The Wandering Mind

The Origins of Modern Witchcraft

Posted in Books and Book-Making,Etymology,Religious History by wandren on 2 September 2007

A few weeks ago I read somewhere that the Brahmins, the highest class of people in India’s caste system, are descendants of Abraham, the Old Testament’s first patriarch… This seemed logical to me, as Abraham’s name was Abrahm (A-Brahm) prior to God changing his name upon his promise that Sarah (Sarai) would bear him a child within a year.

[start SideBar] Not wanting to stray too far from the topic, but feeling this requires a little note, my understanding of the ancient language is that multi-syllabic words, such as A-Brahm and A-Bra-Ham, are compounds of single-syllable base words. So the first syllable in the name Abrahm (purely for example’s sake) might be a title, like first, and the second syllable might be a descriptive word, like king. People in the time of the Ancients would have known and understood this.

To us, in my incorrect example of what the name Abrahm means, it would be the same as calling him First King… So this little sidebar relates to the introductory paragraph by explaining how it is that the descendants and followers of Abrahm would be called Brahmins, rather than Abrahmites, and why this claim I read about the Brahmins makes sense. [end SideBar]

When I entered the search terms “Abrahm, Abraham and Brahmins” into Google, a page description in a book about the origins of Wicca claimed that “…they (the Brahmins and Levites) are both the same people, the Levites proudly descended from a Brahmin—Abrahm, Abraham” caught my eye. Origins of Modern Witchcraft: The Evolution of a World Religion

This piqued my interest since I believe 1) that all world religions have some seed of truth in them, and 2) that we have lost the full truth over time and distance, and 3) because one of the source documents, as I understand it, for modern Wicca claims to be a grimoire of the Keys of Solomon, as used in Solomon’s Temple. While this grimoire may be a work of modern fiction, I think it still merits some investigation.

From the sample pages I was able to read from this book, the author seems to compare the similarities between the Aryan mountain god, a male volcano deity, and the Judaic God, Yahweh, who is found in the mountains, and whose name is Sanskrit for “Everflowing,” as a volcano flow; the Levites and Brahmins, each in their respective cultural systems, were promised the wealth of the land and its people, and were told not to intermarry with other tribes or conquered peoples; they were the priests of their god and perpetuators of a cast system…

This, states the author, “was only natural since they are both the same people,” both descendants of Abraham.

[start SideBar] The author also makes a very nice sounding claim that the Anglo-Saxon origin of the words Witchcraft and Wicca means Wisdom, and that their German origin means Science, making a practitioner of Wicca a whole being unified of mind, body and spirit… Sounds very nice, but my 1954 Consolidated Webster Comprehensive Encyclopedic Dictionary says that the word Witch comes from the Anglo-Saxon Wicce, a witch, and Wicca, a wizard, and that ancient forms of the word Science include scientia and scio. [end SideBar]


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  1. […] 2007 at 12:23 am (Etymology, Religious History, Old Testament) Remember my entry entitled “The Origins of Modern Witchcraft“with a “Sidebar” about ancient language, in which I described how words and names […]

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