Moreover, occultists are always looking for a greater source of spiritual energy to power their rituals. Occult magicians operate using what they call “magical currents.” Any individual can make a personal pact with a spiritual entity and receive a dispensation of spiritual power from that entity, which that person can then use to energize their magic rituals. But if you belong to a magical order, you can partake of the spiritual dispensation which that group has already obtained, based on a pact negotiated by the founders of the group with that group’s patron deity. This spiritual dispensation becomes a power base that can be used by all of the members of the group, perhaps to varying degrees according
to rank, and it can be transmitted to others in a manner similar to apostolic succession in the Catholic Church. This line of power transmission is a “magical current.”
When new occult groups spring up, they always claim to trace their lineage of spiritual authority back to some other important group, like the Knights Templar, so that they can utilize that group’s magical current. Within the modern Gnostic Catholic churches and the occult orders that are attached to them, it is clear that they see apostolic succession from Saint Peter as the ultimate magical current, and they believe that they are tapped into it directly. C.W. Leadbeater, Theosophist and founder of the Liberal Catholic Church, wrote:
“When the great World-Teacher [Jesus] was last on earth, He made a special arrangement that what we may think of as a compartment of a reservoir of spiritual power should be available for the use of the new religion that he founded, and that its officials should be empowered, by the use of certain ceremonies, words, and signs of power, to draw upon it for the spiritual benefit of their people.”
This expression is not dissimilar to the way that the Catholic Church itself views the power of St. Peter. The Church has utilized all of the tried and true methods used by history’s most successful religious cults to create the greatest spiritual power base the world has ever known. As I explained in my book Solomon’s Treasure: The Magic and Mystery of America’s Money (Dragon Key Press, 2005), the Catholic Church is organized into what I call a “spiritual pyramid scheme” that acts as a magical energy multiplier.
This is the way all cults, secret societies, fraternities and similar institutions operate. It starts with a pact formed between the founders of the institution and its patron deity – in this case, between Simon Peter and Jesus Christ. A magical current of spiritual power, and the authority to utilize it, is bestowed by the deity upon the leadership of the institution. The laity of the institution is then able to partake of the benefits of these blessings, including the right to have their prayers heard and desires fulfilled by the deity, in this case, via the priests, the Pope, and the Saints. In return they must give one or more forms of spiritual energy to the institution, which can include faith, love, sacrifices, tithes, etc. The spiritual energy from these gifts is then channeled back to the deity, again via the priests, the Pope, and the Saints. As this energy moves through the system, it is multiplied exponentially at each step, strengthening the institution as a whole, much like money moving through a nation’s economy.
Part of what has made the Church such a powerful energy multiplier is that it was built upon the foundation of a powerful institution – the state-run priesthood of the Roman Empire – and absorbed the power of other cults throughout the world as it grew.
Christianity was first named an official religion in Rome during the reign of Emperor Constantine. This man was allegedly converted to Christianity by an apparition of Jesus, but still remained loyal to the pagan cult of Sol Invictus (the Sun), which he had recently been initiated into just prior to his famous religious vision. It seems that he was simultaneously both a Christian and a sun-worshipper, and apparently didn’t see any inherent conflict there. This man is so important to the birth of the Catholic Church that he is called the “Thirteenth Apostle”, and his mother Helena (also both a Christian and a
sun-worshipper), was responsible for “discovering” a number of key relics related to Jesus in the Holy Land, such as the “True Cross.” What that really means is that she was responsible for deciding which relics of Jesus would be named as such, and what areas in the Holy Land would be designated as sacred shrines. It was during Constantine’s reign, and at his urging, that the Council of Nicaea met to decide the nature of Jesus’ divinity, and other key tenets of what is now Christian orthodoxy. Their decisions formed the building blocks of what is now the canonized Bible and the Catholic Church.
So what has been the influence of two pagan sun-worshippers, Constantine and Helena, on the foundation of Catholicism in Rome? While Christ-centered and strongly colored by Judaic theology, Catholicism is nonetheless constructed with ritual elements that are entirely pagan and/or pre-Christian. This subject has been discussed exhaustively by many previous authors, but for the sake of continuity I will mention some of the key points.
As the Catholic Church built its foundations and spread its influence about the world, it went about co-opting the mythologies, gods, feast-days, symbols, and ritual elements of other religions, just as the Roman Empire had done before as it spread itself through conquest. It was by amalgamating the conquered cultures with its own that the Roman Empire achieved its greatness, and the Roman Church did likewise. So the Catholics co- opted December 25th, the “Natalis Invictus”, or “day of the rebirth of the Sun”, from Constantine’s cult of Sol Invictus, and turned it into Christmas. Easter was rightly tied to Passover, as the Passion of Christ had taken place at that time, but the Christian
celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection was modeled after the pagan festival of the Spring Equinox. Even the Jewish Sabbath day, considered so sacred that those caught violating its taboos could be killed on sight, was “re-consecrated” by the Catholics and switched to Sunday, literally the traditional day for the pagan worship of the Sun.
The symbols used in the church’s icons all bear resemblance to those of the ancient world. The image of the Virgin Mary holding the child Jesus is always presented in a manner almost identical to images of Ishtar and Tammuz from Babylon, or Isis and Horus in Egypt. The presentation of the Virgin Mary in particular is unmistakably copied from that of Ishtar or Isis, the main goddess of the ancient world, called “Venus” by the Romans. She was named the “Queen of Heaven” by the ancients, and shown with a crown of stars around her head, and a crescent moon beneath her feet. The same images and title are associated with Mary in Catholic iconography. Likewise, Ishtar’s son, the sun God incarnated as a man, was presented the same way in the ancient world as Jesus has been presented by the Catholic church. Like the sun god, he is said to have died, descended to the Underworld, and risen alive three days later. Like the sun god, Jesus is shown with a sun-disk-shaped halo around his head. The cross associated with Jesus was a symbol of the sun in the ancient world too. This is what is called “iconotropy”, defined as “the accidental or deliberate misinterpretation by one culture of the icons or myths of an earlier one, especially so as to bring them into accord with those of the later one”
The offices of the church were likewise modeled after ancient prototypes. The official title of the Pope – Pontifex Maximus (meaning “great bridge-builder”) was the same title
used by the high priest of the state cult of the old Roman Empire. Like the eunuch priests of ancient Babylon, Catholic priests wear black and observe celibacy. As the ancient world had vestal virgins draped in black, symbolizing their mourning of the death of the sun God, the Catholic Church has nuns pledged to celibacy.
The vow of poverty observed by priests, nuns and monks is an ancient tradition too, observed by the priests of Babylon, Rome, and ancient Israel. In any spiritual pyramid scheme, money is a form of energy given to the institution by its members, and it is customary that the custodians of the institution should not profit from that money directly like the owners of a business would, but rather should only benefit from it indirectly. The money tithed to the Church by its members is considered to be a sacrifice given to God, for the maintenance of His church, and the maintenance of the daily needs of the priesthood just happens to be part of that. The priests are considered to be mere instruments in the machinery of the pyramid scheme, the purpose of which is to channel spiritual energy to God, and to multiply that energy as efficiently as possible through that machinery.
In the beginning, whenever the Catholics built a new church or cathedral, it was usually upon the foundations of an old pagan temple. Sometimes they would simply re- consecrate an existing shrine or temple and alter the interior decoration. Even the Church’s global headquarters, the Vatican, is the site of an old Roman oracle of the same name, and the name literally means “serpent of divination.” Each new Catholic Church was dedicated to a particular “saint.” A saint is usually a deceased person who the Church
has officially “consecrated” and raised to a status resembling that of a demi-god of the pagan world. The saints act as intercessors between the living Catholics and their God. People can pray to the saints and ask the saints to pray to God for them on their behalf. The saint most commonly prayed to in this manner is “Saint Mary, Mother of God”, i.e. the Virgin Mary.
Each saint has particular attributes that define the nature of their spiritual power, like gods of the ancient world, and each sphere of existence has its own “patron saint”, like pagans had “patron deities” for each area of life. So there is a patron saint of doctors, another for travelers, a patron saint of “lost causes”, and a patron saint of basketball. In many cases, the attributes of saints can be traced directly to a pagan god with similar attributes, as if the pagan god had been merely “re-consecrated” by the church, given a new name and incorporated into Christianity. Sometimes the new name is almost identical to the old one, as in the case of St. Bridget and the Celtic goddess Brighid. St. Briget’s feast day even falls on that of her pagan predecessor, February 1, called “Imbolg” by the Celts. St. Denis, who allegedly walked around holding his own decapitated head before he died, is probably modeled on the Greek God Dionysus, who had a similar episode in his mythical life. Likewise Saints Hermes and Mercury were probably named after the Greek and Roman gods, respectively.
Many times a new church, built upon the ruins of a pagan temple, would be dedicated to the very saint who had replaced that temple’s patron pagan god in the Catholic pantheon. In some cases it is doubtful that there ever was a real living human that the saint was
based on – as in the case of St. Christopher, a mythical giant whom the Church itself now acknowledges was never an actual person. The saints were merely characters concocted to replace the pagan gods whom the Church had co-opted into their own spiritual power structure. In the Caribbean, this practice lent itself to the development of Santeria, in which the identities of Christian saints were transposed onto those of traditional African gods. Thus the African slaves taken to these islands were able to continue practicing voodoo with a Christian veneer. Santeria is a very powerful system of ritual magic that remains popular among native Caribbeans and Western occultists to this very day.
One has to understand that the Church’s tactics here were not used merely for political expediency, to make the new religion more palatable to converts, or because the church leaders were too unimaginative to come up with new symbols. There are very old, very powerful spiritual concepts at work here. In the ancient world, when one culture would take over another through military conquest, the conquered culture’s gods would be conquered as well – literally, in a spiritual way. Like the god of the Hebrews, many gods of the ancients had a secret name, and it was believed that anyone who knew that name could control them. So when taking over another people’s gods, it was important to extract from their priests the secret names of those gods. Then you could rededicate them, give them new names, and incorporate them into your own cult, making them subservient to your own gods. As Robert Graves writes in The White Goddess:
“In ancient times, once a god’s secret name had been discovered, the enemies of his people could do destructive magic against them with it. The Romans made a regular
practice of discovering the secret names of enemy gods and summoning them to Rome with seductive promises, a process technically know as elicio…Naturally, the Romans, like the Jews, hid the secret name of their own guardian deity with extraordinary care.”
So like the Roman Empire before them, the Catholic Church conquered all of the gods of the world’s pagan cults, and incorporated them as saints, putting them under the command of Jesus, and plugging these existing magical currents into the energy multiplier of the Church. This is wholly appropriate, for the belief system espoused by Jesus himself was a conglomeration of Judaic mysticism, Greek mystery religions, Zoroastrianism, and many other ideas. This tradition has been inherited, and is being continued in spirit by the Catholic Church, which styles itself the “Universal Church” (“universal” being the meaning of the word “Catholic”). Just as the Romans “Hellenized” the world, the Church has Catholicized the world. This is why the Church literally tries to be all things to all people. That’s why it is actually loathe to excommunicate heretics, preferring to keep renegade churches under the fold rather than force orthodoxy on them and risk losing them. The Church is a machine built for the purpose of amassing as much spiritual power as possible. Ultimately, it would like to control all spiritual power that there is in Heaven and on Earth. This includes incorporating every single demi-god or demon as a saint, and commanding the worship of every human being on Earth.
Earlier I hypothesized about the origin of the word “Mass” used in regards to the Catholic ritual of that name. I traced it back to the rites of Mithraism, where the Eucharistic bread was called the “Mizd.” But in English, “mass” is also a word that means “conglomerate,