Monday, July 27, 2009

Blasphemous Blasphemy Laws

With a weird turn of events, it seems that Ireland has step back in time without the help of a DeLorean and its 1.21 gigawatts of power[**] towards the medieval era - they have implemented Blasphemy Laws.

Blasphemy is defined as the usage of one or more gods or religious system to be used in a manner that is considered objectionable by its members. That in itself is extremely subjective and broad, and I think will bring more trouble than its worth in the courts in Ireland. I do not live in said country, I wondered what sort of freedom of speech laws they had:
Freedom of speech is protected by Article 40.6.1 of the Irish constitution. However the article qualifies this right, providing that it may not be used to undermine "public order or morality or the authority of the State". Furthermore, the constitution explicitly requires that the publication of "blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter" be a criminal offence, leading the government to pass a new blasphemy law on 8th July, 2009. (wiki)

Under the Irish constitution, the state is obliged to have blasphemy laws. The bill going through the Dáil would amend the Defamation Act of 1961, which includes blasphemy as a crime. To abolish blasphemy laws, the government would have to hold a referendum to amend the constitution. (link)

According to Pharyngula it could cover the authority to seize blasphemous material from your home if they see it necessary. How is this morally and lawfully allowable? What is religiously blasphemous to someone may not be for me, or others. Is owning books by Anton Szandor LaVey and Richard Dawkins blasphemous to the Church? Of course! Yet does one not have the right to own them? "It also exempts works in which a “reasonable person” would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value." So they will obviously object to much of the metal music being sold and distributed within the country as they have very blasphemous art, themes and concerts, as seen by the likes of Gorgoroth, Cannibal Corpse and Impaled Nazarene.

Interesting, comments made by a local Catholic church in England in regards of a tree stump that resembles the Virgin Mary as "superstition" go by unnoticed
Local Parish Priest Fr Willie Russell said on Radio station Limerick Live 95FM yesterday that people should not worship the tree. "There's nothing there... it's just a tree ... you can't worship a tree."

With PZ Myers commenting "I hope the Irish druids are going to be rightfully upset at this horribly offensive slur against their faith." Could the local Druids file a suit against Mr. Russell?

Or is this just a case where blasphemy laws are only applied to the Christian groups, whilst not applying to others because of the edict in the Ten Commandments? Some are trying to figure out what is covered under these laws and what isn't, since obviously it is so goddamn (oops!) subjective. Graham Linehan in an interview asked that justice minister Dermot Ahern, who introduced the bill, should be challenged to define what he meant by blasphemy.

"This is insanity. Please, Mr Ahern, define the things we can't say, please! Can we say, 'Jesus is gay'? Or can we ask, 'Is God in a biscuit?' Could he tell us what it means? It is just insanity. After all, there are things contained in the holy books of one religion that are blasphemy to another religion. The logic behind this comes from Alice in Wonderland." He said the Irish blasphemy law was part of a trend in the west where freedom of expression was being attacked "to placate the craziest people on earth".

While paganism and polytheism is a relatively small slice of the religion pie, we have obviously received many smears and attacks in the past as being nothing more than a silly sect or belief system by the detractors. In the last election term Islam was widely maligned, and Jerome Corsi decided to use his position to ridicule more with his comment:
"May Islam join the garbage heap of worthless religions we have grown beyond. Any believers of Hermes out there?"

Why yes, Mr. Corsi, I do.

It's hard to say that we would pass such outdated laws, but I hope we don't see the puritans in this country decide to follow suit like what progressive countries like Britain has done in installing Sharia Law alongside Ireland's brilliant Blasphemy Law.

To all the Irish, make sure you delete all the copies of Raptor Jesus or any LOLJesus you may have on your harddrive.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Universalism

Among a few Reconstructionist circles this term has been used with a darker tinge to slap those who do not follow the more conventional road. It 's almost as meant to be a synonym for another that could be in its place: eclectic. While I do not and never have claimed to be a Recon I admire their application since I find scholarly work to be tantamount to truth. I have naturally added attributes of reconstructionism into my studies since by my own nature I am fanatic about history. I sedulously devour many books and tidbits from various themes in various subjects, and yet this is where my crux lies - I am all over the place, and could never just sit and nest myself among one area or culture.

While it is never fair to judge a whole group based a few sole words by some members, I find when they attempt to represent the larger community as a whole to steer and enlighten on the workings and discussions of said growing group, I rather not belong. Certain concepts make me feel like the previous questions others have had in regard to the community seem to border among fundamentalism might hold some truth and eventually people automatically take sides. Example, if I do not acquire - to what I find to be xenophobic ideas - I am seen as someone who is too preoccupied with foreign curiosities and therefore does not understand said culture's view of Divinity as being the most perfect one. Therefore, I am a Universalist.

Then again, I don't find that disparaging the more I think about it. I love science, and astronomy, cosmology and quantum physics. Though my understanding is poor compared to actual people in the field, and I being a casual observer, I tend to view the world in large abstracts of nature and forces of energy - that of dark matter, of exploding stars and cosmic sombreros. Our galaxy containing a large black hole in the center could only be perceived as just a humorous joke being played out by Loki. The marriage consummation between siblings Zeus and Hera does not elicit revulsion because divinity is not biological - never mind our image of Uatu or Galactus in his violet and blue armor. We see them in the only way our finite minds could interpret.

Galactus perceived by other sentient beings

When I think of God the creator I think of a Force too outside of our reach to care of a small, single-stared solar system hovering over the tip of our spiraling Milky Way galaxy - which at this point probably defines me as a pandeist. Geology and biological archeology provides glimpses on how I can understand my polytheism, and better understand this miniscule rock. The more I mingle with the Homo species, the more I feel attracted to the inanimate objects whose age spans millions of years.

Sombrero Galaxy M104, taken with Hubble.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hairy situation

I understand that sometimes, dreams are just dreams. Every now and them dreams become so weird for me that they are either acidic regurgitation that my mind feels can throw at me or some obscure language I have yet to decrypt and I'm left thinking "Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot?!" Can't recall most of it, so I tend to write them to myself via email once I get to work, because as I commute they keep distracting me and my mood for the day is tarnished. This was dated back in March 20th (quite old) but it's one I can't decipher. Perhaps a call to my grandmother might give some clues.

It begins with vagueness. A girl, which I semi-knew somehow-somewhere, comes up to me and puts her hand over my stomach and tells me "You have... hair."

Confused, she takes me to a hospital, where her "mom" will help me. Not even sure if she's really a nurse, as she isn't wearing the usual attire. They begin take x-rays as I am laid on a gurney, and eventually open up my stomach - lifting skin and muscle tissue revealing my internal organs - which are covered in thick black hair. It's wrapping itself over organs. The thickest is going over my stomach. X-rays showed strands of hair going all over my body as far up to my arms. However they don't know if they should tug at them or start cutting, as they don't know where the "root" of the hair comes from. I woke up after that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Orbs of Light

My mother has been having some pretty interesting occurrences at her home in Wisconsin. She lives relatively in the middle of nowhere with scarce neighbors, however she has been getting visits from the non-physical kind. She has told me that she sees orbs often floating around, people, or she assumes are people walking about only to find out that the person roaming the kitchen had deceased 15 years ago.

I recently emailed a favorite podcast of mine retelling one of her many experiences and I was reminded of the Piezoelectricity effect that is able to explain these occurrences. They are natural phenomena that usually happen when there's a charge of electricity in the air (there have been recent storms, as well). When combined with the quartz or other crystals in the ground that expand or are stressed, sometimes due to variation in temperature, causes orbs of light and energy to be seen floating in the air. This has been used to explain the Marfa Lights, the Min Min, the Paulding Lights and many more. One group first conducted a study to investigate this phenomena in the New Jersey area, dubbed the Hookerman Lights, was a group called Vestigia. Local legend said a man had died there when a train had passed, and was seen trailing the tracks with his lantern, trying to keep others safe from a demise similar to his own. Their findings can be found in a section of this book.

I know there are tons of quartz crystals where my mom lives and they are easily found by just going into the river. They are quite beautiful and large, because my mom sent me a few as a gift a few months ago.

While I have found that I can explain now the light orbs she sees, I want to see if the rest of it can. Hearing the chanting and howling of Native American songs at night? The opening and closing of drawers? Voices from the basement? People walking about that are not there - only to verify, via pictures, of who this person is? Perhaps the reason I never have such an intense collection of happenings around me is because I doubt, question and pick at them. In the end, dismissing them. Only the truly odd do I stash away in my "hmmm" file. Due to the podcast and the intensely skeptic form of analyzing they have, I have a curiosity to go after invisible things in the dark.

Now if I can find a reputable group I can go and do these things, without endangering myself by being alone by myself with nothing but a voice recorder and an EMF reader, it would be fantastic.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Inner transformations

I feel that it is necessary for me to follow some simple procedures to redo myself. This is usually nothing new as I do this every few years, but I feel the methodology is quite different. Being a follower and devotee to the winged-footed one Himself, I want to do it via the alchemical process of the Emerald tablet.

The first three are the steps I will look into as I go, but right now I am focusing on the first two.

This is the first level; it is fire. It is the fire that burns away, the prepares for purification, to ready the canvas and make it anew for any processes that awaits it. It is where I destroy the Ego, the false assumptions; that which I have made myself to believe. Questioning everything, once more, to bring forth a keen eye. Time to destroy. Time to shackle the comfortable confines of the body and mind; burn away the excesses brought about to it, the overindulgence that I let myself savor in lieu of what was truly essential.

It is a painful, fiery discipline. The combustion the unnecessary. A holocaust for bodily and spiritual renewal.

Emerald Tablet Correspondence:
Its father is the Sun


While Calcination process is fiery, gold and the sun, Dissolution is the silver, the cold, the watery. It is the realm of the goddess, and under her waters I will submerge to cleanse away the destroyed remains, the ashes of the gross and the rough to be diluted and rendering them apart from the properties that bind each to the other.

Emerald Tablet Correspondence:
Its mother is the Moon


It is the isolation of the components of Dissolution by filtration and then discarding any ungenuine or unworthy material. The rediscovery of our essence and the reclaiming of dream that was rejected by the rational part of our minds. It is, for the most part, a conscious process in which we review formerly hidden material and decide what to discard and what to reintegrate into our refined personality. Much of this shadowy material is things we are ashamed of or were taught to hide away by our parents, churches, and schooling. Separation is letting go of the self-inflicted restraints to our true nature, so we can shine through.

Emerald Tablet Correspondence:
The Wind carries it in its belly.

○ ○ ○

"Then out of the imprisoned Light a mysterious and Holy Word came forth and took its stand upon the smoking waters. This Word -- the Voice of the Light -- rose out of the darkness as a great pillar, and the fire and the air followed after it, but the earth and the water remained unmoved below. Thus the waters of Light were divided from the waters of darkness, and from the waters of Light were formed the worlds above and from the waters of darkness were formed the worlds below. The earth and the water next mingled, becoming inseparable, and the Spiritual Word which is called
Reason moved upon their surface, causing endless turmoil. -- The Vision of Hermes.


Hermes, draw near, and to my pray'r incline, angel of Jove, and Maia's son divine; Studious of contests, ruler of mankind, with heart almighty, and a prudent mind. Celestial messenger, of various skill, whose pow'rful arts could watchful Argus kill: With winged feet, 'tis thine thro' air to course, O friend of man, and prophet of discourse: Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine, in arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine: With pow'r endu'd all language to explain, of

care the loos'ner, and the source of gain. Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod, Kerukeion, blessed, profitable God; Of various speech, whose aid in works we find, and in necessities to mortals kind: Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere, be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear; Assist my works, conclude my life with peace, give graceful speech, and me memory's increase.

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