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Adam and Eve

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Adam and Eve depicted in The Lovers tarot card trump by Pamela Colman Smith, drawn in 1909 and first published in 1910
Adam and Eve depicted in The Lovers tarot card trump by Pamela Colman Smith, drawn in 1909 and first published in 1910

Adam and Eve are, according to the Bible, the first humans God created, and thus are the ancestors of the entire human race, or, from a Jewish perspective, the first patriarch and matriarch of Jewish history and tradition. After having created the cosmos, God created the Earth and its plant and animal inhabitants. He then crafted Adam from dirt and Eve from one of Adam's ribs, and gave them dominion over an earthly paradise called Eden, where all beings lived in peace and harmony. Because theirs are the oldest genealogical names known in several religions, Jews and Muslims and are taught never to speak ill of Adam and Eve, and in the Catholic Church, they are honored on their feast day, December 24, which in some Christian denominations is the only time they may be referred to as "saints." God himself was so delighted with His latest creation that he decreed that all the angels in Heaven should bow before them. Islamic and Syriac Christian sources assert that Iblis, also known as Satan the Adversary, refused, saying that, "I am fire and spirit," and declined to "worship something that is made of dirt."

Although they lived a beautiful garden, with all their needs provided, and were watched over by a loving Creator, Adam and Eve are most widely known for having disobeyed God, so that they were expelled from the paradise home He created for them. They had been warned not to approach the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." Satan convinced them (or Eve alone, according to some versions of the story) that they would become immortal as soon as they ate the fruits of the tree, but instead, their nakedness became apparent to them and shamed them, as the glory that had formerly clothed them disappeared, and they were doomed to die. Thus, it is said, our human heritage includes mortality, sickness, and a sinful condition, and we must wrest our living from an often inhospitable earth. Some Christian theorists have gone so far as to blame Eve for "causing the fall of humankind," specifically by eating the "forbidden fruit, and encouraging Adam to engage in sex. In the years following their expulsion from Eden, Adam and Eve had two children, Cain and Abel, whose conflict with one another led to the crime of murder, and a third son, Seth. It is said by some that they deeply repented their sin and spent the rest of their lives in holiness and devotion. Adam died at the age of 930 years and it is said that God gave his body to the Archangel Michael to be carried to the third heaven until the last day, when Adam and all his descendants will rise again. Six days later, Eve died, praying to the Lord, and three angels buried her beside Adam. Their tomb is said to be in the Cave of Machpelah, in Hebron, Israel.

Adam and Eve are usually shown naked, in the company of one another in the Garden of Eden, or clothed with furs and accompanied by their children, Cain and Abel. Because they were the ancestors of humanity, Hoodoo psychics, spirit workers, and root doctors may call upon Adam and Eve in magical spells of sexuality and fertility. A rare orchid known as Adam and Eve Root is named for them and, until it became an endangered species, was widely used in rootwork and herb magic for love spells, as are nude figural candles, generally referred to as Adam and Eve candles. The tarot card trump called "The Lovers" depicts them standing in the Garden of Eden under the benevolent protection of the Archangel Uriel. Spiritual practitioners who are adherents of some Christian denominations may view Adam and Eve as history's first sinners, and call upon them when there are issues of spiritual healing, repentance, and getting right with God.

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