THE ANCIENT PAGAN MYSTERIC RELIGIONSIn the ancient pagan mysteric religions, active at the time of the dawning Christianity, the mystagogues made use of perceptible means like oil, water, milk, honey, bread, blood, saliva, for the purpose of capturing the supernatural forces and of transmitting them to the faithful, with the aim of obtaining an intimate communion with the divinity. The mystagogue linked to the animal destined for the sacrifice, the energies of the invoked divinity, and distributed the still-palpitating meat, and the blood of the animal immolated to the god, so that the misti could be joined to the divinity. Also in the Christianity, the same phenomenon happened, although with a spirit slightly different. In the pagan mysteries, the contact with the divine forces was sought through the magic, symbolic way, whilst in the Christian mysteries it was God himself who sent the Verb and the Holy Spirit, so as to interpenetrate the perceptible means of the cult and to communicate, like the magnet to steel, all their force to the initiates or misti, in other words, to those who had to conserve the silence about the mystery from those who could not understand. All that was part of the ritual had a precise significance. The colors of the vestments, the perfumes that burned in front of the altar, the instruments, the astronomic times fixed for the ceremonies, all conformed to a precise initiatic doctrine and technique. Then, in time, from the deliberate secrecy it passed to the semi-total amnesia of every transforming value of the symbol.
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