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The Tuatha De Danann

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Art: Jim Fitzpatrick - http://www.jimfitzpatrick.com/

Tuatha De Danann is typically translated as “People of the Goddess Danu.” These people were so uncommonly skilled in the few arts of the time, that they dazzled even their conquerors and successors, the Milesians, into regarding them as mighty magicians. The Tuatha De Dannan are also thought to represent the main deities of Pre-Christian, Celtic Ireland.

The important members of the Tuatha Dé are: DagdaBrigidNuada, LughDian CechtOgma, and Lir.

The manuscript ‘The Annals of The Four Masters’ records that the Tuatha De Danann ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C. They were a race of heroes who were uncommonly gifted in the art, poetry, magic and science of their time.

Yet when the Milesians conquered the De Danann, they drove them underground. It is believed that the De Danann still live underground as invisible beings known as the Aes sidhe. In a just battle, they will fight alongside of mortals. When they fight, they go armed with lances of blue flame and shields of pure white. Sometimes the De Danann would take mortals as lovers, other times they would play cruel tricks on mortals.

Eventually the Aes Sidhe came to be associated with fairies. Yet do not make the mistake of thinking of pixies or Tinkerbell. In early Irish and Welsh literature, these fairies could be tall, short, beautiful or ugly. Sometimes they could be benevolent. Yet at other times they could be very cruel.

If you would like to learn more about the Tuatha De Danann, check out the links below.

RELEVANT LINKS

Tuatha De Dannan (Wikipedia)

The Four Treasures of the Tuatha De Danann (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids)

Tuatha De Dannan (Ireland-Information)

Eircom – Irish History

Fade to Black: A Video Vision of The Future if Reform Does Not Come

Source: World Future Fund

Nature is an eternal life force, a force that human beings depend upon to live.

Yet our current world order is destroying this vital life force.

Will there really be enough for all by the middle of the century, if human beings continue on this path?

Watch the video above for a vision of the future if reform does not come.

Eleven Fifty Nine, Can We Save The Planet in its Final Hour(Minute)?

We have an economy that is bigger than our planet.

Our planet is full, full of us and our stuff.

Infinite growth on a finite planet is not working.

We cannot see the issues of our planet as individual issues.

They are complex and interconnected.

Reconnecting ourselves with the Earth is the first step to fixing the problem.

That, and admitting that we have a problem and that this system isn’t working.

Blood Moons and Apocalypse: What Did Other Cultures Think?

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TIME: The Blood Moon will start around 1am and reach its peak at 3am Tuesday Morning.

LOCATION: Apparently North America will have the best view of the Blood Moon.

What is the significance of The Blood Moon on April 15th? Is it the end of the world? Is it the day your taxes are due? For many people its both. But what causes this ominous sounding event?

 

WHAT SCIENTIFIC PHENOMENON CAUSES THE BLOOD MOON? 

The word “eclipse” itself means shadow, an eclipse is the Earth’s shadow on the moon. The red color itself is caused by particles and dust in the Earth’s atmosphere. What’s even more significant about this particular Blood Moon is that it is the first of a tetrad of Blood Moons. This means that there will be four blood moons occurring over a period of 18 months. It is also said that each of these four Blood Moons will fall on a Jewish holiday: Passover, The Feast of Tabernacles, Passover again the following year and then the next Feast of Tabernacles after that.

 

BLOOD MOONS AND PROPHESY

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I’ve had a very difficult time finding astronomical information on this event, because I’ve been bombarded by several news stories about the biblical prophesy that uses the Blood Moon to predict the end of the world:

Acts 2:19-20: “And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

Yet as rare as Blood Moons are, there have been other Blood Moons in history that occurred after this biblical prophecy was written, what is interesting is that each of the tetrads did usher in significant events for the Jews: their expulsion from Spain, the founding of the state of Israel and on The Six Day War between Arabs and Israelis.

 

WHAT DID OTHER CULTURES THINK ABOUT BLOOD MOONS OR ECLIPSES IN GENERAL? 

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The Incans believed that the Blood Moon was a result of a jaguar who attacked and then ate the moon. After it ate the moon, Incans believed that the jaguar would come for them next. To prevent that, they would try to drive the predator away by shaking spears at the moon and making a lot of noise, including beating their dogs and making them bark.

The Ancient Mesopotamians believed that a lunar eclipse was an attack on their king. The Mesopotamians were also very good at predicting when an eclipse would occur. So for this situation, they would install a Substitute King to bear the brunt of whatever attack the eclipse may dole out. The Substitute King would usually be treated very well during this period, but then mysteriously disappear afterwards.

The Hupa Native American Tribe believed that the moon had 20 wives and lots of pets: mountain lions and snakes. When the moon didn’t bring his pets enough food to eat, they would attack him and make him bleed. The eclipse would end when the moon’s wives came to protect him. They would collect his blood and make him well again.

To the Luiseño tribe of southern California, an eclipse signaled that the moon was ill. It was tribe members’ job to sing chants or prayers to bring it back to health.

The Ancient Norse Folk believed that the moon (Mani) was chased around in the sky by a hateful wolf named Hati. And each time the wolf got close, it took a bite out of him which caused an eclipse.

The Ancient Egyptians thought an Eclipse was the moon getting swallowed by a sow and the ancient Chinese believed that it was a three legged toad who was doing the swallowing.

However, not every Blood Moon is negative. The Batammaliba people in Africa saw it as a time that the moon and sun were fighting. Yet the significance of the Blood Moon meant that it was a time to come together and resolve old feuds.

National Geographic: Lunar Eclipse Myths From Around the World

 

IS THE END NEAR? 

None of the previous Blood Moons ushered in an end of the world, why is this particular Blood Moon the one that will do it?

In 2012, the world was was supposed to end on December 21st because that was the day when the Mayan Calendar ended. Before that the world was supposed to end in 2000, because of the infamous Y2k crisis, apparently resetting the digital calendars of the world’s computers is enough to usher in a robot apocalypse?

And now, looking at a shadow on the moon through the tint of some atmospheric dust is a sure sign of the end? Perhaps this is the omen that will usher in the end. Or maybe when this prophecy fails, someone will find an image of the Anti-Christ on a piece of toast and surely this will usher in the end of the human era. My point is that people are completely obsessed with the apocalypse and are constantly grasping for a new sign each year of this impending rapture.

So, I’m pretty sure you can all untwist your panties out of a knot and enjoy the astronomical phenomenon that is the Blood Moon with a cup of cocoa. And in the chance that the apocalypse is happening, I will eat my words by taking a jaguar sized bite out of the laptop I’m typing on and die of suffocation before the demons of the apocalypse can descend from the bleeding moon and play softball with my carcass.

Whether it is a portent of death or a cool astronomical phenomenon, we can all agree on one thing: it’s metal as hell. Get your Blood Moon on tonight with some heavy tunes.

VADER – WHEN THE SUN DROWNS IN DARK

SLAYER – REIGN IN BLOOD 

 

 

 

The Syncretic States of America

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(Image Source)

THE BLENDING OF RELIGIOUS PRACTICES IN AMERICA

Is America a predominantly Christian country? According to  the Gallup Poll, 77% of Americans identify as Christian. Yet the reality is much more nuanced than that. According to Pewforum, a large number of Americans mix multiple faiths together. There was once a time in America where the boundaries between religious denominations such as Catholic and Protestant divided entire communities. The KKK attacked Catholics and Jews in addition to African Americans. There were even massive fears that tides of Irish and Italian immigrants would lead to Catholicism taking over the United States. Yet these days the boundaries that divide various faiths is beginning to become much more relaxed.

According to the Pewforum, multiple Americans are practicing multiple religions at the same time – even when they are not traveling or participating in a special event such as a wedding or a funeral. Many are even blending traditions like Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the idea that spiritual energy is present in the natural world. One third of Americans (35%) say that they attend religious services at more than once place, and most of this group indicated that these different places serviced a faith different from their own.

There are several reasons for this growing plurality of faith. America is becoming more diverse, people are increasingly marrying a person with a different religion than their own and religion in general is becoming more of a spiritual relationship with the world, rather than an institution.


GROWING NUMBER OF CHRISTIANS ADOPTING NEW AGE IDEAS: 

SUCH AS REINCARNATION, YOGA AND SPIRITUAL ENERGY

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Pewforum

What was interesting to me, in reading these results, was the high percent of Christians who believed in reincarnation (apparently 22% of Christians)! I have to wonder to myself how these particular Christians reconcile their belief in reincarnation with the Christian idea of heaven?

21% of Christians also follow Yoga as a spiritual practice. The National Cathedral has even begun to offer free Tai Chi and Yoga classes (Washington Post)!


GROWING NUMBER OF MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES

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Pewforum

Another interesting thing about the Pew Forum survey on mixed religion in America is that it indicated more Americans are beginning to have spiritual experiences than previous generations. As you can see from the chart above, by 2009, nearly half of Americans claimed to have had some kind of spiritual or mystical experience. Spiritual experiences have literally doubled since the previous generation.


THE RISE OF “UNAFFILIATED” AMERICANS: 

SPIRITUAL, BUT NOT RELIGIOUS

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Pewforum

One growing trend in America has been the rise of our religious “nones.”  Less people are going to church and less people are giving themselves a religious label. Yet this doesn’t mean that people are less spiritual. Two thirds of these “nones” say that they believe in God. More than half even say that they feel a deep spiritual connection with the Earth. A third have also stated that they are “spiritual, but not religious.” Most of these unaffiliated Americans say that religions are too obsessed with money and power. A large number of young Americans are also leaving the church over issues regarding Gay Rights (Alternet).

And perhaps, there are many Americans who believe in a blend of ideas, but have no religious label for this blend.

Rather than asking Americans to check a label in a box, future surveys should ask people to fill out a questionnaire on one’s outlook of the spiritual world. This may produce more complex and curious results than the simple “Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Other” blend.

Saor – Children of the Myst

SAOR means “Free” in Scottish and Irish Gaelic

Band Location: Glasgow Scotland

Genre: Scottish Folk, Atmospheric Black Metal, Post-Rock

Members: Andy Marshall (Can you believe this is a one man band?)

Themes: Scottish Heritage, Highland Nature/Landscapes, Sorrow

Imagine if the Folk Metal band Belenos had a baby with the progressive rock group Pelican. The baby would be Saor: a band that has the power and mystery of Folk Metal, but the creative melodies of Prog Rock. Saor brings the traditional Celtic sound to the music with  instruments such as the  tin whistle, bodhrán and bagpipes.The music itself is emblematic of the stunning Scottish landscape. If you go to the band’s facebook, you can see some amazing images of Scotland. It’s pretty impressive that one artist, Andy Marshall, was capable of putting this all together.

“Children of The Myst” is the opening track for the album Aura, which will be released June 6th 2014. Saor may be a very new band, it was formed in 2012, but already its music is going to the top of Folk Metal Playlists. If you would like to hear more of their work, check out their facebook:

SAOR FACEBOOK

AURA ALBUM REVIEW ON THE METAL FOUNDRY

 

The Remaking of the Galdraskræða (Icelandic Book of Spells)

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The tradition of magic among the native Icelandic population goes back to ancient times. Magic was an important part of life, and mastering it was vital to interacting with nature and controlling one’s destiny.

Jochum M. Eggertson (better known as “Skuggi” meaning shadow) collected these spells into a book called the Galdraskræða. The first edition of this book was published in the year 1940. It was only published in a limited edition of 150 copies. The book contains nearly 200 spells and an ensemble of runic letters. Since there were only a few limited editions of this book sold onto the market, the book was very difficult to find for several years.

The book has been republished recently with easier to read designs drawn in red (in order to represent blood).

Read More About The Book 

Purchase The Book (Note, it is written in Icelandic)

 

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