Category Archives: Quasi-Hypothesis Quasi-Scientist

My blathering on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast

More on May Day, More or Less

Last week Tuesday was May Day. I instructed you all on May Day festivities, such as the May Pole Dance, the Haymarket Riot or Massacre, depending on what side you were on, socialist parades, and what not.

I mentioned that it was also the major Celtic pagan holiday of Beltane, a spring fertility festival. Now, most of the old pagan world had their spring festival on the first day of spring, or scheduled it to correlate the spring equinox with the full moon, like the pagan holiday of Easter.

The Celts were a bit odd about their holiday scheduling, though. Beltane is about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Their other three big holidays were likewise halfway between equinoxes and solstices. All four, in order of their celebration were:

Imbolg, which was around February second.

Beltane, which, if you’ve paying any kind of attention, you already know the date of. Although it was actually more like on May 5th.

Lughnasadh, which was around August 1st.

And lastly, was Samhain, which was around November 1st.

The holidays based the sun’s position are referred to as quarter days. It is in dispute as to whether the Celts celebrated them. They certainly knew about them. There’s enough old standing stones and circles with equinoctial and solsticial alignments to show that. The Celts’ holidays are called cross quarter days.

Much of the ancient world had their big holidays smack dab on the equinoxes and solstices. These Celtic holidays were based more on the actual cycles of living things.

Imbolg, at the beginning of February, was about when the sheep would start birthing lambs. It was also the beginning of the light, bright half of the year. Christians scarfed this holiday up as Candlemas, or the feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, or of the Presentation of the Child Jesus. Take your pick.

Beltane was when plants really started flowering, trees popped out leaves, and crops began to sprout from the ground. The Christians pretty much left this one alone, possibly because of the poles with knobs on the end being a bit to obvious a metaphor.

Lughnasadh was when you first began harvesting crops. This became the Christian holiday of the festival of St. Peter’s Chains. The church pulled a real stretcher on this one.

Samhain was the end of harvesting and the start of the dark half of the year. This became All Saints’ day, of course.

Modern pagans, apparently wanting to make sure they’ve got all their gods and goddesses bases covered, make a big shebang out of all the quarter and cross quarter holidays. Or maybe they just like partying.

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

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

May Day, May Day

Who all celebrates May Day? Well, socialists and communists for starters. They commemorate what is known as the Haymarket Massacre, or Riot, and/or also Affair, which started out as a worker’s parade protesting the killing of workers striking for an eight hour work day, by the Chicago police, on May 3rd, 1886, the day before the riot. An anarchist threw a stick of dynamite at the police, who were breaking up the protest, killing seven officers. The remaining officers then opened fire on the protesters, killing 4 and wounding dozens more.

But that’s not what this quasi is about.

This quasi is about a pole with a knob on the end, the May Pole. It is about young maidens dancing in circles around the pole, festooning it with ribbons, starting with the knob at the top of the erect pole and ending at the bottom. It is about the Greek goddess, Chloris, after whom chlorophyll is named, and her Roman equivalent, Flora, after whom flowers are named. She’s the goddess of flowers and spring, and her festival ran from April 28th to May 3rd, and was called the Floralia.

The Floralia was celebrated with, to quote Wikipedia, “…five days of farces and mimes were enacted – ithyphallic, and including nudity when called for…”.

Ithyphallic, now there’s a word for you. Ithyphallic farces and mimes, farces and mimes enacted with phallic symbols, that is to say, enacted with poles with knobs on the end.

Later, in the year 870 of the common era, on May 1st, Pope Adrian II, in the common mode of Christian practice, scarfed up this joyful spring fertility festival from the pagans, and canonized an otherwise obscure English missionary nun. Her name was Walpurga, and Adrian made May 1st her day.

St. Walpurga… now why does that sound familiar? Let’s see, St. Walpurga’s day must be preceded by St. Walpurga’s eve, of course. Aha! Walpurgis night! One of the major nights that witches worship Satan! It’s also the Celtic Eve of Beltane. Beltane, one of the most holy days in the Druidic year! Anything pre-Christian had to be the devil’s work, so holy it up by reworking it into a Christian holiday.

But be sure to retain the pagan symbols, such as poles with knobs on the end.

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

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

Mantra

Back in early December of 2016, when the world was young, or at least younger, I created a mantra for Squatchers. I did it because the Reverend Jeff asked me to.

In a particularly peculiar case of synchronicity, there was an episode of Finding Bigfoot, that aired a bit after I invented that mantra, in which Ranae Holland comes up with the identical mantra. That episode was recorded earlier in the year, but, and I swear to the gods that this is true, I knew nothing of it until after I also wrote that mantra.

If you want to hear the mantra, it’s on my YouTube channel with the title, “A Squatcher’s Mantra”.

But that is all beside the point of this quasi-dissertation, in which I will tell you the theory behind the term ‘mantra’.

You all know what ‘mantra’ means in common usage. You repeat a word, or a series of words, damn near endlessly, hoping that it gets you what you want, such as a Sasquatch, or makes something go away, possibly a scary Sasquatch.

The real meaning of the word mantra is much more profound.

Mantra is a Sanskrit word consisting of the root word, ‘man’, which means to think, and the suffix ‘tra’, which means the prefix is a tool or instrument. The word “man” is also the root word for ‘manas’, the Sanskrit word for mind. So a mantra is a tool of thought. In practice, a mantra shapes the mind, shapes it in the form of what a given mantra is designed for.

Now, this mind we’re talking about is not the physical mind, it is not all that wobbly, globby mass inside your skull. No, it is something nonphysical. It is what the ancient Greeks called the psyche. The Greeks, along with most of the ancient world, said man was composed of a body, or sarke, as in sarcophagus, the psyche, or soul, and the pneuma, as in pneumatic, or spirit. Our spirit is our real self. It uses the soul to think and tell the body what to do. The soul is nonphysical, in the sense that it exists in a higher order reality than the body. The spirit is in an even higher order reality. That’s the simplistic version, anyways.

The soul is the equivalent of the Sanskrit manas, or mind, and we all know how wiggly our minds are. A mantra is used to focus the mind on a specific intent and stop all those wiggly jiggly thoughts.

Now, there are mantras devised to shape your mind for all sorts of purposes, including naughty purposes. Using naughty mantras for naughty purposes is called black magic. Doing black magic will make some very bad karma for you. Aside from having a bad time in future incarnations, it will land you in an astral hell for a long period of astral time, and astral time can seem like an eternity. I did two different quasi dissertations on astral hells. They are not nice places. And technically, those naughty purposes include trying to get rich, get laid, get a pony, i.e., anything selfish.

Most mantras, though, are intended to quiet your mind enough to allow the light of your spirit to come through, thereby illuminating your mind, and letting some of that light come into this lower plane where we live.

Normally, this is where I would end with a bad pun, or some witticism, but I’ll just say this: Om, shanti, shanti, om.

First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

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

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: