Saturday 30 April 2011

Invincible: Abashed the Devil stood, And felt how awful goodness is...

Which of those rebel Spirits adjudged to Hell
Comest thou, escaped thy prison? and, transformed,
Why sat'st thou like an enemy in wait,
Here watching at the head of these that sleep?
Know ye not then said Satan, filled with scorn,
Know ye not me? ye knew me once no mate
For you, there sitting where ye durst not soar:
Not to know me argues yourselves unknown,
The lowest of your throng; or, if ye know,
Why ask ye, and superfluous begin
Your message, like to end as much in vain?

Thursday 28 April 2011

The Fallen: Wisdom and Death, Arddhu and Anna

What can popular media tell us about spiritual things?

The Fallen
By Seether

She's wearin' dresses on the borderline
(lookin good)
Or making senses that were lost in time
(make amends)
This liberation is the one they'll love for ages (hey man I see them comin' again)
Just cut those dresses make you look so fine (you're a ten)
Put on that shirt and you'll look so divine
(i'm impressed)
This generation won't forgive those signs of aging (hey man I see them comin' again)
I got my ticket for the next makeover
I got my ticket for a stolen ride

I believe, I believe
I believe in the fallen
I believe, I believe
I believe in the callin'

They got injections for those facial lines (make amends)
Break out the scalpel keep the nose defined
(look again)
A crucifixion of the love we've known for ages (hey man i see them comin' again)
You're much too pretty you don't need your mind (just pretend)
Just bat them eyelids get your heart's desires
A resurrection of the shallow and the vapid
(hey man I see them comin')

I got my ticket for the next makeover
I lost my taste for this I'll keep my pride
I believe, I believe
I believe in the fallen
I believe, I believe
I believe in the callin'


I got my ticket for the next makeover
I lost my taste for this, I'll keep my pride
I believe, I believe
I believe in the fallen
I believe, I believe
I believe in the callin'
I believe in the callin'

Image from My Jewelry Blog
In my Good Friday post, I talked about how our society doesn't like death and avoids the subject.  It isn't just talking and thinking about it that we, as a society, avoid.  We also do everything we can to eliminate those things that remind us of death.  We use plastic surgery, as this song talks about, to avoid looking like we're aging, because aging reminds us of death, that we will die some day.  But avoiding death makes life shallow, because death is very much a part of life.  Life loses its meaning without death.

Another way we avoid death is to take people as they get older and put them in old folks homes, and then we don't visit them, because their age reminds us of our own mortality.  We put them away, out off sight, out of mind.  If we can't see them, they aren't there.  If they aren't there, there is no aging, there is no death.  Hiding them is our immortality.  Or so we hope.

Cora Anderson, Grandmaster of Feri
Image from Harpy Books
Taken by Valerie Walker
There was a time when the elderly were venerated.  They are wisdom.  They are the ones who would teach the young, imparting their wisdom and experience, at least what the young were willing to listen to.  They might have been too old to do the heavy work required for the community, but they still had a purpose.  They were still valuable, and valued by the community.  By putting our elderly out of sight, we don't just deny them a purpose to live for, we deny ourselves the wisdom they can impart.  With the loss of their experience, our society is getting dumber and more foolish.  "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

Death and Wisdom are very closely connected.  Robert Cochrane described the feminine Mysteries as the pentagram as Life/Birth, Love, Maternity, Wisdom, Death/Resurrection.  Wisdom is the stage that proceeds Death.  It grows out of Maternity and heads toward Death and hence Resurrection.  In avoiding Death, we avoid Wisdom.

When I think of Wisdom and Death, I think of the Anna and the Arddhu, the Feri gods returning to God Herself.  One isn't Wisdom and the other Death, for both are both Wisdom and Death.  In this situation, they are the Divine Twins.  They are separate, yet they are the same.  They are both near Death, and both long to impart the Wisdom they have to those they care.  They are both dangerous, as Death always is, but their Wisdom is worth it.

Image from
Star of Nuit blog
It is significant that the Anna stands as priestess of the Star Goddess, not young Nimue or nurturing Mari.  It is Wisdom, standing closest to Death, which is also Rebirth, that is closest to God Herself, who can stand as the Bridge between Herself and us.  The marriage of the gods is in Death and Rebirth, an end and a new beginning, like all initiations.  The Anna stands at the Altar of the ineffable, her red veil covering her face, waiting for us to draw near.

The Arddhu stands at the Gates of Death.  But the Gates of Death are also the Gates of Life, another set of Divine Twins.  Everyone comes at the end of their life in from of Arddhu, and all pass him coming into the world.  It's the same Gates, yet we see them differently depending on which direction we pass.  Storm says Arddhu is Guardian of the Crossroads.  Crossroads are transition points, liminal points, the passages between worlds.  As are the Gates of Life and Death.  What is Witch without the crossing between worlds?  And how do you cross without Arddhu?  All must come to him, but Witch comes early.

~Muninn's Kiss

*And, as my About This Journal page states, this entry, like all my entries, express my opinions, my experiences, my ideas.  Though they are influenced by others and I quote others, don't take what I say as dogma or doctrine for any tradition or religion.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Overheard on a Salt Marsh by Harold Monro

Overheard on a Salt Marsh
by Harold Monro (1879-1932)

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?

Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?

Give them me.


Give them me. Give them me.


Then I will howl all night in the reeds. Lie in the mud and howl for them.

Goblin, why do you love them so?

They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man's fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

Hush, I stole them out of the moon.

Give me your beads. I desire them.


I will howl in a deep lagoon for your green glass beads, I love them so. Give them me. Give them me.


Tuesday 26 April 2011

Muninn's Laughter

Image from Daily Spiritual Tools blog
I've created a new blog to share my poetry on.  I'm in the process of reposting my old poetry to it.  You can find it at Muninn's Laughter.

~Muninn's Kiss

Monday 25 April 2011

So What Are Fallen Angels?

Image from SMS World blog
The following is an adaptation of my reply to an email on a list I'm on.  Basically, I rewrote the parts about other conversations to keep people's privacy in tact.  I was asked what fallen angels are to me.  I didn't really answer that, because I haven't completely decided on that question.  But the following are my thoughts.

I haven't had any personal contact with angels, as far as I know.  Well, a little with the Feri Guardians, which some believe are Watchers.  So I can't speak from personal experience, so I'll go from my (conflicting and paradoxic) personal beliefs based on what I've read and my own thoughts.

To me, angels are basically the agents of G-d to man, though He's always spoken directly to me, not through angels.  It's hard to tell whether they're an extension of G-d with no independent will of their own or if they are independent beings who serve him.  But then, that's a hard distinction with anything.  Where does G-d stop and creation begin?  I believe all of creation is made of the stuff of Him (or Her if you will; YVHV of the Jews is God Herself, the Star Goddess of Feri for me) and is actively maintained by Him.  I am a reflection of Her, one with the gods, all of which are Her reflections, but a very real part of Her.  I am Goddess.  But I digress.

Image from Donald Tyson's
 Supernatural World
I had to look up Madame Blavatsky, though the name seemed/seems familiar.  What I can find from her on angels I have heard many other places, angels leaving heaven being a sacrifice and they being the saviors of mankind.  This of course is in direct opposition to the predominant Christian view on fallen angels, but fits well with what I've been told of the Book of Enoch, and also the Yezidi view on Melek Ta'us. Can I answer, both?  Can it be both rebellion and salvation, evil and good?  If rebellion is evil.  Like my thoughts on the Garden of Eden (which haven't settled to a belief at this point), eating of the fruit was disobedience and bad, because they chose themselves over G-d, yet at the same time, it was part of G-d's plan, and they were meant to eat it.  It was Geburah, Judgement, which was introduced to allow free will, for in Chesed, Mercy, there is no free will, because you are always given what's "best" for you, so can't choose, and hence can't learn and can't grow.  Eating of the Tree of Knowledge (Da'ath) of Good and Evil was necessary for the evolution of man.  Separation from G-d was necessary for the return to G-d.  And the return is greater than the initial state, because it is by choice rather than circumstances.  But I digress again.

...or extensions of the modern psyche?  Once again, can I answer both?  I had this discussion with someone on the same list a while back in a discussion about creation myths and about gods.  Is there a separation between what's in here *taps head* and what's out there *points to the sky*?  In Feri, the gods are very real distinct beings, yet they are in us and are us at the same time.  Paradox.  I think the psyche shapes the external, and the external shapes our pysche.  I had a discussion with someone on another list back a bit about the child wind goddess I worshipped in my teens.  He asked, was she not real just because you made her up?  The gods (and angels) are both the product of our collective psyche and our collective psyche is a product with interactions with them.  Our deepest fears are there because there really is something out there to fear (Poe, Lovecraft, and King were/are experts in playing with these fears), and there's something out there to fear because of our deepest fears.  It's the same thing as with the Windago and other monsters.  The monster without is really the monster within, and the monster within is really the monster without.  But I digress again.

Fallen angels, I think, are very real, though they, like us, like other spirits, like the gods, have evolved over time as human experience has evolved.

Image from fanpop
On Sitchin, I found only a little, but he seems to be arguing that angels and the Anunnaki, the Sumerian Watchers, were aliens come to teach mankind.  I don't know.  Once again, yes and no.  The Feri Guardians are associated with the Persian Royal Stars by some and are called the Lords of Outer Space.  There are parallels between them and some accounts of aliens.  And some of the Sumerian carvings do look a lot like modern descriptions of UFOs.  Though I think the UFO my sister and I saw in the night sky as kids (eight lights around a central light moving slowly across the sky) was probably US military, not alien.  But I could be wrong.

~Muninn's Kiss

Sunday 24 April 2011

Easter: One story, One History

Picture from Marriage and Beyond
Well, today is Easter.  I hear a lot of Christians railing against pagan elements in Easter wanting them taken out, even wanting the name Easter to be removed.  I hear a lot of pagans trying to "reclaim" Easter from the Christians.  Does it matter, either way?

Growing up, we celebrated Easter with Easter bunnies and Easter eggs.  We had a lot of fun dying eggs and looking for them the next day.  It was a time to get candy, as were Halloween and Christmas.  I ate some and horded the rest, just as I did on the other two.  While on Christmas Eve, my dad always read us the Christmas story from the Book of Luke to the light of a candy, we did nothing that was Christian on Easter.  I didn't know it was a Christian holiday, honestly, or at least that fact didn't mean enough for me to remember knowing it.  But neither was it pagan.  We didn't dye eggs as a tribute to Eoster or Ishtar.  There was no religion in our celebration of Easter, Christian or pagan.  It was merely a fun holiday to do fun things as a family.  Like Halloween was.

The Christian story of Easter begins on Good Friday (well, it begins long before that, but Good Friday is a good place to start in this discussion) with the Crucifixion.  Good Friday is Death, Easter Rebirth.  Easter can't happen without Good Friday, but Good Friday is a waste without Easter.  Jesus died and was in the Tome for three days, then was reborn.

Picture from BostonZest
The pagan spring fertility holidays have similar messages.  Fall brings the Death of Winter.  Spring brings Rebirth.  Without Fall, Spring cannot come.  Without the Rebrith of Spring, Winter never ends.  The Earth dies in the Fall and is in the Tome of snow for the Winter, being Reborn in the Spring.

All stories are one story.  All history one history.  The Earth tells the story of Christ, and Christ tell s the story of the Earth.  The same story is echoed in many cultures and myths.  Is Easter Christian?  Is it pagan?  Does it matter?

Let he who has ears hear.

~Muninn's Kiss

In Response to "Approaches to Magick" on StreetMagick

I few days ago, I read the entry entitled "Approaches to Magick" on StreetMagick.  My reply to the entry follows:

I think the lines here aren't as clear cut as you make it sound. A hoodoo/conjure/rootwork practitioner making an offering at a cross roads to get something to happen is definitely "influence divine beings that will then do something for you", as is the traditional witch making an offering to the spirits he works with. In hoodoo, the inclusion of reading Psalms or other Bible verses and the prayers, aren't there just there for fun. They are there to get God or the Saints (for Catholics) to make the working work. And the use of spirits is strong in all forms of magic that I know of. In all magic, it is rituals, it is art. Are the hoodoo or witchcraft rituals actually different in essence than ceremonial magic, or just in form? My craft is definitely not ceremonial magic, but you would be amazed how easily elements of ceremonial magic integrate in and compare. Of course, I have an easier time working with Jewish Kabbalah than the Golden Dawn material.

~Muninn's Kiss

His response, which you can read on the entry, seemed quite insulting, but I won't worry about that.  I'm going to address a few points from it here, as he is not interested in dialog or discussion.

As I had just come upon his blog that day, I haven't read his earlier posts, so, as he implied, I may be missing the background he has set.  However, his second statement about not getting the metaphor of them being two almost completely overlapping circles seems a little off the cuff in relation to what he said in the post.  In the post, he described the two types of magic he is defining as very distinct in practice, if not in results.  I was discussing the way he divided them as type of practice, not in the results.

The main point I was addressing is that he said hoodoo is the first type because it just uses tricks, that it doesn't matter what you believe.  And that the second type is when you try to influence divine entities.  In his answer, he says if there's prayer and these "tricks", then it is both.  Why use hoodoo as the example then?  Either he doesn't know much about hoodoo or he's saying something I'm not understanding.  What's hoodoo without the prayer?  When does hoodoo not try to influence spirits?  By his definitions, hoodoo always is both.  That sounds like the lines not being clear cut to me.  Unless of course his definitions of what is what is wrong.

He says the difference is whether you actively use it for inner alchemical purpose or not.  I'm not sure how this statement would relate to hoodoo because I know a lot more about the outer workings than the inner workings.  In all the forms of traditional witchcraft I'm familiar with, Feri, 1734, Clan of Tubal Cain, Ced, Cultus Sabbati, and others, the inner alcehmy is the major purpose, but outer changes to the world are done when needed.  Does this mean witchcraft is both?  Most witches I know would be insulted to be called ceremonial magicians, and most ceremonial magicians I've met would take offense at witchcraft being called ceremonial magic.

I do agree with him that no type of magic is less than or greater than any other.

What I really don't understand is that he uses the term Goetia for the type of magic that he says doesn't influence spirits.  However, everything I've ever heard discussed as Goetia involves angels and demons.  Why does he choose that term?  When I get a chance, I'll read back in his blog and see if I can figure that out.

Now, at the end of his reply he made it clear that he's not open to discussion or dialog.  He is trying to tell people a specific thing and it is complete and doesn't need to be discussed.

I, however, believe that we never stop learning, and no idea is ever complete.  There is always something else to learn, always a new facet to an idea.  Even in mathematics and science, where everything is about hard facts, theories and laws are refined as more is learned.  No one knows everything about anything, because there's always more to learn.  And one way to learn is to dialog and discuss it with others.  Even if they don't give us anything, even if that person doesn't add anything, being questioned helps us to think about things in a new way.  The discussion can be a catalyst to refine the idea.  Inner alchemy is a process, not a destination.

Maybe I'd be able to help him see something, maybe I wouldn't.  But if you aren't willing to discuss your idea because you think it is complete, the process ends.

~Muninn's Kiss

Saturday 23 April 2011

Jacob's Ladder: Changing Heaven and Fallen Angels

Many religions and tradition make a focus on reaching heaven, of going up. The Norse Valhalla and Fólkvangr were where the hero who died in battle went, both in the upper worlds. Much of Christianity is focused on getting to Heaven. Islam, too, has a struggle to get to Heaven.

Though the Greeks and Romans saw everyone going to the Underworld, some heroes who pleased the gods where either placed in the sky as constellations or made into gods and allowed to live on Mount Olympus. This theme of the abode of the gods or the land of the dead being on a mountain top appears in many cultures, including Chinese. Mountains rise above us, just as heaven is above.

Other cultures have a heaven-like land of the dead that, while isn't above, is very similar to those that are above, a paradise. These tend to be across the sea, inside a hill or mountain, or far far away. The Welsh Annwn is one example.

And of course in some cultures, everyone goes to the underworld, which might be nasty or might be paradise, depending on the culture. But I'll get back to that later.

We focus on above and getting there. Even Buddhism describes enlightenment as ascending. We all want to be like Jesus ascending into Heaven in the first chapter of Acts. But why?

I've talked lately about fallen angels. They are "fallen" because they once were in heaven but are now on earth. Some were kicked out and some left by choice. It's the second group I want to talk about.

The Watchers are the prime example. They saw the beauty of the human women and chose them over heaven. They chose to teach mankind, like Prometheus and Epimetheus. Why is it that we long for heaven but they chose earth, we long for the Divine, but they chose Man?

Have you read about Jacob's Ladder in Genesis?

And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. ~Genesis 28:12

Most Christians describe it as the way to heaven, but there's something noticeable. The angels are ascending and descending, not just ascending.

I've heard the Tree of Life in Kabbalah described as Jacob's Ladder. But who's using the Tree means a lot in how this applies. Any neopagans and New Agers, and others, who get into Kabbalah use the Tree as a visualization and meditation tool. You follow the "Lightning Path" to enlightenment, or the Divine, or Heaven, or the upper world, or whatever. The Middle Pillar exercise Regardie Israel of the Golden Dawn is the opposite. It's about bringing down the power of heaven to earth, rather than raising you up to heaven.

The Jewish idea of the Tree is different. The saying ceremonial magic and hence much of the Western Mystery, Occult, and esoteric community, uses, "as above, so below", is only half of the Jewish idea. "As above, so below, as below, so above." To the Jewish Kabbalist, the Jewish people are how G-d works in the world. This is the World of Action. Actions occur here, not in heaven. The actions of the Jewish people change things in heaven, which then change things on earth. Doing a mitzvah or saying a prayer is like a letter that goes up the Ladder, angel to archangel or whatever, to the upper worlds and changes things there, helps rectify things. These then cascade back down the ladder and helps to redeem our world. This goes up and down the Tree, as it goes up and down through the four worlds. Many interpret the Tree as something to climb to leave the physical for the spiritual. But in the Jewish understanding, we aren't meant to ignore and leave the physical. The physical is where the actions occur. Nothing can happen in heaven if we don't act on earth.

On one of the lists I'm on, we were discussing the Otherworld a bit ago. Part of being a witch is crossing over into the Otherworld, jumping the hedge. Going across is obviously seen as a good thing. If it wasn't, why would we? But if it's so good to be there, why are there all the warnings in folk tales regarding Faerie, the Otherworld, and the Fey about not eating food and other things that can make it so you can't come back? And why is it seen as so terrible when the Fey take someone, be it a baby or an adult, and bring them to the Otherworld for the rest of their lives? Wouldn't it be a good thing to stay over there?

In Feri circles, it's talked about to be Fey. To be Fey is to be both fully Divine and fully Human. The Godself part of us is Divine. She's connected to the Divine. She is our personal I AM. The Talker part of us is Human. She only knows this world. But both are part of us. "I would know myself in all my parts." We are fully Divine AND fully Human. Both are important. We can't ignore either.

Now, back to fallen angels. The universe, heaven and earth, is the macrocasm and we are the microcasm. What is outside us, while important as an external thing, tells us a lot about what's inside. The universe shows us ourselves and allows us to better understand ourselves. Likewise ourselves show us the universe and allows us to better understand the universe. What do fallen angels mean to us, inside us?

Fallen angels are the Divine, heaven, coming into us, choosing us. They become more human and help us become more Divine. They are Godself, Neshamah, descending and joining with us, becoming our lover.

~Muninn's Kiss

Friday 22 April 2011

Good Friday: Death and Darkness

According to the Western Church, today is Good Friday.  I doubt there's many people in Europe and the Americas who don't know that Good Friday is the observation of the anniversary of Jesus' crucifixion.

This evening went went to see the "Stations of the Cross" at Harvest Foursquare Church.  It not being a Catholic church, I wasn't surprised that it wasn't the traditional Stations of the Cross.  Instead of fourteen stations, there were nine (which made me think of Norse mythology, not Christianity).  I think they did a good job with it, even if I would have done some things differently and would have included some things left out, like Peter's denial.

At the devotional, I was thinking about the significance of Good Friday.  The central theme of Good Friday is the Crucifixion.  In modern times, this point tends to be downplayed, either seen as symbolic death or cleaned up.  Mel Gibson did show the messiness of it in his The Passion of the Christ (whether you like the things he said in it or not), and many people went to see it, but the shock of it wasn't what people wanted.  It was a temporary thing, then they moved on.

Death isn't something most people in Western civilization want to think about.  We do everything we can to distance ourselves from it.  We take our elderly and put them in rest homes and avoid visiting them because they remind us that one day we, too, will die.  Our obsession with health is an attempt to live longer, to put off death.  When people commit suicide, we won't talk about it and concentrate on calling them cowards and focusing on how they shouldn't have killed themselves, instead of accepting that they did.  When people die, we rush through the funeral and the other things that go along with a death, trying to make it go away as fast as possible.

In Jewish tradition, Shivah lasts seven days, starting with the funeral.  After Shivah, the parents grieve for thirty days from the time of the funeral.  Kaddish can be said for the deceased for as much as a year (though actually as much as eleven months and a day).  Yahrzeit is observed on the anniversary of the death (based on the Hebrew calendar, not the Gregorian that is normally used in the West) from then on.  Death isn't something that is dealt with quickly and forgotten quickly.

Many cultures and traditions have ancestor worship or ancestor veneration.  In these cultures, those that went before are very important.  Death isn't something to fear and avoid thinking about, because the connection to the dead is strong in these cultures.  To some, it is just a memory, but to some, they are guides and protectors of the family.

People shy away from the subject of sacrifice.  I have heard people who believe they are Christians say they don't believe in the Crucifixion because how could a loving god expect sacrifice of any type let alone a human, and definitely not his son.  I hear the same thing from neopagans, some of which worship gods like Odin who required human sacrifice under Norse, or whichever, belief.  In most societies in the world, blood sacrifices were the norm at one time.  Whether they are right or wrong, it's only more recently that it's become a taboo. It wasn't confined to just Judaism.

The only way to understand Christianity is to understand that in God there is both Mercy and Judgement.  You need to understand both sacrifice and death, and love and rebirth.

Good Friday is a day of Death and of Darkness.  It isn't a joyful or pleasant holiday, but the joy of Easter doesn't come without the death of Good Friday.

~Muninn's Kiss

The Adversary: Enemy or Test

In response to my last post on fallen angels, I was asked what I thought about the Advisory in the Book of Job being the same as Lucifer/Sammuel/Christian Satan, and whether their purpose is the same, whether they are the same or not (my paraphrase of the question).  My response was very long so I decided to post it as a new entry in addition to as a reply.

At least in how he portrayed in Job verses how he portrayed in Christianity (at least after a certain point), he is very different.  Christianity portrays Satan/Lucifer as the epitome of evil wanting nothing more than to destroy the souls of man and to take God's place.  The Advisary in Job seems much more as a servant of God there to give the other side, the legal term of "Devil's Advocate".

Satan in the New Testament is very different than HaSatan, the Adversary, in Job.  I have read Jewish sources that describe him similar to the New Testament as well, so I don't think the version in the NT was made up later and stuck in or edited in, but there's no way to prove that either way.  Satan in the New Testament is definitely fallen, not a servant of God like in Job.  And the demons are said to serve him, demons being another topic.  The idea of Satan has definitely evolved and taken in other ideas since then, though.  There is a large mythos of Satan in Christianity that is much larger than what is in scripture.

Lucifer, of course, is hard to pin down, since the gulf between the Roman Light Bearer and the Christian Satan, Father of Lies, Lord of Air and Darkness, is so great.  Lucifer was the planet Venus as the Morning Star, a name used for Jesus in Revelations.  In fact the Roman Lucifer, Greek Phosphorus, is much more like the figure of Jesus in Christianity than Satan.

Sammuel is similar, and some of the stories overlap, but "feels different" to me than Lucifer/Satan (the feel from reading, not from working with).  He is definitely proud like Satan and Lucifer are shown, but it feels like the pride of a general, rather than a king.  Sammuel never desired to rule, just to have his way.  And Lucifer/Satan tend to be seen as the opposite of God in our dualistic modern society, whereas Sammuel was the opposite of Adam.  Rather than the being the evil enemy fighting God, Sammuel is the dark side of humanity, our Twin.

Azazel, the leader of the Watchers, is also often associated with Lucifer/Satan.  It's hard to separate the fall of the Watchers from the idea of a rebellion and war in heaven, an idea that definitely came later for a few short verses.

And there's Iblis in Islam, who is the "devil" figure in Islam.  He more than likely came from an older Mesopotamian story, but I haven't studied him much.  The interaction of Jews, Christians, and Muslims throughout history, plus the interactions before Jesus and Mohammad, have cause bleed over and borrowing between cultures.

And of course, Melek Ta'us is equated with Ilbis by Muslims and has been taken to be Lucifer/Satan by many Christians, so the Yezidi are often called Devil worshippers by Muslims and Christians alike.

Of course, all three are often associated with the serpent in the Garden of Eden, depending on who you ask or which myth you read. And the lines of other myths have blurred over time as well.  Whether the original names referred to same being or not, they have merged with time.

There is power in the use of a name, and in the belief of humans.  Maybe we've created a being to go along with our myths or maybe not.  But I'm pretty sure the original beings were separate and distinct.  Or, which is always a possibility, that all of these similar myths are echoes of a far earlier myth.

As far as purpose, is the purpose of HaSatan the same as the Christian Satan?  I don't think so.  Christians tend to not see Satan as a test to overcome as much as an enemy to defeat.  Though the role in the New Testament seems much closer to that of in Job than the modern view.

~Muninn's Kiss

Wednesday 20 April 2011

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!

Fallen Angel carving on tree
on the Laramie West Side,
carved by  Eric Tkachenko
Fallen Angels are scorned by some and trumpeted by others. But they seem to always stir up strong emotions. There are many stories and myths about fallen angels and about similar beings, in many cultures. Most people know just the following two verses, one from Isaiah and the other from Jesus:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. ~Isaiah 14:12-15 
 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. ~Luke 10:18
There's debate about the first one, but I won't go into that here.  The point is, people assume that first of all Lucifer and Satan are the same, and second of all that the only fallen angels are the third of the angels that are said to have followed him in rebellion.  But there are many stories of fallen angels besides this story that seems to have eclipsed the rest.  This post isn't meant to be exhaustive on the subject, just a rambling of my thoughts and an excuse to post the picture above that I've been meaning to take for years.  For a good, more exhaustive, source on fallen angels, I would recommend The Book of Fallen Angels by Michael Howard.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

The Night Devours You

The Night Devours You

By Muninn's Kiss
Inspired by the words of an amazing girl, including some of hers

Look to the sky,
Feel the Night's presence.
Night's embrace,
The arms of Darkness hold you.
The Night envelops you,
It is hungry,
The Night devours you.
Lost in it.

As you are consumed,
You consume.
As the night devours you,
You devour.
Consumed becomes consumer,
Devouring yourself, one with yourself.
The Night and you are one.

Standing in the Void of Space,
But not alone.
You are Night,
You are God Herself,
Nuit, full of stars.
Complete in yourself,
Eternally satisfied.

The Mirror before you,
Yourself, looking at yourself,
In the Dark Mirror,
The curve of space.
Complete and alone,
Not alone.

You step towards.
She steps towards.
Night sees Night,
She is you.
You are Night.
She is Night.

Love, ecstasy.
Coupling, self with self.

Worlds spin away,
Creation begins.
Light out of Darkness.
Let there be light.
Shaking from passion.
Vibrations between atoms.
Night, proton.
Electron and neutron,
Twins, Divine Twins.
Big Bang, Big Orgasm.
Stars, the substance of stars.
Every man and woman is a star.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

Sunday 17 April 2011

In Response to Rethinking the Watchtowers...

This and the previous post were replies to an email on a list, though I've removed the parts that are relevant only to the message I was replying to.  I liked how I said what I said and figured I'd share it with anyone who wants to read it.

This is in regards the the article Rethinking the Watchtowers by Mike Nichols.  It is from a Wicca perspective.  The email discussion about it was in a Feri context.  The original site is no longer up, but it can be read here:

Some of what he says I agree with and some I don't.  I like Air in the North, but I like Fire and Earth differently than his arrangement.  When I've called on the Feri Guardians, I've used the associations V gives, but they aren't the arrangement I'm most comfortable with.  I prefer the arrangement that is "traditional" in the traditions that draw from Robert Cochrane's letters and practices, like 1734 and the Clan of Tubal Cain.  The explanation below is mostly my own understanding, based on what I've read, what I've experienced, conversations with others, and my own musings, nothing official.  So this isn't all my original thoughts, nor is it all what I was taught from a specific authoritative source.  I'll explain why I put "traditional" in quotes, at the end.

The associations I'm talking about are drawn from RC's Basic Structure of the Craft, which is essentially a creation myth, but sets up a mythos used in rituals and rites.  It describes Night having seven sons who created seven worlds.  Four of these are the Wind Gods, which are the Four Winds from the four directions.  Tettens is in the North, the North Wind, and is Woden, amongst other things.  He is described as Air.  In the East is Lucet, the King of Light, who is Fire.  These two are the Divine Twins, "Lucet and Tettens are the Twins, the Children of Night and the Serpent, brothers and some say one and the same person. Fire and Air, growth and decay. One looks forward, the other backward. One creates, the other destroys, Castor and Pollox."  In the South is Carenos, who is fertility, Earth.  In the West is Node, Sleep and Wisdom, the God of the Sea, Water.

So Air is in the North, and is the colour black.  This is the cold North Wind, which brought all the winter storms to the British Isles.  For North is also Winter and Midnight, which matches what was said in the article, for Winter is dark, and the further north you go, the darker and the longer the nights, until there is only night, only Midnight.  Hence the colour black.

Fire is in the East, and is the colour red.  The sun, which is Fire, and the masculine principle in the world (though the sun is pulled by a female in Norse belief and the moon my a male; there's a lot of secrets in that), rises in the East (as does the moon, but that isn't important), and many ancient cultures believed his home was in the East.  Cochrane equated the Masculine Mysteries with the sun and Feminine Mysteries with the moon, which are East and West.  Lucet, the King of Light, brings the sun, which brings light.  Life was said to come from the East and from the sun.  Fire is red of course.

Earth is in the South, and is the colour white.  Earth is feritility, as Carenos is fertility.  The further south you go in Britain, the more fertile, in general.  Wessux is definitely more fertile than the Scottish Highlands.  The soil in the southern part of Britain are chalk, which is white of course.  The use of chalk in the Craft is very important.  Also, white is light, and noon is the brightest part of the day.  I'll get to that in a bit.

Water is in the West, and the colour is grey.  The moon, as we mentioned, is Water and feminine.  The moon sets in the West (as the does the sun, but that isn't important), and many ancient cultures believed she had her home there.  The house of the moon, the Gates of the West, are the Gates of Death, the way to the Underworld.  The dead were said to travel across the great western sea, the Atlantic Ocean, when they died, traveling with the moon.  Water is in the West not because you couldn't see land from the West coast of Britain or could from the East coast, but because it was "known" that past Ireland, there was only water and the land of the dead, which was under water.  Grey is for twilight, between day and night.  I;ll get to that in a second.

North, East, South, and West are not just Air, Fire, Earth, and Water.  In fact the four elements are one of the least important associations with the Wind Gods and directions, just as the Feri Guardians are so much more than elemental forces.  1734 doesn't work in a Circle in the way Wicca and Ceremonial Magic does.  1734 works a compass (notice, "works a" not "works in a").  The compass isn't related to protection or controlling anything like circles in Ceremonial Magic.  What does a compass do?  It points the way.  But compass comes from a different meaning, to surround.  The four directions surround, so became called the compass, and the device that points was named for it.  Thorn likes to use the phrase for God Herself, and also for Witch, "the centre which is the circumference of all."  This is the compass.  When you stand in the middle, you are Witch, you are the centre, but you are also the world, the circumference.  But, anyway, I digress.  The compass places in in time and space, orientates you.  The directions are also times and dates.  North is Midnight, and Winter Solstice.  East is Sunrise, Dawn, and Spring Equinox.  South is Noon and Summer Solstice.  West is Sunset, Dusk, Twilight, and Autumn Equinox.  And of course, there isn't only four directions.  Northeast is Candlemas, Imbolc, and the point between Midnight and Dawn.  Southeast is Roodmas, Beltane, and mid-morning.  Southwest is Lughnassadh and mid-afternoon.  And Northwest is Samhane and mid-evening.  And you can put other points on the compass.  But the compass doesn't stand still.  It can be rotated.  It spins.  Like a castle spinning without moving.  Time and space move.  They aren't static.  Where are you and when are you when you're in the compass?  That is a very good question.

Which brings me to my last point.  I say it's the "traditional" arrangement, because it doesn't stand still.  You can place any direction, any element, any hour, any date at North and it changes everything.  Regardless which order you use or which placement, experiment.  North determines the feel of the compass.  Each element has specific associations.  Maybe why I like Air in the North is because I have always had an affinity to Air and Wind.  I worshiped a wind goddess when I was younger and would call up a strong wind at will.  And Air is inspiration and intellect, and I tend to live in my intellect much of the time, as you can probably tell from these two posts.  In a dream back in February, I was made a priestess and they painted yellow tribal patterns on my skin and white clothes.  Yellow is ofter associated with Air and Intellect.  But I digress again.  What to place at North depends on the work you are doing.  Some workings work well with Air at North and Earth at North is just wrong for that working.  But others Earth is best.  So the best thing is to think throw the correspondences and associations, experiment, and get a feel for it.  Magic and witchcraft are Art.  The intellectual thoughts, the techniques, the traditions, the teachings, all the knowledge in the world, can help you plan and give you ideas, but practice and a feel for it are ultimately what matters.  Listen to Fetch and Godself, don't depend only on Talker, like I tend to.

~Muninn's Kiss

Kabbalah and the Elements...

This and the next post were replies to an email on a list, though I've removed the parts that are relevant only to the message I was replying to.  I liked how I said what I said and figured I'd share it with anyone who wants to read it.

In Kabbalah, the way I was taught, the three elements are tied to the three Mothers in the Hebrew alphabet, Shin, Aleph, and Mem.  The world began with the first Breath, G-d breathing into the universe and giving it life.  Breath is words and words is breath, the world was spoken into being, the world is made of breath, the breath became sound, the sound, became letters, the letters became words, the words became creation. "Let there be light."  The Breath is the letter Heh.  Heh is breathed more than spoken.  Notice the similarities between the Hebrew Heh and Hawaiian Ha, breath and four.  Kether, Crown is that Breath, Chokmah, Wisdom, breath from breath.  In the Jewish Tree, Heh connects Kether and Chokmah.  Chokmah is like Kether, and Binah, Understanding, reflects Chokmah.  With Binah there were two, duality.  Vev connects Kether and Binah.  Vev is the hook that hangs the Veil in the Temple.  Vev is And in Hebrew grammar.  With Binah, there were two, Chokmah AND Binah, Abba and Imma, Father and Mother.  But I digress.

G-d breathed into Adam, giving him life.  That breath, that Ruach (wind, breath, Talker) gave life.  The mud man became the living man.  Just so, G-d breathed into the universe of Void and Chaos, which sounds a lot like mud in the Zohar, and gave it life.  As above, so below; as below, so above.

The first Breath filled the void that is the Tzimtzum, the Contraction, the Womb of the Star Goddess.  Breath is Air with heat and moisture, Fire and Water.  Heat rises and water condenses on the lower surfaces, hence Fire rose above and water condensed below, leaving Air in the middle.  Fire is Shin, the upper Mother, which connects Chokmah to Binah, and is the upper world, Atziluth, the World of Emanations.  If you look at the form of the letter, Shin is three flames.  It's said that in the world to come, it will have four flames.  Air is Aleph, the middle Mother, which connects Chesed to Geburah, and is Briah, the World of Creation.  If you look at the form of Aleph, it is a bar with a Yod on each side.  There's other symbolism, but you can see it as Air being the bar, with Fire above and Water below.  Water is Mem, the lower Mother, which connects Netzach to Hod, and is Yetzurah, the world of Forms, which is the Great Lower Sea, Binah being the Upper Sea.  Mem literally means Water, but also the Womb.  If you look at the form of Mem, the top looks like a wave on the sea.

Now, in Kabbalah, the masculine is that which gives and the feminine is that which receives.  This is why G-d, who is both male and female, and neither, for there's no duality at Kether and above, is seen as male.  G-d gives and his Bride, Israel, receives.  Heaven gives and the Earth receives.  The metaphor is sexual.  The male "gives" his penis, and the female receives it into her vagina.  The male gives semen and the female receives it into her womb.  In the Tree, above gives and below receives, so above is masculine and below is feminine.  Kether is masculine to everything, and Malkuth is feminine to everything.  For the rest, it's relational.  Chokmah is feminine in relation to Kether and masculine in relation to Chesed.  Likewise, this is true left to right.  Chokmah is masculine to Binah's feminine.  Which brings us to the Pillars.

The three Mothers rotate and become the three Pillars.  So, the Pillar of Mercy, the Pillar of Chesed, is the Pillar of Fire.  The Pillar of Severity, the Pillar of Geburah, is the Pillar of Water.  And the Middle Pillar is the Pillar of Air.  The Pillar of Mercy is masculine and is made up of Chokmah, Chesed, and Netzach.  The Pillar of Severity is feminine and is made up of Binah, Geburah, and Hod.  And the Middle Pillar stands between them, the balance.  I've written a lot in my LiveJournal about the three Pillars, but most of it isn't important here.

So, at least in Jewish Kabbalah, Netzach would be Fire and Hod Water.  Of course, most of the attributes of Netzach are things that the modern Western world associate with feminine behaviour and traits, and most of the attributes of Hod are things that the modern Western world associate with masculine behaviours and traits, so many Westerners flip the two, making Netzach feminine and Water and Hod masculine and Fire.  But this is because we have different cultural biases and stereotypes and don't understand that everything is both male and female, Fire and Water, for all is in G-d, in the Star Goddess, and there is no duality in that True reality, only in the illusions of this world.

~Muninn's Kiss

Friday 8 April 2011

Romulus and Remus: Establishment and Witch - Part 2

Okay, back to Romulus and Remus.   I'd first like to quote from the Wikipedia article about them, since I think it gives a pretty good summary.  The think to remember is that there are many versions of the myth.  This doesn't reflect all of them.

Romulus and Remus are Rome's twin founders in its traditional foundation myth, although the former is sometimes said to be the sole founder. Their maternal grandfather was Numitor, rightful king of Alba Longa, a descendant of the Trojan prince, Aeneas and father to Rhea Silvia (also known as Ilia). Before their conception, Numitor's brother Amulius deposed his brother, killed his sons and forced Rhea to become a Vestal Virgin, intending to deprive Numitor of lawful heirs and thus secure his own position; but Rhea conceived Romulus and Remus by either the god Mars or the demi-god Hercules. When the twins were born, Amulius left them to die but they were saved by a series of miraculous interventions. A she-wolf found them and suckled them. A shepherd and his wife then fostered them and raised them to manhood as shepherds. The twins proved to be natural leaders and acquire many followers. When told their true identities, they killed Amulius, restored Numitor to the throne of Alba Longa and decided to found a new city for themselves.

Romulus wished to build the new city on the Palatine Hill but Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. They agreed to determine the site through augury. Romulus appeared to receive the more favorable signs but each claimed the results in his favour. In the disputes that followed, Remus was murdered by Romulus. Ovid has Romulus invent the festival of Lemuria to appease Remus' resentful ghost. Romulus names the new city Rome after himself and goes on to create the Roman Legions and the Roman Senate. Rome's population is swelled by incomers, including landless refugees and outlaws; most are men. Romulus arranges the abduction of women from the neighboring Sabine tribes, which immediately leads to war but eventually results in the combination of Sabines and Romans as one Roman people. Rome rapidly expands to become a dominant force in central Italy, due to divine favour and the inspired administrative, military and political leadership of Romulus. In later life Romulus becomes increasingly autocratic, disappears in mysterious circumstances and is deified as the god Quirinus, the divine persona of the Roman people.

The image of the she-wolf suckling the divinely fathered twins became an iconic representation of the city and its founding legend, making Romulus and Remus preeminent among the feral children of ancient mythography. The legend as a whole encapsulates Rome's ideas of itself, its origins and moral values; for modern scholarship, it remains one of the most complex and problematic of all foundation myths, particularly in the matter and manner of Remus' death. Ancient historians had no doubt that Romulus gave his name to the city. Most modern historians believe his name a back-formation from the name Rome; the basis for Remus' name and role remain subjects of ancient and modern speculation. The myth was fully developed into something like an "official", chronological version in the Late Republican and early Imperial era. Roman historians dated the city's foundation from 758 to 728 BC. Plutarch says Romulus was fifty-three at his death; his reckoning gives the twins' birth year as c. 771 BC. Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and are much disputed. Very few scholars believe in the historicity of Romulus and Remus, but Andrea Carandini is one. He bases his belief on the 1988 discovery of an ancient wall which he names as the Murus Romuli on the north slope of the Palatine Hill in Rome, and dates to the mid 8th century BC.

In all versions of the myth, there are strong parallels between the birth of the twins and the birth of Moses in the Torah.  Both were meant to die but were saved.  Both were placed in baskets in a river, in this myth on the Tiber instead of the Nile.  Both were saved from the river.  Moses was found and raised by a princess, whereas Tiberinus, the river deity, directed the twins' basket to the reeds where they were rescued and suckled by a wolf.  There are a lot of parallels between how the Jews view Moses and how Rome viewed Romulus, but I won't go there here.

Whether the myth is true or not, whether Romulus and Remus really lived, whether they really founded Rome, doesn't really matter, like it doesn't with most myths.  The myth, Romulus, is Rome and Rome is Romulus.  The myth shaped Rome and Rome shaped the myth.  You can't have Rome as it was without Romulus.  And you can't have the modern Western world without Rome, because it grew out of Rome.  Most of Europe and the New World are the result of Rome.  Basically what is identified as the Christian world is the modern Roman world.  The West is Rome and Rome is Romulus.  We, the modern world, are the results of this myth.  Romulus formed the Roman Senate in the myth, and Western government, and also Western religious structures, come from the Senate.  It is all the product of Romulus, Romulus the son of a god, Romulus raised by wolves, Romulus the shepherd, Romulus the warrior, Romulus the leader, Romulus the kinslayer.

But what of Remus?  There is no Romulus without Remus.  They are twins.  The story of Romulus is the story of Remus.  There's a reason why Remus, so mysterious to historians, is always part of the story.  But all the stories are either about both doing something or about only Romulus.  Who was this Remus?  Why is he important?

Seeing Romulus as the leader and Remus as the follower is easy with the focus on Romulus.  It's easy to think Remus just followed his brother's lead, never questioned, never argued, did whatever Romulus wanted.  But is this true?  The stories say they both proved to be excellent leaders and gained many followers.  It wasn't just Romulus the leader and Remus the follower.  This matches my dream with each of the twins leading a group.  But what more do we know about Remus?
Some versions of the myth tell of a disagreement.  The twins want to build a city, the city that would later be known as Rome.  They disagree on which hill to build it one.  They decide to use augury to decide.  Remus sees six eagles (or vultures) and Romulus sees twelve.  Remus claims it favoured him because he saw his six before Romulus saw any.  Romulus claims it favoured him because he saw more.  Romulus and his followers start building a wall (or a boundary, a trench, etc, depending on the version), while Remus watches, criticizing.  I'll finish this story in a moment, but first, what do we see here?  Is Remus just a follower?  Obviously not.  They disagreed, and Remus didn't just give in.

The end of this version is interesting, and gets to the root of where I've been heading.  Remus jumps over the wall as an insult to the defenses.  Romulus gets mad and kills Remus and says, so will happen to anyone who jumps over the wall.  This can, of course, be taken as talking about that anyone who tries to breach the defenses of Rome will be killed.  And this understanding would have been the one Romans saw in the myth.  And for a long time, anyone who went against Rome ended up losing.  But is there another way to look at it?

The wall, the trench, the boundary.  Liminal.  Crossing over.  Liminal space is important, because a boundary in the physical world reflects a boundary in the spiritual.  Witch lives in the liminal, one foot in each world.  Part of what makes Witch is the crossing over.  Some use the term jumping the hedge.  Is it a great stretch to compare this to jumping a wall?  Can we see Remus as Witch?<

Romulus is the one building, he is the establishment.  The government, the Church, order, the authorities.  Remus is on the sidelines, the outcast, Other, Witch.  Remus is a threat to Romulus, to what he is building, to his plans.  Other is always a threat to the establishment, whether the establishment is Christian, Muslim, Jewish, pagan, heathen, atheist, whatever.  Witch is always a threat.  Because the establishment doesn't like change.  Change can't be predicted, can't be controlled.  But Witch is change.  Change can't help but come.

So, we see Romulus as the establishment, and Remus as Witch.  Romulus isn't evil, nor is Remus.  But neither are good, either.  The Church isn't evil, the government isn't evil, science isn't evil.  Witchcraft isn't evil, either.  There is no inherent good or evil in either.  But both may do evil or do good, or more accurately do harm or help.  Romulus kills Remus, not because Romulus is evil, and not because Remus is evil, but because Remus is a threat.

But what is Romulus without Remus?  The important parts of the story are done with Remus' death.  And what is Remus without Romulus?  They are twins, they are one.  Romulus is Remus' reflection, and Remus is Romulus' reflection.  They are each others' soul.  So too with the establishment and Witch.  Without Witch, there is no change.  The establishment becomes stagnant.  And without the establishment, Witch becomes complacent.  You see this in today's witchcraft.  It has grown in numbers in the last sixty years, but so has the number of "witches" who aren't serious, who just think it's cool, who never dig deep.  The establishment and Witch, like Romulus and Remus, are two sides of the same coin, the outside expression and the inside expression.

Okay, back to my dream.  In my dream, both Romulus and Remus were obviously leaders as they each had large groups of people.  I only one I actually encountered was Romulus.  Was Remus already dead by then?  I don't know.  But as important as he is in myth, as important as he is in the discussion above, he must not have been important in the dream.  It was our interaction with Romulus, with the establishment, that mattered.

Romulus was the large group, the majority, as the establishment always is.  Or, I should say, followed by the majority.  We were the small group, the minority.  Romulus' people seemed like followers, lackeys.  It was him and those who followed him.  Our group felt like a team, one.  There was a leader, the secular leader, the representative.  And there was me, the priestess, the spiritual leader, the Bridge.  But we weren't above the rest, superior to the rest.  We were all equals even if we had different roles.

Romulus tries to force himself of the leader.  She is the physical, I am the spiritual.  She is this world, I am the Otherworld.  She is human, i am divine, fey.  Together, we are whole.  Together, we are Witch.  He forces himself on her, because he can touch the physical word.  He can touch the body.  But he can't touch the spiritual, he can't touch the soul.  I aid her in trying to fight him back.  We are one, so we fight together, the spiritual aiding the physical, the soul aiding the body.  It's only together we can fight back.

There is a lot more in my dream, though some of it is personal.  And there is a lot more to the story of Romulus and Remus.  But I'll leave both be for now.

~Muninn's Kiss

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Romulus and Remus: Establishment and Witch

Back a while, I had a dream that I wrote about where there were four groups, two large, two small, and the two big groups were led by Romulus and Remus.  Later dream, we (the group I was in, one of the small ones) met Romulus and a small group of his people.  I don't remember them, but I remember a sense of his people (the small group of them, not all of them) behind him and our people (once again, not all of them) behind me and the leader of our group.  I was a priestess in the dream, and the leader was also female.  I think we were on a couch or something similar, and it seems like the encounter took place in a parking lot.  Our leader was sitting on the right hand side of the couch and I was sitting on her left, pretty close to her.  Romulus was standing, bent over her trying to sexually assault or maybe rape her.  She had her knee up trying to push him away and I was grabbing at his arm, trying to stop him.  He was dressed all in tight black leather that covered everything but his hands and head.  I woke up in the middle of the struggle.

It had been a very long time since I did any reading on Romulus and Remus, so earlier this week, I read up on them to refresh my memory.  The following are my thoughts on the story, some of the themes, how it relates to the craft, and some thoughts about the meaning of the part of my dream I expanded on above.

Before I get into the details of the legend, I'd like to talk about twins.  Romulus and Remus are of course twins, and this is very important.  Twins are very common in legends, myths, and folk lore.  There's something about twins that people find magical, unusual, mystical, or frightening.  Twins hold a special place in our psyches, and in the secrets of the universe.  What is a twin?  Our other half?  Our reflection?  Our doppleganger?  Some cultures see twins are evil, bad omens, demons.  Others see twins as a sign of favour from the gods.  In some cultures, twins, or the second twin, are killed, in others, revered.  A twin that dies can haunt their sibling or be a guide or protector.  But regardless of the cultural views, twins capture our imaginations, because they reflect spiritual truths and we know, whether we "know" or not, that these are important.

To look at a few sets of twins, I'll start with Cain and Abel, the first two children of Adam and Eve in the Torah.  Though I don't see anything in the Hebrew to show whether they were twins or not, traditionally, they have been seen as such, and I think the parallels with Romulus and Remus are important.  Everyone's heard the story.  Cain raised grain and Abel raised livestock.  Abel makes an offering to G-d or the first born of his stock and G-d accepts it (probably with fire from heaven).  Cain makes an offering of the first of of his crops and G-d doesn't accept it.  There's a lot of debate on why G-d doesn't accept it, but that doesn't matter for this post.  Cain gets upset and kills his brother.  Abel's blood from the land cries out to G-d, and G-d comes and asks Cain where Abel was.  Cain says he's not his brothers' keeper.  G-d makes him a wanderer.  Cain says everyone will try to kill him, so G-d puts a mark on him to protect him.  Many witches claim descendence from Cain, but I'd like to look at this a little differently.  You can parallel Cain with Romulus and Abel with Remus.  Depending on the version of the legend, Romulus killed Remus like Cain killed Abel.  I will talk later about Romulus being the Establishment, the Orthodox, those in control, and Remus being Witch, the source of change in the world.  Remus is a challenge to Romulus' control.  Likewise, Abel being accepted by G-d was a challenge to Cain.  And, of course, Abel's blood in the earth crying out has echoes in spirits of the land and of the call of the ancestors, of the Mighty Dead.

Another set of twins were Castor and Pollox.  I don't know a lot about them, so I can't say much.  They were the children of Leda.  According to some versions of the story, even though they were born as twins, Castor was the son of Tyndareus and Pollox the son of Zeus (in swan form).  Pollox was immortal and Castor mortal.  They were raised by Tyndareus in Sparta.  There's no story of a twin killing a twin here.  Castor dies in a cattle raid and Pollox goes to Zeus to intercede for him.  There are a lot of things that could be explored in this story, but not really anything I can relate to this post.

I'm not going to go into much detail here, but the Divine Twins are very important in Feri.  I've made a lot of posts about them in the past.  They appear in many different guises, but they can be seen as the two sides of the same thing:  the Summer and Winter King, life and death, creation and destruction, past and future.  The big thing related to this post is the interconnectedness.  Romulus and Remus, Cain and Abel, Castor and Pollox, you can't have one without the other.  The story is about the twins, not about on or the other.  It's the interaction of the two that makes the story.  Witch moves in relation to the world around her, not just the natural world but the social world.  Sometimes he works against the world, sometimes with it, but change needs something to interact with or it isn't change.  The stillness interacts with the movement of the Cauldron.

Robert Cochrane calls two of the Wind Gods, Lucet and Tettens twins:
(Lucet and Tettens are the Twins, the Children of Night and the Serpent, brothers and some say one and the same person. Fire and Air, growth and decay. One looks forward, the other backward. One creates, the other destroys, Castor and Pollox.)
Lucet is the King of Light and the Child.  He is the day, the sun.  Tettens is the god of witches, the winter, the night.

In Voudou, you find the Marassa, the twins.  There's a secret here, because the two become three.  the Marassa are mischievous and can be dangerous.  There's a lot that can be said about the Marassa, but I'll move on for now.

To be continued...

~Muninn's Kiss

Monday 4 April 2011

Across the Abyss...

Muninn was one of Odin's ravens. The other was Huginn. Muninn is memory, which is Chokmah, Wisdom, and the past; Huginn is thought, which is Binah, Understanding, and the future. Where we need to live is in Da'at, the Knowing, the present, the moment, the balance between Muninn and Huginn, between Chokmah and Binah, between Wisdom and Understanding, between Kether and Malkhuth, between the Crown and the World. That is what this journal is about. It is a mystic journey to find our way across the Abyss to truly know the ineffable, unknowable God.

This journal will take many paths. The primary subjects I'm currently looking at are Feri Witchcraft, Kabbalah, and 1734 Witchcraft. I diverge off these topics a lot and intermix them. Sometimes I post personal posts about myself but not often. I started on much of these musings as a result of a visit to Seattle a few years ago. I heard about Feri while I was there. I started researching Feri and heard mention of Kabbalah through it. From there, I found the letters of Robert Cochrane (Roy Bower), and started reading about 1734.

In this journal, I will explain some things that I'm basing my discussion on, but not everything. There will be a certain amount of foundation assumed. If anyone ever reads this, and if you have questions, feel free to ask and I will explain anything I am able to explain.

Just a warning, since I was thinking about it. I haven't been studying any of these subjects very long. Before that, I had bits and pieces of various religions, occult ideas, and mythologies that I had picked up here and there. I've never had formal training or participated in any ritual that involved more people than just me, and am not an initiate in any tradition. Everything I post is a combination of the bits of knowledge I've picked up, things I've read, things I've discussed with people online, and my own musing. As such, take everything I write with a grain of salt. This journal is primarily me working through things, and there are a lot of holes in my knowledge and experience, so I will probably miss things and get things wrong. If you see something I got wrong or you disagree with, please tell me. And your own study will help you discern whether I'm looking in the right direction or following the Lapwing far from the Roebuck.

~Muninn's Kiss

New Blog

Since everyone I know seems to be using blogger now, I figured I'd create a blog here, too.  From now on, I plan to cross post my posts both here and to my LiveJournal.  I am trying to import my posts from LiveJournal to here, but am having issues.  Until then, you can read my old posts at:

~Muninn's Kiss

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