Warning. Don’t read if you love the Pope. Or like him.
On second thought, perhaps then you should read this.
In his ‘Message for the celebration of the day of World Peace 2013‘ the Pope says:
1. EACH NEW YEAR brings the expectation of a better world. In light of this, I ask God, the Father of humanity, to grant us concord and peace, so that the aspirations of all for a happy and prosperous life may be achieved.
Nice. I fully agree with this request. Especially the “aspirations of all” part. For some reason I think that the writer of this piece missed something fundamental in the convictions of his holiness the Pope. Take gay people, who are not fully developed humans. Or gay marriage, which is a threat to humanity. I assume all the gay people fall outside this ‘of all’ idea. And the folks who want to use contraceptive to improve health and for AIDS-prevention, for example in Africa? Are they exempt of ‘all’ too?
Another quote from his message:
peace presupposes a humanism open to transcendence.
The Christian church (the Pope?) should start practising this transcendence too. Get over the ideas of undeveloped people, threats to the world, and eradicating contraceptives for health reasons. Get up to speed with the world, don’t try to revert to the dark ages. There are enough people trying to do that without religion as their weapon.
Christianity is not a bad thing, on the contrary. Its basis is to be good for others. Like the basis of the Quran is, and all the other holy books that go around. It’s the interpreters of the words, the manipulators of texts and minds that are the wrong things.
As found on Celtic Myth Podshow:
Swearing On Horns
|Swearing on the Horns, Highgate, 1906. Described by Bryon in Childe Herald, there were once about 20 public houses in Highgate, where strangers were required to take a pair of antlers horns in their hands, and swear a jocular oath:
The custom of Swearing on the Horns in Highgate died out at the end of the 19th century, but has been revived as an occasional ceremony in certain pubs. (The London Encyclopedia, pp379-80, Papermac, London,1983).
The Pagan fertility god Herne the Hunter/the Green Man was one of the main gods of the ancient Britons from Paleolithic times. Chesca Potter, writing in her pamphlet Mysterious Kings Cross (Mandrake, Oxford, 1990), says that the Stag-headed God represents:
“The male fertilic power of nature, physically and spiritually. In prehistoric times, the Shaman would have dressed in deerskins and a mask with stag-horns becoming as the God . . .”
There is enough evidence to say that the Green Man/Herne the Hunter is well connected with certain areas of London: We have the Horn Fair – still held in Charlton village every year; the connection in the early history of Greenwich with fertility rites, stag worship and the Green Man; the possibility that Herne Hill is named after him, indeed, did the hill have a greater significance to the Stag-worshipping Celts of early London?
There is also the Pagan temple dedicated to the Goddess Diana which once stood on the site of St. Paul’s Cathedral, reputedly built by the legendary King Brutus who Diana appeared to in a vision in Malta and urged him to settle in “the great white island” – Albion some 3,000 years ago. He landed at Totnes in Devon and marched on London where he erected the temple of Diana – on which he recorded details of his vision of the Goddess of the Stag and Archery. This Pagan temple survived until the arrival of the Saxon’s in the 7th century when St. Pauls Catherdral was first built.
Thus, it could be argued that the worship of the Horned God and the Stag Goddess arrived with King Brutus and stayed an integral part of the religious life of Celtic Londoners right up the first suppression of Paganism in London in the 7th century A.D. However, the Pagan rites of Celt’s of London have survived well into recent times with the May Day festivals, the May Pole celebrations, and other festivities connected with the Green Man/Herne the Hunter. In medieval times, for example there was at least four major May Day festivals – often lasting well over a week: in May Fair (Mayfair), the Southwark Fair, the Greenwich Fair, and the Horn Fair from Bermondsey to Charlton.
Finally, there is also a belief that the Isle of Dogs is named after Herne’s 50 dogs, identified by their red tipped ears, and known as the Hounds of Hell. It is highly possible that the worship of the Green Man in Celtic times and beyond, was centered around Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs, although today there is scant evidence of this, except in the place names.
The ancient legends connect the Robin Hood/Green Man stories with Wimbledon Common and Windsor Castle, and possibly other areas of London through pub names: l notice there’s a Herne’s Tavern on Peckham Rye Common, one called The Horns in St. Pancras, the Horn Tavern in EC4, the Green Man in Bellingham etc.
The Horned God also has Germanic origins which were brought over by Pagan tribes such as the Angles and the Saxons to Britain from the 4th century onwards. Perhaps one of the reasons why stag workship has survived so long in most parts of Britains is that the Saxon tribes were themselves Pagans and no doubt contributed substantially to the survival of both the folkore and stag worship up until present times. One of our readers, Penda, from Germany, e-mailed me (March 2001) with the following information on the origins of stag worship in Britain.
If you want to know more, read all about it at the source.
The USA is a great country. No doubt about it. I’ve travelled it a lot of times, met wonderful, interesting, odd, funny people, and I saw beautiful places. It’s definitely a great country.
Note: from here on forward this post may be considered rude and offensive against the great nation of the United States of America. Proceed at own risk.
The people that run it, though, can’t make up their minds. It’s this scary religion thing that’s always up their arse. Now now, Pagan boy, that’s a bold statement! Yup. Look here. First amendment, copied directly from usconstition.net:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So there will be no law that forces a person to jump on a specific religion-wagon. Great. I am all in favour of that, as I don’t do gods and goddesses. But now there’s something odd. Have a look at the Pledge of Allegiance:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Whoops? Under God? Which one? The Christian one? The Muslim one? Any of the Pagan gods? (In which case there is a host of Pagan goddesses ready to picket against that one.) Whoa there, Pagan boy, the first Amendment is something of Congress, remember? Yup again. Just have a wee peek at the source of this Pledge quote: Wikipedia. Don’t laugh, I trust Wikipedia, especially in things like this. I am certain there are plenty of Americans who with reason guard the validity this sort of stuff that deals with the emotional heart of their nation and patriotism. And what do we find:
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed byFrancis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942.
Does this look odd in a way? The law says you don’t have to do religion, or do what you can. If you pledge allegiance to the flag however, there’s suddenly some god involved. When we look at the previous version (the current one is the fourth revision of 1954), we see:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
Hey, no god here! I wonder where that suddenly popped in from when the law of Congress still says there’s no god stuff happening. On the wikipage you can find: “The phrase “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress amending §7 of the Flag Code enacted in 1942.”
Ah… right. In one place they tell the world that America is free of religious impact, and in another place they sneak it in anyway. Way to go. Of course you can always refuse to pledge allegiance to the flag. I’m not sure how bad that would be though.
In half an hour or so I’ll head out. For Samhain. To meet the ancestors.
Laugh if you want, nod if you understand, shrug if you don’t care.
Last year’s memory of leaving the house still makes me laugh. As I went out (dressed for the occasion) a few trick or treaters (it’s taking some foothold over here as well), also dressed for the occasion, were walking up to the door and then I heard one of them say: “Damn, watch out, that’s a real one!”
I’ll be ‘a real one’ again tonight.
Blessed Samhain and blessed be.
No. It is not Halloween. It’s Samhain. See wikipedia if you don’t believe me. 😉
Samhain is a Gaelic festival celebrating the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter. For Wiccans and Pagans it’s considered a Sabbat to honour the ancestors who came before us and moved on to the Summerland (somewhat compared to heaven for Christians although different). It’s usually held right between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice and a good time to contact the spirit world, e.g. with a seance, because during this time the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. It is usually celebrated on the night of October 31 and November 1. In the old days the souls were welcomed to feasts where places at the tables were set for them. In many traditions and rituals this is still done.
Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us.
This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Think about the things you did in the last twelve months. Have you left anything unresolved? If so, now is the time to wrap things up. Once you cleared away all that unfinished stuff, move it out of your life, you can begin looking forward to the next year.
For some of us, Samhain is when we remember our ancestors. If you’ve ever done genealogy research, or if you’ve had a loved one die in the past year, tomorrow is the perfect night to celebrate their memory. If we’re fortunate, they will return to communicate with us from beyond the veil, and offer advice, protection and guidance for the upcoming year.
Blessed Samhain. Blessed new year.
There you have them. The Christian god, or how it’s often seen, and one of the Pagan gods, or how it’s often seen. It? Not Him or He? Yup. It. For me there’s no god in that way.
Of course, there are many people who don’t agree with me. They say that there is a god and that god looks after us all, even the sinners who don’t believe in him, because he is a god of love.
Well, maybe not all of us. But still, he looks after many of us! As long as you don’t look at another god. And don’t break his rules.
Oh well. But wait, don’t Pagans have gods? Heck, I’m a Pagan, so I should have gods too, right? At least one, maybe even more!
Uhm. No. I don’t do gods. I do the power of Nature, the Universe, of which I am a part.
My point of view is mine however. If you value your god, then god be with you. Or gods, depending on how many you choose to carry. I’m fine the way I am.
Happy godding. Until you’re ready to face life and the universe on your own strength.