Mysteriën Der Oudheid

Hier tref je alles aan over de wereld geheimen.
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

do 23 jan 2014, 18:41



;) "sei standhaft, duldsam, und verschwiegen"

==========================


Het verhaal speelt zich af in een gefantaseerd oud Egypte. De prins Tamino wordt aangevallen door een slang. Hij bezwijmt maar wordt gered doordat de drie dames van de "Koningin van de Nacht" de slang doden. De drie dames vinden Tamino zo knap dat ze aan de Koningin van de Nacht gaan melden dat ze hem hebben gezien.

Als Tamino weer bijkomt is de vogelvanger Papageno bij hem. Hij speelt op een panfluit om vogels te lokken. Papageno beweert de slang gedood te hebben omdat hij reuzenkracht bezit, en vanwege deze leugen straffen de dames hem. Zijn mond wordt met een gouden hangslot vergrendeld. De drie dames tonen Tamino het portret van Pamina, de dochter van de Koningin van de Nacht, die door de boze tovenaar Sarastro is ontvoerd. Tamino wordt verliefd op Pamina en belooft haar te bevrijden. Hiervoor krijgt hij van de Koningin van de Nacht een toverfluit. Papageno wordt van het hangslot bevrijd en krijgt een toverklokkenspel. Hij wordt verplicht Tamino te begeleiden naar het paleis van Sarastro. Ze krijgen als hulp drie wijze knapen die rond hen zweven en zullen helpen op hun weg.

Bij Sarastro hoort een zwarte Moor met de naam Monostatos, als hoofd van een aantal slaven. Ze houden Pamina gevangen en Monostatos probeert haar te verkrachten. Ze valt flauw en op dat moment komt Papageno op het toneel. Monostatos en Papageno schrikken heftig van elkaar. Ze denken ieder dat de andere de duivel is en vluchten weg. Na een tijdje keert Papageno terug in het vertrek waar Pamina gevangen wordt gehouden. Hij vertelt haar dat een prins Tamino verliefd op haar is en haar komt bevrijden en dat hijzelf zijn helper is. Ze wordt onmiddellijk verliefd op Tamino en ontsnapt samen met Papageno om Tamino te zoeken. Papageno speelt op zijn panfluit en Tamino antwoordt met zijn toverfluit. Helaas wordt dat korte fluitcontact even later verbroken wanneer Papageno en Pamina door Monostatos en zijn slaven gevangen worden genomen, maar dan laat Papageno zijn toverklokkenspel horen: Monostatos en zijn slaven worden betoverd en dansen op de maat van de muziek weg.

Tijdens deze belevenissen van Papageno zoekt Tamino alleen en zonder resultaat Pamina. Op zijn zoektocht komt Tamino aan bij de Isistempel. Twee deuren zijn op slot, de 'Rede' en de 'Natuur'. Één deur is niet op slot: ‘de wijsheid’. Tamino klopt aan en er wordt opengedaan. Een priester vertelt dat Sarastro geen boosaardige tovenaar is. Hij is de heerser over de tempel van de 'Wijsheid’. Hij wil Pamina aan de negatieve invloed van haar moeder onttrekken. Tamino wordt geplaagd door twijfel en vraagt zich af of Pamina nog leeft. Dan hoort hij stemmen om zich heen die hem ervan verzekeren dat Pamina nog leeft. Hij raakt ontroerd en speelt als dank vol liefde op zijn toverfluit. Dat is het moment dat hij even kort in contact komt met Pamina middels het panfluitspel van Papageno. Alle dieren dansen en zelfs wilde dieren voelen dan vrede.

In het volgend toneel komt Sarastro op. Het is indrukwekkend en Papageno wenste dat hij zo klein als een muis was. Hij weet niet wat hij zou moeten zeggen, maar Pamina zingt: "De waarheid al zou het het opbiechten van een misdaad zijn." Pamina verklaart aan Sarastro dat ze hem wilde ontvluchten, omdat Monostatos haar liefde verlangde. Ze wil terug naar haar moeder. Sarastro geeft aan dat hij Pamina niet tot liefde zal dwingen, maar dat ze toch niet de vrijheid krijgt. Ze zou er beter aan doen haar hart aan een man dan aan haar moeder te geven. Op dat moment brengt Monostatos de prins Tamino op. Pamina en Tamino zien elkaar nu voor het eerst en vallen in elkaars armen.

Iedereen is ontzet: Sarastro, Monostatos, de slaven en het koor. Ze worden uit elkaar gehaald. Ze moeten eerst bewijzen dat ze edel genoeg zijn om zich met elkaar te kunnen verbinden. Ook wordt Papageno een vrouw in het vooruitzicht gesteld: Papagena.

Tamino en Papageno moeten twee proeven doorstaan met zwijgen, eerst worden ze beproefd door emoties en angsten vanwege de roddels door de drie dames van de Koningin van de Nacht. Tamino slaagt maar Papageno faalt. Dan worden ze beproefd middels hun vrouwelijke wederhelft, Pamina en Papagena; de laatste, Papagena, in de gedaante van een oude vrouw van achttien jaar en twee minuten. De liefde vlamt op, maar Tamino beheerst zich en blijft zwijgen, doch Papageno faalt weer. Daarna belooft Papageno eeuwig trouw aan die oude vrouw, die daarop in een aantrekkelijke jonge vrouw, Papagena, verandert.

Tamino en Pamina gaan uiteindelijk met behulp van de toverfluit door de poorten der doods: door water en vuur.

De Koningin van de Nacht voelt zich verraden en wil tezamen met Monostatos, Sarastro vermoorden. Maar boven hen in de tempel worden Tamino en Pamina verenigd en de zon komt op. Het Licht verdrijft de Duisternis, een aardbeving splijt de aarde open en Monostatos en de Koningin van de Nacht verdwijnen met haar drie dames in de duisternis van de kloof.

Sarastro en zijn priesters en in hun midden Tamino en Pamina vieren de geslaagde inwijding: de overwinning van het licht op de duisternis.

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Zauberfl%C3%B6te

=================================



;) Op 5 minuten en 34 seconden

========
iets mompeld over het wiel op nieuw gebruiken
De volgende gebruiker(s) zeggen bedankt: baphomet
Omhoog
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

vr 24 jan 2014, 16:57

In de Griekse wereld werden vaak de belangrijke momenten in het leven van een mens tot riten verheven; wij zeggen dan ‘levenscyclus’. Deze riten worden huisriten genoemd omdat ze door mensen afzonderlijk binnenshuis voltrokken werden.

Het huis zelf wordt in bepaalde mate als gewijd ervaren. In de Griekse godsdienst betekent dit dat goden hier een rol in speelden. De eerste godheid is de godin Hestia, zij was de godin van huis en haard of haardstede. Niet alleen was zij de godin van de haardstede, zij was de haarstede ook zelf! Zij was een maagdelijke en reine godin en beschermster van het gemeenschapsleven. Over haar is niet veel beschreven in mythologische literatuur.

Omdat de haardstede zo belangrijk was, werden pasgeboren kinderen na enkele dagen er drie maal in een rituele optocht omheen gedragen (amphidromia).
Hestia wordt omschreven als godin van het heilige middelpunt, de brandende haard, zowel in
huiselijke kring als op het niveau van de gemeenschap. Zij personifieerde het warme vuur in het hart van familie, stam, stad en natie. Haar betekenis lag in de saamhorigheid van een groep en de band met een bepaalde geboorte)streek.15

De complexiteit neemt toe bij een gebeurtenis zoals het wegdragen van de bruid naar de haardstede van de bruidegom. Als een meisje ging trouwen, moest zij eerst ‘boete doen’ aan de maagdelijke godin Artemis, omdat zij haar terrein ging verlaten.
Voor het huwelijk werden offers gebracht aan verschillende goden. Sommige van deze goden lijken ons vreemd om aan te offeren maar hier zie je de diversiteit binnen de aanbidding van goden weer terug. Naast het gegeven om goden met plaatsnamen te verbinden, wordt ook vaak een epitheton (bijnaam) toegevoegd.
Allereerst had men het goddelijke bruidspaar: Zeus Teleios en Hera Teleia, wat betrekking heeft op ‘vervulling’, telos.Daarna verschijnt ook Aphrodite Gamelia (de huwelijkse) op het toneel. Aphrodite was de godin van de liefde en de schoonheid. 16 Een god die niet genoemd wordt, maar die mij wel logisch lijkt is bijvoorbeeld Hymen, de god van het huwelijk.


bron en meer: http://www.surfsharekit.nl:8080/get/smpid:9723/DS1
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

vr 24 jan 2014, 17:25

Gaan we weer! Onderstaande heeft geen bron, alles is verwijderd alleen in het internet en combi ;D archief zit nog wat wat ooit een artikel had moeten worden maar nu weer knip en plak werk word voor de liefhebber.
=================================================================================

Thiasos is ancient Greek for a group dedicated to the worship of the god Dionysos. Lusios is one of his epithets, meaning loosener, or liberator. This community is for those who are devoted to Dionysos and want to learn, talk, but also to revel. If you are one to run off to the mountains with thyrsus in hand, you will certainly find a place here! There is also a place for solitary libations of wine, or silent meditations surrounded by his lush ivy. Dionysos is many-faceted and so is his worship. We are here to share our experience and knowledge with each other, and to bring Dionysian religion into our everyday lives.

=================================================================================

KHARIS: Hellenic Polytheism Explored

Ancient Athenian Festival Calendar

The ancient Athenian year began on the new moon after the summer solstice. *The beginning of each month was fixed by the observation of the lunar crescent after the dark moon (called the "new moon"). Evidence (though not conclusive) suggests that the "day" began at sunset, lasting until the next sunset. Due to the irregularities of a twelve-month lunar calendar, the month of Poseideon was occasionally repeated to maintain the integrity of the calendar year.

Most festival information comes down to us from Athens. However, certain demes recorded the dates of sacrifices, and I have added these to the list.

I also recommend the site HMEPA which aligns the ancient calendar with our current date and shows the festivals.

Holy Days: Certain days of every month were devoted to a particular deity. They are as following:
1: Noumenia - new moon festival, burn frankincense, 2: Agathos Daimon, 3: Athene, 4: Aphrodite, Hermes, Herakles, Eros, 6: Artemis; 7: Apollon; 8: Poseidon; last three days: all chthonian deities; last day: Hekate

Festival Calendar
1. Hekatombaion
2. Metageitnion
3. Boedromion
4. Puanepsion
5. Maimakterion
6. Poseideon
7. Gamelion
8. Anthesterion
9. Elaphebolion
10. Mounikhion
11. Thargelion
12. Skiraphorion

Hekatombaion (an epithet of Apollon, alluding to his role as accepter of sacrifices)
4: Aphrodisia
-- The bathing festival of Aphrodite and Peitho (Persuasion). First the temple was purified with dove's blood, then the altars were anointed. Finally the two statues were carried in a procession to the washing place.
12: Kronia -- A festival in honor of Kronos as a god of the harvest, portrayed with a reaping scythe. A huge harvest feast was held, where slaves were invited to dine with their masters. A sacrifice was also made to Artemis on this day in the deme of Erchia.
15-16: Synoikia -- A celebration of the Synoecism, the combining of Attika into one community. Every other year, it was celebrated for two days instead of one. On the second day, a sacrifice was made to Zeus Phratrios, god of the tribal brotherhoods (like clans). A sacrifice was also made to Athene in a formal manner. Eirene, goddess of peace, was also worshipped on this day.
28: Panathenaia -- The celebration of Athene's birthday, when gods and mortals feasted together. A vigil was held the night before the Panathenaic procession. At sunrise a sacrifice was made to Eros and Athene at the altar of Eros in the Academy, then a torch race brought the sacred fire to the altar of Athene. Every fourth year, the Greater Panathenaia was held, when a new robe was given to the goddess. A huge procession brought the robe to her statue in her temple, where it was placed on Athene's knees, and later stored in the treasury; she was officially re-robed during the Plunteria. Sacrifices were also made to Athene Hugieia (Health) and Nike. The three or four days following the procession featured contests of sport and art.

Metageitnion (an epithet of Apollon)
Unspecified: Metageitnios -- Named after Apollon's epithet, meaning "changing neighbors," it may have been a festival of the neightborhood.

Unspecified: Herakles' Day -- A celebration of Herakles by athletes in the gymnasium in Kynosarges.
15-18: Eleusinia -- games celebrated in Eleusis, not associated with the Mysteries. The prize was grain.
16: Sacrifice to Hekate and Artemis in the deme of Erchia.
20: Sacrifice to Hera Thelchinia in the deme of Erchia.
25: Sacrifice to Zeus Epoptes in the deme of Erchia.

Boidromion (an epithet of Apollon, meaning to help in response to a shout)
2: Niketeria
3: Plataia
5: Genesia -- The Athenian state festival in honor of the dead, espeically those who died in wars. (Families honored their own dead on the anniversaries of their deaths.) In the deme of Erchia, this was comemorated by a sacrificial holocaust without wine.
6: Kharisteria -- The feast of Artemis Agrotera (the huntress). After the victory at Marathon, this became a commemoration of that battle, and was known as Kharisteria, "Thanksgiving."
7: Boidromia -- A festival of thanksgiving for Apollon as a god who rescued people in war.
15-21: Eleusinian Mysteries -- The mystery rites of Demeter and Persephone, held at Eleusis.
18: Epidauria -- Commemoration of Asklepios' arrival, celebrated with a procession, offerings, and a banquet that reserved a couch for the god.
27: Sacrifices -- to the nymphs, Achelous, Alochus, Hermes and Gaia in Erchia, and to Athene in Teithras.

Puanepsion ("boiled beans," a ritual food)
5: Proerosia --An agricultural festival of Demeter held at Eleusis, the name means "preliminary to ploughing." Offerings of first fruits (mostly grain) are given to Demeter to ask for her blessing at the beginning of the sowing season. Apollon's oracle told the Athenians to begin the Proerosia in order to end a horrible famine, and this story is recounted at the festival.
7: Puanepsia -- A festival dedicated to Phoebos Apollon, held at Eleusis in ancient times. Apollon was offered a sacrifice of a he-goat and a lamb, and a meal was held for the god. During the procession, each boy carried an eiresione, the traditional sign of a suppliant. However, on this day, the eiresione (normally a bough of olive wreathed with wool) was possibly made of laurel, and was decorated wtih pastry shaped like wines, harps and cups, along with real fruit. The boys carried the boughs from house to house, begging for food, and singing, "The eiresione bears figs and rich cakes and honey in a jar, and olive oil to anoint yourself, and a cup of mellow wine that you may drink and fall asleep." If the occupant gave them someting, they would give him an eiresione to bless his house. The ritual food that gave its name to this festival and this month consisted of a mixture of boiled legumes. According to myth, Theseus and his crew returned to Athens on this day, and offered Apollon this dish, made from the remains of their provisions. The combination of all the plants also works well as a prayer for a bountiful harvest.
7: Oskhophoria -- This is the celebration of the vine harvest, when men carried vine branches with the grapes still clinging to them through the town in a procession. Hymns about the harvest and wine-making were sung. A ritual meal was held, where legends were told (mainly about Theseus) and acted out.
8: Theseia -- A festival honoring Theseus, the son of Poseidon. There was a procession, sacrifices, athletic contests, and a feast where meat was given to the people. The feast included a porridge of wheat and milk.
9: Stenia -- This was a nocturnal women's festival for Demeter and Persephone in preparation for the Thesmophoria. The women insulted each other light-heartedly to commemorate the way Iambe made the grieving Demeter laugh. Thesmoi, (Things Laid Down) were thrown into pits in the sanctuary of Demeter; including bread in the shape of snakes and phalluses, as well as sacrificed pigs, all of which are fertility symbols.
11-13: Thesmophoria -- An all-female agricultural festival in honor of Demeter and Persephone, held in Demeter's hillside sanctuary. On the first day, the women climbed the hill and made camp, sleeping on the ground in huts. On the second day, the women sat on the ground and fasted from all solid food (except pomegranate seeds) in sympathy for Demeter's mourning, and to transfer their strength to the earth. They taunted each other in iambic verse, in imitation of Iambe and Demeter. They may also have whipped each other. On the third day, there wass a torch-light ceremony, because Demeter sought Persephone by torch-light. This may have been when the Thesmoi were removed from the earth by purified priestesses, and placed on the altars of the goddesses. Later this "compost" was mixed with the grain to be sown the following month. Then the rest of the day was spent in joyous celebration.
30: Khalkeia -- This was a festival of smiths, and was associated with Hephaistos and Athena. It was a day of rest from work, and a procession of workers moved through the town carrying baskets of corn. Later, a feast was held.
Unspecified, three consecutive days: Apaturia -- Festival held by each Phratriai, the brotherhoods of descent that functioned like clans. The first night was a reunion and feast. On the second, they made sacrifices to Zeus Phratrios and Athene Phratria. Hephaistos and Dionysos may also have been honored. On the third day, new members were inducted into the Phratria. The day after the festival was over was set aside for recovering from the excessive drinking and revelry.

Maimakterion ("blustering," epithet of Zeus)
Unspecified: Maimakteria -- This month begins the winter season, so people prayed to Zeus Maimaktes (Blustering) to be gentle.
Last third of month: Pompaia -- A procession dedicated to Zeus Meilikhios (Kindly), a chthonic aspect of Zeus who appears as a snake. A sheep was sacrificed, and its fleece considered magical. A person could purify himself by standing on the wool with his left foot. The fleece, along with a caduceus, was carried in the procession.

Poseideon (Poseidon)
8: Poseidea -- There was probably a festival in honor of Poseidon during this month, most likely on the eighth day, since that day was sacred to him. No other details are available.
16: Sacrifice to Zeus Horios in the deme of Erchia.
19: Meeting held about matters concerned with Dionysos, in the deme of Myrrhinus. Also, a private sacrifice to the wind gods was recorded on this day.
Last half of month: Rural Dionysia -- This was a simpler version of the City Dionysia. It included a procession with men carrying a phallos, cake-bearers, revellers and singing. The god was carried into the city to represent Dionysos coming. A bull may have been sacrificed, and there were many localized rites, different in every region.
26: Haloa -- This was a festival in honor of Demeter and Dionysos, named after the halos, or threshing floor. There was a feast including phallos- and pudenda-shaped cakes, but without the foods forbidden in the Eleusinian Mysteries (pomegranates, apples, eggs, fowls, some fish). Women danced around a giant phallus, leaving it offerings. Later in the night, men were admitted, and there was a great revel or orgy for the rest of the night. A priest and priestess presided over the fertility celebration.

Gamelion (month of marriage)
2: Theogamia
8: Sacrifices to Apollon Apotropaeus, Apollon Nymphegetes, and the nymphs in the deme of Erchia.
9: Sacrifice to Athena in the deme of Erchia.
12-15: Lenaia -- The name of this Dionysian festival may have come from the word for wine-press, or another name for the maenads. It was celebrated to arouse the slumbering vegetation and bring Springtime. There was a representation of Dioynsos, probably a wooden pillar, for it was Dionysos Orthos ("the erect") who invented mixing wine and water. There were also dramatic contests, like so many other Dionysian festivals.
26: Gamelia -- The anniversary of the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera, this festival gave its name to the month of marrriage. This is a time of spring and new beginnings. In Erchia, sacrifices were made to Hera, Zeus Teleius, Kourotrophos, and Poseidon.

Anthesterion (flowers)
2: Sacrifice to Dionysos -- in the deme of Erchia
11-13: Anthesteria -- This is the Festival of Flowers, as well as a feast of the dead, and a drinking festival centered around Dionysos Limnaios ("of the marshes"). The first day, Pithoigia , was the Opening of the Jars, and the broaching of new wine. Celebrants gathered near the temple and opened wine-jars, pouring libations to Dionysos and drinking the rest. The second day, Khoes , was the Day of Swings. There was much drinking, drinking matches (where the prize was a skin of wine), and an erotic atmosphere. The presence of ghosts was felt. The next evening, when it was almost the beginning of the next ritual "day", a sacred marriage was performed in the inner chamber of the temple (which was only open for that night). The details of this ritual were secret, and so have not been passed down to us. It is possible that the rite was between a priestess or the queen, and a phallic representation of the god. The last day, Khutroi , was the Day of Pots, devoted to the cult of the dead. Pots containing cooked vegetables and seeds (traditional food for the dead) were left out for the wandering spirits. However, precautions were taken to prevent the spirits from coming too close: people chewed hawthorn, smeared their doors with pitch, and tied ropes around the temples. At the end of the festival, they drove out the spirits, saying, "Out you Keres, it is no longer Anthesteria!"
23 or 28: Diasia -- The festival of Zeus Meilikhios (Kindly), the chthonic Zeus who appears as a snake. Offerings were made of cakes shaped like animals, grains, and other fertility foods. The whole offering was burnt (instead of shared with the god), to propitiate him.
Unspecified: Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries -- These were the preparations for the Mysteries, held at Agrai on the banks of the Illissos.

Elaphebolion (epithet of Artemis - "shooter of deer")
6: Elaphebolia -- Festival of Artemis, where she was offered cakes shaped like stags, made from dough, honey and sesame-seeds.
8 or 9: Asklepieia -- Festival of Asklepios, including a large sacrifice and common meal with the god.
9-13: Greater (or City) Dionysia -- The largest of the Dionysian festivals, this was held in Athens, where Dionysos had a theatre and where dithyrambs and plays were performed. Before the festival began, a statue representing the god was placed on the road to the city, offered a sacrifice, and escorted back to the temple, thereby bringing inthe god to the festival. On the first day, there was a procession with various offerings, which led into the komos, or revel, a night-long feast and celebration. The next few days were set aside for the famous dramatic contests of Athens.
14 or 17: Pandia -- A festival of Zeus, immediately following the Greater Dionysia.
15: Sacrifice to Kronos -- private sacrifice recorded on this day.

Mounikhion (festival of Artemis)
4: Feast of Eros -- This may have been held on the fourth due to it being the god's holy day each month. No details are known.
6: Delphinia
6 or 16: Mounikhia -- Festival of Artemis as the moon goddess and mistress of the animals. A procession of girls carrying boughs came to the shrine of Apollon and Artemis. A she-goat was sacrificed to the goddess, along with other offerings. Another procession consisted of people carrying amphiphontes (shining-all-round), round cakes containing lit candles arranged in a circle.
19: Olympieia -- Festival of Olympian Zeus, including a huge sacrifice, possibly of a bull.

Thargelion (festival of Apollo)
4: Sacrifices to Leto, Pythian Apollon, Zeus, Hermes and the Dioscuri in the deme of Erchia.
6: Offering to Demeter -- On this day, a ram was offered on the Acropolis to Demeter Khloe, the goddess of green shoots.
6-7: Thargelia -- This festival marked the birthday of Apollon and Artemis. The first day was devoted to purification. Two poor people were chosen as pharmakoi (scapegoats), each representing the women or the men; they were fed well, then beaten in order to purify the city. The second day was devoted to offerings of first fruits, called the thargelos (a stew of corn and other vegetables). Hymn-singing contests were held for the men's and boy's choirs.
16: Sacrifice to Zeus Epacrios in the deme of Erchia.
Last Week (25?): Plunteria -- This festival was dedicated to washing the ancient statue of Athene Polias (Guardian of the City). The temple had been cleaned, and Athene's eternal flame relighted, by her priestesses a few days before. Women removed the robe and jewelry from the statue, which was then wrapped and carried in a procession to the washing place. Figs were offered to the goddess on the shore. After washing, the statue was taken by torchlight procession back to the temple and clothed with a new, clean robe (from the Panathenaia) and adorned with jewelry. This day was considered inauspicious because Athene was absent from the city.

Skirophorion (festival of Demeter)
Beginning (3?): Arrhephoria -- This was the hidden rite revolving around two young priestesses of Athene, called the Arrhephoroi (perhaps "Carriers of Unspoken Things"). After living in Athene's temple for two years, they perform various secret rituals, including carrying a package by a secret path to the sanctuary of Aphrodite in the Gardens, and bringing back another secret package. Then they were replaced by two new girls. The Arrhephoroi wore white robes and ate a special light bread.
3: Three Sacrifices -- On this day, a ewe was sacrificed to Athene, a ram to Zeus and a ram to Poseidon.
12: Skiraphoria -- Also called the Skira, the festival of the cutting and threshing of the grain. Priests and priestesses went in procession to the Skiron, the sacred sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, where the first sowing supposedly took place. The festival was celebrated mostly by women, who abstained from sex on this day in order to bring fertility to the land. They threw cakes shaped like snakes and phalluses as well as sucking pigs into the sacred caverns of Demeter. The men had a race carrying vine-branches from the sanctuary of Dionysos to the temple of Athene Skiras. The winner was given the Fivefold Cup, which contained wine, honey, cheese, corn and olive oil. He shared this drink with the goddess, pouring her a libation to request her blessing on the fruits of the season.
14: Dipolieia -- This was a festival of Zeus as god of the city. Barley and wheat were placed on an altar. When the sacrificial bull ate the grain, he was killed by a priest, who immediately threw down his poleax and fled. The poleax was later tried formally for murder. This festival was considered antiquated by the fourth century.
Last Day: Sacrifice to Zeus the Savior and Athene the Savior -- A sacrifice (possibly a bull) was made on the last day of the old year to ensure good health, etc., for the coming year.
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

vr 24 jan 2014, 17:40

Slavic Myth and Religion

Gods and Goddesses



This page contains lists of information I gathered on Slavic gods, rituals, etc several years ago. While my passion is ancient Greek paganism, I started off also interested in pre-Christian Slavic religion, and these are the fruits of my research. This is the extent of my knowledge on the subject, and I do not claim to be an expert in any sense, but I hope my efforts help others called to the Slavic gods. For more about me, see my homepage. Or you can email me.

Russian text, The Way in which Pagans acclaimed Idols (9th-12th cen.)
"And these very people have begun to sacrifice to the Rod and to the Rozanitsa,
to Perun, their god, whereas formerly they sacrificed to vampires and nymphs."


Gods and Goddesses

Baba Yaga is a traditional crone goddess - portrayed not as wise and gentle, but frightening and terrible (although sometimes wise as well). She is one of the most frequent characters in Russian fairy tales, where she plays the part of a witch. She lives in a peasant hut made of bones which stands on chicken legs and spins, and is lighted by glowing skulls on posts. She travels through the air in a mortar bowl, pushing it along with the pestle or a broom. She is always very hungry. In mythology, she is sometimes represented as a snake coiled around the Waters of Life and Death.

Byelobog means "white god," and so he appears as an old man with a long white beard, dressed in white and carrying a staff. He is a giver of light, traveling only in the daytime. He leads the lost out of dark forests, bestows wealth and fertility on all, and helps reapers in the fields. He fights with Chernobog every winter and summer solstice.

Chernobog means "black god." He is the opposite force of Byelobog, the lord of darkness, the bringer of calamities and destruction.

Datan is one of three minor Polish gods who guard the fields, along with Lawkapatim and Tawals.

Dazhbog is the sun god, and a kind of chief god, somewhat similar to Zeus or the Dagda. He has horns and a canine head. Dazhbog travels in a chariot across the sky every day like Helios, bringing justice, prosperity and sunshine to the world. He is known as the grandfather of the Russian people. His attendants include two maidens (the morning and evening stars), seven judges (the planets), and seven messengers (the comets). In one myth, he is married to Lada, and the two secure abundance for the world.

Devana is the goddess of the hunt, who roams the Carpathian forests. Her name, as well as her identity, probably came from the Roman Diana.

Dodola is the goddess of clouds and rain. At times of drought, villagers would perform rituals to propitiate her, whcih included pouring water over a flower-bedecked girl.

Dogoda is the god of the gentle west wind.

Erisvorsh is a weather god, though more details are unavailable.

Jarovit (or Gerovit) is the god of war; his name may mean "severe lord." He rules the springtime, looking toward the West. His sacred symbol is his shield, which was kept in his temple and brought out when a victory was needed.

Khors is another sun god, though he is probably of Persian origin.

Kolyada is the name of the god, or more accurately the personification, of winter, and the festival held in his honor. In Ukraine and Belarus, he represented winter while Perun represented summer.

Krukis is a god of blacksmiths and domestic animals.

Kupalo is a fertility god, though like Kolyada he may be more accurately described as the personification of a season, in his case summer. He also known as Kostroma, and his festival is held at Midsummer.

Lada is the goddess of spring, love and beauty. She lives in the Otherworld, called Vyri, until the spring equinox, when she emerges, bringing Spring with her. In one myth, she is married to Dazhbog. Other stories have Lado, a solar god of joy, as her partner and Lel, the god of marriage, as her son.

Marzanna is the personification of death and winter. She is portrayed as an old woman dressed in white. People sought to trick her and thereby prolong their lives.

Mokosh is an earth goddess. She rules over fertility and midwifery. She is commonly called Mati-Syra-Zemlya, or "Moist Mother Earth." Mokosh spins flax and wool at night and shears sheep. She also spins the web of life and death. She wanders during Lent disguised as a woman, visiting houses and doing housework; at night strands of fleece are laid beside the stoves for her. She may have originally been a house spirit concerned with women's work. Evenrually, her worship was transmuted to the modern widespread reverence for Mother Russia. Mokosh is dark, like good, black soil.She is portrayed with uplifted hands, flanked by two horsemen. Mokosh became St. Paraskeva, whose hair hangs long, loosely, and whose icon is decorated with flax and birch. Paraskeva is also known as Mother Friday. One prayer to Mokosh involves going to the fields at dawn in August with jars filled with hemp oil. Turn East and say: "Moist Mother Earth, subdue every evil and unclean being so that he may not cast a spell on us nor do us any harm." Turn West and say: "Moist Mother Earth, engulf the unclean power in your boiling pits, in your burning fires." Turn South and say: "Moist Mother Earth, calm the winds coming from the south and all bad weather. Calm the moving sands and whirlwinds." Turn North and say: "Moist Mother Earth, calm the north winds and the clouds, subdue the snowstorms and the cold." Oil is poured out after each invocation, and finally, the jar is thrown to the ground.

Mora is the god of the sea, and the father of Lada in one story.

Morena is the Slovakian death goddess.

Musail is the king of the forest spirits. His sacred tree is the rowan.

Myesyats is the moon deity. In Russia, Myesyats is a goddess. In Ukraine, he is a god, and the consort of the sun-goddess.

Pereplut is probably a goddess of fortune. She was worshipped by drinking from a horn.

Perun is the god of thunder and lightning, very similar to Thor. His name comes from the root "to strike." He carries an ax or mace, his sacred animal is the bull, his sacred tree is the oak. He has dark hair with a long, golden beard, and is sometimes portrayed with three heads with fiery-red faces surrounded by flames. A perpetual fire was maintained in his honor; if it went out, it was rekindled by the use of a stone. Worshippers laid arms at his idol's feet, and stuck arrows around oak trees in his honor. His idol was thrown into the Volkhv River when Christianity came to Russia. A six-petalled rose within a circle was carved on roofs to protect houses from thunder and lightning, and the symbol may have been associated with Perun. Perun became Ilya of Murom in epic tales, and St. Elijah in the church, because the saint's chariot rolled like thunder and his arrow was lightning. Perun was also associated with St. George, since he slays a dragon (Volos). St. George is the patron of wild and domestic animals.

Porenutius is a four-faced, unarmed god; nothing else is known about him.

Porevit is a god of summer.

Praboh is the Slovakian chief god.

Proven judges wrongdoing.

Rarog is the god of whirlwinds. He appears as a hawk, a falcon or a dwarf.

Rod is the god of fertility and light. His name means "kin," and he is linked with ancestor worship. Rod originally created the world and life itself. He is represented as being "seated in the air." He has a wife called Rozanica (or perhaps plural wives), though this seems to be confused with the Rozhanitsy.

The Rozhanitsy are mother and daughter goddesses of fertility. Their name means "one who gives birth," and they are involved in human births. Their feast day marks the completion of the harvest. Alternately, the Rozhanitsy are three goddesses who are the fates, or spirits of human fatality.

Ruevit, Rugievit, or Rinvit is the god of autumn. He has seven faces. He is the patron deity of Rügen island.

Stribog is the god of wind, storms and dissension. He brings the frost and cold. He is called the grandfather of the winds, and sometimes the distributor of wealth.

Svantovit is a horned god connected with the ancestor cult. He is also a god of war, and protector of fields. His idol had four heads, and held a horn filled with wine, from which the priest predicted the harvest. Svantovit also had a sacred white horse which predicted the outcome of war - if it stepped across the palings with its right foot, it was a good omen, but with its left, a bad omen. Svantovit became St. Vitus.

Svarog is the sky god, as well as a smith and the giver of fire. He is similar to Hephaestus. Svarog hammered the sun into shape and placed it in the sky. He is the founder of monogamous marriage. He has two sons. A short invocation to Svarog reads: "Sky, you see me! Sky, you hear me!"

Svarozhich is the personification of fire, and a son of Svarog. He gives life to the newborn winter sun. He is often seen as warrior, clad in armor on a horse, with a bird-shaped helmet, a bison on his breastplate, and holding a shield and a double-axe. At harvest time, he kindles a fire to dry the corn and wheat before threshing.

Triglav, or Tribog, is a god with three faces, representing the sky, earth, and underworld. His head is covered with a golden veil. A black horse was consecrated to him and used for divination. He eventually became a deity of pestilence. His worship was strongest in Pomerania.

Troian is sometimes seen as a god of night, with wax wings (in the Balkans), or a demoniacal creature. He is possibly a deification of the Roman emperor Trajan.

Uroda is a Slovakian goddess of agriculture and fields.

Varpulis is the god of storm winds.

Vesna is a goddess of spring, possibly Serbian.

Volos, also called Veles or Walgino, is the god of the underworld, a protector of flocks and cattle and a patron of trade, divination, the arts, and poetry. Oaths were sworn in his name. He is sometimes portrayed as wolf-headed, sometimes as a huge serpent who dwells in water. Cock sacrifices were made to certain waters in which he lived. He is the enemy of Perun. With Christianity, his idol was thrown into the Pocayna River, and he became the Devil, or alternately he became St. Blaise (Vlas), a shepherd. He is mentioned frequently in medieval Bohemian curses. His name is close to words for ghost and devils. He is also associated with St. Nicholas, patron of merchants, fishermen, seafarers, because he lives in water as a snake and is slain by St. George (see Perun).

Yarilo is the god of erotic sexuality, similar to Dionysus. He is young and fair, and wears a white cloak and a wild-flower crown. Yarilo leads a white horse and goes barefoot, carrying a bunch of wheat ears in his left hand, and a human skull in his right. His rites are in the springtime and at harvest, as he is a vegetation deity. His feasts were celebrated in Russia into the nineteenth century. In one story, he is the son of Dazhbog and Lada. At Lada's command, he opens the gates of the sky and descends to earth, bringing spring, then he returns to the heavens at the end of summer. It is said: "Where he treads with his feet, there is an abundance of rye; And where he casts his eyes, ears of wheat will spring."

Zivena is the Slovakian goddess of life.

The Zorya are Zorya Utrennyaya, goddess of dawn; Zorya Verchernyaya, warrior goddess of dusk; and Zorya Polunochnaya, the goddess of midnight. They are possibly the fates. They watch the demonic god chained to Ursa Major; when he escapes the world will end. For protection, say the following prayer to the Zorya: "O Virgin, unsheath your father's sacred sword./Take up the breastplate of your ancestors./Take up your powerful helmet./Bring forth your steed of black./Fly to the open field,/There where the great army with countless weapons is found./O Virgin, cover me with your veil./Protect me against the power of the enemy,/Against guns and arrows, warriors and weapons,/Weapons of wood, of bone, of copper and iron and steel.
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

vr 24 jan 2014, 17:42

Slavic Myth and Religion

Otherworldly Creatures



Bannik, a bathhouse spirit, who takes on the appearance of a family member. Offerings to the Bannik include soap, fir branches, and water.

Belun, Belorussian, an old man who helps reapers, gives gifts, and guides the lost, but only in daytime.

Bereginy, river bank nymphs, who steal babies and leave changelings.

Bolotnyi, a female bog spirit.

Divozenky, meaning "wild women," live in the woods and mountains. They are good-looking beings with large, square heads, long, thick hair (ruddy or black in color), hairy bodies, and long fingers. They live in underground burrows and have households like humans. The Divozenky know nature's secrets, and they can make themselves invisible from the use of certain plants. They are fond of music and singing; their dancing can cause storms. They used to be on friendly terms with humans, coming into their settlements to borrow household things. Those who left out some food for them were repaid in housework. Occasionally, they married human boys, and were excellent wives. They are driven away by disorderliness, and also by being called "wild women. They are dangerous to meet alone in the forest, for they will make you lose your way. They exchange their offspring for human babies; the former are then called Divous ("wild brats") or Premien ("changelings"), and are very ugly. The Divozenky are most powerful on Midsummer Night. Similar creatures include the Divji Moz, from Slovenia, a strong, dangerous Wild Man who lives in a cave, and the Czech Jezenky, half-animals, half-women who live in caves and kidnap children.

Dola, a protective spirit, but one who may become hostile if not appeased. The Dola is a personal fate, and is with a person throughout their life. It is usually a woman, but can appear as a man, god, cat or mouse.

Domovoy, a household spirit that probably originated in ancestor worship. The Domovoy lives in each family's home, near the oven, under the doorstep, or in the hearth, and he never leaves the house. He guards the family and its wealth by default, but he likes hard-working people the most. The Domovoy can cause poltergeist-like activity, either when he is displeased, or when he is playing. Some people leave part of each meal for the Domovoy, to placate him. To attract a Domovoy, go outside of your house wearing your best clothing and say aloud "Dedushka Dobrokhot, please come into my house and tend the flocks." To rid yourself of a rival Domovoy, beat your walls with a broom, shouting "Grandfather Domovoy, help me chase away this intruder." When moving, make an offering to the Domovoy and say "Domovoy! Domovoy! Don't stay here but come with our family!" The Domovoy's wife is called a Domawiczka. He is called Stopan in Bulgaria, Dedeks by the Czechs, and Setek by the Bohemians. Sometimes the family house spirit appears in the form of a snake.

Dragons, guardians of the aspen-wood bridge over the fiery river leading to the Other World. The hero in epic stories must defeat the dragon and rescue the kidnapped woman. He tries to decapitate the dragon, who threatens to swallow him and inflicts him with a strong desire to sleep.

Dvoroi, a yard spirit, often malicious. Offerings to the Dvoroi include shiny objects, a slice of bread, and sheep's wool.

Eretik (heretic), this later term for the vampire comes from the belief that heretics returned from the grave as evil spirits. This was the cause of the brutality and hysteria surrounding the medieval Russian campaign against heretics. The eretik usually returns from the grave to devour people, the eretsun (a similar creature) is a living vampire created when the soul of a sorcerer possesses and revives the body of one on the brink of death. The eretica (yet another variation) usually causes one to wither by the power of her eye. The eyes of the dead, in Slavic belief, could lure one into the grave. That is why it was so important to close the eyes of the newly deceased.

Kikimora, a tiny invisible female house spirit. The Kikimora lives in the cellar or behind the stove, and like the Divozenky, she likes a clean house. At night she troubles human sleep, and any manifestation of her presence foretells trouble. She has long, flowing hair, and she never ages.

Leshy, a forest spirit who likes to trick people playfully, but can be very dangerous. He is rarely seen, but one can often hear him laughing, whistling, or singing. The Leshy, although often shaped like a man, has no eyebrows, eyelashes, or right ear, and his head is somewhat pointed. He is as tall as a tree in his native forest, but the size of grass anywhere else. He can assume other shapes, usually animals, but sometimes that of a relative. He is most closely associated with the wolf. If captured by a Leshy, a person returns mute, wild-eyed, and covered with moss. To protect against this, turn your clothing backwards or inside out, or make him laugh. Offerings to the Leshy include kasha, suet, salt, cookies and candy, which can be left on a stump or log in his forest. Hunters should leave him salted bread and their first game. To call a Leshy, cut down an aspen tree so that it falls facing East. Bend over and look through your legs saying "Leshy, Forest Lord, come to me now; not as a grey wolf, not as a black raven, not as a flaming fir tree, but as a man." The Leshy will teach the magic arts to any whom he befriends. There is usually only one Leshy in each forest. He dies in the beginning of October, and returns in the spring. His wife is called a Lesovikha.

Ludki, Serbian little people, who lived before humans. They were pagan, didn't like bells (similar to the Celtic fairies), and left the country at some point. There were similar creatures in Poland and Hungary.

Lugovik, a male meadow spirit.

Mora, a malevolent spirit, pan-Slavic, who takes the shape of straw, a white horse, white shadow, leather bag, white mouse, cat, or snake. The Mora sends sleep and nightmares to humans, then tries to suffocate them. She chokes people and sucks their blood, especially children.

Navky, spirits of children who died unbaptized or who drowned.

Nightingale the Brigand, a half-bird, half-human, who lives in the tree blocking the road to Kiev. He can summon a howling wind that flattens trees, and he kills mortals.

Ovinnik, a barn spirit in the form of a huge black cat.

Polevoy, a male field spirit, who is rarely seen and then only at noon. He is as black as the earth, with hair of grass, and he dresses in white. Offerings are made to him at night to ensure fertility.

Poludnitsa, a female field spirit, who appears as a tall woman or a girl dressed in white. She can be seen in the fields at noon, when the farmers are resting. Interrupting this visit is dangerous. Will-o-the-wisps are sometimes attributed to her.

Polunocnica, the lady of midnight, who lives in swamps and torments children with nightmares. She may be the third Zorya.

Poluvirica, a female forest spirit, who appears naked, wears her hair in three braids, and carries child.

Pozemne Vile, earth spirits, like gnomes, who guard treasure and help miners.

Rusalka, the spirit of a child who died unbaptized or of a virgin who drowned. Rusalki live in lakes and have long, wavy green hair. Some have fish tails like mermaids, and some can turn into fish. They manifest either as beautiful girls, dressed in robes of mist, who sing sweet songs to bewitch passersby, or as ugly and wicked women who attack humans, especially men. During Rusalki week, around Midsummer, they emerge from the water and climb into weeping willow and birch trees until night, when they dance in rings in the moonlight. Any person who dances with them must do so until he dies. After that week, the grass grows thicker wherever they walk. In the 19th century, the Rusalki were connected with the cult of the dead.

Simargl, a winged dog or griffin, possibly the firebird, who guards seeds, new shoots, and the sacred tree. His name may come from the words for family and harvest. Simargl is probably of Iranian origin.

Sirin, a bird of paradise with the face of a young girl, which comes from the Greek siren. The Sirin represents happiness and beauty. She comes down from heaven to a dying man; listening to her song, he forgets everything and dies peacefully.

Skritek, a hobgoblin and household spirit, who takes the form of a small boy. The Skritek is represented by a wooden idol with crossed arms and a crown, which is put in the corner behind the table. It is given food on Thursdays and at Christmas dinner.

Slava, the messenger bird of Perun, often a flame-colored owl. Slava points its wing toward the direction where an army should go.

Spor, the embodiment of fertility, who watches over the corn and cattle.

Sudicki, Czech demons of fortune.

Vampire, this word comes from South Slav "vampir." The modern word is "vukodlak," meaning wolf's hair, though this creature is like a cross between a vampire and a werewolf. The Istrian Slavs believed that every family has a vukodlak, which battles with their kresnik (a good spirit). At midnight, vampires visit houses, and suck the blood of or have sex with sleeping people, often their relatives, who then waste away and die. If a vampire has no relatives, it pulls on the church bell, symbolizing death. A vampire can also be found at crossroads or in cemeteries seeking victims. In some areas, vampires are thought to be the souls of the dead; their physical body does not actually leave the grave. To still a vampire, place a cross of poplar wood in the grave, scatter millet grains to keep them busy counting, or maim their ankles so they can't stand or walk. To kill a vampire, drive a hawthorn or aspen stake into its body, put a nail in its head, decapitate it, dismember it, and/or burn the body. The belief in vampires still exists in some remote areas, and among the Kashub communities in Canada.

Vodyanoy, a malevolent water spirit who likes to drown humans. He will attack anyone who swims after sunset, or on a holy day. He can appear in different shapes to trick his victims. The Vodyanoy lives alone in his body of water, and he especially likes rivers with strong currents and swamps.

Vodni Panny, sad and pale water nymphs, who dress in green, and live in underwater crystal palaces.

Vila, an young, beautiful woman with long hair, who is usually the spirit of a girl who died unbaptized. Vila are warriors, and they can shapeshift into animals. They leave fairy rings where they walk. Round cakes, ribbons, fruits, vegetables, and flowers are left for them at sacred trees, wells and fairy caves.

Werewolf, babies born with a caul, birthmark, or wolfish tufts of hair were believed to be werewolves. The caul was kept as an amulet. Herodotus said of the Slavs (here called Neuri): "There is a custom among the Neuri whereby once a year everyone changes into a wolf for several days, then returns to his original shape."

Zaltys, the serpent coiled at the roots of the World Tree, and an enemy of Perun.

Zmei Gorynich, the Serpent of the Mountain, and ally of Baba Yaga. He is sometimes half-human, and dwells in mountain caves and or the bowels of earth. He loves to kidnap princesses.
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

vr 24 jan 2014, 17:46

Slavic Myth and Religion

Calendar Festivals




Koliada - approx. December 21

This is the Winter Solstice festival, although it can be celebrated at any time between the solstice and the end of the year. The old folk agricultural year began at this time. This is a time of feasting, drinking and merriment, in an attempt to drive the dark away. People go from house to house in costumes, dancing and singing and asking for food and drink in return. In older times, a goat was sacrificed. Songs are sung for Lada and Perun, who are imprisoned under frost and snow. This is the most powerful time of the year for divination. Pork is traditionally eaten, along with porridge and cakes shaped like cows and goats. There are also mock funerals, accompanied by lamenting and laughter, and sometimes including a real corpse. At the solstice, the house and hearth represent the sky, the yard is the earth, and beyond the yard is the underworld. Travelers, especially those in masks, are considered to be emissaries from the underworld, and are fed and treated with respect so they will bring good luck. Because this is the longest night of the year, people must bring the sun back from the underworld by connecting the latter to the sky (the hearth). To this end, women sing special songs and dance around the hearth.

The Days of Volos - January 1-6

These days (and especially the nights) are also called the Holiday of the Wolves. This is a time to worship Volos, as he is the god of pets and cattle. People give thanks for the animals and defend them from the wolves which attack at this time of year.

Turisi - January 6

This is the day of the bull, Jar-tur, a symbol of life and fertility. People celebrate by wearing masks, parading and imitating the bull. They play games called "Turisi". This also ends the period thought of as the New Year holiday.

St. Vlas' Day - February 12

St. Vlas is associated with Volos.

Navii's Day (Vjunitci) - March 1

This is the first of four days during the year dedicated to ancestor worship. It is called the Day of the Dead. People make sacrifices to their ancestors and share a feast with them. On a side note, the Russian civil calendar began in March until the fourteenth century.

Strinennia - March 9

To invite birds, and therefore the Spring, to come, people bake pastries shaped like birds. Children throw them into the air, saying "The rooks have come." Clay images of larks are made, and their heads are smeared with honey and dressed with tinsel. They are carried around the village while songs of Spring are sung.

Maslenitsa - approx. March 21

This is the Spring Equinox festival. It celebrates Lada coming back to earth from Vyri, bringing Spring with her. There is feasting, dancing, masks, music, and contests of strength. Blini (a kind of pancake) are baked, to symbolize the sun. The sun is also celebrated with bonfires, and flaming wheels are pushed down hillsides. The house and barn are cleaned, decorated and circled with fire for purification. Eggs are decorated (see "Ukrainian Egg Designs") and rolled on the ground to symbolically fertilize the earth. A life-sized corn doll called Maslenitsa is made, and driven around in carts. At the end of the week, it is destroyed by being torn apart or burned. Smaller dolls were made for each family, which were also destroyed and fed to the livestock. There are also rites of the dead at Maslenitsa, including offerings left for the deceased, and a funeral meal at the cemetery, accompanied by mourning and laughter.

You can paint these Ukrainian designs on hard-boiled eggs and then bury them in the ground for good luck and fertility:
Afbeelding

Komoeditsi - March 24

This is the holiday of the great Bear God (Meveshii Bog), the god of honey. Sacrifices are made.

Krasnaja Gorka - the Sunday after Easter

The name of this holiday means "beautiful" or "red" hillock. A woman holds a red egg and round loaf of bread facing East and sings a Spring song. Afterward, a doll of Marzanna, the goddess of winter, is destroyed. Khorovods, or circle dances, are performed on this day. A woman mimes the actions of sowing, reaping and spinning flax, as she sings, "Turn out well, turn out well, my flax. Turn out well, my white flax."

Radunitsa - the Second Tuesday after Easter, alternately May 1

This was originally called Nav Dien (Day of the Dead). Feasts are held in the cemeteries. Offerings of eggs, beer, vodka and other food are left for the dead. The name of the festival may derive from the god Rod.

Festival of Jarovit - sometime in April

This festival was celebrated by the Slavs on the banks of the Havola.

Goddess Karna's Day - April 7

This is another holiday of ancestor worship. On this day, Karna, the Goddess of Crying and Wailing, is honored. Fires are started to warm the dead.

Lela's Holiday - April 22

This is the feast day of Lela, who may be identified with Lada and Lel.

St. George's Day - April 23

St. George is associated with Perun.

St. Nicholas' Day - May 9

St. Nicholas is associated with Volos.

Grudie Rosnoe - May 20-30

During these ten days, volhvs make sacrifices to Rod for rain and good harvests.

Yarilo's Day - June 4

A festival of Yarilo, celebrated with dancing and general merriment on a grand scale.

Rusalka's Week - June 19-24

On the Thursday preceding Whitsunday, women go into the woods, singing, and pick flowers to bind into wreaths. The men cut down a birch tree, and the girls decorate it. A ritual meal of flour, milk, eggs and plenty of beer and wine is eaten. After the meal, the tree is carried into the village and put into a special house to be left alone until Sunday. The tree becomes the focus of girls' songs and dances, then it is thrown into the river at the end of the week. On Whitsun Monday, a small shed covered with garlands is erected in an oak grove. A straw or wooden doll called Rusalka is decorated and put inside. People come bearing food and offerings. At the end, the doll is destroyed by burning or drowning. Sometimes a girl or horse replaces the doll and undergoes a mock funeral. This celebration is connected with the Rosalia, the Roman festival of roses. See "Women's Trance Ritual."

Kupalo - approx. June 21

This is the Summer Solstice festival. There is singing, dancing, outdoor festivities, and divination. Women go to the forest, find a birch tree, bring it to the festival, strip the lower branches, fix it in the ground, and decorate it with garlands. No men can touch it. Under it, they put a straw idol of Kupalo, dressed in women's clothing and adorned with ribbons and necklaces. At night (called "Kupalo's Night"), people dance in circles and jump over bonfires, sometimes in couples, carrying an effigy, and wearing garlands of flowers and girdles of holy herbs. Wheels of fire are sent down hills to represent the sun declining. On this night, the trees walk and speak to each other. On the next morning, people bathe in rivers and the "dew of Kupalo." At sunset, they perform the funeral rites of the god, when the idol is drowned or burned. Midsummer is the time to gather herbs for magical uses (oak and pine give energy, aspen takes bad energy, thistle and juniper repel demons). The fairies are powerful on this night.

Perun's Day - July 20

This is the festival of Perun. In old times, a bull was sacrificed to the god.

St. Paraskeva's Festival - August 3

On this day, women would gather at St. Paraskeva's church, where some would become possessed and then be exorcised on the site. The saint is associated with Mokosh.

Harvest Holiday (Zaziuki) - August 7

Thanks are given to Volos and Mokosh for a good harvest. The first sheaf is brought into the house and threshed. Sometimes it is blessed and mixed in with the seed. At the end of the harvest, the last sheaf is brought into the house and decorated, then placed in the entrance until October 1st, when it is fed to the cattle. A small patch of field is left uncut and called the "beard of Volos." It is decorated with ribbons and the heads are bent toward the ground in a ritual called "the curling of the beard," to send the spirit of the harvest back to the earth. Salt and bread are left as offerings to Volos' beard. A handful of corn is thrown in the air to call forth the protection of the gods. Also at harvest time, a phallic doll representing Yarilo is enclosed in a coffin, and carried through the streets accompanied by lamenting women. The family shrine is decorated at this time of year.

Sproshinki - August 15

This holiday celebrates the end of haymaking. People feast and hold contests.

The Feast of Lada and Lela - September 8

Lada and Lela are honored because the work in the fields has come to an end. There is much dancing and singing. This day also marks the end of summer.

Svarog's Holiday - September 21

This is the Autumn Equinox festival. People drink mead in honor of Svarog.

Baltic Feast of Dead - September 29 through October 28

Traditional festivities to honor the dead. October is called Walla Manes (month of Volos)

Day of the Ancients -- October 26

This is the last day of ancestor worship in the year. In Belorus it is called Dziady. There is a traditional feast with food offerings for the dead.

Mokosh's Holiday - the Friday between October 25 and November 1

This is a festival of Mother Earth. It is centered around the vegetable. October 28 is the feast of St. Paraskeva.

St. Michael's Day - November 8

This marks the beginning of the seasonal activity of evil spirits.

St. George's Day - November 26

St. George is associated with Perun. Wolves are considered to be particularly dangerous on this day.

St. Nicholas' Day - December 6

St. Nicholas is associated with Volos.
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

vr 24 jan 2014, 17:51

Slavic Myth and Religion

Death and the Afterlife


Funeral Customs

After a death, the windows and doors of a house were left open so the soul could leave.

Early Slavs cremated the dead on pyres with earthly things, then put the ashes in an urn and buried it in a cairn; direct burial was a result of foreign influences. The dead were often buried with heads to the east. The burial included articles for the soul's journey, like food, drink, clothing and coins. In areas where it was believed that the soul must travel across a wise sea, the body was burned in boats, or buried in boat-shaped coffins.

At the graveside, profane jokes were sometimes made by masked men in Bohemia. After the funeral, a banquet was held and food left out for the dead soul. On the first night, water was left out too. Kuchiya is food for the dead and ancestors, a pudding made from barley groats and honey or wheat groats, poppy seeds and honey.

Ceremonies were held on the third, seventh, twentieth and fortieth days after the death, plus six months and a year. The rites were often performed at the grave site.

The Afterlife

The Thrice Tenth Kingdom was one version of the afterlife; its name comes from a folktale. It may lie beyond an impenetrable forest on the other side of a fiery river, or beyond or below the sea, or above or below the earth. To get there, one must climb up hillside of iron or glass to celestial land of goodness, so one must save one's nail clippings so that they would turn into talons after death for the climb to the other world. Other versions say the otherworld is located in the rainbow or in the Milky Way.

Nav is the name of the underworld, the realm of the dead, much like Hades. Volos and Lada were also said to reside here. Lada would return from the underworld in the spring. Ancestors were thought to dwell below earth, and cracks and holes in the earth were thought to be gates to underworld

========================================================================================

Miscellaneous

Spell against Demons (using tear-weed, or purple loose-strife)

"Tear-weed, tear-weed,
you have wept much and long but gained little.
May your tears not drown the open field
nor your cries sound over the deep blue sea.
Frighten off the demons and the witches!
If they do not submit to you, then drown them in your tears!
If they run from your glance, throw them over cliffs or into pits!
May my words be firm and strong for hundreds of years!"

Podbljudnaja "Under the Plate" Divination

Performed on Koliada and New Year's only. Each person takes a ring off their finger and places it in a bowl filled with water. They put a plate on top of the bowl and songs are sung over it. At the end of each song, a ring is pulled out, and the fate that the song describes belongs to the owner of that ring. Traditional symbolism: Bread, grain, millet or rye symbolizes harvest, fulfillment and material security. Gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fur and expensive cloth symbolize luxury and wealth. Doing things together like eating, drinking, working, standing or sitting together symbolize love and happy marriages. The songs are usually short as one song quickly follows another. Traditionally, each refrain ends with a praise word such as "glory."

Weather Prediction

Sleep on the ground in only a shift. Mokosh will reveal what the weather will be. Make a hole in the ground, listen with your right ear. If you hear a sound like a full sleigh riding over the ground, it predicts a bountiful harvest. If it sounds like an empty sleigh, there will be a bad harvest.

Living Fire

Also called a need-fire, this is made of poplar, pear and cornel wood, and its aim is to repel, not to kill, vampires and other evil spirits.

==============================================================================

Bibliography

Curtin, Jeremiah. Myths & Folktales of the Russians, Western Slavs and Magyars. Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Co. 1890.
Dolak, George. The Religious Beliefs and Practices of the Ancient Slavs. Springfield, IL: Concordia Theological Society, 1949.
Downing, Charles. Russian Tales and Legends. UK: Oxford University Press, 1956
Fedotov, G.P. The Russian Religious Mind. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1946.
Ivanits, Linda. Russian Folk Belief. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1992.
Johnson, Kenneth. Slavic Sorcery. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1998.
Kmietowicz, Frank A. Slavic Mythical Beliefs. Windsor, Ontario: Self published, 1982.
Lofstedt, Torsten M. Russian Legends about Forest Spirits in the Context of Northern European Mythology. University of California, Berkeley, 1993
Oinas, Felix and Soudakoff, Stephen (ed). The Study of Russian Folklore. Indiana University Press, 1975.
Oinas, Felix J. Essays on Russian Folklore and Mythology. Columbus, OH: Slavica Publishers, 1985.
Perkowski, Jan. The Darkling: A Treatise on Slavic Vampirism and Vampires of the Slavs.
Ralston, William. Russian Folk Tales. London, 1873
Siminov, Pyotr. Essential Russian Mythology. London: Thorsons, 1997.
Sokolov, Iu. M. Russian Folklore. trans by Catherine Ruth Smith. Detroit, Mich: Folklore Associates, 1971
Strakhovsky, Leonid I. Handbook of Slavic Studies. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1949.
Tempest, Snejana J. Water: Folk Belief, Ritual and the East Slavic Wondertale. Yale University, 1993
The Mythology of All Races, Vol. III.
Warner, Elizabeth. Heroes, Monsters and Other Worlds from Russian Mythology. NY: Schocken Books, 1985.
Znayenko, Myroslava T. The Gods of the Ancient Slavs. Columbus, OH: Slavica Publishers, 1980.
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

vr 24 jan 2014, 18:08

The Symbols of Dionysos


Communication is not always verbal or written. Indeed, for most of the long history of humanity, we were illiterate and had to make do with oral accounts, painting, and plastic representations of our thoughts. An intricate system of symbolic language arose, especially surrounding the divine forces which we call Gods. This rich, dynamic language conveys truth far better, in my opinion, than oral accounts, and especially written accounts. So much is lost in writing things down. The nuance and impression of a statue can never be captured in words, no matter how great the poet. It's a different language, a different world altogether. Even so, I am going to discuss some of the symbols associated with Dionysos, those things which we find repeatedly represented in art and myth and the cult of the God. The symbolic language is an important one - and it is also a specific one. Generally, the things associated with one God, will not be found among others. And if there is overlap in some areas, (for instance, both Athene and Zeus share the Aegis) they will not share all of their symbols. This is how we distinguish one God from another in artwork: Zeus carries the Lightning-bolt and has an eagle, while Poseidon has the Trident and a conch-shell; Athene wears a helmet and Aegis, Aphrodite has a mirror and doves. These are the things sacred to Dionysos.

boots
Dionysos was often depicted wearing the cothurnus, or high-heeled buskin, which was adopted by the actors who performed on stage at his feast days. Robert Graves maintains that Dionysos was a "lame" God, and that this special boot was either meant to disguise or support his wounded heel or thigh. He says that the Priests of Dionysos were likewise maimed, and so wore the special boots as well. On the other hand, the Greeks themselves claimed that the actors wore them because the boots made them appear taller.

bull
Of all of the animals that man has domesticated, few of them possess the strength, power, and virility of the bull. Despite its intimidating size, the bull moves with a startling agility. The lethal potential of its horns are difficult to forget if you have ever been witness to a goring. In ancient Crete a beautiful yet deadly sport arose as part of their religious festivals - "bull-vaulting", where athletic young men and women would run towards the charging creature, take hold of its horns, and lift themselves up and over the beast's hurtling frame. This sport is attested in stunning frescoes and statues that survive to this day. The bull was also offered in sacrifices, the hecatomb or sacrifice of 100 bulls being the Homeric ideal - though the standard sacrifice was probably much smaller. It is no wonder that Dionysos - God of masculine power and sudden violence - would be associated with this animal, and this connection is well attested. Dionysos was frequently called the Horned God, and specifically the Bull-horned God. In the Bacchae of Euripides, Pentheus comes to gloat over his captive, only to find the beautiful stranger vanished, and in his place a raging bull. The women of Elis asked him to come "rushing with thy bull-foot, come, noble Bull, noble Bull!" Plutarch recounts how the Argives called him the Bull-born, and roused him from the deep waters with trumpets hidden in their thyrsoi. In several vase decorations, Dionysos is depicted either standing beside a bull, or riding atop him. And the Maenads only confirm this connection through their ritual of omophagia - or the eating of raw flesh. In myth, the wild women would fall upon the bull, tearing it apart with their bare hands and teeth. They would bite into the bull while the creature still lived, and tear off chunks of its raw flesh, which they would then consume. This was viewed as a sacramental feast, consuming the God in his animal form, and integrating him into their own bodies. Although the ritual of omophagia is attested outside of myth as well - it is doubtful that women actually fell upon live bulls and consumed them in that manner. In the late Roman times, the ritual had been deluted almost to the point of losing it's visceral meaning. An Initiate - of either gender - would take a piece of raw flesh, put it in their mouth, and then spit it out.

drama
Drama apparently originated with the annual rites of Dionysos; tragedy commemorating the terrible suffering and dismemberment of the God, comedy the joyous and riotous exuberance surrounding his triumph over death and return to the living world. At first the rites were simple affairs, consisting of small choruses who sang special songs such as the dithyramb. Eventually the choruses grew more complex and individual parts developed. Even after the plays ceased to be directly about the joys and sorrows of Dionysos, they were still performed at his festivals - the Rural and City Dionysias respectively. New dramatic presentations were debuted at the City Dionysia, and there were competitions held for the best plays. The Rural Dionysia would see repeat performances of the plays in areas outside of Athens. The Greeks loved their dramas - and people would travel from all over to witness these competitions. They lasted for almost six days, and included processions, songs, dances, and feasts. During the Hellenistic Age, after Alexander had brought Greek culture to the places he conquered, no city was complete without its Greek theater. Special seats of honor were reserved for Priests of Dionysos.

flute
The flute or aulos was said to be invented by Athene, who promptly discarded it because it distorted the features of the player. Marsyas, a satyr companion of Dionysos, found the flute and became so skilled at playing it that he dared to challenge Apollon on his lyre. He lost, and was flayed for his arrogance. The flute was generally not favored by the Olympians, or used in their worship - but it became a central instrument in that of Dionysos and the Phrygian Magna Mater Kybele. There were a number of different kinds of flutes - single and double - made of a variety of materials, including reed, box, bay, ivory, or bone. The double flute consisted of two flutes connected by a band fastened around the head. Flute music stirs the passions, and was even thought to incite madness. Hence, it is the perfect music for Dionysos.

goat
Tradition says that goats are lazy, ugly, stubborn, and the very image of lustfulness. For Christians, the goat is dark, sinful, and earthy - as opposed to the pure lambs of Jesus' parable - and were early associated with Satan and his followers. The Jews used to symbolically place all of the sins of the tribe upon the goat and send him off into the desert wilderness - the origin of the term "scape-goat". All of this makes him uniquely associated with Dionysos, who represents all of those things, and was himself called Eriphos or "the Kid", as well as Melanaigis, "the Black-skinned Goat", when he was honored in the feast of Apaturia. Goats frequently appear in iconography or on amphorae with Dionysos, and tragedy, which means the "goat-song", has it's name either because of this connection, or because a goat was given as the prize for the best presentation. But their relationship is not entirely a pleasant one. Dionysos was known as Aigobolos or "Slayer of goats", and goats were commonly sacrificed on his altars. The reason for their enmity seems to be the fondness the goat has for eating wild vine, a plant sacred to Dionysos. For eating the vine, he punished the goat, and thereafter the goat was killed to make amends to the God.

grapes
The grape is the fruit par excellence of the God. It is his special gift to Gods and men, and he was felt mystically to be present within them. Bunches of grapes were a common symbol of the God, and were often depicted in his hair, hanging from his thyrsos, or being held up as an offering. One of his children was even called Staphylos, the Grape.

ivy
Dionysos was called Kissos, "the Ivy", and with the vine, it is his most common symbol. Ivy is a plant that, like Dionysos, has two births. The first birth is when it sends out its shade-seeking shoots, with their distinctive leaves. But after the dormant months of winter, when the God himself is reborn, it sends out another shoot, one that grows upright and towards the light, thus honoring the return of the vibrant God. When the fire of Zeus' lightning consumed Semele - with Dionysos still in her womb - it was the cool ivy that surrounded and protected him. Perhaps this was why ivy was allowed within the sanctuary of Dionysos - though it was forbidden everywhere else. When the satyrs were first given wine, they were driven mad by its effects. Dionysos placed ivy around them, and the plant extinguished the heat of the wine, allowing them to regain their senses - though ivy itself produces a strong poison which has intoxicating properties. The ivy leaf was tattooed on the hand of Initiates of Dionysos.

ivy crown
Dionysos and his Maenads are always pictured wearing the ivy crown. Sometimes it is a simple crown, with only a few leaves to let you know that it's not just a fillet of some kind - and other times Dionysos has a full foliate head, with flowering leaves and bunches of grapes hanging down.

kantharos
The kantharos was a special drinking cup, said to be invented by the God himself. Unlike the skyphos, which was round, with small handles, the kantharos had a high base and projecting handles that stretched from the rim to the foot of the cup. Dionysos' own kantharos was always full, and could never be drained - even by the great and lusty Herakles himself. The wine that it produced was unrivaled in all the world. One drop from it would make a man drunk - though without any of the negative effects of alcohol.

liknon
Dionysos was called Liknites meaning "He of the Liknon". Odysseus was told to travel until he met a people who would mistake the oar he carried for a liknon, which is a winnowing fan used to sift the chaff from the weat. It has an open end in which things can be stored, and it was to this use that it was employed in the Mysteries of Dionysos and of the Two Goddesses at Eleusis. Fruit, grain, and a phallos were stored within the liknon, and then covered over, to be displayed at the height of the ceremony. The liknon was said to be the cradle of Dionysos, and he was thought to be truly present within the fruits and grain and phallos, symbol of the masculine force of creation. The liknon itself was used for purification. The person seeking to be purified would be veiled, and the liknon would be passed over their heads. The purifier would speak certain words and then gently touch the liknon to their heads, thus making them pure.

mask
Masks were used in the rituals of Dionysos, both those that led to the creation of drama, and after. Sometimes individuals would don masks of the God or of his satyr companions, and would either act out parts, or become possessed by the God or spirit. Another way that they were used was by affixing the mask of Dionysos to a pillar or herm, and then dressing it up, and draping it with vines and ivy. This statue was very crude, without arms or legs, and just the human features of the mask. Libations were offered, and dances were performed around it. The mask suggests something profound and inhuman about the God. Even when we experience communion with the God, and are filled completely with him - he is still not us. He is within us. We are a part of him. But he is still the Other. He will always remain the Other, no matter how hard we try to understand him. That is his nature. Tersteegen said, "A God who is understood is no God." And it is only when we accept this that the God lifts his mask and allows us a glimpse of himself. That we are viewing yet another mask when he does this is incidental - it is true revelation nonetheless.

nebrex
Like shamans the world over, the ecstatic female worshippers of Dionysos had a special animal skin cloak that they put on when reveling in his honor. It was made out of fawnskin and was called a nebrix. With the ivy crown and thyrsos it comprised the "outfit" of the Maenad. Saffron robes were also worn by celebrants.

panther
All wild animals are connected to Dionysos, but none more so than the lion or panther. The supple, feline elegance of its body, the ferocious and easily provoked temper, the boundless appetite, and uncanny intelligence of the creature make it uniquely and inevitably linked to the Dionysiac sphere - and indeed, the wild cat is frequently depicted in the company of the wild God. Like the Magna Mater, Dionysos' cart was drawn by lions and panthers. The cats freely accompanied him at other times, sitting tamely at his feet like puppies, or dancing enraptured with the rest of creation during the Bacchic revel. When Dionysos sought to punish someone - for instance Lycurgos - the wild cat was often the agent of the God's awful chastisement.

phallos
According to Alain Danielou, the phallos represents the source of life, and is a symbol of virility, courage, and power. The Shiva Purana says that the phallos is the "sole means of obtaining earthly pleasure and salvation. By looking at it, touching it, and meditating on it, living beings are capable of freeing themselves from the cycle of future lives." (1.9.20) According to Greek tradition, it was Dionysos who carved the first phallos, out of fig-wood, to commemorate Prosymnos, who had rendered a great service to the God. After that, the phallos was ubiquitous in connection with Dionysos - it was carried in processions, herms and other phallic monuments were erected in his honor, and a phallos was concealed inside the liknon. With Aphrodite, Dionysos had a son, Priapus, a hideous being whose penis was so large that he had to support it by means of a pulley and strings. Representations of Priapus were installed in gardens, both to encourage fertility and the growth of their fruit, but also to protect the garden from thieves. Those who were caught trespassing were punished by being placed on the Garden God's erect member. Priapus warned, "si fur veneris, impudicus exis" ("In a thief and out a faggot.")

ship
In Homeric Hymn 7, Dionysos is abducted by pirates who - thinking him a young, beautiful prince - intend to ransom him off to his father. They soon discover that he is actually a God, when the ship begins to flow with wine, vines cover the mast, and wild animals appear, tearing the captain apart. The rest of the pirates jump overboard - only to be turned into dolphins - except for the helmsman Akoetes, who had tried to warn them about their captive. This became a popular theme, and was repeated by poets and vase-painters many times over - most exceptionally in the Exekias vase.

thyrsos
The thyrsos is the staff of Dionysos and his Maenads, a fennel stalk wrapped with ivy-leaves and vines, and topped by a pine-cone. In the Bacchae of Euripides, the Maenads are able to bring up wine, water, milk, and honey by touching the thyrsos to the ground, or tapping it against a rock, and when they make an expedition against the people who live near Cithaeron, they use their thyrsi as deadly weapons, casting them like spears, which puncture the armor of their enemies. In Homer, Lycurgos boasts of having made the Maenads drop their thyrsi as they ran from him.

toga virilis
On March 17, during the Roman festival of Liberalia, held in honor of Liber (Dionysos), Libera (Ariadne or Persephone), and Ceres (Demeter) the toga virilis or toga libera was donned. This was a white toga symbolizing that the boy (usually around 14) had passed from childhood and was now iuvenis, a young man. The purple-edged toga praetexta of childhood was put away and sacrifices were offered to Juventas, Goddess of childhood, in the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. This was an important step in the ritual life of the individual, comparable to our rites of handing over the car keys to teen-agers. Ovid says that Dionysos is associated with the toga virilis either because he is depicted as a young man, midway between childhood and adulthood, or because he is a father, and it is into his care that fathers place their sons.

toys
According to the Orphic poets, Dionysos-Zagreus, while still a child, was torn apart by the jealous Titans. To distract the powerful child, they offered him a series of toys - knucklebones, a little ball, a lump of wool, a jointed doll that bent at the knee, a bull-roarer, a multi-colored spinning top, fair golden apples from the clear-voiced Hesperides, some pomegranates in honey, and finally a mirror, which succeeded in capturing the child's attention. While he was distracted, they fell upon him and tore him apart with their murderous knives. They boiled his flesh and ate it, but were interrupted during their feast by Zeus, who burned them up with his lightning bolts. From the steam that rose from the ash, mankind was made, so that we possess a half-divine and half-titanic nature, which we must strive to purify. The Orphic mysteries sought to accomplish this, and according to Clement of Alexandria, these toys were kept in the home as tokens or symbolic reminders of the mysteries. The "toys" probably had some esoteric meaning to the Initiates - for instance, Dionysos being mesmerized by the mirror suggests the unrepentant soul caught up in itself - though some have suggested that they were just common, everyday toys that any child would play with.

trees
Some of Dionysos' other names are: Anthios "God of all Blossoming Things", Kissos "the Ivy", Phytalmios "God of Growth", Setenaios "God of the New Crops", Staphylos "the Grape", Syskites "God of fig-trees", Euanthes "the Blossomer", Dendrites "Tree-God". Dionysos is intimately connected with the vegetable world, and is actually felt in the growth of green things, in the ripening of fruit on the vine, and in the shade of the oak tree on a heated day. Jane Ellen Harrison said that he is present in "every tree and plant and natural product." An important aspect of Dionysos is as the bridger of gaps, the uniter. He brings together the animal, divine, human, and vegetable worlds - and shows their essential unity. Nietzsche describes it this way: under the inspiration of Dionysos, "alienated, hostile or subjugated nature, too, celebrates her reconciliation with her lost son, man. The earth gladly offers up her gifts, and the ferocious creatures of the cliffs and deserts peacefully draw near. The chariot of Dionysos is piled high with flowers and garlands, and the earth yields up milk and honey."

tympanon
The tympanon was a hand-drum used especially in the rites of Dionysos and the Magna Mater Kybele. The monotonous rhythm of the drumming - along with the sound of the flute, singing, dancing, the fire and darkness, and wine - contributed to an overpowering situation that we would call an altered state of consciousness, but which the Greeks themselves called ekstasis or "stepping out of one's self" and enthusiasmos or "a God is within me". While in these states, people would experience visions, prophecy, and undergo communion with or possession by the Gods. This is further suggested by the symbolon of the Mysteries of Kybele mentioned by Eusebia of Caesarea (wrongly attributed to the Elusinian Mysteries) which goes, "I have eaten from the drum, I have drunk from the cymbal, I have learned the secrets of religion, I have entered the inner chamber." (This "inner chamber" was pastos, a wedding chamber, suggesting some kind of hieros gamos.) The Maenads are almost always shown rapturously playing the tympanon.

wine
Homer in the Iliad says that Semele bore Dionysos as a "joy to mankind," and Hesiod agreed, calling him "filled with joy". Euripides says that he is, with Demeter, the greatest of Gods, and the most beneficial to mankind. The reason that Dionysos is so well-loved is that he has brought to us wearisome mortals an "end to all sorrows" which is "life-giving, healing every ill." Horace, in addressing the God, says, "You move with soft compulsion the mind that is often so dull, you restore hope to hearts distressed, give strength and horns to the poor man. Filled with you he trembles not as the truculence of kings or the soldiers' weapons." This gift to men and Gods that Dionysos has brought is the fruit of the vine, care-stealing wine. Wine brings with it convivial happiness, it makes our speech flow eloquently, it allows us to be open and sharing, and spurs the timid youth to approach the beautiful matron he would never dare talk to were he sober. It makes us forget our sorry lot, and shows us a world that is softer, brighter, just a little more beautiful than the world we usually inhabit. And it brings gentle sleep to us, and wonderful dreams. But nothing in the world is ever simply black or white - and the Greeks, being keen-minded and perceptive were well aware of the darker, and troubling aspects of wine. Too much wine made a man quarrelsome, rough, and headstrong. It unleashed terrible passions which could find expression in violence, madness, or death. The Greeks called wine a terrible conqueror, and said that even other Gods and the kentaurs fell victim to its baneful effects. Hence, moderation was suggested, even by the Wine-God himself, who time and again taught people to mix his gift with water to dilute its power. Only the headstrong or barbarians such as the Thracians and the Celts drank wine unmixed.

In 777, Aleister Crowley's book of Kabballastic correspondences, the following are associated with Dionysos:

Tarot: the Devil; gem; black diamond, plants; Indian hemp, orchis root, thistle; perfumes; musk, civet; magical weapons: Secret Force, Lamp.

Scott Cunningham, in his Wicca, a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner adds the following: fig, apple, ivy, grape, pine, corn, pomegranate, toadstools, mushrooms, fennel, beech, tamarisk and all wild or cultivate trees.

Bibliography:

777 Aleister Crowley - Castle 1990
The Ancient Mysteries; a Sourcebook, Marvin W. Meyer - Harpercollins 1987
The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Oskar - Seyffert Portland House 1995
Dionysus, Walter Otto - Indiana 1964
Fasti, Ovid - Penguin 2000
The Gods of the Greeks, Carl Kerenyi - Thames and Hudson 1998
The Phallus, Alain Danielou - Inner Traditions 1995
Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, Jane Ellen Harrison - Princeton 1991
Wicca; a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Scott Cunningham - Llewellyn 1993
The White Goddess, Robert Graves - Noonday press 1997
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

vr 24 jan 2014, 18:42

Disclaimer
The information and practices described in this site are the result of years of study and dedication to the understanding of the risks involved. These descriptions are provided for purposes of information only. Actually trying to practice anything described in this site would almost certainly lead to injury, perhaps even serious injury or death. I strongly advise against it.




The berserkergang was the practice of a kind of elite viking warrior, called a berserk. The meaning of the word berserk seems to have varied from place to place. It sometimes seems to mean "bare of sark," referring to the practice of the berserks of fighting without armor. It also sometimes was used as "bear-shirt," referring possibly to another practice of fighting in an actual bearskin or to the belief that the berserk somehow changed into a bear. Some kinds of berserks (in the first sense of the word) were referred to as "ulfhednar," meaning wolf-coats in the same sense as the second meaning of berserk. There may also have been boar-berserks and cat- (of the large predatory variety) berserks.

Kveldulfr, who was described as a berserk in Egil's Saga, was said to change shape into a wolf. What Egil's Saga has to say about the berserkergang, the frenzied state the berserk fought in, is:

"What people say about shape-changers or those who go into berserk fits is this: that as long as they're in the frenzy they're so strong that nothing is too much for them, but as soon as they're out of it they become much weaker than normal."

The Ynglinga Saga records:
"… his men went without mailcoats, and were as frantic as dogs or wolves; they bit their shields and were as strong as bears or boars; they slew men but neither fire nor iron could hurt them. This is known as 'running berserk'."

But what were the berserks?
The berserkers were described as "Odin's men." They were often described as fighting together in bands of twelve or thirteen, and mention is sometimes made of brotherhoods of berserkers. It seems that the berserkers were practitioners of a mystery (in the old sense of the word) of Odin, an ecstatic religious state that granted them their formidability in battle. In this they differ from the other common kind of Odinic devotee, in that they were not usually noblemen and the gifts Odin favored them with were power and madness, rather than battle strategy and information. (And it says something important about Odinic nature that his two standard chosen types are those on top of society or those outside it entirely. Both are free of society's constraints, and so are free to follow their individual wyrds withersoever they will.) But while modern Asatruar often attempt to imitate the aristocratic sort of Odinsman, the berserker kind of Odinic worship seems to be almost entirely absent in modern times. And this is a shame, for in many ways the path of the berserker is a closer, more intimate relationship with the god. But what exactly was the berserkergang?

There has been much speculation by historians and anthropologists, amateur and professional both, as to what exactly the berserkergang was. The most well-regarded theories are essentially of four types:

1)Alcohol induced. The theory here runs that an excess of alcohol could have lowered inhibitions in the minds of the berserks, leaving them short-tempered and prone to bouts of rage, as well as willing to both inflict and suffer great harm without really noticing.

2)Amanita muscaria induced. This theory holds that the gangr was brought about by ingestion of the psychoactive mushroom amanita muscaria (possibly the famous soma of India). The mechanism here is supposed to be the great strength and endurance the mushroom is said to give to those who ingest it, and that the rage could be triggered by the plant's psychoactive properties.

3)The berserks never existed. This school of thought holds that there is more of the fairy-tale creature than the real human to stories of the berserks, so as no easy explanation can be found for the gangr, they must never have existed.

4)Self-induced frenzy. This theory holds that the gangr was a self-induced religious ecstasy that prompted a temporary change in physiology.

My research into berserkers and the berserkergang has lead me to the following conclusions regarding these four theories.

1)Couldn't possibly be alcohol induced. Drunks just aren't formidable fighters. If you are so drunk you are prone to uncontrollable rage, you are too drunk to stand or to walk straight. And the anaesthetic effect of alcohol is a tricky thing. One touch of real pain and the recipient often sobers up real fast. This is why doctors and dentists switched from alcohol to chloroform as an anaesthetic as soon as it became available.

2)Extremely unlikely to have been brought about by amanita. While on the surface this seems like a very plausible explanation, backed up by the pharmacology of the mushroom, there are some serious problems with it. First of all, there is no record anywhere of its having been used for this purpose. There is very little evidence the vikings even knew it existed, except for in isolated pockets. Also, the mushroom is restricted to a limited growth season only in certain soil conditions in symbiotic relationship with the right trees, and only in temperate zones. There is no evidence that off this season berserks didn't fight. And berserks are also spoken of in Iceland, where this mushroom most definitely did not grow. Additionally the mushroom not only induces nausea in its initial stages, the effects - and lengths of effects - of the mushroom vary widely from one "trip" to the next. It would just not be practical to depend upon soldiers who might be unpredictably heaving their guts out when the battle started. And most tellingly of all, berserks are spoken of as having the berserk fit "come over them" at unexpected times. Hardly consistent with mushroom (or any other entheogen) ingestion.

3)It seems unlikely that berserks were entirely a product of story. They were spoken of too consistently in too many sources over too long a period of time. And problems involving them are mentioned in legal sources. In fact, during the Christian "conversion" strong laws were enacted against going berserk, lengths which would not have been gone to for imaginary fairy-tale creatures.

4)My conclusion is that the berserkergang was self-induced, a form of religious ecstasy. My reasons for this conclusion are several. First of all, Egil's Saga (as well as other sources) speak of the gangr as something that could come upon a berserk unexpectedly. Fabing cites sources that claim it could be brought about by laborious work. The Byzantine emperor Constantine VII refers to the "Gothic dance" of his Varangian Guard, which was ceremonial in nature and involved dressing in animal skins. (While it is not recorded whether the Varangian Guard were berserks - a term Constantine would not have known - they certainly are described in a similar manner.) In a similar vein, artifacts such as the Torslunda plate show Odin dancing with animal-skinned warriors. In the Volsunga Saga Sigmundr (chosen of Odin) and his son Sinfjolti put on wolf-skins and become nearly invincible. Berserks are described as leaping about before battle, or pacing like a caged animal, or biting upon their shields. Statues that may be of berserks show the warriors pulling strongly upon their beards (which is rather painful, to all you non-bearded persons). The thing each of these last examples have in common is that they would all tend to induce high adrenaline states, either through pain or through exertion, which is certainly consistent with descriptions as a cause of the gangr. And lastly the berserkergang is a phenomenon that is hardly unique to the vikings. The Greek maenads, female devotees of Dionysos, are described in a virtually identical manner (and yes, they were fighters according to legends of the wars in India). The Celtic Heroic Feats, practiced by such warrior bands as the Feanna, seems also identical. I might also mention the leopard-men of Africa, the wolf-warriors of the ancient Middle East, and possibly the Indonesian "Running Amok". And in many of these other cultures these practices are spoken of as something self-induced.


So if the gangr was self-induced, how was it induced?

There is actually a fair amount of evidence (albeit largely circumstantial) on just how to go about invoking the berserkergang, if you research long enough. The basic techniques could be broken down as follows:

1)Physical adrenaline triggers such as dancing, leaping, posturing, etc. that initiate adrenaline by repetitive motion of large muscle groups (a well-known cause of adrenaline release).

2)Physical adrenaline triggers such as shield-biting, beard-pulling, cutting, etc. that initiate adrenaline by pain, another well-known adrenaline inducer.

3)Excitement, another adrenaline trigger, as in Egil's ball game or just before battle.

4)Sympathetic invocation of an animal spirit by wearing its skin or acting in a manner consistent with the animal. This seems to put the mind in a receptive state for becoming like an animal's mind.

5)With the help of the god Odin.

Let me expand upon this last one before continuing. The meaning of the name Odin is roughly "stirrer to fury". This is certainly consistent with the hypothesis that adrenaline is a major component of the berserkergang, as fury is a major result of excess adrenaline. But here is where we must be careful. This is an old word, od (or wod, depending upon place and time), and "fury" or "rage" are only translations. They have certain implications to us modern folk that the ancient heathens may not have shared. Od means not just fury in the sense that we use it, but it also seems to mean possession, as by a spirit or god. Thus the fury of the berserkergang is no mere display of bad temper, or uncontrollable rage, but it is something transcendant, something holy. It is an ecstatic state.

Possession is an unusual state of mind wherein unity is attained with a god or spirit, where the boundary of the ego that separates the self from the god or spirit is erased. In essence, the one possessed "becomes" the god or spirit in question. This practice is found in many different religions, from the obscure to the commonplace. The practitioners of Vodoun engage in it when they become "ridden" by the loa. It is also found in Catholicism, under the term Mysterious Union, where the practitioner (usually a monk or a nun) becomes one with the Christian god for a time.

So it would seem that the berserkergang began with fury as we modern people understand that term. The berserk would use various physical techniques to get himself into an adrenaline high, and would then apply further techniques of religious and/or sympathetic ritual and become possessed, entering into an ecstatic state, and becoming a wolf, or a bear, or even maybe Odin himself.

But could a hypothetically valid technique be developed to induce the berserkergang? In order to do that one would need to know what possession is in a fairly detailed sense in order to take a guess as to a valid ritual to bring about possession. But little lore survives from heathen times as to exactly how they went about such things.


Fortunately, while cultures change the human brain remains more or less the same. Recently a team of neurobiologists undertook a study to determine the causes of religious experience in the brain.

(Let me make an aside here and explain something about my point of view that needs to be understood in order to see what I'm getting at. The study was to determine the causes of religious experience in the brain. This is not the same thing as defining what the causes of the religious experience are. Merely to find a biological root for spiritual experience in the brain in no way invalidates the spiritual experience, nor does it prove that the spiritual experience was "really" just a physical, biological phenomenon. Let me give you an example, one used by the team of neurobiologists themselves: suppose you eat an apple pie. When you do, neurons fire in your taste, tactile, and olfactory areas of the brain, dopamines are released that give you a sense of pleasure. Do these things disprove the existence of apple pie? Of course not, they just describe your brain's mechanism for processing the experience of eating one. Same thing I believe with the spiritual experience. I do not believe that science and religion or spirituality are in conflict. They each describe the same things from different points of view.)

Anyway, one of the specific religious experiences the neurobiologists studied was the Mysterious Union, the Catholic mystic practice of possession. While the religion greatly differs, the processes that the brain utilizes must be very similar. I will summarize the relevant findings they published in their book, Why God Won't Go Away.

There is a portion of the brain called the posterior superior parietal lobe, or the orientation association area (OAA, to save much typing). The OAA orients the individual in space and in doing so distinguishes the individual from everything else. (In other words, it also makes the distinction between "me" and "not-me".) The OAA shows heightened activity during different forms of meditation, and during the deepest meditational states it sharply reduces in activity.

The human body contains two divisions of the autonomic nervous system (the bridge of nerves between brain and body). One is the sympathetic nervous system, which arouses the body, gives an adrenaline boost, increases heart rate, blood pressure, breath rate, and muscle tone. It is often activated by danger or mating. The other division is the parasympathetic nervous system, which quiets the body, conserves energy, keeps the body's basic functions in balance, regulates sleep, induces relaxation, distributes nutrients throughout the body, and plays a role in the body's self-healing functions. These two divisions of the autonomic nervous system are usually antagonists, meaning that either one is "on" or the other, but not both, as they generally inhibit each other's activities.

In some extraoridinary states of altered consciousness, when one system or the other is pushed to maximal effort, both will function at the same time. This can be triggered by intense physical or mental activity, such as prolonged concentration.

Elevated action of the sympathetic nervous system is a source of stress, in both the physical and emotional senses. The mind desires to be released from this stress. The longer it endures, the greater the stress becomes. This causes the brain to throw all of its resources into finding a resolution to the situation causing the stress. Both the left-brain deductionism functions and the right-brain holistic approach become used. When they match, get in synch, the pleasure centers in the hypothalamus are stimulated. This triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. For one moment the arousal system and the quiescent system are both active. Ecstasy and awe. This is the eureka moment. Maintaining this is called by the researchers the "unitary state."

This then is how a god, or a spirit, or a myth is experienced by the brain. It is the unification of left and right brain, of logic and emotion, and because it is the ultimate synthesis of the human brain it feels like ultimate truth.

To quote directly from Why God Won't Go Away:
"The ability of human ritual to produce transcendant unitary states is the result… of the effect of rythmic ritualized behavior upon the hypothalamus and the ANS [autonomic nervous system]…."

If the rhythmic behavior is fast, the arousal system is driven ever higher. The hippocampus then puts on the brakes and neural input to various areas, like the OAA is reduced. Unitary states are produced by a softening sense of self and the absorption of it into a larger reality caused by this deafferentation of the OAA.

There are two types of unitary state that result from this process. I will focus here on the active one responsible for the sensation of the Mysterious Union and other forms of possession. This arises with sustained focus upon some thought or object of attention. This keeps the right part of the OAA active. This part of the OAA is responsible for forming a sense of the space around the individual. The left part, the part responsible for the sense of self, in deactivated in the manner described above. The result of this is a sense of the self merging into the object of contemplation. If the ritual that produced the state is religious in nature, then focusing upon a god or spirit will result in merging with or replacement by (if the deactivation of the left OAA is complete) the god or spirit.

And of course to be effective, the ritual attempting to cause the unitary state must merge behaviors with ideas and emotions both. This is why just any idea or behavior will not serve.


The berserkergang, then, could have been brought about in the following manner:
1)A light meditative state is entered into, to clear the mind and ready it for what it is about to undergo.

2)Prayers are uttered to Odin, as the object of contemplation. (Why Odin and not the wolf, bear, or whatever? The gangr is brought about by Odin, he is the inspirer, that which brings something outside the self within the self. This is ond, inspiration, or vital breath. This triggers the wod, or fury and possession, which is where the wolf, bear, or whatever comes in. As a god, Odin is a "larger" concept than the animal, and so the effect he has upon the mind during the ritual will be the greater.)

3)Dancing begins. Leaping about or pacing like an animal too. These actions must be in tune with the contemplation. The berserk must dance with Odin. Odin must bring the animal within out, and the leaping must be an expression of that. The object here is to build up adrenaline by moving large muscle groups, and to merge this physical process with the internal, spiritual one.

4)The berserk begins a series of other actions designed to increase and deepen this process. Hyperventilation begins, as this also increases adrenaline as well as superoxygenating the blood, so that there is an enormous reserve of fuel in the body ready for use. Growling vocalizations are given utterance, to sympathetically bring out the animal. Acts that bring about pain are performed, such as yanking sharply on the beard or biting into the rim of the shield, or drawing long shallow cuts upon the body. The pain brings about adrenaline. These acts would also have to be seen as a sacrifice to Odin, as this would continue the process of merging behavior and idea. Also because sacrificing to a god you are asking aid of is simply the right thing to do. Taking certain postures might also have been utilized. Throwing the shoulders back as well as the head while bending the back backwards to the point of pain would be an effective one, as this leaves the back vulnerable to breaking if just a few more pounds of pressure were applied. While the procedure is harmless, the subconscious does not know this and so panics, releasing still more adrenaline. (This last idea I picked up from a style of Kung Fu, where it is used for similar purposes.)

At some point during this process, the simple rage, the lift of the adrenaline will change over into something quite else. The gangr is entered into.
Top of Page

But what is the gangr like?
What follows is a description of what the gangr is like, based on my own experiences as a berserk. Of course, using the above described ritual, the gangr begins with the stillness of mind brought about by the meditation. As the dancing, posturing, hyperventilation and vocalizations begin, the first change that is noticed is that everything begins to seem a little more sharply defined to the vision. Sounds get a little clearer. The senses begin to sharpen. The prayers to and contemplations of Odin are mostly intellectualizations. The body begins to tense, sometimes all over, sometimes in random muscles. This may cause the hands to become clawlike. Next the emotions begin to spike, randomly surging up in strength. Breathing becomes first rapid and shallow and then alternates with deep, slower, diaphrammatic breathing. There may become an awareness of the space all around you, both in the peripheral vision and even behind. In some berserks the eye color may change.

At this point the entire field of vision becomes brilliant and shines. The emotions are running high and there begins to be a high degree of connectivity between the contemplations, acts, and emotions. The mind sometimes becomes easily unbalanced at this point. There may be a trapped, panicky sensation. There may come a certainty that Something Horrible is standing right over the shoulder. Voices that chant or call awful things may be heard. There may be the strange sensation that one is in immanent danger of falling.

At this point there is pronounced psychetachia, which is the perception that time outside the body is running strangely slow. Dropped objects may seem to lazily float to the ground. There are several reasons for this.One is the high degree of adrenaline that is in the body at this point. This tends to speed the processes of the mind up. Another is that the berserkergang is primarily a function of the hindbrain, the most primitive part of the brain. As the gangr comes on the forebrain, the most "human" part, functions less and less, even to the point of stopping. Forebrain processes are slow and clunky. When they cease to provide input for the attention there is much less distraction. The primitive functions of the thalamus and the hypothalamus, the brain's "master switches," take over. These are nonconscious, reactive functions. They are the sorts of instinct that close the eyelids when something suddenly moves close to the eye, and move the hand away from a hot pan before there is even a sensation of burn. They are also the triggers for learned instincts, learned patterns of behavior. These can, with training, be quite complex things, but because they are accessed subconsciously, they occur at much more rapid subconscious speeds. A sort of subconscious decision-making can be learned. And the electrical potential in the nerve cells rises and approaches the firing threshold. Thus it takes only a small signal to generate nerve impulses.

There is also an increase of strength, due both to the elevated adrenaline and the increased coordination the body moves with. After all, less wasted energy means more energy available to be put into action. The increased resistance to pain may also contribute to this, as more energy can be put into action if there are fewer unpleasant consequences to it. Along with all this there begin strong visions that relate to the prayers and contemplations, as well as the associations that come from the ritual. They will therefore be of Odin, or of the animal (wolf, bear, whatever) in a totemic sense. There may be flashes of having the animal's mind. An animal-like posture is adopted. Growling or snarling may occur.

All the hair on the body will begin to stand on end after this, and the skin will become gooseflesh. The pulse is very rapid indeed at this point. (180-220 in my experience. Probably horribly bad for you.) The muscles bulge and the body's tissues and flesh swell from the increased blood pressure (this and the hair standing on end may give the impression that the berserk has grown slightly). The face flushes quite red. This is the height of the gangr, the change. The parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, in response to the enormous stress the body and mind are under. There is a feeling of ecstasy. The unitary state is achieved. There are visions strong enough to completely block out physical sight, even though the eyes are open. The berserk becomes the wolf or bear. Emotion becomes pure. There is hatred rather than anger, joy and ecstasy rather than happiness, love is indescribably transcendant, there is terror rather than fear. The parasympathetic nervous system tries to heal and re-balance the body. And because of the state the body is in, the parasympathetic nervous system has access to all that incredible energy. It is actually capable of healing strains, pains, etc. with remarkable speed. And this increases strength still further, for the berserk can then, say, throw a large rock with so much force it seizes his muscles up in an immovable knot, and they will suddenly relax and unknot and feel as if they'd been resting for days.

There is also at this point a foaming at the mouth or drooling in some cases. Psychetachia is extreme. The muscles relax and there is a feeling of "settling back in" a little. There is a feeling like the berserk is a riverbed through which a torrent of emotion and power rushes. Anything the berserk looks at the berserk becomes, attains a unitary state with. This increases the correctness, the rightness of the berserk's responses and reflexes. Hand-eye coordination improves. If the berserk is sparring with an opponent there is an increased accuracy as to anticipation of the opponent's next move. The berserk is in a strange state of "raging control". The mind is relaxed, focused, and pure, and the pure emotions provide a fuel for rapid processing. The object of the berserk's attention becomes his entire world, and everything else vanishes. But reflexes are rapid enough that the unexpected can still be expeditiously dealt with. There is a feeling of being more awake than ever before, of being AWAKE!!! Everything is as it should be, everything is in its right place. But occasionally the berserk will, by acting on instinct, so completely misjudge a situation as to do something really inappropriate and stupid. This is what training in this as an art is for, to reduce the frequency of those occasions, and to learn how to rapidly recover from them.

After the gangr comes the fatigue. It is proportionate in length and intensity to the length and intensity of the gangr. (After all, all that energy has to come from somewhere.) The muscles will be a knotted agony. The berserk will often be too weak to stand. A depression sometimes sets in, sometimes getting severe. There is an emotionally "frayed" feeling, and a short temper. It's a good idea to stay away from other people during the fatigue, especially as there is an emotional sensitivity and a propensity to misconstrue other people's meanings. Sometimes the pain in the body is so severe it will trigger another, lighter gangr just to cope with the pain. As there will often not be enough energy left in the berserk to re-elevate deliberately, this is a remarkably lucky happenstance. In this way the berserk slowly "comes down" to a more normal state. The only thing that makes any of the process bearable is the great feeling of peace and wholeness that accompanies it. At this point gorging on a meal high in carbohydrates and protein (preferably containing potatoes) followed by sleep is recommended.

But it is difficult to attain these states of mind with no experience of them, and no experience of them is where everybody starts. To give the neophyte an edge, the ancient berserks seem to have made use of an initiation ritual. These rituals, such record as we have of them shows, involved putting the initiate into a dangerous situation, a situation that would require all of his resources. The element of danger, the need, are the best adrenaline trigger, as well as a push to the mind to attain that Something More. In Grettir's Saga Bjorn throws Grettir's cloak into a bear's den. Grettir must go in alone to face the bear single-handedly in a confined space and return with a claw as proof of his experience. Bronze helmet plates from Sweden show humans grappling with bears. In Hrolf Kraki's Saga Hjalti undergoes a simulated battle with a mock monster for the same purposes.

When I came to want to practice the berserkergang I realized that I would need just such an initiation ritual. I decided to set up an ordeal for myself in a place with an atmosphere conducive to such a ritual. (I chose a ghost town which legend says was abandoned centuries ago because everyone in it was either a sorceror or a werewolf.) This would help the association of action and emotion needed for the ritual. I spent the month beforehand in prayer and study. Once in the center of the ruins I performed a Russian spell to become a werewolf or oborot as they call it. The act of speaking ritual words while performing ritual actions serves to focus the conscious mind in such a way as to make it open to the upcoming experience. After the ritual (which involved sticking a home-made copper knife into a fallen tree trunk and leaping over it) I went over to a fire that had been built earlier. There I vowed to hold my hand in the fire until I changed, attained union with the wolf. I chose this method because it would provide an element of genuine danger while still being unlikely to actually kill me. It seemed like a good compromise between effectiveness and safety. I started uttering prayers to Odin, knelt, and placed my hand in the fire. I held to the above described ritual to effect the gangr, keeping my hand in the fire. I screamed, and this fed a sense of rage and terror and when the pain became unbearable I felt a moment of almost irresistable need to remove my hand from the fire. When I held on through this, the scream became a howl and I became a wolf.


But there is another element to the berserkergang and the berserks mentioned in the myths. Berserks are almost always spoken of as being born a berserk. It seems that though there are techniques for initiating and developing the gangr, it was something that had to be "already within". But how can you tell if you are one? I will relate my experiences with it and pass along information from other berserks I know.

I'd always known I was different from other people. I didn't know what it was at first, but I slowly figured it out. I felt differently about everything. I didn't seem to have calm, normal, level emotions. I didn't just feel good or happy, but got wildly enthusiastic about everything (a constant source of embarassment, as others didn't share it usually). I was never just angry, but full of rage and hatred. I didn't usually feel just anxious about things, but was constantly scared. As an adult I've been engaged several times, because I fall deeply in love so easily. I could never adjust my emotions, the way I felt about things, to the way most other people did. This has led to being considered actually emotionless by most people, as I've been forced, through lack of any better ideas, to hide nearly all my emotions.

My first experience with the berserkergang came at the age of seven. I was in the second grade, and was much picked on by a fourth grade bully. One day he pushed me a little too far, and that time I didn't run. The last thing I remember is a feeling of hatred, and a thrill of energy, and my vision going red. (I'd always thought that was an expression. But now I know it's from the increased blood pressure in the capillaries in the eyeballs - you're actually seeing through your own blood.) Then everything went black. When I came back to my senses we were across the school yard, I had the back of his head in my hand, I had hit it against the brick wall of the school so many times we were both covered in blood. I wasn't just fighting. I was trying to kill him. It took six older kids to pull me off of him. They told me he'd screamed and run just from seeing the expression that came over my face. I had apparently chased him three times around the school. (After this the bully and I became friends. Go figure.)

The experience terrified me for a number of reasons. I became obsessively worried about losing control. And my emotions seemed to have changed. I was more… everything. I became angry easier, I laughed easier, I became afraid easier. This was worstened several times by other naturally occuring gangrs, and the fact that I didn't know why any of this was going on. I couldn't handle the constant storm my emotions were in, so I started to shut down. I became unable to talk much to people. I went into the beginning of a depression that often became suicidal and didn't leave me until I became an adult (though now I've been free of it for many years). I spent those years unable to understand almost anything about anyone's motivations. And no one seemed to understand mine (though obviously some of that was just normal teenage idiocy). But I think I must have driven my parents mad. I believe at some points they began to wonder if I was psychotic, or something. I became, in my teenage years, susceptible to visions, and to being overtaken by strange states of mind where I felt I was a wolf.

I began to understand a little of what was happening to me, eventually, when my father related a bit of family folklore to me. He described what a berserk was, much as I have above, but without any of the religious or animal-related aspects. He said that according to family lore the berserkergang ran in our family. I thought it might have something to do with what I was experiencing, but I didn't at the time give it much consideration. I then went into the practice of Asatru, via a brief attempt at Wicca. I became drawn to Odin in a priestly capacity. I dedicated myself to him, first in very superficial ways, then in deeper ones. I tried to take up the practice of seidh, but it took years to work out a system that seemed consistent with ancient descriptions and actually seems to work. I began to relate to Odin as a seidh-man. I eventually came to feel that there had to be a closer way of working with Odin, and studies of the sagas in search of exemplary models led me to the berserkergang, and that brought back my father's tales, and my strange childhood, and so I set about looking for an initiation.

deel 2 in de post hieronder:
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

vr 24 jan 2014, 18:43

deel 1 in de post hierboven

Disclaimer
The information and practices described in this site are the result of years of study and dedication to the understanding of the risks involved. These descriptions are provided for purposes of information only. Actually trying to practice anything described in this site would almost certainly lead to injury, perhaps even serious injury or death. I strongly advise against it.


What does the berserkergang mean to me? I am an ulfhednar, and the wolf is the symbol of the worlds of the dead, and the dead themselves, and of the psychopomps, to the ancient Norse. Thus I experience the berserkergang as a unitary state with Odin upon Yggdrasil, Hangatyr. I experience him as Vegtam, who journeyed to Hel to raise a dead sorceress to reveal that which is hidden. I experience him as Wod, as the leader of the Wild Hunt. (Other animal-berserks would have different experiences and relationships.) This unity with him, this dancing with him brings out the wolf in me. The experience of what this unity is like is impossible to communicate to someone who has not had a similar experience, and anyways it is a rune, a mystery, and should not be spoken of. It has come to form the core of my religious life, my worship. It is an active form of prayer, as it were. It is the experience of Odin, that which cannot be had from an intellectual approach. And it has benefitted me in so many ways. I never get sick any more, and I used to be sick all winter, every winter. I never suffer from the back problems I used to. My energy is much higher. My depression is gone. All the parts of me fit together. I feel whole in a way I never thought possible. I took those things, those forces that were tearing me apart and learned to use them, to integrate with them, to make them work for me. I am a berserk because I have no other choice, it is what I am.

It seems that of the very few other berserks I have met, or spoken to, or read the writings of, most have spoken of the following characteristics in common with mine: the "on-maximum" or "off" choice of emotions, the increased emotional sensitivity after a gangr (both in the temporary fatigue-related and in the long term permanent change senses). The experience of psychetachia and increased strength. The heightened senses. Many experience visions. Many, though not all, have the experience of becoming a predatory animal. Some have religious connections. Some do not. All feel this is the way they were born, and they have no choice to be any other way. Abnormally broad shoulders and large hands are very common amongst berserks. It is hypothesized that the broad shoulders are an adaptive trait we berserks have bred into us, to help us cope with the gangr via increased lung capacity. Hairiness is common, especially shaggy eyebrows or a unibrow in men. Berserks tend to be large and broad, or short and skinny. Coarse, ugly features are not uncommon.


Of what benefit is the berserkergang in a larger, societal sense? There are two ways this is possible. One is that such practices serve as "release valves" for those born too different to fit into society, who might otherwise employ their energies in a destructive manner. But the other use is the more important one, for it is the very function in society that Odin serves (his function as Lord of Valhalla is actually incidental and only secondary). This is the role of the seidh-man, the warg, the outlaw, a person who deliberately lives outside of society in order to grow along a different path. You see, that which is static is dead. Life needs change to sustain itself. But it is difficult to sustain real change from within, for in the long run society tends to the conservative, to the static. So there is occasionally a need for a real outsider, something which can bring the new, which is in the Utgards, to the Innangards.

An example of such in modern times is Einstein, a self-educated scientist at a time when science was at a standstill, unable to learn anything further. Much of modern scientific and technological development is because he came at things from a unique point of view. The berserkergang is a great torrent of power and inspiration that can be directed and focused in a number of ways. Any pursuit the berserk engages in can be rendered easier and more effective by it, including highly intellectual ones like art and poetry, science and math. But it has its price, and anyone devoted to benefiting from it must also devote his life to coping with it, a thing that is not always easy. I suppose it would be possible to learn the berserkergang without being born a berserk, but it would not in the long run be desirable. Berserks can easily develop strong emotional blocks and inhibitions involving the gangr, and find themselves with a strong mind-body connection that is working against them. All sorts of psychosomatic illnesses can develop as a result which can turn into serious long-term health problems.


The ecstatic state here described as the berserkergang is the ecstatic state of Odin as Wod, the Furious, the Raging, the Possessed, the Inspired. It is a fire in the mind and the blood. But this is actually only one stage, and only one kind of unitary state. The other kind involves deafferentation of both parts of the OAA, resulting in an experience in which there is neither sense of self nor of anything else at all, even space or time. I call this ecstatic state the experience of Odin as Helblindi, the Hel-blind. (There is no record I know of as to why he was called this, but it is a name that describes the experience well.) It is as if Odin is first met as Wod, and the blood burns, and the mind gets so whipped up it contains everything. And everything contains as many darknesses as lights, as many positives as negatives, as many healings as sickenings, it contains everything and its opposite, and so is self-canceling. A great darkness, like the deepest part of night, arises from within. The fire burns itself, and the ego, and the world out. As Hangatyr or as Vegtam Odin descends into Hel and there becomes Helblindi.

The effect this has on the gangr is fascinating. The swelling of the muscles reduces, as do the swollen tissues. The body hair lies back down. Breath returns to normal. The body starts to relax. But the mind does not return immediately, and when some imperfection in the helblindi state brings the berserk back out of it, the mind reverts by reflex to the last thing that was predominant. And this is the wod of the gangr. But the mind is different now. It only has a model, an approximation of the information it contained. Many details are lost. And herein lies the great advantage of this state. The mind, hel-blind, is preternaturally calm, still, and empty. There are no blocks, no inhibitions (either emotional or intellectual) to get in the way of, confuse, or obfuscate the image of the gangr. And as the details that were lost were random or small, the part of the model that remains is actually a little more pure in the gangr more often than it is not. Thus one becomes able to alternate between these states as if going up a ladder. One becomes wod, and burns oneself out and becomes helblindi. This purifies the mind and rests the body and so when one again becomes wod, it is even stronger and purer, which again burns itself out, etc.

It is possible to develop the state even more strongly by learning to attain both the wod and helblindi states simultaneously in two different parts of the mind, thus splitting point of view in two, and further permutations, but this would be difficult to put into writing.

There are three ways a berserk can approach the berserkergang. The first is to ignore it entirely. I do not recommend this, it will involve much suffering. The second is to learn just enough of it to control it. That is to say, to stop it from happening involuntarily, and maybe even to enter into it deliberately on occasion. These can be quickly learned and principally involve frothing (expressing enough emotion through growling, snapping at the air, hitting things, etc. to expend it all), and keeping emotions in and unexpressed (so their energies are not wasted) respectively. The third is to develop it as an ecstatic religious practice and/or as a martial art.


For those inclined to try the third approach, I will here relate some of the training techniques I use. The simplest is throwing large rocks for distance. This is an easy way to both learn to focus the mind, body, and spirit at the right ways at the right times and to measure changes in strength. I use either a 50, 110, or 150 lb rock depending on what techniques I am working on. The standing broad jump is also good. Tie coins to the ceiling with string, stand in the middle of them, and using only the point of a single knife keep them all from hitting you or getting tangled up in each other. This develops fine control and sense of psychetachia. Do the same thing with either coins or small rocks outside, drive posts into the ground beneath them, and do the exercise standing only on the posts. Try a single coin, or two, blinfolded, to develop hearing, instinct, and working memory, as well as maintaining a unitary state on the fly with something as abstract as a set of circumstances. The important thing to develop intially is something I call the dagaz moment. Dagaz means "twilight", the moment of a thing becoming something else. This is because there are not two types of memory, as are commonly described, but three. There is the long-term, the short-term (a few minutes back), and the working memory. The working memory recalls from a fraction of a second back to a couple of minutes back. It is largely an unconscious awareness, and is unbelievably detailed. There seems, from experiment, virtually no limit to the detail of this working memory. I believe that this is because so little time has passed, that there has been no time for unconscious association, much less conscious processing. To put it another way, the mind is in a default unitary state with the object of its attention, it has perfect knowledge of it, because not enough thinking has occurred for it to be wrong about anything yet. Actions taken by reflex to an awareness of the contents of the working memory will be spot-on. Training can increase the length of time the image of the working memory remains pure. It can also improve the length of time one remains in the right state by learning how to slide from one dagaz moment to the next.


Another thing which is important to learn, is a lesson from our predecessors. It is sometimes said that the berserkergang brought berserks to perform deeds they found reprehensible when they recollected their senses. Or they were such ruthless bullies they felt no remorse at all. This is because they took the easy approach to the gangr, and allowed pure rage to be their gateway. This, when it transcends itself into the emotion of the unitary state, can be a black, horrible thing. All transcendent rage requires is a certain lack of discipline. But other emotions can be relied upon. I use a combination of rage, love, fear, and greediness for new experience. (This last coming from the names of Odin's wolves, Freki and Geri, both of which mean "greedy"). This provides a much more balanced, but equally strong (I believe) gangr. So we do not precisely practice what our ancestors practiced, but it is fitting, for Odin has changed too.

In conclusion, I don't have much else to say. I wouldn't trade my life in for any other, though the consequences of it are often hellish. I wouldn't recommend it if you do have a choice about it. And I would be interested in hearing from other berserks. I would be interested in hearing about any differences between your experiences and mine. I would be interested in any training techniques you use. I would simply be interested in hearing what the experience is like from another point of view. Especially how other animals are related to. I'm still trying to learn. You can contact me at wayland@winterscapes.com.
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

wo 05 feb 2014, 15:24

Afbeelding
Saturnus afgebeeld in de vorm zoals de mensheid in het begin van zijn ontstaan, het zogenoemde donkere purperen tijdperk deze bruine dwergster in de Noordelijk hemelsfeer kon aanschouwen.
Mankind’s Purple Dawn

Dancing in the Dark “In the beginning there was only darkness. Yet, in that darkness, there was already Raven. He was still small and weak and his special powers had not fully developed.” 1 Eskimo creation myth

Between 20,000 -40,000 years ago, humans in Europe entered into the dark and foreboding gloom of various deep cave systems, lit their animal fat fuelled lamps, and proceeded to produce artistic masterpieces that, when rediscovered millennia later, led Pablo Picasso to de clare modern art “had invented nothing!”

According to the scenario that will unfold in the following pages, the subterranean gloom encountered by these early artists was nothing substantially different from their everyday existence on the surface above. Outside these caves, in the open air of a world existing under a chaotic void - like sky, mankind’s early ancestors are reported in myth to have lived in a perpetual twilight devoid of our current sun. Their world, according to many ancient creation accounts, was permeated by a dull glow that provided barely enough light by which to read your average Palaeolithic newspaper.

Dwardu Cardona, in a chapter in his book God Star titled ‘The Age of Darkness,’ points to comments made by P. Wheeler on the Japanese creation myth that indicate the universal nature of the Kronos/Saturn myth as the main construct in this primordial age of darkness.
Sample Chapters: http://www.cosmosincollision.com/Sample_Chapters.htm

Purple dawn, and how our solar system formed as a string of Herbig/Haro objects : http://www.cosmosincollision.com/Purple ... g_Haro.pdf

Modern Humans, and what would be required for their development.:
http://www.cosmosincollision.com/Modern ... ements.pdf

Dark and bright worlds: what kinds of eyes would the creatures of each have?:
http://www.cosmosincollision.com/eyes4B ... Worlds.pdf

Het boek bij amazon:

Afbeelding
De volgende gebruiker(s) zeggen bedankt: blackbox, Toxopeus
Omhoog
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

zo 16 feb 2014, 14:42



Red Ice Radio - Troy McLachlan & Theodore Holden - Antique Solar System, Neanderthals & Modern Man

Gepubliceerd op 15 mei 2013

Authors Troy D. McLachlan and Theodore A. Holden will discuss their new book, Cosmos in Collision, which concentrates on events in the solar system before the arrival of Saturn and its accompanying planets, including Earth. Ted and Troy propose that the Jupiter moon Ganymede was once a liquid water world with an oxygen atmosphere fully capable of supporting life (including humans) as we know it. With Jupiter having once been in a much closer orbit to the Sun, Ganymede was warmed by both the sun and Jupiter, the latter being at that time a sub-brown dwarf similar to ancient Saturn. They have dubbed this era of our Solar System's history as the Antique Solar System epoch. They also propose a new theory for planet formation. This theory is based on the Herbig-Haro objects observed throughout the galaxy. They will also introduce the concept of a Paleolithic conflict between Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals in which Neanderthals are controversially depicted as predatory hominids according to Danny Vendramini's theories. Troy and Ted will contrast the superbly nocturnally adapted Neanderthal to Cro-Magnons during the Purple Dawn era and come to the inescapable conclusion that modern humans (Cro-Magnons) are not native to this planet. They believe they may have found a world within our solar system that once served as humanity's original home world (Ganymede).

http://www.bearfabrique.org/

http://saturndeathcult.com/

http://www.cosmosincollision.com/
Gebruikersavatar
blackbox
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 6276
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 16:09

di 18 feb 2014, 12:43

“We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered.
Now what may foeman’s malice do to harm us? What, O Immortal, mortal man’s deception? (Rigveda (8.48.3))”
Soma is important because it is a crucial source of inspiration for the people who wrote the Vedas, ancient texts that originated in India, making up the oldest scriptures of Hinduism (around 1st century B.C).

The other thesis is described in the book “The Road to Eleusis” (having Albert Hoffman, the discoverer of LSD and C.A.P. Ruck as a collaborators). He makes the hypothesis that a drink called ‘kykeon’ was similarly made out of a fungal parasite of barley called ergot (it contains LSA, the precursor of LSD). Similar to the Soma, this drink allowed people to peek into the after-life.



MEER:

http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.nl/2014 ... human.html
De volgende gebruiker(s) zeggen bedankt: combi
Omhoog
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

di 18 feb 2014, 15:39

De grote paddestoelenonderzoekers Valentina en Gordon Wasson ontdekten voor de Tweede Wereldoorlog dat bij enkele Mexicaanse Indianenvolken de oude rituelen van de heilige paddestoel nog bestonden. Toen westerse onderzoekers door de shamanen in staat werden gesteld zelf de werking van het kaalkopje te leren kennen, ging er een schok van verlichting door het wereldje van waarheidzoekers; eindelijk was de godendrank, nectar, de soma, het levenselixer, het vlees van de goden teruggevonden. In de jaren zestig nam de belangstelling voor Indiaanse initiaties enorm toe en tallozen zochten entheogene ervaringen met behulp van paddestoelen.

http://www.uitjebol.net/psilocybine-paddo.htm
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=326&hilit=pharma#p326

2)Amanita muscaria induced. This theory holds that the gangr was brought about by ingestion of the psychoactive mushroom amanita muscaria (possibly the famous soma of India). The mechanism here is supposed to be the great strength and endurance the mushroom is said to give to those who ingest it, and that the rage could be triggered by the plant's psychoactive properties.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=326&p=62129&hilit=soma#p62129


Last Thoughts
I can't help but reiterate to the reader that just because some modern people cannot seem to consistently feel the same effects from Amanita muscaria as is postulated the ancients did in no way should lessen the theory of Amanita muscaria being the divine Soma of the 4000 year old Rigveda and one of the world oldest religious tools. As is well know shamanism didn't just mean kicking back after the ingestion of an entheogen, the way which many moderns work with entheogens. Instead archaic man was very proficient in many techniques to alter their state of awareness, and these no doubt where used in combination with the mushroom, thereby altering the purely psychopharmacological effects of the mushrooms alkaloids. Modern man is also much more familiar with strong synthetic chemical hallucinogens. In our age of LSD, Psilocybin, and DMT we can't help but feel that anything less than the experiences these produce could be considered powerful. But to the ancient Siberians, whose familiarity with stronger entheogens was nonexistent, an Amanita muscaria experience, which can induce both heaven or hell, would certainly take on Godly proportions. Might it even be possible that as the earliest waves of archaic man past over the present day Americas they brought with them their Amanita muscaria traditions, nesting in a few spots such as the Pacific Northwest, Canada, the Great Lakes region, Mexico, and Guatemala, and that some sought out new allies in Psilocybe species, Yage, and Ebena. Our reference for a Godly entheogenic experience has changed from that of archaic mankind. Many believe this mushroom lacks entheogenic value, but history has shown that it has long been valued by mankind, throughout Europe, Siberia, and in the Americas. I think it is unwise to compare our western philosophical understanding of Amanita muscaria to that of the religio-magical experiences of the ancients. This is a powerful mushroom that deserves our respect and attention for possibly being the ancient source for that which makes us human.

viewtopic.php?f=78&t=48922&p=77130&hilit=soma#p77130
All ancient Indo- European peoples possessed variants of the Soma Ceremony;
the Greek god Dionysus is an example of a Greek variant of the ancient Soma
God. Dionysus is an extremely old God whose name was found on a fired clay
tablet written in Linear B script, an archaic form of Greek that is pre alphabet and
dates to about 1450 BC.
Dionysus caused vines to spring up over night bearing Wine; obviously this is
no grape vine. His Priests could convert fresh grape juice into a special potent
wine over night and any cup this Wine was poured into became a Sacred object ie.

viewtopic.php?f=132&t=63016&p=63044&hilit=soma#p63044
De volgende gebruiker(s) zeggen bedankt: blackbox
Omhoog
Gebruikersavatar
combi
Administrator
Administrator
Berichten: 15971
Lid geworden op: za 21 aug 2010, 21:27

di 18 feb 2014, 18:21

N.A.V. een post in het werderbruder topic van Blackbox:
viewtopic.php?f=143&t=53&start=1560#p77638

Je kan op Qff hier en daar al wat vinden over Viktor Schauberger, water en meanderende riviertjes en de vermeende krachten of energieën zo je wil die daar uit voort zouden komen maar ik wil het vooral hebben over water i.v.m. de mysteriën.

======================

Water in de mysteriën:

"als wij ons hoofd in het water steken als in een graf, wordt de oude mens geheel en al ondergedoken en begraven; als we uit het water te voorschijn komen, verschijnt tegelijk de nieuwe mens"
(Homilie in Joh, XXV, 2, volgens Eliade, Das Heilige und des Profane, 78)

"Water in wijn veranderen kennen we nu vooral van Jezus die deed zijn eerste wonder op de bruiloft te Kana. Toen de wijn op was, liet Jezus zes kruiken met water vullen. Dat veranderde in wijn."

Maar zoals altijd "is er meer", wel hetzelfde meer maar goed dat zou je al kunnen weten. Nu eerst wat meer van eerder dan de christelijke mysteriën:

Nu deelt Epiphanus, de uit joodse ouders geboren bisschop van Constantia op Kypros , die in de vierde eeuw leefde ons mede, dat de verschijning van Osiris (Jezus ;) ) op de 5e januari gepaard ging met de verandering van water in wijn.
Vermoedelijk was dit echter ontleend aan de overeenkomstige verhalen die met de eredienst van Dionysos samenhingen en die verschillende voorbeelden geven van soortgelijke wonderen.
Dionysos (zijn Romeinse equivalent: Bacchus.)

knip

Toen hij volwassen was, plantte hij een wijnstok en met de daaruit gewonnen drank bedronk hij zichzelf en zijn opvoedsters en de demonen van het woud. Ieder die met hem in aanraking kwam, werd door de zoete geur van de nieuwe drank verleid en schaarde zich bij de stoet, waarmee Dionysos door de wereld trok om de wijn, nieuwe gave, die hij de mensheid schenken wilde, te verspreiden.

Hij is een god wiens gebied zich over een zeer ruim gebied uitstrekt. In de eerste plaats werd hij vereerd als de god van de wijn, maar de wijn is slechts de kostelijkste van zijn gaven. Daarom werd deze ook Διόνυσου καρπός / Diónysou karpós ('Dionysos' vrucht') genoemd.[4] Hij betekent de groeikracht van de aarde, zoals die zich in bos en veld, op met bronnen bedekte bergen, in vruchtdragende bomen en in grazige weiden openbaart. De wijndruif is alleen daarom de vrucht, die hem bijzonder dierbaar is, omdat zij, hoewel uit vocht geboren, een warme gloed aan haar vruchten weet te geven. De mengeling van zwakheid en moed, van weelderigheid en kracht, waarvan de druif het symbool is, karakteriseert ook Dionysos.

bron en meer : http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysos_%28mythologie%29
Hier nog wat meer over de 'Dionysos mysteriën' (feesten)
Dionysia

knip

Het feest was alom verspreid en werd in zowat elke dème gevierd. Het was tevens een open feest waar ook slaven aan mochten deelnemen en er werden verschillende attracties/wedstrijden voorzien, voornamelijk de Akoliasmos was populair. Dit is het rondhuppelen op één voet op een ingevette bal, waar er uiteraard veel mensen van afgleden wat voor de nodige hilariteit zorgde. De winnaars kregen een zak gevuld met wijn. De Akoliasmos zou ook door de landelijke jeugd ook worden gehuldigd in de dorpen. Daarnaast waren er nog luidruchtige parades van vermomde personen. (het wilde heir ;) viewtopic.php?f=153&t=793 )
Er was ook een processie waarbij een fallus werd meegedragen. Een fallus is het primitief symbool voor de bevordering van het leven en de vruchtbaarheid. De processie diende waarschijnlijk om de vruchtbaarheid van de gezinnen, de landen en de tuinen te stimuleren. In de teksten wordt er echter niet vermeld dat het zou kunnen gaan om de hoop op een goede wijnoogst uit te drukken. In het museum van Florence bevindt zich een Attische zwartkleurige vaas die de landelijke Dionysia afbeeldt en waarop een afgod in de vorm van een fallus op elke zijde van de vaas is aangebracht.

De Dionysia vormden een kapitale bron van inspiratie voor de antieke komedie.

knip bron en meer: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysi%C3%ABn
Zo weer genoeg wat algemeen bekend is, of zou kunnen zijn wij gaan hier op QFF weer verder:

We hadden het over water, je zou water kunnen zien als een kracht die leven, groeikracht (zie hierboven) geeft je kan die 'kracht van water' ook nog is aan de zon (ster) koppelen viewtopic.php?f=76&t=75382&p=77574&hili ... ter#p77574 en daar kan je e.v.t. verder over lezen in het topic van Blackbox over starwater: viewtopic.php?f=76&t=75382 hier in dit topic gaan we is kijken of er wat te vinden is over de doop. Als water een al of niet symbolische groei energie bezit moet die natuurlijk wel in dienst van 'het geloof' staan en niet zomaar 'gewoon' er zijn.

De doop zou je kunnen zien als een ritus van dood en wederopstanding waar meer dan genoeg over is terug te vinden in dit Mysteriën Der Oudheid topic.

De ritus van dood en wederopstanding, zoals de kandidaten die in de mysteriën door maakten, kende men aanvankelijk ook in de katholieke kerk bij het aannemen van nieuwe leden. Zo lezen wij bij Johannes Chrysostomos, als hij het over de doop heeft dat deze dood en de begrafenis voorstelt, het leven en de wederopstanding.
"als wij ons hoofd in het water steken als in een graf, wordt de oude mens geheel en al ondergedoken en begraven; als we uit het water te voorschijn komen, verschijnt tegelijk de nieuwe mens"
(Homilie in Joh, XXV, 2, volgens Eliade, Das Heilige und des Profane, 78)

Johannes grondde deze woorden vrij zeker op Rom, VI, 4 waar staat:
"Wij zijn dus door de doop met hem begraven, zodat wij dood zijn, opdat, zoals Christus door de heerlijkheid des Vaders uit de doden is opgewekt, ook wij zo een nieuw leven leiden"

De opvatting leefde ook in de tijd van keizer Konstantijn, want Eusebius schrijft in "het leven van Konstantijn" (IV, 61), dat deze bij zijn doop zeide: "Dit is het ogenblik waarop ik al lang gehoopt en met verlangen naar uitgezien heb, Het ogenblik is gekomen waarop ook wij het onsterfelijkheid verlenende zegel ontvangen, het uur, waarop wij de bezegeling van het heil deelachtig worden. In de golven van de Jordaan had ik gehoopt dit eens te verkrijgen, waarin ook onze Verlosser, ons ten voorbeeld de doop ontvangen heeft, zoals er bericht is ... "

Eusebius vervolgt dan verder:
"Na deze woorden voltrokken de bisschoppen volgens de goddelijke wetten wat voorgeschreven was en zij schonken hem de geheimzinnige genade, nadat zij het hiertoe behorende onderricht er aan vooraf hadden laten gaan. Zo werd dan Konstantijn door de mysteriën van Christus wedergeboren en vervolmaakt ... "
Voor het opnemen in de christelijke gemeenschap, dat in hoofdzaak door de doop geschiedde, werd evenals bij de mysteriën, het woord "inwijding" gebruikt, Tussen de ingewijden en niet-ingewijden werd een groot onderscheid gemaakt en voor de laatsten werd velerlei geheim gehouden, welke geheimen men met de namen "symbolen", "arcani" en "disciplina" aanduidde.
Bij de doop betrof dit niet alleen de gehele cultische handeling, maar ook de uitgesproken zegeningen, rituele woorden en formules en voorts vielen de bijzonderheden van het avondmaal en voor alles de geloofsbelijdenis er onder.

Daarom wilde Sozemonos in zijn "kerkgeschiedenis" de geloofsbelijdenis van Nicaea ook niet meedelen. Naar algemeen gebruik werd zij niet opgeschreven, maar alleen mondeling meegedeeld en dit hangt samen met de reeds door Clemens van Alexandrië en Origenes verkondigde mening, dat schriftelijke vastlegging der hoogste waarheden reeds een profanatie was.

De geloofsbelijdenis nam dus bij het christendom een soortgelijke plaats in als de geheime formules, die in de mysteriën dienden om zich als ingewijde bij anderen bekend te maken. Over de uitwerking van de doop, de reiniging ten gevolge daarvan en het verkrijgen van de heilige geest, over de zekerheid der onsterfelijkheid, die de doop verschafte, werd door de christenen openlijk gesproken. Ook dit was weder in overeenstemming met de mysteriën, waar ook de riten en alles wat daarmede samenhing, geheim gehouden werden, maar niet de eeuwige gelukzaligheid, die men van de inwijding verwachtte.


(Overigens In de oude christelijke kerk bestond de gewoonte om de nieuwe lidmaten bij hun aanneming een mengsel van melk en honing te geven en geen water zoals de kerkelijke bronnen ons leren, daarover ooit meer in dit topic)

bron: De mysteriën der oudheid en hun inwijdingsriten F.E. Farwerck, uitg. Thule 1960
Plaats reactie

Terug naar “Wereld Geheimen”