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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology


Enoch was the seventh patriarch of the Book of Genesis, the son of Cain.   He is the subject of several works of apocryphal literature, which describe him as having received secret knowledge from God.   This mirrors the Babylonian myth of the king Enmenduranna, who received divine revelations from the sun god.   There are actually TWO Books of Enoch:

The First Book of Enoch, also known as the Ethiopic Book of Enoch is a pseudepigraphical work (in other words not included in any canon of Biblical scripture).   It is called "Ethiopic" because the only surviving version is an Ethiopic translation of an earlier Greek text, which was in turn a translation of an even earlier Hebrew text.   Part of it is the "Apocalypse of Weeks", written about 168 BC.   Other portions appear to have been written by a Jewish Christian in the 2nd century AD who wanted to use Enoch's name for his work to give it authority.   Much of it has to do with the fate of the soul after death.   The First Book of Enoch was originally accepted by the Christian Church but later excluded from Biblical canon.  

The Second Book of Enoch, also known as the Slavonic Book of Enoch, another pseudepigraphical work.   It is called Slavonic because the only surviving version is a Slavonic translation of an earlier Greek text.   It is dated by scholars to the 7th Century AD, and may be based in part on fragments from as far back as the 1st century BC.   It starts with a description of Enoch's travels through seven tiers of heaven, goes on to describe how Enoch received wisdom from God, and then ends with Enoch's advice to his sons.

Neither the First Book of Enoch nor the Second Book of Enoch discuss witchcraft as such, though they do discuss heavenly structure and the inhabitants (angels and demons) of this structure.

To confuse matters further, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Ceremonial Magician John Dee and his assistant medium Edward Kelly, developed a system and language of magic which he called "Enochian".   Dee authored several books, but none of them was called the "Book of Enoch".

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One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.

Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans.   Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.

Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church.   Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc
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