goddess religion

Thuggees (Thugs)

Circa 1300 – mid/late 1800s
India, Pakistan


“The Thugs or Thuggees, were history’s most notorious and deadly criminal cult. The name Thug, Thuggee or Tuggee is derived from the Sanskrit, sthag and Pali, thak. This means to hide or conceal, mainly a secret concealment.

Thugs were Hindu and Muslim Indians whose Thuggee cult was based on the worship of goddess, Kali. Kali is the destructive and creative mother goddess in the Hindu religion. Kali is the fierce aspect of Devi, the supreme goddess who is fundamental to all Hindu deities. The ongoing work of Creation is described by believers as the “play of Kali”.


Kali is believed to be the destroyer of evil spirits and the preserver of devotees. She is close to Shiva and her name derives from “kala”, from the Sanskrit words for dark or time. Kala also means Black Female as opposed to her consort, Shiva who is white. Kaliis often portrayed standing on the inert form of her consort Shiva. She is sometimes in the company of she demons. Her eight arms hold weapons and/or the severed head of a demon. These objects held by Kali symbolize both her creative and destructive power.Kali demonstrates the ambivalence of deity which according to Hindu tradition manifests itself in the unending cycle of life and death, creation and destruction.

Thugs were a well organized, hereditary cult that practiced large scale robbery and murder, justified by their belief in serving Kali. Membership induction was often passed from father to son, with the women of the home being kept unaware of the men’s cult activity.

As a well organized group of professional murderers or assassins, Thugs traveled throughout India in gangs of 10 to 200 members, all dressed in various guises. They targeted travelers, especially wealthy travelers; gaining the confidence of their soon to be victims. When a favorable opportunity arose, Thugs strangled their victims with a handkerchief or noose around the victim’s neck. Once the victim was dead, the Thugsthen plundered his belongings and buried the body. The acts of displaying false friendship, murder and the burial of the victim were performed according to an ancient, rigidly prescribed process. These barbaric acts were all part of their elaborate religious rites performed to honor Kali. The consecration of a pickaxe and the sacrifice of sugar were also very important parts of their religious rites. A portion of spoils of their robbery were often set aside for Kali.

Murder and Robbery

Murder and robbery were considered by Thugs as a religious duty and they considered themselves to be holy and honorable men. Such abhorrent behavior did not affect their moral feelings. They followed the instructions and will of their goddess through their interpretation of a very complicated system of omens. They often traveled extensively to accomplish their goals of murdering a wayward traveler.

The Thugs were a very close fraternity and used special jargon (ramasi) and hand signs to communicate with each other. Such secret communication methods allowed fellow Thugs to recognize each other in the furthest, most remote parts of India. As a well organized club, everyone played a part in the fraternity’s activities. Thugs who were too old or infirm to perform the travel and ritual attacks on travelers, served as guides, spies, supply providers and more. Because of the closeness, secrecy and discipline of the Thug organization, they were rarely if ever, suspected of any wrongdoings. They were recognized by many as normal law abiding citizens and went unmolested for centuries, free from suspicion or persecution by both Hindu and Muslim authorities. However, there were average persons, especially travelers, who were well aware of the dangers presented by the strange Thugs.

We will never know the extent of the murderous activities of the Thugs. Estimated deaths by Thugs were as high as 40,000 a year. Many believe that over 2 million people died at the hands of Thugs. The accomplishment and secrecy of such large numbers of deaths caused by Thuggees was a result of the Thug’s well organized and highly secret fraternity. Greatly aiding Thuggee success was the lack of any central authority powerful enough to put an end to Thug ritual murder. The great Mughal Empire that ruled the Indian subcontinent for centuries had lost power and fragmented into many independent and semi autonomous kingdoms who collectively could not contend with the Thuggee threat.

Sir William Henry Sleeman

It wasn’t until the British Raj, or the British Rule that the final suppression and elimination of the Thugs was accomplished. Thuggee was finally suppressed and ended for good in the mid-late 1800s. The suppression and eventual elimination of theThugs was largely due to the efforts of Sir William Henry Sleeman, the British authority who began an extensive campaign to eliminate the practice of both Thuggee and Dacoity (robbery and murder committed by dacoits, a cult of criminals from India and Burma).

Sleeman began operations against the Thugs in 1835, establishing extensive profiling, intelligence and punishment activities. A police organization was formed as the Thuggee and Dacoity Department within the Government of India and remained in existence through 1904 when it was replaced by the Central Criminal Intelligence Department. During Sleeman’s initial operations more than 1400 Thugs were imprisoned for life or hung.

British controlled informers and centralized management of intelligence operations opened the tight secrecy of the Thuggee organization. Numerous Thugs were exposed and captured. Constant harassment, exposure, arrest and punishment resulted in the collapse of the entire Thug organization.  Eventually the Thuggee movement was extinguished forever in the mid to late 1800s.

The elimination of the Thuggee threat played a major part in securing the loyalty of Indians to the British Raj and dramatically improved the security of average Indians, especially the many travelers, traders and merchants.”

There is a viewpoint by some that these thuggees were a fictional invention made by the Brits. 

anonymous asked:

let's talk about Mexican roman catholics cause we're literally pagans that gave our gods Spanish names. I fuckin love it and tbh that's the only reason I remain catholic because I'm Mexican. La virgin de Guadalupe is literally am Aztec goddess

old religions and practices like those evolving and assimilating is always really fascinating to me. i love the way people hold on to their traditions

Dedicating my new brass cauldron to my altar and Goddess Cerridwen (whom I love and adore). It was such a great find at a garage sale! I find my most interesting magical tools from all over! I’m burning rose petals from a bouquet of apricot roses from my lover, lavender and sage.

She is the cosmos itself, the womb of starry seas,
for She contains all things and bears all things.
Inspiring and expiring, She breathes,
dancing on the golden solar wind,
broadcasting her star stuff–

She is the black hole and the kitchen pantry.
She is the heartbeat of labor and love.
She is the space between stars and atoms.

She is.
She simply is,
She is whatever is
She is What She Is,
She Is.

And I am a part of Her.
I am.

—  from “A Ritual to Celebrate the Goddess of the Cosmos” by Barbara Ardinger, found in Practicing the Presence of the Goddess: Everyday Rituals to Transform Your World

Sexy, Magickal and dreamy... Rainbow Moonstone is a very powerful crystal that will allow you to feel more comfortable when opening dormant spiritual abilities and awakening, and will gently bring your masculine and feminine aspects into balance. Some feel that this stone holds within it the magickal energies of the Moon.—-> Take what you dare too.

What Gods May Come

All gods are one. They are all the same. They are expressions of mankind’s need to make sense of the world. They are our fears and our desires. When men and women worshipped idols it is unlikely that they worshipped clay, wood, stone or metal. In preliterate times a visual image helped keep the idea of the god in mind. 

Our Gods were strong, wise fathers, loving mothers. Capricious tyrants and vindictive oppressors. We had loving compassionate gods like Balder, Krishna, Jesus and even the Buddha. We had mysterious unknowable gods and Gods who were just like we saw ourselves. Each of these gods represents something real. Something universal. We come to realize that our Gods are not “beings”. Our gods are the divine within us. We we realize this our religious differences fall away and we can all be children under heaven and united in the belief in the good in man.

๑ Samsaran ๑

I roam
sacred ground
my body
is my altar
my temple.
I cast a circle
with my breath
I touch the earth
with my fingers
I answer
to the fire of my spirit.
My blood pulses
in time
with larger rhythms
past, present, future
The reach of my fingers
my ritual
the song of my blood
my blessing
my electric mind
my offering.
Breathing deep
stretching out
opening wide.
My body is my altar
my body is my temple
my living presence on this earth
my prayer.
Thank you.
—  Body Prayer by Molly Remer
Robert Graves considered Tiamat’s death by Marduk as evidence of his hypothesis that a shift in power from a matriarchy controlling society to a patriarchy happened in the ancient past. Grave’s ideas were later developed into the Great Goddess theory by Marija Gimbutas, Merlin Stone and others. The theory suggests Tiamat and other ancient monster figures were presented as former supreme deities of peaceful, woman-centered religions that were turned into monsters when violent. Their defeat at the hands of a male hero corresponded to the manner in which male-dominated religions overthrew ancient society.
—  An excerpt from the Tiamat wiki page. The Great Goddess theory is often dismissed by other scholars, however I see it mentioned so often in literature that I read and it makes so much sense I always wonder why it’s so quickly shot down. I would give my left hand if this theory is not, at least in part, mostly true.

Be still and know that I am she

She who kisses your eyelids with sunshine
Blesses your brow with raindrops
Lifts cares from your shoulders

She who rises with the sun
And who holds the night sky
She who holds you firmly
While spinning in space


Drawing it up
Feeling it settle in your belly and heart and bones

She who cradles eternity in her broad arms
And can never be lost.

—  “Be Still” by Molly Remer (x)