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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology

JINNS (aka Djins, Djinns, Genies)

In Arabian and Muslim folklore jinns are ugly and evil demons having supernatural powers which they can bestow on persons having powers to call them up.   In the Western world they are called genies.

In the Kabbalistic lore King Solomon had a ring, probably a diamond, with which he called up jinns to help his armies in battle.

In Islam, jinns are fiery spirits (Qur'an 35. 15) particularly associated with the desert.   While they are disruptive of human life, they are considered worthy of being saved.   A person dying in a state of great sin may be changed into a jinni in the period of a barzakh, separation or barrier.

According to the Kabbalah, the highest of the jinns is Eblis, formerly called Azazel, the prince of darkness, or the Devil.   The jinns were thought by some to be spirits that are lower than angels because they are made of fire and are not immortal.   They can take on human and animal shapes to influence men to do good or evil.   They are quick to punish those indebted to them who do not follow their many rules.In the "Arabian Nights" jinns or genies came from Aladdin's Lamp.

There are several myths concerning the home of the jinns.   According to Persian mythology some of them live in a place called Jinnistan.   Others say jinns live with other supernatural beings in the Kaf, mystical emerald mountains surrounding the earth.

A Biblical Perspective:

Many people who believe in angels have trouble with believing in Demons.   They treat them as primitive superstition.   The Bible is clear on this fact; Jesus ministry seemed to have more to do with Demons than their good 'counterparts'.

Revelation 12:9 is the clearest Scripture on the identity of Demons, "The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.   He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."   The Bible indicates that the Demons are fallen angels - angels who along with Satan rebelled against God.   Satan's fall from heaven is described in Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-15.   Revelation 12:4 seems to indicate that Satan took one-third of the angels with him when he sinned.   Jude verse 6 mentions angels who sinned.   So, it is likely that Demons are the angels who followed Satan in sin against God.

Satan and his Demons now look to destroy and deceive all those who follow and worship God (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 11:14-15).   The Demons are described as evil spirits (Matthew 10:1), unclean spirits (Mark 1:27), and angels of Satan (Revelation 12:9).   Satan and his Demons deceive the world (2 Corinthians 4:4), attack Christians (2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 5:8), and combat the holy angels (Revelation 12:4-9).   Demons are spiritual beings, but they can appear in physical forms (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Unnecessary fear of Demons is unhealthy.   Demons can not be blamed for all human wrong doing.   While Demons can and do, tempt us, our natural inclination to do wrong requires little encouragement.   The Bible clearly shows us that God is ultimately in control and good will ultimately triumph over evil. Rev 20:10

see also: DAIMONS; DEMONS; DEMONS, Sexual Intercourse with; DEMONS in Modern Witchcraft and Ceremonial Magick

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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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