Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

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Kali, the Vampire Goddess

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:01 am

Kali: The Vampire Goddess of the Hindu By Aslinn Dhan

Known for her frightful countenance complete with fangs, Kali is best known as the drinker of blood. Her appearance in the Hindi pantheon begins in the 6th century AD. She is painted in broad strokes as demoness and thief, warrior and lover to Shiva, chaos and order.

Eventually she is adopted as the dominate goddess of Tantric Hinduism. This may be because of her dual nature as creator and destroyer. This duality indicates a balance of self as all living creatures are two natured. Goddesses play an important role in the study and practice of Tantra Yoga, and are affirmed to be as central to discerning the nature of reality as are the male deities. Although Parvati is often said to be the recipient and student of Shiva's wisdom in the form of Tantras, it is Kali who seems to dominate much of the Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals. In many sources Kali is praised as the highest reality or greatest of all deities.

In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kali is one of the epithets for the primordial sakti, and in one passage Shiva praises her:

At the dissolution of things, it is Kala [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahakala [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahakala Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kalika. Because Thou devourest Kala, Thou art Kali, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [primordial Kali]. Resuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.

The figure of Kali conveys death, destruction, and the consuming aspects of reality. As such, she is also a "forbidden thing", or even death itself. In the Pancatattva ritual, the sadhaka boldly seeks to confront Kali, and thereby assimilates and transforms her into a vehicle of salvation. This is clear in the work of the Karpuradi-stotra, a short praise to Kali describing the Pancatattva ritual unto her, performed on cremation grounds. (Samahana-sadhana)

He, O Mahakali who in the cremation-ground, naked, and with dishevelled hair, intently meditates upon Thee and recites Thy mantra, and with each recitation makes offering to Thee of a thousand Akanda flowers with seed, becomes without any effort a Lord of the earth. 0 Kali, whoever on Tuesday at midnight, having uttered Thy mantra, makes offering even but once with devotion to Thee of a hair of his Sakti [his female companion] in the cremation-ground, becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and ever goes mounted upon an elephant.

The Karpuradi-stotra clearly indicates that Kali is more than a terrible, vicious, slayer of demons who serves Durga or Shiva. Here, she is identified as the supreme mistress of the universe, associated with the five elements. In union with Lord Shiva, who is said to be her spouse, she creates and destroys worlds. Her appearance also takes a different turn, befitting her role as ruler of the world and object of meditation. In contrast to her terrible aspects, she takes on hints of a more benign dimension. She is described as young and beautiful, has a gentle smile, and makes gestures with her two right hands to dispel any fear and offer boons. The more positive features exposed offer the distillation of divine wrath into a goddess of salvation, who rids the sadhaka of fear.

As a Vampiric goddess, she also stands as the goddess of both love and death, opening the door to the world of death and the doors of passion and sensuality.

The Vampire Book by J Gordon Melton and Tantric Philosophy of the Hindu by Elizabeth Stower


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Carmilla the Vampiress

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:02 am

Carmilla By Aslinn Dhan

Sometimes after an hour of apathy, my strange and beautiful companion would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again; blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration. It was like the ardor of a lover; it embarrassed me; it was hateful and yet overpowering; and with gloating eyes she drew me to her, and her hot lips traveled along my cheek in kisses; and she would whisper, almost in sobs, "You are mine, you shall be mine, and you and I are one for ever". ("Carmilla", Chapter 4).

Sound familiar?

Written in 1872 by Sheridan Le Fanu, it predates Dracula by 25 years and stands alone as one of the best developed Vampire stories of the Victorian era. Carmilla tells the story of Carmilla the Vampiress, who becomes enchanted by the mortal, Lucy, whom she meets when Lucy is six. She disappears from Lucy til she is 19 and Camilla actually drains her of every last drop.

Lucy's death is investigated by a friend of the family who has been pursuing Carmilla for decades has his final showdown with the Vampire and kills her.

This book of course greatly influenced Bram Stoker and his novel Dracula and is highlighted as a "lesbian" Vampire story, namely because of passages like the one above, echoing both Eric and Lorena in their possession of the person they most desire.

Carmilla is also the name of the Vampire Hotel in Dallas where Eric and Bill and Sookie stay.

The Vampire Book by J Gordon Melton and Carmilla by Sheridan LeFanu

If you would like to read Carmilla, an online text of the book is available: http://www.sff.net/people/DoyleMacdonald/l_carmil.htm


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Who was Montague Summers?

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:03 am

Who is Montague Summers?
By Aslinn Dhan

Alphonsus Joseph-Mary Augustus Montague Summers is one of my favorite occult writers and I often reference his work in my Mythology Thread.

Summers became an Anglican Minister in 1905 and was assigned to a parish in 1908. While there, he was accused of Pedophilia but acquitted. During this time, he decided to become a Roman Catholic and was ordained in 1911.

Summer's career as an ostensibly Catholic clergyman was highly unusual. He wrote works of hagiography on Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria, but his primary religious interest was in the subject of the occult. While Aleister Crowley, with whom he was acquainted, adopted the persona of a modern-day witch, Summers played the part of the learned Catholic witch-hunter. In the introduction to his book on The History of Witchcraft and Demonology (1927).

In 1928, he published the first English translation of Heinrich Kramer's and James Sprenger's Malleus Maleficarum ("The Hammer of Witches"), a 15th century Latin text on the hunting of witches. In his introduction, Summers insists that the reality of witchcraft is an essential part of Catholic doctrine, and declares the Malleus to be an admirable and correct account of witchcraft and of the methods necessary to combat it. This should be contrasted with the vastly more skeptical and critical attitude of mainstream Catholic scholars, reflected for instance in the Rev. Herbert Thurston's article on "Witchcraft" for the Catholic Encyclopaedia of 1912, which labels the publication of the Malleus a "disastrous episode."

Montague Summers then turned to vampires, producing The Vampire: His Kith and Kin (1928) and The Vampire in Europe (1929), and later to werewolves with The Werewolf (1933). Summers's work on the occult is notorious for his unusual and old-fashioned writing style, his display of erudition, and his purported belief in the reality of the subjects he treats.

The Vampire Book by J. Gordon Melton


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Psychological Perspectives on Vampire Myth

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:04 am

Psychological Perspectives on Vampire Mythology
By Aslinn Dhan

Since we have touched on this, I thought I would get a little more in depth on the psychology of the Vampire Myth. The widespread presence of the Vampire myth in all human cultures led some psychologists to call the Vampire an archetype, a universal symbol involving the mysteries of human blood, death and mortality, taboo sexuality and the contagion that is evil. It is the physical embodiment of disease and prejudice.

Freudian perspectives- It is easy to see Freud’s name and say: “I know, Vampires are about sex,” but even Freud was known to say “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Though Freud did see sexual factors in the Vampire myth, he went further to say that the repression on all desire is a sort of death of self.

This denial is a soul killer, leaving the person detached from the soul but the body alive, seeking the comfort and affection of others but continually being denied. Further, Freud said Dracula is the perfect distillation of sexual taboos: Incest, necrophilia, sadism, homosexuality and narcissism.

Jungian perspectives- Carl Jung felt that the Vampire myth is universal because of the human experience with death and the mysteries of the human soul. The Vampire is alive and well in all of us, living as a facet of the self we fear to explore. We in many ways admire the Vampire because they make no excuses for themselves. They are amoral, apathetic, antisocial and predatory. They have no boundaries or restrictions like human laws, ethics or religion that guard what they do or say. They can, however, be a dichotomy of hero or villain. This mixture of weak and strong, vicious and loving appeals to our desire for the Vampire who says it is okay for us to be free of the boundaries of our society.

One of the themes that is recurring in the Vampire Mythos is one of hunger. Jung says that the Vampire hungers not only for blood and all that means to us but they hunger for love. The Vampire does not want the weak, fragile love of mortals but the storing immortal love of a fellow Vampire. The Vampire also believes we want this as well. This, Jung explained, is “Mirror Hunger.” This mirror hunger is our own desire to break taboos and free ourselves from familial, societal, religious, and sexual mores and be given license to do as we please.

The ultimate flaw in this thinking is that the Vampire and his lover must now turn away from each other to be fulfilled. It is not the essence of the Vampire another Vampire craves, it is what they feel is inherently different from themselves and the humans that they crave. This is reflected in the fact that Vampire liaisons with other Vampires are short liaisons. The “unnatural” relationship between Bill and his maker is an example of an unsatisfying relationship. Bill turned to Lorena out of a desperate desire to replace the wife and children he had before he became Vampire. Eventually the relationship becomes unsatisfying and is thus untenable.

The Vampire as Scape Goat and as Victimizer: It is ironic that the Vampire community id the central focus of prejudice in the worlds of True Blood and the Sookie Books. This duality of victim/victimizer is played out every day in human experience through expressions of prejudice. Vampires are classists, racisists, sexists, and they are all about self. At the same time, they are the ones who are put upon. As U2 put it in their song Stay: “A Vampire or a Victim, it depends on who’s around,” True Blood and the Sookie books do a good job of portraying this duality. Vampires are victims of prejudice by a Klanish style group who seeks to not simply deny them of their civil rights in whatever country they live in, but to see them dead. At the same time, Vampires have a major superiority complex. They are faster and stronger and older than most humans and they are immortal. But even among scape goats, there are scape goats. Take for example the Queen’s conversation about the importance of Yahtzee with Eric: “You can be my Social (Eric), Physical (Hadley) and Intellectual (Latvian Blood Bag) inferior, but the game makes us all equals,” she says with a smirk. Sookie says to Bill, “You may be a Vampire, but you don’t like Vampires,” and Eric observes “I do not love humans,” and “…they do not keep well, do they?” and Bill in the books says “I thought the idea of a human relationship degraded me,” and Pam tells Sookie, “Vampires first,” And if you have ever listened to rhetoric of racist groups they paint themselves as both the victims and the super race in a single breath.

But with human experiences, we have come to accept all forms of people, as we come to grips with a fact that Lafayette pointed out so eloquently: “F*ggots been breeding your cows, brewing your beer, cooking your food long before I walked my sexy ass up in here,” It is unavoidable, we come in contact with another. How Vampires and their human counterparts deal with the psychological dichotomy of what attracts and repels us about the myth will be interesting to watch.

The Vampire Book by J Gordon Melton.


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Who was St. Patrick

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:05 am

Who Was St. Patrick?
Part 1
By Aolani

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote "The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."

Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."

He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.

Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.

What Are the Traditions of St. Patrick's Day?

There are many traditions and symbols associated with St. Patrick's Day and Ireland. Here are a handful of the most popular practices.

Shamrock

The shamrock as symbol of Ireland and St. Patrick's Day is partly due to the natural abundance of clover plants in the country, but largely due to its strong association with Christianity. According to Robert Mahony, Professor of English and member of the Center for Irish Studies at Catholic University, legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to visually illustrate the concept of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) when trying to convert polytheistic pagans to Christianity.
"A clover is one plant with three leaves, but the three leaves are necessary to make it [complete]," explains Prof. Mahony. "In Christianity God is three persons, but it's not the same as three gods." The simple analogy is thought to have helped non-Christians understand a fundamental element of the Christian religion, facilitating conversion.

It was through the retelling of this story that the shamrock became associated with St. Patrick and Ireland's conversion to Christianity. As a result, the shamrock is a widely used to commemorate Saint Patrick's Day, and in modern times has been appropriated by secular institutions as a symbol for the Irish.

Four-Leaf Clover

Although clovers are most often found in nature with three leaves, rare four-leaf clovers do exist. Finding one is thought to bring someone extreme luck. The folklore for four-leaf clovers differs from that of the Shamrock due to the fact that it has no religious allusions associated with it. It is believed that each leaf of a four-leaf clover represents something different: first is hope, the second is faith, the third is love, and the fourth is happiness.

Green

Green is the color of spring, the shamrock, and is connected with hope and nature. Historically, green has been a color used in the flags of several revolutionary groups in Ireland and as a result it appears in the official tri-color country flag, adopted in 1919.

In addition to that, Ireland is often called the "Emerald Isle" due to the lush natural greenery found on the island. Says Prof. Mahony, "One of the things that strikes people all the time is how Ireland is incredibly green--it's very far north, but it doesn't get frozen. When people say that 'Ireland has 40 shades of green,' they are right!"

WHAT DOES ALL THIS HAVE TO DO WITH LEPRECHAUNS?

Not much, really, except that the leprechaun has been described as Ireland's national fairy. Over the years, as St. Patrick's Day became a celebration of the Irish as well as a religious holiday celebrating the life of the saint, the leprechaun has evolved as another symbol, with all sorts of myth and legend attached.

The name leprechaun may have derived from the Irish word for shoemaker (leath bhrogan), or from the Irish word for pygmy (luacharma'n). Legend has it that these aged, diminutive men are frequently found in an intoxicated state. However they never become so drunk that the hand which holds the hammer becomes unsteady enough to affect their primary business of shoemaking.

Leprechauns are also self-appointed guardians of ancient treasure, left by Danes as they marauded through Ireland, burying it in crocks or pots. Marauding Danes might be the reason leprechauns try to avoid contact with mortals, whom they regard as foolish, flighty, greedy creatures. The legend goes that if caught by a mortal, a leprechaun will promise great wealth if allowed to go free. Leprechauns supposedly carry two leather pouches. In one there is a silver shilling, a magical coin that returns to the purse each time it is given away. In the other he carries a gold coin which he uses to try and bribe his way out of difficult situations. The gold coin usually turns to leaves or ashes once the leprechaun has parted with it.


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The Celts

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:05 am

Part 2

The Celts
By Aolani

The Celts were animists, believing that all aspects of the natural world contained spirits, and that these spirits could be communicated with.

These animistic deities were often worshiped, so places such as rocks, streams, mountains, and trees may all have had shrines or offerings devoted to a deity residing there. A similar belief is found in modern Shinto in Japan, through the belief of kami. These would have been local deities, known and worshiped by inhabitants living near to the shrine itself, and not pan-Celtic like some of the polytheistic gods.

Among the most popular sites for the veneration of animistic deities were trees; the oak, ash, and thorn were considered to be the most sacred. The early Celts considered some trees to be sacred. The importance of trees in Celtic religion is shown by the fact that the very name of the Eburonian tribe contains a reference to the yew tree, and that names like Mac Cuilinn (son of holly) and Mac Ibar (son of yew) appear in Irish myths. In Ireland, wisdom was symbolized by the salmon who feed on the hazelnuts from the trees that surround the well of wisdom (Tobar Segais).

Hot springs and rivers were also popular sites for worship, and were commonly associated with healing.
One of the most popular theories for a belief in fairies (such as knockers, clurichaun, and pixies) in Christianized Celtic areas is that they were a recurring folk belief of these animistic deities, placed under a Christian worldview, where they were seen no longer as nature deities but as malevolent spirits. Sometimes these fairies were treated just the same as previous pagan nature gods had been, with offerings being placed on trees and other shrines to both placate them from committing negative actions and ensuring a good harvest, hunt, etc.

There is no direct information that has survived on what the Celts believed happened after death. However, from archaeological discoveries, Roman accounts, and later mythology, possible ideas of a Celtic afterlife can be established.

Celtic burial practices, which included burying food, weapons, and ornaments with the dead, suggest a belief in life after death.

The druids, the Celtic learned class which included members of the clergy, were said by Caesar to have believed in reincarnation and transmigration of the soul along with astronomy and the nature and power of the gods.

A common factor in later mythologies from Christianized Celtic nations was the otherworld. This was the realm of the fairy folk and other supernatural beings, who would entice humans into their realm. Sometimes this otherworld was claimed to exist underground, whilst at other times it was said to lie far to the west. Several scholars have suggested that the otherworld was the pagan Celtic afterlife, though there is no direct evidence to prove this.

Snakes and Serpents

The snake was a complex Celtic animal symbol calling forth many ideas to the Celts. Representing the process of creation, rebirth, fertility, and healing. Serpents also represented the connection between the rivers and seas as well as the Heavens and Earth.

The snake both protected the entrance to the Otherworld and acted as the gods' companion. Ouroboros, the Earth Serpent represented the coiled energy within the Earth and, with her tail in her mouth, infinity. Thanks to the annual shedding of its skin, the snake was the Celtic animal symbolizing the cyclical nature of life.

The snake and its abstracted derivative, the spiral, are the dominant motifs of the art of Old Europe, and their imaginative use in spiral form design throughout the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods remained unsurpassed by any subsequent decorative style until the Minoan civilization, the sole inheritor of Old European lavishness. The Chalcolithic Butmir, Cucuteni, and East Balkan peoples created large bulbous vessels, adopted the snake-spiral as the bases of the entire ornamental composition. This art reached its peak of unified symbolic and aesthetic expression c. 5000 BC.

As a supreme Creator who creates from her own substance she is the primary goddess of the Old European pantheon. In this she contrasts with the Indo-European Earth-Mother, who is the impalpable sacred earth-spirit and is not in herself a creative principle; only through the interaction of the male sky-god does she become pregnant.
CORCHENwas (Irish, Manx) a very old snake Goddess about whom little is known. Because of her linkage to the serpent image, she was probably one regional mother earth Goddess, or a Goddess of rebirth. Others speculate that her lost legends were once part of forgotten creation myths. Carravogue (also known as Garbhog, Gheareagain) was located in Ireland, Britain, She was described as a local Crone Goddess from County Meath who was transformed into a huge snake for eating forbidden berries. Her original purpose is basically lost in modern times because her stories became so absorbed by Christian legends which attempt to make her a Celtic Eve. It is believed St. Patrick tampered with her legends, which show that St. Patrick killed her with holy water that melted her, but from which she will arise from again. One of the many legends St. Patrick tampered with was that she was originally a virgin Goddess of spring who banished each year the crone she would eventually become in order to further his own aims.

Snakes in Ireland were wiped out not by St. Patrick, but by the last ice age. Up until roughly 10,000 years ago the British Isles, along with most of the rest of northern Europe, was covered by icecaps and glaciers, not the most snake-friendly of environments. Both Ireland and Great Britain were part of the continent then--sea level was lower since so much of the Earth's water was locked up as ice. Snakes survived in southern Europe, where conditions were warmer. Once the climate improved, snakes were able to re-colonize northern Europe, but didn't manage to reach Ireland before rising ocean water caused by melting ice cut them off by forming the Irish sea (snakes don't cross water very well). Only three species of snakes were even able to reach Great Britain, the grass snake, smooth snake, and adder. They either colonized it before the English Channel formed, or perhaps were somehow able to cross it afterward.

The British Isles as a whole are pretty poor in reptiles and amphibians in general. Besides the three snakes, Great Britain has only three lizard species, one frog, two toads, and three newts. Ireland does even worse, with no snakes, one lizard, one frog, one toad, and one newt, all of them species that also occur in Great Britain. And the frog may have been introduced by humans.

Many have explained the legend about St. Patrick and the snakes as a metaphor for his success in converting the pagan Celts to Christianity. Snake imagery has been important in many ancient religions, often as a symbol of rejuvenation or rebirth due to the snake's habit of shedding its skin. In Ireland, the snake symbol was associated with some Celtic goddesses, and also with the cult of Crom Cruaich, which demanded human sacrifice to a serpent deity. Patrick did not drive snakes themselves out of Ireland, but rather these Celtic snake spirits. How did the Irish Celts come up with symbolic snakes if they'd never seen real ones? First of all, their ancestors, and their religion, had come from the European mainland where snakes were plentiful, and second, they were in frequent contact with areas that had snakes, most obviously Britain, where the adder was capable of memorable bites. It's not surprising that such enigmatic creatures would be preserved in mythology even if they weren't present physically.

In another interpretation of St. Patrick's anti-reptilism, the "snakes" he banished were in fact "druids", i.e. Celtic pagans. The snake may have been an emblem of the Old Faith, as it is for many forms of paganism, including African (Damballah) & Indian (the Nagas) -- & even for the Ophite Christianity of Egypt (Christ himself depicted as a crucified snake).

Celtic pagan lore was embedded in the Romance traditions especially in the Arthurian material and here once again, we find ourselves in the world of the Arabo-Celtic crosses. For the romances are permeated with "Islamic" consciousness. In Malory's Morte dArthur & Eschenbach's Parzifal many Saracen (i.e. Moslem/Moorish) knights are depicted not as enemies but allies of the Celts -- & in the latter book the entire story is attributed to Moorish sources (which are now lost). Saracens, Christians, & crypto-pagans are united in a mystical cult of chivalry which transcends outward religious forms, & is emblematized not only in pagan symbols like the Grail & the Questing Beast, but even in such cultural borrowings as the lute (al-'ud in Arabic), or indeed the cult of romantic/chivalric love, transmitted from Islam to the west by Sufis in Spain.

Old Pagan Chant:
We are the Snakes
Shedding Our Skins
Under the Hills
Never Again



Sources
West Country Faerie, Diana Mullis, (2005), Bossiney Books
Barry Cunliffe, The Ancient Celts. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp.208-210. ISBN 0-19-815010-5.
The Celts in The Encyclopedia of World Mythology, Dr Ray Dunning, page 91
Marija Gimbutas (1974) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley p. 93
Marija Gimbutas (1974) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley p. 196
http://holidays.kaboose.com/saint-patricks-day/history/patrick-history-traditions-symbols.html
http://blackdog4kids.com/holiday/pat/history.html
http://www.joellessacredgrove.com/Celtic/deitiesc.html
Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico 5:14
http://www.serpentfd.org/humanevolution/a/goddess.html
http://www.fantasy-ireland.com/Celtic-animal-symbols.html
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2192/if-st-patrick-didnt-chase-the-snakes-out-of-ireland-what-did
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_polytheism
http://www.scns.com/earthen/other/seanachaidh/godcelt.html
http://wilstar.com/holidays/patrick.htm
http://www.hermetic.com/bey/blackthorn.html
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=89


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More on Faeries and Elves

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:06 am

Posted By Aolani:
Here is a little extra info I found on Fairies and Elves I thought you might enjoy.

Altheia - She is the fairy of revelation. She is protector of criminals that harbor in deception and fraud.

Asrais - Are known to be small delicate female fairies. When these fairies are captured and exposed to sunlight, they will melt away into a pool of water.

Banshee - When someone close in the family is dying, a Banshee, (female spirit) will make a wailing sound. This wailing sound is the signal that death is approaching.

Blue Ladies, Ice Virgins & Mountain Fairies: All are in the same family. They are the size of a wasp, in fact humans mistake them for wasps. They do not like humans touching their hair and will lead humans astray into the Valley of Forbidden Shadows.

Blue Trolls - These are worker trolls, used by high command elves for slave labor. Note: Small blue creatures have been seen by abductees that are used for workers for the 'Grays'.

Boggarts - A breed of half elf and half fairy. These creatures were the same ones that gave a sleeping liquor beverage to Rip Van Winkle (written by Washington Irving), which caused him to sleep for 20 years.

Bogles - Villainous goblins that will do harm to liars and murderers.

Brownies - They love humans and their households. They are known to be benevolent and harmless. If anything, they are helpful.

Bully Bogey - Inspires brutality and oppressive actions. Known to have a fetid breath.

Dwarfs - They are short, stocky and strong. They mature at the age of 3 and at the age of 7, they are old, bearded and gray haired. If they are struck by sunlight, they will turn to stone. They practice magical spells and potions that at times make them immune to daylight.

Dryads - Spirits that live in the trees. They prefer oak trees. Druids utilize Dryads for inspiration.
Elves - There appearance makes them look like a normal man or woman. Small in stature and have pointy ears. They are divided by the Seelie and Unseelie Courts.

Elvenkind of Shangri-La - A Tibetan mystical land that are guarded by the invisible Elvenkind of Shangri-La. These elves carry swords, spears and shields and will defend Shangri-La.

Elven Warriors of the First Blood - They seek conquest of lands belonging to other little people. Their weapons are the bow and arrow, spears, swords, shields. They are able to go from our world into another dimension through a dimensional rift. When people see them on their horses, it looks like they are vanishing, when in reality they are entering another dimensional world. They are known to wear long flowing capes and frightening masks.

Filendieres & Spinners of the Night - They are average human size. They are known to punish the lazy. They will encourage people that work hard and give them strength. They appear as ghosts. They are seen as ladies of long white dresses, extremely beautiful, pale with blonde hair.

Fir Darrig - (Pronounced Fear deang) They play horrific jokes that may cause a human to have a stroke or a heart attack. They can assume any visage they wish.

Flower Myrths - Harmless fairies that live off the pollen of flowers. They are mistaken for humming birds, until people take a closer look and see a human like creature with beating wings.

Gnomes - Earth Elementals - They live underground and guard the treasures and history of the Earth. Gnomes are wonderful metal workers, especially of swords and breastplates.

Goblins - Goblins are an uglier species of fairy. They are small and malicious, and usually band together as they have lost their abilities to operate independently. Usually they are controlled by a Mage for evil doings.

Gobbly Gooks - Small shadowy creatures that usually hide in human's closets and underneath their beds. They are known to enter your dreams and nightmares and will pull pranks on humans.

Gremlins - Tormented WWII pilots by messing with the mechanisms of their warplanes, causing some warplanes to crash.

Gwragedd Annwn - (Pronounced: Gwageth anoon) Are traditionally Welsh water fairies, who occasionally take human men for husbands.

Gwyllion - A Scottish water fairy. They are mostly seen as a hairy men or hideous female spirits who waylay and mislead travelers by night on the mountain roads. Mountain fairies like to sit on rocks on either side of a mountain path and silently watch people as they pass by.

Helpful Hob - These little people help in the kitchen and love to eat bread and buns.

Hobgoblins - Small, grotesque but friendly brownie-type creatures.

Hobbit - Fictional little people created by author J.R.R. Tolkien. See the books The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

Knockers (Buccas) - These creatures protect and look over the welfare of miners. They will even making knocking noises where rich ore can be located.

Leprechauns - They have a fond appreciation of gold and will horde gold away from humans. If you capture a leprechaun, they are commanded to grant you one wish and share their wealth with you. They can be tricky and can use your wish against you, if you don't command the wish correctly.

Mer-People - Also known as mermaids. They dwell in the water and are half human from the waist up and have a tail of a fish. They are mesmerizing singers who sometimes lure fishermen to their deaths (See the Lorelei of Germany that lured sailors to their deaths against the rocks of the Rhine River). Also called the Murdhuacha (Pronounced: muroo-cha) or Merrows.

Naga - They can appear as a cobra. When in human form, the female Naga is a graceful and elegant dancer. They will lure a male human to them with their dancing and swiftly turn into a cobra and strike a lethal blow.

Nang-faa & Phi-bird - They are tiny. Their skin is golden. They have jet black hair and are gorgeous womenfolk. Some of their body like arms and legs are made up of feathers.

Nymphs - Two type of Nymphs. The Nereids, which are tall. The Limoniades which are small and live on flowers. Other Nymph breeds are the Dyrads, who live in forests. They are 2 to 3 feet in height. They are known to protect trees.

Pixies - Pixies can shapeshift to look like hedgehogs. They are mischievous fairies who enjoy playing practical jokes on humans. They also love to steal horses to ride.

Phouka - Can appear in various animal forms and are considered to be dangerous.

Primrose - Primrose fairy will touch certain rocks with a primrose and open gateways to fairylands.

Queen Brighid the Bright - She is from Tir Tairngiri - The Land of Promise. She carries a wand, one half of the wand will dealt out authority, while the other half will dealt out purity and justice.

Redcap - One of the most evil of the old Border Goblins. He lives in old ruined towers and castles, particularly those with a history of wickedness. He re-dyes his cap in human blood. Redcaps have been known and seen around the Tower of London.

Shefro - Male fairies who wear green coats and red caps.

Sídhee (shee) - The name for fairies and their subterranean dwellings. A barrow or hill which has a door to a beautiful underground realm of the Tuatha or fairies. J.R.R. Tolkien used this concept with the Hobbit.

Sluagh - The Host of the Unforgiving Dead. The most formidable of the Highland fairies.

Spriggans - Are fabled to be ugly, grotesque and small in their natural state, but can inflate themselves to gigantic proportions. Spriggans are an infamous band of villains, skilled thieves, thoroughly destructive and often dangerous. They are capable of robbing the dwellings of humans, kidnapping human children and exchanging the human child with a repulsive baby Spriggan.

Tempestaries - They are gigantic to human size. They live in cloud castles and are known to eat Souffles & vol-au-vents.

The Willies & the Dancers of the Mist - They are the size of a 'sheaf of mist'. They are vaporous creatures and are known to eat mist. They can shapeshift to a doe or a swan.

Trolls - Have an aversion to daylight. They are frequently observed performing a curious lop-sided dance called 'Henking'.

Trows - Similar to the Trolls and have an aversion to daylight. They also perform the dance known as the 'Henking'. Trolls and Trows are perhaps cousins. Trolls have a flatter head, while Trows have a more angler head.

Urisk - Is a solitary fairy who haunts lonely pools. He will often seek out human company, but his frightful appearance will scare off humans that come into contact with his kind.

Water Fairies - Are the providers of food, nourishers of crops and takers of lives. They combine beauty with treachery and lethality. They can be friend or foe.

Wart Wogs - Grotesque elves that stand at 4 feet in height. They are known to have warts all over their bodies. When they touch a human, they will pass on the wart infliction to their human victim.

Wind Banshee - A beautiful female elf that is invisible to the naked eye and will travel with the wind. When she stops and manifests in front of a human she will talk in a soft voice and tell the human about an impending disaster or tragedy that will occur in their life. She will then fade with the wind and vanish.

Yellow Blurker - Filled with negativity, known to enter your dreams and nightmares.

Source: http://www.trueghosttales.com/elves-fairies/


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Easter/Ostara

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:07 am

You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara
Posted By Aolani
by Peg Aloi

Try this sometime with your children or a young niece, nephew or cousin: on the day of the Vernal or Autumnal Equinox, just a few moments before the exact moment of the equinox, go outside with a raw egg. Find a reasonably level place on the sidewalk or driveway. For a few moments just before and just after the equinox, you can balance the egg upright (wider end down) by simply setting it down on the ground. No kidding! It will stand up all by itself. Kids love this, and most adults are amazed and delighted, too.

This little "trick" brings together two of the most potent aspects of this holiday: the balancing of the earth's gravity midway between the extremes of light and dark at Winter and Summer Solstice; and the symbolism of the egg. The egg is one of the most notable symbols of Easter, but, as someone who was raised Catholic and who was never told exactly why we colored eggs at Easter, or why there was a bunny who delivered candy to us, or why it was traditional to buy new clothes to wear for church on Easter Sunday, I always wondered about this holiday. As with many of the seemingly unrelated secular symbols and traditions of Christmas (what do evergreen trees, mistletoe, reindeer and lights have to do with the birth of Christ? You might wanna read "You Call It Christmas, We Call It Yule" for an exploration of these connections), Easter too has adapted many ancient pagan symbols and customs in its observance.

Easter gets its name from the Teutonic goddess of spring and the dawn, whose name is spelled Oestre or Eastre (the origin of the word "east" comes from various Germanic, Austro-Hungarian words for dawn that share the root for the word "aurora" which means " to shine"). Modern pagans have generally accepted the spelling "Ostara" which honors this goddess as our word for the Vernal Equinox. The 1974 edition of Webster's New World Dictionary defines Easter thus: "orig., name of pagan vernal festival almost coincident in date with paschal festival of the church; Eastre, dawn goddess; 1. An annual Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, held on the first Sunday after the date of the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21." The Vernal Equinox usually falls somewhere between March 19th and 22nd (note that the dictionary only mentions March 21st, as opposed to the date of the actual Equinox), and depending upon when the first full moon on or after the Equinox occurs, Easter falls sometime between late-March and mid-April.

Because the Equinox and Easter are so close, many Catholics and others who celebrate Easter often see this holiday (which observes Christ's resurrection from the dead after his death on Good Friday) as being synonymous with rebirth and rejuvenation: the symbolic resurrection of Christ is echoed in the awakening of the plant and animal life around us. But if we look more closely at some of these Easter customs, we will see that the origins are surprisingly, well, pagan! Eggs, bunnies, candy, Easter baskets, new clothes, all these "traditions" have their origin in practices which may have little or nothing to do with the Christian holiday.

For example, the traditional coloring and giving of eggs at Easter has very pagan associations. For eggs are clearly one of the most potent symbols of fertility, and spring is the season when animals begin to mate and flowers and trees pollinate and reproduce. In England and Northern Europe, eggs were often employed in folk magic when women wanted to be blessed with children. There is a great scene in the film The Wicker Man where a woman sits upon a tombstone in the cemetery, holding a child against her bared breasts with one hand, and holding up an egg in the other, rocking back and forth as she stares at the scandalized (and very uptight!) Sargent Howie. Many cultures have a strong tradition of egg coloring; among Greeks, eggs are traditionally dyed dark red and given as gifts.

As for the Easter egg hunt, a fun game for kids, I have heard at least one pagan teacher say that there is a rather scary history to this. As with many elements of our "ancient history,” there is little or no factual documentation to back this up. But the story goes like this: Eggs were decorated and offered as gifts and to bring blessings of prosperity and abundance in the coming year; this was common in Old Europe. As Christianity rose and the ways of the "Old Religion" were shunned, people took to hiding the eggs and having children make a game out of finding them. This would take place with all the children of the village looking at the same time in everyone's gardens and beneath fences and other spots.

It is said, however, that those people who sought to seek out heathens and heretics would bribe children with coins or threats, and once those children uncovered eggs on someone's property, that person was then accused of practicing the old ways. I have never read any historical account of this, so I cannot offer a source for this story (though I assume the person who first told me found it somewhere); when I find one, I will let you know! When I first heard it, I was eerily reminded of the way my own family conducted such egg hunts: our parents hid money inside colorful plastic eggs that could be opened and closed up again; some eggs contained pennies, some quarters and dimes and nickels, and some lucky kids would find a fifty-cent piece or silver dollar! In our mad scramble for pocket change, were my siblings and cousins and I mimicking the treacherous activities of children so long ago?

Traditional foods play a part in this holiday, as with so many others. Ham is the traditional main course served in many families on Easter Sunday, and the reason for this probably has to do with the agricultural way of life in old Europe. In late fall, usually in October, also known as the month of the Blood Moon, because it referred to the last time animals were slaughtered before winter, meats were salted and cured so they would last through the winter. Poorer people, who subsisted on farming and hunting, would often eat very sparingly in winter to assure their food supply would last. With the arrival of spring, there was less worry, and to celebrate the arrival of spring and of renewed abundance, they would serve the tastiest remaining cured meats, including hams. This also marked a seasonal end to eating cured foods and a return to eating fresh game (as animals emerged from hibernation looking for food), and no longer relying on stored root vegetables, but eating the young green plants so full of the vitamins and minerals that all living beings need to replenish their bodies in spring.

Modern pagans can observe these same customs by eating the fresh greens and early vegetables abundant now: dandelion greens, nettles, asparagus, and the like. There are some Witches who believe that fasting at the Equinox is very healthy and magical: it clears away all the toxins stored over winter, when we eat heavier foods to keep warm, and can create an altered state of consciousness for doing Equinox magic. By eliminating all the "poisons" from our diets for a few days (including sugar, caffeine, alcohol, red meats, dairy products, refined foods), and eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, we not only can shed a few pounds and improve the appearance of our hair and skin, but also improve our health over the long term. The overall benefit to health from an occasional cleansing fast helps strengthen our immune system, making our bodies more resistant to illness, and help us feel more alert and energetic. Try it! Be sure to "break" your fast slowly, reintroducing !your normal foods one at a time, instead of going from several days of fruits, grains and herbal tea to a feast of steak, potatoes and chocolate cake! The breaking of the fast can be incorporated into the cakes and wine portion of your ritual, or at the feast many Witches have afterwards.

Speaking of food, another favorite part of Easter for kids, no doubt, is that basket of treats! Nestled in plastic "grass" colored pink or green, we'd find foil-wrapped candy eggs, hollow chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, marshmallow chicks (in pink, yellow or lavender!), fancy peanut butter or coconut eggs from Russell Stover, and of course our Mom always included one of the beautiful ceramic eggs she painted by hand. Like that other holiday where children are inundated with sugar (Hallowe'en), no one seems to know precisely where, when or how this custom began. And why are the baskets supposedly brought by a bunny???

There are some modern Witches and pagans who follow traditions that integrate the faery lore of the Celtic countries. It is customary to leave food and drink out for the fairies on the nights of our festivals, and it is believed that if the fairies are not honored with gifts at these times, they will work mischief in our lives. Certain holidays call for particular "fairy favorites." At Imbolc/Oimelc (February 2nd), for example, we leave gifts of dairy origin, like cheese, butter or fresh cream. At Lammas/Lughnasa (August 1st) we leave fresh grains or newly-baked bread. At Samhain, nuts and apples are traditional. And at Ostara, it is customary to leave something sweet (honey, or mead, or candy)--could this be connected to the Easter basket tradition? Perhaps a gift of sweets corresponds to the sweet nectar gathering in new spring flowers?

To refer again to The Wicker Man, the post office/candy shop where May Morrison works (she is the mother of Rowan Morrison, the young girl who is supposedly missing and who Sargent Howie has come to Summerisle to find) offers a large selection of candies shaped like animals. When Sargent Howie says "I like your rabbits" Mrs. Morrison scolds him saying "Those are hares! Lovely March hares, not silly old rabbits!" And when Howie goes to dig up the grave of Rowan Morrison (who it turns out is neither dead nor missing) he finds the carcass of a hare, and Lord Summerisle tries to convince him that Rowan was transformed into a hare upon her death. Clearly this is an illustration of the powerful association with animals that many ancient cultures have (Summerisle being a place where time has seemingly stood still and where the pagan pursuit of pleasure and simple agricultural ways define the way of life). The forming of candy into the shape of rabbits or chicks is a way to acknowledge them as symbols; by eating them, we take on their characteristics, and enhance our own fertility, growth and vitality.

For clearly the association of rabbits with Easter has something to do with fertility magic. Anyone who has kept rabbits as pets or knows anything about their biology has no question about the origin of the phrase "f*** like a bunny." These cute furry creatures reproduce rapidly, and often! Same with chicks, who emerge wobbly and slimy from their eggs only to become fluffy, yellow and cute within a few hours. The Easter Bunny may well have its origin in the honoring of rabbits in spring as an animal sacred to the goddess Eastre, much as horses are sacred to the Celtic Epona, and the crow is sacred to the Morrigan. As a goddess of spring, she presides over the realm of the conception and birth of babies, both animal and human, and of the pollination, flowering and ripening of fruits in the plant kingdom. Sexual activity is the root of all of life: to honor this activity is to honor our most direct connection to nature.

At Beltane (April 31st-May 1st), pagans and Witches honor the sexual union of the god and goddess amid the flowers and fruits that have begun to cover the land; but prior to that, at Ostara, we welcome the return of the spring goddess from her long season of dormant sleep. The sap begins to flow, the trees are budding, the ground softens, ice melts, and everywhere the fragrance and color of spring slowly awakens and rejuvenates our own life force.

I have always thought this had a lot to do with the tradition of wearing newly-bought or made clothes at Easter, in pastel spring colors. Wearing such colors we echo the flowering plants, crocus, lilac, forsythia, bluebells, violets and new clothes allow us to feel we are renewing our persona. How many of us feel sort of "blah" after winter ends? Along with the fasting practice mentioned earlier, this is a time for many of us to create new beginnings in our lives: this can apply to jobs, relationships, living situations, lifestyle choices. But since the Equinox is such a potent time magically, and often (as it does this year) falls in the period when Mercury is Retrograde, starting a new endeavor at this time can be problematic if we do not take care. One good way to avoid catastrophe is to engage in small, personally-oriented rites or activities: a new haircut, a new clothing style or make-up, a new exercise program, the grand old tradition of spring cleaning, a new course of study: all of these are relatively "safe" ways to begin anew without risking the weirdness and unpredictability of Mercury Retrograde.

This is a very powerful time to do magic, not only because of the balancing of the earth's energies, but because of the way our own beings echo the earth's changes. We are literally reborn as we emerge from our winter sleep, ready to partake of all the pleasures of the earth, and to meet the challenges we will face as the world changes around us daily. As we greet and celebrate with our pagans brothers and sisters of the Southern Hemisphere (for whom the Vernal Equinox more closely resembles the beginning of autumn, in physical terms!), we remember that Spring is not only a season; it is a state of mind.


_________________


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The Triquetra

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:09 am

The Triquetra
By Aslinn Dhan



a stylized triquetra a triskele


If you are an officianto of Charmed, then you are familiar with the symbol of the triquetra. It is also the symbol of the Fellowship of the Sun. But what is the symbol and what did it represent?

The triquetra, a series of three interlocking circles, represents the three faces of the Goddess, Maiden Mother and Crone in her different aspects. Just as the moon represents her, so does this symbol. It may also represent the fates Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.

It may also be identified with Odin in Norse mythology, his symbol, a Valknut, or triskele. It allowed Odin to lay bonds, loosen confidence, and inspire confidence in the warrior who follow him.

Christians, possibly St. Patrick, annexed the symbol the same way as he did the shamrock, and used it to symbolize the Holy Trinity.

Neo-Pagans use it to represent not only the Goddess, but the Mind, Body and Soul and their connectedness and the need for the three to be balanced. It is also a protection symbol.

Sources: Signs and Symbols by Mark O' Connell and Rave Ari


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Auras

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:10 am

Re: Mythology of True Blood and The Sookie Books By Aslinn Dhan
Sookie tells us that she sees a little glow from Vampires. This is known as the aura. So, I was perusing some stuff in my private collection, I found this interesting little article written for me by my friend and I thought I would share it with you

Auras
By John Ravenwind
I remember being a child and seeing colored lights shining around the other children and thinking this must be like the halos that are depicted in the religious cards and icons of my Orthodox Christian faith. The first time I realized that not everyone could see these colorful glowings was when I was sitting in the city park with my baby niece and I told her that she looked like a fairy princess with that pretty pink light around her and my aunt asked me what I was talking about and I said that she had a pretty pink light glowing around her and my aunt told me to dry up, that it was just my imagination. So I never spoke of it. I was eight Auras are the energy waves that all creatures emanate. They are ultraviolet, meaning they are invisible to most people. Those of us who see auras are born seeing them, some of us develop the ability in early childhood and some of us train the ESP abilities that most of us have and can develop through exercises and meditations. Those of us who see auras can tell if a person is healthy, or sad, or sick, or evil and dangerous. We are also sensitive to smells also and associate certain smells with certain problems and situations, mostly illnesses and diseases.

Those of us sensitive to auras also feel that they can sense the past life of a person, identifying them by aura the type of person they may have been in another life. Not all auraists believe in or have developed this special ability. Others get an aura reading off places and things, believing that even inanimate objects have souls. They may even sense haunted places and the auras of people long gone. There are some people that believe that auras can be photographed with Kirilian photography done with a special heat sensitive camera but I believe that auras are not heat waves but pure color phenomena.

A Kirilian camera seems to photograph heat, the way a heat camera takes infrared photos of heat signatures. Christians who see auras understand this phenomenon as being similar to the glowing countenance of Moses after being in the presence of God and the luminescence of holy people encircled by the glory of the Lord, as the angels who visited the shepherds on the night of the nativity. Christians who are sensitives and practicing witches often use auras to help them understand the needs of a person who turns to them for healing or exorcism. Auraists develop their own sense of what colors in auras mean. Black generally means fatal illness or coming death or possession, green signifies illness, gray or blue-gray is depression, yellows and pinks are happiness, red are love or lust, but combined with green can mean fever, dark blues or purple are feelings of being abused, lavender denotes calm or shyness, white is impending traumatic experience or change of life. If you wish to develop your sense of auras, meditate on people that you see. Study them unaware of your scrutiny and relax your mind and your eyes. Not all people see auras but you may open yourself up to the possibility of auras showing themselves to you.

John Ravenwind is a deacon in his Greek Orthodox Church and teaches Greek language at the local High School. He is also a spiritualist and psychic medium and ghost hunter in his town.


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The Wolfsangel Rune

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:10 am

The Wolfangle Rune By Aslinn Dhan
In Season 3 we have seen a mark on the men who took Bill Compton. Here is a little information about the mark:

The Wolfsangel (German for "wolf's hook") is a symbol originating in Germany. It is also known as the Wolf's Hook or Doppelhaken. The upright variant is also known as "thunderbolt" (Donnerkeil) and the horizontal variant as "werewolf".

Historically, the symbol possibly originated as a mason's mark and was used as a heraldic symbol in coats of arms. Today, the symbol appears in numerous city coats of arms. Due to its use by Nazi Germany, along with continuing use by Neo-Nazi organizations, the symbol is sometimes associated with Nazism as are many of the old folk symbols of the Germanic peoples, most notably the swastika.



From: The Book of Symbols by Raje Airy

See also reference to Werewolves and the Third Reich


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Witchcraft and Vampires

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:11 am

Witchcraft and Vampires By Aslinn Dhan
In Europe, witchcraft and Vampirism are intertwined since ancient times. They appear in Pagan stories and are usually among the demons and the negative spirits. We see first mention of the Vampire in Greek tales of Lamia and the seven evil spirits of Assyrian and Babylonian lore.

With the rise of Christianity, most of these stories were first considered Pagan superstition and thus disregarded. People who clung to their Pagan ways were considered delusional, believing in things that are not real. Later they were painted as something far more sinister.

As the Christian church fought to gain more control of its people, Pagans were hunted as witches, and witches of course, cavorted with demons and evil spirits and did heinous things like drink blood, murder people and fulfill the wishes of the devil.

Among these spirits, witches were thought to have congress with Vampires. The Early Church thought that witches conjured the undead believing they could control them. This of course was delusional, as the devil never really allowed witches to control anything and the creatures of hell were loosed to wreak havoc on the earth.

When Christians began to wage their war on the invisible world of Satan, people they considered witches were specifically targeted. Their thought was if they controlled (read killed) the conjurers, then the undead could be wiped off the face of the earth.

J Gordon Melton The Vampire Book


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Desperately Seeking Vampires

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:12 am

Femme Fatale II Women as Vampires By Aslinn Dhan

The Original Vampires

In most cultures, the oldest Vampires are female. Lamia/Lilith (Greek/Hebrew), Langsuyar (Malaysian), the Loogaroo/Sukuyan (Caribbean) and the goddess Kali were among some of the first lady bloodsuckers of myth, legend, and religious tradition. Closely related to Vampires were the inccubi and succubi, the night demons of sex and lust. It is not until fairly recently that we have the male dominated Vampire story.

Historical Figures

Just as there is a historical father of Dracula, so too is there a historical mother to Vampirella. Elizabeth Bathory is the historical inspiration for lady Vampires just as Vlad the Impaler is the historical inspiration for male Vampires.

Her notorious and bloody life style and her belief in eternal beauty from the taking of blood mirrors the belief that we have about the immortality and regenerative facets of the Vampire.

Female Vampires in Literature

Female Vampire characters are the first Vampires written about in the first and second eras of the Romantic Literary Eras. The first is The Bride of Corinth by Goethe written in 1797. http://www.simplysupernatural-vampire.com/vampire-poem-bride-of-corinth-goethe.html

Philonon is his Vampire lady and she dies a virgin but rises as a sexually aware woman.

Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1790 is another famous poem, depicting the Vampire Geraldine as a vicious killer. http://www.online-literature.com/coleridge/655/

Then there was a time period where the Vampire becomes male, this theme dominates Vampiric story telling with the story written by John Polidori called The Vampyre and this become the first Vampire novel in 1819. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/6087

But then the ladies lead the dance again in 1836 with The Beautiful Vampire (Clarimonde) by Theophile Gautier. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/22661

In 1848, Alexander Dumas wrote The Pale Lady and in 1872, Sheridan Le Fanu finished his work Camilla (AKA Carmilla) http://www.english.upenn.edu/~nauerbac/crml.html

Le Fanu is the one who actually sets the stage for many fo the time honored characteristics we have of Vampires:





  • The Vampire is the Reanimated Dead




  • The Vampire is not trapped in the past. It lives in contemporary society undetected among its victims




  • The Vampire is not a peasant. They are aristocrats with the means to travel.




  • The Vampire is brooding, mysterious, dark and fatally seductive but completely amoral. They care nothing for the ruination or destruction of others




  • The Vampire does not simply attack for food alone. There is a sexual element between the Vampire and the victim




  • The Vampire's hold is psychic as well as blood driven.




  • The Vampire is magikally connected to the moon



Lady Vampires on Film

Female Vampires are first seen in Vampyr by Carl Theodor Dreyer in 1936. In the 1950's a spate of Malaysian female centered Vampire films were made, the most prominent being Pontianak.

In the 1960's the Italian film maker Mario Brava made a female Vampire features film called The Mask of Satan.

At the same time, French director Roger Vadim did a cinematic adaptation of Camilla (Carmilla) called Blood and Roses.

The later 60's saw a resurgence in male dominated Vampire films until Roger Corman did Queen of Blood. It is unique in film because it not only has a female Vampire in a lead role, but it also the first sci-fi imaginings of the Vampire legend.

From the 70's to the 90's you see a see sawing of female centered vs mael centered Vampire characters with a Hammer production of Carmilla and other off shoots fo the franchise sucj as Vampire Lovers, Lust for a Vampire, The Twins of Evil, The Daughter of Dracula, and the gruesome The Blood Spattered Bride.

In all cases, the female Vampires are portrayed as bi or lesbian and exploits the less than purient curiosity of audiences to see more and more vivid and obvious sex carried out on film.

Female Vampires then take a turn with comedy with films like Once Bitten, Vamp and campier films like The Beautiful Captive, Life Force, Beverly Hills Vamp, Near Dark and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The Female Vampire in Recent Story Telling

Male Vampires still dominate most of modern Vampire story telling. Writers such as Elaine Bergstrom, P.N. Elrod, and Anne Rice feature mostly male Vampires. Female Vampires as central characters are rare and generally relegated to roles as peripheral characters.

Vampirella is the most notable female Vampire causing a sort of resurrection of the female Vampire: The Vampire Tapes by Arabella Randolph (1977), The Virgin and the Vampire by Robert Meyers (1977) Sabella by Tanith Lee and The Hunger by Whitley Strieber (1981)

The '80s ended with the Olivia novels by Chelsea Yarbro.

Public Thought on the Female Vampire


Overall, the story of the male Vampire is joined with images of male sexual dominance with females as victims. But as stories evolved, the male Vampire has become more complex with a densely treated psychology. Same can be said the female Vampire, slowly and painfully evolving from mere wife and minion of a male Vampire. They rise from their graves as equally complex as their male counterparts.

J.Gordon Melton The Vampire Book
Rosemary Ellen Guiley's Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters


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You May be a Vampire If.....

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:14 am

You may Be a Vampire if.....
By Aslinn Dhan

I have mentioned a few times about how people came to suspect certain members of their community as Vampire, so I thought I would put together a list of the things that people looked for while Vampire hunting and the actual causes of the symptoms...be warned, this could gross you out.

You may be a Vampire if:

1. Bloating in the Body.

A puffy, well nourished looking corpse days or weeks after the burial a sign of an actively feeding Vampire.

Truth

Bloating is actually caused by the build up of decay gas, usually methane.

2. Oozing Blood

Blood coming from the nose, mouth, or anus is a sign of being a Vampire. Corpses don't bleed.

Truth

Blood does coagulate but eventually re-liquefies with the decay process. The above mentioned gasses then push the blood out of the orifices.

3. Bright Red Blood

Vampires exude bright red blood.

Truth

If the body of the deceased is kept cool, the blood uses the remaining oxygen in the body slower, making the blood brighter.

4. Ruddiness of the Skin

Corpses which have been buried for some time but appear in the pink blush of life are Vampires.

Truth

This is a natural phase of decomposition, caused by pooling of the blood.

5. Flaccid Limbs

If their arms and legs have full range of motion, then they are Vampires.

Truth

With death, the bodies go into a state of hardening or stiffening called rigor mortis. Eventually the rigor fades and their limbs are pliable.

6. Warm to the Touch

Corpses who are discovered to be warm after burial are Vampires.

Truth

The act of decomposition creates heat.

7. Erections

Male Vampires have an insatiable sexual drive, so his member stays rigid, even in the grave. So a dead man with a stiffy is a Vampire.

Truth

Again, blame decomposition. Fluids and gasses go to the penis and and inflate it to full or better length and girth.

8. Movement in the Coffin

If you open a coffin of dead person and they have been moving around in there, they are a Vampire.

Truth

There are two theories: 1) is good old decomposition. 2) takes a page out of Poe and is prematurely buried. Vlad wasn't dead after all, he was just asleep!!!

9. Incorruptible Bodies

He looks just as he did when we buried him, so he must be a Vampire!!!

Truth

Baring the possibilities that he was a saint among the people, the cause is a definite slowing or halting of the decay process because of minerals in the burial ground or absence of insect or rodent predation or some other form of preservation done as a part of burial.

10. New Skin, Nail, and Hair Growth

The presence of nail and hair growth and new tender skin is a sign they are Vampires.

Truth

Skin shrinkage with dessication and sloughing of skin answers that quandry.

11. Chewed Shrouds and Limbs

In lore, the first victim of the Vampire was often the Vampire himself. Autophagy, eating one's self, is the first blood feast of the Vampire. Then he could get up and eat the village.

Truth

Decomposition (a given) and vermin assistance. A collective of politic worms are even at him.

12. Noises

We excavated Uncle Billy Bob's grave the other day and he grunted when we staked his Vampire ass.

Truth

If your Vampires fart, they are not Vampires.They are just full of those tricky decomposition gases.

So now you are pretty sure, despite all the explanations why their bodies might be this way, you have a hankering to make sure they rest in peace...what do you do?

Drive a Stake through their Heart

Aspen is a great wood of choice, but ash, hawthorn, maple, black and white thorn are great too.

Off with their Heads

No head, no Vampire.

Burn baby burn

That should do it.

Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters by Rose Mary Ellen Guiley


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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:14 am

Desperately Seeking Vampires By Aslinn Dhan

If you live in the world of True Blood and the Sookie Books (or here on TBC) you know how to find some Vampires. All you have to do is go to Fangtasia and you will see them. But before the Great Revelation, you really had to work at it. I generally required a pick and a shovel and in a bizarre, macabre sort of Beach Blanket Bingo, you dug into the graves of suspected Vampires. But what made a grave suspect there might be a Vampire having an afternoon nap?

One Set of Footprints In the Sand.

If someone died of a Vampire disease, their graves were circled in ash or sand or flour and if they were coming up for a gnosh, you would see their footprints.

You can lead a Horse to water but you can't lead him to a Vampire's Grave.

Don't tell the King of Mississippi this, but animals have a difficult time dealing with the supernatural. A horse will not step over the grave of a Vampire.

There is a Blue Light Special in Aisle Seven

In European mythology and folklore, the blue glow is the soul, separated from the body but unable to go on, marking the day time sleeping place of a Vampire.

Working the Grave Stone Shift

Vampire graves have an unsettled, disturbed look. They often have crooked head stones, particularly if they have religious symbols on them.

Hell Hounds on your Trail

Wolves and dogs can be used to hunt Vampires. Wolves especially like to hunt Vampires, dig them up and choke them with their jaws.

Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
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It's all Greek to Me

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:15 am

It's All Greek to Me By Aslinn Dhan
Since our Vampiric Lore find's it's beginnings in the Lamia/Lilith myths, I thought it would interesting to discuss some thought the Greeks had about Vampires and Werewolves. The Werewolf and Vampire legends are inextricably intertwined in their story telling. Greeks were a highly developed, well defined and structured culture and they had complex notions of the supernatural. To delve into simply the mythology of the Greek culture is to be totally immersed in complicated symbols and social nuances so delicate that one would have to be borne into the culture to truly learn them. As it is, the information I am relaying to you is simply the tip of the iceberg for more complex thought about the supernatural.

Greeks have influenced most every culture in the thinking world. The Romans adopted and renamed the gods followed by the Greeks. They were the first to write down complex governing systems, study mathematics from not only a scientific angle but a religious/philosophical one, and set down the most complex star maps the ancient world had ever known. They were the first to begin thinking about medicine and the social importance of people, not just the well to do but the common person. They were the first to impose education for the young and not just for boys but for girls as well.

Greeks were religious. They believed that man's world was ruled by the whims of the gods but man was not truly defenseless and there was no fate a man could not avoid if he was careful with his life and his death. Just as life was governed by complex laws, so was death.

If someone died, they must be taken care of as tenderly as they would have been in life. They had be given all the rites of burial. Justice must be had for the slain dead. If a man was murdered, the soul of the dead was obligated to walk around til justice was served.

One of the things that could happen would be the person who was murdered or given a careless funeral would come back as some other. These thoughts influenced the rules and rituals of death for many cultures such as the Asian and the Roma people.

Here are some factors which might lead to a person to remain on the earth as either a Vampire or a Werewolf

Persons not properly buried

To be dead and left without proper burial is to court disaster. The soul could not move on to the next world and thus they were condemned to wander over the earth as something hideous til their body was found and give a burial.

Violent or Sudden Death

Violent crime at the hands of another or a sudden death without the intercession of a priest/ess could condemn the soul from going on to the next world.

Suicides

Though some believe this component is a Christian one, it is actually pre Christian. People did routinely kill themselves because of age, infirmity, or because of political persecution in the Greek world. To take this final act was fraught with conflict. It was never entered into frivolously. The death of choice was hemlock (hence the suicide advocacy group The Hemlock Society) It is no accident this herb was chosen. It is an herb of consecration, purifying anyone who used it either as part of a ritual or as medicine or as a method of death. It prevented the soul from condemnation. Otherwise, the one committing suicide would be condemned to rise up a monster.

Children born or conceived during a feast or festival

Feasts and festivals were meant to be time of honoring the gods. To be distracted from them was to court trouble. Making love during feast time, or being engaged in the act of child birth shows your disrespect to the gods. This belief carried over into Christian tradition as well. Children born during this time or after a feast, was considered cursed and more susceptible to becoming a monster.

Still Borne Children

Many cultures have complex beliefs as to the moment a soul is acquired A still borne child among the Greeks carried the potential of becoming a shell fit for any wandering evil to house itself. Certain things had to be done to make the body safe and keep it from being inhabited and nurtured by unsuspecting parents.

Persons under a curse

If you are cursed by a power priest or priestess or by the gods themselves, you can become a monster. Lycon was changed into a werewolf, Lamia was made a Vampire, Calaban was made into a satyr simply for being in the god's disfavor.

Excommunication

Though we think of that word in terms of Christianity, all religions believe in some form of ritualistic cutting off of an offending parishioner. If you were removed from the roll of the faithful, you were cut off from the mercy of the gods and could not go into the afterlife.

Immorality

What some cultures define as a blessing, some others would see it as a sin. If you broke the the most sacred laws of the faith (whatever that may be) you were guilty of immorality. If you were an immoral person, unrepentant in your ways, you could become a monster.

Witchcraft

Again, as with immorality, the definition of Witch is based on the culture. But, for the sake of this discussion, I will say this applies to any person practicing dark arts..not a witch in general. There are witches of all faiths that work light magik (that is to say "Good" magik) and then there are those who practice dark magik ("Evil" magik) how you identify the two is based on your culture. If you practiced dark arts, you were damning your soul because you hurt people (See Immorality) and you would eventually be judged and punished.

Eating Animals killed by Wolves

As evocative as this may seem, I suspect this was to prevent people from eating meat that may be tainted with rabies. Rabies is a dangerous disease that kills off the reasoning parts of the brain and make the sufferer ( man or beast) go "insane" and act savagely.

The Corpse was jumped by a Cat.

The poor beleaguered cat. Loved by some like the Egyptians and the Norse and the Muslim world, cats also find themselves hated by other parts of the world. Nocturnal and aloof, some cultures saw the cat as dangerous and evil and if they came in contact with the dead, the dead could become a monster.

The Unmourned Dead

You had to have been a pretty evil person to go unmourned. If this is so, the gods would take no interest in you. In fact it was a thing so feared that even people not known for their compassion hired mourners to cry loudly for them in their deaths.

People who steal from Temples (Churches) or Schools

Since among the Greeks religion and education were paramount to a robust and useful life in society, to rob a holy place or a school could find you cursed and excommunicated and severely punished or victim to vigilantism, causing you to rise up a monster from your grave.

As Chief Red Cloud said: You have made us dead men in the land given to us by Wakontaonken. But do not ignore the dead. For those who do are bound to know our rightful justice. So deal kindly with my people, for the dead have a power too.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley Werewolves, Vampires and other Monsters, Paul Beryl the Complete Herbal, and Cats Among Us by Elizabeth Greystone.


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Hitler and the Occult

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:16 am

Hitler and the Occult
By Aslinn Dhan

Since this has been brought up, I thought I would write up a little something about the der Fuhrer and his grand design for a re-imagined Nordic religion. Keep in mind this is in no way a genuine brand of Norse Neo-Paganism but an adulteration of the old religion designed to prop up his evil political scheme.

Hitler desired a complete re-visioning of the German people and its culture after WWI. After the war the German people were defeated and depressed economically and emotionally. The Versailles Treaty was a crippling and humiliating treaty for the Germans that it was only a matter of time til a strong and charismatic voice would shout in the wilderness.

Hitler's notion of a German Church was founded in a desire to show Germans they were a proud race, a superior race because they had descended from the gods. These gods and their children, called the Aryans were from the people of the lost continent of Atlantis, some of whom escaped their sinking island and made their way to mainland Europe and traveled as far as Tibet and eventually came back into the Nordic lands of Europe and became the noble and god-descended people of Germany.

These people were racially pure descended directly from heaven, not evolved as lesser people were. They were the Sons of God spoken of in the Bible who were to have bred up a race of giants. They had lately been diminished by their racial impurity and neglect of their identity but they were ready to reclaim their racial heritage and become favored again by the gods. To do this, they had to first reclaim themselves.

They did this by redefining the Aryan race. The true Aryan would be tall, blond, blue eyes and of high intelligence. This led to an active breeding program called Leibensbahn- the Life House. Young German girls were encouraged to become pregnant by the elite of the Nazi Party, the SS. They had 11 million children between 1943 and 1945. All the children were then property of the state and taken away and raised by SS families or in huge homes. Illegitimate children, as long as they came from a pairing of two pure Germans, they were welcomed into society as just another proud German. Polygamy was considered a viable option for SS officers to ensure there would be large German families.

To ensure there was a racial purity, you had to be able to prove your racial mix back to 1750. If there were genetic problems in the family, the young men and women were subjected to Eugenics, where they would be sterilized. The mentally ill and physically ill were Euthanized, that is they were killed. It was a capital offense to marry or even have sex with a non-Aryan. To prevent this from happening, the Final Solution began to be fomented.

But setting up the selective breeding campaign was only the first step. German SS began to actively research the religions of the world and pulled the bits and pieces that seemed to reflect their beliefs about a master or divine race. And they discovered a symbol that would replace the cross in the hearts and minds of the people.

The symbol of Nazism was the swastika. It is found in Buddhist and Hindu art and in Native American art. It is figured in Norse art as well. It symbolized the sun, the four directions, holiness, health and luck. Hitler adopted it and said it was a symbol of the struggle of the Aryan man.

The Norse myths of course figured prominently in Hitler's re-visioning of the German religion. His greatest source was the work of Richard Wagner, particularly the Ring Cycle and the Nibelung and the opera Parsifal.

Parsifal retells the Arthurian tale of the Quest for the Grail. Since race and blood purity was so important to the redesign of the German race, the notion there was a container for sacred blood appealed to Hitler, so much so, he paid for archeological searches for the Grail. Otto Rahn was Hitler's chief archeologist and he believed the Grail was in the mountains of Mont Siggur in France, the center of devotion of the Cathars who were murdered as heretics. Like the knights of Arthur, though, they never found the Grail.

There were already mystical societies who embraced the notions of the old religion joined with racial intolerance. The Thule Society, which believed wholeheartedly in in werewolves and other supernatural beings through tales of the Berserkers, also believed that the German people were the historical chosen people of mythology and they further pointed to tales in the hero tales of the Norse that spoke of a great Messiah. Hitler filled their mystical casting call.

Of Hitler's inner circle, there were four major players: Rudolph Hess, Alfred Rosenberg, and Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler were devotees of the mystical German religion. They too believed that Hitler was the Aryan Messiah of legend. Hess was a devotee of astrology and divinations. Rosenberg wrote the basic outline of the German religion. Goebbels was the grand architect of the German church along with Himmler. They practiced astrology and sun worship, believed in the religion of the blood..that is the bloodline. Racial purity was a must to be a member of the German church. The four of them rewrote the history of the German people. They believed, along with Hitler, that a sloughing off of Christianity with its Jewish roots was necessary. And they had their god, Hitler, the Messiah of the German people.

Hitler was portrayed in art as a knight. A flag stained with Hitler's blood was called the blood flag and no Nazi flag was "official" if it had not been touched to the blood flag. There were even Martyrs who were embraced. These 16 were killed during the Night of the Long Knives when the Nazis purged from within by killing off the SA or storm troopers by the SS. They were called the 16 Immortals and they were believed to have been ascended to Valhalla and were there interceding to Odin on the behalf of the German people. Each spring there was a great pageant and and pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Immortals and the procession was lead by the blood flag.

All of these massive parades and pageants were attended passionately by Germans, but especially by the youth. The youth were systematically indoctrinated into the German church. Boys joined the Hitler Youth. Girls joined the Society of German Maidens. They were taught the German history and mythology and the runic alphabet. Hitler was quoted as saying "I want to see again in the youth of Germany the gleam of the Beast of Prey," Much was made of the fact the name Adolph meant Father Wolf and the boys of the Hitler Youth called him such and referred to themselves as Hitler's Cubs.

Himmler made Bedelsberg Castle the center for the mysticism of the German church. There he consecrated twelve of his most trusted SS officers as SS Knights. They were given a dagger marked with runes, a ring with the Ben Sinister or death's head on the ring. The rituals included christenings, marriages, the May Pole, the Straw Man or Green Man, Litha (which became a feast of hate and darkness) and Yule (which became a feast of the dead) and Ostara became the time to renew loyalty to the Nazi Party and Hitler.

But, despite all of this, despite remodeling the Norse religion, creating a martyrdom, encouraging their racial pride, Germany began losing the war. Defeat after defeat began to weaken the resolve of the people. Goebbels began to use the occult more obviously. He consulted the astrologers to write astrological predictions that would rally the people. He also discovered the writings of Michel de Nostradamus and had additional quatrains written to show a German victory. British and America followed suit and did the same.

In the end, Hitler and his army lost and the Final Solution was uncovered and the re-visioning of the Norse religion exposed as a twisting of the noble legends of the Norse people.

Documentary: Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy Directed by Tracy Atkins and Joan Barron Narrated by Malcolm McDowell For the Discovery Channel.


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HBO's Short Feature "Vampire Mythology" and "Shifter Mythology"

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:19 am

Posted By Raki





Alan Ball and the cast discuss True Blood Vampire and shifter Mythology.


Aslinn / GS -If you would rather have this clip in another thread feel free to move it, just thought it might fight in here Wink


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Jason's Dream

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:21 am

Jason's Dream By Aslinn Dhan
Okay, we have all had these sorts of dreams...being naked in public. And that might bother you a weenie bit if you are not Alex Skarsgard, nudie cutie that he is, but for the rest of us reluctant exhibitionists, this is what Jason's dream means:

Oracle One:

In one aspect, this is a dream of contrary, that you will have a stroke of good fortune, especially money luck. If you dreamed of someone else being naked...look out for deception.

Oracle Two:

Being naked in situations that would be deemed embarrassing or inappropriate are a sign of lack of confidence.

Oracle Three:

A desire for freedom to be self expressive. It might also indicate innocence of one thing or other in your life. It can also suggest a rebirth or new beginning.

Oracle Four:

Scandal and shame may be the reason you dream of being naked. To discover you are naked and try to cover yourself up, you are guilty of illicit pleasures.

Source: 1. The Dreamer's Dictionary by Lady Stearn Robinson 2. The Dream Bible Brenda Mallon 3. 10,000 dreams Interpreted by Pamela Ball 4. The Giant Book of Dreams by Constable and Robinson


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Werewolves of the Innu

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:55 am

Werewolves of the Inuit
By Aslinn Dhan

The Innuit people of Canada have a legend of the adlet, the dog people, the offspring of a red dog of legend and an Innu woman. She birthed 5 were dogs and 5 regular dogs and the woman set all 10 of the children adrift on a raft. The raft eventually landed in Europe and grew up to breed the European north people, the Norse, who returned eventually in the form of Vikings.

The Werewolf Book- Brad Steiger


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Gilles De Rais: The Werewolf Murderer

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:55 am

Gilles De Rais: The Werewolf Murderer
By Aslinn Dhan

In 1415, 11 year old Gilles De Rais, also known as Marchal De Rais, inherited one of the greatest fortunes in France. He married Catherine Thouars, who was an equally wealthy woman. At 20, he became a follower of the Maid of Orleans, Joan of Arc and he followed her into battle after battle, even to swearing celibacy.

When Joan was captured by the English and tried as a witch and burned at the stake, De Rais lost his faith. He renounced God and began a long career of horror and crime. Being that he was rich and of noble class, he traveled from estate to estate with his cortege and woe to the peasantry when the landlord came home.

It was the practice for the poor to stand at the gates of rich people’s houses to beg food and alms and most of the well to do did send out their servants to give out alms and bread and cheese to the poor and Giles de Rais was no different except for this one fact: Young children began to go missing whenever he visited. Parents began to clamor at the gates of De Rais estate and the gates of the law who was more than reticent about rousting a noble person who was rich and powerful.

Eventually, that is exactly what happened. In Rouen, he was arrested and his estate was searched and his servants questioned. What they found was horrifying, even in light of the horrors of the Inquisition, now active during this time.

According to his servants and from De Rais own mouth, the lord of the house became a devotee of Satan. He became depraved, craving especially children. It was said the children would be lured into the house with promises of food for their family. Once in they were dragged away into a room and tied into a chair and tormented. Once they were terrified, De Rais would come in, pretending to be horrified. He would untie the youngster, pull them onto his lap, comfort them and sooth them and then when they were calm, he would tell him what he was planning to do with them. Then he would proceed to rape and murder them, torturing them to death. He would then instruct the servants to go and get the body and prepare it for eating. The lord and his men would then feast on the flesh, drinking the blood in golden goblets.

De Rais said his appetite for torture and depravity began when he conjured the devil and the devil made him a werewolf. He said that he would become ravenous and soulless and he would find relief only through torture and cannibalism.

Though De Rais was candid about his crimes, he begged for mercy. While he was in prison, he supposedly became a shriven friar, desiring to become a priest as he had repaired his relationship with God. He asked that he be confined to a monastery. The Inquisition denied him his request. What they did do was allow De Rais to be killed humanely and though his body was meant to be burned, it was rescued by his wife and possibly the order who was allowing him to take vows. So much for crime and punishment.

Source: The Werewolf Book by Brad Steiger.


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Sawney Beane

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:56 am

Sawney Beane
By Aslinn Dhan

Historians debate the reality of this heinous family. Some say they may have been a real family who did commit crimes but not the extent they are reputed. Others believe the family was invented for political reasons, to cast an evil light on the anti- James I group the Jacobites. Others say they are simply a fanciful tale spun for the entertainment of listeners from this time to now. Whatever you think about the Beane family, their story certainly contributes to the cultural mythology we have about families who murder and kill and eat their victims.

At any rate, Sawney Beane was reportedly born Alexander Beane in East Lothian in or around the late 1500’s early 1600’s. His father was a ditch digger and hedge cutter and local handyman. Sawney was no damned good from the start. He preferred stealing and laziness rather than an honest life of poverty. It was said he took up with a woman called Black Agnes Douglas and they moved to a system of caves whose entrance was blocked by the high tides and there they began a family rumored to have numbered around fifty. Sawney was not only dishonest; he was also a pervert as he committed incest with his daughters and got his own grandchildren from them.

They made their living as highwaymen. And it was not just the men in the family who helped, the girls did too. They would set traps and waylay lonely travelers and kill them and steal their money and jewelry. As a matter of thrift, they also stole the clothes and began to cure and consume the meat.
This is not new in the annals of crime, as long pig has a forbidden allure to it and has made bad crimes heinous. Besides, the Beanes were being practical. There were many mouths to feed and no reason to throw away good meat (excusing the fact it is human “meat”). There are even some scholars who believe there may have been a famine in Scotland at the time and thus the cannibalism was a matter of necessity. Whatever the thought on it, it made the Beanes a dangerous lot.

Rumors began to circulate among the towns people, particularly when people began to turn up missing and there were the odd body parts washing up on the shore. These grisly findings led the people to suspect other things than robbers, they began to suspect Vampires, Werewolves, and witches (oh my) afoot in the town. It didn’t take long before the vicious Beanes were caught.

The down fall of the clan came when a neighboring town was having a fair and many of the town’s people went to the fair. On their way home, a couple was beset by the Beanes. What the Beanes did not know was there was another group of travelers coming up behind them and this is what the groups saw.

The couple had been horseback and the man was on his horse with pistol and sword drawn and fighting to defend himself. His wife was already down and the female Beanes were on her, tearing off her clothes and jewelry and even butchering the poor woman. Some of the Beane women were drinking her blood and others were yanking her internal organs out through stab wounds in her belly. The other party came up and attacked and the Beanes scurried into the moors and made it back to their cave dwelling. The tide hid the entrance and they were safe for a while.

King James VI, of Scotland, who would later become James I of England, led an armed search party. The hounds, it was said, was drawn to the cave, as they smelled the smoked and pickled meat. The clan was pulled into the light of day.

They were taken to Edinburgh’s Tolbooth Jail, the same jail which housed Rob Roy for a time, and depending on the version you read, they were either taken to Leister to stand trial or taken all the way to London to stand trial. This is primarily because the only historical source for the tale is the Newgate Catalogue. At any rate, they were tried for treason. Cannibalism was listed as a treasoner’s crime. They were found guilty and the men were executed by having their hands feet and cut off and being bled to death and the women and children were burned alive.

The only historical document recording the crimes and trial and punishment is the Newgate Catalogue. There it says the family killed over 1000 people and ate them and robbed them. Later, Victorian writers of tabloid like “penny dreadfuls” did their own versions of the Sawney Beane murders, often with lurid engravings and other embellishments, such as the thought they went undetected with their crimes because they were werewolves and Vampires who came out only at night. Others say they were a clan of Satanists and witches.

Sources: From Oxford Library Online: Historical and Traditional Tales of Southern Scotland by John Nicholson, The Legend of Sawney Beane by Ronald Holmes, The Flesh Eaters by LA Morse, Sweeney Todd: The Real Story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Peter Haining. Other Sources: The Galloway Gazette By Stephen Graham and Sean Thomas Nov. 28, 1994.

The Ballad of Sawney Beane

Go you not to Galloway
Come bide a while my friend
I’ll tell you of the dangers there
Beware of Sawney Beane

There’s nobody knows he bides there
For his face is seldom seen
To meet his eye is to meet your fate
At the hands of Sawney Beane

Sawney he has taken a wife
And he has hungry babes to feed
Raising them on the flesh of men
In the cave of Sawney Beane

Sawney had been well endowed
With daughters long and lean
With child they were with their father’s seed
In the Cave of Sawney Beane

Sawney’s sons are young and strong
Their blades Sharp and keen
To spill the blood of travelers
What meet with Sawney Beane

So if you ride from there to here
Be you wary in between
Lest they catch your horse and spill your blood
In the cave of Sawney Beane

18th century Ballad

Thanks so much to my lovely Sean who did all the research for me on the Beane Family.


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Afraid of the Dark

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:56 am

Afraid of the Dark By Aslinn Dhan

In this modern world we take being able to see our surroundings for granted. We walk around, interact, do all the things in the night that we do in the day. But this confidence is a fairly new one because before the proliferation of light, man lived in a world of darkness and that fear of the things in the dark are still heavily ingrained in us today.

Many of the same reasons for fear of the dark do exist. Violent crime is still likely to happen under the cover of dark. So we turn on the lights, lock our doors, pull our shades and travel in small groups. So it was for ancient man, who locked out the world the best he could and sat close to the fire.

Chores and work that have to be done, especially in agricultural places require the use of light and on modern farms, this simply means that you flick the switch and you get on with your late night or early morning work. But among some groups who eschew modern conveniences in the name of religious devotion, like the Amish and the Mennonites, the use of light at night to do chores means the use of kerosene lanterns. The risk of fire goes up considerably. Add that to the fact these groups live apart with no telephone and no electric light, you have more opportunities to be a victim of crime. The act of Shutting In is one repeated throughout the rural places where these folks live.

Every culture has or had a nomadic people. Take the Bedouins for example. These people live in the desert, grazing their goats wherever they can find a patch of grass and water. The face the unlit dark, unilluminated by modern lights. They do not have permanent shelter that would keep malevolence things outside. Their world of darkness is inhabited by evil spirits and ravening beasts that come calling.

Among these beasts are real animals like jackals and hyenas, the snake and the scorpion and the wolf.
The wolf has been well known to be bold marauders, hunting down the lonely traveler or taking advantage of the domestic animals in their pens. They have even been known to hunt for the sake of hunting, not even eating what they kill. And these predators, above all others, have been feared. But there is one other predator, even greater than the wolf and it is man.

But back to the wolves, for the story of wolf and man is intertwined. At one time wolves outnumbered men. Imagine that for a moment. As lately as 500 years ago, wolves outnumbered men in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest was the frontier of Eastern Europe and there were many human deaths attributed to wolves. And from these tales both cautionary and reactionary sprang tales of man wolves.

Fifteenth century people began to warn people of wandering out of doors because violent monsters wandered the dark. Behind closed doors, shut against the terrors of the night began tales of werewolves, Vampires, and other supernatural creatures. And it was in this place, in Romania, we hear the story of the first Vampire: Vlad Dracul, Vlad the Impaler, Count Dracula. And his evil could only have come from the devil who made him stragoi, the undead, wampyr.

Some people were exiled from the world of light because of circumstance. In 14th century Scotland, it was illegal to be homeless. Edward the Longshanks decreed that extreme poverty was a capital offense and the poor hid in the underworld four stories below the city of Edinburgh. Called The Vaults, this place was initially designed as storage areas for shop keepers to store their extra stock of whisky and other products but they found that the storage areas were unsuitable because of the water that poured through the vaults when it rained above in their topside world. An hour after the rain came down, it would rain in the vaults as the water made its way down through the rocky soil. Here the poor of the city made their world and their world was dark.

Beggars, thieves, orphans, prostitutes all sought shelter from the long arm of the law. They predated each other to have just a little more comfort than their neighbor and among them there were wolves in people suits. The notorious resurrection men, Burke and Hare, would lure the poor into the darkest places of the vaults and kill them and sell them to medical schools where they would be dissected to further medical science. Locals feared the night because of the grave robbing resurrection men who prowled the lonely cemeteries for fresh corpses to sell, and if there were no unfortunate dead to steal, they made their own bodies.

Through the dark and down the stairs
Up and down go Burke and Hare
Burke’s the butcher, Hare the thief
And Knox the boy who buys the meat.

And the ill treated dead could come back to haunt the living. Rural people were religious people and they believe that the night was the time the veil was thinnest between the living and the dead. They also believed that evil in the form of witches and demons wandered the night. To protect themselves, they planted rowan trees in yards and around grave yards.

There are also people who were in congress with the devil. One of those was Richard Cabell. He was an evil man in life and it was said he had made the Faustian deal with the devil. The night he died, a stranger with a limp came into a local bar and ordered a pint. He was a stranger and there was something ominous about him. He took his pint and drank it down and people swore they could see steam coming up from his throat. He sat the pewter tankard on the bar and gave a belch and announced he was here to collect the soul of Richard Cabell. When the publican took the tankard off the bar, the tankard had burned a ring onto the bar. Further telling of the story added a violent storm and the body of Richard Cabell was found with a terrified look frozen on his face. The moral of the story was if you did not live right and had truck with the devil, he would come for you one night, in the dark, and take your soul to hell.

So, beware the dark, and keep a light burning and be careful of what you invite in. You never know when a monster is lurking, looking for a way to get you.

Source: Afraid of the Dark: Myths and Tales about the Night and Darkness- The History Channel.


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Santeria and Paoulo Mayombe

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:57 am

What is Santeria and Paoulo Mayombe
By Aslinn Dhan

We know a bit about Vou Dou (voodoo) and we know a little about hoo doo, but what is Jesus into? He could be into a religious system called Santeria. But what is Santeria and how is it different from Vou Dou? And is there a dark side?

Santeria is an Afro-Caribbean religion that was developed among African slaves. See, when Africans were brought to the New World as slaves, they were forced to stop any sort of native practice to break their will and to steal their identity. If they could not have an identity they would look to the guidance and authority of their masters.

And that was a cool plan until they started to take their slaves to church. Particularly if they were Catholic. One of the ways to demonstrate one's authority over another is to demonstrate their closeness and blessedness to their God. With God on their side, who can beat them. So the slaves were brought to church and the slaves marveled at the rich and colorful depictions of God and Christ and the saints and the angels.

The slaves of course were not stupid people, they were not dumb animals who would simply forget their children or their lives or their religions. But how could they do that in plain view and still be in the good books with their captors? It was simple..hide their gods in the shapes of the Christian God.

From them on, God the Father would be Eleggua the opener of the door. The Virgin would be his wife, Yemaya, and all of the saints would play similar roles. Even the Devil is given a place as Oggun....but he is not the evil doer of Christian beliefs, he is the one who over sees justice.

They celebrate the gods with food offerings and gifts of alcohol and tobacco and dancing and the most blessed thing that can happen to a worshiper is if the gods come down and possess you. They show you the future the future and the past and they reveal all secrets and do the will of the gods in their possession. Everyone is blessed and the congregation celebrates the presence of the gods among them.

So how is that different from Vou Dou? Vou Douists do not use the Christian imagery. They see themselves as purer that the Santeria practitioners because they do not hide the gods in the images of the saints. They believe that the gods are appeased only when you let them be free of the Christian influence, but they practice many of the same rites and use the same magik.

Is there a darker side of Santeria? Sure there is...Paoulo Myombe.

If Satanism is the antithesis of Christianity, then Paoulo Mayombe is the antithesis of Santeria. They believe that their chief god, a version of Oggun, can be controlled by the use of a cauldron where they create a home fit for their god. They call it an nganga. There they bless the cauldron with the organs of animals, the blood, alcohol, herbs and spices and sometimes, in the most rare cases, they use humans. They guard the cauldron and feed it and pray to it. It is the most dangerous form of black magik in the world.

So what is Jesus into? I think he is Santerian, but I think he may dabble in the darker side of the faith....Be careful Lafayette...He really could be Satan in a Sunday hat....or at least know Satan's haberdasher

The Witch Book by Raymond Buckland. The Encyclopedia of the Occult by Michael Greer and The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft by Judika Illes


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Who was Goody Osbourne

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:58 am

Who was Goody Osbourne?
By Aslinn Dhan

"Oh you have the wrong man; The dog ate my homework; I saw Goody Osbourne with the devil" - The Magister

The Magister mentions Goody Osbourne, so I thought I would tell you about her.

Sarah Osbourne lived in Salem, Massachusetts in Wolf Pits Meadow and was accused of being a witch by Abigail Williams. She was accused of appearing before the accusers in her spectral form and threatening them and was supposedly seen signing the devil's book at one of his bacchanals. She was also supposed to be an intimate of Tituba the slave of Reverend Parris and had done magik with her. She was an old woman, something not notably trusted in the Puritan village and had a lost a husband to suspicious causes.

This husband was Robert Prince and her in-laws were the Putnams. She was a highly favored member of the clan til she decided to wed herself to the Irish immigrant, Alexander Osbourne. When her son by Prince was in his majority, he sought to claim his inheritance and the Putnams wanted to decrease it. This led to a feud between the Putnams and the Osbournes.

She protested the accusations. She had been home sick, house bound by the illness and could scarcely have been able to cavort around with the village idiot much less the devil himself. She claimed fifty years but was actually much older. She was remanded to the village prison and was denied bail so she could at least be in her home as she was a sickly person. She died May 10 on the floor of her prison. All of her land was forfeit to the Salem Village.

The Devil's Disciples: Makers of the Salem Witch Trials by Peter Charles Hoffer


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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

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