Friday, December 2, 2011

The Aquarii

That the Manicheans practiced the Water Communion is quite clear, like clear pure water.

Firstly, water (apart from the deleterious elements that have become blended with it) was regarded by Mani as one of the divine elements. This as with Light, was not just a symbolical designation but in actuality - Water being the Divine Feminine and the manifestation of the Heavenly Ego. In Ancient Rome there was a common belief that the element of water was feminine and fire masculine. These are universal elements and were used symbolically in the Roman wedding ceremony.
The Water Communion was also part of Mithraism.

Ablutions too, in connection with prayers and ritual, were important to Mani for the same reason as outlined above. His family, it is said, were members of a religion that involved sacred ablutions as well. 

Mani's relationship to the sacred ablutions started when his father was among the Mughtasilah, (Elkesaites) a Jewish Christian ascetic group.

Mani's father had taken the boy at the age of four to live among this group.

'Mughtasilah' means, 'Those Who Wash Themselves'.

Before Communion it is good to wash the feet for instance - being conscious of the deepness of the cleansing process.

Some more notes from a web page:
"The Encratites, who opposed the use of all intoxicating drinks, consistently communed with water. In the fourth century the users of water in the Communion were called "Aquarii" or "Hydroparastatae" and, under the Code of
Theodosius, were liable to death for their practise."

So, this Water Communion was subject to the death penalty!

 "Others known as having substituted water for wine are: Tatian, a pupil of Justin Martyr; Galatia, the confessor of Alcibiades of Lyons; Pionius, the Catholic martyr of Smyrna; the Marcionites; the Ebionites; the Montanists; and the Therapeutae of Philo."


In the Edict of 382, Theodosius pronounced the sentence of death on all those who took the name of Encratites, Saccophori, or Hydroparastatæ, and commanded Florus, the Magister Officiarum, to make strict search for these heretics, who were Manichæans in disguise.

1 comment:

  1. "All earlier religion was water" -Rittelmeyer

    "When the man of ancient times spoke of water, he did not think only of bathing or of sailing in a boat. He felt water to be religious. Water's
    power of purification was to him divine and worthy of veneration. In baptism still lives a remembrance of how man can dip into a purifying, revelation-bringing element. All laws and regulations about washing and purification are connected with this fundamental feeling.

    "Man had above him a higher world which, through the water which it sent down from the heavens, received him again and again into its purifying forces. Instead of bathing, ancient man thought of religious purification, instead of sailing, he thought of crossing the stream after death or in initiation. The latter, the crossing of the stream, was the esoteric of ancient religions, the former, the purification, its exoteric. And so the old religious feeling lived with water. And when we notice what miserable remains but still remains of these feelings are alive in men today when they rejoice in water because of bathing and sailing, then we can perceive with our eyes what changes there have been.

    "Now let us look at the six stone water-pots, which stood there after the manner of the purifying of the Jews.
    In this stands the whole of antiquity.
    In this stands the old religious existence of men."

    -Friedrich Rittelmeyer's "Meditation"