Wednesday Webshare: Smashing the Wall of Jericho, History, and Buddhist Humour

2016/04/27

We have found a large underground city, perhaps the largest ever recovered. I love hearing about these discoveries for multiple reasons, and a big part is it helps unsettle our historical narrative. Also I’m of the camp that believes our estimates for these cities are far too conservative. I might sound a bit like dear Gordon (but I’m in good company if I do) but our history is more complex than we realize, and when you look at the mythologies of this area, the idea of ancient people living underground opens up some fascinating possibilities.

Humanity was more advanced in a lot of our early received history than most people realize. Just recently it came to light that Babylonian astronomers had developed a pre-cursor to calculus. Their spiritual pursuit of their gods led them to understand the sky and chart the world in ways most modern historians don’t realize. Part out of a notion of prestige and lineage, we like to trace great accomplishments to people “like us” so the Western view of world history often ignores how often our great ideas and accomplishments were done somewhere else first. Another part of it is it’s comforting to assume we’re much more advanced than those who came before us, but in reality we don’t want to see where we came from.

There is also a huge Judeo-Christinizing influence on history. I’ve seen it colourfully referred to as the Wall of Jericho. (I should pause here to remind readers, or inform newer readers, that I’m not just a person babbling about history, I have an Honours Bachelor degree in history from one of the best history departments in North America, and part of my early degree focused on Ancient Near East History. So I’m a slightly qualified person babbling about history) Basically there is a lot of pushback against historically dating things outside of the Biblical time line. Even though most people think Creationism is a joke, it’s hard academically to get consensus that something involving human civilization happened before the year 4000 BCE. Slowly we’re pushing that line, but each time we do, the Biblical timeline shifts too. Most notably our dating of the walls of Jericho. Despite the fact that we can disprove essentially every part of the history in the Bible before King David, not that we lack proof, we have proof its wrong.

That’s part of a bigger rant, but it’s why I love Gobekli Tepe, it’s undeniably the oldest monument we’ve discovered, and due to evidence around it, it’s impossible to shortchange its 12,000 year history. We’re still studying, but we’re restoring it too. I sincerely hope as we study it we’ll really break the Wall of Jericho and realize humanity’s history is longer and more interesting that people generally think.

Another step in uncovering our histories is the discovery of a large body of text written in the Etruscan language. As we work through it we may begin to learn more about this surprisingly powerful culture that we actually know little about, and since the inscription is from a temple we might learn more about their gods.

In more recent times regarding recovering lost history, the occult books of Heinrich Himmler have been found. Apparently 13,000 books. While I’m sure many of them are run of the mill, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nazis found some more unique books in their rampage, and I can’t wait to hear more about what was uncovered.

Switching gears:

There is a new blog, that I cannot recommend enough, but I suggest folks head over to The Perfumed Skull. It’s a blog on anthropology, esotericism, and a large dose of Tibetan Buddhism. It’s not a casual read, the entries are long, dense, and academic, but if you’re looking for a more critical historical/anthropological take, this is definitely worth following.

I first “met” the author when he linked to my post on tulpas in his great piece (on another site) analyzing the role and change of the tulpa idea in Western thought. And was polite enough to call my tone merely exasperated.

Following Buddhism in an irreverent way, facebook memories reminded me of my Buddha Name Shindan Maker I made a few years back, thanks to Polyphanes pushing me. At the time I was reading the Avatamsaka Sutra, which is not a Buddhist text I suggest anyone read unless it’s a really important part of your path. Part of the book is essentially a catalogue of all the Buddhas across different “world oceans.” They all have fantastic and bizarre names, that follow a simple pattern, so I put in the common words, and let this program spit out names that are hilariously close to the original. I, in case you were wondering, will be the Buddha Adamantine Light of Razorlike Compassion. As someone who repeatedly says “I will shank you with loving-kindness” razorlike compassion is very suiting.

Speaking of irreverent Buddhism, spirit houses are a common fixture in Thai Buddhist cultures. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) many cats assume any boxlike structure is for them. So here is an adorable collection of cats cramming themselves in spirit houses

Lastly, after the big Japanese tsunami lots of taxi drivers reported giving rides to ghosts. While it’s hard to trace the validity of these stories, it’s interesting to me that it happened en masse. If it was just a single driver, it would be easy to say it’s made up or imagined, but a bit harder with several reporting similar events.

Advertisements

Wednesday Webshare: Sigils, Synesthesia, and Psychic Murders

2012/05/16

Robert made a good post on the Do’s and Don’ts for Teachers in pagan/magickal groups, also followed by one for students. Regardless of where you think you’re situated, they’re both worth reading.

Wildmind has a list of 10 Things Science and Buddhism say will make you happy. Really only the Buddhist side is sourced, but a list of ten things to consider.

Phil Hine tackles the Energy Model. Now I like the model, but he makes great points on the hypocrisy and poorly thought out way many people use it I think I should go cleanse my shoes, since they were made (unbeknownst to me) by a homophobic company, and I don’t want my feet becoming homophobes.

Before I linked the Buddhist bar. One step better is the Buddhist Strip Bar. Even the pimps are Buddhist there, you can hear them saying Om Mani Peme Hum…or maybe there were saying “Owe money, pay me ho.” (Bad joke, I know)

A Witchcraft-inspired murder in the UK has come to trial. A very disturbing case. The police believe this is an underreported crime, but give no reason for why they believe that.

Shivian Balaris wrote a good post on making a functional grimoire or Book of Shadows. I disagree with using it as a journal, cause I do a lot and have a complicated daily practice, so I go through journals far quicker than I’d want to with a grimoire or Book of Shadows. I have a few books that I’m trying to put into one, right now it seems like a three hole punched binder is my best choice. If you use a book like this it’s worth a read

Coming soon to a book store near you, a pre-teen/teen novel about a boy who discovers he’s quarter Angel. Nephilim tween fantasy is the new thing.

No, seriously, there is another.

This is really a case of an unbalanced individual taking advice the wrong way. Man murders family for his inheritance after a psychic told him riches were coming his way.

If you’re under a rock Gordon put up the Ultimate Sigil Magic Guide and it is seriously worth a read.

Synesthesia may explain how people see auras!

Or not…

An excellent look into elemental work and initiation into them. Really worth the read.

Lastly on a light note, this will be the problem I have with my children


Day-After-Wednesday Webshare: Police, Prayers, Angels

2012/02/02

Once upon a time Wednesdays were the best day of the week for me to do this. Two years in a row I didn’t have school Wednesday, and the symbolism was good. Now I work Wednesdays and either volunteer in the evening or go to temple, so webshares are less common and occasionally a bit backdated.

Also both law enforcement experts and astrological “experts” are not really giving this much credit the Chatham-Kent police department sorted people arrested by their Sun Signs. Of 1986 people arrested the largest group, with 203 people, was Aries, and the smallest, with 139, was Sagittarius. I agree with the assessment, it’s not so much that Sags don’t commit crimes, we’re just smart enough not to get caught, or talk our way out if we do.

Memoire of a Vipassana Retreat, it’s a nice read about the experience. I’ve done these retreats before, they’re awesome and intense. If I can swing it with summer school I hope to lock myself inside a silent cell with no control over my life for ten days over the summer.

Frater Barrabbas has done several posts on the Nephilim. This is the first post for those of us who like our angels a bit lusty and warlike.

The controversial figure of Dorje Shugden has his own graphic novel depicting his origins and trying to establish his legitimacy. I’m not expressing an opinion on him one way or the other (like a pregnant mother I’m just not qualified), just thought it was an interesting text, explains some of the basics of the history of Tibetan Buddhism and where Dorje Shugden fits in, though they leave out the current Dalai Lama denouncing him.

An article comparing some modes of Christian Prayer to Buddhist meditation. Oddly enough I came across this entry and another mention of the prayer form in the same day. I recently taught my very Christian mother anapana meditation (her request), maybe I should let her know the connection it can have to her prayers?

There is a growing movement of Pagan Atheism, specifically in recon schools, this is a great post about the ideas of magick in Paganism and that it is alive, and to keep it there. Also relevant in general to the problems in the magickal (oc)culture.

Sarah V. from Invocatio writes on Mysticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Note this is an undergrad paper, it’s not a quick easy read, it’s about 22 pages, but for those interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the angelic revelations from those sources it’s a worthwhile read.

Interesting reading on money gods, and if the old gods and their methods still count. I had wondered this in regards to the digitalization of money, but this if far beyond what I had considered. Great food for thought.

The Shem ha’mephorash have been swimming around lately. For an interesting guide on working with them check out this haven’t tried it yet. I use my own methods, but plan on doing so when I get some time.

Lupa writes about cultural appropriation for artists (and occultists in many ways) who work with dead animals. Really good and thoughtful. Cultural appropriate is overlooked a lot in the occult spheres (well in general) so it’s nice to see someone talking about it and rationally engaging some of the issues.

How to make a tincture youtube video. The set/series also includes oils and stuff like that. It’s meant for a more herbalist audience, but it’s good information for those of us who make use of magickal oils, philtres, potions, and whatever. (For now I’ll just stick with my vodka steeped in a human skull mixed with spices)

I love this type of stuff. Polyphanes made a Greek Sigil Wheel ala the Rosy Cross. I’ve Greekified the Qameas before, but I really like this, and I’m sure Polyphanes would love to hear about people’s results in experimenting with it. (Makes me wonder if the Mantra Wheel I recently made for my lama could be used in this fashion. Stacking letters would make it hard.)

Lastly this is the reason I’m posting my webshare now, rather than scheduling it for next Wednesday. The Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in exile has called for an international vigil for Tibet next Wednesday on the 8th. He has also essentially recommended cancelling Losar (New Year, February 22) because of the Chinese pattern of reacting non-favourably/violently to expressions of Tibetan culture.


Sex, Angels, Bones, and Books

2011/04/25

Easter Monday, time for a Judeo-Christian post I think. This is mainly more links and connecting data, but I have a few relevant articles off on the wings I thought I’d bring together.

Over at Remnant of Giants a post just went live “How Do You Know When You’re Having Sex with a Fallen Angel: Some Handy Hints from a Biblical Scholar“. The site is a mix of funny responses to relevant events and scholarly study related to the Biblical and extra-Biblical giants, and occasionally more generic Biblical/extra-Biblical study. As a fan of the Enochic literature (meaning related to the Book of Enoch, not Enochian in the Dee-Kelly sense) I find it is both an entertaining and informative site.

Of course there are a few mistakes. With number one, the Angels you could sleep with, humanoid ones, didn’t have wings Biblically it was the non-humanoid Angels that had wings. I’m actually writing a personal article on that now which may or may not make it up here in the future. Number two, should have stuck with naming fallen angels, Metatron (either one of them) is an odd choice of name for a fallen angel to assume. Other than that, it is a handy (silly) guide, of course I’d rather use guides not to avoid but to pursue, but to each their own.

The University of Wyoming shared the news that the trial/investigation of the James Ossuary box may finally be wrapping up. It’s only been about a decade. In fact since then the box has dropped off most people’s radar. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it is an ossuary box that is about 2000 years old (that part isn’t questioned) which reads “Ya’akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua.” For those without their Aramaic 101, that translates as “Jacob, son of Joseph, brother of Joshua.” Or when rendered out of Aramaic into Biblical English “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” So apparently we have the bone box of James, Jesus’s younger brother. But so far most of the evidence points to it being a fraud. “Ya’akov bar-Yosef” is generally believed to be authentic, but the bit about Jesus looks like it may be a modern addition, the trial is trying to figure out how modern, as some experts say it is more recent than the box, but still from the first millennium.

Speaking of Biblical forgeries it looks like Indiana Jones’s David Elkington’s codices are not standing up will to investigation. Rather than link to any individual story I want to link to this great resource here which is both a collection of relevant links and articles and a pretty solid analysis of the flaws of the codices. Included at the bottom of the article, the very last link is a collection of all the images of the codices that have been released, for those of us who like to take a look for ourselves. Just a sidenote since I brought it up the first time I posted about it, this man actually has degrees, a BA in Near Eastern Studies and a Masters in Jewish studies, and is working on more. Credentials aren’t the end-all be-all, but by Baal they’re useful.

Now in the spirit of Easter Monday, I’m off to buy discount chocolate.


%d bloggers like this: