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The real meanings of the terms "Occult," "Pagan" and "Heathen" - you might be surprized

 
Anonymous Coward
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12/15/2005 12:01 AM
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The real meanings of the terms "Occult," "Pagan" and "Heathen" - you might be surprized
Words mean different things to different people.


In a world that is puposely kept divided, the differences in the meanings and use of words, tends to cause misunderstandings, which in turn, divide us even more. There is a group of people, who stay in power, by dividing the people's of the world. When a group of people is divided, it becomes weak. The powerful, behind the scenes rulers of the world, would not be able to hang onto their power, if the divided peoples of the world joined together and stood up to them.


One of the ways of dividing people is by changing the use and meanings of words. This is not a new phenomenon. It has been practiced for almost a thousand years. It has simply been refined to a fine art in the 20th century.


To Christians the word "occult" means satanic. To esoteric scholars and metphysicians, the word "occult" only means hidden.


Esoteric scholars believe that occult knowledge was kept hidden, because it was so powerful that it could pervert normal people and cause them to use the occult knowledge for evil. Esoteric scholars felt that the occult knowledge was neutral until humans came in contact with it. Depending on the "spiritual" purity of the human, he could use the occult, or hidden knowledge for good or for evil.


Similar polarized definitons exist for the words, "pagan" and "heathen".


Today's Christians equate "pagan" with satanism and witchcraft. Heathens are Godless people. The modern usage of the words did not arrive until the early middle ages. Today, there are many people who are trying to return the use of the words to their "pre middleages" meaning... i.e. "country dwellers."


The root of the word "occult" is the Latin, "occultus" which means "to hide", "to make or keep secret". In today's Christian vocabulary, "Occult" means hidden information that is used for negative purposes. In this usage, the world "occult" is always connected to "evil" or Satanic.


Many fail to mention is that the world "occult" only means hidden. The Satanic overtones of the word came during the dark ages when Catholic Priests could not allow 'anything' to be hidden for fear of rebellion or attack by hostile enemies.


In other words, to stay in power, the early Catholic church used any means available to them to keep informed of the under currents in the kingdom/church.


To keep informed in all areas, the Catholic church created the concept of "confession". To insure that the peasants kept no secrets from the village priest, it became a sin not to reveal all secrets.


During the dark ages, the Catholic priests, who at that time were the only legitimate representatives of Christianity, had to make people believe that anything that was hidden, or kept secret from them, was evil. The Catholic church communicated in Latin. The Latin word, "Occultus" means "to hide" or "to keep secret". Occult came to mean evil or satanic.


The early Catholic Church saw enemies behind every rock; therefore, to stay in power, it was necessary for them to know everything that was going on in their "empire". To achieve this end, anything that was kept secret from the Catholic Church was labeled evil, or of the devil. To the early Catholics, anything that was secret was probably "bad" for them. To insure that peasants kept no secrets, the word "secret" became synonymous with evil..... i.e. "occultus" means secret in Latin, but "occult" now means "evil" in modern day usage.


During and after the middle ages, the Latin derived word "occult" took on the meaning of evil. All things that the early Church feared could erode their power base or take their converts from them, such as Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans, were labeled "occult", i.e., evil.


The words pagan and heathen came into modern usage in the 12th and 14th centuries. The meaning of the words took on the "evil" i.e. satanic, devil worshipper, witch; connotation around the time of the inquisitions. Up until then, the words were relatively "neutral".


From the Merriam Webster Dictionary: [Middle English, from Late Latin paganus, from Latin, country dweller, from pagus country district; First appeared 14th Century


The word "pagan" means "a person who dwells in the country". At the time that the Catholic Church was spreading Christianity to all of Europe, the "country dwellers" worshipped "the Goddess" who represented the earth mother, or Mother Nature. Nature spirits, i.e. devas, were also worshipped. The religion of the pagans came from the Gods and Goddesses of Rome and Greece. Country dwellers who were not Christians, Jews or Moslems, were called "Pagans."


The 1945 edition of "An Encyclopedia of Religion" defines pagan as: Derived from the Latin "paganus", a "countryman". The term was applied to those who clung to Greek and Roman faiths. Since Christianity first spread in the cities, this was true more of the rural than urban population. It has also been held that the term was adopted because of the contrast between the regular soldier and the raw rustic. Pagans were civilians, in contrast to the "soldiers of Christ. The term "pagan" is now applied to one who does not belong to one of the great monotheistic faiths. In contrast to "heathen" it implies a disinterested rather than a hostle point of view."


From the Oxford Dictionary:
—ORIGIN late Middle English: from Latin paganus 'villager, rustic', from pagus 'country district'. Latin paganus also meant 'civilian', becoming, in Christian Latin, 'heathen' (i.e. one not enrolled in the army of Christ).


From the Mirriam Webster Dictionary--
heathen:
First appeared before 12th Century
1 : an unconverted member of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible

2 : an uncivilized or irreligious person


From the Oxford Dictionary:
heathen
noun --chiefly derogatory --a person who does not belong to a widely held religion (especially one who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim) as regarded by those who do: bringing Christianity to the heathens. A follower of a polytheistic religion; a pagan. n [MASS NOUN] (the heathen) heathen people collectively, especially (in biblical use) those who did not worship the God of Israel. n informal an unenlightened person; a person regarded as lacking culture or moral principles.


—ORIGIN Old English hæthen, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heiden and German Heide; generally regarded as a specifically Christian use of a Germanic adjective meaning 'inhabiting open country', from the base of HEATH.


Heath:
noun 1 chiefly Brit. an area of open uncultivated land, typically on acid sandy soil, with characteristic vegetation of heather, gorse, and coarse grasses.

2 a dwarf shrub with small leathery leaves and small pink or purple bell-shaped flowers, characteristic of heathland and moorland.


Several species in the family Geometridae, including the common heath (Ematurga atomaria).


—ORIGIN Old English hæth, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heide and German Heide.

German
Heide m. n. pagan, heathen
Heide f. n. heath


One etymological scholar believes that the origin and popular use of the word "heathen".... meaning "wild man" or "uncivilized" came from the fact the the Romans could never conquer the Scots, who lived in the "Heaths" and fought like "wildmen".


Wicca
noun [MASS NOUN] the religious cult of modern witchcraft, especially an initiatory tradition founded in England in the mid 20th century and claiming its origins in pre-Christian pagan religions.


ORIGIN representing Old English wicca 'witch'.


Skeat's Etymological Dictionary derived "witch" from medieval English wicche, formerly Anglo-Saxon wicca, masculine, or wicce feminine: a corruption of witga, short form of witega, a seer or diviner; from Anglo Saxon witan, to see, to know. Similarly, Icelandic vitki, a witch, came from vita, to know; or vizkr, clever or knowing one. Wizard came from Norman French wichard, Old French guicart, sagacious one. The surname Whitaker came from Witakarlege, a wizard or a witch. The words wise and wisdom came from the same roots.


The above information is presented to let the reader know that people think about these words in different ways. If you are sure of your audience, it is probably not necessary to explain the way you are using the word. But if you are speaking to an audience which is made up of religious and irreligious people, it would be best to define how you are using the word, to avoid misunderstandings and separation.
cecirdr

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12/15/2005 12:15 AM
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Re: The real meanings of the terms "Occult," "Pagan" and "Heathen" - you might be surprized
This reminds me of the conversation Sophia and I had today where we lamented the new definition the PTB want to give to the word Rendition.

Gack...why won't they just think of a new word instead of converting a pre-existing one to mean clandestine torture via prisoner transport across borders?

It drives me nuts to see language get perverted....newspeak...TPTB keep redefining words every twenty minutes. It's utter gibberish sometimes. We all know it, but we don't demand they cease this nonsense and say what they mean.

When a child stoops to being vague and creative with word use, we know we've caught them in a lie...and we demand they be bigger than that. Why aren't we doing it with our childish leaders? The consequences of their childish business/new speak is horrifying on the global stage.

Your post shows how language getting perverted causes people to be able to see their fellow humans in an unrealistic light and often times feel justified in persecuting them. Surely after centuries of manipulation by this method of re-definition, the populous should recognize it by now. Then again...we're not helped by journalists/news media who willingly write their reports with the newly defined word versus the words that are more accurate.

Ceci
TruthTeller

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12/15/2005 12:40 AM
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Re: The real meanings of the terms "Occult," "Pagan" and "Heathen" - you might be surprized
"To esoteric scholars and metphysicians, the word "occult" only means hidden."

Very true. Of course I would know that because I actually take the time to learn these things.Many posters here,generally of the "christian" persuasion,talk about the occult without having any real idea about what they are speaking of.
Anonymous Coward
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12/15/2005 02:26 AM
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Re: The real meanings of the terms "Occult," "Pagan" and "Heathen" - you might be surprized
This was the best article I've read this month.
Anonymous Coward
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12/15/2005 03:14 PM
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Re: The real meanings of the terms "Occult," "Pagan" and "Heathen" - you might be surprized
bump
Anonymous Coward
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12/24/2005 02:36 AM
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Re: The real meanings of the terms "Occult," "Pagan" and "Heathen" - you might be surprized
great post
Rock Reynolds nli
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12/24/2005 02:58 AM
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Re: The real meanings of the terms "Occult," "Pagan" and "Heathen" - you might be surprized
Hi AC!! Interesting stuff!

I agree with your overall theme about the general nature of words, and how different meanings are intended to increase tension.

I disagree about the word "occult".

IMHO, "hidden", by necessity, means "Satanic".

The concept of knowledge being hidden for ones own protection, is a lie from Satan.

The ultimate reason for "secrets", is so that only Satan can possess the knowledge.

If the knowledge ever comes to light, mankind can progress towards the next level of evolution.


Rap wif ya' later.

Rock
Anonymous Coward
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12/24/2005 09:14 AM
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Re: The real meanings of the terms "Occult," "Pagan" and "Heathen" - you might be surprized
Why then do some people consider themselves "pagan christians" or "pagan catholics?" Seems to be a contradiction.

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