Sunday, September 16, 2012

Religion of Atheism

I have read God Delusion. It's a really stupid book. I can hear Richard Dawkins bursting by the joy of his own "wittiness", and all I do is to shake my head and feel sorry for him. He hasn't really understood why people believe in God at all, so all his arguments are flawed before he even expresses them. He's mostly arguing against an imaginary enemy, who is really very stupid. I know, I know, there are people like that, but it's rather irritating to be a theist and excitedly read a book that is said to make you question your beliefs, so sharp, so smart, so intelligent, so to the point - by other Atheists - and then read this... pitifully stupid scripture... tut, tut, tut.
No, I don't understand why the book is so appreciated. I suppose none of the people who praise it, understand the mind of a theist.

Today I read a typical rant of an islamophob. "they say all these things, but are lying bla bla bla." Really stupid, that too. And it was posted in a Facebook group called "The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (Official)" [I love that (official) :-D]

"Oh, "The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (Official)"... I wonder how it is?"

Oh, my... Exactly as I expected it to be, I'm sad to say. People worshiping their guru, who's basking in the limelight and people expressing their fundamentalist Atheist opinions more or less eloquently.

Here's one post: 
Be proud your an athiest it means you understand that people who have faith in something like a god also have to asked who created him and who created the one who creatwd god and the list goes on and on into a number you cannot imagine which means such people are so deluded and fooled by mystical claims they have nothing to offer mankinds progress in mind science. indeed they are a danger to slow down progress if they get to the future generations of childrens minds which they are attempting now.
The mind can be got at by certain practises certain ways so the quest of all athiests is to point out to all got at individuals who are ignorant the facts of past present and every increasing observations and experiments that give answers to the mysterys of life, Also to support efforts to rid our governments of religions and not involve them in politics thats all we can do the rest will come in time and we will have a world maybe not in our time but in the future that is free from religion and its wars and continuing progression and dam right right exciting however we can at least watch our numbers grow and grow.
No change is impossable in the democratic countrys with the right numbers supporting it so I guess certain things must not be allowed in schools only facts and relivent infoirmation to a childs growing mind. Its a big ask but time has a way of changing nonesense into education born of common sense and reasoning, If this is to happen we need athiests in government in schools and in the community and proud and sure of themselves and what they pass on so are you a proud athiest ?
 Now, the person writing this is aware of that his spelling and writing is not very good, and that's ok. People should be able to express themselves even when they do it like this. One can have little education, or be operating under brain fog, or for any other reason, but it is very irritating. And easy to start mocking him for his spelling errors...

People who believe in God, have no problems in accepting God as The Source, uncreated. That God has always been and will always be. I find it interesting that you don't understand this.

"which means such people are so deluded and fooled by mystical claims they have nothing to offer mankinds progress in mind science"

Frankly, I don't know what you are trying to say, but I assume you are saying theists have nothing to offer in the world of science.
If that's so, I'm a bit puzzled... because most of the scientists before 20th century were theists. Like Newton or Darwin or von Linné. To say they didn't add anything to the world's scientific evolution simply because they believed there is a divine reason for why things happen, is stupid. Simply stupid.

You are making the mistake of believing that one's spiritual beliefs are in any way connected to one's scientific beliefs, and thus making the same mistake as all the fundamentalists, like fundamentalist Christians. To you "theist=bad", to them "atheist=bad". You are both equally wrong, both equally narrow-minded, both equally stupid, ignorant, prejudiced and fundamentalist.

I don't think any person who could be of any use to science can be brainwashed in such a manner, even when objected to that as a child. And it doesn't matter if the person is brainwashed by theist fundies or atheist fundies. Stupid, narrow-minded, ignorant, prejudiced fundamentalists seldom have ANYTHING worthy to add to anything. What have you added to world? Or what has Richard Dawkins added to the world? Memes and "God Delusion"? Neither his own idea.

The fundamentalist atheism IS a religion. Any fundamentalist ideology is a religion. Most wars have nothing to do with God.

" I guess certain things must not be allowed in schools only facts and relivent infoirmation"
Yeah... let's remove such nasty things like art and crafts, sports, domestic "science" and other such things that are not "facts and relivent infoirmation". Why bother teaching children to read and write, they'd only be reading fiction and that's bad! And teaching them literature, especially the ancient literature... myths and legends... dang, that's the source of everything bad in the world! Or teaching them about religions! No! We cannot tell the sensitive kids that there are people in the world who BELIEVE IN GOD(s)!!! They might get ideas!

Oh, dear. I'm glad I'm not a "proud athiest", but a foolish theist and an artist. I suppose it's good I don't have children, because I'd teach them such horrible things as watching the nature and seeing beauty and not numbers and facts. I'd teach them to cook without telling them about the optimal temperature for proteins to coagulate, and I'd teach them that there's more in the world than what can be measured...

Then there was this:
I love philosoraptor. She's witty and funny with his innocent inquiries, that aren't really innocent at all. But this is just stupid. It's assuming the atheists make the most convincing arguments. They don't. Especially not if they are anything like those Richard Dawkins uses.
It's also assuming this is a novel idea. The fundamental Christians these fundamental Atheists fight with, already  have an answer to that. "God didn't make Atheists, Atheists are people who believe Satan's lies and deception. Atheists are brainwashed, poor creatures. They don't know how wrong they are, but one day, God willing, they will see the light and realize how deceived they were, and fall on their knees and thank God for being saved and beg for forgiveness for all the Satanic lies and filth they were spreading when "under influence"... "
So - this is just stupid, and offensive, because I want my philosoraptor to be witty, and this is below her intelligence.

""so the muslim riots that are going on have been caused because of a film that portrays mohammud as a barbaric pedophille. last time i read the koran he was a warlord that spread the faith of islam by the sword and had multiple underage wives"

1) Let us assume the Quran says much about Mohammed being "a warlord that spread the faith of Islam by the sword and had multiple underage wives". So you believe Quran is crap, but THAT you believe?
2) Define pedofile. Define pedofile in Arab world 1400 years ago. Define "underage" - also in Arab world 1400 years ago. Define "barbaric". In Arab world 1400 years ago.
3) Tell me, why do you care about Mohammed at all? Why do you even bother reading the Quran? You think it's crap. Life is too short to read bad books.
You KNOW it's prejudiced crap, you KNOW the people responsible for it are islamophobic idiots, and you take their side! You hate religions more than you love human and civil rights and freedoms! You are just another religious fundamentalist. They use physical violence to express their feelings and opinions, you use sarcasm and other forms of verbal violence, and believe to be better, more civilized person.

Darling, a world where people may not believe ANYTHING they want to, how ever stupid, mislead or false it ever seems to be to someone else, is called Theocracy, and NO; WE DO NOT WANT IT. Even when YOU are convinced of that YOUR religion is the best and enough for the rest of the world, and based on reasoning and sound thinking and what ever you happen to believe is The Truth, and even though the majority of the world holds the same belief... because, don't fool yourself and think your belief is "better" or "more valid" than another, just because you believe in science.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Two weeks to Mabon

I wish you can use this weekend to clean the home properly and decorate it, at least a little.

Take a long walk in the nature and pick things, like acorns, horse chestnuts, pinecones, twigs and leaves.

I would like every Pagan Sabbath celebrated as if it was Yule. It is especially difficult to do when it comes to the Autumn holidays, because we in the Western world just don't have the traditions. Sure, there's Harvest feast, Michael's Mass and Thanksgiving, but... In the modern, urbanized world, people barely know where they food comes from, not to mention celebrate the harvest. The USonian thanksgiving is big, but it's celebrated very late in the Autumn and it is very strongly associated with the Christian history of USA. But the truth is that most of the family traditions are just a couple of generations old, if even that. Our parents are responsible of creating the traditions we experience to be The True Holiday, and when we get old and start celebrating the holidays with friends and spouses, we realize that their True Holiday is quite different from ours... It really takes only a couple of years for you to create traditions for your own family (even if it includes just you), so start creating!

Now, there has been people telling me that they don't celebrate this or that - "Mabon" is a Wiccan name for a Norse tradition, so most other forms of Paganity don't celebrate Mabon. To me it's Autumn Equinox, and to me the Sun Days have always been significant... to me there's something magical with the idea of day and night being exactly the same length twice a year, then the one or the other getting longer, until one day it's the day when the night is the longest or the day is the longest... These are to me Goddess ordained holidays. They are put in the movements of the Earth. This is Divine Calender. So I cannot understand people who claim to be Pagan but don't celebrate Autumn Equinox. It doesn't make any sense to me.
(That doesn't mean that I would say you're not a Pagan because you don't celebrate Mabon (or what ever name you wish to use of it), because you form your own observations of your faith the way that suits you, and you define your faith yourself. I have nothing to do with that. I'm just saying I don't understand it :-D)

After the long prologue, I wanted to speak about a couple of things. One needs to focus on a couple of things when creating traditions.

1) Honor the Holiday.

Make it different, elevated, from all the other days of the year. That means, you really NEED to clean.
(And that reveals that I am a sloppy housewife. I don't like cleaning, I'm more of a hoarder, and I'd rather do creative stuff or reading, than clean. So my home is not very clean and tidy normally. I'm just talking to you as if you were me :-D Now, if you are one of those miraculous people who actually manages to keep their homes immaculate 24/7, I'm not talking to you, when I say "you have to clean". YOU will have to find other ways to differ this day from all the other days of the year.)
Decorate the home for the party, HAVE a party, watch season appropriate movies, read season appropriate books, enjoy season appropriate music... think about your favorite feast/holiday and try to remember what makes it so, and season adjust that for Mabon. Take your favorite foods created with the season vegetables and dedicate this specific day for that food. It makes both the day and the dish that much more special :-D

2) Create traditions that suit you, your life, your style, your preferences.

Don't take on too much. Don't take on traditions that just don't feel right to you.
One thing I have noticed is that there's tons of "material" in Yule. There are more "traditions" I'd like to have at Yule than I can fit in Yule. So - take those traditions you like but have no room for at Yule and divide them throughout the year for the other Sabbaths.
For example, we in Scandinavia have a tradition of "Glögg party". A week or two before Yule, people gather around a kettle of mulled wine, and have a small fore-party. This would be perfect for Mabon. Maybe the weather isn't too suitable for mulled wine, as September can be - and is - warm in many places on this planet, but perhaps wine tasting party?

3) Appeal to all senses

What most people remember of different holidays best is the smell... the specific, different, good smell that lingered in the house all through the holidays. You know exactly what I'm talking about, because you can almost smell it right now. :-D

As there are no general, traditional scent for Mabon, try
- wine, mulled wine
- fruits, especially apples, pear, plum
- woody scents, like sandalwood, patchouli, rosewood, cedar and camphor.
- chrysanthemums, asters, marigolds
- nuts and seeds, like sesame seed and hazelnut (the scent of nutella... ;-))
- the smell of woods when you walk there in the autumn... everything is wet, and smells extra strong, the mushrooms, the leaves, the soil, the trees... You can recreate this by having a bowl of leaves, mushroom and wood chips kept moist.

Odour of Chrysanthemums by D.H.Lawrence

The other senses are, of course, hearing, sight, touch, and taste. Taste you appeal to by all the good, special food and candy; sight is pleased with all the colors and shapes and decorations - these two are no problem. What is more problematic is the sounds and feelings...

Sounds of Mabon... the rustle of dry leaves under feet when you walk in the forest... wind and rain. To me autumn is all about wind and rain and storms :-) And I love it :-DThere's plenty of autumn songs:
songs for fall
15 brilliant songs about autumn
a long list of songs about autumn/fall

And feelings?
Pulling on the rubber boots. First time you pull on the sweater after summer. Raindrops on your skin. The feeling of raincoat, oilcloth, the rustling plastic... The feeling of soil through the rubber boots, the slightly springy feeling of layers of moss, needles and moisture... and then you come back home and cuddle in front of the open fireplace, a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate... The feeling of dry leaves. The feeling of fir-cones, nuts, acorns, chestnuts...

Now, don't use wax cloth to decorate your home, because it's a really ordinary, homely, common material, which doesn't honor the holiday, but try using materials like corduroy, tweed, wool, felt and fleece, and leather.

One idea would be to try to recreate a sort of a hunting lodge feeling, with wood with bark on, rough stone, woodland animals and Mid-European folklore :-D (Tyroler look, dirndl, Austria, Germany, Bavaria, October fest and so on.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thougths, tips and ranting :-D

I am in deep debt of gratitude to Edain McCoy for Sabbats.  When I bought my version, it was like a whole new world was opened to me. It was some 15 years ago. Now I know more. A lot more. And the more I know, the more I get irritated by some things she says.

* Harvest Home didn't fall on a specific date. It was celebrated when the harvest was brought home. Not earlier, not later. In a rural society the dates were not that important. Sure, there were Dates, but Harvest Home was not one of them.

* Christian hymns are NOT appropriate for Pagans, of one simple reason. They are Christian. They are infused with the Christian mindset and Christian world view and Christian values, and those are not Pagan. Sure, thanksgiving is thanksgiving, and I, a theist, have no problems in singing God's praise for the goods She bestows upon us. But - *I* object VEHEMENTLY to singing Christian hymns.
Yes, I know most of them are based on folk music, but it really isn't rocket science to write a simple folk melody and lyrics oneself. And it's with music as with everything else, the more you do, the better you become. Write your own music.
First you will be copying, stealing, borrowing, adopting bits and pieces from existing music, later you will be doing it so skillfully people won't even notice that you do that. That's the way music has been written for centuries, by even the best. There are no new ideas under the sun, everything has already been sang, written, painted... you are just to do it again, in your way... ;-)

* "Lavender Blue, Lavender Green" doesn't fit Mabon so well...
"Call up your men, set them to work,
Some to the plow, some to the fork,
Some to make hay, some to cut corn..."

I would put it in Lammas. And, sure, lavender scent would fit nicely there.

* "Those... may choose to meet for a special feast of Thanksgiving separate from their regular gatherings..."
What!? You MIGHT want to celebrate Mabon, but you can also ignore it, brush it aside as a sidenote and join the Christian mainstream society... No wonder Pagans suck at celebrating Sabbats!

* I don't think there's a focus on death on Mabon. Being old is not dying. Old age has its own blessings and teachings and if one thinks "those old people are just waiting to die" - one foot in the grave - one misses those blessings and teachings... The modern society is too focused on youth, strength and such, exploring, adventures, pioneering. Faster, stronger, higher...
To me the OLD shaman is better than a young one. Old wives' tales are interesting, fascinating... we have entered the Winter King's world, where we are to sit quietly and learn, listen to the teachings of the Old Ones, learn their wisdom, learn from their experiences, learn to never repeat their mistakes, at least not the worst ones. "We should never forget" we say, but as we ignore those who were there, those who knew by their own experience what it was we should never forget, we will forget... or remember just some insignificant, petty details... The Wise One, the Sage, the Crone... these are old people. The Elders' Council...
In my mind it is wrong of the Wiccans to choose the "most beautiful, young woman" to represent the Goddess... Of course she too has a place and time, she should be chosen at Beltane, but not the year around. At Mabon they should choose a Crone.

* "The Norse spent the day and night before Autumn Equinox fasting and praying"
Did they? Interesting. Reminds me of Yom Kippur. Which also happens around this time of the year.

* Heather wine

* Horn of plenty a phallic symbol?
"a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers, nuts, other edibles, or wealth in some form"... er... doesn't sound phallic to me. Sounds more like the female part to me...
According to one story, it comes from the time when Zeus was a baby. He accidentally broke one of his nurse's horns (she was a goat), and this horn then started spilling food, fruits, wine and what not.
"The cornucopia became the attribute of several Greek and Roman deities, particularly those associated with the harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance, such as personifications of Earth (Gaia or Terra); the nymph Maia; and Fortuna. Roman deities who fostered peace and prosperity were also depicted with a cornucopia, including Abundantia, and Annona, Rome's specific grain Goddess. Pluto was also depicted with Cornucopia to symbolise his status as the giver of agricultural, mineral and spiritual wealth."
- Wikipedia


What irks me most are the appendixes... lists of correspondences. Especially the "mythological creatures"... People just keep copying these lists, and no-one ever seems to waste one minute of time thinking WHY these things are associated with the sabbats. Except me, of course :-D

Gulon? It's a f-ing wolverine! It's not mythological!
Andamans? What? What is that? I just learned a couple of weeks ago, that andamans are the dog-headed people. Eh. How are they connected to August Equinox?
Cyclopes, minotaurs, gnomes, sphinx...
WHY? What's the connection? There is never given any. I don't know why and how she assigned the mythological creatures to the different sabbats, and she ain't telling. No-one is.

So - I asked my amazing husband.

The wolverine is a scavenger, a bit like a Nordic hyena, and my husband thought of Loki. Mischievous and industrious.
I was thinking about the gluttony, and that Mabon is the feast of moderation...

Dog headed people... Anubis?

I suppose these are here because Edain associated wolves and dogs to Mabon too. Why? I have no idea.
Well... dogs, perhaps - or more precisely hounds. Mabon is associated with hunting, and thus hunting dogs, birds and - cats... leopards were trained and used as hunting cats long time ago. Nevertheless, I associate wolves with Imbolc, Lupercalia.

Cyclops. One eye... Odin? The focus on learning, teaching and wisdom of September, and old age. Here's a list of one-eyed mythological people and creatures

Minotaurs... bull... strength - Thor? Hammer? Cow... Hathor?
I was thinking about the labyrinth. And solving mysteries underground... like the Eleusian mysteries.

Gnomes - Leprachauns, fool's gold, greedy gets pockets full of autumn leaves... Now, that's a Mabon story :-D
I was thinking about "earthlings", "maahinen" as gnomes are in Finnish. The faefolks who lived in fairy mounds. 

Sphinx - the Gate Keeper. You needed to answer the question, show that you were worthy, to be let in, in to the winter, Winter King's Kingdom. She lets those who are old and worthy and weary in.
I was thinking about High Priestess and Justice.


Q: What is the best way to plan for a large party without breaking the bank?
A: Shop early and shop often. Use sales. Not only will you get the best prices, but the cost of the meal won't hit your pocketbook all at the same time.