Je suis Marxiste - tendance Groucho!
... Slogan - Nanterre
I am a Marxist - of the Groucho tendency!
We have not inherited the Earth from our Fore-fathers, we have
borrowed it from our Decendants.
... Malaysian Proverb
Son of Love,
that have not seen thy face, By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we can not prove;
Thine are these orbs of light and shade, Thou madest Life in man
and brute, Thou madest Death, and low, thy foot, Is on the
skull which thou hast made;
Thou wilt not leave us in the dust, Thou madest man he knows
not why, He thinks he was not made to die, And thou hast made him,
thou art just;
Thou seemest human and divine, The highest, holiest manhood, thou,
Our wills are ours, we know not how, Our wills are ours, to make
Our little systems have their day, They have their day and cease to
be, They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more
We have but faith, we cannot know, For knowledge is of things we
see, And yet we trust it comes from thee, A beam in darkness, let
Let knowledge grow from more to more, But more of reverence in us
dwell, That mind and soul, according well, May make one music as
But vaster. We are fools and slight, We mock thee when we do
not fear, But help thy foolish ones to bear, Help thy vain worlds
to bear thy light;
Forgive what seem'd my sin in me, What seem'd my worth since I
began, For merit lives from man to man, And not from man, O Lord,
Forgive my grief for one removed, Thy creature, who I found so
fair, I trust he lives in thee, and there I find him worthier to be
Forgive these wild and wandering cries, Confusions of a wasted
youth, Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.
... Alfred Lord
I am the "I"
I come forth from the void into Light.
I am the breath that nurtures Life.
I am the emptiness, that hollowness.
Beyond all consciousness.
The I, the Id, the All.
I draw my bow of rainbows across the waters,
The continuum of minds with matters.
I am the incoming and outgoing of breath.
The invisible untouchable breeze.
The undefinable atom of creation.
I am the "I".
Hew Len : Shamanic Wisdomkeeper ...
a Bush Baptist
Bush Baptistm is not a Religion - it is a way of Living!
It owes its origins to when man totally relied on Nature
for his survival and many of its practices and beliefs are carried
out as a necessary means to that survival.
For example: avoiding certain plants ... because they were
poisonous! Not eating an animal found dead ... because it may have
died from diseases which in turn, might cause our death. Observing
Nature patterns and the behaviour of animals ... so that one could
be forewarned of potential disasters - floods, fire, bad weather
... and preparing ourselves for them.
Bush Baptists are essentially Nature people and respect
the Forces and Energies of Nature ... much like the
Wiccans and other groups.
There are no gods (or goddesses) in Bush Baptism - there is only
Creation (Life) and Death; and the stages in between (Growth). All
things have a "season" or Cycles and each season has its
Every living thing has its energy, its life-force, its Spirit. We
all come from the same source - we are all created in the same
manner, and we all share the same creative Force - therefore
We are All Related.
This creative Force has no name, but we recognise a person's
right to give the Force a name ... many people call it God, to
others it might be called Allah, to others it might be called
Buddah, and to others it might be called Mazda.
recognise the need of people to revere the Force in ways that they
find Peaceful to themselves - therefore we recognise all the
different ways, which the people of today call "Religion". For us
... if a person finds Solace in praying every day in a
particular way - then so be it! And the ways in which one person
finds solace another may not - we recognise this
We have no "church" for we can "worship" anywhere. We do not
need a place made of bricks and mortar to "pray", but we
respect that others might need this, and we Respect all Places of
Worship and all Forms of Worship ... all our ours. The Great
Men who imparted words of wisdom in the past needed no
"church" - they went out amongst the people - they did not
stand in pulpits and babble.
Beauty and Beauty is in Nature. Bush Baptists are humbled
by Nature and in awe, and have reverence for Nature.
They are "baptised" by Nature - Nature tests them. Life baptises
them - they are Baptised by Life.
Survival depends on one's ability to work with Nature, to Overcome
the Odds, and to know and prepare for when times are hard.
Although the basics of "natural living" have been done away with by
technological change and progress, we still have reverence and awe
of Nature. The "savage" in the forest is not a Savage
- he is a Master in his Environment - because he can
survive without technology!
Because we recognise the different needs in people we recognise too
that we are NOT all the same. Life tests all in different ways,
changes us differently. We develop differently. There is Diversity
in Nature. There are many species in all of Natures kingdoms. What
sustains one species does not sustain another - so it is with Man -
and his energy (Spirit).
We observe certain practices despite technology. We do not eat an
animal that has died of natural causes, we do not eat an animal
that preys on another animal for food. We believe in farming
animals and plants because this ensure the Survival of that
Species. We do not kill indiscriminately (for food) or for
pure "blood sport" because many species have died out in this way.
We are thankful to that animal or plant because it has had to
"Sacrifice" its Life so that we might live ... but this is
the way of Nature. If trees are to be cut for fuel or shelter,
so one must be grown to replace it.
respect the "Powers" of Nature - gentle rain refreshes and
replenishes the Earth and us, but a violent storm or tempest can
destroy both of us. The Sun has the power to warm and make things
grow, but it can also parch the Earth. Fire also is both giver
and taker. These things we also have reverence for - the Earth,
Water, Light/Fire, Air, and Spirit/Life/Energy.
Many of our practices, known in the past as "Magic", have now been
explained by Science - the use of plants for medicinal purposes,
their healing properties ... is now called Herbalism,
Homeopathy, Chinese Medicine, Aromatherapy.
Our "Sacred Knowledge"- for example, the mixing of chemicals and
powders to produce "effects" (to amuse, bewilder, or even to put to
good use) ... gunpowder, fireworks, litmus paper, magnets etc. ...
is known as Alchemy, Metalurgy, Hypnotism, Hallucogens, slight of
hand, Electricity ... Look around you! To the untrained eye, the
"savage", and the uninitiated ...
All this was Magic!
Mikatuya Oyasim (We are
all Related) ... Native American
are these people who call themselves the
As early as 2500bc the Indus Valley (India) was the centre of a
flourishing indigenous culture with social and political
sophistication and a pantheon of gods.
When the Aryans invaded the subcontinent about 1,000 years later
they found little resistance from what was by then a decaying
culture. The Aryans overcame northern India not only by their
military superiority, but also by their cultural and religious
vigour, derived from their original homeland in central Asia around
the region of the Caspian and Aral Seas in what is now western
Kazakhstan and western Russia (roughly); having also spread towards
Iran, Norway and towards Britain, Germany, Greece and
cultures shares the same Indo-European roots as Vedic culture in
India. Sanskrit and German, for example, belong to the same
language group. Many of the languages spoken in northern India and
Europe today were brought by different waves of Aryan peoples from
the middle of the 2nd millenium onward. And theories about an
original Aryan homeland are based solely on linguistic evidence. In
southern and central India however, languages derive from Dravidian
and Austro-Asiatic roots respectively, quite unrelated to the
The Aryans were nomads, and their ancestors had probably hunted
the Eurasian plains for many thousands of years. They did not
possess iron nor did they build in stone, and archaeologists have
little more than pottery fragments and the barest indications
of occupation with which to assemble a picture of early Aryan life
It can only be speculated upon as to their reasons
for leaving their homeland: perhaps their migration from the
grasslands was initiated by over-population or their own sudden
displacement by other pastoral tribes, anxious to seize adequate
grazing for the livestock.
Sacrifice lay at the heart of their
ritual and was based on a series of sacred texts called the
One of the Aryans' principal deities was Agni, Lord of the
Sacrifical Fire and the Hearth. The chief Aryan gods, such as
Varuna and Indra, were warrior deities whose splendour transformed
what they saw as the chaotic darkness of the pre-Aryan demon
realms, illuminating them with the light of Vedic righteousness and
Their principal deities were associated with the sun rather than
with the moon, and their mythologies, far from being fatalistic,
engendered promises of freedom and of human victory.
The first Aryans to enter the Indus Valley worshipped the deity
Varuna, whose name is possibly derived from the Sanskrit very "vri"
meaning "to cover" and it was as the encompasser or sovereign of
the universe that he was best known.
Varuna was upholder of the cosmic order "rita" a concept that
shares many characteristics with that of other religions. Like the
Yahweh of the Old Testament or the Sumerian deity Anu, Varuna was a
wrathful god who was greatly feared. Varuna surpassed the
other gods of the early Aryans as a moral
appears to have been superseded by Indra as king of the Vedic gods.
Unlike the moody and vengeful Varuna, Indra was constant and
strong. His most heralded act was his victory over Vritra, at first
seen as a symbol of chaos, ignorance and darkness. Indra was a
champion more in the mould of the warrior Aryans, who were alien to
what remained of the Indus Valley culture's urban atmosphere.
The Aryans believed that a "right" path must exist in the sphere
of moral action and this notion of "rita" has parallels
in Sumerian mathematics and astronomy. Pre-Aryan peoples like the
Dravidians may also have influenced Vedic religion in ways which
are no longer apparent.
The word Aryan and their Solar symbol of the swastika, which is
seen in much of the art of Himalayan Buddhism, have never
aroused more fear than in 20th century Europe. But the
word swastika comes originally from the Sanskrit and means
"good luck" or "well-being". The symbol is also known as the fylfot
cross, hammer of Thor or hooked cross (German hakenkreuz). It has
been used from pre-historic times in Asia, Europe, and the
Americas, often as a symbol of the sun or fire, and so of vigorous
life and energy. It was chosen as the official emblem of the Nazi
party in 1920 in the belief that it was a purely "Nordic" symbol,
with connotations of heroic German paganism, German manliness, and
Aryan racial supremacy.
Source : India The
Cultural Companion by Richard Waterstone ISBN 1-903296-55-2 (Pub.
Duncan Baird Publishers)
The language spoken in northern India is closely akin to the
language spoken by the ancient Persians and because of this it is
assumed that the people of Persia and India have the Indo-Aranians,
or Aryans, as their common ancestors.
Although the subject is still a matter of debate, it seems likely
that the Medes and the Persians, two groups of Aryans (from whom
the term "Aryana", or "Iran" derives) settled in the territory
of modern Iran in subsequent waves between 1400 and 1000 BCE.
Some time around the 8th century BCE the Medes conquered the native
peoples (the Urartu in the north, the Hittites in the west,
and the Assyrians in the south) and became the greatest power in
western Asia. Two centuries later, the Medes were overthrown by the
Persians traced their history back to a ruler called Achaemenes.
But it was Cyrus, a young prince of Fars (from which the terms
Parsee and Persian derive), overthrew the Medes in 500 BCE
and established the Achaemenid Dynasty (550-330 BCE). In a
short time Cyrus invaded and conquered the entire territory from
the borders of India to Greece.
The religion of ancient Persia was similar in many respects to the
Vedic religion in India.
Many of the gods worshipped in Persia were similar to the gods of
India. Prominent among the deities were nature gods such as the god
of the sky, Vivahvant (the Vedic Vavasvant); the wind god, Vayu
(the Vedic Vaya); the sun god, Mithra (the Vedic Mitra); the water
god, Haurvatat (the Vedic Sarvatat); the fire god, Atar (the Vedic
Agni); Yima, the god of death (the Vedic Yama); Asha, the god
of truth (the Vedic Rta); Ameretat, the god of immortality
(the Vedic Amtra); and other comparable deities.
The central ritual of the Persian religion consisted of at least
three forms of sacrifices - the animal sacrifice, the libation
(drink) sacrifice, and the Fire Sacrifice.
The Fire Sacrifice of the ancient Persians is of particular
interest, not only because of its similarity to the Vedic fire
ceremony, but also because of its historical significance in
Zoroastrianism also emerged in ancient Persia from the
Indo-Iranian, or Aryan faith. However, whereas the ancient
Persian and Vedic religions were polytheistic (belief in many
gods), Zoroastrianism is monotheistic (belief in one god) and
teaching is of ethical dualism (the struggle between good and
Zoroastrians trace their origins of their religion back to
the coming of the prophet Zardusht, or Zarathustra, who is known in
the West (through the Greeks) as Zoroaster.
A minority group of Zoroastrians survives to this day in modern
Iran and another small group of Zoroastrians left Iran in the
8th/9th centuries to seek asylum in India, and as descendants and
survivors of the ancient Persians, they were (and still are) call
Parsees (or Parsis). Most settled in the Bombay region and like
their Iranian counterparts, they have managed to survive to this
After the conquest of Islam, Zoroastrianism sunk into obscurity
until the arrival of the Europeans in India in the 16th
The essence of Zoroastrianism can be summed up in the following
beliefs and concepts: the worship of one supreme God, Ahura Mazda
(Ohrmazd); the veneration of yazata (lesser divine powers); the
strong sense of personal choice to struggle against Ahriman, the
embodiment of evil; individual resurrection and judgment, following
by eternal bliss; and the keeping of the Sacred
the foreign religions adopted by the Romans, the worship of the
Iranian (Persian) god Mithra became the most popular and the
introduced into the Roman Empire in the 1st century BCE and spread
so rapidly that in a very short time hundreds of Mithraeums
(temples) had been established from India to Scotland through
the agency of Mithraic proselytes who communicated their
convictions along the ancient trade routes of Africa, Italy,
Germany, Spain, France, and Britain.
emporers, senators, soldiers, and civil servants were among the
most ardent supporters of Mithra.
Mithra was a very ancient Indo-Aryan god and was primarily the lord
of heavenly light, identified with the sun.
also the god of cattle, agriculture, war, and truth and was also
one of the judges who welcomed the souls of humans after death, and
as the god of immortality, conferred everlasting life upon his
By gathering together information from inscriptions, bas-reliefs,
and sculptures, the story of Mithra has been
The god Mithra was born miraculously in a cave on December
event was witnessed only by some shepherds that came to worship the
newborn god with their gifts.
infancy, Mithra's mission was to become master of the earth, and to
this end, he made the sun subject to his will and was consequently
identified with it.
considered it his duty to sacrifice a bull, the pristine creation
of the Iranian (Zoroastrian) god Ahura Mazda.
Sunday was holy to the followers of Mithra, as was December
was hallowed because it glorified the sun, and December the 25th
was Mithra's birth day.
parallels between Mithraism and Christianity today need
hardly be stressed.
taught that their founders were mediator saviour gods, through whom
the salvation of mankind was possible and through whom the world
would be judged.
taught the doctrines of heaven and hell, the last judgement, and
the immortality of the soul.
taught that the forces of good and evil were in a state of
taught self-control and abstinence as requisites to
offered the same sacraments, of baptism and communion, and both
observed Sundays and December 25th as holy days.
Source : World Faiths
by S.A. Nigosian ISBN 0-333-61696-0 (Pub. in USA by St. Martins
Press and in UK by Macmillan Press Ltd, Basingstoke)
culture whose distinctive customs is to maintain a Sacred Fire is
the Herero peoples of Namibia in south western Africa.
This Fire, placed in the centre of each settlement, is the
pivotal point of all important ceremonies and is never allowed to
go out. When a family moves to a new home, the Sacred Fire is
carefully carried with them.
If it goes out, it has to be immediately rekindled by means of
ritual fire sticks, which are regarded as representatives of the
Guide to Southern Africa ISBN 0 620 03181 6 (Pub. The Readers
in percentage order world-wide today are:
But while Christianity might make up a large percentage of
world-wide faith, it is divided in its religious
Catholic, Protestant, Methodist,
Mormon, Lutheran, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, and
People have been persecuted for their beliefs and religion for
It was Christianity that has eradicated many of the indigenous
religions world-wide, mainly because the indigenous religions do
not have a monothetic religious system - belief in one god, and
their practices are in contradiction to the Christian
The troubles in Ireland between the Catholics and the Protestants
illustrate how religious differences can effectively divide a
Protestantism arose from the Reformation in the 16th century. The
word comes from the "Protestatio" of the Lutheran minority at the
"Diet", or meeting, of Speyer in 1529. These reformers were
protesting against the decision by the Catholic majority to outlaw
the reforms of the German priest Martin Luther.
Protestantism emphasises the Bible as the main source of doctrinal
authority, rather than the Pope or general councils. In the 16th
century, it reacted against the corruption and worldliness of some
of the institutions of the Roman Catholic Church. It also condemned
certain Catholic practices as "superstitious".
In 1689 the Bill of Rights declared that the Monarch of England
must be Protestant.
The Presbyterians are Members of a Protestant Reformed Church which
is governed by presbyters (elders) rather than by bishops, and in
which Church courts oversee the conduct of the
persecution of Presbyterians in France was a major factor in the
French Wars of Religion between 1562 and 1598.
Methodism was started mainly by the English preacher John Wesley in
the 18th century. Wesley's views on predestination led to friction
with followers of John Calvin, while his evangelical meetings and
the difficulty of keeping his societies under ecclesiastical
control caused conflict with the Church of England. In the United
States, the Methodist church split into several groups divided over
attitudes towards slavery.
Lutheranism began when in 1571 the German friar Martin Luther
nailed 95 theses to the door of Wittenburg Castle
points of debate about the Roman Catholic Church led to the
upheaval of the Reformation.
years beforehand, Martin Luther had been struck by a passage in
Paul's Epistle to the Romans (The Bible):
just shall live by faith alone".
he considered this, the more determined he became to restore purity
of faith to religious life. Luther meant only to start a debate
but, borne on a tide of nationalistic fervour and piety, he
found himself leading a fundamental challenge to Rome which
ultimately divided the Church between Roman Catholics and
branded a heretic by Pope Leo X and in 1521 he was
The Orthodox Church is a group of churches also known as the
Eastern Orthodox Church.
includes the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches, as well as
Churches in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, all of whom are
self-governing, although they recognise the honorary primacy of the
patriarch of Constantinople.
division of the Christian Church began when the Roman Empire was
split into Eastern and Western empires in AD276. The fall of the
Roman Empire in 476AD further increased the
Russian Orthodox Church originated in 988AD in Kiev and contains
the majority of the estimated 150 million members world
9th century onwards conflict between the two Churches increased and
the final rift known as the East-West Schism occurred in 1054. The
immediate reason for the rift was a change by the Western Church to
the statement of faith known as the Nicene Creed which added the
word "filinque" meaning "And to the Son" to read "the Holy
Eastern Church refused to accept that the Pope had the power to
make unilateral decisions about the doctrine and government of the
increased during the Crusades and attempts at forging a union in
1274 and 1439 failed. Orthodox rituals known as the Greek Rite
differ from rituals in other branches of the Christian Church.
The Mormons, members of the 5 million -strong Church of Jesus
Christ Latter-Day Saints was founded in 1830 by American visionary
Hostility among other Christians drove
Smith from Ohio to Illinois and by 1844 opposition to Smith had
grown among the Mormons themselves, and in that year, Smith used
the Mormon militia to quell a dissident uprising.
was arrested by the authorities but was murdered by the angry mob
three days later. Brightam Young led the Mormons to Salt Lake City
practice of polygamy (more than one wife) continued to provoke
hostility among Americans until the Church had to abolish the
custom in 1890.
Unitarianism rejects the doctrine of the Trinity (Father, Son and
Holy Ghost) and preaches the humanity rather than the divinity of
Unitarianism derives from 16th century Protestant Christian
thinkers. The first Unitarian chapel in London was founded in 1774.
In the United States of America its influence was great and in 1961
a national body, the Unitarian Universalist Association was founded
The Celts are a mixture of European peoples united by common
cultural and linguistic features, are are thought to have
originated in the Upper Danube region in the 13th century
800BC they branched into Galatia in Asia Minor, Gaul (modern
France), northern Italy, northern Spain, and the British
sacked Rome and Greece (Delphi) in circa 390AD. However, they
lacked the necessary political cohesion to resist Rome and
migratory Germanic tribes and by the first millenium they had been
driven into remote areas of Brittany, Wales and
The lowland Celts started from the Danube and entered Gaul in about
were the founders of the lake-dwellings in Switzerland, in the
Danube valley, and in Ireland. They probably contributed to the
development of the Druidical system of religion.
they burned their dead. At a great settlement of theirs in
Cisalpine, Gaul 6,000 interments were found and in each case the
body had been burned before interment.
The home of the mountain Celts was the Balkans and the
were the warlike Celts of ancient history with noble qualities.
They were brave, chivalrous, sensitive to poetry, music and
100 BC Posidonius found bardic institutions flourishing among them
and they were noted for the elaborate musical services held in
honour of the god Lugh.
culture of the mountain Celts differed from that of the lowlanders
- their age was the age of iron, not bronze; and their dead were
buried, not burned.
The Celts have polythetic beliefs and practices (belief in gods and
goddesses), many associated with important aspects of their lives,
such as warfare, hunting, fertility, healing, good harvests
Principle god is Cernunnos, meaning
"Horned One", Lord of Nature. He is portrayed with a man's body and
the antlers of a stag. He holds a sacred torc in one hand
and a ram-headed serpent in the other. He is the model in
later Christian iconography for the "Devil".
A few gods were worshipped by the Celts across Europe, such as
Lugh, the Sun-God.
was an important goddess of the continental Celts, and is
commemorated in more surviving sculpture and inscriptions that any
other goddess. Her name means "Great Mare" and she is usually
portrayed on horseback, sitting side-saddle, and accompanied by a
bird, a dog, and a foal. Epona was imported into Britain by the
Romans and she was the only Celtic deity to be cited in the Roman
Celtic mythology is full of stories in which giants and enemies are
beheaded, or heroes are challenged to decapitation contests. It has
been ascertained that the Celts were head-hunters and they kept the
heads as trophies or sacrificial offerings, believing them to
contain the essence of the person to whom they belonged, and to be
a source of wisdom.
Until the 8th century, the Celts had no written language, and
traditions and beliefs were passed on through oral stories. The
Mabinogian is a collection of "stories" handed down by the
decendents of the Celtic Welsh. The Book of Kells is an illuminated
manuscript of the gospels writen by monks after the conversion of
the Celts to Christianity.
Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was a Britton who was
captured by Celtic pirates when he was 16 and taken as a slave and
managed to escape 6 years later and went to Gaul where he became a
monk. He then returned to Ireland to challenge the influence of the
Druid system was the bane of the Celts, and their submission to it
was their fatal weakness.
The Druids were members of the ruling caste of the Gallic
Celts who exercised legal and priestly functions.
worshipped in clearings in the forest called "sacred groves" and
fundamental to their religion is the Oak Tree.
The religion of the Druids was stamped out by the Romans who feared
they would resist Roman rule. Suetonis Paulinus destroyed the Druid
centre at Mona in Angelsey, North Wales in 61 AD.
the conversion to Christianity, many of the Druid practices were
adopted in the Culdees Rites.
in Druidry was rekindled in the mid 18th century when William
Stukeley (1687-1765) asserted that the Druids were similar to
Christians, but that they practiced human sacrifice.
The Celt and Druids gave way to legends involving Merlin, King
Arthur, and the sword Excalibre; and they are associated with the
stone megaliths, such as Stonehenge in England.
Existing at the same time as the Celts were the Megalithic
Caesar entered Gaul, he noted the different groups, all of whom
were different to each other in language, customs, and
three peoples he called the Belgae, who lived in the north and
east; the Celtae, who lived in the central plains; and the
Aquitaini, who lived the in the west and the south.
Aquitaini were the Megalithic people
Megaliths, dolmens, cromlechs, and/or
chambered tumuli occur in present day France, from Scandinavia
southwards, all down the western lands of Europe to the Straits of
Gilbratar, and round by the Mediterranean coast of Spain. They
cross the Straits of Gibraltar and are found all along the North
African littoral, and then eastwards through Arabia, India, and as
far as Japan. They also occur in some of the western islands of the
Mediterranean, and Greece.
From the mouth of the Rhone River northward to the Varanger Fiord
all the dolmens in Europe lie to the west. the map distribution of
their monuments suggests that their builders were of North African
origin who migrated westwards along the coast and into Europe; and
eastwards into Asia via Arabia.
A dolmen was used to represent a house or dwelling place of the
dead. And the cromlech is a circular arrangement of standing
stones, often with a dolmen in their midst.
The Megalithic people did not burn their dead, they buried them
A common belief in many cultures is the "Mother Goddess" or "Earth
Although recognised by different names, her aspects are of the
Cycle of Life - starting off as a young "green" shoot (the maiden),
becoming fertile and bearing fruit (the mother), giving "birth"
(the harvest), ageing and becoming dormant again in winter (the
In Aboriginal mythology she is Kunapipi, in Wiccan she is the
Triple Goddess, in Navajo she is Corn Mother, in ancient Greece she
is Gaia, and in Christianity she is the Virgin Mary.
In Celtic mythology she is represented as a virgin goddess,
becoming pregnant at the Spring Equinox (March), and giving birth
to the new sun/sun-god at the Midwinter Solstice (December).
In 320AD the Christian church placed the date of the birth of
Christ as the 25th December to override the pagan births of the
earlier "sun gods" at the mid-winter solstice; and the Christian
"Annunication of the Blessed Virgin Mary" when Mary becomes
pregnant is March 25th.
The word "Easter" comes from the Anglo-Saxon "Eostar" or "Eostre"
which in turn comes from the Viking goddess Ostara.
The Summer Solstice "Litha" (21st June) was linked with the
Christian "Feast of St. John the Baptist".
The Christian tradition of Lammas or "Loafmass", a harvest festival
on August 1st, ties in with the Celtic/Wiccan festival of
Lughnassadh, when the sun-god Lugh represented by a sheaf of corn,
re-affirms his vows to serve the Earth Mother.
The harvest feast Mabon, at the time of the Autum Equinox, when the
mother earth shares out her bounty has been adopted by the
Christian faith in the form of the "Harvest Festival".
October 31st is the Celtic New Year, Samhain, when the family dead
and departed are welcomed back, remembered and honoured. This is
All Hallows Eve (Halloween) the day before the Christianised "All
Souls Day" in which, again, the dead are remembered.
The Midwinter Solstice, the time when the Earth Mother gives birth
to the sun-god has been celebrated by many cultures. The
Anglo-Saxons named the 25th December the "Day of the Infant", and
Christ's birth-day was moved to this day in celebration of the
In many mythologies, the mother goddess is represented by a Queen
Bee, and worker bees as priestesses, or priests. The male bee is
called a "drone" and thus priests were called "Essenes". Honey is
what bees make to feed their lavae, and is thus thought of as
The symbol of the bee is linked with the Virgin Mary and the
"Immaculate Conception", and throughout eastern Europe, consecrated
honey is offered on alters at the "Feast of the Assumption of the
Christian version of "Hell" comes from the Viking goddess Hel, who
was Queen of the Dead. However, the goddess Hel was not "fire and
brimstone" as the monks and subsequent Christian
patriarchs portrayed her to be.
She received and restored all deities and humans except those slain
in battle, who, in the Viking world, were accorded special status.
Hel was honoured in caves, symbolising the "womb of the earth", and
shrines were often sited in areas of subterranean volcanic
The Christian period of "Advent" (December 1st) to "Epiphany"
(January 6th), marks the season of the solar goddess Saule, who is
Queen of Heaven and Earth, when ceremonies were held and offerings
were made for the return of the sun. Saule comes from the region of
the Baltic Sea, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia.
The Sun, the Moon, and the Earth have always been honoured in
mythology and perhaps we should remember, before we condemn, pagan
or pre-Christian believes, that the Sun gives light and warmth for
nature to grow, the Moon controls the tides, and the Earth sustains
and is home to us all.
Fire has been venerated in all cultures as a symbolic
representation of the Sun and solar-deities. The Christian
"Festival of Lights" or "Candlemas" on February 1st coincides with
the Celtic "fire and light" festival of Imbolg dedicated to the sun
goddess Brighid. Brighid was Christianised into St. Bridget who was
supposed to have accompanied the Virgin Mary into the Temple of
Purification carrying a candle after the birth of Christ.
Water is venerated in all cultures. From the goddess Danu, came the
River Danube; from the goddess Sequana, came the Seine; from the
goddess Boanne, came the Boyne in Ireland; from the goddess Ganga
Ma, comes the Ganges in India. Sacred Wells appear in Christian,
Celtic, Druidic mythology, while the Roman Catholics bless water
making it "holy" and there is the belief that the "holy water" will
stave off evil forces.
of Gods and Men
Every culture in the world, past and present, has a mythology of
some kind. It has stories about the things it and its people
believe in, that contain a supernatural element. This is its ethos,
Mythologies perform a function and some myths perform several
functions at once. There are 8 key reasons why any particular
mythology or ethos may have developed.
- To explain natural phenomena (eg. creation).
- To attempt to control natural forces, or influence them in some
way to satisify one's own needs.
- To bind a clan, tribe, or nation together.
- To record historial events.
- To provide a kind of verbal geography lesson.
- To set examples for people's behaviour and social
- To justify a social structure (as on earth as it is in
- To control people (fear of authority).
of Development :
The first stage is animism - the belief that everything has a
spirit or soul.
The second stage is fetishism - in which an object (fetish) is
considered to be inhabited by a spirit who may be good or evil, or
The next stage is a further extension of animism which develops to
the point where each individual family group, clan, tribe or nation
"adopts" a particular fetish with which it becomes identified - the
At this stage there is no ethical or moral dimension to the
beliefs, no gods to judge, punish or reward different types of
Generally, the totem or fetish, performs sufficiently well that
they become objects of awe and worship (rather than mere servants)
and therefore become gods (graven images).
Polytheism (belief in many
gods/goddesses) develops when :
- A tribe or clan that has several fetishes may elevate most, or
all of them to become gods.
- Some gods acquire "families" in order to reflect the culture they
- Some gods have different forms which come to be worshipped as
- Tribes and cities come to form larger groups, and their gods
merge to form a larger pantheon of gods. In wars, the gods of the
winning side tend to be higher up the hierarchy than the loser's
- Each god/goddess has a particular area of responsibility -
god of the sea, fertility god, etc.
Gods require their people to behave well and to pay homage, and are
concerned how they act beyond that eg. wrath of gods (moral or
ethical dimension) Myths of good versus evil.
Gods are also anthropomophised into human form.
Hunting tribes have male figureheads, and agricultural tribes have
Monotheism (belief in one god) eg. Christianity, Judaism, Islam
etc. usually develops when one tribe conquers other neighbouring
tribes and its god becomes top-god. Gods have the power to forgive
sins, and religions have the most stringent moral codes.
Myths vary regionally and change over time. They also change as
people's understanding increases.
Mythology - An
Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Principle of Myths and Religions of
the World by Richard Cavendish ISBN 0-318-84763-1 (Pub. Little
Brown & Co.)
The Sacred World of the Celts by Nigel Pennick ISBN 0-7225-3512-0
(Druid) Ritual - A Guide to Life, Love and Inspiration by Emma
Restall Orr ISBN 0-7225-3970-3 (Pub. Thorsons)
Understanding the Bible by John Stott ISBN 0-86201-251-1 (Pub.
Hodder & Stoughton)
Wizards & Sorcerers (from Abracadabra to Zoroaster) by Tim
Ogden ISBN 0-8160-3152-5 (Pub. Checkmark Books)
The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft by Rosemary Guiley
A History of Magic in the Modern Age (A Quest for Personal
Transformation) by Nevill Drury ISBN 0-09-478740-9 (Pub. Constable
The Magical Universe - Everyday Ritual & Magic in Pre-Modern
Europe by Stephen Wilson ISBN 1-85285-251-8 (Pub. Hambledon &
Today and Tomorrow
Sun-Day ...The day of
the Sun God.
Moon-Day ... The day of
the Moon Goddess.
Tiw's-Day ... The day
of the Sky Father, Tiwaz, Tyr, or Tiw.
Woden's-Day ... The day
of Mercury, Woden or Wotan, the War God.
Thor's-Day ... The day
of the God of Thunder and Lightning - Thor, Donar or
Frija's-Day ... The day
of the Earth Mother, Frija.
Saturn-Day ... The day
In "pagan" times, religion involved making human sacrifices to the
God of the Sky, Tiwaz and the God of War, Wotan. Victims were
hanged on trees, are sometimes were thrown into swamps and bogs. An
early Iron Age mummy of a blindfolded girl was recovered from
Windeby Bog in Germany.
The Celts also practiced human sacrifice as well as head-hunting
and this was an integral part of their religion. They would
consecrate a human being as a sacrificial victim, then stab him or
her in the back with a sword. The manner of the victim's death
throes were interpreted as an oracle. Other Celtic human sacrifice
involved shooting them to death with arrows, or impaling them.
The most famous Druidical sacrifice was to burn victims in a
wickerwork cage in the shape of a human figure. And this is where
the word "Wicca" originates.
In Gaul, men were hanged on trees sacred to Esus, and stabbed. In
Ireland, Cromm Cruach, whose name means "blood crescent", had a
golden image at Mag Slecht, where people were sacrificed to him at
the autumnal festival of Samhain.
Death on the battlefield was treated as a sacrifice. A person going
into battle was dedicated to the gods, so that if he died, the gods
would receive him. Boudicca of the British Iceni tribe offered up
sacrifices to the Goddess of Victory, Andraste in a holy grove
before fighting the Romans.
Cultures, Mythology, the Occult, Spiritual theories, World
Religions, North American Indian myths, Philosophy, Aboriginal the
Dreaming, Stonehenge, the Zodiac, and UFO studies ...