Mythological/Religious Curiosities

Convictions, morals, other societies and religions.
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Jiva
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Mythological/Religious Curiosities

Post by Jiva »

I know, terrible thread title, I couldn't think of anything better though.

Every now and then I'll discover some interesting examples of syncretism, extinct or obscure religious beliefs and so on that don't fit into any wider topics. Basically I figured I'd start a thread to see if anyone else had any similar examples or can offer any comments.

Saint Sarah the Black (Sarah e Kali) is a Romani saint or goddess that seems to be a mixture of the Three Marys and Kali. The city where I work has quite a few Romani residents so I learned about this on her holy day in May. As far as I know those who worship her revere her in a Christian context although realise that there is a link to their homeland of India. The historic witchcraft of my local area is actually indebted somewhat to Romani travellers, so this was interesting to me on this basis as well as the obvious Christian and Hindu syncreticm.

Ghulāt are “extremist” branches of Shia Islam. I came across this term by somehow ending up on the Ya'furiyya Shia Wikipedia page of which the last couple of bullet-points are the most interesting to me. In summary:
  • They believed in reincarnation and that heaven and hell was whatever befell people in this world. As there was the possibility of being reborn as a animal or bird (and considered it undesirable) I assume they believed in something roughly analagous to Karma too.
  • They believed the laws Mohammed outlined were optional as faith took precedence over moral law.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Heith
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Re: Mythological/Religious Curiosities

Post by Heith »

Is this Saint Sarah possibly the same as Black Madonna? I think they have a shrine for her in Spain (?), a customer of mine once explained about this. It's been a while, I forget most of the details.
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Jiva
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Re: Mythological/Religious Curiosities

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Actually...yeah, I guess you are probably right, but maybe from a European fertility goddess rather than Kali? As far as I know there are Black Madonnas all over Europe, but they are quite rare.

In the Film and TV thread I mentioned I'm watching Kieślowski's The Decalogue. The first episode concerns a man who measures everything rationally and literally, his deeply religious sister and the man's son who is interested in both his father and his aunt's beliefs. To summarise: the guy's son is killed by falling into freezing water while skating on a frozen lake - after the father had previously calculated the thickness and solidity of the ice using his PC and assured himself that it was safe - he enters a makeshift shrine to the victims. There is a Black Madonna on the altar (fertility/death) and when he tries to cross himself (or baptise himself, I can't tell) he fails as the water is frozen.

I'm not sure how I missed the link between the two, thanks for pointing it out to me :D.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Heith
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Re: Mythological/Religious Curiosities

Post by Heith »

Jiva wrote:
I'm not sure how I missed the link between the two, thanks for pointing it out to me :D.
You're welcome. Your reply gave a little synchronism that had to do with my dream that night (it had a stick or sheet of ice in it), and my daily rune which was isa (ice) which I picked from the bag in the exact position as it was in my dream. So hum, thank you :) I've to take a look at this show you mentioned, perhaps there is something I need to learn.

----

I'm really interested of different kind of burial customs, and would like to mention some of these as curiosities.

In Japan it was customary that if, for example, the husband died, the body was kept in the house for some days, and the wife slept next to it. In this way, everyone could come and pay their respects to the dearly departed at home, which I think is quite nice. This old habit is falling out of fashion and it's quite rare to do this these days. I think it's such a beautiful custom though, very respectful, and I think also important for the living members of family / friends in a psychological way. Do this kind of thing in western country and you end up arrested though. It's a strange cultural difference.

I've also heard of other interesting asian customs that have to do with keeping mummified members of the family on shelves in one's house. This doesn't differ much from what, for example catholic monks, did in Italy, except that those become relics, and these are, well. Grandpa is still around. A really good source for this is dr. Paul Koudounaris. I've corresponded with him some, a true gentleman and does important cultural work with his photography things. I can whole-heartedly recommend his book "Empire of Death". Beautiful.

Most baffling burial customs though, I've to say viking / pre-viking era Scandinavia. Really weird things have been excavated, and we can only guess what they mean. For example, a grave sprinkled with cut-out fingers (that apparently were cut from living people, there was some way to tell that). How strange! There's a fantastic lecture online about this and much more by prof. Neil Price.
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Nefastos
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Re: Mythological/Religious Curiosities

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A great topic! Although I have no truly interesting specimen to share right now, I'd like to contribute in a form of some thoughts on the subject.

First, I think that religious - or magical, if they must be separated - devotion springs precisely from that feeling of something being on the verge of known/unknown, possible/impossible. From that twilight zone (...let's remember Lucifer as the twilight star again...) comes the religious double feeling of tremendum & fascinans, i.e. the divine being something fascinating & terrible at the same time. In the chapel of devotion, the serpent of horror must likewise be found. A tamed god is no god but man.

(Luckily, no true spirit can ever be tamed: it's just a taming of an appearance. E.g. Jesus of the present day churches is a mask that has no resemblance to the original archetypal=divine story.)

People who want other people to think they are religious, do not often feel this "true" devotion, because their idols are completely shaven of all mystery except the mystery or irrationality. That kind of faith is the faith in the LAW. But there is another kind of faith, faith in the beings of Power. Feeling in one's heart & spine. And that power can only dwell in the places where human mind meets the great otherness in these strangest forms that are more often than not grotesque, mind-boggling, stupendous, even horrible. I think that that psychologial feeling is closely related to uplifting ecstasy, and is like a sign that energy is being released.

This might even shed new light to Eliphas Levi's thought that the worship of the Devil is adoration of something that is contra-rational & not possible.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Jiva
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Re: Mythological/Religious Curiosities

Post by Jiva »

Heith wrote:In Japan it was customary that if, for example, the husband died, the body was kept in the house for some days, and the wife slept next to it. In this way, everyone could come and pay their respects to the dearly departed at home, which I think is quite nice. This old habit is falling out of fashion and it's quite rare to do this these days. I think it's such a beautiful custom though, very respectful, and I think also important for the living members of family / friends in a psychological way. Do this kind of thing in western country and you end up arrested though. It's a strange cultural difference.

I've also heard of other interesting asian customs that have to do with keeping mummified members of the family on shelves in one's house. This doesn't differ much from what, for example catholic monks, did in Italy, except that those become relics, and these are, well. Grandpa is still around. A really good source for this is dr. Paul Koudounaris. I've corresponded with him some, a true gentleman and does important cultural work with his photography things. I can whole-heartedly recommend his book "Empire of Death". Beautiful.
I might get that book at some point. I'm fascinated by places like the Sedlec Ossuary and would really like to go at some point.

Kind of related to the Japanese burial stuff you mentioned are the Sokushinbutsu. These are Buddhist monks who managed to mummify themselves. There's a Wiki page on them, but it barely states anything so here's an article with some info and pictures. Apparently if they were successful they were raised to the status of Buddha.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Heith
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Re: Mythological/Religious Curiosities

Post by Heith »

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

I'm reading a book of catholic relics currently, but that hasn't been released yet so I'll get back on this, once the book is available to public.
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Jiva
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Re: Mythological/Religious Curiosities

Post by Jiva »

Well, it's not a mythological or religious curiosity, but i'm posting it anyway :twisted:. I was bored at work earlier today and stumbled across a short article concerning physical existence. It basically summarises some of the main reasons why I'm fascinated by physics, particularly when viewed with the psychological occult in mind. The title's fairly provocative too: 'Four Reasons You Shouldn't Exist: Physics says you’re an impurity in an otherwise beautiful universe'.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Heith
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Re: Mythological/Religious Curiosities

Post by Heith »

This certainly counts as a religious curiosity, right? :)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa ... -1.1439431
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Jiva
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Re: Mythological/Religious Curiosities

Post by Jiva »

I think I've seen a few things like that, all in the USA for some reason.

Anyway, I've been listening to The Ruin's of Beverast's new album lately and was doing some reading about Heinrich Kramer which caused me to stumble upon the “artificially” created mythological character of Christman Genipperteinga. This kind of mythologising happens today with TV shows, film and urban legends, but to a much lesser degree. This is, of course, usually known to be fiction, but perhaps a degree of this sort of thing pervades in urban legends.

Apparently “knipper” means someone who works with pincers and could explain the first part of his name that way. Christman Genipperteinga is a really interesting name though, so after some thought something that strikes me is that the “genipper” or “gnipa” part of his name could mean “mountaintop” whereas “teinga” possibly means “cave”. This is just idle speculation though.

There are some interesting parallels with Germanic mythology. For instance, when broken on the wheel, Genipperteinga is kept alive for nine days. I guess this could relate to Odin hanging on Yggdrasil for nine nights.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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