“So Mr. Obama thinks Mr. Putin is on the wrong side of history? Well, let's talk about history.
America failed after the August Putsch 1991. The USA should have taken the opportunity, overcome the cold war rhetorics and find peace with Russia. It would have been so easy with Boris Yeltsin. The democratics process in Russia would have taken the wind out of the ultranationalist sails. But the US chose to encircle Russia with nuclear weapons during the last two decades.
So who's on the wrong side of history?
Putin may not be the nicest guy in the world but it is him or Russia's ultranationalist hardliners.
It's very simple: The Krym is lost. What happens with Ukraine today is what happened with Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Just another former artificial multinational satellite state of the USSR collapsing.
The last thing Europe needs is a second Yugoslavia or another cold war.
“I always wondered why so many American people believe in creationism while Europeans do not.
Maybe it's because Europeans can literally visit the remains of all those old human cultures: artifacts from the Lower Paleolithic, burial sites from the Middle Paleolithic, beautiful cave paintings from Upper Paleolithic, settlements, burial places and artifacts from Mesolithic to the La Tène culture, remains from Neanderthal and Cro Magnon, Linear Pottery cultures, Megalith cultures.
Europe is one big archaeological site, the evidence is simply overwhelming.”
dougped63 on Feb 10, 2014 at 17:47:19
“Is Europe dumbed down by television shows like Big-Foot, Ancient Aliens, or the Kardashians?”
SlamuelJoseph on Feb 7, 2014 at 09:47:08
“The Americas are one big archeological site as well. This is not the problem. The problem is American politics. The liberal/conservative divide in America has created a situation where the conservative half of the country is in open rebellion to anything they associate with liberalism. Like a teenager rebelling against his parents, American conservatives resist anything they associate with liberals. This unfortunately includes education, science and reason.”
“Thank you for your inspiring remarks. The Wild Hunt is a very fascinating subject reflecting two very different religious ways of the early European history.
It's only a hypothesis, but it seems reasonable to assume the wild huntsman Odin/Wodan is of Proto-Indo-European origin, whereas the wild huntswoman is old European.
Proto-Indo-European male deities represented specific functions (ruling caste, military caste, producing caste, as depicted in the Celtic, Germanic, Greek etc. pantheons), whereas PIE female deities were associated with places, rivers, local natural phenomena. As they migrated, the tribes left most of their female deities behind and absorbed the local female deities of their new home.
PIE were nomadic herdsmen, old Europeans were farmers; PIE goddesses are mainly cow and horse goddesses or goddesses bound to land/home (like Hestia, the goddess of the open hearth), whereas old European goddesses kept their powers and their wild, unbound character represented by bears, deer, birds etc.
I conclude the huntswoman Percht must represent a very old European goddess, most certainly a bird goddess: long nose, feather-snow (e.g. Grimm's tale), residing in a cave or a dark forest (netherworld), spindle (wisdom and fate), in company of nature spirits (fertility).
DavidTom on Nov 3, 2013 at 15:19:14
“Are you familiar with the "Mythago Wood" novels of the late Robert Holdstock? "Lavondyss", the second book in his original trilogy, is the story of a young girl, Tallis Keeton, who enters Ryhope Wood (Mythago Wood), located in Herefordshire (now Hereford and Worcester) England, and journeys back to her mythological/folkloric roots, and is transformed into a kind of bird goddess. Check it out, SubspaceEcho, if you haven't already. I think you'll find the book meaningful. But if you do, I suggest you read "Mythago Wood", the first book in the series, before reading "Lavondyss", as Mythago Wood contains the exposition, the set up, for "Lavondyss".”
DavidTom on Nov 3, 2013 at 15:10:38
There is some evidence that the pre-Woden male co-leader of The Wild Hunt was named "Wode", meaning rage, frenzy, fury (in modern German…"wüten": to rage). And the name Woden derived from this name, and meaning…Master of the Wode. The Wild Woman, a mythological/folkloric figure of medieval Europe, has ancestors all the way back to ancient Greece, and the goddess Artemis, the Roman Diana, who's most often evoked as the Wild Woman's forerunner, and throughly demonized by the Church. I would concur that birds are as much as symbol of the Great Mother/Great Goddess as bears, pigs, and deer. The symbolic association of a female divinity with birds goes all the way back to the Sumerian/Babylonian (and later Hebrew) Lilith, goddess of the Dark Feminine, who was depicted with bird's feet and wings, and lived in trees.”
DavidTom on Nov 3, 2013 at 14:40:07
“Not sure I would put "Proto" in front of "Indo-European, SubspaceEcho. The ancestors of the Germans were Indo-Europeans, part of that long migration west, out of the steppes of southern Asia. Often fleeing other tribes moving west themselves. Woden/Wotan is another expression of an Indo-European archetypal divinity: masculine sky gods, associated with the phenomena of the weather. Like the sky god Dyaus, Dies, Dios, Deus, and Deu Pater; that Indo-European invaders brought into the Balkan Peninsula in the 2nd millennium BC, where his name became Zeus.
The Wild Hunt, and its participants, The Wild Horde, certainly existed before the arrival of the Indo-European god Woden. When the stormy, thunderous nights were experienced as the Wild Horde/Hunt riding across the night sky. Led by a pre-Germanic female divinity of, as you write, local origin. A proto-wild woman, if you will, who, following the pattern when an older matriarchal religion encounters a newer patriarchal, first has a partnership with the male deity, but is then subordinated.”
“Well, 'pagan' is only a generic term used to denote a multitude of fragmentary beliefs, superstitions, esoteric trends, occult groups, New Age movements, pre-Christian reconstructionist religions, animist religions, neoreligious movements etc. that are non-compliant with traditional mainstream religions.
Nobody ever attempted to bring order in that tangled mass and Wikipedia is not very consistent on that subject.
Wicca is a very special case as it is oscillating somewhere between reconstructionism and an early 20th century neoreligious movement. There is a strong reconstructionist branch in parts of the UK, outside, it is mainly (and I say explicitly 'mainly' because there are exceptions) a neoreligious movement, sometimes with a slight esoteric New Age touch. That's almost unavoidable, the farther you are away from the source and the core of a religion, the more diluted it gets, and the more it gets diluted, the more it will be inclined to build legends. That's how religions are built since the first Indoeuropean migrations ca. 6000-7000 BC.
But I understand what you mean. Several years ago, I held a presentation on the origins and elements of tarot in Berlin. When I started explaining that the Egyptian symbolism in the Thoth deck wasn't related to any old mystery religion in Egypt, but a typical western obsession of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Thelemites in the first rows almost fainted. ;)”
"The Department of State's Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia oversees the bilateral economic, security, democracy, and humanitarian assistance of all U.S. Government agencies providing assistance to 18 states of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe."
The countries in question are Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Central Asia.
You do know that none of them is a member of the European Union, do you?
For your information: former Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact countries today member of the European Union (and donor nations themselves) are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.”
“People like Crowley, Mathers or Waite only amalgamated some occult beliefs. They can't even be characterised as 'pagans'. Rosicrucians, freemasons, occultists, alchemists, kabbalists are no pagans. All those occult disciplines are Christian (besides, the occult Kabbala is a catastrophe), not to mention that misleading Egyptomania.”
DavidTom on Oct 30, 2013 at 11:36:05
“Arthur Edward Waite, for all his interest in and writings about…the esoteric, occult and so-called secret societies, was a devout Christian. One of the primary themes of his book, "The Holy Grail: History, Legend and Symbolism", is to debunk all the various versions of the Grail Legend except for the Christian version, which Waite saw as the one true Grail Legend, that the Grail is the cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. However, in his attempt to "Christianize" the Grail material, he had a real problem with Merlin. Merlin is thoroughly pagan, and cannot be Christianized. Waite refers to Merlin as "the Prophet and Magician", adding the biblical word "prophet" to ameliorate the pagan connotations of "magician". But for the most part, Waite avoids discussing Merlin as much as possible in his book.
One of the most unique and interesting theories about the nature of the Grail (and the Lance) is put forth by Jesse L. Weston in her thought-provoking book, "From Ritual To Romance". A.E. Waite hated Miss Weston's book, and never misses an opportunity to harshly criticize "From Ritual To Romance" and Miss Weston, in his book.
Bad form, Arthur…”
LiberalLee on Oct 30, 2013 at 10:28:17
“Crowley was an old goat that was more interested in getting under your robes than honoring She and He.”
“I personally have a penchant for the good old 'Leichenschmaus', the funeral party. A little altar with a picture of the deceased, a few candles, maybe a nice incense blend (elder tree, juniper, lavender, sandalwood), a good meal, good wine and good friends celebrating the life of the deceased by telling good anecdotes.”
“It is true that there are no writings as the Celt and Germani cultures (and their predecessors) were based on oral traditions. It's a problem for polytheistic reconstructionsts. We don't have many references, but we have some: Roman chronicles, archeology and folklore.
I am a reconstructionist, therefore aware that there is and will always be discontinuity between then and now. That's why it's called 'reconstructionism' (surprising, I know :).
Fortunately, the pre-Christian religions never disappeared completely. Christianisation in Europe has been a long, irregular and sometimes violent process. What people know today as 'Christianity' is in reality roughly thousand years old. The missionaries didn't erase the previous cultures and traditions, they simply pulled their beliefs over the pre-Christian religions like a clothe.
The best is to simply explore the history of the local area and folkore, because all these cults were local cults, so if there are some remnants to find, they will only be found in local traditions.
I am lucky to live where I live, so many cultures left traces: settlements of Linear Pottery and Corded Ware cultures, Bronze Age tombs, stone ringforts, Roman temples and many pre-Christian sanctuaries.”
TimN on Oct 31, 2013 at 05:33:15
“I'll give you that. You may very well be on an honest journey of self discovery based upon your heritage and best evidence.
I wouldn't offer that to everyone who calls themselves 'wiccan' or 'pagan', many of whom are just playing dressup and make-believe and in all likelihood have gotten it completely wrong. Rather than dealing with inconvenient truths, the harsh physical evidence of cadavers in ancient bogs, the historical record of brutality, and dark oral traditions that evolved into Beowolf and Grimms faerie tales (among others), they conveniently fabricate an altruistic golden age juxtaposed against what they see as the invasion of corrupt Christianity.”
ChristianLady1 on Oct 30, 2013 at 11:59:29
“Wow! You are lucky to live where you live. :-) I love history and learning about different cultures/beliefs. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!”
“Yahweh never was the only god, he is the remnant of the Canaanite pantheon.
There are strong Zoroastrian elements in Judaism and Christianism:
- the divine warrior leading the army of heaven against the army of demons
- the concept of apocalpyse
- the concept of hell
- prohibited representation of the divine
I think the early Christians liked it all the more as the Sol Invictus cult was quite popular in Rome.”
chrysostomos on Oct 30, 2013 at 09:59:15
“Bravo!! Those pesky little facts will get them every time.”
Samhain is the beginning of the liminal time, what we call the Wild Hunt. It's a mystery play that culminates in the 'Rauhnächte' (rough nights), the twelve nights after winter solstice (Yule).
In Rhine-Hesse, a region of Germany marked by Celts, Romans and Germanic tribes, the time of the Wild Hunt is also the time of madness, deliriousness and rage, the time of the old goddess Percht ('The Bright One') who is leading the ghost horde with her dogs. You hear them howl in cold, stormy nights, when the wind whistles his spooky songs.
The Percht and her horde can not be banned by spells or pious songs but she can be appeased with offertory tables at crossways. There are several winter festivals devoted to her, people disguise as demons or animals, noisy processions, bizarre dances. The Wild Hunt is how people 'exorcized' the terrors of the dark and severe European winters. By celebrating delirium, they transformed it into something creative and positive.
That's the whole point of this mystery play: the Wild Hunt teaches us rituals to ride on our inner madness (instead of being ridden).
The 'veil between worlds' is sometimes to be taken literally because it can get quite foggy in the Upper Rhine valley. You never know where you end up when the mists lift. The mystic veil is particularly thin during the nights after Yule, the 'Rauhnächte, a traditional divination time.”
thorrsman on Oct 31, 2013 at 15:29:13
“Odin too takes the lead in the Wild Hunt.
I recall a Celtic God or two that claims to be the leader of that spectral pack as well.
The Wild Hunt IS.
Who leads it and why, a question that many beliefs claim to answer, yet each answer if different.
Frau Percht as leader of the Wild Hunt? Perhaps”
DavidTom on Oct 30, 2013 at 10:57:02
“"The Wild Horde itself was a complex phenomenon whose origins lose themselves partly inn the prehistoric past. There was the assembly of ghosts under the leadership of a feminine divinity, Hecate or Artemis in ancient Greece, Diana or Herodias, the mother of Salome, in the Latin West." ("Wild Men in the Middle Ages". Richard Bernheimer). Percht, as leader of The Wild Hunt/Wild Horde/, would seem to be a central-Europe version of Diana, the Greek Goddess of the Hunt. "Nothing could testify more strongly to the defeat of ecclesiastic prohibitions [as late as the 15th century] by native thought than the fact that ritual performances meant to embody the ghosts of the [dead]…have survived over a large part of the eastern Alps under the name of the Percht, a feminine [daimon] in whom the spirit of the Carnival is incarnated. Local opinion informs us that she is to be identified with the Wild Woman." (Bernheimer).
"The belief in the masculine Wild Horde…is regarded as of Germanic origin…[and]…"…in the Alps…the two traditions meet face to face, the [co]leadership of the Wild Horde is accorded…often to the Wild Man…who is…accompanying the Percht in her rapid procession…". (Bernheimer).
Odin is the Wild Huntsman, in Teutonic/Germanic mythology, leading the Wild Horde "…on a ghostly hunt through the stormy midnight sky." In the painting, "The Wild Hunt of Odin" (P N Arbo. 1872. Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo.), Odin is accompanied by weapons-wielding bare-breasted Valkyries on the Wild Hunt.”
Javahead Johnson on Oct 30, 2013 at 06:23:55
“I don't doubt ya lass. Then again a hearty rabble rousing round of Wassailing will oft end a person in an orchard of unknown origin. Such is the nature of Yule.”
“We used to host hundred thousands of US soldiers, hardly 52.000 are left and our economy survived as our emergency plans fortunately included substitute activities like development of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petrochemicals, plastics, steel products, electronics, software, renewable energies, automobiles etc.”
“In fact, the Cold War policies never ended. The German ministry for foreign affairs urged the US many times to withdraw their nuclear arsenal from Germany, the US government refuses to remove them. Obama even plans the modernization of the arsenal.
Is it justified? The question is, as always, cui bono? The US/NATO nuclear strategy involved Germany's complete annihilation from the beginning. Ever heard of WINTEX? NATO winter exercices that took place between 1968 and 1989 every two years to train the pre-emptive nuclear strike. Spooky exercises, no evacuation plans for the civilian population, no nuclear fallout shelters, no means of escape as all roads would have been reserved for military traffic.
Those nuclear weapons are still here.
The story of those brave and valiant US troops protecting Europe is nothing else than a hoax and people suggesting we should feel thankful for it make my toenails curl.”
petrock1963 on Oct 29, 2013 at 20:33:07
“I appreciate your thoughts and comments. You are right there is no reason for the people of Europe to feel thankful. The actual sacrifices that were made happened several generations ago. Most all of the people of that era have since passed on.”
“Ingrates like me? You probably meant free citizen and as such I certainly don't need that inappropriate maternalization of yours.”
mariesarg on Oct 29, 2013 at 17:32:27
“I bet you don't complain when the troops are spending money and contributing to your economy. And no, I don't think my response was inappropriate seeing that you had no problem being snarky with the packing comment.If you want to dish out sarcasm, you'll certainly get a response such as mine.”
“Expensive for whom? Haven't you wondered why the German economy had no problems with the retreat of the former occupying forces? It's because stationing costs for troops and military bases in Germany have been paid by the German taxpayer. I don't mean to disenchant you, but I think you might overestimate your future savings a little bit.”
“Considering that the German taxpayer has been settling the stationing costs for US troops all those years, it will be such a great loss!
Need some packing help? This is one me (and my tax declaration). :)”
checkmoot on Oct 29, 2013 at 16:33:14
“Do you work for the American military, or own a business that makes money from an American base in your country ?”
mariesarg on Oct 29, 2013 at 16:27:09
“No, I don't think the response was inappropriate, but that's a matter of opinion. You were snarky with your comment, so if you want to dish it out, you'll get responses that are not so desirable.The bases are there for various historical reasons; however, my understanding is a lot will be closing in 2015.”
petrock1963 on Oct 29, 2013 at 16:04:26
“Reading the post you responded to and your response it just eemed to me how a situation could escalate out of control. The initial placements of military bases in Europe in the aftermath of WWII seems obvious enough. Their continuance in light of the cold war seems justified. In theory the cold war has settled some so there is a guestion that could be asked are they still justified? Well I would say let's not let it be determined on what this aricle is about. That being possible sanctions against the US as result of wholesale spying. Personally I am against spying on indivduals without cause. If we are looking at know enemy groups and their finances then why not. If we are in fact tapping the communications of the head's of state of our allies that is just wrong.Even Kim Jung should be able to have a private phone call.”
mariesarg on Oct 29, 2013 at 15:28:13
“Why? You think we want our troops in your country? Really? Americans are sick and tired of being around the world especially for ingrates like you. I think our troops can be more effective on our own borders.”
“You can stop the fanfare. There are only two US military bases in Spain. It's reasonable to assume that their contribution to the Spanish economy is, em, negligible.”
manuelmadera on Oct 29, 2013 at 17:31:43
“Negligible? With 26% unemployment! I don't think so.”
checkmoot on Oct 29, 2013 at 15:20:24
“Having military bases, to name a few, in Germany, Spain, Italy, etc. Is expensive and serve no purpose. Are you opposed to cutting the deficit just a little ? Base them back in the U.S.. cheaper and they would be spending their paychecks here. That would help our ecomomy, or do you disagree on that.”
“"Last, does Europe happen to remember that it was WE AMERICANS who helped win the war waged by Nazi Germany for them?"
May I put this, how did you say, into the right perspective?
It wasn't 'the Americans on their valiant own who liberated Germany, it was the Allies: UK, France, Soviet Union, USA, China, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South African Union, Brasil, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Norway, Denmark, Poland, etc.”
tma2c on Oct 29, 2013 at 14:37:20
“Poland sure does supply a lot of really good looking blonds”