Pick up a Rider Waite deck and we can find the use of Hebrew in the cards. Many a Tarot Reader may not pay attention to or make use of such letters. However, they are of great importance to the work of the Magician and the Qabalist and it is the ‘why’ I would like to explain as a preamble to developing the articles about Western Esotericism.
The occult is Western. The practises used in the Occult today are as close as it can get, to what is left of our original ancestral roots. The term used to describe these ancestral practises today is either ‘heathen’ or ‘pagan’.
With conversion to Christianity in AD 312, much of the ancestral knowledge has been wiped out and what is preserved by our ancestors through for example integration with Roman Catholicism has become a puzzle by itself.
And even before Christian domination many Celtic deities were already influenced by the Roman ones.
Some pagan groups today are complimenting their revived Religion with Norse and Egyptian deities and many of the rituals used have been designed by an offshoot temple of the Golden Dawn. (I’ll write more about this in a later article).
Today, Western religion is predominantly ‘Abrahamic’. The Abrahamic Religions are Islam, Judaism and Christianity. All of them have the same origin and together they cover approximately 50% of World religion. The second largest religion is Hinduism (approx. 13%). The ‘Non-Religious’ are the next largest group (12%) and Buddhism covers approximately 5.5%.
The remaining 19.5% is divided amongst 13 other Religions including Atheism. The oldest but smallest of the three Abrahamic Religions is without a doubt Judaism (Approx 0.23%).
In order to explain the use of Hebrew, we have to look into history but also the development of language. We already know that with the influence of the Roman Empire, the original worship of many Celtic deities have been ‘contaminated’ with Roman deities.
In a similar way that culture and religious beliefs have influenced each other or integrated with one another, so has language. We can only speculate the pronunciation of some of the old deities’ names.
In order to ‘invoke’ a deity when committing to ritual work, the Magician or the Wiccan uses all senses. Vocally ‘vibrating’ of a deities’ name, is part of these practises. Although for some occultists the necessity of the purity and correctness of a divine name is debatable, it certainly isn’t for the Adept.
But, which ‘pagan’ deity name to use and what is the correct pronunciation?
Let’s give the Brythonic-Celtish God of War as an example. He is known as:
Belatu-Cadros but also known as: Belatucadrus, Balatocadrus, Balatucadrus, Balaticaurus, Balatucairus, Baliticaurus, Belatucairus, Belatugagus, Belleticaurus, Blatucadrus and Blatucairus.
This is just one God with a Brythonic-Celtic origin but there is still a host of other Gaulish Gods or Welsh, Irish and Scottish deities to choose from and working with Ancient British deities will be limited to the interest of the Briton and could exclude interaction and development on a more Global basis unless you have a great knowledge of their local ancient gods and goddesses.
Language has changed extensively over the centuries and it makes it difficult to recover the use of the names in its purest form. But if we look into Judaism we’ll find that according to Jewish believe, the Hebrew Alphabet was directly given by God and therefore Sacred and any copy that was made of the Scriptures needed to be exact and indeed the Hebrew Alphabet hasn't changed as much as any other Western language. And with this strong foundation it was found that the Angels in Jewish Mysticism shared many attributes of the mythological deities and therefore working with the Angels has also become part of occult rituals.
The attributes given by the Jews to the Angels was not the only reason for the use of Hebrew or but I’ll discuss more about this in next week’s article.
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