Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Long Night


   As the "Holiday Season" is soon upon us I wanted to take some time to share some thoughts about this time of year. Our modern culture would have us believe that it's all about the Christ Child and Santa Claus, presents, and treats; but where does this come from? What about things like Christmas Trees and lights, ham, and stockings? For me the beauty of the season is found in the earliest roots of our Proto Indo-European ancestors, because from there we will see how so much is developed and made into what we understand as Christmas today.  




   For a time forgotten, these Megalithic builders placed great importance on the Winter Solstice. The longest night of the year and hence the shortest day. The theme of dark and light is ever present in the stone monuments they have left behind. Places like New Grange in Ireland where the suns rays align to the roof box, travel down a chamber to light the back wall of a burial chamber all demonstrate their obsession with tracking the movement of the sun and moon throughout the seasons. Much speculation exists on any of their spiritual connections with solar and lunar observations. The popular and common thought that seems to be accepted is that the spirits of the people within the tomb could unite with the ancestors during such alignments, or the ancestors were able to be present at such places when this gateway or threshold was open by the alignment. It could even be suggested with places like Stonehenge & the near by place of Woodhenge also played an important role between Winter and Summer Solstice. All that can be said is that from Northern Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, and even in places in France, Spain, Germany and Italy the Winter Solstice seemed very important to the people of the Neolithic. The theme again of Darkness and Light, of day and night and life and death were no doubt very important.  These people dealing with new found agriculture and technology of the 1st discovery of copper, and tin, of hunting, and survival through the hard winters no longer following big game after the ice age became tied to a farmstead. The pastoral lifestyle became hard and often unbearable. The longest night or the darkest time of year had to be hard on them. 




   What does this have to do with Christmas? 
What is Christmas but not the celebration of the birth of "The Christ Child"? Is he not the symbolic human figure of 'the light'? Is this why the early biblical editors chose to set his birthday near the Winter Solstice in place of a pre-existing Pagan culture. Most likely. Is the son not also 'the sun'. If we understand its direct connection to Mithra and Zoraster it is clearly evident. In the ancient Welsh (Brythonic) tradition we can understand the divine child of light with the Mabon or Maponos (Gaulish) 'the great boy, the great son'. In later folk customs of the British Isles we see the battle between the Oak and Holly Kings

    It was from such peoples like the Bell Beaker culture that stretched from Sardinia, Sicily, Northern Italy, Germany, France and Spain all the way to the British Isles and Ireland during the Bronze Age that we see the continuity of culture still embracing the Winter Solstice traditions from the earlier Neolithic cultures already in place for much time. 




What do we know from our ancestors of the European Iron Age?
   The Coligny Calendar found in Gaul (France) mentions the month of December as Deuoriuos. The word 'Riuros' translates to "frost month" from the Gaelic reo, Welsh rhew, Breton riv. In Irish 'reo' means a deep-darkness, so the word Deuorious (Deuo-ro-ious, "great divine feast") would be linked to their observation of the Winter Solstice and would give us a glimpse of the Old Celtic understanding of this holiday. A deeper look into the Gaulish Coligny calendar of the 'samos-giamos' part of the year would give us a more in depth understanding of these solar points on the calendar and their traditions in the continental Celtic world.  

   What can be said is that there was an effort to celebrate hope during this dark time. The seed of light sown in the womb of darkness will grow and in its appropriate season will bloom and blossom. Christmas tree lights, candles, bonfires are all good examples of our early focus of light during this time which clung to hope in connection for the Sun/Son to return. The Proto Indo European culture, and even Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung cover in depth this 'Child of Light- The returning Sun'. He is always born at the time of deepest darkness. What can not be argued is that the archetype is clear and cross cultural with the Mabon/Maponos. The divine child of light is associated with re-birth and salvation. 

   In times before the industrial revolution many of these Winter Solstice celebrations lasted weeks, "the 12 days of Christmas" comes from a time when the Solstice was celebrated for about 3 weeks. Such festivities were not merely indoor family traditions, but entire communal celebrations of public display. These included sporting events, processions/parades, musical performances, divination, and lots of feasting. 

So much could be said in detail about the many cultural celebrations during this time of year. To get a good feel for the many subtle layers of this seasonal festival one should look into a well researched study into the following:

Winter Solstice https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_solstice

Wren Day - Lá an Dreoilín https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wren_Day

Saint Stephen's Day https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Stephen%27s_Day

Mummer's Day https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mummer%27s_Day

Mari Lwyd https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mari_Lwyd

Cailleach https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cailleach

Alban Arthan - Alban Arthuan   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alban_Arthan

Yule https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

Mōdraniht   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mōdraniht

Krampusnacht - see krampus.
The Wild Hunt https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Hunt

Koročun or Kračun - Slavic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korochun


   We would be very dismissive if we did not mention the Norse/Germanic culture for it is here that we have the most direct imagery for our modern Christmas season. If you have a Christmas tree, garland, holly, wreaths, lights and other things of green-red-white in your house consider it thanks to the Pagan Germanic customs. YULE being a holiday where we get much of our traditions from was during this Solstice time. Santa Claus from the Dutch: Sinterklaas is without argument a combination of the Christian Saint Nicholas and the much older tradition of the God Odin during Yule with one of his many names as Jolnír. It was common for children to leave carrots or other treats in their shoes for Odins eight-legged horse Sleipnir much like children hang stockings and leave treats for Santa and his reindeer today. 




Does your family eat Ham during Christmas? Ever wonder where that comes from? The Yule Boar! Check out the following.
The Yule Boar - Sonargöltr https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonargöltr


   It is hard to forget the Germanic Yule Goat often associated with Krampus the counter part of the dark side of Saint Nicholas. This half man half goat beast would punish the children who misbehaved. No doubt this bastardized anthropomorphic figure is a direct connection to the Germanic pagan past of a Horned God figure. Imagine growing up in alpine Germany long ago where you were terrified by this creature and then having a man in a costume come to your house, spank you or scare the jeebus outta ya. Be good or else! I know some parents that still bribe their children with be good or else. It be much cooler if they dressed up as Krampus after some story telling. 





There is three major themes that are connected to the Winter solstice of we dig through the cross cultural European traditions. 

1. The theme of the Child of Light. The spark of life who is born at the darkest time. To triumph he is often hidden away until the right moment. From the Irish Myths with Fionn Mac Cumhaill & Lúgh to the Welsh tales of Lleu & Mabon/Maponos, to even how Jesus was hidden from Herod the Great. The birth of the light child (Luke Skywalker) Luke = Lewk. The child of light a vigiorus leader who will rule during the samos half of the year when he grows after being hidden. 


2. The theme of the Exiled Mother. Powers of generation and growth are unable to manifest outwardly, but is still active & present usually hidden or not easily recognized. Stories of Demeter and Persephone, Isis and Osiris, Nanna and Balder add to the Celtic tales where we have The Great Mother and The Great Son. Sometimes its her consort, or husband who she wanders searching for while grieving instead of her child. 


3. The theme of the Sun Sacrifice. The new-born light must be given energy from a like source of itself. This is usually blood from a hunt or farm animal with the warm red blood sprinkled or poured onto the cold white ground where the seeds and crops go. Often by someone wearing Gold the color of the Sun. 



How ever you celebrate the Holiday Season, be aware that it is Happy Holidays & Seasons Greetings. There are so many cultures, customs, and traditions of both Judeo-Christian and Pagan being celebrated. I hope you can see from the above that we have more in common through archetype and symbolism than that which divides us. Have a safe and wonderful holiday, and always remember the wise words of our prophets William and Theodore; "Be excellent to each other, and Party on Dude." 







~ In the know:
Sirius shared the same declination as the Winter Solstice sun around 3,150 BC, when Newgrange was built, and it is possible the people who constructed Newgrange were well aware of this coincidental alignment, and therefore they may have used the passage of Newgrange to watch the precessional drift of Sirius over long periods of time. Viewed from Newgrange, Sirius set over a hill called Réaltoge, which is an Irish word for "star". In folklore, it was said there was gold buried under the ringfort. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Don't Shove the Dove!


In light of some recent happenings; I was left with a very upset mindset after someone's words and actions would not leave my mind. They were a bit pushy about their faith in a way that was rude and uncalled for.  So, I responded via txt the same way- Rude and offensive. Now this post is not an anti-Christain post, or even ani-semetic. I know lots of Christanins and Jews and some of them are awesome people. Some are friends of mine who respect me for me. It is too bad that this family member did not respect me in her words. The following is what was shared with them while very upset. 





It is Your Faith, not mine. Please respect that. 
(This was an e-mail directed to 'she who shall not be named.' I have edited some of the following content to better fit for a wider audience) 
~ Remember this is not directed to the reader here. 

I think you should really come to terms with what you believe and either make a choice and follow it or do something else. It is very simple, you can NOT be a Christian and not follow the 10 commandments. Contrary to popular belief they are not in order of what is most important. You can not pick and choose which best suits you. Breaking one is EQUAL to breaking any of them. That is right. Thou shall not kill is equal to Thou shall not steal. Just as Thou shall not covet a neighbors house is equal to Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

So, you really like that house down that one street better than your own house, and you really want it? Thats a SIN the SAME SIN as MURDERING SOMEONE!!! Thinking about fucking some guy, not doing it but thinking about it, yep sin. Same sin as not going to church! And you're a Christian? 

Now for a moment think about this; Both Jew and Christian take these rules on as only some of the rules of their faith. Yes, they come from the Old Testament which in fact makes them a bit more Jewish, but both Christian and Jew believe that these 10 Commandments were actually written by "The finger of 'God' himself". Moses did not write them and bring them down to the Israelites, GOD WROTE THEM on the tablets and gave them to Moses for him to deliver. Now, do you believe that? Because if you don't... You're not a Christian. 

~ But Which God? 

"I am the Lord thy God"
This actually translates to "I am Yahweh your God" This is the opening of the 10 Commandments. 

I am Yahweh your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
— Exodus 20:2-6


So, This God Yahweh. He is a Hebrew God, a God who proclaims he is and should be the ONLY God of the Isrealites. Why? Was his competition causing problems? Pretty bold for a God to step out of his pantheon of other Gods and say, screw you guys, Im more powerful and better. Btw these people over here (The Israelites) are mine. As the Christians would call him "GOD" or God the Father; What do you really know about him? I dunno, how about the fact he just admitted to being a jealous God. One who will punish you if you do not follow him. Hey God, thanks for all those options! LOL He's clear when he says, he's Not the only God, but pick me, pick me, I'm the best and greatest and if you do this I will reward you, and if you don't you will be punished. Yea, nice God ya have there, but no thanks! Oh yea he smote entire cities killed tons of people, tried to destroy the earth by a massive flood but choses Noah and allowed his son (Jesus - btw: not his real name) to die and suffer. Great Father-God right there. Oh and I forgot, his promise of ever living after life in heaven that Jesus mentions is ONLY FOR JEWS. You have to be Hebrew to be Gods chosen people. After all Yahweh is the one who professes that he should be the only God of the Iseralites. 

But wait.... Did Yahweh exist before this and who was he? Was he apart of a larger Pantheon of Gods? What about his wife? (more on that later)

Best God ever, NOT! Thou shall not kill, but its okay if God punishes and kills entire cities? It's not okay to murder we can all agree on that one right? Don't forget the book of Deuteronomy and Leviticus where it is ALLOWED! Yep, you can capture a Pagan in your village, bring them to the boundary of your town line and stone them to death. WHAT?! Yep, God allows you to KILL PAGANS. Says so right in the Bible. Throw rocks at them until they are dead... Nice God. I am the Lord thy God ~ Thou shall not kill, but... kill Pagans, thats okay with me. FUCK THAT! 

What more, I'm not a Hebrew-Jewish and none of this applies to who my ancestors are on either side of my families. 

So... Loaded terms like God, and Lord, these are titles and things I am generally not okay with. 

Faiths like Judaism, Christianity, Islam are all Middle-Eastern Hebrew and Arab faiths. They all claim to be the only way to salvation or heaven. That each one is the right way. Each has a holy book, each has a prophet, and a God that for thousands of years people have killed others for because their God told them to. Again... not who my ancestors were, so I don't care about their faiths. They can believe them all they want, and I will as an American go to war and fight and die to defend their right to believe and practice their faiths, BUT don't shove your God down my throat or you will see a side to me that will quickly test your beliefs. 




So, What about Jesus?

To be a "Christian" You must FULLY believe in the following 10 statements

1. Jesus was born of a Virgin

2. Was the ONLY son of God

3. Is the ONLY way to salvation

4. Performed the following miracles: 

1)Calms a Storm on the Sea of Galilee with a wave of his hand.
2) Heals the demonized man at Gerasa
3) Raises Jairus's dead daughter back to life
4) Feeds crowd of 5 thousand
5) Heals a man who was born blind
6) Changes water to wine
7) Cures a Centurions servant with no contact
8) Heals the paralytic at the pool- man who couldnt walk for 38 years.
9) Reverses the drought of fish. After a fruitless night of fishing on the Sea of Galilee, Peter receives a command from Jesus to lower his nets again. This time so many fish are caught that Peter’s nets begin to break.
10) Heals the demonized in Synagogue at Capernaum. 
11) Heals Peters monther-in-law and many sick.
12)Heals the leper
13)Heals another paralytic
14) Heals the woman who touched him. 
15) Walks on the lake and stills the storm
16) Feeds four thousand people
17) Heals the blind, mute, and demonized son in Peraea
18) Heals 10 lepers
19) Raises Lazarus from the dead
20) Curses the fig tree and it withers
21) Resurrected himself from the dead
22) After rising from the dead he supplies an abundance of fish


5. You believe in the resurrection of Jesus: That he Died on the Cross & Rose from the Dead

6. You believe in Sin

7. You believe that by believing in and praying to Jesus (ONLY) you will be saved during life and after death because you believe he died for your sins.

8. You believe in heaven and hell.

9. You believe that the Bible is the word of God. That there is no higher authority of Gods Laws. The Old Testament and The New Testament, You follow all of the 10 Commandments, etc. 

10. You believe in One God that exists in 3 persons also known as the Holy Trinity: Father (God aka. YHWH) Jesus Christ as the only son of God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

    ~   If you do not believe in all of these things then by definition than you are NOT a Christian, you are something else. You can not pick and chose what you want to believe and call yourself a Christian! That is a fact. That is not how the Religion works!!!!  If a Vegetarian eats a little fish now and then, maybe an egg once a month then they are not a Vegetarian by definition, they are something else. 

There are also things you can not do if you are a Christian. A small example list is as follows: (This is based on the Christian belief that the Bible is the highest authority of Gods Law) 

Shaving - Lev 19:27
Cursing - Eph. 5:4
Gossip - Lev 19:16
Football on Saturday - Exod. 20:8
Eating Lobster - Lev 11:10
Eating Pork - Lev 11:7
Wearing Cotton mixed with other fibers - Lev 19:19
Associating with women who are having their periods - Lev. 15:19-20


So?
After all of this are you a Christian? What God/Lord are you worshiping? You cant pick and choose. Make a choice, and have the guts to follow it through. It's not hard to understand that your ancient ancestors lived just fine with their own Gods for many thousands of years before Christianity even existed. And it wasn't until then that they got along just fine without being ruled by a foreign faith pushed upon them without a choice. You know what? I have a choice, and my choice is to follow my heart and listen to it. That is why I follow the path of my ancestors and have no fear! The Jews and Christians can keep their God, their Lord, their Jesus. I don't believe in sin, I don't believe Mary was a virgin, I don't believe he died on the cross and came back from the dead, etc. Why?

~ Sin doesn't and never existed outside of the ancient Hebrew world. No other faiths have it. Do the Hindus have it? Did Native Americans have it? What about the Celts and Norse, the Balts, Slavs, Thracians, Scythians, Etruscans? Nope. 

~ Do women get impregnated from God? No! He didn't look like his brothers and sisters; yes Mary and Joseph had other kids after Jesus (Yeshua) which means Joshua. How do women get pregnant...? Only one way, Intercourse; and if that wasn't with her Husband Joseph than she would have been stoned to death while pregnant. She could have been unfaithful, or she could have been raped! Regardless a mother protects her unborn child, and she does what? LIES!!! An angel came to me from God and said...blah blah blah. Why? So she doesn't get brutally murdered by having an entire village throw rocks at her face until her brains oozed out of her head, thats why. 

~ Death on the cross? You can not die and come back days later. That means he didn't die on the cross because there were many accounts people saw him afterwards. So he didn't rise from the dead, he simply wasn't dead. Were they not giving him pain killers while he was up on the cross? Why was he buried in a private tomb? Why do the stations of the cross show the moon out while putting him in the tomb? Were they possibly taking him out of the tomb? Possibly I dunno, moving the body or even reviving/healing him? If I saw someone days later after being killed I'd call that a ZOMBIE. 

Jesus is basically a Pagan God himself...well, basically. 
He breaks bread and shares it saying to take and eat it as it is his body. Think about it, bread is his body. What is bread? Bread is grain, it is the fertility and hard work of the fields, the harvest. He is about the threshing floor, the process of transforming grain to bread, about the winnow and the chaff, about separating and opening. He is the bread, the sustainer, the God of the field, John Barleycorn, he's a Pagan Deity in this aspect! But wait, there is more.

He also took a cup and said something about take this all of you and drink from it, for this is my blood...etc. Really, eat his body and drink his blood? Oh, it was wine? Well in all good things Dionysian he then becomes the fermentation of the vine, the produce of the vineyard, the magic of fermentation, and associated again with products of reaping, and harvest. He is not the grape, nor the vine, he is not juice he is the wine. Hey that rhymes! The point here is if his blood is the wine, he is associated with a process of fermentation - transformation.  The same with his body. The grains of the fields transformed and baked into bread. No doubt a Matzah, a passover bread made of eggs, wine, wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats. These were cooked in about 18 min or less as tradition has it the Israelites didn't have time to let their bread rise as they fled Egypt. This does NOT mean they didn't have yeast in them, it means they didn't allow time for the yeast to rise. Could this new covenant be about yeast? Something that rises again? We know the wine had yeast in it for fermentation and wine was used to make the Matzah. Perhaps the bread at the last supper was a leavened bread? Just a thought. Again, Yeshua was definitely not acting within Jewish tradition when he said those words at his Passover meal. It could even be argued that he wasn't trying to form a new religion but rather reform Judaism. 
~ Don't even get me started on Catholic thought about this. That God gives the Priest magical powers to actually transform, NOT through symbolism but actually transform the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus. Listen again, the actual body and blood of Jesus.  Transubstantiation, Look it up! Btw: It wasn't invented or used prior to the 11th century. 


Here is another provoking thought. Is it possible that God the Father (Yahweh) is not God the Father Jesus was talking about in his sermons? Think about where Yahweh comes from, who he is, his story/lore and his over-all nature in the Old Testament. Could it be suggested that Jesus was actually a messenger, teacher, prophet, whatever of the real "all powerful creator" sent here to teach us and remind us about love etc showing that the father of the bible isn't actually the real father at all, but a deity that stepped in with his own agenda? Hey just a thought. 



These are some other things to consider:
The Bible might be inspired by divinity but its a peoples book and therefore can be dangerous to base any form of credibility in its pages. It is a work that you read in your own language which by all means does not read the same way in its original texts. Translation upon translation, things omitted and taken out, edits, etc all make this book unreliable.

So.. The Dead Sea Scrolls. They are older and perhaps the most accurate of Old Testament, they written in hebrew Aramaic, and Greek.
But we often see that even simple words can differ greatly! 

Things like God creating mankind in his own image. When it reads - We created you in our image. Thats plural.  

Words like Adam - was a Hebrew word not meaning the name of an individual but it means 'human race'. 

With things like the Gospels, they are not 1st hand accounts of Jesus and his life, the 4 gospels are not a reality.
Mark was the 1st to be written and that was in 70 AD. None of them were 1st hand accounts. None of them actually met Jesus. Christianity existed for 300 before there was a New Testament.

So, who were the authors then of this new test?

I think all of these authors had a goal and an agenda, they included stories that met their agenda. The real author lies about their identity by telling stories that place them along side Jesus. 

Greek is the oldest and most common language of the Roman world and this is what we have written about Jesus that is used to create a later giant following used Globally. These people in charge of he writing wanted Romans with money to form a religion, one that could be used for power. Constantine did so in his religious political agenda for control.

There are so many stories that were not in the Bible that people accept today like they were. 
For instance, there no three wisemen at Jesus birth... no Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We often see the gospels don't agree. This with so many mistranslations over the centuries simply prove the book is unreliable as a source of faith. 

Every translation is an interpretation!

At Jesus death:
The women ran away, they were afraid....

The original page was destroyed or deleted, or even lost. It was most likely on the back of another page that didn't make the book. Then someone much later added 8 more vs #9-20 of the story of his resurrection. Why, because people were so dissatisfied with Marks gospel and how it ended abruptly. It became common practice to edit the bible to support new religious beliefs. Mother church had an official translation and ONLY a priest could interpret the content. You had to go to them for your questions and guidance. 

You could not translate the bible from latin or hebrew or greek on your own without persecution. It was forbidden to own an unlicensed bible, and you would be put to death for heresy. The bible was not for everyone, it was priests only. 

Stories added like the one found in the King James bible where Jesus and woman (John 7 and 8)
Where she is caught in the act of adultery. Jesus says let them without sin cast 1st stone, was never in any original books. It was a story people told about him and then added at that time. 

The Bible has been trimmed, cut, embellished and even mythologized to the point of romanticism so many times even the basic messages have been lost. 

Back to the Dead Sea Scrolls - 
Not every piece is account for. Back in 1947 many fragments and even entire scrolls were stolen and sold off. Might there be tons of info missing that is untranslated or even lost forever that tells us another story, are there more scrolls out there still in a desert cave that would give us insight?  

So who decides what is cannon? Why do they chose this over that? I feel the agenda is politics and not religious. Books edited out like the Apocrypha which means "hidden things" or secret teaching are not accepted as accepted cannon but they give an alternative source to understand things that were rejected.  That any book that contradicts which they accept to be cannon is rejected and considered heresy and then punishable by torture and death. Very Christian LOL

You could look at The Book of Enoch. "He walked with God and then he was not, God took him." 
He was removed from hebrew txts but why? Was the message of promoting the notion that God is angry and vengeful, to where Enoch shows God as compassionate and caring about human welfare somehow controversial and not fitting to accepted txts. I think so. 


The Nag Hammadai have 52 txt and were compiled around the 2-4th centuries by The Gnostics. Many of the txt were burned and destroyed because they did not fit the political agenda of the established message. For instance the Gospel of Thomas. It offers a very different form of Christianity with a a very different Jesus.
So, what about his missing years? Where did he travel? His teachings are often very foreign to Jewish practice!


Look at Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Look into the Gospel of Mary - written 2nd cent ad 
He shared things with her that he didn't share with his other disciples. It has even been written that he loved her more. Why? I dunno, maybe she was his wife? The established church was a men rule over women system, and this takes hold and forces her story out. The Roman world operated on a male dominate system and you see her story disappear out of history. 

What of the Garden and the serpent? God doesn't want you to pursue knowledge. Why wouldn't God want you to have knowledge? The serpent granted knowledge to mankind instead of keeping it and hiding it from them. If God loves you so much why can you not have knowledge? Why is knowledge forbidden? The Church places blame on Eve not the serpent
Well what about Lilith? What about the people outside of the Garden?

~ 1st cent ad The book, The life of Adam and Eve which based on an original hebrew script offers a glimpse at the life after their expulsion from the garden. You see a more detailed story of cain able, seth, 30 sons and 30 daughters. 

Okay "God"
The Israelites in 8-9 century BCE give us hebrew inscriptions - that god had a wife. Yahweh and his Asherah.  She is mentioned more than 40 times in 9 different books. Often as the Queen of heaven. She worshiped as late as the 7th cent bc and her symbols are a tree and a serpent. It could be suggested that the Adam and Eve stories are derived from older Goddess myths. Though in later stories and in books like Deuteronomy she is banned, she is not tolerated or accepted as being even related to or apart of Yahweh, why? Because to the Israelites God 'became' but wasn't always, a sexless deity, and had no consort. But only among the Israelites was "he" a sexless gender.  The Gnostics show her as an equal as a mother with her husband Yahweh as a father in heaven by the gnostics. Earth Mother, Sky Father... very very common in the ancient world. 


Books like Revelations are odd!
Look at John's apocalypse - which comes from the Greek and means a revealing or an unveiling; not end of the world doomsday event. It is about a prophet that has a vision. There were other books just like it that didn't make it in like the apocalypse of Peter.  This was just one of 20 books of revelation that were kept out of the standard Bible people accept as "The Bible" In Peters story it offers a guided tour of heaven and hell where peter is shown by Jesus what hell and torture is like.  

~ all bible stories are censored and edited.  


Who was this Jesus? 
He was actually born around 4-7 BCE, during the reign of Herod the Great, so we live on a wrong calendar. LOL
He was not born in bethlehem, but in nazareth. We know this by Roman census which for taxation they kept good documentation.  So why they story? The Messiah was suppose to be born in Bethlehem, so they changed their story to fit his role. 
What about his life before he was a prophet? His Lost years? He had 4 brothers and a few sisters, about 7 kids or more in his family and they get lost later in his life story because of the "virginity of Mary".

Born of a virgin?
In hebrew the original txt Mary is called - Almah which simply means a young woman, one of marital age. It wasn't until the translation into Greek where the translators thought this meant virgin. They ran with this virgin title with an attempt to justify Jesus as a Messiah in his fulfillment role of the Old Testament prophesies. All of a sudden he was divine and a miracle child.

Want a different perspective of Jesus as a child? Read the Infancy Gospel of Thomas was Jesus Brother. 

 Who was Jesus mentors? Perhaps John the Baptist aka John the dipper. It could be said that he was Jesus 1st cousin. 
It was written that Mary was kins woman of elizabeth... Johns mother. They probably grew up together, John was the big guy, well known, many thought John was their teacher and Messiah. John was popular and dangerous because the jews didnt like being a conquered people from the Romans. They eventually had him arrested, sent to prison, and beheaded. 
This is when Johns followers begin to followed Jesus. 

So were his miracles real, or did his followers help him publicly so more would follow? His messages were directed the poor people. He threatens the status quo.  He tells people to quit their jobs and to leave their families. It was women that contributed funds to his ministry. Because he had no job, no money to eat or drink. Mary is mentioned again as his benefactor, maybe Mary was his wife? She was not a prostitue but a victim of a churches agenda to take away power from the female role in all things spiritual.


So many get stuck on titles.
Things like "The son of man"... In Aramaic, Bar 'ěnoš. simply meant "a person"its like saying 'someone'. It wasn't really connected to any Messianic meaning. But he did know the scriptures and tried to step into a role that already existed. His primary task was to recreate the kingdom of David on earth and to liberate the Jews. Did he actually claim he was the Messiah? His message was about renewal, revolution, change, and fulfillment of the old prophesies ... He was trying to fulfill that common people were equal to the wealthy. This resonated with the occupied Jews. The Romans see him as a threat because he has a political agenda; He was after all a revolutionary. 
He old his apostles there will be 12 thrones to rule over the 12 tribes of Israel. His mission was non military. But if thats what their role was to be, what was Jesus role? Was Jesus to be the new king of the Jews? 

He was a passive holy man type figure, but by allowing his followers to call him Messiah this was like waging war on Caesar himself. The religious hierarchy and the Romans plotted his death for being someone who was starting a movement that could create a war. A week before passover in Jerusalem, Jesus enters the city on a donkey.
He humbly riding on a donkey fulfills this old image of prophecy to show Jews present who he thought he was... the promised Davidic King, the Messiah. He was starting a rebellion by doing this. Roman rule did not fancy such demonstrations. 

At the Temple he looses his temper over financial corruptions and makes a scene. Stating, "this house of God which is for prayer for ALL nations, has become a house of commerce." Doing so he becomes a vice of judgement. Ultimately this sets the course to his death. He shouts and whips people, was he trying to ignite a political revolt. The question here is was he delusional in who he thought he was, and how he perceived himself?  So he was arrested on a charge of sedition.  He was to be put to death with no hearing, or formality as we see in the bible, but thats not Roman practice. Also its held at night, on a holy day, at passover, all of which was illegal. Doesn't make much sense.  With a crime written above his head, "king of the jews" he was placed in a private tomb why?

3 days after his death "3 days" huh..? The moon dies and is reborn after 3 days. 
It was in the private tomb of his uncle - Joseph of Arimathea who put him there. When passover is done, a final rite and place in final resting place would be in order, the body was taken for a final burial. Why was his body missing when the women went to check on him? He was missing because he died hours before the sabbath and had to be later prepared for final burial. BUT was he deliberately removed to create speculation, and controversy, and were the gospels written to promote his divine origins? His followers were the ones that make him into the Messiah, its they who elevate him to a status which is still seen as divine. 




~ Anyway, Not my circus, not my monkeys, this is not my faith! The details I find interesting for study but thats it. I will not worship a man that "might" have existed a few thousand years ago. My Gods are much different. 

Life is about choices, and if you choose to believe these things that is your choice. My choices are very different. You can either learn about my faith and respect me, or stop shoving the dove down my throat. If you can not respect my faith, do not think for a moment you have a place in my life. Tolerance, understanding, compassion. Ya know, things your faith talks about. Why not give them a try.  Leave me out the next time you txt me about Your God, and The Lord. I will repeat from the beginning of this letter: 

I think you should really come to terms with what you believe and either make a choice and follow it or do something else. Educate yourself on your faith for starters before you preach to me. It is very simple, you can NOT be a Christian and not follow the 10 commandments. You can not pick and choose within your faith, your religion does not allow for that. If you want to that is fine, lots of people do that, but they can not be defined as a Christian. There are things that define you as a Christian, Either follow those things or do something else. You have a choice, I have choice, thats the beauty of life. The nice thing is, if you choose to shove your dove into my life again I will kill it and feed it to my kids. Have a beautiful day! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Corr Bolg

The Irish Crane Bag

The above bag was made for me by Kelsey Goodwin at StarLeather https://www.etsy.com/shop/StarLeather 

She makes wonderful pouches/sporrans that are very affordable and she does custom work at a very fair price. 








     Since I was child I would often collect things I found and put them in a special bag. My magic pouch held rocks, twigs, roots, nuts, feathers, bones, shells, teeth and more. I had special names for each item, and I would on occasion talk to them, hold them and use them in an imaginative play of sorts. I still have a few of these items from early youth and today they hold a deeper meaning for many reasons. As the years have gone by this meaningful collection has waxed and waned as it should. Items have been lost and others were given away to those whom I felt were in benefit of a gift. It wasn't until I was around the age of eighteen that I heard the term 'Crane Bag' used for what I had always dubbed in childhood as my magical pouch. After almost twenty years in a Druid Order I came to understand this in a new way. Though there there still was a cloudiness, or a fog surrounding this Crane Bag of sorts. Many of us on the Pagan path use a Crane Bag simply to hold our items, but what do we really know about the bag? Let us briefly examine where this tradition comes from, and to what it may allude to.

    Why is it called a Crane Bag?

If we look to Irish Mythology where this term originates; Corr Bolg (Crane Bag) we will glimpse a theme as to why the Crane Bag held such importance.

This is a poem from ‘The Poem-Book of Finn’, (Duanaire Finn) Contained within describes the magical Crane-Bag of Manannán & Aoife, the daughter of Delbaeth. How she had been turned into a crane by the jealous Iuchra. How she went to live within Manannán’s household until she passed away. Manannán made the magical bag out of her skin, (as human or crane?) within it held his many treasures. It was passed on in time to others again & again throughout the many tales in Irish mythology.  




Duanaire Finn
I have a question for thee, Caoilte, man of the interchanged weapons: to whom did the good Crane-bag belong that Cumhall son of Treanmhor had?
A crane that belonged to gentle Manannan — it was a treasure of power with many virtues — from its skin, strange thing to prize — from it was made the Crane-bag.
Tell us what was the crane, my Caoilte of many exploits, or, tell us, man, why its skin was put about the treasures.
Aoife, daughter of dear Dealbhaoth, sweetheart of Ilbhreac of many beauties — both she and luchra of comely hue fell in love with the man.
luchra, enraged, beguiled Aoife to come swimming, it was no happy visit: when she drove her fiercely forth in the form of a crane over the moorlands.
Aoife then demanded of the beautiful daughter of Abhartach: ’How long am I to be in this form, woman, beautiful breast-white luchra?’
‘The term I will fix will not be short for thee, Aoife of the slow-glancing eyes: thou shalt be two hundred white years in the noble house of Manannan.
‘Thou shalt be always in that house with everyone mocking thee, a crane that does not visit every land: thou shalt not reach any land.
‘A good vessel of treasures will be made of thy skin — no small event: its name shall be — I do not lie — in distant times the Crane-bag.’
Manannan made this of the skin when she died: afterwards in truth it held every precious thing he had.
The shirt of Manannan and his knife, and Goibhne’s girdle, altogether: a smith’s hook from the fierce man: were treasures that the Crane-bag held.
The King of Scotland’s shears full sure, and the King of Lochlainn’s helmet, these were in it to be told of, and the bones of Asal’s swine.
A girdle of the great whale’s back was in the shapely Crane-bag: I will tell thee without harm, it used to be carried in it.
When the sea was full, its treasures were visible in its middle: when the fierce sea was in ebb, the Crane-bag in turn was empty.
There thou hast it, noble Oisin, how this thing itself was made: and now I shall tell its faring, its happenings.
Long time the Crane-bag belonged to heroic Lugh Long-arm: till at last the king was slain by the sons of Cearmaid Honey-mouth.
To them next the Crane-bag belonged after him, till the three, though active, fell by the great sons of Mile.
Manannan came without weariness, carried off the Crane-bag again; he showed it to no man till the time of Conaire came.
Comely Conaire slept on the side of Tara of the plains: when the cunning well-made man awoke, the Crane-bag was found about his neck. 





What can be said from this?
    In the previous poem we learn that the Crane bag was made by Manannán ma Lir containing many personal treasures to him. Aífe was transformed into a crane by a jealous rival, luchra; she spends 200 years in the household of Manannán mac Lir. When she dies, he uses her skin to hold things precious to him. Though when she dies is she in crane form or a human? The personal items included are his knife, shirt, the king of Scotland's shears, the king of Lochlainn's helmet, the bones of Assal's swine, and the girdle of the great whale's back. Notice that at high tide the treasures are visible in the sea, but at ebb tide they vanish. To what does this allude? Should our Crane Bags wax and wane with the moon and tides each month?
    There is a lot of speculation that the bag contained the letters of the Ogham alphabet. Perhaps it was a bag of Ogham lots carved or burnt on wood? Specifically here, we can suggest the last five letters of the Ogham are being mentioned through symbolism of the original twenty script, making it a twenty five basic script. One early form of Ogham divination was done by observing the legs of cranes. We also see that the bag went through various owners, including Lugh Lamhfada and Liath Luachra from whom it is obtained by Fionn ma Cumhaill. 
   Let us start picking this apart. We know that Manannan was the God of the sea, we have reference to objects that are seen and unseen through the timing of the tides within the bag. Objects like his shirt and his knife and thus a bag created out of a cane-woman. Did the bag hold water? Is there something special dealing with the moon maybe and the concept of these tides? If Manannan is the Sea God, then is he not responsible for the ebb and flow of the tides? Suggesting what could be visible and yet unseen would be within his control and not just that of the natural cycles. Something to consider if you have a personal Crane Bag. Who is allowed to see what, and which times we allow it. We are dealing with sight here, so the seen and unseen could be a light vs. darkness correlation. Could these following Ogham letters on the right hand side of the diagram below represent the items (treasures) listed from this poem? Do they not look like shears/sciccors, a helmet, etc? Was this suggested a form of a hidden language. Maybe language to be hidden from others through use of the Ogham? The Ogham was not a language of the masses in its earliest form as we know. 






What of these treasures? 
     The shirt of Manannán and his knife, what could possibly be the Sea Gods shirt? Since we are not talking about an actual tunic, maybe it's not even fabric at all. Maybe its the ocean itself or something of the ocean like sea weed? It could have been the knowledge of weaving even, maybe like the ebb and flow we could apply some sort of weaving pattern? This is seen possibly as the (AE) Ogham. The knife that he had belonged to Guibhne the Smith God, and it might be the knife like hook found in the Ogham (IO). Maybe it wasn't a knife at all but the knowledge of smith-craft? Maybe the knife is a Druids sickle or reaping hook, maybe its the crescent moon above the water? The King of Scotland's shears (Ui), A good question we may ask is what did the shears symbolize? Cutting, trimming, perhaps keeping up on hygiene or appearances. We do know the Celts were often manicured and took pride in appearances. The King of Lochlainn's helmet (OI) might also be found by their shape among the Ogham. What is a helmets job, protection of the head, what is in the head? The Celts thought that the head was the seat of the soul and it was highly venerated, and sometimes taken in battle. It could be that the helmet represented an attribute of protection of such things? The bones of Asal's swine, and a bone from the great whales back could be cross bones laid overlapping one another creating the (EA) ogham. Bones are symbols of our bodies death, though why the swine & the whale? Are stones of the earth the bones of the earth which many carved Ogham onto, who is to say. A much deeper study of all of these symbols should be considered. I feel these are possible suggestions of the corresponding attributes pertaining to these diphthongs.  http://naturemeanings.blogspot.com/2013/02/irish-ogham-forfeda-additional-letters.html





    We know that mythology gives us stories that are full of symbolism and metaphors, that things are never what they appear. We see that Aoife in her passions is punished by someone who has a jealous heart. He punishes her by transforming her form into that of a Crane. This theme can be found in a few myths where someone is punished by being transformed into an animal. It is only natural to assume that since she was transformed into a Crane that she should be in the presence then of Manannán with his very watery attributes. What we should mention is the transformation into an animal within a story was never seen as a punishment, the punishment was that they were forbidden to willingly on their own accord to transform back into human form until a given time. As all the tales tell us today, Aoife spent 200 years as a Crane in the company of Manannán. The theme of time within Celtic myths is not how we understand it in our culture, especially that of otherworldly time in the Sea Gods home none the less. From what we gather from the lore, a few moments in the other-world can be generations in our time, and sometimes the opposite where years over there can be but a few moments in our time. This is not suggesting that the Celts didn't understand time, simply that as pastoral and agricultural culture their concept of the seasons, of the light and dark half of the year was perhaps so 'organic and natural' that we are missing something from our own cultural understanding. We would have to live that lifestyle to understand it. I feel to accomplish any real understanding multiple generations would have to undergo living as they did to try and understand where their mindset originates. On a side note, have you ever been camping for a prolonged period of time, say a week or more with no technology, no watches, phones, no time; just sun up, sun down? It changes you, it resets your inner clock! 

     So, then how does a woman become transformed by jealousy? In good Celtic response I would say, 'not hard'. In a very real humanistic approach we need to try to apply this to what we know if we hope to learn from these stories. Ask yourself, how in your life has someone's jealousy and actions changed and transformed you? Aoife was banished to go live with Manannán. Would a jealous lover not cause you to be repelled or seek exile from their presence? Perhaps even to move away and be alone with only the Gods and the ocean. A place full of vast openness always considered to be the place of unknown and unpredictable; which could be be said of anyones future. The part of Aoife being punished is also a theme to explore. When one feels jealousy, they act out of betrayal and harshness. Have you ever been jealous yourself, how did you feel and act? Though any such punishment we may bestow upon those we feel wronged by is only a mask of sadness we wear, not anger. In the end we are only punishing ourselves. 

   Let us examine the Crane in Celtic lore. It can be said that the bird is associated with knowledge or wisdom. It has its ties to the Ogham language as people could read omens from the position of the Cranes feet while it stood still on one leg, or even in flight. In the Irish Book of Leinster Midhir has three cranes which guard his fortress. They had abilities like that of being able to steal away an attackers will to fight. There are three Cranes which are said to guard the entrance to Annwn the Welsh Underworld. Three cranes stand upon a bulls back in a Gaulish carving. Perhaps the Crane speaks of the Goddesses dark aspects? With its loud cry it became later associated with that of mean and unpleasant women in later folklore. Though before this we can see in tales the Crane is a good omen, where Fionn MacCumhail's Grandmother shape-shifts into a crane to save his fall from a cliff when he was a child. In our esoteric studies we learn of the Crane Pose. This is where the individual stands on one foot, closes one eye, with a rock in one hand and pointing with the other. They turn the stone in their hands over and over, recite a certain style of poetry with their backs to a Hawthorn tree as they return ill will to the sender. Powerful stuff. 



What do we put into our Crane Bags and why?
   It is agreed that within our bags the items that are contained are symbols for other things. The power they have is in our ability to attach meaning and memory to them. Just as in Manannán's bag with his the shirt, helmet, and bones. These items were no doubt symbols for things, and not the actual items mentioned. Your items could be sacred objects from locations or pilgrimages, things that represent deeds done, or rites of passages you've been through. Your items could represent anything from the people you know to specific types of energy you work with. A common practice is often that objects being so personal are not for the common view of others or even anyone at all depending on the individual. It is the practitioners microcosm of their magical world. We use these items upon our altars for certain work, we use them for personal divination, and healing, and sometimes in a sort of chess game allowing us to place desired items at certain points; thus actively shaping our unseen world in hopes for a desired outcome.
    I make it a point to shape many (not all) of the items in my bag to form them into highly personalized items. For example a rock from a certain location may be altered by inscribing or carving a symbol upon it. This creates not only an object with a meaning and memory but one that has physical work put into it, forming it into something else entirely. I have two Crane Bags, one is my esoteric/magical bag, the other is a sort of modern Druid take on a EDC survival kit. To give you a good example of what is in my magical Crane Bag I will give you some of the basic items, without of course their private personal attributes:





     My crane bag is made of deer leather, and can fit the size of a giant phone book within it. It has a small inner pocket which often holds items for ready use. Like a pipe and a tobacco pouch. It is the over the shoulder style bag like a haversack. There is a triskele I painted very roughly with three cranes heads on the flap of the bag which was done in woad. The toggle style closure to it has an antler button from which a bear claw and an elk ivory dangle. From some of its hanging leather ties I have an Ice Age walrus tooth that is carved, hazel nuts with ogham, a small bone skull, a red squirrels tail, a ravens talon, a sea shell from Tintagel Cornwall, and an owl feather from New Forest England.
     Inside my Bag I have many small bags and some loose items. I have an Ogham set of the 20 trees each being from the corresponding tree. Many types rocks/minerals carved with various symbols. Teeth, bones, feathers, an owl and a hawk talon, rocks from many holy places in Ireland, Wales, England, a small piece of a castle in Scotland, turff from Ireland, a needle, thread and a thimble, a druids egg, a large carved piece of mandrake root, a hand carved pipe of Cernonnus, a broken harp string, a braid of hair, a boars tusk, carved figures on ice age antler, bog oak, bog yew, a rowan wand carved with ogham, a cloth for divination, old coins from over seas, sheep knuckles, Fidchell game pieces carved with ogham, a leather roll-out Fidchell game board, a promise ring cut in half! a seeing stone to magnify things, my sons umbilical cords, an effigy carved out of mistletoe, acorns, a sun dried Irish potato, an herbal smoking mixture, a salmons skull painted with woad, a flask of real Irish poitín, and various other things made from bone, stone, horn, antler, amber and wood. Sometimes I carry my Broze-Age replica Sickle, and my gold torc when not wearing it.
      As you can see, you can put what ever you want in your Crane Bag, as long as each item is highly personal and personalized. Sometimes I only carry certain objects with me, other times my bag is full. Wax and wane. Much of the power of these objects comes from the memories and associations they symbolize to you. Your bag is not a catch all, you don't just gather items and toss them into your bag. They are carefully selected, worked on and added with great purpose. They are your 'world' in microcosm, ebbing and flowing at all times.
    The question of why we hold certain objects with power or reverence could be looked at that in different ways. Perhaps the item does hold its own personal power, and that alone is enough. It can be a simple item like a feather or a river rock that just called out to you, and we didn't analyze it any further. We just knew where its home was; that being within our Crane bag. Another perspective is that you quested for an item, you might have been looking for an object to have in your bag designated for a certain individual like a grandparent, an ex, or even a child. Why do we gather such items? Why do some of them call to us? Why do we place value on them as important things to us? Maybe the more important question is, what do we do with them and how do we use them once we have them? That is not a topic I can address here, and is for the individual to find out for themselves. If you are interested in making a Crane Bag I would suggest some further reading on Celtic tales, meditation, and working with some inspiration to design your own. It need not be fancy, and might simply be a small cloth pouch worn on your belt, or even a sporran. Only you have these answers.