Interesting article about Universalism in the early church.
Above is a “stele” which was found on the walls of the Herodian Temple. Basically it says, that Gentiles entering the temple would be killed. Specifically it reads:
IS TO GO BEYOND THE BALUSTRADE
AND THE PLAZA OF THE TEMPLE ZONE
WHOEVER IS CAUGHT DOING SO
WILL HAVE HIMSELF TO BLAME
FOR HIS DEATH
WHICH WILL FOLLOW
This was the worldview and Zeitgeist during the time that Jesus lived.
Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for knew what was in each person. (John 2:23-25)
In this passage, Jesus went with his disciples to the Passover Festival where he performed many signs for those in Jerusalem, and as a result many believed in his name. Yet, he did not entrust himself to them because he knew what was in their hearts. Wherever Jesus went, he caused disturbance in the status quo. Previously, he cleansed the temple because he was concerned for right worshipping of God, and discussed destroying the temple which was where the Jews made sacrifices to the Lord.
Here are some things that we can glean from this passage:
- Many people believed in Jesus for the wrong reasons. They only believed because of the signs that he performed. Their faith was only “skin deep”, and they were only interested in getting their needs met;
- Jesus knew that they were broken, and that their worship was askew since the Gentiles were not allowed to worship in the temple.
- The court of the Gentiles in the temple was turned into a market place
- The Jews questioned Jesus authority and demanded a sign that he was from God
Jesus knows what is in our hearts. Most people have good intentions, but fall short of the truth. Organized religion takes people away from the heart of Jesus and true authentic worship (worship in Spirit and Truth – not in buildings). Man’s authority always clashes with God’s authority and his Kingdom. Jesus was ushering into the world an upside down kingdom that shakes the foundations of the status quo in Jerusalem and to the ends of the world. He does the same in our lives.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,  but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,  but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (ESV)
Again, the above from the Apostle Paul, God’s Kingdom turns the world on its head. In Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God which centers on the cross. This is what Jesus meant about the “zeal for his house will consume him”, and that he will destroy the temple and in three days rebuild it. Both illustrations are spoken in John 2. Yet, the cross symbolizes both the power of God and the wisdom of God embodied in Jesus.
Below are notes from the Builders of the Adytum meeting this past weekend:
Top of the Cube of Space
Beth, ב, represents the top of the Cube of Space.
Receives energy from א, Aleph – The Fool which is the up/down axis and is assigned the mother letter element of air.
East – ז, Zayin – The Lovers
North – ט, Teth – Strength
West – ס, Samech – Temperance
South – צ, Tzaddi – The Star
Numeric value: 2
Double Meanings: Life/Death
Bayith (תִי ָּ֫ב): House
Tarot Key – The Magician
12th Intelligence of Sefir Yetzirah:
“The Twelfth Path is the Intelligence of Transparency, because it is that species of Magnificence., called CHAZCHAZIT, which is named the place whence issues the vision of those seeing in apparitions. (That is, the prophecies by seers in a vision.)”
In the Key of the Magician the magician figure is shown with is right arm up, drawing own energy to the table. His posture is in the shape of an aleph which denotes the source of his energy. He acts as a conduit for the power of the Primal Will, directing it to its destination by focused attention.
Attention, as the magician is shown practicing, is the quality that’s directly related to the quality and clarity of subconscious memory and subsequent image-making.
1) How would you describe the interactions that the Magician has with The Lovers, Strength, Temperance, and The Star?
2) Why would the Magician, as the Self-Conscious, be at the top of the cube?
3) What other ‘Up’ analogies or archetypes does the Magician fit?
4) What relationships do you see with Beth, Life and Death, and the relationships of the Magician to the sides and edges of the cube?
I went to the B.O.T.A Meeting this past weekend and we discussed the Magician Card (Tarot Card No. 1) in its place in the Cube of Space. The top of the cube represents “the above” with five cards. The magician card is at the center of the Cube of Space surrounded by the Lovers Card to the East, Temperance to the West, the Star in the South, and Strength in the North. Each card has a significance in its place on the Cube. The key to the “above” is the Magician Card. The Magician symbolizes the human will and the Magician is a channel from the spiritual, eternal, and supernatural planes to the material, mortal, and temporal planes below. The infinity symbol above the magician’s head represents the Holy Spirit. The wand represents fire, the cup water, the sword air, and the coin or pentacle the earth. The magician has the ability to “will” each of the elements at his disposal. The Hebrew Letter which represents the magician card is “beth” which is a double letter, and means “house”. We talked about house being a place for order from chaos (another polarity).
We also discussed the tension in the cube between the magician card “above plane” and the “priestess card” which is “in the below plane”. Similar on the above plane the magician balances the opposites of temperance and passion, strength and the star.
We are discussing the “Magician Card” in our B.O.T.A. Meeting this Saturday and how it fits to Paul Foster Case’s Cube of Space.
The center is the fifth step of the fifth degree. As The Magician, this step represents the highest level of awareness that the master has thus far been able to sustain. The ability to concentrate centrate has never been so powerful. The ability to hold in mind any shape, form, or symbol is now possible without any wavering of attention. Beyond the scope of the mind, the will is now more focused than it has ever been before. From the union of mind and will come forth the wonders and miracles of The Magician. (David Allen Hilde – New Dimensions on the Cube of Space)
This Sunday is the Three Cranes ADF Druidry Group celebration of the Spring Equinox. It is one of eight pagan high holy days celebrated by druids, wiccans, and other alternative religions throughout the year. It is a time to think about new birth and regeneration, a time for planting, and a time to think about warmer weather, etc. One of the symbols for the Spring Equinox is the Egg.
I am excited to go to my first pagan holiday event and celebrate with the Three Cranes Druidry group in Central Ohio.
This is from the Three Cranes website regarding this pagan holiday:
Neo-Pagan name: Ostara
Gaulish name: SonnocingosThe spring equinox is a time of planting, where the ground is thawed and new things can be initiated. It’s a time to think about plans for the future, and to gather together all the things you will need for the work you will do in the year to come.
In ancient days, the folk would bring their tools to the priests who would then “charm” them. This charming or blessing would keep those tools in good working order throughout the year, and would thus sustain the lives of the folk through the always dangerous time from planting to harvest.
The Grove celebrates by bringing forth the tools we use in our work and blessing them in the “working” portion of our rite. Many also celebrate by taking their first spring hikes in the crisp spring mornings.