Jesus the Magician is a guest post by Dr Siobhán Higgins-Welter.
Dr. Siobhán Higgins-Welter is an early modern historian and literary scholar who has researched and published on early modern European history, society and literature. She has lectured in Ireland and Britain on topics concerning early modern European occultism and witchcraft, anti-Semitism, early modern English drama and poetry and London theatre history. She also has an active interest in current issues such as modern-day spirituality and the awakening which is occurring throughout the world at present.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
Recently, I took part in a witch-hunting tour of the town of Sindelfingen in south-west Germany at Halloween; a small snap-shot of a wider hunt of witches which took place throughout early modern Europe and resulted in the horrific slaughter of many men, women and children.
The persecution of Barbara
We heard about the story of Barbara Breuninger at the site of where her home once stood, an 84-year-old woman accused of witchcraft because it was rumoured that she had performed healings and given blessings in the local community, although no witnesses would come forward.
The newly formed Lutheran Evangelical church in the duchy of Württemberg also carried out these activities for locals, for a price of course. Barbara did it for free. The church wanted to behead and burn Barbara, but the law stated that she must first give a confession. Barbara was tortured using the strappado, a device where she was hung by her arms behind her back for fifteen-minute intervals. The law permitted that Barbara be only subjected to one fifteen-minute round of the strappado, but church officials allowed it to go on for much longer. With no confession and no witnesses, Barbara was freed.
That was until a young woman in Sindelfingen, named Othilia, was also accused of the same crimes of healing and blessings and was herself subjected to the strappado. She confessed. When she was asked to name her teacher, she said it was Barbara. Both women were beheaded in the town centre thereafter, and their bodies were taken outside the town and burnt to ashes.
Church officials who denounced witchcraft secretly practised the Craft
The church officials used Biblical verses denouncing witchcraft, sorcery, divination and the like as basis for these witch-hunts, and warned the people that unless these people were removed from the community plagues, bad weather and poor harvests would ensue. They said it was the word of God and must be followed to the letter. However, anyone with even the slightest knowledge of the occult can walk into any denomination of the Christian church and recognise occult symbols throughout these buildings. As well as in royal palaces, aristocratic mansions, Catholic chapels; it just goes on and on and on.
The association between the Freemasons and various strands of Protestant faith is also quite alarming, considering that it was traditional for Protestant ministers to also be part of their local Masonic societies. Again, Masonic costumes, art and lodges are filled with symbols of a deep occult nature; knowledge which, until recently, has only been the preserve of a few. Therefore, it is very clear to see that the very people persecuting the witches during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were, in fact, secretly carrying out the dark occult practices they accused these women of participating in. Why did they want to wipe these people out?
Jesus the Magician
It might surprise you to note that in his lifetime, Jesus Christ was also accused of magic and witchcraft. In fact, it is the primary reason given by the Pharisees that he should be killed and they evoked the laws of the Bible. He is referred to several times in the Bible as a ‘magi’, and even the Magi of the East, skilled diviners and astrologers, attend his birth as their knowledge showed them he was the long-awaited Messiah. The word ‘magic’ comes from the Greek name for ancient Babylonian priests known as the magi or magoi (or singular, magus or magos, the Persian word for priest), who were also astrologers, philosophers and diviners.
Of course, the Jews spent a period of time enslaved in Babylon and during that time, Babylonian customs, culture and history had a considerable impact on them. This they brought back with them to Judea after they were liberated. Anyone who has received some training in the occult arts is able to recognise that Jesus knew and understood this area very well. He could heal, he could hex (please see Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree), he could bind, he could exorcise, he could bless, he knew about the importance of willpower and he knew the names of demons. He mentions watching people praise God, and then light incense dedicated to Baal (one of the legions of Satan), he states how one cannot follow God and Mammon (demonic god of greed), and so forth.
Jesus had knowledge of many more things that have been kept from us and to discover these things, one needs to put the Bible down and go within, into their hearts to discover the real Jesus. He healed people and performed miracles on the Sabbath. For this, the Pharisees denounced him as they said it was against the law to perform miracles on the Sabbath, and they denounced his works as acts of magic and not from the correct God. Jesus warned people not to follow the corrupt and greedy practices of the Pharisees, culminating in his cleansing of the temple. Jesus made a whip of cords and attacked the money-lenders selling animals for sacrifice at the entrance of the temple, turning over their tables and letting their coins fall to the ground. The apostles stated that they knew after this episode, the Pharisees would have Jesus killed.
The Black Magician Pharisees
The Pharisees, however, secretly performed many magic rituals themselves. In order to twist the rules to accommodate these occult Jewish practices, laws were played around with and changed to outwardly conform to biblical law. The Sanhedrin stated that performing magic is punishable, while simply appearing to perform magic, or creating an illusion of magic, is not an offence (bSanh. 67-68). Furthermore, the Sanhedrin claimed that any act which benefitted others could not be considered to be magic (bSanh. 67b) and finally, in order to eradicate any suspicions regarding their activities, they added that anyone wishing to join them must be able to perform magic (bSanh. 17).
There are many comparisons and parallels between the European witches and the church, and Jesus and the Pharisees. The witches who were killed in Europe were practising ancient shamanic healing rituals, handed down from the indigenous tribes of Europe who had used them to appeal to the Divine for help and healing for centuries. The Christianisation of Europe is a genocide that history does not remember, except for some snippets here and there of Charlemagne wiping out thousands of ancient Germans for refusing to give up their old faith, or the law codes of early modern Scandinavia where being found in possession of the runes meant death.
Divination for Survival
Ancient Europeans suffered hard winters, bad harvests and inter-tribal rivalries. Divination was sacred to them because it helped them prepare for any hardships that were ahead. These are the same people who worshipped nature and honoured animals and the land. Their sacred groves were found in forests, some so sacred that it was necessary to crawl through them so they would not be disturbed. The Christianisation of Europe resulted in the destruction of most of these sites, except for those which remain today in the outer reaches of Europe on the islands of Britain and Ireland. These people were never thrown out of the Garden of Eden, they were already living in it.
Power over Pagans
Why this hatred of the ancient pagans, the witches, of Jesus? Why this appropriation of powerful methods of seeking assistance from our Divine Creator by a small group of powerful individuals? And why the twisting and manipulation of the Bible? The Bible is one of the most corrupted books on earth and has been changed and abused to suit the needs of the ruling elite since time immemorial. There is a lot concerning Jesus which has been kept from us. Ancient Roman churches depict Jesus using a wooden staff during the raising of Lazarus and other miracles, it is very similar to the accounts of the shamanic healers in ancient cultures around the world.
Could it be possible that religious leaders and ruling aristocracies have used the Bible to seek out and kill powerful people, groups and societies so that they can rule over us all? Why the hatred and intolerance of indigenous shamanic societies in ancient Europe, or in the Americas, Middle East or Africa? They all suffered the same fate. Why hate witches who were healing people in early modern Europe? Why hate Jesus for performing healings and miracles?
Doreen Virtue asks you to hand yourself over to practitioners of black magic
And why on earth is the New Age guru Doreen Virtue encouraging people to join Christian churches? Join groups whose leaders practise black magic? We must give our power to these people? To Doreen? But Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is within us? Why is Doreen Virtue encouraging people to accept the Bible as God’s word without question? Who is she serving?
I would encourage people to question Doreen Virtue and her beliefs stringently. From what I have read about recently, Doreen is serving Mammon, not God. And furthermore, she is denouncing a whole community of people who have been freed from the prejudices of the past and have discovered their own power.
Do not give your power away to a church!
Do what Jesus did, he went out into the wilderness to find our creator. He found our Divine Source among the plants and animals, he went directly to that source with no intermediary, and he encouraged people to do the same. Look within, and use your own God-given critical thinking. The Bible is the word of man, not God. Look at the mistakes of the past and please do not let them be repeated in the present or the future. Jesus said the least among us is capable of performing miracles and that is true.
We all have our own equal and powerful connection to the Divine so please use it!