Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:59 am

Well done Kellie!
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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:20 pm

Possession by the Gods

In the last season, we left the story with Bill being destroyed and resurrected presumably by the Vampire goddess Lilith, becoming the physical embodiment of the goddess. There are many stories of being possessed by the gods. For the most part, the gods chose the possessee because of their supplication or sacrifice. Possession by the God/dess is found in many religions, even in Christian ones.

Vou Dou-

Vou Dou is an Afro-Caribbean religion of the slaves, often shrouded in Catholic imagery. In Vou Dou, the suppliant dances and prays and invites the god or goddess to “ride” them, that is to put themselves in the control of the deity. They may become rigid and spasm with the presence of the possessing spirit or they may dance in more frenzy and they may speak in a magikal or divine tongue. They may impart special messages to the gathering congregation or they may simply engage with other members of the ritual to share with them the intense experience of having the deity among them.

Buddhism/Hinduism-

Umbanda finds its roots in Buddhism and Hinduism but is also found in other African nonChristian religions. In Buddhism and Hinduism, the possessing spirit comes to tell a dire prediction or some other divinatory information, warning the people of trials or calamities. Possession must also be encouraged for healing and spiritual well being. This closeness to the deity is essential for understand one’s place in the world and one’s mission on the earth to create a record of good karma for either reincarnation to move toward spiritual perfection so the spirit can join the energy of the One, represented by the lotus. The possessing spirit also helps the person come to grips with their past lives which they may remember and may feel shame and sorrow.

Islam-

The djinn is always the culprit in possessions among the faithful. The djinn are amoral spirits who sometimes do things to either entertain themselves or to teach mortals their place in the plan Allah has for their life. The djinn can be sent by Allah to torment or communicate with a mortal to warn them of upcoming temptation and sin and how to avoid it, or they are given permission by Allah to mislead the mortal so they may correct their ways and then they can be reconciled with an exorcism and they will be purified of their sins and be made right in the eyes of Allah.

Christianity-

The Holy Ghost is said to have sat on the heads of the disciples and the Virgin Mary and caused them to speak in unknown languages that were understood by the crowd representing many nations and languages. In some primitive Christian religions, speaking in tongues is a necessity to enter the kingdom of heaven because it is outward proof of the presence of the Holy Spirit in that person’s body and soul. The Holy Spirit may present itself in the form of speaking in a flowing rhythmic language that must, according to Paul and Peter, have an interpreter. If they do not, then their service is considered confounded and confused and no blessing is conferred upon the congregation. In some religions this is disregarded as they believe if one does not understand the language, then the message is meant for the speaker and no one else. There is also being “slain in the spirit”. To “fall out” during a service is to be in such ecstasy and under such complete control of the Holy Spirit that one swoons and communes with the Holy Spirit while in a trance. Still some others actually “dance in the spirit” and this is when the blessed jog in place and raise their hands in acknowledgement of the spirit invading them. This mirrors the Vou Dou practice of being ridden by the spirit.

Religious Ecstasy-

Religious ecstacy is known throughout the world and in most religions. It is said that most prophets and visionaries became ecstatics and compared it to the most profound and painful love they have ever felt. Among them were St. Alphonsus and Therese who described her ecstacy as both pain and pleasure, leaving her inarticulate. This stupor may also be thought of a sensual and sexual swoon. Another way ecstasy may be expressed is through the stigmata, the appearance of blood without a wound resembling the wounds of Christ in the hands or wrists and feet and side of Christ made as result of his crucifixion. The most famous of these is St. Padre Pio, who was both blessed and cursed with his stigmata but was also a noted mystic and healer and worker of miracles. It is said he could bilocate and he spoke with the Angels who were his guardians.

So what does that mean for Bill?

First we must remember what Bill did to become the “victim” of his goddess, Lilith.
Bill first becomes an oracle for his goddess, opening himself up to her so he sees her presence in his life. After the has the first vision of Lilith after they partake of her blood, he continuously sees her and hears her voice. He is a willing subject for her and suborns his basic beliefs to be at her beck and call. He then begins to try himself to understand the will of Lilith by killing off his rivals and daring to believe in his being chosen and found without blemish by Lilith. He does this by throwing off his old ways and his inner hatred and by emptying himself of futile expressions of his humanity and killing off his old life by taking another lover, by throwing away his former life and concerns and by immersing in religious contemplation which makes him an empty vessel for his goddess to reside in him.

Then he takes by force what he believes is his by right, given to him by the goddess. He then partakes of the goddess completely by consuming all of the blood of Lilith. He experiences pain and a moment of fear as he is then destroyed and resurrected in the blood baptism when he rises out of the pool of blood covered in blood as Lilith so often appeared to him. He is now in complete control of the goddess and the only receptacle of the goddess.

Being that he is covered in blood, he has been outwardly anointed by the goddess to show his authority. Now anything he says goes and all his kind must give him obeisance and mortals are weak and unredeemable creatures he may now loathe and look as simply sustenance for the goddess which resides in him. He is also reborn, like a child fresh from the womb, and he is a new kind of creature among his kind and deserving of worship and praise by others of his kind.

How can Bill be saved?

Bill might be saved by way of an exorcism. To remove the goddess from him will either destroy him utterly or will reopen him to his former self. He may however view ultimate separation as a sort of destruction of self and may decide to end himself to avoid this separation or he may be reminded of what he was now he is no longer under the influence of the possessing spirit and may be reconciled with his Vampire humanity once more. This may lead to a feeling of shame and guilt for which he must atone, or he feels angry at the departure of the goddess and loses absolute faith in her and himself.
This is one of the dangers of exorcism. As Father Karras explained to Chris McNeil in the Exorcist, the rite of exorcism may be more dangerous than helpful because it can cement the notion the one being possessed is truly lost to the possessor. Awareness of the ritual and the unconscious desire to be ones self rather than a receptacle of the possessor may cement the belief in the strength of the spirit so strong to warrant the use of a ritual to remove them. This would lead to a vulnerability of the psyche which believes that if the priest/ess has the power to remove their god/dess then they have the power to destroy them.

If it works.

If such a ritual is successful, then the victim may feel guilt for the sins they may have committed on the path to their god/dess. This can lead to a sort of despair there is no god and no one to save him or no salvation would be within his reach. The antidote to this despair is the love and support of friends and intimates like a family. Eric as his friend and Sookie as his former lover may be able to coax him forward and help him see that he is redeemable and can be found worthy of love and trust and respect once more. They may have issues of trust. Yes, he was possessed and he shared an extreme bond with his deity, but now they are gone and they were taken away by people he thought he could trust and now he wonders what else his friends may take away from him.

Or he may be completely healed and my forgive himself of what he has done to others and pick up his life, atoning for these grievances and he may discover he is better off with the god/dess gone from them as he has clarity of vision. Bill may have a difficult time winning back the trust of his friends and this new mission as an act of redemption to complete his healing.

Sources: The Encyclopedia of Saints and The Encyclopedia of Devils, Demons and Dieties by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, The Roman Ritual of the Catholic Church.

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:04 pm

I will suspect that Jessica, having grown up in such a religious household, will be able to offer great comfort to Bill when he returned to himself. Great write up with some wonderful info in it.

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:38 pm

Notes on The Plague of 1665

The 1660's were shaping up to be a great period of revitalization after the horrors of Oliver Cromwell and his inept son, Richard (called Tumble Down Dick). Charles II had returned from France where he had been raised in exile after Cromwell beheaded his father Charles I because of Cromwell's intolerance of Catholicism and Charles I had taken a Catholic bride.

Charles II brought French decadence to the Royal court after the formerly austere Protestant court of Cromwell and his Puritans. It is believed that though formally he was Protestant and the head of the Church of England, there were indications he had been raised and followed Catholicism. He was known to have said "What are a few Masses between fellow countrymen?" He married a Spanish princess and bore no children with her but bore several illegitimate children with his numerous mistresses. Each child he made legitimate by making the boys members of his court and the girls married to men with titles and rank. He engaged in war from time to time, but preferred peace. His primary interest was to rebuild London.

London, when he arrived, was a virtual maze of streets and alleys and burroughs and slums. He was interested in reconstructing London and provide for better sewage and drainage and building better housing and creating more green spaces.

Charles II was a robust man, standing right around six feet tall and dark of skin and hair and blue of eye. He was broad of shoulders and chest and he was an athletic man and played tennis constantly. He was a bit of a dandy as far as dress and thought quite handsome by the enthusiastic crowd who greeted his entrance on his 30th birthday. He loved dogs and had a breed named after him, the Royal Charles Spaniel.

Despite his popularity and status as a sex symbol, as King he was a virtual pauper. He spent his royal income with little or no thought and borrowed money from the Dutch regularly. The economy of England was poor as well and millions streamed into London to find both legal and illegal work. Charles II loved the theatre and was an avid patron and changed the face of acting altogether by declaring that women's roles would be played by women whereas they had once been played by men. His last lover had been an actress called Nell Gwynne.

The worst period of his reign was during the plague time of 1665. Though written some 40 years after the plague, Daniel Defoe wrote in his A Journal of the Plague Year that 100,000 people died of the plague. The plague appeared in both of its most devastating forms : Bubonic (lymphatic) and Pnuemonic (upper respiratory) but the Bubonic was the most prevalent. Of course, if you will remember, the Plague are among the list of Vampire diseases along with Tuberculosis and Porphyria. It is believed the plague was brought by a ship coming home from Asia with infected rats and people aboard.

In September 1666, the city was consumed by a fire which began in Pudding Lane and spread. Charles had sent his Queen and much of the female members of his court to the country to escape the plague and Charles II stayed behind and even joined the fire brigades which were established to try to quell the flames.

The fire put an end to the plague but added possibly 10,000 to the casualty list thought no one knows for certain.

Charles II then went forward to try and implement his plan to rebuild the city with improved health and safety and have larger roads and avenues. He especially wanted to prevent another tragedy like the fire and plague from happening again. Those who contributed city plans were Christopher Wren and John Evelyn and though neither plan was used both were involved in the rebuilding of London.

Charles II later years were fraught with problems from the economy to the ongoing religious persecution (the fire was blamed on Catholics) and his health began to fail. He died Feb 2, 1685 and was buried with no ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Feb 14, 1685. He was 54. It was thought he had a seizure brought on by uremia and he was bled and fed medicine which were often caustic and poisonous. Some say that in rebellion of his Protestant adversaries, he refused the ministry of the Church of England Vicar brought to his death bed and instead received the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church.

The best chronicle of the time of Charles II was written by his secretary, Samuel Pepys, who was with the king the night of the fire and was there the night he died. He wrote all royal documents for the King and also kept a detailed diary of the king's life and the lives of many in court. He detailed the king's many mistresses and kept a list of his children gotten by his mistresses and detailed life in court.

Excerpts from Pepys Diary by Samuel Pepys
A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
Royal Charles by Antonia Frasier

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:24 pm

Lilith
http://trueblood.wikia.com/wiki/Lilith





"The First, The Last, The Eternal." ―Roman Zimojic[src]
Lilith is a recurring character in the fifth and sixth seasons. She is played by Jessica Clark and debuts in "In the Beginning".
Lilith is known as the Progenitor and is supposedly the "first vampire", made in God's image. She's believed by many vampires to have been created before Adam and Eve, who, according to the Original Testament, were designed to sustain Lilith; her progeny in turn would be sustained by their children, the human race. Lilith is worshipped as a god by many vampires.
In the fifth episode of season five it is revealed that the Authority possess a vial of blood that many believe to have belonged to Lilith. However, Roman Zimojic explains to Salome Agrippa that the blood is not Lilith's, and that by allowing others to believe that the blood is authentic, he boosts his own, and the Authority's, credibility. In spite of Roman's insistence that neither Lilith nor the blood are real, the blood has powerful properties when consumed by vampires, suggesting that, whoever or whatever Lilith really was, she did exist.

History
According to the Vampire Bible, Lilith was created by God in His own image: a vampire. Adam and Eve were created to sustain her, beginning the natural order of humans existing to service vampires. Lilith eventually met the sun at the hands of man, after which her progeny gathered her remains in an earthen jar. At some (possibly multiple) point(s) in the intervening centuries, the remains were transferred, eventually winding up in a fine crystal vial.("In the Beginning")
Is is logical to assume that the Guardian's original purpose was to guard Lilith's remains; the Chancellors and the Vampire Authority likely arose later as extensions of the ecclesiastical authority the Guardian wielded.
Powers and Abilities


Lilith would possesses the normal powers and weaknesses of a vampire, such as superhuman strength, speed, healing, reflexes, agility and a natural affinity for glamouring; she might also have had access to other, rarer vampire powers, such as flight. After drinking her blood, Bill Compton acquired telekinesis("Who Are You, Really?") and what seems to be a form of precognition("The Sun"); it is logical to assume that Lilith possesses these powers as well. It is quite logical to assume that her powers would far outstrip those of any other vampire seen thus far, including those of Russell Edgington.
Lilith's blood, exhibits all the qualities of normal vampire blood, in addition to being an extremely potent hallucinogen. Vampires who consume her blood exhibit behavior typical of vampires in nests, as well as a greatly increased appetite and vivid hallucinations of Lilith herself. Most disturbingly, it appears that these visions endure even when the vampire has recovered from the initial effects of the blood, seeing Lilith hours or even days after consuming a single drop. Lilith's blood seems to bring out an animalistic, merciless side to vampires, even from one drop of blood even vampires such as Eric and Bill, who normally exhibited an enormous amount of self-control, were draining people; the only person who could stop Eric was a vision of Godric. Lilith's apparitions also seem to possess the ability to exhale a red chemical, possibly just her breath, which also reinforces these animalistic qualities ("In the Beginning") ("Somebody That I Used to Know")
Her weaknesses would theoretically include a stake to the heart, silver and fire. However, the efficiency of any of these weaknesses might be under dispute, as Bill Compton, after drinking her blood, was staked directly through the heart with no ill effect("Who Are You, Really?"). Due to her being the oldest and first vampire, she would burn up very quickly in the sun (and this is indeed how she met the True Death). Like most vampires she would theoretically be quite vulnerable to photokinesis, but again, the full extent of what she was capable of remains unknown, and it is possible that she was resistant even to faerie magic.
Trivia

  • Lilith is a major but mysterious figure in Jewish mythology and folklore, possibly based loosely on a much older Mesopotamian myth. Her name appears only once in the entire Bible and she is not mentioned at all in the Qur'an.

    • In Jewish folklore, from the 8th–10th centuries Alphabet of Ben Sira onwards, Lilith becomes Adam's first wife, who was created at the same time and from the same earth as Adam. This contrasts with Eve, who was created from one of Adam's ribs. The legend was greatly developed during the Middle Ages, in the tradition of Aggadic midrashim, the Zohar and Jewish mysticism. In the 13th Century writings of Rabbi Isaac ben Jacob ha-Cohen, for example, Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him and then would not return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with the archangel Samael.


  • True Blood's interpretation of Lilith but one of a great many examples of the character in various media.

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:25 pm

Thanks to Aolani for hooking me up with this

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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:05 pm

You are very welcome. I figured you could use this in a myriad of ways.  Smile
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The Hydra

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:39 pm

You have the Teeth of the Hydra upon you-  TRex Bang a Gong


The Hydra which lived in the swamps near to the ancient city of Lerna in Argolis, was a terrifying monster which like the Nemean lion was the offspring of Echidna (half maiden - half serpent), and Typhon (had 100 heads), other versions think that the Hydra was the offspring of Styx and the Titan Pallas. The Hydra had the body of a serpent and many heads (the number of heads deviates from five up to one hundred there are many versions but generally nine is accepted as standard), of which one could never be harmed by any weapon, and if any of the other heads were severed another would grow in its place (in some versions two would grow). Also the stench from the Hydra's breath was enough to kill man or beast (in other versions it was a deadly venom). When it emerged from the swamp it would attack herds of cattle and local villagers, devouring them with its numerous heads. It totally terrorized the vicinity for many years.

Hydra

Heracles journeyed to Lake Lerna in a speedy chariot, and with him he took his nephew and charioteer Iolaus, in search of the dreaded Hydra. When they finally reached the Hydras' hiding place, Heracles told Iolaus to stay with the horses while he drew the monster from its hole with flaming arrows. This brought out the hideous beast. Heracles courageously attacked the beast, flaying at each head with his sword, (in some versions a scythe) but he soon realized that as one head was severed another grew in its place. Heracles called for help from Iolaus, telling him to bring a flaming torch, and as Heracles cut off the heads one by one from the Hydra, Iolaus cauterized the open wounds with the torch preventing them from growing again. As Heracles fought the writhing monster he was almost stifled by its obnoxious breath, but eventually, with the help of Iolaus, Heracles removed all but one of the Hydras' heads. The one remaining could not be harmed by any weapon, so, picking up his hefty club Heracles crushed it with one mighty blow, he then tore off the head with his bare hands and quickly buried it deep in the ground, placing a huge boulder on the top. After he had killed the Hydra, Heracles dipped the tips of his arrows into the Hydras' blood, which was extremely poisonous, making them deadly.

Other versions say that while Heracles fought the Hydra the goddess Hera sent down a giant crab which attacked his feet). This legend comes from a marble relief dating from the 2nd century BCE found at ancient Lerna, showing Heracles attacking the Hydra, and near his feet is a huge crab. Also other legends say that a stray arrow set alight the forest, and it was the burning trunks which Heracles ripped up and used to cauterize the open wounds.

Encyclopedia Mythica

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This is the Oral Tradition of the Zombie Apocalypse

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:06 pm

I have always thought Zombies are the men's version of Vampires without the nice butts and the kissing.

Having said that, what are zombies and what do they have to do with Vampires? Plenty as it turns out.

Let's review some things we know about Vampires:

First before the Vampire was a subject of romance, sex and lingering human emotions and angst, they were ugly, disfigured, smelly, hairy palmed spawns of demons and the restless dead. And this is what we know from all our research about Vampires in general. There are some small variants in the myth, but these are the acceptable perimeters for the Vampire myth.

Vampires are made from a blood exchange and they ever after under the power of the Vampire who made them. They are technically physically dead, metaphysically they are alive. They are long lived, seemingly immortal. They have supernatural strength and senses and they have some magikal abilities such as flight, glamoury, shape shifting. They cannot stand the sun and they are allergic to garlic and silver. They must be invited over the threshold of a mortal's home. They survive on human blood. Vampirism cannot be cured.

Now, there are two kinds of Zombie. The Magikal kind and the Science Fiction kind.

The Magikal Zombie

The magikal zombie is one made with the powers of magik, usually vou dou. These zombies are made of a potion made of various poisons and herbs and it causes the person to think he has died and has been resurrected. Zombies who have been made with the use of magik do not eat human flesh or drink human blood, but they have no real appetite and they must never be given salt or they will be wakened from their magikal trance. Zombies are the slaves of the magician who made them that way or the person who paid to have them made zombie. They can be out in the day time and they can be killed. They have no personal identity and they are extremely strong but they are not immortal.

The Science Fiction Zombie

The dead are resurrected by some virus or environmental cause. they have no personal identity. They are supernaturally strong and they are fast and they are always hungry for human flesh and blood. They can go out in the day time and they can be killed by destroying the brain. They are in a state of decay and will eventually die and there is no cure.

So what are Vampire Zombies? Well according to Brian Buckner, the Vampire Zombies, what I call Vampzies, are still Vampires but they have this disease and in order to cope with it, they are needing to feed more and more often. So whereas most Vampires got along with just a nip and sip, these guys are going for the Big Gulp. They have become single minded in their hunt for more blood and it is going to make for an interesting story line.

One of the things that is interesting is that this story line is metaphor for many things: It can be a metaphor for desperate measures that we might make to be cured or survive something like an illness or a disaster, and it also mirrors what we see in the world today with one person with an evil agenda poisoning the innocent and the fall out...what would you do if you had to be the government and protect your citizens, and that means all of them. It also addresses the desire of an individual to their duty to their community and their friends....So it will be interesting to see how that turns out.






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The May Pole

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:44 pm

Warlow erected a May Pole for him and Sookie to be married around. Here is some mythology to go with the May Pole


Maypole


A maypole is a tall wooden pole erected as a part of various European folk festivals, particularly on May Day, or Pentecost (Whitsun) although in some countries it is instead erected at Midsummer. In some cases the maypole is a permanent feature that is only utilised during the festival, although in other cases it is erected specifically for the purpose before being taken down again.

Primarily found within the nations of Germanic Europe and the neighbouring areas which they have influenced, its origins remain unknown, although it has been speculated that it originally had some importance in the Germanic paganism of Iron Age and early Medieval cultures, and that the tradition survived Christianisation, albeit losing any original meaning that it had. It has been a recorded practice in many parts of Europe throughout the Medieval and Early Modern periods, although became less popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the tradition is still observed in some parts of Europe and among European communities in North America.

Symbolism

The symbolism of the maypole has been continuously debated by folklorists for centuries, although no set conclusion has ever been arrived at. Some scholars classify maypoles as symbols of the world axis (axis mundi). The fact that they were found primarily in areas of Germanic Europe, where, prior to Christianisation, Germanic paganism was followed in various forms, has led to speculation that the maypoles were in some way a continuation of a Germanic pagan tradition. One theory holds that they were a remnant of the Germanic reverence for sacred trees, as there is evidence for various sacred trees and wooden pillars that were venerated by the pagans across much of Germanic Europe, including Thor's Oak and the Irminsul.[1] It is also known that, in Norse paganism, cosmological views held that the universe was a world tree, known as Yggdrasil.[2][3][4][5][6] There is therefore speculation that the maypole was in some way a continuance of this tradition.

Others have viewed them as having phallic symbolism, an idea which was purported by Thomas Hobbes, who erroneously believed that the poles dated back to the Roman worship of the god Priapus. This notion has been supported by various figures since, including the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Phallic symbolism has been attributed to the maypole in the later Early Modern period, as one sexual reference is in John Cleland's controversial novel Fanny Hill:

...and now, disengag'd from the shirt, I saw, with wonder and surprise, what? not the play-thing of a boy, not the weapon of a man, but a maypole of so enormous a standard, that had proportions been observ'd, it must have belong'd to a young giant.[7]

The anthropologist Mircea Eliade theorizes that the maypoles were simply a part of the general rejoicing at the return of summer, and the growth of new vegetation. In this way, they bore similarities with the May Day garlands which were also a common festival practice in Britain and Ireland.[8]

In Germany and Austria the maypole (or Maibaum[9]) is a tradition going back to the 16th century.[10] It is a decorated tree or tree trunk that is usually erected either on 1 May – in Baden and Swabia - or on the evening before, for example, in East Frisia. In most areas, especially in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Austria, it is usual to have a ceremony to erect the maypole on the village green. The custom of combining it with a village or town fete, that usually takes place on 30 April, 1 May or at Pentecost (Whitsun), is widespread. This tradition is especially strong in the villages of the Bavarian Alps where the raising of the traditional maypole on 1 May in the village square is a cause for much celebration. The pole is usually painted in the Bavarian colours of white and blue and decorated with emblems depicting local crafts and industry.[citation needed]

Just before the Maibaum is erected, depending on the region, there may be a procession through the village, usually ending up at a central place and/or restaurant and usually watched by crowds of spectators and accompanied by a brass band. The actual installation of the tree then takes place in the afternoon or evening. While the crowds usually while away the time drinking beer and eating sausages, the young men busy themselves with decorating the maypole to get the symbols of various trades representing the region into the right position. While the maypole is traditionally set up with the help of long poles, today it may sometime also be done using tractors, forklifts or even cranes. In Lower Austria ropes and ladders are used.

If the tree is erected on the eve of 1 May, then the event is usually followed by a May dance or Tanz in den Mai.

Depending on local custom, the Maibaum may remain in place until the end of the month and is then taken down, decorations removed and the trunk stored until the following year. In many parts of Bavaria it remains in place all year round.

On the night of the last day of April, many young men erect small decorated "Maibäume" in front of the houses of their sweethearts. Some attach a red heart with the name of the girl written on it to the tree.

In Denmark the maypole tradition is almost extinct but is still observed on the islands of Avernakø and Strynø south of Funen and in a few villages in southern Himmerland in eastern Jutland. The maypole is generally referred to as a majtræ, "May tree"

In Sweden and Swedish speaking parts of Finland, the maypole is usually called a midsummer pole, midsommarstång, as it appears at the Midsummer celebrations, although the literal translation majstång also occurs, were the word maj refers to the old Swedish word maja which means dress and not to the month of May. The traditions surrounding the maypoles vary locally, as does the design of the poles, although the design featuring a cross and two rings is most common nowadays. A perhaps more original incarnation is the one still in use in the Swedish landscape of Småland where the pole carries a large horizontally suspended ring around it, hanging from ropes attached at the top of the pole. This perhaps more original form of course strongly reinforces the procreation symbolism. The cross-arm may be a latter-day attempt to Christianize the pagan symbol into the semblance of a cross, although not completely successful. Common in all of Sweden are traditional ring dances, mostly in the form of dances where you are alternating dancing and making movements and gestures based on the songs, such as pretending that you are scrubbing laundry while singing about washing, or jumping as frogs during the song Små grodorna ("The little frogs"). The ring dancing is mostly popular with small children. The central part played by young children in the celebration emphasize the procreation aspect of the celebration. Yet another pointer in this direction is the custom that young maidens expect to dream of their future mate if they pick seven different flowers and place them under their pillow when they go to bed on this day only.

Britain and Ireland

In Britain and Ireland, the maypole was found primarily in England and in areas of Wales, Scotland and Ireland which were under English influence. Although the earliest recorded evidence comes from a Welsh poem written by Gryffydd ap Adda ap Dafydd in the mid-14th century, in which he described how people used a tall birch pole at Llanidloes, central Wales.[11] Literary evidence for maypole use across much of Britain increases in later decades, and "by the period 1350-1400 the custom was well established across southern Britain, in town and country and in both Welsh-speaking and English-speaking areas."[11]


The practice had become increasingly popular throughout the ensuing centuries, with the maypoles becoming "communal symbols" that brought the local community together - in some cases, poorer parishes would join up with neighbouring ones in order to obtain and erect one, whilst in other cases, such as in Hertfordshire in 1602 and Warwickshire in 1639, people stole the poles of neighbouring communities, leading to violence. In some cases the wood for the pole was obtained illegally, for instance in 1603, the earl of Huntingdon was angered when trees were removed from his estates for use as maypoles without his permission.[12]


The rise of Protestantism in the 16th century led to increasing disapproval of maypoles and other May Day practices from various Protestants who viewed them as idolatry and therefore immoral. Under the reign of Edward VI in England and Wales, the Protestant Anglicanism was declared to be the state religion, and under the Reformation many maypoles, such as the famous Cornhill maypole of London, were destroyed, however when Mary I ascended the throne after Edward's death, she reinstated Roman Catholicism as the state faith, and the practice of maypoles was reinstated. Under later English monarchs, the practice was sporadic, being banned in certain areas, such as Doncaster, Canterbury and Bristol, but continuing in many others, according to the wishes of the local governors. In Scotland meanwhile, which at this time was still an independent state, Protestantism, in the form of Presbyterianism, had taken a more powerful hold, and largely wiped out the practice of maypoles across the country.[13]

That royal support contributed to the outlawing of maypole displays and dancing during the English Interregnum. The Long Parliament's ordinance of 1644 described maypoles as "a Heathenish vanity, generally abused to superstition and wickedness."[14] The only recorded breach of the Long Parliament's prohibition was in 1655 in Henley-in-Arden, where local officials stopped the erection of maypoles for traditional games. Scholars suspect, but have no way to prove, that the lack of such records indicates official connivance in flouting of the prohibition. However, they are certain that the prohibition turned maypole dancing into a symbol of resistance to the Long Parliament and to the republic that followed it.[15]
May Day celebrations, banned under the Commonwealth, were revived in 1660. The maypole at Castle Bytham, Lincolnshire, was inscribed to commemorate the date when it was later cut in half for use as a ladder

When the Restoration occurred in 1660, common people in London, in particular, put up maypoles "at every crossway," according to Aubrey. The largest was in the Strand, near the current St Mary-le-Strand church. The maypole there was the tallest by far, reaching over a hundred and thirty feet, and it stood until being blown over by a high wind in 1672, when it was moved to Wansted in Essex and served as a mount for a telescope.[15][16]

In the countryside, may dances and maypoles appeared sporadically even during the Interregnum, but the practice was revived substantially and joyously after the Restoration. By the 19th century, the maypole had been subsumed into the symbology of "Merry England". The addition of intertwining ribbons seems to have been influenced by a combination of 19th century theatrical fashion and visionary individuals such as John Ruskin in the 19th century. Pairs of boys and girls (or men and women) stand alternately around the base of the pole, each holding the end of a ribbon. They weave in and around each other, boys going one way and girls going the other and the ribbons are woven together around the pole until the merry-makers meet at the base.

There are also more complex dances for set numbers of (practised) dancers, (the May Queen dancing troupes), involving complicated weaves and unweaves, but they are not well known today. However, such dances are performed every Mayday around the permanent Maypole at Offenham, in Worcestershire. Temporary Maypoles are usually erected on village greens and events are often supervised by local Morris dancing groups.

In some regions, a somewhat different Maypole tradition existed: the carrying of highly decorated sticks. The sticks had hoops or cross-sticks or swags attached, covered with flowers, greenery or artificial materials such as crepe paper. Children would take these hand-held poles to school on May Day morning and prizes may be awarded for the most impressive. This tradition is known as garlanding, and was a central feature of Mayday celebrations in central and southern England until the mid-19th century. After that time, it began to be replaced by formally organised school-centred celebrations. It still occurs from place to place but is invariably a reinstatement of a local custom that had lapsed decades earlier.

In 1780, Kilmarnock Council, now in East Ayrshire, paid Robert Fraser 2s. 6d. for dressing a Maypole, one of the last recorded examples of the rural festival of the first of May in Scotland, having been put down by Act of Parliament immediately after the Reformation in 1560.[17]

The tallest maypoles in Britain may be found in the villages of Nun Monkton, North Yorkshire (88 ft),[18] Barwick-in-Elmet, West Yorkshire (86 ft),[19] and Welford-on-Avon, Warwickshire (65 ft).

United States

While not celebrated among the general public in the United States today, a Maypole Dance nearly identical to that celebrated in the United Kingdom is an important part of many Secondary or High School dances as part of a May Day celebration. Often the Maypole dance will be accompanied by other dances as part of a presentation to the public.

The earliest use of the Maypole in America occurred in 1628, where William Bradford, governor of New Plymouth, wrote of an incident where a number of servants, together with the aid of an agent, broke free from their indentured service to create their own colony, setting up a maypole in the center of the settlement, and behaving in such a way as to receive the scorn and disapproval of the nearby colonies, as well as an official officer of the king, bearing patent for the state of Massachusetts. Bradford writes:

"They also set up a May-pole, drinking and dancing about it many days togaether, inviting the Indean women, for their consorts, dancing and frisking togither, (like so many fairies, or furies rather,) and worse practises. As if they had anew revived & celebrated the feasts of the Roman Goddes Flora, or the beasly practieses of the madd Bacchinalians. Morton likwise (to shew his poetrie) composed sundry rimes & verses, some tending to lasciviousnes, and others to the detraction & scandall of some persons, which he affixed to this idle or idoll May-polle. They changed also the name of their place, and in stead of calling it Mounte Wollaston, they call it Merie-mounte, as if this joylity would have lasted ever. But this continued not long, for after Morton was sent for England, shortly after came over that worthy gentleman, Mr. John Indecott, who brought a patent under the broad seall, for the governmente of the Massachusets, who visiting those parts caused the May-polle to be cutt downe, and rebuked them for their profannes, and admonished them to looke ther should be better walking; so they now, or others, changed the name of their place againe, and called it Mounte-Dagon."[20]

Piceno (Italy)

After the Napoleonic campaign, the arbre de la liberté (Liberty Tree), the symbol of the French Revolution, arrived in Italy, in the south of the Marche region (Piceno) too, where it was erected in Ripatransone and Ascoli Piceno. In 1889, the first congress of the Second International, met in Paris for the centennial of the French Revolution and the Exposition Universelle. A proposal by Raymond Lavigne, called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests. After the International Workers' Day the maypole rite in south of the Marche (Piceno) became a socialist ritual. At the top of the tree (poplar) appeared the red flag. In the second half of the 20th century the rite of the maypole in Piceno is always a rite of celebration of spring but it became more and more a political symbol of the peasant movement (mezzadri) that struggled against the landowners to have decent living conditions. Every year, even today, on the night of 30th April, in many villages of Piceno like Appignano del Tronto, Arquata del Tronto, Ascoli Piceno, Castorano, Castignano, Castel di Lama, Colli del Tronto, Grottammare, Monsampolo del Tronto, Porchia (Montalto Marche), Monteprandone, Offida, Rotella, Spinetoli, San Benedetto del Tronto, citizens cut a poplar on which they put-up a red flag and the tree is erected in village squares or at crossroads.[21]

«After we've gone to get the pole in thirty or forty people, we placed it like a six month child. We walked in procession with this tree and not even a single leaf had to touch the ground. We had to raise it without making it touch the ground, holding it in our arms like a child. For us it was the saint of the 1st of May»[22]

Quirino Marchetti (ancient peasant of San Benedetto del Tronto)

In Mad Men season 3, Donald Draper becomes involved with his daughter Sally's elementary school teacher, Suzanne Farrell, whom he first saw leading her students in an outdoor maypole dance (in "Love Among the Ruins").[23][24]

See also

Axis Mundi
May Queen
Maypole dance
Mount Wollaston (disambiguation)

References

Jump up ^ A History of Pagan Europe by Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick, Routledge, 1997, ISBN 0-415-15804-4, ISBN 978-0-415-15804-6, page 119
Jump up ^ 'The London quarterly review, Volumes 113-114', Theodore Foster, 1863, page 117
Jump up ^ 'The History of Religions' By Hopkins Edward Washburn, The McMillan Company 1929, page 166
Jump up ^ European paganism: the realities of cult from antiquity to the Middle Ages by Ken Dowden, Routledge, 2000, ISBN 0-415-12034-9, ISBN 978-0-415-12034-0, page 119
Jump up ^ 'Nart sagas from the Caucasus: myths and legends from the Circassians, Abazas, Abkhaz, and Ubykhs' by John Colarusso, Princeton University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-691-02647-5, ISBN 978-0-691-02647-3, page 102
Jump up ^ 'The early history and antiquities of Freemasonry: as connected with ancient Norse guilds, and the oriental and mediæval building fraternities' by George Franklin Fort, Bradley, 1881, page 361
Jump up ^ Cleland, John (1985). Cleland, John. Fanny Hill, or, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure.. New York: Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-043249-3.
Jump up ^ Hutton, Ronald (1996). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Page 234.
Jump up ^ Česky. "Maibaum – Wikipedia" (in (German)). De.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
Jump up ^ Steves, Rick (2008). Rick Steves' Germany and Austria 2008. Avalon Travel. p. 45. ISBN 1-59880-135-X.
^ Jump up to: a b Hutton, Ronald (1996). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Page 233.
Jump up ^ Hutton, Ronald (1996). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Page 235.
Jump up ^ Hutton, Ronald (1996). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Page 236.
Jump up ^ http://www.tiersma.com/STATS/LORDSDAY.HTM
^ Jump up to: a b Ronald Hutton (2001). The Stations of the Sun: a History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford University Press. pp. 235–236. ISBN 0-19-285448-8.
Jump up ^ Harvey, Paul and Dorothy Eagle, ed. (1967). "Maypole in the Strand". The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 528–529.
Jump up ^ Paterson, James (1863–1866). History of the Counties of Ayr and Wigton. Edinburgh: J. Stillie. p. 395.
Jump up ^ Harrogate Borough Council. "Nun Monkton Conservation Area Character Appraisal". Harrogate Borough Council. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
Jump up ^ Smith, Harold. "The Maypole". Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society.
Jump up ^ Bradford, William (1856). History of Plymouth. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. pp. 237–238.
Jump up ^ Vagnarelli, Gianluca (2012). L'albero di maggio. Memoria e simbolismo politico di un rito laico. ISML Ascoli Piceno.
Jump up ^ Vagnarelli, Gianluca (2012). L'albero di maggio. Memoria e simbolismo politico di un rito laico. ISML Ascoli Piceno. p. 4.
Jump up ^ "Mad Men, "Love Among the Ruins": A change is gonna come". What's Alan Watching?.
Jump up ^ "Mad Men, "The Fog": Waiting for my real life to begin". What's Alan Watching?.

External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maypoles.


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The Doors of Perception-Magikal Portals and Parallel Worlds

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:54 pm

Magikal doors and other portals are common enough in stories of the supernatural. They apparently explain the appearance of people and animals and things for which there is no explanation in the natural world. Portals suggest the belief in an alternative world or worlds where other beings live and play and work and love and make war and sometimes show themselves to humans in our plane of existence.

Some of the best known portals are seen in the stories of various religious cultures. Most aboriginal cultures show a belief in other worlds. For example, the Cherokee believe the little handsome people build doorways that allow humans to pass from realm to the other under large boulders and under fallen trees, and even through "Key Holes" in the trunks of trees. The Aborigines of the Australian wilds believe that the stone formation called Ayers Rock is a portal to the Dreaming Time, their concept of the after world.

The use of the portal has been a long held device in literature, the most famous being the wardrobe in Lion Witch and the Wardrobe and Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz. In more modern story telling, we have films and books and shows Stargate with the portal opening up to the sci-fi world of alien cultures.

In Europe, the stories of portals usually have to do with the Faery folk and toad stool rings and natural door like structures are thought to be portals into the faery rades or strongholds of the hidden people.

In religion, portals seem to be doorways for spiritual enlightenment as well as journeying from the world to the after life. There they learn the future and gain enlightenment. Some destinations are even more exotic.

Besides the usual worlds of faery or paradise or the worlds of other planets, they can access ancient strong holds of knowledge.

The Akashic Records- The Akashic Records is a library of all knowledge of the world's esoteric knowledge. The library holds books like the Book of Life as spoken of in the Bible. People can access the Akashic records through deep meditation and contemplation. The seer Edgar Cayce believed in astral projection and he believed that you could simply project yourself into the Akashic Records as well as any place else in the known world. Madam Blavatsky believed the same, that all magikal and esoteric knowledge was held in the Akashic records and could be accessed.

Astral Projection or OBE (Out of Body Experience) is the state of transcending one plane of existence and moving into another, leaving the body behind and traveling in a spiritual state through space and time. Dreaming is thought to be a form of Astral Projection or OBE and near death is a form of OBE.

The Bible speaks of astral projection in the form of the Transfiguration when Christ appeared standing before his disciples and Moses and Elijah appeared to stand with him and converse with him. Some mystics even talk about the dream of Jacob and the staircase of angels and his fight with an angel as a case of astral projection and portals. It is thought by mystics that John the Revelator actually astral projected to see the events that would end the world as described in his Book of Revelation.

Sources- Wiki, Advanced Witchcraft, the Duay Rheims Catholic edition of the Bible, and Edgar Cayce's Astral Projection, and Madam Blavatsky's Astral Magic and Elphias Levi Natural Magic.

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Strange Bits about Werewolfism

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Tantra, Sex and Universal Enlightenment

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:27 pm

Okay, so this is my dunce cap version of tantra and what it is and what it isn't.

First of all Tantra is an esoteric practice that seeks to open, expand and free ones being to the universe through profound thought, meditation and study. Tantra can be found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Toaist and Shaktism. It is a way of clearing ones soul to allow perfection of mind to join with the universal soul (creator) and find enlightenment.

Yoga is a way to connect the body and soul, to be so disciplined in body that the soul is free to leave its physical anchor and find bliss in the universal soul (creator). By mastering the body and its strengths and weaknesses and aligning itself with the energies of the shakras (those power bases found in key points of the body) the seeker can then be focused on the alignment of the mind, suppressing temporal desires and reshaping them into spiritual pathways to seek the universal soul (creator) and find peace and strength.

Meditation on a world sound, like O-M or Omanipadmi-Om, controls breath and heart rate to open one's self up to the universal soul (creator) and hearing the messages the universe may be sending you. This frees from earthly worries and doubt and prepares you for final enlightenment and joining you with the universal soul (creator). Meditation also aligns the shakras, giving you maximum power to go deep with the self to eventually be freed to travel into the esoteric world and break the bonds of emotional and physical burdens which attach themselves to your Karma.

Sexual tantra is a form of meditation and Yoga combined. It releases energy to the universal soul and aligns the shakras to open the senses to the world around them. The energy created by orgasm can then be accessed to submit yourself to understanding. This is something many cultures practice, using the sexual union to understand such notions of great opposites, the dualities of self and universe and the polarities of self and world. Tantra, Kabbalah,
European Pagan Magikal practices and African Pagan practices all use this notion of sexual energy bringing us close to the universal soul or creator.

Tantra, Kabbalah, and Sexual Mysticism by Tani Royce
The Book by Alan Watts


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Re: Mythology of True Blood and the Sookie Books

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