Ecyclopedia Hermetica: A Big History (Parts 40-41)




Encyclopedia Hermetica (Parts 25-28)

Part 25


Part 26

Part 27

Part 28

Encyclopedia Hermetica (Parts 7-8)

Part 7

Part 8

Encyclopedia Hermetica (Parts 3-6)

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Features of Primal Religion

  1. Unity of the material and supernatural worlds
  2. The importance of physical place as a spiritual focus.
  3. Orality: the spoken word has a real power: it expresses metaphor and not simile, that is there is no difference between the word and the thing it represents.
  4. Time is cyclical not linear. This means that there is a recurring cycle of birth, growth, death, rebirth and so on.
  5. Ritual: rituals are not mere ‘plays’ or re-enactments, but the making of a spiritual event of the past exist in the present, a ‘re-present’, or being present again.
  6. Liminality: the state when an individual or society is in transition, usually from childhood to adulthood.
  7. Numinosity: the sense of the sacred infusing existence.


Talking Pagan: 10 Concepts Shared By Most Pre-Christian Western Religions

Two classicists, Dan Attrell and Stephen Millburn discuss ten concepts shared by most pre-Christian religions in the ancient world.


1) Polytheism

2) No doctrine, no dogma, no “official view” (i.e. no Credo)

3) Very little intolerance between systems of belief

4) No denial of worldly pleasures – No dualism

5) No concept of conversion

6) No sin or redemption

7) No damnation

8) Belief in the power of oracles, portents, and divination

9) Religious observance was for succeeding in THIS life

10) No churches, and no hierarchy – temples were homes of gods

If you have any personal questions you would like to have answered in one of our next talks, please include them in the comment box – don’t be afraid to ask about specifics.