animistic religion

Okay, I fully understand everyone’s excitement over the ring-exchange and engagement, but please don’t mock or dismiss Yuuri calling it a “lucky charm”. 

Not only were those his honest and sincere feelings, but omamori are more than mere “lucky charms”, they’re a huge part of Japanese culture, and Japanese religion, with very profound meaning, so mocking that is actually incredibly rude, and highly culturally insensitive.

Traditionally, Japanese omamori look like this

and can be bought at most shrines and temples in Japan. I’d actually say they’re closer to “prayers” than “lucky charms”, really, in their intent, though that doesn’t quite fit, either. But when you know that the most common omamori are for things like safety in traffic, doing well in school, having romantic encounters, and fertility/safely born children (used both by couples who want kids, and expecting mothers hoping for no complications with their pregnancy), you probably see what I mean.

The word omamori translates roughly to protector/protection/protective charm, and are based on the animistic Shinto world view. The ones you get at shrines are part supplication that the enshrined deity will bless and protect you, and part a… hmm, almost a signal beacon? so said deity can find you, to know that you’re someone under their protection. And also part comfort for the carrier, that they’re not alone, that they’ve got someone on their side. 

But it’s not just “official” deities that are considered to have protective powers. Your ancestors are also seen sort of as guardian spirits protecting their family line (common theme in East Asian religions - Mulan, anyone? - at least, and I think also in all animistic religions, though that’s not my area of expertise), and even such ambiguous things as strong emotions are seen to have protective and blessing properties, especially love and affection.

For this reason, a lot of people will use mementos or objects of sentimental value as omamori. Either because it reminds them of a particular person or situation or emotion, or because they see some kind of link between that particular object and whatever they seek blessings for/protection against.

The important part for Yuuri, and why he bought that ring, is less that it’s a wedding ring, and more that it’s a gold ring. Yes, emphasis on both gold and ring.

The gold part is obvious, because the blessing he wants is help in getting a gold medal. It’s a resonance/like-brings-like thing.

The ring part is more obscure, but I’ll try to explain it.

One of the most basic and important parts of Japanese culture and society is the idea of 縁 (en). If you look it up in a Japanese-English dictionary, you get words like fate, destiny, chance, a relationship, a connection, a bond, an affinity, and while those are all ways to translate the word, depending on context, they don’t really explain the concept. En is the meeting of two or more things/beings that leaves a lasting connection or bond.

You might say you don’t have en with money to indicate that you can never seem to amass any wealth. It’s less you’ve got no luck with money, but more that you and money were never meant to be. You might earn it, but it still doesn’t stick around, somehow. An omamori for romance is called an enmusubi, or a “tier of en/bonds”, in this case referring to interpersonal relationships.

If you’re saying goodbye to someone you don’t know whether you’ll ever see again, you might express a wish that you’ll have en, and be able to meet again.

Now, I’ve mentioned in previous posts that the Japanese love homonyms and word associations. This is even more true for en, because it’s so important to them. Like in the example of a farewell, you might give someone a five yen coin, because five yen is go-en (五円), and when speaking of en with an honorific, that’s also go-en (ご縁). It’s a physical manifestation of your wish to have en with them. This is also why five yen coins are generally considered the best coins to give as offerings when you pray for something, despite their low value, because it indicates a hope for en with your wish.

Okay, getting to the point now: Another homonym (well, technically the same one, but different usage) for en is the word for circle or round. And because that’s basically what a ring is, rings are often used as a metaphor for, or an expression of a wish for en. So rings generally have a more profound level of meaning in Japanese.

It’s a gold ring because Yuuri wishes to have en with gold medals. He gives it to Victor because he wishes to have en with him.

He spent the whole day looking for something. He said he’d desperately wanted an omamori for a long time. He’s embarrassed, because yes, it’s a goddamn wedding ring, and he’s very aware of that, and giving rings to someone, period, is not something a Japanese person does lightly. It’s a very meaningful act, and this omamori is very important to Yuuri, so going “lol, lucky charm, yeah right” is incredibly disrespectful.


Today I want to look at traditional depictions of witches in both the west and in Japan, how the magical girl genre developed out of the blending of the two, Sailor Moon being a witch, not in a crappy Madoka Magica “corruption of innocence way”, just like, she’s a witch and, by extension, how this makes Vegeta a wizard?

Closed Captioning coming soon.

Transcript below:

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grand-duc replied to your post “Does double anent Anakin think in basic or amatakka? Or does it depend…”

I’m sure his time teaching Leia involved a lot of frantic translation mid sentence so that he could find a way to express concepts in Basic

Oh yeah, definitely.

This happened when he was teaching her shielding, I think. Especially when it came to teaching the storm-shield. (And even there is a difference: Leia thinks of it as an emotional shield. Anakin thinks of it as a storm-shield. It’s the same thing, but…)

There’s a lot of cultural nuance that doesn’t translate with the image: sandstorms are deadly and unstoppable (unfettered, even), but it’s also true that Ar-Amu speaks in the storm. So the storm-shield, in Amatakka, has a nearly sacred aspect to it that doesn’t translate into Basic at all.

And yet, I think it does translate into Alderaanian cultural concepts. Alderaanian traditional religion is animist, with a particular reverence for the spirits of the natural world. So when Leia creates her emotional shield, she envisions it not as a sandstorm, but as an Alderaanian mountain thunderstorm. Which, while a very different image from Anakin’s (and Luke’s, after Leia teaches him), actually has a very similar feel.

anonymous asked:

please tell me about finnish mythology i would love to listen to that for a half hour

oooohohohhohhh thank you so much for this ask anon and sorry I took forever but I just can’t pass this with just two or three sentences when Finnish mythology and animistic religion are literally my favourite things in the world 8D

okay I’m just gonna list some things about old Finnish beliefs and such that I find especially delightful and might or might not still believe in

  • so before Christianity came to Finland, we worshipped a lot of different gods, i.e. Ahti who was the god of water and Vellamo, his wife - if you’re gonna go fishing, you gotta pray/make an offering to those two to get a good haul. or Ukko who was the god of the weather and the sky and harvest and thunder, although his real name wasn’t Ukko (which btw means “old man”) but apparently people were too afraid to say his real name out loud. might be it was actually Perkele or Ilmarinen
  • yes Perkele hasn’t always been a bad word and people think it means the Devil but it wad most likely the old Finnish god of thunder
  • oh and bears were holy animals to us. that’s the reason why there are so many words that mean “bear” in the Finnish language; so that you don’t accidentally summon any bears to you. like, when people hunted and killed a bear, they’d celebrate it (it was called peijaiset) and the party ended with the skull of the bear being hung on a tree. sometimes they chose a young girl to be the bear’s bride in the festivities to make the spirit of the bear happy
  • basically in ye olden times Finns believed in elves of all sorts, like forest elves and house elves and saUNA ELVES and seriously when I was a kid, we were told that there were elves and trolls and hobgoblins and what have you in the nearby forest. 
  • and sauna elves are the best thing because okay obviously Finnish culture has always been very closely tied to sauna, like we would give birth and nurse the sick and prepare the dead for the burial (fun fact: dead people’s legs are apparently still tied together so they don’t rise up and chase after the living) in the sauna. and of course you wash up and relax in the sauna. so sauna elves are these small humanoid gentle creatures that live in saunas (apparently one per sauna) and come out to bathe after the humans have left. also one of my sources says they punished the ones that didn’t behave themselves in a sauna. I don’t know how
  • and don’t even get me started on Kalevala, like that’s our national epic and it’s entirely written in a very specific form of singing and it tells how the world was made and about our gods and other characters and it’s amazing
  • and we used to do magic!! in that specific form of singing. we used to sing spells. how cool is that. Finns are all witches and wizards and shamans pass it on
  • and all in all people might not realize it but a lot of our proverbs and holidays and such stem from the old animistic religion and our culture is still very much tied to the old beliefs and hell even some of our traditions involving holidays are actually old magic, for example we put seven or nine or maybe ten (it kinda changes depending on who you ask) different kinds of flowers under your pillow for the Midsummer night and then you dream of your future spouse

and then someone in Sweden decided that we filthy heathens need to be put in our place and they set out on a crusade to introduce us to Christianity

oh and I also have a few posts in my Finnish mythology tag but it’s not much. but hey thank you so much for asking, anon!! even if I didn’t talk about even half the things that I’d like to talk about but hey I loved it nonetheless 8D

In fact, monotheism, as it has played out in history, is a kaleidoscope of monotheist, dualist, polytheist, and animist legacies, jumbling together under a single divine umbrella. The average Christian believes in the monotheist God, but also in the dualist devil, in polytheistic saints, and in animist ghosts.

Scholars of religion have a name for this simultaneous avowal of different and even contradictory ideas and the combination of rituals and practices taken from different sources. It’s called syncretism. Syncretism might, in fact, be the single, great world religion.

—  Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Stop erasing me !

as a girl,
as a black girl,
as a french canadian girl,
as a caribbean girl,
as a haitian girl,
as a “not conventionally attractive ” black girl,
as a black girl who likes almost every music genres ( not only rap and rnb)
as a sensitive “crybby ” black girl,
as a “not having curves” black girl,
as a “suicidal” black girl,
as an “artistic” black girl,
as a dark/brown skinned black girl,
as a black girl with hella afrocentric features,
as a non-sportive at all black girl,
as a stubborn and intense black girl,
as a “idk-my-sexual-orientation-this-shit-too-confusing black girl,
as a haitian girl who would like to “reclaim” her tainos ancestry ( fuck my french and spanish ancestry)
as a non christian black girl,
as a poor and young black girl who’s trying hard af to find a fucking job to have some money for the college,
as a lonely and awkward black girl,
as a black girl who likes anime/yaoi/manga and hentai,
as a black girl who likes sex/erotism/sensuality,
as a fucking human being,
I’m alive and I’m tired of being erased/ignored/ rejected in every fucking community
I don’t want to be invisible no more
I deserve to be heard, I know I am not the only one like this

When y'all talking about “blacks”, it’s always the AAs
When y'all talking about caribbean people, it’s always cubans, dominicans, jamaicans or puerto ricans
When y'all talking about the tainos heritage in the caribbean it’s never about haiti, yeah, let’s erase us more !
When y'all talking about “America”, it’s always this shitty country called USA
When y'all talking about Canada, it’s never about Québec
When y'all talking about beauty of black women,it’s always lightskinned black women or black women with hella curves
Y'all never talk about muslims black people, or even jewish black people or atheist black people are hated, or also how voodoo/santeria/candomblé ( also les religions animistes et spiritualités africaines) are seen as evil and bad when it’s completely the opposite and false

And the list goes on and on and on…
Stop acting as if all black people face all the same struggles like wtf
Some black people AROUND THE WORLD have it so much more worst than black people in the America( the fucking continent)
Bunch of hypocrites,that’s what humans are.
When SOME blacks say “black lives matter” or “black girls rock”, they actually mean “ cishet african americans middle class who are christian able bodied with no severe mental illnesses and who are also conventionally attractive and the black girls( not punk,goth or other style) must have makeup on their face with loose curls and with a lighter skin with hella curves and the black boys must be tall,muscular and very very masculine ( it doesnt matter if he’s dark or light skin ) ”

J'en ai plus que marre de l'hypocrisie du monde, j'en ai rien à chier si je vous ai choqué, j'aimerais qu'on arrête d'effacer ce que JE SUIS, eh puis merde aussi, le monde appartiendras toujours aux groupes opprimés
Point final.

anonymous asked:

do you think liking/defending cats is a "white feminist" thing like that other blogger was/is claiming?

Nah lol this is the most bullshity claim I’ve heard the whole day.

It is true that there is a historical connection between cats and women, mostly in the form of worship of cats in animistic religions. This happened because cats were kept around households and food storage sites, like grain silos, for their hunting abilities. Cats killed mice and rats that destroyed food supplies, and also killed snakes that could be dangerous to the people living in the house. Since the domestic environment is traditionally associated with women, cats also received this association. I know also that they were associated with fertility and motherhood, like it is with the ancient Egyptian goddess Bast, for example, because of their fast breeding and plentiful offspring.

Becase of their association with pagan worship, cats were killed en masse during the rise of christianity, roughly at the same time when women were being murdered under accusations of witchcraft, which ended up strenghtening the connection even more. The cat is now associated with the image of the witch because of this reason. Fun fact, the mass killing of cats also contributed to the spread of the black plague, since without cats to keep the rat population in check, they ran rampant and so did their infected fleas.

But I think the reason why people hate cats is much simpler than that. It’s a mix of entitlement, antropomorphism and complete lack of understanding of the cat’s cognitive profile. Unlike dogs, who were bred specifically to be aware of human emotions and behaviors and rely heavily on social skills for their day-to-day problem solving, cats evolved to be a much more independent animal. The domestic cat is significantly more social than their wild relatives, and domestic cats often live in colonies, but they never developed the reliance on human interaction that dogs did. You can’t expect a cat to act like a dog and treat you like you’re the center of their world. This is just not what cats do. Hell, not even all dogs do that, it varies heavily from breed to breed.

And then there’s the issue of antropomorphism, which is the act of atributing human characteristics to non-human entities. People do that a LOT. For example, it’s common to see people saying that cats are “spiteful”, when spite is a very complex emotion and it’s unlikely that cats are capable of it. People think that the cat is peeing out of the litterbox because the cat is a dick, when the cat is likely anxious and territorially insecure. People think the cat is attacking them “out of the blue” when they’re ignoring clear signs of discomfort, like the cat pushing back it’s ears, whipping it’s tail hard, etc. People are just not interested in learning anything about cat behavior, communication and cognition and then act surprised when they can’t understand the cat.

And this leads to the issue of entitlement. You want to pet the cat because it’s soft and fluffy, but you don’t consider that the cat might not want to be touched, or might not want to be touched right now. People ignore that the cat has a mind of it’s own and desires of it’s own. And what pleases one individual cat might annoy another.

So go study cat behavior and try having some patience and offering the cat some food and playing with it before picking it up, remembering also that individual cats will warm up to you at different rates. Cats (and dogs) are not toys or emotional aids to make you feel happy and validated. They are animals. If you can’t understand that and you get a reminder in the shape of a set of sharp claws, it’s your own fault.

I fee like a lot of academics exaggerate the extent to which ancient peoples and/or animistic believers in general believe that the things in their religion are Really Real in a reach-out-and-touch-it way.  The more I read about and understand animistic religions and mythology the more it really all seems to be about ordering the world in a poetic way that makes sense to them, just as we in the West still personify and order the world in a way that makes sense to us through literature.