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Spirits and Entities, spirituality of Alcohol

Spirits and Entities of Alcohol
by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions

It always amazes me how the world really doesn’t understand the “root” of all things, nor pay attention to the “history” of various items or substances that they use occasionally or daily in life. I strongly believe it is very important to know the “root” and “makeup” of anything one puts in their bodies. Regardless of whether one is religious, spiritual, or scientific – the role of religion and spirituality in all aspects of life has some intriguing elements that should not be ignored. The proverb “You are what you eat”; has a lot of elements of truth in that saying because what you put in your body affects it chemically, physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes, spiritually. I won’t debate between science and religion in this article and for those readers that are atheist and don’t believe in spirituality – while reading this – simply ignore the spiritual overtones of this article and focus on the chemical aspect of what is being put in your body and understanding the elements you allow into your temple. For those readers that are avid drinkers – think about the drink you are putting in your body and go for higher quality substances as one really should consider changing to “organic” and “triple distilled” spirits instead, and for the spiritual user – know the entity or “spirit” you are inviting into your being.

This is not a negative article on drugs, substances, or alcohol, but rather a spiritual understanding of why we use them, the benefits and the dangers associated with them. Alcohol use needs to be practiced responsibly, for abusing it can lead to serious consequences. There really is more to “being under the influence” than you can rationally understand. Historically and spiritually, in all world cultures and religions, in folklore and mythology, every substance, every herb, every mineral, and every plant has a “spirit” or “entity” or “deity” assigned or associated with it. Drugs – Alcohol, barbiturates, hallucinogens, chemicals, or what-not are made of compositions of plants, herbs, minerals, and living matter. Drugs are medicines as well as poisons, with positive and negative effects on a living host that ingest them. Side effects from these drugs create various moods, effects on the body, mind, spirit, and persona. Many of these effects are utilized for spiritual visions, trances, omens, oracles, prophecies, messages, or communication with the beyond in the realms of religion. When abused, they often consume the body and the soul and will create a degradation of a being. Regardless of the substance : alcohol, marijuana, psilocybin, LSD, mDMA, barbiturates, etc. – Each substance has its own entity or spirit that culture attributes certain persona and effects to. It is pretty important to understand what entities you are dealing with, and how to gain advantage from a temporary relationship with them, and how to avoid them taking advantage of you.

For this article, I’m focusing on “spirits” or “alcohol”, as it is the most common grouping of entities that the mass population deals with. Why is “Alcohol” given the name “spirits” in the annals of history? The words “alembic” and “alcohol” are metaphors for “aqua vitae” (Life Water) and “Spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy. “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” or “al-ku??l”, which means “Body Eating Spirit”, and gives the root origin to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern Folklore, a “ghoul” is a “evil demon thought to eat human bodies”, either as stolen corpses or as children.

Since the root of the name “alcohol” is related to the concept of “body eating spirit”, this is also one of the early roots to traditional taboos on imbibing alcohol in the beginnings of Islam and similar prohibition faiths. In Islam, consumption of any alcohol is punishable with 80 lashes. To many “Pagan” or “Heathen” faiths, the imbibing of spirits and the temporary relationship with these entities gives definition to the “aqua vita” beliefs or “life water” or “connection / communication with spirits” that can be quite beneficial. In fact, faiths that had its roots in Paganism, such as Christianity and Islam, have carried over beneficial beliefs about the consumption or imbibation of alcohol.

As Middle Eastern alchemists ingested alcohol they reported that their senses deadened and this is why they saw the elixirs produced as possessing “body taking” qualities. This is where the Europeans are believed to have derived the use of “spirits” for “alcohol”. What is ingested affects a living body spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Some believe it will affect the soul as well and that it is all about relationships. Some faiths and cultures have credible valid positive reasons to abstain from drugs and alcohol, while others have equal reasons to promote them. Many cultures see drugs and alcohol as negative, but if one looks into the history of these elementals, there exists many positive elements in their usage, especially when balanced with spirituality and religion. Many cultures and faiths traditionally ingest something in order to commune with the Divine, God/desses, and/or spirits. Whether the wine and bread of Catholic Mass, or the trance induction of peyote with South American Shamans, the use of these substances have a honored tradition throughout history. Shamanic use of trance-inducing drugs are not considered destructive, but rather gifts of the Gods that allow the body and spirit to commune with higher planes of existence. Peyote, ayahuasca, salvia divinorum, absinthe, psilocybin, and other substances are assigned to induce spirit communication, clairvoyance, and the ability to heal. Most forms of Christianity consume alcohol as part of everyday life and nearly always use “wine” (fermented grape juice) in their central rite with the Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper”. The beliefs surrounding this practice state that Christian Tradition and/or the Bible teaches that “alcohol” is a “gift from God that makes life more joyous, but that overindulgence leading to drunkenness is a sin”. The key of Christianity is “moderation”. 19th century Protestants attempted to move from this earlier position of thought and pursuing “abstention” or “prohibition” of alcohol believing its use to be a “sin” even to the extreme of a sip (i.e. Mormonism). The Bible repeatedly refers to alcohol in use and poetic expression, and while mainly ambivalent to it, still states them to be both a “blessing from God that brings merriment” and a “potential danger that can be unwisely and sinfully abused”. “Wine” is often portrayed in daily life as a symbol of abundance and physical blessing, and negatively as a “mocker” with beer being a “brawler”, and drinking a cup of strong wine to the dregs and getting drunk can be presented as a symbol of God’s judgement and wrath. As puritans often spoke in their sermons that “Drink is in itself a good creature of God, and to be received with thankfulness, but the abuse of drink is from Satan; the wine is from God, but the drunkard is from the Devil”. Bible warns that alcohol can hinder moral discretion, and that alcohol can be corrupting of the body and a substance that will impair judgement and distract one from God’s will of life.

While the Ancient Egyptians promoted beer and wine, they did warn of taverns and excessive drinking. However the Greek Dionysus cult promoted intoxication as a means to get closer to their Deity. Macedonians viewed intemperance as a sign for masculinity and were well known for their drunkenness. Alexander the Great was a proponent to the Cult of Dionysus and known for his inebriation. Ancient and Modern Roman celebrations on March 15th of Anna Parenna celebrates the Goddess of the Returning Year by crossing the Tiber River and “go abroad” into Etruria and picnic in flimsy huts made of branches, drink as much alcohol as they could, as it was thought that one would live for as many years as cups of alcohol one could drink on this date. Once finished they would return to their homes in Rome. Most Pagan religions encourage alcohol use and some pursue intoxication promoted as a means of fostering fertility. To Pagan faiths it is believed to increase sexual desire and to make it easier to approach another person for sex. Norse paganism considered alcohol to be the sap of Yggdrasil and drunkenness as an important fertility rite in this religion. Alcohol was also used for medicinal purposes in biblical times as an oral anesthetic, topical cleanser, soother, and digestive aid. Problems associated with industrialization and rapid urbanization were also attributed and blamed on alcohol including urban crime, poverty, high infant mortalities, though its likely that gross overcrowding and unemployment was the actual root cause. The modern world then started blaming personal, social, religious, and moral problems on alcohol. This led to modern movements of prohibitionism. A typical Buddhist view on Alcohol use is as a shortcut for the pursuit of happiness as it produces a short term euphoria or happiness and this is the reason millions of people drink it repeatedly every day. Buddha teaches alcohol as well as all drugs, lead to mis judgement, blocks rational thinking, and therefore preached against amongst its disciples even though in some Buddhist disciplines it is used as offerings to Deity and spirits. Islam, Jainism, the Bahai’ Faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Church of Christ, Scientist, the United Pentecostal Church International, Theravada, most Mahayana schools of Buddhism, some Protestant denominations of Christianity, and some sects of Hinduism – forbid, discourage, or restrict the drinking of alcoholic beverages for various reasons.

Science tells us alcohol releases dopamine into the brain, stimulating the pleasure sensation. There are a lot of “expectations” with alcohol, and many of these will still operate in the absence of actual consumption of alcohol, when the individual believes they are consuming alcohol. Research in North America shows that men tend to become more sexually aroused when they think they have been drinking alcohol, even when they have not been drinking it. Women report feeling more sexually aroused when they falsely believe the beverages they have been drinking contained alcohol. Men have show to become more aggressive in laboratory studies when they are drinking only tonic water but believe it contains alcohol, they also become less aggressive when they believe they are drinking only tonic water, but are actually drinking tonic water that contains alcohol.

In Magical Views, the use of alcohol, especially in ritual and rite, is a very powerful vehicle for altering states of consciousness, communicating with spirits, Deities, Ancestors, and entities. It aids in relaxation for ritual. It frees the mind of responsibility and control, and is a great aid to those very logical individuals that have to be “in control”. However it can be detrimental to those who have a lot of natural psychic or medium-ship abilities that have been raised in families or cultures that demonized or invalidated these gifts. As alcohol and drugs impair the left brain first (logical) and enhances right brain activity (where spirit communication and psychic abilities reside), thereby increasing psychic or mystical experiences while under the influence. The affects are dependent on the individual and their type, as it can be dangerous with some people – those susceptible to possession and toying by spirits, excessive drinking is similar to “throwing open the saloon door and calling out to a crowd of alcoholics – ‘Bar is open, drinks are on (in) me’”, which will attract lower astral entities to enter the body and soul to experience the alcohol vicariously through the person. It is easier for spirits to influence one when they are intoxicated, some of which are very “low life” or “demonic” entities. (Many are good and powerful, including Deities like Dionysus, Maeve, etc. but usually associate with the particular elixir being imbibed) Mixing of “Spirits” can be dangerous and very toxic on the body and spirit, as the doorway to the soul can be an orgy of spirits that the person cannot handle, often leading to alcohol poisoning, sickness, illness, and/or death.

Historical: Ancient China had wine jars in Jiahu dating to 7,000 B.C.E. and considered a spiritual food rather than a material food with high importance in religious life. Neolithic wine making was found to date from 5400-5000 B.C.E. as archaeologists uncovered a yellowish residue at Hajji Firuz Tepe in a jar that analysis determined came from wine making. Early brewing dates in Egypt showing alcohol was presided over by the God Osiris. Chalcolithic Era Indus Valley civilizations in India date from 3000-2000 B.C.E. with Hindu Ayurvedic texts describing beneficent uses. Babylonians in 2700 B.C.E. worshiped a wine Goddess and other wine deities. Xenophon (431-351 BCE) and Plato (429-347 BCE) praised moderate use of wine as beneficial to health and happiness, but were critical of drunkenness. Hippocrates (460-370 BCE) praised it for its medicinal properties (wine). Some Native American peoples developed an alcoholic beverage called Pulque or Octli as early as 200 C.E. that was used for visions, religion, and prophecy. The first distillations of spirits came from the Medieval Period, with the School of Salerno in 12th century, and fractional distillation developed by Tadeo Alderotti in 13th century. Distillation of whiskey first performed in Scotland and Ireland for centuries, and the first written confirmation of whiskey comes from Ireland in 1405, Scotland in 1494.

Alcoholic beverages are drinks that contain “ethanol” (a.k.a. “alcohol”). They are divided into three classes: beers, wines, and spirits. “Spirits” often related to distilled beverages low in sugars and containing a minimum of 35% alcohol by volume. These are often referred to as Gin, Vodka, and Rum. Alcohol is legally consumed in most countries, though regulated by over 100 countries in terms of production, sale, and consumption. In most countries and religions, alcohol plays a major role in social events, rituals, and traditional celebrations. Alcohol is a psychoactive drug with a depressant effect that reduces attention and slows reaction speeds. It can be addictive and those addicted are considered to be under the sickness called “alcoholism”. Science shows that alcohol is beneficial in moderate amounts, especially a glass of wine drunk daily as it aids in digestion. If food is eaten before alcohol consumption, it reduces alcohol absorption, and the rate at which alcohol is eliminated from the blood is increased. The mechanism for the faster alcohol elimination appears to be related to types of food especially those with alcohol-metabolizing enzymes and liver blood flow. Consumption of alcoholic drinks during Medieval times was a method used to avoid water-borne diseases such as cholera as alcohol kills bacteria.

is the world’s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and the third most popular drink after water and tea. It is produced by brewing and fermenting starches derived from cereal grains – most commonly by means of malted barley, though sometimes with wheat, maize, or rice. There are two main types of beer: Lager and Ale. Ale is classified into varieties such as pale ale, stout, and brown ale. Most beer is flavored with hops adding bitterness and as a natural preservative. Beer is usually 4-6% alcohol by volume, but can be less than 1% or more than 20%. It is a stipend of the drinking culture of most nations, and has social traditions such as beer festivals, pub culture, pub crawls, and pub games. The Christian Bible refers to beer as a brawler. Medieval monks were allotted about five liters of beer per day – allowed to drink beer but not wine during fasts. Many Saints and Deities were associated with Beer, such as: St. Adrian, the patron saint of Beer; St. Amand, patron saint of brewers, barkeepers, and wine merchants; and The Ancient Egyptians believed Osiris gave their people “Beer” as he invented it and it was a necessity of life, brewed in the home on an daily basis. In Ancient Egypt, Cellars and wine presses often had a God who was associated with each of the 17 types of beer they created. These were used for pleasure, nutrition, medicine, ritual, remuneration, and funerary purposes. Babylonians often offered beer and wine to their Deities as offerings.

Wine: Alcoholic beverages distilled after fermentation of non-cereal sources like grapes, fruits, or honey. It involves a longer complete fermentation process and a long aging process (months or years) that create an alcohol content of 9-16% by volume. Sparkling wines are made by adding a small amount of sugar before bottling, creating a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The Bible refers to wine as a symbol of abundance and physical blessing, bringer and concomitant of joy, especially with nourishment and feasting; as well negatively as a mocker. It is commonly drunk with meals, as the Old Testament prescribed it for use in sacrificial rituals and festal celebrations. Jesus’ first miracle was making copious amounts of wine at the wedding feast of Cana where he instituted the ritual of the Eucharist at the Last Supper during a Passover celebration that “wine” is a “new covenant in his blood”. Under the rule of Rome, the average adult male who was a citizen drank an estimated liter (1/4 of a gallon) of wine a day. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican monk and the “Doctor Angelicus” of the Catholic Church said that moderation in wine is sufficient for salvation but that for certain persons perfection requires abstinence and this was dependent upon their circumstance. Wine has been associated or assigned to various Saints, Deities, and Spirits such as St. Amand, patron saint of brewers, barkeepers, and wine merchants; St. Martin, the so-called patron saint of wine; St. Vincent, and patron saint of vintners. In Ancient Egypt, Cellars and wine presses often had a God who was associated with each of the 24 varieties of wine they created. These were used for pleasure, nutrition, medicine, ritual, remuneration, and funerary purposes. Babylonians in 2700 B.C.E. worshiped a wine Goddess and other wine deities. Babylonians often offered beer and wine to their Deities as offerings. In Greece the art of wine making reached the Hellenic peninsula by 2,000 B.C.E. – the first of which was Mead, and by 1700 BCE wine making was commonplace and incorporated into religious rituals. Balche’, a Mayan Honey wine, was associated with the Mayan deity Acan.

Spirits: Unsweetened, Distilled alcoholic beverages that have an alcohol content of at least 20% ABCV are called spirits. These are produced by the distillation of a fermented base product, which concentrates the alcohol, and eliminates some of the congeners. These can be added to wine to create fortified wines such as ports and sherries.
These are often Vodka, Rum, Gin, Whiskey, Whisky, Tequila, and other spirits.

Some commonly believed changes in personality with ‘types’ of alcohol:

  • Beer: Boldness, Braveness, Becoming Boisterous, Loud, Obnoxious, Lush behavior, Know-it-all attitudes, and Dumb-ness.
  • Wine: Romantic connotations, sexuality, relaxation, restfulness, tranquility, lush-ness.
  • Vodka: Bravery, Boldness, Invincibility, Strength, Attitude, Security.
  • Tequila: Boldness, wildness, sexuality, aggression, and lush behavior.
  • Absinthe: Creativity, Inspiration, Desire to do Art, Write, or Music; imaginative thought. Rumored to be psychedelic and produce hallucinations. Inspires oracles, omens, and prophetic thought.
  • Rum: Wildness, craziness, boldness, and lust.
  • Gin: Intellectual thought, healing, lethargy, and dumb-ness.
  • Whiskey: Aggression, testiness, boldness, violence, invincibility.
  • Irish Whiskey: Revitalization, Rebirth, Renewal, Invincibility, and Intellectual discussions.


Military Casts Wicca in the Shadows

Saturday, August 14th, 2004

Military casts Wicca in the shadows

moved from www.technogypsie.com/folklore/ (an area of our site being redirected here) as a historical archive on the Wiccan religion.
reprinted from: http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/state/9380053.htm?1c

Posted on Thu, Aug. 12, 2004

As members serve their country, they also battle the military to accept their faith

By Randy Myers


After U.S. military personnel pelted American Wiccan servicemen and servicewomen in Iraq with bottles and rocks as they worshipped in a sacred circle, the Pentagon turned to Patrick McCollum of Moraga.

The chaplain, a national expert on the earth-based Wicca religion, conjured a little Wicca 101 for the troops.

Most Americans glean their Wicca knowledge from TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “Charmed,” with their witches and curses, good and evil. Wiccan worship focuses on respect for the earth and its inhabitants with a “do no harm” credo.

“Education is the single most powerful tool,” in dealing with misunderstandings in the military, McCollum said.

Wiccans represent a small fraction of the military, roughly 1,500 among 1.4 million active personnel, but the Pentagon wants to accommodate their faith. The military trains chaplains to meet the religious needs of all service members without compromising their own religious beliefs, said Col. Richard Hum, executive director of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board at the Defense Department.

That’s where McCollum and a few other Wiccans come in as on-call Pentagon advisers. The military has sought his advice three or four times since he started after Sept. 11, 2001, he said.

An advisory team became a Pentagon priority when Wiccan military personnel reported problems while conducting rites and religious activities.

Loye Pourner, Travis Air Force Base Wiccan Lay Leader, listens to Wiccan members talk about their faith during an informational meeting while Wiccan ritual objects sit on a table in the foreground on Monday at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield. (Deborah Coleman)

Loye Pourner’s dog tags show the word “Wicca” printed on the last line. (Deborah Coleman)

The Wiccans said that some chaplains were trying to convert them and that commanding officers made it difficult to practice, McCollum said.

Wiccans also have been pressuring the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow a Wiccan emblem, most likely the pentacle, for armed forces burial headstones or markers. Mike Nacincik of Veterans Affairs, said the department authorizes 38 emblems, including one for atheists, but none for Wiccans.


07.02.10: CSTL: WPP: Day 27 – Pilgrimage to St. or Goddess Brigid, Sacred Wells, Trees, and her Flame

Me being passed Brighid’s Flame at Kildare by Sister Mary

Sir Thomas Leaf awoke late and rushed off to bus station to catch his bus to Kildare. He missed the first bus but caught the second one. It was a pleasant drive from Dublin to Kildare. He passed through the towns of Kill and then Naas on into Kildare. He found the suggested rendez-vous place in Naas that Faerie Moe suggested. A heavenly sight seeing Faerie Moe coming into the cafe with her dog and “Little Man”. A pleasant tea together catching up on life then a crazy Irish car ride back to Moe’s pad. Moe had some surprise sights for Sir Leaf to see such as The Curraugh and the Giant Donolley’s footprints. A wandering around the Curraugh was had with some spottings of faerie trees. A tromp around a graveyard on to areas that Moe explained circle dances took place. Then another quick car ride off to Moe’s Mom’s house for some more tea and a tasty lunch. As time was clicking with things to get to, Sir Thomas Leaf and Faerie Moe headed off to the village of Kildare. First stop was the information center which had kiosks about the Goddess / Saint Brighid and her importance to the area. Unfortunately they missed being able to go into St. Brigid’s Cathedral as it had closed for the day. They rang Sister Mary and headed down to her house where one of the shrines dedicated to Brighid is alive holding the Sacred Flame of Brighid. As requested, Sir Thomas Leaf’s Quest is almost complete as Sister Mary passed on the Sacred Flame of Brighid to him. He was dumbfounded and in awe, feeling especially blessed and endowed with Brighid’s magical blessings. They got directions to both of Brighid’s Sacred Wells and bid farewell to Sister Mary. Sir Thomas Leaf was so honored to have met the sweet Sister and be blessed. On down to the first Brighid’s Well to collect some sacred healing waters. Then the Faerie Moe led Sir Thomas Oisin Leaf on to the final Sacred Well of Brighid for the final collecting of Sacred Waters. This one had a shrine, Brighid’s shoes, the Well, and a Wishing Tree. After making his wish on the tree and doing a silent Brighid spell, getting a lesson from Faerie Moe on how to make a Brighid’s Cross, he was in ecstatic awe that his Quest was completed. All the sacred elements, magic, spells, charms, and requests have been achieved on this Adventure across the great pond. As Faerie Moe needed to get back to her son, she dropped Sir Thomas Leaf off at the bus stop and sweet farewells were said. As Sir Thomas was awaiting his chariot back to Dublin, a drunk couple approached him and chatted his ears off until the bus arrived. Then they got into the discussion of religion and found out that Sir Thomas Oisin Leaf was a Heathen, a Pagan, a Druid. The woman was shocked and felt extremely sorry for him as he would not get into heaven that way. She asked if she could do a blessing over him to bring him back to Christ … luckily the chariot arrived and saved him from a female Saint Patrick ancestor attempting a conversion that would fail. The return to Dublin was swift. A walk back to the hostel, Leaf was blessed, tired, and in ecstasy from the completion of his journey and having such a magical day with Faerie Moe. A good night’s rest was had with very vivid dreams about his future to be. He will be returning to Ireland someday soon.

Me and Moe at Brighid’s Well in Kildare, Ireland

Continue reading 07.02.10: CSTL: WPP: Day 27 – Pilgrimage to St. or Goddess Brigid, Sacred Wells, Trees, and her Flame


St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral
* Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Saint Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8, Ireland * http://www.stpatrickscathedral.ie *

In the Medieval District of Dublin lies one of Dublin’s most famous churches also known as The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, Dublin or “Árd Eaglais Naomh Pádraig”. The Church was founded in 1191 C.E. and is the larger of Dublin’s two Church of Ireland cathedrals as well as being the largest church in Ireland with a 140 foot spire. The Cathedral is in memorial to St. Patrick and his colored past in Ireland and is meant to lift the spirits of the Irish out of the realm of things and circumstances which change into a realm of things that are eternal and unchanging giving everyone a perspective in both space and time to be face-to-face with faith in God through Christ giving one true meaning and lasting satisfaction … or so states the web site. This was the hotspot of activity for St. Patrick when he passed through Dublin on his journey through Ireland baptising converts from Paganism to Christianity in the well where the Cathedral now stands. In memorial, a small wooden church was built on the site to be one of the four Celtic parishes in Dublin. John Comyn, the first Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin converted this small church into a Cathedral in 1191 C.E. THe current Cathedral was erected between 1200 and 1270. Much aging, erosion, degradation, disrepair, and some fires struck the Cathedral through time. Minot’s Tower and the weset nave were rebuilt between 1362 and 1370 following a fire. St. Patrick’s became an Anglican Church of Ireland after the English Reformation (ca. 1537) even though most of the population surrounding it in the Pale was wholely Catholic. During confiscation, some of the images within the Cathedral were defaced by Thomas Cromwell’s soldiers and collapse of the Nave in 1544. Cromwell set up his stables in the Nave during his time in Dublin as a sign of his disrespect for the Anglican religion which he associated with Roman Catholicism and political Royalism. In 1560 one of Dublin’s first public clocks was placed in St. Patrick’s Steeple. In 1666 The roof was close to collapse and was replaced by 1671. When Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels) became the Dean of the Cathedral from 1713-1745 he brought more attention to the needs of the Cathedral. He had himself buried there with his friend Stella who took great interest in the building and funding an almshouse for poor women and Saint Patrick’s Hospital. 1769 the infamous spire (now a Dublin landmark) was added. From 1783 until 1871 the Cathedral became home to the Chapel of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick where the Knights of St. Patrick held their ceremonies until 1871 they moved to St. Patrick’s Hall in Dublin Castle. By 1085 the north transept was in ruin and the south was deteriorating that emergency work had to be done on the nave roof. Funding issues, Problems with seepage of water, number of floods, and disrepair during times of religious reformation and Irish struggles – The Cathedral not being restored until 1860-1900 with a full-scale restoration done by the infamous Guinness family. Benjamin Guinness believed the Cathedral was in imminent danger of collapse especially the Victorian era artwork … unfortunately most of these were removed and never replaced now no longer surviving. Since no records were kept during the restorations not much is known as to what is genuinely medieval and what is Victorian pastiche. Even though the Church is the largest in all of Ireland, it is not the seat of a Bishop as that is held by Christ Church Cathedral with St. Patrick’s being the National Cathedral for the whole island. St. Patrick’s is operated instead by a Dean, since 1219, and the most famous of which was Jonathan Swift. St. Patrick’s was also the location for the funerals of two Irish Presidens: Dr Douglas Hyde and Erskine Hamilton in 1949 and 1974 respectively. In 2006 there was a group of 18 Afghan refugees who sought asylum within St. Patrick’s staying there until persuaded to leave a few days later. The Cathedral receives no State funding so while free for those who come to pray, ask for a small fee in tourism. In 2006 the Cathedral had over 300,000 visitors.

Continue reading St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin)


Cornish Witchcraft

Cornish Witches
Cornwall is notorious for its fabled land of pixies, elves, faeries, witches, and magical folk. The entire area of England is just absorbed in magic and folklore … and most people … even if not magically connected will state that very fact … especially with Cornwall being the tromping grounds of King Arthur, Excalibur, and Merlin. My first visit to Cornwall I experienced none-other than sheer enchantment. From magical megalithic sites, mesmerizing coastlines, enchanted wells, to frolicking with Faeries on Lake Colliford my adventure was beyond magical. Cornwall also hosts a plethera of brightness and darkness … as it is entwined by leylines and magical practitioners such as Shamans, Witches, and Druids. Lore about mischievious faeries wreaking havoc on those who have crossed faerie paths or disturbed faerie mounds. The entire landscape is littered with evidence of Pagan beliefs, Paganism, Ritual, and Religion. No other place however has provided as much archaeological evidence of some of the macabre practices as was found in recent years at Saveok Mill in Greenbottom. This site involves purification pools, a possible sacred well or spring, and macabre rituals involving swans, magpies, and other birds in what could only be described as ‘offering pits’. Some of these ‘offering pits’ were still in practice even during the 17th century when the law of the Bible dictated that one should not suffer a witch to live and during a time when Cromwell’s army would surely have condemned anyone practicing such rites. Cornwall has appeared to have escaped the Roman vanquishing of Celtic Paganism as ‘Magic’ stayed alive and well there. However, throughout England it became illegal to practice magic and witchcraft. Even with the official bans, there is evidence of practice throughout the land. The first Witchcraft Act was passed in 1541 which propelled the Witch hunts, the Inquisition, the Witches’ hammer, and suffering for those accused of witchcraft which ended in 1735. Witches however, especially in Cornwall, and throughout the British Isles, have taken care of their neighbours by curing toothaches and aches, weaving love spells, telling fortunes, and blighting crops. This wasn’t exclusive to Cornwall nor England – it was pretty common throughout the world. Whether by the art of magic or through the course of an actual religion, Witchcraft was alive and well throughout the ages even to this very day back in an age where it can be practiced openly in broad daylight with minimal reaction from the mainstream bystanders. Witchcraft offered its participants the ability to bend, twist, and shape reality – to create change; to control the world by means of magic, ritual, and spellcraft. It all began quite secretive as an oral tradition – often passed on through family lines – changing through time – and varying today in the modern age where it is now written about, practiced throughout the world heavily, and embranced through an assortment of religions, traditions, and sects. Oddly enough, you can even get a “Witchcraft for Dummies” book from Barnes and Nobles. Depending on the scholar you talk to, there are roughly 9-13 different “types” of Witchcraft each with potentially hundreds of different traditions encompassed within those ‘types’.

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Is the Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanoes, Fire, Lightning, Dance, and Violence. Local legend places that Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the specific home of the Hawaiian Goddess Pele, in the Halema’uma’u crater at the summit caldera of Kilauea. She only erupts when she is angry. Several specific lava formations are named after her including “Pele’s Tears” (small droplets of lava that cool in the air and retain their teardrop shapes) and Pele’s Hair (thin, brittle strands of volcanic glass that often form during the explosions that accompany a lava flow as it enters the ocean). It was at the location of Kilauea where it is believed that Pele and the rain God Kamapua’a fought. Halema?uma?u, “House of the ?ama?uma?u fern”, derives its name from the final struggle between the two gods: since it was the favorite residence of Pele, Kamapua?a, hard-pressed by Pele’s ability to make lava spout from the ground at will, covered it with the fronds of the fern. Choking from the smoke which could not escape anymore, Pele emerged. Realizing that each could threaten the other with destruction, the gods had to call their fight a draw and divided the island between them: Kamapua?a got the windward northeastern side, and Pele got the drier Kona (“leeward”) side. The rusty singed appearance of the young fronds of the ?ama?uma?u was said to be a product of the legendary struggle. Pele has numerous siblings including K?ne Milohai, Kamohoali?i, N?maka and 13 sisters named Hi?iaka, the most famous being Hi?iakaikapoliopele (Hi?iaka in the bosom of Pele who are all considered to be the offspring of Haumea. Another mythos is that Pele came from a land said to be close to the clouds, with her parents Kane-hoa-lani and Ka-hina-li?i, and brothers Ka-moho-ali?i and Kahuila-o-ka-lani. She had a daughter with her husband Wahieloa (also called Wahialoa) that she named Laka and a son named Menehune. Pele-kumu-honua entices her husband and Pele travels in search of him. The sea pours from her head over the land of Kanaloa (perhaps the island now known asKaho?olawe) and her brothers say: “A sea! a sea! Forth bursts the sea, Bursts forth over Kanaloa (Kahoolawe),
The sea rises to the hills. . . .” “Thrice” (according to the chant) the sea floods the land, then recedes. These floodings are called The-sea-of-Ka-hina-li?i.

Living Stone:Hawai’ian tradition says that the volcano Goddess Pele, resides in the Halema’uma’u, the summit cratere of Kilauea. As a powerful creative force in nature, with a presence that is both physical and spiritual, she is clearly an inspiration to many. The elemental sculpture, Ulumau Pohaku Pele (ever growing rock of Pele), honors Pele, and the wahi kapu (sacred places) of Kilauea and Mauna Loa.
~ historical marker at Volcano National Park