Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

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Cain Part Two

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:03 pm

See, you should never say you know everything about something because that is when some little factoid will come along and bite you on the...er... neck.

As we know, there are links to Cain and the story of the Vampire. These stories were rooted in Jewish scriptures and Jewish scholarship called commentaries and are found in a score of books, among them the Midrash, the Talmud and the Sefers. Among these Sefers, there are deuterocanonical books that are not a part of the Torah, which are the first five books of the Bible but are influential discussions of the Bible and their various versions of a given story. Unlike Christianity, the Jews acknowledge the existence of several versions of well known Biblical stories of the official cannon and use them as discussion points, while Christians tend to discard them as books that are in some sort of error or their origins cannot be confirmed as true scriptural works and are there for deemed deuterocanonical and basically ignored.

There are several Sefers and they tend to be studied and embraced by Jewish scholars who study the Qabbalah, a specific branch of Jewish Mysticism that studies the occult, angels and magik and other forms of mysticism. Recently, there was a wave of celebrities who claimed to be students of the Qabbalah, but like other mystical traditions, they tend to flit from one tradition of study to another and it has fallen out of fashion.

The Sefer Zohar has a series of discussions of the various stories of the Bible and the mystical applications of the Hebrew alphabet and numerology and the names of God. In many mystical writings, there is a name of God that was invoked as each and every part of creation and each name controlled an aspect of creation. There is also a name that when pronounced will cause uncreation, but thankfully, this name has never been known. There are those who claim to know it, or know where it is written down, but thus far it has never been used and the earth is still doing its thing.

Because there are various versions of the stories of the Bible in Jewish tradition, these stories are carefully debated for their content and how it effects the meaning of the official cannon of the Torah. Among these stories is a story of Cain and Abel.

Now, I mention Cain in the mythology in http://truebloodanonymous.forumotion.com/t9p200-mythology-of-true-blood-and-the-sookie-books#1603 . Cain is the younger brother of Abel and he becomes jealous of Abel and slays him. In the Bible, it says Cain rose up and smote his brother. Now, I have always assumed Cain hit his brother and killed him. This is true of the Jewish scholars as well, but then, in the Sefer Zohar, there is a discussion of the story of Cain and what method he used to kill his brother Abel.

In Sefer Zohar Chapter 32 it reads:

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SAID Rabbi Eleazar: "By these words, 'And Cain brought54b of the fruits of the ground,' we learn that Cain and Abel offered sacrifices of a character corresponding to their own state and nature. According to the actions or works of a man, so is his offering. It is pure or impure, acceptable or otherwise, as it is written, 'Say unto the righteous, it shall be well with him, for he shall eat of the fruit of his doings, but woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him, for he shall eat of the fruit of his doings.' (Is. iii., 10 to 11.) Cain brought the fruits of his doings and met the death angel. Abel brought the firstlings of his flocks and found they were acceptable and pleasing unto God; as it is written, 'And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offerings, but unto Cain and his offerings he had no respect,' wherefore the wrath of Cain was aroused and he was greatly incensed and so we read that when they were in the field, he fell upon his brother Abel and slew him. From other words in scripture we infer that a quarrel arose between them respecting Abel's twin sister, which is further confirmed by the traditional rendering of the words, 'And she brought forth again with her brother Abel,' showing that Abel was born with a twin sister. It is written, 'If thou doest well shall thou not he accepted' (Gen. iv., 7). These words have already been explained but there is another signification given of them by Rabbi Abba, thus, 'If thou doest well,' thy soul shall ascend on high and never fall again below (sath). That is, if thou livest according to the dictates of thy Higher Self, thou shalt become united with it; but if not, thou shalt sink lower unto the dust of the earth from which thou hast come forth."

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Said Rabbi Jose: "This interpretation of the word 'sath' is very good and excellent, but I have heard another interpretation, which is, God said to Cain: 'If thou doest well, the impure spirit will not abide with thee nor cleave unto thee, but if thou doest not well, sin or evil lieth at the door' (ready to overtake thee). By the word 'door' (lepathach) is meant justice or punishment from on high, for the great tribunal of divine justice is designated by this same word, door or gate, as it is written, 'Open unto me the gates of justice' (Ps. cxviii., 19). By 'sin lieth at the door' is meant the impure spirit which if thou fallest into its power, will bring thy soul before the tribunal of divine justice, when it will be hurled to destruction and become dissolved into the original element out of which it has been formed and produced."

Said Rabbi Isaac: "At the time that Cain killed Abel he knew not how to separate or disjoin body and soul, but bit him like a serpent. From that moment he became accursed and wandered about in the world, an outcast shunned and abhorred, until at last repenting of his sin, he became reconciled with the Lord and found a habitation on a lower earth or world."

Said Rabbi Jose: "It was not on a lower, but on our present earth that Cain after his repentance was admitted into human society, as it is written, 'And the Lord set a mark upon Cain'" (Gen. iv., 15).

Said Rabbi Isaac: "From these words we gather that it was from this earth which is called Adamah that Cain was driven, and that it was on the earth called Arqa that he afterwards became a dweller, as it is written, 'And Cain said thou hast driven me this day from the face of Adamah' (earth). After his repentance, however, it was granted him to live on a lower earth (arqa) of whose inhabitants it is written, 'They shall perish54b from the earth (aqua) and from under these heavens' (Jer. x., 11). It was here that he lived and dwelt as scripture states, 'and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden' (Gen. iv., 16). Moreover, when Cain had killed Abel, Adam separated from his wife and cohabitated with two female elementals, and from his intercourse with them was begotten a great and numerous progeny of demons and elementaries who at night time appear in attractive forms and thus give rise to offspring like unto themselves. In scripture, they are termed 'the plagues of the children of men.' Though human in appearance, they are void of hair and of them scripture speaks. 'I will chasten him with

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the rod of men and with the plagues of the children of men' (Sam. vii., 14), they visit both men and women alike. After a hundred and thirty years he became united again with Eve and brought forth a son and called his name Seth,54b-55a signifying thereby that as the two letters S and Th are the last of the alphabet, so this son was the ending of the terrible experience through which Eve and Adam had passed and undergone.


Aslinn's note: This would also go with the post http://truebloodanonymous.forumotion.com/t9p160-mythology-of-true-blood-and-the-sookie-books#434 where Aolani and I debated the meaning of the word Elion/Elyon and the connection of Lilith and Adam and the fae or the origin of witches.

Said Rabbi Jehuda: "He was called Seth because he was a reincarnation of Abel, as it is written, 'For God hath appointed me another seed in place of Abel, whom Cain slew' (Gen, iv., 25). Furthermore, we read that Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth (Gen, v., 3), denoting that the first children of Adam had no resemblance to him either physically or morally. This was the opinion of Rabbi Yeba the aged as given by Rabbi Simeon. The first children brought forth by Eve were begotten by Somoal who appeared to her riding on the back of a serpent, and were therefore not endowed with the human body. If the question be asked: seeing that Abel came from a different side of the tree of life to that of Cain, wherefore had not Cain a human body? The reason was, because neither of them were begotten in a state of absolute purity."

Said Rabbi Jose: "But scripture states that though Adam knew Eve, his wife, and she conceived and brought forth Cain, yet it does not say that Adam begat Cain. Speaking of the birth of Abel it further states, 'She brought forth again his brother Abel.' Therefore, of each of them it is not said that they were begotten after the likeness and image of Adam, as it is expressly said of Seth."

Said Rabbi Simeon: "Adam as stated was separated from his wife a hundred and thirty years, during which time he begat demons and elementals that swarmed throughout the world. Whilst under the influence of the impure spirit he felt no desire to become associated with Eve, but after repenting and overcoming his animal propensities, he became again united to her and then it is said, 'he begat a son in his own likeness.' Observe that when a man begins walking in the wrong and downward path his thoughts and inclinations become impure and carnal, all love of virtue and purity leaves him through the impure elementals he attracts into his aura. Happy and blessed are they who find and walk in the path of light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day, for then are their lives truly clean

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and real lives and their offspring is like unto them; and of them scripture saith, 'For the upright shall dwell in the land.'" (Prov. ii., 21).

Said Rabbi Hiya: "What signify the words 'And the sister of Tubal Cain was Naamah' (gentleness), and wherefore was this name given her? Was it to indicate that she possessed the power of seducing both human and angelic beings?"

Said Rabbi Isaac: "She overcame Aza and Azael who in scripture are called 'sons of God.'"

Said Rabbi Simeon: "She was the procreatrix of all the demons of Cainite origin, and she it is that along with Lilith afflicts infant children with epileptic diseases."

Said Rabbi Abba to Rabbi Simeon: "Master, you have stated she was so called because she inspired men with carnal desires."

Said Rabbi Simeon: "That is true, for though she excites lust in human beings, yet this does not prevent her from afflicting young children and thus she continues her operations in the world up to the present time."

Said Rabbi Abba: "Seeing that demons and elementals are subject to death, wherefore do Naamah and Lilith continue to exist through the ages?"

Rabbi Simeon replied: "All demons and elementaries do indeed die, but Naamah and Lilith together with Agereth, daughter of Mahlath their offspring, abide in the world until the day that the Holy One will banish and drive all evil and impure spirits out of the world; as it is written, 'And I will cause the unclean spirit to pass out of the land' (Zach. xiii., 2). Woe unto those who are ignorant and therefore unable to avert and ward off the influence of these defiling elemental beings that swarm in their myriads throughout the world. If it were permitted to behold them, we should be amazed and confounded and wonder how the world could continue to exist. Observe that Naamah being the exciter of human concupiscence and carnality, it is obligatory on everyone to practice and perform acts and rites of purification, so that he may become and preserve himself pure and undefiled."

As you read further along, there is an even more interesting discourse on Lilith, which as we know, is not only cast as Adam's first wife from the mythology http://truebloodanonymous.forumotion.com/t9p100-mythology-of-true-blood-and-the-sookie-books#288 and her relationship to Cain as well as Adam. This ties everything into a neat a little pile, explaining the various mysterious passages in the Bible about the origin of demons, possibly the fae and the origins of Vampire as thought of in the Bible and the ancient Jewish Scholarship.

I consulted a friend of mine, a rabbi, with whom I have discussed many facets of the occult. (So much so, he says he feels like Abraham Van Helsing in Dracula) He says there are many versions of a single story in the Bible or Torah and he says there is no true "official" version of any one story, there are many versions which create nuances and points of view and contexts that are important to not only the spiritual enrichment of a person, but a true record of culture and mythology and our own shared origins.

Source: The Sefer Zohar at sacred texts http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/zdm/index.htm and Rabbi Marc Wutcher via Email.

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:25 am

Len and I both enjoy this foray very much. Thank you dearest.
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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Barrister on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:21 am

I think I have learned more about Cain and Abel than I ever thought existed. And Aolani and Len, don't you think it is interesting how we don't always hear the other versions of these stories we think we know so well?

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:43 am

But of course. I think that is part of what makes it so very interesting. It takes some real research and a real investigative mind to ask the right questions. Its a huge kudo to Aslinn.
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Doppleganger

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:19 pm

In fiction and folklore, a doppelgänger is a paranormal double of a living person, typically representing evil or misfortune. In modern vernacular it is any double or look-alike of a person.

It also describes the sensation of having glimpsed oneself in peripheral vision, in a position where there is no chance that it could have been a reflection. Doppelgängers often are perceived as a sinister form of bilocation and are regarded by some to be harbingers of bad luck. In some traditions, a doppelgänger seen by a person's friends or relatives portends illness or danger, while seeing one's own doppelgänger is an omen of death.

In Norse mythology, a vardøger is a ghostly double who precedes a living person and is seen performing their actions in advance. In Finnish mythology, this is called having an etiäinen, i.e., "a firstcomer". In Ancient Egyptian mythology, a ka was a tangible "spirit double" having the same memories and feeling as the original person. In one Egyptian myth titled "The Greek Princess," an Egyptian view of the Trojan War, a ka of Helen was used to mislead Paris of Troy, helping to stop the war. In some myths, the doppelgänger is a version of the Ankou, a personification of death.

The doppelganger became a popular symbol of horror literature, and the theme took on considerable complexity. In The Double (1846), by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, for example, a poor clerk, Golyadkin, driven to madness by poverty and unrequited love, beholds his own wraith, who succeeds in everything at which Golyadkin has failed. Finally the wraith succeeds in disposing of his original. An earlier, well-known story of a doppelganger appears in the novel Die Elixiere des Teufels, 2 vol. (1815-16; "The Devil's Elixir"), by the German writer of fantastic tales E.T.A. Hoffmann

EMILIE SAGÉE

One of the most fascinating reports of a doppelganger comes from American writer Robert Dale Owen who was told the story by Julie von Güldenstubbe, the second daughter of the Baron von Güldenstubbe. In 1845, when von Güldenstubbe was 13, she attended Pensionat von Neuwelcke, an exclusive girl's school near Wolmar in what is now Latvia. One of her teachers was a 32-year-old French woman named Emilie Sagée. And although the school's administration was quite pleased with Sagée's performance, she soon became the object of rumor and odd speculation. Sagée, it seemed, had a double that would appear and disappear in full view of the students.

In the middle of class one day, while Sagée was writing on the blackboard, her exact double appeared beside her. The doppelganger precisely copied the teacher's every move as she wrote, except that it did not hold any chalk. The event was witnessed by 13 students in the classroom. A similar incident was reported at dinner one evening when Sagée's doppelganger was seen standing behind her, mimicking the movements of her eating, although it held no utensils.

The doppelganger did not always echo her movements, however. On several occasions, Sagée would be seen in one part of the school when it was known that she was in another at that time. The most astonishing instance of this took place in full view of the entire student body of 42 students on a summer day in 1846. The girls were all assembled in the school hall for their sewing and embroidery lessons. As they sat at the long tables working, they could clearly see Sagée in the school's garden gathering flowers. Another teacher was supervising the children. When this teacher left the room to talk to the headmistress, Sagée's doppelganger appeared in her chair - while the real Sagée could still be seen in the garden. The students noted that Sagée's movements in the garden looked tired while the doppelganger sat motionless. Two brave girls approached the phantom and tried to touch it, but felt an odd resistance in the air surrounding it. One girl actually stepped between the teacher's chair and the table, passing right through the apparition, which remained motionless. It then slowly vanished.

Sagée claimed never to have seen the doppelganger herself, but said that whenever it was said to appear, she felt drained and fatigued. Her physical color even seemed to pale at those times.

FAMOUS DOPPLEGANGERS

There have been many cases of doppelgangers appearing to well-known figures:

Guy de Maupassant, the French novelist and short story writer, claimed to have been haunted by his doppelganger near the end of his life. On one occasion, he said, this double entered his room, took a seat opposite him and began to dictate what de Maupassant was writing. He wrote about this experience in his short story "Lui."
John Donne, the 16th century English poet whose work often touched on the metaphysical, was visited by a doppelganger while he was in Paris - not his, but his wife's. She appeared to him holding a newborn baby. Donne's wife was pregnant at the time, but the apparition was a portent of great sadness. At the same moment that the doppelganger appeared, his wife had given birth to a stillborn child.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, still considered one of the greatest poets of the English language, encountered his doppelganger in Italy. The phantom silently pointed toward the Mediterranean Sea. Not long after, and shortly before his 30th birthday in 1822, Shelley died in a sailing accident - drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.
Queen Elizabeth I of England was shocked to see her doppelganger laid out on her bed. The queen died shortly thereafter.
In a case that suggests that doppelgangers might have something to do with time or dimensional shifts, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the 18th century German poet, confronted his doppelganger while riding on the road to Drusenheim. Riding toward him was his exact double, but wearing a gray suit trimmed in gold. Eight years later, von Goethe was again traveling on the same road, but in the opposite direction. He then realized he was wearing the very gray suit trimmed in gold that he had seen on his double eight years earlier! Had von Goethe seen his future self?

SISTER MARY OF JESUS

Bilocation seems to be the flip side of the doppelganger coin. One of the most astonishing cases took place in the 1620s. In 1622, Father Alonzo de Benavides was assigned to the Isolita Mission in what is now New Mexico. He was puzzled to encounter Jamano Indians who, although they seemed never before to have met French or Spanish peoples, carried crosses, knew Roman Catholic rituals, had altars and knew Catholic liturgy - all in their native tongue.

Father Benavides wrote to both Pope Urban VII and King Philip of Spain to find out who had been there before him, obviously working to convert the Indians. The response was that no one had been sent previously. The Indians told him that they had been instructed in Christianity by a beautiful young "lady in blue" who came among them for many years and taught them this new religion in their own language. She also told them that white-skinned people would soon arrive in their land. "She came down from the heights to us," the Indians said, "she taught us the new religion, she stayed among us for a time, she told us you would come and to make you welcome, and then she went away. That’s all we know."

Who was this mysterious lady in blue? Father Benavides knew that the nuns of the Poor Clare order wore blue habits and thought there might be a clue there. He found a painting of a Poor Clare nun and showed it to the Jamanos. "Is this the woman?" he asked. The dress was right, the Indians told him, but this was not the woman. The woman in the painting was rather portly, but the lady in blue was young and beautiful.

When he returned to Spain, Father Benavides was determined to solve the mystery. How could the Indians have encountered a Poor Clare nun when they were a cloistered order: from the day they took their vows until their deaths, the nuns never left their convents, much less traveled to distant lands on missions. His investigation led him to Sister Mary of Jesus in Agreda, Spain, who claimed to have converted North American Indians - without leaving her convent. Now 29 and Mother Superior of the convent, Sister Mary said she had visited the Indians "not in body, but in spirit."

Sister Mary said she regularly fell into a cataleptic trance, after which she recalled "dreams" in which she was carried to a strange and wild land, where she taught the gospel. As proof of her claim, she was able to provide highly detailed descriptions of the Jamano Indians, including their appearance, clothing and customs, none of which she could have learned through research since they were fairly recently discovered by the Europeans. How did she learn their language? "I didn’t," she replied. "I simply spoke to them - and God let us understand one another."

Sister Mary is also said to have appeared to Mexican Indians, who said they had been visited by "a very beautiful woman, who used to come down from the heights, dressed in blue garments."

OTHER ACCOUNTS OF BILOCATION

There are many more anecdotes of bilocation, especially of saints, clergy and other religious figures:

In 1227, St. Anthony of Padua, a Portuguese Franciscan friar, was in Limoges, France on Holy Thursday giving a sermon. During the sermon, he remembered that he was obliged to be chanting prayers with his fellow friars in their chapel across town. Realizing this, he stopped his sermon, knelt on the spot, pulled his hood over his head and became quite still. At that moment, Friar Anthony appeared in the chapel and chanted the prayers as required. When they were done, he simultaneously withdrew from the chapel and raised his head at the church - and continued with his sermon.
St. Alphonsus Liguori was bishop of St. Agata dei Goti in 1774 when he experienced his bilocation. While in his palace near Naples, the bishop fell into a trance and at once appeared at the Vatican in Rome, in the bed chamber of Pope Clement XIV, who was dying. The bishop assisted those attending the Pontiff and prayed with those present. He remained until the Pope died, then "awoke" back in his palace, able to describe what he had just experienced.
In 1905, Sir Gilbert Parker, a member of the British Parliament, was attending a debate in the House of Commons. During the debate, he noted that Sir Frederick Carne Rasch was also present, sitting in his usual spot. Yet this was impossible since Sir Frederick was quite ill with with flu and, according to members of his household, remained in bed throughout the day. Apparently, Rasch's double was determined to hear the debate.

From Wiki and About Paranormal

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:36 pm

Fascinating. Thanks for the info. Im more than sure it will come into play very soon.

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Holy Communion

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:35 pm

The act of consecrating food and drink to the gods is as old as man himself. For millenia, people have been observing communal meals as a religious rite.

Christians of course celebrate a communion meal wherein the faithful partake of wafers of bread and wine in commemoration of the Last Supper where Christ blessed unleavened bread and a cup of wine and announced "This is my body, this is my blood, given to you for the remission of sins, do this each time you meet."

Cakes and Ale are the ritual some Pagan folk follow after a Sabat. When all the workings are completed, they offer a communal meal to not only to fete the gods and goddesses and the spirits they invited to their Sabat, but do something called grounding, where the energies raised to perform their rituals and spell work are put to bed so to speak and let the celebrants relax and socialize.

Native American and other tribal and clan groups offer part of the family meal to the gods by burning some favored or choice bit of the meal to the gods. In some cultures, cannibalism, much like the wolves consuming the packmaster in S5 E2, see consuming one's enemies or their beloved dead as a way of consuming their power or their bravery or keeping a part of them with the living members of the tribe.

Communion can appear in the form of a bread or cake and a cup or just as a shared cup. In Asatru, they share a cup of mead dedicated to the gods.

Wiki and Asatru.org

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Levitation

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:00 pm

Levitation in paranormal context is the claimed rising of a human body into the air by mystical means. It is generally thought that there is no compelling evidence to suggest that paranormal levitation is a real phenomenon. The scientific and empiricist communities traditionally attribute such incidents to trickery, illusion, auto-suggestion, and unseen natural causes.

The spiritualists and religious communities tend to interpret mystical levitation as the result of supernatural action of tuning in to the Holy Spirit, spiritual energy, a deity, or sometimes from the influence of a poltergeist. Levitation is an aspect of psychokinesis. Yogic masters claim that mystical levitation can occur as a siddhi during higher levels of consciousness, such as mystical rapture, euphoria, or astral projection.

In the traditions of religions

Various religions have claimed examples of levitation amongst their followers. This is generally used either as a demonstration of the validity or power of the religion, or as evidence of the holiness or adherence to the religion of the particular levitator. Levitation seems to be a very pervasive belief around the world, occurring in almost all major world religions as well as in shamanic religions.
Hinduism

In Hinduism, it is believed that some Hindu gurus who have become siddhas (those who have achieved spiritual powers) have the siddhi (power) of being able to levitate. The power of levitation is called in Sanskrit laghiman (lightness) or dardura-siddhi (the frog power). It is said that Hindu Sadhus have a history of paranormal levitation and that when one progresses on the path of spiritualism levitation comes naturally. Autobiography of a Yogi has accounts of Hindu Yogis who used to levitate in the course of their meditation.

Levitation is said to be possible by mastering the Hindu philosophy of yoga:

Yogi Subbayah Pullavar, was reported to have levitated into the air for four minutes in front of a crowd of 150 witnesses, June 6, 1936. He was seen suspended horizontally several feet above the ground, in a trance, lightly resting his hand on top of a cloth covered stick. Pullavar's arms and legs could not be bent from their locked position once on the ground.

Shirdi Sai Baba an Indian yogi is described in the Sri Sai Satcharitra to have mastered the art of levitation while sleeping.

The Transcendental Meditation movement claim that practitioners of the TM-Sidhi program of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi achieve what they call "Yogic Flying". They say that there are three stages on Yogic Flying - hopping, floating, and flying - and that they have so far achieved just the first stage. Transcendental meditation groups have held annual "Yogic Flying Contests" to see who could hop the farthest or the fastest. Proponents say the hopping occurs spontaneously with no effort while skeptics say they appear to bouncing in the lotus position with the use of their thighs, and no actual levitation has occurred.

Buddhism

It is recounted as one of the Miracles of Buddha that Gautama Buddha walked on water by levitating over a stream in order to convert a brahmin to Buddhism.

Yogi Milarepa, a Vajrayana Buddhist guru, was rumored to have possessed a range of additional abilities during levitation, such as the ability to walk, rest and sleep, however such were deemed as occult powers.

Hellenism

It was believed in Hellenism (the pagan religion of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome) on the testimony of Philostratus that upon his death, Apollonius of Tyana underwent heavenly assumption by levitating into Elysium.

New Age

It is believed by the adherents of the Ascended Master Teachings (a group of New Age religions based on Theosophy) that the Ascended Masters have the ability to levitate.[citation needed]

Gnosticism

Simon Magus, a Gnostic who claimed to be an incarnation of God (as conceived by the Gnostics) reportedly had the ability to levitate, along with many other magical powers. As a dissenter from the orthodox Christianity of the time, this was branded by Christians as evil magic and attributed to demonic powers.[citation needed]

Theosophy

H.P. Blavatsky described the phenomenon of levitation or "Æthrobacy" in her 1877 book Isis Unveiled. She explained that the earth is a magnetic body, charged with what one could call "positive electricity" while all other forms of matter, including human bodies, produce what could be called "negative electricity." Weight, or gravity, she explains, is "simply the attraction of the earth." Therefore, an individual can levitate by aligning their own electricity with that of the earth, and they would be repelled from the earth in the way two negatively charged magnets repel one another. This can be achieved through human will, a nervous system disease, ecstasy, or other causes.

Christianity


Saint Bessarion of Egypt (d. 466) walked across the waters of a river (Nile).
Saint Francis of Assisi is recorded as having been "suspended above the earth, often to a height of three, and often to a height of four cubits" (about 1.3 to 1.8 meters).
St. Alphonsus Liguori, when preaching at Foggia, was lifted before the eyes of the whole congregation several feet from the ground. Liguori is also said to have had the power of bilocation.
St. Joseph of Cupertino (mystic, born 17 June 1603; died at Osimo 18 September 1663; feast, 18 September) reportedly levitated high in the air, for extended periods of more than an hour, on many occasions.
St. Teresa of Avila (born in Avila, Spain, March 28, 1515; died in Alba, October 4, 1582) claimed to have levitated at a height of about a foot and a half for an extended period somewhat less than an hour, in a state of mystical rapture. She called the experience a "spiritual visitation".
Ignatius of Loyola (born in 1491 at the castle of Loyola above Azpeitia in Guipuscoa, Spain; died at Rome, 31 July 1556) is said to have not only risen several feet but become luminous in the process.
Saint Martín de Porres (December 9, 1579–November 3, 1639) To help Martin serve the poor and needy, God blessed him with miraculous powers of bilocation, of being able to pass through closed doors (teleportation), and of levitation, according to Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints.
Blessed Mariam Thresia
Girolamo Savonarola, sentenced to death, allegedly rose off the floor of his cell into midair and remained there for some time.
Seraphim of Sarov (1759–1833) Russian Orthodox saint had a gift to levitate over the ground for some time. This was witnessed by many educated people of his time, including the emperor Alexander I. A young paralized man brought into his cell saw Seraphim raised from the ground during a fervent prayer. Likewise, four Diveyevo sisters saw him walking above the grass lifted up from the air.
Padre Pio (1887–1968), Catholic saint, who had stigmata, is said to have been able to levitate, as well as being able to bilocate.

So called "Demonic" Levitation in Christianity:

Clara Germana Cele, a young South African girl, in 1906 reportedly levitated in a rigid position. The effect was apparently only reversed by the application of Holy water, leading to belief that it was caused by demonic possession.
Magdalena de la Cruz (1487–1560), a Franciscan nun of Cordova, Spain.
Margaret Rule, a young Boston girl in the 1690s who was believed to be harassed by evil forces shortly after the Salem Witchcraft Trials, reportedly levitated from her bed in the presence of a number of witnesses.

Levitation by mediums

Many mediums have claimed to have levitated during séances, especially in the 19th century in Britain and America. Many have been shown to be frauds, using wires and stage magic tricks.
The levitation of Daniel Dunglas Home at Ward Cheney's house interpreted in a lithograph from Louis Figuier, Les Mystères de la science 1887

Daniel Dunglas Home, the most prolific and well documented levitator of himself and other objects, was said to repeatedly defy gravity over a career of forty years. He was reputedly observed levitating out of a building through a third story window and back into the building via a different window. He could also cause tables and chairs to rise feet into the air, and was never demonstrated to be a fraud by hundreds of purportedly sceptical witnesses, except one. He remained in full consciousness throughout these feats, and attributed them to the action of some kind of magical energy. Home's fame grew, fuelled by his feats of levitation. Physicist William Crookes claimed to have observed more than 50 occasions in which Home levitated, many of these at least five to seven feet above the floor, "in good light." More common were feats recorded by Frank Podmore: "We all saw him rise from the ground slowly to a height of about six inches, remain there for about ten seconds, and then slowly descend." One of Home's levitations occurred in 1868. In front of three witnesses (Adare, Captain Wynne, and Lord Lindsay) Home was said to have levitated out of the third story window of one room, and in at the window of the adjoining room. "It was so dark I could not see clearly how he was supported" [outside of the three story window].

Elliott Coues had claimed to have witnessed levitation of objects and developed a theory to try and explain the phenomenon. His "telekinetic theory of levitation" claimed that luminiferous ether or a similar energy causes the moving of tables and other objects under given conditions, and that the motions which are set up in the ether are in some way connected with mental activities, which enable the mind to control the movement of objects through the hands and the spheres flowing forth through them.

Gambier Bolton reported a levitation that he had witnessed during a seance with the medium Cecil Husk in his book Psychic Force (1904). Bolton wrote:
“ At one of our experimental meetings, one of the observers (a man weighing quite 12 stones) was suddenly raised from the floor, with the chair in which he was sitting; and releasing the hands of those who were holding his hands, he was levitated in his chair, greatly to his surprise, until his feet were just above the heads of the other experimenters present. He remained stationary in the air for a few seconds and then slowly descended to the floor again. Fourteen observers were present. ”

Another early psychical researcher and engineer W. J. Crawford (1881–1920) developed the "Cantilever Theory of Levitation" due to his experiments with the medium Kathleen Goligher. His theory was that levitation of tables and objects by mediums occurred due to "psychic rods" of ectoplasm which comes out of the body of the medium to operate as an invisible cantilever. Crawford later after witnessing a number of seances claimed to of obtained flashlight photographs of the substance, he later described the substance as "plasma". He claimed the substance is not visible to the naked eye but can be felt by the body. William Fletcher Barrett had also claimed to of witnessed the levitation of a table by Goligher, he was also supportive of Crawford's theory as he believed it was evidence for "an unseen intelligence behind these manifestations".

Dr. Edmund Fournier d'Albe later investigated the medium Kathleen Goligher at many sittings and arrived at the opposite conclusions to Crawford, according to D'Albe no paranormal phenomena such as levitation had occurred with Goligher and stated he had found evidence of fraud. D'Albe had claimed that the substance in the photographs of Crawford was ordinary muslin. Another psychical researcher Hereward Carrington in his book Story of Psychic Science (1930) wrote that the photographs taken by Crawford look "dubious in appearance" and that "with rare exceptions, no other investigators had an opportunity to check-up his results, since outsiders were rarely admitted to the sittings" however Carrington also stated that some type of genuine phenomena may have been observed by Crawford. A later report written by the Society for Psychical Research in 1939 concluded that the photographs obtained by Crawford were of pieces of muslin and had supported the conclusions of D'Albe.

Controlled experiments into levitation

The only somewhat compelling and thorough case of controlled scientific tests performed recently were those of Nina Kulagina, a Russian "psychokinetic", in the 1960s. She demonstrated the power to levitate small objects repeatedly in conditions which satisfied Russian, Czech, and American scientists,[citation needed] although she never levitated herself. She levitated objects such as table tennis balls, wine glasses, and matches in conditions engineered to make the use of hidden magnets, wires, and similar "tricks" seem impossible. But these feats are commonly reproduced on-stage by illusionists, and scientists can be fooled by tricks of skillful illusionists — as was proven by James Randi's Project Alpha in 1979. In fact, Kulagina's use of a stick was actually photographed by parapsychologists.
Levitation in photographies

A person photographed while bouncing may appear to be levitating. This optical illusion is used by religious groups and by spiritualist mediums, claiming that their meditation techniques allow them to levitate in the air. You can usually find telltale signs in the photography indicating that the subject was in the act of bouncing, like blurry body parts, a flailing scarf, his hair being suspended in the air, etc.
Levitation in popular culture

Film

Yoda is a fictional character from the Star Wars universe who has the ability to levitate by utilizing the Force because he is a Jedi Master.
Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), the 12-year-old girl possessed by Pazuzu in William Friedkin's The Exorcist (film), exhibits many strange, supernatural powers, including levitation.
Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) in Ghostbusters levitates when possessed by Zuul.
In the 1987 horror film, The Gate (film), Glen (Stephen Dorff) levitates while participating in a party levitation game with his sister's teenage friends.
In Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, Cheryl Williams (Ellen Sandweiss) becomes a "deadite" and briefly levitates before stabbing Linda (Betsy Baker) in the ankle with a pencil.
In the 1996 supernatural teen horror film, The Craft (film), Rochelle (Rachel True) levitates while participating in a party levitation game with her coven of witches.

Games

In World Of Warcraft, "Priests" have the ability to use the spell "Levitate" with the tooltip: "Allows the friendly party or raid target to levitate, floating a few feet above the ground".
In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, characters and the player can craft and consume Levitation potions to gain access to normally impossible areas.
In Street Fighter, the Yoga fanatic Dhalsim has the ability to levitate, which was gained through his Yoga background. He also has other techniques that resemble Siddhi described by Hinduism and Buddhism.

Literature

In Richard Brightfield's Choose Your Own Adventure gamebook The Secret Treasure of Tibet, the protagonist aims to find a remote Tibetan monastery where monks have learned levitation.
In Tintin in Tibet a monk suddenly starts levitating in air as Tintin and Captain Haddock prepare their departure from the monastery. The Captain tries to take a photograph, but it is too late. While floating in the air, the monk also has a vision (remote viewing) about the Tintin's missing friend.

Television

In Heroes (TV Series) and Star Trek: The Original Series, in the episode Plato's Stepchildren, the Platonians (the inhabitants of the planet Platonius) have telekinetic powers, including the ability to levitate, from consuming plants containing the fictitious mineral "kironide".
In Charmed Pheobe Halliwell has the power to levitate. This was one of her 'active powers'


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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:10 pm

Mediumship is defined as the practice of certain people—known as mediums—to mediate communication between spirits of the dead and other human beings. While no evidence has been accepted by the wider scientific community in support of the view that there has been communication between the living and the dead, some parapsychologists say that some of their research suggests that such communication may have taken place. The practice is associated with several religious belief systems such as Spiritualism, Spiritism, Espiritismo, Candomblé, Voodoo, Umbanda and some New Age groups.

There are several different variants of mediumship; the best known forms are where a spirit takes control of a medium's voice and uses it to relay a message, or where the medium simply 'hears' the message and passes it on. Other forms involve manifestations of the spirit, such as apparitions or the presence of a voice, and telekinetic activity.

Attempts to contact the dead date back to early human history, with mediumship gaining in popularity during the 19th century. Investigations during this period revealed widespread fraud—with some practitioners employing techniques used by stage magicians—and the practice started to lose credibility. Nevertheless the practice still continues to this day, and high profile fraud has been uncovered as recently as the 2000s.

In recent years scientific research has been undertaken to ascertain the validity of claims of mediumship. In an experiment undertaken by the British Psychological Society, the conclusion was that the test subjects demonstrated no mediumistic ability. Other experiments which have seemingly found evidence of paranormal activity have been criticised for not establishing thorough test conditions. An experiment considered by parapsychologists to be one of the most compelling involved taking electroencephalography readings of twelve test subjects, most of which were found to have abnormal readings, with some readings bearing similarities to those found in epileptics even though the subjects had never experienced fits and had no family history of epilepsy. While mediumistic ability is neither confirmed or denied by unusual brain activity, the findings of the experiment was that parapsychological phenomena are at least partly a function of the brain.

In Spiritism and Spiritualism, the role of the medium is to be an intermediary between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Mediums claim to be able to listen to and relay messages from spirits or allow a spirit to control their body and speak through it directly or by using automatic writing or drawing.

Spiritualists classify types of mediumship into two main categories: "mental" and "physical". Mental mediums are believed to "tune in" to the spirit world by listening, sensing, or seeing spirits or symbols. Physical mediums are believed to produce materialization of spirits, apports of objects, levitation, and other effects such as knocking, rapping, bell ringing, etc. by using "ectoplasm" created from the cells of their bodies and those of seance attendees. During seances, mediums are said to go into trances, varying from light to deep, that permit their minds to be controlled by spirits.

Mediumship is also part of the belief system of some New Age groups. In this context, and under the name "channelling", it refers to a medium (the channel) who is said to receive messages from a "teaching-spirit".

Attempts to communicate with the dead and other living human beings, aka spirits, have been documented back to early human history. The story of the Witch of Endor, tells of one who raised the spirit of the deceased prophet Samuel to allow the Hebrew king Saul to question his former mentor about an upcoming battle, as related in the First book of Samuel in the Jewish Tanakh (the Old Testament).

Mediumship became quite popular in the 19th-century United States and the United Kingdom after the rise of Spiritualism as a religious movement. Modern Spiritualism is said to date from practices and lectures of the Fox sisters in New York state 1848. The trance mediums Paschal Beverly Randolph and Emma Hardinge Britten were among the most celebrated lecturers and authors on the subject in the mid-19th century. Allan Kardec coined the term Spiritism around 1860. Kardec claimed that conversations with spirits by selected mediums were the basis of his The Spirits' Book and later, his five-book collection, Spiritist Codification.

After the exposure of the fraudulent use of stage magic tricks by physical mediums such as the Davenport Brothers and the Bangs Sisters, mediumship fell into disrepute. The practice continued among people who believed that the dead can be contacted and tried to do so. From the 1930s through the 1990s, as psychical mediumship became less practiced in Spiritualist churches, the technique of "channelling" gained in popularity. Books by channellers who claimed to relate the wisdom of non-corporeal and non-terrestrial teacher-spirits became best-sellers amongst believers.

In 1958, the English-born Spiritualist C. Dorreen Phillips wrote of her experiences with a medium at Camp Chesterfield, Indiana: "In Rev. James Laughton's séances there are many Indians. They are very noisy and appear to have great power. [...] The little guides, or doorkeepers, are usually Indian boys and girls [who act] as messengers who help to locate the spirit friends who wish to speak with you."

"Mental mediumship" is communication of spirits with a medium by telepathy. The medium mentally "hears" (clairaudience), "sees" (clairvoyance), and/or feels (clairsentience) messages from spirits. Directly or with the help of a spirit guide, the medium passes the information on to the message's recipient(s). When a medium is doing a "reading" for a particular person, that person is known as the "sitter."

"Trance mediumship" is often seen as a form of mental mediumship.

Most trance mediums remain conscious during a communication period, wherein a spirit uses the medium's mind to communicate. The spirit or spirits using the medium's mind influences the mind with the thoughts being conveyed. The medium allows the ego to step aside for the message to be delivered. At the same time, one has awareness of the thoughts coming through and may even influence the message with one's own bias. Such a trance is not to be confused with sleepwalking, as the patterns are entirely different. Castillo (1995) states,

Trance phenomena result from the behavior of intense focusing of attention, which is the key psychological mechanism of trance induction. Adaptive responses, including institutionalized forms of trance, are 'tuned' into neural networks in the brain.

In the 1860s and 1870s, trance mediums were very popular. Spiritualism generally attracted female adherents, many who had strong interests in social justice. Many trance mediums delivered passionate speeches on abolitionism, temperance, and women's suffrage. Scholars have described Leonora Piper as one of the most famous trance mediums in the history of Spiritualism.

In the typical deep trance, the medium may not have clear recall of all the messages conveyed while in an altered state; such people generally work with an assistant. That person selectively wrote down or otherwise recorded the medium's words. Rarely did the assistant record the responding words of the sitter and other attendants. An example of this kind of relationship can be found in the early 20th century collaboration between the trance medium Mrs. Cecil M. Cook of the William T. Stead Memorial Center in Chicago (a religious body incorporated under the statutes of the State of Illinois) and the journalist Lloyd Kenyon Jones. The latter was a non-medium Spiritualist who transcribed Cook's messages in shorthand. He edited them for publication in book and pamphlet form.

"Physical mediumship" is defined as manipulation of energies and energy systems by spirits.

Physical mediumship may involve perceptible manifestations, such as loud raps and noises, voices, materialized objects, apports, materialized spirit bodies, or body parts such as hands, and levitation. The medium is used as a source of power for such spirit manifestations. By some accounts, this was achieved by using the energy or ectoplasm released by a medium, see Spirit photography. The last physical medium to be tested by a committee from Scientific American was Mina Crandon in 1924.

Most physical mediumship is presented in a darkened or dimly lit room. Most physical mediums make use of a traditional array of tools and appurtenances, including spirit trumpets, spirit cabinets, and levitation tables.

The term "physical mediumship", should not be construed as implying that any induced apport is confined to the physical plane. The apport ("ectoplasm", or whatever) may be composed of "etheric", "astral", "mental", or "causal" substance (i.e., a substance naturally residing on one of those planes and only temporarily transported into the physical plane). Instead, the term "physical mediumship" is employed to imply an effect manifested upon [objects naturally existing on] the physical plane, by means of interaction (merely physical, not chemical) with substance transported out (temporarily) of another plane of existence.

Direct voice communication involves spirits speaking independently of the medium, who facilitates the phenomenon rather than produces it. The role of the medium is to make the connection between the real and spirit worlds. Trumpets are often utilised to amplify the signal, and direct voice mediums are sometimes known as "trumpet mediums". This form of mediumship also permits the medium to participate in the discourse during séances, since the medium's voice is not required by the spirit to communicate. The British medium, Leslie Flint, is one of the best known exponents of this form of mediumship.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Western mediumship developed in two different ways. One type involves psychics or sensitives who claim to speak to spirits and then relay what they hear to their clients. Clairvoyant Danielle Egnew is known for her alleged communication with angelic entities.

The other incarnation of non-physical mediumship is a form of channeling in which the channeler goes into a trance, or "leaves their body". He or she becomes "possessed" by a specific spirit (spirit possession), who then talks through them. In the trance, the medium enters a cataleptic state marked by extreme rigidity. As the control spirit takes over, the medium's voice may change completely. The spirit answers the questions of those in its presence or giving spiritual knowledge. A widely known channeler of this variety is J. Z. Knight, who channels the spirit of Ramtha, a 30 thousand-year-old man. Others claim to channel spirits from "future dimensional", ascended masters, or, in the case of the trance mediums of the Brahma Kumaris, God. Other notable channels are Jane Roberts for Seth, Esther Hicks for Abraham, Margaret McElroy for Maitreya, Darryl Anka for Bashar, and Lee Carroll for Kryon.

In Spiritualism, psychic senses used by mental mediums are sometimes defined differently than in other paranormal fields. A medium is said to have psychic abilities but not all psychics function as mediums. The term clairvoyance, for instance, may be used by Spiritualists to include seeing spirits and visions instilled by spirits. The Parapsychological Association defines "clairvoyance" as information derived directly from an external physical source.

Clairvoyance or "Clear Seeing", is the ability to see anything that is not physically present, such as objects, animals or people. This sight occurs "in the mind’s eye". Some mediums say that this is their normal vision state. Others say that they must train their minds with such practices as meditation in order to achieve this ability, and that assistance from spiritual helpers is often necessary. Some clairvoyant mediums can see a spirit as though the spirit has a physical body. They see the bodily form as if it were physically present. Other mediums see the spirit in their mind's eye, or it appears as a movie or a television programme or a still picture like a photograph in their mind.
Clairaudience or "Clear Hearing", is usually defined as the ability to hear the voices or thoughts of spirits. Some Mediums hear as though they are listening to a person talking to them on the outside of their head, as though the Spirit is next to or near to the medium, and other mediums hear the voices in their minds as a verbal thought.
Clairsentience or "Clear Sensing", is the ability to have an impression of what a spirit wants to communicate, or to feel sensations instilled by a spirit.
Clairsentinence or "Clear Feeling" is a condition in which the medium takes on the ailments of a spirit, feeling the same physical problem which the spirit person had before death.
Clairalience or "Clear Smelling" is the ability to smell a spirit. For example, a medium may smell the pipe tobacco of a person who smoked during life.
Clairgustance or "Clear Tasting" is the ability to receive taste impressions from a spirit.
Claircognizance or "Clear Knowing", is the ability to know something without receiving it through normal or psychic senses. It is a feeling of "just knowing". Often, a medium will claim to have the feeling that a message or situation is "right" or "wrong."

Physical

Some early scientists proposed that mediumship occurred due to electricity, electromagnetism or a vital fluid such as ectenic or Odic force.Other early psychical researchers who had investigated mediumship and spiritualism proposed that the phenomena observed in séances could be explained by a mysterious energy or force. The idea of ectoplasm was merged into the theory of an "ectenic force" by some early psychical researchers who were seeking a physical explanation for reports of psychokinesis in seances. Its existence was initially hypothesized by Count Agenor de Gasparin, to explain the phenomena of table turning and tapping during séances. Ectenic force was named by de Gasparin's colleague M. Thury, a professor of Natural History at the Academy of Geneva. Between them, de Gasparin and Thury conducted a number of experiments in ectenic force, and claimed some success. Their work was not independently verified.

Other researchers who studied mediumship speculated that within the human body an unidentified fluid termed the "psychode", "psychic force" or "ecteneic force" existed and was capable of being released to influence matter. This view was held by Camille Flammarion Edward William Cox and William Crookes. Cox wrote that mediumship occurs due to the action of a "psychic force" from the medium. Cox described his theory in his book Spiritualism Answered by Science (1872). Gracis Gerry Fairfield in his book Ten Years with Spiritual Mediums (1875) proposed that the psychic force originates from the human nervous system. Similar views were also supported by Asa Mahan in The Phenomena of Spiritualism Scientifically Explained and Exposed (1875); most of these authors had rejected the spirit hypothesis of the spiritualists as they claimed the phenomenon associated with mediumship was caused by a force from the medium's body. A later psychical researcher Hereward Carrington pointed out these forces and fluids were hypothetical and have never been discovered.
Spirits

Spiritualists believe that phenomena produced by mediums (both mental and physical mediumship) are the result of external spirit agencies.
ESP

Independent psychical researchers and psychologists such as Thomson Jay Hudson in The Law of Psychic Phenomena (1892) and Théodore Flournoy in his book Spiritism and psychology (1911) had claimed that all kinds of mediumship could be explained by suggestion and telepathy from the mediums subconscious mind and that there was no evidence for the spirit hypothesis. The idea of mediumship being explained by telepathy was later merged into the "super-ESP" hypothesis of mediumship which is currently advocated by some parapsychologists.

According to the Extrasensory perception (ESP) hypothesis of mediumship the "medium is believed to have the ability to exercise Psi capacities (telepathy, clairvoyance, retrocognition, precognition and psychokinesis."[47] According to (Heath and Klimo, 2010) "the super-ESP hypothesis says that even if only one person who knew the information being communicated is dead, there is still no guarantee that they survived death to act as the communicating source. This is because it is equally possible that the medium could acquire the information through some form of ESP". The ESP hypothesis of mediumship has never been proven yet has been advocated by some parapsychologists who believe the explanation is more scientific and less far fetched than invoking metaphysical spirits.
Psychological

Early psychical researchers and some investigators associated with the Society for Psychical Research rejected the spirit hypothesis and claimed that where there was no sign of fraud then there has to be a psychological explanation due to the medium's subconscious such as an alternate personality. Psychologists such as Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones in their book Anomalistic psychology: a study of magical thinking (1989) wrote:

The spirits, controls, and guides of a medium are the products of the medium's own psychological dynamics. On the one hand, they personify the medium's hidden impulses and wish life. On the other, they are are also shaped by the expectations of the medium's sitters, the medium's experience, the cultural background, and the spirit of the times.

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:12 pm

"Spirit guide" is a term used by the Western tradition of Spiritualist Churches, mediums, and psychics to describe an entity that remains a disincarnate spirit in order to act as a guide or protector to a living incarnated human being.

Traditionally, within the spiritualist churches, spirit guides were often stereotyped ethnically, with Native Americans, Chinese or Egyptians being popular for their perceived ancient wisdom. Other popular types of guides were saints or other enlightened individuals. Nevertheless, the term can also refer to totems, angels, guardian angels or nature spirits.

According to theosophical doctrine, spirit guides are not always of human descent. Some spirit guides live as energy, in the cosmic realm, or as light beings, which are very high level spirit guides. Some spirit guides are persons who have lived many former lifetimes, paid their karmic debts, and advanced beyond a need to reincarnate. Many devotees believe that spirit guides are chosen on "the other side" by human beings who are about to incarnate and wish assistance.

Some early modern Spiritualists did not favor the idea of spirit guides. Spiritualist author and medium E.W. Wallis, writing in A Guide to Mediumship and Psychic Unfoldment, expressed an opinion that the notion of spirit guides is disempowering and disrespectful to both spirits and living people. He does not deny that seeking people may be helped by spirits here and there, but decries the idea that said spirits are appointed or assigned to do nothing but help the living. He advises would-be mediums to steer clear of the notion that they are being "guided" unless they have demonstrable proof that such is the case.

Many well-known psychics have publicly described their guides. Helena Blavatsky talked about being advised by "Mahatmas", discarnate personages from India and especially Tibet, who dressed and behaved according to the dictates of their respective cultures. Alice Bailey also described having contact with a spirit teacher whom she called "The Tibetan".

American Spiritualists of the 19th and 20th centuries often described their guides as resembling Native Americans. One popular spirit guide of this type, encountered by many Anglo-American Spiritualists, was named White Hawk. Among African-American Spiritualists, especially those in churches that were founded by or influenced by Mother Leafy Anderson, the Native American guide was named Black Hawk, and was presumed to be the spirit of the Fox tribe warrior of the same name.

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:26 am

So Now Lala has a demon inside him he has to deal with on top of everything else?

The combination of events that transpired for this to happen could happen nowhere else but True Blood. We get that Jesus was a Brujo whose family magic included the demon inside of him. Then along comes Marnie who inhabits Lala for a physical body. It all comes down to that moment when Marnie tells Jesus he has to transfer that magic to her and he does not know how. He pulls the demon out and Marnie kills him. At that moment, the demon escapes and transfers itself to Marnie (ie, Lala)). Marnie is gone by the end of the season leaving Lala with the demon.

You won’t really hear a lot online about family or inherited magick, let alone transferred magick. I think the closest thing I can recall commonly hearing about in regards to it might be Welsh Clairvoyants for example. I think we have all heard stories about Irish or Welsh women in particular who “know” things, or who have the gift of what some call the Second Sight. It is handed down generation to generation. Sometimes it might skip some, but then it will return again. I think it’s much the same as having genetic predispositions to green eyes or red hair.

Let me see if I can explain this any better. Having red hair is a uncontrollable trait. A hard trait so to speak. Having a talent for certain areas is a lot more of a soft trait, more nebulous. One of the basic premises of magick is that it creates a change. A change in what is up to what the intention is, but it is usually done to make something else happen. Anyone who practices magick for very long or very in depth cannot help but feel changed by it in some way. It begins to become a part of your very psyche and being. Think of it something like how certain cultures have a predisposition to liking certain foods or flavors. It isn’t really a learned behavior, it just is. The idea of family magick is pretty easy to understand I think.

Transferred magick on the other hand is a little bit harder. It usually takes intense emotion or a strong connection between two people. I can tell you that in the tradition I practice, it is part of one of the ceremonies where the knowledge of your teachers is passed down upon you in a very physical and tangible way. In Jesus’ case the very strong emotion that Jesus felt that caused the demon to come out when it did and then Jesus being killed at that exact moment created a much different type of transference. You had Marnie as a very strong emotion and intention as a receiver and Jesus as a giver and the demon being forced from one home to another. In the moment that Jesus was killed, the demon needed a place to go. I am more than sure had Jesus been around family that there was a ritual or procedure to take that energy. Perhaps it would have been grounded and been given back to the earth or perhaps it might have been absorbed as a collective. In any case, family was not there and Marnie was and it was all very instantaneous. Marnie being removed from Lala still left Lala with the demon. Like I said, nowhere else but the land of True Blood. Plausible, sure, but not very probable all in all.
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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:45 pm

Judas Iscariot (Hebrew: יהודה איש־קריות‎, Yehuda, Yəhûḏāh ʾΚ-qrayyôṯ) was, according to the New Testament, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is infamously known for his kiss and betrayal of Jesus to the hands of the chief Sanhedrin priests for a ransom of 30 pieces of silver.

Etymology

In the Greek New Testament, Judas is called Ιούδας Ισκάριωθ and Ισκαριώτης . "Judas" (spelled "Ioudas" in ancient Greek and "Iudas" in Latin, pronounced yudas in both) is the Greek form of the common name Judah (יהודה, Yehûdâh, Hebrew for "God is praised"). The Greek spelling underlies other names in the New Testament that are traditionally rendered differently in English: Judah and Jude.

The significance of "Iscariot" is uncertain. There are several major theories on etymology:

One popular explanation derives Iscariot from Hebrew איש־קריות, Κ-Qrîyôth, or "man of Kerioth". The Gospel of John refers to Judas as "son of Simon Iscariot" (although the biblical text only refers to him as "the son of Simon" (Jn 6:71, Jn 13:26, King James Version)), implying it was not Judas, but his father, who came from there. Some speculate that Kerioth refers to a region in Judea, but it is also the name of two known Judean towns.
A second theory is that "Iscariot" identifies Judas as a member of the sicarii. These were a cadre of assassins among Jewish rebels intent on driving the Romans out of Judea. However, some historians maintain the sicarii arose in the 40s or 50s of the 1st century, in which case Judas could not have been a member.
A third possibility advanced by Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg is that Iscariot means "the liar" or "the false one," perhaps from the Hebrew Hebrew Iscariot
Fourth, some have proposed that the word derives from an Aramaic word meaning "red color," from the root Hebrew Iscariot-
Fifth, the word derives from one of the Aramaic roots "to deliver," based on the LXX rendering of Isaiah 19:4a—a theory advanced by J. Alfred Morin.
Finally, the epithet could be associated with the manner of Judas' death, i.e., hanging. This would mean Iscariot derives from a kind of Greek-Aramaic hybrid: Iskarioutha, "chokiness" or "constriction." This might indicate that the epithet be applied posthumously by the remaining disciples, but Joan E. Taylor has argued that it was a descriptive name given to Judas by Jesus, since other disciples such as Simon Peter/Cephas (Kephas = "rock") were also given such names.

Biblical narrative

Judas is mentioned in the synoptic gospels, the Gospel of John and at the beginning of Acts of the Apostles.

Mark states that the chief priests were looking for a sly way to arrest Jesus. They decided not to do so during the feast since they were afraid that people would riot; instead, they chose the night before the feast to arrest him. In the Gospel of Luke, Satan enters Judas at this time.

According to the account in the Gospel of John, Judas carried the disciples' money bag. He betrayed Jesus for a bribe of "thirty pieces of silver" by identifying him with a kiss — "the kiss of Judas" — to arresting soldiers of the High Priest Caiaphas, who then turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate's soldiers.
Death

There are a few descriptions of the death of Judas, two of which are included in the modern Biblical canon:

Matthew 27:3–10 says that Judas returned the money to the priests and committed suicide by hanging himself. They used it to buy the potter's field. The Gospel account presents this as a fulfillment of prophecy.
The Acts of the Apostles says that Judas used the money to buy a field, but fell headfirst, and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. This field is called Akeldama or Field of Blood.
The non-canonical Gospel of Judas says Judas had a vision of the disciples stoning and persecuting him.
Another account was preserved by the early Christian leader, Papias: "Judas walked about in this world a sad example of impiety; for his body having swollen to such an extent that he could not pass where a chariot could pass easily, he was crushed by the chariot, so that his bowels gushed out."

The existence of conflicting accounts of the death of Judas caused problems for scholars who saw them as threatening the reliability of Scripture. This problem was one of the points causing C. S. Lewis, for example, to reject the view "that every statement in Scripture must be historical truth". Various attempts at harmonization have been suggested, such as that of Augustine that Judas hanged himself in the field, and the rope eventually snapped and the fall burst his body open, or that the accounts of Acts and Matthew refer to two different transactions.

Some modern scholars tend to reject these approaches stating that the Matthew account is a midrashic exposition that allows the author to present the event as a fulfillment of prophetic passages from the Old Testament. They argue that the author adds imaginative details such as the thirty pieces of silver, and the fact that Judas hangs himself, to an earlier tradition about Judas' death.

Matthew's reference to the death as fulfilment of a prophecy "spoken through Jeremiah the prophet" caused controversy, since it paraphrases a story from the Book of Zechariah which refers to the return of a payment of thirty pieces of silver. Some writers, such as Augustine, Jerome, and John Calvin concluded that this was an obvious error. Some modern writers suggest that the Gospel writer may have had a passage from Jeremiah in mind, such as chapters 18 and 19, which refers to a potter's jar and a burial place, and chapter 32 which refers to a burial place and an earthenware jar.

Theology

Betrayal of Jesus

There are several explanations as to why Judas betrayed Jesus. A prevalent explanation is that Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14–16). One of Judas's main weaknesses seemed to be money . A possibility is that Judas expected Jesus to overthrow Roman rule of Israel. In this view, Judas is a disillusioned disciple betraying Jesus not so much because he loved money, but because he loved his country and thought Jesus had failed it. According to Luke 22:3–6 and John 13:27, Satan entered into him and called him to do it.

The Gospels suggest that Jesus foresaw (John 6:64, Matthew 26:25) and allowed Judas's betrayal (John 13:27–28). One explanation is that Jesus allowed the betrayal because it would allow God's plan to be fulfilled. Another is that regardless of the betrayal, Jesus was ultimately destined for crucifixion. In April 2006, a Coptic papyrus manuscript titled the Gospel of Judas from 200 AD was translated, suggesting that Jesus told Judas to betray him, although some scholars question the translation.

Origen knew of a tradition according to which the greater circle of disciples betrayed Jesus, but does not attribute this to Judas in particular, and Origen did not deem Judas to be thoroughly corrupt (Matt., tract. xxxv).

Judas is the subject of philosophical writings, including The Problem of Natural Evil by Bertrand Russell and "Three Versions of Judas", a short story by Jorge Luis Borges. They allege various problematic ideological contradictions with the discrepancy between Judas's actions and his eternal punishment. John S. Feinberg argues that if Jesus foresees Judas's betrayal, then the betrayal is not an act of free will, and therefore should not be punishable. Conversely, it is argued that just because the betrayal was foretold, it does not prevent Judas from exercising his own free will in this matter.[41] Other scholars argue that Judas acted in obedience to God's will. The gospels suggest that Judas is apparently bound up with the fulfillment of God's purposes (John 13:18, John 17:12, Matthew 26:23–25, Luke 22:21–22, Matt 27:9–10, Acts 1:16, Acts 1:20), yet woe is upon him, and he would have been better unborn (Matthew 26:23–25). The difficulty inherent in the saying is its paradoxicality: if Judas had not been born, the Son of Man will apparently no longer go "as it is written of him." The consequence of this apologetic approach is that Judas's actions come to be seen as necessary and unavoidable, yet leading to condemnation.

Erasmus believed that Judas was free to change his intention, but Martin Luther argued in rebuttal that Judas's will was immutable. John Calvin states that Judas was predestined to damnation, but writes on the question of Judas's guilt: "surely in Judas' betrayal, it will be no more right, because God himself willed that his son be delivered up and delivered him up to death, to ascribe the guilt of the crime to God than to transfer the credit for redemption to Judas."

It is speculated that Judas's damnation, which seems possible from the Gospels' text, may not stem from his betrayal of Christ, but from the despair which caused him to subsequently commit suicide.This position is not without its problems since Judas was already damned by Jesus even before he committed suicide (see John 17:12), but it does avoid the paradox of Judas's predestined act setting in motion both the salvation of all mankind and his own damnation. The damnation of Judas is not a universal conclusion, and some have argued that there is no indication that Judas was condemned with eternal punishment. Others argue Judas had the free will to accept or reject Christ anytime before his death. Adam Clarke writes: "he [Judas] committed a heinous act of sin...but he repented (Matthew 27:3–5) and did what he could to undo his wicked act: he had committed the sin unto death, i.e. a sin that involves the death of the body; but who can say, (if mercy was offered to Christ's murderers? (Luke 23:34)...) that the same mercy could not be extended to wretched Judas?..."

Modern interpretations

Most Christians still consider Judas a traitor. Indeed the term Judas has entered many languages as a synonym for betrayer.

American philosopher Will Durant argues that the early Church would never create material that only embarrassed the followers of Jesus, or weakened its position with opponents (in this case, a traitor apostle).

Some have embraced the alternative notion that Judas was merely the negotiator in a prearranged prisoner exchange (following the money-changer riot in the Temple) that gave Jesus to the Roman authorities by mutual agreement, and that Judas's later portrayal as "traitor" was a historical distortion.

In his book The Passover Plot the British theologian Hugh J. Schonfield argues that the crucifixion of Christ was a conscious re-enactment of Biblical prophecy and Judas acted with Jesus' full knowledge and consent in "betraying" his master to the authorities.

Theologian Aaron Saari contends in his work The Many Deaths of Judas Iscariot that Judas Iscariot was the literary invention of the Markan community. As Judas does not appear in the Epistles of Paul, nor in the Q Gospel, Saari argues that the language indicates a split between Pauline Christians, who saw no reason for the establishment of an organized Church, and the followers of Peter. Saari contends that the denigration of Judas in Matthew and Luke-Acts has a direct correlation to the elevation of Peter.

Further evidence of the absence of the Judas story in the earliest Christian documents is drawn on the basis of Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:28–30. Here Jesus tells his disciples that they will “sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” No exception is made for Judas even though Jesus was aware of his impending act of betrayal. The answer may lie in the fact that the source of these verses could be the hypothetical Q document (QS 62). Q is thought to predate the gospels and would be one of the earliest Christian documents. Given that possibility, the betrayal story could have been invented by the writer of Mark. The book The Sins of the Scripture, by John Shelby Spong, investigates the possibility that early Christians compiled the Judas story from three Old Testament Jewish betrayal stories. He writes, "...the act of betrayal by a member of the twelve disciples is not found in the earliest Christian writings. Judas is first placed into the Christian story by the Gospel of Mark (3:19), who wrote in the early years of the eighth decade of the Common Era." He points out that some of the Gospels, after the Crucifixion, refer to the number of Disciples as "Twelve", as if Judas were still among them. He compares the three conflicting descriptions of Judas's death — hanging, leaping into a pit, and disemboweling — with three Old Testament betrayals followed by similar suicides.

Spong's conclusion is that early Bible authors, after the First Jewish-Roman War, sought to distance themselves from Rome's enemies. They augmented the Gospels with a story of a disciple, personified in Judas as the Jewish state, who either betrayed or handed over Jesus to his Roman crucifiers. Spong identifies this augmentation with the origin of modern Anti-Semitism.

Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby, espousing a purely mythological view of Jesus, suggests that in the New Testament, the name "Judas" was constructed as an attack on the Judaeans or on the Judaean religious establishment held responsible for executing Christ. The English word "Jew" is derived from the Latin Iudaeus, which, like the Greek Ιουδαίος (Ioudaios), could also mean "Judaean".
Role in apocrypha

Judas has been a figure of great interest to esoteric groups, such as many Gnostic sects. Irenaeus records the beliefs of one Gnostic sect, the Cainites, who believed that Judas was an instrument of the Sophia, Divine Wisdom, thus earning the hatred of the Demiurge. In the Hebrew Bible, the book of Zechariah, the one who casts thirty pieces of silver, as Judas does in the Gospels, is a servant of God. His betrayal of Jesus thus was a victory over the materialist world. The Cainites later split into two groups, disagreeing over the ultimate significance of Jesus in their cosmology.

Gospel of Judas


During the 1970s, a Coptic papyrus codex (book) was discovered near Beni Masah, Egypt which appeared to be a 3rd- or 4th-century-AD copy of a 2nd-century original, describing the story of Jesus's death from the viewpoint of Judas. At its conclusion, the text identifies itself as "the Gospel of Judas" (Euangelion Ioudas).

The discovery was given dramatic international exposure in April 2006 when the US National Geographic magazine (for its May edition) published a feature article entitled The Gospel of Judas with images of the fragile codex and analytical commentary by relevant experts and interested observers (but not a comprehensive translation). The article's introduction stated: "An ancient text lost for 1,700 years says Christ's betrayer was his truest disciple". The article points to some evidence that the original document was extant in the 2nd century: "Around A.D. 180, Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon in what was then Roman Gaul, wrote a massive treatise called Against Heresies [in which he attacked] a 'fictitious history,' which 'they style the Gospel of Judas.'"

Before the magazine's edition was circulated, other news media gave exposure to the story, abridging and selectively reporting it.

In December 2007, a New York Times op-ed article by April DeConick asserted that the National Geographic's translation is badly flawed: For example, in one instance the National Geographic transcription refers to Judas as a "daimon", which the society’s experts have translated as "spirit". However, the universally accepted word for "spirit" is "pneuma" — in Gnostic literature "daimon" is always taken to mean "demon". The National Geographic Society responded that "Virtually all issues April D. DeConick raises about translation choices are addressed in footnotes in both the popular and critical editions". In a later review of the issues and relevant publications, critic Joan Acocella questioned whether ulterior intentions had not begun to supersede historical analysis, e.g., whether publication of The Gospel of Judas could be an attempt to roll back ancient anti-semitic imputations. She concluded that the ongoing clash between scriptural fundamentalism and attempts at revision were childish because of the unreliability of the sources. Therefore, she argued, "People interpret, and cheat. The answer is not to fix the Bible but to fix ourselves." Other scholars have questioned the initial translation and interpretation of the Gospel of Judas by the National Geographic team of experts.

Gospel of Barnabas

According to medieval copies (the earliest copies from the 15th century) of the Gospel of Barnabas it was Judas, not Jesus, who was crucified on the cross. This work states that Judas's appearance was transformed to that of Jesus', when the former, out of betrayal, led the Roman soldiers to arrest Jesus who by then was ascended to the heavens. This transformation of appearance was so identical that the masses, followers of Christ, and even the Mother of Jesus, Mary, initially thought that the one arrested and crucified was Jesus himself. The gospel then mentions that after three days since burial, Judas's body was stolen from his grave, and then the rumors spread of Jesus being risen from the dead. When Jesus was informed in the third heaven about what happened, he prayed to God to be sent back to the earth, and descended and gathered his mother, disciples, and followers, and told them the truth of what happened. He then ascended back to the heavens, and will come back at the end of times as a just king.
Representations and symbolism

The term Judas has entered many languages as a synonym for betrayer, and Judas has become the archetype of the traitor in Western art and literature. Judas is given some role in virtually all literature telling the Passion story, and appears in a number of modern novels and movies.

In the Eastern Orthodox hymns of Holy Wednesday (the Wednesday before Pascha), Judas is contrasted with the woman who anointed Jesus with expensive perfume and washed his feet with her tears. According to the Gospel of John, Judas protested at this apparent extravagance, suggesting that the money spent on it should have been given to the poor. After this, Judas went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus for money. The hymns of Holy Wednesday contrast these two figures, encouraging believers to avoid the example of the fallen disciple and instead to imitate Mary's example of repentance. Also, Wednesday is observed as a day of fasting from meat, dairy products, and olive oil throughout the year in memory of the betrayal of Judas. The prayers of preparation for receiving the Eucharist also make mention of Judas's betrayal: "I will not reveal your mysteries to your enemies, neither like Judas will I betray you with a kiss, but like the thief on the cross I will confess you."
A red-haired Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss in a Spanish paso figure.

Judas Iscariot is often represented with red hair in Spanish culture and by William Shakespeare.The practice is comparable to the Renaissance portrayal of Jews with red hair, which was then regarded as a negative trait and which may have been used to correlate Judas Iscariot with contemporary Jews.

Art and literature

Judas has become the archetype of the betrayer in Western culture, with some role in virtually all literature telling the Passion story.

Judas is the subject of one of the oldest surviving English ballads, which dates from the 13th century. In the ballad, the blame for the betrayal of Christ is placed on his sister.
In Dante's Inferno, he is condemned to the lowest circle of Hell, the Ninth Circle for Traitors, also known as Cocytus, where he is one of three sinners deemed evil enough that they are doomed to be chewed for eternity in the mouths of the triple-headed Satan (the others being Brutus and Cassius, the assassins of Julius Caesar).
In art, one of the most famous depictions of Judas Iscariot and his kiss of betrayal of Jesus is The Taking of Christ by Italian Baroque artist, Caravaggio, done in 1602.
Edward Elgar's oratorio, The Apostles, depicts Judas as wanting to force Jesus to declare his divinity and establish the kingdom on earth.



In Trial of Christ in Seven Stages (1909) by John Brayshaw Kaye, the author did not accept the idea that Judas intended to betray Christ, and the poem is a defence of Judas, in which he adds his own vision to the biblical account of the story of the trial before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas.
In 1954, Jose Limon choreographed "The Traitor," a depiction of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, and also commentary on the naming of names in McCarthy's House Un-American Activity Hearings.
In Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita, Judas is paid by the high priest of Judaea to testify against Jesus, who had been inciting trouble among the people of Jerusalem. After authorizing the crucifixion, Pilate suffers an agony of regret and turns his anger on Judas, ordering him assassinated. The story-within-a-story appears as a counter-revolutionary novel in the context of Moscow in the 1920s–1930s.
Tres versiones de Judas (English title: '"Three Versions of Judas"') is a short story by Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges. It was included in Borges' anthology, Ficciones, published in 1944, and revolves around the main character's doubts about the canonical story of Judas who instead creates three alternative versions.
The film King of Kings presents Judas betraying Jesus as a means to force an attack on the Romans, rather than Jesus' death: "I will force his hand! When he feels the Roman sword at his throat he will smite them down with the wave of one arm."
In Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Jesus Christ Superstar, Judas is portrayed as a tragic hero who believed that Jesus was not the son of God, but rather just a man. Since he feared that if Jesus' following grew too large then the Romans would attack and kill the Jews, he betrayed Jesus to Caiaphas and Annas to prevent a bloodbath.
Taylor Caldwell's 1978 novel I, Judas portrays Judas as a as a much misunderstood political person who conspires with the Zealots for the sake of Jewish liberation and who is persuaded that an appearance before the Sanhedrin will offer Jesus an opportunity to prove himself. This view of Judas Iscariot is also featured in the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth
In Martin Scorsese's film The Last Temptation of Christ, based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, Judas Iscariot's only motivation in betraying Jesus to the Romans was to help him acomplish his mission by mutual agreement, making Judas the catalyst for the event later interpreted as bringing about humanity's salvation. This view of Judas Iscariot is reflected in the recently discovered Gospel of Judas and was also featured in Robert Graves's novel King Jesus, Michael Moorcock's novel Behold the Man, Morley Callaghan's novel A Time for Judas, José Saramago's novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt's novel The Gospel According to Pilate and in Gerald Messadié's novel Judas le bien-aimé.
In the short story The Way of Cross and Dragon by George R.R. Martin, a cult in the distant future has risen up and made a saint of Judas Iscariot.
In The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, a critically acclaimed play by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Judas is given a trial in Purgatory.
The Leon Rosselson song "Stand Up for Judas" presents Judas in a positive light, as a revolutionary who wanted justice in this world, not the next.
In Dracula 2000, it is suggested that the legendary vampire is actually Judas Iscariot, who, after his betrayal of Christ, hanged himself to embrace death but was cursed for his actions.
In the TV movie Judas, Judas sincerely took Jesus as the future King of Israel, but when Jesus refused to take real action to depose the Romans became disappointed and finally betrayed the man he thought would lead them to victory.
In C. K. Stead's novel My Name Was Judas, Judas, who was then known as Idas of Sidon, recounts the story of Jesus and recalled by him some forty years later.
The American recording artist Lady Gaga explained that her song "Judas" (2011) is a metaphor and an analogy about forgiveness and betrayal and things that haunt you in your life.
In the short story "Kakekomi uttae" (Heed My Plea) by Osamu Dazai, Judas narrates the story of his betrayal to Jesus.
The character of William Barrow in The Judas Chronicles series by Aiden James is in reality Judas, cursed to walk the earth as a cursed immortal and now an archivist for the Smithsonian Institute and part-time operative for the CIA.

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:56 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cercis_siliquastrum

Cercis siliquastrum, commonly known as Judas Tree, is a small deciduous tree from Southern Europe and Western Asia which is noted for its prolific display of deep-pink flowers in spring.

Description


This species forms a small tree up to 12 metres in height and 10 metres in width.

The deep pink flowers are produced on year-old or older growth, including the trunk in late spring (cauliflory). The leaves appear shortly after the first flowers emerge. These are heart-shaped with a blunt apex, which occasionally has a shallow notch at the tip. The tree produces long flat pods that hang vertically. The flowers are edible and purportedly have a sweet-acid taste

Taxonomy


The species was first described by Linnaeus in 1753, who gave it the specific epithet of siliquastrum which is derived from the Latin word siliqua, meaning "pod".

Varieties and subspecies include:

var. hebecarpa Bornm.
nothosubsp. yaltikirii (Ponert) Govaerts
var. siliquastrum
var. alba Weston

Synonyms

Synonyms include:

Siliquastrum orbicularis Moench

Distribution and ecological aspects
Flowers and pods
The cultivar 'Alba'
Psyllids (Cacopsylla pulchella) on a Judas Tree leaf.

The species is native to Western Asia, including Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria and Southern Europe including Albania, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Turkey and Former Yugoslavia.

The flowers are pollinated by bees, attracted by nectar. Pollen from the protruding stamens is deposited on the bee's body and carried to another flower's stigma.

Cultivation

The species prefers deep, well-drained soils and a position in full sun or partial shade.[1]

Cultivars include:

'Afghan Deep Purple'[6]
'Alba' - white flowers[6]
'Bodnant'[6]
'Carnea'[6]
'Fructa Rubra'[6]
'Penduliflora'[6]
'Rubra' - dark pink-purple flowers
'Sterilis'[6]
'Variegata'[6]
'White Swan'[6]

The tree is susceptible to leafhoppers, scale insects and psyllids (specifically Cacopsylla pulchella) as well as diseases including canker, coral spot and verticillium wilt.

Propagation is by seed, cuttings or budding.

The species produces hard wood with an attractive grain. It is used in veneers and polishes well.

History

There is a longstanding myth that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from a tree of this species. This belief is related to the common name "Judas Tree" which is possibly a corrupted derivation from the French common name, Arbre de Judée meaning tree of Judea, referring to a region where the tree occurs.
Cultural references

The Judas Tree (Jonathan Creek)
Flowering Judas by Katherine Anne Porter
Fictionally used to poison The Doctor in the 2011 episode of Doctor Who, "Let's Kill Hitler"
In the fourth episode of the fifth season of the HBO television series True Blood, the leader of the vampires, Roman, uses a stake made of Cercis siliquastrum to stake another vampire.

References

^ a b c "Cercis siliquastrum- L.". Plants For A Future. Retrieved 13 September2011.
^ http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Cercis+siliquastrum
^ Rowell, Raymond J. (1980). Ornamental Flowering Trees in Australia. Australia: AH & AW Reed Pty Ltd Reed. ISBN 0-589-50178-X.
^ "Taxon: Cercis siliquastrum L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area. Retrieved 13 September2011.
^ Hickey, Michael; Clive King. "100 families of flowering plants". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
^ a b c d e f g h i Hatch, Laurence (2007). Cultivars of Woody Plants Volume I (A-G). Raleigh, North Carolina: TCR Press. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
^ Mabberley, D.J. (2008). Mabberleys's plant-book (3 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-521-82071-4.

International Legume Database & Information Service (ILDIS): Cercis siliquastrum
The Royal Horticultural Society : Circus siliquastrum
Wildflowers of Israel : Judas tree

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Ifrit

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:16 am

Also spelled, efreet, ifreet, afreet, afrite, and afrit. Most people know what a genie is. Originally spelled djinni or djinn, these are magical creatures of spirit that are bound to items like rings or lamps, and are forced to serve those who rub those items. Typically this is done in the form of granting wishes. However, the races of the djinn are a far cry from the genies we hear about in jokes, and one of the most prominent of these creatures was a race called the Ifrit.

The Ifrit are described in myth as creatures that are more powerful than men and spirits, but who are beneath devils and angels in power. This essentially puts them on par with daemons though the Ifrit are a race that is altogether outside of the ranks of what Christians refer to as good and evil. Ifrit lived like desert tribesmen, with chiefs and different families, and though they often inter-married they could often marry and breed with humans. Ifrit, or Ifritah for females, had the option to be believers or non-believers in Islam, and that they could be wise and helpful or capricious and destructive with their power. Even the name Ifrit means "strong one."

Ifrit were beings of fire, and though they could take the form of the Christian devil they could also take on the form of dogs, smoke, fire and even harmless looking people. Ifrits who were not believers and who would disguise themselves in order to wreak havoc and steal items from sacred grounds might also be considered ghouls. Ifrit were also strong and fast, proud that they had been one of the first beings to be created from primal fire and often resentful of humanity for being given divine favor. Ifrit could also appear as men and women who had been turned black from fire, and it was because of this legend that many Africans were referred to as Ifrit by those in the Middle East.

Ifrit were feared because in addition to being stronger, faster and able to master magic as their birth right, they were immune to weapons and steel. Only magic, used properly by holy men, wizards, sorcerers or warlocks could harm the Ifrit and in the end subjugate it to the will of humans. It was only through magic that an Ifrit could be bound to servitude, though when you made wishes you had to be very, very specific as an Ifrit would often follow the letter of the command rather than the spirit of it. One myth about the Ifrit that came about after they'd been villified and the boundary between the good and bad eliminated, was that Ifrit were generated from the blood of murder victims, and that to prevent the Ifrit from rising you would drive an unused nail through the pool of blood.

Ifrit are mentioned as coming to vie for King Solomon's attentions in the Koran. For clarification, this is the Solomon who was wise, had a lot of concubines and who gave Christians a dos and don'ts for having sex. An Ifrit boasted that it could bring Solomon the throne of the Queen of Sheba faster than anything else, though for its pride the Ifrit was outdone by the power of prayer.

The Ifrit are only one type of djinn, and only one type of creature that populates the myths in the Middle East. There are also golems, who were strong, fast and almost impossible to kill like an Ifrit, but who were made by Rabbis using the holy language to raise a man as God had raised them from the dust. There were also the Lilim, the children of Lilith, who would torment and harry the faithful. Even when you slept there were succubi and incubi ready to pounce you and rape you when you were dreaming contented dreams. So in perspective, it's no surprise that the Ifrit are relegated to their place in mythology, just one of an entire host of horrible things you might encounter, lost and alone in the desert sands.

Tree of Souls- Mythology of Judaism, The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, The Mammoth Book of Vampires

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:06 pm

And I will rise up, though I be a dead man….

The Rapture

What is the Rapture? There are many ways to answer that. There are many religions that believe in the resurrection of the faithful and the physical and spiritual removal of the living faithful. Many times this happens in preparation of a great cataclysm that will basically destroy the world as we know it and put the remaining faithful to the test and the evil ones will be routed. Since I know the Christian belief about the Rapture the best, that is what I will talk about. If you know about any other system of belief about the End of Days or the Rapture, please add them.

Christian eschatology says that before the great wars of the Apocalypse and the rise of the evil leader, called The Beast, there is a moment when those who are faithful in Christ will be scooped up and taken into heaven. These are the ones who have already died and “sleeping in Christ” and the living who are devoted and follow the belief in Christ. I remember my grandfather used to have a bumper sticker that read: Caution: In case of Rapture, this car Unmanned. This Rapture is the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. After the rapture, there is a great time of tribulation. This is when the “left behind” get to clean up their act and fight against The Beast and “earn their wings” by being martyrs for God. This is also the time when The Beast will be defeated and thrown into hell. After the final war is won the ones who were left behind will then experience the Post-Tribulation Rapture where they will be caught up the clouds with Christ as he descends to establish his kingdom on earth.

So that sounds really simple right? Wrong. Just when you think you understand something, the Christian thinkers come up with another interpretation. There are some who do not believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. They believe all of us will go through the tribulation and this is the great and terrible day of the Lord and those who fight and die for God are the ones who are worthy of the glories of Heaven. Then there are some who believe in only the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and if you don’t go up in that rapture, you may as well just abandon all hope and resign yourself to being in hell.

But where is all this stuff about the Rapture? It is everywhere in the Bible and there are Christians who have tried to predict when all of this stuff will happen and who the players are going to be. That is what eschatology is, it the study of the end times. But back to the Bible. Everyone wants to talk about the Book of Revelation and that is a really important book in eschatology however, there are other books that function the same way. The Book of Daniel, The Book of Isaiah, The Book of Ezekiel are three really important Prophetic Books. See, what some people don’t realize, even if they are lifelong Christians is the Bible is broken up into different sorts of writing. You have the Books of the Patriarchs which would include but not confined to the first five books of the Bible, then you have the Books of the Prophets, and that is Daniel and Isaiah and Ezekiel, and then you have the Histories, and the Gospels and the Letters and then you have Revelation.

Now the Prophets, they had the first bits of premonition of the end times and lots of other stuff. They even saw the birth of Christ and the death of Christ on the Cross. They saw things they could not understand. Deciphering the esoteric meanings or “secret” meanings of these visions is what eschatologists do. Now, not all Christians necessarily believe in the end of days, or they believe there are facets of the prophetic books that are meant solely meant for the times they were written in, particularly the symbolic images John the Revelator saw in the Book of Revelation. The Beast, the amoral nonbelieving creature who will take over the earth and mark all the citizens with his number (666), is interpreted as any number of Roman Caesars and the tribulation as the wholesale attacks of the newly founded sect of religious zealots, namely the Christians. Some eschatologists believe in a combination of both, that the prophecies were a mixture of immediate messages and messages meant for a later people at a later time. Eschatologists use numerology, symbolism, and personal revelation to understand the mysteries of the prophetic books of the Bible.

People have been trying to read the scriptures to understand the order of events and figure out the who, what when or where of the Book of Revelation. They try to sort out the main players and identify the people who have been cloaked in symbolism. There is the Anti-Christ, who is the evil version of John the Baptist, the PR person of The Beast, so to speak. Personalities in history like Nero and Adolph Hitler and Napoleon have been fingered as the Anti-Christ. Then there is The Beast, and this is a powerful person who does great and wonderful things and he lulls the rest of humanity into believing he is a do-gooder and great savior, feeding the world. He even rises from the dead apparently after he suffers an assassination. Seers like Nostradamus have suggested the Beast is from the Middle East. There are the Two Prophets who will preach for a certain number of days on a mountain top and when they die, killed by the followers of The Beast, the entire world will party and dance in the streets celebrating their deaths. Then there is the Scarlett Woman, the Whore of Babylon, who will dally with the great kings of the world and drink the blood of the saints and ride in on a Hydra wearing the crowns of many nations and she will be the mother of all blasphemies. She comes to a very nasty end when she is devoured by the dragon. There is also a great war in the sky between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels, which would include the armies of The Beast.

One of the places we are told there is to be a great war is the war in a place called Megiddo, between the armies of Gog and Magog. This Great War will be so fierce the soldiers will wade in blood to their waists and their horses will swim up to their bridles in the blood of the slain. Historians have discovered this valley has played host to many wars and battles before.

Then something incredible happens, Satan is defeated and chained in Hell for one thousand years and we have the Millennial Rule, that is the thousand years Christ will reign on earth and then there will be the great judgment, when all the souls of the living and the dead and those who sleep in Christ will be judged along with the devil. After that, the kingdom of God, which has been a mile in the sky for much of this, will come to earth and the new kingdom of God and New Jerusalem will be established on the new earth, now cleansed by fire, and all of God’s faithful will be rewarded.

So who was the first to begin formulating the belief in the Rapture? The first people to formulate a belief in a heavenly harvest of the souls of the faithful were Cotton and Increase Mather, the father/son team of the Salem Witch Trials fame in the 17th century (the 1600’s). But there are earlier references of the concept of being caught up or rushed away as far back as the 1300’s. The actual use of the word Rapture was coined by Phillip Doddridge and John Gill who used the term in their New Testament Commentaries. The two divergent theories of Pre-Tribulation Rapture and Post-Tribulation Rapture come from three divergent sources: Baptist Minister Morgan Edwards and Catholic Father Emmanuel Lacunza and Methodist minister John Nelson Darby.

These works were considered the holy grail of eschatology through to the 1950’s when in 1957, the question of the two Raptures were put into a more scripture and prophecy based concept by John Walvoord. In the 1970’s the world’s most famous Christian eschatologist Hal Lindsey wrote his famous book Late Great Planet Earth and set the prophetic books and the Book of Revelation into a more modern perspective and interpreted the obscure and complex symbols into modern terms. For example, John the Revelator describes a war machine that looks like a giant locus with huge reflective eyes and golden breast plates and stinging from their tails. He believes the Revelator is describing a helicopter. The great dragon the Whore of Babylon rides is symbolic of the European Union.

So what would a Vampire Rapture be about? Not anything different really from the notions of Rapture in human beliefs. The end result of the Christian Rapture is eventually the establishment of the new kingdom where the blessed are the rulers of the earth and the damned are…well damned. I am sure Salome had a vision of a brave new world where Vampires are the faithful and they live in the blessed presence of Lilith.

So when will all these eschatological events happen? Jesus answers that question. He is asked, “Lord, will the kingdom come?” and Jesus answered: “No one knows the hour of the Lord, not even the angels.” I don’t think it serves any believer to worry about the end of the world. If you believe in anything, then you must live as though the end of days is tomorrow, doing the best you can to the most you can and serve the Creator to the best of your ability. My Grandfather, who had the bumper on his car said once to me: It has been the end of days for two thousand years.

Sources: Late Great Planet Earth, Wikipedia, Douay Rheims Catholic Edition of the Bible, The King James Edition of the Bible and Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Terry the Cop on Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:44 am

This is an incredible collection. I read the contents and the last post and I am blown away. I will have to look into it deeper. Who knew there was so much about Vampires in mythology
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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:21 am

Thank you Terry...

Here is more about Scandinavian/Viking Vampires

Early Vikings believed that the spirits (and sometimes the body) of those that died in battle went on to Valhalla, the Hall of Heroes, a place for warriors to party it up and enjoy the afterlife. But if a Viking didn’t die in battle, well, a dishonorable death like that didn’t result in Valhalla. The legends say that the spirits and bodies of these shameful Vikings went into a kind of limbo, where they weren’t entirely dead, but they weren’t alive either. These dead behaved as if they were still alive, they ate and drank and because they were corporeal, these lost beings could extract revenge of those that wronged them.

These angry and vengeful beings with no real place in the world would rise from their tomb-mounds and sword or axe in hand, would take their revenge on those they believed wronged them in life. These beings were known as the draugr or aptrgangr (literally meaning “one who walks after death).

The draugr are easily recognized by their skin color, which was either hel-blar (death blue) or na-foir (corpse pale). These beings also reeked of decay and corruption. But the scariest thing about the draugr is that they had immeasurable strength and the ability to increase the size of their body at will. In some stories they would triple their size, possibly due to drinking blood.

The amazing thing is that there are countless recorded stories featuring these vamps – you’ve got the ancient pre-Christian versions and then the versions influenced by Christians. Some tales say that the draugr killed their enemies (or even random people) by simply crushing them; they then devoured the flesh and/or drank the blood of the victim. Once someone is killed by a draugr, there was a chance the victim would become one of the undead as well. While some versions of the myth say that there is no way to kill this vampire, other claim that fire will do the trick. One must lure the draugr back to its tomb and set it ablaze.

Protection against the draugr was possible, but it involved black magic, which during the time Christianity reined supreme, was a big no no. The best example of this was the unfortunate Sigurdur Jonsson, who was burnt as a witch at Pingvellir, Iceland in 1671. This man was faced with a horrible draugr and he drove it away with a mixture of herbs and his own semen (eww). The authorities felt that this suggested knowledge of things ordinary men did not know, so he was brought to trial, found guilty and executed.

But, there were some accepted methods of prevention, even in Christian Scandinavia. Some old pagan practices were conducted at funerals to keep the dead, well… dead. They would place iron scissors on the chest of the corpse, place small twigs in the clothing or shroud, the big toes may be tied together to keep the corpse from walking, they might even place needles in the feet to keep it from walking. But that’s not all – when removing a newly dead person’s corpse from the home, the bearers were required to raise it and lower it three times and in three different directions (usually in the form of a cross). They also had to remove the body through a special door known as a “corpse door.” This door was one that was added to a building to remove a corpse, and once the body had been taken out feet first, they then bricked the doorway up again so that it could not return.

It’s incredible to see how this one vampire myth has changed SO much over the centuries. It started out as ancient Viking revenants and eventually turned into the Christian undead.

Source: http://www.vampires.com/the-draugr/

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:08 pm

The White Worm, the Larvae and Vampirism

One of the beauties of being a constant reader is that just when you know something about a subject and you think you have heard all there is or read all there is, you run into something else. One of the curses of being a constant reader is that just when you know something about a subject and you think you have heard all there is or read all there is, you run into something else.

Mythology is a complex thing. It can be taken with a grain of salt or you can appreciate it for what it really is and that is the holder of records of people here or gone and such is the feature of the Vampire mythos. It exists in some level in every culture and has various levels of prominence. For example, in Eric’s time, he would have had very little reference for the Vampire tale for Vikings had very little in the way of Vampire mythos. This creature played a very small role in the mythology of his culture and he would very likely have had no idea what he was about to become until his maker told him what he had done to him.

The culture with the richest Vampire mythology is the middle eastern. I know, it surprised me too, seeing as how what so much of us knows about Vampire comes from Europe. One folklorist even said there is no way we would have a Vampire myth if we did not have Christianity, and perhaps that is true if our only source of the Vampire legend was from Europe, but this myth in particular transcends that notion. The myth of the Vampire is far older than Christianity. It begins with the beginning.

In the beginning, as the good book tells us, God created the heavens and the earth. He created a garden and the bird of the air and fish of the seas and the beasts of the field in the middle he created a great garden and in that garden, he made a man in his own image and a woman and he said to them be ye fruitful and multiply.

But that is not the only version of that particular story and the multiple versions of this story are not just from the Jews or the Christians. The creation story comes to us from multiple sources and they include the Sumarians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians and the Chaldeans and all the many tribes of the West Asian part of the world have this story. The names of the gods and goddesses change and the little details are embroidered upon but the root story is there. I know, I suspect, it is stupid to think otherwise, there is more to the legend of the Vampire than this and I don’t know what this seed story will truly look like, but I wonder how it reflects us as a species, because that is what all these stories of the supernatural are about, they are the mirror of us and what and who we are in the natural world.

But I digress. Believe me, this is a tale that is incredible and I found it by accident.

I am going through my books, both magikal and mundane. I am giving many of my occult and magik books to libraries and witch schools where serious minded people who are interested in the occult can study. I have a book by a man called Elphias Levi. You will hear his name in the upcoming chapters of our story, mainly because he was the one who drew a picture of the Baphomet, the “idol” the Templars were supposed to have worshipped. I had not looked at this book carefully, but as I was dusting it and checking it for odd bits of paper before I dropped it in my donate bin, I checked the index to look at the contents and checked for things like Shape Shifters and Vampires and Faeries, anything that I might be able to add to our store of knowledge.
There in the index of this book was a listing for Vampire. I turned to the pages and I found a fascinating story. Be patient while I lay this story out for you.

Now, I have always been confused on one part of the mythology about the White Worm/Larvae. Bram Stoker wrote a story called The Lair of the White Worm and in Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, when they do the exorcism of the Count’s boxes of earth from his home land we see a white snake or worm curling and writhing around the cross they have planted in the earth. The devil of course is depicted as the serpent from the Garden of Eden and the Dragon, the symbol of the order of Dracul, where we get the Count’s name, Dracula, which symbolizes the devil. But Levi made things a tiny bit clearer.

Levi wrote about a creature called the Larvae. The Larvae, he explained, was created from the menstrual products of women and the nocturnal emissions of men, sort of like the Incubus and the Succubus. This Larvae is made up principally of ectoplasm, the alchemical primordial slime, swimming unseen in the ether, the plane of existence of most magical energies. The Larvae takes on the characteristics of the elements: air, earth, water and fire, and it seeks ways to become corporeal, that is have physical form.

According to Levi, the Larvae were there when Adam was created in the garden and began their existence in the ether when Adam began to long for a female person to be his mate. Lilith was the woman God made for Adam, as you know from our mythology pages, and Lilith was a liberated woman who wanted to be both passive and dominant in the sexual activities of our forefather. She wanted to be on top but Adam was not for that. All the animals he has seen the male mounted the female and not the other way around. So he complains to God and God obliges. He kicks Lilith out of the garden and he makes Eve, a more docile mate for Adam.

Somewhere in the mythos, there is the story that Lilith has a sister, Naamah. Naamah is the demon of menstruation and abortion. Naamah would cause the abortion or miscarriage, and Lilith would consume the products of the abortion or miscarriage. Okay, gross, but that is a part of the legend.

Further in the story Elphias Levi tells us that the souls of the miscarried/aborted babies also become Larvae. See, I wasn’t just telling you that bit to make you lose your lunch. Anyhow, these Larvae are looking around for a home, a corporeal form. They are alone and cold and lonely and hungry and as Edward asked Bella, “Now ask the most important question: What do I eat?” Yeah, the Larvae eat blood.

Since the Larvae are basically metaphysical protoplasm, they cannot create a body of their own. And because they are the offspring of the products of menstrual blood and nocturnal emission and the products of miscarriage/abortion, they are not exactly the blessed creatures on earth. Not precisely damned, no Levi does not say that, but they are in a strange in between place, not damned, not saved, so this ambiguity in the spiritual sphere makes them something to fear.

One of the fears in all cultures, all faiths, is the soul and the body will not go on to paradise. The prevailing religion of that time or culture sets the standards for the way the dead are treated. In Varney the Vampire, for example, the Vampire is made by exposing the dead to the moonlight. The Roma believe if a cat should jump over the body that will make a Vampire. The Asian cultures believe that if you die a violent death or if you are a suicide or die and are not found by your family, you will return as a Vampire. So the culture creates or develops rituals to pacify the dead and comfort the family. If these rituals are not followed, they are open to becoming hosts to…you guessed it: the Larvae.

A human body possessed of a Larvae does not have a human heart. That is, the heart is not flesh and blood. According to Levi, people suspected of being Vampire has a heart that is not flesh and blood but some other matter, much more like a plant or wood according to the examinations of these poor creatures. This is another connection to the obscure story of Lilith and Naamah. The story further goes on and tells us that eventually Lilith longs for a companion, a husband, and God did oblige her, to an extent. He makes a man for her but he is inanimate. He has no heart. The story goes on to describe how Lilith spotted a cedar tree which had been struck by lightning. Now, magikally, the wood from a lightning struck tree is invaluable for many things: protection, warding of illness, love potions, revenge spells. And the cedar tree is very important to the people of the middle east. It is called for in the building of altars and temples and other religious objects. Lilith spotted the cedar and from the heart of the tree, struck by lightning (the element of fire) she carves a heart. Captured in the heart of the cedar is a Larvae and when the heart is placed in the body the Larvae goes inside the inanimate body and brings him to life. But he wants blood. Thus the Vampire is born.

This tale also ties into the sort of wood used to stake Vampires. Cedar is not a hard wood that is why it is favored for carving intricate details. Other hard woods can penetrate cedar, like ash and oak. This also reflects the story of Isis who was in love with the god of the dead, Osiris, who was torn apart and she gathered all his pieces except his penis, but she created him one and through him she had their child Horus.

Is this the end of the story? I have no idea, but this little bit of information is interesting. The only “crime” the Vampire has in this story is he has to drink blood. Now in some cultures and religions, this is an anathema, but in others, the partaking of blood is sacramental. Even Christianity partakes the blood of Christ symbolically and in reality through transubstantiation. The Vampire story continues, always evolving and making changes but its origins are indeed curiouser and curiouser.

Source: Elphias Levi Magic: Its Rites and Rituals, Rosemary Ellen Guiley Demons, The Dictionary of Demons from the Bible, The Book of Enoch and Demonology and Demonalotry by Dr. Hamish MacArthur, Oxford University (dissertation)


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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Terry the Cop on Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:27 pm

This is a fascinating bit of mythology. I am really impressed.
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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:03 pm

What an excellent find! I really love how it fills in so many bits of information we have never heard before. I had never heard of Lilith having a husband. I would love to hear alot more about this as it comes up. This totally makes sense as to how a Vampire could come into existence of course.
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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:17 pm

Magikal and Secret Languages

Sookie found a scroll written in a “fae” language. The Church used Latin as the religious language and many governments and countries use Latin in legal documents. The Amish believe their prayers go unheard unless recited in German. The Jews read the Torah in Hebrew and they sing the psalms called cantoring in Hebrew. Spies and secret societies use codes. For example, if a man says “My mother is a widow” in crowd of people then a fellow Mason will know a brother is in trouble.

Witches and alchemists use secret or esoteric languages and alphabets. They may use Runes, which are connected to the Norse and Germanic tribe. Some may use Ogram, which is used by the Celts. Some may use the Enochian Angel Alphabets or the Theban Alphabets to hide their writings. Alchemists used symbols: The sun for gold and fire and the male gender. The moon for silver and water and the female gender. The female symbol may represent the female gender or it may reference the Goddess or even an alchemical tool, like the cauldron. The male symbol may be used to represent the male or the union or conjunction of metals or elements. It may reference the God, or the pestle representing the penis just as the cauldron represents the womb.

We may look at the world of symbols and say they are strange, but we use symbols every day. The American Flag or the Union Jack represents the USA or Great Britain. The shamrock represents the Irish, the swastika represents the Nazis, the yellow triangle by the side of the road is a caution or yield sign, a red octagon is stop, a green one is go.

There are cultures who reserve writing for only the most sacred of documents. The writing of a document denoted its importance. If it was important enough to write down, particularly in a time when writing was not wide spread, it was a document worth saving and handing down. The Egyptians thought their words were so important they not only preserved them on paper, they carved them in stone and told the stories of their people and their culture for the world to see. They would have been a mystery for all time had it not been for the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, a stone with a set of laws written in many languages including hieroglyphs.

Witches sometimes use secret language as well. Some of this comes from fear, that if their few writings were discovered they would be known for what they are and they would be executed. Many witches used the Theban language now because they have endowed the alphabet with magik. Most witches do not learn the language, they simply copy it out as needed from a Book of Shadows or other source, endowing the care they take to write the coded language out with magikal intent, and as we know, intent is the most powerful element in the making of a spell or other workings.

There is a story from the Egyptian that there was a time that cats could read. They spent all day in the libraries, reading the scrolls, enjoying the stories and they could read any book they wished except for the books in the temple of Thoth, who was the god of magik in Egypt. One day a cat decided there was no reason they could not read those books as well and he went into the library of Thoth and read the great books of magik. Thoth caught him at it but because the cat was the beloved of Set, he decided he could not kill the cat, instead he cursed the cat, and all cats then and now that they would always remember that at one time they could read, but until the end of all things, they would look at writing and they would never be able to read again, no matter how hard they tried.

The Cherokee believed that at one time they were born able to read, but they made war with another tribe and this offended the Great Old One and he swore the Cherokee would live in the darkness of illiteracy for all their lives until they had made good their debt to the Great Old One. This was true until Sikwaya, a Cherokee elder, understood how to make a system of writing for each sound in their language. It is called a Syllabary.

The Language of God

There are many faiths and cultures who believe they are given heavenly information in the form of heavenly writings they can only decipher with the aid of their God or the Angels. Some say the writing on the wall was a heavenly language only Joseph could read. Jesus was said to have written something in the dust at the feet of the crowd when they were about to stone Mary the Magdalene.

Speaking in tongues is a basic tenet of some Christian and Pagan trads. To be overcome with the spirit of the deity and having the ability to speak in an unknown language is a great story among Pentacostal (Holiness) Churches of the Protestant faith. Rules for this practice vary but most will tell you there should be no one to speak in tongues without an interpreter to keep their services free of confusion. They believe they are like the disciples and Mary, the mother of Christ who were in the upper room after the resurrection and they were touched by the Holy Spirit and given the power to speak in tongues while all around them the people from all corners of the earth could understand the language as if it were being spoken in their native tongue. Vou Douists invite the gods to come and dwell in them and those who are touched by the gods speak the language of the gods.

Uttering and Muttering

To utter or mutter is to use a selection of rhyming words to cast a spell, usually under one’s breath. Words like abracadabra and bippity boppity boop are mimicking the use of uttering and muttering. Many Hexenmeisters or Hex Doctors in Amish and Mennonite magik use nonsense words or uttering and muttering in their spell work.

Hex Marks

Hex marks like you would see in the Pennsylvania Dutch country are symbols meant to advertise goods and services, recent marriages, births and deaths and protection from disease or dark magik.

Other symbols

The symbols of the cross, the Star of David, the crescent moon, the Pentangle, the quarter moons bracketing the full moon are all symbols of religions. The square and compass is a symbol of the masons. The striped barber pole stands in for the washed but stained bloody bandages of the barber who did simple surgery, like stitches, or removing them, pulling teeth, applying leeches, cleaning wounds. The symbol of the pawn shop is three balls conjoined. These three balls represent the heads of three children who were murdered and St. Nicholas, the patron of Children brought their heads back to testify against the thieves. The three heads were replaced by three balls and since St. Nicholas is also the Patron Saint of Pawn Brokers, it is used to advertise the trade.

The ichthys, or fish is a symbol of Christ, as is a lamb and a sheaf of wheat and a cup of wine in the forms of Holy Communion. The Stag is the symbol of the Horned God. A lamp is a symbol of nursing and the winged wand entwined by snakes is the symbol of medicine. The hammer is a symbol of Thor.

We see symbols all around us. The language of pictures and their esoteric meanings are still with us.

Symbols and their Meanings by Mark Airey, The Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland, Religious Symbols and their Meanings by Mark Airey, Sign Language by Matthew Crum, Myths of the Egyptians by EA Budge, Myths of the Cherokee by Stone Bear.

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All Roads Lead to Rome: The Italian Vampires

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:54 am

Appius Livinus Ocella, is the Roman Vampire who made Eric in the Sookie Books. He tells us Ocella was Vampire at least a thousand years before he met Eric. He told Sookie he had just missed the crucifixion of the Carpenter from Nazareth, so we know he is at least 2000 years old. (Dead and Gone and Dead in the Family)

Chances are, just like Eric, he had very little reference for Vampires as a real supernatural group, but he would know about witches, the Striges, who were the witches who indulged in cannibalism and blood drinking.

The first stories of the Vampire in Italian lore were written by Lucius Apuleius, the second century platonic philosopher. He wrote them down in the Metamorphosis. The Roman Poet Ovid wrote of the striges, the owls who drink the blood of children.

Romans also had more in the way of werewolf stories but just as they had the benedatti, the good ones or good werewolves, there are the Stregoni Benefici, the good Vampire. While I thought this was a Stephenie Meyers creation for her Twilight Stories, I found a real reference to the Stegoni Benefici. According to the lore, they are protectors for humans as well as their own kind.

Here is an interesting note: Caligula, the evil Caesar who was known to be as bloody as Vlad Tepes and carried on incestuous relations with his sister and screwed his horse and was eventually killed by his own Praetorian Guard, was buried in the garden of Lamia, the blood drinking demoness who is the Greek Counterpart to Lillith. It was said he haunted this garden until his body was dug up and buried with all honors.

The Vampire Encyclopedia by Matthew Bunson, the Vampire Book by J. Gordon Melton.


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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:59 pm

Very interesting. Leave it to Caligula. I mean, he was one nasty dude and I sometimes have wondered if he was all together human given his history.
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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:23 am

You and me both

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The Fae of Newfoundland by The Kid

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:18 pm

For nearly all of my life I’ve heard stories about fairies and what could possibly happen to you if you happened to come across one, and how to protect yourself to be able to keep them at bay. My mother tells of her grandmother, warning her not to go near things such as fairy rings because that’s how the fairies were able to entrance you and bring you to another realm through the portal composed of small mushrooms that grew in a circle. But is there more to the legends other than worried parents not wanting their kids to stray far from home, scaring them so they wouldn’t want to wander far, or maybe
these legends have some more backbone to them than that, as the history of fairies goes back to a time far, far from our own.

The belief in fairies began in Newfoundland when the Irish settled, bringing with them tales of the “Little People” who were known to be tiny fiends, nothing at all like the sweet and kind fairies from children’s movies, such as Tinker Bell from Peter Pan. Fairies were believed to be the cause of many troubles and hardships throughout the years. For example, had a loved one been lost and was nowhere to be found, not even a single hair from their head or even a corpse showing an accidental fate,it was said that they
had been taken by fairies, and there was no hope of ever seeing hide nor hair of them again.

Unfortunately, it was true that the loved one almost never returned home, and if they did, they would do so oddly disoriented and not in their right mind as they had been when they left. This was referred to as being “Fairy Lead” as they had most likely been entranced by a fairy and lead astray from their path. Victims of being “Fairy Lead” seemed to have the same symptoms as a person who had gone under hypnoses, such as disorientation, a loss of memory, actions that one would not do under their right mind, etc. It seemed as though the individual had been put under hypnosis and had been in the trance for the length of time they had been gone, only coming to somewhat wake from it when they returned to the place where it began.

Another thing that was thought to be caused by fairies was, oddly enough, tuberculosis. The fairies were said to come to young women and men in the dead of night, coaxing them to dance all night and
sometimes a bit into the day, until eventually they collapsed from exhaustion, only to repeat the process the next night and so on, until the individual began to waste away from the exhaustion, eventually leading to their death. Some symptoms of what is now known to be tuberculosis include chronic coughing, blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. All of these symptoms could be somewhat translated into how the individual would react to the insane dancing from night to night, but it is now known that it was more than likely that the individual suffered from tuberculosis rather than having fairies coming to them in the dead of night and making them dance ‘till dawn.

Fairies were also said to have stolen human children and put a decoys in its place, these decoy children were referred to as Changelings and for the most part, were said to look like normal human children, only growing uglier as they aged as the child might not have. After the child had been successfully kidnapped by the fairies, they would either place a fairy child who was not long ago born or an elder that was soon to die in the home, making it seem as though nothing had changed as there was still a child in
the crib when the parents awoke. It is thought that elders were placed in these homes sometimes above infants, to be cared for before they died.

Trolls, who are also a branch of the fairy family tree, considered being raised by humans a very classy and glamorous way to live, so they often would send their own children out to be a changeling, wanting
the best for their family. People often identified birth defects (such as downs syndrome, cleft lip, or autism) as a sign that a child was a changeling; it resulted in fear from the parents and the community which unfortunately lead to some children being beaten or even murdered.

There is no concrete explanation as to why the human children were taken, some suggest that it was to raise the child and eventually prevent inbreeding amongst the fae, as the races of fae were beginning to mix after years of having only a certain amount of bloodlines to continue; other legends suggest a much more gruesome reason to the kidnappings, as it was also thought that the child would just turn into food for the family of the changeling, nothing more, nothing less, while the fairy child, if not expected to be a changeling, would grow up to be a perfectly normal child in its place. In some cases, upon growing up, the fairy child would have a recollection of their past life and have a desire to go back to their families, this lead to the child going missing; sometimes the parents even thought that the fairy itself had been fairy lead.

Fairy children seemed to age faster mentally than a regular human child, so it comes to no surprise that as a baby they would have some recollection of their life beforehand. There was also a way to shock the changeling enough that it would tell about its true nature, as the child aged, it was a great deceiver, hiding from the family its true nature and the wisdom it held, but if the mother were to brew eggshells in front of it, it would be shocked into speech, saying "I have seen the acorn before the oak, but I never saw the likes of this," and it would vanish, being replaced by the human child who was lost.

The older generations were always more superstitious than the younger generations, and often did certain rituals around their homes to please the fairies that resided in the house, and if they were kept happy would often cause them no trouble whatsoever, even doing small chores around the house in secret. These fairies are called Pixies, and while usually a kind fairy they sometimes liked to cause mischief by stealing a horse and riding it to exhaustion, whispering naughty words into the ears of pious people or stealing kisses from young boys and girls. At night, before going to bed, the adults of the home would leave small bowls with a tiny piece of bread or cake inside, and another bowl with milk in it, to please the fairies, and without fail whenever they woke up the cake and milk would be gone. Many adults nowadays who witnessed these acts as a child report to be baffled by the disappearance, often staying up late as kids, watching and waiting for a tiny rodent or some other animal to come and snatch it up but to no avail, there was never any sign of animal disturbance, and without fail the food would be
gone by morning.

Had the fairies not been kept happy the household would often wake up to many knots and mats in their hair, and also reported a slew of small objects going missing. After these occurrences happened, people made sure to keep the fairies happy to avoid a reoccurrence.

There are also superstitions about Fairy Rings. Fairy rings are naturally occurring circles or arcs of tiny mushrooms that often grew in and around the areas of forests and fields, they were said to be caused by fairies dancing in circles repeatedly, wearing down the grass and resulting in the growth of tiny mushrooms. My mother tells me stories of being scolded by her grandmother for being too close to fairy rings, “It could have been the fact that they were so close to the edge of a really steep bank,” she stated, “but superstition had something to do with it too.”

Children and adults avoided these formations because they were thought to be doorways to the fairy world, and had they stepped foot in the circle they would have been taken away, fairy lead and never to be seen again. I myself have some belief in this superstition, growing up around stories about these rings, if went out with my friends playing in grassy areas and we happened to spot a fairy ring they would think of the great idea to go and stomp on it, this would worry me and I would not partake, silently hoping that they got taken by fairies for what they had done.

As more and more people became victim to acts of the fairies, they came up with ways to protect themselves against the fates that the others had been victim to. One way they did this was wearing their clothes inside out. There isn’t much solid knowledge as to why this method works but there are theories that by turning your clothing inside out, it will make you invisible to the eyes of any fairies. Other sources state that it simply makes you repellent to the charms and spells they would cast on you, such as being fairy lead; this didn’t mean that they could not touch you however. For the most part, upon asking anybody what a good way to protect yourself from fairies was they would always say “Wear your clothes inside out” when asked why, they would say, “Because they won’t get you” nobody was able to say exactly why they couldn’t harm you, but it has become a sort of common knowledge that if you wear your clothes inside out the fairies won’t get you, because they can’t, for whatever reason. Another that I myself have heard was to wear odd socks, an act I do every day, not by purpose of fulfilling the myth, but because I lose my socks and am left with no other choice, but I have yet to be taken away by fairies, so maybe there is some truth to this one.

Flowers also had some uses to protect you against fairies. Garlands made of marsh marigolds were made and strung up over the barn doors, this was said to keep the fairies out of the ban and keep them from riding the horses to exhaustion, as this was one of the many mischievous things they took joy in doing. The best bet for protection from flowers however was by a plant called St. John’s Wort. Wearing it was said to provide a very strong protection from any fairy magic they wanted to put upon you.

Fairies could also vanish at will and remain invisible to the human eye as long as they pleased, this could be beaten though, as carrying a four-leafed clover would allow you to see them, however, this was only once. A Celtic tradition was to sew many clovers into a small bag to be strung on string and worn around the neck, you could then discern the fairies once for every clover that was contained in the bag, and some say that the clover let you see through any fairy illusions or magical disguises.

Although the flowers and odd wearing of clothes did protect you from these creatures, the best form of protection against fairies has always been iron. It is said that if you were to keep an iron nail in your picket you were no longer able to be carried away by them, possibly the iron placing a protective barrier around you and weighing you to the ground, not even the magic being able to lift you from the ground. A pair of iron sheers hung upon the wall near the area where a baby slept was said to protect the child from being stolen and being swapped for a changeling, often who grew up to be very ugly and unsavoury to have. Upon the same vein you could hang iron horseshoes over doorposts, to prevent the fairies from being able to enter your home and keeping any magic they may use upon the house at bay as long as the horseshoe stayed intact and where it had been first hung.

Growing up in a rural area of Newfoundland, these legends were told often, many times in joking but sometimes there seemed to be a slight tinge of fear behind the eyes of those who spoke and joked about these tiny trouble makers. Older generations now days seem to still have a strong belief in such things, continuing to tell tales to their grandchildren, despite the time passing. A long time from now, when my generation have aged, and we are sitting with our grandchildren on our knee, looking up at us with large wondering eyes, I wonder if I myself will be telling them stories of what my grandparents told me, or will I be telling them new legends that have developed over the years. Whatever happens in the future, our time is now, and I personally believe there is some truth to these tales, of people being fairy lead, and of changelings, some of it could be completely fiction, and the older generation is now snickering behind their hand for beginning the fad that has lasted this long, or maybe they are still completely serious about the whole of the situation, knowing of the things that go beyond reality.

Whatever the case, it is up to everyone to decide for themselves, whether or not they believe in these little creatures, which have brought havoc with them for centuries, and years to come.

Aslinn's Note:

Kellie brings up some great things we have seen in True Blood about the Fae...For example, the changelings and the human children of the fae, very much like Sookie. The magikal faery bar where the fae dance and bring human lovers to could be like the faerie rings of legend and lore. The use of iron against the fae is often a weapon in the Sookie books. Very cool and well written chere, thanks for letting me put it up....

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Aslinn Dhan
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