Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

God Jul

Merry Christmas – Happy Channucka – God Jul – Merry Yule – Merry Saturnalia – Happy Winter Solstice

Tobias

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Winter Solstice 2009

And so, once again we are faced with a winter solstice. Who could’ve guessed a year ago that this would be where everything would be now? Well, to be fair, in the world at large nothing much has really happened. Most things that sucked in 2008 still sucks, and most awesome things are still awesome. Google grows ever more big-brotherish, people keep losing interest in Microsoft, Apple is the only company ever to successfully combine a hippie attitude with fascistic leadership and control, and so on.

I guess one difference is that SAAB won’t be around any longer. As a Swede and SAAB fan, this is sad. But I can’t seriously say I’m surprised. They haven’t turned a profit for years, and closing the factory down is the only sane thing to do at this point. Let the brand die with some dignity intact. I do feel for the workers in Trollhättan though. It’s not a fun Christmas for them…

Anyway, 2009 has in many ways been playing on the line “That’s one small step for mankind, one giant leap for Toby!”. This has, as I’ve been more than alluding to for a while, been one of the thorniest years I’ve ever known. The personal tragedies have reached an all time high in my life, and all I can hope for is that it will start to numb off after a year of being alone. That’s what all the books, therapists and doctors say, anyway. I wish I knew. Right now I want nothing more than to not be alone, especially during the holidays. But at the same time, I don’t think I would do any girl any justice at the moment. I still hurt too much.

I still ask myself how I could let one person hurt me so. And the answer is simply, I let her into my heart. I’ve never done that before her. Sure, friends and so on, but no matter how good a friend, there are always places they can’t go, where a lover can. Not just physically, but in every way! I just hope I can repair the damage enough to dare let some one new in.

At the beginning of this whole debacle, I almost admired my then wife for actually daring to do it. In my state of numbness that was all I could do. It’s like when I had to people who were very important to me die within two days of each other, and at the funerals all I could think was that the guitar playing was squeaking, and I almost burst out laughing at it. Emotional overload. As I still loved my wife, I thought, hoped that we could still be friends, and that maybe one day she’d see the error of her way and come back. Foolish, I know.

Instead all sorts of shit happened. To not go into slander, let’s suffice to say that she calls it an honest mistake, I call it being devious, two-timing and backstabbing. I have more or less broken all ties with her, and my therapist, my doctor and some of my friends are adamant that I keep to that. And I intend to. I’ve seen her on her own, and her and the man she, according to me at any rate, left me for. It leaves me cold, tear-stained and unable to think clearly for a week or more. So, no, that will not be something I will take up again.

My main problem with that is that we are Goddess-parents to a little girl. Both I and my ex knew the mother before we met so I believe we both feel obligated to be there. I will be there for the girl, but I will not attend her first birthday party, because my ex-wife will be there, and for all I know the person I for legal reasons will reefer to as her boyfriend. Don’t know how that will work-out in the long run, but for now it doesn’t matter all that much. She turns one in February.

Anyway, 2009 was crap. And I even thought it would be a great year. Shows you how much I know… Well, at least 2010 can’t really get any worse? That’s something, isn’t it?

So, since it is the Winter Solstice, Yule, I have this to say:

I hail thee, Goddess of the land,

I hail thee, the newborn God,

I hail thee, oh holy trinity of Earth, Moon and Sun,

You will rise again, I will rise again,

We will not be beaten down like grain,

Like Spring, we will rise from the ashes, stronger and more powerful than ever before,

The world shall look on in awe, as the power of the God grows, as the splendour of the Goddess becomes apparent,

And I will bathe in your glory, as will all things that are good and true!

All Hail the Universe, All Hail the Goddess, All Hail the newborn God!

Tobias

Halloween!

I feel a little like Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter right now. I’m sitting here thinking about death. Yes, dear readers, it’s that time again; Halloween.

I just had a small, informal ceremony by the fire under the oak. I prayed a little, I thought a lot, gazed at the moon, remembering the dead. I even had my wedding rings out, to try to say goodby to that life. It is time to move on. It will be tough, it will be hard. But I want to find someone new, and I need to let my old life go. I think today was a step in the right direction.

Another thing I did, was thinking about my previous lives. I am a believer in reincarnation, though I can’t claim to know how it works. I do believe one of my recent lives was that of a lowly soldier, in either the French or British army. I think I died during the Great War, and I think I bled to death from a shot in either my chest or my stomach. Why do I believe this? Because I’ve done some self-hypnosis, some meditation etc. on the topic, and this is one of the lives I’ve found. I can remember what it felt like to bleed to death. Does that make it true? No, it could be a false memory of course, but to me it was an extremely vivid experience. I can’t really explain it as such, but please feel free to ask about it! Some day I hope to do a “real” regression, and see if I can find out more.

This was just a short musing over death and Halloween. I hope you enjoy it, if you have anything you want to ask about this samhain thing, or have anything you want to tell me about what you think or feel about death, Halloween etc. please, I love to discuss it!

Happy Halloween to everyone!

Tobias

Who can be a druid?

Recently I found my self at a party in the north (well, Småland…) and after a while the subject turned to the meaning of the word druid. What does it mean to be a druid? Who decides who can call him/her self a druid? Does the word druid mean anything if it means different things to everyone? Neina recently blogged about all this, and I thought I’d add my two ¢ to the mix.

What does the word mean? This is a tricky question, even though it seems it would mean something like “the wise one” in a literal sense, even though we are not quite sure. But that is a general term if ever there was one. But it still offers an interesting thought. If it means that the person attached to that epithet is wise, that would suggest that you have to earn the title from someone. But who would that be? An election-style grove? Certainly. Given that the grove and/or order in question is anything like reasonable, getting your self chosen to become a druid should be a guarantee that you do hold some wisdom, at least in the eyes of the elders of that grove/order. In addition it could be an application style one as well, since the goal would be the same: screening. Possibly your friends could refer to you as “a wise one” as well, that is; society gives you the title, but needless to say, that is a lot less common these days…

Arhc Druid in Robe

So, it would seem that if you define “druid” as someone who is wise, then you can’t really give your self that title. But at the same time, I do think you could use it as a solitary for instance. That would mean though, that the literal meaning of druid means less to be wise. You can call your own person wise, but in the tradition of Socrates, that would be considered unwise… In the discussions at said party, most seem to hold the position that anyone could call them selves druids, as long as they were true druids. Needlessly to say, there is a flaw or two in that argument. Also they were very keen on separating wicca/witches and druids by saying that wiccans were much more dogmatic, needing paraphernalia and physical altars to do their thing. That is an issue for another day, as I do not agree.

Thinking about it, it doesn’t bother me that people call them selves druids. But, at the same time, the word needs to be defined in other ways. My thoughts on this would be that true persons would know if they can call them selves druids or not, but the world doesn’t work that way. Maybe the simple truth is that it has to be defined through deeds rather than definitions, at least in the solitary sense. If you do x you are a druid. What would x be? Well, I would list a certain respect for nature, connections with the spirits and gods, a will to know and learn etc. But it is still not enough of a definition.

Does this render the word meaningless? Yes, and no. In essence it could be argued that all the words we use are meaningless. They mean what they mean, because we have decided to decipher them in common ways. So to complicate matters further, I think that you can call your self a druid, and also say that someone else is not a druid, provided that you also define what you mean by being or not being a druid. 

Problems will arise in the confrontation between solitaries and grove members. I think the only way to solve that gordian knot, is to add “solitary” or “initiatory” as an epithet to the title.

Thus, in conclusion, I think that anyone can call him/her self a druid, but they need to realise that it is a complicated term, and they need to be ready to answer questions about why they call them selves that. If the answer is simply: “I’m initiated”, then fair cop to you. But if it’s you are a solitary druid, be prepared to talk of your deeds.

Obviously there are other questions surrounding this issue, and not everyone would agree with me. But this is a start. Let’s not forget, that even though the seeds of the neopagan tree are old, the tree it self is actually, at best, only circa a hundred years old. And maybe we need to accept that even if a tree has only one stem, it does have plenty of branches and roots.

/ | \ Thobias

 

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

TwilightChicken – India Style

One thing I truly love is indian food. And, wile you can get very good Indian food in Lund at New Delhi or Govindas, both those restaurants have at least two problems. 1. I don’t live close by (arguably not their fault, but there you are) and 2. it costs money to eat there. On point number two; is it worth it – yes – but as a student and Web 2.0 guy, money comes in very thin streams.

So what is a dude to do? Well, make up your own recipe, and make it as cheap as possible. The most expensive part of this dish is the chicken, otherwise most of the ingredients are fairly basic.

Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • Chicken legs, 2-4 should do it.
  • Ghee or butter for frying.
  • 3-4 cans of tomatoes. (The crushed kind.)
  • At least 3-4 big onions, but you can have lots more if you want to.
  • 1 whole garlic. (Yes, garlic, not clove!)
  • 1-2 cubes of bullion.
  • Coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, garam masala. (All these are powdered by the way.)
  • 3-5 dl of yogurt and/or cream.

Start by chopping the onion, small but don’t be to neat. It will all mix when boiled anyway. Next, peel the garlic. Melt the butter or ghee (tastes better with gee, but not necessary) and start frying the onion and garlic. Throw in the spices and plenty of it. Say a tablespoon of turmeric and ginger, and between 2 and 3 tablespoons of coriander and cumin. The garam masala is used as you feel, I tend to go rather heavy on it to… (If you like these spices, add, if you don’t, take a little less.)

When you’ve stirred all this together you will find that you have a brownish ‘goo’, now it’s time for the chicken. The legs can be done whole, or split in two (drum and thigh), depending on what you need/want. Let them fry with the onion mush for a little while, then pour in the cans of tomato; all of them. Let it boil away at mid temperature and add the bullion and the yogurt.

When the chicken is done and the sauce has started to get a bit creamy, add more spices if necessary. It is ready to be served. A few suggestions would be to serve it with papadums or naan, salad, pickled onion, raita and orange. To drink I really do suggest you get some Cobra beer. It’s delish’ with Indian dishes over all. If you have the time I would also recommend that you leave it over night, and serve it the day after. It will be even better.

Enjoy – You can’t live on philosophy alone!

Thobias

Another blog

I really do urge you to check out my post Froudianism on the pagan Hyllebær blog, and also Neinas Beltaine och bilder. Yes they are in Swedish, but A. try and be a little international, and B. you don’t need to know the language to check out the links!

May you stay cool in this May heat!

Thobias