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January 1, 2016

What the future awaits?

I call the Most Powerful Goddesses of the Greek pantheon: The Fates

The Moirai (Fates) controlled the mother thread of lifestyle of every mortal from birth to death. They were independent, at the helm of necessity, directed fate, and watched that the fate assigned to every being by eternal laws might take its course without obstruction. The gods and men had to submit to them, although Zeus's relationship with them is a matter of debate: some sources say he is the only one who can command them (the Zeus Moiragetes), yet others suggest he was also bound to the Moirai's dictates. They assigned to the Erinyes, who inflicted the punishment for evil deeds, their proper functions; and with them they directed fate according to the laws of necessity.
Invisible bonds and knots could be controlled from a loom, and twining was a magic art used by the magicians to harm a person, and control his individual fate. Similar ideas appear in Norse mythology, and in Roman legends. The appearance of the gods and the Moirai may be related to the fairy tale motif, which is common in many Indo-European sagas and also in Egyptian Mythology, Seven Hathor. The fairies appear beside the cradle of the newborn child and bring gifts to him.
the three Moirai were:
Clotho (/ˈkloʊθoʊ/, Greek Κλωθώ– "spinner") spun the thread of life from her Distaff onto her Spindle. Her Roman equivalent was Nona, (the 'Ninth'), who was originally a goddess called upon in the ninth month of pregnancy.
Lachesis (/ˈlækɨsɪs/, Greek Λάχεσις "allotter" or drawer of lots) measured the thread of life allotted to each person with her measuring rod. Her Roman equivalent was Decima (the 'Tenth').
Atropos (/ˈætrəpɒs/, Greek Ἄτροπος [ˈatropos] – "inexorable" or "inevitable", literally "unturning", sometimes called Aisa) was the cutter of the thread of life. She chose the manner of each person's death; and when their time was come, she cut their life-thread with "her abhorred shears". Her Roman equivalent was Morta ('Dead One').
Zeus; King of the Gods and Their father
As goddesses of birth, who spins the thread of life, and even prophesied the fate of the newly born, Eileithyia was their companion. At the birth of a man, the Moirai spinned out the thread of his future life, followed his steps, and directed the consequences of his actions according to the counsel of the gods. It was not an inflexible fate; Zeus, if he chose, had the power of saving even those who were already on the point of being seized by their fate. The Fates did not abruptly interfere in human affairs but availed themselves of intermediate causes, and determined the lot of mortals not absolutely, but only conditionally, even man himself, in his freedom was allowed to exercise a certain influence upon them. As goddesses of fate they must necessarily have known the future, which at times they revealed, and were therefore prophetic deities. Their ministers were all the soothsayers and oracles. As goddesses of death, they appeared together with the Keres and the infernal Erinyes.

May the Fates weave good fortune for you this year and many years to come

December 25, 2015

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The story begins at Christmastime at King Arthur’s court in Camelot. The Knights of the Round Table join Arthur in the holiday celebrations, and Queen Guinevere presides in their midst. The lords and ladies of Camelot have been feasting for fifteen days, and now it is New Year’s Day. Everyone participates in New Year’s games, exchanging gifts and kisses. When the evening’s feast is about to be served, Arthur introduces a new game: he refuses to eat his dinner until he has heard a marvelous story. Be careful for you wish for.
While the lords and ladies feast, with Arthur’s nephew Gawain and Guinevere sitting together in the place of privilege at the high table, Arthur continues to wait for his marvel. As if in answer to Arthur’s request, an unknown knight suddenly enters the hall on horseback. The gigantic knight has a beautiful face and figure. Every piece of his elaborate armor is green, with flourishes of gold embossing. His huge horse is green, and his green hair and beard are woven together with gold thread. He holds a holly bob in one hand and a huge green and gold Great axe in the other as if he was a nature god of long ago.
Without introducing himself, the brash knight demands to see the person in charge. His question meets dead silence—the stunned knights, lords and ladies stare at him, waiting for Arthur to respond. Arthur steps forward, inviting the knight to join the feast and tell his tale after he has dismounted from his horse. The knight refuses the invitation, remaining mounted and explaining that he has come to inspect Arthur’s court because he has heard so much about its superior knights. He claims to come in peace, but he demands to be indulged in a game. Arthur assumes the knight refers to some kind of combat and promises him a fight. However, the knight explains that he has no interest in fighting with such young and weak knights. Instead, he wants to play a game (blow for blow) in which someone will strike him with his own axe, on the understanding that he gets to return the blow in exactly a year and a day.
The strange conditions of the game shock the court into silence once again. The entire court think he's nuts. The Green Knight begins to question the reputation of Arthur’s followers, claiming that their failure to respond proves them cowards. Arthur blushes and steps forth defend his court, but just as he begins to swing the great axe at the unfazed Green Knight, Gawain stands up and requests that he be allowed to take the challenge himself. The king agrees, and Gawain recites the terms of the game to show the Green Knight that he understands the pact he has undertaken. The Green Knight dismounts and bends down toward the ground, exposing his neck. Gawain lifts the axe, and in one stroke he severs the Green Knight’s head. Blood spurts from the wound, and the head rolls around the room, passing by the feet of many of the guests. However, the Green Knight does not fall from his horse. He reaches down, picks up the head, and holds it before him, pointing it toward the high table. The head speaks, repeating the terms of Gawain’s promise to come to the green chapel to finish the game. The Green Knight rides out of the hall, sparks flying from his horse’s hooves. Arthur and Gawain decide to hang the axe above the main dais. They then return to their feast and the continuing festivities like that were normal.

Merry Christmas







Happy Birthday to the Sun

Happy Birthday to the Gods of the Sun and Light

Sol
Sol Invictus "the Unconquered Sun" is the name of a Roman sun (sol) god popular from at least the 3rd century. Before Sol Invictus came to prominence, the Romans already had a sun god, Sol Indiges, who had been worshiped since the period of the Roman Republic. (The meaning of "Indiges" is debated. Sol Indiges could mean the indigenous sun.) The Emperor Nero had built a colossal statue associated with a sun god Sol. Sol Invictus may have been an import from the East. The Roman emperor Elagabalus worshiped a Syrian sun god, but it is Emperor Aurelian who is particularly associated with the Invictus because he, having attributed to the god his victory over the Palmyrenes, set up a temple to Sol Invictus in the Campus Martius, established a priesthood for the god, and created games in his honor (ludi solis), in 274. Aurelian tried to establish Sol Invictus as supreme god of the Romans, particularly among the military. During the period of the tetrarchy, Jupiter and Hercules regained prominence in the Roman pantheon, but then, with the accession of Constantine, Sol Invictus became top god until Rome's conversion to Christianity. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to AD 387, and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.
The idea, particularly popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, that the solstice date of 25 December for Christmas was selected in because it was also the date of a Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Unconquered Sun).

Huitzilopochtli
Huitzilopochtli is Aztec God of war, sun, human sacrifice and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan. He was also the national God of the Mexicas, also better known as the Aztecs, of Tenochtitlan. Many in the pantheon of deities of the Aztecs were inclined to have a fondness for a particular aspect of warfare. However, Huitzilopochtli was known as the primary war god in ancient Mexico. Since he was the patron god of the Mexica, he was credited with both the victories and defeats that the Mexica people had on the battlefield.
Panquetzaliztli (7 December to 26 December) was the Aztec month dedicated to Huitzilopochtli. People decorated their homes and trees with paper flags; there were ritual races, processions, dances, songs, prayers, and finally human sacrifices. This was one of the more important Aztec festivals, and the people prepared for the whole month. They fasted or ate very little; a statue of the god was made with amaranth (huautli) seeds and honey, and at the end of the month, it was cut into small pieces so everybody could eat a little piece of the god. After the Spanish conquest, cultivation of amaranth was outlawed, while some of the festivities were subsumed into the Christmas celebration.



Amaterasu

Amaterasu (天照) is in Japanese mythology a sun goddess and perhaps the most important Shinto deity. Her name, Amaterasu, means literally "(that which) illuminates Heaven." Amaterasu is seen as the highest manifestation of Kunitokotachi, the unseen, transcendent yet immanent, spirit of the universe. Amaterasu was born from the left eye of Izanagi, as he purified himself in a river, and went on to become the Ruler of the Higher Celestial Plane (Takamagahara), the abode of all the kami (gods). Her triumph over the storm god, Susano-O, secured her place as ruler of the world. Now the idea of the sun as a goddess, instead of as a god, is rare and it may be a survival from the most archaic stage of world mythology. What is even rarer is She is the Ruler of the Heaven and the Gods when other cultures have male rulers. Especially in modern time, the Sun Goddess is still being worship.


Shamash
Shamash was a native Mesopotamian deity and the Sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Early Hebrew pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, parallel to the Sumerian god Utu. Shamash is frequently associated with the lion, both in mythology and artistic depictions. In Canaanite religion a "son of Ba'al Shamash" is known for slaying a lion (the son himself possibly an aspect of the god), and Shamash himself is depicted as a lion in religious iconography.

Belenus
Belenus meaning 'bright' or 'brilliant', refers to the Continental Sun-God of the Celts. He is also a healer and associated with healing springs and the healing power of the Sun. The fire festival Beltane is one of Belenus’s festivals. He is Cognate with the Roman god Apollo, their prime Solar deity and also a healer. Often referred to as Apollo-Belenus, pre-Roman inscriptions are known.
The great British chief of the Trinovantes, Cunobeline which translated to the 'Hound of Bel', honored him in the 1st century CE. The image above is taken from a bronze coin of Cunobeline illustrated above. The obverse has a typically Celtic face with oval, staring eye, prominent brows and a walrus moustache. The hair radiates from around the face like the rays of the sun. The reverse displays a boar, a common Celtic symbol of ferocity, war and hunting as well as of feasting and Celtic hospitality. Great symbols for a Chief who had had to deal, probably successfully, with the increasing Roman influence in the 1st century AD.

Jesus
Jesus Christ was born circa 4 B.C.? in Bethlehem. Little is known about his early life, but his life and his ministry are recorded in the New Testament, more a theological document than a biography. According to Christians, Jesus is considered the incarnation or Son of God and his teachings are followed as an example for living a more spiritual life. Christians believe he died for the sins of all people and rose from the dead. Pagan Romans see him a Sun God of Compassion, Love and Healing.

December 14, 2015

Beware of Krampus


Krampus is the devilish child punishing companion of St. Nicholas. On December 6th, Nicholas brings joy and presents to good children throughout Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The kindly old Saint leaves the task of punishing bad children to a hell-bound counterpart The Horned Devil, also known as Krampus known by many names across the continent — Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Perchten, Black Peter, Schmutzli, Pelznickel, Klaubauf, and Krampus.
The evening before, “Krampusnacht”, the children are visited by the Krampus, St. Nicholas’s “bad cop” partner, a devil who rises from hell to torment bad children.
Krampus is usually portrayed as a classic red devil figure with fur, cloven hooves, horns and a long snake like tongue. He often carries instruments of punishment, sticks and chains to whip naughty children and a large backpack like wicker basket that is used to imprison children and transport them to hell. Although normally devilish, Krampus has taken on many forms, from a comedic hairy man-beast to a simplistic sinister man wearing black clothing.

Origins of Krampus

Krampus, whose name is derived from the German word krampen, which means claw, is said to be the son of Hel, who rules the realm of the dead in Norse mythology. Krampus also shares characteristics with earthy creatures in Greek mythology: satyrs.
The legend is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Austria and southern Germany, where Christmas celebrations begin in early December.
"It's really a pagan character which gets added onto Christmas, and stays in the Catholic countries," said Peter Jelavich, professor of history at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.
Krampus is a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas, who rewards children with sweets. Krampus, in contrast, swats "wicked" children with birch sticks and takes them to his lair.
According to folklore, Krampus shows up the night before December 6, known as Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night. December 6 is Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, when German children look outside their door to see if the shoe or boot they'd left out the night before contains presents (a reward for good behavior) or a rod or twigs (for bad behavior).

European Comeback
For years, Krampus was suppressed by the Catholic Church, which forbade raucous celebrations in the demon's name. During World War II, Europe's fascists deplored Krampus as a creation of the Social Democrats.
Santa also tried to take over the dark companion’s job of punishing the naughty, but his New World temperament was apparently unsuited for the task. As Santa neglected and abandoned his punishing duties, American kids lost all fear of Santa and his lumps of coal. Thankfully, in the 21st century, Krampus has arrived in this land of spoiled and dissatisfied children to pick up the slack.
But the demon is making a comeback in his homeland. Austrian retailers are attempting to soften Krampus's persona by selling chocolates, figurines, and collectible horns. National Geographic has published a book in German about the Christmas beast.
In Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, many men celebrate Krampusnacht by getting drunk, dressing as devils, and taking over the streets in a kind of Krampus run, chasing pedestrians through the streets.
Mythology experts say that such antics present a way for humans to get in touch with their animalistic sides. (Read about European men reviving pagan traditions in National Geographic magazine.)
Jelavich theorizes that modern Krampus celebrations represent "Halloween for adults," as Krampus celebrations get tongue-in-cheek: "These days, Krampus is the fun character."

KRAMPUS THROUGH THE AGES
2000 BCE Enkidu appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest known appearance of a 'Wild Man' in literature.
600 BCE In the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, King Nebuchadnezzar is punished by God for his pride when he is turned into a hairy beast.
217 BCE Saturnalia is introduced as a winter celebration in Rome, marked by gift giving, wild parties, and a reversal of the normal social roles of slave and master.
4th Century CE Due to Roman influence, many Germanic tribes, such as the Goths and Vandals, convert to Christianity; their pagan traditions survive in small villages in the Alps where the Church cannot penetrate.
1250 CE King's Mirror, a Norwegian text, features a Wild Man character who is described as being covered in hair.
17th Century CE 'Knecht Rupert' appears as a figure in a Nuremberg Christmas procession.
1810 CE The Brothers Grimm began publishing stories of Germanic folktales, marking a resurgence in Germanic pagan folklore.
Early 19th Century CE Holiday postcards from Austria, Germany, and other parts of Europe feature holiday greetings Krampus and other companions of St. Nicholas.
Early 19th Century CE Germanic and Dutch immigrants to the US popularize 'Pelznickel' traditions in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and as far west as Indiana.
2004 CE Blab! Magazine curator Monte Beauchamp publishes Devil In Design, a collection of vintage Krampus postcards from the turn of the 19th century. This book marks an increase in Krampus' popularity in the English speaking world.
2004 CE An Adult Swim show The Venture Brothers features Krampus during a Christmas special.
2007 CE The American television show Supernatural features an evil Krampus character.
2009 CE American satirist Stephen Colbert is visited by Krampus on his television show The Colbert Report.
2013 CE Krampus comes to the popular American television show Grimm.
2013 CE Krampus featured on the popular animated television show American Dad.
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