The Teddy Bear as an Occult Talisman

OCCULT 6 Comments »

Let us consider the humble teddy bear.  At first glance the teddy bear appears to be merely a popular child’s toy.  Yet, I will suggest there is occult significance, even a talismanic purpose behind the teddy bear.  I will suggest the teddy bear is a talisman that both comforts us during suffering, but might even delay suffering.

THE DUALITY OF THE BEAR

The living bear is a fierce creature, one of the world’s top predators.  Bears have killed and devoured men.  They are dangerous animals not to be trifled with.  Yet the bear remains the subject of the world’s most endearing stuffed animal.  Perhaps the reason is the duality of the bear.  The bear is an endearing animal along with being a dangerous animal.  The black bear is like a 200 pound raccoon, a delightful creature and actually rarely dangerous.  The grizzly bear is a different character, far more dangerous yet still oddly endearing.  The bear is both cuddly and frightening at the same time.

THE DUALITY OF NATURE

The bear is a creature of nature and reflects the duality of nature.  The natural world is both a provider of life and a taker of life.  Most of the time nature is docile and we could not survive without the rains watering our crops.  However, sometimes nature is cruel, producing hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, or drought.  Nature is capricious, unpredictable and uncontrollable both sustaining life and destroying life.  Just like the bear, who is usually docile but can become a man-eater.

THE DUALITY OF LIFE

Life itself reflects this duality of nature.  Most of the time life goes along smoothly, but then inevitability disaster strikes.  We could lose a job, have financial troubles, develop a terrible disease, or have a loved one suffer.  Life is filled with such pain and suffering, along with our joys.  Human life is itself capricious, unpredictable and barely controllable.

THE DUALITY OF THE TEDDY BEAR

This brings us back to the secret occult meaning behind the teddy bear.  The teddy bear symbolizes only the nice side of the actual bear’s duality.  It is cuddly, adorable and non-threatening.  We give children a toy that represents the safe side of life’s duality.  It is meant to be reassuring.  When we hug a teddy bear, we are embracing the hope for happiness and safety.  Unfortunately life is rarely turns out that way.

Yet, the teddy bear’s purpose is to provide us comfort even in times when the duality of existence is kicking our arse.  In times of trouble the teddy bear offers comfort.  And here is the occult aspect…life is a state of mind.  Both pain and suffering or joy and happiness are a state of mind.  Things are never as bad as they seem, nor a good as they appear.  In times of trouble we can sit on our pity pot and feel sorry for your self, or we can brush aside worry and march ahead.  When times are tough hugging your teddy bear releases stress, even if only for a minute.  That is the mysterious talismanic nature of the teddy bear.  The teddy bear reminds us to look at the best side of life’s duality, and how we think tends to be how things will turn out.  The teddy bear is an unwitting advocate of the law of attraction.

In my life I’ve had a full plate of worries…my brother is slowly dying of cancer, my father had a stroke a month ago and my day job is endlessly stressful.  Sometimes I wonder how I can handle this.  When I am overwhelmed, I look at my teddy bear pictured above.  It sits on a bookshelf watching over me along with two figures of wise owls.

My choice of this bear was not random.  This teddy bear was chosen to reflect the duality of life.  The bear is white, the color of purity, hope and faith.  But it has a red on it. This teddy bear has a blood red collar and blood red toes.  Blood red symbolizes the tragedy of life, superimposed on the white color of hope.  It sits above on a bookshelf watching me, and in times when I dwell too much on dark thoughts, I look up at it. It is my talisman.  It reminds me that life is temporary and often sad with bursts of joy and happiness in-between.  You wouldn’t imagine a stuffed animal could be so symbolic.  And here comes in the law of attraction.  We are what we think; if a stuffed animal offers us a positive state of mind, it is effective.

Thomas Kinkade’s Art of the Afterlife and Shamanism

OCCULT 2 Comments »

Thomas Kinkade, the famed “Painter of Light”, died April 6, 2012.  I like his work.  The artistic intelligentsia scoffed at his art proclaiming it merely kitsch.  The art subculture held their collective noses, rolled their eyes and sighed, as Thomas Kinkade became a multi-millionaire.  What do art critics know?

I suggest there is much more to Thomas Kinkade’s art then what appears at first glance.  When looking at a Kinkade painting, what do we see?  He is not representing physical reality.  And he is not painting an idealized version of reality.  What he paints does not exist in the material world.  I suggest what Thomas Kinkade painted were visions of the afterlife.

Kinkade’s work was like a depiction of fairyland with all the lights and pastels, his cottages, gardens and streams that are not of this world.  Kinkade said he was a spiritual painter and that his paintings reflected that spirituality.  However, beyond depicting the serenity of the afterlife, there is something further.

I suggest there is a shamanistic quality to Kinkade’s art that has been unrecognized.  Examine the art of real shaman artists and their depiction of what they experienced during altered states of consciousness.  At the top is a painting by Kinkade and shaman artist Pablo Amaringo.  Pablo Amaringo’s psychedelic imagery is filled with lights and bright pastels.  Shaman artists are also painters of light, but they are painting what they have actually seen.

Check out the work of Peruvian shaman Pablo Amaringo here:  http://www.grahamhancock.com/gallery/supernatural/

When I see a Thomas Kinkade painting it reminds me of a toned down version of shaman art.  Kinkade’s version of the afterlife may not have been entirely from his imagination.  Below is an excellent video by Graham Hancock explaining the role of art, prehistoric to the present, from a shaman’s view.  It is eye opening.  Afterwards, you may not look at a Kinkade painting the same way.

Occult View may experience technical difficulties

OCCULT 6 Comments »

My blog the Occult View will be moving to a new hosting service shortly.  I expect everything to move across without mishap, but there is always the chance of technical difficulties.  If something goes amiss and the Occult View disappears, it should return shortly.  Knock on wood.

I started my blog on Christmas Day, 2008.  Why?  One cold and dreary night a week before Christmas, while walking down a blustery snowy street, I slipped on ice and badly twisted my ankle.  I was able to get to my day job utilizing crutches and a garbage bag wrapped around my swollen foot.  But at home I was not moving.  I was stuck on the couch with my foot raised and nothing to do.  So I decided to start a blog.

My first idea was a blog about doodling.  After a few minutes I realized that was a bad idea.  So I started a blog about a lifelong interest of mine: the paranormal, the occult and beliefs outside the mainstream.  I don’t sell anything on my blog.  I write because I feel these topics are important.  There really is another level to reality which is hard to see or understand.  It should not be ignored.

Upgrade Update: On Saturday December 10 my site was “suspended”.  I am using too much of this service’s server space.  I have clearly outgrown my current hosting service.  To upgrade with them could cost 4 times a month what other hosting services charge.  I don’t think so.  I am back up temporarily, but the final move has yet to be made.  My technical skills are wobbly, but I have a talented young lady who will help me.  Thank you E!

On my sidebar is a cool widget, a Flag Counter.  It shows the daily visitors to this blog.  Well, Saturday it descended into oblivion.  My worry is that people will think my site is gone and never visit again.  That is why I posted my “technical difficulties” warning ahead of time.  I’m still here!

The Esoteric Significance of the Old Man of the Mountain

OCCULT, UFO No Comments »

troll-and-old-man-of-the-mountain

Many recognize what appears to be occult symbolism in our paper currency. Take a look a the back of the dollar bill and you’ll see the famed Great Seal of the United States, with its pyramid and all-seeing eye. What about our coinage? Could there be any hidden esoteric or occult symbols in our common pocket change?

The new American State quarters introduced unique designs representing each of the 50 states. The face of the quarter is of course George Washington, America’s first president and our most famous mason. The reverse designs of the state quarters are pretty ordinary. However, one design strikes me as containing possible, albeit unintentional, esoteric significance.

old-man-of-the-mountainThe New Hampshire State Quarter has a curious design. It is a portrait of a rock formation called the Old Man of the Mountain. This formation on Mt. Cannon appeared as the face of a man when viewed from the east.  In 1945 the “Old Man” was made New Hampshire ’s State Emblem. As the state emblem it’s easy to see why they used it for their state quarter.  Unfortunately it crumbled in 2003 and no longer exists.

With the Old Man of the Mountain, what exactly are we looking at…only a tourist attraction? The Old Man is an example of pareidolia.  Pareidolia is the process of perceiving recognizable shapes in random patterns, such as seeing faces or animals in clouds. We give symbolic meaning to randomness.

But what do we really see in the formation of the Old Man of the Mountain?  Only the caricature of an old man? Out of a mountain peak emerges this gigantic, monstrous face. At first glance it appears to be an old man, but the profile actually looks quite monstrous:  the heavy brow, the jutting jaw, and the cragginess.  It looks more troll then human.

The Old Man of the Mountain could more represent a monster rather than a man, like the trolls and mountain giants of folklore.  In folklore these giant nature spirits were said to turn into stone in the sunlight.  The origin of trolls in myth may well have begun as people interpreted humanoid shaped rocks, assuming they once literally walked the earth.

Trolls and the fairy folk were used to explain strange natural events.  Mighty whirlwinds could be explained away as the work of nature spirits hurling trees about.  Of course, nonhuman entities never existed, or could they?

ufo-over-old-man-of-the-mountaionThe most curious thing about the Old Man of the Mountain is not that it may represent a nonhuman being, but that it is actually associated with true events surrounding nonhuman entities.

On September 19, 1961 Betty and Barney Hill had an alien abduction, the first that was widely publicized.  Their story was made into a movie, The UFO Incident.  Just before their abduction, they saw a UFO hovering over the Old Man of the Mountain.

Here is the incident as described in Wikipedia:

“The Hills claimed that they continued driving on the isolated road, moving very slowly through Franconia Notch in order to observe the object as it came even closer. At one point the object passed above a restaurant and signal tower on top of Cannon Mountain. It passed over the mountain and came out near the 48′ profile of the Old Man of the Mountain (New Hampshire’s State Symbol). Betty testified that it was at least one and a half times the length of the granite profile and seemed to be rotating. The couple watched as the silent, lighted craft moved erratically and bounced back and forth in the night sky.”

In New Hampshire a historical marker was erected to commemorate the Betty and Barney Hill experience.

New Hampshire commemorates Betty and Barney Hill UFO experience

Their alien abduction experience may have been extraterrestrial.  Or it may have been something else and not a physical manifestation.  Betty and Barney Hill may have had an encounter with spiritual entities that appear in many forms.  They may have had something like a shared, spontaneous shamanistic experience where they made contact with genuine nonhuman entities, but not necessarily extraterrestrial.

These entities are as old as mankind and are described in myth and legend.  The Old Man of the Mountain may be more then just a symbolic representation of these entities, but may be an area where these entities actually dwell.

George Washington, America's Great Mason

George Washington, America's Great Mason

Dollar’s All-Seeing Eye

MASONS, OCCULT 11 Comments »
Occult View's All-Seeing Eye

Occult View's All-Seeing Eye

On the back of the one-dollar bill is a symbol that has intrigued people’s imaginations.  It is the image of the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States, the famous pyramid with an eye above it.  It is such an odd looking symbol, I am not surprised it has created speculation.  Recently the symbol was used to promote the National Treasure movies and Dan Brown’s new book will be about similar topics.

dollars-national-sealMany people assume the image of the unfinished pyramid with the eye above is an occult symbol and is associated with secret organizations and the Masons in particular.  As an example of what some see in this symbol, here is an image of the dollar’s National Seal where the points of the pyramid, when developed into a hexagon, aim at certain letters which create an anagram for the word MASON.  That is an intriguing coincidence.

However, in reality there is nothing very mysterious about the National Seal.  Its symbolism has been known from the beginning.  The pyramid consists of thirteen layers, representing the original thirteen states.  The pyramid is unfinished, which symbolizes the United States as an unfinished work-in-progress.  The All-Seeing Eye above represents the Eye of Providence; suggesting God is watching over our nation and perhaps had a Hand in its continuing evolution. 

Great Seal of the United States

Great Seal of the United States

If the All-Seeing Eye represents God, it does not represent any one belief or religion, but a vague theism.  Most of the founding fathers were not religious dogmatists but viewed religion as having an equal place along side  reason and enlightenment.  Religion did not hold a special position above reason.  This also fit in with the general viewpoint of the Masons.  Individuals who held intolerant religious views often looked at the Masons as a threat to their beliefs.  Those with dogmatic religious beliefs might see the idea of freethinking as dangerous. This seems to be the only occult significance of the All-Seeing Eye, that is can represent any deity we wish.

The Evil Eye, Curses and the Law Of Attraction

LAW OF ATTRACTION, OCCULT 26 Comments »
EVIL EYE

EVIL EYE

What is a curse?  Cursing is profanity, usually uttered when something has upset us and we express our dissatisfaction verbally.  When someone drives recklessly around us we often spontaneously express our displeasure with an epitaph no one will hear.  We all have uttered a curse when something unpleasant surprises us.

The curse also has supernatural significance.  The ability to literally bless or curse someone is a cornerstone of occult practice.  The curse has a huge role in legend and folklore.  The belief in curses also had tragic consequences in real life.  There was a time when human beings were burned at the stake because the population believed they could be smitten by a curse.  People explained away their misfortune by placing blame on a scapegoat…that person over there.  Witch!   Misfortune could not possibly be the result of random chance; there must be a cause, a source for their affliction.  The idea that life was arbitrary was disconcerting.  It was more comforting to believe a witch’s curse was responsible for a tragedy; it gave a sense of order to our lives where none really existed.

Humanity is far better off that the belief in curses has faded away.  It was a truly destructive belief driven by ignorance and fear. Today the curse is considered to be only superstition.

However, there still exists a reality behind the supernatural curse.  Here is a true story.  She would never consider this to be a curse. She does not believe in such things.  I interpret it differently. 

I know a woman who was betrayed by her business partner a number of years ago.  Her relationship with this business partner was informal but they worked together towards the same goal.  She gave her partner her trust, sharing with the partner her knowledge, expertise and contacts.  This partner eventually took advantage of her trust.  When this partner knew everything she needed to know from her, the partner discarded her.  The partner locked her out of the business which the partner legally owned.  She felt a profound sense of personal betrayal.  All her efforts were stolen from her.  To say she was upset would be an understatement.  She was livid, outraged, but the circumstances left her no recourse. 

Deeply disillusioned and upset, she knew she had to move on from this experience.  Yet, she held a grudge, a very deep and enduring grudge.  Everyday she visualized that this person who betrayed her would slip outside their office and fall on her back…tumbling backwards with a terrible collapse.  It occupied her mind.  Everyday for months she visualized the same thing happening over and over, seeing this person drop on her back.  In her mind’s eye it was as if she were personally witnessing it herself.  

As the months went by she began to loose her preoccupation with what transpired. She moved on with her life.  Around six months afterwards she met a former business acquaintance of both of them.  The business acquaintance asked her if she heard what happened to her former colleague.  She said no.  He said two months after the partner and she parted company, this partner slipped on some gravel outside the entrance to the office and fell on her back. The partner broke her back.  The partner ended up in the hospital for months in a body cast.

This event happened exactly as she visualized.  She was shaken by this news.  She did not know exactly what to make of it.  She did not believe in God or the supernatural.  It eventually led her towards a different viewpoint concerning spirituality.  It inspired her to look at life in a different light.  After this event she became convinced that there was more to life then we imagine, and she sought to find out what it was.  It is ironic that this “curse” actually became a positive life-changing event for her.  It opened her eyes.

What is a true curse?  Examining the event she experienced, what she unknowingly practiced was another ancient practice.  The Evil Eye.  She had no conscious intent on cursing her former partner.  But she wished on her partner a full measure of misfortune in a very intense, focused and personal way.  She was exercising the technique of the evil eye without realizing it.  The evil eye has as long a history.  It was believed that the glare of the evil eye could cause all manner of illness and misfortune.  Talismans were used to protect against the evil eye.   The evil eye is an internalized curse.  That is what makes the evil eye dangerous.

A verbal curse is satisfying and at the same time ineffective.  After the act of verbalizing our displeasure, we feel much better and the bitterness goes away.  We release our anger.  That is the point of the verbal curse.  We swear and go on with life.

The evil eye is a different story.  The evil eye is inside our head.  The evil eye dwells on our grievances.  It is unspoken, unreleased visualized imagination and intent. This ties in with the Law of Attraction. 

The law of attraction suggests that what we think, what we feel with conviction, feeling, and purpose will become reality.  It is accepted that positive thoughts properly visualized will attract positive results in our lives.  The law of attraction says the opposite is also true, that negative thoughts and feelings will bring negative consequences. 

We can aim the law of attraction at others as well.  Most people believe in the power of prayer.  Outside of the religious aspect, to pray for someone involves the law of attraction.  Prayers and blessings use the power of positive belief not for personal benefit, but for the benefit of others.

It is also possible to aim the power of negativity at another like a weapon.  This is rarely practiced.  It is the opposite of prayer.  It is the curse, the evil eye.  I think that is exactly what this betrayed lady unconsciously did.  The law of attraction works regardless if we believe in it or not.  Focused, intense harmful visualization really is the mind’s evil eye.  Some people are more in touch with the law of attraction and can get serious results.

This is a cautionary story.  Be careful with whom we mess around with.  If we step on people on a regular basis, if we don’t care who we harm, one day we might run into someone who has the evil eye.  Perhaps not every one of life’s misfortunes is random chance.   I am sure the lady who had the broken back had no clue.

Our connection with the spiritual dimension

OCCULT, RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY 9 Comments »

spirit-plane

In my previous post I discussed the esoteric idea about different levels to existence.  At the very top of these levels is the Spirit Plane.  This is something we are all familiar with.  Most religions divide existence into the physical world and the world of Spirit.  Spirit exists outside of the laws of time/space wherein God, the angels, heaven and the dead exist. 

Can we possibility have any knowledge of this spirit world?  We seemingly don’t have any direct connection to this realm, so all appears to be conjecture.  Religious scriptures have something to say about this spirit dimension.  Christian scripture tends to be a bit vague when it comes to the world of spirit.  At the opposite side, the ancient Egyptians had an elaborate map/guesswork of what they thought happened after death.

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel

Ceremonial magicians have long thought of the spirit dimension as the source of power for their craft.  They would invoke the name of God for just about anything including the most nonsensical objectives.  What is up with medieval mages trying to summon angelic powers to find hidden treasure or curse a neighbor?  I don’t get that at all.

It is suggested that a part of our being also exists in this Spirit Plane but is inaccessible to our daily consciousness.  This part of our being has been called our Higher Genius, or Higher Self.  In the grimorie “Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage” there is a technique given called the Abramelin operation which is supposed to bring the mage into direct contact their “Holy Guardian Angel” (another name for our Higher Self) who will reveal great magical secrets to the mage. The occultist Aleister Crowley famously used this method.  I never heard of anyone actually achieving the stated results.

tunnel-of-lightsOutside of religious and occult doctrines, we have the personal experiences of people who had near-death out-of-body experiences.  Very often they encounter a tunnel of light, and after passing through it they encounter the spirit world.  They report encounters with their departed loved ones, a feeling a transcendent joy, of understanding the meaning for everything, and have a life-review where in an instant they relive all the good or bad they ever did in their lives.

Is it possible for the living to have contact with this spiritual dimension?  What is the essence of spirit?  How does spirit reflect itself in our lives?  We don’t need any hocus pocus for the answers.

My personal answer is that the nature of the spiritual dimension is Love.   Love is a part of our everyday, mundane lives.  The love for one’s spouse, the love for your children, loving your friends and neighbors…the love of all humanity is our connection with the deepest level of existence.  When a parent is toiling at working two jobs to support their family, they may not realize it but they in harmony with the purpose for our existence. 

For me, the clearest statement on the nature of spirit and love is the famous bible quote about love in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, which ends:
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

To achieve harmony with the cosmos is as simple as embracing love for all humanity. Easier said then done!  Religion is often in disharmony with the spirit of love.  Look at Islamic radicals killing people in the name of God.  That is not only disharmony but complete blindness.

loveAnother example, only a few short decades ago in the U.S., it was illegal for people of different races to marry.  People actually got arrested for it!  Why?  Because it was considered immoral and ungodly for the races to mix.  How could supposedly godly people believe in such things?  Maybe they were not in harmony with the spirit of love?  If people view other races as human beings like themselves, with love, they would not have had such views.

Today we have the controversy about gay marriage.  Again, religious people look at gays as abominations and gay marriage as an abomination multiplied.  I can appreciate people have cultural reasons for being against gay marriage, but decades from now people will look back and say, “What were those people THINKING back then??” when gay marriage is commonplace.  Just like we do today looking back at interracial marriage. 

Being in harmony with love and the spiritual dimension is not a religious matter but a personal one.  In my next post I will consider the next level of existence…the abstract level, or what might also be the anthropic principle.

The Secret of True Magic

MAGIC, OCCULT, SCIENCE, SPIRITUALITY 5 Comments »
secret of true magic

secret of true magic

The law of attraction, manifesting reality, and magic are concepts that are basically interchangeable.   The methods and techniques used to alter reality are similar when brought down to their essentials.  Essentially, it is using our thoughts to create patterns in some form of cosmic energy or vibration which then reverberates down to affect our physical existence.

The law of attraction uses control over our thought process to accomplish this.  Magic uses ritual and altered states of consciousness to achieve the same thing.  An interesting question is…how does this work?  There are vague ideas about vibrations and energies and unity with the universe.  It seems the techniques are highly developed, but the theories behind the mechanics are not.  Which is reasonable since nobody really knows how it works.  But lack of understanding won’t stop me putting in my two cents worth!

What is this cosmic vibration that manifests reality?  I will offer the ideas developed by mystics, occultists, spiritualists and cabalists.  These ideas are speculative, but make for interesting food for thought.  Above is a graphic I made to illustrate the point I will make. 

According to some mystical viewpoints, there are different levels of reality.  At the highest level is the realm of Spirit which exists outside out time and space.  We have no direct contact with this reality.  Spirit created the Big Bang as an act of creation, the ultimate manifestation of reality.   From the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe, all the levels beneath were created. 

The level below Spirit is the Abstract level.  These are the laws of reality which are revealed in mathematics.  It is not matter and not energy, but the rules that govern physicality.  It seems to be closely related to the science of quantum mechanics.  These laws created evolution…and sentient life.

The level below Abstract is the Astral level.  The astral level is the level of consciousness, sentience, the subconscious, and the mind.  The mind (Astral body) is not matter, it is not energy, and it is not only biology or even information, but something all together different then anything else in the universe.  Consciousness is unique.  It is the pinnacle of Universal creation, the big bang’s last act. 

Below the astral level is the etheric level.  This seems to be a finer form of matter invisible to us.  It is closely related to life, auras, chakra and our invisible body.  It might also be related to cosmology’s dark matter.  Not long ago the idea of an invisible world all around us would be scoffed at.  Now science recognizes that invisible dark matters makes up most of the universe’s matter, but have zero idea what it is.  It is the realm of ghosts and possibility other entities. 

Finally we have the physical world we all know, the realm understood by science, of matter and energy. 

What then is the mechanics behind magic?  The secret is that all these levels co-exist simultaneously in everything.  All individuals are made of the spirit, abstract, astral, etheric and physical levels.  According to the theory, the astral level (the mind) can send patterns up to the spirit level, and then it returns descending back down vibrating through all the levels until it reaches the physical world…manifesting reality.  The tricky part seems to be contacting the realm of Spirit which exists outside of time/space.  The techniques for magic seem to have that as the ultimate goal in one fashion or another. 

In future posts I will examine each of these levels of existence in more detail.

Witches, Wicca and popular understanding

COMICS, OCCULT, WITCHCRAFT 12 Comments »

pow

In the past, whenever Batman was mentioned in the media, it was usually accompanied by such verbal cleverness as…Wham! Bam! Pow!  Holy Batman!  This was inspired by the silly TV show from the 1960s, which was the popular cultural view of Batman.  It was obligatory for any news story about the comic book character to start off with a recognized cliche. Back when the first Michael Keaton Batman movie came out, this was common.  And today?   When Batman is mentioned now, the box office success or the acting of Health Ledger is discussed with no “Holy Cow Batman” in sight.  What happened?  The popular cultural view of Batman has changed, evolved. 

Occult hit: Witches bucking religion trend

http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/religion/1501781,CST-NWS-witch30.article

A couple days ago as I was reading the newspaper during lunch, I came across an article on page 10 of the Chicago Sun-Times.   It was a story about witches.  I was sort of taken aback, since I can’t recall when I saw an article with the word “Occult” in the headline. 

The article is a fair story concerning Wicca and “new” religions.  As a page 10 story it wasn’t hidden away in the depths of the newspaper.  Does this mean that Wicca has been accepted in our mainstream culture?  Not really.  While the article is nice, it has the same “gee whiz Batman” condescending air that shows Wicca has a long way to go in the popular imagination.  For instance, the first two lines of the article, ”They don’t toil over bubbling caldrons or cook lost kids. They have no use for flying monkeys.”  Oh please!  Cauldrons and cooked kids.  Sigh.  Wiccans are still thought to be caricatures from Halloween and the Grim Fairy tales.  When will Wicca be mainstream?   When news stories don’t begin with brooms, pointy hats and references to the Wizard of Oz. 

Another misconception is using the words “occult” and Wicca in the same breath.  They are not the same thing.  Wicca is a religion.  “Occult” is mostly a philosophical approach that touches on religion, but is really not religious.  An occultist may seek to understand and interact with a hidden reality and aspire to higher consciousness, but it does not offer information about the nature of God.  Mysticism is religious, concerning man’s attempt to have direct knowledge of God.  The witch, the mystic and the occultist are not exactly the same thing, even if one person could be all three at the same time.

On the bright side, it is nice to see alternative spirituality recognized in the media, so bravo to the Sun-Times.  On an unhappy note, the Chicago Sun-Times filed for bankruptcy this week.  The Chicago Tribune already filed for bankruptcy earlier.  What is going on with our newspapers?  I love newspapers, I am a daily reader, and I enjoy the feel of newspaper, the way the ink darkens my fingers.  It is one of life’s great simple joys, like having a cup of coffee in the morning.  Reading the news online is not the same relaxing, tactile experience as reading a newspaper.  Lets support our local newspapers!

article-about-wicca

Occult Vodka and cool marketing

OCCULT 5 Comments »

crystal-skull-vodka

I will take a nugget of an idea and see where it will take me.  With some ideas…there is not much of a nugget to work with.  I am always on the lookout for anything symbolic of the occult, just because it is so rare.  Recently I was at a store and I saw something that literally made me stop and stare. It was a bottle of vodka in the shape of a skull.  I thought to myself, “that is SO cool!”  I even took a picture with my cell phone (above).

I wanted to buy it to display, but it was $50.  Well…I had to think about how badly I needed a glass skull.  So I did not get it.  But I thought about it!  Talk about an excellent marketing gimmick.  I have yet to decide if I want this cool thing in a bookcase…but it captured my imagination.  So I checked it out online.  And behold!  I discovered something else very cool.  Dan Aykroyd has a video online promoting this glass skull vodka.  I am not selling these things.  But Aykroyd sure is!  He presents the topic ably (if tongue in cheek).  Dan Aykroyd is known for his active interest in the paranormal…and acting.

http://crystalheadvodka.com/

Using this nugget of an idea, I could write about crystals skulls.  Indiana Jones made this a concept of interest when the movie came out.  After I saw the movie I was curious about the mythology and wanted to see what it was about.   The truth is, there were no ancient crystal skulls.  They were all fairly recent in origin.  Oh well!  However, I do like the idea of the occult as a marketing gimmick. 

Since we are speaking of skulls…below is a cool and famous optical illusion…all is vanity.

all-is-vanity