Federal Bureau of Investigation and Political actions

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

 

With the recent revelations of the FBI having informants inside a presidential candidates political party, on the presumed possibility of a foreign governments attempts to either infiltrate or influence the electoral outcome. Which to my shock at not merely the fact of this, but, that it is seemingly becoming something condoned and accepted.

The questions I have are:

1) when did the FBI become a political guardian

2) is this with in the mandate or guidelines of the FBI

3) Has this been done in other elections

4) was the other party also subject to the same scrutiny

5) and if Americans are truly outraged at the government invasion of their privacy, then why aren’t they over the covert government actions of their electoral process.

As for my part, I have a real concern for the government becoming involved in what I considered “ Santi di Santi” and secure from any covert undertakings. Sure I am not naïve enough to believe all elections are free from each party spying upon the other, that’s expected, or so you’d think. But to have the prime Law Enforcement agency spying upon a campaign, that sends shivers down my spine. Then I have to ask, just how long has this been occurring? Is every presidential campaign being infiltrated? Were the Official’s in power at the White House aware of this intrusive activity, and if so were they complacent with it? If not then shouldn’t it have been a concern to them? I cannot separate this action from the word spying, assuming that other information outside the original reasons for the agent’s plant being gathered and documented, if in doubt research the “Mueller Commission” and its only charges.

Americans have always been under the illusion that their elections are free from any interference, at least up until the last presidential election. Now, have we been deceived by our government for decades or longer, or is this the new trend that has been instituted by the last régime? I have always lauded the FBI on their work and their personnel as being totally dedicated to the protection of the citizens of this country, and absent of any political motives. But after watching and reading, their actions and words, I have begun to have doubts as to their remaining free from political intentions. The American people are the guardians of their own freedoms as it is with all free and democratic nations, but once you relinquish that responsibility and not follow upon the information and reasons things are done in your stead, people will be fed anything. Vigilance is the guardian of freedom.

Thank you for taking the time to read this

CONTRIBUTOR: Eddy Toorall

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Sovereign Right: Embassies

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

 

The recent demonstrations in the Gaza strip protesting the movement of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem seems to be a statement of just how out of hand the Palestinian issue has become. First let us understand that any sovereign nation has the right to establish an embassy where ever it so chooses, as these are considered to be independent of the host country, meaning it is an extension of the territory of the sovereign nation. Second, as a sovereign nation it is not answerable to any political blackmail from any foreign power or organization, as to its sovereign right of expression as to where it deems appropriate in placing its government offices.

Now, the world is giving too much credence to a terrorist government (Hamas) whose tenets of annihilation of the state of Israel have not changed. That it allows the press to berate the United States for exercising its sovereign right, and victimize the deplorably actives that have come about in the last few months, organized by Hamas against Israel in an attempt to bring world pressure on the U. S. to revoke its previous commitment to move its embassy.

The United Nations in its feeble attempts to placate the Hamas regime with its calls for possible war crimes investigations in to the deaths of Palestinians by the Israeli armed forces, which were protecting their borders from what might be seen as not a protest but aggressive action given the past history of the region. Another failure of this so called august body, considering that a few years earlier this same Hamas was planning suicide bombers in side Israel, and even of late instigating individual attacks. Yet, no condemnation of such attacks against civilian populations inside Israel.

As once stated that “Facts are Facts, no matter how you ignore then” and the media propaganda to confuse the issue cannot hide the facts. There is an agenda in the Middle East, organized by outside governments in an attempt to keep this conflict ongoing, presuming that persistence and public opinions will eventually  produce their desired ends. If they truly were concerned with the refugees then they would have spent more effort on improving their plight inside Gaza instead of encouraging them to throw themselves into the flames of war.

The world has somehow been beguiled by the propaganda of 50 years into accepting the story of misery of the displaced, instead of asking why are they still living as they are. Why have in the last 50 years have they not progressed, improved their living conditions, their way of life? Why? Should not these questions be addressed also? Should not their leadership take some responsibility for this failure? Does the leadership of these “liberation” groups live as their follower’s do?

Should the United Nations look to its own house and see what failures it is guilty of concerning these people? What failures it has compounded in the last 50 years in resolving this ongoing wound.

Back to the topic of this article, if public opinion should be the deciding factor in establishment of foreign embassies  in the host country, then I have a few locations picked out for certain Nations, and may decide to generate a Facebook and Tweeter movement to support them. #GETTHEHELLOUT

Thank you for taking the time to read this

CONTRIBUTOR: Eddy Toorall

 

Memorial Poems

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

There is a new-made grave to-day,
Built by never a spade nor pick
Yet covered with earth ten metres thick.
There lie many fighting men,
Dead in their youthful prime,
Never to laugh nor love again
Nor taste the Summertime.
For Death came flying through the air
And stopped his flight at the dugout stair,
Touched his prey and left them there,
Clay to clay.
He hid their bodies stealthily
In the soil of the land they fought to free
And fled away.
Now over the grave abrupt and clear
Three volleys ring;
And perhaps their brave young spirits hear
The bugle sing:
“Go to sleep!
Go to sleep!
Slumber well where the shell screamed and fell.
Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor,
You will not need them any more.
Danger’s past;
Now at last,
Go to sleep!”
There is on earth no worthier grave
To hold the bodies of the brave
Than this place of pain and pride
Where they nobly fought and nobly died.
Never fear but in the skies
Saints and angels stand
Smiling with their holy eyes
On this new-come band.
St. Michael’s sword darts through the air
And touches the aureole on his hair
As he sees them stand saluting there,
His stalwart sons;
And Patrick, Brigid, Columkill
Rejoice that in veins of warriors still
The Gael’s blood runs.
And up to Heaven’s doorway floats,
From the wood called Rouge Bouquet
A delicate cloud of bugle notes
That softly say:
“Farewell!
Farewell!
Comrades true, born anew, peace to you!
Your souls shall be where the heroes are
And your memory shine like the morning-star.
Brave and dear,
Shield us here.
Farewell!”

Author: Sargent Joyce Kilmer “Fighting 69th” Infantry Regiment U.S. Army (WWI-France) Killed in Action 30 July 1918; Second Battle of the Marne

IN FLANDERS FIELDS
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
 We are the Dead.   Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
      In Flanders fields.
 
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.
 AUTHOR: LT. Colonel John Mc Crea: Canadian  Expeditionary Froces (WWI-France)

Shadow-A Parable: Poe

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

 

YE who read are still among the living; but I who write shall have long since gone my way into the region of shadows. For indeed strange things shall happen, and secret things be known, and many centuries shall pass away, ere these memorials be seen of men. And, when seen, there will be some to disbelieve, and some to doubt, and yet a few who will find much to ponder upon in the characters here graven with a stylus of iron.

The year had been a year of terror, and of feelings more intense than terror for which there is no name upon the earth. For many prodigies and signs had taken place, and far and wide, over sea and land, the black wings of the Pestilence were spread abroad. To those, nevertheless, cunning in the stars, it was not unknown that the heavens wore an aspect of ill; and to me, the Greek Oinos, among others, it was evident that now had arrived the alternation of that seven hundred and ninety-fourth year when, at the entrance of Aries, the planet Jupiter is conjoined with the red ring of the terrible Saturnus. The peculiar spirit of the skies, if I mistake not greatly, made itself manifest, not only in the physical orb of the earth, but in the souls, imaginations, and meditations of mankind.

Over some flasks of the red China wine, within the walls of a noble hall, in a dim city called Ptolemais, we sat, at night, a company of seven. And to our chamber there was no entrance save by a lofty door of brass: and the door was fashioned by the artisan Corinnos, and, being of rare workmanship, was fastened from within. Black draperies, likewise, in the gloomy room, shut out from our view the moon, the lurid stars, and the people less streets–but the boding and the memory of Evil they would not be so excluded. There were things around us and about of which I can render no distinct account–things material and spiritual–heaviness in the atmosphere–a sense of suffocation–anxiety–and, above all, that terrible state of existence which the nervous experience when the senses are keenly living and awake, and meanwhile the powers of thought lie dormant. A dead weight hung upon us. It hung upon our limbs–upon the household furniture–upon the goblets from which we drank; and all things were depressed, and borne down thereby–all things save only the flames of the seven lamps which illumined our revel.

Up-rearing themselves in tall slender lines of light, they thus remained burning all pallid and motionless; and in the mirror which their luster formed upon the round table of ebony at which we sat, each of us there assembled beheld the pallor of his own countenance, and the unquiet glare in the downcast eyes of his companions. Yet we laughed and were merry in our proper way–which was hysterical; and sang the songs of Anacreon–which are madness; and drank deeply–although the purple wine reminded us of blood. For there was yet another tenant of our chamber in the person of young Zoilus. Dead, and at full length he lay, enshrouded; the genius and the demon of the scene.

Alas! He bore no portion in our mirth, save that his countenance, distorted with the plague, and his eyes, in which Death had but half extinguished the fire of the pestilence, seemed to take such interest in our merriment as the dead may haply take in the merriment of those who are to die. But although I, Oinos, felt that the eyes of the departed were upon me, still I forced myself not to perceive the bitterness of their expression, and gazing down steadily into the depths of the ebony mirror, sang with a loud and sonorous voice the songs of the son of Teios. But gradually my songs they ceased, and their echoes, rolling afar off among the sable draperies of the chamber, became weak, and undistinguishable, and so faded away.

And lo! From among those sable draperies where the sounds of the song departed, there came forth a dark and undefined shadow–a shadow such as the moon, when low in heaven, might fashion from the figure of a man: but it was the shadow neither of man nor of God, nor of any familiar thing. And quivering awhile among the draperies of the room, it at length rested in full view upon the surface of the door of brass. But the shadow was vague, and formless, and indefinite, and was the shadow neither of man nor of God–neither God of Greece, nor God of Chaldaea, nor any Egyptian God. And the shadow rested upon the brazen doorway, and under the arch of the entablature of the door, and moved not, nor spoke any word, but there became stationary and remained. And the door whereupon the shadow rested was, if I remember aright, over against the feet of the young Zoilus enshrouded.

But we, the seven there assembled, having seen the shadow as it came out from among the draperies, dared not steadily behold it, but cast down our eyes, and gazed continually into the depths of the mirror of ebony. And at length I, Oinos, speaking some low words, demanded of the shadow its dwelling and its appellation. And the shadow answered, “I am SHADOW, and my dwelling is near to the Catacombs of Ptolemais, and hard by those dim plains of Helusion which border upon the foul Charonian canal.” And then did we, the seven, start from our seats in horror, and stand trembling, and shuddering, and aghast, for the tones in the voice of the shadow were not the tones of any one being, but of a multitude of beings, and, varying in their cadences from syllable to syllable fell duskly upon our ears in the well-remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends.

REFERENCE

TITLE: SHADOW–A PARABLE

AUTHOR: Edgar Allen Poe

CONTRIBUTOR: Jenny Dunnaway

Rouge Bouquet: Memorial Poem

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet
There is a new-made grave to-day,
Built by never a spade nor pick
Yet covered with earth ten metres thick.
There lie many fighting men,
Dead in their youthful prime,
Never to laugh nor love again
Nor taste the Summertime.
For Death came flying through the air
And stopped his flight at the dugout stair,
Touched his prey and left them there,
Clay to clay.
He hid their bodies stealthily
In the soil of the land they fought to free
And fled away.
Now over the grave abrupt and clear
Three volleys ring;
And perhaps their brave young spirits hear
The bugle sing:
“Go to sleep!
Go to sleep!
Slumber well where the shell screamed and fell.
Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor,
You will not need them any more.
Danger’s past;
Now at last,
Go to sleep!”
There is on earth no worthier grave
To hold the bodies of the brave
Than this place of pain and pride
Where they nobly fought and nobly died.
Never fear but in the skies
Saints and angels stand
Smiling with their holy eyes
On this new-come band.
St. Michael’s sword darts through the air
And touches the aureole on his hair
As he sees them stand saluting there,
His stalwart sons;
And Patrick, Brigid, Columkill
Rejoice that in veins of warriors still
The Gael’s blood runs.
And up to Heaven’s doorway floats,
From the wood called Rouge Bouquet
A delicate cloud of bugle notes
That softly say:
“Farewell!
Farewell!
Comrades true, born anew, peace to you!
Your souls shall be where the heroes are
And your memory shine like the morning-star.
Brave and dear,
Shield us here.
Farewell!”

Author: Sargent Joyce Kilmer “Fighting 69th” Infantry Regiment U.S. Army (WWI-France) Killed in Action 30 July 1918; Second Battle of the Marne

A Study in the Acquisition of Totalitarian Control

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

 

Foreword: I feel compelled to add a background segment to this article. Although I have drawn from the International War Crimes trial of Nurnberg 1945-46 concerning the NAZI régime and its effect on the world for the information, remember that fascist is only an ideology. If you concentrate on the “labels” instead of the tactics then you will miss the meaning behind the events. This in an informational article only, of steps taken by one such group, determined to achieve the final objective, “seizure of power”. This being said, I point out that as an observer and student of history, there are many groups that employ the very means as noted below to advance their agenda. All I can say is pay attention for as one once said, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. The Bracket numbers at the end of quotes are the official document numbers presented at the trials.

  1. A) First Steps in Acquiring Control of State Machinery

2] The Nazi Conspirators then set up through the Nazi Party to undermine and capture the German Government by “legal” forms supported by terrorism

(b) The Nazi conspirators asserted they only sought power only by legal forms

In September 1931, three officers of the Reichswehr were tried at Leipzig for high treason. At the request of Hans Frank, Hitler was invited to testify at this trial that the NSDAP was striving to attain its goal by purely legal means. He was asked: “How do you imagine the setting up of a Third Reich?” His reply was,” This term only describes the basis of the struggle but not the objective. We will enter the legal organizations and will make our Party a decisive factor in this way. But when we do possess constitutional rights then we will form the State in the manner which we consider to be the right one.” The President then asked: “This too by constitutional means?” Hitler replied: “Yes.” (2512-PS)

(c) The purpose of the Nazi conspirators in participating in elections and in the Reichstag was to undermine the parliamentary system of the Republic and to replace it with a dictatorship of their own.

Wilhelm Frick 1927

“Our participation in the parliament does not indicate a support, but rather an undermining of the parliamentarian system. It does not indicate that we renounce our anti-parliamentarian attitude, but that we are fighting the enemy with his own weapons and that we are fighting for our National Socialist goal from the parliamentary platform.” (2742-PS)

30 April 1928, Joseph Goebbels wrote in his paper “Der Angriff”;

We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. We become members of the Reichstag in order to paralyze the Weimar sentiment with its own assistance. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and per diem for this “blockade” that is its own affair.”

Later in the same article he continued: “We do not come as friends, nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies: As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come.” (2500-PS)

In a pamphlet published in 1935, Joseph Goebbels said:

“When democracy granted democratic methods for us in the times of opposition, this was bound to happen in a democratic system. However, we National Socialists never asserted that we represented a democratic point of view, but we have declared openly that we used democratic methods only in order to gain the power and that, after assuming the power, we would deny to our adversaries without any consideration the means which were granted to us in the times of opposition.” (2412-PS)

A leading Nazi writer on Constitutional Law, Ernst Rudolf Huber, later wrote of this period:

The parliamentary battle of the NSDAP had the single purpose of destroying the parliamentary system from within through its own methods. It was necessary above all to make formal use of the possibilities of the party-state system but to refuse real cooperation and thereby to render the parliamentary system, which is by nature dependent upon the responsible cooperation of the opposition, incapable of action.” (2633-PS)

The Nazi members of the Reichstag conducted themselves as a storm troop unit. Whenever representatives of the government or the democratic parties spoke, the Nazi members marched out in a body in studied contempt of the speaker, or entered in a body to interrupt the speaker, thus making it physically impossible for the Reichstag President to maintain order. In the case of speakers of opposition parties, the Nazi members constantly interrupted, often resorting to lengthy and spurious parliamentary maneuvers, with the result that the schedule of the session was thrown out of order. The tactics finally culminated in physical attacks by the Nazis upon members of the house as well as upon visitors. (L-83)

(NOTE: the loss of freedom to speak one’s opinions should never be condoned (CP))

(d) The Nazi conspirators supported their “legal” activities by terrorism.

Mastery of the streets was at all times the mission of the SA. (Sturmabteilungen)

Adolph Hitler stated:

What we needed and still need; were and are not a hundred or two hundred reckless conspirators, but a hundred thousand and a second hundred thousand fighters for our philosophy of life. We should not work in secret conventicles, but in mighty mass demonstrations, and it is not by dagger and poison or pistol that the road can be cleared for the movement but by the conquest of the streets. We must teach the Marxists that the future master of the streets is National Socialism, just as it will someday be the master of the state.” (404-PS)

To quote again from the official SA pamphlet:

“Possession of the streets is the key to power in the state-for this reason the SA marched and fought. The public would have never received knowledge from the agitated speeches of the little Reichstag faction and its propaganda or from the desires and aims of the Party, if the martial tread and battle song of the SA companies had not beat the measure for the truth of a relentless criticism of the state of affairs in the governmental system…….

“The SA conquered for itself a place in public opinion and the leadership of the National Socialist Movement dictated to its opponents the law for quarrels. The SA was already a state within a state; a part of the future in a sad present.”  (2168-PS)

  1. The Nazi conspirators constantly used physical violence and terror to break up meetings of political opponents, and to suppress opposition in their own meetings. The following facts are indicative of the methods constantly used by the Nazi conspirators during this period:

In Berlin, under the leadership of Goebbels, so-called Rollkommandos were organized for the purpose of disrupting political meetings of all non-Nazi groups. These Rollkommandos were charged with interrupting, making noise, and unnerving the speaker. Finally the Nazis broke up meetings by Rollkornmando raids. In many cases, fights resulted, during which furniture was destroyed and a number of persons hurt. The Nazis armed themselves with blackjacks, brass knuckles, rubber truncheons, walking sticks, and beer bottles. After the Reichstag election of 1930, Nazi terrorism became more overt, and from then on scarcely a day went by when the Chief of the Security Police in Berlin did not receive a minimum of five to ten reports, and often more, of riots instigated by Nazis. (2955-PS)

During the campaign for the Reichstag election of 14 September 1930, Nazi conspirators made it a practice to send speakers accompanied by many Storm Troopers to meetings of other political parties, often physically taking over the meetings. On one such occasion a large detachment of Storm Troopers, some of whom were armed with pistols and clubs, attended a meeting called by the Social Democratic Party, succeeded in forcibly excluding everybody not in sympathy with their views, and concluded the meeting as their own. Such violent tactics, repeated many times, were an integral part of the political creed of the Nazi. (L-83)

  1. The Nazi conspirators constantly threatened their opponents with organized reprisals and terror.

In December 1932, Frick, at that time Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Reichstag, stated to a fellow member of that committee: “Don’t worry, when we are in power we shall put all of you guys into concentration camps.”

REFERENCE

TITLE: NAZI CONSPIRACY AND AGGRESSION: Vol I (A Collection of Documentary Evidence and Guide Materials Prepared by the American and British Prosecuting Staffs for presentation before the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg, Germany.)

CONTRIBUTOR: Cade Pomeraan

(NOTE: In today’s society  those who call for civil unrest should be aware that not all things are seen as they truly are until it is too late)

Continuity of an Ancient Religion: Britain

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

Of the ancient religion of pre-Christian Britain there are few written records, but it is contrary to all experience that a cult should die out and leave no trace immediately on the introduction of a new religion. The so-called conversion of Britain meant the conversion of the rulers only; the mass of the people continued to follow their ancient customs and beliefs with a veneer of Christian rites. The centuries brought a deepening of Christianity which, introduced from above, gradually penetrated downwards through one class after another. During this process the laws against the practice of certain heathen rites became more strict as Christianity grew in power, the Church tried her strength against ‘witches’ in high places and was victorious, and in the fifteenth century open war was declared against the last remains of heathenism in the famous Bull of Innocent VIII.

This heathenism was practiced only in certain places and among certain classes of the community. In other places the ancient ritual was either adopted into, or tolerated by, the Church; and the Maypole dances and other rustic festivities remained as survivals of the rites of the early cult.

Whether the religion which survived as the witch cult was the same as the religion of the Druids, or whether it belonged to a still earlier stratum, is not clear. Though the descriptions of classical authors are rather too vague and scanty to settle such a point, sufficient remains to show that a fertility cult did once exist in these islands, akin to similar cults in the ancient world. Such rites would not be suppressed by the tribes who entered Great Britain after the withdrawal of the Romans; a continuance of the cult may therefore be expected among the people whom the Christian missionaries laboured to convert.

As the early historical records of these islands were made by Christian ecclesiastics, allowance must be made for the religious bias of the writers, which caused them to make Christianity appear as the only religion existing at the time. But though the historical records are silent on the subject the laws and enactments of the different communities, whether lay or ecclesiastical, retain very definite evidence of the continuance of the ancient cults.

In this connection the dates of the conversion of England are instructive. The following table gives the principal dates:
597-604. Augustine’s mission. London still heathen. Conversion of Æthelbert, King of Kent. After Æthelbert’s death Christianity suffered a reverse.
604. Conversion of the King of the East Saxons, whose successor lapsed.
627. Conversion of the King of Northumbria.
628. Conversion of the King of East Anglia.
631-651. Aidan’s missions.
635. Conversion of the King of Wessex.
653. Conversion of the King of Mercia.
654. Re-conversion of the King of the East Saxons.
681. Conversion of the King of the South Saxons.

An influx of heathenism occurred on two later occasions: in the ninth century there was an invasion by the heathen Danes under Guthrum; and in the eleventh century the heathen king Cnut led his hordes to victory. As in the case of the Saxon kings of the seventh century, Guthrum and Cnut were converted and the tribes followed their leaders’ example, professed Christianity, and were baptized.

But it cannot be imagined that these wholesale conversions were more than nominal in most cases, though the king’s religion was outwardly the tribe’s religion. If, as happened among the East Saxons, the king forsook his old gods, returned to them again, and finally forsook them altogether, the tribe followed his lead, and, in public at least, worshipped Christ, Odin, or any other deity whom the king favoured for the moment; but there can be hardly any doubt that in private the mass of the people adhered to the old religion to which they were accustomed. This tribal conversion is clearly marked when a heathen king married a Christian queen, or vice versa; and it must also be noted that a king never changed his religion without careful consultation with his chief men. [Hunt, vol. i] An example of the two religions existing side by side is found in the account of Redwald, King of the East Saxons, who ‘in the same temple had an altar to sacrifice to Christ, and another small one to offer victims to devils’.[Bede, Bk. II, ch. xv]

The continuity of the ancient religion is proved by the references to it in the classical authors, the ecclesiastical laws, and other legal and historical records.

1st century Strabo 63 B.C.-A.D. 23; ‘In an island close to Britain, Demeter and Persephone are venerated with rites similar to the orgies of Samothrace.'[Strabo, “Geography”, Bk. IV, c. iv, 6]

4th century Dionysius says that in islands near Jersey and Guernsey the rites of Bacchus were performed by the women, crowned with leaves; they danced and made an even greater shouting than the Thracians. [Dionysius, “Periegetes” ll. 1120-5]

7th century Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, 668-690; The “Liber Poenitentialis” [Thorpe, ii, pp. 32-4] of Theodore contains the earliest ecclesiastical laws of England. It consists of a list of offences and the penance due for each offence; one whole section is occupied with details of the ancient religion and of its rites. Such are: Sacrifice to devils. Eating and drinking in a heathen temple, “a” in ignorance, “b” after being told by the [Christian] priest that it is sacrilege and the table of devils, “c” as a cult of idols and in honour of idols. ‘Not only celebrating feasts in the abominable places of the heathen and offering food there, but also consuming it. Serving this hidden idolatry having relinquished Christ. If anyone at the kalends of January goes about as a stag or a bull; that is, making himself into a wild animal and dressing in the skin of a herd animal, and putting on the heads of beasts; those who in such wise transform themselves into the appearance of a wild animal, penance for three years because this is devilish.’

“The Laws of Wihtraed”, King of Kent, [ Thorpe, i, p. 41] 690. Fines inflicted on those who offer to devils.

8th century “The Confessionale and Poenitentiale of Ecgberht”, first Archbishop of York,[ Id., ii, p. 157 seq.] 734-766. Prohibition of offerings to devils; of witchcraft; of auguries according to the methods of the heathen; of vows paid, loosed, or confirmed at wells, stones, or trees; of the gathering of herbs with any incantation except Christian prayers.

“The Law of the Northumbrian priests.” [Id., ii, pp. 299, 303] ‘If then anyone be found that shall henceforth practise any heathenship, either by sacrifice or by “fyrt”, or in any way love witchcraft, or worship idols, if he be a king’s thane, let him pay X half-marks; half to Christ, half to the king. We are all to love and worship one God, and strictly hold one Christianity, and totally renounce all heathenship.’

9th century “Decree attributed to a General Council of Ancyra.”[Scot, p. 66.–Lea, iii, p. 493] ‘Certain wicked women, reverting to Satan, and seduced by the illusions and phantasms of demons, believe and profess that they ride at night with Diana on certain beasts, with an innumerable multitude of women, passing over immense distances, obeying her commands astheir mistress, and evoked by her on certain nights.’

10th century “Laws of Edward and Guthrum.”[ Thorpe, i, p. 169] After 901. ‘If anyone violate christianity, or reverence heathenism, by word or by work, let him pay as well “wer”, as “wite” or “lah-slit”, according as the deed may be.’

Laws of King Athelstan [Id., i, p. 203] 924-940. ‘We have ordained respecting witchcrafts, and “lyblacs”, and “morthdaeds”: if anyone should be thereby killed, and he could not deny it, that he be liable in his life. But if he will deny it, and at the threefold ordeal shall be guilty; that he be cxx days in prison.’

Ecclesiastical canons of King Edgar,[ Id., ii, p. 249] 959. ‘We enjoin, that every priest zealously promote Christianity, and totally extinguish every heathenism; and forbid well worshipings, and necromancies, and divinations, and enchantments, and man worshipings, and the vain practices which are carried on with various spells, and with “frithsplots”,[Frith = brushwood, splot = plot of ground; sometimes used for ‘splotch, splash’] and with elders, and also with various other trees, and with stones, and with many various delusions, with which men do much of what they should not.–And we enjoin, that every Christian man zealously accustom his children to Christianity, and teach them the Paternoster and the Creed. And we enjoin, that on feast days heathen songs and devil’s games be abstained from.’

Laws of King Ethelred [Thorpe, i, pp. 311, 323, 351] 978-1016. ‘Let every Christian man do as is needful to him; let him strictly keep his Christianity…. Let us zealously venerate right Christianity, and totally despise every heathenism.’

11th century Laws of King Cnut [Id., i, p. 379] 1017-1035. ‘We earnestly forbid every heathenism: heathenism is, that men worship idols; that is, that they worship heathen gods, and the sun or the moon, fire or rivers, water-wells or stones, or forest trees of any kind; or love witchcraft, or promote “morth-work” in any wise.’

13th century Witchcraft made into a sect and heresy by the Church. The priest of Inverkeithing presented before the bishop in 1282 for leading a fertility dance at Easter round the phallic figure of a god; he was allowed to retain his benefice.[ “Chronicles of Lanercost”, p. 109, ed. Stevenson]

14th century In 1303 the Bishop of Coventry was accused before the Pope for doing homage to the Devil.[Rymer, ii, 934]

Trial of Dame Alice Kyteler 1324.Tried for both operative and ritual witchcraft, and found guilty.

Nider’s Formicarius 1337. A detailed account of witches and their proceedings in Berne, which had been infested by them for more than sixty years.

15th century Joan of Arc burnt as a witch, 1431.

Gilles de Rais executed as a witch, 1440.

“Bernardo di Bosco”, 1457. Sent by Pope Calixtus III to suppress the witches in Brescia and its neighbourhood.

“Bull of Pope Innocent VIII”, 1484.
‘It has come to our ears that numbers of both sexes do not avoid to have intercourse with demons, Incubi and Succubi; and that by their sorceries, and by their incantations, charms, and conjurations, they suffocate, extinguish, and cause to perish the births of women, the increase of animals, the corn of the ground, the grapes of the vineyard and the fruit of the trees, as well as men, women, flocks, herds, and other various kinds of animals, vines and apple trees, grass, corn and other fruits of the earth; making and procuring that men and women, flocks and herds and other animals shall suffer and be tormented both from within and without, so that men beget not, nor women conceive; and they impede the conjugal action of men and women.’

It will be seen by the foregoing that so far from the Bull of Pope Innocent VIII being the beginning of the ‘outbreak of witchcraft’, as so many modern writers consider, it is only one of many ordinances against the practices of an earlier cult. It takes no account of the effect of these practices on the morals of the people who believed in them, but lays stress only on their power over fertility; the fertility of human beings, animals, and crops. In short it is exactly the pronouncement which one would expect from a Christian against a heathen form of religion in which the worship of a god of fertility was the central idea. It shows therefore that the witches were considered to deal with fertility only.

Looked upon in the light of a fertility cult, the ritual of the witches becomes comprehensible. Originally for the promotion of fertility, it became gradually degraded into a method for blasting fertility, and thus the witches who had been once the means of bringing prosperity to the people and the land by driving out all evil influences, in process of time were looked upon as being themselves the evil influences, and were held in horror accordingly.

The actual feelings of the witches towards their religion have been recorded in very few cases, but they can be inferred from the few records which remain. The earliest example is from Lorraine in 1408, ‘lequel mefait les susdites dames disoient et confessoient avoir endure a leur contentement et saoulement de plaisir que n’avoient eu onc de leur vie en tel pourchas’.[ Bournon, p. 23] De Lancre took a certain amount of trouble to obtain the opinions of the witches, whereby he was obviously scandalized. Bodin says, ‘Il y en a d’autres, ausquelles Satan promet qu’elles seront bien heureuses apres cette vie, qui empesche qu’elles ne se repentent, & meurent obstinees en leur mechancete’.[ Bodin, “Fleau”, p. 373]

Madame de Bourignon’s girls at Lille (1661) ‘had not the least design of changing, to quit these abominable Pleasures, as one of them of Twenty-two Years old one day told me. “No”, said she, “I will not be other than I am; I find too much content in my Condition”.'[Bourignon, “Parole”, p. 87.–Hale, p. 27] Though the English and Scotch witches’ opinions are not reported, it is clear from the evidence that they were the same as those of the Basses-Pyrenees, for not only did they join of their own free will but in many cases there seems to have been no need of persuasion. In a great number of trials, when the witches acknowledged that they had been asked to become members of the society, there follows an expression of this sort, ‘ye freely and willingly accepted and granted thereto’. And that they held to their god as firmly as those de Lancre put to death is equally evident in view of the North Berwick witches, of Rebecca West and Rose Hallybread, who ‘dyed very Stuburn, and Refractory without any Remorss, or seeming Terror of Conscience for their abominable Witch-craft’;[ “Full Tryals of Notorious Witches”, p. 8] Major Weir, who perished as a witch, renouncing all hope of heaven;[ “Records of the Justiciary Court of Edinburgh”, ii, p. 14.-Arnot, p. 359] and the Northampton witches, Agnes Browne and her daughter, who ‘were never heard to pray, or to call uppon God, never asking pardon for their offences either of God or the world in this their dangerous, and desperate Resolution, dyed’; Elinor Shaw and Mary Phillips, at their execution ‘being desired to say their Prayers, they both set up a very loud Laughter, calling for the Devil to come and help them in such a Blasphemous manner, as is not fit to Mention; so that the Sherif seeing their presumptious Impenitence, caused them to be Executed with all the Expedition possible; even while they were Cursing and raving, and as they liv’d the Devils true Factors, so they resolutely Dyed in his Service’: the rest of the Coven also died ‘without any confession or contrition’.[ “Witches of Northamptonshire”, p. 8]

REFERENCE
Title: The Witch-cult in Western Europe a Study in Anthropology (1922)
BY: Margaret Alice Murray
CONTRIBUTOR: Jenny Dunnaway

The Americans dream also

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

The current President of the United States hasn’t received a penny of his salary while in office, but has donated the total amount to charities. Do you recall any other doing so? No, I didn’t think so. How many Senators or Representatives donate their salaries?  None, that would be a news worthy event, from either side of the aisle.

As reported from CNN and CBS, 51 million Americans do not make enough money to adequately provide food, housing, and health care etc. for themselves and families. Such a shame. And the people screaming of the tuff tariffs should understand that with a trade loss of Trillions of dollars, and the outsourcing of jobs, more people will reach below poverty. Think about that Democrats when you stand and shout that you are “resisting”. Resisting the people whose interests you are sworn to serve? Think about that California when you boast about rescuing the illegals that you can neither provide housing or jobs for and that only swell the welfare rolls, which is BROKE.

United States is a great country, but I must warn those that think that it’s all glitter and bright lights, it’s not. The movie version is better than the reality. I am not being derogatory of my country, only truthful. Something that our governing body seems not to have the guts to admit to or say except for a few. Congress if you truly are patriotic donate those salaries where they are really needed and stop lining your pockets. Stand up for once for the AMERICAN people. Put the people back to work, let them provide, let them once again dream the American dream, they are dreamers too. Do something positive for a change other than whining and plotting.

There is a quote from Abraham Lincoln in the banner of this blog, I feel it is one of the most truthful utterances I have ever heard, and for me it says it all.

Thank you for taking the time to read this

CONTRIBUTOR: Eddy Toorall

Cybele: The Great Mother

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

 

The first Oriental religion adopted by the Romans was that of the goddess of Phrygia, whom the people of Pessinus and Mount Ida worshiped, and who received the name of “Magna Mater deum Idea” in the Occident. Its history in Italy covers six centuries, and we can trace each phase of the transformation that changed it in the course of time from a collection of very primitive nature beliefs into a system of spiritualized mysteries used by some as a weapon against Christianity. We shall now endeavor to outline the successive phases of that slow metamorphosis.

This religion is the only one whose success in the Latin world was caused originally by a mere chance circumstance. In 205 B. C, when Hannibal, vanquished but still threatening, made his last stand in the mountains of Bruttium, repeated torrents of stones frightened the Roman people. When the books were officially consulted in regard to this prodigy they promised that the enemy would be driven from Italy if the Great Mother of Ida could be brought to Rome. Nobody but the Sibyls themselves had the power of averting the evils prophesied by them. They had come to Italy from Asia Minor, and in this critical situation their sacred poem recommended the practice of their native religion as a remedy. In token of his friendship, King Attalus presented the ambassadors of the senate with the black aerolite, supposed to be the abode of the goddess that this ruler had shortly before transferred from Pessinus to Pergamum. According to the mandate of the oracle the stone was received at Ostia by the best citizen of the land, an honor accorded to Scipio Nasica–and carried by the most esteemed matrons to the Palatine, where, hailed by the cheers of the multitude and surrounded by fumes of incense, it was solemnly installed (Nones of April, 204). This triumphal entry was later glorified by marvelous legends, and the poets told of edifying miracles that had occurred during Cybele’s voyage. In the same year Scipio transferred the seat of war to Africa, and Hannibal, compelled to meet him there, was beaten at Zama. The prediction of the Sybils had come true and Rome was rid of the long Punic terror. The foreign goddess was honored in recognition of the service she had rendered. A temple was erected to her on the summit of the Palatine, and every year a celebration enhanced by scenic plays, the “ludi Megalenses”, commemorated the date of dedication of the sanctuary and the arrival of the goddess (April 4th-10th).

What was this Asiatic religion that had suddenly been transferred into the heart of Rome by an extraordinary circumstance? Even then it could look back upon a long period of development. It combined beliefs of various origins. It contained primitive usages of the religion of Anatolia, some of which have survived to this day in spite of Christianity and Islam. Like the Kizil-Bash peasants of to-day, the ancient inhabitants of the peninsula met on the summits of mountains covered with woods no ax had desecrated, and celebrated their festal days. They believed that Cybele resided on the high summits of Ida and Berecyntus, and the perennial pines, in conjunction with the prolific and early maturing almond tree, were the sacred trees of Attis. Besides trees, the country people worshiped stones, rocks or meteors that had fallen from the sky like the one taken from Pessinus to Pergamum and thence to Rome. They also venerated certain animals, especially the most powerful of them all, the lion who may at one time have been the totem of savage tribes. In mythology as well as in art the lion remained the riding or driving animal of the Great Mother.

Their conception of the divinity was indistinct and impersonal. A goddess of the earth, called Ma or Cybele, was revered as the fecund (Fertile) mother of all things, the “mistress of the wild beasts” that inhabit the woods. A god Attis, or Papas, was regarded as her husband, but the first place in this divine household belonged to the woman, a reminiscence of the period of matriarchy.

When the Phrygians at a very early period came from Thrace and inserted themselves like a wedge in the old Anatolian races, they adopted the vague deities of their new country by identifying them with their own, after the habit of pagan nations. Thus Attis became one with the Dionysus-Sabazius of the conquerors, or at least assumed some of his characteristics. This Thracian Dionysus was a god of vegetation. Foucart has thus admirably pictured his savage nature: “Wooded summits, deep oak and pine forests, ivy-clad caverns were at all times his favorite haunts. Mortals who were anxious to know the powerful divinity ruling these solitudes had to observe the life of his kingdom, and to guess the god’s nature from the phenomena through which he manifested his power. Seeing the creeks descend in noisy foaming cascades, or hearing the roaring of steers in the uplands and the strange sounds of the wind-beaten forests, the Thracians thought they heard the voice and the calls of the lord of that empire, and imagined a god who was fond of extravagant leaps and of wild roaming over the wooded mountains. This conception inspired their religion, for the surest way for mortals to ingratiate themselves with a divinity was to imitate him, and as far as possible to make their lives resemble his. For this reason the Thracians endeavored to attain the divine delirium that transported their Dionysus, and hoped to realize their purpose by following their invisible yet ever-present lord in his chase over the mountains.

In the Phrygian religion we find the same beliefs and rites, scarcely modified at all, with the one difference that Attis, the god of vegetation, was united to the goddess of the earth instead of living “in sullen loneliness.” When the tempest was beating the forests of the Berecyntus or Ida, it was Cybele traveling about in her car drawn by roaring lions mourning her lover’s death. A crowd of worshipers followed her through woods and thickets, mingling their shouts with the shrill sound of flutes, with the dull beat of tambourines, with the rattling of castanets and the dissonance of brass cymbals. Intoxicated with shouting and with uproar of the instruments, excited by their impetuous advance, breathless and panting, they surrendered to the raptures of a sacred enthusiasm. Catullus has left us a dramatic description of this divine ecstasy.

The religion of Phrygia was perhaps even more violent than that of Thrace. The climate of the Anatolian uplands is one of extremes. Its winters are rough, long and cold; the spring rains suddenly develop a vigorous vegetation that is scorched by the hot summer sun. The abrupt contrasts of a nature generous and sterile, radiant and bleak in turn, caused excesses of sadness and joy that were unknown in temperate and smiling regions, where the ground was never buried under snow nor scorched by the sun. The Phrygians mourned the long agony and death of the vegetation, but when the verdure reappeared in March they surrendered to the excitement of a tumultuous joy. In Asia savage rites that had been unknown in Thrace or practiced in milder form expressed the vehemence of those opposing feelings. In the midst of their orgies, and after wild dances, some of the worshipers voluntarily wounded themselves and, becoming intoxicated with the view of the blood, with which they besprinkled their altars, they believed they were uniting themselves with their divinity. Or else, arriving at a paroxysm of frenzy, they sacrificed their virility to the gods as certain Russian dissenters still do to-day. These men became priests of Cybele and were called Galli. Violent ecstasies was always an endemic disease in Phrygia. As late as the Antonines, montanist [Montanus] prophets that arose in that country attempted to introduce it into Christianity.

…The sacred ecstasy, …and a fervent desire to free the soul from the bonds of matter. The ascetic tendencies went so far as to create a kind of begging monachism–the “metragyrtes”. They also harmonized with some of the ideas of renunciation taught by Greek philosophy, and at an early period Hellenic theologians took an interest in this devotion that attracted and repelled them at the same time. Timotheus the Eumolpid, who was one of the founders of the Alexandrian religion of Serapis, derived the inspiration for his essays on religious reform, among other sources, from the ancient Phrygian myths. Those thinkers undoubtedly succeeded in making the priests of Pessinus themselves admit many speculations quite foreign to the old Anatolian nature worship. The votaries of Cybele began at a very remote period to practice “mysteries” in which the initiates were made acquainted, by degrees, with a wisdom that was always considered divine, but underwent peculiar variations in the course of time.

A BLESSED MOTHERS DAY TO ALL

REFERENCE:

TITLE: The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism (1911)

BY: Franz Cumont

CONTRIBUTOR: Jenny Dunnaway

Magical Text and Spells: Egyptian

THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE

 

The magical and religious texts of the Egyptians of all periods contain spells intended to be used against serpents, scorpions, and noxious reptiles of all kinds, and their number, and the importance which was attached to them, suggest that Egypt must always have produced these pests in abundance, and that the Egyptians were always horribly afraid of them.  The text of Unas, which was written towards the close of the V Dynasty, contains many such spells, and in the Theban and Saite Books of the Dead several Chapters consist of nothing but spells and incantations, many of which are based on archaic texts, against crocodiles, serpents, and other deadly reptiles, and insects of all kinds.  All such creatures were regarded as incarnations of evil spirits, which attack the dead as well as the living, and therefore it was necessary for the well-being of the former that copies of spells against them should be written upon the walls of tombs, coffins, funerary amulets, etc.  The gods were just as open to the attacks of venomous reptiles as man, and Ra, himself, the king of the gods, nearly died from the poison of a snake-bite.  Now the gods were, as a rule, able to defend themselves against the attacks of Set and his fiends, and the poisonous snakes and insects which were their emissaries, by virtue of the fluid of life, which was the peculiar attribute of divinity, and the efforts of Egyptians were directed to the acquisition of a portion of this magical power, which would protect their souls and bodies and their houses and cattle, and other property, each day and each night throughout the year.  When a man cared for the protection of himself only he wore an amulet of some kind, in which the fluid of life was localized. When he wished to protect his house against invasion by venomous reptiles he placed statues containing the fluid of life in niches in the walls of various chambers, or in some place outside but near the house, or buried them in the earth with their faces turned in the direction from which he expected the attack to come.

Towards the close of the XXVI Dynasty, when superstition in its most exaggerated form was general in Egypt, it became the custom to make house talismans in the form of small stone stelae, with rounded tops, which rested on bases having convex fronts.  On the front of such a talisman was sculptured in relief a figure of Horus the Child (Harpokrates), standing on two crocodiles, holding in his hands figures of serpents, scorpions, a lion, and a horned animal, each of these being a symbol of an emissary or ally of Set, the god of Evil.  Above his head was the head of Bes, and on each side of him were: solar symbols, i.e., the lily of Nefer-Tem, figures of Ra and Harmakhis, the Eyes of Ra (the Sun and Moon), etc.  The reverse of the stele and the whole of the base were covered with magical texts and spells, and when a talisman of this kind was placed in a house, it was supposed to be directly under the protection of Horus and his companion gods, who had vanquished all the hosts of darkness and all the powers of physical and moral evil.  Many examples of this talisman are to be seen in the great Museums of Europe, and there are several fine specimens in the Third Egyptian Room in the British Museum.  They are usually called “Cippi of Horus.”  The largest and most important of all these “cippi” is that which is commonly known as the “Metternich Stele,” because it was given to Prince Metternich by Muhammad  Ali Pasha; it was dug up in 1828 during the building of a cistern in a Franciscan Monastery in Alexandria, and was first published, with a translation of a large part of the text, by Professor Golenischeff.[ See Metternichstele, Leipzig, 1877.  The Stele was made for Ankh-Psemthek, son of the lady Tent-Het-nub, prophet of Nebun, overseer of Temt and scribe of Het]   The importance of the stele is enhanced by the fact that it mentions the name of the king in whose reign it was made, viz., Nectanebus I., who reigned from B.C. 378 to B.C. 360.

The obverse, reverse, and two sides of the Metternich Stele have cut upon them nearly three hundred figures of gods and celestial beings. These include figures of the great gods of heaven, earth, and the Other World, figures of the gods of the planets and the Dekans, figures of the gods of the days of the week, of the weeks, and months, and seasons of the year, and of the year.  Besides these there are a number of figures of local forms of the gods which it is difficult to identify.

On the rounded portion of the obverse the place of honour is held by the solar disk, in which is seen a figure of Khnemu with four ram’s heads, which rests between a pair of arms, and is supported on a lake of celestial water; on each side of it are four of the spirits of the dawn, and on the right stands the symbol of the rising sun, Nefer-Temu, and on the left stands Thoth.  Below this are five rows of small figures of gods.  Below these is Harpokrates in relief, in the attitude already described.  He stands on two crocodiles under a kind of canopy, the sides of which are supported by Thoth and Isis, and holds Typhonic animals and reptiles.  Above the canopy are the two Eyes of Ra, each having a pair of human arms and hands.  On the right of Harpokrates are Seker and Horus, and on his left the symbol of Nefer-Temu.  On the left and right are the goddesses Nekhebet and Uatchet, who guard the South of Egypt and the North respectively.  On the reverse and sides are numerous small figures of gods.  This stele represented the power to protect man possessed by all the divine beings in the universe, and, however it was placed, it formed an impassable barrier to every spirit of evil and to every venomous reptile.  The spells, which are cut in hieroglyphics on all the parts of the stele not occupied by figures of gods, were of the most potent character, for they contained the actual words by which the gods vanquished the powers of darkness and evil. These spells form the texts which are printed on p. 142 ff., and may be thus summarized:

(1)The first spell is an incantation directed against reptiles and noxious creatures in general.  The chief of these was Apep, the great enemy of Ra, who took the form of a huge serpent that “resembled the intestines,” and the spell doomed him to decapitation, and burning and backing in pieces.  These things would be effected by Serqet, the Scorpion-goddess.  The second part of the spell was directed against the poison of Apep, and was to be recited over anyone who was bitten by a snake.  When uttered by Horus it made Apep to vomit, and when used by a magician properly qualified would make the bitten person to vomit, and so free his body from the poison.

(2)The next spell is directed to be said to the Cat, i.e., a symbol of the daughter of Ra, or Isis, who had the head of Ra, the eyes of the uraeus, the nose of Thoth, the ears of Neb-er-tcher, the mouth of Tem, the neck of Neheb-ka, the breast of Thoth, the heart of Ra, the hands of the gods, the belly of Osiris, the thighs of Menthu, the legs of Khensu, the feet of Amen-Horus, the haunches of Horus, the soles of the feet of Ra, and the bowels of Meh-urit.  Every member of the Cat contained a god or goddess, and she was able to destroy the poison of any serpent, or scorpion, or reptile, which might be injected into her body.  The spell opens with an address to Ra, who is entreated to come to his daughter, who has been stung by a scorpion on a lonely road, and to cause the poison to leave her body.  Thus it seems as if Isis, the great magician, was at some time stung by a scorpion.

(3)The next section is very difficult to understand.  Ra-Harmakhis is called upon to come to his daughter, and Shu to his wife, and Isis to her sister, who has been poisoned.  Then the Aged One, i.e., Ra, is asked to let Thoth turn back Neha-her, or Set.  “Osiris is in the water, but Horus is with him, and the Great Beetle overshadows him,” and every evil spirit which dwells in the water is adjured to allow Horus to proceed to Osiris.  Ra, Sekhet, Thoth, and Heka, this last-named being the spell personified, are the four great gods who protect Osiris, and who will blind and choke his enemies, and cut out their tongues.  The cry of the Cat is again referred to, and Ra is asked if he does not remember the cry which came from the bank of Netit.  The allusion here is to the cries which Isis uttered when she arrived at Netit near Abydos, and found lying there the dead body of her husband.

 At this point on the Stele the spells are interrupted by a long narrative put into the mouth of Isis, which supplies us with some account of the troubles that she suffered, and describes the death of Horus through the sting of a scorpion.  Isis, it seems, was shut up in some dwelling by Set after he murdered Osiris, probably with the intention of forcing her to marry him, and so assist him to legalize his seizure of the kingdom.  Isis, as we have already seen, had been made pregnant by her husband after his death, and Thoth now appeared to her, and advised her to hide herself with her unborn child, and to bring him forth in secret, and he promised her that her son should succeed in due course to his father’s throne.  With the help of Thoth she escaped from her captivity, and went forth accompanied by the Seven Scorpion-goddesses, who brought her to the town of Per-Sui, on the edge of the Reed Swamps.  She applied to a woman for a night’s shelter, but the woman shut her door in her face.  To punish her one of the Scorpion-goddesses forced her way into the woman’s house, and stung her child to death.  The grief of the woman was so bitter and sympathy-compelling that Isis laid her hands on the child, and, having uttered one of her most potent spells over him, the poison of the scorpion ran out of his body, and the child came to life again.  The words of the spell are cut on the Stele, and they were treasured by the Egyptians as an infallible remedy for scorpion stings.  When the woman saw that her son had been brought back to life by Isis, she was filled with joy and gratitude, and, as a mark of her repentance, she brought large quantities of things from her house as gifts for Isis, and they were so many that they filled the house of the kind, but poor, woman who had given Isis shelter.

Now soon after Isis had restored to life the son of the woman who had shown churlishness to her, a terrible calamity fell upon her, for her beloved son Horus was stung by a scorpion and died. The news of this event was conveyed to her by the gods, who cried out to her to come to see her son Horus, whom the terrible scorpion Uhat had killed. Isis, stabbed with pain at the news, as if a knife had been driven into her body, ran out distraught with grief.  It seems that she had gone to perform a religious ceremony in honour of Osiris in a temple near Hetep-hemt, leaving her child carefully concealed in Sekhet-An. During her absence the scorpion Uhat, which had been sent by Set, forced its way into the biding-place of Horus, and there stung him to death.  When Isis came and found the dead body, she burst forth in lamentations, the sound of which brought all the people from the neighbouring districts to her side.  As she related to them the history of her sufferings they endeavoured to console her, and when they found this to be impossible they lifted up their voices and wept with her. Then Isis placed her nose in the mouth of Horus so that she might discover if he still breathed, but there was no breath in his throat; and when she examined the wound in his body made by the fiend Aun-Ab she saw in it traces of poison.  No doubt about his death then remained in her mind, and clasping him in her arms she lifted him up, and in her transports of grief leaped about like fish when they are laid on red-hot coals. Then she uttered a series of heartbreaking laments, each of which begins with the words “Horus is bitten.”  The heir of heaven, the son of Un-Nefer, the child of the gods, he who was wholly fair, is bitten!  He for whose wants I provided, he who was to avenge his father, is bitten! He for whom I cared and suffered when he was being fashioned in my womb, is bitten!  He whom I tended so that I might gaze upon him, is bitten!  He whose life I prayed for is bitten!  Calamity hath overtaken the child, and he hath perished.

Whilst Isis was saying these and many similar words, her sister Nephthys, who had been weeping bitterly for her nephew Horus as she wandered about among the swamps, came, in company with the Scorpion- goddess Serqet, and advised Isis to pray to heaven for help. Pray that the sailors in the Boat of Ra may cease from rowing, for the Boat cannot travel onwards whilst Horus lies dead.  Then Isis cried out to heaven, and her voice reached the Boat of Millions of Years, and the Disk ceased to move onward, and came to a standstill.  From the Boat Thoth descended, being equipped with words of power and spells of all kinds, and bearing with him the “great command of maa-kheru,” i.e., the WORD, whose commands were performed, instantly and completely, by every god, spirit, fiend, human being and by everything, animate and inanimate, in heaven, earth, and the Other World.  Then he came to Isis and told her that no harm could possibly have happened to Horus, for he was under the protection of the Boat of Ra; but his words failed to comfort Isis, and though she acknowledged the greatness of his designs she complained that they savoured of delay.  “What is the good,” she asks, “of all thy spells, and incantations, and magical formulae, and the great command of maa-kheru, if Horus is to perish by the poison of a scorpion, and to lie here in the arms of Death?  Evil, evil is his destiny, for it hath entailed the deepest misery for him and death.”

In answer to these words Thoth, turning to Isis and Nephthys, bade them to fear not, and to have no anxiety about Horus, “For,” said he, “I have come from heaven to heal the child for his mother.”  He then pointed out that Horus was under protection as the Dweller in his Disk (Aten), the Great Dwarf, the Mighty Ram, the Great Hawk, the Holy Beetle, the Hidden Body, the Divine Bennu, etc., and proceeded to utter the great spell which restored Horus to life.  By his words of power Thoth transferred the fluid of life of Ra, and as soon as this came upon the child’s body the poison of the scorpion flowed out of him, and he once more breathed and lived. When this was done Thoth returned to the Boat of Ra, the gods who formed its crew resumed their rowing, and the Disk passed on its way to make its daily journey across the sky.

The gods in heaven, who were amazed and uttered cries of terror when they heard of the death of Horus, were made happy once more, and sang songs of joy over his recovery.  The happiness of Isis in her child’s restoration to life was very great for she could again hope that he would avenge his father’s murder, and occupy his throne. The final words of Thoth comforted her greatly, for he told her that he would take charge of the case of Horus in the Judgment Hall of Anu, wherein Osiris had been judged, and that as his advocate he would make any accusations which might be brought against Horus to recoil on him that brought them.  Furthermore, he would give Horus power to repulse any attacks which might be made upon him by beings in the heights above, or fiends in the depths below, and would ensure his succession to the Throne of the Two Lands, i.e., Egypt.  Thoth also promised Isis that Ra himself should act as the advocate of Horus, even as he had done for his father Osiris.  He was also careful to allude to the share which

Isis had taken in the restoration of Horus to life, saying, “It is the words of power of his mother which have lifted up his face, and they shall enable him to journey where so ever he pleaseth, and to put fear into the powers above.  I myself hasten [to obey them].”  Thus everything turned on the power of the spells of Isis, who made the sun to stand still, and caused the dead to be raised.

Such are the contents of the texts on the famous Metternich Stele. There appears to be some confusion in their arrangement, and some of them clearly are misplaced, and, in places, the text is manifestly corrupt. It is impossible to explain several passages, for we do not understand all the details of the system of magic which they represent. Still, the general meaning of the texts on the Stele is quite clear, and they record a legend of Isis and Horus which is not found so fully described on any other monument.

REFERENCE:

TITLE: Legends of the Gods (1912)

BY: E. A. Wallis Budge

CONTRIBUTOR: Cade Pomeraan