Circe And The Sirens Part II
n the initial essay concerning the Greek goddess figure Circe, we noted how the mythological accounts showed how she, and the chorus of seductresses known as the Sirens, were able to mesmerize men to the degree they became oblivious to imminent danger. We also showed how Circe (pronounced Kirkee), is a proper name which is related to the English word “church.”
How the ancient name, which is also related to the word circle (as in a group with common affinities) crept into the English language is arcane, but it is hardly the only incidence of heathen practices and devilish identities which were gradually assimilated by the largely Gentile body of early Christians. Indeed, the first century believers, predominantly drawn from a Graeco-Roman heritage, quickly broke away from the legalism which leavened the ranks of the early believers of Jewish descent.
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us” (I John 2:19).
The Scriptures conclusively indicate a propensity to absorb adjacent heathen beliefs was prevalent in the early Gentile believers. Just as the Christians of Jewish descent wrestled with centuries of adherence to the laws of Moses, the Christians of Gentile descent faced centuries of Grecian and Roman myth that impacted their perceptions of the Gospel.
For instance, when Paul performed a notable miracle among the Greeks, the crowd was ready to declare the Apostles were gods:
“And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker” (Acts 14:11,12).
This is actually quite revealing, for the people attached elements of their heathen belief systems to Paul and Barnabus. Indeed, the early converts to the Gospel imported all kinds of beliefs and religious motifs into the Gospel from the very beginning and, when they saw the power of God exhibited by the Apostles, this process of syncretism commenced.
In the case of the Scriptural account, where the priest of Jupiter came out to offer a sacrifice of oxen to Paul and Barnabus (Acts 14:13), we are allowed a glance into the way the Gentiles perceived the move of God, which the Lycaonians interpreted from within their Olympian version of heaven. In other words, the Greeks saw what they perceived to be the attributes of Mercury in Paul, while Barnabas was thought to somehow mirror the behavior of Jupiter.
Few stop to realize just how deeply these streams of belief were mingled with the Gospel in the first century, for even though the Graeco-Roman religious themes are more subtle now, to this very day, they actually continue to adversely impact the body of Christ. For example, in the above passage from the book of Acts, where the Greeks from Lycaonia referred to Paul as Mercury, we have a linguistic clue into the collective psyche of the Greeks from that period.
Mercury was considered the speedy messenger of the gods, so the Scripture which tells us they called Paul by this name “because he was the chief speaker” (Acts 14:12), is consistent with this religious trait. As a mediator between the “gods” and man, Mercury was the Roman version of the Grecian Hermes – whose symbols are winged sandals and a winged cap.
This image of Mercury/Hermes was minted on the American dime when it contained silver (up until 1965); but to this very day, classes are taught in Christian seminaries across the country, focusing on a systemic approach to interpreting the Bible, and this subject is called hermeneutics. Used interchangeably with the term exegetics, this system has become commonplace in Bible schools around the world. It is beyond dispute the term hermeneutics is derived from Greek demi-god Hermes – the very same deity the superstitious Lycaonians sought to associate with the Apostle Paul.
To put it another way, “Christian” theologians universally utilize a process, named after the “messenger of the gods,” to teach young Bible students how they are to study the Scriptures!
Earlier, I mentioned how the sacred texts in the New Testament allow us some insight into the collective psyche of the Greeks, and most of us know that psychology is also taught at universities around the world – including a hybridized aberration now known as “Christian psychology.”
Psyche was another of the Greek deities, and she was known for her sensuous relationship with Cupid -- who is celebrated every February 14th on a day associated with a “saint” known as Valentine. The tale of Psyche and Cupid (with the latter also known as Eros) goes back at least 400 years before Christ was born. Similar to Circe, the deity related to a group or circle (read church) of adherents to a common belief system, the goddess Psyche was associated with the soul, and now the intellectual witchcraft that is psychology is widely used in “Christian” counseling.
From the earliest times, the beliefs in the Graeco-Roman pantheon sought to leaven the Gospel with strains of heathen religion, and the historical accounts abound with anecdotal examples. For instance, a century after the time of Peter and Paul, Justin Martyr referred to “demonic imitations,” such as the belief that Proserpine was the daughter of Zeus, and how she had supposedly inspired the people to “set up an image of her” (Wikipedia online, Proserpine, emphasis mine).
This was another variant of the belief in “the great goddess Diana…and of the image which fell down from Jupiter,” with “Diana” the figurehead of a mystical religious order which vehemently fought against the Apostle Paul’s missionary efforts in Ephesus, as documented in Acts 19.
This tells us that in spite of the Christian preaching against such vanities, the beliefs in the Greek and Roman deities continued to flourish well into the Christian era -- and the process of assimilation of a multitude of Graeco-Roman strains of religion into the so-called “Church” of the LORD, was just beginning.
Just about every believer has heard the Western tradition of Christmas is essentially a “Christianized” version of the Roman Saturnalia, yet this knowledge has impacted very few Christians, who refuse to allow the facts associated with the heathen origin of “Christmas” to compel them to modify their observance of the deeply ingrained tradition. That which we call the “Christmas”season is derived from the Roman worship of Saturn – so if Paul repudiated the association with Mercury, surely he would do the same for an adjacent planetary deity.
The so-called Christmas tree is obviously of occult origin as well, in that the practice of dragging the evergreen abomination into one’s home, in coordination with the commencement of the Winter Solstice, is clearly prohibited in the book of Jeremiah:
“Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest…they deck it with silver and gold…” (Jeremiah 10:2-4).
Most “Christians” protest such citations, and claim the Old Testament prohibition associated with the sacrifice of a tree from the notoriously wicked system of the groves no longer applies. However, we note the LORD tells Jeremiah the adorned tree is a “vain” custom, whereas in the New Testament, Paul also uses the word “vanity,” as he instructs the Greeks who proclaimed him to be Mercury that the LORD desires Christians to refuse involvement in such apostasy:
“…ye should turn away from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein” (Acts 14:15).
It is instructive to note that in Jeremiah, God associated the “signs of heaven” with the very samevanities that Paul found in the Greeks – the heathen people who claimed Paul was among “the gods” who had come down among them. It can be conclusively proven the cutting down of an evergreen tree in honour of “the gods” who had “come down to us in the likeness of men” (Acts 14:11) occurred in Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome – and the practice was steadfastly resisted by the Christian Apostles.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul tore his clothes and cried out in alarm at the prospect of the Greeks conducting a sacrifice of oxen, as well as the presentation of garlands (Acts 14:13, 14) -- which are decorative wreaths associated with the adorned evergreen tree. Yet now, the “believers” have no qualms about the cutting down of an evergreen tree (which “sacrifices” the tree), decorating it in the fashion that Jeremiah prohibited, and observing this ritual in direct conformity to the seasonally decreed, ancient worship of Saturn.
Unfortunately, just as the ancient Greeks and Romans mingled their demonic religion with the Gospel to their everlasting shame, the evil and adulterous generation of our time continues in the same Spiritual compromise. But God is not mocked, and those who are truly in the LORD are obedient to the call of the Holy Spirit to wholeheartedly repent of such evil.
--- James Lloyd
More information on the modern association with the planetary deities is found in the James Lloyd work THE STAR SEED CONSPIRACY.