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Author Topic: YHVH, INRI & Pagans Doing Rituals?  (Read 9876 times)
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« Topic Start: September 18, 2008, 02:50:24 pm »

There are plenty of Ceremonial Magick rituals, where the lines include YHVH or INRI. While the tetragrammaton YHVH may be in the ritual, meaning "Jehova", it can also mean "Father (Y, Yod), Mother (H, Hť/Heh), Son (V, Vau), Daugther (H, Hť/Heh final). INRI can denote Christ - although not necessarily to just Jesus, but an archetype of 'dying and resurrecting God' - but there are also longer tables of correspondences linking elements, planets and what have you to the different letters in INRI.

Do you think Pagans should use rituals including these very Christian-looking elements? Can they be taken from "their original context", or are they somehow off-limits for Pagan ritual magick use?

Why or why not?
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« Reply #1: September 18, 2008, 03:09:14 pm »

Do you think Pagans should use rituals including these very Christian-looking elements? Can they be taken from "their original context", or are they somehow off-limits for Pagan ritual magick use?

Not being able to study languages as much as I'd like, I'm not familiar with "INRI" as a name for Christ.  Using YHVH seems like it would be drawing on either Kabbalistic magic (in which case I'd think it would almost be expected) or popular medieval notions of magic.

I'm eclectic, so very few things are really off limits for me, but I think that the intent needs to be closely examined before use, as well as the knowledge, background, and attitudes of all those involved in the ritual.  If you use a tetragrammaton that clearly hearkens to Christianity, it can cause hangups for ritual workers with a Christian background, and it COULD even cause personal hangups for the ritual worker who chose to use it.  I know that I would tend to have personal hangups, because it IS an arrangement of letters I strongly associate with Christianity and Judaism, so it would not feel right for me to use it in a ritual context outside those belief systems.

On top of that, would the practitioner be using it as a way of "repurposing" the meaning?  As we discussed in some of the sacred music threads, this is generally a bad idea, and it comes off as generally petty (kind of an, "Ooo, look at me!  I'm using Christian stuff, but it's not really Christian."  It's like the angsty version of, "I'm not touching you!").

Using it within a ritual working would require a good deal of preparation, I think, to ensure that all involved with the ritual are comfortable with the use, and also to ensure that all understand its precise reason for being used.
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« Reply #2: September 18, 2008, 03:42:31 pm »

Not being able to study languages as much as I'd like, I'm not familiar with "INRI" as a name for Christ.

It stands for IESVS∑NAZARENVS∑REX∑IVD∆ORVM (Snagged from Wikipedia, but checked elsewhere): Latin does not have the letter J, so I is the common standin when other languages would use it. (You may have seen this concept in _Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade_ wherein this has actual consequences.)

It means: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. (Greek Orthodox communities sometimes use some slight variations.)

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If you use a tetragrammaton that clearly hearkens to Christianity, it can cause hangups for ritual workers with a Christian background, and it COULD even cause personal hangups for the ritual worker who chose to use it.  I know that I would tend to have personal hangups, because it IS an arrangement of letters I strongly associate with Christianity and Judaism, so it would not feel right for me to use it in a ritual context outside those belief systems.

This is a large part of why I don't use it - and why I've taken advantage of the 3rd degree autonomy thing to remove one segment of a yearly ritual and restructure it, so it avoids this issue.

Because the LBRP is still heavily used in general Pagan circles, it *is* something I intend to teach to students - but more in a "Here's some of the structural reasons it works and why it's used." discussion rather than "And we're going to do it every day for the next month."
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« Reply #3: September 18, 2008, 03:52:01 pm »

It stands for IESVS∑NAZARENVS∑REX∑IVD∆ORVM (Snagged from Wikipedia, but checked elsewhere): Latin does not have the letter J, so I is the common standin when other languages would use it. 

Gotcha...I remember the Indiana Jones bit, and I actually understood every word of that except IVD∆ORVM without the help of your translation Smiley.  Makes more sense now that I know it's an abbreviation.
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« Reply #4: September 18, 2008, 06:09:46 pm »

It stands for IESVS∑NAZARENVS∑REX∑IVD∆ORVM (Snagged from Wikipedia, but checked elsewhere): Latin does not have the letter J, so I is the common standin when other languages would use it.

Just a side note for anyone confused by the "V" where we would use a "U".... Classical Latin did not have a letter U either.
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« Reply #5: September 18, 2008, 06:12:03 pm »

Just a side note for anyone confused by the "V" where we would use a "U".... Classical Latin did not have a letter U either.

Knew this because even some English post-printing press uses "V" in place of a "U," but that actually reminds me of something about which I'm curious: did Classical Latin have a "V" that was just used interchangeably as a vowel or consonant, or was their "V" solely a "U"?
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« Reply #6: September 18, 2008, 06:17:27 pm »

Knew this because even some English post-printing press uses "V" in place of a "U," but that actually reminds me of something about which I'm curious: did Classical Latin have a "V" that was just used interchangeably as a vowel or consonant, or was their "V" solely a "U"?

The Romans apparently considered the U and the V two different ways of writing the same letter. They usually used the "V" in stone as it is easier to carve (I think).
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« Reply #7: September 18, 2008, 06:33:03 pm »

The Romans apparently considered the U and the V two different ways of writing the same letter. They usually used the "V" in stone as it is easier to carve (I think).

I should have thought a little more before I asked..."Veni, Vidi, Vici" is obviously not meant to be pronounced "Ueni, Uidi, Uici," so they had to have both the consonant "V" and the Vowel written either "V" or "U"
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« Reply #8: September 18, 2008, 06:50:42 pm »

I should have thought a little more before I asked..."Veni, Vidi, Vici" is obviously not meant to be pronounced "Ueni, Uidi, Uici," so they had to have both the consonant "V" and the Vowel written either "V" or "U"

U/V as a consonant was usually pronounced something like our "W." For example, "via" is thought to have been pronounced "wee-ah."
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« Reply #9: September 19, 2008, 02:44:26 am »

Do you think Pagans should use rituals including these very Christian-looking elements? Can they be taken from "their original context", or are they somehow off-limits for Pagan ritual magick use?
Should?  That largely depends on what the individual thinks ritual should or should not include, but I think the practitioner could.  What I have seen of Ceremonial work looks a lot like a Pagan/Christian hybrid to me. 

The Christ mythos certainly fits the dying-rising-god archetype, and while many contend that Christianity 'steals' from its pagan forbears, I see it as a 'new' tradition-- or rather, interpretation-- layered upon the 'older'.  New flesh on old bones. 

I myself have used both the Qabalistic Cross and the LBRP within the circle.  Granted, I was by myself, so there was no-one present to either please or offend.  Now I am working on adapting them into regular practice.  There is an excellent article, elsewhere on this site, detailing a Wiccan LBRP, which shows that one tradition can be adapted to suit the other, without the purpose being in any way diminished.  Interestingly, the author of that piece prefers to use the Hebrew archangel names, contending that the use is more about proven magical formulae that about theology.

It's understandable that some could have hang-ups over using Christian or Judaic terms and symbols, especially given the often negative associations with either system. 
   



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« Reply #10: September 19, 2008, 05:16:05 pm »

Do you think Pagans should use rituals including these very Christian-looking elements? Can they be taken from "their original context", or are they somehow off-limits for Pagan ritual magick use?

I don't have a problem with it - maybe because I see ceremonial magic as a context in its own right.  Also, I've come to appreciate Christianity more since leaving it, and still quote the Bible sometimes.  There's some good stuff in there. Smiley  And what I know about Judaism is really interesting.  So in other words, "Judeo-Christian" doesn't automatically mean "ick".
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« Reply #11: September 20, 2008, 04:53:13 pm »

I don't have a problem with it - maybe because I see ceremonial magic as a context in its own right.  Also, I've come to appreciate Christianity more since leaving it, and still quote the Bible sometimes.  There's some good stuff in there. Smiley  And what I know about Judaism is really interesting.  So in other words, "Judeo-Christian" doesn't automatically mean "ick".

I have used them and don't see myself as calling on the 'christian' god.  Studying the qabalah (sp) helped dispel that for me, as well as the History of the Bible and Christianity.  Plus, the knowledge of Gnosticism - which to me is basically the worship of and acceptance of the dying-resurrecting Godman and the Goddess that is both his mother and wife, and what it means or represents for each individual, etc, causes me to find no conflict at all in my practices/convictions.  Seeing as how I tend to think the Christians borrowed from the other mystery religions of the time to embellish their story, it also makes sense.   

I typically use the symbol of the tetragram to represent outwardly (in place of the pentagram) my Spiritual convictions, which is basically the equal armed cross inside or surrounded by a circle.  To me, it is most universal in it's symbolism and depending on how I need, I assign anything from a calling of the 4 cardinal directions to the names of God, to the elements and names of Archangels.  The inclusion inside the circle represents the Ether or Spirit which encompases all, from my paradigm anyway.  I find it interesting that this is also used as a marksmans target point - interesting metaphor for me...
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« Reply #12: September 20, 2008, 05:57:29 pm »

I have used them and don't see myself as calling on the 'christian' god. 

Neither the personal name of the Christian God nor "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" strikes you as calling on the Christian God?
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« Reply #13: September 20, 2008, 06:03:55 pm »

I have used them and don't see myself as calling on the 'christian' god. 

Like Koi, I have to wonder what you think you are calling on when you use the name of the Judeo-Christian God and the name and a title of said deity's son? I'm very confused.
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« Reply #14: September 20, 2008, 06:44:10 pm »

Like Koi, I have to wonder what you think you are calling on when you use the name of the Judeo-Christian God and the name and a title of said deity's son? I'm very confused.

It sounds like, from what they wrote, that soulfire is mapping the Wiccan Goddess and Horned God to Jesus and Shekinah via the dying & resurected gods myth. In some ways not that much different a line than Christmas trees being a pagan symbol (Koi has an excellent rant on one of hte old boards about that).

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