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Believers and skeptics, welcome!
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sweetbabyjames...our Western culture, by and large, prefers tradition to be neat and tidy and clean...wrinkle free...

so let's have none of this dancing around the fire business.... Wink sooth and such?....NO! says our Western culture ....sit neatly in pews ....clean ...'n wrinkle-free..

without shadow...

however, as a dear friend reminded me...the shadow, if ignored, will become all the darker.

all cultures need to hug their shadows....
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gingerpale , jellied doghnuts are the Hannuka treat.
At Purim we eat "Hamantachen" or "the ears of Haman" cookies. It's a triangular shaped cookie - to remaind us of the ears Haman the evil who, like many of his followers, wanted to kill all the jewish people . There is nothing new under the sun and he was a Persian (Iranian). Nothing new there too. It's a sugary pastry dough filled traditionally with walnuts or various kinds of mince pie. Very yummy. I prefer thye doughnuts.
For Purim you wear disguises, anything you like, but only kids usually do that. Nothing ghastly about it, mostly political/fairy tales kind of disguises/masks.

Mo more war, more doughnuts. No jelly.
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gingerpale, I hope I did not put you out with my answer. I do have a fairly high level of acceptance for the unknown and the strange, and if a fairy suddenly appeared before my eyes, I guess I would not be too surprised ! At the same time, should my son burn himself seriously, I would gladly accept the help of the "fire-taking", yet would insist on the very best possible treatment modern science offers !
My son has asthma, and I never refused traditional medicine for him. I spent enough nights in the ER watching him fight for breath. Yet from his babyhood I had him treated also with homeopathy, which allowed him to dispense with many antibiotic treatments. And some say homeopathy is not medicine, because no active ingredients are found in the pills. Yet it works. Is it a placebo ? Who cares as long as it works !
I also respect beliefs, faith, though do not have much liking for religion. Faith is admirable, religion often perverts the faith. Believing is inherently human, since the dawn of mankind men have looked up and asked themselves "why? how?". Very human in its questioning, and so very egocentric to think that some higher being has nothing better to do than worry about the doings of some indigenous species stranded on a speck of dust lost somewhere in an infinite universe.
And I suppose now I have lost the point I wanted to make !!! Nothing more gratifying than trying to convince someone one is right, yet be able to walk away peacefully, everyone standing on its opinion, but somewhat richer for having shared ideas !
Well, as Simona says, no more war, and more doughnuts ! Hurray for doughnuts !
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oups ! I meant "exchanged ideas" ! I love exchange ! Not that I mind sharing !
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

charlsy, so very sorry for the drama and trauma of asthma! I'm asthmatic too but didn't develop it until puberty. How horrible it must be to see a small child gasping for breath! Shocked

Hope it's in control now and I can well understand how you'd explore every possible avenue. Have you tried isolating allergies and desensitizing? That was the most productive route for me.
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, thanks for your kind words. Spending time in the hospital, even for something as "benign" as asthma (as compared with leukemia), was no picnic. He once had to stay there for 10 straight days hooked to an oxygen line. Part of one of his lungs had "folded" up (pneumothorax). Thankfully he healed without problems.
The best thing I ever did for my son was to leave Paris. Now, here near Bordeaux, in a small town swept by ocean winds, he seems to have outgrown asthma, although he remains sensitive at times. But no more severe attacks, no more midnight trips to the ER ! I very much prefer my ER on TV ! He will probably have to be careful his whole life, but it turned him into a convinced non-smoker ! He knows too well what it means to fight for breath... The only good thing I have to say about asthma is that a wheezing kid is a sure way of not staying for hours in a waiting room for a doctor to check on him. A few notes of his whisting lungs and off to a room for oxygen and Ventolin !
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gingerpale, quite pagan enough! Smile

Can I say then that next to halloween, Christmas is my favorite pagan holiday? Just kidding, though we in my family do make a point of celebrating both solstices and equinoxes, and just about every other holiday I can lay my hands on.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been reading this thread.

Have I missed anything which qualifies as supernatural?
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:45 pm    Post subject: Believers and skeptics, welcome! Reply with quote

Quote:
Can I say then that next to halloween, Christmas is my favorite pagan holiday?


Sweetbabyjames,

Christmas was originally a pagan holiday/festival. It was called Yule at which huge fires were burned to encourage the sun to be reborn in the Spring. All Hallows Eve or Hallow e'en is Britain's Day of the Dead, when the barrier between the worlds of the living and the dead becomes thinner. Even Easter was originally dedicated to Eostre or Ostara the Saxon goddess of the Dawn. The Easter bunny or more properly the hare and the egg are her symbols. In Britain at least, the early Christian church assimilated these festivals into Christian ones which is why they have their pagan roots showing in little ways.

Quote:
Have I missed anything which qualifies as supernatural?


Sarape,
There must be at least one dish that is 'out of this world' which you haven't tried yet. Wink

Charlsy,
Quote:
if a fairy suddenly appeared before my eyes, I guess I would not be too surprised!


From the little fairy lore I know, if you see one, back away slowly and ALWAYS be extremely polite as they are dangerous creatures and will likely make you very sorry you met one. Unless of course you are carrying cold iron/steel with you. If it's a crucifix that's even better.
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffin thank you for the advice about fairies. I'll keep it in mind ! Also I liked your comments on the pagan celebretions, recycled by the catholic church ! A practice not limited to England, usually churches are built on earlier pagan sites. A good way of using your "enemy", and showing your strength ! Crush him and take his place... Yet the original meaning of the festival sometimes can't be erased.
What's funny is that countries of originally identical christian traditions differ sometimes in their customs. Here in France, there was an attempt to import Halloween, in its basest commercial form mind you, and it didn't work out. Kids would come at the door and ask for candy, without knowing the rituals associated, your basic "trick or treat" code phrase for instance ! Also they would usually do it the friday or saturday night just before Halloween, not on the exact day. Not convenient enough to do it hte right day, if it's a school day... So french, trying to adapt an anglosaxon custom and botching it.
Here it's All saints' day that is "celebrated", in a rather dreary way in my opinion. It usually involves the annual trip to the family cemetery, cleaning up the gravestone (Heaven forbid the neighbours should think you neglect your familial duty) and putting chrysanthemium on the grave. It's the flower of choice in France, and every supermarket sells hundreds of potted chrysentemium for the occasion. Nothing like the joyous mexican Day of the dead ! French cemeteries are usually lugubrious places. Apart from the Père Lachaise in Paris, with its fancy graves, and celebrities, they are usually gardens of stones, with the few dots of colour provided by flowers, fresh, dead, or artificial...
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:31 pm    Post subject: Believers and skeptics, welcome! Reply with quote

charlsy,

If there's one thing I love, it's folklore and especially folktales! ... and if there's one thing that annoys me it's the little girl with wings fairies! A sanitised Victorian notion for the most part (Mabel Lucie Attwell has a lot to answer for, but to be fair so does Arthur Rackham). 'Real' fairies in the Northern European tradition are a sort of Northern version of the Ancient Greek nymphs.

But the fairies are troublesome things. There are the 'Take Care Children' fairies like Jenny Greenteeth in Britain who lives in stagnant waters and if you get to close, she'll drag you under and eat you! There's the Welsh Pwca or Scots Phooka (not sure if it's pronounced quite like I imagine!) that takes the shape of a beautiful horse that makes you desire to ride on his back. But when you do, you can't get off and he rides away with you into the nearest lake where you are drowned and eaten. And that's before you get to the Nuckelavee and Yallery Brown!!

if you go into a Bluebell wood then make sure you have cold iron with you also. Fairies love bluebell woods as much as rings of mushrooms, which you must avoid also. If anyone has a baby, keep a cross of iron/steel over the cot or the baby will be replaced by a changeling.

I think, in Britain, it was partly a way of crushing paganism, but also the Britons were not fussy. Life was so tough that you worshipped any and every god/goddess/other being just to be on the safe side. As a result, the natural party instinct in paganism comes through in our modern 'Christian' festivals. In Leicester, here in the UK, Diwali is celebrated in the city with people of all faiths and ethnicities on the principle that it is yet another fab celebration. There is food, of course, but also colour and music and general fun-type mayhem, which adds to it.

Death in Christianity (among other religions) is often seen as an enemy - a bad thing. In Native American legends it's seen as a necessity so that there are always enough resources to go around. It then becomes no better or worse than life. Both are risky in their own ways, both have prices to pay. Life costs in terms of pains, fears and sorrows. But death means that you pay by losing out on the bliss and beauty that life is occasionally capable of. Older faiths are fine with this I think. Paganism and the like are more at home with death than Christianity. I don't know about Islam, Hinduism or Judaism.

I would love to see Pere Lachaise cemetery, Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde are two of my favourite troublemakers!! Twisted Evil
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffin--thanks so much for the "fairy tales". Really interesting!


As for Christianity co-opting pagan rites/rituals--it is my understanding that St. Stephen's Day in Ukraine is celebrated by buttering your cows udders.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery is wonderful---I have pictures of myself at Oscar's grave and at Gertrude Stein's. Stein's/Toklas' grave is interesting. Face on you see only Gertie's name, Alice's name is on the back of the gravestone because as Alice said "In death as in life I will follow Gertrude Stein." How's that for romantic?
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A brilliant film that deals with believers vs. sceptics is "The Illusionist". Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti are the leads. It takes place in turn-of-the -century Austria. It is visually one of the most stunning films I've ever seen. The story is quite engaging and the acting is SUPERB. I got dragged to it and can't think when I've enjoyed something more. Jessica Biel, the female lead, apparently wanted the role SO MUCH, she showed up at the audtion in period clothing. She is quite beautiful and talented.

Highly recommended!!!!!!!!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How interesting to read your recommendation, Donna.

I saw the trailer when we went to see Little Miss Sunshine. I had a very strong reaction to it but I couldn't quite tell if it was a negative or a positive one. Now I'll have to see it and come to a conclusion. Wink

Your story, harpospeaking, reminds me of a time long ago when I went to a movie with my husband (then boyfriend) and another couple. I got up to use the bathroom and when I came back from a comparatively bright hallway to the dark screening room I had a very difficult time seeing. I located three people and an empty seat and took my place turning to my husband on my right and saying "I love you, Steve". Only it wasn't my husband and that became apparent when he and my friends sitting in the row in front recognized my voice and began laughing. Shocked

I'm still humiliated (a bit) even remembering it.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:39 pm    Post subject: Believers and skeptics, welcome! Reply with quote

Quote:
As for Christianity co-opting pagan rites/rituals--it is my understanding that St. Stephen's Day in Ukraine is celebrated by buttering your cows udders.


David, when the cows get their revenge I dread to think what they'll do!! Shocked

Quote:
Your story, harpospeaking, reminds me of a time long ago when I went to a movie with my husband (then boyfriend) and another couple. I got up to use the bathroom and when I came back from a comparatively bright hallway to the dark screening room I had a very difficult time seeing. I located three people and an empty seat and took my place turning to my husband on my right and saying "I love you, Steve". Only it wasn't my husband and that became apparent when he and my friends sitting in the row in front recognized my voice and began laughing.


Oh Rainey!! Oops! In fact Oops with a side salad of Oops with Oops on top! Ahem, I suggest using the cat method and looking at him with an I-meant-to-do-that look. Either that, or darkly remark that you have Sicilian relatives! Twisted Evil
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