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.

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