Your Responses to Chart on Symbols
Symbols - Part 2
|Q&A - Symbols Index to comments on all topics|
From Jeff Wallace: My son and I have been increasingly noticing the symbol of the pyramid with an eye in it, popping up more often. For example, we watched the movie, “On Any Given Sunday” recently (about a pro football team) The team was called the Knights, and they had several occultic symbols involved in their team promotion. In the center of the field they actually had the pyramid with the eye in it (they displayed this in their locker room and hallways too). They also had a version of the iron cross, and a version of the cross with a circle shape at the top of it.
They probably intended the “Knights” represent the Knights of the Roundtable—King Author theme” but in reality it probably really represented, the “Knights Templar.” The thing amazing about a lot of what they seemed to do was utitlize a lot of symbols that really had no logical connection to the team theme. It was like they just wanted to expose their audience to as many occultic symbols as they could.
Oliver Stone was the director of the movie, so that might answer some of what this was about. We have been seeing the pyramid and eye other places lately as well too.
Thank you for sharing this information with us, Jeff.
I viewed your symbols page and have some
problems. You act as though many of the symbols used and accepted, by you and
many within modern Christianity, were first and foremost "Christian" symbols.
Take the fish for example, the fish is just as ancient a pagan symbol as the
cross. Most symbols adopted by Christianity were and are actually pagan.
During the reign of Constantine, the cross was accepted and used as a
Christian symbol, but as many things during the reign of Constantine,
Christian had an influx of paganism. I suggest you read a book entitled Too
Long Under the Sun. You will realize that nearly all Christian symbolism is
actually rooted in paganism.
Symbols have no inherent power. The only power that symbols have is what people conceive in them. I do not doubt your experience in drawing the symbols. I do believe, however, that it was a matter of your own connotation on the symbols. A symbol's meaning changes with the society.
Yes, Chad, I agree with your last sentence. That's why I provide multiple meanings. I have almost a dozen books on symbols and none is Christian. Some are pagan, so I am reporting how diverse cultures view common symbols.
Look at the peace sign made by holding the forefinger and middle finger up. To some it means peace, to some it means victory and to others it is obscene. It depends on which societal group one happens to encounter while giving this sign or symbol. If I create an original symbol out of my head that can only be traced back to me, is it an "evil" or "good" symbol?
Remember, I deal with common cultural symbols with a variety of accepted meanings -- not with symbols that you or any other person or small group might invent or imagine. I don't try to guess a meaning; I refer to accepted sources.
Say that I mean it to have a good meaning. Now
someone comes along after I am dead and uses the symbol in
an evil context, does that make the symbol now evil?
I don't know, Chad. Your virtual symbol isn't mentioned in any of the books I use for my research.
Symbols are just symbols. We place our own meaning on them. A drawing cannot be evil or good. It is only what man makes of the symbol. Take the serpent for instance. Now in Eden the serpent is the symbol for evil. Later in the story, the serpent becomes a symbol of healing. As a matter of fact, the Church during the medieval times used the pentagram and pentangle for a symbol, so does that make it good or evil?
Medieval churches embraced a lot of pagan symbols and practices. An unholy object or symbol doesn't become holy when you bring it into a church. Instead, the unholy object is likely to make a holy place unholy.
Serpents consistently represent evil in the Bible. I assume your "good" serpent refers to the passage in Numbers 21:5-9:
And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
That serpent became a type for Jesus, the sacrificial lamb who bore our sins on the cross, taking our sins and punishment upon Himself. In other words, the serpent wasn't made good, but it was used to represent an evil that was conquered by the power of God. So when people looked, in faith, at the dead serpent hanging on the pole, they were healed. And so we are spiritually healed and regenerated when we put our faith in the crucified Lamb of God.
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Jn 3:14-16
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." Romans 8:3-5
From Colleen: I was brought to your site while my husband and I conducted a search on a clothing patch that one of our kids received for Christmas. It was the iron cross-- in this case, the logo for a skateboarding brand (minus the center swostika). He couldn't wait for me to iron it on his coat but we had a "feeling" about it and told him we'd have to research it.
I have pretty much read and/or printed 35 pages off your site and am considering bringing these pages to my pastor to invoke the idea of doing a series on symbols for the church's youth. How many kids and/or parents know this stuff? We didn't. Sure, we knew the obvious...but what about the many other symbols we just took for granted or became complacent regarding? Who has time to worry about them, right? Well, I for one, am now educated and will have this knowledge behind me next time I find myself needing it.
The problem is all of the subtle-ty that goes along with the occult and how it has desensitized our society; case in point, is all of the "God-believers" who don't believe that Satan exits! Is that not a complete oxy-moron? It is Satan's plan exactly as he is the master of deception.
From V. Woodworth: My husband and I were watching, last night, as we do with all movies before our children see them, "Frosty the Snowman". Now apart from the fact that it has a magician in it, which in itself is bad, we noticed a Christmas tree that was being decorated had hanging on it, at least two, inverted pentagrams on it, gold in color with lines drawn on it defining the center star and defining the circle around the star.
I just wanted to mention this for you to either look at yourselves and/or let other parents know it is there...
A lot of decorative stars may be simply that - stars - with no special symbolic meaning. But when they are placed inside a distinct circle, I, too, become concerned. Thank you, for the warning.
From Randy Harris, Oklahoma: Just a note to tell you that you are right on target, but i'm sure that you don't need me to convince you. Some of our citizens are pushing the idea of a mask festival here in Tulsa. I did a search of the web and quickly found the origins were in what i would call pagan cultures. I should have gone to your site first and saved myself a lot of reading and searching. It still amazes me that a place like Tulsa which is known as the belt buckle of the bible belt would not recognize this as a pagan celebration. The evidence shows me that we are creating a modern tower of babel.
And this is just the beginning, Randy. Pagan celebration are vital to the global vision of a social and spiritual solidarity. See The Habitat II Agenda and America's Spiritual Slide
From Pearl: Your lack of knowledge is almost humorous. You leave out so much when trying to define symbols. for instance your symbol for that the 'SS' symbol has spawned in to the 'SH' symbol and is still used to day, not by witches though but by skinheads. It seems to me that you got all your information from an encyclopedia.
Encyclopedias, about dozen books on symbols.... I have also interviewed a number of people who wear those symbols. I trust objective information about a symbol's usage in cultures around the world far more than I trust my own subjective opinions. Wouldn't you?
Why don't you work on a ministry looking at all the occult rituals that christians have blindly excepted into their holidays? Like christmas & easter. Almost everything done, tradition wise has spawned from pagan traditions. Everything down to mistletoe and the glass orbs you hang from your tree, not to mention the tree itself. Easter is a whole slew of mixed traditions you should look into. All the bunnies and eggs have direst connection to ancient pagan traditions.
I have. For example, read Earth Day Joins Easter - A Sign of Our Times?
You need to experience things before you think you can write about them otherwise your just an occult voyeur, a pervert looking in on what fascinates you. Getting your jollies or money off of pathetic half information all the wile fearing it. I know you fear it even though the words you would use might be you don't because you have the power of god behind you. That being the case you still fear it because you don't understand it. You can think that you do but you don't. you can say its all lies the supposed 'devil' trying to trick people, but you know as well as I that that is still a cop-out for lack of a better reason.
No, I don't fear this myself, for I know the God who reigns -- and whose Spirit is in me. He is far greater than the forces of darkness. But I do fear for children who can so easily be seduced by these forces. My hope is that the information and warnings we post might equip them to recognize and resist these deceptions.
I know you might read this and I know that you probably wont bother to respond. This letter will be deleted and dissolved into nothing as you try and push it aside in your mind. Or mabey you just might write back with a slew of 'I'll pray for yous' and 'god loves yous'. You couldd that but I know that for the most part 'I'll pray for you' is just a nice way of saying I don't like you, which if fine for me because I don't desire nor do I want you affections.
My only propose for writing is to tell you of your hypocritical nature and your moronic ramblings. My advice to you is get a clue, actually read some books not just a few skim worthy things. If your going to be a fighter against the occult you better know what your fighting against otherwise you lack of knowledge will leave you unarmed and you will be crushed.
Hi there, interesting website. I hope you aren't so swamped with mails from it
that you don't get the chance to read this one - I'll understand if you're too
busy to reply!
As you pointed out, your interpretations are entirely yours - I won't argue any of them, but I should tell you that whoever told you of the link between a runic name "sigel [see letter below]" and the habit of Nazis shouting "Sieg Heil" (as opposed to Sig Heil, as on your website) is completely off. "Sieg Heil" actually translates from German to either "Hail Victory." or "Hail the victor" - German was never my strong point. Any resemblance to a runic name is likely to be a linguistic coincidence, despite Hitler's reputation for a fascination with the occult. Don't mean to disappoint or criticize, just thought I'd point that out.
I appreciate your correction, Mike. There's a lot I don't know, so I tend to post comments that might help show different interpretations of symbols. I count on people like you to bring corrections or a more balanced view on topics I can't answer.
from 14 year old Canadian (below):
I totally agree with you on most of your
symbol explanations but some need to be added to.
The circle (quartered) ~ To most people it is just a quartered circle but behind it is a totally different, more disturbing meaning. The quartered circle is the main symbol of astrology representing the four hemispheres. But that's not all it was used as an identification to the zodiac killer who used it as a map for his killing (all of his murders lined up with the four points and the centre - a weird individual)
Alchemy and the Philosophers stone. Thought to be the key to spiritual enlightenment many ancient alchemists tried to find it for this reason. Even a darker story behind it is its power of purification showed through its ability to transform any un-pure metal into gold (as gold is its own element) ~linked to Greek myths.
The all seeing eye ~ You were right watch out, possibly (to me) the most disturbing of all pagan symbols representing a higher force then humans and it's transfer of power to them.
One symbol I didn't see mentioned was an Irish cross~ the circle was added as a tribute to the sun God (not Horus).
If your wondering why I am so interested in these I have always had an interest in archaeology in which these symbols often come up ......thanx)
Thank you for your additions. You help show that even traditional universal symbols can mean different things to different people. There is a lot more to some of the symbols on our list than what I have summarized in a few sentences.
From "14 yr old" Canadian: In response to your definition of the yin yang (not to oppose you in any way) think you definition is a bit off track. The yin yang represents that to every force there is a negative (not necessarily stronger or weaker) which I find to be true (ex. night day, good evil, tall short, skinny fat ect ect.
Yes, I can see that implication. It seems to agree with the meaning I posted on the symbols page.
See A Short Guide to Occult Symbols
First i just wanna say i found the symbols page cause i was
looking for ideas for another tattoo... and i wanted something that would have alot of
meaning... that's why i kept looking on the page instead of leaving as soon as it
started to get offending...
I'm a christian... all the way... but i'm not like you... i don't group an entire genre of people/music together and call them all evil... i love what you concider "heavy metal"... and true some of them mock Christ but there are plenty out there that don't... SevenDust.... SoulFly... POD....
i know you don't want to be "of this world".. but you gotta realize for now you live here... at least open your eyes to take in every point of view because if you believe something in your heart to be true, then learning about other ideas with an open mind will do nothing but make you cultured and better able to back up your beliefs while being less likely to be dissmissed as your own little cult follower as most people would believe after visiting your site...
I do listen to other points of view, Trix. I even post them on our Christian website -- giving people like you an opportunity to express your beliefs. That doesn't mean that I can or should agree with you.
In fact, the more I see the struggles faced by those who reject my Lord, the more grateful I am to belong to the King of the whole universe. He helps me through every battle -- always giving me the needed peace and strength to follow Him. That's my way to be "in the world" but not "of the world. And it's pretty exciting!
if you want to get people to listen to you,...stop preaching and condeming and start offering a different perspective... THAT'S what the new generation of kids is about... being different... and not being judged or mocked for what they wear, or how they look...
I'm a Christian Goth and People occuse me of worshiping satan ... uneducated ignorance is what is destroying the world....
Whether people listen to me or not, Trix, I must write what I believe and speak the truth. I want people to follow my Lord, not me.
From Brandon: First of all i'd like to say that i am a christian and not just someone who means to insult you, anyway i wanted to correct you on the meaning of one of your symbols in your page
you say that the upside right pentagram is a evil but this is not true the upside right pentagram actualy stands for the 5 wounds of christ and for god rulling of the world
id also like to say that any symbol any direction only means what you feel it means and its not the item but the faith you put in it.
Brandon, I have tried to gather the universal and cultural meanings of symbols from different parts of the world, not just what one individual might feel about a particular shape or symbol. But i agree that anyone can attribute any meaning he or she chooses to any of the old symbols. That's what people, tribes and religious systems have done since early history. It explains why there are diverse meanings to the pentagram, cross and other symbols.
But none of my books on symbols suggested that the pentagram represented the five wounds of Christ or God ruling the world. Please explain how you came to that conclusion.
From Zanet Giggles-Kelly: This site is rather offensive and I am a young but well educated Christian woman who happens to be a history major. Most symbols, or rather the ones you attacked the most and deemed the most offensive, were stereotyped.
A good Christian would attack another's belief: The comment
on myths surrounding pagan and Native American symbols is offensive to myself, a native
American. You forget that Christianity "borrowed" pagan symbols and holidays as well as
ideas in order to support itself in the early days. The church condoned the borrowing of
pagan holidays and customs in order draw pagans to Christianity. Christmas, the
celebration of Christ's birth falls on the holiday of Yule which is thousands of years
older than the birth of Christ. The cross was a symbol for pagans long before Christ was
crucified on one.
On the topic of Harry Potter and witchcraft and other movies: Shows that contain "objectionable" material even if it's geared toward the young or the family as a whole it depends on how well parents back up Christian teachings at home. I have 6 nieces and nephews whose parents are devout Christians, some have ordained ministers as parents and watch just about anything out there. Just because kids see it doesn't mean they'll follow it.
Christianity may have been persecuted in the past and in the present but it does not help it's cause to lower the value of the beliefs of other people. How would like it if a site about symbolism popped up on the web and demeaned every symbol that was remotely considered Christian?
Most symbols represent common designs that are interpreted in diverse ways around the world. I thought I made that clear in my introduction. The shape of the cross -- especially when the four lines extend from the center -- is found in most cultures around the world. That's why I tried to list and summarize the meanings found in about a dozen books on symbols that represent many different perspectives. Three of these books are written by neo-pagans who have included Native American perspectives. In other words, I have tried to give a fair representation of cultural meanings from different parts of the world.
As for Harry Potter, please see Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion.
From Evan Hoffman: I was reading a section of your website concerning symbols and I noticed that you attached the more offensive ones to hard rock bands. I am a practicing christian. I am baptised, saved, asked Jesus to come into my heart, whatever you want to call it, but I am also a huge modern rock fan.
All I ask is that you don't generalize hard rock with Satan. I am not a Satanist, and neither are most of my peers. In fact, most of the more popular rock artists don't promote Satan... directly anyway. If you assume that most bands are like Marilyn Manson (who I don't care for at all), then you are horribly mistaken. Usually the only people who enjoy people such as Manson and Slipknot have other issues that contribute to their listening choices (such as troubled family and just trying to look tough).
I am deeply offended by what you have said about my music. I
know that many bands decide to do drugs and use offensive language, and that reflects on
young people, but that is also the person's choice whether they want to listen to it. I
don't do drugs or anything. I just enjoy hard rock music.
I am sorry if this offends you in any way, but I guarrantee it won't as much as your ignorance has offended me.
After reading various paragraphs in your
list, it is obvious that you lack understanding into many of the subjects involved. I am
especially amused by the explaination of the 'YIN / YANG' symbol. The only way to
understand the meaning of this symbol is to MEDITATE under the guidance of a qualified
instructor. As one acclimates themselves to the subtle energies of the Universe (in its
looser meaning) then one will attain enlightenment (understanding).
The YIN / YANG symbol respresents relationships between subtle energies. It has nothing to with God directly. However, one may link it to God by indicating that these energies eminate from that being. Then again, an extension of energy from a being is still the energy of that being. This is why it is said "all are one and one is all". It is seen that all of us as human beings and even the physical universe are connected. It is seen that the physical universe is an extension of a God, Being or other named or unnamed force whose presence permeates all of it.
I spent many years in the Christian Church. I finally got fed up with the good versus bad mentality. The church is too busy stomping on all other faiths, phylosophies, religions, etc. that it does not seem to be truly promoting what Joshua Ben Yaweh came for. It would rather kill its own warriors than support them, and seeks to divide rather than conquer.
If one wants to promote the Path of The Christ, then follow it. If one wants to understand another Path, then follow that. One can not win another unless they become like them. Therefore, if one wishes to win another with a particular philosophical or religious perspective, they must not only study academically but live that life and ask questions of context, meaning and intent. They must seek out those with understanding and wisdom into that particular Paths methods.
Now that I am on a different Path, I am beginning to understanding what is really going on. The benefit to me is Mental Clarity, Understanding and Peace. Now I can enjoy life. I have been a practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan for over five years. This is why I responded to the information in your site.
I here and see too much information coming from so called Christians that is completely lacking in understanding. It is completely arrogant and represents an ignorance that is intolerable. Keep in mind, true Taoist ( Daoist) thinking is in the very least heavily influenced by ' Christian ' thought as it migrated east. And what is Dao? It is the Obsevation of Life an Nature.
You cite your Taoist influences other New Age and Eastern views of spirituality, jk. Does your definition of arrogance only include those who don't agree with your world view?
Remember, your world view clashes with mine on every point. Not only do I see a different God than you do, my view of symbols differs as well. Yet, most of the actual meanings given on the symbols page have been pulled from various books written by authorities from the diverse religions. I didn't make them up.
Some of the books I used are neopagan, so they show a more contemporary twist on ancient pagan symbols. Nevertheless, they represent what the symbols mean to people today -- which is what I wanted to show. But since my frame of reference is Christian, I chose to display them from a Christian perspective. Since this is a Christian website, I trust I still have the constitutional right to share my beliefs and values.
Here is what my Lord, the Creator and King of the universe, tells us:
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Col 2:6-9
"Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." 1 Cor 1:20-25
From Sam (13): Hi I read your warning thing after the page about symblos. I wanted to say that a true witch would never hex someone, it's againts the rules to do so and anyway any magick done returnes three fold, if someone did hex or curse you then the person has gotten a little of the hex or curse returned to him.
That might be a rule among a more idealistic group of neopagans, Sam. The common rule of contemporary witchcraft seems to be: Do whatever you will but harm none. But traditional witchcraft is far more willing to follow the promptings of demonic forces. See African Witchcraft and Zimbabwe.
Another thing is, you said you were challenged by people when you brought the topic public, well I see some good enough reasons for it. One thing is I had had enough with the Wiccans are evil and and all that ___ about Wiccans and Pagans and maybe If you got your information right then people wouldn't be so mad.
The Pentagran with one point up in a circle is in no way evil, neither is the yin-yang or peace sign. Dream catchers work, but they only work if you turly belive they work. If your skeptical then they won't work.
You should also understand that you are showing alot of intolerence. Teaching childeren that symbols are evil or bad with out giving the right information will just lead to another generation af bigets, like you. It's not your place to force religion on people or tell them they are wrong and theres one very good reason for that, You might be wrong as well, we will never know who is right and wrong.
You should learn to judge people on who they are rather then what they belive weather they are chritian, jewish or Wiccan, if they worship satian or don't belive in any thing. It might also be a good Idea to learn about the other religions in this world, you don't have to think they are right but it might help you tolerate them more.
Before I became a Christian, Sam, I made an extensive chart of the the world's main religions. I studied and filled in many points of comparison and was fascinated with man's spiritual choices. But then God opened my eyes to see Him and understand His Word, and my whole life changed. Nothing is more wonderful than having Jesus as my Savior, Shepherd, Friend and Life.
Please note that in my writings I judge beliefs and values, not people. I have had many friendly encounters with people from many different religions. Andy and I have stayed in a Muslim refugee camp in Jordan, a Buddhist temple in Cambodia (that was before I became a Christian), and have repeatedly eaten, talked or hiked with witches and pagan priests. Our goal is to present the alternatives and share God's truth in love with anyone He puts in our path.
From M. in South Africa: I am Afrikaans and it is difficult to say all the things in English. I was searching for Occult Symbols and got to your site. The pentagram with the two points pointing up is a pentagram, the two points (horns) pointing down with one point in the air is a pentical which is used by Pagans/Wiccans or White magic practisers.
The points (horns) pointing up represents the goat (Lucifer)
and is used by satanists, the black magick ppl.
The DREAMCATCHER has a little hole in the middle which is the "channel" between natural and supernatural, if a person has such a thing in his/her room they will not dream anymore if they still do it will be (fortunetelling kind of dreams).
If you wear a ANKH you are 50% won for satanism.
I just think i wanted to tell you these things. May God bless you. Shalom.
Thank you for this information, Marius.
From dieKamerad: "I hope you didn't use a real life image for that EVIL depiction of a sheep being stabbed through the chest with a cross. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!? You people have a picture of a sheep with a cross lodged through it's chest when you highlight a link on the page. Are you people deranged? Twisted? Sick? Demented? You make me so disgusted.
Actually the cross is behind the sheep. This page explains why the lamb and the cross are important to us: The Lamb of God
From Vincent Yoong: Hi, I read the "Second note from Eri" and I would like to say something. Eri claims that "all are God's children no matter what religion". I beg to differ. If the God he is referring to is Jehovah, then, sorry, those who who do not worship him are not his children at all. Did God tolerate the Baal disciples and say "Oh, never mind. Let them worship Baal, they're still my children"? N-O! He sent Elijah to prove that Baal is false. Remove the word "Baal" in the story of Elijah and replace it with Ganesha or any other Hindu or Taoist god's name and the outcome would have been the same (Let's say, if Jezebel didn't introduce Baal but introduced some Hindu or Taoist god, God will still send Elijah to tell the Israelites not to pray to them ).
Does anyone know that other so-called gods that have even come into contact with the Israelites in the Old Testament have vanished from the earth or have been reduced to insignificance in this century? Why is it that Dagon, Asteroth and Baal are insignificant today? God made sure that these false gods "expire." Oh yes, not forgetting Zeus, eventually with God's grace, Zeus (In Roman times called Jupiter) was eventually reduced to insignificance although traces of Zeus are still seen in this world today.
Sadly, things change as God is no longer in direct contact with Israel in the same way as he was during the Old Testament. Once He stopped intervening, false religions were allowed to flourish.
There will be people who don't agree with me, but hopefully you will agree with what I have written One request, can the head of this website reply on my behalf if disagrees with me, please? Sorry for my English. And sorry if this may seem off-topic with the "Symbols" topic.
Thank you, Vincent. I appreciate your faith in God and love for the Old Testament. As long as His people followed God, He did make them victorious over their enemies. But, like people today, they became fascinated with the spiritual forces of their pagan neighbors and often blended their occult practices with God's teachings. That led to their destruction and exile. When they repented -- still in Old Testament days -- God brought them back to their land. Today, Israel seems to have lost sight of His truths, promises and salvation. I believe that's why they struggle so to survive.
(see second letter below) From Falchion Dances in High Clouds: I was browsing your website and came across the page of symbols. I must say, I was taken aback to see what you consider to be satanic or the occult. I would like to ask that you as a responsible site owner refrain from classifying other religions or religious symbols.
You made the disclaimer that your not trying to judge but
to help identify and warn Christians but you've made several references to Native
Americans within your page.
I can personally speak for the "Dream catcher" because it is apart of my heritage. The books you quoted were written by a non-native American so I ask how can you recommend someone to read it and expect them to get the true meaning of the dream catcher? I can say that I have the best of both worlds because I am also a Christian. One thing my grandparents taught me was that you can never judge another until you have walked for two weeks in their moccasins.
Falchion, I first want to ask you to share with us the "the true meaning of the dream catcher." I would be happy to post your correction.
The meaning that I have tried to explain is taught in schools across the country, at multicultural fairs for schools children and in countless children's books available in classrooms and school libraries. I am far more concerned about the new myths and legends now designed for global and multicultural education programs than I am about your actual traditions which never reach the classroom. In other words, I am not trying to distort your beliefs and symbols. I am mainly trying to warn Christian parents about the contemporary myths that children encounter in the schools and among their peers.
Native American myths are not the only ones being rewritten and redefined by contemporary "change agents" for the classroom and our culture. I could hardly believe what the media did to the old earth-centered Norwegian myths during the winter Olympics in Norway (my original home) some years ago. Leaders throughout the Western world are twisting regional myths and traditional beliefs into models for their envisioned global spirituality which supposedly will bring unity into the diversity of religions around the world. [See Establishing a Global Spirituality]
The first step in understanding Native Spirituality is knowing that what Natives call "The Great Spirit" is what you as a non-native call "God". The Great Spirit is the creator of all.
Indian people feel that it is very poor manners to refer to a Vision as a myth or superstition. Indians do not scoff at the story of the Israelites fleeing Egypt when the Red Sea was parted by the Great Spirit in order for the Jewish people to escape the pharaoh's pursuing army. We have been told over and over by Christian missionaries that a man, born of a virgin, died, rose again three days after his death, pushed a big stone back from his tomb, and then ascended into the spirit world. An Indian would consider it poor manners to make fun of this spiritual story, especially if it is a part of a people's spiritual history.
Similarly, the Jewish people would be offended if the story of Moses' vision questing on the mountain were called a myth, especially the part where the Great Spirit appeared to Moses and gave him special instructions, or commandments, on living and conduct. Yet you would say a dream catcher is a myth. I would never classify your beliefs as a myth and I would ask that you did not classify mine.
Falchion, since I don't know your story yet, I have only referred to the contemporary description children now encounter from coast to coast. You say it's not true, and I believe you. But children are told that it is a myth. What should I call it?
I know that such distortions bring much confusion. I see the same distortions of Christianity. In a time of change and facilitated dialogue [see Mind Control], nothing is free from manipulation. Children are taught to expect and to participate in "continual change" in a world without any absolutes. To this new global society, every person's truth is open to cultural adaptation and compromise.
I don't know any answer to this dilemma other than what God has shown me: I must refuse to compromise my faith in God and His Word, yet I won't be surprised when others distort both the God I love and the Bible. Does that make sense?
Second letter from
Falchion Dances in High Clouds:
Yes you may share my email with your readers. It is
difficult to explain meaning behind the dream catcher without going deep into Native
American History. As you know, prior to the introduction of Christianity as we know it
today, the Native American people worshiped the Great Spirit to whom we all know is God.
We did not have a Cross to adorn our necks or hang over the door of our Teepee's for
protection. We did not have a picture of Jesus Christ hanging on the wall overlooking
the dirt floor where our deerskin blankets laid. We had the Sacred Hoop, which now has
become popular and commercialized. You know it as a "Dream Catcher".
Every individual created it's own sacred hoop which he or she felt granted protection to them. A circular hoop represents the great circular way of the Great Spirit's creation. All things are unending like the circle. We will all leave this planet some day, but the circle is the indicator, the ultimate symbol that our spirit life is unending and we all hope to one day join the Great Spirit. Although many may adorn their hoop with special things that mean something to only them, the circle is what is spiritual.
Non-Natives see Indian artifacts as trinkets and place their own definitions as to what they mean. Yes you can make a dream catcher in a class, or buy a kit at the nearby Ben Franklin Craft Store, but it has no meaning to you. When you see a Cross it may have a different meaning to you than it would the next person. I see a Cross and I'm reminded that Jesus died on it for me. I see a sacred hoop and I'm reminded of the Great Spirits' power and all that he's created and at the end of my circular journey I want to be with him. God Bless and Keep you safe.
Thank you for sending your explanation, Falchion. I didn't realize you would equate the dream catcher with the sacred hoop. To many who have written about Native American Spirituality, the sacred hoop is also equated to the Medicine Wheel and its various symbolic meanings. I introduced it in the Chapter 1 of Brave New Schools, showing its use in an elementary schools setting. More such examples were given in Chapter 4. Again, I used various social studies textbooks to explain what children were being taught.
My goal was to help Christian families understand the influence of multicultural education, so my primary sources were the texts used to teach the lessons. But I also read Black Elk Speaks, the personal testimony of an Oglala Sioux shaman. I assumed that would give me insight into the genuine beliefs, in contrast to The Medicine Wheel by Sun Bear which leans more toward the New Age and today's popularized spiritual blends.
The problem of misinterpreting another person's religion seems to be increasingly common in our times. Today's freedom to choose one's own "truths" and pressure conform our beliefs to politically correct thinking is pressing many religions into a common mold. While using different names for their deities, people often adapt the diverse religions to the new model for a global spirituality.
I obviously failed to communicate Native Spirituality from your perspective. Might you have the same difficulty in understanding the Lord Jesus Christ whom I love and trust? You compared Him with your Sacred Hoop, which doesn't make sense to me. Could you tell me more about who Jesus Christ is to you?
From Jeff: I have mentioned this before to you, but I see somewhat, what you refer to in Fashionable Sights (ugly culture) when I look at commercials. I am personally amazed at how commercials have been changing, toward the dark side, in the last few years. Companies seem bent on using something ugly, or crude, or violent, or offensive to sell their products. You see stars like Dennis Rodman as pitch men, you see ads where there is actually a crime underway that is part of the sketch, you see people being hurt violently to make a point, it just goes on and on. Do you see this?
I do, Jeff. People learn to love the symbols of an angry, rebellious society that craves shocking thrills -- the more gross, profane and ugly, the more exciting. It reminds me of Proverbs 8:36,
"...he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death."