Tag Archives: christian

Dawkins comes out as a religionist

Further to the developments in Haiti, Richard Dawkins has come out of the closet and revealed that he is in favour of religion after all! The Voodoo Religion that is – obviously it would be absurd if he had suddenly found the Lord and weighed in for the Christians.

I shit ye not! In the Punch Robertson controversy of Christianity vs Voodoo, Dawkins has come out in favour of Voodoo, as a way of getting back at Robertson and his brand of televangelism.

Dawkins used to be an evolutionary biologist – but now he is a gadfly. Oh the irony! ;)

4 Comments

Filed under Comment

The Church of England vs The Eighth Commandment

Was greatly amused this morning by reading a story in the Independant (yes I was that bored), about a C of E vicar who said that in cases of extreme poverty and desperation, it is morally right for a starving man to shop-lift from a supermarket in order to feed himself. To back his argument up, he pointed out that the way the UK treats poor people is so bad (or at best, inefficient), and the fact that God’s love for the poor is more important than anything else, that a little case of breaking the Eighth Commandment is excusable.

I note that this Vicar only said it was morally right to steal from large businesses. Ironically, he did not say anything about it being right to steal from Churches! After all, let’s face it – who has done more to leach money out of the poor and keep them in subjugation: Sainsbury’s or the Church of England???

Methinks this Vicar is being a bit of a NIMBY. He thinks it is ok for an indigent to steal from a supermarket, but heaven help the same person who nips in to his place and half-inches the candlesticks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Comment

Aliens & Magick

The Vatican apparently is now interested in astrobiology, i.e. life among the stars. This has set many tongues wagging, with commentators pointing out that if life does exist on other planets, this would go against a literal interpretation of the Bible. I do not think this will be too much of a problem, as the Catholic Church has not let its magisterium be constrained by something so inconvenient as actually reading the source text up to now.

However – never mind about what happens with regards to Christianity when life on other planets is confirmed: more importantly, how will this affect the Qabalah?

A Tree of Life Crop Circle which has been photoshopped by some teenager *cough* I mean created by an alien who knows about Athanasius Kircher.

The Tree of Life
I have heard some people argue that the Qabalah is in fact a universal principle, given that there have been instances on earth of Crop Circles in the form of the Tree of Life. (Strange how our alien brethren approve of the Kircher version of the Tree of Life, as opposed to, say, the Lurianic version!) Now the Sepher Yetzirah makes great mention of the fact that the Qabalah is based on the number ten, not nine, ten, not eleven. But… what kind of Qabalah would an alien with a different number of fingers to us humans have come up with?

Now some people, still pointing to the crop circles as proof, have tried to argue that the number ten is a universal principle which has nothing to do with the number of fingers that we have. However: the evidence is in Sepher Yetzirah that the magic number ten is indeed associated with our fingers, as Qabalistic attributions are given thereto: moreover, it attaches importance to being able to form letters of the Hebrew alphabet with ones fingers. This incidentally is how Leonard Nimoy devised the Vulcan Salute. It is actually the sign a Cohen makes as he is giving the valedictory blessing in a synagogue (it actually represents the letter Shin).

Most authorities are of the opinion that we use a decimal system as opposed to any other simply because we have ten fingers – because they are our first counting tools. I therefore say this. If aliens have a version of the Qabalah and the Tree of Life, it will be based not on Ten sephiroth, but on whatever number-base they happen to use – i.e. which is most likely to be the number of fingers they have, if indeed they have fingers.

Astrology
The most popular forms of Astrology present on Earth are by their very nature Geocentric. The constellations are the way that the stars appear from Earth, and the belt of the Zodiac is defined by the route which the Sun – our Sun – takes through the heavens.

However, if Aliens had their own version of Astrology, firstly it would not be Geocentric; secondly it would be based on a completely different Sun and set of planets; and thirdly there would be no correlation to our constellations whatsoever, as their own would appear to be completely different. The only feature of our astrology which might feature in their version would be the fact that our Sun might be visible from their own solar system. This is significant because the development of Astrology on our own planet has been governed by attaching importance to that which is most visible (the Sun, the Moon), and then defining the rest of the system in relation to that. It is therefore reasonable to assume that Alien Astrologers would only attach importance to the objects which are most noticeable from their own home planet(s), which could mean that if our Sun is in what is to them a relatively obscure part of their sky, it may not enter into their consideration at all.

This is somewhat by the by, though, as I predict that Earth Astrology is soon going to be refuted according to its own logic. This has nothing to do with astronomy purporting to have refuted it already. I shall explain: Earth Astrology relies on a given birth / event / etc having a time, date and place somewhere on the planet’s surface, because the key to the Horoscope is the Ascendant, the sign which is on the horizon at the time for which the chart is drawn.

However, the higher one is above the ground, the more fluid the concept of the horizon becomes, until when one has left the Earth altogether, it ceases to have any meaning. Thus – at some point in the future, there is going to be a human being born in outer space, and when that happens, it will be impossible to draw up a horoscope for that person. Therefore I say that at that point conventional astrology will have to be abolished, because there will be at least one person alive to whom it cannot apply.

There is such a thing as Heliocentric astrology, although because of the peculiarities of the heliocentric system it is not suitable for dealing with the kind of issues for which geocentric astrology is currently used. However, even Heliocentric astrology is going to be refuted when the first human being is born outside our solar system. Which brings me back to Alien Astrology – if aliens do exist in other solar systems, then we cannot apply our astrology to them.

The Age of Aquarius
Finally, I shall just like to briefly mention this: the whole idea of cosmic ages is another geocentric notion which is going to go the same way as geocentric astrology. Now, as noted above, I predict that astrology is going to be refuted when at least one human being is born in outer space. Reason suggests that this is going to be sometime in the next hundred or two hundred years. The Age of Aquarius is due to begin in the next hundred or two hundred years – at approximately the same time that the whole concept of the Age of Aquarius will be refuted according to the logic of Astrology. Irony of ironies! Were I a superstitious man I would be inclined to say that the birth of the first human in space will be the actual event that signifies the Age of Aquarius. In any case the challenge of the next great aeon will be to move away from a human-centric, ego-centric, notion of mysticism and to evolve a more cosmological outlook.

4 Comments

Filed under Comment

Hallowe’en

In this blog post I shall present an overview of Hallowe’en, as well as a list of top five places to go and celebrate this special day.

Hallowe’en means so much to many people. For the Hollywood film industry it is the traditional time to release new horror movies. For children it is a time to dress in scary costumes and go trick or treating. For householders it is a time to insert razor-blades into apples. For a large number of adults in America it appears to be a time to dress up in bizarre costumes which seemingly do not have anything to do with the traditional theme of the day. For fundamentalist Christian ministers it is a time to complain about Satanism, black magic etc. For Pagans it means something else entirely, which I shall explain presently.

For me personally I usually spend the day doing Enochian work which is not really connected with the theme of the day except in a very recondite manner. I explain this fully elsewhere.

The Pagan view of Hallowe’en is that it is an ancient feast called “Samhain” (pronouned sa-ven or sa-wen). This is traditionally the time that the spirits of the dead are able to return to the land of the living to visit their descendants. It is really the reflection of the fact that it occurs around the time when the Sun enters Scorpio, which in astrology is associated with the House of Death (the eighth house).

The way people react to their deceased ancestors coming back to visit them is somewhat bemusing, to say the least.

My personal inclination would be that if I knew that the ancestral spirits were coming back to the land of the living on a certain day each year, I would set aside that day to honour them. And in fact, this is generally what Christians do. Yes you read correctly – Christians celebrate Samhain without knowing it! Only they don’t call it Samhain and they don’t celebrate it on October 31st. They call it “All Souls’ Day” and celebrate it two days later on November 2nd. “All Soul’s Day” is when Christians have masses to honour the souls of all deceased beings. It is thus a Christian form of a festival of the dead, like Samhain.

However the secular celebration of Hallowe’en derives from some traditional folk customs. These also acknowledge that the spirits of deceased people are coming back to the land of the living: however instead of conducting rituals to honour them, they dress up in masks and costumes so that the spirits do not recognise the pre-mortem beings and thus do not bother them. This incidentally explains the American practice of fancy dress on Hallowe’en – it is not necessary to dress up in horror-themed costumes, but it is necessary – in order to be strictly authentic – to have a costume which is some attempt at a disguise.

The actual practice of young children dressing up as goblins etc going out trick or treating is itself an old folk practice, which I believe can be traced to the Isle of Mann in the British Isles. There are in fact a number of folk practices associated with Hallowe’en which do not necessarily have anything to do with the idea of honouring the dead spirits but are just about having a good life-affirming community building merry-old time. Some sources allege that it was in fact the beginning of the Celtic New Year, which may explain a lot.

At this point I would like to say something to Christians reading this blog. I do not want to disrespect yer typical mild-mannered Christian who goes to church regularly and practices his or her faith in a modest manner. However, I shall not pull my punches with regards to the raving, bigoted, fundamentalist type of person who makes ordinary Christians embarassed to be associated with them. Dig this:

Christians invented “Hallowe’en.”

Yep, you read it correctly – Christians invented Hallowe’en. The word “Hallowe’en” refers to the fact that October 31st is the eve of All Hallows Day, i.e. All Saints Day on November 1st. October 31st was thus given the name Hallowe’en because it was the Church’s practice to assimilate old pagan feast days, not to alienate the pagans of old, but to get them on side.

What’s more: I hear fundamentalists saying that Hallowe’en glorifies the occult, to which I would respond with two things: firstly – what’s wrong with that? Secondly, and less flippantly – why do you suppose that the practices of dressing up in scary costumes and going trick or treating, and all the rest were allowed to flourish? Do you think it was because some sinister satanic conspiracy has been promoting them? No! It is because Christians themselves have been actively promoting the celebration of Hallowe’en all along, and encouraging the continuance of traditional folk practices, in order to demonstrate that they have nothing to fear from these old customs, and more importantly, any excuse for a party!

Fundamentalists by condemning Hallowe’en are therefore denying the tradition of two thousand years – which is just as much a Christian tradition as it is a pagan one.

My rant being over, I shall now present -

Alex’ Top Five Hallowe’en Destinations for 2009.

5
Canton, NC, USA
Apparently some sick Satanic cult are going to be celebrating Halloween by burning Bibles that night and then having a barbecue (over the embers of the burning bibles?). Oh wait – it’s not a Satanic cult, it is actually a fundamentalist Christian sect!!! Apparently they believe that all other versions of the Good Book apart from the King James Version are the work of Satan, on the grounds that if the KJV was good enough for Jesus and His disciples, it is good enough for them (!). Also they will be burning books by other authors as well.

This has set the Alex Sumner Astral Cash-Registers going.

It occurs to me that the Beatles’ record sales went up in the Deep South – because they were buying them before before burning them. Now, given that I am the author of an occult novel which is available on Amazon, maybe if I write to this crazy Pastor, he will burn my books as well? Unfortunately, this guy only has a congregation of just fourteen, so I won’t increase my sales that much.

NB: this town was put on my list just for the comedy value. I would not actually recommend going here on Hallowe’en or any other day if you look remotely pagan / gothy / black / jewish / asian / or even just like an ordinary Christian.

4
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
I have put this in the list firstly because there is an excellent supernatural tradition (e.g. Anne Rice’s novels) associated with this town, and secondly, because the local tourist board quite cheerfully says “why not set the mood for your Halloween party by visiting one of our historic cemetaries?” Top geezers!

People, I hate to contra-illusion you to the subject, but in real life no Vampire would ever go near New Orleans: and that is not because they do not like Jazz or Cajun food. As everyone knows, Vampires like darkness and hate sunlight. The places on this planet which have the most sunlight (longest days and shortest nights) are those nearest the Equator, whilst those nearest the Poles have the least sunlight (longest nights and shortest days). Therefore, if a Vampire would choose to live anywhere it would not be in the American South, but somewhere further north like Canada or New England. Note that HP Lovecraft long ago made the connection between cold places and horror by setting his stories either in New England or the Antarctic (At the Mountains of Madness) – he knew the score alright!

3
The Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival, Derry, Northern Ireland.
According to press reports, this is “widely regarded as the biggest festival of its kind in Europe and a massive generator of revenue for the local economy.” Moreover, it is claimed that “We have heard reports of people having sex openly in the streets during and after the parade.” In case you are wondering, Derry has its own airport which has regular services to and from London Stansted and Luton, as well as some other places in Britain and Europe. Obviously I am not encouraging any licentious behaviour (i.e. because people who want to indulge in licentious behaviour generally need no encouragement whatsoever!), but because this got onto my radar from having a Methodist minister go on about Hallowe’en encouraging the triumph of evil, etc etc etc.

2
Whitby, North Yorkshire, England.
In the novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, the Count’s ship makes landfall in England at Whitby in North Yorkshire. Ever since then, the town has exercised a fascination for real-life Dracula fans. It is nowadays a mecca for the Goth crowd. This Hallowe’en sees the celebration of the Whitby Goth Weekend 2009.

1
A Cemetery Where Your Own Deceased Relatives Are Buried
But the one truly authentic way to celebrate Hallowe’en is to go and honour your deceased loved ones, for then you will be cutting through all the commercialism and really recognising the spirit of Samhain.

1 Comment

Filed under Supernatural