Tag Archives: Biblical

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: June 2 : Destroying Ishtar and Count Alessandro di Cagliostro

How many of you have heard of, Count Alessandro di Cagliostro?

The Count, who was given the name, Giuseppe Balsamo, at birth. He was born in a place called, Palermo, Sicily, during the year,1743. While the details of his life are a bit of a mystery, he was, without a doubt, moving in Pagan circles. Having studied Alchemy, in addition to the Kabbalah with the Knights of Malta, Count Alessandro di Cagliostro was known for being an Alchemist, a Freemason, and an Adventurer.

Today is the Count’s Birthday.


 

Now, for those who love to delve into the realms of Prophecy, Mother Shipton, who’s real name was Ursula Sontheil, is also remembered on this day. In 1488, Mother Shipton was born in a cave, which was beside the river Nidd, in Yorkshire.

For those who haven’t a clue as to who she was, Mother Shipton was infamous for writing down poetic prophecies. Some of which was said to have come to pass–

  • Henry VIII victory over France in 1513
  • The Famous London fire of 1666
  • The Victory and defeat over the Spanish Armada in 1588
  • And her own death…in 1561

 

Ishtar of Babylon, who stood for love and fertility, would have been honored with a festival on this day. Myth has it, Ishtar was known for countless lovers. A bit of a player, she was notorious for taking a consort and then soon after, tossing them to the side.

There are many tales concerning Ishtar and her love life. Some concerned a god named, Tammuz, and then one called, Gilgamesh, who happened to be a King of Uruk, (The Knight’s Tale?). Gilgamesh was said to have turned her down, though, and his reason was rather to the point—he didn’t like the way she plucked up Lovers like a girl did flowers from a field, then carelessly  tossed them away becoming bored so easily.

So why was Ishtar frowned upon for doing no more than what other Gods did with praise and favor?

We can find the answer through Author, Barbara G. Walkers, who reserched the matter quite extensively in her book, The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myth’s and Secrets.

According to her, Ishtar’s ruin may have not come from her own doings but possibly from the men who later wrote about her.

Ishtar is the same as the biblical, Ashtoreth, Anath, Asherah, Esther, the Queen of Heaven in (Jeremiah 44: 19), and of course, the Great Whore of Revelations 17: 5. And let’s not forget this fancy and rather eternal title, the Mother of all Harlots.

Ishtar, which may have been originally named after or actually represented a star, according to Babylonian scriptures, was known as, the Light of the World. According to some more – feminine translations, Ishtar did not chase Tammuz into the Underworld like some lust-driven harlot dead set on making him one of her many-toss-to- the- side- lovers. Instead, she did it to save him.

Another false truth could also be, according to, Gilgamesh, the one who became rather famous for turning her down, she was cruel to her lovers.

However, this seems to have also been a misunderstanding by those who set out to translate and re-write Ishtar’s history.

Maybe the answers as to why all the tale tells stem from who her lovers were…each representing a sacrificial god who refreshed the fertility of the earth with his blood. That would mean her stories were meant to represent the seasons and a much needed renewal in order for Nature and Earth to go on. A classic theme we see repeated throughout Ancient Cultures and its’ deities.

The fact was, Ishtar, was a woman, a Goddess, who the other Gods or perhaps men, feared, because if they didn’t walk a straight line, Ishtar could deny them their sacrificial meals. Because of the power factor, it could be, that Priests of later Gods, and more organized and dominate religions, decided to lessen her image, and as time went on, the image of the Great Goddess and her purpose, was slowly destroyed.

 

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The Origins of the Star, Pentacle, Pentagram

 

The star , known as a Pentagram or Pentacle, has come to have great meaning and power over the decades to both Pagan and others. It has remained, regardless of religion, in some way or form.


But where did it surface from? What does it mean? And what does it continue to stand for?


 

The star itself can be traced back to Ancient times as nearly every culture laid claim to it. The Goddess Kore, who was worshipped by the Pythagorean mystics knew that if you cut an apple crosswise, it revealed the star in its center marked by her sacred seeds.

Some ancients called it the star of Ishtar, of Isis, of Nephthys. While in some cultures it meant life and health, in Egypt, it came to represent the underground womb. And even still, from there it’s uses and purposes grew. In Babylon, they were famous for drawing the star on pots and pottery invoking its power to help preserve what was in them. Even those of biblical times, adapted the power of the star as being the first holy sign of their seven seals. Why even King Solomon’s legendary magic ring was made of a star.

While the upright star also symbolized the Goddess, it  brought protection and knowledge. While Christians today will make the sign of a cross over their chest, Ancient Pagans would make the sign of the pentagram over theirs.

Start at the left breast, then to forehead, then right breast, then left shoulder, right shoulder, then end it at the left breast.  This symbolized not only protection but completion.

Pretty neat, hu?

Over time, though, the meaning of the star changed, and even today, many Pagans and non-Pagans forgot it’s origins. We have been taught to fear the star, especially when we see it represented in this way.

Pentacle 2 But in Ancient times, the upside down star simply represented the God. It especially became popular when a man was placed in the center, calling him “He of the five shapes.” Also known as the horned God, representing four horned and sacred animals: the bull, ram, goat, and stag. The fifth shape was that of a man.

This was adapted by Satanists sometime later, and then the stereotypes and fear grew from there for whatever reason. (Usually misrepresentation, lack of knowledge, or speculation.) But back in the day, the Horned god nor the upside down star ever represented anything evil or frightening.

Sadly, though, even today, many Pagans do not know the origins of the upside down star. A perfect example– I did a newsletter some odd years ago, using a piece of Royo art to set it off. The warrior woman had on a necklace with an upside down star on it. To me, the woman represented the Goddess and the star, the God. But sure enough I was slammed with angry and offended emails wondering why I would shatter the image of Paganism by using something so evil as the upside down star.

However, focused on what our Ancient Ancestors would do…and On a more positive note…when the two stars are intertwined like so…

Pentacle 3 They represented the union of the God and the Goddess joining. This symbol was often used in marriages between Pagans, as in some cultures, the woman represented the Goddess, and the man, the God…so by bringing them together, they each represented the sacred union and joining of both.

This, nine pointed star has also come to mean the Tree of Life, or the moon inside the tree of life. It represents balance, guidance and inspiration. It symbolizes completion, eternity, as well as nine being a popular number in Ancient times.

From the Ancient Egyptians, to the Celts, the star was held high and kept close. from story to legend, to family crest, the star made its mark. Gawain was said to carry the pentacle as it was painted on his shield–representing Morgan. Hermetic Magicians used the star within their model of man because from Ancient to previous times, the star meant, among other things,….knowledge.

Those of law enforcement move behind that of a star. Many flags– American, Iraq, Australia, and more show stars. Why, one of the most popular decorations right now happens to be the Primitive Star. I can’t drive through a neighborhood without seeing a gazillion of them hanging on people’s homes. From Barns, to weather vanes…the star has survived the test of time…and for those who make note of them in your life, maybe they will give you a deeper meaning, now that you know some of their grand origins.