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Hamsa

The Hamsa is a symbol of Levantine Neopaganism (Natib Qadish).

CuneiformDingir

The Sumerian Dingir is a symbol used in Mesopotamian Neopaganism.

Semitic Neopaganism and Middle Eastern Neopaganism are a group of religions based on or reviving the religions of the ancient Near East, particularly the old traditions of the Semitic peoples and the pre-Semitic Sumerian elements of Mesopotamian religion.

Semitic Neopaganism is both ethnic and non-ethnic in nature, in that there are ethnically Semite groups of people recovering their ancient polytheistic cults (particularly among the Jews,[1] the Assyrians,[2] the Lebanese,[3] and Crypto-Pagans across the predominantly Muslim populations), and non-Semite people adopting Semitic Pagan worship.d Forms of Witchcraft religions inspired by the Semitic milieu, such as Jewitchery, may also be enclosed within the Semitic Neopagan movement. These Witchcraft groups are particularly influenced by Jewish feminism, focusing on the goddess cults of the Israelites.[4]

Sumerian-Mesopotamian Neopaganism also called Sumerian Reconstructionism is spread throughout the world with concentrations in the United States, Portugal, the United Kingdoms, and Brazil. More information can be found on the subject of Sumerian Paganism at TempleofSumer.com .

Natib Qadish — Levantine NeopaganismEdit

The rebirth of the ancient polytheistic practices of the Levant or Canaan, including Phoenicia and the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the Canaanite religions, has antecedents in the Palestinian Jewish cultural movement of Canaanism of the 1930s. The notion of historical Israelite or Jewish polytheism has been popularized in the 1960s by Raphael Patai in The Hebrew Goddess, focusing on the cult of female goddesses such as the cult of Asherah in the Temple of Solomon.

During the 1970s growth of Neopaganism in the United States, a number of minor Canaanite or Israelite oriented groups emerged, mostly containing syncretistic elements from Western esotericism. Thus, Ordo Templi Astartes (OTA) merged Hermetic elements taken from rituals of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn with Phoenician, general Canaanite and Israelite themes.[5]

The most notable contemporary Levantine Neopagan group is known as Am Ha Aretz (lit. "People of the Land", a rabbinical term for uneducated and religiously unobservant Jews), "AmHA" for short, based in Israel. This group grew out of Ohavei Falcha, "Lovers of the Soil", a movement founded in the late 19th century.[6]

Elie Sheva, according to her own testimony an "elected leader of AmHA" reportedly founded an American branch of the group, known as "Primitive Hebrew Assembly".[7][8] Natib Qadish ("Sacred Path") is another American group active primarily among non-Jewish people. There are Pagan communities in Lebanon.[9]

ZuismEdit

The term Zuism is often confused with Sumerian Paganism. Zuism is an Icelandic tax shelter that advertised that it would give members back money collected in the Icelandic Church Tax. Zuism was founded Ólafur Helgi Þorgrímsson who was convicted and sentenced to prison for money laundering and has since distanced himself from the religion. Zuism was handed over to the Ágústsson brothers, but after the brothers were charged with numerous counts of fraud in Iceland, the United Kingdoms, and the United States, the organization fell into the hands of Atheists who attempted to use the religion as a venue for tax reform. This was put an end to when the Ágústsson brothers regained control.

To date there are no individuals who profess to practice Zuism as a religion. This was met with some controversy within the Icelandic government who moved to have Zuism removed as an official religion. After thousands of Icelandic citizens failed to be given their tax money back the religion has lost many of its members and is now the fastest shrinking religion in Iceland. For more information on Zuism and the criminal activities of their founders go to: http://templeofsumer.com/zuism-past-present/

The organizations: Temple of Sumer (Sumerian), Temple of Inanna and Dumuzi (Sumerian), Temple of Inanna (Sumerian) and many others have denounced the actions of the Ágústsson brothers as misrepresenting Sumerian Paganism.

Wathanism — Arabian NeopaganismEdit

Wathanism (Arabic Wathaniyya; literally "ethnic+ism") is the term used in the Arabic-speaking world in reference to pre-Islamic, non-Christian and non-Jewish Arabian indigenous religions. It is the Arabic equivalent of "Paganism". It primarily consists of tiny online groups, such as Ma'abed of Al-‘Uzzá, and Wathan.

Jewitchery and Jewish WitchcraftEdit

Beit Asherah ("House of the Goddess Asherah"), was one of the first Jewish Neopagan groups, founded in the early 1990s by Stephanie Fox, Steven Posch, and Magenta Griffiths. Magenta Griffiths is High Priestess of the Beit Asherah coven, and a former board member of the Covenant of the Goddess. Other groups are Jewitchery and Tel Shemesh.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Ofri Ilani. Paganism returns to the Holy Land. Haaretz, 2009.
  2. Note on the Modern Assyrians
  3. Hanibaael. Paganism and Occultism in Lebanon: These are our beliefs.
  4. Jenny Kien, Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism (2000), (ISBN 978-1-58112-763-8).
  5. Carroll "Poke" Runyon, Seasonal Rites of Baal and Astarte, The Church of Hermetic Sciences, 1999.
  6. Jennifer Hunter, Magickal Judaism: Connecting Pagan and Jewish Practice. Citadel Press Books, Kensington Publishing Corp., New York, New York, 2006, pp. 18–19.
  7. Interview with Elie in Being a Pagan: Druids, Wiccans, and Witches Today, by Ellen Evert Hopman and Lawrence Bond (2001), p. 105.
  8. Witchvox article on Jewish Pagan organizations
  9. Hanibaael. Paganism and Occultism in Lebanon: These are our beliefs.
  10. Note on the Modern Assyrians
  11. Witchcraft today: an encyclopedia of Wiccan and neopagan traditions By James R. Lewis - pg.162
  12. Covenant of the Goddess (Official website)

Links to Semitic Neopagan WebsitesEdit


Links to Facebook Groups and PagesEdit

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