THE CURRENT REVIVAL of the cult called WICCA is a manifestation of the ancient secret societies that sought to tap this telluric, occult force and use it to their own advantage, and to the advantage of humanity as was the original intent. The raising of the Cone of Power through the circle dancing is probably the simplest method of attaining results in "rousing Leviathan", and has been used by societies as diverse as the Dervishes in the Middle East and the Python Dancers of Africa, not to mention the round dances that were familiar to the Gnostic Christians, and the ones held every year in the past at Chartres.
The Witches of today, however, while acknowledging the importance of the Male element of telluric Power, generally prefer to give the greater honour to the Female Principle, personified as the Goddess. The Goddess has also been worshipped all over the world, and under many names, but is still essentially the same Goddess. That TIAMAT was undoubtedly female is to the point; and that the Chinese as well as the Sumerians perceived of two dragon currents, male and female, gives the researchers a more complex picture. The Green Dragon and the Red Dragon of the alchemists are thus identified, as the positive and negative energies that compromise the cosmos of our perception, as manifest in the famous Chinese yin-yang symbol.
But what of INANNA, the single planetary deity having a female manifestation among the Sumerians? She is invoked in the NECRONOMICON and identified as the vanquisher of Death, for she descended into the Underworld and defeated her sister, the Goddess of the Abyss, Queen ERESHKIGAL (possibly another name for TIAMAT). Interestingly enough, the myth has many parallels with the Christian concept of Christ's death and resurrection, among which the Crucifixion (INANNA was impaled on a stake as a corpse), the three days in the Sumerian Hades, and the eventual Resurrection are outstanding examples of how Sumerian mythology previewed the Christian religion by perhaps as many as three thousand years - a fact that beautifully illustrates the cosmic and eternal nature of this myth.
Therefore, the Goddess of the Witches has two distinct forms: the Ancient One, Goddess of the Dragon-like telluric Power which is raised in Magickal rituals, and the Elder Goddess, Defeater of Death, who brings the promise of Resurrection and Rejuvenation to her followers those who must reside for a time after death and between incarnations in what is called the "Summerland".
Another hallmark of the Craft of the Wise is evident within the NECRONOMICON, as well as in general Sumerian literature, and that is the arrangement of the cross-quarter days, which make up half of the Craft's official pagan holidays. These occur on the eves of February 2nd, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st, and are called Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain (or Hallows), respectively.
The name Lammas has a curious origin in the dunes at Sumer. It is not less than the name of one of the four mythological Beasts of the astrological fixed signs, Lamas being the name of the half-lion, half-man Guardian of Leo (the sign governing most of August, when the feast of Lammas takes place), and USTUR being that of Aquarius (February), SED that of Taurus (May) and NATTIG that of Scorpio (November). I do not believe that this is a fantastic assumption, the Sumerian origin of the Feast of Lammas. Indeed, it seems just as valid as the ideas of Idries Shah concerning Craft etymology as presented in his book, The Sufis. It is also not far-fetched to assume that these four beasts were known to the entire region of the Middle East, as they appear on the Sphinx in Egypt, and have become the symbols of the Four Evangelists of the Christian New Testament - an ironic and splendid result of the ignorance of the Greek religious historians concerning the ancient mysteries!
Probable the most inconsistent concept the Sumerians possesses with reference to the Craft is the naming of the Goddess as a deity, not of the Moon (as the Craft would have it), but of the planet Venus. The Moon was governed by a male divinity, NANNA (like INANNA but minus the initial 'I'), and was considered the Father of the Gods by the earliest Sumerian religion. It should be noted, however, that all of the planetary deities, termed "the zoned Ones" or zonei in Greek, and indeed all of the Sumerian deities, had both male and female manifestations, showing that the Sumerians definitely recognised a yin-yang composition if the universe (the "male Moon" idea is, the Editor is given to understand, common to so-called Aryan mythologies). There is also evidence to show that every god and goddess also had both a good and an evil nature, and evil gods were banished in the exorcism formulae of that civilisation as well as the lesser forms of demon.