Paranormal Activity 2
I enjoyed the movie Paranormal Activity 2. It effectively used subtly to scare, a neat trick. Since the movie’s pretense is fairly realistic, let’s consider if there are any real life lessons about the paranormal in the movie.
Passive acceptance versus aggressive resistance.
In the movie, the two sisters who are at the center of the malevolent activity discussed what to do about their situation. One sister (who starred in the first Paranormal Activity) suggests not talking about it and trying to ignore what was happening. She said the more they displayed fear, the stronger the entity would get. Bad move for the sisters!
Passive acceptance of such a situation would allow an entity to literally get under your skin. Actual exorcisms are thought to be an attempt to convince the possessed to reject an invading spirit. Every human being has the power to reject any outside force, IF they choose to do so. Passivity allows the spirit to become entrenched.
The flip side of the coin is aggressive resistance. In the film a Hispanic housekeeper senses something is amiss. She says prayers, and then smudges the home. Smudging is a means of purifying a space using smoke from incense or a bundle of herbs like sage. Even if the smoke is useless against a spirit, the act itself and the belief in the process strengthen the resolve of those involved. Had the housekeeper remained in the home it’s likely the story’s evil spirit would not have gotten very far.
The power of skepticism.
The movie’s husband character is a stout skeptic. He does not believe in nonsense and has rational explanations for what occurred. He is not personally involved in any paranormal activity until the end. Only the wife, teen daughter and infant experience these events. Why is that? Because they accept the possibility, he does not. It seems a spirit has to channel through the living to influence the physical world. If someone is a determined skeptic, nothing is getting channeled…period. Their skepticism is like armor. But it also means a skeptic will never experience anything paranormal on a personal level.
The movie suggests a family curse is the cause of their bedevilment. Could family curses actually exist in real life? The movie lays out the idea of a possible pact with the devil in past generations, but that makes no sense in reality. People do inherit all types of real problems, medical or behavioral, like mental illness and addiction issues. Bad blood they say. It may also be possible to inherit psychic sensitivity, like heredity witches. However the movie’s family curse idea is a lame explanation. In real life, spiritual obsession and possession happen because of something we did to invite their presence, or we had an unlucky chance encounter.
Can such things as shown in the movie actually happen? There are historical instances of poltergeists. Yet in modern times nobody has recorded anything like this happening, except for faked video. Yet, I wrote abut someone who had an encounter with what I call a growling ghost. How far could such events progress if allowed to?
Edgar Allen Poe
It appears the famous Poe Toaster has given up his yearly visit to the original grave marker of Edgar Allen Poe. Every January 19 for six decades the Poe Toaster visited the grave in the dark of night to leave three roses and half a bottle of cognac. Below is one of many new stories concerning this:
Nevermore? No mystery visitor on Poe birthday. For first time in 60 years, no one leaves roses and cognac at writer’s grave
After the holidays of December I always looked forward to January 19, the birthday of Poe, and reports of the Toaster’s annual pilgrimage to Poe’s grave. It seemed like an unofficial holiday for fans of the macabre. It added a bit of mystery and intrigue to the cheerless month of January. Who was the Poe Toaster?
Nobody knows. We can only make a few guesses about the Toaster’s motivations. The Toaster visited the grave of Poe from at least 1949 if not earlier. That was a lifetime of paying respects to Poe, a steadfast accomplishment. This was not done to gain attention, but a unique way to honor an author who at did not get the recognition he deserved in his lifetime. Did the Toaster realize this simple act of appreciation would eventually remind the world to remember Poe every year on his birthday? It did exactly that.
It is suggested the three roses left at the grave are for Poe, his wife and mother-in-law who were also buried there. As for the half bottle of cognac, what does that mean? Poe died from drinking at 40. Cognac is an ironic but strangely meaningful gift for Poe.
I had a good friend pass away from cancer a decade ago. My friend had his own problems with drinking, which he usually (not always) had under control, thanks to his wife who would give him endless grief if he veered off the rails. Yet he and I shared good times over some Goldschlager.
When my friend died he was cremated and his ashes scattered. I don’t have a place to visit to offer my respects; I wish I did. If I did, I could see myself leaving a miniature bottle of Goldschlager at his grave along with flowers as a personal gesture. I know he would have appreciated it. Perhaps the Poe Toaster was thinking the same thing, that Poe’s downfall was also his passion.
Why has the Toaster stopped this tradition? Eventually the Poe Toaster’s act of respect gradually turned into a media circus. A note said that the original Poe Toaster had passed away in 1998 and handed the task to his son. In the era of reality TV and celebrity wannabes doing anything to get on television, I really respect that father and son wanted to maintain their privacy. It seems the 200th anniversary of Poe may be the last visit by the Toaster. I don’t blame the son for not wanting the hassle anymore.
The Poe Toaster is now part of the story of Edgar Allen Poe. Will we ever see the Toaster again? I think others will take his place who have no relationship to the original. Wannabe toasters, pretend toasters. Maybe next year we’ll see three of four new Poe toasters trying to leave flowers and cognac. Is that a bad thing? Others can be inspired by the Toaster’s example.
I want to thank the Poe Toaster for bringing some light into the world every January 19. I raise a class of cognac and toast the Toaster. If I knew where he was buried, I would visit to leave a rose and perhaps a bottle of cognac as well. Salute!
January 19, 2011 update. This year the Poe toaster did not appear. It seems the tradition has truly ended:
Tell-tale letdown: Poe visitor again a no-show
I saw Avatar in wonderful 3-D. To see the movie on the big screen is something that won’t be duplicated on a TV; it is quite an experience. Avatar was very entertaining and a real crowd pleaser. I also liked how it was thoughtful at the same time.
Afterwards I pondered how spirituality and the paranormal are portrayed in science fiction films. Avatar is a spiritual movie in its own way; even it explains away it’s spiritually in physical terms. Ideally, the spiritual or supernatural shouldn’t be included in science fiction. Yet, even hard-science fiction movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey or Contact are metaphysical.
In some ways Avatar reminded me of Star Wars in combining science fiction with the spiritual. With the Stars Wars movies, it was all hardware combined with an elusive paranormal energy called the Force…clairvoyance, telepathy and telekinesis. For the times Star Wars’ mixture of technology and mysticism was appropriate, trying to insert some mystery into the absolute rule of hardcore materialism. It was as if Star Wars was trying to rediscover a popular Zen-like transcendence along with its science opera.
Avatar reminded me of Return of the Jedi, except instead of Ewoks, we have Pandora’s thundercats…the Na’vi who are bigger, bolder versions of Ewoks. However, the spirituality is different then Star Wars. With Avatar, it is about the interconnection of all life in balance with nature. The times have changed since the 1970s and 80s when cold war fears of an evil empire occupied our imagination. Now we have new fears.
The real-life consequences of technology’s triumph are environmental degradation, global warming and the near-future depletion of our natural resources. We are facing a dire future if profit is the only thing that matters. Is self-destruction worth the price of making money? Unlike the Star Wars or Star Trek worlds, in Avatar technology is literally the enemy.
The movie directly faces this question, along with domination of one culture over another. This is a movie for our times, a green movie. Unlike Star War’s Force, there is no dark side. Predator and prey are equal. This movie’s dark side is simply ignorance, profit seeking and carelessness.
Paranormal Activity Paramont Films
The supernatural has long been a staple of movies. Yet movies that treat the paranormal as reality are not common. There is a distinction between using the magical as grist for special effects and considering them thing as real. As an example, The Exorcist was a film about the spiritual/supernatural while a film like Poltergeist or Ghostbusters were great entertainment that had nothing to do with the genuinely paranormal. Poltergeists might be real, but they don’t open gateways to other dimensions or make houses vanish.
A couple of movies that tackle the topic of the paranormal are Paranormal Activity and The Men Who Stare at Goats.
Paranormal Activity is famous for having been made with a budget of $15,000 and making over a hundred million dollars at the box office. Its limited budget is part of the movie’s appeal since it had to portray the paranormal in a realistic manner without over-the-top special effects. Scares come from little things…lights turning on spontaneously in the hallway or the sound of unseen footsteps by the bed while the couple sleeps. Paranormal Activity does bring up a question.
Can ghosts be dangerous?
It is said true ghosts are harmless, and so they are. There really is nothing to fear from a ghost. But this movie is not dealing with a ghost but demonic activity. Inhuman, infernal entities can be quite dangerous.
The movie portrays what is called demonic obsession. Demonic obsession is different then demonic possession -exorcist style. Spiritualists believe negative entities can sometimes latch onto an individual like a parasite and try to inject the entity’s thoughts into the mind of their host. The obsessed individual will feel these are his or her own ideas when they are actually the entity’s. These thoughts will be irrational, self-destructive, and harmful to others. Spiritual obsession is a danger involved with opening one’s self to contact with the spirit world. It may occur more often then anybody imagines. If someone is passive in the face of obsession and allow these thoughts to persist, they could become entrenched.
Another paranormal film is The Men Who Stare at Goats. This film is loosely based on actual government programs to develop psychic abilities like remote viewing as tools for spying or as weapons. The film views such activities as a farce. The movie also brings up a question.
Can anyone harm another by simply willing it?
This may seem impossible but it could happen in real life. In the past I wrote about something like this. I know someone who was cheated in a business deal. This person was so upset, everyday for months she visualized the person who wronged her would trip and fall backwards on their back outside the office. This was not done with the intention of actually causing anything to happen; it was just her response to deep-seated anger.
Three months later this happened almost exactly as she visualized. The person tripped by their office and broke their back, ending up in a body cast for months. The power of intense, persistent visualization can cause harm. However, this is not instantaneous like staring at a goat and having it drop dead. The lesson here is beware whom we wrong because not every misfortune we suffer might be just an accident.
Anyone can try this as an experiment on somebody we don’t like, but there is a danger involved. There is a long-standing tradition that if a curse fails, the effect will return onto the curser. Blowback. In addition, dwelling in negative energy is not good for our soul or body. Negativity can cause all types of physical illnesses.
Some aspects of the paranormal are best left alone.
I was invited to visit the annual World of Faeries festival by a friend. I like faeries so I was happy to join Jamie and his family. I’ve never been to this annual festival before which was held in South Elgin, IL. The weather was overcast and windy, with the threat of rain at any minute. Somehow it seemed appropriate for a fairy festival, since fairies very much symbolize the captiousness of the natural world. The faeries of legend can be friendly one day and hostile the next, and as nature spirits they reflect nature.
Many of the attendants were dressed up in fairy and medieval costumes. A lot of the costumes were really elaborate. It did feel like we had entered fairyland. There were tents selling all types of fairy related crafts, a lot of cool stuff. They had performers. Above is a picture of a crowd pleaser, a performer who created huge bubbles that floated through the air as the children chased after them. The music included the Elven Drummers. My favorite was a lady who would freeze and appear to be a statue (pictured left below).
Jamie joked that maybe some of the people here were real fairies. That jest might not be purely a jest. It was held in a park by a river at a natural area. A gathering of fairy friendly humans might actually attract the attention of the invisible fairy folk. The idea of wearing masks and pretending to be fairies is a method to summon the wee people. Did anybody possess the second sight to actually spot one?
Jamie is a pagan and he ran into number of fellow pagans he knew at this event. I thought about the significance of the faerie in paganism. Christianity has its angels and paganism has faeries. Bird’s wings symbolize angels while butterfly wings symbolize faeries. Angelic folklore and faerie folklore seem to express the same desire to touch the “other”, to contact benevolent spiritual entitles who sometimes interact with humanity.
To what extent does the faerie of popular imagination reflect the faerie of folklore and reality? I think the fairy of popular culture does not represent the real thing. The fairy of folklore was not a sugarplum, Victorian style fairy that rode on caterpillars. They don’t have butterfly wings. Unless we imagine them that way. With their glamour they would appear to us anyway we visualize them.
The faerie of folklore were dangerous beings. Long ago people would use pleasant names to refer to them, such as the “People Of Peace”. Why? So as not to offend them. To offend the faeries was to bring peril into your home. The People Of Peace did not suffer fools gladly. Encounters with the faerie folk were an exercise in diplomacy. The faerie did not think the same way human beings did. They essentially had an alien mentality. They shared some common elements with humanity, but most of their thinking could be considered…non-human.
The UFO abduction phenomena seem to be the faerie folk at work in the modern world. They still interact with humanity, at the time and place of their own choosing. And it is not a pleasant experience for those who make “contact”. Based on these modern true real life encounters with the Wee People (Grays), our image of fairies as cute things is the result of popular culture and not reality. Try to imagine butterfly wings on Grays as they abduct your astral body.
As for the festival, I liked a vendor who crafted some nice leather facemasks (below). I like to dress up for Halloween parties, but finding a classy mask that allows me to breath is not easy. His masks were great, and he can customize a mask if you wish. When Halloween comes around I might be giving him a call. His booth and his business card are below.
James Bond Tarot
- Movie Tarot Imagery
For something as intriguing as tarot cards, I’d imagine the tarot would be more recognized in our popular culture then it is. I can’t think of many films where the tarot was involved. One film is Woody Allen’s “Scoop” where tarot cards played a minor role.
Perhaps the film that stands out using tarot cards as a significant plot device was the 1973 James Bond film “Live and Let Die”. This was Roger Moore’s first time playing James Bond. This is not a movie review, but a look at the use of tarot cards in film.
The deck created for ’Live and Let Die’ is called the “Tarot of the Witches” designed by Fergus Hall. At the time the movie came out it was marketed as the James Bond 007 Tarot. The is not a typical deck. The art is bold, colorful and surrealistic. The characters have tiny little hands and feet.
Otherwise the deck follows the standard tarot format. I understand why the filmmakers would use such a colorful deck. It stood out visually in the movie. If you look carefully at the back of the cards you’ll see a stylized “007” pattern.
How realistic was tarot reading portrayed in the film? The card reading character was a Bond Girl, aptly named Solitaire (played by Jane Seymour) who had the power of clairvoyance. Her power was hereditary, passed down from her mother who had the same abilitiy.
The villain in the film was Kananga and he used Solitaire’s clairvoyance for his own sinister purposes. Implausibly, Solitaire’s clairvoyance was never wrong. Yeah, that is pure fantasy. The process of card reading involved elaborate costumes. Otherwise, notice the Celtic Cross layout in one of the images.
A plot element was her clairvoyance existed only if Solitaire remained a virgin. Her virginity (and her usefulness to the criminals) was obviously in jeopardy with Bond mulling around.
When Bond first encounters Solitaire, she speaks to him while reading her cards. She said, “I know who you are and what you are and why you come. You made a mistake. You will not succeed. The cards have followed you for me.”
Bond seems to believe in Solitaire’s abilities, but he is also uninterested in her power. If I were a secret agent and discovered someone with her amazing abilities, for sure I’d report her to intelligence. Forget the bad guy. Then again, maybe not. Who would believe? He really didn’t appreciate the significance. The villain sure did. In real life there are accounts of governments employing psychics and remote viewers. But no. Bond only wants to chase bad guys and have nookie with the girls.
Bond cleverly uses Solitaire’s belief in the cards to his advantage, seducing her by using a stacked deck. After sex, she tells Bond “The power…I’ve lost it. The High Priestess is wife to the Prince no longer of this world. The spiritual bridge to the secret church. It was my fate. By compelling me to earthly love, the cards themselves have taken away my powers. It makes no difference. The physical violation cannot be undone. When he finds out I’ve lost my power…”
This is an odd statement. Does it have any connection whatsoever with real-life spirituality? What to make of the movie’s association of virginity with clairvoyance? It’s only a plot contrivance. I don’t know any authentic spiritual practice that requires virginity for spiritual development, outside the Catholic Church. If anything, a card reader should have a full life experience. It would aid in card reading, not inhibit it.
The silliness aside, it is nice to see a movie with the tarot in full display, even if it is portrayed fantastically. The presence of tarot imagery in popular culture is uncommon enough, that anytime I see it I think it is worth noting and recording. Also noteworthy is another tarot deck featured in this movie, the famous Rider-Waite deck. Can you spot all of them in the images? There are quite a few. The Rider-Waite deck is the real deal, not movie making.
Bulgarians are fascinating people. Their culture is very old and very deep. This past March I was given a delightful Bulgarian gift…martenitsa! I received a selection of martenitsa. They are only available in Bulgaria before March and disappear until the following year. I’ll have to wait until next March to get more. They are symbolic gifts with a historic background. What is the significance of the Martenitsa?
Ok, what is a martenitsa? A martenitsa is something to be worn. In Bulgaria, they have a tradition of giving a martenitsa as an act of friendship and affection. On the first day of March they give these tiny gifts to people they care for, to wear or put around their wrist. Martenitsa come in a variety of shapes, sizes and formats, but they have this in common. Martenitsa are made of thread, and are composed of two colored threads, white and red. I was told many Bulgarians end up wearing dozens of these tiny decorations. They became similar to walking Christmas trees with red and white ornaments, if only for a day or two. Martenitsa is considered a blessing for the year ahead and a sign of affection.
Martenitsa worn on wrists
In Bulgaria they have a holiday called Baba Marta, which means “Grandmother March”. It is a holiday to celebrate the beginning of spring, and kissing off winter. Baba Marta is a mystical figure of an old lady who symbolizes March, with wild mood swings just like their weather. Some March days might be nice, but on another day Grandmother March could drop a blizzard. Baba Matra symbolized how natue was temperamental and our desire to embrace spring.
March weather in Bulgaria can be rough, like an unending winter. Bulgaria’s climate is similar to my hometown Chicago, and March in Chicago is a desperate hope for winter to end. After a long winter, the need for the snow to stop and summer to start becomes palatable. Maybe a key to understanding the martenitsa is its premature celebration of the end of a long winter and the beginning of spring. It symbolizes hope that better days are soon ahead.
Chicago could use such a holiday. Chicago’s version of the martenitsa is the city parking ticket.
It is said the martenitsa’s white threads symbolize the snow of winter, and the red threads represent the beginning of summer with the reflection of a sunset. Angry Grandmother March finally gives sway to summer. Yet, I think there is more to this symbolism. The shape of the martenitsa often represents male and female figures along with red and white threads. Part of this symbolism is a touching legend in Bulgarian culture about tragedy concerning a brother and sister, with red and white representing blood on white clothing.
The symbolism of red and white is also a powerful fertility symbol representing male and female. Grandmother March departs and summer begins the cycle of life. With spring comes fertility and procreation. Folklore is full of this symbolism. Consider the symbolism of the Easter bunny and Easter eggs. The symbolism of fertility is very old. Looking at the male and female versions of the martenitsa, the fertility symbolism becomes clear to me. A fertility blessing is not only for procreation. It’s also for a healthy family life. and good fortune. And necessarily a healthy society for our children. For civilization. Exchanging martenitsa is an act of shared community.
As a public service, the Occult View’s End-of-the-world Warning System has been lowered from RED ALERT (imminent end of the world) to GREEN ALERT (remain watchful). It seems the danger of humanity’s collapse due to the swine flu has passed…for now.
However, this warning system might return to red alert at any instant. There has been speculation as to the cause of the swine flu. The Occult View has conducted an investigation into the cause of the swine flu. We have been able to “connect the dots” where others have not to discover the TRUE nature of what has transpired. The world’s governments do NOT want the truth to be told! But as a service to humanity, we are compelled to reveal the results of our investigation.
Reptile Threat Documentary Footage
To understand the origin of the swine flu, we have to go back to the 1950s and 1960s Japan. Having observed documentaries about a giant reptile that threatened the island nation, I made a stunning observation. These documentaries showed the Japanese military wore white gloves as they defended their nation against this threat. This is the vital missing clue! Obviously they wore white gloves to protect themselves from the swine flu!
Now it is 2009 and the same lizard has been sighted in Mexico City during the swine flu pandemic. Mere coincidence? Observe the following news stories:
April 27 2009:
MEXICO CITY Swine flu shuttered Mexico’s government operations, schools, and many private businesses, and canceled church services and public Cinco de Mayo festivities.
April 27 2009:
MEXICO CITY A strong earthquake is rattling nerves in Mexico City, where the swine flu outbreak has already stirred up fear. The magnitude-5.6 quake swayed tall buildings and sent office workers running into the streets.
There is one conclusion…the swaying buildings and running office workers were the result of this giant lizard in Mexico City. Since most people were indoors to avoid contact with the flu, most residents did not actually see this giant lizard. Yet its presence was clearly felt. Is this creature is the source of the contagion? Any actual evidence of this creature has been suppressed.
However, the Occult View has obtained the following photographic evidence (below) taken at the time of the earthquake. Look carefully and you might spot the cause of both the earthquake and the swine flu. The important question is…where and when will this disease-bearing creature appear next? At the next sighting, we will raise our End-Of-The-World Alert System to RED.
An UPDATE, check out this site for further supporting evidence: Mexico: Really Big Footprints
Mexico during Earthquake
Obama's Star Trek Connection
I thought I’d write about Obama’s Star Trek connection. It is a little known fact, and one of the reasons he is president today. I am from Illinois, so I’ve watched the rise of Obama from the beginning. During Obama’s 2004 run for the Illinois Senate, he was up against a new Republican candidate Jack Ryan. Jack Ryan was an attractive, fairly moderate guy who would have given Obama a real run for the Senate seat.
However, there was a “scandal” that really wasn’t a scandal and Jack Ryan withdrew from the general election. What alleged scandal? Jack Ryan used to be married to the actress Jeri Ryan, best know for her role as Seven of Nine in the TV series ‘Star Trek Voyager’. Jeri Ryan played the role of a former Borg returned to humanity…while dressed in a spandex jumpsuit! Jack and Jeri divorced in 1999, and their divorce records were sealed. Yet these divorce records were opened during the campaign, and in them were allegations that Jack wanted Jeri to go to sex clubs and have sex in public.
Well…we’d expect the Democrats to jump all over this alleged scandal. Nope, they didn’t. The Democrats were “ho-hum…nobody else’s business”. It was Ryan’s own fellow Republicans who jumped on it. The family values crowd went ballistic! It looked like Ryan was forced out by the right-wing of his own party, who were not happy with a married man wanting to (allegedly) do the kinky with his wife.
The right wing of the Illinois Republican party then picked the PERFECT candidate to replace Jack Ryan. Who else but Alan Keyes? Keyes was an African American religious-right conservative activist best know for his social issue advocacy, and who had no connection with Illinois. It was as if the Illinois Republicans had lost their minds. Obama won, 70% to 27%. Since then the Republican Party in Illinois has totally collapsed. We used to have a healthy two party system in this state, but since the Right took over the Republican Party they have shrunk into irrelevance.
The self-destructiveness of the right-wing of the Republican Party is interesting. Just now Senator Alan Specter left the Republican Party to become a Democrat handing Obama a filibuster proof Senate. What happened to the Illinois Republicans seems to be replaying itself on the national scene. The Republicans are on the way to becoming marginalized and irrelevant. What political party prospers by purifying (purging) their membership of moderates? The Democrats did the opposite and ran moderate or conservative Democrats in Republican districts with great success.
Geithner demonstrating Vulcan nerve pinch
On another note…has anybody noticed that President Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner looks suspiciously like a Vulcan? Every time I see him on television, I think he does. Those arched eyebrows, those odd looking ears, the unblinking stare and the furrowed brow. Even his name Geithner has a Vulcan sound to it. Could the Vulcans have infiltrated the highest branches of our government? Should we be concerned? Check out these photos…what do you think? Vulcan or not?