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Ch.9 The Mighty Ones (WMB 9.j)

Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ https://amzn.to/3Ay4HJr.

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However it is easy to see the benefits of summoning protective deities at the cardinal points. This was done in ancient Egypt with goddesses called at the cardinal points, these being Serket in the East, Isis in the South, Neith in the West and Nephthys in the North.[1] The ancient Egyptians not only called deities at the cardinal points, they also called up spirits, as observed by Geraldine Pinch in Magic in Ancient Egypt:


“A spell which simply invokes the four spirits who watched over Osiris to watch over the magician’s client, seems similar to the standard Christian prayer invoking the four evangelists or four archangels to surround and protect a sleeper.”


At the end of a Wiccan magick circle the guardians of the cardinal points are dismissed, with words to the effect of:


“Mighty Ones of the (East, South, West, North), I thank you for attending, and ere you depart for your lovely realms, I say Hail and Farewell."


There is no comparable dismissal in the grimoires, where the magician would perform a license to depart, ensuring all and any spiritual creatures in the vicinity left, making it safe to leave the magick circle. However, a phrase in the Grimoire of Honorius may also have influenced this part of the ceremony. When dismissing spirits, the phrase “Now go ye hence to your abodes and let peace be between us” is given as part of the instruction. Though not the same as the words above, it certainly does remind of the formulae used by some traditions today.


Thus when we look at the origins of the Mighty Ones in the Wiccan tradition, we can see that groups of gods or an individual type of spiritual creature are the norm, not the elemental beings often called today. The use of the term watchtower can be dated to the magick of John Dee in the late sixteenth century, although it was subsequently made popular by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Thus although we cannot conclusively determine the origins of the Mighty Ones, we can date the terminology to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and possibly Dee.


The function of these Mighty Ones is also something to consider, whether it is the original guarding and witnessing, or if the beings are expected to contribute to the magick circle, and if so, what incentive are they given?



[1] Magic in Ancient Egypt, Geraldine Pinch, 1994






Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ https://amzn.to/3Ay4HJr. Shared here with the intention to inspire and inform the now and future generations interested in Wicca and other Pagan traditions inspired by it.

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My name is Sorita d'Este

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Many years ago I dedicated myself to the pursuit of both esoteric knowledge, and an understanding of polytheism, the Gods and Nature.  I have been a full-time writer, author and publisher, specialising subjects linked to the occult, witchcraft, Paganism, mythology, ancient religions and magic - and all kinds of things in between since 2003. 

 

I live on a hill in Glastonbury, overlooking the marshes of Somerset,  a place of myth and legend, and a crossroad for many different religions. Here I am frequently found digging and growing, serving my fluffy rescue cat and navigating the unknown with my teenage son.  

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