just about every feature of the land was infused with some sacred significance. Swamps were evil. Every spring, tree, river and mountain was
imbued with a spirit, with the unknown hidden behind every rock. With all of this in mind, early man developed magick as a force to combat the evil, and religion to honor the Gods. The origins of magick were derived from necessity
rather than desire, and this still holds true today.
Magic is still as primal
and as instinctive for man today, as it was then. There are many "histories"
of magick, each culture believing its own version to be the one true one. The
four major "magickal" cultures are Astro-Babylonian, Egyptian, Greco-Roman,
and Christianity-Judaism. The Asrto-Babylonian relied heavily on astrology. This region was also the home of the reformer of the Astro-Babylonian religion, which before 500 BC was primarily polytheistic.
Zarathusta or Zoroaster, was the creator of the dualistic religion, in which Ahrua Mazda, the representative of good and right pitted against Ahriman, the representative of evil. These forces were necessary, according to Zarathusta to keep the universe in balance. Zarathusta was also given the title as the "Father of Magick" because of the Gathas, or verses he had written in the holy book, Zend Awesta.
Egyptian magick and religion were intertwined concepts. The Egyptian Gods were worshipped with magick. The God's and Goddess's very names were words of
power. These names or words of power later developed into magickal spells or
formulas. The Egyptian priests also served as the magi and kept their
knowledge to themselves, passing it on much like the Druids, from master to
novice. Greco-Roman magick was heavily influenced by the Egyptian and Hebrew forms of magick. They relied on the pantheon and teachings from other cultures to form their own magickal workings.
Until the advent of Judaism and Christianity, magick and religion were the same thing. The priests, shamans, medicine men were one and the same. The idea of one God was the death knell to magick and those who practiced it. This occurred because man's use of magick was his attempt at becoming one or equal to the Gods. The very nature of one God forbids this. However, the bible is one of the few sources that even discuss the origination of magick.
The bible, Genesis 6, and the Book of Enoch give us a clear picture of the
origins of magick. The Book of Enoch states "... and it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them… And angels, children of heaven saw and lusted after them... and all the others together took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one... and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants." This is the first recorded or written reference to the history of magick.
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