X Marks the Spot

Last year, for the Squatcher’s Lounge podcast that was on Ash Wednesday, I explained why Easter is a movable holiday, and how to figure out when it will occur. I quote myself:

The reason is obvious: it is always on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of spring.”

I also pointed out that, since the beginning of spring and the beginning of fall are called the equinoxes, the length of day and night being equal on those days, and that the path of the solar ecliptic and the celestial equator make an x where they cross on the day of an equinox.

I also explained that most of the pagan religions at the time had a spring fertility festival that was held around the spring equinox, and that the nearly all had a god, who was the son of a virgin goddess, whose father was the highest god in the local pantheon.

Pagan, or paganus in Latin, meant a rustic person, a person of little understanding, a hillbilly.

These various sons of god, a few of which I listed in my quasi for last Christmas, entitled “A Yuletide Rant”, all died for the sake of their followers, and subsequently resurrected. Three days later was the popular timing. A whole lot of them were crucified, but the time of the slaying of the god was always on, or near, the spring equinox.

So what is the point of crucifixion on that big cross in the sky? Why nail your god up there? The association of the son of the greatest god with the sun is a pretty obvious metaphor, but why would these ancient peoples, who were pretty damned advanced, considering building pyramids, aqueducts, roads, measuring the distance from the earth to the moon, the diameter and circumference of the earth, etc., etc., why would they nail a god to the sky?

Here’s the quasi part. Behind all those pantheons, beyond the highest god, there was limitless source of being, unformed, what Socrates called the Good, the Beautiful, the one without number. Not one without number in the sense of countless, but, since it is beyond any limit, cannot be described by numbers.

Now, when that source of all things, called the godhead by some Christian metaphysicians, and the Brahman by Hindus, decided, as the Hindu Vedas report, “One am I, let me be many”, it had to limit itself, make itself into a point, so to speak, so that there could be one, and then many. You could say that it nailed itself to a cross, so that its blood might become the life of the universe.

But that’s what the pagans said, and what do they know?

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here:

Barlaam and Josaphat

When I went to write this I had two obvious choices to pick from, based on today being between two holy days, to wit, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter Sunday.

I crossed off St. Paddy because, unlike many early Catholic saints, he apparently actually did exist. He was not the first Christian missionary to attack, I mean preach to, the Irish pagans, and he is not even a real saint. He has never officially been declared one by any authoritative sanctifying body outside of a pub. Besides which, the thingy about him chasing the snakes out of Ireland, which is to say, he drove out the Celtic pagan priests, the Druids, by name, is objectionable to me as a pagan.

Easter got crossed off because I’ve done it twice already, once as “Ah, Easter”, and once as “X Marks the Spot”.

So, let’s get on to the Christian martyred saints, Barlaam and Josaphat.

Firstly, again as with many early Catholic martyred saints, they never existed. But, nonetheless, their story was quite popular in the middle ages.

The story first showed up in Christian circles in the 10th century when Euthymius of Athos, a Georgian monk, translated a Georgian story, the Balavariani, from Georgian, into Greek. Not the state Georgia, treasonously named after King George, but the country Georgia, notably not named treasonously after King George.

I’m not going to tell you the story itself, which says that the two lads were Christian Indians, India Indians, not woo-woo Indians, who got themselves martyred way back not long after St. Thomas evangelized in India. That’s St. Thomas the apostle, not the Virgin island.

Nobody really knows who evangelized in India, because St. Thomas is known to have never existed, while St. Thomas the island certainly does. You can see it on Google Earth. But, be that as it may.

The fun part about these two non-existent martyrs is that their story is actually derived from that of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.

Again, I am not going to tell their story. Go look it up. It is obviously a retelling of the life of Gautama Buddha, except for the martyrdom part.

Josaphat, in Georgian, was “Iodasaph”, which came from the Arabic “Būdhasaf”, which came from the old Persian “Bodisav”, which came from the Sanskrit “Bodhisattva”. Bodhisattva was one of the titles of Gautama Buddha.

Nobody seems to know why the unknown Georgian, who wrote the Balavariani, saw fit to plop Barlaam, the other martyred Christian, into the story he stole from the Buddhists, but then, Christians always seem to bugger up everything they stole from the pagans.

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here:

My Favorite Holiday

So, this being Valentine’s day, you’d think I’d write something about that. Did that last year. Found out that Saint Valentine, aside from probably never having existed, was a bit of a wandering corpse after his theoretical martyrdom. You can check my blog or YouTube channel for more information on that.

It looks to me like the main reason he got invented was so’s he could take over a pagan Roman holiday, Lupercalia, that was celebrated in the middle of February. Christians were big on doing stuff like that. You know, burn down a pagan temple and build a church on where it used to be, come up with a Saint and snarf up a pagan holiday for him, and similar hooliganry.

Then I remembered that it’s a new moon about now, tomorrow, actually. And this being the Hindu month of Phalgun, that means today and tomorrow are Mahashivratri, my favorite holiday!

Shiva is the third person in the Hindu version of the Trinity, the other two being Brahma and Vishnu.

Mahashivratri celebrates three things that Shiva did: got married, drank poison, and stomped a dwarf into submission with a dance. He didn’t do all of this in one day, of course.

Lots of gods get married, so let’s look at the other two things.

All the Hindu gods and demons, except for Shiva, decided they wanted to be immortal, so they decided to churn the ocean of the cosmos to extract the nectar of immortality out of it and then drink it.

Okay, so you’ve got gods and demons cooperating, sort of. Internally, though, the gods were pissed at the demons, and vice versa. What should have been the nectar of immortality came out as poison, which threatened to kill everything. Shiva had been sitting in meditation on his mountain, serene and calm, not concerning himself with the silly bickering going on. The rest of the gods and demons, wanting to save everything, went to him with all the poison in a cup, and asked him what to do.

Shiva took the cup and drank it. His wife, Parvati, quickly grabbed him around the neck tightly, so he wouldn’t swallow it, thereby demonstrating that wives can be useful. Shiva, being the Mahadeva, the greatest of the gods, neutralized the poison with no trouble whatsoever, except that his neck turned blue.

As to stomping on the dwarf, the dwarf symbolizes the little, selfish, egoistic part of ourselves. Best to let our higher self, represented by Shiva, stomp that little bugger to nothing. Dance on it.

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here:

Plato Does Us a Solid

Plato Does Us a Solid

Okay, so we all know there are five Platonic solids. The tetrahedron, the hexahedron, known as the cube to you squares out there, the octahedron, the dodecahedron, and the icosahedron. They have four faces, six faces, eight faces, twelve faces, and twenty faces, respectively.

We also all of us know that three of them have the same flat polygons for all their faces. And we all know, of course, that that shape is the equilateral triangle. I need not explain what an equilateral triangle is, because we all know that.

The other two Platonic solids, the hexahedron and the dodecahedron, have a square for each of its faces and a pentagon for each of its faces, again respectively.

Now, as we all know, Plato didn’t come up with these solids on his own. Some other Greeks talked about them before Plato fixated on them, most notably Pythagoras and Plato’s pal, Theaetetus.

Plato wrote most of his ideas about his solids in his dialog “Timaeus”, which we have all read and therefore know well. I’m sure you all thought as I did, that he just went on and on and on about his precious solids until poor Timmy Timaeus damn near fell asleep. I know I nearly did.

I perked up a lot though, when Socrates and the gang at Plato’s academy started equating each of the solids with one of the elements. The real elements, earth, water, fire, and air, not those fancy shmancy ones we have these days. Earth was associated with the cube, air with the octahedron, water with the icosahedron, and fire with the tetrahedron.

Now, if you’ve been counting, that’s only four elements and four solids. Where did the dodecahedron scoot off to? What was its element? Plato only said, “…the god used [it] for arranging the constellations on the whole heaven”. That would require a whole other quasi-theory to explain, a bunch of them, really. We all know, though, that the dodecahedron is the ether. That’s what most of the other ancient Greek philosophers thought. The ether is the first element from which the other four evolve.

Why would Plato say the god used ether to paste the stars in the sky? Well, we all know that the Sanskrit word for ether is akasha, and the akasha, in the form of chidakasha, the ether of the mind, is the mind of god wherein all of everything exists. God thinks and the thought appears in the ether, later to be manifested successively in, and through, the lower elements. But we all knew that.

 

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here:

Krampus Wasn’t Such a Bad Guy Way Back When

Most of us are now familiar with the character of Krampus, Santa’s enforcer. Half man, half goat, male goat at that, since he’s got those two big curvy horns, and he carries a bundle of birch switches with which to beat the naughty children. Sometimes he’s got a leather whip, instead. Sometimes he has an iron chain to beat them with. He rarely has all three, after all, he’s only got two hands. Sometimes he’s got a sack over his shoulder, into which go the particularly naughty, particularly unsalvageable children. These he drowns, eats, or sends straight to Hell.

Krampus is a common companion of St. Nick in Germany, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, South Tyrol and parts of Northern Italy, although he has become popular in much of Europe.

Now me, being essentially a pagan, a Hindu pagan, I get suspicious when I see a Christian tradition that looks like it has pagan underpinnings, but has a sort of nastiness to it.

After all, I demonstrated last January that the image we have of Santa Claus is not based on the presumably historical St. Nicholas, but is directly swiped from the old nordo-germanic god Odin. You’ll have to go watch, or read, my dissertation, “Santa is the King of the Gods”, for details on that.

So, who’s turn was it in the Christian barrel this time? Well, there are many depictions of a horned pagan god, a god of nature. The god has many names, but the main one is the god Pan, a form of Bacchus-Dionysos, the Greco-Roman god of wine and bread. Pan was the form of Bacchus that ruled over the fertility of nature, and was one with the natural world.

The Celtic equivalent was probably Cernunnos, who ruled over nature, and was depicted as a man with horns, usually deer antlers, but still a horned god.

The Egyptians also worshiped a horned god, at the city of Mendes. Mendes was the Greek name for the city. The Egyptian name for their god was Banebdjed, which meant “the soul of Osiris”. Osiris was considered by all the ancient world to be essentially the same god as Bacchus. Banebdjed was also know as the Goat of Mendes, who later Christians associated with Satan, but then the Christians say the everybody else’s depictions of God and the gods are manifestations of the devil.

So, when you go to, or watch on TV, one of the many Krampus festivals in Europe, or one of a dozen or so in the U.S. of A., or watch one of the two or three movies that Krampus stars in, remember that he didn’t start out as a bad guy. It was the Christians that put a cramp on Krampus’ style.

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here:

An Occurrence on Munger Road

Munger Road, somewhat famous as being haunted, is in northern Illinois, about 30 miles west of Lake Michigan. There is even a movie titled “Munger Road”, that is based very loosely on some of the scary stories about the road, that are still told around the area.

My family has its own stories about it that we actually experienced, and they occurred before anybody else thought the road was haunted. I shall proceed to recount one of them.

Back around 35 to 40 years ago, back when the area west of Chicago was mainly small towns surrounded by farmer’s fields, my brother Daryl and I (and no, I don’t have another brother Daryl, so let’s keep the Newhart show out of this) would go out to Munger Road, just to feel how creepy it was. Sometimes we would go at night, sometimes during the day. It could be pretty creepy anytime.

One day, I can’t remember if it was in the early spring or the late fall, other than that the farmer’s field on the east side of the road was brown stubble, and the grass in the forest reserve on the west side was not greening up yet, we parked on the side of the road and walked around a bit.

Daryl wandered up a low hill into the farmer’s field while I examined the water in the roadside ditch. I always look in any body of water I am near, for frogs, bugs, water snakes, or anything biologically interesting.

Daryl suddenly yelled, something like “Oh god, they’re killing them!”, or words to that effect. I stopped ditch delving and ran across the road and up the hill. He was on his knees crying, and mumbling about the burning tipis, the dead women, children, and braves he could see. He said he could smell the smoke from the campfires.

I saw nothing, I smelled nothing, but I heard sounds coming from the west side of the road. I went back over there, and clearly heard musket fire and men yelling in French, but just kind of faintly, more like the tail end of echoes.

There is no record of anything of the sort ever happening there. Munger Road is in DuPage county, which was named after the French trapper DuPage, who had his station on the DuPage river, oddly enough. French voyageurs followed the rivers all over Illinois, but Munger Road is a couple of mile from the nearest rivers, so the Frenchies were unlikely to be there.

Illinois is the Frenchified version of the name of the Illiniwek, or Illini tribal confederation. But, much of northeastern Illinois belonged to the Potawatomi tribe, who were not in the Illini confederation. The Potawatomi did not use tipis. They built dome-shaped wigwams, and rectangular lodges with bark covering called longhouses, so no tipis were there to be burnt.

No tipis, no Frenchmen, therefore no massacre, and no ghosts.

In my experience, and intellectual inclinations, there are non-physical entities, not terribly smart entities, that like to play tricks on humans. I’ve brought them up in previous quasi- theories. They are the Good Folk, the Sidh of the Kelts, the Fairies. They pick up thoughts and ideas from your head and use them to play with you.

My siblings and I were just getting into all things Native American back then. The local fairies grabbed that and ran over us with it.

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

 

For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here:

Niburu’s at it Again

Most of you are probably aware that the End Times were supposed to start last Saturday, the 23rd of September. David Meade, a self-proclaimed “researcher”, says so. When the 23rd came and went, with no noticeable world wide apocalypse occurring, he said he was misunderstood. The 23rd was just a marker date he had calculated and that there would soon be much more noticeable events, Doom’s Day, for example, starting on October 15th. The planet Niburu will make some sort of pass at the earth, the world’s electrical grid will collapse, and the long awaited seven years of tribulation will begin. Wars, famine, fires, volcanoes, tidal waves, earthquakes. Although how this makes the End Times differ from regular times is beyond me.

Now, as to the complete non-existence of the planet Niburu, I refer you to my quasi-theory from a year ago March, “Two Comets Plus a Hopi Prophecy Do not Equal Doomsday from a Twelfth Planet”. I shan’t rehash poor Niburu again today.

No, what I am going to hash up here is a bit of Meade’s methodology by which he came up with this prediction of his. To wit, he says he is using numerology to get a lot of his numbers and dates. He’s doing numerology on the Bible.

Numerology is bogus, of course, just like most forms of divination. But, it is a modern bastardization of an ancient system of encoding hidden meanings into stories and poems. That system was called, in Greek, gematria.

Briefly, most of the ancient Mediterranean cultures, like Greece and Rome, didn’t use separate symbols for numbers when they did any math. These days we use what we call Arabic numerals, which were actually invented by Hindus in India.

The Mediterraneans simply used their alphabets. You know, like Roman numerals. The Greeks, and Greek was the actual language of the Roman empire, went alpha is one, beta is two, you get the idea.

So, many philosophers and poets back then actually encoded hidden meanings and messages in their writings. The name of a hero, for example, would be spelled in such a way as to, when you added up the numerical equivalent of the letters in the name, it would give you a clue as to the real underlying meaning of the story or poem.

Gematria is actually much more complicated than that. There were rules for taking all these numbers gotten from adding up the letters and then doing some math with them, adding, subtracting, all sorts of little things. If you were initiated into the system, you could hide all sorts of things in your writings, things that could only be figured out by other initates.

I use the words initiate and initiated for reason. Gematria was invented by the founders of the ancient mystery religions, and you had to be initiated into these mysteries to know how to use gematria. The Greco-Roman religion consisted of numerous cults to individual gods. Bacchus, Apollo, Diana, Demeter, Venus, Herakles, et al, all had their cults.

The Christian New Testament was written by people who had been initiated into the mystery religions. It has a lot of things that can be read via gematria, but the gematria has to be done on the Greek text, not on the Latin, English, or whichever, but on the original Greek texts, which we ain’t got no more.

It gets better, or worse, depending on your point of view. No one knows all the real rules for gematria. Some claim to know them, but the initiates into the mysteries never wrote them down.

There is one example of gematria in the Book of Revelations for which the real meaning is known. It is the number 666, the number of the beast.

The Hebrew name of the messiah was Yehoshua. You can certainly spell that in Greek letters, but the authors of the New Testament spelled it as Iesous. That’s iota, eta, sigma, omicron, upsilon. They add up to 888. Pythagoras said that 888 is the number of the perfected human. Therefore Jesus’s name had to add up to 888, he being the only perfect human and all. Pythagoras also said that 666 is the number of the carnal man who lives only to satisfy his lustful urges. Therefrom comes the number of the beast.

So, when someone like Meade starts using numerology, not gematria, on their English Bible to figure out what the gods have in store for us, they might as well pull out a Ouija board, or inspect chicken guts, or maybe throw some yarrow sticks and consult the I Ching. It will be at least as reliable as mixing selected bits of the Old Testament with selected bits of the New Testament and running them over with a rogue planet.

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

 

For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here: