Monday, November 30, 2009

Philosophy Of Religion

Philosophy Of Religion Image
India is a land of numerous idols. This land is refuge to one of the oldest human civilization and a number of religions, philosophy, radical thoughts. Not only India, but we find the tendency to give form to God as idols, to make God manifest in so many forms in all age-old civilizations across Central America, South America, Africa, Australia, China to where not.

Personally I see making and worshiping God in man made idols as an urge to bring god-consciousness in a visible form. Worshiping God in idol form was an easy way to express THAT, Which is incomprehensible. It is a very weak but significant effort to give an image or representation to God at a time when even human language was not developed enough.

Science talk about physical evolution, but there is a more important evolution for collective human race, which is our mental evolution. Evolution of our collective human consciousness. We see this evolution also in religious understanding. Perhaps the example of Prophet Abraham, the father of monotheism is best in understanding the evolution of our understanding of God. He saw Sun and took it as God and worshiped. At the set of the sun, he rejected sun as God and took moon as God. Then moon also passed by. Then he realized neither the sun, nor the moon is God. But rather it is the Creator of Sun and Moon, Who is the only worthy of worship. Its a simple but sure enough image to understand how humanity evolved in mental projection of the idea of God.

Our thoughts, expression, understanding and ability to grasp more - are all under this great evolution. What the pre-historic cave-men could understand is much different than a man of 21st century. It is as true for the ability to do maths, as for the ability to realize God idea. Thus men took the signs of God, such as a big tree, a big mountain and worshiped it. Even today in Africa people do worship big trees, in Australia the Aboriginal People worship big mountains.

Now one might think, wow! how come they worship a mountain and show devotion to it! We read in Quran where God speak that even mountains are signs of God: Surely the Safa and the Marwa are among the signs appointed by God; so whoever makes a pilgrimage to the House (Kaba) or pays a visit (to it), there is no sin for him if he goes round them both; and whoever does good spontaneously, then surely God is Grateful, Knowing. (The Quran 002.158)

Although Islam, as Judaism is very much against any kind of idol worshiping or adoration of icons; it does acknowledge the fact that devotion to signs of God are nothing but devotion to God Himself. Thus the worshiper of God in form - in the outer reality they worship a form, a sign; but in greater inner reality they all bow down to One God. It is the same for idol worship of ancient ages as well. The very idea of a transcendent God was beyond grasp at the earlier stages of human mental evolution. Thus it was an inner tendency for the ancient people to create a visible form so that mass can pray to that form, rather than an Invisible, Incomprehensible Transcendent Being. This visible form enabled people to express their devotion by offerings, to meditate and pray easily.

This human tendency to have a form even for God so that he or she can stand in front, can pray to - is a very ancient tendency. We find this evidence in Bible and Quran as well. The history of great Prophet Moses is one of such example. When Moses went to Mount Sinai to meditate on and pray to God (to speak with God, in another word), his own people grew impatient. And what did they wanted to do?

They wanted a visible form of God, Who in Reality is beyond form. People of Moses said, as we find in Quran: And remember ye said: "O Moses! We shall never believe in thee until we see God manifestly," but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting even as ye looked on. (The Quran, 002.055)

When Moses went for retreat, they wanted a visible God, so they made a idol that looked like something which they could comprehend. And that something was the form of a cow. There came to you Moses with clear (Signs); yet ye worshipped the calf (Even) after that, and ye did behave wrongfully. (The Quran 002.092)

Now when our collective human consciousness became mature enough to understand the message of God's transcendental Unity, it was proclaimed to turn back from all idols and turn to One and Only God. Then it became a wrongful behavior to neglect God's transcendental nature and to keep with the idol. Apart from theological implication, it also has social implication. Worshiping many form of gods (idols) in tribal culture proved to be dividing the humanity. And turning to One God universally was instrumental for many of men's achievement. Whole nation rose and changed themselves. Thus, proclaiming God's Oneness is a message to undivide, to bind humanity, which is more important than many other religious goals. Because when humanity realizes its unity, it realizes God's unity, the unity of one and only Reality.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

A Irmandade De Odin In Portuguese

A Irmandade De Odin In Portuguese Cover

Book: A Irmandade De Odin In Portuguese by Mark Mirabello

O Odinismo tambem conhecido como "Asatru" (termo islandes para "Lealdade aos Deuses") e, em sua encarnacao moderna, a tentativa de reconstruir o mais fielmente possivel a antiga religiao Nordica. Devido a falta de textos, artefatos ou templos sobreviventes alguns detalhes estao para sempre perdidos. Para preencher esses detalhes, os adeptos tem que recorrer a pesquisas arqueologicas, trabalhos academicos e textos sobreviventes. As principais fontes literarias sao as Sagas islandesas e vikings, bem como os textos conhecidos como "Eddas" (existem duas versoes o chamado "Edda Poetico" e o "Edda em Prosa"). Embora nao tenham o Status de "livros sagrados" ou "revelacoes" esses trabalhos nos dao as informacoes mais importantes sobre as crencas e os principais deuses venerados na epoca dos Vikings. De uma certa maneira, A Irmandade de Odin, e uma rendicao moderna do conteudo dos Eddas. Mas e muito mais do que isso.

As primeiras manifestacoes publicas dessa nova/antiga fe em nossos tempos aconteceram em 1960, na islandia. O livro que voce agora tem em maos nos da, entretanto, uma nova e desconcertante visao: o Odinismo nao apenas teria sobrevivido a furia das conversoes cristas no norte da Europa como tornou-se uma religiao clandestina, preservando suas crencas e iniciando seus membros desde 1421. A palavra "iniciando" deve ser tomada em seu sentido esoterico: um grupo de guerreiros, homens e mulheres extraordinarios, teriam fundado uma sociedade secreta que preservou rituais poderosos e um conhecimento incomum sobre os deuses e deusas dos povos nordicos.

Mesmo que o leitor nao possa aceitar as crencas descritas neste livro (e a propria tendencia em ver as informacoes aqui contidas como "alegoricas" e visto como um sinal de decadencia de nosso mundo atual), acredito que ele nao saira intocado pela forca e brilho do tipo de ser humano que e valorizado pela irmandade. Mesmo que nao se possa aceitar a existencia da irmandade de Odin tal como descrita aqui, e impossivel negar que mais do que nunca precisamos do espirito e da visao que esta por tras da irmandade. Se o leitor conseguir incorporar em si esse espirito, entao pelo menos um dos objetivos da irmandade de Odin ja tera sido atingido.

Gostaria de agradecer as pessoas que tornaram essa traducao possivel: Em primeiro lugar, ao Dr. Mark Mirabello por sua imediata adesao e suporte a ideia de traduzir seu trabalho para o Portugues. Aos meus irmaos e irmas Odinistas (alguns deles membros da irmandade) que me apoiaram, incentivaram e responderam as minhas diversas duvidas ao longo do processo. E finalmente, mas nao menos importante, a minha esposa, Raquel, que faz todas as coisas valerem a pena. - Marcos Rogerio Estevam

Download Mark Mirabello's eBook: A Irmandade De Odin In Portuguese

Books in PDF format to read:

Stephanie Du Barry - The Witch And The Demoniac In Tudor And Stuart England
Miac - Asatru And Odinism
Aleister Crowley - Ahab And Other Poems
Mark Mirabello - La Hermandad De Odin In Spanish
Mark Mirabello - A Irmandade De Odin In Portuguese

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jera Rune

Jera Rune Cover This Rune is connected with a fertile year or season, that is the period that can be in any way considered successful. The very concept of a fertile year or season is very important in insecure and unstable regions of Northern Europe. Moreover, a fertile year is of vital importance for its residents. Fertility can be viewed as a psychological state as well as a physical one. As a state of consciousness Jera signifies the beginning oh psychological progress that follows the state of stagnation (Isa). It is the beginning of spring that comes after winter and the lushness of life that was until recently blanketed with snow. Jera is also the reaping time, during which we collect the fruits of our own labours. It's also connected to the year's cycles – Sabaths, and any other type of cycle. Some Authors connect Jera to Karma, the laws of which always reward the ones who make an effort and punish the ones whose actions cause destruction and regression.


Positive meaning: time of peace and prosperity, gathering the fruits of one's labour, progress.

Negative meaning: bad timing, regression, punishment.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Starhwak - The Spiral Dance
Lyall Watson - Supernature
Stephen Flowers - Black Runa
Karl Hans Welz - Armanen Runes
Samael Aun Weor - Magic Runes

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

God Bragi

God Bragi Cover Bragi is the God of Poetry and eloquence. The first maker of poetry, he is known for his exceptional beard as well. He is the husband of Idunna and can be counted on for poetic inspiration. From him comes the rite of Bragi's cup, where those performing the rite take turns to speak proudly of their accomplishments. We get the word bragging from this, but the Old Norse did not seem to necessarily see o'erweening ego in this practice. It seemed more their point of view that a person should be able to be honest in all things, to speak poorly of him or herself when deserved and to speak well of him or herself when deserved. False modesty seems to be looked at more as a form of hypocrisy and lying, as well as denoting a weak ego that needs a Certain kind of feeding.

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Hrafnagaldr Odi - Odin Ravens Song
Phillip Williams - Night Magic
Aleister Crowley - World Tragedy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Asatru As An Ancient Religion

Asatru As An Ancient Religion Cover Without doubt, Asatru has its roots in Europe’s earliest history and beyond. The Gods and goddesses that are honored in Asatru are mentioned in the earliest writings across the millennia. Asatru, as an ancient religion, represents some of the earliest expressions of religious thought in Northern Europe and is probably as old as the Northern European branch of humanity itself. Concepts of holy places, feasts and sacrifices, the gods’ involvement in battle, land spirits, ancestral chains, Other Worlds and the nature and roles of the Gods and Goddesses have remained similar across all of recorded time.

Across time and place, stories of Earth Gods (Vanir) and Sky Gods (Aesir) have endured. Offerings to the Earth Gods, for good harvest go as far back as we know. Requesting the blessings from the Thunder God has also been constant. Usage of such symbolism as the Fylfot goes back to the Stone Age. However, despite that fact that the Gods, Goddesses and practices of Asatru are ancient, there were many regional variations and emphases. Therefore, Asatru although ancient hasn’t been static in time or place.

Books in PDF format to read:

Moses Gaster - The Sword Of Moses An Ancient Hebrew Aramaic Book Of Magic
Marcus Cordey - Magical Theory And Tradition
Reeves Hall - Asatru In Brief

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tradition Versus Reality

Tradition Versus Reality Image
Last Sunday we gave a presentation at the local fellowship of the Unitarian-Universalist Association. The congregation there, small but select, is accustomed to honoring the directions at the beginning of each Sunday service. They do it in the traditional way, with Air in the east, Earth in the north, and the rest of it; so we decided to try on them a new way of honoring. We had attendees do the calling, taking turns around the circle (deosil, of course). Instead of the whole congregation singly doing it, we had three in turn, around the circle, honor each direction. Just to give them some ideas to push against, we passed out copies of a crib sheet like the one at the bottom of this posting.

We started with Mother Earth, below; after all, we do stand on the earth. Then we put Water in the east because the largest body of water near Beckley (where we met) is the New River, flowing east of the meeting site. We put Fire in the south because we were in the northern hemisphere. Air went in the west because here in the States that's where our air mostly flows from. (At least that's what the weather channel leads us to believe.) In the north we put Old Age and Ancestors. Overhead we put Father Sky and the Universe. In the center we put Spirit, for seven directions in all.

Two interesting things came out of this.

1. The various directions elicited a stunning range of responses and personal associations. After a hesitant beginning with earth, attendees came up with fascinating and moving thoughts about each direction.

2. The people really liked the approach. Every adult present, without exception, had something personal to say about various directions. Indeed, they asked afterward that we do it again, and even perhaps write it up for the UU national bulletin. We came to realize how involved they had become in this one little part of the presentation.

The question, then, is this :

In general, in our own pagan/Wiccan circles, are we right to follow the old traditional way that was developed in Europe, much of it in times long gone? Or should we seriously think about letting attendees at circle put their own flavor into the ritual?

Give us feedback, please; many aspects of life could do with some updating and/or improvement.

Earth - our mother -- the solid ground from which we all come

east - water, adaptability; takes on the shape of its container

south - fire, passion, not indifference

west - air, mental -- here new ideas come in on the wind

north - remembrance -- good times and old people who have gone before

Sky - our father -- the sky over us all

spirit - spiritual aspect of relationships; without a spiritual match, all is lost.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Call Of Ancient Scandinavian Valkyries

Call Of Ancient Scandinavian Valkyries Image


Statue of a warlike valkyrie, riding a horse and carrying a spear. Labeled as "SINDING VALKYRIE" and located in a roadside park in Copenhagen, Denmark.~Belief in the existence of magic horsewomen from heaven, the Valkyries, was widespread in Scandinavia and Germanic cultures, though they were called by different names. ~A lot can be learned from unrevised, true history... oh, little things like understanding how America was formed might help confused Americans understand why the current regime's policies won't work.... But I digress... ~

The older I get, the more I find ancient history quite interesting especially Celtic, Scandinavian and Nordic. Since my genetic background contains Scandinavian blood, this might explain the proclivity for my interest - and without going into the whole "nature versus nuture" argument, I think there is a little Viking fighter in my genes... perhaps even a little Valkyrie.~

Valkyrie 1865 ~

Text below is all from Celtic Attic: ~


The Vikings were the early medieval descendants of stone-aged people who migrated northward from the desert regions of the middle east into northern Europe, sometime around the end of the last ice age. Like most stone-age cultures at that time, these people created a religion of sorts, to help them explain the world and their place in it.~

The ancient Scandinavians found themselves in a rugged land of great seasonal contrasts. Summers, marked by a mid-night sun, were short but warm. Winters were long and cold and frequented by storms off the frigid North Atlantic. During the endless winter nights, the skies were illuminated by the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis. Viking myths clearly reflected this world and their struggles to survive in it. To make sense of their surroundings, the ancient ancestors of the Vikings created a series of deities. They imagined that their world was fashioned by powerful gods whose presence was evident in every natural force they experienced and in the fortunes and misfortunes of their daily lives. Viking Religion ~

Without the benefit of science to explain the world around them, the Vikings must have felt like they were living in a very mysterious place. To explain their world- its thunder and lightning, clouds, frost, dew, storms, ice, fire and changing seasons- the Vikings created a series of religious beliefs we call paganism. What the Vikings saw in the natural world was in some way controlled by the actions of a series of gods and goddesses. These deities lived in a heavenly realm called Asgard. But, they often visited the earth and played a role in the destiny of every Viking life. Today, these pagan gods and goddesses are part of Viking mythology. ~

One group of characters in Viking mythology (and in the mythology of the Celts of Ireland) were the Valkyrie. They are depicted on Viking pendants and amulets and are mentioned in Viking poems called Eddas. Their story is truly a fascinating one!

BATTLE-MAIDENS ~In Old Norse, the word Valkyrjr, means "choosers of the slain". In Viking mythology, the Valkyrie were the nine daughters of Odin. At his wish, they flew their horses over Viking battlefields and choose who would die in the coming battle. After the carnage was over, they returned to the battlefield as a raven and selected the souls of half the warriors who had died an heroic death. (Crows often appeared after a battle to pick at the bodies of the dead.) The Valkyrie carried these souls to Valhalla - Odin's banquet hall in the heavenly realm of Asgard. The remaining heroic souls were taken by a Viking goddess named Freya as she passed over the battlefield in her cat-drawn chariot. The Valkyrie also rode over the sea to snatch dying Vikings from their doomed longships.

~The Valkyrie were depicted as young, beautiful, but fierce women who dressed in full armor only when riding their horses. They did not, however, engage in battle themselves. Odin's maidens ~ Upon arriving in Valhalla, the Valkyrie replaced their armor with long white robes. They greeted the soul of each slain warrior with a horn of mead- the honey sweet drink of the Viking gods served in a bull's horn. The warriors then feasted on boar and trained as members of Odin's army. The wounds inflicted during these training battles miraculously disappeared at the beginning of each meal. ~

Swan-maidens and Wish Maidens ~ The Valkyrie were also known as swan-maidens. When they weren't collecting souls and welcoming slain warriors into Valhalla, they dressed in a cloak of swan feathers and flew to the earth to bathe in its cool streams. Norse myths said that if a man could catch and hold a swan or get a swan cloak, the Valkyrie could grant him a wish or become his wife. After nine years of marriage, she was free to return to Asgard. ~ The Valkyrie in Viking Jewelry ~ The image of Valkryie often depicts: long flowing robe, the horn of mead in her hand, the torc (a kind of neck ring) and the bangles around her wrist. Called amulets, these kinds of pendants were worn for protection. A Valkyrie worn by a Viking warrior was meant to protect the warrior in battle. It would, he believed, help him to be brave in death and help guarantee his soul a place in Valhalla.

~Clouds, Dew and Northern Lights ~ Many Norse myths contain stories of their gods. Some of these stories are tales of the adventures of their gods. Others are the Vikings' attempt to explain the world around them. Lightning, for example was explained using the god Thor and his mighty hammer. Wind and storms were caused by a swift pass of their god Odin while riding his eight-legged horse through the air. The Vikings also used the Valkyries to explain certain weather conditions. To the Norse, the Valkyries' horses were white clouds, lightning came from their gleaming swords and dew and frost from their horses' manes. The Vikings also believed that if the Valkyries rode at night, the glistening of their armor created the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights), the dancing lights that appear in the night sky in the northern regions of the earth the Vikings called home.


Legacy of the Valkyrie

The legacy of the Valkyrie lives on in the word "valour", a reference to heroism in battle.


In summary, when people like Lt. Col. Allen West start calling for battle, I will channel my inner Valkyrie, pick up a sword and stand beside him... ready


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