Common to almost all Pagan/Witch/Wiccan traditions is the concept of the Watchers or the Keepers or the Guardians. They are known by many names in many traditions. In the teaching of various cultures, these entities are called by many names including: Agents, Angels, Conscious Thought Forms, Creative Energies, Devas, Fathers, Fountains, Gates, Governors, Hands of God, Lords, and Shining Ones. To some Strega they are known as the Grigori. Each of these 'Watchers' is responsible for their 'area' of the ritual circle. They are multi-faceted beings. Not only do they 'watch' your workings, they are the guardians of the Air of that specific direction, and they guard their portals between the Worlds. They are the intermediaries between Gods and humans.
I personally believe that the Watchers will watch over us if we are initiated or not. I do not think the Watchers are so petty as to see who is initiated and who is not. Some Strega believe this is true. They believe that their actions within the ritual space are going to be viewed and 'judged' in a different way because they have gone through the initiation process and have bonded with the Watchers. I don't think anyone can just say that because they are an initiate, they are closer to some deity than someone that isn't. I believe you bond with the Grigori/Watchers/Keepers over a period of time..like you do with friends.
The Watchers will not stop a working, we are each responsible for our actions. All workings are noted and we all need to think about what we do - before - we do it. I personally view the Watchers as a sort of 'conscienceness' whereby I weigh the aspects for what I wish to do and the consequences thereof. They are protectors of the ritual circle. We EVOKE (to summon or call forth) the presence of the Watchers at our ritual circle but we INVOKE (to address in prayer) their nature within ourselves. It is 2 different things.
This page has grown and has exceeded what I originally intended. I have tried to show the Watchers in many cultures, and still maintain the Stregheria and Italian flavour of this website.
Throughout history, the idea of 'The Watchers' have been found in Sumeria, Peru, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece.
Sumerian texts repeatedly state that the Anunnaki came to Earth. The Anunnaki were four great Gods who created man: An ['Sky', the source of rain and most powerful of the gods]; Enlil ['Lord Wind', the power in 'Growing Weather']; Ninhursaga ['Lady of the Stony Ground', mother of wildlife]; and Enki [rival of Ninhursaga]. The term 'Anunnaki' literally means 'from or of the sky.' The Annunaki are regarded by some as the Sumerian ‘fates’.
They are spoken of in the Bible as the 'Anakim' and 'Anak' or 'Nefilim' (nephilum). 'Nefilim' (nephilum) in Hebrew means 'giants' or 'those who have fallen'. For reference I offer: The King James Bible; Young's Literal translation; HSV (Hebrew Names version); ASV (American Standard version) and RSV (Revised Standard version). Numbers 13:22, 28 & 33; Deu 1:28, 9:2;
To the Egyptians, the Watchers are Ptah, Anubis, Osiris and Horus. The Egyptians wrote they came to Egypt from Ta-Ur, the 'Far/Foreign Land'. The Egyptian term 'Neteru' means 'guardians'.
The Watchers were a specific race of divine beings known in Hebrew as 'nun resh ayin' or 'irin' meaning 'those who watch' or 'those who are awake', which is translated into Greek as Egrhgoroi egregoris or grigori, meaning 'watchers'. The early books of the Bible speak of some vague heavenly beings called malochim (singular, malach). Although malach is usually translated 'angel', its literal meaning is 'messenger.'
As recounted in the Dead Sea Scrolls: '.....In the days of Jared', two hundred Watchers 'descended' on 'Ardis', the summit of Mount Hermon - a mythical location equated with the triple peak of Jebel esh Sheikh (9,200 feet), placed in the most northerly region of ancient Palestine. On this mountain the Watchers swear an oath and bind themselves by 'mutual imprecations', apparently knowing full well the consequences their actions will have both for themselves and for humanity as a whole. It is a pact commemorated in the name given to the place of their 'fall', for in Hebrew the word Hermon, or harem, translates as 'curse''. 'In time, each of the 200 took an earthly spouse. These unions produced children of extraordinary size, who quickly devoured the world's food. To satisfy their enormous appetites, the angel-children roamed the earth, slaughtering every species of bird, beast, reptile and fish. Finally, the ravenous creatures turned on one another, stripping flesh from the bones of their fellows and slaking their thirst in rivers of blood. As this wave of destruction washed over the earth, the anguished cries of humankind reached four powerful Archangels - Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael - who upon orders from God enacted a swift retribution. First Uriel descended to earth to warn Noah of a coming deluge, advising him to prepare an ark to carry his family and a menagerie of creatures to safety. Raphael then fell upon the leader of the Watchers (called Shemyaza), bound him hand and foot, and thrust him into eternal darkness. Next, Gabriel charged with slaying the dissenters' offspring, encouraged the monstrous angel-children to fight one another. Finally, Michael trussed up the remaining Watchers, forced them to witness the deaths of their progeny, and condemned them to eternal torment. Only then did the heavens open up and wash away the last traces of the destruction that the fallen angels had wrought.'
The Watchers are also portrayed as a high order of Angels (Archangels), known as Grigori or Irin. The Book of Enoch (which is NOT part of the Hebrew or Christian Bible) says that God had sent a legion of angels to earth in order to watch over and subtlety assist man during the beginning of civilization. However, as Enoch tells us, these angels were not well suited for the task. They taught man forbidden sciences such as herb craft, astrology, divination and sorcery.
For clarification, I offer the following information. The theme of the Book of Enoch dealing with the nature and deeds of the fallen angels so infuriated the later Church fathers that one, Filastrius, actually condemned it openly as heresy. So the book was denounced, banned, cursed, no doubt burned and shredded and last but not least, lost (and conveniently forgotten) for a thousand years. But with an uncanny persistence, the Book of Enoch found its way back into circulation two centuries ago. In 1773, rumors of a surviving copy of the book drew Scottish explorer James Bruce to distant Ethiopia. True to hearsay, the Book of Enoch had been preserved by the Ethiopic Church, which put it right alongside the other books of the Bible. Bruce secured not one, but three Ethiopic copies of the book and brought them back to Europe and Britain. When in 1821 Dr. Richard Laurence, a Hebrew professor at Oxford, produced the first English translation of the work, the modern world gained its first glimpse of the forbidden mysteries of Enoch.
Many Catholic Pagans or Christian Pagans utilize the 'angels' as the Watchers. The Archangel Michael is called from the North; Archangel Gabriel is called from the West; Archangel Ariel/Uriel (angel of wishes and willpower) is called from the North or East; and Archangel Raphael is called from the South.
Originally there were 4 royal stars and they were called the Watchers. Each of these stars ruled over one of the 4 cardinal points. North - Formalhaut - who marked Winter Solstice; South - Regulus - who marked Summer Solstice; East - Aldebaran - who marked the Spring Equinox; West - Antares - who marked Autumn Equinox.
Formalhaut (Arabic for 'mouth of the fish'), is one of the southernmost bright, first-magnitude stars visible to northern latitudes. It can be found in the constellation Piscis, and is the 17th brightest star.
Antares is found in the constellation Scorpius, and is the 14th brightest star. Antares is the heart of the Scorpion. Antares gets its name from the ancient Greeks. It means 'anti-Ares'. Ares is, of course, the Greek god of War who is also called Mars by the Romans.
Aldebaran is found in the constellation Taurus, and is the 13th brightest star. Aldebaran is the red eye of the Bull.
Regulus is found in the constellation Leonis, and is the 21st brightest star. Regulus in Latin means 'royalty', 'prince' or 'little king', and is the brightest star in Leo. Prior to Copernicus, who gave it its name, it was called Cor Leonis, the heart of the Lion. The Persians saw this star as the Watcher in the North and linked the star to their mythical king Feridun who once, in their mythology, ruled the entire known world.
NORTH - Earth
Known by these names: Aquilo, Boreas, Pala, Taga (tah-gah) and Tago (tah-go).
The Guardian of Earth is the one who 'grounds' us best.
Pala translates in Italian to - shovel
EAST - Air
Known by these names: Alpena (al-pay-nah), Eurus, Vulturnus, Bellaria and Bellarie.
The Guardian of Air seems to be the most elusive of all the Winds. It can come and go as it pleases, change at whim, it may produce a calming effect or hurricane gales.
SOUTH - Fire
Known by these names: Auster, Notus, Settiano (sey-tee-ah-no) and Settrano (say-trah-no).
The Guardian of Fire can also be elusive. The flames can jump and dance or they can blow one way or another.
WEST - Water
Known by these names: Favonius, Manii, Maniae, Meana (may-ah-nah), and Zephyrus.
The Guardian of Water is a gentle and benevolent force who brings the mild, wet spring weather.
Folkways: Reclaiming the Magic & Wisdom by Patricia Telesco
A Dictionary of Symbols by J.E. Cirlot
A Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes
Genesis Revisited by Zecharia Sitchin
From the Ashes of Angels - The Forbidden Legacy of a Fallen Race by Andrew Collins
Book of Enoch the Prophet by R. Laurence
The Legends of the Garden of Eden and the Angels by Alfred Hamori
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