Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Keeping Witchcraft Alive
Mon at 12:33pm
While the practice of witchcraft is often viewed in a negative light within various cultures, at times erupting into horrible anti-witch violence in places like Tanzania and India, that isn’t the case everywhere. In fact, some cultures are trying to preserve their witches for the sake of future generations. That is the case with the Paiwan people of Taiwan, who are concerned that their long tradition of witches are fading away and have decided to do something about it.
“Witchcraft is an important part of the Paiwan tribe’s culture, but the number of practising witches it has produced has recently dropped sharply. The school, which opened last July, has ten students, but the organisers hope it will expand. Wong Yu-hua, a social affairs official in Pingtung county, where the school is based, told AFP: “We are witnessing the disappearance of the ancient ritual. We are trying hard to preserve it. The Paiwan tribe numbers about 86,000 people but has fewer than 20 witches, a decrease from more than 100 half a century ago.”
Naturally the term “witch” can mean many different things, so what exactly does a witch do within the context of this indigenous culture? Well, something that may seem rather familiar to practitioners of modern Witchcraft in the West.
“Paiwan witches are seen as mediums between gods and humans, and the school teaches pupils rituals for blessing people and protecting them from evil. Witches can use their powers to worship gods and ancestors, pray for weather and for their harvests and perform healing treatments and rituals for hunting and tattooing.”
For more on the Paiwan religion and culture, check out this report from the Digital Museum of Taiwan. As indigenous traditions of seership, witchcraft, shamanism, and magic become endangered through a variety of social, religious, and economic pressures it will be interesting to see how attempts to ensure their survival fare. Will the Paiwan witches dwindle to a mere handful like Japan’s itako, or will they experience a rebirth like the Yoruba priests and priestesses have at Nigeria’s Osun-Osogbo grove have? The outcome remains to be seen, but the opening of schools of witchcraft seems like a positive first step.
Monday, September 21, 2009
What is magic?
Magic is the manipulation of something to make it go against it's natural course of action. When we wish for something or do something to make an action do what it wouldn't normally do; when we pray for something such as a job or a mate that is asking for a power to intercede stronger than yourself to create the reality by means other than your own.
I'm the last person to give a history lesson on the origins of religion but it is necessary to point out that Christianity came as an offspring of Judaism after the crucifixion of Christ. Christ himself performed the most extreme shows of magic, or as we were all taught, miracles. And it is because of these precise reasons that everyone practices magic still today. The mere act of communion and the wine being turned into the blood of Christ is magic in and of itself. We believe that our sins will be forgiven just by this magical change, myself included. Those who don't follow a religion or believe in God do their own form of "wishful thinking". Everyone wishes for, whether it be covertly or subconsciously, things to be a certain way other than what it is. The Native Americans were the first witches as we know them. Their practics are much the same today as they were when they ruled our country. Again, I'm not going to go through a history lesson, most of us know the basics of the Native American spiritual practices. Their strong belief in the earth, the animals and man having such a strong connection is what formed every aspect of their way of life. Wiccans today believe in the Mother Earth goddess and Isis, not one all powerful God. Their beliefs are founded according the cycles of the earth, moon and sun. In the spanish culture there is Santeria and Brujeria. These utilize the religious dieties as their focal points but originally for reasons other than religion, (that's another story).European cultures have their superstitions and beliefs but they are much the same as the spanish, (Cuban, Puerto Rican, etc.).
So, peeps, when you are saying your nightly or morning prayers, is it faith or magic? Maybe it's both.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Like a great part of society today, unless you've been living under a rock or in North Korea you are quite familiar with the Vampire sagas of Stephanie Meyer, "Twilight", and before her was Anne Rice and the "Vampire Chronicles" including "Interview With a Vampire". I am a great fan of both of these writers and have read many of Anne Rice's works and all 4 books of the "Twilight" saga. Going back further is the original "Dark Shadows" series that, from what I can remember, was dark, gothic, romantic and in an eerie castle with the intimidating Barnabus Collins. And of course in between we've had the many Count Draculas with the most famous being Bram Stokers.
Not too long ago Paranormal State had an investigation containing a little girl who said she saw a vampire lurking in the shadows of her room. My mother said that a painting that we had hanging in our living room was of a woman vampire. It was painted by another family member and she absolutely hated this painting.
With my desire to find out the truths regarding the different faces of the paranormal and supernatural in the many various parts of our society I set out looking to see if this secret culture really does exist.
This is what I've found out:
Those who say they are modern day vampires are not the type that have traditionally been displayed commercially. They are not murderous, blood thirsty killers. There are different types and each type requires what they need to survive just as "humans" need air, the life force just as sweet and just as critical to their survival. They need their specific requirements from an outside source because their bodies do not create sufficient amount of energies critical for their existence.
I also would like to first mention that it is said vampires are not made. These vampiric tendencies tend to surface during the phase of puberty as their bodies change. I would like to make a side note stating that within my professional work environment working with Special Education children, those with Autism have displayed marked differences in their Autistic behavior at this same time, the onset of puberty. Of course, every case is different so each one shows different characteristics. Regarding vampirific needs and desires some vampires say these tendencies are latent and will experience this "change" later on. And they are not immortal.
The different kinds are:
Sanguine - This type of vampire gets it life-force energy from drinking blood, preferably human blood. They usually have a very private and understood relationship with a donor with whom a strong bond of trust must be developed on both sides. The donor is tested for diseases, alcohol and any infectuous conditions and the donor must trust the vampire with their life. The blood letting is usually done with a sterile blade where a cut is made on the donor then the vampire will suck the required amount from them, usually an ounce or two. A lot of times this will be done after sexual relations in order to relax the donor and what other way could create such a feeling of closeness? These "feedings" could allow the vampire to survive for many weeks. If no donor is available the sanguine vampire has been known to go to a kosher butcher to purchase blood they keep for sale used for cooking purposes.
Psi (pranic) - retrieve what they need from life-force energies. This group of vampires can pull these life-force energies from individuals, again a willing donor, or just in passing or within a crowd situation. A psi vampire can generally "feed" off of a human without the person having any knowledge or be effected in any way, although this is frowned upon.
Empathic - retrieve their survival energies from emotional life-forces from the emotions of people. It is said that those vampires that "feed" off of negative emotions (anger/fear/etc.) will cause a situation where these emotions will be stirred up and then "feed" but these types of vampires are sometimes considered within their own category. Usually empathic vampires "feed" off whatever human emotions are being released.
Sexual - survive off the life-force energies that come about from sexual activity especially those generated during orgasm. Female sexual vampires are referred to as succubbi and the male as incubi.
Soul - "feed" directly off the energies the person's soul. Soul vampires sometimes will gain the abilities of the person they are feeding from and sometimes their memories, thoughts and desires. This is the most intimate form of feeding, even moreso than sanguine and sexual.
Elemental - "feed" off life-forces elements such as the earth, fire, wind, and water. It is said by some these types of vampires are able to manipulate these elemental energies and convert them to the energies which they need.
Astral - are able to travel through the astral plane and "feed" off of the life-force energies found there. It is also said they are able to materialize and feed off the life-force energies of people asleep.
Dreamscape - are said to enter into a person's dream and "feed"off the life-force energies within the dream.
Magickal - are able to "feed" on and manipulate magickal energies.
This is a lot of information to take in. I would like to add that I've read that vampires say they are not Satanists or Occultists, a lot of them follow a religion and believe in God. But from my own personal viewpoint, not all "humans" are good and believe in God. Some are killers and evil. So I guess it would be fair to say that the sub-culture of vampires also would have this possible type of being within their society. There is always the good with the bad no matter where you go.
I have yet to have the opportunity to speak with a self-professed real vampire as, I'm sure you've guessed, they are quite secretive. There are many out there "role-playing" some wearing fake fangs, WildEyes contact lenses and living the goth style with some involved in the game "Vampire: The Masquerade" by White Wolf Publishing. I've been searching so if you know of anyone, please send them my way. All conversations would be done with complete confidentiality.
Now, I will leave with this bit of food for thought to digest.
And remember -
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
There he is near the chain link fence. She rushes to him, the sense of familiarity calming her somewhat.
"John!" she yells thru the fogged up plastic of the respirator.
"Liz!" he replies taking him by surprise.
Even through the unclear plastic and thick, black smoke she can see the exhaustion showing in his eyes and in the slouching of his shoulders.
"What's going on?" she asks.
"I really don't know yet. But there isn't much we can do down here now. Can you take me to go get my car? I left it at my house," he asks.
"Yeah, let's go. Besides, I don't want to be around if one of those tankers blows. Besides, it's better to let them do their thing without anyone being in their way."
They make their way back the few blocks to her car, get in and take off the gas masks. She begins the very slow procession to John's house in the lines of cars.
"John, what's going on down there?" Elizabeth asks John quietly.
He is resting with his head against the back of the seat, eyes closed, the concern deepening the few lines on his face.
"I don't know, Liz. The investigators haven't found anything yet but it seems, atleast, that they have stopped it from spreading...I hope. I just don't know."
Elizabeth takes a glance at John. She can't help but notice the ominous feeling hanging around them, more visible than the toxic smoke at the accident site. The expression on his face reflects it.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I did a lot of research for the story but a lot of the story was taken from real life experiences, not to say they were my own.
But has it brought me any closer to finding the truths behind the "Supernatural" or "Paranormal"?
I know what I have lived or have been witness to, having been an outsider to this circle of society in my own family. But what have I found out or discovered especially as fact?
What I absolutely do know is that I have been left with more questions, some more burning than before.
I also know that the Vatican with Pope Benedict, having taken over when the world lost Pope John Paul, authorized the training of more Exorcists because of the increase in possessions due to the rise in interest in the occult. They have gone on the record as saying we want to meet this problem head on and fight Satan, fire with fire. Holy shit, no pun intended but that is some serious sh@*! One Exorcist has reported that he has gone from having no reported possessions to having 200 hundred reported.
So, with this news and the Vatican's fervent attention to this possible lack in the order of the Roman Catholic posts within the church, what happened or is happening to make them feel this way? What are the specifics? What the hell is going on? We are having more certified reportings of cases of possessions and a rise in the pracitice and believers in the occult and Satanism.
Strange, isn't it, this is happening when society in general, worldwide, has moved away from the church, it's good and bad.
The church feels that the people who have made the decision to follow Satanism and the occult believe that Satan can fullfull them. So, what are they desiring that the church can't give them? Traditionally, it's power, fortune, and control. All things that Satan wants, hummmm....misguided?
The rest of society has become more technologically focused and wrapped up in modern vices having lost it's focus on faith.
Granted, I also have become disenchanted with most of the peoples of the church as most of them are hypocrites and are truly not people of the cloth and faith. But I know that I can't let these poor examples cloud my vision in what I truly believe in....the truth and the light and our reason for the crap we go through everyday. Because this can't be it.
Back to the problem at hand, possession on the rise.
In order to become possessed by a malevolent or demonic spirit, one must open themselves up to it, sort of like an invitation. The thing is, to the best of my understanding, they don't like people and the demons will take you over to cause you harm, to totally destroy you and all that you love. It's a trap this misconception of giving you what you want, lies.
My biggest concern is: once they get in (or out) through human bodies and lives, how far will they go once they get earth bound, so to speak? There's got to be a grander scheme, a bigger prize for them. And just like in any big ladder to climb in the working world, the people are just the stepping stones. I picture this situation just like a playground for the demons.
They are being invited in and because of our lack of interest in all things religious, yes, they are an aspect of religion, we are completely taking no notice of them and letting them do whatever they want. Turning a blind eye. We have become such a society of, "if he's not bothering me, it's not my business." Food for thought, isn't it.
I've read that Satan's greatest conquest is for people to believe he doesn't exist.
So, peeps, take a look around, all is not what it seems.