Tag Archives: pagan

Jesus Christ: Lord of Misrule

This is a re-posting of a blog from 2010. I was prompted to do so after reading another blog, by a Catholic Priest, who was adamant that Saturnalia had nothing to do with Christmas. Apparently, all though he admitted that Saturn was associated with human sacrifice, the fact that Jesus Christ Himself was a Sacrificed God eluded him! Nevertheless, the same blog was interesting as it pointed out that the available evidence as to dates suggests that the feast of the birth of Sol Invictus is based upon Christmas, not the other way round. See here for more details.


He's revelling now, but tomorrow he'll feel slaughtered!

He’s revelling now, but tomorrow he’ll feel slaughtered!

Happy Saturnalia to you all. This is of course the ancient Roman festival that was celebrated from the 17th to the 23rd December, and involved a lot of feasting, revelry and debauchery. And guess what? It was being condemned as sordid and commercial as early as 400 AD! O Tempora – O mores!

The pagan customs obviously survived into the Christian era. In mediaeval times there was elected a “Lord of Misrule” who was the master of revels of the Saturnalia *cough* I mean Christmas period. However, James Frazer (he of The Golden Bough fame) reported that there was at least one incident of Roman soldiers choosing a “Lord of Misrule,” and at the end of the Saturnalia period - sacrificing him on the altar of Saturn.

This got the Sumner family brain cell working. Where had I heard of Roman soldiers doing something like that before? Oh yes! Here:

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band [of soldiers]. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put [it] upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify [him].

Matthew 27:27-31

The “coincidences” stack up even further when you consider that Jesus was “sacrificed” on a Cross, which in Hebrew is Tau – the letter associated (in the modern Hermetic Qabalah) with Saturn. Thus, what we have here is Jesus being put through a version of the Saturnalia ritual!

The idea that Jesus Christ is in fact the Lord of Misrule might seem strange at first, although I suspect that it occurred to William Blake in the past, when he made the point in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell that Jesus was all virtue yet he acted from impulse. Thus the “Misrule” of which Jesus was Lord was defiance of the stifling restrictions of old religion which often ran counter to justice.

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Pagan Weddings could be legalised: Daily Mail could be upset

This marriage would be illegal or at least frowned upon in the Star Wars universe, but could soon be legalised in the UK if the Daily Mail's worst fears are realised.

This marriage would be illegal or at least frowned upon in the Star Wars universe, but could soon be legalised in the UK if the Daily Mail’s worst fears are realised.

In the most blatant piece of yellow journalism I have witnessed since… well… the last time I read the same newspaper, the Daily Mail has announced that due to what it perceives as a flaw in the new Equal Marriages bill, Pagan Weddings could be legalised in England and Wales. NB: in the mentality of the Daily Mail, this is supposedly a Bad Thing.

At the moment, if you want to have a Pagan wedding in England or Wales, you are obliged to come to an arrangement which is common on the continent of Europe, i.e. have two wedding ceremonies – the first being the kind that you would ideally want as a ceremony, but with a second which consists of a quick ten-minute jobbie down the Registrar’s office on Monday morning to actually make it legal. Now it so happens that Christian churches almost always have their own registrar to attend  their marriages which is why a Christian couple only needs the one ceremony. Thus: if a Pagan religion were allowed to have the same arrangement, this would spare Pagan couples the extra expense and bureaucracy as well.

Needless to say, however, the true situation is far more complicated.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that the amendment to the Equal Marriages bill which is the source of the controversy applies only to Humanists – not to other named groups. The Daily Mail therefore has conveniently pulled some “anonymous government sources” out of its arse to supposedly say that “ridiculous” (sic) sects like pagans and even Jedis could mount a legal challenge to the Act on the basis of some sort of human rights discrimination type bullshit and force the recognition of their own ceremonies as well.

“But what,” I hallucinate that I hear my many millions of pagan (and even Jedi) readers say, “would be wrong with that?”

As far as the Daily Mail is concerned, everything. As far as people whose opinions count, however, there is a more subtle objection. In an ideal world, members of any religion ought not to have to resort to litigation – which may prove costly, time-consuming and stressful – to vindicate their basic rights. Therefore the best solution is not to have to resort to a dodgy legal challenge, but to actually have the right to marriage written in the black and white of the statute.

So come on, Members of Parliament! And Peers as well! The bill is currently before Parliament and you have the power to propose a suitably worded amendment which would allow such groups to conduct proper ceremonies. Search your feelings – you know it to be true.

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Alex vs the First Amendment

At times when I am desperately bored I read the UK’s comedy newspaper, the Daily Mail, looking for some badly written news article … and just today I find one entitled Pagan mother’s fury after son brings home Bible from school but witchcraft books are banned. It tells of a Pagan woman who was outraged when her son brought home – of his own accord, mind! – a Bible from school, which was one of a consignment donated by the Gideon Society. So incenced was she that such scurrilous literature was available at the school, she tried to bring in a load of spell-books to distribute to the pupils… but was declined.

This story is remarkable for a number of reasons. For a start, this is the first time I have heard of a Pagan giving her books away for free, given that Llewellyn usually charges top-dollar for all kinds of rubbish ;) . Secondly and more to the point, though, American schools apparently have an all or nothing approach to religion based upon an interpretation of the First Amendment. This is alleged to be part of a successful “grand experiment” to avoid religious trouble which has happened in e.g. Germany and Ireland. This of course plainly ignores the fact that such trouble has not happened in the UK, which operates a Church-of-England-by-default-but-you-can-opt-out-of-it-if-you-want type of system. Maybe this system works in the UK because the Church of England doesn’t count as a proper religion!

Anyhoo, in the all-or-nothing debate, I am backing the “All” option – for the simple reason that if it goes through, I intend to found my own religion! That way people will be forced to read my books! (Actually I don’t mind if they don’t read them as long as they pay for them ;-) ).

Incidentally, I note from another article on the same news story, that the day the School Board is meeting to decide whether to allow Pagan Books in schools is February 2nd. Oh the irony!

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Prisoners Allowed To Celebrate Pagan Holidays

What the Daily Mail believes Pagans get up to on the Eight Major Sabbats

News today that Pagan prisoners in the UK will be allowed to take four of the eight sabbats as days off work whilst they are in hokey – which four is not specified, although apparently prison governors will be provided with a list of the major pagan holidays for reference. This is part of a move in which, in the spirit of religious equality, convicts of different religions are allowed to cease breaking rocks in the hot sun on the holy days of their own religion.

Needless to say, this is not how it has been reported by Nazi propaganda rag The Daily Mail. In an unintentionally hilarious article entitled Pagan prisoners given time off to worship the Sun God the Mail has described (mostly inaccurately) what Pagans are supposed to get up to on these days (see diagram), as if this were some reason not to allow these prisoners this indulgence.

There are at least two points which seem to have escaped the Mail (there are of course many more, but I am focussing on the two most important). Firstly, they are only getting as much time off as prisoners of other religions except on different days. Secondly, the prisoners are only going to be let off work for the day so they can celebrate the pagan feast day privately in their cell – they are not being let out of prison or anything like that: so citing – even inaccurately – what pagans outside prisons allegedly get up to is completely irrelevant.

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Daily Mail Attacks Pagans – Again

 

The appalling threat to today's society ... an unguarded flame in an enclosed space.

 

Slow news day at Nazi propaganda rag the Daily Mail, so they trot out another article about Paganism. Samhain, if you will recall, was twelve days ago … so basically what the Beaverbrook press have done is rehash a lot of what they did about a fortnight ago. It is obvious by the sting in the tail that the article is meant to leave the reader with the impression that Pagans are actively threatening Christianity (the journalist spoke to a supposedly-naughty pagan who conveniently “would not be named.”)

Yet despite trotting out various alleged Christian rentaquote people as well, the article is in fact surprisingly well-balanced – for the Daily Mail it is, attempting to give equal voice to both Pagans and the nay-sayers. They even try to be fair to paganism by asking Ron Hutton for a quote, so this might be a bit of a left-handed compliment after all :P

IMHO, the Daily Mail is clearly secretly fascinated with something it doesn’t completely understand. I really think that Pagans, instead of reacting to every banal piece the Mail comes up with should instead aspire to remain aloof from its brand of journalism. One can no more expect the Daily Mail to produce a piece wholly uncritical of paganism than one can expect a dog not to bark. In that sense the Daily Mail does not deserve Pagans’ anger or hatred, but rather compassion instead, as one would show compassion to a wayward child. :P

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Druids: Melanie Philips has had a great idea!

All those pagans have been bashing Melanie Philips of the Daily Mail for writing a bigoted ill-researched piece of drivel about Druidry last week, but the fact is that she actually came with a good idea amongst her nonsensical ramblings.

I refer to her suggestion of having “Stones of Praise” as a Television programme.

Just imagine – in all seriousness – what such a programme would involve. It would be half an hour of a load of pagans having a good old sing-song, intercut with short interviews of individual pagans showing what they get up to in their daily lives, the kind of work they get up to, etc. We could have featured guest musicians in each programme, such as Julian Cope, Ian Read, Damh The Bard, etc.

I think this would actually be quite fun! Quick – call the BBC! :)

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Druids Hand In Petition

 

Druids, led by "King Arthur Pendragon," hand in a petition to the Daily Mail today.

 

OK I have been scouring the news websites for details of how it went at lunch-time, but there seems to be silence so far. Here however is the delegation in London.

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Daily Mail insults Druids

Nazi Propaganda rag the Daily Mail has published a highly offensive article about Druidry being classed as a religion by the UK Charity Commission. I was going to lay into its author about her grasp of theological concepts, but I perceived the tone of the article to be of such moronic stupidity that I am not going to bother.

Instead – I note that a load of Druids have started a petition to demand an apology from the Daily Mail. I have signed it, and I cheerfully invite all my readers to do likewise. Please click here.

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The Fool hath said in his heart, “There is no God.”

News today that Stephen Hawking has said God was not necessary for the Universe to be created. Actually it’s not news at all, he’s been saying this for a long time, it’s just that he’s got a book to promote. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

People like Hawking, Dawkins etc always fall into the same trap, no matter which side of the debate they are on, i.e. they assume that if God exists at all, then (a) He created the Universe; and (b) it must be the Judaeo-Christian-Islam model of God. Hence if there is no evidence that the Universe was created by anyone, they assume that God does not exist.

However,if one rejects the Judaeo-Christian-Islam model of God and substitute that of most Pagan religions, one finds that Hawking et al have nothing to say, because one realises that the existence of God does not depend upon Him / Her having created the Universe.

Most forms of Paganism, no matter how disparate, tend to follow the line that the current patron God(dess) of mankind is not the creator of the Universe at all, which was instead created by a more ancient or primordial force. For example: Zeus is the ruler of the Olympus not because he created the Universe but because he took over the role. Odin is the All-Father, not because He created the worlds, but because he is the mightiest of the Aesir.

Thus if Hawking etc were to say to a pagan, there is no evidence that God created the universe – therefore God does not exist – the pagan would send him away with laughter ringing in his ears.

In any case, we should remember that the “Supreme Creator” is only one aspect of Divinity. Another aspect, and one which is probably far more important to most people in their daily lives, is “Supreme Moral Authority,” given that most people are concerned with God’s existence to give meaning to their lives. Prove that there is a Supreme Moral Authority in the Universe and you have proved the existence of God in a far more meaningful and relevant way than any argument based on creationism. In fact – prove that Morality exists in objective terms, and Creationism can go hang altogether!

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Happy Lugnasadh!

Lugnasadh or “Lammas-tide” (July 31st) is an ancient pagan feast which yet again has been assimilated into the Christian church, in much the same way that Samhain has been assimilated in the form of Hallowe’en. Lugnasadh is the origin of the Harvest Festivals which take place in churches up and down the land.  Apparently in Pagan times it was also when the divine priest-king was sacrificed in the fields and his body scattered.

Poor old dying god! He keeps getting sacrificed and reborn all the time!

According to my book of witchy things (“What Witches Do” by Stewart Farrar), on this day cakes and wine are meant to be taken as well – so doubtless I shall observe this obligation later.

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