As different as are the many religions of the world, in essence they are all the same. It has frequently been said that they are simply different paths all leading to a common center, and this is true. The basic teachings are all the same; all that differs is the method of teaching. There are different rituals, different festivals and even different names for the gods... notice that I say "different names for the gods" rather than, simply, "different gods".
Friedrich Max Muller traced religion back to "an ineradicable feeling of dependence" upon some higher power that was innate in the human mind. And Sir James George Frazer (in The Golden Bough) defines religion as being "a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to Man, which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and of human life".
This higher power—the "Ultimate Deity"—is some genderless force which is so far beyond our comprehension that we can have only the vaguest understanding of its being. Yet we know that it is there and, frequently, we wish to communicate with it. As individuals, we wish to thank it for what we have and to ask it for what we need. How do we do this with such an incomprehensible power?
In the sixth century BCE the philosopher Xeno-phones remarked on the fact that deities are determined by ethnic factors. He pointed out that the black Ethiopians naturally saw their gods as negroid, whereas the Thracians' gods were white, with red hair and gray eyes. He cynically commented that if horses and oxen could carve they would probably represent their gods in animal form! About seven hundred fifty years later Maximus of Tyre said much the same thing: that men worship their gods under whatever form seems 13
intelligible to them.
In Lesson One you saw how, in their early development, people came to worship two principle deities: the Horned God of Hunting and the Goddess of Fertility. These, then, were our representations—our understandable forms—of the Supreme Power which actually rules life. In the various areas of Wo/Man's development we see that these representations became, for the ancient Egyptians, Isis and Osiris; for the Hindus, Shiva and Parvati; for the Christians, Jesus and Mary. In virtually all instances (there were exceptions) the Ultimate Deity was equated with both masculine and feminine ... broken down into a God and a Goddess. This would seem most natural since everywhere in nature is found this duality. With the development of the Craft, as we know it, there was also, as we have seen, this duality of a God and a Goddess.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.