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They call her the queen.
As Beyoncé Knowles shimmied around in a crown and beads reminiscent of multiple pagan goddesses, the world took note.
"But what those unfamiliar with her Grammy-nominated album Lemonade may have missed was that the gold and glitz on display were serving a greater purpose. Beyoncé was teaching," The Washington Post reports. "As in Lemonade and her pregnancy announcement photos released earlier this month, the singer's Grammy performance was packed with artistic nods to African, Hindu and Roman goddesses who signify the womanhood Beyoncé has been reflecting in her most recent work."
Religion News Service pointed out her deity worship and even praised her mimicking Mary, the mother of Jesus:
During the performance, special effects made it appear she had many arms, mimicking Kali, a Hindu goddess who has been worshipped as the Divine Mother and Mother of the Universe.
Observers on social media noted references to the Roman goddess of love and beauty, Venus, and Mami Wata, or Yemoja, the Yoruba patron deity of women, especially pregnant women. The golden, halolike crown, ornamented with roses, and the veil Beyoncé wore also evoked icons of the Virgin Mary, including depictions of the Virgin of Guadalupe, in Catholicism.
And the Rev. Wil Gafney, associate professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School, said her visibly pregnant appearance was a rejection of the church's historically uneasy relationship with sex and the body, and particularly black female bodies. The singer also evoked Mary in the Protestant tradition, who, after giving birth to Jesus, "continues to live as a human woman with hurts and hopes, fully sexually active, alive to her body, other pregnancies."
But Christian commentators like Michael Snyder saw a different symbolism in the pop star's performance: pagan Babylon.
"Beyoncé's outfit reminded me more of the Egyptian goddess Isis, but it really doesn't matter too much because ultimately, all of these pagan goddesses were derived from a religious tradition that began back in ancient Babylon," Snyder writes. "I just don't know why anyone would want to watch this stuff. It is truly astounding that millions of Americans would willingly sit there and watch an almost-naked woman dressed like a pagan goddess prance around the stage in a sexually suggestive way."
During and after her performance, Twitter blew up with the symbolism.
"Didn't watch the performance, but I love that Beyoncé' paid homage to the Gods/Goddesses of our ancestors. #Oshun," one person tweeted.
Another wrote: "Beyoncé just trying to expose y'all to your roots. #OSHUN, the AFRICAN GODDESS OF BEAUTY, LOVE,PROSPERITY, ORDER & FERTILITY #GRAMMYs."
Another wrote: "#Beyonce #Kali #Illuminati #Pizzagate #Grammys She is reincarnating the dark mother Hindu Goddess Kali. She also did in video 7-11."
These aren't the first indications Beyoncé's performances and music are rich with occult symbolism.
Last year, one social media user said
Is the #BeyHive still letting Beyonce slide and not realizing that she worships the devil? Or do Yall know but just don't care?! THIS VIDEO IS SATANIC! #Beyonce has established herself as KALI (the Hindu Goddess of DEATH)- she told you that in her video 7/11 - with her shirt in the beginning and she has been emulating Kali's dances in all of her recent music videos. STOP BEING FOOLISH AND BLIND!!! Stop following people who allow themselves to be controlled by satan! She's TELLING YOU who her allegiance is to!!!!! Now it's up to you if you will consider being blinded by the "limelight".
Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she went to Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.
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