ROBERT W. BROCKWAYTHE ROOTS OF NEW AGE
figure, with the hindquarters of a horse and owl eyes, is the depiction of a Stage Three ASC.
Some shamans are prophets (Gr Προφφήτησ), highly charismatic figures of towering stature who proclaim oracles. With biblical usage in mind, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “prophet” as “1. a person who speaks for God or a god, or as though under divine guidance. 2. a religious teacher or leader regarded as, or claiming to be, divinely inspired.” The 4th definition is “a person who predicts future events in any way,” which is what we usually have in mind when we hear or use the word. Another word for prophecy is “oracle” (from the Latin orare “to speak”).
Oracle is defined as follows: “Among the ancient Greeks and Romans, the place where or medium by which deities were consulted. 2. the revelation or response of a medium or priest. 3. a) any person or agency believed to be in communciation with a deity; hence, b)any person of great knowledge, c)opinion or statement of such a person. 4. the holy of holies of the ancient Jewish Temple: I Kings 6:16, 19-23.”
A well-known example was the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece, consulted by philosophers such as Socrates, and also by Sophocles’ Oedipus in the most famous of Greek tragedies; by travellers for sailing directions; and by anyone in Greece who was in need either of advice or warnings about the future. The oracle was not a particular person, but whichever high priestess was available at the time. Her symbol was the huge serpent called the python, sacred to the god Apollo. The oracle sat on a tripod situated above a crack in the floor, chewed laurel leaves, and drank from Cassotis, an underground stream which supposedly had prophetic properties. While the oracle was in trance, she muttered incoherently. A diviner interpreted her speech to the client or clients.
The oracle of Delphi is an ancient example of what is today called channeling by New Agers, a term which has generally replaced the older occult term medium. Channeling is the process of communication with disembodied spirits, and the person who does so is a channeler. Both the ancient Greeks and post-modern New Agers believe that we are constantly surrounded by vast numbers of spirits which, though normally invisible, manifest themselves among us in various ways such as through the agency of the shaman, prophet, or channeler. There are many kinds of spirits. Some are the departed souls of persons known to the shaman, prophet, or channeler, and others are guardian angels, elemental spirits, and other intermediate beings. Or, in the case of prophecy, the revelation may be directly from the Supreme Spirit, from God. This, however, is not usually the case. For instance, Moses was not called directly in the burning bush by the Lord, but by the הוהי ךאם (M’alak Yahweh) the Angel of the Lord. Mohammed in the cave behind Mecca was not called directly by Allah but by the angel Gabriel.
Moses and Mohammed were shamans; so were the םיב ן (nabim) of ancient Israel. In the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible