ritual-and-religion

isis · goddess of magic

As the wife of Osiris, Isis assisted her husband during his earthly reign. In the Pyramid Texts, allusions are made that indicate that Isis foresaw her husband’s murder. Following his death, Isis tirelessly searched for his body so that he may be properly buried and may rest in peace in the Underworld. Through her magic, she brought Osiris back to life so that he could impregnate her with their son Horus. Isis was a great magician and is famous for the use of her magical skills. For example, she created the first cobra and used it’s venomous bite to coerce Re into revealing his secret name.

sekhmet · goddess of war and destruction

Sekhmet was the lioness-headed goddess of war and destruction. She was the sister and wife of Ptah. She was created by the fire of Re’s eye. Re created her as a weapon of vengence to destroy men for their wicked ways and disobedience to him. She is generally portrayed as a woman with the head of a lioness surmounted by the solar disk and the uraeus. The name “Sekhmet” comes from the root sekhem which means “to be strong, mighty, violent”. She was identified with the goddess Bastet, and they were called the Goddesses of the West (Sekhmet) and the East (Bastet). Both were shown with the heads of lionesses

requested by: @oblivions-kiss

   During the ritualistic procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a woman played the role of the old and rather comical woman comforting Demeter’s lament over the loss of Persephone, that woman’s name was Iambe. Iambe was the daughter of Pan and Echo and granddaughter of Hermes. The woman presented herself at the bridge over a trolley, she was either Iambe or Baubo,the old woman who jested with Demeter when she grieved the abduction of her daughter. Jokes and obscene gestures from behalf of the old woman were meant to make Demeter laugh. This particular episode aimed to the emotional relief and release of the mystics as they themselves adopted Demeter’s grief, each one of them was another Demeter in a sense; both female and male participants. It was then that the mystics drank Kykeon, the holy and still enigmatic drink of the mysteries, a drink supposedly made of water and barley and some psychoactive substances. The women carried the drink in special vessels worn in their heads. From this moment on the joyous cries “Iakhus” (name attributed to Dionysus) were heard, these were the moments when the mystics became drunk and ecstatic.
    As this excerpt of the mysteries allows us to understand,  ancient thinking valued sense of humor a lot as a counterpart to grief, modern psychoanalysis also avaluates the therapeutic role of laugh as a great factor of defuse of tension. Humor is perhaps the most mature defense mechanism of ego, altering our consciousness and permitting us to see the illogical yet passing nature of life itself, a way out of our previous limitations.

Demeter mourning for Persephone by Evelyn de Morgan, 1906.

bastet · goddess of cats, fire and pregnant women

Bastet was the goddess of fire, cats, of the home and pregnant women. According to one myth, she was the personification of the soul of Isis. She was also called the “Lady of the East”. As such, her counterpart as “Lady of the West” was Sekhmet. The goddess Bastet was usually represented as a woman with the head of a domesticated cat. However, up until 1000 BC she was portrayed as a lioness. Bastet was the daughter of Re, the sun god. It may have been through him that she acquired her feline characteristics. When Re destroyed his enemy Apep, he was usually depicted as a cat. As portrayed as a cat, she was connected with the moon

requested by: @oblivions-kiss

so anyway i have been thinking about the force and how it is leveraged as a kind of political thing in the rebellion versus the empire conflict - where the formal aspects of the empire (beyond palps and vader) are like THE FORCE IS FAKE while the formal parts of the rebellion go around saying ‘may the force be with you’ in a way that is obviously meant to be deeply political - and because i binge read through grievous’ legends wookieepedia page for reasons yesterday, i’m now wondering about how the separatists who merged into the rebellion would think about this

because like, the force as expounded upon and performed by the jedi was effectively a state sanctioned religion under the old republic which means that any belief in the force would have been especially inextricably bound up in the problem of the state and its apparatus of power. the jedi occupy the weird space of being obviously spiritual and yet obviously deeply involved in the politics and the diplomatic fabric of the galaxy. they’re also involved militarily, even if as a last resort kind of thing so i imagine there’s a fair bit of resentment against them (this is the interesting strain of thought i picked up from grievous’ page) floating around, especially amongst the separatist camp. obviously the rebellion is a coalition formed on the basis of political expediency, but there’s obviously one particular strain of thought that’s gained primacy in there - one that dictates ‘may the force be with you’ as a political saying which marks difference from the bureaucratic indifference of the empire, which is simultaneously also a very jedi saying as compared to the kind of saying from any other conceptualizations and belief systems wrt the force.

and like, this is a charged saying! there’s a history to it! some of it politically violent, some of it being bound up in one group of people being more successful at lobbying the jedi into action than another group of people - and ofc the dynamics of power here are crucial to examine wrt who was able to lobby the jedi more successfully into action and who had the resources in the first place, to be able to push the jedi into action - some of it bound up in a history of jedi and republic interventionism that has its own fraught political complications. and especially wrt rebels who came from separatist planets: its likely that they saw a great deal of republic sanctioned violence and specifically, state sanctioned violence enacted by the jedi, on their planets and their homes before the republic transformed into the empire. and now, of course, the jedi are framed politically as martyred heroes because the empire has rendered them taboo and calls them traitors, which automatically makes the political expediencies of the rebellion expand to include the extinct jedi in their fold.

there had to have been some kind of resentment among the rank and file of rebels wrt blithely accepting the jedi conceptualization of the force as the conceptualization of the force (i mean, we’re also more or less given a nod towards there being multiple understandings of the force outside of the light/dark and jedi/sith binaries in the rogue one novel so i am taking it to its obvious furthest conclusion) and moreover, to accepting what was once the republic sanctioned conceptualization of the force which was practiced by their spiritual military enforcers. like, if you’ve lived your life in a conflict where your planet was ruined, your home destroyed and your people killed by the republic and the very visible jedi, i can’t imagine you’d take ‘may the force be with you’ with anything except deeply bitter resentment. or a kind of grudging acceptance, at best, because you recognize that this is part of political positioning on the part of the rebel leadership (again, who is the leadership and who amongst the leadership gets to elect this as the appropriate thing to say to each other while going into battle, while coming out of battle, while dying, while living - that is also a deeply deeply political choice: both mon mothma and bail organa are from planets that were loyal to the republic during the clone wars and the mon calamari were all on the side of the jedi & republic during the conflict on mon cala so their approach to the conflict and the role of the jedi in the conflict is going to be immensely different from someone who grew up on a separatist world and learned separatist politics and then watched the republic tumble it.). 

tl;dr i wonder if the separatist-turned-rebel factions of the rebellion actually grit their teeth and say ‘may the force be with you’ out loud or if the rebellion is democratic enough to allow them to use and voice their own conceptualizations of their beliefs in the force - and even if it is, i do wonder if there isn’t a deep-seated resentment that remains even through the tenuous coalition and what that means in the long run for the rebellion and for the new republic when it’s finally reinstated.

[writing about the healing in Matthew 8] What is intriguing about this story is the sequence. Jesus touches the leper first. Then the command “Be clean!” is offered. That is, Jesus’ first move is into ritual defilement. By first touching the leper, Jesus intentionally and willfully seeks contamination, standing in solidarity with the unclean. This is striking because the expected sequence would be the initial purification followed by contact. Jesus, surprisingly for the onlookers, does the opposite. Contact occurs first. Purification follows solidarity. And one can only wonder how various Christian communities approach this sequence in their own missional endeavors.
—  Richard Beck, Unclean

A temple of the goddess Hecate, stood from the 5th century at the entrance of Miletus, where the Goddess was honored by special musical troupe and two altars (one of the 6th and the other of the 1st century BC), this cult was linked to that of the god Apollo at Didyma (twins), a procession started from Miletus and came to the sanctuary and oracle of Didyma. Two mysterious objects were part of this procession, these objects were being revered and purged with holy wine and the one of them was dedicated to the statue of Hecate that guarded the ‘front doors’ while the second one was transported to the temple of Apollo. The first paean of this ceremony was addressed to Hecate. This example of ancient greek religion shows the close relationship of Hecate with Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo and another moon goddess.

Bust of Hekate holding horizontally across her body a large torch, 2nd–1st century.

osiris · god of the dead and ruler of the underworld 

A god of the earth and vegetation, Osiris symbolized in his death the yearly drought and in his miraculous rebirth the periodic flooding of the Nile and the growth of grain. He was a god-king who was believed to have given Egypt civilization. Osiris was the first child of Nut and Geb, and therefore the brother of Seth, Nephthys, and Isis. He was married to his sister, Isis. He was also the father of Horus and Anubis. These traditions state that Nephthys (mother of Anubis) assumed the form of Isis, seduced him (perhaps with wine) and she became pregnant with Anubis.

I have so many problems with "Witchcraft"

Alright I’m 500% done with white tumblr “witches” not acknowledging the fact that most of the “witchcraft” they practice were stolen from nonwhite cultures during colonization. Like honestly you guys have no right to come in and start claiming that the things you’re doing are “witchcraft”, when they’re literally rituals from religions that YOUR ancestors killed millions over to convert POC to Christianity. THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS STARTED WITH A NATIVE AMERICAN WOMAN.