bible

GoodGod!

January, 2019

Meet the Gods: The Wise Men

Merry meet.

This month’s column is not about gods. Rather it’s about saints, or, more correctly, magi, the pagan astrologers who came to worship Jesus. The word magic came from magi because they dabbled in the dark arts and were referred to as sorcerers, wizards and magicians.

Tradition refers to three wise men, but nowhere is a specific number stated; in Eastern Christianity often there are twelve. They came “from the east,” which most likely is now Iran. That means they could have traveled more than 800 miles. The Christmas story has them arriving twelve days later, but some traditions have the visit occurring as much as two winters later. (This could explain why Herod commanded all boys up to the age of two be killed.)

These Zoroastrian priests, as part of their religion, had great knowledge of astrology – others say astronomy. According to the Gospel Matthew, these wise men were guided to look for the “king of the Jews” by a miraculous stellar event: the Star of Bethlehem. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

As part of their religion, these traveling missionaries paid particular attention to the stars and gained an international reputation for their knowledge of the sky, which at that time was highly regarded as a science. As Christianity became the religion of the Romans, the magi were no longer respected, and neither were the Jews.

No names for the three appear in the New Testament. Legends, however, give them a variety of different names. Melchior, also spelled Melichior, was a Persian king, or some say scholar. Caspar, Gaspar or Jaspar was a king of India. Balthazar, also known as Balthasar and Balthassar, was a Babylonian scholar or an Arabian king.

Many sources do no consider them respected kings. Rather, the magi were uncouth and labeled as sinners because of their stargazing, sorcery and divination. Still, Catholics and Orthodox Christians celebrate the festival of The Three Kings, the Epiphany, on January 6. In Germany, they have become the patron saints of travelers; their feast day is July 23.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

August, 2017

TAMAR

(Lovingly Dedicated to my Goddess-Sister, Tamara)

 

Tamar was an ancient Goddess in Georgia. She lived in a palace in the mountains. This palace was built by storks and nightingales. She rode a serpent bridled with gold.

 

 

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

 

 

Tamar captured Dilis Varskulavi, the Morning Star, who was the Master of Winter.

 

When he escaped, which he did repeatedly, the snow would come. As many times as he would break free, each summer, Tamar would re-capture him to bring summer, which she ruled, back to the land.

 

This made Tamar a Sky Goddess, who controlled the weather and the seasons.

 

A beam of light once came through Her castle walls, impregnating the ever-virgin Goddess. She gave birth to a son who She abandoned in the woods. This child was then raised by deer and, eventually, grew to be an angel.

 

She was also identified with Lamara, whose name means “eye of the Earth”, who was also a Georgian Goddess.

 

Some of Tamar’s attributes were Her strength, Her courage and Her power. As Her serpent’s bridle can attest to, Her symbols were gold, serpents and snakes.

 

One of the most famous women to bear the name, Tamar, was Queen Tamar, one of Georgia’s most famous rulers; true to her name, she apparently was a fierce Warrior Queen. (See: http://www.badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=754345014062)

 

 

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

 

 

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There were two other Goddesses who were known by the name Tamar.

 

One is from Syria; She was an Earth Goddess associated with prophesy and fertility The name “Tamar” in Arabic means “date palm”. She was also closely associated with nourishment, as food would come from the tree of life.

 

“She is a tree of life to them that lay hold

upon her, and happy is every one that

retaineth her.”

Proverbs 3:18

“The story of Tamar told in Genesis 38 suggests and expresses

a powerful indestructible divine feminine energy

that personifies in a mythic way. Tamar herself

represents an archetype of divine feminine power

revealed by her name, which translates as ‘palm tree’.

In the Babylonian myth of the primal garden, the

palm tree was the Tree of Life, a dwelling place of the

Goddess Astarte. The Hebrew version of her name

was Tamar, ‘palm tree’.”

From

“Feminine Mysteries in the Bible – The Soul Teachings

of the Daughters of the Goddess”

by Ruth Rusca

This Tamar, as can be seen, is linked to Astarte. She could conceivably also be linked to the Egyptian Goddess, Hathor, who brings nourishment to Her people in the form of a sycamore tree, as well as Inanna, the Queen of Heaven, who some say her original name was “Goddess of the Date Storehouse”.

(Photo Credit: Story Tree Tales)

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Lastly, there is the Celtic Tamara, who as a Water Goddess, protected the waters, especially those of the River Tamar, which bears Her name. This River separates Cornwall from the rest of England.