Monday, October 21, 2013

'Nick Montana chases his dream'

'Nick Montana chases his dream'

Ann Killion - San Francisco Chronicle - October 20, 2013

New Orleans --

Down on the floor of the Superdome, with time ticking down, quarterback Montana coolly led his team down the field, ripping off first down after first down, making plays with his arm and his feet. When the game-winning field goal was good, Montana lifted his arms in triumph.

Up in the stands, Joe Montana also stood and cheered, along with his wife Jennifer. Their son Nick was the calm two-minute master of the Superdome this month, leading Tulane to a homecoming victory, despite playing the final part of the game with an injured shoulder.

"He was the best at that," Nick Montana said of his father's late-game heroics. "If I could be anywhere near that, it would be nice. But I felt pretty calm out there."

It's a fact of life for the 21-year old junior that, thanks to the name on the back of his jersey and the DNA in his body, he'll always be compared to arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.

"I feel bad for him, with that part of it," Joe said. "It's hard, expectations-wise."

But the Montanas, who live in San Francisco yet are in the stands for every Tulane game, feel good that Nick has found a program where he can play. And where he is, so far, having success.

After years of being at the bottom of the Division I pile, and a rebuilding project in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Tulane football is experiencing a resurgence. A new coach, a new stadium being built on campus (to open in 2014) and a quarterback named Montana have helped bring winning college football back to New Orleans.

Though Nick's shoulder injury forced him to sit out last week, Tulane won again and at 5-2 is one win from bowl eligibility for the first time since the 2002 season.

Nick's path has been roundabout. He first attended De La Salle High in Concord, but after his older brother, Nate, graduated he urged his parents to help him find a program where he would get a chance to pass the ball and have a shot of playing in college. Nick transferred to Oaks Christian in Southern California and became a four-star recruit. He chose the University of Washington, in part because he knew coach Steve Sarkisian from football camps at USC and because, with Jake Locker's pending departure, there was an opportunity at quarterback.

But in his redshirt freshman year, Nick lost the starting job to Keith Price, who has helped Washington gain a top-20 ranking.

"He saw the writing on the wall," Jennifer said. "To his own admittance, he took too much for granted. It was a big learning curve for him. A nice, humiliating experience. He understands it takes a lot more."
Once again, Nick asked his parents to help him transfer, this time to a junior college so that he could play rather than sit out a year.

"He didn't want to sit," said Joe, who never wanted to sit during his own career. "Sitting out bothered him more than playing at a JC. Our hats are off to him. He could have failed."

Joe and Jennifer, like so many parents, felt they could have done things differently for Nate, who was a backup at Notre Dame and started pursuing a chance to play too late.

"We knew not to make the same mistakes with Nick," Joe said.

Nick took the opportunity at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut (Los Angeles County) and turned it into a springboard back into Division I.

"It was definitely humbling," Nick said. "It was tough, but it was a good experience."

Nick wanted a school where he could get a chance to compete as a transfer. His parents liked Tulane because of its strong academics. Nick was also excited about the offensive philosophy at Tulane: Second-year coach Curtis Johnson was the wide receivers coach for the Saints and uses the Saints' offense.

"Drew Brees was one of my favorite quarterbacks growing up," Nick said.

Nick is too young to remember his father playing. He wasn't alive when Joe won Super Bowl XXIV in the Superdome, where Tulane plays its home games. He doesn't realize how his new town was tortured by his father's winning ways against the Saints.

In fact, for years, Nick resisted Joe's advice.

"Yeah, I went through that whole stage: 'He's my Dad, what does he know?' " Nick said. "It took me awhile before I realized I should go and ask him questions any chance I get."

Joe didn't offer too much unsolicited input.

"Still, even back in Pop Warner, the coaches had high expectations," Joe said. "Did they think I was teaching him how to take snaps in the backyard?"

The Montanas' oldest child, Alexandra, is in law school at Loyola Marymount. The second, Elizabeth, has been inspired by her brothers' pursuit of their dreams to chase her own, trying to become an actress. Nate, who had a tryout at pro day with the 49ers last spring but wasn't invited to camp, has returned to the University of Montana to finish his degree.

Nick's parents say he has always been a master of disguise, introducing himself by fake names and playing practical jokes on the phone by pretending to be someone else. When he arrived at Tulane he introduced himself to other students as simply Nick.

"He's just trying to fit in," Jennifer said.

He purposely doesn't wear No. 16. But there's no escaping the name on the back of the jersey.

Ann Killion is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. E-mail: Twitter: @annkillion


Sunday, October 20, 2013

That first winter feeling

I was hiking in the late afternoon yesterday, and as the mild wind hit me, I felt that biting cold. It was a particular type of "cold" that hinted at one thing: "winter." Although the horizon looked fall to the eyes, it's clear that winter is approaching. Sure, technically winter may be two months away; but practically-speaking, the cold and rain season start on November 1st. It depends, sometimes the "Indian summer" can even stretch into early November here; but we haven't had a particularly warm Indian summer this year. I suspect that the cold season will be in full affect at the start of the month.

In a strange way, I feel a slight sadness at the start of November and in mid-March. I become sort've accustomed to both the warm and cold seasons, and don't want to let them go. I think that from my ancestral memory, I don't want to let go of the warm season because that marks the end of the harvest season, and the start of harsh conditions... historically speaking. I think that I don't want to let the cold season go because my ancestors largely lived in similar weather, and I feel a degree of subconscious comfort in that.

As I was hiking along one side of a mountain valley in the Santa Cruz Mountain chain, and as I felt the chill of the wind, I looked towards the mountain on the other side. It looked dark and foreboding against the early twilight western sky. I felt that I understood a little how our pagan ancestors viewed the seasons, especially as it affected their lives, their harvests. Ancestral memory can manifest in a type of déjà vu.

"At the dawn of time there was man and nature." --'Valhalla Rising'


Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Grand Medicine Lodge

I am currently reading a book entitled 'Murder in Minnesota' (Trenerry; 1962). In one chapter, law enforcement authorities from the new frontier state were searching for a Chippewa Amerindian who was wanted for the murder of a settler family. This was 1872, on the frontier of eastern Minnesota.

Excerpt from page 64:

At Sandy Lake on May 20, 1872, the Pillager (a Chippewa band) were holding a ceremonial of the Grand Medicine Lodge, a complex socioreligious society of considerable importance to the Chippewa. By late afternoon the group of several hundred men and women was in a mixed state of religious exaltation and drunkenness. Into the lion's den walked three white men to arrest the principal chief's nephew; Whitehead, the special agent, and D.O. Preston and George W. Holland, Brainerd attorneys.

For some reason, when I read "the Grand Medicine Lodge, a complex socioreligious society of considerable importance to the Chippewa," I thought of various other esoteric societies... and perhaps how the cultural forerunners of those societies had existed openly like this. For example, the German Builders' Guild or the Minnesinger Order. While those esoteric societies may have focused around architecture, symbolism, and sacred geometry--and perhaps the Grand Medicine Lodge may have focused on medicine and metaphysics--ultimately various societies of native believers have a lot in common.

Freemasonic, Rosicrucian, or Kabbalistic occult orders are--while similar in some ways--different in that they're not folkish associations. Personally, this is why I admire orders like the Grand Medicine Lodge or the Minnesinger Order. I don't see much virtue in any people pushing their way into, and meddling with cultures other than their own... such as what Westerners try to do with Hawaiian or Amerindian traditions. Admiration, study, or friendship should be sufficient.

A lot of cultures, like the Chippewa tribe, still possess their native traditions; while those of the West had been driven underground, like the German Builders' Guild (Odinic/Heathen). Every person in the world descended from pagan tribes, which all had institutions of knowledge like the Grand Medicine Lodge for tens of thousands of years.

Personally, I don't see any conflict between a persons Christian beliefs and what they could see as their native spiritual-cultural pursuit! You can have all the technology in the world, but if you lose all sense of yourself and of your ancient roots... you're lost. Everything doesn't have to be a competition either (capitalism, sports, material gain, political power, etc.); or, perhaps we need a new "competition" to see who can do the most to save our environment?

Midewiwin (Wikipedia)

The Midewiwin (also spelled Midewin and Medewiwin) or the Grand Medicine Society is a secretive religion of the aboriginal groups of the Maritimes, New England and Great Lakes regions in North America. Its practitioners are called Midew and the practices of Midewiwin referred to as Mide. Occasionally, male Midew are called Midewinini, which sometimes is translated into English as "medicine man."


Friday, October 18, 2013

'Pan's Labyrinth' (movie review)

'Pan's Labyrinth' - From 'The Greatest Movies Ever' (#24):

"Goya meets Alice in Wonderland in this genre-obliterating tour de force," Kinn and Piazza write of the 2005 film directed by Guillermo del Toro. "Intermingling dark and shimmering special-effects imagery with an abiding respect for character, del Toro questions our notion of the polarity between reality and imagination." The director was next to author Stephen King at a screening of the film and saw King shifting uncomfortably at some of the gorier sections. Del Toro said it was the greatest moment of his life. Actor Doug Jones played the creepy Pale Man and the Faun that speaks with girl explorer Ofelia, and he was the only American involved with the production as well as the only person who didn't speak Spanish. He had to memorize his lines as well as those of star Ivana Baquero, who played Ofelia, so he would understand when he was supposed to speak.

The protagonist is a little girl named Ofelia, whose widowed mother has just married a high ranking Fascist officer in 1944 Spain. They are going to live with him in a remote wooded mountain location, while he administers a local effort to crush the anti-Fascist rebels. It's not clear to me as to whether or not the rebels are Communists, or merely resisting a dictatorship. Clearly, they are portrayed as the "force of good"; and the Falange-Fascists are portrayed as evil, and in particular her stepfather is shown as an amoral monster! I mean, this guy outdoes any "Nazi character" or "evil stepfather" ever portrayed on film! Personally, I don't believe that Communists--with their clear history of incredible mass murder of tens of millions--are any better than Fascists, but that's another issue for another time. Through the dark imagery of the film, there is a whole tense social situation there, with rebels on the inside, and this little girl is right in the middle of this darkness and violence.

She is slowly guided into the spiritual milieu of "Pan," a ram-horned underworld entity. Since the director, Guillermo del Toro, has directed numerous films with Satanic-themes... I suspect that, to him, Pan represented Satan. Del Toro even said that the character is not Pan, but a "faun." He was portrayed as "firm but fair" (similar to the God of the Bible) as opposed to Captain Vidal.. who was a brutal torturer and murderer. The faun did say that Ofelia was "born from the Moon," of which she had a crescent moon birthmark that he reminded her of. This hints at the ancient Euro-pagan "horned god" and the "Moon goddess"... in other words, "European Witchcraft."

Slowly, the noble-hearted Ofelia, an avid reader of fairy tales, is drawn to the faun though an old nearby "Labyrinth." On a side note, a Labyrinth is a particularly important spiritual symbol to the ancient Camunni... as well as with a lot of other ancient peoples around the world. After awhile, amid Captain Vidal's dark heart and brutality, the faun doesn't seem like such a bad guy. The faun never confronts Captain Vidal, even though he believes that Ofelia is the soul of his long lost daughter. Despite his power, he operates and interacts with humans within the concept of "free will"... similar again to the God of the Bible. Also similar to the Biblical God, he suggests mortal violence as a means to "test an individual."

One character, who slowly grows on you during the movie, is Mercedes, Vidal's head housekeeper and sister of one of the rebel leaders. She is a good-hearted, strong, and brave character who takes a strong liking to Ofelia, and helps give her at least some kind of support system in this mess. Within this struggle for the soul of that nation, I found myself--for brief instances--thinking of Mercedes as a figure like Juana Galán.. maybe a national symbol if events had unfolded differently, if one could muse about a fictional character. There are three Spanish actors--in particular--whose great performances really make this movie. Sergi López as Captain Vidal, Maribel Verdú as Mercedes, and Ivana Bacquero as Ofelia. This movie won a lot of awards, which you can see in the 'Pan's Labyrinth' Wikipedia page. The ending of this film is very dramatic, but I don't want to spoil it.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Guido von List: Part 26 - The Mystery of the Vehme: Entry B

Barnstar (Wikipedia)

A barnstar (or barn star, primitive star, or Pennsylvania star) is a decorative painted object or image, often in the shape of a five-pointed star but occasionally in a circular "wagon wheel" style, used to adorn a barn. They have no structural purpose, but may be considered lucky, akin to a horseshoe mounted over a doorway. They are especially common in Pennsylvania and frequently seen in German-American farming communities.


Barnstars were meant to represent the mark of the builder, but became more frequently used for aesthetic purposes and were added to the building after construction was complete. Enthusiasts have traced a number of wooden barnstars to individual builders in the Pennsylvania area, where numerous examples can still be seen.

Barnstars were used in the United States during the 18th century and as late as 1870 in Pennsylvania, where their popularity increased greatly following the Civil War. Their regular use preceded that time, however, and stars were commonplace on large buildings, particularly factories, in pre-war Richmond, Virginia.[1]

Barnstars remain a very popular form of decoration and modern houses are sometimes decorated with simple, metal, five-pointed stars which the makers describe as "barn-stars". They are often deliberately distressed or rusted, alluding to the traditional decoration.


If you connected the barnstar with the hex signs within Pennsylvania Dutch culture, then you are correct. All of this has an origin in pre-Christian German magical societies and Heathenry, but later revived into Christian society... just as Guido von List described. The above link continues...

Other star-shaped plates
On older buildings in the Pennsylvania Dutch area of the United States it is still possible to find barnstar-like building adornments which are painted, rather than wooden or metal, known as hex signs. Strictly speaking, they are defined apart from barnstars and visually bear only passing resemblance, but the two are often confused and their names are even regarded as interchangeable.[1] Some hex signs incorporate star shapes, while others may take the form of a rosette or contain pictures of birds and other animals.[5]

The term barnstar has been incorrectly applied to star-shaped anchor plates that are used for structural reinforcement, particularly on masonry buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. These are made of cast iron and are used as tie plates serving as the washers for tie rods. The tie-rod-and-plate assembly serves to brace the masonry wall against tilting or lateral bowing.

Some Wiki-based communities give their users an award called a "barnstar", as a continuation of the "barn raising" metaphor. This originated on MeatballWiki. The image that is frequently used for this purpose is actually a photo of one of the structural tie plates described above, not of a barnstar proper.

Pow-wow (folk magic) [Wikipedia]

Pow-wow, called Braucherei in Deitsch, is a system of American folk religion and magic associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch.

"Hexerei" is the German magical-spiritual tradition; but "Braucherei or Speilwerk" is heavily tied to Christian practice. This sounds very suspiciously like... "permission from daddy"... to play with magic. A little modern reminder and leftover from the "burning times." There are, of course, examples of this from all Christian societies. The above link goes into much greater detail and history.

There have been many complex underground pagan traditions tied to Christian cultures, "hiding in plain sight," and not just German or European. I fully understand the power in symbolism of this.. and how it has become so habit forming over the centuries. The pagan spirit has become so institutionalized within Christianity! I recall a news article from earlier this year, of a man in another country who was released from prison after a lengthy prison sentence. He was begging the authorities to "allow him to stay." That is "institutionalized."

Still, I understand. It's a fun and creative endeavor to craft symbolism within something. It draws upon a unique individual expression. The rural tradition of "Upper Michigan folk medicine," brought there originally by women from the Italian Alps, survives within a Catholic culture. Those women would, of course, say that they're good Catholics.

Pennsylvania Dutch Pow-wow (YouTube)

Powwow: Braucherei (YouTube)


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

'The Deer Hunter' (movie review): Part 2

'The Deer Hunter' - #45 "greatest move of all time"
'The Deer Hunter' (movie review)

I used the previous movie review as somewhat of an excuse to post this off-topic article. The below article would make a great group conversation piece! When reviewing these movies, it would trigger many different reactions and emotions from most people. To many people, some of these movies would reflect a great truth.. or a great falsehood. I appreciated that these critics didn't go out've their way to "get political" with the list.

For me, I think of a time machine. Because so many of these movies reflect places and times--both for each movie, as well as for the individual--they represent a momentary escape to a place, real or imagined. As a very young boy watching 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' (#25), I recall having a crush on a young Terri Garr, and being amused by the eccentric actions of the protagonist played by Richard Dreyfuss. I can remember it being bigger than life at the end; and I can even remember walking out of the direct exit from the theater and being blinded by the bright sunlight and feeling the sudden heat of the day.

When thinking of the movie 'Vertigo' (#24), I remember the pleasant scenery and mood of the pre-60s San Francisco and the surrounding coastal area. Often, at least for me, that scenery and mood is what I remember most about a movie. Just that momentary thought can be a brief escape from reality.... "the grass is always greener on the other side."

Sometimes long movies can be the most memorable. 'Gone With The Wind' (#18) is a good example of this. If you really like the movie, then there's a sense that you can get lost in a longer film. Also, particularly for big film buffs, the project itself holds great fascination. It's like a grand party that happened one time, but accounts and artifacts live on... and it can never come back together in the same way again.

I saw the movie 'Sunset Boulevard' (#4) only once. I had no idea that it was this highly rated. It had a great black-and-white cinematic quality to it. I remember at the beginning, when he first pulled into the driveway of the house. There was a certain timeless feel to that rural-suburban house...the coming twilight... the property... the car port... the overgrowth... the privacy. I think we can all think of one or more of those old homesteads... where you're sort've lost in space and time.

Film critics pick the 50 best movies of all time

Molly Driscoll - 'The Christian Science Monitor'

Endless lists have been made, and it's a great way to start an argument at a party. What's better, 'Chinatown' or 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'? 'The Wizard of Oz' or 'Singin' in the Rain'? Everyone's picks are different, but for their new book 'The Greatest Movies Ever,' film critics Gail Kinn and Jim Piazza selected their choices for the best 101 movies of all time. First published in 2008, this edition of the book is revised with new picks like 'Slumdog Millionaire.' Here's a sampler --  the 50 films that got the top spots on Kinn and Piazza's list.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Seasons Of The Witch podcast

Raven and Stephanie Grimassi have a new podcast called Seasons of the Witch, on The Illuminati Network, which can be listened to live each Wednesday at 6PM EST.

The broadcast--for whatever program is currently on--live or encore, is up on the right side of the screen. There are a lot of other interesting things on this site as well.


Monday, October 14, 2013

‘The Book of the Holy Strega’ (book review): Part II

'The Book of the Holy Strega' (Raven Grimassi; 2012)

[original version published in 1981]

'The Book of the Holy Strega' was another book that I read earlier this year, and which does tie heavily into the subjects covered here. Although, the specific Streghe tradition has not been covered a lot here. This book was based on the concepts from a book entitled 'Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches' (Charles Leland; 1899). Charles Leland was an American, and he was greatly aided in his research by a Strega named Maddalena Taluti from Emilia.

Grimassi covers many different subjects, and chronicles the history of Streghe traditions, folklore, legends, and misconceptions... throughout the Italian peninsula, and Greece. Also, he covers his own family Streghe tradition. Largely, the book is about the legend of Aradia. Grimassi puts many formerly confused happenings and ideas into a simpler easy-to-understand order. He also brilliantly puts words to Aradia's story without overdoing it. I strongly believe that he was the one to logically take on this task.

Maddalena Taluti

I recall a quote that I had read somewhere, that Leland was amazed that Italians didn't collectively embrace this tradition, which he was fascinated with. Also, Maddalena Taluti was an amazing source. She did much traveling and was very active in Stregheria. For as much as I can perceive, she sort've reminded me of Guido von List as a source of occult knowledge. A real chip off the old block... historically-speaking.

I would recommend this book for anyone interested in either Stregheria, the ancient culture of the moon goddess, the triple goddess, or the Dianic tradition... which originates back to a time very long ago, when it was all one-culture. This also could be used as a great book of highlighted quotes and teachings by Aradia, which can be read aloud. Stregheria is sometimes referred to as "Aradianism."

When reading the Aradia story, which largely took place around Lake Nemi, I found my mind wandering to my youth. Summers spent around Clear Lake in northern California. Those hot days, dry grassy hills, dotted with oak trees; and of course, the lake. As I imagined Aradia, tall and beautiful in a white gown, she and her followers appeared in my mind like that of biblical figures or other figures of historical legend... even though the teachings are very different.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

‘The Book of the Holy Strega’ (book review): Part 1

From the back cover:

Old legends tell of a powerful witch who lived and taught in 14th century Italy. She was known as Aradia, and by the titles The Beautiful Pilgrim, and The Holy Strega. But was Aradia a real person, and is there any true basis for her legends? Pagan scholar Raven Grimassi explores this and many other questions.

The Book of the Holy Strega is a seminal work that brings together historical and folkloric sources. Grimassi delivers a ground-breaking view of the misconceptions of “historical witchcraft” and presents a refreshing approach to understanding how fantasy became fact. Revealed in this one volume is the role of the Church in distorting witchcraft and promoting its contrived vision for political purposes.

Discover the truth about the denied culture of the witch. Examine the elements that joined together to form the witches’ gospel. The journey of exploration in the sub-culture of the witch is well guided in this pioneering text.

Grimassi reveals his own hand in assembling the published versions of the Book of the Holy Strega, and he provides the reader with an overview of the evolution of these writings. Here you will see the gospel of the witches through the eyes of those who have honored it in the past, and how it continues to speak to each generation.

Raven Grimassi is a Neo-Pagan scholar and award-winning author of over fourteen books on Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism. He has been devoted to the study and practice of witchcraft for over forty years. Raven is co-founder and co-director of the Fellowship of the Pentacle, a modern Mystery School tradition of pre-Christian European beliefs and practices.

Grimassi’s background includes training in old forms of witchcraft as well as Brittic Wicca, the Pictish-Gaelic tradition, and Celtic Traditionalist Witchcraft. Raven was also a member of the Rosicrucian Order, and studied the Kabbalah through the First Temple of Tifareth under Lady Sara Cunningham. His early magical career began in the late 1960s and involved the study of works by Julius Evola, Franz Bardon, Gareth Knight, Kenneth Grant, Dion Fortune, William Gray, Austin Spare, William Butler, Israel Regardie, Eliphas Levi, and William Barrett.

Raven currently lives in New England with his beautiful wife and co-author Stephanie Taylor-Grimassi. He enjoys such things as collecting Silver Age comics featuring Dr. Strange, working in the herbal garden, and occasionally relaxing on the porch with a nice cigar on a warm summer night.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

‘The Suppressed History of America’ (book review)

‘The Suppressed History of America: The Murder of Meriwether Lewis and the Mysterious Discoveries of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’ [Paul Schrag & Xaviant Haze; 2011; Foreword by Michael Tsarion]


From the Back Cover:

“Authors Schrag and Haze teach a fascinating lesson in what we will never be taught but what every American should know.”
--Edward F. Malkowski, author of Sons of God--Daughters of Men, Before the Pharaohs, The Spiritual Technology of Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Egypt 39,000 BCE

Meriwether Lewis discovered far more than the history books tell--ancient civilizations, strange monuments, “nearly white, blue-eyed” Indians, and evidence that the American continent was visited long before the first European settlers arrived. And he may have been murdered to keep it all secret.

Examining the shadows and cracks between America’s official version of history, Paul Schrag and Xaviant Haze propose that the America of old taught in schools is not the America that was discovered by Lewis and Clark and other early explorers. Investigating the discoveries of Spanish conquistadors and Olmec stories of contact with European-like natives, the authors uncover evidence of explorers from Europe and Asia prior to Columbus, sophisticated ancient civilizations in North America and the Caribbean, the fountain of youth, and a long-extinct race of giants. Verifying stories from Lewis’s journals with modern archaeological finds, geological studies, 18th- and 19th-century newspaper articles, and accounts of the world in the days of Columbus, the authors reveal how Lewis and Clark’s finds infuriated powerful interests in Washington--including the Smithsonian Institute--culminating in the murder of Meriwether Lewis.

PAUL SCHRAG is an award-winning journalist, novelist, marketing and business consultant, photographer, and musician. XAVIANT HAZE is a freelance researcher of ancient manuscripts and alternative history. His career as a music producer and DJ allows him to travel the world, exploring and documenting his findings on lost cities and the myths of the pre-diluvian world. Both authors live in Tacoma, Washington.

I read this book earlier this year, and I wanted to review it since it covers some of the subjects covered on this blog. I purchased it because it promised to uncover numerous mysteries, but the step-by-step adventure of an untamed America was what I remember most about the book. Most Americans, myself included, have a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that the world west of the Mississippi River was a great unknown at the start of the nineteenth century. Even ninety years after the Lewis and Clark Expedition ended, certain areas of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan were still “frontier” areas.

The book also covers other mysteries of the Americas. The Lewis and Clark story doesn’t even begin until chapter four. I found the foreword by Michael Tsarion memorable. Particularly formidable are the revelations concerning the vaunted Smithsonian Institution that was legally established in 1846. Curiously, its founder, James Smithson (1765-1829), never visited the United States. It is not even clear what motivated him to found the institution. Its facade gives an impression of nobility and academic prowess, and its cathedral-like architecture exudes an aura of established credibility. The average visitor is not inclined to guess that the carefully arranged displays and tour-guide rhetoric and contrived to give them a false impression of America’s past. No, they walk away feeling intrigued, informed, and certain. Little do they suspect that they’ve been royally deceived.

Any intelligent person, even privately, can see that when you look into any area of history or human endeavor, the “official story” appears more and more flimsy… and it's clear that it could have been presented in a completely different way. When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers thoroughly destroyed the site of Kennewick man so no further archeology could be done there, there’s a strong tendency for most people to not want to question the integrity of the “U.S. Army Corps of Engineers”…. or the “Smithsonian Institution.” That would make you a bad person. Part of the human condition, over thousands of years, is the apparent necessity for powerful forces to rush in as soon as possible and write your history for you. Control the narrative. “History is a set of lies agreed upon” –Napoleon. The winners of wars write the history.

To be honest, I wasn’t very impressed with chapter one. To me, the giant Olmec head carvings don’t even look like Black Africans at all. Many Mayan types have heavy features like that, including a flat nose and full lips. Who’s to say that they weren’t Polynesian? They carved giant heads on Easter Island off the coast of South America, and were a sea faring people. I also was not taken by the supposed fourteen-foot tall “stele” carving of two Northern European men. I saw the carving, and I didn’t see the supposed “obvious” Caucasian features. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t great mysteries in Central America.

I found the book to be a good read. Without giving away too much, it looks at mysteries like the “Fountain of Youth” in Florida, which hints at water with properties that may reverse the aging process; of giants which were spotted by famous explorers, and I know there is strong evidence of at least populations of people who were eight to nine feet tall in certain places in the world; and the Mississippi Mounds. These man-made mounds were made with massive amounts of soil, and are very intriguing. They may have been outposts for long-range communication, although they weren't in use when discovered by Lewis and Clark.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition came upon many strange things. Perhaps the oddest was the Mandan tribe of North Dakota. These people appeared to have been of European origin, with light hair and eyes; with perhaps some Amerindian admixture. They had a highly advanced agricultural culture, and were very different than the surrounding tribes. They received the expedition with great hospitality.

Perhaps the greatest mystery of the book, as far as American history is concerned, is the possibility that Meriwether Lewis was murdered… maybe to bury some of what he had discovered. I believe that he was probably murdered, and if he was, and with his close friend and organizer of the expedition Thomas Jefferson as the sitting president… well, it’s not surprising that the case has not been reopened as many of Lewis’ descendants wish.

There was one account in the book of sacks of Roman coins uncovered in Kentucky. What is interesting is that even though this has been confirmed, it’s a taboo subject among the academic community. There is clear evidence of Romans, Hebrews, Vikings, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Welsh, Chinese, and Polynesians having visited North America; not to mention the Solutrean question.

For some unknown reason, the academic establishment has decided that the Amerindians are the only people in the history of the world who are not to be allowed to "officially" have had any contact with any other people in their pre-Columbian history.. except Leif Erikson. I found the book to be very interesting, thought provoking, and easy for the mind to imagine.

Interview with Xaviant Haze on The Stench of Truth on BlogTalkRadio


Friday, October 11, 2013

Ancient megalithic yard: 2.722 feet

Ancient European megalithic structures were constructed using the "megalithic yard." This includes Stonehenge, and most of the very ancient sites in the British Isles and on parts of the European mainland. It is not, as some say, a "Druidic unit of measure," since the Druids did not construct these sites. They were constructed by some of the ancestors of the Druidic cultures... by the original proto-Europeans.

In Appendix III, entitled The Minoan Civilization of Crete, we present a few passages from the book The Knights Templar Revealed, by Alan Butler and Stephen Dafoe. The passages deal with the so-called "Megalithic Yard," a measurement that ancient western adepts frequently employed when laying out and constructing innumerable sacred sites (stone circles, dolmens, cairns, tumuli, and so on) throughout Britain and Europe. --Michael Tsarion


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Random pagan and metaphysical thoughts

Random pagan and metaphysical thoughts

Last Wednesday, I watched a television program called ‘Paranormal Witness’ on Syfy, which I regularly watch. An episode called ‘The Coven’. From the episode description: A family moves into a home that locals tell them was once the location for a coven of Witches, the family experiences activity they believe was caused by the rituals the Witches performed. A family rented a big house in what at least appeared to be a rural area of Greenville, South Carolina.

I believe that this was likely one situation where the negative portrayal was legitimate. There are people who are only interested in two aspects of the old religion, dabbling in magic for power, and looking for attention. In the ancient world, 99% of the people were only cultural adherents of it, and the work of metaphysical science was left only to high initiates. Therefore, I think certain Christians are correct when they say that magic isn’t for children.

This past Sunday I watched the season premiere (‘On the Road: Philadelphia’) of ‘Long Island Medium’ on The Learning Channel. I was familiar with what the show was about, even though I had not watched it before. I viewed it to review it here, and it was exactly as I thought. It’s a program about a "medium" named Theresa Caputo who supposedly can connect with the souls of dead relatives of those whom she is giving a reading for. Theresa Caputo sure looks the part of the quintessential reality star. That personality, and oh that great hair! Near the end of the program, I think I had it pretty well figured out.

She has many critics who claim that she is using a fraudulent system called “the cold reading act,” in which a clever and observant person can tell you things about yourself using only whatever clues they can find and perceive. I have seen this cold reading, and it’s true. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t true mediums, but only that people can be fooled out of the shoes, which happened to supposedly strong skeptics in this episode.

Souls of the departed rarely stick around. They overwhelmingly move on. According to Theresa Caputo, they never leave! Her “act” couldn’t possibly be true in my opinion. I believe that her trick is that she has some psychic ability, and she mixes that with any clues and clever guesses. All she has to do is mention one or two things that she may legitimately pick up on, and the person becomes an instant believer.

In her mind, she may tell herself that she is comforting the person; therefore she’s doing a good thing. There could be some of that, but it’s really exploitation of that person’s emotions. With Amy Allan (‘The Dead Files’), I do think she has a special gift. However, they go into hotbeds of activity. In other words, maybe out of a thousand houses, maybe one or two has some activity.. and something more like one-in-ten-thousand may have something that needs to be dealt with. ‘Long Island Medium’ turns the whole metaphysical study into a jackassy activity, therefore helping to hold back this important area of science.

Also this past Sunday, I watched the premiere of another program to look at here. The ‘Witches of East End’ on Lifetime network. It’s been a popular theme, the portrayal of modern “witches,” and portraying them in a cutesy-magical-sexy manner.. and with so much drama! That’s fine for entertainment and ratings, but aren’t people who supposedly work with energy supposed to have a bit of a handle on things? It’s seems a contradiction to me that certain Wiccans can on one hand say the they’re just like other people, then flock to this program which completely alters their imagination of who they are.

The program is about a centuries-old witch, played by Julia Ormond, who is cursed to keep having the same two daughters over and over again, but keeps losing them at a young age. This time around she tries to protect them from their inherent abilities so they may life a long life. They live in a great old house, and seem to exist along the fringes of high society. There’s the whole mix of magic, romance, and drama. I don’t feel quite comfortable giving it a thumbs up or down. It’s a program designed to be more suited for women. I mean, sure, it’s entertaining enough; but it makes a mockery of an ancient spiritual tradition in which a few select women wielded tremendous power in society. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

I remember when I was about thirteen, there was a family of what seemed to have been “witches” living on the edge of town. When we rode our bikes past their home, sometimes we would see the women wearing long black dresses, usually with red or purple mixed in. They were a curiosity to be sure. This was long before there was any undercurrent of this being popular. They had some elements of symbolism in their large front yard, but it wasn’t anything over-the-top Wiccan.

They seemed to not want to be bothered… which is in total contradiction to the “look at me!” attitude of some Wiccans today. We treated them well, and especially in that more judgmental atmosphere. In other words, they were not made fun of or harassed in any way. They were merely….. a curiosity. Despite the different dress, they carried themselves with dignity. To us… that counted.

A few days ago, while shopping at the Bargain Market, I saw a brand of beer called “Witch Hunt – Spiced Harvest Ale” by Bridgeport. “Witch Hunt?” Can you imagine the reaction if you took the name of other religions or traditions and casually put it in front of HUNT?? Is a “witch hunt” supposed to be as subtle as a “fox hunt?"


October 10 Addition:

Yesterday evening had anther two programs that I wanted to add here. One was the premiere of the third season ('Coven') of 'American Horror Story' on FX network. Staring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett; it's similar to 'Witches of East End', mixing violence, sex, and magic. It also reflects a very dark portrayal, including numerous murders. Set in New Orleans, apparently this series will include VooDoo practice.

Later on the Syfy network was the movie 'Witchville' (Syfy 2010). I don't think a lot of people take Syfy moves really seriously, but to make a long story short, the plot was the complete reversal of historical reality. The "witches" were mass murderers, were "of the devil," and had to be destroyed, etc. I watched it, and it seemed like a fairly benign little movie.... but, changing history 180 degrees? Ahh... the killers from Earth-based spirituality! I guess we learn something new every day. The entire movie can be viewed here.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Guido von List: Part 25 - The Mystery of the Vehme: Entry A

The five-angled star, the Vehme-Star, the Truthenfuss* (truh = turn, fuss = foot) is the hieroglyph of "revolving or turning generation," of "rebirth"--one of the most important articles of faith in the Aryan religion. In its exoteric interpretation this sign simply says: "return," and was therefore a favorite sign used at hostels and inns, in order to convey the meaning: "whoever is a guest here should come again."

*List: Truthenfuss, standard modern German: Drudenfuss, the foot of a Drude; pentagram. Drude: "a dangerous female numen of the night," cf. Old Norse Thrudhr, old English dhrydh: "a wood maiden." Cf. further Jacob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology. vol. 1, pp. 422-23.

[excerpt from pages 86 and 87 from 'Secret of the Runes']

I recall when I first read this, in particular the words "a favorite sign used at hostels and inns," I didn't have any historical point of reference. It may have been because I was thinking "pentagram symbol," rather than "five-pointed star." A few days ago I saw a home with a black star on its porch on a television program, and it finally hit me. He meant "star," not "symbol!" I have seen those stars on homes, usually black and contoured as the symbol below is, but I didn't make the connection.

One person on a Christian forum answered this question this way: Google "Amish Barn Star" It is a symbol of good luck. Nothing sinister, just a decorating fad. There's also the apparent truth of the pentagram having once been a symbol of Christianity.

From Yahoo Answers:

It's supposed to keep evil away or a an old amish good luck charm are the reasons I have been told the most.

I've also read that it has military meaning:
Blue 5-angel star= Family member currently serving in a War
Gold 5-angel star= Lost a Family member in a War
Brown 5-angel star= Veteran of the military
Red 5-angel star= Family member wounded in combat

Some people do just use it for decoration.

Excerpt from another Christian forum:

Five-pointed stars on houses?

Does anyone know the meaning of (presumably plastic) 5-pointed stars mounted on the fronts of houses, usually next to the doors? They appear to be plastic and I've seen them in various colors. White is common. There is only one per house. They have a radius of about one foot. I saw a lot of them when we traveled through KY, TN, NC and into Georgia about 2 weeks ago. There are a few of them here in the Chicago suburban area. I'm aware that the five-pointed star is a symbol of witchcraft and wonder if the inhabitants of these houses are proclaiming that.

While I don't know what those stars mean today, when I was a child living in Illinois, a star in someone's window meant that it was a "safehouse". They were homes along the routes students walked on the way to school, and if there was a problem going back and forth to school, a child could run to that house for safety. I would be very surprised if in our day and age, the star meant it was a safehouse.

There are probably a number of meanings that developed separately over time, but the most solid origin for at least the American star tradition--which ties directly to the German-speaking countries--is the "Amish barn star." Not surprisingly, these stars are particularly popular in western Pennsylvania, which ties directly to the German/Dutch "hex signs" which we have covered here on the Hexology series. Yes, this is the link to List's vehme tradition in today's world. Also, they are easy to purchase online with a simple "barn star" or "Amish barn star" search. This "American tradition" isn't as popular here in California, which is why I failed to make the connection sooner. They come in many colors, including this nice eggshell-colored one.

Within Amish culture, which no longer even exists in Switzerland, we see some of the old German country traditions. I'm slightly embarrassed that a lot of connections here have escaped me, even though I have been close to them here and there in my life. California descendants of the "dust bowl" era, which are in the millions--and who can trace their roots back to Oklahoma and Texas--brought many folk traditions and cultural expressions with them which exist to this day. I can recall seeing some of this symbolism in country-style stores over the years... including the barn star. This star is of ancient Heathen origin; although the related pentagram has some Christian roots.