Guardians of The Watchtower

It is almost 3:30 AM on the morning of September 27, 2011. The new moon is less than two hours away. Why should I care? Because I have been studying Wiccan/Paganism for the last couple of months and the phases of the moon are very important. The last few days before new moon are considered ‘the dark of the moon.’ A dark time for witches. Some consider it a time for dark magic–if the need should arise. It is ruled over by Hecate(pro. HE-katae), the crone goddess. If you wonder what she looks like, think about every Halloween witch or cartoon witch you’ve ever seen. She’s old, with a pointed hat, broom and cauldron. The pointed hat symbolizes the upward spiraling Cone of Power (which many witches seek to obtain during their circle rituals), the broomstick symbolizes a sweeping away of the old, and the cauldron symbolizes transformation. Why are these things important at this time of year?

All Hallows Eve is the Pagan New Year–beginning after sundown on October 31st and continuing till sundown of November 1st.  Samhain (pro. SOW-en), the Pagan holiday that coincides with Halloween, is Gaelic for ‘summer’s end.’ The harvest is complete, winter is beginning. Pagans at this time (much like modern people on December 31) reflected upon their physical mortality and the nature of change and transformation in the cycle of life and death. It is the most important time of year for a pagan and the most psychically charged. The veil between the living and the dead is believed to be thinnest at this time so the spirits of ancestors and loved ones can be honored. It’s not a time to worship Satan as witches don’t believe he exists. The pentacle they wear (whether right side up or upside down) symbolizes the 5 elements from which all things exist: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. The upside down pentacle characterizes the second degree witch who must come to recognize her dark side during this time–much like Luke Skywalker.

Back to the phases of the moon. Every phase has various characteristics that must be taken into account. New moon is used for personal growth, healing, or blessing a new project or venture. Full moon is used for banishing unwanted influences in life, protection and divination. The waning moon is for banishing/rejecting things in life we no longer want–like excess weight or negative habits/emotions (if hair is cut during this time it will take longer to grow out). Waxing moon is a time to attract things into our lives like prosperity, abundance, or magic. Since I am awake (I went to bed at 9pm last night only to awaken bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 2am)   I will likely go outside at 5:08am, light a black candle (to dispel negativity), and say an invocation to Hecate. Tonight I will likely hold a private ceremony and perform some candle magic in which I ask the Goddess for guidance in some aspect of my life.

As previously mentioned, I have only been studying this for a couple of months, but as I read over it I realize how surreal it is considering I was a Jehovah’s Witness only a year ago. I am enjoying the freedom of this new belief system and the ability to practice it wherever, and whenever, I want. I also find it empowering after coming from a patriarchal dominated religion. What I am finding most interesting, however, are the pagan roots even among Jehovah’s Witnesses. This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal as all religions have adopted pagan customs and holidays. But JW’s held themselves above the rest. The reason they don’t celebrate holidays and birthdays (or anything really) is because of their apparent pagan roots. Customs and traditions are considered taboo by JW’s because of their often superstitious origins (i.e. throwing the bouquet at weddings or the traditional toasts). I didn’t even have a wedding cake at my wedding because I did some research and found its origins to be steeped in fertility (like everything else at weddings) and I didn’t want any part of childbirth.

So for me to encounter, again and again, pagan influences within Jehovah’s Witnesses has been fascinating and enjoyable. October is a very auspicious time for JW’s. They feel this is the month when Jesus was enthroned as King in heaven in 1914. This is also supposed to be the month when Armageddon occurs. Is it an accident that this same month is the conclusion of the pagan year? I don’t think so.

As I cast my first circle as a practicing witch, I noticed something interesting. Part of the ritual is a calling forth of The Watchtowers. The witch faces east, west, south and north and calls The Guardians of The Watchtowers requesting assistance in the ritual to follow. Can you imagine how strange it was for me to use the term Watchtower in a pagan ceremony? It was surreal to say the least. This is not a new tradition, either. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (late 19th-early 20th century) was a branch of Freemasons who not only created the modern-day Tarot deck but also  had the custom of opening rituals by calling upon the Watchtowers to cleanse and purify a space. The Watchtower has long been considered sacred to Artemis (Diana of Ephesus)  who wore a crown in the form of a Watchtower. The founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell, could not have been unaware of this since he was a Freemason, as the Cross & Crown image on the Watchtower bore out. (The term ‘Golden Dawn’ not to be confused with “Awake!” predecessor “The Golden Age” and Russell’s series of books, “Millennial Dawn.”)

A supposedly popular ritual of Satanists is the passing of the bread and wine representing Jesus blood and body. Only, they do not partake. Their ritual involves the rejection of the Host, the holy sacrament, Jesus sacrifice. Jehovah’s Witnesses (ex or current) will know what I am getting at, but for those of you who are still in the dark–the most important day of the year for JW’s is the Lord’s Evening Meal in which the emblems representing Christs body and blood are passed. These emblems are passed, untouched, by 99% of the participants. Roughly 10,000 of the more than 7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses get to partake of the host. The rest practice a sort of subconscious rejection of the sacrifice since JW’s teach Jesus is the mediator for only those few who partake. Satanic ritual? Whether they are aware of it or not, it is.

These are only a few of the parallels I have noticed since my studies began, but they only convince me all the more that, as Solomon said,  “That which has come to be, that is what will come to be; and that which has been done, that is what will be done; and so there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9) Religion comes as an answer to societies needs, bringing with them the roots of previous belief systems. Supposedly, the predominant features of Jesus birth, death, and life can be found in myths that existed long before his apparent birth (see: Horus). Warlike religions were created while society was in its adolescence and conquest and war were rampant. Peaceful religions (or religions who were supposed to be peaceful [Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity]) came about as man evolved from fighting to thinking. And apocalyptic religions (i.e. Adventists, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses) were born as a response to the increasingly secular world. But religion has failed to bring man deliverance and has only prevented scientific advancement. Society seems to be moving toward a more secular view which I applaud as the only way to evolve past the dark ages of religious intolerance. I hope for a time in which prejudice and judgment are replaced by peace and acceptance. This will only be possible when religion dies and spirituality takes over.


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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You are a fabulous writer! Keep it coming, very interesting!

  2. I found this very interesting, being an ex-jw myself. Though I’m not into the lunatic faith..the realization that the jw faith has basis in the occult is interesting. I always thought it was odd that only the 144,000 were allowed to partake at memorial…which in my opinion…a lot or all of those so called “anointed” people were full of
    crap!!! But when your born into being a jw..u don’t know any better..and when your family was brainwashed by them, what can u do??? Lol.. My mom has been sending me a lot of articles about this kind of stuff..including your article..thanks for sharing your info.

  3. I really enjoyed your post. I am an ex-Jehovah Witness and a Pagan as well. You mentioned some interesting points. I agree, we need to be more spiritual and less religious.


  4. Your insights and experiences will invaluably serve you on your journey. I look forward to following your blog. 🙂

  5. Thank you, Sarah! I’m going to head on over and check your blog out too. It sounds interesting!

    Thanks Evie! Paganism seems to appeal to recovering Christians:)

    Kelly–I find it interesting you said your mother keeps sending you these types of articles. Usually the kids leave before the parents–if the parents ever leave at all, that is. I am glad your family is with you on this journey!

    Thank you, Casey! I have my good days and bad days. Some articles turn out really good and others…not so much. The nice thing about writing though is that it improves with practice.

  6. I am not with the Jehovah’s Witnesses; I am a Bible student as was Charles Taze Russell.

    Charles Taze Russell was never a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization; he did not believe in such an organization, and he preached against such sectarianism and authoritarianism. He also preached against similar “Armageddon” teachings that existed in his day. Indeed, the message Russell preached concerning “Armageddon” and the ransom for all is almost the opposite of that preached by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The true founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization — and its message of eternal doom for all outside its organization — was Joseph Rutherford.

    Russell was never a member of the Freemasons’ organization, was not involved in “the occult”, Satanism, spirtism, etc. His Biblical usage of “Watch Tower” had nothing at all to do with the worship of any false gods or godessses. His Biblical usage of the cross and crown symbolism had nothing at all to do with the Freemasons.Russell did not have a magazine called “Golden Age” (Rutherford introduced that magazine after Russell died)j, although he did borrow the term of “the ancients” to illustrate what Paul wrote of, that the groaning creation — the whole world of mankind — is [ignorantly] waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19-22) Russell certainly did not use that term to condone the views of any of the heathen.

    Man, indeed, being condemned through the sin of Adam, and subjected to vanity by God, cannot produce a new creation, a human creation that is not under the subjection of the present sun of vanity. No man can make himself straight. God could, however, produce a new creation (Jesus) who is the sun of righteousness. One can be made straight (justified) through faith in Jesus. — Ecclesiastes 1:2,9-15; Acts 13:39; Romans 2:13; 3:20-28; 5:12-19; 8:19-22;

  7. Ronald, not to argue with you here, but where does your information come from? You assert these statements with a lot of authority, but it would be great if you could cite some respected source.

  8. I will grant that Jehovah’s Witnesses now bear little resemblance to the small group initiated by C.T. Russell. As to the Golden Age comment, you are right, I went back and did some research and found that magazine was first published in 1919 and have made the needed corrections. However, to deny Russell’s attachment to the religion that became Jehovah’s Witnesses is to close your eyes to widespread proof. Russell founded the legal corporation known as the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society in 1884 and began publication of The Watchtower magazine in 1879. The name Jehovah’s Witnesses was not adopted by the Bible Students until 1931, but they are the ones who carried on the Watchtower organization which Russell founded.

    As to the Masons, there is some disagreement as to whether Russell was one, but what else could the cross and crown symbolize? I know of no scriptural reference to such an emblem, and I have seen it on Masonic lodges. He also used other symbols and terms popular among Masons. See for examples.

  9. Russell was indeed the main founder of a legal corporation with the name Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and Russell did indeed publish a magazine with the name “The Watch Tower”. Russell’s magazine, however, ceased to exist when he died. Rutherford virtually destroyed the legal entity as Russell had left it, and, in effect, restructured a new entity with the same name.

    The Bible Students movement as a whole — represented by the majority — did not accept Russell’s new organization nor Russell’s new dogma related to the new organization. Thus the Bible Students — as a whole– did adopt the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. The Bible Students still exist today without Rutherford’s new organization. Russell preached against such organizations; he preached against the kind of message that Rutherford introduced. No, there is no way I can say that Russell was the founder of that which he preached against.

    The Mason use a symbol similar to — but the same as — that of Russell; indeed, practically all of the major Christian denominations have used similar cross and crown symbols. The Freemasons as a whole do not use that symbol, but the Knights Templar say they adopted the symbolism from traditional use by Christian churches.

    Russell stated concerning the cross, crown and wreath:

    Begin quote:
    The cross represents our faith in the death of Christ and our desire to walk in His steps; the crown represents the reward of glory, honor and immortality; and the wreath around the cross and crown represents the Restitution blessings coming to the world of mankind.
    :end quote
    Harvest Gleanings, Volume 3,, page 721.

    Scriptures pertaining to Christ’s death on the cross and following Christ. Charles Redeker gives us some more regarding this:

    Begin quote:
    Bible Student meaning for the Cross and Crown is taken from the Scriptures where both symbols are given a prominent place. The cross, besides being the instrument used in the death of Christ, is also a metaphor of the trials and persecutions of the believer. (See Matt. 16:24.) The crown is frequently used as a symbol of the glory, honor and immortality granted to Christ and his church for faithfulness in serving God. (See Rev. 3:21; 2:10.) The Bible also makes it clear that gaining the crown is dependent upon bearing the cross faith fully even unto death. (See James 1:12.) The poem, “No Cross, No Crown,” emphasizing this point, appeared in the July 1, 1911 issue of the Watch Tower. This again is not a concept unique to Bible Students and may be found in church hymnology dating back to at least the eighteenth century.28 And finally, the wreath encircling the Cross and Crown symbol is taken as a sign of victory. Its use in crowning the winners in the Greek games is directly alluded to in 1 Corinthians 9:25.
    :end quote

    Actually, the usage of forms of the cross and crown by the Catholic church and other denominational churches goes back for centuries, although the symbolism attached to the cross and the crown may not have been entirely the same symbolism as given by Russell or any of the Bible Students. Regardless, such usage of a cross and crown artwork is not using a “Masonic symbol” or certainly not Masonic symbolism.

    In this regard, the Masons also use the Bible; does this mean that the Bible is a Masonic book? (Indeed, there are some that claim that the Bible, as we have it, is a Masonic book because they claim the Bible contains Masonic symbols.)

    • I just realized a left out “not”, giving my sentence to opposite meaning intended: Thus the Bible Students — as a whole– did NOT adopt the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

  10. How did Russell view the only true religion? He certainly did not point to an outward organization such as the JW organization. Russell, up until a year before he died, was still preaching against sectarianism. As late as 1915 (just before his death in 1916) he was still teaching the following:

    begin quote:
    The Lord in Heaven records as members of His true Church all the saintly – whether Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, Greek Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, or Presbyterians, etc. — and none others.

    Have we not here the one Church, catholic, universal, the only Church which the Bible recognizes? In the past we have been too narrow and have supposed that God was as narrow as ourselves. It was on this account that Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists persecuted and were persecuted, each thinking itself the true Church. Are we not all getting broader conceptions of our God and of His Church? Do we not see that we were mistaken in calling the outward organization the Church of Christ instead of remembering that the Lord alone writes the names of the Church, that He alone reads the hearts, that He alone is the Judge, and that He alone has the right to blot out the names of reprobates?

    St. Paul wrote against sectarianism, already manifest in his day-some saying :”I am of Paul”; others, “I am of Peter”; etc. The Apostle asks, “Is Christ divided:” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
    :end quote

    The above was printed in Bible Students Monthly, Volume 7, Number 9 (1915), Under the title, “The Catholic Church — St. Peter’s Kingdom Keys.” It was reproduced in the Chicago Bible Students publication: Harvest Gleanings Volume 1.

  11. The Watchtower is a pagan organization in a Christian wrapper. Calling the organization “Mother” is an invocation of the mother goddess, and their art in the Revelation ClimaXXX (spiritual pornography) book shows the Queen of Heaven as a consort to the King. Apparently those at the top know it and get a laugh at salting the literature with clues about how they are being played and are too dumb to know it. It is healthy and good for you to get out of it. Now have a laugh on me.

  12. Kurt-Are you the runaway bethel artist? Very creative! You also present some interesting ideas in your post re: the Revelation book. Thanks for the comment!

  13. I have never been a bethel artist. I try to interpret bethel art. What is the symbology and what are they saying with it? It is a classic black box problem where you try to determine what is in a black box by seeing what comes out of it. There are people at bethel who know the religion is a ruse to cover a corporation and they telegraph that in art and writing. It might not even be a conscious thing, but the signal is there.

  14. I find that so interesting. When I was in the religion I was a firm believer and thought everyone else was the same. Otherwise, how the heck could they go door-to-door, or why would they continue to live sucky lives prescribed by the Watchtower Society? It blows me away that there are people actively associated who know it’s all bullshit! You bring up an interesting point because some of the subliminal images in the illustrations could not be accidental. It makes sense that “people in the know” put those things in there as an in-your-face to the Watchtower. Do you personally know any of these people? How do you know this is true?

  15. […] I’m going to leave my personal thoughts on the matter aside*, but instead present you with the findings of a practicing witch, who used to be one of Jehovah’s […]

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